You knew that George R.R. Martin drew heavily on the history of medieval Europe for the events of his brutal continent of Westeros, but a new video from YouTuber RealLifeLore suggests that the geography itself is a slightly modified version of the British Isles. He draws comparisons between the groups that conquered and defined Great Britain and Ireland and the First Men, the Andals, and the Targaryens alluded to in his extensive exposition on Westeros' past, but the most straightforward and visually interesting comparison is the landmass itself. By moving Ireland south of Britain, expanding its size, and flipping it upside down, you get a pretty similar geographic shape to the Seven Kingdoms. Flip Britain upside down and they're nearly identical. Squint and you'll see formations like the Fingers and Blackwater Bay that are important to the plot and characters in the series.
This hypothesis is not proven, but the similarities are remarkable. If R. R. Martin's method was similar to RealLifeLore's, this is a cool insight into one of the most extensively-built worlds in modern fiction. Like the Game of Thrones Google Map, revelations like these make the show's world feel more real, which in turn makes immersing ourselves in its drama all the more rewarding.
See more RealLifeLore on YouTube. Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 PM EST on HBO.