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George RR Martin gives House of the Dragon fans a guided tour of the Westeros map

A new video from the Game of Thrones YouTube channel sees George RR Martin giving fans a guided tour of some of the most crucial locations on the House of the Dragon map.

Game of Thrones fans should be very familiar with the map of Westeros as it featured in the opening titles of every single episode to tease which locations would feature. The same cannot be said for the prequel House of the Dragon which opted for a different approach to its credits design, which has left some fans hazy on some of the show’s chief locations. Thankfully, George RR Martin has featured in a recent video on the Game of Thrones YouTube channel to give fans the lowdown.

Blackwater Bay

The main location in both House of the Dragon and the original Game of Thrones is undoubtedly King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms.

As the prequel focuses on the goings inside the Red Keep, the series is mostly based in King’s Landing.

However, what may not be so clear to viewers is just how close several key locations are to the city as both Dragonstone and Driftmark lie within Blackwater Bay, the homes of the Targaryens and Velaryons respectively.

In the aforementioned video, George RR Martin highlights and area known as the Gullet, the thin entrance into Blackwater Bay that would prove an ideal point to blockade should, say, a bloody civil war erupt and tear House Targaryen and the Seven Kingdoms in two.

A map image of Blackwater Bay in House of the Dragon
© HBO | Game of Thrones | YouTube

The Stepstones

A key location in House of the Dragon’s first season is the Stepstones, a group of islands that lie between Dorne on the southern tip of Westeros and the eastern continent of Essos.

Martin explains with his map that the islands have always been a haven for pirates looking to plunder the well-traveled shipping lanes there, but matters take a turn for the worse in House of the Dragon.

In the series, a group of three cities, Lys, Myr and Tyrosh in Essos have banded together to form the Triarchy which looks to claim the Stepstones for themselves and impose expensive tolls on trading ships, such as those belonging to House Velaryon.

The Triarchy’s actions spark fury from Corlys Velaryon who spent much of season 1 engaged in a war over the Stepstones, even roping in Daemon Targaryen to help in the bloody and costly conflict against the Crabfeeder.

A map image of the Stepstones in House of the Dragon
© HBO | Game of Thrones | YouTube

Old Valyria

One of the most influential moments in the history of Westeros, Essos and particularly the Targaryen and Velaryon houses is the Doom of Valyria, an event fans will have heard referenced countless times across both Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon.

As Martin explains, the Doom of Valyria was a cataclysmic event that destroyed much of the Valyrian peninsula in Essos and killed millions of people and dragons and forced families such as the Targaryens and Velaryons to search for new homes.

Across the Valyrian peninsula was a chain of volcanoes known as the Fourteen Flames, which is where dragons were said to have first been discovered.

The Doom of Valyria was brought about when all 14 volcanoes erupted simultaneously, filling the air with ash, smoke and fire, while also triggering earthquakes and causing lakes to boil and turn to acid.

Not only did the Fourteen Flames erupt, but every hill for five hundred miles exploded as well, making the apocalyptic event even more destructive.

A map image of Valyria in House of the Dragon
© HBO | Game of Thrones | YouTube

House of the Dragon is expected to return to HBO/Max in the US and Sky/Now in the UK in 2024.

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