What lies west of Westeros? Exploring the Geography of the GoT Universe

What lies west of Westeros? Exploring the Geography of the GoT Universe

A lot of things happened at the end of the controversial Game of Thrones, among which Arya Stark heading on an adventure to find out “what’s west of Westeros” was a significant one.

The series never clearly mentioned or hinted at what lies west of Westeros, but we did see quite a few maps of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy world. In the books, there’s some information about what might lie westwards. Much of what we know about what is west of Westeros is from Fire and Blood, a book that chronicles the history of the Targaryens.

In fact, it seems like Arya Stark is not the only one who tried to find out about it in the history of Westeros. With House of the Dragon coming in, it’s time for us to brush up on the extra bits about the GoT Universe.

So, here’s me helping you out with that. Let’s see where Arya Stark went, and what could lie west of Westeros.

In short, as one travels westwards, there’s the Sunset Sea, followed by the Lonely Light Castle and three islands named after the Targaryen brothers—Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenya, which marks the westernmost spot of Westeros.

1. The Sunset Sea and the Lonely Light Castle

Based on what we know so far from the books and the series, the westernmost point after Westeros, where human habitation can still be found, is a small island in the middle of the Sunset Sea.

The Sunset Sea and the Lonely Light Castle
Lonely Light | Source: A Wiki of Ice and Fire

According to the official map of Westeros, the sea that lies west of Westeros is the Sunset Sea. The westernmost point with human habitation after Westeros is a small island in the Sunset Sea, surrounded by seals and walruses.

This rocky island lies much ahead of the Iron Islands, occupied by the Greyjoys. This island is home to a castle called the Lonely Light, occupied by an isolated noble house of Westeros, the Farwynds.

The Farwynds are considered to be crazy by most of the other houses of Westeros. They’re supposed to be sworn to the Greyjoys, but even they want nothing to do with them because of this ‘crazy’ reputation.

We’ve not seen any of the Farwynds in the series yet, but there’s a mention of one of them in the books. In A Feast of Crows, a Farwynd comes to campaign at the Kingsmoot. According to him, his plan was for all the Ironborns to set sail together into the Sunset Sea. Of course, he doesn’t win, but that’s the only time we read about one of them.

The Farwynds are considered to be descendants of the Mermen by many, which explains a lot about their strange rituals as well. They’re also considered by many to be Northmen who were blown off due to the raging storms of the sea in that area.

That’s it as far as human habitation is concerned. After that, there’s the westernmost point after Westeros.

2. The Westernmost Islands: Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenya

After the Lonely Lights Castle, the westernmost point in the Sunset Sea is a group of three islands, named after three Targaryen siblings, Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenya.

The Westernmost Islands: Aegon, Visenya and Rhaenya
Visenya and Rhaenya | Source: IMDb

These islands hold forests that are untouched and unexplored by men and are home to a vast variety of flora and fauna. It could be a good place to explore untold, hidden secrets and mysteries.

The islands were named after three Targaryen siblings for some unknown reason. Aegon the Conqueror was the one who led the War of Conquest on Westeros around 300 years ago. He had two sisters-turned-wives, Rhaenya and Visenya, who accompanied him on their dragons and caused major destruction to the continent of Westeros.

These islands were first discovered by Elissa Farman, who escaped the Targaryens after a messy debacle with them. She discovered the islands 50 years after Aegon’s conquests. After her discovery, she set said further westwards and was never heard from again.

Legends say that while escaping the Targaryens, Elissa Farman stole some dragon eggs, which she sold in Braavos. Those were the very eggs that ended up with Daenerys in the first season (or the first book). Farman left one of her ships in the mysterious islands after it was damaged before she set sail further west.

3. What lies beyond the Targaryen Islands?

Well, after the three islands named after the Targaryen siblings, it seems like there are endless miles of water ahead. Ellisa Farman went beyond the islands but was never heard from again.

However, George R. R. Martin has confirmed that the world of Westeros is round just like our own, but it is bigger than our planet. So, no matter how far Arya travels, she will end up coming back to where she began.

In fact, Ellisa Farman’s ship, or at least a ship that looked remarkably similar to that of Farman’s, was spotted by another traveler, who had set sail towards the east. He found this ship in Asshai, the magical and mysterious city of the sorcerers that is the farthest known civilization in the east.

So, if Farman could reach Asshai after setting sail in the opposite direction, the planet of Westeros is indeed round and Arya could be the second woman to circumnavigate the world. Or the first, if Farman never actually made it.

4. Who else went westwards before Arya?

Arya is not the first person to set sail westwards and discover new lands in the GoT universe. The first one to take up a voyage towards the west was Brandon the Shipwright, an ancient king of the North.

Who else went westwards before Arya?
Arya Stark | Source: Fandom

Brandon wanted to explore what lay beyond the Sunset Sea but he was never heard from again after his expedition. When he did not return, his son, Brandon the Burner, destroyed the Northern Fleet to prevent any further voyages. Since then, the Northmen have avoided the sea.

The second one to take up the expedition was Rhaenys Targaryen. She wanted to fly the distance on her dragon but unfortunately died a mysterious death in the Dornish wars. She could not complete her quest.

The third one was Elissa Farman, followed by the mysterious traveler who headed east instead. However, they were both never heard from again. If Arya Stark manages to circumnavigate the entire globe, she might reach the mysterious land of Essos, which remains the most unexplored land in the world of Game of Thrones.

It is in the abandoned cities in Essos, such as Old Valyria, where the stonemen are exiled to live after they contract the contagious disease of greyscale. Notably, Ser Jorah and Stannis Baratheon’s daughter Shireen had it in the series.

Apart from that, there’s the Slaver’s Bay, the Dothraki Sea, Qarth, and the magical lands of Asshai, all left to be explored in depth. However, these places are frequently mentioned in the books and also shown in the series, when they’re visited by Daenerys.

So, it has been more explored than the west, where Arya Stark heads out. Let’s see if House of the Dragon tells us something new about the geography of the world of Game of Thrones. We can definitely hope to see Elissa Farman in the series, considering her relationship with the Targaryens.

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5. About Game of Thrones

A television phenomenon, Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama series created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for HBO. 

Set in the fictional universe of Westeros, nine dignified families fight to mark their claim to the Iron Throne and rule over the Seven Kingdoms. The HBO production is based on the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series by George R.R. Martin and features a number of converging arcs convoluted by political conflicts among factions.

 The series features a large ensemble cast including Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Nikolaj-Coster Waldau, Kit Harrington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke and many others.