Game of Thrones is burning up the airwaves right now. Did you see that last episode? Holy, shit! Fiiiiiiiire! Anyway, it got us thinking: “Where on earth could you go that’ll make you feel like you’re really in Westeros and Essos?”
Now, we’re not talking filming locations — we’ve got you covered on that. We’re talking parts of our own world that are direct analogs of the world of Ice and Fire. These are the places that give the feeling of being in GoT and look a hell of a lot like possible inspirations for the fantastical locations.
The lands of Game of Thrones are vast and widespread, which explains why we’ve remixed this idea a few times. On this go around, we’ve chosen six prime locations that feel closest to the show and books. These are places you can travel to right now. Some are more far-flung. Some are just around the corner.
DOTHRAKI SEA — THE KAZAKH STEPPE
The Dothraki Sea is a sea of grass and sand. The Kazakh Steppe is the largest dry grassland area on the planet. It’s covers over 310,000 square miles. To put that in perspective, Texas is around 265,000 square miles. To put that into even more mind-blowing comparison, Texas has about 105 people per square mile compared to the Kazakh Steppe’s four or five people per square mile. It’s a massive, almost empty corner of the planet.
The Steppe is home to vast grasslands stretching from the Black and Caspian Seas to pine forests in the north and east which transition into Siberia to sand dunes and dry deserts along the southern fringes. It’s also famous for its horse-driven culture and economy. The horse is everything in this part of the world — from a vehicle to a companion to a food staple (via milk and flesh).
If anywhere on Earth is the Dothraki Sea, this is it.