As we read the books, we couldn’t help but think — there are just so many parallels between Westeros and Maine: We’re vast. We share many cultural identities — The County, Southern Maine, The Western Foothills. Coastal Maine. The northern border feels like the end of the world. The South feels like it’s practically another country. And “winter is coming”? That could be Maine’s slogan, baby.
We started talking about this project forever ago … like, when it was a recent thing that George R. R. Martin had published a book.
But I digress.
So last week we asked for your help picking which towns would most closely parallel the locations in the books. With a few necessary changes, here is the result:
Here’s what we picked — and why:
Fort Kent as Castle Black
It’s at the northern-most border of our state. It has “fort” in the name and Castle Black is a castle.
Millinocket as Winterfell
A once prosperous town of the north that has now fallen into hard times. Runners up: Bangor, though Bangor isn’t even at the mid-point of the state, let alone the north.
Portland as Kings Landing
The financial capitol of our state, all roads, err, I-95, lead here. Runners up: Augusta, which can make an argument for being the seat of power, though not quite the center of commerce.
Mount Katahdin as The Eyrie
The highest mountain in our state, Katahdin evokes the soaring beauty we imagine Tyrion Lannister must have faced when he was imprisoned in the sky cell at The Eyrie. Drawbacks: In the books, the Eyrie is in the East — but Maine’s greatest mountains are in the West, so we had to take some poetic license here. Also: Not much in the way of civilization in Baxter State Park, let alone a ginormous castle. Runners up: Carrabassett Valley, for actually having people who live at the foot of Sugarloaf. Camden or Mount Desert Island, for actually having a mountain on the East coast.
Camden as Casterly Rock
Well, there are no active gold mines in Maine, but Camden is well known for its wealthy community of summer residents. Drawbacks: Casterly Rock is in the West.
Augusta as Harrenhal
The largest castle in all of Westeros, Harrenhal’s owners changed many times through Westeros’ history. Just like our democratically elected state leaders. Drawbacks: This is an important location in the book but there is no clear parallel in the state. Runners Up: Fort Knox, which gets points for being an unoccupied fort.
The islands of the Penobscot Bay as the Iron Islands
We think you have to be as hard as the ironborn to live on an island year-round like they do on Mattinicus or Isle au Haut. Drawbacks: Maine has no Western coast.
Boothbay as Highgarden
Beautiful gardens? Boothbay’s got ’em. Drawbacks: Highgarden is in the west, not the east.
Storm’s End as Harpswell
A sea town on the coast. Drawbacks: It’s north of Maine’s “King’s Landing” — whereas in the books it’s south. But with Portland as King’s Landing, there are few southerly options for other important plot locations.
Here’s a large version of the map (click to zoom in):
Did we get it right? Let us know in the comments below. And if you like it, share.