Maps are hypnotic. They have magical powers. They explain the genetics of our natural world in a way that words cannot. Maps take us back in time. Maps shove us into the future. They kindle our imagination. They invoke awe, and envy. And if there is anything we have learned from the Season 7 premiere of Game of Thrones, it’s that maps inspire courage. Because you see, maps have this uncanny quality of making everything seem possible… even conquering the Seven Kingdoms.
Game of Thrones took a spatial twist with the first episode of its latest season. As the episode began, Cersei and Jamie Lannister were shown having a conversation in one of the castle courtyards in King’s Landing. While an artist quietly covered the entire floor with a giant painting of the map of Westeros, Cersei mapped out her strategy for the conflicted territories at her feet. Key locations were identified and troublemakers were taken stock of.
Cut to the other most powerful queen of the story, Daenerys Targaryen, who returned to Dragonstone at the end of the episode to give us another dose of cartographic high. She bypassed the throne to go straight to the war room, aka the Chamber of the Painted Table, with her right-hand man Tyrion Lannister. There, waiting for her was her own handcrafted, highly-detailed, centuries-old map of the Seven Kingdoms – the table that was carved by Aegon Targaryen after he conquered Westeros. Fans would recall Stannis using this map to plot his attacks on both King’s Landing and the North.
As a bonus, Samwell Tarly stumbled upon a map of Dragonstone which showed the location of a mine containing deposits of (gasp!) dragonglass – which, of course, is now more precious than gold. And Oldtown also appeared on the map for the first time.
So many topographical references were enough to send map lovers on Twitter in a tizzy, with some cheering the Mother of Dragons for scoring over Cersei by having a 3D map! Take a look:
in tonight’s #GameOfThrones premiere we learned that you can’t be queen without a giant map of westeros to walk around while scheming.
— VerbTheAdjectiveNoun (@Ell_As_in_L) July 17, 2017
— high-quality dolly (@daLittleA) July 17, 2017
ha cersei has her cheap map and daenerys is all 💁🏻 topographically accurate 3d model #gameofthrones
— Michelle (@summerdaze_) July 17, 2017
— Jessie Binder Turner (@jessiebturner) July 17, 2017