With the huge variety of places, landscapes, climates and cultures in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, what would be its grand canyon, its Eiffel tower or its Big Ben? Here are five relatively unconventional places I, for one, would jump at the chance to see:
No trip to Westeros would be complete without seeing its oldest, and one of its largest, towns. As home to the Citadel, where new Maesters forge the links in their chains, Oldtown also holds much of Westerosi knowledge and history. For the bookworms among us, its stores of learning sound heavenly, and the tallest building in the realm, the white lighthouse, must be quite a sight. Walking the airy stone-cobbled streets, a far cry from King’s Landing’s squalor, would really give a sense of its past majesty.
Nowadays, there is probably little of interest here to anyone but geologists interested in volcanic activity, but in its heyday, Valyria must have been quite a sight to see. Once the capital of a great empire and the seat of the Targaryens, Valyria was the centre of wondrous crafts, culture and wealth before the Doom. What little survives of it in Westeros – such as the Valyrian method of forging steel, some of the High Valyrian language, and the taming of dragons – is still absolutely crucial to Westerosi power games. A note on travel arrangements: perhaps not the place to see with a brother, as you may find yourself encouraged by the locals to marry one another.
Near the Shadow Lands where dragons are said to have originated, this mysterious land we know Melisandre to be from sounds like a fascinating, though dangerous, place. Here, ancient lore and arcane knowledge remains alive, even though it is dying out elsewhere in Westeros and the Free Cities. Perhaps this is one land not to be attempted without a very good guide – preferably one with occult powers of their own for extra protection.
A fine vintage, anyone? The Arbor, nestled blissfully far from the biting cold up North and the political turmoil in the major towns, seems to be forever unaffected by anything. No matter who is killing whom, it appears Westeros doesn’t loose its taste for wine, and the Arbor its wealth. Who wouldn’t want to spend a balmy evening strolling down its vineyards with a glass of Arbor Gold in hand?
The Land of Always Winter
Ok, technically, perhaps this wouldn’t be feasible. It isn’t even mapped. But there lies the intrigue; perhaps, with Arctic gear and a seriously well-insulated shelter that takes mere seconds to construct, this could prove to be the most breathtaking expedition ever. Think of the white, wintry expanses, the once-in-a-lifetime landscape, and the adventure in being the first to map the harsh wilderness. Hey, one can dream (and pack plenty of thermals).
Where would you most be fascinated to see? Comment with your thoughts!