Winter Is Coming: Is The Entirety of Westeros Covered Ass-Deep In Snow?

I know that in the Game of Thrones universe, winter lasts for years and is indescribably brutal, with the snow reaching a depth of several feet. But I’m not clear, from having read the books, if the entire continent of Westeros (or even the entire planet) is covered in snow, or if it’s only a problem in the northerly places (viz, Winterfell), and the southerly places (King’s Landing, Casterly Rock, Dorne) get off light.

Does anyone have any insight on this? It’s been years since I finished the most recent book.

I think it’s a problem all over, but its definitely a lesser issue in the South. However, I do think that King’s Landing gets snow, but I’d be surprised if the Reach or Dorne does (aside from the tops of the Red Mountains) - they just drop in temp most likely.

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Good article, thanks for sharing.

I’m guessing we’re not going to have happy singing snowmen. If FROZEN had taken place in Westeros there would have been a lot more nudity and throat cutting scenes and I might have been able to watch it.

It can actually last decades or, IIRC, even a generation. When those really long winters happen I assume it’s like snowball Earth at that point, with the glaciers coming down nearly to the equator and heavy snows even in the southern most cities and kingdoms. It’s been a while since I read the books, though, so might be mis-remembering (and I haven’t really watched the series except here and there).

Even if Dorne doesn’t freeze, it doesn’t appear to be a breadbasket. The main food producing regions will freeze. A winter that is months or a few years might be survivable, but a longer one means a more crapsack world.

The continent is already hungry from the war. They haven’t been stockpiling for winter as they usually do, so there will probably me more than the usual amount of cannibalism.
I’m wondering if the White Walkers gain special powers in winter.

My interpretation is that the powers of the Walkers, and the depth of the winter snows and cold, are manifestations of the same phenomenon.

Has it ever been established that GOT is even on Earth?

Yes, and the maesters are predicting this to be a very long winter. I always pictured this one lasting 50-75 years ore more.

I thought it was definitely NOT Earth. It’s just a made up world, isn’t it?

There is no reason to think it has anything to do with Earth. I don’t even think it’s a planet, such as we are familiar with.

It’s absolutely not. But they do have potatoes.

I’m still going with the theory that it’s a VR simulation.

The camera pans out. It’s Hodor, alive! He is clutching a snow globe with a miniature of King’s Landing inside. He shakes it, plastic snow flurries scatter. “Hodor,” he mutters.

On the flip side there are a lot fewer mouths to feed.

some 99% less North of the Wall.

Does Earth have magic? Do people come back from the dead?

GoT isn’t a science fiction story, it’s a fantasy. It’s set in a different reality from ours. It’s not Earth in the past or a distant planet; it might be thought of as a different Universe but even that’s too scientific.

MTV’s take.

Now I’m going to be a little disappointed when the show doesn’t end that way.

This is undeniably true; and the most highly developed VR gear that we know, is being used to produce this simulation right now.

It’s definitely not (hard) SF; otoh, Martin’s Sci-Fi stories are rife with fantasy elements. And though he called AGoT fantasy more than once, he also said that fantasy and Sci-Fi are pretty much the same thing, in one genre you get a sword, in the other a beam sword (I hope I haven’t mangled his words too much).

If we compare AGoT with his Sci-Fi “Thousand Worlds” universe, we see similar themes and phenomena, even names are swappable, but more importantly, many stories revolve around Clarke’s 3rd law:

And we see science masquerading as magic in AGOT more than once: Thoros and Melisandre used natural resources to simulate a magically lit sword, for example. The science used is mostly basic and relies on the narrow knowledge of the contemporaries to appear mysterious. But those revelatory scenes should give us pause: Isn’t it possible that the other magic we see in AGOT is also science, only so far advanced that we have not yet had (much) contact with anyone who understands it? Behind the curtain, we may find a Wizard of Oz.

Does it also freeze up in Essos?