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Finally: Someone did a climatological study of the world of Game Of Thrones

Photo: HBO

For fans of HBO’s Game Of Thrones, the current, pre-final season wasteland we’re inhabiting, which both lacks new episodes and is peppered with dangerous potential spoilers, is rough. Harrowing thought it has been, it’s nothing compared to the wait fans of the books have endured since 2011’s A Dance With Dragons came out. But, hey, let’s not split hairs. Instead, let’s try to enjoy this seemingly endless wait by discussing some supplemental academic text that’s about, what else, the weather.

A recent mock journal article, written by none other than Samwell Tarly, uses a scientifically-backed climate model of the world described in George RR Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire and depicted in Game Of Thrones to explain how Westeros experiences such unpredictable and lengthy weather patterns. According to the paper—which is also available in Dothraki and High Valyrian—the years-long seasons on Game Of Thrones can be explained by the planet’s “tumbling” orbit and the larger tilt to its axis, which make it so one hemisphere is always directed away from the sun.


But, like any good Maester-in-training, Tarly knows how to extrapolate on his data. Through his analysis of wind speeds and ocean temperatures, he can explain the Ironborn’s dominance on the seas, predict the plan of attack from Essos to Westeros, and estimate the trade routes to the Free Cities. Also, he’s got a few serious warnings about the growing effect of climate change, something Game Of Thrones characters will have to worry about in between fighting zombies and dragons.

If you don’t have a current subscription to Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society Of King’s Landing, feel free to check out the full article in PDF form here. Special thanks to Samwell Tarly for providing some off-season infotainment, and additional thanks to Professors Dan Lunt, Carrie Lear, and Gavin Foster, who may have had something to do with this.

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About the author

Dan Neilan

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Have Fun — Will Travel.