Diehard fans of A Song of Ice and Fire constantly gripe about the ways that HBO's "Game of Thrones" series deviates from George R.R. Martin's books. Sometimes, their complaints are so minor and finicky that it's hard to give them much credit. But one of their most consistent quibbles actually has some merit: Some characters in the show seem to travel across Westeros and Essos far too quickly.
The problem is that Westeros and Essos are gigantic: Martin has said that Westeros is about the size of South America, and Essos is even bigger. But the characters on the show can't travel by any mode of transit faster than a horse or a sailboat.
This wasn't really an issue in the first season. It generally hewed pretty close to the plot of A Game of Thrones, so it took many weeks for the King's retinue, and Catelyn Stark, to travel across Westeros. But things started to go awry in the second season, when Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish began flitting between distant parts of the country -- King's Landing, Harrenhal, The Reach -- almost instantaneously. And things only got crazier from there.
Tech Insider's Skye Gould and Kim Renfro recently made an awesome map that illustrates just how far various characters from the show have traveled. It's really far! Here's the map:
In fairness to the show's writers, it's often unclear how much time passes between scenes. So it's possible that they're just excising the travel in the interest of dramatic tension. After all, anyone who's read A Feast for Crows knows that plotlines focusing on long-distance travel across these continents -- ahem, Brienne's voyage to the end of Crackclaw Point -- can be excruciatingly boring.
Then again, there are times -- some of Baelish's maneuvering springs to mind -- when it just doesn't make sense that a given character would be able to get around fast enough to keep pace with developments in the plot. So it seems fair to say that "Game of Thrones" has engaged in a bit of fudging. Not that that dims our extremely high opinion of the show!
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