Game of Thrones: What’s Really West of Westeros

Arya Stark’s journey on Game of Thrones ends with the promise of a new one. Arya, who has apparently always wanted to discover what is west of Westeros because she said “what’s west of Westeros” exactly one time in Season 6, ends her arc on a Stark-branded boat armed with a crew, map, and telescope, ready to discover.

No one in Westeros actually knows what lies west, but lore within the books and The World of Ice and Fire, a companion book to George R. R. Martin’s series, reveals Arya isn’t the first person to try to find out. Here’s everything we know.

The west side of Westeros—including Beyond the Wall, the North, the Iron Islands, The Reach, the Westerlands, and the Riverlands—borders the Sunset Sea. In A World of Ice and Fire, it’s suggested the Ironborn are descended from people west of the Sunset Sea.

In A Storm of Swords, the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, Bran Stark tells Meera and Jojen Reed about Brandon the Shipwright, a King in the North and a Stark who sailed west of Westeros thousands of years before Aegon’s conquest. But Brandon the Shipwright was never seen again, and his crypt in Winterfell is empty.

In The World of Ice and Fire, it’s said that Rhaenys Targaryen, Aegon the Conqueror’s sister who helped her brother-husband take over Westeros, dreamed of discovering what was west of Westeros on her dragon, Meraxes. But Rhaenys died in Dorne under mysterious circumstances. In a Season 2 scene with Tywin Lannister when she served as his cupbearer, Arya Stark talks about Rhaenys. When Tywin says everyone knows Aegon’s name 300 years after his death because he conquered the Seven Kingdoms, Arya responds:

According to Fire & Blood, a book detailing the history of the Targaryens, a woman tried to travel west before—and could have been successful. Elissa Farman sailed west of Westeros from Oldtown in 56 AC (that is, 56 years after Aegon’s Conquest). Elissa’s ship, Sun Chaser, found three uninhabited islands, which she named Aegon, Rhaenys, and Visenya. Elissa continued sailing west and was never seen again. However, someone said they spotted her ship, Sun Chaser, in Asshai, the port city in east Essos where Melisandre is from. This could mean the Game of Thrones world is round, and only has two continents—and Elissa sailed west right into Asshai.

But the world of A Song of Ice and Fire could just be flat. In the Season 6 Episode 8 scene in which Arya mentions her interest in becoming Henry Hudson, Lady Crane suggests “the edge of the world” is west of Westeros. “I’d like see that,” Arya says. We’ll never know for sure if she did—but I have faith in no one.

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