Game of Thrones is one of today’s most popular shows. Here at Richtig Haus we have watched and rewatched all of the seasons multiple times. In fact, many of the lines from the show have bled into our daily lives. A theory has emerged here concerning the timeline of the show. Be aware that this may contain spoilers for those who have not completed the series through Season 7.
Many people I discuss Game of Thrones with refer to the show as having occurred in Earth’s past. The setting has a very medieval European feel – castles, swords and armour abound. The world is in a very different configuration though. Continents shown on the world map are not the same size or shape. There are varying items that show up during the series that point to the shows location in the future.
The zombie polar bears that appear in the episode “Beyond the Wall” in Season 7 denote that Game of Thrones takes place in the future. Polar bears are a relatively recent addition to the planet when looking at continental change. Polar bears do exist now and could populate the north of Westeros in the future. Melting glaciers means changing coastlines and continents.
Valeyian steel is an ancient technology in Game of Thrones that only a few smiths around the world can work with. At present, I do not know of any such steel that would have such an ancient footprint in our own world. It is more likely that existing steel manufacturing techniques (that function prior to industrialization) could serve to create the new steel. Japanese sword smiths have produced amazing steel for centuries, but not millennia.
The disease “grey scale” that produces the Stone Men of Old Valyria is also currently unknown to science. A possible mutation of chicken pox causing scleroderma has come to devastate humanity. It is unlikely that in antiquity a disease such as this could have been eradicated simply by placing the infected on an island.
Conquest by war is not a new concept. Empires have grown and fallen throughout time. In the timeline of Game of Thrones there are two major colonization events in their recorded history – the coming of the first men, and the arrival of Aegon the Conqueror. In both instances, the make up of Westeros changed dramatically. There is no current genetic evidence to support a Medieval colonization event on any continent that replaces a pre-existing culture, and dominates an entire continent.
At no point does anyone on Game of Thrones mention the word Earth. It is entirely possible that George R.R. Martin created an entire world of his own for his books. Like J.R.R. Tolkien, Martin has created a world that feels both familiar and fresh at the same time. So much so, it is difficult to decide if it is the present or the past.