It’s hard to believe, but only four short months ago we were looking forward to season four of Game of Thrones and wondering what fair cities would pop up on its opening credits world map this year. As any fan knows, the best thing about the show’s opening credits (apart from the soaring music) is that the locations on the map change to reflect the show’s widening scope; this year, we added four new places. In the interest of being thorough, here they are:
The only new location on the map that stuck around for all ten episodes, and boy, who knows when we’ll be rid of Meereen. The first half of the season saw Daenerys staging a siege of the largest slave city and invading from the inside out; the second half saw her deciding to settle in and rule her empire of Slaver’s Bay from Meereen’s Great Pyramid. It’s not the most exciting turn of events, but Meereen is still more interesting than Qarth, so it has that going for it. And it’s a very cool spot on the map, with its giant pyramid popping into the sky as we zoom in.
One under-discussed and totally awesome thing about the Game of Thrones map: the sigils! King’s Landing has the Baratheon stag, Winterfell the Stark wolf, the Twins have the two-towered bridge, and so on. The Dreadfort is the gloomy and aptly-named home of Roose Bolton, and it’s honestly a little surprising that it got so much play on the map considering how it was barely featured in the show this year. But when we see the flayed red man of House Bolton pop up in the north, we understand how the landscape has changed. The Starks have been deposed, and there’s a new sheriff in town. And that sheriff likes to cut people’s skin off.