Is ‘Game of Thrones’ About to Take Us to Dorne?
Game of Thrones may be going to Spain, according to Entertainment Weekly. The publication reports that “If all goes according to plan, Spain will mark the seventh country (the seventh kingdom, if you will) where Thrones has shot on location.”
This season the show has continually moved away from George R.R. Martin’s books, in both tone and plot, but moving to Spain is actually in keeping with the spirit of books. In an interview with Adria’s News, Martin said:
“Yes. Dorne is definitely influenced a bit by Spain, a bit by Wales. But nothing is one and one. I took that together. Dorne is a very special land, with a slightly different cultural basis than the rest of Westeros … it was politically apart for a long time, it was also culturally apart because of the Rhoynar and the traditions they brought, but they didn’t influenced the rest of Westeros so much. So the dornish have their own particular sort of costumes. I see that in Spain with the whole history, particularly the Moorish history of Spain, you know … it really sets apart from France.”
Dorne, according to the Game of Thrones Wiki: “Contains the only desert on the entire continent of Westeros, and due to its arid climate it has the smallest overall population. Dorne is therefore also ecologically very different from the rest of Westeros. It is the only part of Westeros where citrus fruits grow. Dornish wine is also highly prized throughout all of Westeros, and considered to be among the best imports available.”
Here’s a map of Dorne:
As archived on the Song of Fire and Ice page Westeros.org, Martin told readers in 2000 to not think of Dorne as being analogous to any one place:
“I read a lot of history, and mine it for good stuff, but I also like to mix and match. That is to say, I don’t do straight one-for-one transplants, as some authors do, so you can’t really say that X in Westeros equals Y in real life. More often X in Westeros equals Y and Z in real life, with squidges of Q, L, and A. In the case of Dorne, yes, Wales was definitely an influence, for all the reasons you cite. But there’s also some distinctly unWelsh elements down there. South of the wall of mountains you have a hot, dry country more like Spain or Palestine than the cool green valleys of Wales, with most of the settlements along the seacoast and in few great river basins. And you also have the flavor given the culture by the great Rhoynar influx led by Nymeria. I suppose the closest real life equivilent [sic] to that would be the Moorish influence in parts of Spain. So you could say Dorne is Wales mixed with Spain and Palestine with some entirely imaginary influences mixed in. Or you could just say it’s Dorne.”
As Game of Thrones continues to gather more and more viewers with each new season, writers need to find ways of keeping things fresh and surprising without pissing off all of the diehard fans who don’t like the show veering away from Martin’s books. This season has unveiled plenty of surprises already, and while it’s only halfway done, fans are already speculating where next season will go.