As Season 7’s premiere looms closer, Game of Thrones fans are wondering what they should expect now that winter has arrived in Westeros.
The characters' paths may remain a mystery, especially as the T.V. series bypasses the books. However, the shift in seasons is not completely unpredictable, since the Game of Thrones world has climates similar to those here on Earth, though their seasons last much longer, with winter or summer sometimes lasting for years.
Take this quiz to find out which Game of Thrones character you are based on your winter, then read below to learn more about how to prepare for the upcoming season.
Westeros and its easterly neighbor Essos are both home to a variety of climates, each posing their own challenges.
These climates range from blustery polar ice cap in the northernmost parts of Westeros, known as the Land of Always Winter, to the arid desert of Dorne in the South. In between and to the east and west, temperate, tropical and coastal regions have their own charms to add to this captivating world.
The coldest parts of the Game of Thrones world are found North of the Wall -- areas that on Earth would be near the Arctic and Antarctic circles.
Arctic and Antarctic areas are subject to polar climates, where monthly average temperatures don’t exceed 50 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the widely-used Köppen climate classification system. In ice cap areas, temperatures rarely rise above freezing. Winters throughout polar regions are regularly minus 40 F.
Farther south into Stark territory, the climate starts to shift to sub-arctic, cold continental and even temperate areas. In sub-arctic regions, which mimic much of Alaska, Russia, and northern parts of Canada and Europe, the coldest month is going to have average temperatures below zero.
Although conditions tend to become more habitable down toward the Twins, the Vale of Arryn and Riverrun, winter weather even in these temperate areas can be dangerous, with the chance for extremely cold conditions and severe snowstorms.
Winters in the Iron Islands’ oceanic climate tend to be wet, with a mix of snow and rain and average temperatures just above freezing.
Elsewhere, particularly in Mediterranean, tropical, semi-arid and arid areas, winters can be more forgiving. In Game of Thrones, such climates can be found in the southern coastal areas of Westeros, like King’s Landing and Dorne, and in Essos’ Flatlands and the Bay of Dragons.
Semi-arid and arid areas can see a range of temperatures, but they lack the propensity for precipitation of their more northern or coastal counterparts. In contrast, tropical areas tend to be wet and warm even in winter.
With that being said, winters in Game of Thrones have been known to last a generation, in which case who can really predict what the winds of winter will bring.