Here at Manitoba Hot, we are huge Game of Thrones fans and with the new season upon us, we got to thinking: “What would Manitoba look like if it was in the Game of Thrones world?” And you know what? We discovered Manitoba IS Westeros. We fit perfectly. Wolves? Check. Desert sands? Check. A wall? Check (of the fort kind). Chickens? OMG, so many! Fantastical beasts? Check (and then some). The further we fell down the Game of Thrones rabbit hole, the more we figured out that George R.R. Martin is definitely using Manitoba as his muse. So without further adieu, we present to you Game of MB Thrones, A Song of Ice and Bison…
Winnipeg aka King’s Landing
The Legislative Building is the seat of power over Manitoba’s kingdoms. It sits beneath the golden boy (no, not Joffrey) and has way too many secrets. Outside its walls you will find fantastical beasts aplenty at Assiniboineth Parketh and FortWhyteth, a large bazaar of trade called The Forks, finely crafted — and somewhat dangerous — wildfyre cocktails at The Roost, and a bustling market square in the Exchange.
In ages past, this territory has suffered occasional attacks during its existence, most notably during an uprising known as the Red River Rebellion, when Louis Riel and the Métis declared a provisional government to negotiate terms for entering Confederation. The uprising led to the creation of the province of Manitoba.
If you seek a tasty Hot Pie, look no further than Goodies, where the real flavour is. Unfortunately, they don’t serve any (dire)wolf-shaped ones…yet.
Thompson aka Winterfell
Thompson is the true King in the North! It’s where the (dire)wolves live and breathe freely within Canada’s largest godswood, otherwise known as the boreal forest. Follow the (dire)wolves along the Spirit Way as they take you Hodoring from Heritage North Museum all the way to Miles Hart Bridge. Hunt the (dire)wolf, via GPS, for a chance to be knighted Maester Tracker.
The North Remembers…that the nearby Pisew Falls is one of the most fantastical views in all the kingdoms.
Churchill aka The Wall
The colossal wall of Fort Prince of Wales was built 250 years ago by the First of the Fur Trade Men along the bare, windswept coast of northern Manitoba. In 1782, with only 39 men manning the fort, Maester of the fort’s watch, Samuel Hearne, surrendered to three warships and 400 French wildlings. The wildlings left after unsuccessfully trying to destroy the fort.
The Watchers on the Wall will tell you that White Walkers are actually mythological polar bears that shape-shift into beluga whales each summer. They even have a song: My bear! My bear so fair! And off they went morphing into the summer air! Swimming with beluga flair!
RMNP aka Highgarden
Enter through the historic East Gate into Riding Mountain National Park, the realm’s highest garden paradise. Once inside this vast parkland you will discover mammoth-sized beasts called bison, trees that are as tall as giants and lakes clearer than Dragonglass.
Chaos is a ladder, but you’re going to need that ladder to climb, hike or bike the Manitoba Escarpment whose 65 million year-old rocks soar so much higher than the Tower of the Hand. Once at the top you can rightly (and regally) shout out: “Who’s the Queen? I am *the* Queen!”
If given a choice between violence or Ser Pounce, I choose Ser Pounce.
Whiteshell aka Casterly Rock
The Canadian Shield is the rocky stronghold of the Whiteshell and as strong as newly forged Valyrian Steel. Each summer, this natural playground sends out the ravens in droves to invite all the Children of the Forest to experience its rushing rivers, clear deep lakes and warm sandy beaches. The fresh scent of jack pine from the godswood is so intoxicating that it will have your mind floating through the heavens like a high sparrow.
The sacred rock formations within Bannock Point Petroforms is one place where both the Old Gods and the New will benefit in visiting to understand their symbolic teachings and healing.
As they say in the Whiteshell, a Lannister always pays his park fees.
The Prairies aka Storm’s End
Deep in the southwestern regions of Manitoba lives the heart of the Prairielands. Old farmsteads guard thousands of acres of hypnotically swaying wheat fields and immense grasslands full of giant cattle herds. This land is Kissed by Fire in the form of burning sunrises and sunsets. The largest keep in this kingdom is the warg-loving Bran(don).
Storms are common around these parts where clans of brave Khals and Khaleesis work the fields and hope no smoke monsters show up. In one area of the Prairielands they are still finding old dragon (ok, mosasaur) bones from yesteryear when the land was one giant seaway full of fantastical creatures who were of the kill or be killed sort.
Not even the Rains of Castamere can dampen this land of sun-drenched wheat and blue horizons.
Way up in the north sits ol’ factory York, which rises from the banks between River Hayes and River Nelson. Slowly eroding away from the tides, the factory’s buildings demand special attention, making storming it almost impossible without huge history learnings. It’s also almost near impossible to get there — much like trying to reach the Eyrie.
In the south, the River Red is where the water flows, the fishing is on the nose and the family memories grow. In times of flooding, the historic locks open wide to send the rushing waters north to feed an immense Lake Winnipeg.
Only the most Braavos fisher can haul in a mammoth Maester Angler on our waterways. Remember to stick the bait on the pointy end of the hook.
New Iceland aka The Iron Isles
The houses of Gimli, Hecla and Arborg weave together the Kingdom of New Iceland. This region is made up of a group of strong vikings who crossed the Narrow North Atlantic Sea to settle the region. Their boats are fast and their beach maidens fair. Many moons ago, they erected a large sea wall with artistic depictions of their stories, such as Barvinok Dancers and The Húldufólk.
But brace yourselves…when summer comes, the vikings welcome outsiders to their village and allow them to watch their day-to-day lifestyle. These Lords of Lake Life also don the Crown Royal and are considered the best spirits in all the known world.
If you wanna dine on some chickens, stop in at a Chicken Chef. You can take two chickens OR you can eat every clucking chicken in the room. Your call, chicken Hound.
Spruce Woods aka Dorne
Spruce Woods is one of the parketh regions in the Kingdom of Manitoba and has a unique desert climate. With different climate, comes different terrain. Sand dunes shifting on the whim of the wind; unlikely plants like the pincushion cactus; and strange creatures like the hognose snake cause one to wonder what kind of blood magic happened here.
The Spruce Woodsians cherish their eerie blue-green oasis of spruce trees and a spring-fed pond, which is called the Devils Punch Bowl. See, blood magic! You might not find the Red Viper or Sand Snakes here, but there are plenty of skinks to go around.
Whether it’s a hot summer day or full-on snow, you know nothing about this land until you step your dragonskin covered boots on it.
Here’s our silly intro video one more time. You know you want to watch it again…