The Wheel of Time Atlas: The Size of the Westlands

As part of the Wheel of Time Atlas project, I thought it would be interesting to break down the nations of the Westlands by size and try to work out their size more precisely.

To do this I returned to my new map of the continent, for which I had assembled the scale by taking all of the distances given in the text and in Robert Jordan’s notes and then averaging them to reach a scale that would agree with all available sources. Once I did that I was then able to approximately map how many pixels were in each country and then apply a conversion to convert them into square miles. The results are as follows (with a real-world equivalent for comparison):


A map of the Westlands. Please click for a larger version.

The Westlands: 7,299,234 miles²

  1. Andor – 504,072 miles²                                    Peru – 494,209 miles²
  2. Cairhien: 497,964 miles²
  3. Saldaea: 439,492 miles²                                   Colombia – 401,000 miles²
  4. Altara: 382,073 miles²                                      Ethiopia – 390,000 miles²
  5. Tarabon: 350,233 miles²                                  Nigeria – 351,649 miles²
  6. Arad Doman: 210,488 miles²                          France – 210,020 miles²
  7. Illian: 201,814 miles²                                        Thailand – 197,260 miles²
  8. Tear: 190,954 miles²                                         Spain – 192,660 miles²
  9. Ghealdan: 174,530 miles²                                New Guinea – 174,850 miles²
  10. Amadicia: 158,213 miles²                                Paraguay – 153,399 miles²
  11. Arafel: 158,059 miles²                                      Zimbabwe – 149,362 miles²
  12. Shienar: 142,072 miles²                                   Japan – 140,752 miles²
  13. Murandy: 139,593 miles²                                Germany – 134,623 miles²
  14. Kandor: 130,521 miles²                                    Rep. of the Congo – 131,900 miles²
  15. Malkier: 120,583 miles²                                   Poland – 120,421 miles²
  16. Mayene: 8,794 miles²                                       Belize – 8,805 miles²


Some interesting points can be seen in this information:

  • The Westlands (delineated by the Mountains of Dhoom and Spine of the World, so not including the Aiel Waste, Malkier or Great Blight, or the offshore islands) are larger in area than South America (6,890,000 miles²) but smaller than North America (9,540,000 miles²).
  • Saldaea is slightly larger than the other three extant Borderlands – Kandor, Arafel and Shienar – combined.
  • Shienar is approximately the same size as Japan (140,752 miles²) and Tear is approximately the same size as Spain (192,660 miles²), the two countries which arguably inspired them in Jordan’s writings.
  • Murandy is one of the smallest, poorest and least-powerful countries in the Westlands but is still somewhat larger than Germany (134,623 miles²), the economic and industrial powerhouse of Europe.
  • The five largest nations are all larger than any American state bar only Alaska (which is larger than all of them).
  • Mayene is the smallest kingdom but still larger than the four smallest American states.


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