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The "Essos" navigation template has gotten too large and unwieldy, so I'm breaking it up into separate templates.
The nav template we use for regions in Westeros such as "The Reach" is that under "References" we put the overview nav template "Regions of the Known World" followed by a specific box on "The ReacH' as a sub-region. The "Regions" template is broad, listing just "The Reach" or "The Free Cities", or "Beyond the Wall".
Now this works pretty well for Westeros, which is basically broken up into 11 nav templates (Seven Kingdoms plus the capital and borderlines (Crownlands/Riverlands), plus the Wall & Gift, plus Beyond the Wall). It helps that the administrative boundaries between each of them are clearly defined.
I also treated "Sothoryos and the Islands of the Summer Sea" as one nav template, including Sothoryos, the Summer Islands, Naath, and the Basilisk Isles.
As for Essos, things are a bit more vague.
I think all can agree that "The Free Cities" and "Slaver's Bay" are distinct and large regions meriting their own nav templates.
In the TV show, we've actually seen the Dothraki Sea, Lhazar, and Qarth, and they've at least mentioned other stuff in supplementary materials. The problem is that the remaining Valyrian peninsula is massively depopulated and barely enters into the story - the easternmost surviving cities flat out "joined" Slaver's Bay as it were, Tolos and Elyria. Only Mantarys really remains and is isolated. Still, it's really not part of the Free Cities or Slaver's Bay.
Geographic features separate these coastal regions from the interior: the Forest of Qohor separates the Free Cities from the Dothraki Sea (mostly), the Painted Mountains (not yet mentioned in the TV series but their version of the Alps if Valyria was Rome) separate the Valyrian Peninsula and Slaver's Bay from the Dothraki Sea, and other coastal mountains separate Slaver's Bay from Lhazar and the Red Waste.
Now from The World of Ice and Fire we know that the biggest mountain chain in the world are the Bone Mountains (one might say they're the spine of the world), which run from the south coast to the north coast of Essos, and are by far the largest mountains in the world. They form an easy barrier to east-west travel...they also conveniently start at what we knew as the edge of the map - the maps provided in the original books. They start just east of Qarth, and run north just east of Vaes Dothrak up to the north coast.
So easily, anything east of the Bone Mountains is called the "Further East" in the World book (not "Far East"). This includes all the lands bordering the Jade Sea and lands to the north: Yi Ti, Leng, Great Moraq, the Plains of the Jogos Nhai, Asshai, the Thousand Isles, Mossovy, etc. and the former "Patrimony of Hrykoon" (Shamyriana, Bayasabhad, Kayakayanaya, etc.)
So by a simple process of elimination, the "Further East", "Free Cities", and "Slaver's Bay" are well-defined, and while at times the Valyrian Peninsula can be hazy between the Free Cities to the west and Slaver's Bay to the east, all would agree that it is not part of the Dothraki Sea to the north because it is separated by a major mountain range.
The point of all of this explanation is to justify how I came up with a final loose category for "everything else": "Central Essos", encompassing the Dothraki Sea, Lhazar, the Red Waste, and Qarth.
The Dothraki and Lhazar are in the interior plains, that's obvious, but I had to lump Qarth into here because it doesn't neatly fit elsewhere...though their ancestors the Qaathi did originate in the southeastern Dothraki Sea. Point is that people from Westeros find Qarth exotic but they still know it's a real location, people travel there for trade - albeit often indirectly through middle-men. Qarth is "the edge of the known world" for Westeros, and "the Further East" is known of only through rumor (i.e. their maps of it aren't very accurate). So it felt kind of wrong to lump Qarth in with the Further East, and they do have heavy trade ties with the slave-masters in Slaver's Bay.
Basically I define Essos by the logical divisions on the wall map poster I have from Lands of Ice and Fire: based on their distance from Westeros, the Free Cities/Valyria/Slaver's Bay are "western Essos" (Meereen is far from Westeros, but men from Westeros are still known to regularly trade with it along sea lanes), "Central Essos" is then "places that men from Westeros rarely go but it is not unheard of", i.e. they do have some trade with Qarth, and we've seen sellswords get caught up with fighting the Dothraki. Then "The Further East" is "half-legendary places men from Westeros hardly ever go" (neatly defined by the boundaries of the Bone Mountains and Jade Sea). Then "Western Essos" just gets subdivided into three sections (Free Cities, Valyria, Slaver's Bay).
Just wanted to set this out in principle.
So the idea is that just as each of the 11 regions of "Westeros" had one overview navbox of "The Known World" and its major regions, and then a navbox on "The Reach", Essos will be split up into 5 broad sections, i.e. Slaver's Bay has "The Known World" and then "Slaver's Bay". Compare "The Known World" navbox to how a navbox on "Earth" would have a general box on top listing all 7 continents, then a specific one on "Europe" underneath, etc.
So we've got 11 regions in Westeros, 5 broad regions in Essos, and 1 for "Sothoryos and the Islands of the Summer Sea", making for 17 general sections. There are disproportionately more devoted to Westeros because more of the story takes place there, so we have more detailed descriptions about locations.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 21:33, March 21, 2015 (UTC)
The first picture of Essos is out of date and shown to be completely wrong by newer works