WARNING: This post contain spoilers!
You see it in TV and movies all the time. Characters seemingly able to travel vast distances in very short periods of time for the sake of the plot. In some cases, we’ll see some kind of map montage to indicate long-distance travel and time. Like in this example:
Okay, so in that example the Muppets were poking fun at the concept, but the idea remains. Sometimes an actual map won’t even be shown and we’ll just see shots of the character driving or flying in a plane. You will see this a lot in film. TV shows are notorious for not explaining how a character gets from one place to another simply because there isn’t time or budget to do so. The show relies on the viewer to make assumptions about travel time, mode, and distance. The most simple assumption is that the appropriate amount of time has passed for the character to get from point A to B.
“Game of Thrones” has come under scrutiny for its character’s unrealistic traveling which is especially poignant because of the show’s fantasy setting where there are no cars or trains. George R.R. Martin has suggested that Westeros is about the size of South America. So to put things into perspective, a fan made a scale map to show just how far characters in the show have traveled.
The gripe seems to be with Petyr Bealish’s travel in particular. Indeed, he does seem to pop around the country and often his travel is not shown in the show. Interestingly, his travel is much more reasonable in the book version as you can check on this interactive map (Be warned, this map mentions characters who have not been introduced in the show who still may still make an appearance. A few have even been cast already). The difference between the book and TV show routes indicates how much faster the plot line has to move on TV than it does in print.
In my opinion, short or ambiguous travel times are just a technical and plot based reality in TV. The fact that it seems like Petry Baelish is traveling impossibly fast across Westeros really does not detract from the overall experience of the show.
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