Here at Post Apocalyptic Media, we strive to keep fans of the genre up to date with all the latest news and trends. But as fans of all things apocalyptic ourselves, we sometimes want to take a deeper dive into a subject and geek out on a certain topic.
Today we’re going to be looking at SEE, now approaching the end of its second season on Apple TV+. SEE is set 600 years after a virus kills most of the human race, leaving not only the survivors, but also their offspring and descendants totally blind.
The show has garnered a large following with its epic fight scenes and characters that fans either love or love to hate. But what helps to set it apart from other shows is that the producers of SEE have made a specific effort to tie many of its stories to real world locations that we can find on Google Maps.
Some are explicit and without question, but some require some speculation or outright guesswork. But being an apocalypse geek means that poring over maps for hours trying to decipher obscure references and how language might have changed over the centuries is just plain old good fun.
Here are some of the locations mentioned, or alluded to, in the show, and where we think they’re located in real life. All can be found on our Locations in SEE Google Map.
Payan Nation – Pennsylvania
This didn’t become clear until the other locations were established, but Paya is clearly a corruption of Pennsylvania, and the Payan nation stretches for hundreds of miles in each direction though the center of the state.
Alkenny – Allegheny National Forest
The first group we’re introduced to in season one is the Alkenny, which is a corruption of Allegheny. We can’t pinpoint the location exactly, but given other locations we’ll get to soon, we suppose that the location of the Alkenny village is somewhere in the Allegheny National Forest in central Pennsylvania.
Kanzua City – Kinzua Hydroelectric Dam
The seat of Queen Kane’s power, the Kinzua Hydroeletric Dam was the first place that cemented the idea that we’re dealing with real-world locations in the show. And this also correlates with the supposed location of the Alkenny in general
This one is total speculation, but it makes sense. There is a town named Kane only 15 miles from Kanzua, which is possibly the source of the name of the Kane royal family.
House of Enlightenment – Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Mercer
The location of Jerlamarel’s House of Enlightenment is another one that you can take with a grain of salt, but we do have some reason to believe that this is the correct location.
Jerlamarel explains that the House of Enlightenment was once a prison and we know that he has regular dealings with representatives from Trivantes. There are 24 State Correctional Institutions in Pennsylvania, but only the one at Mercer is located sort of between Trivantes and Paya, which makes the most sense if the Trivantians are traveling there.
Then there’s the fact that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections page says that “SCI Mercer is unique in that it operates solely on electrical power. The facility is equipped with nine diesel powered emergency generators to maintain essential services in the event of a power failure.”
This could help to explain how Jerlamarel was able to get power running in the building.
Trivantes – Pittsburgh
Trivantes, home of Baba’s brother, Edo Voss, is Pittsburgh. This one is not up for debate, because it’s called out in the opening titles for season 2.
Pennsa – State College, PA
Fans have long suspected that Pennsa, the new location of Queen Sibeth’s capital after the destruction of Kanzua, was located at State College, home of Penn State University. And any naysayers had their doubts laid to rest in episode seven of season two, when now-Queen Maghra gives her speech to the troops, standing on the statue of the Nittany Lion.
Early in season two, Baba Voss and his group travel from Trivantes to Pensa. Baba is weak with fever due to wounds received in Trivantes, and Paris decides that they will seek the Valier, who can offer them shelter and a healer.
There is a town called Valier roughly in between Pittsburgh and State College, but even though it’s not on a direct track, it’s still likely the origin of the Valier people.
Lebnin, Currlyle, Altoona, Hareburr – Lebanon, Carlyle, Altoona, Harrisburg
Lebnin, Currlyle, Altoona and Hareburr are all mentioned as towns in Paya. Their real-world locations put them in the area surrounding Pennsa, so it makes sense.
Woodvale is mentioned only briefly as a town quickly defeated by the Trivantian army on their march toward Pennsa. Since Altoona is not known to have fallen, we suppose that Woodvale is in between Trivantes and Altoona. It’s only a guess, but there is a neighborhood known as Woodvale in the town of Johnstown, which would be roughly in the right area, so that could be the origin of the town name.
We know that Trivantes is Pittsburgh and the ruling council of Triviantia is known as the Triangle. The fixation on “tri” could be a play on the three rivers that come together in Pittsburgh, but there is speculation in the fandom that the Trivantian Republic could actually be a triangle itself, cornered by Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Cleveland.
This idea does seem to jibe with the fact that the Ganites are to their west.
The Ganites – Canton, Ohio
The location of the Ganites is mostly speculation. We know they’re to the west of the Trivantian Republic, and Ganites seems to be a corruption of Michiganites, so their nation is probably in the Michigan or northern Indiana area.
Update: After giving it some more thought, I’m updating the most likely speculation as to the location of the Ganites to be Canton, Ohio. The Michigan/Indiana area is just too far away, especially for the blind. And if we lean toward the idea that Trivantes is solely the single city of Pittsburgh, then it would make sense that their enemy is also from a single city, which we know is to the west.
Residents of Canton often refer to themselves as Cantonites, so the corruption to Ganites is not much of a stretch, given that “Pennsylvanian” became “Payan”.
Side note: I wonder if this dropping of syllables over time was a direct consequence of their use of knotted cord as “writing”. It would make sense that long names would be abbreviated in the knots, which could eventually carry over to the spoken language as well.
Roxborough Regional Airport – ???
Hoping to avoid war, Maghra leads a delegation to a summit with the Trivantians. The summit is held at Roxborough Regional Airport, and it appears to be near a large body of water, which we can only assume is Lake Eerie.
But it doesn’t seem reasonable that they would travel so far north from Pennsa to meet the Trivantians, and I have not yet been able to find any airports named Roxborough.
This one might be a case where the producers of the show picked locations for filming that were visually appealing, and didn’t try to make them line up with real-world locations.
Greenhill Gap – ???
As the site of the final climactic battle between the Payans and the Trivantians, I would love to know where this is, but this is another location that could be totally fictional. It’s said to be a “stone’s throw” from Pennsa, but there’s nothing on Google Maps that is an obvious candidate for its location.
With a generic name like Greenhill, it’s totally reasonable that it could have been renamed in the centuries since the virus, with the original name long forgotten, but I’m hoping that they drop some more clues in the final episode.
Have anything to add?
So, what do you think? Did I miss anything obvious, or am I totally off-base on any of my guesses? We’d love to hear your thoughts either in a comment below, or on our Discord.