When it comes to fantasy or science fiction literature, the hardest thing to do in adaptations is world building — to give the property a sense of real geography. It’s why most fantasy novels come equipped with maps and histories, etc.
HBO managed to accomplish a similar feat with the opening credits of their new political-fantasy show, Game of Thrones. The squashed all the geography and world building into the opening credits, presenting a map of the continent of Westeros, and some of the lands beyond the Narrow Sea.
For people unfamiliar with the world they were being thrown into, the credit sequence was a nice relief. It was hard enough getting the barrings straight in the hour episode between the personal relationships and intrigue, but it would have been even more difficult without an idea of where these castles and cities were located. Where the Northern Wall was in relationship to other places.