The setting of the epic Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien, is Middle-earth. He took great care in creating detailed maps of this world, which he described as being somewhere on planet Earth — called Arda — though the adventures detailed in his books took place during an imaginary period in history. Men, dwarves, ents, orcs, trolls, and hobbits all live in Middle-earth, a place where conflict over the possession and control of precious or magical objects is a recurring theme.
The myth is first told in two of Plato’s dialogues: the Timaeus and the Critias. In Plato’s account, Atlantis was a naval power around 9600 BC. After a failed attempt to invade Athens, Atlantis sank into the ocean “in a single day and night of misfortune”. For two millennia since, scholars and occultists have wondered whether Plato’s account of Atlantis is a description of an actual civilization that sunk beneath the waves, or simply a metaphor for something else.
The world created by C.S. Lewis for The Chronicles of Narnia is pure magic. Created by the great lion Aslan, in Narnia animals talk and mythical beasts frolic. Humans — for the most part children — enter Narnia through portals located on Earth. Already three of the seven books in the series have become films.
The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is the primary settings for the first six books in J.K. Rowling’s epic “Harry Potter” series. A boarding school for young witches and wizards, it is located somewhere in Scotland. To Muggles (aka regular humans), it looks like a decrepit ruin, but to the magically-inclined it’s a beautiful castle surrounded by lush grounds. With an owlery and a Quidditch field on the campus, school has never been so fun.
5. Gulliver’s world
Jonathan Swift’s classic novel, Gulliver’s Travels, is chock-full of satirical fantasy worlds. Lilliput is the most well-known, and the first where Gulliver lands after he is shipwrecked. All the land’s inhabitants are 6-inches tall, and in the midst of trying to conquer nearby Blefuscu. The rest of the novel takes Gulliver to other topsy-turvy worlds, such as Brobdingnag, where he is 12 times smaller than everyone else. In Laputa, he discovers a people obsessed with math and science, but unable to use these talents in any practical manner. In the Country of the Houyhnhnms, he befriends the ruling caste of horses who rule over creatures called Yahoos, which are a metaphor for humans in their basest form.
Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland is located underground and his heroine Alice reaches it by falling down a rabbit hole, somewhere off the River Thames in England. Wonderland is heavily wooded, with large, strange plants growing throughout the land. There are well-kept gardens and substantial houses, such as those of the Duchess and the White Rabbit. There is even a lovely seacoast, where the Mock Turtle lives. Unfortunately, however, Wonderland is ruled despotically by the King and Queen of Hearts. No fantasy is perfect!
7. Land Of Oz
The setting of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, among several other of L. Frank Baum’s books, is another fantasy world favorite. Oz is divided into four countries: Munchkin Country in the East, Winkie Country in the West, Gillikin Country in the North, and Quadling Country in the South. At the very center of the land lies the capital, the beautiful Emerald City. Winged monkeys, witches (both wicked and good), and magic shoes follow Dorothy Gale on her adventures from quiet Kansas to the magical Land of Oz. “Oz The Great and Powerful” is coming to theaters soon; it’ll reimagine the origins of the Wizard of Oz and will be directed by Sam Raimi.
This fictional planet anchors much of George Lucas’ “Star Wars” saga. The home planet of Anakin and Luke Skywalker, it is a desert planet in a binary star system. Once lush, its biosphere was destroyed when the Rakata species razed the planet. Indigenous lifeforms like the womp rat and bantha are acclimated to the arid climate, but most human settlers on Tatooine are moisture farmers and must live beneath ground to survive.
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