One of the wonderful things about fiction is the way that it enables us to leave our world and explore a new one. Reading a book, we can imagine a new geography or create a new story for an existing place. With this list, we’re celebrating the most fascinating worlds of fiction through the coolest literary maps available. We’ve included official maps from authors and publishers as well as some really epic fan-made maps. Let’s explore!
The Odyssey is one of the most famous journeys in all of world literature, and it’s all tracked right here on this map. The great thing about this map is that it’s interactive – click on the heading to check out the full version. Take some time to follow Odysseus’ journey through real-world and mythological locations, but try to get it done a little faster than he did.
Veronica Roth’s popular young adult series is set in a real-world location – Chicago – but in a terrible future. Roth’s dystopian and post-apocalyptic Chicago is ruled by factions in different areas. This cool map, like the Odyssey one above, is actually interactive – click the heading to try it (but beware of spoilers).
Dublin, Ireland from Ulysses
Another real-life location, and another very cool map. James Joyce’s dual protagonists trek all over Dublin in the text of Ulysses, and this map from Dublin Tourism tracks their every step. It’s a helpful companion to readers of the book, which can get very dense.
Forks, Washington from Twilight
Forks is a real town out on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, west of Seattle. It wasn’t well-known until Stephenie Meyer made it the setting of her internationally bestselling Twilight series. This cool map comes from a local Forks company that runs Twilight-themed tours. You can really visit all of these sites!
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Harry Potter series
There are a lot of fan-made maps of Hogwarts lying around, many of them based on a quick sketch that J.K. Rowling once did. But the most complete map available is this massive one, which you can only get by buying the Wizard’s Collection box set, a huge set of more than 30 DVDs and supporting materials. This is the layout used for the Hogwards miniature and interior shots in the movies, and it’s as close a thing as we have to an official Hogwards map.
Hundred Acre Wood from Winnie-the-Pooh
This is the original map from A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh. It beat out an awful lot of epic fantasy worlds to make this list, but we stand by our decision. Milne’s map gives readers a feel for the neighborhood of the Hundred Acre Wood, and the playful style matches the book’s tone well.
The Kingdom of Wisdom from The Phantom Tollbooth
Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth is a must-read for any imaginative child or young adult. At first glance, this map looks like a lot of other fantasy world maps; but a closer look reveals that Juster’s magical world is a bit wilder and more imaginative than some more serious universes. This map is the original one that is printed in the first few pages of the book.
Middle Earth from The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien’s abilities as a world creator as masterful. He’s a well-known influence on modern masters like George R.R. Martin, and his world of Middle Earth remains one of the best-known examples of fantasy world creation. This map is the one drawn for the original book publications.
Panem from The Hunger Games
Panem is an unrecognizable nation in a very recognizable place. The Hunger Games is set in a future North America where the governments of the United States, Canada, and Mexico have not survived. The what remains of the continent after a series of floods has been divided into “districts,” but the books didn’t give a ton of details on where the boundaries of the districts actually were.
An official Hunger Games map finally game out during promotions for the movies. Author Suzanne Collins was consulted, so this is pretty much the definitive geography of Panem. The particular version we’ve chosen is a fan creation that overlays the official map on a map of present-day North America, so that North American fans can see which district they live in right now. We regret to inform you that the Reading Room offices seem to have been covered by floodwaters.
Westeros and the known world from A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin is the greatest fantasy writer of our time, and much of his talent lies in creating a complete universe to set his stories in. Martin’s settings are magical and fantastic, yet realistic enough to keep us grounded in the story. This map, from the Game of Thrones wikia page, includes as much of the known world as has so far been revealed in the books and television show.