Tag: maps

3 of My Favorite Fantasy World Maps

One of the most fun things about fantasy books is the maps authors provide, creating a well drawn picture of their world. These maps helped solidify the idea that these worlds truly exist, creating a massive landscape full of interesting, varied locations that we, the readers, feel instantly drawn into. The best maps create a geographical landscape that feels full of life and transport away into another place as we read. Below are some of the best maps, in this author’s opinion, throughout fantasy literature. Here are some of my favorite maps from fantasy fiction.

 

Westeros by George R.R. Martin

 

A picture of Westeros in A Song of Ice and Fire from the Dornish deserts to the Land of Always Winter
Image Via IO9

 

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, better known as Game of Thrones to wider audiences, contains one of the most detailed fictional lands in the fantasy genre: the land of Westeros. A massive continent, Westeros’s geography varies immensely, home to significant mountain ranges such as the Mountains of the Moon, the Frostfangs, and the Red Mountains of Dorne. The North is a land constantly enduring heavy snowfall, while immense woodlands dominate the warmer climates of the land, such as the Kingswood and and the Haunted Forest. Offshore islands include Bear Island, Dragonstone, and Tarth.

The map itself covers the high immense geography of Westeros exceptionally well, matching George R. R. Martin’s attention to detail. For more intimate close ups of the various different lands across this fictional world, see The Lands of Ice and Fire, which features dozens of high quality maps of the world of Martin’s imagination.

 

Middle-earth by J.R.R. Tolkien

 

The land of Middle-Earth, at the time of when LOTR and the Hobbit take place
Image Via Tolkien Gateway

 

Possibly the most famous fictional world in the fantasy genre and the one to which most if not all fantasy authors owe their inspiration, Middle-Earth, the setting for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit as well as many other works by Tolkien, draws inspiration from Midgard of Norse mythology. Tolkien’s aim when he created maps for his stories was to created a well defined geography for his world, making it as real as possible in order to achieve realistic travel time, since his protagonists spend much of the story walking from location to location. The land of Middle-Earth contains regions such as the Shire, Gondor, Rohan, and Mordor. Middle-Earth is home to a wide variety of races that inhabit its borders, such as Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves, and Orcs.

 

Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin

 

The archipelago of islands dotting the world of Earthsea
Image Via Ursula K. Le Gein.com

 

In contrast to the previous two lands, which draw upon historical Europe to inform geographical and culture sensibilities, Ursula K. Le Guin’s world of Earthsea takes its inspiration from Polynesia. Ursula K. Le Guin was outspoken about the notion that characters in fantasy should be white and resemble the Middle Ages, hence Earthsea itself is much more unique. The peoples inhabiting the world inform this view, with the majority of the people’s coloration having red-brown coloration. Locations across Earthsea include Havnor, the Ninety Isles, and the Dragon’s Run.

What are some of your favorite fantasy maps? Let us know and show the detailed worlds you get sucked into!

 

Featured Image Via A Wiki of Ice and Fire 

marilyn monroe reading

Follow James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ With This Interactive Map of Dublin

Today marks a very important day in literary history for two separate, but wildly related reasons: February 2nd is both Irish author James Joyce’s 136th birthday and the 96th anniversary of the publication of Joyce’s magnum opus, Ulysses

 

Ulysses was published on February 2, 1922 and was received with very mixed reviews. Some hailed the book as being a sheer masterpiece, while many others found it to be lewd, crude, and pornographic, going so far as to have the book banned until a trial entitled The United States v. One Book Called Ulysses lifted said ban in 1934. Today, it continues to top the charts as being one of the most important novels of the 20th century, and possibly of all time. 

 

Throughout the novel, our two main characters: Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus, find themselves exploring the city of Dublin throughout the course of a single day. Each chapter of the book recalls a new hour of the day (paralleling and retelling Homer’s The Odyssey, of course), and also takes us to a new section of the city.

 

Joyce had been living in Paris for years during the writing of this novel, and his ability to recount specific details of his home city (right down to street intersections!) is beyond impressive, because each location mentioned actually exists within the city. June 16th, known as “Bloomsday,” is the day our characters find themselves venturing out. On that same day, all of these years later, Joyce lovers flock to Dublin and tour the famous locations seen in Ulysses.

 

You too can visit Dublin with or without a tour guide, and follow Dedalus and Bloom’s odyssey by following this comprehensive map! Each location is marked with a helpful pin, and provides details on the novel’s chapters that correspond to said pins.

 

 

So grab yourself a Guinness, and celebrate the birth of James Joyce coupled with the anniversary of Ulysses in a way that might make even the most cantankerous of literary geniuses proud!

 

Feature Image Via Open Culture

Virginia Woolf picture high quality nice

This Map Will Guide You Through the World, According to Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf may not have written adventure novels that sprawl across continents, but she still put a great deal of care in her settings. Often, that setting is London. Of her ten novels, only half take place mostly in London, though all make regular mention of it. If you don’t believe me, take Londonist’s word for it, because they’ve completely mapped out Woolf’s ten novels. Everywhere she mentions gets a little pin on Google Maps, along with a reference to where it was mentioned in which book. Check that map out here!

 

 

One thing that immediately sticks out is that, though Woolf is known for her characters’ rich interiority, her books are surprisingly globetrotting. Eight novels make mention of Paris, Rome, and Venice, while Jacob’s Room alone goes through India, Myanmar, and Singapore.

 

Of course, most of her work takes place in London, but even then you can see some interesting tendencies. For one, Woolf rarely ventures outside of the West End. She mentions the East End only four times and they are mostly depictions of a low quality of life. Still, Woolf is a true Londoner as the map verifies.

 

Londonist’s breakdown goes into depth on what locations are mentioned with frequency, etc., so check that out here!

 

Feature Image Via HuffPost