When you think of the world it’s very easy to picture our Earth, our own planet in the universe filled with land and sea. There are volcanos, earthquakes, tornados and droughts. We have people suffering from all kinds of different ailments, from poverty and disease to drug addiction and depression. The world is governed by money and power and everywhere you look, there’s a corrupt government and oppression.
Thanks to the world of fiction, our world is not alone. People dedicate their lives to prove that there is life on other planets and whether there is, or not, fiction allows us to explore those possibilities.
But which worlds are interesting enough to visit?
The instant go-to for many fiction fans is Hogwarts and the mystical world of Harry Potter. It’s, inevitably, a very popular place. But it’s also a scary one, too. With Lord Voldemort hanging around, I’m not sure why so many people want to be part of such a dangerous world. Aside from his horrible actions, however, is the beautiful scenery of Hogwarts and its grounds, the architecture, the paintings and everything else in between. It would be amazing to have a go at Quidditch (the magical, broomstick kind, not the fake broom and plastic hoop kind), try some Butterbeer or cast some spells. If Voldemort wasn’t a problem, I wouldn’t mind it.
Then there’s Mordor, a world I know little about, except that there are Hobbits who hang around in Middle Earth. I’ve never taken much of an interest in The Lord of the Rings series, but I hear the scenery is spectacular.
The Wizard of Oz and the, more recent, musical, Wicked, have given us a glimpse at a world known simply as Oz. Yellow brick roads, lions, tin men, scarecrows, the Emerald City and Munchkin County, it’s a pretty awesome place to be if you are a Munchkin. Maybe not if you’re a green faced witch. Like many worlds (fictional and otherwise), it has its flaws. I’m not sure I’m bothered about visiting, though it would be nice to see that yellow brick road.
Bedrock, Camelot, Discworld, Narnia, Wonderland and Neverland. There are so many places with very different things about them. All of which have things that make them spectacular, or unusual.
But I’m not sure purely fictional worlds are where it’s at. There are a lot of places that are on the cusp of our world and another one.
The witches in Charmed are often finding themselves trapped in the Underworld, a placed filled with demons and other horrible creatures. Then there are other planes – the ghostly plane, for example. Not to mention, a direct opposite world that is identical to their own. Except the good things are bad and the bad things are good. Both must be kept to their status quo, or the balance may be off. Then there’s ‘up there’ where the Elders live, it feels a bit like it’s in the clouds and it’s a place where time moves quicker and you feel like your head is a bit fuzzy when you return.
Stars Hollow, Tree Hill, Capeside, Sunnydale, they’re all towns that don’t really exist, their worlds are almost at a parallel to our own. We feel like they could be out there, somewhere, but in reality, they’ll never be part of our world.
Then there are places like Terabithia, a world created in two children’s minds, a mystical place filled with creatures, where they are the King and Queen and the pitfalls of their daily lives can be forgotten about.
I’m not sure which fictional world I’d like to live in, there are too many to choose from and yet, none of them are really perfect. They all have problems, some far greater than the problems we may face in our day to day, non-fictional lives.
The more I consider this question, the more I find myself floating out in the middle of the sea without a paddle. I thought that writing freely about fictional worlds would allow one specific one to stand out. That hasn’t happened. Instead, I’m sat here wondering which world to choose and doubting my ability to do so.
My go-to answer is the same as many others, Hogwarts. But I feel like it’s the most boring answer there is. Everyone wants to go to Hogwarts, everyone wants to wander those stone hallways, read those magical books and fly broomsticks around the Quidditch pitch.
There must be more out there than Hogwarts, there’s got to be, but where is it? Which fictional world is less popular but just as amazing as Hogwarts? I’m not sure there is one. Perhaps we’ve been spoilt, perhaps Hogwarts will always be the best and most significant fictional world we will ever be faced with. (Unless you’re not a Harry Potter fan, that is.)
Which world would you choose?