Continuing in our series after Part 1 of The Coolest Places to Live in Fiction, we take a look at some more fictional towns and worlds that inspire jealousy in us mere mortals. In this entry, we look at ghoulish towns, outer space abodes, and some of the greatest realms in fantasy.
Springfield (The Simpsons)
It’s both a small town and a gigantic city at the same time. Sometimes it seems like any other town in America and other times it’s the most impossibly outlandish place to be. Plus, it’s filled with the most entertaining people imaginable. To wit, Springfield has a canyon, nuclear power plant, movie studio, badlands, army base, gigantic mountains, multiple schools, speedway, dam, tar pits, harbor, pro baseball stadium, and an off-kilter version of just about everything you could find in your own home town. And that’s the real joy behind Springfield; it’s just like the city you grew up in, except way more fun! Beyond the Simpsons, it seems as if every single Springfield resident is the strangest person you would ever meet in real life. No matter where you go or what you do, you’re sure to find a strangely fascinating person or be involved in some ludicrous event. Good luck finding it!
Hyrule (The Legend of Zelda)
This one really depends on what place in time you visit Hyrule, but in any instance, it’s sure to be an exciting visit. Sure, it may sometimes be split into light and dark realms, invaded by the forces of darkness, or even swallowed by the sea, but Hyrule is a place for truly great adventure. There are dungeons galore, castles filled with princesses, monster-filled deserts, friendly small towns, and high seas all around. Prove yourself worthy and you may be blessed by the spirits and wield a piece of the Triforce. So deck yourself out in your finest tunic and buy the best sword you can find, Hyrule is best explored by running, jumping, horse riding, and time traveling!
A mythical realm that is both magical and scientific, Asgard is both a place for celebration and exciting adventure and lies somewhere out in the cosmos between dimensions. Within its mighty halls lives the mighty Thor and his fellow Asgardians, all of whom are constantly ready for glorious battle. You can choose to stay in Asgard and drink your weight in mead or use the Bifrost Bridge to pursue adventure across any of the nine realms found in Ygdrasil, The World Tree. Even the reborn Asgard, floating above the ground bear Broxton, Oklahoma is constantly filled with adventure. Whether it’s Asgardians, humans, elves, trolls, demons, or other creatures, you’re sure to find exotic and exciting company no matter what you do.
Hogwarts (Harry Potter)
Who doesn’t wish that their school years were spent at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry rather than where they went in real life? You get sorted into your house (anything’s better than boring old Hufflepuff) and get to grow in magical abilities for seven years. Classes involve learning strange potions, taming wild beasts, and defending yourself against the dark arts. Should you be skilled on a broom, you can participate in the most convoluted and dangerous sport known to wizard and muggles alike: Quidditch! In your free time you can head over to Hogsmead and enjoy a nice glass of butterbeer. Even if the school isn’t under siege by Voldemort and his death Eaters, you can still score house points and become the brightest witch or wizard of your age.
Florin (The Princess Bride)
There’s something a little off about the land of Florin. It seems as though it could have existed 500 years ago, but there are so many strange things that it doesn’t seem possible. But that just makes Florin more exciting! Florin City is nice and peaceful when it isn’t being run by Prince Humperdink’s Brute Squad and the Channel of Guilder is filled with shrieking eels, which may make nice pets. But don’t try and climb the Cliffs of Insanity without a giant to carry you on his back. And the Fire Swamp is safe enough as long as you’re prepared for the lightning sand, flame spurts, and R.O.U.S.’s (Rodents of Unusual Size, they exist!). Plus, the Zoo of Death offers an up-close look at some of the strangest and most dangerous animals from around the world. If you make friends with the Dread Pirate Roberts and his friends, you’ll find yourself on the wrong side of the law, but part of a grand adventure.
Rivendell (The Lord of the Rings)
A beautiful ethereal town filled with beautiful ethereal people who speak a beautiful ethereal language in hushed tones. Compared to other places in Middle-Earth, Rivendell is the most peaceful and serene. It’s a place of recovery, healing, and cooperation, where heroes can stop in the middle of their adventure or once they have finished saving the world. It seems as if it’s always sunset and nature is one with the architecture. Unlike Lothlorien, orcs never cross its borders and the threat of Sauron is only a thought. Stay long enough and you’ll not only meet elves, but also hobbits, wizards, dwarves, and dashingly good looking humans.
Berk (How to Train your Dragon)
Dragons! Is there really anything else to say? While fighting them may be an exciting and impressive display of Viking-like manliness, befriending and training them is even better. Whether you get a night fury, zippleback, or gronkel, these surprisingly loving and loyal dragons will be the best friend you could ask for in life. Sure, the Vikings are rough around the edges, but they’re like one big family. Toothless puts it best: “It snows nine months of the year, and hails the other three. Any food that grows here is tough and tasteless. The people that grow here are even more so. The only upsides are the pets. While other places have ponies or, parrots, we have dragons.”
The Land of Ooo (Adventure Time)
It’s a land of really messed up adventure! While it may seem at first glance that The Land of Ooo takes place long ago, it’s actually far into the future of Earth. Nuclear war, known as The Mushroom War, devastated the planet and mutated its residents into all forms of Candy People, Lumpy Space People, talking animals, and all forms of monsters and freaks. But this mutated medieval setting is cause for action and adventure. Some princess will more than likely need to be saved from the Ice King at some point and there’s always a new enemy to fight. And when you’re done adventuring for the say, you can relax with your stretching talking dog in your tree house. So mathematic!
Did I miss any places? Let me know in the comments! Next, I change my focus and look at The Most Terrifying Places in Fiction.