The Worst Fictional Worlds to Live in

The blog chain is back! And Miriam Joy couldn’t have picked a better prompt:

Which fictional world would you most like to be a part of, and what role do you think you would fulfill within it?

Excuse me while I think back to all my favorite fantasy/sci-fi novels and think of the ones with the best settings. There’s Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire (only just finished the first book), and The Dark Tower series.

If I could be in the completely real fictional world of Harry Potter, I’d probably be unemployed and living on the streets. It’s a sad truth: the wizard economy would never work in real life. Why would anyone hire a fellow witch/wizard when they could get a house elf to do the work for free? Or they could just flick their wand around and whatever they need doing will be done. Magic has unfortunately made 90% of the wizarding population useless.

And I know what you’re thinking: “Matt, why can’t you just wave your wand around and make food and money appear out of thin air?” Well first off, I can’t magically make those items, according to the Five Principal Exceptions to Gamp’s Law. And besides, I’m a forgetful person. I would have lost my wand within a week of buying it.

So it looks like I’ll have to pass on Harry Potter’s world.

Then there’s middle earth, which I’ll also have to pass on. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m secretly afraid of elves. (Although luckily they all seem to be leaving soon.) The same could be said of Alagaësia.

I’d be okay with living in Westeros (I’d be a stable boy, because stable boys are cool), if it weren’t for the fact that everyone in this world seems to be some sort of scheming psychopath. Anyone with a conscience ends up dead.

There’s also the problem of the uneven seasons. Not only is this annoying, but it causes a bunch of problems the books have (so far) failed to address. First of all, how exactly do plants grow without a proper seasonal cycle? Where is all this food coming from? And how do they even measure the years?

And don’t even get me started on Panem.

I guess if I had to choose a fictional world to live in, it would be Narnia. Sure, it’s not perfect, what with its lack of antibiotics and all, but at least there’s talking animals. And there’s always the chance of me escaping into my own world (which I prefer). Hopefully, I’d end up as either a farmer, or a professional high-fiver. Either one’s fine.

Writing this post made me realize how horrible most fictional worlds are. Out of all the worlds mentioned above, I think Harry Potter’s is the safest, and I haven’t even mentioned the whole “Dark Lord Trying to Kill Everyone” thing. Even though everyone wants to live in a nice, safe, Utopian society, writers have accepted the fact that Utopias are boring. Dark, gritty worlds with high mortality rates are much more interesting.

Other Participants:

December 4th: Against the Shadows.

December 5th: Deborah Rocheleau.

December 6th: The Little Engine That Couldn’t.

December 7th: Relatively Curious.

December 8th: The Magic Violinist.

December 9th: Laughing at Live Dragons.

December 10th: This Page Intentionally Left Blank. 

December 11th: Kira Budge: Author.

December 12th: Brooke Reviews.

December 13th: Next Page Reviews.

December 14th: Susannah Ailene Martin.

December 15th: Musings From Neville’s Navel.

December 16th: Mirror Made of Words

December 17th: Woah!

December 18th: Lily’s Notes in the Margins.

December 19th: Wheat and Wine.

December 20th: Please Forget My Story.

December 21st: An MK’s Meandering Mind.

December 22nd: Miss Alexandrina 

December 23rd: Unikke Lyfe.

December 24th: Miriam Joy.

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25 Replies to “The Worst Fictional Worlds to Live in”

  1. Haha glad you were honest about this. I remember distinctly thinking when I was about 12 that I was SO GLAD I didn’t have to live in Harry Potter’s world because it was terrifying. This was around when the 5th book came out, I think, which incidentally was my least favorite of the group.

    1. I thought the Harry Potter world only started to become terrifying with the Order of Phoenix. Which is why the fifth book is actually one of my favorites.

      To be fair though, they’re all my favorites.

  2. More on Westeros — all the scheming psychopaths are scheming psychopaths because they’re playing The Game of Thrones. There’s a perfectly good servant class that’s just trying to get by without getting killed by all the scheming psychopaths. (Yeah….wait ’til you get to the next few books….) That’s a big theme of the book – that power is *dangerous*.

    1. That’s true. It just seems like everyone’s evil because they’re no lower class citizens. And I think you just made me even more excited to read the next book. I didn’t think that was possible.

  3. I really liked this post. But while, as you say, “dark, gritty worlds with high mortality rates are far more interesting”, I think most of the time it’s just that the writer has chosen to touch down in a period of high mortality rates. Most of the time I think fantasy worlds would be a lot nicer to live in than we see them as. Take Middle-earth. It seems like the hobbits are about the shortest-lived race, and they tend to live a hundred years or more. Or take Narnia. I think in *The Last Battle* (though don’t quote me, it’s been a long time since I read it), one of the characters from earth asked why there was always so much conflict in Narnia, and the Narnian replied that there are hundreds of years of peace, but it’s just that the “sons of Adam and daughters of Eve” only come when there’s conflict, to help out. It would be sort of like if a writer from another world wrote about earth, but always set their stories during world wars or genocides — which do happen, but aren’t representative of all of human experience.

    1. You’re right. I remember that line from The Last Battle as well. The only exception I can think of for this rule is dystopian worlds like in The Hunger Games or 1984, when the world has clearly been in trouble for a long time.

  4. Good points. The funny thing is, though, that some Hunger Games fans claim they would like to live in Panem! I hope they’re joking, but the fact that stores now sell “Capitol Colors” makeup makes me doubtful :/

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