Friday, May 16, 2014

Fantasy Reflections: Portals

Growing up, I was always daydreaming about portals to distant lands—magic doorways that could take you to new and wondrous places full of adventure and excitement where brave deeds awaited heroes.

We didn’t have any wardrobes in my house, but we did have a good number of closets as well as one of those little attic access doors in my bedroom. I can’t tell you how much time I spent cramped in ridiculously small places, hoping beyond hope that this time it would work. The door would magically open, and I would find myself in Narnia, Middle Earth, or some new fantastic world.

Inevitably, the door would open. But instead of seeing myself hailed as a hero by the poor and enslaved of whatever fantasy world I found myself in, I would see my mom with a stack of clean towels in her arms, or my sister coming to ask me to play.  And so with a reluctant sigh, I would emerge to the real world and softly close the door behind me, lingering just before releasing the knob in the hopes that the magical world might yet still appear through the crack.

Today’s Fantasy Reflection is about … you guess it … portals! Magic doorways. World traveling.

Fantasy Reflections 15

When I dreamed of traveling to the fantasy realms, it never bothered me that most fantasy realms seemed to be in a constant state of upheaval, embroiled in a ferocious battle between good and evil while their armies laid waste to the countryside.

Now I must admit that there are some places it’s a lot of fun to read about … but I might have second thoughts before choosing to drop in for a month’s visit.

Still, if I were gifted with the ability, I would travel to Middle Earth without a moment’s hesitation. Some worlds are worth the danger. Some fights are worth the risk.

I would not want to enter the Final Empire from Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy. It wouldn’t be so bad during the events of books one and two … especially if I just happened to discover hitherto dormant Mistborn abilities. But knowing my luck, I would wind up stranded in the Final Empire smack-dab in the middle of the climax of the events of book three, and that is something I would prefer to avoid.

How about you? Which fantasy realm would you visit first? And which fantasy realm would  you never wish to enter?

As always, answer in the comments! Feel free to pin or share the picture, post, or question elsewhere online to continue the discussion—all I ask is that you link back to this original post. Thanks!

21 comments:

  1. I could live with always being thrown into the thick of things, I think. At least then I wouldn't miss the exciting stuff, haha.
    Where would I go first? I think I'd start with Narnia. It was the first fantasy world I discovered, and so I think it would be appropriate to begin my adventures there.
    Where would I never go? Probably the New Earth (or whatever it's called) from the Circle series. The only time period I'd want to see is before it's re-corrupted, and somehow, I don't think I'd end up there then. >.< Or if I did, I'd end up there when Thomas ended up there, and I'd only have maybe a week before it got nasty.

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    1. Narnia is a great place to start! I'd probably head there after Middle Earth.

      Totally agree. That's one place I certainly wouldn't want to visit.

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  2. Oh wow....ONLY ONE MONTH?? But I want to stay forever!! Okay, I think I would visit Narnia first. It's awesome, and seems like the least likely to get me killed. I would never ever want to visit....hmmm. This one is really hard. Because lots of them could get me killed, but the pros way outweigh the possibility. I would visit Narnia, Alagasia, The country from Green Rider (whatever it's called), Karac Tor, The country from Blood of Kings....I would visit all of them. I guess if I have to pick one I would choose to never visit Middle Earth. I do love Aragorn and all those guys, but of all the fantasy realms, it holds the least appeal to me, and offers more types of creatures roaming around that can kill me. Not to mention jewelry that is evil. Who wants to visit a place with evil jewelry?

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    1. Well, I gotta admit it's hard to argue with that reasoning.

      But Middle Earth has a hold on my heart that no other fantasy realm has managed to surpass. :)

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    2. I still have to read the whole series. By the end of it I may change my mind :)

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    3. I wouldn't mind Middle Earth. Avoid Jewelry, easy rule for me. It's the spiders that concern me.

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  3. I think I agree with you, Gillian! Also, Goldstone Wood would be nice to visit...depending which part I got portaled to...

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    1. Very true. It could either be a very pleasant trip ... or your worst nightmare!

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    2. true, the where part is very important.

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  4. I tried really hard to not pick a Redwall answer, but I couldn't help myself. I would want to visit Mossflower first. I've always wanted to visit Redwall and try some of their food! I also think that it would be amazing to meet some of the characters and see all the places mentioned in the books like Salamandastron, and Redwall of course. As for a world I would never want to visit, I think I would have to pick Panem, I know its more of a sci fi book, but I think it still counts as a fantasy realm, and I would definitely want to stay clear from that place!

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    1. Redwall would be fun to visit! :) And no, I wouldn't be a huge fan of staying in Panem for a month. Especially if it was anytime around Reaping Day. :)

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  5. I would likely see Narnia first, since Narnia is where I first learned to love fantasy. I don't think I have read about any fantasy books that made me never want to go there; but I might not see Lloyd Alexander's realm. Undead cauldron warriors...no thank you.

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    1. Those creatures were kinda creepy. And by kinda, I mean a lot! ;)

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  6. My 7-year-old says "Hogwarts" (if that counts as a fantasy realm! haha). I think I'd have to say Narnia, though ... it will always have my heart :)

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    1. It does! Indeed yes. If Middle Earth is first on my list, Narnia is a close second. After that, the wind may take me wherever it pleases! :)

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  7. I totally agree with Hogwarts, although I would have to stay for a semester, at least. : ) I agree that visiting Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn world would be nasty... Fun to read about, perilous to vacation.

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  8. I'd like to go to Perelandra (C. S. Lewis' Space Trilogy). The floating islands and fresh fruit would be very cleansing and relaxing, and I'd enjoy spending time with the strange animals and the Green King and Queen.

    I would NOT want to go to Mordor--unless I had a ring to destroy!

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  9. The first three places I thought of were: the Expanse from Auralia's Colors, but then I thought of how gritty and dark that place was, so then I thought of the place (can't remember what it's called) from the books Storybound and Storyend (They are good books, I recommend them). It's more of a fun, light-hearted place full of fairy tale characters who live out the roles written for them on the page, kind of like actors (and sometimes they don't play their roles very well lol).

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  10. Oh, and then I thought of Narnia. The obvious answer! :p

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  11. I'd have to say future Earth, from Ted Dekker's Circle series and Lost Books series. They were one my first absolute favorite fantasies. (Close behind Narnia and LOTR, of course.) And for the world I would never visit ... I'll have to say one of Ted Dekker's worlds again; the dystopian world from the Books of Mortals series.

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  12. Always thrown into the thick of things?? Uh oh, that doesn't bode well for me, then; my immediate first choice was Middle Earth in the First Age, and considering the number of battles and wars that happen, chances are I'd end up smack dab in the middle of one. Still, an entire month of exploring one of the Elven kingdoms of the First Age (Nargothrond, especially, but I would settle for Doriath or Gondolin), hearing the Elves sing and play music, and maybe meeting my favorite characters? Sign me up.
    I would happily settle for any time in Middle Earth History, though, especially if I got to go explore Gondor and meet Beregond and Faramir, or Rivendell, or Mirkwood and explore Thranduil's halls. Or Ost-in-Edhil in Eregion (Hollin) in the the Second Age...Gah!
    My second choice would probably be Narnia, and/or Anthropos (from The Archives of Anthropos, by John White, I think). Those were two of the first fantasy realms I discovered as a kid, and I would hate to miss them. :) And it would be downright awesome to visit the world of the Borrowers.
    The realm I wouldn't want to end up in...ummmm...probably Middle Earth (during certain events and times), actually. Certain battles and events would just be...really, really sad, as well as dangerous, and to witness it would just be heartbreaking (and/or extremely terrifying and scarring if it had anything to do with Morgoth and Angband, or Sauron and Mordor). I don't know if I could bare it, especially if most of the month I was there was beforehand. I would be soooo tempted to tell characters what was going to happen, to try to convince them not to do something if I knew it would turn out badly.

    Amazing blog, by the way! You're Villain Accademy posts are just brilliant. :) I love the way you have them set up, and the advice in them has been such great help in my endeavors to write my rapscallions. I shall be exploring further!

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Love hearing from y'all, so please join the conversation! All I ask is that you keep all comments friendly with the goal of starting enjoyable conversations about fantasy and good books with other novel lovers! Overly negative comments will be banished to the netherworld and the less than pleasant company of the various balrogs, trolls, and monsters already imprisoned there.