Brilliant Spoofs of the Classic Fantasy Novel Map

As seriously as most fantasy geeks (including this writer) take the genre, let’s face it: from Lord of the Rings to Dungeons and Dragons, it’s always been easy to spoof. Most recently, Sports Illustrated unveiled its Kingdom of Sports map, superimposing various owners, teams, and brands over Game of Thrones‘s continent of Westeros. But fantasy parody maps are nothing new: starting with the Harvard Lampoon‘s 1969 parody volume Bored of the Rings, the elaborate alternative universes dreamed up by authors are easily co-opted to parody either the original work or something entirely unrelated — like, say, Internet fiefdoms. From a Mario-ized version of Westeros to a composite map of virtually every fantasy universe ever imagined, we’ve compiled the cream of the map-parody crop. As fans of virtually every classic work satirized, we were more than a little amused.

Image Credit: Randall Munroe

This “Map of Online Communities and Related Points of Interest” from beloved webcomic xkcd transforms the very complicated, metaphorical geography of the Internet into a literal map of everything from social media to music sites to Wikipedia. It’s a shrewd breakdown of the Web’s internal divisions and the relationships between them.