Lord of the Rings

Brilliant Spoofs of the Classic Fantasy Novel Map

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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.
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10 Heavenly Hobbit Holes We'd Like to Call Home

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Over the weekend, The Hobbit, Peter Jackson’s much-anticipated prequel adaptation of the most epic story about a heroic hole-builder ever written, landed in theaters and set box office records. According to the world’s communal encyclopedia, most of Tolkien’s humble hobbits lived in “hobbit-holes” or Smials, traditional underground homes found in hillsides, downs, and banks identified by charming little round doors and windows. Proof that the Shire’s simple, bucolic way of life isn’t just fantasy, we’ve rounded up some of the best real-life hobbit homes on the planet. From underground earth house estates in Switzerland to a grand tree house in Oregon fit for Frodo, click through to check out the very best of hobbit havens.
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