Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Well, why not both? The fantasy genre’s shtick is removing you from your boring milieu and transporting you to worlds unknown, immersing you in a place you’d rather be. (Except so many of them don’t have real toilets, guys.) But it can be hard deciding which fantastical world you’d really like to settle down in. Here’s a quiz to help you sort it out:
1) How would you describe your perfect wizard?
a. A graduate of a prestigious program that employs Common Core standards.
b. Lucky rather than good, with a past list of disasters that would rival Chernobyl.
c. Well-meaning and grumpy, but with a habit of omitting key pieces of information.
d. Wizard? Try a witch, heavy on the evil and on letting children stuff themselves before dinner.
e. Wizarding is best left to red priests and tree people.
2) What kind of biome most appeals to you?
a. Wet and dreary, mostly, but a snow globe embodied in the winter.
b. Flat and reptilian.
c. The lush valleys and intimidating peaks of New Zealand.
d. Heaven, basically, once it thaws.
e. I should be able to travel from Hoth to the Garden of Eden within the same realm.
3) How would you like to travel?
a. Brooms, trains, and flying automobiles, mostly.
b. On the hundreds of legs of my “half-suitcase, half-homicidal maniac.”
c. By my own two feet, except for the occasional eagle ex machina.
d. Enchanted coat closet.
e. By foot, horse, or galley, but always in both existential and physical pain.
4) What kind of trees do you prefer?
a. Violent, abusive, and filled with secret passageways.
b. Hard, unyielding, and possibly sacred.
c. Slow-speaking taxis.
d. Silvery allegories.
e. Mystical spy holes for the magic tree people.
5) And what about the neighbors?
a. I want well-educated peers around me to combat constant danger well beyond our pay grade.
b. A motley crew of witches, wizards, run-of-the-mill conmen, and Death would be great.
c. A post-racial ensemble of cultures, but with elves and dwarves seated comfortably apart.
d. Everyone’s OK with me, except for that creepy faun who likes to talk to the kids.
e. Trust no one. Everyone can die.
Mostly A’s: Yer, a wizard, Harry! Pack your trunk and plow into Platform 9 3/4, because Hogwarts is the place for you. You’ve always had a soft spot for both the hero’s journey and the boarding-school experience, and now you’ll get both with this gothic castle located conveniently adjacent to the charming Hogsmeade village, which provides all your nightlife needs. The keys are all yours, so long as you solemnly swear you’re up to no good, you lech.
Mostly B’s: You’ve always viewed fantasy with a slight wink, which means you’re a perfect fit for Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Sprawling narratives give you the willies; you want the freedom to hop from story to story, without a care in the world, atop Great A’Tuin’s back. You’ve got a number of options when settling in to your new home: maybe continue your studies at Unseen University, or, for the career-minded, the Ankh-Morpork City Watch could always use a few good coppers, especially if Rincewind is in town.
Mostly C’s: Welcome to Middle-earth! In the extended-edition, director’s cut, this is where the Tourism and Visitor’s Board would give you a map and tell you to check out all the exciting destinations: recently gentrified Gondor, rustic Rohan (now under new management), new vacancies in Rivendell, and the charm of the Green Dragon Inn, which has the only brew for the brave and true. But you’ll visit them all, we’re sure, because there’s so much questing yet to be done, especially now that we’ve dealt with the Smaug problem.
Mostly D’s: Aslan sends his greetings, newest arrival to Narnia. He heard you like allusions, symbols, and allegories, so he put an allusion in your allegory, so you can allude while you symbol. Seriously, however, enjoy your stay in this magical country, and if you like, visit the adjoining territories of Archenland and Cal—well, Archenland is nice this time of year. Aslan asks only one thing of you during your stay: leave the nylons and lipsticks at home.
Mostly E’s: May the Seven help you, traveler to Westeros. This is a perilous time for the realm—mostly because we’re never sure who the king (or queen) is. But it does mean some great bargains on lodging, so long as you can handle the near-constant threat of rape, torture, and/or death. Really, though, the Westerosi will be happy to oblige you in whatever your needs are, whether that means pesky genealogical research in King’s Landing, a brisk northerly walk to the Wall (not recommended), or a playful tourney in Highgarden. Remember, Westeros has whatever you desire—oh, sweet baby R’hllor, why is everything on fire?
Which fantasy realm is made for you?