“The woods are lovely, dark and deep / But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep / And miles to go before I sleep.”
— Robert Frost
When you read a lot of fantasy, science fiction, fairy tales, and even ghost stories, you more than often will find yourself in a forest. Characters might have to enter the deep, dark woods or follow a magical creature into the magical woodlands. They are an essential part of so many tales through the ages, and the fictional landscape would seem like a desert wasteland without its forests.
As we head out of February and head into spring, try to see how many of these tales (books, movies, or book series) you can name by a description of the fictional forests:
1. The rivers Limlaith flows to the northwest and Entwash flows to the south through the Forest of Fanghorn, which spans hundreds of miles on all sides of the Misty Mountains in this classic trilogy.
2. Lucy first entered the title land of this series from the Western Woods, but many of its magical creatures could be found hiding out in the smaller Shuddering Woods, as well as, perhaps, Father Christmas.
3. Many people in District 12 must brave into the woods surrounding their district to hunt and gather food, including Katniss and Gale, who make heading into this sometimes-hazardous area a daily quest. The fence put up around the district is said to keep residents safe from invading animals, but Katniss feels is it actually to keep residents from venturing too far away from their district.
4. Located between Guilder and Florin, the large forest Fire Swamp spans about 8 square miles. Fire swamps have large, lush trees, but also several gas bubbles (primarily of sulfur) that can spontaneously combust. There might also be ROUSes (rodents of unusual size), “a pure rat strain” that can reach 80 pounds and run as fast as a wolfhound.
5. The Forest of the Fighting Trees is a threatening place for travelers, but you have to pass through it to get to the hidden palace of Glinda. You might also face the hill of the Hammer-Heads or the small and fragile China Country as well.
6. The Hundred Acre Wood where the magical title bear and other animal friends of Christopher Robin live is based on a real place, an area of Ashdown Forest in Sussex, England known as the “Five Hundred Acre Wood.”
7. The Rainforest Kingdom on the Continent of Pyrrhia is filled with such tangled-up vines and trees only the RainWings and NightWings have little problem traveling through them in this dragon-filled series.
8. Not to be confused with a similarly named musical, this book’s creepy forest area surrounding the town of Knocknaree is one of danger and the site of several child murders.
9. As many believed the entrance to Hades is through dark woods, the author of this tale of sin and virtue starts his journey into Hell through a forest.
10. The forest of Skund, in this world’s series means, of course,” Your Finger Your Fool” in the local language. It is of uncertain location and filled with magic trees, shamans, and more.
How did you do? Did you find your way through, or could you not see the forest for the trees?
Check your answers here:
Either way, I hope this little quiz peaks your sense of adventure and sets you off on a new fantasy journey soon.