Monday, 31 August 2015

Maps to the Stars, Treasure and Through Time

I think I've always had an interest in maps. Fictional maps. I find them facinating. In fact I had a map on my wall in front of me at my desk for years. It was a replica of a real map, a souvenir I bought when I visited the Golden Hind, Sir Francis Drake's ship, which is a stone's throw away The Globe Theatre. I had the map on the wall since I was 8 until I moved out of my bedroom at 15. I was only moving to a bigger room next door but I decided not to put it back up. Its rolled up in a tube somewhere now but it was my first map.

For longest time I was obsessed and to some extent still am obsessed with the map of Middle-Earth. I had that on my wall for a few years, even had one up on the wall at my Nan's house. I would study it and when combined with my Tolkien Encyclopedia I would be absorbed for days.

I was inspired to make my own maps for my own writing, all fictional of course. When I tried to map out from knowledge I was too worried about it being correct. I made floorplans, diagrams to go with stories and mapped out character journeys too. Fictional maps have always been more mysterious and fun.

Of course the most famous of maps is from Treasure Island, made famous by the book and then by various adaptations. My dad used to read Treasure Island to my sister and I, we even listened to the story tapes on long car journeys, along with other adventureous tales. Car journeys were quite fun back in the 90s, especially when we got our own walkmans. Anyway, back to maps. No matter what the adaptations are like or where or when they're set, there is always a map.

Most movie maps lead to treasure and are adventure themed, some maps that are of the world, show long journeys and others just show the landscape.

From the top, is the map from The Mummy (1999) which leads to Hamunaptra, and what some people believe holds treasure. The map used in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which leads to The Fountain of Youth, a sort of treasure. Then we have The Goonies map complete with key that leads to One-Eyes Willy's treasure. The latter two are obvious pirate themed maps as of course, lots of pirates made maps and left them lying around.

Narnia and the Kingdom of Wisdom as seen in The Phantom Tollbooth are obviously both fantastical places. The map in The Phantom Tollbooth isn't to find treasure but to navigate through the crazy land to (que lightening) The Castle in the Air. The last map is a fictional location in Maine, USA called New Penzance Island from Moonrise Kingdom. Explantions throughout the film about the island make it feel like its a real place where scouts did go for camp. It's not fantastical, just believable.

Anyone recognise this one? One of the most basic maps ever. Its the map to dry land from Waterworld, now a cult hit. I'm sure there are some people out there with this tattoo. This could be a 'treasure' map as it does lead to a great reward but its more like Phantom Tollbooth, just showing the way.

I actually own one of these beautifully detailed maps. A prize possession as its just an amazing peice of art. Again, this is not a treasure map, not even a journey map, its just a useful item to have when you're running around Hogwarts.

 Last map is from Time Bandits and yes its a map of time showing all the holes left behind when the supreme being was making the world. Brilliant film aside, the map itself is impossible to read, it lookd like constellations or stars but its a map of the entire world's timeframe. A great map from the movies.

I still continue to draw the occassional map for a story or floor plan, sometimes it even helps to literally map out a story.

If you can think if any other maps in movies, fictional or otherwise, I'd love to know, just pop your thoughts in the comments.


  1. Ooooh that Time Bandits map is wonderful! I too adore maps. I used to make my own, for my own fictional places when I was younger. I really would like to own one of the really detailed Marauder's Maps, they are amazing.

  2. It is amazing, you could spend hours studying it. I got mine from the Harry Potter Studios, its kept in a plastic sleeve just in case. I'm sure you can find it on the website :)