To be proud of where you come from – That’s what we all wish to be. To be able to say, with your head held high, that you come from a proud, noble people. Your homeland is the envy of the world and you are one of its many fine citizens. A nation is defined as a large body of people united by common grounds (culture, history, language, etc). So, it’s time to fly your flags high for our Top 10 Fictional Nations!
10) Arendelle – Frozen
Arendelle is the kingdom of the story of Frozen, a story featuring a rebellious Elsa, her sister Anna and the King and Queen, King Agnarr and Queen Iduna. Elsa has magic in her blood, as she accidentally hurts her sister early on, causing the two to fall apart. When Elsa turns 21, she is to become queen and her coronation goes through fine. But when Elsa decides Anna can’t marry a guy she falls in love with, her powers uncontrollably reveal themselves, making her people fearful of her. Branded a monster, Elsa goes out alone.
As Frozen is the highest-grossing animated film of all time, it makes it hard to ignore the impact Frozen has had on people the world over. As such, whilst there’s not too much to say about this one, the fact the story revolves around such a big kingdom means we had to include this one. We’d have been fools to have let this one go!
9) The Island of Sodor – Thomas The Tank Engine
What better name for a dystopian dictator than “The Fat Controller”. Benign and baby-faced, standing in the place of a god over a race of sentient machines who do his bidding and his bidding alone, for fear that he seals you away forever in a tunnel, never to live what half-life he permits.
Oh, and he’s not the worst of it. Disobedience, or even unpleasant behaviour is met with the ire of every resident of the small island. And they will leave you to rust, or burn for a bad attitude. Criminal gangs hold sway over bleak graveyards, sentient rocks sit godlike over mountains, and deaths are waved away. It’s a darkness that runs so deep that it made it into the New Yorker.
It is a good thing we turn Alduin from Skyrim into Thomas, for that train should feel the wind beneath his wheels.
8) Electopia – MegaMan Battle Network
Okay get this, MegaMan Battle Network is arguably some of the most underappreciated Action/RPG games ever. No, I’m being serious! Battle Network features Lan Hikari and his NetNavi, MegaMan, as they bust viruses and basically do whatever the adults of the game cannot. Lan and his friends uncover plots that’ll cause significant harm to the digital world, as well as the real world.
Electopia is basically a futuristic Japan; in fact, in the Japanese versions, Electopia is referred to as Nihon – The Japanese word for Japan. As such, the world of Battle Network is basically the real world when it’s gotten super advanced. No one knows how to code any more, as the code to do anything is so complex. So instead, people enlist the help of their digital buddies, their NetNavis, to work out the coding and all the hard stuff. It’s fair to say that these people have it good, as really you can focus on all of the real-world stuff whilst letting their networks build themselves. But granted, they really need to look into better firewalls.
Also, this is the only franchise where you can legally say “I’m gonna jack in!” without sounding creepy, or being chastised for being obscene.
7) Fire Nation – Avatar
Earth, air, fire, and water. Each are represented by their own nation, and united in a figure destined to shape the world in some way. In the show, we only get the vaguest look at the relics of the Air Nomads, a short study on the ways and culture of the Water Tribes, and a thorough analysis of the Earth Kingdom. But none of them changed the world in quite the same way it changed… when the Fire Nation attacked.
Under Fire Nation oppression we get a solid grasp of how the military and upper echelons of their society operate, as well as how they think. but during the infiltration of the Fire Nation in the final season, we get a firm grasp of how the people live; from school life, to work, paupers to lords, we see the face behind the mask of war.
6) Wakanda – Marvel
An african arable nation exporting textiles and tourist trinkets, up until a year ago, when the newly crowned King T’Challa opens up the technological wonder to the world. Hidden beneath a holographic mountain, warded by potent shields that could halt an oncoming horde of alien bloodhounds, and overseen by the mighty Black Panther, clad in all vibranium armour, and imbued with chemically enhanced reflexes.
Wakanda sits on a mountain of vibranium, the metal that makes Cap’s shield defy physics, and they have studied its properties in depth, applying it to every field of science. With it they have excelled in military, agriculture, and energy, but have kept their findings to themselves for fear that they might fall into the wrong claws. Now they’re bringing their discoveries to the world in an effort to finally bring it together.
5) Fourecks – Discworld
It’s not Australia, honest.
The vast terra incognita shrouded forever in mystery, warded by a storm as ancient as time, and time that’s gotten twisted and wrinkled across a vast landmass of desert, and sheep, and a hundred words for being sick. Fourecks was the continent plastered onto the Disc some time after it was “finished”, some nice big ocean real estate that the gods left wide open for any old cosmic entity to fill up.
Fourecks reshapes its contents to fit its own needs, but it makes it a dangerous place to be, and until one bumbling wizzard came blazing through, none of it quite fit into the world. Some weird magick and quantum weirdness later, and the storm comes screaming to land, and for the first time it rains in the desert. Water from the sky? How’d it get up there in the first place?
4) Kaladesh – Magic: the Gathering
Forget Ravnica or even Zendikar – When I thought about this list, immediately my mind was taken back to the colourful and creative Kaladesh. It’s a nation filled with inventors and non-standard enemies for the entire multiverse of Magic: the Gathering. Kaladesh came completely out of the blue and was absolute a breath of fresh air, adding in genuinely interesting mechanics along the way.
Taking away the actual card game, Kaladesh was an interesting point in the story lore wise. No more were we fighting unimaginable horrors such as the Eldrazi, nor were we faced with a war between gods. We didn’t have werewolves, or even the later on dinosaur threat. Heck, we didn’t even have slithers – No, no, Kaladesh was epic for it brought the power-scale back down to a more enjoyable level. It gave us a dictatorship that you wanted to overthrow – and that sort of story is cool. All of the cards had flavour text centred around Kaladesh as a whole, making this inventive land a must-see in terms of story.
3) Westeros – A Game of Thrones
Busted down to third place for the term “nation” being on pretty shaky political grounds. Divided between a half dozen kings, with borders flexing and shifting and new rulers toppling and rising, Westeros is more accurately described as a small continent than a single cohesive nation united under the Iron Throne.
Every great House has a long and storied history, seven kingdoms brought to heel by fire and blood, and one rebellion threw them all into chaos and civil war, with an heir cast overseas with a reputation of familial insanity to plague her, and an army of innumerable dead men marching from the frozen north to drive all life before it into the grave. Westeros is deeply interesting, but it’s probably not going to be a nation for much longer.
2) Durotar vs Elwynn Forest – World of Warcraft
We were at an impasse with this one. We couldn’t put this any lower on the list, but we also feel like it’s a bit of a strange one to put this high. Nevertheless, we had to put Durotar, the homeland of the Orcs and Trolls against Elwynn Forest, the home of the Humans.
Durotar is a harsh, rough land. It’s perfectly suited for the Hordes leading race and their close allies, allowing them to be close to their allies in the Tauren. It’s a broken, dune-like wasteland, but it’s certainly possible to make your life there. The Orcs and Trolls came together to build up Orgrimmar, the central city for the Horde. It’s massive, it’s intimidating and all in all, it’s a sign of power.
In a stark contrast to Durotar, Elwynn Forest is pretty and it’s natural. The lands are filled with lush greens and trees galore. Under threat from an evil pig (Damn it, we need to get a Hogger raid going), Elwynn Forest doesn’t have much bad, except for your typical enemies. Seated within is the powerful Stormwind City, the capital of the Alliance… And boy is it ever an impressive sign of the noble, strong Human race?
For the alliance!
Now – Take your side, which is the stronger nation?
1) Cyrodil – The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Is there a nation in Nirn that is quite as prolific as Cyrodil? I mean yes, okay, Morrowind had a stronger story and yes, Skyrim was overall a better game than Oblivion, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore Cyrodil. It’s vast – In fact, it’s the biggest of all of the areas in the world of The Elder Scrolls. So when we thought of the best nation from The Elder Scrolls, for all of the games many, many flaws – The nation that sits smack bang in the middle of Tamriel is impressive.
Housing the Imperial City, Cyrodil is the home of the Imperial people. The city is massive and, when the game first came out, no one can deny that the structure and the vastness of the city was a sight to behold. With a strong culture, but a terrible penchant for defending that blasted Gray Fox, the land is by far the most well defined.
Sure, argue that Morrowind is – I dare you. Morrowind is defined by segregation and poverty.
Then argue that Skyrim is – Sure, it’s impressive, but the main cities don’t really pull it together. If anything, Skyrim is way more segregated than unified as a nation.
Cyrodil? Now that is a nation I’d be proud to be a part of.
Not all nations stand tall at the end of the story; with our next two Honourable Mentions, we’ve included nations that have risen (and fallen) over time. One’s a firey hellscape, the other is having a perpetual sinking feeling. Ahh, read on and you’ll see what we mean.
One of the world’s greatest mysteries! As much evidence as can be found to prove the existence of a great nation swept beneath the sea – Alexandria, Dwarka, Yonaguni-Jima – there’s as much evidence debunking the notion that one all-powerful diplomatic hub brought together the Aztecs and Egyptians, and held as much sway over the Iron-Age earth as America does today.
It’s a hub for underwater fantasy, home to mermaids, seat of Poseidon, haunted by sea monsters, and a thousand other myths besides, and let’s not forget the ancient aliens who helped sculpt that perfect society. For writers it’s an easy grab-bag of epic content, perhaps a soft go-to at times, but the name is too well known to let this list go without it.
Middle Earth – Lord of the Rings
We really couldn’t ignore one of the greatest stories of many nations coming together, in hopes to overthrow a great evil that is taking over the world. We couldn’t really pick just one nation from The Lord of the Rings, or indeed any Middle Earth story. Whether it’s Gondor, Rohan or hey even Mordor, each nation is distinct. It’s quite an interesting dynamic to have such a split world, considering it’s all so landmassed together.
Okay, so The Shire is what a lot of us remember the most, but you can’t deny the Elves had one of the prettiest homes in any fantasy setting. The Dwarves had a wonderfully well detailed home in the mountains. The humans had a grand, expansive home… And Mordor? That’s just fire and brimstone. You can’t go wrong with that!
That’s it, you may stand down and put that flag back down too. We’ve done yet another Top 10 where we’ve looked at the settings of stories. This was a pretty easy one for us to figure out – There were some debates, but overall the picks stuck with us. Now, help us decide what next week’s Top 10 list is going to be on, by selecting an option in the poll below.
Another week, another list complete – and we thank you for reading right through to the end. But what did you make of our list? Did we include the strongest nations that you care about, or did we forget the ones that are important to you? Did we get the order right, or should Cyrodil not have been our top nation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.