Let's be real here: we all know that what fantasy readers really want for the holidays is to stumble through the back of a wardrobe and hang out with a talking lion. Or to transport a ring from one location to a second location. Or to soar on a dragon high above a complex faux-medieval political power struggle. But... you probably don't have the budget for any of that. So here are a few gifts for fantasy readers that you can actually give them.
I mean, as much as I love Harry Potter gifts, there's more to the world of fantasy than angsty teen wizards. Plus, if someone doesn't own a stuffed Hedwig by now, they must not really want one. The gifts on this list are for the fantasy fans who enjoy swashbuckling sword fights, ethereal elves, and lecturing their friends on why a certain successful HBO show is massively different from the books (but seriously, how dare they cut out Lady Stoneheart?). If you know someone who's read The Silmarillion, or who has any kind of wall print of a map, then chances are you have a massive fantasy fan on your hands.
So check out these fantastic gifts for the magically minded:
1. Middle Earth Leggings
A true fantasy fan is someone who gets excited about maps. With these leggings, you can walk around with a map of Tolkien's Middle Earth on your legs at all times. Need a reminder of where Gondor is in relation to the Shire? Just glance down! Plus, they're cute and comfy enough that even non-nerds can appreciate this look.
Middle Earth Leggings, $12.99, Amazon
2. Dewey Decimal Ring
For the fantasy fan who likes to keep their obsession on the DL, I give you this ring inspired by the Dewey Decimal system. 823.087 is the Dewey Decimal section for fantasy and sci-fi, so you can rock your love for fantasy, libraries, and filing systems all with one elegant piece of jewelry.
Dewey Decimal System Ring, $16.00, LittleGemGirl on Etsy
3. The World of Ice & Fire by George R.R. Martin
Sure, you can name the seven kingdoms of Westeros... but how much do you know about The War of the Ninepenny Kings? The Kingdom of Yi Ti? The isolationist policies of Ib? The World of Ice & Fire is a gorgeously illustrated volume detailing everything you could ever want to know about Westeros, Essos, and the Lands Beyond. Perfect for that friend who keeps complaining about all the stuff they left out of the HBO version.
The World of Ice & Fire, $29.99, Amazon
4. Fantasy Book Purse
Look, usually I don't condone the cutting up of classic literature... but these purses are so stunning, I think I can make an exception. Each bag is made of an actual hardcover, with your choice of button and handle. Your fantasy fan can now carry their favorite adventure with them everywhere, and store tic tacs inside it.
The Hobbit Book Purse, $55.00, NovelCreations on Etsy
5. Stardust by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess
Can I pay Charles Vess to illustrate everything in my life as though it's a whimsical adventure with fairies? Neil Gaiman's Stardust is a beautiful take on traditional fairy tales in its own right, but with Charles Vess as illustrator, it becomes a gorgeous book of fantasy art. A must read for artsy fantasy fans.
Stardust, $13.50, Amazon
6. Dragon Bookends
Every fantasy reader needs a dragon or two for their bookshelf. How else are you going to display your collection of fantasy novels? How will people know that you really like fantasy if you don't have a pair of detailed green dragons guarding your books? Get a dragon, just in case.
Dragon Bookends, $21.75, Amazon
7. Neverland Necklace
OK, just one more fantasy map. Before most of us graduated to hobbits and battles, we were reading about adventures in Peter Pan's Neverland. This pendant captures the magic with a tiny, colorful map of Peter's beloved home, perfect for nostalgic readers everywhere.
Neverland Necklace, $9.98, teaANDtentacles on Etsy
8. The Last Unicorn Quote Print
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle has some timeless gems of advice for all of us: "Always be yourself, unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn." Hang this inspirational quote on your wall, to remind yourself that it's OK to be you (but really it's much better to be a unicorn).
Peter S. Beagle Quote Print, $8.95, RNDMS on Etsy
9. Bronze Sword Bookmark
At the end of the day, every fantasy reader just needs a tiny sword that they can dramatically pull out of a book. That's the real goal here. This little bronze sword will mark your place with style, and make you feel like a knight and/or pirate every time you read a chapter.
Bronze Sword Bookmark, $3.85, BeadSparkleZ on Etsy
10. The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones
Need a guide for your next trek through an unspecified fantasy world? Diana Wynne Jones' Tough Guide to Fantasyland is a loving parody of all things fantastical. This indespensible handbook will teach you how to deal with typical fantasyland features, like Dark Lords, stew, slender youths, citadels, and so forth.
The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, $9.99, Amazon
11. Dragon Egg Canister
Looking for a regal way to store cookies and other foodstuffs? Why not a dragon egg? Tap into your inner Khaleesi with this lovely dragon egg cookie jar, based on pre-hatched baby Rhaegal. Just don't put this egg in any funeral pyres, please.
Game of Thrones Dragon Egg Canister, $29.99, Think Geek
12. Narnia Journal
Is your fantasy-loving friend trying to do more journaling in the new year? Give them all the courage of a magical talking lion with this hand-lettered Narnia diary. Narnia is one of the more friendly and encouraging fantasy realms, so it's a perfect fit for a journal that you'll actually want to write in.
Courage Dear Heart Journal, $15.00, IceyDesigns on Etsy
13. Eye of Sauron Desk Lamp
OK, I know it's not cheap but... tell me this isn't the single coolest lighting fixture you have ever seen. It's a desk lamp that is also a perfect model of the Eye of Sauron. The Lord of the Rings fan in your life will flip over this scale model of Sauron's creepy lighthouse eye, and you won't have to buy them another gift for at least five years.
Eye of Sauron Desk Lamp, $299.99, Think Geek
14. The Book of Runes by Ralph Baum
So... this isn't strictly a fantasy book, but hear me out: most (arguably too much) of "high fantasy" draws a lot of inspiration from Northern European cultures. Mostly because Tolkien did it first. The Book of Runes explains the hidden meaning behind ancient Viking runes, as seen throughout fantasy literature, and it comes with a set of rune stones so you can tell your own, runic fortune. And what's the point of being a fantasy nerd if you don't own a set of rune stones?
The Book of Runes, $23.35, Amazon
15. The One Ring
When in doubt, there's always the One Ring to Rule Them All. Every self-respecting fantasy fan needs at least one piece of Tolkien-inspired jewelry. Sure, the One Ring is evil and all of that (although its evil powers are fairly vague), but it still makes for a nice pendent. Just don't let the power go to your head.
Frodo's One Ring of Power Pendent, $49.95, Amazon