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Where its cold, and ice hits your skin

Few can stomach how harsh it is

In the woods lies a Great Old One

Who'll tear the flesh, right off your bones...

Whenever The Dark Lord rises to gather his armies and bring destruction upon the lands of men, elves, dwarves and the race of funny midgets, he always, always, always does this from a stronghold built in the most frigid, dark, frigid, remote, frigid, cold, benighted corner of the wasteland that in most cases is simply called "the North".

This trope may stem from how generally inhospitable the North often is to human (and other) life. While a gentle cover of snow can imply romance, and snow can often be used to create an incredibly beautiful and peaceful otherworldly air, when taken to blizzard-level extremes it becomes an icy hell. As many forms of Always Chaotic Evil creatures are somehow protected from extreme cold- for example, The Undead simply don't care about temperatures- the North is an environment where the Forces of Good are often at a disadvantage.

It might also have its roots in Medieval history, as the Vikings would often come from Scandinavia to the European coastlines for some good ol' Rape, Pillage and Burn; hey, beats fishing. Even before that, one of the constant threats to the Roman Empire were the Celtic and Germanic barbarians to its north. History repeats the pattern elsewhere; in Asia, the Mongol hordes were from the frigid steppes and the surprisingly cold Gobi Desert, north of China proper. In Africa, the colonial invaders of the 17th-20th centuries were mysterious pale people from a land far to the north. In the Cold War, the enemy that represented the greatest threat to your way of life was so far north that they were over the pole and on the other side, a bit of geography that's true for American and Soviet alike!

Northern wastelands being what they are, now and then some ancient civilization or other figures out such an inhospitable place would be perfect for preserving the Sealed Evil in a Can.

It is interesting to note that while it is true that people living up north on a standard-shaped planet don't get all that much sun in the winter and tend to be a bit gloomy, people seem to forget that they also don't have a proper night in the summer (assuming an axial tilt). They also tend to forget that the only reason we Earthlings consider North to be synonymous with cold is that we have so little land in the Southern hemisphere, and that the temperature difference has less to do with being Northernly than it does with the distance from the equator.

Not to be confused with Oop North, which is, confusingly, the same North from which the Trope Name originates, though it's not exactly a barrel of laughs over there, either (but at least it's not Luton).

The roots of this trope could also lie in the fact that most major religions originated in warm locations: the Abrahamic ones (chiefly Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) in the Middle East; the Dharmic ones (chiefly Hinduism and Buddhism) in India; Taoism, Confucianism, and Chinese folk religion in mostly-temperate China; and Shintoism in temperate Japan. These were all locations where cold weather was associated with winter and its connotations of the "death" stage of the seasonal cycle rather than being the simple fact of life it becomes when actually living Up North.

On the other hand, people in those climates tend to portray very bad places -- such as Hell -- as hot. It is the people who live in the North who insist that Hell is cold.

Santa Claus is unrelated...usually. See also Mysterious Antarctica. Grim Up North is the frigid sister trope of The Savage South.

The Trope Namer appears to be the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu song "It's Grim Up North", which contains a list of cities in the north of England.

Examples of Grim Up North include:


Anime and Manga

  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, the fortress of Briggs is the furthest northern outpost of Amestris, defending against the hordes of Drachma. Up North, it's always snowing, and Olivia Armstrong and her troops are always vigilant and deadly serious because they hold the responsibility of defending the nation with their lives.


Comics

  • The comic book miniseries/movie 30 Days of Night was about a remote town in Alaska attacked by vampires during its long "winter night". Subsequent miniseries in the same setting returned there a few times.


Fanfiction

  • Tarandroland in the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fanfic Under The Northern Lights. It is populated by dour and violent reindeer, one of whom describes the climate as ice four fifths of the year, with the fifth part being mosquitos. While the ponies of Equestria may have to actively wrap up winter every spring, the reindeer have to literally fight winter to make it go away. The story kicks off when reindeer in dragonships get back into their old habit of plundering northern Equestria. On the other hand, following the Anachronism Stew of the original show, this trope is heavily mixed with Norse by Norsewest, and the reindeer follow many stereotypes of modern Scandinavians (the author being Swedish).

Films

  • In Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, the Sheriff of Nottingham hires thugs from the north -- Celts (during the Third Crusade), who drink the blood of their dead, and seem to share the Sheriff's (evil) god.
  • In Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, the ancient temple to the Ogdru Jahahd was somewhere in the Arctic circle.
  • The main villain, Nekron from Fire and Ice, makes his home up north in Icepeak.
  • In Doomsday, Scotland is sealed off from the rest of the UK (and the world) to contain a zombie-creating plague, and a 50-foot high version of Hadrian's Wall made of steel-reinforced concrete and lined with machineguns and spotlights. A British commando team is sent in years later to investigate after satellite images show signs of life. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Speaking of Hadrian's Wall, the movies Centurion and The Eagle have rather bad things happening north of it as well.
  • Inverted in The Little Mermaid II where the villainess Morgana (Ursula's twin sister) actually makes her home underneath Antarctica.


Gamebooks

  • In Lone Wolf, Kalte (icy wasteland populated with hostile barbarians, malevolent wildlife and as of book 3 an Evil Sorcerer), the Darklands (Mordor) and Ixia (Mordor with more ice and Sealed Evil in a Can) fit this trope perfectly, but the heroic northern kingdoms of Sommerlund and Durenor avert it.


Literature

  • In The Silmarillion, Morgoth's fortress of Angband is in the north extreme of Beleriand.
    • His first fortress, Utumno, was in the north of Middle Earth. Apparently, this is why North is cold.
    • There's also the Witch-king of The Lord of the Rings fame, whose realm of Angmar lay in the far north of the world.
      • Also averted in Lord of the Rings, where Mordor is in the south-east.
      • Although this led to Misaimed Fandom assuming it represented Soviet Russia, and Tolkien angrily wrote letters educating them about this trope and how he put Mordor there as a subversion of the more classic 'evil in the cold north'.
        • Parts of Middle-Earth, when mapped out, correspond to real-life regions (the Shire, as admitted by Tolkien, is supposed to resemble Oxfordshire). The real-life corresponding regions to Mordor and Angmar would probably be Romania and Northern Norway; see, for example, one mockup.
    • The Grinding Ice is the site of many deaths of migrants, so it could probably count. There's no inherent evil fortress there, though; it's just a nasty stretch of inhospitable icecap.
    • The Withered Heath in the Grey Mountains is noted in The Hobbit as the home of many vile dragons, including Smaug himself.
  • In George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, the Wall protects civilized people from all kinds of scary stuff that live in the north. Seasons are also much longer, with winter typically lasting several years.
    • The Starks of Winterfell, the northernmost kingdom, are always very hard and cold; their family motto is even the noticeably more depressing 'Winter is coming'. However, they're the closest thing we've got to unambiguous good guys, so you could call that a partial subversion. The Umbers, their loyal bannermen, are from even further north closer to the Wall: however, their hat seems to be Boisterous Bruiser, subverting the trope a bit more. The Starks' Token Evil Teammate House Bolton, however, have a flayed man as their sigil and their stronghold is called the Dreadfort. Would it surprise anyone that they play this trope straight?
  • Even in the Finnish national epic Kalevala, the northerners are the bad guys. Well, from the contemporary viewpoint. Most of the bad things they do are in retaliation to the bad things done by the protagonists. They're just the enemies, because they're foreigners.
    • This probably was an echo of the conflicts that the Finns had with the indigenous Sami-folk who they robbed much of their lands from, forcing them to retreat to the northernmost reaches of the land.
  • JV Jones' Sword of Shadow. Pretty much the whole series takes place in what the rest of the world would consider to be the grim north, though even beyond that you get to "the Great Want", frozen Mordor and Eldritch Location par excellence.
  • In The Riftwar Cycle by Raymond Feist, the (sort-of) Always Chaotic Evil race of moredhel (dark elves) reside in the frozen Northlands. Justified, however. Firstly, the Northlands have many places that were frequented by the Valheru in times of old, and are sought out by the moredhel as places of power. Secondly, and more importantly, the moredhel had earlier occupied more hospitable territory, but have been at war with the humans for centuries, and due to inferior numbers (read: slower breeding rate) have been forced back to the Northlands where the land is simply too cold and barren for the humans to even want to press on.
  • While the plot of Barbara Hambly's Dragonbane is situated in the south, the north it starts in is incredibly grim.
  • Durham's Acacia has villains heading from the north.
  • Sara Douglass' Axis and Wayfarer Redemption Trilogies played up with this trope.
  • In Shannara, the Warlock Lord is based in the North, at Skull Mountain, but in the sequels, the threats come successively from the West, the East, and the South.
    • The Backstory and prologue actually begin the base of evil in the Center of the world. That moved North, then East, but while the East was still unpacking a Sealed Evil in a Can in the West popped open, which lead to the East now being ready to be evil, which jumps back to the West who migrates to the South to be Evil and from there it reaches out to the Far-far West, other worlds, etc.
  • In The Wheel of Time, The Blight is a huge northern land, home of the Dark One and full of evil creatures and desolation. It's separated from the rest of Randland by the "Mountains of Dhoom" and incursions of evil forces are buffered by the border nations.
    • Interestingly, a map of the world provided in an encyclopaedia for the series showed that the Blight eventually gives way to the polar ice cap, which isn't considered interesting by anyone at all.
    • Subverted in that the Blight proper is a steamy jungle, although the Blasted Lands beyond it are pretty cold.
  • In CS Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia, Narnia was often at war with the evil giants that live in the Wild Waste Lands of the North. It was also in the north where the White Witch built up her power and where the Lady of the Green Kirtle lived and held Prince Rilian hostage.
    • Interestingly, the Calormenes tend to describe Narnia as a "savage North" region, full of barbarians, monsters, and terrifying demonic lions.
    • Some of the Northern giants do seem friendly and civilized, until...
  • His Dark Materials: The baddies' fortress of Bolvangar in the first book, Northern Lights.
    • Although they are just intruders there; the land actually belongs to the more or less good Panserbjørner (armoured polar bears!) and witches.
  • The blighted wasteland and Dark Tower of the Big Bad Torak in The Belgariad are in the far north... east, close enough.
  • The Ancient North, which consists of the northern half of Eärwa, is save for a few human holdouts an After the End wasteland populated by tribes of vicious Sranc. The headquarters of the evil Ancient Conspiracy are at the northern edge of that.
  • Many, many of the villains in Redwall originally came from here.
    • Also subverted: So did the (chronologically) first hero of the stories, Martin the Warrior.
  • The baddies of Tailchaser'sSong set up their little hell-on-earth in the northern forest of Rootwood.
  • In Clark Ashton Smith's "The Coming of the White Worm", the titular conquering worm Rlim Shaikorth comes "from spaces beyond the limits of the north".
    • He also used the trope for other stories, such as The Ice Demon and The Light from the Pole, and there are plenty of nasty things to be found North in his "Hyperborean Cycle". Other contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos such as H.P. Lovecraft's ghost-written Ran-Tegoth, August Derleth's Ithaqua, and Lin Carter's Aphoom-Zhah make the Arctic Circle and especially Greenland home to more Eldritch Abominations than anywhere else on Earth, and potentially even deadlier than Mythos Antarctica.
  • In World War Z and the worldwide Zombie Apocalypse, the Arctic Circle actually fares better than most areas as zombies freeze solid in the winter. Mind, "better than most" still means that most evacuees are completely unprepared for winter survival and die anyway. Those who do survive and set up fortifications are able to scavenge unimpeded during the winter and hole up during the summer.
    • Later it makes the cleanup process far more difficult than in the south however, as the zombies freeze for winter, and are easily overlooked under the snow. Finland is shown still to be struggling to make itself habitable, while Iceland is one of the worst White Zones (areas completely overrun) on the map.
  • In Michael A. Stackpole's Draconcrown cycle, the Big Bad, Chytrine, rules from the frozen wastes far to the north.
  • Greg Keyes' Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone -- and how!
  • In the Conqueror books, the evil Tartars live in northern Mongolia, where the winters are even harsher than the south.
  • In Dwarves, the Perished Land approaches from the north.
  • In Robert E. Howard's "The Phoenix on the Sword" how Conan the Barbarian describes his native Cimmeria:

 "Perhaps it's the land they live in," answered the king. "A gloomier land never was — all of hills, darkly wooded, under skies nearly always gray, with winds moaning drearily down the valleys."

"Little wonder men grow moody there," quoth Prospero with a shrug of his shoulders, thinking of the smiling sun-washed plains and blue lazy rivers of Poitain, Aquilonia's southernmost province.

"They have no hope here or hereafter," answered Conan. "Their gods are Crom and his dark race, who rule over a sunless place of everlasting mist, which is the world of the dead.

  • In Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, while there are the sympathetic Rimmersmen and Qanuc civilizations in the north, go a bit further and you start running into the deeply unpleasant Black Rimmersmen- and further than that you come to Stormspike, mountain citadel of the Norns (the Always Chaotic Evil variant of the Fair Folk) and base of operations for the Storm King. Not a nice place.
  • According to How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Grinch actually lives just north of Whoville.
  • In the Warrior Cats series, ShadowClan, the Clan that produces the most evil cats and that is normally thought to always be plotting something, lives in the northernmost territory. There's even a saying in ThunderClan that the cold north wind blows over every ShadowClan cat and chills their heart.


Mythology and Folklore

  • In many of the "Alexander Romances"--legends and folkloric embellishments of the life and exploits of Alexander the Great--a land beset by "unclean" nations to the north is encountered by Alexander during his conquests. Recognizing their need, Alexander has his army construct the "Gates of Alexander" across the mountain pass which served as the border between the peaceful southern tribes and their warlike neighbors to the north; these nigh-impenetrable gates, often said to be constructed of the mythical substance "adamantium", effectively severed the north's capacity to reach the south, therefore preserving the southerners' safety and way of life. Note: in many cases, these barbarous and unclean northern tribes are identified as none other than Gog and Magog--mentioned in the various Abrahamic religions, where they are invariably portrayed as bad or evil or at the least "unclean", and who in extra-Biblical tradition become the Big Bad who are said to one day rise up and make war on the rest of the world, bringing about Armageddon.
  • Germanic mythology placed the realm of the giants, the monstrous enemies of gods and men, in the far North-East. This is attested as early as c. 100 AD by Tacitus in his ethnographical work Germania.


Live Action TV

  • In the Doctor Who serial The Ribos Operation, the locals on the planet Ribos assume that aliens, with their advanced technology, are from The Great North. A local heretic who holds the unpopular belief that the stars are not ice crystals but other worlds scoffs at this, as he's travelled to the north and knows there's no mighty empire there.
  • Gloomy copper Wallander polices the picturesque town of Ystad in southern Sweden, on the Baltic coast. Although both adptations, the English-language version commissioned by the BBC and the native Swedish version, strongly veer away from snow and ice and eternal winter night and seek to portray Sweden as a rather nice place to live and visit, the essential svarmod quality of the Swedish archetype rings out loud and true in the troubled lead character, who is beset by illness and the male menopause, and who often interrupts a police investigation to wonder loudly what the existential point of it all is. Catch one criminal, and there's only going to be another one coming along afterwards... The original novels by Henning Maskell develop this essential Swedish-ness still further.


Music

  • The genre of Black Metal, owing to its origins in Norway, has a fondness for imagery involving the cold north. A particularly notable example is the band Immortal, whose song titles include Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms, Sons of Northern Darkness and In My Kingdom Cold.
    • Parodied by the "acoustic black metal" joke band Impaled Northern Moonforest, with songs like Grim and Frostbitten Moongoats of the North and Lustfully Worshipping the Inverted Moongoat While Skiing down the Inverted Necromountain of Necrodeathmortum. They even have an Impaled Northern Moonforest song title generator that lets you create your own grim and frostbitten song titles.
  • Snow W.Wwhite's entire concept is based heavily on this theme.
  • Inverted in the Emerald Sword saga by Rhapsody of Fire, where the main character is called the "Warrior of Ice" or "Nordic Warrior", who calls the forces of winter against the Legions of Hell.


Tabletop Games

  • In the campaign setting Midnight, the evil god who was cast down from the Heavens retreats to the North to gather his strength and from there launches his campaign of conquest.
  • The elves of the Iron Kingdoms sealed the heart of the dragon Everblight on the top of the highest mountain they could find. Guess which direction a horde of monstrous Body Horror dragonspawn is pouring out from?
  • The world of Warhammer gets steadily nastier the further you head north. Past the merely inhospitable Russia Kislev, you get to Norsca and the evil Vikings Norsemen, and beyond that Kurgan and its evil Chaos Vikings Marauders. Further north, through the Chaos Wastes (daemon-infested black deserts where reality is wearing pretty damn thin) you eventually reach the Realm of Chaos, which is basically hell. All of these regularly spew out The Legions of Hell to lay waste to the Old World.
    • In true Warhammer fashion, there's another wide-open portal to the Realm of Chaos in the South pole of the Old World that nobody's doing anything about. It's only a matter of time until the world is overwhelmed by The Legions of Hell from both sides.
      • Well the Lizardmen might since it's their job.
    • Warhammer 40000's Fenris is a Grim Up North Single Biome Planet. It's where the Space Wolves recruit the local tribesmen who become their Viking Super Soldiers.
      • Valhalla is likewise a single-biome frost world. The inhabitants here "only" get to be Imperial Guard badasses, though. Valhalla itself is noted to have an even grimmer Up North, where the climate goes from "unforgiving" to "completely uninhabitable" and worse.
  • In the Dungeons and Dragons Forgotten Realms setting, the land of Angmar Vaasa in the north of Faerun is where the Witch-King of the Nazgul Zhengyi created his Castle Perilous and launched an invasion of the neighboring country of Arnor Damara.
    • In 4th Edition, now this is part of the generic setting. The goddess of death has her citadel in the grim north, where all souls now pass when they die. The darkness and grimness of her frost-bound fortress even bleeds over to the real world from her home dimension, because reality is thin up there. Mildly subverted in that the Raven Queen is not evil, but then again she is definitely not nice, and quite grim.
  • Inverted in the Krynn D&D setting, as Ansalon, the main continent for Dragonlance stories and adventures, is in the southern hemisphere. The northernmost land, Nordmaar, is a tropical jungle. Icewall is to the south of Ansalon.


Toys

  • Bionicle's Bara Magna arc has the villainous Skrall tribe coming from the mountainous north to conquer the planet, though they themselves were driven south by an even nastier group of shapeshifting warriors.


Video Games

  • The Kokari Wilds in Dragon Age imply this trope, but are actually Grim Down South, as the continent Thedas is located on the planets southern hemisphere.
  • The Witch Lich King of the Warcraft fame, whose realm of Northrend lies in the far north of the world.
    • Minor subversion in that some areas of Northrend are quite beautiful, and in the case of Sholozar Basin, practically tropical (it's kept that way by magic). Played razor straight in the Lich King's main base, Icecrown Glacier, where it seems that the only things that are alive are Vrykul seeking to become the Lich King's undead servants, and soldiers of the Horde, Alliance, and the Argent Crusade who seek to destroy him.
      • The practical reason for this is that the designers thought it would be pretty boring to have an entire expansion covered with snow, so they didn't. The two northernmost areas of the northern continent though both follow this trope in slightly different ways. The aforementioned Undead/Vikings/Undead Vikings in Icecrown, and both Precursor ruins and a Sealed Evil in a Can in the Storm Peaks.
  • In the original The Legend of Zelda, Death Mountain, the dungeon home of the Big Bad is located at the northernmost portion of the map, but the terrain isn't snowy, and Death Mountain is a Lethal Lava Land in later games.
  • Morrowind has Solthsheim, and to a lesser extent, Sheogorad.
    • About half of Skyrim fits. The city of Windhelm wins the award for grimness, and if the player sides with the empire, fits the villain base criterion as well. The further north you go, the more dangerous things become, with the wilderness around Dawnstar and Winterhold best being described as an endless parade of irate polar bears, hungry frost trolls, pissed-off horkers, and terminally idiotic bandits. However, the northernmost city in the game, Solitude, is actually fairly nice and not snowy at all, apparently due to warm water currents in coming through the northern sea [1]. Its grim enough that Nord culture has the Fourth Date Marriage as the norm. Skyrim is such a harsh and dangerous land even within the civilized areas that Nord culture in general frowns on lengthy courtships, so if you care about someone enough to love them or want to marry them, you wear an Amulet of Mara and just tell them, and if they're favorably inclined they'll accept, you get married, and then everyone can go back to keeping the bear, vampires, trolls, bandits, and dragons at bay.
  • The grand finale of both the original, un-expanded Final Fantasy XI and the Wings of the Goddess expansion is in the frozen wastes of Xarcabard, where the Shadow Lord masses his armies.
    • The finale of Final Fantasy VII, as well as the pivotal turning point of the story, takes place in the Northern Crater.
      • There's a hidden cut scene where it is explained that the Northern Continent stays cold year round because the Planet is STILL gathering spirit energy to heal the wound cause by an ancient meteor strike (Jenova's arrival some 2000+ years before).
  • The final dungeon of Golden Sun: The Lost Age is located on the blizzard-ridden northern continent. Amusingly enough, it's a fire-based dungeon covered in ice, demonstrating that the northern reaches weren't always so cold.
  • Inverted in the Command and Conquer for the Tiberium timeline: The element Tiberium, with its extreme mutagenic and toxic properties, has its growth stymied by the cold. Guess where the Good Guys strike from?
  • In Skies of Arcadia, The Empire is headquartered on a perpetually grim and stormy Floating Continent north of most of the rest of civilization. The actual arctic ice cap isn't so bad, though; it just has one dungeon and a couple of Bonus Bosses, no worse than the rest of the world. Of course, given that lazy programming makes Arcadia look like a torus according to the map, it's impossible to tell whether this dungeon is the north pole or the south pole.
  • In Okami, the source of all the monsters and lair of Yami, Lord of Darkness lies to the far north.
  • The Dune RTS games feature the sinister House Ordos, which is based on Sigma Draconis IV, an ice world.
    • Kind of Subverted in the first Dune game: Evil House Harkonnen's main fortress is near the north pole of Arrakis. Dune being what it is, that's still not exactly a cold place...
    • Actually, that's true to the book. The northern lands had less severe winds and were blocked from the sandworms by rock.
  • Online adventure game Kingdom of Loathing has a character class which "hail from the frigid Northlands, because one character class always hails from the frigid Northlands." The class? Seal Clubbers, appropriately enough.
    • Didn't you notice the Seal Clubber is the only player character figure that's frowning? That's 'cause it's grim where he's from.
  • Donkey Kong Country II, sort of. Both of the game's ice-themed levels are in the northern-most area of the map. And it is a pretty grim place. And it's definitely "up".
  • Diablo II has the barbarian homeland way up in the snowy mountain peaks. It's the setting for the expansion pack act.
    • Subverted as their entire culture is dedicated to battling evil.
    • Also, the mountains may be snowy but they're apparently closer to the middle of the world than the north. And they exploded.
      • The mountains are cold simply because they're immensely tall (which is realistic). And... they exploded.
  • Since Too Human is a retelling of Norse myths with science fiction, it comes as no surprise that the whole game takes place during the fimbul winter under heavy snowfall.
  • Runescape uses this too many times to count. Whenever ancient evils are let out of the can they inevitably depart for 'the North'. This locale, overrun with ancient evils as it is, is never seen in game. Players who do go north - at least from older parts of the map - are greeted with the Wilderness, a place filled with ruin, hideous monsters, and (formerly) other players with murderous intent that gets worse the further North you go. This is revealed to be merely the battleground of an ancient war fought over the domain of a defeated god with evils located in the aforementioned (and unseen) North.
  • The final stage of Guitar Hero: Metallica takes place in the Arctic, in the underground lair of an Eldritch Abomination. For reasons not made clear, this finale song is *not* "Trapped Under Ice."
    • Here's guessing it's "The Thing That Should Not Be", for obvious reasons.
  • In the first Jak and Daxter, the Green Sage tells Daxter that the only person who will be able to reverse his case of Baleful Polymorph will be no easy matter to reach because he lives to the north - "far, far to the north." He turns out to be the one of the Big Bads and the reason the protagonists go there ends up being to bring down his evil lair.
  • In Mega Man X 2, the X-Hunters' Lair lies at the North Pole.
  • Subverted in the MUD Imperian, where the north is home to two different groups: Kinsarmar, magic-users who fight demons, and Ithaqua, forest-dwelling barbarians that fight demons and magic-users.
  • In Kingdom Under Fire Crusades, the Sealed Evil in a Can is found on in the far north of the map... and boy, what a can that was.
  • MMORPG Dofus recently released an entire new continent called Frigost. Oddly, it's not particularly far north, instead being situated in the middle of the ocean far to the west of the normal world. It was originally not particularly grim at all, until the ruler of the island decided it would be a good idea to try and create an eternal summer for the island's farmers. This did not go down well with the demon who controls December, and provoked him into freezing the island for the past century.


Web Comics

  • Muktuk Wolfsbreath, Hard-Boiled Shaman takes place in the snow-bound Siberian taiga and uses the grimness of the setting to achieve the same effect that Film Noir does with rain-soaked cities.
  • Snow By Night portrays Winter as a humanoid who makes an annual journey down from what is presumably Corthis' equivalent of the Arctic Circle.


Web Original

 "Redcoats didn't fear bullets. A grave is way warmer than the English winter."

Real Life

  • Hadrian's wall and the Antonine Wall were built by the Romans to keep marauding Scots Picts out of England Britannia Inferior.
  • The fortified Limes Germanicus was build to keep the northern German tribes from doing raids in the roman empire.
    • Because of that it runs north/south.
    • But even further north from them: Vikings.
  • The Great Wall of China was built to protect against the nomadic tribes of the north.
  • The Dirty Communists of the Cold War who split Korea and Vietnam in half always controlled the northern half of each country. Justified as the northern halves of each country bordered Communist China.
    • But inverted in the case of Yemen, which didn't get nearly as much press as its far eastern cousins. Possibly because there was no analogous war, and the two countries got along comparatively well (and reunited relatively peacefully in the nineties).
  • A North American Example lies in Canada, where the highest crime rates are found in the coldest places. The three Territories and their major cities - Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and Iqaluit - have ridiculously high murder rates, and Winnipeg's problems with murder, arson, and car theft are notorious.
  • Polar bears are the biggest, hungriest, meanest types of bears there are.
  • Civil wars with a geographical division are almost always north versus south. Depending on your perspective, then, this is either played straight or inverted.
  • Siberia can reach eighty below (F) on a bad day.

Notes

  1. Warm water ocean currents are the reason why the British Isles, Ireland, and the North American West Coast remain temperate despite having the same latitude as places whose primary export is snow and frostbite
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