This week’s tour topic is: EVIL LAIRS
The evil lair is where a great fantasy villain will spend the plurality of his or her time. (Topic provided by Christopher Scott Hand).
Lord of The Rings is the granddaddy of them all, of course, establishing the evil lair that have become copied, honored, duplicated, and parodied. You've got Barad-dûr, which is occupied by Sauron; Minas Morgul, which is occupied by the Witch-King; Orthanc, which is occupied by Saruman; and Mirkwood, which is occupied by Shelob. Evil towers, dungeons, spiderwebs, and more.
Stephen King subverts things a little with the actual Dark Tower of his Dark Tower Saga, which serves as a reluctant lair for the Crimson King - who neither built nor commanded the place, but is instead trapped there. Of course, a lot of King's universe intersects with the Dark Tower, but some of the other kick-ass evil lairs include the Black House that haunts Jack, the Cradle of Lud that houses Blaine the (insane) Mono, and Randall Flagg's twisted version of Las Vegas.
The great thone-hall of Ridjeck Thome . . . Foul's Creche . . . the Gray Slayer's ancient home from the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is another subversion of the typical evil lair. Yes, it has both a tower and an underground lair, and its surrounded by Spoiled Plains and Shattered Hills, but rather than being dark and dingy, it's actually white and sterile. That's largely because it represents the Leprosarium, the hospital to which Thomas Covenant was committed after being diagnosed with leprosy.
Next we have the Tower of the Moon from Andy Remic's The Iron Wolves. Built by King Yoon, an "insane, maggot-infested bastard," the Tower of the Moon is an immense phallic symbol he commissioned after a drunken orgy. He insists that it be the tallest structure ever built, and while its construction has already bankrupted the kingdom and drained its men, but he wants more levels, more gargoyles, more everything.
Finally, switching gears to science fiction, how can you talk about evil lairs and not bring up The Death Star from Star Wars? Commanded by Grand Moff Tarkin and home to Darth Vader, it is officially the biggest, the baddest, and the coolest of all evil lairs - a moon-sized space station over 100 kilometers in diameter that has the power to destroy entire planets with just one shot of is laser. As Obi-Wan says, "That's no moon. It's a space station."