[[quoteright:300:[[TheSilmarillion http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/leftjustified.jpg]]]]

Ever noticed how many [[FantasyWorldMap fantasy maps]] will detail the ocean on the left, western side? In many cases there won't even be an eastern or northern shore; however, there may be a southern shore.

The main reason for this is the popularity of MedievalEuropeanFantasy. A {{Fantasy Counterpart Culture}} of Medieval Europe will naturally imitate the geography of Europe: ocean to the west and vast stretches of land to the east. For the same reason, the north is often a [[GrimUpNorth harsh tundra full of barbarian tribes]], the orient a mysterious land whence [[BornInTheSaddle ride]] the HordesFromTheEast, and the south a [[TheSavageSouth hot land of jungles, tropical islands, and savages]].

An interesting historical aside: Throughout most of the middle ages, maps were drawn with ''East'' at the top, rather than North. (This is how the word "orient" came to mean "face the correct direction.") A fantasy map that followed this convention would be ''bottom''-justified, instead of left-justified.

See also: PatchworkMap; StandardFantasySetting.
------
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime]]

* ''{{Slayers}}''
* Inverted in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', where the ocean is on the East side of the map. Likely because its world is based [[SchizoTech generally]] on feudal Japan and in Asia, the ocean is on the ''East'' side.
* Entirely ignored in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', despite being set in what is obviously a European analog. Amestris is land locked, and surrounded by lots of much larger countries. There is mention of an island nation beyond Xing, however, and the larger map of the world briefly glimpsed in episode 64 of Brotherhood showcases a small amount of ocean touching upon Aerugo, the nation to the south and east of Amestris, thus making the Fullmetal World a bit more of a right-justified map (an even briefer glimpse of a chalk drawing of the world is glimpsed in the flashback to King Bradley's childhood, showing continents similar to Earth's with Europe, Africa and Asia kind of merging a bit around the Middle East, which is likely where Amestris and its fellow nations are located)

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* ''ComicBook/{{Artesia}}'' inverts this, the eastern part of the map where all the action happens is almost a mirror image of Western Europe, with a sea surrounded by land on three sides and opening into an ocean to the east.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]

* Subverted in Literature/{{Phenomena}}.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' could have started this phenomenon. Creator/JRRTolkien had set out to create a mythology for Europe and especially England (the available myths, such as [[KingArthur Camelot]] and Literature/{{Beowulf}}, being alien to the modern English culture) and thus, in the context of the fantasy, Middle-earth is supposed to be western Europe as it was in the extremely distant past.
** That conception became less clear as time went on, so that some believe that by his death Tolkien no longer intended Middle Earth to be in any way related to the real world. Besides that, he had maps that showed the rest of Middle Earth, its just that the events of both ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' and ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' take place in the west, at least partly because it was closer to the Blessed Realm and Nśmenor and because that was where the Kingdoms of the Noldor and of Thingol were.
** Note that what we're looking at in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' is the drastically reduced version of it--the cataclysm that ended the First Age at the end of the main text of ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' destroyed about half of that particular landmass, with the Grey Havens being about the border of what was left from before.
** Bottom justification happens on Dwarven maps such as the one in ''Literature/TheHobbit'', dwarves preferring the east as the chief direction as mentioned above.
* ''[[Literature/InheritanceCycle Eragon]]''
* ''Literature/{{Redwall}}''
** Although occasionally when we see a full map of the Northlands, such as in ''Martin the Warrior'', we do see a northern and eastern coast as well. It's just that the bulk of the action takes place in Mossflower, which is on the western coast of the landmass and further south - it's roughly triangular, like Great Britain, on which it's based.
* ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''
* ''[[Literature/{{Shannara}} The Sword Of Shannara]]''. Justified: It's actually the Pacific Northwest AfterTheEnd.
* ''Literature/BoredOfTheRings'' (But mainly because it was aping and satirizing the style of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. The map actually has less relation to the story than to the RuleOfFunny.)
* Inverted in Creator/CSLewis' ''Literature/{{Narnia}}'', which is right-justified with the sea on the east; an interesting departure from the Avalon-in-the-West orientation pervading Tolkien and his imitators; and all the more remarkable because CS Lewis was friends with Tolkien. One explanation for this is that the sea is in the west in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' because the world is fading like the setting sun. The sea is in the east in Narnia because things are always getting brighter and better.
* ''{{Spellsinger}}''
* Used in the book ''Gifts'' by Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin.
** ''Gifts'' and its sequels ''Voices'' and ''Powers'' are now collectively known as "The Annals of the Western Shore", which may or may not be [[LampshadeHanging lampshading]].
* The ''Literature/TortallUniverse'' by Creator/TamoraPierce, considered from the point-of-view of Tortall itself, as well as the other "eastern lands". It has a southern coastline (and the continent to its south naturally has a northern one). The western ocean ''would'' be analogous to the Atlantic if it didn't have [[FeudalJapan Yaman]] in it.
* Averted with Pierce's other series, ''Literature/CircleOfMagic''. It's left-justified only in the small map of Winding Circle and its immediate surroundings. The map that shows the entirety of Emelan and its neighbors is bottom-justified with the Pebbled Sea to the south. Namorn's map in ''Will of the Empress'' is top-justified with a coastline formed by a lake large enough to be considered a freshwater sea.
* In Jennifer Fallon's ''Wolfblade Trilogy'', the kingdom (or princedom or whatever) of Hytria is in the center of the continent, with the Dregian Ocean to the south, Fardonyha on the west, who shares part of the ocean, and Medalon to the North; the west part of the continent is "uncharted".
* Both ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' and ''TheElenium'' provide world maps like this. Interestingly, their respective sequels both take place on the then-charted lands of the far east, complete with maps. It should be noted that Eddings takes world-building very seriously.
* ''Literature/TheRiddleMasterTrilogy'' has a ''right-justified'' map with uninhabited Badlands to the West. (The realms of the High One were colonized by humans two thousand years ago from across the ocean, but their original homeland is never mentioned, nor has anyone ever found anything of note beyond the Badlands.)
* Subverted in the ''Literature/{{Earthsea}}'' series, where the ocean lies to the west, east, north, ''and'' south. In fact, the whole planet is ocean, aside from a dense scattering of islands.
* The Sea of Knowledge in ''Literature/ThePhantomTollbooth'' is located to the east; to the west are the Lands Beyond (i.e., our world). This is no doubt linking the Enlightenment of knowledge with the rising sun.
* Since ''Dies the Fire'' and it's squeals mostly take place on pacific coast, it also follows this trope. However, ''The Scourge of God'' takes place in the midwest, and thus has no coasts (Unless counting the Great Lakes) and then the ''Sword of the Lady'' roams from the Mississippi to the East Coast, thus avoiding the trope. Also, since it takes place on an Alternate History Earth, there do exist several maps that detail the rest of the world, at least in universe.
* While Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' is fully-designed, it started out as a left-justified fantasy map because the Hub is analogous to the North and [[TheCity Ankh-Morpork]] and the Circle Sea are on the Turnwise (I.E., west-analogous) side of The Continent. Despite having created a China-esque continent surrounded by a South Pacific ocean (which is, [[UsefulNotes/TheLongitudeProblem oddly enough]], the first major land mass ''turnwise'' from A.M.) and a continent which [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial in no way is intended to resemble Australia]], though it may be a bit Australia-like here and there, it remains a Left-Justified Fantasy Map because the Widdershins end of The Continent has never been shown past {{Uberwald}}. [[AffectionateParody The use of this trope is likely intentional]].
* Although the only part of the ocean anyone talks about is to the west, the land in ''Literature/BrokenSky'' actually averts this, being surrounded on three sides by the ocean. This actually becomes a plot point during the FinalBattle: [[spoiler:when [[BigBad King Macaan]] activates a device that summons (and enrages) the very, very large sea monsters inhabiting the western ocean, the device is on the eastern shore, so the monsters will have to [[TakingYouWithMe trek through (and destroy) the rest of the country on the way]]. One of the biggest, and craftiest, beasties is smart enough to swim around the country and approach from the opposite direction, showing up right at the high point of the fight.]]
* Justified by Hyborian-age Earth in the original ''[[ConanTheBarbarian Conan]]'' stories, as Robert E. Howard's mythos was set in a time after Atlantis sank but before known ancient civilizations had arisen, using Europe, Asia, and Africa as a model.
* Andrzej Sapkowski never delivered an official map of {{the Witcher}}land. The various maps that have been created, however, are left-justified.
* The ''Literature/ArciaChronicles'' is guilty of this trope. The author has averted it, however, in her other series, ''Literature/ReflectionsOfEterna'', which provides a map of the entire continent (and the country central to the plot spans most of it).
* AndreNorton's early ''WitchWorld'' novels had a map that just showed Estcarp and its hostile neighbors to the north and south, with ocean to the west and mountains to the east. Justified in that the inhabitants of the western lands were all under a spell. The folks living to the east of the mountains didn't want the western lands' problems spilling over to their territory, so every time they westerners wondered what was east of the mountains they immediately forgot that they had. The spell was finally broken by the Tregarth triplets, who ventured east and had adventures there. Later maps showed continents on ''both'' sides of the western sea, and another sea far to the east.
* In the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' series, the Great Journey map has the sea to the southwest.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', Westeros is the westernmost landmass in the world. It is the fantasy equivalent of the British Isles, though continent-sized. The western sea is called the Sunset Sea, and there is no known land in that direction (Beyond the point where it wraps around to Essos' eastern shore, of course). Westeros sits off the western shore of Essos, which is the fantasy equivalent of Eurasia. Essos extends beyond the eastern limits of all official maps, so its eastern shores are never seen.
* ''Literature/TheKingkillerChronicles'' uses a very Europe-like map, with sea to the north, west, and south and land to the east and southeast.
* In ''Literature/TheDaggerAndTheCoin'' series, it's played as straight as could be. The map looks more like Europe than a casual cartographer could draw.
* Subverted by RobinHobb's ''RealmOfTheElderlings'', with the ocean on the right side of the map. The peninsula of the Six Duchies, which the first and third trilogies centre around, is real-world Alaska flipped upside-down and placed on the right-hand coast.
* TheMonarchiesOfGod series by ''Creator/PaulKearney'' plays this very straight. The landmass looks similar to Europe and there is a huge, undiscovered continent to the west of the ocean.
* In the ''HeraldsOfValdemar'' series, Valdemar and its neighboring countries are landlocked, but are on the western side of the continent. The sea is beyond the [[LostWoods Pelagiris Forest]], which is full of monsters and WildMagic. Off east is the mysterious [[TheEmpire Eastern Empire]].
* ''Literature/AnnalsOfTheWesternShore'' rather ''has'' to have one, otherwise it would be Annals of the Eastern Shore.
* Tad Williams' series MemorySorrowAndThorn gives us vast unexplored ocean [[http://www.tadwilliams.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/osten-ard-map-english-1000x750.gif to the west]] of main land-mass where all the events happen.
* Averted in the ''[[Literature/TheCrescentMoonKingdoms Crescent Moon Kingdoms]]'' novels by Saladin Ahmed; ocean surround the lands in question on the west, south, and east.
* Barbara Hambly's series ''Literature/TheWindroseChronicles'' showcases this as well, though in the story the parallel seems to be drawn to California rather than Western Europe.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* The Old World in TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} is a not-very-subtle version of Europe (and beyond), so the layout is much the same as a real-world map. As the primary focus is on the Empire (Germany), Bretonnia (France) and the frozen, inhospitable wastelands only inhabited by desperate, drunk and brutal deformed humans (Scandinavia), that's what most of the maps show. If you look at a map of the whole world, it looks no less familiar (you just get approximations of the other continents as well).
* TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'s map works like this. In fact, there's literally nothing beyond the western border these days except the "Elemental Pole of Water" and primordial chaos.
* Inverted in ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'': the ocean is due East, which shouldn't be surprising as Rokugan is a FantasyCounterpartCulture of Japan and China.
* The ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' setting ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' core setting. Avoided in almost all other settings: In ''TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}}'', ''TabletopGame/{{Mystara}}'', and the ''Kara-Tur'' and ''Maztica'' ''[=FR=]'' [[ExpansionPackWorld supplements]], the ocean is on the right (which is only natural in the case of the latter two: [[FarEast Kara-Tur]] is on the far eastern edge of the Realms' supercontinent while [[{{Mayincatec}} Maztica]] is another continent across the ocean to the west); while in ''Red Steel'' (a spinoff of ''Mystara''), the ocean is on the south; and in ''TabletopGame/{{Dragonlance}}'', ''TabletopGame/{{Eberron}}'', ''Al-Qadim'', and ''TabletopGame/{{Birthright}}'', the map shows both coasts (Technically speaking all four in Eberron's case, since Khorvaire is an island continent ala Australia). ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' in its original release features an ocean on its western side, though in a later edition the Mists that surround it expand out to reveal an ocean on the eastern shore. Somewhat justified in that ''Ravenloft'' is an artificial demiplane whose geography is subject to change, alteration, or erasure by the Dark Powers at the drop of a hat. ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'''s [[TheMultiverse primary setting]] has no maps.
** Faerūn's east coast at the Great Ice Sea does appear on some maps as well, although it generally fulfils the trope. Later maps do show the entire planet, however, so it's more a case that the Faerūnian continent 'traditional map' fulfils the trope, but the actual world and setting does not.
* Inverted in the Dragon Empire default setting for ''TabletopGame/ThirteenthAge'', where the "monster-spawning edge of the world", the Iron Sea, is located in the east. It's unclear whether there's anything on the other side; it's a bit hard to get ships across, because of all the monsters.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic VI'': the ocean is on the east side of the map. Also avoided in ''Might and Magic VII'' and ''VIII'', as there are oceans on both sides in the former case, and on the south of the map in the latter case.
** In fact, ''all'' of the RPG games either avert or invert this trope -- beyond the ones already mentioned, I, II and IV/V showed the world from end to end (they took place on flat worlds), III was surrounded by water, and IX had water north, east and south.
* ''VideoGame/FableI'', ''VideoGame/FableII''. Based on the name of the region ("Albion"), it would seem to be a fantasy version of Britain. Based on the map from the original game, it's Wales and Cornwall plus a split-in-half Ireland, all shortly after the Ice Age.
** ''Fable III'' has its map with the east at the top, and shows a little of a new continent beyond the western ocean of Albion.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'' has the ocean located on the western side of the map. No relation to Japan, which is an island.
** Inverted with the original ''VideoGame/{{The Legend of Zelda|I}}'', where the ocean is to the east and south. Same goes for ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'', set north of the original with Death Mountain as a divider, even features another Hylian continent beyond the ocean.
** Oddly averted in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', there is no coast or ocean. The largest body of water is Lake Hylia, which is land-locked (and to the south).
*** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'', however, reveals that the westernmost desert used to be an ocean.
*** And in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening'' and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', where the ocean is '''everywhere'''.
** Both ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames'' have the ocean to the south.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'', the ocean is in the southeast.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'', where Ivalice is surrounded by ocean at the North, South, and West, but the continent (and the neighboring nation of Ordallia) continues eastward indefinitely.
** Averted in the other Ivalice games. In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'', Ivalice (this time a region in the same world) resembles a horizontally-flipped Mediterranean, while in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'', Jylland is formed from two peninsulas jutting towards each other (despite the presence of Goug city suggesting it's the same area as the original Tactics' kingdom, just in a different time).
* In the ''FireEmblem'' series, Elibe (''Sword of Seals'' and ''Blazing Blade'') and Tellius (''Path of Radiance'' and ''Radiant Dawn'') are left-justified. The majority of the maps in the series have ocean on all sides, however.
** Elibe does have a southern and northern coast as well, we just don't see anything not connected to the main landmass (beyond the Western Isles and several other islands, of course). The one unresolved aspect is whatever lies east of Sacae, itself a mass of grassy plains which ends/gets cut off on the far right of the map we get...
* {{Inverted}} in ''Franchise/DragonAge'': see the world map [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/dragonage/images/8/80/ThedasMap.jpg here]] (quite ''literally'' inverted: if you rotate and/or flip it, you'll arrive to a map that looks suspiciously like the Middle Ages Europe). Also notable for everything being set in the southern hemisphere, rather than the traditional northern one. Not that it has much impact on the generic MedievalEuropeanFantasy setting, but still.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'', where the Hoenn region has water and numerous islands to the east.
* ''VideoGame/{{Elona}}''
* The map on the ''VideoGame/BattleForWesnoth'' splash screen which is also used for most storytelling segments of the campaigns.
* Played straight in ''Myth: The Fallen Lords'' who's map also looks very similar to that of Silmarillion.
* ''VideoGame/GuildWars'': All three continents, even though one of them is an ''island'' and really should have eastern and southern borders. However, Tyria's landmass features a gigantic western peninsula (its isthmus contains an entire country) whose furthest edge is cut off the map, suggesting that there may be more land to the west.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}'' where the open ocean is on the north and east - however, this is because the map is ''literally'' an upside-down map of Europe.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/PerfectWorld'', which is rather reasonable since the game was created by Chinese.
* Played straight in ''VideoGame/StarControl II'', with Earth being located near the bottom left corner of the map (although both the Pkunk and the Ilwrath's territory was farther into that corner than Earth was). ''Star Control III'', [[FanonDiscontinuity assuming it ever happened]], took place in an unexplored part of the galaxy off to the bottom right of the map.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'': Using the Citadel as the cultural center of the galaxy, this is PlayedStraight in the Galaxy map in all three games, with the Citadel being in a star system near the far left of the map. Interestingly, Earth's territory is farther to the right on the bottom of the map, with batarian space being in the bottom right. [[spoiler: When the Reapers invaded in the third game, they started in the bottom right and worked their way up and towards the left, taking out the batarians and Earth first.]]
* ''VideoGame/JaggedAlliance 2'' used a square map with shores on the east and south. Direction of emphasis was from top-right (the location of the only airport you have access to for the majority of the game) to bottom-left (the location of the enemy-controlled capital). The original ''Jagged Alliance'' game was set on an island, but also featured advancing from right to left (this time, from your base in the bottom-right to the enemy base in the top-left).
* Averted in ''VideoGame/TheLastRemnant'', with the game's world being a Pangaea-style supercontinent.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{Achaea}}'', which initially appeared to be a single contiguous continent surrounded on all sides by water. A continent directly south has since been discovered.
* Played straight so far in ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 1}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'', being set in a future southern California, have maps justified like this.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon'' has the continent of [[http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/legendofdragoon/images/6/64/Endiness_map.png/revision/latest?cb=20130322011201 Endiness]]. Along its eastern border is an unidentified landmass, so it appears to be peninsula of sorts similar to Europe.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheDragonDoctors'' takes place in an area based off of Northern California, with deserts to the south, rain forests to the north, mountains to the east and ocean to the west. In fact, it ''is'' California, but far into the future and after the landscape has changed due to a magical disaster.
[[/folder]]
----