It has come down to this...
Below are listed the castles ranked #10-#2
#10 Hyrule Castle (yup still there)
#9 Fortress of Solitude
#8 King Triton's Castle
#7 Sultan's Palace
#5 Beast's Castle
#4 Cinderella's Castle (Disneyworld)
#3 Minas Tirith
#2 Sleeping Beauty's Castle (Disney Land)
Before we reveal the #1 castle of all time, I think it's appropriate to list an honorable mention that deserves recognition:
THE DEATH STAR: "That's no moon"
Why it should have made it:
The death star represents what castles will be in 24th century and beyond. The natural evolution of the castle is the space station. The natural evolution of the space station is the space FORTRESS -- the structure that will contain one's army and represent the total destruction of neighboring planets. The death star is one thing: intimidation. Fear and intimidation keep the surrounding star systems in check. Fear of this battle station. The Death Star is the colt .45, the weapon of mass destruction, the impenetrable fortress, the advent of doom.
Why it didn't make it:
No matter what, in the end, I did have hard time convincing myself that the death star is a castle. Although I tried a variety of analogies and situations I just couldn't do it. What killed it for me is that I consider castles to be defensive. It would be hard to convince myself that the death star was anything but an offensive juggernaut.
So, here we are. Looks like we made it guys. I would like to thank you all for your attention and belief in this project. I now reward you all with my final post on this topic -- The #1 Fictional Castle of all time.
#1 Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy
Unlike any other castle on this list, Hogwarts is a main character in the story from where it comes. Consider that fact. Hogwarts is given detail and attention to a level that no other castle can remotely claim. Trust me guys, this isn't even that close. Despite being a school, Hogwarts offers much more than simple classrooms and dormitories. The schools' headmasters and legendary students can only honestly say that they know fractions about the space that they consistently occupy every day. The castle was built originally by four of the greatest witches and wizards of the age: Helga Hufflepuff, Relena Ravenclaw, Godric Gryffindor, and Salazar Slytherin. The castle was meant to be a place to teach young witches and wizards about themselves and the potential that lay within them all. To achieve this, they fucking loaded the place.
Let us consider what this castle has to offer us: An owlery, a forbidden forest, a quidditch field, several greenhouses, several towers (one of which is soley used for the purpose of studying astronomy), a mirror that will show you whatever you desire, a room that will give you whatever you need, ghosts, a chamber filled with a giant serpent (or the remains of one i guess), a phoenix, a giant loch with mermaids, secret passages to candy shops and ghost houses, and its own fucking train. The list goes on and on and on and on.
Another key for this castle is the fact that there is a DEFINING rendition that does not belong only to one medium. Seriously. JK Rowling was consulted in the making of the 8 Harry Potter movies and one of the keys for her was making sure that the Hogwarts Castle fit the definition of what was mentioned in the book. As such, the various video games (lego and otherwise), 8 feature films, lego creations, and recently created theme park all have given us a rendition of this castle that is in the purest sense LEGIT. This is important to consider. When someone mentions Hogwarts to you an image pops into your head. If I took a look at that image I would know exactly what you were thinking about. There are therefore, no misconceptions (see: sleeping beauty, cinderella, and camelot).
Another point that i'd like to make about this castle is that it succeeds as a DEFENSIVE structure. Many of the aforementioned buildings (specifically, Hyrule castle ;) ) have failed in this respect. The castle achieves its defensive prowess in a variety of fashions. To prevent muggles from being able to see it, the original 4 placed spells around the castle making it appear as ruins to the occipital lobes of non-magical folks. The castle itself prevents magicians from being able to apparate and disapparate within the walls of the castle. In fact, only one gentleman has succeeded in trying to do this. And he is as legit as they come.
Simply put, the castle is pretty much a combination of all things that one could ask for in a place. No one can legitimately say that it is not original. No one can legitimately say that it isn't detailed. And, finally, no one cannot say that it has not had a lasting impression on those that have heard about it. The place is an international phenomenon and it was created within the mind of a single individual. It's a powerful idea. One that we should consider going forward when creating our own castle.
Seriously? You know what. I'll leave this one up to you folks.
Element We shall steal for our next castle:
The most dope thing would be the mirror of erised. Honestly though, the mirror of erised would be useless in our future castle because all I would see is a bunch of my friends hanging out in the castle that it is situated.
A castle of our own is not inconceivable and is certainly not just something that belongs in the reflection of a mirror. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Dumbledore says that men have wasted away in front of the mirror obsessing over what they see. This implies that they would rather consider the things that they want most instead of actively pursuing them. Consider this...