The unexpected hype surrounding the Harry Potter books has awakened a broad interest in fantasy literature, a genre long considered somewhat inferior. Rowling''s creation, however, is not the first of its kind, but the continuation of a long-established literary tradition. From Tolkien''s Middle-earth to Pullman''s parallel universes, fantastic worlds have enchanted readers young and old for generations. This book compares these three influential series by exploring formal aspects and key fantasy characteristics. The terminology behind the concepts of fantasy literature shall be explained as well as its differentiation from other genres, such as Science Fiction. Focusing on fantasy heroes, the book looks at features like narrative technique and characterization and deals with intriguing topics such as antiheroes, ambiguous characters and the role of women. In studying the representation of evil and the Dark Lord, the multilateral setting of co-existing worlds, the differing views on witchcraft and medievalism or the dichotomy of technology and magic the author further elaborates on the similarities and differences between these unique fantastical realms.