It occurred to me just recently while revisiting this story, that I've never considered where all this is happening. Although it's true that we as the audience are supposed to care more about the story itself, I'm still curious all the same.

Now, though I have more than enough reason to believe that most if not all of the places in the book and film are creations of Beagle, I still feel like there's either a world he created where this takes place or at least a nation for the world to more or less represent.

Any ideas?


2 Answers 2


The setting is most definitely a fictionalised version of our own world. Within the first few pages of the source novel there's a reference to Arab horses

For a moment the man was very close to her, and her great eyes stared into his own, which were small and tired and amazed. Then she turned and fled up the road, running so swiftly that those who saw her exclaimed, “Now there’s a horse! There’s a real horse!” One old man said quietly to his wife, “That’s an Ayrab horse. I was on a ship with an Ayrab horse once.”

and Old French

“They ride that horse you call the Macedonai,” he intoned absentmindedly, and then, very clearly, “Unicorn. Old French, unicorne. Latin, unicornis. Literally, one-horned: unus, one, and cornu, a horn. A fabulous animal resembling a horse with one horn. Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold and the mate of the Nancy brig. Has anybody here seen Kelly?” He strutted joyously in the air, and the first fireflies blinked around him in wonder and grave doubt.

and giving it english (a uniquely American expression, it should be noted)

All that Schmendrick remembered later of his wild ride with the outlaws was the wind, the saddle’s edge, and the laughter of the jingling giant. He was too busy brooding over the ending of his hat trick to notice much else. Too much english, he suggested to himself. Overcompensation. But he shook his head, which was difficult in his position. The magic knows what it wants to do, he thought, bouncing as the horse dashed across a creek. But I never know what it knows. Not at the right time, anyway. I’d write it a letter, if I knew where it lived.

As to the precise setting, some of the action takes place in the town of Hagsgate, in the Kingdom of King Haggard. While this would suggest a fictionalised England, we know that England actually exists in this world (somewhere) so it can't be there.

  • 1
    Interesting info. Would it be possible that both "Haggardia" and England could coexist? King Haggard's kingdom may not encompass the entirety of what we call England. Aug 12, 2017 at 23:23
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    @A.M.Neville - It's certainly possible. My instinct is that this kingdom kinda sits (metaphorically) off to one side of England.
    – Valorum
    Aug 12, 2017 at 23:29

My reasoning is that the last unicorn takes place somewhere along the shores of eastern Europe. Maybe alone the south coast of France near the Gibraltar straight (as it looks rocky enough for Haggard's kingdom), or possibly southeastern Spain or Portugal. I get the feeling that the world of The Last Unicorn is very expansive, more-so than England itself could ever provide.

In one of the scenes we see the unicorn crossing an expansive rocky desert region. England has no such regions. But areas near the Mediterranean sea are desert-like; rocky and such. There was a book about famous unicorn tales which also told of said locations. One of those was about the last unicorn. Sadly I can't remember the book though I could check it out since I work at a bookstore.

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