Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Fleeing the destruction, the narrator embarks on a zigzag odyssey through the suburbs southwest of London, an area which highlights the destructive threat of the Martians by being supposedly safest and most prosperous.
*Weybridge. Prosperous Surrey town on the River Thames where the narrator witnesses the first of the Martian war machines to be destroyed by a lucky artillery shot. This victory, however, is offset by the appearance of the curate, a weak and cowardly figure who is used to represent some of the worst aspects of human character.
*London. Great Britain’s capital city. The narrator’s own eyewitness account of the invasion cannot encompass the whole picture that Wells wants to present, so he interpolates the story of the narrator’s cousin in London, who is also a man of science and hence a dispassionate reporter. At first, away from the fighting and getting only confused and intermittent reports of what is happening in Surrey, the reader is given an image of a great Victorian city enjoying its wealth, power, and confidence. When reports do come through, the people initially behave well, but this confidence is quickly broken when London itself comes under attack. In the exodus from the city that then follows, kaleidoscopic scenes of panic, cruelty, greed, selfishness, and violence are presented. This image is set against that of heroism presented by the gunboat which manages to destroy two of the Martian war machines before being destroyed itself.
*Sheen. Suburb of London. By this stage, the comfortable little towns on the outskirts of London have become ruined and depopulated, the very image of Victorian success laid low. It is in Sheen that the narrator and the curate become trapped in the cellar of a house when a Martian cylinder lands beside them. This allows, for the first time, close and prolonged observation of the Martians, during which the reader learns, for example, that they are using captured humans for food. However, this is contrasted with the final breakdown of the relationship between the narrator and the curate, as the latter tries to gorge on their small but carefully hoarded food supply.
*Putney Hill. Suburb of London. After escaping from the ruined house, the narrator’s journey takes him on along the south bank of the Thames toward London. It is on Putney Hill, at this point a landscape not unlike Horsell Common, that he meets again with the artilleryman with whom he had escaped from Woking. The narrator’s odyssey has seen a gradual stripping away of the veneer of civilization, and the artilleryman now presents a fantasy of guerrilla warfare, of collaboration with the invaders, and of a new but far more primitive human society. It becomes clear that the artilleryman cannot even live up to the crude ideals of his new society: Victorian society, it is implied, is barely a step away from savagery. Meanwhile it is the narrator, the man of science, who is thus somewhat outside society, who goes on to London to discover the Martians killed by bacteria.