Wood between the Worlds

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The Wood between the Worlds is a forest-type linking room location in the novel The Magician's Nephew, part of The Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis.

Description[edit]

It is first so named by Polly Plummer, who arrives there when Digory Kirke's Uncle Andrew tricks her into touching and taking a magic yellow ring, which instantaneously transports her into the wood. She falls asleep, and when Digory arrives later the children are both disoriented and at first they aren’t sure how long they have been there or even who they are. This state of lassitude that both children fall into is explained as the result of the Wood being a place where nothing ever happens, unlike the different worlds it connects (where events do occur). Later, Empress Jadis of Charn is brought to the wood and appears to fall ill because of it, weakening so that the children are stronger than she. After leaving the Wood between the Worlds, Jadis soon recovers but never mentions the Wood. Digory speculates that her mind is unable to hold memories of the Wood.

Geography[edit]

The Wood is described as having a warm temperature and containing a large number of leafy trees with canopy foliage so thick that the sky (assuming there is one) cannot be seen from the ground. Despite the thick foliage, a strong light does penetrate to the woodland floor, clearly illuminating objects. The salient feature of the wood, other than the trees, is the presence of many pools of water. Initially, the pools appear to be just shallow puddles. However, when someone jumps into one of the pools while wearing another magic ring, the pool of water transports the wearer to a different world. When a world is destroyed by having all life removed (like what happened to Charn in The Magician's Nephew), the pool dries up.

Nature of the wood[edit]

The wood is implied to be a place linking all worlds, including Narnia, Charn, and Earth. A sense of slothfulness grips all visitors, including Jadis. It could be considered a multiverse of sorts, existing outside the normal physical realities. In Paul F. Ford's Pocket Companion to Narnia, a diagram shows the Wood Between the Worlds to be located in Aslan's Country, sitting on top of all worlds.

References in other works[edit]

Lev Grossman's novels The Magicians and The Magician King feature a place called the Neitherlands, which similarly links various worlds through pools of water. Where the Wood Between the Worlds is a forest, the Neitherlands is distinctly urban, with the pools taking the form of fountains in city squares. Like the Wood, the Neitherlands has an ill effect on one of the characters. It is revealed in The Magician King that a person can linger indefinitely in the Neitherlands without growing hungry, indicating that it, too, is a place where nothing happens.