Archenland

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Kingdom of Archenland
Flag of Archenland (Narnia).svg
Flag of Archenland
Coat of arms of Archenland (Narnia).svg
Coat of arms of Archenland
The Chronicles of Narnia location
Other name(s) Archenland
Created by C. S. Lewis
Genre Juvenile fantasy
Type Absolute Monarchy
Notable locations Anvard (capital), Mount Pire
Notable characters King Lune, Cor, Corin

In C. S. Lewis's fantasy novels the Chronicles of Narnia, The Kingdom of Archenland is a nation to the south of the Kingdom of Narnia, and to the north of both nations' occasional (and final) enemy, the Calormen Empire. Its borders are formed by mountains to the north and by the River Winding Arrow to the south. Its capital appears to be the castle located below the Anvard pass, which allows passage to Narnia.[1][2]

Geography[edit]

Archenland is described as a hilly country of gorges and open parkland sparsely wooded with many different species of trees. It occupies the basin of the Winding Arrow, a swift river that flows to east through Archenland to the Eastern Ocean. To the north are mountains that form the border with Narnia, which include Stormness Head. To the south lie Mount Pire and the mountainous Southern March that borders on the Great Desert separating Archenland from Calormen. Secure in these geographic barriers, the kingdom has never been successfully invaded.

Castle Anvard[edit]

Anvard is the moatless castle where King Lune of Archenland resides. It is situated to the north of the Winding Arrow, and controls the main pass (and trade route) into southern Narnia. It is constructed of red-brown stones and sits on a green lawn before a high woody ridge. In The Horse and His Boy, the wicked Prince Rabadash leads a force of two hundred horsemen to surprise the castle, but he is defeated by King Edmund and captured. Castle Anvard remains the home of the kings and queens of Archenland long after the reign of King Lune.

History[edit]

In The Magician's Nephew it is said of King Frank, the first king of Narnia, that his second son became the first king of Archenland. Aslan himself had decreed Archenland's existence to Frank before he took the throne. However, in Lewis's Narnian timeline, King Col of Archenland is said to be the son of King Frank V of Narnia, and he settles Archenland 180 years after Narnia's creation .[3] Unlike Narnia, Archenland maintains an unbroken line of rulers at least until the time of The Horse and His Boy, and the main character of The Horse and His Boy, Shasta, is the heir of this line. Archenland still exists at the time of The Last Battle (year 2555).

In The Horse and His Boy, set during the reign of High King Peter and his siblings, fourteen Narnian years after the main events of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and one year before the latter book ends, Archenland is allied with Narnia and is inhabited by humans. Narnia, by contrast, is at that time populated almost entirely by talking animals. King Lune had twin sons, Cor and Corin, but Cor was kidnapped as a baby and does not return till years later. Cor grows up in Calormen as the orphan Shasta, and determines to flee Calormen for the north. Prince Rabadash of Calormen plans to conquer Archenland to facilitate invading Narnia and kidnapping Queen Susan, but Shasta reaches Anvard before Rabadash, and warns King Lune in time to destroy Rabadash's chance of taking the castle by surprise. Archenland and Narnia defeat the Calormene force, and Rabadash is taken prisoner. Shasta is subsequently recognized by Lune as the long lost Cor.

Archenland retains some degree of independence after the invasion of Narnia by Telmar. Prince Caspian is advised to flee to King Nain when his uncle, King Miraz, plans his death (year 2303).

Kings[edit]

The following are known Kings of Archenland; it can be assumed that there were other kings and queens since Archenland history spans 2355 years.

  • King Col (son of King Frank V of Narnia), fl. 180
  • King Lune, fl. 1014
  • King Cor, son of Lune, married to Aravis of Calormen, d. c.1050
  • King Ram the Great, son of Cor and Aravis, reigned from 1050
  • King Nain, fl. 2303
  • The Kingship of Archenland is not broken by either the White Witch or the Telmarines, so the line from King Frank I and Queen Helen remains unbroken, and Archenland still exists at the end of the world. It would appear that the witch's powers of repression and climate control; even use of her wand, did not extend beyond the bounds of Narnia itself. Hence the royal line and more general presence of humans in a nearby location did not directly threaten the witch.

In foreign languages[edit]

In the Russian translation of the Narnia books, Archenland is known as "Orlandia" (Орландия).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Manguel, Alberto; Gianni Guadalupi (2000). The Dictionary of Imaginary Places (Newly updated and expanded ed.). San Diego: Harcourt. p. 31. ISBN 0-15-600872-6. 
  2. ^ Duriez, Colin (2004). A field guide to Narnia. InterVarsity Press. pp. 168–169. ISBN 0-8308-3207-6. 
  3. ^ Sammons, Martha C. (2004). A Guide Through Narnia (rev. ed.). Regent College Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 1-57383-308-8.