Mr. Tumnus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Narnia character
180px-Mr Tumnus-1-.jpg
In-universe information
Mr Tumnus (by Maurice Harron (2016), CS Lewis Square, Belfast).

Tumnus is a faun in the Narnia books written by C. S. Lewis, primarily in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe but also briefly in The Horse and His Boy and in The Last Battle. He is the first creature Lucy Pevensie meets in Narnia and becomes her first friend in the kingdom. Lewis wrote that the first Narnia story, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, all came to him from a single picture he had in his head of a faun carrying an umbrella and parcels through a snowy wood. Tumnus thus became the initial inspiration for the entire Narnia series.[1]


Lewis describes Tumnus as having reddish skin, curly hair, brown eyes, a short pointed beard, horns on his forehead, cloven hooves, goat legs with glossy black hair, a "strange but pleasant little face," a long tail, and being "only a little taller than Lucy herself."

Tumnus first appears when Lucy arrives in Narnia at the lamp post. He invites her back to his cave for tea, during which, they talk about Narnia. Tumnus plays an evocative tune on his flute, but when Lucy says that she has to go, he bursts into tears because he was ashamed of himself. He confesses that he is in the pay of the White Witch (Jadis), who rules Narnia and has made it always winter but never Christmas. She had ordered him and the other Narnians to hand over any Sons of Adam or Daughters of Eve—humans—that he sees in Narnia. Tumnus, despite knowing that the Witch will find out and is likely to punish him severely if he disobeys her orders, quickly realises that he cannot bring himself to give up Lucy to the Witch, so he guides her back to the lamp-post to see that she returns safely to her own world.

When Lucy returns to Narnia a few days later, Tumnus is still safe: evidently the White Witch has not discovered his disobedience. However, Lucy's brother Edmund enters Narnia shortly afterward and mentions to the White Witch that his sister had visited Narnia before and met a faun—even though he does not name the faun as Tumnus.

When Lucy and her siblings subsequently come to Narnia, they find that Tumnus has been arrested by Maugrim, Chief of the White Witch's secret police, and is awaiting trial on a charge of high treason which involves harbouring spies and fraternizing with humans. Tumnus had spoken to Mr Beaver of his fears not long before his arrest and asked him to guide the four children if he found them in Narnia. The children meet Mr Beaver just after leaving Tumnus's ransacked cave.

Later in the story, when the winter has come to an end and Aslan is preparing an army to take on the White Witch, Lucy and Susan find Tumnus petrified as a statue in the Witch's castle, and he is restored by Aslan. He follows the other Narnians to the battle as the Witch is defeated and killed.

Years later, he is the one who tells the Kings and Queens that the White Stag has been spotted near his home. Their hunt for it leads to their disappearance from Narnia and the end of the Golden Age.

In The Horse and His Boy, Tumnus appears as a royal adviser to the four Pevensie monarchs (fourteen years later, according to Lewis's Narnian Timeline). He devises a ruse for escaping from Calormen, thereby saving Queen Susan from being forcibly married to Prince Rabadash, and the other Narnians, including her brother Edmund, from certain death trying to defend her.

He and Lucy eventually meet again in Aslan's Country in The Last Battle.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ C.S. Lewis. On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature. 1982, p. 53. ISBN 0-15-668788-7