James McAvoy as Tumnus in the 2005 film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
|Major character in|
|Portrayals in adaptations|
|1988 BBC miniseries : Jeffrey Perry|
|2005 Walden/Disney film: James McAvoy|
Tumnus is a fictional character in C. S. Lewis' series The Chronicles of Narnia. He is featured prominently in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and also appears in The Horse and His Boy and The Last Battle. He is close friends with Lucy Pevensie and is the first creature she meets in Narnia, as well as the first Narnian to be introduced in the series. Lewis said 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. In that way, Tumnus was the initial inspiration for the entire Narnia series.
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 brown hair, a "strange but pleasant little face," a long tail, and being, "only a little taller than Lucy herself."
He first appears in the story when Lucy arrives in Narnia at the lamp-post. He introduces himself to Lucy and she tells him who she is, before inviting her back to his cave for dinner. During dinner, they have a conversation about Narnia before Tumnus starts playing his flute and Lucy falls asleep. When Lucy wakes up she sees him break down in tears. 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 quickly realises that he can't bear to give Lucy up to the Witch, and 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 there and neither of them can understand how the White Witch hasn't found out about him harbouring her. However, when Lucy and her siblings come to Narnia a while afterwards, they find that Tumnus has been captured by Maugrim, Chief of the White Witch's secret police. However, he had spoken to Mr. Beaver not long before his arrest and told him to act as a guide to the four children if he saw them in Narnia. He had told Mr. Beaver that he feared that he would soon be arrested. A bird witnessed Tumnus's arrest and told Mr Beaver that the chief of the police and Tumnus were last seen "heading northwards" - in the direction of the White Witch's castle.
They met 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 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.
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 originally appeared in the 1988 BBC miniseries of The Chronicles of Narnia played by actor Jeffrey Perry.
- Tumnus appears in the 2005 film The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Tumnus has light skin, blue eyes, brown legs, and a stubbly little tail. In this film he is the character that crowns the four Pevensie children at Cair Paravel. He was portrayed by actor James McAvoy.
In popular culture
Tumnus appears in an episode of Family Guy. Looking for a missing sock in the dryer, Peter Griffin falls in and enters the land of Narnia. He is greeted by Tumnus, who has his missing sock. Tumnus also appears in the South Park trilogy, "Imaginationland", and in Epic Movie as he explains to Lucy that he is a faun. He is also portrayed by Héctor Jiménez in Epic Movie.
- C.S. Lewis. On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature. 1982, p. 53. ISBN 0-15-668788-7