Narnia (world)

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Narnia
Narnian.world.map.jpg
A map of the Narnian world
The Chronicles of Narnia location
Creator C. S. Lewis
Genre Juvenile fantasy
Type Fantasy world
Notable locations Narnia (country), Calormen
Notable characters Aslan, White Witch, Lucy, Mr. Tumnus

Narnia is a fantasy world created by C. S. Lewis as the primary location for his series of seven fantasy novels for children, The Chronicles of Narnia. The world is so called after the country of Narnia, in which much of the action of the Chronicles takes place.

In Narnia, some animals can talk, mythical beasts abound, and magic is common. The series tracks the story of Narnia when humans, usually children, enter the Narnian world from 'our world', or Earth.

Geography[edit]

Narnia[edit]

Coat of arms of Narnia

The country of Narnia is where most of the action of the series is set. According to the mythology of the series, Narnia was created by the great lion, Aslan, and is filled with talking animals and mythical creatures. C. S. Lewis may have taken the name from the Italian town of Narni, whose Latin name was in fact Narnia. Narnia features rolling hills rising into low mountains to the south, and is predominantly forested except for marshlands in the north. The region is bordered on the east by the Eastern Ocean, on the west by a great mountain range, on the north by the River Shribble, and on the south by Archenland.

The Great River of Narnia enters the country from the northwest and flows to the Eastern Ocean. At its mouth lies Cair Paravel, the seat of High King Peter and his siblings. Other communities along the river include, from east to west, Beruna, Beaversdam, and Chippingford.

Archenland[edit]

Coat of arms of Archenland

Archenland is a mountainous country south of Narnia. It is bordered on the north by Narnia and on the south by the Winding Arrow river. The seat of government is at Anvard, in the heart of the country, a fortified area. No other towns or villages are mentioned in the Chronicles. It is described as being somewhat open parkland, with many different varieties of trees scattered far enough apart so as to not constitute a forest – but it is mostly a mountainous country. Archenland is allied with Narnia, as is shown in The Horse and His Boy. Unlike Narnia, Archenland is inhabited by humans and is governed by Men. The second son of King Frank I of Narnia became the first King of Archenland. For reasons not explained in the Chronicles, the line of King Frank survived here (at least until the time of High King Peter) but failed in Narnia itself.

Calormen[edit]

Calormen is a semi-arid empire in the south of the world of Narnia. Notable geographic features include the Flaming Mountain of Lagour (a volcano) and the Great Desert. The Great Desert is in the northern part of the country, and the difficulty of crossing it discouraged the Calormenes from invading Archenland and Narnia.

The capital of Calormen is Tashbaan, located on an island near the mouth of the River of Calormen,[1] which flows from west to east in the north of Calormen, just south of the Great Desert. Gardens and pleasure houses line the river valley for several miles above the city. North of the river, on the margins of the desert, lie the royal tombs.

The city of Azim Balda, to the south of Tashbaan, is a hub where many roads meet; it hosts the government's postal system.[2]

Narnia never was on very good terms with Calormen, because of Calormen's desire to dominate the countries around it. However, Narnia's strong association with magic - both that of The White Witch and of Aslan and the humans associated with Aslan - often discouraged Calormen from launching a full-scale invasion, despite the great disparity in size.

Eastern Ocean[edit]

Numerous islands and archipelagoes dot the Eastern Ocean. Most notable among these are Galma, the Seven Isles, The Lone Islands (a subject of the Narnian crown), and Terebinthia. At the far end of the Eastern Ocean the geography becomes completely fantastic (as a result of the Narnian world being flat) where the sky meets the surface of the earth; in addition, it is implied that a passage to Aslan's Country is located there. The easternmost Ocean is described as having "sweet" water, capable of sating both hunger and thirst, and is completely covered by large lilies. The sea becomes progressively more shallow the further East one travels, eventually terminating in a gigantic standing wave. Beyond the wave can be seen the "impossibly tall" mountains of Aslan's Country.

Other lands[edit]

Coat of arms of Telmar

To the north of Narnia lie Ettinsmoor and the Wild Lands of the North, both inhabited by giants and dragons. The most prominent settlement is the House of Harfang, a community of giants that is apparently the remnant of a much larger city (Giant City Ruinous) which was abandoned generations ago and fell into ruin.

The land west of Narnia is an uninhabited region of rugged mountains known as the Western Wild. The land of Telmar lies somewhere beyond this region, but its exact location was never documented - forgotten even by the Telmarines who invaded Narnia - and beyond it are the western islands. In the Western Wild is the hill upon which Digory and Polly took an apple from to plant a tree of protection for Narnia. This hill has atop it a gated garden with fruit trees growing inside.

Underland is located in great caverns deep beneath the ground of Narnia. The land of Bism lies far below Underland. To the north are caverns containing Father Time and other mythological creatures who appear at the end of the world.

Inspiration[edit]

The landscape of Lewis' native Ireland, in particular Ulster played a large part in the creation of the Narnian landscape. In his essay On Stories, Lewis wrote "I have seen landscapes, notably in the Mourne Mountains and southwards which under a particular light made me feel that at any moment a giant might raise his head over the next ridge". In a letter to his brother, Lewis would later confide "that part of Rostrevor which overlooks Carlingford Lough is my idea of Narnia". Although in adult life Lewis lived in England, he returned to Northern Ireland often and retained fond memories of the Irish scenery, saying "I yearn to see County Down in the snow; one almost expects to see a march of dwarfs dashing past. How I long to break into a world where such things were true."

Inhabitants[edit]

see also: Narnia Creatures and Narnia Characters

Humans from Earth[edit]

A total of eleven named humans from Earth entered Narnia: four boys, two men, four girls, and a woman. Humans from Earth are sometimes referred to as Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve by Narnians, a reference to first humans in the Biblical account of creation.

The four Pevensie children are the best known: Peter Pevensie (High King Peter the Magnificent), Susan Pevensie (Queen Susan the Gentle), Edmund Pevensie (King Edmund the Just), and Lucy Pevensie (Queen Lucy the Valiant). All of them appear in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and in Prince Caspian. Edmund and Lucy appear in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and three (all except Peter, who is out fighting giants on the northern frontier) appear as adults in The Horse and his Boy.

Others from our world include King Frank, formerly a cabman in London, and his wife Queen Helen, who were the first King and Queen of Narnia and whose descendants lived in Narnia for many generations. They, together with Andrew Ketterley, Digory Kirke, and Polly Plummer appear in The Magician's Nephew. Eustace Scrubb, a cousin of the Pevensies, appears in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair, and Jill Pole, a schoolmate of Scrubb's, also appears in The Silver Chair. All of these except Susan Pevensie and Andrew Ketterley appear in The Last Battle.

Six pirates and six women came from our world to the unpeopled land of Telmar and founded the race of the Telmarines. As Aslan says in Prince Caspian, they accidentally found in a cave "one of the chinks or chasms between that world and this", and he adds, "There were many chinks or chasms between worlds in old times, but they have grown rarer. This was one of the last: I do not say the last." So quite possibly others came to Narnia from our world as well, but Lewis did not record their histories for us.

Jadis, the white witch, is said to be descended from Adam's first wife Lilith (see below).

Dwarfs[edit]

Dwarfs are native to Narnia. They are called Sons of Earth by Aslan, as opposed to humans, who are called Sons of Adam or Daughters of Eve. Dwarfs exist in at least two varieties: Black Dwarfs and Red Dwarfs, distinguished by the colour of their hair. While many Red Dwarfs are kind and loyal to Aslan, Black Dwarfs appear to be more selfish and hostile. Dwarfs appearing in the books are male and live together in communities, although they are known to mingle with and reproduce with humans. For example, Prince Caspian's Tutor Cornelius is a half-dwarf, and Caspian's former nurse is described as "a little old woman who looked as if she had dwarf blood in her".

Dwarfs, like fauns, satyrs, the river god and his Naiad daughters and the tree people (deities of the woods) stepped forth when Aslan (in The Magician's Nephew) called for Narnia to "Awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters."[3] The dwarfs were presumably born of the earth, as the Dryads were of the trees and the Naiads of the waters. Dwarfs appear as the King's train-bearers at the coronation of King Frank. (Naiads held Queen Helen's robes[3]) In keeping with their character as sons of Earth, the dwarfs are skilled and prolific smiths, miners, and carpenters. In battle they are renowned as deadly archers. A Dwarf can walk all day and night.[4]

Lewis' dwarfs bear some resemblance—though are not identical with—those depicted by his friend Tolkien in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; both draw on the depiction of dwarfs in Germanic mythology.[citation needed]

Talking animals[edit]

Strawberry, the cabman's horse, also entered Narnia from our world and there was chosen to be a talking beast and transformed into the winged horse Fledge.

Many of the animals found in our world can also be found in Narnia. In addition, there are talking versions of most of these animals. When Aslan breathed upon the first animal pairs, some not only gained thought and speech, but changed in size as well. Smaller animals (rodents, birds and small mammals) are larger than their non-talking relatives and larger animals are slightly smaller. Talking beasts can be divided into three main categories: Avian, Mammal, and Reptile. There are no talking fish or insects.

It is specifically mentioned that there were no talking mice to begin with, and that Aslan added them later as a reward for the mice's kindness in cutting his ropes after he was killed by the White Witch.

In Narnian law and custom, talking animals are persons, fully the equal of humans; killing and eating them is tantamount to murder and cannibalism. On the other hand, killing and eating a non-talking animal is a completely acceptable act. Thus, for example, three talking bears are among the loyal adherents of Prince Caspian, but later on in the same book a non-talking bear is killed and eaten and Lewis gives a detailed description of how its flesh was cooked.

Witches[edit]

Two Witches appear as characters in the Narnian books, the White Witch (Jadis, Empress of Charn, or the "White Lady") and the Lady of the Green Kirtle (or "the Green Lady"). Long after Lewis's death, character sketches appeared in later editions of the books that seem to indicate that these two witches are the same, but these notes are not due to Lewis (See the Lady of the Green Kirtle for more discussion).

Jadis is the last scion of the royal house of Charn, though in Narnian rumor she is said to be descended from Adam's first wife Lilith (a mythological Mesopotamian storm demon) and to have both Jinn and Giant blood in her veins. According to the Beavers, she has no human blood at all, although she has the appearance of a very tall human woman. When Jadis first entered Narnia at its creation, she ate a fruit that gave her immortality. Then she fled to the north, where she spent nine hundred years gathering strength to invade and conquer Narnia, causing the 100 years Winter. She was killed by Aslan in the First Battle of Beruna.

The Green Lady transforms herself into a huge green serpent twice in The Silver Chair: once when she kills Rilian's mother, and once when she tries to kill Rilian himself and his companions. Most of her other powers seem to be related to seduction and enslavement; she has bewitched and enslaved Rilian and an army of underground gnomes, and almost succeeds in bewitching Jill, Eustace, and Puddleglum using magic powder and a musical instrument.

Mythological creatures[edit]

Other inhabitants of the Narnian world based on known mythological or folkloric creatures include Boggles, Centaurs, Cruels, Dragons, Dryads, Earthmen (the Narnian version of gnomes), Efreets, Ettins, Fauns, Giants, Ghouls, Griffins, Hags, Hamadryads, Horrors, Incubi, Maenads, Merpeople, Minotaurs, Monopods, Naiads, Ogres, Orknies (perhaps from Old English orcneas "walking dead"),[5] Winged Horses, People of the Toadstools, Phoenix, Satyrs, Sea Peoples (a version of the merpeople), Sea serpents, Sylvans, Spectres, Sprites, Star People, Trolls, Unicorns, Werewolves, Wooses, and Wraiths. These are a free mix of creatures from Greco-Roman sources and others from native British tradition.[6]

Other creatures and inhabitants[edit]

Narnia is inhabited by Marsh-wiggles (creatures of Lewis' own invention), and Dufflepuds (adapted from Pliny's Monopods) live on a distant island. There are also many singular beings who frequent or inhabit Narnia and its surrounding countries including: the River god, Bacchus, Father Christmas, Father Time, Pomona, Silenus, and Tash. It should also be noted that the Stars themselves are sentient beings within Narnia. Coriakin, the Magician, who rules over the Dufflepud/Monopods, and Ramandu, whose daughter marries Caspian X, are both stars who, for various reasons, are earth-bound. Both of these individuals were encountered in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Cosmology[edit]

General characteristics[edit]

The world of Narnia is a flat world in a geocentric universe. Its sky is a dome that mortal creatures cannot penetrate. When traveling eastwards (and presumably in other directions as well) one would eventually reach a literal End of the World, where the dome of the sky touches the earth and it is impossible to go further.

Narnia's stars are burning humanoid beings. Its constellations are the result of a mystical dance upon the sky, performed by the stars to announce the works and comings of Aslan, Narnia's creator. The stars also arrange themselves to allow seers to foretell certain future events.[7]

The Narnian sun is a flaming disc that revolves around the world once daily. The sun has its own ecosystem, and is thought to be inhabited by great white birds, which appear in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Some of the vegetation on the sun is known to contain healing properties. For example, the extract of a certain fire-flower found in the mountains can heal any wound or sickness, and a fire-berry that grows in its valleys, when eaten by a fallen star named Ramandu, works to reverse the effects of age.

Suggested by several of the books, the ground of Narnia may be a living organism. In The Silver Chair, the main characters find a land named Bism many miles below Narnia, in which diamonds and other jewels provide juice when crushed or squeezed. They find the idea unbelievable until a gnome explains that the precious stones found in Bism are real, not dead like the ones found in the "shallow" mines made by dwarfs and others who live on the surface.

Multiverse[edit]

The Narnian world is part of a multiverse of many worlds including Earth and the world of Charn. These are connected by a meta-world or linking room known as the Wood between the Worlds. This space takes the form of a dense forest with many pools of water. With appropriate magic (or a device such as rings made from the soil), each pool leads to a different world. The Wood between the Worlds seems to affect the magic and strength of the White Witch, who becomes weak and ill when taken there.

The Narnia book The Magician's Nephew in its second paragraph says "In those days Sherlock Holmes was still living in Baker Street and the Bastables were looking for treasure in the Lewisham Road." This suggests that the Earth end of the Narnia stories, and the Sherlock Holmes stories, and The Story of the Treasure Seekers, happen in the same fictional universe.

Time[edit]

Earth visitors to Narnia typically find that a visit to Narnia lasts longer in Narnia (sometimes much longer) than the corresponding period of their absence from Earth. How much longer appears to be arbitrary — for example, in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Lucy's first visit to Narnia lasts hours and the four children's main adventure there lasts several years; but each time, they are gone from Earth for at most a few seconds. Visiting Narnia one always finds that more time passed there than on Earth, but there does not seem a fixed rate: between The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Prince Caspian about a thousand years passed in Narnia, but between that and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader only three years, and to The Silver Chair several decades.


History[edit]

Creation of Narnia[edit]

In the year 1, the Creation of Narnia was witnessed by six creatures: Jadis: Empress of Charn, Digory Kirke, Polly Plummer, Andrew Ketterley, Frank the cabman, and his cab horse Strawberry. During a failed attempt by Digory to transfer Jadis from London in our world back to her own world of Charn, the group arrived in the unmade darkness of Narnia just prior to Aslan calling it into being.

Aslan began the creation soon after they arrived, and with his song called forth the stars, sun, and eventually all landforms, plants, and animals as well. When he was finished, Aslan selected certain animals from these to be Talking Animals, giving to them, and all other magical creatures, Narnia as their new home, to own and rule it with wisdom and caring.

Aslan next appointed its first rulers, the cabby and his wife, as King Frank I and Queen Helen (the cabby's wife Nellie was called into Narnia by Aslan soon afterwards), and commanded them to rule peacefully over the talking beasts. Aware that the evil Witch-Queen Jadis had entered his new land, Aslan sent Digory to retrieve a magic apple from a garden in the Western Wild beyond Narnia. When Digory returned, the apple was planted by the river where it immediately grew into a tree which as Aslan explained would protect Narnia from Jadis for many years.

Aslan allowed Digory to take an apple from the new tree back to our world for his ill mother. After she had eaten it, Digory planted the core in his garden where it grew into a great apple tree. Many years later, the tree was blown down in a storm and Digory (who is now a professor), had its wood made into the wardrobe that figures in the title of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe — for this wardrobe became the entrance through which the Pevensies would discover Narnia.

Rule of the White Witch[edit]

During the Age of Conquest, Narnia remained at peace for hundreds of years after its creation until Jadis the Witch-Queen returned as the White Witch in 898. She conquered Narnia and reigned as a tyrant in 900, using her wand to turn anyone who crossed her into stone. With her magic she covered the land in perpetual ice and snow, making it "always winter and never Christmas"; so began Narnia's Age of Winter. Though she claimed to be Queen of Narnia and Châtelaine of Cair Paravel, Jadis ruled from her own fortress in the north where her halls were lined with Narnians she had turned to stone.

By this time, Narnia's humans have either died out or had been driven out (though humans remained in Archenland and Calormen at the time). Jadis feared a prophecy that "when Adam's flesh and Adam's bone sit at Cair Paravel in throne, the evil time will be over and done." Her spies were thus always watching for human intruders. A hundred years into the endless winter, Lucy Pevensie entered Narnia and was befriended by Tumnus the Faun, and Lucy and her siblings managed to reach Aslan before Jadis could kill them. In the year 1000 under Aslan's influence the Witch's spells were broken and the winter came to an end. Aslan restored the Narnians whom the Witch had turned into stone, and killed the Witch herself at the First Battle of Beruna and so ended the Age of Winter and began the Golden Age of Narnia.

Golden Age[edit]

After the defeat of the Witch in 1000, Aslan fulfilled the ancient Narnian prophecy and made the four Pevensie children — Peter, Susan, Edmund, and LucyKings and Queens of Narnia. The ensuing prosperity inaugurated Narnia's Golden Age. In the first few years, the Pevensies vanquished the remnants of the White Witch's Army. They also had to contend with other countries that had feared Jadis, but grew bolder after her death. The Pevensies drove back the northern giants and in 1014 defeated an invading army from Calormen (as related in The Horse and his Boy). The two Kings and two Queens were always triumphant, and during the fifteen years of their reign Narnia was a safe and happy land. In 1015, the Pevensies left the Narnian world and returned to Earth, and so the Golden Age of Narnia ended. Lewis tells little of the following years until the invasion of the Telmarines.

Dark Age[edit]

What happened between the disappearance of the Pevensies in 1015 and the Telmarine Invasion in 1998 is unclear. What is stated in the timeline is that Aravis and Cor's son of Archenland named Ram the Great became king in 1050 and Swanwhite II became the queen of Narnia in 1502.

Invasion of the Telmarines[edit]

In the year 1998, Narnia was invaded by a people from the West called the Telmarines, descendants of pirates from our world and so began the Telmarine Age of Narnia. Led by Caspian I, they left their land in the West to escape a great famine and reached Narnia by crossing a pass in the mountains. After years of Telmarine rule, the native "Old Narnians" decreased in number and went into hiding. Humans became the dominant species. By the time of the birth of Caspian X (a direct descendent of Caspian I), the old days of Narnia were widely regarded as legendary and knowledge of the Old Narnians was actively suppressed by Telmarine Kings. People began to fear the woods and the sea, and to forget that the old creatures had once lived there.

The Reign of Caspian X[edit]

Peter Pevensie, and his siblings were recalled to Narnia 1288 Narnian years after their departure in the Narnian year 2303. Narnia was then ruled by the Telmarine King Miraz, who had murdered his brother Caspian IX and usurped the throne. Miraz planned to murder the true heir, his nephew Prince Caspian after the birth of his unnamed own son. Caspian had learned of Old Narnia and its creatures and had become sympathetic to their plight. The four Pevensies helped Caspian defeat Miraz at the Second Battle of Beruna, and Caspian recovered the throne.

Lucy and Edmund came to Narnia once again three years later with their cousin Eustace in the year 2306, and sailed with Caspian aboard the ship Dawn Treader. Caspian undertook this journey to find the Seven Great Lords of Narnia who had been banished by Miraz to the far Eastern Seas beyond the Lone Islands. Caspian restored Narnian control over the Lone Islands (which had lapsed under Telmarine rule) and explored the unknown eastern islands to the very edge of the world. The explorers had many adventures, including fighting a sea serpent, encountering a wizard and his invisible subjects, and Eustace being turned briefly into a dragon.

Caspian married the daughter of a star named Ramandu. After the birth of their son Rilian, the Queen was killed by a witch in the form of a serpent, and Rilian, by then a young man, disappeared while searching for her.

Eustace was drawn back to Narnia in the year 2356 along with a school friend, Jill Pole, to find that the passage of time had left Caspian an old man. Caspian's son Rilian had disappeared, and as Caspian embarked on a final voyage to seek Aslan's advice about the succession, the children and Puddleglum the Marsh-wiggle began their own search for Rilian. This took them to the Wild Lands of the North, inhabited by giants, and to Underland, where they found Rilian and the Lady of the Green Kirtle, who had bewitched him. They freed Rilian, who in turn killed the witch. They returned to Narnia to find Caspian dying as he returned from his voyage.

Destruction[edit]

The world of Narnia was finally destroyed in the end of the Later Ages of the year 2555, during the reign of King Tirian, son of King Erlian and seventh in descent from Rilian.

A talking ape named Shift constructed an elaborate conspiracy in a selfish attempt to change Narnia to his liking. By dressing a donkey named Puzzle in a lion's skin and claiming him to be Aslan, Shift began surreptitiously to gain control of the country, forcing inhabitants to do his bidding in the lion's name. He then made contact with the rulers of Calormen, inviting them to conquer Narnia for their mutual advantage. Calormene soldiers under Captain Rishda Tarkaan soon arrived, and by the time King Tirian learned of the ape's treasonous plans, they were well on the way to completion. Shift told the Calormene soldiers that Tash and Aslan were one being called "Tashlan."

With the help of Eustace and Jill (who arrived in time to rescue the king from capture), Tirian attempted to rally Narnia and drive out the invaders, but the divisive effect of the false Aslan and the capture of Cair Paravel by a Calormene fleet rendered his efforts unsuccessful. Tirian and his remaining supporters came to a last stand against Rishda's army at the Battle of Stable Hill where Tirian was defeated. But in the course of this final stand, the defenders were forced back into the stable and found inside to their surprise Aslan's country: all that the real Narnia ever had that was good, a Narnia-within-Narnia. Aslan was waiting for them, and told them that this final defeat signified the End.

Opening the Stable door, the children and other survivors witnessed the end of Narnia, the dragons and salamanders uprooting the trees, the in-rushing of the sea, the destruction of sun and moon, the coming home of the stars, and ultimately the end of all that existed in the world. Aslan called all of its inhabitants to him. Those who had been faithful were taken with him into his own land where they met people who had died previously in Narnia. Those who had been unfaithful were turned away at the entrance to the new land and faded into the shadows to an unknown fate that not even C.S. Lewis knew what happened to them. Aslan's land was bigger and better than the old Narnia, those who had died were found alive in it, because it was the "real" one, whereas the old Narnia had been just a copy of Aslan's land. "That was the dream, this is reality." It is also indicated that Aslan's country connected "further up and further in" to the "real" England, where Lucy Pevensie was able to see her parents, who died in a train wreck that killed all the other Pevensie siblings (except Susan) as well as Digory, Polly, Eustace, and Jill.

Contact with our world[edit]

There are seven documented events of contact between the world of men and the world of Narnia. Dates are taken from a timeline provided in the book Past Watchful Dragons by Walter Hooper (ISBN 0-02-051970-2).

  • In The Magician's Nephew, four humans, Frank (last name unknown), Andrew Ketterley, and children Digory Kirke and Polly Plummer, were present at the creation of Narnia, having been brought there by a series of unfortunate events. The same day, Aslan called Frank's wife, Helen, from England, and the two remained in Narnia as King and Queen. The children and Andrew returned to London.
  • In Narnian Year 460 as alluded to in Prince Caspian, six human pirates and their wives from the South Sea entered the land of Telmar through a magic cave. They remained in Telmar and their descendants formed the Telmarine civilization.
  • In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in Narnian Year 1000, four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie, entered Narnia through a wardrobe Digory had built from the wood of a magical Narnian tree. Aslan returned to Narnia at the same time, defeated the foreign ruler Jadis, now known as the White Witch, and set up the four children as kings and queens. They ruled for fifteen years before returning to England back in the state of their childhood.
  • In Prince Caspian in Narnian Year 2303, the Pevensie children were summoned to Narnia by magic to help remove a Telmarine usurper King Miraz from the Narnian throne and establish the teenage Prince Caspian as king. After this, Aslan allowed the Telmarines, descendants of the pirates who had arrived long ago, to go back to an island in the South Sea if they so wished.
  • In The Silver Chair in Narnian Year 2356, Aslan brought Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole to Narnia, where they rescued Rilian, son of the now elderly Caspian, from his enchanted captivity. Caspian died, but was resurrected in Aslan's country. Aslan briefly allowed him to cross over into the children's world (England, 1942) to help them in return, which resulted in the removal of a corrupt school administrator.
  • In The Last Battle in 1949, King Tirian of Narnia appeared to the friends of Narnia in England, and Aslan brought Eustace and Jill to Narnia in Narnian Year 2555 to assist Tirian at the end of his reign.

It is possible that there were other visits. Given that the darker-skinned Calormenes differed in appearance from northern peoples (like Telmarines and Archenlanders), it is possible that they are descended from another group from the world of men; however, this is not stated in the books.

Another perspective on Narnian history[edit]

In The Last Battle, Jewel the Unicorn discusses Narnian history with Jill Pole, explaining that while she (and the readers) imagine it to have been excessively turbulent ("It's a pity there's always so much happening in Narnia"), that is only because humans have been sent to aid Narnia at its worst times. At other times there were long periods of peace and prosperity.

Outline of Narnian History[edit]

Lewis provided a timeline to map out the events related to The Chronicles of Narnia. He gave an "Outline of Narnian History" in manuscript form to Walter Hooper, who included it in his essay Past Watchful Dragons: The Fairy Tales of C. S. Lewis.[8][9] In the series proper, Lewis never explicitly stated the year or years in which events in the novels took place, so the timeline is the only source for this information. Kathryn Lindskoog, along with other Lewis scholars, has challenged the authenticity of some posthumous works attributed to Lewis and edited by Hooper,[10] but the validity of the outline in particular has not been questioned. The outline is accepted by Lewis experts and has been included in works by Paul Ford,[11] Martha Sammons[12] and others.

Consistency with other works[edit]

Several people have pointed out more or less significant areas where Lewis' Outline is not consistent with the text of The Chronicles. Paul Ford, author of Companion to Narnia, points out that the text of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe states that Lucy and Edmund are one year apart in age, the years given in the timeline for their births, 1930 and 1932 respectively, would put their ages at something more than a year.[11] Devin Brown, author of Inside Narnia: a guide to exploring The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe uses the timeline as a way to reconcile some of the statements concerning the timing of Aslan's appearances in Narnia with other character's recollection of those appearances.[13]

Contents of the timeline[edit]

The timeline begins in the Narnian year 1 and continues to the Narnian year 2555, which corresponds with the period of time in London from year AD 1900 until AD 1949. He concludes the Narnian entries with the last battle and the "End of Narnia", and concludes the end of the London entries with "1949: Serious accident on British Railways".

The timeline includes information concerning the birth of several human characters, including Digory Kirke in 1888, Polly Plummer in 1889, and Peter Pevensie in 1927. Dates are also given for the year that Susan, Edmund and Lucy were born (1928, 1930, 1932 respectively) as well as Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole (both born in 1933).

The timeline also lists the dates of notable events in the series, particularly the main periods where the protagonists enter Narnia. Digory and Polly entering Narnia in 1900, and the Pevensies twice enter Narnia in 1940 and 1941. This corresponds to the Pevensies arrival in Narnia in the Narnian year 1000, where Aslan sacrifices himself, and Peter becomes Narnia's new ruler. According to the timeline, the Pevensies vanish out of Narnia in the year 1014, after King Peter carries out a successful raid on the Northern Giants, and King Lune of Archenland defeats an attack by Prince Rabadash. Lewis also gives the year 1942 as the year that both The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair take place. This corresponds to Caspian X's voyage to the end of the World in 2306-2307 Narnian time.

The timeline also lists Narnia dates for events that are mentioned in passing, or only implied, in the books. For example, the timeline indicates that Moonwood the Hare lived around the year 570 (mentioned in the Last Battle), that the White Witch Jadis returns to Narnia around year 898 (corresponding roughly with her hundred-year reign), that King Ram of Archenland succeeds Cor in 1050 (as stated, without the year in the Horse and His Boy), and that Queen Swanwhite lived around the year 1502 (also mentioned in the Last Battle).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A Horse and his Boy, Chapter 3. Maps (even the Baynes map) generally portray Tashbaan some distance inland, but the text makes clear that the city is near the mouth of the river.
  2. ^ A Horse and his Boy, Chapter 3
  3. ^ a b The Magician's Nephew, Ch. 14
  4. ^ Prince Caspian, Ch. 8
  5. ^ Peter J. Schakel, The way into Narnia: a reader's guide, p. 128.
  6. ^ K. M. Briggs, The Fairies in English Tradition and Literature, p 209 University of Chicago Press, London, 1967
  7. ^ Lewis, C.S. (1956). The Last Battle. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers. p. 189. ISBN 0-06-023493-8. 
  8. ^ Hooper, Walter (1979). Past Watchful Dragons: The Narnian Chronicles of C. S. Lewis. New York: Macmillian Pub Co. pp. 41–44. ISBN 0-02-051970-2. 
  9. ^ Schakel, Peter (1979). Reading with the Heart: The Way into Narnia. Grand Rapids: Eerdnabs. p. 143. ISBN 0-8028-1814-5. 
  10. ^ Lindskoog, Kathryn (1988). The C. S. Lewis Hoax. Portland, Oregon: Multnomah. ISBN 0-88070-258-3. 
  11. ^ a b Ford, Paul (2005). Companion to Narnia, Revised Edition. San Francisco: harper. p. 465ff. ISBN 0-06-079127-6. 
  12. ^ Sammons, Martha (1979). A Guide Through Narnia. Wheaton, Illinois: Shaw. p. 54. ISBN 0-87788-325-4. 
  13. ^ Brown, Devin (2005). Inside Narnia: a guide to exploring The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe. Grand Rapids: Baker Books. pp. 125ff. ISBN 978-0-8010-6599-6. 

External links[edit]