Talk:White Witch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Chronicles of Narnia task force (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Chronicles of Narnia task force, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of C. S. Lewis' Narnia universe on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for White Witch:
  • Red links
  • References
  • Fair use rationales and sources for images
  • Comparison of the Character between the book and the movie
  • Comparison between book and BBC and animated movie
Priority 3

Character history, repitition and inconsistency[edit]

There are numerous errors of editing present in the character history. Some items are repeated numerous times and other similar inconsistencies.

Example: while the Witch apparently originates from Charn (explained, possibly, by the inter-world travel which we know could and did occur in many ways), her ancestry is not disclosed further and we can assume that the rumour first stated in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" is the truth. Jadis is a descendant of a long line of kings and queens of Charn, who started out good but grew worse and worse over the generations.

She doesn't "apparently" orginate from Charn, she definitely originates from Charn. The books "The Magicians Nephew" states this explicitly. As does this very article!

Then in the same paragraph:

Jadis is a descendant of a long line of kings and queens of Charn, who started out good but grew worse and worse over the generations.

Then later in another paragraph:

in "The Magician's Nephew," it is explained that she was the Empress and last inhabitant of another world which contained a great and ancient city known as Charn inhabited by the Jinn. Jadis spoke "the Deplorable Word," which when spoken properly would destr

This shows how we have repititions in the history. I propose that only one paragraph discusses Charn and how she undoubtedly originated there.

This whole section seems to me badly organised in general. I think it should be written chronologically by first dicussing her origins in "The Magician's Nephew" then go onto the events in LWW.

The following paragraph especially seems bizarre. It concerns one of the most important events in her history (her death). Yet it starts off "The White Whitch's worst deed". Also, who are we to say what her worst deed was? The sentence doesn't even really make sense. Was killing Aslan her worst deed, or the killing of every denizen of Charn? Why start off the sentence in such a non-sensical fashion? Also, why capitalise deeper magic and deep magic? If it is a phrase directly quoted that needs such capitalisation it should be enclosed in quotation marks.

The White Witch's worst deed, aside from uttering the Deplorable Word, was when she killed Aslan on the Stone Table, instead of Edmund. However Aslan came back to life due to Deeper Magic than the Deep Magic, and while the Witch was fighting in battle, Aslan leaped on top of her, mauling her to death and ending her reign of terror.

--SamF 10:25, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

I quite agree. Anon —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:42, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I've edited the article to tighten it up somewhat. Elphion 15:59, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Much better, thanks. --SamF (talk) 18:09, 11 March 2008 (UTC)


There seems to be an identical article to this one under the name "Jadis". Could anyone explain why this is? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:33, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

That article is currently about the musical group, and there is a dab link there. Elphion 16:58, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes the shadow article has since been deleted. (talk) 20:50, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

R. Lawrence I want to know who made the original article, because there is a fact that I find false. The articles keep mentioning that The Lady of the Green Kirtle is notthe same person as The White Witch in the second book. That is not true. If you open the book to the front wher they explain the roles of the characters, it states the Witch's name, and says that she is specifically dangerous in the Silver Chair. There isn't another witch except The Lady of the Green Kirtle. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:05, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

I know of no indication in the text even suggesting that the White Witch and The Lady of the Green Kirtle are the same. In The Lion etc., Aslan pretty definitively kills the White Witch. The blurb you mention (about Jadis?) is not in my edition; I suspect it was added long after the fact by an editor, and does not represent Lewis's text. Elphion (talk) 02:03, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Origin of the Name 'Jadis'[edit]

There are two conflicting theories appearing in the article about the origin of the name (French vs Turkish). Does anyone know of any references to settle the argument? While there are some superficial references in the series to a vaguely Islamic culture, (clearly introduced by Lewis to lend a sense of the exotic and non-Christian), he was also professionally familiar with French imaginative literature. On the whole I find the French explanation more likely, but I don't have a source. Elphion (talk) 02:03, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

I couldn't say for certain, but the fact that Aslan's name is almost certainly derived from Turkish (arslan lion) makes a Turkish origin for the name Jadis at least plausible. Thefamouseccles (talk) 02:01, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Lewis might give a clue to us in the direction of the Turkish origin by making turkish delight the sweet with which she temps Edmund. That being said, he might well have assumed his readership to be familiar with the French jadis as French was and is still popularly studied among British people of Lewis' class. I think the assumption that the two etymologies are "conflicting" is the bit we need to worry about. One of the things which is very clear about Lewis' material is that he employs symbolic synthesis without remorse. With Lewis you can have your cake and eat it too.Skeggi210 (talk) 09:27, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Also, could we get a citation on the Turkish/Persian etymologies? Skeggi210 (talk) 14:38, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Lewis's use of the name Aslan lends only a very little weight here as Lewis found the name Aslan in footnote in his edition of Arabian Nights and did not have any first hand knowledge of Turkish. But more to the point: the Turkish/Persian should be taken out if no source is provided, since this is not the place for original theories of Lewis's etymologies. (DAP) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:50, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Narnia1i.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Narnia1i.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 14:42, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Categories, yet again[edit]

Much pointless discussion of categories has transpired above, and the discussion by now is sort of stale, so I'm not quite sure where to put this. But someone seems to think what went on before justifies adding inappropriate categories to this article. I am removing the following categories:

  • Fictional incarnations of evil – Jadis is not an "incarnation" of evil like Lucifer or Sauron. She is a person who chooses to do evil. That's not the same thing.
  • Fictional half-demon – in LWW several Narnians conjecture about her ancestry, but Lewis, in the back story provided in Magicians Nephew, makes it clear that Jadis is none of these: she is a person, from Charn. The Narnians are guilty of the oldest game in the book: smear the ancestry of your opponent.

Several of the other categories (particularly Fictional warlord) are essentially pointless, because aren't important to what she was, but the two above falsify what Lewis wrote about her. Elphion (talk) 16:32, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Part of the problem with the category Fictional incarnations of evil is that there is no clear definition of what belongs in the category. All categories should have a clear definition so that inclusion is not questionable. With that in mind, could someone point me toward the definition of incarnation of evil that we are using to decide if a fictional character belongs in it. Personally, I can't see including this article in that category, but maybe seeing a definition will help clarify it for me. LloydSommerer (talk) 17:33, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
For what it's worth, the article Fictional incarnations of evil says the following: "This category is for characters who are quite literally incarnations or representations of evil." The literal meaning of "incarnation" is that a non-corporeal entity (like God) takes on a corporeal form – typically flesh and blood, and typically human. In the Christian view, for example, Jesus was God. Lewis gives no evidence to suggest that Jadis was Evil in this sense, and much evidence in the other direction. In Narnia Tash fills the bill far more precisely.
The real issue here (I believe) is that some editors are pushing the notion that Jadis is Satan. I happen to think that that makes her a much less interesting character, but that's not really relevant. What is important is what Lewis intended, and especially with Magician's Nephew he went out of his way to dispel that notion, and to make clear that Jadis is a person who chooses evil, not an archetype. Elphion (talk) 18:08, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Look, a Jinn is a demonic creature. The whole point of creating the Fictional half-demons category was to avoid putting her in the Fictional demons category. Completely pointless in my opinion. Furthermore Jadis is a literal representation of evil. She isn't Satan himself but she is a metaphor for Satan, she plays the role of the Satanic charcter in Narnia and as an anon further up the page mentioned she was after all the person who originally introduced evil into Narnia and she is every bit as evil as Lucifer and Sauron who both by the way were originally benign entities who "chose" evil. --Jupiter Optimus Maximus (talk) 23:07, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Your argument has convinced me that Lucifer and Sauron also do not belong in this category. Probably the whole category is worthless and should be deleted. LloydSommerer (talk) 00:54, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
First, the category:
A good case could be made for deleting this category. The real problem is that its definition is too fuzzy. Judging from the people currently in it, it ought to be named something like Category: Fantasy characters who are really, really bad. But a category is supposed to have clear criteria: somebody's either clearly in it or not — it should not require a POV decision. In this case, the problem is where (or how) to draw the line. If Morgoth is in, then why not Sauron? If Sauron is in, then why not the Witch King of Angmar? If the Witch King is in, then why not the Mouth of Sauron? If the Mouth is in, then why not Sandyman? They're all evil. They all try really hard to be evil. What makes one a "representation of evil" and another not? What makes one a "metaphor for Satan" and another not?
Otherwise you need to wonder why other evil characters aren't in here, like, say, Adenoid Hynkel, or Dostoyesky's Grand Inquisitor, or even Amon Göth from Schindler's List (who strikes me as more evil than most of the above combined, and whose fictional version is not even as bad as the real one).
The only way I can see to salvage this is to take "incarnation of evil" very, very literally — something like: "an evil divine being who takes on corporeal existence". One could argue about whether the being needs to be in itself evil or whether something external corrupting it suffices. By these lights, you would probably get Lucifer, Satan, Morgoth, and Tash; maybe Sauron. Non-divine beings, like Jadis, are by definition not incarnations, so wouldn't belong. This might make a workable category — though it still leaves a lot of wiggle room: does Screwtape count? How about poor, incompetent Wormwood? — But I'm getting the feeling this tighter definition is not what you have in mind.
Second, the nature of Jadis:
What do you mean by "a demonic creature"? In Islamic tradition, the Jinn are created beings, and have (like us but unlike angels) free will. Some are good, some are evil, some are a mix, like most of us. 'Demon' strictly speaking is Greek; it means 'power' — the Greek notion was reminiscent of Tolkien's Maiar. They also could be good or evil, but tended to be rather impersonal — like forces of nature.
None of this speaks much about Jadis. The Narnians said she was half-Jinn, and meant nothing good by it. But (1) is it clear what they mean? and (2) how would they know? and (3) do you believe them? Lewis, by contrast, shows us that she comes from a tall race of people from Charn, who learned bad behavior over many generations. This doesn't strike me as the "ultimate incarnation of evil", just someone who was very good at it. She's not even close to being on a par with Satan or Sauron or Tash.
And by the way, it was Diggory who introduced evil to Narnia — the whole point of the book is that it is our human choices that allow evil to continue. If he had behaved as he knew was right, Jadis would never have come to Narnia.
Elphion (talk) 04:22, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Sorry if I sound aggressive but how can you say Lucifer isn't an incarnation of evil? He's the Devil! The ultimate personification of evil! If he's not evil incarnate who is? Oh, and he's not fictional. And by the way Lucifer and Satan are the same person. Furthermore if Morgoth and Tash are incarnations of evil (which they are) then Sauron certainly is. Sauron is at the very least as villainous as Morgoth and Tash. After Morgoth's downfall, Sauron took over his role as the most evil being in Arda. But we're not talking about them, we're talking about Jadis. Might I just say Diggory might be the person who let her into Narnia but Jadis was the first (and might I add greatest) evil in Narnia. She was the person who introduced the very concept of evil into Narnia. Furthermore she plays the role of a satanic tempter. Also a Djinn is a creature widely considered to be demonic. Finally with regards to Adynoid Hynkel and Amon Goth, both whilst being extremely evil are merely mortal men rather than malevolent entities like any of those other chaps. Morgoth, Sauron, Jadis and Tash all commited mass murder on global scales whereas Goth and Hynkel's crimes were merely sadistic war-crimes. The reason they seemed more evil was because they were more inclined to occure in real life. --Jupiter Optimus Maximus (talk) 17:21, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, I need to "get a life" (TM) as somebody said above, but I will take some time to try to answer this. I am not optimistic about success, since our view points seem very different. This of course is at the heart of the problem: much of what has been written in this article in the past has not taken a neutral point of view.

  1. "How can you say Lucifer isn't an incarnation of evil?" Obviously it depends on the definition. If "incarnation of evil" includes innately evil from the very beginning, then Lucifer would not fall under that definition. (Yes, I think that definition is too restrictive, but the definition needs to be spelled out.)
  2. "He's the Devil! The ultimate personification of evil! If he's not evil incarnate who is? Oh, and he's not fictional. And by the way Lucifer and Satan are the same person." Lucifer as portrayed in Paradise Lost is a fictional character. There may be a corresponding real being, and this may be the same as Satan (whose literary background is quite different). But surely you recognize that people do not agree about this. The truth of your statements is a matter of faith, not of independently verifiable fact. They are, in short, non-neutral POV. Is he "evil incarnate"? The point of item (1) is that it depends on the definition, which is what I'm trying to nail down. Simply saying that he's the ultimate personification of evil does not make him fit the definition until we know what the definition is.
  3. "Furthermore if Morgoth and Tash are incarnations of evil (which they are)" I agree that they will fall under any definition we are likely to come up with.
  4. "then Sauron certainly is." It will depend on the definition.
  5. "Sauron is at the very least as villainous as Morgoth and Tash." Yes, and in his own slimy way Sandyman is as villainous as Sauron, though not nearly as powerful. If the definition of "incarnation of evil" turns out to be "villainous", it will be a very large category indeed. If power is the issue, it needs to be reflected in the definition, and Sauron might still have problems getting in. Though very powerful, he was small potatoes compared to Morgoth, as Morgoth's Ring makes clear.
  6. "After Morgoth's downfall, Sauron took over his role as the most evil being in Arda." Yes, and Harding took over as President after Wilson. That doesn't make them equal in stature or ability. (Parenthetically, I really dislike this talk of "playing a role" that appears so often above in this page. People are not responsible for roles, for parts on-stage; they are responsible for their lives.)
  7. "But we're not talking about them, we're talking about Jadis." But they are relevant to understanding the scope of the category.
  8. "Might I just say Diggory might be the person who let her into Narnia ... She was the person who introduced the very concept of evil into Narnia." No. Aslan holds Diggory morally responsible, through his evil acts, chosen freely, for bringing evil into Narnia. See, for example, Chapter XII of The Magician's Nephew.
  9. "Jadis was the first (and might I add greatest) evil in Narnia." Jadis does not bear the responsibility for introducing evil to Narnia, which was the claim made above for likening her to Satan. Nor do the books say she is the greatest evil. I suspect Lewis would not agree: it is Shift the Ape who distorts the very notion of Aslan, and sets in motion the events that lead to the world's destruction. Narnia recovered from Jadis, but not from Shift. In most Western religions, preaching falsely about God is a more serious sin than fighting against God. The Screwtape Letters explores this in some depth.
  10. "Furthermore she plays the role of a satanic tempter." POV. I would say rather that she tempts Diggory in an episode clearly modeled on the story of the Garden of Eden. This does not make her Satan, or even a representation of Satan.
  11. "Also a Djinn is a creature widely considered to be demonic." Agreed, but as I pointed out above, that's not the whole story.
  12. "Finally with regards to Adynoid Hynkel and Amon Goth, both whilst being extremely evil are merely mortal men rather than malevolent entities like any of those other chaps." The same words apply equally to Jadis. The only technical exception is that she became immortal after eating the fruit of life. But immortality was not part of her innate nature, as the history of Charn shows. She acquired immortality by taking advantage of an opportunity, just as Hynkel and Göth could have done had they been there.
  13. "Morgoth, Sauron, Jadis and Tash all committed mass murder on global scales whereas Goth and Hynkel's crimes were merely sadistic war-crimes." Merely sadistic war-crimes. My God! What do you understand by the term 'evil'? Hynkel is modeled on Hitler, who certainly operated on a global scale. But the scale is immaterial. Göth murdered thousands of people in cold blood, and in God's sight (POV, I know) any one of those could stand against all the residents of Charn.

In sum: the category definition is too fuzzy, "incarnation of evil" does not mean simply "very evil", and the depth of one's evil does not necessarily depend on one's power.

I'm done, I hope.

Elphion (talk) 19:53, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

A good argument I must say. I'm sorry, I misunderstood your reference to Lucifer. I wasn't aware you talking about the one from Paradise Lost. Also the Devil is evil incarnate because he is the source of all evil and so assuming you are a Christian, all evil deeds have their origin in him (should that be a capital "h"?) Perhaps it was a bit of an understatement to say that Hynkel and Goth's deeds were "merely" sadistic war crimes. Perhaps it would be better to say that both men were under the delusion of making the world a better place whereas Jadis, Sauron, Tash and Morgoth were evil demons who sought to do harm with no concern for anyone but themselves. I think the category of Fictional incarnations of evil is for characters who are malign supernatural beings rather than just very evil people. Additionally when I said Jadis was the greatest evil in Narnia I was thinking of the book Prince Caspian in which one of the characters (I can't actually remember which) states that Jadis was "the greatest tyrant of all." If we're speaking in terms of power which I think we are I don't think Shift could hold his own against Jadis "in the ring" so to the speak. Finally I think it would be a bit of a stretch to refer to Diggory's actions as "evil." They were more misguided. He is after all, only human unlike Jadis who is a psychopathic alien. In conclusion I think we should agree to disagree and for the time being leave her out of the offending category until more conclusive evidence comes to light. As you say the definition is a little "fuzzy." On a side-note, no I don't think you need to "get a life", we all need a hobby. --Jupiter Optimus Maximus (talk) 22:34, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Hang on a minute, the person further up the page who said "Get a life" was you. Have you got Multiple Personality Disorder or something? --Jupiter Optimus Maximus (talk) 00:34, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Why don't you shut up, Maximus? IMHO you fundamentalist Christians have ruined the Narnia series. To typecast Jadis as the devil does her character a lot less credit and (as is said above) makes her far less interesting. You may as well put Palpatine, Voldemort and the Horned King into that catagory too for all they are fun to watch. Two further points:

  • Jadis did not manipulate Digory into ringing the bell, he made the choice of his own free will and admitted it.
  • When Nikabrik was refering to Jadis as "the greatest tyrant at all" Shift wasn't around and no one got the chance to compare them in the series.

Katana Geldar 02:35, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Gently, gently: let's try to keep this civil. Lewis himself believed in the literal truth of much of church teaching, so I think much of what you perceive as ruined in Narnia was in fact written in from the beginning. But you are right on target about one thing: it is very ironic how many readers focus their attention on the "splashy" characters like Jadis, fascinated by their flagrant wickedness, but completely miss Lewis's main message. He wrote these books for children, and the moral fairly drips from almost every page: you, young reader, like Edmund, Susan, and Peter, like Pole and Eustace, like Digory and even Lucy -- you are all constantly making moral decisions that are important and can have world-shaking consequences; your thoughtless little selfish sins are every bit as dangerous as anything Jadis ever did. It's a theme that comes out in almost all of his Christian writing: evil is real, and even in our modern world each of us faces every day choices with real moral consequences, and it's important to get it right. You don't have to be a fundamentalist, or even a Christian, to see some truth in that.
Elphion (talk) 04:36, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Let me add that I agree 100% about Jadis being more interesting as a person than as an "incarnation of evil". Tilda Swinton's best moment in the Disney film comes when she discovers that Edmund has siblings. Her Jadis at that moment is consumed by fear: heart-stopping, gut-wrenching fear -- she realizes that the jig may very well be up and that she is in serious trouble. In that moment, I feel deeply for her. (Tash or Satan would just have smiled a wicked little sneer.)
Elphion (talk) 05:06, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh feel free to attack and patronise me because you all know I'm right. Jadis is evil incarnate. She might not literally be Satan but she's as close to Satan as any mortal being is ever likely to get. She is so evil, evil people would beat her with sticks out of sheer, unbridled jealousy. This doesn't make her any less of a person and it doesn't make her any less interesting. On the contrary it makes her far more interesting than the pathetic everyman-hero type characters like Peter, Suzan, Lucy and Edmund. In the film when she finds out about Edmund's siblings she's not afraid in the slightest, merely interested. You can tell she's already figuring out how to dispose of them. That's my take on it anyway but we're drifting into realms of POV here so enough of that. Another rather amusing architectural flaw in your argument, Katana Geldar, is that Palpatine, like Jadis, actually is Satan. Finally I am not a fundementalist Christian. --Jupiter Optimus Maximus (talk) 15:20, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Jadis = White Witch[edit]

I know that this is probably a stupid question, but how, exactly, do we know that the White Witch is, in fact, Jadis? Dfmclean (talk) 12:36, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

What do you mean? Do you mean how do we know if the character from The Magician's Nephew is Jadis? If so, because in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is specifically referred to as Jadis. --Jupiter Optimus Maximus (talk) 15:19, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't disbelieve you, but I would like to see the citation if you don't mind. Dfmclean (talk) 16:09, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
If you've got a copy of LWW, the notice posted at Tumnus' house names her as "Jadis, Emperess of [whatever]".
—WWoods (talk) 17:41, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Catalog of her army[edit]

The paragraphs elaborating in detail the various creatures found in the army of the White Witch in various adaptations seem particularly pointless. In there any reason to keep this detail? I would be in favor of axing the entire section. Elphion (talk) 20:58, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Lady of the Green Kirtle[edit]

Back in January, I amended the opening paragraph of this article to make it less black and white about whether Jadis and the Lady of the Green Kirtle are the same person. My edit was quickly reverted and, not wanting to start an edit war, I let it go, but I'm still not really satisfied with the way the article is currently written. I don't want to get into an argument about whether Jadis and the Lady of the Green Kirtle are the same person (that's something only Lewis himself could have answered), I just want to make the article as accurate as possible.

Right now the article reads: "A short biographical sketch added to the books by later editors has led some readers to conclude that Jadis and the Lady of the Green Kirtle from The Silver Chair are the same person; but there is no suggestion to that effect in Lewis's writing."

While the books never concretely state that they are one in the same, I think there are a number of "suggestions" that they might be: the two characters share a number of physical and personality traits, both are referred to as a "Northern Witch," in "Prince Caspian" it is explicitly stated that Jadis can be revived and the reader is introduced to characters who want to revive her, etc. Granted, none of this proves anything about Lewis's intent, but I do think it undermines the idea that there "is no suggestion."

Also, outside of Wikipedia, I've never heard that the biographical sketch was the origin of this confusion. While it's entirely possible that it helped further the confusion, I couldn't find that sketch in any of my copies of the books and I know I conjectured they were the same person when I read the books as a child, so I'm reluctant to just write off this issue as something caused by an editorial assumption. If anything, I think that the editors treated them as the same person lends weight to the argument that Lewis's writing makes that suggestion (i.e. something clearly made the editors think so).

Again, the last thing I want to do is get into an argument about whether Jadis and the Lady of the Green Kirtle are the same person, but if the article is going to be as accurate as possible, I'd recommend changing that line.

My rewriting of it in January was: "A short biographical sketch added to the books by later editors has led some readers to conclude that Jadis and the Lady of the Green Kirtle from The Silver Chair are the same person; but that is never explicitly stated in Lewis' writing." I still feel this is more accurate than the current language but I'd love to hear other people's thoughts or suggestions.

Thanks very much. Nsfreeman (talk) 01:30, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

The phrase in your rewriting that I stumble on is "but this was never explicitly stated in Lewis's writing". It is never stated at all, end of story, full stop. You are confusing implication and inference; you may have inferred their identity, but as far as I can tell, Lewis never once implied it. Whether Jadis could be revived at all is a point raised but certainly not settled in PC, and mentioned nowhere else; it has on its face nothing to do with the Queen of Underland. I suppose one can imagine that the Northern Witches are all avatars of Jadis -- but as the article says, there is no suggestion of their identity in Lewis. Unless you can exhibit something more positive, I think "no suggestion" is fair. Speculating that the hag's opinion that witches can be brought back from the dead "suggests" that J and LotGK are the same is pure OR -- unless you have some evidence that that's what Lewis intended. -- Elphion (talk) 02:28, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Let's not get hung up on what does or doesn't qualify as a suggestion. Clearly, I feel it is suggested in the text and you feel it isn't. We're not going to agree on that so let's get back to coming up with a way to phrase it in the article that we can come to a consensus on.
If your issue with my edit was the word "explicitly," would you be amenable to changing the line to simply "but that is never stated in Lewis's writing"? That would avoid the "suggestion" problem that caused my initial edit while still accurately stating that there is no hard evidence Lewis intended the characters to be viewed as one in the same. Does that work for you?
Also, what's your opinion on the first half of that line? I suppose it is accurate to say that many readers were led to believe they were the same person by the character sketch but, I mentioned earlier, that's not the only source of the confusion. Should that part be clarified as well?
Thanks very much for your time and input. Nsfreeman (talk) 03:34, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

It's a fair presumption that Lewis means what his words say, or don't say. It's fair to expect that the Jadis of MN is the same character as the Jadis of LWW -- unless Lewis provides explicit information to the contrary. It's a fair assumption that two witches living in different times with different names and appearances are different -- unless Lewis provides explicit information to the contrary. You can forge the connection if you like, but Lewis doesn't.

Lewis toys with the notion of bringing Jadis back to life; but in the end he chooses not to, nor indicates whether it is possible. He says there were a "crew" of Northern Witches; he never says they were one. It's hardly surprising that the Northern Witches should resemble one another: one of Lewis's main messages, after all, is that the outwardly fair face of evil is one of the reasons we find it seductive. And the "personality traits" shared by Jadis and LotGK are shared by virtually all of the leading evil characters. Aside from these generalities, I see no particular resemblance.

Your amended wording, "but this was never stated in Lewis's writing" still connotes (at least to me) that it was nevertheless what Lewis intended. But neither Lewis's own writing nor the scholarly commentators take that line. There is no evidence for it. The only thing that is ever cited as hard evidence is the bogus biographical sketch. The wording in the article must make it clear that Lewis's text does not support their identity.

I take your point that there is no source given for the bio sketch being the foundation for J=LotGK, or indeed for people concluding that. So let's focus on the sketch itself and provide a source. Something like the following.

Some recent editions of the books include short sketches describing the cast of characters, added by later editors. The description of the Lady of the Green Kirtle, as Lewis scholar Peter Schakel points out, "states incorrectly that the Queen of Underland is an embodiment of Jadis".[1] Beyond characterising the two as "Northern Witches", Lewis's text does not connect them.


  1. ^ Peter J. Schakel, The Way into Narnia: A Reader's Guide, William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids/Cambridge, 2005, p. 146.

-- Elphion (talk) 01:41, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

I think what you've written above is a great improvement over both the current reading of the article and my own suggestion. Unless anyone else has on objection, I think we should amend the article to include that language. Thanks again for helping improve this article. Nsfreeman (talk) 03:10, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
It would help if I had an edition containing the sketches; evidently it's the sketch of Jadis (maybe both?) that contains the language implying their identity. -- Elphion (talk) 03:17, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
I've been following this discussion and agree that the current wording is clear and accurate. LloydSommerer (talk) 03:23, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Lloyd, Do you mean the "current wording above" or the "current wording in the article"? I.e., are you supporting a change along the lines in the box above, or saying we should stick with what's already in the article? -- Elphion (talk) 03:27, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't very clear. Let me try again... I think that the [wording] of the Lady of the Green Kirtle article does a good job with the "confusion" concerning the relationship between the two characters. And that the paragraph suggested above also addresses that same issue well. LloydSommerer (talk) 11:41, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree the Lady of the Green Kirtle article does a good job dealing with this issue but I'm hesitant to let this minor issue take up so much space on the White Witch page. If everyone is fine with what Elphion wrote above, I'd rather use that. (talk) 15:40, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the extended discussion belongs at Lady of the Green Kirtle, not here at White Witch. Before moving the boxed text above to the WW article, I'll take the action item to look up the actual text of the character sketches to get the wording right. -- Elphion (talk) 18:12, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, neither my library nor my bookstore has copies with the character sketches, so I'll just finesse the text a bit. -- Elphion (talk) 20:05, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Thank you everyone who helped out on this. I think the new wording is a real improvement. Nsfreeman (talk) 00:48, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

first sentence[edit]

"Jadis, commonly known during her rule of Narnia as the White Witch, is the main antagonist of The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe in C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia series"

That sentence doesn't make any logical or grammatical sense to me. This witch character is the antagonist of The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe? -- (talk) 15:46, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

I've rephrased it for clarity, though it unfortunately pushes the bolded "White Witch" to the second sentence. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:50, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
It reads a lot better now, and white witch does not look bad in the second sentence.P0PP4B34R732 (talk) 01:07, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! --Philosopher Let us reason together. 01:31, 28 October 2011 (UTC)


Was she supposed be descended from Lilith, the mythical first wife of Adam?--Jondel (talk) 16:16, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

I've added a short paragraph on Lilith in "Origins". -- Elphion (talk) 03:41, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Origin of Conception[edit]

I checked the one reference of those listed in this section, and it didn't corroborate the assertion in the section. The language of the other assertions, and the nature of the references cited convinced me that the claims that Lewis based the character on other characters were extrapolated from the references--ergo Original Research. So I removed the entire section. Tapered (talk) 22:16, 18 November 2016 (UTC)