Jadis 2022: Nadir

Sometimes Jadis can’t catch a break. Take this artist’s depiction for a Portugese language version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Not only is she dressed in a sackcloth shift, but she’s a hag, with pointy nose, deep frown lines, and gray hair. Well, actually all of her is grayish-blue. She’s staring intently at something out of the picture’s range, and frowning. What is it? Not a clue.

Not a clue either who the red-haired, freckle-faced moppet is supposed to be. He’s standing outside the witch’s picture frame, and therefore outside of the action, in a very modern t-shirt and jeans. He too is staring, but at the viewer in the challenging way children on the covers of books published in the 1970s seem to do.  If he’s supposed to be Edmund, he’s all wrong.

Not fond of this Jadis either who’s wearing a very oversized man’s fur-collared jacket. She’s also got elf ears and appears to have thinning hair on top.

Okay, this artist’s skill is on the amateur side, but that’s just part of the problem. Why on earth (or Charn) would Jadis have dressed like a peacock? It’s just out of character.

This stage version of the White Witch clearly suffers from oxygen deprival. She’s turning blue. Plus the makeup artist felt she needed painted-on collarbones for some reason.

Artwork by Maxim Mitrofanov

This is the worst Jadis I’ve come across. Out of context it’s cute. The woman’s oversized crown and dainty shoe, the flying insect people wearing boots, and the dwarf’s gnomish mask-hat all speak to a sort of Russian sense of fairy-tale whimsy (where the art originated.) But it’s NOT Jadis, and it’s NOT Narnia. There were no stocking-hatted insect fairies attacking Jadis in that scene from LWW, for one thing.  Not only that, the palette is all wrong, Christmas reds and greens against ochre grass and an overcast sky. You might see that in Russia, but not in the book where it’s emphasized the land is thawing and the grass turning green.

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