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The Many Faces of the White Witch – Part I

The Icon The most iconic character (after Aslan the Lion, that is) of The Chronicles of Narnia is The White Witch, the villainess of both the first book and the sixth, and referred to in all the others. She’s a sorceress, a wicked queen, a petty spoilsport, a warrior general, and a femme fatale all …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/8/20: Narnia VI

As I mentioned in last week’s Worldbuilding Wednesday, almost none of Lewis’s female Narnian creatures received a name, whether they were Talking Beasts or mythological beings. I’ve attempted to rectify that here. Naiads and maenads have Greek-type names, and dryads and hamadryads those relating to trees. As Hamadryads are bonded only to a particular kind …

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Narnia Boxed Set

This boxed set of The Chronicles of Narnia was my Holy Grail for a few years. Released in 1970, it was the first time all the books were offered together in a decorated cardboard slipcase. The original Baynes drawings were used on the inside, but the covers, with their vague art deco leanings and childlike, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/1/20: Narnia V

In addition to Talking Beasts, Narnia was home to many other beings from Western mythology, as well as a few Lewis created himself. Some were referenced often, like centaurs and dwarves. Others received just one mention, like the laundry list of baddies under the White Witch’s command who bind Aslan to the Stone Table. I’ve …

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Louis Wain’s Aslan

This artist’s depiction of Aslan, with its eerie staring eyes, shares a disturbing similarity to the cat pictures of popular Victorian English artist Louis Wain. Wain is often cited in psychology textbooks as a classic case of how schizophrenia alters the afflicted’s sense of reality.    

Worldbuilding Wednesday 6/24/20: Narnia IV

As written by Lewis, the Talking Beasts of Narnia cover a wide range of species. The Magician’s Nephew, which was the third book Lewis wrote (but the 6th published) gives a good depiction of their genesis: they bubble up from the earth itself like bubbles of gas through hot lava. There’s an elephant, big cats, …

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Cair Paravel

Cair Paravel, Narnia’s royal castle, as depicted in a Pauline Baynes illustration from the original book, and in an artist’s concept for the movie. The movie version is larger and grander but keeps to the same outline.  

Worldbuilding Wednesday 6/17/20: Narnia III

Speaking of Prince Caspian, the book contains one of the most memorable of all the series’s peripheral characters: Reepicheep the Mouse, short in stature but long on bravery. To me he was the Narnia equivalent of Scappy-Doo, Scooby-Doo’s more eloquent little nephew: annoying.  He does introduce, however, the Narnian way of naming mice: three-syllable names …

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Witch’s League Smackdown

This is hilarious.

Worldbuilding Wednesday 6/10/20: Narnia II

C. S. Lewis actually wrote Prince Caspian, the second book of The Chronicles of Narnia, hot on the tail of the first.  In it, he explored an idea he had been playing around with for a while: What if King Arthur actually returned to England during the Battle of Britain as prophesied (when England was …

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