Category: Writing

Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/30/20: Narnia XVIII

In The Last Battle, Lewis introduces the reader to Narnia’s equivalent of Satan: Tash. Tash is the foremost deity of the desert nation of Calormen, mentioned first in The Horse and His Boy. However, in that book we are not told what he looked like, only his temple: it has a silver-plated roof and sits …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/16/20: Narnia XVI

Lewis never again got as exotic in the Chronicles as he did in with Calormen. The Valley of Ten Thousand Perfumes, Lake Mezreel, the crossroads city of Azim Balda, the Flaming Mountain of Lagour… these places don’t come into the plots, they are mentioned only in passing. But they do add to the richness. Writing …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/9/20: Narnia XV

One of the questions I always wanted answered about Narnia-the-world is that of other civilizations. Sure, we had Narnia; then Telmar, dull and problematic as it was, and Archenland in Prince Caspian; in the next book Galma, Terabinthia, Calormen, and the Seven Isles came along, then Ettinsmoor and the Underworld in The Silver Chair. But …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday
8/26/20: Narnia XIII (Let’s
xxxxTalk About Charn)

Charn vies with Tashbaan as my favorite Narnian fantasy setting. Not that I’d want to live there, of course. It’s dead, dry, and spooky. But Charn in its prime… well! It must have been something to see. One of the reasons it’s so evocative is the name. It’s short and blunt, like a location of …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday
8/19/20: Narnia XII

The Magician’s Nephew ranks third (tied with The Horse and His Boy) as my Chronicles favorite for the Weird Tales awesomeness that is Charn. As I wrote in The Wild Lands of the North, Lewis was more than a little influenced by the pulps (and the pulps influenced by Lord Dunsany and E. R. Eddison, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday
8/12/20: Narnia XI

The Horse and His Boy ties for my third favorite of the Chronicles with The Magician’s Nephew. Perhaps Nephew has the edge, because of the awesomeness of Charn, the Wood Between the Worlds, and  Aslan’s Garden. But Horse has Tashbaan and the desert. It’s a close call. The flavor is different from the rest of …

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Calormen and the South

Other posts in this series: The Odd Geography of the Utter East The Wild Lands of the North When speaking of Narnia, the name can mean both the country, and the world. Narnia-the-country’s boundaries are straightforward. This is a Baynes map from Prince Caspian. North: That line of hills that has a V-shape at the …

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The Wild Lands of the North
(and a bit about Giants)

Let’s continue to explore Narnia’s four corners by moving from the Utter East to the Wild Lands of the North. The north has always been a wild, untamed place in Lewis’s mythos. In The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, giants live there, which High King Peter battles as part of his royal duties. In …

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The Odd Geography of the Utter East

Of all the places in Narnia, I’m most fascinated by the Utter East, that area of Narnia-the-World that lies over the Eastern Sea. It’s one of the most transcendent of Lewis’s creations – full of so much rich, mystical bizarreness that those passages remain one of my favorite pieces of writing, any writing, to this …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday
8/5/20: Narnia X

The 1970 version  and a more recent one (right) The Silver Chair is my favorite Narnia book. The protagonists travel across and into many worlds — the mountains of Aslan’s country, the swamp of the marsh-wiggles, the bleak moors and the bleaker ruins of the giants; then the cavernous underworld and the subterranean city of …

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