Category: Writing – Worldbuilding

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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Worldbuilding Wednesday
7/29/20: Narnia IX (Let’s Talk
xxxxAboutTelmar)

  In last weeks’ Worldbuilding Wednesday I took a look at the etymology of Prunaprismia and how other women of Telmar might have been named. This week, I’ll look at the men. I think Lewis designed his names with French and Spanish in mind. The pronunciation of them, glottal and oily, recalls spoken Italian as …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday
7/22/20: Narnia VIII (Let’s Talk
xxxxAbout Queen Prunaprismia)

One of the most oddly named characters in the whole of Narnia is Queen Prunaprismia, the wife of King Miraz. In Prince Caspian Miraz murders his brother, Caspian’s father, and usurps the kingdom, but keeps Caspian as his heir because he has no progeny of his own. But when his wife Prunaprismia becomes pregnant, Caspian …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/15/20: Narnia VII

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my second favorite Narnia book. It’s sheer delight with its depiction of an Odyssey-like island journey with many stops and many opportunities for adventure. Not to mention the trippy last chapters with the sun becoming larger and larger, the water sweeter and more shallow, until it blooms full …

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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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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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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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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 Scrappy-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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