Book Blunders in Narnia

20170317ma_0063Quick Disclaimer: I love the writing of C.S. Lewis! He’s one of my absolute favourite authors of all time. I particularly love the world of Narnia. But that doesn’t mean that the books are free of error. Tiny writing inconsistencies and imperfections… These are the subject of this post. This is not to disparage the books. But like how hand blown glass is more valuable because of the imperfections!

Here I bring up three of the “book blunders” of Narnia…

1) The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

When the four Pevensie children first come to Narnia, they find that the White Witch has been ruling for 100 years. It’s “always winter but never Christmas.”

Then we meet the Beavers. Mr. and Mrs. Beaver invite the children to a wonderful spread of tea, including “a wonderfully sticky marmalade roll”. With fare like this, the Beavers don’t seem to be quite as oppressed they claim! It contradicts the whole alway-winter-never-Christmas thing.

2) Prince Caspian

At the end of the book, King Peter, Queen Susan, King Edmund, and Queen Lucy have to leave Narnia.

“It was odd, and not very nice, to take off their royal clothes and to come back in their school things (not very fresh now) into that great assembly. One or two of the nastier Telmarines jeered.”

A similar thing happens in The Silver Chair. This time, Eustace and Jill return to our world still dressed in their Narnian clothing.

“Eustace buried his fine clothes secretly one night in the school grounds, but Jill smuggled hers home and wore them at a fancy-dress ball next holidays.”

Now compare these to the ending of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:

“And next moment they all came tumbling out of a wardrobe door into the empty room, and they were no longer Kings and Queens in their hunting array but just Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy in their old clothes.”

Where did the old clothes come from? Especially in light of the fact that they had to change clothes in Prince Caspian and Jill and Eustace were still wearing theirs in The Silver Chair!

3) The Horse and His Boy

Shasta grows up in Calormen, under the ruthless hand of Arsheesh. Yet, from time to time, he often acts like a boy from our world, and even sounds more like Edmund or Eustace:

“Oh bother breakfast. Bother everything,” said Shasta. “I tell you I can’t move.”

Oh, Shasta, you sound so British!

7 thoughts on “Book Blunders in Narnia

  1. I highly suspect that the inconsistencies were one of the things that made Tolkien dislike the Narnia stories. He was so careful to make a wholly realized world and Lewis just seems to focus on the story sometimes. I remember reading that one of his friends caught him because she pointed out that the Beavers shouldn’t be able to provide a feast if it’s always winter and the queen doesn’t allow imports!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I read that about the Beavers in one of the many biographies I’ve read. I also understand that Lewis always meant to FIX the problems, but he never got around to it.

      In some ways, I’m kind of glad he didn’t. Imagine a visit to the Beavers without the feast?!


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