Into the Wardrobe

Published on May 14, 2006

I’m not much of a movie person, but tonight, thanks to a storm-related cable outage, I watched The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe for the first time. What a great movie! I’ve always been a giant fan of the Chronicles of Narnia, and this movie was particularly well done. A few key details were left out, however. Aslan didn’t mention the deeper magic when the Stone Table was broken in two, He simply explained that the witch didn’t fully understand what would happen. Also, the professor never hints that he too has been to Narnia. Take, for instance, this passage from the book:

And the professor, who was a very remarkable man, didn’t tell them not to be silly or not to tell lies, but believed the whole story. “No,” he said, “I don’t think it will be any good trying to go back through the wardrobe door to get the coats. You won’t get into Narnia again by that route. Nor would the coats be much use by now if you did! Eh? What’s that? Yes, of course you’ll get back to Narnia again some day. Once a King in Narnia, always a King in Narnia.”

Nowhere in the movie does the professor make such a statement (the last sentence in particular). That omission really took some of the surprise out of it (although anyone who’s read the books already knows the story). There were some interesting additions to the movie as well. Aslan says to the witch that he was present when the deep magic was written, a statement that isn’t in the book (I checked). It will be interesting to see what other movies they decide to make. I really enjoyed this one; hopefully they will stick to the books, and not alter the stories too much.

All hail the Highest of High Kings!

3 Comments

I saw the movie knowing literally nothing of the book, and guessed that the professor at least knew about Narnia, from the way he took the youngest girl’s side when no one believed her about Narnia. He also said something about how they wouldn’t be able to use the wardrobe again. And the “once a King in Narnia, always a King in Narnia” line was in the movie somewhere, although I don’t think it ever came from the professor (which I think was your point).. but I do remember it.

The professor has indeed been to Narnia, as one finds out in book 6 (The Magician’s Nephew). One also finds out in that book why a lamp post is in the middle of the woods in Narnia. As I’ve probably mentioned before, the books should be read in this order (the order they were written) for maximum enjoyment:

1. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
2. Prince Caspian
3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
4. The Silver Chair
5. The Horse and His Boy
6. The Magician’s Nephew
7. The Last Battle

The last book is the hardest one to read, mostly because the story is a real downer until the very end. But they are all excellent books: everyone should read them.

kip

Yep, you mentioned that before, and that’s how I plan to read it (even though that means jumping around in the one-volume book my mother-in-law got me last Christmas). I’m afraid a lot of The Magician’s Nephew has been spoiled for me by the bonus disc that came with the special edition DVD… they mentioned the lamp post and the origin of the wood the wardrobe is made from, among other things. In the movie, there are scenes from The Magician’s Nephew engraved into the wardrobe.

I’m not sure why publishers nowadays want you to read them out of the originally published order. I mean, if I knew someone that had never heard of Star Wars, I’d have them watch the original trilogy first, then the new trilogy. I may even suggest they skip Phantom Menace altogether. 🙂

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