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Fridge / The Chronicles of Narnia

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The Books

Fridge Brilliance

  • At the beginning of The Silver Chair, Caspian is going to find Aslan and ask him what to do about his successor, given that his son and heir has been missing for years. When Jill meets Aslan for the first time, he tells he has been calling her and Eustace since before they called to him, and he then gives her the mission of finding Prince Rilian. Aslan was planning the answer before Caspian had even asked the question!note 
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  • When Edmund meets the White Witch, he's very enthusiastic about getting some Turkish Delight from her. Remember that back in England, it's World War II, so everything is rationed and luxury foodstuffs are in short supply. The Pevensies probably haven't had any of their favourite sweets for ages.
  • Why are the wolves so loyal to the White Witch? Well, aside from being evil, they like her never ending winter because winter is a good time for real wolves unlike most other animals. The shortage of food weakens the prey, and snow slows the prey down and weakens it further, so wolves eat better in winter compared to any other time of the year. This was probably not intentional or realized by the author, but it is an explanation beyond "they're just evil."
    • Wolves in general are also well-adapted to living in cold climates.
  • The Pevensies being told they're too old to return to Narnia seems a bit odd, since Peter and Susan are only 14 and 13 respectively after their final visit, and Edmund and Lucy are 12 and 10, whereas Eustace and Jill were able to enter Narnia again in The Last Battle at the ages of 16. However, Narnia is probably taking into account the extra fifteen years the Pevensies spent there in addition to their lives on Earth. It could also be referring to their psychological development; If either Jill or Eustace had been a little more metaphorically grown up, the Silver Chair adventure would have gone easier for them.
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  • How did Aslan come back to life (Magical powers and possible Jesus analogy aside)? He's a cat!
  • The two slaves at the Tisroc's clandestine meeting (with his heir Prince Rabadash and his grand vizier Ahoshta Tarkaan) are deaf and mute. This fits with Calormen's Islamic influence, as the Ottoman Turkish court also employed deaf-mute attendants because they were better at keeping secrets. These slaves are also the only Calormene men whom the illustrator Pauline Baynes drew without facial hair, indicating that they might be eunuchs—another staple of the Standard Royal Court in many historical Islamic monarchies (again, including the Ottoman Empire) and in pre-Islamic Mesopotamia (which also inspired Calormen, specifically in terms of religion).
  • Not only does The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe represent the Christian Tradition of Easter (Jesus/Aslan's Death and Resurrection), it also represents the traditional Pre-Christian Easter-Type Celebrations; where Winter (represented by the White Queen and her never-ending Snow Storm) is replaced by Spring (represented by Aslan, whose presence is almost always in sunny green pastures) and begins a new Year (in this case, a new Era ruled by the Pevensies).
    • The event which heralds the weakening of the Witch's power is the appearance of Father Christmas. In Christian tradition, Christmas represents the birth of Jesus, which in the Narnia analogy would be the moment of Aslan's arrival. However, the timing of Christmas is not based in history but is inherited from pre-Christian celebrations of the Winter Solstice—the day when the hours of daylight start growing again, forecasting the return of spring.
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  • One odd thing to note is how in the Magician's Nephew, it's mentioned that Aslan has Diggory get an apple from the Tree of Youth to grow into a new tree that would ward Jadis away, the stench of it's fruit alone keeping her from coming within 100 miles of it. And yet by the time of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, she's conquered Narnia in endless winter and is able to wander where she pleases. Why is this? Well, consider the fact that in winter, almost all plant life dies or goes into dormancy. It's very likely that Jadis created the eternal winter not only to conquer Narnia, but also to prevent the one thing keeping her away from ever functioning again!

Fridge Logic

  • In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in the scene where the White Witch comes over a group of Narnians having a Christmas party and turns them into stone, the narrative describes how one of the statues still has the fork halfway to his mouth. A few paragraphs earlies, it is described how one of the partygoers — more specifically the father squirrel — is in the middle of eating when the Witch approaches and stops with the fork halfway to his mouth. But the thing is, the Witch doesn't turn the partygoers into stone straight away; she spends what must be over a minute threatening them, and getting the story on how they've been given the feast by Father Christmas. This can mean only one of two things. Either the father squirrel sat there with the fork halfway through his mouth for that entire scene, or someone in the party just looked at the Witch, went "meh," and cheerfully continued eating while she was threatening them all.
    • That squirrel probably did have that fork in his mouth the entire time. Think about it: the White Queen, has just shown up in the middle of your Christmas party and threatened to kill you and your family. He was probably so scared he didn't think to pull the fork from his mouth.
    • A talking squirrel is still a squirrel. Squirrels tend to freeze in place, in an instinctive effort to remain unnoticed, when there's a powerful predator nearby and the closest tree is too far to dash to.
  • Aslan created dogs out of the ground with the other animals in The Magician's Nephew, and it's never clarified if they still have any relation to wolves or if they are considered unrelated separate species. One of the dogs created is a bulldog, which are known to have health problems caused by their flat faces and are highly unsuited to life in the wild, making this an odd choice. It makes a person wonder if Lewis was aware of where dogs actually came from but was using artistic license, or if he actually believed god created them whole cloth in the Garden of Eden.
  • How would two human children fill enough pies to feed a castle full of giants?
    • Being that Man is a particular delicacy, it's likely that only the King and Queen would have had the pleasure, as opposed to the pies being fed en masse to the entire royal court.
      • Good point. Another possibility is that humans are added as flavouring to pies in relatively small proportions compared to other ingredients, which might make up the bulk of the pie. As an analogy, a cinnamon bun only contains a small amount of cinnamon compared to the mass of dough, and sushi only requires a bit of wasabi to add the desired flavour.
  • We never get an explanation of where Mr. Tumnus, the Beavers, and the other animals get their food during the cursed winter. This winter lasted 100 years, so food couldn't have possibly been grown in Narnia.
    • Maybe imported from Calormen or Archenland?

Fridge Horror

  • The two noblemen who conspire to stab Miraz in the back when he duels Peter had intended to lead the Telmarines to victory, then claim control of the kingdom themselves. But even if they won, Miraz had a legitimate heir: the newborn son whose birth spurred Caspian to flee into exile, in the first place. In other words, they were also planning to murder an innocent baby to secure their claim to power.
    • Just like Jesus forced to flee from Herod? That in itself is a Fridge brilliance.
    • Maybe they intended to rule in his name... or just ignore his claim, the way Miraz ignored Caspian's claim.
  • Practically most of the fates of the Seven Lords in Dawn Treader.
  • The fate of Susan in The Last Battle. She's still in our world, but her entire family has died in a violent train accident. She also doesn't get to join her family in Heaven.
    • Especially horrific as Susan is specifically not going to Narnian heaven because she's become obsessed with "lipstick, nylons, and invitations" and believes Narnia was a game they played as children. It's implied that her lack of faith is the primary reason for her being shut out, but Lucy specifically berates her absent sister for wanting to be a young woman and enjoying things young women were meant to and often pressured to enjoy in the 40s and 50s. Even worse, Susan has already had a chance to be an adult in Narnia, and had it taken away—a twenty-something forced to go back to a teenager's body would probably want to leave it as soon as possible. So Susan gets punished for wanting to be treated like the adult she is, enjoying feminine activities, and trying not to look like a Cloud Cuckoolander. I love Aslan, but he clearly has a very extreme view of what gets you kicked out of heaven.
    • We don't know that Susan will never find her way back to Narnia; "once a king or queen in Narnia, always a king or queen in Narnia." We just know that she won't get there NOW. She's in the 'real' world a young woman who has just lost her entire family—which is very sad, but such things happen; we don't know if she will recover her childhood faith or not. (Just as Lewis himself became an atheist as a teen, dismissing the Christian faith in which he grew up as foolish stories, but became a Christian again as an adult.)
    • The other Pevensies saw their parents waving to them from an adjacent area of Heaven, and their parents probably never believed in Narnia in the first place. Our world presumably has its Heavenly counterpart near Narnia's, or perhaps linked to Narnia-Heaven just as our mortal world has links to mortal Narnia. Unless Susan winds up in Hell instead, she'll be able to reunite with her siblings someday.
    • Susan doesn't get banned from heaven for liking lipsticks and nylons, she just doesn't join her siblings and may end up finding her own way back to Narnia.
    • It would make it to horror if Susan had been killed and damned, or if her bereavement were the end of her story. But as Lewis notes elsewhere, "Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world." God has just done something major that brings some of those He loves (like Lucy) into bliss, and apparently in Lewis's view stands the best chance of getting Susan's attention and bringing her, too, to Paradise.
    • while Neil Gaiman's "The Problem of Susan" isn't canon, it does bring up an excellent and unavoidable point: dozens of people must have died in that train crash. Susan was related to six of them, and knew at least another two quite well (and Digory and Polly are never mentioned to have any living relatives). Susan would have had to identify at least seven out of those eight, and she probably came across Eustace's corpse at some point as well, especially if her Aunt and Uncle weren't anywhere nearby and she therefore had to identify him too... and how many other horrifically dead people did she have to look at first???
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has 2 in-universe examples: Goldwater Island (later deemed Deathwater Island) and the "Island Where Dreams Come True."
  • Also in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, when the characters reach the end of the world and meet Aslan. Aslan tells them what lies behind him is his country. Reepicheep asks Aslan if he could enter. He accepts and Reepicheep goes to his death. Yeah, Aslan's Country is really heaven, and Reepicheep just killed himself. Even worse was that Caspian wanted to go just to check on his father.
  • Aslan's tendency to bring young children into Narnia and turn them all into professional killers, something even the White Witch drew the line at! note . Edmund in particular demonstrates several signs of being a Shell-Shocked Veteran and he's barely in his teens!
  • If Aslan is to be taken literally when he says that they are opposites, then Tash may be far worse than Satan. To be truly opposite to Aslan/The Emperor he couldn't be his creation, he'd have to be a being of independent and equal power. Jadis is the rebel Lucifer, Tash sounds more like some kind of Anti-God.
    • Calormen is based on how the ancient Middle East appeared in British popular fiction; what was the religion of ancient Persia? Zoroastrianism, which does teach the existence of such a being (Ahiriman, the Lord of the Lie).
    • I don't remember Aslan ever claiming that Tash was equivalent in power to The Emperor, only that Tash and Aslan are moral opposites.
  • If they ever told anyone about their adventures, except perhaps in the guise of a fictional fairy story they'd made up together (and even then, there'd still be a high risk), they'd almost certainly be labeled insane and institutionalized, which in those days was an especially unpleasant prospect.
    • Which leads to some interesting ideas about Susan's disbelief in Narnia, doesn't it? Especially when you realise that shortly after Prince Caspian she was whisked away from everyone else who she could safely talk to, and considering the Naval battles of WW2(especially once the US joined the war, which seems to be approximately when Prince Caspian takes place, at least from the movie) she was probably stuck there for quite some time... possibly even years.
    • On the other hand, if she KNEW that then her attitude towards Narnia is put in another light. She knows nobody in her family is going back and she knows they cant bring up the subject around the wrong people. She doesn't necessarily know Digory and Polly have been to Narnia before because she never talks about it with them. It's far from unlikely she was trying to get them to move on.
  • Jadis was waiting in the Hall of Images for long enough for the sun to turn into a red giant, yet the city hasn't been ground into dust by earthquakes or volcanic activity... because there isn't any. She didn't just kill all life in the planet. She killed the world itself.
    • No, she didn't. A significant point in her interaction with Polly and Digory comes from her not understanding what Polly means when she says that the sun looked funny. She then casually remarks that the sun has looked like that for as long as anybody could recall.
    • Astronomical/geological time doesn't seem likely to be invoked in the works of Lewis (who was writing before astronomers knew just how long stars lived), but the wider point occurred to me too - the ruins of Charn were in mighty good shape even if you allow for the complete extinction of all mold and bacteria. As if even wind and rain had lost their energy.
    • Charn's sun being dim and red may have been a Shout-Out to H.G. Wells's The Time Machine.
  • When reading the books in chronological order, almost the first thing we learn about Jadis is how she killed everyone in her world rather than let her sister win. Skip ahead to the end of The Last Battle and Aslan kills everyone in Narnia's world rather than let Tash win. And then he erases the sapience of every creature that doesn't love him in that moment. Whatever your thoughts on Lewis' idea of God, "Not a tame Lion" is kind of an understatement...
    • It's not a very close parallel. Jadis was willing to kill everything and sit in a Room Full of Crazy forever just to avoid losing. Aslan can't 'lose' to Tash (he's an Invincible Hero after all), he just wants to preserve "the good bits" of the universe he built before shutting it down. I'm not a fan of Raptures or Omniscient Morality License in general, but I don't think those two situations are very similar.
    • As an admittedly tangential piece of Fridge Horror, a divine lion destroying a corrupted world echoes (though probably not intentionally) the far older and gorier tale of the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet. In that case, though, the rest of the pantheon prevents her from finishing the job by getting her Unsuspectingly Soused (yes, really).
  • All Jadis had to do was use the dreadful word on Digory and Polly to escape. Thankfully she decides enslaving their world is the better option.
    • She fully believed she could use her magic in other worlds, what would have happened if she was right?
    • And then there's the warning on the bell, she warned people against freeing her. Think about that for a moment.
  • Why exactly it would be a Fate Worse than Death for Shasta to be a slave of the strange Tarkaan.
    • A related element of Fridge Horror is connected to a point mentioned under Fridge Brilliance, about Pauline Baynes's drawings of beardless Calormene slaves. Even if the Tarkaan doesn't want Shasta as a Sex Slave—going by the Islamic and Mesopotamian empires that inspired Calormen, he might want the kid as a eunuch.
  • Speaking of potential implications of sexual abuse, what exactly was the Lady of the Green Kirtle doing to poor Prince Rilian over the six years after she bewitched him into marrying her? Taking that into account, his imprisonment might've been disturbingly reminiscent of what Kilgrave did to Jessica Jones.

The Movies

Fridge Horror

  • The end of the first movie. It took the four children what, a minute to fall back from Narnia to England? And in that minute they regained a lifetime of memories, regressed back 15 years and got cut off from their home, friends and country. Seriously how could they cope with that? They're given no warning, no preparation, NOTHING. Imagine waking up everyday and realizing that hey, you're not in Cair Paravel anymore, and may never go back there. Or thinking 'oh I need to talk to Mr Tumnus/Mrs Beaver about...' and then remembering oh sorry they're gone. The weeks after coming back would have been utterly, utterly devastating. They'd been lost, confused and have no idea if they'd ever go back. To have to rebuild yourself after losing your entire life...its horrific.
    • Turned Up to Eleven in Prince Caspian. They go back to Narnia! Yay! But...everyone they know is dead. Imagine every single one of your friends and everything you built being destroyed. You never got to say goodbye or mourn them. That's it.
    • Not to mention how all their Narnian friends must've been devastated by their disappearance, with neither explanation nor warning. From the state of Cair Paravel when the Pevensies return, the castle may well have been abandoned immediately after the four of them vanished, with no one they left behind able to bear to remain there without their beloved Kings and Queens.
  • In the third movie, they've "defeated" the green mist thingy, and now you have at lease a dozen boatloads of people in the middle of the sea, stranded hundreds, if not thousands of miles from their homes. Just what happened to those people?
    • They have a somewhat crowded and uncomfortable ride to the island with all of the swords and sleeping lords to resupply followed by a longer journey home. Even if they have to tow all of those boats to move everyone at once they still have plenty of people so they can have rowers on the ship's oars constantly, reducing the amount of time it would take the Dawn Treader to return home. If taking everyone at once is not possible, then sending more ships after the Dawn Treader has returned home is also possible. They should be just fine, if somewhat uncomfortable, until they are safely back in Narnia or wherever else they came from.
    • The sleeping lords' island had plenty of trees on it, and the people on the boats were from seafaring cultures. Chances are, if the Dawn Treader left them some tools and sailcloth, they could build their own ships to sail home on after a few months' work.


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