The multiverse according to The Chronicles of Narnia | tomatoes

Just over a decade after the premiere of the latest installment of the cinematographic universe of The Chronicles of Narnia adapted by Disney, its popularity seems to be about to pick up. And it is that the Netflix streaming platform has recently announced the purchase of the rights to adapt them into at least one series and different films.

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The stories known to the audience center around the Pevensie brothers and their adventures in the kingdom of Narnia, however, the literary work has many more unexplored corners within its vast universe. In fact, it is known that the production of the silver chair It was already underway before the definitive cancellation of the saga.

And it is that the creator of this universe, the medievalist author CS Lewis, built the most popular children’s fantasy saga of its era by exploring a secondary world through the portal in an old closet. Inside is a fantasy land populated by a variety of creatures such as fauns, centaurs, dwarfs, giants and even Santa Claus himself, with the particular characteristic of talking animals possessing reasoning that is frequently superior to that of humans.

The arrival of the Pevensie brothers in Narnia was the promise of salvation from the White Witch’s winter. Following its obvious Christian lines, this story places Aslan as the character who will die for the sins of a human, before resurrecting and appointing Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy as the new kings of Narnia.

In the sixth and penultimate book of the saga, The Magician’s Nephew, it is revealed that the very creation of Narnia is linked to a multiverse. When Digory and Polly are taken through magical rings to the “Forest between the worlds” full of portals that, with the help of their rings, lead to a wide variety of universes.

With their presence on a lifeless world called Charn, the children are responsible for awakening its destroyer, Jadis, the White Witch. In their confrontation and flight from the witch, the children would arrive at an empty place, which would later be recognized as a world yet to be formed. Out of nowhere, a song would give rise to life in that universe, beginning with the stars and vegetation, it is soon discovered that the person responsible is none other than Aslan, who selects certain animals to endow them with the ability to speak and think.

The story is spinning elements with the beginning of the saga in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, since in addition to the origin of the White Witch, strange elements are explained, such as the London lantern, which is used by Jadis to attack Aslan. .

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Towards the end of the book, Narnia is built in the form of Eden, where stealing an apple from Aslan’s tree would mean immortality but at a very high price. This is the source of Jadis’s powers, but also the loss of his soul. Finally, Aslan gives Digory an apple to help her mother cure her illness. On the advice of the lion himself, the boy buries the magic rings in his yard, along with the apple seeds. Many years later, the great tree that emerged from that seed would be felled by a storm, and from it would be created the closet through which the Pevensie brothers would arrive in Narnia.

In terms of fantasy literature, Narnia is a secondary world, a concept coined by J.R.R. Tolkien in his essay about fairy tales of 1939, thus designating a particular type of “other world”. This is defined as an autonomous world or place that is not linked to our reality, as other genres of speculative fiction can be. The author also points out that although the events and actions in this secondary world are not possible within the rules of ours, the truth is that they stick to a coherence to tell their story. In other words, their reality is defined by a series of rules, so not everything is possible and certain actions will have consequences according to their laws.

The wonderful universe located in the bottom of the closet has some characteristics shared with the Narni of our world. This is an ancient town that dates back to the time of the Etruscans, who in turn shared elements in their cultures that had equivalence with classical Greek culture, such as fauns, centaurs, nymphs and even the Bacchus seen in Narnia. of lewis. Aslan turns out to be a Narnian version of Christ, and with three of the seven books Christian mythology is recreated: Creation in The magician’s Nephewthe death and resurrection of a god in The lion, the witch and the wardrobe and the end of the world with The last battle.

This particular creation of worlds is intertwined with pagan components of classical mythology as well as stories from universal children’s literature, such as Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen. In this sense, Lewis’s stories also gain literary value as they are linked to the tradition of fairy tales and the possible worlds created in them.

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German literature designates the term Wundermärchen (wonderful tale) to describe those fairy tales that involve the supernatural and are inspired by myth and folklore, but which are also set in a secondary world. This concept contemplates the texts that do not recognize themselves in the use of this fictional place, such as the Volksmärchen by Ludwig Tieck in 1797.

Among the German works that achieved the designation of universal classic is the first volume of Tales of childhood and home from the Brothers Grimm published in 1812. And we must not forget the German influence on modern literary fantasy, which has intrinsic connections between folklore and nature from its romantic origins where there is always the possibility of reading it as an allegory of a higher instance, or in the case of Narnia, sacral.

The path to this other world of the divine was marked by Lewis through the confrontation of death, as is the sacrifice of Aslan or the transcendence of this and other characters in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, because the celestial kingdom are the wonders that the real world is unable to offer. Thus, his work encourages the reader to envision death as an access route to a better world, with a much more significant existence.

Although in the use of various mythological and religious sources, Lewis’s work may present certain theoretical inconsistencies in relation to fantasy and each of its meanings. Mainly when his treatment of the transcendental and the unknown can only be explained by way of Christianity.

Despite the existing ignorance of the public about the film saga about the multiverse in The Chronicles of Narnia, the truth is that this element has always been one of the most recognized in the original work, as well as one of the qualities that made it a classic of children’s literature emotionally linked to its readers for entire generations. It is at this point where the true magic of fantasy resides, in the ability to imagine worlds that, to the extent possible, inspire ours to be better.

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The multiverse according to The Chronicles of Narnia | tomatoes