C. S. Lewis created Narnia as the primary setting for his Chronicles of Narnia series of seven fantasy books for children. The world is named after Narnia (the country), where much of the Chronicles’ action occurs.
Mythical beasts abound in Narnia, some animals can talk, and magic is common. The story of Narnia begins when humans, typically children, enter the Narnian world from Earth.
In this article, you’ll learn about the amazing world of Narnia, including its geography, inhabitants, and cosmology.
Narnia is the setting for the novels, a land of rolling hills soaring to low mountains in the south. Apart from marshlands in the north, it is mostly forested. A large mountain range borders the country on the west, the Eastern Ocean on the east, Archenland on the south, and the River Shribble on the north.
The Great River of Narnia, running from the northwest across the country on an east-southeast course to the Eastern Ocean, is the country’s economic heart. Cair Paravel, at the Great River’s mouth, is the seat of government. Other settlements along the river include:
One of the four named towns in the Narnia kingdom. Beruna became a strategic location due to the Great River of Narnia fords that were located there. When the Telmarines conquered Narnia, they built a town at the Fords of Beruna and a bridge across the river.
A community named after Mrs. and Mr. Beaver’s dam in the area assisted in transporting the four Pevensies to the Stone Table to meet Aslan. The community was most likely established before the Telmarine conquest, but it continued to exist under Telmarine rule and housed most of the Telmarine-descent population.
Chippingford is also among the four named towns in the land of Narnia. Shift the Ape dispatches Puzzle the Donkey there to buy bananas and oranges at the beginning of The Last Battle. It is a made-up British English name derived from the Anglo-Saxon Capungford, which means “market ford.”
Pauline Baynes and C.S. Lewis collaborated on this map, which depicts the mainland portion of Narnia stretching roughly 100 miles north and south and 150 miles east and west.
Eleven named humans from Earth arrived in Narnia: four boys, four girls, two men, and one woman. Narnians refer to Earth’s humans as the Daughters of Eve and the Sons of Adam, referring to the first humans in the Bible’s creation story.
The best-known humans are the Pevensie children: Peter Pevensie, Susan Pevensie, Edmund Pevensie, and Lucy Pevensie. Every Pevensie was given their weapons, and Peter’s was the Rhindon Sword.
Dwarfs are indigenous to Narnia. Aslan refers to them as Sons of Earth, different from humans, referred to as Daughters of Eve or Sons of Adam. Dwarfs are classified into two types based on their hair color: Red Dwarfs and Black Dwarfs.
While many Red Dwarfs are loyal to Aslan and kind, Black Dwarfs seem to be more hostile and selfish, with the majority fighting on the side of the White Witch. Dwarfs in the books are male and live in communities, though they have been known to mix with and reproduce with humans.
The cabbie’s horse, Strawberry, also arrived in Narnia from Earth and was chosen to be a talking beast, eventually becoming the winged horse Fledge.
You can also find many animals on Earth in Narnia, and most of them have talking versions. When Aslan breathed on the first animal pairs, some gained thought and speech and grew in size. Smaller animals (birds, rodents, and small mammals) are slightly larger than their non-speaking relatives, while larger animals are smaller.
There are three types of talking animals: mammals, birds, and reptiles. There are no talking fish or insects. It is explicitly stated that there were no talking mice at first and that Aslan later added them as a reward for the mice’s kindness in slashing his ropes after the White Witch killed him.
The Narnian books feature two witches: the White Witch (Jadis “The White Lady”) and the Lady of the Green Kirtle.
Jadis appears to be a tall human woman, but she is the last scion of the royal house of Charn, as revealed in The Magician’s Nephew. When Jadis first arrived in the Narnian world, she ate a fruit that granted her immortality. She then bolted to the north.
Another fruit from the very same tree was positioned in Narnia, and Aslan declared that as long as the tree that grew from it thrived, Jadis would not return. Jadis left Narnia for 900 years before returning to conquer it and bring about the 100-year winter. Aslan killed her in the First Battle of Beruna.
In The Silver Chair, the Green Lady turns herself into a massive green serpent twice. Most of her other abilities appear to be related to enslavement and seduction; she has entranced and enslaved Rilian and a troop of underground gnomes, and she nearly succeeds in bewitching Eustace, Jill, and Puddleglum with a musical instrument and magical powder.
Other Narnian world inhabitants are based on known folkloric or mythological creatures. There is a free mix of beings from Greco-Roman myths and others from British folklore. Check out the different Greek Gods of Mythology who might’ve inspired some Narnian creatures.
Other Creatures and Residents
Marsh-wiggles live in Narnia, and Dufflepuds reside on a distant island. Many unusual beings visit or live in Narnia and its surrounding countries, including the River God, Silenus, Father Christmas, Bacchus, Pomona, Father Time, and Tash. It’s also worth noting that the Stars are sentient beings in Narnia.
Narnia is a flat world with a geocentric system. Its sky is a dome through which mortal creatures cannot pass. During The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, characters travel eastward until they reach the literal end of the world, where the sky meets the sea.
The stars of Narnia are brilliant sentient beings who visit multiple worlds in a humanoid form on occasion. Its constellations are the product of a mystical dance in the sky performed by the stars to introduce the comings and works of Aslan, Narnia’s creator. The stars also aligned to allow seers to predict certain future events.
The Narnian sun is a fiery disc that revolves daily around the world. The sun has its ecosystem and is assumed to be home to great white birds like those seen in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. On the other hand, the moon of Narnia is larger than the moon of Earth.
The Worlds of Narnia
The Narnian world is one of many fictional worlds, including Charn and Earth’s worlds. These are linked by the Wood Between the Worlds, a nexus existing outside of all the other worlds. This area resembles a dense forest with numerous pools of water.
Each pool leads to a different world with appropriate magic (or devices like rings made of soil). The Wood Between the Worlds affects the White Witch’s strength and magic, as she becomes weak and sick when taken there.
Earth visitors to Narnia usually discover that their stay in the world lasts longer (sometimes much longer) than their absence from Earth. The length of time appears to be arbitrary. When one visits Narnia, they always find that more time has passed than on Earth, but there does not appear to be a fixed rate.