A Review of the Narnia Exhibition

NarniaWebber 7chronicles sent us a full report about his tour of the Narnia Exhibition in Arizona:

The Narnia Exhibition entrance

The Narnia Exhibition entrance

When we entered the building the first thing I noticed was a life size centaur statue and a large replica of the wardrobe, very beautiful. We got our tickets and headed to the third floor where the Exhibition was located; when we reached the top shields lined the wall and in front of me was the entrance. (The only bad thing was you were not allowed to take pictures.) The Entrance was an arch and gate (that looked like Cair Paravel) where you would enter into the Exhibition

When we went though the gate this is what I saw.

Room 1: C. S. Lewis
The first room was not huge, but it had plenty to look at. A Douglas Gresham video was playing on one wall. The room had the WWII posters and the nametags used in the movie — also a large map of Narnia, and some concept art.
On the other wall hung pictures of C. S. Lewis’ childhood world of Boxen, underneath that a glass cupboard full of Dawn Treader books from Asia, and two first editions of Prince Caspian. They also had in another cupboard, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy first edition books, and I’m not sure if it was the real wardrobe Lewis owned but there was a wardrobe. By it was a glass display full of Lewis’ item’s, a Mug, a George MacDonald book, his pipe, and what I liked best, his pen and ink jar with a letter written by him. It was such beautiful hand writing, and I couldn’t help but think that same Pen and Ink Jar may have been used to write Narnia.

Room 2: The Wardrobe
We went though the door that led into a small room that resembled the Professor’s attic complete with the Wardrobe — only the room wasn’t as long as it was in the movie. The noise of rain outside and the windows made it look as if it were really raining, after a brief wait, Douglas Gresham’s voice was heard welcoming us into Narnia and then the wardrobe door opened. I felt like Lucy going though the wardrobe it was so wonderful. They had fur coats hanging on either side of us as we walked though, and on the other side (fake) snow was falling.

Room 3: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The first thing on display was the Beaver’s items in their house like fishing poles, and Mrs. Beaver’s sewing kit. They had Peter, Susan, and Lucy’s costumes there also. There was Mr. Tumnus’s door from his house that had claw scratches on it, and the letter signed by Maugrim. There was a statue probably made of wax of Mr. Tumnus’ head, his pipe, teacup, packages, coat hanger with his umbrella, the picture of his father, and the bottles he was carrying. Alongside of this was the White Witch’s sleigh with Ginarrbrik’s armor and Edmund’s costume. Next to that a glass case full of the White Witch’s item’s, her stone knife, the Turkish delight case, the goblet Edmund drank from, a very nice small statue of her, her dress, and different sized crowns showing how her crown became smaller. Next to that was the White Witch’s throne, not as good as I expected, but I’m not complaining. It was very cold if you sat for a little bit. Just ahead there were some fake apple trees along the walls.

Room 4: Prince Caspian/The Pevensies
Next was Prince Caspian, starting with the Pevensies school cloths they had on display, they also had a large map that told you information abut the different places of Narnia, and the treasure from the treasure room, I felt like I was in the movie, it was all so beautifully done, They had Susan’s treasure chest and statue on display. The chest was opened so you could see all the things she had in it. Some things looked like they could have been from Calormen.

Room 5: Prince Caspian/The Telmarines
Caspian’s outfit was the first thing on display, I don’t think you can appreciate the detail and work that goes into the costumes and props unless you see them for yourself, even though I had seen Caspian’s flowery shirt in lots of pictures and in the movie, It was so amazing to see the detail in it up close, Susan’s horn and Caspian’s sword where also on display with Caspian’s costume. Cornelius’ was really cool to see because you could see all of his scrolls and the book with the arrow in it just like in the movie. Sopespian’s council chair was on display, his council costume, and his banner. Miraz’s coronation costume was there along with Miraz’s son’s baby cloths, (no crown though sadly) he also had his banner on display. Prunaprismia’s coronation dress and jewelry were beautiful, so much detail for one quick part in the movie. She too had a banner. They had a catapult on display, a smaller one, but they where still getting it ready when we where there.

Room 6: Prince Caspian/Old Narnia
The next room was like the Dancing Lawn. There was a statue of Reepicheep, not the best I’ve seen but still decent. There was an Asterius statue with goblin, ogre, and satyr heads. In front of me was a replica of Trufflehunter’s home, smaller and not as detailed as the movie, when you went inside they had a glass display of all the item’s in Trufflehunter’s home, including a stove his height. Then there was a statue I think that was made of wax of Glenstorm from the waist up, with a big chest behind him full of Bows. Trumpkin and Nikabrik’s cloths were on displayed with their swords and Nikabrik’s knife and I’m pretty sure the hag’s knife. I never noticed how beautiful Trumpkin’s sword was, even though it was sheathed.

Room 7: Prince Caspian/The Battle
Next was the battle room. They had Caspian’s armor, Peter’s Armor, Edmund and Susan’s Armor along with all of their swords and Susan’s bow and arrows, Edmund and Peter’s shields, Lucy’s Cordial and Dagger, and her dress. Also the map Miraz had on the table during the delivery of the challenge, on the table with the sword just like in the movie. Next to that was, General Glozelle’s armor, Sopespian’s armor, and Miraz’s armor, and both Miraz’s shields.

Room 8: Theater Video
In the next room was a big TV screen, there were no chairs, the video was new to me, and was good, but the best part was at the end of the video, it showed the ocean and then a concept art of the Sea Serpent from the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the sea serpent was different from the concept picture spotted behind Isis Mussenden in a video, and was more detailed. It was so cool at the end it said, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader coming 2010,” of course we all know that though.

Room 9: Prince Caspian/The Coronation
The last room was the coronation room. The small room was lined with centaurs on either side, though they were very tall. At the end of the room they had Caspian’s coronation outfit, so nice, Susan’s throne and the best of all the four Pevensie’s crowns they were so beautiful and I feel it was very fitting to end the Exhibition with such beautiful pieces of craftsmanship

Room 10: The Gift Shop
When the Exhibition comes to your state, you may want to bring some spare cash, they had a pretty good-sized gift shop full of Weta’s statues (all from LWW), books, toys, posters and some other stuff.

This was a wonderful experience for me, I would highly recommend it to anyone. The exhibit goes on from June 7 – Oct. 26, 2008. After that I think it will move to the next state.

Even though cameras are not allowed at the exhibition, AZCentral.com does have a small photogallery of this event here.

Thanks so much 7chronicles for sending us your report!