The White Witch in VDT

Perry Moore, executive producer for the Narnia films, offers a tiny bit of info to the website TheTorchOnline on the White Witch’s appearance in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; as well as some interesting tidbits on the interpretation of the character throughout the series.

Q: Will the White Witch appear in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie? I know she’s not in the book, but she wasn’t in Prince Caspian either, and she made an appearance in that movie! — MAGPIE, Toronto, Canada

Perry Moore: She — and her evil — weave seamlessly into The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. She appears right where you think she would when you read the book — in a surprising way you could never guess that is at the same time true to the core of the book.

Who are these filmmakers to add something like this to the story?

Perry Moore: C.S. Lewis himself, flip-flopped on the origin of the White Witch. In the first book written [The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe], Jadis is said to be the descendant of Lilith (Adam’s first wife) and an ice giant (like a jotun, from Norse Mythology). Then in the prequel to that book, The Magician’s Nephew, which Tilda is dying for us to do next, C.S. Lewis shows that she came from another planet, Charn, in another dimension that you can only reach by going through the ‘world between world’ and the many pools there.

There are even more interesting tidbits to read in the full story here.

Thanks to icarus for the heads up!

63 Responses

  1. Narniapinoy says:

    I wish they make all the books into movie ^^

  2. Christina says:

    You could certainly challenge their statement that Lewis "messed up" on the White Witch. I'm not liking these filmmakers.

    • glumPuddle says:

      Lewis did not necessarily flip-flop on the Witch’s origin. Mr Beaver could have been mistaken when he told the kids that story. It makes sense that the Narnians would not know her origin, but rumors and myths about her would spread.

      • shastastwin says:

        I always thought it likely that the story the Beavers told the children was true. It just happens that these children of Lilith and the frost giant were the royalty on Charn.

        However, it's just as likely that the Narnians did not know the real origins of the Witch.

      • Sean M says:

        Of course, Lewis never tells us everything about his universe. And though a lot of people think of "The Magician's Nephew" as the sixth book, Lewis actually started writing after "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." The original storyline featured a young Professor Kirk, as the finished book did, but no Polly. Instead, Diggory had a fairy godmother and a talking squirrel that led him to a magic tunnel…and Lewis stopped there. Honestly, I wish he'd kept on with that story. It would have been awesome!
        Clearly, Lewis was still grounded in myths and legends when he began his Narnia sequel. Thus "Lilith," a Jewish and Islamic character, was introduced in LWW. However, he moved away from the fairy tale vein of the original "Magician's Nephew" to the medieval format for "Prince Caspian."
        That said, he offers us a tantalizing proposition in TMN: how many worlds are there? We see three in the whole series, yet the Wood Between the Worlds contains a perhaps infinite number. Who's to say that Lilith couldn't have come from our world into Charn, just as King Frank and Queen Helen came into Narnia? And remember the Atlantis reference in THM? Uncle Andrew attributed his magic rings to that mythical country…and to his own fairy godmother.
        Oh Lewis, you leave me drooling at all your unanswered questions.

      • Sean M says:

        And for all of you nitpickers, I made a mistake in my above reply: Polly does indeed appear in the original TMN (known as the "Lefay fragment"), just in a diffent capacity.

      • Duffleglum says:

        kinda makes sense the way you put it… but who is this guy to give the reporter a politicians answer?

        Moore just said a lame statement that had hardly any connection to the question 😛

  3. Pebbles says:

    Oh dear. I don't like this. I wish they would just stick to the book!

    • Jill231 says:

      I bet she just shows up on the island where dreams come true. She's probably Edmund's nightmare. The book wasn't super super specific on EVERYONE's dreams, and they did say that she shows up just where you'd expect her to. Several other people have the same theory.

  4. CrazyTumnusLuver says:

    Oh! So they're saying she appears where she would in the book? That's a relief!!
    That means they're probaly going to have the Dark Island! Oh boy, that's my favorite part of the book 🙂

  5. LL says:

    What could this mean???

  6. Daredevil says:

    So she appears "right where you think" but also in a "surprising way you could never guess"? Well i'm not entirely sure how such logic works, but i'm still going to assume its as a nightmare on Dark Island 🙂

    • Charlotte says:

      I think that likley "right where we think" is the dark island. I think perhaps she shows up in one of Lucy's dreams that comes true. Does that make sense to anyone else?

  7. DamselJillPole says:

    Perry said that Magician's Nephew is the movie Tilda is hopeful they'll do next. So is that after or before SC? Great story though. It makes sense when this person explained everything.

  8. Starlily says:

    Hmm…I still won't be reassured until I actually see where the White Witch is in the movie, and what she does. I just wish they would leave her in LWW and MN where she's supposed to be.

  9. glumPuddle says:

    "Right where you think"? My first guess was Ramandu's Island, because that's where they find her stone knife. But it could be the Dark Island too. I hope it's not Edmund's dream. That wouldn't make sense.

    It might be that her brief appearance won't be a big deal. But I still think the reason they got the idea to call up Tilda in the first place is that she is an Oscar winner, and she's probably contractually obligated to appear in a certain number of Narnia films.

    Is this going to be a running joke throughout the series? "How can they squeeze Tilda in this time?"

    • shastastwin says:

      It seems we've almost reached that point now.

      My guess would be Dark Island as well, but she'll appear to Lucy or Caspian, maybe even Eustace rather than Edmund to be the way we won't expect.

    • I remember in the FotF audio version of Dawn Treader when Lucy is having her nightmares on the boat, that she hears the LWW audio from the stone table. I thought it fit really well.

      Just an interesting tidbit…

    • DragonGirl28 says:

      Hmmm, that's a good point. Yeah, I'm thinking it's either The Dark Island or Ramandu's Island. I guess I don't really mind the White Witch being in VDT…as long as it's only for a brief appearance, nothing more…

    • Pattertwig's Pal says:

      I wouldn't expect her to appear anywhere. I agree that it shouldn't be in Edmund's dream. I sure hope they wouldn't squeeze her into every movie. That would be worse than always having a minotaur.

    • Zack says:

      I have to agree with glumPuddle. I mean, is this seriously going to be an issue for the rest of the Narnia films?
      What's bugging me most about all of this is that the films are focusing WAY too much on The White Witch. She died in LWW, and her extremely brief appaerence in PC was just fine. But these films are taking away from other villains that will be in the movies. They are focusing on Jadis too much.

      Think about how an outsider, one who has never read the books but has followed the two first movies, sees the White Witch again. I would be really confused. My point is on the focusing on her too much. I will be happy is she is in a brief dream sequence, but if she isn't…
      One more thing that Perry Moore said is that they are "taking creative liberties" to use for the films.
      I'm hoping and praying that she will be in a minor dream, and I'm sure that she will be.

  10. Skandarlove says:

    It would be interesting to see the White Witch in the movie, but i still think they should just stick to what the book says.

  11. “We took some creative liberties,” Moore admits, “but they’re hardly transgressions when you consider that Lewis just completely rewrote her origin six books later,” he says.

    Oh, goodness no. Someone willing to say something like that should not be working on a Narnia film. This coupled with that FB blog saying they're taking "liberties" and are including "surprises" really, really worries me.

    Hopefully the upcoming trailer will cure my woes.

    • DragonGirl28 says:

      *begins to get worried as well* Hopefully when the trailer comes out, it will clear up a few things. After messing up Prince Caspian, I sure hope VDT turns out good…

      • I agree about them messing up Prince Caspian, though I was hardly as worried about them botching that one up as I am with this one. Dawn Treader is one of my faves from The Chronicles.

        I think Lewis would have thrown his boot at the screen when Susan and Caspian had their "moment" at the end. lol

      • Charlotte says:

        After the way PC turned out, I am a little worried about how this film turns out as well. VODT is my favorite book in the series, and as much as I boast about being able to seperate my book and film experiences, I noticed I can't reas LWW or PC the same way after the movie.

    • Bookwyrm says:

      I've lost pretty much all respect for Perry Moore thanks to this article.

  12. HighQueen_Of_LanternWaste says:

    Mixed feelings…I did get happy when I read Tilda is looking foward to filming the Magician's Nephew, I'd love to see that one on film.

    • Yeah, Tilda is an amazing person and a great actress. It's awesome that she's excited about the franchise.

    • glumPuddle says:

      That's one encouraging thing that comes out of this interview: Tilda wants to come back for MN. 🙂

      It would actually make sense if the Witch looked older in MN than in LWW. Because she becomes immortal after eating the fruit. Basically… Tilda Swinton is now old enough to play herself younger, haha.

  13. Edmund P says:

    This is very interesting. I hope it's Dark Island!

    Oh, I DO hope they do The Magician's Nephew next! That would REALLY be like starting all over. New actors/actresses – everythng!

  14. FriendOfNarnia2 says:

    Okay, so for the Silver Chair they have Tilda play the Lady of the Green Kirtle. In The Horse and His Boy and The Last Battle she takes the form of Tash, and of course she appears in The Magician's Nephew. So there you have it! Ughhh!!!!

  15. Beginte says:

    Without offending anyone (I definitely don't want to do that!), I'd love if people stopped reacting with the catastrophic attitude before actually seeing the film… I'm staying positive about this. Film based on a book is always to me a rendition of the story, I go to see it because I want to see a new, exciting take on it, see some new bits, new ideas… when I want to see the story completely faithfully and literally, I read the book again and let it play before my eyes 🙂 Some changes are not always welcome, but I hold back with reaction till I actually see the film. Believe me, betraying trivia like that can come out sound super-lame, taken out of the context of the whole film. Anyway, can't wait! I believe she will appear in Edmund or Caspian's dream in the Dark Island, which would make much sense.

  16. Lucy says:

    The only place I want to see her is on dark island as a dream (preferably Edmund's or Lucy's) NO WHERE ELSE!

  17. pselpevensie says:

    oh no! this is getting me worried!
    but, since he said "she appears right where you think she would" that most likely means she will be in the dark island scene as edmund's "dream". will have to wait and see!!!
    (hopefully, they'll show some of her in the trailer and will help clear it up)

  18. Beginte says:

    OOOH, I just realized – isn't something wrong there? In LWW the Beaver (or Mrs. Beaver, can't remember…) says that Lilith was of Jinn, hence the White Witch is half Jinn… there was no talk about ice Giants. Or am I missing something? *is confused*

    • daughter of the King says:

      You're not confused. There's no ice giant. And yes, Mr. Beaver says the White Witch comes from the Jinn on one side.

  19. Lady Galadriel says:

    Aslan himself said evil like the WW's never truly dies? Where is that quote? And what happened to, "When Adam's flesh and Adam's bone sits at Cair Paravel in throne, the evil time will be over and done"?

    • Waleed Sajjad Khan says:

      But it didn't say WHERE the evil time would be over, did it?

      • Lady Galadriel says:

        No, it didn't. It said that when Adam's flesh and blood (and Lewis clearly means this to be the Pevensies) sit at Cair Paravel in throne, the evil time — the Witch's time — will be over and done.

  20. Lutra's Pearl says:

    Can't they please just stick to the books. That way everyone would be happy. I didn't really mind when they said it was just a dream she would be in but this makes it sound like her evil is in the whole movie. I really hope that this is the last movie she is in (besides that MN). I mean come on, she was kicked off the throne 1300 and some years ago. And I really hope that she doesn't have to do with the witch in the Silver Chair, but she most likely will. Keep the story of Aslan alive.

  21. Waleed Sajjad Khan says:

    SHE'S GONNA BE ON THE DARK ISLAND!!!! I'M SURE OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Eliseo says:

    Guys its not a big deal that she will be on Dark Island… now I seriously cant see the Witch in any other movies, but I am ok if she makes a brief appearance on VDT.

  23. Long Live King Skandar says:

    maybe she'll try to have eustace "resurrect" her with his blood like Peter and Caspian almost did in PC, and Edmund (YAY!!!) will save the day AGAIN!!!!! id love that just because i love his line in PC…"i know. u had it sorted." haha

  24. Demor says:

    When I was a child reading VDT, I always imagined the Witch being at the Dark Island. I think it is also an interesting that they might put her shortly in the upcoming movies as they did in PC and as they are in this one. As the hag in PC said, you can never truly destroy a witch. They can always be brought back.

  25. GlimGlum says:

    It's obvious that the producers are obsessed with the White Witch and are trying to work her into each film. For some reason they think her important for a Narnia movie's success. I would disagree and hope that the Emerald Witch in The Silver Chair is portrayed as an entirely different character by another actress. 🙂

    • Bookwyrm says:

      If they have the LotGK turn out to be Jadis, I'm done with the franchise. I will not go see SC in theaters and I will not buy the DVD.

  26. HighQueenofNarnia says:

    ^^ Good point, Demor. You should check out Pattertwig's Pal's siggy, because it agrees with that.

    Really, "a place you wouldn't expect" would be anywhere in the film. But the nice thing about VotDT is that it's an adventure and doesn't have a personified bad guy- it's a bit like Indiana Jones, in that the only enemy is the elements.
    Well, I'm speculating on a place I wouldn't expect. I expect the Dark Island, if she is indeed in the movie. Possibly Ramandu's Island, but really! Ramandu's Island is the END of the adventure!!! They shouldn't introduce the evil at the END!!! That makes absolutely no sense. Now, Coriakin's Island, or the Magician's Island, shouldn't have the WW at all, unless she's incorporated into the spells book. Burnt Island- wait, no, I forgot that this island and Dragon Island were most likely morphed into one island. Dragon Island??? Is Eustace tempted by the Witch??? (I hope not!!!! But this is pure speculation.) Then, the Lone Islands- oh, Aslan forbid!!! Not there!!! Anywhere but there!!! THAT would not be seamless. Now, Deathwater Island?? Maybe? Hopefully not!

    As Beginte said, I'll wait for the movie and trust the filmmakers (even though they probably shouldn't be trusted), but I'll still think about this long and hard.

    • HighQueenofNarnia says:

      Ohhh, haha, I read the article wrong. So my reply is slightly irrelevant. But, anyway, where I'd expect (Dark Island) but not how? So, maybe she's not in a dream but is actually present on the island and is the one who is haunting all of these people?

  27. It' only for a brief moment in the movie. So it won't be that bad of a thing. Also I'm glad to hear that Tilda is anxious to do The Magician's Nephew!

  28. FriendOfNarnia2 says:

    What bothers me most about the Witch appearing in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader in any place besides a dream, is that she is SUPPOSED to be dead. It is almost as if Aslan did not truly defeat her!

    • Bookwyrm says:

      Considering that for all we know Movie!Aslan is just a magic talking lion, maybe he didn't.

  29. true-narnian_queen says:

    we will just have to see how it turnes out in the movie.

  30. tolkienlewisfan says:

    Excellent. The director is not afraid to add some of his own stuff in there…unless it destroys the point of the book. Seriously guys its not a big deal at all. If he did everything 100 percent like the book then what point would there be to the movie?? Also most films that go 100 percent accurate to the book are dry and boring.

  31. Braden Woodburn says:

    Interesting. Although she is evil and the main bad chracter since the Narnia books began, it's still cool that even if she isn't in the books, to add even a small clip of her in the films. Like example in the film version of Prince Caspian. Very cool.

  32. Movie Aristotle says:

    Being upset about the White Witch appearing in every Narnia film is not just fans being nit-picky. It's like bringing Mr. Beaver or Reepicheep back into every film. Some characters serve a purpose in the story, and then when they fulfill that purpose, Lewis stops writing about them. The White Witch has fullfilled her purpose in the story from now until The Magician's Nephew. Let's leave her alone.

    I don't want the Lady of the Green Kirtle to be played by Tilda. It would be robbing us of a great new character if they decided to combine the White and Emerald Witches.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Tilda Swinton, and I'm glad that she loves the franchise so much, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Too much sugar turns the tea into syrup.

  33. Bookwyrm says:

    I'm going to be nice and give you the benefit of the doubt here. Maybe you were just mistaken and not deliberately lying.

  34. daughter of the King says:

    1. "She appears right where you think she would" is open to interpretation. The only place I ever thought she would appear is in a flashback on Ramandu's Island when Lucy sees the Stone Knife (key word: flashback).
    2. C.S.Lewis did not "flip-flop" the WW's origins. It is stated in MN that the royal house of Charn has giantish blood (note: giant, not ice giant. There is no mention of an "ice giant" anywhere in the series).
    3. Her appearance is not "totally different" in MN. She is extremely tall in both; her complexion changes when she eats the apple.
    4. Aslan never said that evil like hers never truly dies.
    5. The White Witch and the Lady of the Green Kirtle are not the same person. Period. They are different witches.
    I am tired of seeing the White Witch. She's dead! Are the Dufflepuds going to have to sing "Ding Dong the witch is dead" to prove it?

    • Pattertwig's Pal says:

      I laughed when I saw your last part. If that is what it takes. … I'd rather they showed it another way. I don't remember that quote about evil either.

  35. Hope in the Lord says:

    Nice. I do love a face to face between her and Edmund. The Witch vs The former Betrayer turned hero. That was awesome in PC. Can't wait. 🙂

  36. Watziznehm says:


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