Podcast #97: Was The Dark Island Destroyed? (Book Commentary)

VDTThe Voyage of the Dawn Treader, part 6
When C. S. Lewis published The Chronicles of Narnia in the United States, he made some tweaks to the text, most of which were minor. The only significant change was made to the end of Chapter 12 of ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.’ Listen to Rilian and Glumpuddle discuss the scene, and which ending they prefer.

Which version do you prefer? Original or revised (pre-1994 American)? Post a comment below!

Episode outline:

  • General thoughts on the scene (0:48)
  • History lesson: Differences between the two versions (7:50)
  • The pros and cons of each version (11:44)

RT 22:17

14 Responses

  1. GemtheGiant says:

    I was so Disappointed with the portrayal of the Media's "Dark Island". That Green "Tempt" Mist? Oh Please!

  2. narnia fan 7 says:

    I prefer the original version I have never read the revised edition but I agree that Lord Rhoop's request to Caspian is better in the revised edition.

  3. Thunder-Fist says:

    I've never known about the differences in the Dark Island scene before, and the funny thing is I own both versions. It seems to me that these three changes seem to be more dramatically effective and open ended. The first change is the only one I'm not sure about. That line (by Rhince was it?) about making fools of themselves doesn't necessarily take away from the danger. In one way it does, but it could also be a small character moment for him. Once while I was driving on a snowy night a moose ran out in front of my car. I swerved into the other lane, missed the moose by INCHES, and swerved back out of the way of oncoming traffic. It was terrifying and my heart was thumping like crazy, but as soon as the danger was past it became suddenly hilarious and I laughed aloud. Maybe this is over-analyzation but I think that is what Rhince was expressing. Yet I think with the slightly more sinister tone of the revisions (that the danger is not all past, merely falling behind) it's change makes sense. Even so, I think I would call that one a tie, and the other two changes wins for the revised version.

  4. Thunder-Fist says:

    From the moment I heard they were making The Chronicles of Narnia into movies I thought of how good a scene the Dark Island would make. I couldn't wait to see it, yet I'm waiting still. Neither the BBC version, nor the Green Mist travesty really captured that scene.

  5. glumPuddle says:

    Love the moose story, haha.

    Bottom line for me: The revised version just has more emotional resonance. I don't mind original line from Rhince, but the bit in the revised version about what it feels like to wake up from a nightmare really speaks to me.

    A good comparison of the two versions is on the book's Wikipedia page.

  6. narnian1 says:

    Huh. I never realized there were two versions. My version is the updated 94 version, which reads like the original British version. To me the island was destroyed, it's how I've only known it. But I like the edited version too.

  7. Eustace says:

    I think I like both versions equally and I see the importance of each version.

  8. GemtheGiant says:

    To Counteract, Though it may be cheesy. I thought the BBC "Dark Island" was more accurate to Lewis's text, wasn't it said "The Island was like coming the edge of a moonless starless night, or the entrance to a railway tunnel?" You could clearly see the vastness of Fox's Island.

  9. Thunder-Fist says:

    I totally agree. I just feel that they missed an opportunity to make a great scene there.

  10. Thunder-Fist says:

    Exactly how I feel. What I didn't say before was that the second two were big wins for the revised version (and they wouldn't be as good if the Rhince line remained). Much more dramatically effective and, as you said, emotionally resonant.

  11. Roger says:

    I did not know about the two versions. Thank you for bring this to my attention. Do you have any advice as to how and where I can purchase the older American version?

  12. Thunder-Fist says:

    Most used bookshops should have some, if not the whole set (assuming that you live in America). Many used bookshops have gone under due to kindle, nook, and rising illiteracy, so if at all possible, support a used bookshop, but if you don't have access to one, or live elsewhere and need to use the internet, I'd probably start with Abebooks.com.

  13. glumPuddle says:

    I'd look online. Here is a link to a pre-1994 American set.


    Best part: They’re numbered in publication order (LWW first)! That was another change HarperCollins made when they took over in 1994.

  14. Roger says:

    Thanks a lot for doing the work. I now have a set on order.