The Narnia Movie Headlines That Made Fans Panic | Talking Beasts

Podcast Discussion

NarniaWeb has been covering The Chronicles of Narnia movie news and rumors since 2003. In this episode, the podcasters take a fresh look at headlines that sent the community reeling — and ask if the fuss was justified.

This concludes Season 4 of Talking Beasts! Here are some other podcasts you can check out during the break: Further Up: Lookin’ for Lewis, The Lamp-post Listener, Further Up and Further In, Pints with Jack. Also, join the discussion in The Chronicles of Narnia Facebook Group.

Glumpuddle, Gymfan


27 Responses

  1. Eric Geddes says:

    I saw the trailers for Dawn Treader and was nervous when I saw the White Witch. It’ll be ok as long as she’s only there for a minute in the Dark Island scene I said. As long as they follow the book for the rest of Dark Island it will be SO Great. They couldn’t have changed the movie That much I said. Michael Apted can do good movies. And then the movie came out… Ouch.

  2. narnia fan 7 says:

    Well, this was a nice stroll down memory lane (for you guys I mean, 90% of this stuff happened before I found Narniaweb. lol)

    I’m looking forward to the anticipation and speculation for the Netflix movies\series. Even though I’m at best cautiously pessimistic about them.

  3. Geekicheep says:

    I was not on NarniaWe back when all this news came out, but I totally understand where you guys are coming from!

    As far as how the White Witch looked, I was a bit disappointed when she was so different from the book; not only was she not white, but she was not as tall as the books made her out to be; I also never saw her as a blonde, but Lewis never said her hair color and Pauline Baynes’ illustrations were black and white, so that’s no big deal. And her hair was bunched up (which I’ve seen ladies do down here in Florida, but doesn’t make sense in a land of eternal winter :D), and her “crown” was a giant icicle, and to me that was (again) kind of weird. I had to laugh at the icicle thing, because people don’t understand: the White Witch is not just an Elsa rip-off; in the Magician’s Nephew, Digory planted a tree with fruit she couldn’t go near. How to prevent that fruit from ever growing again? Endless winter! There was a motive behind the snow, she’s not “just another ice queen”. Although, it could be that because Narnians called her the White Witch, I guess she could have decided to “own it” just to freak them out, lol. But IMO all that stuff is not too bad, because no movie or show can ever compare to the books. No version of the Witch, or Aslan, or anyone else in Narnia, will ever be as real as the “real” ones we imagined while reading the books. In the 2000s series, the woman who played her did a phenomenal job, and actually did something different that was cool… wellll, not cool, but totally something the White Witch would do: She wore Aslan’s cut-off mane into battle!

    Anyway, now that I’m here, I’m looking forward to “taking the adventure that comes to us” with you! See you next season. 🙂

    • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

      Okay… I did NOT connect the endless winter to killing the tree until nowXD ugh

      Also, yes, the White Witch wearing Aslan’s mane: scary cool. I feel like it’s equivalent to wearing someone’s face (so… terrifying not cool)

  4. Col Klink says:

    I’d like to thank Gymfan for mentioning that she was thinking of dismantling because it gives the chance to save the things from that site which I enjoyed, mainly the screenplay which can be read here. Really appreciate that headsup.

    I was annoyed by the White Witch’s appearance too. She’s supposed to be beautiful but her makeup just made her look…kind of gross. I don’t think I was quite as ticked off as Glumpuddle because I felt like they were trying to make her look white but she came out as…gray for some reason.

    Does anyone have the link for the Prince Caspian commercial which edited all the romantic scenes together? I never saw it and if I did, I’m sure it would enrage me but I have a morbid desire to watch it anyway.

    I agree that even though adaptations of Narnia can be…upsetting, they’re fun to talk about and thinking about them helps us realize what made the source material so great. So I find myself looking forward to Narnia adaptations even if they’re going to be bad.

    It feels sort of wrong to me to say this was a great episode and a great season considering what happened to one of the podcasts around this time. But if I may say so, it honestly was. There were so many great episodes. I really enjoyed listening to it.

    • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

      I actually kinda liked the White Witch’s look. I know in MN they keep referring to her as a beautiful seductress but I always felt that was more LotGK’s thing. Raw power seems more of Jadis’ thing, like when Polly knew Jadis could snap her arm with one hand or when she threw Letty across the room. That’s why I loved that in the movie, she totally owned Peter and Edmund by just duel wielding like a boss, no wand or magic (I also love a good sword fight:)

      Although I could like the design more because I think I saw a few of the stills before reading the book.

      • Col Klink says:

        I see the White Witch being beautiful as an important part of her character since she tempts both Digory and Edmund. Her beauty just seems thematically appropriate. (I’d like to stress that I’m not saying Tilda Swinton isn’t beautiful. I just think the makeup in LWW worked against that. 🙂 )

  5. Anonymouse says:

    Was this the Dawn Treader script that was supposedly read at LionCon?

  6. Eliza says:

    Prince Caspian (film) is less accurate than TVOTDT (movie 3) .

    • Col Klink says:

      Would you care to back up your assertion, Eliza? I don’t mean that to sound rude. I just think fan. discussion is more fun when people make actual arguments rather than assertions.

    • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

      I suppose that depends on how you define accurate. Plot accuracy I think goes to PC, but character accuracy… maybe VDT? Spirit of Lewis’ work goes to neither though in my opinion. (PC too angsty VDT too generic fantasy)

      • Col Klink says:

        Fair enough. I don’t mind the angst in Prince Caspian because one of my favorite Narnia books is The Magician’s Nephew, which is definitely on the angsty side, and one of my favorite C. S. Lewis books is Till We Have Faces, a total angst fest. There are definitely a lot of really bad angsty books and movies out there though.

        If I were to rank the Narnian protagonists, the Pevensies and Caspian would probably be near the bottom so I personally wasn’t as bothered by the changes to their characters as some fans were. I wouldn’t say all those were for the best though and I realize my opinion is not that of the majority.

      • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

        I kinda get the Pevensies and Caspian not being your favorite characters… I only really related to Edmund out of that bunch, and (in my opinion) he has one of the best character arcs in the series (Jill and Eustace are probably my favorite characters tho)

        I think some of the Pevensies+Caspian come off as a little perfect (although not to the point of being unrealistic) which makes them harder to relate to, but Tirian can be a bit like that too and I really like his character ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        Also, ranking the characters would be a bomb podcast! Or like top 5 or something:)

  7. Cleander says:

    I actually would have loved to see the leaked VDT script make it as a movie. It would at least have been more entertaining… and we’d get to see more of Trumpkin and Dr. Cornelius, who both got kind of rushed in PC.
    Hopefully the Netflix rumors won’t be as frightening as the Walden ones. And hopefully no more April Fools jokes will backfire like that…

  8. Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

    For the most part, I’m fine with a lot of the changes (like good minotaurs). What get’s me are forced romantic subplots. So if the leaked script had a weird Lucy Caspian dynamic… nuh uh I’ll take the weird, skeletal remains of a plot we got.

    Speaking od forced romantic subplots (ugh) I think I’m with Glumpuddle, Caspian’s age shouldn’t make a difference on how he reacts to Susan (awestruck vs infatuated). Like, I wouldn’t act like he did to say, Captain America. Fangirl? Absolutely. But no way act like Caspian did with Susan.

    Incidentally, I couldn’t find what age Caspian was supposed to be in the movie, but considering Susan was in school I’d assume (hope) not over 18. (also when I searched that a related search was “did Susan and Caspian get married”-_-)

  9. Hasdrubal says:

    Personally, I think the only film in which the changes really worked was in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. They really enhanced the story rather than hindered it, as opposed to the other two films.

    I’m with Glumpuddle on the whole Caspian/ Susan thing. Even disregarding the fact that it totally diverges from the essence of what Lewis wrote, the two didn’t exactly have the greatest on screen chemistry. I don’t think their ages helped either. The actress looked about 16-17? Whilst Caspian’s actor looks at least 25.

    I think that is where most of the problems with Prince Caspian stem from really: aging up Prince Caspian. He looks like he should have been crowned like three years before the story even began, effectively negating the films inciting incident.

    • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

      Yeah… assuming IMDb and my math is right, Anna Popplewell was 18-20 during the filming while Ben Barnes was like 25-27. So fortunately not illegal IRL, but yeah there’s no way he could’ve passed as high school age:/

  10. JFG II says:

    “Narnia Movie Headlines that made us PANIC”: Like Everything regarding The Silver Chair.


    “Think of the Silver Chair as the beginning of an all-new trilogy”

    “Returning cast in the Silver Chair? Not really” etc. etc.

    Those are not headlines, just snippets of info that made us all double-take. Not that anyone needs reminding.

  11. Col Klink says:

    I’ve been thinking of explaining why I dislike the good minotaurs thing. I’m reluctant because most people feel that it’s no big deal and I don’t want to encourage people to enjoy the movies less. 🙂 But it’s unlikely I’m that persuasive and people might find my reasons interesting so here we go.

    A theme in Prince Caspian is not compromising your beliefs. It’s not a major theme but it’s definitely there. Even though they could use the help Caspian and his allies refuse to side with the monstrous and demonic Old Narnians while all Nikabrik cares about is conquering the Telmarines. This also makes the dynamics of the story more interesting. There aren’t just good guys and bad guys. There are good guys, bad guys and worse guys whom the good guys are tempted to join with to defeat the normally bad guys. It’s true that you still get these ideas in the movie’s White Witch scene but they come kind of out of nowhere.

    Also I really don’t get why people find the minotaurs cool. (Chuckle.) They don’t even look like minotaurs eg. bullheaded men. They look more like bulls that walk on two legs and have fingers. I’m more a fan of the cyclops (even though the cyclops aren’t in the books.)

  12. GoGators1983 says:

    The Caspian-Susan dynamic in Prince Caspian was cringe-worthy. It wasn’t just that it was a deviation from the book, it was that it was doomed never to go anywhere, and not in a tragic romance kind of way, but just a “boy this is pointless” because unless Susan shows up in VOTDT and they totally leave out Ramandu’s daughter who was, well, kind of important in Silver Chair (at least postmortem), then what was the point, really. It also was the start of what I’ve come to see as a trend in movies now where the 2nd film in a trilogy focuses on some romance that totally get’s disregarded in the third. Two other films where this comes to mind is Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Thor: The Dark World. Both of those are even more annoying because the female love interests (Mikaela and Jane Foster) are really important to the plot of the first two movies and are just tossed aside in the 3rd movie. “Oh they really really loved each other…oh now they are gone” (writers of Prince Caspian also wrote Thor: The Dark World, by the way).

    But my biggest problems with the Prince Caspian movie are (1) how dumb Peter is for basically all of the movie. In the book, he has some moments of being not so perfect, but ultimately isn’t a total dufus trying to regain the glory years of being a king, and (2) the total de-emphasis on the myths become real theme that the book had. They did some handwaving to it for sure, but the movie should have started with Caspian being told “fairy tales” of Narnia by Cornelius and being made to feel like he was a silly little kid by his uncle for believing that rubbish (and yet he grew up “wishing” that Narnia was real). Then the climactic battle should have ended with the awe-inspiring (and terrifying to the Telmarines) sight of the walking tree spirits in almost human form that Aslan brings to life. When Aslan roared and brought the trees to life in book it terrified the Telmarines who essentially didn’t believe in magic or Aslan (but still possessed a vague distrust of the trees on the edge of their fears). The movie trees-come-to-life part was very underwhelming, but maybe they were worried they’d by “copying” the ents from Lord of the Rings.

    All that is to say, the Caspian-Susan romance was probably the most cringe-worthy/worrying headline prior to that movie coming out, since the other parts weren’t really mentioned prior to release.

    But the most concerning headline in the history of the Narnian film trilogy was easily a story about the “green mist”. I could go on further about that, but this is already a long post. [Nonetheless, I actually think VOTDT was overall a better movie and closer to the spirit of the books than Prince Caspian]

    • GoGators1983 says:

      Okay, I’ll say a few more words about the “green mist.” I think the writers were trying to tie the movie together in some way with the “seek the seven swords” thing, because they felt like it needed to be tied together, I guess. In modern cinema there seems to be a general dislike for journey type stories, apparently. I realize that I must be one of the last remaining people who actually like journey stories. I don’t need them to have to travel somewhere to “save the world” or something. The journey is exciting along the way, and it is fun (with suspension of disbelief) to wonder about if or how they are going to make it to the end. In this case, literally the end of the world. I guess the premise “to explore new lands, boldly going to where no Narnian has gone before” just wasn’t exciting enough so they had to shoe-horn in some dark island is the bad guy thing that they have to stop. I bet if they ever make The Horse and His Boy they’ll try to start it out by establishing the need to hurry to Archenland to save the Archenlanders from the Calormen army, rather than having that SUBPLOT being discovered along the way as Shasta and Bree seek “Narnia and the North”. The journey story is an archetypal story type. Why must we make it “more interesting” by (supposedly) raising the stakes?

    • GoGators1983 says:

      Seriously though, on the myths-become-real thing from Prince Caspian: the way the movie proves to the Telmarines that old Narnia is “real” is by showing them a dwarf. Do the movie writers not know that there are actually dwarves in real life? I mean, the actor playing him actually is (what used to be called) a dwarf! [Not sure if the word ‘dwarf’ is considered a slur nowadays. That is not my intended meaning, if so. And yes, I know the difference between dwarves in fantasy and dwarfism in real life. But my point is that why would the Telmarines gasp at seeing a dwarf (and suddenly believe in old Narnia), when he may have just been a bearded person with dwarfism? It would have been far more compelling to see something more awe-inspiring like maybe a Minotaur or a Centaur or, I don’t know, A TALKING BEAST!]

  13. insurrbution says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing what Netflix is going to do with Narnia. Even just the format: will it be 7 seasons? A few seasons and a few movies? 7 movies?

    I enjoyed the books, but I’m not overly invested in them. Because of that, I’d probably be fine with any possible changes. We will truly know once we get a trailer, and more info.

  14. Bruce H says:

    The Chronicles of Narnia is now on Netflix. So excited to be able to watch it again. directions

  15. Andy Harrelson says:

    Narnia Web: *Makes up fake news as an April Fools joke.*

    Narnia Movie Producers: “Write that down, WRITE THAT DOWN!”