70 Greatest Lines in The Chronicles of Narnia | Talking Beasts

To honor the 70th anniversary of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, we are posting this episode a day early and listing the 70 greatest lines in C.S. Lewis‘s beloved series.

In Part 2 of this discussion, the podcasters list their honorable mentions – great lines that didn’t quite make the cut.

Disagree with our list? Please let us know what we missed in the comments below!

Rilian, Glumpuddle

8 Responses

  1. Isaac says:

    This episode was great.

  2. Col Klink says:

    That was great. Now I kind of want to pick five lines from each book myself. My list would probably be pretty different from both Glumpuddle’s and Rilian’s. (That wasn’t a knock on this episode BTW. Every fan’s list would be different and it’s better for the podcasters to talk about what they, themselves are enthusiastic about.)

    Pardon me for getting controversial for a paragraph. The quotes about Aslan weeping over Digory’s mother and the dead Caspian are why I don’t take seriously the criticism, made by Philip Pullman and Neil Gaiman, that its offensive the way the Narnia books portray death as a positive thing for the characters. (Glumpuddle, I know you’re a big fan of Pullman’s most famous work. A lot of people reading this comment, I imagine, are. And I know Neil Gaiman is a beloved author too. I’m not saying either of them is a bad author. You can be a great writer and a less great critic.) The books pretty clearly aren’t saying that grieving is bad or that people who do it are silly. If they were, they wouldn’t described mourning in such an empathetic way or have the most positive character partake in it. If I’m honest, I feel like people who are offended by the depiction of Aslan’s country come across as dogs in the manger. If they can’t imagine a happy afterlife, apparently no one else should be allowed to do so. But that’s probably just me being uncharitable. Probably they’re really just worried about the books encouraging suicide or something.

    BTW, while I did suggest quotes on Facebook, looking at them won’t necessarily give you an idea of what I think the greatest lines are. You see I knew that a lot of fans would suggest no-brainers, like Puddleglum’s speech and Mr. Beaver’s not-safe-but-good line. I wanted to give some less obvious lines publicity. Plus I knew that Glumpuddle and some other podcasters have gone on record as disliking the trend of obligatory self-aware humor in fantasy/sci-fi adventures, and appreciating Narnia for its sincerity, so I was afraid there wouldn’t be many funny lines in this episode. I needn’t have worried on that score. There was actually a great balance. I love that Rilian mentioned both the description of Aslan and Digory crying and “tu-whoo, tu-whoo!”

    Another thing I kind of want to do now is go through all the chapter titles in the Narnia books and come up with theological, or at least nonfictional, chapters to go along with them. 🙂

    • Rilian says:

      I agree with a lot of what you say. The beautiful thing about the Narnia books is that the books show the sadness, tragedy, and destruction of death. Then the books also show the beauty and joy that comes after. It’s a both-and. If you include just one or the other, you end up with something that is either blissfully out of touch and therefore cannot deeply resonate, or something that is less hopeful and closer to despairing.

  3. Just Queen, not High Queen says:

    They do say the second half of the quote on Peter’s sword in Prince Caspian. So it did sort of make it into the movies.
    I’m surprised that “Sleeping on a dragon’s hoard with greedy, dragonish thoughts in his heart, he had become a dragon himself” didn’t make it.
    I wonder what you all will do for the fifteenth anniversary of the movie! Whatever it is, I look forward to it!

  4. Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

    Great episode! I must say this had me grabbing my watercolors and paper to start making quote posters:)

    Also, Glumpuddle, if you aren’t already, become a voice actor!!! Your impressions are amazing!

  5. Christopher says:

    I would take the “length of days with an evil heart is only length of misery… all get what they want, they do not always like it” as one of my favourites too. It’s a great way to describe the fury and hatred of the witch, she’s clearly so miserable! The nastier people I’ve met in life, who always seem to want to hurt others, also never truly seem to be happy. It’s a great lesson about the consequences of intent ,contrasting how Digory and Jadis both wanted to use the magic of the apple and so relevant to real life.

  6. Courtenay says:

    Fantastic episode, guys! Really enjoyed listening to this. If only I had time to re-read all the Chronicles (which I don’t right now), I would love to compile my own “top 70 quotes” list — 10 from each book (maybe give or take a few if needed). I think the only absolutely definite favourite of mine that you left out was the hilarious “That’s the trouble with girls… they never carry a map in their heads” exchange between Edmund and Lucy in Prince Caspian. But it got an honourable mention in your post-show chat, so you’re forgiven!!! 😉 Thanks again for really bringing out the amazing depth of this very special series of books.

  7. Angela says:

    I really enjoyed this! Wonderful podcast.