The Real Reason Digory Hit the Bell | Talking Beasts

Make your choice, adventurous Stranger;
Strike the bell and bide the danger,
Or wonder, till it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had.

In this episode, the podcasters discuss a turning point in Narnia’s history: Digory Kirke’s decision to hit the mysterious bell in Charn in The Magician’s Nephew. Listen and then post a comment below!

View the post-show chatter.

Rilian, Gymfan, Glumpuddle

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5 Responses

  1. Lil Princess says:

    I always took Digory’s comment about the magic working on him as a boy’s excuse because he felt guilty. Growing up with a brother, he sometimes used to make up excuses for things he did so that’s probably why I imagine Digory’s comments as a way to excuse his actions like the way Edmund tried to excuse his actions later when Lucy found him

  2. Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

    I hadn’t ever thought of why the inscription would be so ominous before, but now that I have I think the bell’s inscription guarantees the person who rings it will be someone useful to Jadis. If someone like Polly had rung a bell promising happy fun times, but then saw an alarming statue was now coming to life, I think they would almost immediately leave before even speaking with Jadis. However, someone like Digory ringing the ominous bell shows they are willing to play with fire which is a trait Jadis can exploit. Like, after she starts showing the extent of her powers, Digory doesn’t immediately think “This lady is ticking time bomb,” and even after he finds out how truly dangerous she is, he still hesitates long enough in the wood between worlds that she is able to hitch a ride.

    • Cleander says:

      That’s a really cool thought! I never considered that the challenge was made for a certain type of person – I sort of assumed that most people would be tempted by the inscription (apparently that makes me eligible prey for Jadis, lol).

  3. Col Klink says:

    I like that Rilian says that his idea on why Digory might want to ring the bell isn’t what Lewis meant. (It doesn’t really make sense since Polly would not be impressed by Digory ringing the bell.) I’m tempted to jokingly ask why, if he doesn’t like when people claim their literary theories are the truth, he likes Planet Narnia. Oops. Guess I just gave into temptation like Digory. 😉

    I can be a little obsessive so I might ring the bell just because I’d worry about going crazy wondering what would have happened.

    At this point in the book, it seems like there might be some magic affecting Digory but later he says he was only pretending. I see no reason to disbelieve him then.

    I’m weirdly impressed by how seriously this episode answered my question. When I posted it in the Facebook group, people mostly just responded by saying, “it worked, didn’t it?” (I don’t mean that to sound bitter. They weren’t saying it in an angry way or anything. At least I don’t think they were.)

    Someone has to do the hidden camera thing. Seriously.

    I can understand why readers might be disappointed by Charn after all the buildup about other worlds, but I wasn’t because C. S. Lewis hadn’t really done anything with a “Dr. Strange level of weirdness” in the Narnia books before and I didn’t expect him to start then.

    I hate to say it because I love Polly, but I wonder if she’s lying or exaggerating when she says she never thought Jadis was that pretty. After all, Polly can be pretty self-righteous and it’s unlikely Digory asked her the moment he saw Jadis, “isn’t she beautiful?” and she said, “not really.” It’s likely they only discussed their first impressions of her long after the events of the book.

    I have to agree that Digory would have been intrigued by the bell’s inscription even if his life weren’t so bad. Pity. Nick’s interpretation sounds cool.

    I’m a little sad that this season of the podcast is almost over. The discussion of The Magician’s Nephew has been so great. 🙁

  4. Jasmine says:

    I wonder how the movie adaption of The Magician’s Nephew will pull off Charn. It will be interesting to see a totally different world than ours and even Narnia.