Narnia is a most beloved fantasy land
Stepping into the wardrobe leads to the magical kingdom where it's always winter and never Christmas.
"The Chronicles of Narnia" is a beloved series of seven fantasy novels by British author C. S. Lewis. This collection is considered to be 'one of the best fictional fairytales in the world of literature." Narnia in popular culture is considered to be an imaginary land filled with talking beasts and wondrous, magical creatures. The books were initially published between 1950 and 1956 and illustrated by Pauline Baynes.
The most popular book in the series is the third in the collection titled 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe." This tale became an animated television special as well as 3 films. It is during this part of the story where the world of fantasy and make-believe comes alive. Children for many generations have become lost in the saga of good reigning over evil and the many adventures that came from a little girl seeking a place to hide. The Chronicles of Narnia is deemed as a classic in the genre of children's fantasy literature and has continued to be one of the best-sellers in the world.
The most magical, mystical, moments of fantasy in the Chronicles takes place in book number three when Lucy Pevensie enters the front of a wooden clothing wardrobe and exits through the back into a wonderland where it is always winter and yet never Christmas. The anticipation of the unexpected is before the young girl and when she glances back she can see the safety of Professor Kirk's home through the wardrobe.
Lucy was playing a game of hide and seek with her sister Susan and their two brothers Peter and Edmond. They are staying for the summer with the professor in his home in the country. Lucy opens the door to a room to hide and sees the wardrobe. She steps inside and finds that as she continues walking through the coats she ends up in a wooded area where it is snowing. When she steps out onto the crisp, crackling, ground beneath her feet there is snow falling on the ice-cold ground.
This scene leaves many of those reading the book or watching the cartoon or movie absolutely spellbound. All that takes place from that point is never as mesmerizing as when the little girl sets her feet on Narian soil for the first time. Lucy starring at the snowflakes falling across the light from the lamp atop the lamp post sets the tone for the rest of the story. This hypnotizing scene comes just seconds prior to Lucy meeting her first Narnain character Tumnus the fawn.
There are no special effects that can ever adequately capture the images that filled the hearts and minds of those reading or watching as Lucy begins her journey. Young Ms. Pevensie stands between worlds and those reading or watching hold their breath and feel butterflies as the girl looks towards the beauty of the uncharted frozen forest. Taking one step at a time her adventure begins as she goes to eat with Tumnus knowing that home can be easily found just beyond the lamp post. When she walks back through the glistening forest she easily makes her way through the ice-covered trees and finds her way back through the wardrobe. She jumps out shouting to her siblings that she is back.
Lucy's sister and brothers are confused as she proclaims that she has been gone for hours and hours. The children later find out that no matter how much time you spend in Narnia you always return home at the same hour you departed. A true fantasy leaves something to the imagination and does not have everything laid out in front of you. C S Lewis is a master at leaving just enough unexplained to keep his readers in awe. The moment of transformation when Lucy opens the wardrobe door holds the most magical wonder for many. Who among us has not at least once fantasized about opening a door and entering a different dimension into a magical mystical kingdom?
All of us who love these chronicles are Narnians at heart and have considered what it would be like if we were chosen to reign with Aslan the Lion king? In our hearts, the fantasy comes alive each time we reread the stories or watch the movie or television special. Our imaginations soar anew each time Lucy begins to open the wardrobe door. We anticipate the journey as if it is our first and we repeat the motto: "Once a king or queen of Narnia, always a king or queen of Narnia" because in our hearts we know it to be true. It's always winter and never Chrismas in those brief moments between the real world and the fantasy land.