Did C.S. Lewis Make a Major Error in the Narnia Books?

I think I have discovered a serious error in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia–an author’s slip-up that nobody seems to have noticed.

Remember, in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, when the four Pevensey children stumble into Narnia, they’re the only human beings in the country. Tumnus the Faun tells Lucy that he’s never seen a human being before. When the four become kings and queens of Narnia, they’re still the only human beings in the country. This is still the case at the end of the book, when they stumble back into our world.

But then there’s The Horse and His Boy, a flashback to a time before the end of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Peter and his siblings are kings and queens of Narnia: but now they have a whole nation of human subjects in addition to the talking animals, dwarfs, fauns, etc. The kingdom of Archenland is also inhabited and ruled by humans; and south of that, there’s the vast empire of Calormen, inhabited by another race of humans culturally very different from the Narnians.

Given that only a few years could have gone by since the Pevenseys were crowned kings and queens… where did all those people come from?

Adding to the confusion, in the prequel, The Magician’s Nephew, Digory and Polly are present at the creation of Narnia. They return to our world; but Frank, the London cabman, and his wife, Helen, remain in Narnia as king and queen. And Aslan prophecies that their descendants will be kings and queens in Narnia and Archenland. But by the time the Pevensey children discover Narnia, there is no trace left of any of those descendants, and human beings are the stuff of Narnian folklore.

Where did those people go?

In Prince Caspian, in a story that takes place many centuries after the Pevenseys left Narnia, there is another race of human beings ruling Narnia. But these are Telmarines, the descendants of a band of pirates who somehow found their way into Narnia from our world, couldn’t get back, and multiplied into a whole nation. So they don’t count.

Now it’s not hard for an author to stumble into inconsistencies when he’s writing a series of books. Believe me, I know! My extremely able copy editor, Kathy Franklin, has been kept fairly busy correcting the inconsistencies that slip into my Bell Mountain books. Had she been C.S. Lewis’ editor, The Horse and His Boy would have surely prompted an urgent email to the author: “Jack, where did all those people come from–the ones in Narnia, Archenland, and Calormen?”

Is there anyone else out there who has noticed, or even researched, this seeming inconsistency? If so, I’d love to hear about it!

66 comments on “Did C.S. Lewis Make a Major Error in the Narnia Books?

  1. Sorry, I haven’t a clue what this is all about, but my question is, why would a man who professes to be a Christian write such drivel in the first place.
    Witch craft, weird creatures, etc.? A Christian woman who used to be on
    radio every day was always quoting C.S. Lewis, and so I got one of his
    books and it didn’t take me long to put it into the trash, and avoid ever
    reading him again.

    1. Erlene, you’re not the only Christian reader who detests the work of C.S. Lewis; but there are also millions of Christian readers who love it. (I wonder which of his books you tossed.) Well, his friend, J.R.R. Tolkien, warned him that some would take a very dim view of his attempts to put pagan mythology to Christian uses.

      I think the important thing to remember about C.S. Lewis is that he had to grow out of his very deep atheism. What with being an academic, and a literary intellectual, etc., it’s probably a wonder that he wound up with any Christianity at all.

      I have always found his Narnia books to inspire me to a deeper love of Christ. Yes, there’s too much Plato in them, and some other twaddle, too. If you don’t write twaddle, you get thrown out of the university.

      There are a few short articles about him and his books archived on this blog. You might find them interesting.

  2. Well, I think I can answer all those objections, as I’ve read the books so many times 😀
    In ‘The Horse and His Boy’, the humans come from Archenland. Apparently, the humans descended from Frank and Helen were not conquered by the Witch, and probably a lot of them fled to Archenland when she first came. In Narnia, she eradicated all the humans she could find because of the prophecy, which is why there were none when the Pevensies came.
    A hundred-years winter would certainly keep all the roads closed to other countries (such as Calormen), which is why the Beavers had never seen any Calormenes. History of humans would have been stamped out as much as possibly by the Witch, so the Beavers hadn’t even heard of King Frank or Queen Helen.
    Perhaps the Calormenes came from our world, the same as all the other humans did (such as the Telmarines), but that theory would really bring the cry of “Racism!” down on C. S. Lewis 😀

    I hope that helped! I’ve thought about the same thing before, and that’s what I came up with a while back.

    1. Not bad, not bad… Although I do think that, if there had been a large population of humans in Archenland, Mr. Tumnus would not have owned a book entitled, “Is Man a Myth?”

      When one is writing a series of books, and writing a whole lot of other stuff between books, as C.S. Lewis did, it’s mighty easy to make a mistake. And just to make it harder, Lewis did not write the Narnia books in chronological order.

    2. It’s possible, Lee, if enough time had passed that all memory of the humans in Archeland had faded in Narnia under the influence of the Witch. I got the sense that the Pevenses were the first to go to Archeland in a long time and that it was fairly difficult to get to and mostly cut off from Narnia proper.

    3. True… Lewis never tells us how much time elapsed between whatever happened to purge the humans from Narnia, and the Pevenseys’ arrival. Narnia time being different from our time makes it all very tricky.

    4. Just a note, there are some rural tribal villages in africa where they have never seen white people before. Still to this day. I’m thinking that the argument with the white witch is valid, and that the descendants of Frank and Helen fled to archenland to avoid her persecution. After 100 years and no humans it is easy to think that they are “myths”. The Calormenes repeatetly referred to them as savages (a term we used to describe uncivilized natives not long ago).

      Also there is no evidence that human’s were ever living in Narnia during the Pevensies’s reign. The humans described with them were obviously from Archenland (like Prince Corin).

      The only inconsistency I can think of is maybe Bree’s remark to Corin that “he is sure he’s from Narnia or at least from Archenland”. If there are no humans in Narnia then he would assume he’s from Archenland. However; Bree had been a slave in Calormene since a young foal so we shouldn’t take his comments seriously, as his memories may have been vague.

    5. In A Horse and His Boy, there seem to be a lot of human Narnians in the embassage to Calormene, headed by King Edmund. I don’t think it’s obvious that they were all from Archenland.

      Hats off to C.S. Lewis for creating a fantasy that still sparks discussions some 60 years later.

  3. Well as an avid reader of the Chronicles, perhaps this is an error, which is all well and good, Lewis didn’t polish his story-world structure as much as Tolkien did, I think. Although I did hear tell that he was planning to rework the Chronicles (and address some errors), before his untimely departure. I’ve got to agree with Laura on this one, since Narnia was both the name of the world, and for a specific nation in that world, it’s easier to work around, and it may not have seemed terribly consequential at the time.

    To expand a bit, perhaps the Calormenes were descendants of arabian tribes who had wandered into mirages and thusly ended up in the world of Narnia, and those of Archenland no doubt come from Frank and Helen. Certainly the white witch would have ceased all relations to other countries if indeed she even knew of them… whether or not she did would be up for debate, and whether Narnia the World, or Narnia the Country was what was trapped in winter, would also be a question to be addressed. Finally we know Cair Paravel had fallen out of use and was a deserted place during this century winter, and that it was a place with harbors, which likely would’ve been frozen over, so trade by ship certainly would’ve been stemmed or halted entirely from sea ice (depending on how far out to sea Narnia the Country’s borders would’ve extended), and doubtless no other nations within the world would have wanted relations with the witch, especially if they had human populations as Calormene would, and given their fundamentalism for tash, I imagine they’d have regarded the witch as a heretic.

    One major curiosity I personally have, however, is how the devil-creature tash ended up in Narnia, how did he gain entry, and why did he only become an active threat much later in the Last Battle, the final book? Was he the “god” of jadis (the white witch), or did he gain entry to Narnia via the arrival of the Calormenes at some undisclosed point in time, in similar fashion to how the pollutant jadis gained entry? Just some things to ponder I suppose. One could, if one had a mind to, address such errors in other stories, but perhaps the Chronicles as they are, suffice for the time being?

    1. Seumas, it never occurred to me to ask where Tash came from. Man, that’s a really good question! If I had been writing the book, Tash would have been a Calormene idol, nothing more–just a piece of carved stone. If we can presume that C.S. Lewis was a Biblically orthodox Christian–an assumption fraught with some risk–then maybe we can deduce that Tash was a devil or a demon. As for Tash waiting for the last book to bestir himself… well, your guess is as good as mine.

      I’m open to the idea of the Narnian humans in The Horse and His Boy being immigrants from Archenland–only because they really had to come from somewhere. But I’m much more inclined to think CSL merely made an error.

    2. Lee, why you gotta rag on my man C. S.? I see no reasons to believe he wasn’t an orthodox Christian. Furthermore, he never intended his books to be one-to-one correspondences to the Christian faith and I think it is an error to read them as such. I think we need to honor his comments at the end of the Great Divorce, where he says the work is simply a picture and makes no claims as to deeper realities beyond the grave. Tash is clearly a false god of some kind (and even in Scripture false gods had real power if we want to correspond the two).

    3. Adam, I am only acknowledging the fact that some Christians–Tolkien, for starters–thought C.S. Lewis allowed much too much pagan influence into his Narnia books. I love those books; but even I cringe when, in “The Last Battle,” Professor Kirke exclaims, “It’s all in Plato!” Surely Lewis did more to serve Christ’s Kingdom than most of us will ever do–but I do wish he’d left out that bit about Plato.

    4. Lee, I think that depends entirely on what you mean by pagan influences. Tolkien used quite a bit of it himself, arguably quite a bit more than Lewis, and on a more thematic level. Lewis mostly just uses mythology, which I don’t really think is a problem at all as a literary device.

      I do understand the hesitation we have in the “it’s all in Plato” comment. I think it maybe a problem, and maybe not, depending on how you understand Lewis’ pseudo-Platonism. Mostly he seems to like the structure of the Platonic hierarchy, that is, the structure of the medieval cosmos (as he discusses in The Discarded Image). If that’s all we’re talking about, that might not be so much of a problem. But if we’re talking about the inherent dualisms in Platonic philosophy, we may be more rightly reluctant to endorse it. I’ve seen scholars read Lewis both ways and have no particular answer, but I do lean toward his adoption simply of the medieval cosmos more than the dualism.

    5. Come to think of it, “pagan motifs” would have been a better word. There are Christian readers who can’t see past those. I think they’re missing out, but they think they’re steering clear of something unwholesome: and that’s what I believe Tolkien was warning him about.
      But as I have learned in recent years, you have to write what God gives you to write.

    6. I heard in a unofficial history the the calormenes were actually rebellious Archenlanders who left or were expelled and moved south to form Calormene. Over the years in a more desert climate their skin would darken from the sun and a cultural divide would develop.

  4. Thanks Lee, indeed Lewis did pretty clearly denote him as a devil figure, and I would be relatively sure he was not an original inhabitant of Narnia, my guess would be he’d have been the power behind the witch and the other manifested evils that cropped up, and that he hitched a ride through her… but it’s only a guess. As for Tumnus’ book, one could venture a guess (as we do know the white witch utilized secret police and citizen spying) that perhaps the book was a propaganda piece, meant to rob the hope from the Narnians that humans were real. I’d be doubtful that it would be a hopeful piece, as such a thing would draw unwanted attention, but again, this is only a guess. Errors or holes in storyline can make for some fun for the fans thereof in trying to fill or patch them, no?

    1. One thing about trying to interpret fantasy novels–as hard as it is to be right, it’s just as hard to be wrong.
      You should see some of the goof-ups that would’ve been in my books, had my editor not caught them and forced me to repair them.

  5. I’d say one of the biggest errors is the fact that the Telmarines were afraid of the sea and never sailed (in PC), yet only 3 years later (VOTDT) Caspian is sailing with a crew of Narnian sailors who had been sailing all their lives. Where did they learn to sail if they were so afraid of the sea?

    1. Wow–bullseye for you! Why didn’t I think of that? Also in “Dawn Treader,” we see the faraway Lone Islands as a Narnian colony with a governor who hasn’t paid tribute to Narnia for many years. And the seven lords Caspian is looking for–why, they took off in a ship right after Miraz murdered Prince Caspian’s father when the prince was just a baby. Where did those guys get a ship? Where did they find men who knew how to sail it?

      Oh, well… I love Narnia anyhow.

  6. The humans in archland would have had trouble getting into narnia because the 100 year winter would have made passing through the mts nearly impossible. The othe humans (lone islanders taliramanins, ect.) would probably have been terrified to go to narnia in fear of the witch. The descendents of frank and Helen were either killed by jardis or fled to another land at the beginning of her reign, hope this helped!

  7. Great post! I’ve been researching C.S. Lewis for the past year because I reread ALL of the books for the first time since college. (I read LWW and DT quite often, but the others fall flat, in my opinion.). The inconsistencies bothered me, so I’ve read every biography on Lewis and every scholarly work about Narnia that I can get my hands on. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Lewis’s errors! He himself knew it, and meant to go back and fix the inconsistencies, but died before he could. I’m an atheist, but I love the books, and get so much out of them. (I don’t know if that would please Lewis, or if he’s rolling over in his grave right now!). I read them over and over as a child. As an adult, however, I cannot read them without cringing due to all of the errors.

    There are a lot of great theories here to explain away the errors. I have my own. I think the thing to remember is that the inconsistencies in the Chronicles are NOT there on purpose (he didn’t leave things unexplained for suspense or any other device), they ARE mistakes. So whatever you come up with in your own “head canon” is as legitimate as anything!

    However, the errors don’t mean that the books are bad, or that they decrease in value. Indeed, the simplistic writing (by that, I mean the books are written plainly, not that they lack intelligence), the lack of detail, and the inconsistencies, all of which can be annoying, are EXACTLY what make the Chronicles spark the imagination. I love Tolkien, but little is left to ponder. With the Chronicles, there is so much left unsaid that you can have a field day with it. My cousins and I wrote our own stories about Narnia when we were children, and I still come up with stories to fill in the blanks when I’m bored. (I actually found this post because I’m working on a theory as to why Narnia is the only country with a population that is exclusively made up of Talking Beasts.)

    Lewis wrote so fast and didn’t really go back and edit anything. He certainly didn’t think long and hard about the world he was creating; it’s my opinion that he was focused on the Christian message. As for these massive errors making their way into print, Lewis and Tolkien essentially invented the fantasy genre, so I would assume that his editors didn’t look at his work as critically as they would if he were publishing them now. As for Lewis’s religious background, he didn’t come to Christianity until later in his life. He dabbled in spiritulism and atheism (if one can “dabble” in lack of religion) before settling with Christianity. He pretty much just adopted the religious views of the people he was surrounded by, and as his circle of friends changed, so did his religion. I do feel that’s one reason that the Chronicles were written so quickly – it took him so long to become a Christian, and when he did, he was surrounded by people like Tolkien. I imagine he felt he had to prove himself. And boy, did he! Lewis produced an enormous volume of Christian writings in a relatively short amount of time. I believe he was going for quantity over quality. And, unfortunately, the Chronicles suffered for it. But, like I said, some good comes of them being sloppily written. The premise is incredibly appealing, and there is SO much left inconplete that you can use the Chronicles as a basic outline for your own imagination. I don’t know of anyone who has read LWW and hasn’t tapped on the back of every wardrobe they’ve come across.

    1. Thank you for a very thoughtful and interesting post. It may surprise you to know that I have a few friends who are atheists. I pray for them. To me they are important people. I know they are to God, too.

      I’ve done a bit of reading on “The Inklings,” Lewis’ circle of academic/writer friends. They hardly constituted a group of orthodox Christians! Some of them, like Owen Barfield, weren’t Christians at all. Charles Williams, though professedly an Anglican, had some very eccentric ideas about religion. And you know Tolkien was a devout Catholic, so his Christianity was very different from Lewis’ “mere Christianity.”

      I hope you’ll read my books someday. I’d be very interested to know what you think of them. Meanwhile, welcome to my cyber-living room, and I hope you’ll drop in from time to time.

    2. Many of my friends are uber-religious, some are cOmpletely different religions from the one in which I was raised (Methodist). It makes no difference to me what religion people practice, as long as we all respect each others’ views (i.e. don’t rag on someone for having different beliefs, and no conversion attempts, whether it’s TO or FROM religion!) I don’t judge people on their faith, although, I don’t like when it’s used as an excuse for behaving badly.

      The reason I feel it’s important to say that I’m atheist is there seems to be a group of Lewis fans who believe that ONLY Christians can like the Chronicles, and that’s simply not true. It’s not an exclusive club where you’re only allowed in if you have the password! I recognize and appreciate the Christian themes in the Chronicles, and have no issue with them. (Believe me, I have a MUCH bigger issue with Jack’s sexism and racism than I do with any of his religious messages. I do keep in mind the political and social climate of the time, though, and don’t take it all too seriously.) Last time I posted on a Chronicles board, though, I was essentially tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail. So thanks for not doing that. 🙂

      I didn’t mean to lump all of The Inklings together as having the same Christian ideologies. I believe that the view of Christianity that Lewis took (as well as many of the decisions he made throughout his life) is a fairly complex issue that is rooted in his past. (I’m not a psychologist, so this is all pure speculation, and I feel it would be irresponsible to go into it further. But let’s just say that he obviously had issues stemming from both his family and school life, and was a loner by choice for much of his early life.)

      While Tolkien’s faith was vastly different from Lewis’s, I think it’s pretty heavily agreed upon that Tolkien was a big reason that Lewis converted (via their debates). The fact is, when he was running around with people who were into the occult, he became interested in the Occult; when he ran around with spiritualists, he became interested in spiritualism. And when he became close with Tolkien and the others, he converted to Christianity. The Inklings spent a lot of time discussing deep subjects, and Christianity was one of them. And I think Lewis absolutely loved that time in his rooms with his friends, and it satisfied his pursuit of Joy. Also, he once said that he adopts the views of the person who is the most convincing. The fact is, I think Lewis was very impressionable, and he flitted from one belief system to another until Christianity “stuck”. It encompassed all that he needed at that stage of his life. And I think that’s good! I think Christianity suited Jack; I think he finally found himself, although I think he over compensated a bit in the form of massive amounts of writing.

      Actually, I could go on about this for a very long time, so I’ll stop here.

      I’ve added you to my Goodreads list!

    3. I just signed on with Goodreads yesterday. Being a stunata when it comes to computer stuff, it’ll take me a while to get the hang of it.

      Meanwhile, I’ve posted a few articles on Tolkien which you might find interesting. They’re all in the archives. I suppose you can get them all just by searching “Tolkien.”

      Feel free to go on as much as you like. Your comments are interesting.

  8. This is a rough history of humanity in the Narnian World:

    1) King Frank and Queen Helen become the first rulers of Narnia, the first nation. At this time, there are no other humans, as the other three who came with them departed soon after their mission was complete.

    1) They have children, males later marrying dryads and naiads and females marrying wood and river gods. This suggests that humans of Narnian descent have some nymph blood in them.

    3) The King and Queen’s descendants become rulers of Narnia, and later Archenland. In Archenland, there are fewer talking beasts than people, so they become the ‘dominant’ species.

    4) Narnians and Archenlanders sail eastward over the sea, populating islands such as the Seven Isles, Lone Islands, Galma and Terebinthia. Outlaws from Archenland are exiled across the desert – some survive and found Calormen.

    5) It is possible that humans from our world arrive in the Calormene area during this period also.

    6) Calormenes conquer northward to Telmar (uninhabited) and southward to other nations and city states of unknown origin. The first Telmarines are turned into dumb beasts by Aslan due to their wicked deeds.

    7) Pirates from our world enter a portal that transports them to Telmar. They conquer the remenant of humanity in Telmar and ally themselves with Calormen.

    This is as much as Lewis told us about the origin of the various human populations in the Narnian world.

    1. We still wind up trying to explain how, in the few years the Pevensey children were kings and queens in Narnia, they wound up with a whole country full of human subjects.

    2. The humans in Narnia during the Golden Age were likely descended from the Narnians that managed to escape to Archenland when the Witch invaded. It can be presumed that Jadis either did not know about the human populations of other nations at this time (although Calormen certainly knew about her, see THAHB), or did not want to risk unblocking the southward passes in an invasion, potentially allowing Archenlanders to reach Cair Paravel and fulfil the Prophecy.

      I think it talks a bit about this on the wiki somewhere, either the Jadis page or the Archenland page, possibly.

    3. Take it from me: as someone who has written a series of novels, all the time while having plenty of other writing to do, it’s very, very easy to fall into mistakes and inconsistencies. I have one advantage over C.S. Lewis in that I have an editor whose job is to check for these and keep the story straight.

      Well, I think the time has come for me to read all the Narnia books again: as soon as I’m finished with M.R. James’ collected ghost stories.

  9. I found this site, because I was rereading the books and just started the horse and his boy, and realised this big mistake that i’ve never thought of before. I really like some of the theories posted! I just came up with a theory as to why Narnia -the world became Narnia – the country. Remember that Diggory planted a tree in the magicians nephew, that Aslan said would protect Narnia for many decades? He also said something about a certain distance the witch wouldn’t get closer than. So it’s only logical that all the talking beasts would stay inside that area, becoming the country of Narnia, and the populations in other areas, for example Calormen, probably came from our world separetly. Jadis says in LWW that she has heard about doors between the humans world and theirs, of corse because some people had come from the human world to the world Narnia before.

    Another inconsisency I wonder about is what the beaver says about Jadis, that she is a descendant of Adams first wife (not very biblically), when she is clearly not from our world at all, but from Charn. Any ideas?

    1. Mr. Beaver wouldn’t have known any better. By the time LWW opens, centuries have gone by and much true knowledge has been lost.

  10. This should help to clear up some of the questions:

    http://narnia.wikia.com/wiki/Narnian_timeline

    This is from CS Lewis himself. Now, according to this there were 14 years between LWW and AHAHB, during which we could think that outcast Narnian humans (or even Arkenlanders) may have returned to Narnia, given how it is a “choice land”.

    Just a thought. I really enjoyed this discussion!

    1. Thank you so much for that timeline! It was very interesting.
      But it still, to my mind, doesn’t account for the ethnic and cultural differences between the Calormenes and the peoples of the north.
      I’m sure CSL would have taken care of all these questions if he’d lived longer.

  11. The chronicles of Narnia plot holes and bloopers

    Blooper number one The age of Lucy

    Let’s just say that Lucy is eight at the time of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.
    because judging by the book, that is the age she seems most likely to be.
    If this was true then she would be nine in Prince Caspian which is set one year
    later and ten in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader which is set another year later.
    The Silver Chair is set only a few months after The Voyage of the Dawn Treader so
    her age is probably still ten at this time, and The Last Battle is set just over a year
    after this which would make the girl eleven, and at the oldest tweleve.
    In The Last Battle however, it states that Eustace and Jill are the only two of the
    seven friends of Narnia, one of these being Lucy, who are still at school. This would
    make Lucy at least seventeen at the time of The Last Battle. Not twelve!
    For this to make sense, Lucy would have to have been at least thirteen at the time
    of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

    Sources of information quoted from the books

    This is said by Eustace in the fifth chapter of The Last Battle: “And the day after that was the day Jill and I had
    to go back to school – we’re the only two who are still at school and we’re at the same one.”

    This is said in the first page of the first chapter of Prince Caspian, after just explaining about the Pevensies
    adventure in Narnia in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe:

    ONCE there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, and
    it has been told in another book called The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe how they
    had a remarkable adventure. They had opened the door of a magic wardrobe and found
    themselves in a quite different world from ours, and in that different world they had
    become Kings and Queens in a country called Narnia. While they were in Narnia they
    seemed to reign for years and years; but when they came back through the door and
    found themselves in England again, it all seemed to have taken no time at all. At any rate,
    no one noticed that they had ever been away, and they never told anyone except one very
    wise grown-up.
    That had all happened a year ago, and now all four of them were sitting on a seat at a
    railway station with trunks and playboxes piled up round them.

    This is said in the first page of the second chapter of the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which is
    the book that takes place after Prince Caspian: “Meanwhile,” said Caspian, “we want to talk.” “By Jove we do,”
    said Edmund. “And first, about time. It’s a year ago by our time since we left you just before your coronation…

    This is said in the third page of the first chapter of The Silver Chair, which is the book set after The Voyage of
    the Dawn Treader. Jill and Eustace are talking about the adventure of last term: “Why were you so different
    last term?” said Jill presently. “A lot of queer things happened to me in the hols,” Eustace said mysteriously.

    This is said in the fifth chapter of The Last Battle, the book set after The Silver Chair: I’m Eustace Scrubb and
    this is Jill Pole,” said the boy. “And we were here once before, ages and ages ago, more than a year ago by
    our time,…

    One could argue that in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lucy is a teenager.
    But there are many reasons for her to only a little girl of eight. For example, Lucy is
    Afraid of the noise of an owl:
    “What’s that noise?” said Lucy suddenly. It was a far larger house than she had ever been
    in before and the thought of all those long passages and rows of doors leading into empty
    rooms was beginning to make her feel a little creepy.
    “It’s only a bird, silly,” said Edmund.
    “It’s an owl,” said Peter. First chapter of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

    She is also afraid of the professor:
    but on the first evening when he came out to meet them at the front door he was so odd looking that Lucy (who was the
    youngest) was a little afraid of him,… First chapter of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

    Edmund is only a year older than Lucy which would make him fourteen:
    And Edmund gave a very superior look as if he were far older than Lucy (there was really only a year’s difference)
    Fifth chapter of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

    Edmund does some rather childish things for a fourteen year old. Example. Drawing on a statue.
    And he stood there gloating over the stone lion, and presently he did something very silly and childish. He took
    a stump of lead pencil out of his pocket and scribbled a moustache on the lion’s upper lip and then a pair of
    spectacles on its eyes. Ninth chapter of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

    Edmund also calls Lucy a young kid:
    What’s the matter with her? That’s the worst of young kids, they always-”
    Fifth chapter of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

    The Professor doesn’t think that girls as young as Lucy would be able to think of such complex ideas:
    On the other hand, I don’t think many girls of her age would invent that idea for themselves. If she had been
    pretending, she would have hidden for a reasonable time before coming out and telling her story.”
    Fifth chapter of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

    Prince Caspian is set one year after The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Which would make Lucy now nine,
    I mean fourteen, years old, and Edmund fifteen. Peter and Susan are often described as the older ones, but at the
    youngest, Susan would probably be a year older, sixteen, and Peter another year older, seventeen.
    At the beginning of the story they are all on their way to school. Peter might be in his last year:
    And now all four of them were sitting on a seat at a railway station with trunks and playboxes piled up round them. They were,
    in fact, on their way back to school. First chapter of Prince Caspian.

    And Lucy is going to boarding school for her first time which gives me the impression that she is only a little nine year old. If
    she is starting secondary school she would be eleven which would still make her only thirteen at the time of The Last Battle.
    Lucy was going to boarding school for the first time.
    First chapter of Prince Caspian.

    In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader which is set a year after Prince Caspian, Lucy would now have to be ten, I mean fifteen.
    Edmund would have to be sixteen. Susan at the youngest would be seventeen, we know she is still at school:
    Grown-ups thought her the pretty one of the family and she was no good at school work (though otherwise very old for her age)
    First chapter of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

    And Peter would now be eighteen at the youngest, and he is still doing exams!:
    Peter was working very hard for an exam and he was to spend the holidays being coached by old Professor Kirke
    First chapter of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

    In Prince Caspian Peter looks to be the same age as Prince Caspian, which would mean Prince Caspian is seventeen years
    old at the youngest:
    Peter had a glimpse of a horrible, grey, gaunt creature, half man and half wolf, in the very act of leaping upon a boy of about
    his own age,… twelfth chapter of Prince Caspian.

    The Voyage of the dawn Treader is set three years later than Price Caspian in Narnian time, which would make Caspian at
    least Twenty years old:
    It’s a year ago by our time since we left you just before your coronation. How long has it been in Narnia?”
    “Exactly three years,” said Caspian.

    Even though he is twenty, he is always described as a boy and never as a man. Some example of this are:
    “How much do you want for that boy?” asked the other, pointing Caspian. Chapter three of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
    Last of all came the stranger – a golden-headed boy some years older than herself. Chapter one of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

    Proof that Lucy is older than Jill, and that Edmund, who is a year older than Lucy is older than Edmund:
    Seven Kings and Queens stood before him, all with crowns on their heads and all in
    glittering clothes, but the Kings wore fine mail as well and had their swords drawn in
    their hands. Tirian bowed courteously and was about to speak when the youngest of the
    Queens laughed. He stared hard at her face, and then gasped with amazement, for he
    knew her. It was Jill: but not Jill as he had last seen her, with her face all dirt and tears
    and an old drill dress half slipping off one shoulder. Now she looked cool and fresh, as
    fresh as if she had just come from bathing. And at first he thought she looked older, but
    then didn’t, and he could never make up his mind on that point. And then he saw that the
    youngest of the Kings was Eustace: but he also was changed as Jill was changed.
    Twelfth chapter of The Last Battle.

    1. As someone who has written a series of novels, I can tell you it’s quite easy to lapse into inconsistencies. Happily, I have an editor who helps me to keep my story straight. Maybe Lewis didn’t.

  12. I have read the Chronicles of Narnia so many times, and I have picked up about fifteen mistakes. Some are large and some are small. Here is another one.

    At about the year 1900, Digory gets into the world of Narnia which is only just being created and is only several hours old.
    Telmarines were originally from our world and a group of pirates who lived on an uninhabited island in our world began the whole Telmarine race. It is obvious that the Telmarines got into Narnia sometime between 1900, the time of The Magician’s Nephew when Narnia was created, and about 1945, the time of Prince Caspian.
    It is unlikely that there would have been pirates on uninhabited islands in such recent times.
    Which leads me to another thought provoking thought. When returning to our world from the land of Narnia, no time ever goes by and in every single scenario the children return at exactly the same time they left. Would the Telmarines who returned to our world just ahead of Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, come back at the time their ancestors left, or at the same time as Peter?

    “You, Sir Caspian,” said Aslan, “might have known that you could be no true King of Narnia unless, like the Kings of old, you were a son of Adam and came from the world of Adam’s sons. And so you are. Many years ago in that world, in a deep sea of that world which is called the South Sea, a shipload of pirates were driven by storm on an island. And there they did as pirates would: killed the natives and took the native women for wives, and made palm wine, and drank and were drunk, and lay in the shade of the palm trees, and woke up and quarrelled, and sometimes killed one another. And in one of these frays six were put to flight by the rest and fled with their women into the centre of the island and up a mountain, and went, as they thought, into a cave to hide. But it was one of the magical places of that world, one of the chinks or chasms between that world and this. There were many chinks or chasms between worlds in old times, but they have grown rarer. This was one of the last: I do not say the last. And so they fell, or rose, or blundered, or dropped right through, and found themselves in this world, in the Land of Telmar which was then unpeopled. But why it was unpeopled is a long story: I will not tell it now. And in Telmar their descendants lived and became a fierce and proud people; and after many generations there was a famine in Telmar and they invaded Narnia, which was then in some disorder (but that also would be a long story), and conquered it and ruled it. Do you mark all this well, King Caspian?”

    These pirates seem to have been well before 1900.

    The Magician’s Nephew was set around 1900. The Magician’s Nephew was published in 1955:

    This is a story about something that happened long ago when your grandfather was a child

    Just imagine a sixty five year old grandpa and a ten year old child.

    1. You’re on a roll!
      Lewis did sometimes speak of a need to correct errors in the Narnia books, but he didn’t live long enough to do it.
      Seems he would have had a lot to keep him busy.

  13. Here is another blooper.

    In The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, it takes Lucy ten minutes to walk from the wardrobe to the lamp post when she first gets into Narnia. However, when they are grown ups and are returning from Narnia and back to our world, it takes them less than fifty steps to get from the lamp post to the wardrobe. This would take them less than one minute!

    This is from the first chapter of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe where it says Lucy took ten minutes to reach the lamp post.

    Lucy felt a little frightened, but she felt very inquisitive and excited as well. She looked back over her shoulder and there, between the dark tree trunks; she could still see the
    open doorway of the wardrobe and even catch a glimpse of the empty room from which
    she had set out. (She had, of course, left the door open, for she knew that it is a very silly
    thing to shut oneself into a wardrobe.) It seemed to be still daylight there. “I can always
    get back if anything goes wrong,” thought Lucy. She began to walk forward, crunch-
    crunch over the snow and through the wood towards the other light. In about ten minutes
    she reached it and found it was a lamp-post. As she stood looking at it, wondering why
    there was a lamp-post in the middle of a wood and wondering what to do next, she heard
    a pitter patter of feet coming towards her. And soon after that a very strange person
    stepped out from among the trees into the light of the lamp-post.

    This is from chapter seventeen of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe where the Pevensies are grown ups

    So these Kings and Queens entered the thicket, and before they had gone a score of paces
    they all remembered that the thing they had seen was called a lamppost, and before they
    had gone twenty more they noticed that they were, making their way not through
    branches but through coats. And next moment they all came tumbling out of a wardrobe
    door into the empty room, and They were no longer Kings and Queens in their hunting
    array but just Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy in their old clothes. It was the same day
    and the same hour of the day on which they had all gone into the wardrobe to hide. Mrs
    Macready and the visitors were still talking in the passage; but luckily they never came
    into the empty room and so the children weren’t caught.

  14. This is not a blooper, but it just seems rather unlikely to happen.

    In The Silver Chair it says that the time that has passed in Narnia from the time of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, is seventy years. This make King Caspian about eighty seven years old.
    King Caspian’s son is described as a young man, probably thirty at the oldest. If this was the case it would mean that King Caspian was about fifty seven years old when Rilian was born. This seems to be an extremely old age to have your firsts on, especially as he was likely married to Ramandu’s daughter before he was twenty. Almost forty years before having a son!

    This quote is from Eustace in chapter three of The Silver Chair about the age of Caspian

    “Oh, dry up! Don’t keep interrupting. And when you’re back in England – in our world – you can’t tell how time is going here. It might be any number of years in Narnia while we’re having one year at home. The Pevensies explained it all to me, but, like a fool, I forgot about it. And now apparently it’s been about seventy years Narnian years – since I was here last. Do you see now? And I come back and find Caspian an old, old man.”

    This is about Prince Rilian, from chapter ten of the silver chair.

    A young man with fair hair rose to greet them…

    This shows that Caspian was still probably only about seventeen when he was married.

    Only two more things need to be told. One is that Caspian and his men all came safely back to Ramandu’s Island. And the three lords woke from their sleep. Caspian married
    Ramandu’s daughter and they all reached Narnia in the end, and she became a great queen
    and the mother and grandmother of great kings.
    Chapter sixteen of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

    1. Since we’re discussing inaccuracies with time, let me add that the Pevensies stayed with the Professor in 1940 (according to history, they would have been part of the evacuation that started in September 1940, and also, Lewis’s own timeline states they were with the Professor in 1940). Yet, in Prince Caspian, it’s a year later and they’re heading off to school. Why would they be evacuated if they were at school instead of in London during the Blitz? Most of the children who were evacuated were evacuated by school, and so many ended up in the same village. So it’s probable that the Pevensies went to school in London, not boarding school. But let’s ignore that for a moment, because I know that children were often taken back home from their evacuation sites by their parents, who often didn’t want to actually evacuate them, so maybe they decided to put them in boarding school because their school had been destroyed. Anyway, jumping ahead to Dawn Treader, which we’ve already established takes place shortly after Prince Caspian, we find the following passage:

      “Peter was working very hard for an exam and he was to spend the holidays being coached by old Professor Kirke in whose house these four children had had wonderful adventures long ago in the war years. If he had still been in that house he would have had them all to stay. But he had somehow become poor since the old days …”

      This makes it seem like the war was years and years ago, when they’re actually STILL in the midst of the war. And again, this is confirmed by Lewis’s own timeline, which states that Dawn Treader took place in 1942.

  15. Man! That is a big mistake. Most of his mistakes seem to be to do with time. Anyway here is another blooper he made.

    In The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, when the Pevensies are grown up and are hunting the white stag, they come across the lamp post and seem to have forgotten all about it, the wardrobe, and how they got into Narnia in the first place. In The Horse and his boy however, which takes place a little bit before the hunting of the white stag, Lucy can clearly remember what happened and recounts the story multiple times.

    This is from chapter seventeen of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe where the Pevensies are grown ups.

    So they alighted and tied their horses to trees and went on into the thick wood on foot.
    And as soon as they had entered it Queen Susan said,
    “Fair friends, here is a great marvel, for I seem to see a tree of iron.”
    “Madam,” said,King Edmund, “if you look well upon it you shall see it is a pillar of iron
    with a lantern set on the top thereof.”
    “By the Lion’s Mane, a strange device,” said King Peter, “to set a lantern here where the
    trees cluster so thick about it and so high above it that if it were lit it should give light to
    no man!”
    “Sir,” said Queen Lucy. “By likelihood when this post and this lamp were set here there
    were smaller trees in the place, or fewer, or none. For this is a young wood and the iron
    post is old.” And they stood looking upon it. Then said King Edmund,
    “I know not how it is, but this lamp on the post worketh upon me strangely. It runs in my
    mind that I have seen the like before; as it were in a dream, or in the dream of a dream.”
    “Sir,” answered they all, “it is even so with us also.”
    “And more,” said Queen Lucy, “for it will not go out of my mind that if we pass this post
    and lantern either we shall find strange adventures or else some great change of our
    fortunes.”
    “Madam,” said King Edmund, “the like foreboding stirreth in my heart also.” “And in mine, fair brother,” said King Peter. “And in mine too,” said Queen Susan. “Wherefore by my counsel we shall lightly return to our horses and follow this White Stag no further.”
    This is from chapter fifteen of The Horse and his Boy which happened not long before the hunting of the white stag:

    And Lucy told again (they had all, except Aravis and Cor, heard it many times but they
    all wanted it again) the tale of the Wardrobe and how she and King Edmund and Queen
    Susan and Peter the High King had first come into Narnia.

  16. In The Silver Chair, Father Time is lying asleep in a cave that is the size of a cathedral. In The Last Battle, Father Time is far taller than this. His figure can be seen in the dark blocking out the stars from miles and miles away, and he is even tall enough to squeeze the giant sun. He may be a huge giant, but this makes him thousands of times bigger!

    This is from chapter ten of The Silver Chair.

    When they had walked for several miles, they came to a wall of rock, and in it a low
    archway leading into another cavern. It was not, however, so bad as the last entrance and Jill could go through it without bending her head. It brought them into a smaller cave, long and narrow, about the shape and size of a cathedral. And here, filling almost the whole length of it, lay an enormous man fast asleep. He was far bigger than any of the giants, and his face was not like a giant’s, but noble and beautiful. His breast rose and fell gently under the snowy beard which covered him to the waist. A pure, silver light (no one saw where it came from) rested upon him.

    This is from chapter fourteen of The Last Battle.

    “Yes,” said Asian, though they had not spoken. “While he lay dreaming his name was
    Time. Now that he is awake he will have a new one.”
    Then the great giant raised a horn to his mouth. They could see this by the change of the black shape he made against the stars. After that – quite a bit later, because sound travels so slowly – they heard the sound of the horn: high and terrible, yet of a strange, deadly beauty.

    This is from chapter fourteen of The Last Battle.

    The giant threw his horn into the sea. Then he stretched out one arm – very black it looked, and thousands of miles long – across the sky till his hand reached the Sun. He
    took the Sun and squeezed it in his hand as you would squeeze an orange. And instantly
    there was total darkness.

  17. Here is yet another blooper – or it might not be a blooper. Maybe Tirian is just really bad at calculating measurement.

    In The Last Battle when Tirian has been thrown into the stable he finds that the inside is not at all how he thought it would look from the outside because there is blue sky, and wind blowing. From the outside, Tirian had thought that the stable was about twelve feet long and six feet wide, just big enough to fit a small car:

    TIRIAN had thought – or he would have thought if he had time to think at all – that they were inside a little thatched stable, about twelve feet long and six feet wide. In reality they stood on grass, the deep blue sky was overhead, and the air which blew gently on their faces was that of a day in early summer.
    Chapter thirteen of The Last Battle.

    The stable seems far far bigger than this. For Example, Tash who is much bigger than a man, could fit inside it.

    A terrible figure was coming towards them. It was far smaller than the shape they had
    seen from the Tower, though still much bigger than a man, and it was the same. It had a
    vulture’s head and four arms. Its beak was open and its eyes blazed. A croaking voice
    came from its beak.

    “Thou hast called me into Narnia, Rishda Tarkaan. Here I am. What hast thou to say?”

    But the Tarkaan neither lifted his face from the ground nor said a word. He was shaking
    like a man with a bad hiccup. He was brave enough in battle: but half his courage had left
    him earlier that night when he first began to suspect that there might be a real Tash. The
    rest of it had left him now.

    With a sudden jerk -like a hen stooping to pick up a worm – Tash pounced on the
    miserable Rishda and tucked him under the upper of his two right arms. Then Tash turned
    his head sidewise to fix Tirian with one of his terrible eyes: for of course, having a bird’s
    head, he couldn’t look at you straight.

  18. Another blooper to join the throng

    In The Last Battle, Jill goes twenty feet from the main army to shoot arrows. Twenty feet is only a very small distance, but it says that she felt terribly alone. Jill could have run twenty feet in less than a second at full speed. The length of a car is about fifteen feet:

    You, maiden, shall move out on our left and shoot as fast as ever you may into their ranks: and you, Eagle, fly at their faces from the right. Meanwhile we others will be charging them. When we are so close, Jill, that you can no longer shoot at them for fear of striking us, go back to the white rock and wait. You others, keep your ears wide even in the fighting. We must put them to flight in a few minutes or else not at all, for we are fewer than they. As soon as I call Back, then rush to join Jill at the white rock, where we shall have protection behind us and can breathe awhile. Now, be off, Jill.”
    Feeling terribly alone, Jill ran out about twenty feet, put her right leg back and her left leg forward, and set an arrow to her string.
    Chapter eleven of The Last Battle.

  19. Another blooper to join the gang.

    The very name of Turkish delight suggests that this food comes from our world, probably Turkey, and not from Narnia. The Witch however knows exactly what Turkish delight is, event though she has only been in our world for a few hours:

    “It is dull Son of Adam, to drink without eating,” said the Queen presently. “What would you like best to eat?”
    Turkish Delight, please, your Majesty,” said Edmund.
    The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle on to the snow, and instantly there appeared a round box, tied with green silk ribbon, which when opened, turned out to contain several pounds of the best Turkish Delight.
    Chapter four of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

  20. When the Witch gives to Edmund the box of Turkish Delight, it says that it weighs several pounds Several pounds of Turkish delight seems a huge amount to eat. For example, an official size seven basketball weighs only 1.38 pounds. The book of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe weighs only 0.44 pounds, probably less than a tenth of the full weight of Edmund’s Turkish Delight, and an apple weighs only 0.66 pounds.
    With a quick search on Google you can see that the average person eats between three and five pounds of food per day. Well in this case, nine year old Edmund is eating at least as much as This in a matter of minutes:

    The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle on to the snow, and instantly there appeared a round box, tied with green silk ribbon, which when opened, turned out to contain several pounds of the best Turkish Delight.
    Chapter four of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

    We also know that the Turkish delight is very light and sweet, so the box would have to be extremely large to fit several pounds of the stuff in:

    Each piece was sweet and light to the very centre and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious. He was quite warm now, and very comfortable.
    Chapter four of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

  21. You guessed it. Another blooper.

    In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Eustace finds the arm ring of Lord Octesian. He tries puts itonto his wrist but finds it too big so he slips it up above his elbow. This is said by Eustace:

    That bracelet now – those things in it are probably diamonds – I’ll slip that on my wrist. Too big, but not if I push it right up here above my elbow.
    Chapter six of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

    However when Eustace is a dragon, the bracelet is still on his arm above his elbow. His arm is sore because it is so tight, but since he is a dragon and his arm is many times thicker, shouldn’t the pain be far greater? Shouldn’t either the bones of his great dragon arm be cracked and splintered, or the bracelet be cracked and broken?

    Meanwhile Eustace slept and slept – and slept. What woke him was a pain in his arm. The
    moon was shining in at the mouth of the cave, and the bed of treasures seemed to have
    grown much more comfortable: in fact he could hardly feel it at all. He was puzzled by
    the pain in his arm at first, but presently it occurred to him that the bracelet which he had
    shoved up above his elbow had become strangely tight. His arm must have swollen while
    he was asleep (it was his left arm).
    Chapter six of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

    We know that as a boy, Eustace’ arms were not very thick or strong:

    You’d think me simply phony if I told you how I felt about my own arms. I know they’ve no muscle and are pretty mouldy compared with Caspian’s, but I was so glad to see them.
    Chapter seven of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

    And we know that Eustace as a dragon was very big and would have had arms that were very thick and strong. This is what Eustace is thinking when he first becomes a dragon.

    In spite of the pain, his first feeling was one of relief. There was nothing to be afraid of any more. He was a terror himself and nothing in the world but a knight (and not all of those) would dare to attack him. He could get even with Caspian and Edmund now –
    Chapter six of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

    We also know that he was strong enough to carry a large tree trunk for the mast of the ship while flying:

    And one day, flying slowly and wearily but in great triumph, he bore back to camp a great tall pine tree which he had torn up by the roots in a distant valley and which could be made into a capital mast.
    Chapter seven of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

    We also know that Eustace was strong enough to easily kill and eat large animals as a dragon:
    It was, however, clear to everyone that Eustace’s character had been rather improved by

    becoming a dragon. He was anxious to help. He flew over the whole island and found it
    was all mountainous and inhabited only by wild goats and droves of wild swine. Of these
    he brought back many carcasses as provisions for the ship. He was a very humane killer
    too, for he could dispatch a beast with one blow of his tail so that it didn’t know (and
    presumably still doesn’t know) it had been killed. He ate a few himself, of course, but
    always alone,
    Chapter seven of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

    It is also clear that Eustace as a dragon was huge because all of the crew of the Dawn Treader could lie against him and use him as a hot water bottle:

    And in the evening
    if it turned chilly, as it sometimes did after the heavy rains, he was a comfort to everyone,
    for the whole party would come and sit with their backs against his hot sides and get well
    warmed and dried; and one puff of his fiery breath would light the most obstinate fire.
    Chapter seven of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

    Another reason to show that he is huge is that some of the crew of the Dawn Treader talk about how they will feed him when they continue on their journey and where they can fit him:

    But of course what hung over everyone like a cloud was the problem of what to do with
    their dragon when they were ready to sail. They tried not to talk of it when he was there,
    but he couldn’t help overhearing things like, “Would he fit all along one side of the deck?
    And we’d have to shift all the stores to the other side down below so as to balance,” or,
    “Would towing him be any good?” or “Would he be able to keep up by flying?” and
    (most often of all), “But how are we to feed him?”
    Chapter seven of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

    Another thing that suggests he is huge is that when he meets Aslan he thinks that even though its a great lion he could easily kill it:

    “Well, anyway, I looked up and saw the very last thing I expected: a huge lion coming
    slowly towards me. And one queer thing was that there was no moon last night, but there
    was moonlight where the lion was. So it came nearer and nearer. I was terribly afraid of
    it. You may think that, being a dragon, I could have knocked any lion out easily enough.
    But it wasn’t that kind of fear. I wasn’t afraid of it eating me, I was just afraid of it – if you
    can understand.
    Chapter seven of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

    We also know that as a dragon Eustace had very thick arms with layers and layers of scales and skin:
    But the lion told me I must undress first.

    Mind you, I don’t know if he said any words out loud or not.

    “I was just going to say that I couldn’t undress because I hadn’t any clothes on when I
    suddenly thought that dragons are snaky sort of things and snakes can cast their skins.
    Oh, of course, thought I, that’s what the lion means. So I started scratching myself and
    my scales began coming off all over the place. And then I scratched a little deeper and,
    instead of just scales coming off here and there, my whole skin started peeling off
    beautifully, like it does after an illness, or as if I was a banana. In a minute or two I just

    stepped out of it. I could see it lying there beside me, looking rather nasty. It was a most
    lovely feeling. So I started to go down into the well for my bathe.

    “But just as I was going to put my feet into the water I looked down and saw that they
    were all hard and rough and wrinkled and scaly just as they had been before. Oh, that’s all
    right, said I, it only means I had another smaller suit on underneath the first one, and I’ll
    have to get out of it too. So 1 scratched and tore again and this underskin peeled off
    beautifully and out I stepped and left it lying beside the other one and went down to the
    well for my bathe.

    “Well, exactly the same thing happened again. And I thought to myself, oh dear, how
    ever many skins have I got to take off? For I was longing to bathe my leg. So I scratched
    away for the third time and got off a third skin, just like the two others, and stepped out
    of it. But as soon as I looked at myself in the water I knew it had been no good.

    “Then the lion said – but I don’t know if it spoke – “You will have to let me undress you.”
    I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just
    lay flat down on my back to let him do it.

    “The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart.
    And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The
    only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off.
    You know – if you’ve ever picked the scab off a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is
    such fun to see it coming away.”

    “I know exactly what you mean,” said Edmund.

    “Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off -just as I thought I’d done it myself the other
    three times, only they hadn’t hurt – and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much
    thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I
    as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold
    of me – 1 didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on –
    and threw me into the water.

  22. Puddleglum

    In The Silver Chair, Puddleglum is described as have long legs and a body about the size of a dwarf’s:

    The children sat down on each side of him. They now saw that he had very long legs and arms, so that although his body was not much bigger than a dwarf’s, he would be taller than most men when he stood up. The fingers of his hands were webbed like a frog’s, and so were his bare feet which dangled in the muddy water. He was dressed in earthcoloured clothes that hung loose about him.
    Chapter five of The Silver Chair.

    In The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe the Witch’s dwarf is described as being about three feet tall, which is the height of a child who is thirty six months old:

    On the sledge, driving the reindeer, sat a fat dwarf who would have about three feet high if he had been standing.
    Chapter three of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

    Puddleglum’s arms and legs are often described as being long, but never are they described as being really really really long. In fact, Jill and Eustace didn’t even realize how long they were until he sat down.
    Just imagine a three year old with such long legs that he was taller than a man!

  23. In the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, it clearly states that the Professor has white hair:

    He himself was a very old man with shaggy white hair which grew over most of his face as well as on his head,…
    First page of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

    However in The Last Battle when the Professor’s hair is golden coloured, he is lecturing the others just like he has done before in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. However it says, his hair was grey back then instead of golden, and not white instead of golden:

    His voice stirred everyone like a trumpet as he spoke these words: but when he added under his breath “It’s all in Plato, all in Plato: bless me, what do they teach them at these schools!” the older ones laughed. It was so exactly like the sort of thing they had heard him say long ago in that other world where his beard was grey instead of golden. He knew why they were laughing and joined in the laugh himself.

  24. yes, another.

    In The Magician’s Nephew, Uncle Andrew’s magic rings make a quiet humming noise. Polly notices this noise when she comes into Uncle Andrew’s study:

    The room was so quiet that you noticed the ticking of the clock at once. And yet, as she
    now found, it was not absolutely quiet either. There was a faint – a very, very faint –
    humming sound. If Hoovers had been invented in those days Polly would have thought it
    was the sound of a Hoover being worked a long way off – several rooms away and
    several floors below. But it was a nicer sound than that, a more musical tone: only so
    faint that you could hardly hear it.
    Chapter one of The Magician’s Nephew.

    When Uncle Andrew tells Polly to come and take one of the yellow rings, she realizes that it is the rings that are making this humming noise:

    Polly had now quite got over her fright and felt sure that the old gentleman was not mad; and there was certainly something strangely attractive about those bright rings. She moved over to the tray.
    “Why! I declare,” she said. “That humming noise gets louder here. It’s almost as if the
    rings were making it.”
    “What a funny fancy, my dear,” said Uncle Andrew with a laugh. It sounded a very natural laugh, but Digory had seen an eager, almost a greedy, look on his face.
    “Polly! Don’t be a fool!” he shouted. “Don’t touch them.”
    Chapter one of The Magician’s Nephew.

    However, after this, never again is it mentioned that the rings make this humming noise. In fact, The Witch, who has extremely good hearing can not even hear them:

    Towards the end of the hymn Digory felt someone plucking at his elbow and from a
    general smell of brandy and cigars and good clothes he decided that it must be Uncle
    Andrew. Uncle Andrew was cautiously pulling him away from the others. When they had
    gone a little distance, the old man put his mouth so close to Digory’s ear that it tickled,
    and whispered:

    “Now, my boy. Slip on your ring. Let’s be off.”

    But the Witch had very good ears. “Fool!” came her voice and she leaped off the horse.
    “Have you forgotten that I can hear men’s thoughts? Let go the boy. If you attempt
    treachery I will take such vengeance upon you as never was heard of in all worlds from
    the beginning.”
    Chapter eight of The Magician’s Nephew.

  25. No, another blooper.

    In The Horse and his Boy when Bree and Shasta are discussing plans for their escape from Arsheesh and Anradin, they decide to go North instead of South. Anradin, Bree’s master thinks Bree is a dumb and witless horse who would, if he got free, run back to his stables to the south:

    And now, back to our plans. As I said, my
    human was on his way North to Tashbaan.”
    “Does that mean we’d better go to the South?”
    “I think not,” said the Horse. “You see, he thinks I’m dumb and witless like his other
    horses. Now if I really were, the moment I got loose I’d go back home to my stable and
    paddock; back to his palace which is two days’ journey South. That’s where he’ll look for
    me. He’d never dream of my going on North on my own. And anyway he will probably
    think that someone in the last village who saw him ride through has followed us to here
    and stolen me.”
    “Oh hurrah!” said Shasta. “Then we’ll go North. I’ve been longing to go to the North all
    my life.”
    Chapter one of the Horse and his Boy.
    When Shasta and Bree leave that night when Anradin is asleep, Bree leaves plain hoof prints in the mud leading southwards, and then turns northwards over ground that won’t take foot prints. Anradin, believing that Bree is dumb and witless, will have every reason to think he is going south back home:

    And it certainly began their night journey with great caution. First of all it went just south
    of the fisherman’s cottage to the little river which there ran into the sea, and took care to
    leave in the mud some very plain hoof-marks pointing South. But as soon as they were in
    the middle of the ford it turned upstream and waded till they were about a hundred yards
    farther inland than the cottage. Then it selected a nice gravelly bit of bank which would
    take no footprints and came out on the Northern side. Then, still at a walking pace, it
    went Northward till the cottage, the one tree, the donkey’s stable, and the creek –
    everything, in fact, that Shasta had ever known – had sunk out of sight in the grey
    summer-night darkness. They had been going uphill and now were at the top of the ridge
    – that ridge which had always been the boundary of Shasta’s known world. He could not
    see what was ahead except that it was all open and grassy. It looked endless: wild and
    lonely and free.
    Chapter one of the Horse and his Boy.

    After Shasta and Bree have escaped they travel as speedily as they can to Tashbaan. They get passed the city in two days and then they cross the desert in less than two days and come to the hermit of the southern march. After that Shasta runs and warns King Lune that Rabadash will attack, and there is the big fight at Anvard castle one or two days after that.
    The surprising thing is that Anradin, Bree’s master is in this battle. It seems impossible that he could have gone South to his home and gone all the way to North to Anvard in time to fight in this battle:

    Rabadash is giving his orders now. With him are his most trusted lords, fierce Tarkaans from the eastern provinces. I can see their faces. There is Corradin of Castle Tormunt, and Azrooh, and Chlamash, and Ilgamuth of the twisted lip, and a tall Tarkaan with a crimson beard -”
    “By the Mane, my old master Anradin!” said Bree.
    Chapter thirteen of The Horse and his Boy.

    1. Thank you for your exhaustive commentary. If I were C.S. Lewis, I think I’d just give up now and go hide somewhere.
      Are you writing to us from New Zealand, by any chance?

  26. Yessssss! I’ve thought of another mistake!

    In The Last Battle, Tirian says he is seventh in descent from King Rilian. He also says that King Rilian died two hundred years ago.

    “Nay,” said Tirian, “I am the seventh in descent from him. He has been dead over two hundred years.”
    Chapter five of The Last Battle.

    Let’s just say that Rilian had his first male child at the age of thirty. Let’s say that Rilian’s son was also thirty when he had his first son.
    In fact, why don’t we say that the next five king’s were all thirty when they had their first son, even though they would likely be younger than this.
    30 + 30 + 30 + 30 + 30 + 30 = 180. This is how many years should have passed since Tirian was born, but we know that Tirian was somewhere between the age of twenty and twenty five at the time of The Last Battle.

    His name was King Tirian, and he was somewhere between twenty and twenty-five years old;
    Chapter two of The Last Battle.

    This would make the count of years from the time Rilian had his son until the time of The Last Battle, two hundred. And yet it has been more than two hundred years since Rilian died. This would have to mean that Rilian died almost as soon as he was crowned king, but I think that this is very unlikely. For one thing, there were no wars going on in Rilian’s time, and he could not have been slain in battle. And another thing, Rilian’s mother had the blood of the stars in her vains for she was the daughter of Ramandu the star. Ramandu and Coriacin were both stars and had been around for hundreds of years, it is likely, that as a daughter of a star, Rilian’s mother would me immortal like her father.
    If she had been mortal then she would have been very old, as Caspian her husband was, at the time of The Silver Chair. However in the following passage there is nothing that makes her seem old. She can even ride a horse.

    About ten years ago, it appeared, when Rilian, the son of Caspian, was a very young
    knight, he rode with the Queen his mother on a May morning in the north parts of Narnia.
    They had many squires and ladies with them and all wore garlands of fresh leaves on
    their heads, and horns at their sides; but they had no hounds with them, for they were
    maying, not hunting. In the warm part of the day they came to a pleasant glade where a
    fountain flowed freshly out of the earth, and there they dismounted and ate and drank and
    were merry. After a time the Queen felt sleepy, and they spread cloaks for her on the
    grassy bank, and Prince Rilian with the rest of the party went a little way from her, that
    their tales and laughter might not wake her. And so, presently, a great serpent came out of
    the thick wood and stung the Queen in her hand. All heard her cry out and rushed towards
    her, and Rilian was first at her side. He saw the worm gliding away from her and made
    after it with his sword drawn. It was great, shining, and as green as poison, so that he
    could see it well: but it glided away into thick bushes and he could not come at it. So he
    returned to his mother, and found them all busy about her.

    But they were busy in vain, for at the first glance of her face Rilian knew that no physic
    in the world would do her good. As long as the life was in her she seemed to be trying
    hard to tell him something. But she could not speak clearly and, whatever her message
    was, she died without delivering it. It was then hardly ten minutes since they had first
    heard her cry.

    They carried the dead Queen back to Cair Paravel, and she was bitterly mourned by
    Rilian and by the King, and by all Narnia. She had been a great lady, wise and gracious
    and happy, King Caspian’s bride whom he had brought home from the eastern end of the
    world. And men said that the blood of the stars flowed in her veins.
    Chapter four of The Silver Chair.

    If Rilian’s mother had been immortal then it is likely that he himself would have lived a very long time, being half mortal and half immortal. And yet at the time of The Last Battle Rilian has been dead for over two hundred years, and Tirian is only seventh in descent from him!

  27. By Jove, I’ve though of yet another!

    In the silver chair, Glimfeather the owl is described as being as tall as a good sized dwarf.

    At that moment a large white object – jill thought for a second that it was a kite – came gliding through the air and alighted at his feet. It was a white owl, but so big that it stood as high as a good-sized dwarf.
    Chapter three of The Silver Chair.

    The Powerful Owl is a species of owl that is 18 to 26 inches tall and weighs only 0.99 to 2.22 kg.
    26 inches is equal to 2.17 feet, and we know that a dwarf is about three feet tall.

    On the sledge, driving the reindeer, sat a fat dwarf who would have been about three feet high if he had been standing.
    Chapter three of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

    So the Powerful Owl is about two thirds the size of glimfeather. Let’s add another third to the Powerful Owl’s height and weight and we get an owl of 3.33 kg and 39 inches which is equal to about 3.3 feet. Let’s say this is the height of a very light, but good sized dwarf.
    Later on in The Silver Chair, Glimfeather is able to carry Jill (and Eustace) on his back while flying. Let’s say that at the very lightest, Jill is 33 kg, the weight of the average ten year old. This would mean that Glimfeather is able to carry at least ten times his own body weight while flying!
    The strongest bird in the world, the harpy eagle, can only carry three quarters of its body weight while flying.

    “Tu-whoo!” said the Owl. “We’re not going through the castle. That would never do. You
    must ride on me. We shall fly.”
    “Oh!” said Jill, and stood with her mouth open, not much liking the idea. “Shan’t I be too
    heavy for you?”
    “Tu-whoo, tu-whoo! Don’t you be a fool. I’ve already carried the other one. Now. But
    we’ll put out that lamp first.”
    Chapter four of The Silver Chair.

  28. By Gum, I’ve thought of yet another one!

    In The Last Battle, just after Tirian has had his vision of the seven friends of Narnia, Jill and Eustace arrive to rescue him. For those two it has taken them a week to get to Narnia, but for Tirian, as he says, he has only waited ten minutes for them to arrive.

    The room began to swim before Tirian’s eyes. He heard the voices of those seven people
    all speaking at once, and all getting fainter every second, and they were saying things
    like, “Look! It’s fading.” “It’s melting away.” “It’s vanishing.” Next moment he was wide
    awake, still tied to the tree, colder and stiffer than ever. The wood was full of the pale,
    dreary light that comes before sunrise, and he was soaking wet with dew; it was nearly
    morning.
    That waking was about the worst moment he had ever had in his life.
    But his misery did not last long. Almost at once there came a bump, and then a second
    bump, and two children were standing before him. The wood in front of him had been
    quite empty a second before and he knew they had not come from behind his tree, for he
    would have heard them. They had in fact simply appeared from nowhere. He saw at a
    glance that they were wearing the same queer, dingy sort of clothes as the people in his…
    Chapter four and five of The Last Battle
    Tirian calls, “almost at once” ten minutes!!!

  29. Groups of people burgeoning from nowhere in a short period of time and another group of people disappearing? Sounds like a government program headed by Joe Collidge. 🙂

    1. I can only imagine. Just keeping simple projects (such as buying a piece of networking equipment) on track is a lot harder than it might seem to the casual observer. Writing a series and mainting continuity would have to be much harder.

      I’m sure the Lewis was not sloppy in his writing, but he probably had so much happening at once that the continuity errors slipped in.

      Just out of curiosity, do you use any tools or techniques to track your stories as you wrote, or do you simply work from your imagination?

    2. Unlike Lewis, I have an excellent copy editor who spots my errors before a book is published.
      And the only tracking tool I use is to re-read the books before I start to write another one.

    3. That is a good way to do it.

      As I’ve mentioned before, my only analog is in arranging music. What I’ve found is that an arrangement becomes an organic whole, of sorts and takes on an identity of its own. Even if I’m simply transcribing a song for the band, by the time I’ve been working with it for an hour or so, it begins to morph into something different from the original arrangement. My point here being, that as I see it, a creative work takes on a life of its own and can’t simply be reduced to its elements. It has to be dealt with as a whole.

  30. I haven’t noticed it when I read that series years ago. But I’m fascinated and so I’ll be back in a bit to read all these comments. Got to get some cleaning done!

  31. In addition to the above mentioned points, at the end of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader it is mentioned how Caspian takes Ramandu’s daughter as his wife & she becomes a mother & grandmother to great kings in Narnia…& yet in the Silver Chair Rilian is their only child & if he does have any children, it is after the death of his mother (after the serpent/witch stings her).

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