Yet Another Narnia Error?

A visitor to this blog, “Miraz‘s Son,” has nailed an error in the Chronicles of Narnia that slipped right past me.

In Prince Caspian, C.S. Lewis tells us that the human inhabitants of Narnia, called Telmarines, are afraid of the sea and never go near it. But in the next book, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Caspian is just a few years older and we find him aboard ship on the high seas, with officers and men who’ve been sailing all their lives. Not only that–Caspian is combing the seas for seven lords, loyal to his father, who took ship and fled into exile after the rightful king as murdered by the usurper, Miraz. So… That happened when Caspian was still a baby, maybe even yet unborn–at a time when the maps show the Narnia seacoast overgrown with woods: a time when Caer Paravel on the seashore lay in forgotten ruin, and nobody ever went near the ocean.


I can think of no way to resolve these contradictions, and no answer to them but this: I still love Narnia and the Chronicles of Narnia. Slip-ups and all.


6 comments on “Yet Another Narnia Error?

  1. Well, it does say that Caspian’s crew was made up of people who weren’t Telmarines. About the seven lords, I’m not sure. I’d have to give that some thought. I’ve thought of others, too, but I try not to think about them because the books are so good that I don’t like to dwell on the slip-ups (no one can be a hundred percent accurate, anyways) 😀

    1. I’m not being negative. As someone who is himself writing a fantasy series, I have a natural interest in this kind of thing. I have a continuity editor who has saved me from some immense inconsistencies in my books. Probably C.S. Lewis didn’t. I don’t know if he was still reading his works-in-progress to the Inklings in the 1950s, when he wrote the Narnia books. And he was busy with all sorts of other things.

      I’m also interested in the fact that I’ve read these books many times, and I never spotted this error that Miraz’s Son just pointed out. Somewhere in that, there is a lesson on how the human mind works.

    2. I know you’re not being negative 😀 And I do try to pay attention to stuff like that in my own writing. Isn’t it funny how we can read something so many times and never see it?
      For me, I think that it’s because the first time (or times) that I read something, I’m focusing more on the story itself, living in it if you will. Then, as I become more familiar with it, I read it with a more analytical mindset, though not on purpose.

    3. Oh, the trouble I got into, between Bell Mountain and The Cellar Beneath the Cellar! Unlike C.S. Lewis, I had a continuity editor who let me know I’d stepped in it. It really is easy to make mistakes like this when you’re writing a series–and it’s hard for the writer to spot his own mistakes. So far, the sharp eyes at Chalcedon have kept any of these boners from getting into print.

  2. THANK YOU! I have been writing a series of articles for my web site and nearly going out of my mind about some similar problems (sigh), . If Lewis did it, I guess I should complain. After all, he wasn’t in his ninth tenth.

    1. We all do it, Dorothy! I somehow managed to lose 18 Temple servants between The Thunder King and The Last Banquet. And I can hardly describe the confusion I had with Martis’ beard, going from the first book to the second.

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