Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday Favorites: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Recommended for: All Ages

Rating: PG (mild action)

They open a door and enter a world.

NARNIA...the land beyond the wardrobe, the secret country known only to Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy...the place where the adventure begins.

Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor's mysterious old house. At first, no one believes her when she tells of her adventures in the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund and then Peter and Susan discover the Magic and meet Aslan, the Great Lion, for themselves. In the blink of an eye, their lives are changed forever.

I'm a huge fan of The Chronicles of Narnia, so it seemed appropriate to kick off Friday Favorites with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I also firmly believe the original published order is the best reading order, so don't try to tell me I'm starting with book 2. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is really the introduction into Narnia, with all the wonder of describing a whole new world through the wardrobe door. It also sets the foundation for the whole series. So don't start with The Magician's Nephew. I've had too many people tell me they tried to start with it and thought it was boring. (Okay, not all that many, but still.) It's place is later.

At the surface, it's a beautiful tale of discovery, a world frozen by an evil queen, waiting for deliverance. It's a tale of heroism, of ordinary children who deliver a land to freedom, but it's so much more than that, and it's so much more than that because of Aslan. C. S. Lewis said that he didn't know where to go with the story until "Aslan came bounding in." And it's so true.

Without Aslan, the winter would never be destroyed.

 "Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again."--LWW Chapter 8

Without Aslan, the White Witch would never have been defeated.

"Or have you forgotten who really defeated the White Witch, Peter?"--Lucy, Prince Caspian (2008 movie)

Without Aslan, Edmund would not have been redeemed.

"...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward."--LWW Chapter 15

There's so much about Narnia to love...the characters, the worldbuilding, Lewis's way of telling a story...but Aslan is the best part. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a glorious tale of adventure and redemption and that's why I love it so much.

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