Sunday, 26 December 2010

Locus Focus: The World of Charn (Narnia)

This Locus Focus is about settings in Narnia. I chose The World of Charn.

In The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, the World of Charn is the birth world of Queen Jadis, also known as the White Witch (she is a great, truly evil villain of the book series).

Jadis destroyed this world. When Charn is first presented in the books, it is a lifeless place. It was once populated by the so-called giants, which were basically humanoids. Now, the only living creature in this world is Jadis herself. She destroyed Charn with the Deplorable Word, an evil incantation that destroys all life, except the life of the person who spoke the incantation during a special ceremony.

Every living thing died and the river Charn dried up after the Deplorable Word was uttered. The sky became so dark blue that it appeared to be black. The sun of Charn reddened. In the sky, there is also another celestial object, either a very distant moon or a very weak star with dim light. The air is cold and thin. This is a dead planet.

There is also the House of Charn, a royal palace that still stands and waits to be rescued by chance visitors from other worlds. In the Hall of Images inside the palace, there are life-size figures of monarchs of Charn through the ages. Jadis put an enchantment on the dining table in the Hall of Images, so that everyone seated at the table remained preserved. Jadis took her place at the end of the table.

Jadis also put a short column in the centre of the hall, with a hammer and a golden bell on top of it; with the hammer, one hits the bell. When a visitor to Charn, Digory, hit the bell with the hammer, it produced a sound that grew louder and louder until the roof collapse and the ringing broke the spell of preservation, awaking Jadis from her preserved state.

This is Charn, a destroyed, dark, lifeless world.


Enbrethiliel said...


I haven't reread The Magician's Nephew in a long while, so reading your post was a great refresher on Charn.

The royal palace is a sort of "type" of Cair Paravel, isn't it? A great place full of history, just waiting for someone to break the spell? But this time, it's a spell Digory should probably have left alone.

Now I wonder about people who read The Magician's Nephew before The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. What must Cair Paravel look like to someone who saw this royal palace first?

Thanks a lot for joining Narnia Day: The Return, Irena! =D

Blodeuedd said...

Oh cool, I did not know about this world. Little do I know :)

Jan von Harz said...

I am planning on reading this series in 2011. I have only read one of the books and feel it is something I really need to read since I missed out on it as a kid.

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I know that I liked The Magician's Nephew when I was younger but it turns out that I had mostly forgotten everything about it because I don't remember this at all. Maybe I should add the Narnia books to my TBR list for 2011...