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The Order of the New Narnia Franchise

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Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Guru

Now that there's been more news about the new Narnia franchise lately, I've just thought about what order it will be made in: publication or chronological. I even thought of if it is possible to do a new order instead of either publication or chronological.

Publication order is an option. Though I feel like that if The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe was followed by Prince Caspian and went in publication order, a lot of people would probably be turned off. It has been done both times with the BBC TV series and the Walden Media film franchise.

Chronological order is also an option. However though, The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe wouldn't have that mystery of the wardrobe in the spare room and the lamppost in the middle of the woods if it was done in chronological.

Then how about a new order that is neither publication or chronological? It would certainly be new! Well, here's an order I have thought of-

  1. The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe.
  2. The Horse And His Boy.
  3. The Magician's Nephew.
  4. Prince Caspian.
  5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
  6. The Silver Chair.
  7. The Last Battle.

In that order, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe would be first. However, instead of being followed by Prince Caspian and going in publication order, it would be followed by The Horse And His Boy or since that The Horse And His Boy takes place during The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe, it could be done as a pair. Then it would be followed by The Magician's Nephew. It would be like going back in time, only done a bit earlier than publication order. Then it would go on to Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Silver Chair. Then it would end with The Last Battle.

Are you in favor of the new Narnia franchise being done in publication order or in chronological order? Do you agree with the new order I just thought of or do you have an order of your own in mind?

 

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Topic starter Posted : November 14, 2023 4:35 pm
Jonathan Paravel
(@jonathan-paravel)
NarniaWeb Regular

I agree that doing Lion, Witch, Wardrobe first and then Prince Caspian second, doesn't sound like a good idea. This could lose viewers of the Walden films who aren't dedicated Narnia nerds. This would be particularly problematic if those two films take 2 or more years to come out, then there's another wait for the 3rd film. I will be interested to see if Netflix includes the extended celebrations in Prince Caspian. That would differentiate it from Walden's movie, but also might leave some people scratching their head in confusion, due to the difference with Walden's version.

I think there could be a scenario in which we might have to sacrifice the suprising reveal of wardrobe and spare room for the sake of putting The Magician's Nephew first in the release order. However, maybe this could be changed. For example, maybe MN could go first, then end with Digory and Polly back in London as children, and we don't know that the Professor is Digory until the last scenes of Lion, Witch, Wardrobe. That could be a fun twist and a good place to insert the revealing of the origins of the Wardrobe.

I like the fact that your order puts every story after Prince Caspian in chronological order. That will mean more continuity with the characters, instead of cutting away from Jill and Eustace for a movie or two before The Last Battle. This would also have a great arc for King Caspian.

I do think that is it possible to present The Horse and His Boy seamlessly if it directly follows Lion, Witch Wardrobe. The way I would do this is to finish the LWW story in the same way Walden did (with the return as children to England). But the opening scenes of HHB can be the children recalling what it was like during the golden age, or maybe telling some of their adventures to the Professor and Polly (a nice way to include Polly more!).
Previously I have considered it not a good idea to go straight from the Battle of Beruna, freeing of the statues and the coronation to the events of The Horse and His Boy. But after pondering the order of events in Gerwig's adaptations of Little Women, I think she could pull it off!

I am unsure of how they could start the story with Shasta in Calormene, because he is a foreign character, like Glumpuddle mentioned in this week's Talking Beasts episode.

I too was changed when I met the Lion.

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Posted : November 14, 2023 8:09 pm
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PrinceRillianIX
(@rilianix)
NarniaWeb Regular

I think when it comes to the structure of the series, they'll need to take into account the actors for the Pevensies, so I don't think it makes sense to make A Horse And His Boy after The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. So I think (in my eyes) the best way to break it up would be to break up the structure in terms of your protagonists:

1) The Magician's Nephew

2) The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

3) Prince Caspian

4) The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader

5) A Horse And His Boy

6) The Silver Chair

7) The Last Battle

Personally, I think it makes more sense to take a break from Eustace than the Pevensies, especially since we meet older versions of the Pevensies in A Horse And His Boy, and given how Jill Pole is the protagonist of The Silver Chair.

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Posted : November 15, 2023 7:58 am
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Guru

Those are all really good points. There are certainly pros and cons of publication or chronological order for a Narnia series or film franchise. I know a lot of Narnia fans are dead-set on reading the books in publication order, though the same rule doesn't have to apply to a film or series.

If I remember correctly, I think Walden Media even planned to reverse the order of HHB and MN: that is, making MN before HHB.

If they all end up being films, even if it they were made in chronological order, we could probably still watch them in publication order if we want to.

As for the new order, as I've mentioned before, if LWW was made first, then it was followed by PC and VDT, a lot of people would probably be like, "Oh, these again? Didn't we had that with the BBC TV series and the Walden film franchise?" But if LWW was first, and it was followed by HHB or even paired with it, where LWW ends or a cliffhanger and HHB picks up where it left off, and MN, it would be like, "Oh, this is something new and fresh!"

So those are really good points. Though I think the door is still wide open!

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Topic starter Posted : November 15, 2023 10:09 am
PrinceRillianIX
(@rilianix)
NarniaWeb Regular

I just think to explore HBB right after LWW, you run the risk of intercepting the Pevensie's story, even with their minor appearance as adults in HBB. While yes, doing LWW, PC and VDT has been done twice before, to me, you get the most of out of them and I think exploring them that way again will only benefit the whole series and those characters specifically, because the audience can properly attach themselves to those characters so that the exploration of them as adults in HBB and then their return in LB has the proper affect, like it does when you read the books.

I also don't think doing anything in the same way as Walden in terms of structure will have that much of a negative effect on the response to the Netflix adaptations, especially since LWW is the only one of the Walden films that really holds any weight or significance amongst general fans in my opinion. So if Netflix do want to them those three in order again, I think it'll be fine and there's a strong chance Netflix would do a better job...

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Posted : November 15, 2023 10:26 am
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Guru

As I've mentioned, I think the door is still wide opened. We still haven't heard what Narnia film will be first. LWW could still be first or even MN could be first.

If the new franchise decides to go in chronological order, as @jonathan-paravel pointed out, MN could end with Digory and Polly in London. That way, it wouldn't effect the mystery of the wardrobe in the spare room and we wouldn't even know that Digory is the professor in LWW. If HHB was done after LWW, they could even possibly move the Hunting of the White Stag and the Pevensies returning as kids from the end of LWW to the end of HHB. Then continue on with PC, VDT, SC, and LB.

If the new franchise decides to go in publication order, like the previous adaptions have done, if LWW, PC, and VDT does well enough, (yes, VDT have better do well this time), then it could give the new franchise another chance to keep going.

If the new franchise decides to make up a new order, like the ideas that some of us have, it could please both groups of people- publication and chronological.

Whichever the new franchise decides to do, I do think that the first six has to do well enough to get to LB. I don't think Return of the King would have been made if The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers were not successful. So whether with publication or chronological or even a new order, each should be successful enough to get all the way through.

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Topic starter Posted : November 15, 2023 12:12 pm
icarus
(@icarus)
NarniaWeb Guru

In terms of ordering, you are realistically bound by a few rules of logic, such that LWW, PC, VDT and SC need to be produced in quick succession of one another due to actor aging, and LB needs to come at the end. Ultimately then you are only left with a few key decisions:

  • Whether to start with MN or LWW
  • When and how to do MN and HHB.

In terms of the first question, its probably been debated to death on here countless times by now, but I'm less bothered about sticking to publication order these days, especially if it means getting to see a brand new story brought to life.

In terms of the second question, i kind of feel that its not really that big of an issue these days with streaming platforms. Assuming you've got a big enough budget to support multiple concurrent productions, such as Disney does with its Marvel and Star Wars properties on Disney Plus, or Netflix has (just about) been able to do with its Witcher Franchise, then you can add these two Narnian "side story" books into the mix at any time. Audiences will get it. Everyone ought to be more than used to the idea of the "cinematic universe" by now.

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Posted : November 15, 2023 12:40 pm
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

Netflix will be wise to film the Pevensies & Eustace in succession, but they can screen the films/TV serials in whatever order they see is best. (I mean, capture the growing children in the story order)

I'd like to see LWW, PC, VDT and SC, and then a second set of MN, HHB, and maybe LB.
The Pevensie/Eustace/Jill set is in sequence and these books don't require knowledge of the creation story to enjoy them.

NB: Even by VDT & SC, the Professor is not known as a visitor to Narnia! Lewis didn't say when he told the children of his time there. This allows MN to be shown after SC, as I describe below.*

LB is the least likely to be made, but perhaps this is the one chance for it to happen.

*[MN can be presented as narrated by Prof Kirke & Miss Plummer, to the (older) children (start in the Prof's living room, cross into the story, with some voiceovers).  HHB can be done the same way, told by Ed and Lucy (with Susan in the story part but probably not in the gathering of Friends by then).]

There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"...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 backwards."

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Posted : November 15, 2023 2:39 pm
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Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Guru

All really good points. Even with the publication or chronological, there are ton of options. Even Walden Media had thought of reversing the order of The Horse And His Boy and The Magician's Nephew where it would have been-

  1. The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe
  2. Prince Caspian
  3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  4. The Silver Chair
  5. The Magician's Nephew
  6. The Horse And His Boy
  7. The Last Battle

Another possibility would be-

  1. The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe
  2. The Horse And His Boy
  3. Prince Caspian
  4. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  5. The Silver Chair
  6. The Magician's Nephew
  7. The Last Battle

Here, The Horse And His Boy could give us a break from the Pevensies (even with their brief appearance as adults) between The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe and Prince Caspian. Also, we would have a prequel and sequel side by side with The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle.

Another possibility-

  1. The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe
  2. The Horse And His Boy
  3. Prince Caspian
  4. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  5. The Magicians Nephew
  6. The Silver Chair
  7. The Last Battle

We could have a break between The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair with The Magician's Nephew. Plus, it wouldn't even break away from Eustace and Jill between The Silver Chair and The Last Battle.

Even in chronological order, it's possible to reverse the order of The Horse And His Boy and Prince Caspian-

  1. The Magician's Nephew
  2. The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe
  3. Prince Caspian
  4. The Horse And His Boy
  5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  6. The Silver Chair
  7. The Last Battle

Here, after The Magician's Nephew, The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe and Prince Caspian, we would be able to go back in time with The Horse And His Boy. Then continue on with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle.

Another possibility, as @rilianix pointed out-

  1. The Magician's Nephew
  2. The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe
  3. Prince Caspian
  4. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  5. The Horse And His Boy
  6. The Silver Chair
  7. The Last Battle

Here, we could have The Magician's Nephew, The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Then we would go back in time with The Horse And His Boy and continue on with The Silver Chair and The Last Battle

Another possibility would be-

  1. The Magician's Nephew
  2. The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe
  3. Prince Caspian
  4. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  5. The Silver Chair
  6. The Horse And His Boy
  7. The Last Battle

Here, we would have The Magician's Nephew followed by The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe like it is in chronological order then followed by Prince Caspian like it is in publication order. Then it would have The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair. Then The Horse And His Boy would start with the Seven Friends of Narnia, where Peter, Edmund, and Lucy recount on their reign or even Eustace and Jill recount on the story the blind poet had told in The Silver Chair. Then it would wrap up with The Last Battle, where the seven friends of Narnia continue to meet.

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Topic starter Posted : November 15, 2023 3:11 pm
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

The only internal reference to HHB is when the tale is told at ? a castle feast - is that SC?  It's only mentioned in the book, not told,  so it needn't be told until the Seven Friends meet. 

I honestly hope Netflix and Greta are reading all my posts carefully!! 😀 

There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"...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 backwards."

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Posted : November 16, 2023 1:24 am
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Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Fanatic Hospitality Committee

@coracle Yes, it's SC. Lewis was either writing or had just finished HHB by the time SC was ready to be published, so he essentially threw in a plug near the end of SC for his next Narnia book that would be out the following year! Grin  

As a few people have said now, they definitely need to film LWW - PC - VDT - SC in pretty quick succession so that the child / teenage characters age correctly, but apart from that, it doesn't matter so much. When it comes to what order they are released in, though, it only makes sense to start with either MN or LWW. There are pros and cons for starting with either of those, as we've all been through countless times, and as we've had no definite indication from Netflix — only a couple of vague remarks that might be a hint and might not be — I'm not betting either way on which one they'll choose to screen first. I'm more concerned that they do a good job with this series, regardless of which story they start it with!

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

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Posted : November 16, 2023 7:21 am
PrinceRillianIX
(@rilianix)
NarniaWeb Regular
Posted by: @courtenay

As a few people have said now, they definitely need to film LWW - PC - VDT - SC in pretty quick succession so that the child / teenage characters age correctly, but apart from that, it doesn't matter so much.

I mostly agree, especially when it comes to LWW - PC - VDT. I think not only does it make sense chronologically but I also think it allows the audience to properly invest themselves in the Pevensies who hold a lot of importance in the series, and will make all the difference when they return in TLB. I also think they should explore doing HHB and SC between VDT and TLB so it feels more impactful when the Pevensies do return because if, for example, we only get a break from them with SC and then go straight to TLB, it wouldn't have the same impact on audiences because they haven't really missed them for that long - if that's what they want from their return. I'm just thinking about this in terms of a cinematic series with characters that fans will be rooting for and how the creators could utilise that when it comes to telling these stories.

As for SC, I actually think you could play around somewhat with the timings, and possibly insert HBB between that and VDT. I just feel the time between Eustace's adventures doesn't hold as much weight as it does for the Pevensies, and given that Jill Pole is pretty much the protagonist of SC, the writers could play around a lot with Eustace. For example, it might be more interesting for Eustace if he's been stuck at Experiment House, away from Narnia, for a lot longer.

This post was modified 8 months ago 2 times by PrinceRillianIX
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Posted : November 16, 2023 8:41 am
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Guru

Right. I would also point out that for The Horse and His Boy, it is kind of tricky to where to place a side story in a franchise, especially if doesn't involved any children traveling from Earth to Narnia and back.

Regardless of what order, there are things to keep in mind-

  1. In whichever order, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe would still have to introduce us to the Pevensies. Otherwise, like in The Horse And His Boy, we're not going to know who they are. The same with Prince Caspian. So The Lion, The Witch And Wardrobe will certainly have to introduce us to the Pevensies.
  2. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader will certainly have to come before The Silver Chair. It wouldn't make sense to have a new kid, Eustace, show up out of nowhere in The Silver Chair, especially when the Pevensies are out of the picture by that time, and goes to Narnia with another new kid, Jill.
  3. Then of course, The Last Battle would have to come last. It is the most logical ending to the series. If it was between The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe and The Magician's Nephew, there would still be Professor Digory Kirke, but it wouldn't make sense to have Polly randomly show up. If it was between The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair, it would still have Eustace, but it would be too confusing to have Jill introduce to us there. If it was before The Horse And His Boy, it would mess up with the introduction of the Calormenes and their culture.

So regardless of what order, whether if it is The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe or The Magician's Nephew that will be first, those are things to keep in mind.

 

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Topic starter Posted : November 16, 2023 8:47 am
Courtenay liked
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Fanatic Hospitality Committee

I'm guessing some of these things could well be what Gerwig and co. are discussing in "how to break the arc" of the Narnia series! Grin  It's relatively unusual to have a series of books with more than one recommended reading order, and one where the individual stories have a somewhat different impact depending on which order is followed. That really could be what they're trying to work out right now. But I'm still not making any firm assumptions until we know more, since the current vague situation can only mean that either they (at Netflix) have a plan but they're keeping it very quiet until the right moment, or they don't have a plan at all and they're still trying to work one out. Either way, I'm just glad we now know for sure — after all these years — that something is happening! Dancing  

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

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Posted : November 16, 2023 8:54 am
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Guru

Right. As @icarus have pointed out, you could place the prequel (The Magician's Nephew) and midquel (The Horse And His Boy) to the mix at any time without having any effect. Well, obviously, The Lion, Witch And The Wardrobe will have to be before The Horse And His Boy and both The Magician's Nephew and The Horse And His Boy will certainly have to be before The Last Battle. But those two stories can be place into the mix at any other time. Even if The Horse And His Boy was made between The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle, I don't think that would have any effect.

Even though a lot of Narnia fans are for reading the books in publication order, whichever order they decide to film the movies in, I think we can still watch them in whatever order we want.

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Topic starter Posted : November 16, 2023 10:39 am
icarus liked
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