Forum

Share:
Notifications
Clear all

Misreadings From Childhood (or your first read)

The Scribbler
(@scrib)
NarniaWeb Regular

I first read the LWW when I was 8 years old, which was my first introduction to the actual texts (I had a beautiful storybook version before then). When I first read it, I happened upon the line "there was a dead blue-bottle on the the window sill" and I thought it meant there was a small, very dark glass bottle on the window sill. I gathered lots of little "Narnian" inspired treasures, and found a small dark blue bottle that I thought fit this description. I was later disappointed to find out that it was a dead fly on the window-sill LOL I only found out about that because of the LWW director's commentary... I still thought it was a little blue bottle until I was about... 15 or so :p 

Because that misreading was with me so long, it became canon in my mind... Does anyone else have any fun or funny misreadings to share? 

- Scrib 

"Hello there!" - Obi Wan
aafouch.blogspot.com
Copywriter, Academic Writing, Fiction, Children's Literature

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : January 28, 2021 5:14 pm
Geekicheep
(@geekicheep)
NarniaWeb Nut

I thought the exact same thing about the "bluebottle"!  I wasn't sure what it was, but my best guess was a "blue bottle". 😀

I might have misread more than I even remember, but the main misreading that stuck with me was the part where the White Witch said something like, "fetch all whose evil works for me" - I was sure it was "all who are evil work for me" - as in, if it was evil, it served the Witch!  Then there was that line about her minions, that "if I described them, the grown-ups would not let you keep reading this" or something like that.  So you had all your "regular" bad guys - supervillains, pirates, ninjas, Halloween movie monsters, anyone or anything a little kid could ever be scared of... and then there was HER.  Like here's everyone else, and then she's on a whole other level of evil - they answer to her.  And of course then I read The Magician's Nephew, where she could read thoughts, turn people to dust, rip iron bars like dry twigs, and destroy an entire universe.  Kind of explains why I always found her so terrifying... and Aslan so incredibly brave, extremely mysterious, and totally awesome!  🙂

Yes, I'm a mouse... I mean, a geek!

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 1, 2021 7:12 pm
Cleander
(@the-mad-poet)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I originally thought that a blue-bottle was a type of flower, and envisioned a withered blue flower decaying by the window...I still don't know why he couldn't have just said DEAD FLY. Confused  

 I also used to think that the name of the good giant in LWW was Rumblemuffin... Blush I guess i assumed his parents were just really hungry when they were naming him.

  @Geekicheep, I actually don't remember the witch saying to fetch those whose evil works for her.... is that just in the British edition? I have the American ones ( Fenris Ulf instead of Maugrim, etc.) and I don't remember ever finding where Jadis calls her own followers evil... 

PM me to join the Search for the Seven Swords!
Co-founder of the newly restored Edmund Club! Find it on the Talk About Narnia Forum!

signature by aileth

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 1, 2021 9:47 pm
Jonathan Paravel
(@jonathan-paravel)
NarniaWeb Regular

This is not quite a misreading of the book (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) but it's very similar: I had read all the books and watched all the BBC miniseries by the age of 9. When I was 12, we studied LWW at school in English class. I was convinced that the Witch's house and Cair Paravel were the same building, between my first reading and age 12. I think it was partly inspired by the way I interpreted the BBC show. ROFL  
This realisation came about through a discussion with my friend in class at age 12, who said "Which way does Lucy turn when she goes to Tumnus' house...?" and that led to discussion about other LWW geography. Kiss  
Please note, this was in the year 2000, so before the Walden film came out. I highly doubt I would have had this misconception after watching that, because the two palaces look very different in the movie.

This post was modified 8 months ago by Jonathan Paravel

There is something about Narnia, Narnians and the Friends of Narnia that connects with my mind and heart. Oh, what a wonderful wordsmith Lewis was!
I too was changed when I met the Lion.

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 2, 2021 2:32 am
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut

@the-mad-poet I believe the line about the Witch's followers including all who are evil comes from the BBC miniseries.

Similar to what you said about Rumblebuffin, I first read Puddleglum's name as Puddlegum. Giggle  

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen check out my new blog!

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 2, 2021 7:48 am
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Friend of NarniaWeb
Posted by: @the-mad-poet

I originally thought that a blue-bottle was a type of flower, and envisioned a withered blue flower decaying by the window...I still don't know why he couldn't have just said DEAD FLY. Confused  

Probably because "bluebottle" was and still is a common term in Britain for a type of blowfly with a blue sheen to it. I know I'd heard it before, even in Australia, when Mum first read LWW to me when I was little — at least, I don't remember being at all confused about it. 

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

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 2, 2021 8:47 am
The Scribbler
(@scrib)
NarniaWeb Regular

@geekicheep & @the-mad-poet I’m glad I’m not the only one who misread the bluebottle bit!

I haven’t watched all the BBC versions yet... I didn’t grow up on them but I can see how certain details from the books and movies would blend together. I’ve had that same thing happen with the Radio Theater dramas because I DID grow up on those.

It’s fun to see everyone’s ideas of things growing up! 

 

"Hello there!" - Obi Wan
aafouch.blogspot.com
Copywriter, Academic Writing, Fiction, Children's Literature

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : February 2, 2021 10:48 am
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut

@courtenay I might have heard the word from Beatrix Potter but I can't remember any quotation from her that mentions a bluebottle. I'm fairly sure I was never confused by the word in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe though.

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen check out my new blog!

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 2, 2021 11:45 am
Geekicheep
(@geekicheep)
NarniaWeb Nut

@Cleander You're right!  It's funny how we tend to mix up versions like that (and it looks like I'm not the only one to do that lol).  But the way Lewis described her army, and everything in MN, definitely were in the books and definitely added to my overall impression of her character (not to mention the Deep Magic and her killing Aslan).  But odds are I saw the BBC version before I read the book, or shortly after reading the book, because you're right she didn't say it in the book (I should know, I re-read it last year! ?).  It's funny we can not only misread, but "mis-hear" things like that.  Like that scene in Star Wars when Darth Vader supposedly said "Luke, I am your father" (he actually didn't say "Luke" there).

PS: Rumblemuffin and Puddlegum!  By far the best misreads ever!  ? 

PS2: @scrib I LOVE the Radio Theater versions!  Their portrayal of Puddleglum is much better than the BBC version IMO.

Yes, I'm a mouse... I mean, a geek!

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 5, 2021 8:50 pm
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator

When I first read LWW, age eleven-ish, I'm pretty sure I knew that a bluebottle must be some sort of an insect just because of the context, but I had no idea what it looked like. I've always imagine it as this shiny, cobalt blue, jewel-like dragonfly and I still do to this day, even though I know what they look like now. Honestly it doesn't really fit the scene because the room is supposed to be completely ordinary looking and the image of it in my head is pretty magical, but ah well. Giggle

I remembered something else that was a misconception, also from LWW: when Tumnus describes himself as the White Witch's kidnapper, I thought that was his official job in her administration. LOL Like, he'd already kidnapped a lot of people for her and Lucy was just the latest unfortunate soul. Apparently I glossed over the next few lines where he indicates that it's not something he has done, but rather is presently doing because the Queen's orders are to hand over any human children and Lucy is the first one he's met. Giggle

Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 7, 2021 2:14 pm
Geekicheep
(@geekicheep)
NarniaWeb Nut

@rose That is SO funny!  But to be honest, I always thought something along those lines too... I mean, what jobs did people have in Narnia?  He didn't seem to be a carpenter, or a blacksmith, or a farmer or anything, and he clearly wasn't in her secret police.  Wait... did he build NarniaWeb 1.0?  😀

But all joking aside, to me it made perfect sense that he would work for her.  The lamppost, being on the western border, would undoubtedly be an area full of kidnappers and spies and other people on the lookout for humans.  Archenland and other countries were not far away, so it's not that far-fetched. Of course I didn't know that reading it the first time (and maybe Lewis hadn't figured that out himself), but he definitely made it sound like she pays him regularly.  Lucy even asked, "but what does she pay you for?"  (or was that just the BBC version too?  Man I gotta re-read the books!) 🙂

Yes, I'm a mouse... I mean, a geek!

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 8, 2021 4:25 pm
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Friend of NarniaWeb
Posted by: @geekicheep

But all joking aside, to me it made perfect sense that he would work for her.  The lamppost, being on the western border, would undoubtedly be an area full of kidnappers and spies and other people on the lookout for humans.  Archenland and other countries were not far away, so it's not that far-fetched. Of course I didn't know that reading it the first time (and maybe Lewis hadn't figured that out himself), but he definitely made it sound like she pays him regularly.  Lucy even asked, "but what does she pay you for?"  (or was that just the BBC version too?  Man I gotta re-read the books!) ?

I've just checked the book and Lucy does say that (80-90% of the dialogue in the BBC versions is word-for-word from the books!). Tumnus himself, when he first explains to Lucy why he's crying, says he's "Taken service under the White Witch... I'm in the pay of the White Witch" — so there definitely is some established arrangement between him and her. But he also makes clear he's never actually seen a human before he met Lucy, so he can't previously have fulfilled his kidnapping duties. Perhaps the Witch pays him an ongoing wage, or at least a stipend, to watch the woods for humans? It'd be interesting to know how he was led (or pressed) to "take service" under her in the first place, but Lewis never goes into that at all and we can only speculate and imagine. (I'm sure there's fan fic that deals with it!)

Of course there's a good "in-universe" explanation of why the Witch has spies watching the area around the lamp-post in particular — because that's where she herself and several humans first entered Narnia when it was created (and she inadvertently "planted" the lamp-post herself!), so it makes sense that she should suspect that if any more humans enter Narnia, that's where they will most likely appear. But Lewis doesn't seem to have thought much about the Witch's origins — and certainly hadn't come up with her back-story as Jadis, Empress of Charn — at the time he was writing LWW.

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

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 9, 2021 8:43 am
Geekicheep
(@geekicheep)
NarniaWeb Nut

True!  I really like that point about the lamppost (and I love how you put that - she accidentally "planted it" herself! 😀 ).  But yeah, it would definitely make sense for her to pay special attention to that part of Narnia.

PS: Thanks for double-checking, @courtenay!  And yeah, he did say that other stuff too. 🙂

Yes, I'm a mouse... I mean, a geek!

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 9, 2021 9:06 pm
Courtenay liked
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

As for bluebottles, I knew they were an unpleasant fly by the time I tried to read LWW (at 13 when I had grown too old for fairy tales).

The place that confused me was a typo in the VDT, where Reepicheep talks of his disappearing into the east in his coracle, and names who will succeed him as chief mouse. My (early 70s) edition says "Reepicheep". I read it several times, trying to make sense of it.

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."

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 10, 2021 3:21 am
Geekicheep
(@geekicheep)
NarniaWeb Nut
Posted by: @coracle

The place that confused me was a typo in the VDT, where Reepicheep talks of his disappearing into the east in his coracle, and names who will succeed him as chief mouse. My (early 70s) edition says "Reepicheep". I read it several times, trying to make sense of it.

Oh wow, really?  So Reepicheep left Reepicheep in charge?  That must have been very confusing.  Wasn't it like "Peepikeek" or something?  Nah, must have been me. ? 

Yes, I'm a mouse... I mean, a geek!

ReplyQuote
Posted : June 9, 2021 5:36 pm
Share: