Forum

Share:
Notifications
Clear all

Queen Swanwhite, Time Traveler of Narnia?  

Page 2 / 2
  RSS
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator
Posted by: @the-mad-poet

One interesting note: some North American tribes were later discovered to have use a very strange, circular skin boat, which closely resembled the Irish coracle. Perhaps Lewis was thinking of this later when he randomly threw in Reepicheep's coracle?)

Ooh! That seems likely. And very interesting. I really want to read more about St. Brendan now!

Posted by: @courtenay

After a few generations of marriages to nymphs and wood-gods and river-gods, the royal family of Narnia would have almost no human blood left, unless some more humans came into the mix somewhere!

I've actually thought about this in the past, supposing that Archenlanders and perhaps Calormenes, too, are something like 98% nature people Giggle but I'm not sure if that's what a "fairy tale" reading of the stories would actually suggest. Circling back to @Dot's thoughts about Luthien and Arwen, both of them became mortal after marrying a mortal man. And while I can't think of a lot of fairy tales and legends about dryads (I should do something about this Tongue ), myths and legends about water spirits often involve marrying a mortal and becoming mortal themselves/gaining a soul. (Undine, for instance, or Andersen's The Little Mermaid.)

So I'm thinking that maybe these nature peoples weren't exactly naiads/dryads or wood/water gods anymore after marrying into the first few generations of Narnian royalty, and they became human, more or less. Since Narnian dryads, at least, look almost exactly like humans (and DNA tests don't exist in Narnia Giggle ), it sounds like Frank and Helen's descendants through the ages at least appeared fully human, and all of them had the blood of Adam at any rate.

Posted by: @courtenay

But my point here is that if Swanwhite did live "before the days of the White Witch and the Great Winter" (as we're told in The Last Battle), and was descended from Frank and Helen's children, then she wasn't purely human — some of her ancestors, maybe even most of them, were nymphs (Naiads, maybe?) and wood-gods and river-gods. Which would perhaps explain her legendary beauty (dare I say "beyond the lot of mortals"?) and her reflection remaining in the water for a year and a day! Wink  

I do like the idea of her being a naiad! I hadn't really thought about it, but none of the dryads and naiads in CoN are ever named, and I think it would make more sense that she was a Narnian who married a king rather than born a queen, since her name doesn't fit what you would expect.

That idea about Lewis mixing up Swanwhite and Moonwood in the timeline is a good theory as well!

Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 11, 2021 7:02 pm
Courtenay liked
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Friend of NarniaWeb
Posted by: @rose

I've actually thought about this in the past, supposing that Archenlanders and perhaps Calormenes, too, are something like 98% nature people Giggle but I'm not sure if that's what a "fairy tale" reading of the stories would actually suggest. Circling back to @Dot's thoughts about Luthien and Arwen, both of them became mortal after marrying a mortal man. And while I can't think of a lot of fairy tales and legends about dryads (I should do something about this Tongue ), myths and legends about water spirits often involve marrying a mortal and becoming mortal themselves/gaining a soul. (Undine, for instance, or Andersen's The Little Mermaid.)

So I'm thinking that maybe these nature peoples weren't exactly naiads/dryads or wood/water gods anymore after marrying into the first few generations of Narnian royalty, and they became human, more or less. Since Narnian dryads, at least, look almost exactly like humans (and DNA tests don't exist in Narnia Giggle ), it sounds like Frank and Helen's descendants through the ages at least appeared fully human, and all of them had the blood of Adam at any rate.

That's a good point — I hadn't thought of it that way. Lewis doesn't really go into the details of what the children of a human and a "nature person" would be like, or whether marrying a human affects a mythical character's innate nature at all, so I guess we can only speculate.

Actually, now I think about it, we DO have one example of a descendant of both humans and non-humans in Narnia — Doctor Cornelius, who of course is part-human, part-dwarf and seems to have some characteristics of both peoples. But we just don't know if the same would count for part-human descendants of other humanlike-but-not-human beings, like Naiads or wood-gods. One of the many questions I wish we could ask C.S. Lewis in person, since he doesn't seem to have provided a clear enough answer in his writings! Wink  

Posted by: @rose

I think it would make more sense that she was a Narnian who married a king rather than born a queen, since her name doesn't fit what you would expect.

Yes, I was thinking something along those lines too. Also, as far as I know we don't have any definite examples in Narnia of a queen reigning on her own and in her own right, with no husband or (in Susan and Lucy's case) older brother who takes precedence — except for the White Witch, of course, but her claim to the throne wasn't exactly legitimate! Swanwhite could have been a queen regnant (that's the technical term), like the current Queen of the UK, but we don't have enough information about her to know either way.

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

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 12, 2021 4:57 am
Geekicheep
(@geekicheep)
NarniaWeb Regular

You know, this is one of my favorite things about Narnia: there is so much unknown.  I had barely remembered Queen Swanwhite when I saw this - the only "white queen" in Narnia most people think of is the Witch.  But I remember a passing mention of her in one of the books, PC I think, and when I read it it was like, "oh, who's that?"  In another thread, someone mentioned how convenient it was that in VDT they kept sailing straight east and hitting island after island to keep the story going - well that also begs the question, might there be other islands they just sailed on past?  Now I get that Lewis' worldbuilding may not have been what some fans would like, but I find it amazing!  Your mind gets to make crazy awesome leaps like this one, that Queen Swanwhite was a time traveler!  Sounds like a fantastic fan-fiction piece to me (man, every time I come here I find myself wanting to write 😀 )

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

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 15, 2021 9:25 pm
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator
Posted by: @geekicheep

You know, this is one of my favorite things about Narnia: there is so much unknown.

Ditto! This thread is a great example of why I love being a Narnia fan. So many unexplored nooks and crannies in Narnia and its history, and so many books on C.S. Lewis's bookshelves to peruse, too, in either his other works or stories and poetry he loved that influenced Narnia. I find it genuinely exciting: it seems like every season, some new idea or possibility or theory comes along and it's off to the races again. Daydream Grin

Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 16, 2021 12:59 pm
Courtenay liked
Page 2 / 2
Share: