Monthly Archives: December 2015

Christmas Traditions – Writing Contest #81

Everyone has traditions, especially when it comes to the holidays. What sort of traditions might the Narnians have around Christmastime?

Example: “Wake-Up Call” by Ariel_of_Narnia

A ringing sound broke into her dreams. Lucy’s eyes popped open as Edmund gleefully rung a golden bell over her head. Christmas! With a laugh, she flung back her covers and chased Edmund – still ringing the bell – down the hall to Peter’s room in the north wing. While Edmund attempted to elicit a reaction from a deeply sleeping Peter, Lucy vaulted onto the bed, bouncing. “Peter, Peter, wake up! It’s Christmas!”
Peter rolled to face her. With eyes still shut, he mumbled, “What’s the matter?”
“You’re not waking up on Christmas morning, that’s what!” Edmund chortled.
“Bother you, Ed. Trust you to be up before me one day of the year.” The bell rang harder. Peter rubbed his eyes with one hand while the other attempted to wave the bell aside. Lucy saw the mischievous grin on Edmund’s face as he dipped Peter’s facecloth into the water basin. Before she could stop him, Edmund threw the wet cloth squarely onto Peter’s face.
“Yow, that’s cold!”
Edmund only laughed and got a head start out the door, pulling Lucy along with him. “Ed-mund!” Peter lunged after them, tossing his washcloth aside as he left his room. By the time he caught up to them, they were entering Susan’s room.
“Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas!” Lucy chanted while Edmund serenaded her with the chime of the bell. At first, Susan only rolled over and groaned, but once she did wake up, all she said was, “Dad taught you too well.”

 

Honorable Mentions

“Hope” by AGB

Christmas.

What a beautiful, wonderful, exciting word, Lucy thought as she raced down the street, leaving the horrid brick building and spectacle-sporting teachers behind her. The cold wind stung her eyes as she ran, but she didn’t mind at all. Her only concern at that moment was keeping her eyes open enough to spot the icy patches in the street before she slipped and fell. She couldn’t wait to see the Christmas tree that Peter and Edmund had promised to bring home from the tree yard.

Once she reached the house, she flung open the door, kicked off her shoes, threw her book bag in the corner, and yelled, “Peter! Susan! Edmund! I’m home! The winter holidays have finally begun!”

Her voice echoed down the hall, bouncing off the walls until it disappeared and left the house in an odd, unusual silence.

“Hello?” She called again. But no one answered.

Then she noticed the bare corner next to their living room, where Edmund and Peter erected the Christmas tree each year. She noticed the fireplace, void of the Christmas stockings that Susan hung there every winter.

Maybe they’ve just gone out for a bit, Lucy tried to assure herself. Perhaps they haven’t gotten the tree yet.

Then the door opened behind her.

Spinning around, her surprised and delighted face melted when she saw Peter enter, alone and without a tree. When he saw her, he wiped something wet away from his eye.

“What’s going on, Pete?” She asked.

Peter’s face was grave. “Dad…Dad lost his job this morning. I’m not sure why- he wouldn’t talk about it. But to make matters worse, he fell down the stairs and broke his left leg. I just came back from the hospital to pick you up. Mum’s in an awful state…”

Lucy fought back tears as she rushed to wrap her arms around her brother.

“It’s alright, Lu,” Peter said, stroking her hair lovingly. “Really, it is. We’re still going to have a wonderful Christmas. We just need to save more money this year. Mum said we should skip non-necessities and give less gifts this year so we will have more money to pay Dad’s hospital bills. We won’t be able to carry on the tree tradition, I’m afraid.”

“Oh, that’s alright, Pete,” Lucy forced a smile, but her lower lip was trembling. “I know we’re going to have a great Christmas anyway. Besides, Christmas isn’t about a silly tree and presents. I only wish that Dad could get a job soon, and that his leg would heal…” Her voice caught in her throat.

“So do I, Lu.” Peter nodded. “Now go and fetch your things and I’ll take you to the hospital. Meet me outside.”

Lucy grabbed her things from upstairs and brushed away tears in her eyes. She wished with all her heart that her father could get another job soon; he worked so very hard. And fate hadn’t been too kind to her family recently- they currently were struggling to make ends meet with the meager pay her father had earned. And now, with her father in the hospital and his leg broken, it could be months before he could get another job. They might have to sell their house…

She couldn’t stop the tears from coming then.

She cried for her mother. She cried for her father. She cried for her siblings. She cried for the future.

But then she looked up.

Out her window, in the sky, clouds were clearing away to reveal a dazzling sun, glowing radiantly in the heavens, spreading light to the earth. The rays from the sparkling sunlight stroked her face, through the glass of the window, drying her tears.

And she remembered Narnia.

She remembered how the golden brilliance of Aslan had destroyed the freezing darkness of the Witch. She remembered how wonderful spring had driven away the cold and frigid winter when Aslan returned, and had brought Christmas back to Narnia.

In that moment, she realized that no matter what happened, no matter how dark the season seemed at that time, that glorious spring would come again.

She breathed deeply. Maybe this Christmas would turn out to be a wonderful time after all.

 

“Only Memories” by hobbit_of_narnia

The old rabbit’s watery eyes looked around on the eager upturned faces of the young ones. His front paw with its blunted nails stroked his greying muzzle reflectively. A lady rabbit with bright but sad eyes, standing near the back wall of the burrow, stroked the head of a very young kit who was struggling to stay awake. “Yes,” the old rabbit whispered, “today would have been Christmas. I remember Christmas. It was so…beautiful. And the happiness…none of you young ones even know what that word really means. Happiness. Joy.”
Some of the young rabbits sitting in the front row were mouthing the words along with him. They knew this story; the old grandfather told it to them every year. (In secret, of course, for the Witch would never permit the telling of old tales if she had known it was going on.) The old rabbit went on.
“Joy was everywhere; everyone had a friendly greeting for his neighbour, and everyone was laughing.” Then the quavering old voice sunk yet quieter, and he added confidentially, “I remember that the great dining chamber of the burrow would always be lit during the Christmas season and there would be plenty of food for all, stored up in anticipation during the summer. None of you young ones know what it is to have plenty of food.” All the little long-eared heads waggled back and forth solemnly. “But there was, and oh, was it glorious. And the very night before Christmas—that would have been last night—all the young ones would go to bed, bursting with eager anticipation for what the morrow would bring.” Here the voice of the grandfather grew as his enthusiasm mounted. “And when they woke up, all would rush into the dining chamber, and there would be presents all about the room, one for each, from Father Christmas!”
“Who is Father Christmas?” asked the piping voice of the very young rabbit in the back. There were shushing noises all around.
“Father Christmas,” said the old grandfather, his voice once again very quiet, “is a wonderful person. He is kindness and goodness and all that could be wanted. Only Aslan is greater than him. He would come every year, on Christmas, to every house in all of Narnia, in all of the world, and leave gifts for the people.”
“Then why doesn’t he come any more?” asked the young rabbit. But his mother shushed him.
“Don’t ask such questions now,” she said. “It’s getting late, and Grandfather is growing tired, I’m sure. You’ll understand when you’re older. Now run along to bed, all of you.” The young rabbits filed out obediently, leaving only the mother and the grandfather in the room, looking at each other, and tears shone in their sad black eyes.

 

And the winner is…

“Holly” by Tom Duffy

‘I was just talking with Moonfrost the Centaur’ said Mr. Beaver, ‘he says that if this was a real winter it would almost be time for the Winter Solstice. I think we should decorate.’
‘Really, Mr. Beaver?’
‘Yes, Mrs. Beaver. Just because She is ruling the country does not mean that she is ruling the calendar. We can decorate the house with holly, nothing too grand to catch the attention of the Secret Police. Who knows, maybe it will help Father Christmas in getting back into Narnia.’
So Mr. and Mrs. Beaver began to gather holly to decorate their house. They told the Fox and the Robin what they were doing and why. So the Fox begin to decorate his den as well. The Robin went to and fro looking for more holly for his friends to use.
Mr. Beaver ran into Mr. Tumnus one day. Mr. Beaver did not much like Mr. Tumnus because everyone knew that he worked for the Witch.
‘Mr. Tumnus,’ said Mr. Beaver, curtly.
‘Mr. Beaver,’ returned Mr. Tumnus. ‘I see that you and your wife are preparing to celebrate something. What is it?’
‘It just happens to almost be the Winter Solstice and even if Christmas is not going to happen again this year, we still wish to celebrate it. We are putting up holly to mark the occasion as was done before the Winter.’
‘It is?’ sighed the faun. “I so wish this winter would end.’
‘You do? I thought you wanted your high and mighty Queen to stay forever.’ replied the beaver, shortly.
Mr. Tumnus looked nervously around, and lower his voice. ‘I regret my actions. I am not going to help Her anymore. I had something happen the other day that made me realize that I was wrong and a fool and a traitor to my father and my friends.’
‘You did? What happened?’ asked Mr. Beaver in disbelief.
‘I had a visitor. A Daughter of Eve’
‘What!’ Mr. Beaver looked at the faun in astonishment.
‘Yes, I did. Here is proof,’ and he held up a small, white handkerchief monogrammed with the letter ‘L’. ‘She gave this to me and I want to give it to you.’
‘Me, why?’ asked Mr. Beaver suspiciously.
‘Because I am afraid of the Secret Police. I think she is one of the Four and she will return again one day. If the Secret Police take me, I want you to save her and her brothers and sister. Take this so that they will know you are a friend.’
‘If you are serious about switching sides against the Witch, you should demonstrate it some way that won’t get you in to trouble.” mused Mr. Tumnus.
‘I could decorate my cave with holly like you are decorating your house.’
‘That is a wonderful idea; my great-grandparents always decorated the den with holly before the Winter. At least that is what my grandparents said. They claimed that it help Father Christmas in finding the houses to go to, something to do with the smell.’ said Mr. Beaver. ‘I will tell the Robin to bring you some small boughs, nothing too big to bring attention.
‘That is a great idea, Mr. Beaver, thank-you for believing in me.’
So Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, Mr. Tumnus and the Fox were busy for decorating their homes in hopes that Father Christmas would finally make it into Narnia. The Robin was very busy, ranging far and wide in search of holly branches for everyone.
One day while flying to the north of the Great River he saw Maugrim and his wolves heading down river towards Lantern Waste. He followed the wolves to Mr. Tumnus’s cave and after the arrest flew off to Mr. Beaver’s house to tell him what happened.

 

Don’t forget to check out the winners of the last contest!

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Tenth Anniversary of Walden’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

By Always Narnian

Today marks ten years since the release of the Walden Media/Disney film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in the United Kingdom. For Narnia fans, it may seem hard to believe that a decade has already passed for the beginning of this franchise. Unfortunately, I was not active on the big Narnia sites at the time of the first film. However, if you were, you may recall some of the facts and rumors that were floating about online concerning this film. In honor of this anniversary, I thought it would be enjoyable to share some of these memories.

  • For a little while it was rumored that Nicole Kidman, an Australian actress, was chosen to play the role of the White Witch. This was not in the slightest bit true, as she was never offered the role. [1]
  • Aslan was originally to be voiced by Scottish actor Brian Cox. Though this itself was not a rumor, a story was started that Cox’s voice had altered due to some weight loss, most likely making his voice unacceptable for the part of Aslan. This, of course, was the false part of the story – Brian had to cancel the role due to his scheduling. [2]
  • The first actor to be revealed for the project was Tilda Swinton, starring as the lead villain, the White Witch.
  • The first trailer for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was released on May 7th, 2005, nearly 7 months before its theater debut. These days we expect new trailers to be uploaded to YouTube, but this was a brand new site at the time, and still in beta testing, so it was on another website (moviefone.com) that the trailer was first made available on the web. [3]
  • Liam Neeson was not announced for the role of Aslan until July of 2005, though they had already recorded his lines. [4]
  • It was said that various actors including Gerard Butler, Ian McKellen, Timothy Dalton, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, and Sean Bean had auditioned for the role of Aslan. According to IMDb, Gerard Butler had said during his audition, “ This isn’t going to be like the BBC puppet Aslan, right? Because, if so, I’m leaving right now.” [5]
  • While in the theater, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe fought especially with King Kong (directed by the Lord of the Rings directer, Peter Jackson) for the top place in the box office. [6]
  • In June of 2004, it was already being said that work was starting on the next Narnia script. Prince Caspian was officially confirmed in February of 2006. [7]
  • Grant Major, the Production Designer of The Lord of the Rings films, was at first to be involved in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe[8]
  • John Howe, the artist well known for his Tolkien illustrations and work on The Lord of the Rings films, was also originally involved in the art-work for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. At the time he was forced to keep this secret and even denied his involvement. He eventually wrote a confession on his own website after having left the project:

“From February through May I didn’t do much else except work my fingers to the bone drawing lions, witches and wardrobes pretty much full time. And last but far from least, apologies to all those who asked if I had indeed stepped through the wardrobe, and to whom I either lied or artfully dodged the question. Sorry about that, I hope you’ll forgive me. It won’t happen again (until next time). Now that the production has moved to New Zealand I’ve wandered out of the wardrobe and shut the door carefully behind me. I can at last mention the project, but of course five months of hard sketching will have to wait for an eventual ‘Art of’ book…” [9]

  • In March of 2005, Narniaweb confirmed that there was a scene that had not yet been shot—the scene at the end of the film in which the Pevensies are no longer children. Mark Wells, the actor for the grown-up Edmund, was the first of the four to be announced for the Pevensie’s adult roles. [10]

What are your own memories of this film? Do you remember your reaction to this classic tale being adapted into a film? Do you remember what your thoughts were on the first trailer? Or do you remember any speculations you had concerning this film? I’d love to hear your own memories of the film’s release in the comments below!

Thanks to Narniaweb’s News Archives for much of the information above.

(Caution is advised in following any of the outgoing links in this article. TLC is not affiliated with IMDb or Narniaweb.)