Narnia in Pop Culture

This page was deleted from Wikipedia, and probably rightly so. It’s interesting, but probably not encyclopedic. But I thought it was too interesting to just lose, so here it is for people to stumble upon.

Music

  • The Swedish Christian progressive metal band, Narnia [1], is named after the series, as well as some of their songs and lyrics.
  • The Roar of Love – a 1978 album by Christian band 2nd Chapter of Acts that tells the story of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in the shape of a musical play;
  • Wood Between the Worlds – another 1978 album, by blind Christian musician Bob Ayala;
  • Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett‘s song “Narnia” on the album Please Don’t Touch (1978) is based on The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. It is recorded with former Kansas vocalist Steve Walsh.
  • Mike Scott of The Waterboys draws from the world of Narnia and C.S. Lewis in a number of his songs. “Further Up, Further In” from the album Room to Roam is a direct quote from The Last Battle. Appearing in italics in the text of the book, Aslan proclaims it as he enters the new world. The song “A Church Not Made With Hands” from an early Waterboys album A Pagan Place begins with the words “Bye bye Shadowlands, the term is over”.
  • A Dublin rock band called Aslan have a loyal local Irish following, although they have not made it on the international scene. Their most famous song is “Crazy World”.
  • The American rock band Phish‘s song “Prince Caspian” from the album Live Phish Volume 3 features what may be “the sound of horse’s hooves galloping under water” and the repeated lyric, “Oh to be Prince Caspian, afloat upon the waves… with nothing to return to but the demons in their caves.”
  • The singer Aselin Debison is named after Aslan the Lion. Though spelled differently, the two names are pronounced the same way.
  • Marcy Playground produced a song called The Ballad of Aslan for their record Zog Bog Bean.
  • A song by Spanish Christian musician Marcos Vidal is called “Aslan” [Nada Especial – Vida Music, 1993]. It talks about God’s love, using the image of a lion and its roar.
  • Singer/Harpist Joanna Newsom mentions Cair Paravel in her song “Bridges and Balloons” on the album The Milk-Eyed Meander. The Decemberists covered this song on their EP “Picaresqueties.”
  • Poor Old Lu, a Seattle Christian band, took their name from the third chapter of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, when Lucy comes back from Narnia the first time. Peter says, “Poor old Lu, hiding and nobody noticed!”
  • A song by the band Relient K is titled “In Like a Lion (Always Winter)”, referencing the White Witch’s prolongment of winter in Narnia from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The lyrics also read “It’s always winter, but never Christmas/ it seems this curse just can’t be lifted,” which references her prevention of Christmas.
  • Seattle band The Melody Unit has a song titled Cair Paravel, which details the story of Prince Caspian.
  • There is a post-rock band named Caspian (after the character Prince Caspian, with songs entitled ‘”Further Up” and “Further In”, a reference to The Last Battle.
  • The emo band This Day and Age titled their 2006 CD The Bell and the Hammer, a reference to The Magician’s Nephew. The song “Eustace” references the character and “Of Course We’ve All Seen the Sun” makes reference to a line from The Silver Chair.
  • The Celtic rock band Fathom has an album with Celtic music inspired by Chronicles of Narnia.
  • The band Phish has a song titled “Prince Caspian” on their album Billy Breathes.
  • Narnia is also referenced in the Carter USM song “The Music That Nobody Likes”, from their album Post Historic Monsters.
  • The Band Silverchair’s name is taken from the book “The Silver Chair”.
  • The band Weezer has a live EP recorded in Japan entitled “The Lion and the Witch.”

Television

  • In an episode of Friends, Chandler gets defensive about his “nubbin” when Ross asks “if it does anything”, and replies: “Why yes Ross, pressing my third nipple opens the delivery entrance to the magical land of Narnia.”
  • In the British comedy series, The Young Ones (episode “Flood“) – Vyvyan enters a wardrobe whilst playing hide and seek and enters Narnia. (As he does so a member of the studio audience can clearly be heard saying “it’s Narnia!”) There he is met by the White Witch and her dwarf sleigh-driver. She offers him Turkish Delight but is repulsed by his bad breath. He lets on that he is looking for one of his housemates who was earlier frightened by a Lion (a lion-tamer was using his bedroom). This worries her and the dwarf says “It’s the prophecy.” She threatens Vyvyan to stay but he leaves. Later in the same episode landlord Mr. Balowski briefly enters Narnia looking for the boys.
  • In the television series Black Books, the character “Gus” (who is played by the actor who played the Witch’s dwarf and Trumpkin in the BBC adaptations) asks for some Turkish Delight.
  • An episode of South Park, “Here Comes the Neighborhood“, includes scenes with a pride of lions. The leader of the lions is named Aslan, copying the voice intonation and general animated look from an earlier animated film, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
  • In another South Park episode, “Chickenlover“, Cartman pretends to have read the novel, and summarizes the plot, “a bunch of, uh, hippies, walk around and paint stuff. They eat lunch, and then they find a magical… camel… which they have to eat to stay alive.”
  • In yet another South Park episode, “Woodland Critter Christmas,” a female mountain lion is pitted against a group of evil talking animals; while the lion is killed and resurrected like Aslan, this may only be a coincidence.
  • Peter, from the animated television show Family Guy, briefly visited Narnia when he plunged into the clothes dryer in pursuit of a lost sock. Upon landing, he was greeted by a small creature, who introduces himself as Mr. Tumnus, and says, “Welcome to Narnia!” Peter responds with “Gimme back my sock, you goat-bastard!” before Mr. Tumnus runs quickly away with it.
  • In an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Willow has a nightmare in which she is dressed as a nerd and giving an oral book report on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to a very uninterested class.
  • In a Season 6 episode of Gilmore Girls, when pressed about her religious affiliation, Rory replies “I read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.”
  • Also in Season 6 of Gilmore Girls, episode 10, Christopher shows up to tell Lorelai that he has inherited a vast sum of money and can buy them anything like a castle: “Doesn’t have to be in Ireland. It can be in Germany, Czech Republic, Scotland… Narnia.”
  • An episode of X-Men: Evolution was titled The Toad, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • An episode of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch was titled “The Lyin’, the Witch and the Wardrobe”.
  • On the ABC series Lost, one of the books in the hatch is The Magician’s Nephew
  • Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg from Saturday Night Live, 2005-06 season, did a skit called Lazy Sunday where they rapped about a trip to see The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe at a movie theater.
  • In the Doctor Who anthology Short Trips: Companions, a story called “The Lying Old Witch in the Wardrobe” by Mark Michalowski appears. It attempts to explain the rather whimsical way in which Romana approached her regeneration in the serial, Destiny of the Daleks.
  • In the NCIS episode which aired 9-19-2006, DiNozzo says, “Not where I come from” and the FBI agent responds, “Where’s that, Narnia? The Chronicles of Narnia, it was a major motion picture…”
  • In the TV series Due South, the main character, Benton Fraser, would often enter a snowy landscape through closets to converse with his deceased father.
  • In an episode of My Parents are Aliens, Brian wants to go in a wardrobe to go to Narnia.
  • In an episode of Lil’ Bush, Lil’ George Bush meets Lil’ Tony Blair. As they talk, Bush compliments Blair on his British accent then asking if he is from Narnia, since the actors from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe are all British.

Literature

  • Sarah Kane‘s play 4.48 Psychosis contains several lines lifted from The Silver Chair.
  • In Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia, Leslie refers often to the Narnia books and lends them to Jesse to read so he can learn to act like a king. The name “Terabithia” itself is very similar to one of the foreign lands mentioned in Lewis’s books, Terebinthia.
  • In Roald Dahl’s book Matilda, the character Matilda mentions that she loves the book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
  • The Discworld series of humorous fantasy novels by Terry Pratchett contain occasional references to wardrobes that lead to magical lands, although none of the wardrobes encountered thus far in the series are known to do so.
  • In Jonathan Franzen‘s The Corrections, Aslan is a mood enhancer sold in yellow-golden capsules. Characters in the novel also comment on the books. One being an outspoken fan and one calling Lewis a “Catholic propagandist”.
  • Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower series mentions Narnia in the seventh book. Going through a portal, Jake thinks briefly of “Mr. C.S. Lewis, and the wonderful wardrobe that took you to Narnia.”
  • In The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, one of the characters compares a large mansion to Cair Paravel.
  • In the graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (vol. 2, num. 1), a reference is made in a text fragment to the apple tree from The Magician’s Nephew. In the next comic in the series, a text piece refers to the possibility of making a wardrobe from the apple tree.

Games

  • The adventure game Simon the Sorcerer contains a scene in which the main character finds a stone table and says something like “it is perfect for Troll meals and shaved lions”.
  • The second installment of the Simon the Sorcerer series, called “Simon the Sorcerer 2: The Lion, The Wizard and the Wardrobe” contains several references to the original history. In it, the main character (Simon) is sent to a magical land where Calypso the Wizard, an old friend, lives. Simon falls into a trap which involves an enchanted wardrobe which appears right into his bedroom. Once the trap is set, he has to escape from his enemy, the evil Sordid the Sorcerer. In the end of the game he meets a lion called “Masala” who helps him flying through the lands. “I thought he would’n appear anymore”, Simon says.
  • The Traveller role-playing game contains a leonine race known as the Aslan.

Comics

  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic vol. 2, #1, reference is made in a text fragment to the apple tree from The Magician’s Nephew. A text piece in #2 refers to the possibility of making a wardrobe from it.
  • In Fables comic vol. 1, it’s mentioned that one of the worlds that fell to the Adversary was a land ruled by a lion whom the Fables residents considered to be a bit “holier-than-thou”.
  • In the graphic novel Associated Student Bodies, Jesus is depicted as an anthropomorphic lion (although it can be just a reference to one of Jesus’ titles, Lion of Judah, instead of a Narnia reference).
  • In the final issue of the Books of Magic series, Hunter travels from Fairie to Earth via Wardrobe.
  • In Sonic X #14, Chris and Cream are attacked by ghosts sent by King Boom Boo. They try to hide inside an old wardrobe, and Cream says “If we’re lucky, it will lead to another world” to what Chris answers “That only happens in books and movies”. She also mentions that she and Cheese came into his world via a wardrobe.

Other

  • The expression “so far back in the closet they’re in Narnia” is used humorously to describe a gay person who is deeply closeted, often to the extent of not realizing their own sexual orientation, or not admitting it to themselves. Such people are also sometimes referred to as “Narnians”.[citation needed]
  • Aslan is a Finnish Christian group which advocates reparative therapy for homosexuals, complete with a lionhead as their logo.
  • Narnia is used as the theme of a ballet in Come a Stranger [Dicey’s Song perspective of Mina], part of the Tillerman Cycle, by Cynthia Voigt.
  • Cair Paravel Latin School in Topeka, Kansas, is a coeducational, non-profit, interdenominational Christian elementary and secondary school expressly named to honor C.S. Lewis.
  • There was a Sydney drag show called ‘The Lying Bitch and Her Wardrobe’, although only the title was based on the series.
  • There is a computer consulting company based in the UK using the name “Aslan” and a Lion’s head logo. certainly a reference to the character from Narnia.
  • In the popular website Neopets, the description for the item ‘Blumaroo Statue’ is “This Blumaroo has been waiting months for Aslan to arrive…”
  • A neighborhood in Fairfax County, Virginia, has a number of streets named after people and places in the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Lane, Prince Caspian Court, Rilian Court, Digory Court, and Narnia Court. (The street names in the area are otherwise generally British-themed, such as Parliament Drive.) Narnia Court is located at roughly 38°48′4″N, 77°15′14″W.

6 Responses to “Narnia in Pop Culture”

  1. ryan Said on:

    hey cool page. pretty stupid of wikipedia i think to have deleted this page… its obviously been researched far better than many wikipedia sites! kudos.

    Reply

  2. Lloyd Said on:

    Thanks, I didn’t do anything except change the formatting. But I (obviously) agree that it’s worth keeping around.

    Reply

  3. Robert Edwin Martin, PhD Said on:

    The Aslan computer company’s logo may not,in fact, be a reference to the Narniad since “Aslan” is the Turkish word for “lion,” as Lewis points out in letters to several of his correspondents.

    Citing Aselin Debison’s name may not be valid; it depends on how her name is pronounced. Presumably, it’s pronounced as “As-LYN” while Lewis tells us he pronounces “Aslan” as “ASS-laan” or “ASS-lahn.”

    The article was well-researched, and I’d like to possibly cite some its references in a book I’m writing on Lewis’ mythic fiction.

    Reply

  4. Robert Edwin Martin, PhD Said on:

    Lloyd:

    A few more references to Narnia in popular media:

    In the 1980s detective series Simon & Simon, a crook Rick and AJ put away wants revenge. After release, he tries to get under their skin by joining the book club their mother belongs to. The club is currently reading the works of C. S. Lewis. The ladies are all reading the Chronicles of Narnia, while the crook reads Lewis’ Space Trilogy.

    In the early 90s sci-fi series SeaQuest DSV, at one point Lucas, the teenage computer genius aboard SeaQuest, mentions that he likes the Chronicles.

    I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but it’s possible that in Babylon 5, Harlan Ellison may have named the alien race the Narns after Narnia.

    According to smartpopbooks.com, there are two major C. S. Lewis references in the series Lost: the name of the character Charlotte Staples Lewis and the name of a secret Dharma Intiative lab in California dubbed the Lamp Post.

    By the way, it looks like the name “Narnia” came from a little town in Italy about 25 miles outside Rome that Flavius Josephus mentions in The Wars of the Jews (ca. 85 AD).

    Reply

    • Lloyd Said on:

      Nice information, Robert. I’m glad someone somewhere is getting some use from this. It seemed like too much good information to lose.

      It is not my intention to actively maintain this information, just to preserve it until someone who needs it comes along.

      Reply

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