How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

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How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

Postby ladysherlockian » Mar 27, 2012 5:21 am

As most people, my first introduction to Narnia was through the LWW, first the movie, and then the books. I have never read the entire Chronicles until now, when I have just listened to the audiobooks from the Ancient Faith Radio podcast. And now I have a question concerning the cause of the prolonged winter in LWW. All we know is that Jadis caused it, but how?

In The Magician's Nephew, Digory plants the magical tree to ward the witch off Narnia. As long as the tree grows, Narnia is safe. So it follows that, since Jadis did bring this horrible winter about, the tree no longer protected Narnia. Did it fail to scare the witch away? Or was it destroyed somehow, e.g. cut down? And by whom? Jadis was supposed to be unable to approach it, so it must have been by one of her followers. But the Chronicles say nothing about the tree being damaged. Or do they? I did not have access to the printed books, only audiobooks, so perhaps I have missed something in listening. Or is the problem with a tree only a plot hole, something that CS Lewis himself overlooked?
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Re: How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » Mar 27, 2012 5:43 am

Trees get old, and all trees die (although science has found that some trees are for all purposes immortal). In the Magician's Nephew, Aslan says:

"It is my wish to plant in Narnia a tree that she will not dare to approach. And that tree shall protect Narnia from her for many years so that this land will have a long bright morning before any clouds come over the sun."


So even Aslan knew that the tree would not live forever, because he could not promise eternal protection.

My guess is that the day Digory's tree died (in a terrible storm in London) was the same day that the tree in Narnia was either felled, or knocked over in some storm, or succumbed to a disease or something else along those lines.
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Re: How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

Postby King_Erlian » Mar 27, 2012 5:44 am

I'd always assumed that the Tree which Digory planted, while having a very long life, was not immortal and eventually died of old age. We're not told how long it was from the Creation of Narnia to the start of the White Witch's reign but it must have been many centuries, possibly millenia.
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Re: How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

Postby ChristProclamer » Mar 27, 2012 12:32 pm

I always figured Jadis sent some of her people (probably dwarves) to chop down the tree. I imagined that the Narnians would keep it under guard, almost like a national memorial, but they must have been overwhelmed.

I just couldn't see it dying, seeing as how it produces apples that give life and all.

But an interesting thought, for sure.
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Re: How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

Postby Lion's Emblem » Mar 27, 2012 9:47 pm

Wait. Why do I feel like in the book there was something mentioned of what happened to the tree in Narnia? I haven't read The Magician's Nephew for awhile now, but I feel like it was mentioned how the tree that grew in the "real" world connected back to, if you'll pardon the pun, its roots in Narnia. For example, how Digory's tree in England would sway when there was no wind in connection back to the tree that grew in Narnia. Like DiGoRyKiRkE, I feel like Narnia's tree might have died the same as Digory's tree (maybe not at the exact same moment, but the tree in England would.... react in some way with the end of the Narnian version). I could very much be remembering wrong, but it makes sense that the tree would have died on its own (I don't much see Jadis' followers being able to approach the tree either- its goodness, so to speak, would be poison to those on the side of villiany).

Then, of course, with the tree out of the way, Jadis could enter Narnia and take control. It's certainly an interesting parallel, with the tree of life ended, Jadis comes in and brings winter- that which makes the landscape dead.
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Re: How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

Postby -centaur- » Apr 06, 2012 2:48 pm

I could be wrong, because I haven't read MN in a while either, but I don't think it mentions what happens to the Narnian tree. It does, however, mention that the tree in our world fell down in a windstorm. Digory didn't want to cut it up, so he had it made into a wardrobe.
Maybe that's what your thinking of, Lion's Emblem? :)
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Re: How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

Postby Lion's Emblem » Apr 06, 2012 3:31 pm

Well, I do remember that specifically -centaur-, but that's not exactly what I was thinking about. I can't help feeling that there was something mentioned about how Digory's tree would sway on days when there was no wind as if reflecting the Narnia tree from where it came.

I'm going to have look it up again in MN. I'll get back to you on that one :) .... give me awhile for a quote.
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Re: How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

Postby Sheroo of Stormness Head » Apr 11, 2012 6:58 pm

Here's the quote, Lion's Emblem:

"But inside itself, in the very sap of it, the tree (so to speak) never forgot that other tree in Narnia to which it belonged. Sometimes it would move mysteriously when there was no wind blowing: I think that when this happened there were high winds in Narnia and the English tree quivered because, at that moment, the Narnian tree was rocking and swaying in a strong south western gale."
-Magician's Nephew, C.S. Lewis


I've liked to think that the English tree fell down in the wind storm in England, but like Lion's Emblem kinda said, the Narnian tree fell down at the same time (Narnian time of course, though). ...But of course that's all speculation. That's one of the beauties of Narnia and Lewis. He stimulates our imagination instead of giving everything to the reader. ;)

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Re: How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

Postby Boy Scout » Jun 01, 2012 1:06 pm

The timing of Digory's tree falling down and the death of the Narnian tree may or may not be related at all. Digory's tree fell down because of a "strong wind storm" in our world. This could be because of something happening to the Narnian tree. But, as Sheroo of Stormness Head said Sheroo of Stormness Head, the English tree quivered because its Narnian counterpart was rocking in a strong gale. So their was obivously a decrease in power when our tree shook compared to the Narnian tree.

Even in MN, Lewis uses "I think...." when talking about the tree, so no definte answer could be found. Maybe the Narnian fell down because our tree died, or maybe it was reversed.

I agree with Sheroo of Stormness Head that this is part of the beauty of Narnia!
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Re: How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

Postby 7chronicles » Jul 08, 2012 12:36 am

Like some have already said, I always believed that when Digory's Tree died in london, it was because at the exact same time in Narnia the Tree of Protection died, my guess would hundreds of years later after it had been planted from age.
I had always pictured Jadis hiding far away from Narnia and the Tree, and that she could either sense or had spies inform her that the Tree of Protection was indeed dead.
Then she put her plan of the 100 year winter into effect.
And we all know the story from there. :)
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Re: How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

Postby wild rose » Jul 08, 2012 6:44 am

I never really thought that the tree in England's death caused the death of the tree in Narnia, cause I sort of assumed that the Narnian tree was the 'stronger' of the two, but now that it is mentioned, I do sort of see it as making sense, since the two trees were so connected that when there was a storm in Narnia the tree in England rocked a bit, maybe one death would cause another. But then again, maybe it didn't, maybe the Narnian tree just got old and withered away, nothing can last forever, not even Narnia, much less a tree planted there, so perhaps the tree in Narnia just lived as long as it should and then dried up and that was when the White Witch attacked Narnia and brought her dreadful winter with her.

ChristProclamer wrote:I always figured Jadis sent some of her people (probably dwarves) to chop down the tree. I imagined that the Narnians would keep it under guard, almost like a national memorial, but they must have been overwhelmed.


That's an interesting idea, I could see that happening too, like the Witch hiding away for a long long while, gathering her faithful minions slowly around her (like a sort of bad Robin Hood figure) and then finally, she sends someone to chop down the tree. Maybe she even tried several times before she succeeded. Or maybe she waited till perhaps, with time, the Narnians forgot just how important this tree was, you know, generations pass and the Narnians, seeing or hearing nothing from the White Witch, sort of forget about her and don't guard the tree as well as they used too, and that is when the Witch see her chance has come, and sending a few dwarves or someone else in the night, has the tree cut down and then attacks Narnia. There are really a lot of different ways it could have happened :)
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Re: How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

Postby Varnafinde » Jul 08, 2012 6:24 pm

wild rose wrote:But then again, maybe it didn't, maybe the Narnian tree just got old and withered away, nothing can last forever, not even Narnia, much less a tree planted there, so perhaps the tree in Narnia just lived as long as it should and then dried up and that was when the White Witch attacked Narnia and brought her dreadful winter with her.


That's what I believe happened. Aslan knew that it would only keep the Witch away for a long time, not forever. Probably because the tree cannot live forever.

And when the Narnian tree finally died, that caused the tree in our world to die as well. They were not as closely connected as a Dryad and her tree, but still close enough that the London tree would respond to its Narnian stronger counterpart.
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Re: How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

Postby Ithilwen » Jul 11, 2012 4:22 pm

I agree with the others that the tree was never meant to be a permanent protection, but only a temporary one.

"It is my wish to plant in Narnia a tree that she will not dare to approach. And that tree shall protect Narnia from her for many years so that this land will have a long bright morning before any clouds come over the sun."

From this quote, it shows Aslan knows it won't keep the Witch away forever.

Interesting that he words it the way he does... "this land will have a long bright morning before any clouds come over the sun." I wonder if those clouds he's referring to are not just a metaphor for evil in general, but literal clouds he know will come one day to bring the snow and prolonged winter? ;)


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Re: How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

Postby Narnian_Archer » Jul 12, 2012 2:06 am

Aslan tells Digory in MN that because he called up the witch and brought her to his new land, the land will suffer, but he will offer protection for awhile through this tree. It is Aslan's way of giving Narnia a chance to grow and become a land before the evil settles into it. And he tells Digory that because humans brought evil into the world, humans will also be responisible for bringing it out (I always assumed him to be referring to the Pevensies, for Aslan knows of everything). So it seems to me that the tree was never meant to be a permanent protection. And, as Lion's Emblem said, there was a definite relationship between the two trees-the one in Narnia and the one in England, and it is very likely that when the storm blew the English tree over, something happened to the Narnian tree. I won't go so far as to say what, because I have no way of knowing, but something obviously did.

ChristProclamer wrote:
I always figured Jadis sent some of her people (probably dwarves) to chop down the tree. I imagined that the Narnians would keep it under guard, almost like a national memorial, but they must have been overwhelmed.


I thinkt that extremely unlikely because Jadis had a terrible fear of that tree since she ate of the fruit, and I don't think she would send a band of dwarves to chop it down...it just doesn't seem likely. Obviously the Narnians were protecting their tree, and were a lot mightier than her little imps because there were more of them to begin with. Also, Jadis literally breeded or created, with the evil magic she knew, creatures such as werewolves and hags, and as such they could not in any way be more powerful than her, so how could they be able to stand a magic she could not? It's just not logical, considering even how proud Jadis is! It would terribly humiliating for a great witch like her, who destroyed Charn, to let something like that to happen! No, I think the tree lived and died a natural death, and Jadis was waiting all along, and when it died she came with a great conquering army of hags, black dwarves, werewolves, giants, ogres, etc. to capture and reclaim Narnia.
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Re: How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

Postby Movie Aristotle » Jul 14, 2012 12:42 pm

Isn't there a warning that Aslan gives to the Narnians to protect the tree? I always imagined that the tree was well taken care of for several centuries, but as time wore on, the decreasingly careful Narnians forgot about and neglected the tree until it died.

What I find fascinating about the White Witch's takeover of Narnia is that it was so thorough. She had political power, supposed hereditary authority, martial strength and magic. I think the White Witch coming to power was not necessarily resisted at first. I figure a few of the good creatures resisted, but perhaps most of the common folk were taken in by her tricks. Thus her coming to power was less of an invasion and more of an election.
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Re: How did Jadis cause the prolonged winter?

Postby Varnafinde » Jul 14, 2012 2:22 pm

Movie Aristotle wrote:Isn't there a warning that Aslan gives to the Narnians to protect the tree? I always imagined that the tree was well taken care of for several centuries, but as time wore on, the decreasingly careful Narnians forgot about and neglected the tree until it died.


I suppose you're thinking of this (my emphasis):
"Son of Adam," said Aslan, "you have sown well. And you, Narnians, let it be your first care to guard this Tree, for it is your Shield. The Witch of whom I told you has fled far away into the North of the world; she will live on there, growing stronger in dark Magic. But while that Tree flourishes she will never come down into Narnia. She dare not come within a hundred miles of the Tree, for its smell, which is joy and life and health to you, is death and horror and despair to her."


Perhaps it might have lasted even longer if they had guarded it longer. It wouldn't have lasted forever, but there was enough magic in it to last far longer than an ordinary tree. It may have flourished for eight or nine hundred years - Lewis doesn't give us any details, not even in the timeline - but those are the numbers we might get from the timeline.
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