What do you think about "The Narnia Code"?

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What do you think about "The Narnia Code"?

Postby Alambil Stark » Oct 15, 2014 10:47 am

There is a book called "The Narnia Code" that explains a theory about the Narnia series. It says that each book symbolizes one of the Seven Heavens. Have you read it? Did you like it? Do you agree with it?
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Re: What do you think about "The Narnia Code"?

Postby Anhun » Oct 19, 2014 10:18 am

I haven't read it, but based on what you've said, and what I was able to google about it, it sounds implausible. Lewis himself said that he didn't have one overarching vision or organizational scheme for the books in the series. Why would he lie about that? :-\
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Re: What do you think about "The Narnia Code"?

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 28, 2014 2:17 am

I've been reading The Narnia code, and yes, Michael Ward's arguments do seem strikingly valid, that is, if you know anything about the culture of Medieval Europe before Copernicus, and the way people thought in those days. At the moment I am up to the chapter which deals with Magician's Nephew, which Michael Ward relates to the planet Venus. This has an obvious relationship with Digory's dying mother, the apple and the creation of Narnia, especially as C.S.Lewis wrote Perelandra, the second of his space trilogy.

Ward indicates that, after all, Aslan selects both male & female to carry through his plans for Narnia, and when King Frank needs his Nellie, Aslan summons her, as well. Also, Aslan, having given his animals the power of speech, also gives them permission to laugh and enjoy life.

However, there is a dark side to Magician's Nephew's Venusian undertones. This is Jadis and her propensity to insist on her right to do everything the wrong way. Though she has power to destroy her world she finds herself laughed at in London. And there I see a bit of a weakness in Ward's argument. Unlike Lewis, himself, so far, there has been no reference to why the London crowd might jeer at Jadis, and find her a bit of a joke. This would be that the crowd who had in 1901, that year, had seen buried their own Queen and Empress, a most formidable tartar of a woman, who would have agreed with Aunt Letty's assessment of Jadis, but who, without deplorable words, magic apples or any real challenge to her authority to be where she was, managed to rule the UK roost nonetheless for some 63 years.

Well, Ward has made a plausible argument, and in some of the Chronicles I think it works better than in others. But I still have to finish the book, and come to a final conclusion.
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Re: What do you think about "The Narnia Code"?

Postby narnia fan 7 » Jul 23, 2017 5:08 pm

I've been going through the Planet Narnia theory over the past two or three weeks. And I've also watched a few lectures from Michael Ward. So I thought I'd throw in my two cents on the topic.

I do think Ward does make a few good arguments and there are certainly some parallels between the chronicles and the seven heavens. Though lot of the imagery is, I think kind of vague. And lot applies to more then one book. For example Ward links LWW to Jupiter, but then Bacchus who is the son of jupiter appears in PC. He links VDT to Sol because of gold, wisdom, and dragons, but Sol is also associated with music and healing of disease which is more fitting with MN and so on. Ward does admit that imagery from different planet's appear in different books. Thought he maintains that imagery from one planet dominates one book. but still I find it to be unconvincing. I don't doubt Lewis was probably inspired by elements from the seven heavens. Just like he was inspired by Greek and Roman mythology, as well as biblical influences. But I don't really see the influence from the planet's to be any more significant then the others.

I also I don't really buy Ward's claim that Lewis not only based each book off one of the seven heavens, but also intentionally kept it complete secret. He claims that Lewis "delighted in secrets" which I find very unconvincing.
Lewis seemed very open about his intent with The chronicles. If you read letters he sent to fans The only "hidden meaning" he ever talks about are the chronicles' christian themes. The idea also contradicts otherthings Lewis said. Like how he didn't plan out the series in any way, which in and of its self casts doubt on Ward's theory for me. Lewis also had a low view of critics who tried to find hidden meanings in his works and reconstruct the history of their composition. Something Ward acknowledges thought he clams Lewis said it so often that "that it begins to look almost like a pre-emptive diversionary tactic" which at best seems like grasping at straws to me.

And finally I kind of object to is this idea Ward seems to have. That there was something wrong with the Narnia books before, something missing, that they were just a “hodge-podge” and now the he's uncovered this "secret" it all makes sense now. And all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Frankly I find this idea utterly ridiculous. Whether or not Lewis did secretly base the books on the seven heavens, does it really make the books any better or more significant? Does it make the story's and characters better? Does it make the themes and idea's more meaningful or resistant? For me the answer to all those questions is, No.
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Re: What do you think about "The Narnia Code"?

Postby AJAiken » Aug 09, 2017 10:38 am

I would be interested to know the difference between The Narnia Code and Planet Narnia. I believe that the first is a simplified version of the latter? I could be wrong though.

narnia fan 7 wrote:And finally I kind of object to is this idea Ward seems to have. That there was something wrong with the Narnia books before, something missing, that they were just a “hodge-podge” and now the he's uncovered this "secret" it all makes sense now. And all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Frankly I find this idea utterly ridiculous. Whether or not Lewis did secretly base the books on the seven heavens, does it really make the books any better or more significant? Does it make the story's and characters better? Does it make the themes and idea's more meaningful or resistant? For me the answer to all those questions is, No.


I never got the impression from Ward that he finds Narnia a hodge-podge, at least not in a negative way. He writes frankly about the Chronicles being considered so by others, and that they have an unusual mix of characters and mythology. And I don't think he ever felt there was something missing.

When I first read The Narnia Code I felt I was being given a new way to see Narnia. It didn't take anything away from what I'd read before but instead added a whole new dimension. In re-reading the Chronicles I have found elements of the story and characters better and themes more significant.

The comparisons with Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra and That Hideous Strength were what convinced me, I believe. These themes run through all of Lewis' fiction. And the twinning of things in HHB. I think the planets must have been a strong inspiration/theme for Lewis.
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