Does anyone else really respect Jadis?

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Does anyone else really respect Jadis?

Postby Ronny » Dec 31, 2015 10:39 am

Yes, yes, I know in the narrative we're supposed to believe that she's "evil" - but when reading the books, do any of you find yourselves admiring some of her personality traits?

I mean, sure, she's cruel and imperious, but I always felt it translated into personal bravery, a force of will which allowed her to go to lengths others simply wouldn't. When it comes to battling for her throne, she's right there, on the field, fighting alongside her soldiers. And, if memory serves me, her reign was actually keeping the Calormens out. When she is gone, they are emboldened, and seek to invade or, at the very least, infiltrate Narnia - but when Jadis was alive? They wouldn't dare attack.
It's probably just me, but I view her as a good Queen for precisely that reaon, for keeping order, for keeping Narnia safe from outside influences, and being brave enough to personally confront an armed uprising against her rule.

But maybe that's just me. What do you guys make of her? :)
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Re: Does anyone else really respect Jadis?

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » Jan 01, 2016 9:17 am

-She was willing to wipe out her entire population of Charn just to get her way.
-She killed the citizens of her realm in Narnia if they expressed any opposition to her wishes
-She coerced a little child to betray his entire family, and then gave him nothing in return
-She "protected" her own interest in Narnia by ruling with an iron fist so that all other nations of the world were terrified of her

I suppose that she did have a certain ambitious quality about her. . . but everything that she did was for herself. That does not deserve respect in my opinion.

By the same argument, one should respect Adolf Hitler, because he was a strong leader.
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Re: Does anyone else really respect Jadis?

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jan 02, 2016 4:54 pm

Nice to see you around, DiGoRyKiRkE Welcome back! :)

Ronny wrote:I mean, sure, she's cruel and imperious, but I always felt it translated into personal bravery, a force of will which allowed her to go to lengths others simply wouldn't. When it comes to battling for her throne, she's right there, on the field, fighting alongside her soldiers. And, if memory serves me, her reign was actually keeping the Calormens out.


Ronny, I note you credit Jadis with bravery, but what is your concept of bravery? It would be easy for Jadis to be "brave" when she knows she has tricks up her sleeve that her opposition does not. Such as powers like the Deplorable Word (in Charn) or the ability to turn the opposition to stone as in Narnia. Or knowing that one has (wrongly) eaten an apple that protects against her dying any time soon. Or the knowledge that she has just killed her most feared opponent. It is not so easy to be brave when all that stands between her opposition and death is the moral high ground.

Which the Calormenes did not have, either in HHB or in LB. Even in The Last Battle, despite winning. Yes, Jadis kept them out of Narnia, but reduced Narnia to a frozen wasteland, even if she couldn't kill off its inhabitants outright the minute she took over. Maybe she had learned the lesson that she failed to learn in Charn, that Narnia had different rules, that she was only entitled to kill those she regarded as traitors to Narnian law. And that without a people to dominate, she was just a forgotten statue, no more than an archaeological relic. The reason that the Calormenes were kept out of Narnia whilst Jadis was there was mainly because with a powerful witch in charge of a frozen Narnia they had little or no use for that country, either as trade or as labour. Even Jadis was in no position to prevent their interference with the affairs of the buffer state of Archenland which guarded the passes which would have permitted Calormene entry to Narnia.

Some years ago I saw some online discussion in comparing a list of literary villains which included, among others, the Big Bad Wolf, Sauron, Voldemort and yes, Jadis, the White Witch. Courage was not really one of the attributes of any of these literary villains. All of them, to a character, tend to be domineering bullies who resent opposition, who fear being "dethroned" from their position of power, and who prey on anyone weaker than themselves.

Comparing Voldemort and Jadis is quite valid, since the author of the Harry Potter series was well acquainted with C.S.Lewis' Narnia stories. Dumbledore, Hogwart's headmaster in the Harry Potter series said at the end of the first book: "There are all sorts of courage. And one of them is the courage to stand up to one's friends". I can't see Jadis tolerating even friendly advice. Nor can I see the woman who "poured out the blood of her armies like water" against her victorious sister as brave.

Yes, I agree that in RL there have been women courageous enough to lead in battle. Among them were Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni, in resistance to the Roman juggernaut, and Joan of Arc who led the French to victory at Orleans and elsewhere against the occupying English. But as the famed Belgian nurse, Edith Cavell, who was brave enough, in World War I, to treat both German and British wounded, as well as aiding the latter's escape, said when facing her execution at the hands of the Germans occupying neutral Belgium, "Courage is not enough".
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Re: Does anyone else really respect Jadis?

Postby NotRoyalStuart » Oct 21, 2016 5:26 pm

Jadis is kind of a terrifying mash-up of the Lilith of Hebrew mythology, Jezebel, Ahab's scheming queen from the Book of Kings in the Bible, and Queen Boudicca. I don't see much to admire there.
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Re: Does anyone else really respect Jadis?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Oct 21, 2016 8:22 pm

I don't think that Jadis is brave. As wagga pointed out, it's easy to be bold when you have superhuman strength and/or magical powers. She didn't seem to be brave at all when she was in the Wood Between the Worlds, and she was terrified of Aslan. She turned tail and ran for her life twice in The Chronicles on account of her terror when encountering him.

If you want an example of true courage, I recommend meditating on the boy who jumped off a horse at full gallop and faced a Lion alone in order to save a girl who wasn't even his friend. Nothing Jadis did can ever begin to hold a candle to that.
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Re: Does anyone else really respect Jadis?

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 21, 2016 11:27 pm

Ronny wrote:It's probably just me, but I view her as a good Queen for precisely that reaon, for keeping order, for keeping Narnia safe from outside influences, and being brave enough to personally confront an armed uprising against her rule.

But maybe that's just me. What do you guys make of her?


No, I see Jadis as a bad example and a bad Queen. Her saying "Ours is a high and lonely destiny" and thinking rules are only for ordinary people, to justify wiping out not only her sister, but what was left of Charn, her own people, says it all. Rules and laws are often made for a good reason, and nobody is above such rules, not even the King. Or Queen.

The last English King to be killed in battle was King Richard III (died 1486), whose remains were found underneath a reserved parking sport in a council car park in 2012. He, too, had to defer to Parliament, as did his killer and successor, Henry VII. And another King, Charles I, was executed (died 1649) for asserting the "Divine Right of Kings" and defying Parliament. Charles I's son, James II of England, was deposed by Parliament for similar reasons in the Glorious Revolution. It is no accident that we seen Jadis walzing around London during Queen Victoria's reign. There couldn't have been a greater contrast between the two, as imperious as Queen Victoria, genuinely was. Read all about it in Magician's Nephew and count the many ways Jadis "broke rules" and you will understand what I mean. ;)
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Re: Does anyone else really respect Jadis?

Postby fledge1 » Jun 21, 2017 3:23 pm

Yeah I never respected her as a leader. Following out of fear is not smart or good leadership. I do however wonder about her. We do not have much about her past in Charn other then what she told Dig and Polly. I have always wondered more about her past. Her rise to power, from a child up until she froze time in Charn.
When I was younger I had this dream. It was about Jadis from childhood until the kids hit the bell. For the most part it was an ongoing dream and very scary. She was horrible towards people. Not someone I would respect. When she cast the curse her look on her face as she looked at her sister was complete evil. I always woke up at the same part. The bell was rung and I saw her face go from a frozen figure to an evil triumphant smile. Then Id wake up. Crazy dream! But each time I stopped to think of her I felt pity for the younger her, but anger for the leader she becomes.
For sure a complex character. Someone should write a story about her beginning.
I believe in Christianity as I believe in the sun: not only because I see it, but by it I see everything else. -C.S. Lewis
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