The White Witch Issue

C. S. Lewis, his worlds, and his faith.

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Re: The White Witch Issue

Postby sweeetlilgurlie » Jan 04, 2011 6:11 pm

OakDryad71 wrote:The entire purpose for her being destroyed in LWW was to identiry Lucifer being deafeted by the Cross. Though evil pokes it's head up thorughout the Chronicles, The WW in LWW symbolized the ultimate image of evil...Satan... and his grip over human destiny. Likewise, once that figure was defeated, there would be no more reason at all for the White Witch to even appear in Dawn Treader or the Silver Chair.


I believe that it was meant to symbolize Christ's triumph over death by His sacrifice on the cross. It's kind of weird, but I can deal. :P
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Re: The White Witch Issue

Postby Conina » Jan 15, 2011 9:53 pm

For me the idea of her being reawakened in PC book to me has that same effect as her coming back a bit more in the film. In my own Christian journey different times when I've fallen remain weaknesses for a long time, even after I have thought I have beaten it. For example I am capable of holding grudges for a very long time and with God's help I have been able to forgive more than I ever thought I could. But it still creeps up on me from time to time.

I think the white witch represents a raw hunger for power. She tempts Edmund with promises to elevate him above his siblings. In PC they discuss bringing her back when they want the power to defeat Miraz. Her reappearance in the PC didn't bother me as I felt that it was a good visual for what was going on in the hearts and minds of some of the characters in the book. It was the type of adaptation of a book into film that worked for me.

I didn't like her reappearing in VDT as a nightmare to Edmund. Perhaps if he had seen visions of turkish delight...that would have been a more fitting representation. The dialogue between Edmund and WW just seemed forced and ineffective to me.

As a side note. I believe the Lady of the Green Kirtle represents putting too much faith in worldly knowledge.
"Reason is the natural order of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning." -C.S. Lewis
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Re: The White Witch Issue

Postby Ronny » Jan 16, 2011 2:03 pm

Maybe they put her in VotD because it actually lacks a decent antagonist. Jadis and Shift are about the only two really brilliant villains in the series.
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Re: The White Witch Issue

Postby Conina » Jan 16, 2011 7:28 pm

I think Jadis was a compelling villain in LWW, MN, and even as a potential threat in PC. I just don't think that she belonged in VDT. Its true there is no strong villain in VDT. The antagonists in VDT is the sea itself (facing the unknown, the serpent), and the flaws the characters deal with in themselves (each island can be interpreted as representing one of the seven deadly sins). I would have preferred if those had been allowed to stand on their own. Throwing in the green mist and the WW took away from the character's growth.
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Re: The White Witch Issue

Postby Stylteralmaldo » Feb 22, 2011 2:08 pm

The presence of Jadis in VDT didn't bother me as much as it did in PC. In PC, there really was no connection with the story from the book at all. It made no sense to me. In VDT however, it was clear to me that Jadis was not real, but a figment of Edmund's imagination. In other words, Jadis was not in VDT...only Edmund's memory of her. To me, it expressed the effects of sin which - although already forgiven, remained with Edmund afterwards. This isn't so different from someone who has accepted Christ yet still has faults from his/her pre-Christian/pre-sinful past. I thought of St. Paul's comments in Romans about doing things he hates instead of what he real wants to do. It was the same with Edmund. He wanted to do the right thing, but instead he was doing what he hates - considering being king of Narnia with Jadis' help.
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Re: The White Witch Issue

Postby puddleglum32 » Feb 22, 2011 6:41 pm

I have to sorta disagree with coina. I am a born again christian and there is no such thing in the Bible as (the seven deadly sins). the Seven islands to me did not represent that. Jesus did not say anything as that.
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Re: The White Witch Issue

Postby Shy Galadriel » Feb 23, 2011 4:14 pm

All in all, the White Witch in the movie turned out to be nothing more than an appendage of the green smoke, which is what many people expected. I have to say that her appearance was worse than I expected simply because the green smoke gagged me.
I think I understand why lots of people were troubled by Jadis' frequent appearances in the movies because the most people see her as the Devil to Alsan's Christ. Once Christ was supposed to have defeated him on the cross, he was supposed to have finally conquered Satan there. We could debate, however, that the Devil may be conquered, but he's still around. And since there was no great conquest of Jadis in the Last Battle, we can assume she was not Satan, more like a lesser demon (or a Sauron). Jadis would not be CS Lewis' Devil I think.
(Puddleglum32, I have to say that many people also "don't see" the seven isles as the seven deadly sins. This does not mean that Lewis didn't write them that way. It's probable that he did. He often went for the older Christian lore. So even though you (or even me) might not see the seven isles as the seven deadly sins, they still might represent them. That the seven deadly sins may or may not be Biblical is a bit unrelated.)
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Re: The White Witch Issue

Postby Lady Galadriel » Feb 23, 2011 6:30 pm

I think that while the White Witch "took on Satan's role" at the Stone Table, she is not a strict representation of Satan. In the books, after her death, she never returns. She died. I should mention that Satan did not die. That's the fundamental thing here -- one died, the other did not.

The WW was only a one-time villain in the Chronicles.
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Re: The White Witch Issue

Postby puddleglum32 » Feb 23, 2011 7:07 pm

[ Yes i think they should not have put the white witch in PC and VDT. At the end of LWW, Asalan killed her, and i think that she does not represent Satan in all of her actions, but like when she killed Asalan on the stone table, that was one.
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Re: The White Witch Issue

Postby Shy Galadriel » Feb 24, 2011 11:17 pm

Ah ha! But there's the rub! Since when is it Satan who kills Christ? Since when is Satan God's executioner in Scripture? Never, that's when. There are several references where Paul (and even Christ) refers to the Law as being in that position of authority and punishment. The Law is the instrument that shows us our fault and shortcoming. Before the Law came, we are innocent, but with the Law comes guilt. I mean, think about it; if there was no rule, there would be no breaking the rule.
Hold on, I'm going to find references. The Law is called the "power" of sin in 1 Cor 15:56. And then "apart from the law, sin lies dead" is Romans 7:8. And the same passage continues talking about how the law accuses us of our sin (hey! Jadis accused Ed! ;) ).
But the passage goes on after that; Paul warns us against blaming the Law for our own shortcomings, saying that we seem to make a bee-line to the Law just to break it. So Jadis as the Law only works to a certain extent. It works because the Law is our accuser and punisher, but it fails because the Law is not our enemy, but our guide to "Aslan". :D
I'll get sappy and say that our true enemy is not the Law, but rather ourselves.
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Re: The White Witch Issue

Postby Lady Galadriel » Feb 25, 2011 10:49 am

I do agree that you are right, Satan did not kill Christ. But as I said, I don't think Jadis is a strict representation of Satan, but most certainly is in some elements.

I don't think Jadis represents the Law, though. It is just that the Law says that those who are a traitor to God are now her -- or Satan's -- property. ;;)
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Re: The White Witch Issue

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Feb 25, 2011 1:41 pm

Yes, in some ways I do think that Jadis does represent the Law; the Law as an instrument of dominance and vengeance. An eye for an eye, or worse, with no chance of forgiveness and saying sorry. Reaping what one sows etc. And yes, the WW in both PC and VDT can be seen as symbolising raw power. Both Peter and Edmund at some stage or other chafe under adult supervision in their real lives, and in Edmund's case he became so resentful of his elder brother, in particular, that he was willing to listen to the WW's blandishments to betray his siblings.

Lady Galadriel wrote:I think that while the White Witch "took on Satan's role" at the Stone Table, she is not a strict representation of Satan. In the books, after her death, she never returns. She died. I should mention that Satan did not die. That's the fundamental thing here -- one died, the other did not.

The WW was only a one-time villain in the Chronicles.


Yes, I agree with you, about WW in LWW, but the hag and the werewolf tried to get her back in PC, the book. The PC film only took this idea a bit further, to enlarge on what the hag said, that you could always get the White Witch back. And also to demonstrate what one of the characters said in PC (book) that WW was a thousand times worse than Miraz.

I think that the WW also works as a nightmare, to Edmund, in particular. Even in VDT the book, it is Edmund who notices the stone knife, and who is most inclined to doubt Lilliandil. And somehow or other the WW will come back in the series, in MN, as her original form, Jadis.

Conina wrote:As a side note. I believe the Lady of the Green Kirtle represents putting too much faith in worldly knowledge.


No, not altogether. I think it might be something more subtle than that. I think the Lady of the Green Kirtle represents despair, inaction and hopelessness. That there isn't any other life but what she says it is. She isn't so much faith in worldly knowledge but faith in anything at all.

I also think she represents addiction. Rilian is grief stricken by his mother's death, follows the snake wot did the deed, and finds.... a beautiful lady, a sort of 'green fairy', the nickname of a particularly powerful, sometimes illegal and deadly alcoholic drink. Not too different from those who think alcohol, tobacco or dabbling in other substances can shut out the pain of loss and awareness of the world around them. The changes in Rilian's personality then can become understandable, under LOTGK's influence.

Under her ministrations, imprisoned in her armour and tied to the Silver chair for an hour each day, Rilian forgets who he is, where he comes from and is only aware of his immediate surroundings, just as if he is being drugged in some fashion. And it occurs to me that Rilian always has to be tied up in the Silver Chair right after dinner, when he has partaken of normal healthy food which might dilute the poison the LOTGK is feeding him.

No, LOTGK isn't anything like the White Witch. In some ways she is the complete opposite. Perhaps because she is so insidious, the LOTGK is even worse than Jadis.
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Re: The White Witch Issue

Postby smartypie » Feb 25, 2011 7:14 pm

[quote="waggawerewolf27"]Yes, in some ways I do think that Jadis does represent the Law;

I've been enjoying most of what you write on the forums, so I'm going to give you a pass on this one. I think you might be meaning something other than what your words say. I do that all the time. :D

There is so much in the book of Psalms, but I'll just quote this for now:

Psalm 19:7 " The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul...(NIV)

Romans 7:12 "So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good." (NIV)

Romans 8:7 "the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so." (NIV)

Jadis, I think, represents rebellion. The unwillingness to submit to God's law (or word). God's law is all about submission, not vengeance. The weakness of the law that Paul talks about in Romans is explained in the book of James where the law is compared to a mirror. When we see dirt(sin) on our face(soul) in the mirror(law), we don't say the mirror(law) is flawed. Rather, we grab the bar of soap(blood of Jesus) and scrub(confess) away.

I think the use of misty Jadis in VDT movie is brilliant. Untill we are glorified in our new bodies, we will always have this fight of faith (Ephesians 6:16). Satan still accuses. When we listen to him, we are, in fact, doubting God's word. Edmund's victory over misty Jadis came through obedient submission to authority. Notice how he went from the mouth of the dragon(our sinful flesh) with the flashlight (also a symbol for the word of God) to the lookout tower (shape of the cross) and then Rhindon (the sword of the Spirit) was energized by the blue star (Holy Spirit).

As significant as Rhindon was in LWW and PC, its full potential isn't realized until VDT.
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Re: The White Witch Issue

Postby puddleglum32 » Feb 25, 2011 7:28 pm

I don't think jadis should have been in VDT.
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Re: The White Witch Issue

Postby Lady Galadriel » Feb 25, 2011 7:39 pm

Why do you think she shouldn't have been in VDT, puddleglum32?

For me, I don't mind her appearance here so much. It bothered me more in Prince Caspian that the characters (such as Caspian) would let the ritual go to such an extreme. I can understand her appearance from more of a cinematic standpoint (making it dramatic that amongst their problem with Miraz already, the characters might even have to face the WW -- if I stated that the way I meant to). I don't mind her appearance as much in VDT (except for the fact that this is now the third straight Narnia movie in a row that she has appeared in after she is dead :p ). I think it makes a lot of sense to show something that could still obviously be Edmund's nightmare.

I hope I stated that clearly. I'm not always sure I articulate my thoughts clearly when writing them down. ;))
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Re: The White Witch Issue

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Feb 28, 2011 2:44 am

smartypie wrote:I've been enjoying most of what you write on the forums, so I'm going to give you a pass on this one. I think you might be meaning something other than what your words say. I do that all the time.

There is so much in the book of Psalms, but I'll just quote this for now:

Psalm 19:7 " The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul...(NIV)


No, I meant exactly what I said, and with good reason. As was pointed out in LWW there is the Law which goes back to the Dawn of Time, ie Man's Law, which Jadis represents. And there is the Law which goes back before the Dawn of Time, which Aslan refers to when he dies to redeem Edmund, that is to say the law of God.

In 1817 an Indonesian volcano, Mt Tambora (or Tombora), sent up one of the most deadly eruptions the world has ever known. The consequences were worldwide, with failed harvests, widespread hunger and much poverty. A Scottish girl of 17 years old, scrounging out a living in Northern England, shoplifted something and found herself in Chester Court of Pleas where she was sentenced to hang for the offence. God's Law or Man's Law?

In 1817 a marine who participated in the 1804 founding of Hobart, the first struggling convict settlement in Van Dieman's Land, now called Tasmania, had to watch as his wife of 13 years died in childbirth or maybe malnutrition, such were the privations early settlers were forced to undergo. He had 5 or 6 children to look after, including the daughter of his deceased wife's first husband. And yes, he needed help, which he eventually got in 1819, when a convict ship hoved to in the Derwent at Hobart Town.

But guess what? On that ship he met the Scots girl who was sentenced to be hung for shoplifting, hired her and also married her, fathering four or five more children after he did so. It seems, that because of the shortage of women in Tasmania at the time, the Scots girl's hanging sentence was commuted to transportation to Tasmania for the rest of her natural life. Again, God's Law or Man's Law?

And so here I am. :D Though naturally my family take a particularly dim view of dishonesty in any form. Including self-righteous assertions from upright citizens of Scottish descent that no, there could not be possibly any Scottish convicts in Australia's early settlers to besmirch their views of themselves. ;) =))

Now what has all this to do with Narnia and the White Witch? Everything. And yes, I, too, found VDT inspiring, though to be quite frank the only numbers I feel comfortable with are the intricate workings of the Dewey Decimal Classification system, including 220, the DDC number for the Bible. :p

I perceive the White Witch as someone who sees people only as numbers who commit the crime and so must do the time. Tough luck and all that. Whereas God's Law sees beyond this to see the potential in each and everyone of us, redeemed by Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the Cross, if we are among those whosoever believe in Him. (John 3:16).
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