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Telmarine Ancestry

The cultures, creatures, geography — anything about the books!

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Telmarine Ancestry

Postby daughter of the King » May 12, 2010 11:48 am

We all know that in the movie the Telmarines are Spanish pirates. But, in the books, what are they? I have heard and read different theories on the subject, and would like to hear some more thoughts on the matter. Of course the most important thing to remember is that they are descended from Adam and Eve and that's all we really need to know, but I thought it would make an interesting discussion anyway.

So, what do you think the Telmarine's ancestry is? Try to back up your theory with evidence or educated guesses.

Discuss away! I'll be posting my own thoughts later. :)
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Re: Telmarine Ancestry

Postby Varnafinde » May 12, 2010 1:17 pm

An interesting question - they came to Narnia from an island in the South Seas, but where did they come from when they got to that island?

Spanish is possible, but by no means the only possibility. What other nationalities are "famous" for their pirates?

What about Caribbean?
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Re: Telmarine Ancestry

Postby TheGeneral » May 12, 2010 5:24 pm

Hmm I guess it depends where in the South Seas, but Spanish is a good guess, or they could've been Asian pirates like the Wokou.
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Re: Telmarine Ancestry

Postby Aravis Narnia » May 12, 2010 6:09 pm

I honestly think that the pirates came from mainland Spain and that the island they invaded was one of the Canary Islands. If you look at the way the Telmarines look, you'd realize this is an extremely likely genetic combination- and to me the only one that makes sense.
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Re: Telmarine Ancestry

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » May 13, 2010 4:32 am

Aravis Narnia wrote:. . . and that the island they invaded was one of the Canary Islands.


This is not true. The book clearly states that the islands that were inhabitted by the Telmarine's ancestors was in the pacific. More specifically, the "South Sea."

I always interpreted this as the "South China Sea," but I've never pictured the Telmarines as Chinese ;).

Another interesting question to raise is this....

Narnia was created in the 1900's. The Pevensies got into Narnia in the 1940's. So, a major question to raise is this. Since the Telmarines got into Narnia sometime between the golden age, and the restoration, it would then be safe to assume that the Telmarines found there way into Narnia some time in the 1940's. The question immediately raised is this one. . . What nation still had piracy going on in the forties?
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Re: Telmarine Ancestry

Postby polly plummer » May 13, 2010 1:02 pm

Digory wrote

Narnia was created in the 1900's. The Pevensies got into Narnia in the 1940's. So, a major question to raise is this. Since the Telmarines got into Narnia sometime between the golden age, and the restoration, it would then be safe to assume that the Telmarines found there way into Narnia some time in the 1940's. The question immediately raised is this one. . . What nation still had piracy going on in the forties?


I don't think it follows that the telmarines had to be pirates in our world in 1940's. Yes they got into Narnia when it was around this timeline in our world but who's to say that they didn't inhabit Telmar for hundreds of years before that (having gotten into telmar from the Island in our world) and therefore could have been pirates in our world when piracy was much more common.
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Re: Telmarine Ancestry

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » May 13, 2010 1:34 pm

Polly Plummer wrote:I don't think it follows that the telmarines had to be pirates in our world in 1940's. Yes they got into Narnia when it was around this timeline in our world but who's to say that they didn't inhabit Telmar for hundreds of years before that (having gotten into telmar from the Island in our world) and therefore could have been pirates in our world when piracy was much more common.


Well, according to the Narnian Timeline (http://members.multimania.co.uk/Jonatha ... istory.htm):

The Telmarines invaded Narnia sometime between 1933-1940.
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Re: Telmarine Ancestry

Postby icarus » May 13, 2010 2:32 pm

I'm pretty sure i read somewhere, possibly in some sort of Narnia companion book, that they thought it likely that Lewis based the backstory of Pirates running aground on a South Seas island on the true story of the "Mutiny on the Bounty" - the mutineers from which event eventually came to settle on the now notorious South Seas island of Pitcairn.

Whether or not there is any truth to that theory i'm not sure, though it is probably the one true-to-life example that springs to mind when you read that passage from the book.
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Re: Telmarine Ancestry

Postby daughter of the King » May 13, 2010 7:52 pm

polly plummer wrote:I don't think it follows that the telmarines had to be pirates in our world in 1940's. Yes they got into Narnia when it was around this timeline in our world but who's to say that they didn't inhabit Telmar for hundreds of years before that (having gotten into telmar from the Island in our world) and therefore could have been pirates in our world when piracy was much more common.

Well, yes and no. Narnia was not created until the early 1900's our time. Narnian time is different, but it is linear. So the pirates must have landed in Narnia some time after that. I usually don't take the timeline as absolute fact since I have found more than one discrepancy in it, but I think it's mostly right.

icarus wrote:I'm pretty sure i read somewhere, possibly in some sort of Narnia companion book, that they thought it likely that Lewis based the backstory of Pirates running aground on a South Seas island on the true story of the "Mutiny on the Bounty" - the mutineers from which event eventually came to settle on the now notorious South Seas island of Pitcairn.

Interesting. I don't know why I never thought of that before.

Well, looks like I'm going to be my own discussion killer. My sister found an interview with Douglas Gresham where he indicates that the Telmarines were either Dutch or English: http://www.thelionscall.com/news/news_article.cfm?id=67

You'll have to scroll down to get to the question about the Telmarines, but the entire interview is worth reading.
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Re: Telmarine Ancestry

Postby DamselJillPole » May 13, 2010 9:25 pm

In the book they are Polynesian I think, but I like the Spanish ethnics better.
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Re: Telmarine Ancestry

Postby Aravis Narnia » May 14, 2010 1:26 am

The way time flows in Narnia is not the same way time flows in our home planet.

Where does it say Pacific? It does say South Sea- but that is up to interpretation. I know that the Pacific was sometimes referred to in the past as South Sea, but by the time C.S. Lewis wrote the new names were standard AFAIK. That, and Pacific Islander features are dominant over European ones- yet the Telmarines look Caucasian to me. So it would have to be islands with blond/blue-eyed natives. Which leaves us two options: Iceland way up North (so no) and the Canary Islands south of Europe (likely- but I would not expect most people to know this).
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Re: Telmarine Ancestry

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » May 14, 2010 11:25 am

It says when the Pevensies are being warped back to their own world:

(Slightly Paraphrased)

"The first thing they saw was the mouth of cave, and the blinding glare of the sun, on an island in the Pacific where all of the telmarines would find themselves the second they walked through the door. The second, was a glade in Narnia, the white patches on the badgers faces, and Aslan himself, but the third, which rapidly swallowed up the other two, was a platform on an English country railway station where they were all seated perfectly still as if they had never moved."

So, according to that. . . the island was in the Pacific. This evening, when I have my copy of PC available in my hands, I may pop back on here to make sure that quote is semi-decent (it comes from my reccollection of the FOTFRT)
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Re: Telmarine Ancestry

Postby Sir Jack » May 14, 2010 2:36 pm

the General said:
Hmm I guess it depends where in the South Seas, but Spanish is a good guess, or they could've been Asian pirates like the Wokou.


I don't think they could have been Asian pirates, because Queen Prunaprismia is a redhead, and Caspian has "golden hair". so I guess they must have come from some were in europe, but I dont have a clue, were pirates came from in these days...
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Re: Telmarine Ancestry

Postby daughter of the King » May 14, 2010 8:47 pm

Sir Jack wrote:the General said:

Hmm I guess it depends where in the South Seas, but Spanish is a good guess, or they could've been Asian pirates like the Wokou.



I don't think they could have been Asian pirates, because Queen Prunaprismia is a redhead, and Caspian has "golden hair". so I guess they must have come from some were in europe, but I dont have a clue, were pirates came from in these days...

Did both of you miss the link in my previous post? According to Douglas Gresham, they are most likely either English or Dutch.

Aravis Narnia wrote:The way time flows in Narnia is not the same way time flows in our home planet.

You're right, it doesn't. But it still moves forward. In order for the pirates to have entered Narnia before when Digory and Polly lived, Narnian time would have had to move backward.
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Re: Telmarine Ancestry

Postby TheGeneral » May 16, 2010 1:23 pm

daughter of the King wrote:Did both of you miss the link in my previous post? According to Douglas Gresham, they are most likely either English or Dutch.


My post was before you posted the link. ;)

I always imagined the pirates were from like the 16th century or something, but of course pirates are still around even today so pirates in the 1940's is believable :)
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Re: Telmarine Ancestry

Postby polly plummer » May 16, 2010 2:16 pm

I totaly stand corrected Digory and daughter of the king. :ymblushing: I was even thinking about what I wrote that night (how big a fan am I) and realised that I got my time line all mixed up =, especially since the Telmarines couldn't have entered the Narnian world until after Polly and Digory visited it when it was created. Not sure what year in our world this was but def. a lot later on in our history than I was thinking - silly me! =))
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