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The Chronicles or the Chronicle?

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Do you see The Chronicles of Narnia as a series of related stories or one big story told in parts?

Big story told in parts
Series of related stories
Total votes : 13

The Chronicles or the Chronicle?

Postby Col Klink » Mar 26, 2019 9:42 am

I'm eagerly awaiting more episodes of the Narniaweb podcast and I've been thinking about The Horse and his Boy since I believe they'll soon be discussing the ending of that book. While many fans regard it as their favorite of the Narnia books, some rank it much lower. And a refrain I've noticed from the fans who consider it their least favorite is that it doesn't connect as much with the other stories.

That makes me wonder if some fans see the Narnia books as one overarching story and some see it as a series of related stories. I'm in the series of related stories camp (and The Horse and his Boy is one my favorites) but I understand how they can be seen as having the overarching story of the history of Narnia and human interaction with it. (If that's what you're looking for from a Narnia book, I can see why HHB would disappoint.)

Which way do you see the books?
If HHB is your least favorite and you voted for option 2 or if it's your favorite and you voted for option 1, I'm sorry if you feel like I've unfairly stereotyped you.
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Re: The Chronicles or the Chronicle?

Postby SirVincentofNarnia » Mar 26, 2019 12:56 pm

I am of the opinion that all the Narnia stories are connected some how in some way. HHB is definitely connected with LWW in the Narnian Golden Age and Prince Caspian is the result of many years of Telmarine occupation. I personally feel that the books are the telling of an overarching story and as I understand more of the books and movies, the more I am convinced of it.
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Re: The Chronicles or the Chronicle?

Postby Ryadian » Mar 26, 2019 1:27 pm

I voted Option 2, in part because I think that describing something as having an overarching story means it should be like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, in that the individual books are part of a single story, none can be removed without the story being incomplete, and events of one book affect the next.

To be sure, the Chronicles are not completely independent of each other, and I think they're best enjoyed together, but they can absolutely be enjoyed alone. I think some of the books, like PC and TLB, might suffer if you go into them completely unaware of the rest of the Narnian world, but you don't strictly speaking have to have read LWW to understand what's happening in PC. HHB I think works very well on its own, and not having read LWW or any of the other books could almost serve you, since the main character has also never been to Narnia before either.

I think another reason I prefer to think of them as 7 individual but related stories, instead of one large story, is that it makes the Narnian world feel more alive to me. The 7 books don't comprise the story of Narnia, they comprise 7 of the stories of Narnia. There's entire histories taking place between the books that only exists in hints and our imaginations.
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Re: The Chronicles or the Chronicle?

Postby Cleander » Mar 26, 2019 1:38 pm

I think of them as connected stories as well, simply because I can't imagine them all as one book. The style changes slightly throughout the series, as do the main characters. Also, HHB seems to be an oddball in the '' One Big Story" arrangement because LWW seems to skip the events related in that book.
For this reason, as far as future adaptations, I think long films are more the way to go than episodes. I'm really hoping the episodes will be reserved for expansions and non-canonical world-building stuff. (Having each book on one DVD, assuming they get released, would also be better [imo] than having them spread out over seasons.)
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Re: The Chronicles or the Chronicle?

Postby KingofKings'Daughter » Mar 26, 2019 11:28 pm

I've always seen them as a series of related stories as each book had distinct plotlines and covered specific timeframes. Certainly, there is a continuity in lore, and each book either builds or contributes to another. But there isn't necessarily a consistent flow in time; or in other words, each book focuses on a specific time period, the series itself doesn't necessarily cover everything with its given timeline. I think we would have more books if Lewis had wanted to cover more of the world he'd created.

But I think I can see how some might see it as a big story told in parts. If I was looking at the country of Narnia alone as a history subject, then I probably would've chosen Option 1. And in The Last Battle, Lewis described the characters' lives in our world and their adventures in Narnia as only "the cover and the title page" of the Great Story which no one on earth has read. (The Chronicles of Narnia, Paperback - p. 767)
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Re: The Chronicles or the Chronicle?

Postby JFG II » Apr 02, 2019 2:30 pm

A series of books. I agree with what Cleander has said, that the style changes from book to book. I would add that that superficial story and character beats (defeating evil, boy/girl dynamics) are very similar between stories, mostly because they were written separately at stand-alone stories. Unlike with The Lord of the Rings, where that is the title of the story (and the Fellowship of the Ring, Two Towers & Return of the King names are all subtitles), The Chronicles of Narnia title is a brand, and the book titles are the real names. That’s why I’m so irritated at the Narnia movies being called ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe’ instead of simply ‘The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe’ or even ‘The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe: The Chronicles of Narnia’.
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Re: The Chronicles or the Chronicle?

Postby coracle » Apr 03, 2019 1:38 pm

The naming of the books 'The Chronicles of Narnia' defines them as a set of books, rather than one long ramble.
It is different from the Chronicles books in the Bible.

We can say that a story "chronicles the history of.." a person or place or group. This doesn't need to be one long story, but is usually a set of tales from within those years.
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Re: The Chronicles or the Chronicle?

Postby Narnian78 » Apr 17, 2019 12:51 pm

I think the seven Narnia books are seven separate stories since each one has a separate plot and they can be read independently. It would be hard for me to understand why someone would want to quit the series after reading only one or two of the books, but I guess some people may not have the same love that I do. It's hard for me to live without all seven. I would say say each book stands very well on its own so at least try one or two of them and you might be hooked as I was so many years ago. :)
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Re: The Chronicles or the Chronicle?

Postby narnia fan 7 » Apr 20, 2019 10:55 am

I definitely see tham more as a series of related stories. While most of the books do feature a lot of the same characters and, for the most part flow naturally from one to the next. They are still fairly standalone(with the exception of LB and maybe PC.) And are connected more by theme then any overarching plot.
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