Lord of the Rings vs Narnia

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Eomer Windu 10/Aug/2006 at 09:51 AM
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Both of these are really good books. But in my opinion, Narnia is just too childish. I think they would have done better had they gone more for a darker older edge. So LOTR wins this one. What do you guys think about it?

Fern Leaf 10/Aug/2006 at 10:09 AM
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I have read only the first three books of The Chronicles of Narnia, but I found them very enjoyable. True, they do not have the air of The Lord of the Rings and might seem a bit childish to a lot of people, but I consider them even as great as Tolkien’s works. Furthermore, they are much easier to read than The Lord of the Rings, so they appeal to a larger audience. But I too prefer The Lord of the Rings.

Celebrimbor 10/Aug/2006 at 10:18 AM
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The two books are very different. The Chronicles of Narnia are good books but Narnia itself is a very different world to ME. There is no legendarium or vast, coherant lore aspect to Narnia. It is a more simplistic, for the lack of a better word, and innocent world that is catered wholly to those who prefer a less involved read. It is an enchanting work of fantasy fiction but falls somewhat short of what Tolkien achieved with the LotR.
Agravaine 10/Aug/2006 at 11:22 AM
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I absolutely loved Narnia in the second grade. I just couldn’t get enough of the books. Looking back, though, I’d probably think better of them now if Lewis wasn’t hitting you over the head with Christian allegories on every page. And man, I found The Last Battle really racist.
Mr Butterbur 10/Aug/2006 at 11:59 AM
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One of the main differences of the two books was that Narnia was written as a childrens book but aat the same time was a great allegory. I love both the books.  Its amazing that even though tolkien and lewis were friends the books are very different and they share few similarities.

Agravaine: How did you find the last battle racist?

Oak 10/Aug/2006 at 07:21 PM
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I love both works.  Narnia is geared to a younger audience, so it doesn’t seem as deep.  The basic Philosphy underpinning of both, suprisingly are the same.  Both have moral absolutes of good versus evil.  LoTR featured a world that is fading in its richness of character variety.  Narnia on the other hand keeps its rich kailascope of creatures.  In this sense, I enjoyed Lewis a little more.  Tolkien is often too overwhelmingly male for my tastes.
Radagast Rasta 10/Aug/2006 at 07:36 PM
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Yes I agree that Narnia is childish. I read the sieries in 3rd grade and it was interesting then but not now. I think that C.S. Lewis did not intend for the story to have a serious tone to it but used them to convey a deeper messeage. For example in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe there are many parallels between that story and Christianity. Asland (the lion) represents Jesus and so forth.
Melanoriel 10/Aug/2006 at 07:47 PM
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I thought that the allegory in the Chronicles of Narnia was very good, I guess the book does seem childish, but when are older you can better see the allegory and get more out of it. I guess it’s kind of like the hobbit, in the way of being more childish. But when you are older, you are able to see more into the allegory of Narnia, so it stays interesting, wouldn’t read it every year like LOTR though.
Sermela Calalen 11/Aug/2006 at 12:19 AM
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It is near impossible to compare LOTR and Narnia in my mind. It is even difficult to compare LOTR and the Hobbit due to their difference in target audience so how can one possibly compare two different worlds pointed at two different audiences and come up with an honest answer. I suppose you could say you enjoyed one more than the other, but it seems to me to be more of a season of life that one was enjoyed more than the other. I love both series deeply. I appreciate the allegory of Narnia and am yet glad to see LOTR free from it. I enjoyed the simplicity of the transportation to Narnia, but the depth of my transportation to ME. Both have awesome characters that you love and want to know more about so I guess it jsut depends on my mood who wins in my opinion.
Harlindon 11/Aug/2006 at 10:59 AM
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I would desrcibe Narnia as Superficial, and LotR as well thought out with in depth lore. There just isn’t as much work put into them like in LotR.
Arthaz 11/Aug/2006 at 11:46 AM
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Narnia to me was rather light compared to the breadth and depth of LOTR. yes, you may contend that there were other Chronicles of Narnia to continue the plot, but they were already progressing in time, not the story, unlike in LOTR. the time difference is not such a big deal because the main plot is still there. you could see that tolkine focused more on the progression of the story with respect to the plot thickening, instead of what lewis dis with narnia, where he just bridged one plot to another.
Sermela Calalen 11/Aug/2006 at 12:20 PM
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Harlindon- I wouldn’t call Narnia superficial, especially as its target audience is significantly younger than LoTR’s. The history of LoTR and the Sil are written not to be stories, but to be a backdrop for the purpose of a language, thus they must have intense depth. Narnia was written as an allegory to Christianity and was for Lewis’s grandchildren. Their is a history for Narnia, but its not found in the books. So superficial is not really a word I would use. 
geordie 11/Aug/2006 at 01:03 PM
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Actually, Lewis never had children, therefore no grandchildren either. He did’nt write with any specific children in mind, though he did deicate one of his Narnia books to his god-daughter Lucy.

BTW - what is this history of Narnia, which is not written in the books?
Sermela Calalen 11/Aug/2006 at 01:11 PM
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Hmm I must have gotten god-daughter confused with granddaughter. Anyway since the story is an allegory for Christianity in a way the history of it is found in the Bible. 
Melanoriel 11/Aug/2006 at 06:05 PM
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How can you call Narnia superficial? Just because it’s a different target audience, does not mean that it was superficial? Well, if you look harder, because it is an allegory, so you do have to look harder into the book. If you think it’s superficial, then perhaps you should look harder. But I do suppose it is all about perspective and it’s your choice.
Aralaiqualassë 13/Aug/2006 at 12:10 AM
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Narnia? I like it but not love it......I don’t know, Narnia is not very....how do you call this...well, attractive? Like Lord of The Ring, I can re-read the book again and again, but Nania I didn’t feel like I want to read it after I finish it for the first time.

And yes, it’s a little bit too childish, but not in a bad way. With talking animals, a jealous bother, hide and seek.....
Taurel 13/Aug/2006 at 10:24 AM
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It’s hard to compare the two. Narnia is a good story but it’s more like a fairy tale than a novel.  It’s enjoyable and I liked it but it does not have the same depth that LoTR does.  Now I prefer LoTR though I admit I liked Narnia better at 1st. That might of been because I read them both in 3rd-4th grade and while I understood Narnia LoTR took me forever to get through and I wasn’t really ready to read it.
Lungorthin 13/Aug/2006 at 10:49 AM
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When I read Narnia, I didn’t get that same feeling as I do when reading LOTR. Although they are similar in some ways, Lord of the Rings has a more serious edge to it. You get a real feel for the characters and landscapes in Tolkien’s work. Narnia, to me, is great for a young reader who is looking to enter their own fantasy world, in both books you get swept off your feet and end up in a realistic and beautiful world. Lord of the Rings raises the bar for fantasy novels and is great for serious readers who want a long saga to emerse themselves in.
CirthErebor 13/Aug/2006 at 12:32 PM
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Well, Narnia was enjoyable, when I was in second grade. I read the series again in fourth, and occasionally every once and a while if I want to take my mind off something darker. I read the series again before the movie came out, and was actually surprised that I still found them enjoyable. They might be a bit childish to some, but you can get involved in them the same as any other book. They seem a bit more "magical" than the Lord of the Rings because, well, pretty much everything is magical. Talking beavers, talking wolves, talking lions, the fact that stars are actually alive, the fact that planting something will make something sprout up in an instant (like planting the scrap metal, which made a lamppost shoot up out of the ground, and the fact that you enter the world through a magical wardrobe. Some might like the more realistic read, but I like both (though I prefer LotR).
Nennia Hlothram 14/Aug/2006 at 12:40 AM
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I’ve read and watched both Narnia and Lord of the Rings. And I liked them both. And as CirthErebor said, Narnia was enjoyable. I read it at a young age and I understood it and everything. In other words, it’s a fantasy story for kids whereas LotR isn’t much of a kid’s book at all as a child is most likely to get confused if s/he read it. And I think that Narnia and LotR are two completely different things with their own originality.

Aoshi Shinomori 14/Aug/2006 at 08:42 AM
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I read and love both series....but as you say, narnia is a bit more childish then Lord of the Rings. But Narnia is aimed for kids...much like the Hobbit. Lord of the rings is for more of an older audience so it’s hard to compare the two. As far as liking, I probably like Lord of the Rings better. But Narnia did have a wonderfull book to movie script...unlike some other movies I know....

lotrmaster123 15/Aug/2006 at 08:05 PM
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hahahahaha. Lord of the Rings no doubt. Harry Potter puts up a fight but Lord of the Rings blows Narnia out of the water.
Pansy Bolger 16/Aug/2006 at 10:38 AM
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I agree with Nennia Hlothram. I think that the two of them have their own originality. I read them both and enjoyed them equally though I think that I found Narnia a little deeper than The Lord of the Rings. I read it at a younger age and I read Narnia like 3 years later but I still love them both
Snaggle 16/Aug/2006 at 12:16 PM
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I never really enjoyed Narnia as much as LoTR or the Hobbit...The works of Tolkien always seemed more complicated...and more thought-oriented...Whereas Narnia utilized the creatures in our known world. I guess it was better ffor young children, because it gave them somethis from the real world. But to me, LOTR seemed much more elaborate in scope, and more enticing.
Cibrian 16/Aug/2006 at 12:54 PM
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Narnia works well enough for the young, but it doesn’t hold up over time and experience.  I loved it as a child and young adult, but find most of the stories a bit lame and poorly written now.   I read LOTR for the first time nearly 40 years ago, and, over a lifetime of reading, have not found another book which can surpass it for depth and beauty, as well as the joy of just plain good story-telling.  There are timeless truths in LOTR which speak to people, no matter their age, nationality, or religion.  To those who are not Christian, the religious allegory that pervades the Narnia books can be a little off-putting.

Nennia Hlothram 12/Nov/2006 at 12:38 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by lotrmaster123 on Tuesday, August 15, 2006
hahahahaha. Lord of the Rings no doubt. Harry Potter puts up a fight but Lord of the Rings blows Narnia out of the water.

Ooooh I really don’t agree with you, loremaster123. I absolutely love both Narnia and Lord of the Rings and I found it very hard to compare the two. In fact, I still say that they’re both just as good as each other. Harry Potter, on the other hand...I’ve read the books but they didn’t exactly tickle my fancy. I mean, I don’t hate them but I’ve read better books...

Jinniver Thynne 13/Nov/2006 at 06:50 AM
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I picked up Narnia after ploughing right through my first read of Tolkien’s work without stopping, right to the end of UT. Unable to get my hands on any more Middle-earth material I went to Narnia expecting more of the same and I did not like it. I was also a young teenager and by then probably getting too advanced to appreciate the story and characters. I was ready for peril and danger and found it in spades in Tolkien’s work, I was ready for Faerie, not Narnia. So, poor old Lewis joined the ranks of ’not as good as Tolkien’ in my teenage mind.

I’ve tried to read them since, and have failed to get through all the books, possibly tainted by that memory. I don’t think they are bad books at all, I know the problem with them is my own, but I seriously don’t think I will ever find myself lost in Narnia the same way I still find myself getting lost somewhere around the Old Forest.
nEUroTIc 13/Nov/2006 at 07:40 AM
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well i read the narnia series after reading tolkien..i got an e-book of all the 7 volumes..and once i started reading it i just couldnt keep my eyes off the books...started off damn well but then i rather felt that lewis lost the plot in the middle..but then he rounded up the volumes with a fantastic ending..i read the books in one shot...in one day from morning to evening..and i really enjoyed the whole experience..it made for really nice and light reading..and i liked it..though not as good as tolkien..
Arvellas 14/Nov/2006 at 07:29 PM
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I don’t think that there is any comparison.  What bases can you compare them on?  One is allegorical, the other is not.  One is aimed at kids, the other is more mature.  I can’t talk that much about the Chronicles of Narnia because I haven’t read most of them, but I did read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.  I didn’t like it nearly as much as LOTR, but that’s just my personal preference.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with writing children’s books; I think children’s literature is necessary, even if I don’t read much of it anymore.  These two series have completely different intents amd are for different audiences, and I don’t know why or how they could be compared.
TobiasFalco 14/Nov/2006 at 09:58 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Arvellas on Tuesday, November 14, 2006
I don’t think that there is any comparison. What bases can you compare them on? One is allegorical, the other is not. One is aimed at kids, the other is more mature.


Arvellas has a very strong point. The books are so different it is impossible to compare the two works. I enjoyed the books as a child growing up until I was older when my father decided to give me his copies of The Hobbit and LotR. By that point in time I had a deeper affection for lore and stories, the depth and advanced nature of the two VS Narnia brought about a 360 change and I saw there was more out there than these well written fairy tales. Now while I still own all of the Narnia books and a majority of Tolkien’s works the later will always be my favorite.
Harlondir Helcaraxë 14/Nov/2006 at 11:18 PM
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Yeah, that’s right. They’re way too different. And even if they hadn’t been, The Lord of the Rings is far, far better than the Narnia series. It’s a more complete story ( I mean to say it’s rather more believable even as story) Narnia is far-fetched, even according to the standards of a fairy tale, though no doubt it’s well written. But, after all, Tolkien’s language and plot-making are too perfect to be beaten.
Hanna Banks 15/Nov/2006 at 05:52 AM
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I love Narnia - it is as cute as all get out. Yes, I realise there was the whole allegory thing going on, this is plain to see, but taking all of that out of the equation, when I remember how I enjoyed it as a child, it was a very sweet, gave me a lot of enjoyment, and the allegory didn’t even enter my head.

But it doesn’t compare to LotR for depth and scope. I recently bought myself the 7 Narnia Chronicles, and I read them all from cover to cover in a matter of hours. Despite having read LotR, the Hobbit and Sil over and over again (thus I’m very familiar with them) there is no way it could whizz through them in uch a manner. Not even the Hobbit, which would be the least challenging of Tolkien’s work. This demonstrates to me the superior nature of Tolkien’s books, their vast depth and complexity. Yes Lewis wrote some very sweet, entertaining, well written books. But when you want to compare achievement and level of depth? There’s no comparison whatsoever.

luminos 16/Nov/2006 at 04:13 PM
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Balor, Perhaps the reason that the allegory never entered your head while you were a child was because it wasn’t an allegory.  Narnia was meant to teach Christian values while telling an entertaining story, but C. S. Lewis himself said it wasn’t an allegory.  Yes, I know, just about anybody you ask will tell you that it is an allegory, and the symbolism is plain to see.  The truth, however, is that the book contained a few instances of symbolism interspersed into a very original work.
Turien Silverleaf 16/Nov/2006 at 05:39 PM
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 As Cele said, their two different books in the right mind. The Chronicles of Narnia of course are held place in the Magical world of Narnia. As such, LOTR is held in Middle Earth. The atmosphere is different, so that might be the reason why people like LOTR better. They think it holds more intresting history and more mature characters. Narnia talks about the adventures of children and animals, and may not be as appealing to older readers as to younger people reading LOTR.
Dis 16/Nov/2006 at 06:18 PM
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Like Jinniver I picked up Narnia after I read LoTR because I wanted to find more of same. Instead I found something vastly different but I loved it. There is an innocence to Narnia that draws me back when I want something comfortable to read.

As for comparing the two: Apples and oranges.

Laielinwen 17/Nov/2006 at 05:27 AM
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It is like comparing apples and oranges. The authors set out with different intents and purposes. My own children as well as my students love the Chronicles of Narnia books. They are simple and wonderfully exciting adventures set in a different time than Tolkien’s works. I think both have merit and I enjoy both.
Battlehamster 17/Nov/2006 at 03:14 PM
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The thing about comparing apples and oranges is that one can say "I like apples much more than oranges." The saying really should be something like apples and aardvarks.
But that digression sort of had a point to it: When I was really little I started reading the Narnia books and I couldn’t understand what it was that just seemed strange about them. A few years later I picked them up and it was like "Attack of the Strained Christian Allegory" Also I’ve always disliked that you go to a totally new land and hey it’s Santa! So, yeah, I’ve always much preferred Tolkien.
Laielinwen 18/Nov/2006 at 01:23 AM
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I also like apples much better than aardvarks.  Comparing any two ’different’ things can have that result and usually does!
Your views touch on a point that I’ve made in a thread I started before regarding how we view/feel about stories/characters as we grow older and move through various stages of our lives. We find ourselves empathizing, appreciating, disliking, etc. various characters as we ourselves grow and change. I think the same can be said with certain types of literature or messages there are within that seem to become more clear to us as we grow older and experience more in life or become more aware of history and motivations.
NineFingered 18/Nov/2006 at 04:24 PM
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I also agree that LOTR is by far the superior work of literature. Narnia is entertaining for a while, except the Last Battle, I can’t stand it!

If you ask me what’s the problem with Narnia, it’s the lack of chronological cohesiveness. In LOTR, you go smoothly from First Age to Second, to Third, and you know it goes on and on, without a specific "end of the world". Of course it’s much longer than Narnia. I guess that’s why I hated the Last Battle. Narnia was still only a blur in my mind, a mess of characters and places, and then it’s all over like that! Lewis should have tried to develop a more cohesive history of his world and not make it seem so short. But I guess he was writing for children (rolls her eyes). I guess children can digest it, and I can still do it, because there’s nothing evil with the story, it’s just not as long as I want it to be. And I don’t think the Last Battle was necessary.  

If you ask me, the best book is the Magician’s nephew. It has the most background in it, and is not quite so "childish", it actually gets a little bit dark, but also hilarious at times.

And Battlehamster, Tolkien also disliked finding Santa in Narnia! me too!

Battlehamster 19/Nov/2006 at 04:34 PM
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I also didn’t really like The Last Battle.  Of all the ones it seems like it’s supposed to be the most religous.  It’s also kind of depressing that it is just suddenly over.  I like how with LotR you can imgine what the characters are doing after the book.

My favorite was probably The Horse and His Boy, though that might be because that was the first one that I read.

AA89 21/Nov/2006 at 08:24 AM
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yea yea.. the cronicles narnia is way to simple and short ( eaven if its som books.)
i have read them all, they where good then you was five or somthing like that, proffesor tolkien OWNES Louis ( or wath his name was, seriusly i dont remember!!)
Mirima 21/Nov/2006 at 05:52 PM
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Wow, it seems that a lot of people have the idea that the Chronicles of Narnia are purely children’s stories.  I would beg to differ.  I originially had them read aloud to me when I was 5 and have reread them myself several times, the most recent of which was last year.  Although the stories themselves appear relatively simplistic and read much faster than Tolkien, it conveys a message that is just as deep and definitely not for children. As was mentioned earlier, the allegory was marvelous.  However, it would fly over the heads of most children.  It is definitely not purely a children’s story. 

As for The Last Battle, it was supposed to be the most religious of the series.  However, although the story is not as engaging, I admire that Lewis was willing to be so direct with his allegory.  And although comparing Tolkien and Lewis is like comparing apples and oranges (great way of putting it, Dis), I tend to like the end of Last Battle better, since it gives the impression that the end is just the beginning, while in LotR it seems like everything just trickles off into the end.

Ankala Teaweed 21/Nov/2006 at 06:06 PM
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Well-l-l, I read the Narnia books as a child (I read every fantasy I could get my hands on), and what I remember is that I was initially intrigued. The series opened well as a fantasy work and the story engaged one to continue reading.
But, after a while, Lewis’ focus on allegorical messages wore me out and left me angry and disgusted. And yeah, it became blatantly obvious that he threw in everything but the kitchen sink. Tolkien was right; it was too muddled up! I mean, Santa Claus?

I will never ever read Lewis again.

I will, however, continue to re-read Tolkien’s works forever.

Nennia Hlothram 22/Nov/2006 at 01:08 AM
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Ann- No way! You didn’t like the Santa Clause part? When I read that part (about 6 years ago, yes I’m very young ) I loved it! I thought it was one of the sweetest parts.
I hate it when people compare Narnia to Lord of the Rings because they are two completely different stories written by two completely different people (sure they were best friends but the stories are still very different) based in two different time zones. As I said earlier, Narnia was a book made for a younger generation than LotR.

Hanna Banks 23/Nov/2006 at 08:57 AM
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luminos - Bad choice of words by me there  - I’m afraid I fell into the age old trap of throwing out the term ’allegory’ left, right and centre, and forgetting that it’s a very specific term for a very specific type of work. But I did feel that there was a very acute sense of Christian symbolism throughout - the instances might be few, but they were very obvious and direct, thus making it impossible for all but the most innocent readers to see the underlying focus. But I still stand by my earlier pronouncement that it is a delightfully sweet story.

Mirima - I think what most people might mean (and certainly I think) that the style of Narnia is more suited to children - the message is certainly sophisticated and thought provoking, but the style makes them perfect for younger readers. With regard to Tolkien, his more intricate and adult style makes them more adult books. Yes, both contain grave and deep thematic content, important messages and a well thought out storyline, however, stylistically, the fact that Lewis writes in a much simpler, child-friendly manner than Tolkien cannot be ignored. And I think that is the point that is trying to be made.

Nennia - I completely agree about the Santa Claus bit - I was starting to get very worried just before that when I read the books first at the tender age of eight or nine and the appearance of Santa Claus was very well timed to allay my fears!

Battlehamster 23/Nov/2006 at 01:16 PM
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It seems to me like it’s not so much Christian symbolism in the books as acting out bible stories with his characters.  The books really seem too close to the original to really have it be symbolism.  Although I will admit that I know very little about Christianity-- I probably know more about the Curch of the Flying Spaghetti Monster than any other religion.

I do agree that it’s sort of hard to compare them interms of the style they’re written in (since he was writing for a younger audience), but I think you can still compare the way he molded the stories and the worlds in it.

nEUroTIc 24/Nov/2006 at 07:19 PM
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hmm..rather then having christian symbolism i think the books had more of nature and animals around them..lewis spends copious amounts of time defining woods,trees,forests and silver apples on green trees..!also the fact that how a donkey changes into a horse etc etc..the first 4 books at the most were interesting and light reading..the last story was the worst i could ever have imagined..

basically what lewis did was..he took a different gropup of animals..tolkien took orcs dragons and giant spiders and balrogs and demons...lewis took normal animals : lions,beavers,horses etc..what he tried to do was take a NON_FANTASISING childs view of the ’big’ world around him and tried to project that world as a parallel univers bringing that element of magic and mystery

Arvellas 24/Nov/2006 at 08:36 PM
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About Santa Claus...I would say that’s another reason that the two cannot be compared.  They are of different subgenres within fantasy: high and low fantasy.  The Chronicles of Narnia has one foot in the real world, and The Lord of the Rings does not.

Battlehamster: "When I was really little I started reading the Narnia books and I couldn’t understand what it was that just seemed strange about them."

Yeah, it was the same with me when I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  I couldn’t lay a finger on just what it was, but there was something I found strange about it.  I just couldn’t get into it.  With LOTR, though, I can sink into the fantasy world with no distractions and no feelings of wierdness and just enjoy the story.

Nennia Hlothram 27/Nov/2006 at 06:56 AM
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You’re right there, Arvellas. C.S. Lewis based his books in the real world...well, he invented Narnia but the children live in England during World War ll when they stumble across Narnia wheareas in LotR, there is only one world- Middle Earth and that is considered the "real world".

Shunshuu 27/Nov/2006 at 08:12 AM
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In my opinion we can’t compare the work of J.R.R. Tokien (LotR and the other books of J.R.R. witch are direcly involved in the history of ME) with the work of C.S. Lewis.Even though there are some similary things,every author have his own originality.The books of C.S. Lewis,I think,are dedicated to the cildren witch are fascinated about his books,but you can’t demand to a child to play atention and to like LotR or Sillmarilion.I’s to hard to understand the whole Istory of Middle Earth for a child.I love the work of J.R.R.,and i am very impresioned by the imagination of the author,but even if I love his work some passages i had to read them 2,and only then to understand.It’s hard for me to understand all things,and i am 16,but my sister,she even 1 passage can’t understand,she’s 13.And i think that,if i didn’t love the storry of ME i coudn’t read the books that Tolkien write
Mirima 27/Nov/2006 at 09:38 AM
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Balor- thanks for reminding me.  That was something I was going to say, but forgot.  I was going to add that the style is easy to read, such that children could read and enjoy, yet the allegory goes much deeper so adults can also enjoy.  I think that was the point I was trying to make, but I forgot to mention that part.  I think the fact that Lewis’s writing offers different things to the different age groups was neat.
Nenarye 27/Nov/2006 at 10:37 AM
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The two books are quite diffent, so it is pretty hard to compare them. Ture, I do like LotR more than TCoN, but only because the story line and setting appeals to me more, not the writing or creativity involved.
>*Styxane*< 30/Nov/2006 at 08:21 PM
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For me, i prefer lotr than narnia because lotr are excellent and narnia is too childish. A lot of children like to watch narnia than lotr, they said lotr too boring and hard to understand. Anyway lotr trilogy are the best movie and Tokkien’s books are the best literature i have ever seen.
Nenarye 30/Nov/2006 at 08:25 PM
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I think we are refering to the books, not movies, Styxa@89.
Tenharien Calmcacil 30/Nov/2006 at 09:08 PM
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I Love the lord of the rings and I Love the Lion the Witch and the wardrobe, but unfortunately that is the only book in the narnia chronicles that i fully read. I hated the horse and his boy, and i stopped there, thinking the other books would not be good either. I just didnt care, but i was young, and i do want to someday read the others. Prince Caspian i have heard is pretty good.
Annuicalar 01/Dec/2006 at 03:44 AM
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I agree with those who say we cannot compare them. They are not compiting. Both writers were friends, but that doesn’t mean their work are to be compared. I personally consider LOTR better, but I love Narnia too. I think we should enjoy both books and both worlds for what they are.

It is the same for the people who wants to compare Harry Potter and LOTR. No way! I find LOTR very superior, but HP is very good and very well written too. And Rowlling never pretend to compete with Tolkien. Why ruin the book comparing it with something as big and wonderful as LOTR? Nobody is denying that Tolkien is better.

We should not decide if a book is good based in comparations, but in the book itself. Come to think of it: if we compare every single text with LOTR, there won’t be fantasy books since Tolkien’s death.

Annuicalar

Wood Walker 01/Dec/2006 at 09:23 AM
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They were writen for two different reason, by two completly different people. Narnia was writen as an alagory, the, small, sort book are full of under the surface meanings. LOTR was writen just as a indepth story with the meaning beening whatever the reader took out of it. I like them both for different reasons, to compare them would like saying do you like airplanes or boats better. They are built for different reasons. It is a personal style. My personal style is that I like LOTR more than Narnia
Tenharien Calmcacil 03/Dec/2006 at 09:40 AM
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Has anyone actually read all of the narnia books. There 7-8 right? Like I said unfortunately i only read one of them, but i was young then. Maybe ill hit up the library when i finish these dang finals. I certainly can’t compare them, well only the Lion the Witch and the wardrobe. Maybe someday ill be able to talk about both.
Jaz 03/Dec/2006 at 02:40 PM
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I’ve read all seven of  the Narnia series, and definitely think that they’re a very good read. You should try them all out! I do like LoTR better, but if I don’t feel like concentrating much, I prefer Narnia as they’re not always quite as complex. Some people think that’s a bad thing and whatever, I think it just depends on what you want to get out of reading the book.
Battlehamster 03/Dec/2006 at 05:17 PM
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I’ve read all of them and there are some of them that are OK, but with most of them (at least in my opinion) the allegory is a bit too obvious and gets in the way of enjoying them.  Also I think the last one is kind of depressing with (I’ll have this in white for those who haven’t read it)  When in the Last Battle it says that they’ve died in a train accident except for Susan, who’s left out.

SidraLockel Eltoran 03/Dec/2006 at 09:45 PM
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Hmmmm...what an interesting conversation. I will have to agree with those who say that these two books cannot be compare though. In my mind they are two completely different books; like so many have already said. (Nennia Hlothram, Shunshuu, Mirima, and Wood Walker). I won’t repost all that has already been said by these wonderful folks. Though I just want to repeat the facts that these book are written totally different; they are written from different points of view and for different audiences. Both books are extremely wonderful in there own way and have so much to offer the reader.

I think of myself as a true Narnian; I grew up reading all those wonderful books, and I still do read them when I have the time. They are so easy to read and are such a great story (I can read all of the book in a week)!This books can make me laugh and cry. Feeling for the characters and relating to them is one of the things that makes the books so wonderful!

And at the same time I think of myself as a true Lord of the Rings lover; since I was 13 I’ve gotten into this wonderful world. And like in Narnia I have grown to love the charcters I’ve met through reading these books.
One thing that I find that I feel is when I read Narnia, ever though it is sad, is that it is happy too. And I when I read those books I truly feel younger. With Lord of the Rings....I don’t know, it just feels like an older book to me. If that makes sense. Both are SO wonderful though. I don’t believe that I could ever choose one to be better than the other.

Thanks for listening to my rambling.
Nenarye 04/Dec/2006 at 09:28 AM
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Sidra - I also grew up reading Narnia, and I doubt I will ever loose my attachment to them. They are just plain wonderfull books. I do like LotR more, but I will always love Narnia. Its like The Hobbit for me. They are both easy-reads, but filled with wonderfull creativity and adventure.

You said "And I when I read those books I truly feel younger."

I can so relate to this
aesner of banba 04/Dec/2006 at 09:46 AM
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I believe that J.R.R. Tolkien is a much more descriptuve and in depth author and he created a world better than C.S. Lewis. Tolkien created a god and gods messengers in a very bible like way, which is extremily impresive and he created a whole history since the begining of time which is also incredibly impresive, I saw C.S. Lewis’s attempt to do this in The Magicians Nephew but it didn’t really cut it for me because he and Tolkien were friends and narnia was created after tolkiens works of art and Lewis used the same form of creation, singing. I think there’s something wrong with that.

TurambarGR 04/Dec/2006 at 09:55 AM
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In my opinion, the only book of Tolkien that can be (relatively) compared with Narnia is "Hobbit". The LOTR is a much more complex book written for grownups. There is no comparison there, since the world of Tolkien is much better organised. (The man created languages) Even the hobbit is a book that cannot be categorised as a child’s book as Narnia or Harry Potter.
Nenarye 04/Dec/2006 at 04:16 PM
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TurambarGR - I’m not sure I feel the same way. In literary terms, sure Narnia is behind LotR, but in terms of creativity, the two books are quite similar.
KingODuckingham 04/Dec/2006 at 04:26 PM
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I find it ironic that such a discussion can go on for so long with so little being said other than that it is impossible to compare the two. If it’s so impossible, then let this thread quietly disappear, since the premise is invalid. If not, start doing some comparison. I don’t see any other reason for this thread to continue.
Narmaethor 04/Dec/2006 at 05:32 PM
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Thank you O wise KingODuckingham I couldn’t agree more.
Wilibald Bumble 04/Dec/2006 at 06:46 PM
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Yes, Tolkien and Lewis were friends but they had a rivarly between them and Tolkien, for one, despied analogies!

Wilibald Bumble at your service and your family’s

Nenarye 04/Dec/2006 at 09:52 PM
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KingODuckingham - *hits self on head* How didn’t I think of that before!
KingODuckingham 04/Dec/2006 at 10:12 PM
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How didn’t I think of that before Not sure.
But honestly, it’s not that I dislike the topic, but that so much of nothing is going on in this thread. I would check back every few posts to see if anything interesting had popped up, but no, it was just one more person restating the same darn thing: that the topic couldn’t be discussed. Honestly...
Tenharien Calmcacil 05/Dec/2006 at 09:16 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by Jaz Otter on Sunday, December 03, 2006
I’ve read all seven of the Narnia series, and definitely think that they’re a very good read. You should try them all out! I do like LoTR better, but if I don’t feel like concentrating much, I prefer Narnia as they’re not always quite as complex. Some people think that’s a bad thing and whatever, I think it just depends on what you want to get out of reading the book.


Thanks. I think i will read them all sooner or later .Maybe ill start over the christmas break .Sorry to say i wont be on much at all then but i will try. Anyway i want to read quite a few books, im going this weekend to the library, lol anywya not important.
Dragon Heart 05/Dec/2006 at 06:10 PM
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Well haveing read both LOTR and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and seen the movies, i prefere LOTR because its more made for an older reader then Narnia. Though i read Narnia before LOTR I still favor LOTR becuase of the story and its use of imagery to help the reader picture the landscape. Narnia however really doesn’t, i mean wow alot of talking animals fun, its just the same thing over and over again.
Tenharien Calmcacil 05/Dec/2006 at 07:34 PM
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Is it really the same thing over again? Not to downplay you but i cant really believe that(even though i have no idea lol) It just seems to me that the narnia books are so different. When i read a horse and his boy, i felt completely diffeent than when i read the lion the witch and the wardrobe. I couldnt stand that book because it was nothign like thes first book. But i was young back then though. Do you really think they are majorily the same?
Laielinwen 06/Dec/2006 at 01:38 AM
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The Narnia books have children as the main characters and the LOTR does not. Seems to me that characters that are children will appeal largely to children and be written on an easier level. This is the case here. I’ve read the Chronicles to my class of students in past years and I also read them the Hobbit. In the Hobbit we don’t have children, but Bilbo and the Dwarves certainly have a ’childish’ quality about them in many ways that we just don’t find in the LOTR.

I’m not saying that books with children as the main characters are only for children either! They are for adults as well and loved by many an adult. I just wanted to point out the difference in appeal may well be the significant difference in the main character’s ages/behaviors.

Wentwaley 06/Dec/2006 at 06:34 PM
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The part about LOTR that I love the most is Tolkien’s writing style. When I read The Fellowship Of The Ring, I found it wordy and mostly detached. It was interesting all right, but I couldn’t feel for the characters or anything.

When I started The Two Towers, I began to see his style in a different light.
The narration was poetic and full of imagery. The type of speech that I used to find ornate and distant, though profound, became moving. I felt inspired.

I can’t say LOTR is my most favourite book ever, but in terms of his writing style, I find it the most beautiful.

In that regard, I don’t think Narnia can’t compare. But, there was something in Narnia special to me. When I read The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (and that was the only Narnia book I finished), I had this feeling of shining adventure and perfect bliss. It made me feel so fulfilled and happy, though I can’t explain it. Nowhere in the long story of LOTR had I felt this. Nor in the other Narnia books (at least the parts I read), but well.

So, to summarize:
I love LOTR for the language, poetry, moving dialogue, beautiful imagery.
I love Narnia (well, LWW) for the indescribable magical feeling.
KingODuckingham 06/Dec/2006 at 07:47 PM
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Now that is what I’m talking about! Good post AEscthryth! Welcome to the plaza!
Laielinwen 07/Dec/2006 at 02:34 AM
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Excellent AEscthryth! Well said! I echo KingODuckingham’s welcome.
Eamila Bolger 07/Dec/2006 at 03:50 AM
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I can really see what you mean there, Aescthryth!
When reading "Narnia", I felt like I could be one of those children. I recognize the feeling of bliss that you mention.
The magic of it all, so to speak. I didn’t have that with all books, but most certainly with "The lion, the witch and the wardrobe".

When I was reading "Lord of the Rings", I felt a bit more distant, like I was following the story from afar. Perhaps because there is so much happening, that it’s simply too big to be able to fully be part of.
When you read of this magnificent world, of all the people that live in it, it makes me feel terribly small. I can identify myself with hobbits easily, but as soon as the story continues outside the Shire, it feels like it is no longer my story.
And yet I keep reading and feeling for the characters, all of them. I can understand how Samwise must have felt. I feel the pain that Frodo went through, I can sympathize with Boromir and his plight.
I cry with Faramir, I am angry at Denethor and his choices. I never feel like I myself could be one of them, but the story is so much alive!
With "Lord of the Rings" I keep seeing new things also, when I reread the book. I didn’t have that with Narnia. I don’t feel the great desire to keep reading it and to see through the many words, poems and other things that fascinate me.
That is one big difference, I think. I feel that there still are things that I haven’t seen through yet, or examined thoroughly. I keep seeing and experiencing new things.
A book for every stage in life!!
Laielinwen 07/Dec/2006 at 05:30 AM
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Ea!  Good to see you!
I like your point about the re-reading. I find that very true. The LOTR is so full of detail and layers that you do discover new things each time you read and it doesn’t get old or mundane.
I’ve read TLTW&TW to my classes a few different years. It is a charming story I always enjoy, but I fairly easily remember what is coming and rarely get that sense of new awe from an experience not found when reading before. It is still good and enjoyable though. I must say that if I were not reading it as a teacher to my students I probably would not choose to pick it up for a re-read like I do the LOTR.
I also read the Hobbit to my class each year... and every year! I still find some new things in there though not as much so as in the LOTR, but the diff. with it and Narnia is that I ’would’ choose to pick it up and re-read it even if I didn’t read it to my class each year.
Nenarye 07/Dec/2006 at 09:53 AM
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Laie - Just a question. What grade do you teach?

Sounds like fun, reading The Hobbit every year to you class.    I’m no teacher, but It’s got to be fun seeing the faces and hearing the thoughts of those recently introduced to The Hobbit and Tolkien!
Laielinwen 07/Dec/2006 at 10:39 AM
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I teach third grade.  It is a great age; 8-9 year olds. It is very exciting to me to be able to help children love to learn  and love to read. We write in a journal every day and we read every day. It is the foundation from which I teach and integrate all subjects through. The kids see how excited I am about the books, writing and characters and they really catch the fever too. We do character mappings and all sorts of cool stuff. It is a blessing and a joy to be a teacher.
Nenarye 07/Dec/2006 at 11:18 AM
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Ooh fun!

I love classes like that. So much fun.
Eamila Bolger 07/Dec/2006 at 01:34 PM
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Hi Laie!! Great to see you again
Yes, that’s just what I meant. The desire to re-read is there with Tolkien.
It’s mainly because you know there is so much more to read and know and understand (and believe me, if I go to Advanced Lore I alway fly from there screaming because of all that knowledge and all the discussions about subjects I seem to know nothing about even though I studied arts in university).
You know that you read about a Third Age but that many of the things you could take for granted in that age, have their roots in the second and first age or even before that.
There is indeed many layers! And I haven’t even read all the HoME books yet...
Characters like Galadriel may seem insignificant because there role is apparently small.
But when you realize they were there in many big stories ages and ages before the Ringbearer was even born or Shirelings were even spoken of... that is what makes it so fascinating. It is like discovering a world by yourself!
merrypip03 07/Dec/2006 at 10:48 PM
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I will be redundant in stating that you can’t really compare the two books. Yes, they are both fantasy books, but that’s about as much a comparison as you can make. It also depends on the audience. Now, my dad read LOTR to me as a small child so I didn’t read Narnia till Jr. High, and I like them both in their own right. I prefer LOTR because that’s more my style.
Laielinwen 08/Dec/2006 at 01:46 AM
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merrypip03 I think we can compare the tiniest bit but contrast more for sure.  I used the apples and oranges phrase early in the thread. Both are fruit but there is a whole lot more to contrast than to compare. It still makes for interesting discussion I think. I really like hearing the  impressions and ideas of those that have read both. I also think that since Tolkien and Lewis were friends and then sort of not... They ran in the same circles and read each other’s works that it makes for an interesting discussion comparing/contrasting the two. Tolkien himself was adament about their differences and the fact he really had such distaste for the Narnia books shows the great difference in the two on many levels.
merrypip03 08/Dec/2006 at 10:36 AM
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Tolkiens work was also more of a mythology than a fantasy book, where Narnia is in some ways considered an allegory (but I feel that is stretching it a bit) and is meant to entertain the masses. It is more fun to find the contrasts anyway.
Blue Goblin 08/Dec/2006 at 11:05 AM
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I can’t say much here because its already been said  but compared to Tolkien’s books, I found The Chronicles of Narnia slightly boring. Narnia is more of a children’s story compared to LOTR. I prefer Tolkien for the way he brought me images of the places and people he described (even though I saw the movies before the books I got different images from the books than the movies) and also because his books tought me an awful lot about myself and the world and people around me in a way. Narnia for me did none of this. All I got from Narnia was a good read that killed an awful lot of time when I had nothing better to do. But they DID ruin The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by filming it.

Tenharien Calmcacil 08/Dec/2006 at 11:50 AM
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When I saw the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe I thought it was very good. I expected it to be average and i actaully loved it. It brings much more out than the book. Its good to see it on screen.
Wentwaley 08/Dec/2006 at 03:51 PM
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I absolutely agree with you Tenharien. I didn’t expect much from it either, at first.
I think one of the things the film had on its side was that TWW was quite short, and they didn’t have to work on shortening anything. But be it judged as a piece on its own or in comparison to the book, I thought it was a masterpiece.
Thali 08/Dec/2006 at 05:26 PM
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Narnia and Middle Earth can in very few ways be compared (as people have already said). But this reminds me of Tolkien’s dislike for Narnia because it was based on beliefs, while his work was not. Both are brilliant books, by awesome authors. I love them both.
Janskin 08/Dec/2006 at 07:59 PM
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I must say, i always find it hard to compare books from two different series. The Lord of the Rings is a more, shall we say, intellectual work, whereas The Chronicles of Narnia are more like fairy tales. Not to say that Narnia is childish, but it is a less adult book series than the Lord of the Rings is. I very much enjoyed both of the series, but i will honestly admit that i prefer reading The Lord of the Rings.
merrypip03 12/Dec/2006 at 10:06 AM
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I don’t think it is entirely fair to place LOTR over Narnia in an intellectual sense. Maybe I feel this way because I read LOTR as my first chapter book when I was very young and I loved it very much, and didn’t read Narnia till later, but I just don’t think it’s fair to Narnia to be compared like that. I feel it all depends on your taste in story that determines which you like more, not whether one is more child-like.
LadyoftheMark 12/Dec/2006 at 03:06 PM
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First of all, I would agree with merrypip03 that it is unfair to rank The Lord of the Rings as being more "intellectual" than The Chronicles of Narnia.

Second, both Lewis and Tolkien intended their works to be enjoyable for their story values alone; however, they also hoped that the reader would be able to bring his own peculiar beliefs into his interpretation of the meaning of the stories. This is what Tolkien famously referred to as "applicab[ility]."

And in response to The Chronicles being more like "fairy tales" and ergo less intellectual (Janskin), Tolkien himself in his famous essay "On Fairy-stories" defends the fairy tale and indeed aspired for his own works to mirror that form. Therefore, I do not think that that is a legitimate argument against the intellectual nature of Lewis’s Chronicles.

KingODuckingham 12/Dec/2006 at 04:10 PM
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Fairy-tales and intellectual..er...ness (for lack of a better term) are not at all mutually exclusive. C.S. Lewis refers to the third book in his space trilogy (That Hideous Strength) as a fairy-tale, citing its similar plot line to most medieval fairy-tale stories, and I don’t think anyone could deny the intellectual themes running through that work.
Thali 12/Dec/2006 at 09:14 PM
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If you ask any teenager where I am, you’ll be told that Lotr is a fairytale. Anything with elves, wizards, magic. They can be considered ’fairytales’, at least in OK. *g* Whereas lotr bores even some adults with the description, Narnia gives you only enough so that you can see the characters and setting. Everyone can get something out of both series’ (pural for series?) if they take enough time to pay attention to the storyline, and not who the book was written for. Narnia was written for a girl, C.S Lewis doesn’t state her age, Lotr was written for an older audience, excluding T.H. which was for Tolkien’s children. This is like comparing chocolate to pizza.

Nenarye 12/Dec/2006 at 09:46 PM
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"If you ask any teenager where I am, you’ll be told that Lotr is a fairytale. Anything with elves, wizards, magic. They can be considered ’fairytales’"

I disagree. Anything with elves, wizards or magic does not automaticly make a story a fairytale, just because it has basic elements of a fantasy book?

They (fairy tales) all have the "and they all lived happily ever after" ending, and are aimed at small children, so they tend to have a cheerfull vibe to them. I have never once here somone refer to LotR as a fairytale. Sure, LotR does have a happy ending, but there is war and killing and things generally not small children appropriate, all through-out the book.

(This is all assuming that you think that LotR can be categorized as a fairy tale, although I may have misunderstood you.)
KingODuckingham 12/Dec/2006 at 10:01 PM
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Oh dear...perhaps searching the archives you will uncover a fairly recent thread entitled LOTR=fairy-tale....although the discussion did not pertain too much to that actual topic, it is hardly a new thing for LOTR to be called a fairy-tale, and I believe it was agreed that LOTR was indeed such a book. No war or killing in fairy-tales? On the contrary, have you read the original versions of the Grimms’ fairy tales? Perhaps they have been edited for today’s small children, but they often had sad or even gruesome endings. Even in the edited versions, we have older brothers being killed or turned into stone or beasts all over the place, as well as evil characters dying horrendous deaths. War, killing, and such do not exclude LOTR from being a fairy-tale. Not at all.
KingODuckingham 12/Dec/2006 at 10:02 PM
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Oh dear...perhaps searching the archives you will uncover a fairly recent thread entitled LOTR=fairy-tale....although the discussion did not pertain too much to that actual topic, it is hardly a new thing for LOTR to be called a fairy-tale, and I believe it was agreed that LOTR was indeed such a book. No war or killing in fairy-tales? On the contrary, have you read the original versions of the Grimms’ fairy tales? Perhaps they have been edited for today’s small children, but they often had sad or even gruesome endings. Even in the edited versions, we have older brothers being killed or turned into stone or beasts all over the place, as well as evil characters dying horrendous deaths. War, killing, and such do not exclude LOTR from being a fairy-tale. Not at all.
merrypip03 13/Dec/2006 at 10:09 AM
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On the contrary, have you read the original versions of the Grimms’ fairy tales? Perhaps they have been edited for today’s small children, but they often had sad or even gruesome endings.

I love the original Grimms tales. They have been edited for children these days, or as I like to call it, Disneyfied. I love all fairytales, and I think that the term fairytale has been given a child-like stereotype which isn’t fair to them, once again attributed to Disney mostly. but that’s not what this thread is about. And I feel that LOTR and Narnia do NOT fit in the catagory of fairytale.
Nenarye 13/Dec/2006 at 10:09 AM
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Still I disagree.
nEUroTIc 15/Dec/2006 at 07:33 AM
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i agree with merrypip03..take for example the 3 little pigs or jack and the beanstalk or rumpelstiltskin..all these had gruesome endings often ending in death..the chronicles of narnia make for a good read devoid of any violence and aggression...at least not too much..personally i like them very much..but still tolkien remains the master
Nenarye 15/Dec/2006 at 08:05 AM
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3 little pigs is not a fairy tale...

I think you make a good point with rumpelstilt skin, but I still disagree.

Okay, something I just thought of is this: It seems most fairy tales have some form of deus ex machina...meaning the fairy or etc. 3 little pigs doesn’t have that...I’ve never thought of that story as a fairy tale...
Gillahunter1 15/Dec/2006 at 09:48 AM
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Tolkein and C.S.Lewis were friends, and both of their work could have been influenced by each others, since both have an have a happy ending with a King on the Throne.  They are not fairy tales since the original fairy tales all have grusome endings, Red riding hood for instance, has been changed dozens of times to try not to scare the children.  Two of three little pigs did not run to the safe brick house, they were eaten.  Every original had a lesson in the story, for example, the first two piggs where trying to rush to finish their houses, and in their folly, got eaten.  The third took his time to do it right and his patience was rewarded.
Nenarye 15/Dec/2006 at 02:00 PM
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"The third took his time to do it right and his patience was rewarded."


~and lived happily ever after
Battlehamster 16/Dec/2006 at 09:45 AM
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I love the word Disnified (though not, of course, what it means) and I started using on my own without having heard it anywhere, so I remember I was delighted when I read Letters and saw Tolkien using it.

I remember reading somewhere that Bluebeard was actually based on two real serial killers...

Eltara 16/Dec/2006 at 04:30 PM
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Merrypip03: I totally agree with you there "fairy tales" has a completely different mean nowadays and most people think of Disney when they think of fairy tales( not that I have anything against Disney movies, I hapen to enjoy them now that I can understand the hidden meanings that I didn’t understand when I was younger). I love the original Grimms fairy tales. 

My friend was just in our school musical "Into the Woods" and yes it was changed slightly for school policies but her drama class watched the orginal version and the wolf would go after little red riding hood to not eat her like he does in the kidified versions but he does other things that are definetly inappropriate for here. Disneyfied, I love that term, I also tend to make up my own words, it’s actually kind of fun to do that sometimes. I should also really get around to reading Letters, I’ve read everything else to do with Tolkien except that and that’s neat that Tolkien used the word Disneyfied. 

nEUroTIc 17/Dec/2006 at 05:19 AM
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nenarye..correct me if i am wrong but a fairy tale i think not always had a fairy in the tale..i think its the concept of telling children what is good and for them to realise to take conscious decisions ..its for them to build up a positive and realistic attitude that knows what is wrong and right by relating to the stories we told them..(even if its a wee bit)
merrypip03 17/Dec/2006 at 07:09 AM
Farmer of the Shire Points: 322 Posts: 141 Joined: 13/Jan/2004
I think that would be more of a fable. I think fairy tales are used more for entertainment than the teaching of a lesson, although, like many books out there, some do teach a lesson somehow.
Valaina De Mein 17/Dec/2006 at 12:33 PM
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I agree with merrypip03.... fables tend to have more of a lesson behind them, i.e, the grasshopper and the ant, where as most fairytales are entertainemnt, although i guess when you look at some fairytales they have some subtle lessons behind them, such as  the three little pigs. But for the most part they are just stories for fun, or if they are the original Grimm stories, not so much fun but entertainment. *g*
Battlehamster 17/Dec/2006 at 12:39 PM
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Reminds me of when my theatre professor had the TAs do a mini-production of a Three Little Pigs play, only in a Brechtian style.  Very strange.  But I think that has something to do with the moral of the story thing.

Has anyone else heard the Smothers Brothers’ Aesop’s fables tape?  It’s really funny.

Kinarear 17/Dec/2006 at 01:08 PM
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Back to whats better. Personally I preffer LOTR because theres so much more, I have read all 7 narnia books and I liked them but after a while u run out of narnia books to read, whereas there always seems to be more lotr things to read.

what say you?

nob_ 17/Dec/2006 at 03:12 PM
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Narnia compared to The Hobbit, I might choose Narnia. But againts the Lord of The Rings its no contest. Narnia is a little to religious for me. I prefer the cold reality of life, and death that Tolkien writes about. I know C.S. Lewis writes about loss. LOTR for me
Battlehamster 17/Dec/2006 at 06:57 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by nob_ on Sunday, December 17, 2006
Narnia compared to The Hobbit, I might choose Narnia. But againts the Lord of The Rings its no contest. Narnia is a little to religious for me. I prefer the cold reality of life, and death that Tolkien writes about. I know C.S. Lewis writes about loss. LOTR for me

I agree with you.  Narnia can be way too religious sometimes.  I mean, in LotR you can draw parallels between parts of the story and religion, but it’s like Tolkien says in the forward to LotR: it’s the difference between applicability and allegory.  Tolkien has the former, Lewis has the latter.

Have you ever tried reading George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series?

halfir 17/Dec/2006 at 07:13 PM
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Gillahunter1: Tolkein and C.S.Lewis were friends, and both of their work could have been influenced by each others, since both have an have a happy ending with a King on the Throne. 

Firstly, welcome to the Plaza.X(

I don’t think that Tolkien would have agreed with your assertion that :

both of their work could have been influenced by each others,

To start with,Lewis commented that :

’No one ever influenced Tolkien- you might as well try to influence a bandersnatch" {Letter to Charles Moorman - 15 May 1959}

And as several of their mutual friends have pointed out, Tolkien disliked Narnia to the point of  outright hosiltity to Lewis’ approach to ’faerie’.

In his very critcal response to the Narnia series which hurt Lewis deeply, Tolkien made it clear that he found Lewis’s use of so many disparate characters a major defect. In a conversation with Roger Lancelyn Green, Tolkien said:

’I hear you’ve been reading Lewis’s children’s  story. It really won’t do you know. I mean to say ’Nymphs and their Ways, the Lovel-Life of a Faun" Doesn’t he know what he’s talking about?{Colin Duriez- JRR Tolkien and C S Lewis- Chapter 9 A Professor’s Wardrobe and Magic Rings}

George Sayer -formerly Head of English at Malvern College (until 1974} and a close friend of Lewis’s and Tolkien’s, and himself involved with the Inklings, writes with regard toTolkien’s hostility to the Narnia series:

’Jack had always been constructively helpfuland sympathetic with Tolkiien’s writing, and he probably expected similar treatment. He was hurt, astonished, and discouraged when Tolkien said that he thought the book {The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe} was almost worthless, that it seemed like a jumble of unrelated mythologies. Because Aslan, the fauns, the White Witch, Father Christmas, the nymphs, and Mr. and Mrs. Beaver had quite distinct mythological or imaginative origins, Tolkien thought it was a terrible mistake to put them together in Narnia, a single imaginative country. The effect for him was incongruous and, for him, painful.But Jack argued that they existed happily together in our minds in real life. Tolkien replied, ’Not in mine, or at least not at the same time.’

Tolkien never changed his view. He so strongly detested Jack’s assembling figures from various mythologies in his children’s books, that he soon gave up trying to read them. He also thought they were carelessly and superficially written. His condemnation was so severe that one suspects he envied the speed with which Jack wrote and compared it with his own laborious method of composition.’ {Jack- A Life of C S Lewis Chpt 17 Into Narnia}

Even allowing for some ’taking of sides’ on the part of Green and Sayer, in favor of Lewis,we know from Tolkien’s own comments cf Letter # 265 that Narnia remained:

’Out of the range of my sympathy’.

Whatever ’ borrowing’ went on, Lewis is borrowing from Tolkien, and Tolkien was not entirely happy with that on occasions, as Numeno/Numenore was not the only borrowing.

Letter # 26 to Stanley Unwin talking of Out of the Silent Planet which Tolkien was trying to persuade Unwin’s to publish:

’-eldila , in any case I suspect to be due to the influence of the Eldar in the Silmarillion..’

Letter # 98 to Stanley Unwin- inter alia about publication of The Silmarillion:

’Of course, my only real desire is to publish ’The Silmarillion"* In an asterisk footnote after ’The Silmarillion Tolkien comments:

’Especially as I find allusions  and references to it creeping into Mr. Lewis’s work, such as his latest novel".

Letter # 131 to Milton Waldman agent for Collins the book publishers:

’Numenore’,* in an asterisked footnote that follows ’Numenore’,*  Tolkien wrote:

’A name that Lewis derives from me and cannot be restrained from using, and mispelling as Numinor.. Numenore means in ’Elvish’ simply Westernesse or Land to the West, and is not related to numen numinous,or noumenon’.

Note Tolkien’s comment ’cannot be restrained from using,’ which hardly signals approval!

Letter # 169 to Hugh Brogan:

’Your discovery of ’Numinor’ in C.S.L’s That Hideous Strength is discovery of plagiarism: well, not that, since he used the word, taken from my legends of the Firts and Second Ages, in the belief that they would soon appear. They have not, but I suppose now they may."

Letter # 276 to Hugh Plotz of the American Tolkien Society:

’Lewis was, I think, impressed by ’the Silmarillion and all that’ , and certainly retained some vague memories of it and of its names in mind.For instance, sinnce he had heard it before he composed or thought of Out of the Silen Planet, I imagine that Eldil  is an echo of the Eldar; in Perelandra ’Tor and Tinidril’ are certainly an echo since Tuor and Idril, parents of Earendil, are major characters in ’The Fall of Gondolin’; the earliest written legends of the Firdt Age.’

Letter # 294 to Charlotte and Dennis Plimmer who had interviewed Tolkien for the Daily Telegraph Magazine:

’The final scene survives as The Downfall of Numenor. This attracted Lewis greatly (as heard read), and refernce to it ocurs in sveral places in his works: e.g. "The Last of the Wine’, in his poems (Poems 1964, p.40).

 

 

Isilmírë 17/Dec/2006 at 08:08 PM
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Well, wow. To stick with the original topic, I have read both works and I love them both. However, I relate more to LotR. I love the description Tolkien puts into ME. While in Narnia I don’t have that connection with the land and the characters. I guess ME seems more real to me, but in Narnia I have that little voice telling me that this is a fantasy. There are many differences between the two, but they are both great books. In my opinion LotR is better, but I am sure both will be treasured for many, many years.   By the way halfir have you read C.S. Lewis’s essay  "On Three Ways of Write for Children."

Battlehamster 18/Dec/2006 at 08:11 AM
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Wow, I really don’t think that Tolkien would have liked that essay, if it’s what it sounds liked. Didn’t Tolkien write in several places about the folly of writing in a way that was meant for children? I do remember reading somewhere that he disliked the way he wrote TH, as though he was "talking to children."
halfir 18/Dec/2006 at 01:56 PM
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 I do remember reading somewhere that he disliked the way he wrote TH, as though he was "talking to children."

You might be thinking of the letter he wrote to Auden- # 163:

’It was unhappily really meant, as far as i was conscious, as a ’children’s story’, and   as I had not learned sense then, and my children were not quite old enough tocorrect me, it has some silliness of manner caught unthuinkingly from the kind of stuff I had served to me, as Chaucer may catch a minstrel tag. I deeply regret them. So do intelligent children.’