Ranking Narnia

ranking Narnia

Happy Easter! For those of you egg hunting this morning, I hope you find them all so there’s no rotten eggs in your yard next week! For those of you going to church, He is risen indeed! For those of you who don’t celebrate Easter at all, I hope you’re having a great weekend!

I was thinking this week about how The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is literally the Easter story. In light of that, I thought it might be fun to do a Narnia post today. And since we all know how obsessed I am with ranking things…

The Chronicles of Narnia, from most favorite to least

1. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

7687657I know, I know, what a cliche, liking The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe the best. But, you know, there’s a reason it’s everyone’s favorite. The story is the most adventurous and fun, in my opinion, the religious allegory is the most straightforward, the Pevensies are such fun characters, and the White Witch is a truly terrible villain. Anyone who would use Turkish Delight for evil has a truly warped mind. (Full disclosure, to this day I have no idea what Turkinh Delight is, lol.)

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first Narnia book to be published, and for most of us it’s our first journey into Narnia. And what a great intro! Sadly, most people I’ve talked to never read much else of the series, but if you had to pick ONE Narnia book to read, I would definitely recommend this one!

2. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

3814342I LOVE this book! I love Reepicheep. I love the idea of sailing to the end of the world to find Aslan. I love the lessons the Pevensies learn along the way. Yes, I even love Edmund. GAH! THE END! Makes me cry every time. If you’ve never read a second Narnia book, I highly recommend you pick this one up. And don’t watch the movie thinking it will be an adequate substitute. It was a straight to DVD kind of thing.

3. The Magician’s Nephew

3717544This might shock some people, because in might experience this is probably the least popular Narnia book. People who start the series here because that’s now how they’re numbered often never move on. A lot of people I know didn’t even finish. But whatever, I like it. Probably because I read the series in chronological order, so I always start with The Magician’s Nephew, so I’ve read this book the most times. Probably because it’s got a certain whimsey. The magic rings, tested on a guinea pig of all things!, is probably my favorite bit. But I have to admit that I love Polly. She’s got real spunk. I also think the Uncle is a deliciously despicable character, and I rather like that his mischief making leads him to trouble. But some good comes of it too: the creation of Narnia. There’s something so profound there. God can turn even the most evil, thoughtless actions to good.

4. Prince Caspian

838854Prince Caspian is one of those rare instances where the movie is WAAAAY better than the book. I think the filmmakers understood the allegory in this book better than Lewis did. At the very least, they executed it better. The movie has way more emotional impact, and the religious message is stronger and clearer. Also, I will always ship Caspian and Susan.

Now that I’m done gushing about the film…

Prince Caspian is kind of meh for me. It’s a unique story, and I find the time-traveling aspect so interesting. But it isn’t really fleshed out, and there’s not a whole lot of character development. Out of all the Narnia books this one probably has the most going on, but it’s still so SHORT. The whole thing just feels kind of rushed to me.

5. The Silver Chair

896893Another meh for me. I was never a big fan of Eustace, and the lack of any other Pevensies in this book was disappointing. Puddleglum was just weird. And the plot didn’t hold that much interest for me. My favorite bit was how as this series goes on the Pevensie family is spreading Narnia to others. It starts with the Professor, who shares it (inadvertently) with Lucy, who shares it with her brothers and sisters, who later share it with Eustace, who now shares it with Jill. God’s like that. You share Him with others, and then they get to have an amazing experience that will never be quite like yours.

6. The Last Battle

3834767I actively dislike The Last Battle. The whole time I felt like I was missing something. Like, what’s going on here? I suppose it’s some sort of allegory for Revelation, but I’ve never understood that much either. So. Also, I’m mad with how the story ended. And Susan turning away from Narnia?! Never! Like, I see the message there, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with it.

7. The Horse and His Boy

7687685What is going on with The Horse and His Boy? I’ve read it like, five times, and I still don’t see the point of it. As far as I can tell there’s not really any religious allegory or moral, and it doesn’t progress the story in any way. I don’t know, I just don’t get this book. I don’t dislike it, I just don’t care.

What’s YOUR favorite Narnia book? Let me know in the comments!

*Side note* I picked these covers because they’re the covers of my copies. They were given to me as a Christmas gift when I was 6 or 7. As such, they are my preferred covers. I understand, they’re weird looking. Get over it. 😛

20 thoughts on “Ranking Narnia

  1. I think of “The Horse and His Boy” as Narnia’s version of the book of Esther. God/Aslan is operating largely behind the scenes through “coincidences” to save his people from annihilation.

    It’s definitely the odd one out of the Narnia series since the Pevensies barely figure in it…but Esther is similarly odd in following people who stayed in Persia rather than the faithful people who returned to Israel with Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. These are people who “just happen” to be in the right place for “such a time as this.”

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  2. That is so funny, I agree with most of your rankings except “The Horse and His Boy” is my favorite of them all. I see my own life in it the most of any of them. Aslan saying to the boy “I was the lion.” Happens to me all the time. It reminds me that though I may not be in control at times, someone else is. I love it. Anyway, happy Easter!

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    1. I’m thinking I need to re-read The Horse and His Boy, because you guys are really explaining it to me! See, I really see myself the most in Susan, willing to believe, but needing a little bit of help to do so. That’s why I was so upset when she didn’t show up at the end.

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  3. Ah it’s got to be Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe at number 1 though!! (also get some Turkish delight!!! They’re one of my favourite sweets!!) Voyage of the Dawn Treader is excellent (I agree- horrible movie though) I also read it in chronological order and liked Magician’s Nephew! AHH I’m in so much agreement about the Prince Caspian film- I know that a lot of people weren’t into it- but I *loved* it!! (and I so ship Caspian and Susan!!) It did feel rushed in the book though- kinda gives me whiplash how fast it all goes down. I did enjoy Silver Chair and I was just so shocked by the end of last battle that I wasn’t able to fully compute what I thought of it! I didn’t get the horse and his boy either! Amazing post!!

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    1. Yes, whiplash is a great way to describe Prince Caspian! I think it’s part of why I love the Dawn Treader so much. Reepicheep was such a great character, but he doesn’t get much page-time because the book was so short. But then Dawn Treader Reep is practically the hero! And Caspian gets so much more character development in Dawn Treader too.

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  4. Hmmm me selection would be: dawn treader (ships, dragons, and a fighting mouse brigade! Arrr!), wardrobe, horse and boy, prince caspian, the silver chair, the magician’s nephew, and the last battle. Fun post!
    x The Captain

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  5. Aww, The Horse and His Boy was always my favorite as a kid. The adventure, the exotic setting, the talking horse companion, the romance with a fascinating and strong-willed girl, the glimpses of what the Pevensies were actually doing as monarchs, the expansion of the world I loved in the previous books…just about everything, I guess. Been ages since I’ve read it, though, so I don’t know how it would hold up. Voyage of the Dawn Treader would probably be a favorite the next time I read them. Reepicheep for the win!

    I really like all the Narnia books, although I guess Prince Caspian would be my least favorite just because, as you said, it feels rushed and underdeveloped. There was a lot I felt that the movie missed about the book that was important, but on its own it’s a solid adventure, and it does try to flesh things out better. Not a fan of making Caspian a 20-something hunk and action star, rather than the bright but naive adolescent he was supposed to be. Likewise my friends and I couldn’t stand the attempted romance subplot with Susan — so random and forced! But I guess I can’t complain if someone else likes it.

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    1. What I REALLY liked about the Caspian movie was the religious analogy. How when Aslan doesn’t seem to be around Peter thinks he can do everything on his own, and it just FAILS epically. It’s only once Aslan is on their side that the Pevensies and Caspian are successful. And that’s not really in the book.

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  6. I am of the mind that even the weakest of this series is still pretty good, so I love checking out these rankings. 😉 And it IS pretty shocking that Magician’s Nephew is the least popular of these by the way! It’s my absolute favorite to re-read!

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    1. I can’t say I’ve talked to book experts about Magician’s Nephew or anything, this is just talking to people I know irl. Which, to be honest, most of them aren’t avid readers anyway. So far everyone commenting has said they rather enjoyed it!

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  7. As a kid I did NOT really like The Horse and His Boy either, but NOW it’s my favourite of the series. (I don’t count LWW, because that automatically comes first.) The other one I didn’t really like as a kid is The Silver Chair. And NOW it’s my second favourite of the series!

    My favourite as a kid was Voyage of the Dawn Treader. While I still love Voyage, but it’s dropped to #3 on my list.

    I do love them all, but it’s funny how the books can switch places in your affections. 🙂

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  8. I love The Horse and His Boy as well as The Magician’s Nephew because the talking horses are so much fun. The humans are okay too, but in The Magician’s Nephew where Strawberry tells the cabby, “I know I did all the work” – to me that’s priceless.

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  9. Oh yeah! The cabbie is cool, and the most “cool-headed” one of all the grownups in that story. I also love his wife who tells the lion that Polly would like to join Digory on his ride “If it weren’t no trouble.”

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  10. My favourite is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe! My least favourite was The Last Battle. I haven’t exactly figured out why, but I’m still trying to find an explanation. Anyway, these covers are cool enough so no objections here!

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  11. This is a tough list!! I agree mostly, but I loved the last battle so much that I wanted it to be higher, but the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe kinda has to be at the top and Dawn Treader is such a terrific book. I agree about A Horse and His Boy. It felt muddled. Also, these covers are amazing. My wife gave me this set for our first christmas together. They have been my favorite version of the covers since then and will likely forever hold a special spot in my heart. Thanks for the list. It was fun.


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