Narnia Versus Fillory: Compare, Contrast, Critique?

Lev Grossman, author of The Magician’s trilogy, has stated that in the series— which is also clear as day for readers— he recreates a version of C.S. Lewis’ world, Narnia. Many readers grew angry, believing that Grossman was not creative enough to create his own world. However, the author expresses (in multiple interviews) that he’s trying to create a grown up version of Narnia, as he himself grew up loving the series.

Additionally, Grossman further expounds that he intended to integrate the magician aspect of the beloved Harry Potter series into his books.

For those who have not read The Magicians, the series circulates around Quentin Coldwater, an eighteen-year-old who discovers magic after finding Brakebills, a school for magicians. Quentin was obsessed with the fantastical Fillory books— Grossman’s version of the Narnia books— and soon learns that Fillory is, in fact, real.

Grossman references and creates allusions to the pop-culture works of Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, Rowling, Lewis and many more throughout the series.

With all of that said, I think a real discussion and comparison of every allusion/reference to Lewis throughout The Magicians trilogy would be interesting in opening up an in-depth conversation. Not only would this help readers see that Grossman is not plagiarizing, but it would display specifically how Grossman took Narnia (and Harry Potter) and made such a captivating grown-up version.

To conclude, I’ll leave with a comment made by the New York Times, “if the Narnia books were like catnip for a certain kind of kid, these books are like crack for a certain kind of adult.”

  • This would be a very interesting article. However, I don't think all of the books should be compared/contrasted. Maybe just The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and The Dawn Treader, as those already have their own film adaptations. – OkaNaimo0819 3 years ago
  • I definitely agree! It would be tedious to do one book alone, and so I welcome any discussion about similarities, parallels, critiques on how it could have been improved in either series, etc. (: Thank you for adding that. – Abie Dee 3 years ago
  • I feel like you could focus on the religious politics as well. CS Lewis, of course, was a Christian writer and wrote many Christian themes into the Narnia series. It could be said, as well, that Harry Potter has some Christian themes, albeit less obvious ones. Yet, judging by Lev Grossman's name he's almost certainly Jewish. It might be really interesting to explore how the different religious backgrounds of the authors impact the stories they tell. – Debs 3 years ago
  • LOVE this topic! – Stephanie M. 3 years ago

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