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Harry Potter and Narnia: Magic, Morals, and More

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Old August 15th, 2008, 7:49 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and Narnia: Magic, Morals, and More

Overall, there are many good points to both HP and Narnia (though at the end of the day I prefer HP). In my eyes, one major difference between the books is the fact that Narnia is an allegory for Christianity, whereas HP has elements of Christianity buried within it to help tell the story. There is a direct metaphor in Narnia between certain characters and elements of Christianity. For example, the White Whitch represents original sin, Aslan represents Jesus, and Edmund represents Judas (in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe only though; after that he is completely redeemed). In HP, there are certainly aspects of Christianity in the story, such as Harry's "resurrection" and the fact that he is similar to Jesus in his willingness to die for those he loves. There's also an afterlife modeled after Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory in HP.

In regards to the overall messages of each story, I think Narnia advocates for always staying young and not giving in to adult cynicism like Susan does. Also, there is a message of faith in there as well. Harry Potter's message comes across to me as being one of love, of tolerance, and of making good choices that may not always be easy.


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Old October 16th, 2008, 11:25 am
TheShley  Female.gif TheShley is offline
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Re: Harry Potter and Narnia: Magic, Morals, and More

I'm currently reading the Narnia series for the first time, and so far I'm not really that impressed. Maybe if I had read it while I was a child I would have enjoyed it more, but I'm finding it really hard to get into. I think I prefer Harry Potter, because there's more depth to it. And I dont really think much happens. I can see why it is a popular book, but I just dont have any urge to read it! I'm currently on the 3rd book (The horse and his boy) and I havent picked it up for days! And usually when I read a book, I'm there reading it at every opportunity! Unlike Harry, I think Narnia does have an age limit and I think I passed it a long time ago...

Besides, I think Narnia is more similar to His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman.

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Old October 19th, 2008, 3:18 am
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Re: Harry Potter and Narnia: Magic, Morals, and More

Well, I haven't really read the Narnia books, but I plan to soon. In watching the movie, I saw that Aslans 'Deep Magic' and Dumbledores 'most powerful magic' are both love. That might sound kind of obvious, but I'm not really educated in the Narnia world.


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Old January 19th, 2009, 1:15 am
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Re: Harry Potter and Narnia: Magic, Morals, and More

I think that Narnia and Harry Potter are a lot alike. They share a lot of the same morals. The main one is Love and how powerful it can be and how it can triumph over evil. But they are also different. The Narnia's sort of show you how there has to be an ending to everything and the series's ending is one of those that has less possibilities of the future, Harry Potter, however, ends with so many possibilities that it pretty much doesn't end and could still go on.

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Old April 13th, 2009, 11:51 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and Narnia: Magic, Morals, and More

I always thought the Harry Potter books and the Chronicles of Narnia were similar. Harry Potter's better, though. The story's overall more interesting, though the Narnia books send more of a message. Both represent the battle of good vs. evil, in which good prevails, though the struggle is hard. Most people I know don't see this message for what it is.

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Old May 19th, 2009, 2:30 am
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Re: Harry Potter and Narnia: Magic, Morals, and More

I think that the two book are about equal. The morals represented in both books are very similar in my opinion. If you look at Narnia from a non Christian viewpoint, without having religion play into things at all, it still has great morals throughout it. They both are examples of fighting for the good, the evil in the books is scary and realistically so. The books may talk about magic, but we all have seen throughout history examples of people who are just as evil as the antagonists in the books.

I think the great things about both Narnia and HP is that they both do an amazing job of opening up a whole new world. The details are fantastic and they allow you to feel like you are also a part of the book. The keep it real enough that you are never positive the good is actually going to win out, but they also make a very big deal of the fact that the good is always fighting to hold back the evil.

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Old May 23rd, 2009, 3:57 am
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Re: Harry Potter and Narnia: Magic, Morals, and More

In my opinion, Aslan and Dumbeldore kind of compare. Aslan was always guiding the Pevensie children along, kind of how Dumbledore was guiding Harry along so he could be ready to face Voldemort. They both of course have the fantasy and magic part of them too. I also think they compare because in HP, the magical world was thought to not exist. In the Chronicles of Narnia, a magical world like Narnia was also thought to not exist. The Chronicles of Narnia differst though, because of the strong Christian aspect of the story that C.S. Lewis wrote from. I've also found a connection in Prince Caspian. His uncle was trying to kill Caspian so he could remain in power, while in HP Voldemort attempted to kill Harry because of the prophecy that Trelawny made. They also compare because they are awesome book!

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Old May 23rd, 2009, 5:51 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and Narnia: Magic, Morals, and More

Honestly, I don't think the books can be really compared. Harry Potter is a set of books that focuses on a young boy and his friends growing up, maturing, and dealing with some big problems that come their way. The Chronicles, however, are more of a history about a land from its creation to its ultimate end. Sure, they have some similarities, such that Aslan and Dumbledore could almost be on the same plane of character but the series' are so different that there's really not much else to compare. They are two beautifully written sets of books by two brilliant authors who had different intentions when writing. Therefore, I see no real major comparison between the two.


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Old July 16th, 2009, 7:17 am
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Re: Harry Potter and Narnia: Magic, Morals, and More

I agree that comparing these series is like comparing apples and oranges: they are both fruit, or in this case childrens fiction with magic. I started reading Narnia when I was 7, over 30 years ago, and HP when it first came out 12 years ago. I have read both series many times (at least 30 times each). Narnia, with its multi-universe parallel world setting, is more of a fairy tale than HP. With HP set in our world, and current time, is much easier for most people to identify with. I think that both are excellent examples of completely different styles of writting.
I would suggest to those who are considering reading Narnia for the first time, like TheShiley, that they start the series with The Lion, the witch, and the Wardrobe instead of the Magicians Nephew. Use the publication order for reading Narnia for the first time, it makes a big difference.

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Old August 6th, 2009, 7:10 am
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Re: Harry Potter and Narnia: Magic, Morals, and More

There are a few similarities that struck me. They both deal with choosing between good and evil. But Narnia definitely alludes to Christianity alot and focuses on morals where as HP is more about fighting evil.
A part in Harry Potter that really reminded me of Narnia was in Deathly Hallows when Harry comes back from Kings Cross and he's lying there pretending to be dead and Voldemort exclaiming his victory and does the Cruciatus curse on him while laughing along with his death eaters. That reminded me of the part in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe when the White Witch is going to kill Aslan and she and her minions are laughing and jeering cruelly at him. And the fact that both Harry and Aslan come back from the dead in a way is similar. And I guess, just thinking about it now, that bot Harry and Aslan go up against their prospective enemies intending to be killed, which is a factor in why both of them come back to life.

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Old July 25th, 2011, 2:48 am
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Re: Harry Potter and Narnia: Magic, Morals, and More

As many before me have previously stated, they're similar and different. If I had to pick which I preferred, I would say Harry Potter. It's not that Narnia is necessarily shallow but Potter allows for a lot more moral ambiguity, which I love. (I also grew up with Harry Potter, and only read Narnia quite recently.)

A striking similarity between them is the over-arching love-conquers-all motif. In Harry Potter, it's all kinds of love that does it (friendship, romantic, parental, unrequited, sibling, etc etc), but in Narnia, it seems to be limited to Love in a more religious sense--complete faith in Aslan. If you go through the books carefully, you may notice that every character who is painted as immoral is highly untrusting and uses doubt as a tool against other characters. (The Witch trying to get Digory to doubt Aslan and take the fruit for himself/his mother in The Magician's Nephew, the dwarfs in The Last Battle doubting Aslan's existence so fully that they imagine they're still in the stable, though they are inches from Aslan's country, etc etc). What redeems characters is shedding their doubt, and gaining faith in Aslan. (Edmund and Eustace are prime examples of this.) In Harry Potter, the love of Lily Potter that runs through Voldemort's veins (since he took Harry's blood in GoF) coupled with remorse is his chance for redemption. Love (though different kinds) is what conquers evil in both of these books, and love is what can save you.

Some differences:
Narnia seems to be written for a slightly younger audience. I love young adult literature, so that's not a problem, but it does make a notable difference: The Last Battle and Deathly Hallows can hardly be compared in terms of reading level.

Narnia is a lot more utopian than the wizarding world. A lot of the descriptions of Narnia make it sound absolutely perfect, and although I would give an arm and a leg to go to Hogwarts, the place has its flaws. Most of the problems in the Narnia stories come from the outside (the White Witch, the Calormenes, the other witch who takes Rilian [is she the same witch? I don't remember that...], Uncle Andrew, etc). Narnians themselves aren't usually the problem (a notable exception being The Last Battle where many Narnians lose faith--and thus lead to the end of Narnia, and not being accepted into Aslan's country). The problems in the wizarding world are mostly from the wizarding world (Dark Magic is an aspect of magic, not a separate art).

And of course, there is the use of magic itself. Narnia being a highly religious text makes it this not surprising, but the children never use magic (as far as I can remember). It's reserved for Aslan--and those who use it otherwise are either evil (the Witch) or magical creatures in their own right (Centaurs, and the Stars in Dawn Treader). These books would never tempt children into using magic, which I'm sure appeased many of the religious people who dislike Harry Potter for just that reason. In Harry Potter, humans take saving the world into their own hands using magic that could be considered sacrilegious; in Narnia, the good magic is reserved almost solely for the deity.

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Old August 11th, 2011, 7:30 am
Nnylarak  Female.gif Nnylarak is offline
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Re: Harry Potter and Narnia: Magic, Morals, and More

I love Narnia and Harry Potter. However, I don't know if I could choose one over the other, because I like them for different reasons.

Narnia was my first love, and I read the Chronicles dozens of times before I met Harry Potter. What I like about Narnia is the world Lewis introduces us to. This may be because it was the first fantasy world I entered, but I love the nymphs and talking animals, Cair Paravel and the lamppost. Narnia's plots are good, yes, but I enjoy the way each book introduces us to new places, different people, lovely adventures, and differnt mythical creatures.

Conversely, what I love about Harry Potter is the plot. I love that you never know what is going to happen, and that Rowling can keep me on my toes. It's very difficult to fool me in a story, but Rowling manages to do it a few times. And, of course, with the amazing plot comes the depth of character that is revealed as the books progress. Narnia just can't compare in those areas.

I think what I love most about the world of Narnia is its accessibility to the reader. I can be in denial for years about how long my Hogwarts acceptance letter is taking to get to me, but eventually I will have to accept that I am a muggle. With Narnia, I can forever imagine that the next pretty archway I walk through will take me to an enchanted world. And that's something that reality can't take from me

Why compare them? They both provide the imagination with endless adventure, and open our eyes to wonderful life lessons.


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Old September 8th, 2011, 1:10 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and Narnia: Magic, Morals, and More

I loved reading both series and thought that they had similar morals of good vs evil.
However, I think that HP went into a great more detail delving into the individual characters and how their personal backgrounds shaped them - for example, we are told how Ron always received hand-me-downs from his brothers, how he felt he was the less gifted out of them, how Mrs Weasley had desired a daughter...etc and we can relate all of these personal circumstances to the times when he fell out with Harry (during the Triwizard tournament and in the Deathly Hallows). So I think it is this greater depth of detail about the main characters which made us sympathise and rejoice with them in the bad and good times, effectively making us readers feel that we were on the same journey with them.
Don't get me wrong - I love The Narnia chronicles too, but personally I found the story line quite confusing at times especially between each book whereas HP flowed on easily.

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