Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle and Eternity

Christian Fantasy God

During last week’s blog tour, I spent some time reading through Jonathan Roger’s blog, and I stumbled across a post discussing least favorite Narnia books. The responses intrigued me, because it seemed that by far, The Last Battle came in as top contender for least favorite of the series.

Of course, everyone had different reasons, but two of the most common were the grim nature of the story (for much of the time, things go from bad to worse) and, surprising to me, the fact that the book deals with infinity. Several people mentioned a dislike of thinking on or reading about eternity–that it unsettles them in an unpleasant way. Thus the dislike of the tale, which is intimately concerned with the end of the old Narnia and the beginning of the new Narnia which stretches into eternity.

Needless to say, these results stirred some thoughts of my own, but also a great curiosity regarding what others have to say on these subjects. So I have some questions for you.

Did you enjoy The Last Battle? If so, why? If not, why? Do you have a favorite/least favorite Narnia title?

Does fiction dealing with eternity put you off? Does the idea of eternity intimidate you or intrigue you? Is there value in fiction exploring this aspect of life?

I’m very interested to hear your thoughts on these matters, so I hope you share. I’ll be chiming in with my own thoughts later on in the comments or in a subsequent post.


  • Anna
    December 13, 2010 - 5:48 pm · Reply

    To be honest, I was very surprised to find so many disliked The Last Battle. It has long been my favorite. Yes, heart wrenching, and I suppose even depressing during evil’s seeming triumph, but how wonderfully the valor of the heroes is displayed against the backdrop–the passing of Narnia from one age to a new, infinitely more glorious one. The cries of higher up and further in as they all rush onward to Aslan’s country gripped my heart. The thought of eternity is often unnerving; my complete in ability to think outside time makes it all the more. But that’s precisely why I feel the need for this sort of story…allegory can slip into places in my soul that reality sometimes cannot touch. Through Lewis’ stirring work, I see a picture of eternity in it’s true light–unendingly glorious, with the goodness of God unceasingly before us in everything we touch.

  • Elizabeth Wells
    February 8, 2011 - 9:49 am · Reply

    As a child The Last Battle was my least favourite story. Somehow, as I have grown up it has become one of my favourites.
    yes, it is miserable a lot of the way through – but once you know that the end of the story really *is* the end – the end of the misery that is, and the beginning of the true story, with joy and happiness, well, it has grown on me and I love the end!

    • Sarah Sawyer
      February 8, 2011 - 5:08 pm · Reply

      Oh yes, the end stuns me with its beauty every time! I can see how the book would grow on you as you got older.

      I had a similar experience with Lewis’s Space Trilogy. The first time I read them (when I was fairly young), I didn’t really enjoy them, but the second time around it was almost like they were different books…both thought-provoking and interesting to read.

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