[personal profile] gmtaslash


I went into this project thinking it would be reasonably straightforward. I was wrong. But then again it wasn't as complicated as you'd think given there really don't appear to be any other maps around that don't contradict the books. And I didn't have to stomp up and down on canon much to make it fit how landforms work, and neither did I have to sacrifice reality (as much as an imaginary world has any kind of reality) for the sake of canonical accuracy. I'm pleased with how this turned out, but not so pleased that if someone finds a mistake I won't prostrate myself at their feet in gratitude and amend/annotate the map ASAP.

I've mapped in miles, seeing as that's the unit of measurement that the Pevensies (and Lewis) would have used. If my maths is wrong, please tell me!

The contour lines on the map are 500ft, and are a rough guide only.

The time period that I've mapped is ... tricky. For the Narnia-Ettinsmoor portions of the map, they are mapped as during the reign of Caspian X. However, the extreme western portions (Lantern Waste-Beaversdam-Aslan's How/Stone Table) have been mapped using distances estimated from 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', because that's the only book they're really mentioned in. Cauldron Pool to Beaversdam is mapped from (loosely) 'The Last Battle', and Tashbaan-Archenland is taken from 'The Horse and his Boy', unsurprisingly. I wanted to map all the way to the south coast and Arsheesh's hut, but that would have left me with a map nearly double the length and entirely featureless on its bottom half. So I didn't. However the southern coast of Calormen will play an interestingly important part in my theoretical considerations of the geology of Narnia, so stay tuned for another post on that subject.

Starting in the south, then, at the city of Tashbaan:

Tashbaan is described as a large city on an island between two rivers (THAHB ch.4). I've depicted it as a spit of land in between two branches of a bifurcated river, and have placed it on the coast, which is not *contrary* to the books but I suspect not what Lewis intended, because the Splendour Hyaline is evidently docked in Tashbaan (THAHB ch. 4) and is a galleon, which is a large ship, and I doubt that it could navigate a river very far upstream (although I am happy to be corrected, as with any of this). To the north we are told lies the desert, and the Tombs of the Ancient Kings are to the west (THAHB ch. 6). Mount Pire, which is a distinctive double-peaked mountain, is to the northwest of Tashbaan (THAHB ch.5).
Aravis, Shasta, Bree and Hwin cross the desert at the walk and at the trot (THAHB ch..9); I've estimated that they would divide their time between half-hour long trots and fifteen minute walks, (Bree says 'brisk trots and short walks') with the humans walking too, based on Lewis's description of their progress. They do this for a total of 24 hrs (from sunset to sunrise and then to the next sunset). My calculations follow (and I apologise for the cumbersome method by which I cudgel my brain into doing mathematics):

24hrs = 36 half hours (18hrs) and 24 quarter hours (6hrs).

18 hrs at 12mph (estimated average trotting speed of a horse according to Wikipedia) = 216 miles
6 hrs at 3 mph (estimated average walking speed of a horse according to Wikipedia is 4 mph but the humans will be walking too and average human walking speed is 3mph) = 18 miles

Total; 234 miles from Tashbaan to the stream valley near Mt. Pire.

The next day they set off at somewhere around 11am (it is described as being late morning) (THAHB ch.9), and the stream they are following joins the east-flowing Winding Arrow, with the Archenland mountains beyond. The pass is due north (THAHB ch.10) From the description it appears they reach the Hermit by early afternon, and much of their travelling was done at the walk (and uphill) (THAHB ch.10), although the last section, which appears to have been short, was at the gallop, in order to avoid the lion. Average galloping speed for a horse is 25-30 mph, but I doubt that they galloped for more than half an hour at the most, and walking for, say, three hours gives us a rough total, altogether, of the distance from the Winding Arrow to the Hermit as say 20-25 miles. Shasta then runs for a period of time, probably not too long, until he finds King Lune at mid-afternoon (say 3pm) upon which he is given a horse . They travel at a reluctant and halting walk until after dark (THAHB ch.11), probably around 8pm, which is 5 hours at 3 mph (again I reduce the speed because the horse is hardly going smoothly or obediently) = 15 miles. Over the course of the night they make it into Narnia. My total estimate of distance between the confluence of the unnamed stream and the Winding Arrow past Anvard into Narnia is around fifty miles.

The border between Archenland and Narnia is a bit of an uncertainty, unfortunately, but moving northwards and up the coast we eventually hit the Glasswater. I estimate that the journey from Cair Paravel to the mouth of the Glasswater was 8 hrs - they had breakfast at 9am, then Trumpkin told a long story. I'll be charitable and estimate that they left the island at 11am, and they were paddling up the Glasswater by twilight (PC ch.8), which as it appeared to be summer I'll assume was around 7.30-8.00pm. As they are all not used to rowing and either not fully grown or just short, their rowing speed probably wasn't in excess of 3 knots, or 3.5mph, giving us a distance of 28 miles along the coast from Cair Paravel to Glasswater.

The Glasswater is a bit of a pain in the rump for me, because it is described as a creek (PC ch.8 'Glasswater Creek'), and yet it is both deep enough to row a boat up, (a boat containing four children and a dwarf, no less) and long enough to reach from the coast to within fifteen miles of Aslan's How (see below). Hardly a small watercourse, in that case.

From the place they leave the Glasswater to Aslan's How is described by Edmund as being only a three-hour journey when the Rush was a little stream that was easily crossed. If we assume that the distance hasn't changed much and they were adults at this point, on a brisk walk/march, say 4mph, giving us 12 miles distance from the Glasswater to the How. But then again rivers move, Edmund might have been mistaken in his memory ... so I'm being generous and giving them fifteen miles to play with, and the Rush running between the two. However the Glasswater and the Rush are never described as being tributaries or branches of each other (though the Rush is a tributary of the Great River), and so I did not give them a confluence, preferring instead to keep them separate.

In PC (ch.8) it is stated that Beruna to Aslan's How is half a day's travel (I take that to mean six hours, based on my own tramping experience), at 3mph, probably about 18 miles. Then from Beruna to Cair Paravel is 'a day and a bit' (PC ch.8). Given that a day's walking is probably, at most, 7am til 6pm or 11hrs, this suggests to me that Beruna to Cair Paravel would be 18hrs. At 3mph, this gives us a distance of 54 miles.

West from Aslan's How we have to delve into LWW for distances; Peter, Susan, Lucy and the Beavers make their way from the Beavers' dam (which I've taken as the site of Beaversdam in PC for what I think are reasonably transparent reasons) in roughly a day's journey (LWW ch.8) - they leave probably around 4.30pm based on the fact that Edmund notes that they started dinner at 3.00pm, and arrive at sunset the next day, which I would take to be 6.00pm at the latest given it's winter. I'd estimate they took around six hours out to sleep and meet Father Christmas, leaving 19.5 hrs for walking in. Given short-legged Beavers and young Lucy, I'd give them an average pace of 2mph, giving us 39 miles from Beaversdam to the How.
The Wardrobe seems to be either on or on the edge of Lantern Waste, and Tumnus' house is very close to this, and very close to the Beavers' dam. I haven't estimated a distance for this, based on too little data, but have assumed that Lantern Waste stretches west from Beaversdam.

In order to get 'the cliffs at the western end of Narnia' (TLB ch.1) I've postulated steep mountains to the west, which are the source of the Great River (well, one source; all the maps I've been able to find show two feeders of the Great River), and Cauldron Pool at the foot of them. Between Cauldron Pool and Beaversdam is an unknown distance, but between them lies the village of Chippingford (TLB ch.1) (not marked on the map for lack of data), and Stable Hill. Lewis appears to have been more preoccupied with metaphor and allegory than geography in the writing of this book, but it can be gathered that Lantern Waste extends at least until Stable Hill and possible past it, and that the Great River flows through them both, and that the distance between the eastern edge of Lantern Waste, where King Tirian had his hunting lodge, and Stable Hill is not long; at best a few hours walk for a man and thus only about 10 miles at most. However due to the lack of workable description in this book (for they hardly move around at all during the narrative), from Beaversdam west the map is largely my own estimation and invention.

(In fact, as an aside, all the mountains in this are my own invention, and are in no way definite. You will however notice that they are arranged in rough groups all lining up roughly northeast. This is because of Geological Reasons which will become apparent at a later date but, briefly, are because I think that the bedrock of Narnia and environs consists of a set of steeply dipping beds of various sedimentary rocks striking northeast and dipping southeast.)

In PC, Miraz's castle is 'west' of Beaversdam and downriver from Lantern Waste, putting it inbetween these two landmarks and south of the Great River (PC ch.4), for when Caspian escapes from his uncle's assassination attempt he at no time crosses the Great River (surely such a thing would have been mentioned, if he did). He gallops south, and it appears that he actually reaches the mountains of Archenland, where he meets the Old Narnians. Dancing Lawn is nearby, presumably in the wooded foothills, though try as I may I cannot ascertain the route that Caspian, Trufflehunter, Trumpkin and Nikabrik took around that area from the narrative. However, from Dancing Lawn they march for what I estimate to be less than ten hours (they set out 'that very night' (which is after dark already) and arrive 'before sunrise') to Aslan's How. If we assume that, as would be sensible, the small and slow members of the party (dwarfs, Mice, etc) were carried by the larger and stronger members of the party (such as Wimbleweather) and therefore postulate a speed of say, 4 or 5mph we have a distance of forty or fifty miles between the foothills of the Archenland mountains and Aslan's How.

Now comes the trickiest part of the map; that which deals with everything north of Cair Paravel and described in The Silver Chair. For a start, to find the distance between Cair Paravel and the marshes on the bank of the River Shribble, I had to estimate the distance that a Talking Owl, large enough to carry a child of thirteen or so on its back (something that is physiologically and aerodynamically unlikely anyway) could fly in one night. I wrestled with this for some time before coming to the conclusion a) that the largest birds that can fly tend to be around 10-11ft in wingspan and up to 16kg in weight (and none of them are owls, so I didn't have a lot to work with there) b) that that's still not large enough to carry a child of that age at all, let alone in flight (it's all about power-to-weight ratios, people, and anyone suggesting they carried the children on lengths of creeper held under the dorsal guiding feathers will be *headdesked* at) and c) Lewis clearly wasn't thinking, I settled on a distance of sixty miles-ish; the implication is that it was a long distance and took all night.

Having dealt with this tricky piece of cartography I then turned my attention to the Shribble itself and Ettinsmoor. Puddleglum's hut is on the south bank of the Shribble, to the west of the Sea. To the north are 'low, pale-coloured hills, in places bastioned with rock' (SC ch.5), and 50 yards (SC ch.6) to the north of the banks of the Shribble is the raised edge of Ettinsmoor (which I hypothesise to be a granite batholith intruding on the softer rocks of Narnia, but I digress). To the west of the point that Puddleglum, Eustace and Jill choose to cross is a stream that flows off the moor and feeds the Shribble. It takes them roughly ten minutes to scramble up and onto the moor (SC ch.6).

They bear northwest (getting closer all the time to this stream that cuts the bedrock of the moor) and reach it 'mid-morning'. I estimate the distance from the Shribble to this point on the stream as being about six miles or so, given they set off at 9am and, again, probably had an average speed of 3mph.

They continue to bear northwest for a further ten days (SC ch.6) until they hit the edge of Ettinsmoor. Ten days walking for probably twelve hours at 3mph gives us a distance of 360 miles northwest from the Shribble to the edge of Ettinsmoor. They cross the river that marks the edge of it via the giant's bridge, which is at maximum two hours traveling away from the point they originally hit the edge. From the bridge to Harfang it appears to take three to six days; I've taken five as the number for my calculations and assumed they travelled roughly 12 hours a day at 3mph to get 55 miles between the Bridge and Harfang.

Hooray, we've reached the northern edge of the map. Well done for sticking with me all this way.

Date: 2008-12-05 09:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sedri.livejournal.com
This is fascinating. I can't add anything useful from a Narnia-c or geologist point of view, but concerning the terminology of Glasswater: could it have been a creek during the Pevensies' time, and deepend since, similar to (but not as dramatic as) what they showed in the film? Thus the Pevensies could have called it a "creek" despite it no longer fitting that description. Or am I just forgetting too much book stuff here?

In either case, you should be Commended. Capital 'C'. :)

Date: 2008-12-05 10:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agenttrojie.livejournal.com
Well, 1300 years is certainly enough to have carved it deeper into the bedrock, but the length of it is the main problem; a creek tends to be a short watercourse and the Glasswater is really quite long. Meh. It's a terminology issue only, really - the way it's described it patently *isn't* what I know as a creek - so we can just put it down to Lewis not being a geography buff, and move on :)

Somehow I suspect that it's good he didn't spend his time worrying about the geography; it would have distracted him from the story!

Date: 2008-12-05 10:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sedri.livejournal.com
Ah. Consider me informed on the definition of "creek". :)

Date: 2008-12-05 10:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agenttrojie.livejournal.com
No, no, see below for being informed on the definition of creek!

Date: 2008-12-06 12:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenluz.livejournal.com
Ok, I don't mean to butt in completely, but if I'm not mistaken the English and the Americans' have a different definition "creek" if I'm not mistaken. I can't remember for the life of me what they consider a creek but I know its different from what the people in the US call a creek. Perhaps that's the reasoning behind him using the word "creek".

And sorry, no one knows me (Hi, I'm Luz). Like I said, I just stumbled across this. I was looking for Narnia icons and this came up. Glad it did though. :D

Date: 2008-12-06 02:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agenttrojie.livejournal.com
Butting in is Offically Allowed on my LJ :)

In NZ, where I be, a creek is generally a small or even a seasonal body of water, hence my original confusion. But I bow to the OED, the definition in which is probably likely to have been similar to what Lewis meant, anyway, what with him being all English and so forth :)

Date: 2008-12-05 11:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elvenpiratelady.livejournal.com
I downloaded the map, and bow down in the face of your geoledge. You are awesome for taking the time to read through the books looking for geography and puzzling it all out. I'm sure this will be a very valuable contribution to the Narnia fandom. XD

Date: 2008-12-05 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agenttrojie.livejournal.com
I hope so!

Date: 2008-12-05 06:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tea-fiend.livejournal.com
As I've been telling you repeatedly, there is more than one meaning for "creek". Presumably Lewis was using the bigger version. I'll go find you some definitions later, but, really, it does make sense.

The one bit I'd quibble with is the walking speeds you've used for the whole Ettinsmoor bit. A thirteen year old girl on flat land might go at 3 mile an hour, yes. But they're walking for days, and not with the best diet, and not getting the best sleep, and being able to maintain that pace, bearing in mind they're not on the optimum walking surface either, doesn't seem like something Jill'd be able to do. Eustace maybe, since the mystical air of Narnia would bring back the physical strength he gained last time, not that one would gain much physical strength ailing in a hammock for weeks. Anyroad, I think your distance estimates may be slightly on the high side there.

Date: 2008-12-05 10:15 pm (UTC)
ext_36862: (Default)
From: [identity profile] muridae-x.livejournal.com
I'd agree with you about creek. The first definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary is:

"A narrow recess or inlet in the coast-line of the sea, or the tidal estuary of a river; an armlet of the sea which runs inland in a comparatively narrow channel and offers facilities for harbouring and unloading smaller ships."

Which seems to fit Glasswater's situation perfectly. It'd make it narrower than the Great River, and it'd probably be salt water and tidal for much of the distance that they rowed up it, but it'd work.

As for the Splendour Hyaline navigating up a river to Tashbaan... it could easily be as far inland as London is. The biggest obstacle to large shipping getting into Tashbaan would be bridge clearance.

Date: 2008-12-05 10:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agenttrojie.livejournal.com
Okay, I'll leave the 'creek' quibble alone then :)

As to bridge clearance, hmm. We know there are two bridges, on on the south side and one on the north side of Tashbaan, but the book is silent on what lies between Tashbaan and the sea. If the two channels of the river reform on the other side of the island and the river continues on to the sea on the eastern side, then I would suspect that, like the upstream side of the island, the banks would be lined with residences and gardens, etc, and if that was so then I would expect at least a couple of bridges, which *might* impede water traffic, depending of course on their height/s. Another consideration is whether or not a galleon can readily unstep its mast - I'm not au fait with nautical history, so I wouldn't know, but I'd guess that if not, it would make navigating a river with bridges tricky, unless there were movable bridges that could let a tall ship pass in Tashbaan. Thoughts?

Date: 2008-12-05 10:49 pm (UTC)
ext_36862: (Default)
From: [identity profile] muridae-x.livejournal.com
Ah, linguistics. But now you can cite the OED for the likely nature of the river. :-)

There's always the easy option: Tashbaan was built where it was and became Calormen's most prominent city because it was the first place on the river where it was possible to build a bridge, and therefore became the crossing point and centre of trade.

Obviously if the water was deep enough for major shipping to get in and out there'd be no place for a ford further down, but there could definitely be ferries, for those prepared to pay for the convenience of not having to go the long way around.

The harbour's almost certainly on the seaward side of Tashbaan. And I'd imagine you'd not want to unstep your mast, even if it were possible, if you were at all wary of the genuineness of your welcome as the Narnians were, because it doesn't make for a swift exit. They'd have taken the Splendour Hyaline up as far as the first non liftable bridge, and then gone up the rest of the way to their destination by boat.

Date: 2008-12-05 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agenttrojie.livejournal.com
Making Tashbaan like a more successful version of Beruna, I assume? That works, to my mind, as does the ferry idea instead of bridges, because while I'm agreed about the harbour being on the seaward side of Tashbaan, the Narnians plan to act as if they're holding a grand entertainment aboard her in order to look as if they're certainly not planning on skipping the country, and it read to me as if the Splendour Hyaline was docked IN Tashbaan. You can't expect all these Tarkaans to traipse downriver for miles in order to go to a party. Apart from anything else, they might suspect a trap.

Date: 2008-12-05 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sedri.livejournal.com
I think a movable bridge would be feasible, if not necessarily likely. It depends on if Tashbaan commonly has tall traffic moving around; if their own merchant and warships would be as tall and would need to move around the rivers, then yes, it makes perfect sense. If not, if the Hyaline is unusually big, then the problem remains.

Date: 2008-12-05 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agenttrojie.livejournal.com
Would they dock military vessels in the capital city, I wonder?

I like [livejournal.com profile] muridae_x's idea of ferries, instead of bridges; it solves the technological issues of whether or not they could build movable bridges and, providing the river is deep enough to take it, allows the galleon all the way up to Tashbaan, which my reading of The Horse And His Boy suggests they did.

This just leaves the question, then, of whether or not there WAS a river channel to navigate between the sea and Tashbaan (I haven't drawn one in, as you know, but I can put it in if the consensus is that it would have been there), and if it was there, how long would it have been? All of this is, of course, speculation, as Lewis doesn't mention such things, but this isn't the point.

So, what do people think?

Date: 2008-12-05 10:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agenttrojie.livejournal.com
You reckon? So, what, 2mph instead?

I'll recalculate and get back to you on that. Thanks to the joys of CorelDraw I think I can edit the map without having to actually physically redraw it, hurrah.

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