Confused about the Narnia Book Reading Order?

The Chronicles of NarniaWe’ve written in the past about the Narnia Reading Order, and you can read it at that link.  However, glumPuddle has just completed a video series about the reading order that also goes in depth on the topic, and asked us to share it with you.

In these videos he has a ton of evidence for why the original publication order is the ideal way to read the books on your first time through them.

However, with that evidence means there are a ton of spoilers for the material.

Here’s the description from the first video:

Which of the CHRONICLES OF NARNIA should be read first? Is ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ #1 or #2? Why are there two different orders? Which order works better? What did the author have to say? All these questions and more will be answered in this series.

This first video is just a basic overview of why two orders exist. Two more videos will follow.

Publication order:
1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
2. Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia (1951)
3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)
4. The Silver Chair (1953)
5. The Horse and His Boy (1954)
6. The Magician’s Nephew (1955)
7. The Last Battle (1956)

“Chronological” Order:
#1 The Magician’s Nephew
#2 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe*
#3 The Horse and His Boy*
#4 Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia
#5 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
#6 The Silver Chair
#7 The Last Battle

*HHB actually takes place during LWW, not after.

C.S. Lewis (“Jack”) died on November 22, 1963, just over thirteen years after publishing the first Narnia book.


11 Responses to “Confused about the Narnia Book Reading Order?”

  1. DanielR says:

    Thanks for posting this. Awesome :) God bless!

  2. Not Of This World says:

    I’ve always liked reading it in chronological order, though glumPuddle does bring up some good points. I think that I agree with what Lewis said about it doesn’t really matter what order you read it in.

  3. Spare-Oom says:

    there’s also the written order:
    1)The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1948)
    2)Prince Caspian (1949)
    3)The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1950)
    4)The Horse and His Boy (1950)
    5)The Silver Chair (1951)
    6)The Last Battle (1953)
    7)The Magician’s Nephew (1954)

    however, C.S.L. wanted to read TcoN in chronological order…..

    p.s.: great points glumpuddle!

    • The Doctor says:

      C. S . Lewis, in that letter said he agrees with chronological order, however he was talking about rereading the books. Lewis was alive for I think 6 years after he published the last book, if he preferred chronological order so much more than publication he would have changed it. I think if Lewis knew that the letter he was writing to a child would determine what order the chronicles would be read in for years to come he would have worded things different. I read PC first then the rest in pub. order. Plus I know many people who have read MN first, thought it was boring, so they quit reading after that book. In MN Lewis writes in a way in which he assumes you’ve read the other books already. This is only part 1 of glumpuddle’s series so go watch the rest on youtube before you decide.

      • Paul Martin says:

        Actually, this is a playlist that will play all three. :-) Or so I thought..

      • Spare-Oom says:

        sorry about that. I too was referring to the letter from a kid named Laurence (if I’m not mistaken)….

        however, when I read Narnia for the first time, I’ve read PC first then LWW,HHB,VDT,SC,MN and LB last…. But Narnia can be read in jumbled order. Chronological for time sequence, publication-recommended, and all other orders can do….

  4. cja says:

    The publication order would suggest that the next book for filming should be The Silver Chair. It is also worth pointing out (if my memory is correct) that C S Lewis was awarded the prestigious Carnegie Medal for Children’s Literature after the publication of The Last Battle. I was actually very impressed by The Last Battle but that is probably because I do not read a great deal of fiction (although I will make an exception for C S Lewis). If you want to read something in chronological order perhaps I can suggest the NIV Harmony of the Gospels, published in 1988?

  5. I read The Horse and His Boy first. I was just bored and seen it laying around so I read it. It was a good read. Order is okay, but any book will get you hooked to Narnia.

  6. AlwaysNarnian says:

    These are such great points. C.S. Lewis was rather brilliant! I find it very true- that Lewis would have been wasting his time in LWW building up this character of Aslan if someone has already read MN first. Excellant job, glumPuddle!

  7. Queen Helen says:

    Just a random comment (and yes, I haven’t been on this sight in a while), I was browsing the list of Oscar nominees for this year, and I saw that both Howard Berger and Tami Lane (who won back in 2006 for LWW) were up for Best Make-Up and Hairstyling once again – albeit for two different films. Howard is nominated for his work on the film Hitchcock, while Tami is nominated for the first Hobbit movie. (My personal pick to win is the third nominee, Les Miserables, but that’s just me). Hopefully we’ll be seeing a Narnia alumni winning tomorrow night!

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