Chief and the Dufflepuds

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Bio Info

Titles: Duffers, Monopods, Dufflepuds

Age: Various

Species: Duffers (simple dwarfs) enchanted into Monopods (creatures with a single giant foot)

Home: The Magician Coriakin's Island

Physical Description: Their bodies are shaped like small dwarfs, but they have one large leg attached to a giant foot. When they lie on their backs with their foot above their head to provide shade, they look a bit like giant mushrooms.

Tools: A single giant foot

First Appearance: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Ch. 9 (1952)


Appearances

~ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader ~ (1952)

The simple Duffers live as servants to the Magician Coriakin. Their Chief is always leading them into harebrained schemes, like planting boiled potatoes to save time cooking them when they dig them up. One day they refuse to do what Coriakin asks, and so the Magician makes them all "ugly" (or at least that's what they think of the change). The Duffers decide to take matters into their own hands and sneak into the Magician's house to find the spell that will change them back to the way they were. But they run out of time, and the Chief's daughter Clipsie has to say an invisibility spell instead. They remain invisible until Lucy and the rest of the Dawn Treader crew arrives. The Duffers know that the spell to make them visible again has to be read by a girl, but they are not willing to send Clipsie upstairs again. The Duffers demand that Lucy read the spell to make them visible again, or they will kill the entire Dawn Treader crew. After Lucy agrees, the Duffers become much more pleasant and invite everyone into the house for dinner. The following day, Lucy reads the spell and it reveals that the "uglified" Duffers are now Monopods, creatures with one giant foot. Lucy tries to convince them that they are not ugly, and almost succeeds before the Chief mixes up her words and the silly Monopods believe him instead. But they are all very happy to be visible again, and Reepicheep teaches them how to paddle around in the sea using their giant feet as boats. When the Monopods try to remember their new name, they get confused and combine it with their old title of Duffers. And this is how they come to be known as Dufflepuds.


About Chief and the Dufflepuds

The Dufflepuds are some of the funniest characters in the Chronicles of Narnia. They are very good-natured, simple creatures who idolize their Chief and feel ill-used because Coriakin makes them grow their own food. They have a trick of making obvious statements and then loudly agreeing with one another, and this provides comic relief for Lucy's perilous quest upstairs in the Magician's house. Although Clipsie is brave, the rest of the Dufflepuds have no compunctions about admitting their cowardice. Yet despite all their silliness, they are still endearing characters, and it's not hard to see why Coriakin speaks of them affectionately.


Inspiration

While no direct inspiration is known for the Dufflepuds, it seems reasonable to see the characters as a loving parody of humankind. Their doglike devotion to the Chief, their cheerful cowardice, their stubbornness, and their foolish ideas are all human traits that have been harshly satirized by many authors. Lewis points out these foibles without bitterness, choosing instead to focus on the funny side of the creatures and delight his readers with their silliness.


Quotes

  • "That's right, that's right," said the Chief Voice. "You don't see us. And why not? Because we're invisible."

"Keep it up, Chief, keep it up," said the Other Voices. "You're talking like a book. They couldn't ask for a better answer than that." (VDT, Ch. 9)

  • "Why, bless me, if I haven't gone and left out the whole point," said the Chief Voice.

"That you have, that you have," roared the Other Voices with great enthusiasm. "No one couldn't have left it out cleaner and better. Keep it up, Chief, keep it up." (VDT, Ch. 9)

  • "Ah, you've come over the water. Powerful wet stuff, ain't it?" (VDT, Ch. 10)
  • "That's what we are," they bellowed, "Moneypuds, Pomonods, Poddymons. Just what it was on the tips of our tongues to call ourselves." (VDT, Ch. 11)


Portrayals

  • Roy Billing (Chief): Fox/Walden The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 2010







  • Bernard Cribbins (Chief): Focus on the Family Radio Theater, 1999 – 2002
  • Chris Emmett (Duffer): Focus on the Family Radio Theater, 1999 – 2002
  • Kenny Baker (Chief): BBC TV series, 1988 – 1990
  • Jack Purvis (Dufflepud): BBC TV series, 1988 – 1990
  • Jonathan Tafler (Chief): BBC Radio Tales of Narnia
  • Stephen Critchlow, Becky Hindley (Duffers): BBC Radio Tales of Narnia
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