Doctor Cornelius

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Bio Info

Titles: Doctor Cornelius, Lord Cornelius, Lord Chancellor Cornelius

Age: Unknown, but certainly elderly

Species: Half-human, half-dwarf

Home: Miraz's Castle, Cair Paravel

Physical Description: Small and fat, with a long, silvery, pointed beard that comes down to his waist, a brown face covered with wrinkles, and an appearance of being very wise, ugly, and kind

Tools: Books, small magic, and a pen and ink

First Appearance: Prince Caspian, Ch. 4 (1951)


Appearances

~ Prince Caspian ~ (1951)

Doctor Cornelius is Prince Caspian's tutor while Caspian lives in his uncle King Miraz's castle. During the tutoring sessions Cornelius teaches Caspian about Old Narnia, although Miraz has forbidden it. One night during an astronomy lesson, Cornelius reveals that he is half-human and half-dwarf, and tells Caspian of his hopes that Caspian will restore Narnia to its former state when he becomes king. When Cornelius learns that Queen Prunaprismia has had a son, he knows that Miraz will kill Caspian. Cornelius wakes Caspian and helps him to flee the castle, giving him Queen Susan's magic Horn. Several days later, Cornelius finds Caspian and the Old Narnians at the Dancing Lawn by using a little bit of magic. He warns them to flee to Aslan's How and fight Miraz's army there. After many unsuccessful battles against the Telmarines, Cornelius convinces Caspian to blow Susan's Horn to receive aid. Later on, though disappointed by the Horn's apparent failure to bring help, Cornelius still stands against Nikabrik's scheme to bring the White Witch back from the dead to defeat Miraz for them. After the arrival of the Pevensies, Cornelius writes Peter's letter of challenge to Miraz. During the duel, he wraps Peter's wounded arm. Cornelius is present to witness the Telmarines' and Pevensies' return to Earth as well as Caspian's coronation.

~ The Last Battle ~ (1956)

Doctor Cornelius is there to welcome the friends of Narnia at the final reunion.




About Doctor Cornelius

Cornelius is one of the few scholarly characters in the Chronicles. He has a dual identity as well; as a half-human, half-dwarf, he must conceal his Dwarfish heritage in Telmarine Narnia. But rather than forsake his history, Cornelius turns his scholarship to the problem of reconstructing even a piece of the Old Narnia. He spends his youth looking for Queen Susan's legendary Horn, and is successful in his search. Cornelius is a staunch believer in the old tales of the Golden Age of Narnia and Aslan, the Great Lion. Though he is not a warrior, Cornelius' contribution to the war is absolutely essential, as he saves Caspian's life and also provides the intellectual basis for the Old Narnian rebellion. All that Cornelius has hoped and worked for is fulfilled when Caspian takes the throne of Narnia.


Quotes

  • "Listen. All you have heard about Old Narnia is true. It is not the land of Men. It is the country of Aslan, the country of the Waking Trees and Visible Naiads, of Fauns and Satyrs, of Dwarfs and Giants, of the gods and the Centaurs, of Talking Beasts. It was against these that the first Caspian fought." (PC, Ch. 4)
  • "You may well ask why I say them at all. But I have two reasons. Firstly, because my old heart has carried these secret memories so long that it aches with them and would burst if I did not whisper them to you. But secondly, for this: that when you become King you may help us, for I know that you also, Telmarine though you are, love the Old Things." (PC, Ch. 4)
  • "Sometimes I have thought I heard a Dwarf-drum in the mountains. Sometimes at night, in the woods, I thought I had caught a glimpse of Fauns and Satyrs dancing a long way off; but when I came to the place, there was never anything there." (PC, Ch. 4)
  • "Your Kings are in deadly fear of the sea because they can never quite forget that in all stories Aslan comes from over the sea." (PC, Ch. 4)
  • "What friend have I in the wide world except your Majesty?" (PC, Ch. 5)
  • "That is the greatest and most sacred treasure of Narnia. Many terrors I endured, many spells did I utter, to find it, when I was still young. It is the magic horn of Queen Susan herself which she left behind her when she vanished from Narnia at the end of the Golden Age." (PC, Ch.5)
  • "By the Lion, it's a mouse. Signior Mouse, I desire your better acquaintance. I am honoured by meeting so valiant a beast." (PC, Ch. 7)


Portrayals

  • Vincent Grass: Disney/Walden Prince Caspian, 2008

Born: 9 January 1949






  • Tenniel Evans: Focus on the Family Radio Theater, 1999 – 2002


  • Henry Woolf: BBC TV series, 1988 – 1990







  • Tom Wilkinson: BBC Radio Tales of Narnia
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