Gumpas

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Bio Info

Title: Governor Gumpas of the Lone Islands

Age: Old

Species: Son of Adam

Home: Narrowhaven, Doorn, the Lone Islands

Physical Description: A bilious-looking man with mostly gray hair that used to be red

First Appearance: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Ch. 4 (1952)


Appearances

~ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader ~ (1952)

Governor Gumpas is sitting in his castle in Narrowhaven when he sees a Narnian ship signalling to the rest of its fleet to make for the cape. No one from Narnia has been to the Lone Islands for over 150 years, and he is not sure if the ships are coming in peace or not. When King Caspian arrives in Narrowhaven and forces his way into Gumpas' chambers, Gumpas has the impudence to tell the Narnian king that he cannot see the governor without an appointment. Lord Bern and Captain Drinian overturn Gumpas' table and Bern speaks roughly to him while Caspian calmly sits in the governor's chair. Caspian calls Gumpas to account for the slave trade he has allowed to flourish on the Lone Islands, and the governor refuses to end it. Gumpas is aghast to learn that the Lone Islands' tribute to Narnia — which has not been paid for 150 years — is due from his own pocket. In the face of Gumpas' sputterings and equivocations, Caspian relieves Gumpas of his post, and the former governor watches as the King makes Lord Bern the Duke of the Lone Islands. Duke Bern then gives Gumpas the choice to leave with or without a flogging. Gumpas leaves ignominiously — but without the flogging.


About Gumpas

Governor Gumpas is a bureaucrat. His wheezy insistence that the king of Narnia follow his rules about appointments and times is very comical, because he clearly does not understand who he is dealing with. Gumpas is cowardly and selfish, and knows nothing but his own little world of petty power and underhanded dealings. But he is also a cunning man who has long profited from the slave trade on the Lone Islands. Gumpas' men are like him: sloppy, slovenly, and disrespectful to the true authority of the Narnian king. In many ways Gumpas and the slaver Pug are two sides of the same coin, both seeking to profit from the suffering of others and the lack of accountability with their Narnian overlords. Gumpas' modern-world bureaucracy is very out of place in the medieval world of Narnia, and he represents what was to Lewis a corrupt and inane system.


Quotes

  • "No interviews without appointments except between nine and ten a.m. on second Saturdays." (VDT, Ch. 4)
  • "Your Majesty's tender years hardly make it possible that you should understand the economic problem involved. I have statistics, I have graphs, I have—" (VDT, Ch. 4)


Portrayals

  • David Vallon: Fox/Walden The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 2010







  • Freddie Jones: Focus on the Family Radio Theater, 1999 – 2002


  • John Quarmby: BBC TV series, 1988 – 1990







  • David Collings: BBC Radio Tales of Narnia
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