Queen Helen

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Contents

Bio Info

Titles: Nellie the Cabman's wife, Queen Helen

Age: A young woman

Species: Daughter of Eve

Home: London, England; Narnia

Physical Description: Nellie has a kind honest face when she first arrives in Narnia, even though it is clear she has worked hard in her short life. But when she is crowned Queen Helen of Narnia, she is very beautiful with flowing robes and a gold crown set with emeralds.

First Appearance: The Magician's Nephew, Ch. 11 (1955)


Appearances

~ The Magician's Nephew ~ (1955)

Nellie lives with her husband Frank the Cabby in London. One day when Nellie is in the middle of the washing, she is whisked away to Narnia to be with Frank, who had been pulled there some hours earlier. Nellie arrives in Narnia with suds from the washing still on her arms. As soon as she appears, Aslan announces that Frank and Nellie are to be the first King and Queen of Narnia. Of course, Nellie is stunned by this. After Aslan outlines the duties of the throne, the couple decides to accept. At their coronation, Aslan crowns Nellie as Queen Helen, the first Queen of Narnia.


~ The Last Battle ~ (1956)

Queen Helen is there to welcome the friends of Narnia at the final reunion.




About Queen Helen

Nellie is a simple and kind young woman whose country upbringing has given her a wholesomeness that life in London cannot quite erase. Nellie is perceptive and sensitive to the needs of others, as shown when she notices that Polly wants to go on the quest with Digory. Despite her innate humility, Nellie is not afraid to speak up when she sees Polly's unspoken wish. At the coronation, Aslan's use of Nellie's full name, Helen, is a subtle indication of her new and dignified position as Queen of Narnia.


Inspiration

Though Lewis never discussed the specific inspiration for the character of Helen, parallels can be drawn between this young woman and Eve, the first woman of the Genesis account. Both Helen and Eve are charged by their respective deities to care for the animals on a very personal level, and to help rule creation wisely. Lewis' choice of the name Helen itself was likely a nod to Joy Gresham, whose first name was Helen.


Quotes

  • "If you please, sir, I think the little girl would love to go too, if it weren't no trouble." (MN, Ch. 12)


Portrayals

  • Polly March: Focus on the Family Radio Theater, 1999 – 2002
  • Syd Ralph: BBC Radio Tales of Narnia
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