Tumnus

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Bio Info

Title: Mr. Tumnus the Faun

Age: Unknown. Some would argue that Tumnus must be over 100 years old because of the stories he tells Lucy about Narnia before the Hundred-Year Winter. But others have pointed out that Tumnus simply tells these stories and never says he himself was there. It seems like a reasonable assumption that Tumnus is over 100 years old, but the book simply isn't clear, so we don't know for sure.

Species: Faun

Home: A small, dry, clean cave of reddish stone located a little to the east of Lantern Waste in Narnia

Physical Description: From the waist upwards, he is very much like a man. He has curly hair, a short pointed beard, and a "strange but pleasant" little face. His legs are shaped like a goat's with glossy black hair and hoofs instead of feet. He also has a tail, two horns (one on each side of his forehead), and rather reddish skin. He is a little taller than Lucy.

Tools: An umbrella and a pan pipe

First Appearance: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Ch. 1 (1950)


Appearances

~ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ~ (1950)

Tumnus steps into the light of the lamppost on a cold night in Narnia and is very surprised to see a Daughter of Eve, a human girl. After asking some questions, he learns that the girl's name is Lucy, and that she is apparently from "the far land of Spare Oom." As one of the White Witch's paid informers, Tumnus invites Lucy to his cave for tea, where he intends to lull her to sleep and then hand her over to the Witch. But after getting to know Lucy, Tumnus finds that he cannot go through with it. He takes her back secretly to the lamppost and helps her escape back to her world. When Lucy enters Narnia the second time, Tumnus tells her that he does not think the Witch has found out about their meeting. But after she learns everything from Edmund, the Witch sends her secret police led by the Wolf Maugrim to arrest Tumnus and destroy his home. The Witch turns the Faun into stone and he remains in her house until Aslan comes to the Witch's castle to breathe on the statues and restore them to life. At their coronation, the Pevensies shower Tumnus with honors and gifts for his service to Narnia. Years later, in the Golden Age of Narnia, Tumnus brings the news to the Pevensies that the White Stag has been sighted.

~ The Horse and His Boy ~ (1954)

Tumnus travels to Tashbaan in the country of Calormen with King Edmund, Queen Susan, and several other Narnians so that Susan could consider Prince Rabadash's proposal of marriage. When Tumnus walks into the Narnians' lodging in Tashbaan, Shasta (mistaken for Corin) is startled because he has never seen a Faun before. As they discuss Edmund's concerns about Rabadash, Tumnus tells them of a conversation he had with the Grand Vizier in which it was strongly hinted that the Prince has intentions to marry Susan regardless of her answer to his proposal. The Narnians are unsure of how they can safely escape Tashbaan until Tumnus suddenly has an idea. He suggests that they invite Rabadash to a banquet aboard the Narnians' ship, the Splendour Hyaline, so that they can go to their ship without arousing suspicion. Susan sees the brilliance of this plan and says, "Oh Master Tumnus, dear Master Tumnus, you have saved us all." After the plan is agreed upon, Tumnus gives Shasta food and tells him to rest (thinking he was Corin). The company safely escapes Calormen the following evening.

~ The Last Battle ~ (1956)

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




About Tumnus

Even though he only has a few scenes, Mr. Tumnus the Faun is one of the most memorable and iconic characters in the Chronicles. He is the first fantasy creature to be introduced in the seven books, and also the first character to say the word "Narnia." The stories that Tumnus tells Lucy help to fill in the blanks somewhat between where The Magician's Nephew ends and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe begins. One of the things he mentions is that before the hundred-year winter began, Bacchus and Silenus used to visit Narnia, and of course they appear later in Prince Caspian when Narnia is liberated again.


Inspiration

C. S. Lewis' inspiration for the Chronicles of Narnia came from an image he had had in his head since he was 16. It was a faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in snowy wood. "From that simple, but unusual image," Douglas Gresham said, "came the classic story called The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." Perhaps this is the reason Tumnus is one of the most well-described characters in the series.


Quotes

  • "Excuse me—I don't want to be inquisitive—but should I be right in thinking that you are a Daughter of Eve?" (LWW, Ch. 2)
  • "This is the land of Narnia, where we are now; all that lies between the lamp-post and the great castle of Cair Paravel on the eastern sea." (LWW, Ch. 2)
  • "Daughter of Eve from the far land of Spare Oom where eternal summer reigns around the bright city of War Drobe, how would it be if you came and had tea with me?" (LWW, Ch. 2)
  • "Would you believe that I'm the sort of Faun to meet a poor innocent child in the wood, one that had never done me any harm, and pretend to be friendly with it, and invite it home to my cave, all for the sake of lulling it asleep and then handing it over to the White Witch?" (LWW, Ch. 2)
  • "Don't speak to me, don't speak to me. I'm thinking. I'm thinking so that I can hardly breathe." (HHB, Ch. 5)
  • "The further up and the further in you go, the bigger everything gets. The inside is larger than the outside." (LB, Ch. 16)


Portrayals

  • James McAvoy: Disney/Walden The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 2005

Born: 1 January 1979 "Mr. Tumnus was a very difficult character to find. He was basically a character that had to kidnap a little girl, and yet still be likeable. So whoever I cast for the character had to be very warm and likeable on the first meeting. I've often said he's somebody who has a double agenda. I kind of saw him almost like a German living in Nazi Germany discovering a Jewish child and knowing that the propaganda and the government was telling him to do one thing but his internal ethics and morals were telling him to do another thing. When James came to audition, he got the double agenda, it came through his performance and his reading. He had that warm presence that you knew would just come through on the screen." — Director Andrew Adamson



  • Philip Sherlock (voice): Focus on the Family Radio Theater, 1999 – 2002


  • Jeffrey S. Perry: BBC TV series, 1988 – 1990







  • Norman Bird (voice): BBC Radio Tales of Narnia


  • Victor Spinetti/Leslie Phillips (voice): LWW TV animated film, 1979







  • Angus Lennie: LWW TV series, 1967
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