Centaurs were a race of highly intelligent, loyal and honourable creatures that existed in Narnia.
They appeared human from the abdomen up to the head, while the rest of their body was that of a horse. The horse part of them was described as resembling that of a huge English farm horse, and the human part like stern but beautiful giants.
Centaurs had long life-spans, some living up to two hundred years. They were the only race that could interpret the dance of the Stars, which gave them foresight into certain events of the future, hence they were known for waking up before it gets light. They were great warriors, and were known to be among the most important soldiers in Aslan's Army.
Oaten cakes, apples, herbs, wine, and cheese formed the staple of a Centaur's diet. Centaurs had two stomachs, one of a horse and one of a man, so they had to fill both of these stomachs, making inviting a Centaur over for the week-end a serious thing. Their breakfast might include porridge, pavendors, kidneys, bacon, an omelette, cold ham, toast, marmalade, coffee and beer. They then graze for an hour before eating hot mash, some oats and a bag of sugar.
Centaurs were considered excellent strategists, and were most likely to be good at knowing how to kill someone who was riding on a horse.
No one would dare laugh at a Centaur, and no one who valued his life would dare try to put a saddle on one.
Out of all the creatures of Narnia, they were the most respected. So much so that even the king and queen of Archenland came all the way personally from their country so that one of them could bless their newborn sons.
The Centaurs were part of every army in Narnia that was dedicated to Aslan and Narnia's freedom, from Aslan's Army that fought against the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Disney movie), to the Old Narnians who fought against the Telmarines in Prince Caspian (Film).
In both armies, there was at least one Centaur who served as the General. During the Winter Revolution, Aslan's general was the Centaur Oreius, and during the Narnian Revolution, Caspian X had one named Glenstorm as his.
One of Glenstorm's own sons sacrificed himself in the Telmarine Castle Night Raid when he became trapped within the castle courtyard, and was slaughtered with the rest. Instead of being afraid, though, he was more concerned about everyone else escaping, giving a perfect example of a Centaur's bravery and courage.
There were no female Centaurs mentioned in the books, but they did star in the Disney adaptions. They were sometimes called Centauresses, and have been depicted to be great archers.
In the films, the human face of a Centaur is slightly more horse-like, with long horse's ears, sometimes no eyebrows, and bigger noses.
Animated Film Adaption
Centaurs look exactly as they are described in traditional myths, and fight on the side of Aslan, in the animated adaption of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
There were no named Centaurs in the film, but a few had some lines, including one who shouted his anger at losing the Witch when she disappeared after he and several other Narnians rescued Edmund from her, and another who allowed Edmund to ride him while they escaped.
At the end of the film, two Centaurs were stationed outside Cair Paravel as sentry guards.
- Ironhoof, Suncloud & Rainstone
- Lightning Bolt (films)
- Oreius (films)
- Windmane (films)
Notable Centaur Moments
- The Pevensies first encountered Centaurs during their first adventure in Narnia. The Centaurs were loyal to Aslan, and pledged to fight against the forces of the White Witch, who was the ruler of Narnia during the Long Winter. After the First Battle of Beruna, the Centaurs continued in loyal service under the rule of the High King Peter, King Edmund, Queen Susan and Queen Lucy.
- During the Pevensies' and King Lune's reign, in the Golden Age of Narnia, an old and wise Centaur, who was also a prophet, blessed Archenland's twin princes Cor and Corin at birth. He foretold that Cor was destined to one day save Archenland from the greatest danger it had ever known.
- Many years later, when Shasta (aka Cor) finally returned to Archenland and fulfilled his destiny by saving it from the Calormen, many Centaurs joined the Narnian army that aided King Lune, Prince Corin and the Archenlanders against Prince Rabadash and the Calormenes of Calormen, in the Battle of Anvard.
- When King Peter, King Edmund, Queen Susan and Queen Lucy returned to Narnia during the Narnian Revolution, the Centaurs remained loyal to Caspian X to fight against his evil Uncle Miraz, the cruel ruler of Narnia, and his army of Telmarines. For Queen Susan, this was the last time she would enter Narnia. For King Peter, this was the last time he would fight in Narnia, but he would return again at the end of it.
- At the end of the quest to find Prince Rilian, Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole rode on the backs of two Centaurs, as they returned to Cair Paravel; a rare and almost unheard of honour.
- In the last days of Narnia, Centaurs fought in the Battle of Stable Hill against the Calormene army.
- Susan did not ride a Centaur in the written Chronicles, though Eustace and Jill did. It is possible that Edmund may have ridden one when he was rescued from the White Witch, although he may have ridden another animal like a unicorn or a deer.
- Centaurs are not mentioned in The Magician's Nephew, so it is unclear if they were later creations of Aslan or something else. Because they are shown as completely devoted to Aslan, it is doubtful that they came into being by some other way, other than by Aslan. It is possible that they were created at Narnia's beginning, only Lewis probably failed to mention them in passing. Other creatures not mentioned at Narnia's beginning are merpeople, giants, unicorns, and creatures that sided with the White WItch.
- Female Centaurs (Centauresses) are never mentioned in the books, only in the films.
- Centaurs originally come from Greek Mythology, and were known as being wild, violent and lustful, with the exception of the noble Chiron []. He developed the art of stargazing, believed that certain aspects of the future could be deciphered from them, and was also a skilled healer. It was from Chiron that C.S. Lewis based the Centaurs of Narnia from.
- The word, Centaur, is deriven from the original Greek word, Kentauros, and is generally regarded as of obscure origin, though in myth the name is based on Centaurus, who was said to be the father of the Centaur race.