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"I was the Queen. They were all my people. What else were they there for but to do my will?"
―Jadis on the people of Charn (Chapter 5) [src]

Queen Jadis was the sole surviving resident and the self-declared final Queen of Charn. She was an extremely powerful sorceress, and was once the most infamous ruler of Narnia.

Originally from the World of Charn, she was accidentally brought to the World of Narnia on the day of its creation. Although she was banished to the North by the Great Lion, Aslan, she returned 900 Narnian-years later, and usurped the throne from the original royal family of Narnia.

As a curse upon her Narnian subjects, she began the Long Winter, magically forcing Narnia into a hundred-year state of frozen snow and ice, which lasted all through her reign, thus earning her the title, the "White Witch". 

Her tyranny eventually evoked the Narnians into a triumphant uprising known as the Winter Revolution.

Biography

Charn

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Jadis' Ancestors, the Royal family of Charn.

Jadis was born into the royal family of the world of Charn, who were said to be part-Jinn and part-Giant. Very little is known about her childhood or early adult life. It was known, however, that she had practiced witchcraft in her own world, and delved into dark magic, far beyond what was considered proper. She discovered a magic spell that her ancestors had hidden long before, strong enough to destroy all living things except the caster. This was known as the Deplorable Word, and was Jadis' greatest weapon.

As a member of the royal family, she became engaged in a global political struggle with her own sister, as the two fought to become Queen of their worldwide empire. At the beginning of this war, there was a clear agreement made between the two that prohibited the use of magic, though, according to Jadis herself, her sister broke this promise. The final battle of the conflict lasted three days, during which Jadis' forces were slaughtered completely by those of her sister until Jadis stood alone within her palace. As her sister climbed the palace terrace toward her, Jadis, rather than surrender, suddenly spoke the Deplorable Word. Charn instantly became a desolate world where all living organisms perished instantly. By default, Jadis became queen.

With no living creatures left to rule over, Jadis placed a spell upon herself that would preserve her sitting statuesquely beside the images of her ancestors in her palace's Hall of Images. She did this on the off chance that someday someone might come from another world, as the spell would last until the occasion when someone rang the small bell located in the Hall.

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Jadis awakened.

In this state she remained for unknown centuries (but possibly a thousand years), until the bell was struck by two human children who had accidentally arrived in her world.
"And the force of those spells was that I should sleep among them, like an image myself, and need neither food nor fire, though it were a thousand years, till one came and struck the bell and awoke me."
―Jadis (Chapter 5) [src]

Upon being awoken, she demanded the name of the magician who had sent for her. The boy who had woken her, Digory Kirke, told her that Andrew Ketterley, his uncle, was a magician from Earth. She also demonstrated her magical power by crumbling an immense and impenetrable black door.

Digory and his companion, Polly Plummer, were then forced to take Jadis back with them to their own world, by a combination of physical force and Jadis's charm to manipulate others, which she used to manipulate Digory.

Journey to Earth

On their journey, they had to travel through the Wood between the Worlds. There, Jadis seemed to suddenly become weaker, as she had difficulty breathing the air, and strangely appeared much uglier and even paler. The three passed on again, and all landed in Earth back at the house of Digory's uncle in England (in the Earth-year 1900). Jadis seemed revitalised, and, upon meeting Andrew, realised that he was only a very minor magician, and his abilities nothing compared to hers.

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Jadis in London.

Andrew succumbed to her wishes in fright, and acted as her slave. Jadis began plotting her takeover of Earth, only to discover that much of her magic would not work there when she attempted unsuccessfully to cast a spell over Digory's Aunt Letty. Nonetheless, she began causing mayhem by mere force and intimidation, causing Letitia Ketterley, in confusion, to contact the local police.

Jadis, meanwhile, had attacked several people, robbed a jewelery store, and announced her intentions of world domination to the people of London, causing tumult. She had also stolen a cab and cabhorse, which she mounted after crashing the cab, using it as a chariot.

As the police closed in, Jadis had pulled an iron bar off of a lamppost and began striking out with it. The fight went on for several minutes until young Digory and Polly, by use of Andrew's magic rings, managed to drag her back into the Wood Between the Worlds. In the process, they inadvertently dragged the cabhorse, the cabdriver, and Uncle Andrew with them.

By another accident, all six were removed from the Wood and carried, not back into Charn, but into yet another new world; the unborn world of Narnia.

Early Narnia

This new world was completely dark when they arrived, but then a voice began to sing, and light appeared along with the Great Lion, Aslan, marking the beginning of Narnian-year 1. The lion's song created life all around them, including grass, trees and flowers growing abruptly from the ground. Jadis, understanding and disturbed by the sight of the dawning of life on a new planet, approached Aslan and hurled the lantern piece at him, though he seemed unaffected as it struck him. The bar landed in the ground, and thus grew into a fresh new lamp-post as if it were a blossoming new tree. Jadis, unable to manipulate the situation any longer, and realising she had arrived in a world that did not yet contain evil, fled, leaving her companions behind in the new world.

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Jadis eating the Apple.

Jadis was indeed the first evil to enter Narnia, and her corruption would impact it for ages to come. Shortly afterwards, she learned that Aslan intended to plant a powerful tree in Narnia that would keep her out of the land, and that Digory was the one chosen to plant the tree. An intrigued Jadis made her own way to the garden containing the tree.

Once there, she plucked and greedily ate a silver apple of the Tree of Youth, thereby acquiring inexhaustible strength and even becoming immortal.

Upon Digory's arrival, she tried to persuade him to not plant the tree that would lead to her banishment; first by encouraging him to eat the fruit himself, telling him that it would grant him everlasting youth and life, and they could control Narnia together. Second, to give the fruit to his dying mother instead, assuring him that it would cure her of her illness.

Digory was able to resist both temptations, and even rebuffed her angrily. After his refusal, Jadis mocked him and immediately set out toward the north, far from Narnia and the Tree of Protection.

Apparently, Aslan had always intended for Jadis to eat from the Tree, as without eating the fruit her banishment would not have worked. Because she had stolen the fruit for herself, instead of being given it, she gained immortality, but at a high price. Cursed for her theft, she would now never know peace or happiness, only misery, and because she was now immortal, that meant that her misery would never end. And it was only after eating the fruit that its presence became a horror to her, repelling her and keeping her away for centuries to come.

For 900 years, Jadis lived in the Wild Lands of the North, biding her time and gathering her forces for a great attack on Narnia. During this time, her witchcraft powers grew consistently stronger, and she even created a new magic wand, which would give her the power to turn anyone into stone. Jadis is known to have worked at other magical spells and inventions during this time as well.

Eventually the Tree of Protection died, and when it did Jadis at last returned to the Kingdom of Narnia, and in the year of 900 she conquered the land and named herself The Queen of Narnia and Empress of the Lone Islands. She immediately put her centuries of magical study to work, fabricating a perpetual climate of snow and ice throughout the Kingdom, which not only oppressed the Narnian citizens, but also ensured that no more silver apple trees could be grown.

The Hundred Year Winter

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Her Imperial Majesty, Jadis, Queen of Narnia.

During the one hundred years of Jadis's reign, the seasons of spring, summer and autumn were extinct during this Long Winter.

She also famously banned the celebration of Christmas, her magic even able to keep Father Christmas out of the land.

Jadis became known among the Narnians as the White Witch, and quickly secured absolute control over the nation, establishing the first Narnian Secret Police, and building herself a palace.

She abolished any judicial system, merely punishing all of her political enemies by turning them into stone, and decorating their statuesque figures in her palace courtyard.

The Witch also banned any humans from Narnia. This was done in retaliation to the Golden Age Prophecy, which stated that she would someday be overthrown by two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve.

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Jadis giving Edmund her food.

In the year 1000, Jadis came upon a young human in Narnia. After inviting him to sit with her, she learned that he was, indeed, one of the children foretold in the prophecy, though he did not yet know it. His name was Edmund Pevensie, and he was the third of four children from the world of Earth. He also informed her that his sister, Lucy, had previously visited Narnia.

Jadis also learned that one of her own spies, a Faun called Tumnus, had been harboring the human girl. By using her witchcraft, she had created some delicious and addictive food to give to Edmund, and, by exploiting his weaknesses, she was able to persuade him to come see her again, and bring with him all of his siblings, so that she could dispose of all of them.

Soon after, Tumnus was arrested by the secret police and turned into stone for his treachery against the Witch.

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Jadis and Edmund.

Edmund and his siblings returned to Narnia, but once young Lucy and her elder siblings, Peter and Susan, discovered that Tumnus was gone, they became very cautious, and instead of going with Edmund to see Jadis, they stopped with a Beaver couple to discuss Tumnus' fate. Edmund then left them to go see Jadis and tell her that he had brought his siblings.

With all her potential victims in place, Jadis took Edmund prisoner and moved to arrest the other three humans. The Beavers, however, had warned them and fled.

At this same time, word began to travel that Aslan, the Great Lion, had returned to Narnia, signaling the end of Jadis' days. The ecstatic Narnians, mostly comprising of talking beasts, inspired by the return of their lord and the leadership of the Pevensies, rose into rebellion in the Winter Revolution

Winter Rebellion

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Jadis makes plans.

The War began in the Spring of the year 1000. Jadis' powers weakened with the return of Aslan and of the spring. Growing desperate, she chose to cut her losses and execute Edmund herself, thus preventing the fateful prophecy from coming completely true. She was interrupted, however, when Narnian soldiers stormed her encampment, which had followed her own soldiers from their retreat at the Battle of Aslan's Camp. Jadis and her personal dwarf escaped by magic, but Aslan's forces still made off with Edmund.

Jadis immediately switched tack to prepare for battle. Having already summoned all her soldiers, she launched a twofold plan; on the one hand, to prepare for an all-out military conflict, and on the other, to negotiate to weaken her enemies before the war. She had one powerful weapon that could be used to the second end; her legal claim over Edmund Pevensie's life, as per the law of The Deep Magic that stated she was entitled to kill any traitor, which included Edmund.

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Jadis in Aslan's Camp.

Jadis traveled to Aslan's camp to present her claim and retake Edmund. Aslan, acknowledging her right, chose to negotiate with her. Unbeknownst to anyone in his own forces, Aslan chose to offer his own life in return. Jadis accepted, and a battle date was set for the following morning.

That night, Jadis and her armies took possession of the high ground at the Stone Table, where she was to sacrifice Aslan.

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Aslan appeared, as planned, and after allowing her forces to humiliate and torture him, Jadis spoke a few words to him in private, reminding him that without his power, the four new kings and queens would never survive. After stabbing him in the heart, she and her armies left to return to camp and arm up.

The following morning, Jadis engaged in combat against the newly made Prince Peter in the First Battle of Beruna. Her wand made her almost invincible, though the Narnians fought well against her. At the height of the conflict, the boy Edmund, now a prince, smashed through several of her guards and destroyed the wand, gravely wounding himself in the process. Shortly thereafter, Jadis engaged in a direct combat with Peter himself. In the midst of their climactic duel, Aslan arrived with reinforcements, having come back to life by his own magic.

Upon arriving, Aslan leapt on Jadis and killed her, finally ending the White Witch's tyranny once and for all. 

War of Deliverance

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Jadis's near return during the Narnian Revolution.

Hundreds of years later, in the Narnian year of 2303 (during the Narnian Revolution), a Hag and a Werewolf, together with the aid of a Black Dwarf named Nikabrik, attempted to coerce Prince Caspian, Doctor Cornelius and the Badger Trufflehunter to resurrect the White Witch. They claimed that witches can never really die, and that they can always be brought back through a dark ritual, via something called the Blue Fire.

Fortunately, the ritual was interrupted before it could even begin, thanks to the intervention of King Peter, King Edmund and the Red Dwarf Trumpkin. There was a brief but bloody battle, during which the Hag, the Werewolf and Nikabrik were all killed, thereby preventing any chance of Jadis's return.

Right to Rule

The White Witch made two false claims that, if true, would have given her authority to rule over Narnia. The first claim was that she was human.

At the beginning of Narnia, Aslan gave "Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve" dominion over all the beasts (non-talking or talking) and magical creatures of Narnia (even though they can and do reproduce with humans, Narnian dwarfs are not considered to be human; they are referred to as "Sons of Earth"). Although the White Witch appears human (despite her unnatural skin colour and above average height), she is of a race that is apparently descended from Adam's first wife, Lilith, and was apparently part-Jinn and part-giant.

Her second claim was that she was a servant of the Emperor-Over-the-Sea and ruled by his and Aslan's blessing. Because she was the first to rebel in Narnia, by the workings of the Deep Magic, she was given ownership and the right to kill all traitors and all those who willingly would follow her. She was in essence the Emperor's hangman, and carried out her executions on the Stone Table. In this way she could represent a Satanic figure, much more so in fact than Narnia's other Satanic figure, Tash.

Characteristics

Physical Appearance

Jadis was seven feet tall and extremely beautiful,[1] with naturally white skin[1] that turned "deathly white, white as salt"[2] after eating an apple from the Tree of Youth, and apparently remained this shade (Edmund later likened it to "snow or paper or icing-sugar"). Her lips were red,[3] and while seated on her chair in the Hall of Images, there was an utterly breathtaking look of "fierceness and pride"[4] on her face, and when he first encountered her in Narnia, Edmund also thought her beautiful, but "proud and cold and stern" as well.

Attire

Judging by an illustration of her and the descriptions in The Magician's Nephew, as the Queen of Charn, Jadis wore an ornate crown and elaborate robes that left her arms bare, and she went barefoot.[5] As the White Witch, she wore a golden crown and layers of white fur that covered her up to the throat.[3]

Powers and Abilities

As a member of the royal family of Charn, Jadis had an inborn talent in magic, and was extraordinarily skilled in using it to defy the laws of nature, as well as to manipulate reality as she desired. As revealed by her in The Magician's Nephew, she had gone to terrible lengths to master the darkest secrets of magic, and possessed greater powers than her sister ever had. After eating an apple from the Tree of Youth, her magical strength and longevity were enhanced to a goddess-like level, and Aslan himself also confirmed that, during the time where he banished her to the North, she had grown consistently stronger in dark magic. When she resurfaced as the White Witch, her powers were such that they held Narnia in a constant winter, until Aslan returned a century later to end her tyranny.

Examples of magical powers Jadis possessed were: -

  • Spell Casting: Jadis had the ability to cast spells through incantations and hand gestures - in the Palace of Charn, she reduced a pair of immense, heavy, and fastened doors to dust without even touching them.[1] Examples of other abilities she was able to access through this power were:
    • Sleep Inducement: Jadis had the ability to cause other beings and even herself to fall asleep - after her pyrrhic victory against her sister, she caused herself to sleep amongst her ancestors' images in the Hall of Images.
    • Condition Preservation: Jadis had the ability to keep beings - including herself - in a certain condition, ensuring that they stay in a certain state, regardless of any and all external forces - in her state of slumber, she needed neither food nor drink, and her age, her physicality, and her powers would be sustained for an indefinite amount of time.[1]
  • The Deplorable Word: Jadis' most terrifying ability was her knowledge of the Deplorable Word which, if spoken with the proper ceremonies, had the power to destroy all living things in the world it was spoken in - except the person who spoke it. Fortunately, the Word - like the rest of Charn magic - was useless in other worlds, so she was never able to use it again.[1]
  • Telepathy: In The Magician's Nephew, Jadis revealed that she had the ability to read minds or, as she put it, her eyes could "see through walls and into the minds of men".
  • Immortality: Due to her eating an apple from the Tree of Youth,
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    Jadis during her near resurrection.

    Jadis acquired true immortality as well as eternal youth. Hence, she would never grow old or die of natural causes. As revealed by a Hag in Prince Caspian, even if Jadis' physical form was destroyed, her essence would still ultimately survive because of this immortality, and therefore she could always be resurrected by a dark ritual. As shown in the 2008 film, Jadis' followers were able to somewhat resurrect her form through her own wand's magic. However, they were unable to bring her back completely, as for her to be able to return fully into the living world, she needed a drop of Adam's blood.
  • Cryokinesis: As the White Witch, Jadis had the ability to create, shape, and manipulate cold and ice, having absolute control and seemingly divine authority over the elements of ice, snow, and frost. She also did not seem to suffer any adverse reactions to such temperatures. Another ability she derived from this province was:
    • Eternal Winter Inducement: Jadis had the ability to invoke an eternal winter - through her potent cryokinetic powers, she kept Narnia bound in constant winter for a century, and spring only came when Aslan returned to the land to stop her once and for all.
  • Holiday Manipulation: Jadis had the ability to manipulate all aspects of holidays - during the century that she ruled Narnia, she not only banned Christmas, but also successfully barred Father Christmas from entering the land.
  • Illusion Manipulation: In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Jadis was revealed to have the ability to create, shape, and manipulate illusions, causing targets to perceive things differently from what they truly were - she caused Edmund's rescue party to perceive her as a boulder and her dwarf as a stump.
  • Petrification: Through her wand, Jadis had the ability to transform matter and objects, including living beings, into stone, which served as one of her primary means of offense and defense - the courtyard, stairs, and hall of her castle were full of statues (people whom she had turned into stone). Also, during the final battle, Lucy saw that "there were statues dotted all over the battlefield", and Peter later confirmed that Jadis had been turning their troops into stone "right and left", and it would have been worse if Edmund had not destroyed her wand.
  • Food Generation: Through a copper bottle, Jadis had the ability to generate any kind of food, manifesting them anywhere she desired - during her and Edmund's first encounter, she first conjured a hot drink for him that "warmed him right down to his toes", and upon his request, a box of the most delicious Turkish Delight he had ever eaten. Another ability she derived from this province was:
    • Addiction Inducement: Through the food she conjured, Jadis could induce desires into others, to the point where they could not get enough of it - due to the enchantment on the Turkish Delight she fed him with, Edmund became utterly addicted to it, and could not stop thinking about it. In fact, his magically-induced addiction to her Turkish Delight was one of the primary reasons why he initially betrayed his siblings.

Jadis also possessed a number of other abilities which may or may not have been directly related to her magical powers:

  • Supernatural Beauty: Jadis is supernaturally beautiful, and knew how to effectively utilize her beauty as a weapon to affect or charm her targets. As evidenced by Digory, Andrew, and Edmund, even after discovering how truly evil she was, the impact of Jadis' beauty was still hypnotic, dramatic, and even unforgettable - in their respective dotages, both Andrew and Digory reflected that she was the most beautiful woman they had ever known. Also, in the 2005 Disney film, Jadis was shown to still possess the ability to charm others even in her weakened state, luring Caspian into wanting to give her some of his blood, and later she tried to do the same to Peter.
  • Superhuman Strength: Jadis possessed tremendous physical strength far beyond that of a normal human being. As it was a natural trait among her species instead of a magical ability, she was able to retain her superhuman strength no matter what world she was in.  In The Magician's Nephew, she was revealed to be capable of lifting people cleanly off the ground as if they were no heavier than dolls and throw them across great distances, wrenching cross-bars off lamp-posts, and delivering powerful blows and kicks during physical fights. According to Aslan, due to her eating an apple from the Tree of Youth, Jadis' physical strength had been enhanced to an inexhaustible level, which was subsequently proven in the 2005 Disney film - Jadis was shown to be so physically strong that she could carry a broadsword in each of her hands, and deliver phenomenally powerful blows with each blade, despite broadswords being extremely heavy and meant for two-handed wielding.
  • Superhuman Hearing (possibly): Though it was never specifically confirmed, it was still likely that Jadis' ears were enhanced to hear with amazing clarity, distance, and even frequencies outside the normal range.  In The Magician's Nephew, she was revealed to have "very good ears" that enabled her to clearly hear whispers even from a distance.
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Jadis in battle

  • Knife-Fighting/Swordsmanship: Having fought wars in Charn as Queen, Jadis was a formidable warrior whose skills had been honed by centuries worth of combat experience.  In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Jadis fought against Peter with her stone knife, wielding it so proficiently and intensely that, to Lucy, her stone knife flashed like three knives. Also, in the 2005 Disney film, her skills were displayed much more prominently - she was shown to have impeccable mastery in dual-blade swordsmanship, simultaneously using her wand (as an improvised sword) and a broadsword, and wielding both with such skill that she effortlessly defeated every single opponent she faced on the battlefield. Even after Edmund destroyed her wand, Jadis was shown to be equally capable in wielding only a single sword - she effortlessly overpowered and gave him an-almost lethal blow, and then took his sword along with her own to toy with Peter in an impressive display of swordsmanship that was not meant to truly kill, but to show off how her own superior skills could dominate him. When Aslan entered the battle, Jadis quickly disarmed Peter and tried to deliver him a fatal blow, and was only prevented from killing him by Aslan's timely interference.
  • Laws of the Deep Magic (limited): Despite being an usurper from Charn and not a born Narnian, Jadis was still knowledgeable in the Laws of the Deep Magic that governed all of Narnia, though it was later revealed by Aslan's resurrection and explanations that her knowledge was incomplete. An ability she derived from this province was:
    • Ownership Inducement: As she was the first to rebel in Narnia, and therefore in essence the Emperor's hangman, Jadis had the ability to induce ownership onto all traitors and those who willingly followed her, making them her lawful property, and she had every right to kill them. If her rights under the Deep Magic were forcefully denied, all of Narnia would be overturned and perish in fire and water. Hence, Aslan offered himself in Edmund's place when Jadis tried to exercise this right, for not even he could work against the Deep Magic.
  • Superhuman Reflexes: Jadis possessed reaction speeds beyond peak human limits - during the final battle, she fought against Peter so intensely that her stone knife flashed like three knives. Also, in the 2005 Disney film, when Edmund destroyed her wand, she was very quick to recover from the horror of its destruction, and overpowered and stabbed him in retaliation.

Personality

"...This is what happens to things, and to people, who stand in my way."

"...what would be wrong for you or for any of the common people is not wrong in a great Queen such as I...We must be freed from all rules..."

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White Witch in the animated film, with the voice of Beth Porter.

Jadis was the ultimate personification of pure evil in the Narnian universe, a satanic temptress responsible for bringing evil into Narnia. As revealed in The Magician's Nephew, from the very beginning when she was Queen of Charn, Jadis was already a ruthless and hubristic sociopath who firmly believed herself to be above all rules of conduct - she had no regrets or remorse over how she wiped out her own entire species through the Deplorable Word, and believed that Andrew had sent Digory and Polly to bring her to him for "love of her beauty", and that she would have their world (Earth) "at her feet" within a year through her beauty and magic.

Jadis was also incapable of viewing anyone else as her equal, and saw others simply as either tools to be used or obstacles to be demolished, as evidenced by her treatment of Andrew once she realised that he was not a true magician like she was. Though she usually carried herself with the regality of the haughtiest Queen, Jadis was not above resorting to sheer brute force to get her way, as demonstrated by her physically assaulting Letitia and the subsequent rampage she caused in London. Her most defining trait, however, was that she was a true megalomaniac - Jadis had an incomparable obsession with power, and was driven by an insatiable desire to conquer and subjugate everyone and everything she came into contact with. For instance, she paid "a terrible price" to learn the Deplorable Word, and despite her initial unease when she first entered Earth and, later, Narnia, she was quick to regain her balance and expressed her desires of world domination. Jadis was also prone to violent mood swings - calm and calculating one moment, and furious the next.

While Jadis is probably the one character in the entire series with no redeeming traits whatsoever, her sharp intellect, steely courage, iron will, and magical aptitude were still remarkable. For instance, through the innate changes she felt after she ate an Apple of Youth, she accurately deduced that she would never grow old or die. The fact that, throughout the centuries where the Tree of Protection barred her from Narnia, she still managed to hone her powers, create a new magic wand, and even gather an army was also a definite testament to her intellect and her formidable magical skills. Besides this, despite her awareness of the Golden Age Prophecy, and being initially disturbed by the Pevensies' and, later, Aslan's arrival in Narnia, Jadis was not overly concerned, for she reasoned that the prophecy would be unfulfilled with Edmund under her control, and she had an advantage against Aslan through the Law of the Deep Magic. It must also be noted that, while she initially wanted to do something against Edmund (probably turn him into stone or even kill him) during their first meeting, she very quickly changed her mind, and put on a sweet charming act that enabled her to put him under her control through enchanted Turkish Delight, which testifies to her being an expert manipulator.

Last but not least, despite her initial understandable fear of Aslan (which was to the extent where she threatened whoever dared to utter his name in her presence with instant death), Jadis had no qualms with raising her voice at him when she claimed her rights over Edmund's blood through the Deep Magic. Also, while her private chat with Aslan concluded with her being frightened into fleeing for her life by his roar, she later gleefully had him humiliated, tortured, and even shaved before killing him. In fact, before she struck the final blow, she observed to him her perfect confidence of victory despite the fact that his death had not nullified the Golden Age Prophecy, and her direct participation in the battle clearly conveyed her courage and will.

Weapons

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Barbara Kellerman as Jadis in The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe BBC, 1988.

Jadis' primary weapon was her wand, which was capable of turning living creatures (with the possible exception of Aslan) into stone. It may have also helped her perform other types of magic, such as disguising herself and her dwarf from Aslan's scouting party.[6]

She also possessed a Stone Knife, which she used to execute Aslan at the Stone Table,[7] and later to duel with Peter at the First Battle of Beruna.[8]

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The Witch's wand

In the Disney film, Jadis is also shown to be a formidable swordfighter, simultaneously wielding two swords in battle with deadly proficiency.

In The Magician's Nephew, she temporarily uses an iron bar that she snapped off a London lamp-post as a weapon, clubbing police officers over the head and striking Aslan squarely between the eyes (though the latter had no visible impact).

Age

It is not known exactly how long Jadis lived, and the few indicators of her lifespan are far from conclusive:

  • She mentioned to Diggory and Polly that the sun in the World of Charn had been enormous and red for hundreds of thousands of years,[1] but it's unclear if she actually lived through those years or was simply told of them by older generations.
  • After she ate the apple of life, Aslan said that she now possessed "endless days",[9] indicating that she could not die of old age.
  • The Tree of Protection kept her out of Narnia for nearly 900 years. When it died, she was able to unleash the Hundred Year Winter on Narnia.
  • Even her death at the First Battle of Beruna is somewhat inconclusive, and the hag brought by Nikabrik to Caspian's council claimed that a witch could never truly die.

Behind the Scenes

  • The Witch is based on four characters in fiction: Satan from John Milton's Paradise Lost, Ayesha from She by H. Rider Haggard, The Snow Queen from Hans Christian Anderson's fantasy story of the same name, and the Queen of Babylon from The Story of the Amulet by Nesbit. The mythological character of Lilith was also an inspiration for her character, and Jadis is said to be descended from her in the stories.
  • Jadis' name, coincidentally or not, is equivalent to a word in the French language signifying "a long time ago".
  • The scene, when Jadis arrived on Earth in The Magician's Nephew, and the havoc she caused there, was inspired by a similiar scene in another book, The Story of The Amulet, written by E. Nesbit in 1906, where an ancient Babylonian queen came to London in the early 20th century and caused mayhem.

Deaths

The way that the Witch dies has been different in each adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: -

  • In the book; the only details given are that Aslan "flung himself upon the Witch", and that they "rolled over together but with the Witch underneath". When she is next mentioned, we learn she is dead. (C. S. Lewis presumably did this intentionally, so as not to make the story too violent, and left the Witch's death up to the reader's imagination.)
  • In the animated film; Aslan leaps off the edge of a high cliff and lands right on top of the Witch, crushing her completely beneath him, thus destroying her.
  • In the BBC TV show; Aslan kills the Witch with his roar, which is so loud that it deafens her and shakes the ground, causing her to lose her balance and fall off a cliff to her death.
  • In the Disney film; Aslan pounces on the Witch and pins her down, and then proceeds to completely devour her. (Presumably, he did this because it was the only way to ensure she would die, seeing as she was immortal.) 
  • It is almost certain that she entered Tash's Country upon her death. 

Resurrection Theories

  • During the events of the Disney version of the Prince Caspian film; Nikabrik, despairing of the Telmarine occupation, brought in a Hag and a werewolf who offered a way to revive the White Witch, by using her wand inside Aslan's How. However, Peter, Edmund, Lucy and Trumpkin arrived just in time to stop them. Jadis materialised as though entrapped behind a wall of ice, and tempted Caspian to free her, who was then pushed away by Peter, only for her to begin to charm him also, but the wall of ice was then shattered from behind by Edmund, making the Witch disappear instantly.
  • In the original literary version, Nikabrik also prepares to resurrect the Witch, but he and his two allies are slain before they can even begin the ritual.
  • There is another theory that the Witch later reappears in The Silver Chair as the Lady of the Green Kirtle, who is effectively merely a resurrected form of Jadis. Later in the book, she transformed into a giant green serpent, but was killed by Rilian, thus dying for certain. There is little evidence to support this theory, however, which was mostly the result that the White Witch and the Green Witch were played by the same actress in the BBC adaptations, and that some versions of the series have character descriptions at the beginning, which say Jadis appears in both The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, as well as in the Silver Chair.
  • One of the owls, with whom Jill and Eustace consulted, claimed the Green Witch was perhaps "one of the same crew" to which Jadis belonged. This could not be possible if they were one and the same. Yet, the owl could not have known that for sure; he said "we think", namely it was just a speculation.

Adaptations

Jadis appears to be more calm in the Disney film than described in the book. Particularly when she addressed Aslan at his camp, as he appeared to be more emotional/angry than she was. In fact, his role and Jadis' seemed to have been completely reversed. In the book; Jadis was the angry one, while he seemed almost constantly calm. But in the film, she seemed the calm one while he seemed angry at her words: -

"Have you forgotten the Deep Magic?"
"Let us say I have forgotten it. Tell us of this Deep Magic."
"Tell you?" said the Witch, her voice growing suddenly shriller. "Tell you what is written on the very Table of Stone which stands beside us?
"
―Jadis and Aslan speaking in the book (Chapter 13).[src]
"Have you forgotten the laws upon which Narnia was built?"
"Do not cite the Deep Magic to me, Witch! I was there when it was written."
"Then you'll remember well that every traitor belongs to me. His blood is my property.
"
―Jadis and Aslan speaking in the film.[src]

She is also a warrior and can fight with martial-like skills.

In the Prince Caspian film, Jadis' spirit actually appears when Nikabrik and his allies initiate the ritual to bring her back from the dead. In The Voyage of the Dawn Trader, the magic of the Dark Island causes a phantom of Jadis to appear to Edmund.

Appearance

Jadisblue

Jadis's main dress.

In the films made by Disney/Walden Media, Jadis' hair was ashy blond; actress Tilda Swinton and director Andrew Adamson wanted to move away from the stereotypical look of an evil "witch" and conceived Jadis as being more of an Aryan figure or white supremacist. It is also notable that Jadis' hair colour was never actually specified in the books, and that the books' illustrations simply chose to portray her with dark hair.

Jadiscamp

Dress in camp.

Over the course of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, her clothes subtly change to reflect the circumstances of the scene in which she appears. She originally starts out wearing a glittering blue-white gown with a white fur cloak when she first meets Edmund. She wears the same dress when she is at her army's camp, but instead of the white fur she is wearing a badger fur stole.


Jadissacrifice

Jadis sacrificial dress.

At the sacrifice of Aslan, she is wearing a black-gray dress that has a black-feathered cloak with a vulture's head, which sits at her right shoulder.

Tilda Swinton as Jadis, the White Witch 1

Jadis in battle.

At the battle-scene; she is wearing a sleeveless battle-dress with a skirt made of chainmail, and a cuirass of armor that is almost corset-like and made of dark gray leather. She also wears Aslan's mane at her neck, which she does as a tactic to instill fear and grief in the opposing army, and a golden plate headdress in her hair.

The headdress is angular with multiple spikes, and seems to be shaped like a stylized animal skull or perhaps antlers, with "fangs" hanging down over her forehead. Several multi-pronged arms extend from the top of the head down the sides and catch up the hair to the sides of the face. Otherwise her hair is worn free, streaming out from underneath the crown.

Jadis also obviously wears a crown, except in the battle when it is replaced by the golden headdress, but unlike in the books it is made of ice/crystal. It starts off long and pointy at the beginning of the film, looking as though the spikes are protruding from her head, but as time passes it gradually shrinks until finally it is almost gone. The reason for this, as told in the DVD commentary, is because the shrinking of the crown symbolises Jadis's weakening power.


Gallery

Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 MN V
  2. MN XIII
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named :2
  4. MN IV
  5. MN VI
  6. LWW XIII
  7. LWW XIV
  8. LWW XVI
  9. MN XIV


Jadis
Imperial House of Charn
Preceded by Empress of Charn Succeeded by
Jadis' younger sister?–?none


Jadis
Narnia
Preceded by Queen of Narnia Succeeded by
unknown, eventually Swanwhite I900–1000Pevensie Siblings



Aslan-PC "Well done, son of Adam. For this fruit you have hungered and thirsted and wept."

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