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The "Chronicles of Narnia" Films

The Chronicles of Narnia:
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)

Chronicles of Narnia Films
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005) | The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)

The "Chronicles of Narnia" Films - Part 3
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
d. Michael Apted, 113 minutes

Film Plot Summary

The fantasy action film opened in England during World War II - it was one year after the last adventure in Narnia. Edmund Pevensie (Skandar Keynes) failed in his attempt to join the army due to his young age. He was frustrated for being called a "squirt" (he boasted: "I'm a king. I've fought wars and I've led armies"). Edmund and Lucy Pevensie (Georgie Henley) had been residing with "wretched" cousin Eustace Scrubb (Will Poulter) for 253 days in Cambridge, hosted by their Uncle Harold and Aunt Alberta. Meanwhile, older siblings Susan Pevensie (Anna Popplewell) and Peter Pevensie (William Moseley) were on other adventures, traveling through America with their parents. Lucy was both envious and upset that she wasn't as pretty as her sister.

Eustace mocked their belief in "Narnian nursery rhymes" when he found Edmund and Lucy staring at a painting in Lucy's room of a Narnian-looking ship on the high seas. Suddenly, the water in the picture began to flow into the room, as Eustace conjectured: "It's some kind of trick." The torrent flooded the room, and then transported the threesome into the Narnian ocean where they swam to the surface. They were rescued by the magnificent purple-sailed vessel The Dawn Treader ("the finest ship in Narnia's navy") - taken aboard by King Caspian X (Ben Barnes). Eustace felt he had been abducted and complained: "I want to go back to England." He was wrestled to the deck (to expel the water from his lungs) by Reepicheep (voice of Simon Pegg), who called him "a hysterical interloper." Other crew members including the ship's captain Lord Drinian (Gary Sweet), and various Minotaurs (Tavros and Jemain). Caspian introduced the castaways as "Edmund the Just" and "Lucy the Valiant" - "high King and Queen of Narnia" as everyone bowed. They were delighted to be returned to Narnia, but not Eustace.

Lucy was given back her "healing cordial and dagger" and Edmund was presented with the flashlight ("torch") he'd left behind (from the previous film). Since they had left Narnia three years ago, the Giants of the North had surrendered unconditionally, and Narnia had also defeated the Calormen armies of the Great Desert - "There is peace across all of just three years," Caspian declared. Before Caspian X had taken back the throne from his corrupt uncle (in the previous film), usurper King Miraz had tried to kill the "closest friends and most loyal supporters" of Caspian's father, King Caspian IX. The so-called "the seven lords of Telmar" had fled to the Lone Islands in the Great Eastern Ocean (beyond which there were uncharted waters possibly with sea serpents), but "no one has heard from them since." Caspian, who also admitted that he had not yet found a wife, stated it was his duty to find out what had happened to the seven lost lords. While conversing with Reepicheep, Lucy was told that Aslan's country lay to the East as far as one could sail ("to the end of the world"). The mouse hoped that he would one day have the right to journey there.

They first set anchor at the port of Narrowhaven before coming ashore with longboats at the Lone Islands. Once Narnian land, the Lone Islands had suspiciously been taken over by Calorman slave traders. The Narnian group were surrounded and captured. Caspian and Edmund were imprisoned in irons, while Lucy and Eustace were prepared to be auctioned off as slaves. In the dungeon, they met bearded and aging prisoner Lord Bern (Terry Norris), the first of the seven lords, who saw a resemblance between Caspian and the previous King Caspian IX - he was shocked that he was speaking to Caspian's son. Edmund watched as a few unsold slaves were taken to the dock, and citizen Rhince (Arthur Angel) resisted the traders who were taking away his wife Helaine. The boat sailed out to sea - where everyone sacrificially disappeared in trails of a mysterious green mist. Lord Bern described how he was investigating the slave trade and the source of the mist with other lords when he was apprehended, and the others also disappeared.

During the slave auction, Drinian, Reepicheep and other crew rescued the four captive Narnians and killed the slave traders during the scuffle. After purging the island of slavery, reclaiming the Lone Islands, and before sailing off, Caspian was given Lord Bern's magical sword - it was one of the seven swords from the Golden Age of Narnia, entrusted to the seven Telmarine lords by King Caspian IX. They were originally "gifts from Aslan to protect Narnia." Rhince begged to sail with Caspian to find his missing wife, and Caspian agreed.

As they journeyed onward, Eustace wrote in his diary that everyone was delusional or "barking mad": "Chasing green mists and looking for lost lords." He was caught stealing food rations (an orange) by Reepicheep, and the two dueled on deck for sport. Rhince's stowaway daughter Gael (Arabella Morton) was discovered hiding, but was quickly accepted and welcomed by both Drinian ("Looks like we have an extra crew member") and Lucy ("Welcome aboard").

Sailing eastward, they came upon another island, Magician's Island - it was somewhere the lords would have stopped if they were following the mist. It could either be a trap or hold some important answers. They spent the night on shore, and the next day planned to scour the island. While the crew slept, four invisible Dufflepuds (leaving large footprints in the sand) abducted Lucy and brought her to their 'Oppressor's' invisible mansion. She had been ordered by the illiterate Dufflepuds to recite a spell of visibility ("recite the spell that makes the unseen seen") from a book, to have the spell make them reappear. Inside, Lucy found the magical The Book of Incantations filled with spells. Before reciting the in-visibility spell, she initiated the spell for snow which brought snowflakes floating into the room. She ripped out a page with a Beauty spell - to make herself beautiful like her sister Susan ("An infallible spell to make you she, the beauty you've always wanted to be"), and hid it. She guiltily heard Aslan (voice of Liam Neeson) call her name as a green mist circled the room.

While the Narnian crew members searched for Lucy, she was reciting the spell for visibility, and magician Coriakin (Billie Brown) appeared before her. (While confronting the crew outside, the Dufflepuds, jumping short-statured one-legged creatures, also became visible as well as the Magician's mansion.) The Magician (called "Oppressor" by the Dufflepuds) claimed he had made the Dufflepuds invisible for their own protection from the evil green mist. He was referring to "what lies behind the mist." Unfurling a "make-believe" map of the world, he described how Dark Island was the source of their troubles ("a place where evil lurks"). He further said: "It can take any form. It can make your darkest dreams come true. It seeks to corrupt all goodness, to steal the light from this world." To stop it, he asserted: "You must break its spell." The six other lords, with the remaining six Swords, had already passed through to where he had sent them. To defeat the evil, Coriakin continued:

To break the spell, you must follow the Blue Star to Ramandu's Island. There, the seven swords must be laid at Aslan's table. Only then can their true magical power be released. But beware, you are all about to be tested...Until you lay down the seventh sword, evil has the upper hand. It will do everything in its power to tempt you. Be strong. Don't fall to temptation. To defeat the darkness out there, you must defeat the darkness inside yourself.

As they followed the Blue Star, a tempestuous storm lasting fourteen days came upon the Dawn Treader after they departed from Magician's Island. It was feared they would run out of rations in a few weeks, not see the Blue Star again, possibly sail off the edge of the world, or get eaten by sea serpents (Edmund's main fear). Drinian stated: "The sea can play nasty tricks on the crew's mind." Feeling inferior to Susan and her beauty, Lucy was the first to be seriously tempted by the mist. She recited the Beauty incantation spell she had ripped from the book: "Transform my reflection, Cast into perfection, Lashes, lips and complexion, Make me she, Whom I'd agree, Holds more beauty over me." In a mirror's reflection, she saw herself transformed into her more beautiful sister Susan. She fantasized or envisioned herself at an outdoor garden party with Peter and Edmund escorting her for a photograph. They knew nothing of Lucy or Narnia and called her Susan. Fearful that Lucy or Narnia no longer existed, she yelled: "Stop this!" and was brought back to her normal self. Aslan appeared in the mirror to caution Lucy about doubting herself:

You wished yourself away, and with it much more. Your brothers and sister wouldn't know Narnia without you, Lucy. You discovered it first, remember?...You doubt your value. Don't run from who you are.

She was startled by the crashing sounds of thunder. She threw the page with the beauty incantation into the fire, causing the green mist to travel to two other victims: Caspian, who was having troubling nightmares regarding his father, and Edmund, who had a vision of the White Witch/Jadis (Tilda Swinton) calling to him ("Come with me, join me"). Awakened, Edmund postulated: "So either we're all going mad, or something is playing with our minds."

The next stop for the Dawn Treader was a volcanic island named Deathwater Island, where they searched for food and water and also looked for clues. After taking boats to the island, Edmund, Lucy and Caspian climbed down into a cavern where they discovered a magical pool of water. The second of the seven Lords, Lord Restimar, had fallen into the water and turned into a solid gold statue. Restimar's golden sword (the second sword) was retrieved, but then Edmund was tempted by the gold water ("Whoever has access to this pool could be the most powerful person in the world") and the possibility of ultimate riches. He challenged Caspian over his kingship and leadership when Caspian reminded him: "You can't take anything out of Narnia, Edmund." Edmund asserted himself: "I'm tired of playing second fiddle. First it was Peter and now it's you. You know I'm braver than both of you. Why do you get Peter's sword? I deserve a kingdom of my own. I deserve to rule!" They began dueling, but stopped when Lucy warned them of the testing that Coriakin had cautioned them about ("Can't you see what's happening? This place has tempted you. It's bewitching you").

Greed also infected Eustace's mind when he wandered from the group, found piles of sparkling treasures (gold, jewels, etc.) and gathered all he could carry ("I must be dead," he said to himself). He placed a bracelet on his arm taken from a skeleton. When the Narnian group returned to their boats on the shore to leave, they realized that Eustace was missing. A search party consisting of Edmund and Caspian found the pile of treasure and fragments of Eustace's burnt clothes. They determined that the skeleton was the remains of Lord Octesian (the third Lord), and took his sword. As the rest of the crew prepared to set sail, they heard a roaring sound and saw bursts of flames. Suddenly, the crew was attacked by a flying, fire-breathing, horned dragon. Onshore, Edmund was snatched and abducted, and flown over the island. He read words etched by fire in the ground: "I AM EUSTACE" - the tempted Eustace had been transformed into the creature by the green mist! The Pevensies, Caspian, and a few other crew members remained ashore for the night to keep Eustace company. Lucy comforted young Gael, promising that Aslan would help them locate her mother taken in the mist. Reepicheep reassured Eustace about his fate: "All is not as lost as it seems...You know, extraordinary things only happen to extraordinary people. Maybe it's a sign that's you've got an extraordinary destiny. Something greater than you could have imagined." The group awoke when Gael alerted them to the sight of the Blue Star in the sky, to guide them to their next destination.

They rowed (when the wind curiously died down), and Eustace pulled the ship along with his tail, as they proceeded along, and eventually arrived at Ramandu's Island at nightfall. They climbed the steep cliffs through a jungle, and in a dark clearing came upon Aslan's feasting table, identified by Aslan's Stone Knife. Nearby were three more lords covered with overgrowth: Lord Revilian, Lord Mavramorn, and Lord Argoz, each with another sword. They were all breathing, but under an overpowering spell, presumably from the food. All six swords were placed on top of the table ("still missing one"), after which the Blue Star descended and appeared in the form of a beautiful young woman, Liliandil (Laura Brent), Ramandu's daughter.

She welcomed them as their guide and invited them to eat, claiming the food was safe ("the food is for you"). She stated that "when all is put right," the three lords would be awakened. (They were half-mad when they reached Aslan's table and threatened violence, so they were put to sleep.) She pointed out the location of Dark Island surrounded by green mist, seen in the far-off distance where "before long, the evil will be unstoppable." To end the evil, the seventh sword had to be retrieved from there! Liliandil told them there was little time: "You will need great courage." Caspian seemed awestruck by Liliandil's shimmering blue beauty ("I hope we meet again") and she was mutually attracted to him, indicated by a smile, before she departed into the sky.

After sailing closer to Dark Island, Edmund noted that "our worst nightmares" were located there. Caspian added: "Our darkest wishes," and Drinian said: "Pure evil." Battle preparations were made by the Narnian crew. Caspian entrusted Peter's sword to Edmund for the upcoming fight. Riding on the Dragon's head, Reepicheep encouraged the Dragon to be courageous: "Come on, let's meet our destiny." Caspian delivered a rousing speech to his crew before the fight: "Together we have traveled far. Together we have faced adversity. Together we can do it again. So now is not the time to fall to fear's temptations. Be strong. Never give in. Our world, our Narnian lives, depend on it. Think of the lost souls we're here to save. Think of Aslan. Think of Narnia." As they sailed into the island, the green mist enveloped the Dawn Treader, and some saw visions (Rhince saw Helaine, Caspian his father, and Edmund the White Witch). The Witch enticed Edmund with promises of royalty ("I'll let you rule"). They came upon a bearded man on a rock outcropping crying out: "Keep away...You will not defeat me!" - it was the seventh lord, Lord Rhoop (Bruce Spence) brandishing the seventh sword. The Dragon snatched Lord Rhoop and brought him onboard, where he warned Caspian: "There's no way out of here...Do not let it know your fears or it will become them." Unfortunately, Edmund's demonic fears were revealed to the evil mist, and a sea serpent attacked the ship.

To defend the Narnians, the Dragon viciously attacked the serpent with his fire-breath. Maddened by his own fear of the creature, Lord Rhoop threw his sword into the Dragon's hide, causing it to fly away. After the crew subdued Lord Rhoop, the ship was turned around. While the serpent was wrecking the retreating ship by wrapping itself around it, Lucy prayed to herself: "Aslan, please help us." Edmund taunted the screeching serpent before it was smashed into the rocks. Meanwhile, the wounded Dragon crash-landed on a sandy island beach on Ramandu's Island, where Aslan approached, roared, and turned the Dragon back into young Eustace. The boy took the seventh sword and ran to Aslan's table to place it with the other six clattering and glowing swords. Edmund was able to kill off the misty green vision of the White Witch (promising: "I can make you my king"), at the same time that Eustace placed the 7th sword on the pile of other crossed swords. Edmund's empowered sword glowed bright blue, enabling him to slay the serpent (and destroy the White Witch at the same time). Also:

  • the spell was lifted, and the three Lords awoke, seated at Aslan's table
  • slaves sacrificed to the green mist were restored and returned (including Gael's mother)
  • Eustace swam to rejoin the Narnian crew
  • Aslan's Country at the "end of the world" was now in view

In the film's conclusion, Lucy, Edmund, Caspian, Eustace, and Reepicheep rowed in a small boat toward Aslan's Country, gliding through water covered with white water-lilies. Converted back to a boy, Eustace apologized for being "such a sop" - "I think I was a better dragon than I was a boy, really." They arrived on a white sandy beach with a massive wave held up at the shore-line. Aslan walked next to them and then congratulated them at the end of their journey. He said his Country lay just beyond the wave. He told them that if they were to continue on to his Country, "there is no return."

  • Caspian contemplated journeying on to see his father, but then chose to remain in Narnia: "I can't imagine my father would be very proud that I gave up what he died for. I spent too long wanting what was taken from me and not what was given. I was given a kingdom, a people. (To Aslan) I promise to be a better king."
  • Reepicheep requested Aslan's blessing about his deep "yearning" to see Aslan's Country, and was granted his wish, for being so noble and deserving. He bid farewell (to tearful Eustace's devastation), entered the wave (by rowing himself up in a small coracle) and disappeared, never again to be seen in Narnia.
  • Edmund had told Lucy that he was ready to return home to their family ("They need us"). With a mighty roar, Aslan opened a portal in the wave to allow the Pevensie children to go home. Because Edmund and Lucy had grown up just like Peter and Susan, they would not return to Narnia. Aslan promised to visit them in their world: "I shall be watching you, always...In your world, I have another name. You must learn to know me by it." They bid a final sad farewell to Caspian and Aslan before leaving.
  • Eustace would also return home with the Pevensies, but would be allowed to return ("Narnia may yet have need of you").

As the water swirled behind them, the three returned to the flooded English bedroom where they began their journey to Narnia. The water drained away and was restored to the painting. They heard Eustace's mother Alberta call them downstairs to greet visitor Jill Pole. Eustace spoke in voice-over:

We spoke often of Narnia in the days that followed. And when my cousins left, after the war ended, I missed them with all my heart as I know all Narnians will miss them till the end of time.

After Eustace rehung the painting on the wall, they watched as the Dawn Treader sailed away and disappeared over the horizon, before the three left the bedroom and closed the door.

Film Notables (Awards, Facts, etc.)

With a production budget of $155 million, the film grossed $104.4 million (domestic) and $415.7 million (worldwide), the lowest take of the three films in the franchise. It was the lowest grossing (domestic and worldwide) film of the entire series.

It was the 27th highest-grossing (domestic) film of its year.

With no Academy Awards nominations.

This film was the third published novel (and fifth chronologically) in writer C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia series.

It was the first of the films in the series to be released in 3D, and to be released/distributed by 20th Century Fox. (It became the highest-grossing film, domestic and worldwide, for 20th Century Fox in 2010).

Following its success, plans were announced for developing a fourth film in the series, The Magician's Nephew (TBD).

Edmund Pevensie
(Skandar Keynes)

Lucy Pevensie
(Georgie Henley)

Susan Pevensie
(Anna Popplewell)

Eustace Scrubb
(Will Poulter)

King Caspian X
(Ben Barnes)

(voice of Liam Neeson)

(voice of Simon Pegg)

Minotaur Tavros
(voice of Shane Rangi)

Lord Drinian
(Gary Sweet)

(The Magician/Oppressor)
(Billie Brown)

Eustace as The Dragon

(Laura Brent)

The White Witch/Jadis
(Tilda Swinton)

Lord Rhoop
(Bruce Spence)

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