The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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The third installment of The Chronicles of Narnia, which takes place a year later in Earth-time (and 3 years later in Narnia Time) since the previous installment, Prince Caspian. Along with an unpleasant cousin Eustace Scrubb, Edmund and Lucy return to Narnia and travel with now-King Caspian to the edge of the world, where he is searching for exiled Telmarine lords who were loyal to his father. On the journey, their cousin is turned into a dragon, and they encounter many wonders on an adventurous voyage, at the end of which, Lucy and Edmund, like Peter and Susan in the last book, are told they will never return to Narnia.

Note that unmarked spoilers follow for viewers of the film who have not read the book, which is one of the series' most popular installments.

Tropes used in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader include:
  • Badass Adorable: Reepicheep, to Lucy at least
  • Blessed with Suck/Mythology: There's a lake (underground in the film, but not in the book) which has the Midas curse upon it.
  • Captain Obvious: The entire race of Dufflepuds, played for laughs.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Eustace gets magically transformed into a dragon, but treats the whole situation as something rather dreary and depressing. Then again, this is probably expected, as Eustace is the kind of person who considers going on a magical sea voyage in a fantasy land a thoroughly unpleasant affair.
    • Plus there's that golden bracelet stuck on his arm. Now that he's grown bigger, the bracelet is way too small and it causes Eustace a lot of pain until he's changed back into a human via Aslan's help.
    • He does consider the good side of being a dragon, but quickly realizes that he doesn't want it. It's an essential part of his Character Development.
    • He also realizes (no matter how hard they try to hide it from him) that his huge size would cause a lot of trouble for the crew, making it nearly impossible to bring him along, but he also knows that they wouldn't leave him. In short, he feels guilty that he is causing his friends so much trouble.
  • Dirty Coward: The Dufflepuds.
  • The Ditz: An entire race of them with the Dufflepuds.
  • Fridge Horror: Deathwater Island, in-universe.
  • Genre Blindness: "Most of us know what we should expect to find in a dragon's lair, but, as I said before, Eustace had read only the wrong books"
    • Also, from the movie:

Caspian: Everyone knows not to touch a dragon's treasure.
Eustace: Death Glare
Caspian: Well, everyone from here.

  • Gold Fever: Deathwater Island
  • Green-Eyed Monster: One temptation Lucy suffers when reading the magician's book.
  • Gunboat Diplomacy: The Lone Islands
  • Heroic Vow: Caspian made one at his coronation to search for the seven missing lords of Telmar.
  • Hey, You: Eustace calls his parents by their first names.
  • I Just Want to Be Beautiful: It is revealed that Lucy envies her sister's beauty.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: The water from the sea at the End of the World isn't just sweet and drinkable, it's all the crew needs for sustenance.
  • Irony: Caspian says that in Narnia they have fairy tales about places where the world is round.
  • Karmic Transformation: Eustace sees a dragon moving toward him, which dies shortly thereafter. He walks past the fallen beast into its lair, and, finding a hoard of treasure, steals a ring and promptly falls asleep, dreaming of plunder and thinking "dragonish" thoughts. He awakens to find that he has become a dragon, and spends a short while in this state. When he re-establishes contact with the group, he exiles himself during meals, so that nobody has to watch the gory spectacle of him dining. (The Anvilicious undertones are downplayed in the film version.)
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: When Lewis was checking the book over for publication in America, he made several changes, mostly in the Isle of Dreams sequence (the original British had the island entirely disappear; in the revised version it was stated to still exist). In 1994, when a new publishing company took over, they used the British text in the American printings, so the original American text is now getting hard to find.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Eustace argues that the men should use less water while working because their perspiration would cool them down, so they would need less water. Ignoring the fact that the whole reason you need more water when warm is that you lose more in sweat... oh, and that perspiration would, at best, keep temperature at normal, rather than cooling down beyond normal. Despite reading a lot of non-fiction, Eustace actually doesn't have that much raw intellectual firepower.
    • In the same argument, he fails to grasp that continuing east after the storm in search of land is the only viable option for restocking the ship, because they cannot cover the distance back without a similar tempest before the water runs out. He instead decries it as "wishful thinking."
    • This is lampshaded by Edmund in the movie, via limerick:

There once was a fellow named Eustace/Who only knew facts that were useless ...

  • Made a Slave: The main characters after being kidnapped in the Lone Islands.
  • Magic Pants: Not literally with pants, but the idea behind this trope is still averted when the bracelet Eustace is wearing doesn't transform to the size of a dragon limb when Eustace transforms into a dragon. His other clothes, along with a bunch of jewels in his pockets, have disappeared when he reverts to being a human - fortunately, Aslan provides him with a new set of clothes when he changes Eustace back. The bracelet (and new set of clothes) remain in the film version, although the rest of Eustace's clothes are instead discovered loose (and slightly singed) among the dragon's treasure.
  • Mass "Oh Crap": The sailors' reaction upon realizing what "dreams come true" really means.

There was about half a minute’s silence and then, with a great clatter of armor, the whole crew were tumbling down the main hatch as quick as they could and flinging themselves on the oars to row as they had never rowed before...

  • More Hero Than Thou: When the characters are threatened to make Lucy to do something, Lucy argues for doing it, and the boys that they should fight to defend her.
  • Nightmare Sequence: "The Island Where Dreams Come True." Sounds great, until you remember that nightmares are dreams.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Governor Gumpas.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: When the ship is attacked by a giant sea serpent, Reepicheep yells at everyone to push the serpent off the boat rather than fight it. Since Reepicheep usually fights first and asks questions later, this is unusual enough to startle the rest of the ship's crew into helping him.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: While traditional merfolk dwell in the sea coast of Narnia (as mentioned in LWW), the Dawn Treader Crew encounter a different kind: They are two-legged, bipedal humanoids with ivory skin and dark purple hair who wear no clothing except for royalty (who wear only capes and circlets). They ride on giant seahorses, use hunting fish like land hunters use hawks and falcons, and shepherd other kinds of fish as well.
  • Portal Picture
  • Real Dreams Are Weirder: The reason why the island where dreams come true is so horrifying.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Along the way they meet a star whose penalty for an unknown sin was to govern an island full of exasperating dwarfs.
  • Reality Warping Is Not a Toy
  • Refuge in Audacity: Caspian cannot possibly wrest control of the Lone Islands from Gumpas and his slaver allies with the relatively small number of men he has with him on the Dawn Treader. So he makes a huge flashy show of his arrival to keep any of their enemies from realizing that. It works beautifully.
  • Schmuck Banquet: The Island of the Star, or so the main characters assume: It actually is completely benign, and the only reason the Telmar lords were cursed to sleep was for attempting violence against each other at the table.
  • Send in the Search Team
  • Shaming the Mob: Once they've gotten as far as Ramandu's island, the crewmen don't want to sail on any farther. Caspian counters this by announcing that being allowed to accompany him farther eastward is an honor that he's not sure any of them deserves.
  • Slave Liberation: Caspian does this at the Lone Islands.
  • Something They Would Never Say: Reepicheep's example is OOC Is Serious Business, above.
  • Star Tropes: We meet two stars, both living on islands in the sea due to being exiled (Coriakin) or retired (Ramandu). In Narnia, stars are angel-like beings.

Eustace: In our world, a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.
Ramandu: Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is but only what it is made of.

  • Super Fun Happy Thing of Doom: The "Island Where Dreams Come True." Dreams, as in nightmares.
  • Take That: At modern educational and childrearing techniques that produce such a brat as Eustace.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: But -- we really want to know what kinds of sins a star can commit.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: Coriakin's Great Big Book of Everything. Also a bit of Forbidden Fruit, in regards to some spells.
  • Unfortunate Names: "There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it." In the next book, after Eustace's Jerk Face Turn, Lewis introduces him with "but he wasn't a bad sort."
    • Written by a man named "Clive Staples," who vastly preferred to be called "Jack."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Used with an actual mouse. It is implied, but not explicitly stated, that Reepicheep made it to Aslan's country. We don't know if he reached it successfully in his boat after going over the giant wave, or died in the attempt and went to Heaven the old-fashioned way; the book simply states that after that moment, no one could claim to have seen him again.
    • It's explicitly shown in the BBC version, where his boat floats up the waterfall to Aslan's Country.
    • In the last book, he is there and greets everyone.
    • We never find out exactly what happened to Lord Octesian; the characters guess that he was either eaten by the dragon or turned into a dragon on Dragon Island, but the only clue they have is his bracelet.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Caspian in his Pride wants to stay at the end of the world; the entire crew and even Aslan calls him out on abandoning his responsibilities and promises.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: "The Island Where Dreams Come True." (Unlike most places described by the phrase, emphatically not a nice place to visit.)

The Film of the Book provides examples of:[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Adaptation Expansion: Several plotlines were added in the film, as well as cameos by characters from previous books not present in this one (e.g., Peter and Susan).
  • Adaptation-Induced Plothole:
    • The seven Lords having swords associated with Aslan. At the time when they set sail, Aslan was known only as a myth believed by fantastical creators and as a likely enemy to Telmarines like them.
    • Averted when the Dufflepuds come to get Lucy to recite the spell to make them visible (only a female or the book's owner can cause spells to work), one of them notes that Gael is also a girl. However, the Dufflepuds then note that Lucy has a book next to her, indicating that she knows how to read, and kidnap her.
  • All There in the Manual: According to the DVD Commentary, the Mist was created by The Lady of the Green Kirtle.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: When Edmund expresses fear of running into a Sea Monster out on the ocean, the entire crew make fun of him for believing in such superstitions. Including the minotaur and talking mouse.
    • Also the same Minotaur mocks Eustace for asking a seagull if it knows where food is.

Eustace: Well I just assumed...

  • Ascended Extra: The sea serpent, of all things.
    • Also, The Island Where Dreams Come True. Originally a very scary island, but only important because a lord was there. Now, it's known as the Dark Island and is the source of the evil mist.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Kings Edmund and Caspian are both extremely proficient swordsmen, and Lucy's not half-bad herself.
  • Badass Spaniard: Even though he's since lost his Telmarine accent from the last movie, Caspian technically is still this.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Eustace's dragon form is rather noble looking creature while the sea serpent is a hideous near Eldritch Horror.
  • Beneath the Mask: The darkness tempts the main characters, showing their hidden desires.
    • Edmund is still resentful of always being number 2 and he reveals his hidden envy of Peter and Caspian X. He still secretly desires to have absolute power. He gets better however.
    • Lucy secretly isn't happy with herself and she envies her older sister's beauty and life to the point that she wishes she had her sister's life. She gets better.
    • Caspian is still broken over Susan and is borderline obsessed with the Pevensies and the world they come from, almost to the point of living between worlds. His issues with his father are also still completely unresolved. He gets better too.
  • Be Yourself: Somewhat anviliciously.
  • Call My Name: Edmund and Lucy do this a lot.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Eustace's temper tantrum upon coming aboard the Dawn Treader, and arguably a few other occurrences. This didn't stop with Will Poulter's physical acting; even when lacking the ability to speak, our dragon friend manages the odd nibble.
  • Color-Coded Patrician: King Caspian always wears a purple shirt or tunic. The exact shade is very close to the royal purple worn in the past by nobility.
  • Composite Character: Goldwater Island and Dragon Island have been combined into a single volcanic isle.
  • Continuity Nod: Many callbacks to previous two films.
  • Creative Closing Credits: As a departure from the first two films, the end credits use illustrations from the books.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Invoked by the star, Ramandu's daughter.

Lilliandil: If [my beauty] is a distraction, I can change form.
Caspian and Edmund: NO!

  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Played with. Caspian and Edmund warn the sailors of eating the food at Aslan's Table, believing it to be a Shmuck Banquet which has already made the three remaining Lords fall into enchanted sleep. When Lilliandil arrives, however, she tells them that the food is free for the taking, and the enchanted sleep had a different origin entirely. (The novel has a similar scene but doesn't employ this trope, as nobody from the Dawn Treader is willing to touch the food until Ramandu's daughter tells them it's safe.)
  • Dragon Rider: Reepicheep spends a good deal of scenes on top of Eustace's head.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Aunt Alberta mentions Jill Pole at the end of the film.
    • Which sadly may go nowhere, as the next book to be adapted is "The Magician's Nephew" due to its being more popular than "The Silver Chair," and if it doesn't make enough money, the film series is dead.
      • That said, if Magician's Nephew proves profitable, then they'll need to adapt The Silver Chair in order to better develop Eustace for his leading role in The Last Battle.
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: When looking for Eustace, Edmund and Caspian come across the dragon's treasure hoard, the remains of one Telmar lord, and Eustace's discarded (and slightly singed) clothing.
  • Epic 3D Movie
  • Mr. Fanservice: Caspian and Edmund.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Once again, Lucy is the only person paying attention enough to notice the Mermaid following the ship, suddenly stop in its tracks and start to silently scream "Don't go that way! TURN BACK!"
  • Fridge Horror: Lord Rhoop, the one found on the rock in the middle of Dark Island, has likely been constantly fighting his worst nightmares with no food and no rest for years.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Reepicheep and Eustace, thanks to a little "friendly" sparring and some Baleful Polymorph
  • Fog of Doom
  • Furry Confusion: In-universe example -- the crew laugh at Eustace for talking to some random seagull and expecting it to talk back.
  • Genre Savvy: Toyed with. After he gets over the shock of being in Narnia, Eustace often assumes things and invokes fantasy conventions, and when they look at him confused points out they're forgetting this is a magical land. Why not?
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The Mist is a literal monster made manifest by this trope, sharing this colour and bringing out hidden envy in several character, as envy is also a form of the desires it exploits.
  • Ho Yay: Caspian and Edmund have their moments, with Caspian dogged about handing Edward back the swords he had wielded as Narnian king. There's a particular scene near the end when they reaffirm their friendship while suiting up, which culminates with a warm hug.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Eustace is remaking movies in 1980's England.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain / Outside Context Villain: It's never really stated who or what the Mist is, or what it wants.
      • It is rather explicitly green... which means it may be clever Foreshadowing for the Lady of the Green Kirtle/the Emerald Witch of The Silver Chair, the next installment of the Chronicles.
      • Which, in turn, would turn the sea serpent into a bit of foreshadowing as well.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Lucy is jealous of Susan's beauty, but Your Mileage May Vary on whether or not there's anything there to be jealous of. Then again this is mostly a case of sibling rivalry so it's justified either way.
    • It's more to do with Susan being taken to America and having boys chasing her. Lucy just assumes it's because of Susan's looks.
  • Irony/YouFailReligiousStudiesForever: Much emphasis is given to follow a star that appears only at dawn. Do you know who is associated with dawn stars in Christian theology?
    • Jesus?
    • To clarify, in Christian theology, Lucifer was known as the Morning Star. Due to his rebellion and Fall, he abdicated the right to both his name ("Light Bringer") and title; and the title of Morning Star was given to Jesus after His incarnation as human, death, and resurrection.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Eustace lives at Cambridge. Guess who else once lived there?
  • Little Stowaway: Gael
  • Mind Rape: Every interaction Edmund has with the Mist in the White Witch's form has shades of this.
  • Mirror Monster: A rare heroic example; after Lucy wakes up from her nightmare, Aslan appears next to her in the reflection.
  • Mr. Exposition: Coriakin
  • Named by the Adaptation: Ramandu's daughter is named "Lilliandil"
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Caspian lost his Telmarine accent between films 2 and 3.
    • Although this may just reflect the fact that he's been King of Narnia for a good few years and has simply picked up the natives' (very British) accents, or even emulated them on purpose as a gesture of solidarity. After all, he is a Telmarine king.
  • The Not Love Interest: Edmund and Lucy become this, due to the fact that they constantly look for one another and desperately call each other's name when they are separated.
    • Depending on your perception of the Caspian/Edmund relationship they might be this, what with the frankly baffling decisions Caspian (the king) makes in regards to Edmund (follows him into unknown danger on the Dragon Island, the aforementioned diving save, the eye contact during Caspian's Rousing Speech).
      • Edmund and Caspian become like brothers, but their friendship always takes a backseat to Edmund's concern and care for Lucy, when his Big Brother Instinct kicks in.
  • Not Quite Dead: Eustace. Edmund and Caspian find his charred clothes and thought he died. He didn't.
  • Oxbridge: The real life parts of the film are set in Cambridge and feature some nice shots of the colleges.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: In the beginning of the film, Lucy meets a group of aquatic beings in the ocean as she did near the end of the book. However the film replaces the ivory skinned, purple haired Sea People with naiads. While naiads where mentioned in the book versions of the first two films, they were omitted almost entirely save for the River God in the second film. The film naiads are basically similar to the mermaids that appeared near the end of the first film, except instead of being made of flesh, blood, bone, and scale like traditional mermaids, they are made entirely of non-dissolving liquid. The books and classical mythology state that naiads are fresh water nymphs and salt water nymphs are nereids and oceanids. The books and mythology also NEVER state that water nymphs have fish tails. Also falls under Sadly Mythtaken and Did Not Do the Research.
  • Passing the Torch: Suggested in Aslan's farewell to Eustace: "Narnia may yet need you..."
  • Pet the Dog: When Reepicheep sees dragon Eustace crying and unable to sleep, he offers to stay up with him and tell him about some of his adventures.
  • Plank Gag: A variant of this old gag is used here: Eustace is attempting to set an oar in a rowboat, nearly loses his balance, and swings it about, knocking out a pirate leader who was sneaking up behind him with a knife.
  • Plot Coupon: The Seven Swords belonging to the Lords Caspian seeks.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The film's main plot, about the mist of evil and gathering the swords, has no basis in the book series at all. On the other hand, the mist and swords help to tie everything together - the original book was a series of short stories tied together by the eponymous boat, the same characters, and the fact that they were trying to find the seven Lords. With the addition of the mist, it gave the story a kind of nebulous Big Bad of a sort.
    • The naiads. Naked sea people probably wouldn't fly in a family film these days.
  • Ramming Always Works: The crew attempts this against the gigantic sea serpent -- but actually succeeds in only making it angry.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The White Witch in mist form has these.
  • Rousing Speech: Caspian gives one to the crew as they sail into Dark Island, and Reepicheep gives one to dragon Eustace as he tries to flee from the giant sea serpent.
  • Shout-Out: The closing credits are made up of the original illustrations from the book.
  • The Other Darrin: Reepicheep is voiced by Simon Pegg in this film. He was voiced by Eddie Izzard in Prince Caspian.
    • Arguably justified because Reepicheep is older, which could have made his voice change.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Presumably because Eustace remains a dragon for a much longer length of time in the movie than he does in the book, Lucy gets the bracelet off him right away, rather than having it stuck on his foreleg and causing him considerable pain the whole time he's transformed.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Eustace, with the encouragement of Reepicheep overcomes his fears and beats the crap out of the Sea-Serpent, then later saves the day by overcoming the Mist and laying the Seventh Sword on the table.
    • Also Lucy, who goes from not fighting at all onscreen in the first film, to drawing her dagger with Aslan at her side in the second, to a successful close-quarters combatant on this occasion.
  • Visible Invisibility: Actually, the Dufflepuds are completely invisible, even to the audience. One can tell roughly where they are, however, by the footprints they leave and the 'puff' of crystallising breath in the cold air when they speak.
  • Vocal Evolution: Eustace's voice grows softer and less-irritating after he returns from being a Dragon.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Lucy calls Caspian and Edmund out after they they are corrupted by the mist.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Much like the last film, the trailer gives the impression that the White Witch is a villain in this film.
    • To a certain extent she is, at least as far as Edmund is concerned.
      • And you can't help but wonder how many times Edmund has to smack her down before she gets the message and stops trying to tempt him.
      • Considering that it was a green mist, what's to say it wasn't the Lady of the Green Kirtle making an early cameo in the form of her sister, Jadis?