665: Prudence

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Moments later, the White Witch rolls up and, confused, tries to tempt the probe with a firmware upgrade.
Title text: Moments later, the White Witch rolls up and, confused, tries to tempt the probe with a firmware upgrade.


This comic references the fantasy novel series "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C. S. Lewis. In the first book (and the first movie), four children discover the fictional world of Narnia which can be accessed through a wardrobe.

The comic mocks at the imprudent behaviour shown by the protagonists of the novel, who enter the world of Narnia without knowing anything about its dangers. In the comic, Megan discovers the magical wardrobe while playing hide-and-seek. Unlike the original characters, Megan does not precipitately set foot into Narnia. Instead, she fetches her technical equipment and sends a remote-controlled probe through the wardrobe door in order to sound the situation first. The probe can be seen in the sixth and eighth panel, encountering Mr. Tumnus the faun with an umbrella at a lamppost in a snowy wood on the last panel. This picture is the first impression of Narnia in the novels and was apparently Lewis' original idea for the series.

The White Witch mentioned in the title text is the main antagonist in the novel. She originally lures one of the protagonists with a hot drink and Turkish delight. In the scenario displayed in the comic, she tries to tempt the probe with a firmware update accordingly.

Megan takes a scientific approach to Narnia again in a later comic.


[Megan is running towards a closed wardrobe.]
Someone off-panel: Everyone hide! 99... 98... 97...
[Megan opens the wardrobe.]
Wardrobe: click
Megan, looking inside: !!!
[Megan looks thoughtful.]
[Megan walks away.]
[Megan returns with an armful of electronics.]
[Megan is kneeling, typing on a laptop, which has a cord extending into the wardrobe.]
[A robotic probe is approaching Mr. Tumnus, the faun, under the lamppost in narnia.]

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Anyone else reminded of the MALP from Stargate? Portal to another world, the probe is similar in design, etc 19:14, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Exactly what I thought 16:47, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
The probe is similar to the Mars rovers Randall drew several times after this comic, and the naming is similar to Curiosity which was Lucy's problem rather than Megan's Prudence. But interesting with the probe through portal. Have moved this down to the bottom as it has nothing to do with explaining the comic. --Kynde (talk) 15:02, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
The design looks nothing like a MALP, and it requires a cable to work. I bet Monroe didn't even consider it. --Rhmcoff (talk) 03:33, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm actually watching stargate right now as I read this! I agree, very MALP like!05:04, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

I'm curious to see what people think would happen in this scenario time-wise. In the book, time passes at a very different rate in Narnia than in the "real world" - in fact, at one point, the four protagonists grow to become adults in Narnia, yet when they accidentally return to the real world through the wardrobe, only a few minutes have passed. So if that detail is consistent here, Megan using a probe to observe Narnia from the "real world" side of the wardrobe should either cause a time paradox, or she should see things happening extremely fast through the probe. KieferSkunk (talk) 21:25, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Mentioned the time problems in the explanation for the comic that used this fact. I belive that CS Lewis only intended to write the first book to begin with. The ending does't fit well with the behaviour of Narnia time in the next three Prince Caspian books. And hence the other books does paint a different picture of how Narnia time works, and this inconsistency makes the question hard to answer --Kynde (talk) 15:02, 18 January 2017 (UTC)