665: Prudence

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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 published book (second chronologically), The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lucy discovers the fictional world of Narnia which can be accessed through a wardrobe, and she walks into it without ever considering the risks. Her three older siblings do not believe her, so she travels back alone again. But this second time her brother Edmund follows her, and he is seduced by the White Witch in order for her to be able to kill him and his three siblings (see title text explanation below). Thus proving that it was a rather dangerous move to just walk into the wardrobe.

The comic mocks the imprudent behavior shown by the protagonist Lucy of the novel, who enters the world of Narnia without knowing anything about its dangers. In the comic, Lucy (drawn as a child version of Megan, clearly not adult as she only just reaches the wardrobes handles with her head), discovers the magical wardrobe while playing hide-and-seek, like in the book. Unlike in the original book, Lucy 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 encounters Mr. Tumnus the faun with his 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 probe is clearly modeled after Mars rovers like Spirit and Opportunity, which Randall depicted for the first time only a few comics later in 681: Gravity Wells and then in 695: Spirit. The probe looks even more like the one in 1504: Opportunity. This also explains the title of the comic, as it is the name of Lucy's probe. The naming scheme is similar to the two probes mentioned above that were already on Mars at the time of this comics release. And even more so like the upcoming Curiosity rover which was first launched two years after this comic, but had been named earlier in the year this comic was released. Lucy was curious in the first Narnia book, but in this comic she is prudent.

The White Witch mentioned in the title text is the main antagonist in the novel. She originally lures Edmund with a hot drink and magical Turkish delight after her sleigh passes right by him. In the scenario mentioned in the title text, she is confused when she rolls up to the rover and then tries to tempt the probe with a firmware update accordingly.

The procedure of sending a probe first through a portal has also been used in the early Stargate episodes. This draws a parallel between the wardrobe in Narnia and the Stargate, both connecting two distant worlds. The stargate probe can be seen here.

Megan (or Lucy) also takes a scientific approach to Narnia in one of the comics of 821: Five-Minute Comics: Part 3. In that comic she uses the different passage of time in Narnia to her advantage (it usually runs much faster than on Earth). That effect would have been a problem with controlling the rover in this comic.


[A small girl, with hair like Megan, is running towards a closed wardrobe.]
Voice (off-panel): Everyone hide! 99... 98... 97...
[The girl opens one of the two doors on the wardrobe.]
Wardrobe: click
[The girl is looking inside the wardrobe through the fully opened door.]
Girl: !!!
[The girl puts a hand to her chin.]
[The girl walks away.]
[The girl returns with an armful of electronics including lots of wires and a rover with wheels.]
[The girl is kneeling, typing on a laptop, which has a cord extending into the wardrobe.]
[In a forest with many tall leafless trees the Mars rover is approaching a lamppost with a lit candle. Behind it stands a faun with horns, goatee beard and hooves holding an umbrella.]

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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)