Here’s why Peter and Susan Pevensie didn’t return for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn TreaderThe third installment of the rebooted Chronicles of Narnia movie series, The Voyage of the Dawn Trader sees siblings Lucy and Edmund Pevensie, along with their cousin Eustace, traveling over the seas of Narnia – but conspicuously absent from the adventure are the elder Pevensie siblings, Peter and Susan, who don’t return to Narnia after being protagonists in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian.

The first two Fox/Disney movies set in Narnia centered all four Pevensie children, giving each of them detailed character arcs. Peter and Susan, however, only appeared briefly in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader after they were told by Aslan that they would be unable to return to Narnia after their departure at the end of Prince Caspian. This is consistent with the events of CS Lewis’ novels, though the reasoning for the eldest Pevensies’ inability to return differs between the books and the movies.


While the Narnia novels have often been described as Christian allegory, author CS Lewis himself rejected this label, preferring to consider them “suppositional,” meaning he believed the purpose of the books was asking, “What if?” rather than presenting direct correlations between characters in the books and Christian theology. That said, among the primary theories for why Peter and Susan don’t return to Narnia are their age and experiences. Here’s why Peter and Susan never return to Narnia after the events of Prince Caspian.

Why Can’t Peter And Susan Return To Narnia?

Despite what Lewis said, the Christian themes in The Chronicles of Narnia books are clear, constant, and, by the definition of many scholars, allegorical. One of these Christian themes is the idea that many adults did have faith as children and merely let themselves grow out of it as they became older, choosing instead to follow the ways of the world and think too logically. As such, adults cannot enter Narnia, though there seems to be no fixed age limit – it’s merely when a person has “grown up,” as Susan and Peter do, that they can no longer enter.

In the Prince Caspian novel, Peter and Susan are told they will not return to Narnia simply because they are “getting too old.” Later, in the final book of the series, The Last Battle, Susan is said to be “no longer a friend of Narnia” and “interested in nothing nowadays except nylons and lipstick and invitations.” She speaks of Narnia as a place of make-believe that she and her siblings conjured during playtime as children. As one who has lost her belief in Narnia, Susan is the only one of her siblings who never truly return. Peter finally does go back to Narnia at the end of The Last Battle and, upon arriving, asks how it was possible after being told he would never return. Peter is then told that he is in the true Narnia and that the Narnia he knew as a child was “only a shadow or copy.” The books never fully explain why Susan is exempted from returning to Narnia and Peter is not, even though he had also presumably become occupied with the “real world” for much of the series.

This explanation is a far cry from a scene at the end of the third Narnia film, PrinceCaspian, where Aslan comforts the concerned Edmund and Lucy by saying that Peter and Susan won’t return to Narnia – not because they have done anything wrong, but because they “have learned what they can from this world,” and that “it’s time for them to live in their own.” This offers a more optimistic interpretation of Peter and Susan’s absence in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Peter and Susan may even desire to go back to Narnia, but the path they should now follow is one where they take what they’ve learned from Narnia and use it for the bettering of the world where they now belong.

Though Peter and Susan are clearly told in both the books and films that they will not return to Narnia after their second adventure, the films have left the door open just far enough to conceivably bring Peter and Susan back for either a fourth Chronicles of Narnia film or a continuation in the form of a Netflix Narnia series. This would be a wild deviation from C.S. Lewis’s original novels, but it could be an opportunity to honor these two beloved characters by asking, in C.S. Lewis fashion, “What if? What if Peter and Susan did return to The Chronicles of Narnia?”

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