Closely related: Why does the Emperor-Over-the-Sea play such a small role in the Chronicles of Narnia?

Why is the Emperor Beyond The Sea in The Chronicles of Narnia named that? What sea is he beyond, and why is he beyond it? Is this implying that the Emperor Beyond the Sea has a country that's kind of analogous to Aslan's Country? If so, why are they separate countries?

  • I wonder if it is in some way a reference to Deuteronomy 30:13?
    – Alex
    Oct 22, 2023 at 23:43

2 Answers 2


Emperor Beyond The Sea represents Yahweh, Old Testament God, The Father. Also, God of the Jews. Aslan represents Jesus and New Testament. Emperor indeed has a separate country (Israel, if you will) with his own people. You might say that he is beyond the Sea of Understanding or Knowledge; nobody can know his will or anything about him. In a way, Emperor is a hero of another story, a story that is almost finished. Being human god hybrid, Jesus is much closer and easier to understand than Yahweh; so it goes with Emperor and Aslan. Emperor is idea, far away from people's eye, unknown and unknowable. Aslan is there and approachable.

That's my interpretation at least.

  • 1
    Nothing suggests that the Emperor Beyond the Sea represents a deity who is or was tribal, who has or ever had a chosen people.
    – user1751
    Nov 15, 2017 at 11:15
  • Did I ever in my answer use a phrase chosen people? I wrote "has a separate country with his own people" . I really don't understand why you think my answer should be downvoted.
    – jo1storm
    Nov 15, 2017 at 11:39
  • 1
    Yahweh was a tribal god with a chosen people, whom he supported against other peoples. The Emperor Beyond the Sea isn't like that. Agreed the EBtS is similar or even essentially the same as the "Father" aspect of the Christian God, but that's very different. If you look at what Aslan tells Emeth in The Last Battle, he's not saying "you're righteous because you, a non-Narnian, helped my people". He says "no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to (Tash)". There's no reason to believe the EbTS thinks any differently.
    – user1751
    Nov 15, 2017 at 16:56

The Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea is obviously one expression of God as he is in the context of Narnia. So Narnia is another world that God (or the Emperor-beyond-the-sea as He is called here) is lord of, where He has made Himself known to the inhabitants and sent part of Himself in the form of Aslan for their redemption. Judging from your question, I assume you have not read all seven of the Narnian chronicles- the Voyage of the Dawn Treader and the Last Battle clarify this point very well. In the former book, King Caspian and his crew take the boat through the Eastern Ocean (that's the sea) searching for the end of the world and some other interesting items. Here comes the kicker, beyond the unexplored Eastern Ocean and the end of the world lies Aslan's Country, where the Emperor-beyond-the-sea resides. Aslan's country and the land of the Emperor-beyond-the-sea are one and the same, it's just that we the readers know Aslan better and will more readily comprehend this otherworldly place if we associate it with him and not the more mysterious Emperor, hence the name and the confusion there.

  • Doesn't the Voyage of the Dawn Treader just refer to it as Aslan's Country (not necessarily as both of their country)? I don't remember if the Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea is explicitly named in either. Nov 15, 2017 at 20:31

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