Naiads, River Nymphs or Water Spirits were the gods and goddesses who lived in the rivers and streams of Narnia.
They were most commonly found in the Great River of Narnia. They are human-like in appearance, and are spiritually tied to the waters of Narnia. No physical description is given, but in illustrations by Pauline Baynes, they are depicted as pretty women dressed in gowns of aquatic colors, most commonly in blue, and sometimes wearing crowns of rushes around their heads.
Their father and chief was the River god, who had a weedy beard. Other River Gods do exist, and are the male equivilant of Naiads.
When the White Witch conquered Narnia, she placed the entire land under a spell of constant winter, thus freezing all the water. It seems most likely the Naiads spent most of the Age of Winter frozen, unable to do anything, until Aslan freed them. During the Winter Revolution, they are mentioned among Aslan's followers at the Stone Table, fighting alongside their fellow Narnians against the White Witch.
When the Telmarines conquered Narnia, thus beginning the Telmarine Age of Narnia, the Naiads and the River Gods went into a form of deep sleep. While they slept, the Telmarines built a large bridge over the river, which inadvertently kept the River God, and probably the rest of the Naiads as well, imprisoned.
| Movie-based Information|
Despite them being mentioned in the books, they were not depicted in the first two films, except for the River God who appeared in Prince Caspian (Disney movie), when he defeated the Telmarine army. Finally, though, the Naiads appeared in the third film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (film), as replacements for the Sea People.
In the film, they are portrayed in a similiar manner to the Dryads, in the respect that they are non-physical beings that use their element as their bodies, which in this case would be water. However, they were intended for the first film according to concept art, in which they are portrayed as a little physical, yet still watery. Also worthy to note, in the third film, the naiads are given fish tails like merpeople and dwell in salt water. This is a huge screw up to mythology and canon, as Lewis never describes the seas of Narnia as having nymphs, only Merpeople and Sea People. Also, in Greek Mythology, naiads are nymphs of fresh water, while oceanids and nereids are nymphs of ocean/sea/salt waters.