Thu
Jan 27 2011 2:09pm
Returning to a Magical Kingdom: Prince Caspian

Prince Caspian by C.S. LewisIt might seem that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (reread post here) needed no sequel, but the last few sentences had left that possibility open, and Lewis was apparently fond enough of Narnia to make a second visit there. And so, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy found themselves yanked from a very ordinary train station back to Narnia, where things are not going at all well, and into a tale of restoring magic to a world that has almost entirely forgotten it.

Prince Caspian is, in some ways, a rather traditional fairy tale of a prince winning his kingdom, only complicated by the arrival of visitors who are literally out of his world, and by the problem that it’s not at all clear how he can win his throne. The young prince learns from his only friend, a half dwarf (we should perhaps try to not focus too hard on the biology of this) that magic is real, that talking animals exist, and that he, not his evil uncle Miraz, is the rightful ruler of Narnia—but winning his kingdom might be a bit difficult.

(At the same time, given that we later learn that many of the human nobles of Narnia are none too thrilled with Miraz or his rule, I have to wonder if regaining the throne would really have been as difficult as all that. Restoring the old Narnia of the talking animals—that would seem to be the considerably harder task.)

Caspian flees, only to find that his route to the throne is not at all clear: unlike in many tales of this sort, he has no set tasks to accomplish, no quest for the throne. (At this, it even contrasts with the first book of the series, which had a nice if questionable prophecy to go by.) Muddled, he and his companions decide to call for help—summoning Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. Caspian also gets some assistance from Aslan, because, of course, and Bacchus and Silenus, because, well, why wouldn’t a young, drunken resurrected pagan god help out a Christian religious symbol? Well. He is drunk. And, to further help along the plot, Lewis rather neatly slides in two traitors to the throne to ensure that none of his child protagonists need to become murderers.

My retelling here is considerably more straightforward than the one in the book, which relies on lengthy flashback techniques to tell its story. This creates pacing problems: the plot with the Pevensie children is just getting going when we stop dead to hear the story of Prince Caspian, which in turn is just getting going when it stops dead to return to the Pevensie children. It’s awkward, not just with the pacing, but also because Trumpkin, the supposed narrator of the story, is relaying details he couldn’t possibly know—details that the book’s narrator engagingly if unconvincingly tells us the Pevensies learned later. And Lewis tries to pull the trick a second time later in the book, to explain just what Peter, Caspian and Edmund are seeing. It robs the narrative of suspense, and makes following along more tricky.

Also gone is the moral depth. (Which may be a relief to those not looking for deep morality in their fantasy.) Prince Caspian touches on matters of faith and belief, but never as deeply as in the other books. In this book, the worst consequence of disbelief is a day’s delay and exile to a tropical island. Contrast to other books, where disbelief means getting transformed, nearly eaten by giants, and so on. Those objecting to reading books filled with Christian symbolism, but still wanting to give Narnia a try, should note that the Christian symbolism is weakest here, but then again, this is also probably the weakest or second weakest of the Narnia books. Perhaps all of that Christian symbolism was necessary to make Narnia work.

I was, however, glad to see someone other than me objecting to the concept that humans are the rightful rulers of sentient animals, even if those voicing objections were evil characters. This was a tricky enough concept in the first book. Here, asking me to believe that after years of brutal war and genocide, sentient animals will be delighted to accept a human ruler again just because he’s about ten and says he likes them is…well, to say it’s stretching belief is an understatement. (Even when I was ten.) I can’t even excuse this on the basis that the Oxford don would have no knowledge of how captured and conquered people often respond to their oppressors: Lewis grew up, after all, in Ireland, which had experienced a rather similar conquest/political situation. I can, however, accept that perhaps the animals are just hoping that young Caspian can’t be any worse, mostly because this is a belief outright stated by many of the dwarfs. (Lewis, whatever his friendship with Tolkien, and no philologist, uses this spelling.)

And I’m equally glad to see someone expressing doubt that four children, summoned by however magical means, can actually save anything. (No matter if this doubt is soon proven wrong.) Yes, as a child reader, I was of course convinced that kids could solve anything; as an adult, I am considerably more skeptical, and it’s good to see adults sharing my skepticism, whatever the powers of Narnian air, and however much we may be proven wrong.

A few other things strike me: the way, in this book, Susan has turned into a decided wet-blanket, hardly enjoying any of this trip at all, in another foreshadowing of her eventual fate. The way nobody, even Susan, really seems to learn anything in the book—in strong contrast to the other six books, filled with young protagonists learning often painful moral lessons and truths about themselves. (I suppose Caspian learning that he is the true king of Narnia counts as a lesson of sorts, but contrast to Edmund and Eustace learning that they are not, deep down, actually nice people, or Jill and Lucy learning how easily they can be tempted, and so on.)

And above all, it's interesting just how short this trip to Narnia is. I rechecked, and the Pevensies are there for only a little more than a week: the day they arrive; the day they meet Trumpkin; the following day, when, failing to follow Aslan’s instructions, they get lost and waste a day, before trekking through the night to Aslan’s How; and the day of the battle. Five days of (presumably) parties later, they are sent back. Only one trip—that of The Magician’s Nephew, which is not, as we’ll see, a completely authorized one—is shorter.

But the part that I found wrenching, even now, was reading that Susan and Peter would not be able to return to Narnia. They tell us that Aslan believes they are too old, part of that too old for fairy tales theme that Lewis will return to (and summarily reject) in later books. I didn’t buy it then, and I don’t buy it now: Narnia is a land peopled with adults and children, and I see no reason why adults can’t return—especially since Lewis himself said, in that initial dedication, that at some point an adult will be old enough to read fairy tales again. At which point that adult should be able to return to Narnia.

My guess, in rereading the text, is that in this particular case, Peter and Susan are exiled from Narnia (well, in Peter’s case, kinda exiled, as we’ll see) not merely because of their age, but because of their growing doubt. It’s the younger children who see Aslan or who are at least willing to believe the Lion is there; the older children doubt and choose the seemingly safer route. I mentioned earlier that the only (seeming) consequence for this disbelief is a day’s delay in their journey, which has no effect on the happy outcome. But perhaps the real consequence is this: they are exiled from Narnia, setting a pattern that will soon kick Edmund and Lucy out, too.

Like its predecessor, this book shows several signs of being written in a hurry, and although Narnia still bursts with magic, Prince Caspian lacks the unexpected and the wonder of the first book. It’s enjoyable enough, but it’s probably the weakest of the series, and where many people stopped reading the series altogether (whether they started with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or with The Magician’s Nephew.) I can’t entirely blame them, but I will say that if you stop here, you’re missing some of the real glories of the series: Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair and even portions of the deeply problematic The Last Battle.


Mari Ness has to admit she rather wishes she could invite Bacchus to a party or two, if only to taste those magical grapes. She previously expressed her thoughts on sending children to save magical kingdoms in rather snarky fashion here.

21 comments
Badadam
1. Badadam
C.S. Lewis's works of fiction are weak in comparison to other major works of fantasy (and sci-fi) because they are essentially a conceit (a literary term for an extended and hyperbolic metaphor). Any time that you stretch a single metaphor over the course of hundreds of pages, it will grow thin; that's the nature of the comparison of two unlike things. There's a reason that "conceit" and "concession" sound similar.
In Prince Caspian's defense: Perelandra.
Badadam
2. Erick Graubard
I would have to say, based on what you have written, that this book is more about growing up than you believed. You said it yourself that when you read the story when you were younger, you believed that children could do anything, and now you see it with a sense of doubt as an adult. Peter and Susan are growing older and are doubting more, like you said, and that could be the main reason as to why they are being exiled. I agree with what you said, I just believe it is more important than you think.
Badadam
3. elsiekate
i wouldn't dispute that structually this book has a lot of problems, but i still adore major portions of it. trumpkin, trufflehunter, master cornelius--i love all of them. the secret meetings at the top of the tower with astronomy as the excuse--thrilled me when i first read of them. when edmund backs up lucy--just such a lovely moment.

lots of it is hasty, but i actually liked this one better than "dawn treader," for example.
Badadam
4. Dr. Thanatos
I wonder if Lewis originally envisioned only two books in Narnia, with the rest, like later Oz books, by "popular demand."

When I re-read these two as adults , I noted that LWW was, in many ways, a retelling of the christ story: the lion who sacrifices himself so that the rule of the evil supernatural dude can be broken, and everyone lives happily ever after until they go back to WWI England. PC looks way into the future when there is an attempted return to power of Evil ---Aslan saves the day and the long-awaited rightful king returns .

I might add, for the record and I think it's pertinent, that this interpretation is more in line with the Jewish concept of the messiah, a human king who will bring peace and harmony, as opposed to what Lewis brings us in book 7: You-Know-Who establishing his reign at the end of the world I'd say that it wasn't clear who this is, but I'd be Lion. Ha. Ha. Ha.]

In any case, from a religious allegorical POV these two books seem to bookend nicely and I wonder if there's any evidence Lewis' original intention was to end it there.
Alex Brown
5. AlexBrown
This was never my favorite Narnia book, mostly because of the same problems you mentioned. Even as a kid I could see that the only reason the animals were so keen on taking to Caspian was that Lewis would've otherwise had to basically rewrite the first book - or Animal Farm for that matter - in which animals revolt against a tyrannical humanoid. In this case the talking animals would've had to summon the Pevensies to revolt against Caspian's revolt against his uncle, which would've lead to the Pevensies killing two sets of humans...and basically ruined any possibilities for further sequels. You can't set up an animal revolt and not have it spread to other countries without having other kids show up to quell it later on...it's a narrative deadend.

And I never really liked Peter or Susan all that much. What happens to her down the line I always got a little schadenfreude joy out of that. She can suck it for all I care. Honestly, when I got Eustace and Jill and Shasta and Aravis (or, hell, even Digory and Polly) I stopped caring about the Pevensies. They were far less interesting than the other children he introduced later.
Alex Brown
6. AlexBrown
Dr Thanatos @4: Lewis never intended to make any sequels. After each book he thought he was done until he suddenly found he wasn't. The Wikipedia page on the series has some really interesting quotes by him about the whole series thing and the religious overtones.
Mari Ness
7. MariCats
@Baladam - I don't know that I'd agree that all of the Narnia books are weak, although I'd certainly agree that this particular Narnia book is.

And I absolutely agree with you on Perelandra, which, boring.

@Erick Graubard - I think that the Narnia books as a whole are about growing up and, eventually, dying, but we'll get to that part.

But I'm not sure that in this book anybody, even Peter and Susan, really grows up all that much, even with all of the drunken carousing. (Which is, come to think of it, considerably more adult entertainment than the Turkish Delight and fried fish of the previous book, bolstering your point.) And perhaps that's my problem: Peter and Susan are forced to grow up, but they do so without actually gaining any self awareness - in strong contrast to the other books which are filled with painful, honest moments of self-realization and growing maturity. Here, you pay the price for growing up without getting anything for it.

@elsiekate - Dawn Treader is both a more creative and more problematic book in many ways, but for sheer imagination, plus a dragon, I like it more. Then again I'm a bit prejudiced in favor of dragons.

Trumpkin is fun though.

@Dr Thanatos - The White Witch makes a reappearance in the movie (which had huge problems trying to work with the confusing narrative structure of the book), not the book. Various evil characters wish rather wistfully for her return, but she seems to be very dead. She does reappear in The Magician's Nephew, but that's more of a prequel to Wardrobe.

It seems to me that the return of the rightful king (or kings) is more of the Wardrobe story. Prince Caspian is more the tale of what might have happened if Richard III's nephews had escaped from the Tower, roused up everyone in Wales and Yorkshire (well. Um. Yorkshire supported Richard III. Bad historical analogy. Let's move on!) and overtaken London, destroying some much needed engineering works along the way, mostly because, as various people note, Prince Caspian's entire line is not exactly the rightful one; they are conquerors. I think Lewis more had in mind the legend of King Arthur's eventual return in the hour of England's greatest need, which would presumably include keeping the descendants of William the Conqueror on the throne.

@Milo1313 - Jill is awesome, but more about her later.

Lewis wrote himself into a narrative problem: animals unhappy with human rule, fighting to restore mostly that human rule even if the new guy promised to be different. At the same time, I think he wanted badly to tell a version of King Arthur's return (with the Pevensies as King Arthur), and felt he had to create a problem that was not merely a "hey, another evil witch that you have to destroy."

My understanding is that Lewis never planned any of the sequels, which seems about right -- certainly he changed many of his ideas in Wardrobe as he continued to write, and if sequels had been planned, I can't help thinking that he would have added a couple of paragraphs to Wardrobe discussing the countries outside Narnia.
Madeline Ferwerda
8. MadelineF
In contrast to everyone so far, I enjoy Prince Caspian quite a lot. It's got scads of my favorite bits of the Narnia series in it. This is the one where they have squashy paper packets of bear in their pockets, yes? And everyone's a bit surly at that point from camping and sleeping outside, and there are interesting descriptions of cooking...

I think I like it because there's a lot of people respecting other people in it, and that's just a mind space I enjoy being in. Like elsiekate mentions, when Edmund backs up Lucy; or when Trumpkin willingly admits he was wrong when Susan pwns him with a bow.

It's a neat take on the time currents that Narnia flows in; might not be expected, before this book, to show up again and find scores of decades have passed every month. Neat to see the Pevensies get to grapple a bit with their past as monarchs. I love the archaeology. Who wouldn't want to poke around in a caved-in overgrown cellar and find jeweled swords and armor? The long set of styles remembered at the start of the letter from the high king!

Nice to meet more of Narnia. The tasty-sounding dirt that the Dryads lay out at the picnic! The bitter grudgeful endurance of the Werewolf!

There's no artificial feel to the plot; people do stuff that seems to make sense as best as they can guess, that fits their hopes. No prophecies rushing them forward like they were on a track.

The older kids leaving doesn't seem that bad to me, more like an acknowledgement that they've mastered the situation.
Badadam
9. sushisushi
A couple of points here - Lewis may have grown up in Ireland, but he grew up in a Belfast Anglican professional family, which would have been a nicely insulated bastion of privilege in the first decades of the 20th century. It's not exactly the sort of background which would give you any sort of easy insight into the mindset of conquered peoples.

Also, I suspect that Lewis' dedication was code for 'someday you will return to fairy tales, because you will be reading them to your children'. I don't think that situation would allow you to return to Narnia, as opposed to passing on the proverbial baton.
Andrew Barton
10. MadLogician
I know you plan to have the main Susan discussion later, but I will pick up on this reference:
'Susan has turned into a decided wet-blanket, hardly enjoying any of this trip at all, in another foreshadowing of her eventual fate.'

We don't KNOW Susan's eventual fate. We know that by the end of the series she'd had a falling-out with her elder brother, and then as a teenager she suddenly lost her entire family all in the same rail accident. You could write a thousand stories about how she dealt with that trauma and what happened to her afterwards (I'm working on one now) but in any case Lewis does not tell the end of her tale.
rob mcCathy
11. roblewmac
I only read Lion the witch and the warobe, A Horse and his boy Magican's newphew and Last Battle. The two I remember best are Warobe and Nephew Lewis may have MEANT Susan to be off-putting but even as a kid I thought of Narina as "not very appealing fairyland." I think it would be rather sad if a 21 year old girl DID want to hang out with the Jeues lion and his talking animal friends. instead of dating.
Badadam
12. Jan Spoor
I'll preface my comments by saying that it's been a few years since I read PC, and I've seen the film since then, which muddles things a bit.

But by and large I agree with MadelineF. The characters in this story are so wonderful, and the scenes (as I recall them) so evocative that details of what might be thought of as consistency in a "regular" novel don't seem very important.

I think that some of the comments here and in your reread of LWW are a bit unfair as they seem to be holding these stories to standards they, and other similar works, were not written to meet. Yes, the cross-country trips sometimes don't take that long, but these are books for kids--do they really need to recount month-long journeys just so someone can tot up the mileage and be satified that Narnia is the size of California? Maybe it's only the size of Shropshire--is there anything wrong with that? Yes, so maybe it's incongruous that a talking beaver who lives in a beaver lodge has a sewing machine but, hello? she's a TALKING BEAVER--which is the more incongruous?

Likewise, yes, there are adults in Narnia, but they're natives. The Pevensies are not. This is an experience that's linked to their childhood in a special way. And human adults *do* come to Narnia (in TMN)--just under very different circumstances.

And I don't get your objections to what you describe as the mixture of "pagan" and "Christian" elements. Aslan isn't Christ; he just isn't. There's an analogous relationship, but Aslan is part of the native Narnian (in fact the "whatever you call the world of which Narnia is only a small corner"-ian setting), and so are fauns and dryads and, apparently, Bacchus and Silenus or analogs of them. No one pokes Neil Gaiman because he has Odin and Anansi in the same story.

What struck me as far more odd in a Narnian setting was the girls' school in Beruna, which sounded like it was plucked straight out of some English child's nightmares and popped down there with no rhyme or reason but to give Aslan and the others a chance to shock Miss Prizzle.
Badadam
13. Tehanu
Yeah, I'm with MadelineF and Jan Spoor. PC was actually the first Narnia book I ever read, when I was about 11, so it has a special place in my heart -- but I re-read it again quite recently and I don't have any of Mari's problems with it. The jumble of Norse and Greek/Roman mythology and British school slang and Christian symbolism and all the other stuff doesn't bother me with its inconsistency because Lewis loved all those things, and his love for them is what unifies them. And meeting Trumpkin, Trufflehunter, Glenstorm, Dr. Cornelius, the Bulgy Bears, the River-God, Reepicheep ... all memorable characters. And finally, the human-size landscape of Narnia, which is much more like England and/or Scotland than anywhere in America. I remember how surprised I was on my first trip to Scotland that the highest mountain in all of Great Britain, Ben Nevis, is less than half the height of the mountains just east of Los Angeles (and most Angelenos don't even know the names of those mountains because they're far lower than the Sierra Nevada) -- and that you could drive from one side of Scotland to the other in about 4 hours. Yet the wild areas of Scotland (and hence, Narnia) are just as dangerous and wild as the California wilderness; they're just not as extensive.
Badadam
14. Angiportus
I discovered the Narnia series at 12; would have done so earlier if I hadn't been a real picky reader. I really liked them then, partly because the religious allegory aspect went right over my head. I guess I liked the setting, I've always been more into things and places than people. Baynes' illustrations were fabulous. The editions we had in the US when I was a kid had only some of them, and I got hold of the fully illustrated Puffins when I could.
I was a bit bummed out how Peter and Lucy couldn't come back, but copouts like that seemed de rigueur or whatever the spelling is, in fantasy. I still think it is a grownup plot...
At 12, I was a sucker for simplistic good and evil characters, even when some of the latter could reform. Susan always seemed a bit colorless.
The movie--I loved the scenery, but I hated 1) they left out the dance scene, 2) it started off with that woman screaming her fool head off, which to me is de trop--at least. I don't think it belongs in a kids' story, or in fact in any story I want to read/see/hear. I have actually heard human beings screaming uncontrollably, and I don't need that recalled to memory. (Nor did I need Gaiman's story about Susan, which I seem to recall wasn't coherent to me, and didn't invite closer reading.)
Oh, and speaking as a builder of trebuchets, the catapults were ludicrous.
But I still have the books.
And I seem to recall there was some nice fanfic, but I don't have specific titles in memory.
Wesley Parish
15. Aladdin_Sane
The werewolf is one of the Kings (a shapeshifter then in human form) vying for Susan's hand in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, that much should be obvious.

He's patient; and is probably prepared to take her on the installment plan - her hand today, the next in a year's time, up to the elbow next year, getting daring, and it's up to the shoulderblade the year after, a foot the following year ... even for a werewolf, there's no point in hurrying things ... these things do take time, and maybe one of these days she'll love him for who and what he is - a furry, slobbering, greedy shapeshifting anthropophage who licks his arse ... and other parts ...

I mean, we do need justification for his turning up at a council where the discussion includes calling those lost heroes back from the world beyond ... and what better reason than an ancient (and tragically forbidden) love for the Human Queen of Narnia's Golden Age?
Mari Ness
16. MariCats
@MadelineF - Yes, this is the book with the squishy bear meat, which I thought was a nice touch - mostly for eliminating that "well, why didn't they just hunt for food?" thought that so frequently comes up, by realistically showing that it takes time to butcher a bear and the meat isn't very easy to carry.

@sushisushi - You have a point about Lewis's upbringing, but as someone who has been in privileged positions while observing at first hand political violence, even if you aren't the person being oppressed, it leaves an impression. Lewis spent his adult life aware that he was Irish. In any case, this was hardly the only real life or literary example he had to study - he also lived through the French and Polish Resistance, read about Chinese resistance to Japanese invaders, and so on.

I fear you are right about reading fairy tales to your children, instead of believing in them, unless you're Polly Plummer.

@MadLogician -- This is a good point. I've been using the word "fate" in a rather weaselly fashion to avoid spoilers for The Last Battle until I reach that book, and for "fate" I really mean "what happens in The Last Battle." I'll discuss my impressions of that when we reach that book - I get the impression that we'll be disagreeing, and I'd love to hear your opinions and hopefully be convinced that I'm wrong :)

@Jan Spoor - Hmm. Some of what you are noting as criticisms are more of just points that struck me as I was reading. I do, actually, find the sewing machine more incongruous than the talking beavers - largely because this is a world filled with talking animals, and I can accept that, but this is also a world that aside from the sewing machine, the umbrella and the lamp post is presented as very, very much a pre-industrial society. Which is great, and I love that, but I find myself wondering just what a sewing machine is doing there. As I noted, though, I thoroughly believe that Mrs. Beaver, of everyone in Narnia, would and should have one. And, well, maybe she got the first one from Father Christmas too which would explain a lot. But it does add to the magic of the general book - I mean, not only are the beavers talking, but clearly clothing the neighborhood.

Anyway. To the larger objections:

For what it's worth, I have heard more than one person take Gaiman to task for mixing up so many different pagan cults in American Gods. But this criticism ignores one minor fact: the followers of Odin were not attempting to murder the followers of Anasazi in the name of religion and vice versa (although they could and did call upon deities for assistance in battle), and the fact that in the Mediterranean at least people carried their gods around as they traveled up until Christianity. This wasn't, of course, entirely without conflict -- many Roman rulers eyed the growing cult of Isis with concern -- but it happened, without the cult of Isis attempting to eliminate the cult of, say, Juno.

The history of Christianity and paganism, on the other hand, often involved violent conflicts and attempts on both sides to eradicate the other. Because of this opposition, fictional representations of pagan gods like Bacchus actively helping out Christian deities are rare.

What I want to stress, though, is that I don't object to this - and I agree with you that Aslan is not precisely Christ, especially in this book. But I do find it odd (not bad, just odd) and worth discussing.

You're right about the girls' school, though. I took it as Lewis' attempt to criticize British schools but I really don't think that bit works at all. At least it's short, and I generally breeze through it.

@Tehanu -- The characters of Prince Caspian are delightful. And I agree that Scotland and England are smaller countries compared to, say, California, (although as we'll see Calormen is quite large). But it would still take more than a couple of days to walk from one end to the other.

@Angiportus -- To be fair, the movie was struggling with a very difficult narrative to bring to screen, precisely because of the way the book was written -- Lewis clearly did not have a movie or screenplay in mind. I don't think the movie was particularly successful, but I also think the screenwriters had a dreadful job. If A Silver Chair is ever greenlit, I think it will be a more successful film just because it will be easier to film.

I don't know anything about Narnian fanfic other than it's out there; aside from Gaiman's story I've never read any.

@Aladdin_Sane - Heh.
Badadam
18. John C. Bunnell
As regards Narnian fanfic, one reasonable source is likely the Yuletide archive (with the caveat that this link is to the original archive, which is supposed to be ported elsewhere in the unspecified near future). I have mostly not looked at these, but the Yuletide fan community tends to produce above-average material on a continuing basis, particularly for literary fandoms.

I'll also point toward one particular story, not part of Yuletide, which addresses the Problem of Susan in intriguing and amusing fashion (I like this author's take far better than I did Gaiman's, for what that's worth).
Badadam
19. Elaine Thom
I found Prince Caspian last of all the Narnia books, and never liked it much. Things I do remember making an impression on me from it: Lucy waking in the night thinking of whose voice it was she had heard: her father's? Peter's? The voice of one of those she loved best in the world. And it's Aslan.

Peter saying good-bye and giving messages to Edmund for their parents if he loses the fight with Miraz.

The way the school scenes in Narnia just didn't fit the rest of the context. Boys school or girls.

Any scene with Trumpkin.

Susan finding the chessman and remembering in a dreamy sing-song voice about the frivolous stuff they did as kings and queens. The next person to get a dreamy, sing-song voice is the Green Witch. Another foreshadowing. Honestly, if one of the kids was to go wrong, I don't see a better candidate.

I find it difficult to sit down and reread the series, now. Things I passed over as a kid in the writing (like the schools, above) jar mightily as an adult.

One thing I am pleased about though, is that Lewis let his kids remember, unlike many writers of children's fantasy.
Badadam
20. Angiportus
I just got thru grumbling in my journal about stories where the protagonists go thru an amazing experience and then it is all magically deleted from their memory--they are lucky if there is even a feeling left. What's the point? Gods or whatever who do that are just toying with people, and need to find a more constructive hobby. I'd want the adventurers to come away from it having learned something, somehow, or having been spiritually uplifted or warned. So Lewis got that one right.
Thanks, John, I will check the fanfic site.
Badadam
21. SEG07
I have heard wonderful things about The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and I know I am definitely going to get the movie when it comes out on DVD and Blueray April 8th. The stories are amazing, so be sure and get this movie!
Badadam
22. houseboatonstyx
Well, as to characters learning things. Trumpkin learns something, and so does the schoolmarm, and the Talking Animals.... Isn't that enough?

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