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Mickey
(@mickey)
NarniaWeb Regular

@courtenay I'm pretty much sure Lewis didn't originally intend to conclude Narnia in this way since in Prince Caspian Aslan tells Peter and Susan that they will now have to seek Him out in their own world, where He has a different name, and in Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Lucy and Edmund are told the same. This looks like a typical "fairy tale ends, time to be an adult" ending (like the ending of Mary Poppins, etc.), and doesn't make much sense if they were going to die anyway in a few years.

It reminds me of a movie called Photographing Fairies. In this movie, the protagonist, who recently lost his beloved in an accident, wanted to reunite with her in the afterlife. The plot is building up in such a way that we expect him to come to terms with his loss and find happiness with another girl who is in love with him. However, at the very end he willingly chooses afterlife over Earth, which completely subverts the viewer's expectations.

This post was modified 1 week ago by Mickey
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Posted : April 5, 2021 4:24 am
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Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Friend of NarniaWeb
Posted by: @mickey

@courtenay I'm pretty much sure Lewis didn't originally intend to conclude Narnia in this way since in Prince Caspian Aslan tells Peter and Susan that they will now have to seek Him out in their own world, where He has a different name, and in Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Lucy and Edmund are told the same. This looks like a typical "fairy tale ends, time to be an adult" ending (like the ending of Mary Poppins, etc.), and doesn't make much sense if they were going to die anyway in a few years.

Yes, I totally agree. I often wish we could know more about how Lewis's ideas and thought-processes developed as the Narnia books went on, but unfortunately, he didn't leave very many notes or drafts at all and we only have occasional snippets to go by! I wish I could remember where I saw the quote where he stated he was initially sure Dawn Treader would be the last, but I have a feeling it's in one of my books that are still back in Australia... (My life is spread between two countries — with a third one to be added later this year, I hope, as I'm going through the visa process for a job in the US — but that's another story entirely!!)

Incidentally, this came up in another discussion here (I can't think where it was, just now): that at the end of Prince Caspian, Aslan tells Peter and Susan that they will have to seek him in their own world. I'm just wondering — is that in the Walden film version of Prince Caspian (which I've never watched)? It's just that it doesn't occur in the book. Aslan's final conversation with Peter and Susan is "off stage" and we as readers only know about it from what Peter tells Edmund and Lucy: "There were things he wanted to say to Su and me because we're not coming back to Narnia." And all we learn from him there is that Aslan says Peter and Susan are "getting too old", but that Peter somehow finds it's not as bad as it sounds: "Well, I think I can [bear it]... It's all rather different from what I thought. You'll understand when it comes to your last time."

It's not until the end of Dawn Treader that we are "in" on Aslan's conversation with Edmund and Lucy on the same topic, which is when we first learn that Aslan is in our world as well, under another name. This wasn't mentioned at all in Prince Caspian, so we're left with a little suspense there as to why Peter feels the way he does about never coming back to Narnia. That's resolved at the end of Dawn Treader, in a way that does indeed make it feel like it was originally meant to be the end of the whole series. But since Lewis had already left an opening for more adventures in Narnia — "'And is Eustace never to come back here either?' said Lucy. 'Child,' said Aslan, 'do you really need to know that?...'" — I guess he soon found he couldn't resist carrying on... Wink  

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

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Posted : April 5, 2021 10:53 am
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