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Chapter 12: Peter's First Battle

daughter of the King
(@dot)
Princess Dot Moderator

1. Aslan is described as both good and terrible in this chapter. How do you think something or someone can be both good and terrible at the same time?

2. Do you agree with Peter that he is partly to blame for Edmund's behavior? Why or why not?

3. Why do you think Aslan chose Peter to kill the wolf?

4. What else caught your attention in this chapter? What was your favorite/least favorite part?

ahsokasig
Narniaweb sister to Pattertwig's Pal

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Topic starter Posted : November 2, 2013 6:14 am
King_Erlian
(@king_erlian)
NarniaWeb Guru

1. Aslan is described as both good and terrible in this chapter. How do you think something or someone can be both good and terrible at the same time?
Of course, it doesn't mean "terrible" as in "of a low standard" (e.g. "I think U2's music is terrible"). It means it in the sense of "likely to cause terror". If Aslan is so powerful and authoritative, then he would easily induce terror, even in those who want to be on his side.

2. Do you agree with Peter that he is partly to blame for Edmund's behavior? Why or why not?
Yes I do, though I don't think Peter can be blamed for not foreseeing what the results of Edmund's behaviour would be. The rift between them must have been going on for ages, not just since they arrived at the Professor's house, and it doesn't seem fair to say that everything between them was 100% Edmund's fault.

3. Why do you think Aslan chose Peter to kill the wolf?
Aslan knew that a huge battle would soon take place and that Peter wasn't yet ready to face it. Killing the Wolf gave Peter confidence that he could fight the Witch.

4. What else caught your attention in this chapter? What was your favorite/least favorite part?
(1) Certain creatures are represented as "good" and others as "evil" - there don't appear to be any good wolves. Is this unfair - almost like being racist? The Beavers say there are "precious few" good dwarfs, but in the other Narnia books there are plenty. Did a lot of dwarfs turn good during the Pevensies' reign, or does it just reflect the Beavers' lack of knowledge, or prejudice?
(2) Why did the Wolf attack when the Witch had ordered him not to be seen? He had one other Wolf with him - was he so stupid that he didn't realise that he was vastly outnumbered by Aslan's party?

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Posted : November 5, 2013 1:46 am
PhelanVelvel
(@phelanvelvel)
NarniaWeb Nut

"Aslan stood in the centre of a crowd of creatures who had grouped themselves round him in the shape of a half-moon. There were Tree-Women there and Well-Women (Dryads and Naiads as they used to be called in our world) who had stringed instruments; it was they who had made the music. There were four great centaurs. The horse part of them was like huge English farm horses, and the man part was like stern but beautiful giants. There was also a unicorn, and a bull with the head of a man, and a pelican, and an eagle, and a great Dog. And next to Aslan stood two leopards of whom one carried his crown and the other his standard."

One of the most interesting paragraphs in this book. I don't think we ever see anything like "a bull with a man's head" ever again, at least not as a good guy. (Possibly a convert from the White Witch's crew? Or maybe someone under a spell...?) Definitely the only mention of a pelican. This is one of the parts of LWW where I think Lewis didn't have the image of Aslan or Narnia completely pinned down yet. Even if it was just some official ceremony, I think this is the only time there's any talk about Aslan having a crown. He's also standing on two feet like a man in the illustration of him being lead away by the White Witch. These sorts of things, coupled with the Beavers' house and their lifestyle and mannerisms, leads me to believe Lewis didn't have the degree of anthropomorphism he wanted down yet.

Even the way Aslan speaks here seems much more formal than in later books, though that could just be due to the formality of the occasion. "'That, O Man,' said Aslan, 'is Cair Paravel of the four thrones...'" I definitely find some of the things he says interesting and unique to this book.

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Posted : November 16, 2013 10:31 am
ValiantArcher
(@valiantarcher)
BC Head and G&B Mod Moderator

1. I think there's some connection to the Biblical idea of the fear of God. God is good, but He is also great and powerful and just and holy. We are to fear Him not because He is unjust or fickle, but because He is holy and powerful and we are sinful; the fear is also a respectful awe of His holiness and might. So...I think that's sort of what Lewis is going for here, but much better stated. :P

2. Peter is to blame in that he was somewhat antagonistic towards Edmund and doesn't treat him that well. However, he is not responsible for Edmund's actions in that Edmund is responsible for himself. So, Peter was in the wrong, but so was Edmund.

3. I tend to agree with what King_Erlian said. It was preparation for the battle that was coming up. Notice how much of a blur the fight with Maugrim was to Peter; this at least gave him experience in what to expect in a larger battle and would hopefully help him be able to work through the confusion and be able to lead the army.

At last I understand why we have waited! This is the ending. Now not day only shall be beloved, but night too shall be beautiful and blessed and all its fear pass away!

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Posted : March 2, 2014 11:05 am
Meltintalle
(@mel)
Member Moderator

Definitely the only mention of a pelican. This is one of the parts of LWW where I think Lewis didn't have the image of Aslan or Narnia completely pinned down yet.

Now that you've pointed it out, I think the image the words depict is reminiscent of a medieval manuscript. I seem to remember the pelican being representative of sacrificial love in that time period. It's...like a literary breadcrumb.

We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost - how long ago! -- G. K. Chesterton

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Posted : April 2, 2014 4:42 am
Pattertwigs Pal
(@twigs)
Member Moderator

1. Aslan is described as both good and terrible in this chapter. How do you think something or someone can be both good and terrible at the same time?
I hope to come back to the question.
2. Do you agree with Peter that he is partly to blame for Edmund's behavior? Why or why not?
Peter definitely did not behave the best and Edmund used that as an excuse for his behavior. However, that does not justify Edmund's behavior. Edmund made no effort to fix the relationship with the others.
3. Why do you think Aslan chose Peter to kill the wolf?
He needed the experience and practice. He would be leading an army, so he should have some experience. It would also give the army a chance to see what he could do.
4. What else caught your attention in this chapter?
It is interesting that Aslan doesn't say anything after Peter takes some of the blame for Edmund's behavior. I wonder what Peter was thinking when Aslan was looking at him.

<a href='https://postimages.org/' target='_blank'><img src='https://i.postimg.cc/bwscVsT4/Aslan-Stone-Tablesig.jpg' border='0' alt='Aslan-Stone-Tablesig'/></a>
NW sister to Movie Aristotle & daughter of the King

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Posted : July 1, 2014 12:55 pm
Ryadian
(@rya)
Member Moderator

1. Aslan is described as both good and terrible in this chapter. How do you think something or someone can be both good and terrible at the same time?
Yes, definitely, and not just because I've been raised on these books. ;) Just look at nature--nature provides us with every essential thing we need for survival, which is good. At the same time, however, it is fraught with all kinds of danger--a sudden change in weather could be damaging (even deadly), rivers that provide water could flood their banks and sweep everything away, etc. Aslan is unique in that you rarely see such a combination in a person (in this case, "person" meaning an intelligent creature ;) ).

2. Do you agree with Peter that he is partly to blame for Edmund's behavior? Why or why not?
I do not believe that Peter is to blame for Edmund's behavior, because Edmund is to blame for that. But Peter is to blame for his own behavior, and being the oldest, he should've recognized when he crossed the line, and he's being mature in recognizing that his reaction may have contributed to Edmund's decision. Yes, I realize that the short version of this answer is probably "yes and no". :P But considering that Edmund's response could have been to storm off and sulk, I can't blame Peter for Edmund's choice; I blame Peter for going at him the way he did, and not considering the consequences until after the fact.

It is interesting that Aslan doesn't say anything after Peter takes some of the blame for Edmund's behavior. I wonder what Peter was thinking when Aslan was looking at him.

I wonder the same thing. I think, though, that Aslan was (in a way) answering the question--as long as Peter is willing to own up to his own mistake of treating Edmund badly, does it really matter if Peter was or wasn't to blame?

3. Why do you think Aslan chose Peter to kill the wolf?
I agree with the others--it was to give Peter a chance to get used to fighting, as he was going to lead the battle, and Peter needed to learn what he was doing.

N-Web sis of stardf, _Rillian_, & jerenda
Proud to be Sirya the Madcap Siren

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Posted : September 14, 2014 1:12 pm
Pattertwigs Pal
(@twigs)
Member Moderator

1. Aslan is described as both good and terrible in this chapter. How do you think something or someone can be both good and terrible at the same time?

From the Online Etymology Dictionary

terrible (adj.)
late 14c., "causing terror, awe, or dread; frightful," from Old French terrible (12c.), from Latin terribilis "frightful," from terrere "fill with fear," from PIE root *tres- "to tremble" (cognates: Sanskrit trasati "trembles," Avestan tarshta "feared, revered," Greek treëin "to tremble," Lithuanian trišeti "to tremble," Old Church Slavonic treso "I shake," Middle Irish tarrach "timid"). Weakened sense of "very bad, awful" is first attested 1590s.

I think the original definition works the best in this case. Aslan would certainly cause terror, awe, or dread. I think for people on his side it would be more awe and terror rather than dread - unless they had done something wrong.

<a href='https://postimages.org/' target='_blank'><img src='https://i.postimg.cc/bwscVsT4/Aslan-Stone-Tablesig.jpg' border='0' alt='Aslan-Stone-Tablesig'/></a>
NW sister to Movie Aristotle & daughter of the King

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Posted : September 14, 2014 1:42 pm
Movie Aristotle
(@risto)
NarniaWeb Junkie

1. Aslan is described as both good and terrible in this chapter. How do you think something or someone can be both good and terrible at the same time?

Merriam-Webster explains one of the definitions of "Terrible" as: "formidable in nature : awesome."

I think it is this sense of terrible that Lewis intended. There is no contradiction when using this definition. Things can be both good and awesome.

2. Do you agree with Peter that he is partly to blame for Edmund's behavior? Why or why not?

One of the hardest jobs of a person in authority is to react decisively but justly to your subjects. In this case Edmund had certainly done wrong and deserved to be scolded by Peter. But did Edmund really "deserve" to be rudely told to "Shut up" when he annoyed Peter? Did he "deserve" the silent treatment while they were following the robin? Did he "deserve" to be name-called a poisonous little beast? And while we usually dismiss Edmund when he calls the others "stuck-up, self-satisfied prigs" and "high and mighty" it just may be that he is reacting to a real flaw in Peter's character. (A character flaw that is exaggerated both in Edmund's imagination, and in Walden's version of Prince Caspian.)

3. Why do you think Aslan chose Peter to kill the wolf?

He was letting the "Prince win his spurs." This was a test for Peter, and a chance for him to make a name for himself. It was a learning experience. But most of all, as brother of the person being attacked, and prince of the army being attacked, it was his duty to personally dispatch the attacker. The risk was his own, as was the glory after the victory. This was the birth of Sir Peter Wolf's-Bane, Peter the Magnificent.

Movie Aristotle, AKA Risto

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Posted : September 30, 2014 11:02 am
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