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2 random thoughts about the Silver Chair  

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Geekicheep
(@geekicheep)
NarniaWeb Regular

The first is a story thing, and the second is just plain silly. 🙂

Firstly, what do you think the Lady of the Green Kirtle wanted Rillian for?  I mean, if she had this huge army of gnomes, and was preparing to launch a full-scale war with Narnia, what was his purpose in her plan?  The nearest I can figure is that it would have left Narnia without a leader - Trumpkin was not exactly a general (lol).  But wouldn't Drinian or one of the king's other trusted friends have picked up the slack?  So it can't be that.  Or maybe, she meant for him to be found.  Then he would pretend to fall in love with her, and make her his queen; but then why would she need an army?  Maybe to form an alliance and start some kind of World War 1?  Narnians + gnomes = conquer the continent? From Calormen to Harfang, the Narnian Empire (I bet the "gentle" giants would join her too lol)?  lol I don't know, but it's just an interesting bit of fun to try and figure out.  What could she possibly have been up to?  I guess the only answer we know is, "some deep scheme against Narnia". 😀

And secondly - this is funnier and much simpler - when did Rillian sleep?  I mean, if he was his normal self at night, awake and constantly trying to escape, and enchanted during the day, doing the Witch's bidding, when did he go to bed?  lol I must be tired myself to think of goofy stuff like this! 😀

Seriously though, as I said in another thread, this is something I love about Narnia - so much room for the imagination to run wild, so many things that we (and maybe Lewis himself) never thought of that make it fun even to grown-ups. 🙂

Yes, I'm a mouse... I mean, a geek!

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Posted : January 15, 2021 9:43 pm
waggawerewolf27
(@waggawerewolf27)
NarniaWeb Zealot

Yes, Narnia does let one's imagination run riot. These are my thoughts, starting with your second observation about Rilian's sleeping patterns. Yes he starts to become himself after a good meal, then he is tied in the chair, where he is tormented by what he realises about himself, before - allegedly - turning into a snake & then falling unconscious. Is he really properly asleep, like someone snoozing in an armchair? Or does his green kirtled hostess take a bite out of him while he is helpless, to keep herself well fed? In any case, a nice pure sleep, in a comfy armchair, without accompanying nightmares isn't what Rilian is getting. I might observe that the thrones at Buckingham Palace, once they were reupholstered for the Queen's 2012 Diamond Jubilee look decidedly more comfortable to sit on, by comparison, than any illustration of the Silver Chair. 

Your first observation is easier. The Lady of the Green Kirtle wants a way into Narnia, to conquer that country. Only a human can rule it legitimately, & the Queen of the Underworld, as Rilian's wedded wife & controller would be in a very powerful position, indeed to destroy its leaders, taking over the place. You might enjoy participating in the Silver Chair Reading Group forum. What would your take be on what would have happened to Rilian if Jill, Eustace & Puddleglum had not turned up in the nick of time to rescue him?

 

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1QDQp ... N3dGM/view

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Posted : January 15, 2021 10:30 pm
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator
Posted by: @geekicheep

Firstly, what do you think the Lady of the Green Kirtle wanted Rillian for?

So I feel like I have considered this question a lot... The Silver Chair was in production for so long, I've easily thought about that book more than any other Narnia story. (One of the reasons I was glad that Netflix is rebooting; as dearly as I love SC, I'm excited to think about some of the other stories for a change. LOL )

It's not a theory that I'm completely sold on, but my general feeling is that the story that the Lady of the Green Kirtle told Rilian about his ravings that he is under a spell where there's an hour each day that he turns into a loathsome serpent, and that this curse will be broken when he becomes king of Narnia is actually HER curse, and she believes that it will be broken when she is Queen of Narnia. Fairy tale logic doesn't necessarily require a reason why becoming queen of Narnia would break her curse, but as @waggawerewolf27 mentioned, there is the famous idea that only sons of Adam (and presumably daughters of Eve) can rule in Narnia. Being a serpent at times wouldn't jive with that.

As for why the LotGK wanted to immediately lay waste to Narnia in battle instead of just pop out of the ground like a daisy and say, "Hi, Rilian's back, and I'm his bride-to-be"... I think that if Rilian were to go home and constantly be surrounded by familiar sights and people, the odds of his curse being broken would be a lot higher, not to mention the suspicion of his friends about his lady's true nature. If he goes home and slays his friends and ransacks the places of his previous life, reminders would be fewer, and crueler. Psychologically it would be a lot harder for Rilian to ever accept the truth again.

Posted by: @geekicheep

And secondly - this is funnier and much simpler - when did Rillian sleep?  I mean, if he was his normal self at night, awake and constantly trying to escape, and enchanted during the day, doing the Witch's bidding, when did he go to bed?

I don't think Rilian was raving and lucid for the entire night in his story to Jill and Eustace and Puddleglum, he describes it as an hour, so it sounds like a relatively brief portion of the day. I imagine after the fit ended, he'd fall into an exhausted sleep, and then when he awoke again, he'd be back to his enchanted self. That seems like such a physically taxing thing to have to deal with every day, though, I can't understand how Enchanted Rilian has so much annoying energy. Tongue

Fun questions to think about!! Applause

Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad

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Posted : January 16, 2021 1:18 pm
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Friend of NarniaWeb

Thanks for the very interesting random thoughts! Wink May I add another question, one that didn't occur to me as a young reader but certainly does as an adult: why on earth did the Witch's enchantment over Rilian apparently lose its power for one hour each day?? Is there even a hint of some reason for her control over him not being 100% complete, so that for that one hour, every single day, he remembers who he really is and has to be strapped to the silver chair? Or is it just an ultra-convenient plot device so that our heroes are faced with the dilemma of which claim to believe — will he be freed from the evil spell if they cut his bonds, as he keeps telling them now, or will he simply go mad and kill them, as he originally said?? — and then of course the gut-wrenching moment when he comes out with those crucial words "by the great Lion, by Aslan himself"...? Grin

Any thoughts?

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

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Posted : January 16, 2021 3:28 pm
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator
Posted by: @courtenay

May I add another question, one that didn't occur to me as a young reader but certainly does as an adult: why on earth did the Witch's enchantment over Rilian apparently lose its power for one hour each day?? Is there even a hint of some reason for her control over him not being 100% complete, so that for that one hour, every single day, he remembers who he really is and has to be strapped to the silver chair?

I've been wracking my brain trying to remember if I've ever had any decent thoughts on this. Giggle I'll wager a guess... if it's true that Rilian's hour as a serpent is actually the LotGK's appointed hour to transform, then perhaps her magical powers begin to wane as that hour approaches and she no longer has control over him, and instead has enchanted a chair to renew the spell while she's in snake form. Kind of like a battery charger. Tongue

You do get the sense that her magic is limited when she is trying to enchant Rilian and the questers the magic powder she tosses in the fire seems to do most of the work, and when that fails, all she has left is to do is physically attack them as a snake. (If taking on that form was her choice at that point; I'm not sure it was.)

One would wonder why her spell over the gnomes does not seem to abate, though...

.................

Why don't they have an hour of clarity each day, like Rilian does? Great, now I've created MORE questions... LOL

Also, I've often puzzled over the exact function of the silver chair. It definitely doesn't seem to be merely an inanimate object, it seems to have some effect on him. When he strikes it to pieces with his sword, he calls it a vile engine of sorcery; I thought that perhaps engine meant machine in his courtly language, but the archaic use of the word is actually torture device, as in the rack. *shivers*

Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad

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Posted : January 20, 2021 8:47 pm
Courtenay liked
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

Perhaps once she ensnared him in the forest, he went happily with her just from that, but had to use a more powerful enchantment which was the chair. How long did he sit in it to be enchanted the first time? Once he was under its spell, he was just 'topped up' each evening, Could it be that his nobility and his strength from both his royal father and his demi-star mother, made him less easy for her to keep under her will?

.'....whispered to her,"Courage, dear heart", and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan's, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face.'

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Posted : January 20, 2021 9:39 pm
waggawerewolf27
(@waggawerewolf27)
NarniaWeb Zealot

@Rose-Tree Dryad: Also, I've often puzzled over the exact function of the silver chair. It definitely doesn't seem to be merely an inanimate object, it seems to have some effect on him. When he strikes it to pieces with his sword, he calls it a vile engine of sorcery; I thought that perhaps engine meant machine in his courtly language, but the archaic use of the word is actually torture device, as in the rack. *shivers*

No I don't think it would be a very comfortable chair to sit in normally, let alone snooze in. Are the cords with which Rilian is bound, actually electrodes of some sort? If anybody has ever had a sleep test (for sleep apnoea), one gets hooked up by technicians, from machines, with little press stud like connections, stuck to one's body. The machines take readings of one's heartbeat, oxygen levels, things like that. It would be spookier if such a machine reads dreams, memories or thoughts as well, to be stored in some wretched database or other. Worried Sleepy  

On the other hand, Coracle reminds me of the range of up-to-date domestic items made by Hoover, Fisher & Paykel & other such manufacturers.  Domestic items these days tend to use solar power if possible, even the road works down the way, use solar lighting of a night time. Battery charged items are more frequent as well. I will illustrate.....

I have a little Hoover, which, when it isn't used, Will sit on a little stand, where its presence can be viewed. The plugged in stand, the Hoover clips in, its battery to recharge. Once it is ready to be used, in whichever room I might barge. It enables me to move around, without being tripped by cords. Like our fairly new kettle, a silver bit at the bottom, transmits energy galore. The main resemblance to Rilian is how much torture he can store. Or is it a way to enchant him, according to her lore?

I really hate the thought that the hotplate might send impulses through his bottom. I dont wanna see Pants on fire, anyone? Liar  

This post was modified 1 month ago by waggawerewolf27

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1QDQp ... N3dGM/view

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Posted : January 20, 2021 10:34 pm
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Cleander
(@the-mad-poet)
NarniaWeb Junkie

Woah. I hadn't thought too much about it, but, like Rilian himself, "I see your meaning." Grin  

 I think your later explanation makes more sense- the lotgk wanted to conquer more than just Narnia, so she needed a connection to Narnia through Rilian to secure the Narnian army's support. 

@Rose, I expect that Rilian's temporary sanity is more a plot device than anything. Still, though, the idea of his crushed, suppressed mind and identity breaking out from time to time is pretty emotionally powerful.

I think it's pretty likely Rilian just passes out from exhaustion after his "ravings" are over. When he wakes up, he's completely the "pawn and tool" he was before... and given his madman-like energy while the spell is active, I'd say he doesn't need too much sleep. (I like the idea of the chair being a 'battery charger,' Rose!  LOL )

This post was modified 1 month ago by Cleander

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Posted : January 21, 2021 10:49 pm
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Friend of NarniaWeb
Posted by: @the-mad-poet

(I like the idea of the chair being a 'battery charger,' Rose! LOL )

There obviously IS something more to the chair than it just being a useful thing for Rilian to be strapped to while he has his hour of "madness" (actually sanity) — otherwise, as Rose says, he wouldn't call it a vile engine of sorcery. It must have something to do with the power the Witch has over him.

Posted by: @coracle

Perhaps once she ensnared him in the forest, he went happily with her just from that, but had to use a more powerful enchantment which was the chair. How long did he sit in it to be enchanted the first time? Once he was under its spell, he was just 'topped up' each evening, Could it be that his nobility and his strength from both his royal father and his demi-star mother, made him less easy for her to keep under her will?

Maybe that is it... I was also wondering why, as @rose points out, the Witch's enchantment over Rilian loses its power once a day whereas the Earthmen are her slaves all the time. It could be that as simpler creatures, they're easier to keep under control, whereas Rilian has both the kingship of Narnia and the "blood of the stars" in his ancestry and it takes a much more powerful magic to overcome his innate strength.

I'm now imagining the scene when he originally disappeared in pursuit of the beautiful woman in the forest... maybe he followed her into the Underland, drawn by her charms just as Edmund was drawn by the White Witch's Turkish Delight, but once he was down there, he started to realise that this wasn't a good place and maybe he'd better leave and go home. So she sweetly invited him to sit down and rest a little while before his long journey, and persuaded him to sit in this beautiful kingly chair (already prepared because she knew she'd have to do this) — and then the torments began... until at last he fell unconscious and woke up with his mind and will totally surrendered to her control. Except that the spell would begin to break once a day, which is when he needed to be bound to the chair to be "recharged" again.

Now that's making sense (thanks, ladies, now I have a new Narnia "head canon"!) and I wonder if Netflix could show something like that happening, maybe fairly early on in the film / serial as a flashback, so that we understand the point of the silver chair and how it keeps Rilian under the control of the Witch. Of course it would be a spoiler as to who the "Black Knight" and the Lady of the Green Kirtle really are, but that's easy enough to guess even while reading the book...

Posted by: @waggawerewolf27

I really hate the thought that the hotplate might send impulses through his bottom. I dont wanna see Pants on fire, anyone? Liar

Ooer, I'm not sure I needed that image, thanks, Wagga... Shocked Wink  

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

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Posted : January 22, 2021 3:39 am
Cleander
(@the-mad-poet)
NarniaWeb Junkie

@courtenay,

Oops! I think it was because I saw Rose's idea posted written immediately after she had quoted you. 

I'll correct that! D\'oh  

PM me to join the Search for the Seven Swords!
Co-founder of the newly restored Edmund Club! Find it on the Talk About Narnia Forum!

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Posted : January 22, 2021 4:33 am
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Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Friend of NarniaWeb

@the-mad-poet Not to worry! I'll edit mine so that it doesn't quote you as quoting me. Grin  

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

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Posted : January 22, 2021 4:37 am
waggawerewolf27
(@waggawerewolf27)
NarniaWeb Zealot

@CIeander: I think it's pretty likely Rilian just passes out from exhaustion after his "ravings" are over. When he wakes up, he's completely the "pawn and tool" he was before... and given his madman-like energy while the spell is active, I'd say he doesn't need too much sleep

Quite so. As a pawn & tool I wonder if all day he is in a waking sleep, at some level, maybe sleepwalking & talking, only reviving properly for that hour after dinner to his real awake self? Whilst the snake who is controlling him, can appear to him as a beautiful lady with a "nose-gay of virtues"?

I've been exploring analogies with the ideas behind cordless household & mechanical medical items eg CPAP machines. (Yes, I've been hooked up to one - Interesting nights those were, also Nerd )   But even stands used to recharge such items with, are hooked up to the power grid, by electric cords. Why does Rilian need to be bound to the chair, itself, rather than simply being bound, somewhere else? The mere fact he is bound at all would make Rilian uncomfortable, though not necessarily initially, if he was acting voluntarily, gulled by misinformation.

The minute Puddleglum & Eustace sever those bounds he is restored to himself, able to remember everything, & without the fog that in his enchanted state, clouds his mind. Remember Hamlet's soliloquy? To Be or Not to Be, That is the question?

@Courtenay: Of course it would be a spoiler as to who the "Black Knight" and the Lady of the Green Kirtle really are, but that's easy enough to guess even while reading the book...

Now you mention the Black Knight, why didn't he want to wear that suit of armour to defend himself, after he has killed the serpent that kidnapped him?  When he is wearing armour as the Black Knight, (Silent knight, by the way*), is he still kept in this trance, so whatever applies to the Silver Chair, also applies to the armour as well? Is it also "plugged in & fully charged" when not used? 

* Silent Knight fridges, in our kitchens, were run through the gas & electricity supplies, not sure how. They were manufactured in Australia, having been invented by Sir Edward Hallstrom, an Australian philanthropist, who went on to be the wealthy patron associated with the now State Government run Taronga Park Zoo, in Sydney. These days, such a refrigerator would only be found in a technological museum. 

This post was modified 1 month ago 5 times by waggawerewolf27

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Posted : January 22, 2021 3:54 pm
Geekicheep
(@geekicheep)
NarniaWeb Regular

Man do you have some amazing (and also hilarious) ideas! 😀

Undoubtedly the silver chair was more than just a chair.  The thought of Rillian passing out on it like my dad on his recliner is just hysterical (unthinkable from a story standpoint but very, very funny!).  The idea of it reading dreams and thoughts and "storing them in some wretched database somewhere" gave me a big laugh as well; being a programmer, I've set up my fair share of databases.  We're nowhere that level of tech in 2021, so if the LotGK hadn't been killed she'd make a fortune working for Google! 😀

But all joking aside, there are some truly brilliant ideas here!  Like the idea that the lie she told Rillian was actually true of her (that at a certain time she became a snake).  And the idea that in snake form, her power was reduced (like a battery that needed to be charged 😀 ).  And the idea that his time of sanity was a literal hour and not a night or whatever.  Those 3 ideas could answer my two questions really well.

But anyway, thanks for the fun conversation, but my hour is upon me (actually 8 hours).  Thankfully no silver chair here, just a blue blanket. ROFL  

Yes, I'm a mouse... I mean, a geek!

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Posted : January 27, 2021 9:47 pm
Ryadian
(@ryadian)
Member Moderator
Posted by: @courtenay

Thanks for the very interesting random thoughts! Wink May I add another question, one that didn't occur to me as a young reader but certainly does as an adult: why on earth did the Witch's enchantment over Rilian apparently lose its power for one hour each day?? Is there even a hint of some reason for her control over him not being 100% complete, so that for that one hour, every single day, he remembers who he really is and has to be strapped to the silver chair?

Let me start by saying that this is based largely on the fact that I see magic operating by what "feels" right, and not exactly by strict rules. Giggle Personally, I've always seen the hour of sanity a night as just a weakness of the curse. Most spells in fairy tales and the like can be broken, or there's just one thing the spell can't actually change. This certainly seems to be the case for the spell the three lords on Ramandu's island were under.

I also see it as the fact that the witch's spell is, inherently, a lie. For all the power a witch has in Narnia, I don't think she can completely change the truth of things. She can make Rilian her puppet for 23 hours a day, but she can't control him utterly, and she can't change who he really is. Possibly, the only thing that could make him fully succumb would be for him to do exactly what she wanted - kill his own family and enslave his own country on her behalf.

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

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Posted : January 28, 2021 8:41 pm
waggawerewolf27
(@waggawerewolf27)
NarniaWeb Zealot

Aha! Now we are back to the "pants on fire". But I think, maybe that the Witch's magic is more to do with illusion & disillusionment. All to do with night time, nightmares, tricks by moonlight & in fountains & water.

 @Geekicheep:  The idea of it reading dreams and thoughts and "storing them in some wretched database somewhere" gave me a big laugh as well; being a programmer, I've set up my fair share of databases.  We're nowhere that level of tech in 2021, so if the LotGK hadn't been killed she'd make a fortune working for Google! 

It was the CPAP machine that gave me the idea, quite frankly. Let me explain:

 

I have a little CPAP machine, it sits beside my bed. It has a silver hotplate thing & by water it is fed.

It is supposed to help me sleep easy, but does nothing of the kind. It makes too much racket & no peace can I find. 

I have to wear a mask, clipped in with a snake-like hose, Oxygen levels are gathered, then to New York they go.

Rilian makes a racket for the Lady to record, So I'm not too sure she can't get "techy stuff" to impress some company board. 

In the middle of the night, as nightmares wear me out,  I'm glad no chairs are made of silver, as I move restlessly about. 

That the "serpent" right beside me, won't stop me going anywhere, & that any Aussie snake catcher would easily sort her out.  Grin

This post was modified 4 weeks ago by waggawerewolf27

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Posted : January 28, 2021 9:56 pm
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