2 random thoughts about the Silver Chair
It’s kind of sad that the movie version of The Silver Chair appears to have been abandoned. I have such fond memories of my elementary school teacher reading the book to us as children. Maybe the Netflix version will be able to complete a television series which includes the book. There is so much great material in it which could be represented visually.
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.
I think that the thing that would make him fully succumb, would be for him to commit himself fully to her in marriage.
(avi artwork by Henning Janssen)
Varnafinde, you never said a truer word. But that also goes to the heart of what has happened in some very real life ongoing situations, which is why I think The Silver Chair may not be filmed or televised any time soon. For much of its message runs counter to everything that is said online, in particular, especially about the importance of "romance" in fashion, in the media as a whole, "whatever IN LOVE means" and even in Walt Disney's versions of fairy tales.
C.S.Lewis died in 1963. It still is the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen in her own right. But a Queen consort also plays a part, for good or evil. For the most part, a Queen as consort should support her husband in his service to the nation. A Queen consort, antagonistic to her husband, with vengeance in her heart against her husband & the country he would represent, would never do.
The Queen of the Underland was not wanting Narnia for any love of Prince Rilian, be assured of that, even if Prince Rilian was gulled into thinking that unnamed bad fairy, as insidious as a snake, was a "nosegay of all virtues" . He was merely a tool for her to get where she wanted. She just wanted power for herself to do what she wanted to do & to have the right to do so, like Jadis. Once an empowered Queen Consort came to the throne, she would pick off their leaders one by one (grey men anyone?) & she would destroy Narnia.
In the Horse & His Boy, King Lune had something to say about being a king, & how a king had no more right to start from his throne than any sentry at his post. When writing the Narnia stories, I wonder if the real life figure he most likely had in mind, was Edward VIII who abdicated his crown to marry Wallis Simpson in December, 1936.
The Silver Chair was done quite well with the BBC version, and it was a reasonable adaptation of the book with a good plot and some very fine acting by Tom Baker. It is true that budget limitations affected what could have been done with the appearance of the series, but the making of it shows that it could be done with some decency. And it probably could be done again in much the same manner with a higher budget to improve its production quality. It will likely be a long time before the attempt is made again by Netflix or someone else, but that is no reason to lose hope. 🙂
Yes, a better budget brought to the BBC at the time might have been helpful. But the BBC series including Silver Chair, was made before 1992, the point at which a ranklingly acrimonious marriage breakdown, in an iconic real life Royal family, was made all too obvious, & disillusion set in. Walden's trio of films were made a good decade later, riding on the wave of CGI, but with that irritating idea that "romance" had to be an essential ingredient of the story.
Silver Chair 's quest is to release a kidnapped, entrapped prince, hidden in a dark Underland of despair after following a beautiful mysterious woman in the forest, who wasn't all she seemed. She enchanted everyone around her, not only Rilian, to see her as a "nosegay of all virtues" but whose idea from the word go was a possessive takeover of all of Narnia, not only the Prince, himself. Not the sort of person who would be an ideal Queen Consort. Marriage to Rilian would complete his total entrapment but maybe the poisonous snake would also permanently stay a beautiful woman?
Or would she be freed, herself, to be the strangling snake she was all along, all pretence discarded?
When the Walden Voyage of the Dawn Treader was made, King Caspian was seen as a nod to George VI, whom C.S.Lewis deeply admired. Running through the entire Narnia series, there is a theme of what it means to be King or Queen of Narnia.