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Reaction to Tash in the Stable

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Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Junkie

Since there's be discussion about Tash lately, in the threads Hopes and Fears of What Will Happen in Narnia Movies and Jadis, Tash, and Lawful Prey?, I think it would be a good time to talk about our reactions to Tash in the stable. Here's a recap in case you've forgotten about it-

For a moment or two Tirian did not know where he was or even who he was. Then he steadied himself, blinked, and looked around. It was not dark inside the Stable, as he had expected. He was in strong light: that was why he was blinking.

He turned to look at Rishda Tarkaan, but Rishda was not looking at him. Rishda gave a great wail and pointed; then he put his hands before his face and fell flat, face downwards on the ground. Tirian looked in the direction where the Tarkaan had pointed. And then he understood.

A terrible figure was coming towards them. It was far smaller than the shape they had seen from the Tower, though still much bigger than a man, and it was the same. It had a vulture's head and four arms. Its beak was open and its eyes blazed. A croaking voice came from its beak.

"Thou hast called me into Narnia, Rishda Tarkaan. Here I am. What hast thou to say?"

But the Tarkaan neither lifted his face from the ground nor said a word. He was shaking like a man with a bad hiccup. He was brave enough in battle: but half his courage had left him earlier that night when he first began to suspect that there might be a real Tash. The rest of it had left him now.

With a sudden jerk—like a hen stooping to pick up a worm—Tash pounced on the miserable Rishda and tucked him under the upper of his two left arms. Then Tash turned his head sideways to fix Tirian with one of his terrible eyes: for of course, having a bird's head, he couldn't look at you straight.

But immediately, from behind Tash, strong and calm as the summer sea, a voice said:

"Begone, Monster, and take your lawful prey to your own place: in the name of Aslan and Aslan's great Father, the Emperor-over-sea."

The hideous creature vanished, with the Tarkaan still under its arm

I'm sure we've all seen the illustration by Pauline Baynes (sometimes I wonder what she was thinking as she was drawing it)-

Tash (Narnia) ~ Everything You Need to Know with Photos | Videos

For my reaction, I wasn't traumatized by it. I was about ten when I was introduced to the series. I think I would've been traumatized if I've been younger. When I read it for the first time, at that moment, I was like, "What is that thing?" I'm sure this moment would traumatized a child for life (maybe some).

What were your reactions to Tash in the stable?

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Topic starter Posted : November 21, 2021 4:09 pm
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut

I'm not into horror fiction, but I feel like I've always enjoyed the scariness of Tash since I've first read about him. (Well, technically, I first read about him in The Horse and his Boy, where his name is first mentioned, and I wasn't scared of him then, but you guys know what I mean. Wink ) I think he's an awesomely creepy bad guy. That said, I'm not particularly interested in him being expanded on in adaptations, as we were talking about in General Movie Discussion because it would require rewriting his character to a large extent and, anyway, familiarity breeds contempt (though I am willing to listen with an open mind to specific ideas on how this could be done.) As intriguing as he is, the more we'd learn about him, the less freaky he'd become.

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen check out my new blog!

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Posted : November 21, 2021 5:26 pm
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Geekicheep
(@geekicheep)
NarniaWeb Nut
Posted by: @jasminetarkheena

For my reaction, I wasn't traumatized by it. I was about ten when I was introduced to the series. I think I would've been traumatized if I've been younger. When I read it for the first time, at that moment, I was like, "What is that thing?" I'm sure this moment would traumatized a child for life (maybe some).

What were your reactions to Tash in the stable?

It's funny you mention being traumatized by a character in a book - for me, that was the White Witch (especially after reading the Magician's Nephew).

My reaction to Tash showing up was more of a "what the...?  He's real?"  It just seemed so random.  It didn't make sense.  Like if he were real, why are we only seeing him now?  I thought the picture was cool, but I didn't understand it.  I was excited to see what would happen next, but I didn't get why Tash would only show up now.  Might as well have been Dracula, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, the Shredder, or any other villain from any other story just randomly popping up because it's the end of the world.  I seriously need to re-read the books and see if I can make more sense of it as an adult.

But I think that's just because of what I was like as a kid (and maybe still am):  Very literal.  Like in VDT when Aslan said he was in our world too, I thought of how horribly we would treat a talking lion in our world.  I imagined them trying to put him in a circus or something!  Then the line about, there I go by another name, just seemed weird.  I didn't get it.  Even after I became a Christian (a couple years later), I never made the connection between Aslan and Jesus until I learned what symbolism was. 😀

This post was modified 10 months ago 2 times by Geekicheep

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

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Posted : December 5, 2021 10:38 pm
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

I was 18, and reading the book for the first time, I was uncomfortable with what was happening in the story, so I don't remember how I felt, but I suspect I was a bit shocked. I had seen drawings and photos of 'gods' from other countries, which probably softened my shock. 
Happily for me, within a few years this book became my go-to cheer-up book on wet Sunday afternoons,

There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."

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Posted : December 5, 2021 11:30 pm
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I wonder how many of a child after reading this scene and seeing the picture would actually remember. 

While Rishda is a cruel man, I think we could almost sympathize with him when he’s taken away by Tash. He has called on Tash, though doesn’t believe in him. And he was in for a rude awakening when Tash shows ups. I actually kind of feel bad for Rishda. 

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Topic starter Posted : December 6, 2021 9:29 am
NarnianRose
(@narnianrose)
NarniaWeb Regular

I think I was in middle school the first time I read The Last Battle. I don't remember Tash suddenly appearing in the stable scaring me. Like @geekicheep, I remember being shocked that Tash actually showed and thinking "wait, he's real?!" And then I remember thinking, "oh boy, aren't they (meaning Rishda and all the others with him) going to be surprised."

Suddenly having Tash be real made me realize that even though this is the last book in the Chronicles, chronologically, and I've have six other books to explore Narnia and the surrounding countries, there is still apparently things about this land that I don't know. As a reader and Narnia lover, it made me really excited that Lewis was still able to add new, surprising, and exciting elements to the Chronicles.

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Posted : December 7, 2021 3:15 am
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Junkie

@narnianrose I wonder how Netflix is going to pull this off.  It's as Rishda was saying, "Oh, the great god Tash and Aslan and blah blah." Then all of a sudden, Tash appears.

It almost makes me think of Smaug in The Hobbit or the raptors in Jurassic Park. You hear about Smaug terrorizing Dale and the Lonely Mountains but don't actually see him until later. You hear about the raptors, then midway through, they make a sudden appearance.

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Topic starter Posted : December 7, 2021 8:30 am
Nain
 Nain
(@nain)
NarniaWeb Newbie

I first read the books when I was quite young, so I don't remember precisely what I thought when I first read about Tash's appearance in the stable. I think the scene where he passes Tirian and his followers at the tower helped to mentally prepare me for seeing him again. When it comes to the illustration, it's not so much Tash himself that impacts me than it is the look of horror and despair on Risha's face! In once sense it's almost comical, but in another it is terrifying.

That's why I think the High King's calm dismissal of Tash in Aslan's name moments later is so powerful.

"Oh, Adam’s sons, how cleverly you defend yourselves against all that might do you good!" - Aslan, The Magician's Nephew, ch. 14

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Posted : December 14, 2021 4:00 am
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Junkie

@nain Interesting you've brought up the expression on Rishda's face in the illustration which I thought of not too long ago. I thought he would actually look more terrified. He almost looks like he has a permanent scowl on his face. I don't know if that's indicating he's the bad guy.

I think @gp said something about being comical and terrifying in the Talking Beast podcast Top Ten Funny Moments In Narnia. In some aspect, Rishda thought he was so big (CS Lewis doesn't give any description of him, but I guess we could assume he was tall and strong, maybe huge), and now in the stable, with Tash, it's like he's the smallest thing.

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Topic starter Posted : December 14, 2021 8:13 am
SonofStone
(@sonofstone)
NarniaWeb Regular

      Well, I was about 8 or 9 when I first read LB, and I believe I had read all the other chronicles by then, so I was surprised that Tash was actually real, like @geekicheep said, why are we just now seeing him? But his appearance didn't traumatize me, and I felt like it made sense, that if there was an inherently good being (Aslan), that there would be an inherently evil being (Tash), and that eventually the good would triumph over the evil.

      But I must say, I didn't feel sorry for Rishda Tarkaan... he extorted the innocent people of Narnia, called on devils and mocked Aslan. He played with fire and got burned. Bad. On the other hand though, he did not know the potency of what he was fooling with, so, in a way, I suppose he is somewhat pityable.

 

Child of the King: SonofStone

 

P.S. One person I felt absolutely not one bit of pity for was Shift, I hated/still hate him to the core, and I was so happy when Tirian launched him into the stable.

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14

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Posted : December 14, 2021 9:51 am
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

@sonofstone Did I understand right, that you saw Tash as on an equal footing to Aslan?  

I see him as no different from the other evil characters who are presented as lesser than Aslan (not like Yin & Yan). They may challenge Aslan and his people, but cannot defeat Aslan. 

There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."

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Posted : December 14, 2021 3:52 pm
SonofStone
(@sonofstone)
NarniaWeb Regular
Posted by: @coracle

Did I understand right, that you saw Tash as on an equal footing to Aslan?  

      Absolutely Not! I view them as I view God and Saten of our world, with God reigning supreme and omnipotent, and only allowing Saten to survive for a very short while, and to eventually be destroyed and cast into the lake of fire. So no, I do not see Aslan and Tash as equals, I see them as a Lion (literally) and a mouse, the Lion only allowing the mouse to live a second. Tash is only alive because Aslan allows him to be (sorry I didn't make that clear the first time!).

 

Child of the King: SonofStone

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14

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Posted : December 14, 2021 5:50 pm
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

Thank you. I have seen people setting every villain up as an equal opposite to the Lion, and I'm glad you are not doing that. 

There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."

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Posted : December 14, 2021 6:01 pm
Nain
 Nain
(@nain)
NarniaWeb Newbie
Posted by: @jasminetarkheena

@nain Interesting you've brought up the expression on Rishda's face in the illustration which I thought of not too long ago. I thought he would actually look more terrified. He almost looks like he has a permanent scowl on his face. I don't know if that's indicating he's the bad guy.

Maybe you're right. I though the big eyes were widened in shock and horror, but it could be a scowl I suppose!

"Oh, Adam’s sons, how cleverly you defend yourselves against all that might do you good!" - Aslan, The Magician's Nephew, ch. 14

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Posted : December 15, 2021 10:41 am
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Junkie
Posted by: @sonofstone

I didn't feel sorry for Rishda Tarkaan... he extorted the innocent people of Narnia, called on devils and mocked Aslan. He played with fire and got burned. Bad. On the other hand though, he did not know the potency of what he was fooling with, so, in a way, I suppose he is somewhat pityable.

That's why Rishda Tarkaan is one of my all-time favorite Narnia villains (along with the White Witch and King Miraz. Though I'm sure a lot of Narnia fans would choose the White Witch as their all-time favorite villain).

Rishda doesn't believe in Aslan or Tash or any of the supernatural. I don't think even his own men were aware of it. I think he's someone you love to hate or hate to love. And it's so easy to do.

Posted by: @sonofstone

P.S. One person I felt absolutely not one bit of pity for was Shift, I hated/still hate him to the core, and I was so happy when Tirian launched him into the stable.

I've always thought Shift was too simplistic. I think Rishda is the more superior villain than Shift, but that's just my preface. Shift manipulates Puzzle into pretending to be Aslan. In turn, he gets manipulated by Rishda and Ginger. It's like you want to tell him, "Who's the puppet now?" It's poetic justice there.

Posted by: @nain

Maybe you're right. I though the big eyes were widened in shock and horror, but it could be a scowl I suppose!

I've always thought it was a scowl. It could be a combination of both. I'm sure Pauline Baynes had to come up with a way to indicate that Rishda is the bad guy.

Here's a close up of his face. Tell me if that's a shock and horror look or a scowl.

https://community.narniaweb.com/wp-content/uploads/wpforo/default_attachments/1640211371-Rishda.webp

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Topic starter Posted : December 15, 2021 4:45 pm
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