Forum

Share:
Notifications
Clear all

Talking beasts outside of Narnia  

  RSS
Justin of Archenland
(@justin-of-archenland)
NarniaWeb Regular

Hey y'all!

I was just checking out the new Podcast Episode about the whole Edmund-Phillip and Peter-Unicorn ordeal in the Walden LWW adaptation.
On Facebook, I found the following part of a reply below the link of the podcast.

Once Bree and Hwin came back and saw that no one actually rode on talking horses in Narnia or Archenland, that's because there can't be anyone who can do so in Narnia, apart from the 4 rulers because they're all talking beasts and in Archenland, there were no talking beasts. They're only found in Narnia.

It sparked my interest, so I wish to rely upon your extended knowledge of the Narnian World.

- Are there talking beasts to be found outside of Narnia (with the exception of Bree and Hwin in HHB)? For example in - my beloved - Archenland.

If the reply is actually from one of you, please elaborate!

“Child," said the Voice, "I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy

Quote
Posted : April 18, 2020 8:31 am
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator

Something that comes to my mind is the Talking Stag that the Harfang giants hunted and killed in The Silver Chair. Presumably that hunt took place near Harfang, and I've always wondered why that Talking Stag was so far north of Narnia and presumably alone, since Jill, Eustace, and Puddleglum didn't meet any Talking Beasts on their adventures. That's the only one I can recall at the moment, even though I think I've always assumed that Talking Beasts lived in the Western Wild, too. :-?

Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 18, 2020 5:39 pm
Wanderer Between Worlds
(@wanderer)
NarniaWeb Nut

Something that comes to my mind is the Talking Stag that the Harfang giants hunted and killed in The Silver Chair. Presumably that hunt took place near Harfang, and I've always wondered why that Talking Stag was so far north of Narnia and presumably alone

That's a very interesting point, Rose, that I had never thought about before! Perhaps there are Talking Beasts who migrate or even reside North of the River Shribble. Also, since the Western Wild is part of Narnia (the garden being in the middle of it and all), I think it makes perfect sense that talking beasts live there, too, though perhaps not as abundantly as in Narnia proper. Since the most of the Telmarines tried to stamp out Old Narnia and the Calormenes view Aslan as a demon, I think it would be safe to say that Talking beasts only exist in (or at least originate from) Narnia. This makes sense to me, as it marks Narnia as a special place created by Aslan where many there bear His gift of speech (that is not to say that he does not still care for other creatures of his creation, however). Given Archenland's friendly relationship and close proximity to Narnia, it would make sense that residents of Archenland would be aware and even delighted by Narnia's Talking beasts.

Justin of Archenland, something else that came to mind is the LeFay fragment that Lewis began writing shortly after LWW. It involves a boy named Digory having the ability to talk to trees and animals (including a squirrel, Pattertwig), perhaps indicating that there were indeed talking beasts in our world. I have not read Walter Hooper's Past Watchful Dragons, so I don't have access to the original manuscript, but it does make me wonder where Lewis had intended to go with such an idea. :-?

"I am,” said Aslan. "But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 20, 2020 4:28 pm
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Friend of NarniaWeb

Justin of Archenland, something else that came to mind is the LeFay fragment that Lewis began writing shortly after LWW. It involves a boy named Digory having the ability to talk to trees and animals (including a squirrel, Pattertwig), perhaps indicating that there were indeed talking beasts in our world. I have not read Walter Hooper's Past Watchful Dragons, so I don't have access to the original manuscript, but it does make me wonder where Lewis had intended to go with such an idea. :-?

It always makes me wonder too, Wanderer! :) I do have Past Watchful Dragons and the Lefay Fragment is one of my favourite parts of it. (You can get secondhand copies of it quite easily — I picked one up via Amazon about a year ago, as I needed to use it as a reference and my original copy is back at my parents' home in Australia.)

Of course the Lefay Fragment is most often thought of as an early draft of The Magician's Nephew and is assumed to have been written soon after Lewis completed The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. But I've just found a post by Brenton Dickieson (I don't know anything about him, but maybe others here do), from his blog A Pilgrim in Narnia, in which he makes an intriguing speculation. Maybe the Lefay Fragment was actually written BEFORE any of Lewis's Narnia stories and was his first attempt at a children's story, but he wasn't able to get anywhere with that idea, so he abandoned it and tried a different tack and then Narnia began to take shape as "Aslan came bounding into it"?

Dickieson starts out by discussing other things Lewis was working on in the late 1940s — also very interesting, especially the poem about the horses! — but he ties all this in with the Lefay Fragment further on and I think he makes a good case for the argument that "the LeFay Fragment is an early, pre-Narnian attempt at a fairy tale, not a second attempt at Narnia." What do others here think? :)

(Apologies if this takes the thread off topic — I'm happy for it to be split into a different one if the mods think that's more appropriate.)

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

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 21, 2020 5:30 am
DiGoRyKiRkE
(@digorykirke)
Member Moderator

Yeah, go ahead and start a new topic for that, and we'll keep this thread focused on talking beasts outside of Narnia.

Member of Ye Olde NarniaWeb
WC: Old Forum: 1024 New Forum: 240

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 21, 2020 4:19 pm
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

Something that comes to my mind is the Talking Stag that the Harfang giants hunted and killed in The Silver Chair. Presumably that hunt took place near Harfang, and I've always wondered why that Talking Stag was so far north of Narnia and presumably alone, since Jill, Eustace, and Puddleglum didn't meet any Talking Beasts on their adventures. That's the only one I can recall at the moment, even though I think I've always assumed that Talking Beasts lived in the Western Wild, too. :-?

I'd never thought of that before either, but don't forget that the giants could travel much further to hunt than humans could - not on horses but on long legs. Lewis doesn't tell us how far they went hunting.

It could be that there were some Talking Stags that were 'stolen' and moved up to the north, during an invasion by giants, and these could be descendents too.

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 21, 2020 10:12 pm
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Friend of NarniaWeb

Yeah, go ahead and start a new topic for that, and we'll keep this thread focused on talking beasts outside of Narnia.

I'd be happy to, but now that I think about it, I gather the Lefay Fragment hasn't been published in its entirety online or anywhere else other than in Walter Hooper's Past Watchful Dragons. So not everyone here will have read it or will have easy access to it, which makes it a bit difficult to have a proper discussion on it.

If enough people have read it and/or are interested in it, I'd love to have a separate thread about it, but otherwise, better to let this one get back on topic. :)

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

ReplyQuote
Posted : April 21, 2020 10:13 pm
Justin of Archenland
(@justin-of-archenland)
NarniaWeb Regular

It's been a few busy weeks, but I finally have the time again to sit down and enjoy your replies!

I must say that all of you bring fine arguments and questions to the table. Considering the LeFay fragment, I do assume that being either an old draft of one of the Chronicles (probably MN, as stated before).

I'll give up my hopes for Archenland being filled with majestic Talking Beasts, though. Apart from a few adventurers/outsiders, that is.
(a man without hope is an empty man, right :ymsmug: ).

I'd never thought of that before either, but don't forget that the giants could travel much further to hunt than humans could - not on horses but on long legs. Lewis doesn't tell us how far they went hunting.

It could be that there were some Talking Stags that were 'stolen' and moved up to the north, during an invasion by giants, and these could be descendents too.

I love both this and Rose's side to the thread. I'm not too sure yet what my personal view would be on this piece, but it definitely deserves some thought. Thanks, guys!

“Child," said the Voice, "I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy

ReplyQuote
Posted : May 5, 2020 7:31 am
Share: