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Did you suspect, when you first read The Horse and his Boy, that the various lions were all Aslan? Poll was created on Sep 19, 2020

  
  
  
  
Poll results: Did you suspect, when you first read The Horse and his Boy, that the various lions were all Aslan?
Voter(s): 9
Poll was created on Sep 19, 2020
It never occurred to me  -  votes: 3 / 33.3%
3
33.3%
I thought of it, but then I dismissed the idea  -  votes: 0 / 0%
0
0%
I thought one or some of them might be Aslan  -  votes: 3 / 33.3%
3
33.3%
I totally knew it all the time  -  votes: 3 / 33.3%
3
33.3%

The First Time You Read The Horse and his Boy (SPOILERS)  

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Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut

I was really young (and not too bright) when I first read The Horse and his Boy so I honestly never suspected that all the lions would turn out to be Aslan. I mean it struck me as unusual that in a series where one of the main characters was a lion, this book had so many lions unconnected to him, but, hey, it wasn't impossible. Maybe if I'd been older, I'd have the guessed the twist. Then again, the story of HHB is so exciting that I might not have stopped to think about things like that the first time through.

There was one lion I knew all the time was going to be Aslan. That was one Shasta encountered among the tombs. The others I assumed couldn't be Aslan because they were all trying to harm the main characters. I should have remembered he's not a tame lion. 😉 

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

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Posted : September 19, 2020 8:25 pm
Ryadian
(@ryadian)
Member Moderator

To be fair, I don't strictly remember the first time I read the book, namely because I first heard the Chronicles when my dad read them to us as bedtime stories when I was very young. The first time I remember understanding the story, though, I figured it out pretty quickly. Aslan appears as normal-looking animals twice in VDT (though he does speak both times and "gives himself away"), so it didn't seem strange to me that he was apparently behaving like a normal lion. I think I was around 10-11 at this time.

The one that confused me the most was the two lions during the run by the river. It didn't occur to me that Aslan was just... fast. Giggle I just assumed that Shasta and Bree were correct in assuming there had to be two lions. I also didn't figure out the cat in the tombs was Aslan until the lion appeared to scare off the jackals.

And, like you, I also couldn't figure out why the lions always seemed to be threatening the characters. So there was still plenty I didn't know when Aslan finally explained things. Giggle  

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Posted : September 19, 2020 9:59 pm
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

I think I was so involved with the story, after getting over the opening (which didn't seem to be Narnia at all - actually it wasn't - and I found it harder to get into). I was 18 at the time - I came late to Narnia.

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Posted : September 20, 2020 12:41 am
Col Klink liked
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
Member Friend of NarniaWeb

I must admit it's a bit over 30 years since I first read HHB (in early primary school), so I can't remember in detail what I thought of all the lions. I think I guessed that the cat that comforted Shasta among the tombs, and apparently turned into a lion or grew to lion size to protect him, might be either Aslan in disguise or some sort of emissary of his. But I know I didn't think that the (apparently) two lions that chased the horses near the beginning were anything but dumb lions, and I don't think I guessed anything about the lion that scratched Aravis either. They all seemed to be acting like fully wild and quite savage lions, very unlike what we'd seen of Aslan elsewhere — he's not a tame lion himself, but he doesn't normally chase and attack people!! — and as Bree admits early on that he's scared of lions, it seemed clear enough that there could be plenty of non-talking and very dangerous lions around in Calormen. So no, apart from the cat, I really didn't twig what was going on. It makes for a memorable twist when Shasta at last encounters "the Voice" on that dark and misty mountain road and is told "There was only one lion..."

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

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Posted : September 20, 2020 9:19 am
Cleander
(@the-mad-poet)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I seem to recall having my suspicions about the cat, but I think the two lions threw me off. The cat is obviously abnormal, as Courtenay mentioned, but the fact that there appear to be more than one lion just ruled out the presence of Aslan in my mind. 

I'm looking forward to the spine-tingling moment of Aslan revealing that "there was only one Lion" being dramatized on screen. Please hurry Netflix! Praying  

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Posted : September 20, 2020 9:37 pm
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
Member Friend of NarniaWeb
Posted by: @the-mad-poet

I'm looking forward to the spine-tingling moment of Aslan revealing that "there was only one Lion" being dramatized on screen. Please hurry Netflix! Praying  

Hmmm, on that note — and sorry for going a bit off topic — it does make me wonder just how they'll dramatise that scene on screen. It basically involves Shasta riding in pretty much pitch darkness, lamenting aloud how unlucky he is, and then suddenly realising there's something alongside him, breathing heavily... it works fine in the book and in audio dramas, but for a screen version, there are almost no visuals, until the very end of the conversation when the light dawns and Shasta sees the Lion. I can't help suspecting they'll rewrite it somehow to make it more visually dramatic... I only hope they won't mess it up in the process. I wonder how they might do it so it works well on screen and still remains faithful to the spirit of the original scene in the book? But maybe that had better go in a thread on our hopes and fears for the Netflix series, if we have such a thread... or do we need to start one? Wink  

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

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Posted : September 21, 2020 6:20 am
wild rose
(@wild-rose)
Member Moderator

I first read the books when I was 14 and since I read them in the order in which C.S. Lewis wrote the books (meaning HHB was the 5th book I read) I already knew all about Aslan and so I right away caught on that all the different lions were him. It somehow mad logical sense to me, since each time the lion comes at a critical moment in the plot.


The ends must never justify the means, the means must justify themselves--Ravi Zacharias
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Posted : October 12, 2020 10:51 pm
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