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What if the Narnia books were each a musical?

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Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Junkie
Posted by: @rainyweather

I could definitely see Rabadash singing about his obsession with Susan, but I don't know about Rishda singing about Jill. I haven't read LB in a while, but I don't remember picking up on any sort of attraction to Jill from Rishda. What makes you say he had one?

I kind of talked about it in my forums about Villainous Crush In Narnia Movie(s)? and Hopes and Fears of What will Happen in Narnia Movies , though I feel kind of dumb to do so. It's been a thing in media that an evil villain has an attraction to the main hero or heroine. Examples like Ursula for Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid, Gaston for Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Jafar for Jasmine in Aladdin, Frollo for Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and even Hans for Anna in Frozen.

While it would work for Rabadash with Susan, as it is such a major conflict in the story. He could possibly sing about how he wants to have Susan for his wife and his plan to invade Archenland and Narnia.

For Rishda, there is a moment he is trying to make up for his unbelief in Tash by hurling all of our three heroes into the stable and setting it on fire as an offering to Tash. It would be the easiest thing for Netflix to do is to have Rishda having an obsession with Jill and have him throw her into the stable because he won't take "no" for an answer. I mean, the two other villains are an ape and a cat, so yeah, it's going to be the Calormene Tarkaan captain that's going to take a liking to her. I pretty much cringe at the thought. Even the thought of Rishda singing a song about it in a musical is making me cringe.

Posted by: @rainyweather

I know most musicals do have love songs, but I'm not sure this would work either. This is entirely my personal interpretation of the books, but I really didn't detect any romance between Jill and Tirian. I remember he does call her sweetheart, but I took it to be more in a fatherly way. I would think he's probably a bit old for her, too.

I think Tirian is between 20-25 years old, and Jill is like 16 according to the time line. So I don't think he's quite too old for her. He does call her sweetheart at one point, and I can kind of see Netflix taking it to be a romantic way. It could be more a friendly way, though.

Posted by: @rainyweather

As far as Eustace-Jill romance (which I have taken the liberty of nicknaming Justace because it sounds funny  Giggle ), I will say that it is, in my opinion, a lesser evil than Suspian or any other non-canon Narnia romance anyone could come up with. I still have an aversion to it, though, for several reasons. For one, I always thought their relationship to be one of friendship. I detected no attraction whatsoever between them in SC (and they were too young for that anyways).

Eustace and Jill are only kids, so there wouldn't be a need for a romance in The Silver Chair. It's not very often that we see a guy and girl with a well developed friendship, and that's it. It would possibly be easiest thing is to have a love triangle with Tirian, Eustace, and Jill in The Last Battle. It's like, yeah, there's two guys and one girl, they're both going to like her.

Posted by: @rainyweather

Anyways, I didn't really see romance between them in the books, I wouldn't much like to see it in the Netflix movies or in a musical, either. Nothing against you, I'm just not the biggest fan of romance (especially society's views of it- especially how essential it is to a successful and happy life and the emphasis on attraction based on looks), and I would like any adaptations to convey the same feelings and ideas the books did for me.

I actually put romance on my list of fears in the forum abut Hopes and Fears of What will Happen in Narnia Movies . I think another issue with romance in Hollywood productions that a lot of times, it's forced. I felt that the romance between Caspian and Susan in Walden's Prince Caspian was bit a forced. As for The Last Battle, I don't know which I am more fearful of in Netflix or a musical: the love triangle with Tirian, Eustace and Jill or Rishda having an obsession with Jill.

Posted by: @rainyweather

However, I do very much like your idea of a love duet between Caspian and Ramandu's daughter. Smile I think it would be sweet and true to the books, elaborating on a wholesome romance that is most without a doubt present. 

And it could have Caspian and Ramandu's daughter taking their time to get to know another. Another problem with romance in Hollywood is that often times it's love at first sight. Real life is actually not like that.

 

"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 : January 22, 2022 2:18 pm
rainyweather
(@rainyweather)
NarniaWeb Nut

@jasmine_tarkheena 

Okay, I see where you're coming from now. Sorry, I had misinterpreted some of what you were saying and thought you were suggesting it yourself. Now, though, I understand you were talking about trends in media that Netflix or others might try to replicate when adapting Narnia, and that you don't support all of those yourself. Sorry again. I am actually in complete agreeance with you. It would be easy and tempting for them to add these elements to make it more dramatic and conforming to popular themes in media nowadays when adapting Narnia, whether in a musical or Netflix's upcoming universe. Its most certainly one of my fears, as well! They did it in Walden's PC with Caspian and Susan, which I agree was definitely forced. You're right, too, about Tirian's age. Thinking back on LB I definitely felt he was a younger king, and 20-25 sounds about right to me. Definitely younger than late thirties. Also, I like the idea that Caspian and Ramandu's daughter would spend some more time together before marriage. I agree that love at first sight isn't very realistic. People can certainly feel attraction at first sight because someone is pleasant looking, handsome, or beautiful (that's how a lot of relationships start out), but real love happens when you get to know the person and like them for who they are on the inside. Anyhow, sorry again for misreading your prior posts (it's so much easier for me to understand people talking when I'm talking with them face-to-face, and sometimes with online messaging I get confused Giggle ). Thank you so much for clarifying for me! Smile  

“‘Now, Curdie!’ she cried, ‘won’t you believe what I told you about my grandmother and her thread?’...
‘There! - don’t you see it shining on before us?’ she added.
‘I don’t see anything,’ persisted Curdie.
‘Then you must believe without seeing,’ said the princess; ‘for you can’t deny it has brought us out of the mountain.’
- The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

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Posted : January 22, 2022 3:08 pm
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Junkie

Posted by: @rainyweather

Sorry, I had misinterpreted some of what you were saying and thought you were suggesting it yourself.

I would never suggest something like that. It would be a terrible idea, yet Netflix or any other studio would most likely assume it's a good idea. That's why I've said, "But I digress."

Posted by: @rainyweather

Now, though, I understand you were talking about trends in media that Netflix or others might try to replicate when adapting Narnia, and that you don't support all of those yourself

It would be as Netflix or any other might try to do when adapting Narnia were saying, "Hey guess what Narniaweb has been talking about? They thought this would be a cool!" So like Netflix or even a musical would assume that's what we want, but they've misinterpret it.

In talking about musicals, I think for The Silver Chair, Rilian can sing about as he's on a quest to seek out the serpent to avenge the death of his mother. He can sing about how much anger and grief he is feeling.

 

"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 : January 22, 2022 3:19 pm
rainyweather
(@rainyweather)
NarniaWeb Nut

If you haven't heard Sarah Spark's album Into the Lantern Waste, it has many beautiful Narnia-inspired songs. One of my favorites is Shasta's Complaint, and I'd love to hear a song with a similar theme in a HHB musical. Shasta can sing about all the hardship that has come to him in life, how unfair it seems, and how he feels so alone after he has to go on to warn King Lune while his companions stay with the Hermit, then Aslan can sing about all the times he was there for him, guiding and protecting him. I really like the messages in many of Sarah Sparks songs from this album, how they connect to the books and are also so applicable to our own lives. The whole album of Into the Lantern Waste is a great example of important themes from the books that translate well into song.

“‘Now, Curdie!’ she cried, ‘won’t you believe what I told you about my grandmother and her thread?’...
‘There! - don’t you see it shining on before us?’ she added.
‘I don’t see anything,’ persisted Curdie.
‘Then you must believe without seeing,’ said the princess; ‘for you can’t deny it has brought us out of the mountain.’
- The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

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Posted : January 22, 2022 3:55 pm
Narnian78
(@narnian78)
NarniaWeb Nut

I wonder what Rodgers and Hammerstein would have done with the Narnia books. If they had turned them into something like The Sound of Music they might have looked like something filmed in Salzburg, Austria. Watching that movie again recently, the location does seem like a fairy tale could happen there. 🙂

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Posted : January 26, 2022 2:47 am
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Junkie
Posted by: @narnian78

I wonder what Rodgers and Hammerstein would have done with the Narnia books. If they had turned them into something like The Sound of Music they might have looked like something filmed in Salzburg, Austria. Watching that movie again recently, the location does seem like a fairy tale could happen there. 🙂

I haven't thought about that. I think Rodgers and Hammerstein also did Cinderella, so they did a fairy-tale type musical.

Now I am envisioning Caspian singing his version of "Out There" when he's still living at Miraz's castle as a child, like he wishes to have lived in the old days.

 

"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 : January 26, 2022 12:26 pm
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I think another I thought of is that what if Emeth's encounter with Aslan was a musical number. I could see that he would sing a song about it. It would almost be like a ballad.

"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 : April 25, 2022 4:18 pm
The Bulldog
(@reshpeckabiggle)
NarniaWeb Regular

I have always been enchanted by the idea of the Narnian “Great Snow Dance”, as described in The Silver Chair.  I have often wondered if a musically inclined lover of Narnia has ever undertaken to compose such a music befitting the description in those paragraphs. 

In The Last Battle, when the Dwarves reject the proffered liberation and leadership of King Tirian (except for Poggin), the text mentions that they “struck up a queer little marching song that goes with the drumbeat, and off they tramped…”. Every time I imagine that passage, the song I am hearing the Dwarves singing is the Moody Blues song “22,000 Days”. 

I object to that remark very strongly!

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Posted : May 24, 2022 10:04 pm
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Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Hospitality Committee
Posted by: @reshpeckabiggle

In The Last Battle, when the Dwarves reject the proffered liberation and leadership of King Tirian (except for Poggin), the text mentions that they “struck up a queer little marching song that goes with the drumbeat, and off they tramped…”. Every time I imagine that passage, the song I am hearing the Dwarves singing is the Moody Blues song “22,000 Days”. 

Oh dear, I'm never going to be able to read that passage in quite the same way ever again... ROFL Grin  

I'd be very happy for any or all of the Narnia books to be made into musicals, if the music and lyrics were well written and well performed — it's worked with quite a lot of other classic stories that have been given that treatment. It depends mainly on how it's done. For example, I once saw a stage musical version of Pride and Prejudice that was just hokey — the lyrics somehow sounded far too modern to be in character for a story set in the early 1800s. On the other hand, I also saw Persuasion done as a musical (yes, I am a huge fan of Jane Austen Wink ) and that worked a lot better as far as the songs themselves were concerned... the problem was that the lead singer (playing the main character, Anne Elliot) had an absolutely atrocious singing voice. All the other actor/singers were doing a pretty good job, but this one woman who got the most stage time was just awful. I had a careful look at the programme and discovered that she was the same person who wrote the actual musical, so she obviously wrote the lead role for herself and I guess no-one in the company dared to argue with her... Shocked I dont wanna see D\'oh  

I guess my point is that musical adaptations can be brilliant or they can be terrible, and sometimes even what could be a good one is let down by having poor performers (which mainly happens in amateur groups). But I can easily imagine songs being part of the story-telling process for any of the Chronicles and I reckon it would be fun if someone ever gives it a go!

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

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Posted : May 25, 2022 1:02 pm
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

@reshpeckabiggle someone I knew wrote a suite of music for The Dawn Treader, and I have a copy. It's lovely (not songs, just musical pieces).
A singer called Meg Sutherland issued an album a few years ago, with help and permission from Doug Gresham (stepson of C.S.Lewis and part of the C.S.Lewis Estate). It's beautiful music and has some Narnia connections.
At this link Doug introduces her to an audience, as part of the event.

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 : May 26, 2022 1:08 am
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I think the other challenge would be for any Narnia musical would be getting the right voice type for each character. In a lot of musicals, the heroes or heroines are tenors and sopranos, the villains are basses and altos, and the rest are baritones and mezzo-sopranos (though some heroes and villains are baritones and mezzo-sopranos as well).

Since Aslan appears in all seven, then his voice could be baritone in all of them.

The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe- Peter and Edmund could be tenors, Susan and Lucy could be sopranos, the White Witch could be either mezzo-soprano or alto, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver could be baritone and mezzo soprano, Mr. Tumnus could either be tenor or baritone.

Prince Caspian- Peter and Edmund could have the same voice type or be changed to baritone, Susan and Lucy could have the same voice type or be changed to mezzo-soprano, Caspian could be tenor, Miraz could be either baritone or bass, Trumpkin could be baritone, Nikabrik could be either baritone or bass, Trufflehunter could either be tenor or baritone, Reepicheep could be tenor.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader- Edmund could be either tenor or baritone, Lucy could either be soprano or mezzo soprano, Eustace could be tenor, Drinian could be either tenor or baritone, Rhince could be either tenor or baritone, Coriakin could be baritone, Ramandu could be baritone, Ramandu's daughter could be soprano, Reepicheep could be tenor.

The Silver Chair- Eustace could be tenor, Jill could be soprano, Rilian could be either tenor or baritone, Puddleglum could either be baritone or bass, the Lady of the Green Kirtle could either be mezzo-soprano or alto, Glimfeather could either be tenor or baritone.

The Horse And His Boy- Shasta and Corin could both be tenors, Aravis could be soprano, Bree could be either tenor or baritone, Hwin could be either soprano or mezzo-soprano, Rabadash could be either baritone or bass, Lasaraleen could be either mezzo soprano, the Hermit of the Southern March could be baritone, King Lune could be baritone.

The Magician's Nephew- Digory could be tenor, Polly could be soprano, Uncle Andrew could either be baritone or bass, Aunt Letty could be either mezzo-soprano or alto, Jadis could either be mezzo soprano or alto, Frank could be baritone, Helen could be mezzo-soprano.

The Last Battle- Tirian could be either tenor or baritone, Jewel could either be tenor or baritone, Shift could be either baritone or bass, Puzzle could baritone, Ginger could be baritone, Rishda could be either baritone or bass, Emeth could be tenor, Eustace could be tenor, Jill could be soprano, Poggin could be baritone.

"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 : June 3, 2022 5:34 pm
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Junkie

Here's a song from The Hobbit about the Lonely Mountains. I thought it would be appropriate for when King Gale delivered the Lone Islands from a dragon that was terrorizing.

"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 : June 9, 2022 5:26 pm
Narnian78 liked
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