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Why does Reepicheep...  

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Cullen
(@cullen)
NarniaWeb Newbie

At the end of the Last Battle, why does Reepicheep have a sword again? Perhaps there is an easy answer, but it seems confusing given the dramatic scene at the end of Dawn Treader where he tosses it aside exclaiming that he won’t need it any more. Maybe fashion accessory? Thoughts?

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Posted : December 12, 2020 6:01 am
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Friend of NarniaWeb

Gosh, I never noticed that anomaly (and yes, I've just checked the book and Lewis definitely mentions the sword in the text — it's not just in Pauline Baynes' illustration)!

Since we're never told anything about it, I suppose we could get into all sorts of speculation — maybe, when he reached Aslan's country, he was rewarded with a new sword as a token of his courage? (I can't imagine why he would need a sword, or any kind of weapon, in the land where there's no evil or harm or suffering or death, but never mind.)

I can't help suspecting the real explanation is that Lewis, writing The Last Battle a few years after Dawn Treader, simply forgot that particular detail — that Reepicheep threw his sword away as he embarked on that final voyage alone — and he (Lewis) was probably so used to picturing Reepicheep with his sword that that's how he described him in that final appearance, without stopping to think about it! Grin  

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

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Posted : December 12, 2020 12:46 pm
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut

It's actually kind of a cool idea that Reepicheep gets a new sword after finally giving the other one up, sort of like how Digory gets a cure for his mother after he resigns himself to her death.

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 : December 12, 2020 1:08 pm
Cullen
(@cullen)
NarniaWeb Newbie
Posted by: @col-klink

It's actually kind of a cool idea that Reepicheep gets a new sword after finally giving the other one up, sort of like how Digory gets a cure for his mother after he resigns himself to her death.

Digory getting the apple is one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. Chokes me up every time.

But I’m not sure Reep would’ve wanted another sword. It seemed he was happy to get rid of it upon entering Aslan’s country. I think he saw the sword as a means to an end, an end that once he achieved, he probably would no longer need the sword.

I do wonder if Lewis forgot? Though that seems incredibly unlikely and un-Lewislike. 

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Posted : December 13, 2020 6:06 am
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut
Posted by: @cullen

I do wonder if Lewis forgot? Though that seems incredibly unlikely and un-Lewislike. 

 

Well, not necessarily. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, he had a dryad sing to the infant Reepicheep even though it had been so long in Prince Caspian since anyone had seen a dryad or a naiad that Trumpkin found the idea of them ridiculous. And in the same book, he had a Telmarine lord carry Narnian coins, with lions and trees engraved on them, even though it was established that Telmarines hated lions and trees.

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 : December 13, 2020 11:53 am
Cullen and Courtenay liked
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Guru Friend of NarniaWeb

Yes, I was just going to say, there are plenty of other inconsistencies and incongruities throughout the Chronicles — some minor ones, like the two slips Col Klink mentions in VDT, and a few major ones. The biggest one for me is the huge inconsistency between what we're told of the White Witch's background and role in LWW and what we learn of her as Jadis in MN. Another (which I remember us discussing in another thread) is that at the end of LWW, the grown-up Kings and Queens have almost no memory of their own world until they unintentionally find their way back through the wardrobe — but then near the end of HHB, which is set only about a year before the Pevensies' return to Earth, Lucy tells "the Tale of the Wardrobe" and how she and her siblings came into Narnia, which it's made clear she's told many times before.

None of these "continuity errors" spoil the magic of the books for me overall, but they are a little frustrating and they do go to show that Lewis quite readily forgot some of the details of his earlier stories as he went along with the series. So it makes sense to me that that's the explanation for why Reepicheep has a sword again when we see him in Aslan's country.

I sometimes wonder how many of those inconsistencies Lewis might have noticed and changed if he'd had the chance to publish revised editions of the Chronicles — I'm aware he acknowledged to the editor of Puffin Books (who published the first paperback editions) that he'd like to fix up some things in the books that didn't quite tie together. Unfortunately that was shortly before he died, so we'll never know for sure what he had in mind...

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

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Posted : December 13, 2020 1:17 pm
Cullen liked
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator

Who's to say they don't have sword fights for sport and fun in Aslan's Country? Grin

This is a great catch, @Cullen for some reason I had never noticed this before!

One thought that comes to my mind is this passage from Lewis's Mere Christianity: "Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in." (Emphasis mine.)

I think it was necessary, and deeply poignant, for Reepicheep to cast away his sword before entering Aslan's Country... it was symbolic for his love of honor and of battles in a fallen world, and if he was unable to let go of those earthly loves in order to see Aslan's Country, he would not have been able to enter. I don't think that Lewis was necessarily forgetting about this moment in VDT, though, when he described Reepicheep with his sword in LB as the above quote implies, some of Lewis's other writings suggest that in Heaven we get back the things we give up, perhaps not exactly the same as they were in a fallen world, but transfigured into something far better. So it doesn't seem so incongruent that Reepicheep has his sword back, though it may have different uses perhaps far more wondrous in Aslan's Country than it did in the Shadowlands. Smile

Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad

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Posted : December 14, 2020 3:27 pm
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Cullen
(@cullen)
NarniaWeb Newbie

Gosh, great thoughts everyone! I am brand new to this forum, and perhaps at some point, I'll look around to see if anyone has ever started a thread on some of the inconsistencies found in the Narnia series. @col-klink, those are some really good examples.

Posted by: @courtenay

None of these "continuity errors" spoil the magic of the books for me overall

Completely agree!

Posted by: @rose

I think it was necessary, and deeply poignant, for Reepicheep to cast away his sword before entering Aslan's Country... it was symbolic for his love of honor and of battles in a fallen world, and if he was unable to let go of those earthly loves in order to see Aslan's Country, he would not have been able to enter. I don't think that Lewis was necessarily forgetting about this moment in VDT, though, when he described Reepicheep with his sword in LB as the above quote implies, some of Lewis's other writings suggest that in Heaven we get back the things we give up, perhaps not exactly the same as they were in a fallen world, but transfigured into something far better. So it doesn't seem so incongruent that Reepicheep has his sword back, though it may have different uses perhaps far more wondrous in Aslan's Country than it did in the Shadowlands. Smile

I love this! The paradox is glorious to think about. And it does seem fitting that there would be some use for it in Aslan's Country, even if it doesn't mirror what he needed it for before he arrived.

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Posted : December 14, 2020 8:47 pm
Cleander
(@the-mad-poet)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I'd say that the sword being returned to him is most likely, given that the Kings are all described as packing swords in their appearance in Aslan's Country. 

Great point about getting back what we give up, Rose. It's also worth noting that Lewis, while talking of sexuality, (in Mere Christianity), said that Heaven most likely will retain sexuality in some glorified capacity, and compared it with warriors sheathing and wearing the swords they have won their victories with as a sign of celebration. Not that it's at all what Reep's sword represents, but it shows Lewis's line of thinking. 

 

This post was modified 2 months ago 2 times by Cleander

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Posted : December 14, 2020 10:02 pm
Geekicheep
(@geekicheep)
NarniaWeb Regular
Posted by: @courtenay

Since we're never told anything about it, I suppose we could get into all sorts of speculation — maybe, when he reached Aslan's country, he was rewarded with a new sword as a token of his courage? (I can't imagine why he would need a sword, or any kind of weapon, in the land where there's no evil or harm or suffering or death, but never mind.)

I'll tell you why - because swords are awesome! 🙂

All joking aside, I own a sword.  It's sharp enough to be used as a weapon, and I know how to use it, though I hope and pray I never have to.  But even though it's not necessary to use one, I would still love to have it on display in my place.  Swords are more than just an instrument of death; they have come to represent something more.  For us, in this life, they symbolize the battle between good and evil, and the eventual triumph of good.  The kind of guys (and ladies) who use swords in stories are protectors, defending their homeland, standing up for what is right.  In reality swords are just big knives, but that's not how we see them; even in medieval times, when swords were more common as weapons, legends like King Arthur showed swords as something more.  So for Reepicheep, it might be more a reminder of just how much Aslan loves him. How many battles Aslan got him through, oh wait he has his tail for that.  Never mind. 😀

Okay that was kind of a joke, but seriously now, let's look at this another way:  I used to play hockey, and I still look fondly on my old uniform, my stick and my skates.  Those games were intense, and I definitely took some falls and had some struggles along the way - it wasn't all fond memories.  But we always look at the past through rose-colored glasses, and I wouldn't trade my hockey days for anything.  So I think for a warrior who has been through so many battles, seen friends fall and foes flee and Aslan win the victory, and live to tell about it, I think a sword would have greater significance than most of us could ever understand.

Yes, most likely, Lewis just forgot.  I have a hard time with continuity in my own writing, and Lewis mainly wrote nonfiction, so I think it's safe to say he did too.  We've seen it in other little "plot-holes" like this, and it probably is the real reason.  But as Digory (or was it Polly?) said, "grown-ups are always thinking of uninteresting explanations". 😀

This post was modified 4 weeks ago by Geekicheep

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

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Posted : February 1, 2021 8:24 pm
Courtenay liked
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