(The Inklings Series is a monthly series featuring the works of my two favorites, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, or books about them. But I don’t want it to be just me chatting about these books, so that’s where y’all come in! I’ll announce the book at least four weeks in advance of when the discussion post will go live, so you have plenty of time to get the book and read it. Then, the following month, I’ll post a discussion post and let the fun begin!!)
I mentioned this on Twitter, but everytime I finish a Narnia book, my soul feels refreshed. I love Lewis’ capability to help us understand God’s character through Aslan and humanity through the people and creatures of Narnia. Every time I reread them, I have more life experiences, so I seem to understand these things more deeply.
I love when the stories mention the history of Narnia. I’d forgotten that Caspian’s line, the Telmarines, were pirates from our world (thus why Caspian ruled as a son of Adam), had a famine and then invaded Narnia. What are the odds stories from the “missing” years will appear? You know, Go Set a Watchman style, but without the shadiness? I’m so curious what happened in all those years between the destruction of the White Witch and Caspian. Did the Telmarines rule for all those years then? Who ruled Narnia after the siblings left? Questions, questions.
There were two things I really enjoyed from Prince Caspian:
- How the characters’ reactions or beliefs mirror how many people believe or don’t.
- How Lewis displayed the freedom that comes with following Aslan.
Before diving into that a bit more, I just have to mention I caught the chuckles every time they referred to Trumpkin as D.L.F (Dear Little Friend). Also, I love Lucy! Especially because of comebacks like this:
“That’s the worst of girls,” said Edmund to Peter and the Dwarf. “They never can carry a map in their heads.”
“That’s because our heads have something inside them,” said Lucy.
Lewis had an incredible way of describing Narnia and all those who lived there with such ease. When the council was forming, I learned so much more about the creatures and their personalities just by reading their reactions to when they should have the council. Like so:
“The Bulgy Bears were very anxious to have the feast first and leave the council till afterwards: perhaps till to-morrow. Reepicheep and his Mice said that councils and feasts could both wait, and proposed storming Miraz in his own castle that very night. Pattertwig and the other squirrels said they could talk and eat at the same time, so why not have the council and feast all at once? The Moles proposed throwing up entrenchments round the Lawn before they did anything else. The Fauns thought it would be better to begin with a solemn dance. The Old Raven, while agreeing with the Bears that it would take too long to have a full council before supper, begged to be allowed to give a brief address to the whole company. But Caspian and the Centaurs and the Dwarfs over-ruled all these suggestions and insisted on holding a real Council of War at once.”
Confession: Lucy’s reaction to Trumpkin after she said she saw Aslan, is how I feel inside when people say they don’t like Narnia or Lewis.
“He’d be a pretty elderly lion by now,” said Trumpkin, “if he’s one you knew when you were here before! And if it could be the same one, what’s to prevent him having gone wild and witless like so many others?”
Lucy turned crimson and I think she would have flown at Trumpkin, if Peter had not paid his hand on her arm. “The D.L.F. doesn’t understand. How could he?”
Please tell me I wasn’t the only one :).
Now let’s chat about Aslan. You know, just my fav. Not that y’all will find that shocking in the least since I mention it in just about every post. It’s just that through Aslan, Lewis has such an incredible way of portraying real life feelings of encountering Jesus. Like when Aslan was calling Lucy, I connected with so much of that.
“She felt so extremely comfortable and happy.”
“She sat up, trembling with excitement but not with fear.”
“She went fearlessly in among them, dancing herself as she leaped this way and that to avoid being run into by these huge partners. But she was only half interested in them. She wanted to get beyond them to something else; it was from beyond them that the fear voice had called.”
I also really loved how the siblings (and Trumpkin) didn’t all see Aslan at once. For me that was an example of people’s faith, from what is often a stumbling block (fear) to disbelief. Even more, I loved his response to each of the siblings after everyone finally saw Aslan.
After Peter apologized, he called him “My dear son.”
To Edmund: “Well done.”
To Susan: “You have listened to your fears, child” said Aslan. “Come, let me breathe on you. Forget them. Are you brave again?”
One more thought on the story – what a beautiful portrayal of freedom when Aslan, along with Susan and Lucy, were going through the towns and bringing life to the people who lived there (and chose to follow). He calls them gently, like “Dear heart” and they are changed. Such a great image. Plus the fact that the old nurse was reunited with Caspian made my heart happy!
Now it’s your turn to share! If you want, here’s a few discussions starters
1. How does this rank towards the other Narnia books you’ve read?
2. What did you think of the villains in this story?
There was the obvious villain, Miraz, with his pride and trying to hide the truth of Narnia, but I thought Lewis also showed another type of villain, with Nikabrik and how deep seeded hatred can lead you astray. He didn’t care if it was Aslan or the white witch and was willing to pretty much sell his soul (and not for the betterment of everyone, just for himself and the dwarfs).
3. Did any part of the story stick out more than the rest?
4. Please share anything else you’d like to add!
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it!