(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 have to say, I think out of all the Narnia books, this one brings all the feelings to my Narnia loving heart. Not only on the fiction side, with the end of Narnia, but all that it means for us too. Like, for real ALL THE FEELINGS. I didn’t forget how much I loved this book, but reading some of those sections over? Love. Love. Love.
Now where to start with this one? Let’s start with the characters.
Shift the Ape – Lewis perfected manipulation with this jerk. Seriously, I felt much anger towards a fictional ape and how he treated Puzzle and all he said against Aslan.
The Dwarves – Little Punks. Y’all, I got so angry after this scene! “It was the Dwarfs who were shooting and—for a moment Jill could hardly believe her eyes—they were shooting the Horses. Dwarfs are deadly archers. Horse after Horse rolled over. Not one of those noble Beasts ever reached the King.” But more than making me angry, I thought Lewis was brilliant with them. The scene in the New Narnia? Genius.
Puzzle – Oh Puzzle! I wanted to shake him and say get it together! But he is also a telling example of not being secure in your value. If you don’t understand how treasured you are, you can fall to evil characters like Shift. I also loved that Aslan talked with Puzzle first. And I love that Lewis didn’t tell us what he said to Puzzle, but I bet it was beautiful.
The Tarkaan and Tash – Don’t play with things you don’t understand, son! #SpiritualWarfare
(Also I have a tendency to start talking like this is real life and I ain’t even mad about it.)
I loved Tirian and Jewel. They reminded me of Samwise Gamgee from LOTR. Brave and loyal until the very end.
And of course seeing all our old friends from all the previous books made my heart so happy (and Susan’s story is also one to learn from).
I loved everything about the scenes with the new Narnia. From the descriptions of the death of Narnia, to Lucy’s mourning old Narnia (“Don’t try to stop me, Peter,” said Lucy, “I am sure Aslan would not. I am sure it is not wrong to mourn for Narnia. Think of all that lies dead and frozen behind that door.”), the animals going through the door and facing Aslan before they do, to tasting the fruits, to Further Up and Further In. Here’s a few favorites. (I tried to keep it to a few….I should get points for that!)
“What was the fruit like? Unfortunately no one can describe a taste. All I can say is that, compared with those fruits, the freshest grapefruit you’ve ever eaten was dull, and the juiciest orange was dry, and the most melting pear was hard and woody, and the sweetest wild strawberry was sour. And there were no seeds or stones, and no wasps. If you had once eaten that fruit, all the nicest things in this world would taste like medicines after it. But I can’t describe it. You can’t find out what it is like unless you can get to that country and taste it for yourself.”
“…but as he spoke the earth trembled. The sweet air grew suddenly sweeter. A brightness flashed behind them. All turned. Tirian turned last because he was afraid. There stood his heart’s desire, huge and real, the golden Lion, Aslan himself, and already the others were kneeling in a circle round his forepaws and burying their hands and faces in his mane as he stooped his great head to touch them with his tongue. Then he fixed his eyes upon Tirian, and Tirian came near, trembling, and flung himself at the Lion’s feet, and the Lion kissed him and said, “Well done, last of the Kings of Narnia who stood firm at the darkest hour.”
Raise your hand if you cry when Aslan shows up?
“It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried: “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this.”
Lewis was able to so brilliantly capture a teeny bit of our heart’s reaction to Glory. I know it will be even more than even Lewis described, but I love so so much that he was able to stir our hearts with these passages and story.
“Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly.” This reminded me to never stop praying and hoping for people to find truth. They are all searching, they may just not know it yet. Plus, I wonder if that used to be him. Anyway, this scene with Aslan? #Dead
“And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me Beloved.”
Alright, I’ll end my quotes with this passage. It still remains one of my favorite in all of literature, not just the Inklings world. So beautiful.
There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of you are—as you used to call it in the Shadowlands—dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.” And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
Have I mentioned I LOVE this one? I cannot wait to hear what y’all think about it! I thought I’d include a few questions – feel free to answer any, all and add your own thoughts!
1. Do you have a favorite character from this one?
2. What were some of your favorite scenes?
3. I want to read some of your favorite quotes too!