Monday, October 7, 2013

Chonicles of Narnia Thoughts Part 1 Comparing Beginnings

 "I, yes I, am the Lord, and there is no other Savior. First I predicted your rescue, then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world. No foreign god has ever done this. You are witnesses that I am the only God,” says the Lord."
~Isaiah 43:11-12~

Yes, the covers aren't that great a lot of the time (unless you have the newer version in paperpack), and that is probably what toned down my first opinion of the books, sadly.  I had read the books in a really odd out of order.  I did read the Magician's Nephew first though lol.  I can't remember the order I read them in but I didn't particularly want to read Prince Caspian because I had already seen the movie (I know, dumb excuse).

But the story was very important to me when I was 8, when my sister told me they were making a movie for the Chronicles of Narnia.  She was SO SO excited and I didn't even know what those were.  She showed me a trailer for the movie (it was the first one I think and only one minute long and only showed Lucy in the spare room, discovering the wardrobe and uncovering it from the sheet slowly, the fabric falling to the ground, and her looking up and smiling.  Fade to black.  Something in me lit a flame.  This girl was my age and it was instantly relatable to me.  A way into another world.  This was probably my first fantasy story in which someone went to another world.
Then the nine minute trailer came out and I wanted to watch it over and over again.  My sister (who was then 12) and I jumped up and down in excitement.
When we saw it at the theaters, my eyes were wide open the whole way through.  The ever so large screen, on which a giant, darkly carved wardrobe stood still and foreboding, and yet inviting.  Hide and Seek.  World war II.  The touch between a girl of earth, and a creature from a different world, which was so precious.  The talking beavers.  The tea and a lullaby.  THE SNOWY WOOD.  The lamppost, just standing there, like a gravestone in a graveyard.  The White witch, the hot chocolate, and the Turkish Delight (which I imagined was something like a cinnamon roll or funnel cake when I didn't know).  The lion.  The story, the music, it all made me cry.

But now though, is so many, many years later.  The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was somewhat ruined in the movie.  Yes, it was entertaining, but it didn't make much money. was very silent for a very long time.  No news at all.  Soon we all forgot about Narnia.  Hunger Games took its place in our minds, and Once Upon a Time.  We minded our business, and it seemed like the future of Narnia was dead.  Just a few days ago, though, this all changed.

They're finally making the Silver Chair into a movie.
When I heard this, I wasn't so much excited, because I almost thought it wasn't real, or that I couldn't trust it, or that the movie wouldn't be very good, or that they really weren't going to make another movie.  But go on here and listen to the podcast.
They're all so full of hope, which gave me hope.  And the podcast is funny.
I went to my sister's room and nabbed a copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and began to read.  I've realized something about C. S. Lewis' style.  He did once say that The Chronicles of Narnia were a sort of fairy tales.  At first I didn't quite believe it.  But now that I've been reading the beginnings of all seven, I'm beginning to realize that it's true.  Here, I shall show you the beginning sentence of each of the books, in the order they were published.

"Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy."
~The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe~
Just like a beginning of a fairy tale!  Not all fairy tales begin with "Once upon a time," you know.

"Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, and it has been told in another book called The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe how they had a remarkable adventure."
~Prince Caspian~
Yes, this really is the beginning!  Just like LWW, but adding on to it.

"There was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."
~The Voyage of the Dawn Treader~
Still following the fairy tale feel.  Why did he "almost" deserve the name?  Was there something good that redeemed him?  Or is what DID he deserve if not the name?

"It was a dull autumn day and Jill Pole was crying behind the gym."
~The Silver Chair~
Mmm... "dull" makes me think of the color grey, and tension has begun.  Who is this girl, and why is she crying?  Beginning a story with unanswered questions in the first sentence keeps one curious.  I'm beginning to like the Silver Chair more and more now.  Up till now, the beginnings of the stories were about ordinary things, life, and how things were.  But now, something is happening, and it pulls us in.  The beginning also tells us that this will be a darker story.

"This is the story of an adventure that happened in Narnia and Calormen and the lands between, in the Golden Age when Peter was High King in Narnia and his brother and his two sisters were King and Queens under him."
~The Horse and His Boy~
Even though it took me a while to get into this book, this first sentence does draw one in.  One wonders what happened in the time they were kings and queens, what they did as rulers.  It takes one off guard because it takes place before the end of LWW, before the Pevensies got sent back to our world, and yet it was written after the Silver Chair.
This book does have its funny spots though, and also its serious spots.

"This is a story about something that happened long ago when your grandfather was a child."
~The Magician's Nephew~
At first I thought this book was my favorite.  Continuing the fairy tale feel.  A lot of it takes place in Charles Dickens' London, which made it all the more enjoyable.  I'd wished the next movie they were to make was this one, as it would be really cool to see on the screen.

"In the last days of Narnia, far up to the west beyond Lantern Waste and close beside the great waterfall, there lived an Ape."
~The Last Battle~
The beginning makes you wary and sad.  "The last days of Narnia".  Mentioning Lantern Waste and the waterfall reminds us of LWW, and the beginning of Narnia.
And the mention of an Ape catches us off guard again.  Up till now, there haven't been many (if any) talking apes as characters.  What sort of ape would he be then?

Anyway, I'm off to rewatch the Narnia movies (well, go to bed first) and read the books and the guides!  My, there are a lot!
By the way, which is your favorite Narnia book?  My mind has been changing a lot so I don't know anymore.
Do you know that Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor) plays Puddleglum in the Silver Chair (BBC version)? 


  1. Oh wow! That's so cool! I love seeing the first sentences all together. They are rather fairytale-like, aren't they?
    I'm so excited for The Silver Chair movie. It's been delayed too long. I hope it's brilliant.
    My favorite Narnia book... It was The Voyage of the Dawn Treder, but now I'm not sure because I haven't read the books for such a long time.
    Tom Baker as Puddleglum? Ahaha. I bet that's great. I might have to go find that.

  2. Woah, The Silver Chair movie? I had not idea! My day just got a whole lot better, thank you! My whole family has always loved The Chronicles of Narnia, so I grew up with them. I think my favorite book is the Magician's Nephew.

  3. Yes, they have the whole thing on Youtube. (: Not the best graphics, but still a classic lol.

  4. They're making "The Silver Chair"? *squeals* Yay, I'm so excited now! I have to say I've never actually read the books all the way through, except for "The Magician's Nephew", which I love. But I intend to. At some point... :D

  5. Yes, do read them! They're really good. :)