1. Galadriel says:

    I think the fact that they do return reminds us that “all stories have an ending” and even our mountaintop experiences drop us back in the “real world.” I have issues with how Andrew Jackson portrayed the latter in his second film, but…

  2. Bainespal says:

    The sky in the east was whitish by now and the stars were getting fainter—all except one very big one low down on the eastern horizon. (page 160) In our world, what star would that be? Why might it be significant? What name and mythology is associated with it?

    The Morning Star. If any mythological symbol has confused and convoluted meanings, it would be this, I think, because it can mean both the Devil and Christ. According to its Wikipedia article, the Greek name means “Light Bringer,” which describes Jesus well. It’s also the planet Venus, which I believe represents fertility and beauty; the connotation of fertility being related with the concept of spring, all of which is Resurrection imagery. It rises before the Sun, sort of like a herald coming before the full Light.

    So what do you think of the sun’s rising? The Stone Table cracking? Aslan’s body gone and the girls’ reactions?

    The cracking of the Table and the initial disappearance of Aslan’s body are probably direct homages to the real Gospel story — the tearing of the Veil and the displacement of Christ’s resurrected body without disturbing the graveclothes (proving that the body was not stolen).
    It seems like Aslan rises just at the moment of sunrise. The sun is the greatest light we know, and I think it’s totally unsurprising that we associate Christ with the sun, even if pagans associated some of their gods with the sun as well. I think God must have known and ordained that we would interpret the cycle of night of day as a symbol of death and resurrection, of eternal hope.
    I’m curious. Are there any theories out there as to when in the day the moment of Jesus’ resurrection actually took place? Could the true Resurrection also have occurred at the moment of dawn, thus validating our use of nature-symbolism?

    Aslan is raised by “more magic” (page 162). Christ was raised miraculously. Are they different? Is “magic” according to story-world “rules” similar to “miracles” in our world?

    Narnian magic and real-world miracles are similar in some ways but are not directly parallel. I think Narnian magic represents the divine ordering of the universe, when seen and perceived by finite beings. “Magic” works outside of Narnia, since it drew the children into the wardrobe. Since the Narnian mythos includes the concept of many worlds, I think “magic” must be something transcendent above all the worlds. I think real-world, supernatural miracles would indeed be “magic” by Narnian definition, but I think much of what we call science would also be Narnian magic, as well as many ordinary things like love or coincidence or fate.

    Similarly, what is similar between the Deeper Magic and our world’s “magical” rules according to the Creator? Does it sound like the Deeper Magic would work every time it’s tried, or was established only for Aslan’s death? (Hint: the Stone Table’s sign.)

    Keeping in mind that the Narnian mythos includes multiple worlds, it seems clear that the Deeper Magic must be older than the world of Narnia itself, and thus not restricted to the world of Narnia. Coming from “Before the Dawn of Time,” the Deeper Magic must have been before all worlds. May it’s a property or attribute of God Himself.
    I’m not sure what you mean by the Stone Table’s sign. I think the Deeper Magic represents the principle of Redemption, a mystery hidden in eternity with God until God chooses to reveal it by fulfilling it Himself.

    Aslan brings the stone statues to life. What Biblical truth seems to have inspired this?

    I just want to note the similarity to Lewis’s allusion of “stubborn toy soldiers” being turned into real people in Mere Christianity.

    About that other talking lion — no other talking lions are mentioned throughout the series. Could it be significant that Aslan first “resurrects” a creature much like himself?

    Note the other lion’s joyful boasting in being included with Aslan:”Did you hear what he said? Us lions. That means him and me. Us lions. That’s what I like about Aslan. No side, no stand-off-ishness. Us lions. That meant him and me” (p. 190 in my edition). Replace Aslan with Jesus and “us lions” with “us humans.”

    “If the Witch is to be finally defeated before bedtime we must find the battle at once.” (Aslan speaking, page 174) “Before bedtime,” he says. What seems clear from this?

    I don’t see where you’re going here, but I definitely want to hear what you mean by this!

    Favorite creatures? Lions? Centaurs? Dogs? Satyrs? Dwarfs? Tree-girls? The Giant?

    One of the problems that keeps me from appreciating the Chronicles as much as I should (even though I do like the books, of course) is that I just can’t really imagine the sentient animals that well. My favorites here are still probably the centaurs. By the way, do you know if fauns and satyrs are the same race in Narnia?

    In all this celebration, with certain victory (see Aslan’s “bedtime” statement earlier!) now realized with the battle’s end, why this moment to correct Lucy (page 179)?

    My first thought by Aslan’s challenge to Lucy — “…others are also at the point of death. Must more people die for Edmund?” — is that it sounds like an exhortation to evangelism. Edmund’s already been “saved” and now Lucy has the responsibility to bring the healing to others. I probably thought of this because I come from a Baptist background that really pushes evangelism; Lewis might not have meant this. I don’t know.

    Do you believe Edmund ever learns what Aslan did for him? Why not tell him now?

    That’s another thing I don’t understand but would like to hear theories about. What does it mean that Edmund is not told of what Aslan did for him? Does this imply that we don’t really have any idea what Christ actually suffered for us (which I’m sure is true)?

    But amid all these rejoicings, Aslan himself quietly slipped away. (page 182) Why does he leave like this, without bidding goodbye or prophesying his next arrival?

    It makes Aslan seem more wise and more transcendent, for one thing. Aslan is much like Tolkien’s Gandalf; both Aslan and Gandalf come and go according to their own wisdom, but they never forsake those under their care. In this, I’m sure both Aslan and Gandalf reflect Jesus, being physically absent but still present.

    Read the description of how the children as Kings and Queens ruled Narnia: … and generally stopped busybodies and interferers and encouraged ordinary people who wanted to live and let live (page 183).

    And I notice that they saved all the little dwarfs and satyrs from having to go to school. 😀 Seriously, considering the Professor’s agitated grumblings about what is being taught in schools, and considering that Edmund “had begun to go wrong” during his “first term at that horrid school,” I wonder if there really is a deliberate message about education systems in here.

    Yet how does this “loss” strengthen the story and remind us that the greater story, both in Narnia and in reality, hasn’t yet ended?

    It does feel like a loss, a little bit. To me, it brings to mind eternality, the idea that God’s story always goes on, when all temporal stories have ended. But maybe I’ve been spoiled by reading and enjoying too many stories with heretical Eastern themes regarding non-linearity of time, I don’t know.

What do you think?