Let's Talk Narnia: Prince Caspian

By Wednesday, January 20, 2016 , , ,

Welcome back to The Chronicles of Narnia discussions! I’m excited to be talking about Prince Caspian this time around. Check out previous discussions on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Magician’s Nephew if you’d like before diving into this one :)

Now obviously, all of these books are wonderful, but I’ll admit that Prince Caspian isn’t one of my usual favorites. I think I was just so in love with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as a child that I had trouble computing a sequel for a while. But it’s definitely grown on me in recent years. Maturing in faith, perseverance in difficulty, and the reality that life with Christ isn’t always glamorous are beautifully captured in it. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy return to Narnia to help establish the rightful king, Caspian the Tenth, and to overthrow the evil Miraz, Caspian’s deceitful uncle and pretender to the throne. The Pevensie children are dismayed to find Narnia different from when they left, and all four of them struggle with doubt and frustration as they seek to fulfill their responsibilities there this time. There is so much to love and learn from in this story. I’m reminded through it that faith in Christ is a neverending growing process, that He strengthens my faith when I’m weak, and that He equips me for what He calls me to do. Here are some favorites from Prince Caspian

Favorite Characters
Edmund: Y’all, this guy. In many ways, I think Edmund carries much of the story in Prince Caspian. His treachery in the previous book and Aslan’s subsequent rescue of him turn him around so beautifully. He’s gone from the pesky, spiteful sibling to a calming, steady presence between the other three. He’s now a wise, steadfast brother and counselor, especially to Lucy. When Peter and Susan don’t believe Lucy at one point, Edmund sticks by her loyally, and it’s such a fabulous contrast to what he used to be. He is truly redeemed and used greatly in this story, and I love it. 

Lucy: Ever the favorite, you know? But even ever-faithful and believing Lucy has her bumps in this one. She succumbs to pressure instead of trusting Aslan at one point, and she has to face her fear and uncertainty. But she never loses her deep faith in Narnia and Aslan through it all, and her scenes with Aslan are some of my favorites. Her unadulterated joy is just contagious. 

Caspian: The unbeknownst king, curious scholar, bewildered nephew of Miraz, and frightened leader of the surviving old Narnians. What a journey Caspian has! So much is suddenly thrown at him in a short span of time and so many important decisions come to him unexpectedly. One day he’s a curious and comfortable scholar in Miraz’s palace, and the next he’s the threatened heir to the throne fleeing for his life. But he’s an admirable character through every obstacle. He’s not afraid to admit his weakness and need for help, he’s eager to unite and defend the old Narnians, and his immediate friendship with the Pevensies is enjoyable. I love seeing him grow, and his curiosity and determination to revive old Narnia are there from the beginning, making him easy to root for. 
Ben Barnes as Caspian in Disney and Walden Media's 2008 film adaptation of Prince Caspian
{Photo Credit: Fanpop}

Dr. Cornelius: Which naturally brings me to Caspian’s faithful old tutor, Doctor Cornelius. I just love that he’s part dwarf, for one thing. But otherwise, his smarts and loyalty to Caspian and old Narnia are fabulous. His secret conversations with Caspian in the castle tower are so fun to read. 

Favorite Scenes
Aslan leads the children and Trumpkin to Caspian: This part makes me wince, get excited, and shiver all at different times. It begins as a touching exchange between Aslan and Lucy in the middle of the night after Peter, Susan, and Trumpkin have disbelieved Lucy’s claim of seeing Aslan. As a result, the group takes an incorrect route and loses time. Aslan’s talk with Lucy in the night shows her the bitterness she’s still harboring and that she’s more fearful than she knew. And the next sequence when Aslan leads the whole group down the correct path and to Caspian’s hideout in Aslan’s Howe is just refreshing. Before the children and Trumpkin can see Aslan, they must believe, and their fear cripples their belief. This is always such a needed reminder for me. 

Peter, Edmund, and Trumpkin stopping the sorcery in Aslan’s Howe: This scene is just epic. The last time I listened to this book on radio drama in my car, I was gripping the steering wheel and squirming in my seat during this scene. I always want to yell at Caspian to stand up to Nikabrik more firmly, not to mention yell at Peter and Edmund to get the heck in there before the hag and werewolf do damage! But of course they do get in and save the day in all their former kingly glory. Just awesome.

Aslan awakening the trees and gathering the old Narnians with Susan and Lucy: I love that we get two exciting scenarios involved in saving Narnia that come together so dramatically at the end. Peter and Miraz’s duel is nail-biting enough, and the ensuing battle ramps up the intensity amazingly. But I do love how Aslan brings Susan and Lucy with him on special errands like he did in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The awakening of the trees and the river god and the gathering of all the old Narnians makes the story slowly climb with anticipation, and the final defeat of Miraz’s army is as moving as it’s triumphant and relieving. And Caspian’s reunion with his old nurse here just about melts me every time.
Georgie Henley as Lucy with Aslan at a climactic moment of the battle in Disney and Walden Media's 2008 film adaptation of Prince Caspian
{Photo Credit: Basement Rejects}

Favorite Quotes 
“That’s the worst of girls,” said Edmund to Peter and the Dwarf. “They never carry a map in their heads.”
“That’s because our heads have something inside them,” said Lucy. 

“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”
“That is because you are older, little one,” answered he.
“Not because you are?”
“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.” 

“You have listened to your fears, child,” said Aslan. “Come, let me breathe on you. Forget them. Are you brave again?”

“Welcome, Prince,” said Aslan. “Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?”
“I-I don’t think I do, Sir,” said Caspian. “I’m only a kid.”
“Good,” said Aslan. “If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been a proof that you were not.”

“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honor enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.” 

“Well!” said Peter. “We have had a time.” 
“Bother!” said Edmund. “I’ve left my new torch in Narnia.”

Georgie Henley as Lucy, William Moseley as Peter, Ben Barnes as Caspian, Anna Popplewell as Susan, and Skandar Keynes as Edmund in Disney and Walden Media's 2008 film adaptation of Prince Caspian
{Photo Credit: Christian Film Database}
What are your favorite aspects of Prince Caspian? Do we share any favorite quotes, scenes, or characters? How do you like this book compared to the others? I'd love to hear!

*I do not own the rights to the movie images in this post. Movie images were retrieved from credited Internet sources*

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