Ok but I’ve been binge watching the Narnia movies again, after not having seen them for a long ass time, and now, being a little older and (hopefully) a little more mature than I was when I first saw them, I always feel physically sick when I see the Pevensies being children after The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe because they just aren’t anymore and I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like, to grow up as kings and queens, respected and important, and full of duty, only to go back to being 8 years old (in Lucy’s case).
They didn’t remember England, or the wardrobe, or their old lives, they were Narnians and they were pushed back, not only into a world that was bound to make them miserable, but also into bodies that couldn’t reflect what they’d been through.
Just imagine Peter, waking up in the morning, not remembering that he isn’t the Magnificent anymore, imagine him subconsciously reaching for something to trim his beard, only to remember that it isn’t there anymore, to expect old battle wounds to hurt until he realises that they can’t because he doesn’t have them.
Or Edmund, who left England a stubborn selfish little boy who only wanted his mummy back, and came back the Just, the redeemed traitor, the diplomat, the man, having to resort to being ten years old and probably not even allowed to peek at a newspaper because he’s just a child after all. He plays chess, incredibly well, he doesn’t mock his siblings anymore and all the friends he knew when he was still a boy are either irritated at his behaviour or too childish, too selfish for somebody who knows very well just what selfishness can do, who has a part of the White Witch in him, always.
Susan forgets, we all know that. She must’ve lain awake at night, remembering just what it felt like to cover pain and viciousness and gore with a smile and a blush, remembering being the Gentle, but never in war. She must’ve cried for all the lost years, for all that she learnt and that she can never forget, for all that she has accomplished, that will bring her nothing in this world that doesn’t feel like hers. So she sits down in front of a mirror, talks herself out of believing, telling herself that it wasn’t real, that it was just a dream, that this Narnia her siblings talk about is nothing but a game. The truth is too terrifying, to devastating to face.
Lucy, little Lucy, who grew up under Mr Tumnus’ smiles and Aslan’s approving gaze, who was loved by all, who did learn how to rule, how to negotiate but who never forgot just what it means to be a queen of Narnia, this girl who matured into a woman, who had a woman’s mind and body and a queen’s grace, she who they called the Valiant, the lion’s daughter, she shrank into herself, into a child, younger than even her siblings. She remembers, clearest of them all, she is the only one who still knows Mr Tumnus’ face, still knows Aslan, but she is just a girl, a pretty little thing who will never be the queen she was, who will never be the woman she was because queenship forms a person in ways no schools can.
They must’ve been devastated when they tumbled to the floor, short and small, and there’s a war they have no control over and Lucy is small, Edmund is skinny, so skinny and Peter and Susan have lost their glow and they’ve changed, they’ve changed so much. (The first time, somebody calls them by just their names, they feel invalidated and small. And offended. They’re kings and queens, they’ve earned their titles and now they have to sit in a dim room filled with children and listen to teachers, have to allow themselves to be insignificant and nothing more than what they were when Lucy first stepped into Narnia - frightened children in the middle of a war they wish was never there in the first place)
I want a Netflix original series based on The Chronicles of Narnia that goes through the series start to finish with cameos from the old cast either reprising their roles or in bit roles. I tweeted Netflix about my idea and messaged them on Facebook, but since I’m a persistent little punk and don’t think I’m the only one who would want a series like this, I wonder if any of you would also tweet Netflix about the idea, or at least reblog this post so others can see it. The hope is that if enough people ask for it, maybe they’ll at least respond to the idea.
Okay but I just imagine the Pevensies going to their respective schools after Prince Caspian, and it doesn’t take the other kids long to notice something is…off about them.
There’s something rough in the edges of Peter that the worst of the other boys keep getting cut on. Something powerful and confident. He was always likable, the shining golden child that the school trots out as a perfect example to incoming students, but now he is strong, he has emerged from the countryside a leader. He stands up to bullies, he always has, but he’s more eager to get into a fight these days than to talk them down. He’s a strong hand and quick word, but there’s power to back it up this time.
There’s something in the way Susan tilts her head that makes her seem like a woman. The way she carries herself high and tall, the proud line of her shoulders as she walks down the hall that makes some lable her to high and mighty for her own good. The world doesn’t know what to do with queens, and that’s what Susan seems to be these days.
There’s something dark lurking in Edmund that makes the other boys uneasy. Something wild and untamed in the now quiet boy. He no longer gets into fights, no longer bullies or mocks the others. In fact, he’s taken to stopping fights, to pushing back against his former friends when they try to take things to far. His roomate claims he wakes screaming from nightmares sometimes, and the stillness of his presence belies the intensity of his eyes.
There’s something burning in Lucy that wasn’t before. All the teachers comment on it. There’s something loud and cheerful in the girl who used to be quiet, and she makes friends even faster than before, pulled in by her captivating orbit. She spins fantastic tales, and is scolded for having her head in the clouds. She tells her tales of magical kingdoms as if she were really there, and gets sad sometimes, as if she misses the people who were never there.
Everyone agrees that something happened to the Pevensie children in the country, but they never talk about it. The adults eventually just chalk it up to the war, and almost forget about the strange children that populatetd their classrooms, until they read about the tragedy in the paper. Then they remember. And they never forget.
Can we just take a moment to appreciate what a skilled and savage swordsman Edmund is? He’s like no I don’t need a shield, I slash the enemy with two swords, thank you very much. I can just imagine some of the Narnian generals initially underestimating this smaller, quieter king and then being impressed when he goes out and whips up on trained infantrymen.
And don’t you think it really reflects the just and deep thinking side of Edmund that he uses strategy and skill to defeat the enemy rather than brute strength and a shield? I mean how can you not love this left handed, ambidextrous swordsman who’s as good with swords as he is with words?
The first day back in England, every one of the Pevensie children managed an extravagant fall.
Their legs are shorter than they should be, but they can’t say this out loud.
Weeks go by. Eventually, they all relearn how to walk.
But there are other, stranger things they can’t relearn.
Lucy is eight.
Lucy is twenty-three.
She can’t remember how to be small and unimportant, or how to play children’s games. Fifteen years in another world have left her used to being listened to, relied upon. The horrors of war are far less frightening than the horror of ignorance, of tiny uncalloused hands. Or waking in the night remembering the culture, the world she left behind.
And Susan is twelve - nearly - thirty.
With small children of her own under her care. She can’t forget the feel of them growing inside her.
She can’t unlearn the way her ears are always listening for them. Years later she is still celebrating birthdays for people who live only in her memory, only knee high. At night she’d kept awake wondering about the strangers she gave birth too.
So she keeps trying to forget.
For the boys it is different. But not better:
Peter is thirteen and full of anger. The adults call it puberty. The adults don’t realize the shadow in his eyes is the same shadow in the eyes of returning soldiers. High King Peter, with so many lives under his command now commands nothing, and knows nothing. Responsibility and questions weigh on him.
But Edmund wakes up one day and realizes that after so many years no stranger can ever go to war with him about a child betraying his family for roses and sugar. His worst mistake weighs only on his mind now. And somehow, it’s this small silver lining that lets him pull their family back from the brink. He is no longer the broken one, no longer haunted by a child he no longer is.
The Pevensie’s are adrift in a world of smoke and debris, and the rolling empty countryside. The war here is not fought with swords and fangs, but gas, and fire from above.
A fate worse than death is not being turned to stone.
There is no Lion coming at the eleventh hour to save them all. No lion except the one they carry inside themselves.
And that would have to be enough.
So each Pevensie found a way to matter, to change, to save.
And a little bit of Aslan crept in around the corners when they needed him most.
There was a snap and a growl to Lucy her mother had never seen.