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)