Bruh I used to be so in love with Prince Caspian & Peter (the Narnia movies are still my jam, I had the 1st and 2nd on dvd, went to see the 3rd one in theaters, and I just found out a 4th one will be released next year what!?!?)
I always kind of laugh when people get into the “Susan’s treatment is proof that C.S. Lewis was a misogynist” thing, because:
Polly and Digory. Peter and Susan. Edmund and Lucy. Eustace and Jill.
Out of the eight “Friends of Narnia” who enter from our world, the male-to-female character ratio is exactly 1/1. Not one of these female characters serves as a love interest at any time.
The Horse and His Boy, the only book set entirely in Narnia, maintains this ratio with Shasta and Aravis, who, we are told in a postscript, eventually marry. Yet even here, the story itself is concerned only with the friendship between them. Lewis focuses on Aravis’ value as a brave friend and a worthy ally rather than as a potential girlfriend–and ultimately, we realize that it’s these qualities that make her a good companion for Shasta. They are worthy of each other, equals.
In the 1950s, there was no particularly loud cry for female representation in children’s literature. As far as pure plot goes, there’s no pressing need for all these girls. A little boy could have opened the wardrobe (and in the fragmentary initial draft, did). Given that we already know Eustace well by The Silver Chair, it would not seem strictly necessary for a patently ordinary schoolgirl to follow him on his return trip to Narnia, yet follow she does–and her role in the story is pivotal. Why does the humble cab-driver whom Aslan crowns the first King of Narnia immediately ask for his equally humble wife, who is promptly spirited over, her hands full of washing, and crowned queen by his side? Well, because nothing could be more natural than to have her there.
None of these women are here to fill a quota. They’re here because Lewis wanted them there.
Show me the contemporary fantasy series with this level of equality. It doesn’t exist.
Narnia Week Day 6:
↳ the dedication from The Lion, The Witch, And the Wardrobe (1950)
My Dear Lucy,
I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized
that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old
for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be
older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy
tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it,
and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear,
and too old to understand, a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather,
C. S. Lewis
If the Witch knew the true meaning of sacrifice, she might have interpreted the deep magic differently. That when a willing victim who has committed no treachery, is killed in a traitor’s stead, the stone table will crack, and even death itself would turn backwards.