The Problem with Jill Pole | Talking Beasts

Posted May 15, 2017 5:00 am by Glumpuddle

The Silver Chair‘s protagonist has issues. In this episode, Twigs and Glumpuddle present their opposing views on Jill Pole and also discuss the tone and atmosphere established in the book’s opening chapter.

Much of this conversation is based on discussion in The Silver Chair reading groupThanks to Reepicheep775, waggawerewolf27, The Rose-Tree Dryad, Moonlit_Centaur, and Anhun for great posts!

The C.S. Lewis Minute is brought to you by William O’Flaherty, author of C.S. Lewis Goes to Hell and creator of EssentialCSLewis.com.

Think you can stump a NarniaWebber? Submit Narnia trivia questions to podcast[at]narniaweb.com with the subject “Stump” (please do not include the answer).

We will be observing Memorial Day on May 29, so look for our next episode on Tuesday May 30.

28 Comments For This Story

  • Moonlit_Centaur says:

    In the, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe movie companion Douglas Gresham says ‘if we ever make The Silver Chair, I would want Andrew to play Puddleglum. He’s the spitting image of the Marshwiggle.’ What would be your reaction if Andrew was cast as Puddleglum?

  • Jilfan(aka,Iceberg) says:

    Awesome podcast guys! I was wondering, where is the podcasting prince Rillian?

  • Jilfan(aka,Iceberg) says:

    Love the podcast companion picture by the way lol.

  • Rick kuhn says:

    Great podcast!

  • HPofNARNIA says:

    Jill is my favorite character from the series and I think because the way she was introduced is very much how I’ve been through. I enjoyed the BBC version of Silver Chair two because the effects are a little less wired and their Jill looks exactly how i imagined her to b. I’m not Kidding, it’s like she stepped out of my imagination, even her England clothes. One of my wishlists for the new upcoming Silver Chair film is for her to at least have and possibly use a bow and arrow.

  • booksandfireflies says:

    One thing I think is interesting about this, is the idea that feelings don’t always "count". Just because you don’t "feel" God doesn’t mean He isn’t there. We were given feelings and they are good, but they are creaturly and just because we "feel" something doesn’t always make it true. That’s another reason for Puddleglum’s speech. They don’t feel like Aslan is real. They feel like what the Lady of the Green Curdle is saying is true. But just because they feel it doesn’t make it true. I think this all kinda goes back to the idea of the dark night of the soul. Now, I’ve only read this once a very long time ago and not very closely, so I don’t know how good of a theme this is.

  • Anfinwen says:

    With regards to the controversy over Jill’s character, I think you’re all right. I see Jill as a deeply scarred character, emotionally and even morally. This could be due to bullying and/or family issues, and would manifest itself in a number of ways. Lack of trust and difficulty obeying are both symptoms. I especially agree with Jill being self-centered. Actually, we see a lot of this in the book. She ignores Eustace’s feelings on the cliff, blames him and cries tears that are partly sad but also quite angry and self-pitying. Jill has to be reminded of other’s feelings in the claustrophobic Underworld scene. She generally seems to feel pretty sorry for herself most of the time, but on this journey she is pushed to think about other people’s feelings: Eustace and Puddleglum, Caspian missing his son, and Rillian’s plight.

    • waggawerewolf27 says:

      It would be easy to be too harsh about Jill. She is prickly to be sure, and very defensive, and that is understandable because of her experience of bullying. Bullying isn’t fun, and one reason why she is targeted is because she "bites". It is more fun for the bullies to pick on vulnerable people, too upset about their own issues to control their reactions in any meaningful way. In Jill’s case she feels alone and isolated and has learned her only protection is through a show of toughness she doesn’t really possess.

      • Anfinwen says:

        Very true! I think the filmmakers must be honest about her shortcomings because development of character is part of the reason they get into Narnia in the first place. They must show as much or more of her good qualities as the story continues, including her bravery, cleverness, and awakening tender heart.

  • narnia fan 7 says:

    Great podcast! I really enjoy these type discussions and hearing different fans points of view.

    I’ve been wondering, do you guys have any plans to continue the book commentaries from a few years ago?

  • waggawerewolf27 says:

    I was quite surprised about the podcast being based on both the Reading group and the Silver Chair theme thread from Talking about Narnia. So I’ll have to take more notice of these podcasts, won’t I? Thank you anyway for an enjoyable discussion.

    • waggawerewolf27 says:

      Sorry, the Silver Chair theme discussion is from the General Movies Discussion forum. It is where I tried to explain that obedience and trust were two different things. At the time I was also reading a biography of Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed by Nazi forces in the closing days of WW2. I noticed that Coracle added that truth and deception are also relevant Silver Chair themes, and I think that she is quite right.

      • Lord Argoz says:

        Have you listened to Focus on the Family’s audio drama of Bonhoeffer’s life? It is very good – as are their audio drama’s of the Chronicles of Narnia.

  • FilmReel says:

    If you look at what’s coming out in November and December of 2018 I think The Silver Chair has to come out in September 2018.

  • Aravis X says:

    A general concern I have about this in this film(related to this character in a sense)is that the problem this film series has had for 2 out of 3 films; nonsensical romance. I say this is a concern for this film because it would be so easy to try to force a romance between Jill and Eustace, not a huge stretch considering they did the Suspian romance. For me this would just ruin that relationship as well as completely miss the point: possibly confusing this relationship with the Aravis and Shasta relationship(even that is not as shallow and I may have made it sound, obviously by my name it is my personal favorite relationship of the series). Curious if I am alone in this concern, or does anyone else have this fear as well?

    • CasX says:

      I feel like Jill and Eustace are a bit young to have a romantic relationship. Nowadays platonic relationships are more common even in Hollywood so I don’t think they’re going to force it. Also they seem like friends from the start so the whole ‘will they won’t they’ isn’t as obvious as it is in HHB.

      Speaking of HHB, I totally expect a little romance with Shasta and Aravis and I’m more open to it because they do get married. And after all, a boy and a girl on a journey together crossing strange lands. I can’t imagine they haven’t innocently thought of it no matter how much they dislike each other at first. I just hope it’s not too on the nose and they keep their fighting and making up again in because it’s hilarious and I love through all the tension, opposites still attract.

  • CasX says:

    Could you talk about romance in Narnia in the next podcast?

    I feel like we generally don’t like the idea of romance in Narnia because it brings in a bit of the adulthood that we tend to want to escape when reading Narnia books. However it seems like an important question because many of the remaining characters are boy/girl pairs.

    • Aravis X says:

      Yes, I agree; when done properly(like you mentioned with Shasta and Aravis) romance is done very well in the Narnia books. Perhaps even going a little deeper into the relationship Caspian had with Romandu’s daughter would be welcome, considering we got next to nothing with the VDT movie(not that they are related anymore).

  • Rick kuhn says:

    Any ideas about who’d play puddleglum? Is this not the pivotal decision in this movie?

    • JainaGranger7 says:

      This is weird but I’m not kidding, as I read the book I seriously imagined Puddleglum as David Tennant. Of course he doesn’t really match the description but he seems like someone who could portray little bit of awkwardness I found in his character.

  • JainaGranger7 says:

    Okay, so this isn’t super relevant, and I haven’t seen the movie or read the books, in a number of months, but at the end of the Dawn Treader movie Eustace’s mom has a line about how Jill is comming to vist. I don’t remeber how it was phrased, but it was implied that Eustace knew Jill in some form or fashion, yet at the beggining of The Silver Chair, the reader gets the impression that they weren’t close. So now that they are making another movie, any idea how they will clear this up?

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