Narnia Night 2010 at Asbury

A long two and a half years have passed since Asbury’s Prince Caspian Narnia Night, back in April of 2008, and on December 3rd I found myself back on the campus again for Narnia Night III.

This time Hughes Auditorium was decorated for Christmas, looking festive with garlands and Christmas trees with lights that darkened during the video clips.

The night began with a trivia game pre-show as everyone filtered in. Each young fan with a correct answer won a book or a rampant lion T-shirt. NarniaWebbers would have cleaned up if they were there—and had no tact. Here’s the only question I couldn’t recall the answer to: “Who was the last member of the Dawn Treader to decide to go to the end of the world?” What about it, NarniaWebbers? Can you remember without checking your book?

The evening was introduced by Dr. Mike Peterson and Dr. Sandra Gray, president of Asbury, opened with a prayer.

Walden Media Vice President Chip Flaherty was the first speaker. He congratulated Asbury for having Dr. Devin Brown, foremost Lewis scholar in their midst. He pointed out that though “familiarity breeds contempt,” and Dr. Brown may not seem particularly special if seen in Starbucks fumbling with a teabag—Dr. Jon Kulaga later suggested this could be fixed by drinking coffee—he said that Dr. Brown is his favorite Lewis scholar, and that he’s practically memorized Dr. Brown’s books.

Mr. Flaherty shared some of the story of Walden Media’s beginnings; he was a lawyer, successful in the eyes of the world, when he realized he felt that he wasn’t doing what God wanted him to do. He called up his younger brother Michael Flaherty, and they began their journey. Look where they ended up!

He spoke some about the tests and negative situations God throws our way, and how they’re actually miracles from Him, displaying His care for us. He said he felt that in Dawn Treader there were two miracles. One is the miracle of Eustace being undragoned, but the other was the fact that he became a dragon to begin with. As painful as it was, he was able to be transformed by Aslan.

Like Eustace, we should be thankful for the opportunity to be tested and come through refined and changed by God. He recalled a quote from C.S. Lewis, I’m sure familiar to you: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Segments of the documentary “C.S. Lewis: Why He Matters Today” were interpersed throughout the event: “Reclaiming Christian Reason,” “Rediscovering Christian Imagination,” and “Restoring a Christian View of Humanity.” You can watch and download the documentary here, and I highly recommend it. It effectively depicts the reasons we love C.S. Lewis, his vital marrying of reason and imagination in the Christian faith, and his importance to the church now and in the future.

There were also movie clips throughout the event. Most of the “supertrailer” clips we’ve seen appear online recently, but there was some footage we haven’t seen, including the clip where dragon Eustace reveals his identity to Edmund, and some great quality behind-the-scenes footage of Caspian and Edmund practicing sword fighting and the Pevensies and Eustace swimming in the flooding room.

I hesitate to mention it, but, regrettably, in one of the supertrailer introduction titles, “Reepicheep” was spelled “Reepichap.” I know. You shudder now, but consider what Reepicheep might have done if someone had casually called him Reepichap! It would not have been pretty.

Dr. Devin Brown, friend of NarniaWeb (have you joined in some of his discussion questions?), concluded with his presentation: “What to look for in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”

First, he said, look to see Eustace and his transformation. He made a connection I’d never thought about, pointing out how similar the name Eustace Clarence Scrubb is to Clive Staples Lewis, and implying that Lewis may have put elements of his earlier athiest self in this “record stinker.” He supported this with something Lewis had written regarding himself: “Depth under depths of self-love and self-admiration,” obviously relating it to the layers of dragon skin that Aslan had to remove from Eustace.

Interestingly enough, I found that Lewis’ full quote runs: “It is like fighting the hydra… There seems to be no end to it. Depth under depths of self-love and self-admiration.” Yet further evidence of the connection; the hydra was a mythological serpent- or dragon-like creature who grew two heads when one was cut off, producing an unending battle—like Eustace trying to “undress” himself, or Lewis trying to conquer his pride.

The second thing on Dr. Brown’s list of things to look for: Reepicheep. He pointed out that in Prince Caspian, Reepicheep says, “I pledge my life to you, but my honor is my own,” and that his tail is the “honor and glory of a mouse,” but that he seeks and finds a higher glory at the end of Dawn Treader. He’s willing to sacrifice his life as well as his honor—at the end, he throws away his sword and submits to the indignity of allowing Lucy to hug him.

Aslan was the next thing to look for in Dawn Treader. He discussed how Aslan takes a “background” role in Dawn Treader, more so than in the previous books, and this reflects the way Christ often works in our lives. Aslan is always present, as he says when Lucy “makes” him visible in Coriakin’s house, but his influence is not often clearly seen, not without careful searching, and, I would submit, through his own revealing. Dr. Brown points out that in the passage where Aslan takes the form of an albatross to lead the ship out of the Darkness, it’s only Lucy who sees who it is and hears his voice.

Lucy was the last person to look for in Dawn Treader. Unfortunately, the room was too dark to take any notes, so I’m going on memory for all of this, and Lucy didn’t stick with me. What I do remember is that he discussed the way that Lucy sees the wonder in everyday things, and said that Christians can take a lesson from the way she sees the world.

Afterwards, at the cookie reception in the student center—also decorated for Christmas with Christmas music playing throughout—I was able to speak briefly with Professor Greg Bandy, who put together the entire evening, Walden’s Chip Flaherty, and Dr. Devin Brown, who was signing books. I bought his “Inside Voyage of the Dawn Treader” book, which I look forward to reading—after finals.

Another great Narnia Night at Asbury University. Kudos to those who went to such hard work putting it together! See you for the next film!

Thanks Lady Éowyn for your full report!


You can also read Wunderkind4HIM’s report on her blog here.

32 Responses

  1. wolfloversk says:

    So then there is a supertrailer? I was starting to think that they ran out of funds to make one… Will they post it online?

  2. King_Cor_the_Great says:

    I think it's a bit too late

  3. Pepper Darcy says:

    Wow! pretty neat! Wonderful you got to go, Lady Eowyn! 😀

  4. Thanks for the report…four days left!!!

    I believe Pittencream was the last crewman to decide to sail to the end of the world, and thus was left behind.

  5. wolfloversk says:

    I know! *Sobs*

  6. Bother Eustace says:

    Yup, I'm pretty sure Pittencream is the answer.

  7. -centaur- says:

    Good report! When I was trying to think of the last member to decide to go to the end of the world I thought "it starts with a P and has to do with yogurt". After a minute it came to me 🙂 Pittencream!

    Thanks, Lady Eowyn!

  8. Duffleglum says:

    what a neat article… I would DEFINITELY have cleaned up any freebie T-shirts and the like if I were there!

  9. Queen C The Gentle says:

    Hey can someone tell me what Caspian saids about Susan?

  10. Michael says:

    Good report!! We NarniaWebbers would've definitely cleaned up everything.

  11. A_Narnian_Ship says:

    actually pittencream was the only one who stayed behind…. he then went to go live in Calormen because he could not bear the disgrace of having been the only crew member that did not journey to the end, if my memory serves me correctly.

  12. A_Narnian_Ship says:

    All of those who thought it was Pittencream are incorrect. I just looked it up and here is what VDT says about Pittencream:

    …and Caspian accepted all the man but that one who'd had changed his mind at the last moment. His name was Pittencream and he stayed on the Island of the Star all the time the others were away looking for the World's End, and he very much wished he had gone with them. He wasn't the sort of man who could enjoy talking to Ramandu and Ramandu's daughter (nor they to him), and it rained a good deal, and though there was a wonderful feast on the Table every night, he didn't very much enjoy it. He said it gave him the creeps sitting there alone (and in the rain as likely as not) with those four Lords asleep at the end of the Table. And when the others returned he felt so out of things that he deserted on the voyage home at the Lone Islands, and went and lived in Calormen, where he told wonderful stories about his adventures at the End of the World, until at last he came to believe them himself. So you may say, in a sense, that he lived happily ever after. But he could never bear mice.

  13. A_Narnian_Ship says:

    and really, I couldn't truly find the exact last person to decide to journey to the world's end…

  14. So good to read your thoughts and notes from the night, Lady Eowyn! I had the same exact problem with Lucy and was hoping you would have better notes. Oh well, my mom pointed out that it will probably be in Dr, Brown's book.
    It was a fun night and I cannot wait to see the movie!!
    Four days!

  15. Lady Éowyn says:

    The "supertrailer" really only consisted of clips from the film with titles in between explaining what you're about to see. Most of the clips have been posted online, so you've basically seen the supertrailer. After that they played the theatrical trailer.

    It was not like supertrailers from previous films… it wasn't a finished, polished trailer with dramatic music and each clip segueing into the next.

  16. Lady Éowyn says:

    It's implied that he was the last one to change his mind, because he was the only one whom Caspian did not accept, and because he changed his mind at the very last minute.

  17. Lady Éowyn says:

    Pittencream is correct! Props to you.

  18. Not Of This World says:

    I knew who it was, but I forgot his name!

  19. narniafan says:

    wow! does anyone know where the u.s. premiere of the movie is going to be, besides in Tennessee? (the operation narnia thing)

  20. Lady Éowyn says:

    I wish I'd known there was another NarniaWebber there, Wunderkind4HIM, we could have sat and ate our cookies together 😉 I really didn't know many people there, just some really old acquaintances—and the last three men I mentioned in the report.

    BTW, Dr. Brown said he thought I'd changed, but I think he has! His hair is longish… actually, come to think of it, he would make a good Radagast the Brown, but I hear he's been cast already, more's the pity. 🙂

    Did you take any pictures, possibly? I forgot to.

  21. That would have been fun.
    Haha, I had not noticed how he changed. Last I saw him saw when I sat in on one of his classes, like three or four years ago.
    Unfortunately I did not. All the camaras we own died.
    Maybe when Silver Chair comes out (fingers crossed) 🙂

  22. Kiri says:

    [Here’s the only question I couldn’t recall the answer to: “Who was the last member of the Dawn Treader to decide to go to the end of the world?” What about it, NarniaWebbers? Can you remember without checking your book?]

    What's his name! Pittencream! I think? Haven't checked the book yet. At any rate, it's something like that. I'm reading the comments after I post this so's not to spoil if I'm right for myself.

    That's interesting about the Eustace/Lewis thing, I never even considered that.
    Good read. I can't wait to see the movie! 🙂

  23. jill pole says:

    who's that?
    in holland they have other name.. if you can discribe him maybe i know who he is in our books, i realy have to read the english books!

  24. Lady Éowyn says:

    A_Narnian_Ship posted the paragraph about Pittencream below. He has a very small part. There's also a wiki article about him here:

  25. Varnafinde says:

    "pointing out how similar the name Eustace Clarence Scrubb is to Clive Staples Lewis"

    Is it? I don't see the similarity, other than both names consisting of 3 words.

  26. Sammie says:

    Pittencream is both the last one to agree to go and the only one left behind. In the story, everybody eventually decides to go, until there are only 3 left; then two decide to go also, and leave Pittencream. Pittencream is so afraid of being left alone he then also agrees to go, thus being the last to agree to sail to the world's end. In the end, however, Caspian refuses to take him – he takes all but the very last to agree.

  27. Sammie says:

    Oh, I really should read all the comments before I post. My apologies. Lady Eowyn, thank you for a very interesting report!

  28. Lady Éowyn says:

    The point is subtle and arguable. I see some similarity in the cadence, if not in the order of the words. Also, the initials share "CS," as pointed out in Dr. Brown's book: ECS and CSL. Both names are fairly uncommon and very unique.

    But really, I think the more telling comparisons lie in Lewis' own writing about himself. I'm finding there are a couple more quotes and comparisons drawn in the book.

  29. P. Tallon says:

    I was the trivia guy, and I think at Pittencream IS correct because he DID decide to go to the end of the world (though at the last minute and reluctantly). However, his decision was not honored and he was forced to stay behind.

  30. _Lilliandil_ says:

    Yes we attended Narnia Night and it was really awesome! It took a while to get there but it was well worth it! I met Devin Brown and Chip Flaherty- which was very nice. I am a big Narnia fan so i was really in my element.