Jill-Eustace Romance (and Other Bad Ideas for The Silver Chair) | Talking Beasts

It’s our first video podcast! Join 3 NarniaWeb veterans as they list things they do not want to see in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair. Romance (13:57), expanded battle scenes, green mist, depressed Puddleglum, gallyshlop… and of course the White Witch. The next episode’s discussion will take a lighter turn, focusing on our hopes for the movie.

NarniaWebbers: Glumpuddle, Rilian, GymFan

Do you have any concerns about The Silver Chair? Please post a comment below!

View the episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Jpis4LUtIa4


Or just listen to the audio:

35 Responses

  1. Anfinwen says:

    The comments about the climax of The Silver Chair were spot on. What makes it so fascinating is that the travelers don't set out to save Narnia. They think they are only trying to save the prince. Then comes the revelation that no, all Narnia was on the line; and what they've just done is literally save Narnia. The drama comes not from a climactic battle for Narnia but from the shock of realizing that Narnia itself was at stake all along, and we never knew it. If they change the ending to have this battle, they will have traded a fresh new experience for an old cliche.

    • waggawerewolf27 says:

      Yes, thank you for this episode. It covered several points I did agree with. Especially about Tilda Swinton, and not wanting any romance between Jill and Eustace, who at the beginning of Silver Chair, were barely on talking terms, after he fell of the cliff. It would be as ickily nauseating to misrepresent their eventual friendship, just as that book spin-off you showed us misrepresented Puddleglum. And that you could show that book is the great thing about a video podcast that you can actually demonstrate what you are talking about. By the way, though I haunt bookshops as a rule, I never remembered seeing that particular one. Gollypop, was it?

    • waggawerewolf27 says:

      Sorry, Anfinwe, I should have posted separately. I agree with you absolutely about the climax of the story which is firstly, when Jill, Eustace and Puddleglum are asked to free Rilian. Then, having done that, LOTGK turns up, and for the travellers to get free, this Queen of the Underworld has to be confronted and eventually destroyed.

    • Glumpuddle says:

      I agree. Although there are larger stakes are hinted at early on (the owls speculating the witch has some great scheme against Narnia), all the emphasis is on saving the prince to give Narnia hope.

      It seems like the real stakes of the story are emotional. That's why Lewis includes the scene where Caspian almost kills Drinian. This has nothing to do with the witch's plan to take over Narnia. It has everything to do with the despair Narnia feels about the king not having an heir.

  2. Fireberry says:

    Great post! & Great thoughts. Rilian is exactly right re: the "bullying" theme (perspective). My concern for "Silver Chair" is that they might make this "new" Narnia look too much like Narnia in LWW and PC, for the benefit of casual viewers. This in fact should be a very different Narnia: in moral decline, damp and grey and chilly … That said, I hope that "Aslan's Country" is as radiant, golden and vast as Lewis describes.

    • Glumpuddle says:

      "moral decline, damp and grey and chilly"

      Great description. I actually think the look of Johnston's "October Sky" could work well for The Silver Chair.

  3. narnia fan 7 says:

    Great discussion guys. Though I must say it's a little surreal at actually watching you talk lol.

    I share most of concerns especially about Puddlegulm's character and not adding unnecessary action scenes. One concern I have is that they might play up the bickering between Jill and Eustace. Yes the two bicker in the book, but my fear is that go a bit to far with it to add more conflict. Kind of like that happened in PC with Peter and Caspian. Admittedly this is a minor concern but it's been on my mind lately.

  4. farsightings says:

    On the topic of changes I wouldn't mind for the film (akin to what GymFan was referring to)….. Three Changes I Wouldn't Mind, (that wouldn't necessarily make the film bad):

    – music; the Cor song in Cair Paravel, maybe a giant song, of course Green Kirtle song, as well as a Great Snow Dance song

    – parkour; saw a glimpse of it in PC as well as VDT with the fauns, this could be a good action substitute for battles, without turning it too commercial. Could be used when the stone giants are encountered. Also could be used by the gnomes.

    – including more screen time at the Experiment House, the hunt for the prince by the heroes of narnia before SC, and making us wonder about Lady of Green Kirtle's origins without adding anything AT ALL but using potential hints left by C.S. Lewis such as snake, underground, color green, underground city, and ask the question…… "does the Lady of the Green Kirtle even know her own identity?"

  5. HPofNARNIA says:

    I also want them to have less hand holds and more tripod holds, there was too much camera shaking in Dawn Treader, makes it look like a fan made video. And I Especially want Joe Johnston to let the audience do the talking on some scenes, I don't want it to be like VDT where everything is Being told to. The Audience. I don't want that.

    • Gymfan15 says:

      I think that if a film can't demonstrate the direction of the film without resorting to tons of exposition, it's not very good writing or directing, so I agree with you on that!

  6. HPofNARNIA says:

    I've heard that Sony makes Video games and I have a feeling that Sc will become one, because if it does, they can add some fight scenes in it here and there.

  7. The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

    Really enjoyed this, guys! 😀

    When you were talking about Puddleglum possibly becoming an iconic character after the SC film, it suddenly occurred to me that there is a high probability that he will become a meme. I'm not sure how I feel about that. 😛

    As for a Jill and Eustace romance, one other thing that concerns me is their bickering. When that happens between a boy and a girl, people often assume it's a cover for having feelings for one another. (Think Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter.) I don't really care if fans want to ship them, I just don't want the filmmakers to be dropping hints and changing the dynamic of Jill and Eustace's friendship. Let them be kids!

  8. Skilletdude says:

    This was so enjoyable watching all your interaction and banter in the same room. I know it was probably tricky coordinating all of this, but video and face-to-face communication made this episode really engaging! Thank you for putting this together Glumpuddle, Rilian, and GymFan.

    Regarding all the walking and talking in the story, I really don't see that as much of an issue. The book already has plenty of events in their travels that the filmmakers can and probably will "enhance": the confrontation with the dragon, the giant bridge and the stone giants themselves, the meeting of the mysterious knight and lady, and exploring the trenches. I actually think it will be harder for the filmmakers to convey how aimless and trying their journey seems, so much so that the children convince Puddleglum to visit Harfang.

    • waggawerewolf27 says:

      What confrontation with the dragon? This was a BBC interpretation in its TV series, giving some play to Eustace's experience as a dragon in Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It wasn't a bad idea to flesh out their TV interpretation of Silver Chair, but I doubt it has much to do with the current film production, for copyright reasons.

      • Skilletdude says:

        Ah, yes, that moment is from the BBC adaptation. My mistake. Though, if we are going to get technical, the group does run into dragon-like characters asleep in Underland. So, this could be another element the filmmakers could use that would help the "walking and talking" be more eventful.

  9. Timmy-the-Ute says:

    There are a lot of worse things that could happen in The Silver Chair than Jill and Scrubb might come to have feelings for each other. After all by The Last Battle there is a strong fondness of the two for each other. Yes, we definitely don't want any kissing in the movie, but we can have them hold each others hands as Eustace helps Jill in the cave.

    After all one of the big mysteries about The Magician's Nephew is why Polly and Digory never Marry. Did they take a vow of celibacy? The reason is of course that Digory was Lewis and Lewis never married till very late in life and under an unusual circumstances.

    We all know Jill and Scrubb die before there is a chance for them to to marry. But let's not ignore that this is a boy and a girl and there is a chemistry between a boy and a girl. Part of that chemistry is that they don't really like each other at first. Yet, as time goes on they trust each other more and we all know that trust leads to feelings. Yes, they are immature but we all have first loves. These movie need to stand alone even if you never read the books and know what happens at the end. If at the of The Silver Chair Jill and Scrubb part ways with Jill saying, "I am so glad we can just be friends Eustace, see you", everyone will be asking what is wrong with Jill, is she so stuck up that she rejects the leading man? You have to at least imply that she might have feelings for Eustace by later on.

    • Eustace says:

      Since they are nine year old children romance could be implied by the director and it won't be that obvious to most. This romance although not exactly cannon is common already among readers including my siblings, so, this romance is going to be inferreed no matter what happens in the movie. But, I see no problem with exactly what you said, personally I don't care as long as it is only implied rather openly shown to us. Jill does kiss Puddleglum so, as long as that is not seen as a triangle romance or Rilian somehow gets involved.
      I think there are plenty of good children's films with implied romance between the leads without anything really distracting from the story.

      • Timmy-the-Ute says:

        Definitely, no one wants to sexualize a nine or ten year old (in the Chronicle of Narnia the ages of the children are never spelled out, estimates vary by a couple of years). But one of the principle effects that Narnia has on children from our world that Lewis stresses is that the children report that they feel as if they age a number of years just by arriving in Narnia. Peter feels like he is a young man and not just 12. Something that has yet to be advanced in any of the movies. So all of the sudden a 10 year old Eustace and Jill are a 14 or 15 year old Eustace and Jill. This idea would be totally consistent with the books. The point is the feelings between Jill and Eustace are going to very muddled. Tween age sweethearts (Eustace carrying Jill's books home from school at the end of the movie) has to be looked at if you are a director. If not the audience (as I said above) will have a negative feeling toward Jill.

        Actually what happened in the Prince Caspian movie is very Disney Princess. If Susan all of the sudden feels and acts like a 16 year old Disney princess of course she falls in love with the 24 year old lead man that is a prince. It is a Disney movie. I don't know why Lewis didn't think of it. Lewis had problems with love interests in his books. Only in The Horse and His Boy did the 2 lead characters ever fall in love. Disney's Prince Caspian was very much like Disney's Pocahontas. Susan and Caspian who are from two different worlds fall in love, yet have to let each other go in the end, just like Pocahontas and John Smith. How could a Disney princess movie not end this way?

        As I have always said these movies must stand on their own. The producer already said that The Silver Chair is being played as if we never seen or read any of the other movies or books. Yes, we want to have this movie to be true to the books, but they have to stand on their own too. Lewis idea of a child is dated by 100 years ago compared to today and 50 years from the time the books were written. Jill and Eustace lived in 1947. Their music was all about boy falling in love with girl. You have to put Jill and Eustace in a post war era where the girl want to marry a man over advancing her career.

      • waggawerewolf27 says:

        I'd say that Jill and Eustace are more like 10-11 year old. Or maybe slightly older. There is usually a break in schools separating ordinary school from secondary school, and such secondary schools often start when children reach a range of ages from 10 to 13. This is often when bullying is a more noticeable feature of school life and where there is less supervision.

    • Col. Klink says:

      Why is it a mystery? Do you think it's a mystery when the people you know in real life don't get married? Some people are perfectly fine being single, and they don't want nosey busybodies trying to set them up as couples.

    • waggawerewolf27 says:

      It isn't necessary to pair anyone off because this, too, can lead to bullying.

  10. In relation to not often seeing a female and male friendship without it going into a romance. Finding Neverland, which Silver Chair writer David Magee wrote, is an example.
    It is indicated that Barrie's wife is cool towards him, but the interactions between the boy's mother (Kate Winslet) and Barrie never develops to a romance which was very refreshing to me and my brother when we saw it in the theatres.

    So Magee has a history of doing this successfully! Let's just hope Joe Johnston agrees with this principle.

  11. High king Peter says:

    Honestly, watching Caspian and Susan kiss at the end of PC was totally irrelevant. There was not a build up in their relationship at all throughout the film. They just looked to eachother in the eyes in a couple of scenes and turned back to what their doing. And all of a sudden, Kiss!
    This podcast was great!

    • High king Peter says:

      They may have got feelings with eachother but in my opinion, it could have been better. They did some of the talkings in the deleted scenes, but you know…Time.
      I hope SC never turns too CGI …. and no romance to be safe. I have a best friend who is a girl. We are so close but not in a relationship or stuff like that. So, Rather build up the friendship between them more in the movie, a bit greater than the book

  12. Sarah Rees says:

    Great work on the video all and congrats on getting to meet each other in person for the first time!

    I want to ask what you think about Hugo and Isabel's relationship in the film Hugo. I've thought this would be a great approach to take for a film Jill/Eustace relationship. There's a trust and reliance on each other that builds in that movie, and some personal conversations, but actors are portraying children and although there is a moment when they hold hands, it seems to me like it's done in an innocent, friendship tone. What's your opinion?

  13. Christianman17 says:

    I really don't want the gnomes to break out and have a huge battle either. I watched a play of the silver chair and what they did is after Puddleglum gave his speech, the green lady commanded her guards to kill them but they failed, then she turns into the Snake, she knocks the boys down and Jill is the only one standing, she froze and the green lady was telling her that it's not real, your sick it's all a dream blah blah blah but she refused to believe it, Jill tried to kill her but mist, then Rillian got up and killed her.

  14. Jillfan says:

    I hope they don't overdo the "reluctant hero" strategy with Jill they did it with Peter in LWW and Caspian in PC. That strategy was never apart of the Chronicles and it drives me nuts when characters are like " Uh I'm not a hero I can't do this don't make me do this whine whine whine" Jill is a sort of reluctant hero but don't make her say whiny lines like that please. Also a new scary thought I had What if they try to make Eustace Jill and Puddleglum more competent so they really seem like heros…. please don't do that! The whole point is that even though they made mistakes Aslan still used them.

  15. Roger says:

    It was great seeing the three of you together. You all made some excellent points. Some of the comments here are excellent. I agree with several of you about not turning disagreements into conflict. My fear is that the movie makers will add conflict to the movie. The only conflict that we should see is the killing of the queen and the killing of the killer. I loved the analogy of the bomb under the table. That is the way to create tension.

    My other big fear is that they might name the LOTGK. We want her to be mysterious. The less we know about her the better. We do not want to even know how evil she is until the end. Less is more. The movie should be about Aslan and the children not about LOTGK or even the giants.

    I hope you three can do videos in the future.

    • Eustace says:

      Didn't they have that contest to name LOTGK? Are they still going to do that or was that before they really had a company to produce the film?