What Tom Brady and Aravis Really Want | Talking Beasts

Podcast Discussion:
The Horse and His Boy, Ch. 9

After a 6-week intermission, we are finally continuing our commentary on The Horse and His Boy, a story about characters who want something more. “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy,” C.S. Lewis wrote, “the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” Narnia and the North!

The next episode will be our season finale. We will conclude our commentary on The Horse and His Boy next Fall.

The Horse and His Boy is dedicated to Douglas Gresham. Did you hear our recent conversation with him about the book? Check it out.

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43 Responses

  1. Col. Klink says:

    Great discussion on the Horse and his Boy so far. And The Silver Chair sounds really cool when said in a Scottish accent. The voiceover for the trailer should be done like that.

  2. HPofNARNIA says:

    I’m liking your Talking Beasts podcasts a lot.

  3. Matthew Musgrave says:

    When i first saw tom bradys picture on the front page, i died a little inside. Initial thoughts were that the wonderful people at narniaweb had been replaced by tash, the calormenes, and bill belichick, and that this great website was no more…

  4. Larry W. says:

    I like Horse and His Boy better now than I used to. I remember my teacher reading that book to our class in elementary school so many years ago. It's other parts of the book than the journey through Tashbaan that I like, e.g. Aslan talking to Shasta and appearing to him as both cat and lion. When Aslan helps Shasta walk near the dangerous cliff it is one of the best parts of the book.

  5. Jilian says:

    Love the accent!

  6. Cleander says:

    Maybe someone already mentioned this, but wouldn't it be cool if the makers of the Silver Chair made the Lady of the GK a descendant of the White Witch? Just to connect it to the first movies…

    • Glumpuddle says:

      Be careful, you know not what you speak haha. Many NarniaWebbers have been strongly opposing this idea of them being the same person for years. I personally might boycott the movie if they did that. The temptation to shoehorn Tilda Swinton into the movie somehow is probably there…. 🙁

      You're suggesting they make the LotGK a descendant of the WW. I think any connection between the White Witch and the LotGK sounds really cheap and cheesy.

      Please filmmakers, don't. Just make new things.

      • HPofNARNIA says:

        It’s a good thing the Filmakers r giving the Green Lady a name, because it’s not gonna be Jadis.
        But I am open to them giving her a backstory and one for Jill as to why she has been bullied, just as long as it makes sense, of course.

      • I am Groot says:

        I do like new thing, GlumPuddle, I don't want LOTGK to have any connection with Jadis either, and yes it sounds cheap and cheesy.

      • JFGII says:

        Hello Mr. Glumpudddle, my most hopeful pessimistic friend.

        Years ago, as a young kid, I thought it would be awesome if The Green Witch from ‘The Silver Chair’ was revealed in ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ to be Jadis’ sister, whom was briefly mentioned in ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ novel. By Jadis’ account, she died along with all life on Charn.

        My idea changed the book so that it was revealed that The Green Witch actually survived The Deplorable Word, escaped Charn as a serpent, and made it to Narnia Without Jadis’ knowledge.
        I even thought of putting the serpent in the forbidden garden, tempting Digory to eat the fruit, before it is revealed that Jadis is there as well. The serpent would then become the Witch, who takes a silver apple and disappears into the northern lands, all without Jadis knowing. Only the audience, and Aslan, would know about this ugly truth. Cool idea?

        Now I agree with you that it’s cheap (and cheesy) to do something like that. It involves taking a huge suspension of disbelief in service of a rather strange subplot. But, it would have Been. So. Cool. if executed well! What do you think?

      • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

        I agree with you Glumpuddle. I know the books mention she came from the North like Jadis, but I don't want any green mist connection. I think a cooler angle (and perhaps nerdier) would be to make LOTGK look half-giant? Like the witches were supposed to be half Jinn, half giantess and LOTGK was in cahoots with the Northern giants (and they didn't address The White Witch's heritage in the movie so it would be a subtle Easter egg connection)?
        If they don't have any connection to the OG trilogy that's okay too.

    • coracle says:


      No, not happening.

      Mr Gresham will never allow it.
      It was silly things like that which lost the previous production company the right to continue.

      • Cleander says:

        Okay, okay, forget I said anything…

      • I doubt if anyone will be able to do such a thing. Firstly because this film is to be an entirely new film, separate from the Walden films which did star Tilda Swinton. Secondly for copyright and moratorium reasons, and thirdly because one of the reasons why Walden wanted to do Magician's Nephew next is because that movie, if it had been done by Walden, would definitely have starred Tilda Swinton as Jadis, since Jadis is actually in the story. And fourthly, one of the reasons why BBC TV version of Silver Chair did not work as well as it could have done was the one all-purpose actress (Barbara Kellerman) playing all the witches, hags etc. It was said at the beginning of the 1990's that Barbara Kellerman, having put in a stellar performance as LOTGK could not go back to playing Jadis in Magician's Nephew.

  7. Cleander says:

    I don't mean they should make them the same person ( I'd be the last to advocate YET ANOTHER return of Tilda Swinton) but I think the whole descendant thing might help avoid the danger of people saying, "hey, this is just another version of the White Witch." It would help it make sense, without sounding like unoriginality to those who haven't read the books.

  8. I was interested in your podcast comments that Aravis was the girl who had everything, but found it wasn't enough. Fair enough for the purpose of an interesting discussion of HHB, but initially, at least, I wouldn't have agreed that Aravis "had everything". At the beginning of the book, Aravis had lost, not only her mother, but also an older brother who had been killed in a war. Her stepmother aimed to get rid of Aravis, as well, by marrying her off to Ahoshta, a very rich and ugly old man. The thought of being married off to an alleged "Prince Charming" even 12 years older than oneself can be quite a challenge at the legal marriageable age of 19 or 20, let alone a normally underage girl of about 14 years of age. We don't see Lasaraleen's husband at all in HHB, and we have no way of seeing what he looks like or what sort of person he was. So when they both see Ahoshta in the Tisroc's palace, I found it hard to understand how she can't see why Aravis is so revolted by Ahoshta. Yes, Lasaraleen may well have all that her heart desires, but I am sure that Aravis rightly wishes her well. How long Lasaraleen enjoys her married life and all the riches, dresses and parties she has access to, is also a measure of how well her husband continues to treat her well, and how long Lasaraleen is able to continue to make the best of a bad job with possibly a husband whose looks may be little more handsome than Aravis' husband to be. The Calormenes were depicted as lovers of beauty, and even Rabadash, let alone, Susan and even Shasta are considered desirably good looking. But do the people making these judgements, such as the Tisroc, Rabadash, Ahoshta, normally look in a mirror at themselves?

    • I should have commented also about C.S.Lewis' ideas about beauty, beauty of spirit, and the converse coming up in the Horse and his Boy as it does in other books, including Silver Chair.

    • Glumpuddle says:

      Great points! Although the theme of longing is very important in HHB, we probably did overstate the comfort of Aravis' former life. We neglected to mention the all the hardship she has faced. Thank you for pointing that out.

  9. HPofNARNIA says:

    I know a lot of people don’t like the idea of them giving the LOTGK a Name but I do, that shows that she and the White Witch are not the same person.
    I’m with these People who don’t want Tilda Swinton in the Silver Chair movie.
    Another thing that I don’t want For The SC movie is not be like Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets. I don’t want them look similar or reference it. I want it to be different from it (and believe me or not, Silver Chair was the inspiration for that story, which I kinda figured, I’ve always thought the Green Lady was like a female Salazar Slytherin).

    • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

      Plot twist! LOTGK was Nagini's mother! Just kidding

      In all seriousness though, I agree with your assessment of Rowling being inspired/sightly ripping off Narnia and also LOTR. Don't get me wrong, I like Harry Potter a lot, but the horcruxes/Elder wand screams the One ring, plus Wormtail vs. Wormtoungue, giant spiders, (and Umbride basically being the balrog XD) Again I like Harry Potter a lot, but the story's elements are a bit familiar.

      • HPofNARNIA says:

        Aslan was the inspiration for Gryffndoor. Rowling not only got the inspiration for Slytherin from the Lotgk but also the idea of its color Silver from the Silver Chair itself.
        I’m a Huge Harry Potter and I thought that Narnia was gonna be treated Equally to it, but the problem is Harry Potter is a lot more Popular than Narnia. Harry Potter has more theme parks and bigger fans.
        I don’t want them, for Example, have Rillian run his Sword through the roof of the snake’s mouth, like Harry did with the Basilisk (and I don’t want them slice off the snake’s head, because that is not for kids to see, I want her death to be less graphic and not give children nightmares).

      • I am Groot says:

        I don't like Narnia being compare with HP, I like HP as well, but they are different.

      • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

        Not to mention decapitating the snake would be like Neville killing Nagini… I'm betting he hits her head with the pommel or flat of his sword and she crumples.

        Also are badgers known to be loyal or is that something Lewis started? Because then the Hufflepuff mascot is Trufflehunter:)

        And I agree Narnia is VERY different from Harry Potter. However, patterns and tropes exist in any genre (just look at TA -_-) and since Narnia and LOTR are kinda OG fantasy, the similarities are hard to ignore.

      • Quite agree actually. There is quite a resemblance between LOTGK's shapeshifting into a snake and Nagini impersonating Bathilda in HP/Deathly Hallows. But C.S.Lewis didn't mess around with different languages. But LOTGK of necessity was a lady and a queen who used her beauty to deceive and lure people into her clutches. She not only looked beautiful but sounded beautiful. And even when she had drugged everyone to agree with everything that she said, Rilian would still have found it difficult to kill this lady if she hadn't reverted back to the snake she was when she killed Rilian's mother. And it is this dramatic change that will be the highlight of the film, not her actual killing, even though the need for it when she wraps herself around Rilian should illustrate exactly why the snake needs killing.

        Getting back to HHB, which was discussed in the podcast, looks play a part there as well. Susan was the pretty one, and was charmed by handsome Rabadash into going to Tashbaan. But handsome and charming as Rabadash might have been at first, in Tashbaan he seemed quite a different person.

    • I am Groot says:

      Ofcourse she is different, I never think about Harry Potter when I read all Narnia books, maybe you are too sensitive. I'm always think about new thing that might happen, and maybe that's why I don't like LOTGK to have any connection with Jadis, I like new thing, something more creative, I think it is better if she is even more evil and more badass than Jadis, don't need to be more powerful than Jadis, but more savage, I think Femke Janssen could be a great LOTGK, I'm not suggest her for the role, just use it as an example, it's brilliant when she make a evil face expression, it looks scary.

    • HPofNARNIA says:

      And Farsight the Eagle would be the Mascot of Ravenclaw.
      I kinda imagined the fight between Rillian and the snake to be like in the illustration where the snake coils around Rillain’s body and then he tries to choke it and starts slitting the snake with his sword a few times and and the snake gets weaker and releases him and Rillian stabs it a few times on the ground. That could work in the movie.

  10. Tarilan says:

    When it comes to the LOTGK’s identity and backstory, I often wondered if there was a link to Susan. That she was a manifestation of Susan’s envy (she is green after all) of Lucy’s closer connection to, and enduring faith in the Narnian world.
    If she were a projection into the Narnian world of this darker side of Susan’s personality, the story has some intriguing questions. Could the LOTGK’s destruction be symbolic of Susan’s redemption, with her envy ultimately destroyed by faith. If you played with the timelines and viewed it from Susan’s perspective after she loses her family in the events of the Last Battle, this could be her redemptive path to reconciliation and entry into Aslan’s Country.
    Perhaps we need to hear the story from the LOTGK’s perspective to find out!

    • Very possibly you can draw a link with Susan and LotGK, especially as it is Eustace who, when Tirian passes the door in LB, comments about Susan's dismissing Seven Friends of Narnia meetings by saying "Fancy your remembering all those funny games we used to play as children". But those three comments, especially Polly, who said that Susan was always too keen on being grown up, goes to the heart of the matter in HHB when we see Susan finally being persuaded to flee Tashbaan rather than marry Rabadash. However, I think it would be really nasty to link fictional Susan's adult choices to be " a proper grown-up lady","whatever that means", (to quote a real-life, very human Prince, who visited Australia two months ago), with LOTGK's treatment of Rilian. She murdered his mother, seduced him into a relationship, if it was, kidnapped him into her palace, drugged him or bewitched him into being her lapdog, keeping him from being of any assistance to his country and father, and by marrying him, hoped to take over Narnia for herself. The only resemblance there is between Queen Susan of old and LOTGK is that both were Queens of sorts. However, Queens, good or bad, just like Princes, good or bad, have to plan for the succession, for the benefit of families and countries and so should really take fine good care about whom they marry. What seems superficially suitable might be in the end be totally unsuitable. We actually saw a beautiful, perhaps a fairytale Royal wedding last month, and we enjoyed it immensely. And I most sincerely hope it is for love, for richer for poorer, for better for worse, in sickness and in health, until death parts our new Duke and Duchess of Sussex. I see more of a link between Prince Rilian and Queen Susan to tell the truth, being gulled into marrying totally unsuitable partners.

    • Col. Klink says:

      I'm not sure what you mean. There was never any implication I can remember from the books (or the movies) that the characters in Narnia were connected to the characters in England. Though I suppose they could do something like that in the movies (by having The LOTGK played by Susan's actress for example.) But I'd rather they didn't. Narnia is supposed to be its own independent reality, not a symbolic representation of what's happening in the kids' lives.

      • I did mix up some very well publicized and debated current events with what I was trying to say about Susan skipping her betrothal to Rabadash who seemed to think it was a foregone conclusion. After all, according to Lasaraleen, he had all the ladies at court fawning over him. The Tisroc's conversation with Rabadash and Ahoshta shows that Rabadash had a good deal more in mind for Narnia than just Susan's looks, however good they were. And I ended up by comparing the similarity of Susan's escape from Tashbaan to Rilian's escape from the Queen of the Underworld. Tarilan was thinking that Susan had more of a link with LOTGK, which I've seen debated, because of both fictitious Narnia characters wanting to convince the likes of Eustace and Jill that the existence of Narnia, Aslan etc was childish games. But Susan who in Last Battle, had chosen what she thought was reality, should have been more mindful of the sort of trouble she had already did get into with Rabadash, through wanting to act like the real grown up lady she thought she had become. As Rilian has also learned from LOTGK what might seem right at first, when he was chatting up a beautiful lady in the glade, where his mother died, might not be right in the long run. It probably didn't occur to him until he found himself tied in a silver chair that the beautiful lady was a snake in disguise. Perhaps somehow we do need to see more of how Rilian and LOTGK got together in the first place. Though I don't see how a film can escape his chopping off the snake's head when the moment comes. Rilian wasn't the sort of person who would be happy at killing a woman however much he wanted to avenge his mother.

  11. I am Groot says:

    Don't blame me, but really, I think now it's time they should stop making Narnia movies and make it a TV series, just like Lord of the Rings. ^^
    The good thing is TV series' story telling is always more detail. ^^

    • Glumpuddle says:

      Completely agree with this! Lower budgets would also enable them to take more creative risks.

      • You are more likely to get a movie onto Netflix these days, and unless we are able at some point to buy the series on DVD there may be little chance to see it other than through pay TV internationally. Yes we might get a better product if there was less pressure to make a world sensation, but without the international movie releases we might not get to see any new Narnia film products at all. If one is not signed up for Netflix, we wouldn't get The Crown or the Game of thrones, for example.

      • I am Groot says:

        There are 7 Narnia books so there will be 7 seasons, actually I'm interested in Hallmark Channel to do the job.

      • I am Groot says:

        Is it possible that Douglas Gresham change his mind to cancel the movie project, and make it a TV series?

  12. I am Groot says:

    I always like the ideas to make Narnia a big great epic movies, but now I really felt the golden age of Narnia movies is gone, it's too late, if they continue these movies, it make me felt like something….mess, disorder…. Narnia series need a "reborn", in different way, that's why I felt they should do it a TV series.

    • I am Groot says:

      Lord of the Rings is a complete pieces.
      The Hobbit is a complete pieces although there are some disappointment, but still it was.
      Harry Potter is a complete pieces.
      Star Wars is a complete pieces although there are few movies was a disappointment for some people, but still it's a complete pieces.
      Even the Twilight saga was a complete pieces.
      But Narnia is not, the previous movies wasn't something completely bad, it's rather good, but still it make me felt like it's already something broken pieces that can't be fix, even if the new movie was a success and it earn a lot money from the box office, it still make me feel like it was something mess, feel like some part already missing.