Aslan, Shasta, and the Problem of Pain | Talking Beasts

Posted April 7, 2019 4:00 am by Glumpuddle

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Shasta hears the voice of Aslan (The Logos Theatre)

Podcast Discussion: The Horse and His Boy, Ch. 11

C. S. Lewis was an atheist for much of his life because of all the suffering he observed in the world. The Horse and His Boy, of course, was written after Lewis’s conversion to Christianity. And, at the beginning of “The Unwelcome Fellow Traveller” chapter, Aslan finally appears and puts Shasta’s hardships in a larger context.

Listen to the discussion below and post a comment!

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Podcasters: Rilian, Glumpuddle

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12 Comments For This Story

  • JFG II says:

    Very moving story about your Grandfather, Glumpuddle. May he Rest In Peace.

  • Col Klink says:

    This was a great episode. I never realized before I listened to it what a great chapter title "The Unwelcome Fellow Traveler" is. It sounds like it’s referring to a bad guy which is what Shasta initially believes Aslan to be.

    However I was a little disappointed you guys didn’t talk about any parts of this chapter besides Shasta meeting Aslan. After all, this chapter introduces King Lune who turns out to be an important character.

    BTW, a woman at my church recently read The Chronicles of Narnia and she told me she liked the part where Shasta has trouble controlling a nontalking horse. As someone who has worked with horses a lot, she felt that scene was very believable. 🙂

    • Glumpuddle says:

      "this chapter introduces King Lune who turns out to be an important character."

      Yeah, we got so caught up in the scene with Aslan because it’s so memorable. Maybe we can talk about King Lune in the next commentary episode.

  • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

    Great episode! I never analyzed this chapter as closely as others so I liked the insight you guys gave:)

    As for what Aslan meant, I kind of got the feeling He meant waiting for Shasta to speak his entire life, not just when they walked together in the mist. I think it’s almost a reference to Jeremiah 33:3, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

  • Larry W. says:

    I remember the scene where Aslan appears to Shasta and tells him that he is not so unfortunate as he thinks he is. In fact my memories of the book go back to when my fifth grade teacher read the story aloud to us. This was over fifty years ago and the images of Aslan appearing as a cat and wild lion in the desert never left my mind since I was a child. Aslan or Jesus can travel along with you when you are alone on a lonely road and feeling without hope. You might not even realize immediately that he is there, but he is at your side. 🙂

  • Cleander says:

    I remember being at first reluctant to read HHB for the first time because it felt so disorienting in the first few chapters as you pointed out. I was basically like, "This isn’t even Narnia! There aren’t even any British kids! Come on!" It wasn’t until I had read all the other books that I read this one. (Not a good idea if you want to really understand the Calormenes in the Last Battle.) Once I finally forced myself to read it, it was totally worth it, especially because of stuff like this scene! And of course, (ahem) the epic battle…
    And,like the Keeper of Lantern Waste, I believe Aslan means that he’s been waiting all of Shasta’s life for him to speak. By speaking, Shasta would at last recognize Aslan’s presence in his life and come to terms with it. It’s a decision that every character in Narnia has to make at some point (and I might add that a similar decision seems to be required of us in this world). Even the seemingly untouchable Jadis has to decide what to do with this Power that is so much greater than her. She can either accept it and align with it, as the kids learn to do, or she can resist it and hate it, as she of course does in the end.

    • Col Klink says:

      It’s funny. When I first started to read HHB as a kid, I thought I wasn’t going to like it as much because it didn’t have characters from our world. Now it’s one of my favorite books. I guess it just grows on people just like Shasta and Aravis grow on each other.

  • Forrest says:

    This was a great podcast, guys. That unwelcomed fellow traveler scene deserved an entire episode devoted to it. And thanks for pointing me to the video of your grandfather’s letters, Glumpuddle. I gave it a watch. Very cool stuff. I’m sure you miss him a lot. What a great legacy you’ve inherited from him.

  • Col Klink says:

    It’s kind of a shame this doesn’t have more comments when it’s such a great scene. I guess people are just more interested in new adaptations of the books than in the books themselves right now.

    • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

      I think a lot of people may have switched over to the Talking Beasts Facebook group instead of commenting here. I don’t have Facebook, so I have no idea how much chatter the group gets, but it says there are 300 members.

  • Barana says:

    This is the best podcast I’ve heard from this site in a very long time! Well done!
    Why do you chide your mate, Glumpuddle? This depth and passion is an important part of talking beasts, and Is overdue compared to the shallow fluff.
    Masterfully stated and navigated , Rillian, Not_too_much at all!
    And good follow up too, glumpuddle.
    We want Rillian. 😉
    I value unscripted passion speaking from Rillian’s thoughts (and talktime) rather than (rudely) shutting im up… My reaction.

    • barana says:

      Maybe I’m misunderstanding a different culture, but in the southern hemisphere, and if I were glumpuddle, first thing I would be doing after the podcast is apologise to me mate.

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