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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16 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.

  • Barana says:

    Wow listening to this as I work on a hardware design, gives me clarity when my brain is switched off. Imho your question as to why aslan wanted him to speak isnthe very heart of the book where all these things converge into one.its the convergence point of heaps of if not all themes of the whole thahb .
    Let’s hope I can collect all these thoughts.
    Please bear with me because I speak in …. Well I try to paint pictures in people’s minds.
    Rillian, I think you’ve answered or rather asked about the central theme of this book, which is Exactly how can Lewis wrote as his main tool. He called it Donnegality. The most important theme or event is the one he edges close to then backs away from ff rom many different angles but never answers, he illustrates it in a bunch of different ways to get the reader to knaw away for YEARRRRS till they work out the questionnaire asked.
    1. Have you sat with an infant that cannot speak and possibly a deaf one? Much of my time has been talking with that infant in such a way as to garner a response.A laughter a smile a giggle as only an infant can .just for the joy that it puts in your heart. If that infant is deaf the response you get is EVEN more rewarding

    • barana says:

      We do it for hours and hours just for the joy of it. Then play the frollic.
      If you have read planet Narnia, which for those who is listening is really,really mandatory reading to understand the types Lewis used to build the story and flesh the characters out . Every action they took was true to their type (remember the planetary oyaresu? Umm the sun mercury mars Tellus sulva glunde and Jupiter aka Jove. Aslan was written as a type of Jove, lww was the character of Jove, aslans coming was in joy, pomp, festal gayity (the good gayity) the narnians common dress was primarily red as was their armour. The aslans party in battle in both PC and in visitation to calormen was in joy, ease free and forgiving. Iirc.
      Aslan was asked who he is by Shasta. Alsan replied, in a way I’d do injustice to Rillian’s reading of the text. …. Amungst many other things he said in a way only a light hearted child would say to you just as he romped with Baccus, Silenus and the two daughters of eve ( two planetary types btw outlined in planet Narnia)

      • barana says:

        Aslan said I’m me as joyfully and playfully as a child.
        Not only was he overwhelmed with joy upto the point of joyeous laughter that Shasta had responded to his speaking to him and protection of him JUST LIKE THAT CHILD,MAYBE EVEN THE DEAF ONE YOU HAVE HELD IN YOUR ARMS you too laughed for joy at the child’s response, and also responded back.
        2.We’ve been asking WHY Aslan said and did what he did in this scene.
        But we have overlooked the joy in our own hearts at the response of a child. Remember, Shasta is a true Narnian, whose kings have all bowed to Aslan.Shasta is under the same, carefree joyous character,influence and indeed Lion that the narnians are under.whos character was typed by Lewis as ‘jove’ or Glund King of the planets.(the space trilogy and planet Narnia) ans Aslan said I’m me as joyfully and playfully as a child.
        Not only was he overwhelmed with joy upto the point of joyeous laughter that Shasta had responded to his speaking to him and protection of him JUST LIKE THAT CHILD,MAYBE EVEN THE DEAF ONE YOU HAVE HELD IN YOUR ARMS you too laughed for joy at the child’s response, and also responded back.
        2.We’ve been asking WHY Aslan said and did what he did in this scene.
        But we have overlooked the joy in our own hearts at the response of a child. Remember, Shasta is a true Narnian, whose kings have all bowed to Aslan.Shasta is under the same, carefree joyous character,influence and indeed Lion that the narnians are under.whos character was typed by Lewis as ‘jove’ or Glund King of the planets.
        Aslan was being himself to Shasta a son of Narnia that Aslan had wanted to talk and spend time with since he was a baby in that boat on the shores of that fishing village.
        This book, in the light of this new revelation I recon is the revealing of the very personality of the King of the woods. Not as a feirce lion, not as creator ( Prince Caspian,the magicians nephew) but as Aslan. The lion that likes to play,romp and be himself amung his Narnia.
        It is INCREDIBLY amazing that the book that speaks very little and only hints of aslans presence , at least till the end, Is the book which we’ve all wanted to read the whole time, (one where Aslan is involved with narnians such as the pevensies in an adventure) right after finishing LWW , it’s also interesting that Lewis blindsided us with a non Narnia setting so we didn’t see this coming at all!!
        I want to Deeply thank Rillian for bringing this up and Glumpuddle (true to faithful glumpuddle) for both bringing this up, and articularly Glumpuddle for Chiding your friend.
        If you had not gotten my attention (replays of this podcast the last few days) I would have missed much cherished insight into thahb.
        Thankyou.

  • barana says:

    Oi vey my heineous typos.The Joy of a $50 phone.

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