C. S. Lewis Wrote Unusual Battle Scenes | Talking Beasts

Podcast Discussion

We have finally reached the climactic battle in our commentary on The Horse and His Boy, which is a good example of how C. S. Lewis often told his stories from surprising perspectives.

Listen to the discussion and post a comment!

Podcasters: Rilian, Glumpuddle

Next Episode: June 7
We will be reviewing the animated adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, now in its 40th anniversary.

16 Responses

  1. Col Klink says:

    I think I would dislike the way the Trumpets (not the Logos) theatre adapted this scene because it makes Shasta seem too super competent the way he ends up getting the girl and defeating the villain. It changes the down-to-earth tone of The Horse and his Boy. However I’m pretty sure when Netflix adapts the book that’s exactly what they’re going to do since, like this episode talked about, there’s this thing where your protagonist is not supposed to be passive.

    I wonder if the reason this scene isn’t more popular is because there aren’t that many Archenland characters that we’re attached to so the reader isn’t invested in reading a battle for Archenland specifically. They might try to change that in the Netflix adaptation but I think I’d rather they didn’t actually. Adding a bunch of scenes with the Archenlanders would make the story overstuffed and make viewers more likely to guess Shasta’s identity.

    It is dumb how movies about famous authors always make it seem like the authors based everything off of their own experiences and acquaintances. Don’t they think authors ever use their imagination? 🙂 But I suppose I have to admit the only reason I ever watch a movie about a famous author is because I’m interested in said author’s work. (I’m a book person, not a people person.) So I can understand why moviemakers in Rilian’s words keep throwing the books in our faces. That’s really the main selling point.

    P.S.
    Glumpuddle, in your discussion of your favorite Narnia books vying the top spot you didn’t mention The Silver Chair. Has it sunk in your estimation?

    • JFG II says:

      I think that changing the book too much is wrong, but if anyone main character should aid Shasta during the battle – it’s Bree. The story’s called The Horse and His Boy. Aslan would meet Bree before the battle starts, and Bree would stop cowering and gallop to Anvard. Not quite redeeming himself but still doing what he’s good at. Saving his riders in battle. It’s an idea I first thought up years ago when the Narnia movies were still at Disney. Yes, it’s a Disney cliche: the hero gets rescued by his bestie (or beastie). But that would keep both Bree and Shasta as the central characters. Also Bree is a War Horse, so it would be awesome to see him in the midst of combat, searching for the unconscious Shasta.

      • Col Klink says:

        Interesting Ideas.

      • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

        I think that’s a much better idea than what the Trumpets theater did. MAYBE it worked better on stage, but hearing that description made me want to bang my head on a table, so cringy!

        I do think that the Netflix adaptation should make a slightly better reason for Aravis and company not joining the fight… or at least show them trying harder before the Hermit stops them. Like, maybe the horses are more injured so, even if Aravis wanted to join, they couldn’t have taken her?

    • Waggawerewolf27 says:

      Do you remember how Australia won one of its first gold medals in the Salt Lake City Olympics? Apparently there was some sort of foul up among the best & fastest competitors. The Australian entry, having lagged behind the more fancied competitors, skated past the foul up & thus won the event, much to Australia’s ecstatic surprise. Something like that. In other words it is still a good story, even if Shasta or the Australian entry weren’t the most likely people around “to get the girl & defeat the villain”. Something like that happened yesterday in a very close election. Thus things get done, whether anyone considers such protagonists as competent or not. Just as in Silver Chair, now you mention the book. Why spoil a good story to introduce one of those possibly irritatingly competent sorts of heroes or heroines who always seem to win everything through their own competence rather than through the opportunities provided by fate/Aslan or even their own quick thinking. By the way, the HHB battle scene at Anvard goes a long way better if is read like the Hermit was calling a cricket match or an Olympic hockey or baseball match. Skilled sports commentators call matches, matching their voices according to the biases & loyalties of the watching spectators, like Aravis & the horses being cared for in the Hermit’s home.

      • Christopher says:

        Funny . . . when I read the book, I actually imagined Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey) as the Hermit – mysterious, quiet, gentle, a bit brooding – so, I didn’t actually hear him “commentating” on the battle like he was at some sports match or anything, but more like a grave, reluctant informant concerned for the others’ safety, as if John Bates were delivering the lines to Hwin, Bree and Aravis.

  2. Fledge1 says:

    I have really enjoyed all these…however I am so excited for the review of the animation of The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe….

  3. Cleander says:

    I always saw the battle as the “final test” for Shasta. (“If you funk this, you’ll funk every battle for the rest of your life”). It kind of helps to further bring out his kinglier qualities. Even if he isn’t a good swordsman, he proves his courage by even joining the battle.
    I really like this battle because… it’s a battle. It’s medieval. So even if the tactics employed stink, I love it anyway… Still, it would have been nice if Rabadash had brought more men. I know he’s a lunatic, but you’d think a prince would be taught about military strategy at some point in school…

  4. coracle says:

    Ahem, your Geography is a bit confused.
    Trumpets Theatre is in the Philippines, not Australia.

    • Col Klink says:

      Thanks for the clarification. I’d never heard of Trumpets Theatre.

    • coracle says:

      I was surprised to find out that Trumpets had made changes (ew, kissing!) but I do inow that Trumpets is one of the theatre groups who Doug Gresham approves of, for getting the essence of the story right. I assume their work is in English, which is widely spoken in the Philippines, but I can’t guaranteee that.

      • an-old-fashioned-girl says:

        Hey! I live in the Philippines, and unfortunately couldn’t watch the play, but yes, Trumpets’ productions are in English.

  5. hogglestock says:

    I have to say, the second Tolkien trailer was more encouraging than the first. 🙂

  6. Noah Heyse says:

    I have a question for Glumpuddle. When do you think we will get a trailer for the silver chair? Then, when will we get narnia on Netflix?

    • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

      I know I’m not Glumpuddle, but unfortunately I don’t think we’ll be getting any Silver Chair trailer or movie. For one, they haven’t even started casting, so if they did continue with the Silver Chair, at this rate Netflix would have season 1 out before they ever made a trailer. For another, I don’t think movie studios/Netflix like sharing their toys. And honestly, I don’t think public interest is high enough to pay $10-20 for a semi-rebooted movie that has a separate universe series coming to Netflix:/ (I say separate universe because the OG SC screenwriter said he is not going to be part of the Netflix adaptations). Which is kinda too bad because the behind the scenes people looked promising.

      If they had been in post production when they announced the buy, then I think we would have a small theater release with the quiet understanding that it’s the last of it’s kind (kind of like X-Men Dark Phoenix) before moving on to the Narnia universe they wanted to make.

  7. Col Klink says:

    I’ve been thinking and I don’t think it’s that uncharacteristic for Shasta to want to be in the battle or at least not object to it. Earlier in the book, he wanted his master to take him to the wars so he could earn his freedom and he asked Bree to tell him about his experiences as a warhorse.

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