Who Would Be on Narnia’s Mount Rushmore? | Talking Beasts

It’s the season finale of Talking Beasts: The Narnia Podcast!

Kick back with Glumpuddle and Gymfan and enjoy a record-breaking three hour long discussion where they talk about anything and everything. A big shout-out to our Knights of NarniaWeb for submitting the questions for this episode and supporting us on Patreon.

The discussion covers topics like:

  • Will Netflix start with The Magician’s Nephew?
  • Elsa vs. the White Witch
  • The origin story of NarniaWeb
  • Thoughts on Narnia fan fiction
  • The Star Wars sequel trilogy
  • A theory about the Lady of the Green Kirtle
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • What’s your best idea for a Narnia spin-off series?
  • Favorite NarniaWeb memories/conversations

If you’re a longtime fan of the podcast, be sure to stay tuned to the very end of the episode for a special surprise guest.

We are only able to do what we do because of our amazing fans and supporters, so THANK YOU!

Glumpuddle, Gymfan

28 Responses

  1. Hasdrubal says:

    That author who tried to get his fanfic published as a legitimate sequel really rubbed me the wrong way. If he really wanted to share his story with the fans as he said, just post it online, don’t get The Guardian to spearhead a campaign to get it published.

    If I had to do a Narnia spin off, I’d definitely do a series on The Golden Age. If the amount of stories about that period on Fanfiction sites are any indication, it’s clear Narnia fans want a Game of Thrones esc political thriller about the Pevensies running the kingdom.

    • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

      I agree, I think the only reason he’s getting special attention is because Spufford is an established author. That also doesn’t seem fair because any other fan fiction author would have probably zero chance of seeing their works in a book store.

  2. Impending Doom says:

    I have to say that I’d give Glumpuddle’s story idea the greenlight. Sorry, Gymfan πŸ˜‰

    This was one of my favourite podcasts you’ve done. Looking forward to next season!

    • Col Klink says:

      I couldn’t choose between them.

    • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

      I feel like if executed well, both would be great. However, I think Glumpuddle’s would be harder to get right, so I vote Gymfan:)

  3. The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

    Really enjoyed this one! You guys might be stuck doing a super long Q&A at the end of every season. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for the positive comments on the Lady of the Green Kirtle theory, guys! I was excited when I heard the words “theory about the Lady of the Green Kirtle” and started laughing when I realized it was my own. XD I would LOVE to do a podcast about the LotGK sometime. I have amassed so much nerdy knowledge on that topic since that theory was originally posted on the forum, lol.

    Glumpuddle’s idea about the stars is really interesting, but I have to say that I like Gymfan’s spin-off idea better! I think this is what I would choose, too. If I had ever written Narnia fan fiction, it would’ve been about the early years of Narnia. I’ve always wondered about the adventures of Frank and Helen’s children, the nature gods and nymphs that they married, the founding of Archenland, and the centuries that followed. Those first thousand years of Narnia have always really captured my imagination.

    I won’t spoil anyone by saying who the special guest is, but it was so good to hear them on the podcast. πŸ™‚

    • I also enjoyed the special surprise guest. They were a welcome addition to end a special podcast of a unique season (no hints, but listening to the end is definitely worth it!)
      I think the miniseries in the heavens of Narnia is a great idea, but it could so easily be done wrong, so I will vote for Gymfan’s idea because I like that too and it fits with stories in the World of Narnia.

      I wonder if there are numbers released for sales of the Narnia books? That was my question. In physical bookstores, I often see the individual books with MN and LWW missing, so maybe they get in a couple of each book and just the first couple books in the series sell. Although once I saw about 10 hard cover boxsets in the middle of the store near the front! I was so happy to see them promoted so clearly!

      So many great thoughts on the Walden movies, the theories – I love the LoTGK theory! I want to hold onto that as an alternative theory. I say “alternative”, because I love it – but I like the mystery of her origin, that she comes out of nowhere but is plain evil and deceptive. A bit like Satan in the Bible, I suppose. He is Evil, and we don’t really get told why. My two cents – plus, please do a whole episode on Rose-Tree’s LoTGK theory πŸ™‚

      I need to go and watch BBC’s Dawn Treader this season, before the podcast kicks off again! It’s been a change of century and millenium since I watched it!

      • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

        I too would like a video on some Narnia theories. Rose Tree’s LOTGK one is really sound and, in my opinion, doesn’t disrupt canon. I also like the idea of evil Narnians (which is why LB is one of my favorite books)

        I was also very surprised and happy to hear from the special guest<3

  4. Col Klink says:

    I found the part where Glumpuddle and Gymfan talked about which Narnian character the other resembles to be surprisingly heartwarming. (Not that this podcast is never heartwarming. I just wasn’t expecting that part to be heartwarming.) I think it was because they spoke affectionately about qualities of each other which wouldn’t necessarily sound like compliments if they were taken out of context. That made it feel sincere.

    I thought both the podcasters’ ideas for Narnia spinoffs were good but I don’t really want to see Netflix doing original Narnia story because there are so many Narnia books that aren’t usually adapted it doesn’t seem fair. And since we don’t know who the writers are, we don’t even know if they’re good at coming up with original stories yet. But I’m pretty sure from press releases that that is what Netflix wants to do. (Oh well. I wasn’t a fan of the Netflix series idea anyway.)

    I don’t want to sound argumentative, but I wanted to challenge the podcasters on something they said in this episode. (They also talked about it a little in the commentary for the LWW movie.) They mentioned that the LWW soundtrack is kind of dated, very early 2000s. I’d argue that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Being dated is kind of inevitable. I mean can we say the books aren’t dated? Shakespeare’s definitely dated and he’s considered one of the greatest English poets. Being dated does mean some people are going to be turned off it they dislike the time from the which the thing dates. But it also means some people are going to be particularly attracted to it if they’re nostalgic for that time. (Mind you, I don’t know anyone who’s nostalgic for the early 2000s but it could happen. πŸ˜‰ )

    I used to be worried about Narnia being defined as a Disney property, like….well, most of the books and stories Disney has adapted into famous movies. But since the movies, while fairly popular, aren’t juggernauts like, say, Disney’s Winnie the Pooh or Mary Poppins, it actually hasn’t bugged me that much. (Though if I had to screen people for the Narnia Facebook discussion group, it might,) The movies not being huge hits has been kind of a disguised blessing in that way. Also, on reflection, Disney isn’t completely monolithic. There’s a pretty big difference between Prince of Persia and Hannah Montana, for example.

    My impression is that for people outside the Narnia fandom, the books are kind of defined by being Christian. This means that Christian nonfans either have a vaguely positive impression of them or are annoyed that people expect them to be fans. πŸ˜‰ And secular nonfans are kind of condescending. Like they find it somehow inherently ridiculous that a children’s fantasy should have a Christian message, which seems kind of snobby to me. It may be unusual in our culture, but it’d probably be weird in some other cultures if authors didn’t include religious messages in their stories, whatever their religions are.

    I think they also look down on the Narnia books because they see Narnia as conservative and there’s this (rather self righteous and snobby) idea that conservatives are inherently bad at creating art. (I’m sorry if I’m offending anyone by equating conservatives with Christians. There are plenty of people who are one but not the other. I do feel though that secular condescension towards Narnia is related to condescension towards conservatives. And I’m also sorry if I come across as pigeonholing C. S. Lewis as a conservative. I actually hate that every writer has to be defined as liberal or conservative. Why can’t they be freestyle? I do think though that the Narnia books can be said to reflect conservative aspects of their author’s personality.) It’s too bad because the secular people who actually read the books seem to consider them at least OK. And plenty of them are enthusiastic fans. Sometimes I wish the Christian aspects of Narnia were more of a secret.

    (If you’re wondering why I just talked about my impressions of Christians and atheists who are nonfans, it’s because those are the largest groups in my country, or at least the most vocal ones. My impressions of other groups are less likely to be accurate.)

    The special guest was a great surprise. It was heartening to hear that for all they’ve suffered, they still have so many comforts they can appreciate: relationships with family and friends, a love of literature, faith in God, a sense of humor. (Forgive me if that sounds like I’m minimizing their tragedy. I’d never want to do that.) It made for a powerful end to a great season.

    • The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

      I thought the “Which Narnia character are you?” bit was heartwarming as well. It really showed Glumpuddle and Gymfan’s friendship. πŸ™‚

    • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

      I understand what you mean with Narnia being defined as (or in some extent, *the*) Christian fantasy. The Biblical parallels are not difficult for all but an extremely unobservant reader to notice.

      That being said, I personally don’t like Narnia being marketed as “It’s Christian!!!” in many (most) bookstores I go to. I’m not saying adaptions should downplay the thematic elements of the books, but in some cases it makes people immediately recoil from trying the books (that and the “they’re kids’ books” argument), or they never find them because they were tucked away into the religious sections of Barnes and Noble instead of by fantasy or classics:(

      Incidentally, I never quite got how people/publishers decide if a book is “Christian” or not. Like, Harry Potter has several Biblical parallels (it even outright quotes a Bible verse) but that was discouraged reading in many (my own included) households.

      • Col Klink says:

        I’m a little confused as to why you said, “that being said.” It sounds like we pretty much agree that the Narnia books being defined as Christian has been something of a problem.

        P.S. I can’t remember which bible verses were used in Harry Potter, but if one of them was, “greater love hath no man than this,” I don’t think that should count. Everyone quotes that and they always take it out of context. πŸ˜‰ (I didn’t mean that to sound like a criticism of the Harry Potter books at all. Just wanted to get it off my chest.)

      • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

        Lol no worries, I might not be grammatically correct.

        A few Bible verses appear on gravestones in Harry Potter, Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” and 1 Corinthians 15:26 “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” It’s been a bit since I read the books, but I think they more have to do with hinting at the plot than trying to convey a message/moral.

  5. Hannah says:

    Narnian Mount Rushmore: I agree with the majority of the discussion. HOWEVER, I can’t be silent on this one point; Lucy needs to be on it instead of Peter! She herself was a queen, and Peter would never have known about Narnia without her. On that note anything achieved by Peter, Susan, or Edmond wouldn’t have happened without Lucy. Again, when the Pevensies return to Narnia to help Caspian, Lucy is the only one watching and listening for Aslan. Without her, the Pevensies and Trumpkin do not find Caspian. In the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, it’s Lucy who figures out that Eustace is the dragon. Without her, he most likely would have been killed or abandoned by the rest of the crew. If that happened, Jill Pole would never have known about Narnia, and she and Eustace don’t have the chance to save Rillian. They also don’t have the chance to help Tirian (although the world was pretty much over at that point). Lucy deserves a spot on the mountain far more than Peter.

    • The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

      Hear, hear! I think Lucy belongs on there, too. She was the catalyst for some of the most important events in Narnia’s history.

    • Narnia Fangirl says:

      YOU BET, GIRL!

  6. Eric Geddes says:

    I know it took a whole lot of skill and talent to make it but I don’t like the Dark Knight. It’s too dark for me.

    • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

      I like the Dark Knight, mostly because of the physiological games the Joker plays with Gotham. That always makes me wonder if it happened in real life, what decision people would make, but I don’t love the characters much themselves, and it’s not a movie I can watch even semi-regularly,

      However, an ambitious movie with amazing effects that I don’t love is Inception. I prefer more character driven movies, and I don’t feel like many of the characters changed all that much (Cobb doesn’t count in my opinion, due to the ambiguousness) I feel like the premise could be a cool (extremely high budget) tv show though, and then characters could be fleshed out more.

  7. Col Klink says:

    Since not many other people seem to be doing so, I feel like I should respond to Glumpuddle’s request for fans to explain to him why they feel the music for the LWW and PC movies is special or adds something to the experience of watching them. I’m probably not the best person for the job though because
    (a) like the knight who submitted the topic about music, I’m not musically trained and can’t really analyze why I like or dislike music and
    (b) I’m not the biggest fan of the first two Narnia soundtracks. I’m definitely a bigger fan than Glumpuddle and possibly a bigger fan than Gymfan. But there are people out there more enthusiastic (in a positive way) about them than me and they could probably do a better job of defending them.

    I don’t really expect to be able to change anyone’s opinion of the soundtracks or for them to be able to change mind. As interesting as criticism is, there’s a point when all criticism reaches its limits. And that’s the point when you’re explaining to someone why what they’re laughing at isn’t funny (or vice versa) or why what they’re crying over isn’t moving (or vice versa.) Still…..

    I think part of the difference between my opinion and Glumpuddle’s stems from a difference in our opinion about what a movie’s soundtrack should be. I feel background music should sound happy during happy scenes and sad during sad ones. If it doesn’t, it’s distracting. And I don’t think filling in silences is anything to sneeze at. Not having background music makes some movies come across as boring and pretentious, especially if there’s little music in the beginning when a movie needs to set a mood and engage us with what’s happening. I love Emma Thompson’s screenplay, Sense and Sensibility, which can be read online, but I find the movie itself a bore in part because of the soundtrack’s sparseness. (Another part is that while the script has a lot of hilarious dialogue, the movie has bizarrely bad comic timing so that punchlines barely register.) Of course, there’s a problem in going too far in the other direction. When a movie feels like it has to have music in every scene, this comes across as annoying and childish. Credit goes to the first two Narnia movies in that there’s never a scene with music that I wish didn’t have music or a scene without music that I wish had it.

    As for scenes where I feel the music adds something that wouldn’t be there otherwise…. I feel like the opening chase scene in Prince Caspian wouldn’t be as exciting without the score. Exciting as the situation is, we haven’t really known the characters for very long and I don’t think it’d be as engaging to watch a bunch of shots of them riding across the countryside, as well done as those shots are. And maybe I’m not giving Georgie Henley’s performance enough credit, but I don’t feel Lucy entering Narnia for the first time would be as emotional without the music. It’d mostly just feel weird and we expect weird things to happen in a fantasy movie. A more specific example is the soundtrack for Aslan’s death scene. It’d be natural for the movie to have scary music to match the nighttime setting, the torchlight and the Witch’s grotesque followers. Instead Harry Gregson Williams composed mournful music, which matches how I feel reading the scene in the book more. That’s why I prefer the scene in the movie to its equivalent in the Radio Theatre drama, which used ominous, threatening music, even though I generally prefer that adaptation to the cinematic.

    Anyway, I wonder if the reason Glumpuddle is less of a fan of the soundtracks than some other people on this site is the same reason he’s less of a fan of the movies than they are. The only fantasies I remember him expressing enthusiasm for, besides Narnia, are The Lord of the Rings and His Dark Materials. Other fans might enjoy fantasy in general. So saying that the LWW movie or the PC movie is just another fantasy movie doesn’t really like a bad thing to those fans. From their perspective, the average run-of-the-mill fantasy movie equals a great movie.

    • Glumpuddle says:

      Thanks Col. πŸ™‚

      I don’t dislike Harry’s score. I just find it very average.

      I don’t think it’s very high praise to say that Harry’s score is better than no score at all. Maybe I have just seen too many scores that are FAR MORE than just background filler.

      Uh oh, here comes the tomatoes. Gotta go!! πŸ˜‰

      • Col Klink says:

        I’m sorry for using the word, “dislike.” You were quite clear in the podcast that you didn’t hate HGW’s music or anything. I guess I just described you as disliking the soundtrack because that’s easier than saying you didn’t like it as much as other fans whose opinions you’ve heard. When you write really long comments like I do, and run the risk of making a lot of typos, you simplify when you can. πŸ™‚

        And I’m sorry if you felt I was raising a straw man, implying that you thought the movies shouldn’t have background music at all. I was just trying to write about what I felt the music added to them. And, while I don’t consider the soundtracks the best possible soundtracks ever, I don’t have any specific ideas for what kind of music they “should have had” instead. So it was easier to compare them to nothing than something else.

    • Mrs. Beaver says:

      Oh, no! “Sense and Sensibility” (1995) is one of my favorite films! Just watched it again this week, at my husband’s suggestion, as he likes it, too. I love its awkward silences, which to me, are part of the humor and charm. I think the soundtrack is gorgeous. The music, though, is generally absent in the moments with the most emotional tension, and I think the silence is appropriate there and adds to the tension. That’s your unsolicited two cents from Mrs. Beaver!

      • Col Klink says:

        Well, FWIW, it’s an acclaimed movie so more people probably agree with you than with me. All I know is that I read the script online before I watched it and found it really fun. Here’s some sample dialogue.

        What an impressive gentleman!

        He lifted me as if I weighed no more
        than a dried leaf!

        Is he human?

        Did you see him? He expressed himself
        well, did he not?

        With great decorum and honour.

        And spirit and wit and feeling

        And economy–ten words at most.

        Funny, right? But when I watched the movie with my mother, the humor didn’t register with her at all. The dialogue was so quiet you could barely understand it. When I read the lines to my mother afterwards, then she laughed. So I feel the director must have done something wrong, if the dialogue makes people laugh on paper but doesn’t in the actual film.

  8. JFG II says:

    Ok, I’ll give this a try for myself:

    “Will Netflix start with The Magician’s Nephew?”: Personally, “Will Netflix make Narnia the way C.S. Lewis wrote it?” interests me more. Starting with Magician is cool, though.

    “Elsa vs. the White Witch”: No contest. Depending on who you ask.

    “The origin story of NarniaWeb”: I love backstory. It’s too bad internet search is such a poor library for it.

    “Thoughts on Narnia fan fiction”: I don’t have any problems with people (and kids) writing their own stories based on another’s work. I did myself, ever since I learned to read. Adult fans are a mixed bag of trash, however.

    “The Star Wars sequel trilogy”: I’ll be honest, The Force Awakens was fun, but I’ll bet it would have been reviled if released 20 years earlier. Han’s patricide is too dark for Star Wars. Nothing was as fun after that.

    “A theory about the Lady of the Green Kirtle”: Flippin’ genius, on multiple levels! In Prince Caspian, we learn that the Nyads and Dryads went into hibernation because the Telmarines defiled the rivers. It is perfectly possible that a curropt nyad, born of the sins of Caspian’s ancestors, re-awakens to wreack havoc on Caspian’s life, then take his throne, like the corrpt dwarves in the series.

    “Avatar: The Last Airbender”: I like it, but don’t feel as much for it as its most rabid fans.

    “What’s your best idea for a Narnia spin-off series?” The origins of Calormen and its many peoples. May She Live Forever.

    “Favorite NarniaWeb memories/conversations”: A pocast conversation: “Which of the Chronicles of Narnia should be read first?” Not only is it bloody funny (GF: “It’s ok, we still love you.” GP: “Thank you. I’m happy”), it’s also just a great talk between Glum, Gym and Rilan.

    Rilian, what’s left of my heart goes out to you and your family.

  9. Eustace says:

    The discussion that I remember the most on Narniaweb is when we first saw pictures of the MLG, and how we were guessing who she was in the Dawn Treader movie. There were thoughts that she was the sea girl that Lucy notices in the sea in the book, there was also a thought that she was a love interest of Eustace,…oh, sorry that never happened…but we did have a discussion about who the MLG could be that included a sea person among the other theories.

  10. AslanNarnia says:

    Professor Digory Kirke, Prince Caspian, Lucy and Aslan would be my four choices for Mount Rushmore.

  11. Just Queen, not High Queen says:

    The music is adequate???? The music is one of the best parts of the movies! It’s the icing on the cake that ultimately helps make the movies much, much more than the sum of its parts. Take out the music and the movies suffer. I listen to far Narnia soundtrack far more than Lord of the Rings because LOTR has some good themes but it doesn’t make for a soundtrack that you can really listen to over and over again, especially in the car. I think the Narnia score is one of the best of all time and on my personally ranking of film scores, it would only be topped by Pirates of the Caribbean (because that love theme from At World’s End is one of the prettiest themes ever written for film).

    That’s interesting that there was a disagreement about the tone of the scene in which Lucy meets Mr. Tumnus. I don’t really think the music in Prince Caspian feels recycled because the reused themes connect to the first film in a meaningful way. Because there are some similarities in terms of plot, it makes sense to callback to the first film, especially since it’s about restoring Narnia. If you want an example of music that’s recycled without purpose, watch Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (but the fifth film did it right).

    I want Narnia princess merchandise! And better theme park attractions than what we got!

    I’m glad to hear Rilian came back. I appreciate you sharing your experience with us. My deepest condolences.