Differences you actually want

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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby Eustace et Peccator » Feb 15, 2014 10:29 pm

I would like to see the tone and pacing to be very different after Eustace's fall from the cliff. Jill's reaction in the book doesn't make much sense to me. I would imagine her staring over the cliff in horror and cursing repeatedly. We would see Aslan run up and blow Eustace away, but she'd be too absorbed in the moment to notice. Then maybe she'd go running back to the door in the wall, except maybe the wall is nowhere to be found...kind of a reversal of the wardrobe experience: the way back to England isn't there when she looks for it. Jill remembers "praying" to Aslan and start shouting to the air that she hates it there and wants to go back. To me, this seems like a more realistic reaction, and a more fitting way to begin her first visit.

Remember: When you read the stories in publication order, Jill is the first of the children who ever asked to go home. She did not like it there at the time. It seems like she only grew to love Narnia through her subsequent time with Eustace and the others.


Experiment House is definitely a boarding school. There are things in the narration that wouldn't make sense otherwise. For example, Jill and Eustace both seemed to have a full change of clothes readily available to them, and Eustace buried his Narnian clothes on school grounds at night. I think Lewis somewhat addresses the point of boys and girls being together when he says that it is "what used to be called a mixed school"--but in any case, the whole point is that the school is not normal at all.


I don't think Jill is an orphan, but of all the children who visited Narnia from our world, she is the only one whose parents are never even mentioned. My theory has been that she had a very bad relationship with her parents, and they basically dumped her off at the school to be rid of her. They were not people she could turn to or depend on in any way. This is too much to try to work into the opening scene, but it could be uncovered later as part of her character development.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby King_Erlian » Feb 17, 2014 3:29 am

Eustace et Peccator wrote:Experiment House is definitely a boarding school. There are things in the narration that wouldn't make sense otherwise. For example, Jill and Eustace both seemed to have a full change of clothes readily available to them, and Eustace buried his Narnian clothes on school grounds at night.

That's a good point. However it highlights a problem that seems to run throughout the Narnia stories: Lewis tended to be careless about throwing in details that, on examination, contradicted what he'd said somewhere else. That means that anyone adapting the books for the cinema or TV has to ignore some details in order to make everything consistent, which is likely to enrage some devotees of the books. Another example is, when (in Our-World terms) is "The Silver Chair" meant to be set? If you follow the passage of time from LWW onwards, which was set "long ago, during the war years" and when children were being evacuated from big cities in England to the country, LWW must have been set around 1940 or 1941. "Prince Caspian" happened a year later by our time, making it 1941 or 1942. VDT was another year later, making it 1942 or 1943. "Silver Chair" happened two weeks into a school term following a school holiday in which VDT had happened, so at the very latest "Silver Chair" happened in 1944. Yet the "feel" of the narrative is much more 1950s. And "The Last Battle", which happened "more than a year" after "Silver Chair", mentions Susan "being more interested in lipstick and nylons and invitations" - but nylons at least were next to impossible to get in Britain while the war was on. Personally I wouldn't mind if the English setting of "Silver Chair" were post-war - in fact, with appropriate updating of the dialogue, I think it could work set in any period from the 1940s to the present day.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby aragorn2 » Mar 08, 2014 12:04 pm

I think the film should start with the scene of the the royal outing into the forest where the Queen is killed. It would be a great way to get the audiences into the story. And that way you wouldn't have to have a long exposition about it in the middle of the film.
And I also think that the Parliament of Owls scene should either be cut completely or drastically shortened. It would really bog the story down. Especially if we had already seen the story of Prince Rilian
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby Eustace et Peccator » Mar 08, 2014 1:24 pm

King_Erlian wrote:Lewis tended to be careless about throwing in details that, on examination, contradicted what he'd said somewhere else.


I understand why you say this, but be careful. When you have moviemakers who don't respect the author, you get the VDT movie. No sure how you felt about it, but I am not a fan.

There are usually ways of explaining contradictions rather than eliminating them. For example, I consider Mr Beaver's information about the origin of the White Witch to be legend, not necessarily reliable. (A good reason why the books should have remained in publication order.)


The Silver Chair takes place in the fall of 1942. The Last Battle takes place seven(!) years later in 1949, when Susan would have been 21 years old.

Character ages: http://www.narniaweb.com/resources-link ... cter-ages/

Timeline: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/e ... meline.png
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby King_Erlian » Mar 10, 2014 2:51 am

These timeline and character ages web pages have been discussed on Narniaweb before. I have to say I don't agree with them, particularly the character ages one. I don't think it was based on any direct instruction from Lewis himself. If seven years had passed (in England) between Silver Chair and Last Battle, then why didn't Eustace say so - or say something like "years and years ago, when Pole and I were little"?

Some inconsistencies like the White Witch's origins can be explained within the story arc, but others can't - one of the most famous is where the Beavers got the potatoes they served with the fish, or the tea, or the tobacco, none of which would grow in the frozen Narnian soil. It's hardly likely the Witch would have allowed foreign traders to deal freely with the Narnians, or that she would have been happy to supply these goods to the Narnians herself. Sorry, but I don't see how it's possible to avoid the conclusion that Lewis was more interested in telling an entertaining story than a totally logically consistent one.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby Skilletdude » Mar 11, 2014 2:14 pm

King_Erlian wrote:one of the most famous is where the Beavers got the potatoes they served with the fish, or the tea, or the tobacco, none of which would grow in the frozen Narnian soil.

To be honest, these kinds of things never even cross my mind. I wouldn't even consider this an "inconsistency", but instead an improbability. These can crop up everywhere if you look hard enough (in many stories, not just Narnia). And to my mind, it's a little counterproductive to identify improbable elements, considering this is, well, a fantasy series.

And I don't see why the movies are going to need very many "corrections" in this area. Is it probable that a witch is able to enslave hundreds, if not thousands of underground earthmen almost single-handedly? Not without powerful magic. And no one can logically explain magic. I'll leave reality-based probability to those pure science fiction novels I never touch.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Mar 11, 2014 6:56 pm

King_Erlian wrote:"Silver Chair" happened two weeks into a school term following a school holiday in which VDT had happened, so at the very latest "Silver Chair" happened in 1944. Yet the "feel" of the narrative is much more 1950s. And "The Last Battle", which happened "more than a year" after "Silver Chair", mentions Susan "being more interested in lipstick and nylons and invitations" - but nylons at least were next to impossible to get in Britain while the war was on.


I'd stick with the 1944-1945 bit for the movie. The party at the end of the story could then be part of the general rejoicing at the end of WW2, and far more natural. Yes, Susan being far more interested in stockings, nylons and invitations would suggest 1950, and any timeline I have seen suggests that 1950 coincides with the end of Narnia in Last Battle. And I agree that nylons and lipstick were hard to get during WW2 in UK, unless one was dating an American soldier. During the war, nylon was invented and came into its own as stockings, as a replacement of the silk that had been used beforehand for stockings and was required for parachutes. The same shortage persisted in UK in what is called the Age of Austerity, during which American soldiers and sailors still in UK and elsewhere had earned a reputation of giving their sweethearts nylons, instead of flowers.

There are other reasons why 1944-1945 would be realistic, even for Silver Chair. I did mention I attended a boarding school where there were both boys and girls, whose living quarters were kept well apart. But boys and girls did share the same classrooms, grouped by age, even if kept apart in the playground. Later on, after I left that school, these classrooms became an annexe for the newly built public school across the road.

Now, whether or not you make Experiment House a boarding school, during the War, and even for a couple of years afterwards, there were cogent reasons why Jill Pole might have been an orphan, from the Blitz in 1944, when Doodlebugs were unleashed to bomb houses in London, (fired from Peenemunde?), or from people dying afterwards due to their injuries. And bullies might latch onto someone who might not only have lost her parents due to the war but also if she was perceived to be a refugee. Especially from Poland, where the Poles as a whole were treated really badly during the War.

This is also what I got from the BBC version of SC, which has a group of children apparently making something out of Jill Pole's surname, which is an old Franco-English one, closely connected to the Houses of Plantagenet and Tudor, and nothing to do with refugees to UK.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Mar 13, 2014 4:42 pm

Something that I've been mulling lately... in many ways, I'd say that The Silver Chair is by far the most mysterious of all the Narnia books, in the sense that some of its major elements are left rather unexplained—the Lady of the Green Kirtle, for instance. Even the exact purpose and effect of the enchanted silver throne that she employs is rather uncertain to me.

Unlike Jadis, whom we learn a great deal about in The Magician's Nephew, we don't really know where the Green Lady came from. Rilian indicates that she is ageless and not human, though it's hard to say if he was speaking the truth or not, considering he was enchanted at the time. The Parliament of Owls say that they think she "may be of the same crew" as the White Witch. But that's about it in terms of hints regarding her origins found in the book; nothing conclusive at all.

Since she doesn't have a "backstory" to speak of, it's somewhat difficult to dig deeper regarding her motives for trying to take over Narnia. She's clearly evil, manipulative and wants to thwart Aslan any way she can, but we don't know how or why she became such a wretched, vile being.

Now, I'm not criticizing the book at all for keeping her character so cryptic. One of my favorite aspects of The Silver Chair is how obscure some of the plot elements are—the mystery and intrigue of it all is half the fun. It makes you think that there are many, many stories about Narnia that are still untold, and it leaves the reader wondering. Yet at the same time, I'm curious and I can't help but ponder if Lewis ever gave any further hints regarding the Green Lady's origins, perhaps in an interview or something.

Anyway, it all boils down to this question: will the filmmakers choose to expand the Lady of the Green Kirtle's story? Her personality? Will they try to give us a "how" and a "why" regarding her descent into such depravity? Should they?

If they extrapolate from actual material in the book and it's done well and in the spirit of the story, then I don't think I would mind, but if they are pulling stuff out of thin air and it comes across as something Lewis never would have included as part of her character—I won't be very happy. All very random thoughts here, but what do you guys think?

(By the way, if anyone working on the film happens to read this post... I'd just like to say that the Lady of the Green Kirtle is definitely not the same character as the White Witch—based on my study of the series, anyway—and that under no circumstances should you cast Tilda Swinton in this role unless you wish to be chased down by an angry mob of inflatable mallet-wielding NarniaWebbers. Thank you. ;) )
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby Eustace et Peccator » Mar 15, 2014 3:34 pm

King_Erlian wrote:These timeline and character ages web pages have been discussed on Narniaweb before. I have to say I don't agree with them, particularly the character ages one. I don't think it was based on any direct instruction from Lewis himself.


The timeline I linked to is the one that Lewis gave to Walter Hooper. Some people consider Hooper's credibility to be in doubt, but Companion to Narnia has a timeline derived from other sources originating with Lewis, which substantially corroborates it.

I created the character ages page based on these timelines. (Kaleb70 was my name on the old forum.)


King_Erlian wrote:It's hardly likely the Witch would have allowed foreign traders to deal freely with the Narnians


I don't think I quite agree with this. The Lone Islands were within her dominion, at least officially; hard to imagine there not being some degree of trade.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby Eustace et Peccator » Mar 15, 2014 3:45 pm

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:(By the way, if anyone working on the film happens to read this post... I'd just like to say that the Lady of the Green Kirtle is definitely not the same character as the White Witch—based on my study of the series, anyway—and that under no circumstances should you cast Tilda Swinton in this role unless you wish to be chased down by an angry mob of inflatable mallet-wielding NarniaWebbers. Thank you. ;) )


This cracks me up. ;))

On the one hand, I think there is hope because some of the movie tie-in books from LWW went out of their way to say that the two were not the same person.

On the other hand, I think that in the movies themselves, they intended to create an ongoing ambiguity about the matter--it's like they were going out of their way to play it up as a question, and building a theme of the two being of a common spirit. And sadly, I have reasons I can't go into for believing that this idea will have staying power even with Walden Media out of the picture.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby Skilletdude » Mar 17, 2014 7:57 pm

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:Anyway...will the filmmakers choose to expand the Lady of the Green Kirtle's story? Her personality? Will they try to give us a "how" and a "why" regarding her descent into such depravity? Should they?

A very interesting idea, and one I could potentially see the filmmakers considering. However, I would be worried that taking more time to develop the villain would mean taking out great portions of the original story, and/or weaken the focus on Jill, Eustace, and Puddleglum. And as you already point out, the intrigue of her character, her mystique, would be lost if everything was spelled out for us.

That said, I wouldn't mind if they gave her a little more screen time to build up some tension, just as long as the added material isn't completely out of step with the original novel. For instance, adding some dialogue between her and Rilian in the glade before she captures him, that might be interesting.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby jewel » Mar 18, 2014 4:27 pm

A bit more action be good. :)
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Mar 18, 2014 9:48 pm

Eustace et Peccator wrote:On the other hand, I think that in the movies themselves, they intended to create an ongoing ambiguity about the matter--it's like they were going out of their way to play it up as a question, and building a theme of the two being of a common spirit. And sadly, I have reasons I can't go into for believing that this idea will have staying power even with Walden Media out of the picture.


I do remember that Douglas Gresham did an interview back in December of 2010 where he indicated that Tilda Swinton would not be cast as the Lady of the Green Kirtle, but rather that her evil spirit would find a new, young body to inhabit. Still not quite sure what to make of that. I'd really like Gresham to further clarify his opinion at some point on exactly who he thinks the Lady of the Green Kirtle is.

Skilletdude wrote:That said, I wouldn't mind if they gave her a little more screen time to build up some tension, just as long as the added material isn't completely out of step with the original novel. For instance, adding some dialogue between her and Rilian in the glade before she captures him, that might be interesting.


I'd like that, too, although I'm not sure how they could present those scenes in an effective way if the filmmakers want to keep the identities of Rilian and the Green Lady a secret. I'm kind of starting to hope that they forget about trying to surprise anyone in the audience, and instead just focus on telling a really good story. Perhaps their best shot at catching the audience off-guard is to cast a really brilliant actress in the role of the Lady of the Green Kirtle and portray her in such a way that the viewers can hardly believe that she is evil, even though all signs point to her being the villain.

I do like the idea of showing Rilian searching fruitlessly for the serpent, then finally stopping to rest at the fountain, overcome by grief for his mother—and then that's when the Lady of the Green Kirtle appears, as if she were coming to fetch some water, and looking simple and shy but also curious and concerned about the sorrowful prince. She might try to comfort him, and the prince could finally open up to someone after shutting everyone out for so many weeks while searching for the viper.

In many ways, I think the main reason why the Lady of the Green Kirtle killed the prince's mother in the first place was probably because she wanted Rilian to be very vulnerable from an emotional standpoint, and therefore all the more likely to open up and let a stranger into his heart.

And interestingly, some stories tell that Lamia of Greek myth—a character that the Lady of the Green Kirtle was doubtless inspired by—became a monster after jealous Hera kidnapped her children and the subsequent grief made her lose her mind. I think it's really intriguing that Lewis had the Green Lady play on Rilian's grief in order to manipulate him, and makes me wonder if it echoed some aspect of her own backstory that remains unknown to the reader.

At any rate, interesting stuff to ponder.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby Indil » Mar 22, 2014 7:46 am

I think it would be interesting to see some of their time in Cair Paravel. I think it could be abbreviated, but they could add some things just for flavor. For example, conversations at the dinner table could be interesting, as well as provide a chance to give some background information.

I love The Rose-Tree Dryad's idea of the Parliament of Owls scene turning into a dream sequence. I could also see something similar to the beginning scene of Mirror, Mirror or the Deathly Hallows story scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 happening, sort of like the cartoon idea that's floated up a couple of times.
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby PhelanVelvel » Apr 13, 2014 3:31 pm

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:A startling change in the color palette reminds me of Wizard of Oz, starkat. It was always very effective in that film, so I think it probably would work well in SC, too.

I'm not sure about possibilities for altering the opening scene altogether. I think expanding the chase with the bullies would be a good idea, and as well as showing what the bullies had done or said to reduce Jill to tears, just to give us a little more background on her character. I suppose you could also shift the scene from daytime to night (maybe Jill had been locked out of the dormitory?) to emphasize the shock of the sunlight. Nighttime could also lend well to the feeling of mystery and swapping-of-secrets when Eustace tells Jill about Narnia. Beyond that, I'll have to think about it.

I agree with it being better to keep Rilian's identity a secret, though I think you could potentially make use of the fact that Jill falls asleep during the Parliament of Owls and have her dream some of the images from the story of the prince's disappearance that we see described in the book. (Has anyone else ever experienced half-falling asleep when watching a movie, or listening to someone talking, and you start dreaming about whatever's going on in the real world?) The old owl that's telling the tale could still be narrating, since she's only half-asleep.

I'm thinking the dream part would consist of hazy flashes of scenes such as the maying and the prince searching for the viper (from a distance and without revealing his identity, obviously), as well as close-ups of the serpent biting the queen's wrist, the hand of the shining green woman beckoning the prince, et cetera—all strung together in a shifting, shuddering way that gives the whole thing that weird quality of being a very strange dream. It could end with Eustace shaking Jill awake when it's time to leave and go find Puddleglum.


I really like the dream idea. It sounds like it would work better than just hearing the story and not getting any visuals to go along with it, but it's also much better than having the entire thing in front of you in a concrete flashback so that you're not just like "Oh yeah, cool, that's what Rilian looks like, and people who wear green are evil."
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Re: Differences you actually want

Postby Impending Doom » Apr 14, 2014 3:52 pm

jewel wrote:A bit more action be good. :)


As long as its expanding scenes and not totally inventing them. I wouldn't mind them elaborate on the:

1. Ettinsmoor Giants rock fight

2. The fight with the Serpent

3. Capturing Golg

Another thing I'm hoping the filmmakers change is the nicknames. I don't mean changing the actual nicknames just not using them. It would be really annoying since they're last names are kind of... lame. :-s It doesn't have to be totally eliminated just not as often.
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