Reepicheep775 wrote:Susan's character shift is part of a general trend in LB. LB is a beautiful, but in many ways also unsettling, book. Shift's description of what he plans to do to Narnia to turn it into a "country worth living in", the abuse and cruelty towards the Talking Animals and the other Narnian creatures, and of course Susan's shocking change of character are hard to take.
Yes, Susan's character shift, as you might call it, might well be part of a general trend in LB. The animals are being misled by rumours, Shift thinks of "progress" and Calormen has always loomed large because of its preoccupations with commerce and warfare, both taken to the nth degree. Narnia, itself, has fallen to an ambush of soldiers dressed up as merchants, and its king has been made a captive of the invading army. Aslan is being misrepresented by a lionskin-wearing donkey, whom Shift and friends eventually call "Tashlan", a confusion of both Tash and Aslan, who seems a very angry, aggressive, vengeful and rapacious deity, more inclined to exploit and enslave the Narnians, than to protect and deliver them from evil, as Aslan has always done in the series. And the Dwarves, sick of being deceived, don't believe in either Tash or Aslan, or in anyone else but themselves.
But whilst Susan's alleged change of character seems to have swung at that point to humdrum everyday matters and away from Narnia, I am not convinced it is such a shocking change of character, after all. Maybe all along, in the series, she had a different view of what "home" entails to that of her sister and two brothers. One more in keeping with Eustace, when we first meet him in VDT, who at first thought money-loving Calormen sounded less "phony" than the other countries in that world, with Edmund for whom Aslan died, and one more in keeping with her own "man of the street" expectations of what "adulthood" might be like for her, as she demonstrated in her conversations with the Professor.
Anhun wrote: The Tristar-Narnia series is going to be divorced from the first three movies, and, by extension, the first three books. To the extent that the Pevensies are included, they will likely be played by different actors.
As far as the movie-only fans are concerned, Peter is someone they've never met, Lucy is a blink-and-you-miss-it bit part in HHB, and Susan is a minor supporting character who was only in a single scene. Yes, her service to the plot is critical, but the audience doesn't get much of a chance to see or know or learn to care about her. Edmund has the largest role, but he's still not a central character. It might make some sense if he alone is included, but the others would just be a waste of time and space. The audience would be wondering "Why are we spending time on these characters?"
Of course the Pevensies could and would be played by different actors for both HHB, if it ever gets filmed, as well as LB, not only because it is a different company and production, but also because for all intents and purposes, the Pevensies have grown up, themselves, in both books. LB does lead on from SC, in that Eustace and Jill Pole play a significant role in both books. But I don't see that the Pevensies play little or no part in the remainder of the series, except for MN, which is the Digory and Polly show. The parts are there in LB, which when it talks about "the Seven Friends of Narnia", actually means "Seven" friends, even if some get played by extras. However, The Seven friends of Narnia are a supporting team, even if they refer to earlier Narnia characters, and it is Eustace and Jill who are the most important.
Susan Pevensie, for example, does play a catalytical part in HHB, where her dallying about with the idea of "romance", and "courtship" leads her to an ill-advised encouragement of Rabadash's ambitions to marry her, and a tricky visit to Tashbaan. The very sort of "romance" and "courtship" which lured Susan in HHB, but which, in LB, has been argued about in the literary world, as part of her growing up. And if both movies are made, Susan's earlier brush with Calormen does make her role in LB somewhat more explainable, in my view, at any rate. She doesn't appear in LB at all, because at that stage of her life she isn't one of the Seven Friends of Narnia, having made her peace with the Calormene empire.
Edmund, a third of the Seven Friends of Narnia, is the one who gets her back "home" to Cair Paravel, and rides to the relief of Anvard, to fend off Rabadash, after which the four Pevensies, chasing the White Stag, find themselves back in the Professor's house, after Susan wants to "return home and chase this stag no more". In HHB, Lucy, having "held the fort" at Cair Paravel, rides to Anvard with Edmund, befriends Aravis, and in LB tries to befriend the dwarves in a section of the stable. But I agree she and Edmund don't have big parts in LB, except as part of the Seven Friends of Narnia. Peter, who doesn't have any sort of speaking part in HHB, is considered the leader of that group. As High King, he shuts the door on Narnia, he and Edmund recover the rings in London, and is the one who answers Tirian when he appears at one of their meetings.
Just as SC and LB can be coupled together, because of Jill and Eustace, not only as main characters, but as two of the members of the Seven Friends of Narnia, Susan's story as an adult, does bracket HHB and LB together quite nicely. Rishda Tarkaan's eventual overthrow of Narnia was foreshadowed in Rabadash's earlier attempt to invade Narnia.
You could say that LB wraps up the series. When bracketed with each of all three of the remaining unfilmed three books, it ties off three different strands. Publication wise, and also thematically it is the last of the septology, with MN being the first, even if it was the sixth book to be published. LB closes off Eustace's (and Jill's) story, and it also closes off finally the Calormen/Narnia relationship. It is because of the Calormen/Narnia relationship, and the death of magic and wonder at the hands of ordinary everyday Mammon, which I think is why Susan had to be mentioned in LB at all.
I think it would be necessary to include the Seven Friends in LB, to remain recognisable as the same story, even if Susan can be omitted altogether, which I doubt.