6 – The Wild Waste Lands of the North

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6 – The Wild Waste Lands of the North

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » May 22, 2017 2:58 am

1. Lewis’s wording in this chapter’s first sentence seems rather nuanced: “At about nine o’clock next morning three lonely figures might have been seen picking their way across the Shribble...”
A more conventional opening might have been something like “At about nine o’clock the next morning, the three travellers set out and began picking their way across the Shribble...”
How does this careful choice of words affect the atmosphere?

2. How does Jill confuse giants for rocks?

3. Lewis writes: “Jill rather envied Eustace for being able to shoot; he had learned it on his voyage with King Caspian.” What does this tell us about Jill?

4. Why was Puddleglum suspicious of the Lady of the Green Kirtle and the Knight? Why weren’t the children suspicious of them?

5. Do you think Lewis intended the reader to be suspicious of the Lady and the Knight or not?

6. Based on this chapter and previous chapters, do you think the children and Puddleglum should go to Harfang? Do you think Lewis intended the reader to side with the children or with Puddleglum? Why?

7. Both Jill and Eustace did not like the idea of giants when Puddleglum first mentioned that they would meet giants. Why are they so eager to go to Harfang where there are giants?

8. Discuss how this chapter should be adapted. (ex. what do you most want to see, what problems do you see, etc.)
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Re: 6 – The Wild Waste Lands of the North

Postby waggawerewolf27 » May 25, 2017 12:51 am

1. Lewis’s wording in this chapter’s first sentence seems rather nuanced: “At about nine o’clock next morning three lonely figures might have been seen picking their way across the Shribble...”
A more conventional opening might have been something like “At about nine o’clock the next morning, the three travellers set out and began picking their way across the Shribble...”
How does this careful choice of words affect the atmosphere?


C.S.Lewis' choice of words, compared with Pattertwig's alternative, tends to ramp up the tension somewhat more. His words also emphasize that these three travellers really have only themselves to rely on for the duration of their expedition. Forget telephones if there are any problems, and forget about any help from others, even Glimfeather's owlish friends.

Also, each traveller hasn't yet found much reason to trust the other two yet in such an isolated area. Puddleglum, in the previous chapter, wasn't really joking about the conditions the travellers were likely to meet, nor was he being unduly pessimistic, even if they did get across the Shribble with no problems, and even if the first stage of their journey would be rather pleasant for then.

Contrast C.S.Lewis' words and Twig's alternatives with what I am saying here: "About nine o'clock next morning" accompanied by fellow club members, we three will travel on a hopefully well-serviced mini-bus to visit a volunteer marine rescue base....

The main difference in C.S.Lewis' words is that Jill, Eustace and Puddleglum are at the beginning of a long and arduous journey, that their only transport is shank's pony, that there aren't any known eateries along the way, nor any hospital or any other facilities to bail them out if they are injured, or meet with misadventure. Nor is there another soul in sight if they foul up in any way. Whereas the alternative just makes a bald statement of departure.

2. How does Jill confuse giants for rocks?

That is easy for Jill to do. If you look in an atlas at the shape of Australia's mainland and turn it on its side, you may notice Australia's northern coastline looks vaguely like a man's face, with Cape Yorke Peninsula marking out the peak of that man's cap, and the northward blob of Northern Territory near Darwin marking his nose. Similarly, a line of hills or low mountains can look like a man's face if he was lying on his back. Or other things. Wind and water erosion can also do marvellous things with rock formations. Maybe having noticed this sort of thing before, Jill was more inclined to mistake actual giants for rock formations she has been aware of.

3. Lewis writes: “Jill rather envied Eustace for being able to shoot; he had learned it on his voyage with King Caspian.” What does this tell us about Jill?

It tells me that Jill could see how valuable it would be to learn how to use a bow and arrows. Well might she envy Eustace, who of course had learned this sort of skill on the Dawn Treader. It also suggests that Jill, observing Eustace's VDT-gained skills, might be feeling a bit useless in comparison to Eustace and somewhat unskilled, herself, wishing she had more to contribute to the expedition.
SHOW SPOILER Last Battle
Jill in LB has gone to guides, learned some useful orienteering skills and impressed Eustace quite considerably. She also is one of the archers at the Last Battle.


4. Why was Puddleglum suspicious of the Lady of the Green Kirtle and the Knight? Why weren’t the children suspicious of them?

As Puddleglum said, "anyone they meet on the road is like as not to be an enemy". They haven't met anyone to speak to, up to that time, though they have bypassed, relatively unnoticed, some giants on Ettinsmoor. And though those giants don't seem all that bright, doesn't mean they weren't observed at all. The mere fact that they met anyone at all, afterwards, might be an indication that someone or other has already noticed the presence of the three travellers. After all, the three travellers aren't all that inconspicuous.

The children aren't as suspicious of passers by as they should be. Once they crossed the bridge, as dilapidated as it was, they acted as if they expected to meet passers by on the road, sooner or later. After seeing the splendour of Cair Paravel and the way the humans were dressed there, perhaps they rather expected to meet humans dressed like that. However, even a seemingly friendly lady out on a ride who seems eager to advertise a good place to stay at, might not be all what she seems. Exactly why, in that deserted landscape and mostly empty road, does her companion need to be wearing full armour? Is he/she just an accessory to her medieval look? Or is the suit of armour a good place to hide a heated rug?

If I were Jill I would not be so forthcoming about where the travellers were going and about finding the Ruined City. But then her behaviour might have fooled the Lady into believing Jill was not bright enough to be on any mission.

5. Do you think Lewis intended the reader to be suspicious of the Lady and the Knight or not?

Of course. SC is written for children, after all, and it doesn't do to make the villain of the piece too plausible. Lewis picks his words just as carefully in that interview the Lady has with the children, as he does when describing our three travellers picking their way across the Shribble. And then there is something strange that in all their travels, the only persons they meet is a lady dressed all in green, just like the beautiful lady whom Drinian had seen before his disappearance. Accompanied by a knight in armour.

The Lady does describe accurately what is available at Harfang, but doesn't give away any information about the provenance of the supplies to be baked, roasted, etc etc. Just like the bloke who offers free steak knives with the bargains he advertises, the Lady might well be hiding a scam of some sort, something we, the readers, might have been aware of when so many past seekers of Prince Rilian vanished, according to Glimfeather. And as we find out later, the Lady, who said she didn't know where the Ruined City was, was lying. It stands to reason that any place like Harfang, as she describes it, would be close to a city of some sort.

6. Based on this chapter and previous chapters, do you think the children and Puddleglum should go to Harfang? Do you think Lewis intended the reader to side with the children or with Puddleglum? Why?

No, I don't think they should go to Harfang, but in the long run, maybe they had little choice, since the Ruined City couldn't have been far from it. By now, they should be counting on their fingers all the different reasons for not trusting too far either the Lady or the giants. Puddleglum, at least, is an adult and has learned not to be too trusting, and it is a shame the two children don't take more notice of him. However, none of them seem to have thought that it was a bit strange to have somewhere to stay, like Harfang, in the middle of nowhere. Surely Jill and Eustace, having realised that the bridge crossing the gorge might indicate a road to the Ruined City, might have also noticed that places for travellers to stay, if they exist at all, tend to be on the approaches of even ruined cities.

7. Both Jill and Eustace did not like the idea of giants when Puddleglum first mentioned that they would meet giants. Why are they so eager to go to Harfang where there are giants?

They have been gulled by the suggestion that not all giants in Narnia are bad, and that the Harfang giants might be all that is left of giants of previous times who built bridges and now-ruined buildings. They have been persuaded that giants might actually be "gentle", by the Lady. They have also been fooled by the seeming stupidity of the Ettinsmoor giants into thinking that giants might not be as dangerous as they feared. Both children by now are too hungry, tired, chilled to the bone and thirsty to want to believe anything else.

8. Discuss how this chapter should be adapted. (ex. what do you most want to see, what problems do you see, etc.)

One of the themes of Silver Chair and something Aslan also warns Jill to expect is that nothing appears as expected in her and her fellow travellers' quest. The more I read this chapter the more I suspect that "chance" encounter Jill and friends have with LOTGK on the road to the Ruined City. Was it really chance?
And were the giants on Ettinsmoor really as dumb as both she and Puddleglum say?

For example, the giants blended in with the scenery somewhat, until one of them moved. What could the giants have seen by the time Jill notices them? Would one of them have had adequate time to slip away to notify someone of the travellers going north? Was the game the giants played shying rocks against a cairn, really the only game they could play? Or was that game merely a distraction to passers by as well as a deterrent, which might accidentally on purpose net them dinner? And a disguise to overtly keep the peace whilst covertly monitoring who and what is travelling north? How did LOTGK know to be on the road at the exact time to meet our three travellers on the way to the Ruined City?

What I would like to see in the movie is more notice taken of what Eustace says to Puddleglum of how Caspian had beaten the giants to the north in VDT, and a bit more questioning of over-familiarity with giantish behaviour on Puddleglum's part. That part of the travellers' journey is definitely a hazard to be bypassed, and nothing less than tripping the alarm for their entering LOTGK's demesne.
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Re: 6 – The Wild Waste Lands of the North

Postby Anhun » Jun 03, 2017 9:11 am

4. As for the children, that's easy. They meet a pretty woman with a friendly, disarming demeanor and they are disarmed. Even more importantly, when the Lady starts talking about the hospitality of Harfang, the children don't want to disbelieve her. I can't help wondering if Puddleglum would have had such a hard time dissuading them if they had met the Green Lady earlier in their adventures when they were warmer, less tired, and better fed.

With Puddleglum, he's older and more experienced than the children, and his comment about being suspicious of anybody they meet in that region is not without its logic. It's also possible that he had that same indefinable sense about her that Drinian had.

5. Lewis must have intended the readers to be suspicious, because of the resemblance that she had to Drinian's description of Rilian's seductress. All the same, I hope there's more mystery in the movie. For me, reading this chapter and finding it obvious that the Green Lady and the woman by the fountain are the same person makes it hard for me to relate to Jill and Eustace at this point. The scene would be more effective if She of the Green Kirtle was more of a question mark.

6. This question goes hand in hand with the previous. Because we are meant to be suspicious of the Green Lady, we are meant to side with Puddleglum.
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Re: 6 – The Wild Waste Lands of the North

Postby Hwinning » Jun 03, 2017 10:46 am

1. Lewis’s wording in this chapter’s first sentence seems rather nuanced: “At about nine o’clock next morning three lonely figures might have been seen picking their way across the Shribble...”
A more conventional opening might have been something like “At about nine o’clock the next morning, the three travellers set out and began picking their way across the Shribble...”
How does this careful choice of words affect the atmosphere?

The alternative opening makes it sound like the travelers are determined, prepared for the worst, but most of all...important.
The original opening makes them seem insignificant, like they are just one piece in the big scheme of things. I also read it in a 'high and proper' British accent.

7. Both Jill and Eustace did not like the idea of giants when Puddleglum first mentioned that they would meet giants. Why are they so eager to go to Harfang where there are giants?

They probably thought, "If the nice lady visited Harfang and loved it so much she recommended it to us, it must be fantastic!"

8. Discuss how this chapter should be adapted. (ex. what do you most want to see, what problems do you see, etc.)

~In this chapter, I want to see an overwhelming amount of gray. It won't be that blue-gray, gritty filter that the action movies use. It will be just gray. A hopeless, boring, disappointing gray. And maybe a bit of a drizzle. No torrential downpours...yet.
~I think we need the green lady to be a ray of light within the overwhelming sea of gray. Not sunlight, but an unearthly glow that makes one look unhealthy.
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Re: 6 – The Wild Waste Lands of the North

Postby Ryadian » Jun 28, 2017 12:50 pm

1. Lewis’s wording in this chapter’s first sentence seems rather nuanced: “At about nine o’clock next morning three lonely figures might have been seen picking their way across the Shribble...”
A more conventional opening might have been something like “At about nine o’clock the next morning, the three travellers set out and began picking their way across the Shribble...”
How does this careful choice of words affect the atmosphere?

I think it gives it a greater sense of loneliness and the idea that they're now out in the wilderness. Rather than just describing that they've begun their journey, the narration takes the perspective of an outsider who sees the lone figures marching across otherwise empty terrain.

2. How does Jill confuse giants for rocks?
I think she's still frightened of them and doesn't want them to be real. Then she sees giant forms that are apparently holding still enough to look like huge rocks, and suddenly she has an alternate explanation and doesn't have to think about giants anymore.

4. Why was Puddleglum suspicious of the Lady of the Green Kirtle and the Knight? Why weren’t the children suspicious of them?
Well, Puddleglum was also suspicious of the bridge, so I suspect some of this is just his overall pessimistic view of life. However, it is also strange to see more humans in giant country - especially crisp, clean humans who look like they're just taking a pleasant ride instead of doing any hard travelling. So, where exactly did these two come from? The children, however, haven't lived in northern Narnia all their lives (nor do they have as bleak a view on the world as Puddleglum does), and therefore they don't have a whole lot of context for why this might be strange, and probably just find it a relief to see a friendly face.

5. Do you think Lewis intended the reader to be suspicious of the Lady and the Knight or not?
On the one hand, I don't think the woman behaves in any way suspiciously (outside of just being there when it seems like she shouldn't, as I discussed in the previous question), and with the information we have, it looks like she's just offering friendly advice. The knight's silence is certainly suspicious, though. I think it's also important to note that, even though the book specifies this might not have been her intent, but the fact that the effect is such a bad one - including forgetting about their mission and the signs - suggests that I think the reader is supposed to be suspicious. I'm thinking back to all the fantasy stories and fairy tales where the hero is set on a path, and in almost every case, anything that distracts from that path is dangerous, at best. All in all, I do think the audience is supposed to be suspicious of her, if not necessarily convinced that she's up to no good.

6. Based on this chapter and previous chapters, do you think the children and Puddleglum should go to Harfang? Do you think Lewis intended the reader to side with the children or with Puddleglum? Why?
Well, based purely off of the information they've been given, I don't think the children are inherently wrong to want to go to Harfang. However, I do think the audience is supposed to sense that Puddleglum is in the right, between the fact that Harfang is a distraction even from remembering the signs, and in that they begin to get so caught up in the idea that they start tearing into each other.

7. Both Jill and Eustace did not like the idea of giants when Puddleglum first mentioned that they would meet giants. Why are they so eager to go to Harfang where there are giants?
Possibly because the last giants they faced were so long ago so the terror is out of mind - at least, compared to the very current cold and hunger they're facing now. Also, I think the fact that these giants are described as "gentle" and completely different from the Ettinsmoor kind is also encouraging.

Something I noticed this time around is that, when they're presented with the bridge, Jill is the one who considers that perhaps the bridge was built by older giants - like the giants who built the city they were looking for. It's a clear reminder that, at this point at least, Jill was consciously thinking about the signs and was focused on the task at hand. I also find it interesting that most of Puddleglum's predictions thus far have been wrong. Obviously his prediction that it would get colder as they went farther north in winter proved true, and his practical advice is sound. However, he predicted the bridge wouldn't hold them, and he was wrong; he predicted the firewood would be wet and that the children would hate eel soup, and he was wrong on both counts. At this point, it's easy to understand why the children might not necessarily take Puddleglum seriously.
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Re: 6 – The Wild Waste Lands of the North

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Jul 08, 2017 12:58 pm

1. Lewis’s wording in this chapter’s first sentence seems rather nuanced: “At about nine o’clock next morning three lonely figures might have been seen picking their way across the Shribble...”
A more conventional opening might have been something like “At about nine o’clock the next morning, the three travellers set out and began picking their way across the Shribble...”
How does this careful choice of words affect the atmosphere?


I think it immediately gives the reader a sense of the scale of the terrain and its remoteness. I like it!

2. How does Jill confuse giants for rocks?

I wonder if they aren't almost camouflaged... they aren't very intelligent, and it seems to me that they might have difficulty catching anything to eat without being able to blend into the scenery. There are a lot of animals that can blend into their habitats, so perhaps these giants are some of them. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the films go that route with their design.

3. Lewis writes: “Jill rather envied Eustace for being able to shoot; he had learned it on his voyage with King Caspian.” What does this tell us about Jill?

She's not a very girly girl or maybe even extreme animal lover either, since she wishes she could partake in the hunting. (That said, immediately after it talks about how she doesn't like the mess of skinning and cleaning the birds.) Honestly, it's a little weird that they survive on hunting birds during their quest, given that the first Narnian that Jill and Eustace meet in SC is a bird: Glimfeather. /:)

And of course it continues to reinforce the idea that Jill is insecure and jealous of Eustace's Narnian strength and experience. I'm sure she doesn't enjoy feeling unskilled or useless, either. (And is perhaps disappointed that Eustace is not quite as useless as Trumpkin thought. :P)

4. Why was Puddleglum suspicious of the Lady of the Green Kirtle and the Knight? Why weren’t the children suspicious of them?

I think that Puddleglum was suspicious because he is suspicious of everything, but the children... I get the sense that neither Jill nor Eustace have had a lot of contact with kind and charming women. The female staff at Experiment House seem pretty nuts, we don't ever hear anything about Jill's family, and Eustace's mother doesn't seem like a very nice person. Eustace did meet Ramandu's Daughter in VDT, but she was a teenager... still, Lewis says that when the group looked at her they thought they never before knew what beauty meant, and that makes me wonder how Eustace would have contrasted his initial impressions of RD and the LotGK.

Anyway, I can understand why they would be dazzled by her apparent warmth and beauty and lyrical voice, especially because she is already selling them on a comfortable getaway from the bitter cold before they can stop and think critically about the situation. After that, it doesn't really matter whether they should have been suspicious of her or not... they don't want to be. She also had the luck of riding an adorable horse that "made you want to kiss its nose and give it a lump of sugar at once" ... the kinds of creatures and people that a person is around can do a lot to influence your perception of them! That said, you would think that the eerily silent Knight all in black would have also had an impact on the kids, but they don't pay any attention to him once the LotGK starts speaking. She's a shining woman in green that tells them what they want to hear, and he's just a shadow they'd rather ignore. Which is precisely the effect she wants to have here. I wonder if she had any idea she was about to run into a group of people looking for her captive? I bet that she wasn't.

5. Do you think Lewis intended the reader to be suspicious of the Lady and the Knight or not?

I can't imagine that he didn't. In the old owl's story, you have a beautiful woman all in green that disappears with Rilian (who is described in the tale as a knight). And now here's another beautiful woman all in green with a knight whose identity is concealed. The fact that none of the questers make this connection is a bit facepalm-inducing for me, yes. :P That said, I'm just the reader and not the one that the LotGK is focusing her mind control powers on, so I try to give them a pass. In that same vein, I suspect that's why Drinian was able to be suspicious of her: her magical charms were directed at Rilian and not him.


8. Discuss how this chapter should be adapted. (ex. what do you most want to see, what problems do you see, etc.)


Off the top of my head, I really hope they find a way to include that one Ettinsmoor giant who does see them but only laughs in their faces and stomps away. It kind of drives home the fact that they are crazy for trying to travel through this terrain, just a Marshwiggle and two kids. ;))

One problem I can see them having trouble with is indicating just how long the questers have been out in the wilderness, before and after we meet the LotGK... they've been traveling for weeks by the time they reach Harfang, but we jump over that in just a few pages. They'll really need to build up just how tired Jill and Eustace are of the bitter cold, sleeping on hard ground and scant meals. I'll be very interested to see how they illustrate the change in the questers' attitudes before and after their meeting with the LotGK, too. Lewis tells us about it, and about their argument with Puddleglum; the filmmakers will have to figure out a way to show these character moments.
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Re: 6 – The Wild Waste Lands of the North

Postby TheLukeskywalker2 » Nov 03, 2017 7:38 pm

1. Lewis’s wording in this chapter’s first sentence seems rather nuanced: “At about nine o’clock next morning three lonely figures might have been seen picking their way across the Shribble...”
A more conventional opening might have been something like “At about nine o’clock the next morning, the three travellers set out and began picking their way across the Shribble...”
How does this careful choice of words affect the atmosphere?

It makes the setting feel a lot more lonely for a couple of reasons. First, three lonely figures. Second, might have been seen. This is one of the times where Lewis uses his Omniscient Point of View to give us info that couldn't be found by anyone in the story and it works.

2. How does Jill confuse giants for rocks?

Jill has never seen rocks before. She probably hasn't quite gotten over flying on breath. It's a new place to her and the rules in Narnia are not the same as they are here on earth.

3. Lewis writes: “Jill rather envied Eustace for being able to shoot; he had learned it on his voyage with King Caspian.” What does this tell us about Jill?

She wanted to be better than him in some way. She wants to have something to make her unique, rather than being in somebody else's shadow, Eustace's in this case. This sentiment can be seen in the second chapter of the book, where she happy when she realized that she might be the first person to ride on air, only for that feeling to leave her when she realized that Eustace had ridden on air before her.

4. Why was Puddleglum suspicious of the Lady of the Green Kirtle and the Knight? Why weren’t the children suspicious of them?

As someone has said before, Puddleglum is suspicious of a bridge. That's probably a result of growing up with Marshwiggles, of which Puddeglum is the most optimistic.

Why aren't the children? Neither of them are familiar to them. All that Jill might know is that the lost prince will ask her to do something in the name of Aslan. She doesn't know anything about what size of shape the Prince is. Neither would Eustace. Another thing that has been pointed out already is that Eustace and Jill probably have not had good motherly figures in their lives, which might make a nice woman trying to give directions more trustworthy.

5. Do you think Lewis intended the reader to be suspicious of the Lady and the Knight or not?

At this point, probably not. In about three chapters that changes, but anyone who has read the book knows what happens, and anyone who hasn't doesn't need to be spoiled. (I forgot how to do spoiler bars).

6. Based on this chapter and previous chapters, do you think the children and Puddleglum should go to Harfang? Do you think Lewis intended the reader to side with the children or with Puddleglum? Why?

According to the second chapter, Puddleglum is right. They need to go the Ruined City of the Ancient Giants. But assuming that we could not look back at the signs and did not have them memorized, that question is a bit more difficult.
Well, never mind. I just re-read the section and Lewis does mention the signs. The readers probably have learned to trust Aslan. We have seen three books of how Aslan acts and learned that he is trustworthy. So, I'm guessing that the reader is probably supposed to side with Puddleglum, but not focus on it due to the conflict being so short.

7. Both Jill and Eustace did not like the idea of giants when Puddleglum first mentioned that they would meet giants. Why are they so eager to go to Harfang where there are giants?

They were probably sick of traveling by this point. They could stop for a little bit and rest up if they went to Harfang, but a Ruined City would not have the comforts that Harfang did. They probably liked what they heard about from The Lady of the Green Kirtle.

8. Discuss how this chapter should be adapted. (ex. what do you most want to see, what problems do you see, etc.)

This, in my opinion, should seem more like a highlight reel of the main points of the adventures, rather than it being a short journey. I don't know how to make the transitions work, but I think it would be interesting to see everybody noticeably more dirty in each scene we see them in for this chapter.
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