13 – Underland Without the Queen

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13 – Underland Without the Queen

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Jul 02, 2017 6:27 pm

1. Do you agree with Puddleglum that the Witch arranged that Underworld should come apart when she died? Or was it simply that her magic held it together and that would die with her?

2. Why did Eustace and Jill call each other by their first names for the first time as they are getting ready to leave the castle? What is the difference between using someone’s first name and their last name?

3. Lewis has two characters mention death as a possibility in connection to Aslan’s will for the characters: "You see, Aslan didn't tell Pole what would happen. He only told her what to do. That fellow will be the death of us once he's up, I shouldn't wonder. But that doesn't let us off following the sign." (Chapter 11) and "Doubtless," said the Prince, "this signifies that Aslan will be our good lord, whether he means us to live or die. Why do you think he does this?

4. If you saw that the shield had changed from black to silver with a Lion, what would you think it meant?

5. What does the Prince mean when he says, “"Friends," said the Prince, "when once a man is launched on such an adventure as this, he must bid farewell to hopes and fears, otherwise death or deliverance will both come too late to save his honour and his reason?” Can you think of examples?

6. 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: 13 – Underland Without the Queen

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jul 13, 2017 7:18 pm

1. Do you agree with Puddleglum that the Witch arranged that Underworld should come apart when she died? Or was it simply that her magic held it together and that would die with her?

I think it was simply that the Witch's magic held Underland together. LOTGK might have been a terrifyingly insidious witch but, unlike Jadis, she had no claim to immortality, and maybe her magic, which needed constant maintenance and coercion whilst she was alive, would not have been strong enough to survive her. And so Underland reverted to what it was before she enslaved the Earthmen of Bism. Besides, I couldn't help thinking in this chapter, that as much as she ran around posting guards at all the entrances Rilian mentions, supervising all his alleged snake-changing sessions and escorting him everywhere he went, that the black paint job she did on his shield must have been as shoddy as the poor workmanship of the toys in Jill's room at Harfang. :D

2. Why did Eustace and Jill call each other by their first names for the first time as they are getting ready to leave the castle? What is the difference between using someone’s first name and their last name?

I might have been tempted to ask why ever did Eustace and Jill call each other by their last names in the first place? Until I read books like Tom Brown's schooldays or Stalky and co. Or Charles Dickens' David Copperfield. Remember the likes of Steerforth? It might have been the tradition in UK boys' schools, in particular, up to more recent times. But it wasn't the tradition down here, not in any school I ever went to, anyway.

Of course this form of formal address is often still used in employment in Defence and other organisations, especially for prison guards and inmates. Especially journalists and reporters, relaying the news use such forms of address through their articles. A politer way of naming people is to use the form of Miss/Ms Pole and Mr Scrubb. But reducing people to their last names is often an unfriendly and dismissive way to diminish others, especially at an establishment like Experiment House.

And so when Eustace and Jill apologise to each other, and call each other by their first names, it is a final confirmation that they are setting out on the last part of their mission as firm friends. They do not know at this point what other dangers they might now face together.

3. Lewis has two characters mention death as a possibility in connection to Aslan’s will for the characters: "You see, Aslan didn't tell Pole what would happen. He only told her what to do. That fellow will be the death of us once he's up, I shouldn't wonder. But that doesn't let us off following the sign." (Chapter 11) and "Doubtless," said the Prince, "this signifies that Aslan will be our good lord, whether he means us to live or die. Why do you think he does this?

Um, there were three references, actually, to the possibility of death. Back in Chapter 2, Aslan, himself, said, in explanation of "an aged king, who is sad because he has no prince to be king after him".

Silver Chair, p.25, my ed. wrote:I lay on you this command, that you seek this lost prince until either you have found him and brought him to his father's house, or else died in the attempt or else gone back into your own world.


That is Jill's quest. Earlier on, before he explained the four signs, Aslan had said: "The Boy is safe..But your task will be all the harder because of what you have done." Although Aslan saved Eustace at the cliff, all three of them could still have died in any number of ways before LOTGK was killed, regardless of whether they remembered the signs or not. And Aslan, who rescued Eustace at the cliff face, might not have been able to intervene, regardless, no matter what happened. Especially as we were informed at the Parliament of Owls that there had been a heavy toll of Narnians who had gone to search for Rilian over the past 10 years.

Just as well Jill listened to Puddleglum, and agreed to Prince Rilian's bindings being cut as per this question. At the time Prince Rilian seemed to be irrational and unpredictable, according to what has been said so far about the reasons for tying him up in the Silver Chair. The trouble is, as C.S.Lewis - or Aslan - keeps saying, "Nobody is told what would have happened" if things go wrong. And though that particular risk had a happy outcome something was now going on outside the palace.

The Prince also mentions death, having endured ten years or more in what could have been a living death, incarcerated, literally, in an underground oubliette. And when he finds his shield so changed, he sees it as a hopeful sign that Aslan would still be their good lord, regardless of what is to come. At the time it looks like chaos outside the castle, and they have no reason to trust the Earthmen.

4. If you saw that the shield had changed from black to silver with a Lion, what would you think it meant?

A lot depends in what context you would see such a thing, if you weren't Prince Rilian "Down Under". I might casually wonder why the shield had changed colour, and since the shield ended up silver, if the Prince had sufficient time to grab a tin of Silvo and a polishing rag, to get rid of the tarnish that had obscured the markings of the shield for a long time. Or did the grubby tarnish just disappear because the Witch and her lies had been killed? And why in the previous chapter did the name of Aslan provoke the witch into changing the rhythm of her mandolin-strumming?

In the real world we talk about the grubbiness of lies. And of tarnished honour, of silver linings, and of silver spoons, cutlery and much else. There is traditionally a lot of fuss about pigments, paints, dyes, and the value of pure and precious metals and jewellery. Even if it is something like the duco on your car or how your house is painted we worry about the quality of the coatings used to appeal to us, especially how they would endure washing, the weather etc. And shields to protect fighters are valuable fighting equipment for a knight. So I'd be wondering how the colours of that shield became so warped over time, that the picture of the lion on it was obscured. 8-} The question is, if it was originally a Silver, or even a silver-coated shield, why was it and the Knight's armour black?

And why did LOTGK ever need a Silver Chair? What did this silver chair do to Rilian, exactly? Is its presence as the title of the story just a McGuffin, that is to say, just something to restrain Rilian in, or is it like a throne of judgement or something more sinister? And what is so significant about silver in this story anyway?

5. What does the Prince mean when he says, “"Friends," said the Prince, "when once a man is launched on such an adventure as this, he must bid farewell to hopes and fears, otherwise death or deliverance will both come too late to save his honour and his reason?” Can you think of examples?

Puddleglum was saying something about a volcano breaking out. So I think that the Prince was saying in a rather fancy way that they had better get out of there quickly before everything that they had gained so far was lost. Hiding in the palace might be temporary protection but if it was a volcano, for example, they would be trapped with little hope of rescue. Especially if the disturbances outside were due to hostile Gnomes.

Off hand for similar situations like this one, I can only think of real incidents like maybe Vesuvius in the first century, or one of Kemal Ataturk's regiments at Gallipoli in 1915 who, having run out of ammunition, died at their post until the arrival of the opposing ANZAC troops, or the superbly orderly retreat of the ANZAC troops from that futile WW1 campaign at the end of 1915. Of Agincourt in 1415, or the fate of Joan of Arc after the deaths of both Charles VI of France and Henry V, himself, in 1422.

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

This particular chapter deals with the aftermath now LOTGK has changed into a snake and has been killed. The Prince, Eustace, Jill and Puddleglum take a breather whilst they treat Puddleglum's foot, refresh themselves and plan what to do next. But there is a lot of noise outside the palace. Gnomes rushing around in military formations, strange fiery lights and loud bangs etc. The Prince and friends arm themselves, and venture out into a deserted palace, except for a gnome helping himself to left-overs who flees at their approach. Mullugutherum and the Warden seem to have disappeared. Jill and friends go to the stables to saddle the Witch's and the Prince's horses.

For the rest of this chapter, and at the start of the next, occurs one of those joyous events mentioned in Fantasia's Opinion piece listed in Latest news. All the suspense and expected drama resolves itself, when Puddleglum catches one of the gnomes -Golg - and gets an explanation from him of what all the fuss is all about. The loud noises turn out to be fireworks. For the gnomes are celebrating with profound joy their own release from enchantment whilst they rush off to their original home, meanwhile planning how to defend themselves, expecting that the Witch would try to stop their exit.

I will be very surprised and grateful if the rest of this chapter does get shown in any film at all, especially if it is done in a coherent way. It certainly wasn't in the BBC TV version of SC, though to be fair they wouldn't have filmed the horses anyway if that got too complicated for their budget. What I want to see is that council of war, the tension as they leave the Prince's quarters, let alone the castle. And some sort of exchange of information which convinces both gnomes and the Prince's party that they are now all on the same side. With all the release of tension and joy that situation can muster.

Fantasia_Kitty in her article mentioned the essential Narnian bits left out of the previous Walden films, often the joyously fun bits. But were the previous BBC TV versions of those three films any better at including such bits and pieces? The Romp from PC never appeared at all in the BBC version of PC, and only appeared, partly, converted into a rather dour and dangerous ride to find Aslan in the Walden Prince Caspian version. And the BBC version of SC isn't much different, where movement, lucidity and detail in the final (6th) chapter is sacrificed to keep the film in a manageable time slot.

Like the romp in Prince Caspian, or some of the feasts along the way, all that happens is our four main characters leave the castle and go up the road to where the new diggings are being made, whilst they dodge bits of arches, flying buttresses and other building materials which crash around them. There is little explanation as the earthmen all freefall down the chasm to Bism, let alone its wonders that tempted Prince Rilian.

I have a strong suspicion that this entire bit will be cut out. Which is a shame. Because SC of all the Narnia films, doesn't have much to celebrate in its story line, apart from that lovely feast at Cair Paravel, and the nice room Jill was lodged in at Harfang. Furthermore, the story isn't over yet, and so it may not be considered a good idea to let people celebrate too soon now that particular hurdle has been crossed off.
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Re: 13 – Underland Without the Queen

Postby shastastwin » Jul 19, 2017 9:25 am

Twig's wrote:1. Do you agree with Puddleglum that the Witch arranged that Underworld should come apart when she died? Or was it simply that her magic held it together and that would die with her?


I think it amounts to the same thing. Whether she intended it or not, her realm's life was tied to her own. It wouldn't surprise me if she had done this a purpose, tying the spells of support and survival to her own life.
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Re: 13 – Underland Without the Queen

Postby Ryadian » Jul 24, 2017 11:41 am

1. Do you agree with Puddleglum that the Witch arranged that Underworld should come apart when she died? Or was it simply that her magic held it together and that would die with her?
That's a really interesting question. The latter doesn't seem that unreasonable to me,
SHOW SPOILER "Later in the book"
especially given that we find out that the gnomes didn't actually live here, the Witch seems to have created this whole shadow world
. However, at the same time, Father Time is down here with the other sleepers, and he seems to be part of something bigger than the Witch, so I don't think all of Underland was created for/by the witch's magic. I suspect that whatever caused the collapse - either the Witch intentionally laying out a trap for whoever killed her or simply a collapse of her magic - it only affects the city she and the gnomes lived in.


2. Why did Eustace and Jill call each other by their first names for the first time as they are getting ready to leave the castle? What is the difference between using someone’s first name and their last name?
I think it's twofold. First of all, Rilian had just made his statement about "Aslan will be our good lord, whether he means us to live or die", so the idea of one of them not making it out of this alive is probably on both their minds. Secondly, they're lso apologizing to each other and probably on the best terms they've been for the entire story. An apology seems more sincere if it's so personal as to use someone's first name, an it's also the closest the two have ever been - possibly the first time they've really thought of each other as friends.

3. Lewis has two characters mention death as a possibility in connection to Aslan’s will for the characters: "You see, Aslan didn't tell Pole what would happen. He only told her what to do. That fellow will be the death of us once he's up, I shouldn't wonder. But that doesn't let us off following the sign." (Chapter 11) and "Doubtless," said the Prince, "this signifies that Aslan will be our good lord, whether he means us to live or die. Why do you think he does this?
Well, in addition to keeping the tension heightened, I think it's also intended to emphasize that regardless of what the immediate conseqeuences might be for any of them, Aslan will still be good, and it will still ultimately work out in the end.

4. If you saw that the shield had changed from black to silver with a Lion, what would you think it meant?
I think Rilian hit it head-on. I suppose it could have originally been Rilian's shield that had also been enchanted to look solid black and without device, and its true nature was revealed when the enchantment was broken and the witch killed, but I find it far more likely that this was just a shield the witch gave him, and its transformation was Aslan's doing as a sign and encouragement for the group.

6. Discuss how this chapter should be adapted. (ex. what do you most want to see, what problems do you see, etc.)
One thing I'm concerned about is how it will affect the pacing. I have a feeling that the battle with the Witch will kind of be the height of the finale, so having the heroes take a significant amount of time to discuss and recoup after the fight might really mess with that pacing, and they might be tempted to remove a good deal of this scene to deal with it. I hope not - I do think that, perhaps, some of the dialogue could be moved to them trading comments after they've already left the palace and are trying to escape the city, but I hope they don't decide to cut most of it entirely. At least keep Rilian's line about "Aslan will be our good lord,whether he means us to live or die". Rilian has been missing for most of the story and we met him while was still under the enchantment, I think this moment of courage and faith (in addition to being a great line) is really needed to establish what the true Rilian is like.
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Re: 13 – Underland Without the Queen

Postby Hwinning » Aug 15, 2017 8:44 am

1. Do you agree with Puddleglum that the Witch arranged that Underworld should come apart when she died? Or was it simply that her magic held it together and that would die with her?

The latter. All of Underworld crumbles except the cavern in which Father Time is sleeping in because she didn't build that.

4. If you saw that the shield had changed from black to silver with a Lion, what would you think it meant?

It reminded me of when Dumbledore changed the banners from Slytherin to Gryffindor when Gryffindor suddenly gained 170 more house points at the end of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. The banners literally changed from a snake to a lion!!!! :-o :-o :-o

Anyways, the return of the lion means that this joint has returned to Aslan!

5. What does the Prince mean when he says, “"Friends," said the Prince, "when once a man is launched on such an adventure as this, he must bid farewell to hopes and fears, otherwise death or deliverance will both come too late to save his honour and his reason?” Can you think of examples?

Personal example from high school swimming: It is like you are on your last event and your team is only down by 3 points. You might as well give it all you got even though you may pass out afterwards. Because you passing out is nothing in comparison to the entire team losing :D

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

I don't see a problem with adapting this chapter faithfully and entirely. After listening to the interview, I have even more faith in Mr. Magee.

Wagga's Questions
Why did the shield turn silver and not the armor?
The book didn't specifically mention if the armor turned back to silver. They only mentioned the shield, which would lead the reader to assume the armor didn't turn but you never know.

Why did the Prince become disenchanted for one hour a day?
I'm grasping at straws here, I really don't know what I'm talking about but maybe that hour was dawn and Aslan is kind of like the sun and he overpowers the night in that hour.
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