15 – The Disappearance of Jill

Moderator: Pattertwigs Pal

15 – The Disappearance of Jill

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Jul 09, 2017 6:36 pm

1. What do you think about Puddleglum’s statement “Fated. Fated to be Pole's death, just as I was fated to eat Talking Stag at Harfang. Not that it isn't my own fault as well, of course?”

2. Did Jill say that Prince Rilian was a horse?

3. Why do both the Narnians and Puddleglum doubt what Jill says?

4. Why do you think Lewis wrote “with kind, merry faces all round them, one couldn't quite believe in Underland?”

5. How come the Narnians are able to recognize the Prince right away but Puddleglum was not able to in Underworld?

6. Discuss how this chapter should be adapted. (ex. what do you most want to see, what problems do you see, etc.)
Image
Silver Chair Reading Group
NW sister to Movie Aristotle & daughter of the King
User avatar
Pattertwigs Pal
Moderator
Cookie Queen of NarniaWeb
 
Posts: 4932
Joined: May 16, 2009
Location: U.S.A.
Gender: Female

Re: 15 – The Disappearance of Jill

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jul 19, 2017 6:19 pm

1. What do you think about Puddleglum’s statement “Fated. Fated to be Pole's death, just as I was fated to eat Talking Stag at Harfang. Not that it isn't my own fault as well, of course?”

For a cold-blooded feelingless individual, Puddleglum does feel quite a bit. Not only the physical injuries of being burned and bitten, but also the horror of unintented and terrible misdeeds, by his own standards of behaviour. Like the distress of someone in a bad car accident because they sneezed, perhaps. He seems rather fond of Jill, so it would hurt when he fears for her safety.

2. Did Jill say that Prince Rilian was a horse?

No, but the juxtaposition of her listing the horses as well as Prince Rilian, who was leading both, certainly could confuse her listeners. Even if they weren't too excited to listen carefully.

3. Why do both the Narnians and Puddleglum doubt what Jill says?

Maybe because what Jill is saying at the time is beyond their comprehension. That adventure was long enough for Puddleglum to doubt it would ever finish, in Narnia, of all places, and the Narnians, themselves, might have noticed Puddleglum's absence but could not process easily the information that a one-day wonder, and a stranger like Jill, had not only been lost in the hill, as they assume, but had come from a long way since her departure with Puddleglum and Eustace a couple of months beforehand.

4. Why do you think Lewis wrote “with kind, merry faces all round them, one couldn't quite believe in Underland?”

Underland was a dark, sad and not very kind sort of place to be in. Narnia was the exact opposite. Ryadian in her post in the previous chapter talks about "the other", and maybe the two extremes work here just as well, and C.S.Lewis wanted to bring that contrast to our attention. Of being safe in a loving place, where nothing happens much that is hurtful or wrong, and of not being safe at all in a very different place, where people fear that nothing will ever go right again.

5. How come the Narnians are able to recognize the Prince right away but Puddleglum was not able to in Underworld?

Now this is a very good question. Back when Puddleglum first met Prince Rilian, he was a silent knight encased in black armour. Even his shield was black, so the identifying picture of Aslan on his shield was invisible. Did anyone, let alone Jill, guess that it was Prince Rilian inside the armour, the first time they read Silver Chair, heard the audio versions or watched the BBC TV episodes?

And again I ask, why didn't Jill at the Giant Bridge recognise that LOTGK might well have been the same woman who had lured Prince Rilian away in the first place? I can excuse Eustace, who may have heard Jill commenting about her belief that the woman Drinian saw was probably also the serpent who killed Rilian's mother, and the owls agreeing with her, since he may not have remembered all that Jill and the owls said at the time. And at that stage Jill and Eustace hadn't yet met Puddleglum, who at the Giant's bridge did have misgivings about LOTGK, and who did at least wonder what was inside the suit of armour.

By the time Puddleglum and friends finally met Prince Rilian he seemed quite in cahoots with LOTGK, and in the book the now not so silent knight seemed "to have something wrong with his face". Was he wearing a helmet, as in the BBC TV production? Or was he wearing a balaclava, a burkha or some other face-obscuring item? Or was it something to do with his mental processes whilst enchanted? People who suffer serious illnesses, both mental and physical, can change their normal appearances quite drastically, so that they are hardly recognisable as the same people.

Aslan said: "You will know the lost prince (if you find him) by this, that he will be the first person you have met in your travels who will ask you to do something in my name, in the name of Aslan". The something that was asked in Aslan's name was to free him. Though Aslan did not repeat his command to do what is said, as he did in the third sign, what was asked by Prince Rilian did eventually identify him. Especially as Prince Rilian recognised a Narnian marsh-wiggle. However, by the time Prince Rilian had arrived in Narnia, probably the effects of his long enchantment might have worn off completely.

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

Whilst I surmise how the Silver Chair looks or how it operated to change Prince Rilian's looks, whilst he sat in it, I think of something else, like those hairdressers' chairs where there is a great metal hairdryer, often silver or white in colour, which obscures people's faces at least partially, which is often too hot or too cold, which magically changes one's appearance with the aid of umpteen curlers and curling rods, and which must be endured for at least an hour per hairdressing session. ;) Or is that too hackneyed an idea for Silver Chair?

Meanwhile, adapting this chapter, like the previous two chapters, is going to be difficult to do convincingly for all sorts of reasons. Just as the serpent's death of LOTGK undid the magic which held together Underland, allowing the gnomes to return home, and just as the road to the outlet leads to the heart of Narnia, in the middle of a snow dance, there is a great risk of leaving out, not only Bism, itself, and the resolution of the drama of exiting LOTGK's palace, but also some of the more interesting and delightful touches C.S.Lewis gives to this chapter.

There is the snow dance, itself, for instance, which would be really great to see but will probably be put in the too-hard basket, if there are more cogent points to make in the film. There is also how Puddleglum and Eustace feel about Jill's disappearance, mirroring the grief and regret Jill may well have felt when Eustace fell over the cliff in the second chapter. All the more poignant this time because at last they are all good friends who have learned to trust and support each other. And there is the welcome feel of reaching a lovely meal, warm beds and being among friends, relieved and rejoicing at Prince Rilian's return.

So far, we have only one visual production of SC, the BBC TV edition from the 1990's. This production was divided into six episodes, but by the last episode, which starts with the entrance of LOTGK after the silver chair was destroyed, there got to be simply too much to cram into a single hour of filming. It was almost as if there was a table of things to do, in order, without any unnecessary exploration of what was going on after LOTGK was killed.

Firstly Prince Rilian's party exit the palace, and into the festivities of the gnomes. I don't remember an explanation of Bism or Rilian's temptation being portrayed in this episode. Their journey continues to the outlet amid crashing columns etc, and rising water driving them on. Jill, when she reaches the outlet, is helped out by fauns who seemed to be waiting there to do so, and who then help out the others. I think we do see Glimfeather again, and yes, Jill does kiss Puddleglum AKA Tom Baker, an ex Dr Who actor, who does give an amusingly droll performance. But then Jill and Eustace are off, both riding on a centaur, however BBC managed it, all ready for Prince Rilian's meeting with the dying Caspian.

I don't know what will happen this time around, and can only hope that enough is left in to at least mirror events as they happen, and that the new production does a better job than did BBC. I'd love it if they kept in the movie not only the snow dance but also the reactions of Eustace and Puddleglum to Jill's disappearance. Why would it be so difficult to picture it with Jill's getting a ball of snow in her mouth?
User avatar
waggawerewolf27
NarniaWeb Zealot
 
Posts: 6544
Joined: Sep 25, 2009
Location: Oz
Gender: Female

Re: 15 – The Disappearance of Jill

Postby Ryadian » Jul 26, 2017 12:53 pm

1. What do you think about Puddleglum’s statement “Fated. Fated to be Pole's death, just as I was fated to eat Talking Stag at Harfang. Not that it isn't my own fault as well, of course?”
These are the two worst things that Puddleglum has done in the course of the story. While he makes a point of not shirking his own responsibility in the Harfang incident, I can see how he might feel a little bit cursed at this point.

2. Did Jill say that Prince Rilian was a horse?
Grammatically, what she said could be interpreted that way - she says "three others", and she interrupts "One of them is Prince Rilian" with "besides the horses". I feel like, in a less chaotic situation, it should've been abundantly clear what she meant, however.

3. Why do both the Narnians and Puddleglum doubt what Jill says?
It just seems too good to be true.

4. Why do you think Lewis wrote “with kind, merry faces all round them, one couldn't quite believe in Underland?”
Once you're out of an excruciating experience, especially if you're immediately in happy circumstances afterwards, it makes the painful experience just seem so far away and almost surreal.

5. How come the Narnians are able to recognize the Prince right away but Puddleglum was not able to in Underworld?
It sounds like we're closer to mainland Narnia, since the terrain is described very differently than the terrain where Puddleglum lived. I kind of get the idea that Marshwiggles don't come to mainlaind Narnia very often, so I suspect Puddleglum has never seen any of the Royal Family before, whereas many of the creatures in this dance live much closer to Cair Paravel and are far more likely to have seen them.

waggawerewolf27 wrote:Or was it something to do with his mental processes whilst enchanted? People who suffer serious illnesses, both mental and physical, can change their normal appearances quite drastically, so that they are hardly recognisable as the same people.

That's an interesting point, too. The others seemed to recognize even before he had begun speaking when Rilian was in his right mind again after destroying the chair, so perhaps it has a lot to do with his facial expressions and mannerisms. It'd be really cool to see them do that well in the movie, if they can find a suitably talented actor.

6. Discuss how this chapter should be adapted. (ex. what do you most want to see, what problems do you see, etc.)
I can see how they might fear killing the pacing if they're making it a high-action finale, but PLEAAAAASE let us see the Great Snow Dance. Please, please, pretty please!
Image
N-Web sis of stardf, _Rillian_, & jerenda
Proud to be Sirya the Madcap Siren
User avatar
Ryadian
Moderator
 
Posts: 11386
Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Location: Minnesota, US
Gender: Female

Re: 15 – The Disappearance of Jill

Postby Hwinning » Sep 07, 2017 6:21 pm

4. Why do you think Lewis wrote “with kind, merry faces all round them, one couldn't quite believe in Underland?”

For irony! Hours ago, our protags almost stopped believing in Narnia...

5. How come the Narnians are able to recognize the Prince right away but Puddleglum was not able to in Underworld?

Jill and Eustace have never seen Rilian as himself prior to his capture. Puddleglum probably lives too far away from Cair to have seen the Prince enough times to recognize him on the spot after 10 years.

Other Narnians probably live closer to the castle and most likely have seen Rilian often enough to recognize him immediately.

6. Discuss how this chapter should be adapted

Like everyone else, I would love to see the snow dance. It will probably be one of movie Narnia's defining scenes if done right as the idea is entirely unique to Narnia.
User avatar
Hwinning
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 18
Joined: May 30, 2017


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest