Playing Cupid

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Playing Cupid

Postby D-T » May 08, 2012 10:38 am

I have seen it everywhere, youtube, facebook, google, here! People play match maker with characters in Narnia. I really don't care for it, but I thought it would be nice to discuss about it, who should be with who or if you should play cupid at all.
Just post your opion, just try not to make it into a war.
I think C.S. Lewis didn't really think it necessary to add romance into a children's book series, so, should movie makers do it?
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby MountainFireflower » May 08, 2012 10:51 am

I don't really approve of non-canon ships in Narnia. Some of them can be somewhat strange and I'd rather not imply something that Lewis never intended. This isn't to say that all ships are bad or that I'll immediately shoot down anyone who supports them. I just don't find them particularly useful to the series as a whole. These additional non-canon relationships can sometimes detract from the deeper messages Lewis was trying to convey.
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby fantasia_kitty » May 08, 2012 11:39 am

Pretty much dittoing Mountie.....
It's not that I never liked to imagine a few of the characters in the books getting together as a couple when I was younger (Bree and Hwin, Digory and Polly), but as I've gotten older and been bombarded with shipping and love triangles in other books (either written in by the authors or written in fan-fiction), I've come to greatly appreciate Lewis's choice to NOT have every "couple" get together in the books. It's quite a breath of fresh air imho. ;))
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » May 08, 2012 11:54 am

I agree with the sentiments thus far. Trust that the author knows best, because they always do.

As an author I would hate it if people thought that they knew better than I did. I'm the one who knows everything in that story. I'm the "creator" of that world, and for people to think that they know better than me would be a slap in the face.

What interests me, is why must everybody have "a perfect romance" in books? They don't happen in life (plenty of people remain single throughout their lives, and are perfectly happy). Why can't people just let characters remain single?
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby MountainFireflower » May 08, 2012 12:01 pm

Indeed, FK. I'm not saying I haven't shipped certain couples in the past. I believe I may have shipped Tirian and Jill at one point. And like you said, when I was younger, I imagined Bree and Hwin getting together, as well as Digory and Polly. But now that I've seen a lot of shipping via the internet and fanfic, it's appealed less and less to me over the past year or two, especially when it comes to Narnia. It seems to add a whole other dimension to the book, a dimension that I don't really like. In my opinion, Narnia stands just as well on its own without overt romance; that's part of what makes them so classic and unique, I think.

So now, basically, I'm dittoing FK in response to her post which ditto'd me. ;))

Agreed, DiGs. As an avid writer, I would probably dislike non-canon ships with regards to my work.

Good question about question about singleness and literature. I've been pondering that lately. I once read a blog post (link here) that summed it up pretty well; in short, often authors use romance to help bring their character to a better and different place than they were in the beginning. It's their way of showing change and adding a character arc, which is one thing that helps strengthen any story.

But I digress. My apologies if I've steered this topic off-course, but I think it's an interesting idea to explore. In conclusion, I think that Lewis realized that romance isn't the end-all, be-all. And like FK said, that's refreshing to see.
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » May 08, 2012 12:06 pm

Mountie wrote:I once read a blog post that summed it up pretty well; in short, often authors use romance to help bring their character to a better and different place than they were in the beginning. It's their way of showing change and adding a character arc, which is one thing that helps strengthen any story.


I think that's really sad. It's almost like saying "The only way this character can improve their lot in life is to end up in a successful relationship!" If that's the only reason that you have for putting two characters together then (in my opinion) it's really bad writing.

Then again. . . love happens. It's not always expected or planned, and sometimes it happens for reasons that even we as authors cannot explain.
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby MountainFireflower » May 08, 2012 12:12 pm

I can see both sides of the concept, really. On one hand, romance can be a successful character arc and/or plot device if done well. (Such as a character who is very skeptical of relationships and doesn't trust people. 'Twould be an interesting concept if the character learned to love and trust people, both in romantic and non-romantic relationships, by the end of the storyline.) On the other, I see what you're saying too, and I hope that my characters change in more ways than merely their relationships by the end of the story.

Also agree with you on the second point. Romance in novels often turns out the same way it does in real life; it just happens. (Though I say this all with a grain of salt because I've never experienced romance in real life myself.)
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby waggawerewolf27 » May 08, 2012 4:25 pm

DiGoRyKiRkE wrote:I think that's really sad. It's almost like saying "The only way this character can improve their lot in life is to end up in a successful relationship!" If that's the only reason that you have for putting two characters together then (in my opinion) it's really bad writing.


I think that C.S.Lewis would have been horrified if anyone reading the Narnia stories thought that 'the only way this character can improve their lot in life is to end up in a successful relationship'. When Lewis did include romances in these stories it was usually for a good and necessary reason. For example, Aravis would have found that Shasta was a much more suitable and age appropriate husband than Ahoshta. Though why did he not pair up Corin and Aravis rather than Shasta and Aravis? Would Aravis marrying the wrong twin detract from the story and the points that were made in that story?

I suspect there was an equally good reason why C.S.Lewis thought some 'ships' should never happen. For example Bree and Hwin - among other things, they found out they were vaguely related. But why not Digory and Polly, when Lewis went out of his way at the end of MN to say that they always remained friends?

D-T wrote:I think C.S. Lewis didn't really think it necessary to add romance into a children's book series, so, should movie makers do it?


That is what I thought originally, that according to the conventions of the time that romance was inappropriate in children's novels. But if you read all the endings of the Narnia books it is only in LB that romance is not mentioned at all.

Both Susan and Lucy were described in romantic terms at the end of LWW. In HHB, we see the result of one of Susan's romances, and of course Aravis and Shasta end up married. In VDT, Caspian goes on to marry Ramandu's daughter, so putting this relationship in a film would have been very appropriate. In Silver Chair, Rilian's ten year captivity at the hands of LOTGK was like a very poisonous relationship, and if he went on to be able to become Tirian's ancestor, after all, then it would be a really good ending for his part in Narnia's history.

At the end of PC there was that Narnia romp. Far from Lewis being anti-romance, there could not be anything more romantic than PC's partying in friendly company where everyone is enjoying themselves. I don't know why neither BBC nor Walden wanted to put this aspect of PC in their versions. I know that even in the books, people made such a fuss over Susan's beauty that Lucy in VDT, seemed to be envious of her. I suppose it would be only expected if filmmakers did make something of Susan's beauty.
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby D-T » May 08, 2012 5:53 pm

I swear, 95% of the movies nowadays end in romance, it's either small or very... let's just leave it there. Seeing a movie or a book for that matter with no romance would be like finding a needle in a haystack. And I like the fact that C.S. Lewis kept romance at a low level, which is why it anoyed me about Susan and Caspian. I don't think it would be a bad thing in The LB Movie (if they ever make it) if Digory and Polly were married. Just an old married couple romance thing, they could even make it a bit funny at times. :p
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » May 08, 2012 6:08 pm

D-T wrote:I don't think it would be a bad thing in The LB Movie (if they ever make it) if Digory and Polly were married. Just an old married couple romance thing, they could even make it a bit funny at times.


Yes, I suppose it would be very "cute," but cute and funny is not what LB is about. It comes down to a non-canon desire/change, which means that it is not C.S. Lewis approved, which means that it's not the Narnia I would ever want to see.
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby D-T » May 08, 2012 6:24 pm

Yes, I suppose it would be very "cute," but cute and funny is not what LB is about. It comes down to a non-canon desire/change, which means that it is not C.S. Lewis approved, which means that it's not the Narnia I would ever want to see.

Very true, LB is quite sad, and all in all leaves you a bit "what now?" at the end.
Back to what was said earlier, I've always thought that when the writers butcher the movies, it's sort of like saying to the author of the books: "You know? you're writing's outdated and crumby, will just fix it a bit by making Polly and Digory make out!" *face palm* It's like saying that a movie can only be good if someone
falls in love.
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » May 08, 2012 6:31 pm

D-T wrote:I don't think it would be a bad thing in The LB Movie (if they ever make it) if Digory and Polly were married. Just an old married couple romance thing, they could even make it a bit funny at times.


D-T wrote:I've always thought that when the writers butcher the movies, it's sort of like saying to the author of the books: "You know? you're writing's outdated and crumby, will just fix it a bit by making Polly and Digory make out!" *face palm* It's like saying that a movie can only be good if someone falls in love.


Those two statements are a little contradictory, don't you think? In one post you think it's a good idea to change the book to add a non-canon funny element to The Last Battle , and in the next post you say that additions and revisions are calling the original texts "outdated and crummy."

Which is it, because you can't have it both ways?
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby D-T » May 08, 2012 7:35 pm

Oops! you're right! sorry, I probaly should have use someone other than Digory and Polly for my last post. :p
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby waggawerewolf27 » May 12, 2012 5:33 pm

You are right. There is only one possible way to put any sort of romance in a film of LB, and that is in an ending cameo of a somewhat older Susan Pevensie, radiantly beautiful no longer, looking through a family album of her wedding day, very likely the last day that she could ever have had them all together with her, before the train crash, whilst telling her children what she, Lucy and their brothers did in their adventures in Narnia. Did I mention that today is Mothers' Day? :ymhug: :p

And that would be very likely one way C.S.Lewis would imagine Susan would get to Narnia in her own way in her own time. ;) When people have called C.S.Lewis sexist because of the remarks that he allowed Polly, Jill, Eustace and Peter to make in the Stable, I think they are missing a few anvil-sized clues as to what these remarks are referring to, and what C.S.Lewis was reluctant to discuss openly in a children's novel.

Come to think about it, you have to be very careful about messing around with any non-canonical romances, in any popular series, especially in the Narnia books. It is a good idea to stick with the romances that are there, rather than to mess with ones that are not only not there but absolutely denied as in the case of Digory and Polly. Maybe think about why C.S.Lewis allowed them to remain friends but why they would not be a good couple from what we see of them.

On second thoughts, I don't really see anything wrong with Digory and Polly remaining good friends to the end of their days. After that Charn experience, they should be so lucky. And sorry, I don't really think there is anything either cute or romantic about an elderly married couple who are blessed indeed to remain good true and loyal friends to the end, sharing wonderful memories. All too often being elderly means failing health and fading memories will remove the 'romantic' side of things, as death and parting draws ever closer.

You have to really think why Susan dithered over Rabadash, why he took her fancy in the first place, and why Adamson said that Susan would flirt with Caspian given the opportunity, the physical development she was at, and her reputation for beauty only a term later. It is not only why Aravis fled from Ahoshta, but also why she eventually married Shasta rather than Corin. (It was Shasta who suggested that Aravis would like Corin and King Lune, since they had been properly brought up.) You have to think about what exactly Polly and Digory were saying to each other in Charn, why Digory was so tempted to ring the bell, and not Polly. Why the sexist remarks they used to each other showed that at that instant they had a very poor opinion of each other, why that incident in Charn would never have been forgotten by either, and why Aslan called Digory to account for every detail of it, especially the physical violence Digory used against Polly.

It is something to do with the logic of the story. In contrast to Calormen, Narnia, after all, was the place where 'no maid was forced to marry against her will'. C.S.Lewis was also great on not eavesdropping, especially on personal things, which is why he tended to stand back. It is why Aslan warned Lucy about her eavesdropping on her friends, using magic. And why he told Lucy that nobody is told what would have happened if they hadn't rushed in to do the wrong things they did.

We don't see Caspian's romance with Ramandu's daughter in the book, only the initial meeting with a lady he must treat with respect. Even Aravis takes her time before she and Cor grow up sufficiently to marry. I expect that the real reason why Cor was perfectly romantic for her was because it was he who ran back and faced Aslan to protect her. And though they quarrelled frequently, it is also obvious that they had learned to value and respect each other's opinion when they made up afterwards.

Whereas Digory's rescue mission to save Polly from wherever Uncle Andrew sent her, was a forced, manipulative mission which led to Charn.
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby Ithilwen » May 12, 2012 11:15 pm

I don't ship non-canonical romances (though I did when I was younger). I don't write fan fiction -- romantic or otherwise -- nor do I read them. But I will always be a strong supporter of the right of others to do so. In fact, one of the things (possibly even the thing) I look forward to most about being a published author some day is reading fan-fiction based on my books, including the non-canon shipping (even the really bizzare ones. ;)) ). And I would love to explain why. It's a subject I've thought a lot about for a long time, but never really had the chance to talk about until now. I know my thoughts are a bit long. But I hope you guys will take the time to read them anyway. :) (By the way, none of this is directed to any of you specifically. I was thinking about these things long before you guys were talking about it.)

1. A big part of it is that, though I'm very close to all my characters and stories, I don't really view them as "mine". I believe characters and story ideas are gifts from God. Not in the way the Bible was divinely inspired by God. Just in the ordinary sense: in the same way children and friends are considered gifts from God. He gives them to us in natural, non-miraculous ways, but we still give Him the credit and glory for it. The same goes for books. Though our talent does have something to do with it, even that talent is God-given. Even as authors, I think it's important and humbling to remember that we are not the creators; we are the instrument the Creator uses, even when it comes to the stories that come out of our own heads. Those are stories God wants told, and he uses us to do so. He could just as easily have let our ideas come into the heads of someone else, instead of us. Therefore, I guess I don't really feel it's mine to keep to myself. I didn't write it for my own sake, after all. I wrote it for God, who can use it as He pleases, and for readers so they can enjoy it in the manner they please. If they enjoy it by writing fanfics about it, or if God wants to show them something in the books using their fanfics, I'm certainly not going to stop them. I don't believe I even really have a right to try.

2. Many people take fan fiction as an insult. I've always found this to be interesting. Especially since fan fiction writers mean it as the opposite. People don't write fanfics and come up with non-canon ideas because they don't think you did a good job. They do it because they love your books. They love the world you have created, and they don't want to leave that world once the book is over. They don't want to just put it back on the shelf and forget about it. They love it so much, they want to stay and play a little longer. They want to see more, do more, they want to ask more questions and find more answers, because they love your world that much. And just like we, in real life, wonder what might have happened if circumstances in our own life were slightly different, people will do the same in fictional worlds they've read about. It's not disapproval of the choices the author made in the writing -- it's curiosity and love for what you as the author have made. And let me tell you, not every book is so loved that people will sit down and write fanfics on it, or sit and contemplate all the different possibilities about it. Only the very favorites get that treatment. ;) It's one of the highest compliments a fan can give you. Think about Jane Austen. When you go into a bookstore, how many fan-fiction novels are out there based on her works? A lot. Is that because Jane Austen is widely regarded as a bad writer whose works need serious fixing? No, it's because she's one of the greatest authors of all time, and people just can't get enough of her. Whereas, what happens when you find a book on a shelf that no one has ever written a fan fiction about? Is it because that book is so perfect that no one wants to touch it? It's more likely because no one cares enough about it to spend the time on it. Fan-fiction is a sign of fame and love from fans.

3. Whenever someone adores a story, they usually show that adoration by doing more with it. But we all use different methods. Some people make websites and discussion boards about the books. Some people make artwork and graphics about the books. Other people write fanfiction based on the books. Fanfiction writers and shippers do what they do because they feel the same way about the books as we do. They just show it in a way that we, unfortunately, personally disapprove of. But what if that disapproval was pointed at us instead? What if non-canon illustrations were looked down on, and we graphics makers couldn't make Narnia fanwork and wallies and avvies? What if Pauline Baynes was insulted by it, because she took our artwork as a statement saying her Narnia drawings weren't good enough? It would crush most of us, I think, if our love for favorite things was taken by its authors as an insult. And I don't think it should be that way, for us or for fanfiction followers.

4. When people write non-canon things about your books, it gives you a chance to see what could have been, if the idea had been placed in someone else's head. Or even what would have happened if you had been writing it, but decided to take things in another direction. And really, it's a fascinating concept. And I hope someday my books will be famous enough that people will write fan fictions about them. For example, in my book, I have two characters named Elaina and Malcolm who are not dating. Far from it. I can't even imagine what it would look like if they did fall in love. But someday, I might find out. It'll be such fun browsing through the ideas my fans have concerning characters. All the things that could have been. In fact, if I ever got the chance to spend a lot of time with a non-canon-romance shipper, I think it would be fun to write a quick short story for them, about those two characters getting together. I think it would be a fun gift to give to a fan. :)

5. Fan fiction, and anything non-canon (like shipping), can not hurt the original source. No matter how many stories about your world are written by other people, yours will always be considered the true one, the original one, the one that's writ in stone. We have nothing to fear from it. But we can find things in it to enjoy, if we so choose. The only bad thing that can be said about it is that some people get so distracted by their own ideas and their shipping, they can miss important aspects of the original. But really, if some people are the type to get so wrapped up in shipping non-canon characters that they miss the points and morals of the story, chances are they're probably the type of people who will miss those points and morals, regardless. If shipping the characters is what they're interested in, then forbidding them from doing so will only chase them away from reading the books at all. And that would be a shame. Even if they never grow out of their shipping phase, at least the books give them a chance to be creative and have fun in their own way.

6. There was a character on a computer game I've always remembered. She was a modern artist named Poppy Dada, who made sculptures out of junk and odds and ends. And whenever she found a fan of her work, she would ask that fan to take one thing off of her sculpture and to put one thing on to it. That way, she would ensure that her work wouldn't be stuck on some shelf somewhere, gathering dust, but that it would continue to grow, like a real living thing, as more and more people encountered it. I found that very interesting, and I think authors should keep it in mind. Like I said in my previous point, our original work will never be lost (unlike Poppy Dada's sculptures), but we can let our works continue to grow outside the canon, by use of fan fiction. Let me use Jane Austen as an example again. Whether or not we like all the fanfiction-y novels out there right now that are based on her works, we have to admit that, because of them, her original novels are more famous and popular and alive than ever before.

7. When you write a book, but don't allow fan-fiction, you show people a world you have created. When you allow fanfiction, you invite readers into that world and allow them to take an active part. Using Poppy Dada as an example again, she takes her fans who admire her work, and lets them have the honor of having a hand in it. She lets them take part in what they regard as beautiful. It's not about us artists making something and just showing it off to people. It's about us authors connecting to our readers and creating something beautiful together.

8. People feel more comfortable with, and respectful toward, authors who allow them freedom. For example, I adore Lord of the Rings. But I would never want to meet J.R.R. Tolkien. Why? Because I know from letters and other sources how protective he was of his own books. I would be scared to death to talk about his books with him, lest my interpretation of his works turn out to be not as accurate as he would like, and be met with his scorn. That would be awful; to disappoint -- even anger -- a favorite author of mine like that. I would feel a bit paranoid, watching every word I said. Whereas, I would love to talk to Lewis about Narnia. Because I know he was more open toward that sort of thing. In fact, I even remembering him sending a letter to a child who was asking him to write more Narnia books, and he told that child to feel free to write Narnia books of his own. And I admire him greatly for that. It's what I admire in all authors, and it's what I hope to emulate if/when I am an author myself.

9. My fans are my fans. And no matter who they are, or how they show their devotion, it's a great honor to have fans. I'd even go so far as to say that an artist of any kind, be it author or painter or singer, isn't much without their fans -- it's the fans who make them famous. And what I think a lot of people don't realize is, when they dream of having readers who adore their works, and have nightmares about "annoying people" who write non-canon fanfics about their works, they are actually having dreams and nightmares about the same group of people. ;)) It's rare that I see a fanfiction writer who isn't absolutely in love with the original source material. They have great devotion toward the books and the author. And if we're in a situation where we're the author, and our fans come to us with works of fanfiction and non-canon shipping, and we treat them with scorn and anger, or treat them as silly, unimportant, or unintelligent? Not only would we lose a lot of fans, but we would also hurt them very deeply. Because chances are, they admired us and viewed us as a sort of role model or inspiration. And we'd be doing them a great disservice by pushing them away just because they didn't enjoy our works in the way we wanted them to enjoy them. I think, rather, we should strive to be authors who take good care of our fans -- all of our fans.

10. This is probably a painful fact for a lot people, but... Just because something annoys us like nails on a chalkboard, that doesn't give us the right to get rid of it. If we don't like something, all we have to do is not read/watch it. We don't have to get rid of it so that those who do like it, can't read or watch it. For example, I greatly dislike Twilight. But I dislike it even more when people go ranting on and on about it and about how Edward Cullen is their boyfriend. :P But the truth is, even if I literally had the power to silence them all forever, I don't think I would take it (though I know some people would. :P ;)) ). I don't think I would have the right to. Because whether I like Twilight or not, some people do like it. And they have a right to like it, whether it will be good for them in the end or not. I believe the same thing goes for fanfiction -- even when it comes to us authors. I may create the stories, but I have no say in how people enjoy those stories in their own homes, and in their own imaginations. I can't pluck the shippingness out of their hearts, and even if I could, I shouldn't. It may be my story, but the story is also playing inside their mind as they read it. And once it's in their minds, it's no longer in my territory. I know that, even with my open and positive view of fanfiction, there will probably be something in fanfictions based on my books that I won't like. At all. I know there will probably be some point where I'll feel a negative reaction to it inside my heart and mind. But I also know that it's my job to deal with that emotionally. It isn't my job or place to put a stop to what they do -- to force them to stop their creativity and imaginations concerning my books, and to make them put the book back on the shelf and step away slowly. In fact, I'm even letting friends read it and purposely listening to their ideas of what they would have done with it instead, to prepare myself. Because I want my fans to feel safe, to feel welcome. I want them to be able to be free to enjoy my books to their fullest, in the manner they enjoy, without any of my hang-ups getting in the way. Because I believe that's a reader's right.

So, there you go. 10 reasons why, in my opinion, fanfiction and non-canonical shipping isn't as bad as it's cracked up to be. (Or is it "cracked down to be" in this case? :-? ;)) )


D-T wrote:I think C.S. Lewis didn't really think it necessary to add romance into a children's book series, so, should movie makers do it?

It depends on what the filmmakers are going for. If they're trying to do a direct book-to-movie translation, then no. It would be contradictory to put non-canonical elements in a movie which they are trying to make as canon as possible. But if the filmmaker is going the fanfiction route -- if they just want to make a film that is their own personal spin on the books -- then they should be able to do what they want with it. If we don't like their direction, all we have to do is not go see the movie. :)


~Riella =:)
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Ithilwen
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Re: Playing Cupid

Postby SnakeEyes » May 22, 2012 7:32 pm

I like the love interests in books/movies. It really adds to the story. Having romance gives more depth to characters and makes people feel for them more. Even hardcore action films need a bit of romance. I am not to big on fanfiction because they are usually weird but some are funny because of how weird they are. Aslan+Robocop=love
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