Details of Aslan...

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Details of Aslan...

Postby Katana » Jan 02, 2010 10:43 pm

I dont know if anyone else noticed or cares about this but in the books it insituates that Aslan walks upright on his hind paws? I never noticed this until the most recent time I read them. In the particular book i read it even had a picture. And also if Aslan is supposed to represent Jesus from the Bible then shouldnt he be all knowing? In the book it says stuff like: Aslan wondered or Aslan didnt know or Aslan could only tell Lucy to have hope that there plan would work. I dont get it, does anyone else? I mean why didnt they put these thing into the movie and why did the film makers alter Aslan and why did C.S. Lewis say Aslan represented Jesus and then not have him be like Jesus?
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Re: Details of Aslan...

Postby Lady Galadriel » Jan 03, 2010 9:50 am

Katana wrote: And also if Aslan is supposed to represent Jesus from the Bible then shouldnt he be all knowing? In the book it says stuff like: Aslan wondered or Aslan didnt know or Aslan could only tell Lucy to have hope that there plan would work. I dont get it, does anyone else? I mean why didnt they put these thing into the movie and why did the film makers alter Aslan and why did C.S. Lewis say Aslan represented Jesus and then not have him be like Jesus?


Do you have any examples of Aslan wondering or not knowing? :-? As for the film people, many movie-viewers have noticed, I recall, that a crucial line got switched:

Book version: "No one is ever told what would have happened." (This shows that Aslan does know, but he never tells.)
Movie version: "We can never know what would have happened." (Lowering Aslan's "all-knowing.")

I hadn't noticed it personally until I read about it, but it's there.

Katana wrote:I dont know if anyone else noticed or cares about this but in the books it insituates that Aslan walks upright on his hind paws?


Not sure about this one.
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Re: Details of Aslan...

Postby Aravis Narnia » Jan 03, 2010 10:45 am

Maybe the walking on hind paws would be part of the anthropomorphizing in general (which is not just limited to the talking). Or another hint.

About the movie changing it- while Aslan may have known, he maybe is trying to get Lucy to not rack her brains thinking too much. Whether A Certain Someone thought too much about the many possible possibilities, is another story. I do wish it had not been changed, but I am not too upset, since it may not necessarily imply that Aslan has no idea- just that perhaps humans and other creatures are not intended to know everything.

I wonder if this kind of parallels a Bible verse that states "Do not worry about the future. Worry about the present." (IIRC) and about the birds and flowers being in God's hands so a human should not worry so much then.
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Re: Details of Aslan...

Postby daughter of the King » Jan 03, 2010 2:24 pm

Katana wrote:I dont know if anyone else noticed or cares about this but in the books it insituates that Aslan walks upright on his hind paws? I never n


I think he only walks upright in LWW. All of the other books he walks like a regular lion.

Katana wrote:In the book it says stuff like: Aslan wondered or Aslan didnt know or Aslan could only tell Lucy to have hope that there plan would work.


I can't think of any specific instances where the books say that. Could you point out a few?

Katana wrote:why did C.S. Lewis say Aslan represented Jesus and then not have him be like Jesus?


I think this is a question for N&C, but in the meantime here's my take on it:
C.S.Lewis said that Narnia is not an allegory. If it was an allegory, then Aslan would be exactly like Jesus, at least symbolically, and so would everything else in Narnia. Narnia is not an allegory though, it's a supposal. Suppose there was another world, a world where animals talked, where there were mythological beings, and "all the sorts of things you have in fairy tales(Silver Chair, chapter 1)," and that world needed to be redeemed. What would Jesus look like and how would he redeem it? I took most of that from one of C.S.Lewis' letters. But even though I borrowed it, do you see how Aslan is not supposed to be exactly like Jesus? He is only supposed to remind us of Jesus. Sort of like the story in the magician's book reminds Lucy of a story she has heard before.
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Re: Details of Aslan...

Postby Katana » Jan 03, 2010 5:48 pm

Readers,
I wrote this thread spontaneously after reading the books, I don't remember the exact parts when Aslan was known to "wonder" but I will look them up and post them as soon as i find them.

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Re: Details of Aslan...

Postby Shadowlander » Jan 04, 2010 3:19 am

Katana wrote:I dont know if anyone else noticed or cares about this but in the books it insituates that Aslan walks upright on his hind paws? I never noticed this until the most recent time I read them.


I don't recall that it ever explicitly states this in any of the books, however, I clearly remember an illustration (by Pauline Baynes) in one of my copies in which Aslan is depicted as walking alongside the White Witch in an upright position, peculiarly with his paws folded behind his back (this would have been soon after Peter slew Fenris Ulf). That may be where the confusion is coming from. :)

Katana wrote:And also if Aslan is supposed to represent Jesus from the Bible then shouldnt he be all knowing? In the book it says stuff like: Aslan wondered or Aslan didnt know or Aslan could only tell Lucy to have hope that there plan would work.


I don't recall any instances of Aslan "not knowing" anything, however again, from LWW, there were a few moments when Aslan is distracted before his sacrifice at the Stone Table by the White Witch. In fact there is a segment of text there in which Peter, who is now in charge of the Narnian army, is asking him tactical questions, specifically about the placement of his camp, and Aslan tells him not to worry about it because the Witch won't attack.

Except she does. And on the very next day! This would indicate that Aslan was wrong about something, and that's always naggled at me everytime I read it, considering that Aslan is intended to be a supposal of Christ in another world, and Christ is never wrong. In fact the only thing Christ does not know for certain is the time of His return, which only God the Father knows and keeps to Himself.

The Baynes illustration of Aslan walking upright is in one of my books, as I said, and I'd scan it if I could find it and had a scanner to boot, but since I don't this is kind of moot. Does anyone else remember seeing this illustration? I very clearly remember it. I think Lewis was dissatisfied with Baynes' illustrations of Aslan and that very image might have been one of the ones that got under his skin. Just my two cents. :D
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Re: Details of Aslan...

Postby Varnafinde » Jan 04, 2010 8:46 am

Shadowlander wrote:I don't recall that it ever explicitly states this in any of the books, however, I clearly remember an illustration (by Pauline Baynes) in one of my copies in which Aslan is depicted as walking alongside the White Witch in an upright position, peculiarly with his paws folded behind his back (this would have been soon after Peter slew Fenris Ulf). That may be where the confusion is coming from. :)

I don't recall any instances of Aslan "not knowing" anything, however again, from LWW, there were a few moments when Aslan is distracted before his sacrifice at the Stone Table by the White Witch. In fact there is a segment of text there in which Peter, who is now in charge of the Narnian army, is asking him tactical questions, specifically about the placement of his camp, and Aslan tells him not to worry about it because the Witch won't attack.

Except she does. And on the very next day!

He only says that she won't attack during that night, which she doesn't - so don't worry about it!
This was the Fords of Beruna and Aslan gave orders to halt on this side of the water. But Peter said,
"Wouldn't it be better to camp on the far side - for fear she should try a night attack or anything?"

Aslan, who seemed to have been thinking about something else, roused himself with a shake of his magnificent mane and said, "Eh? What's that?" Peter said it all over again.

"No," said Aslan in a dull voice, as if it didn't matter. "No. She will not make an attack to-night." And then he sighed deeply. But presently he added, "All the same it was well thought of. That is how a soldier ought to think. But it doesn't really matter."

(LWW, ch14)

Shadowlander wrote:The Baynes illustration of Aslan walking upright is in one of my books, as I said, and I'd scan it if I could find it and had a scanner to boot, but since I don't this is kind of moot. Does anyone else remember seeing this illustration? I very clearly remember it. I think Lewis was dissatisfied with Baynes' illustrations of Aslan and that very image might have been one of the ones that got under his skin. Just my two cents. :D


I remember it too, it's from when Aslan is talking to the Witch alone, when she accepts him as a substitute for Edmund.

But in most of Baynes' drawings Aslan walks like a normal lion - I remember the drawing in Prince Caspian, when Lucy meets Aslan among the trees, he's walking on all fours then. He's a True Beast after all.
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Re: Details of Aslan...

Postby daughter of the King » Jan 04, 2010 2:59 pm

The already mentioned illustration is the only one of Aslan standing upright. But the illustration is not the only place this is insinuated.

After Peter kills Maugrim, Aslan tells him to clean his sword. After this the book says: "'Hand it to me and kneel, Son of Adam,' said Aslan. And when Peter had done so he struck him with the flat of the blade and said, 'Rise up, Sir Peter Wolf's Bane. And, whatever happens, never forget to wipe your sword.'" (chapter 12)
Aslan would have to stand upright to hold the sword while knighting Peter.

And in another place, after Aslan bargains with the witch: "'Haa-a-arrh!' roared Aslan, half rising from his throne.....'" (chapter 13)
How could Aslan sit on a throne unless he sat upright like a human?

I believe these are the only places where Aslan is upright and not on all fours.
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Re: Details of Aslan...

Postby TheGeneral » Jan 04, 2010 7:15 pm

I actually like the idea of Aslan not knowing everything.
And aren't the drawings in the book just the illustrator's interpretation? Just because he's seen walking in a picture doesn't mean he really was. I mean to be honest I never liked those pictures anyway.

Knighting Peter, he could have just held the sword in one paw while on all fours. And sitting on a throne, couldn't he be sitting like how dogs sit?
I never pictured him as a bipod I guess.
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Re: Details of Aslan...

Postby daughter of the King » Jan 06, 2010 7:39 pm

TheGeneral wrote:Knighting Peter, he could have just held the sword in one paw while on all fours.


But lion's don't have thumbs. In order for him to hold it with his paws, wouldn't he have to use two?

TheGeneral wrote:And sitting on a throne, couldn't he be sitting like how dogs sit?


I hadn't thought of that.
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Re: Details of Aslan...

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Jan 09, 2010 5:41 pm

Interesting discussion. I don't particularly like that picture of Aslan either. Cats (I'm assuming that lions are similar enough to cats to make a comparison) are flexible but they aren't able to move their legs in such a way that they could hold them behind their backs. As for knighting Peter, he could have stood on his hind paws for a few minutes to do that. My cats can stand momentarily on their hind legs to chase a toy. I don't know if they could do this without holding on to something, but I have seen them walk on their hind legs (Two of my cats would open cupboards in the kitchen by hooking their paws on the top of them and backing up. My other cat will grab on a hanging scratching post and walk backward to try to open the door the post is hanging on).
daughter of the King wrote:But lion's don't have thumbs. In order for him to hold it with his paws, wouldn't he have to use two?

I don't know about lions, but cats do have a "thumb" of sorts. They have some claws at the tip of their paws and then one on the side. (I rather wish they didn't. It is so hard to get at and clip :p ). I don't know if that would help hold a sword or not.
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Re: Details of Aslan...

Postby Shadowlander » Jan 12, 2010 2:08 pm

DotK wrote:Aslan would have to stand upright to hold the sword while knighting Peter.


I'm not so sure. Peter was likely kneeling (as depicted in the movie) and Aslan was a rather large Creature by default so even if Aslan were sitting he'd probably still be towering over Peter. And I wouldn't worry too much about how Aslan was able to manipulate the sword...he sang Narnia into existence. Handling Rhindon would have been nothing in comparison. ;))
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Re: Details of Aslan...

Postby Katana » Jan 12, 2010 3:23 pm

Readers,
After quickely re-reading over the book (the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe) here are the parts I found:

regarding Aslan walking upright: In the book after Peter kills the wolf to save Susan and Aslan knights him with his own sword. in my oppinion (and A know a few others feel the same and already wrote it on the comment board) that to knight someone you would have to stand up?

Also, In the book it says Aslan gets up from his throne to roar, if your sitting in a throan then you must be sitting upright.

regarding Aslan not being all knowing:

Aslan says and I quote: "We will never know what would have happened, but what happened, happened and it is right.

The Narrarator says: Aslan looked inquirily at Peter,
(as if he didnt know what he was thinking)

There are also several small and someimes far-fetched hints that Aslan isnt all knowing such as when the witch requires audience with Aslan and he tells her ambassador to tell the (fake)queen to leave her wand behind and the big oak tree. (like he didnt know if she would use it or not)

Im sorry if you feel this information is inadiquate, but I was just curious about it and wondered if anyone else had noticed these things. Thank You

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Re: Details of Aslan...

Postby Varnafinde » Jan 18, 2010 5:03 pm

Katana wrote:regarding Aslan not being all knowing:

Aslan says and I quote: "We will never know what would have happened, but what happened, happened and it is right.

The Narrarator says: Aslan looked inquirily at Peter,
(as if he didnt know what he was thinking)


What chapters are those quotes from? I cannot find them.
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Re: Details of Aslan...

Postby Lady Galadriel » Jan 21, 2010 3:22 pm

Varnafinde, I cannot find them either... ;)) :ymblushing: I would like to, though.

Katana wrote: There are also several small and someimes far-fetched hints that Aslan isnt all knowing such as when the witch requires audience with Aslan and he tells her ambassador to tell the (fake)queen to leave her wand behind and the big oak tree. (like he didnt know if she would use it or not)


Not precisely. At least, the book never says exactly that Aslan himself didn't know, although the others talking about it aren't sure.

C.S. Lewis wrote: "Peace, Beaver," said Aslan. "All names will soon be restored to their proper owners. In the meantime we will not dispute about noises. Tell your mistress, Son of Earth, that I grant her safe conduct on condition that she leaves her wand behind her at that great oak."

This was agreed to and two leopards went back with the Dwarf to see that the conditions were properly carried out. "But supposing she turns the two leopards into stone?" whispered Lucy to Peter. I think the same idea had occurred to the leopards themselves; at any rate, as they walked off their fur was all standing up on their backs and their tails were bristling--like a cat's when it sees a strange dog.

"It'll be all right," whispered Peter in reply. "He wouldn't send them if it weren't."
( ~ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Chapter 13)

It seems to me as if Aslan is merely taking a precaution (perhaps, even, because of something he knew would happen); it doesn't say particularly that Aslan wasn't sure. Especially take note of the last part of the quote.
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