Jill the Incompetent Hero? (Spoilers)

Talk about any aspect of the films.

Moderator: daughter of the King

Jill the Incompetent Hero? (Spoilers)

Postby Col Klink » Sep 21, 2018 7:54 am

This is something I've been worrying about for any Silver Chair adaptation. Jill and Eustace make way more mistakes in that story than they make admirable choices. The screenwriters might feel that this makes The Silver Chair dramatically flawed and the main characters annoying. (If the Prince Caspian screenwriters were working on an adaptation, I wouldn't worry so much since many people felt Peter came across as unlikeable and annoying in that movie.) I even remember reading an article written by someone who felt Jill was annoying in the book because she couldn't remember the signs. (They felt that C.S. Lewis was hindered from writing a good story by his views on humanity or his views on women or...whatever. 8-| ) Personally, I love the "incompetence" of Jill (and to a lesser extent Eustace.) Since I'm such a flawed person, it's nice to see people making so many mistakes and becoming heroes solely thanks to a few good decisions on their part and the help of others. But I've been trying to think of compromises the writers could make without radically changing the story.

The main heroic thing Jill does is to charm to giants of Harfang and lull them into a false sense of security about their captives. Maybe the movie or the Netflix series could make this a bigger thing.

Jill could cut the prince free along with Eustace instead of Puddleglum. This could show that it's her decision more dramatically than having her just watch. As long as Puddleglum gives his speech about them having to do it, I'd be OK with him not actually being one of the ones to cut the rope.

Jill could try to help Rilian fight the serpent along with Eustace and Puddleglum. They'll probably want to change this part anyway because it reflects a gender stereotype with Eustace and Puddleglum being seen as brave for fighting and Jill being seen as brave just for keeping calm. (Personally, I like that Jill is more scared than the others because it helps me relate to her. I can't stand snakes. If I were in that situation, I'd probably faint dead away. =)) But it's not the end of the world if they change it. Maybe Eustace could feel that role.) It really should be Rilian that kills the serpent though. He originally wanted to avenge his mother and he was under the LOTGK's thumb for years so it makes the most dramatic sense for him to be the one to kill her.

They could stress how Jill is the first one to get back into Overland and get help for the others. They could say she's the only one able to get through the hole and the others would have died if she hadn't rallied the Narnians. (That's probably a bit of an exaggeration but I wouldn't complain too much.)
Col Klink
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Aug 10, 2018
Gender: Male

Re: Jill the Incompetent Hero? (Spoilers)

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Sep 23, 2018 11:46 am

When I think of heroic moments for Jill, her struggle to say Aslan during the Witch's enchantment springs to mind. I really hope they manage to convey just how difficult it was for her to speak that name if/when the story is adapted to film; in the BBC version, you don't get the sense that it was a herculean task at all.

While not exactly heroic (let's not get into an internet debate about what does and doesn't qualify as a hero, shall we, folks? :))), I also remember Jill going into the stable in Underland when the horses were frightened and stamping about. I love horses and have spent time around them, and I still would have been a little leery of trying to calm them down in that situation, but Jill does it without a second thought. Given how important Snowflake and Coalblack were in their escape from Underland, Jill deserves credit for her horsemanship. I wouldn't be surprised if they play this up a bit in a film adaptation.

One other thing that I am reminded of is in The Last Battle when Tirian praises Jill for her pathfinding skills and her ability to move silently through the wood, so much so that he makes her the leader. Lewis says she was a Guide in England and could navigate very well by the stars, and that she remembered the Narnian constellations from her previous journey in Narnia. When Jill arrives in Narnia in SC, I don't get the sense that she has yet acquired these skills, but clearly she had aptitude for scouting that far exceeded most people and we could see her develop that throughout the journey into the north. I think most filmmakers would be keen on that, too, as it's a way to illustrate a bullied girl developing self-confidence, and that's a common theme in stories.

Col Klink wrote:Jill could cut the prince free along with Eustace instead of Puddleglum. This could show that it's her decision more dramatically than having her just watch. As long as Puddleglum gives his speech about them having to do it, I'd be OK with him not actually being one of the ones to cut the rope.


I don't think I would like Jill cutting the cords instead of Puddleglum (it would make him look bad, letting two kids free a madman while he stands away at a safer distance!), but I suppose she could help. Still, it would really frustrate me if the filmmakers try to scrub all traces of chivalry towards women in the Chronicles for fear of being accused of sexism.
Image
Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad
#VoteNarnia in The Great American Read
User avatar
The Rose-Tree Dryad
Moderator
 
Posts: 3905
Joined: Aug 21, 2010
Location: A secret garden
Gender: Female

Re: Jill the Incompetent Hero? (Spoilers)

Postby Col Klink » Sep 23, 2018 3:54 pm

When I think of heroic moments for Jill, her struggle to say Aslan during the Witch's enchantment springs to mind. I really hope they manage to convey just how difficult it was for her to speak that name if/when the story is adapted to film


Yeah, that's something that's going to be really hard to capture cinematically.

I also remember Jill going into the stable in Underland when the horses were frightened and stamping about. I love horses and have spent time around them, and I still would have been a little leery of trying to calm them down in that situation, but Jill does it without a second thought. Given how important Snowflake and Coalblack were in their escape from Underland, Jill deserves credit for her horsemanship. I wouldn't be surprised if they play this up a bit in a film adaptation.


That was definitely really brave but I feel like that scene will be speedier in a movie or Netflix version to tighten the pacing. Maybe it'll be off screen. Just so people know, I'm not saying that Jill has no admirable qualities in The Silver Chair. There just isn't really a moment where you think, "wow, it's a good thing Jill was there!" Like remembering to say Aslan in the scene you mentioned. That was a good thing to do but it didn't really accomplish much, did it?


Lewis says she was a Guide in England and could navigate very well by the stars, and that she remembered the Narnian constellations from her previous journey in Narnia. When Jill arrives in Narnia in SC, I don't get the sense that she has yet acquired these skills, but clearly she had aptitude for scouting that far exceeded most people and we could see her develop that throughout the journey into the north. I think most filmmakers would be keen on that, too, as it's a way to illustrate a bullied girl developing self-confidence, and that's a common theme in stories.


I suppose it would good to show that so it doesn't come out of nowhere in The Last Battle. But I'm not sure how it could be worked into the plot.

I don't think I would like Jill cutting the cords instead of Puddleglum (it would make him look bad, letting two kids free a madman while he stands away at a safer distance!), but I suppose she could help.


I hadn't thought of that. LOL. FWIW, I never got the impression that Eustace and Puddleglum were trying to protect Jill. I assumed that their swords were better than her knife for cutting the cords. (Though when you think about it, a knife would be a better shape for cutting.) I guess what I was thinking of was a visual way to show Jill's character development. After messing up the signs up until then, she's finally following them.
Col Klink
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Aug 10, 2018
Gender: Male


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests