The Last Battle

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The Last Battle

Postby truthherald2011 » Feb 02, 2014 7:37 pm

So, what do you think the chances are of their making a film based on The Last Battle? Who all here would be interested in such an idea---and, who in your opinion would make a good cast?
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Re: The Last Battle

Postby Son of Tash » Feb 03, 2014 4:54 am

i have been waiting the creation of last battle all my life. If SC is successful it will likely come true. But we don t know if it will be made before Magician s Nephew or after. I think Tirian should be someone very talented actor but noone in particular comes in my mind.
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Re: The Last Battle

Postby Thunder-Fist » Feb 03, 2014 3:40 pm

The Last Battle could make a fantastic film. It is one of the most cinematic of the books. It would be a treat to direct that adaptation (other than perhaps the part in Aslan's country, that would be extremely difficult and few would ever be satisfied). The bulk of the story would actually suit film medium very well and make for an amazingly powerful visual tale. I have no ideas for cast, unfortunately (I've never been good at that), but it inspires a very vivid visual style. Sadly, the likelihood of it getting adapted to film is entirely dependent of profitability. Some really rich people have to decide that paying for it would make them even richer. So it all depends on the performance of The Silver Chair and the hypothetical subsequent films.
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Re: The Last Battle

Postby jewel » Feb 05, 2014 3:09 pm

This could possibly be the greatest Narnia film yet. Sure look forward to it. The whole story is alone amazing, not to mention the relationship of the characters is wonderful. It being, one of my favorite books, could certainly be one of my favorite movies. :D Just don't make it like The Hobbit. :(
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Re: The Last Battle

Postby Impending Doom » Feb 06, 2014 8:45 am

LB is one of the more difficult books in the series to adapt. I don't know what they will do if they make it that far. But it could be a tremendous film.
The massacre at Cair Paravel would be cool to see.
And the last last third of the book is going to be VERY hard to put on film.
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Re: The Last Battle

Postby narnia fan 7 » Mar 11, 2014 1:42 pm

I have always thought that The Last Battle would make a excellent film, but I have always wondered how they would do things at the end like Father Time putting out the sun or them running up the waterfall rally most of the stuff that happens after they go through the stable door would be hard to visualize.
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Re: The Last Battle

Postby PhelanVelvel » May 05, 2014 9:52 pm

I would love to see it adapted, as I love all the books in the series, but something will have to be done to make the final part of the book work in a cinematic sense. I personally found the ending of The Last Battle anti-climactic and woefully saccharine. Sure, at the end of a film concerned with war, hardship, and doom, a happy ending wouldn't be amiss. But I can't see the whole "This is the real Narnia, now we will dance around joyously forever, by the way Susan isn't here" thing working out.

If they make it seem like an opportunity for new adventures, I can see the "real Narnia" concept working, but frankly, the "real Narnia" to me is the one I grew to know and love, not the one of "la la la, no more conflict forever, endless paradise!"

I don't know. Like I said, it's definitely nice to end The Last Battle with a happy ending, but the canon ending really begs the question of "now what?" Not all of us are content with the concept of a place where no conflict ever takes place. In fact, it seems like a punishment. No more battles, no more adventures, no more reason to hope through despair. I think you need darkness and light for a world to be complete. This is an aspect where I won't mind if they change it from how it is in the book, but I don't know how they could change it to make it not just come across as a forceful heaven allegory, while still remaining true to the source material.
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Re: The Last Battle

Postby King_Erlian » May 06, 2014 6:57 am

PhelanVelvel makes an excellent point. How do you make the ending of LB without making it saccharine? Aslan tells the others that in Earthly/Shadowlands terms, they have died and gone to Heaven. The problem is that you can't have conflict and strife in Heaven because if you did, it wouldn't be Heaven - it would be another reality maybe. Would it mean the film of LB showing them moving through increasingly "better" realities on the way to Paradise (going "further up and further in")?
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Re: The Last Battle

Postby Skilletdude » May 06, 2014 11:19 am

PhelanVelvel wrote:Not all of us are content with the concept of a place where no conflict ever takes place. In fact, it seems like a punishment. No more battles, no more adventures, no more reason to hope through despair. I think you need darkness and light for a world to be complete.

I can see your point. But in contrast, I think the idea of loneliness, corruption, sorrow and death never having an end, except maybe in nothingness, is the real punishment.

I would be disappointed, and actually very sad, if the film concluded with an "almost paradise" ending, where darkness is still a threat to the characters. LB as a book has an apocalyptic tone, a finality. To change the ending to please wider audiences would not only be detrimental to the story (and to the entire series), it would greatly undermine a foundational belief Lewis held to, one that acts as the denouement to his Narnian world.

If a film company doesn't have the guts to stick to Lewis' vision (like we saw in VDT), I'd rather never see another Narnia film brought to the screen.
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Re: The Last Battle

Postby PhelanVelvel » May 06, 2014 12:37 pm

Skilletdude wrote:
PhelanVelvel wrote:Not all of us are content with the concept of a place where no conflict ever takes place. In fact, it seems like a punishment. No more battles, no more adventures, no more reason to hope through despair. I think you need darkness and light for a world to be complete.

I can see your point. But in contrast, I think the idea of loneliness, corruption, sorrow and death never having an end, except maybe in nothingness, is the real punishment.

I would be disappointed, and actually very sad, if the film concluded with an "almost paradise" ending, where darkness is still a threat to the characters. LB as a book has an apocalyptic tone, a finality. To change the ending to please wider audiences would not only be detrimental to the story (and to the entire series), it would greatly undermine a foundational belief Lewis held to, one that acts as the denouement to his Narnian world.

If a film company doesn't have the guts to stick to Lewis' vision (like we saw in VDT), I'd rather never see another Narnia film brought to the screen.


Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want them to change Lewis' vision itself, just the details that execute it. I didn't mean for my post to come off quite like that, because I do love these stories and I don't want to give the impression that a film-maker should invent his own vision of Narnia. I definitely don't want there to be a threat of some sort at the end, because it is meant to be a happy ending, and rightfully it should be, after the turmoil which occurs over the rest of the story. I just can see a seriously daunting challenge in how to put The Last Battle on screen in a way that stays true to Lewis while not ruining the film by making the ending so happy that it comes across as anti-climactic. It's not that I want to please wider audiences, because I think the books themselves are already very successful in reaching lovers of fantasy.

The idea of heaven, paradise, nirvana, and other related ideas which transcend ordinary mortal existence are indeed very intriguing--as ideas. But I can't really see how you could do something like that justice when it's being made for mortal eyes, if you see what I mean. When reading The Last Battle, I started to be interested by the idea of a hyper-reality, but the way Lewis ends it is very abstract and I found it almost abrupt, as if he snuffed out the existence of our favourite individuals characters and melted them all down into a singularity of goodness. That might have been his vision, but it left me feeling unsatisfied, and I know I'm not the only one who felt that way. I don't want to challenge Lewis' vision, because I want to respect it, but for me, personally, I don't know how they could make an ending that won't come off as a plain "died and gone to heaven" ending. I don't think he intended it to come off as bland, but in a movie format, it really might.

Maybe my tl;dr point here is that yes, it should be a happy ending, and it wouldn't be true to the books if there was still a threat lingering somehow. But at the same time, how would you capture such an abstract idea and make it work as the ending to a film which effectively ends all adventures (as we know them) in a world we've come to love?

My only real idea that could possibly help make it work would be to really play up the aspect that they are transcending a former reality, about to begin a journey greater than any they've had before, without dragging it out too long for the viewer to be bored by it. (Kind of like what King_Erlian said.)
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Re: The Last Battle

Postby Skilletdude » May 06, 2014 1:17 pm

PhelanVelvel wrote: I don't know how they could make an ending that won't come off as a plain "died and gone to heaven" ending.

I always thought it would be great if the filmmakers showed a dramatic, and yet reflective scene with Susan once she knew what had happened to her family. In a way, I don't think her story arc really has a conclusion in LB, at least not in my mind. Just including an element like this would make the ending more dynamic and complex.
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Re: The Last Battle

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » May 06, 2014 1:48 pm

Very interesting discussion! :ymapplause:

I have to say, I don't envy the director of The Last Battle, primarily because of the scenes in Aslan's Country. They are going to be a real challenge. I really don't know how they are going to do it, but I wish them the best of luck, because I've always loved those chapters.

Some of my favorite lines in the entire Narnia series are the final few in The Last Battle, which describe the concept of "further up and further in." The future that our heroes are anticipating isn't one of eternal stagnation, but rather a journey on the currents of an infinite whirlpool that take you deeper and deeper into an infinitely improving existence.

It's a bit difficult to wrap your head around (or at least, it is for me ;))), but it's a fascinating perspective on the concept of an eternal afterlife. I really hope they can capture the idea effectively in the film.

PhelanVelvel wrote:I don't know. Like I said, it's definitely nice to end The Last Battle with a happy ending, but the canon ending really begs the question of "now what?" Not all of us are content with the concept of a place where no conflict ever takes place. In fact, it seems like a punishment. No more battles, no more adventures, no more reason to hope through despair.


Something I think that is worth remembering is the scene at the end of The Silver Chair when Caspian has been brought back to life in Aslan's Country and he says that he's always desired a glimpse of Eustace and Jill's world. He asks Aslan if it's wrong of him to want that—and then Aslan replies that Caspian cannot want wrong things anymore, and that Caspian shall see their world for five minutes of their time, because it will take no longer than that for the prince to "set things right there."

Now, this may have been an extremely unusual situation, but I don't know if we can assume that from this scene alone unless there's some sort of line in The Last Battle that I'm forgetting about which indicates that none of them ever left Aslan's Country or something. It's interesting to me that Caspian desired to go on an adventure in their world, even after he was in Aslan's Country, and that this was okay. Most of all, I think it's interesting that Aslan had a specific purpose for this adventure as well. (To teach the bullies a lesson and ultimately bring down that horrid, horrid school.)

I have a feeling that there was still lots of good work for the Friends of Narnia to do and many adventures for them to embark upon after they had entered Aslan's Country... and perhaps even enemies left for them to slay in the Shadowlands, as we see with Prince Caspian and the bullies at Experiment House. Who knows?

Skilletdude wrote:I always thought it would be great if the filmmakers showed a dramatic, and yet reflective scene with Susan once she knew what had happened to her family. In a way, I don't think her story arc really has a conclusion in LB, at least not in my mind. Just including an element like this would make the ending more dynamic and complex.


I'd like to see that as well; I think it could be a very powerful scene. When you think about what happens to Susan... it's so tragic. In a single day, she lost her mother, her father, her siblings and several family friends. Sometimes I wonder if the reason why they were taken from her in such a manner was because she had stopped appreciating the things in life that really matter, and that was the only way to make her remember. Regardless, it's extremely sad.

Another addition I wouldn't mind is having the characters show some concern for Susan when they realize that they've all died, and that she alone is the survivor of the Pevensie family. Lucy wept for the blindness and deafness of the dwarfs; I can't imagine that she wouldn't weep for her sister.
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Re: The Last Battle

Postby PhelanVelvel » May 06, 2014 2:07 pm

Skilletdude wrote:
PhelanVelvel wrote: I don't know how they could make an ending that won't come off as a plain "died and gone to heaven" ending.

I always thought it would be great if the filmmakers showed a dramatic, and yet reflective scene with Susan once she knew what had happened to her family. In a way, I don't think her story arc really has a conclusion in LB, at least not in my mind. Just including an element like this would make the ending more dynamic and complex.


I agree with that, we definitely need to see something of Susan. It would feel very wrong to write her off and never get some resolution as to what is going on in her mind. While I do think that Susan's vanity/materialism is a negative quality, I can't abide with thinking that doomed her to never finding the true happiness which Lucy found. I think people interpret the ending incorrectly when they assume that Susan can never make it to the same place the others have. It's not as if she's committed some horrible crime, she just stopped believing in Narnia, so didn't attend the Narnia-related meeting.

I personally believe she had the choice of going on to live a good life and ultimately making it to the "real Narnia" regardless, but I know others might disagree with me. I'd appreciate if the film-makers developed it much more than "Oh, Susan's being a brat...but let's not worry about her, because at least we're all happy." At least in my opinion, that's all she was really guilty of. Maybe she did believe in Narnia deep down, the way she believed that Lucy saw Aslan in Prince Caspian, but didn't want to admit it.

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:I have a feeling that there was still lots of good work for the Friends of Narnia to do and many adventures for them to embark upon after they had entered Aslan's Country... and perhaps even enemies left for them to slay in the Shadowlands, as we see with Prince Caspian and the bullies at Experiment House. Who knows?


I honestly never thought of that before. o___o I think you just completely changed my thoughts about the ending of The Last Battle forever. That idea has a lot of potential and helps me come to terms with the way the series ended much better. I'm sure there are people out there who will say "No, that's wrong, you'll sit there being happy and you'll like it!", lol. But you make a good point about The Silver Chair...it's not as though Aslan told Caspian he shouldn't want to see their world, and the fact that Caspian still had hopes/dreams while in Aslan's Country is comforting. At least I know that his personality wasn't magically erased by how great everything was. :P

I know people might throw things at me for this, but what if they added that idea of other worlds still needing help into the equation of the film? I think it sounds very cool.
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Re: The Last Battle

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » May 06, 2014 11:17 pm

PhelanVelvel wrote:While I do think that Susan's vanity/materialism is a negative quality, I can't abide with thinking that doomed her to never finding the true happiness which Lucy found. I think people interpret the ending incorrectly when they assume that Susan can never make it to the same place the others have. It's not as if she's committed some horrible crime, she just stopped believing in Narnia, so didn't attend the Narnia-related meeting.


I often tend to go back to the "Once a king or queen in Narnia, always a king or queen" line when I wonder what happened to Susan Pevensie. It's very hard to think that Queen Susan the Gentle—the girl who comforted Aslan and walked with him on the way to the Stone Table on that fateful night, who wept over his body and beheld his resurrection—will not find her way home someday. In many ways, it seems that the "real Narnia" in Aslan's Country could not be the complete "real Narnia" without the presence of Susan the Gentle.

PhelanVelvel wrote:I honestly never thought of that before. o___o I think you just completely changed my thoughts about the ending of The Last Battle forever. That idea has a lot of potential and helps me come to terms with the way the series ended much better. I'm sure there are people out there who will say "No, that's wrong, you'll sit there being happy and you'll like it!", lol.


1) Wow, that's really cool! Glad I could help. :D

2) That last bit made me laugh. :))

PhelanVelvel wrote:I know people might throw things at me for this, but what if they added that idea of other worlds still needing help into the equation of the film? I think it sounds very cool.


Hmmm... I don't think I would mind as long as it seemed faithful to what Lewis wrote. I'm not exactly sure how they'd go about it, though. :-?

I've heard people suggest that the Wood Between the Worlds might be located somewhere in Aslan's Country, though I don't know if that's correct. It's certainly a place of powerful magic and goodness, however, so it seems to logically follow that it's connected with Aslan and/or the Emperor Beyond the Sea on some level.

At any rate, if it is located somewhere in the infinity of Aslan's Country... at the end of the film, when Aslan or a narrator could be speaking those final lines from The Last Battle (I would love for those to be included in the film verbatim!), you could potentially have the camera pan very quickly across the varying terrains of the realm. (With beautifully swelling music, please!) This would showcase the awe-inspiring immensity of the Country and indicate the scope of the adventures to come. Among these sights, we would catch a glimpse of the Wood Between the Worlds and its watery portals. This could hint that some of those upcoming chapters in the infinite, unfolding story might have scenes in the Shadowlands, but it would be such a subtle hint, it hopefully wouldn't cause too much trouble or be too much of a change.

That's just a random, late-night thought, though. You guys will have to take it with a grain of salt. ;))
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Re: The Last Battle

Postby PhelanVelvel » May 07, 2014 1:12 am

I like it! Definitely subtle enough. I hadn't thought of the Wood Between the Worlds perhaps being somewhere in Aslan's Country, but it does make sense. Where else would gateways to all the worlds be located? They'd probably be safest there, and if Aslan's Country is the hub upon which all the other worlds are rooted, I'd imagine that the magic in the rings would probably take you to the centre of it all.

I don't think it'd ruffle too many feathers to do something like that, it definitely doesn't go against the book, just kind of expands upon some ideas. It's really interesting, because I've never thought about the interactions at the end of the Silver Chair that way before. I think I always subconsciously assumed that the state Caspian had reached after his death, and the state of everyone at the end of The Last Battle, were two different things. But essentially, they must be the same. Maybe it was just the style of writing at the end of LB that threw me off. I think there are really only a few sentences, even, that troubled me.

"And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. ...All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read; which goes on forever; in which every chapter is better than the one before."

Those two sentences were a let-down for me. At that point I really did feel like I was being slapped in the face with a metaphor. (Sorry Rose, I know you just said that you loved them and want them to be included in the film version! :P) I'm not really sure how I would have liked him to word it, but I felt like he was trying too hard to make it this big metaphysical thing, and he was saying Aslan wasn't a lion anymore, and that their adventures in Narnia were "just the cover and title page", i.e. less important, and it more or less freaked me out. I totally understand wanting to paint a picture of transcending reality, but the way he wrote it made me feel like I was having Narnia taken away from me. Totally opposite reaction from many of you, I'm sure, but this ending has always troubled me. Now that I'm seeing it in a new light, I can rest much easier knowing that Caspian at the end of The Silver Chair also reached that state of enlightenment, but didn't turn into some kind of zombie.

Oh, and...just to stir the pot a little more...do you think the fact that Susan doesn't come to Aslan's Country with the others because she "stopped believing" and the "blind dwarves" who refuse to see Aslan will be interpreted as anti-agnostic/atheist? People have definitely interpreted the content of LB that way before, but I'm imagining how one would put Susan's fate/the dwarves on screen without it alienating people. I think the only reason it didn't alienate me was because I was like, well, if I met Aslan and went through a magical wardrobe, obviously I'd believe in those things, lol. As I've said before, this book is my least favourite only because of how heavy-handed I think he got with it, and I feel like at least for this book he pushed it from "supposal" into straight-up allegory. I say this because, in the six other books, I never got the feeling that it mattered what anyone's religion was; as long as they were pure of heart, Aslan would welcome them. In The Last Battle, unfortunately, it comes off as "Oh...you don't 'believe'...you can't join us because you're too blind and stupid and petty." I've read commentary from some people who say that Shift was Lewis' way of saying that evolution is false, though according to the few quotations Lewis seemed to have made on the subject, I'm not sure that's so believable.

Tricky issues, here, people, to be dealt with in the film. It's not a matter of pandering to a wider audience, but not alienating viewers and making them feel they can't love Narnia because they don't share the author's religious beliefs. No, I don't want them to change the book, but I would like for them to present the content tactfully, in a way that does not suggest "Aslan's Country is only for Christians and people who worshiped some other god but had no knowledge of Christianity."

P.S., I said I was stirring the pot...don't be angry at me! I just can't think about a film adaptation of The Last Battle without also thinking of these issues. I've seen them brought up a lot when reading reviews/commentary on the book, some even go so far as to just straight up call Susan "the atheist". The same sources that I'm reading will come up if a potential movie-goer Googles The Last Battle in wanting to learn more about the book beforehand. They may even read it first if it's hyped enough.
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Re: The Last Battle

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » May 07, 2014 3:42 pm

All right; mile-long post down below. You have been warned, people. ;))

PhelanVelvel wrote:"And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. ...All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read; which goes on forever; in which every chapter is better than the one before."

Those two sentences were a let-down for me. At that point I really did feel like I was being slapped in the face with a metaphor. (Sorry Rose, I know you just said that you loved them and want them to be included in the film version! :P) I'm not really sure how I would have liked him to word it, but I felt like he was trying too hard to make it this big metaphysical thing, and he was saying Aslan wasn't a lion anymore, and that their adventures in Narnia were "just the cover and title page", i.e. less important, and it more or less freaked me out. I totally understand wanting to paint a picture of transcending reality, but the way he wrote it made me feel like I was having Narnia taken away from me. Totally opposite reaction from many of you, I'm sure, but this ending has always troubled me.


On the one hand, I can see how you'd feel like that, especially because of the bit about Aslan no longer looking like a lion—though Aslan's always going to be Aslan no matter what he looks like, I reckon. Even within the Narnia series, he didn't always appear as a Lion—he appeared as a Lamb at the end of VDT. I think that's what I thought he was turning into the first time I read The Last Battle, though we can't ever know for sure on that.

On the other hand, though, if we're looking at the last metaphor that compared the past and future to a book... doesn't the title and cover of a book usually tell us something about what's inside the book? (Unless there's been a mishap with the book manufacturer, I suppose. ;))) They're definitely not distinct from one another. (Or at least, they shouldn't be. Not a fan of titles and covers that seem like not a bit of thought was put into them. :P)

It's the title and the cover that are supposed to reign in the future reader; the first inkling of the wonder to come. The first partial revelation about what the book is about—seeing, but seeing in a glass dimly, if you will. It's not really an insignificant thing at all, and in this case, I'd say that it's not such a bad thing that we judge books by their covers. ;))

PhelanVelvel wrote:Oh, and...just to stir the pot a little more...do you think the fact that Susan doesn't come to Aslan's Country with the others because she "stopped believing" and the "blind Dwarfs" who refuse to see Aslan will be interpreted as anti-agnostic/atheist? People have definitely interpreted the content of LB that way before, but I'm imagining how one would put Susan's fate/the Dwarfs on screen without it alienating people.


I think that's probably a simplistic view of what is happening with Susan and the Dwarfs, and I don't think it makes sense to equate it with agnosticism or atheism. For instance, if we're to believe that the sole reason why Susan wasn't brought to Aslan's Country with the others was because she had "stopped believing in Narnia" ... well, she's not the only character in the series who has done that, at least for a time.

Jill, Eustace, Puddleglum and Rilian all "stopped believing in Narnia" and even Aslan himself when they were down in Underland and the Green Witch was sowing doubt in their hearts. It was Puddleglum's faithfulness to Aslan that saved them all, and yet in his "magnum opus" monologue, he says that he's on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it, and that he's going to live as much like a Narnian as he can even if there isn't any Narnia.

He had all but lost hope—stopped believing in the sense that we usually think of the word—but he had still kept the faith. (Indeed, I think it's a good deal more faithful to live your life by what someone said and desired of you than it is to merely believe that they exist.)

Of course, being mentally trapped in Underland isn't a good place to be at all and everyone should try their hardest to break free of it, but I don't think that it was doubt or lack of belief alone that estranged Susan and the Dwarfs from Aslan's glory.

In the case of former, I think we can assume that Aslan told both Susan and Peter the same thing he told Lucy and Edmund at the end of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader—"There I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name."

If Susan, disillusioned and no longer trusting her own memory and senses, had said, "I don't know how you all can go on believing in our adventures in Narnia, or even in Aslan. That all feels like a dream now. But I will try to go on following Aslan—I will try to go on looking for him in our world, even if I don't know what to believe anymore," I rather think she would have been in Aslan's Country with the others. Like Puddleglum, she would have still been longing for the truth, but doubt had gotten in the way.

But no, in The Last Battle, she calls their Narnian adventures just "funny games" and seems to scoff at the Friends of Narnia for still caring about them, and is "interested in nothing nowadays except nylons and lipstick and invitations." She doesn't care about the feelings of the others. She's stopped looking for Aslan in her own world and stopped caring about what he asked of her. Her vanity and materialism has become more and more important to her until it is, for all intents and purposes, an idol. Susan's love for this idol was standing in between her and the truth; she loved it more than she loved the truth, and wouldn't give it up. I think that's probably why she couldn't go to Aslan's Country. She wasn't ready for it; she couldn't come home to Aslan until she had let go of her idol and looked to him instead.

Now, in the case of the Dwarfs...

In chapter seven of The Last Battle, when we hope that the Dwarfs will side with our heroes, we find instead that they aren't interested in anything but looking out for themselves. "We're on our own now. No more Aslan, no more Kings, no more silly stories about other worlds. The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs." They then join the battle in chapter eleven, killing indiscriminately because they want Narnia to belong to Dwarfs alone.

In chapter thirteen, we see the Dwarfs once more, completely blind to reality and to the presence of Aslan. Again, they reiterate, "The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs," but truly, they're really only for the Dwarf, as their free-for-all over the stable food plainly illustrates. Aslan is reaching out to them, but they are so caught up in themselves, they will not reach out to Aslan.

To sum it all up: I don't think what happens to Susan and the Dwarfs is about atheism or agnosticism per se. I think it's about loving yourself and your own desires more than you love Aslan and other people, and clinging to one's sins and self-love to the exclusion of everything else. It's about refusing to look up and extend your hand even when the truth is standing right in front of you, reaching out to you, willing you to see and hear and understand.

Of course, there are atheists and agnostics that are self-serving people and who might find themselves in the same position as the Dwarfs if they reject love and truth, but goodness knows there are such self-serving people who claim the label of "Christian" as well.

Honestly, I'm not sure how they could present Susan and the Dwarfs without at least some people going away with from the film with the idea that it's a sort of commentary on atheism or agnosticism. Unfortunately, people (Christians included!) often have so many pre-conceived ideas about Christianity and what it all means. These notions significantly affect how we perceive material that's labeled as "Christian" and we can sometimes miss the point because we're too quick to view something from the perspective of a particular narrative.

PhelanVelvel wrote:As I've said before, this book is my least favourite only because of how heavy-handed I think he got with it, and I feel like at least for this book he pushed it from "supposal" into straight-up allegory. I say this because, in the six other books, I never got the feeling that it mattered what anyone's religion was; as long as they were pure of heart, Aslan would welcome them. In The Last Battle, unfortunately, it comes off as "Oh...you don't 'believe'...you can't join us because you're too blind and stupid and petty."


I don't really know if pure of heart is the right term to describe the followers of Aslan—more like willing to be made pure, I'd say. In the chapter entitled Night Falls on Narnia, we see that one of the the Dwarfs who had helped to shoot the Talking Horses was among those who entered Aslan's Country. He certainly wasn't pure of heart! I can only guess that he was willing to turn away from himself, repent for what he had done, and reach for Aslan.

I don't think that Emeth was perfect, either, but all his life he had longed for the truth in earnest, and he freely entered the stable in search of it even though he knew that he might lose his own life at the hands of Tash. He loved the truth more than he loved himself, and he was at last given his heart's desire. He hadn't had the "right" religion, either, and even said that the name of Aslan had been hateful to him. Yet all of this was passed over because he looked on the Lion and loved him.

These scenes with Emeth are some of my favorite in The Last Battle, and I really hope that the filmmakers do them justice. I think that the scenes do a very good job illustrating that it isn't what you have done or what you have believed in the past, but what you do now and what you will believe when you are standing face to face with the truth.

PhelanVelvel wrote:I've read commentary from some people who say that Shift was Lewis' way of saying that evolution is false, though according to the few quotations Lewis seemed to have made on the subject, I'm not sure that's so believable.


I'm honestly not familiar with Lewis's beliefs regarding evolution. :-? Does anyone know anything about that? Regardless, I think that anyone who assumes that Shift is just Lewis making some sort of jab at evolutionary theory is probably missing a lot of the complexity of the character.

PhelanVelvel wrote:P.S., I said I was stirring the pot...don't be angry at me! I just can't think about a film adaptation of The Last Battle without also thinking of these issues.


Goodness no! Don't worry about bothering me. ;)) I love discussing this sort of thing! :) Hope this rambling monster of a post makes at least a little bit of sense to someone other than myself. :P
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