The Backstory of the LotGK

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The Backstory of the LotGK

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Jul 01, 2014 1:02 pm

The Lady of the Green Kirtle is by far one of the most mysterious characters in the entire Narnia series, and I think that audiences are going to be pretty curious about her. If the filmmakers are also anticipating that curiosity, then I think that there's reason to wonder whether or not they might try to explore her backstory and offer more of an explanation regarding who she is and where she came from.

In The Silver Chair, a number of different characters give us their opinions about origins of the Green Witch.

Chapter 4, "The Parliament of Owls" wrote:"But we don't think she killed the Prince," said Glimfeather, "because no bones—"

"We know she didn't," said Scrubb. "Aslan told Pole he was still alive somwhere."

"That almost makes it worse," said the oldest owl. "It means she has some use for him, and some deep scheme against Narnia. Long, long ago, at the very beginning, a White Witch came out of the North and bound our land in snow an dice for a hundred years. And we think this may be some of the same crew."

Chapter 10, "Travels Without the Sun" wrote:"And it seems to me, Sir," answered Puddleglum, "that this Lady of yours must be a long liver, too, if she remembers the verse as it was when they first cut it."

"Very shrewd, Frog-face," said the Knight, clapping Puddleglum on the shoulder and laughing again. "And you have hit the truth. She is of divine race, and knows neither age nor death. (...)

Chapter 15, "The Disappearance of Jill" wrote:And while they slept Prince Rilian was talking over the whole adventure with the older and wiser Beasts and Dwarfs. And now they all saw what it meant; how a wicked Witch (doubtless the same kind as that White Witch who had brought the Great Winter on Narnia long ago) had contrived the whole thing, first killing Rilian's mother and enchanting Rilian himself. And they saw how she had dug right under Narnia and was going to break out and rule it through Rilian: and how he had never dreamed that the country of which she would make him king (king in name, but really her slave) was his own country. And from the children's part of the story they saw how she was in league and friendship with the dangerous giants of Harfang. "And the lesson of it all is, your Highness," said the oldest Dwarf, "that those Northern Witches always mean the same thing, but in every age they have a different plan for getting it."


I think that a lot of Narnia fans (myself included) have a tendency to discount what the characters are saying here, given what we know about The Magician's Nephew. Jadis was the last of her race, and not a native of the Narnian universe at all. If there's other individuals belonging to the same group, then it would seem to indicate that she was the progenitor of another race in Narnia, and that seems a bit weird. It may also be perpetuating the idea that Jadis and the LotGK are the same person. (Something I strongly disagree with, but I'll get into that on another thread.)

Anyway, we often question the reliability of these quotes, but aside from what Rilian says in the tenth chapter (the enchantment casts doubt on his credibility), Lewis seems to make a point of indicating that these characters are wise. (The oldest owl, the older and wiser Beasts and Dwarfs, the oldest Dwarf.) I'm inclined to believe that these passages were intended as exposition regarding the origins of the Lady of the Green Kirtle, not just merely their best guesses or opinions.

The reason I've come to this conclusion is because Lewis didn't really plan out the Chronicles of Narnia beforehand. When responding to a letter from a fan who asked about the proper reading order, Lewis wrote, "When I wrote The Lion I did not know I was going to write any more. Then I wrote P. Caspian as a sequel and still didn't think there would be any more, and when I had done The Voyage I felt quite sure it would be the last, but I found I was wrong."

Prompted by a question from Roger Lancelyn Green, Lewis had been attempting to write the book that would become The Magician's Nephew since fairly soon after LWW's publication, but had significant trouble with the book and did not finish it until after he had completed The Last Battle. We have no idea when Lewis came up with the idea that Jadis was the last of her race and from another world, but based on the way Lewis wrote about "those Northern Witches" in The Silver Chair, it seems to me that it probably wasn't until later.

For these reasons, and also because they share attributes such as beauty and height, I've come to view the Lady of the Green Kirtle as someone who probably belonged to the same race as Jadis, at least at the time when Lewis wrote The Silver Chair. It's possible that she was originally meant to be a sister, also born of Lilith and a giant. (I'm guessing the giant was one of the original inhabitants of the ruined city.) We do see in The Magician's Nephew that Jadis warred with a bloodthirsty sister over control of Charn before Jadis killed her and everyone else, so it's possible the original idea was reworked for that book. Like the Lady of the Green Kirtle, Jadis's late sister desired to become ruler of a kingdom by conquest.

Anyway, enough with my speculation; let's cut to the chase...

How do you think the Lady of the Green Kirtle's backstory should be presented in the film adaptation of The Silver Chair? Should the filmmakers try to explain who she is and where she came from? If they do, should they keep an eye towards the eventual adaptation of The Magician's Nephew and try to sidestep possible contradictions or confusions between the two films? Or should they just focus on the backstory that the characters offered in the The Silver Chair and leave it at that, without trying to "solve" the mystery? Would it be better to just keep her origins obscure, and would it be reasonable to expect the filmmakers to go along with that?
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Re: The Backstory of the LotGK

Postby Meltintalle » Jul 02, 2014 8:46 am

Now, I've always assumed that we'd go with 'the book explanation' which is that the Lady of the Green Kirtle exists and has an underground kingdom and she wants to conquer Narnia and the handful of theories about who she is and leave the why up to one's imagination.

I'm very unimaginative that way. :p

However, if the filmmakers wanted to go the route of having her be related to Jadis (how the (third because that's a good fairy tale number) sister gets to Narnia can be handwaved as some sort of accident while she's researching the Deplorable Word) and then have the style underground be echoed later in Magician's Nephew... I think I'd be okay with that. Of course, that would require forethought and planning.
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Re: The Backstory of the LotGK

Postby Ryadian » Jul 02, 2014 12:02 pm

Hmm, that is an interesting theory about why The Silver Chair makes those references, despite what The Magician's Nephew tells us about her. Personally, my interpretation of those statements was that the Lady of the Green Kirtle was the same kind of person--a woman who was willing to do whatever it took to gain power, who was also well-versed in magic. I don't interpret that as inherently meaning that the Lady of the Green Kirtle was related to the White Witch, or even having ever met her--though, of course, that doesn't mean that she wasn't.

However, given both a) the various theories considering the LotGK's origin and b) the fact that the book only presents the opinions/theories of the characters, rather than stating facts... personally, I think the movie should go the same way. I think her origins should be kept ambiguous--perhaps drop hints that could be interpreted one way or another, or leave certain possibilities open, but I don't think they should really try to give a definitive answer. I think she is an effective villain without a clear origin--in fact, the mysteries about her make her all the more intriguing.
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Re: The Backstory of the LotGK

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jul 03, 2014 11:52 pm

Rose-tree Dryad wrote:I think that a lot of Narnia fans (myself included) have a tendency to discount what the characters are saying here, given what we know about The Magician's Nephew. Jadis was the last of her race, and not a native of the Narnian universe at all. If there's other individuals belonging to the same group, then it would seem to indicate that she was the progenitor of another race in Narnia, and that seems a bit weird. It may also be perpetuating the idea that Jadis and the LotGK are the same person. (Something I strongly disagree with, but I'll get into that on another thread.)


Yes we should go through what the characters say about LOTGK in Silver Chair. And though I agree with you that LOTGK was nothing to do with Jadis, I can also agree with you about how they could be confused.

But is Jadis the only one of "divine race" we meet in the series? Hardly, when Aslan is her nemesis. What about all those stars we meet, notably in VDT, some of whom are sent to Narnia's world for disciplinary purposes, eg Coriakin. I've also seen on the Internet theories she could be related to Ramandu's Daughter. That is almost possible. It is even probable that Ramandu's Daughter, the only one else who didn't have a proper name, apart from being Caspian's Queen, knew something about this snake and was trying to tell people but never reached that point before dying. I'm taking my viewpoint from that Parliament of Owls chapter where the owls are recounting how Caspian's Queen died.

And in Magician's Nephew we also saw a connection with many worlds at the Wood between the Worlds. For Jadis to have relatives she would have to be able to escape from Narnia, if she was willing to face that Wood again. Or else someone similar to herself would have had to come through to Narnia. Or was LOTGK merely the sort of spiritual relation who admired her example? Frankly, this is my best explanation for LOTGK. Maybe a corrupted dryad or some other of the Narnian spirits. She was a shapeshifter, anyway.
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Re: The Backstory of the LotGK

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Jul 09, 2014 2:07 pm

Meltintalle wrote:However, if the filmmakers wanted to go the route of having her be related to Jadis (how the (third because that's a good fairy tale number) sister gets to Narnia can be handwaved as some sort of accident while she's researching the Deplorable Word) and then have the style underground be echoed later in Magician's Nephew... I think I'd be okay with that. Of course, that would require forethought and planning.


That's an interesting idea! Maybe she was even a relatively good person back in Charn, abstaining from the war between her sisters and researching a way to counteract the Deplorable Word, but failed to save anyone but herself and the grief of everyone else dying drove her mad. (Sort of like Lamia, the serpentine woman in Greek mythology who was a beautiful queen of Libya until jealous Hera murdered her children and the grief of losing them made her go insane and become evil.)

You could also explain the sister's escape from Charn and arrival into Narnia by having her morph into the tiny green snake that is wound around Jadis's arm in the Pauline Baynes illustrations. Considering that The Silver Chair was published two years before The Magician's Nephew and had been written three years before the prequel, it's hard to not to be curious or suspicious about the snake coiled around Jadis's bicep. It appears in several of the drawings and it's a vital shade of green; frankly, it looks alive. It's hard not to connect it with the serpent in The Silver Chair, especially since it seems that the serpent could change size. (It's reasonable to think that it was smaller when it stung Ramandu's Daughter on the wrist than it was when it attacked Rilian at the end, for instance.)

In the past, I've even considered if the LotGK might be the sister that was warring with Jadis... just because her behavior makes me wonder if she was trying to provoke Jadis to say the Deplorable Word. I mean, it seems that she was trying to do just about anything and everything that would make her sister desperate and furious, and a desperate and furious Jadis is a very dangerous woman. Maybe the sister knew something about the effects of the Deplorable Word that Jadis didn't. Wild speculation, though.

Ryadian wrote:However, given both a) the various theories considering the LotGK's origin and b) the fact that the book only presents the opinions/theories of the characters, rather than stating facts... personally, I think the movie should go the same way. I think her origins should be kept ambiguous--perhaps drop hints that could be interpreted one way or another, or leave certain possibilities open, but I don't think they should really try to give a definitive answer. I think she is an effective villain without a clear origin--in fact, the mysteries about her make her all the more intriguing.


I think so, too! The mysteriousness about her origins and even her motives is one of the reasons why she's such an intriguing villain, and I really hope they preserve this aspect of her character in the films. While I wouldn't mind too much if they decided to give her a little bit more of a backstory—and while I wonder if it might be unreasonable to expect the filmmakers to not expand her character—I don't want them to get so caught up with explaining every last thing about her that they take away her mystique.

waggawerewolf27 wrote:But is Jadis the only one of "divine race" we meet in the series? Hardly, when Aslan is her nemesis. What about all those stars we meet, notably in VDT, some of whom are sent to Narnia's world for disciplinary purposes, eg Coriakin. I've also seen on the Internet theories she could be related to Ramandu's Daughter. That is almost possible. It is even probable that Ramandu's Daughter, the only one else who didn't have a proper name, apart from being Caspian's Queen, knew something about this snake and was trying to tell people but never reached that point before dying.


That's a very intriguing theory! For all we know, the Lady of the Green Kirtle could have been a fallen star that had once been part of a serpent-shaped constellation.

waggawerewolf27 wrote:Or was LOTGK merely the sort of spiritual relation who admired her example? Frankly, this is my best explanation for LOTGK. Maybe a corrupted dryad or some other of the Narnian spirits. She was a shapeshifter, anyway.


Hmm, that's an interesting possibility. I'm not sure about the LotGK being a dryad, though; they don't seem to so much be shapeshifters as they are moderately supernatural beings that are bound to and live in a certain tree. At the moment, I can't really think of another character in the Narnia series that shapeshifts. :-?
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Re: The Backstory of the LotGK

Postby Meltintalle » Jul 09, 2014 2:28 pm

Rose wrote:You could also explain the sister's escape from Charn and arrival into Narnia by having her morph into the tiny green snake that is wound around Jadis's arm in the Pauline Baynes illustrations. Considering that The Silver Chair was published two years before The Magician's Nephew and had been written three years before the prequel, it's hard to not to be curious or suspicious about the snake coiled around Jadis's bicep. It appears in several of the drawings and it's a vital shade of green; frankly, it looks alive. It's hard not to connect it with the serpent in The Silver Chair, especially since it seems that the serpent could change size. (It's reasonable to think that it was smaller when it stung Ramandu's Daughter on the wrist than it was when it attacked Rilian at the end, for instance.)
Is it really green in the color illustrations? Huh! How intriguing! It sounds workable the way you describe it, but I can't quite see it being pulled off in film form; it strikes me as more of a ret-con than a deliberate tie-in.

Since we've seen the stars in human form already in VotDT, it makes more sense to me to take that route of explaining her origins. (I can't even remember if it was mentioned that Coriarkin was a star in disgrace, but I could see her having been set to tend Bism and exploiting it instead...)
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Re: The Backstory of the LotGK

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Jul 09, 2014 2:46 pm

Meltintalle wrote:Is it really green in the color illustrations? Huh! How intriguing! It sounds workable the way you describe it, but I can't quite see it being pulled off in film form; it strikes me as more of a ret-con than a deliberate tie-in.


Yep, it's green! Although now I find myself wondering who colored them, and when. (I would assume that Pauline did, but I don't know.)

I'm inclined to think that if Lewis really wanted the snake on Jadis's arm to be a hint of an explanation regarding the LotGK's origins, he would have referenced it in the writing itself, but it's still a very intriguing detail and I wouldn't be surprised if the filmmakers tried to make use of it in some way. However, it would probably necessitate having the Lady of the Green Kirtle's backstory arc extend over both The Silver Chair and The Last Battle. Probably just a lot of hints dropped here and there; a thing that the audience would have to piece together themselves.

Mel wrote:Since we've seen the stars in human form already in VotDT, it makes more sense to me to take that route of explaining her origins. (I can't even remember if it was mentioned that Coriarkin was a star in disgrace, but I could see her having been set to tend Bism and exploiting it instead...)


That's a really cool and plausible idea! I like it. :ymapplause:
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Re: The Backstory of the LotGK

Postby Ryadian » Jul 09, 2014 4:47 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:But is Jadis the only one of "divine race" we meet in the series? Hardly, when Aslan is her nemesis. What about all those stars we meet, notably in VDT, some of whom are sent to Narnia's world for disciplinary purposes, eg Coriakin. I've also seen on the Internet theories she could be related to Ramandu's Daughter. That is almost possible. It is even probable that Ramandu's Daughter, the only one else who didn't have a proper name, apart from being Caspian's Queen, knew something about this snake and was trying to tell people but never reached that point before dying. I'm taking my viewpoint from that Parliament of Owls chapter where the owls are recounting how Caspian's Queen died.


I think this is a really interesting theory! I'd always assumed when I was younger that the point of killing Ramandu's Daughter was just to break up the royal family, while simultaneously giving Rilian a reason to regularly leave the palace and thus be left vulnerable to her manipulations. But it makes sense that there may have been another reason--namely, that she may have known something about the Lady of the Greek Kirtle that she couldn't risk being revealed. Even if the LotGK wasn't a star or related to them, the stars seem to have a greater knowledge/wisdom on some matters than most Narnians, and she may have at least identified her as a witch.

I think having this idea present in the movie--that Ramandu's Daughter/Lilliandil knew something the LotGK killed her to hide--could give them a chance to give her a little more depth. Considering that the movie for VDT gave her such importance to the plot (even if it was mainly for exposition ;) ), it could seem rather abrupt to simply say, "Oh, she was killed by a snake between movies". Reminding us of her star blood and hinting that her last words may have held some explanation, I think, would give her death more "significance", if you know what I mean. Instead of "dropping a bridge" on a character from the last story, there's a clear reason why she would have been targeted.
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Re: The Backstory of the LotGK

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jul 10, 2014 2:52 am

Meltintalle wrote:However, if the filmmakers wanted to go the route of having her be related to Jadis (how the third because that's a good fairy tale number) sister gets to Narnia can be handwaved as some sort of accident while she's researching the Deplorable Word) and then have the style underground be echoed later in Magician's Nephew... I think I'd be okay with that. Of course, that would require forethought and planning.)


This could work, perhaps. Though I prefer not to invent a third sister, even a relatively good third sister, when in the entire series, C.S.Lewis, makes such a point that the villains don't know everything, even when they think they do. Even in Magician's Nephew Jadis found that the powers she took such pride in having in Charn didn't work as well on humans or in London, and dropped off altogether in the Wood between the Worlds. Uncle Andrew's study into the Atlantis dust revealed much but not everything, as Digory Kirk soon realised. Why shouldn't the same apply to the Deplorable Word? You might say that inflicting that word on Charnians and the ebony door in the palace would have the desired effect as related in Magician's Nephew. But the sister might have been protected a little by being of close kin to Jadis, the sayer of the Word. Evidently she could not or would not inflict the Deplorable Word on herself. And we only have Jadis' word for it that everyone except herself was destroyed.

An armring on her left arm might not be noticed overmuch, whilst Jadis was in a magical sleep. Once awake, she'd have little time to notice it was still there. But how did LOTGK survive all that time in Narnia? Did she escape from Jadis and remain hidden until well after the White Witch decided to invade Narnia? What about the centuries after Aslan destroyed her sister, until the human Telmarine monarchy was founded? And what would she have against the Daughter of Ramandu and the very human Caspian X? Born almost at the end of Narnia's history?

We don't ask questions like this, surmising about LOTGK's background in Silver Chair. For some reason LOTGK wanted to have Caspian's Queen out of the way. A mother would protect her son, and try to do something to stop a bad wife's influence. A really good mother would try to alert her son to his duty to his people and try to correct him. But we have seen many historic occasions where that approach hasn't worked at all. LOTGK as Rilian's wife would have just as much power as his mother, and she could have had Rilian's mother destroyed at any time without killing her at the May picnic. This is also why I think that it is more likely that Ramandu's daughter is related to LOTGK than Jadis, who is too far away in the past. A soured relationship, perhaps yet another really deadly sisterly relationship, might be more credible. Maybe simple envy that Ramandu's daughter got all the goodies in life?

Rose-tree Dryad wrote:I'm inclined to think that if Lewis really wanted the snake on Jadis's arm to be a hint of an explanation regarding the LotGK's origins, he would have referenced it in the writing itself, but it's still a very intriguing detail and I wouldn't be surprised if the filmmakers tried to make use of it in some way. However, it would probably necessitate having the Lady of the Green Kirtle's backstory arc extend over both The Silver Chair and The Last Battle. Probably just a lot of hints dropped here and there; a thing that the audience would have to piece together themselves.


No, C.S.Lewis preferred broad brush strokes, not masses of detail. It was one way he differed markedly from Tolkien who would have a different language for the Gnomes of Bism - not Swiss, either. ;) Tolkien would have explained the background of LOTGK the way he explained the background of Wormtongue, Saruman or Sauron, himself. Jack, himself, would have told people to fill in their own details if they saw a story in it. However, a film maker needs to be careful on what details he needs to put in. That green mist didn't do much to help VDT along. Why would a green snake bangle be any better?
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Re: The Backstory of the LotGK

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Jul 16, 2014 12:57 pm

I was intrigued by a theory that glumPuddle put forth in his new video about naming the Lady of the Green Kirtle.

He said that he finds it rather that the Lady of the Green Kirtle, who frequently enchants her victims so they forget who they actually are and where they come from, doesn't have an origins story herself. gP also wondered if giving her a name means giving her a backstory, and if so, what would be a backstory that fits well with the themes of the book? He suggested a backstory relating to the idea that she herself doesn't know who she is and this drives her to do what she does. It's a really interesting idea; I hadn't looked at it that way before.

I also think it's possible that the reason why she tries so hard to make other people forget reality and accept her version of it is because she has so much hatred and shame for the truth, i.e. her having the form of a snake. In making other people believe that she is lovely and worthy of worship and fealty, she's able to believe it herself.

It will be interesting to see if the filmmakers try to make the Lady of the Green Kirtle sympathetic at all. Lamia of Greek Mythology, a figure with whom the LotGK shares many traits, turned into a depraved monster after losing her mind from the grief of her children being murdered. It may be that there's some tragic backstory that caused her to become so adept at rejecting reality and making others do likewise.

waggawerewolf27 wrote:An armring on her left arm might not be noticed overmuch, whilst Jadis was in a magical sleep. Once awake, she'd have little time to notice it was still there. But how did LOTGK survive all that time in Narnia? Did she escape from Jadis and remain hidden until well after the White Witch decided to invade Narnia? What about the centuries after Aslan destroyed her sister, until the human Telmarine monarchy was founded? And what would she have against the Daughter of Ramandu and the very human Caspian X? Born almost at the end of Narnia's history?


All very good questions! I've hypothesized that the reason why the LotGK killed Rillian's mother was because she knew it would make him very vulnerable and much more open to comfort from a lovely stranger. (He went out riding so many days after his mother was murdered; I've often thought that the LotGK didn't appear to him until the moment when he finally broke down and was at his most vulnerable.)

It's also possible that the LotGK, who seemed to value Rilian's "love" on some level (it really would've been better to turn him into a mindless killing machine if her sole interest was in taking over Narnia, methinks) just didn't want another woman in his life. When you look at what the Lady of the Green Kirtle does to Rilian—first murdering his mother, and then enchanting him to invade his own country, and planning for either Trumpkin or his father to die at Rilian's own hand—it seems that she's trying to do everything she can to destroy everything Rilian holds dear until she is the only thing he "loves" that's left. In some ways, if the Witch had actually been able to go through with her invasion, I wouldn't be surprised if Rilian would have so much shame and horror because of what he had done that he would be unable to face it. He would accept the LotGK's version of reality instead and slip away into her world forever.

I don't know if that was the LotGK's reason for invading Narnia, but since we're never really told why she wanted to take over, we can only speculate. If she did particularly want Rilian as her king/husband/sycophant, then this might explain why she didn't have designs on Narnia until he came along and put the idea in her head to become his queen. I guess it's possible he reminded her of someone she used to love? Who knows. Wild speculation.

Further wild speculation: if the LotGK really is from Charn and got into Narnia by pretending to be a snake bangle, it's possible that the same spell which caused her to survive the Deplorable Word also gave her some measure of immortality, and that's how she survived all of those years in Narnia.
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Re: The Backstory of the LotGK

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jul 21, 2014 5:30 am

Rose-tree Dryad wrote:I also think it's possible that the reason why she tries so hard to make other people forget reality and accept her version of it is because she has so much hatred and shame for the truth, i.e. her having the form of a snake. In making other people believe that she is lovely and worthy of worship and fealty, she's able to believe it herself.


Now that is a good theory. However, LOTGK did have a good memory. She remembered the full inscription of what was one of the signs Jill, Eustace and Puddleglum were to follow. Remember, it was just "UNDER ME", but Rilian in his enchanted state knew the full message, which he said he was told by the LOTGK.

All this forgetting and remembering reminds me of the re-education and mind control antics the Communists used in the Cold War. LOTGK not telling anyone her real name might be a further way to weaken resistance to herself. Sort of like those students who when asked to list which book they used in a quote for their assignment would answer vaguely, "I think it was a red book". Which makes it harder to backtrack and pinpoint exactly where they got the quote from. 8-|
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Re: The Backstory of the LotGK

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Jul 23, 2014 10:46 am

waggawerewolf27 wrote:Now that is a good theory. However, LOTGK did have a good memory. She remembered the full inscription of what was one of the signs Jill, Eustace and Puddleglum were to follow. Remember, it was just "UNDER ME", but Rilian in his enchanted state knew the full message, which he said he was told by the LOTGK.


True! Although I suppose it's possible that she recalls that part of her life freely because she wasn't cursed/corrupted back then.

You mentioned earlier in the thread that she might be some sort of evil dryad, and it occurred to me yesterday: what if she's a cursed naiad? After all, the serpent appears at a "fountain that flowed freshly out of the earth." She then appears at the exact same fountain when she approaches Rilian as a woman. Coincidence? I think not! :P

It wouldn't even surprise me if Rilian and the LotGK disappeared via the fountain itself, since it led underground. Honestly, the idea of her being the naiad of some underground spring seems to make the most sense of any theory I've considered thus far. It would explain why she was immortal as well; nymphs only die when their tree or watery domain is destroyed. Another bit of evidence is the fact that Underland floods after the Queen is slain; it indicates that her magical powers had some influence on the bodies of water underground.

Then there's also the fact that she plays a stringed instrument, something rather like a mandolin. In LWW, when the Pevensies are arriving at Aslan's Camp, Lewis writes, "There were Tree-Women there and Well-Women (Dryads and Naiads as they used to be called in our world) who had stringed instruments; it was they who had made the music."

Honestly, if the filmmakers are bent on giving her a backstory, the LotGK being a naiad might make the most sense, at least from the standpoint of evidence that can actually be gathered in the original text.
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Re: The Backstory of the LotGK

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jul 24, 2014 5:02 am

Rose-tree Dryad wrote:It wouldn't even surprise me if Rilian and the LotGK disappeared via the fountain itself, since it led underground. Honestly, the idea of her being the naiad of some underground spring seems to make the most sense of any theory I've considered thus far. It would explain why she was immortal as well; nymphs only die when their tree or watery domain is destroyed. Another bit of evidence is the fact that Underland floods after the Queen is slain; it indicates that her magical powers had some influence on the bodies of water underground.


Interesting theory. You wouldn't be the only one who ever drew a connection between snakes and water, either. Did you know that the Australian aborigines ascribed the making of the earth to a being called the Rainbow Serpent? And what about JK.Rowling and Hogwart's Slytherin house?

And you could be right. So then this mysterious creature whose name nobody can quite remember, could be just a naiad, after all.
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Re: The Backstory of the LotGK

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Aug 16, 2014 4:34 pm

Great points about the association between serpents and water, Wagga! I had thought about that, too.

Movie Aristotle mentioned over on Name the LotGK that the Lady of the Green Kirtle seems to share some qualities with the Greek goddess Hecate. She was associated with "crossroads, entrance-ways, dogs, light, the Moon, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, necromancy, and sorcery" as well as the underworld. Probably one of the most interesting tidbits I ran across was the fact that she was depicted as sometimes holding serpents, and was even described as having the head of a serpent (and the heads of a dog and a boar) in some ancient writings.

Still, she's such a multifaceted figure within mythology and she evolved a lot throughout history. While Lewis may have borrowed some ideas from Hecate, I'm hesitant to say that he actually based the character of the LotGK on her. :-?

I was looking at a list of Narnian creatures today and ran across Efreet, a kind of creature that was mentioned as being among the followers of the White Witch in LWW. While the LotGK is definitely not an "enormous winged creature of fire", there are some intriguing connections. For instance, Wikipedia says that they live underground and frequent ruins. (Underland and the ruins of the giant city, plus meeting the LotGK on the ruins of the giant road.) The other thing that really caught my eye was the line "In early folklore, the ifrit is said to be formed from the blood of a murder victim." And the LotGK murders the Daughter of Ramandu by biting her on the wrist before we ever see her in human form.

No idea if I'm barking up the wrong tree with these thoughts or not, but it's interesting. Since Lewis mentioned the Jinn as being ancestors of Jadis, it's not inconceivable that the LotGK could be connected with the Efreet, a subgroup of the Jinn.
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Re: The Backstory of the LotGK

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Oct 16, 2014 11:43 am

Mod Note: this thread is now closed. Please visit this thread to vote in a poll and continue the discussion
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