Lasaraleen and the Talking Horses

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Lasaraleen and the Talking Horses

Postby Col Klink » Feb 25, 2019 10:48 am

Something I thought of recently regarding The Horse and his Boy is the contrast between Lasaraleen's reaction to the discovery of talking horses and Shasta and Aravis'.

Shasta stared into (Bree's) great eyes and his own grew almost as big with astonishment.
"However did you learn to talk?" he asked.


"When I heard the language of men uttered by my mare," continued Aravis, "I said to myself, the fear of death has disordered my reason and subjected me to delusions...And now my wonder was so great that I forgot about killing myself and about Ahoshta and said, 'O my mare, how have you learned to speak like one of the daughters of men?'"


"Another thing," said Aravis. "You must tell your people to treat those two horses very respectfully. That's part of the secret. They're really talking horses from Narnia."
"Fancy!" said Lasaraleen. "How exciting! And oh, darling, have you seen the barbarian queen from Narnia? She's staying in Tashbaan at present. They say Prince Rabadash is madly in love with her. There have been the most wonderful parties and hunts and things all this last fortnight."


Both Shasta and Aravis are shocked by the existence of talking beasts and need to have Narnia's fabulous populace explained to them. Lasaraleen barely reacts and immediately segues back to her favorite topics. This could be because she's more worldly than either of them and has heard more about Narnia. But I like to think C. S. Lewis did it to show Lasaraleen's shallowness.
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Re: Lasaraleen and the Talking Horses

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Feb 25, 2019 6:05 pm

I think that C.S.Lewis is lampooning the sorts of teenagers who are only interested in their peer groups. You might recognise them in Lasaraleen. He does this also with Susan to some extent, where her main preoccupations in The Last Battle, are allegedly "lipstick, nylons & invitations". Yes Lasaraleen may well have met Narnians, because she segues straightaway into a critique of Susan, herself, "the barbarian Queen", the wonderful parties & the fun they have been having. This is our first introduction to not only Susan but also Rabadash & the idea he might be "madly in love with her".

However, Lasaraleen also seems the sort of young woman who cannot be distracted from her current preoccupations with parties, & with being "in love", even if someone told her that it was Queen Susan, the Barbarian, with a conquering army at Tashbaan's gates.
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Re: Lasaraleen and the Talking Horses

Postby Narnian78 » Mar 06, 2019 5:46 am

It's interesting that Lasaraleen is silly but not completely bad. She helps the Narnian and she is actually quite likable. She is not a villain like the more foolish and incorrigible Rabadash. Lewis gave her a personality something like Susan's, but she is more interested in Narnia as an exciting new thing. Her feelings toward Narnia aren't all bad but are rather shallow in quality. :)
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Re: Lasaraleen and the Talking Horses

Postby Ryadian » Mar 06, 2019 9:09 pm

While I think both observations about Lasaraleen's character are probably more in line with why the book was written that way, I like having in-universe answers, so.... ;)) We know that Lasaraleen has at least seen the Narnian party, and regardless of whether or not she interacted with them, she very well may have seen Sallowpad with the group. Regardless of whether or not he actually spoke in her presence, she was probably at this point confronted by the fact that the "demons who take the forms of animals" do indeed exist.

And even if she hadn't seen Sallowpad in particular, Lasaraleen seems to live in one of the northernmost areas of Calormen. You get the idea that even Archenlander visits are abnormal, let alone Narnian ones, but she's still more likely to have actually encountered talking animals (or reliable stories about them) than either Shasta or Aravis had.

To continue your point, Narnian78, I think it's also important to note that she tries to talk Aravis out of her escape - again, citing an idea that (at least in that moment) she seems to believe about demons that look like talking animals. Yeah, her "it's not nice" explanation is... lacking, but she seems genuinely concerned about Aravis's well-being.
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Re: Lasaraleen and the Talking Horses

Postby coracle » Mar 07, 2019 6:57 am

Now that I have seen Lasalareen ON STAGE, I have a lovely image of this funloving, flighty but kind young woman.
Yes, she certainly didn't blink an artificial eyelash at talking horses!
Thanks, Logos Theatre! Having 'met' her really brings her to life, even more than the radio drama did.
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Re: Lasaraleen and the Talking Horses

Postby Col Klink » Mar 07, 2019 7:42 am

We know that Lasaraleen has at least seen the Narnian party, and regardless of whether or not she interacted with them, she very well may have seen Sallowpad with the group. Regardless of whether or not he actually spoke in her presence, she was probably at this point confronted by the fact that the "demons who take the forms of animals" do indeed exist.


Lasaraleen doesn't seem prejudiced against the horses particularly though. She doesn't say to Aravis, "You're hanging out with demons? AAAAAAAAAHHHH!" She's just like, "Fancy! How exciting!" :)) I think that really says something about Lasaraleen's ditzy personality.
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Re: Lasaraleen and the Talking Horses

Postby Meltintalle » Mar 13, 2019 5:40 pm

Could it be that there were plays in Tashbaan with talking animals? And if you've seen one multiple times, the mystery might have been diminished.

That said, I still think I'd have a major "hang on--" moment if I were addressed by an animal. But Lasaraleen wasn't, she heard about it second hand.
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Re: Lasaraleen and the Talking Horses

Postby fledge1 » Mar 22, 2019 9:03 am

This is a great topic! It makes me wonder what Lewis thinks of "young adults." Does he view them as kinda flighty? As you mentioned waggawerewolf27 he kinda discusses that with Susan in HHB. We know he loves children, but wonder if assumes that age is a bit more self centered. Not sure, just a thought.
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Re: Lasaraleen and the Talking Horses

Postby Col Klink » Mar 22, 2019 11:05 am

I thought I read that C. S. Lewis disliked children. But I'm not much a biography guy so you probably shouldn't put too much faith in whatever I remember.
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Re: Lasaraleen and the Talking Horses

Postby coracle » Mar 22, 2019 2:51 pm

There were people who said he didn't know any children/ didn't get on with them.
Very silly, since he had several evacuees living in his Oxford home during World War 2.
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Re: Lasaraleen and the Talking Horses

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Mar 22, 2019 3:15 pm

Ryadian wrote:And even if she hadn't seen Sallowpad in particular, Lasaraleen seems to live in one of the northernmost areas of Calormen. You get the idea that even Archenlander visits are abnormal, let alone Narnian ones, but she's still more likely to have actually encountered talking animals (or reliable stories about them) than either Shasta or Aravis had.


Lasaraleen, very likely, since her marriage, has been living in Tashbaan, itself, & it is to her own marital home where she takes Aravis. Tashbaan in HHB & elsewhere in the Narnia series, is roughly the equivalent there of a city like Sydney is here. Where the movers & shakers are living, where the entertainment is, & where the Tisroc's palace & the Great Temple is. Where the people who live there have the attitude that "all roads lead to Tashbaan". Where Peter Allen might have sung "I've been to cities that never close down. To New York & Tashbaan & old London Town." The residents there have done everything, seen everything, know everything, & everyone, with a history going back to Tash, credited with being the founder. ;). Compared to an out of towner, like Aravis, Lasaraleen seems rather blasé. But how much is it for real & how much is it showing off to a sorely missed friend who was her own age? Though Lasaraleen was a rather thoughtless person, she wasn't really unkind, & the reason she might have been ready to help her so much might have been more to do with loneliness, than at first appearance. Her husband doesn't seem to be around much.
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