Changing & Rearranging SC

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Re: Changing & Rearranging SC

Postby Anfinwen » Jul 30, 2018 1:52 pm

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:Something else I'm also curious about is how the filmmakers might interpret the LotGK's transformation into a serpent. Specifically, will it seem like an intentional transformation, or the natural progression of a curse?

There is something to be said for both ideas. She really seems to have turned into a snake at the end for the express purpose of killing Rillian if she couldn't keep him enchanted. However if you have read "The Screwtape Letters," there is a passage about Screwtape turning into a centipede involuntarily and that this brought on by a fit of anger.
waggawerewolf27 wrote:I've also had another thought, a really crazy one: Maybe LOTGK's normal state is as a snake, who can somehow transform into a woman, for a longer and longer time, and what Prince Rilian sees when he is tied into the Silver Chair, when she is with him, is LOTGK reverting back to her normal state?
That's how I feel about it. She is a snake that can take on a woman's form. This would work regardless of whether or not her change back at the end is voluntary.

waggawerewolf27 wrote: But then there is the enchanted, or drugged, Prince Rilian's own summation of what happens when he is tied into the chair. At the end, Prince Rilian says, it is himself who turns into a snake, after which he falls into a faint.

However, it is stated that when he wakes he has no memory of what happened. It is the queen and the gnomes under her control that tell him he turns into a snake; and as it is also stated that the queen is the only one with him in his madness, it is to be surmised that she instructed the gnomes to say that. My opinion is that the witch is a psychopath who is projecting her own evil condition onto the prince by saying that he is the one that turns into a snake.
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Re: Changing & Rearranging SC

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Jul 31, 2018 5:56 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:I've a copy of Silver Chair on top of my (messy) desk, here. The picture I'm looking at is side on. Yes, Rilian's arms are tied to the chair supports by the wrists, but that is to be expected to stop him lashing out and grabbing someone. It appears he is tied around the throat to the chair, another rope ties him around the chest to the chair, another tie goes right around his waist and the chair. The ties around his legs and ankles could go all around his legs and the chair rather than just separately. It could go either way.


Yeah, it's mainly the wrists and ankles being tied separately that is giving me trouble. On the one hand it seems like a pretty unimportant detail, especially since it's never crossed my mind until now, but it may be a different matter when watching the scene play out in a movie as opposed to reading it in a book. One of the things that makes that scene in the book so intense is that the questers really do believe that he may turn into a snake after they free him... but if the visual of him tied up in the chair doesn't match up with his story, that could dial back the suspense quite a bit. I'll be interested to see if the filmmakers address this at all with the chair's design.

waggawerewolf27 wrote: I've another idea, though, that maybe the snake does a vampire-like job on people who get into its clutches, sucking out their life forces. When it kills people it ingests some blood from its victim and so is able to assemble a human identity, even if briefly.


That's an interesting idea! I don't know about needing Rilian around for that purpose, but it would give her possible motive for killing Ramandu's daughter: slaying the queen gave the serpent the ability to turn into a beautiful woman. I have always puzzled over what the queen was trying to tell Rilian before her death; perhaps this had something to do with it. And who knows what magic the blood of a star's daughter might have? So perhaps that's another reason the queen was targeted. Lewis does specifically mention that the blood of stars flowed through her veins during the owl's tale.

Anfinwen wrote:There is something to be said for both ideas. She really seems to have turned into a snake at the end for the express purpose of killing Rillian if she couldn't keep him enchanted. However if you have read "The Screwtape Letters," there is a passage about Screwtape turning into a centipede involuntarily and that this brought on by a fit of anger.


That's a great point about Screwtape! Personally, I've always read the scene as a voluntary transformation; that the queen realized that the jig was up and that her only way of subduing her prisoners was through force. I just don't know if that's the right interpretation or not. ;)) Although I do question that she was trying to kill Rilian. If that were the case, she could have bitten him on the ankle and let the poison do its work, but instead she seemed to be trying to coil around him until he blacked out from lack of air, or break his ribs and render him useless from the pain. Of course, it's possible she was too angry to be very strategic in her attack; unlike Jadis, the LotGK is not much of a warrior. No word about her being personally involved during the attack on Narnia, for instance. Hopefully the filmmakers don't turn her into a snake warrior princess. :P
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Re: Changing & Rearranging SC

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jul 31, 2018 11:36 pm

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:That's an interesting thought that losing her cool is what makes the LotGK revert back to her snake form... Lewis does describe that her voice, after Puddleglum stamps out the fire, is utterly different from the sweet tones prior to then. And it's easy to imagine the murder of Caspian's queen as one of hatred and jealousy.


Going back to Rose's earlier quote, it was at the bolded point that I really started to wonder if LOTGK was a snake all along. And a snake might be too pragmatic to worry too much about hatred and jealousy of a Queen lying around snoozing too much. Unless the snake was annoyed by her being in the way, or being in what she might consider her own territory. Lying around too much, snoozing, is just about all snakes normally do, when not snacking on whatever they can get hold of. Snakes tend to lie low in winter, and in spring like nice sunny spots in the middle of a path or road, until disturbed by humans, who, if they know what is good for them, will stay in the car and not go near the snake. Even a talking, thinking, snake would be somewhat self-interested, asking what is in the situation for itself, rather than have a detailed knowledge of who's who in Narnian royalty, power politics or the laws and by-laws of Government in Narnia. 8-|

If a snake all along, all LOTGK wants is an endless supply of victims on tap, nothing more and nothing less, just like the Harfang Giants ate anything that moved. There is a good reason why LOTGK employs enchanted Earthmen to do everything for her. The minute they stop being enchanted, or they start getting stroppy, LOTGK knows what to do with them - serve them up for her own dinner, probably. No wonder all the Earthmen look sad and too frightened to sing or dance. And it was interesting that Prince Rilian said that when he got to the country he is to conquer, that he would be cured of what ailed him when he marries LOTGK. Well, what won't kill will no doubt cure, maybe.... /:)

But I'm not sure I'd want to be present at the wedding feast, quite frankly. Ugh! :ymsick: I may not know enough about snakes, but I do know too much about the mating habits of praying mantises and spiders to be unaware of what constitutes "marriage" in the wild, and that the males of some species are expected to be a lot more "sacrificial" than is the case in human affairs. A lot of men yelp at the thought of endowing their brides with all their worldly goods - I'd say they get off lightly compared to Mr Praying Mantis, who gives himself totally to his Mrs to whom he most definitely is married for life.

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:That's an interesting idea! I don't know about needing Rilian around for that purpose, but it would give her possible motive for killing Ramandu's daughter: slaying the queen gave the serpent the ability to turn into a beautiful woman. I have always puzzled over what the queen was trying to tell Rilian before her death; perhaps this had something to do with it. And who knows what magic the blood of a star's daughter might have? So perhaps that's another reason the queen was targeted. Lewis does specifically mention that the blood of stars flowed through her veins during the owl's tale.


Yes, the blood of the stars does flow in Caspian's Queen's veins. But the point is really the blood, itself, not only that Caspian's Queen has hybrid, human-type blood. It also matters where exactly on her anatomy the snake bit her. Just as blood still is important for Caspian, himself, when he dies and is splashed with Aslan's blood. For the last three months I've been horribly ill with asthma, almost continual coughing and spluttering, itchy, irritated throat, hardly able to talk to anyone due to the extra dryness here, with poor air quality, due to backburning and sometimes actual bushfires, despite the freezing nights, and frosty mornings. This is how I realised there was a good reason why the Queen couldn't say anything much - the snake went for the jugular, to use JKR's own expression, invoking another memorable HP/Deathly Hallows scene involving Nagini killing Professor Snape, on a later occasion in the two films.

I don't really want to invoke HP too much, though, and find that SC the movie is an HP film rip-off, even though I can see how JKR was probably influenced by Silver Chair and other Narnia tales when she wrote her series. But, as in that particular scene, once the Queen was munched in the throat she wouldn't stand a chance. Maybe the "blood of the stars" does enable LOTGK to become human and beautiful for a while. But it is also significant that Lord Drinian doesn't recognise the woman he sees as Caspian's Queen. Has LOTGK possibly munched on other people as well as Rilian's mother?

Anfinwen wrote:However, it is stated that when he wakes he has no memory of what happened. It is the queen and the gnomes under her control that tell him he turns into a snake; and as it is also stated that the queen is the only one with him in his madness, it is to be surmised that she instructed the gnomes to say that. My opinion is that the witch is a psychopath who is projecting her own evil condition onto the prince by saying that he is the one that turns into a snake.


Poor Rilian. :( :-s I don't think I want to see what is involved when LOTGK is left alone with Rilian. Again the rope against his throat suggests he would suffer at some point from hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, the more he struggled, which would definitely make him faint. The Earthmen would just do as LOTGK says, so it is basically her word, and not reality. Yes Rilian's actually changing into a snake, himself, would be a terrible thing to happen to him. Screwtape would definitely laugh evilly. :ymdevil: Screwtape's turning into a centipede would be less of a problem than Rilian's turning into LOTGK 's pet snake and soulmate every night, in my humble opinion. [-( :(( :-o
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Re: Changing & Rearranging SC

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Aug 01, 2018 3:31 pm

waggawerewolf wrote:But, as in that particular scene, once the Queen was munched in the throat she wouldn't stand a chance.


I hate to be "that person," but I've read the book so many times over the years, I have an almost photographic memory of it. ;)) Lewis said that the snake stung the queen in the hand. :-B

waggawerewolf27 wrote:If a snake all along, all LOTGK wants is an endless supply of victims on tap, nothing more and nothing less, just like the Harfang Giants ate anything that moved.


You might be onto something there, and with your vampire-ish ideas, too. The Lady of the Green Kirtle's title comes from a line in the John Keat's poem Lamia, and in Greek mythology, Lamia was a woman-turned-monster who devoured children. *shudders* The myth of Lamia evolved a lot through the ages, though: she did not have the form of a snake originally, for instance. That notion seems to have appeared first in Philostratus's Life of Apollonius of Tyana, where Lamia is a shape-shifting woman likened to a snake. She enticed young men and later admitted that she was fattening up her would-be victim.

Interesting, also, is that Lamia in Philostratus's tale was able to create the illusion of a beautiful mansion that disappeared when the hero proved her true identity... it reminds me of the swift destruction of her kingdom following her death.

But even more interesting to me is another legend about her, which I've run across just now: that Zeus took Lamia to Sicily, where the city of Lamos was named after her. The inhabitants of Lamos were the Laestrygonians, and they were a race of man-eating giants... sound familiar?

This is why I never get tired of being a Narnia fan. ;)) It seems like every year I discover some new corner of Lewis's bookshelf and brain, and glean some new insight into the series' mythological roots! I really hope the future filmmakers will appreciate that aspect of Narnia — it's part of the reason why the stories are so timeless, because Lewis himself was drawing inspiration from ancient legends and archetypes that have endured in human imagination through the ages. If the filmmakers feel the need to "change" or flesh out any aspect of the LotGK's character, they should look to the legends of Melusine and Lamia first.
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Re: Changing & Rearranging SC

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Aug 03, 2018 5:10 am

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:I hate to be "that person," but I've read the book so many times over the years, I have an almost photographic memory of it. ;)) Lewis said that the snake stung the queen in the hand. :-B


Yes you are right. :ymblushing: The Queen does get stung on her hand. The cover picture on my edition of SC is of the Prince with the snake wound around him and looking fiercely at his face, so maybe the snake was big enough to bite Caspian's Queen quite severely. Apparently she had time to cry out, and so Rilian, who was nearest her, had the closest look at the snake right at the beginning, but his mother wasn't able to speak clearly, and so died within 10 minutes.

That suggests to me either that LOTGK was aware that Rilian could identify her which gives her a reason to abduct him and keep him under wraps. Or else that because he was his mother's son, that maybe he might be still useful to her, along the way, to top up any magic she got out of her brief contact with Caspian's mother, "who had the blood of the stars" flowing in her veins. But it would be an added reason why Prince Rilian would end up as dinner once Lamia/Melusine/LOTGK had finished with him.

Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:You might be onto something there, and with your vampire-ish ideas, too. The Lady of the Green Kirtle's title comes from a line in the John Keat's poem Lamia, and in Greek mythology, Lamia was a woman-turned-monster who devoured children. *shudders* The myth of Lamia evolved a lot through the ages, though: she did not have the form of a snake originally, for instance. That notion seems to have appeared first in Philostratus's Life of Apollonius of Tyana, where Lamia is a shape-shifting woman likened to a snake. She enticed young men and later admitted that she was fattening up her would-be victim.


Apart from Melusine, I hadn't heard much about Lamia - or Lamos - until you mentioned her now. And thank you very much. ^:)^ I've had a quick look but Lamia seems to be associated with either Cicilia in Turkey or Libya and Egypt. Some of the Greek legends go back to the end of the Bronze Age which is roughly when both Troy and Mycenae flourished and when the Sea Peoples settled in what is now the Gaza Strip, in the pentapolis of Philistia. Those five cities were Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gath. These Philistines were not related to the Canaanites in any way, but may have shared some Canaanite practices. Especially I was intrigued by what you say about the Laestrygonians, mentioned in the Odyssey. Man-eating Giants suggest Harfang, but I keep on getting them mixed up with Polyphemus the Cyclops, who, like Lamia in the legend you recount, has his one eye put out. The idea that the Laestrygonians might come from Sicily also suggests Mount Etna erupting as well as giant men.

The bridge of land and islands between Italy, Sicily, Malta and Libya/Tunisia also came under Carthaginian influence later on. In fact Carthage was a colony of the Phoenician cities of Tyre, Sidon, and Byblos. The ancient Canaanites and Phoenicians had a history of sacrificing children to Moloch, one of their gods, something the ancient Hebrews strongly disapproved of.
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Re: Changing & Rearranging SC

Postby Glumpuddle » Aug 09, 2018 2:06 pm

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