What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

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What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Oct 15, 2018 3:16 pm

When the conversation about Narnia on Netflix got rolling, one of the first things I saw fans speculating about was whether or not a television adaptation would add a lot of filler.

My gut reaction is that blowing up the source material isn't a good idea, but thinking back to the Walden Trilogy, there are actually a number of expansions or additions that I liked: the big battle scene in LWW, for instance, which got very few lines in the book. I don't have a problem with additions like General Oreius; on the contrary I think he adds to the movie. But I also hate the idea of expanding so much on what Lewis wrote that it feels like every nook and cranny of the story is stuffed with fan fiction. So where do you draw the line?

When thinking about Netflix possibly kicking off the series with The Magician's Nephew and knowing that the filmmakers may be keen on expanding the material, something I've wondered is if they might include Jadis's attack on Narnia after the Tree of Protection dies as an epilogue or cliffhanger or even a whole episode. Or beyond that, other events in early Narnian history like the founding of Archenland or Calormene, or the reign of Queen Swanwhite mentioned by Jewel in LB. Is it possible for filmmakers to explore these breadcrumbs that Lewis left in the books without it feeling like the story is wandering completely off track?
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby Meltintalle » Oct 16, 2018 8:15 am

Is it possible for filmmakers to explore breadcrumbs without derailing from the story in the Chronicles? Sure! The snippets COULD be expanded on and tied back in to the story we know and love to add depth and charm.

Part of me loves the idea, and part of me just wants to get a nice baseline adaptation of the Chronicles before we start getting fancy. (But then I realize I've never quite thought of General Oreius as an addition--he's there because he's part of portraying a land on screen and a land has inhabitants who have their own lives that just happen to intersect with the story of the four children.)

The part of me that loves the idea of going beyond the seven chronicles really, really, really wants to see the Queen Swanwhite story--possibly framed as told by Reepicheep, who loves noble but doomed causes.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby fledge1 » Oct 16, 2018 8:32 am

I really hope when they get to the LWW and PC they do not go into a romance again with Susan and Caspian. In fact...I hope they stay clear of all romances when it comes to the main characters, or at least do it tastefully if they must.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby Col Klink » Oct 16, 2018 8:35 am

I feel like it's hard for me to say whether additions to the stories are good or bad without specifically knowing what those additions are. Like Rose-Tree Dryad, my gut instinct is against it but, practically speaking, I haven't hated all additions from past adaptations.

When thinking about Netflix possibly kicking off the series with The Magician's Nephew and knowing that the filmmakers may be keen on expanding the material, something I've wondered is if they might include Jadis's attack on Narnia after the Tree of Protection dies as an epilogue or cliffhanger or even a whole episode.


I personally wouldn't like that addition because it would make the Chronicles of Narnia feel more like one big continuous story instead of seven related stories. If they make one big series rather than a series of miniseries, I'm scared that's what they'll want though. Hopefully, they'll go for a series of miniseries. :ympray:
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby Monty Jose » Oct 16, 2018 10:49 am

Aslan already says that the Tree of Protection won't keep Jadis away forever. If they make MN first, let's keep it how it is as far as Jadis' disappearance and return. If they're going to tie MN and LWW together, use Digory and the wardrobe and possibly a foreshadowing shot of Lucy opening the wardrobe door. Then when LWW rolls around, there's a little shock value when you find out The White Witch is Jadis.

I'm for expanding on things within the stories that we know already happened. For example, Edmund and Susan's storyline in HHB, a brief scene of the Fall of Charn, showing Miraz take out the supporters of Caspian and sending the seven Lords away as foreshadowing. But let's not make up or
speculate on major events outside or within the stories. (My one exception is in Prince Caspian. We all know how hard it will be to adapt that one!)
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Oct 16, 2018 3:31 pm

Meltintalle wrote:The part of me that loves the idea of going beyond the seven chronicles really, really, really wants to see the Queen Swanwhite story--possibly framed as told by Reepicheep, who loves noble but doomed causes.


Ohh, I love that! I had never thought about it before, but it makes so much sense that Reepicheep would have loved the tragic tale of the Narnians that tried to defend the kingdom from the White Witch. That's "forlorn hopes, death-or-glory charges, and last stands" galore.

That's the sort of "addition" I can really get behind — something that feels right for the character. I think in general there are a lot of ways that you can explore and expand the Narnia stories without treading outside of what Lewis intended or implied, but if you're getting into an area where it would require extensive creativity on filmmakers' part — e.g. how the Lone Islands became attached to the crown of Narnia, something even the Narrator didn't know — then I think we're moving into riskier territory. Whatever they add or expand should feel like a natural outflowing from what Lewis wrote.

fledge1 wrote:I really hope when they get to the LWW and PC they do not go into a romance again with Susan and Caspian. In fact...I hope they stay clear of all romances when it comes to the main characters, or at least do it tastefully if they must.


I really hope they don't add any romances either. If they feel like there aren't enough relationships in Narnia, I hope they just spend a little more time on the ones that are canon: Frank and Helen, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, Caspian and Ramandu's Daughter. Or even Fair Olvin and Lady Liln of Archenland. It's said that King Frank and Queen Helen's children grew up to marry wood-gods and river-gods, but that's all we know about them. One also wonders who Rilian married, but aside from the dryad that Jill met at Cair Paravel, I can't think of any candidates from the book.

Aravis and Shasta are a gray area because they're barely even friends for most of HHB, but I'm sure that the filmmakers will imply that they end up together in some way. That actually reminds me, though: I wonder if they won't include their son Ram the Great somehow, and to explain how he became known as Great! (I associate the Greats in our own world's history with the idea of empire, so perhaps Ram became ruler of Narnia as well after the Pevensies' disappearance and Lord Peridan dies.)

Col Klink wrote:I personally wouldn't like that addition because it would make the Chronicles of Narnia feel more like one big continuous story instead of seven related stories.


I can't really decide how I feel about that. If they make one book per season, for instance, I think it would be really neat if each trip to Narnia feels completely different from all of the rest. I love how all of the books feel so different from the next. That said, I can imagine that someone creating a television series would think that it would just be too jarring and unprecedented, and opt for trying to tell a more continuous story instead. On the other hand, that "jarring" quality can be used to great effect when, say, the Pevensies return to Narnia and find that so much has changed. If we see the Telmarine invasion play out on television beforehand, the viewer won't be able to participate with the Pevensies' realization in quite the same way.

Monty Jose wrote:I'm for expanding on things within the stories that we know already happened. For example, Edmund and Susan's storyline in HHB, a brief scene of the Fall of Charn, showing Miraz take out the supporters of Caspian and sending the seven Lords away as foreshadowing.


I like the idea of showing the Seven Lords sent away to sea!

In HHB, I wonder if they might include Peter fighting the giants in the north in some way... or expand on Lucy's adventures, since she only shows up at the very end.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby Monty Jose » Oct 16, 2018 10:18 pm

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:In HHB, I wonder if they might include Peter fighting the giants in the north in some way... or expand on Lucy's adventures, since she only shows up at the very end.

I would hope not, because those are aspects that are not relevant to the plot. Susan's situation with Rabadash, on the other hand, sets up the end of HHB and ties in with the prophecy concerning Cor.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby Anfinwen » Oct 17, 2018 5:02 am

I'm for minor expansion, as long as it's cannon and done so that it meshes well with the book content. I can picture a one episode prologue to LWW (or epilogue to MN setting up LWW in the next season) showing the spread of the descendants of Frank and Hellen, the death of the tree, and Jadis returning, ending up with the prophecy and an empty Cair Paravel waiting for inhabitants. I wouldn't mind having LWW and HHB be one season and done in literal chronological order showing other events from the golden age, like Susan's suitors, planting the apple trees, and fighting giants. I also wouldn't mind if they took an event like the king who rescued the Lone Islanders from a dragon (therefore making them tributary to Narnia) and attributed it to Peter so they could show it.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Oct 21, 2018 3:58 pm

Monty Jose wrote:I would hope not, because those are aspects that are not relevant to the plot. Susan's situation with Rabadash, on the other hand, sets up the end of HHB and ties in with the prophecy concerning Cor.


That's true, but I can imagine execs looking at what we see of the Golden Age in the books and thinking, "High King Peter is barely present, and Lucy's not much better." They're both popular characters and it's conceivable that they would want to give them both more screen time, especially Peter who doesn't show up in HHB at all.

In LWW, it says that during their reign, the Pevensies "drove back the fierce giants (quite a different sort from Giant Rumblebuffin) in the North of Narnia when these ventured across the frontier." It would be interesting if we saw a little bit of Peter's battle with them -- perhaps giants of a different, more ancient type than the blubbering giants beyond the River Shribble or the "gentle giants" of Harfang. Honestly, the adjective "fierce" doesn't really come to mind as a descriptor for either of those groups... maybe instead Peter battles the giants that had once inhabited the ruins of the giant city. It could be interesting to see a glimpse of them as a sort of Easter egg for The Silver Chair.

That said, one thing that will likely reign in the scope of this adaptation is the budget... giants aren't cheap, and at this point, we're still wondering if they'll be able to afford a decent CG Aslan.

Anfinwen wrote: I also wouldn't mind if they took an event like the king who rescued the Lone Islanders from a dragon (therefore making them tributary to Narnia) and attributed it to Peter so they could show it.


I had forgotten that it was the Lone Islands that King Gale had rescued from the dragon. ;)) (Suddenly I'm not so confident about being a Stump-A-NarniaWebber contestant someday. :))) That's not a bad idea. I can definitely imagine filmmakers swapping out fighting the giants in the North for fighting a dragon if they want to give Peter an HHB-era plot.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby Monty Jose » Oct 22, 2018 2:59 pm

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:... but I can imagine execs looking at what we see of the Golden Age in the books and thinking, "High King Peter is barely present, and Lucy's not much better." They're both popular characters and it's conceivable that they would want to give them both more screen time, especially Peter who doesn't show up in HHB at all.

I've had similar thoughts, and it made me wonder if they'd swap Edmund for Peter. I'd hope not, because, among other reasons, we get a chance to see the just king Edmund became in action. I would not be completely upset, however, if they brought Peter in at the end for the attack on Anvard. Even if Susan was present for Rabadash's trial, I think that would make sense (especially if they expand on her story early on). My biggest concerns would be distracting from Shasta, Aravis, Bree, and Hwin and compromising the Pevensies' characteristics (example: Susan in battle) for the sake of more screen time.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby fantasia » Nov 13, 2018 5:26 pm

How I would flesh out 'Prince Caspian' by fantasia

Part One - Character Arcs
While LWW focuses on mostly Lucy and Edmund, I would shift the focus in PC to Peter, Susan, and obviously Caspian. The short version of what I'm about to type goes like this.

(Short explanation)
Peter--Wants to be King, but in the end, willingly accepts that Caspian is destined to be the next King of Narnia
Susan--Wants to be Queen, but does NOT willingly accept Caspian as the next King of Narnia and begins her journey towards her fate in LB.
Caspian--Doesn't really want to be King, but accepts under Aslan's direction

(Expanded explanation)
There was a lot of discussion in the Walden movies about how the children would react once returning to Earth after being King and Queen for a number of years. I totally agree that they don't go back to being "normal" children, and I would even agree that there might be a bit of sadness, maybe bitterness, but I think Peter should be presented as wise beyond his years. I'd like to see him stick up for some kid being bullied, and ignored by the bullies, and then reminiscence about how his subjects used to obey him or something like that. Upon returning to Narnia, I think Peter should be overjoyed at knowing he's High King again. And other than his (big) mistake at not listening to Lucy, I think his leadership at leading the Narnian remnants in battle after the duel with Miraz must be successful. After all, he is Aslan's primary general. I would move Peter's line to Caspian about he's not here to take his place to the end of the movie, and I think it should be clear that Peter is willing to step aside and let Caspian lead. Peter knows his time in Narnia has come to an end and accepts it.

In contrast, I would make Susan the one who is perhaps a bit bitter about returning to Earth. She goes from beautiful dresses, voyages on ships, courting foreign dignities, etc etc, to returning to a war-ridden country where everything is in short supply and (by her standard) she has nothing. I certainly wouldn't make her TOO spiteful by any means, but the book points out that she's already leaning towards a comfortable lifestyle when she chooses the easy path down (instead of what Lucy says), and when she's awakened in the middle of the night.
Opposite of the direction they took in the Walden movie, I want Susan to be genuinely excited about being back in Narnia. I want her still to be kind and gentle, but include the flaws presented in the book that I mentioned above. I would definitely include lots of memories about "do you remember how we would dance the night away with our friends wearing our beautiful outfits, blah blah blah"? to show what she's really caring about.
And then at the very end of the movie when they're getting ready to leave Narnia (but don't know it yet, haven't had the conversation with Aslan...) I want her to be present when Peter gives his speech to Caspian about how it's Caspian's turn to be king, and I don't think she should actually say anything, but I think she should give Peter a look of maybe shock, and then the realization sets in that she's going to leave Narnia again without enjoying all the finery and splendor. Aslan's private talk is the last straw, and she leaves, saddened and shocked, and then you know that that sadness turns into bitterness and rejection of Narnia by the time you reach the Last Battle.

For Caspian, there's not much to elaborate on that's not in the book, other than the flesh out some of the stuff that happens. I liked the night raid scene in the Walden movie (except that I didn't think Peter and Susan should have been there), and I think something similar should be in the upcoming film/series. Caspian is forced into being a leader of the hidden Narnian rebellion, and he's horrible at it. Many Narnians die because of his poor leadership/battlefield skills. Though what he DOES have going for him is his faith in Aslan and the Pevensies. I think once Peter arrives, it should be a turning point in how the battle goes, and Caspian should idolize both Peter and Edmund (I'd like to see a good friendship start to form between them!). But due to guilt, Caspian shouldn't want to be king, he wants Peter to be king again. It's Peter's faith in him and Aslan's command that he should be king, that Caspian finally accepts. And he needs to be young!

So that's basically it for the characters, my only last note is that these filmmakers finally have the chance to not screw up the scene where Edmund stands up for Lucy on the cliff. (Please! Please! Please!)

Part two about the story arc for Prince Caspian coming soon. ;)
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby Monty Jose » Nov 14, 2018 11:04 am

That’s awesome, fantasia_kitty! While I enjoy Walden’s Prince Caspian, I always thought they dreadfully mishandled these particular characters. I think your suggestions are spot on.

While I do think the shift of focus you mentioned is a good idea, I really would like to see them highlight Lucy’s relationship with Aslan. While she is Valiant, she also is tender-hearted I think. I’d like to see her struggling with fact that all her friends from before are dead, but her hope in Aslan is what gives her strength and, well, her valiant spirit back.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby Col Klink » Nov 14, 2018 12:16 pm

Wow, you really put a lot of thought into that, Fantasia Kitty. It sounds good to me but I feel like the part about Peter is too similar to the movie version of Prince Caspian.

I'm not saying that because I hated that movie or anything. I just don't new adaptations to copy the Walden movies. (Well, except for the parts of those movies that are like the books. Those I want to stay the same. ;) )
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby fantasia » Nov 14, 2018 1:06 pm

The biggest difference between Walden Peter and my own vision of Peter is that Walden Peter was mean, he was a bully, he was bitter. My version is kind, noble, wise but not perfect, and genuinely wants to help others (in this case Caspian). Yes, I probably have the character going through some of the same situations (and I agree that's a bit repetitive and I hope the filmmakers come up with something different), but how he reacts to them would be completely the opposite.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby Cleander » Nov 14, 2018 3:24 pm

Yes! Cut out the cheesy Peter-Caspian conflict! At the same time, though, I don't want to see Peter to be overly heroic- he's still a kid, and a human what's more. I can see him getting a little overly angry at times with Edmund (we actually get a few whiffs of that in LWW). But I think a strong, fast-forming friendship with Caspian would be refreshing to see.
A strange idea for an extra tidbit in the Last Battle- have the ever-burning Lamppost suddenly start flickering out, as a kind of omen to accompany the Centaur's prophecies. Maybe at a crucial moment in the end of Narnia, the light could completely die... and then the characters are greatly rejoiced to find the Lamppost burning again in the new Narnia.
Or would that be a trifle corny?? /:) :-s
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby Col Klink » Nov 14, 2018 4:31 pm

The biggest difference between Walden Peter and my own vision of Peter is that Walden Peter was mean, he was a bully, he was bitter. My version is kind, noble, wise but not perfect, and genuinely wants to help others (in this case Caspian). Yes, I probably have the character going through some of the same situations (and I agree that's a bit repetitive and I hope the filmmakers come up with something different), but how he reacts to them would be completely the opposite.


I agree they're different but I'm still scared people who watched both the movie and the series (or both movies if Netflix decides to do Prince Caspian as a film) will assume something like that happens in the book. I don't want people to feel obligated to do some variation of that theme whenever they tell the story.

A strange idea for an extra tidbit in the Last Battle- have the ever-burning Lamppost suddenly start flickering out, as a kind of omen to accompany the Centaur's prophecies. Maybe at a crucial moment in the end of Narnia, the light could completely die... and then the characters are greatly rejoiced to find the Lamppost burning again in the new Narnia. Or would that be a trifle corny??


I think that's great except I wouldn't have the characters themselves notice it. Or if they did notice it, they wouldn't talk about it much. It would be just be a cool symbolic visual.
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