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

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

Postby Cleander » Nov 15, 2018 2:30 pm

Oh, wait I think I see what you're saying about the Lamppost, Col Klink. The light dying could be a subtle way to connect with the audience if the characters don't notice it. That way the sense of impending doom is made more personal by the fact that the audience alone can see this strange, ominous happening. And the feeling of relief is given to the viewers when they see the light burning again. So yeah, great thought!
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby fantasia » Dec 06, 2018 1:58 pm

How I would flesh out 'Prince Caspian' by fantasia

Part Two - Story Arc (with Aslan, Susan, and Lucy)

So lets talk about part of the book that all PC filmmakers seem to be afraid to touch, which is the bit with Aslan, Susan, and Lucy going off and having a party while the boys go to war. :P But is that really what happens? I don't think so.
What I think filmmakers fail to understand is that Aslan is the one who is really freeing most of the Narnians and Telmarines from tyranny while Peter, Caspian, and Edmund keep Miraz distracted (hence all of the celebrating and partying). In fact, the boys have a relatively minor, though very important, role.
I would focus heavily on this part. It starts with Aslan awaking the rest of the Narnians from their slumber, calling out the Greek gods and characters, and they're all celebrating being free for the first time in hundreds of years. I probably wouldn't dwell on the partying, I think it should happen as they're traveling along.
And THEN Aslan and company go free the oppressed Telmarines. (Some shots at the oppression from when Caspian is a small boy would be good.) So I would play this up big time. And have Susan, Lucy, and some of the other Narnians help. For example, Susan should be left as Susan the Gentle, but there are other ways of assisting in a battle besides shooting arrows this way and that. She hates fighting, but she also hates people being abused. How about having her and Lucy stop the man from beating the boy? Or the girls walk into the school and overthrow the evil teacher? And Lucy has her vial with her if I recall correctly, so she and Susan can help heal people and creatures in addition to everything else going on. :)
If you all read my post (that was then turned into the news story) from a year or so ago, you may remember that I've always felt the Walden movies really missed out on the joy of Narnia and this was their biggest flaw. They had all the epic battles and danger, but I wasn't super excited by the idea of ever visiting that place because it seemed like I'd probably die the moment I set my foot in there. This is the sort of joyous moments from the book that I'm really craving to see in the movie. It is there in the book, but it really needs to be played up in the movie. Let the other billion fantasy films out there focus on battles. :P

Part 3 - Story Arc (with Caspian, Peter, and Edmund)
Wait, what? No battles? Ok, we need some battles. ;) But instead of the castle night raid in PC, the big battle needs to be the one that Caspian attempts to lead and loses. AND, I can't remember if it actually says this in the book, or even implies it, but I think that the reason that Caspian loses and Pevensies/Aslan isn't there, is because Peter chooses to go down rather than up. That way there are clear consequences for Peter and Lucy not choosing to follow/believe in Aslan.
But as I mentioned in the character post, I would really like to see a fast friendship form between Caspian, Peter, and Edmund. And once they all come together, and they defeat the hag, werewolf, and Nikabrik, things should start to go their way. Peter IS Aslan's number one general, Aslan leaves him in charge to take care of things, Peter can handle it. They have a successful duel with Miraz (thanks to his traitorous generals), and then a successful battle against the Telmarine army (thanks to Peter and Edmund's war knowledge), and drive them back to the bridge where they are trapped between Aslan + free Narnians + free Telmarines and the Peter + Edmund + Caspian + Old Narnian group.

Most importantly, and to sum up, what I would like the filmmakers to show, is that EVERYONE has a part to play in freeing Narnia. The girls and Aslan don't go have a drunken brawl while the boys are dropping like flies on the battlefield. There is a danger of having this feel like a repeat of LWW where Aslan + girls are saving the stone statues in the Witch's castle while the boys are on the battlefield, which the Walden movie managed to avoid that feel by changing it up, I'll admit that. I think the best way to overcome it is (and I'm repeating myself, I know) by showing that the Pevensies have grown in competence and character and are capable of assisting Aslan (not that he needs it).
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby Reepi » Dec 07, 2018 4:19 am

The slight blister on Susan's heel in LWW.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby Artorius Pendragon » Dec 12, 2018 2:03 pm

I think that one of the things that would be cool to expand is Prince Caspian. And yes, I know that others have talked about this, and that the Disney movie did expand some things, but I think it can be so much more. I think that Andrew Adamson had something right with starting it with Prunaprismia giving birth. He was trying to tell the story in chronological order. This is a great idea, however, they should have gone back even further in my opinion. You could start with Miraz killing Caspian IX, and then have Caspian with nurse, her removal, Cornelius looking at the stars, the whole deal. Then you could have him meet the Narnians, and all the battles that Trumpkin just briefly references. Then, the biggest letdown in my opinion with the movie we have, is the blowing of the horn. Even though you don't really see it in the book, I've always imagined how amazing it would be. There's also the Focus on the Family audio drama cover to Prince Caspian is just so cool with him blowing the horn. I've always wanted to see just how amazing that would be in a movie with them getting attacked, and then Caspian blowing the horn as soon as he got a chance in the middle of the fight. (And if this were done in a mini-series, that could be the end of the episode.) Then you could start the next scene (or episode) with our four children, and continue the story in chronilogical order. That is the two biggest other issues I have with the Disney movie, is that they cut out them following Aslan, and having to trust Lucy. And the other scene, is making the trees a bigger part of the story, and I argue the battle as well. I always felt like they should have been given much more screen time, since they're so important in the book.

Anyway, that's my take on how it could work well. This is my favorite book, though it wasn't initially, but it is now because of how much it means to me. I really do like the Disney film a lot, and it got soooo much right that I can say that I LOVE it. (I cannot say the same for VDT) That being said, I think the story could be done better, so those are just some of my ideas.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Dec 20, 2018 8:16 pm

So many good thoughts about PC, fantasia. :ymapplause: I especially like Lucy and Susan playing a more active role in the liberation of Narnia instead of just being swept along by the Romp. I do agree with Monty Jose about highlighting Lucy's role in the story, though. I like the idea of making sure both Peter and Susan have clearly defined arcs (and foreshadowing Susan's fall from Narnia as well) in PC, but I wouldn't want that to be at Lucy's expense. I feel like PC is Caspian and Lucy's story, so I definitely hope the upcoming adaptation reflects that.

Cleander wrote:Oh, wait I think I see what you're saying about the Lamppost, Col Klink. The light dying could be a subtle way to connect with the audience if the characters don't notice it. That way the sense of impending doom is made more personal by the fact that the audience alone can see this strange, ominous happening. And the feeling of relief is given to the viewers when they see the light burning again.


Ooh, I can easily imagine the ominous image of a guttering lamp-post! Especially in a trailer. And then finally seeing the real thing at the end of the story, shining more beautifully than ever before. Actually, it could be neat if, after Tirian and Jill and Eustace stumble through the stable door, they come across the lamp-post just like Lucy does in LWW after going through the wardrobe door, except in a spring glade in Aslan's Country... that would be a departure from the book, but it would be an interesting redux and would definitely catch the viewer off-guard.

Artorius Pendragon wrote:There's also the Focus on the Family audio drama cover to Prince Caspian is just so cool with him blowing the horn. I've always wanted to see just how amazing that would be in a movie with them getting attacked, and then Caspian blowing the horn as soon as he got a chance in the middle of the fight. (And if this were done in a mini-series, that could be the end of the episode.)


I love that idea! The scene where Caspian blows the horn in the Walden film has always seemed so premature to me. Having Caspian wind the horn in the thick of desperate battle, when all hope is almost lost, would be a lot more cinematic.

Artorius Pendragon wrote:This is my favorite book, though it wasn't initially, but it is now because of how much it means to me.


It's my favorite, too. \m/

Now, turning from Prince Caspian to The Last Battle for a moment...

Something I'd love to see expanded is Emeth's story. We see so little of him in the book, but he has one of the most dramatic arcs in the whole series, I think. I know he arrives in Narnia disguised as a merchant with Rishda Tarkaan's crew, but I think they should instead have Emeth take part in the attack on Cair Paravel before going to Stable Hill as reinforcements later on. His shift from fierce, naive crusader for Tash to such intense disillusionment that he willingly enters the stable door just to learn the truth—it would be really cool to see this story play out in real time, instead of hearing his tale at the end.

(And a random scene that flashes in my mind as I think about this: at conquered Cair Paravel, Calormene soldiers are setting fire to tapestries of the Narnian kings and queens of old as Emeth looks on, conflicted, not knowing he will meet these very people a short time later beyond the stable door.)
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby PrinceRillianIX » Dec 24, 2018 7:16 pm

I think an interesting character that could be expanded upon is Queen Prunaprismia, especially if the book is adapted into series.

Now, the character has already been portrayed as a more sympathetic character compared to the novel, which worked within the Walden/Disney adaptation. I believe the people behind these Netflix adaptations should expand on what the source material gave us. So, in the novel, very little is known about her except that she had red hair, and that she and Caspian disliked each other. She is mentioned in the book is made regarding the birth of her son, so we don't really know what happens to her.

There are two ways we can expand this, either we go for the Shakespearian approach with Prunaprismia dying during the childbirth. The birth of his Miraz' could then become one of sacrifice, where his wife had to die for him to have an heir. This is interesting but only slightly expands on the book, and wouldn't work unless it had some dramatic weight to impact Miraz for the rest of the series/film.

On the other hand, we could take the character even further. Now this would be more complicated considering motivation and the birth of her baby, but if we want to expand on Prunaprismia's cruel side hinted at in the book, this is what could be done. She could become part of the Miraz' plot and by his side and defends him till the end, which would leave her fate unknown. More interestingly, you could have her work against Miraz and be plotting along with Sopespian and Glozelle. Only to either meet her end at the battle or flee Narnia with her son.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Dec 26, 2018 1:54 pm

Interesting thoughts about Prunaprismia, PrinceRilianIX. The fact that Lewis left her fate unknown definitely leaves her story open to interpretation.

Her name is a reference to prunes and prisms, an idiom that means "affected, primly precise, or priggish speech or behavior," which fits right in with the stodgy and rigid Telmarine culture ... but it also kind of makes me wonder if she didn't just dislike Caspian, but disliked children in general. So I can possibly imagine a scene during the liberation of Narnia where Prunaprismia gets her comeuppance (something similar to the scene in the book where the man is beating a boy and turns into a tree), and her child is then given to a loving, childless couple in newly-freed Narnia.

But it's also possible her prim and proper demeanor may have been a cover for darker designs, and that she was plotting against Miraz along with Sopespian and Glozelle. I can't really imagine her doing that unless she was romantically involved with one of them, though.

Here's a problem, though, with any storyline that doesn't end up sending Prunaprismia's son through the Door in the Air: we never hear about Caspian's cousin in the rest of the books. This is especially noteworthy in The Silver Chair where one would imagine his name would come up now that Caspian is near death without an heir. So I think Walden was pretty perceptive with their handling of Prunaprismia and the baby, and I'm having a hard time coming up with a workable alternative to it that doesn't involve turning Caspian's cousin into a full-fledged character. (Maybe one of the knights in SC who left in search of the missing prince and never returned? Now that's something else I wouldn't mind being expanded upon... were they all killed, or are they still wandering the wilds in vain?)
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby aileth » Dec 27, 2018 11:45 am

Rosie wrote:(Maybe one of the knights in SC who left in search of the missing prince and never returned? Now that's something else I wouldn't mind being expanded upon... were they all killed, or are they still wandering the wilds in vain?)

Oh, no! They were held captive by the green mist, and when Rilian is freed they all come back. :-\

Actually, I like the idea of finding out more about the missing knights. And the cousin thing could be fun.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby Cleander » Dec 27, 2018 1:55 pm

The missing knight thing could be cool... I can imagine some filmmakers having the travellers find a spooky valley in the north, filled with the bones of those who've come before... 8-x 8-x 8-x
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby PrinceRillianIX » Dec 27, 2018 2:20 pm

I mean it might be an interesting idea to explore the idea that these knights have fallen victim to things our travellers have managed to escape. A knight who travelled to find Rillian was met by a lady who told him to travel to Harfang, where he was killed by the giants. Maybe some are killed by the Lady of the Green Kirtle herself in her snake form to stop anyone from finding the lost prince.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby JFG II » Apr 09, 2019 1:35 pm

What should Nettlix expand on?

I’d like to see LWW start off with a flashback to the early 1930’s of the Pevensies when they were much younger [Lucy is a baby, Edmund is like 3, and Susan & Peter are like 6 & 7] probably in church with their parents listening to the preacher ranting about and condemning the new dictator of Germany - Cut To: 7 years later. The kids flee the Germain air raids and take the train to the Professor’s house.) ;)

Netflix should expand on the characterizations of the children throughout the series - partly to differente then enough from each other so they don’t feel like copies of each other (Polly & Jill, Shasta & Caspian), partly so that there is more subtle drama in the stories that the books didn’t need, but the adaptations need. (Ex. Edmund is a bad kid in LWW, but it’s revealed near the end after he’s changed that he wasn’t always like that. He went to a horrible school as a child that turned him nasty. We should see what he was like before all that went on.)
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby Reepicheep775 » Apr 12, 2019 7:36 am

After thinking about Mark Gordon's recent comments about the pitch he made to Netflix, I think I know why I had such a negative reaction to it.

Lewis's approach to world-building is very different from George R. R. Martin or Tolkien. Although Narnia is "immersive" in the sense that Lewis creates an atmosphere that you can get lost in, I can't get lost in the world of Narnia because of its world-building. There is world-building, but it's nowhere near as extensive as it is in LotR or GoT.

LotR and GoT are the kind of stories that you can write history books, atlases, sourcebooks, RPGs, etc. for, but I think you'd have a hard time doing that with Narnia. Lewis just didn't seem all that concerned with creating real functioning societies in his books. I don't say that as a criticism. He was just writing a different kind of book than Tolkien or Martin.

Think about Tolkien's criticism of Narnia. He disliked Father Christmas being in Narnia because it made no sense. How could the Narnians be aware of Father Christmas if they aren't aware of Christ? There's a lot of "fairy tale logic" in the Chronicles. Ruth Pitter challenged Lewis about the absurbity of the beavers being able to eat potatoes in a land that allows no imports and has been locked in winter for a hundred years, to which he had no answer. Or think about the technology in Narnia. It stays pretty much stagnant for its entire history. If anything it seems to regress considering Mrs. Beaver's sewing machine in LWW. The things that Tolkien or Martin would agonize over, Lewis didn't seem all that concerned with and, honestly, I don't think the Narnia books are any the worse for it. They just aren't that kind of story.

Anyway, I could ramble on about this for a long time, so I will get to my point. I'm not concerned about the Netflix series trying to make the Narnia "universe" more like Middle Earth or Westeros in the sense of making it seem like a real lived in culture. The Walden films did that and I quite liked it e.g. the Telmarine culture felt like it had a real history. I think it makes sense for a visual adaptation of the Narnia books. What I am concerned about is the creators trying to turn Narnia into something it isn't and losing sight of what makes the books great in the first place. Much of my gripes with the Walden films arguably stem from that very issue. By trying to turn Narnia into LotR, they emphasized minor things in the books (e.g. the battles) over major things like winter turning to spring, the Romp in PC etc.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Apr 13, 2019 2:52 pm

Reepicheep775 wrote:Lewis's approach to world-building is very different from George R. R. Martin or Tolkien. Although Narnia is "immersive" in the sense that Lewis creates an atmosphere that you can get lost in, I can't get lost in the world of Narnia because of its world-building. There is world-building, but it's nowhere near as extensive as it is in LotR or GoT.


I was just reading an article on National Catholic Register that was published in the wake of the Narnia rank-a-thon that sprung up on Twitter recently, and one of the phrases the article uses is "mythic worldbuilding."

The author, speaking of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:

The serial adventure linking increasingly fantastic islands and dangers — Deathwater; Dragon Island; the sea serpent; the Magician and the Dufflepuds; Dark Island; Ramandu’s Island, with its perpetually renewed feast and enchanted sleepers — all on a voyage to the utter east, to the dawn and the world’s end, with sweet seawater, ever-increasing brightness, the white sea of lilies and finally the wall of water with the otherworldly mountains of Aslan’s country looming beyond: this is the Narnia books’ finest achievement of classical-style mythic worldbuilding.


And on The Silver Chair:

If the Odyssey-like journey east in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (see Part 1) is the finest achievement of mythic worldbuilding in the Narnia stories, the second finest is in the descent into the underworld in The Silver Chair.

Not only are Underworld itself and the Earthmen splendid creations, Lewis gestures evocatively toward greater wonders still in the land of Bism in the true depths of the Narnian world.


You might be able to write a detailed history of J.R.R. Tolkien's and George R.R. Martin's worlds, but C.S. Lewis's worldbuilding is meant to inspire wonder. Think about the way that Rilian responds to Golg's tales of Bism... he's not thinking about the logic of what he's told; he is captured with longing to see the glistening land below. Lewis's writing hearkens back to a time when there might be any number of fantastic things beyond the horizon, and his stories evoke that longing and wonder in the reader.

So...

Would I mind if there was a little earth-sheltered greenhouse near the Beavers' house, tucked away in the background as a subtle explanation for the potatoes in winter? No, not really.

But if they made a fuss of it, explaining what it is and how the earthen walls retain the sun's warmth for the plants, and that even though it provides some vegetables for them they have to ration them, and the greenhouses are really important to the Narnians because they'd all be dying of scurvy otherwise... uh, I think I would rather drop a brick on my foot than watch that. :P (And that's coming from someone who finds earth-sheltered construction interesting. ;))) If the filmmakers think that details like this are central to crafting the adaptation — if their mission is to "make sense" of Narnia — then that would be a big problem.
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby Cleander » Apr 15, 2019 2:18 pm

Quick thought- if the series includes an extensive look at the life of The Friends Of Narnia in England, could C.S. Lewis himself possibly be portrayed in it? Perhaps he could provide narration and be shown as a colleague (or perhaps former student) of Professor Kirke who somehow gets let into the secret of Narnia. Maybe Kirke asked him to write the Chronicles after he died.
In VDT, there's also a part where Lewis even briefly describes himself talking with Lucy about part of the story. (I won't quote it here just to avoid giving spoilers... and because I can't remember the exact words and don't have the book handy.) Perhaps he could be used as a thread to connect all the traveller's stories.
Just a weird idea I had the other day. Not even sure if I like it myself...
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby JFG II » Apr 16, 2019 11:37 am

Cleander, that’s a fantastic idea!

It would be like that ‘Life of Pi’ movie adaptation, where the book is written like an author was interviewing the main character, but the movie puts those interviews on-screen, almost like a making-of-story while the actual story is being shown.

I agree it’s not an easily likable story device; It would be difficult to adapt well; but I’ve thought that it would give more context to the Narnia stories themselves, even more so than the books.

The only problem is how to deal with The Last Battle, where no one who knew Narnia is around for Lewis to interview - except for Susan, and she’s done with Narnia by that point in the book series. Do I sense a change in her character? Maybe a dream she had about where her family went after... (spoilers...). I don’t know, but Susan is the only main character to go back to an ordinary life, so, maybe Aslan gives her a sign of hope in the form of a story she tells Lewis. Only she thinks it’s all in her head, but he knows it really happened. How’s that?

Back to basics, C.S. Lewis was a using an old tried-and-worked 3rd-person narration for his books, but the movies got rid of that point of view for a more conventional film approach, which didn’t feel Narnian or Lewisian enough for me (Is Lewisian even a word?...).
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Re: What should (or shouldn't) be expanded in a Netflix series?

Postby Reepicheep775 » Apr 17, 2019 8:28 pm

That's an interesting idea, Cleander. One thing about the Narnia books that is hard to translate into film is Lewis's personality as a story-teller. He isn't an omniscient narrator, but is almost a character in the story. Having him be an actual character/narrator in the movies could imitate that aspect of the books at least a little bit. It would be cool if whoever played him tried to imitate his voice from the surviving recordings we have of him.
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