I have to confess that I think about characters far beyond what actually appears in the written pages of books. My favorite characters to think and dream about are those from Narnia.
Edmund. To me, the most fascinating character in the whole series. My favorite line of his is when he says, “But even a traitor may mend. I have known one that did.” And he looked very thoughtful, or so the book tells us. I read layers and layers into that. I love to think about Edmund returned to England after years spent as a king in Narnia, about that crazy heart change that occured. I wonder what his parents thought of the change when they saw him again after the air raids were over, if they thought it was the Professor who had been a good influence, or that country air, or the opportunity to explore a big house. I picture that Edmund was a quieter boy when he returned, and that when he spoke, it was often profound. He had, after all, been an adult– and royalty– a warrior and known for his commitment to justice.
Susan. I have dedicated much time to pondering “The Problem of Susan,” which we encounted in The Last Battle. Where did things go wrong for Susan? And how could she turn her back on it all when she had been present at the Stone Table? I have struggled through it the best way I can– by writing, both a poem and a short story.
Aravis and Cor. Because I have the heart of a thirteen-year-old teenybopper, I often wonder about the love story of the king and queen of Archenland. All Lewis tells us is that they argued so much and made up so much that, when they got older, they got married so as to go on doing it more conveniently. This is one of the few love stories in the Narnia series (the only other I can think of is Caspian and Ramandu’s daughter), so naturally, I am drawn to it. I can’t help but think that Cor, in his quieter ways, thought that she would fall for his twin brother. There is so much teenage angst in it that it almost makes me want to write fan fiction. Almost.
Professor Kirke. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall listening to the conversation between the Pevensies and the professor after their long sojourn in Narnia. Can you even imagine Digory’s great relief when he learned that they had witnessed the demise of Jadis, whose presence in Narnia can be traced directly back to the professor’s youth? We obviously get no glimpse into this, since The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was written before The Magician’s Nephew. Lewis was well aware that there were gaps and inconsistencies in his series, and even intended to go back and fix them, but it just never happened.
Anyway, you already knew I was a nerd. Now you know that I’m kind of beyond hope of any rescue from it. In fact, it’s Friday night, and I’m sitting alone in Dunn Bros, looking at Narnia fan art. It’s all over for me. Haha!
(On a sidenote, there is a startling amount of Lucy-Tumnus pairing. Um, gross. Really, really gross.)
Edmund Pevensie of The Chronicles of Narnia is one of my favorite characters in literature. Jack Lewis sometimes writes small phrases about Edmund that have made me think far beyond the Narnia cannon.
***SPOILER ALERT*** If you have been living under a rock and have not read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, then please stop reading this blog, get yourself to Barnes & Noble, and purchase and read the book already!!!
I am fascinated by Edmund’s transformation.
I love when (in Horse and His Boy), Edmund argues against killing Rabadash, saying, “Even a traitor may mend. I have known one who did.” In Dawn Treader, Edmund admits to Eustace, “You were only an ass, but I was a traitor.” It has been so interesting to me that he became known as King Edmund the Just. For years, I believed that his experiences ought to have led him to be called King Edmund the Merciful. After all, justice had once demanded his own death, although Aslan took his place. But then I realized that Aslan’s substitutionary death was also just– that is, it satisfied the debt and kept Narnia from perishing in fire and water.
I always wonder what it was like when Edmund first returned to England after growing up and becoming a king in Narnia. In fact, I wrote a poem about it.
The wardrobe door was its own sort of holy baptism—
to push past fur coats with a spiteful heart of stone
then to reemerge moments—or years—later
with one of bold flesh that brimmed with nobility.
I like to think of you returned to boarding school,
a ten-year-old king and warrior, able and just,
your thoughts far from arithmetics as you plumb
the treasures in your core and find there grace—
grace overflowing, for you know as well as anyone
that even a traitor may mend.
I think this song by Kutless is actually about Edmund, and it asks some of my same questions.
What do you think: am I waaaaay too into Narnia? What are your thoughts on Edmund Pevensie?