February Is Fantasy Month and Guess Who Needs to Reread Narnia (ft: the Narnia tag!)

Well, chaps, it’s February.

February is known primarily as the month of chocolate and True Wuv by those in cheerful or derisive moods, and as the Wednesday of the Year by those in despondent moods, but February is also Fantasy Month. For which we have the lovely Jenelle to thank. As the theme of this year’s Fantasy Month is fandoms, and as I was recently(ish) tagged for the Narnia tag, and as Narnia is one of my favorite fandoms, and as…well…timing, etc…it seemed appropriate, don’t you know.

rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you (In the words of Bilbo Baggins, thag you very buch, Maya!)
  • Describe the rate of your Narnia fanatic (nostalgic, serious, maniacal)
  • Answer the questions below
  • Tag 5+ bloggers
  • Have fun!

[note: none of these pictures are mine. I copied the beautiful graphic above from Maya’s post, and the pictures, unless otherwise noted, I found on Pinterest.]


rate of Narnia fanatics:

  •  Nostalgic Fanatic — you read the book and/or watched the movies as a child and the word Narnia gives you a warm feeling
  •  Serious Fanatic — you rediscovered the wonder of Narnia after you were older and have read the books and watched the movies
  •  Maniacal Fanatic — you have lived Narnia from childhood, hid in closets on more occasions than is healthy, have read and watched all the movies including the BBC version

I (quite frankly) don’t like this rating system. According to it I’m a Nostalgic Fanatic (never saw any of the movies, never really wanted to either, and yes, the word Narnia does give me a warm fuzzy feeling), but I really think I ought to be considered at least a Serious, and perhaps even a Maniacal, Fanatic.

I literally read my mom’s one-volume paperback Narnia collection till it literally fell apart. Literally. The other day I found a chunk of The Horse and His Boy under the ping-pong table. Finding such chunks, which range from 4 pages’ to 4 chapters’ worth of material, is not an unfamiliar experience either. (My mom did buy my littlest sister the series. So we do still have a readable Narnia, thank goodness.)

I read Narnia assiduously as a small child. It was my go-to. If I noticed it had been a while since my last reread, I started a new one. I actually haven’t reread all of them as an adult, but the ones I have I still love. And I really want to reread the others sometime soon (except The Last Battle, because…no).

So, I self-assess myself as a hybrid, a Nostalgic Serious Fanatic Who Ought to Take Better Care of Her Mom’s Books (Shame on You, Child).


// who’s your favorite Pevensie sibling? //

Edmund, I think.

Lucy has beautiful faith and the best retort to that “why don’t girls carry this-or-that in their heads?” question: “Because our heads have something inside them.” But Edmund is such a solid kid, after he gets over being a brat. I like dependable characters like that.

And, y’know, his redemption arc. Everybody else heard “redemption arc” and thought Zuko; I heard “redemption arc” and thought “Edmund.”

And I love him in The Horse and His Boy. (I love Susan a lot in The Horse and His Boy too, but…Edmund. We’re sticking with Edmund as favorite Pevensie.)


// what is the most underrated Narnia book? //

We are going to go with The Silver Chair here. It’s my favorite book, and it gets somewhat overlooked in favor of the two most popular ones (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian). The Horse and His Boy resides, like, a forty-seventh of a millimeter away from The Silver Chair in my affections, but people seem to properly appreciate it for the fabulous book that it is. And while The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Magician’s Nephew (my next-most favorites) are a little underrated (especially The Magician’s Nephew), I don’t think they’re as underrated as The Silver Chair. (And we’re just not talking about The Last Battle, because I don’t like that one.)

The thing with The Silver Chair is that it’s a little…dark. Comparatively. I guess Prince Caspian involves necromancy (so that’s family-friendly), but The Silver Chair has cannibal giants, enchantments that mess with your mind, a land that’s as shut in darkness spiritually as it is physically, and kids who, unlike the Pevensies, don’t have a super wholesome, normal, happy home and school life. It’s full of rain and caves* and deserted landscapes and a general sense of dreariness. I can see how people wouldn’t like that so much. In a way I’m surprised it’s my favorite book.

But I like the way Jill and Eustace have to deal with some really hard stuff. I like how their friendship develops. I like how Eustace, now a Reformed Character, has to suddenly be the one who Knows What He’s Doing (which he doesn’t), and you really get to see him shine. He’s…probably my favorite of the kids, to be honest. His life at home is probably the least awesome, and it kind of only makes sense that his Narnian adventure reflects that a bit?

I mean, have you ever thought about the fact (I just thought of this) that the Green Lady’s whole thing is stripping reality of its inherent magic – all lamplight, no sun; all cavern roof, no sky; all dreary circumscribed practicality, no idealism and no belief in something higher or more beautiful – and that’s almost the exact same background Eustace comes from in his real life? At the beginning of The Voyage of the Dawn-Treader, he takes pleasure in pricking holes in every bubble of imagination…in being realistic and sensible and smarter than everybody…and clearly that’s because that’s what his parents (and schoolmasters too, probably) taught him.

That’s very dreary. It’s a very dreary outlook to have on life, and it’s where Eustace comes from. And The Silver Chair deals with that in….a really, really profound way. I mean, for a children’s book and everything, too. So yes, it’s drearier than the other books, but it has to be. And I think it’s the best/most powerful (to me anyway) philosophically of all the books…

Also, Jill is great, and the book with Puddleglum in it is automatically going to be the best one, I mean come on now.


*Note: not that caves are necessarily dreary. Caves can be REALLY REALLY cool. If you have a flashlight to see the formations and a thirst to explore and, mostly, a way out.


// who is your favorite Narnian king? //

Tirian.

Tirian, with his head against Jewel’s flank, slept as soundly as if he were in his royal bed at Cair Paravel, till the sound of a gong beating awoke him and he sat up and saw that there was firelight on the far side of the stable and knew that the hour had come. “Kiss me, Jewel,” he said. “For certainly this is our last night on earth. And if ever I offended against you in any matter great or small, forgive me now.”

I freaking adore Tirian and quite frankly don’t think he gets nearly enough love.

Then he fixed his eyes upon Tirian, and Tirian came near, trembling, and flung himself at the Lion’s feet, and the Lion kissed him and said, “Well done, last of the Kings of Narnia who stood firm at the darkest hour.”


// who is your favorite Narnian queen? //

I about typed Aravis – does she count? I know she’s the queen of Archenland, not Narnia, but she is a Narnian queen in the sense that she’s a queen who appears in “The Chronicles of Narnia.” And she’s so very much my favorite.

I quite distinctly remember reading The Horse and His Boy for the first time, and how much I didn’t like Aravis. Then, when she told her story, I began to like her better. Then she kept being really annoying and snooty to my precious Shasta, and I didn’t like her again. And then…well, we don’t have to go through all the fluctuations. I ended up liking her very much. Rereading her story now is pretty awesome too, because she’s awesome from the beginning, in hindsight. Not to mention a natural-born queen.


// which non-human Narnian do you like best? //

Why do the non-human Narnians only get one question? There are too many of them for this to be fair.

That said…totally Puddleglum.

He’s so full of wisdom and…cheer.

“And you must always remember there’s one good thing about being trapped down here: it’ll save funeral expenses.”

-Puddleglum

“Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.”

-Puddleglum

“Puddleglum!” said Jill. “You’re a regular old humbug. You sound as doleful as a funeral and I believe you’re perfectly happy. And you talk as if you were afraid of everything, when you’re really as brave as – as a lion.”

Jill is quite right.


// which book deserves a movie? //

The Magician’s Nephew. I direct you to Katie’s awesome idea about an ethereal watercolor sort of animated Narnia – and then ask you do you not long to see the first sunrise and the creation of Narnia in that format? And to hear in the darkness, beforehand, the singing of the Great Lion? And to walk through the dead mists of Charn and the noisy streets of London and the impossible colorful cacophony of the newly awoken animals? I ask you.


// what is the one thing you did as a Narnia fan that you do not regret? //

I don’t at all regret the lengths to which I went to see what was behind any door in any wall or hedge I ever came across, and I do not regret the (surprisingly rare) trouble I may have gotten into due to this compulsion.

A lot of kids viewed wardrobes differently after reading Narnia. I didn’t really do that, but I did view doors in walls and hedges differently. (Whether this is because The Silver Chair was my favorite or because I didn’t encounter many wardrobes, I do not know.)

My fascination with seeing – nay, my need to see – what lies behind doors in hedges is with me still, in fact. And I always get a thrill when I go through one, even though I’ve yet to be transported to Aslan’s country. One of these days, maybe!



I now desperately want to reread Narnia. This tag has done its work well, I guess. Thank you so much for tagging me, Maya! Narnia is one of my absolute favorite stories, and I enjoyed doing this so much. I’ll tag five people, but feel free to do it or not as you are inclined!

Emily@E. K. Seaver

Mlle. Tomato@Project Pursue Wisdom

Blue@To Be a Shennachie

Movie Critic

Samantha@Bookshire

Published by sarahseele

A Christian, cat owner, college kid, and writer. Fond of stories. Fond of rain.

33 thoughts on “February Is Fantasy Month and Guess Who Needs to Reread Narnia (ft: the Narnia tag!)

    1. I love looking for pretty fanart…I should waste more of my time doing it, honestly.
      Yes. Yes. Puddleglum IS INDEED EVERYTHING. I kind of want to be him, tbh. The sense of humor is already there? Now I just need to be awesome and brave.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. AWP! This was super fun to read! The Silver Chair is my favorite, too! I’m reading it with my kiddos right now and we just got to Puddleglum’s awesome speech and “the book with Puddleglum in it is automatically going to be the best one, I mean come on now.” <—- this is everything. Yes.

    I spent an inordinate amount of time (and still do) looking behind all the doors. I didn't run into many wardrobes in my life, either. But if there's a door… I have to open it. Especially if it's a door to a closet or some other smallish space. Narnia is probably in there, ya know. 🙂 (I don't find many doors in hedges (or hedges… actually) and now I'm super jealous that you apparently run into them constantly).

    Aravis is such a precious character. I love her strength. And I love her character's arc and just everything about her.

    I may have to steal this tag… 🙂

    Okay, but your description of a water-color-animated Magician's Nephew actually made me nearly tear up. I didn't know I needed this in my life, but I definitely do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! The Silver Chair isn’t underrated in this comments section, which is awesome. 🙂 PUDDLEGLUM ❤ ❤ ❤

      Narnia is definitely in there. You just have to catch it at the right time. (Do you open doors multiple times, in case?? XD) (lolol I guess…I just have a very hedge-filled life?? I never thought about this before. I have been very blessed; thank you for making me properly grateful for it. :P)

      Yes! Such a strong person with such a lovely arc. And good with words, too. I've always appreciated that about her.

      Please do. 🙂

      I know, I'd never thought of it till I read Katie's post but like…I need it too. So much. (I was having all the feelings as I wrote it too! What a beautiful book. What a cool author Lewis was.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for the tag, Sarah! I’m definitely looking forward to doing this one!

    As a kid, I probably read Narnia almost as assiduously as you did, only I did it on audio–we had a compete set of the books on CD, and I listed to those CDs so often that *to this day* I cannot read a Narnia book without the CD narrator in my head. (Granted, the narrators (a different one for each book) were excellent. So I’m not complaining.) We still listen to one of them (usually Prince Caspian or Horse and His Boy) when we go on camping trips…it always gets us in the mood for adventures. 🙂

    The Silver Chair. I have mixed feelings about Silver Chair. Because, I honestly love(d) it, but at this point I’ve listened to it so many times that I’m a bit…sick of it. It’s almost part of me now, so IDK that I’d want to reread it, but I guess the fact that it’s so ingrained in my mental landscape…speaks for itself? Hmm. But I totally love your thoughts on the symbolism of the Green Lady!

    TIRIAN I LOVE HIM. Even though Last Battle is depressing, and I’ve probably read it in its entirety…once. (As compared to 73,000 times for all the other ones. XD)

    Aravis is the BEST!

    Oh, that idea for animated Magician’s Nephew is perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! I was hopeful it’d be up your alley. 😉

      Okay, that’s super cool! That’s how one of my best friends experienced Narnia too. She had an awesome, open basement, with a few well-placed poles (for trees, lampposts, gateways, or just plain swinging around in a cloak) and she said she’d put the CDs on, dress up, and act them out in her basement as she listened. Which makes me exceedingly jealous. I’m also jealous of your camping trip tradition! I love that!

      I’ve had that happen with books I love, so I understand. 🙂 Sometimes it makes me very glad I’m young. In forty years, maybe we’ll both come back to those stories, be able to reread them with some freshness, and love them all over again. I sure hope so, anyway.

      I KNOW, HE’S PRECIOUS. That question stumped me at first because I do love King Frank, but…Tirian. You know?? XD
      Haha, same with Last Battle! I read it the first time, and then once years later to see if I’d been too young to appreciate it or whatever…but nope. Still so depressing. (I mean I think Lewis was kind of going for that? Judging off Planet Narnia and how that’s the Saturnine chronicle…and it is very bleak and the whole plot and most of the philosophical implications do hinge on cynicism and cosmic gloom and…like, Lewis is a good author. He achieved what he was going for, I think, I just don’t LIKE it. XD)

      Isn’t she? ❤

      I know!! Katie's post flabbergasted me, I was so smitten with that idea!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Eeek! I’m so glad you love my idea of an animated Narnia movie series with a watercolor aesthetic!! WOULD IT NOT BE GORGEOUS, THOUGH? And most especially perfect for the creation scenes in The Magician’s Nephew? *happy siiiigh*

    Loved your tag answers! ❤ The Silver Chair is my favorite, too, and I loved your explanation of how amazing it is!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love it SO EXTREMELY MUCH. And for the creation scenes??? AWK. IT IS PERFECTION AND I NEED. *heart eyes*

      Thank you! And congratulations, your taste in Chronicles is impeccable. *gravely shakes your hand*

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The Last Battle certainly gets less rereads from me too… despite Tirian’s being such a strong and kind of tragic character.

    My favourite Pevensie sibling would be split between Peter and Edmund. Because I always have a soft spot for protective oldest siblings… but Edmund. (And I love the art you’ve added in for them… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. “Well done, last of the Kings of Narnia who stood firm in the darkest hour” gives me ALL the feels, EVERY time, but….I think I like tragic characters a lot more than I like actual tragedies??? (except inexplicably the two seem to go together heh)

      I have no idea why Peter isn’t my favorite, because I, um, have SUCH a soft spot for protective older siblings. (Maybe because I am one? I dunno? Are you one? Do you think that has anything to do with it?) He’s very nice, though. And yeah, Edmund. (Aye. When I saw that question I knew I had to use those pictures… ;))

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am a protective older sibling myself, yes (*high-five*) and I do feel like that really does affect which characters you empathise with! (And yes tragedies are not as fun as tragic characters…)

        Like

  5. Ooh! I love this post! Thank you for tagging me. 🙂 I shall be sure to do this… sometime… soon. I hope.

    THE HORSE AND HIS BOY TIES WITH LWW AND THE LAST BATTLE AS MY FAVORITE BOOK EVA. Truly. I wish Lewis had written more stories set in that Golden Age period! Because I want more of EDMUND.

    And Shasta. And Aravis.

    And Oh. Tirian.

    You’re after Mllm. Tomato’s own heart…. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “I shall be sure to do this… sometime… soon. I hope.” << me with every tag ever XD

      I know, right?! I want more Edmund, and more Golden Age Narnia in general (and more glimpses of countries outside Narnia!) The Horse and His Boy is so fantastic and…mouth-watering. Because there's so much more there! (This is true of Lewis in general, isn't it? His books always feel like they have so much depth underneath.)

      All of 'em ❤

      Praise indeed…I am touched. ❤ 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ha, thank you! I actually…started to redesign it, got interrupted it, and have yet to come back and finish the job, and when I do so I will definitely make sure to include a Search Box. (It may be a while tho bc I am bad at technology and it frustrates me but eventually the Search Box will make its appearance. xD)

        Mlle. Tomato has excellent eyesight, I am sure. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  6. “The other day I found a chunk of The Horse and His Boy under the ping-pong table.” …I don’t know why that sentence brought me so much joy, but…I’m grinning against just rereading it. XD
    Edmund is the best. We love him dearly.
    Ok, but Eustace is the ACTUAL best. The Silver Chair has always been one of my favorites. I love imperfect Eustace and Jill are (you know, pushing people off of cliffs and such). And PUDDLEGLUM. I adore Puddleglum. All the quotes you picked out *chef’s kiss* Perfection. I honestly love how dark the book is as well. And the parallel you draw between the Green Lady stripping things of magic and the outlook on life Eustace was raised with??? Ahhh, it’s so good.
    Ok, now I need to reread Narnia too.

    Like

    1. Okay but…taken out of context that sentence is TRULY hilarious. XD

      Edmund yes ❤ We love those imperfect characters, who push people off cliffs and betray their siblings for sweetmeats.

      And we also love grumpy dragons with unfortunate names. So much.
      I'm so pleased that you like The Silver Chair because it really is just…a book worthy to house Puddleglum. I don't like unnecessary darkness in books, but it's not at all unnecessary in The Silver Chair! It's part of what makes it so good!
      Oh, I'm glad you like that parallel too. I literally thought of it as I was writing my answer to that question and…I kind of like it myself. ^.^ It does seem to fit, I think.

      Yup, I'm off to raid my sister's bookshelf. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yay!!!!! Narnia is one of my favorite things EVER so I’m always thrilled to see other people love it as much as I do! Thank you for the tag! I think I’ll try to do it rather sooner than later.

    DUDE. YOUR CONNECTION ABOUT EUSTACE. I’ve never thought of that, but you are so right! That is how he is in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader! The Green Lady tries to make everything practical, but it takes away the magic of real life. How horrible! Puddleglum is one of my favorite characters OF ALL TIME. He makes me cry with how wonderful he is. The Silver Chair is the only book that I’ve ever read three times so I love it and want to read all of the books that many times.

    (Also, you destroying your mom’s copy by how much you read it speaks volumes. And not in a bad way!)

    I hated The Last Battle the first time I read it, but now I love it as much as the others. Though, I always forget Tirian’s name…

    Excellent answers all around! Especially about Aravis being your favorite queen!

    Like

    1. Yesss. It’s great to see things that deserve to be loved…being loved. Yay! I’ll look forward to your answers! (Even if they happen later rather than sooner. :P)

      Yeah, he’s the Green Lady of Dawn Treader, haha! Except much less powerful, fortunately.
      Same about Puddleglum.
      Okay, I LOVE the fact that it’s the only book you’ve read three times. THAT speaks volumes. It is such a wonderful book!!!!

      I thought maybe I would like it better when I reread it…but I didn’t. Sadly. Poor Tirian lol.

      Thank you, thank you! Aravis is the best, couldn’t not mention her. 😉

      Like

  8. Narnia is one of my childhood favourites, I practically devoured those books!!! My favourite books are The Silver Chair (I agree with everything you said there) and The Horse and his boy. My favourite Narnian king…hmm..I think it’s prince Caspian. My favourite character must be Jill. I mean, like Eustace and Edmund, she’s super relatable and very practical!
    My favourite non human character would be Mr Tumnus!
    That fanart is very beautiful, BTW.

    Like

    1. Yes! They were impossible to stop reading, once you started. 😀
      Those two are my favorites as well! High five for excellent taste, haha!
      Prince Caspian is very fun. I like that we get to see him at two different ages, too! First a young kid, then a teenager.
      And I LOVE Jill’s practicality. She’s definitely one of my favorites too (I have a lot of favorites….)
      Mr. Tumnus is such a sweetheart ❤
      I know, I thought so too! People are so talented.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. AGGGGGGHHHHH SARAH. *sobs* Narnia. NARNIA. I love it so much but I’d FORGOTTEN how much I loved it and you just REMINDED ME AND I NEED TO READ IT AGAIN. *sobs and wails and reaches for the volume across the room* *probably won’t follow through on this psychological need anytime soon but still appreciates Narnia being on her radar in a major way*

    I 100% agree on that rating system being unfair. Because in a lot of ways I relate most strongly to the Nostalgic Fanatic category. But it really ought to go beyond that. (Although in all honesty it’s been FOREVER since I spent time in Narnia, in any way, shape or form, so maybe I deserve the least-intense category.)

    Puddleglum. ❤

    And Tirian. Your segment on him may or may not have given me a fangirl attack.

    And EDMUND. (I don't know my favorite Pevensie. I think Peter might be up there, though. They're all so great. Sibling stories for the win.)

    And your reflection on The Silver Chair is so….good. So very, very good. I kind of think that one will be my favorite when I reread it, though I don't know. (Historically I've been very fond indeed of The Last Battle. *hides behind the nearest piece of furniture*) Because there's an enchanted prince imprisoned in a deep dark cave far to the north. It doesn't get much more romantic than that, in the fine old medieval sense of the word.

    Like

    1. This tag reminded ME. I actually just…started reading The Magician’s Nephew today. I have twenty million other things I’m reading but oh well.
      And, you know, whenever somebody writes a post about something I love, I’m all “I NEED TO REREAD THIS” but sometimes it’s enough just to renew one’s shrieking about it for a bit. Because there are too many things to read and reread, alas!

      Yeah! I do have deep levels of nostalgia associated with Narnia…but I also have MORE than nostalgia!

      Puddleglum and Tirian deserve ALL THE HEARTS AND FANGIRL ATTACKS. Well…not attack attacks, maybe? But…yes.

      (Why are there not more sibling stories. They ARE the best.)

      (Don’t hide, my dear. XD I know a lot of people who don’t like The Last Battle, and then the rest of the people love it the very best. It’s a polarizing book and I’ve always found that about it fascinating, though I’ve yet to decide WHY I think that’s so.)
      Oh my goodness gracious me YES. Enchanted prince imprisoned in a deep dark cave far to the north. EEEK. The phrase itself is stirringly romantic. I love it ❤ ❤ The Silver Chair is the book wherein multiple comments are made on how unpleasant "adventures" are, but at heart it's probably the very most romantic, flying as it does in the face of the notion that life HAS no romance or higher meaning. ❤

      Like

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