Synopsis: A thousand years after Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy left Narnia in Narnian time (or a year our time), they are called back to Narnia before boarding the train to go to school. They come to a completely different Narnia, and end up saving a dwarf from being drowned. The dwarf, Trumpkin, had been sent to meet the Pevensies after Prince Caspian blew Susan’s horn for help. Trumpkin tells the Pevensies of the current state of Narnia:
The Telmarines invaded Narnia many years ago, and the Old Narnians are in hiding. King Miraz has attempted to keep his nephew Caspian ignorant of Old Narnia, firing his nurse when she told him “nursery tales.” However, his tutor managed to tell him about Narnia as it used to be in secret. The day Miraz has a son, the tutor tells Caspian to run away. Miraz killed Caspian’s father to become king, and now that he has a biological successor, Caspian is sure to be next.
Caspian finds and gathers Old Narnians, and they begin to plan a battle. It’s quickly obvious that they need more help, and that’s when the horn comes into play. The Pevensies and Trumpkin now have to go back to Caspian et al. Lucy sees Aslan, and when she tells the others to go where she sees Aslan, the others don’t believe her. (Edmund believes her, but they have to follow Peter… into danger.) After some mishaps, they finally go where Lucy originally said. She sees Aslan again, and is told to wake the others and get them to follow her. They aren’t happy and can’t see him, but Aslan said she has to go no matter what. They end up in Caspian’s camp in time to save Caspian from a hag, werewolf, and a dwarf who wanted to resurrect the White Witch.
Edmund gives King Miraz a note asking to duel Peter. Some of Miraz’s men manipulate him into fight, because they’re hoping to weaken him and take control. Peter does win the duel in fact, but Miraz is killed by the very men who talked him into fighting. Battle ensues. Aslan arrives and helps set things right. Caspian becomes King, and Aslan sends the Telmarines back to their old world, which happens to be an uninhabited island in our world. The Pevensies have to return as well. Peter and Susan are too old to ever return, but Edmund and Susan will be back.
- I don’t care for Susan in this book. She’s constantly being mean to Lucy, calling her manipulative because the youngest shouldn’t call the shots and why does she see Aslan when the others don’t? On the flip side, Edmund redeems himself– even if he sulks for being woken up to follow Lucy.
- Reepicheep is amazing. He’s the epitome of “tho (he) be but little, (he) is fierce.”
- One way you can tell a character is bad is that they don’t smoke or drink. I forget the reasoning, but it’s mostly about being judgmental and not social. Very interesting, big contrasts from many Christians today.
Book vs. Movie
For doing such a good job of staying true to the first book, the second movie is a sore disappointment. Let me count the ways…
- Peter vs. Caspian rivalry didn’t exist in the book AT ALL. Peter says to Caspian that he’s there to put him on the throne, not to take it from him. The end. They work together and without any issues. The movie had constant bickering.
- Caspian and Susan romance didn’t exist, either. I get it, you’re trying to establish that Susan is the “grown up,” “pretty one” now, but it’s unnecessary and distracting.
- Timing of the battles: the movie was trying to establish that without Aslan, they were hopeless. But the scene where they invade the castle and Caspian tries to kill Miraz in bed didn’t happen.
- WHY do they keep bringing back the White Witch? I get it, Tilda Swinton is scary as all get out. But the idea that she was frozen in time waiting to come alive on the Stone Table— NO FRIGGIN WAY. Also, no way possible that Caspian and Peter would be tempted by that. The only thing I like about that scene is Edmund killing the witch.
- Not book related at all, but I did hear an interview that they were trying to speak in a semi-Mediterranean accent. The result wasn’t pretty, and thankfully Caspian spoke in his natural accent for the third movie.
Grades: 3-6 It’s a pretty straight forward story.
Grade: B It’s good, but not Lion, Witch, Wardrobe great.