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The Land vs Narnia
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheWormoftheWorld'sEnd wrote:
ninjaboy wrote:
I actually like the Chronicles of Narnia. It's allegorical children's literature where the author has the temerity to kill all the main characters. It's pretty impressive to me.

But having said that, I don't see the 'Narnia' ending as an option. Sure there is every chance the 'Land's world' will be destroyed, and everyone from the 'real' world is dead, and everyone in the 'world of the Land' will be dead, but even if that comes to pass I doubt that the conclusion of that would be the good go to Heaven and the bad go to Hell..
The Land may be remade (perhaps in the style of the Neverending Story) if it is destroyed..
And somewhere Linden is going to find an answer to the Forestal's question..


The Neverending Story. Someone finally hit upon where I got the idea of Linden riding the Worm.


Couldn't that be Dune as well though? And weren't the Sandworms called the 'Makers'?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ninjaboy wrote:
TheWormoftheWorld'sEnd wrote:
ninjaboy wrote:
I actually like the Chronicles of Narnia. It's allegorical children's literature where the author has the temerity to kill all the main characters. It's pretty impressive to me.

But having said that, I don't see the 'Narnia' ending as an option. Sure there is every chance the 'Land's world' will be destroyed, and everyone from the 'real' world is dead, and everyone in the 'world of the Land' will be dead, but even if that comes to pass I doubt that the conclusion of that would be the good go to Heaven and the bad go to Hell..
The Land may be remade (perhaps in the style of the Neverending Story) if it is destroyed..
And somewhere Linden is going to find an answer to the Forestal's question..


The Neverending Story. Someone finally hit upon where I got the idea of Linden riding the Worm.


Couldn't that be Dune as well though? And weren't the Sandworms called the 'Makers'?


Yes. Makers, and little Makers. I should have said I got the idea of Linden riding the Worm at the end of the world from Neverending Story. And whoever has white gold will survive the end.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Folks!

I was watching "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" and "Prince Caspian" yesterday and it suddenly hit me that the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant are massively inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia.

It's something acknowledged by Donaldson, as I recall some GI question which raised the Tolkien parallels, and Donaldson mentioned in his reply how surprised he is that people see this but don't see the Narnia influence.

But I never thought there was much to it, aside from the very obvious parallels of people from the "real world" being translated into a fantastical land, and the way time runs faster than the "real world" in both Narnia and the Land.

But now it strikes me as a huge inspiration, and so I searched on here to find what the Watchers had to say on it. Glad to see someone else has picked this up.

Now I write this having read Narnia and 1C and 2C decades ago, and owning none of them, so please pardon my defects in memory!

And I'll say up front, that the inspiration of Covenant has loads of sources of course (even though I think that the Narnia ones are striking). And obviously Covenant has very different themes, and a very different impetus. It seems clear to me, though, that reading Narnia as a child, has inspired Donaldson in conceiving the Chronicles.

This is what I've picked up on:

Susan comes to disbelieve in Narnia. She prefigures the Unbeliever. Susan disbelieves in it when she's not there, and Donaldson innovates with a story based on a character who disbelieves whilst he's right there in the midst of it!

Edmund enters Narnia in LWW, and royally mucks things up for everyone from the start. In this he clearly prefigures Covenant. Near the climax of the book it is discovered that his traitorous actions lead to events which threaten the "deep magic" on which Narnia is based, and if the White Witch is prohibited from taking his life, Narnia will collapse and end. In LWW, Aslan saves both Edmund and Narnia by sacrificing himself in Edmond's stead. In Donaldson we get to see the alternate scenario - as there is no Aslan in the Land, we get to see what happens when the "deep magic" (read "Law, Law of Death, Staff of Law, Law of Life) actually is broken. This echo is the clincher for me, because both events are absolutely central to both stories. They are indeed the pivot on which they both swing. In Lewis's case it is the pivotal story as it parallels the salvation story of Christianity. In Donaldson, it's what the whole plot swings on!

And in the LWW movie, in the climactic battle with the White Witch, Edmund redeems himself by breaking the White Witch's pointy-wand weapon with which she turns the Narnians into stone, saving his brother Peter. If this happens in the book, then this prefigures Covenant redeeming himself, by destroying the Illearth Stone, the tool of Despite, saving the Land. (The physicality of the Witch's wand being broken, prefigures the physical breaking of the Staff of Law as well).

It has to be said that initially Covenant does better than Edmund, as he tells Foul where to go right at the start. (But then he mucks up anyway!)

Seeker of Truth wrote:
The main characters of Narnia also died in their real existence (train crash I believe) just like Linden etc being shot just before translating to the Land.


I also picked up on this. Initially the kids go back and forth between the "real world" and Narnia (and ages pass in Narnia between their visits). But then they get killed in the real world, and then get to stay in the fantastical realm forever (in this case, its heavenly realm). Just so for Covenant. He initially goes back and forth, with ages passing in the Land between his visits, and then he gets killed in the real world, and gets to stay in the Land (in 2C) permanently (or so it seems at the time). And of course, this happens with Hile Troy immediately in 1C. This parallel seems very striking. And the beginning of the Last Chronicles, and the Last Battle, are both blood-baths in this fashion.

The Last Chronicles, The Last Dark, The Last Battle - the title inspiration is obvious.

I think Lord Foul reflects the White Witch more than Sauron. The coldness and soulnessless of Foul's Creche echoes the White Witches castle, and her coldness.

The Witch's winter, obviously an inspiration for Foul's winter in "The Power that Preserves".

Seeker of Truth wrote:
at the end of the Narnia books, Narnia was destroyed by "Father Time" who extinguished all the stars including the Sun .... a bit like the Worm eating the stars in the Land!


Yes, and I wonder whether the name "Father Time" did not inspire the creation of the "Time Warden".

I think it can be successfully argued that the destruction of Fleshharrower's army in Garrotting Deep by the aroused trees echoes the events in "Prince Caspian" more than the events in "The Two Towers". In "Prince Caspian", Lucy goes on a solo mission to Aslan, who bring the trees to life which then turn the battle against the Telmarines. In "The Illearth War", Hile Troy leaves his army, and begs help from Caerroil Wildwood, The Forestal, who bring the trees to life. (In "The Two Towers", do not Merrry and Pippin, essentially bump into the Ents by accident? My memory is very hazy here). By the way "Prince Caspian" was published in 1951, three years before "The Two Towers". So Lewis preceeded Tolkien with this!

What else?

I think there is plenty more! I'm just trying to remember now what has occured to me .... oh yes!

The Deplorable Word : a direct inspiration for the Ritual of Desecration, I think, which is so central to the set-up of 1C.

Oh, and what does Lewis do in a sequel? Send the heroes on a quest at sea! What does Donaldson do in a sequel? Send the heroes on a quest at sea! The Voyage of the Dawn-Treader >> The Voyage of Starfare's Gem!

And then there's the names!
Who doesn't hear the echo of Cair Paravel when they read Caer-Caveral?
One of the principal horses in "The Horse and His Boy", is called Hwin. Ranyhyn echoes this, as I believe do the actual names of the horses in the Last Chronicles (as a more faithful reader than I will have to confirm - I don't have the books!)

I've got to wonder why Donaldson has talked about his Narnian inspiration more! And I suspect it might be because it is still active in "The Last Chronicles"! And in this regard I've got to say that Narnia has got to be a conscious influence on Donaldson (he has talked about "unconscious" influences a lot!)

There are some subltle inspirations for the Last Chronicles. In the Silver Chair (which is getting near the end of the Narnian story), Caspian's son is stolen away by the Big Bad of that book, and held somewhere unknown. The heroes quest to find and rescue him! ("Lord Foul has my son!"). And note thate Caspian is the protagonist of Narnia's first sequel, just as Linden is the protagonist of the Covenant sequel. Now there's a parallel I didn't see coming. Well I guess they both had parent-issues! (In Caspian's case, step-parent issues!). Caspian's son is held under an enchantment which makes him demented, and he is made to believe he must be bound to a silver chair during his nightly psychotic episodes. This, albeit slightly, echoes Jeremiah's condition.

Actually, "The Silver Chair" is the one Narnia book I don't have any real memory of, and I've depended on Wikipedia to get the plot. Michael Ward, who discovered the Narnia Code, says this of the Silver Chair :
Quote:
[In "The Silver Chair"] Aslan only appears in person in his own high country above the clouds and has to be remembered by way of signs and in dreams below in Narnia, where the air is thick. The structure of the book reflects the great lunar divide that existed in medieval cosmology between the translunary realm of certitude and the sublunary realm of confusion.
This prefigures Kevin's Dirt. In the early Narnia books, Aslan actually is in Narnia, (albeit always ariving at the last moment!), and is actually huggable, just as in the First Chronicles, the health of the land is palpable.
[ Source : http://touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=20-10-022-f#ixzz1iu5YqEIW ]

And another echo with the Last Chronicles. Lewis wrote seven Narnia books, and before writing the closer - "The Last Battle", he wrote and released a prequel for the whole series "The Magician's Nephew", which shows how Narnia is set up in the first place. Donaldson's time travel to the time of Berek in the Last Chronicles - seeing how things began before showing the big climax - also echoes Lewis's sequence.

I realize that these Last Chronicles links are somewhat tenuous, but given the solid ones for early in the series, I don't think that they can be ignored!

And finally, never forget, in the 1C, as in Narnia, there are GRIFFINS!

Very Happy Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And Falstaff is inspired by Buddha. Cuz they're both fat men.
It isn't right to call things the same when you can only do so by ignoring everything that is different...
For example what LZ [I think] said; TC could be a Christ figure...yea, except that he's exactly the opposite of Christ in almost every way.

Just because form follows function doesn't mean that a styrofoam cup and a waterford crystal champagne flute have anything in common other than holding liquids.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Insanity Falls wrote:
The Witch's winter, obviously an inspiration for Foul's winter in "The Power that Preserves".

Seeker of Truth wrote:
at the end of the Narnia books, Narnia was destroyed by "Father Time" who extinguished all the stars including the Sun .... a bit like the Worm eating the stars in the Land!



I'm not a Narnia expert, but I still deem we're dealing with Norse mythology influences here. There are separate threads for this in the 1 & 2 chrons forums and here, both worth taking a look. For instance the three-year winter Fimbulvetr begins just before Ragnarökkr.

Some snippets from the Norse End of All Things (although it's much more dramatic if you read the whole poem):

Völuspá wrote:
50. From the east comes Hrym | with shield held high;
In giant-wrath | does the serpent writhe; [remember Jörmungandr is Loki's son]
O'er the waves he twists, --- Naglfar is loose.

51. O'er the sea from the north | there sails a ship
--- at the helm stands Loki;

55. --- The bright snake gapes | to heaven above;
Against the serpent | goes Othin's son.

56. In anger smites | the warder of earth,--
And, slain by the serpent, | fearless he sinks.

57. The sun turns black, | earth sinks in the sea,
The hot stars down | from heaven are whirled;
---


The last stanza, particularly, resembles the conclusion of AATE.

As I mentioned elsewhere, it rather amused me that a mad, disfigured giant breaks free from his shackles and fares to the Land from Gianthome ("Jötunheimr") at the helm of Dire's Vessel, together with a band of battle-ready Giantesses bearing names like Rime and Frost(-). Loki and the onset of Ragnarökkr, much? Laughing Völuspá furthermore teems nicely with serpents and wolves, both of which we see aplenty in the Last Chrons.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bible must not be forgotten (the bible at least we know for a fact featured prominently during Donaldson's childhood). To me the way the Land's world gradually unravels parallels the Creation story in Genesis (in reverse order of course)
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also certain 'basic elements' repeat themselves across the mythologies of various cultures. Take the vanishing of the sun, moon, and stars for instance. In a way, Völuspá contains two stories: Either Fenrisúlfr eats the sun, or it grows black. In Finnish mythology, the witch Louhi steals the sun, moon, and fire, which later must be restored by Väinämöinen and Ilmarinen. The Biblical description of the apocalypse contains for instance this verse:

Quote:
6:12 And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood;

6:13 and the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth, as a fig tree casteth her unripe figs when she is shaken of a great wind.


Could probably find other examples too. Yet, to summarize, there are older works than Narnia that embrace these themes. Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Neverending Story. Someone finally hit upon where I got the idea of Linden riding the Worm.


Didnt they do that in Dune as well?
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Insanity Falls wrote:
I've got to wonder why Donaldson has [sic] talked about his Narnian inspiration more!


Read "The Books That Made the Difference." Like the creators of LOST, he cites the Narnia series as his central inspiration.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:17 pm    Post subject: Seeds / Ingredients / Precedents ... call them what you will Reply with quote

Mighara Sovmadhi wrote:
Insanity Falls wrote:
I've got to wonder why Donaldson has [sic] talked about his Narnian inspiration more!


Read "The Books That Made the Difference." Like the creators of LOST, he cites the Narnia series as his central inspiration.


Thanks for your interest Mighara!

I had read that! I just couldn't recall it when I wrote my post.

It's here :
http://www.stephenrdonaldson.com/TheBooksThatMadeADifference.pdf

Stephen Donaldson wrote:
I doubt that any book or books affected me as much as C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia series.


Eustace Scrubb at the beginning of the Voyage of the Dawn-Treader is an unbeliever in Narnia through and through, and he remarkably maintains this disbelief after being carried into the Narnian world, and being surrounded by talking animals! There's a very important germ of an idea there beyond doubt! As an unbeliever, Eustace is also a right brat!

I am interested in seeds and beginnings of things, and the processes of evolution. I enjoy discovering "chains of precedences", cascades of events, and the accumulations of happenstances and coincidences which lead to the creation of all sorts of new things. Discovering how things came about delights me!

Being aware of the large and obvious elements of Narnia that became seeds for new elements in Covenant, I am tickled when I notice other seeds/echoes which in themselves couldn't be taken seriously, but in context make me thing "blimey!", and give me a chuckle. For example a major element of the final Narnian chronicle, The Last Battle, is an Aslan imposter. And a major element one of the Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is a Thomas Covenant imposter. And in both, the situation which allows this to happen is the real Aslan's and Covenant's absence. People are free to dismiss such things as coincidence, and will dismiss them I have no doubt, but as I have just explained, in the context of the large and obvious seeds and echoes, they strike me as "aha!, there's another thing!"
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great analysis of the Narnia stuff. I haven't read the books but I do like the first and third movie. The second (Prince Caspian) is less well done.

I'm a G.G. Kay fan and I have to note (if we are bringing up other fantasy series and their similarities to Covenant) that The Summer Tree was published in 1984, a mere five years after The Power that Preserves.

In it we get Rakoth Maugrim the Unraveller, who parallels Lord Foul the Despiser. Like Foul, Maugrim brings down an unnatural winter over Fionavar, and even changes the moon's color (to red not green, however).

Foul lives in Kiril Threndor after the Creche is destroyed, inside Mount Thunder.
Maugrim lives inside Mount Rangat.

Foul is the Creator's brother or rival, who seeks to unmake the Arch of Time and escape.
Maugrim is a god who seeks to unravel the Weave of Time and escape.

Foul is immortal for he is from outside Time.
Maugrim is immortal for he is from outside Time.

Foul is opposed by Covenant, Linden, and Hile Troy, all from our Earth.
Maugrim is opposed by Kim, David, Paul, Jennifer, and Kevin (hmm..Kevin!), all from our Earth.

Covenant carries the White Gold, the keystone of Wild Magic, a ring.
Kim carries the Warstone, known as the Wandering Fire, a ring.

Foul has Kastennessen.
Maugrim has Fordaetha of Ruk.

Ur-viles serve Foul.
Svart alfar serve Maugrim.

Foul has wolves.
Maugrim has wolves.

Now of course Kay was writing this stuff after Donaldson, but maybe the ending of his Fionavar books yields some clues to the Last Dark.

Therefore I will make the following five bold predictions:

1) Lord Foul and She Who Must Not Be Named had a son. No one knows about him yet, but he will turn up and the question throughout the final book will be "Whose side is this kid on?!"

2) Covenant will have to sacrifice himself in order that Foul be stopped...oh wait, that already happened. Carry on.

3) Linden will discover a creature powerful enough to defeat Kastenessen and maybe Foul himself. But she refuses to compel it to join the battle for moral reasons, even though her friends will surely die if she does not. (HOLY S*** this sounds like it would actually happen in a Donaldson book!)

4) Just as Kastenessen has the heroes on the ropes and is about to kill them, Sir Lancelot from Camelot will appear and defeat him. Yes, this actually happened in the Fionavar books.

and finally...

5) Lord Foul will be killed by some dwarf's dagger.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good thinking HC - and quite possibly along the right lines. I struggled with the *Fionavar* trilogy - I found it a bit too 'celtic' for my taste, but I can definitely see where you are coming from. I think at that time epic fantasy was had few exemplars on which to build on. You had Donaldson and Tolkein, possibly le Guinn but few others (ducks in preparation for being shot down in flames!) and so similarities were bound to creep in. It would be an interesting turn of the tables for SRD to draw his final end from 'that which has gone before'.

If you ever get around to reading the Narnia books, a book fairly recently released claims to have elucidated the great puzzle of the books (Every-one who knew Lewis said he was such a tight and rigorous author/person that Narnia just does not 'fit' with his charachter. It is loose, often poorly phrased and inconsistant. This has led people to surmise that burried within the childrens story we are presented with is an allegory of deeper intent.) I'm not going to reveal the authors 'solution' in case you are piqued into trying to work it out for yourself Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Horrim Carabal wrote:
Great analysis of the Narnia stuff.


Thank you Carabal!

(Although I haven't read GG Kay, I would not be surpised to find that SRD has been a big inspiration for other writers!)
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Insanity Falls wrote:
I haven't read GG Kay


I recommend "Sailing to Sarantium".
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've sometimes wondered is the Land's world is ultimately flat like the world of Narnia. I don't think there's any proof of this one way or another, but it seems odd that the Giants never approached the Land's continent from the west and encountered the Insequent.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course analogies with the Gospel story have to identify counterparts to:

* Judas, who committed a crime and brought damnation upon himself in order to enable the eventual redemption of the world;

* Pontius Pilate, who acquiesced in a demand (by the priests and the mob) that he knew to be unjust, and in so doing also enabled the eventual redemption.

In the Chronicles, both High Lord Kevin and Esmer suggest aspects of Judas, but neither completely fills the bill.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrPaul wrote:
Of course analogies with the Gospel story have to identify counterparts to:

* Judas, who committed a crime and brought damnation upon himself in order to enable the eventual redemption of the world;

* Pontius Pilate, who acquiesced in a demand (by the priests and the mob) that he knew to be unjust, and in so doing also enabled the eventual redemption.

In the Chronicles, both High Lord Kevin and Esmer suggest aspects of Judas, but neither completely fills the bill.


Agreed, Dr. Paul!
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surely someone here has read Sailing to Sarantium? Kay has a lot of great books, but StS is right up there with LFB for me. Two books that changed the way I see fantasy.
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