Thoughts on Prince Caspian

Prince CaspianI recently finished reading Prince Caspian. I had read it before, but most of my memories of the story come from the movie version. Prince Caspian was the second of the Chronicles of Narnia to be written, although it is the fourth chronologically according to Narnian history. Having reread the book, I enjoyed it much more than the movie (not that the movie was bad).

The basic story is that it is many centuries since the events of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Humans have migrated from Earth to Narnia and have conquered it. All memory of old Narnia with its talking beasts and mythical creatures has been removed from history. Young Prince Caspian is the rightful heir to the throne but he is removed by his evil uncle Miraz. Caspian finds himself in the company of some old Narnians and leads a revolt against his uncle.

Things don’t go well for Caspian and so he blows an ancient magical horn that is said to bring help in times of need. This is the same horn that was given to Susan by Father Christmas back in the earlier story. This horn brings Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy back to Narnia. Because time runs different in Earth and Narnia, it has not been long for the children but it has been centuries for Narnia.

One of the interesting things about the story is that it is difficult even for the Earth children to see Aslan, especially the older Peter and Susan. Growing into adulthood can make faith more difficult. However, Lucy not only sees Aslan, but sees him as bigger than before.

In many ways, this story represents the post-Christian culture that C.S. Lewis was trying to speak into. Not only do the new Narnians reject belief in Aslan and the kings and queens of Narnia, some of the old Narnians do as well. The old stories are written off as myths and fables. However, the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve are real and respond to the summon for help. And it is Aslan that ultimately brings the victory.

Prince Caspian is definitely one of my favourite books in the series. It is a great story and an insightful reflection on faith in a post-Christian world.



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