Spoilers- The Chronicles of Narnia
When I was child I adored The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe I had a paperback copy of the story which had been read and re-read so many times the pages and cover was coming away.
Then for Christmas one year I was given a VHS copy of the BBC adaptation and watched it over and over. There was and still is something magical about Narnia under the reign of the White Witch, a place where it is always Winter never Christmas and the four Pevensie children who happen across Narnia all thanks to a magical wardrobe.
The tale revolved around Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy but for me Susan was my child hood heroine, she was the oldest girl (like me) and shot a bow and arrow which lets be honest is pretty bad ass. But my adventures with the Pevensie children ended after the third book in the seven book series The Voyage of The Dawn Treader. This I thought was to be the children’s last adventure but never the less it was mine. I don’t remember why I never ‘returned’ to Narnia all I know is that with nostalgic love the stories have stayed with me and now in my twenties I still think of them with the same great affection.
Last night The Voyage of The Dawn Treader was on TV and so sparked a conversation that will change my opinion of C.S Lewis, Narnia, Susan and the other Pevensie children forever.
My friends and I were watching the (2010) film when one of them piped up and said “shame how the book series ended” leaving me gaping wiped eyed desperate for answers. She went on to explain that three of the Pevensie children die in a train crash and upon their deaths return to Narnia. She went on further to explain that Susan does not die and does not return to Narnia, having ‘turned her back on the world and is said to no longer be friend of Narnia’.
I have only read the first three books so I find it hard to form a opinion on what happened to Susan but since last night and the revelation that my childhood heroine was rejected from a world where it was promised she would always be a Queen I have struggled to except her end.
When researching Susan briefly last night I found this quote from J.K Rowling regarding her fate-
“There comes a point where Susan, who was the older girl, is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She’s become irreligious basically because she found sex. I have a big problem with that.”
After finding comments on Susan from J.K Rowling, Neil Gaiman (check out Neil Gaiman’s short story Here) and numerous other authors I have decided to explore Narnia and The Problem with Susan more. Reading all seven of the books this time, I have also decided to read them chronologically ending of course with The Last Battle. I am hoping to discover Narnia once more but most importantly discover Susan and find out what happened to her.
I read somewhere last night that this is truly the first time an author has turned their back on their own character. I don’t know if C.S Lewis turned his back on Susan but I intend to find out. My Susan Challenge begins now!