I wrote Narnia fanfic! It was a treat for Snacky, who mods the Narnia Fanfic Exchange. Her prompt was “Rilian wanted to explore Bism in The Silver Chair. I'd love a story about him going back to the Underworld, after he's King, and looking for a way to Bism.”

If you don’t recall that bit, which obviously she and I found extremely memorable, it’s after Prince Rilian has been disenchanted. All the Earthmen, who had also been enchanted by the witch, are fleeing back down to their home at the center of the Earth. One of them invites Rilian to visit his home:

“I have heard of those little scratches in the crust that you Topdwellers call mines. But that’s where you get dead gold, dead silver, dead gems. Down in Bism we have them alive and growing. There I’ll pick you bunches of rubies that you can eat and squeeze you a cupful of diamond juice. You won’t care much about fingering the cold, dead treasures of your shallow mines after you have tasted the live ones in Bism.”

“My father went to the world’s end,” said Rilian thoughtfully. “It would be a marvelous thing if his son went to the bottom of the world.”

However, Rilian is not able to go. He says, “But I have left half of my heart in the land of Bism.”

I’ll Squeeze You A Cup Full of Diamond Juice.
movingfinger: (Default)

From: [personal profile] movingfinger

You are the best Narniaist!

He goes down in history as "Rilian the Susceptible," right?
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)

From: [personal profile] davidgillon

Oh, nicely done!

it’s after Prince Rilian has been disenchanted

For some reason my brain read this as 'after Prince Rilian had been decanted', which isn't quite the same thing.
Edited Date: 2015-09-08 05:46 am (UTC)

From: [identity profile] ethelmay.livejournal.com

That was really neat! I do have one nitpick, though: if Caspian died of extreme old age some time ago, how can Drinian (who was a good deal older) still be around? Or is he supposed to be a different Drinian?

(Mind you, I've never understood how Caspian could have been all that old when he died, either, unless he and Ramandu's daughter waited a few decades to have a son.)

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

GODDAMN IT. You are totally right. Uh, yes! It was a different Drinian! The first Drinian's son, Drinian Junior!

I don't think Lewis is much better with timelines than I am, though. Rilian is how old? Thirty maybe? Even if he was twenty-five when he was taken, and thirty-five when he breaks free, Caspian seems at least eighty. Which would mean he had Rilian when he was forty-five. But he only seems about twenty-five during Voyage of the Dawn Treader. What were he and Ramandu's daughter doing for twenty years?

From: [identity profile] ethelmay.livejournal.com

Too true about Lewis and timelines. Professor Kirke is also far older than he should be -- going by the beginning of The Magician's Nephew, where he's said to be a boy at the same time as the Bastables were looking for treasure in the Lewisham road, he can't have been born earlier than the late 1880s, so he'd only be in his fifties at the beginning of WWII. (Note: Lewis's own father was unwrinkled and not even very gray in his fifties, going by a photograph of the two when Lewis was a young man. So it's not just "oh, people aged faster then.") I always think Kirke must have gone and had magical adventures for a couple of decades somewhere -- not via the wardrobe, but some other way, where he wouldn't de-age when he came back.

I remember when I was little noticing that in stories princes and princesses were never middle-aged before ascending the throne, but kings were often old, and wondering how that worked.

From: [identity profile] ethelmay.livejournal.com

Oh, and Caspian can't be even as much as 25 in Dawn Treader. He says it's "exactly three years" since Prince Caspian, and he can't be more than fifteen or so at the end of that.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

I swear Rilian can't be more than thirty in The Silver Chair. So either Caspian died of old age at around fifty, or he and Ramandu's daughter waited thirty years to have a kid.

…this sort of thing is why certain types of textual analysis work better with some texts than with others. With Tolkien, the answer would be that the descendants of stars are slow to come into fertility but never cease to be fertile, so it really did take them thirty years to have one kid. With Lewis, it means he wasn't paying attention to the timeline.

From: [identity profile] asakiyume.livejournal.com

This thread for the win. These problems are really easy to have! I've noticed them in *many* books. Maybe it's especially a problem if you're writing people a lot younger than you are. Taking my own case: I'm in my fifties now. If I write a this-world story with a twenty-year-old in it, my mental headspace is that she's not much younger than I am, because I don't feel so very old. But really she's young enough to be my daughter! Which means if I describe her mother, I can't have it be a person who had the experiences my mother had; I have to think about someone my own age.

But maybe it's just carelessness: wanting your heroes young in all cases, but then doing arbitrary things like having Caspian die in old age (for fun transformation sequence in the river in Aslan's country).

From: [identity profile] graydon saunders (from livejournal.com)

Or Rilian's been in (the-moral-equivalent-of-)Faerie for sixty years and not aged at the usual rate.

From: [identity profile] ethelmay.livejournal.com

Except it specifically says ten years in Narnia (i.e., Caspian-time), I think.

From: [identity profile] tool-of-satan.livejournal.com

Oh yes, I remember that bit of The Silver Chair! Great story.

I always used to wonder what the lands we didn't see were like, any time there was a map in a book or a mention of a place. I vaguely remember writing a letter when I was about eight to Tolkien's US publisher asking for information on Forodwaith and the lands beyond the Sea of Rhun and so forth. (I did not get a reply.)

From: [identity profile] shveta-thakrar.livejournal.com

I love this idea so much. I also wanted to go down to Bism and eat the jewels.

*bookmarks the fan fic to read later*

From: [identity profile] sunlit-music.livejournal.com

This fanfic was lovely, I enjoyed reading it! :)

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