Martian Caspian

Michael Ward argued that each book in The Chronicles of Narnia was designed to embody a respective member in the Ptolemaic planetary system. And Prince Caspian is supposed to embody Mars. Yesterday Channel 5 screened Prince Caspian and I think the Martian elements can still be observed in the movie:

1. Mars is the Roman god of war and Prince Caspian is, well, about war, war, and war. This is the most obvious link between the two.

2. There is a notable dialogue between Lucy and Reepicheep, where Lucy commented that Reepicheep was “cute.” Reepicheep immediately rebuked Lucy for her comment and said that he preferred to be called “chivalrous” or “courageous.” And these are basically the main themes of the story: chivalry and courage.

3. So, it is not simply about war. But, about the rule of conduct that is expected when one goes into war. That is, Prince Caspian is supposed to communicate an honorable knightly character. And Peter acquired this character when he refused to kill Miraz when he had Miraz at his mercy. Of course, on the other hand, Miraz was then literally back-stabbed by his own man, and it communicated an anti-knightly character.

4. Mars was known as the guardian of agriculture, and he was then associated with trees and forests. The god of woods, Silvanus, is associated with Mars as well, that one could refer Mars as Mars Silvanus. Prince Caspian started with the silence of the trees and ended with the revenge of the trees.

(5. This is less plausible but I will put it anyway. Like other gods of the woods, Silvanus is also associated with music. In Prince Caspian, the Narnians held a council in a place called the Dancing Lawn. This place is prominent only in this volume.)

For what it’s worth, the first volume in the series, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe plays on the joviality of Jupiter, and the next series to be released in theaters, The Voyage of the Dawn Trader, is irradiated by the Sun (note the word ‘dawn’ on the title; it is one of the two volumes which explicitly state its planetary patron, of which the other one is The Silver Chair).


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