I thought about the Narnia Chronicles last night and the characters (really need to read the books again)–and I realized something interesting about Prince Caspian. There is a time gap between the end of the duel and battle and the gathering in which Aslan sends the Pevensies back to England. The book says:
Next day messengers (who were chiefly squirrels and birds) were sent all over the country with a proclamation …
All over the country, mind you, which must have taken some time. Lewis doesn’t specify how long that time gap is, but it had to be lengthy enough for the messengers to travel throughout Narnia, for the Telmarines to talk over the matter among themselves, and then for the Telmarines to travel to the glade of Aslan’s gathering on the appointed day. I’d estimate two to three weeks, since humans can’t travel as fast as birds and squirrels.
And during that time–I totally see Caspian making friends with the Pevensies, spending any available time with them. Lewis doesn’t say this directly, but since Caspian was so interested in the old Kings and Queens, he would want to get to know them. Certainly by The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Caspian and the younger Pevensies greet each other like old friends, and he and Lucy have no recorded interaction in Prince Caspian.
So I totally see Caspian bonding with the Pevensies more quickly than he’d bonded with anyone in his life before, asking questions about their lives during the Golden Age (and getting confused about some events because the siblings would interrupt and correct each other during the narrations), and learning bits and pieces about their world. Susan and Lucy would no doubt feel sorry for his lonely childhood, and would go out of their way to make him feel accepted and welcomed among the four of them. I could actually see Caspian bonding more with Lucy than with Susan (*glares at Walden Media adaptation*) because they share idealism and faith and hope. And Lucy would tell Caspian everything she knew about Aslan.
I could also see Caspian still thinking himself insufficient to be king (the feeling probably didn’t disperse instantly), but Lucy would comfort him by reminding him that Aslan would always give him wisdom. Caspian would no doubt look up to Peter as a mentor and guide (*glares at WM adaptation again), a role Peter would recognize and take seriously. He was willing to leave Narnia in Caspian’s hands, but he would want to make sure this young prince was equipped for the responsibility.
But I could also see Caspian just having fun with the siblings. And sometimes feeling it was all surreal, talking with the old Kings and Queens out of the stories; but the next moment, laughing with them like he’d known them all their lives.
- Caspian is totally the sort to want friends over for the holidays. If the Pevensies stayed in Narnia or could travel between the worlds, he would definitely have them over for Christmas.
- Caspian picks up British phrases from the Pevensies, and those phrases slip into his speech from time to time. Sometimes without his even realizing it.
- The five of them had a good laugh over how lost the Pevensies got en route to Aslan’s How and the basic geographical errors they all made. With Trumpkin cheerfully explaining how grumpy, stubborn, and air-headed these Kings and Queens were during parts of the journey. Caspian is half appalled at this cheek and half amused by it.
- He finally works up the courage to ask Edmund to have a sparring match with him. It’s a close match, but Edmund wins. And then shows Caspian a few sword fighting tricks that had been forgotten since the Golden Age.
- Though the Kings and Queens were legends of history, it had been forgotten how the four children came to Narnia in the first place. Caspian asks about this one day, and Lucy tells him the tale (only briefly mentioning how her siblings did not believe her discovery at first) and shows him the all their gifts from Father Christmas. Caspian is intrigued by this origin of the Horn and the cordial and the other weapons the Kings and Queens carried.
- Those weeks between the final battle and the farewells are some of the most solemn, but also the happiest, of Caspian’s life.
So. Many. Feels.