6-Hera Syndulla

Favorite Character Types, Part 2

So, it turns out that I left out some character types from my last post!  And it’s becoming a tradition for me to publish 2-part posts–and on that note, Part 2 of A Few Note About Christine Daae is coming up, so stay tuned.  🙂

But for now, on to the character types!

The Responsible Eldest Sibling

Without, being over-protective, mind; it is possible to be responsible without being neurotic.  Right, siblings of mine?

*cricket chirps*

Anyway, I greatly respect the eldest child who takes the responsibility and power that comes with being the firstborn.  Younger siblings are watching, and they will pick up on the attitudes and actions of the eldest.  The eldest child also is the first to take on more chores, the first to drive the car, the first to have to balance school and social life, and so on–and therefore, they can help teach those things to the younger kids.  Also, I have a thing for protective characters.

Katniss Everdeen fits this category, as does Gale Hawthorne (if you’ve read the books, you know that he has younger brothers and one sister).  So does Peter Pevensie, Maedhros from The Silmarillion (to a degree), Rachel Lennox from Dancing Shoes, Roberta from The Railway Children, Ben and Polly Pepper from Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (Ben is the eldest, but he and Polly share the responsibilities of looking after the younger children), Dominick Rigonda from The Island Queen, and Sir Percy Ashwell from Elisabeth Allen’s The Abolitionist.

The Cynical Softie

This is the guy who seems hard, bitter, and tough, “like an India-rubber ball,” as Mr. Rochester says, but who is really a softie at heart, more caring than he lets on, and was perhaps hopeful and idealistic before he got knocked around by life.  This doesn’t excuse his behavior, by any means–but it does mean there’s more to him than meets the eye.  And it means the potential for redemption as well.

Sydney Carton is probably the poster boy for this type, but Mr. Rochester fits the bill too.  Puddleglum from The Silver Chair also fits this category; he isn’t exactly cynical, though he does believe in taking a serious view of life.  But he looks after Jill and Eustace with determination and puts very odd twists of cheerfulness on the situation–because one good thing about being stuck underground is that you don’t get any rain.

The Optimist

To be honest, I fit the category of softhearted cynic.  ‘Cause life is a total bed of roses, don’t you know.  But even in this sin-cursed world, there is hope and light and happiness.  And I love those ever-optimistic characters who remind me (and readers) of that truth.

The optimist is the guy who can’t be discouraged for very long.  He always hopes–always, even after being disappointed multiple times.  He may develop a slightly less rose-colored view of the world as the story goes on, but he refuses to be beaten down and given into despair.  He can always find a reason to be cheerful–and a reason to persevere.

Sam Gamgee is definitely one example; Pippin Took is another; and Bilbo Baggins has shades of this in The Hobbit.  Other characters of this type are Caspian and Lucy from The Chronicles of Narnia.

Outgoing & Bookish

This is the character who is definitely an extrovert, but who isn’t the empty-headed, party kid stereotype.  On the contrary, this characters loves to be around other people, but loves to read and learn just as much.  They handle their problems, goals, hobbies, and conflicts differently than the introverted characters–but they are no less intelligent and focused.

Unfortunately, I can’t think too many characters who fit this label except the ones I’ve written (writers–be nicer to extroverts, please.)  I consulted with Gingersnap, and she came up with Nim from the movie Nim’s Island (yes, it’s a book too, but I’ve seen only the movie).  Edmund Pevensie also fits this type–he’s stated outright to have read several detective novels, but he also is the sort to say what’s on his mind.  And then after the events of Prince Caspian, Caspian himself is far more outgoing than he once was, but he was also bookish to a degree when young.  Also Jane Porter from the Disney cartoon Tarzan and Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey.  And Anne from Anne of Green Gables.

The Sharp Wit

Have I mentioned I love a sharp wit?  From the outgoing sassmasster to the deadpan snarker, I love quick-minded characters.  This guy is never at a loss for words, but rather than being a blabbermouth, his lines are clever and witty.  And he often makes a good point about the situation (though his remarks can easily turn into complaining).  No matter what situation or argument you throw at this guy, he can fire back an answer and usually dismantle your point in the process.

Tony Stark fits the outgoing sassmaster type (though he does overlap with Deadpan Snarker as well), and so does Legolas from The Lord of the Rings (this may come as a surprise–but read his dialogue again.  He’s not exactly the subtle, deadpan type!).  Also Peter Parker/Spiderman, and Anakin Sykwalker.

More character than I can name fit the deadpan snarker category: Haymitch Abernathy, Sydney Carton, Captain America, Clint Barton, Natasha Romanoff, Bruce Banner, Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester, Edmund Pevensie, Aragorn, Merry, sometimes Gandalf, Bruce Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth, Selena Kyle, The Phantom of the Opera, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, Eames and Arthur from the film Inception, and so many others that I can’t recall all their names.

And believe me, I write this type of character too.

The Reasonable Authority Figure

Authorities get a bad rap in fiction, don’t they?  They’re often overbearing, un-listening, and always block the protagonist’s path.  If they’re fat and they have a mustache, you know they’re a bad guy.  And if he’s a bigwig in charge of a lot of companies/employees/whatever, he’s bound to let it go to his head.

Which is why I love the reasonable authority figure.  He is dedicated to his job, but also willing to listen to the protagonist.  (Which is no easy feat; lest’s face it, the trouble protagonists run into are often really, really hard to prove and convince others of.)  And though he’s patient with the main character, he will not hesitate to call out our hero if he’s being a jerk.

James Green from Mercy Street fits this type.  So does Doctor Thorne from the TV drama of the same name (yes, I know it’s a Trollope novel too, but I haven’t read it).  Alfred Pennyworth (from The Dark Knight trilogy) is a reasonable authority figure, as is Jarrod Barkley and Victoria Barkley from The Big Valley.

So there you have it!  What are your favorite character types?  Are there any others you’d add to these categories?

6-Hera Syndulla

Artwork Post – Long Overdue

I’m so sorry, guys.  I didn’t mean to wait this long!  Initially, I had very little artwork to post; then I got busy; then I got sick.  But when sick, I always get the urge to draw (putting the down time to good use, I guess), so behold an avalanche of artwork!

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a colored pencil tutorial book at Hobby Lobby and studied it thoroughly.  One technique looked interesting: laying down the values of the drawing with a black (or brown) pencil before adding color.  So I gave it a try…

The black-and-white values as the first layer…

…and here’s the finished product!  I like this technique!  Though it’s not the only one in the book; I’ll try some of the others later.

Another pencil drawing with the same technique (called “grisaille”), except this time, I used a black pencil to draw the values of the trees and a brown pencil for the values everywhere else, since the rest of the picture wasn’t supposed to be as dark.

The book also explained how to get rid of that white-ish waxy buildup that happens after several layers of color: rub the picture, lightest parts first, with a cloth or paper towel until the colors are uniformly smooth.  It’s one way to get rid of the sketchy pencil look that I complained about in my New Year’s artwork post.

Sloppy doodle of Charles Darnay on computer paper, done while listening to A Tale of Two Cities musical soundtrack.

Sketch of James Barbour as Sydney Carton, done while watching A Tale of Two Cities concert (and simultaneously dying inside of feels).

Slightly crooked drawing of Lennox, my character from Empty Clockwork, laughing at something.  He’s a generally cheerful fellow.  🙂

Drawing that I intended to be Mary, from my western story, but it didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted.  So it’s just a random girl putting her hair up.

It’s a head canon of mine that Susan Pevensie reads her mother’s old Good Housekeeping magazines, so here Susan is, curled up and studying household economy.  Also, I drew that pose entirely from my head with no reference!

Although I chickened out at drawing feet and so covered them with the blanket.  🙂

Once the children grew up in Narnia, Lewis describes Susan as “a tall and gracious woman”, so here she is, welcoming visiting dignitaries or ambassadors, or people like that (and hey, at least I tried to draw hands!).  I don’t see Susan being a flashy dresser or weighed down with elegance and jewelry; she’s sensible and practical, and would probably favor a sensible and practical style, though also one that befits her rank.  The place she would splurge with ornaments, however, would be her hair; you have all that gorgeous hair, and you’re going to want to do something special with it.

The Pevensies and Caspian discover fanfiction of their stories.  From left to right: Caspian, Edmund (standing), Peter, Susan (also standing), and Lucy.  Behold also my awesome back-of-the-computer-screen drawing skills (haha), though I am inordinately proud of that mouse and mouse pad, for some reason.

Drawing may or may not have been inspired from a real life pet peeve.  🙂

That’s all for now!







6-Hera Syndulla

Further Narnia Thoughts – A Confession, A Rant, and Personal Therapy

The Confession

You may have figured this out already, but I don’t like the Walden Media adaptations.  I enjoyed Peter, His Siblings, and Family Is Important The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when it first came out, but–ahem–I was 13.  We’ve all done things we’re ashamed of.

By age 16 and when Jerk Peter Prince Caspian came out, I was a bit more mature–mature enough to nearly succumb to traumatic shock at how much the story had been changed.  (Am I being sarcastic?  I don’t even know.)

And by age 18 when The Voyage of Self Discovery & Multiple Aesops The Voyage of the Dawn Treader came out, I was mature enough to succumb to neither extreme and to simply laugh at it. (*whole crew sailing into mysterious green mist of ambiguous kidnapping power* Caspian: “Now is the time to be strong!”  Me: “Oh, really, sir?  No kidding–I never would have guessed.”)

So, that’s the confession.  It leads straight into…

The Rant

Those paragraphs were not the rant, believe it or not.  But because I dislike the  movies, I get really annoyed by movie-based depictions.  I looked up Narnia fan art yesterday, and most of it was movie fan art.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but I’d love to see more depictions of how the artists picture the characters.  And on that note, I’d love to see more depictions of blond Caspian.  Lewis in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader describes him as a “golden-headed boy” (though such a description is never given in Prince Caspian, so I understand how readers would get a different image fixed in their minds).

Anyway, it didn’t take long for me to get tired of seeing Movie-fan art.  So then I looked up head canons.  About 45% were movie-based, 45% were odd or just didn’t sound like the characters Lewis described, and the remaining 10% were mostly okay.  It’s not a huge deal, but I want more of the book characters!  In particular, I’m tired of seeing fan fics and head canons with:

  • Modern-sounding dialogue
  • Hidden angst in the characters
  • Susan/Caspian ships
  • Unholy romantic pairings (you think Narnia escapes this?  Guess again)
  • Peter as the more level-headed, grounded one
  • Peter’s protective nature being magnified above his other qualities
  • Blond Peter
  • Completely logical Susan
  • Fashion/make-up loving Susan prior to The Last Battle
  • Feminist Susan/defense of Susan’s behavior in The Last Battle
  • Sassy prankster Edmund
  • Ignorance of Edmund’s thinker, justice-focused nature
  • Caspian as anything other than an earnest, cheerful, sometimes hesitant young man

The Personal Therapy

Yesterday, I began drawing my own fan art, and one piece depicts the reactions of the Pevensies and Caspian discovering fan fictions written about them.  I also began writing an essay discussing Book-Peter’s personality and character arc and relationships with others.  It quickly turned into a dissertation, and I shall put it in my “A Few Notes About…” series, although I’m going to try to finish Part 2 of my post about Christine Daae first.

It’s amazing how I’ve read and loved the books for 17 years and still notice new things about the story and characters.  For instance, while reading through The Horse and His Boy, I noticed this about Susan: she did not rush into a marriage with Prince Rabadash.  She judged him by his actions rather this appearance, race, or culture, and when she realized he was in truth spoiled, arrogant, cruel, etc., she made up her mind not to marry him.  And she did so of her own initiative; her answer to Edmund’s inquiry about her decision is an unequivocal no.  She’s not flighty or clueless when it comes to romantic relationships.

After Rabadash has been captured and imprisoned for unprovoked attack upon Archenland, the lords of the court mention that they are justified in executing Rabadash for his treachery.  But Edmund the Just argues against this–he points out that “even a traitor may mend.”  Barely two minutes later, Edmund tells Lucy that he doesn’t believe Rabadash would repent and mend–but was willing to show him mercy anyway.  A second treachery, however, would not be met with such mercy.

Hopping ahead to Prince Caspian, it melts my heart that the Pevensies were the closest thing to a loving family as young Caspian had.  His aunt disliked him, and Miraz, though initially willing to have Caspian inherit the throne, clearly never loved him.  I wish Lewis had shown a little more of the interactions between Caspian and the four Pevensies (I posted about that here).

What’s also amazing is Caspian did not grow up bitter and angry despite his lonely childhood.  He was unsure of himself, hesitant to take the throne, but–even after learning that Miraz murdered his father, after having to flee for his life, and after having to grow up quickly while barely a teenager–he remains humble, dedicated, and able to love.

He is also realistically young and adorable.  For instance, though he is taught Rhetoric (mentioned in Prince Caspian) and uses it in official situations, notice how informally he speaks around the Pevensies and other comrades.  He greets Eustace cheerfully and is somewhat amused by him (though this sentiment quickly fades).  He is instantly smitten with Ramandu’s daughter.  And he jumps overboard himself to save the three children struggling in the sea, though he could easily have ordered someone else to do it.  In short–Caspian is precious and must be protected at all costs.  Do not malign his character.  Or I will find you.  And I will kill you.

And lastly, more head canons:

  • When Peter was about 15, he shot up several inches in a growth spurt, and ended up lanky for about two years.  However, this did not happen as he was growing up in Narnia, because of the physical exercise he kept up.
  • When a king of Narnia, Edmund usually listened to what everyone had to say and only then spoke up, usually with an armor-piercing question or very obvious solution that everyone else had missed.
  • Susan learned to play the harp in Narnia, and she became quite good at it.
  • Though Peter discourages any suitors unworthy of his sisters, he’s particularly protective of Lucy, since she’s the youngest, very innocent, and his favorite sister.
  • In fact, he knows that Susan can hold her own, but that Lucy would be entirely too kind and sensitive to anyone obnoxious, thereby accidentally giving the wrong suitors hope.
  • Lucy has no idea that she is Peter’s favorite sister.  It has never crossed her mind that you can even have favorites among family members.
  • Lucy likes to play outside, and she brings home anything of interest that she finds: a feather, a oddly shaped rock, and colorful pebble, an old snail’s shell, colorful leaves, bunches of flowers…
  • Caspian is terrible at arithmetic.  (Lewis never even lists math as one of the subjects he was taught, though he surely learned it at some point.)
  • While he goes about his daily duties, Caspian often wonders what the Pevensies are doing at that moment in their world.
  • Early in his reign, when he found himself confused/overwhelmed by some political matter, he found himself wishing he could consult the High King.
  • Which led to the hope that just perhaps, Aslan would let the four of them return one day.
  • He even began to look for them at unexpected times.
  • On the other hand, Caspian did not realize it was the Pevensies (and guest) who appeared in the Narnian seas…he just saw three people struggling in open water and promptly dived overboard (like the precious, caring person that he is).
  • Caspian revived the art of navigation in Narnia…by applying the astronomy principles he learned from Dr. Cornelius.
  • As much as he loved his astronomy lessons, he also loves just stargazing for fun.
  • During the water shortage on the Dawn Treader, Caspian actually shared some of his rations with Eustace, and Edmund shared his with Lucy (Lewis states that Edmund and Caspian had been sleeping badly since the shortage began; and given their natures, it’s conceivable they were looking out for the younger characters).
6-Hera Syndulla

Further Narnia Musings – Of Logic, Motives, and More Headcanons

I’m re-reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and noticing new details, even though I’ve read and loved the books for 17 years.  For instance, the other day, I dissected Edmund’s argument to Peter in Chapter Six:

“Hush!  Not so loud,” said Edmund; “there’s no good frightening the girls.  But have you realized what we’re doing?” … “We’re following a guide we know nothing about.  How do we know which side that bird is on?  Why shouldn’t it be leading us into a trap?”

“That’s a nasty idea.  Still—a robin, you know.  They’re good birds in all the stories I’ve ever read.  I’m sure a robin wouldn’t be on the wrong side.”

“If it comes to that, which is the right side?  How do we know that the Fauns are in the right and the Queen (yes, I’ve been told she’s a witch) is in the wrong?  We don’t really know anything about either.”

“The Faun saved Lucy.”

“He said he did.  But how do we know?”

Edmund’s arguments seem to hint that seeking evidence and understanding presuppositions is the realm of skeptics, and that blind faith the habit of religious people.  And his first point is sound—they knew nothing about the guide (and Peter’s counter-argument is not that strong).  But look closely at the rest of Edmund’s argument—and his motives for making it.

Edmund has already sided with the Witch.  In fact, he knows she’s a Witch and knows she is dangerous; yet he doesn’t want to admit he’s wrong or give up his desire for glory (and more Turkish Delight).  His argument that “we don’t really know anything about either” is incorrect.  Yes, the children could seek more information about the situation.  But Edmund knew what the Witch had promised him and what she wanted in exchange.  And Lewis later reveals that his “beliefs” about the Queen were just an excuse: deep down, Edmund knew the Witch is bad and cruel.

He goes on to say that the Faun “said he [saved Lucy].  But how do we know?”  This is also incorrect.  Lucy said the Faun had saved her.  And Lucy had told the truth about Narnia, and Peter and Susan testified to the professor that Lucy always told the truth.  The strength of her word should have been reason enough to believe that the Faun did indeed save her.  Furthermore, the children had found Tumnus’s cave destroyed and a note inside condemning him for harboring spies and fraternizing with humans—which corroborated Lucy’s account and provided the children with more information about who the Witch was.

Thus, Edmund’s argument appears solid, but he deliberately omitted some information and misrepresented the rest.  And yes, the children would do well to gather more information about the situation.  But they were not operating on blind faith.  They did have evidence—and the testimony of someone who never lied.

And I don’t believe Lewis implied that seeking proof is wrong.  Peter says only moments later to Mr. Beaver, “Not meaning to be rude [about determining whether he’s a friend] … but you see, we’re strangers.”  And to this, Mr. Beaver shows his token of truth: the handkerchief Lucy had given to Mr. Tumnus.  Lucy recognizes it, and if it had any monogram or distinctive feature, the others should also have recognized it as hers.  (In fact, it makes sense that there was some kind of identification on the handkerchief; a plain white one could belong to anyone, and that handkerchief had passed through a couple of hands already.  It must have had something that made Lucy recognize it as hers.)  It’s common sense to gather evidence and discern it—but in this case, Edmund simply didn’t want to admit that the Witch (and therefore himself), was wrong.

Even while under the sway of the Witch, however, Edmund put together an argument that at least looked solid—and he did have valid points about following a guide they knew nothing about and the chance of getting back home (although perhaps he wanted to weaken Peter’s faith in who was right, as Edmund intended to bring his siblings to the Witch, not back home).  This and other details scattered through the series created my belief that Edmund is the logical one, not Susan.  Susan is practical and sensible—but Edmund generally sees (and points out) what should be obvious.  He seems to be the thinker sort, but without being stereotypically quiet.  If anything, he speaks his mind and is incredibly straightforward.

Head canon set #4:

Caspian doesn’t lose his temper often, but he he does, it ain’t pretty. (Canon-based; see The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.)

He is easygoing by nature, but also stands firm when necessary.

Susan is what we call an “old soul”.   Lewis says she was “no good at schoolwork (though otherwise very old for her age).”

She also likes to dance, and she’s good at it.

Edmund couldn’t care less about this, so Peter usually dances with Susan when she wants to.

Susan is the tidiest of the four, and she gets frustrated with her siblings for leaving their stuff out.

Edmund, for instance, leaves his books and papers literally anywhere.

That said, he usually remembers where he puts his belongings.

When he forgets (or when somebody moves them), he gripes about the problem until the missing items are located.

Peter can’t be bothered to tidy all his stuff, though he’s often in a hurry or just preoccupied.

And he has a nasty habit of letting dirty socks pile up under the bed.

Needless to say, the boys’ room is a mess.

Which drives Susan nuts.

Lucy also makes a mess when she works on a project; she works best in creative chaos.

Contrary to the Pevensies, Caspian is actually rather tidy.

Lucy’s favorite color is purple: not dark purple, but a soft lavender shade.

6-Hera Syndulla

Even More Narnia Musings

I’ve been thinking about the characters on and off all weekend, about their amazing differences and strengths.  I even created character boards on Pinterest for Peter, Susan, Edmund, Lucy, and Caspian.  And I’ll probably create more Narnia character boards later.

I also want to read the books again soon and draw the characters.  It’s about time somebody drew Caspian with blond hair–I’ve seen only one artist do that (artist Dawn D. Davidson, although I can’t find her DeviantArt account now.  She must have deactivated it).

Headcanon collection #3:

  • Never underestimate how righteously indignant Edmund can get on behalf of his friends and family.
  • He can be found with a book half the time.
  • The other half of the time, he’s out and about, playing sports or going somewhere important.
  • Edmund’s middle name is James.  (I’ve had that headcanon ever since I was a kid!)
  • He decided to go to Oxford after graduating school.
  • Caspian wears this silver pendant thing while sailing on the Dawn Treader.  No idea why; he just likes it.
  • Once Caspian becomes close to the Pevensies, he lets himself be far more cheerful and informal* and generally says what he thinks.
  • And the Pevensies are the only friends he can do that with.  (Doctor Cornelius was more of a guide and tutor than a comrade).
  • Caspian prefers casual or informal outfits to court finery.  He never feels fully himself when all dressed up.
  • Susan is kinesthetic** (a hands-on learner).  One reason she’s so good at archery, but not much good at schoolwork.
  • She is also good at handling interpersonal conflict.  She’s gracious yet focused.
  • There are times, however, when she gets very annoyed with others’ stubbornness and rudeness.
  • Susan likes wearing simple but pretty sweaters.
  • Lucy likes to paint with watercolors.  And always makes a huge mess on the table with her papers and paints.
  • Paint often ends up in Lucy’s hair.
  • Susan insists on combing Lucy’s hair after a painting episode and scrubbing out any color.
  • Therefore, Lucy took to cleaning up her paints in record time and fleeing the general area until Susan was thoroughly involved in something else.
  • Which is how Lucy made it out the door once with a streak of purple paint in her yellow hair.
  • Actually, she cleans her art mess only half the time.  The other half finds her abandoning the project for another interesting activity.  (She would get distracted while waiting for the paint to dry.)
  • Similar incidents of books/playthings/games/projects abandoned in this manner can usually be traced to Lucy.
  • If Peter needs the dining room table when Lucy’s paints are out, he (gently) pushes the paint supplies to the middle of the table and uses the cleared end.
  • Edmund just sets his books and papers amid the mess and works around it.
  • Peter hates visiting the Scrubbs (before Eustace was un-dragoned, especially).  There’s very little to do, the food is revolting, and he always gets the idea that Aunt Alberta judges his parents for their lifestyle choices–among other things, the schools they chose for their children, the storybooks they let them read, and the activities they let them do.
  • Not to mention that Eustace acts as though he is superior to his elder cousins because of his great knowledge of Facts.  Peter knows good and well that Eustace would be overwhelmed by any real scrape, and tries to keep an eye on him whenever there’s a possibility of something going wrong.
  • Aunt Alberta dislikes Peter because of his take-charge and protective nature.  She fears he will grow up to be a demeaning sort of person.
  • Susan tries to be gracious and welcoming whenever her cousins come over, and listens patiently (if reluctantly) to Eustace’s endless recitation of Facts and Aunt Alberta’s feminist lectures.
  • Edmund hides when his cousins come over.
  • Lucy finds his hiding places and joins him.  Before LWW, this was the only thing he would willingly share with his little sister.
  • Occasionally, Peter finds their hiding places and requires that his siblings come out and be polite to their guests, while admitting it was the last thing he wanted to do himself.  But that made no difference–they had to be respectful.
  • Other times, however, Peter just lets them hide, not wanting to subject them to this rot.

*Canon based, actually.  Look at the difference between his behavior around his men, the governor of the Lone Islands, and Ramandu and his daughter, and his behavior around the Pevensies.

**Also canon based.  Lewis said she was not much good at schoolwork (though otherwise old for her age)–and that she was good at more hands-on activities.

6-Hera Syndulla

More Narnia Musings

It occurred to me the other day that Lewis never stated the race of the Telmarines.  All he said was that they were pirates who roamed the south seas.  They could have been of any nationality.  But since Caspian is described (in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) as blond, and his aunt Prunaprismia is described as red-haired, that seems to indicate European heritage.

But the Telmarines probably had south seas native heritage mixed in, as Prince Caspian says that these pirates “took the native women for wives.”  On the other hand, Lewis generally specified if someone’s coloring was darker (or in the case of the White Witch, lighter) than the European norm.  Which seems into indicate that the Telmarines may have at least looked more European than anything else.

On a different note, I’ve seen some misconceptions about the Pevensies floating around.  Namely, that Edmund is a sassy prankster, that Peter is the more level-headed, grounded one, and that Susan is the logical, down-to-earth one.  I think this is all from movie influence.  The books’ descriptions are different.  Peter, to start with, is not only bold and adventurous, he’s the one who totally understands a kid’s propensity to hide and play jokes.  He even points out how Lucy could do it better: “You’ll have to hide longer than that if you want people to start looking for you.”

Edmund, on the other hand, is straightforward (“If you’re not still too high and mighty to talk to me, I’ve something to say which you’d better listen to”), logical, and down-to-earth.  In LWW, he points out that they were following a guide they knew nothing about, and probably couldn’t get home from there.  In PC, he was bugged by the unexplained fact that Cair Paravel had become a ruin in a single year–and he’s the one who figures out the time difference between the worlds.  His plan for following the coast and the streams to Aslan’s How was incredibly simple and logical–he just forgot to factor in geographical changes because of that time difference.  (He was also still a kid; give him a break.)  In VDT, he is said to have read several detective stories, and he’s the one who pointed out the strangeness of the finding clothes and weapons scattered on one island, but no body and no bones and no signs of a fight.  Nowhere in the books do I see evidence that Edmund would be a sassy prankster; and he grew up to be a “graver, quieter man than Peter”.

Susan is practical, but not inherently logical.  In fact, in some instances, she is downright illogical; in PC, she is too afraid to see Aslan at first, even after Lucy had been twice proven right, and (as time went by) the testimony of the siblings who could see Aslan should have convinced her.

More head canons:

  • Susan loves reading her mother’s old Good Housekeeping magazines.
  • She also taught herself to knit to help the war effort.
  • Her outfits are simple and stylish, but she doesn’t pay that much attention to her looks (Lewis doesn’t describe her as focused on appearance until The Last Battle).
  • Peter is dedicated and responsible, but if a duty isn’t pressing, he pauses to have some fun with his siblings.
  • I see Peter being, not focused on his looks, but after that first trip to Narnia, a more or less neat and/or sharp dresser.
  • Edmund, by contrast, couldn’t care less about his appearance and dress, and even while a King of Narnia, favored a simpler style.
  • Edmund is somewhat bookish.
  • He also has a sweet tooth (though this is based in canon: in PC, the trees’ food looks so much like chocolate that he tries a piece of it).
  • Lucy is the only morning person of the four of them.  Edmund is the hardest to wake up in the morning.
  • Lucy goes barefoot whenever possible in the summer.
  • She also likes climbing trees.
6-Hera Syndulla

Random Narnia Musings

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.