Talk:The Last Battle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


will The Last battle be filmed

Dunno. It'd be a chore, although based on his track record Peter Jackson might be up to it. Ellsworth 23:02, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)

"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" has been produced as TV drama a number of times, and I think there is a feature length production of it as well. As the best known of the series, it can attract production money, but the other volumes in the series are unlikely to do so since the probable audience would be small. Modern animation techniques would make a realistic production possible, but you know the showbiz saying, "Never work with children or animals or anyone with blackmail on you", and this would be an exercise in doing both at once.

Agreed. Ellsworth 20:58, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Nope, Pete's not the one. It'll be the guy who directed The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (someone with "Andrew" in his name) Scorpionman 12:29, 26 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unlikely because filming of the books stalled after The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. (talk) 17:52, 31 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Racial issues[edit]

I had to chop out a section specifically comparing the Calormenes with Muslims. There are numerous dark-skinned races in the world, not all of whom are Muslim. Not even all Arabic people are Muslim. And there is more evidence that Lewis based the Calormene god Tash on the false gods of the Old Testament, rather than Allah. If one reads the epic books the Arabian Nights and the Shahnama, I think they will find rather close resemblances between the characters/styles and the Calormenes. MaryAnderson

Have you seen the illustrations in the original published version of Last Battle? There is absolutely no doubt that the Calormenes are portrayed as Saracens and the Narnians as Crusaders. To state this is not to equate Tash with Allah (Tash is clearly a Satan figure) but to recognise a source from which Lewis drew.

Authors of fiction very rarely have any control over the "packaging" (cover, illustrations, even the title) that is incorporated into the finished version which is marketed by the publisher, which, after all, bears the financial risk of the work's success or failure. Unless there is proof that Lewis specifically authorized the illustrations, they have no bearing on his racial/cultural attitudes. Ellsworth 19:38, 21 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Lewis was not stupid. He must have realised that the Calormenes would be read as resembling medieval Muslim Arabs. Tash is a demonic figure, of course, and may be based on pagan gods (seen as demonic by many Christians). But again, giving those characters who resemble Muslim Arabs a monotheistic religion based on the worship of Tash will inevitably make some readers think that Lewis is equating Tash with the Muslim Allah (however unlike the monstrous Tash Allah actually is). In fact, Lewis has not gone out of his way to avoid readers doing that, quite the opposite, with Tash's worshippers speaking of him in a way that has some formal and rhythmic resemblance to well-known English-language versions of how Allah commonly is spoken of. It sounds as if he is parodying Islam. It's not surprising that there is a lot of discussion around as to what Lewis was getting at with this. I have no specific changes to the article in mind, but I don't think there is any need to be soft on Lewis about the issue when it is brought up. There's other evidence that he didn't have a high opinion of Islam, so there's no reason to pretend otherwise. That said, I also see no reason to get bogged down in this in the article. It's a relatively peripheral point to this particular article. Metamagician3000 01:02, 5 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The thing is, the Calormenes don't have a monotheistic religion. It's polytheistic - difficult therefore to equate it with Islam. I think the argument stems more from the racial difference between the Narnians and Calormenes, and even painting all Narnians as good and all Calormenes as bad is shaky at best. Sometimes I almost think some people wish Lewis HAD given the Calormenes a monotheistic religion so they could accuse him of Muslim-bashing. The reality is, the culture of the Calormenes is a hodgepodge of historical religions and cultures familiar to us. 12:02, 14 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Even if the Calormenes are a "conglomeration" of various eastern cultures, were they actually portrayed as polytheistic? Admittedly I have not read the books for a while, but I don't remember any textual mention that they worshipped any god other than Tash. It would be much appreciated if you could tell me where you got this idea. Not directly in response to the above poster: I feel that this is an important aspect to include in the article--I agree wholeheartedly with Metamagician3000's post. The resemblence to medieval Muslim Arabs is fairly glaring--too obvious to be an "intuitive leap" even. The political situation at Lewis' time, is not neccesarily what influenced him to create the Calormen as a parallel to Arab Muslims--to say any event in particular influenced him is to make an intentional fallacy. On another note, the commentary section needs citations. Although, I am positive there are notables who have said everything written in this section, citations add credibility--so go find them! (talk) 01:59, 5 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am of the opinion that the Muslim Arab vs Christian West parallel is a false intuitive leap based on the current political situation. Recall that the last book of the series was written in 1954 -- before even the Suez Canal incident. At that time the Middle East had long been regarded as a tempestuous, but backward and insular region -- hardly a ready model of threatening foreignness. Given the Classical leanings of C.S. Lewis' education, I think that the Greek-Persian conflict represents a much more likely model. That struggle was (and perhaps still is) regarded by many as a decisive point in Western civilization: the victory of a presumed philosophy of individual worth and liberty over one of glittering autocracy and servile masses. Note that the wearing of certain forms of headdress and flowing garments, as well as the use of curved scimitar-like blades, is common in several Asian cultures, not just among historical Muslim Arabs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tallil2long (talkcontribs) 08:35, 17 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And yet, he was probably thinking of the Muslim Arab vs Christian West situation as it appeared, not in historical reality, but in medieval literature: he was a professor of medieval literature after all. The model would be the Song of Roland on the serious side, and Ariosto and Tasso on the more fantastic side. In many respects, Lewis was a follower of G. K. Chesterton, who also echoed this medieval perception and had an anti-Oriental and anti-Islamic bias. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 09:15, 17 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you want references to the Calormenes' polytheism, see The Horse and His Boy, where Aravis says "In the name of Tash and Azaroth and Zardeenah Lady of the Night". "Azaroth" sounds like "Ashtaroth" (supporting the Canaanite/Carthaginian theory), while "Zardeenah" sounds vaguely Persian. So, if we want a formula for what Calormen means, it is something like "The Oriental enemy, as perceived by Europeans in different periods, whether in the form of Carthage, Persia, the Saracens or the Ottomans". --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 09:51, 5 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've always seen the Calormenes as an amalgam of Muslims and Aztecs. Their culture is vaguely Arabic, but their religion is strictly polytheistic, and human sacrifice based. Tash himself always seemed much more Aztec than Muslim to me. I remember the essay that was cut out, and considered it patronizingly racist in its own right, and well gotten rid of. Medieval Muslims were no better than medieval Christians. It was medieval man in general that was so callous towards human life. But the essay that used to be here seemed to feel that the Arabic races, being dark-skinned, couldn't be expected to know any better, while the medieval Christians should have, because they were white, should be held to a higher standard. There would be absolutely nothing wrong even if the Calormenes were Muslims, lock stock and barrel. The books clearly rise above pigeonholing people by race. The Calormenes, Narnians, and Englanders all, have their good people, bad, and in between, and even the bad ones might surprise you (Eustace, Edmund, et cetera). (talk) 02:27, 5 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


There is not critical unanimity on the identity of Tash: Peter J. Schakel points out he has more in common with various pagan deities that with the biblical figure of Satan. That's why I put the reference to Termagant in the Commentary section. Ellsworth 16:22, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I've always supposed Tash to be a "what-if?" from Lewis, imagining if the Arab world had not become monotheist, but instead still languished under a Dagon or Molech.
Incidentally, I surmise the names Tash and Tashlan were suggested by the archaeological site of Arslan Tash (stone lion). Nuttyskin (talk) 18:33, 21 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Views of others beliefs[edit]

Removed this para:

The "stereotype" could be easily understood, as in our world today it obvious that Christians believe the Muslims believe in a false god and false religion. Many people of both religions try to say that it is the same god, although C.S. Lewis merely writes of the popular Christian belief that this is not true.

Does anyone contend that this is not trolling? Ellsworth 21:05, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Nope. It is trolling at its worst. Good job nixing it.

What trolling? I strenuously contend that this excised writing, marginalized as "trolling," instead makes perfectly accurate points that are extremely relevant/pertinent. On what rational basis does Ellsworth reason that the written material is inaccurate and unworthy of inclusion? If the grammar is deficient, then it should be fixed by strict grammarians, but the ideas are sound. On what bases are the viewpoints excluded/censored? Is the decision purely antithetical against questionably-identified "trolls," or are there more rational arguments that the material is fairly excluded? User:Olorin3k 28 April 2008 —Preceding comment was added at 14:48, 28 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Could the book be banned from schools?[edit]

Dropped this sentence:

The use of the word "Darkies" alone is probably sufficient for it to be dropped from most school libraries of today, however common a term it might have been in 1955.
You have to admit, the good guys (the faithful followers of Aslan) did neither invented nor used this racial slur for Calormenes. It was the neutral guys (dwarves who chose neither to follow Aslan nor to align themselves with the Calormenes) that created this racist term. It may not reflect Lewis's view, but rather the personality of these Dwarves. If I remember correctly these dwarves did not make it to Aslan's country (Narnian heaven.) I would be surprised if Lewis's attitude toward the Calormenes/Arabs was racist, as Aravis married Cor (Shasta) after she converted to the Narnian/Archenlander religion. While it is true the Narnians can be thought of as British, Archenlanders Dutch, Telmarines as Europeans that conquered England, and Calormenes as Saracens, Lewis never suggests that any race is superior, save the fact that the Calormenes are villains.-- (talk) 19:37, 13 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Until a source is cited showing widespread dropping of books from school libraries for mildly "racist" content. Ellsworth 20:54, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

You know any school libraries that approve books with "racist content"? Even "mildly racist content"? Like "darkie" or "yid" or "spic" or "kaffir" or "golliwog"? Outside of the southern US states? Name some. Go on. Do your children go to schools with libraries which have books which contain "mildly racist content" and is that OK with you? Do their schools have these books? I am pleased to say mine don't.

To give the most famous example, Huckleberry Finn has been the subject of occasional banning efforts, due to its seeming pro-slavery attitude and its frequent including of the "n-word". Nevertheless, it was available and, in fact, used in the curriculum, of the school where I grew up, which was not in the Southern U.S. Ellsworth 00:42, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I actually first read the Narnia series from books at my at school. Although, I live in Canada, so it's different. But I see no reason why this book would be banned in schools, today. I'd understand if they had a problem with it promoting too much religion.-- 6 July 2005 06:01 (UTC)

It may be banned in some areas of the US, but I haven't ever seen it Banned in schools in the UK. Jacobshaven3 11:29, 15 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It seems to me that any discussion of religious prejudice and racism needs to include the subplot of Emeth, who is described in positive terms, befriended by the main characters, and welcomed by Aslan with the interesting line "The service thou hast done for Tash, I account as service done for me". And the only characters using the racial slurs are the vicious dwarves, not the heroes. Does that count as "racist content"? If so, does "To Kill a Mockingbird" have "racist content" because the little girl uses the N-word (and is promptly scolded by her father)? CharlesTheBold 05:34, 2 February 2007 (UTC) CharlesTheBoldReply[reply]

The Narnia books have not been banned in all U.S. schools along with books such as "Kaffir boy". I read the books in school and I lived in IL,USA.

Has anybody checked whether any such banning has taken place, instead of arguing whether it might have been? Encyclopediae are supposed to be about facts.CharlesTheBold (talk) 15:43, 26 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Content of the Commentary section[edit]

I have removed the sentence discussing the validity of Pullman's views - this article is not the place for that, perhaps it would be better to put that discussion in an article about Pullman. Also I have removed the sentence about the Telmarines and the South Sea portal - the Telmarines were not natural rulers of Narnia and the South Sea portal was not one used by the main protagonists, the English children of the Narnia cycle. These sentences were both unnecessary rebuttals of points made in the previous sentences, and appear to have been inserted by a contributor who does not agree with criticism of the book.

The aim of the commentary section should not be to take sides, either criticising Lewis and his work, or being overly defensive of him, as that is inappropriate in a Wikipedia article. An article on a work of literature should mention and discuss issues which have been raised by critics without setting out to judge those issues or promote a particular conclusion. The racism and misogyny charges are important and an article about the book is incomplete without a mention of them, but the article should not attempt to adjudicate a debate.

I have also removed the reference to Tash being a Mexican figure - unless an independent reference to this interpretation can be supplied?

Despite the above edits, large parts of the 'commentary' section seem rather POV to me, still biased towards denying the criticism of the book. --Urbane legend 11:00, 29 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've removed the part which said 'The Last Battle is harder to enjoy on a purely superficial level as a fairy story, particularly at the end' for its bias. That's only one person's opinion without critical evidence to support it. 'Fairy story'?? =P Cariel 18:55, 9 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd just like to point out that C.S. Lewis was adament in saying that he never wrote The Chronicles of Narnia as an allegory. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:38, 17 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

While I'm not prepared to go digging through them to find references, C.S. Lewis other works (such as Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, The Four Loves etc) seem to suggest he was inclined to believe in evolution rather than a literal interpretation of the Genesis account. I find it very unlikely that Evolution is an underlying theme portrayed in a negative light, if there is evidence to back it up, such a statement should at least be contrasted with views expressed by C.S. Lewis elsewhere. Additionally, the book does divides those who are allowed into Aslan's country on whether or not they believed and obeyed him much like Christianity preaches that only those who follow Jesus will be allowed to enter heaven. Although the definition of sin, and so I imagine also evil, is disobeydiance of God, everyone is guilty of this, and to most Christians, calling one group evil on the basis of their beliefs is like calling them human. It makes no sense. To most non-Christians it makes no sense either, as they would associate evil with more serious acts like murder and rape. I don't see how the implication is that Atheists are evil, only that belief is required. (talk) 05:35, 31 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Su's fall[edit]

Can we agree that Su's fall is not prefigured in the other books? It is evident in P. Caspian. If memory serves, she was the last to admit to seeing Aslan, right? -- D. F. Schmidt (talk) 18:54, 30 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Memory serves correctly. Jacroe | Talk 22:42, 7 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What fall? The characters were just explaining why Susan wasn't with them on the day of the fatal accident. She could still rejoin the rest of the characters later. It's far less serious than Ron's temporary desertion in Rowling's DEATHLY HALLOWS. Why is such a big deal made of this? CharlesTheBold (talk) 15:43, 26 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Given that St Paul says to the effect that "When I was a child I played with childish things, and when I was an adult I put away childish things" - it is Susan's attitude that is the "problem."

Peter locks the door to the "Old Narnia" - is this a reference to St Peter having the keys to heaven? Jackiespeel (talk) 16:01, 26 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ummm... I think there should be a slightly more reputable source than livejournal for the defense of Lewis concerning Susan. The actual rebuttal is decent, but it's a little absurd to have Pullman, Rowling, Gailman, Time and other well established names on one side and then Livejournal on the other side. It's also ridiculous that Pullman's reaction isn't dealt with, seeing that His Dark Materials is largely reactionary to this book. That's kind of a big deal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:08, 30 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why so soft on Lewis? There has been so much literature against this book, yet barely any of it is explored. This isn't a pro-Lewis page. This isn't a pro-anything website. Unless I'm mistaken, this is intended to be factual. Where facts are questionable, an equal representation of literature is supposed to be presented. That's quantitatively and qualitatively, so not necessarily just an equal representation of both sides (this is troublesome from even a quantitative perspective. The critiques of the fall of Susan thoroughly outweigh the support. They are also from much more reputable sources). This is far from an unbiased page; Wikipedia is attempting communal scholarly integrity. But, then again, it makes sense that someone would propagate a Narnia book. Well, at least if you're looking at it from Pullman's perspective. But, then again, you'd have to look that up elsewhere since only defenses for Lewis are on this page despite there being so much literature to the contrary. A blog on livejournal as the citation for the defense of Susan??? eh. Semi-reputable.
[one paragraph in two stages] -- 08:08, 2 February 2009‎ (UTC) -- |02:40, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Puzzle's Role[edit]

To me, the article makes it look like Puzzle the donkey was in agreeance and consciously working with Shift's plan and never does it mention that it received redemption from Aslan. Nothing major, but I just don't want Puzzle getting a bad rap. --HansTAR 01:41, 22 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree - the comparison with the Antichrist is not with Puzzle - Puzzle is merely one of those whom the Antichrist will deceive --Tim4christ17 11:55, 30 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
True, but Puzzle is in a sense the material Antichrist (as he was the one dressed as Aslan), though duped into the role. It is like the difference between Hodh and Loki in the death of Balder (Hodh threw the dart, but was tricked into it by Loki). --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 09:18, 17 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


After passing the stable door Lucy tells Tirian that "in our world, too, a Stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world." What is she talking about here (just out of curiosity)? I don't think I've ever heard of such a story (although it could be referring to the birth of Jesus) Scorpionman 02:06, 11 May 2006 (UTC) I'd say it's refering to the birth of Jesus, because she might be saying that Jesus was more important the our whole world.--Mechanical Gecko 01:53, 19 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

According to Lewis's point of view the Christ would also be literally bigger, corresponding to an infinite reality.--MWAK 12:55, 12 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Missing stuff, need to confirm[edit]

In the book I believe the calmormenes went through the door and instead of seeing Aslan, saw Tash. Then Tash precided to eat them, because they had believed he was a merciless god. Father time, mentioned in the silver chair, I think, also wakes and darkness decends on Narnia, everyone runs through a door to heaven. It is also probably important to note the prophecy when there is blood on the unicorns horn the world will end (or something like that, I'm still looking for it) Lastly it should probably be mentioned the last paragraph, possibly in quote "And for us this is the end of all stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But that was only the beginning of the real story. all their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before it" Anyways, I need to make sure all these adds are okay. Superbowlbound Possible photo of Tash?


I think the chapter listings for the Chronicles of Narnia books should be removed. I started a discussion at Talk:The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe#Chapters--roger6106 03:50, 6 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Consider it done. They are unneccessary. b_cubed 03:14, 23 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

too much POV[edit]

A lot of people seem to be reading their own religious points of view into the story. Lewis never said anything about Susan "falling" or being doomed; he was just explaining why she wasn't with the group when they got killed in the accident. Nor did Lewis say that "those who are allowed into Aslan's country on whether or not they believed and obeyed him"; on the contrary he devotes three pages to Aslan's welcoming of the non-believer Emeth. The racial slurs are used only by unsympathetic characters, never the ones he wants us to admire, so we can assume they don't represent his own racial views. Stop trying to pigeonhole Lewis as a narrow-minded bigot, which he wasn't. CharlesTheBold (talk) 23:41, 22 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

All plot, Start class[edit]

change sequence of five paragraphs and reword as in square brackets -P64 2013-08-05

The article is almost {{all plot}} so I have downgraded it from C to Start across the board.

I have roughly tripled the length of the lead [which is now the only text we have now, except Plot summary!] by naming the publisher and the famous original and frequently retained illustrator, and by explaining the major award briefly.

It needs much more before it is worth anyone's C grade.

There is a lot of Talk here but [all is more than two years old and there is only new section] in the last six years.

Since the latest talk (2009) there have been major deletions of content Nov 2010, Jan 2010, and Apr 2009, at least --re Allegory and Commentary, certainly and probably for lack of sources and suspicion of original research.

--P64 (talk) 16:55, 24 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Specifically, these were the two major deletions
2010-11-12, removed section Allegorical aspects, as original research
2010-01-12, removed section Commentary, as original research & material not related to this book --more than a year after it was tagged {{unreferenced section}}. Much commentary concerning #Racial issues and #Su's fall had already been deleted during April 2009.
Thus the end 2010 version already contained essentially nothing related to any of the Talk, and that remains essentially true today. --P64 (talk) 16:29, 5 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Publication history[edit]

For what it's worth,

  1. The U.S. Library of Congress catalogue record for the first edition[1] gives full title The last battle, a story for children and places it in the series (his) "Tales of Narnia". For the first U.S. edition (also 1956)[2] it reports The Last Battle and (his) "The Chronicles of Narnia".
  2. WorldCat library cats report early editions ;-) dated 1950, 1954, and 1955 (2). I have ignored such facts when using WorldCat as a reference elsewhere but have not used it here.

--P64 (talk)

"The Ass in the Lion's Skin" from Aesop -- should it be mentioned here[edit]

Shift persuades Puzzle to wear the skin of lion. This is not merely from the imagination of Lewis, but echoing a story from Aesop, "The Ass in the Lion's Skin". There, the donkey in the lion's skin terrifies animals. I inserted a wikilink to the article "The Ass in the Lion's Skin", but another editor thought it was not relevant and deleted it. What do other editors think?Pete unseth (talk) 16:19, 24 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it's original research unless you have a source that makes it clear that Lewis was inspired by Aesop. DonIago (talk) 16:31, 24 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Paul Ford (Companion to Narnia, p. 359, footnote to "Puzzle") draws the reader's attention to Aesop. David Downing (Into the Wardrobe, p. 55, discussing Puzzle) says "With his typical creative synthesis, though, Lewis also draws on one of Aesop's fables to tell the story of Narnia's final days." Lewis was certainly familiar with Aesop: it was standard fare for Edwardian kids, and surfaces almost explicitly in the mice gnawing at Aslan's bonds in LWW. I think it's reasonable to include it here. -- Elphion (talk) 17:14, 24 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Works for me. DonIago (talk) 17:39, 24 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]