Countdown to Caspian – Day 5 (Susan’s Horn)

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian opens in theaters on Friday, May 16. In order to whet your appetite, I am counting down the fifteen days to the movie by sharing a favorite selection from each of the fifteen chapters of C. S. Lewis’ masterful book, Prince Caspian. (Warning: Plot spoilers ahead! But if you haven’t read the book, you should really read it before going to see the movie anyways!) Here goes — let’s count down to Caspian!

From Chapter 5: Caspian’s Adventure in the Mountains

“Shall I never see you again?” said Caspian in a quavering voice.

“I hope so dear King,” said the Doctor. “What friend have I in the wide world except your majesty? And I have a little magic. But in the meantime, speed is everything. Here are two gifts before you go. This is a little purse of gold — alas, all the treasure in this castle should be your own by rights. And here is something far better.”

He put in Caspian’s hands something which he could hardly see but which he knew by the feel to be a horn.

“That,” said Doctor Cornelius, “is the greatest and most sacred treasure of Narnia. Many terrors I endured, many spells did I utter, to find it, when I was still young. It is the magic horn of Queen Susan herself which she left behind her when she vanished from Narnia at the end of the Golden Age. It is said that whoever blows it shall have strange help — no one can say how strange. It may have power to call Queen Lucy and King Edmund, and Queen Susan and the High King Peter back from the past and they will set all to rights. It may be that it will call up Aslan himself. Take it, Caspian: but do not use it except at your greatest need. And now, haste, haste, haste.”

Thoughts:  Although Lewis employs many Biblical and spiritual parallels in the Narnia Chronicles, part of the fun in these books is identifying the parallels with other great works of literature as well. Susan’s magic horn brings to mind Roland’s horn calling upon the troops of Charlemagne to come avenge the Franks after a bloody ambush by the Saracens. The story of Roland’s horn is found in The Song of Roland (La Chanson de Roland), the oldest major work in French literature. This epic poem captures the legends that arose surrounding the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778 A.D. (Thoughts? Comments? Do you have a favorite scene or quote from chapter five?)

All the Countdown Posts:  Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

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