Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Intro to the Susan Era Story - The Matter of Aravis

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]

By now you know that many tales have been combined to form the story "The Horse and His Boy" commonly told around campfires. I hope you begin to understand why.

How even the great storytellers of old could be moved by prejudice to claim that there was only ever one great maiden who rode a talking Mare on an epic quest that changed the very course of history, how the kingdom of Archenland worked to suppress knowledge of its nigh unbelievably long history of grievously mistreating twins of the royal house, how every mount named "Bree" became a warhorse in retelling even if he were a simple donkey in reality, how after a time any runaway would take up one of the famous names Aravis, Hwin, Shasta, or Bree out of belief that it would bless their journey.

You've heard the tale of the one who left Calormen an Aravis and arrived in the Narnian sphere of influence a Shasta. You also know of some "boys" who became Aravisses.

You know of the king who was deposed when the child he meant to kill rescued the long imprisoned mother that had saved nir, allowing child and mother to lay bare the attempted filicide before all of Anvard while Narnians and Calmorenes were in attendance. You know of a future king callously sold into slavery by his own father simply because he seemed to be female at birth.

But through all of this you must have wondered where the core of the campfire story had come from. Why was it set when it was set? Why did it involve Susan, the High Queen of the Golden Age, who was said to be so gentle that even in battle she made each death she caused painless?

Let us now tell that story, and tell it faithfully.

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