Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Why Susan Stayed And Corin Went -- The Matter of Aravis

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]
[Shasta was sent for after his message arrived, so he's at Cair Paravel while the army is mustered and it's determined who will go where.]
[The first scene is set at the end of a scene proposed by Ana: Corin--who is characterized as selfish, violent, and determined to get his way in all things--requests an audience alone with Susan, who grants it as she thinks of him fondly as a child. He puts himself forward as a suitor, explaining that if she marries him she won't need to be afraid of Rabadash anymore. Susan rebuffs him, laughing at the jest; Corin, in a fit of rage, attempts to harm her.]

Corin, glaring up from the floor in a rage, shouted at Susan, "I'm trying to save you, you stupid--"

"You are testing my ability to be gentle," Susan said with such force Corin was stunned into silence. "I've beaten you once, if you don't get out, now, and never attempt anything like this again, you'll see what happens when I stop being Susan the Gentle of Narnia and start being Susan the Pissed Off of Moðrheim,"

* * *

"I'm too . . . distracted by what happened to be of use in battle," Susan said.

"I would be too," Edmund said.

"So you'll just stay here," Lucy said. "We can do without our best archer given that we'll still have our second and third best. Though I do wish I'd convinced Peter to leave the rest of the top ten here as well."

"That can't be helped now," Susan said. "We have to work with what we have."

"When our new army leaves Cair Paravel," Edmund said, "Rabadash might again try to abduct you in a sneak attack. If we want to save our allies we can only afford to leave a handful of guards."

"I'll survive," Susan said. "The question is what to do with Corin."

Edmund nods. "We don't have time to deal with him and his actions right now."

"We take him with us," Lucy said. "With the regular army in the north, we're taking any volunteer who can fight anyway. He meets that description."

"And he'll jump at the chance to go because he'll see the battle as entertainment," Edmund said.

"Exactly," Lucy said.

"If he accepts that he's lost me," Susan said to Lucy, "he may set his sights on you."

"I'll be surrounded by soldiers, in my own tent with my own chosen guards, and not taking social visits, what with the emergency and all," Lucy said simply.

"There is one problem," Edmund said, "if he falls in battle, how do we explain to King Lune that we got his only son killed?"

"We'll stick him at the back," Lucy said, "and if that doesn't protect him, well accidents do happen in wartime."

"Lune may never forgive us," Susan said, "but he can't afford to alienate Narnia so soon after an attack from Calormen. Besides which, we've no intention of letting him die, and if the worst does happen, even Lune will agree that it would have been cruel of us to prevent Corin from defending his own home when we allowed others who were significantly less qualified join the battle."

"It can't be said to be unfair to let him join the fight," Lucy said. "Consider the messenger, if someone with such obvious similarities, but far less training, is eligible then Corin must be. Fairness dictates that."

"About the messenger," Susan said, "what will we do with him when this is all over?"

"He and his companions were instrumental in warning both Archenland of the impending attack and us of Rabadash's true motives," Edmund said, not because the others didn't know, but because he wanted it at the front of their minds.

"Without his warning," Susan added, "Rabadash's attempt to abduct me may well have succeeded."

"Justice dictates he be rewarded," Edmund said. "Archenland may have use for a body double for their prince, a position in which he would be well taken care of. If Lune does not offer appropriate compensation to the messenger, though, I have already arranged for he and his four* companions to be well taken care of here in Narnia."

"In case we don't survive to give such orders after the battle?" Lucy asked.


"With any luck, the other four should be here by the time you all return alive," Susan said. "I'll make sure they're given every comfort until decisions can be made. I understand it was the girl's message that allowed Archenland to prepare in the face of the attack, if anything she's more of a hero than the messenger who came to us."

"With all of that settled, I must return to the matter at hand," Lucy said. "The Ravens, Crows, Magpies, and Jackdaws have delivered our call, the volunteers are arriving, and I'll need to work on forming them into a serviceable army."

"That I can help with," Susan said.

"I'll look to our provisions," Edmund said.


* They didn't abandon the fucking donkey. I cannot stress this enough. A donkey may not words-think like a human or Animal, but that's no reason to abandon it. The donkey came with them.


Assuming I mashed up the Norse correctly Moðrheim translates to "(the) Home of Wrath".

For those who didn't follow the narrative of Lewis' actual book, Aravis (not Shasta/Cor) was the one who learned about the attack on Anvard.  So it was her message even if he delivered it the last tiny leg of the journey.

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