Discover more from Jokien with Tolkien
The Lion, The Wizard, and the Wardrobe
The Chronicles of An Unexpected Party
[In frozen NARNIA, where we lay our scene, MR. and MRS. BEAVER sit in their home at their table with four CHILDREN, two boys and two girls, when a frantic RAPPING on the door interrupts their conversation]
MRS. BEAVER: Now what could that be?
[before anyone can get up from the table, the door of the house BURSTS open and a FIGURE dressed in dazzling white robes steps inside]
LUCY: The White Witch!!
GANDALF: IS IT SECRET? IS IT SAFE?? Wait…this isn’t Bag End! Where am I?
MR. BEAVER: You must have the wrong house, good sir. We thought you were someone else. But...who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good.
GANDALF: I beg your pardon?
MR. BEAVER: Oh, forgive me, just thought you were asking about Aslan. He’s the son of the Emperor-Over-the-Sea.
GANDALF: Over the sea, you say? That’s where I’m from, you know. And I was just recently there. But I've been sent back until my task is done. [mutters to himself] I must have taken a wrong turn when I was passing through Spare Oom on the way to Arda…
MR. BEAVER: Ahhh, so you’ve met him then! I see we have a distinguished guest. Forgive my lack of hospitality so far! Can I get you anything to eat?
GANDALF: Just tea, thank you.
PETER: I’ve got it! I thought you looked familiar. You’re Father Christmas, aren’t you? Bold choice going with White instead of Red this year.
GANDALF: I’ve met him too, but no, I am not him. Though this is not the first time we’ve been confused for each other. I do have some gifts for you children though. Father Christmas has been…delayed, so it seems I will have to fill in for him. Peter, future High King of Narnia, you have the sword of Aragorn, the High King of Gondor and Arnor!
PETER: *solemnly and silently examines the blade*
GANDALF: And Susan, you have Legolas’ bow!
SUSAN: Well, it’s not lipstick like I was hoping for, but I’ll take it.1
GANDALF: Edmund, you have Gimli’s ax!
GANDALF: Of course not! Fool of a Son of Adam! You aren’t even supposed to be with the other siblings to get a gift when Father Christmas arrives but for comedic purposes this scene is happening several chapters earlier than it’s supposed to happen!
GANDALF: And for you, Lucy, I have a very special gift. I give you the light of Eärendil, the most beloved star of the elves. May it be a light for you in dark places, when all other lights go out. Oh and here’s my good friend Bilbo’s sword, Sting! It will help you defend yourself at great need and glows blue when there are orcs nearby!
LUCY: Defend myself? And orcs? Why sir, shall it really come to that? I think I could be brave enough if it does…
GANDALF: I have no doubt that you will be, should it come to that, little one. [To all] Well, though a wizard is never late, I really should be on my way. Does anyone know the quickest way back to Spare Oom?
[a CRY from an EAGLE sounds from just outside the house]
GANDALF: ah, looks like my ride is here! Farewell!
The plan for the rest of this month: this month’s paid subscriber essay will be on The Theme of Stars in the Legendarium (9/14), then we’ll have a special post for the week of Hobbit Day (9/21), and I’ll round things out with the monthly Tolkien Treasures (9/28)! In addition to the essay, Paid Subscribers will also get the monthly Paid Subscriber Discussion next week and the monthly There and Back Again (I’m thinking 9/26).
Next month Jokien with Tolkien turns 1! I can hardly believe it’s already almost here. I’m planning the festivities now.
If any of you are active on Medium, go follow Jokien with Tolkien on Medium too!
All typos are totally on purpose. Links may be affiliate, which is a free-to-you way to support this newsletter where I earn a small commission on items you purchase.
This is a joke about how one of the main things I hear people talk about with regards to Susan is her absence from The Last Battle. If you’d like to read some interesting thoughts about why the most common criticisms of Lewis’ handling of Susan, i.e. “The Problem of Susan,” aren’t the best readings of the Narnia books, check out this page collecting a Twitter thread from Kat Coffin on Why Everyone Is Wrong About Susan (original thread here)