‘The Chronicles of Naria': The Problem of Susan Pevensie – Discuss!

It seems clear that whether or not you view Susan Pevensie as a victim or a fool, chances are you don’t take a middle-ground approach — not when she’s been alternately called a manifestation of author C.S. Lewis’s misogynic beliefs, and a representation of the Narnian Judas (as in, you know, THE Biblical traitor).

But however you view Susan’s ultimate exclusion from Aslan’s Country (which we’ll just go ahead and call heaven from here on out) — whether you stand with author Philip Pullman and say it’s because of sexist reasons (“She’s interested in nothing now-a-days except nylons and lipstick and invitations”) or whether you side with close readers and more mainstream scholars, who say it’s because she was in too much of a hurry to adopt a materialistic mentality (“She’s always a jolly sight too keen on being grown up.”) — you’re going to wind up with a headache after watching “Prince Caspian.”

That’s because the new movie posits both.

Susan, who we won’t see again in any Narnia films, is still the last one to accept and see Aslan, she’s still maternal and adult. But she’s also involved in a budding romance with Prince Caspian, a non-canonical addition that the filmmakers added to the screenplay.

(Click here to read about how the filmmakers and stars defended that choice.)

Whether or not you as a fan agree with the choice, however, is less interesting to me than whether or not you think it colors your perceptions of Susan. If you hadn’t read the novels, would the romance make you side more with one side or the other by the time we get to “Last Battle”? Does Susan, in your mind, ever get into Heaven? (Lewis himself claimed before his death that her story wasn’t done).

And, finally, what do you make of her ultimate tragedy? Is she a victim or a fool? Sound off below.