Talk:The Horse and His Boy

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I've tagged this as needing cleanup -- the plot "summary" is about five times as long as it should be. Somebody should be ruthless in editing this. -- Ferdinand Pienaar 06:42, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This is ridiculous. I cleaned this article yesterday, shortening it to a couple of paragraphs, and it's now reverted back to how it originally was. It took me quite a while to clean it up, as well. Not happy.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:46, 7 June 2005
Okay, I've cleaned it up. MaryAnderson ( (talk) 07:52, 9 June 2005


I think the fact that The Horse and his Boy is clearly a retelling of the Exodus story needs to be emphasized more. Shasta is guided down the river in a basket as a child, just like Moses. He escapes across the desert (a stand in for the Sinai desert), past the tombs of the kings (a stand in for the pyramids), meets Aslan on the top of a mountain (just as Moses met with God) and escapes first to Archenland (a stand in for Midian) and then to Narnia (a stand in for the Promised Land), etc. Joey1898 23:52, 4 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sure, beef that section up some. What you've written here would be a good place to start. Of course, make sure you site sources for the matterial. LloydSommerer 02:37, 5 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Current statements in the article are good. Lets make sure we don't go overboard. THAHB is *not* a retelling of Exodus. The Pevensies were already firmly established as 'righteous' kings and queens of Narnia at the beginning, which is the complete opposite of Exodus when Canaan was ruled by 'pagan' tribes and needed to be conquered by God's people. Let's not make parallels with Exodus a major section - just 1 or 2 paragraphs under Commentary I would suggest. --DreamsReign 00:20, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't really see this (OP's premise) at all; this is NOT a retelling of Exodus. Quill 03:54, 3 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Likely film?[edit]

I think the statement at the very end of the article is a bit out there, really. There's been little indication, aside from Adamson's hope-I-get-to-be-director claim that he wants to do all seven[1], that there's anything like a goal to make this film. Of all the books, Horse and Nephew are the two least likely to be made, at this very early stage of the franchise[2], simply because they involve the Pevensies only in minor ways (if at all). The filmmakers have said in interviews other than those already cited that the priority in production order is doing those that involve the Pevensie children quickly before they grow up too much. Calling a film probably a decade a way "likely"--if the franchise is still even doing good business by then--is just way too strong.CzechOut 07:20, 13 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I heard a rumour that they were not doing it at all given the way that portraying Calormen as it is in the book is very likely to upset Muslim viewers or Muslim countries. They got away with the Spanish version of Telmar in Prince Caspian but I'd like to see how they managed Calormen without upsetting at least somebody in the Muslim or Arab world. I think he is satirising Turkey or Iran, but inevitably you are going to run into problems casting Rabadash or the Tisroc. Any thoughts or any confirmation of this rumour? Lstanley1979 (talk) 15:18, 19 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think Lstanley is completely right; if they make a movie of HHB there'd be a heap of explaining to do b/c of the whole portrayal of Calormen and Calormenes. Even though it's a good story in and of itself, and Aravis is a girl who, to put into Lewis's words "is as true as steel" and later marries Shasta (an interracial marriage), it's hard to get away from the strong racial overtones that the book has. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:50, 14 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Order in Infobox[edit]

The info box says the book was proceeding by Lion and followed by Caspian. While this is choronolocially correct, it was publish as the sixth book. Should the info box reflect this? --Jvsett 16:54, 9 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have asked this question before and was told that it should reflect the reading order of the books. --NeilEvans 17:09, 9 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All the books are listed in published order now, and I believe they should stay that way.--roger6106 20:13, 3 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Anti-Islamic bias[edit]

I am a bit suprised that no one has mentioned the anti-Islam theme of this book. I am not Islamic, but when I read it, it was not hard to see that the "bad guys" are given arabic names and titles (grand vizir, tisroc) and live in a desert area, wear turbans, etc. In the later "final battle" book, they are accused by Lewis of worshipping a false God. All the Lion-worshipers (Christians) go to heaven, while the Tisroc folks generally do not (one token soldier is apparently allowed in). It really is Islam-bashing if you look at it. Well, at least that's the way I read it.

For that reason alone, I don't think it would be made into a movie - not because of the other issues noted above. If this was released as a movie, it would cause a riot in the Islamic worlds. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:13, 18 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's not anti-Islam, per se. Aslan accepts the divinity of Tash and that Rabadash can be redeemed in front of his own people and his own God. ("You have appealed to Tash," said Aslan, "And in the temple of Tash you shall be healed.") Rather he is pointing out the cruelty of the Calormene culture, and contrasting it with Narnia, though Narnia is by no means eternally peaceful ("'And where is the Queen Susan?' 'At Cair Paravel,' said Corin. 'She's not like Lucy, you know, who's as good as a boy. Queen Susan is more like an ordinary grown-up lady. She doesn't ride to the wars, though she is an excellent archer.'").
In the Last Battle, Aslan distinguishes between those who follow Tash whilst embracing his demonic power, and those who sincerely believe in him as a God figure. From The Last Battle:
Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him. But then the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for oath's sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name is Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves, and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child?...Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.
It does perhaps suggest Lewis did not believe Allah and God were the same personage but I think he is probably rather less interested in this point than pointing out that good and evil cross cultural barriers rather than is defined by them.
This is suggesting that Aslan is not anti-Islam but anti-wrongdoing. I think it is possible to read into this more of a pro-Christian/monotheistic/dualistic idea rather than an attempt to caricature Islam. The Telmarines in Prince Caspian were also heathen barbarians but they were more European in style and were portrayed as such in the film. So Lewis isn't particularly anti-Islam, just pro-monotheistic. But I do suggest there would be a problem in making any film, set in Narnia or not, that portrayed the Middle East/Islamic world in any light which was not wholly beneficent, so the film would rather lose something if the Calormenes were portrayed as good or their culture was changed (e.g. to Chinese or Mongolian or even Russian) to make it less potentially insulting. I hope there will be a time, possibly towards the end of the series, when it is possible to make the film without having to worry about this (without assuming the Islamic world would be upset by the portrayal of, say, an overtly belligerent Ottoman empire invading Europe, as it did repeatedly during the Middle Ages), but in the current climate it would be commercial and political suicide without making Rabadash a samurai... Lstanley1979 (talk) 15:49, 19 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is imprecise per se to say, as above, that "Aslan accepts the divinity of Tash." Aslan is angry at the idea of the divinity of Tash and says instead that all those who wrongly worshipped Tash but did so for the right reasons would have their worship taken by Aslan unto himself. That does not legitimate the claim that Tash is divine but rather shows that Aslan has understanding of and love for fallible human beings. Actually, Tash is not divine but is instead shown to be demonic in the book. It shows not a religious pluralism that divinizes Tash but a religious inclusivism that allows humans to make mistakes and still be saved by the one true God (not that there are more gods). Christian inclusivism, not pluralism (nor polytheism) was Lewis's soteriological position. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Olorin3k (talkcontribs) 16:49, 26 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Do not conflate "Arab" with "Islam." (talk) 18:24, 13 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Anyway, it seems to be more of a generalized vague anti-Middle-Eastern-culture bias than anything... AnonMoos (talk) 05:18, 15 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Lewis was a professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature. I think he was reflecting the bogey image of Islam (Mahound, Termagant etc) found in that literature, as a literary trope: his work belongs with the Chanson de Roland, the Arthurian Romances, Ariosto and Tasso. I don't think he was intending any attack on actual Islam. There is also more than a slight echo of G K Chesterton's attack on Carthage in the Everlasting Man. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 16:48, 31 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This talk page (and the article itself) are not the place to debate whether the book (or Lewis) is actually racist. However, since almost all commentaries on the book at least address the accusations of racism, it seems to me to be an omission that the article does not even address it. The Calormen article itself actually does address the issue. Ashmoo (talk) 10:10, 28 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Should it be mentioned that Aslan is the lion that attacks Aravis?--roger6106 20:13, 3 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That is a huge spoiler and is best left to the book. Lstanley1979 (talk) 15:50, 19 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fair use rationale for Image:Horseandhisboy.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 22:47, 13 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fair use rationales have now been included on the image description pages of both fair use book cover images included in this article. --Lini (talk) 06:42, 14 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Vandalism on 6 March 2008[edit]

This page has been vandalised recently with words changed slightly to turn it into sexual innuendo, I think I got rid of it all though. Unregistered user, 06/03/08 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:01, 6 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Text regarding "possible error in logic" moved from article -[edit]

I've moved the following text out of the article (it had originally been in the Commentary and Notes section, which I renamed to Themes and Motifs when restructuring section headers in February 2008.) My reason for moving it is that, the note about the possible slight error in logic, while I agree is technically correct, per a reading of the novel, has no source cited, hence could be original research, and also does not seem of enough significant import to an analysis of the book, to be included in an article of this (relatively short) length. I have included it here on the talk page in case others disagree and believe the article would be improved by adding it back in. The last few sentences below, mentioning the effect of meeting Aslan on the characters, is, I believe, thematically important, and should be re-introduced, with citation, however, and should read less like part of a plot summary. Perhaps this text was originally part of the plot summary and then was moved to Commentary and Notes at a time before my first experience with this article.

When the horses and Aravis prepare to leave the Hermit's house and resume their journey to Narnia, Hwin reminds them they need to say goodbye to Shasta. This may represent a slight error in the logic of the book, since they do not know at this point Shasta's true identity and that he would be staying in Archenland. On the other hand, after helping to save Archenland from the oncoming assault, there's no reason why he would leave immediately. They assume that he must be in Anvard, but before they can leave to see him, their plan is interrupted by a 'visitor' none other than Aslan himself. Later, they are visited again, this time by Shasta, who to their amazement is actually Cor, the crown prince of Archenland. The effect of the two visits leaves each of them a better horse, or person, as the case may be.
Thanks, Lini (talk) 02:17, 5 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Citations/references not needed[edit]

Hey all. Call me wrong if you think so, but I don't think a summary of a book needs citations other than referencing the book. Especially for facts mentioned in the novel. I suppose references are necessary when some deep thoeries are conjured, but I don't believe this is the case here. Drorzm (talk) 00:45, 20 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree in general, though there is the occasional exception. Is there a specific concern that you have regarding this article? Doniago (talk) 15:31, 21 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Character Transformation[edit]

I have removed this section again. It was full of uncited opinions and was completely pointless. A section that just had a brief description of each major character and what they did would be good though. -- 05:07, 21 October 2012‎

Relationship to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe[edit]

The term used nowadays is midquel... AnonMoos (talk) 18:46, 9 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some edits - justified or not?[edit]

I have just made some minor style edits, corrections and limited additions, all of which were reverted. An exchange of views with the editor responsible followed, which I have copied to this page in case any other enthusiast for the world of Narnia wishes to add their opinions.

I don't want to get in an edit war over the The Horse and His Boy article but a couple of the changes that you reverted related to minor factual errors. Would you have any objection to my correcting those? Others were intended to be style improvements - admittedly a matter of personal taste. This was my favorite book as a child and I just couldn't resist the temptation to expand on Calormen politics. Buistr (talk) 04:42, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
What factual errors are you addressing? As for the rest, we have tried hard to keep the plot summaries under control, as MOS:PLOT suggests. As I said, these are supposed to be summaries -- they are not the place for extended description. The idea is that a person should recognize the book from previous reading, not substitute for the reading itself! -- Elphion (talk) 22:09, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

The "factual errors" (which I admit are small and possibly only of concern to C.S. Lewis addicts) were as follows. Grateful for any comments.

(i)"procession of visiting Narnian royalty" - page 55 of TH&HB describes a party of half a dozen Narnians of whom only one (Edmund) is royalty. Remainder are courtiers.

(ii) Prince Corin "was separated from their group". Page 57 describes him as having "run away".

(iii) "Shasta goes with the Narnians". Page 57 describes him as being "marched off among strangers" held by both hands - not really a voluntary departure.

(iv) "the Tisroc gives Rabadash permission to invade Archenland and Narnia". The prince is actually authorized to invade and occupy Archenland only but to "come and go through Narnia like an arrow from a bow" (page 105) seizing Queen Susan in the process. Better described as a raid rather than an invasion.

(v) "Palace". Page 93 records that the intended escape route is through the separate palace garden.

(v) "find their prey waiting for them and a battle ensues". A more accurate description is "find the defenders alerted and a siege ensues" (the battle occurs when the Narnians subsequently come to the relief of Anvard).

(vi) "Rabadash and his army". A force described as "but two hundred horse" (page 104) is too small to constitute an army.

(vii) "if he (Rabadash) ever strays". Future Tisrocs may cross boundaries when waging war but they don't generally stray.

Finally, while I appreciate that rambling contributions are one of the curses of Wikipedia, it seems rather harsh to describe a couple of additional sentences as constituting an "extended description"'. Buistr (talk) 01:14, 8 November 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]