I grew up on The Chronicles of Narnia. I read them, watched the old BBC movies too many times to count, and got all excited when I heard there would be a new, high-tech remake.
I love those books.
I loathe those new movies. The first one was kinda nice. The rest are unwatchable for me. I get too mad.
This post is not about trying to convince anybody not to watch them. If you like them, go ahead. Personally I have several problems with them (don’t get me started on Caspian and Susan kissing unless you have an hour. Or two. Or a day. *ahem* movin’ right along), but the main problem is not what you might think.
Edmund is My Favorite.
I thought Skandar Keynes was a great choice. He was a terrific Edmund. No, it wasn’t Skandar that ruined it.
It was the Edmund overhaul that whoever the heck wrote those screenplays, particularly Dawn Treader, thought was better than the Edmund created by Jack Lewis WHICH, my friends, was asinine.
I love Lewis’ Edmund.
We can’t all be Peter the Magnificent. Even among the rarity of four equal rulers there is the greater rarity of the one and only High King. Most of us don’t particularly care to be Susan, either as the Gentle or as the one who eventually abandons Narnia completely. And much as we might want to think we’re a Lucy, very few of us are. Lucy, as my insightful friend Kaitlin explained beautifully to me, is a mystic. She is first among believers, sees Aslan face to face when no-one else can (even when they want to), and is known as the Valiant. We’re not all Lucy, even if we want to be.
Edmund is Us. You and me. The one who fails in a big way. The one who needs rescuing and healing. The one Aslan dies for. The one who starts out as a traitor and ends up as The Just.
One of my favorite Edmund moments comes in Prince Caspian, when Lucy is seeing Aslan while the others or not, and she’s trying to convince them all to come with her. They decide to take a vote, and when it’s Edmund’s turn:
“Well, there’s just this,” said Edmund, speaking quickly and turning a little red, “When we first discovered Narnia – it was Lucy who discovered it first and none of us would believe her. I was the worst of the lot, I know. Yet she was right after all. Wouldn’t it be fair to believe her this time?”
Edmund the Just. He’s humble, he’s honorable, and he’s doing the best he can. Without being given the special insight his sister has, he still has enough humility to remember she’s the one who has it. In short, Edmund has faith. “Blessed is he who has not seen, but believed.”
When they do finally come to Aslan, the great Lion looks at Edmund and says simply, “Well done.”
Maybe you can’t make yourself a Peter or a Lucy. But you can choose to be an Edmund.
“Even a traitor may mend. I have known one that did.”
– Edmund Pevensie