Just In
Community
Forum
V
More
for The Tash Files

8/20 c41 61Sauron Gorthaur
Well, we come to the end at last. Congratulations on the completion of such a long and large project! The feeling of having something as massive as this done is always a good feeling of accomplishment I have found, and I hope you’re enjoying it :)

I know I have mentioned this in prior chapters, but once again it is so telling that Tash blames his defeat on everybody but himself, refusing to take any responsibility for the fact that he clearly let what he thought was his imminent victory go to his head and was totally unprepared for Aslan’s final move. And in the end he’s revealed in all his ultimate patheticness – talonless and flameless, helplessly ranting at his minions, trying to save face and only making himself look all the more pathetic for it.

Two particular points I’d like to make about this chapter. First, I like how this letter emphasizes the “chain reaction” of truth. Over and over again, there are phrases like “and because you didn’t watch your patient, we lost so-and-so’s patient too!” I like what that says about one action of standing up for the truth, one action of defiance against evil. There are always countless chain reactions happening that we might not always see, just as when Tirian stood up to learn the truth about the real Aslan and expose the false one.

Secondly, I liked your commentary on Aslan’s B-Team, in both the letter itself and your afterword. Not that the Pevensies never mess anything up, but I’ve always related to Eustace and Jill stumbling along doing their best. They never get to be king and queen of Narnia, they botch half of what they’re supposed to do on a good day, but Aslan still lets them be part of his plan and they are the ones He sends at what might be considered the most critical moment in Narnian history. And I don’t know, but that has always given me hope, that Aslan followers like Eustace and Jill have an important place in the story too and that Aslan uses their imperfections to still bring about what He wants.

Congrats again on finishing this massive epic journey through Narnian history. Being along for all of it has maybe felt like a tiny glimpse of what Digory and Polly felt to be there at both the beginning and the end of Narnia. Keep on using your talents for the glory of the Lion! Cheers!

-Sauron Gorthaur
8/20 c40 Sauron Gorthaur
Jewel has always been one of my favorite Narnians, and I think you did a great job of exploring his character and his symbolic place in the story. I had not consciously thought about the parallel between Jewel and Tirian and Fledge and Frank, but it makes perfect sense. I also really like the idea that you bring up about the horsefolk of Narnia being the physical representation of Aslan’s covenant with Narnia – I can really see how that is the case, and it brings up a lot of interesting symbolism with The Last Battle.

In fact, now I’m thinking about just how jam-packed TLB is with the imagery of attacks or attempts of enslavement against horsefolk (Shift’s treatment of Puzzle, the Calormenes whipping the talking horses, Jewel giving himself up to the Calormenes, the slaughter of the talking horses) and then that beautiful scene of restoration with the First Horse Fledge meeting the Last Horse Jewel. It really is a powerful way of symbolizing the attack and attempt to debase Aslan’s covenant with Narnia, and I’d never seen it that way before. Thanks for that insight into the rich symbolism of TLB.

Tash’s commentary on Apathy was interesting and insightful as well. It’s certainly a tactic that hits close to home in modern America, where the concept of live and let live is adopted by almost everyone, including the majority of Christians. I’ll admit, even I have gone down that path and assumed “it wasn’t my business” because I knew to do otherwise would rock the boat uncomfortably. As they say, the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference, and there’s a lot of that in our day and age. And while going on a killing rampage isn’t the answer either, I can see how easy it would be to convince Jewel that it would have been better to just leave well enough alone.

A strong penultimate letter for your Tash series. Further up and further in! Cheers!

-Sauron Gorthaur
7/29 c41 Guest
I really really like this. Have you considerd doing something like this, on Susan after the Last Battle? As in, a book like Screwtape's, to Susan's demon, multiple times. Maybe you could have it to different demons also who are connected to Susan, and eventually show how although she seemed a certain victory at the start, she changes to be better. If you understand what I mean. I would definitely read it.
I would, but there's no way I could do it well enough.
7/22 c7 Guest
Myself, I grew up as a Christadelphian, so it was my family who introduced me. I've been ever since.
I really like this one, by the way. :)
7/17 c3 Guest
I love the signature.
Also this whole piece is great... I wish CS Lewis had written more about the time around then, when it was fresh and happy. Partially because, JACKDAW! :)
5/27 c41 Wild Wild Whovia
(Pretend the final n is there.)

Oh, good chapter! I never thought of Eustace & Jill as the B-team; very good point you brought up. Lucy especially would have made that correction. Interesting that Tash keeps claiming Aslan cheated when of course he didn't. The Pevensies didn't actually enter Narnia; they all wound up in the much better country.

Very good job all through-out. Brava!
5/26 c41 8Daughter of Eve3
This was a great story:)
4/22 c40 Wild wild whovia
(it won't let me type the final letter of my screen name.)

Very good chapter! I was glad for the explanations in the end notes; I'd forgotten about the shooting of the Talking Horses. Despicable treachery!

Hope you & yours are doing all right & staying well. I'm not logged in from my phone; no idea when I'll be able to do so.
3/16 c39 54The Wild Wild Whovian
Very interesting! I hadn't thought about connecting Lewis' own conversion with that of Emeth.
2/14 c39 61Sauron Gorthaur
Once again, you hit upon so many topics that are as relevant in modern America as they are in Narnia and Calormen. Emeth is indeed a theologically intriguing character as someone who grew up in a culture that was actively hostile to Aslan, and yet who ended up seeking after Aslan in the end. What strikes me the most about this chapter is Emeth’s desire to see Tash face-to-face and Tash’s reaction to that. Tash clearly has absolutely no interest in knowing any of his “servants” personally, and I get the feeling that most of his humans have no interest in knowing Tash personally (whether out of fear or of simply not thinking it’s important). Just with that right there, Emeth goes against the grain of the typical Tash follower. Then of course there is Aslan who seeks to have personal relationships with his servants and whose servants desire to see His face and be in His presence. It goes back to the “seek and ye shall find” verse. Emeth is seeking, though he thinks it is Tash he is seeking for, but Tash followers *don’t* seek; Aslan followers do. An interesting thought. Just by the act of seeking and wanting to see Tash himself, Emeth sets himself apart as being more like an Aslan follower than a Tash follower.

Of course, with the line about being the Calormenes being entertained by their “stockpile of every vice imaginable”, one cannot help but see the parallel to modern America. In the glimpses we see it, Calormen is indeed a place of luxuries and opulence (at least if you are a noble), and I cannot help but think of poor Lasaraleen from HHB, someone who was not a bad person but who was obviously completely sucked into the world of entertainment and luxury offered by Calormene culture. I have to wonder what was in Emeth’s life that helped him break free from his culture’s pull and gave him his desire to see Tash face-to-face, that made him different from his compatriots. In that sense, he almost reminds me of Caspian, and I wonder if, like Caspian, Emeth had someone in his early life that subtly put these thoughts in his mind.

Good point about Tash wanting to squash curiosity. The theme of this chapter is partially Tash wanting his human followers to be complacent and sluggishly content with their worldly lives, and it makes sense that he would abhor a good, healthy sense of curiosity in them. It also hints at why extremely dictorial governments so strongly discourage or punish curiosity, because it’s all too likely that if they allowed it, their subjects would stumble across something *much* better and realize what a poor deal they are currently getting.

A final thing that struck me about this chapter, and about Tash’s character in particular, is how he is always accusing Aslan of stealing “his” souls and how Aslan has no right to souls like those of Emeth or Eustace because they belong to Tash. Which just goes to show how twisted Tash’s perception of the whole affair is and how he can’t understand why one of “his” souls would willingly choose to follow Aslan instead. For Tash, everything is about numbers and owning, “his” souls vs Aslan’s souls, rather than anything being about a relationship with these beings.

Cheers!

-Sauron Gorthaur
2/13 c39 8Daughter of Eve3
Great Chapter:) I like your thoughts on Emeth, I was always a little confused, but I thought him at his eleventh hour.
11/9/2019 c38 61Sauron Gorthaur
I had never really thought about just how radical and difficult a choice Poggin made to follow Tirian instead of sticking with the other dwarves. Even if they are total and utter jerks (which they are), he is leaving his own people behind. I can’t help but wonder if Poggin ever felt lonely over being the only dwarf who decided to follow Tirian and Aslan, or if he ever had doubts or second thoughts about siding against his own relations.

This chapter also highlights the quiet, yet enormous, strength of Poggin that I’d also never really considered before. As Tash says, he was surrounded by the cynicism of his fellow dwarves (and their demons), probably from the start; it would have to take a truly strong, brave, and resilient spirit to maintain hope and faith in Aslan when everyone of his own race around him does nothing but mock and ridicule such hope and faith. That must have been incredibly isolating for Poggin.

I guess the little band in LB is rather like the church in that regard: people from all walks of life, people who otherwise would have little or nothing to do with one another, people who are as different as a unicorn is from a dwarf, all finding a second family together, united by hope and faith.

Poggin is also very relatable in being the person of faith in a world and culture that mocks faith. Our own culture is very similar to that of the LB dwarves, defined by cynicism and disbelief, lack of patriotism, a nihilistic outlook on life and the world, and violence towards those who disagree or who they simply decide to dislike. I think Tash (and by extension, you) hits the nail on the head with this sentence here: “Haven't I constantly harped about the way your patient has daily conversations with Him and also keeps His armor in good working order…” Such things are always necessary, of course, but they truly are a lifeline in situations like Poggin’s. I find myself wondering how Poggin got in those habits to begin with, considering dwarven culture doesn’t exactly promote that type of devotion to Aslan…

Interesting chapter with good insights into an easily overlooked character. Cheers!

-Sauron Gorthaur
11/9/2019 c38 54The Wild Wild Whovian
I had to go look up Poggin; haven't read LB in a long time and I'd forgotten his name.

You make some very good points about Tirian's inaction here!
9/26/2019 c37 61Sauron Gorthaur
Ooo, I very much liked this chapter. You bring out some really interesting themes and content that I hadn’t really thought much about before in this one. The big theme here seems to be the dichotomy of “tame” and “wild.” It is interesting, because throughout the Narnia books, the dumb beasts are the ones that we would call “wild” and being a dumb, wild beast is clearly a negative thing to the Talking Beasts. Yet, Aslan Himself is referred to as being “not tame.” Hence, it would seem that it is possible to become too “wild” (to become a wild beast or dumb beast), but it is also possible to become too “tame” (which is the element that I hadn’t thought of before). If the Talking Beasts are to be like Aslan (little Aslans in the same sort of way that “Christians” are “little Christs”), then it makes sense that they should be in between, as Aslan is in between, not tame, but also not wild and dumb.

One of the most disturbing scenes in the Narnia books for me when I was younger was when the cat in LB turns back into a dumb beast. It is interesting to see that Puzzle acts as a sort of parallel to the cat, in that Puzzle becomes too tame, while the cat becomes too wild. Both are unhealthy, both are disturbing, both are not how they are meant to be as Talking Beasts.

I had also not thought of how out-of-character Puzzle is for donkey, who are infamous for being stubborn as you say. It is interesting that Lewis would choose to use a donkey for the character who is a total doormat. Perhaps it is to jumpstart our thinking about the other aspects of Puzzle that are “unnatural” for a Talking Beast, in a way.

I don’t know if it was intentional, but the opening to this chapter “It has been simply a delight to my eyes to enter into the Enemy's chosen country…” reminded me of the passages from Genesis of “And God looked and saw that it was good.” Just like God came down to walk in his Garden of Eden and saw that it was good in his eyes, so Tash is now walking through what is becoming more and more of his land and seeing that it is good in his eyes.

When Tash was complaining about how Aslan just does the same old thing again and again, I couldn’t help but think of the irony in how Aslan Himself said that things can’t happen the same way twice. I also like that Tash is still bitter over Aslan snatching Eustace away from him at the last minute, but then “bitterness” does sum up Tash’s personality pretty well.

There was also a nice parallel in this chapter to Tash constantly berating Slexi and calling him “stupid” and other derogatory terms that attack his intelligence and Shift and Puzzle’s relationship and how Puzzle considers himself “not clever.” It’s one of those situations where if you hear it enough, you start to really believe it. I also liked your side note about the connection between “not clever” and “dumb” and how that ties in with Puzzle’s view of himself as no better than a wild, dumb beast.

You did a great job of packing a lot of great content into a fairly short letter. Lots of food for thought here. Looking forward to the next installment.

Cheers!

-Sauron Gorthaur
9/22/2019 c37 54The Wild Wild Whovian
Sorry to take soooooo verrrrrryyy long to read and review!

Poor little Puzzle is one of my favorite characters. I like what you written here.
178 Page 1 2 3 4 11 .. Last Next »

Desktop Mode . Twitter . Help . Sign Up . Cookies . Privacy . Terms of Service