The Silver Chair

From Academic Kids

The Silver Chair is the fourth book in The Chronicles of Narnia fantasy series by C.S. Lewis. It is the first book in the series in which the Pevensie children do not appear.

The story begins with Eustace Scrubb, who was introduced in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, returning to Narnia with his classmate Jill Pole. As Aslan explains to Jill shortly after her arrival, they have been brought to Narnia to find a prince who disappeared under mysterious circumstances some years before. The prince, named Rilian, is the son of King Caspian (formerly Prince Caspian), who is now an old man and unable to undertake the arduous journey himself. Rilian has in fact been taken captive through the evil spells of an enchantress named the Green Witch—reminiscent of the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe—and needs to be brought back to inherit the throne. Initially, Jill and Eustace are aided by a parliament of talking owls; on their journey to the far north of Narnia, they are accompanied by a gloomy but stalwart Marshwiggle, appropriately named Puddleglum.

In this volume Lewis deals with such topics as temptation, guidance, and Christian discipleship. Again it is to be stressed that his pedagogic intent is secondary to his main aim of creating a good story. One of The Silver Chair's most memorable scenes is of a mental struggle between the enchantress and Puddleglum concerning the true nature of reality. The enchantress then loses her temper and turns into a serpent, she is quickly killed by Rillian. Almost immediately after the Green Lady's death, the underworld begins to collapse and Eustace, Jill, Rillian and Puddleglum make their escape. They finally return to Narnia and Rillian goes back to Cair Paravel. Eustace and Jill watch as King Caspian returns home on the Dawntreader and meets his long-lost son just before dying.

Aslan then appears and congratulates Eustace and Jill on achieving their goal of returning Rillian to Narnia, before they return to Aslan's country and arrive at the stream where Jill first met Aslan. An image of the dead King Caspian appears in the stream and Aslan instructs Eustace to drive a thorn into his paw. Eustace obliges and Aslan's blood flows over the image of King Caspian, who is then revived and re-appears as the young Caspian. They reach the wall which surrounds Experiment House (Eustace and Jill's school) and part of the wall collapses. Caspian, Eustace and Jill run towards the wall and the schoolchildren run back towards the school, having also seen Aslan. Aslan and Caspian remain in Aslan's country while Eustace and Jill sneak back into their school.

The headmistress at Experiment House reported the 'collapsed wall, convicts and lion' to the police but when the police arrived there was no sign of any of this. The headmistress eventually got into parliament, while Experiment House received a new headmaster and became a good school.

In Narnia, Prince Rillian succeeded his late father Caspian and became King Rillian the Navigator.

The Chronicles of Narnia
C. S. Lewis
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe | Prince Caspian | The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair | The Horse and His Boy | The Magician's Nephew | The Last Battle
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