Two children may not seem like much help, but it’s what they represent that’s important.
The wonder of walking beside the creatures from another world made [Tirian] feel a little dizzy: but it also made all the old stories seem far more real than they had ever seemed before…anything might happen now.
Jill and Eustace are emissaries for the real Aslan, not only because they’ve met him, but because they’re a literal answer to prayer. Their very presence tells Tirian that Aslan is on his side, or at least by his side.
As for character development, it’s interesting to see how Jill has grown into the more sensible of the two – not that it’s surprising that she turned out more down-to-earth than Eustace, really. Eustace has always been intelligent, but that tends to distract him from the issues at hand more often than not. He fills us in on what happened in the week they had between Tirian’s message and the two of them being swept off to Narnia. The Friends of Narnia decided to excavate the Rings that were buried at the end of The Magician’s Nephew, but they never actually get to use them.
“Well there we were in the train. And we were just getting into the station where the others were to meet us, and I was looking out of the window to see if I could see them when suddenly there came a most frightful jerk and a noise: and there we were in Narnia and there was your Majesty tied up to a tree.”
I guess this is something of an infodump chapter (or maybe “walking & talking”), but it’s certainly a change of pace for the children to do the expositing. They make their way to an abandoned Narnian outpost where they can get supplies and make plans. The “supplies” mainly consists of weapons and terrible food, plus armor to disguise themselves as Calormenes. Eustace gets a sword and Jill gets a bow, because apparently she’d been practicing archery in the intervening year. This makes me realize the we’ve spent a grand total of less than a chapter with Jill in England between two books, which is kind of sad. We still don’t have a clue about her family. Oh well.
Until next time…