“The dream is ended: this is the morning.”
This chapter is so wonderful I almost don’t know where to start. Actually, I do know where to start – near the end, where we receive one last (predictable) “twist”:
“There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of you are – as you used to call it in the Shadowlands – dead.”
You remember how I said a couple chapters ago that Susan’s story isn’t quite over?
It might just seem that much crueler at first, realizing that Susan’s whole family just died in a railway accident, but even pain has a purpose, as Lewis knew well. Yes, it’s tragic from her perspective, but it would also serve to wake her from her spiritual dormancy and perhaps, eventually, lead her to Aslan’s country, too (read more here: The Overlooked Hope for Narnia’s Susan Pevensie).
And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
How can you top that?
We come at last to the end of The Chronicles of Narnia. I can’t say I was surprised by how many new things I found in these books (after a while you get used to that), but it’s been pleasant to share my feelings and discoveries. When someday I too bid these Shadowlands farewell, I really do hope that maybe, just maybe, there will be a real Narnia waiting on the other side.
Thank you for sharing this journey with me. I hope to see you again as I embark on a new story in the new year.
Next time: A word about my plans for 2017 (including my next project)