[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/AA_The_Horse_and_His_Boy1_465.jpg]]

The fifth book written for ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' series and the third book chronologically; a {{midquel}} that takes place during the reign of the Pevensies in ''[[Literature/TheLionTheWitchAndTheWardrobe The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe]].'' ''The Horse and His Boy'' is the only book in the series where no action takes place in our world. It tells the story of four runaways from the southern kingdom Calormen -- the peasant boy Shasta, the RebelliousPrincess Aravis, and two Narnian horses Bree and Hwin -- whose quest for their own freedom soon turns into a mission to warn Narnia and Archenland of an impending invasion by the Calormene prince Rabadash. The journey will take them through the great city of Tashbaan, across the treacherous desert that borders Calormen, and over the mountains that separate Archenland from their ultimate goal -- Narnia and the North!

Unlike other books in the ''Narnia'' series, this one is not mythic in scope (until the ending, where certain epic deeds are done and TheReveal is... revealed.) Royalty is mentioned only in passing until the finale, there are barely any religious or magical elements, and the protagonists don't have a ready-made court of willing, loyal Narnians ready to help them through any troubles they have. The novel makes it clear that our heroes are alone in a largely hostile world, and that no one will respect them until they've ''earned'' respect. The plot focuses mainly on the four's long, long journey to Narnia, the sights they see and things they learn, and the CharacterDevelopment everyone goes through in doing so.


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!!This book provides examples of:
* AdiposeRex: The Tisroc of Calormen.
** King Lune is also described as being fat, but in [[BigFun a jolly rather than disgusting way]].
* AgonyOfTheFeet: Shasta is unable to help Bree by walking during the daylight desert crossing because the hot sands burn his feet.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: Played straight with the Calormene rulers, though their people are frequently portrayed as being simply dull and boring (or silly and stupid) rather than evil.
* ArabianNightsDays: Calormene culture is heavily inspired by the ''Arabian Nights'' version of the Middle East; notably, Creator/CSLewis is on record as being a fan of the English translation and even borrowed the name "Aslan" from the footnotes to one edition. [[spoiler: It's Turkish for "Lion."]]
* ArrangedMarriage: What Aravis is fleeing. Suggested to be the case with her friend Lasraleen. However we never see her husband, it is suggested that he spends a lot of time away from home and she rather enjoys her high life.
* [[GodWasMyCopilot Aslan Was My Co-pilot]]: A lot of Shasta's misadventures were Aslan saving him from something worse.
* AutomatonHorses: Defied quite resoundingly. Not only can the horses ''tell'' their humans what they need, the threat of "Rabadash and two hundred horse" drops from 'legendary' to 'big but manageable' when Bree points out how long it will take to get that many riders moving, saddled, provisioned, watered, etc.
* BadBoss: Bree assures Shasta that his master is this. Lasaraleen seems to blur the lines, see InThatOrder below.
* BalefulPolymorph: Aslan turns Prince Rabadash into a donkey during his HumiliationConga. The final part? He can only be changed back by showing up at the temple during his country's largest festival, letting the entire country see what happened to him. Furthermore, if he ever goes too far from the palace, he'll turn back into a donkey forever. This prevents him from conducting any military campaigns against neighboring kingdoms.
* TheBechdelTest: If Hwin is included in this equation (she's a horse but a talking one and functions as a character) she and Aravis talk about Narnia plenty of times. Aravis and Lucy are also mentioned in an offhand comment as talking about dresses and other girly things.
* BelligerentSexualTension: Shasta and Aravis. See LikeAnOldMarriedCouple.
* BerserkButton: Did you just talk smack about Queen Susan in Prince Corin's hearing? [[TalkToTheFist Talk to the]] [[RedBaron Thunder Fist]]!
* BigBad: Rabadash.
* ABoyAndHisX: A Boy and his Horse as well as A Girl and her Mare. Bree, however, finds this phrasing prejudiced and believes it's just as fair to say that the children are the horses' humans. [[CaptainObvious Hence the title]].
* BreakTheHaughty: Bree, Aravis, and Rabadash, although only the first two really learn anything from the experience.
* ChangelingFantasy: [[spoiler:Shasta, a peasant orphan, turns out to be the long-lost prince of Archenland]]. Atypically for the trope, [[spoiler:Shasta]] is kind of dismayed by the fact that this means he'll have to be king one day, and his brother is only too happy to be relieved of the responsibility. ("I shan't have to be king! It's princes that get all the fun!")
* ChekhovsGunman: This book introduces the Calormenes, their god Tash and their tense relationship with the Narnians - which will come into play in ''Literature/TheLastBattle''.
* CleverCrows: Sallowpad the raven is considered the voice of wisdom in the council during the deliberations of Edmund, Susan and the Narnians who were held hostage to Rabadash's whim.
* CoolOldGuy: The Hermit of the Southern March.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Aravis is pretty proud and cold toward Shasta for the first half of the book; she eventually warms up to him.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: In many of his non-fiction essays, Lewis argued against theologians who tried to "demythologize" Christianity by arguing that, for example, Christ wasn't literally the "son of God" and/or didn't really rise from the dead. In TheHorseAndHisBoy, Bree explains that while Narnians call Aslan a lion, he isn't ''really'' a lion--it's just a figurative way of saying he's as brave as a lion or as fierce as a lion. (Aslan isn't offended, just amused.)
* ErmineCapeEffect: Played straight with the Calormene nobility; subverted with the Narnian nobility who dress more modestly but seem more regal; averted with King Lune in everyday clothes.
* EvilChancellor:
** The Grand Vizier, though unusually for this trope he's more of a passive-aggressive back-biter than anything else. Oddly enough the Grand Vizier seems genuinely loyal and grateful to the Tisroc, it's his son that he plots against (who, to be perfectly honest, is a [[JerkAss really detestable person]]).
** Lord Bar, King Lune's chancellor, is mentioned in passing as the one who [[spoiler:kidnapped the infant Prince Cor]] before the story started.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Bree tells Shasta that he would rather be dead tonight than be Tarkhaan Anradin's slave tomorrow.
* AFriendInNeed: Both Bree and Hwin reveal they can talk just when Shasta and Aravis, respectively, are in desperate need of help.
* GameFace: Subverted -- Rabadash rolls his eyes, sticks out his tongue, and wiggles his ears. It terrifies his underlings (who know he can have them boiled in oil at any minute), but it has no effect on the free Narnians.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: All that's said among the Narnians about Rabadash's plans for Susan is that he plans to make her his "wife -- or more likely, [[SexSlave slave]]."
** We're not told exactly why Bree thought Shasta should [[FateWorseThanDeath rather be dead]] than be Anradin's slave but since Anradin was buying him because he was [[EveryoneLovesBlondes fair and beautiful]], [[{{Shotacon}} we can]] [[DepravedHomosexual guess...]]
** During his rant upon learning of Susan's escape, Rabadash calls her a "false jade". To a child, and to many adults, this sounds like he is calling her a backstabbing liar; however, "false jade" is actually an old-fashioned way of calling her a whore. (And apparently he called her worse things, but the narrator omits these because they "[[NarrativeProfanityFilter would not look at all nice in print]]").
* GodWasMyCopilot: When Shasta finally meets Aslan, [[spoiler: Aslan reveals just how many times he's helped out Shasta, beginning with keeping him dying when he was an infant.]]
* GoodOldFisticuffs: Corin is an outstanding boxer even as a boy -- it takes three Calormene watchmen to subdue him -- and, as an adult, punches out a ''grizzly bear'', thus earning the name [[AwesomeMccoolname Corin Thunder-Fist]].
* TheGrandVizier: The Calormene Grand Vizier is too minor of a character to be a ''good'' example of the trope, but he is portrayed as ugly, grovelling and petty.
** His brief appearance is an interesting deconstruction of the EvilVizier trope, though.
* HeroOfAnotherStory: Aslan warns against being ''too'' interested in this, but the Pevensies are this to Shasta and he is this to them. It's one of the few books that are written from the Hero Of Another Story's point-of-view.
* HeroicSacrifice: In Shasta's backstory, the knight who starved himself to keep Shasta alive.
* TheHighQueen: Queen Susan. Prince Corin describes her as "like an ordinary grown-up lady". Queen Lucy features as well but she doesn't fit the trope - essentially being a grown up version of her GenkiGirl self.
* HumiliationConga: Prince Rabadash, ending with a KarmicTransformation.
* IntellectualAnimal: Bree.
* InterruptedSuicide: Aravis in her BackStory. Hwin stops her.
* InThatOrder: [[TheDitz Lasaraleen]] threatens to beat her servants to death, burn them alive, and keep them on bread and water for three weeks -- rather ineffectual punishments if done in that order, and a display of her casual, lazy attitude.
* JerkassHasAPoint: Bree could have been a bit politer about pointing out that Aravis had just as much right to say Hwin was her horse as he does of saying Aravis is Hwin's human... but even the narrator basically agrees with the point.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Bree acts like this on several occasions - a combination of being a [[IntellectualAnimal Talking Horse]] as well as the prize steed in an official's stable result in him feeling a bit smug at times about his abilities, and he's not at all afraid to talk down to anyone (particularly Shasta, who is effectively an escaped slave). That said, he's got a strong sense of honor, helps Shasta escape from a FateWorseThanDeath, and is an unquestionably loyal companion.
* JustifiedCriminal: Shasta feels guilty about "raiding" food and supplies from the Calormenes, but Bree rationalizes it by explaining that they are in "enemy territory".
* KickTheSonOfABitch: After Ahoshta and the Tisroc have their interview with Rabadash, Ahoshta helps the Tisroc feel better about letting Rabadash go into a situation that will likely get him killed. It's meant to show Ahoshta as an amoral YesMan (and the Tisroc not much better), but then it's not like anyone would really miss Rabadash.
* LadyOfWar: Queen Lucy joins the archers in battle. Queen Susan, it is explained, is an excellent shot, but [[PrincessClassic doesn't like fighting.]]
* LastStand
* LaserGuidedKarma: When our heroes are chased and attacked by a lion [[spoiler:who, it turns out, is Aslan]] it scratches Aravis across her back. The Hermit who tends to her wounds notes that his was unusual behavior for a lion. [[spoiler: When Aslan reveals himself, he explains that the wounds he gave her, "tear for tear, throb for throb, blood for blood" were equal to the beating received by the slavegirl Aravis drugged in order to make her escape]]. "You needed to know what it felt like."
* LemonyNarrator: Creator/CSLewis waxes eloquent on several occasions.
--> "For in Calormen, story-telling (whether the stories are true or made up) is a thing you're taught, just as English boys and girls are taught essay-writing. The difference is that people want to hear the stories, whereas I never heard of anyone who wanted to read the essays."
* LikeAnOldMarriedCouple: (And then they end up becoming one.) Aravis and Shasta become so used to fighting and making up again that they get married [[CrowningMomentOfFunny "to go on doing it more conveniently."]]
* MadeASlave: What Shasta is fleeing, and the horses' backstory.
* TheMagnificent: Rabadash ultimately goes down in history as "Rabadash the Ridiculous."
%% please do not add TheMasochismTango: that trope suggests that the match is bad and basically
%% destructive, which very obviously isn't what the author describes.
* MosesInTheBullrushes: Shasta [[spoiler: a.k.a. Prince Cor]].
* NoNameGiven: [[spoiler:In the backstory, one of Bar's knights sailed away with the young Prince Cor, [[HeroicSacrifice starving himself so the child might live on what little food they had]].]]
* NormalFishInATinyPond: Bree and Hwin among Calormene (i.e. non-talking) horses. This has somewhat gone to Bree's head.
* NotSoSimilar: This is the book that introduces Tash, a figure that is theorized to be another culture's name for Aslan. (It isn't.)
* OddballInTheSeries: Absolutely no scenes on Earth, the story focuses on characters native to Narnia and neighboring countries, the main thrust of the story focuses on Archenland and Calormen rather than Narnia, and the plot is on a much smaller scale than previous entries in the series.
* TheOjou: Lasaraleen Tarkheena is the SpoiledSweet type: ditzy, gossipy and shallow, but not half as bad as others.
* OldManMarryingAChild: Aravis is somewhere in her early teens when betrothed to Ahosta Tarkaan. Bree explains that all Calormene noblewomen marry young.
* OverlyLongName: The titular horse's full name is a neigh: Breehy-hinny-brinny-hoohy-hah. He grumpily accepts that Shasta won't remember that and begrudgingly accepts being called Bree for the rest of the book. "Hwin" sounds like a shortened version of a similar name.
* PonyTale: [[AvertedTrope It's not one]], but CSLewis thought the title "might allure the 'pony book' public."
* PhraseCatcher[=/=]VerbalTic: The name "The Tisroc" is usually followed with "May he live forever." As a free Narnian at heart, Bree makes a point of omitting that little titbit.
* {{Pride}}: One of Bree's defining characteristics, perhaps as a result of being pampered as a prize horse for a Calormen official. It later backfires on him, as he becomes neurotic about what "proper" Narnian horses do (whereas Hwin states that she's just going to do what makes her happy).
* RebelliousPrincess: Aravis.
* RightBehindMe: Aslan appears just as Bree is holding forth on how ludicrous it would be for their BigGood to be an ''actual'' lion.
* RoyalBlood
* RunawayFiance: Aravis again. She was engaged to the much older Ahoshta Tarkaan aka the Grand Vizier as both a way to gain power for her nobleman father ''and'' an excuse for her WickedStepmother to get rid of her. We really only hear her side of the story, but it's clear that she doesn't want to marry the old man.
* SamusIsAGirl: Aravis is initially mistaken for a young prince on a fine blood mare, the confusion caused mainly by her wearing her dead brother's armour.
* TheSavageSouth: Calormene. Deconstructed, as Calormenes (at least those in power) consider Calormene more civilised than the North.
* SapientSteed: The two Narnian horses in the story. Some additional talking horses are seen as the Narnians go to war, although it's noted that nobody rides talking horses (or centaurs) unless there is a pressing need.
* SeparatedAtBirth: Cor and Corin.
* SlapSlapKiss: Aravis and Shasta, canonically.
* SmugSnake: Ye gods, Prince Rabadash.
** Ahoshta Tarkaan as well.
* SpareToTheThrone: Turns out [[spoiler: Shasta was one of two princes of Archenland and had been kidnapped as a baby. As the older twin, guess who's next for the throne? His twin brother is delighted when this is discovered, not wanting the throne anyway]].
** Prince Rabadash's father the Tisroc allows his eldest son to attack Archenland and Narnia specifically because the prince is {{hot blooded}}, hard to control, and [[WeHaveReserves easily replaceable]].
* SpoiledSweet: Lasaraleen. She's never anything but kind to Aravis, despite Aravis's short temper and impatience with her, risks her life to help her, and overcomes her fear in the end, albeit with a bit of prodding.
* StealthPun: The grand vizier describing Rabadash's familial love as a "carbuncle." (This usually means "ruby" but can also mean "festering sore.")
* TheStoryteller: Aravis tells her backstory in the manner of a royal court storyteller, since apparently in Calormen all children are taught storytelling in school.
* SweetPollyOliver: Aravis dresses in her brother's armour so she won't be recognised when she runs away. This is only on the first night however.
* SwiperNoSwiping: Subverted. When a lion pursues the horses and claws Aravis, Shasta runs at it and yells "Go home!". The lion checks and runs. (But of course [[spoiler: it was not just ''any'' lion, but Aslan inflicting a little LaserGuidedKarma).]]
* TheChainsOfCommanding: When [[spoiler:Cor, his older brother, returns to Archenland - and thus becomes next in line for the throne]] - Corin is [[NoReallyItsOkay delighted that he will not have to become king]]. Lune agrees, pointing out that princes live in luxury and are highly respected, but kings have to do a lot of work and make hard decisions.
-->"For this is what it means to be a king: to be first in every desperate attack and last in every desperate retreat, and when there's hunger in the land (and must be now and then in bad years) to wear finer clothes and laugh louder over a scantier meal than any man in your land."
* ThemeTwinNaming: This is a tradition in Archenland -- Cor and Corin, Dar and Darrin, and Cole and Colin are the examples we meet.
* TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow: Aslan tells several characters that they are not meant to know a) other people's stories, and b) what could have been if they made different choices. However, the implication is less "You would {{go mad from the revelation}}" and more "Hey, look, I'm not a gossip."
* ThisIsMyHuman: The title, also [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] when Aravis objects to Bree asking questions of "her" horse instead of her.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Aravis and Lasaraleen.
* TomboyPrincess: Aravis. Also Queen Lucy.
* TomboyWithAGirlyStreak: Aravis again. Also Queen Lucy acts a little more feminine in a private environment, since when she and Aravis meet they start talking about dresses and girly stuff.
* TooDumbToLive: Yeesh, Rabadash! First, [[spoiler:he's captured in battle by the Narnians and, even though they treat him quite nicely, he continues to throw fits and refuse to negotiate with them and threatens them all, even though they could just as easily have his head for it.]] Then [[spoiler:he continues to act like this while [[CrystalDragonJesus Aslan]] is in the room, even when he's ''told'' to shut up or something bad will happen to him.]]
* TrashLanding: Shasta does one while escaping across the Tashbaan rooftops.
* UptownGirl: [[spoiler: Though it evens out by the time they actually marry.]]
* WellExcuseMePrincess: Aravis.
* WhamLine: After Shasta relates the story of all his travails to a person he can't yet see due to a thick nighttime fog:
-->"There was only one lion," said the Voice.\\
[...]\\
"How do you know?"\\
[[spoiler:"I was the lion."]]
* WhatTheHellHero: Shasta wonders what happened to the slave that Aravis drugged to escape. Aravis off-handedly mentions that she was probably punished, which Shasta (himself escaping from a life of slavery) points out as remarkably unfair. [[spoiler: As noted under LaserGuidedKarma, Aslan agrees.]]
* WickedStepmother: Aravis had one, and was one of the reasons why she left.
* WillNotTellALie: Corin, who scoffs at the suggestion that he'd do anything other than tell the truth about his and Shasta's inadvertent TwinSwitch.
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