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Literature: Prince Caspian

The second installment in The Chronicles of Narnia and the fourth book chronologically. A year after the events of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the four Pevensie siblings are summoned back to Narnia, where a thousand years have passed from the perspective of that world's relative time flow. Narnia has mostly been overrun by the descendants of an exiled group of pirates from Earth called the Telmarines (now ruled by the usurper Miraz), but the rightful heir, his nephew Caspian, has magically summoned Narnian help, receiving it in the form of the Pevensies. Once the Telmarines have been beaten back and Caspian proclaimed king, Peter and Susan are told they are now too old ever to return to Narnia.

This book provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Queen Prunaprismia in the book is a harpy that despises Caspian. In the film she shows no ill-will towards him - and expresses horror at learning that Miraz murdered his brother.
    • Glozelle is also depicted as a reluctant follower to Miraz, with all his evil deeds given to Sobespian.
  • Age Lift: Caspian in the book is simply described as a boy as old as Peter - though the BBC adaptation depicted him as a young boy. The film ages him up considerably.
  • Agony of the Feet: Reepicheep and his people inflict this on the Telmarine soldiers during battle. Justified in that, being mice, they cannot reach higher than the belt.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism : In Prince Caspian, Edmund is the only one to remember that Lucy was right about Narnia in the previous book, while Peter and Susan - who ought to know better - are reluctant to believe her when she says she's seen Aslan.
  • Artistic License Biology: Reepicheep the talking mouse has lost his tail in battle, and he argues with Aslan over whether it needs to be regrown. Both of them seem to think a mouse's tail has no practical value, and is of use only as a badge of honor or vanity, but the tails of mice and rats are actually important thermoregulatory structures, without which he'd be quite vulnerable to heat stroke.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign / Bilingual Bonus: The sinister magic words the hag uses in her ceremony to summon the White Witch? They're actually the lyrics to an Arabic love song! According to the director's commentary, the actress's grandmother used to sing her that song, which she then used for the chant.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Miraz, in the Walden Media film. And how! The soundtrack alone in that scene makes it worthy.
  • Badass Beard: The Telmarines. It comes with the pirate territory.
  • Badass Boast: Courtesy of the Werewolf:
    I am hunger. I'm thirst. Where I bite, I hold till I die, and even after death they must cut out my mouthful from my enemy's body and bury it with me. I can fast a hundred years and not die. I can lie a hundred nights on the ice and not freeze. I can drink a river of blood and not burst. Show me your enemies.
  • Badass Longcoat: Miraz sports one in the Walden Media film.
  • Big Bad: Miraz.
  • Combat by Champion: Peter versus Miraz.
  • Composite Character: In the film Lord Glozelle and the unnamed Telmarine who takes up Aslan's offer of going back into the island from whence the Telmarines first came are combined. This is achieved by giving Glozelle Adaptational Heroism, portraying him as a reluctant follower of Miraz.
    • Dr Cornelius is combined with Caspian's nurse (who is the one that first told him stories about Narnia's history).
  • Cool Gate: "The Door in the Air" — it leads wherever Aslan wants it to lead.
  • Decapitated Army: Subverted. Miraz's death doesn't lead to Telmarine surrender - in fact, the lords doctored his murder to look like he's been traitorously killed by Narnians and motivate the Telmarine army to fight.
  • Deus ex Machina: Aslan comes in during the last battle to help the Narnians win after they began to lose hope.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: After arriving in Narnia, Lucy and Edmund, despite being told it will be cold come the night and not knowing what they could come across, decide to explore barefoot for no reason at all.
  • Due to the Dead: When Nikabrik is killed, Peter orders that his body be given to the Dwarfs for funeral rites. The hag and the werewolf are not accorded the same respect.
  • Evil Uncle: Miraz, to Caspian.
  • Flynning: Surprisingly enough, averted in the duel scene, which features the fighters targeting unarmoured body parts, half-swording, shield bashing and lots of grappling.
    • In the book, there is a lampshaded subversion. Lewis is careful to tell his young readers that what Caspian is taught isn't fencing but sword-fighting, which only superficially resembles the former.
  • Gender Flip: The BBC adaptation cast a woman to play Trufflehunter the badger.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Nikabrik sees the Telmarine occupation as crossing this, which makes him willing to resurrect the White Witch to defeat them if Aslan doesn't do the job.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Cornelius is mostly dwarf with some human blood.
  • Herald: Caspian with Susan's horn
  • Hollywood Torches: Spectacularly averted when the kids try (and fail) to make one of these before going down to the treasure chamber.
  • Honor Before Reason: Reepicheep in a nutshell. Peter picks up on this, and uses it let him down easy when he insists on acting as champion in the duel with Miraz. It's not the fact that he stands no chance, it's that some humans are afraid of mice so it would be cheating.
  • It Was a Gift
  • Kick Them While They Are Down
  • Legendary in the Sequel: Played with. Thanks to Narnia Time, the characters and events of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe are regarded as legends or even Fairy Tales. The Pevensies' reappearance is compared to what it would be like if King Arthur returned to present-day Britain.
  • The Masquerade: Old Narnians whom the Telmarines consider fairy tales live in hiding.
  • My Master, Right Or Wrong: Glozelle.
  • Narnia Time: The book lays out the remaining rules for this. While The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe established the "time does not pass on Earth while you are in Narnia" rule, this is the book that codifies "while you are not in Narnia, any amount of time may pass in Narnia."
  • A Protagonist Shall Lead Them: The Pevensies.
  • Race Lift: Sort of. The Telmarines' race was never mentioned in the book but they are implied to be white - as Prunaprismia is described as red haired. The film makes them appear Mediterranean and Word of God says this is to reflect their pirate origins.
  • Rage Helm: In the movie, the Telmarine armies.
  • Reverse Psychology: How Miraz is goaded into accepting Peter's challenge even though it was to his advantage not to duel. In the book, he seems not to realise that he's being manipulated, while in the movie he's clearly aware of it, but feels he has to do it anyway to save face.
  • Sacred Hospitality: Trufflehunter raises this point when he and the dwarves first take in Caspian.
  • Secondary Character Title
  • Sequel Hook: There is brief mention in the novel of seven lords who were loyal to Caspian IX who were unafraid of the sea. Searching for these lords is the impetus for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
  • Shout-Out: Ben Barnes said his accent was essentially an imitation of Inigo Montaya.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Specifically between Susan and Lucy. Susan believes Aslan favors Lucy; Peter takes Susan's side in an important argument because she's older and talking logically, while Lucy's suggestion makes no (visible) sense. The film plays it up even more.
  • Smug Snake: Miraz, mildly.
  • Sour Supporter: Trumpkin.
  • So What Do We Do Now?: At the beginning of the film, Peter in particular is none too happy to be a young teen dealing with stupid schoolboys again, as opposed to a full-grown man and a king
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Glozelle.
  • Spare To The Throne: In the backstory, Miraz, who killed Caspian's father to take the throne. In a way, he kept Caspian alive afterwards to function as this - if Miraz would die, at least the crown would stay in the family. The vent that kicks off the main plot is that Miraz has a son, who would become this trope to Caspian... unless Caspian were to die first.
  • The Starscream:
    • In the film, Lord Sopespian and Lord Glozelle seek to overthrow King Miraz by provoking him into accepting Peter's challenge of a mano-a-mano sword fight in hopes that he'll be killed. When this doesn't happen, Sopesian stabs Miraz in the back. Glozelle gets a Heel-Face Turn, though.
    • In the book, Glozelle is the one who stabs Miraz to death, as revenge for his ex-leader insulting him before the duel with Peter takes place. Both him and Sopesian end up killed in battle.
  • Static Character: All of Narnia's Talking Beasts, according to Trufflehunter the badger.
    Trufflehunter: I tell you, we don't change, we beasts . . . We don't forget.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: All the Narnians from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe are dead... from old age... hundreds of years ago.
  • Tearjerker: The Pevensies' sad realization that all their friends from the first book/movie are long gone.
    • On that note, the ending of the castle fight scene. A bunch of Narnians are trapped in the castle, and as Peter looks back, he realizes one of Glenstorm's sons are trapped in the castle. The look on his face when he turns around is heartbreaking.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Trumpkin gets a short but effective one in the film; when he's brought before Miraz and Miraz hits him across the face for pretty much no reason, he gives the king a Death Glare and simply says "And you wonder why we don't like you?"
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Peter issues a formally-worded challenge to Miraz.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Caspian is reluctant to use Susan's horn since there might be an even greater need for it in the future. Nikabrik points out that, by that argument, he will never use it until it is too late.
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: The aforementioned challenge contains Peter's credentials, juxtaposed with Miraz's more meager ones. And a greeting.
    • And then Peter throws in Edmund's laundry list of titles and credentials for good measure, just to rub it in.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Susan and Lucy.
  • Unfriendly Fire: Miraz isn't killed by Peter, just knocked unconscious. A full-scale battle ensues, and a Telmarine Mauve Shirt the king insulted earlier finishes him off.
  • The Usurper: Miraz, younger brother to the rightful Telmarine king, Caspian IX (the title character is later crowned King Caspian X).
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Miraz's wife and son are never mentioned after Caspian's escape in the book. The film shows them going to live on the Pacific island on Earth with the other Telmarines.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: The good-hearted prince of a rather evil empire is about to be disposed of by the evil uncle who killed his father and took his throne, so he organizes a daring night raid to infiltrate the castle, kill the usurper in his bed, and retake the kingdom in a matter of minutes. Just as he's about to pull the trigger, his uncle congratulates him on finally showing some spine, and being worthy of the throne he's about to take. Horrified, he aborts the entire operation, risking all of their lives with a fighting retreat and wasting countless man-, woman-, and minotaur-hours of preparation and execution. This also leads directly to the final showdown, the deaths of many of Caspian's allies, and the decimation of an opposing army that was, for better or worse, just following the orders of their king (and likely facing execution for any disobedience). The Rage Helm entry even mentions how they deliberately dehumanized the Telmarine army to make the protagonists seem justified in causing hundreds of deaths by the act of sparing one tyrant. This is presented as having been the honorable way for Caspian to reclaim his throne, with the opening of the next movie deliberately illustrating how seamlessly Caspian took the reins and pacified the realm.
    • Although see Decapitated Army above: There's no guarantee that assassinating Miraz will see everyone instantly accept Caspian and his Narnian allies as the new regime, especially with a couple of Dragons waiting to take his place. (It should be added all this only applies to the film: The book and BBC adaptation have a much simpler failed ambush where Caspian never has the opportunity to kill Miraz.)
  • When Trees Attack
  • With Due Respect: Inverted: Trumpkin argues strongly against Caspian's plan and then volunteers to do the job he just argued against. He explains to the prince that having given advice, now it's time for him to take orders.

The Lion, the Witch, and the WardrobeLiterature/The Chronicles of NarniaThe Voyage of the Dawn Treader
PninLiterature of the 1950sProfessor Mmaa's Lecture
The Lion, the Witch, and the WardrobeFilms Of The 2000s-FranchisesThe Chronicles of Riddick
The Lion, the Witch, and the WardrobeChildren's LiteratureThe Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Lion, the Witch, and the WardrobeFantasy LiteratureThe Voyage of the Dawn Treader

alternative title(s): Prince Caspian; Prince Caspian
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