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Fan Fic / Carpetbaggers

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A completed Chronicles of Narnia fanfiction that revolves around the first weeks of the Pevensies’ reign after being crowned Kings and Queens of Narnia. It deconstructs the idyllic reign of the Pevensies, and reconstructs their reign in terms of the practical difficulties and complicated politics that would naturally arise from taking over the rule of a country that’s just been liberated from a continual winter imposed by an evil tyrant and isolated from the outside world for a hundred years. It balances plot and character arcs, and is a good deal more gritty and less idealized than the vast majority of “Golden Age” Narnia fics, though it retains an optimistic ending.

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It can be found beginning here.

Carpetbaggers, aside from the usual tropes common to The Chronicles of Narnia, provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Atoner: Rhea is a version of one, working to atone not for her own villainous actions, but those of her littermate Maugrim.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Edmund shows up on dragonback to rescue Peter and Susan from mercenaries.
  • Blood Oath: The Pevensies extract one of these from each of the Witch’s former soldiers who wish to defect.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: An interesting case in that, since most Narnians have never seen a human, many don’t even realize the Pevensies are children.
  • Cool Sword: The Telmarine mercenaries who capture Peter comment on the exceptional craftsmanship of Rhindon and almost guess his identity because of it.
  • Enemy Mine: When the Pevensies need backup to fight a horde of the Witch’s creatures, who do they recruit? The rebels who were holed up in the castle bullying and blackmailing local Narnians.
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  • Famed In-Story / News Travels Fast: Averted, to the point where many people don’t even realize that anyone replaced the Witch after she was dethroned.
  • Forgiveness: This is the carrot Peter and Susan offer to the Western Narnian Patrol and even some of the Witch’s remnant, in order to build a loyal armed following.
  • Historical In-Joke: The title of the fic is a reference to people in the post-American Civil War era who moved from the northern United States to the South in order to profit from the Reconstruction. Though the readers know the Pevensies as saviors and honest rebuilders of Narnia, many within the story perceive them as profiteers taking advantage of the chaos caused by the Witch’s fall to establish their rule and seize the coveted supplies of food and other resources.
    • The term “carpetbagger” can also be used in the U.S. to refer to a politician that holds office in an area where they do not have community ties or roots – a characterization indubitably true of the Pevensies, who have only been in Narnia a matter of days before being crowned.
  • Hostage Situation: The Telmarine mercenaries hold Susan at knifepoint, as leverage to guarantee their safe passage to the border.
  • King Incognito: Peter passes himself off as a commoner to avoid both the anger of Eluned and potentially being held for ransom by the mercenaries.
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  • Knighting: Peridan comments in the last chapter that Rhea is “a worthy vassal”, and Edmund suggests they knight her. (The sequel confirms that they did so, off-page.)
  • Noble Wolves / Savage Wolves: Rhea’s self-sacrifice, humility, and heroism are contrasted with the ruthless and self-serving attitudes of Maugrim and the rest of her former pack.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The dragon which Edmund frees from the Witch’s lingering power is established to be a wyvern, bearing two legs instead of four, which makes for less comfortable riding.
  • Parental Abandonment: The children, particularly Susan, are acutely aware of and somewhat saddened by their lack of parental direction.
    • There’s also Rhea, who (albeit temporarily) left her pups in order to serve the Pevensies.
  • Realpolitik: As advertised in the author’s summary of the fic.
  • Royal Brat: Eluned, a princess from Archenland who thinks the pitiful, leaderless Narnians need a proper queen to come in and shape them up (and scoffs at the reality that the intelligent and capable Narnians already have four learning-to-be-capable monarchs).
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The fic starts out with the Pevensies waking up the day after the coronation to realize that being rulers of a country isn’t all parties and fun. They proceed to spend the fic trying (successfully) to be this.
  • Sliding Scale of Realistic Versus Fantastic: Though there are of course fantastic elements (this being Narnia), this fic draws most of its plot from extremely practical and logical difficulties involved in taking over a country, rather than contriving extra adventure, and so falls (rather unusually for this fandom) far to the realistic end of the scale.
  • Succession Crisis: Because the Pevensies were crowned by Aslan after the fall of the Witch, there isn’t actually a succession crisis, but thanks to the aversion of Famed In-Story, almost everyone else seems to think there is and wants to get their fingers in the pie.
  • Trapped in Villainy / Just Following Orders: One or the other of these tropes was the stance of basically every Narnian who survived the Hundred-Year Winter, where their options were basically “obey the Witch and hope for a reward” or else “starve” or “be turned to stone”.
  • Unexpected Successors: The Pevensies. It causes problems.
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