One of the many things I love about the Chronicles of Narnia is that every time I read through the series, I come away with something new – often, something new from each book. Now reading through Prince Caspian with my daughter, I was struck by the scene in which Lucy meets Aslan for the first time since she and her siblings were pulled back into Narnia.
If you don’t know the story, what is wrong with you? Just kidding. But not really. The Pevensie siblings are pulled magically into Narnia, but despite being gone just one earth year, a millennium has passed in Narnia, and the land is ruled by a race of humans called Telmarines, who have subjugated and done their best to exterminate any remnants of Old Narnia – the talking beasts, satyrs, dryads, fauns, centaurs, dwarves and the like. The true heir to the throne, Caspian, has fled for his life because his Uncle Miraz usurped the throne from Caspian’s father and killed all of his allies. Now Caspian and the Old Narnians have turned to fight Miraz and the Telmarines, and the Pevensies might be able to help, but they have to get to the camp first. Aslan has been absent from this story for hundreds of years, his existence is doubted by many, and only the youngest Pevensie, Lucy, seems to be able to see him. After everyone else falls asleep, Lucy is awakened by a voice calling her name. At long last, she meets Aslan again:
“Will the others see you too?” asked Lucy.
“Certainly not at first,” said Aslan. “Later on, it depends.”
“But they won’t believe me!” said Lucy.
“It doesn’t matter,” said Aslan.
“Oh dear, oh dear,” said Lucy. “And I was so pleased at finding you again. And I thought you’d let me stay. And I thought you’d come roaring in and frighten all the enemies away – like last time. And now everything is going to be horrid.”
“It is hard for you, little one,” said Aslan. “But things never happen the same way twice. It has been hard for us all in Narnia before now.”