Half Baked Emeth thought

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Half Baked Emeth thought

Postby Lucy Took » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:44 am

I've just finished a re-read of the Last Battle, and I had a thought.

It's been awhile since this topic's come up, and on this re-read I had some more thoughts on it. My opinion on Emeth has always been that the reason that Emeth was able to have the talk with Aslan wasn't because it's OK to worship Tash and be accepted by Aslan, but because Emeth wasn't really dead yet. The stable was passing through the threshold of death, but there was never anything in there that actually killed anyone once the soldier was gone. I see the stable not quite as death itself, but rather the "valley of the shadow of death".

And I have to say that I still hold that thought. And I had a thought to add to that. When you dream, a second can feel like hours and hours can feel like seconds. And a day with the Lord is as a thousand years. What if that's what dying is like? That in those last few seconds everything is clear and you get to see Him for Who He is and make a final forever choice of if you will look at him in love or "turn away into his shadow as a dumb animal never to be seen again". (To use purely LB terminology)

It's not something that I'd gamble my own life, but I find it to be a comforting thought experiment.
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Re: Half Baked Emeth thought

Postby hobbit_of_narnia » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:53 am

Okay, I actually am really a fan of this idea. LB is my favorite of the Narnia books, but that section has always given me a bit of trouble. (Once, a few years ago, I had an idea as I was reading one of Lewis' other works, and it solved the problem without a hitch...but then I forgot it, and I can't even remember which of his other books it was!)
So oh my goodness, thank you for this suggestion! It...actually makes sense.
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Re: Half Baked Emeth thought

Postby Ariel.of.Narnia » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:47 am

I could see that being a plausible explanation, but then I think the whole stable door thing gets a little messy even there. Yes, Emeth and the dwarfs pass through and don't seem to have died (at any rate, the dwarfs aren't swept away by Aslan's shadow). Peter, Edmund, Lucy, Polly, and Digory are presumably dead already (and they didn't pass through the stable door). However, where does that leave Eustace and Jill? Aslan doesn't seem like he's singling out the ones who for sure died in England when he said that they were dead, in Shadowlands terminology, even though he was directly answering Lucy's question. So does that mean that Tirian, Jill, and Eustace died when they passed through the door while Emeth and the dwarfs did not? At what point do they die? And why are they able to have that time in the inside of the stable while the rest of the world is judged at the stable door and anyone else on the inside of the door is already dead and judged (Shift and Rishda by Tash, the rest with Aslan)?
The stable has always seemed a bit... not wish-washy, but selective in a sort of way. To me, that is.
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Re: Half Baked Emeth thought

Postby Lucy Took » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:10 pm

You do bring up a good point, Ariel, that the issue with Emeth really does boil down to the issue of the stable not having a clear metaphor/manner of working. It does seem to mean different things to different people within the book itself.

Chalk it up to Narnia time? ;)
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Re: Half Baked Emeth thought

Postby hobbit_of_narnia » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:35 pm

Okay, I just got a bunch of related ideas all at once. Let's see if they're anything like coherent after I write them down.
I don't have my Narnia book on hand at the moment to check canon facts against, but...I dunno. It seems like the people from the world of Narnia who "died" by entering the Stable didn't actually die until Narnia ended. Otherwise Ginger would have to have been raised from the dead in order to come back out from the Stable. And--wow, but it's been too long since I've read LB, I'm not sure of the facts anymore--didn't some of those who had died outside the Stable come through the door as well? I might be wrong, but I thought it mentioned the Bear and the Boar.
So the seven friends of Narnia actually died. Tirian, however, miiiiight not have actually died until the door was shut to Narnia at the very end. The same would go for Emeth and the Dwarves...?
Y'know what, I'm having a really hard time trying to keep the canon facts straight going from just my tired half-past-midnight brain.*caves and goes and gets my copy of Narnia*
Okay, yes, the creatures they thought had died did come in through the door (the Bear, the Boor, Roonwit, Jewel, Farsight, etc.). Now, back to where I was a moment ago.
Emeth seems to have met Aslan before the end of Narnia, though it's not exactly clear from what I can find in my hasty rescanning of the chapter. This would, if my headcanon/theory is accurate, mean that he hadn't died yet (same with the Dwarves). If this is the case, him getting another chance would make sense.
Okay, that's about as coherent as I'm going to get, I think.

(Side note: Jill and Eustace had a little bit of time in Narnia before they actually went to Aslan's Country, even though they were dead in their own world. Death is weird in Narnia. The logic would seem a bit wonky if Lewis didn't have the time-difference base to fall back on.)
(Side note the sequel: I bet that tomorrow morning even I won't be able to make head or tail of this post! My late-night writing tends to ramble and/or not make any sense...)
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Re: Half Baked Emeth thought

Postby Ariel.of.Narnia » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:02 pm

Regarding Jill and Eustace, I assume that their actual deaths happen in Narnia. They were jerked out of our world before bodily damage happens (since their very real bodies were what carried them through LB). Which then brings up the question of where then their bodies are. My best guess is that the moment they pass through the stable door, they take on new bodies (as the rest of the Friends of Narnia do) and their "Shadowlands bodies" are zapped back to England.
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