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The minotaurs have switched sides

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The minotaurs have switched sides

Postby Guest » 24 Apr 2007, 14:50

I just read that the film adaptation of Prince Caspian will have minotaurs again, fighting on the side of the "old Narnians".
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Postby john » 24 Apr 2007, 14:56

Hi, Dan. Would you please cite your source?
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Postby Guest » 24 Apr 2007, 15:09

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Postby glumPuddle » 01 May 2007, 17:30

Yes, several weeks ago, it was announced that there would be a new minotaur character named Asterius in the PC film. That was interesting enough. But the real uproar began when it said he would be fighting on Caspian's side.

I thought it was possible that the minotaurs turn bad in the end along with the hag and the werewolf. But Berger makes it sound like they are good, and stay good.

When NarniaWeb asked Douglas Gresham about it, he said: "Firstly, we felt that we needed to show that in Narnia as here, old foes can be forgiven and can reconcile and work together, given the will to do so. Secondly, that in Narnia as also it is here, a common adversary will bring even the worst of enemies together and unite them. Also, that the shapes and colours of a species’ body do not necessarily denote their character, that just because someone is a Minotaur does not have to mean that they are all bad. Finally, we kind of like Minotaurs."

I don't really see any of those themes in the book, so I wonder why he wants to show them.

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Postby Guest » 01 May 2007, 17:45

glumPuddle wrote:I don't really see any of those themes in the book, so I wonder why he wants to show them.


I do see the idea of race not being a limiting factor on whether you're good or bad. Dwarves and giants come to mind.

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Postby glumPuddle » 02 May 2007, 03:30

Here's what comes to mind for me...

The scene where Nikabrik suggests that they ask a Hag and a Werewolf to join their army. Notice that Caspian does not ask "well, are they nice?" Their response is swift and firm: "We wouldn't have Aslan for a friend if we brought in that rabble."

So, the idea that species does matter is in there. They just want to make a more politically correct version of the story I guess, haha.

Hopefully, the minotaurs will turn bad in the end.
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Postby Guest » 02 May 2007, 20:45

glumPuddle wrote:The scene where Nikabrik suggests that they ask a Hag and a Werewolf to join their army. Notice that Caspian does not ask "well, are they nice?" Their response is swift and firm: "We wouldn't have Aslan for a friend if we brought in that rabble."

So, the idea that species does matter is in there. They just want to make a more politically correct version of the story I guess, haha.

Hopefully, the minotaurs will turn bad in the end.


You have a point when it comes to hags and werewolves. The case of dwarves and giants show that in some species it doesn't matter. However, since minotaurs are not mentioned elsewhere in the Chronicles as good or bad, it would be up to the creators of the movie to make the choice of evil species or free-will species.

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Postby Messenger_of_Eden » 10 May 2007, 17:28

glumPuddle wrote:Here's what comes to mind for me...

The scene where Nikabrik suggests that they ask a Hag and a Werewolf to join their army. Notice that Caspian does not ask "well, are they nice?" Their response is swift and firm: "We wouldn't have Aslan for a friend if we brought in that rabble."

So, the idea that species does matter is in there. They just want to make a more politically correct version of the story I guess, haha.

Hopefully, the minotaurs will turn bad in the end.


I agree. What nonsense. Urrrgh.
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Are they confusing man-headed bulls and bull-headed men?

Postby Paul F. Ford » 11 May 2007, 00:13

Are they confusing man-headed bulls and bull-headed men?

In my Companion to Narnia I distinguish:

MAN-HEADED BULL A mythological creature, enthusiastically on Aslan’s side in the war against the White Witch. He is not to be confused with any of the Minotaurs, bull-headed men who are invariably on the Witch’s side.

(LWW XII 7, 31; XIII 46, 12.)

MINOTAURS Enormous, earthshaking men with bulls’ heads, totally devoted to the cause of the White Witch. They are present at the slaying of Aslan and take an active role in the battle with Aslan’s armies. They are not to be confused with the man-headed bull who fights on Aslan’s side. In Greek mythology the Minotaur was the Cretan monster who, housed in the labyrinth, devoured his annual tribute of seven Athenian youths and seven Athenian maidens until he was slain by Theseus.

(LWW XIII 16, 42; XIV 39, 17; XV 3, 43.)


What do you think?
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Postby Coyote Goodfellow » 11 May 2007, 04:12

Glumpuddle wrote
So, the idea that species does matter is in there. They just want to make a more politically correct version of the story I guess, haha.

Hopefully, the minotaurs will turn bad in the end.


Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

Narnia does imply that species does matter, especially when it comes to good, witness Peter's "Robins are good birds in all the stories I've ever read." And obviously you could do the same in reverse. Ther are lots of stories about evil werewolves (and a few recent ones about good ones). But as far as I know there's only one about Minotaurs, so I don't see the evidence for the surety we have with robins and werewolves. If you think about Crete, he was eating foreigners of a different species, its not like he turned on his own brothers and sisters like say...Edmund. I think that's the tension between the parts of Narnia which bring home that "Everything must work according to its nature" and other parts where it implies that there is a limited amount of possibility to change your nature.

The angels could assume that the human species was going to turn bad in the end, and probably be right more often than not, just as humans could be suspicious about dwarves (Nikabrik or most of those in the Last Battle as evidence for the one, Trumpkin and Poggin on the other).

Glumpuddle quoted Douglas Gresham
"Firstly, we felt that we needed to show that in Narnia as here, old foes can be forgiven and can reconcile and work together, given the will to do so. Secondly, that in Narnia as also it is here, a common adversary will bring even the worst of enemies together and unite them. Also, that the shapes and colours of a species’ body do not necessarily denote their character, that just because someone is a Minotaur does not have to mean that they are all bad. Finally, we kind of like Minotaurs."


I personally believe number 2, though I can't think of a precedent in Narnia (though you do have Legolas and Gimli working together in Middle Earth). War isn't necessarily permanent...Narnian Kings and Queens travel peacefully in Carlomen in HHB, and Tirian remembers doing so in his youth LB. The forgiveness of Edmund, or Puzzle strike me as evidence for 1, albiet on a personal level, not on the Battlefield. As far as 3, you have Eustace as a dragon, who was actually better than Eustace as a boy. 4 is a question of taste.

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Postby Solomons Song » 02 Jun 2007, 18:17

I think it is a good theme to incorporate. It says that whether one is good or bad doesn't fall on species, but on an individual's heart. It is a theme Lewis himself echoed in the Chronicles with the dwarfs. It almost seems like the whole race were self-centered and self-serving, but some broke through their race's (like Trumpkin and Poggin) and shone to be good dwarfs after all.
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Postby Coyote Goodfellow » 03 Jun 2007, 20:11

Thinking more about it, I concede that there is a difference between a good principle and a clearly Narnian principle. I don't think it would be un-Narnian that, over the course of the centuries between LWW and PC, there could have been Minotaurs who demonstrated they were trustworthy. On the other hand, it does go beyond what Lewis wrote, and does so in a way that has implications for other conflicts going on in the culture. So I can see why some one might object to adding new themes when I'm sure there are other parts of the book they are going to cut out.

But part of the reason I agree with what Gresham said has to do with books, besides Narnia--most notably the Chronicles of Prydain, written by someone who fought in the Second World War (when English speakers defeated the Germans by teaming up with the Red Communists), rather than the First World War, like Lewis, when it was a clearer struggle of democracies (and the Tsar) against the Germans. Now of course, English speakers are fighting with the Germans in Afghanistan. If that can happen in 50 years, what could happen in 1400?
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Postby carol » 04 Jun 2007, 20:43

Good point. England spent centuries fighting against France, and by the beginning of the 20th century they were ready to fight alongside them (in two world wars, as it happened).
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Postby nomad » 05 Jun 2007, 15:01

I wonder if Lewis wouldn't more associate the good or bad species with categories of people with different outlooks on life? Thus hags, werewolves, robins, etc. wouldn't coincide so much with races as with ideologies and/or personality types. Not suggesting a one-to-one relationship, just a general diversity represented. I'm thinking this because in Lewis' non-fiction writings he speaks a lot about, for instance, the annoying materialist woman, the insider elitist, and such.
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Postby Coyote Goodfellow » 06 Jun 2007, 14:12

Nomad wrote
I wonder if Lewis wouldn't more associate the good or bad species with categories of people with different outlooks on life? Thus hags, werewolves, robins, etc. wouldn't coincide so much with races as with ideologies and/or personality types.


Since all the creatures are Narnians, there is a pretty good argument that the speciescan best be seen as personality types, or at most families, rather than nationalities. I've certainly seen the Animals in Animal Farm analyzed as personality types. And I assume that's why you don't see very many predatory animals in Narnia. That or maybe professions.

In which case I still would say a Minotaur might be the type of outcast, person with a birth defect or other distinguishing characteristics, who under the right sort of circumstances could be a productive member of society.
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