Fancasting British Literature: C. S. Lewis’ The Horse And His Boy

The sequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the third in a thread of posts in which I’ll be fancasting C. S. Lewis’ acclaimed The Chronicle’s of Narnia series.

This is a tale of an adventure in world of Narnia and Calormen (becomes Telmar in Prince Caspian), and all the lands between. This was in the Narnian Golden Age when Peter was High King and his siblings were king and queens under him.
The Horse and His Boy was the fifth Narnia novel to be published but it’s third in the chronology, taking place between The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian.

Plot Synopsis (Spoilers Follow)

Shasta (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) is an Archenlander by birth but he doesn’t know it, as he’s been raised as the son of a Calormen fisherman. When he overhears “his “father saying he’s going to sell him into slavery, he decides to run away with a captured talking, Narnian horse called Bree (Chewetel Ejiofor).
On their journey they are forced into the meeting up with a Tarkheena runaway named Aravis (Jessica Henwick) and her talking, Narnian horse called Hwin (Lupita Nyong’o). They’re fleeing Aravis’ arranged marriage to a rich (and old) nobleman. Conveniently, both parties are making haste to Narnia.

Aslan scares Bree and Shaster into joining Aravis and Hwin
(The Horse and His Boy, Artist: Pauline Baynes)

On their adventures, Shasta finds out that he has an exact double in a boy called Corin (Thomas Brodie Sangster) who is Prince of Archenland (a small country between Narnia and Calormen). When he is mistaken for the prince, he is taken to the palace where he finds out Queen Susan (Caitriona Balfe) is to be wooed by Prince Rapadash (Oscar Isaac).
She doesn’t like Rapadash and refuses him. With the Narnians planning to secretly leave Calormen, Aravis also learns that Rapadash is cunningly planning an invasion on Archenland and Narnia via the desert. When Aravis and Shasta meet again, they manage to cross the desert in time to warn King Lune (Roger Ashton-Griffiths) about the impending attack.

Aravis Tarkeena in C. S. Lewis’ third or fifth tale of Narnia, depending on your perspective
(The Horse and His Boy, Pauline Baynes)

Though, when they’re getting too tired on their journey in Archenland but not quite at King Lune’s castle, they’re attacked by a lion and they stop at the cottage of The Hermit of the Southern March (Hugh Quarshie).
Shasta continues on alone. On the way to King Lune, he loses his way but recieves advice from Aslan who he learns has been watching him and guiding him the whole time. It was Aslan who forced him and Bree to join Aravis and Hwin. It was Aslan who chased them and gave them that last push into Archenland.

Narnia + Other Countries: Calormen is in the south whilst Archenland and Narnia are in the north separated by a vast and cutthroat desert
(The Horse and His Boy, illustrator: Pauline Baynes)

Shasta warns King Lune in time for him to gather forces and defeat Rapadash. As the battle winds down, Shasta finds out that his name is in fact Cor, and Prince Corin is his younger twin brother by twenty minutes.
So in fact, Shasta will be king when Lune dies. Aravis decides to remain at court in Archenland and one day, she and Shasta (or Cor) marry and rule the kingdom.

This isn’t the first time Aslan attacks Aravis and Shasta on their adventure
(The Horse and His Boy, Artist: Pauline Baynes)

Bree and Hwin go on to Narnia and they both frequently ventured over to Anvard (in Archenland) to visit King Cor and Queen Aravis in the years afterwards.
Years later, when they were all dead, we meet them again in The Last Battle in Aslan’s Country when Narnia is destroyed.

My Cast

Main Characters

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Creator: Ronald D. Moore (Outlander)

Writers: Anne Kenney & Julian Jones (Merlin)

Series Director: Anna Foerster

Musical Score: Bear McCreary (Black Sails)

Supporting Characters

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Cinematographer: Anne Foerster

No. Seasons: One

No. Episodes: Eight

Distribution: BBC One (UK) & Starz (US)


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Production: BBC Wales & Sony Pictures Televison

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Running Time: 60 mins

Certificate: PG

Additional Characters

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As a child reading the series, it was The Horse and His Boy and The Last Battle that pushed me the most. In retrospect, I can see they’re the most philosophical. And reading them as an adult, they still provoke questions. If a novel makes me ask questions, than I am a contented soul.

“Child” (Shasta), said the Lion, “I am telling you your story, not hers (Aravis’). No one is told any story but their own”.

C. S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy