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Something that always struck me about The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is how the four Pevensie children not only spend years in Narnia but grow up and become adults there, before having to return to being children in their own world. The issue of their re-adjustment to life on Earth is raised in this question, but I'm specifically interested in their change from adults to children. Their ability to re-adjust is presumably explained by the magical resetting of their minds from "Narnia mode" to "England mode", but they do retain their memories of being in Narnia.

For many people, an important difference between childhood and adulthood is the understanding and experiencing of romantic relationships, with or without related concepts such as sex and marriage. It would be very strange to be a child with memories of such knowledge, and stranger still to live as a child with memories of actual romantic experiences.

Hence my question: did Peter, Susan, Edmund, or Lucy ever marry or form any romantic or sexual relationship while in Narnia?

  • The closest thing I can think of is Prince Rabadash attempting to woo Susan, but she turned him down. Maybe The Horse and His Boy is the most likely book to be able to answer my question, since although the Pevensies aren't the main characters they do appear as adults throughout.
  • I realise that these are books written for children, and obviously there aren't any romantic scenes or sexual stuff. However, at least some main characters do get married (Shasta and Aravis), so the books aren't entirely devoid of such ideas.
  • I would accept evidence from the books themselves, any extratextual material by the author, or good arguments based on the story of Narnia or on Lewis's beliefs. No fanfiction, unless solid arguments can be made that it's consistent with "canon" and not just titillation.
  • Pure speculation here: maybe Susan had different experiences from the others and this led ultimately to the Susan Issue? – Rand al'Thor Feb 16 at 17:00
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To quote The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (pg 183-184 in my edition):

And Susan grew into a tall and gracious woman with black hair that fell almost to her feet and the kings of the countries beyond the sea began to send ambassadors asking for her hand in marriage [...] But as for Lucy, she was always gay and golden-haired, and all the princes in those parts desired her to be their Queen [...]

(Nothing similar is mentioned for Kings Edmund and Peter in the same passage.)

In The Horse and His Boy it is noteworthy that not only does Queen Susan go to visit Calormen for Prince Rabadash

when the Prince was a guest at Cair Paravel [... she] show[ed] him so much favor

indicating that she wasn't just wooed, she fell for it, a bit. (Perhaps this is one of those different experiences you theorized about in the comments.) Lasaraleen mentions off hand:

some of the Narnian men are lovely. I was taken out on a river party the day before yesterday, and I was wearing my...

so clearly the men were going to parties (at minimum, then, we know Edmund has been to a party where he has probably been wooed, though I suppose not necessarily, as he's described in Wardrobe as a "graver and quieter man"; however, I think he probably has) as well as the women.

(Interestingly I'll note, with respect to Susan:

She's not like Lucy, you know, who's as good as a man, or at any rate as good as a boy. Queen Susan is more like an ordinary grown-up lady. She doesn't ride to the wars, though she is an excellent archer.

This, out of the mouth of Prince Corin in The Horse and His Boy. And, an even more speculative sidebar here (especially considering Lewis' faith) - does 'as good as a man' perhaps indicate Lucy acts like one, in terms of dress, those she loves, etc?)

So to summarize: yes, Susan in particular seems to have experienced romance. Lucy has definitely been wooed, and it is rather likely Edmund has as well (Peter seems to have been a bit too busy in battle to be wooed - during all of The Horse and His Boy he's off at battle with the giants). But neither Lucy nor Edmund seems to have reciprocated - that seems to be left to the Problem of Susan.

This is all that can be found on the subject in the books with all four Pevensies: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Horse and His Boy, and Prince Caspian (though as an aside on the problem of Susan, Prince Caspian presents her in a rather poor light). Moving on to Dawn Treader, though: when Lucy is on the island of the Thumpers reading the magician's spellbook, she reads the spell about beauty beyond all mortals. She sees visions of

kings and dukes and great lords who fought for her favor [...] Susan was jealous of the dazzling beauty of Lucy

In other words, Lucy at this stage seems to be at minimum jealous of the attention Susan gets, and wishing for romance. So perhaps to some extent she does move towards the reciprocation that it seems clear Susan has done in the past (as with Rabadash). Aslan roars out of the page, though, and the spell passes.

  • This is definitely a valid theory, but you've only shown textual evidence for part of it. I know it's hard to prove a negative, but is there any evidence that Lucy and Edmund, or indeed Peter, never reciprocated? (Meaning never, not just within the scope of tHaHB.) – Rand al'Thor Feb 18 at 19:36
  • @Randal'Thor fair point. I'll keep working through the books to see if there's anything else, even though I've gone through the most relevant ones. I don't have a copy of C.S. Lewis' letters, but I've been meaning to get one for a while, so maybe I'll try to get ahold of one. – heather Feb 18 at 20:12

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