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Jordan Heron - The Vanity Card Series

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I enjoyed the Narnia Chronicles when I first read them. Critically, I enjoyed Tolkien’s works better. The writing was more deep and detailed, and the entire mythologies that accompanied Tolkien’s universe really appeals to someone who reads human mythologies for fun. But no matter how deep I delved into Middle Earth, Narnia had an appeal that I couldn’t quite place. Until now.

I just saw Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I was simply enjoying the entertainment, until the end, when Aslan revealed to Lucy and Edmund that they would no longer return to Narnia. And then it hit me. I am Lucy and Edmund, and Susan and Peter.

While Middle Earth is a wondrous place, no one from Here goes to Middle Earth. It is separate; distinct. Narnia, however, even as a fantasy world, is attainable. Humans from Here go There. That’s why it had more attachment for me. We read about the comings and goings in the books and watch them in the movies. It’s not just fantasy – it is fantasy that is somehow attached to our world.

At the cinema, when I saw that look in Lucy’s eyes, that knowledge that she would never return, I looked behind me at the audience. They had no clue – they just didn’t get it. But I did.

That’s because I have had the great fortune and the honour to live the same fantasy. I belong to numerous medieval recreation groups. In the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), I have bowed to my King and Queen, as a subject of the MidRealm and, later, of Ealdormere. I have accepted the obeisance due to a ruling noble as Baron of Ben Dunfirth. I have fought friends and foes, singly and in battles of thousands. In both the International Jousting Association (IJA) and the International Jousting League (IJL), I have donned my armour, mounted my war horse, taken my lance, and jousted against comrades in arms. I have felt the blows given, and the blows received; lances shattering against my shield. I have lived all of the best parts of Narnia. And then I leave the wardrobe, or the picture, or the event, and take up life Here again.

Someday, there will be a realization. A day will come when I will never set a coronet to my brow again; a day will come when I and my horse will not, with armour and lance, hold the field. I will be sad when that day comes; when I will no longer return to my own Narnia. But how sad for those other people – for those people sitting behind me in the cinema. They will never understand – they will never know what they have missed.

Thank you – all of you – who have made a world for me.

29 December 2010

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