Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Peter Pevensie's Sword: An Illustration of His Journey

In the 2005 movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the prop that is most intimately associated with a character’s journey is Peter Pevensie’s sword Rhindon. Rhindon is given to Peter by Father Christmas, who tells him to “bear it well.” 

Peter, his sisters, and the Beavers cross a thawing river when they are ambushed by Maugrim and his wolves. A wolf grabs Mr. Beaver in his jaws and Susan, who is armed with a bow, screams “Peter!” She expects him to take the lead now, which is ironic considering she wanted to veto his plan to cross the river. Peter draws his sword, but Maugrim is not alarmed, taunting Peter to “put that down…someone could get hurt here.” Meanwhile, Mr. Beaver encourages Peter to “run him through, while you’ve still got a chance.” Torn between these two opinions, Peter finally makes a decision. Ramming his sword into an ice block, he grabs his sisters just before the river melts. Peter’s hand and sword hilt emerge above the water, showing us his determination to keep on fighting for Narnia.

Later in the movie, Maugrim attacks again, chasing Susan and Lucy into a tree. Peter runs to their assistance with his sword while Maugrim sneers, “We’ve already been through this before. We both know you haven’t got it in you.” But Peter has changed, and he kills the evil wolf. 

From this act of heroism, Peter continues to use his sword to defend his siblings. Edmund’s life is claimed by the White Witch, and Peter’s sword flies from its sheath as he dares her to come and take him.

In the final battle, Peter’s sword is out and he fights the Witch’s army valiantly. Unhorsed from his unicorn by an arrow, he continues the battle on foot until he sees his brother Edmund fall, stabbed by the Witch. Furious at his brother’s grievous wound, Peter charges to do battle with her. The pair fight in single combat until Aslan arrives with reinforcements for Peter’s army. When Peter sees this, a satisfied smile flits across his face: Narnia and his siblings are safe. The Witch trips him and is about to kill him, but Aslan the lion pounces on her and she dies. Symbolically, even while on the ground, Peter retains a grip on his sword.

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