I'd been intending to do a video on the movie The Man Who Invented Christmas, which we recently got from Redbox and really enjoyed, but I came down with a cold, and have to put it off. Instead, I decided to revive an old blog series I'd intended to do for longer than I did about my favorite fictional characters. Today's subject is Jill Pole from The Chronicles of Narnia.
As much as I love Lucy and Edmund and Eustace and Peter and Digory and Polly and Caspian and Reepicheep and Puddleglum and Shasta and Aravis....etc., my favorite Narnia character has to be Jill. She's the one I relate to the most. She's the one I most wanted to be. She's the one who gets the book with the underground adventure. ;) And she's a realistically flawed character besides.
Jill attends a boarding school called Experiment House, which is coeducational, a school for both boys and girls, or what used to be called a mixed school, though some said it was not nearly so mixed as the minds of the people who ran it. She is bullied there because the authorities had the idea that children should be allowed to do what they liked best and, unfortunately, what ten or fifteen of the biggest boys and girls liked best was bullying others. At an ordinary school, the bullies would have been found out and stopped, but at this school the Head considered them "interesting psychological cases" and talked to the bullies for hours. And if you knew what to say to the Head, the main result was that you became rather a favorite than otherwise. (And I totally had Paul Scofield's voice going through my head as I typed that.) Evading these bullies, Jill and Eustace find their way into Narnia where Aslan charges them with finding Caspian's son, the lost Prince Rilian. They receive Four Signs to guide them in their quest.
Only, Jill is the only one to actually hear any of these instructions from Aslan because she showed off and caused Eustace to fall off the cliff and get blown to Narnia ahead of her. And she doesn't do a very good job of informing him about all Aslan said.
With the help of gloomy, awesome marshwiggle Puddleglum, they journey to the north of Narnia looking for the ruined city of the ancient giants, but the Lady of the Green Kirtle distracts them by telling them of the comforts of Harfang and the Gentle Giants. Jill and Eustace both are tired of the wind and the rain and hard, cold earth to sleep on. Jill does like her comfort. And she's so focused on that that she doesn't do a good job of remembering the Signs. I always prided myself on knowing the Four Signs better than she does, but I can't say I'd do any different in her place. Still, though, they'd have had an easier time during the part with the Silver Chair if they'd remembered them properly.
Jill makes a lot of mistakes. And I mean a lot. She and Eustace fight a lot—they'll end by knifing one another, I shouldn't wonder—she focuses on her lack of comfort to the point of forgetting and missing the Signs, she's afraid to go on...and yet she makes it to the end. They do rescue Prince Rilian, and she's even the one, in the middle of the enchantment scene (my favorite to act out) who remembers Aslan. Though it's Puddleglum who gives the most awesome and amazing speech. But in the end, she's repentant. She's sorry for all the mistakes she's made. It makes her into a better person for The Last Battle.
And they'd better do a good job on the movie.