I had an interesting thought today.
I was watching The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe with my sister, and found I had a lot more to think about with this movie than I had in my childhood.
Growing up, it was (and still is) one of my favourite movies. It is a beautifully crafted film and stays relatively close to the book series by C.S Lewis.
I remember being absolutely fascinated by Edmund Pevensie.
Firstly, he was played by Skandar Keynes, who in 2005 (when the movie came out) was the cutest little boy I had ever seen. What more could a 7-year-old ask for? (Apparently, it was a post-puberty Skandar Keynes, because by 2010, when the most recent movie came out, I was convinced I was in love.) Already, by aesthetics only, I was drawn to his character. Though, let’s forget in the books he’s as “white” as it gets, blonde hair… blue eyes…
Secondly, many people refer to Edmund as a “rat”. Really, he is. He sells out his siblings for turkish delight, betrays his family (and ultimately the whole kingdom of Narnia), all while being a snark little jerk. Many can argue that he had a rough upbringing, and obviously was very affected from having to move away from home during WWII, and having no father figure present during very crucial parts of his life. However, none of his siblings seem to have that same darkness he does.
C.S Lewis, the author of the Narnia series is someone I’d very much like to meet someday, because I would want to discuss with him his books. C.S Lewis was a Christian, and the story of Narnia is supposed to be based on the story of Christ.
Likewise, Edmund is meant to represent all of us. Throughout the books and film, he is lost. This is most present in his first entering to Narnia. He shuts the door to the wardrobe, plunging himself in darkness. This is the exact opposite of his sister Lucy, who keeps the door open a little, so she can always find the light.
Edmund is more concerned about himself than others. He sides with the White Witch, and finds himself going against his family. This descent is similar to humankind to the fall of man, where sin grips us and doesn’t want to let us go.
The White Witch does not let Edmund go. Despite his growing understanding that being on her side does nothing but harm for him, he can’t seem to break free. Everything he says seems to make everything worse, and he becomes absolutely miserable.
I wonder now, was I so fascinated in Edmund because he showed me so much of what I saw in myself? Edmund is selfish, self-serving, and in need of grace; just like all of us are.
He didn’t deserve to be rescued. He was a traitor. He should have died at the hands of the White Witch on the stone table, since he betrayed Narnia. But Aslan took his place for him, saved him from the evil he had done. From that moment forward, Edmund was a new person.
It’s beautiful to me really, that someone can go through such a change of heart. Ultimately, Edmund almost gives up his life at the end to break the White Witch’s ice sceptre; something he never would have done at the beginning.
I feel like we can be a lot like Edmund. We all have evil in us. But we can all be saved and become new people. It just takes faith, and the willingness to ask for God’s forgiveness.