Thursday, 26 June 2014

Joy's Blog Birthday Party, Day 2 - Faith and Fantasy

Day two of +Joy C. 's blog birthday party!  This time, the theme was Faith and Fantasy.  Hopefully my answers are intelligible, as I haven't been feeling very well today. :)  Hope you enjoy it!

1.      Taken from a Christian perspective, what are your thoughts and feelings on the fantasy genre in general? Do you hold to any convictions or guidelines on things like magic, sorcery, fantastical elements or allegory in fantasy books?
This is an interesting question.  :)  I don’t read heaps of fantasy, but not because I have issues with it particularly, I just haven’t really ‘done’ it.  Like all things however, there has to be a standard on how far the fantasy goes.  I think one of the problems with how we view fantasy today is that we often confuse fantasy with the spiritual world.  Fantasy, according to the dictionary, is anything imagined that is impossible or extremely unlikely.  I think a lot of Christians steer away from fantasy because of this confusion and the association of fantasy with books like Harry Potter and Twilight.  The difference is that, while vampires and magic spells may seem impossible, they are elements of the spiritual world and are not to be trifled with.  Compare that with a magical wardrobe that allows you to pass into another world, and you have something entirely different.  Imagination is fun!  You can be anyone you want to be, anywhere you want to be.  I think that is the beauty of fantasy novels – they take you places you would never have dreamed of on your own, so long as you set your guard against the dark side of he spiritual world that tries to creep in.
2.      Who are some of your favourite fantasy/fairy-tale authors? (you can name up to three.)
As I said, I haven’t read heaps of fantasy books, so I’ll have to say C. S. Lewis.  Also, while I wouldn’t call the whole series fantasy (the books take a more historical turn) I would say the first Ranger’s Apprentice book The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan is also on my (rather short!) list of favourites.  
3.      Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia books, or watched any of the movies? Which, if so, are your three favourite books?
That would be the first three books, because quite frankly, I have only read the first three books.  And have I ever watched the movies!  I love them!  (Save Prince Caspian – blerg!)
4. How many books by J.R.R. Tolkien have you read and enjoyed so far? Can you choose a favourite book (The Lord of the Rings can be considered one book ;)?
I am afraid I am about to horrify the lovely host of this party and say that I have not read any of Tolkien’s works.  I believe Mum started to read The Hobbit to us older girls some time back, but we never got around to finishing it.
4.      Uhm. . . since, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were friends, I will not risk causing further estrangement to the history of their friendship by pitting them against each other! However, being the mastermind of mischief that I am, I will toss this question your way: which of the two are you most fond of in sense of storytelling, characters, themes and what personally touches/inspires you the most: The Lord of the Rings, or The Chronicles of Narnia?
Since I have not read Tolkien, my cast goes to Lewis.  I really like Edmund in the books and the movies – he is so brave, but gentle too… and I will never forgive Lewis for making Susan bad.
5.      Are there other books and movies of the fantasy/fairy-tale/legend genre that have you read and loved, especially from modern authors? Please tell us a little bit about them.
Not many, I’m afraid.  Oh – I’ve read Redwall, which is about an abbey of peaceable mice that is attacked by Clooney the Scourge and his band of evil (and rather stupid) rats, stoats and weasels.  With loveable characters like Basil Stag Hare, Constance the Badger and Matthias, it is one that our entire family has enjoyed more than once.
6.      Have you read any Christian allegories, such as Pilgrim's Progress, Holy War or Hinds Feet on High Places? 
I have read Pilgrim’s Progress.  I have always enjoyed retellings of things in such a way, that I have to think and define a meaning from it.  I think my favourite passage is a conversation between Christian and Faithful.  I love this passage because of the reminder of how we have grace under hrist, but were only condemned under the law of Moses.

Faithful: But, good brother, hear me out. So soon as the man overtook me, it was but a word and a blow; for down he knocked me, and laid me for dead. But when I was a little come to myself again I asked him wherefore he served me so. He said because of my secret inclining to Adam the First. And with that he struck me another deadly blow on the breast, and beat me down backward; so I lay at his foot as dead as before. So when I came to myself again I cried him mercy: but he said, I know not how to show mercy; and with that he knocked me down again. He had doubtless made an end of me, but that one came by and bid him forbear.
Christian: Who was that that bid him forbear?
Faithful: I did not know him at first: but as he went by, I perceived the holes in his hands and in his side: Then I concluded that he was our Lord. So I went up the hill.
Christian: That man that overtook you was Moses. He spareth none; neither knoweth he how to shew mercy to those that transgress the law.
Faithful: I know it very well; it was not the first time that he has met with me. ‘Twas he that came to me when I dwelt securely at home, and that told me he would burn my house over my head if I stayed there.

7.      Share some of your most well-loved heroines from fantasy tales in literature (books, movies, modern and classics), and why you love them so much! What virtues/traits in them would you like to have yourself?
I like Lucy in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.  She is so cute (I have a soft spot for all children, but especially cute ones just melt my heart entirely!  ;) )  I also love her loyalty and bravery.
8.      Which land would you rather go, dwell in, or be a part of: Middle-Earth, or Narnia? (or maybe some other fantasy-land, you share!)
Narnia, every time!  :D
9.      What kind of fantasy are you most fond of? Fantastical and "fairy-tale-ish" like Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella, or rather the mythological, high-epic-fantasies such as Tolkien's?
As I haven’t read too much of the high-epi-fantasies, and I do really love fairy tales, I’ll say fairy tales.
10. Which is your favourite fairy-tale? 
I don’t know – I love heaps of them!  I am rather fond of Beauty and the Beast, probably because I played keyboard for the town’s musical of BATB a few years back.
11. List some of your most well-loved movie adaptions of fantasy tales (this does not include Disney fairy-tale animations). 
Were you afraid we were all going to say Frozen?  ;)   I think the best movie adaption of a fairy tale is Ever After starring Drew Barrymore. 
12. Who are your favourite heroes from fantasy books? (you may list as many as you like!) Tell us a little bit about why you love them so much :).
Aslan from LWW (I think that reason is obvious!)

13. Saddest moment in any fantasy tale you've either watched or read?
It’s really sad in LWW movie when Peter, Susan and Lucy think that Edmund has died on the battle field.  :(
14. How did you get into The Lord of the Rings and Middle-Earth books/movies? (If you're not into LOTR than you can talk about how you got into Narnia instead).
Not having read LOTR… :)
Mum read LWW to me and my next sister when I was about 10 or 11, I think.  I remember huddling together under the covers in delicious terror when the witch killed Aslan.  We both made big wall posters based on the book which were pretty cool.
15. Give a list (preferably with pictures!) of your favourite fantasy/medieval costumes/armour/gowns and from which movie/character they come from.
Ohhh!  I am a sucker for pretty clothes!  :D  Here goes!
I love the simplicity of the medieval thing that Susan has happening.

How gorgeous is this dress from Voyage of the Dawn Treader?!!

And this dress of Susan's is really pretty too.

16. Which fantasy/fairy-tale has inspired and influenced you the most?
You must be tired of this title now, but The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe remains one of the most powerful allegories to the mercy and sacrifice of Christ ever written.  To think that Christ, all powerful and holy, would step in for our sin just as Aslan did for Edmund, is absolutely mind blowing.

17. Favourite character in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings/Hobbit universe? Favourite character in The Chronicles of Narnia? (Choose 1 each)
I can’t choose between Edmund or Susan!

18. Favourite friendship in a fantasy book/movie/series?
Lucy and Mr. Tumnus’s friendship is so cute.  :D

19. Which villain of fantasy strikes the most dread and loathing in you? Which foe strikes the most pity?
The witch is the most dreadful character ever.  I don't waste much sympathy on foes.  ;)
20. Share some of your most well-loved quotes from fantasy books/movies :). 
My favourite quotes from the LWW movie are from the beavers.  Oh, and this one from the kids.
Mr. Beaver: Come this way – I know Mr. Tumnus!
Susan: Wait!  What are we doing?
Peter: He said he knew the faun.
Susan: He’s a beaver – he shouldn’t be saying anything!

Voyage of the Dawn Treader has some hilarious moments as well, like this one:
Mother says I have an acute consitution, due to my intelligence.

21. Favourite battle in a fantasy book or movie?
The battle in Eragon is pretty epic.

22. Tell us which romance couple you love best in any of the fantasy stories you know about.
I don’t know!!!  I can’t stand the romance between Susan and Caspian, mainly because she couldn’t stay in Narnia and had to leave, but still insisted on saying good bye to him ‘lover-style’.  ;) 
23. Elves or dwarves? Gondor or Rohan? Aragorn or King Tirian?
Dwarves are kinda cute creatures, but elves are weird.  :P

24. Who is your favourite side-kick (secondary character) in books/movies of this genre? (you are welcome to choose more than one ;). 
Tricky.  For some strange reason I have always had a soft spot for the fox in LWW.  I know he doesn’t have a big part – at all – but there’s just something about him.  Does he count???  ;)
25. List five fantasy novels you are especially looking forward and eager to read in the near future.
I am planning to read Eragon, and maybe the Hobbit in the nearish future.  I am also hoping to read “Alice in Wonderland” to Rosie one day soon.

26. Which fantasy work struck you with the most sense and depth of faith and the author's perception of morality, ethics, the distinction and battle between good and evil, and the Christian walk? Can you share a little bit about it?
Pilgrim’s Progress is one that you can see straight through the writing to the author’s heart.  John Bunyan was so passionate about his personal walk with Christ and encouraging others in the faith that it just spills over in his book.
27. What was the first fantasy novel you ever read and how did it strike you?
I don’t remember really… it was probably, LWW or Alice in Wonderland.
28. What would inspire you to pick up a work of fantasy literature or watch a fantasy film? What do you believe are both the benefits, negatives and overall effects of enjoying this genre?

I don’t really get ‘inspired’ to read something as such – I tend to graze through my books, meandering here and there, starting this, finishing that.  If I picked up a fantasy book, I would probably read a few chapters, and if it didn’t grab me, I would probably put it down again (call me fickle, but that’s that.  :P).  As for films, I generally watch whatever Dad’s watching, so if that’s fantasy, I get a taste of it, and more often than not, depending on characters and plot, I’ll quite enjoy it.  :)  I think I outlined the pros and cons of fantasy in question one.


  1. YOU have NOT read any Tolkien books *gasps chokes* how do you survive!

    We watched Ever After the other day and all enjoyed it very much. I think if I were answering these nearly all my answers would be as LOTR related as yours are LWW!

    1. All I can say, Clare, is that what I don't know won't kill me. ;) :P

      I love Ever After - some classic one liners from that movie. "No, mother - I'm just here for the food." XD

  2. Cool post! I love the captions from Voyage of The Dawn Treader! XD
    I have nominated you, but as it says on my post, if you've already had it then you needn't do it.

    1. Thanks, dear Rosie. :) I have put my post up now. :D