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Narnia character
Rilian
Race Human
Nation Narnia
Gender Male
Title King of Narnia
Family
Parents Caspian X and Ramandu's daughter
Family See relations of Caspian.
Major character in
The Silver Chair
Portrayals in adaptations
1990 BBC miniseries: Richard Henders

In C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia fictional series, Rilian (2325-?) is the son of King Caspian and the grandson of Ramandu the star. Rilian appears in two of the seven books, The Silver Chair and The Last Battle.

Contents

Biographical Summary

Rilian, as portrayed by Richard Henders in the 1990 BBC miniseries
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In The Silver Chair

When Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole arrive in Narnia in The Silver Chair, Prince Rilian has been missing for 10 years. After his mother is bitten and killed by a green serpent, the prince becomes obsessed with killing it and wants to avenge his mother. Whilst searching, he encounters the Lady of the Green Kirtle and is bewitched, so that he can no longer remember anything from before his imprisonment.

Eustace, Jill and Puddleglum first meet Rilian (although they do not recognise him) when the Lady of the Green Kirtle advises them to visit Harfang. He is later revealed to be the silent black knight who rode beside the Lady on the road to Harfang. They eventually find the enchanted Rilian in the underground city, called the Shallow Lands, ruled by the Lady of the Green Kirtle. At this point they still do not realise who Rilian is. He tells the three that he suffers from nightly psychotic episodes and therefore must be bound every night to a silver chair. If he is released, he warns, he will kill everyone within sight, and immediately turn into a deadly green serpent.

Once Rilian is tied to the enchanted chair, he begins to threaten the companions to untie him and makes increasingly violent threats. Eventually he begs them to release him in the name of Aslan. The children had previously promised to obey the request of one who asks in Aslan's name, and so they reluctantly release him. Rilian then reveals his true identity and that the Lady had kept him prisoner underground, enchanted by day and only returning to sanity at night. He hacks the silver chair to pieces.

When the Lady returns and fails in her attempt to bewitch the companions, she transforms into a green serpent. Rilian realizes that he has been enslaved for all these years by his mother's murderer. They kill the serpent and return to Narnia, where Rilian meets his father just before the old king dies.

In The Last Battle

Rilian is dead at the start of the following book chronologically, The Last Battle, meaning he must have died some time between 2356, when Eustace and Jill help him, and 2555, when his descendant Tirian has taken over the throne. Rilian briefly appears alongside his father and mother at the great reunion at the end of the book.

Portrayals

  • In the 1990 television serial produced by the BBC, The Silver Chair, Prince Rilian was played by actor Richard Henders. As he is shown in a flashback early in the story when the owls tell Eustace and Jill his story, he is seen wearing a silver mask when the children encounter him underground in order to conceal his identity to the viewer. His excuse for wearing the mask is that the Green Lady told him he was enchanted to look hideous and must hide his "ugly" face with a mask. After he regains his sanity, he takes off the mask to reveal his identity.

References

  • Ford, Paul (2005), written at SanFrancisco, Companion to Narnia, Revised Edition, Harper, ISBN 0-06-079127-6
  • Lewis, C.S. (1954), written at London, The Silver Chair, Geoffrey Bles
  • Lewis, C.S. (1956), written at London, The Last Battle, Geoffrey Bles
  • Markos, Louis (2000), written at Chantilly, VA, The Life and Writings of C. S. Lewis (audio course), Lecture 10: Journeys of Faith-The Chronicles of Narnia II, The Teaching Company, ISBN 1-56585-316-4
  • Rogers, Jonathon (2005), ""You Must Use the Map": Signs and Scripture in The Silver Chair", written at Grand Rapids, The World According to Narnia: Christian Meaning in C. S. Lewis's Beloved Chronicles, William B. Eerdmans, ISBN 0-8028-1814-5
  • Schakel, Peter J. (1979), "Remembering the Signs: The Silver Chair", written at New York, Reading With the Heart: The Way into Narnia, Time Warner, ISBN 0-446-69649-8
Rilian
Born: 2325 Third Age Died: ? Fourth Age
Preceded by
Caspian X
King of Narnia
2356 – ?
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Caspian X
12th King of Telmar
2356 – ?
Preceded by
Caspian X
Lord of Cair Paravel
2356 – ?
Preceded by
Caspian X
Emperor of the Lone Islands
2356 – ?
Succeeded by
?

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