In Fillory, Aslan is dead. And in fact, he was killed by Martin Chatwin, who started out as a young bright eyed British naif who wanted perfection, badly. So badly that he kept looking but could not find, and turned inward and ravenous upon himself, and ultimately convinced…
Already read it! — snagged an Advanced Reader’s Copy off of Ebay.
And yes, my theories are quite “all over the place.” Usually just my brain firing off a research paper in-the-making. This one was written well before the release of the third novel. I subscribe to the canon-thought of The Magicians being a stand-alone novel — even Grossman admitted that he didn’t have sequels in mind when he first started out. (Forgive me for not properly linking the interview; on my phone). If I’d been his editor, I’d have condensed everything into one over-arching tome, cutting out most of the superfluousness of King and Land.
I confess, I’m torn over the last novel. Still haven’t figured out how I feel about it, which means it’s probably time for a re-read. Thank you for your comment!
You are very welcome for the comment. I enjoy being part of conversations.
At any rate…that is a very interesting thought, of the first book being the canon and the others being afterthoughts. When I wrote that comment, I’d first read the first two as a unit (they were gifted to me as such and I didn’t know there would be a third) and was mostly through the third (the existence of which was a grateful revelation). i just knew that said god was not actually dead by what I thought was canon.
I -definitely- have to find that interview, and to reread all with the idea of Magicians being sole canon. If I’m being completely honest I didn’t give your initial post the thought it deserves since I had quickly identified (what I thought was) an error and was reluctant to heed it too much by the idea that there might be more.
I do however remember feeling admiration for the obvious amount of thought and analysis you put into your OP, and look forward to reading it again once I have refreshed myself on the perspective it was written from.
And I especially am grateful because this fledgling fandom is desperately in need of deep thought in addition to the exuberance and fanart it has a small amount of already.
Oh man, I completely agree that The Magicians deserves more attention. The first novel is so rife for research. It’s extremely refreshing to hear another passionate voice. Here’s an excerpt from the interview I was referring to:
FBR: Speaking of the number of things that could happen at any point, how much of The Magician King did you have planned out when you were writing The Magicians? I’m specifically curious about Julia’s plot line and her path to mastering magic, which I thought was one of the strongest parts of the second novel but happened more or less at the same time as the events in The Magicians?
Lev Grossman: I didn’t plan any of it. At all. When I was writing The Magicians I didn’t have a publisher, and I didn’t know if anybody would ever buy it. Thinking about a sequel seemed like a guaranteed jinx.
Ever since I read that, I’ve never been able to read The Magicians as anything less than a singular novel. I’ll glance through King and Land occasionally (the latter of which being right after receiving your initial comment) but they just don’t hold sway over me like the first. King mostly just provides the beautiful transformation of Julia into a kind of female antithesis to Quentin’s grasp of magic.
In re-reading my initial piece, I’d be more inclined to believe that “the last dream” has nothing to do with religion, but rather the dream of becoming a King or Queen in Fillory — the dream of the Pevensie children. Eliot’s dream, whom you’ll notice is the one who flings away the crown. My ideas were definitely spawned from the nature of that original quote; an article I question the bias of. But it’s hard not to touch on the spirituality of Fillory without considering the origin of Fillory which is something currently under consideration. (More on that in a moment).
It’s a different kind of king- and queenship that the Physical Kids enter — not gifted or waiting for them, but taken. I wish I had my copy of the book nearby so I could cite some quotes properly (as well as not mince sentiments since I’d been known to mis-remember) but I don’t. In the meantime, I’ve been toying with the idea of Quentin’s “feat” in Land (for the sake of spoilers) being how Fillory was created, ala Martin Chatwin’s escape through the grandfather clock. If one supposes that Martin was the “true” Magician, then his first Incantation could have manifested as Fillory itself; escaping from one world into another. This would explain the duality of Umber and Ember —- their black and white contrast; good and bad. Trauma often manifests itself into the form of “good” and “bad,” which is what Plover may have been for Martin; a good friend who ended up doing bad things. (Unless you don’t subscribe to the idea of Plover being a predator, although it certainly makes sense). Again, still collecting lines to tie everything together, but I’ve been mulling it over ever since. There’s a lot to consider when you also have to put The Neitherlands into the mix.
Or, maybe it’s just my over-active imagination attempting to turn The Magicians trilogy (shudder) into a circle (which technically, it is, thanks to Jane’s later revelation, but that’s a whole ‘nother bag of worms).