Non-Mormon Mormon movie: “Prince Caspian”

I took my wife and three oldest kids to go see “Prince Caspian” over the weekend. On the way back home, my wife said, “wow, that was like a Mormon movie.” And my kids nodded their heads.

How, you may ask? Well, for Family Home Evening we counted the ways.

First, a quick plot summary. SPOILERS BELOW. The Pevensie foursome (Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy) have been away from Narnia for a year. They are having problems adjusting to life in England again when they are whisked back to Narnia. They have been called there by Prince Caspian, who has blown Susan’s horn, which magically calls them back to this fantasy world with dwarves, elves and talking animals. Prince Caspian’s uncle is planning on usurping the throne from Caspian, a mostly good guy. The evil White Witch briefly returns. There is an epic battle scene and plenty of fighting and simulated violence. But Aslan helps good triumph in the end.

Here are some of the unwitting “Mormon themes” we spotted in the movie.

1)We were fascinated to note that while a year had only passed in England, about 1300 years had passed in Narnia. During this time, the Narnians had mostly forgotten about Aslan (a talking lion who is a Christ symbol). The story of Narnia was mostly a legend passed down by a few loyal people including an older professor who keeps and collects ancient records (?!). So, Narnia had entered a long, dark period of apostasy in which only a few people remembered the truth about Aslan.

2)A horn is blown (think Moroni on the temples) bringing the end of the period of apostasy and ushering in a new era in which Aslan again gathers the good people to fight evil.

3)The leader of the good people is a young man (Prince Caspian).

4)The youngest character, Lucy, has a vision in which she says she sees Aslan in the woods, but nobody believes her.

5)The person who brings the “keys” to the kingdom is a person of legendary power from 1300 years earlier, and his name is Peter (!?).

6)The good people gather at an ancient temple that has catacombs and tunnels in which the ancient stories are kept guarded, as well as ancient keepsakes like the table on which Aslan was sacrificed. The temple looks very much like an ancient Mayan temple covered with foilage.

7)Before the leader faces the last battle, he is tempted by the White Witch (a Satanic character). He overcomes the temptation with the help of Peter, who then faces temptation himself. (I found it fascinating that the character who ends up destroying the White Witch this time is Edmund, who was tempted by her in the first story).

8)The Earth is very much a living “intelligence” in Narnia. The trees and the rivers are alive and respond to Aslan’s call.

9)The people of Narnia, the primary people of Aslan, are known as “peculiar” for their beliefs and abilities. (Think of the description of the Saints as “peculiar people”).

10)Faith is a constant theme in this movie — the good people are completely outnumbered, but they have faith that Aslan (Christ) will save them in the end if they do what they are supposed to do and have courage. And Aslan does save them in the end — miraculously. As long as they are righteous, the Lord will protect them.

11)This is not necessarily a Mormon theme, more a plain Biblical one, but I loved the last scene in which the bad army is crossing the river, and Aslan calls the river to rise up and drown most of the evil army. The river takes a form that looks a lot like an ancient prophet or even like Jesus Himself.

Note to the humorless: I am not saying that C.S. Lewis or the screenwriters or the director are Mormon or were inspired by Mormon history. Instead, I am simply pointing out some interesting parallels. Some of these parallels may be pure accident — others may be universal themes that often take place in epic movies like this. I would like to point out, however, that C.S. Lewis is, for me, the non-Mormon Christian writer who has themes that are most likely to harmonize with Mormon theology.

I would like to point out Mahonri Stewart’s review which also mentions some interesting Mormon themes. People interested in the movie may also want to read Adam G’s review at T&S here.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B has had three main careers. Some of them have overlapped. After attending Stanford University (class of 1985), he worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. In 1995, he took up his favorite and third career as father. Soon thereafter, Heavenly Father hit him over the head with a two-by-four (wielded by the Holy Ghost) and he woke up from a long sleep. Since then, he's been learning a lot about the Gospel. He still has a lot to learn. Geoff's held several Church callings: young men's president, high priest group leader, member of the bishopric, stake director of public affairs, media specialist for church public affairs, high councilman. He tries his best in his callings but usually falls short. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

8 thoughts on “Non-Mormon Mormon movie: “Prince Caspian”

  1. Dan, what a boring question to ask when I am in the middle of pontificating. The answer is: yes, we all liked it and would recommend it.

  2. My 7-year old walked out saying “that was kind of violent”. I sort of had to agree, hadn’t expected the notch up from the first film. Fine for me and all, but was just a teensy bit more than I would’ve chosen to show the kids.

  3. Are you insane? All those “mormon” themes you talk about are simply Christian ones. A horn is blown ending apostasy? That could be Moroni, or it could be a reference to the horn in Revelation when Jesus returns. I’m going to go out on a limb and say perhaps the most outspoken Anglican author even probably was thinking more about Anglican themes than cultish ideals.

  4. I have to agree with Tyler. No one but a mormon would see the resemblance. I truly believe that many religions just copy what is found in the Bible and just change it a bit to make it seem theirs.

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