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The Bible in The Horse & His Boy: From Shasta to Prince Cor

Welcome to Part II of The Horse & His Boy in the God in Narnia series! (My apologies for my absence!) If you missed out on the earlier installments, you can find them here. Stay tuned for the next God in Narnia posts…!

Two soldiers with halberds came first and took their stand at each side of the entry. Then followed a herald, and the trumpeter.

“His Royal Highness Prince Cor of Archenland desires an audience of the Lady Aravis,” said the Herald. Then he and the trumpeter drew aside and bowed and the soldiers saluted and the Prince himself came in. All his attendants withdrew and closed the gate behind them.

The Prince bowed, and a very clumsy bow for a Prince it was. Aravis curtsied in the Calormene style (which is not at all like ours) and did it very well because, of course, she had been taught how. Then she looked up and saw what sort of person this Prince was.

She saw a mere boy. He was bare-headed and his fair hair was encircled with a very thin band of gold, hardly thicker than a wire. his upper tunic was of white cambric, as fine as a handkerchief, so that the bright red tunic beneath it showed through. His left hand, which rested on his enamelled sword hilt, was bandaged.

Aravis looked twice at his face before she gasped and said, “Why! It’s Shasta!”

Shasta all at once turned very red and began speaking very quickly. “Look here, Aravis,” he said, “I do hope you won’t think I’m got up like this (and the trumpeter and all) to try and impress you or make out that I’m different or any rot of that sort. Because I’d far rather have come in my old clothes, but they’re burnt now, and my father said—”

“Your father?” said Aravis.

“Apparently King Lune is my father,” said Shasta. “I might really have guessed it, Corin being so like me. We were twins, you see. Oh, and my name isn’t Shasta, it’s Cor.”

“Cor is a nicer name than Shasta,” said Aravis…. “But Sha—Cor, I mean—you haven’t told me anything yet about King Lune and how he found out who you were.”

“Well, let’s sit down,” said Cor. “For it’s rather a long story. And by the way, Father’s an absolute brick. I’d be just as pleased - or very nearly pleased at finding he was my father even if he weren’t a king. Even though Education and all sorts of horrible things are going to happen to me. But you want the story. Well, Corin and I are twins. And about a week after we were both born, apparently, they took us to a wise old Centaur in Narnia to be blessed or something. Now this Centaur was a prophet as a good many Centaurs are….

“Well, as soon as he saw Corin and me, it seems this Centaur looked at me and said, ‘A day will come when that boy will save Archenland from the deadliest danger in which ever she lay’. So of course my Father and Mother were very pleased. But there was someone present who wasn’t. This was a chap called the Lord Bar who had been Father’s Lord Chancellor. And apparently he’d done something wrong — bezzling or some word like that...and Father had had to dismiss him. But nothing else was done to him and he was allowed to go on living in Archenland. But he must have been as bad as he could be, for it came out afterwards he had been in the pay of the Tisroc and had sent a lot of secret information to Tashbaan. So as soon as he heard I was going to save Archenland from a great danger he decided I must be put out of the way. Well, he succeeded in kidnapping me (I don’t exactly know how) and rode away down the Winding Arrow to the coast. He’d had everything prepared and there was a ship manned with his own followers lying ready for him and he put out to sea with me on board. but Father got wind of it, though not quite in time, and was after him as quickly as he could. The Lord Bar was already at sea when Father reached the coast, but not out of sight. And Father was embarked in one of his own warships within twenty minutes.

“It must have been a wonderful chase. They were six days following Bar’s galleon and brought her to battle on the seventh. It was a great seafight (I heard a lot about it yesterday evening) from ten o’clock in the morning till sunset. Our people took the ship in the end. But I wasn’t there. The Lord Bar himself had been killed in the battle. But I wasn’t there. The Lord Bar himself had been killed in the battle. But one of his men said that, early that morning, as soon as he saw he was certain to be overhauled, Bar had given me to one of his knights and sent us both away in the ship’s boat. And that boat was never seen again. But of course that was the same boat that Aslan (he seems to be at the back of all the stories) pushed ashore at the right place for Arsheesh to pick me up. I knew that knight’s name, for he must have kept me alive and starved himself to do it.”
— The Horse & His Boy

Baby Prince Cor (Shasta) being pushed to safety by Aslan.

Dramatic transformation. We’ve seen it before. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie went from being generic English school children to famed kings and queens of Narnia. We saw Frank the Cabby and his housewife, Helen, turn into the first and highest king (save Aslan) and queen of all Narnia. And now we see it with Shasta-turned-Prince Cor. We see it as a transformation, yet those who were “transformed” were really the persons they became all along.

Bilbo was always the great explorer we see in The Hobbit, but he never knew it possible until Gandalf decided to trouble his door one day.

Frodo was the great Ring-Bearer in The Lord of the Rings before he even knew the ring would be his or that it had great power, though he quickly found out upon inheriting it.

Balian in Kingdom of Heaven did not know he was a Baron and the Saviour of Jerusalem or that he even had a living father until his father, the Baron Godfrey of Ibelin arrived.

Even as a human child, Jesus had to discover His purpose so knew that He must “be about [His] father’s business.”

Even so, we are greatness embodied, a royal priesthood, yet we must come to the point where we discover it and then choose to walk in it

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
— I Peter 2:9, 10

Here, the Apostle Peter (my favourite :) ) tells us that we are a royal priesthood. AWESOME.


Shasta always knew he was meant for more. He didn’t really know what more was or what it would look like, but he knew he didn’t belong in his present, Calormen surroundings. He didn’t think to question how he got there, but he knew he had to get out. So once he met the talking war-horse, Bree, he could have either 1) stayed in his place of familiarity or 2) run away with the horse “for Narnia and the North” which he did! But what if he hadn’t? What if Shasta had chosen option #1?

Shasta would have gone on being Arsheesh’s servant (rather, slave) in all but name. He could have ceased to wonder why his face, beneath its undoubted dirt was white and not brown. He could have suppressed his curiosities until “time and old age” accept his lot in life. He could have done all this. But he never would have come into his true self.

He never would have met Aravis.

He never would have helped her and Hwin runaway.

He never would have met his brother, Corin Thunderfists.

He never would have met the Royal Pevensies and Mr. Tumnus.

He never would have met his father, King Lune.

He never would have saved Archenland and Narnia from grave danger.

He never would have met the Great Lion, Aslan.

He never would have married Aravis.

In short, Shasta never would have developed his character and fulfilled his destiny.

It kind of makes you wonder if you’ve missed out a turn in destiny doesn’t it?

Some things will happen in life regardless of what we choose to do or not do, these are the set times (appointments) of God with which no man can interfere. But the rest, we have a choice in.

Shasta on Bree and Aravis on Hwin being "pushed" by the Great Lion, Aslan.

When we stand before God on Judgement Day, God will not judge us and our actions by what we are, but rather, by what He’s called us to be and do. If Jesus had died as a mere man with even one sin, God the Father still would have judged Him as God the Son. (Scary thought isn’t it?!) If Billy Graham had decided to be a teacher or motivational speaker, then when he died, God would have judged him as a national evangelist. If Oral Roberts had become a doctor, the God would have judged him as a great healing evangelist. So what has God called you to do and be that you are not doing and being? Are you ignoring the pull of the Spirit of God into the great unknown?

Take Shasta’s lead: “saddle up your horses”--literally!--and set in the direction of the things God has for you so you can discover who the true you really is!

Mr. Tumnus and Queen Susan dancing in joy!