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Wars don't last forever, Lucy. We'll be home soon.
~ Susan to Lucy.

Queen Susan Pevensie is one of the main protagonists of C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia series. In Disney's live-action films, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) and Prince Caspian (2008), she is portrayed by Anna Popplewell, who previously played Anna Sackville-Bagg and also Sophie Winkleman.

Biography

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Susan is given a bow and arrows by Father Christmas, together with a magical horn which, when blown, brings aid. Susan shows her excellence at archery skill. She and her brother Peter only discovered Narnia by chance when they stumbled into the wardrobe while trying to avoid Mrs Macready (the housekeeper of the house they were staying). However, Lucy had been there twice (she told Peter and Susan but neither of them believed her) and Edmund had also been there at the same time Lucy was making her second visit (which he denied had ever happened).

In the original novel, she is advised to stay out of the battle, however in the 2005 movie, she saves Edmund from being hacked by the White Witch's dwarf. Together with her sister Lucy, she witnesses Aslan's death and resurrection on the Stone Table. After the battle, she is crowned to the Radiant Southern Sun as Queen of Narnia by Aslan, and shares the monarchy with her brothers Peter and Edmund and her sister Lucy. She later becomes known as Queen Susan the Gentle. The period of their reign is considered the Golden Age of Narnia. Throughout the book, Susan is the voice of caution and common sense, but is often too concerned with physical comfort. At the end, after a number of years in Narnia, she counsels against pursuing the White Stag, fearing the unknown transition she and her siblings all sense the pursuit might bring. Of all the Pevensies, Susan is the most content in positions of ease and comfort, and tends to advise the others to avoid anything unpleasant.

Prince Caspian

Susan's magical horn plays an important part in the adventures of Prince Caspian. The horn is an ancient relic given to Prince Caspian by his tutor, the half-dwarf magician Doctor Cornelius. When the Prince's life is threatened by King Miraz the Usurper, Caspian blows the horn and the Pevensies are magically transferred to Narnia from a railway station in England. Using the bow and arrows she has retrieved from the ruin of Cair Paravel, Susan proves her legendary prowess at archery by defeating Trumpkin the dwarf in a friendly competition. She is described as being enormously gentle and tender-hearted, being embarrassed to defeat the dwarf. Edmund, however, later describes her as "a wet blanket". She denounces Lucy's belief in Aslan's presence although she later admits to having known deep down that it was true. Aslan tells Susan that she has "listened to fears", but his breath soon restores her faith and she immerses herself in their adventures as deeply as in the first book. She later accompanies Lucy as Aslan revives the forest and river spirits of Narnia. By the conclusion of Prince Caspian, Aslan says that she and Peter will never enter Narnia again because they have accomplished what they needed to there.

In the 2008 film adaptation, Susan is seen in a brief scene (newly added for the film). Set in front of the Strand London train station before the children are drawn into Narnia by magic, Susan has an encounter with a boy who recognizes her and tries to chat her up. He comments on how he's seen her before and how she often sits alone. She replies that she likes being alone and gives the fake name "Phyllis" when the boy asks for it. Upon entering Narnia and meeting Prince Caspian, there is an obvious attraction to the prince and mutual flirtation ensues throughout the film, ending bitter sweetly as Susan must leave Caspian and Narnia to return to Earth, but not before giving him a kiss and an embrace. Additionally, Susan has a more active role during the battle scene at the end of the story, being much more involved in the actual battle and is in charge of her own corps of archers. She demonstrates herself to be a capable combatant, slashing Telmarines with her arrows in between shooting them, as well as clubbing the Telmarines with her bow.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Susan accompanies her parents on a trip to America, while Peter is being tutored by Professor Digory Kirke, and Edmund and Lucy have to stay with their relatives, the Scrubbs. Susan is considered "the pretty one of the family", which makes Lucy insecure. Lucy is strongly tempted to recite a spell which she finds in Coriakin's magic book, which will make her beautiful "beyond the lot of mortals", and she pictures a plain-looking Susan jealous of her beauty - clearly hinting at a sibling rivalry not evident before. It is also mentioned that Susan is not very good at school work and acts old for her age (14 at the time).

In the 2010 film adaptation, Susan is seen in a few brief scenes (newly added for the film). She is first seen at the beginning of the film writing a letter to Edmund and Lucy. Later on in the film Lucy steals from Coriakin's book the page containing the beauty spell, and one night recites the spell. Looking in the cabin's full-length mirror, she sees her self grown-up and beautiful, in effect becoming Susan. The mirror swings aside to reveal a society lawn party back in Lucy's world, and she steps through into the party to be joined by both Peter and Edmund, both of whom address her as "Susan". When she tries to remind them about Narnia, to her growing horror neither of them seem to know what she's talking about or know anything about a younger sister named Lucy. Lucy then wakes up back in the ship's cabin and is confronted by Aslan about what she has done, Aslan instructing her not to judge herself by the standards of others, and reminding her that it was only her actions that resulted in her siblings becoming aware of Narnia in the first place.

The Horse and His Boy

In The Horse and His Boy, set during the Pevensie siblings' rulership of Narnia, Susan plays a minor part. She is described as a gentle lady with black hair falling to her feet. Shasta finds her to be the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. It is implied that Susan is quite close to Prince Corin of Archenland following the death of his mother, being a motherly or sisterly figure to him. As Queen Susan, she is asked to marry the Calormene Prince Rabadash. She finds him gallant when participating at tournaments in Narnia, but tyrannical and repelling in his own country. The prince intends to take her also by force; her rejection and subsequent escape from Calormen would lead the Prince to seek the secret approval of his father, the Tisroc, for his plan to attack Archenland, as a means of capturing Susan, and in the hope of conquering Narnia at a later date. Interestingly, in "Wardrobe" it is Lucy who is mentioned as being constantly courted by foreign princes.

The Last Battle

In The Last Battle, Susan is conspicuous by her absence. Peter says that she is "no longer a friend of Narnia", and (in Jill Pole's words) "she's interested in nothing now-a-days except nylons and lipstick and invitations." Similarly, Eustace Scrubb quotes her as saying, "What wonderful memories you have! Fancy you still thinking about all those funny games we used to play when we were children," and Polly Plummer adds, "She wasted all her school time wanting to be the age she is now, and she'll waste all the rest of her life trying to stay that age. Her whole idea is to race on to the silliest time of one's life as quick as she can and then stop there as long as she can." Thus, Susan does not enter the real Narnia with the others at the end of the series.

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