Narnia fans were both delighted and baffled by the trailer for “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” when it was released Thursday. They were excited to see the amazing Dawn Treader itself, the fantastic picture scene where Lucy, Edmund, and Eustace are transported back to Narnia, and the return of Reepicheep.
But the trailer also showcased some of the changes and additions the filmmakers made to the story. Edmund tries to enlist in the British army; the older Pevensie children, Peter and Susan, make appearances; and the most baffling of all, the White Witch is seen (she had also been featured on a few of the film’s posters).
However, it must be remembered that trailers can be misleading. They rarely reveal everything about a film, and they often misrepresent them. It is like judging a book by its cover. Many great films have had bad trailers. Many bad films have had good trailers.
It should also be remembered that The Voyage of the Dawn Treader book, due to its almost episodic structure, is very difficult to adapt to film. The same was true of Prince Caspian. Changes should be expected, but so long as they don’t violate the spirit of the source material, fans shouldn’t expect the film to be bad.
The story changes seen in the trailer can be explained, though:
-It isn’t surprising that Edmund would try to enlist in the army. This was in the middle of World War II, and having fought as a warrior in Narnia, it’s natural he would want to do so in our world.
-Susan seems to appear when Lucy is reading the spell book. Keep in mind that she is having a crisis of self-confidence, and the spell book preys on her pride. It seems logical that she would see Susan, who usually brims with confidence. A similar argument could be made for Peter. Edmund has always felt like he was living in his older brother’s shadow. The scene he appears in could likely be a dream or vision.
-As for the White Witch, who is still tempting Edmund with power, executive producer Perry Moore has said, “She — and her evil — weave seamlessly into The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. She appears right where you think she would when you read the book — in a surprising way you could never guess that is at the same time true to the core of the book.”
Again, many of the characters face temptations that they must overcome. This is likely not the Witch herself, but a vision in Edmund’s mind.
So for now, fans should watch the trailer and get excited, but not jump to conclusions. Remember what happens when one assumes.