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Characters I Love – Puddleglum

Puddleglum is a marsh-wiggle from C. S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair, part of the Chronicles of Narnia (more info on Wikipedia). He enters the story as a pessimistic wet blanket of a character (somewhat like Eeyore, actually, whom I also love!). I love his pessimistic side, even though he notes that he is uncommonly cheerful for a marsh-wiggle (one wonders what the others are like!). As Eustace, Jill, and Puddleglum search for Prince Rilian, who disappeared a decade before, they enter the Underland, the realm of the Emerald Witch. Despite the fact that Puddleglum is not particularly courageous, talented, charming, or fierce, he is critical to the trio’s success. Even after he seems to have lost hope, he clings to it anyway, arguing:

Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all of those things—trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it.

Puddleglum succeeds because of his tenacity, his refusal to give up even when his heart wants to, even when everyone around him has lost hope. Even when everything is dark and he’s almost forgotten what the light even looks like, he holds on.

Who are some of your favorite characters? Why?