Aravis

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Bio Info

Titles: Aravis Tarkheena, Queen Aravis of Archenland

Age: Younger than Shasta, probably about 13

Species: Daughter of Eve, Calormene

Home: Calavar, Calormen and later Anvard, Archenland

Physical Description: Small and slender, dark-complected

Tools: A scimitar

First Appearance: The Horse and His Boy, Ch. 2 (1954), first referenced in The Silver Chair, Ch. 3 (1953)


Appearances

~ The Horse and His Boy ~ (1954)

Aravis's new stepmother hates her and convinces her father to arrange a marriage for Aravis. When Aravis learns that she has been promised to the old Ahoshta Tarkaan, she saddles her horse Hwin and rides off to the woods to kill herself. Hwin suddenly speaks to her and convinces her that they should escape to Narnia together. While running from some lions one night, they meet up with Bree and Shasta. When Bree discovers Hwin is a Talking Horse and that they are also escaping to Narnia, Aravis agrees they should travel together. Upon reaching Tashbaan, Shasta is separated from the group and Aravis makes eye contact with her childhood friend, Lasaraleen, who instantly recognizes her. Aravis and the horses go to Lasraleen's house where Aravis tells Lasaraleen of her plans to flee to Narnia. When Lasaraleen tries to escort Aravis out of Tashbaan through the Tisroc's garden, they almost cross paths with the Tisroc himself and hide in an empty room. To their horror, the Tisroc, Rabadash, and Ahoshta enter the room to discuss Rabadash's plot to invade Anvard (and then Narnia) to bring Queen Susan back to Tashbaan as his wife by force. After they leave, Aravis is finally able to make her way out of the city where she meets Bree, Hwin, and Shasta. They immediately set off for Anvard to warn the Archenlanders of the impending attack on the city. After they have crossed the desert, a lion appears again and chases them to the home of the Hermit of the Southern March. Before reaching the safety of his gates, Aravis is attacked by the lion who rears up and tears her back. Aravis' wounds force her to remain with the Hermit so she can recover. When they are getting ready to leave, Aravis and the Horses are visited by Aslan, who tells them that He was the lion that brought them all together as well as chased them to the Hermit. He also tells Aravis the reason He scratched her was to repay her for causing her servant to be whipped when she ran away. After Aslan leaves, Aravis receives another visitor, Prince Cor of Archenland, who turns out to be none other than Shasta. Cor invites Aravis to come live with him in Anvard, where she meets and becomes good friends with Queen Lucy. Several years later Aravis marries Cor and becomes Queen of Archenland. Their son, Ram the Great, is Archenland's most famous king.

~ The Last Battle ~ (1956)

Aravis is there to welcome the friends of Narnia at the final reunion.




About Aravis

Aravis is a fiercely independent tomboy who calmly plans her own suicide when told she must marry Ahoshta Tarkaan. Though very proud, Aravis is a brave and honorable companion. When Aravis first meets Shasta she feels superior to him because he is a person of lower rank, but she sees the practicality of journeying together. She thinks quickly in crisis situations and never complains about the hardships of travelling (though she resents having to dress as a slave when they enter Tashbaan). Aravis has all the impatience and haughtiness of her privileged class, but is able to change her behavior when confronted with events that contradict her presuppositions. When she meets Shasta again after he saved her from the lion, she humbles herself to apologize to him for her weeks of scorn as they journeyed together. Aravis is a strong and memorable character with whom many modern female readers readily identify.


Quotes

  • "And what business is it of yours if I am only a girl? You're probably only a boy: a rude, common little boy—a slave probably, who's stolen his master's horse." (HHB, Ch. 2)
  • "My name is Aravis Tarkheena and I am the only daughter of Kidrash Tarkaan, the son of Rishti Tarkaan, the son of Kidrash Tarkaan, the son of Ilsombreh Tisroc, the son of Ardeeb Tisroc who was descended in a right line from the god Tash. My father is the lord of the province of Calavar and is one who has the right of standing on his feet in his shoes before the face of Tisroc himself (may he live for ever). My mother (on whom be the peace of the gods) is dead and my father has married another wife. One of my brothers has fallen in battle against the rebels in the far west and the other is a child." (HHB, Ch. 3)
  • "I did not do any of these things for the sake of pleasing you." (HHB, Ch. 3)
  • "Oh it's all very well for you. What would you care about Tashbaan? But I ought to be riding in on a litter with soldiers before me and slaves behind, and perhaps going to a feast in the Tisroc's palace (may he live for ever) - not sneaking in like this." (HHB, Ch. 4)
  • "Good-bye, and I thought your dresses lovely. And I think your house is lovely too. I'm sure you'll have a lovely life - though it wouldn't suit me." (HHB, Ch. 9)
  • "One wouldn't expect Horses to keep awake after a day's work like that, even if they can talk. And of course that Boy wouldn't; he's had no decent training. But I ought to have known better." (HHB, Ch. 9)
  • "Shasta was marvelous. I'm as bad as you, Bree. I've been snubbing him and looking down on him ever since you met us and now he turns out to be the best of us all." (HHB, Ch. 10)
  • "Shasta—I mean Cor. No, shut up. There's something I've got to say at once. I'm sorry I've been such a pig. But I did change before I knew you were a Prince, honestly I did; when you went back, and faced the Lion." (HHB, Ch. 14)


Portrayals

  • Jody Peach: Focus on the Family Radio Theater, 1999 – 2002
  • Michelle Wesson: BBC Radio Tales of Narnia
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