Rabadash

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Bio Info

Titles: Prince Rabadash, Rabadash the Ridiculous, Rabadash the Peacemaker

Age: "A young man"

Species: Human, Calormene

Home: Calormen

Physical Description: A dark-skinned, tall, young man with a feathered and jewelled turban on his head

Tools: An ivory-sheathed scimitar

First Appearance: The Horse and His Boy, Ch. 7 (1954), first referenced in Ch. 4


Appearances

~ The Horse and His Boy ~ (1954)

Rabadash, the crown prince of Calormen, is in search of a bride, and so he invites Queen Susan to visit Calormen. But while there, Susan realizes Rabadash's true nature, which is cruel and selfish — a sharp contrast to his behavior while he was a guest in Narnia. ("See the bear in his own den before you judge of his conditions," the Raven says.) Susan's brother King Edmund warns her that he believes Rabadash will try to make her his queen by force, and they make a plan to leave Calormen secretly. When Rabadash finds that they have escaped, he appeals to his father the Tisroc to allow him to seize his future queen by force and lay waste to the country of Narnia. His father agrees, but warns Rabadash that he will have no part of it himself. Rabadash leads his army through the desert on the way to Archenland toward Narnia, not knowing that Aravis had overheard his plan. She, along with Bree, Hwin, and Shasta, race ahead and manage to warn King Lune of Archenland of Rabadash's invasion. Together, the Archenlanders and Narnians defeat Rabadash in a most humiliating manner. During the battle, while trying to leap down dramatically, Rabadash is caught on a hook on a wall, while everyone around him laughs. At the trial of Rabadash, King Lune and King Edmund offer him mercy, but Rabadash calls down the curse of Tash upon them. Everyone falls silent as Aslan enters the room and gives Rabadash one last chance to accept the kings' offer, but Rabadash refuses. Aslan then turns Rabadash into a donkey as punishment. Aslan tells Rabadash that he will not have to remain a donkey forever, and as Rabadash has appealed to his god Tash, he must return to the temple of Tash to regain his human form. But he must never stray more than ten miles from Tash's temple or he will return to his donkey form permanently. Because of this curse, Rabadash becomes known as "Rabadash the Ridiculous," but only behind his back. To his face, it is much safer to call him "Rabadash the Peacemaker."


About Rabadash

Rabadash is a proud, selfish prince. Though he can appear genteel and well mannered, in reality he is a cruel man who thinks of nothing but his own pleasure. Part of this is due to his upbringing in the decadent, wicked court of his father. Childishly, Rabadash delights in tormenting others, often making horrifying faces to terrify his inferiors. Because of his self-centered focus, Rabadash is unable to look at the big picture to make wise decisions when he is denied what he wants. Instead, he mulishly continues to fight for his own way. But all his tantrums avail nothing when he faces Aslan and the Narnian and Archenlander kings. Rabadash's impotent rage and lack of self control render him a laughingstock, and his later title, "the Ridiculous," is a succinct summation of his personality.


Quotes

  • "But I want her. I must have her. I shall die if I do not get her—false, proud, black-hearted daughter of a dog that she is! I cannot sleep and my food has no savor and my eyes are darkened because of her beauty. I must have the barbarian queen." (HHB, Ch. 8)
  • "Do not dare to quote the poets to me. I have had maxims and verses flung at me all day and I can endure them no more." (HHB, Ch. 8)
  • "Beware! Beware! Beware! The bolt of Tash falls from above!" (HHB, Ch. 15)
  • "Demon! Demon! Demon! I know you. You are the foul fiend of Narnia. You are the enemy of the gods. Learn who I am, horrible phantasm. I am descended from Tash, the inexorable, the irresistible." (HHB, Ch. 15)


Portrayals

  • Russell Boulter: Focus on the Family Radio Theater, 1999 – 2002
  • Jonathan Tafler: BBC Radio Tales of Narnia
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