- "Caspian felt brave and, in a way, happy, to think that he was King Caspian riding to seek adventures, with his sword on his left hip and Queen Susan's horn on his right."
- ―Caspian [src]
Caspian X, King of Narnia, Lord of Cair Paravel, and Emperor of the Lone Islands, also called Caspian the Seafarer and Caspian the Navigator (2290 – 2356, Narnian Time) was one of the greatest leaders of the Narnian Empire. He took part in the successful Narnian Revolution, and began the Age of Exploration.
Caspian was born the Crown Prince of the Telmarine/Narnian realm around 2290 NY. When he was a small child, his father was murdered, and his mother died shortly after. Afterwards, he was raised as the nephew and "adopted son" to his uncle Miraz, the "Lord Protector" of Narnia. As a prince, Caspian was raised under the care of his nurse, who spent many hours playing games with him and telling him tales of the Old Days of Narnia. These stories sparked a deep longing in Caspian for those Old Days, but he felt sure they would never come back.
Caspian spent very little time with his aunt, but twice a week his uncle would take him on a walk for half an hour, and talk to him. On one such day, he revealed that he had been told stories about the land of Old Narnia, and about the Kings and Queens who had ruled it, and most importantly, about Aslan. Caspian believed what his nurse told him, telling his uncle that the stories were real history. Shortly afterwards, Miraz removed Caspian's Nurse as a punishment to both of them, and replaced her with a tutor.Though Caspian was horrified to lose his nurse, he came to like his new tutor, an old man called Doctor Cornelius, or professor. Cornelius taught him many topics, including grammar, astronomy, history and politics (though he knew nothing of navigation, because the Telmarines hated the sea). As soon as his schooling began, he was also taught nonacademic but princely pursuits, such as horse-riding, archery, swordplay and music.
Despite his nurse's absence, Caspian did not forget the tales that she had told him, though he was careful not to speak of them, having learned that Miraz disapproved of such things. During one history lesson with Doctor Cornelius, Caspian asked him, hopefully, whether the old stories might be true, and whether the doctor would tell him more. Cornelius's reply, though, was cryptic and unsatisfying.
A few nights later, Caspian was roused awake by Cornelius, who took him to a secret tower for an astronomy lesson. While there, he led Caspian to guess that he was, in fact, a half-dwarf. His existence proved the truth of the old tales, and from then on, Caspian and Cornelius would often go to the tower, and the doctor would tell Caspian in secret much more about Old Narnia and it's history.
During this time, he begged Caspian to be a better king in the future than those before him, and to be fair to all. These meetings were, of course, kept an absolute secret from any others, and they strengthened the friendship between the prince and the professor.
The War of DeliveranceIn 2303, when Caspian was around fifteen, his uncle's wife gave birth to a son. On the night of the birth, Caspian was roused by his professor, and dressed in traveling clothes before being led to the tower again. There, Cornelius told him of the birth, and for the first time confirmed the danger that Caspian was in.
Miraz had murdered Caspian's father for the throne, and now, with an heir of his own, Miraz would willfully murder Caspian so that his son would carry on with his line. Cornelius urged the prince to flee that very night, giving him advice, money, and the magic horn of Queen Susan.
Caspian fled alone into the woods, where he was caught in the midst of a storm and hit by a tree, throwing him from his horse. When he woke, he was in an unfamiliar place being tended to by three strangers. His rescuers were Old Narnians, Trufflehunter the badger, Trumpkin the Red Dwarf, and Nikabrik the Black Dwarf. When he announced his own identity, they disagreed about what to do with him, but eventually agreed to take him as their own king if their fellow Old Narnians agreed to it.
After meeting with many Old Narnians, a deal was struck. Caspian would be the Narnian's new king and leader, if he restored Narnia to them, and gave them their freedom, and in return they would fight for him.
After coming to the agreement, the Narnians were joined by Doctor Cornelius, who had fled for his own life. He warned them that Miraz knew of their doings, and intended to attack and kill them all. The Narnians fled to the hallowed site of Aslan's How and prepared for battle.
For several weeks, the Narnians unsuccessfully battled the Telmarines, before Caspian and his advisors decided to blow Queen Susan's horn, in the hope that they would be answered with a powerful form of high magic. Two scouts were sent out to discover the results of the experiment, and for several days they waited.
When a response seemed nonexistent, Nikabrik proposed that they call on yet another power, one so great that it had even kept Aslan at bay for a century. He was, of course, speaking of the evil White Witch. When Caspian and his fellows refused, Nikabrik and his companions (a hag and a werewolf) attacked them. Caspian was nearly killed by the were-wolf, but was rescued by the arrival of one of his scouts bringing back the Kings and Queens of Old, summoned by the blow of Susan's horn. After saving Caspian's life, the High King Peter introduced himself, and set plans to defeat Miraz in a champion's duel.
Later that day, the Duel at Aslan's How was held, and Caspian witnessed it alongside King Edmund and Doctor Cornelius. Eventually, the duel was disrupted when Miraz was killed by one of his own men, who made it out that it had been the Narnian's doing, thus igniting the battle. Caspian fought alongside the two kings for a few moments before the Telmarine army retreated in the face of the attacking Narnians. Shortly afterward, Aslan and the Queens of Old (Susan and Lucy) cut off the Telmarine's escape route (a bridge), and the army was captured.
On that day, the 12th of Greenroof, 2303, Caspian first met Aslan, and was made a knight of the Most Noble Order of the Lion by High King Peter. He in turn also knighted Reepicheep, Trufflehunter and Trumpkin, made Cornelius his Lord Chancellor, and confirmed the Bulgy Bear and his descendants to be in his office as Marshal of the Lists permanently.
A few days later, the kings and Queens of old returned to their own world, and the most hostile Telmarines were sent out of the country. Caspian was shortly thereafter made King of Narnia, thus beginning Narnia's sixth era.
In the three years following, Caspian truly took control, appointing his private council, and knighting many of his officers. He ensured equality for all races and beings, and made alliances with both Archenland and Telmar.
Shortly after his coronation, the Northern giants began to rebel, and Caspian waged a successful war against them. He also began rebuilding the Narnian navy, and setting right all the wrongs his uncle and ancestors had committed. His work in these years was the beginning of a long labour, which would eventually turn his reign into an era of glory, remembered well by his descendants. He also received various lessons from some of the Narnians, including Glenstorm who tutored him in things such as jousting.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
By 2306, order had been reestablished in Narnia, and Caspian constructed a ship, The Dawn Treader, to search for the Seven Lost Lords that had been loyal to his father, but who were sent away by Miraz. They also had a secondary purpose of finding the End of the World, or, alternately, Aslan's Country.
The ship stopped at Galma, where they were treated to banquets and jousts, and Caspian briefly courted the Duke of Galma's daughter. On the way to the Lone Islands, the ship discovered King Edmund, Queen Lucy, and their kinsman, Eustace Scrubb, flailing in the sea, once again magically transported back to the Narnian world. Caspian himself dove in to rescue them, and willingly gave up his cabin for the Queen.
Not long after, they arrived at the Lone Islands, where Caspian, the foreign royals, and Reepicheep the mouse elected to go for a walk on the island of Avra. There they met a slave trader called Pug, who captured them with the intent of selling them at the Narrowhaven slave market that day. While en route to the market, Caspian was separated from his companions and purchased as a manservant by an island Lord. His new master told him after the purchase that he had been bought because of his resemblance to a man the Lord had once served. This information led Caspian to guess correctly that the man was Lord Bern, one of his father's banished lords. Having proven that he was indeed Caspian X, he and Bern began to lay plans to rescue his Narnian friends from the slave market.
They sent a message to the Dawn Treader to trick and frighten the Islanders into thinking they had a fleet. Caspian then brought his entire crew ashore, and dressed them all in armour, then paraded through the streets to announce the visit of the King of Narnia to the Governor of the Lone Islands. The Governor was unprepared and unwilling to shut down the slave trade, or able to pay the due taxes to Narnia. Caspian immediately removed him, and installed Lord Bern as Duke of the Lone Islands. Thereafter, he learned that Lord Bern's six companions had sailed on, and as soon as he and his crew were ready, Caspian also sailed away after them.
While at sea, they were struck by a hurricane for many days, and received substantial damage to their ship. They landed on an uninhabited island for repairs, and on their first day there, Eustace disappeared. Search parties were sent out for him all day, but found nothing more than the carcass of a dead dragon.
The next morning, Caspian and a few of his crew were camping on the beach, when they awoke to find that another dragon had landed between them and their fellow crewmen. When they went to fight the dragon, they discovered it to be friendly, and eventually realised that it was none other than the missing Eustace, under an enchantment. After their repairs were complete, and Eustace was returned to human form by Aslan, they sailed on. They concluded that the missing Lord Octesian must have met his end on that island, though whether he was killed or changed into the now deceased dragon, was unknown. Caspian ordered a small memorial to be carved into one of the cliffs there, and named the place Dragon Island.
They next happened upon an island, which had apparently once been inhabited, but was by then burned down. They named it Burnt Island, and sailed on. While still at sea, they were attacked by a giant Sea Serpent, which they escaped by pushing it's coils off their ship. They then stopped at another uninhabited island, where they found a set of armour, and a golden statue of a man in a pool that turned all things to gold. They concluded from the armour that the man was Lord Restimar, who had unknowingly ended his own life by diving into the pool and turning himself into gold.
It was here where Caspian and Edmund, for a short time, became consumed with greed at the thought of having an endless supply of gold. Their avarice grew to the point where they threatened each other, but were fortunate when the sight of Aslan appeared before them, breaking the spell. Caspian had first planned on naming the island Goldwater Island, but after what happened with Edmund, he decided the name Deathwater Island was more appropriate. They then returned to the ship, and sailed on.
They landed next on a cultivated island. Upon exploration, Caspian and his companions discovered an apparently empty manor house, but then Lucy found them, and told them that she had heard invisible people on the island planning to cut the Narnians off from their ship. Though they hurried back, their invisible enemies had already taken up position between them and the Dawn Treader.
Caught, Caspian and his companions were forced to hear and accept the terms of their captors, an invisible race called the Duffers, who had served a magician they regarded as evil. They forced Lucy to find the required spell to make them visible again, which she did in the magician's Book of Incantations. When she met the magician, she discovered him to actually be a fallen star, called Coriakin, who was in the service of Aslan. He welcomed Caspian and his crew, and told them that a ship with four lords had passed that way many years before, and had continued sailing East.
Sailing on, they came to a dark spot in the sea. Determined to explore, Caspian ordered his captain Drinian to sail into it. They sailed on, growing completely lost, until they found a man, weak and frightened, swimming for his life in the water. When they rescued him, he told them that he was Lord Rhoop, and that they were then within the bounds of Dark Island, the island where all dreams came true, including their worst nightmares. Eager to escape attack from their worst fears, Caspian and the crew turned about, and were guided away from the island by the appearance of Aslan, in the form of a giant albatross.
They next came to a dark, wild, quiet island, where they found only a table with a great banquet set, and three men sitting at the table. All three were sound asleep, and could not be awakened. After spending the night on the island, Caspian and his friends were met by Lilliandil, who told them that the island they were on was the beginning of the end of the world, and that the sleeping three were the remaining lost lords (Mavramorn, Argoz and Revilian). They were, she explained, under an enchantment.
Caspian, quickly smitten with the beautiful maiden, asked her how to break the enchantment. She responded that her father, a star called Ramandu, could tell him that. When he appeared, he revealed that the only way to break the spell was to sail to the very end of the world, and leave one person there.
The Dawn Treader sailed on past Sea People colonies, and into a lake of lilies dubbed the Silver Sea. When the ship could sail no further, Caspian, determined to go to the End of the World and break the enchantment, gave orders to his captain and dear friend, Drinian, to return to Narnia and choose a new king.
Drinian and the crew refused, and even threatened to detain the King by force. Caspian persisted, until he was reminded of his promise to return to Lilliandil, and a visit from Aslan, who reminded him of his duty as king. Thereafter, King Edmund, Queen Lucy, Eustace and Reepicheep sailed away on a rowboat to break the spell, and Caspian and his crew returned the way they had come. They retraced their voyage, returning home to Narnia, and took with them four of the seven Lost Lords, and also the lovely Lilliandil.
Alas, twenty years after this, Lilliandil was killed by a serpent, a tragedy for the entire realm, but especially for Caspian, who had loved her very dearly. It was not revealed until over a decade later, but she had in fact been killed by a witch known as the Lady of the Green Kirtle.
Not long afterward, Rilian also vanished. He had originally been searching in the woods, looking to find and destroy the serpent responsible for his mother's death, only to become smitten with a beautiful unknown maiden. His disappearance was another crushing blow to his aging father.
Drinian blamed himself for the prince's disappearance, as he had known something was wrong, having seen the unknown girl, but had not said anything. When he told Caspian this, the king had for a moment nearly taken up arms against his old friend, intending to kill him, but in the end could not bring himself to do it.
- "I have lost my queen and my son: shall I lose my friend also?"
- ―Caspian [src]
Their friendship was never broken, and stayed strong, but alas, in the end Drinian also died, though of natural causes, by old age.
In N.Y. 2356, Caspian sailed east to the Seven Isles' capital of Redhaven, in order to seek Aslan's advice about who should be king after him. While on his journey, the ship presumably stopped at both Galma and Terebinthia, but just as the Seven Isles were in sight, he had a vision to return to Narnia.
When he arrived, Rilian had returned, safe and alive. Caspian lived long enough to embrace his son before he died at the age of 66. His body was then buried and mourned by Rilian, in which he was shortly crowned king himself, and took his father's place, thus beginning Narnia's seventh era.
Caspian was revived by Aslan in his country, as a young man once more, finally getting his wish to reach it. Once there, he was greeted by his old friend Eustace, and his companion Jill Pole. He asked for only one wish: to see, even for a moment, the land from whence the King and Queens of Old came.
Aslan granted his wish, letting him spend five minutes on Planet Earth, to help Eustace and Jill punish the bullies at their school. Caspian then returned with Aslan to his country, where he lived forever, even past the end of the Narnian World.
When entering Aslan's Country, Caspian was happily reunited with his beloved wife and his father; and years later was joined by Rilian (the exact date of Rilian's death is unknown).
Caspian is described as being a quiet boy, and indeed a daydreamer. From the time he was a small child, he was thrilled by the idea and stories of Old Narnians. He disliked his Aunt, and he tried to get the local pets to talk to him, which suggests that Caspian was not happy at home, and that daydreaming was a way for him to escape.
Caspian grew up to live many of the adventures he dreamed of, including sailing during The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where he became extremely upset because he could not go off the end of the world with Reepicheep.
Caspian was a little unsure of himself, but he had good leadership qualities. His uncertainty can be seen because many of his first reactions were due to fear: -
- He thought Cornelius might kill him after he discovered Cornelius' Dwarfish heritage.
- He was reluctant to leave his home, even though he didn't like it, and he had showed a great fear of Miraz on several occasions.
- When asked whether he wanted to be king, Caspian said he did not feel ready.
Caspian is unusually quiet around Peter, suggesting that he felt unsure around such a great warrior, but his leadership skills have improved greatly as he grew more mature.
The The Chronicles of Narnia (film series) presents Caspian as a reckless, rebellious young adult. The movie's interpretation of Caspian's temperament is represented vaguely in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader book, where he became very angry with Reepicheep, for defying him, when he wished to go to Aslan's Country.
He also almost attacked Edmund on Deathwater Island, but whether that was his temper or the magic of the island is unknown; it was most likely the latter.
- In the books, Caspian was described as golden-haired in his youth, and fair like most of the Telmarines. When he grew old, he had a long gray beard. He was also said to resemble his father.
- In the movies, Caspian had more of a dark Spanish look, again like most of the Telmarines: wavy, shoulder-length dark brown hair, and brown eyes. In later movies, he had grown a short stubble beard. He was a darkly handsome young man, being tall, slender yet muscular.
- In the BBC television series, he was much younger, about Edmund's age, with short curly, ginger hair.
Skills/AbilitiesCaspian's education as Prince taught him to be proficient in many areas, including archery, horsemanship, and jousting.
He was also a skillful archer, being able to beat even Susan in a couple of matches. He was a naturally skillful fencer as well, and though he had his own sword at first, Peter later gave him his sword, Rhindon, to signify that he was the next rightful King.
Later on, in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, it was revealed that Caspian was also skilled in seafaring and swimming, judging by his adventures on board the Dawn Treader, and how he dove into the sea to help rescue Edmund, Lucy, and Eustace when they returned to Narnia.
- Prince Caspian (book, appearance)
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (book, appearance)
- The Silver Chair (book, appearance)
- The Last Battle (book, appearance)
- Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1989 serial film, appearance)
- The Silver Chair (1990 serial film, appearance)
- Prince Caspian (2008 film, appearance)
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010 film, appearance)
Behind the scenes
- To date, Caspian X was portrayed by four different actors: first by Jean Marc Perret and Samuel West in the BBC production Prince Caspian & The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, then by Geoffrey Russell in the BBC movie The Silver Chair, and most recently by Ben Barnes in the Walden Media productions of Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.