Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: Arabella   Books Included 
June 14, 2015 6:28 PM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Jonathan Strange's remarkable magic helps England win the Battle of Waterloo, after which Strange returns home hoping for a peaceful new life, but the Gentleman's scheme for revenge wrecks all of his and Arabella's plans, leaving Jonathan Strange a ruined man.
posted by infinitewindow (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
For those of you who wondered what, indeed, would be done with the English soldiers after Waterloo... well. I don't know what happened to all of them, but I do know what happened to the Duke of Wellington. He misplaced his horse.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:01 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

We've officially departed from the book narrative, and in the most brilliant way! This is getting really exciting!!
posted by shii at 7:25 AM on June 15, 2015

It's really come a long way. Gripping stuff.
posted by absalom at 9:59 AM on June 15, 2015

posted by infinitewindow at 11:12 AM on June 15, 2015

We've officially departed from the book narrative

Oh that's why I don't remember all this
posted by dhruva at 11:21 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

I've read the book twice and my memory of the actual plot is fuzzy at best, so I barely noticed.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:04 PM on June 16, 2015

Incidentally, is it just me or have they left the history of the Raven King extremely vague? In the books I remember the history being a lot more clear quite early on.
posted by BungaDunga at 1:34 PM on June 16, 2015

They mentioned the Raven King's "nameless slave in Faerie" background ONCE. The Gentleman in the show says it a lot more with regards to Stephen.
posted by infinitewindow at 2:09 PM on June 16, 2015

I really liked the "human stories" understanding that Segundus and Honeyfoot come to with the help of Lady Pole. Go, go unlikely detectives!
posted by minsies at 11:52 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]

The prophecy has been weirdly done in the show -- it was longer, and it was, I think, more important. I was particularly annoyed at how they used it for Stephen Black early -- why tell us what's going to happen?

I miss the Greysteels, though. I am excited to see where they go with the endgame, since it will be similar but different.
posted by jeather at 5:54 PM on June 22, 2015

I am watching this late. It's very good. I don't remember the book very much - it's been more than ten years, I think, since I read it. But I do remember being VERY DISAPPOINTED about Arabella, so I hope something better happens in the show. I am going to be pissed if she just disappears.

It occurs to me that Susanna Clarke is very clever with the way she has set up Norrell and Strange to reflect the deep divide in the Regency era between Romanticism, with its focus on emotion, instinct, and experience, and the fading Enlightenment, with its focus on reason and science.

I am also glad that she did not succumb to the temptation of making Napoleon the pawn or avatar of some great evil antagonist, which I have seen in various Regency fantasies, and which I dislike very much. War is bad, people make war, that doesn't mean your enemy at war is an evil black magician.
posted by bq at 2:38 PM on September 16, 2016

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