If an entire "character arc" (not sure if you can call successive entries of a character into the plot that) in C. S. Lewis is due to a correct description of one of the four seasons ... one could of course try to find other Narnian characters that do that.
But one could also be reminded of Michael Ward's Planet Narnia. He argues that each of the seven chronicles has its main mood set by one specific classic astrological planet. It could be instructive to use publication order instead of normal reading order to show some of the connexions between successive books:
|The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe||Jupiter|
|The Voyage of the Dawn Treader||Sun|
|The Silver Chair||Moon|
|The Horse and His Boy||Mercury|
|The Magician's Nephew||Venus|
|The Last Battle||Saturn|
Before we go on, I'd note that when I had heard of Ward's book and site, I considered The Horse and His Boy as the Venus book and The Magician's Nephew as the Mercury book.
It so happens some parallels between The Silver Chair and Hamlet brought me to ask myself if this type of creative "inventio" was a common thing in Renaissance Drama or - as he refused to consider Elisabethan era as "Renaissance" - Elisabethan Drama. Perhaps it was. Two Gentlemen of Verona would be a Mercury comedy, since involving twins, The Merchant of Venice a Mars comedy, where iron is most prized and where Portia goes out of her female role to be a lawyer, Macbeth a Mars tragedy (where Burnam Forest walked to Dunsinane) ... Midsummer Night's Dream probably a Jove comedy (with innocent laughter at Bottom, by lords like Oberon and Theseus) ...
This brought me to a project I had entertained for a while The Hobbit along with books I to VI of the Lord of the Rings are together also seven books, like the Narniad. Note, Tolkien had stated that the "trilogy" was a convenience of publishing and that the only natural subdivision of the work was into six books.
Any one of them (but not The Hobbit) has fewer chapters than a Narnia novel, 12, 11, 11, 10, 10, 9, as I recall, but (like The Hobbit), the longest of the Narniad has 53,960 words, while The Hobbit has 95,356 words, and each of the three LotR volumes has a word count such that its half would be greater than 53,960 words. So, any of the seven books in Tolkien would be a more fleshed out version of its story.
This could allow for more weight to secondary planets. Like The Hobbit has main planet Sun, since as in Voyage of the Dawn Treader we have a dragon undone (Smaug killed vs dragoned and then undragoned Eustace), a hoard of gold (Smaug's Treasure vs Goldwater, and before that the treasure which Eustace found), people living by water (Laketown vs diverse islands), but we also find some traces of Moon imagery - as in The Silver Chair you have an underground voyage, and giants come both in Silver Chair and The Hobbit. Visibility and invisibility are obviously in a sense a reference to phases of the Moon and plays a role in The Hobbit, as Bilbo finds the Ring. Now, if The Hobbit can be considered as mainly Solar but accessorily Lunar, this will start my little list:
In book I, the roles of Sun and Moon are reversed. The Ring is centre of the attention, as are the Ringwraiths - who come as nightly scares. There is sickness (therefore alteration, a lunar thing) in both the Silver Chair and book I, where Puddleglum gets his foot severly burned and Frodo Baggins gets stabbed by a Morgul dagger. If Hamlet is Shakespear's Lunar Tragedy, ghosts would be lunar, and we have the barrow-wight in book I. Salvations come twice in lunar form, like elves singing "A Elbereth Gilthoniel" in Sindarin or Grey-Elven, to make it even more clear (though there is a linguistic explanation for that), one of the words in the second line is "silivren" which sounds like "silver" and means "white-glittering" (which also describes the Moon) and when Glorfindel (replaced by Arwen in PJ's film) summons the waters to drown the steeds of the Black Riders. Like tides are mainly lunar.
However, there is also solar imagery - I think mainly of Tom Bombadil and perhaps also of the fireworks. Even if neither Coriakin nor Gandalf are meant as human people committing the sin of sorcery, they can be roughly speaking as literary figures considered as magicians, which would be solar, think of Aietes in Argonautica who is son of Helios. Gandalf is also most prominent in The Hobbit and in Book I.
In book II, you start with "many meetings" between hobbits and you get near the end the land of Lothlorien, with Gimli "falling in love with" Galadriel, and at the end you have steady friendship in Sam refusing to abandon Frodo. The jovian imagery is partly in Elrond, partly in Hollin - the land of hollies, which belong to Christmas, a fairly jovian and clearly jovial occasion.
In book III, as in Prince Caspian, "Burnam forest walks to Dunsinane". There is constant war with Orcs. We arrive to the riders of Rohan.
And for secondary planet, Mercury. The twin-like Pippin and Merry (there are twins in The Horse and His Boy) arrive as messangers telling a story of Saruman's treason (and you have Shasta telling that of Rabadash's in The Horse and His Boy), and we also have a contest of wizards, Saruman and Gandalf being also twin like.
In book IV, Frodo, Sam and Gollum are on a quest, and need to keep secrets (my Mercury as main planet may be weak), and as to secondary planet Saturn, they come both to Ithilian, closely modelled on Italy (the land of exile of mythological Saturn) and to Mordor, where Saturn as destructive principle would be at work, and there is poison and treason in Cirith Ungol.
In book V, while the battle of Pelennor kills off one Nazgul, there are eight to go and Theoden dies. Aragorn arrives by the Paths of the Dead (and this is therefore a place where Mercury would fit better as main than in previous) and Denethor commits actual treason in despair. At the end of the book, they expect to be defeated by Sauron, if they just survived Morannon, there would be another thing coming ... and obviously, battles open and end, so we have Mars too as secondary.
In book VI, "Jupiter brings" the happy end, the victory, the righting of wrongs elsewhere, like in the Shire ... and "Venus comes with" fertility. All Saturnine things are dispelled. And as King Planet, "Jove brings" coronation to Elessar, while Venus adds marriage with Arwen - as well as Sam Gamgee's with Rosie Cotton.
Hans Georg Lundahl
St. Peter Canisius
PS, next day, before checking reactions in the mail: 1) of course another thing unites The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Hobbit as solar, since both are voyages to the East, and similarily fireworks unite book I and The Silver Chair as lunar (fireworks being lights in the night); 2) I think Mercury would fit book V very well "too", since Pippin's message, since Theoden's arrival in time, since heralds meeting each other at the end, and perhaps above all since Aragorn goes the paths of the dead (Hermes psychopompos) and both he and Denethor use Palantirs, while book IV is a lunar book, the vaccillating moods of Gollum, the passage in the dark, the "Italian" landscape being called Ithilien, literally Moon-land in Sindarin. Not forgetting phases of the Moon are carefully noted. Solutions : a) I was simply assigning planet pairs wrong, as the pairs possible are not 7 but 7*6; b) we deal with planet triplets; c) Moon and Mercury are very pervasive with Tolkien and spill over into other books than their own. I would however probably stick with a or b./HGL
PPS, I think I'd go for planet triplets - Venus would be in book I too, since involving the marriage of Tom Bombadil and Goldberry./HGL