|Title||King of Archenland|
|Children||Ram the Great|
|Major character in|
Shasta, later known as Cor of Archenland, is a fictional character in C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. He is the principal character in the fifth book published in the series, The Horse and His Boy. The book's events, however, are chronologically third in the series. He also appears briefly at the end of The Last Battle, the seventh and final book in the series.
Born as the eldest son and heir of King Lune of Archenland, and elder twin of Prince Corin, Cor was kidnapped as an infant and raised as a fisherman's son in the country of Calormen. In The Horse and his Boy, (the events of which all occur during the reign of the four Pevensie children in Narnia, an era which begins and ends in the last chapter of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), Shasta escapes to freedom, saves Archenland and Narnia from invasion, learns his true identity, and is restored to his heritage. Shasta's companions on his journey are the talking horses, Bree, and Hwin, and the Calormene Tarkheena, Aravis. Shasta grows up to become King of Archenland, marries Aravis, and fathers the next (and "most famous") king of Archenland, Ram the Great.
Shasta is raised by a stern fisherman named Arsheesh, who lives on the coast of Calormen which is a semi-arid land to the south of Narnia, beyond Archenland and the Great Desert. Shasta believes that Arsheesh is his father until he overhears Arsheesh negotiating to sell him to a Tarkaan (a Calormene nobleman) as a slave. He discovers when he overhears their conversation that Arsheesh actually found him as a baby in a rowboat on the beach. Shasta goes to the stable and starts talking to the Tarkaan's horse there. To his surprise, the horse talks back, warns him that his new master is cruel, and suggests that they escape together to Narnia, a land of freedom, where nearly all the animals talk.
Shasta agrees to escape with the horse, nicknamed Bree, and they start off that night. Through further adventures, Shasta and Bree encounter another two more fugitives, a Tarkheena named Aravis and another talking horse, Hwin. During his travels, Shasta meets an exact look-alike, named Prince Corin of Archenland, for whom he is briefly mistaken when he is encountered by King Edmund.
Shasta and his traveling companions learn that Calormen is planning to attack Archenland as a step to conquering Narnia, and so they set off on a race to warn Archenland. After a grueling journey, a tired and barefoot Shasta successfully warns the Archenlanders. Riding with the Archenlanders, Shasta becomes lost in dense fog, but is guided by the great lion Aslan through a mountain pass into Narnia, where his warning musters a force of Narnians to come to the aid of their allies. He participates in the battle against the Calormenes (in which Archenland reigns victorious), convinced to do so by Prince Corin.
Shasta then discovers who he really is: Prince Cor of Archenland, elder son of King Lune, heir apparent to the throne, and twin brother to Prince Corin. He learns that there was a prophecy made about him when he was only an infant, that he would save Archenland from a great evil. This prophecy led the enemies of Archenland to kidnap him, and they managed to get him onto their warship at sea. When his father pursued his son's kidnappers, the enemies put the baby prince on a rowboat with a knight. This was the boat in which Arsheesh found him. The knight died, but during an encounter with Aslan himself, Aslan reveals that he intervened and pushed the boat to shore so Shasta could survive. The prophecy was fulfilled when he warned the Archenlanders and rallied the Narnians against Rabadash. Shasta is welcomed into the royal family and eventually marries Aravis, who comes and lives with them in Anvard (King Lune's castle). Their son, Ram the Great, becomes (we are told) the greatest king of Archenland. The above events took place in 1014 and Ram's reign began in 1050 suggesting that King Cor was relatively young (in his 40s) when he died.
Shasta and Aravis are both mentioned as being in the second Narnia at the end of The Last Battle.
- Ford, Paul (2005), Companion to Narnia, Revised Edition, SanFrancisco: Harper, ISBN 0-06-079127-6
- Lewis, C. S. (1954), The Horse and His Boy, London: Geoffrey Bles
- Lewis, C. S. (1956), The Last Battle, London: Geoffrey Bles
- Markos, Louis (2000), The Life and Writings of C. S. Lewis (audio course), Lecture 10: Journeys of Faith-The Chronicles of Narnia II, Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company, ISBN 1-56585-316-4
- Schakel, Peter J. (1979), Reading With the Heart: The Way into Narnia, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, ISBN 0-8028-1814-5