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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Summary


Here you will find a The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe summary (C. S. Lewis's book).
We begin with a summary of the entire book, and then you can read each individual chapter's summary by visiting the links on the "Chapters" section.

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Last Updated: Monday 1 Jan, 2024

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Summary Overview

Four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie, are sent to live in the countryside with the peculiar Professor Kirke during the Second World War. During a rainy day, Lucy discovers a large wardrobe that leads to an unusual, snow-covered forest. She meets a faun named Tumnus who informs her about Narnia, a magical realm under the control of a wicked White Witch causing endless winter. Tumnus confesses he was supposed to capture humans under orders from the Witch but sets Lucy free instead. Lucy returns to her siblings, sharing the tale of her adventure, but they dismiss it as a fabrication. Edmund eventually follows Lucy into the wardrobe and finds himself in Narnia too, but he encounters the White Witch instead of Lucy. The Witch, presenting herself as Narnia's queen, manipulates Edmund into planning to bring his siblings to her with the help of a magical dessert. Eventually, all four siblings end up in Narnia, discovering that Tumnus has been arrested for treachery by the Witch. The children decide to help Tumnus, and with the guidance of a friendly robin, they meet Mr. Beaver. They learn that their only hope to save Tumnus is to join Mr. Beaver in meeting Aslan - a lion who is revered as a god or king in Narnia. The children, along with the Beavers, journey to reach Aslan, experiencing magical seasonal transformations and receiving gifts from Santa Claus. Upon their meeting with Aslan, they are initially intimidated but grow to love him. Aslan promises to aid them in rescuing Edmund who, by now, has been captured by the Witch. A battle commences between Aslan's followers and the Witch's minions, in which the Witch plans to kill Edmund. However, Aslan offers his own life in exchange for Edmund's, and the Witch willingly murders Aslan instead. After his resurrection, Aslan and the children defeat the Witch, and the children are crowned as rulers of Narnia. After years of ruling, they stumble upon the wardrobe gateway again, returning to their own world where no time has passed. They recount their experiences to Professor Kirke, who assures them that they will return to Narnia someday.

chapter 1

The Pevensie siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, find themselves relocated to the countryside for their safety during World War II's air raids. They're sheltered in the home of Professor Kirke, a quirky, gentle old man. The house is a maze of surprises and on their initial rainy day, they set out to explore it. Their exploration leads them to a sparse room with a solitary large wardrobe. While the other three siblings move on, Lucy remains to investigate the wardrobe. She's taken aback when the door opens and she steps into a wintery forest at the other end. With the wardrobe as her anchor, she ventures into the wood. There, she stumbles upon a faun, a half-man, half-goat being, holding an umbrella and multiple parcels. Lucy's appearance startles the creature, causing it to drop its parcels.

chapter 2

Once Tumnus, the faun, regains his composure, he inquires if Lucy is a 'Daughter of Eve,' referring to her humanity. Though perplexed initially, Lucy comprehends the question and affirms her being a human girl. Tumnus then reveals he is a resident of Narnia, the unusual realm Lucy finds herself in. Misunderstanding Lucy's explanation about her arrival through a wardrobe, Tumnus assumes she hails from a city named War Drobe in a country called Spare Oom. He then invites her over for tea at his house, which she accepts provided she won't stay long, and they proceed towards his home. The tea session with Tumnus is delightful, marked by scrumptious food and enchanting flute music. However, the moment Lucy decides to head home, Tumnus disappointingly reveals she cannot. Upon asking the reason, Tumnus breaks down, confessing his guilt as a servant of the White Witch. This evil ruler of Narnia has enforced a perpetual winter, extinguishing the joy of Christmas. Tumnus is tasked with capturing humans for her, though their fate remains unknown. Upon Lucy's pleading, Tumnus relents, releasing her because he hadn't met a human before and didn't know their nature. The two part ways at the border of Narnia and the wardrobe door, under the lamppost.

chapter 3

Lucy bursts from the wardrobe after her trip to Narnia, eagerly assuring her brothers and sister she's fine. She's taken aback when they insist she was only gone momentarily. To prove her point, she leads them to the wardrobe to show them Narnia, but it looks like any normal wardrobe now. Peter and Susan lightly dismiss her story as make-believe, while Edmund mocks her about her imaginary world. During a game of hide and seek on a rainy day, Lucy decides to confirm if the wardrobe is indeed empty. Edmund happens to see Lucy disappear into the wardrobe and follows, planning to continue ridiculing her. However, to his surprise, he ends up in Narnia. He can't locate Lucy and doesn't know what to do next. Suddenly, a pale woman on a sledge drawn by white reindeer approaches him. She holds a wand and is garbed in fur and a crown. She halts before Edmund, demanding to know his identity. Edmund introduces himself clumsily. She sternly corrects him that she is the Queen of Narnia and he should address her properly. Confused, Edmund awkwardly mumbles a response.

chapter 4

The Queen learns Edmund is a human and instantly becomes friendly, inviting him to sit in her sledge. He complies, eating and drinking what she conjures up for him—hot drink and Turkish Delight. He becomes obsessed with the sweet, enchanted food, which stirs an unquenchable desire for more in anyone who consumes it. Distracted by his craving, he doesn't notice her probing about his family, especially his siblings. She's particularly interested in the fact that he has two brothers and two sisters. Edmund also mentions Lucy's prior visit to Narnia and her encounter with a faun. After finishing his treats, Edmund longs for more, but the Queen instead proposes that he bring his siblings to meet her. She doesn't explain why, only promising him infinite Turkish Delight if he does. This promise is enough for Edmund. She sends him back to the lamppost, where he meets Lucy. Lucy has spent time with Tumnus, who is fine and hasn't been penalized by the White Witch. From Lucy's description of the Witch, Edmund identifies her as the same person as the Queen, but he convinces himself they are different beings because of his fixation on Turkish Delight. Returning to the wardrobe, Lucy is thrilled Edmund can validate her story, but Edmund is reluctant to admit his previous doubts were wrong.

chapter 5

Emerging from the wardrobe, Lucy is eager to share about Narnia and looks to Edmund for support. However, Edmund dismisses their adventure as mere play-acting, trying to seem superior. Instead, this leads Peter and Susan to believe he's cruelly messing with Lucy's emotions. Concerned about Lucy's mental state and out of their depth, Peter and Susan consult the Professor. They're taken aback when he seems to believe Lucy, noting her honesty and Edmund's tendency to lie. He argues that Lucy's overall behavior does not indicate madness. He chides Peter and Susan for their narrow viewpoint when they dismiss the existence of "another world" like Narnia. He also proposes a clever theory explaining why Lucy appeared to be gone only for a moment. He suggests that another world would likely have its own time flow, independent from ours. Leaving the Professor's room perplexed, Peter and Susan are now cautious about the entire matter. They keep quiet, ensuring Edmund doesn't bother Lucy, and the fervor appears to calm down. One day, as the children stand in a corridor, they hear the housekeeper leading a tour group towards them. Unwilling to be caught in an awkward situation, they try to escape, but the group seems to pursue them. They eventually end up running into the wardrobe room. As they hear people trying to open the door, they all step into the wardrobe.

chapter 6

Upon stepping into the wardrobe, the Pevensie siblings find themselves in the magical world of Narnia. They begin their exploration of the snow-covered forest. During their journey, Edmund reveals his previous visit to Narnia, causing anger among the others. Lucy guides them to the home of Tumnus, only to find it in ruins. A letter on the ground reveals Tumnus has been arrested for treason. Lucy deduces that the Witch has found out about Tumnus sparing her life. Lucy pleads for their assistance in rescuing Tumnus, and everyone but Edmund agrees. Despite being outnumbered, they proceed with the rescue mission. Unsure of their direction, they are guided by a robin to the heart of the forest. Peter, Susan, and Lucy trust the robin, while Edmund suspects it's leading them into danger. Edmund further confounds them by questioning the morality of the sides, and raises the issue of not knowing the way back home, leaving Peter deeply concerned.

chapter 7

Edmund and Peter question the reliability of the robin, which then flies off, confirming Edmund's suspicions. A mysterious figure in the forest catches their eye. It's a talking beaver, Mr. Beaver, who claims to be Tumnus's ally. He proves his identity by showing Lucy's handkerchief, passed on to him by Tumnus in case of capture. Mr. Beaver has been tasked to guide them to Aslan. The mere mention of Aslan elicits varied reactions; Peter, Susan, and Lucy are delighted, while Edmund is inexplicably terrified. For fear of eavesdroppers, possibly even tree-inhabiting dryads, Mr. Beaver insists on secrecy. Despite their questions, he asks them to wait until they reach his home to discuss further. "None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken [his name] everyone felt quite different." They rush back to the beaver’s dwelling with him. As Peter, Susan, and Lucy concentrate on the dam, Edmund takes note of the surrounding landscape that includes the hills mentioned by the Witch. He fantasizes about secretly meeting the Witch but sticks with the group into the beaver’s hut where they meet Mrs. Beaver. They all enjoy a hearty meal of fish and potatoes. After they have eaten, Mr. Beaver hints at getting down to serious matters.

chapter 8

Mr. Beaver reveals that Tumnus was apprehended by the White Witch's Secret Police and likely turned into stone. This terrifies the children, who wish to save Tumnus, but Mr. Beaver explains their only hope lies in Aslan. Excited to hear more about Aslan, the children learn that he is the true King of Narnia, making everything right whenever he visits. Susan inquires if Aslan is a man, to which Mr. Beaver sternly corrects her, stating Aslan is a lion. Their fear of meeting a lion is deemed appropriate by Mr. Beaver, but he assures them that Aslan is good. "Don't you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion." The children are expected to meet Aslan at the Stone Table the next day to fulfill a prophecy: when four "Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve" occupy the thrones at Cair Paravel, Narnia's bad times will cease. The pseudo-queen has warped this prophecy to validate her rule, claiming she's human and rightful heir to the throne. In reality, she's an amalgamation of giant and Jinn, with an ancestral link to Lilith, Adam's supposed original wife. Suddenly, they realize Edmund is absent. Despite the children's panic, Mr. Beaver dismisses the need for a search party. He suspects Edmund has sided with the White Witch, given a traitorous look he had earlier. It's uncertain how much Edmund knows about their meeting with Aslan, and the less he informs the Witch, the safer they are. They can't linger at Beaver's house and immediately embark for the Stone Table via less predictable routes, hoping to reach Aslan before the Witch intercepts them.

chapter 9

The narrative now follows Edmund, who has left the Beavers' dwelling after the scheme to rendezvous with Aslan at the Stone Table is crafted. On his freezing, snowy journey, he tries hard to manipulate his own beliefs, convincing himself that the Witch's cause is just and the others are misguided. His fixation on the Turkish Delight assists in this self-deception. Edmund also contemplates the future improvements he will bring to Narnia once a prince. He eventually arrives at the White Witch's castle, discovering a courtyard populated by stone statues. The first statue he sees is a lion, which he mistakenly assumes is Aslan, turned to stone by the victorious Witch. Upon entering the castle, Edmund encounters Maugrim, a wolf who serves as head of the Witch's clandestine police force. Maugrim fetches the Witch and Edmund divulges what he overheard at the Beavers'. The news of Aslan's presence in Narnia perturbs the Witch, who then orders her dwarf servant to ready a sturdy, heavy sled.

chapter 10

The Beavers and the children hastily depart their dwelling, heading for the Stone Table. The route is rough and tiring, but Mr. Beaver finds a cozy cave for them to recover. They're awoken by bell sounds, initially fearing it's the Witch's sled, but Mr. Beaver confirms it's not her. Emerging from the cave, they discover it's Santa Claus, who tells them that Christmas has arrived and the Witch's reign is weakening. Santa gives everyone presents. Mrs. Beaver gets a new sewing machine, and Mr. Beaver is told his dam is now repaired. Santa then gives the children gifts—valuable tools not playthings. Peter gets a sword and a shield bearing a golden lion for protection in combat, Susan receives a bow and an arrow for use in dire situations, along with a horn that could save her from peril. Despite Lucy's bravery, Santa gives her a dagger, also for use in dire situations, telling her "Battles are ugly when women fight." He also hands Lucy a bottle of magical elixir that can cure injuries and illnesses. After sharing some delicious food and tea, Santa hurries off to continue spreading Christmas cheer to others.

chapter 11

Edmund, now the focus of the narrative, gathers his nerve to request Turkish Delight from the Witch. She initially denies him, but reconsiders in fear of him passing out during their journey. She instructs the dwarf to bring stale bread and water for him, and orders Maugrim to kill anyone found at the Beavers' home. Edmund, feeling ignored and drenched, begins to comprehend the Witch's true nature as he experiences her harshness firsthand. While on their journey amid the snowy scenery, they encounter a group of little creatures indulging in a lavish tea party. The Witch interrogates them about the origin of the feast, to which they confess it was a gift from Father Christmas. Outraged, she petrifies them, leaving Edmund horrified but helpless. As their journey continues, Edmund observes the increasing difficulty they face moving the sledge, attributed to the melting of snow all around them. Soon, the sledge gets stuck in a ditch, necessitating the trio to dislodge it by force. After a similar event occurs, they abandon the sledge and proceed on foot. As the snow melts and signs of spring appear, the Witch's frustration grows. The dwarf eventually reveals that it is Aslan's doing that has brought spring to Narnia. Irritated, the Witch threatens to kill anyone who dares to mention Aslan again.

chapter 12

Edmund endures a difficult journey with the Witch, while the other children and Beavers are having a pleasant time. They are confident of reaching the Stone Table before the Witch since her sledge is now useless, and they enjoy the spring scenery. By evening, they arrive at the Stone Table, an old, odd, low table adorned with runes and symbols. They can vaguely see the sea beyond it. To their left is a shining pavilion, and to their right is Aslan, surrounded by Narnia's friendly creatures. The children are deeply impressed by Aslan's majestic visage. Peter, eventually, approaches Aslan, which comforts the others. Aslan inquires about Edmund's whereabouts, and Mr. Beaver reveals his betrayal. Peter confesses his anger towards Edmund, suggesting that it might have led to the latter's treachery. Lucy entreats Aslan to rescue Edmund, and Aslan assures her he'll do his utmost, although it won't be easy. Aslan commands the creatures to arrange a feast for the children. He then escorts Peter and points out Cair Paravel, a castle on a peninsula, where they will reside and rule. Predicting Peter will "be the High King over all the rest," he conveys this to Peter. They hear Susan's horn, a gift from Father Christmas, meant to be used in times of danger. The animals start to rush to help her, but Aslan signals Peter to go instead. Upon reaching, Peter notices Susan ascending a tree, chased by a large wolf. She barely reaches the first branch and is about to faint. Peter realizes that fainting would spell danger for her. He hastens to her aid and pierces the wolf's heart with the sword given to him by Father Christmas, eventually killing it. Aslan spies another wolf heading into a bush and dispatches his swiftest creatures after it, stating that it will guide them to the Witch and Edmund. He then knights Peter after admonishing him for not cleaning his sword.

chapter 13

The wolf that Aslan saw in the forest rushes to inform the Witch of Maugrim's death and Aslan's presence in Narnia. The Witch, unfazed, instructs the wolf to assemble the Narnians loyal to her for an impending battle. She then reminds the dwarf about an old prophecy that says Narnia can only be free when four humans sit on the thrones at Cair Paravel. They decide that killing Edmund will prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, so they tie him to a tree, readying him for execution. Suddenly, Aslan's followers, who had trailed the wolf, arrive on the scene. They manage to save Edmund, but the Witch and the dwarf are nowhere to be found. The Witch, with her magic, has disguised herself as a rock and the dwarf as a tree stump. When Aslan's creatures eventually retreat, the Witch and the dwarf shed their disguises. In the morning, Peter, Susan, and Lucy learn of Edmund's rescue. Aslan and Edmund have a private conversation, the content of which isn't heard by anyone, but it's evident that Aslan's words have a positive impact on Edmund. He apologizes to his siblings and remains silent afterwards. A messenger from the Witch arrives, requesting a meeting between the Witch and Aslan, to which Aslan agrees. The reason for the Witch’s request is to discuss Edmund. She brings up the "Deep Magic" from the Emperor Beyond the Sea, which states that any treachery in Narnia is to be punished by death by the Witch. As Edmund is considered a traitor, he should die. Aslan concedes that the Witch is right. He then holds a private, intense conversation with her. After this discussion, the Witch seems ecstatic and Aslan morose. Aslan announces that the Witch has given up her claim on Edmund. When she questions Aslan's trustworthiness, he roars at her so fiercely that she flees in fear.

chapter 14

As the Witch departs, Aslan informs Peter, Susan, and Lucy that they have to set up camp elsewhere. He gives no reason or details about his encounter with the Witch. Throughout the day, Aslan's mood darkens, suggesting to Peter that he may not be there for the coming battle against the Witch's followers, which unsettles the camp. Unable to sleep due to concerns about Aslan, Susan and Lucy discover that he has left the pavilion and hurriedly set off to find him. They encounter Aslan and plead to accompany him, which he permits as long as they leave when he instructs. As they journey together, Aslan's melancholy worsens and he seeks companionship to lessen his loneliness. They eventually arrive at the Stone Table where Aslan instructs them to leave. Instead, they conceal themselves behind some shrubbery. Hidden, Lucy and Susan witness hundreds of grotesque creatures encircling Aslan and the Stone Table, led by the Witch. Anticipating Aslan's arrival, she orders her minions to bind him. The servants are initially reluctant, but when Aslan doesn't fight back, they eagerly comply. They dishonor Aslan by shaving his mane, muzzling him, and mocking him, to which he offers no retaliation. After restraining Aslan to the Stone Table, the Witch approaches with her stone knife, declaring Aslan's doom. She reveals plans to execute Aslan in place of Edmund, a sacrifice to appease the Deep Magic. She further reveals that once Aslan is dead, nothing will stop her from killing Edmund and the other children, thereby ensuring her eternal reign over Narnia. Lucy and Susan shield their eyes, unable to watch the Witch slay Aslan.

chapter 15

After Aslan's killing, the Witch's army retreats to ready themselves for the impending conflict. Aslan's lifeless form stays on the Stone Table where Susan and Lucy, emerging from their hideaway, weep over him. They manage to take off Aslan’s muzzle despite their embarrassment and grief but can't undo the ropes binding him. They spend the night in a sorrowful state, shedding tears till they can't anymore. "At that moment they heard from behind them a loud noise—a great cracking, deafening noise as if a giant had broken a giant's plate.... The Stone Table was broken into two pieces by a great crack that ran down it from end to end; and there was no Aslan." In time, Susan and Lucy revisit Aslan's corpse only to spot mice scurrying over him. Just as Susan is about to shoo them away, Lucy sees the mice gnawing at the bonds, attempting to free him. As the day breaks, the mice scamper away while Susan and Lucy wander about, confused. The sight of Cair Paravel catching the first golden rays of the sun catches their eye. Suddenly, they hear a thunderous crack. Turning around, they see the Stone Table split in two and Aslan vanished. Lucy wonders if it's more magic at play, confirmed by a voice from behind. The girls turn about to find Aslan, alive. Susan and Lucy rush to Aslan, questioning if he is a ghost, but Aslan calms their apprehension. Explaining the magic that revived him, Aslan talks about the decree of Deep Magic, about a traitor's life being claimed by the Witch. However, he reveals that a willing, innocent victim killed by a traitor would result in the Stone Table splitting and the reversal of death. Excited by this, Aslan takes Susan and Lucy on a lively journey through Narnia. As the fun ends, Aslan soberly announces he has tasks to carry out. He invites the girls to ride him. The sisters' ride through Narnia on Aslan's back is exhilarating, they are in awe of the landscape and Aslan's speed. Their ride ends at the Witch's house where Aslan, leaping over the gates in a single jump, steps into the courtyard of stone statues.

chapter 16

In the courtyard, Aslan starts breathing life into various statues, puzzling Susan and Lucy at first. They understand his actions only when a stone lion changes into a real one. The whole courtyard springs to life as Aslan liberates enchanted Narnians from the Witch's spell, including talking animals, centaurs, and even a giant. The trio then liberate the stone prisoners from the dungeons, including faun Tumnus. With the revived Narnians, Aslan rushes to aid Peter in battle, who is struggling against the Witch's forces. They arrive to find Peter and the Witch locked in fierce combat, Peter armed with his Christmas gift, a sword, and the Witch with her stone knife. Aslan jumps into the fray, killing the Witch in one swift move.

chapter 17

The tide of battle swiftly turns once Aslan's reinforcements arrive and the Witch is vanquished. Lucy observes a change in Peter, a newfound strength. Peter attributes their victory to Edmund's smart move—destroying the Witch's wand, which had been turning his soldiers to stone. Despite the newfound hope, Edmund was gravely injured during the assault. Leading Aslan and his sisters to Edmund, Peter watches as Lucy gives Edmund the magical healing cordial gifted by Father Christmas. Amidst the sea of wounded warriors, Lucy administers the cordial and leaves to attend others. Upon returning, she finds a healed and rejuvenated Edmund who shed his resentful demeanor from his school days. Aslan knights the new, improved Edmund. The children are then crowned as Narnia's rulers, and Aslan leaves with the promise of returning whenever needed. The Pevensies rule justly and maintain peace and prosperity in Narnia as they grow into adulthood. Peter, valorous and strong, becomes King Peter the Magnificent. Susan, graceful and beautiful, is Queen Susan the Gentle. Edmund, now recognized for his cleverness and fairness, is King Edmund the Just. Lucy, full of joy and courage, is Queen Lucy the Valiant. One day, years into their reign, Faun Tumnus brings news of the White Stag, who is believed to grant wishes, being seen in Narnia. The Pevensies set out to capture it. The pursuit leads them to Lantern Waste, where they first entered Narnia through a wardrobe. Despite a sense of familiarity with the lamppost, they can't quite place it. As they continue the chase, suddenly they find themselves back in the wardrobe, reverted to childhood. They share their tale with the Professor, who reassures them that they would revisit Narnia via different routes, opening the door for future adventures.

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