The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Published in 1950, The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe is the best known and the first to be published of the Chronicles of Narnia.

Plot Synopsis

WARNING: Plot Spoilers

In 1940, four children —Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy—evacuated from London during the blitz are assigned to live with an elderly Iprofessor named Digory Kirke, his housekeeper Mrs. Macready and three servants.

Exploring the house, the children find a room that is empty but for a large wardrobe. (made from the wood of the appletree from book, The Magician’s Nephew). When the others have gone, Lucy enters the wardrobe and discovers that it is the gateway to another world. She walks into the snowy wood, where she reaches a lamp post and meets a faun named Mr. Tumnus. Tumnus invites Lucy to his cave, where he confesses that he is in the pay of the White Witch, and has been ordered to turn over any Son of Adam or Daughter of Eve he encounters. Mr. Tumnis, however, finds that he cannot do it and returns Lucy to the lamp post where she goes back through the wardrobe. Miraculously, despite the length of her visit in Narnia, almost no time has passed in England.

Lucy re-enters the wardrobe a few days later and is followed by Edmund. He is unable to find his sister, but is instead met by the White Witch. She tempts him with his favorite treat—Turkish Delight—and convinces him to bring his brothers and sisters back with him. On his way back, he meets Lucy, who has been to meet Mr. Tumnus.

After returning, Edmund denies that the two of them have been to Narnia and says that they have been playing a game. After some angry words, narnia and the wardrobe appear to be forgotten.

Some time later, the children hide in the wardrobe to escape from Mrs. Macready and some visitors. Noticing a light at the back of the warddrobe, they push through the coats and find themselves in the snowy wod. Lucy takes them to Mr Tumnus’s cave, but finds that it has been wrecked. A note from the wolf Maugrim, Chief of the White Witch’s Secret Police tells them that Mr. Tumnus has been arrested and is charged with treason. Lucy realizes that she is the cause of his arrest and is determined to save them.

Visiting with a friendly beaver family, the children learn that the great lion, Aslan—maker of Narnia—is returning from across the Sea to meet them at the Stone Table. Mr. Beaver also tells them of a prophecy: that when two Sons of Adam, and two Daughters of Eve sit on the thrones of Cair Paravel (the Capital of Narnia), it will be the end of the White Witch.

During the visit at the Beaver’s lodge, Edmund manages to slip out unnoticed to return to the White Witch. She is furious that he returend without his siblings, and even more so when she learns that Aslan has returned to Narnia. The Witch orders Maugrim to go with his wolves and kill the beavers and anyone else he finds. She then takes Edmund on her sled to the Stone Table to confront Aslan.

The White Witch’s sled passes a group of animals who are eating a holiday meal. She demands to know who gave them the food, and when the animals tell her that it was Father Christmas, she turns them to stone. Edmund begins to realize that the Witch is evil.

In the meantime, Father Christmas has also come to visit the other thre children and the Beavers. Peter gets a sword and shield; Susan an ivory horn and a bow and arrow; Lucy receives a dagger and a potion which will restore ill or injured people to health. They continue on to the Stone Table, where they meet Aslan. By the time they get there, they find that the Lion’s magic has completely melted the snow.

Aslan sends a team of animals to rescue Edmund, and then shows Peter Cair Paravel, where he will be named High King. While they are gone, Susan starts blowing her horn. Peter returns and defeats Maugrim, the White Witch’s Chief of Secret Police. Edmund is rescued and reunited with his siblings.

The Witch, however, demands the return of Edmund, whom she has named a traitor. It is her claim that Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time has given her claim over all traitors. After a private discussion with her, Aslan announces that he has settled her claim on Edmund.

Later that night, Susan and Lucy notice that Aslan is missing, and go in search of him. While they watch from hiding, Aslan is executed on the Stone Table by the White Witch. His death is not final, however, and in the morning they find that Aslan has been brough back to life by an older magic which guarantees that the wrongly sacrificed will return to life.

Riding on the back of Aslan, Susan and Lucy are taken to the courtyard of the Witch’s castle. There, Aslan revives hundreds of creatures who have been turned to stone by the White Witch—including Mr. Tumnus.

A great battle between the forces of good and evil then ensues. The Witch is killed when she falls into a ravine while fleeing the victorious army of Aslan. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are then crowned kings and queens of Narnia at Cair Paravel. They rule for many years.

A long time into their children’s reign, a white stag is spotted in Narnia. If captured, it will grant to anyone their wishes. In hot pursuit of the stag, the four children head into the Wild Woods of the West. There, they come acoss the lamp post, which they first saw many years before. They pass back through the warddrobe and return to England. Only a few minutes have passed in the real world.

The children tell Professor Kirke about Narnia, and he tells them that the gateway through the wardrobe to Narnia is closed. But there are other avenues.

Posted by The Editor on 02/07 at 06:57 PM
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