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 The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Study Guide (Choose to Continue)

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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Novel Summary:chp 11-13

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Summary of Chapter Eleven: Aslan is Nearer
 
Edmund asks the Queen for more Turkish Delight, feeling he has fulfilled the bargain. Instead, he is given an iron bowl of water and an iron plate of stale bread. The snow is falling again, and he is forced into the sledge with the Queen. She orders Maugrim to go to the house of the Beavers and kill everyone there. Then they must go to the Stone Table but not be seen. Maugrim and another wolf go on the Queen’s errand. They do not find the Beavers at home and fortunately, the snow has erased their tracks.
 
The journey with the Witch is terrible for Edmund. He has no coat and no hope that the Queen will keep her promise. He wishes he could meet the other children. He hopes this is a dream, and he can wake up. Suddenly they stop because the Queen sees a merry Christmas party of squirrels, fox, satyrs, and a dwarf. The Queen is outraged, and the Fox explains that Father Christmas gave them the feast. Edmund sees the Queen raise her wand, and he pleads for the animals. She turns the whole party to stone in an instant. She then hits Edmund for interfering and drives on. 
 
Every minute, the snow gets wetter and the air foggier and warmer. The sledge slows down. It jerks and finally sticks in the mud. Edmund hears the sound of running water. The frost is over. They see green patches. The Queen abandons the sledge and ties Edmund’s hands behind him. The dwarf keeps him going with a whip, and they begin to walk. The sun comes out and the land blooms with flowers. Birds chirp. They realize it is spring.
 
Commentary on Chapter Eleven: Aslan is Nearer
 
The presence of Aslan is felt long before we see him. Lewis conveys his power to the reader by showing what Aslan can do. First we see Father Christmas appear, then the winter melts, and it is spring. The Witch can do nothing about these things. 
 
Meanwhile, Edmund is reaping what he has sown, given bread and water instead of Turkish Delight, and treated like a slave, not a prince. He is nevertheless beginning to change, demonstrating that he is capable of being saved, whereas the other evil creatures are not. Edmund pleads for the animals who are innocently enjoying their Christmas feast: “Edmund for the first time in this story felt sorry for someone besides himself” (p. 117). He sees his mistake and wishes he could meet the other children, even his brother Peter. 
 
The Witch’s sledge starts out in a snowstorm but ends stuck in the spring mud with birds singing and flowers blooming. This is the concrete demonstration of “Aslan is on the move.” He invisibly changes the entire landscape in the twinkling of an eye, thus canceling the Witch’s evil magic. This evidence of Aslan’s power over the Witch is important to establish before his passive and willing death at her hands, for the purpose of redeeming Edmund.
 
Summary of Chapter Twelve: Peter’s First Battle
 
Miles away the Beavers and the children are walking in the spring air, having left their coats behind. They realize the Witch can’t use her sledge now. The river is in a state of flood. They climb a hill to a green open space and see the sea. There stands the Stone Table. It is carved with an unknown language. A pavilion is pitched to the side with a banner bearing a red rampant lion. They hear music, and in a crowd of creatures stands Aslan himself. There are Dryads and Naiads, centaurs, a unicorn, pelican, great eagle, and a great Dog. Two leopards carry Aslan’s crown and standard.
 
The children find it difficult to look Aslan in the eyes, for he is “good and terrible at the same time” (p. 126). Aslan greets them, and as soon as they hear his voice, it “took the fidgets out of them” (p.128). Aslan asks where the fourth child is, and Mr. Beaver says he has betrayed them. Peter takes the blame for pushing Edmund the wrong way. Lucy asks Aslan if they can save Edmund? He says everything will be done to help him, but it may be hard. He looks sad.
 
The girls are sent to the tent for refreshments, and Aslan takes Peter to see the castle where he will be King. In the setting sun, they see Cair Paravel. Just then they hear Susan’s horn calling for help. Aslan tells the creatures to let Peter take care of it to “win his spurs” (p.130). Susan has climbed a tree to escape a great wolf. She is on the point of fainting, so Peter must kill the Wolf, Maugrim. The other Wolf runs off to report to the Queen, and Aslan orders his army to follow it to find and rescue Edmund. Aslan takes Peter’s sword and knights him as “Sir Peter Wolf’s-Bane” (p. 133).
 
Commentary on Chapter Twelve: Peter’s First Battle
 
Because of the sudden thaw, the Witch is unable to cut off the children before they meet Aslan. He is royal and powerful, of great authority, surrounded by an army of noble animals and legendary mythical animals, such as unicorns (horses with one horn on their heads) and centaurs  (half horse and half man). He begins immediately to train Peter for his role as King, letting him fight Maugrim. Peter is afraid and has had no martial training but seems to know what to do in Narnia. If Maugrim had not taken time to growl in anger, he could have killed Peter. Peter has enough time to thrust his sword into the Wolf’s heart. 
 
So far, it seems Aslan is easily reconquering Narnia, and the children are being prepared to ascend the four thrones at Cair Paravel. Aslan has sent a rescue party for Edmund. It seems to be all over, but this is merely “the first battle.”
 
Summary of Chapter Thirteen: Deep Magic From the Dawn of Time
 
Edmund is so exhausted with walking that when the Witch halts in a dark valley, he falls on his face and wants to stay there. The Dwarf and the Witch talk. She says that Aslan will only be able to fill three of the four thrones, because she has Edmund. The Dwarf argues it makes no difference now that He is here. She thinks Aslan might not stay long, and then they could attack the three. The dwarf thinks they should keep Edmund for bargaining, but the Witch worries he could be rescued.
 
She prefers killing him on the Stone Table, but Aslan is there now, so she will do it here. Just then the Wolf rushes up and tells the news that Aslan has an army at the Stone Table and that Maugrim is dead. The Witch tells the Wolf to summon her people—werewolves, Ghouls, Boggles, Ogres, Minotaurs, Cruels, Hags, and Specters. She can turn their army to stone with her wand.
 
Just as the Witch prepares Edmund to die by tying him to a tree and sharpening her knife, Aslan’s army comes to rescue him. They untie him and give him wine, but they wonder what happened to the Witch. Edmund faints and is carried back to the Stone Table. The Witch escapes by turning herself into a large stone and the Dwarf into a tree-stump.
 
When the children wake up the next morning in the pavilion, they hear their brother has returned. They see Edmund and Aslan walking together, a “conversation which Edmund never forgot” (p. 139). Aslan has forgiven Edmund and tells the others “there is no need to talk to him about what is past” (p. 139). They all shake hands.
 
A messenger comes, the Witch’s Dwarf, who says the Witch wants to talk to Aslan with a safe conduct. Aslan agrees. The Witch reminds him of the Deep Magic written on the Stone Table. All traitors must die, and they belong to her. They continue bargaining over Edmund’s life while the children and all the creatures hold their breath. At last Aslan tells the children that it is settled. She has renounced her claim on Edmund. 
 
Summary of Chapter Eleven: Aslan is Nearer
 
Edmund asks the Queen for more Turkish Delight, feeling he has fulfilled the bargain. Instead, he is given an iron bowl of water and an iron plate of stale bread. The snow is falling again, and he is forced into the sledge with the Queen. She orders Maugrim to go to the house of the Beavers and kill everyone there. Then they must go to the Stone Table but not be seen. Maugrim and another wolf go on the Queen’s errand. They do not find the Beavers at home and fortunately, the snow has erased their tracks.
 
The journey with the Witch is terrible for Edmund. He has no coat and no hope that the Queen will keep her promise. He wishes he could meet the other children. He hopes this is a dream, and he can wake up. Suddenly they stop because the Queen sees a merry Christmas party of squirrels, fox, satyrs, and a dwarf. The Queen is outraged, and the Fox explains that Father Christmas gave them the feast. Edmund sees the Queen raise her wand, and he pleads for the animals. She turns the whole party to stone in an instant. She then hits Edmund for interfering and drives on. 
 
Every minute, the snow gets wetter and the air foggier and warmer. The sledge slows down. It jerks and finally sticks in the mud. Edmund hears the sound of running water. The frost is over. They see green patches. The Queen abandons the sledge and ties Edmund’s hands behind him. The dwarf keeps him going with a whip, and they begin to walk. The sun comes out and the land blooms with flowers. Birds chirp. They realize it is spring.
 
Commentary on Chapter Eleven: Aslan is Nearer
 
The presence of Aslan is felt long before we see him. Lewis conveys his power to the reader by showing what Aslan can do. First we see Father Christmas appear, then the winter melts, and it is spring. The Witch can do nothing about these things. 
 
Meanwhile, Edmund is reaping what he has sown, given bread and water instead of Turkish Delight, and treated like a slave, not a prince. He is nevertheless beginning to change, demonstrating that he is capable of being saved, whereas the other evil creatures are not. Edmund pleads for the animals who are innocently enjoying their Christmas feast: “Edmund for the first time in this story felt sorry for someone besides himself” (p. 117). He sees his mistake and wishes he could meet the other children, even his brother Peter. 
 
The Witch’s sledge starts out in a snowstorm but ends stuck in the spring mud with birds singing and flowers blooming. This is the concrete demonstration of “Aslan is on the move.” He invisibly changes the entire landscape in the twinkling of an eye, thus canceling the Witch’s evil magic. This evidence of Aslan’s power over the Witch is important to establish before his passive and willing death at her hands, for the purpose of redeeming Edmund.
 
Summary of Chapter Twelve: Peter’s First Battle
 
Miles away the Beavers and the children are walking in the spring air, having left their coats behind. They realize the Witch can’t use her sledge now. The river is in a state of flood. They climb a hill to a green open space and see the sea. There stands the Stone Table. It is carved with an unknown language. A pavilion is pitched to the side with a banner bearing a red rampant lion. They hear music, and in a crowd of creatures stands Aslan himself. There are Dryads and Naiads, centaurs, a unicorn, pelican, great eagle, and a great Dog. Two leopards carry Aslan’s crown and standard.
 
The children find it difficult to look Aslan in the eyes, for he is “good and terrible at the same time” (p. 126). Aslan greets them, and as soon as they hear his voice, it “took the fidgets out of them” (p.128). Aslan asks where the fourth child is, and Mr. Beaver says he has betrayed them. Peter takes the blame for pushing Edmund the wrong way. Lucy asks Aslan if they can save Edmund? He says everything will be done to help him, but it may be hard. He looks sad.
 
The girls are sent to the tent for refreshments, and Aslan takes Peter to see the castle where he will be King. In the setting sun, they see Cair Paravel. Just then they hear Susan’s horn calling for help. Aslan tells the creatures to let Peter take care of it to “win his spurs” (p.130). Susan has climbed a tree to escape a great wolf. She is on the point of fainting, so Peter must kill the Wolf, Maugrim. The other Wolf runs off to report to the Queen, and Aslan orders his army to follow it to find and rescue Edmund. Aslan takes Peter’s sword and knights him as “Sir Peter Wolf’s-Bane” (p. 133).
 
Commentary on Chapter Twelve: Peter’s First Battle
 
Because of the sudden thaw, the Witch is unable to cut off the children before they meet Aslan. He is royal and powerful, of great authority, surrounded by an army of noble animals and legendary mythical animals, such as unicorns (horses with one horn on their heads) and centaurs  (half horse and half man). He begins immediately to train Peter for his role as King, letting him fight Maugrim. Peter is afraid and has had no martial training but seems to know what to do in Narnia. If Maugrim had not taken time to growl in anger, he could have killed Peter. Peter has enough time to thrust his sword into the Wolf’s heart. 
 
So far, it seems Aslan is easily reconquering Narnia, and the children are being prepared to ascend the four thrones at Cair Paravel. Aslan has sent a rescue party for Edmund. It seems to be all over, but this is merely “the first battle.”
 
Summary of Chapter Thirteen: Deep Magic From the Dawn of Time
 
Edmund is so exhausted with walking that when the Witch halts in a dark valley, he falls on his face and wants to stay there. The Dwarf and the Witch talk. She says that Aslan will only be able to fill three of the four thrones, because she has Edmund. The Dwarf argues it makes no difference now that He is here. She thinks Aslan might not stay long, and then they could attack the three. The dwarf thinks they should keep Edmund for bargaining, but the Witch worries he could be rescued.
 
She prefers killing him on the Stone Table, but Aslan is there now, so she will do it here. Just then the Wolf rushes up and tells the news that Aslan has an army at the Stone Table and that Maugrim is dead. The Witch tells the Wolf to summon her people—werewolves, Ghouls, Boggles, Ogres, Minotaurs, Cruels, Hags, and Specters. She can turn their army to stone with her wand.
 
Just as the Witch prepares Edmund to die by tying him to a tree and sharpening her knife, Aslan’s army comes to rescue him. They untie him and give him wine, but they wonder what happened to the Witch. Edmund faints and is carried back to the Stone Table. The Witch escapes by turning herself into a large stone and the Dwarf into a tree-stump.
 
When the children wake up the next morning in the pavilion, they hear their brother has returned. They see Edmund and Aslan walking together, a “conversation which Edmund never forgot” (p. 139). Aslan has forgiven Edmund and tells the others “there is no need to talk to him about what is past” (p. 139). They all shake hands.
 
A messenger comes, the Witch’s Dwarf, who says the Witch wants to talk to Aslan with a safe conduct. Aslan agrees. The Witch reminds him of the Deep Magic written on the Stone Table. All traitors must die, and they belong to her. They continue bargaining over Edmund’s life while the children and all the creatures hold their breath. At last Aslan tells the children that it is settled. She has renounced her claim on Edmund. 
 
Commentary on Chapter Thirteen: Deep Magic From the Dawn of Time
 
All of the nasty creatures like Ghouls and Specters belong to the Witch’s army, while the noble creatures follow Aslan. There are some evil tree spirits, giants, and bad dwarfs on her side, while good tree spirits, giants, and dwarfs are in Aslan’s army. The Queen is a proficient in the Deep Magic and has power to kill and transform things at will. Some of her magic is legal, according to the writing on the Stone Table. She reminds Aslan of a law of the Emperor-across-the-Sea that traitors deserve death, and that she is the high priestess of this law of payment for transgressions.  She and Aslan make a secret agreement about this, so that Edmund can go free.
 
Susan asks Aslan if there is something he can do against the law, and he replies, “Work against the Emperor’s Magic?” (p. 142). The law must be fulfilled. He has some solution in mind, however, because Edmund goes free, and the Witch leaves with a smile on her face. When the Witch wants to know if Aslan will keep his word, he roars so loudly that she is afraid. This roar testifies to Aslan’s greater strength and power. It is an odd thing, says the narrator, to see the golden face of Aslan and the “dead-white face” (p. 141) of the Witch so close together.  
 
Does she outwit Aslan in some way? The chapter is full of suspense. Aslan keeps much to himself, but he does promise the Beaver, who is disgusted that the Witch calls herself Queen of Narnia, “All names will soon be restored to their proper owners” (p. 140). This is a reference to the time when humans will rule Narnia. Aslan has a secret plan.
 
 
All of the nasty creatures like Ghouls and Specters belong to the Witch’s army, while the noble creatures follow Aslan. There are some evil tree spirits, giants, and bad dwarfs on her side, while good tree spirits, giants, and dwarfs are in Aslan’s army. The Queen is a proficient in the Deep Magic and has power to kill and transform things at will. Some of her magic is legal, according to the writing on the Stone Table. She reminds Aslan of a law of the Emperor-across-the-Sea that traitors deserve death, and that she is the high priestess of this law of payment for transgressions.  She and Aslan make a secret agreement about this, so that Edmund can go free.
 
Susan asks Aslan if there is something he can do against the law, and he replies, “Work against the Emperor’s Magic?” (p. 142). The law must be fulfilled. He has some solution in mind, however, because Edmund goes free, and the Witch leaves with a smile on her face. When the Witch wants to know if Aslan will keep his word, he roars so loudly that she is afraid. This roar testifies to Aslan’s greater strength and power. It is an odd thing, says the narrator, to see the golden face of Aslan and the “dead-white face” (p. 141) of the Witch so close together.  
 
Does she outwit Aslan in some way? The chapter is full of suspense. Aslan keeps much to himself, but he does promise the Beaver, who is disgusted that the Witch calls herself Queen of Narnia, “All names will soon be restored to their proper owners” (p. 140). This is a reference to the time when humans will rule Narnia. Aslan has a secret plan.
 

 




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