Into Narnia

A short summary of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Written By Emilie Griffin

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisBecause it is World War II and bombs are falling on Britain, the four Pevensie children are sent out from London to stay in the country with Professor Kirke, a bachelor who lives in a mysterious home (with a household staff).

The children are named Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter. While they are playing in the unused rooms of this house, Lucy hides in an old wardrobe, which magically opens into the snow-covered land of Narnia. There she meets a faun, Mr. Tumnus, who is carrying parcels and an umbrella. She takes note of the fact that a lamppost is nearby.

Mr. Tumnus invites her home to tea in his cave, and tells her nostalgic stories of the days before the White Witch cast her spell on Narnia. When Lucy says she must return home, the faun begins to cry. With great shame, he admits that he is in the employ of the White Witch and is expected to kidnap Lucy.

Mr. Tumnus can't go through with the abduction. Lucy is the first human he has met and, surprisingly, he likes her. So he backs out on his promise to the White Witch, and Lucy returns safely through the wardrobe. She tells her brothers and sister about her adventure, but they find it hard to believe.

Next, Edmund goes to Narnia and meets the White Witch, who attempts to bribe him with a sweet called Turkish Delight. She tells him that she is Queen of Narnia, and childless, but would like to adopt Edmund and make him her heir. She says he can return home to persuade his sisters and brother to come with him to Narnia, where they will become part of the royal family as well.

Before Edmund returns, he meets Lucy in Narnia. Lucy tells him the White Witch is evil, but Edmund refuses to believe her and says the word of fauns can't be trusted. They go back through the wardrobe together. But afterward Edmund pretends that Narnia does not exist—that the whole story is a hoax. Lucy is furious.

In between Narnia visits, the children consult the Professor about their experience. They are amazed to find that when they return from their Narnia journeys no time has elapsed in the real world. The Professor explains that parallel universes are possible.

On their next visit, all four children go to Narnia. But what has become of Mr. Tumnus? He has disappeared. The door to his cave has been wrenched off its hinges, crockery has been smashed, and snow is drifting inside. The children find a notice from the Captain of the Secret Police that Mr. Tumnus has been arrested on a charge of high treason. He has been comforting Her Majesty's enemies, the charge reads, and fraternizing with humans.

Suddenly a robin appears and leads the children through the forest to a talking beaver. They decide to trust him because Mr. Beaver turns out to know the whole story, and Tumnus has given him Lucy's handkerchief. Mr. Beaver takes them to his home, where he and Mrs. Beaver offer warm hospitality. They describe the danger of double-crossing the White Witch. The Beavers also explain about Aslan the Lion, who is on the move. A prophecy is revealed: The White Witch of Narnia will be overthrown when four "sons of Adam and daughters of Eve" are enthroned at the castle of Cair Paravel.

But after hearing the story, Edmund is still not convinced. He eats his dinner and slips away in search of the White Witch.

Yet there's a hint of better times ahead. The snow is beginning to melt and Father Christmas arrives on his sledge, bringing gifts to the children and the Beavers and signaling that the power of the White Witch is fading and Aslan has come to restore Narnia.

As for Edmund, when he finds the witch, he also discovers her real wickedness. She makes him her prisoner. The other children and the Beavers, encouraged by Father Christmas, set out for the Stone Table, where they hope to meet Aslan and somehow rescue their brother Edmund. In the meantime, the Witch has also gone to the Stone Table with Edmund and her other followers. There she plans to seize the other children and prevent them from taking their thrones.

At the Stone Table, the White Witch prepares to kill Edmund, thinking that with his death the prophecy can be derailed. Does the White Witch have a right to do so? Yes. The Emperor-beyond-the-sea has decreed that the White Witch can seize traitors and slay them.

But Aslan intervenes. He who is innocent of wrong-doing will give his life for Edmund, who has betrayed everything for greed. Aslan is put to death instead of Edmund, while the children look on. He is killed with the stone knife on the Stone Table.

But then, the Stone Table cracks and Aslan rises from the dead. He has overcome the White Witch's power. Aslan is fulfilling a deeper magic from the dawn of time.

Now Aslan has the power to free and resurrect others who have fallen under the White Witch's spell. She has turned many of her captives, including Mr. Tumnus, into stone. In a great battle led by Aslan, the White Witch is defeated and dies. A great celebration occurs, and the four Pevensies become kings and queens of Narnia.

They reign blissfully for many years until one day—while chasing the White Stag, who will give you wishes if you catch him—they run into the thicket past the lamppost and return through the wardrobe to the house they had long ago left behind.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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