The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Theme of Betrayal
Betrayal is the greatest possible wrong that can be committed in the world of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The consequences of treachery are not limited to the information recounted by a spy or the tactical advantage he gives. Instead, traitors themselves are forfeit to the other side, and they can only be redeemed by the sacrifices of others.
Questions About Betrayal
- What are Edmund's excuses for betraying his brother and sisters to the White Witch? Does he really believe these excuses in his own heart?
- Is Edmund surprised when the Witch double-crosses him? Support your answer with quotations from the book.
- Why isn't Mr. Beaver surprised by Edmund's betrayal? What signs does he notice that indicate Edmund might be treacherous?
- How might Edmund's experience as a traitor who is redeemed prepare him to become "King Edmund the Just" at the end of the book? Why is Edmund better suited to become a wise judge and councilor than Peter, who has never betrayed anyone?
Chew on This
Despite Edmund's treacherous alliance with the White Witch, he is always a good person at heart; he simply deludes himself briefly.
Edmund's own experience as a traitor teaches him to understand the mindset of people who violate ethical principles, making him better suited to dole out justice as an adult than his brother or sisters.