Study Guide

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Chapter 11

By C.S. Lewis

Chapter 11

Aslan is Nearer

  • Edmund is surprised when the Witch does not fulfill any of the promises she made to him before. She doesn't give him any Turkish Delight, and when he asks about it she orders the Dwarf to bring him something to eat.
  • The Dwarf brings Edmund some bread and water. He objects, but the Witch is so angry and frightening that he starts eating the dry bread.
  • While Edmund eats, the Dwarf prepares the Witch's sledge. When it's ready, the Witch orders Edmund to come with her.
  • Before they leave, the Witch orders Fenris Ulf to take some wolves to the Beavers' house and kill anyone he finds there. (Luckily, as we know from Chapter Ten, the Beavers and the children have already left the house, and the falling snow has covered their tracks.)
  • The Witch and Edmund ride on the sledge and the Dwarf drives it. Edmund has a terrible time; he is extremely cold and wet without his coat, and he feels miserable because it's obvious now that the Witch is evil.
  • They drive all night and into the morning. Suddenly the Witch orders the sledge to stop.
  • At the foot of the tree, they see a group of animals and creatures, including a family of squirrels, satyrs, a dwarf, and a fox, eating a delicious-smelling meal. The Fox is standing up, about to propose a toast. When they see the Witch in her sledge they are terrified.
  • The Witch demands to know what's going on and where they got the feast from. The Fox admits that they received the meal as a gift from Father Christmas.
  • The Witch is enraged by the mention of Father Christmas and insists that the Fox admit he is lying. One of the young squirrels cries out that Father Christmas has been here.
  • Furious, the Witch waves her wand and turns the entire group into stone. Edmund begs her not to, but the Witch simply hits him in the face and orders the Dwarf to continue driving.
  • For the first time, Edmund feels sorry for someone other than himself as he thinks about the friendly creatures eating their feast, now cold stone forever.
  • As the sledge continues racing forward, Edmund notices that the snow is wetter and the air is warmer and foggy. The sledge begins to have trouble moving; it hits rocks, skids around, and eventually gets completely stuck.
  • When the sledge stops, Edmund realizes that he can hear running water. He is excited to discover that the frost is ending; all around him, snow is melting, revealing green trees and grass.
  • The Witch forces Edmund to help the Dwarf push the sledge out of the mud. They continue driving, but then the sledge gets stuck again.
  • The Dwarf tells the Witch that the sledge is unusable. The Witch says they must walk. She has the Dwarf tie Edmund's hands behind him and lead him on a rope, using a whip to keep him going quickly.
  • The snow continues to melt, revealing a lush, green countryside around them. The sun shines down on beautiful wildflowers. Birds begin to sing.
  • The Witch urges them to move faster. As the landscape becomes even more beautiful, the Dwarf says aloud that spring has come and it must be because of Aslan.
  • The Witch says that if either of them mentions Aslan again, she will kill him.

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