Study Guide

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Chapter 12

By C.S. Lewis

Chapter 12

Peter's First Battle

  • While Edmund is on his forced march with the Witch, his brother and sisters, along with the Beavers, are also walking through the spring countryside, watching the snow melt, the flowers bloom, and the birds fly around. They leave the fur coats behind them.
  • Although the children don't know that it is Aslan who has caused the spring, they realize that the Witch's power is weakening. They are tired but pleased.
  • Toward the evening, as the sun begins to go down, Mr. Beaver leads them uphill. As they arrive at the top of the hill, they get a beautiful view of the forest in every direction and the ocean to the east.
  • In the middle of a clearing at the top of the hill stands the Stone Table, a very large and very ancient monument covered with strange writing.
  • To one side of the Stone Table there is a yellow and red pavilion (a fancy tent) made of silk. Above the pavilion flies a banner with a picture of a red lion.
  • The children hear a noise to their right and turn. They see Aslan in the center of a group of creatures including Dryads (tree spirits) and Naiads (water spirits), centaurs, a unicorn, a bull with a man's head, and other animals. Two leopards carry Aslan's crown and standard.
  • Aslan's presence is impressive and powerful and the Beavers and children don't know what to do. They whisper to each other about who should approach him first.
  • Eventually Peter steps forward and presents himself to Aslan, saluting with his sword.
  • Aslan greets the children and beavers, using their names, which he knows already.
  • Aslan asks where the fourth child is, and Mr. Beaver explains that Edmund has gone to the White Witch and betrayed them. Peter admits that his behavior might have contributed to Edmund's actions.
  • Lucy asks what can be done to save Edmund, and Aslan says that everything possible will be done, but it will be very difficult.
  • Aslan orders his followers to prepare a feast and sends Lucy and Susan away in care of some of the women. Aslan and Peter are left alone together.
  • Aslan takes Peter to the eastern edge of the hillside and shows him Cair Paravel, the palace by the seaside. Aslan says that Peter will be a King in this castle; in fact, Peter will be High King over the other three, because he is oldest.
  • Peter doesn't know what to say. Before he can think of something, they hear the call of a horn. Aslan says it is Susan's horn, and they rush back to the pavilion.
  • In the clearing, Peter finds chaos; everyone is running, and an enormous Wolf is chasing Susan. Susan has swung herself up into a tree, but she can't get high enough to be completely out of the Wolf's reach.
  • Peter feels sick and frightened, but he runs directly to the Wolf, drawing his sword. When the Wolf howls in anger, Peter has time to stab it in the heart. After a long struggle, the Wolf lies dead.
  • Susan comes down from the tree and she and Peter hug in relief.
  • Aslan sends some Centaurs and Eagles to follow a second Wolf, which was lurking in the trees, and rescue Edmund.
  • Aslan reminds Peter to clean his sword. Peter wipes his sword clean on the grass, and then Aslan uses the sword to dub Peter a knight.

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