Study Guide

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Chapter 13

By C.S. Lewis

Chapter 13

Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time

  • The Witch marches Edmund and the Dwarf a long ways until they come to a dark valley in the shadow of yew and fir trees. Edmund lies down on his face, exhausted.
  • The Witch and the Dwarf argue about what they should do. The Dwarf says that they are too late and the other children will already be at the Stone Table. The Witch says that Fenris Ulf, the Wolf captain, may bring them good news.
  • It occurs to the Witch that the prophecy requires four human beings to fill the thrones at Cair Paravel. She considers murdering Edmund so that there will only be three, and then, after Aslan leaves, she could attack the others.
  • The Dwarf suggests that they might need Edmund, as a hostage, to bargain with. The Witch doesn't want to take the chance that he might escape or be rescued.
  • The Dwarf says that, if they're going to kill Edmund, they should do it right away. The Witch wants to kill him on the Stone Table, which she says is the proper place for sacrifices.
  • The Dwarf points out that Aslan's people hold the Stone Table. The Witch agrees to murder Edmund right where they are.
  • The other Wolf runs up and tells them that Peter slew Fenris Ulf and that some of Aslan's army are following him. He tells the Witch that she should run.
  • The Witch orders the Wolf to gather all the evil creatures to her. The Wolf runs off to carry out her orders.
  • The Witch and the Dwarf tie Edmund to a tree trunk and fold back his clothes so that his neck is exposed. Edmund hears the sound of a knife being sharpened.
  • Just as the Witch is preparing to kill Edmund, the centaurs and eagles and other creatures that Aslan sent in pursuit of the Wolf arrive. The Witch screams and everything is confused.
  • Edmund is untied and laid down on the ground. His rescuers give him a little wine to revive him.
  • In the background, Edmund can hear his other rescuers talking about the Witch and the Dwarf, who have escaped. Edmund faints. While he is unconscious, they carry him back to the Stone Table.
  • After Aslan's people leave with Edmund, a tree stump and a boulder in the clearing turn back into the White Witch and the Dwarf. The Witch used her magic powers to disguise them. She still has her wand.
  • In the morning, Lucy, Susan, and Peter are told by Mrs. Beaver that Edmund has been rescued.
  • Aslan and Edmund have a long, private talk. Nobody else knows what is said, but Edmund is a different person from this day forward.
  • Aslan brings Edmund back to his brother and sisters. Edmund apologizes to everyone and they all forgive him.
  • The Witch's Dwarf arrives. Aslan agrees to let him approach, and the Dwarf demands safe conduct for the Witch to come and speak to Aslan.
  • Mr. Beaver objects to the Dwarf calling the Witch "Queen of Narnia." Aslan tells the Beaver that soon everyone will have their own titles back.
  • Aslan agrees to let the Witch approach if she leaves her wand behind. The Dwarf agrees and Aslan's lions go with him to enforce this pact.
  • The Witch comes forward and stands before Aslan. Everyone feels frightened and cold at the sight of her. Mrs. Beaver notices that the Witch can't look Aslan directly in the eyes.
  • The Witch accuses Edmund of being a traitor. Aslan says that his offense was not against her.
  • The Witch reminds Aslan of the Deep Magic, which was written on the Stone Table by the Emperor at the beginning of time: the Witch has the right to punish traitors, and their lives are forfeit to her.
  • Aslan's army is defiant, but Aslan says that the Witch is right: she has the right to have blood as payment for Edmund's treachery. If she doesn't get it, then Narnia will be destroyed in fire and water.
  • Susan asks Aslan if they can work against the Deep Magic. Aslan's frown is so severe that nobody asks this again.
  • During the exchange, Edmund wonders if he should say or do something, but he feels like he is just supposed to wait and do what he is told.
  • Aslan tells his followers to fall back so that he can talk to the Witch alone.
  • While Aslan and the Witch have their private conference, everyone waits and wonders what will happen.
  • Eventually, Aslan calls them back and says that the Witch has renounced her claim on Edmund's blood.
  • As the Witch leaves, she asks Aslan how she can know that he will keep his promise. Aslan roars and she runs away.

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