Study Guide

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Chapter 14

By C.S. Lewis

Chapter 14

The Triumph of the Witch

  • Aslan orders his people to move their camp from the Stone Table to the Fords of Beruna. Nobody wants to ask what's going on or what he promised the Witch.
  • Aslan's people eat a meal, then pack and move their pavilion.
  • While they are marching to their new campsite, Aslan explains the tactical situation to Peter. He outlines one plan for Peter to follow if the Witch and her followers reach her castle and wait to be besieged, and another plan for Peter to follow if Aslan's army is able to intercept her before she gets there.
  • Peter doesn't understand why Aslan is explaining everything to him – won't Aslan be there himself? But Aslan says he can't promise that.
  • After Aslan finishes giving Peter instructions, he spends the rest of the journey with Susan and Lucy. He says little and seems sad.
  • They arrive at the Fords of Beruna and Aslan orders them to set up camp. Peter wants to camp on the far side of the river to protect them from a night attack, but Aslan says it doesn't matter.
  • Because Aslan is downcast, everyone feels depressed as they eat dinner and go to sleep at their new campsite.
  • Susan and Lucy can't fall asleep and begin talking. They both feel that something is wrong with Aslan and that something bad is going to happen soon. They decide to go look for him.
  • The girls creep out of their tent and see Aslan leaving. They follow him, and he leads them back toward the Stone Table, retracing their steps from earlier in the day.
  • In an open space, Aslan sees the girls following him in the moonlight. He asks why they have come, and Lucy says they couldn't sleep. Susan asks if they can come with him.
  • Aslan says he will be glad of their company, but they will have to stop when he tells them and let him go on alone. They agree.
  • Aslan, Susan, and Lucy walk on together. Aslan is clearly depressed; his head droops and his tail hangs, and he moans occasionally. Lucy and Susan beg him to tell them what is wrong, but he won't. He asks them to lay their hands in his mane as they walk together, and they do.
  • They arrive at the top of the hill where the Stone Table is located. Aslan tells Susan and Lucy to stop and not to let themselves be seen. Then he says goodbye.
  • Susan and Lucy weep and kiss Aslan goodbye. Then he walks away from them.
  • The girls hide in the bushes and watch as Aslan walks toward the Stone Table. The clearing is full of many different evil creatures, from ogres to wolves to hags and beyond. In the center the White Witch stands by the Stone Table.
  • When Aslan comes into sight, the evil army lets out a great howl. The Witch laughs, calls Aslan a fool, and orders her people to tie him to the Stone Table.
  • Susan and Lucy expect Aslan to destroy these creatures, but instead he remains motionless and allows them to tie him up.
  • Before they put him on the table, an ogre shaves Aslan's beautiful golden mane with a pair of shears. When Aslan is shaved, the others taunt and mock him. Lucy, looking at his face, notices how brave and patient he looks.
  • Next, the creatures put a muzzle on Aslan. Although he could bite off their hands, he doesn't move. Once Aslan is completely immobilized, the creatures beat him, kicking and hitting, and also spit on him and continue to insult and mock him.
  • Eventually, the evil mob is tired of tormenting Aslan. They drag him to the Stone Table, heave him up on it, and tie him down.
  • The Witch bares her arms and sharpens her stone knife. Aslan looks at the sky, quiet and sad.
  • Before the Witch kills Aslan, she tells him that his sacrifice will not help: after he is dead, she and her army will kill Edmund and his family anyway, and she will rule Narnia forever!
  • Susan and Lucy hide their eyes because they can't bear to watch as the Witch kills Aslan.

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