Study Guide

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Chapter 8

By C.S. Lewis

Chapter 8

What Happened After Dinner

  • Lucy asks Mr. Beaver what happened to Mr. Tumnus. Mr. Beaver explains that Mr. Tumnus was arrested and taken to the Witch's house. The rumor is that he was turned into stone and became a statue in her yard, like many unfortunate Narnians before him.
  • Lucy and Peter want to come up with a plan to rescue Mr. Tumnus, but the Beavers tell them there is no chance they could fight the Witch alone.
  • Mr. Beaver mentions Aslan again and the children ask who he is. Mr. Beaver is surprised they don't know, but explains that Aslan is the Lord of the wood. He's been away for many generations, but now he's back, and Mr. Beaver thinks he will triumph over the Queen and save Mr. Tumnus.
  • Edmund suggests that the Witch will just turn Aslan to stone. Mr. Beaver laughs and explains that Aslan is more powerful than that. He recites an ancient rhyme that prophesies Aslan's power to right every wrong and turn winter into spring.
  • Susan asks when they will see Aslan, and Mr. Beaver says that he is going to lead them to him. Lucy asks if Aslan is a man, but Mr. Beaver explains that he is the king of beasts – a lion.
  • Susan says that she is scared of lions, and Mrs. Beaver admits that Aslan isn't exactly safe, but he is on the side of good.
  • Peter longs to meet Aslan. Mr. Beaver says they will see him tomorrow at the Stone Table.
  • Lucy is still impatient to help Mr. Tumnus, but Mr. Beaver says going to Aslan is the fastest way to make that happen.
  • Mrs. Beaver recites another old rhyme which prophesies that, when sons of Adam sit in the thrones at the castle of Cair Paravel, on the eastern coast of Narnia, then the evil times will be over.
  • Peter is confused and asks if the Witch is human. Mr. Beaver says she is not – according to him, the Witch is descended from giants on one side and from Adam's first wife Lilith, one of the Jinn (what we'd call genies), on the other. Mr. Beaver tells the children that creatures that look human, but aren't, are often dangerous.
  • Mr. Beaver explains the prophesy more clearly: when two sons of Adam (like Edmund and Peter) and two daughters of Eve (like Susan and Lucy) sit in the four thrones at the castle of Cair Paravel, then the White Witch will be destroyed. That's why she is so scared of the children and is trying to destroy them.
  • Suddenly Lucy realizes that Edmund is gone. They search for him, but he has vanished, and the falling snow has covered his tracks.
  • Mr. Beaver says that they must leave at once. Peter thinks he means in search parties to look for Edmund, but Mr. Beaver says there is no point – Edmund has obviously gone to the White Witch to betray them.
  • Susan and Peter can hardly believe that their brother would betray them, but they admit that he has been to Narnia before alone and didn't tell anyone what he experienced. Mr. Beaver says that Edmund has the look of someone who is under the Witch's spell.
  • Mr. Beaver suggests that Edmund is safe for the time being – the Witch will try to use him as bait to catch all of them. In the meantime, they must try to get to Aslan.
  • Everyone tries to remember how much of their conversation Edmund heard. They know that he heard about Aslan, but they're not sure if he heard about the Stone Table. They decide to leave immediately in case Edmund is able to tell the Witch their destination.

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