Study Guide

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Chapter 9

By C.S. Lewis

Chapter 9

In the Witch's House

  • While his brothers and sisters enjoyed the meal with the Beavers, Edmund had a terrible time, because his memory of the magically addictive Turkish Delight spoiled the wholesome food for him.
  • During the after-dinner conversation, Edmund felt like everyone was ignoring him. When he heard about the plan to meet Aslan at the Stone Table, he snuck out of the Beaver's house.
  • The narrator explains that Edmund isn't really evil, like the witch. He is greedy – he wants more Turkish Delight, and he wants to be a prince, and he wants to get back at Peter.
  • Edmund tells himself that his brother and sisters aren't really in danger. He reasons that the Queen probably is the rightful ruler of Narnia and that Mr. Tumnus and the Beavers are evil because they are plotting against her. Deep down, he knows this isn't true, but it's what he tells himself.
  • When he gets outside, Edmund realizes he left his coat behind, but he doesn't dare to go back for it. As night falls, it is dark and cold, and Edmund's trek through the uneven countryside to the Witch's house is extremely unpleasant.
  • To cheer himself up, Edmund thinks about all the things he will do when he is King of Narnia one day, such as making good roads and having a palace and lots of cars and his own movie theater.
  • As the night wears on, the snow stops and it becomes windy. This makes Edmund even colder. The moon comes out, which helps him to see his way along the river.
  • While Edmund stumbles over rocks and gets cold and wet in the snow, he blames all his suffering on Peter.
  • Finally Edmund arrives on a level plain and sees the Witch's house, which is like a small castle. Edmund is afraid of it on sight, but feels like he can't turn back.
  • When Edmund arrives in the archway that leads to the house's courtyard, he sees an enormous lion ready to spring. For a long time, he stands frozen with fear.
  • After a while, Edmund realizes the lion hasn't moved. He comes closer to it and discovers that it is a statue. It's one of the animals that the Witch turned to stone!
  • Edmund is relieved to discover that the lion can't harm him. He assumes that the lion is Aslan and that the Witch has already caught him.
  • Using a pencil that he finds in his pocket, Edmund scribbles a mustache on the statue of the lion and mocks it for being captured by the witch. Still, in spite of all this, Edmund doesn't feel any better about his own situation.
  • Edmund crosses the courtyard, noticing dozens of similar statues. The yard is full of different people and animals that the Witch has petrified. There's even a giant!
  • On the threshold of the house is a wolf. Edmund assumes that it is also stone and tries to step over it, but it leaps up and demands to know who he is.
  • Edmund explains that he is the Son of Adam who met the Queen before and that he is bringing news of his brothers and sisters, who are in the Beavers' house.
  • The wolf goes inside to deliver the message, instructing Edmund to remain standing on the doorstep. Edmund waits in fear.
  • The wolf, Fenris Ulf, who is Chief of the Secret Police, returns and allows Edmund to enter the house.
  • Inside, it is dark and gloomy. Edmund sees the White Witch sitting near the only lamp.
  • The Witch is angry that Edmund came alone, but Edmund explains that his siblings are close by, in the Beavers' dam. He also tells her the rumors about Aslan at the Stone Table.
  • The Witch orders a dwarf to prepare her sledge, using a harness without bells, so that she can creep up silently on the children and beavers and catch them!

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