The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: Wikis


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The Lion, the Witch
and the Wardrobe  
Cover of 1950 first edition (hardcover)
Author C. S. Lewis
Illustrator Pauline Baynes
Cover artist Pauline Baynes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series The Chronicles of Narnia
Genre(s) Fantasy, children's literature
Publisher Geoffrey Bles
Publication date 1950
Media type Print (hardcover and paperback)
Pages 208 (modern hardcover)
ISBN ISBN 0-06-023481-4 (modern hardcover)
OCLC Number 28291231
Dewey Decimal [Fic] 20
LC Classification PZ7.L58474 Li 1994
Followed by Prince Caspian

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a fantasy novel for children by C. S. Lewis. Published in 1950 and set in circa 1940, it is the first-published book of The Chronicles of Narnia and is the best known book of the series. Although it was written and published first, it is second in the series' internal chronological order, after The Magician's Nephew. Time magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.[1]

Lewis dedicated the book to his god-daughter, Lucy Barfield.


Character list

  • Peter Pevensie is the oldest of the Pevensie siblings. At first, Peter disbelieves Lucy's stories about Narnia, but changes his mind when he sees it for himself. He is hailed as a hero for his part in the overthrow of the White Witch. He is eventually crowned as High King of Narnia, and becomes known as King Peter the Magnificent.
  • Susan Pevensie is the second oldest of the Pevensie children. She also does not believe in Narnia until she actually comes there. She is crowned Queen of Narnia, and becomes known as Queen Susan the Gentle.
  • Edmund Pevensie is the third of the Pevensie children. In Narnia he meets the White Witch, who plies him with treats (Turkish Delight) and smooth talk. Tempted by the White Witch's promise of power and seemingly unending supplies of Turkish Delight, Edmund betrays his siblings, but eventually regrets his actions and repents. After he helps Aslan and the good citizens of Narnia defeat the White Witch, he is crowned King of Narnia with his brother, and becomes known as King Edmund the Just.
  • Lucy Pevensie is the youngest Pevensie child. She is the first of them to discover the land of Narnia when she slips through the magical wardrobe in the professor's house. When Lucy tells her siblings, Peter and Susan refuse to believe her and are convinced that she is just having a game, while Edmund persistently encourages and teases her about it. After the restoration of Narnia, Lucy is crowned Queen of Narnia with her sister Susan, and becomes known as Queen Lucy the Valiant.
  • Jadis, the White Witch comes from the city of Charn, in a dying world. In Narnia she proclaims herself queen and through her magic rules with an iron fist. Her spell on Narnia makes it "always winter but never Christmas". When provoked she uses her wand to turn opponents to stone. But she fears the fulfillment of a prophecy that "two sons of Adam" and "two daughters of Eve" will come to Narnia and help Aslan to overthrow her.
  • Aslan, a lion, is the true ruler of Narnia. He sacrifices himself to spare Edmund, but is resurrected in time to aid the citizens of Narnia and the Pevensie children in their battle against the White Witch and her minions.
  • Mr. Tumnus, a faun, is the first person that Lucy meets in Narnia. Tumnus befriends her, despite the White Witch's standing order to kidnap any human who enters Narnia. After getting to know Lucy, he changes his mind about handing her over to the witch. But he is betrayed accidentally by Edmund, who tells the White Witch, before he knew who she was, that Lucy had met a faun. Tumnus is eventually arrested and turned into stone. He is later restored by Aslan and becomes a close friend of the Pevensies.
  • Professor Digory Kirke takes the Pevensie children in when they are evacuated from London. He is the only one who believes that Lucy did indeed visit Narnia and tries to convince the others of her veracity. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe hints that he knows more of Narnia than he lets on; The Magician's Nephew reveals that he had been present at Aslan's creation of Narnia.
  • Mrs. Macready is the housekeeper for Professor Kirke when the Pevensies come to stay.
  • Mr. Beaver is a friend of Tumnus. He assists the Pevensies in searching for Tumnus and dethroning the White Witch.
  • Mrs. Beaver is Mr. Beaver's wife.
  • The Dwarf is the White Witch's right hand man. Unnamed in the book, he is called Ginnarbrick in the film, where he has a more significant role.
  • Maugrim/Fenris Ulf, a wolf, is the chief of the White Witch's secret police. She sends him to hunt down the Pevensie children. He is killed by Peter at Peter's first battle.
  • Father Christmas arrives when the Witch's magical hold over Narnia begins to break. He gives Peter, Susan and Lucy gifts, which ultimately will help them defeat the White Witch. (Edmund was with the White Witch at the time.) Mrs Beaver is given a better sewing machine and Mr. Beaver gets his dam completed.
  • Giant Rumblebuffin is turned to stone by the White Witch and brought back to life by Aslan. He breaks down the Witch's gate and crushes some of her army.

Plot summary

World War II has just begun and four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, are evacuated from London in 1940 to escape the Blitz. They are sent to live with Professor Digory Kirke, who lives in a country house in the English countryside with his housekeeper, Mrs Macready.

One rainy day, the children decide to explore the house. Lucy, the youngest, is curious about the wardrobe in an empty room, and discovers that it is a portal to a snow-covered forest with a gaslight post in the center. There she meets a faun, who introduces himself as Tumnus and invites her home for tea. He tells her that the land is called Narnia and is ruled by the ruthless White Witch, who ensures that it is always Winter but never Christmas.

Lucy returns through the wardrobe, having spent hours in Narnia, to find that only a few seconds have passed in England. She is unable to convince the others of her adventure, as the wardrobe now appears merely a wardrobe. Edmund, the next youngest of the four siblings, is particularly spiteful towards Lucy.

Several weeks later Lucy and Edmund hide in the wardrobe while playing hide-and-seek, and find that it leads again into Narnia. In the forest, Edmund fails to catch up with Lucy and encounters instead a pale lady on a sledge pulled by a white reindeer. She introduces herself as the Queen of Narnia, and enchants him with some magical Turkish delight. She promises to make him Prince and eventually King of Narnia, if only he will bring the other children to her castle.

After the lady drives on, Lucy finds Edmund in the woods and they return together through the wardrobe. Lucy mentions the White Witch and Edmund realizes that she is none other than the lady who befriended him. Back in England, Edmund lies to Peter and Susan, claiming that he and Lucy were just playing and that the wardrobe is no more than an ordinary one. Lucy is very upset at his duplicity.

A few days later, all four children scramble to avoid Mrs Macready, who is showing some visitors around the house. They hide in the wardrobe and find themselves in Narnia. Lucy guides them to Tumnus's cave, but they discover that Tumnus has been arrested, just as the White Witch had threatened, and that his cave has been ransacked by Maugrim, chief of the witch's secret police. A pair of talking beavers, Mr Beaver and Mrs Beaver, shelter the children and recount an ancient prophecy that the witch's power will fail when two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve fill the four thrones at Cair Paravel. The beavers tell of the true king of Narnia — a great lion called Aslan — who has been absent for many years, but is now "On the move again."

Edmund, still in thrall to the witch, steals away to her castle; and the others set off to find Aslan when they realize that they have been betrayed. The White Witch treats Edmund harshly when he arrives without his siblings, and sets out in pursuit of them. But her power over Narnia is failing, and a thaw strands her sleigh. The other children reach Aslan, and a penitent Edmund is rescued just as the witch is about to kill him. Calling for a truce, the witch demands that Edmund be returned to her, as an ancient law (the "Deep magic") gives her possession of all traitors. Aslan offers himself in Edmund's place, and the witch accepts. Aslan is sacrificed by the witch, but comes back to life through "Deeper magic": when one who is blameless willingly dies on behalf of the guilty, he may return to life.

In a final battle, the witch is defeated and killed by Aslan. The children become kings and queens, and spend 15 years reigning in Narnia. They grow to maturity before returning to our world, where they find themselves children again. They hear Mrs Macready still talking to the visitors in the passageway; their years in Narnia have taken no time at all on this side of the door.

They explain their adventure to the professor, who believes them straight away and tells them that they would return to Narnia one day, though never again through the wardrobe.


Lewis described the origin of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in an essay entitled “It All Began with a Picture”:

“…the Lion all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy woodland. This picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself: ‘Let’s try to make a story about it.’” [2]

During World War II, many children were evacuated from London to the English countryside to escape attacks on London by Nazi Germany. In autumn of 1939 four school girls were billeted at Lewis’s home, The Kilns, three miles outside Oxford.[3] Lewis later suggested that the experience gave him a new appreciation of children, and at this time he commenced a children’s story, but only managed to complete a single paragraph:

“This book is about four children whose names were Ann, Martin, Rose and Peter. But it is most about Peter who was the youngest. They all had to go away from London suddenly because of the Air Raids, and because Father, who was in the Army, had gone off to War and Mother was doing some kind of war work. They were sent away with a kind of relation of Mother’s who was a very old professor who lived all by himself in the country.” [4]

In the summer of 1948 he told Chad Walsh, a friend, that he had started writing a children’s book in the tradition of E. Nesbit. It was a continuation of the story he had begun in 1939, when child evacuees had come to live at The Kilns. On March 10, 1949 a former student of Lewis, Roger Lancelyn Green dined with him at Magdalen college. After the meal, Lewis read two chapters from his new children's story to Green. He had previously read it to J.R.R. Tolkien and Tolkien had been unimpressed. Lewis asked Green’s opinion of the tale, and Green thought it was good. By the end of the month the complete story was ready.[5]

Initially the character of Aslan was not present in the story. Lewis had already conceived of the land of Narnia as a frozen kingdom under the terror of the totalitarian rule of the White Witch, mostly probably reflecting the events of the Second World War and the situation of countries under Nazi occupation.[6] He had suffered from nightmares for most of this life. Around the time he was writing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe he had a number of dreams with lions in them and soon the figure of Aslan made a dramatic entrance into his imagination, effecting a complete transformation upon the story and drawing the novel and the entire series of Narnia stories together.[7]


Lewis’s publisher, Geoffrey Bles allowed him to choose the illustrator for the novel and the Narnia series. His choice was Pauline Baynes, possibly as a result of J.R.R. Tolkien’s recommendation. Baynes had greatly impressed Tolkien with her illustrations for his Farmer Giles of Ham (1949). However Baynes claimed that Lewis learned about her work after going into a bookshop and asking for a recommendation of an illustrator who was skilled at portraying both humans and animals. In December 1949 Geoffrey Bles showed Lewis the first drawings for the novel and Lewis sent Baynes a note congratulating her, particularly on the level of detail. Lewis’s appreciation of the illustrations is perhaps well understood by correspondence with Baynes after Lewis won the Carnegie Medal for best Children’s book of 1956 for The Last Battle, and wrote to Baynes saying “is it not rather ‘our’ medal? I’m sure the illustrations were taken into account as well as the text".[8]

The British edition of the novel had 43 illustrations. American editions generally had less. The popular United States paperback edition published by Collier between 1970 and 1994, which sold many millions, had only 17 illustrations, many of them severely cropped from the originals thus giving many readers in that country a very different experience when reading the novel. All the illustrations were restored for the 1994 worldwide HarperCollins edition, although these lacked the clarity of early printings.[9]


Lewis very much enjoyed writing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and embarked on the sequel Prince Caspian soon after finishing the first novel. He completed the sequel in less than a year, by the end of 1949. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe had not been widely released until 1950; thus his initial enthusiasm did not stem from favourable reception by the public.[10]

While Lewis is known today on the strength of the Narnia stories as a highly successful children’s writer, the initial critical response was muted. At the time it was fashionable for children’s stories to be realistic: fantasy and fairy tales were seen as indulgent, appropriate only for very young readers, and potentially harmful to older children, even hindering their ability to relate to everyday life. Some reviewers thought the tale overtly moralistic, or the Christian elements over-stated — attempts to indoctrinate children. Others were concerned that the many violent incidents might frighten children.[11]

Lewis’s publisher, Geoffrey Bles, feared that the Narnia tales would not sell and might damage Lewis’s reputation and affect sales of his other books. Nevertheless the novel and its successors were highly popular with young readers, and Lewis’s publisher was soon anxious to release further Narnia stories.[12]


Professor Kirke is based on W.T. Kirkpatrick, who tutored a 16-year-old Lewis. "Kirk," as he was sometimes called, taught the young Lewis much about thinking and communicating clearly, skills that would be invaluable to him later.[13]

Narnia is caught in endless winter that has lasted a century when the children first enter. Norse tradition mythologises a "great winter", known as the Fimbulwinter, said to precede Ragnarok. The trapping of Edmund by the White Witch is reminiscent of the seduction and imprisonment of Kay by The Snow Queen in Hans Christian Andersen's novella of that name.

The dwarves and giants are found in Norse mythology. Fauns, centaurs, minotaurs and dryads derive from Greek mythology. Father Christmas, of course, was part of popular English folk lore.

It has been widely argued that the main story is an allegory of Christ's crucifixion:[14] Aslan sacrifices himself for Edmund, a traitor who may deserve death, in the same way that the Christ figure is said to have sacrificed Himself for sinners. The cross maybe suggested by the Stone Table (reminiscent of Neolithic dolmens). As with the Christian Passion, it is women (Susan and Lucy) who tend Aslan's body after he dies and are the first to see him after his resurrection. The significance of the death contains elements of both the ransom theory of atonement and the satisfaction theory: Aslan suffers Edmund's penalty (satisfaction), and buys him back from the White Witch, who was entitled to him by reason of his treachery (ransom). In Christian tradition, Christ is associated with the Biblical "Lion of Judah", mainly on the strength of Revelation 5:5.

The freeing of Aslan's body from the stone table by field mice is reminiscent of Aesop's fable of "The Lion and the Mouse." In the fable, a lion catches a mouse, but the mouse persuades the lion to release him, promising that the favor would be rewarded. Later in the story, he gnaws through the lion's bonds after he has been captured by hunters.[15]

It is uncertain if Lewis was familiar with the work of Erich Kästner. However, the plot device of a magic wardrobe which provides children with an entrance to worlds of magic and fantasy appeared in 1931 in Erich Kästner's (otherwise very different) children's book The 35th of May, or Conrad's Ride to the South Seas.

Differences between the British and American editions

Prior to the publication of the first American edition of Lion, Lewis made the following changes.

  • In chapter one of the American edition, the animals that Edmund and Susan express interest in are snakes and foxes rather than the foxes and rabbits of the British edition.
  • In chapter six of the American edition, the name of the White Witch's chief of police is changed to "Fenris Ulf" from "Maugrim" in the British.
  • In chapter thirteen, "the roots of the World Ash Tree" takes the place of "the fire-stones of the Secret Hill".

When HarperCollins took over publication of the series in 1994, they used the British edition for all subsequent editions worldwide.[16]


The story has been adapted three times for television. The first adaptation was a ten-part serial produced by ABC Weekend Television for ITV and broadcast in 1967. In 1979, an animated TV-movie[17], directed by Peanuts director Bill Meléndez, was broadcast and won the first Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program. A third television adaptation was produced in 1988 by the BBC using a combination of live actors, animatronic puppets and animation. The programme was nominated for an Emmy and won a BAFTA. It was followed by three further Narnia adaptations.

Notable stage productions of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe have included commercial productions by Malcolm C. Cooke Productions in Australia (directed by Nadia Tass, and described by Douglas Gresham as the best production of the novel he had seen - starring Amanda Muggleton, Dennis Olsen, Meaghan Davies and Yolande Brown) and by Trumpets Theatre, one of the largest commercial theatres in the Philippines.

In 2005, the story was adapted for a theatrical film.

Multiple audio editions have been released. The best-known consists of the book read aloud by Michael York. However, three audio CDs in the form of "radio plays" with various actors, sound effects, and music have also been released, one by the BBC, one by Radio Theatre, and one by Focus on the Family.

In 1984, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was staged at London's Westminster Theatre, produced by Vanessa Ford Productions. The play, adapted by Glyn Robbins, was directed by Richard Williams and designed by Marty Flood. In 1998 the Royal Shakespeare Company premiered their stage version, adapted by Adrian Mitchell, with music by Shaun Davey.

Further reading

  • Downing, David C. (2005). Into the Wardrobe: C. S. Lewis and the Narnia Chronicles. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0-7879-7890-6. 
  • Ryken, Leland; and Mead, Marjorie Lamp (2005). A Reader's Guide Through the Wardrobe: Exploring C. S. Lewis's Classic Story. London: InterVarsity Press. ISBN 0-8308-3289-0. 
  • Sammons, Martha C. (1979). A Guide Through Narnia. Wheaton, Illinois: Harold Shaw Publishers. ISBN 0-87788-325-4. 


  1. ^ The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - ALL-TIME 100 Novels - TIME
  2. ^ Downing, David C. (2005). Into the Wardrobe: C.S. Lewis and the Narnia Chronicles. Jossey-Bass. pp. 29–30. ISBN 978-0-7879-7890-7. 
  3. ^ Veith, Gene Edward (2005). The Soul of the Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe. David C. Cook. pp. 36–9. ISBN 0781442125. 
  4. ^ Downing, David C. (2005). Into the Wardrobe: C.S. Lewis and the Narnia Chronicles. Jossey-Bass. pp. 41–2. ISBN 978-0-7879-7890-7. 
  5. ^ Edwards, Bruce L. (2007). C.S. Lewis: Life, Works, and Legacy. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 184–6. ISBN 0275991172. 
  6. ^ Edwards, Owen Dudley (2007). British Children's Fiction in the Second World War. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 141. ISBN 0748616519. 
  7. ^ Edwards, Bruce L. (2007). C.S. Lewis: Life, Works, and Legacy. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 185. ISBN 0275991172. 
  8. ^ Schakel, Peter J. (2002). Imagination and the arts in C.S. Lewis: journeying to Narnia and other worlds. University of Missouri Press. pp. 30–1. ISBN 082621407X. 
  9. ^ Schakel, Peter J. (2002). Imagination and the arts in C.S. Lewis: journeying to Narnia and other worlds. University of Missouri Press. p. 32. ISBN 082621407X. 
  10. ^ Veith, Gene (2008). The Soul of Prince Caspian: Exploring Spiritual Truth in the Land of Narnia. David C. Cook. pp. 11–12. ISBN 0781445280. 
  11. ^ Veith, Gene (2008). The Soul of Prince Caspian: Exploring Spiritual Truth in the Land of Narnia. David C. Cook. pp. 12. ISBN 0781445280. 
  12. ^ Veith, Gene (2008). The Soul of Prince Caspian: Exploring Spiritual Truth in the Land of Narnia. David C. Cook. pp. 13. ISBN 0781445280. 
  13. ^ CS Lewis Institute Resources.
  14. ^ See Kathryn Lindskoog "Journey into Narnia" pp. 44-46.
    See also "C.S. Lewis: the man behind Narnia" by Beatrice Gormley p. 122
  15. ^ Project Gutenberg.
  16. ^ Ford, Paul (2005). Companion to Narnia, Revised Edition. San Francisco: Harper. ISBN 0-06-079127-6.
  17. ^ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the Internet Movie Database

External links

See also


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to The Chronicles of Narnia article)

From Wikiquote

The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven children's books written by C.S. Lewis.


The Chronicles


Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ? ... An obligation to feel can freeze feelings...
  • Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something about Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tale as an instrument, then collected information about child psychology and decided what age group I'd write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out 'allegories' to embody them. This is all pure moonshine. I couldn't write in that way. It all began with images; a faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sledge, a magnificent lion. At first there wasn't anything Christian about them; that element pushed itself in of its own accord.
    • Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories (1966)
  • I thought I saw how stories of this kind could steal past a certain inhibition which had paralysed much of my own religion in childhood. Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ? I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to. An obligation to feel can freeze feelings. And reverence itself did harm. The whole subject was associated with lowered voices; almost as if it were something medical. But supposing that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday school associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past those watchful dragons? I thought one could.
    • Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories (1966)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)

For the 2005 movie, see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know...
  • Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids.
    • Opening lines
  • Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
    At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
    When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
    And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.
    • Ch. 8 : What Happened after Dinner
  • "Is he—quite safe?"
    "Safe?" said Mr. Beaver [...] "Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."
    • Ch. 8 : What Happened after Dinner
  • Rise up, Sir Peter Wolf's-Bane. And, whatever happens, never forget to wipe your sword.
    • Aslan, after knighting Peter, in Ch. 12 : Peter's First Battle
"By the Lion's Mane, a strange device," said King Peter, "to set a lantern here where the trees cluster so thick about it and so high above it that if it were lit it should give light to no man!
  • "But what does it all mean?" asked Susan when they were somewhat calmer.
    "It means," said Aslan, "that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of Time.
    But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."
    • Ch. 15 : Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time
  • How Aslan provided food for them all I don't know; but somehow or other they found themselves all sitting down on the grass to a fine high tea at about eight o'clock.
    • Ch. 17 : The Hunting of the White Stag
  • "By the Lion's Mane, a strange device," said King Peter, "to set a lantern here where the trees cluster so thick about it and so high above it that if it were lit it should give light to no man!"
    • Ch. 17 : The Hunting of the White Stag
  • But always what we have taken in hand, the same we have achieved.
    • King Peter, in Ch. 17 : The Hunting of the White Stag
  • Once a King or Queen in Narnia, always a King or Queen in Narnia.
    • Aslan, in Ch. 17 : The Hunting of the White Stag
  • “He’ll be coming and going” [...] “One day you'll see him and another you won't. He doesn't like being tied down — and of course he has other countries to attend to. It's quite all right. He'll often drop in. Only you mustn't press him. He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion."
    • Mr. Beaver, in Ch. 17 : The Hunting of the White Stag
  • What do they teach them at these schools?
    • The Professor, in Ch. 17 : The Hunting of the White Stag

Prince Caspian (1951)

For the 2008 movie, see The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
  • Who believes in Aslan nowadays?
    • Trumpkin to Caspian, in Ch. 5. : Caspian's Adventure In The Mountains
  • "If your Majesty is ever to use the Horn," said Trufflehunter, "I think the time has now come." Caspian had of course told them of his treasure several days ago.
    "We are certainly in great need," answered Caspian. "But it is hard to be sure we are at our greatest. Supposing there came an even worse need and we had already used it?"
    "By that argument," said Nikabrik, "your Majesty will never use it until it is too late."
    "I agree with that," said Doctor Cornelius.
    "And what do you think, Trumpkin?" asked Caspian.
    "Oh, as for me," said the Red Dwarf, who had been listening with complete indifference, "your Majesty knows I think the Horn—and that bit of broken stone over there and your great King Peter—and your Lion Aslan—are all eggs in moonshine. It's all one to me when your Majesty blows the Horn. All I insist on is that the army is told nothing about it. There's no good raising hopes of magical help which (as I think) are sure to be disappointed."
    • Ch. 7 : Old Narnia In Danger
  • But I thought you didn't believe in the Horn, Trumpkin, said Caspian.
    No more I do, your Majesty. But what does that got to do with it? I might as well die on a wild goose chase as die here. You are my King. "I know the difference between giving advice and giving orders. You have my advice and now it's the time for orders"
    • Ch. 7 : Old Narnia In Danger
  • "Yes," said Peter, "I suppose what makes it feel so queer is that in the stories it's always someone in our world who does the calling. One doesn't really think about where the Jinn's coming from."
    "And now we know what it feels like for the Jinn," said Edmund with a chuckle. "Golly! It's a bit uncomfortable to know that we can be whistled for like that. It's worse than what Father says about living at the mercy of the telephone."
    • Ch. 8 : How They Left The Island
  • "You have listened to fears, Child," said Aslan. "Come, let me breathe on you. Forget them. Are you brave again?"
    • Aslan to Susan, in Ch. 11 : The Lion Roars
  • "Sire," said Reepicheep [the chief mouse]. "My life is ever at your command, but my honour is my own. Sire, I have among my people the only trumpeter in your Majesty's army. I had thought, perhaps, we might have been sent with the challenge [to single combat between the High King Peter and King Miraz]. Sire, my people are grieved. Perhaps if it were your pleasure that I should be a marshal of the lists, it would content them."
    "I am afraid it would not do," said Peter very gravely. "Some humans are afraid of mice—"
    "I have observed it, Sire," said Reepicheep.
    "And it would not be quite fair to Miraz," Peter continued, "to have in sight anything that might abate the edge of his courage."
    "Your Majesty is the mirror of honour," said the Mouse with one of his admirable bows.
    • Ch. 13 : The High King In Command
  • "Have you pen and ink, Master Doctor?"
    "A scholar is never without them, your Majesty," answered Doctor Cornelius.
    • Peter and Cornelius, in Ch. 13 : The High King In Command
  • "Welcome, Prince," said Aslan. "Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?"
    "I — I don't think I do, Sir," said Caspian. "I'm only a kid."
    "Good," said Aslan. "If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been a proof that you were not."
    • Ch. 15 : Aslan Makes A Door In The Air
  • "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; Be content."
    • Aslan to Caspian, in Ch. 15 : Aslan Makes A Door In The Air

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)

Do you hear what I say? This is where dreams — dreams, do you understand — come to life, come real. Not daydreams: dreams.
  • There was once a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. He didn't call his Father and Mother "Father" and "Mother", but Harold and Alberta. They [his family] were very up-to-date and advanced people. They were vegetarians, non-smokers and tee-totallers, and wore a special kind of underclothes. In their house there was very little furniture and very few clothes on beds and the windows were always open.
    • Opening lines
  • He liked books if they were books of information and had pictures of grain elevators or of fat foreign children doing exercises in model schools.
    • About Eustace, Ch. 1 : The Picture in the Bedroom
  • "But who is Aslan? Do you know him?"
    "Well — he knows me," said Edmund.
    • Eustace and Edmund, in Ch. 7 : How the Adventure Ended
  • The Lord Octesian's arm-ring had a curious fate. Eustace did not want it and offered it to Caspian, and Caspian offered it to Lucy. She did not care about having it. "Very well, then, catch as catch can," said Caspian and flung it up in the air. [...] Up went the ring, flashing in the sunlight, and caught, and hung, as neatly as a well-thrown quoit, on a little projection on the rock. No one could climb up to get it from below and no one could climb down to get it from above. And there, for all I know, it is hanging still and may hang till the world ends.
    • Ch. 7 : How the Adventure Ended
  • In describing the scene Lucy said afterwards, "He was the size of an elephant," though at another time she only said, "The size of a cart-horse." But it was not the size that mattered. Nobody dared to ask what it was. They knew it was Aslan.
    • Ch. 8 : Two Narrow Escapes
  • (I don't know what the Bearded Glass was for because I am not a magician.)
    • Narrator, in Ch. 10 : The Magician's Book
  • She [Lucy] tried to open it but couldn't at first; this, however, was only because it was fastened by two leaden clasps, and when she had undone these it opened easily enough. And what a book it was!
    • Ch. 10 : The Magician's Book
  • They were cures for warts (by washing your hands in moonlight in a silver basin) and toothache and cramp, and a spell for taking a swarm of bees. The picture of the man with toothache was so lifelike that it would have set your own teeth aching if you looked at it too long, and the golden bees which were dotted all round the fourth spell looked for a moment as if they were really flying. ... And the longer she read the more wonderful and more real the pictures became.
    • Ch. 10 : The Magician's Book
  • "I will say the spell," said Lucy. "I don't care. I will." She said I don't care because she had a strong feeling that she mustn't.
    But when she looked back at the opening words of the spell, there in the middle of the writing, where she felt quite sure there had been no picture before, she found the great face of a lion, of The Lion, Aslan himself, staring into hers. It was painted such a bright gold that it seemed to be coming towards her out of the page; and indeed she never was quite sure afterwards that it hadn't really moved a little. At any rate, she knew the expression on his face quite well. He was growling and you could see most of his teeth. She became horribly afraid and turned over the page at once.
    • Ch. 10 : The Magician's Book
  • And all in a hurry, for fear her mind would change, she said the words [for a different spell] (nothing will induce me to tell you what they were). Then she waited for something to happen.
    As nothing happened she began looking at the pictures. And all at once she saw the very last thing she expected — a picture of a third-class carriage in a train, with two schoolgirls sitting in it. ... Only now it was much more than a picture. It was alive. She could see the telegraph posts flicking past outside the window.
    • Ch. 10 : The Magician's Book
  • When she had got to the third page [of another story] and come to the end, she said, "That is the loveliest story I've ever read or ever shall read in my whole life. Oh, I wish I could have gone on reading it for ten years. At least I'll read it over again."
    But here part of the magic of the Book came into play. You couldn't turn back. The right-hand pages, the ones ahead, could be turned; the left-hand pages could not.
    ... "It was about a cup and a sword and a tree and a green hill, I know that much. But I can't remember, and what shall I do?"
    • Ch. 10 : The Magician's Book
  • "Aslan!" said Lucy almost a little reproachfully. "Don't make fun of me. As if anything I could do would make you visible!"
    "It did," said Aslan. "Do you think I wouldn't obey my own rules?"
    • Ch. 10 : The Magician's Book
  • "Do you grow weary, Coriakin, of ruling such foolish subjects as I have given you here?" [Aslan asked.]
    "No," said the Magician, "they are very stupid but there is no real harm in them. I begin to grow rather fond of the creatures. Sometimes, perhaps, I am a little impatient, waiting for the day when they can be governed by wisdom instead of this rough magic."
    "All in good time, Coriakin," said Aslan.
    "Yes, all in very good time, Sir," was the answer.
    • Ch. 11 : The Dufflepuds Made Happy
I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder.
  • "Please, Aslan," said Lucy, "what do you call soon?"
    "I call all times soon," said Aslan.
    "Come," said the Magician. "All times may be soon to Aslan, but in my home all hungry times are one o'clock."
    • Ch. 11 : The Dufflepuds Made Happy
  • "Of course I could turn him [the Chief Duffer] into something else, or even put a spell on him which would make them not believe a word he said. But I don't like to do that. It's better for them to admire him than to admire nobody."
    • Ch. 11 : The Dufflepuds Made Happy
  • "A few months ago they [the Duffers] were all for washing up the plates and knives before dinner: they said it saved time afterwards. I've caught them planting boiled potatoes to save cooking them when they were dug up. One day the cat got into the dairy and twenty of them were at work moving all the milk out; no one thought of moving the cat."
    • Ch. 11 : The Dufflepuds Made Happy
  • "Fools!" said the man, stamping his foot with rage. "That is the sort of talk that brought me here, and I'd better have been drowned or never born. Do you hear what I say? This is where dreams — dreams, do you understand — come to life, come real. Not daydreams: dreams."
    • Ch. 12 : The Dark Island
  • "You can say what you like, Reepicheep. There are some things no man can face."
    "It is, then, my good fortune not to be a man," replied Reepicheep with a very stiff bow.
    • Caspian and Reepicheep, in Ch. 12 : The Dark Island
  • "Courage, dear heart"
    • Whispered to Lucy by Aslan on the Dark Island, in Ch. 12 : The Dark Island
  • "My own plans are made. While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan's country, or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise and Peepiceek shall be head of the talking mice in Narnia"
    • Reepicheep, in Ch. 14 : The Beginning of the End of the World
  • "Oh, Aslan," said Lucy. "Will you tell us how to get into your country from our world?"
    "I shall be telling you all the time," said Aslan. "But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder."
    • Ch. 16 : The Very End of the World
  • "Please Aslan, before we go, will you tell us when we can come back to Narnia again? Please. And oh, do, do, do, make it soon."
    "Dearest," said Aslan very gently, "you and your brother will never come back to Narnia."
    "Oh, Aslan!!" said Edmund and Lucy both together in despairing voices.
    "You are too old, children," said Aslan, "and you must begin to come close to your own world now."
    "It isn't Narnia, you know," sobbed Lucy. "It's you. We shan't meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?"
    "But you shall meet me, dear one," said Aslan.
    "Are — are you there too, Sir?" said Edmund.
    "I am," said Aslan. "But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there."
    • Ch. 16 : The Very End of the World
I make no promise.

The Silver Chair (1953)

  • "Are you not thirsty?" said the Lion.
    "I am dying of thirst," said Jill.
    "Then drink," said the Lion.
    "May I — could I — would you mind going away while I do?" said Jill.
    The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
    The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
    "Will you promise not to — do anything to me, if I do come?" said Jill.
    "I make no promise," said the Lion.
    Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
    "Do you eat girls?" she said.
    "I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms," said the Lion. It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

    "I daren't come and drink," said Jill.
    "Then you will die of thirst," said the Lion.
    "Oh dear!" said Jill, coming another step nearer. "I suppose I must go and look for another stream then."
    "There is no other stream," said the Lion.
    • Ch. 2 : Jill Is Given a Task
  • "You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you," said the Lion.
    • Ch. 2 : Jill Is Given a Task
  • "Puddleglum's my name. But it doesn't matter if you forget it. I can always tell you again."
    • Ch. 5 : Puddleglum
  • I hope you won't lose all interest in Jill for the rest of the book if I tell you that at this moment she began to cry.
    • Ch. 8 : The House of Harfang
  • "One word, Ma'am," he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things - trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a playworld which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say."
    • Puddleglum, in Ch. 12 : The Queen of Underland
  • It is the stupidest children who are the most childish and the stupidest grown-ups who are the most grown-up.
    • Ch. 16 : The Healing of Harms

The Horse and His Boy (1954)

I tell no one any story but his own.
  • "It's a lion, I know it's a lion," thought Shasta. "I'm done. I wonder, will it hurt much? I wish it was over. I wonder, does anything happen to people after they're dead? O-o-oh! Here it comes! ... Why, it's not nearly as big as I thought! It's only half the size. No, it isn't even quarter the size. I do declare it's only the cat!! I must have dreamed all that about its being as big as a horse."
    • Ch. 6 : Shasta Among the Tombs
  • "My good Horse," said the Hermit ... "My good Horse, you've lost nothing but your self-conceit. No, no, cousin. Don't put back your ears and shake your mane at me. If you are really so humbled as you sounded a minute ago, you must learn to listen to sense. You're not quite the great Horse you had come to think, from living among poor dumb horses. Of course you were braver and cleverer than them. You could hardly help being that. It doesn't follow that you'll be anyone very special in Narnia. But as long as you know you're nobody special, you'll be a very decent sort of Horse, on the whole, and taking one thing with another."
    • Ch. 10 : The Hermit of the Southern March
  • "I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you."
    "Then it was you who wounded Aravis?"
    "It was I."
    "But what for?"
    "Child," said the Voice, "I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own."
    • Aslan and Shasta, in Ch. 11 : The Unwelcome Fellow Traveller
  • And of course he knew none of the true stories about Aslan, the great Lion, the son of the Emperor-beyond-the-Sea, the King above all High Kings in Narnia. But after one glance at the Lion's face he slipped out of the saddle and fell at its feet. He couldn't say anything but then he didn't want to say anything, and he knew he needn't say anything.
    • Ch. 11 : The Unwelcome Fellow Traveller
  • "But of course that was the same boat that Aslan (he seems to be at the back of all the stories) pushed ashore at the right place for Asheesh to pick me up. I wish I knew that knight's name, fore he must have kept me alive and starved himself to do it"
    "I suppose Aslan would say that was part of someone else's story," said Aravis.
    "I was forgetting that," said Cor.
    • Shasta and Aravis, in Ch. 14 : How Bree Became a Wiser Horse
  • Then Hwin, though shaking all over, gave a strange little neigh, and trotted across to the Lion.
    "Please," she said, "you're so beautiful. You may eat me if you like. I'd sooner be eaten by you then fed by anyone else."
    "Dearest daughter," said Aslan, planting a lion's kiss on her twitching, velvet nose, "I knew you would not be long in coming to me. Joy shall be yours."
    • Ch. 14 : How Bree Became a Wiser Horse
  • "But that's just the point," groaned Bree. "Do Talking Horses roll? Supposing they don't? I can't bear to give it up. What do you think, Hwin?"
    "I'm going to roll anyway," said Hwin. "I don't suppose any of them will care two lumps of sugar whether you roll or not."
    • Ch. 15 : Rabadash the Ridiculous
  • Aravis also had many quarrels (and, I'm afraid, even fights) with Cor, but they always made it up again: so that years later, when they were grown up, they were so used to quarrelling and making it up again that they got married so as to go on doing it more conveniently.
    • Ch. 15 : Rabadash the Ridiculous

The Magician's Nephew (1955)

  • In those days Mr Sherlock Holmes was still living in Baker Street and the Bastables were looking for treasure in the Lewisham Road.
    • Ch. 1 : The Wrong Door
  • Digory was quite speechless, for Uncle Andrew looked a thousand times more alarming than he had ever looked before. Polly was not so frightened yet; but she soon was. For the very first thing Uncle Andrew did was to walk across to the door of the room, shut it, and turn the key in the lock. Then he turned round, fixed the children with his bright eyes, and smiled, showing all his teeth.
    "There!" he said. "Now my fool of a sister can't get at you!"
    It was dreadfully unlike anything a grown-up would be expected to do.
    • Ch. 1 : The Wrong Door
  • "Rotten?" said Uncle Andrew with a puzzled look. "Oh, I see. You mean that little boys ought to keep their promises. Very true: most right and proper, I'm sure, and I'm very glad you have been taught to do it. But of course you must understand that rules of that sort, however excellent they may be for little boys -- and servants -- and women -- and even people in general, can't possibly be expected to apply to profound students and great thinkers and sages. No, Digory. Men like me, who possess hidden wisdom, are freed from common rules just as we are cut off from common pleasures. Ours, my boy, is a high and lonely destiny."
    As he said this he sighed and looked so grave and noble and mysterious that for a second Digory really thought he was saying something rather fine. But then he remembered the ugly look he had seen on his Uncle's face the moment before Polly had vanished: and all at once he saw through Uncle Andrew's grand words. "All it means," he thought to himself, "is that he thinks he can do anything he likes to get anything he wants."
    • Ch. 2 : Digory and His Uncle
Make your choice, adventurous Stranger;
Strike the bell and bide the danger,
Or wonder, till it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had.
  • Make your choice, adventurous Stranger;
    Strike the bell and bide the danger,
    Or wonder, till it drives you mad,
    What would have followed if you had.
    • Poem on the bell in the great hall, Ch. 4 : The Bell and the Hammer
  • Aunt Letty was a very tough old lady: aunts often were in those days.
    • Ch. 7 : What Happened at the Front Door
  • In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Digory found it hard to decide from what direction it was coming. Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the earth beneath them. Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it.
    • Ch. 8 : The Fight at the Lamp-post
I give to you for ever this land of Narnia. I give you the woods, the fruits, the rivers. I give you the stars and I give you myself.
  • "Creatures, I give you yourselves," said the strong, happy voice of Aslan. "I give to you forever this land of Narnia. I give you the woods, the fruits, the rivers. I give you the stars and I give you myself. The Dumb Beasts whom I have not chosen are yours also. Treat them gently and cherish them but do not go back to their ways lest you cease to be Talking Beasts. For out of them you were taken and into them you can return. Do not so."
    • Ch. 10 : The First Joke and Other Matters
  • Laugh and fear not, creatures. Now that you are no longer dumb and witless, you need not always be grave. For jokes as well as justice come in with speech.
    • Aslan, in Ch. 10 : The First Joke and Other Matters
  • What did he say had entered the world? — A Neevil — What's a Neevil? — No, he didn't say a Neevil, he said a weevil — Well, what's that?
    • The talking animals, in Ch. 10 : The First Joke and Other Matters
  • "No, we're not lettuce, honestly we're not," said Polly hastily. "We're not at all nice to eat."
    "There!" said the Mole. "They can talk. Who ever heard of a talking lettuce?"
    • Ch. 10 : The First Joke and Other Matters
  • The trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.
    • Ch. 10 : The First Joke and Other Matters
  • "No thanks," said Digory, "I don't know that I care much about living on and on after everyone I know is dead. I'd rather live an ordinary time and die and go to Heaven."
    • Ch. 13 : An Unexpected Meeting
  • He [Digory] was very sad and he wasn't even sure all the time that he had done the right thing; but whenever he remembered the shining tears in Aslan's eyes he became sure.
    • Ch. 13 : An Unexpected Meeting
  • "But I cannot tell that to this old sinner, and I cannot comfort him either; he has made himself unable to hear my voice. [...] But I will give him the only gift he is able to receive. [...] Sleep and be separated for some few hours from all the torments you have devised for yourself."
    • Aslan, in Ch. 14 : The Planting of the Tree
  • All get what they want; they do not always like it.
    • Aslan, in Ch. 14 : The Planting of the Tree
  • When things go wrong, you'll find they usually go on getting worse for some time; but when things once start to go right they often go on getting better and better.
    • Ch. 15 : The End of This Story and the Beginning of All Others
Nothing now remains for us seven but to go back to Stable Hill, proclaim the truth, and take the adventure that Aslan sends us

The Last Battle (1956)

  • Nothing now remains for us seven but to go back to Stable Hill, proclaim the truth, and take the adventure that Aslan sends us.
    • Jewel the Unicorn, upon hearing of the taking of Cair Paravel by the Calormenes, in Ch. 9 : The Great Meeting on Stable Hill
  • He [Aslan] went to the door and they all followed him. He raised his head and roared, "Now it is time!" then louder, "Time!"; then so loud that is could have shaken the stars, "TIME." The Door flew open.
    • Ch. 13 : How the Dwarfs Refused to Be Taken In
  • "Sir," said Emeth, "I do not know whether you are my friend or my foe, but I should count it to my honour to have you for either. Has not one of the poets said that a noble friend is the best gift and a noble enemy the next best?"
    • Ch. 14 : Night Falls on Narnia
  • [Emeth said,] "And this is the marvel of marvels, that he [Aslan] called me Beloved, me who am but as a dog — "
    "Eh? What's that?" said one of the Dogs.
    "He doesn't mean any harm," said an older Dog. "After all, we call our puppies Boys when they don't behave properly."
    "So we do," said the first Dog. "Or girls."
    "S-s-sh!" said the Old Dog. "That's not a nice word to use. Remember where you are."
    • Ch. 15 : Further Up and Further In
Every rock and flower and blade of grass looked like it meant more.
  • Perhaps you will get some idea of it if you think like this. You may have been in a room in which there was a window that looked out on a lovely bay of the sea or a green valley that wound away among the mountains. And in the wall of that room opposite to the glass there may have been a looking glass. And the sea in the mirror, or the valley in the mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones: yet at the same time they were somehow different — deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know. The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked like it meant more. I can't describe it any better than that: if you ever get there you will know what I mean.
    It was the unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried:
    "I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here.
    This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia so much is because it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!"
    • Ch. 15 : Further Up and Further In
  • "The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning." And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all stories, and we can most truly say they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
    • Closing lines, in Ch. 16 : Farewell to Shadowlands

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Simple English

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe  
Author C. S. Lewis
Illustrator Pauline Baynes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series The Chronicles of Narnia
Genre(s) Fantasy novel, children's literature
Publisher Geoffrey Bles
Make date 1950
Media type Print (Hardcover, paperback)
ISBN 0060234814
OCLC Number 28291231
Prequel to Prince Caspian

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a book written by C. S. Lewis. It is set in an imaginary place called Narnia, where the main characters who are brothers and sisters are led into by the back of a wardrobe (closet). It is the second book by order in the Narnia series after The Magician's Nephew, but is the first book published in the series.



Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie leave London during World War II to live in the country. While playing in the house, Lucy hides in a wardrobe. She finds that it leads to a different land. There, she meets a faun (half-goat, half-man) named Mr. Tumnus. While having tea, he tells her that the land is called Narnia. It is ruled by the White Witch, who makes it always winter, but never Christmas. When Lucy returns to the wardrobe after many hours, she finds that only a few seconds have passed in England. Her brothers and sister do not believe her and the wardrobe has closed so they cannot go into Narnia.

Many weeks later, Lucy comes back to the wardrobe during a game of hide-and-seek. Edmund follows her into Narnia, but cannot find her. Instead, he meets a lady. She says she is the Queen of Narnia and gives him Turkish Delight. She promises to make him prince if he will bring the other children to her castle. After she leaves, Edmund finds Lucy. When she talks about the White Witch, he thinks that it is the lady he met. When they get back to England, Edmund lies to Peter and Susan and says they did not go to Narnia. This makes Lucy upset.

Later, they are all hiding from the housekeeper and go into the wardrobe. This time they all go into Narnia. When Lucy leads them to Tumnus's cave, they find that he is arrested and his cave destroyed. Two talking beavers shelter the children. They also tell them about a prophecy that the witch will fail when two Sons of Adam (human males) and two Daughters of Eve (human females) sit on the thrones at Cair Paravel, Narnia's ruling castle. The beavers also tell them about Aslan, the true king of Narnia. He is a great lion and has been gone for many years, but has come back.

Edmund sneaks away to go to the witch. When they find out, the children and beavers go to find Aslan. The witch is mean to Edmund because he did not bring his siblings and leaves to chase them. The winter is starting to warm into spring and she is stopped by the thaw. The children find Aslan and rescue Edmund just before the witch kills him. He is very sorry for following her. The witch says that Edmund must be given back to her because of an old law. The law says that all traitors (people who break trust) belong to her. Aslan gives himself in place. He is killed, but comes back to life through an even older law. This one says that if someone who has not committed the crime willingly takes the punishment, he will come back to life.

In a big fight, the witch is killed by Aslan. The children are kings and queens in Narnia for 15 years, growing into adults. Then they return to England through the wardrobe and are kids again. Little time has passed.

Main Characters

Peter Pevensie

Peter Pevensie is the oldest Pevensie. He does not believe about Narnia until he sees it. He kills a wolf, Maugrim, the head of the witch's police. He is call "Sir Peter, Wolf's-Bane" because of this. In the end, he is High King of Narnia. He is called King Peter the Magnificent (grand).

Susan Pevensie

Susan Pevensie is second oldest. Like Peter, she does not believe in Narnia until they go there. She receives a gift from Father Christmas, a magical horn. At the end of the book, she is called Queen Susan the Gentle.

Edmund Pevensie

Edmund Pevensie is the third child. He likes the White Witch because she gives him sweets and promises to make him prince. He is sorry for that. When he is King, he is known as King Edmund the Just.

Lucy Pevensie

Lucy Pevensie is the youngest Pevensie child. She is the first to find Narnia. She is very good friends with Mr.Tumnus. At the end of the book she is known of Queen Lucy the Valiant (brave).

White Witch

The White Witch is the false queen of Narnia. She makes it always winter, but never Christmas. She can turn things to stone. She is afraid of the children and Aslan, because they should be the rulers.


Aslan is the true king of Narnia and a lion. He gives himself to save Edmund, but comes back to life through an old law called the "Deeper Magic". In the battle, he kills the witch. He leaves after the children are crowned.

Other characters

  • Mr. Tumnus is a faun (half-goat/half-man). Lucy meets him on her first trip into Narnia. He gives her tea and tells her about the land. He is arrested by the White Witch for helping Lucy. She turns him to stone. In the end, Aslan turns him back.
  • Professor Digory Kirke lets the Pevensie children live with him. He is the only one who believes that Lucy went into Narnia. In The Magician's Nephew, he had seen Aslan first make Narnia.

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