The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

by

C. S. Lewis

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Meanwhile, Edmund, back at the Witch’s house, asks for more Turkish Delight as she readies her sledge. She tells him to be silent, and then orders one of her servants to bring Edmund some bread and water. Edmund says he does not want stale, dry bread, but when the Witch gives him a withering look, he eats it anyway.
Edmund is realizing—too late—that the Witch is truly evil, has no interest in his well-being, and is not going to make good on any of the lavish promises she made to him.
Themes
Fantasy, Reality, and Escapism Theme Icon
Soon, the sledge is ready—the Witch orders Edmund to follow her out to the courtyard. There, they get into the sledge. The Witch tells Maugrim to take his fastest wolves and go to the house of Mr. Beaver and Mrs. Beaver—she orders them to “kill whatever [they] find there,” and make haste towards the Stone Table if their home is empty. The wolves take off, and soon the Witch, Edmund, and their driver are off on their own. Edmund is cold, wet, and miserable, and worst of all, he realizes that the Witch does not plan to actually make him a King, or even a Prince.
The Witch is out for blood—she wants to kill anyone who stands in her way, and prevent any challenge to her claim to the throne. Edmund’s increasing misery in the cold is symbolic of his punishment for having sold out his siblings for the Witch, and conspired in her evil plot.
Themes
Fantasy, Reality, and Escapism Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
After several hours’ journey, the sledge comes upon a little outdoor dinner party attended by a family of squirrels, two Satyrs, a Dwarf and a fox. The Witch asks what they are celebrating, and how they got their hands on such delicious food; the fox timidly answers that Father Christmas gave it to them. The Witch, furious, turns all of the animals—and their pudding—to stone.
The Witch knows that Father Christmas’s reappearance is a direct threat to her reign. Out of rage and fury, she turns those who have been visited by him (and, symbolically, the bounty of Christianity) into stone, thereby reasserting her power.
Themes
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
The Witch orders her driver to press on, but as the sledge moves over the land, the temperature rises and the sleigh begins to slow down. The snow is melting, and the sledge becomes stuck in mud and slush. Edmund hears the sound of running water in a nearby stream and birds chirping—his heart leaps as he realizes that spring is near.
The melting of the snow is symbolic of the fact that the Witch’s reign is, minute by minute, rapidly nearing its end. Edmund, who had once longed to join the Witch in her castle and be a Prince, surprisingly feels joy at the thought of spring—and consequently the Witch’s fall from power.
Themes
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
Fantasy, Reality, and Escapism Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
Related Quotes
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The Witch orders Edmund to get out of the sledge and help unstick it from the mud. After doing so, the Witch orders her driver to carry on, but he protests that they can’t possibly make headway in such sludge and much. The Witch decides that their group will walk—she orders her driver to tie Edmund’s hands, and the three of them trudge on through the melting world as it gives way to green trees, flowers, and the chattering of birds. The Witch’s driver laments that this sudden coming of spring is “Aslan’s doing,” but the Witch warns him—and Edmund—that if either of them speaks Aslan’s name again, she will kill them on the spot.
The Witch knows that the reason for the warming weather and the reappearance of Father Christmas is the fact that Aslan is approaching. She clearly hates and deeply fears him, but is in denial about the fact that his arrival will mean her end—she presses on even in the face of certain defeat.
Themes
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
Fantasy, Reality, and Escapism Theme Icon
War Theme Icon