Miles away, the Mr. Beaver, Mrs. Beaver, Peter, Lucy, and Susan are still making their way to the Stone Table; they, too, are surprised and delighted by the sudden onset of spring, and realize that the thaw must mean that the Witch’s powers are diminishing as Aslan approaches.
The Witch’s eternal winter is dissolving before everyone’s eyes; her powers have no hold on the realm once the true King approaches. On an allegorical level, Lewis is illustrating Christ’s redemptive power even in the face of terrible evil.
At last, the group reaches the clearing where the Stone Table is. Peter, Susan, and Lucy take in the sight of the landmark—it is a huge slab of grey stone inlaid with ancient lines, figures, and markings. A pavilion has been set up on the far side of the clearing, and a banner bearing a red lion flies above it. The children hear the sound of music to their right and turn to face it; they see Aslan in the center of a crowd of creatures which includes Dryads, Naiads, unicorns, and various talking animals. Aslan is large, mighty, and terrible, and the children are afraid to approach him; Mr. Beaver, though, urges them forward.
Peter bravely approaches Aslan, and Aslan greets Peter, Susan, Lucy, Mr. Beaver and Mrs. Beaver warmly. His voice has a calming effect. Aslan asks where the fourth child is; Mr. Beaver answers that Edmund has betrayed them all to the White Witch. Lucy asks Aslan if there is anything he can do to save Edmund; Aslan vows to try, but warns the children it may be harder to save their brother than they think. Lucy notices a sad look cross Aslan’s face, but the next moment, the lion pulls himself together and invites the children to come to a great feast.
Though Aslan is powerful and mighty, and the undisputed King of Narnia, there is a sadness and uncertainty within him. Just as Christ was a man, and had to face earthly tribulations, so too does Aslan face pain, adversity, and, if not literal humanity, a reckoning with the limits of his power.
While Lucy and Susan are whisked away to be prepared for dinner, Aslan brings Peter to a high ridge where he can see the country he will soon rule. Aslan points out the great edifice of Cair Paravel, the castle where the children’s thrones are housed, and tells Peter that as the eldest of all his siblings, he will be High King of Narnia. Peter and Aslan then hear the sound of a horn—Peter recognizes it as the horn Father Christmas gave to Susan. Realizing she must be in trouble, Aslan and Peter quickly return to the clearing.
Aslan’s special interest in Peter, who is the eldest of the four siblings, demonstrates that Aslan knows he is asking a lot of all the children in bringing them to the throne of Narnia—but most of all Peter, who will have to lead. This foreshadows the challenge Peter is about to face immediately as he hears his sister’s calls for help.
Chaos has broken out at the Stone Table, and members of Aslan’s army are scattered in every direction. Lucy runs towards Peter with fear; Susan is being chased up a tree by Maugrim. Peter draws his sword, rushes straight up to the beast, and plunges his blade into its heart. Though his fight with the wolf was brief, Peter is exhausted and sweating. Susan comes down from the tree and embraces her siblings, but there is no time for rejoicing; Aslan has spotted another wolf darting off into the woods. Aslan tells Peter, Susan, and Lucy that the wolf will be heading off to find the Witch; he implores them to follow the wolf, and rescue Edmund.
Peter’s defeat of Maugrim, though swift and seemingly simple, has taxed him greatly. Peter has just gotten his first taste of what it means to be a leader and a protector; he has saved the life of his sister, but must reckon with the fear and responsibility of campaigning against evil and maintaining the peace of the realm.
First, though, Aslan beckons Peter to him. He instructs Peter to wipe his sword clean of the wolf’s blood. Once Peter has done so, Aslan asks Peter to hand him the blade. Aslan knights Peter, and dubs him “Sir Peter Wolf’s-Bane.” As he sends Peter off into the woods, Aslan reminds him to “never forget to wipe [his] sword.”
Aslan recognizes Peter’s bravery, and warns him to always wipe his sword. This is symbolic of his desire to impress upon Peter the importance of always confronting one’s actions and taking responsibility for them.