Edmund, meanwhile, is still in the company of the White Witch. The Witch, Edmund, and her driver the Dwarf have been walking for many hours, and have finally stopped to rest. Edmund lies face-down in the dirt, too hungry, thirsty, and tired to move. He hears the Witch and the Dwarf discussing plans for how to move forward. The Witch wonders aloud about what will happen if only three thrones at Cair Paravel were to be filled. The Witch and the Dwarf decide to keep Edmund as a hostage to bargain with Aslan and his forces. The Witch jeeringly states that Aslan will be forced to “rescue” Edmund, and makes reference to a ritual that must be done on the Stone Table.
The Witch knows that her power, in the wake of Aslan’s return, is in serious jeopardy. She conspires as to how she can hang onto what little she has left, and decides to use Edmund as a pawn in in her scheme to strip Aslan of his power and keep the throne to herself.
A wolf approaches the Witch and informs her that Aslan and the three humans are at the Stone Table; Maugrim, he says, has been killed. The Witch orders the wolf to summon as many of her forces as he can—Ghouls, Giants, Werewolves, Ogres, Minotaurs, and more terrible creatures. The wolf goes off to do the Witch’s bidding.
The Witch is ready to enter into battle and avenge her trusted police captain Maugrim, and calls all of her loyal followers—evil, dark creatures—to her side.
The Witch and the Dwarf force Edmund roughly to his feet and bind him against a tree. The Dwarf pulls Edmund’s shirt away from his neck, exposing his throat. The Witch sharpens her knife using magic. At that moment, confusion descends all around—Edmund hears the Witch screaming and feels strong arms pulling him away from the tree. Edmund, overwhelmed, faints on the spot.
The Witch prepares to kill Edmund, but Aslan’s forces come to his rescue. Though Edmund is a traitor, his life is still valuable, and as he is rescued he is given another chance to choose the right side.
The rescue party brings Edmund back to the Stone Table, but in the confusion, have lost the Witch and the Dwarf—the Witch has transfigured herself and her driver into a stump and a boulder, and has managed to keep her precious magic wand intact.
The Witch is still powerful in some ways, but she shows herself to be a coward rather than a righteous warrior by hiding in plain sight.
In the morning, Peter, Susan, and Lucy awake to the news that Edmund has been brought back to camp in the middle of the night, and is presently conversing with Aslan. The children eat breakfast and then go out to find Edmund—Aslan is with him, and tells the others that there is no need to talk with him “about what is past,” meaning his tenure in service to the Witch. Edmund apologizes to all of his siblings, and they forgive him.
Though Edmund nor Aslan tells the others what the two of them have discussed in the wake of Edmund’s return, it becomes clear that Edmund is forgiven and welcomed back into the fold. Christ preached forgiveness and tolerance, and Aslan exhibits both of these things in his treatment of Edmund.
A leopard approaches Aslan and tells him that a messenger from the “enemy” wants an audience with him. The leopard retreats, and then returns with the Witch’s driver. He informs Aslan that the Witch wants to come speak with him, and to be assured of safe conduct during the meeting. Aslan agrees to grant the Witch safe conduct on the condition that she leaves her wand behind in the forest. The Dwarf agrees to this, and two leopards accompany him back to the forest to retrieve the Witch.
Aslan reveals, in requesting that the Witch leave her wand behind, that he is not invincible—he can be killed or defeated, and in this way, is similar to Christ, who was holy but not invulnerable.
A few minutes later, the Witch walks into camp and stands before Aslan. The spring air suddenly grows cold. The Witch informs Aslan that he has a traitor in his possession—Edmund. She chastises Aslan for having forgotten the “Deep Magic” written on the Stone Table, which dictates that the Witch owns every traitor as her “lawful prey,” and for every act of treachery has the right to kill its perpetrator. Edmund’s blood, she says, is her property. Furthermore, she reminds Aslan that unless she has that blood, the Law says “all Narnia will be overturned and perish in fire and water.” Aslan does not deny the truth of the Witch’s statements, and admits that he cannot work against this Deep Magic put in place by the Emperor of Narnia.
The air growing cold foreshadows that the Witch is still, against all odds, able to hold on and even exercise some of her evil power even in Aslan’s presence. She taunts Aslan with a reminder of what her role in Narnia is, and the fact that Edmund is rightfully hers according to old laws that Aslan himself cannot even begin to challenge.
Aslan instructs the children and his other attendants to fall back and let him talk to the Witch alone. All of them obey, though as they watch the Lion and the Witch talk together, they are anxious and frightened. At last, Aslan calls out for them to come back; he has settled the dispute, and the Witch has renounced her claim on Edmund’s blood. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief. The Witch asks Aslan to guarantee that his promise to her will be kept—Aslan roars at her, and the Witch picks up her skirts and runs “for her life” back into the forest.
The Witch and Aslan talk for a while, and clearly strike some kind of bargain. When the Witch attempts to bring the terms of their deal up in front of others, though, Aslan becomes enraged. His roar frightens the Witch off—demonstrating that for all her bravado and flaunting of the Deep Magic of Narnia, she would truly be no match for Aslan if not for the protection of some ancient laws.