The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

by

C. S. Lewis

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: Chapter 16 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
As Susan and Lucy marvel at the statues, Aslan goes around the courtyard breathing on each one. Slowly, the statues begin coming back to life. The girls are shocked and awestruck as the courtyard fills with animals, Satyrs, and Dwarves. Aslan even releases a fearsome Giant from his stone prison—when he awakes, he is confused as to where he is and what has happened to him, and Susan, Lucy, and Aslan explain.  Aslan rounds all of the freed animals and creatures up and urges them to advance into the castle and gather up all the statues inside so that he can free each one of them.
Aslan restores the statues to life and undoes the Witch’s evil magic with his breath. This is symbolic of the ways in which Christ himself is often said to restore his followers who eat of his body and drink of his blood through the ritual of communion—Aslan is healing others and delivering them from a static state of dormancy, literally bringing them back to life and renewing them. This moment also parallels the Harrowing of Hell, when Jesus descended into Hell just before his Resurrection and saved all the righteous souls that had been trapped there.
Themes
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
Fantasy, Reality, and Escapism Theme Icon
Lucy finds Mr. Tumnus, and Aslan breathes on him and restores him to life; Lucy and Tumnus rejoice at being reunited, and dance around with joy. Soon, there is not a statue left in the whole fortress, and all of the Witch’s former prisoners head out into the courtyard. Aslan asks the Giant to blow down the wall which encircles it, and the Giant obliges.
Aslan, having restored all of the Witch’s victims, now rallies them around him. He has saved them, and now they are eager to dedicate themselves to him and follow his commands.
Themes
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
Aslan then claps his paws together and calls for silence; he tells his followers that they must march into battle and defeat the Witch before resting. He instructs everyone to help one another on the journey, and asks for the strong to carry the weak. When they are all ready, they set out beyond the castle walls, back toward the encampment beyond the Stone Table.
Aslan does not ask his followers to fight for him—he asks them, rather, to support one another as they head into battle for goodness, for their country, and for all their souls.
Themes
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Eventually, Aslan and his followers come upon Peter, Edmund, and the rest of their army in a direct clash with the Witch and her horrible minions. Peter’s army seems to be flailing, overwhelmed by the terrible creatures loyal to the Witch. The Witch herself is fighting Peter with her stone knife. Aslan orders Susan and Lucy off his back; with a roar, he throws himself into battle and pounces upon the Witch. All of the creatures he freed from her courtyard throw themselves into the fray, as well, and the woods echo with the sounds of screams, cheers, and clashing weapons.
At last, the four siblings find themselves all in the thick of battle. In a novel that has been largely about the need to pledge oneself to just causes and do the right thing even when it’s scary or dangerous, this climactic battle, gory as it is, shows Lewis’s refusal to shy away from the uglier parts of the human condition and the struggles civilizations face.
Themes
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
Fantasy, Reality, and Escapism Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
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