The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

by

C. S. Lewis

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The Queen asks Edmund once again what he is. He answers that he is a boy—the Queen is delighted to have finally encountered a “Son of Adam.” She asks Edmund how he came to Narnia, and when he reveals that he came through a wardrobe, the Queen seems both impressed and nervous by Edmund’s ability to traverse worlds through a simple door. She worries aloud that Edmund may “wreck all”—but then declares that he is “only one, and […] easily dealt with.”
The Queen, beginning to understand who Edmund is, senses that he has a great power, and that he may threaten her claim to the throne. As such, she wishes to dispatch him, and immediately begins devising how she will do so.
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The Queen rises from her sledge and begins taking a pitying tone with Edmund. She tells him he looks very cold, and invites him to come sit in the sledge with her, where he can get warm under her blankets. Edmund steps into the sledge and allows himself to be draped in fur. The Queen conjures a drink and a snack for Edmund—she asks him what he would most like to eat in the world, and when he answers “Turkish Delight,” she uses her magic to make some appear for him.
The Witch beguiles and seduces Edmund, plying him with enchanted food and drink. By presenting herself as a friend to him, the White Witch uses both emotional and psychological control to place Edmund firmly in her clutches and use him as a pawn in his own destruction.
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As Edmund eats the Turkish Delight, the Queen asks him many questions. He answers them all honestly, revealing that he has one brother and two sisters, and that one of his sisters has already been to Narnia and met a Faun (Mr. Tumnus). The Queen is “especially interested” in the fact that there are four siblings, and asks Edmund if he would bring his brother and sisters to her. Edmund has finished the Turkish Delight—the Queen promises that if Edmund does her bidding, she will give him more candy and bring him to her house, where she will make him Prince and eventually King of Narnia.
The Turkish Delight is enchanted, but its power is only part of the reason Edmund is in the Queen’s thrall—the idea that he could have power over his siblings, and become King of the world Lucy first discovered, is deeply tempting to him, as he is clearly insecure and conflicted about his role in his own family.
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Related Quotes
Edmund begs to be brought to the Queen’s home now, but she insists he must bring his siblings to her first. The Queen points out where her castle sits in the distance, between two hills; she asks him to return to Narnia with his siblings and bring them to her home. She warns Edmund not to tell his siblings about her, and to make their visit to her castle “a surprise for them.” She tells Edmund that if Lucy met a Faun, she has surely heard “nasty stories” about the Queen. Edmund begs for one last piece of Turkish Delight, but the Queen says he must wait until the next time he sees her, and then orders her driver to continue on.
In one final attempt to get Edmund on her side, the Witch uses psychological manipulation to continue turning Edmund against Lucy, undermining their already-fraught relationship, and inspiring further suspicion and discord between them.
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After the sledge departs, Edmund hears Lucy calling for him. She is excited to see that he has made it through to Narnia as well, and explains that she was having lunch with her friend Mr. Tumnus, who has thankfully been unbothered by the White Witch. Edmund asks who the White Witch is, and Lucy tells him that the White Witch is a pretender to the throne of Narnia who is hated by all the creatures of the land. Lucy tells Edmund that the Witch has made it “always winter but never Christmas” in the land and drives around in a sledge drawn by reindeer.
From Lucy’s description, Edmund can plainly see that the woman he believes to be Queen of Narnia is nothing more than a wretched, evil Witch. He has been duped, but whether he will admit to it and join Lucy or lean into the Witch’s temptations remains to be seen.
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Edmund is upset to hear that he has made friends with a dangerous witch. He asks who told Lucy about the White Witch—when she reveals it was Mr. Tumnus the Faun who told her, Edmund warns her not to trust what Fauns say, and then suggests the two of them return home. Lucy agrees that they should, and expresses how happy she is that Edmund has seen Narnia, too—now, the others will believe her. Edmund, though, feels nervous about having to admit that Lucy was right in front of all his siblings. As the two of them head back to the lamp-post and through the wardrobe, Lucy observes that Edmund looks unwell; he is feeling very sick indeed from the Turkish Delight.
Edmund is uneasy about the exchange he has just had with the Witch—but the promises she made him seem to outweigh whatever dark feelings he has about being conscripted to her service. Edmund is deeply insecure, and even as he and Lucy head back to their own world, Edmund is uncertain of where his allegiances and sympathies truly lie.
Themes
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