The children crouch in the wardrobe, wishing Mrs. Macready would finish up her tour so they could leave. After a while, they begin to smell camphor and feel a chill in the air—Peter complains that he is sitting on something wet, and Susan sees a light in the corner of the wardrobe. Peter realizes that they have “got into Lucy’s wood after all.” The children all stand up and make their way to the back of the wardrobe; when they realize that they are in Narnia, Peter apologizes to Lucy for not believing her, and suggests they all go exploring. Susan points out that it is cold, and suggests they each take a fur coat from the wardrobe. The children don the oversized coats, which look very much like “royal robes” on them.
The children are at last all in Narnia together, and instantly feel badly about not having believed Lucy. As they don the overcoats and appear as if they are wearing royal robes, it is almost as if their divine fate as Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve destined to deliver Narnia from evil is already confirmed.
As the children set out, Edmund suggests they head to the left, hoping to point his siblings in the direction of the Queen’s home. When Peter realizes that Edmund has been to Narnia before after all, he calls him a “poisonous little beast.” Peter, Susan, and Lucy head onward, and Edmund lags behind them, planning on how he will “pay [them] all out” soon enough.
Peter suggests Lucy act as the leader, since she is the most familiar with Narnia. Lucy decides to lead the group to Mr. Tumnus’s house, but when they arrive, a “terrible surprise” is waiting for them. Mr. Tumnus’s cave has been ransacked, and a note taped to the front states that “the Faun Tumnus is under arrest and awaiting his trial on a charge of High Treason” for comforting the Queen’s enemies and “fraternizing with Humans.” The note is signed by Maugrim, the Captain of the Queen’s Secret Police.
Lucy wants to bring her siblings to Mr. Tumnus’s house to introduce them to the beautiful, idyllic version of Narnia she thinks is real—but the conflict has gotten so bad that even Mr. Tumnus’s house is no longer a safe haven. The discord and evil sown throughout Narnia can no longer be denied, by Lucy or anyone else.
Susan and Peter are frightened, and ask Lucy to explain what’s going on. She tells them that the Queen is actually the horrible White Witch who has cursed Narnia to an eternal winter without Christmas. Susan wants to turn back and head home, but Lucy insists that they must help Mr. Tumnus, as it’s her own fault that he’s been arrested. Edmund, too, worries that if they go on further into Narnia, they’ll be unable to help, but Susan and Peter, after further consideration, agree that they must go forward and try to rescue Tumnus.
Susan, Lucy, Peter, and Edmund—who were whisked away from the middle of the gruesome war threatening their “real” world—find themselves thrust into the middle of a war in Narnia. Rather than hide this time, or be pulled away by other forces, the siblings choose to stay and fight, and involve themselves in the struggle, though they do not yet understand its depths or stakes.
Lucy spots a robin on a tree branch, and observes that it seems like it wants to say something to her and her siblings. She wonders aloud if birds can talk in Narnia, and then asks the bird to tell them where Mr. Tumnus has been taken. Rather than answering, the bird begins to hop from tree to tree, and in this way leads the children through the woods. As they follow it, Edmund worries aloud to Peter that the robin is leading them into trouble. Peter says he’s sure the Robin wouldn’t be on “the wrong side,” and Edmund expresses uncertainty as to which side of the conflict in Narnia is the “right side.”
As the children journey further into Narnia, they are determined but frightened—even something as benign as a robin seems like it has the potential to harm them or lead them into the heart of danger. Edmund’s early difficulty in telling the “right side” from the “wrong side” points to the book’s religious underpinnings; as the novel unfolds, Edmund struggles to discern right from wrong and resist sinful temptations.