The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

by

C. S. Lewis

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Edmund Character Analysis

Edmund is Lucy’s older brother and Susan and Peter’s younger brother. He is a “spiteful” and cruel child who is easily duped by the White Witch and conscripted into her service on his first visit to Narnia. He is depicted as selfish and greedy—when the Witch serves him enchanted Turkish Delights in an attempt to bribe him into doing her bidding, he falls for her plot entirely, and is so determined to get his hands on more candy (and a Kingship) that he sells his siblings out to the Witch despite fully knowing that she is evil. Edmund, despite his traitorous ways, is a complex character who is often conflicted; he knows that many of his actions are wrong, deep down, but is usually too selfish to do the right thing. Aslan, the rightful King of Narnia, selflessly sacrifices himself to the White Witch in Edmund’s place, redeeming Edmund of his selfish and traitorous ways. By the end of the novel, Edmund returns from Narnia a much more thoughtful and just person, known for his clearheaded judgement.

Edmund Quotes in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe quotes below are all either spoken by Edmund or refer to Edmund. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe published in 1950.
Chapter 4 Quotes

While he was eating the Queen kept asking him questions. At first Edmund tried to remember that it is rude to speak with one's mouth full, but soon he forgot about this and thought only of trying to shovel down as much Turkish Delight as he could, and the more he ate the more he wanted to eat, and he never asked himself why the Queen should be so inquisitive. She got him to tell her that he had one brother and two sisters, and that one of his sisters had already been in Narnia and had met a Faun there, and that no one except himself and his brother and his sisters knew anything about Narnia. She seemed especially interested in the fact that there were four of them, and kept on coming back to it. “You are sure there are just four of you?” she asked. “Two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve, neither more nor less?” and Edmund, with his mouth full of Turkish Delight, kept on saying, “Yes, I told you that before,” and forgetting to call her “Your Majesty,” but she didn't seem to mind now. At last the Turkish Delight was all finished and Edmund was looking very hard at the empty box and wishing that she would ask him whether he would like some more. Probably the Queen knew quite well what he was thinking; for she knew, though Edmund did not, that this was enchanted Turkish Delight and that anyone who had once tasted it would want more and more of it, and would even, if they were allowed, go on eating it till they killed themselves.

Related Characters: Edmund (speaker), The White Witch / The Queen (speaker), Lucy, Susan, Peter
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

“Peter! Susan! It’s all true. Edmund has seen it too. There is a country you can get to through the wardrobe. Edmund and I both got in. We met one another in there, in the wood. Go on, Edmund; tell them all about it.”

“What's all this about, Ed?” said Peter.

And now we come to one of the nastiest things in this story. Up to that moment Edmund had been feeling sick, and sulky, and annoyed with Lucy for being right, but he hadn't made up his mind what to do. When Peter suddenly asked him the question he decided all at once to do the meanest and most spiteful thing he could think of. He decided to let Lucy down.

“Tell us, Ed,” said Susan.

And Edmund gave a very superior look as if he were far older than Lucy (there was really only a year's difference) and then a little snigger and said, “Oh, yes, Lucy and I have been playing—pretending that all her story about a country in the wardrobe is true. Just for fun, of course. There's nothing there really.”

Related Characters: Lucy (speaker), Edmund (speaker), Susan (speaker), Peter (speaker)
Page Number: 44-45
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

“So you really were here,” [Peter] said, “that time Lu said she'd met you in here—and you made out she was telling lies.”

There was a dead silence. “Well, of all the poisonous little beasts—” said Peter, and shrugged his shoulders and said no more. There seemed, indeed, no more to say, and presently the four resumed their journey; but Edmund was saying to himself. “I'll pay you all out for this, you pack of stuck-up, self-satisfied prigs.”

Related Characters: Peter (speaker), Lucy, Edmund
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:

“I-I wonder if there's any point in going on,” said Susan. “I mean, it doesn't seem particularly safe here and it looks as if it won't be much fun either. And it's getting colder every minute, and we've brought nothing to eat. What about just going home?”

“Oh, but we can't, we can't,” said Lucy suddenly; “don't you see? We can't just go home, not after this. It is all on my account that the poor Faun has got into this trouble. He hid me from the Witch and showed me the way back. That's what it means by comforting the Queen's enemies and fraternizing with Humans. We simply must try to rescue him.”

[…]

“I've a horrid feeling that Lu is right,” said Susan. “I don't want to go a step further and I wish we'd never come. But I think we must try to do something for Mr. Whatever-his-name-is—I mean the Faun.”

Related Characters: Lucy (speaker), Susan (speaker), Edmund, Peter, Mr. Tumnus
Page Number: 59-60
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

“They say Aslan is on the move—perhaps has already landed.”

And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don't understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning—either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again. It was like that now. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.

Related Characters: Mr. Beaver (speaker), Lucy, Edmund, Susan, Peter, Aslan
Page Number: 67-68
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

You mustn't think that even now Edmund was quite so bad that he actually wanted his brother and sisters to be turned into stone. He did want Turkish Delight and to be a Prince (and later a King) and to pay Peter out for calling him a beast. As for what the Witch would do with the others, he didn't want her to be particularly nice to them—certainly not to put them on the same level as himself; but he managed to believe, or to pretend he believed, that she wouldn't do anything very bad to them, “Because,” he said to himself, “all these people who say nasty things about her are her enemies and probably half of it isn't true. She was jolly nice to me, anyway, much nicer than they are. I expect she is the rightful Queen really. Anyway, she'll be better than that awful Aslan!” At least, that was the excuse he made in his own mind for what he was doing. It wasn't a very good excuse, however, for deep down inside him he really knew that the White Witch was bad and cruel.

Related Characters: Edmund (speaker), Lucy, Susan, Peter, Aslan, The White Witch / The Queen
Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:

And he stood there gloating over the stone lion, and presently he did something very silly and childish. He took a stump of lead pencil out of his pocket and scribbled a moustache on the lion's upper lip and then a pair of spectacles on its eyes. Then he said, “Yah! Silly old Aslan! How do you like being a stone? You thought yourself mighty fine, didn't you?” But in spite of the scribbles on it the face of the great stone beast still looked so terrible, and sad, and noble, staring up in the moonlight, that Edmund didn't really get any fun out of jeering at it. He turned away and began to cross the courtyard.

Related Characters: Edmund (speaker), Aslan, The White Witch / The Queen
Page Number: 96
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

Now they were steadily racing on again. And soon Edmund noticed that the snow which splashed against them as they rushed through it was much wetter than it had been all last night. At the same time he noticed that he was feeling much less cold. It was also becoming foggy. In fact every minute it grew foggier and warmer. And the sledge was not running nearly as well as it had been running up till now. […] The sledge jerked, and skidded and kept on jolting as if it had struck against stones. And however the dwarf whipped the poor reindeer the sledge went slower and slower. There also seemed to be a curious noise all round them, but the noise of their driving and jolting and the dwarf's shouting at the reindeer prevented Edmund from hearing what it was, until suddenly the sledge stuck so fast that it wouldn't go on at all. When that happened there was a moment's silence. And in that silence Edmund could at last listen to the other noise properly. […] All round them though out of sight there were streams, chattering, murmuring, bubbling, splashing and even (in the distance) roaring. And his heart gave a great leap (though he hardly knew why) when he realized that the frost was over.

Related Characters: Edmund, The White Witch / The Queen
Page Number: 117-118
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

“It was all Edmund's doing, Aslan,” Peter was saying. “We'd have been beaten if it hadn't been for him. The Witch was turning our troops into stone right and left. But nothing would stop him. He fought his way through three ogres to where she was just turning one of your leopards into a statue. And when he reached her he had sense to bring his sword smashing down on her wand in- stead of trying to go for her directly and simply getting made a statue himself for his pains. That was the mistake all the rest were making. Once her wand was broken we began to have some chance—if we hadn't lost so many already. He was terribly wounded. We must go and see him.”

Related Characters: Peter (speaker), Edmund, Aslan, The White Witch / The Queen
Page Number: 178-179
Explanation and Analysis:

“I know not how it is, but this lamp on the post worketh upon me strangely. It runs in my mind that I have seen the like before; as it were in a dream, or in the dream of a dream.”

“Sir,” answered they all, “it is even so with us also.”

“And more,” said Queen Lucy, “for it will not go out of my mind that if we pass this post and lantern either we shall find strange adventures or else some great change of our fortunes.”

“Madam,” said King Edmund, “the like foreboding stirreth in my heart also.”

“And in mine, fair brother,” said King Peter.

“And in mine too,” said Queen Susan. “Wherefore by my counsel we shall lightly return to our horses and follow this White Stag no further.”

“Madam,” said King Peter, “therein I pray thee to have me excused. For never since we four were Kings and Queens in Narnia have we set our hands to any high matter, as battles, quests, feats of arms, acts of justice, and the like, and then given over; but always what we have taken in hand, the same we have achieved.”

“Sister,” said Queen Lucy, “my royal brother speaks rightly. And it seems to me we should be shamed if for any fearing or foreboding we turned back from following so noble a beast as now we have in chase.”

Related Characters: Lucy (speaker), Edmund (speaker), Susan (speaker), Peter (speaker)
Page Number: 186-187
Explanation and Analysis:

The Professor, who was a very remarkable man, didn't tell them not to be silly or not to tell lies, but believed the whole story. “No,” he said, “I don't think it will be any good trying to go back through the wardrobe door to get the coats. You won't get into Narnia again by that route. Nor would the coats be much use by now if you did! Eh? What's that? Yes, of course you'll get back to Narnia again someday. Once a King in Narnia, always a King in Narnia. But don't go trying to use the same route twice. Indeed, don't try to get there at all. It'll happen when you're not looking for it. And don't talk too much about it even among yourselves. And don't mention it to anyone else unless you find that they've had adventures of the same sort themselves. What's that? How will you know? Oh, you'll know all right. Odd things they say—even their looks—will let the secret out. Keep your eyes open.”

Related Characters: The Professor (speaker), Lucy, Edmund, Susan, Peter
Page Number: 188-189
Explanation and Analysis:
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Edmund Character Timeline in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The timeline below shows where the character Edmund appears in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Lucy Looks into a Wardrobe
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Siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy have been sent away from London to the countryside because of the air-raids... (full context)
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The next morning, though, it is raining. Edmund grumbles about the bad weather, but Susan urges him to cheer up; Peter offers to... (full context)
Chapter 3: Edmund and the Wardrobe
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...her heart that she is right. Peter and Susan tease her lightly about Narnia, but Edmund, who is spiteful and cruel, teases Lucy ruthlessly to the point that she cannot enjoy... (full context)
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...and pulls the door up behind her, but does not shut it all the way. Edmund follows her into the room, and enters just in time to see Lucy climbing into... (full context)
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Edmund jumps into the wardrobe and feels around for Lucy, but cannot find her. He begins... (full context)
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Sitting in the sledge is a “great lady,” taller than any woman Edmund has ever seen. She is dressed in white fur and holds a long golden wand.... (full context)
Chapter 4: Turkish Delight
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The Queen asks Edmund once again what he is. He answers that he is a boy—the Queen is delighted... (full context)
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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... (full context)
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As Edmund eats the Turkish Delight, the Queen asks him many questions. He answers them all honestly,... (full context)
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Edmund begs to be brought to the Queen’s home now, but she insists he must bring... (full context)
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After the sledge departs, Edmund hears Lucy calling for him. She is excited to see that he has made it... (full context)
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Edmund is upset to hear that he has made friends with a dangerous witch. He asks... (full context)
Chapter 5: Back on This Side of the Door
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Lucy and Edmund return to find that the game of hide-and-seek is still going on, and so it... (full context)
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Peter reprimands Edmund for being “beastly” to Lucy and setting her off. Edmund protests that Lucy has been... (full context)
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...asks them how they know that Lucy isn’t telling the truth. Susan tells him that Edmund accused Lucy of lying. The Professor, though, asks Peter and Susan which of their siblings... (full context)
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...the Professor, Peter and Susan try hard to make things better for Lucy. Peter gets Edmund to stop teasing her, and no one brings the wardrobe up at all. (full context)
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...tours, and to make themselves scarce while they are going on. One morning, Peter and Edmund are playing near a suit of armor when Lucy and Susan rush into the room... (full context)
Chapter 6: Into the Forest
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As the children set out, Edmund suggests they head to the left, hoping to point his siblings in the direction of... (full context)
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...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,... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
Chapter 7: A Day with the Beavers
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...while, the robin stops leading the children through the wood and flies away. Lucy and Edmund are frightened, worried that they have walked into a trap, but Susan points out something... (full context)
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Edmund suspiciously asks how they can know the beaver is on their side, and the beaver... (full context)
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...though they do not yet know who he is, the children all feel “quite different.” Edmund feels a mysterious horror; Peter feels full of bravery; Susan feels as if she has... (full context)
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...their group comes to a frozen river where the beaver has built a dam. Upriver, Edmund can see the twin hills which flank the Queen’s castle. “Horrible ideas” come into his... (full context)
Chapter 8: What Happened after Dinner
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...and Mr. Beaver knows that Aslan will “settle” the White Witch and save Mr. Tumnus. Edmund suggests the White Witch will turn Aslan into stone, but Mr. Beaver finds this idea... (full context)
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Lucy suddenly realizes that Edmund is not sitting at the table. The group looks about frantically for him, but no... (full context)
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...suggests they get on their way to the Stone Table. Mrs. Beaver realizes, though, that Edmund will surely bring the information about the meeting with Aslan at the Stone Table to... (full context)
Chapter 9: In the Witch’s House
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The narrative fills in the blanks as to what happened to Edmund during dinner. As the others ate their delicious food, Edmund found that he could only... (full context)
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Edmund does not want his brother and sisters to be turned to stone, but all he... (full context)
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Edmund travels through the snow, slipping on drifts and skidding on ice. Wet, cold, bruised, and... (full context)
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Edmund continues through the courtyard and comes upon a great wolf at the threshold to the... (full context)
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Maugrim returns and admits Edmund into the hall. The palace, too, is full of stone statues of the Witch’s enemies.... (full context)
Chapter 11: Aslan is Nearer
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Meanwhile, Edmund, back at the Witch’s house, asks for more Turkish Delight as she readies her sledge.... (full context)
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Soon, the sledge is ready—the Witch orders Edmund to follow her out to the courtyard. There, they get into the sledge. The Witch... (full context)
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...slow down. The snow is melting, and the sledge becomes stuck in mud and slush. Edmund hears the sound of running water in a nearby stream and birds chirping—his heart leaps... (full context)
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The Witch orders Edmund to get out of the sledge and help unstick it from the mud. After doing... (full context)
Chapter 12: Peter’s First Battle
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...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... (full context)
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...heading off to find the Witch; he implores them to follow the wolf, and rescue Edmund. (full context)
Chapter 13: Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time
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Edmund, meanwhile, is still in the company of the White Witch. The Witch, Edmund, and her... (full context)
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The Witch and the Dwarf force Edmund roughly to his feet and bind him against a tree. The Dwarf pulls Edmund’s shirt... (full context)
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The rescue party brings Edmund back to the Stone Table, but in the confusion, have lost the Witch and the... (full context)
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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... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
Chapter 14: The Triumph of the Witch
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...as once he is dead, no one will be able to stop her from killing Edmund. The Witch tells Aslan that he has given her Narnia forever; she wants him to... (full context)
Chapter 16: What Happened about the Statues
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Eventually, Aslan and his followers come upon Peter, Edmund, and the rest of their army in a direct clash with the Witch and her... (full context)
Chapter 17: The Hunting of the White Stag
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...Peter and Aslan shake hands, and Peter tells Aslan that their victory is owed to Edmund, who “had sense” to smash the Witch’s wand rather than attack her outright. Peter, Aslan,... (full context)
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...Aslan restores those who have been turned to stone. When Lucy at last returns to Edmund’s side, she finds him much improved, and looking better than he has looked for ages;... (full context)
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...dignified rulers. Peter is known as a great warrior; Susan is a peacemaker and ambassador; Edmund is known for his clearheaded judgement and sense of justice; Lucy is renowned for her... (full context)