The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

by

C. S. Lewis

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The White Witch / The Queen Character Analysis

The pretender to the throne of Narnia, the White Witch calls herself Queen of the realm but is actually an evil, ancient entity determined to thwart the prophecy which foretells that four Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve (Peter, Edmund, Susan, and Lucy) will one day sit on the Narnian thrones at Cair Paravel. The White Witch’s imposition of an interminable winter—a winter without Christmas—is part of Lewis’s allegorical exploration of Christian values. In depicting a Christmas-less winter brought on by an evil Queen, Lewis suggests the impoverishment and bleakness of a world without the light of Christianity. Strongly echoing the biblical story of the Passion and the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the White Witch taunts, tortures, and ultimately kills Aslan, the rightful King of Narnia, but he is soon resurrected.

The White Witch / The Queen Quotes in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe quotes below are all either spoken by The White Witch / The Queen or refer to The White Witch / The Queen. 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 2 Quotes

“But what have you done?” asked Lucy.

“My old father, now,” said Mr. Tumnus; “that's his picture over the mantelpiece. He would never have done a thing like this.”

“A thing like what?” said Lucy.

“Like what I've done,” said the Faun. “Taken service under the White Witch. That's what I am. I'm in the pay of the White Witch.”

“The White Witch? Who is she?”

“Why, it is she that has got all Narnia under her thumb. It's she that makes it always winter. Always winter and never Christmas; think of that!”

“How awful!” said Lucy.

Related Characters: Lucy (speaker), Mr. Tumnus (speaker), The White Witch / The Queen
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

“I had orders from the White Witch that if ever I saw a Son of Adam or a Daughter of Eve in the wood, I was to catch them and hand them over to her. And you are the first I’ve ever met. And I've pretended to be your friend and asked you to tea, and all the time I've been meaning to wait till you were asleep and then go and tell Her.”

“Oh, but you won't, Mr. Tumnus,” said Lucy. “You won't, will you? Indeed, indeed you really mustn't.”

“And if I don't,” said he, beginning to cry again, “she's sure to find out. And she'll have my tail cut off, and my horns sawn off, and my beard plucked out, and she'll wave her wand over my beautiful cloven hoofs and turn them into horrid solid hoofs like a wretched horse's. And if she is extra and specially angry she'll turn me into stone and I shall be only a statue of a Faun in her horrible house until the four thrones at Cair Paravel are filled-and goodness knows when that will happen, or whether it will ever happen at all.”

Related Characters: Lucy (speaker), Mr. Tumnus (speaker), The White Witch / The Queen
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:
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 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 10 Quotes

“Come on!” cried Mr. Beaver, who was almost dancing with delight. “Come and see! This is a nasty knock for the Witch! It looks as if her power is already crumbling.”

[…]

It was a sledge, and it was reindeer with bells on their harness. […] And on the sledge sat a person whom everyone knew the moment they set eyes on him. He was a huge man in a bright red robe (bright as hollyberries) with a hood that had fur inside it and a great white beard that fell like a foamy waterfall over his chest. Everyone knew him because, though you see people of his sort only in Narnia, you see pictures of them and hear them talked about even in our world—the world on this side of the wardrobe door. But when you really see them in Narnia it is rather different. Some of the pictures of Father Christmas in our world make him look only funny and jolly. But now that the children actually stood looking at him they didn't find it quite like that. He was so big, and so glad, and so real, that they all became quite still. They felt very glad, but also solemn.

“I've come at last,” said he. “She has kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last. Aslan is on the move. The Witch's magic is weakening.”

Related Characters: Mr. Beaver (speaker), Lucy, Susan, Peter, The White Witch / The Queen, Mrs. Beaver
Related Symbols: Father Christmas
Page Number: 106-107
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 14 Quotes

At last the rabble had had enough of this. They began to drag the bound and muzzled Lion to the Stone Table, some pulling and some pushing. He was so huge that even when they got him there it took all their efforts to hoist him onto the surface of it. Then there was more tying and tightening of cords.

“The cowards! The cowards!” sobbed Susan. “Are they still afraid of him, even now?”

Related Characters: Susan (speaker), Lucy, Aslan, The White Witch / The Queen
Page Number: 154
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

“Oh, you're real, you're real! Oh, Aslan!” cried Lucy, and both girls flung themselves upon him and covered him with kisses.

“But what does it all mean?” asked Susan when they were somewhat calmer.

“It means,” said Aslan, “that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward. And now—”

“Oh yes. Now?” said Lucy, jumping up and clapping her hands.

“Oh, children,” said the Lion, “I feel my strength coming back to me.”

Related Characters: Lucy (speaker), Susan (speaker), Aslan (speaker), The White Witch / The Queen
Page Number: 163
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:
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The White Witch / The Queen Character Timeline in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The timeline below shows where the character The White Witch / The Queen appears in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: What Lucy Found There
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...“bad Faun.” He reveals to Lucy that he is in the service of the White Witch—the despotic ruler of Narnia who has made it “always winter and never Christmas” in the... (full context)
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...He says that he of course will, though if he is found out, the White Witch will inflict horrible punishments upon him, and may even turn him into a statue—he worries... (full context)
Chapter 3: Edmund and the Wardrobe
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...as he introduces himself, and the lady chastises him for speaking so casually to the Queen of Narnia. (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... (full context)
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The Queen rises from her sledge and begins taking a pitying tone with Edmund. She tells him... (full context)
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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... (full context)
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Edmund begs to be brought to the Queen’s home now, but she insists he must bring his siblings to her first. The Queen... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
Chapter 6: Into the Forest
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...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... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
Chapter 7: A Day with the Beavers
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...beaver explains that the trees are always listening—and some of them are loyal to the Queen. (full context)
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...beaver has built a dam. Upriver, Edmund can see the twin hills which flank the Queen’s castle. “Horrible ideas” come into his head as he schemes about how to get to... (full context)
Chapter 8: What Happened after Dinner
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...what will become of him. Mr. Beaver explains that Tumnus has been taken to the Witch’s house. Lucy asks what will happen to him there, and Mr. Beaver predicts that he... (full context)
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...father’s. Aslan has returned, though, 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... (full context)
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...the children there—once they meet up with Aslan, they will be able to challenge the Queen. He cites another prophecy which predicts that “when Adam’s flesh and Adam’s bone” ascend the... (full context)
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Mr. Beaver explains that the Witch has tried to disguise herself as a human to make it seem as if she... (full context)
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...in looking for Edmund—he has betrayed them all, and gone to the house of the Witch. Lucy realizes with chagrin that Edmund has been to Narnia before, though he did not... (full context)
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...surely bring the information about the meeting with Aslan at the Stone Table to the Witch, and Mr. Beaver worries that she will attempt to cut them off from Aslan by... (full context)
Chapter 9: In the Witch’s House
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...the others ate their delicious food, Edmund found that he could only think of the Witch’s Turkish Delight—the enchanted food had ruined his taste for ordinary food. After hearing about Aslan... (full context)
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...him a beast. Edmund believes that if he delivers his brother and sisters to the Witch, she will make them royalty in Narnia as well—the Queen was “jolly nice” to Edmund,... (full context)
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...things he will do once he is King of Narnia. At last, he reaches the Witch’s house, which is a small castle with long, pointy spires all around it. The house... (full context)
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...Edmund realizes the wolf must be Maugrim, Chief of the Secret Police for the White Witch. (full context)
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...admits Edmund into the hall. The palace, too, is full of stone statues of the Witch’s enemies. Maugrim leads Edmund to the White Witch—she is incensed that he has come without... (full context)
Chapter 10: The Spell Begins to Break
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...They want to leave now and get a head start—they doubt they can beat the Witch to the Stone Table, but know that by taking sneaky ways through the woods, they... (full context)
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...to the sound of jingling bells. Mr. Beaver heads out to investigate, worried that the Witch has arrived in her sledge. Once above ground, though, he cries out in delight for... (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. She tells him to... (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.... (full context)
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...party attended by a family of squirrels, two Satyrs, a Dwarf and a fox. The Witch asks what they are celebrating, and how they got their hands on such delicious food;... (full context)
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The Witch orders her driver to press on, but as the sledge moves over the land, the... (full context)
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The Witch orders Edmund to get out of the sledge and help unstick it from the mud.... (full context)
Chapter 12: Peter’s First Battle
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...by the sudden onset of spring, and realize that the thaw must mean that the Witch’s powers are diminishing as Aslan approaches. (full context)
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...fourth child is; Mr. Beaver answers that Edmund has betrayed them all to the White Witch. Lucy asks Aslan if there is anything he can do to save Edmund; Aslan vows... (full context)
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...tells Peter, Susan, and Lucy that the wolf will be 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 driver the Dwarf have been walking for many hours, and... (full context)
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A wolf approaches the Witch and informs her that Aslan and the three humans are at the Stone Table; Maugrim,... (full context)
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The Witch and the Dwarf force Edmund roughly to his feet and bind him against a tree.... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
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...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. (full context)
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...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... (full context)
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A few minutes later, the Witch walks into camp and stands before Aslan. The spring air suddenly grows cold. The Witch... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
Chapter 14: The Triumph of the Witch
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As soon as the Witch leaves, Aslan tells everyone that it is time to move away from the Stone Table—it... (full context)
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...approaches a great crowd standing around the Stone Table. It is a crowd of the Witch’s army—Ogres, wolves, spirits of evil trees, Incubuses, Wraiths, and other terrible creatures. The Witch is... (full context)
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At last, the Witch’s minions drag Aslan up onto the Stone Table. The Witch sharpens her knife, and then... (full context)
Chapter 15: Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time
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Lucy and Susan hear the Witch calling out to her minions to follow her as she tracks down and crushes “the... (full context)
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...end to end; Aslan’s body is gone. The girls begin to cry, fearing that the Witch’s minions returned for it so that they could desecrate it even further, but then they... (full context)
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...reveals that he is alive due to a magic deeper than the kind even the Witch knows—when a willing victim who has committed no treachery is killed in a traitor’s stead,... (full context)
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...After several hours’ ride, Aslan, Susan, and Lucy find themselves at the hill above the Witch’s home. Aslan leaps down the mountainside and glides over the castle wall. Susan and Lucy... (full context)
Chapter 16: What Happened about the Statues
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...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... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
Chapter 17: The Hunting of the White Stag
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...first charge kills most of his enemies, and when those still living see that the Witch has died, they either give themselves up or flee the battle. Peter and Aslan shake... (full context)
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...their governance, they spend much time hunting down those who were loyal to the White Witch and “destroying them,” slowly ridding Narnia of evil. The siblings keep the peace, make alliances... (full context)