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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, often shortened to LWW, was written by C. S. Lewis and published in 1950. It records the adventure of four ordinary English children - Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie - who found their way into the magical land of Narnia by way of a wardrobe that they stumbled across in an old house.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was the first of the Chronicles of Narnia to be written and published, and the first in the original book series.
- Lucy Looks into a Wardrobe.
- What Lucy found There
- Edmund and the Wardrobe
- Turkish Delight
- Back on This Side of the Door
- Into the Forest
- A Day with the Beavers
- What Happened After Dinner
- In the Witch's House
- The Spell Begins to Break
- Aslan is Nearer
- Peter's First Battle
- Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time
- The Triumph of the Witch
- Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time
- What Happened about the Statues
- The Hunting of the White Stag
The events of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe occured between 1000 and 1015 NY, and in 1940 AD on Earth. After their reign of more than a decade in Narnia, the children returned to Earth at the exact moment they left (see Narnian Time for more information).
In Narnia, the atmosphere felt different than Earth's- as if the air was sweeter - and it stirred in the children--and all other visitors from our world--feelings of bravery and maturity.
Inside the Wardrobe
Because of the dangers of World War II , the four Pevensie children were sent away from London to the home of Professor Digory Kirke, who lived in a large old house with many rooms useful for hiding and exploration.
While exploring the house with her siblings, Lucy decided to investigate an old wardrobe she found in one of the remote rooms. Upon entering the wardrobe, Lucy found herself walking through trees, rather than the expected coats. She pressed on and found herself standing in the middle of a snowy wood next to a lamp-post, where she met Tumnus the Faun, who invited her to his home for tea. He later told her that he had intended to hand her over to the White Witch, the usurping Queen of Narnia. The faun, feeling guilty for what he had planned to do, helped Lucy find her way back to the wardrobe, despite the risk that the White Witch would find him out and punish him.
Later, Lucy tried to tell her siblings about the strange land she had found, but they did not believe her. During a game of hide-and-seek, Lucy returned to the country in the wardrobe, and Edmund followed her so he could go on teasing her about her "imaginary" country. Although he denied it when the older children asked him, soon all four of them had gone into the wardrobe and seen Narnia. Susan, the most sensible of them, wanted to return home, but Lucy convinced Peter that they needed to help her new friend, Mr. Tumnus, who was arrested.
The four children were soon found by Mr. Beaver, who took them home, introduced them to his wife Mrs. Beaver, and they had dinner. He told them of Aslan the Great Lion, and a Prophecy that said when two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve sat upon the four thrones at Cair Paravel, all Narnia would be put to rights.
While they were talking they found out that Edmund had slipped away and they decided to flee, after realizing that he would tell where they were to the White Witch.
On their journey, they met Father Christmas, who gave Lucy a cordial made from the juice of fireflowers that would heal others with a single drop, and a dagger, and gave Susan bow and arrows, and a horn which could bring help whenever it was blown; and Peter a sword and a shield.
- "This was bad grammar of course, but that is how beavers talk when they are excited; I mean in Narnia - in our world they usually don't talk at all"
- ―C.S Lewis[src]
Later, after they arrived at Aslan's Camp, while Susan and Lucy were having fun near the woods, two wolves attacked them. Susan called for help with her horn and Peter and Aslan came to their rescue. Peter killed Maugrim, one of the wolves, in his first fight, and Aslan let the other wolf go, followed by centaurs and eagles from Aslan's army. That wolf led them right to Edmund, whom they rescued.
Later, the Witch requested an audience with Aslan. There, she claimed that since Edmund was a traitor, according to the Deep Magic, his blood belonged to her. Eventually, she and Aslan went inside the tent, where they reached an agreement that she would kill him later that night, but renounce her claim on Edmund. Aslan eventually went, though without telling anyone. However Lucy and Susan saw him leaving, and followed. There, they saw Aslan being killed, after which the Witch's army left.
In the morning, just as they were about to leave, they heard the Stone Table crack. When they turned around to look, they saw Aslan standing before them, who revealed to them the Deeper Magic from before the Dawn of Time stated that when "a willing victim is killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and even death would start working backwards."
Afterwards, they went to the Witch's castle, and revived all the statues. Lucy found Mr. Tumnus, begged Aslan to revive him, and soon afterward she and the revived Faun were dancing happily. They then joined the battle between Aslan's army, and the Witch's, which had started earlier that morning.
When it was all over, after Aslan had killed the Witch, the children were crowned High King Peter the Magnificent, High Queen Susan the Gentle, King Edmund the Just, and Queen Lucy the Valiant.
Back to London
The four of them ruled over Narnia for many years, and grew into adults. The land prospered under them, and the time of their rule became known as the Golden Age of Narnia. But one day, as they were hunting a White Stag in the woods, they came across a lamppost, and soon they were tumbling back out of the wardrobe in the back room of the Professor's house.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe has been made into the following films for theater and television: -
- 1979: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Animated)
- 1988: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (BBC)
- 2005: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Disney movie)
It has also been produced in audio format: -
- 1988: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (BBC Radio 4)
- 1998: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Focus on the Family Radio Theatre)
- Harper Audio audiobook read by Michael York
- London countryside
- The Professor's House
- Lamp post
- Tumnus' Cave
- Cair Paravel
- Beaver's Dam
- Fords of Beruna
- Aslan's Camp
- The Stone Table
- White Witch's camp
- Frozen Lake
- Father Christmas
- Mr and Mrs. Beaver
- Mrs. Macready
- Peter Pevensie
- Susan Pevensie
- Edmund Pevensie
- Lucy Pevensie
- The Professor
- The Robin
- The Giant, Rumblebuffin
- Mr. Tumnus
- The White Witch
- Witch's Dwarf
- The White Stag
Behind the Scenes
The book is dedicated to C.S. Lewis's goddaughter, Lucy Barfield, a remarkable young girl who Lewis both based and named the fictional Lucy after.
In May 1949, Lewis sent her the completed manuscript of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, with a letter.
In October 1950, when the book was published, this letter became its dedication: -
- MY DEAR LUCY,
- I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand, a word you say, but I shall still be
- your affectionate Godfather,
- C. S. Lewis