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Literature / The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

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The first written, first published, second book chronologically and the most famous of the seven books of The Chronicles of Narnia.

Some forty years after the events of the prequel The Magician's Nephew, four siblings (Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie) pass through a magical wardrobe owned by "Professor Kirke" into the land of Narnia which has been cursed with eternal winter by Jadis, the White Witch, who calls herself the "queen" of Narnia. In accordance with the prophecy, the children, helped by Aslan (Turkish for "Lion"), defeat her, and are jointly crowned as the four Kings and Queens of Narnia. After fourteen years, the children accidentally return through the wardrobe, reverting to childhood.

The action of The Horse and His Boy takes place during their reign.


This book provides examples of:

  • Always Chaotic Evil: Dwarfs, Wolves, Minotaurs, Hags, Harpies, Giants and all the other races that are loyal to the witch initially appear this way, but it's later shown a good portion of them do have Good members, as seen by dwarfs, a giant, and even wolves rescued from the Witch's castle, who later fight for Aslan. Later books and films show many good Narnian dwarves, giants, and minotaurs. Indeed, if you only read those books you'd think the dwarfs are just another of the many Always Lawful Good races in Narnia, with only a few bad apples. Until the revolt of a large amount of them in The Last Battle. However, in the only other appearance of a Hag and a Werewolf, in Prince Caspian, it's implied that they really are Always Chaotic Evil.
  • An Ice Person: The White Witch has ice powers. She froze all of Narnia, you know.
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  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Lucy, when she first comes to Narnia, wonders why there's a street light in the middle of the forest… a forest she discovered inside of a wardrobe.
  • As You Know: Done in an aside from the narrative, as Lewis notes several times that his readers all know better than to shut themselves into a wardrobe. This was probably done to avoid inspiring kids to lock themselves in by mistake. See also Don't Try This at Home. Ironically, one of the outakes from the 2005 film shows the actor of Edmund shutting the door behind him as he climbs into the wardrobe...and demonstrating why Lewis was careful to emphasize the warning against doing that.
  • Author Avatar: People who know about Lewis's life story will recognise definite parallels between him and the grumpy professor the children go to stay with.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: For all four Pevensies at the end. Aslan himself is there.
  • Batman Gambit: If the Witch had stuck with her original plan, she could have killed Edmund as a traitor and even Aslan would have had to abide by this justice. Then, the prophecy would have been delayed. Instead, she kills Aslan in Edmund's stead, accepting his offer to take Edmund's place. Yet Aslan Read the Fine Print stating that the Deep Magic would correct an innocent being killed in a traitor's stead, undoing the action. He knew the White Witch would be unable to resist killing her greatest adversary, saving them both.
  • Being Evil Sucks: This realization spurs Edmund to make his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Big Bad: Jadis is the evil queen causing all the problems here, from the winter to the oppression.
  • Big Brother Bully: Edmund is this to Lucy and sees Peter as this to him, especially in the film.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Peter acts as a the Team Dad amongst his siblings. He is quick to defend Lucy when Edmund lets her down after the second visit to Narnia, rushes to Susan's defence when Maugrim attacks her, and is enraged when the White Witch mortally wounds Edmund.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Peter saving Susan from Maugrim.
    • A horde of animals sent by Aslan after the above event arrives just in time to save Edmund from being killed by the Witch.
    • The Chekhov's Army of statues brought back to life by Aslan join the battle when all hope seems lost, and because of the new reinforcements, the battle is over in a matter of minutes.
  • Big Fancy House: Professor Kirke's house. A villainous example would be Cair Paravel, the Witch's castle.
  • Big Good: Aslan is The Paragon of goodness in this world. The kids are the main characters, but he is the one who saves the day. This is lampshaded by the Beavers.
  • Big "WHAT?!": The White Witch, when Edmund tells her that Aslan is in Narnia and due to be at the Stone Table.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The White Witch finds a shivering child in the snow, is about to turn him into stone, and then has a better use for him. She decides to wrap him in her fur coat to protect him from the cold and offer a hot drink and magically addictive Turkish Delight. Edmund naturally gets taken in by her kindly appearances and promises to make him her heir. Then when he goes to betray his family to her, the mask falls off as she screams at him for not bringing everyone else.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The enemy is defeated, the Pevensies are crowned kings and queens, and they reign happily over Narnia for many years. But eventually they have to go back to their own world, though in the end it's implied that someday they'll go back to Narnia.
  • Blitz Evacuees: The Pevensie children were evacuated to Professor Digory's manse because of the Blitz.
  • Break the Haughty: Edmund starts off arrogant and becomes more so under the witch's influence. Then she decides he's more useful as a prisoner.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: The Beavers tell the children that they can't go to the witch to rescue Tumnus or Edmund because if they do, she'll just turn them to stone then and there. If she only has Edmund, however, in her arrogance she would keep him alive as a hostage and bait for her siblings to show up. No one is happy about this, but they agree to try and make it to the Stone Table and Aslan. Later on Jadis realizes that the Pevensies and Beavers have made it to the Stone Table with the thaw and spring, and thus there's no point to keeping Edmund alive. Fortunately, Aslan's allies stage a rescue before she can stab Edmund as a traitor.
  • Captive Push: After the warming weather makes it impossible to pursue the Pevensies by sleigh, Jadis has Edmund tied up then they continue on foot. Eventually, she decides it's too much effort to drag him along, and decides to have him killed, which would also prevent the prophecy of her defeat from coming to pass, but he's rescued before that happens.
  • Cassandra Truth: Naturally, Peter, Susan and Edmund don't believe Lucy when she tells them she found a country in the wardrobe, especially when the Portal Slam leaves Lucy with no evidence. None of them believe her despite her truthful nature until they discover Narnia's existence themselves.
  • Chekhov's Army: The statues in the Witch's castle courtyard. Edmund first comes across them when he arrives at the castle, and is scared by what he thinks at first is a lion about to pounce before realizing it's a statue. At the end, Aslan brings the statues back to life and they join in the final battle with the other creatures on Aslan's side, including Peter, Edmund and the Beavers.
  • Chekhov's Gift: Quite a few things given to Peter, Susan and Lucy by Father Christmas:
    • Peter's sword, which he uses to kill Maugrim and to fight in the battle at the end.
    • Susan's horn, which she uses to alert Peter when Maugrim attacks shortly after they meet Aslan at the Stone Table.
    • Lucy's healing cordial, which is used at the end after the battle to heal the wounded, starting with Edmund.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Lucy's handkerchief. She gives it to Tumnus as a parting gift after her first wardrobe trip. Later on, he passes it on to the Beavers on "getting wind of his arrest". They then show it to the Pevensies. This convinces Lucy that the Beavers will help her and her siblings.
    • The fur coats inside the wardrobe. Lucy finds them inside the wardrobe when she first climbs into it, and thinks the snow on the ground is mothballs. When all four siblings find themselves in Narnia, they put the coats on to keep warm, and at the end of the book, they find themselves back in the real world when they start walking through the coats inside of tree branches.
    • The hill where the Stone Table is. It's where the characters have to go in order to meet up with Aslan. It's also where Aslan is killed in Edmund's place by the Witch, and restored to life because of the "deeper magic from before the dawn of time" that the Witch did not know about.
  • Creepy Souvenir: The whole garden of people/animals the White Witch has turned into stone. In the Walden Media film version, she also wears Aslan's shaved-off mane into battle.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Aslan, AKA "Lion Jesus". He's the son of "The Emperor Across the Sea" and enacts Christ's Passion to save a sinner.
  • Dark Action Girl: The White Witch is usually an Evil Sorcerer but she can join close combat too. She certainly participates in the battle at Beruna. The animated film and TV series have her as a Lady of Black Magic while the live action film shows her actively fighting.
  • Disney Death: Edmund is gravely wounded while destroying the Witch's wand - the book doesn't specify if it was Jadis herself or her soldiers who did it, but in all the screen adaptations, Jadis stabs him with her wand's broken shard. He's definitely near death until Lucy's healing cordial revives him.
  • Disney Villain Death: Averted in the book and most adaptations - Aslan crushes Jadis by jumping on her (in the film it's implied he eats her, as we see his jaws descend onto her neck). But in the BBC TV series, Aslan roars and causes her to fall off a wall.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: After spring arrives and ends the Endless Winter, the dwarf says it's Aslan's doing. The Witch furiously warns that if either the dwarf or Edmund say the name again, she will instantly kill them.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Professor Kirke.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Every instance of someone climbing into the wardrobe is accompanied by the narrator's remarks on how dangerous it is to close oneself into a wardrobe, how smart Lucy and Peter are to leave the door ajar, and how foolish Edmund is to close it on himself — no doubt to prevent children from getting themselves trapped in wardrobes while trying to emulate the Pevensies. This becomes Hilarious in Hindsight as of the Walden Media movie adaptation: one of the outtakes has Skandar Keynes (Edmund) climbing into the wardrobe and closing the door behind him... and getting locked in.
  • Dreaming of a White Christmas: Inverted. Narnia is always winter and never has had a Christmas; when Christmas finally does come, it heralds a thaw.
  • Dub Name Change: Maugrim, the wolf servant of the White Witch, had his name changed to Fenris Ulf in earlier American editions (which also changed Peter's first title from "Wolfsbane" to "Fenrisbane"). Then they went back to using Maugrim.
  • During the War: The kids are staying at Professor Digory's manse due to being evacuated from London courtesy of the Blitz.
  • Endless Winter: The White Witch casts a spell on Narnia so that it is always winter but never Christmas.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The White Witch, and her effects on the Narnian environment, are all cold, and evil.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Aslan did it knowing exactly what would happen if he were to die. In more than one way.
  • Face Doodling: Edmund, during his nasty period, rather tackily scribbles a mustache and glasses on a lion that's been turned to stone, telling himself it must be Aslan himself, Taken for Granite.
  • Faeries Don't Believe in Humans, Either: Tumnus the faun reacts this way to Lucy the first time he meets her, and owns a book called Is Man a Myth?
  • Faux Action Girl:
    • Susan. She's an archer, and a good one (both in the films, which added extra action scenes, and the books themselves); yet in this story, she's never part of any of the major battle scenes, being limited to calling for Peter's help and (in the film) shooting one stray dwarf in the ending.
    • The White Witch becomes one in the BBC adaptations. She never does any fighting herself, save for using her wand to turn a few people to stone. And she runs away when Aslan returns. At least part of this was due to SFX limitations; it was very difficult to make a convincing fight between her and the crew's not very mobile animatronic lion.
  • Fearsome Foot: Being a giant, Giant Rumblebuffin in the final battle uses not only his club to help defeat the White Witch's army, but his feet also crush dozens of them.
  • First-Name Basis: We only find out the children's last name in later books (it's "Pevensie").
  • Follow the White Rabbit:
    • A robin leads the children to Mr. Beaver.
    • Inverted later when they are hunting for a stag, and it leads them back to the gate to the normal world.
  • Food Chains: See G-Rated Drug below.
  • Forbidden Holiday: While the world of Narnia was in a millenium-lasting Endless Winter and under the rule of the White Witch, Father Christmas was banished from the land, thereby forbidding Christmas for ever happening. Father Christmas appearing was one of the signs the White Witch's power over Narnia was growing weaker.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Tumnus tells Lucy he fears that the Witch would turn him into stone if she finds out he disobeyed her order to bring any children to her. We later find out this did indeed happen when Aslan restores the staues to life, including Tumnus.
    • Tumnus mentions the four thrones of Cair Paravel being filled when talking to Lucy, and when the White Witch meets Edmund, she is very interested in the fact that he has a brother and two sisters. These two points are related, as Mr Beaver says that if/when two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve sit in the four thrones at Cair Paravel, it will end the White Witch's reign and her life. Those same thrones are filled by Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy when they are made Kings and Queens by Aslan.
    • Before all four siblings head to Narnia, Peter and Edmund are looking at a suit of armor. Both Peter and Edmund end up being knighted by Aslan later in the story: Peter is knighted after saving Susan from Maugrim, and Edmund is knighted on the battlefield at the end.
    • Edmund is falsely promised to be made King of Narnia by the White Witch. After he breaks her wand in the final battle and the Witch is killed by Aslan, Edmund is indeed made a king, but by Aslan, when he, Peter, Susan and Lucy are crowned Kings and Queens of Narnia.
    • The Witch decides to kill Edmund as a traitor when she realises she can't get to the Stone Table before the others can, but Edmund is rescued thanks to a Big Damn Heroes moment caused by animals sent by Aslan. Edmund is later almost killed by the Witch in the climax.
  • For Want of a Nail: By sheer luck, Lucy meets Tumnus the faun, a kindly Narnia resident who doesn't turn her in to the witch. Edmund on the other hand meets the White Witch, and gets tempted to her side. It could have easily gone the other way, depending on who the children encountered.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: A variation. Susan and Edmund barely interact in the stories. They're the only two Pevensies not to get any scenes alone together.
  • Furry Confusion: The BBC Series has people in animal costumes, actual animals and animated creatures all on the screen at once. At one point, Maugrim even appears to shapeshift into a regular wolf, though he's supposed to be a regular wolf anyways.
  • G-Rated Drug: The White Witch's Turkish Delight. Word of God states it's an analogue for sin.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Two boys (Peter and Edmund) and two girls (Susan and Lucy).
  • Genre Savvy: All the Pevensies, seeing as they're children who are pretty familiar with fairytales, and (rightly) assume a fairytale world will work according to fairytale rules. For example, their decision to follow the robin is based on Peter's observation that robins are always good birds in books.
  • Gentle Giant: The narration points out that seeing a giant beaming is a very rare thing, so Giant Rumblebuffin, being a good giant, is one of these.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Jadis, who keeps Narnia in eternal winter and turns anyone who opposes her to stone.
  • Good Animals, Evil Animals: The book splits talking beasts more or less along the standard lines between those on the side of the Witch and those on the side of Aslan. This doesn't show up so much in the rest of the series when Narnia was united, but "evil" animals don't show up much at all then.
  • Grim Up North: It's grim everywhere in Narnia due to the Hundred Year Winter, but particularly near the Witch's Castle in the north.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Aslan pulls one of these to save Edmund. The Witch says Edmund is a traitor and his blood is her property, so Aslan offers himself in Edmund's place. He knew, however, that due to deeper magic from before the dawn of time that the Witch is unaware of, he would be restored to life afterwards.
  • Honor Before Reason: It's said that Lucy was tempted to say she just made up the story of the wardrobe just so she could happily play with her siblings again. But as a very truthful girl, she's unable to bring herself to lie.
  • Horny Devils: Easy to miss, but the narrator do say that there were incubi in the Witch's creatures.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Edmund is very easy on siding with the White Witch against his own siblings, thinking she'll make him king of Narnia rather than kill him and his siblings. The justification is that she did poison him with enchanted candy, which somewhat weakens his defenses. It's very obvious from the start that the White Witch is evil from everything the Pevensies hear about her from the Beavers and how she imprisoned Tumnus just because he saved Lucy. But while Edmund knows in his heart that she's evil, he keeps lying to himself that she isn't, just because he's tantalized by her promises, angry at Peter, and craving more Turkish Delight. He plays the Idiot Ball even further by foolishly sneaking out to her castle and getting himself kidnapped and nearly killed. It isn't until she betrays him for coming alone, and he's forced to witness her cruelty both to himself and to others, that he finally snaps out of this trope.
  • Humans Are Special: Only four true humans can undo Jadis's curse, to the point that she considers them dangerous. The Beavers state that the White Witch wants to appear human, but she's descended from Lilith of the Jinn and the giantesses.
  • Ice Palace: The Witch's castle was created by her own power.
  • Interdimensional Travel Device: The wardrobe allows travel between Earth and Narnia — sometimes.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: The White Witch refers to Edmund like this a few times.
  • It Only Works Once: The White Witch's justification to Edmund for why she cannot give him more Turkish Delight in the sleigh. The wardrobe is a straighter example. Although it transports the children to Narnia three times in the story, Professor Kirke says it won't work again afterwards.
  • I Owe You My Life: A variant; when the children find out Tumnus was arrested, Peter asks Mr. Beaver if there's a way to help him since Tumnus saved Lucy from the White Witch. Mr. Beaver bluntly tells him no, that only Aslan can help. Aslan restores Tumnus and the other statues to life.
  • It Was a Gift: Father Christmas's gifts to the Pevensies.
  • It Was Here, I Swear!: Combined with Portal Slam. After she returns from Narnia the first time, she tries to show them the wardrobe leading into Narnia, but is shocked to see only the back of the wardrobe. Knowing she is right but left with no proof to show it, she ends up in tears.
  • Jerkass: Edmund is rude, arrogant and sells out for candy.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Edmund points out to Peter as they follow the robin that they have no idea whether the robin is good or not, and that it could lead them into a trap. He also points out they (bar Lucy) have no way of knowing whether Tumnus really did save Lucy or not, and that they have no idea of the way home from where they are.
  • Karmic Jackpot: The Beavers get this. They take in the siblings from the cold after finding them wandering around, feed them and educate them about Narnia. They also remain a Reasonable Authority Figure pair about the kids understandably wanting to save Tumnus from the witch and learning more about Aslan. Father Christmas when he comes mends the lodge and offers a new sewing machine for Mrs. Beaver for when they're gone, meaning they won't return to find their home ransacked from the wolves. Also, Aslan honors them as heroes for bringing the Pevensies to them.
  • Kick the Dog: Between Lucy first discovering Narnia and Edmund discovering it himself, he mockingly asks her if she's found any other countries in other wardrobes in the house.
    • After Edmund and Lucy return from Narnia, Lucy tells him to tell Peter and Susan about it, hoping he will back up her story. Instead, he decides to let her down and she runs off in tears. After she rushes out, Edmund goes on to insult her behind her back, saying, "There she goes again. What's the matter with her? That's the worst of young kids, they always—" before Peter tells him to shut up. The narration even says Edmund chose to do it because it was the meanest and most spiteful thing he could think of to do.
    • The Witch and her minions do this to Aslan before the Witch kills him by tying him up, shaving his mane off, and muzzling him.
  • Kid Hero All Grown Up: Two examples. The children grow up to be royalty in Narnia, but return to our world and get de-aged. Later in the series, we also find out that Professor Kirke was the Kid Hero Digory in The Magician's Nephew.
  • The Legions of Hell: Jadis' army, which contains explicit demons and evil spirits:
    "Ogres with monstrous teeth, and wolves, and bull-headed men; spirits of evil trees and poisonous plants; and other creatures whom I won't describe because if I did the grownups would probably not let you read this book - Cruels and Hags and Incubuses, Wraiths, Horrors, Efreets, Sprites, Orknies, Wooses, and Ettins."
  • Lemony Narrator: The narration frequently addresses the reader, making comments including:
    • It is very foolish to shut yourself inside a wardrobe.
    • And of course, you want to know what had happened to Edmund.
    • This lasted longer than I could describe, even if I wrote pages and pages about it.
    • You would have cried until there were no more tears left in you.
  • Light Is Not Good: Jadis, the White Witch is evil. Played straighter in the film, where she is a normal human-looking blonde; in the book her description is more reminiscent of a vampire, with raven hair, blood-red lips and unnatural pallor. Notable in that Tilda Swinton was going to portray her as a brunette but producers thought she looked "too gothic".
  • Limited Wardrobe, ironically: Examining the pictures closely reveals that the children are always wearing the same clothes (bar the addition of fur coats for the third entry to Narnia) despite the early chapters of the book taking place over several days. Perhaps justified, given the time period the book is set in.
  • Loophole Abuse: How the Pevensies justify taking fur coats that don't belong to them into Narnia, on the grounds that they're not actually removing them from the wardrobe.
  • Magic Pants: At the end, the now adult Pevensies in their royal garb reenter the wardrobe from Narnia and return as children (or teens) back in their English clothing.
  • The Marvelous Deer: The wish-granting stag — that is not caught. Instead the hunt sends them back home.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Father Christmas tells Susan and Lucy, "Battles are ugly when women fight." This is why Peter gets a sword, Susan gets a bow, and Lucy a dagger (self-defense only).
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Tumnus is under orders to turn humans he finds to the Witch, on the threat of being tortured and then turned into stone. When he finds Lucy, lures her to his cave, and plays his flute her so that she'll fall asleep, Tumnus finds that he can't do it. He sobs and confesses to her, before escorting her back to the wardrobe. He had never met a human and hadn't known what humans were like until meeting Lucy.
  • The Mole:
    • Edmund, for the first half, although it is revealed to the reader at the start of the plot thread.
    • Jadis also fooled Edmund into thinking she was on his side long enough for him to lure his siblings to Narnia.
    • Mr. Tumnus was this to Lucy, then oddly became a mole against the Witch after his Heel Realization
  • Mr. Exposition: The beavers fulfill this role, and it avoids As You Know territory since the kids are new to that universe and really don't know any of the expository material.
  • Mustache Vandalism: Edmund does this to the stone lion in the witch's courtyard.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Edmund's reaction when the White Witch turns a dinner party to stone for refusing to deny it was provided by Father Christmas over his protests. At that point, Edmund realizes the evil he has sided with and wishes with all his heart that he could undo what he has done. Fortunately, Aslan later helps him do just that.
    • Mr. Tumnus reaches it immediately when he tries to kidnap Lucy for the Witch. Since he's a nice guy who was only doing it on pain of being turned to stone, she's able to talk him out of it.
  • My Rule-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Aslan and Jadis argue about the Deep Magic and she seems to win. In the end it turns out there are things he knows about it that she doesn't.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Edmund absentmindedly tells the White Witch that Lucy met a faun the last time she was in Narnia, not realizing he's just blown Mr Tumnus's cover. The faun might have got away with it had it not been for that (though he does say the trees are on Jadis's side too).
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: The Witch's preference for turning people to stone and keeping them as trophies in her castle, as opposed to just killing them, means that Aslan can resurrect them all and lead them as reinforcements in the battle.
  • Nice Mice: Who untie Aslan by biting through the ropes, not realising he's already dead. The species becomes talking mice as a reward.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Invoked by the Lemony Narrator, who explains that if he were to describe some of the more hideous creatures, your parents probably wouldn't let you read this book.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Tumnus realizes he can't give up Lucy to the Witch and allows her to return home. When he stumbles into Narnia, Edmund unknowingly betrays him to the Witch, so that when all four of them make it to Narnia, they find he has been captured. It's later revealed he was turned into a statue before being restored to life by Aslan before the final battle.
  • Noodle Incident: The talk Aslan gives to Edmund after his Heel–Face Turn. The narrator tells us it's a moment that belongs to only the two of them, and he won't intrude.
  • Non Sequitur Environment: One of the most famous examples of this trope, occurring when it's discovered that the eponymous wardrobe is actually a Portal Door: as she climbs through it, Lucy slowly notices that the fur coats are starting to feel more like tree branches and the mothballs crunching underfoot seem more like snow... until at last, she finds herself in the land of Narnia.
  • The Noun and the Noun ...And the noun.
  • Now You Tell Me: Subverted. Edmund has a brief Oh, Crap! reaction when Lucy tells him that the White Witch is the ruler of the land who makes it winter and never Christmas, and is seeking humans to murder. Unfortunately, said woman just passed by him in the snow, fed him Turkish Delight and hot chocolate, and promised to make him king if he returns witih his siblings. Despite the warning and feeling ill from what he's learned, Edmund believes that Tumnus and Lucy are mistaken; the Turkish Delight still has a hold on his mind.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Edmund in the final battle, as Peter tells Aslan after the battle is won. He singlehandedly kept the battle going by fighting his way towards the White Witch and instead of directly attacking her, he smashed her wand with his sword, destroying it and taking away her ability to turn people into stone, and giving Peter's side a fighting chance.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Lucy has one when she realizes she is the child that Tumnus intends to hand over to the White Witch. Fortunately, he decides he can't do it and escorts her back to the wardrobe entrance.
    • Peter when Edmund tells him as they follow the robin that they don't have any idea of the way home from where they are.
    • Peter, Susan, Lucy and the Beavers first when Lucy reveals Edmund has been in Narnia alone and didn't tell her what he'd done and who he'd met, meaning he had met the White Witch and effectively joined her side. Then they get another one when Mrs Beaver reveals the Witch will set out to catch them when Edmund reveals to her where they are.
    • The White Witch at the end when Aslan appears and launches himself at her. Doubly so because she had killed him and didn't know he had been restored to life.
  • Old Magic: Aslan is resurrected by the "old magic" on the Stone Table where he is sacrificed, because he was innocent, a rule the White Witch seems to have forgotten. Who placed this magic and why are never explained, though in The Magician's Nephew we see that Aslan personally created Narnia, so he would naturally know about such magic and may have put it there himself specifically for this occasion.
  • Pinned to the Wall: The White Witch sticks a sword through Peter's chain mail sleeve, pinning him to the ground so she can kill him.
  • Portal Slam: The wardrobe's door.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: One junior stage adaptation cuts out the prose that reveals the White Witch is evil and Tumnus is good, while having the trips to Narnia happen within minutes rather than with long months in between. This makes it more mysterious to the audience unfamiliar with the book, about if Tumnus or the White Witch is telling the truth, up to Edmund betraying his family.
  • Pretty in Mink: Fur coats are necessary in the deep and eternal cold.
  • Prophecies Rhyme All the Time:
    When Adam's flesh and Adam's bone
    Sits at Cair Paravel in throne,
    The evil time will be over and done.
    • Susan lampshades this in the film:
      Susan: You know, that doesn't really rhyme.
    • However it is what is known as an "Eye rhyme". Each line ends with "-one"making it look like it SHOULD rhyme.
  • Rain, Rain, Go Away: The children are prompted to explore the house (and thus kick off the plot) because it's too rainy to do anything outside.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: The White Witch in the book, with some elaboration in the prequel The Magician's Nephew. As of this story, her pallor has become almost inhuman, though she still remains beautiful. Handled differently in the various adaptations: the BBC version made her up in white face paint, while the American film ignored this aspect of her and made her blond instead.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Peter and Susan go to the Professor because they are concerned that Lucy is making up stories about finding a magical country inside of a wardrobe. To their surprise, the Professor takes Lucy's side, logically deducing that since Lucy is neither a compulsive liar nor insane, she must be telling the truth. Of course, we find out in a later book that the Professor has actually been there himself.
    • The Beavers prove to be this as well. Tumnus tells them to find the kids when he realizes he's in trouble, giving them Lucy's handkerchief to reassure them the Beavers are on their side. They hush the children where the trees may overhear them, take them to the lodge to feed them, and explain everything. Mr. Beaver isn't angry that Edmund betrayed them, just disappointed and suspicious. He tells the kids calmly that they can't rescue their little brother or Tumnus unless they get to Aslan first.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Subverted. It looks as if Edmund will suffer this after redeeming himself by destroying the Witch's wand, but he is saved by Lucy's cordial.
  • Rule of Symbolism: As a Christian allegory, nearly every one of the book's major plot points ties back into a corresponding plot point in the Gospels in some way or another.
    • The Pevensie siblings come to see themselves as Aslan's disciples, and vow to carry out his will in Narnia by fighting the White Witch. The leader of the group is named "Peter".
    • Edmund's betrayal of the group (for Turkish Delight) is based on Judas Iscariot's betrayal of Jesus (for 30 pieces of silver). Aslan chooses to peacefully give himself up to the White Witch after his betrayal, just as Jesus chooses to peacefully give himself up to the Romans.
    • Aslan's death and resurrection at the Stone Table is based on Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection. The innocent Aslan chooses to die in place of the traitor Edmund, just as the sinless Jesus chooses to die to atone for the sins of humanity. Before killing him, the White Witch's minions humiliate Aslan by binding him and forcibly shaving his mane, just as the Roman soldiers humiliate Jesus by stripping him naked, gambling for his clothes, forcing him to drink sour wine, and crowning him with thorns.
    • The two girls in the quartet, Susan and Lucy, stay with Aslan to comfort him before his death, and are the first to find him alive after his miraculous resurrection, just as a group of women close to Jesus (including Mary Magdalene and at least one other woman) witness his crucifixion and first realize that he's alive after finding his tomb empty.
    • The Stone Table, which represents the most ancient laws of Narnia, symbolically stands in for the divine law of the Old Testament (which was engraved on stone tablets given to Moses). Aslan's death and resurrection causes the table to crack, signifying the beginning of a new age built on Aslan's law. In the Christian Bible, Jesus's death and resurrection signifies the beginning of the New Covenant (or New Testament), and the beginning of a new age based on the Law of Jesus Christ.
  • Running Gag: The first few chapters are insistent on reminding you what a very foolish thing it is to lock oneself into a wardrobe. It's said that Lewis wrote this in so that young readers playing pretend would not lock themselves in real-life wardrobes. In one of the movie's Hilarious Outtakes, Skandar Keynes (Edmund) does get himself locked in the wardrobe.
  • Santa Claus: Father Christmas himself makes an appearance late in the book to provide the children with important tools. Because the White Witch's enchantments kept Christmas from happening, he notes that he hasn't been to Narnia for quite some time.
  • Savage Wolves: Maugrim and his pack work for the witch as a secret police and enforcers.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
  • Sequel Hook: Courtesy of the Professor in the end, who assures the children that someday they'll go back to Narnia.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Edmund and Lucy, with more on Edmund's part, due to the fact that he enjoys tormenting her. Fortunately, they got better.
  • Siblings Share the Throne: All 4 Pevensie siblings get crowned Kings and Queens of Narnia.
  • Skewed Priorities: Father Christmas says to Lucy that "battles are ugly when women fight". That is, she shouldn't fight because she's a girl, not simply because she's just a child. (It's explicitly fine for Peter to fight in battle when he is only perhaps thirteen.) So, Lucy gets a dagger, strictly for self-defense, and a healing potion. However, Susan gets a bow and arrows, though she too is told to use her weapon "only in great need." Edmund isn't present to be compared with.
  • Smart Ball: In the final battle and combined with Offscreen Moment of Awesome. Everyone who tries to directly attack the Witch is turned into a statue for their trouble. Edmund, meanwhile, takes a firm grip of this trope by using his sword to break the Witch's wand instead, as he knew he would be turned into a statue himself otherwise. This turned the tide of the battle until Aslan's reinforcements arrived.
  • Spring Is Late: By about a hundred years.
  • Supernatural Aid: Father Christmas' gifts to the Pevensies such as a Healing Potion.
  • Taken for Granite: How the White Witch deals with people she doesn't like.
  • Take Me Instead: Aslan offers to die in Edmund's place, and Jadis accepts.
  • Tears of Remorse: Mr. Tumnus, when he confesses to Lucy that he planned to hand her over to the Witch.
  • Tender Tears: Susan and Lucy shed these during Aslan's Passion.
  • The Scottish Trope: The White Witch forbids her dwarf and Edmund from saying Aslan's name, under threat of instant death.
  • "They Still Belong to Us" Lecture: The Witch tries to reclaim Edmund after his Heel–Face Turn by telling the other heroes that he is a traitor and his blood is her property. The problem is, according to the laws of magic in Narnia, she's right. This is why Aslan has to sacrifice himself in Edmund's place.
  • Thicker Than Water: Peter says that even if Edmund did mean to betray them to the White Witch, he's still their brother and they have to save him.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Aslan tells the others to stay back and let Peter fight Maugrim alone. It directly echoes the story of Edward III saying of his son, the Black Prince, at the Battle of Crécy, "Let the boy win his spurs." (The spurs were a symbol of knighthood.)
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil: One of the consequences of Edmund's G-Rated Drug usage is a lowering of his IQ.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Edmund likes Turkish Delight, and he mentions it to the witch.She uses it against him.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Mr. Beaver invokes this trope as he advises the Pevensie children that if something claims to be, used to be, or may become human, "keep an eye on it and feel for your hatchet."
  • Too Dumb to Live: Lucy to a minor extent. Tumnus tells her that if the White Witch finds her then she will be killed or turned to stone. Thus he escorts her back to the wardrobe entrance at the lamp post, so she can escape. But she tries to prove to her siblings that the adventure happened, except she can't because the wardrobe is back to normal. A few months later, she tries again just to make sure that it really happened. This leads to Edmund following her and meeting the White Witch, but Lucy could have easily met her as well. Then when her siblings finally find the place, she only tells them much later about the White Witch when they find Tumnus's place ransacked.
  • The Vamp: The White Witch for Edmund but with candy instead of sex. The movie sure kicks up that subtext, however.
  • Victory-Guided Amnesia: After being crowned Kings and Queens of Narnia, the children slowly forget their old life on Earth — until one day, while out riding...
  • Weapon of Choice: Father Christmas's gifts to Peter, Susan, and Lucy include a sword and shield, a bow and quiver of arrows, and a dagger respectively.
  • Wham Line: In-universe. "I say, where's Edmund?" from Lucy during the dinner scene with the Beavers. It alerts everyone to the fact that Edmund is missing, and they soon realise Edmund is on his way to betray them to the White Witch.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The animals having a dinner party before being turned to stone by the Witch (leading to Edmund's Heel–Face Turn) are never mentioned again. Lewis was even asked about this by one of his readers (or the reader's mom) and hastily wrote back a Word of God that of course the animals at the dinner party got turned back, just not on stage, and he was very sorry the child was distressed about the issue.
    • Also, the Dwarf that drives the Witch's sleigh is a fairly prominent aspect of the story, yet his fate goes unaccounted for in the book. In the film, he gets shot by Susan in his attempt to finish off an injured Edmund.
  • Winter Royal Lady: Although not fitting the title part of the trope, Jadis fits the other parts; calls herself queen, dresses in winter colors and styles etc.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: The Golden Age Prophecy states that four noble humans will one day discover Narnia and put an end to the White Witch's tyranny. Although the White Witch tried to kill the Pevensies to prevent the prophecy from coming true, they eventually succeed in defeating her and are crowned as kings/queens of Narnia exactly as the prophecy had told.


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