Chapter 16: What Happened About the Statues

Once Aslan Susan, and Lucy are in the courtyard, Aslan begins to breathe on each statue. The girls cannot figure out what Aslan is doing until they notice what happens to the stone lion, the first statue that Aslan breathes on. A ripple of gold appears and the statue transforms into a real lion. Throughout the courtyard all the statues come alive, including the loyal Narnians that the Witch had enchanted—the talking animals, centaurs, satyrs, and even a giant. Next, Aslan, Susan, and Lucy storm the dungeons, where they find more stone prisoners, including the faun Tumnus.

Once Aslan restores all of the statues, Aslan leads all of the creatures as a troop to help Peter in battle. Peter's army had been faltering against the Witch's troops, and was desperately in need of reinforcements. When Aslan's troops arrive, they see Peter and the Witch dueling furiously. Peter wields the sword that Father Christmas gave him and the Witch holds her stone knife. Aslan quickly interrupts the fight. Aslan leaps upon the Witch and kills her instantly.

Chapter 17: The Hunting of the White Stag

Once Aslan's new army joins the fight and the Witch dies, the battle is brief. Lucy immediately notices that Peter has become stronger and seems older. Peter recounts the fight to Aslan and tells him that they would have been decimated if it had not been for Edmund's intelligence. Peter's army was losing against the Witch, because she would turn Peter's army into stone. Edmund furiously fought the Witch and realized that he should smash her wand instead of attacking her directly. The destruction of her wand had restored some hope in Peter's army, but Edmund was terribly wounded in the attack.

Peter leads Aslan, Susan, and Lucy to where Edmund lies on the ground, mortally wounded. Aslan reminds Lucy of the magic healing cordial that Father Christmas gave her, and Lucy eagerly pours a few drops down Edmund's throat. Lucy cannot stay to see if the cordial works because there are so many other wounded people. When Lucy finally returns, Edmund is well again and looks better than ever. Edmund has lost the sullen, spiteful look that he had had ever since he began attending school. Edmund returns to his real old self and Aslan knights him.

Aslan crowns the children as the kings and queens of Narnia, and then Aslan disappears. Mr. Beaver explains that Aslan is expected to leave and then return whenever necessary. The children reign long and faithfully. They enact fair laws and keep Narnia peaceful and harmonious. Naturally, they grow up to become adults. Peter is known for his valor and strength, and is called King Peter the Magnificent. Susan is known for her beauty and grace, and is called Queen Susan the Gentle. Edmund is famous for his intelligence and fairness, and is called King Edmund the Just. Lucy is known everywhere by her gaiety and high spirits, and she is called Queen Lucy the Valiant.

One day, after the Pevensies have ruled over Narnia for many years, the now middle-aged Faun Tumnus speaks to them about the White Stag. The White Stag is fabled to grant wishes to whoever catches him, and he has been spotted in Narnia. The Pevensies immediately embark on a hunt and are drawn into Lantern Waste, the wood where the lamppost stands, and where they entered Narnia many years before. There, they find the door through which they originally entered Narnia. The lamppost engenders strange feelings in the four of them, because they can't quite remember what it is, or where they've seen it before. They continue to seek the White Stag, but all at once they find themselves tumbling out of the wardrobe. Suddenly the Pevensies are children again and Mrs. Macready is still in the hall. The children tell the whole story to the Professor, who assures them not to worry. The Professor says that they will return to Narnia again someday, though not through the wardrobe. He explains that they will find other ways into Narnia and will have many more adventures there.


The battle shows the triumph of good over evil, Christ over Satan, and death over life. We do not need to read too deeply to understand this scene. After all, Lewis is writing first and foremost about Narnia. The Christian allegory is secondary to the main story. The victory of Peter's forces and the murder of the Witch are not important because they stand for the victory of Christianity and the defeat of Satan. More simply, they are important as a victory of good over bad. Lewis suggests that any battle where good triumphs over evil can be symbolic of Christ's victory over Satan.

Although the action of the novel continues through the battle scene, Chapters 16 and 17 comprise the denouement of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The climax of the book really comes when Aslan rises from the dead. The most noteworthy thing that occurs after the climax is Edmund's sudden transformation. Edmund had moved to the side of good after deserting the witch, but it was an uneasy departure. Even Edmund's talk with Aslan, though it had firmly convinced him of the need to stay on Aslan's side, hadn't been able to remove his lingering sense of guilt and doubt. Now, however, Edmund has fought his own battle and redeemed himself with his own hand. Ultimately, this is as important as Aslan's self-sacrifice to save Edmund. A person cannot be simply carried through life into enlightenment and salvation, but must strive to achieve these goals through his or her own efforts. Human effort is as important as divine intercession. Edmund realizes that he must prove his worthiness and risks his own life to smash the Witch's wand. When Aslan knights Edmund, it is a sign that Edmund has atoned for his sins and can now look upon the world without fear or shame.

The Professor makes his second and last appearance at the end of the book, and again he appears wise and knowing, almost to the point of omniscience. The Professor confidently predicts that the children will return to Narnia. We wonder how he can be so sure. It appears that Lewis makes a cameo appearance here, and assures us that he will write more books and bring back the Pevensies for more adventures in the land of Narnia.