The wolf that Aslan spotted running through the trees dashes back to the Witch and tells her that Maugrim is dead and Aslan is in Narnia. The Witch remains calm and orders the wolf to gather all those Narnians who are on her side and prepare them for battle. As the wolf leaves, the Witch reminds the dwarf of the ancient prophecy. To end bad times in Narnia, four humans must sit in the thrones at Cair Paravel. If they kill Edmund, explains the Witch, the prophecy will not come true. The dwarf agrees with the Witch, and they tie Edmund to a tree and prepare to kill him.
At that moment, all of Aslan's creatures that followed the wolf burst into the scene. They free Edmund, but cannot find the Witch or the dwarf. The Witch uses her magic to transform herself into a boulder and the dwarf into an old stump. Eventually Aslan's creatures leave and the Witch removes her disguise.
The next morning Peter, Susan, and Lucy find out that Edmund has been rescued and brought back to the camp. Aslan has a long talk with Edmund, and while no one hears what he says, Aslan's words clearly have a positive effect. Edmund apologizes to the others and then keeps his mouth shut. A messenger from the Witch approaches and requests that Aslan meet the Witch to discuss an undisclosed topic. Aslan agrees.
We find out that Witch has asked Aslan to meet her so they can discuss Edmund. The Witch reminds Aslan of the "Deep Magic" of the Emperor Beyond the Sea, which says that any treachery committed in Narnia is punishable by death at the Witch's hands. Edmund is a traitor, so he must forfeit his life to her. Aslan admits that the Witch's words are correct. He then calls the Witch aside and has an intense and private discussion with her. When it is finished, the Witch looks elated and Aslan appears gloomy. Aslan tells everyone that the Witch has renounced her claim on Edmund's life. The Witch asks Aslan how she will know that Aslan will keep his promise. Aslan roars at her so fiercely that she runs for her life.
"You know that every traitor belongs to me as my lawful prey and that for every treachery I have a right to kill.... And so that human creature is mine. His life is forfeit to me. His blood is my property... unless I have blood as the Law says all Narnia will be overturned and perish in fire and water."
The scene between Aslan and the Witch creates an overwhelming sense of dread. We realize that there are forces that even Aslan cannot fight, such as the Emperor's Deep Magic. The grim reaction that Aslan has following his mysterious conversation with the Witch also establishes a sense of foreboding. Aslan's powerlessness before the Deep Magic demonstrates that, although he may be the god of Narnia, even he must answer to a higher law. In Lewis's Christian allegory, Aslan represents Christ, or God the Son, and the Emperor represents God the Father. Just as Christ is subject to his Father and must obey his commands, Aslan must obey the mystical laws set by the mysterious Emperor. Aslan cannot defy the Deep Magic. Instead, like Christ, he sacrifices himself to atone for another person's sin.
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