The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Discussion and Questions
Lucy is the youngest of four children who have been sent to the English countryside to live in a large, old manor house with an elderly gentleman until the bombings of London in WWII have ended. While playing a game of hide and seek, she crawls into a deep wardrobe, and out into the land of Narnia, where a magic lantern grows out of the snow, always lit, and here it is always winter, but never Christmas.
Lucy meets a fawn named Mr. Tumnus, who brings her to his home and sings her a beautiful song before telling her of the plight of Narnians. Ruled by an evil White Witch, they are to bring any humans, called sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, to her, for her own terrifying collection. But Tumnus cannot follow through, and so he sends Lucy back to the woods where he found her.
Her siblings do not believe her fantastical tale, and cannot find the entrance to Narnia themselves. Until her brother Edmund, the most mischievous of the family, goes by himself one day. But he doesn’t meet the faun; rather, he comes across the White Witch, who is so beautiful, alluring, and commanding that Edmund cannot help but be swayed by her and the delights she conjures with a drop of liquid magic. He is caught up in her enticing plan to lure the others back to her castle and become a prince of Narnia.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobeis a classic children’s book, but it is also a tale of magic, hope, and valiance that can be enjoyed at any age, so long as you still long for adventure and triumphs of good over evil, even by small people and creatures.
1.1 Why were the children sent away to live in the old house with the Professor?
1.2 How did Lucy find the wintry land?
1.3 What sort of creature did she come across, and how did he look?
2.1 The books in Mr. Tumnus’ home had titles such as The Life and Letters of Silenus; Nymphs and their Ways; Men, Minks, and Gamekeepers; Study in Popular Legend; and Is Man a Myth?—which of those books do you think Lucy might most have liked to read? What about you?
Bonus Creative Activity: Can you think of any other fun titles about myths and legends he might have had? Draw a bookshelf for Mr. Tumnus’ home and write in your own titles.
2.2 Who is the White Witch?
2.3 what was the Faun afraid would happen to him if the White Witch knew he was helping a daughter of Eve?
3.1 What did the reindeer look like that accompanied the sleigh?
3.2What kind of creature was driving it?
4.1 What kinds of things appeared after the Queen let each droplet fall from a copper-looking bottle onto the snow?
4.2 How was the Turkish Delight enchanted?
4.3 What did the Queen say she would make Edmund into? Why do you think this idea appealed to him so greatly?
4.4 The Queen wanted very much for Edmund to bring his siblings all back with him to Narnia next time. How did she say she would feel if he failed?
4.5 The Queen also wanted Edmund to keep their meeting a secret from his family. Should this have been a clue to him that she was not a nice or honest person? What other clues did Lucy give him? Why didn’t he listen to the warning signs?
5.1 How did Edmund respond when the others asked him about Narnia? Why was he being so spiteful and mean?
5.2 Who was usually more truthful, Lucy or Edmund?
5.3 Did the Professor believe the children’s tale?
5.4 How was time different between our world and Narnia?
6.1 What had happened to the Faun Tumnus when the children all went into Narnia together?
6.2 What sort of animal led the children through the wood to another who could help them?
6.3 What was the next type of animal who helped them and could actually talk? What proof did he give Lucy that he was a friend of Mr. Tumnus?
7.1 What does the Queen do to the creatures like Mr. Tumnus who are taken off by the police to her House?
7.2 What was Mrs. Beaver doing when Mr. Beaver arrived at home with company?
7.3 Why was it good that after the children arrived at the Beavers’ house, it was snowing?
8.1 Who is Aslan/what are some of his other titles? What type of creature is he?
8.2 Where were they to meet Aslan?
8.3 Is the White Witch human?
8.4 What are there four of in Cair Paravel? What does an old prophecy say about them?
8.5 Who left and betrayed the group?
9.1 Why would Edmund make excuses for the Witch if deep down he knew she was bad?
9.2 Why did he not turn around and go back to his family (what did the King of Narnia” idea have to do with it)?
9.3 What silly, childish, and unkind thing did Edmund do to the lion statue?
9.4 What statue was not a statue at all?
10.1 What did Mrs. Beaver stop to fill sacks with for each of them? Why did the others think this was unwise? Was it actually a smart thing to do?
10.2 Who appeared on a sleigh with food and gifts for the weary travelers?
10.3 What did each child, Peter, Susan, and Lucy, receive as their useful gift?
11.1 What type of food did Edmund receive as his reward when he had brought the news of his family in Narnia to the Queen at her home? Was it anything like he expected?
11.2 Who brought a feast to some woodland animals? Why did this anger the Witch very much?
11.3 Who did Edmund begin to feel sorry for, other than himself?
11.4 What types of creatures accompanied Aslan? What adjectives would you use to describe them?
11.5 Did Peter feel brave when he went to rescue Susan? What was he rescuing her from?
11.6 What was the new title Aslan gave Peter?
12.1 What types of creatures did the Witch want called to accompany her? What adjectives would you use to describe them?
12.2 How did the Witch and the dwarf disappear so quickly?
13.1 Why wouldn’t the Witch look Aslan in the eyes when she spoke to him? What is that usually a sign of?
13.2 What is the Deep Magic? What does it say of traitors and treachery?
14.1 What were the two plans of battle Aslan outlined? Why would he choose two instead of one? (hint: offense versus defense)
14.2 Why couldn’t Lucy and Susan sleep? Were they right?
14.3 Where did the group go, and who did they see there?
14.4 What was the pact Aslan had made to appease the deep magic?
15.1 What did some little mice do for Aslan?
15.2 What happened to the stone table?
15.3 What did deeper magic say about a willing victim and treachery and sacrifice?
16.1 What did Aslan do to the stone animals?
16.2 What was the giant’s name? How did he help them leave the castle?
17.1 When those who were on the Witch’s side saw she was dead, what did they do?
17.2 Who was wise enough to smash the Witch’s wand so she couldn’t turn people into stone anymore?
17.3 who healed those who were injured and how?
17.4 what happened with Aslan and the four children in Cair Paravel that fulfilled a prophecy?
17.5 In what ways did the kings and queens spend their reign?
17.6 Why did they not remember the lamppost, and it seemed more of a dream to them?
17.7 What advice did the old Professor give the children about going back through the wardrobe? What did he say about visiting Narnia again, or mentioning it to others?
1. There are many forms of allegory used in this story. Choose one and explain what it represents.
2. What are the recurring themes in this story?
3. How were the royal titles (i.e. Lucy the Valiant) uniquely appropriate for each sibling? Give examples.
In the home of the Faun on her first visit to Narnia, Lucy had a bit of “sugar-topped cake.”
At the home of the beavers, Mrs. Beaver brought out for dessert for all the children “a great and gloriously sticky marmalade roll.”
The following is a simple recipe for an American orange marmalade roll (in the style of American breakfast cinnamon rolls), but you can use any type of jam or jelly you prefer or have on hand. And if you don’t want cinnamon, it can be left out, or substituted for another spice such as nutmeg, clove, allspice, or cardamom.
- 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, cold
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons brown or granulated white sugar, divided (into 2 and 1)
- 1 tsp plus 1 tbsp cinnamon, divided
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces orange marmalade
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Measure out flour, baking powder, two tablespoons of sugar, and the teaspoon of cinnamon, pour into a large bowl and stir together. Cut butter into 8 pieces, and using a pastry cutter, a potato masher, or a fork, cut butter into flour until it is in small pieces, about the size of a pea. Then add the milk and stir together with a large spoon until a thick dough is formed.
- On a clean counter, pour a heaping handful of flour (about 1/2 cup to 1 cup) in a small pile and dump the dough onto it. Using a wooden rolling pin, roll dough out to about a half to an inch thick, and into a rectangular shape. Spread the marmalade across the top, then sprinkle with the remaining sugar and cinnamon. Roll towards you, with one hand on each end of the dough, starting at the shorter end, so that your roll is long.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into thick rounds, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches, like a cinnamon roll. Lay each one sideways (marmalade up) on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, and bake for 11-12 minutes or until the top corners begin to turn golden and the sides look crisp and fluffy, not doughy. Allow to cool 3-5 minutes before serving. Drizzle with more marmalade or sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or melted butter, if desired.
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The prequel to this book, which explains the origins of of the Witch, the lampost, and the magic in Narnia, is The Magician’s Nephew.
The next book in which the Pevensie children travel back to Narnia is Prince Caspian. The Horse and His Boy, which is some boxed sets follows this novel, could also be read next, though the children become adults in Narnia.
For an adult sci-fi series by C.S. Lewis, you could read Out of the Silent Planet, the first book in his space trilogy. Some of his other most popular books (and he has written many) for adults are The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity.
Another allegorical young adult fiction story written by a close friend of Lewis’s is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Another famous British children’s series about good defeating evil is the Harry Potter series, which begins with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
In Grandma’s Attic by Arletta Richardson is filled with stories of objects in a grandmother's attic that recall the past and many adventures.
For more children’s adventure stories, you could read Fog Magic by Julia L. Sauer, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, The Navigator by Eoin McNamee, Night Gate by Isobelle Carmody.
“...instead of feeling the hard smooth floor of the wardrobe, she felt something soft and powdery and extremely cold… something cold and soft was falling on her. A moment later she found that she was standing in the middle of a wood at night-time with snow under her feet and snowflakes falling through the air.”
“As she stood looking at it, wondering why there was a lamp-post in the middle of a wood and wondering what to do next, she heard a pitter-patter of feet coming toward her. And soon after that a very strange person stepped out from the trees into the light of the lamp-post.”
“You are in fact Human?”
“It is winter in Narnia and has been for ever so long and we shall both catch cold if we stand here talking in the snow. Daughter of Eve from the far land of Spare Oom where eternal summer reigns around the bright city of War Drobe, how would it be if you came and had tea with me?”
“We must go as quietly as we can. The whole wood is full of her spies. Even some of the trees are on her side.”
“But do you really mean, sir, that there could be other worlds—all over the place,just around the corner—like that?”
“He remembered, as every sensible person does, that you should never shut yourself up in a wardrobe.”
“There’s nothing to beat freshwater fish if you eat it when it has been alive half an hour ago and it has come out of the pan half a minute ago.”
“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight, At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more, When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death, And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”
“...if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
“When Adam’s flesh and Adam’s bone Sits at Cair Paravel in throne, The evil time will be over and done.”
“He had the look of one who has been with the Witch and eaten her food. You can always tell them if you’ve lived long enough in Narnia; something about their eyes.”
“People who have not been in Narnia sometimes think that a thing cannot be good and terrible at the same time.”
“Peter did not feel very brave; indeed, he felt very sick. But that made no difference to what he had to do.”
© 2019 Amanda Lorenzo
Shawindi Silva from Sri lanka on February 03, 2019:
It's one of my favorite books and the recipe looks great !!!
Naude Lorenzo on February 02, 2019:
A very interesting book one of my favorites of Lewis and a delicious recipe, Thanks Amanda, you can get addicted to your articles.
A very interesting
RTalloni on January 31, 2019:
Was just thinking of Lewis' writings and here you have an intro to his The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. One of my favorite quotes from him is "Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage." What passes for children's entertainment today is too often sad business. That said, every adult should take the time to begin with Lewis' works if they have not and the Narnia tales would be a great start, for he was right, "Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairytales again." May they be worthy ones!
Thanks for the wonderful recipe!