This month we decided to start the Narnia book series. New year,
Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie are evacuated from London during the Blitz and sent to live with an old professor (identified in a later book as Digory Kirke) in the English countryside. While exploring the professor’s house, Lucy enters a wardrobe that leads her into a snowy wooded area with a lighted lamppost growing from the ground. Lucy meets Tumnus, a faun who befriends her and informs her that she is in the land of Narnia. Tumnus intends to send Lucy to the White Witch, a ruler who keeps Narnia frozen in a perpetual winter and who requires that any human found in Narnia be sent to her. Tumnus repents, however, and escorts Lucy back to the lamppost; once there, she returns to her own world by re-entering the wardrobe and finds that only a few seconds have passed there during her absence. None of her siblings believe her story about Narnia; upon inspection, the back of the wardrobe appears solid and leads nowhere.
Lucy enters the wardrobe again, and it again leads her into Narnia. This time, Edmund follows Lucy and also enters Narnia. Upon arriving in Narnia, Edmund encounters the White Witch. When the Witch learns that Edmund is human and has siblings, she plies him with sweet Turkish Delight. The Witch promises to reward Edmund with more Turkish Delight if he brings his brother and sisters to her house. Upon returning to his own world, Edmund turns against Lucy and denies that he has been to Narnia. Peter and Susan chew him out and go to see the professor, who tells them that Lucy might not have been lying and he knows for a fact that she isn’t crazy.
Soon afterwards, all four children enter Narnia together while hiding in the wardrobe from the housekeeper, Mrs. Macready, who was giving a tour of the house. Lucy leads the group to Tumnus’s home, only to find that it has been ransacked and that the faun has been arrested. The children are befriended by Mr. Beaver, a talking animal who takes them to his home. He informs the Pevensies that because of the Witch, it is always winter and never Christmas in Narnia. He and his wife tell the children about a prophecy that the Witch’s tyranny will end when “two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve” sit on the four thrones of Cair Paravel, and that Narnia’s true ruler – the great lion Aslan – is returning from a long absence.
Edmund slips away to the Witch’s castle. In the courtyard, he is surprised by the many statues of Narnians the Witch has turned to stone. The Witch greets him coldly, as he has come alone and with news that Aslan – her enemy – is returning. She takes Edmund prisoner and leaves her house to find and capture the other Pevensie children. Meanwhile, the Beavers – correctly surmising that Edmund has betrayed them – take the other children to meet Aslan at the Stone Table. As they travel, they find that the Witch’s winter is giving way to spring. They are greeted by Father Christmas, who had been kept out of Narnia by the Witch’s magic. The group arrive at their destination as winter ends and are greeted by Aslan. The Witch’s enforcer, the wolf Maugrim, approaches the camp and attacks Susan, but is killed by Peter. Aslan sends a rescue party for Edmund; it arrives just in time to save him from the Witch, who had decided to kill him. The Witch parleys with Aslan, invoking the “Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time” which gives her the right to kill Edmund for his treason. Aslan denies her claim, but secretly trades his life for Edmund’s.
That evening, Susan and Lucy accompany Aslan to the Stone Table. They watch from a distance as the Witch puts Aslan to death. After the Witch and her followers depart to prepare for battle against Aslan’s followers, Susan and Lucy remain with Aslan’s body. In the morning, the girls find the Stone Table broken and Aslan restored to life. Aslan explains that the “Deeper Magic from before the Dawn of Time” has the power to reverse death if a willing victim takes the place of a traitor. Aslan takes the girls to the Witch’s house and revives the Narnians that the Witch had turned to stone, including Tumnus and a giant named Rumblebuffin. They join the Narnian forces battling the Witch’s army. The Narnian army prevails, and Aslan kills the Witch. The Pevensie children are then crowned kings and queens of Narnia at Cair Paravel.
After a long and happy reign, the adult Pevensies go on a hunt for the White Stag who is said to grant the wishes of those who catch it. The four arrive at the lamppost and, having forgotten about it, unintentionally return through the wardrobe when they were looking for new adventures. When they return to England, they are children again, with no time having passed since their departure. They tell the story to the professor, who believes them and reassures the children that they will return to Narnia one day when they least expect it.