C. S. Lewis was well known for connecting The Chronicles of Narnia to various concepts through Christianity. However, a scene caught my attention during a reread the other night in Chapter 14 of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (I'm a Christian and I've read the Bible a few times):

"Well-" said Aslan, and seemed to be thinking. Then he said, "I should be glad of company tonight. Yes, you may come, if you will promise to stop when I tell you, and after that leave me to go on alone."

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Chapter 14: "The Triumph of the Witch"

And later, Aslan continues:

"Oh, children, children. Here you must stop. And whatever happens, do not let yourselves be seen. Farewell."

And both the girls cried bitterly (though they hardly knew why) and clung to the Lion and kissed his mane and his nose and his paws and his great, sad eyes. Then he turned from them and walked out on to the top of the hill.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

When Jesus was leaving for Gethsemane to atone for the sins of the world, some of his Apostles walked with him. In Matthew 26 verses 36-39, it says:

36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Matthew 26:36-39

This seems similar to the way that Aslan requested the Pevensie sisters walk with him to his sacrifice for Edmund. But most interestingly, in the next verse, Jesus returns to the Apostles:

40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

Matthew 26:40

This seems as if it could connect to the line at the end of Chapter 14 when Aslan is killed:

The children did not see the actual moment of the killing. They couldn't bear to look and had covered their eyes.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The connection between this is looser than the other. Was it a deliberate allusion? Am I reading too much into this?

2 Answers 2


I don't think the girls averting their eyes is anything terribly allegorical. I can't imagine two school-aged girls wanting to watch the killing blow be struck on their beloved friend. I also don't think there was an enormous connection to the apostles falling asleep.

The only allegory in this area I can think of would be witnesses to Jesus' crucifixion. Of the 11 non-traitor apostles of Jesus, only one (John) actually witnessed the crucifixion. The other 10 feared arrest after the events of Gethsemane. Likewise, only the two girls see Aslan's death. Both the girls and John loved their friend more than any risk they were taking in going.

  • 5
    Luke does mention "all his acquaintances" watching, but all the canonical gospels make a point of women disciples present at the crucifixion. This is likely intentionally reflected in the two girls accompanying Aslan to the Table.
    – aschepler
    Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 4:12
  • I'm wondering in the fact that Aslan requested - as Jesus did - that the girls (representing his disciples?) "tarry with him". This answer only answers the second, more tentative part. Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 4:19
  • Great answer to the second part on the other hand. I will upvote, but I can't accept this as the proper answer to the question. Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 4:20

I remember the chapter containing the death of Aslan being called "Deep Magic from the start of Time" or something like that. Edmund is specifically under a curse for betraying his siblings and lying and must die according to the Magic. Aslan negotiates Edmund's freedom from the curse but never tells anyone what he gave to the witch to secure her agreement. He appears to have offered himself as a substitute at the Stone Table, a rather obvious allusion to Jesus' death on the cross. It is obvious that Aslan is willing to die and that the witch thought she had won by killing him. She taunts Aslan saying "now who will protect your friends from me?". The girls are also heartbroken. I am not sure if the Bible specifically says that Satan thought he had won when Jesus died but His human enemies certainly thought they were winning. Note the taunt from the chief priests in Mathew 27:42-43 that He saved others but can't save himself. Since God doesnt come and rescue him from death (at least not on Good Friday) they certainly thought they had won.

Jesus did lead captivity captive (Ephesians 4:8 KJV) after the crucifixion and freed all believers from the curse of the Law. (Galations 3:13) among many other accomplishments.

In the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe the next chapter is called "Deeper Magic from Before the start of Time" which allows Aslan to be return alive and come to the aid of his friends during the battle as well as rescuing those previously turned to stone. Aslan's return is a rather obvious allusion the resurrection of Jesus as well as a truly memorable moment for readers of all ages. At sunrise the girls hear a loud crack. The Stone Table (alluding to the Law of Moses) is broken and Aslan is alive.

Note that no allusion, type or allegory is perfect. Susan and Lucy may not have any biblical counterpart. Their sunrise romp with Aslan has no biblical counterpart that I know of (but Oh was it fun) God did not ask for Satan's permission or agreement to lift anyone's curse. It is a story after all. However all of the Narnia stories refer often to biblical principles or events. Aslan even talks to the Pevensies knowing him in their own world by another name (at the end of Prince Caspian if I remember correctly)

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