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Chronicles of Narnia Unit Study

Chapter 12: Peter's First Battle

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Summary

As Edmund endures his tortuous walk with the dwarf and Jadis, the White Witch, Queen of Narnia, the Beavers and the children leave their coats behind. They admire the current scene of spring: kingfishers, bluebells, flowering currant, hawthorn bushes and tall elms. There are birds singing everywhere.
 
The Wood turns from January to May in just hours. The children are happy to see this change but are unaware (unlike Jadis) that this is the effect Aslan's presence has on Narnia.  They did know that something must be going wrong though since it's common knowledge that the Witch's spells cause the endless winter.
 
They realize they can slow down since Jadis' sledge would no longer be of any use to her.  They reach the top of this hill and see the sea to the east, the Stone Table in the middle of the open hilltop, along with a pavilion. It has a banner with a red lion on it. There is music.
 
Aslan is standing inside a semi-circle of creatures.  Tree-women, well-women, centaurs, aunicorn, 
leopards, etc., are there. The Beavers and the children debate who should be the first to approach Aslan.  Then Peter does as he draws his sword in salute. Aslan asks where Edmund is, referring to him as "the Fourth." The Beaver informs Aslan of Edmund's status as a traitor, having sided with the Witch. Peter admits his guilt in that he had been angry with Edmund, perhaps somehow causing him to "go wrong."
 
Lucy pleads with Aslan as to whether something can be done to save Edmund. Aslan says "all shall be done" but sadly states it will be harder than they think.
 
Aslan commands a feast to be prepared, then invites Peter to walk and talk with him. As they stand on the eastern edge of the hilltop, they see the Narnian landscape. It is silloutted before them by the setting sun. At the mouth of the river, where "the land of Narnia met the sea," shining in the sunlight is the castle Cair Paravel. Aslan informs Peter there are four thrones, of which all are to be occupied by Peter and his siblings. However, Peter is to be "High King over all the rest."
 
Suddenly this conversation is interrupted by the sound of Susan's horn. Initially, Peter doesn't understand, but soon realizes he must join all the creatures who are rushing toward the sound. Aslan commands the creatures not to advance telling them to get back and allow the Prince to "win his spurs."
 
When Peter arrives at the pavilion, he sees Naiads and Dryads running scared, Lucy running toward him, white with fear, and Susan hoisting herself up onto a tree branch to avoid an attack by a wolf. Peter realizes Susan is on the verge of fainting, and attempts to stab the wolf with the sword, but misses.  A battle ensues, and because the wolf takes the time to howl in anger, Peter is able to seize the opportunity to fatally strike the wolf with his sword.
 
Susan descends from the tree.  She and Peter embrace and kiss in relief and thankfulness.
 
Aslan suddenly shouts that there is another wolf in the thickets running away to his Queen.  He tells the Centaurs and Eagles now is the chance to rescue the "Fourth Son of Adam."
 
Peter is still catching his breath from battling the now-dead wolf, and notices Aslan is near.  Aslan tells him he has forgotten to clean his sword, which he does, as he wipes it on the grass. Then he wipes it dry on his coat.
 
Aslan directs Peter to hand him the sword and to kneel.  He strikes Peter with "the flat of the blade" saying, "Rise up, Sir Peter Wolfs-Bane. And whatever happens, never forget to wipe your sword."