top of page
  • Writer's pictureGeorge Dutch

A Crown for Children (Part 2 of 2)

In Narnia, the White Witch woos Edmund to her side with a promise to make him her Prince. But she also reveals the evil side of her nature as she governs with anger, judgement, resentment, fault-finding, and cynicism. Edmund--disgruntled and unhappy about his dislocation, is somewhat at odds with his siblings, and reluctantly journeys to Narnia only to find himself hungry and cold--is easy pickings for the witch. At first, Edmund admires the evil witch and soon betrays his siblings, as she manipulates him with deceit and fear and the ultimate threat of turning him to stone. There is something so familiar in Edmund’s weakness, some part that resonates with all of us, and many fans of the LWW find it easier to relate to him than the other Pevensies.


The witch is set to kill Edmund and extinguish the prophecy but the Narnians rescue him. The witch declares war! Edmund is delivered to his siblings and Aslan. But the witch demands her right to Edmund’s blood, according to the laws of Deep Magic, so Aslan strikes a deal to exchange his life for Edmund’s, underserving as he is after betraying his own flesh and blood. The witch is delighted to have her nemesis destroyed once and for all, freeing her to rule over Narnia forever!

Aslan crowns these ordinary (now extraordinary) children with glory and honour to take care of his creation, an unmistakeable reference to... each human made in God’s image and crowned with glory and honour to steward His creation.

But Narnia is not hers. At the beginning of the LWW, Aslan sings Narnia into being. It is his creation. This deal he strikes with the witch unlocks the key to Deep Magic. The social order of Narnia is not to be organized around tyranny in a frozen land where it is always winter and never Christmas. Instead, it is meant to be governed by “goodness”, as modeled by Aslan, by the values of sacrificial love, acceptance, forgiveness, joy, and community. Pevensies are trained up to govern Narnia accordingly by Aslan’s sacrifice to preserve Edmund’s life.



And it is not easy! The Pevensies and their allies must defeat tyranny, fight for goodness, risk their lives, and prove their mettle to govern. And that is exactly what they do. Following a great battle that defeats the witch, the Pevensies are crowned by Aslan as Kings and Queens of Narnia: King Peter the Magnificent, Queen Susan the Gentle, Kind Edmund the Just, and Queen Lucy the Valiant.

MR. TUMNUS: It is important that they return, for good people need good rulers.
ASLAN: And good rulers need good people.

Aslan crowns these ordinary (now extraordinary) children with glory and honour to take care of his creation, an unmistakeable reference to many Bible passages that refer to each human made in God’s image and crowned with glory and honour to steward His creation. In the same way that the doctrine of the sanctity of human life shifted a small minority of believers in a Roman Empire to a Christendom that transformed the Western world, the LWW shows how a small group of believers in Aslan save the children and turn winter into spring and change Narnia for the better.

ASLAN: The children will rule for a long time, but the day will come when they need to return from whence they came. The lamppost shall be their guide.

And so the story ends, with the children, now fully grown into good rulers, finding their way back to the boundary of Narnia and the lamppost, a kind of moral compass, that leads them to the magical portal of the wardrobe, which lands the Pevensies back in the old country home where barely a moment has passed.


The Pevensies are back in the real world of WWII. As they reflect on their adventures, what they believe matters because beliefs beget values that govern our behaviour which leads to action and purpose. And now, the question remains for them and all--how then shall we live?

 

GEORGE DUTCH is Associate Artistic Director and Dramaturge for 9th Hour Theatre Company


Read Part 1 of "A Crown for Children"

Listen to George discuss the story's themes on the Telling The Story podcast.

Recent Posts

See All

Magic, War, and Faith

“Theme is an abstract idea made concrete by a play’s action.” “Action” can be understood simply as “what happens in the play.”

A Crown for Children (Part 1 of 2)

September 1939, Operation Pied Piper evacuated 3 million children from London and other urban target areas vulnerable to aerial bombing.

Comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page