When I was a child, I had no idea what was coming when Susan and Lucy snuck out of their tents. Aslan seemed sad, and the girls wanted to see why. Aslan told them how lonely he was, and invited them to join him on his long walk—on the condition that they will leave when ordered. My first time reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Aslan’s words filled me with a deep and unshakeable dread. Aslan seemed to feel the same thing, walking with his head so low to the ground that it was practically dragging. The girls put their hands in his mane and stroked his head, and tried to comfort him.
When they reached the Stone Table, every evil beast of Narnia was waiting, including Jadis herself, whose long winter had begun to thaw at last. To Susan and Lucy’s horror (and mine!), Aslan had agreed to be murdered—sacrificed—upon the Stone Table, so that their brother Edmund could live.