The Last Battle Quotes

by Clive Staples Lewis (1956)


“You will go to your death, then,” said Jewel.

“Do you think I care if Aslan doomes me to death?” said the King. “That would be nothing, nothing at all. Would it not be better to be dead than to have this horrible fear that Aslan has come and is not like the Aslan we have believed in and longed for? It is as if the sun rose one day and were a black sun.”

“I know,” said Jewel. “Or if you drank water and it were dry water. You are in the right, Sire. This is the end of all things.”

(The Ape in Its Glory)


“There! You see!” said the Ape. “It’s all arranged. And all for your own good. We’ll be able, with the money you earn, to make Narnia a country worth living in. There’ll be oranges and bananas pouring in–and roads and big cities and schools and offices and whips and muzzles and saddles and cages and kennels and prisons–Oh, everything.”

“But we don’t want all those things,” said an old Bear. “We want to be free. And we want to hear Aslan speak himself.”

“Now don’t you start arguing,” said the Ape, “for it’s a thing I won’t stand. I’m a Man: you’re only a fat, stupid old Bear. What do you know about freedom? You think freedom means doing what you like. Well, you’re wrong. That isn’t true freedom. True freedom means doing what I tell you.”

(The Ape in Its Glory)


In the shadow of the trees on the far side of the clearing something was moving. It was gliding very slowly Northward. At first glance you might have mistaken it for smoke, for it was gray and you could see things through it. But the deathly smell was not the smell of smoke. Also, this thing kept its shape instead of billowing and curling as smoke would have done. It was roughly the shape of a man but it had the head of a bird; some bird of prey with a cruel, curved beak. It had four arms which it held high above its head, streching them northward as if it wanted to snatch all Narnia in its grip; and its fingers–all twenty of them–were curved like its beak and had long, pointed, bird-like claws instead of nails. It floated on the grass instead of walking, and the grass seemed to whither beneath it.

After one look at it Puzzle gave a screaming bray and darted into the Tower. And Jill (who was no coward, as you know) hid her face in her hands to shut out the sight of it. The others watched it for perhaps a minute, until it streamed away into the thicker trees on their right and disappeared. Then the sun came out again, and the birds once more began to sing.

Everyone started breathing properly again and moved. They had all been still as statues while it was in sight.

“What was it?” said Eustace in a whisper.

“I have seen it once before,” said Tirian. “But that time it was carved in stone and overlaid with gold and had solid diamonds for eyes. It was when I was no older than thou, and had gone as a guest to The Tisroc’s court in Tashbaan. He took me into the great temple of Tash. Then I saw it, carved abbove the altar.”

“Then that–that thing–was Tash?” said Eustace.

But instead of answering him Tirian slipped his arm behind Jill’s shoulders and said “How is it with you, Lady?”

“A-all right,” said Jill, taking her hands away from her pale face and trying to smile. “I’m all right. It only made me feel a little sick for a moment.”

“It seems, then,” said the Unicorn, “that ther is a Tash, after all.”

“Yes,” said the Dwarf. “And this fool of an Ape, who didn’t believe in Tash, will get more than he bargained for! He called for Tash: Tash has come.”

“Where has it–he–the Thing–gone to?” said Jill.

“North into the heart of Narnia,” said Tirian. “It has come to dwell among us. They have called it and it has come.”

“Ho, ho, ho!” chuckled the Dwarf, rubbing his hairy hands together. “It will be a surprise for the Ape. People shouldn’t call for demons unless they really mean what they say.”

(What News the Eagle Brought)


“…And the other sight, five leagues nearer than Cair Paravel, was Roonwit the Centaur lying dead with a Calormene arrow in his hide. I was with him in his last hour and he gave me this message to your Majesty: to remember that all worlds draw to an end and that noble death is a treasure which no one is too poor to buy.”

“So,” said the King, after a long silence, “Narnia is no more.”

(What News the Eagle Brought)


“I almost wish–no I don’t, though,” said Jill.

“What were you going to say?”

“I was going to say I wished we’d never come. But I don’t, I don’t, I don’t. Even if we are killed. I’d rather be killed fighting for Narnia than grow old and stupid at home and perhaps go about in a bath-chair and then die in the end just the same.”

(The Great Meeting on Stable Hill)


Tirian looked and saw the queerest and most ridiculous thing you can imagine. Only a few yards away, clear to be seen in the sunlight, there stood up a rough wooden door and, round it, the framework of the doorway: nothing else, no walls, no roof. He walked toward it, bewildred, and the others followed, watching to see what he would do. He walked round to the other side of the door. But it looked just the same from the other side: he was still in the open air, on a summer morning. The door was simply standing up by itself as if it had grown there like a tree.

“Fair Sir,” said Tirian to the High King, “this is a great marvel.”

“It is the door you came through with the Calormene five minutes ago,” said Peter smiling.

“But did I not come in out of the wood into the stable? Whereas this seems to be a door leading from nowhere to nowhere.”

“It looks like that if you walk round it,” said Peter. “But put your eye to that place where ther is a crack between two of the planks and look through.”

Tirian put his eye to the hole. At first he could see nothing but blackness. Then, as his eyes grew used to it, he saw the dull red glow of a bonfire that was nearly going out, and above that, in the black sky, stars. Then he could see dark figures moving about or standing between him and the fire: he could hear them talking and their voices were like those of Calormenes. So he knew that he was looking out through the stable door into the darkness of Lantern Waste where he had found his last battle. The men were discussing whether to go in and look for Rishda Tarkaan (but none of them wanted to do that) or set fire to the stable.

He looked around again and could hardly believe his eyes. There was the blue sky overhead, and grassy country spreading as far as he could see in evvvery direction, and his new friends all round him laughing.

“It seems, then,” said Tirian, smiling himself, “that the stable seen from within and the stable seen from without are two different places.”

“Yes,” said the Lord Digory. “Its inside is bigger than its outside.”

(How The Dwarfs Refused To Be Taken In)


Aslan raised his head and shook his mane. Instantly a glorious feast appeared on the Dwarfs’ knees: pies and tongues and pigeons and trifles and ices, and each Dwarf had a goblet of good wine in his right hand. But it wasn’t much use. They began eating and drinkung greedily enough, but it was clear that they couldn’t taste it properly. THey thought they were eating and drinking ony the sort of things you might find in a stable. One said he was trying to eat hay and another said he got a bit of an old turnip and a third said he’d found a raw cabbage leaf. And they raised golden goblets of rich red wine to their lips and said “Ugh! Fancy drinking dirty water out of a trough that a donkey’s been at! Never thought we’d come to this.” But very soon every Dwarf began suspecting that every other Dwarf had found something nicer than he had, and they started grabbing and snatching, and went on to quarreling, till in a few minutes there was a free fight and all the good food was smeared on their faces and clothes or trodden under foot. But when at last they sat down to nurse their black eyes and their bleeding noses, they all said:

“Well, at any rate there’s no Humbug here. We haven’t let anyone take us in. The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs.”

“You see,” said Aslan. “They will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.”

(How The Dwarfs Refused To Be Taken In)


“So,” said Peter, “night falls on Narnia. What, Lucy! You’re not crying? With Aslan ahead, and all of us here?”

“Don’t try to stop me, Peter,” said Lucy, “I am sure Aslan would not. I am sure it is not wrong to mourn Narnia. Think of all that lies dead and frozen behind that door.”

“Yes and I did hope,” said Jil, “that it might go on forever. I knew our world couldn’t. I did think Narnia might.”

“I saw it begin,” said the Lord Digory. “I did not think I would live to see it die.”

“Sirs,” said Tirian. “The ladies do well to weep. See, I do so myself. I have seen my mother’s death. What world but Narnia have I ever known? It were no virtue, but great discourtesy, if we did not mourn.

(Night Falls on Narnia)


It is hard to explain how this sunlit land was different from the old Narnia as it would be to tell you how the fruits of that country taste. Perhaps you will get some idea of it if you think like this.You may have been in a room in which there was a window that looked out on a lovely bay of the sea or a green valley that wound away among mountains. And in the wall of that room opposite to the window there may have been a looking-glass. And as you turned away from the window you suddenly caught sight of that sea or that valley, all over again, in the looking- glass. And the sea in the mirror, or the valley in the mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones: yet at the same time they were somehow different–deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know. The difference between the old Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more. I can’t describe it any better than that: if you ever get there you will know what I mean.

It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right forehoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried:

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!”

(Further Up and Further In)

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