At the ending of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of The Dawn Treader (The Chronicles of Narnia 3), before Lucy and Edmund return to their world, the following dialogue happens:

Lucy: Will you visit us in our world?

Aslan: I shall be watching you, always.

Lucy: How?

Aslan: In your world, I have another name. You must learn to know me by it. That was the very reason you were brought to Narnia. That by knowing me here for a little... you may know me better there.

Lucy: Will we meet again?

Aslan: Mm. Yes, dear one. One day.

Aslan seems to imply that he will appear in a different form in their world. Who or what is it?


3 Answers 3


According to Wikipedia....C.S. Lewis, the author of the source novels, intended Aslan to be an incarnation of Christ.

Although Aslan can be read as an original character, parallels exist with Christ. According to the author, Aslan is not an allegorical portrayal of Christ, but rather a suppositional incarnation of Christ Himself:

If Aslan represented the immaterial Deity, he would be an allegorical figure. In reality however, he is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, "What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?" This is not allegory at all.

In one of his last letters, Lewis wrote, "Since Narnia is a world of Talking Beasts, I thought He [Christ] would become a Talking Beast there, as He became a man here. I pictured Him becoming a lion there because (a) the lion is supposed to be the king of beasts; (b) Christ is called "The Lion of Judah" in the Bible; (c) I'd been having strange dreams about lions when I began writing the work."

The similarity between the death and resurrection of Aslan and the death and resurrection of Jesus has been noted; one author has noted that like Jesus, Aslan was ridiculed before his death, mourned, and then discovered to be absent from the place where his body had been laid


Since Wikipedia is not a reliable source, and I couldn't find the primary source for the quote emphasised in Paulie D's answer, here is a direct confirmation from a good source that Aslan is Jesus, not only allegorically representing him but actually the same person in-universe:

As to Aslan's other name, well I want you to guess. Has there never been anyone in this world who (1.) Arrived at the same time as Father Christmas. (2.) Said he was the son of the great Emperor. (3.) gave himself up for someone else's fault to be jeered at and killed by wicked people. (4.) Came to life again. (5.) Is sometimes spoken of as a Lamb.... Don't you really know His name in this world. Think it over and let me know your answer!

This was in a reply to a letter of an 11-year-old fan (Hila, from the USA) who asked the same question that you're asking here. It can be found in, for example, L.W. Dorsett and M. L. Mead, eds. C. S. Lewis Letters to Children, Macmillan, New York, 1985.

This is the clearest, most direct, statement I know of that Aslan is actually the same person as Jesus in-universe, rather than a fictional or allegorical (or suppositional, to use Lewis's preferred terminology) version of Jesus. Thanks to Jack B Nimble for finding this quote when I asked the same question on another site.

  • 1
    You couldn't? It's a letter to "Anne", 1961-03-05. The indented quote is from a letter to "a lady", 1958-12-29. Both apparently in Warren Lewis's and Walter Hooper's Letters of C.S. Lewis.
    – JdeBP
    Aug 20, 2020 at 2:24

Just to expand a little bit on @Paulie_D's quotation

According to the author, Aslan is not an allegorical portrayal of Christ, but rather a suppositional incarnation of Christ Himself

Serendipitously, I was just reading John Granger's The Hidden Key to Harry Potter (spoiler alert: it's no coincidence that his name rhymes with "heir of the Pater"), which strenuously asserts the difference between childish allegory and true symbolism. Granger writes:

As one of C.S. Lewis' Oxford students reminds us, "attaching to the symbol for its own sake apart from its higher meaning," the mistake of the materialists, separates man from the greater, transcendent life for which he is designed [...] (Martin Lings, Symbol and Archetype, p. 4).

Please note that symbolists are not writing "allegories." Allegories are story-puzzles that are often just ironic or satirical retellings of other stories, sometimes historical, sometimes "spiritual," but all are about our world and its realities as we experience it. Tolkien, a symbolist extraordinaire, resisted every attempt to categorize The Lord of the Rings as an allegory with tremendous verbal violence; he felt there could be no greater misunderstanding of what he was doing than to explain it as an allegory of the second world war or some other event. If anything, the second world war was a symbol of the eternal conflicts and verities The Lord of the Rings illumined. The same can be said of Lewis' fiction and Rowling's; this is writing of a different kind than the allegorical Gulliver's Travels, or even Pilgrim's Progress. (For Lewis' careful distinction between "Allegory, Supposal, and Symbolism," especially as it applies to his Chronicles of Narnia, see Walter Hooper's C.S. Lewis: Companion & Guide, pp. 423–429.)

In this "symbolist" worldview, a symbol (such as Aslan's appearance as a lion) is not a mere rebus ("Aha, the lion stands for Jesus!"), but rather a "window" through which we glimpse the higher reality — concepts such as power, majesty, loyalty, empathy, self-sacrifice, redemption.

So when Aslan says "In your world, I have another name," he doesn't mean that he "secretly is" or "represents" some person from our world; this isn't "Guess Who?" or Rumpelstiltskin. Aslan embodies and symbolizes higher realities that are symbolized in our world as well — just as they are symbolized in every world.

So, yes, absolutely, Aslan is Jesus Christ (especially bearing in mind that Lewis was a devout Christian, and bearing in mind that Lewis said so :)). But it's not a simple matter of the two being equivalent, or one allegorically "representing" the other. For example, if Lewis had meant to write a strict allegory, we could fault him for how the Aslan story mixes up bits of Jesus's sacrifice with bits of Samson's hair-shearing. As an allegory, the details are all wrong. But as symbolism, we know that Jesus and Samson both act as windows onto a higher reality through which we glimpse eternal truths — majesty, betrayal, sorrow, self-sacrifice — and Aslan does too.

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