Mark Reads ‘The Golden Compass’: Chapter 22

In the twenty-second chapter of The Golden Compass, Lyra is awakened by Lord Asriel’s butler, who reveals what her father’s plan was all along. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Golden Compass.

i…….i……….my…………………

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO: BETRAYAL

I ALREADY DO NOT LIKE THE TITLE OF THIS CHAPTER AND IT MAKES ME NERVOUS.

“What? What’s happening?”

“Lord Asriel, miss. He’s been almost in a delirium since you went to bed. I’ve never seen him so wild. He packed a lot of instruments and batteries in a sledge and he harnessed up the dogs and left. But he’s got the boy, miss!”

WHAT?!?!?! WHY. WHY DID HE TAKE ROGER?

“–you know when you first came to the door, miss? And he saw you and couldn’t believe his eyes, and wanted you gone?”

YES. I REMEMBER THIS. IT MADE NO SENSE.

“It was because he need a child to finish his experiment, miss! And Lord Asriel has a way special to himself of bringing about what he wants, he just has to call for something and–“

WHAT THE HOLY FLYING FUCK JUST HAPPENED YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME!!! LORD ASRIEL ASKED THE UNIVERSE FOR A CHILD TO SACRIFICE SO HE COULD OPEN UP THE BRIDGE TO ANOTHER WORLD AND THE UNIVERSE SENT HIM HIS FUCKING DAUGHTER, EXCEPT IT ALSO SENT ROGER AND NOW I AM COMPLETELY SHATTERED BECAUSE LYRA CANNOT EVEN TRUST HER OWN PARENTS

FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

ALSO WHAT DOES THOROLD MEAN THAT LORD ASRIEL HAS A “WAY” OF GETTING WHAT HE WANTS IS HE LIKE A TELEPATHIC MAGNET OR SOME SHIT I AM SO CONFUSED RIGHT NOW.

She was uttering it, but it was bigger than she was; it felt as if the despair were uttering her. For she remembered his words: the energy that links body and dΓ¦mon is immensely powerful; and to bridge the gap between worlds needed a phenomenal burst of energy….

She had just realized what she’d done.

THIS MIGHT BE THE MOST WRETCHED TWIST OF ALL TWISTS BECAUSE IT IS A SIGN TO LYRA THAT EVEN IF SHE DOES EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO DO GOOD, SOMEONE WITH MORE POWER IS STILL GOING TO RUIN EVERYTHING. OH MY GOD THIS IS JUST THE WORST

She had struggled all this way to bring something to Lord Asriel, thinking she knew what he wanted; and it wasn’t the alethiometer at all. What she wanted was a child.

She had brought him Roger.

I SERIOUSLY WANT TO JUST CRY IN ABJECT TERROR AT THIS VERY IDEA. MY GOD. πŸ™

That was why he’d cried out, “I did not send for you!” when he saw her; he had sent for a child, and the fates had brought him his own daughter. Or so he’d thought, until she’d stepped aside and shown him Roger.

THIS IS JUST SO MESSED UP AND I CANNOT BELIEVE IN MY LAST REVIEW I WAS THIS CLOSE TO PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER AND I STILL DIDN’T DO IT. THAT ALONE IS ENOUGH TO SEND ME OVER THE EDGE, BUT NOW I HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE FACT THAT LORD ASRIEL IS BASICALLY A VILLAIN NOW TOO. oh my god OH MY GOD.

“Iorek–” she sobbed, pushing the servant aside. “Where’s Iorek Byrnison? The bear? Is he still outside?”

The old man shrugged helplessly.

“Help me!” she said, trembling all over with weakness and fear. “Help me dress. I got to go. Now! Do it quick!

I DON’T LIKE AN UPSET AND SOBBING LYRA IT MAKES ME NERVOUS AND ANXIOUS

“Iorek!” she called. “Iorek Byrnison! Come, because I need you!”

LIKE I CAN SERIOUSLY HEAR THE DISTRESS IN HER VOICE. HOW ON EARTH IS SHE GOING TO STOP HER FATHER.

Behind them, the other bears paced easily, pulling the fire hurler with them.

HOW DO THE BEARS OWN A FIRE HURLER. SERIOUSLY HOW COULD YOU EVER BRING DOWN THE ARMORED BEARS AT THIS POINT.

Lyra felt Iorek Byrnison change pace. Something had caught his attention. He was slowing and lifting his head to cast left and right.

“What is it?” Lyra said.

He didn’t say. He was listening intently, but she could hear nothing. Then she did hear something: a mysterious, vastly distant rustling and crackling. It was a sound she had heard before: the sound of the Aurora.

NO. NO!!!!! PLEASE TELL ME THAT THEY ARE NOT TOO LATE. HE CAN’T BE THAT FAR AHEAD!!!

But none of the bears were looking up: their attention was all on the earth. It wasn’t the Aurora, after all, that had caught Iorek’s attention. He was standing stock-still now, and Lyra slipped off his back, knowing that his senses needed to cast around freely. Something was troubling him.

WWWWWWWHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYY IS THERE NOW SOMETHING ELSE TO WORRY ABOUT. CATCHING LORD ASRIEL IS BAD ENOUGH WHYYYYYYYYYYY.

She could hear the immense stinging hiss and swish of vast intangible forces.

“Witches!” came a cry in a bear voice, and Lyra turned in joy and relief.

YES. YES. I LOVE YOU SERAFINA. YOU ARE MY FAVORITE. COME TO THE RESCUE AT THE PERFECT TIME!!!

But a heavy muzzle knocked her forward, and with no breath left to gasp she could only pant and shudder, for there in the place where she had been standing was the plume of a green-feathered arrow. The head and the shaft were buried in the snow.

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?! OH MY GOD, THEY ARE NOT SERAFINA’S CLAN. OH MY GOD WHY.

Lyra crouched low beside a rock, watching for a witch dive. A few shot at her, but the arrows fell wide; and then Lyra, looking up at the sky, saw the greater part of the witch flight peel off and turn back.

YES. THE BEARS ARE THE BEST. I LOVE THEM. KEEP SWATTING DOWN WITCHES WITH THEIR POOR ARCHERY SKILLS.

If she was relieved by that, her relief didn’t last more than a few moments. Because from the direction in which they’d flown, she saw many others coming to join them; and in mid-air with them there was a group of gleaming lights; and across the broad expanse of the Svalbard plain, under the radiance of the Aurora, she heard a sound she dreaded. It was the harsh throb of a gas engine. The zeppelin, with Mrs. Coulter and her troops on board, was catching up.

FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU THIS COULD NOT GET ANY WORSE AND I KNOW BY SAYING THAT, IT WILL GET WORSE BUT SERIOUSLY WHAT THE HELL THIS IS AWFUL. HOW. HOW IS LYRA SUPPOSED TO DEAL WITH LORD ASRIEL AND WITCHES AND NOW MRS. COULTER ALL AT THE SAME TIME THIS IS TOO MUCH. THE LORD IS TESTING ME.

As she watched, a bright flame gushed out, and a team of bears swung into practiced action. Two of them hauled the long arm of the fire thrower down, another scooped shovelfuls of fire into the bowl, and at an order they released it, to hurl the flaming sulfur high into the dark sky.

AHHHHHHHHH BEARS CAN SHOVEL FIRE. WHY IS THAT DETAIL SO AMAZING TO ME.

The witches were swooping so thickly above them that three fell in flames at the first shot alone, but it was soon clear that the real target was the zeppelin.

YES YES YES DESTROY IT omg i am so violent.

Then it became clear that they had a powerful weapon in the zeppelin too: a machine rifle mounted on the nose of the gondola.

THIS IS SERIOUSLY JUST NEVER-ENDING TENSION.

This time the sulfur hurtled against the envelope of the zeppelin’s gas bag. The rigid frame held a skin of oiled silk in place to contain the hydrogen, and although this was tough enough to withstand minor scratches, a hundredweight of blazing rock was too much for it. The silk ripped straight through, and sulfur and hydrogen leaped to meet each other in a catastrophe of flame.

YES. YES. YES. YES! VICTORY VICTORY VICTORY PLEASE LET THE EARTH OPEN NOW AND EAT THEM. (PS: This section is rather gorgeously written. Just sayin’!)

But the soldiers on board, and the others too (though Lyra was too far away by now to spot Mrs. Coulter, she knew she was there), wasted no time. With the help of the witches they dragged the machine gun out and set it up, and began to fight in earnest on the ground.

SERIOUSLY, PLEASE, AN EARTHQUAKE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS. JUST OPEN UP, EARTH, AND YELL, “OMNOMNOMNOMNOM.” I WOULD BE SO HAPPY.

Ok. I’m ridiculous. But after a constant onslaught of sheer brain-meltage, I was glad that Iorek took Lyra away from that battle. The armored bears can handle it on their own, and he’s not forgotten the importance of catching up to Lord Asriel. Iorek follows the obvious tracks that Asriel has left behind, and more so than ever, this is the worst weather the group has experienced. Again, as I’ve said in past reviews, Pullman doesn’t really describe action as “This happened, then this, then that.” He’s far more interested in painting landscapes and visual parallels during the process.

I get the distinct sense of finality to all of this, and it honestly scares me. There’s only one chapter left and I worry that something will be irrevocably altered in a negative way. It doesn’t help that Lyra suddenly asks Iorek if he’ll find Lee Scoresby and Serafina Pekkala. She doesn’t say it, but it feels like the second half of that is, “…if I don’t come back alive.” To see Lyra admit that she has finally found herself in a situation that could absolutely end in her death is frightening. Who’s to say that she can’t die at the end of this novel? I don’t even know if she’s the main character for the full trilogy.

And this is all made worse when Lord Asriel’s tracks continue over a massive chasm in the ice and snow, and just a bridge of “compacted snow” remains. Meaning there is no way that Iorek could ever make it across.

“I got to go across,” she said. “Thank you for all you done. I don’t know what’s going to happen when I get to him. We might all die, whether I get to him or not. But if I come back, I’ll come and see you to thank you properly, King Iorek Byrnison.

She laid a hand on his head. He let it lie there and nodded gently.

“Goodbye, Lyra Silvertongue,” he said.

SHAKING. AND. CRYING. It does feel so very final, doesn’t it? Lyra crosses the bridge and, while it’s kind of predictable that the bridge would collapse behind her, it’s what Pullman does with it that strikes cold in my heart:

She stood and raised her hand to the watching bear. Iorek Byrnison stood on his hind legs to acknowledge her, and then turned and made off down the mountain in a swift run to help his subjects in the battle with Mrs. Coulter and the soldiers from the zeppelin.

Lyra was alone.

This is not going to end well.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in His Dark Materials, The Golden Compass and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

108 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Golden Compass’: Chapter 22

  1. Maya says:

    …you have a fun weekend ahead of you don't you?

    Really, I don't think I can even say anything other than that shit is really getting real. And will continue to get real.

  2. fandomphd says:

    How are you just going to stop here and not read the next chapter IMMEDIATELY?

  3. lovelyhera says:

    Oh don't worry Mark, Lyra and Roger are rescued by a squad of flying uniforms and enrolled in Hogwarts where they have hilarious shenanigans! Oh, is that a spoiler?

    Also – none of this was in the movie – it ended with Lyra triumphantly sailing to Lord Asriel in the balloon with Roger. That's kind of false advertising, but then again so was the whole movie.

    • Brieana says:

      You know, after I made my peace with the movie and where things went wrong, I kind of liked the ending.
      "We'll set things right Pan. Just let them try and stop us."

    • Anseflans says:

      Flying uniforms?
      πŸ˜›

    • roguebelle says:

      Arrrrgh, the way they cut the ending makes me so angry, especially knowing what they FILMED and then did not EVEN INCLUDE AS A DVD EXTRA — but more on that in the next chapter.

  4. Saphling says:

    Yeaaaaaah… *grinning ruefully* Worst chapter to have to bridge a weekend with, ever, right?

  5. Brieana says:

    I like how the three fourths of this was a nice caps lock party.

  6. redheadedgirl says:

    After yesterday's Serious Theological Discussions, suddenly the story begins hurtling down a steep hill AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO BUT HOLD ON

    JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL

  7. hummingbrdheart says:

    GPOY reading this section for the first time:

    <img src="http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lmshgpdapb1qlv5zvo1_250.gif"&gt;

    [Image description: An animated gif from the TV show Boy Meets World, specifically the Halloween episode. Cory runs away from a stabbed-in-the-head body; Cory's hands are flailing and he is screaming.]

  8. leighzzz31 says:

    Rip my heart out, why don’t you, Phillip Pullman? Or, better yet, get Iorek to eat it! Because it breaks every time I read this chapter.

    She had brought him Roger.

    “She will be the betrayer and the experience will be terrible.”

    This is the only point in the book where I actually feel pity for Lyra. There’s no room for pity any time before because she’s simply too awesome for that but here, she’s just a little girl who is betrayed by her father and has betrayed her friend and I feel so unbelievably bad for her as she realises what she has done. Every step of her journey up until now has been to bring Roger to safety and in the end she ends up delivering him to her father as a sacrifice.

    Saying goodbye to Iorek was hard too (there was such an air of finality in their exchange *sobs*) but I love how that short journey highlighted the relationship between the Bear and Lyra. He doesn’t question her when she asks him to take her to her father, he decides to abandon his ‘people’ (if only for a short while) in order to do what she asks. They’re both very passionately devoted to each other after all they’ve been through. And the contrast between him and Asriel is mind-blowing. An ARMOURED BEAR IS A BETTER FATHER FIGURE THAN YOU WILL EVER BE, ASRIEL!

    • Tilja says:

      Betrayal is such a widely used term in these books you just forget that the term "Trust" exists from where that word is born. There are examples of course but they get buried on a big pile of contradictions, like how Asriel took Roger to experiment on. Seriously, it's all so convoluted I tend to forget the main line.

    • tehrevel says:

      I wouldn't say she betrayed her friend, I think betrayal requires active intent in the betrayer. She just kind of screwed him over by accident.

      • leighzzz31 says:

        Well, Lyra herself seems to think so. She had thought she was saving Roger, and all the time she'd been diligently working to betray him… (Quote from the book) That's why I said I felt pity for her – because she believes she has betrayed her best friend. Also this could be considered to be the betrayal mentioned by the Master earlier in the book. In any case, I'm only basing my assumption on what's been already explicitly mentioned.

      • sabra_n says:

        She didn't do it on purpose, to be sure, but I can see why she'd feel responsible – Roger adores her and would follow her anywhere, and she's the one who brought him to Asriel, even if she didn't know what the consequences would be.

  9. Mauve_Avenger says:

    When I first heard about the fire hurlers (the alethiometer said the Tartars guarding Bolvangar had them, I think, and it was what Iofur Raknison was going to do to Iorek when he landed on Svalbard), I just assumed that they would be another term for napalm flamethrowers. After all, napalm = napthenic acid (from naptha) plus(I don't know why it won't let me type a plus sign here) palmitic acid (originally from rubber palms, called cauchuc in Lyra's world).

    But nope…they're actually just catapulting balls of flaming sulphur.

  10. Partes says:

    Lord Asriel, from the moment he was introduced, fascinated me; he was driven, powerful and – judging by the accounts of the Gyptians – brave and good-natured. He was an admirable father to figure despite his abandonment, and I think the reason Lyra never showed any anger towards him before last chapter was because, in her mind, he simply had more important things to do; he couldn't concern himself with her, as he had to save Gyptian children from rivers, and engage in sword battles, and discover amazing things in the North…

    And then we meet him properly, and he's still just as powerful, resourceful and intelligent as he had been told, but there's a darkness to his character that's unnerving. He doesn't acknowledge that Lyra should, at least, have a right to be upset at him for leaving her even if what he's been doing is important, instead choosing to brush her concerns with a callousness that can be described as nothing but cruel. He finally treats his daughter like an adult with an explanation of Dust, but all the while avoiding saying absolutely anything about what he's actually going to do with his knowledge. Instead, he says something very vague and intensely worrying:

    “And what were you doing?” she said. “Did you do any of that cutting?”

    “I’m interested in something quite different. I don’t think the Oblation
    Board goes far enough. I want to go to the source of Dust itself.”

    And then, this chapter… ouch.

    She had struggled to bring something to Lord Asriel, thinking she
    knew what he wanted; and it wasn't the alethiomater at all. What
    he wanted was a child.

    She'd brought him Roger.

    Oh Lyra. You poor, poor thing; she immediately lays the blame on herself, something which is both unfair but very, very human.

    And the pedestal which she built for Lord Asriel, if it hadn't already, shatters.

    This man, interested in nothing more than his own ambitions, kidnaps the friend of his child in order to do one of the most disgusting acts imaginable: tear away the bonds of the soul.

    I think this is why this book still resonates with me years after the first reading. As someone whose father also lived on a pedestal that broke after I truly got to know him, this betrayal hit home in a way that was both moving and uncomfortable.

    • Partes says:

      I feel like it's easy, in the undeniable tension of the ending to this book and the immediate threat to Roger, to ignore the nasty implications of this for Lyra herself: even if saves Roger, her life is over. How can she return to her life in Jordan after all that she's seen and done? Mrs Coulter will certainly not allow that, as controlling but powerful as she has shown herself to be; even the Gyptians are off-limits, as clearly the Magisterium now knows about Lyra's connections to them after the ordeal at Svalbard.

      Mark, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that it's not going to end well. It can't, really. Too much has happened.

      And so Lyra struggles on alone, to stop a man who is both physically stronger but also known as one of the most powerful in this world. And Pullman has shown one thing consistently: he doesn't pull punches.

      Lyra's leaving Iorek's protection, which is more worrying to me than anything. In all her other battles since she left Mrs Coutler, she has always had someone.

      Now it's her and Pan against a man who wants to kill Death. Lyra's brave, but how much can she be expected to do? I feel like this is the first time we see her truly, utterly lost and out of her depth, and the final line of the chapter underlines that.

      Never prepared, Mark. Never prepared.

    • Tilja says:

      I feel the same way, with the same kind of experience. It seems to me Lyra was actually spared all the greatest heartache by not being allowed to know and live with his father as a father figure. Had she been allowed to have him as a father, the fall would've been much worse. As it is, I think her strength comes from not having depended on him on her life and can easily get him out of her mind without great loss. That was actually a very kind thing on Lord Asriel's part.

  11. monkeybutter says:

    The first time I read this, I was basically begging for a Hindenburg-like disaster (I'm morbid, okay) and Pullman delivered beyond my wildest fantasies. "The silk ripped straight through, and sulfur and hydrogen leaped to meet each other in a catastrophe of flame," is a fantastic line; I love the imagery in these books!

    Poor Lyra. She's been a step ahead of her enemies, both human and bear, for the entire book, only to unwittingly play into Lord Asriel's hands. And poor Roger, too. He's been dragged all over the North, and was assured against his instincts that he was finally in a safe place, only to be dragged off to be sacrificed.

    • cait0716 says:

      Me too! There's only one way hydrogen and fire can end.

      Fun fact about the discover of hydrogen. Back in the day, they thought there was just air. Then they realized that there were two types of air (basically oxygen and carbon dioxide), one which supported flame and one which didn't. So whenever a chemical reaction produced a gas, the standard practice to determine what kind of gas it was was to light a match and check whether the flame burned or went out. Then one day, someone combined zinc and hydrochloride acid, which produces zinc chloride and pure hydrogen. When the scientist went to check which gas he had, there was an explosion. It led to a whole new branch of chemistry though.

    • RoseFyre says:

      Definitely poor Roger. Though he sees Lord Asriel more clearly than Lyra does, in the chapter before this one – she's very "no, he's good!" and he's all "he totally creeped me out." So I wonder if Roger almost expects it at this point, and I feel sad for him. πŸ™

  12. Ellalalalala says:

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH

    I don't think I have anything more wisdomous to contribute just now.

    I KNEW THAT LORD ASRIEL WAS UP TO NO GOOD.
    I KNEW LYRA SHOULD HAVE USED THE ALETHIOMETER.
    I KNEW THAT IT WAS ALL GOING TO GO PETE TONG.

    Just sayin.

  13. Jenny_M says:

    Lord Asriel, you asshole.

    (Seriously, that's all I've got for this one. Just…you asshole.)

  14. @Arachne110 says:

    This is the freakin point of no return. 0_0

  15. okay sorry what

    lord asriel can get what he wants just by /calling/ for it?

    uuuhhhh
    riiiiiiiight
    now is a good time to mention this power
    which makes perfect sense

    also he always seemed like a villain to me, what with the way he treated lyra and everything, he didn't seem like a hero to me. :/

    also bears vs witches lol

    i will do my best not to read the next chapter until sunday/monday. ;A; otherwise i will forget everything and come the review on monday be like "lol what when did a dinosaur come into the picture"

    • sorry i swear this chapter was pretty exciting :'D
      but srsly wtf asriel

    • sorry i swear this chapter was pretty exciting :'D
      just wtf asriel

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      I took that as Thorold meaning the same sort of thing Soren Eisarson was saying when he told Lyra that Lord Asriel was capable of making Iofur allow him to choose the location and design of his own prison-house. It's not that he has a magical summoning power or anything, it's just that he's incredibly domineering and can therefore get anyone to do anything that he asks. Prior to reading this chapter, I thought of him as somewhat like Edward Rochester (well, pre-divine pwnage, at least).

      I could easily see Thorold thinking that Roger's sudden appearance at his doorstep would be another instance of this, even though Lord Asriel probably didn't specifically ask anyone to bring him a child. Given the prophecies and alethiometer readings about Lyra (she must become a betrayer, she must fulfill her destiny in other worlds), this probably has less to do with Asriel's imperiousness and more to do with the universe (mutliverse?) as a whole. Assuming that the prophecies are true, Lord Asriel didn't get what he wanted because he wanted it, he got it because what he wanted and what the fates wanted just happened to coincide.

      And if that's the case, it'll be interesting to see the exact extent to which Lord Asriel's wishes and the universe's needs converge.

  16. cait0716 says:

    This is the chapter where Pullman takes it to eleven. Oh you thought the battle at Bolvanger was intense? That was just an 8. The armored bear fight? 7.5. But this chapter? 11

  17. Ryan Lohner says:

    And now think back to Roger telling Lyra not to ask the alethiometer what the future held for him, because it couldn't be anything good. Maybe that foreknowledge wouldn't have helped much in the long run with Asriel's resources hunting them down, but she wouldn't have been delivering her friend to him on a silver platter.

  18. AndiBlac says:

    How the hell did a friday coincide with this chapter?! We have to wait until MONDAY?! Damn fates.
    Also:
    SERIOUSLY, PLEASE, AN EARTHQUAKE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS. JUST OPEN UP, EARTH, AND YELL, “OMNOMNOMNOMNOM.” I WOULD BE SO HAPPY.
    Uhm. That is pretty much the reason I read Mark Reads, because you say awesome things as the rest of us go "HELL YEAH!"

  19. Kaci says:

    I know I was the Debbie Downer yesterday (and I really am sorry, guys!) but I really LOVED this chapter. This is the stuff that enthralled me with this book enough to keep reading–the heartbreak, betrayal, adventure, and action that Pullman does so well. And since I'm reading along with you, I can't believe I have to wait the entire weekend to find out what happens next!

  20. pennylane27 says:

    CAPSLOCK PARTY!

    SERIOUSLY THERE ARE NO GIFS TO REPRESENT MY UTTER HEARTBREAK AND RAGE AT LORD ASRIEL'S BETRAYAL.

    ALSO I'M IN A PUBLIC PLACE AND I COULDN'T STOP MYSELF FROM SNORTING LOUDLY AT YOUR VARIOUS RANTINGS ABOUT EARTH OPENING UP. I GOT LOOKS.

    • Meg says:

      i would argue the betrayal in question wasn't asriel's betrayal of lyra, but lyra's (inadvertent) betrayal of roger πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™

  21. Anseflans says:

    I AM GOING AWAY ON A 5 WEEK EXCAVATION TOMORROW AND THERE WON'T BE ANY INTERNET. AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE GRATUIDOUS AMOUNTS OF CAPSLOCK, I AM DEEPLY ENRAGED AND SADDENED BY THIS FACT. NOT ONLY WILL I NOT BE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE THE END OF THE GOLDEN COMPASS WITH YOU GUYS, BUT I WILL ALSO MISS THE END OF AVATAR THE LAST AIRBENDER.

    WOE IS ME, I SHALL GO CRY IN A CORNER NOW.

    • omg a five week excavation that sounds fascinating!!!
      like, where?!

      • Anseflans says:

        A castle in the north of England! ^^
        I'm superexcited but also scared because I'll be going all by myself and I've never been anywhere 'alone', and while the idea of being 5 weeks on my own is REALLY EXCITING, my introverted side is scared that I won't make any friends (which is ridiculous because every archaeologist I've met so far is absolutely wonderful and crazy ((I MEAN HELLO, RIVER SONG)) ).

        There. I'm all nervous now. xD

        • pica_scribit says:

          Holy shit! Are you headed to Bamburgh? I was ALMOST there this summer! I haven't been since 2005 when I ran their kids dig for the whole summer. Maybe I'll have the money next year….

          • Anseflans says:

            YES! I'm going to Bamburgh!! Wow, what are the odds of finding someone who's been there!!? πŸ˜€

            Also *ahem*
            MARK YOU ARE THE GREATEST HUMAN BEING EVER FOR POSTING THE FINAL CHAPTER TODAY. I BOW HUMBLY IN YOUR SHINING PRESENCE.

    • theanagrace says:

      I understand your pain just a little bit. In a week, I will be going to Los Angeles for 8 days, so even though I will be goegraphically closer to Mark and his verbs, I will literally be much farther away from his posts and my internet connection.
      But look on the bright side, you'll have so much content to read when you get back!

      • Anseflans says:

        It's literally going to take me at least 2 days to catch up on Mark Reads/Watches, Youtube subscriptions, mail, etc. I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO IT ALREADY.

        • theanagrace says:

          I understand that too, lol. I've been struggling to catch up to both Doctor Who and Avatar for about a month now. I got behind because I couldn't find a way to watch the shows. But I'm going to power-level Avatar in the hopes that I can be there for the end. (I almost don't want to with DW, because then I'll have to watch in real time instead of 6 at a time)

  22. Kiryn says:

    God, Asriel is such an interesting character. I guess he's like an anti-villain/hero. Obviously, everything that he's doing right now is awful and absolutely terrible, but at the same time…I can't help but see a tiny piece of good in him, because at least he was horrified by the thought of doing such an experiment on his own daughter. At least he has that much left in him to care.

    Generally, I like villains, and I tend to favor dark (albeit sympathetic, to a certain extent) characters, but…I will never stop wishing for Asriel to not go through with his plan here. Oh God, please don't jump off the slipperly slope (even though I already know what you're going to do). πŸ™

    • Anseflans says:

      at least he was horrified by the thought of doing such an experiment on his own daughter

      On the other hand, so was Mrs. Coulter (with the silver guillotine).

      The problem with Asriel and Mrs. Coulter is that they (as far as I know) genuinly believe they're doing the right thing, however, they will use any means necessary to reach their goal. Which, especially when it involves cutting daemons away from children, IS NOT OKAY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.

  23. Persona says:

    Good luck surving the weekend, Mark. But none of us will blame you if you decided to end the tension and read the last chapter right now.

  24. BradSmith5 says:

    Haha,ha, the skeleton of the ship lighting up during the explosion was a nice touch. I don't like being told what emotions everyone's feeling––"heart pounding with love" or whatever––but other than that the chapter was great.

    And I didn't think Lyra could die until you suggested it, Mark, but it seems quite possible now. If she is the one that gets used as a catalyst, that would be a much stronger ending than seeing Roger in her place. Not that I hate good ol' Roger, but he just wasn't developed enough in the story for me to care much. Or perhaps they'll stop Lord Asriel? What would the other books be about then? O_O ????

  25. lossthief says:

    Nope, they had filmed the entire ending, and the production company had even commissioned a writer to write a screenplay for "The Subtle Knife" and everything. It's just that they wanted to make a "Family Friendly" movie and cut out everything that could be considered controversial including removing any mention of the Church. The only reason they didn't do the sequels was because the movie underperformed at the box office.

    • Tilja says:

      You had to come and take away my most cherished dream in their innocent ignorance, hadn't you? Now I can't even believe it was only done to trim it for a better ending.

      One further disappointment to add to that disgusting movie production.

    • pica_scribit says:

      The only reason they didn't do the sequels was because the movie underperformed at the box office.

      Gee, I can't imagine why….

    • roguebelle says:

      And actually, as I heard it, it was only because it underperformed in the US — it actually did pretty well overseas, BUT NewLine didn't get the money from overseas sales, and since NewLine made it & had to bear the costs of production, they decided it wasn't worth it to them to make the rest of the trilogy.

      • lossthief says:

        That's pretty much how it went from what I've seen. It did better than they expected overseas, but the Domestic total was sub-par, and since the sequels were being pondered and discussed in late 2008, and that's about the time the economy started tanking, New Line wasn't going to take a risk on something so big-budget that wasn't a surefire hit.

  26. Tilja says:

    This is exactly what I meant by "kind." For someone like Lord Asriel, knowing his own disposition, that cold attitude towards his daughter was actually an act of kindness. And yes, from him that would be considered "kindness" and actually feeling something for her.

  27. syfan04 says:

    This battle scene is full of awesome! Also, I cannot remember when Mark said he was watching the movie, but I'm sure that'll be fun.

  28. Mmsljr says:

    That's it. This review has made me breakdown and reread to catch up with you so that I can read along.

  29. fakehepburn says:

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    THAT GIF IS MAGIC!!!!

  31. cait0716 says:

    Roger dying would be a bit like Prim dying in The Hunger Games, wouldn't it?

  32. theanagrace says:

    I can't read the word 'spoilers' without hearing River Song's voice. πŸ˜›

  33. SorrowsSolace says:

    Is it bad that I was cackling maniacally while reading this review?

  34. nanodragora says:

    …I've got it. Mark is going to post only My Immortal reviews next week and we won't get the last chapter until July.

      • theanagrace says:

        Everyone will skip to their computers joyously on Monday for the last chapter……….only to wail with the pain of a thousand severed daemons because he posted trollface.jpg
        He will sit in a red velvet upholstered chair, stroking a kitty with a maniacal grin on his face as the sound of our agony reaches his ears from all over the world.

        Oh god, I started out trying to be funny, but I just ended up scaring myself. He's not really going to troll us on Monday, is he? *huddles in the corner rocking back and forth*

    • AndiBlac says:

      You just made my heart weep with that suggestion.

  35. Partes says:

    Guys, I think Mark's trolling us.

  36. Nomie says:

    How prepared for this were you, Mark? Would you say NOT AT ALL?

    AND THERE’S MORE TO COME. For which your state of preparedness, I venture to say, is un.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  37. Hands up who's refreshing like it's 1999 because they think there might be another review today…

  38. hassibah says:

    Haha, I'd love to see a book/movie where the hero dies saving their less dynamic/photogenic sidekick, for once.

    Dun dun dunnnnn.

  39. pica_scribit says:

    …and every night thereafter. Archaeologists are notorious boozehounds.

  40. Stephalopolis says:

    πŸ™ Lord Asriel is evil. I don't like being right πŸ™

  41. liz says:

    wow i woender if there will be the golden compass2 in the movie the golden compass it didnt show where lyra fell. and her mom said lyra come here and she says you will never be mine and where lord asirel and mrs.coulter kiss and lord asrel when he shows his invetion where the snow i didt see that if that was on the trailer then put it on the movie!!!!!!!!!!

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