Mark Reads ‘The Golden Compass’: Chapter 4

In the fourth chapter of The Golden Compass, Lyra’s meeting with The Master does not go as expected, for both positive and negative reasons. She is then thrust into traveling with a woman who has a very secret double life. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Golden Compass.



Again, lots and lots of information thrown my way by Pullman here in the fourth chapter, and while much of it is unanswered, he’s completely found my interest at this point. I mean, I don’t want to discount some fantastic character growth on the part of Lyra, but now I want to binge read this book in one sitting out of my sheer desire to know what the everliving fuck is going on.

Shall we?

“I hope you’ll sit next to me at dinner,” said Mrs. Coulter, making room for Lyra on the sofa. “I’m not used to the grandeur of a Master’s lodging. You’ll have to show me which knife and fork to use.”

Oh, you are a clever one, aren’t you? Given that we know Mrs. Coulter is THE Gobbler, every single line of hers in this chapter seems to drip with a malevolent subtext. Which…that’s kind of amazing? We know absolutely nothing about her at this point, aside from the fact that she kidnaps children, sends them to the north, and then throws away their letters to their parents. Personality-wise, all I’ve been able to surmise is that Mrs. Coulter appears unbearably sweet (and not in that way that Dolores Umbridge does, since it doesn’t inspire rage), yet she’s also able to switch on that manipulative streak at any moment in time. I have a feeling that Pullman isn’t going to allow Mrs. Coulter to be a two-dimensional “villain” like she is here, and it actually kind of excites me to think about where he could take her character.

(Side note: It is slightly distracting that her name is Coulter, if only because here in America, there’s a certain woman who is “involved” in right wing politics who is also very had to…listen to? Gosh, she ruined the name Coulter.)

Even right off the bat, she’s not what she seems. Lyra thinks about how she’s unlike any female scholar she’s ever seen, and it’s made abundantly clear that the world of education belongs mostly to men at Jordan College. (I presume that is the case for the rest of the world.) And yet, here’s Mrs. Coulter, distinctly feminine, and Lyra cannot take her eyes off her. She’s not only unlike any Scholar she’s known (especially the women ones), but she also seems to be unlike any person she’s ever known, too.

This is a bad combination for Lyra, who has no idea what Mrs. Coulter is actually up to. I love the idea that Mrs. Coulter is good friends with the Master, allowing Pullman to naturally interject her into the story so early without it feeling forced.

But I also get the sense that the feeling is a bit mutual, as Mrs. Coulter has never met a little girl quite like Lyra, who has a zest and excitement for life that’s not coated in fear. She even comments on this very thing with a look of admiration donning her face, and, while Mrs. Coulter definitely has the advantage here, I like that this moment briefly tips the scales in Lyra’s favor.

It wasn’t until Mrs. Coulter asks Lyra if the people who run Jordan College are going to send her to school that I realized that Lyra lives there, but has not started classes yet. How I didn’t realize that this school was very obviously and clearly a college, despite that it’s in the name of the fucking place, is beyond me. But it does help to provide even more context for Lyra’s life at Jordan College and explains why she feels so out-of-place there at times. IT ALL MAKES SENSE.

I kind of adore that Lyra is basically like LOL I AIN’T GOING TO SCHOOL, I’M GOING TO THE NORTH. Again, it’s refreshing how much of a little brat she is to the people around her, mostly because sometimes I wish I had been that person when I was that young. (HELLO, I AM A HUMAN DOOR MAT, PLEASE WIPE YOUR FEET ON ME.)

That mention of the North prompts Mrs. Coulter to pretty much sink the hook in Lyra’s mouth. Looking back on this with all of chapter four in mind, I’m amazed just how manipulative this woman seems, able to hone in on exactly what a person is looking to hear and then saying it while appearing completely oblivious to the fact. It’s clear that she was doing this as her own way to convince Lyra to travel with her. Why though? That’s a question for another time.

After Mrs. Coulter had left, the Master pulls Lyra aside to discuss her future at the college. At the time I read it, I honestly didn’t realize that this initial discussion and Lyra’s meeting with Mrs. Coulter were connected so deeply, so I became sad at the thought of Lyra leaving the rich and detailed world of Jordan College. Hell, she is upset at the very notion, and it doesn’t help that the Master codes his speech with references to keeping Lyra safe from…well, he doesn’t name what it is yet again.

I appreciated that the Master was aware that Lyra didn’t really fit in with either world that she’s split between, as the Scholars teach a knowledge that she doesn’t need right now, yet she’s also too curious and adventurous to be a “servant’s child,” and thus, he tells Lyra that her time at Jordan College has come to an end and tells her she needs “female company.”

I’m seriously enamored with the inner-workings of dæmons and I seriously want a chapter devoted to just how they work and what they are, and this scene is a big reason why. Assuming the Master means the elder female Scholars, Lyra’s dæamon, Pantalaimon, changes the color of his fur to represent Lyra’s frustration. Earlier, when Lyra had said that she was going to the north, the two female Scholars were very clearly upset with the notion themselves, but their dæmons were able to exhibit complete control and not reflect the emotions of their companions. So now I’m wondering: Because Lyra is young, does her dæmon act more susceptible to changes in mood? Is this a thing you have to train yourself on?

Pantalaimon’s fur changes once the Master suggests that Mrs. Coulter will be the one to take care of her and I was full of conflicting emotions. I don’t really dislike Mrs. Coulter so much as I recognize her as the antagonist of the story. She intrigues me, and the thought of her traveling with Lyra is even more intriguing to me. I suppose I don’t know her motivations and I don’t know what she stands far. What little I do know certainly paints her in a negative light, since…you know…SHE KIDNAPS CHILDREN TO BE SAWED IN HALF. Or whatever it is that happens in the North.

In short, this development is FASCINATING to me. I didn’t jump to yelling OH NO DON’T DO THAT because I think we’ll see interesting things with the two of them paired together. Hell, the entire conversation between Lyra and Mrs. Coulter when Lyra agrees to travel with her is actually really neat to me, since I’m not terribly sure that it’s Mrs. Coulter being manipulative so much as just genuinely excited to have this girl along with her. Neither one seems to hesitate at the idea of going some place new, exciting, and dangerous, and that is rather goddamn lovely, don’t you think?

That does not mean I did not read this chapter without pause, because there certainly is an incredibly odd scene thrown in here that, truthfully, doesn’t not really make sense to me at the moment. In the middle of the night, Mrs. Lonsdale wakes up Lyra and tells her that the Master needs to see her. Oh, and she needs to sneak into his place through a window. Well, sort of. Still, as soon as I read that, I thought, “THIS IS WEIRD WHAT IS GOING ON I DON’T GET IT.” But she obeys mrs. Lonsdale, probably out of curiosity alone, and arrives in the Master’s study:

“Aren’t I going after all?” Lyra asked.

“Yes; I can’t prevent it,” said the Master, and Lyra didn’t notice at the time what an odd thing that was to say.

OK SERIOUSLY, THAT IS REALLY ODD. Why does he make it sound like this was forced or inevitable?

The confusion continues when the Master hands over a package “wrapped in black velvet.” Inside, the titular golden compass. Well, it’s not a compass, and then my brain explodes:

“It’s an alethiometer. It’s one of only six that were ever made. Lyra, I urge you again: keep it private. It would be better if Mrs. Coulter didn’t know about it. Your uncle–”

“But what does it do?”

“It tells you the truth. As for how to read it, you’ll have to learn by yourself.”

what the holy living hell. It tells the truth? What does that mean? And why must she keep this a secret from Mrs. Coulter? And why did Lord Asriel initially have it and give it to Jordan College and what was the Master going to say about that? MY GOD SO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS. And what does this mean?

“The powers of this world are very strong. Men and women are moved by tides much fiercer than you can imagine, and they sweep us all up into the current.”


This all happens so fast, too, which adds to the disorientation I felt, both because this new information completely changed how I felt about the trip and because Lyra was off traveling so soon after the chapter that introduced me to the world she was now leaving. But Lyra is entranced by what Mrs. Coulter has to tell her as they fly to London on a zeppelin and much of her experience on this first day in London is a reflection of just how little of the world that Lyra has seen. The very concept of Mrs. Coulter’s flat alone is enough for Lyra’s brains to leak out of her ears, as Pullman makes a point to focus on how Lyra was not used to such ornate prettiness, since Oxford was “grand and stony and masculine.” There’s actually a lot I can relate to in this, though for me it’s because of an entirely different reason: growing up poor. The most obvious thing I can think of to relate to you is the first time I stayed in a nice hotel when I was 18, and it was the same experience in that sense of what Lyra goes through here. I almost felt that I was making the place dirtier just by being there. Actually, that’s something I still feel to this day.

I’m interested to see how this plays out, though, since the obvious physical manifestations of femininity that Lyra sees here remind me of those same things that Dolores Umbridge had, though hers were more towards the overbearingly cute side of things. I wonder if Pullman is going to allow Lyra to explore her feminine side through Mrs. Coulter, or if this is a set up for something else.

If anything, though, Pullman doesn’t let me forget the Master’s last warning about the alethiometer, as Lyra remembers that she is supposed to keep it close right when she’s far away from it in the bathtub. Despite knowing a bit more about both the Master and Mrs. Coulter than Lyra does, I must admit that even I am still confused about who to believe at this point. But the alethiometer seems like a much more important thing to worry about at this point, so Lyra keeps it close as she continues on her trip through London with Mrs. Coulter. They attend a fancy lunch, where Mrs. Coulter seems to know all of the important people in the room, and I start giving the sense that Mrs. Coulter is doing this on purpose for some reason. I haven’t quite figured out what that reason might be, but this feels all too intentional. Is she trying to win Lyra over to her side for something?

That night, Lyra gets the chance to examine the alethiometer closely, which I was thankful for, having expected that Pullman would wait until later to talk about it. I guess it was pretty silly of me to think that the face of the instrument would have some sort of simple LYING and NOT LYING measurement on the front, because that is CERTAINLY not how it works.

It was very like a clock, or a compass, for there were hands pointing to places around the dial, but instead of hours or the points of the compass there were several little pictures, each of them printed with extraordinary precision, as if on ivory with the finest and slenderest sable brush. She turned the dial around to look at them all. There was an achor; an hourglass surmounted by a skull; a chameleon, a bull, a beehive…Thirty-six altogether, and she couldn’t even guess what they meant.

On top of that, there are three short hands you can adjust, and a fourth that works more like a compass. In short: I DON’T GET IT. Why are there thirty-six images? That seems a bit much, don’t you think?

While I’m busy contemplating this mystery, Lyra is concerned about the Master’s final message to her, confused by the fact that he tried to kill her uncle. She has no idea where her allegiance should lay, but for the time being, she chooses to protect the alethiometer:

She snuggled down and switched off the light. Before she fell asleep, she tucked the alethiometer under the pillow, just in case.

Well, color me intrigued.

About Mark Oshiro

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

157 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Golden Compass’: Chapter 4

  1. Why are there thirty-six images? That seems a bit much, don’t you think?
    Well, technically, there are eighty-five. But let's just focus on the third.

  2. Sparkie says:

    It makes me so happy you are enjoying this!

  3. Brieana says:

    (Side note: It is slightly distracting that her name is Coulter, if only because here in America, there’s a certain woman who is “involved” in right wing politics who is also very had to…listen to? Gosh, she ruined the name Coulter.)

    I'M GLAD YOU POINTED THAT OUT! I just found it very amusing.

    Seductive, manipulative "villains" are the worse aren't they?
    And again, if you read and review more than one chapter a day, I will find it in my heart to forgive you.

  4. Eliza says:

    No Lyra! Don't go away with the scary woman, this can't end well.

  5. Kaci says:

    Oh, Mark. As usual, you always bring up the points I relate to or enjoy in the story–Lyra's personality because I, too, have been more the "human doormat" personality my whole life; growing up poor and then being introduced to a world where everything is fancy and nice and not feeling like I have a place in it.

    I'm really intrigued by how on earth the alethiometer works and I hope Lyra finds out soon so that I can know, too.

  6. maccyAkaMatthew says:

    Some real-world background on the female scholars thing. Originally, Oxford colleges only admitted men. Later on, some women's colleges were founded. These days most of the colleges are co-educational. From the information we're given, it would seem that Jordan College is only for men and looks down on the women's colleges. Lyra is just aping this viewpoint out of loyalty, without really thinking about it. So the only females she'd encounter in her day-to-day life would be servants and their children.

    • ferriswheeljunky says:

      Actually, there are no women's colleges left in Oxford – the last, St Hilda's, started accepting men about five years ago. As far as I know, though, Cambridge still has two.

    • eleniel says:

      Ha, I had JUST been praising Pullman's anti-sexism yesterday, so I was glaring at Lyra pretty hard during this part. Thank you for explaining this! I guess now we know that this world isn't SO different from ours that there's no sexism…

      • George says:

        There is evident sexism in the books, but I would still say Pullman is definitely anti-sexist.

    • pica_scribit says:

      I went to one of the first Unis in the UK to generally open its doors to women in the 1890's (St Andrews). Apparently, all the male students threw their mortar board caps into the sea in protest, so to this day, they are not worn by the students there.

      • Cassandra says:

        Of course, I've heard the same reasoning for why we don't wear them at Durham (but replace sea with river), so I'd take that story with a grain of salt…

      • Wow. What a bunch of big privileged babies they were (if the story is true!). OMG WIMMEN OHNOES.

  7. who_cares86 says:

    No Lyra don't go with the scary lady also the alethiometer is the Golden Compas? Mind blown.

    MY THEORY having read to this point with no clue of what happens next:

    Seeing as how the Master gives her the alethiometer for a reason. It's clear that sending Lyra away with Mrs. Coulter is part of a batman gambit on his part. He doesn't trust Mrs. Coulter and is merely using her to get Lyra to the North, after which she must follow her own path. DON'T CONFIRM OR DENY THIS.

  8. cait0716 says:

    I love this chapter.

    First off, I want to point something out that's pretty easy to miss. In the last chapter, Lyra told Asriel that she wanted to eat the rook, but Roger convinced her not to and they healed it. In this chapter, she tells Mrs Coulter that the did eat the rook. So which one was she lying to? She's such a compulsive liar, it's hard to tease out the lies from the truth sometimes. And because of that, I'm glad this book isn't first-person. Lyra would be the flakiest narrator ever. Also, it's nice to have more information from her. Even her name sounds like "liar"

    I love that there's no clear good guy. Everyone has their own motivations, most of which are still unknown and it's not clear who we should trust. The master seems to be taking good care of Lyra, but he did try to murder her uncle. Mrs. Coulter seems nice and genuinely interested in Lyra as a person, but we know she kidnaps children. Why didn't she just kidnap Lyra? Is it her class or status? And Asriel is still shrouded in so much mystery. Is Lyra supposed to give him the alethiometer or hide it from him? I adore the intrigue in this book.

    Also, I want to know what was going on with the scene where Mrs. Coulter made Pantalaimon turn away from Lyra while she was in the bath. I've never understood this. Does anyone have an opinion?

    • Thiamalonee says:

      I think the thing with the bath was supposed to be an expression of Lyra growing up a little and becoming feminine. It says something like Pan was turning away from the "feminine act," and "he'd never had to do that before." eg- before this, there was the innocence of the child in Lyra's bathing, but with Mrs. Coulter's influence, she's becoming a young lady who should express modesty. That's what I got out of it, anyway.

      • cait0716 says:

        Interesting. So if Pan were female, would he have been allowed to look? It seems strange to me that they have this intensely intimate connection and suddenly he's cut off from something. I was wondering if maybe Mrs. Coulter was driving a subtle wedge between them, though I have no idea what that would accomplish.

      • Ellalalalala says:

        That was pretty much my interpretation too – a sort of 'end of un-selfconscious innocence' moment. I thought it was really sad.

        It reminded me of being about twelve or thirteen and a friend finding out that my family never locked the bathroom door and were comfortable being naked around each other. Not like oh hi, I'll just stand here with my genitals on display while we chat about the weather, but not thinking it was weird to come into the bathroom to do your teeth while someone's in the shower and then handing them a towel. Anyway, this friend was horrified and thought it was just really really weird. I got pretty defensive about it, because to me the idea that it could be weird or wrong or dirty was ridiculous because they were family and how is creepy to have few inhibitions around people you were intimately related to? But, of course, afterwards I was aware of it and started questioning where I ought to look and whether I ought to feel creeped out, and it became a self-conscious decision whether to continue to act as we'd always acted or to change the behaviour. That felt like a loss of innocence, in a way.

        TL;DR – sorry!

    • Brieana says:

      I don't know, I guess it's a social thing? Like he was to do it in the name of good etiquette.
      He is her daemon so it's not like he's going to perve on her or anything.
      I didn't notice the bit with the rook. Maybe she was lying to both and didn't eat or heal it. Maybe it got away from them and she didn't want to tell that version of the story because it's uneventful and doesn't put her in a good light.

      • cait0716 says:

        Interesting thoughts. I'm not sure where etiquette comes in when you're taking a bath, but maybe because Mrs. Coulter was there, too?

        And the rook story is interesting. She could have been lying to both. I think it's an interesting example of a time when she was definitely lying to someone. We may never know. I just wanted to point out the character moment for Lyra

        • Brieana says:

          Maybe it's based around this cultural belief that good girls shouldn't comfortable with their bodies. I'm against it. Nudity and sexuality aren't intrinsically linked, but it seems Mrs Coulter might think so and for Pan to innocently look at his own human is dirty or perverted or something.

          Killing the rook makes Lyra a badass, and healing a rook that she could have killed makes her benevolent. I'd imagine if she accidently let the thing slip away, she sure as shit wouldn't be telling that story.

    • Saphling says:

      I think it has to do with Mrs. Coulter's ideas of gender and propriety. Her daemon and Pan are male. And Lyra's a girl in a bath. She finds it… I don't know… shameful? Wrong? For a daemon to see its human naked? As though there were anything to feel shame about in the relationship between a person and their daemon? That's the gist I got from it, at least.

    • Amanda says:

      I thought it was because he is male and therefor shouldn't be looking at a girl bathing even if she is his master?

      • cait0716 says:

        It's weird because it seems like this is the first time he's ever not been allowed to look at her. Why didn't Mrs. Lonsdale forbid it, if that's all there was to it.

    • Sarah says:

      That's an interesting thought about the bath. I wondered the same thing, but was more entranced by everything else going on in this chapter.

      So, obviously daemons are with you EVERYWHERE, right? The shower. Using the toilet. Your honeymoon? haha! You'd never get any privacy. It's just so odd!

      • Saphling says:

        I think, to them, it is privacy, because Lyra and Pan are together all the time. But it takes going into spoilery bits to explain more.

    • t09yavorski says:

      I am thinking that she was telling the truth to Lord Asriel and was lying to Mrs. Coulter. Lord Asriel knows her and had already called her out on her lies, plus she is scared of him as well whereas Mrs. Coulter is a stranger that Lyra wanted to impress.

    • hazelwillow says:

      The part about the rook: I noticed this too! I think Lyra is lying to Mrs. Coulter, not to Asriel, because Mrs. Coulter is someone she doesn't know yet who she's really trying to impress. The way it was mentioned in passing made me think "oh, so she's making her stories more impressive to Mrs. Coulter", not "oh so maybe she was lying to Asriel", you know?
      But again, no way to know for sure!!

      Re: Pan looking away from Lyra in the bath –I see this as Mrs. Coulter planting the seeds of what she would call adult modesty, but what might also be called "shame" or "inhibition", in Lyra. You could compare it to an adult in our world telling a child "don't touch yourself there" or "don't look at yourself 'down there'", something that translates as "don't be comfortable with yourself". It's very subtle, but I see it as that sort of attitude. It certainly makes a big deal out of gender, that just because Pan is male he shouldn't look at her when she's just very innocently in the bath!
      So I don't think we need to accept this as the natural way of things in Lyra's world, but rather as a reflection of a particular attitude some people in her society might have. Does that make sense?

      • cait0716 says:

        I guess it makes sense that she would lie to Mrs Coulter more readily than Lord Asriel. I really like the image of her eating the rook, though.

        I agree with you about the bath scene, too. It's such a subtle moment that speaks volumes about their relationship and this world

  9. Brieana says:

    "The part where Pantalaimon has to look away from the "feminine mysteries" is really interesting to me. If your daemon is part of yourself, or a reflection of yourself, then why should it be embarrassed at seeing you? Doesn't it feel everything you feel?"

    Some people don't even like looking at THEMSELVES naked so I wouldn't find it too far fetched for Pan to not be allowed to see her.

  10. monkeybutter says:

    I've never thought to compare Mrs Coulter and Dolores Umbridge's overwhelming sweetness, but you're really onto something there. Coulter is charming because she actually makes an effort to connect and listen to the Gobbled kids or Lyra. She's inviting, and manages to hide whatever her cruel motivation is. Umbridge, however, is infuriatingly dismissive, and while she's quite manipulative, she's also repulsive because her cruel nature is much more blatant. I don't like Mrs Coulter, but she's interesting. I want Dolores Umbridge to die in all the fires.

    (Yup, the name is forever ruined by that right-wing troll in my mind, though I tend to imagine her in her even more ridiculous Boondocks incarnation. It seems even more appropriate that a willowy blonde played Mrs Coulter in the movie.)

  11. Saphling says:

    The tiny scene where Mrs. Coulter washes Lyra's hair as she takes a bath bothers the heck out of me. She stares at Pan until he looks away "modestly from these feminine mysteries…" She causes Pan to feel shame about Lyra… which… just feels wrong. He's her frickin' daemon! There's no shame involved anywhere in that relationship, or at least there shouldn't be.

    • cait0716 says:

      Agreed. I can almost see it as a metaphor for body shaming of young females, especially since this about a specifically feminine act. Pan feeling shame about Lyra is probably closely tied to Lyra feeling shame about herself. And it never would have occurred to either of them without Mrs Coulter's influence.

      • Saphling says:

        Also, I can't think of a time in the previous chapters when Lyra felt any sort of shame. Guilt, maybe, but not shame, not regret. She's not that kind of kid. Here, we see shame introduced to her as she and Pan are made aware that there might be something to be shameful *about*, in Mrs. Coulter's viewpoint.

        Which, at this stage, is a very important (adult, important, glamorous) viewpoint for Lyra and Pan.

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          Oh shit, I totally did not catch this. Amazing commentary!

          • Saphling says:

            It's especially noticeable in regards to a scene a few pages before, where Lyra takes her first bath at Mrs. Coulter's house. She's marveling at the prettiness of the bathroom, Pan is making faces at her, and she shoves him in the bathwater for it. They have no intimation that teasing and playing like that might be somehow shameful. (Because it isn't. *grumbles at Mrs. Coulter*)

      • hazelwillow says:

        Yes. I'd go beyond metaphor: I think it is a direct example of body shaming of young girls, actually. It's just that showing it using her daemon makes it look a bit different from our pov, but it's essentially the same thing happening…. 🙁

      • mal612 says:

        I had written an entire response to this but then deleted it because of the biggest spoiler that ever game out of spoiler town. damn.

    • Ellalalalala says:

      THIS SO MUCH!!

      I should really read all the comments before replying, cos I just did a TL;DR about this further up!

    • Sunshowers says:

      That scene always left such a bad taste in my mouth, I can't even.

  12. FlameRaven says:

    I'm curious about what edition of the book you're reading, Mark, and what kind of cover it has? I have this one, so as soon as I got to this bit I was like "oh, the thing on the cover is the alethiometer. Cool!"

    Looking over the various covers on google images, it looks like the earlier covers were more apt to include an illustration of the alethiometer, where later editions have Lyra+polar bear, or abstract designs. So I'm just curious which one you ended up with (and, I guess, how that shapes your reading of the book).

    • I read this one, so those are the editions I'd like to own. I don't even know what the hell that is on the cover, really.

      • Sparkie says:

        It kind of looks like a constellation. I read this cover so I too was like, so that's what it is. (Then I counted to make sure there were 36!)

        • @sab39 says:

          I have a matched US boxed set (with shiny gold/silver/amber covers with subtle markings on them) but I never really liked those covers much. I still prefer The Golden Compass as a title over Northern Lights, but other than that, man, I really wish I had that cover! Out of curiosity, do you know what the corresponding covers for the other two books looked like? (hopefully it's okay to ask that and be confident the reply won't be spoilery in any way as long as the images are linked)

          • Sparkie says:

            No problem! SPOILERY LINKS!!
            Book 2
            Book 3

            • @sab39 says:

              Those are beautiful! I'm not sure about the color of book 2, as I'd always imagined the item in question to be a different color (how's that for nonspoilery!) and the background color they are using is rather… garish. But the designs overall are perfect and much more reflective of the books than the ones I have. I wish they'd used those for the US covers.

              • Sparkie says:

                Yeah I really like them! I know what you mean about the second one though, it does contradict the description in the book!

            • rumantic says:

              I have these 3 editions as well. I'm glad, they are by far my favourite 🙂

      • cait0716 says:

        That's Ursa Major. Interesting choice. I guess it's because of the focus on the North?

      • FlameRaven says:

        Yeah, I think those editions are supposed to be based on constellations. Book covers are always an interesting thing… the trend nowadays is definitely to go with either photo-manips or a single symbolic image on a more or less plain background, but I must admit that I prefer the illustrated covers that actually tell us something about the book.

      • t09yavorski says:

        This is my copy and i have no idea where my friend got it. I have never seen this version in stores and it wasnt easy finding it on google images either

        • Kit says:

          I read TGC in school, actually, and this was the cover we had. I'd totally forgotten that!

    • Nomie says:

      I had that cover too! Although now it is entirely worn and starting to come off. And now I have an omnibus with Lyra and a polar bear on the front. And a "soon to be a major motion picture" decal, more's the pity.

    • ldwy says:

      I believe I have this cover:
      <img src=";.jpg"> except it came from the box set so instead of gold it's a slate blue.
      and the image is through a cutout on the cover. The other two books are similar with different color schemes.

      • cait0716 says:

        I have that cover/box set too. But without the "major motion picture" sticker

        • ldwy says:

          Yeah, I don't have the sticker either, I think we got it before the movie. Which might explain the color difference-maybe I have an earlier version of that cover. It's the Laurel-leaf publisher.

  13. Kestrel says:

    Hi Mark. I don't think I've ever commented here before, but I followed your read of Harry Potter and love that you're now reading His Dark Materials! I've missed following you. You've made me laugh so many times, and you're really great at poignancy. My point is, I enjoy your reviews so much, and I should have thanked you for them before now. So thank you for the entertainment.

    Now, what sparked this off was your confusion with the alethiometer. This is where the UK cover is incredibly useful. The amount of times I reference it whenever I read this book, I don't know. So, voila:

    (Hope that works)

    • Saphling says:

      The markings on the inner face of the alethiometer look like something out of Dr. Who.

      Clearly, the alethiometer is secretly the pocketwatch of a Time Lord in disguise. ^_^

      • notemily says:


        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          HOLY GOD

          also that cover helps SO MUCH

          • NightFly says:

            Interestingly, the "Golden Compass" doesn't have anything to do with the alethiometer at all! It was a reference to Milton's "Paradise Lost", as is the series title that was eventually chosen: "His Dark Materials". It was the draft title which the publishers had, and they mistakenly assumed that it referred to the alethiometer, and so published it under that name.

            • Sami says:

              Also the original series title (and reference from Milton) was Golden Compasses, as in what you make circles with…

  14. stellaaaaakris says:

    (Side note: It is slightly distracting that her name is Coulter, if only because here in America, there’s a certain woman who is “involved” in right wing politics who is also very had to…listen to? Gosh, she ruined the name Coulter.)

    Certain individuals can completely ruin names just by being…you know. For example, I can never, ever name my hypothetical future kids Shaye or Spencer because the people I've met in my life have utterly ruined those for me by being themselves. (Sorry, any Shayes or Spencers out there; I'm sure I'd think you're lovely if I ever met you.)

    I love how we're unsure about everyone we've met. Lyra's a good kid, but such a brat. Asriel is intriguing, but intimidating. The Master seems to care about Lyra's safety, but he tried to murder Asriel. Mrs. Coulter is charming but she's the Gobbler. So far it's Roger who has won me over. According to one of Lyra's potential lies, he wanted to help heal a rook. Plus he admits, sort of, he doesn't like drinking. It's cute and sweet. In a book where we focus on so few characters, and he's had about 5 pages of page time, I'm very fond of him and I would rather Mrs. Coulter not saw him in half, thank you.

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      There's also Mrs. Coulter's statement (I don't remember the exact quote) that she knows Lord Asriel and that her taking Lyra is somehow related to the fact that she knows Lord Asriel, which to me could suggest (assuming she's not lying to gain Lyra's trust or something) that Lord Asriel might be tied up in this whole kidnapping/taking kids up North thing, as well.

  15. notemily says:

    CHAPTER FOUR: THE ALETHIOMETER. Oh Mark, you thought shit was getting real before. THE ALETHIOMETER. Just the word fills me with delicious glee.

    Am I the only one who thinks Mr. Coulter’s “tragic accident” was probably less accidental and more Mrs. Coulter being EVIL? It’s so hard to watch Lyra become so enchanted with Mrs. Coulter when we know she’s KIDNAPPING CHILDREN FOR SOME UNKNOWN PURPOSE. And when Lyra thinks Mrs. Coulter will help her find Roger… oh, it hurts.

    The part where Pantalaimon has to look away from the “feminine mysteries” is really interesting to me. If your daemon is part of yourself, or a reflection of yourself, then why should it be embarrassed at seeing you? Doesn’t it feel everything you feel? I get the sense that Mrs. Coulter is deliberately driving a wedge between Lyra and Pan here, because she wants Lyra to have loyalty to no one but her. But maybe I’m reading too much into it.

    LOL @ “LYING” and “NOT LYING.” That would be an awesome thing to have. “I love your new haircut!” “NO YOU DON’T! My truth-sensor says you’re lying!”

    • echinodermata says:

      I personally won't delete your comment but edit out the thing I wanted to respond to, but try to keep out any references to Watches things until the relevant review goes up. There could still be commenters who will watch the episode in the next few hours before the review goes up, and it's kinda unfair to them.

      • notemily says:

        Posting from my phone- of course you’re right, I’m sorry. I wrote both my comments (for MR and MW) at the same time last night, and I forgot that the reviews don’t go up at the same time. Thanks for not deleting me 🙂

    • Kelly says:

      You know, being really intensely Catholic, the concept of being ashamed of things that should be natural isn't really strange to me. And not just in the sense of some Catholics I know aren't comfortable with their own nudity-some get a bad case of the guilts for things like having a drink or speeding. I have a friend who really beats herself up if she feels like she stays out too late with friends. So it seems to me like maybe Mrs. Coulter is trying to push some of the social graces Lyra might have learned if she had parents onto a 'half-wild' kid as Lyra's been described.

  16. roguebelle says:

    I originally read completely different editions of each of the three books, and they looked nothing alike, and then I saw that matched set and HAD to have it. I have a thing in my head about matched books for a series, and the way the connections were integrated into the cover just delighted me. ;D

    • notemily says:

      Me too! I actually had to special-order the third book from the local bookstore because they only had the first and second. But now I have all three and it is a thing of beauty.

      • roguebelle says:

        Mine is a /boxed/ set. ;D

        • notemily says:

          Well aren't you special. 😉

          • Arione says:

            Gah! I had a hardcover copy of all three books in one! But I lent it to a friend, who lend to a friend who, sent it through a portal into the great void of nothingness!

            • Darth_Ember says:

              I've all three in one, too.
              And… really? Seriously? What kind of so-called friend thinks it is appropriate to lend on someone else's book without their permission? If you lend to a friend, you're expressing trust they'll treat your book well. You haven't chosen to lend to the other person, so they should not have it.
              Anyone who showed that kind of disrespect for my beloved books would not be my friend for long…

            • bradycardia says:

              Right there with you. Oddly, I got just the dust jacket back, because she knew how protective I was of my books so didn't want it to get damaged. But then lost my book…

              • LOTRjunkie6 says:

                Psh, I've had a worse experience with lending my books. I lent my treasured, really old (but still nice) copy of a book to a friend, figuring that since we've been pretty close for over six years, I could trust her with it. She got in an argument with her mum soon after that, and her mum grabbed it off her desk and ripped it to pieces. She promised to buy me a new copy, but that was last year and she still hasn't gotten one for me… Which is why I don't lend her my stuff anymore. :/

                • bradycardia says:

                  Oh god! I'm having palpitations just thinking of your story. You can't hurt books! It's just not right! I get antsy when I see people folding book corners. The idea of deliberately tearing them?!

  17. eleniel says:


    But thinking about it now there's a lot more going on than I initially thought. It does indeed seem like Mrs Coulter is trying to win Lyra over, but there's something sinister about it, as others have pointed out with the bath scene, and making Pan feel ashamed about something that has to do with his human partner. It's going to be really interesting to see where this goes, and how much we will get to learn about our antagonist because Lyra is traveling with her. In fantasy stories the antagonist is so often a sort of distant evil–a tyrant or monster or something–so it's exciting to get to know her up-close.

    It's interesting to me that children start disappearing at the same time Mrs Coulter comes to town and there's no one who even thinks to wonder if that's more than a coincidence. She's powerful and connected, which is an immense privilege, but she's also beautiful; both of those qualities shield her from suspicion of wrongdoing, especially when the common image of the made-up Gobblers is a gang of monster-like beings.

    More thoughts about the Master. He annoys and confuses me. The confusion part is obvious (unanswered questions! Attempted assassination!), but the annoying part is that he always seems to be talking about what will happen, that Lyra has some kind of DESTINY before her. And I HATE the concept of Destiny. In fantasy stories it is usually a lazy excuse to have some kid leave their quiet home and become a hero, so even though I KNOW this book is too good to take the lazy route, the Master annoys me with all of his allusions about fate. I guess I really need to know more before judging.

    The alethiometer. If it shows "the truth," I'm guessing this is how the Master knows about Lyra's future? BUT HOW DOES IT WORK I NEED TO KNOW

    • t09yavorski says:

      About destiny, consider this. Lyra only recently became enamoured with the idea of the north. Because she had seen Lord Asriel's slide show, made possible by the fact that she refused to leave the Retiring room after she saw the Master put poison in the Tokay. Leading to the present situation where Mrs. Coulter was able to spirit her away with the prospect of actually going north. If there is a written path, it seems that Master doesnt even know as much as he thinks he does.

  18. who_cares86 says:

    The Alethiometer reminds me of Dumbledore's watch. (or should that be the other way around considering this came out first?)

    • knut_knut says:

      yes!!! Did we ever find out what Dumbledore's watch did/how it worked? Wizarding watches seem so cool *sigh*

  19. Pixie says:

    I was cautious about spending the money on the series to follow along with you, Mark, but now I’m interested. In any case it will add context the reviews by themselves don’t have. Question now is whether to get a digital or physical copy!

  20. Ellalalalala says:

    yet she’s also too curious and adventurous to be a “servant’s child” – interesting. I read that exchange as being straight-up classism: 'you're nobly born so even though you hang out with the other kids you're inherently ~better~ and should take your place in your ~own world~'.

    Mrs Coulter is the creepiest person in the world. That is all.

  21. knut_knut says:

    NYOOOOOOOO!! How am I already behind?? Damn you, Chapter 3, for being so long!!

    I don't REAAAAAAAALY remember what happens in this chapter but I will say that I think Mrs. Coulter's daemon is the reason why I hate monkeys. Only evil people like them. Fact.

    • Saphling says:

      This! Monkeys became terribly creepy to me after I read this series.

    • elusivebreath says:

      I watched a documentary about orangutangs (sp??) once that convinced me that they should not be allowed to exist O_o

  22. FlameRaven says:

    Hm, a quick search shows me that the Kindle edition has this cover. Doesn't show a picture of the alethiometer, though. Pity.

  23. hallowsnothorcruxes says:

    So many questions
    1. Why exactly did the Master give Lyra the alethiometer?
    Maybe Lord Asriel instructed him to give it to her.

    2. Why does Mrs. Coulter want Lyra to travel with her?
    I'm guessing it has something to do the alethiometer and also the fact that she sends kidnapped children to the North. Maybe she's taking Lyra there.

    I can't wait to find out more about the alethiometer. What are those 36 images?

  24. arctic_hare says:

    Mrs. Coulter is a real piece of work, isn't she? She seems so sweet on the outside, but inside is a stone cold manipulative monster. We already know during this chapter that she's someone who kidnaps children and burns their letters to their families, so we're not happy for Lyra as she embarks on her new friendship with her only to find out later what she's really like; the suspense comes in already knowing this stuff and wondering what the hell a creep like this wants with our Lyra. It's a neat way of handling it, IMO; much better, I think, than all too obvious foreshadowing or a twist that comes out of nowhere. Of course, Lyra herself is still unaware, so we're waiting on tenterhooks to see how she finds out what we, the readers, are in on re: Mrs. Coulter's real nature.

    Plus, it's just so sad that she thinks Mrs. Coulter will help her find Roger. 🙁 She knows damn well where Roger is, because she took him away! Boy, is Lyra going to be pissed when she finds out.

    I'm also very confused by the Master; those were indeed some odd, odd things he said and I can't work out what his real objective is, even though I know more about him and Mrs. Coulter than Lyra does. He seems to want to keep Lyra safe, but he also tried to poison her uncle. Lyra understandably is just as confused as we are, but chooses to keep the alethiometer (which is SO COOL, I WANT ONE) secret in the end. It's not hard to believe: I mean, she likes Mrs. Coulter a lot so far, and she's suspicious of the Master after the attempted murder incident (that he doesn't know she's aware of), but this is Lyra, who tells lies all the time and tries to hide stuff even from her uncle. I could totally believe that she'd have no problem keeping this secret, something all to herself.

  25. Meg says:

    Aside from the same name, I never really thought about the Coulters. Ann Coulter is shrill and irrational, whereas Mrs. Coulter is….well she's fiendishly efficient. Someone above used "insidious" and I agree. I would not really want this Coulter to ever be on my side for anything, but I definitely don't want her to be a rival. Not without Dumbledore as my wingman, or something.

    And I am REALLY slow on the uptake, because I just now realized the irony of giving the resident pathological liar a compass that tells the truth. Now lulz-ing forever.

    • FlameRaven says:

      Hahaha! I never thought about that irony either. Hilarious. I had heard people mention that her name sounds like "liar" (although I still say it leer-a in my head) but the fact that she has a compass that tells the truth….wow.

      • Meg says:

        I hear "lee-ra" sometimes too, and I almost always hear "day-mon" instead of "demon" I didn't know greek pronunciation when I read the series the first time, and it's just stuck.

        • FlameRaven says:

          I can't say “demon,” just because it would confuse the term with all the other demons that are, you know, actually evil spirits of one flavor or another.Although, come to think of it, Pullman was probably making a point that the world ruled by the Church was a-okay with everybody having personal daemons.

        • notemily says:

          I always said "day-mon" too, until I heard Philip Pullman read from the second book at a signing, and he said "dee-mon" and my mind was BLOWN. But it makes sense with the other ways the "ae" is used–Caesar, for example.

          • Brieana says:

            Actually, the proper Latin way to pronounce Caesar's name is more like Kaiser.
            I took four years of Latin in high school and I mostly only remember pronounciations.

  26. Tilja says:

    Oh you poor, poor, poor Mark.

    Just keep going on and decide on the way.

  27. BradSmith5 says:

    Yes. Yes. This is why I always want scenes with the antagonists doing their whole 'evil' thing before they ever make contact with the protagonist. Since we SAW Coulter as a child-luring fiend, this otherwise dull-as-dirt dinner is now the most interesting event yet. Thank you, Pullman, for not sticking with the heroine for EVERY SINGLE SCENE.

    I had no idea we'd be leaving the school so soon, though. I mean, thirty pages of description just to leave it all behind in the next chapter!? My heart goes out to Knut Knut, and all those struggling to catch up. :'(

  28. Emily Crnk says:

    I just really love *cool stuff* and *trinkets* so the alethiometer is such a fascinating thing to me. I just looks so pretty in all of the covers, if I had one I would just play with it NONSTOP.

  29. Andrew (Chagrin) says:

    Can I just say that I hated Mrs. Coulter from the start? And not even the kidnapping kids thing, her personality is pretty much tailor-made to get on my bade side. She's an interesting character, though.

    The alethiometer!! One of the coolest devices I've ever encountered in any form of media.

  30. pica_scribit says:

    Isn't it brilliant? It is, isn't it? *bounce bounce* Oh, Mark, you will never, ever be prepared for all that is to come….

  31. knut_knut says:

    haha, that's why I dislike them!! Too similar to humans. They look like they're plotting something o_O same with spiders

  32. eleniel says:

    Maybe her backstory is informing the Master's decisions.

    Sure, but why would he be so CERTAIN that he can't prevent her from going North? That is such a specific thing to know about, it can't just be based on the fact that she is probably an orphan.

  33. Sparkie says:

    You just ruined my evening! No not really, but you did prompt me to look around a bit such that I am now even more enraged with the movie. I found some interesting links too SPOILERS!!:
    Original Script (why was it not like this:( )
    Interesting article about the movie and things that were changed

  34. @Leenessface says:

    Yeah, I've seen the cut of the original ending someone did with storyboards and unused footage. Though that just made me sad more than anything.

    But yeah, the script is the first time I've been REALLY ANGRY about the whole affair.

  35. ldwy says:

    I'm sorry you have to go through such emotions, but excellent gifs. 🙂

  36. monkeybutter says:

    It just makes so much more sense! Everything surrounding her, from her daemon to the decor of her apartment, is golden. Blonde hair fits her perfectly!

  37. Kiryn says:

    Heh. I just wanted to chime in to say that I AM following along and reading your posts, but I'm probably not going to be commenting much. I read this series years ago, so I don't quite remember EVERY detail, but I have a very good memory in general, and I remember enough to get most of the things that are confusing you. And…since this is the first series I'm reading along with you that I've already read (I found the Harry Potter posts after you were done with it), I'm having to bit my lip over here to keep my mouth shut about spoilers. And I'm not going to be commenting because I don't remember WHEN the book reveals things to you, and I don't have my copy of the book with me, so…I don't want to accidentally let something slip. So yeah. Your confusion amuses me, and all will be eventually revealed.

    One note: that damn monkey creeps me out like nobody's business. Ugh.

  38. gembird says:


  39. Annie Moose says:

    It's been several years since I've read The Golden Compass, but I find it a funny comparison you make between Mrs. Coulter and Professor Umbridge. Probably because Umbridge is a dumpy woman and I saw Mrs. Coulter as a femme fatale kind of character.

  40. fantasylover120 says:

    I've always found Mrs. Coulter fascinating. Honestly all the characters are to a point but the double-nature of her always made me curious.
    Also, I too cannot stand that other Coulter who shall remain nameless.

  41. vampireprincess2468 says:

    Love that Lyra is so strong and want to do her own thing as well

  42. notemily says:

    Maybe it would take too long to show her how to use it? Maybe he didn't expect her to leave so soon and he was like "shit, now I don't have time to teach her."

  43. Arione says:

    I love how bloodthirsty Lyra is. In some ways, “the cruelty of children” trope has been done and done and done, but the best (Barrie and Dahl) have done iy so well, which is why they’re timeless. Pullman seems to be pulling it off, giving Lyra such strong opinions and her own (sort-of) ethical code. I love her sense of play and adventure, because I remember how cut-throat and freaking serious I used get about “playing imagination.” Lyra seems to carry that same play/intensity with everything she does. She also has this sort of acceptance/defiance (I know, contradiction) to the adult world, as if they’re just new rules she has to incorporate into thw gameplay.

    It’s interesting, looking back on my own childhood, when I realise how different my reality was from the reality if those around me. I know now that my parents were incredibly poor. We lived in a caravan, that dad had build from an old trailer bed, and furnished with second had bits and pieces. But because we travelled through central Australia, where unconventional people abound, I never got a real sense of what people were supposed to have, and what they were supposed to do. So what if we had baths in buckets, or that most of my clothes were cast offs from older girls and came in big garbage bags. Mum told me they were late birthday presents.

    I’m sure my parents must have worried about it, but, they never let us know. When we did finally stop travelling, I had this strange sort of entitledness. Because I didn’t know that the way we lived was “wrong” I just assumed that it was good, perfectly fine. I couldn’t even conceive of there being anything wrong with being poor, first generation, and just generally weird.

    The only “bad” memories I remember are when mum was sacked from her day-care job, because she confronted a man about his kid being constantly covered in bruises, when a girl at school took it upon herself to tel me I was poor (which I thought was ridiculous, because according to fairytale poor people lived in the woods and didn’t get to eat anything except turnips, and sometimes bread,) and when my dad got really really upset because my brother and I came from school without eating the apples that were our lunches.

    I know this TLDR, but I think what I’m trying to get at is that Lyra’s disconnect from the society she lives in coupled with the bloodthirsty, obliviousish ability for kids to adapt to things really makes this story for me. I think it’s when kids are told that they are wrong, or made to feel insignificant, or a burden, they lose that confidence. Of course there has to be some sort of balance, and I sure as hell don’t know what it is yet. I’m just muddling through.

    • burningpumpkins says:

      I really enjoyed reading your comment. And your father getting upset about you and your brother not eating apples is hilarious. I mean, we never really eat the fruits and vegetables our parents give us, lol, and the chips are finished every time. My friend and I used to throw oranges into the toll booths before the highway, before one of the employees got out and chased our school bus.

      Anyway, I think you would enjoy The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Based on what you said, I think you might have something interesting to say about the book. Whether you think the alternative lifestyle was dramatized, cheapened, or something you could relate to, I think you might like the way the relationship between parent and child is portrayed. Also, you should write, if you are not already writing. I think you have interesting things to say.

    • hazelwillow says:

      Thank you for this comment, it was illuminating. It sounds like your parents must have been really good parents. Although I didn't have as I guess "untypical" if you don't mind that word a childhood as you, as I grew up in a sedentary, middle-class, somewhat alternative, hippie-ish/Waldorf-school family, I can relate to living in my own world and not so much understanding the mainstream culture. I was pretty oblivious to some things.
      My mum says that children's play is their work, it's what they should be doing. I can definitely relate to being totally intense about imaginary play back then and I think Philip Pullman *gets* that aspect of how kids are. I used to be really sad at the idea of "growing up" and basically losing that intense imaginary ability… and I'm still not sure how to navigate between living internally and connecting with reality or between being childlike and being adultlike. But this series helped me in some ways because I think Pullman has an understanding of those questions/states.

  44. burningpumpkins says:

    Maaaaaaaaark. I love that you're doing His Dark Materials. I think this has potential to draw you in just as much as Harry Potter did, if not more, because I believe Pullman has a complexer themes. Yes, there's more childish delight than Potter, but unlike Potter and that overrated Hunger Games, Pullman gets deep into politics. I won't say anymore than that, but don't be fooled by Lyra's child-like delight and immaturity. There's a kind of realism Pullman evokes about this world that is visceral and twisted. No character stays the same — which I think is a compliment to the writing, more than a spoiler about the plot. The characters are and will be continually swayed and changed by the 'current' and 'waves' of the powers at play (whatever they may be, wink), as you read in this chapter. I hope you will come to understand why and how I think Pullman makes his characters more human by doing so.

    Though I love Harry Potter, I must admit HDM is better writing.

  45. Moonie says:

    I'm going to be honest, Mark: I laughed REALLY HARD at your confusion. And then felt bad. Sort of. I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE YOUR PROGRESS WITH THESE SERIES.
    So not prepared.

  46. hazelwillow says:

    Yes! I was reading that the other day, too, and it was a really interesting adaptation!! A worthwhile read just as an insight into scriptwriting and into one person's take on the material, especially some of the inserted scenes/moments. I can't wait to read the rest. But people who haven't read the whole book yet should STAY AWAY because IMPLICIT SPOILERS ABOUND.

  47. Heather says:

    Me too. I didn't ever pick up that she had black hair. In fact, I pretty much always imagined her as Nicole Kidman!

  48. ComputerizedWoman says:

    I am so anxious for you to get farther in the story because it's such an amazing story to me. And yes Ms. Coulter is a scary woman.

  49. Steeple says:

    I imagined Mrs. Coulter as looking like a willowy CLAMP-style lady (like in xxxholic style), so black was pretty easy for me to imagine, and the movie just throws me off so far off balance.

  50. Stephalopolis says:

    Don't do it Lyra!!! As we've seen before, Coulter is very good at manipulating people (with that little boy she lured away). Here, it just seems she's doing the same thing. She's appealing to Lyra's sense of adventure and a side of Lyra that she hasn't been able to experience before. I almost feel like Coulter is showing her all these "wonders" and fancy things all right off the bat to get Lyra to trust her and become loyal to her. It's first impressions that count, so I'm sure Coulter is doing her best to make Lyra's first impression of her "amazing".

    I am so confused right now as to who I'm supposed to "like". Yes, Lyra's a given… but the others, I'm not sure. It's so weird for me to reading a book where things aren't black and white in this regard. I want to like the Master, but he did try to poison Uncle…. but I also don't know if Uncle is a good person or not, so maybe I was supposed to be rooting for Master? And Coulter seems nice and wonderful, yet there's this undertone about her that makes me shy away from her and be wary and not "trust" her. Well, and like you brought up, she steals children and saws them in half or something. That too.

    AND I AM SO CONFUSED BY THE ALTH-THINGY!!! But I do know I want one. Because I like things.

  51. Teuthex says:

    "Actually, that’s something I still feel to this day."

    asdjkasdjhasdkasf STOP THAT.

  52. dcpierce says:

    And now Lyra heads off to some heroic Great Adventure. But before you go, take a few dozen more secrets and confusing statements with you!

    hglaghabagh what does it all mean?

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