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The Golden Compass

The Subtle Knife

The Amber Spyglass


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Readerís Guide

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Cast of Characters



Lyra’s Oxford

The Science of
Philip Pullman’s
His Dark Materials

The Amber Spyglass: Glossary

The Abyss: A vast and dark emptiness that lies beyond all worlds. Devoid of all living matter, the Abyss acts as a vacuum for Dust, drawing it in and destroying it. Lyra and her entourage must travel the edge of the abyss between the world of the Dead and the Living.

Consistorial Court of Discipline: The disciplinary arm of the Magisterium, it is the Court's duty to investigate acts of heresy and exact punishment against those found guilty. Although both the Society and the Court act in the interest of the Church, they are competitive and attempt to keep their discoveries secret from each other and from the other branches of the Magisterium.

Gallivespians: A diminutive people whose short stature - no taller than a human's hand span - belies the deadly poisonous sting held in the spurs of their ankles. Because of their exceptional smallness, Gallivespians make useful spies, though their haughty behavior would certainly give them away were they larger in size.

Gyropter: Small military air vessel, similar in form to a heliocopter.

Intention Craft: Created by Lord Asriel's iron-works, the intention craft is a flying machine that is operated by both an individual and his/her daemon. Once both person and daemon are strapped in, the craft is able to read their intentions and fly where they wish.

Kingdom of Heaven: The world where the Authority and Metatron reign. It is Lord Asriel and his allies' hopes to establish a Republic of Heaven.

Mulefa: Cattle-like creatures dependant on large round seedpods they use as wheel attachments at the bottoms of their legs. The Mulefa live in communal societies that are very much in touch with the natural world that surrounds them. It is through her contact with the Mulefa that Dr. Mary Malone discovers the Amber Spyglass and uncovers the mystery of the disappearing scraf. The word Mulefa simply means people.

The Society of the Work of the Holy Spirit: The research arm of the Magisterium that tests and classifies heretical speculation. Members of the Society are sworn to poverty and chastity, but not to obedience, as it is necessary to their work that speculation should be allowed.

Sraf: The Mulefa word for Dust. Mulefa have the ability to see Scraf with their naked eyes. Large quantities of Scraf accumulates around conscious things that allow the Mulefa to determine that Mary Malone is a thinking being like them.

Tualapi: Gigantic, white malevolent birds that periodically attack Mulefa settlements destroying buildings and raiding food stores.

Zalif: The Mulefa word for individual.

Zeppelin: Large military air vessel constructed of heavy oiled fabric filled with gas.