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The Golden Compass

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Reader’s Guide

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Cast of Characters

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The Subtle Knife

The Amber Spyglass



Lyra’s Oxford

The Science of
Philip Pullman’s
His Dark Materials



The Golden Compass: Cast of Characters

Lord Asriel: Lyra's uncle, whose dæmon, is a handsome snow leopard. A dynamic and powerful adventurer, Lord Asriel in the possibility of other universes and is concerned with the investigation of Dust.

Barnard-Stokes: Two renegade theologians who postulated the existence of numerous invisible, unreachable, yet material worlds. Although they were silenced by the Church, some scholars believe that there are sound mathematical arguments for their theory concerning other worlds.

Lyra Belacqua: A half-wild, half-civilized young girl who lives among the scholars of Jordan College. Lyra's fate is intertwined with the theological mysteries of Dust and the possibility of other universes. To play the large - perhaps universe-saving - part to which she appears destined, Lyra must act without realizing what she is doing.

Butler, Mrs. Lonsdale, the Parslow family, Porter, Steward: Servants of Jordan College.

Cassington Scholar, Chaplain, Enquirer, Intercessor, Librarian, Palmerian Professor, Precentor, Sub-Rector: Scholars and administrators of Jordan College.

Ma Costa: A charismatic woman and member of a leading gyptian family.

Billy Costa: Ma Costa's son, who appears to have been taken by the Gobblers.

Mrs. Coulter: A beautiful scholar, arctic explorer, and socialite, who takes a particular interest in Lyra. Her dæmon is a golden monkey.

Stanislaus Grumman: A researcher whose expedition vanished while making celestial observations in the North, but not before reporting on a rare natural phenomenon seen there.

Master of Jordan: The ranking scholar of Jordan College, who feels responsible for raising and protecting Lyra, and who has learned something of her fate from an alethiometer.

Tony Makarios: A simple slum child who is abducted by the Gobblers.

Pantalaimon: Lyra's dæmon, who frequently takes the shape of a brown moth or an ermine.

Roger Parslow: The Jordan College kitchen boy, who is Lyra's good friend and playmate. Lyra believes he has been stolen by the Gobblers.

Iofur Raknison: The usurper king of the armored bears of Svalbard. A vain and foolish ruler who is building an ornate marble palace in an effort to become more like humans. Iofur longs to have his own dæmon.