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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2008, 19:54 
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So I don't feel so bad now that I wasn't the only one who didnt quite get everything that was going on in the books.

Random Thoughts:

"The Subtle Knife" was my favorite. "Golden Compass" was great but it's just always weird reading the book after watching the movie and knowing a lot of what to expect.

"The Amber Spyglass" was superb in places. I absolutely loved the ending. The world where people kept their deaths close was totally weird in a good way. Hated the Mulefa parts the most and they just seemed out of place and all I could picture was this guy Image and it ruined everything. I couldnt wait each time to get through those chapters.

The Gallivespians were some of my favorite characters.

I really liked Will's character, slightly more than Lyra even.

Contrary to what Hollywood thought, these are not what I would consider children's books anymore than "Stand by Me" was a short story for children. Yes the main characters are kids but the themes presented are very grown up and very challenging.

If they make sequels to the first movie I do believe everything would be changed.

I am really curious as to what others thought of Lord Asriel. I thought he was horrible but I kept getting the feeling that the book didnt seem to think so. It also kept making me dislike other characters because they wanted to join his cause. Whether his cause was right or wrong, he still killed a child to further his own goals. Was this sacrifice okay because it was for "the greater good"? I'm confused.

Along with that, I also thought the whole point in Lyra following after Lord Asriel at the end of TGC was to confront him which never happened and was just kind of forgotten.

The religious aspect to me was meh. It was so bizarre to where I couldnt for the life of me wonder why people would be offended. It seemed the religious stuff was so secondary anyway. It did make out all religion to be bad without mentioning anything good that comes from it; but then again that wasn't its' point. The things that were used were so picky and choosy to where I never got a full grasp of how it all made sense. Like there was a Garden of Eden, a temptation, and a fall but not the way it is told? There was a battle in heaven among the angels but again not the way it is told? It just seemed to give credence to stories told in the bible but wanted to change them? I wasn't bothered by any of it and the Authority probably because I didn't care enough about it all.

What exactly was the temptation Lyra faced? Was it her relation with Will? or was it deciding not to keep a window open? or something else entirely?

Yeah so I went on a while. Discuss.

And thanks to the Nunis for the recommend.


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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2008, 01:04 
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fishn4 wrote:
Hated the Mulefa parts the most and they just seemed out of place and all I could picture was this guy Image and it ruined everything. I couldnt wait each time to get through those chapters.


I didn't like those bits the first time I read it either. They really grew on me though.

fishn4 wrote:
I am really curious as to what others thought of Lord Asriel. I thought he was horrible but I kept getting the feeling that the book didnt seem to think so. It also kept making me dislike other characters because they wanted to join his cause. Whether his cause was right or wrong, he still killed a child to further his own goals. Was this sacrifice okay because it was for "the greater good"? I'm confused.


I think we're supposed to be ambiguous about it. He's clearly really self-centered early on, he doesn't care about Lyra, he only wants to prove he's right. Late in Amber Spyglass, however, he realises his mistake and sacrifices himself for the greater good.

fishn4 wrote:
Along with that, I also thought the whole point in Lyra following after Lord Asriel at the end of TGC was to confront him which never happened and was just kind of forgotten.


I think the reason that was "forgotten" is that, yes, Lyra went through to find Lord Asriel, but once she got to Citagazze, and then met Will, they set out on this together, and eventually found out more and more about this mission -- these things they had to do.

I think in the end it worked out really well that Lyra never got to see her parents again. They had manipulated her for so long, and in the end she finally managed to "break free" and become her own true self.

fishn4 wrote:
The religious aspect to me was meh. It was so bizarre to where I couldnt for the life of me wonder why people would be offended. It seemed the religious stuff was so secondary anyway. It did make out all religion to be bad without mentioning anything good that comes from it; but then again that wasn't its' point. The things that were used were so picky and choosy to where I never got a full grasp of how it all made sense. Like there was a Garden of Eden, a temptation, and a fall but not the way it is told? There was a battle in heaven among the angels but again not the way it is told? It just seemed to give credence to stories told in the bible but wanted to change them? I wasn't bothered by any of it and the Authority probably because I didn't care enough about it all.


It's a bit confusing. I think what Pullman is doing is essentially telling us that faith is a good thing, but not organised, opressive religion. It's all about free will (not unlike Harry Potter; "it's our choices who define us").

Basically, yes, there was a creator (The Authority) and there was a Garden of Eden, and an Eve, and an Adam. Eve eating the apple and succumbing to temptation created original sin, essentially laying the groundwork for Dust, and made sure that humans now had free will. Eve essentially created consciousness.

Metatron, who was once a man but now an Angel, rebelled against the Authority and there was war in Heaven. Metatron overthrew The Authority and made himself Regent. Some Angels followed his lead, and started "working" with the human Church body to suppress mankind, to keep people subdued. Other Angels, however, didn't like this and so were helping the humans in their battle (I say humans, but what I really mean is "people", like the mulefa are people too), like Baruch and Balthamos and Xaphania.

When the knife was created, the Dust started evaporating. Man had created this tool to cut the worlds open, and Dust started leaking out. So in this war we're seeing in Amber Spyglass, we have all manner of creatures fighting, and in the end we see Metatron defeated. The way he is defeated is significant too. He too essentially fell for temptation. He was once a man and he couldn't resist Mrs Coulter, thus leading to his downfall. Poetic justice, I guess.

There is also that short scene on the battlefield, when Lyra and Will come upon The Authority, and set him free. I think this means that The Authority ("God") was a good being, he created us, but he was old and decrepit and he didn't want to be around any more. He too wanted his freedom, and to let his creation carry on his dream of a free world, a loving world.

At the end of it all, the Church has been dismantled from within, man has free will again and is free from opression. The fall of Metatron led to the fall of the Church. As soon as the windows are closed and the knife is destroyed, no more Dust will leak out (except from that one window in the Land of the Dead) and more can be created by humans spreading consciousness, thought, ideas, love, and understanding.

Or, in short: God was overthrown, man created a stupid knife, Dust leaked out. Metatron was then defeated, windows closed, and knife destroyed. The oppressive Church withered. There was free will again.

Sorry if I confused you even more.

fishn4 wrote:
What exactly was the temptation Lyra faced? Was it her relation with Will? or was it deciding not to keep a window open? or something else entirely?


It was both. Her choices were:
1) Stay with Will, keep a window open -- would result in the ultimate collapse of the worlds, and would really only ensure her own happiness. In other words, selfishness on her part.
2) Give up her one true love, close the windows, start building the Republic of Heaven in her own world, and spread love and understanding. This is the ultimate sacrifice for her, and the right choice since it would mean no Dust would leak out of the world ever again.

So the temptation was Will. Stay with him and make consciousness leak out of the world via the window, or close the window and lose Will, but end up saving the world.

Remember, they still had to spread enough love and consciousness in their respective worlds to create enough Dust to keep the window in the Land of the Dead open.

fishn4 wrote:
And thanks to the Nunis for the recommend.


You're welcome.


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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2008, 01:59 
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What made Mary the temptress?

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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2008, 03:38 
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A² wrote:
What made Mary the temptress?


I guess firstly because when they both first realised their love, they were in the mulefa world, and Mary brought them together in a way, by telling stories and by welcoming them into the society there.

But mainly because she offered Lyra a home, in Will's world. If she'd have gone to "our" world, Lyra could have lived with Mary, and spent the rest of her life with Will.

So the temptation was to go live there with both of them, which Lyra had to turn down to save humanity.


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PostPosted: 09 May 2008, 22:52 
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fishn4 wrote:
It was so bizarre to where I couldnt for the life of me wonder why people would be offended. ... It did make out all religion to be bad without mentioning anything good that comes from it

Umm ... I think you answered your own question (not that you actually asked a question ...)
Nunis wrote:
At the end of it all, the Church has been dismantled from within ... The oppressive Church withered. There was free will again.

It did? I thought the Church still existed in the end. I got so bored with the books, I wasn't paying much attention by the end of book 3.

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