The Golden Compass Discussion Post 2

As part of the His Dark Materials Read-Along, Jessie at The Daily Bookmark has posted some discussion questions for Part 2  of The Golden Compass.  (Well, she posted them last Friday, and the read-along is now discussing Part 3, but I’m a little behind.)

1. We have met a large cast of characters now, many with names I find difficult to pronounce! There are people that have come into Lyra’s life for good, some for bad, some with motives yet to be determined. Of all the characters, who’s your favorite and why?

Iorek is my favorite character. He is immensely powerful and terrifying but develops a fierce loyalty to Lyra that I think is completely endearing.  He also has a great sense of honor.  I would love to have him as my friend.

2. One of the bigger topics for debate revolve around Lyra and her likeability. Do you like her? What are your opinions of her, her character and her actions? (Bonus: Based on this opinion, what do you think Pantalaimon will settle as?) 

I like Lyra.  Sometimes she does have an exaggerated sense of her own importance (or maybe not, since all the adults keep hinting how special she is), but that seems fairly typical of being a child.  I don’t think it implies she’s going to be arrogant for life or anything.

Among her good qualities, she is brave, loyal, creative, and persistent.  She likes pranks but always seem to know when she has gone too far.  I think it’s obvious why she might end up doing important things for the world.  Maybe I wouldn’t like her in real life, though.

I’ve read the series before so I know how Pan settles, but there are a few hints already.

3. Have read two thirds of the book now, what has been your favorite scene and why? Keep in mind that Part II ends with the children escaping The Station in Bolvanger and the battle that ensues between the Gyptians and the Tartars/Gobblers.

I actually really enjoy seeing Lyra in her “home” setting at Jordan College.  We get a great sense at what has made her who she is, and how her background will continue to influence her decisions throughout her life.  I also like the idea of such a “wild child” having grown up in such a scholarly environment and absorbed a lot of the knowledge accidentally.

4. (Optional) In Part II, Lyra befriends Jerry, a seaman who explains that one’s daemon settles into a shape/form once the human’s personality is determined and settles – a loyal and trustworthy person, for example with a labrador retriever daemon. Take a look at yourself, your personality and describe what you might think your daemon’s final form would be. Is this the same/similar or different from what you chose in Part I?

I’m going to be completely crazy and say a miniature elephant (just because a regular elephant would be excessively large).  Elephants are intelligent, generally peaceful but dangerous when angry, creative, and family-oriented (well, the females).  Those are all nice things I would like to believe apply to me!  …And the few people who actually know me who are reading this are probably mocking the thought I could be dangerous.

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