Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Phillip Pullman - polar bear in the book 'Northern Lights'/The Golden Compass'
Northern Lights, known as The Golden Compass in North America, is the first novel in English novelist Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Published in 1995, the fantasy novel is set in a universe parallel to our own and tells of Lyra Belacqua's journey north in search of her missing friend, Roger Parslow, and her imprisoned uncle, Lord Asriel, who has been conducting experiments with a mysterious substance known as Dust. Winner of the Carnegie Medal in 1996, the novel has been adapted into a Hollywood feature film, released in 2007 as The Golden Compass along with an accompanying video game. Both the trilogy and the film adaptation have faced controversy, as some critics assert that the story presents a negative portrayal of organized religion and religion in general.
On a stop in Trollesund, Lyra meets a sapient armoured bear called Iorek Byrnison. Iorek is an exiled bear prince who is paid for his work in spirits, a considerably dishonorable job for a panserbjørn. However, the villagers had taken his armour, which is comparable to a dæmon for him, binding him to his work. Lyra uses her alethiometer to aid Iorek in reclaiming his armour, thereby enlisting his aid.