The Golden Compass is a 2007 self-directed film directed by Chris Weitz, from a screenplay by Weitz, and based on the 1995 novel Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, the first instalment in the trilogy of Pullman His Dark Materials. With the help of Chris Weitz, best known for his work on the ‘American Pie’ films, ‘The Golden Compass’ is a famous action film that prides itself on a collection full of stars.
Based on Philip Pullman’s novel ‘Northern Lights’, the 2007 film immerses its audience in the corridors of the mythical world where Dyson spheres of cars burn cars, and people are able to communicate with their demons, changing animal spirits. However, it is also a world in which religion and science, as well as romanticism and rationalism, remain in conflict.
Lord Asriel wants to find the source of the mysterious northern Dust, but Magisterium thinks differently. In the middle, Gyptians and homeowners are concerned that children are disappearing into the emergence of mysterious organizations called the Gobblers. Our main character is Lyra, who can sharpen the secrets of the golden compass. It may seem overwhelming, especially after the last great war.
The Golden Compass: Movie Synopsis
In another Retrofuturistic Earth, a powerful church called the Magisterium takes a firm hold on the beliefs and teachings of the people. In this world, the inner spirit of everyone is partially present outside the body, manifesting itself as a companion to the animal called dæmon. The dæmon communicates with man and must remain physically close. However, witches have bird-shaped dæons that can travel long distances from their bodies.
Lyra Belacqua, who has a dæmon called Pantalaimon or “Pan”, is an orphan raised at Jordan College in Oxford. Her uncle, Lord Asriel, a well-known explorer and scholar, was not looking for mysterious dust, the cosmic particles Magisterium refuses to mention. When Asriel returns to Oxford, Lyra saves his life after seeing a Magisterium agent visit his wine with an unknown poison.
Asriel later gives an introduction to some scholars about his discovery that the dust present at the North Pole connects the infinitely worlds. Asriel receives a grant for another trip and if his theory is proven, he may greatly undermine the Magistrate’s control.
Lyra meets Mrs. Coulter’s rich, “friend” from college. She invites Lyra to stay with him in London. Before Lyra leaves, the college lecturer hands over her uncle’s alethiometer, a truth-like compass that reveals truth (a gold-plated compass). Few people are able to explain its symptoms. Magisterium catches or destroys all other alethiometer measurements, and Lyra is warned to keep her secret.
Lyra notices the alethiometer continuously identifying a female, lightning, and baby symbol, though she may not be able to understand its meaning. Soon, Mrs. The humble Coulter changes and shows that she is in line with the Magisterium and its mission. When Lyra spoke of the dust, Ms. Coulter strongly warns him not to talk about it again.
The kidnappers called the Gobblers have been kidnapping poor, orphaned, and Gyptian children, including friends of Lyra Roger, an Oxford slave, and Billy Costa, a young Gyptian. Lyra later discovers that Mrs. Coulter is head of the General Oblation Board and recognizes that they are “Gobblers.”
When the dæmon of Mrs. Coulter tries to steal the alethiometer, Lyra and Pan run away with it on the streets. The Gobblers chase him, but she is saved by Ma Costa, Billy’s mother. Lyra is taken to the Egyptian king, John Faa, and his ship sails north to search for the abducted children. A wise Gyptian elder named Farder Coram can determine a compass.
After consulting with Magisterium agent Fra Pavel, Mrs. Coulter sends two machine flies after Lyra. One is beaten but the other is caught and detained by the Farder Coram, who claims the spy has a dose full of sleeping poison. By that time, Lord Asriel had reached Svalbard, the kingdom of the Ice Bears, but was taken over by Samoyed men employed by Mrs. Coulter.
The witch, Serafina Pekkala, tells Lyra that the missing children are at a checkpoint called Bolvangar. In the northern harbour, Lyra is a friend of a Texan aeronaut named Lee Scoresby. He advises her to him and his friend Iorek Byrnison, a bear Lee has come to save. Formerly a prince of armed bears, Iorek has now been deported to disgrace, and the locals have tricked him and stripped him of his weapons. Lyra uses an alethiometer to locate Iorek’s weapons. After discovering it, Iorek joins the northern Gyptian expedition, along with Scoresby.
Lyra, in Iorek, goes to the building left behind by the alethiometer. There, Lyra discovers Billy Costa, who is surgically separated from his dæmon. The Gobblers try to abduct children using a process called “intercision.” Lyra joins Billy and Ma Costa, but the team is attacked by Samoyeds, who is holding Lyra. Iorek and Lee follow him in Lee’s bowl.
Lyra is taken to bear king Ragnar Sturlusson. Knowing that Iorek will be few, Lyra tricks Ragnar into fighting Iorek individually. Ragnar, who usurped the throne of Iorek, seems to have at first won; Iorek pretends to be weak and kills Ragnar, taking revenge on his father and regaining his empire.
Iorek carries Lyra to Bolvangar, but only Lyra crosses a small ice bridge before falling. Upon arriving at the station, Lyra met Roger again. Lyra hears Mrs. Coulter tell the station’s scientists that Asriel had fled and set up a laboratory. Magisterium soldiers went there to arrest him for sedition. Lyra discovers that scientists are trying to separate the baby from their dæmon, a process called intercision. Captured as spies, Lyra and Pan were thrown into the living room but Mrs. Coulter rescues him.
Ms Coulter tells Lyra that Magisterium believes mediation protects children from Dust’s evil influence. She reveals that she is Lyra’s mother but was forced to dump her; Lyra realizes that Asriel is her father. When Mrs. Coulter asked for an alethiometer, Lyra handed her a tin containing a spy fly. A fly struck Mrs. Coulter, causing her to faint. Lyra destroys the machine, removing a series of explosives.
Outside, fleeing children are attacked by Tatar mercenaries and their wolf dæmon. Iorek, Scoresby, Gyptians and flying witches, led by Serafina, joined the war. Tatars are defeated and children are redeemed. Lyra, Roger, Iorek, Lee and Serafina flew north to search for Asriel. Confirming Serafina’s prediction of a coming war with Lyra at its centre, Lyra is determined to fight the Magisterium, which plans to take control of the rest of the universe.
The Golden Compass Ending, Explained: What Happened At The End?
In Philip Pullman’s universal myth, Dust is a key element of interest. The story begins in the dust, as Lyra’s voice notes that the link is hidden between the multiverse. Even scientists in Lyra’s world do not know much about Dust, as it still focuses on Lord Asriel’s research.
In his introduction, Lord Asriel shows how dust was found at the North Pole, as it connects man with his demon. Dust is something that people on earth cannot fully comprehend. But King Asriel envisions the great possibilities open to the earth.
Magisterium, however, sees the consideration of other realities beyond its own as heresies and places some obstacles in the way of King Asriel. As seen in Lyra’s final interview with Mrs. Coulter, even Magisterium is fully aware of Thuli’s presence. They think that Dust is a common cause of adult diseases. According to him, the dust does not affect innocent children.
However, Thuli reveals all the negative thoughts and negative feelings when the daemon begins to settle down. However, there is nothing that people do with the dust as it is not in their power. Therefore, Mrs. Coulter suggests that Magisterium cut out children’s demons to keep them “safe.” The process of eliminating the human daemon is a plea, the name Lyra comes first when reading the papers of the General Oblation Board.
Gobblers remain in the dark from the beginning, although the fear surrounding the Gobblers is evident among children very quickly. Children from the tribes disappear, and the Gobblers appear to be guilty. After the disappearance of Billy and Roger, Lyra meets with a committee called the General Oblation Board and correctly links it with the Gobblers. The donation means the donation, and the Gobblers seem to be preparing the children for the supernatural. In her travels, Lyra discovers some of the facts about the operation.
While on a sea voyage with the Gyptians, Lyra learns from witch Serafina Pekkala that this is Bolvanger, a place of terror, where child abductors live on the job. The Tartars guarded the hostile region with their wolf demons. After the release of exiled bear king Iorek Byrnison, Lyra flies to Mr. Scoresby to Bolvanger, located somewhere in the northern part of the country.
Lyra finds Roger alive, though she almost feels herself begging, saved by Mrs. Coulter at the last minute. When Ms. Coulter asks for an alethiometer, Lyra destroys his desires while exposing a spy fly. She smashes the operating room and frees the children. However, the Tatar army is waiting for him.
In a major revelation, Ms. Coulter suggests to Lyra that she is her mother. Lyra is quick to fill in the blanks, and she realizes that Lord Asriel is not his uncle but his father. The film ends with Lyra, Mr. Scoresby, along with Serafina Pekkala advancing toward the north pole to find Lord Asriel. In the scope of the film, we do not know if Lyra finds him or not. Did King Asiriel die after meeting the Samoyed people?
We will never see it again unless we take a closer look at Philip Pullman’s world. Asriel goes to Svalbard, but after fighting the Samoyed tribe, he is bound by bears at the behest of the General Oblation Board. However, he can cut a deal with bears. The agreement allows him to own his own laboratory, his guests, and even a security guard named Thorold. Lyra finds Asriel healthy in Svalbard in the first story, but Asriel is shocked by Lyra’s arrival. “The Golden Compass.”
Related – Fire Island (2022): Movie Synopsis & Ending, Explained