The Golden Compass Page by Page
Chapter 22 - Betrayal
A very short and to the point chapter. This is a good example of a
“chapter” not being about the length of material covered,
but it’s role as a complete segment of the story.
Thorold’s explanation of how he “called for” a child
for the experiment and has a special way of getting what he needs seems
to suggest that Lord Asriel may have some kind of supernatural ability.
I hadn’t picked up on this the first two times I read the book.
I’ll keep my eyes peeled for this when on my next readthroughs of
the second and third books.
Actually, now that I think of it,(highlight to reveal spoilers) in
The Subtle Knife, don't we learn that Asriel is in leauge with rebel
angels, and that angles are the beings that move the needle of the
alethiometer? Perhaps the idea is that Asriel was already communicating
with angles and that they are able to influence people in order to
provide Asriel with what he needs for his rebellion against The
Authority, and so used the alethiometer to instruct Lyra to bring
Asriel Roger as a sacrifice to travel to the other world.
it interesting that Pullman calls this chapter “Betrayal”,
because I seem to remember that while in this book, we are lead to
believe that Asriel bringing Roger to Lord Asriel was the “great
betrayal” Lyra was prophesied to commit, in The Amber Spyglass
the narration explicitly states that Lyra abandoning Pantalaimon in in
the suburb of the dead was her great betrayal. I personally find that
the betrayal of Roger was far more severe and tragic in every way
except that at least in this case Lyra hadn’t done so
intentionally. Lyra gets Pantalaimon back in the end of The Amber
Spyglass, Roger stays pretty dead after what happens in the next
Going back to Chapter 21, I probably would have given a small
amount of “page time” to Roger’s dæmon, just as
a way to sort of “remind” us that she even existed, because
I don’t think she has been mentioned since the scene where she
and Lyra got drunk in the wine cellar at Jordan and their dæmons
were screwing around making ugly faces at each other. Having Roger and
Salcilia (which I believe is his dæmon's name if I remember) an
"aww" moment during say, the scene where he's taking a bath with Lyra
to show how much he loves his dæmon would have helped in
establishing his role in the trilogy.
Well, there’s only one more of these left. Strictly speaking if I
had done one of these a week I should have finished months ago, but oh
To submit feedback, please use the site guestbook
or email the author at,
This work is the intellectual property of Super Train Station H and is protected under US Copyright.
Works discussed by other authors are the property of their respective copyright holders.
Back to STSH - The Golden Compass Page by Page