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.

 I find 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 chapter.

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 well.

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