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The Golden Compass Ending Explained: What Is Dust? What is Intercession?

‘The Golden Compass,’ directed by Chris Weitz, best known for his work on the ‘American Pie’ series, is a well-known epic fantasy action picture with a star-studded cast. Based on Philip Pullman’s novel ‘Northern Lights,’ the 2007 film transports viewers to the corridors of a quasi-mythical world where Dyson spheres fuel autos and humans may interact with their daemons, shapeshifting animal spirits. However, it is also a world in which faith and science, as well as romanticism and rationalism, remain at odds.

The Magisterium disagrees with Lord Asriel’s quest to discover the origins of the enigmatic northern substance Dust. In the middle, the Gyptians and landowners are concerned that the children are missing due to the appearance of enigmatic entities known as the Gobblers. Lyra, our protagonist, is capable of unlocking the mysteries of the iconic golden compass. It may appear a little too much, especially after the final epic battle. Allow us to interfere further if you want to comprehend the ending in deeper depth. SPOILERS FOLLOW.

Plot Synopsis for The Golden Compass

A theocracy is governed by a liturgical body known as the Magisterium in a retro-futuristic universe. The universe is divided into several magical tribes, ranging from air witches to Gyptians, Samoyeds, and ice bears. People’s spirits exist outside of their bodies in the world as “daemons” or animal companions who must remain near their owners (except for the witches). We view Lyra’s world through her own eyes as she plays with Roger, Gyptian boy Billy, and the gang after Lyra’s narration introduces us to “Dust,” a hidden connection between worlds and universes.

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Lyra and her meerkat-cat demon Pan return to Jordan College of Oxford University, her home, after terrifying Billy about a room where scholars punish trespassers. Lyra was raised as an orphan by her uncle Lord Asriel, who is engaged researching Dust, the enigmatic particles that rule the multiverses. Lyra, hiding in the pantry, discovers Fra Pavel of the Magisterium poisoning Lord Asriel’s drink and convinces him not to drink it. Lord Asriel delivers an outstanding presentation to the College Council, requesting a travel fund and sneering at the Magisterium member.

Lord Asriel collects the fund and goes towards the north pole, the region of the fierce bears. Surprisingly, his departure coincides with the entrance of Mrs. Coulter, a college buddy. Lyra is entrusted with the Master of the College’s alethiometer, or the titular truth-seeking golden compass, while Lord Asriel is away. Lyra and Mrs. Coulter share a strong bond. Lyra escapes the village after realizing Mrs. Coulter is seeking the compass, beginning on a long trek to the north pole. Meanwhile, Billy and Roger are Gobbled, and Lyra must unravel the mystery of the missing children.

What Is Dust at the End of The Golden Compass? What exactly is intercession?

Dust is a significant attraction in the mythology of Philip Pullman’s universe. The story opens with Dust, as Lyra’s narration remarks that it is the secret link between the multiverses. Even the scientists in Lyra’s planet know little about Dust, which is still the focus of Lord Asriel’s research. Lord Asriel describes how Dust was discovered in the North Pole, encompassing a person and his demon, in his presentation. Dust is something that people cannot fully fathom. Lord Asriel, on the other hand, imagines the vast possibilities that the particles open up for them to speak with the parallel worlds.

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However, the Magisterium regards envisioning other realities than its own as heresy, and they place certain obstacles in Lord Asriel’s path. Even the Magisterium is aware of Dust’s existence, as evidenced by Lyra’s final conversation with Mrs. Coulter. They consider Dust to be an abnormal material that causes adult ailments. Dust, she claims, has no effect on innocent youngsters. When the demon begins to calm down, Dust unleashes all of his negative thoughts and feelings. But humans can’t do anything about Dust since it’s not in their power. As a result, Mrs. Coulter proposes that the Magisterium cut off children’s daemons to keep them “safe.” Intercession is the process of removing one’s daemon, a term Lyra first encounters when reading the General Oblation Board materials.

What Do The Gobblers Look Like? What Happens to the Children?

Gobblers are kept in the dark from the start, despite the fact that dread of Gobblers spreads quickly among children. Children from the tribes are going missing, and Gobblers appear to be to blame. Following Billy and Roger’s disappearance, Lyra discovers the General Oblation Board and intuitively links it to the Gobblers. Oblation refers to an offering, and the Gobblers appear to be preparing the children for sacrifice to a higher spirit. Lyra learns more about the clandestine operation on her journey.

While sailing with the Gyptians, Lyra learns from the witch queen Serafina Pekkala that the location is Bolvanger, the site of fear, where the child abductors are still at work. With their wolf daemons, the Tartars protect the inhospitable terrain. Lyra goes to Bolvanger, hidden away someplace in the north pole, with aeronaut Mr. Scoresby after liberating exiled bear king Iorek Byrnison. Lyra discovers Roger alive, despite the fact that she almost experiences the intercession herself, being spared at the last second by Mrs. Coulter. Lyra sabotages Mrs. Coulter’s request for the alethiometer while revealing the spy fly. She destroys the operating chamber and frees the children. An army of Tartars, however, awaits her.

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Is Lord Asriel alive or dead? Is Lyra able to locate him?

Mrs. Coulter suggests to Lyra that she is her mother in the finale’s major reveal. Lyra is quick to fill in the blanks, and she learns that Lord Asriel is his father, not his uncle. The film concludes with Lyra, Mr. Scoresby, and Serafina Pekkala traveling further north to find Lord Asriel. We don’t know whether Lyra finds him or not in the context of the film. Is Lord Asriel dead as a result of his battle with the Samoyed tribe?

We will never see unless we delve deeper into Philip Pullman’s world. Asriel journeys to Svalbard, but after a conflict with the Samoyed tribe, he is imprisoned by the bears per the General Oblation Board’s edict. He can, however, make a bargain with the bears. The agreement allows him to have his own laboratory, visitors, and even an attendant named Thorold. In the original account, Lyra finds Asriel in good condition in Svalbard, but Asriel is taken aback by Lyra’s visit.

The Golden Compass Ending Explained: What Is Dust? What is Intercession?
The Golden Compass Ending Explained: What Is Dust? What is Intercession?
The Golden Compass Ending Explained: What Is Dust? What is Intercession?
The Golden Compass Ending Explained: What Is Dust? What is Intercession?
The Golden Compass Ending Explained: What Is Dust? What is Intercession?

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