Tag Archives: The Golden Compass

Serafina Pekkala, once more

We went to see The Golden Compass again, the other day. The Resident IT Consultant hadn’t seen it first time round, so we indulged him. To tell the truth, it was Son’s birthday, and the dratted boy had asked loads of friends to visit him in Edinburgh, but we weren’t invited. Hah. Not that we’d have gone, but it would have been a nice gesture on his part to pretend the boring old people are worth having around.

Now I want to be Eva Green even more than last time. Please tell me I can be Serafina Pekkala. The rest of the film stood up well to a second viewing, I thought.

After GC we polished off a couple of take-out pizzas. At least I didn’t have the same amount of cleaning up afterwards, as I usually would on that day every year. It brings back fond memories, as one year a few years ago Son’s nicest, bestest behaved and well brought up friend called me a witch. He did it by mistake, the poor boy, but it was fun.


I know I’ve written about Laurie Frost’s book on His Dark Materials before. But there’s a new edition out, and anyway, you can’t have too much of a good thing, can you? The new title is Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, The Definitive Guide. It’s been timed to coincide with The Golden Compass film. The guide is also, temporarily, a Waterstone’s exclusive, but I hope you can get hold of it anyway.

The Rough Guide and the George Beahm book are both good companions to HDM. Laurie’s book has got that little bit extra, though, and I don’t just mean the additional 200 pages. I was going to say that for the big Pullman fan, this is the book for them. But I think I’ll amend that to saying that you need both Laurie’s book and maybe one or both of the other books to really indulge.

Laurie Frost, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials; The Definitive Guide

This new edition has been updated, has more photos and improved maps of Oxford. The page references have given way to chapter references. And what it has in abundance is Laurie’s love of HDM shining through. That’s worth a lot.

And I never expected this to happen to me, but not only does Laurie mention Son (of footnote fame) in her acknowledgments, but Son’s mother gets in there too. Thank you!

The Rough Guide

to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. I’m very slow on the uptake, so hadn’t realised you can have Rough Guides to almost anything these days. I used to think it was for the Himalayas or Patagonia and places.

Anyway, the Rough Guide to HDM is excellent. It’s very well written, and covers the trilogy and the film and Pullman to just the right level.

I’m assuming it’s a work put together by several writers, as Paul Simpson is listed as editor. It’s a good idea to gather material from more than one source, as that way you’re more likely to have expert insight on lots of subjects.

There are good photos, and the lists of characters, etc, is extensive without going into too much detail. There’s a lot of background stuff on many of the aspects of the trilogy.

This is a book to enjoy if you like Pullman, and/or need to know about the Northern Lights trilogy. The Resident IT Consultant was so taken with it, that he almost read it from cover to cover, muttering things like “this is surprisingly good”.

Rough Guide to His Dark Materials


There seems to be a lot given away on the Bridge To The Stars website. With The Golden Compass film there are umpteen kinds of merchandise about. Son has set out to road-test most of it, or so it appears.

He writes countless begging emails asking for samples, and not only gets them, but often gets sent extras to give away on the site. The George Beahm posters I mentioned earlier got shipped over from the US in bulk, and Son proceeded to buy lots of cardboard tubes to post them in. His university neighbourhood has a post office open late on Saturday nights, so that’s when he staggers there, arms full of freebies.

Son’s tiny room must be full of junk now. Sorry, I mean merchandise. There are the film books. There’s the game. That is something I’m looking forward to trying over Christmas, and I’m someone who never plays games. Hardly ever.

I’ll say it again. I think that learning to read was a good thing. Look where it has got him. To the post office on a Saturday night.

More than a footnote now

That’s Son. In March I bored you all with how last year we found that he’d made it to footnote status in Laurie Frost’s Elements of His Dark Materials. A while ago Laurie emailed to say she’d stumbled across Son’s name while browsing through another book on HDM, where Son actually got a mention, name and all.

Hurried investigations brought several copies of George Beahm’s Discovering the Golden Compass, A Guide to Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials, across the Atlantic to both the witch and to Son at university.

This guide is mainly intended as a companion to the film The Golden Compass, and George has written other such guides as well. It’s a very nice book, and a perfect introduction for the beginner. It doesn’t delve too deeply into anything, but covers most of the aspects you’d be interested in. Lots of photos and quotes, nice drawings and even an essay by Philip Pullman.

George is very enthusiastic about the subject, and although there are some errors in the book, he’s asked me to point out they will all be put right. The paintings by Tim Kirk are attractive, and there are posters of these. We have one, but I’m not sure how you get them.

Thank you George for mentioning my Pullman nerd.

Discovering the Golden Compass