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His Dark Materials

Philip Pullman

Character List

Plot Overview

Analysis of Major Characters

Lyra Belacqua -  An eleven-year old girl from Oxford, England, who is destined to be the new Eve. She is the protagonist of the trilogy. Lyra is the daughter of Mrs. Coulter and Lord Asriel, and her daemon is Pantalaimon. She is also called Lyra Silvertongue.

Read an in-depth analysis of Lyra Belacqua.

Will Parry -  A twelve-year-old boy and Lyra’s companion for the second two books in the series. Will possesses the subtle knife, which can cut through the fabric of the universe to other worlds. He is not from Lyra’s world. Will eventually discovers that he has a daemon named Kirjava.

Read an in-depth analysis of Will Parry.

Ama -  A young girl. Ama brings Lyra food in the cave where Mrs. Coulter has hidden Lyra. Ama also leads Will to the cave. Her daemon is Kulang, who hasn’t taken a shape yet.
Angelica -  A vicious little red-headed girl from Ci’gazze. She is the sister of Tullio and Paolo. Angelica leads a mob of angry children in an attack on Will and Lyra.
Lord Asriel -  Lyra’s father. Lord Asriel had an affair with Mrs. Coulter, Lyra’s mother, and killed Mr. Coulter. Lord Asriel masquerades as Lyra’s uncle early on in the trilogy. Lord Asriel kills Roger Parslow and leads the army of rebels against God. His daemon is Stelmaria, a snow leopard.

Read an in-depth analysis of Lord Asriel.

Atal -  One of the mulefa, a tribe of strange creatures who travel on wheels. Atal is the friend of Mary Malone.
Balthamos -  An angel of the lower orders. Balthamos, along with his lover Baruch, is sent to lead Will to Lord Asriel at the end of The Subtle Knife. After Baruch is killed, Balthamos stays with Will. Balthamos kills Father Gomez and saves Lyra’s life.
Baruch -  An angel of the lower orders who accompanies his lover, Balthamos, on the mission to bring Will to Lord Asriel. Baruch is killed by Metatron’s angels.
Lord Carlo Boreal (Sir Charles Latrom)  -  A power-hungry nobleman. Boreal passes between Will and Lyra’s worlds with ease. Mrs. Coulter is Boreal’s lover, and a snake is his daemon. He steals Lyra’s alethiometer and tries to force Will to trade the subtle knife for it.
Iorek Byrnison -  Lyra’s friend and the rightful king of the armored bears. Iorek rescues Lyra from Bolvanger and fights Iofur Raknison for the right to rule the bears.
Mrs. Cooper -  Will’s former piano teacher. Will brings his mother to Mrs. Cooper’s house in the beginning of The Subtle Knife. Mrs. Parry stays with Mrs. Cooper for the duration of the second two books, until Will returns to his own world to get her.
Farder Coram -  An old and wise Gyptian man from Lyra’s world who has been crippled by disease. Coram’s daemon is a cat. Coram was once in love with Serafina Pekkala.
Billy Costa -  A Gyptian boy from Lyra’s world. The Gobblers steal Billy and take him to Bolvanger.
Ma Costa -  A Gyptian woman from Lyra’s world. Ma Costa was the woman who cared for Lyra when she was a baby and protected her from Mr. Coulter. She is the mother of Billy and Tony Costa.
Tony Costa -  A young Gyptian man who accompanies the tribe of Gyptians north to rescue the kidnapped children from the clutches of the Gobblers. Tony is Billy Costa’s brother.
Marisa Coulter -  Lyra’s mother. Mrs. Coulter is the head of the General Oblation Board (Gobblers), the former lover of Lord Asriel, Lyra’s father, and the current lover of Lord Boreal. She is a nasty woman with a sinister golden monkey as a daemon.
John Faa  -  The king of the Gyptians. Lord Faa leads the expedition to rescue the stolen children from Bolvanger.
Father Gomez -  An assassin sent by the Consistorial Court to kill Lyra. Father Gomez has done preemptive penance for most of his life so that one day he can kill someone without being damned.
Hester -  Lee Scoresby’s daemon. She is a weathered-looking hare.
Juta Kamainen  -  A young witch who was once in love with John Parry. Because he spurned her, Juta hates him and ultimately kills him
Kaisa -  Serafina Pekkala’s daemon. Kaisa is a snow goose.
Kirjava -  The name that Pantalaimon gives Will’s daemon when she takes a cat form at the end of The Amber Spyglass.
Sayan Kötör -  John Parry’s daemon. Sayan, who is also known as Stanislaus Grumman, is an osprey.
Dr. Lanselius -  The witch consul. Dr. Lanselius represents the witches to the outside world. He tests Lyra to see if she is truly the object of the witches’ prophecies. He assists Lyra and Farder Coram in their search for Iorek Byrnison.
Sir Charles Latrom -  See Lord Boreal
Father MacPhail -  The President of the Consistorial Court. In order to prevent the second Fall, Father MacPhail sends Father Gomez to assassinate Lyra.
Tony Makarios -  One of the children stolen by the Gobblers. Lyra finds Tony in a town outside of Bolvanger without his daemon, Ratter.
Dr. Mary Malone -  A nun-turned-scientist who works in Will’s Oxford, where she studies dark matter. Mary helps Lyra escape from the men who are chasing Will. Mary then escapes to another world, where she meets the mulefa. It is Mary’s job to bring Will and Lyra together.
The Master -  The Master of Jordan College in Oxford, where Lyra has spent most of her life. The Master tries to poison Lord Asriel and gives Lyra the alethiometer. His daemon is a raven.
Metatron -  An angel of the highest order. Metatron was a powerful human being before he became Lord Regent of “the Authority” (God). Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter give their own lives to destroy him.
King Ogunwe -  An African king from Lyra’s world who is working with Lord Asriel to overthrow God.
Madame Oxentiel -  The Gallivespian who becomes the leader of the Gallivespian spies after Lord Roke is killed.
Pantalaimon -  Lyra’s daemon. Pantalaimon (also called Pan) can only speak to Lyra. In the beginning, he takes thousands of different shapes, but when Lyra’s character is fully formed, Pantalaimon takes the fixed shape of a pine marten.
Paolo -  A little boy from Ci’gazze. Paolo is Angelica’s brother.
Giacomo Paradisi -  A scholar from Ci’gazze and the former bearer of the subtle knife.
Elaine Parry  -  Will’s mother and John Parry’s wife.
Major Parry -  Will's father, an arctic explorer who inadvertently wandered into Lyra's universe when Will was just a baby. In Lyra's world, he is known as “Stanislas Grumman,” and “Jopari.” Away from his own world, he became a famous explorer and a powerful shaman.
Roger Parslow -  Lyra’s best friend from Oxford. Roger is kidnapped by the Gobblers and killed by Lord Asriel. When Lyra and Will go to the world of the dead, Lyra is looking for Roger. Roger’s daemon is Salcilia.
Fra Pavel -  A priest who can also read the alethiometer even though he works for the Church. Fra Pavel is very slow.
Dr. Oliver Payne -  Mary Malone’s colleague in the Dark Matter Research Unit. Dr. Payne wants to take Charles Latrom’s money for their project, but Mary does not.
Serafina Pekkala -  A witch. Serafina is the head of her clan. She once loved Farder Coram, whose child she bore. Her daemon is Kaisa, a snow goose.
Iofur Raknison -  The pretender to the throne of the bears. Iofur Raknison tricked Iorek Byrnison into killing another bear so that Iorek would be exiled. Iofur wants to be human, but he is ultimately killed by Iorek.
Ratter -  Tony Makarios’ daemon.
Salcilia -  Roger Parslow’s daemon.
Lady Salmakia -  A Gallivespian spy who accompanies Lyra and Will to the world of the dead.
Sattamax -  The wisest and eldest of the mulefa. Sattamax asks for Mary’s help in figuring out what is happening to the sraf in the world of the mulefa.
Lee Scoresby -  A Texan aeronaut from a place called New Denmark in Lyra’s world. Lee Scoresby has a balloon and is friends with Iorek. Lee gives his life to save John Parry and help Lyra.
Sergi -  Ruta Skadi’s daemon, a bluethroat bird.
Ruta Skadi -  The queen of the Latvian witches. Skadi is a former lover of Lord Asriel’s. Her daemon is Sergi, a bluethroat bird.
Stelmaria -  Lord Asriel’s daemon, a snow leopard.
Thorold -  Lord Asriel’s old servant. Thorold’s daemon, like all servants’ demons, is a dog.
Chevalier Tialys -  A Gallivespian spy who accompanies Lyra and Will to the world of the dead.
Tullio -  Angelica’s older brother. Tullio attempts to steal the subtle knife from Giacomo Paradisi and then fights Will for it, cutting off two fingers on Will’s hand. Tullio is killed by Specters.
Xaphania -  One of the oldest angels. Xaphania fights on Lord Asriel’s side against the Kingdom of Heaven.

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