Pullman (spoilers for all 3 books)

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Sun Mar 17 18:05:53 EST 2002

Kyla wrote:

>So I've been rereading the posts from my other mailing list about the
>His Dark Materials trilogy to remember stuff. And here are some points
>which I completely hadn't thought of while I was reading, but thought
>nifty/agreed with when I read them.
>1) the taboo on touching other people's daemons: couldn't you fight
>someone by doing something to their daemon, with*out* touching it? poke it
>with a stick, shoot it, toss a sack over it...sure, maybe it's the "oh, I
>wouldn't like someone to do that to *my* daemon" feeling, but some of the
>characters are so nasty that I don't think they'd be stopped by concerns
>of that sort.
>2) so a daemon fixes its shape when its person hits puberty, at about 12
>or 13. And the daemon's shape is *always* quite indicative of the person's
>profession, character, etc. Did all the soldiers know they were going to
>be soldiers? And how many people feel that they are currently the same
>person they were when they were 12? I really hope I've changed. I was a
>pretty unhappy 12-year-old.

That's a really interesing point.  It's sort of like the sorting hat 
thing in HP in a way. I'd also never thought of that while reading 
the book and probably never would have, but I realised how much I 
agreed that it didn't work for me, once it was pointed out.  Funny 
how determinism in DWJ is never that absolute or that upsetting or 

[lots of other interesting points snipped]

>Ooh, that was long. Sorry 'bout that.

Well, it gave me a lot of good food for thought, fwiw.


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