History Analysis / HisDarkMaterials

12th May '15 4:21:46 PM nombretomado
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HisDarkMaterials is, perhaps, best known for its controversial portrayal of Christianity, but there's always an element of the series that makes them very iconic: the armoured bears. Known as "panserbjørne" (danish for, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin guess what]], "armoured bear"; the correct plural would be "panserbjørn), as "panserbørne" in the earlier editions of the first book ("children of the armour" I believe), and as "ice bears" ("[[{{GratuitousForeignLanguage}} isbjørne]]" anyone?) in the movie TheGoldenCompass, these are sapient polar bears with opposable thumbs; whereas they are analogous to our polar bears or if true polar bears occur alongside them in Lyra's world is unknown, with this troper preffering to opt for the first, given how unlikely it is for the more primitive polar bears to survive with more adaptable and strong competitors. Their main feature other than sentience is their skill with metalurgy, producing armours out of asteroid metal (their "souls"; see below) and, if forced to, weapons for humans. They are pretty much the reason why HisDarkMaterials has more fans than people interested in philosophy, because they are the [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot among the ultimate bad ass generators]].

to:

HisDarkMaterials is, perhaps, best known for its controversial portrayal of Christianity, but there's always an element of the series that makes them very iconic: the armoured bears. Known as "panserbjørne" (danish for, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin guess what]], "armoured bear"; the correct plural would be "panserbjørn), as "panserbørne" in the earlier editions of the first book ("children of the armour" I believe), and as "ice bears" ("[[{{GratuitousForeignLanguage}} isbjørne]]" anyone?) in the movie TheGoldenCompass, Film/TheGoldenCompass, these are sapient polar bears with opposable thumbs; whereas they are analogous to our polar bears or if true polar bears occur alongside them in Lyra's world is unknown, with this troper preffering to opt for the first, given how unlikely it is for the more primitive polar bears to survive with more adaptable and strong competitors. Their main feature other than sentience is their skill with metalurgy, producing armours out of asteroid metal (their "souls"; see below) and, if forced to, weapons for humans. They are pretty much the reason why HisDarkMaterials has more fans than people interested in philosophy, because they are the [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot among the ultimate bad ass generators]].
9th Nov '14 3:22:29 PM TVRulezAgain
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So what to make of this all? To summarise, the panserbjørne are the opposite of the Christian animals of {{Narnia}}. While anthropomorphic, they are not human, but instead have a very different mentality. While able to feel affection, they don't mind being alone, which expresses independence; combined with their lack of faith, this means they are independent from God. Being independent from God also means that they are free. Coupled with all the anti-Christian symbolism of the bear, this means that the panserbjørne could be, to a certain extent, a model to follow. Nonetheless, much like people, they have their own share of bad things, namely how difficult progress is for them (then again, their lack of need for materialism could be a good thing). All in all, the ice bears are a magnificient product of the author's creativity, a very original take on the TalkingAnimal concept, and express that, while real bears are no where as cute as [[BrotherBear Disney portrays them]], the trope BearsAreBadNews is not necessarily true.

to:

So what to make of this all? To summarise, the panserbjørne are the opposite of the Christian animals of {{Narnia}}. While anthropomorphic, they are not human, but instead have a very different mentality. While able to feel affection, they don't mind being alone, which expresses independence; combined with their lack of faith, this means they are independent from God. Being independent from God also means that they are free. Coupled with all the anti-Christian symbolism of the bear, this means that the panserbjørne could be, to a certain extent, a model to follow. Nonetheless, much like people, they have their own share of bad things, namely how difficult progress is for them (then again, their lack of need for materialism could be a good thing). All in all, the ice bears are a magnificient product of the author's creativity, a very original take on the TalkingAnimal concept, and express that, while real bears are no where as cute as [[BrotherBear [[Disney/BrotherBear Disney portrays them]], the trope BearsAreBadNews is not necessarily true.
21st Sep '13 3:55:51 PM Prfnoff
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The following is partially based on an especulative interpretation. PhilipPullman ever considered this when designing the panserbjørne, for he could have just done such for RuleOfCool. Nonetheless, the author of this text looses nothing to write this essay, except perhaps some time.

to:

The following is partially based on an especulative interpretation. PhilipPullman Creator/PhilipPullman ever considered this when designing the panserbjørne, for he could have just done such for RuleOfCool. Nonetheless, the author of this text looses nothing to write this essay, except perhaps some time.



The reason why PhilipPullman decided to turn polar bears into these inspiring race could have several interpretations. For one side, he probably was just being original; fantasy is infested with humanoid races, and having a sentient species that, while vaguely humanoid, would still be as far apart from man as dogs are, would probably be a lot more interesting. Again, it could just be for the [[BadAss "coolness" factor]]. Or he could have used it as a TakeThat to {{Narnia}}; in pre-christian Europe, the bear was way more widespread that it is today. Back then, it had the status as "the king of the animals" (and yes, there were also lions in Europe back then), and while obviously feared it was nonetheless respected, much like Native Americans have that soft spot for bears in their mythology. There's plenty of evidence that bears were connected to some old deities (namely nature goddesses), and hunting bears was a rite of passage. Obviously all this symbolism is attached to the brown bear (''Ursus arctos''), but by extention the polar bear (''Ursus maritimus'') must have had a similar respect; after all, "Arctos" (greek for bear) was commonly associated with the north, which back then the greeks thought of as Hyperboree, a mythical marvelous land where the sun never set (of course, thats only in the summer...); by extension, we have those famous constellations named after the bear (Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, both after the latin "Ursus", [[CaptainObvious meaning "bear"]]), and "Antartida" comes from "Antarctos", meaning "anti-bear" (after all, the south is the opposite of the north). Gradually, the ancestral connection with the bear degenerated; the Roman Empire thought of the once majestic animal as just the perfect thing to include in their cruel games, alongside many other species, that eventually disappeared locally from Europe and North Africa. The rise of Christianity only made things [[FromBadToWorse much, much worse]]; the majestic title of the bear passed to the lion, an animal with biblical connections and associated with Christ (you really thought Creator/CSLewis made Aslan a lion at random?), and the bear became nothing but a forest demon, a monster that lurked in the woods. Following the extremely disrespect of medieval Christians for nature, out of fear for the Pagan gods, as well as the need to expand, the bear and many other european megafauna slowly declined. Nowdays, the brown bear only occurs in the northern and eastern Europe, with a very small population on the Pyrenees, which will die out very soon since the last female was killed. The polar bear escaped most of the persecution thanks to its northern distribution, but the conversion of the inuit into Christianity pretty much destroyed the old respect for the beast. Thus, while Creator/CSLewis had forsaken the bear out of its demonic connections (curiously there's a few good bears in {{Narnia}}) in favor of the lion, PhilipPullman used them. Indeed, refferences to the traditional Christian perception of bears is occasionally seen in the books; much disrespect to the panserbjørne is seen from the locals, while the king Iofur/Ragnar wishes to be human, perhaps seeing his own species as "inferior" because of the prejudice, much like afro-americans in the early 20th century. Worth of noting is how the bears were reffered as "demons" in the third book, and how in the first book Iofur/Ragnar considers that, to be a human, he has to be christian ([[spoiler: alongside having a daemon, of course]])

to:

The reason why PhilipPullman Pullman decided to turn polar bears into these inspiring race could have several interpretations. For one side, he probably was just being original; fantasy is infested with humanoid races, and having a sentient species that, while vaguely humanoid, would still be as far apart from man as dogs are, would probably be a lot more interesting. Again, it could just be for the [[BadAss "coolness" factor]]. Or he could have used it as a TakeThat to {{Narnia}}; in pre-christian Europe, the bear was way more widespread that it is today. Back then, it had the status as "the king of the animals" (and yes, there were also lions in Europe back then), and while obviously feared it was nonetheless respected, much like Native Americans have that soft spot for bears in their mythology. There's plenty of evidence that bears were connected to some old deities (namely nature goddesses), and hunting bears was a rite of passage. Obviously all this symbolism is attached to the brown bear (''Ursus arctos''), but by extention the polar bear (''Ursus maritimus'') must have had a similar respect; after all, "Arctos" (greek for bear) was commonly associated with the north, which back then the greeks thought of as Hyperboree, a mythical marvelous land where the sun never set (of course, thats only in the summer...); by extension, we have those famous constellations named after the bear (Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, both after the latin "Ursus", [[CaptainObvious meaning "bear"]]), and "Antartida" comes from "Antarctos", meaning "anti-bear" (after all, the south is the opposite of the north). Gradually, the ancestral connection with the bear degenerated; the Roman Empire thought of the once majestic animal as just the perfect thing to include in their cruel games, alongside many other species, that eventually disappeared locally from Europe and North Africa. The rise of Christianity only made things [[FromBadToWorse much, much worse]]; the majestic title of the bear passed to the lion, an animal with biblical connections and associated with Christ (you really thought Creator/CSLewis made Aslan a lion at random?), and the bear became nothing but a forest demon, a monster that lurked in the woods. Following the extremely disrespect of medieval Christians for nature, out of fear for the Pagan gods, as well as the need to expand, the bear and many other european megafauna slowly declined. Nowdays, the brown bear only occurs in the northern and eastern Europe, with a very small population on the Pyrenees, which will die out very soon since the last female was killed. The polar bear escaped most of the persecution thanks to its northern distribution, but the conversion of the inuit into Christianity pretty much destroyed the old respect for the beast. Thus, while Creator/CSLewis had forsaken the bear out of its demonic connections (curiously there's a few good bears in {{Narnia}}) in favor of the lion, PhilipPullman Pullman used them. Indeed, refferences to the traditional Christian perception of bears is occasionally seen in the books; much disrespect to the panserbjørne is seen from the locals, while the king Iofur/Ragnar wishes to be human, perhaps seeing his own species as "inferior" because of the prejudice, much like afro-americans in the early 20th century. Worth of noting is how the bears were reffered as "demons" in the third book, and how in the first book Iofur/Ragnar considers that, to be a human, he has to be christian ([[spoiler: alongside having a daemon, of course]])
22nd Mar '13 6:53:27 PM VPhantom
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So what to make of this all? To summarise, the panserbjørne are the opposite of the Christian animals of {{Narnia}}. While anthropomorphic, they are not human, but instead have a very different mentality. While able to feel affection, they don't mind being alone, which expresses independence; combined with their lack of faith, this means they are independent from God. Being independent from God also means that they are free. Coupled with all the anti-Christian symbolism of the bear, this means that the panserbjørne could be, to a certain extent, a model to follow. Nonetheless, much like people, they have their own share of bad things, namely how difficult progress is for them (then again, their lack of need for materialism could be a good thing). All in all, the ice bears are a magnificient product of the author's creativity, a very original take on the TalkingAnimal concept, and express that, while real bears are no where as cute as [[BrotherBear Disney portrays them]], the trope EverythingsWorseWithBears is not necessarily true.


to:

So what to make of this all? To summarise, the panserbjørne are the opposite of the Christian animals of {{Narnia}}. While anthropomorphic, they are not human, but instead have a very different mentality. While able to feel affection, they don't mind being alone, which expresses independence; combined with their lack of faith, this means they are independent from God. Being independent from God also means that they are free. Coupled with all the anti-Christian symbolism of the bear, this means that the panserbjørne could be, to a certain extent, a model to follow. Nonetheless, much like people, they have their own share of bad things, namely how difficult progress is for them (then again, their lack of need for materialism could be a good thing). All in all, the ice bears are a magnificient product of the author's creativity, a very original take on the TalkingAnimal concept, and express that, while real bears are no where as cute as [[BrotherBear Disney portrays them]], the trope EverythingsWorseWithBears BearsAreBadNews is not necessarily true.

true.



http://s1.zetaboards.com/Conceptual_Evolution/topic/598039/1/#new

<<|{{Analysis/Analysis}}|>>

to:

http://s1.zetaboards.com/Conceptual_Evolution/topic/598039/1/#new

<<|{{Analysis/Analysis}}|>>
com/Conceptual_Evolution/topic/598039/1/#new
3rd Dec '12 10:07:09 AM Doctordubin
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The reason why PhilipPullman decided to turn polar bears into these inspiring race could have several interpretations. For one side, he probably was just being original; fantasy is infested with humanoid races, and having a sentient species that, while vaguely humanoid, would still be as far apart from man as dogs are, would probably be a lot more interesting. Again, it could just be for the [[BadAss "coolness" factor]]. Or he could have used it as a TakeThat to {{Narnia}}; in pre-christian Europe, the bear was way more widespread that it is today. Back then, it had the status as "the king of the animals" (and yes, there were also lions in Europe back then), and while obviously feared it was nonetheless respected, much like Native Americans have that soft spot for bears in their mythology. There's plenty of evidence that bears were connected to some old deities (namely nature goddesses), and hunting bears was a rite of passage. Obviously all this symbolism is attached to the brown bear (''Ursus arctos''), but by extention the polar bear (''Ursus maritimus'') must have had a similar respect; after all, "Arctos" (greek for bear) was commonly associated with the north, which back then the greeks thought of as Hyperboree, a mythical marvelous land where the sun never set (of course, thats only in the summer...); by extension, we have those famous constellations named after the bear (Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, both after the latin "Ursus", [[CaptainObvious meaning "bear"]]), and "Antartida" comes from "Antarctos", meaning "anti-bear" (after all, the south is the opposite of the north). Gradually, the ancestral connection with the bear degenerated; the Roman Empire thought of the once majestic animal as just the perfect thing to include in their cruel games, alongside many other species, that eventually disappeared locally from Europe and North Africa. The rise of Christianity only made things [[ItGotWorse much, much worse]]; the majestic title of the bear passed to the lion, an animal with biblical connections and associated with Christ (you really thought Creator/CSLewis made Aslan a lion at random?), and the bear became nothing but a forest demon, a monster that lurked in the woods. Following the extremely disrespect of medieval Christians for nature, out of fear for the Pagan gods, as well as the need to expand, the bear and many other european megafauna slowly declined. Nowdays, the brown bear only occurs in the northern and eastern Europe, with a very small population on the Pyrenees, which will die out very soon since the last female was killed. The polar bear escaped most of the persecution thanks to its northern distribution, but the conversion of the inuit into Christianity pretty much destroyed the old respect for the beast. Thus, while Creator/CSLewis had forsaken the bear out of its demonic connections (curiously there's a few good bears in {{Narnia}}) in favor of the lion, PhilipPullman used them. Indeed, refferences to the traditional Christian perception of bears is occasionally seen in the books; much disrespect to the panserbjørne is seen from the locals, while the king Iofur/Ragnar wishes to be human, perhaps seeing his own species as "inferior" because of the prejudice, much like afro-americans in the early 20th century. Worth of noting is how the bears were reffered as "demons" in the third book, and how in the first book Iofur/Ragnar considers that, to be a human, he has to be christian ([[spoiler: alongside having a daemon, of course]])

to:

The reason why PhilipPullman decided to turn polar bears into these inspiring race could have several interpretations. For one side, he probably was just being original; fantasy is infested with humanoid races, and having a sentient species that, while vaguely humanoid, would still be as far apart from man as dogs are, would probably be a lot more interesting. Again, it could just be for the [[BadAss "coolness" factor]]. Or he could have used it as a TakeThat to {{Narnia}}; in pre-christian Europe, the bear was way more widespread that it is today. Back then, it had the status as "the king of the animals" (and yes, there were also lions in Europe back then), and while obviously feared it was nonetheless respected, much like Native Americans have that soft spot for bears in their mythology. There's plenty of evidence that bears were connected to some old deities (namely nature goddesses), and hunting bears was a rite of passage. Obviously all this symbolism is attached to the brown bear (''Ursus arctos''), but by extention the polar bear (''Ursus maritimus'') must have had a similar respect; after all, "Arctos" (greek for bear) was commonly associated with the north, which back then the greeks thought of as Hyperboree, a mythical marvelous land where the sun never set (of course, thats only in the summer...); by extension, we have those famous constellations named after the bear (Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, both after the latin "Ursus", [[CaptainObvious meaning "bear"]]), and "Antartida" comes from "Antarctos", meaning "anti-bear" (after all, the south is the opposite of the north). Gradually, the ancestral connection with the bear degenerated; the Roman Empire thought of the once majestic animal as just the perfect thing to include in their cruel games, alongside many other species, that eventually disappeared locally from Europe and North Africa. The rise of Christianity only made things [[ItGotWorse [[FromBadToWorse much, much worse]]; the majestic title of the bear passed to the lion, an animal with biblical connections and associated with Christ (you really thought Creator/CSLewis made Aslan a lion at random?), and the bear became nothing but a forest demon, a monster that lurked in the woods. Following the extremely disrespect of medieval Christians for nature, out of fear for the Pagan gods, as well as the need to expand, the bear and many other european megafauna slowly declined. Nowdays, the brown bear only occurs in the northern and eastern Europe, with a very small population on the Pyrenees, which will die out very soon since the last female was killed. The polar bear escaped most of the persecution thanks to its northern distribution, but the conversion of the inuit into Christianity pretty much destroyed the old respect for the beast. Thus, while Creator/CSLewis had forsaken the bear out of its demonic connections (curiously there's a few good bears in {{Narnia}}) in favor of the lion, PhilipPullman used them. Indeed, refferences to the traditional Christian perception of bears is occasionally seen in the books; much disrespect to the panserbjørne is seen from the locals, while the king Iofur/Ragnar wishes to be human, perhaps seeing his own species as "inferior" because of the prejudice, much like afro-americans in the early 20th century. Worth of noting is how the bears were reffered as "demons" in the third book, and how in the first book Iofur/Ragnar considers that, to be a human, he has to be christian ([[spoiler: alongside having a daemon, of course]])
7th Jun '12 4:35:03 AM FELH2
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The reason why PhilipPullman decided to turn polar bears into these inspiring race could have several interpretations. For one side, he probably was just being original; fantasy is infested with humanoid races, and having a sentient species that, while vaguely humanoid, would still be as far apart from man as dogs are, would probably be a lot more interesting. Again, it could just be for the [[BadAss "coolness" factor]]. Or he could have used it as a TakeThat to {{Narnia}}; in pre-christian Europe, the bear was way more widespread that it is today. Back then, it had the status as "the king of the animals" (and yes, there were also lions in Europe back then), and while obviously feared it was nonetheless respected, much like Native Americans have that soft spot for bears in their mythology. There's plenty of evidence that bears were connected to some old deities (namely nature goddesses), and hunting bears was a rite of passage. Obviously all this symbolism is attached to the brown bear (''Ursus arctos''), but by extention the polar bear (''Ursus maritimus'') must have had a similar respect; after all, "Arctos" (greek for bear) was commonly associated with the north, which back then the greeks thought of as Hyperboree, a mythical marvelous land where the sun never set (of course, thats only in the summer...); by extension, we have those famous constellations named after the bear (Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, both after the latin "Ursus", [[CaptainObvious meaning "bear"]]), and "Antartida" comes from "Antarctos", meaning "anti-bear" (after all, the south is the opposite of the north). Gradually, the ancestral connection with the bear degenerated; the Roman Empire thought of the once majestic animal as just the perfect thing to include in their cruel games, alongside many other species, that eventually disappeared locally from Europe and North Africa. The rise of Christianity only made things [[ItGotWorse much, much worse]]; the majestic title of the bear passed to the lion, an animal with biblical connections and associated with Christ (you really thought CSLewis made Aslan a lion at random?), and the bear became nothing but a forest demon, a monster that lurked in the woods. Following the extremely disrespect of medieval Christians for nature, out of fear for the Pagan gods, as well as the need to expand, the bear and many other european megafauna slowly declined. Nowdays, the brown bear only occurs in the northern and eastern Europe, with a very small population on the Pyrenees, which will die out very soon since the last female was killed. The polar bear escaped most of the persecution thanks to its northern distribution, but the conversion of the inuit into Christianity pretty much destroyed the old respect for the beast. Thus, while CSLewis had forsaken the bear out of its demonic connections (curiously there's a few good bears in {{Narnia}}) in favor of the lion, PhilipPullman used them. Indeed, refferences to the traditional Christian perception of bears is occasionally seen in the books; much disrespect to the panserbjørne is seen from the locals, while the king Iofur/Ragnar wishes to be human, perhaps seeing his own species as "inferior" because of the prejudice, much like afro-americans in the early 20th century. Worth of noting is how the bears were reffered as "demons" in the third book, and how in the first book Iofur/Ragnar considers that, to be a human, he has to be christian ([[spoiler: alongside having a daemon, of course]])

to:

The reason why PhilipPullman decided to turn polar bears into these inspiring race could have several interpretations. For one side, he probably was just being original; fantasy is infested with humanoid races, and having a sentient species that, while vaguely humanoid, would still be as far apart from man as dogs are, would probably be a lot more interesting. Again, it could just be for the [[BadAss "coolness" factor]]. Or he could have used it as a TakeThat to {{Narnia}}; in pre-christian Europe, the bear was way more widespread that it is today. Back then, it had the status as "the king of the animals" (and yes, there were also lions in Europe back then), and while obviously feared it was nonetheless respected, much like Native Americans have that soft spot for bears in their mythology. There's plenty of evidence that bears were connected to some old deities (namely nature goddesses), and hunting bears was a rite of passage. Obviously all this symbolism is attached to the brown bear (''Ursus arctos''), but by extention the polar bear (''Ursus maritimus'') must have had a similar respect; after all, "Arctos" (greek for bear) was commonly associated with the north, which back then the greeks thought of as Hyperboree, a mythical marvelous land where the sun never set (of course, thats only in the summer...); by extension, we have those famous constellations named after the bear (Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, both after the latin "Ursus", [[CaptainObvious meaning "bear"]]), and "Antartida" comes from "Antarctos", meaning "anti-bear" (after all, the south is the opposite of the north). Gradually, the ancestral connection with the bear degenerated; the Roman Empire thought of the once majestic animal as just the perfect thing to include in their cruel games, alongside many other species, that eventually disappeared locally from Europe and North Africa. The rise of Christianity only made things [[ItGotWorse much, much worse]]; the majestic title of the bear passed to the lion, an animal with biblical connections and associated with Christ (you really thought CSLewis Creator/CSLewis made Aslan a lion at random?), and the bear became nothing but a forest demon, a monster that lurked in the woods. Following the extremely disrespect of medieval Christians for nature, out of fear for the Pagan gods, as well as the need to expand, the bear and many other european megafauna slowly declined. Nowdays, the brown bear only occurs in the northern and eastern Europe, with a very small population on the Pyrenees, which will die out very soon since the last female was killed. The polar bear escaped most of the persecution thanks to its northern distribution, but the conversion of the inuit into Christianity pretty much destroyed the old respect for the beast. Thus, while CSLewis Creator/CSLewis had forsaken the bear out of its demonic connections (curiously there's a few good bears in {{Narnia}}) in favor of the lion, PhilipPullman used them. Indeed, refferences to the traditional Christian perception of bears is occasionally seen in the books; much disrespect to the panserbjørne is seen from the locals, while the king Iofur/Ragnar wishes to be human, perhaps seeing his own species as "inferior" because of the prejudice, much like afro-americans in the early 20th century. Worth of noting is how the bears were reffered as "demons" in the third book, and how in the first book Iofur/Ragnar considers that, to be a human, he has to be christian ([[spoiler: alongside having a daemon, of course]])
23rd Sep '11 9:37:49 PM FallenLegend
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Above everything, I would like to stress that this essay is basically speculation; [[{{Falconfly}} this troper]] has no idea if PhilipPullman ever considered this when designing the panserbjørne, for he could have just done such for RuleOfCool. Nonetheless, the author of this text looses nothing to write this essay, except perhaps some time.

to:

Above everything, I would like to stress that this essay The following is basically speculation; [[{{Falconfly}} this troper]] has no idea if partially based on an especulative interpretation. PhilipPullman ever considered this when designing the panserbjørne, for he could have just done such for RuleOfCool. Nonetheless, the author of this text looses nothing to write this essay, except perhaps some time.



[[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Tropers/KlarkKentThe3rd This Troper]] would like to say, that whoever wrote this essay is a wonderfully smart person.

!!From the same author as above

The following are recovered essays:

to:

[[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Tropers/KlarkKentThe3rd This Troper]] would like to say, that whoever wrote this essay is a wonderfully smart person.

!!From the same author as above

The following are recovered essays:
!!External Analysis
11th Feb '11 8:55:21 AM Nethuns
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Added DiffLines:

!!From the same author as above

The following are recovered essays:

http://s1.zetaboards.com/Conceptual_Evolution/topic/598039/1/#new
4th Feb '11 10:16:41 PM KlarkKentThe3rd
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Above everything, I would like to stress that this essay is basically speculation; [[{{Falconfly}} this troper]] has no idea if PhilipPullman ever considered this when designing the panserbjørne, for he could have just done such for RuleOfCool. Nonetheless, the author of this text looses nothing to write this essay, except perhaps some time.

HisDarkMaterials is, perhaps, best known for its controversial portrayal of Christianity, but there's always an element of the series that makes them very iconic: the armoured bears. Known as "panserbjørne" (danish for, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin guess what]], "armoured bear"; the correct plural would be "panserbjørn), as "panserbørne" in the earlier editions of the first book ("children of the armour" I believe), and as "ice bears" ("[[{{GratuitousForeignLanguage}} isbjørne]]" anyone?) in the movie TheGoldenCompass, these are sapient polar bears with opposable thumbs; whereas they are analogous to our polar bears or if true polar bears occur alongside them in Lyra's world is unknown, with this troper preffering to opt for the first, given how unlikely it is for the more primitive polar bears to survive with more adaptable and strong competitors. Their main feature other than sentience is their skill with metalurgy, producing armours out of asteroid metal (their "souls"; see below) and, if forced to, weapons for humans. They are pretty much the reason why HisDarkMaterials has more fans than people interested in philosophy, because they are the [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot among the ultimate bad ass generators]].

The reason why PhilipPullman decided to turn polar bears into these inspiring race could have several interpretations. For one side, he probably was just being original; fantasy is infested with humanoid races, and having a sentient species that, while vaguely humanoid, would still be as far apart from man as dogs are, would probably be a lot more interesting. Again, it could just be for the [[BadAss "coolness" factor]]. Or he could have used it as a TakeThat to {{Narnia}}; in pre-christian Europe, the bear was way more widespread that it is today. Back then, it had the status as "the king of the animals" (and yes, there were also lions in Europe back then), and while obviously feared it was nonetheless respected, much like Native Americans have that soft spot for bears in their mythology. There's plenty of evidence that bears were connected to some old deities (namely nature goddesses), and hunting bears was a rite of passage. Obviously all this symbolism is attached to the brown bear (''Ursus arctos''), but by extention the polar bear (''Ursus maritimus'') must have had a similar respect; after all, "Arctos" (greek for bear) was commonly associated with the north, which back then the greeks thought of as Hyperboree, a mythical marvelous land where the sun never set (of course, thats only in the summer...); by extension, we have those famous constellations named after the bear (Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, both after the latin "Ursus", [[CaptainObvious meaning "bear"]]), and "Antartida" comes from "Antarctos", meaning "anti-bear" (after all, the south is the opposite of the north). Gradually, the ancestral connection with the bear degenerated; the Roman Empire thought of the once majestic animal as just the perfect thing to include in their cruel games, alongside many other species, that eventually disappeared locally from Europe and North Africa. The rise of Christianity only made things [[ItGotWorse much, much worse]]; the majestic title of the bear passed to the lion, an animal with biblical connections and associated with Christ (you really thought CSLewis made Aslan a lion at random?), and the bear became nothing but a forest demon, a monster that lurked in the woods. Following the extremely disrespect of medieval Christians for nature, out of fear for the Pagan gods, as well as the need to expand, the bear and many other european megafauna slowly declined. Nowdays, the brown bear only occurs in the northern and eastern Europe, with a very small population on the Pyrenees, which will die out very soon since the last female was killed. The polar bear escaped most of the persecution thanks to its northern distribution, but the conversion of the inuit into Christianity pretty much destroyed the old respect for the beast. Thus, while CSLewis had forsaken the bear out of its demonic connections (curiously there's a few good bears in {{Narnia}}) in favor of the lion, PhilipPullman used them. Indeed, refferences to the traditional Christian perception of bears is occasionally seen in the books; much disrespect to the panserbjørne is seen from the locals, while the king Iofur/Ragnar wishes to be human, perhaps seeing his own species as "inferior" because of the prejudice, much like afro-americans in the early 20th century. Worth of noting is how the bears were reffered as "demons" in the third book, and how in the first book Iofur/Ragnar considers that, to be a human, he has to be christian ([[spoiler: alongside having a daemon, of course]])

to:

Above everything, I would like to stress that this essay is basically speculation; [[{{Falconfly}} this troper]] has no idea if PhilipPullman ever considered this when designing the panserbjørne, for he could have just done such for RuleOfCool. Nonetheless, the author of this text looses nothing to write this essay, except perhaps some time.

HisDarkMaterials is, perhaps, best known for its controversial portrayal of Christianity, but there's always an element of the series that makes them very iconic: the armoured bears. Known as "panserbjørne" (danish for, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin guess what]], "armoured bear"; the correct plural would be "panserbjørn), as "panserbørne" in the earlier editions of the first book ("children of the armour" I believe), and as "ice bears" ("[[{{GratuitousForeignLanguage}} isbjørne]]" anyone?) in the movie TheGoldenCompass, these are sapient polar bears with opposable thumbs; whereas they are analogous to our polar bears or if true polar bears occur alongside them in Lyra's world is unknown, with this troper preffering to opt for the first, given how unlikely it is for the more primitive polar bears to survive with more adaptable and strong competitors. Their main feature other than sentience is their skill with metalurgy, producing armours out of asteroid metal (their "souls"; see below) and, if forced to, weapons for humans. They are pretty much the reason why HisDarkMaterials has more fans than people interested in philosophy, because they are the [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot among the ultimate bad ass generators]].

The reason why PhilipPullman decided to turn polar bears into these inspiring race could have several interpretations. For one side, he probably was just being original; fantasy is infested with humanoid races, and having a sentient species that, while vaguely humanoid, would still be as far apart from man as dogs are, would probably be a lot more interesting. Again, it could just be for the [[BadAss "coolness" factor]]. Or he could have used it as a TakeThat to {{Narnia}}; in pre-christian Europe, the bear was way more widespread that it is today. Back then, it had the status as "the king of the animals" (and yes, there were also lions in Europe back then), and while obviously feared it was nonetheless respected, much like Native Americans have that soft spot for bears in their mythology. There's plenty of evidence that bears were connected to some old deities (namely nature goddesses), and hunting bears was a rite of passage. Obviously all this symbolism is attached to the brown bear (''Ursus arctos''), but by extention the polar bear (''Ursus maritimus'') must have had a similar respect; after all, "Arctos" (greek for bear) was commonly associated with the north, which back then the greeks thought of as Hyperboree, a mythical marvelous land where the sun never set (of course, thats only in the summer...); by extension, we have those famous constellations named after the bear (Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, both after the latin "Ursus", [[CaptainObvious meaning "bear"]]), and "Antartida" comes from "Antarctos", meaning "anti-bear" (after all, the south is the opposite of the north). Gradually, the ancestral connection with the bear degenerated; the Roman Empire thought of the once majestic animal as just the perfect thing to include in their cruel games, alongside many other species, that eventually disappeared locally from Europe and North Africa. The rise of Christianity only made things [[ItGotWorse much, much worse]]; the majestic title of the bear passed to the lion, an animal with biblical connections and associated with Christ (you really thought CSLewis made Aslan a lion at random?), and the bear became nothing but a forest demon, a monster that lurked in the woods. Following the extremely disrespect of medieval Christians for nature, out of fear for the Pagan gods, as well as the need to expand, the bear and many other european megafauna slowly declined. Nowdays, the brown bear only occurs in the northern and eastern Europe, with a very small population on the Pyrenees, which will die out very soon since the last female was killed. The polar bear escaped most of the persecution thanks to its northern distribution, but the conversion of the inuit into Christianity pretty much destroyed the old respect for the beast. Thus, while CSLewis had forsaken the bear out of its demonic connections (curiously there's a few good bears in {{Narnia}}) in favor of the lion, PhilipPullman used them. Indeed, refferences to the traditional Christian perception of bears is occasionally seen in the books; much disrespect to the panserbjørne is seen from the locals, while the king Iofur/Ragnar wishes to be human, perhaps seeing his own species as "inferior" because of the prejudice, much like afro-americans in the early 20th century. Worth of noting is how the bears were reffered as "demons" in the third book, and how in the first book Iofur/Ragnar considers that, to be a human, he has to be christian ([[spoiler: alongside having a daemon, of course]])



So what to make of this all? To summarise, the panserbjørne are the opposite of the Christian animals of {{Narnia}}. While anthropomorphic, they are not human, but instead have a very different mentality. While able to feel affection, they don't mind being alone, which expresses independence; combined with their lack of faith, this means they are independent from God. Being independent from God also means that they are free. Coupled with all the anti-Christian symbolism of the bear, this means that the panserbjørne could be, to a certain extent, a model to follow. Nonetheless, much like people, they have their own share of bad things, namely how difficult progress is for them (then again, their lack of need for materialism could be a good thing). All in all, the ice bears are a magnificient product of the author's creativity, a very original take on the TalkingAnimal concept, and express that, while real bears are no where as cute as [[BrotherBear Disney portrays them]], the trope EverythingsWorseWithBears is not necessarily true.

to:

So what to make of this all? To summarise, the panserbjørne are the opposite of the Christian animals of {{Narnia}}. While anthropomorphic, they are not human, but instead have a very different mentality. While able to feel affection, they don't mind being alone, which expresses independence; combined with their lack of faith, this means they are independent from God. Being independent from God also means that they are free. Coupled with all the anti-Christian symbolism of the bear, this means that the panserbjørne could be, to a certain extent, a model to follow. Nonetheless, much like people, they have their own share of bad things, namely how difficult progress is for them (then again, their lack of need for materialism could be a good thing). All in all, the ice bears are a magnificient product of the author's creativity, a very original take on the TalkingAnimal concept, and express that, while real bears are no where as cute as [[BrotherBear Disney portrays them]], the trope EverythingsWorseWithBears is not necessarily true.
true.


[[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Tropers/KlarkKentThe3rd This Troper]] would like to say, that whoever wrote this essay is a wonderfully smart person.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Analysis.HisDarkMaterials