* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Lord Asriel. Is he [[spoiler: a callous would-be dictator? A misguided freedom fighter? An amoral ubermensch? An anti-hero? An anti-villain? Even Pullman sometimes seems to be at odds over this character.]]
* {{Anvilicious}}: ''The Amber Spyglass'' in comparison to the other two books, at least to some. Some of the more laid-back fans like to TakeAThirdOption and say that SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped.
* BrokenBase: The [[BitterSweetEnding ending]] has been...polarizing. Not to mention the third book's...message. See [[InternetBackdraft Internet Backdraft]] below and Anvilicious above for more details.
* DeathOfTheAuthor: Interviews with Philip Pullman show that this is his view of how his books should be regarded ("I don't think it's the task of the author of a book to tell the reader what it means.")
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Iorek Byrnison, and by extension the rest of the Panserbjorne. [[RuleOfCool This one's]] [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot to be expected]].
* FridgeHorror: It must be somewhat uncomfortable to have your inner nature projected for everyone to see, if not outright dangerous in some cases (eg the same-sex daemons = homosexuality theory)
* GeniusBonus: Shortly after they meet, Will and Lyra question why "electricity" refers to what is called "anbarism" in Lyra's world, and why the stone called "electrum" in Lyra's world is called "amber" in Will's. Though neither child realizes the connection, the evolution of both terms alludes to the fact that the first observations of electricity (in our world, anyway!) came from pieces of amber imparting static charges to feathers and other small particles.
** Also, Lyra's last name, Belaqua, comes from ''Literature/TheDivineComedy'', where in Purgatory Dante meets a [[BrilliantButLazy brilliant but lazy]] friend who is [[ForeShadowing working their way towards Heaven, but gradually, and is trapped between the world of Purgatory and the shores of Hell.]]
* HolyShitQuotient: In ''The Amber Spyglass'' we get a battle scene in another dimension between armies composed of, and this is all true: angels, witches, ghosts, cosmic horrors, interdimensional aliens, jet fighters, at least one PhysicalGod as well as ''God himself'', badass lilliputians, steampunk airships, soldiers armed with rifles, machine guns, flamethrowers and ''poison gas guns'', monsters, animal spirits, floating fortresses, thunder and lightning, and, of course, armored polar bears.
** Undermined - intentionally - by the fact that the battle is not really focused on, instead the story follows the two protagonists' brief appearance where they [[spoiler: search for their daemons before killing God and hauling ass]].
* InternetBackdraft: Mention the third book. Go ahead, [[ShmuckBait we dare you.]]
* MagnificentBastard: Lord Asriel.
* MagnificentBitch: Mrs. Coulter
* OnlyTheAuthorCanSaveThemNow: How are some kids supposed to save the universes, otherwise?
* {{Shipping}}: There's Lyra/Roger, Lyra/Will, Lyra/Um...Lyra? Or Lyra/Pan. Absolutely mad, also includes Lyra/Scoresby, Lyra/Billy Costa, AND MORE! Seriously, next there will be a [[Shipping/HisDarkMaterials Shipping/HisDarkMaterials]] page.
** ToyShip: Will and Lyra are a canon example.
** Balthamos/Baruch has a fandom of its own.
* ToughActToFollow: Try and name any of Pullman's other published works.
* UnfortunateImplications: As a [[http://www.reason.com/news/show/124392.html Reason.com review]] pointed out: Its kind of ironic that Phillip Pullman labels other works like ''Narnia'' as sexist and full of class snobbery, when Will the male hero, is the one who gets to fight the most and even becomes TheChosenOne in control of the mystical Subtle Knife, meanwhile Lyra's greatest feats are accomplished by "feminine" wiles like lying and manipulation. The class snobbery manifests in that Lyra is the (illegitimate) daughter of aristocrats and is vastly superior in intellect and wits than her friends in Oxford ([[UnfortunateImplications who also happen to be the children of servants]]) and Will being the son of a Royal Marines officer from the beginning.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids: [[InternetBackdraft Don't even get us started...]]
* TheWoobie: '''Pantalaimon'''. He's [[NiceGuy constantly there for Lyra]], always takes equal blame for everything she does, against his advice, is constantly ignored like every other daemon when attention isn't called to him, which is seldom in Will's world, and he loses everything Lyra does, when none of it would've been lost if she'd just listened to him the whole time. The third book [[SerialEscalation cranks it]] [[UpToEleven up a notch]] when he [[spoiler: is left behind in extreme physical and emotional pain, on the shores of an undead world, not knowing if the most important person in his life is ever coming back, [[TearJerker only that she loves her friend enough to abandon him in his stead.]]]] He gets better from this, only to [[spoiler: [[DidNotGetTheGirl have to leave his newfound lover behind]] because [[StarCrossedLovers worlds were never meant to be left, and as you leave your world, you gradually become sicker and sicker.]]]] Will also qualifies, especially when he finds his father [[spoiler: [[ShaggyDogStory Only to have him shot in cold blood before he could properly meet him]]]]. Not to mention he has to suffer the same emotional and physical pains Pan does in the last book, except for the [[spoiler: betrayal]].
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