YMMV His Dark Materials Discussion

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04:26:19 PM Mar 15th 2012
I wanted to discuss Lord Asriel and Mrs Coulter. The alternative character page seems to suggest Pullman was unsure of his own intentions. In fact I think the fact most characters are complex and act in contradictory ways is realistic.

Asriel obviously believes the ends justify the means and is willing to go as far as it takes to win his war against the church and the authority. The end of the first book suggests that although he thinks Roger's life is worth sacrificing for his war, he didn't feel the same way about Lyra.

As for Mrs Coulter her character is a ruthless political type in some ways but again she draws the line at hurting her own daughter. Love and biology transcend her desire for power to the extent that she is willing to sacrifice her life twice. In fact by seeking to protect Lyra by shielding her from life she becomes a metaphor for overprotective parents. Even after Lyra leaves her she later chooses to give her own life to stop the authority so Lyra can grow up in a better world.
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