Study Guide

The Golden Compass Chapter 14

By Philip Pullman

Chapter 14

Bolvangar Lights

  • Lyra is afraid Mrs. Coulter is pursuing the sledge, but it turns out they've run into another enemy. Arrows fly into the camp.
  • Lyra's hands are tied together and her head is hooded. She's hauled away on a sledge.
  • After a while the hood is removed and she sees a "broad Asiatic face" (14.50).
  • The man asks her name in broken English and she says "Lizzie Brooks."
  • He tells her his people are hunters, "Samoyed peoples" (14.39).
  • Lyra makes sure she has the alethiometer and puts the spyfly tin in her boot.
  • The party travels farther until they come to a gate and she's released. She's held up to a man who looks not like a native but "could have been a Jordan Scholar" (14.58).
  • The man takes particular interest in Pan, whose shape he inquires about. Can he still change? Pan changes to prove he can. The man is satisfied.
  • The man pays the hunter, and the people who captured Lyra depart.
  • The man takes Lyra inside. She decides to play dumb and sticks with the Lizzie Brooks story.
  • She is handed off to a nurse with a little white dog daemon who lets her shower and puts her in nice but weirdly secondhand pajamas.
  • She manages to keep her alethiometer on her and tuck away the spyfly as well.
  • The nurse takes her to the canteen where there's a photogram (kind of like a photograph, but everything is a little different in Lyra's world) of a tropical beach. Lyra wolfs down some food.
  • She makes up a story to tell her captors: she was travelling with her father, who is a hunter, from London. They buy the story.
  • She tells them her hunting party was attacked, but the man says no, she just wandered away from her party and she's in a good place now. Lyra soon crashes to sleep.
  • When she wakes there are three girls her own age around her bed, shaking her awake. They say she must've been given sleeping pills.
  • The girls are Annie, Bella, and Martha. They tell her that children come and go here, usually in large groups. Nobody knows what happens to them.
  • She also learns that Mrs. Coulter sometimes comes by and takes children away. They never come back.
  • The girls tell Lyra that people weigh and measure the daemons quite a bit. Apparently they're measuring Dust, which the children don't know much more about.
  • The children tell Lyra that Mrs. Coulter is coming back "the day after tomorrow" (14.189)
  • Lyra is afraid.