The Golden Compass Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe Lyra's and Lord Asriel's daemons.

Because Lyra is a child, her daemon, Pantalaimon, has not yet settled on an animal form and changes from one shape to another. Lord Asriel's daemon, Stelmaria, is a snow leopard. Daemons are animal spirit guides that always accompany the characters. They are manifestations of the characters' souls.

2. How does Lord Asriel convey power, one of the book's central themes?

Through his mannerisms, actions, and choices, Lord Asriel is the epitome of power. He can be described as overly confident, bordering on arrogant. His daemon, a snow leopard, conveys power. He has an agenda and, despite his enemies' attempts to stop him, he pushes forward with his plans.

3. What is the Retiring Room?

The Retiring Room is an elegant room of Jordan College reserved for high-ranking Scholars. Females are not allowed here. Something of a mini conference room, it serves as a private, comfortable area for small gatherings and discussions.

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