“His Dark Materials”

A documentary on Phillip Pullman’s trilogy,
“His Dark Materials” which comprises of –

The Golden Compass (also called ‘Northern Lights’)
The Subtle Knife.
The Amber Spyglass.



An alethiometer.

An alethiometer is a device which measures the truth.

To use the alethiometer, the user directs three needles to lie over certain
symbols on the face of device, and forms a question in his or her mind.
The fourth needle then responds to the question, swinging over different
symbols to form answers. Any given symbol may have numerous meanings.

There are thirty-six symbols altogether on the alethiometer. The user needs
a special form of focus to make the alethiometer work. When the user has
the three needles set and the question in mind, the fourth hand will begin
to move, going through a sequence of movements over each symbol related
to the answer, sometimes quivering to indicate the meaning (Lyra once
described the alethiometer as having various “rungs” of meaning, each
quiver being one rung). The fourth arrow will continue to spin around and
repeat the sequence until the user breaks focus, whereupon the reader is
to use the symbols to determine the answer. The compass provides its
answers through the influence of Dust (dark matter).

A skilled user can use the alethiometer to answer any question on any past
and present events, but the alethiometer is not capable of predicting future
events, although it can project to a limited extent as to what would happen
if certain actions are taken.



4 thoughts on ““His Dark Materials”

  1. nectarfizz says:

    I want to get the books now..see what you started?


  2. Matt says:

    You should, it’s a great work of fiction! Don’t be put off by the film “The Golden Compass” of which the story was chopped about by the film makers to leave no mention of its central themes (because of religious protests in the USA) Pullman’s ideas are very interesting.

  3. nectarfizz says:

    I can see that, I think I will read it soon. I like the concepts he plays around with.

  4. Sharon says:

    I’ll start reading the series before the weeks out

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