The Golden Compass

by

Philip Pullman

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Dr. Grumman Character Analysis

A scientist who, 18 months before the start of the novel, took an expedition to the North to presumably study Dust and, Lord Asriel believes, the city that's visible through the Aurora. Things went wrong, however: Lord Asriel shows Dr. Grumman's scalped head to the Scholars at Jordan College and implies that either the panserbjørne or the Tartars killed him. Lee Scoresby later suggests that this is false, and that Dr. Grumman is alive—or, at least, wasn't killed by the Tartars, since Dr. Grumman was an "honorary Tartar" and participated in their spiritual rituals.
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Dr. Grumman Character Timeline in The Golden Compass

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Grumman appears in The Golden Compass. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Two
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...but in actuality, he went further north to try and figure out what happened to Grumman's expedition. Lord Asriel says that he also wanted to look into a natural phenomenon only... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...asks if this is the "Barnard-Stokes business." Lord Asriel addresses a Scholar and says that Grumman was probably investigating this phenomenon, but Grumman is dead. As proof, he opens one of... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
...but won't tell Lyra what Dust is. He also refuses to let her look at Grumman's head. Lyra says that the Master looked for the wine before anything else and then... (full context)
Chapter Seven
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...realize that Lyra knows children who were taken, and she shares what she knows about Grumman's head and Lord Asriel's work, and states her intention to rescue him. She tells them... (full context)
Chapter Thirteen
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...to each other so they can talk to the gods. Lyra asks if Scoresby knew Grumman, and says that she saw his head. Scoresby says that since Grumman was an honorary... (full context)