The Golden Compass

by

Philip Pullman

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Farder Coram Character Analysis

A wise, old gyptian man. While his mind is still very sharp, Farder Coram's body is failing him. He trembles and walks with two canes. The beauty and health of his cat dæmon, Sophonax, represents his mental acuity. As a young man, Farder Coram fell in love with the witch Serafina Pekkala. He still loves her in the novel's present but hasn't seen her for more than 40 years. Lyra recognizes that Farder Coram is still heartbroken over losing her. When Lyra is unable to join many of the gyptian groups preparing for the journey north, she attaches herself to Farder Coram and the two become close friends. Farder Coram mentors Lyra and helps her interpret some of the symbols on the alethiometer, while also making her feel useful and important thanks to her ability to read it. His confidence and his knowledge of the bears means that Farder Coram is able to convince Iorek Byrnison to come with the gyptians in a way that Lyra feels was rude and risky.

Farder Coram Quotes in The Golden Compass

The The Golden Compass quotes below are all either spoken by Farder Coram or refer to Farder Coram. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of The Golden Compass published in 1995.
Chapter Seven Quotes

"And the Church in recent times, Lyra, it's been getting more commanding. There's councils for this and councils for that; there's talk of reviving the Office of Inquisition, God forbid. And the Master has to tread warily between all these powers. He has to keep Jordan College on the right side of the Church, or it won't survive."

Related Characters: John Faa (speaker), Lyra, Farder Coram, The Master
Page Number: 127
Explanation and Analysis:
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Farder Coram Character Timeline in The Golden Compass

The timeline below shows where the character Farder Coram appears in The Golden Compass. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Seven
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...Ma Costa points out who the other men on the platform are and specifically mentions Farder Coram , an extremely old man. Tony takes Lyra to speak to John Faa, and Lyra... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...that Mrs. Coulter must have some power over the Master. Lyra studies John Faa and Farder Coram and then tells them that she saw the Master try to poison Lord Asriel, and... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Farder Coram says it's a truth teller and explains briefly how to read it: a person can... (full context)
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...alethiometer. Lyra thinks that the Master wanted her to keep it from Lord Asriel, but Farder Coram wonders if he intended the opposite. He suggests that the alethiometer could help Lord Asriel... (full context)
Chapter Nine
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...the man in charge of spying, but when he disappears Lyra turns her attentions to Farder Coram . Farder Coram indulges Lyra and listens to her talk. Lyra is especially taken with... (full context)
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Lyra begins to ask Farder Coram for help interpreting the symbols on the alethiometer. She explains how she asked the alethiometer... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...a side door and were ambushed in the dark once inside. The physician arrives, so Farder Coram pulls Lyra away. He tells her to occupy herself until later, when they need to... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...alethiometer and finds that if she concentrates, she can read and interpret it. She tells Farder Coram that she just innately understands what the alethiometer is telling her. One day, he asks... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Lyra asks if she can go outside for a minute. Farder Coram decides that it won't hurt, so Lyra and Pan leap up. Pan turns into a... (full context)
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Farder Coram dumps the creature into a glass. It looks like a large and furious beetle. Farder... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
The boat reaches Colby and Lyra accompanies Farder Coram and the tillerman through the empty town to the docks. There they find Tony Costa,... (full context)
Chapter Ten
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
...consulate there and they need the witches' help. On the second day of their journey, Farder Coram explains that he knows the witches in Lapland and they owe him a favor. Forty... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...and stares at the town until she gets too cold. An hour after they dock, Farder Coram leads Lyra off the ship to visit the witch consul. The consul, Dr. Lanselius, has... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...“intercision.” Dr. Lanselius says that a group of children left two days ago by sledge. Farder Coram asks if there's any other question he should be asking. With a smile, Dr. Lanselius... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...to Lyra and asks her about the alethiometer. She allows him to see it, but Farder Coram interrupts and says that Lyra can't read it. Lyra notices that Dr. Lanselius's dæmon is... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Farder Coram and Dr. Lanselius watch as Lyra correctly identifies the right spray. She then holds the... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
As Lyra and Farder Coram walk, Lyra says that the alethiometer told her that Dr. Lanselius knew the answer to... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
That evening, Lyra and Farder Coram walk to the local bar. In the yard behind it, they find Iorek Byrnison drinking... (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
...the "child cutters." Because Iorek doesn't like the child cutters, he says that he'll answer Farder Coram politely. He explains that the townspeople tricked him by getting him drunk and took his... (full context)
Chapter Eleven
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
The goose is clearly a dæmon. He asks for Farder Coram and Lyra stumbles over herself to comply. She's fascinated and terrified. Farder Coram and John... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...this, Lyra cries out that Iorek isn't like that and is going to help them. Farder Coram uncomfortably tells Lyra that this isn't true; Iorek is an indentured laborer and dangerous. Lyra... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...who says that the witches are interested in Lyra in part because of the alethiometer. Farder Coram suggests that they trust Lyra and Iorek, and they ask Kaisa for his opinion. Kaisa... (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
John Faa and Farder Coram , along with the town's “sysselman” (the head of the local government), arrive. The sysselman... (full context)
Chapter Twelve
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Lyra asks John Faa if she and Iorek can go. She reminds him and Farder Coram about what happened when she couldn't interpret the chameleon, and says that this is the... (full context)
Chapter Thirteen
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...Iorek to tell John Faa and thanks him for helping her. When Lyra wakes up, Farder Coram approaches. Lyra begins to tell him how she misinterpreted the alethiometer's reading about Tony, but... (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Back at the fire, Lyra sips soup and she and Farder Coram discuss the witches and where they might've been going. They all stand respectfully while Tony... (full context)
Chapter Seventeen
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...to hear and see strange things, and finally falls into John Faa's arms. She tells Farder Coram that Roger is coming and asks what the strange noise is. Suddenly, the golden monkey... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...up next to the balloon and says that she's Serafina Pekkala. Lyra realizes suddenly that Farder Coram loved the witch, and that it's breaking his heart to be so old when she's... (full context)
Chapter Eighteen
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...Bolvanger are evil, so they've aligned themselves with Lyra and with the gyptians because of Farder Coram . Because of this, they're also connected to Lord Asriel. She promises to help Scoresby... (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Lyra asks how long witches live and mentions Farder Coram . Serafina Pekkala says that the oldest witch is almost a thousand years old and... (full context)