The Golden Compass

by

Philip Pullman

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The king of the gyptians. John Faa is a huge and imposing man, but Lyra discovers quickly that he's very warm and kind. His sense of morality is finely-tuned; he shames gyptians who suggest that they shouldn't rescue non-gyptian children, refuses to give up Lyra to the authorities, and reminds everyone that they have a responsibility to care for Lyra in part because she's Lord Asriel's daughter and Lord Asriel has advocated for gyptian legal rights at various points. When they discuss the Master's choice to allow Lyra to go to Mrs. Coulter (something he'd been asked not to do), John Faa suggests to Lyra that sometimes, there are no good decisions. However, John Faa always tries to do the right thing, and so aligns himself with a variety of different people and races who all believe in the same vision of the future.

John Faa Quotes in The Golden Compass

The The Golden Compass quotes below are all either spoken by John Faa or refer to John Faa. 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:
Get the entire The Golden Compass LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Golden Compass PDF

John Faa Character Timeline in The Golden Compass

The timeline below shows where the character John Faa appears in The Golden Compass. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Six
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...than others, so the gyptians are planning a rescue mission. Tony says that they'll see John Faa , the king of the gyptians. Lyra says she wants to go too to rescue... (full context)
Chapter Seven
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...platform and seven sit in carved wooden chairs. Tony whispers that the standing one is John Faa . John Faa welcomes the gyptians, states the purpose of the meeting, and says that... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
One man stands and asks if they're supposed to rescue landloper kids too. John Faa says it'd be cruel to leave them; they're innocent. He asks for the assembly's blessing,... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Lyra tells John Faa about running away from Mrs. Coulter, who she says is one of the Gobblers. She... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
John Faa asks Lyra if she knows where she came from. Dazed, Lyra says that her parents... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
John Faa says that in the years after, people began to get anxious about Dust. He tells... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...somewhere. Lyra says that she kept the alethiometer secret, but the golden monkey found it. John Faa states what they know: the Master did his best to keep Lyra safe; Mrs. Coulter... (full context)
Chapter Eight
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
On the third evening, the gyptians return to the Zaal. John Faa accepts gold and pledges of men from each of the six gyptian families. He thanks... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
John Faa gives orders to the six family heads to begin preparations and asks again for questions.... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...all the things she knows, and suggests that they might need a child with them. John Faa tells Lyra kindly that they can't take her into danger and refuses, even when Lyra... (full context)
Chapter Nine
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...spin when the light—and elementary particles—hit it. Tony interrupts Lyra and sends her to find John Faa and Farder Coram at the Zaal. John Faa says that Jacob Huismans has just died—and... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...to go north is huge. They climb up the gangway and head below to find John Faa and tell him about the flying spirit. He doesn't reprimand them for letting Lyra outside.... (full context)
Chapter Ten
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
John Faa decides that they'll head for Trollesund, the main port of Lapland. There's a witches' consulate... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...six p.m., they purchase warm clothing for Lyra. Back at the ship, they reconnect with John Faa and share what they learned. John Faa says that he engaged the help of a... (full context)
Chapter Eleven
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...Iorek's armor is and why it will be difficult to retrieve. She decides to let John Faa ask if he needs her help and falls asleep thinking of how different Iorek is... (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
...Coram and Lyra stumbles over herself to comply. She's fascinated and terrified. Farder Coram and John Faa join her on the deck and Farder Coram calls the goose Kaisa. Kaisa looks at... (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.... (full context)
Chapter Twelve
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
The party stops after several hours to eat and rest. John Faa asks Lyra to ask the alethiometer about how Bolvanger is protected. She says that it's... (full context)
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... (full context)
Chapter Thirteen
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...to fall asleep before she can mention the witches, so she asks Iorek to tell John Faa and thanks him for helping her. When Lyra wakes up, Farder Coram approaches. Lyra begins... (full context)
Chapter Fourteen
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...name is Lizzie and that the gyptians she was with are traders. She wonders if John Faa will be able to rescue her. Carefully, she hides the spy-fly tin in her boot... (full context)
Chapter Seventeen
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...following Iorek's tracks. Lyra begins 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... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-One
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...discuss that Iorek is now king and Lord Asriel wants to know why Iorek and John Faa are involved. Lyra says that first, he needs to confirm that he's her father. When... (full context)