The Golden Compass

by

Philip Pullman

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Lyra's dæmon; his full name is Pantalaimon. Though he can still change his form since Lyra hasn't yet reached puberty, Pan spends much of his time as an ermine or wildcat—or, when he and Lyra are scared or upset, as a mean polecat. Pan balances out Lyra's wild nature by stubbornly encouraging her to follow the rules and stay out of other people's business. He has keen instincts when it comes to evaluating other people and understands long before Lyra does that Mrs. Coulter and her golden monkey are entirely uninterested in taking him and Lyra to the North. He recognizes that Mrs. Coulter wants to simply turn Lyra into a pretty pet. As a dæmon, Pan can see and sense things that Lyra can't as a human. He's extremely put off when Lyra switches around coins representing dead Scholars' dæmons in the crypts at Jordan, as he recognizes the importance of having one's dæmon, even in death. He also becomes hysterical when they find Tony Makarios, who has no dæmon. Pan and Lyra love each other fiercely and vow often that they'll never be separated, a promise that comes into question when doctors at Bolvanger discover Lyra eavesdropping and unsuccessfully attempt to perform intercision on Lyra and Pan. As children, Pan and Lyra often test the limits of how far they can separate from each other and how much pain they can cause. Following Roger's death, Pan seems to come around more to Lyra's adventurous nature and suggests that they step into the other world so that they can find the source of Dust.

Pan Quotes in The Golden Compass

The The Golden Compass quotes below are all either spoken by Pan or refer to Pan. 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 One Quotes

"I didn't have anything in mind, and well you know it," she snapped quietly. "But now I've seen what the Master did, I haven't got any choice. You're supposed to know about conscience, aren't you? How can I just go and sit in the library or somewhere and twiddle my thumbs, knowing what's going to happen? I don't intend to do that, I promise you."

Related Characters: Lyra (speaker), Pan, Lord Asriel, The Master
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Four Quotes

Mrs. Coulter came into the bathroom to wash Lyra's hair, and she didn't rub and scrape like Mrs. Lonsdale either. She was gentle. Pantalaimon watched with powerful curiosity until Mrs. Coulter looked at him, and he knew what she meant and turned away, averting his eyes modestly from these feminine mysteries as the golden monkey was doing. He had never had to look away from Lyra before.

Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Ten Quotes

He had to stay close to the ship, of course, for he could never go far from her; but she sensed his desire to speed as far and as fast as he could, for pure exhilaration. She shared his pleasure, but for her it wasn't simple pleasure, for there was pain and fear in it too. Suppose he loved being a dolphin more than he loved being with her on land? What would she do then?

Related Characters: Lyra, Pan, Jerry
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:

"Anyway, there's compensations for a settled form."

"What are they?"

"Knowing what kind of person you are. Take old Belisaria. She's a seagull, and that means I'm kind of a seagull too. I'm not grand and splendid nor beautiful, but I'm a tough old thing and I can survive anywhere and always find a bit of food and company. That's worth knowing, that is. And when your dæmon settles, you'll know the sort of person you are."

Related Characters: Lyra (speaker), Jerry (speaker), Pan
Page Number: 167
Explanation and Analysis:

Lyra's heart was thumping hard, because something in the bear's presence made her feel close to coldness, danger, brutal power, but a power controlled by intelligence; and not a human intelligence, nothing like a human, because of course bears had no dæmons. The strange hulking presence gnawing its meat was like nothing she had ever imagined, and she felt a profound admiration and pity for the lonely creature.

Related Characters: Lyra, Iorek Byrnison, Pan
Page Number: 179-80
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Eleven Quotes

She felt angry and miserable. His badger claws dug into the earth and he walked forward. It was such a strange tormenting feeling when your dæmon was pulling at the link between you; part physical pain deep in the chest, part intense sadness and love. And she knew it was the same for him. Everyone tested it when they were growing up: Seeing how far they could pull apart, coming back with intense relief.

Related Characters: Lyra, Iorek Byrnison, Pan
Page Number: 195
Explanation and Analysis:

"My armor is made of sky iron, made for me. A bear's armor is his soul, just as your dæmon is your soul. You might as well take him away"—indicating Pantalaimon—"and replace him with a doll full of sawdust. That is the difference."

Related Characters: Iorek Byrnison (speaker), Lyra, Pan
Page Number: 196-97
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Thirteen Quotes

Her first impulse was to turn and run, or to be sick. A human being with no dæmon was like someone without a face, or with their ribs laid open and their heart torn out: something unnatural and uncanny that belonged to the world of night-ghasts, not the waking world of sense.

Related Characters: Lyra, Iorek Byrnison, Pan, Tony Makarios, Ratter
Page Number: 214
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Seventeen Quotes

"If he's got Dust and you've got Dust, and the Master of Jordan and every other grownup's got Dust, it must be all right. When I get out I'm going to tell all the kids in the world about this. Anyway, if it was so good, why'd you stop them doing it to me? If it was good, you should've let them do it. You should have been glad."

Related Characters: Lyra (speaker), Mrs. Coulter, Pan, The Master, The Gobblers
Related Symbols: Dust
Page Number: 283
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Twenty-Three Quotes

"We've heard them all talk about Dust, and they're so afraid of it, and you know what? We believed them, even though we could see that what they were doing was wicked and evil and wrong...We thought Dust must be bad too, because they were grown up and they said so. But what if it isn't? What if it's—"

She said breathlessly, "Yeah! What if it's really good..."

Related Characters: Lyra (speaker), Pan (speaker), Mrs. Coulter, Lord Asriel, The Gobblers
Related Symbols: Dust
Page Number: 398
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Golden Compass PDF

Pan Character Timeline in The Golden Compass

The timeline below shows where the character Pan appears in The Golden Compass. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter One
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Lyra and her dæmon, Pan, sneak through the dark dining hall. Lyra flicks a glass and Pan reprimands her for... (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
...raven dæmon squawks and then she and the Master leave. Alone in the room again, Pan hisses that they need to leave, but then they hear the Steward's bell from the... (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
Pan tries to convince Lyra to sneak out of the Retiring Room, but Lyra refuses. She... (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...projector and Lyra realizes that she'll be able to see it from her hiding spot. Pan remains unconvinced that sneaking in was a good idea. The servants leave, Lord Asriel shoots... (full context)
Chapter Two
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
...back a walrus tusk with Eskimo carvings. Lyra frowns at him, but finally she and Pan head to bed. (full context)
Chapter Three
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...is the Master's dæmon. In the next room, they find shelves with skulls on them. Pan and Roger's dæmon are scared, but Lyra pulls a skull down to inspect it. A... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...was a "severed child." She realizes she hasn't seen Roger since morning, so she and Pan run back to Jordan. Nobody in the Jordan kitchens seems to care about Roger, so... (full context)
Chapter Four
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...that Mrs. Coulter will be able to help her look for him. In the zeppelin, Pan sits on Lyra's lap as an ermine and stares out the window while Mrs. Coulter... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...the flat, Lyra takes another bath and Mrs. Coulter comes in to wash Lyra's hair. Pan watches with curiosity until Mrs. Coulter glares at him, and then he modestly turns away... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Once Mrs. Coulter is gone, Pan pulls at Lyra's hair and they take out the alethiometer. It has needles pointing in... (full context)
Chapter Five
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
...it lights up adults but not children, and fibs about where she learned this. Later, Pan tells Lyra that when Lyra mentioned Dust, Mrs. Coulter grabbed her dæmon, who seemed ready... (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
...to throw a cocktail party and involves Lyra in the planning. In bed that night, Pan whispers that they're never going to the North, but Lyra insists that Mrs. Coulter will... (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...Lyra to leave the bag in her room. Lyra resists, but the golden monkey pins Pan down roughly and begins to pull on one of his ears as though to tear... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Lyra has no trouble pretending to be charming, but Pan remains disgusted with Mrs. Coulter and the golden monkey. As the room fills with guests,... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Pan whispers in Lyra's ear and says that the golden monkey was just in their bedroom... (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
...and they come of their own accord. He smiles at Lyra and both Lyra and Pan feel horrified. She wanders around until she hears a bishop say that Lord Asriel is... (full context)
Chapter Six
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Lyra and Pan, as a wildcat, walk away from the river. They're both thrilled to be free. They... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Lyra and Pan head toward the wharf and carefully peek into the window of a hut, where an... (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Lyra comforts Pan and then recognizes one of her saviors as Tony Costa, Billy Costa's older brother. Lyra... (full context)
Chapter Eight
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...that she's learning to read the alethiometer. He sends her away, and Lyra declares to Pan that they will go. (full context)
Chapter Nine
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...to occupy herself until later, when they need to talk about the alethiometer. She and Pan sit on a bank and Lyra thinks that she's afraid of her ability to read... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...tells her about strange rumors that she escaped from the Gobblers, or that she and Pan are spirits or spies for the Tartars. Lyra longs to be free, and sometimes wishes... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
...go outside for a minute. Farder Coram decides that it won't hurt, so Lyra and Pan leap up. Pan turns into a seagull and plays in the wind and the water.... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...watch England disappear. She can't see through the heavy mist and soon, both she and Pan are seasick. (full context)
Chapter Ten
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
...helps with the seasickness. Lyra quickly decides that she wants to live on the water. Pan experiments with becoming a fish and swims with dolphins one afternoon. Lyra senses that he... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Lyra says she wants Pan to be able to change forever, but Jerry assures her that settling is part of... (full context)
Chapter Eleven
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...Iorek. He invites the gyptians to play cards with him while his dæmon motions to Pan. The hare tells Pan to go to Iorek immediately: as soon as the town figures... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Pan, however, says that he'll talk to Iorek. He flies as a bird over the chain... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
...is a human's soul. Making new armor out of normal metal would be like replacing Pan with a stuffed animal. Lyra makes Iorek promise to not hurt anyone out of vengeance... (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
...was right: the armor is his soul; he cares for it like she cares for Pan. John Faa calls everyone to prepare to leave and in a half an hour, they... (full context)
Chapter Twelve
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Lyra is terrified, but she tugs the door open. Pan runs around as a white ermine, beside himself, and won't speak to Lyra or look... (full context)
Chapter Thirteen
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...and horrid. The boy introduces himself as Tony Makarios and asks for Ratter. Lyra and Pan rush outside and sit in the snow for a minute to collect themselves. Then, Lyra... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...to see Tony Makarios's body. He looks like any other human in death. She hugs Pan and thinks of Tony's fish. She pulls the blanket down and sees that his fish... (full context)
Chapter Fourteen
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
...balloon, but then a mist descends. Suddenly, men start to fall as arrows strike them. Pan knocks Lyra to the ground and Iorek leaps at their attackers. A man hauls Lyra... (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...who looks like he could be from Jordan comes outside. The man asks Lyra if Pan always takes the same shape. She gapes in surprise, and Pan turns into a falcon... (full context)
Chapter Fifteen
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
...and instead believes that they and Iorek will save her. At breakfast, she finds Roger. Pan provokes a scuffle with Roger's dæmon so they can speak and Roger turns white as... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...door. Inside, Lyra finds the ghostlike dæmons of the severed children in cages. She covers Pan's eyes. (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...almost done, she hears and sees a zeppelin landing nearby. As it descends, Lyra and Pan see Mrs. Coulter in one of the windows. (full context)
Chapter Sixteen
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...them in the ceiling of her dormitory. She hides the alethiometer with them. She and Pan decide to say that they were kidnapped, and Lyra realizes that she's afraid of Mrs.... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
...listen in on the conversation in the conference room. Annie insists on going too, but Pan overpowers her dæmon. The girls stuff clothes into Lyra's bed in case someone checks on... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...of an alloy that insulates the body from a dæmon make the procedure much better. Pan and Lyra tremble in fear. (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...down. She struggles until she suddenly loses strength and sees that a man is holding Pan. Pan shakes in horror. (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
The doctors deliberate and then decide to secretly perform intercision on Lyra and Pan to keep Lyra from talking. They carry her and Pan to a brightly lit room.... (full context)
Chapter Seventeen
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Lyra trembles and moans as Pan presses himself into her bare chest. He notices the golden monkey quickly feel Lyra's body... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...which he's inflating using the gas from the zeppelin. The children begin to shiver, so Pan bullies their dæmons into warming them. They trudge on, following Iorek's tracks. Lyra begins to... (full context)
Chapter Eighteen
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Lyra calls for Iorek and Roger, but no one answers. Pan checks the alethiometer and after a minute, they get up to try to find the... (full context)
Chapter Nineteen
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
...stop outside a door. A bear opens it, swats Lyra inside, and closes her in. Pan becomes a firefly so that Lyra can see. She sits and pulls the alethiometer out.... (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Pan flies up and illuminates a man. He introduces himself as Jotham Santelia of the University... (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...It then says that Iofur killed his father, a grave crime that Iofur then concealed. Pan, as a tiny mouse, tells Lyra to flatter Iofur when she tells him. In the... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Three
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Lyra feels weak, alone, and frightened. Pan comforts her as she wonders out loud why people do these horrible things to children.... (full context)
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...put it there. Lord Asriel beckons to Roger and Lyra shouts for Roger to run. Pan attacks Stelmaria and the two young dæmons fight her. Lyra fights the thick Dust and... (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
...the ice on Roger's clothes. Lyra holds his body and feels betrayed by Lord Asriel. Pan scratches her hand and confirms that Lord Asriel is going to find the source of... (full context)