The Golden Compass

by

Philip Pullman

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Golden Compass can help.
Lyra's best friend; he and his family work in the kitchens at Jordan College, but he spends most of his time playing with Lyra. He's utterly devoted to her, though he's a far more cautious child and dislikes playing "kids and Gobblers" or tampering with Scholars' remains in the crypt. Gobblers kidnap Roger at the same time as they kidnap Billy Costa, and Lyra vows to figure out what happened to Roger and rescue him. When they reunite in Bolvanger, Roger shows Lyra that he's still a scrappy Jordan kid by pointing out that they can get into the ceiling and hide. He's Lyra's second-in-command when Lyra orchestrates the children's escape and is, for no reason that Lyra can discern, the one child aside from Lyra that Mrs. Coulter seems intent on recapturing. He joins Lyra in her final journey to Lord Asriel, which ends up being fatal for him: Lord Asriel kills Roger in order to create the burst of energy necessary to open up the passageway to the universe visible through the Aurora. In this way, Roger factors into the prophecy that guides Lyra's life. While Serafina Pekkala suggests that Roger is simply leading Lyra north and to Lord Asriel, his death indicates that the prophecy was referring to him when it said that Lyra must unwittingly lead someone to their death.
Get the entire The Golden Compass LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Golden Compass PDF

Roger Character Timeline in The Golden Compass

The timeline below shows where the character Roger appears in The Golden Compass. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Three
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...experimental theology is and doesn't care either. She enjoys running around with her best friend Roger, either playing alone together or engaging in "deadly warfare" against the children of other nearby... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
The last time a particular gyptian family came to Oxford, Lyra and Roger stole one of their narrowboats, rode down the river, and searched for the bung (the... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...stealing the children, but everyone calls the culprits the Gobblers. One day, Lyra suggests to Roger that they play kids and Gobblers, which she says entails playing hide-and-seek and then cutting... (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
After this, Lyra and Roger begin spending more time underground. Lyra suspects that they'll find and capture Gobblers there. One... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
One afternoon, the Intercessor catches Lyra and Roger coming out of the crypts. He calls the children over to ask what they were... (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
...a narrowboat again.  As Lyra wanders along the river with her friends Hugh and Simon (Roger is busy with chores), she hears Ma Costa, a grand gyptian woman, yelling at a... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...if the child in the photo 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... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...why she needs to wash and dress. Lyra accuses Mrs. Lonsdale of not caring about Roger, so Mrs. Lonsdale smacks Lyra. The older woman says that Lyra is going to have... (full context)
Chapter Four
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Lyra only remembers that Roger is missing after she says goodbye to the servants. She feels guilty, but reasons that... (full context)
Chapter Five
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Lyra sometimes thinks of Roger, but she soon forgets him in favor of whatever wonderful thing that Mrs. Coulter does... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...that Lord Asriel showed her a photo of Dust and that the Oblation Board took Roger. She says that she hasn't "taken part" yet when Lord Boreal asks, but neither she... (full context)
Chapter Six
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...Faa, the king of the gyptians. Lyra says she wants to go too to rescue Roger. She thinks that she also wants to rescue Lord Asriel. (full context)
Chapter Eight
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...opens it, Lyra boldly says that she wants to come to rescue the kids and Roger, states all the things she knows, and suggests that they might need a child with... (full context)
Chapter Nine
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...Lyra longs to be free, and sometimes wishes she were back at Jordan College with Roger. She spends much of her time studying the alethiometer and finds that if she concentrates,... (full context)
Chapter Fourteen
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...that Mrs. Coulter is coming in two days. Lyra decides that she has to find Roger and escape. (full context)
Chapter Fifteen
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
...gyptians, 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... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...him that the gyptians are coming and to call her Lizzie. He sits with her, Roger nearby, and tells her everything he knows. Billy says that after the operation, kids go... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Outside, the adults barely have control. Lyra finds Billy and Roger and when nobody is looking, hurls a snowball at the crowd. The other children begin... (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
...tries to ask questions about Serafina Pekkala and the witches, but Kaisa sends her away. Roger sees the dæmons and watches with horror. (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Lyra, Roger, and Billy rejoin the group. Lyra asks them to pass around the message that the... (full context)
Chapter Seventeen
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
...children struggle to get out as the fire spreads. They manage to escape and find Roger. She tells him to tell the other children that the adults will cut their dæmons... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...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 attacks Pan... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...Coulter sets a group of Tartars on the gyptians and Lyra watches her wrestle with Roger. Suddenly, Iorek leaps into the fray and Lyra feels something pull her up. She grabs... (full context)
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...to his balloon, throws it to the witches, and six witches pull the balloon north. Roger and Iorek fall asleep. Serafina asks Lyra why she's going to Lord Asriel. Lyra incredulously... (full context)
Chapter Eighteen
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...following destiny as she does so. They look at Lyra sleeping and Scoresby asks about Roger. Serafina says that Lyra has something valuable and Roger, led by fate, enticed Lyra north. (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...asleep again. Serafina wakes Scoresby a while later. Something is wrong; the balloon swings wildly. Roger and Lyra wake up and comfort each other as the basket drops through fog. Suddenly,... (full context)
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... (full context)
Chapter Nineteen
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
...can see. She sits and pulls the alethiometer out. It tells her that Iorek and Roger are a day away and that Iorek plans to break in and rescue her. Lyra... (full context)
Chapter Twenty
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...to come to Iorek. When they get to an assembly of bears, she sees that Roger is there too. He says that he and Iorek fell out of the balloon and... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-One
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Lyra and Roger each ride a young bear while Iorek runs ahead of them. Lyra thinks of the... (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...large lit windows. They head up the final slope and into the courtyard. Lyra and Roger get down and stumble to the door. Thorold answers the door, is surprised to see... (full context)
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Lyra sits outside the bathroom while Roger bathes. Roger admits that he's afraid of Lord Asriel and says that it was odd... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Two
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Thorold shakes Lyra awake and tells her that Lord Asriel packed instruments, took Roger, and left. He says that Lord Asriel needed a child to finish his experiment. Lyra... (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
...in the right direction. He says that Lord Asriel has instruments laid out and that Roger is stuck. Suddenly, the Aurora flickers and Lyra thinks that she can feel the Dust.... (full context)
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...into the Aurora and knows that a witch put it there. Lord Asriel beckons to Roger and Lyra shouts for Roger to run. Pan attacks Stelmaria and the two young dæmons... (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 city in the sky. The sun from it starts to melt the ice on Roger's clothes. Lyra holds his body and feels betrayed by Lord Asriel. Pan scratches her hand... (full context)