The Golden Compass

by

Philip Pullman

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Serafina Pekkala Character Analysis

A beautiful witch who, 40 years prior to the start of the novel, fell in love and had a child with Farder Coram. They met when he saved her from an attack by a huge red bird. Their relationship, while strong, came to an end sometime after their son died in an epidemic, when Serafina Pekkala was required to become a clan queen. Despite this, the two have remained in contact to a degree and Serafina Pekkala has sent help to Farder Coram at various points over the years. She comes to his and Lyra's aid when the gyptians head north to rescue children from Bolvanger. In a conversation with the balloonist Lee Scoresby, Serafina Pekkala says that what's happening at Bolvanger is unconscionable and that they're all warriors in the mysterious war that's taking place and which concerns Lyra. She suggests that it's their duty to fight for the good, as represented by Lyra.

Serafina Pekkala Quotes in The Golden Compass

The The Golden Compass quotes below are all either spoken by Serafina Pekkala or refer to Serafina Pekkala. 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 Eighteen Quotes

"We are all subject to the fates. But we must all act as if we are not," said the witch, "or die of despair."

Related Characters: Serafina Pekkala (speaker), Lyra, Lee Scoresby
Page Number: 310
Explanation and Analysis:

"When bears act like people, perhaps they can be tricked," said Serafina Pekkala. "When bears act like bears, perhaps they can't. No bear would normally drink spirits. Iorek Byrnison drank to forget the shame of exile, and it was only that which let the Trollesund people trick him."

Related Characters: Serafina Pekkala (speaker), Lyra, Iorek Byrnison, Iofur Raknison
Page Number: 317
Explanation and Analysis:
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Serafina Pekkala Character Timeline in The Golden Compass

The timeline below shows where the character Serafina Pekkala appears in The Golden Compass. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Ten
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
...Lanselius, has a bright serpent dæmon. He notes the name of Farder Coram's witch friend, Serafina Pekkala , and listens to Farder Coram state the gyptians' business. Farder Coram asks if Dr.... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...to go out to a shed full of cloud-pine sprays and figure out which one Serafina Pekkala used to fly. Lyra hurries outside. (full context)
Chapter Fifteen
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 is the most evil thing he's ever seen. Lyra tries to ask questions about Serafina Pekkala and the witches, but Kaisa sends her away. Roger sees the dæmons and watches with... (full context)
Chapter Seventeen
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...from below. One beautiful witch flies 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... (full context)
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Serafina Pekkala confirms that Lyra still has the alethiometer. Kaisa flies up and Serafina passes on that... (full context)
Chapter Eighteen
Truth, Lies, and Morality Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
...Lyra in furs and after a while, confirms that Lyra is very important. He asks Serafina Pekkala if there's going to be a battle and explains that he can't afford to fight... (full context)
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Serafina Pekkala suggests that they may mean different things when they talk about choice. She says that... (full context)
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Serafina Pekkala says that this whole thing also has to do with Iorek's argument with the king... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Destiny vs. Free Will Theme Icon
Serafina Pekkala explains that the witches believe that the things happening at Bolvanger are evil, so they've... (full context)
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Lyra wakes up to find everyone but Serafina Pekkala asleep. They discuss the plan for landing in Svalbard and Lyra asks what she's supposed... (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 tells Lyra that... (full context)
Humanity, Identity, and the Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Lyra asks why humans have dæmons, but Serafina Pekkala says that nobody knows. Dæmons make them different from animals, and Lyra talks about how... (full context)
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
Lyra asks what Dust is. Serafina Pekkala doesn't know, but says that priests and the Church fear Dust. Lyra remembers the Intercessor... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Two
Childhood, Innocence, and Maturation Theme Icon
Religion, Politics, and Control Theme Icon
...and they race after Lord Asriel. Iorek promises to find Lee Scoresby and to tell Serafina Pekkala what happened. They stop when they reach a deep chasm with an ice bridge. Sledge... (full context)