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Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials Daemon Concept

Discussion in 'Small Talk' started by Secad MS, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. Daemons are basically an animal representation of your personality/soul/concioussness. For example, servants/those happy to serve others often have dogs, while independant people have cats.

    Children before the age of puberty have daemons that can change shape, representing their still fluid personality. However, when they reach puberty, their daemons 'settle' (or stay in one form, for the rest of their lives) into one that represents them. In addition, daemons are often of the opposite gender, except it has been theorized that those with special abilities (precognition) or who are homosexual have those of the same gender.

    What do you think yours is? In addition, what does Dust (conciousness) really have to do with settling? Have you read the books and dissected every bit about daemons?

    I think mine is a Ring-tailed Lemur, as I'm extremely happy and enthusiastic, willing to eat nearly anything, I bounce around from task to task, and just do my own thing. He strikes me as an 'Enoch.'

    Edit: What do the schools do about the kids with really big daemons, like elephants or horses? They are corporeal, so do they just keep them outside, or what?
  2. Magpie

    Magpie Feathered Overseer
    Staff Member Moderator

    The Dæmon concept isn't really an original one. It's not too far away from what Native Americans believed - that each person had a Power animal that taught them spiritually throughout their life. Naturally, the person would show 'traits' of their animal, because it was so close to them and represented them on a spiritual level. It's certainly something I don't discredit. I can honestly say that whenever I've had a big problem, I always dream about a Fox. I can never remember what happens in the dream, but I always wake up feeling better. If I lived in the Dark Materials world, I'd most definitely have a Fox Dæmon ^^

    Don't know what schools would do with larger Dæmons. At least when the kids are young they could enforce a 'no large animals' policy. After that, no idea XD

    It's actually been ages since I read the books, so I don't remember all the ins and outs of dust. Maybe it's like the lifestream in Final Fantasy - not that I know much about either...
  3. Prof. Cinders

    Prof. Cinders Mathemagician
    Staff Member Administrator

    Since Lyra's world seems to be more like an advanced Victorian society than our own, I'd say that schools wouldn't generally have to worry about large daemons - not many would go to them, as few of them would be able to afford it. In Oxford, in the colleges and such, the people with larger daemons would probably stay near the outside, or the gardens, so as to give their daemons room. But I doubt it's often a problem; no one in the books really mentions any daemons larger than big cats (When Pantalaimon was briefly a dragon, he was a very small one, if I recall correctly).

    If I had a daemon, he'd probably be a sloth. Because I'm slow and lazy, and when I'm awake I like food. But I might be an owl, or something like that, since I'm awake at night mostly, and I like to think I'm rather clever. Also a bird daemon would be awesome. Especially if it was big enough to fly on...
  4. Yes, I do remember that bit when Pantalaimon became a dragon. I remember thinking 'Ha, wow. I bet he's going to own in a fight.'

    How much do you think class and future occupation determines the settled form? Many sailors have seagulls (but one man became a sailor because his daemon was a dolphin) I think it affects it a lot, because Roger had a daemon that stayed mostly as a terrier, as he was going to be a servant, while a lady at Ms. Coulter's party had a scarlet macaw, something a tad more 'froofy', which meant she was higher up in class.

    As a funny note, I can just see this scene happening.

    Daemon, settling: Hey, Thomas, help! I'm suff-suf *glub* *becomes fish*
    Thomas: *struggles to breathe* Hey! Does *gasp* anyone have a fishbowl? With water?
  5. Prof. Cinders

    Prof. Cinders Mathemagician
    Staff Member Administrator

    I think it's more to do with personality than any job-related aspect - Roger's daemon was probably a terrier more often because he's a loyal friend, and obedient. 'Cept when Lyra gets him in trouble, of course :p

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