Special Sub-Topic: Lyra's World
|At the beginning of "Northern Lights", the first book of the trilogy (also known as "The Golden Compass" in the US), where does Lyra Belacqua live?|
Jordan College, Oxford. When Lyra first visits the Oxford in Will's world, in "The Subtle Knife", she is shocked to see a totally different building where her Jordan home stood. Jordan College appears to be situated near Exeter College in our world, which is also where Philip Pullman studied.
|What word would we use to describe what Lyra calls "anbaric"?|
electric. Lyra and Will are confused and intrigued to discover that what Lyra calls "anbaric" is the equivalent to Will's electricity, and that what Will knows as amber is called "electrum" in Lyra's world. Pullman has said in interviews that he took the word "anbaric" from the old Greek word for electricity, which is the root of our word "amber"; (amber producing static electricity when rubbed).
|What would we call the people known as "experimental theologians" in Lyra's England?|
physicists. In Lyra's world the Church holds a much more powerful role than in ours, similar to the one held by the Catholic Church in pre-Reformation Europe. It controlled the scientfic study of things such as Dark Matter, or Dust.
|Cinemas existed in Lyra's world, but without colour or sound.|
false. Lyra was enchanted by the movies in Will's Oxford. She claimed to have seen nothing like that before. "We got some things better than you, but this was better than anything we got."
|Lyra and Roger explore the cellars of their college, and see (as well as sample) some of the many wines and spirits. One of them is brantwijn. What do we call this drink in our world?|
brandy. "Brantwijn" means "burnt wine" in Dutch, and is the origin of our word "brandy". Lyra's world also uses the word "jenniver" for gin, which is very similar to the Dutch word for gin, "genever".
|What is the name for chocolate in Lyra's world?|
chocolatl. This comes from the original Aztec word for a chocolate drink; chocolate originating from the cocoa bean grown in Central America.
|Both Lyra's world and our world have a company of trained professional soldiers, employed to serve the Church. The ones in Lyra's world are much more sinister and powerful than ours, however. What are both these forces called?|
Swiss Guard. The Swiss Guard in our world are highly trained soldiers (albeit in slightly silly costumes) who are employed to guard the Pope in Rome. In Lyra's world they are based in Geneva, along with the rest of the Church's most powerful bodies.
|What would Lyra call a photograph?|
photogram. Our word "photograph" comes from the Greek: 'photos' meaning light, and 'graph', an instrument for recording this.
|Which country would be our equivalent of Lyra's Muscovy?|
Russia. Muscovy was a former name for what later became Russia in our world, and the name carries a clear link to the current city of Moscow. There are many mentions of Muscovy in the novels, which are evidently allusions to the Russia of our world. The novels also contain other parallel country names, including New Denmark (America), New France (Canada?) and Nippon (Japan).
|What form of transport is common to Lyra's world and ours, although it has become obsolete in ours and is essential in Lyra's?|
zeppelin. Zeppelins were used in our world in the first half of the 20th Century, but were abandoned after several serious accidents. In Lyra's world they appear to hold the place that aircraft do in ours: a method of air transport that is used frequently and by many people. The world that Lyra knows does not appear to have discovered the jet engine. A gyropter is the word in Lyra's world for what we call a helicopter.
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