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S01.E06: The Daemon-Cages

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Episode Synopsis:

Lyra discovers the horrific truth behind the Gobbler’s activities in the North. She must use all her wits to help free those around her and avoid suffering a terrible fate.

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The best episode so far. Brilliant stuff.

I have to say, the girl that plays Lyra has improved considerably since the first episode. She did a great job.

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That was a really good ep. Lots of action and suspense, and a fair bit of CGI too! I’d forgotten about the cliff-ghasts in the book - they were quite creepy. And well done Lyra for giving Mrs Coulter the spy-fly in the tin - I did remember that part from the book, and I thought it was well executed in the show.

If this were a Netflix series, I would never choose “Skip Intro” - the opening credits are so well done.

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Great episode, I thought that Wilson did a particularly wonderful job expressing the golden thread that binds a mother to a child even if she has given up that child as in this case, and Daphne screaming Mother! was perfection.

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Well they certainly tied that up rather quickly. 

I'm curious to know if there's anyone watching this who hasn't read the books (besides me). I'm not sure how accessible this show is to a non-book reader, it's very high concept. 

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1 hour ago, iMonrey said:

Well they certainly tied that up rather quickly. 

I'm curious to know if there's anyone watching this who hasn't read the books (besides me). I'm not sure how accessible this show is to a non-book reader, it's very high concept. 

I haven't read any of the books. It was stated that there are just two episodes left. Does that mean the show will be ending?

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30 minutes ago, nitrofishblue said:

I haven't read any of the books. It was stated that there are just two episodes left. Does that mean the show will be ending?

The season will. It's been renewed for a second season already. 

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No specific book talk here, don't worry:

Spoiler

I feel like the plot should be easy enough for non-book-readers to follow, but I wonder if they're really understanding the depth of the human/daemon bond (it's literally your soul!) and how much of a violation it is to have your daemon touched without your consent, or how incredibly horrifying and even disgusting it is to see a human without a daemon. I feel like that kind of stuff isn't coming across very well -- Lyra doesn't talk to or touch Pan nearly as much as she should, and she just kind of collapsed when he was grabbed. Everyone looked sympathetic to the daemon-less kids; we didn't even get to see the townspeople who hid inside and left Billy to die because they were too terrified and horrified to get near him. Even one scene of someone being cruel to a severed child would have helped.

Basically, there are a lot of little things they could be doing to better explain daemons, but they're mostly just making them look like cute little animals who follow you around and occasionally talk to you about plot points.

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On 12/10/2019 at 11:20 AM, iMonrey said:

Well they certainly tied that up rather quickly. 

I'm curious to know if there's anyone watching this who hasn't read the books (besides me). I'm not sure how accessible this show is to a non-book reader, it's very high concept. 

I haven't read the books and don't feel like I'm having any trouble following the story or its concepts.

On 12/10/2019 at 1:46 PM, Cranberry said:

No specific book talk here, don't worry:

Spoiler

I feel like the plot should be easy enough for non-book-readers to follow, but I wonder if they're really understanding the depth of the human/daemon bond (it's literally your soul!) and how much of a violation it is to have your daemon touched without your consent, or how incredibly horrifying and even disgusting it is to see a human without a daemon. I feel like that kind of stuff isn't coming across very well -- Lyra doesn't talk to or touch Pan nearly as much as she should, and she just kind of collapsed when he was grabbed. Everyone looked sympathetic to the daemon-less kids; we didn't even get to see the townspeople who hid inside and left Billy to die because they were too terrified and horrified to get near him. Even one scene of someone being cruel to a severed child would have helped.

Basically, there are a lot of little things they could be doing to better explain daemons, but they're mostly just making them look like cute little animals who follow you around and occasionally talk to you about plot points.

That's actually some pretty specific book talk there, for the record.

As a non book reader, I don't feel I've had any trouble understanding how important the daemons are, that they are an integral part of their humans - like, that one woman died right there on the spot when her daemon was killed, and we saw the gyptian boy's daemon evaporate when the boy died, Lyra felt intense pain when Pan was attacked and seemed pretty damn horrified to me when she found Billy with no daemon. I get it. I don't need to be told that I can't possibly understand because such-and-such a scene didn't include certain details. I get it. Any more would only belabor the point and detract from the rest of the plot.

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Which part was specific, the townspeople hiding? That was from the show itself, except I felt like the fact that it was nighttime took away from that a little bit (of course a town is quiet and still in the middle of the night).

I don't mean to insult any viewer's intelligence. I feel like the writer is just making some odd choices that are making certain events less impactful.

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52 minutes ago, Cranberry said:

 I feel like the writer is just making some odd choices that are making certain events less impactful.

I think that is a charge that could be laid at the door of every screenwriter who has ever adapted any book! There are always compromises made, details fudged, plot strands either compressed, merged or removed - lord knows I've complained about it myself in other adaptations, of books I have read. Usually safest to think of the two as distinct entities, related but separate universes. The depth of detail in the books will always be there; the show must stand alone based on whatever detail it has time and space to include. The main fear for me as a book-reader going into any new adaptation is that the characters and their stories will be changed beyond recognition - if the show is faithful in that, I can forgive just about anything else. But that is something for each reader to decide for themselves.

Here, I haven't read this book, but for me as an unspoiled viewer, this show is doing a decent job of standing on its own merits, building a universe that feels rich and intricately layered, populated by intriguing characters. I'm satisfied with that and am enjoying the journey so far.

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I'm a non-book reader. I totally didn't realize the townspeople had deliberately ignored Billy. I thought it was an abandoned town, but maybe I wasn't paying attention. For me, the concept of seeing a human without their soul is actually hard to comprehend as horrifying, but I do get that daemon = life, no daemon = death.

To that end, since the Gyptians did take the daemons that had been severed, is it stupid to think that if the children are reunited with them, it could make them somewhat better? 

Also, am I understanding Ms. Coulter's reasoning correctly? She thinks daemons are bad because they cause you to self-doubt and do bad things once you hit puberty?

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I think the theory is that severing humans from their daemons will stop children from maturing and "sinning." So you'll still age, but will remain innocent.

I also thought that the town was abandoned, so if we were supposed to assume that there were still people there--which I guess would make sense from the talk of it being haunted, which would presume that there are people there to be haunted--it didn't come through. (I have read the books, but it's been MANY years and I don't really remember anything.)

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I think the only hint that there were still people around was that lit lantern Lyra picked up on her way to the shack.

And yeah, the basic idea is that when puberty hits and daemons settle, they start bringing more mature, "sinful" thoughts, so undergoing intercision is kind of like being castrated, or having a lobotomy... rendering you childlike and (ideally) compliant. Looks like it worked fairly well on those nurses, but not so well on the children.

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I haven't read the books. I did watch the movie but I guess it didn't make much of an impression because nothing on the show seemed very familiar. Except the basic concepts of the alternate earth and the souls in animal form.

I managed to mostly follow the show without book knowledge but it does help when people here in the forum go into more detail about how things are described in the books. Especially as others already mentioned that the town was not abandoned like I thought. And other explanations about how important daemons are which doesn't always come across on the show,

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Forgot to add to earlier post: my favourite thing about this episode was right at the end, when Serafina the witch came to talk to Lee about how important Lyra is and how crucial it is that he keep her safe...and all of two minutes later, he went and dropped her out of his balloon from a great height! Great job keeping her safe, Lee!

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That was such a cheesy cliff hanger. Is anyone really worried our main character will fall to her death? When the episode ended I said to my husband “oh, did I forget to tell you the best part of the book is when Lyra suddenly dies and the story ends and nothing is wrapped up. The last 100 pages of the book are blank.” 

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Mrs. Coulter tried to justify it.  Said as kids reach puberty, the daemons give the child regret and some other emotions.

I thought to myself, you mean the things that make you human?

So cutting off the daemon prevents dust from taking hold.

Coulter again showed some regret herself about aspects of her life, just as she did when explaining Asriel's behavior in the earlier episode when they were at her apartment.

When they were taking pictures of Lyra, she deadpanned, "I wash thoroughly so you won't find any dust on me."

Also didn't realize that Nurse Clara had also undergone intercission. So Lyra easily put her in a semi-catatonic state asking about her daemon.

It was an exhilarating episode, though I thought it would be tougher to overcome Solvanger.  I guess the climax and the finale will be about rescuing Asriel and for Iorek to get his chance against his arch rival who took his crown.

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Quote

I feel like the plot should be easy enough for non-book-readers to follow, but I wonder if they're really understanding the depth of the human/daemon bond (it's literally your soul!) and how much of a violation it is to have your daemon touched without your consent, or how incredibly horrifying and even disgusting it is to see a human without a daemon. 

No, I don't think the show is doing a good job of that. I only know it because of forums like this one where people who have read the books talk about it in more detail. 

Part of the problem is probably caused by budgetary restrictions but I also wonder whether the whole daemon concept is downplayed on the show because it's a very religious concept. 

Quote

I think the theory is that severing humans from their daemons will stop children from maturing and "sinning." So you'll still age, but will remain innocent.

My take on it (again, as a non-book reader) is that once you hit puberty you have sinful thoughts and actions and feel guilty about it. It's also my perception that sin = dust, since only adults have dust. So the act of severing the demons means you still sin but you don't feel the guilt, not that you are free of sinful thoughts or actions. They're trying to allow the children to be free of the guilt they feel as adults. But the experiment hasn't yet proven successful because the children just become zombies and that's not their goal, which is why Mrs. Coulter wouldn't let them do it to Lyra. It's not quite ready yet. And the children they've experimented on thus far are just casualties. 

What confuses me is that I keep reading this story is anti-religious, but it seems just the opposite to me. The "bad guys" are trying to remove souls from children so they can grow up guilt free. But since they are the "bad guys" I'm given to think they're doing a bad thing here and the moral is you need your soul. That seems pretty pro-religion to me.

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On 12/10/2019 at 4:01 PM, Shorty186 said:

To that end, since the Gyptians did take the daemons that had been severed, is it stupid to think that if the children are reunited with them, it could make them somewhat better? 

That was one thing that I felt was missing.  I think the rescuers did gather up the severed daemons -- I thought we caught a glimpse of one in a cage under a tarp as they prepared to march away from the prison -- but that makes me wonder why they didn't try to reunite each child with his/her daemon.  That would have been a sad but important scene if we were shown that they can't be reunited -- that the children and their daemons no longer recognize one another (or perhaps are even horrified by each other.)  I assume that that is the case and that's why they left the daemons in their cages.  But it wasn't really clear.

I have to say I do think one failing of the show is that they have given me NO understanding of what Mrs. Coulter and the Magisterium are trying to accomplish.  Here we are, six episode in, and I still don't understand what "dust" is, nor why the Magisterium thinks severing daemons is a good thing. I get that they are supposed to be a bunch of evil, religious fanatics but I don't understand what they are about and as such, that makes them one-note and uninteresting villains.

All that being said, I did enjoy the episode -- especially Lyra's self-sufficiency, the tension of her near miss in the severing chamber, and her later ruthless destruction of it.

I had forgotten about the bug she trapped in that tin so that was a nice call-back. (I guess she had in the pocket of her coat all this time and so she got it back when she recovered her clothes?).  But now I'm wondering, where is the REAL aletheometer?

Funny that Mrs. Coulter escaped her captivity using the same duct-crawling technique that Lyra had use to uncover her secrets back in her apartment.  Like mother like daughter.

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6 hours ago, WatchrTina said:

That was one thing that I felt was missing.  I think the rescuers did gather up the severed daemons -- I thought we caught a glimpse of one in a cage under a tarp as they prepared to march away from the prison -- but that makes me wonder why they didn't try to reunite each child with his/her daemon.  That would have been a sad but important scene if we were shown that they can't be reunited -- that the children and their daemons no longer recognize one another (or perhaps are even horrified by each other.)  I assume that that is the case and that's why they left the daemons in their cages.  But it wasn't really clear.

I have to say I do think one failing of the show is that they have given me NO understanding of what Mrs. Coulter and the Magisterium are trying to accomplish.  Here we are, six episode in, and I still don't understand what "dust" is, nor why the Magisterium thinks severing daemons is a good thing. I get that they are supposed to be a bunch of evil, religious fanatics but I don't understand what they are about and as such, that makes them one-note and uninteresting villains.

One of the gyptians said something about the severed daemons being unable to speak anymore, which I figured had something to do with why they weren't immediately reunited with their humans. After all, the severed children were practically catatonic, so if they didn't immediately respond to the sight of their daemons in cages, to make reunion easily possible, I'd guess that simply packing them all up to deal with at leisure once they get to a safer place was the smart decision - they couldn't hang around too long in case Magisterium reinforcements showed up.

I've interpreted the mysteriousness of what dust is and what the Magisterium are trying to achieve as just that: a mystery, to be unfolded only slowly over the course of the show, so that we as viewers mostly only know as much about what is going on as Lyra does, learning more gradually as the story progresses, just as Lyra slowly learns more. The lack of detailed early explanations are a feature, rather than a bug. Of course, mileage varies for each viewer over whether they appreciate that kind of slowly unfolding mystery or not.

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I thought the severing of the daemons was to curb rebellious thoughts. By removing the way Free Thinking appears to manifest, the ruling party can maintain an active society without creating a vigorous society. Their citizens would be more like a high functioning Zombie class. Of course the Elites and their progeny get to keep their daemons.

I think the show does a poor job of expressing the importance of the daemons, since a majority of the time I don't even notice that people have them, especially in crowd scenes.

I also think a lot of the dialog is stilted, like a person giving a grand important speech when they are just talking to one or two people.

The haunted village scene was very bad, it made it seem like the village was deserted. A few people scurrying away from their windows (curtains moving) or lights going out as Lyra approached houses would have been way more dramatic.

I am not enjoying Lin-Manuel Miranda's performance, he channeling a flim-flam man or carnival barker type that makes him seem insincere and untrustworthy. Needs to be less sing-songy, he is not auditioning for a part in "The Music Man".

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I really liked that episode, it was really exciting and we really seem to be moving along plot wise! Lyra and Mrs. Coulter screaming hysterically at each other from opposite sides of the door did a really good job at showing the similarities between them, even as they are on totally opposite sides morally. No wonder Mrs. Coulter is normally so composed, when she loses her shit, she really loses her shit! Lyra using the clockwork bug to escape was very clever, and I like the way it played out here. 

The effects and look of the show continue to be extremely impressive, the creepy freaking cliff-ghasts especially! I totally forgot that they were a thing, they are even creepier in live action than in the book! 

Poor kids, at least they got out, and Ma Costa got her revenge, taking out Dr. I was Just Following Orders and hopefully that will help her get some closure. Basically the idea of what they are doing is that they want people to stop feeling all of those darn complicated adult emotions, its like they're the village elders from The Giver or something. 

I read the books, albeit years ago when I was a kid, so while I certainly have my own imagine of what I imagined different things to be like and what has been changed and what hasn't, but I am mostly trying to see the show as its own thing.

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On 12/12/2019 at 11:19 AM, AnimeMania said:

I thought the severing of the daemons was to curb rebellious thoughts. By removing the way Free Thinking appears to manifest, the ruling party can maintain an active society without creating a vigorous society. Their citizens would be more like a high functioning Zombie class. Of course the Elites and their progeny get to keep their daemons.

Okay I like this interpretation.  And now I recall that there was that one nurse who looked quite young and who clearly had been severed from her daemon -- presumably just prior to puberty.  She could still function (albeit in a sad, zombie-like way) so perhaps she is the model for what the Magisterium is planning -- a world full of compliant daemon-less worker-class people controlled by those still-connected-to-their-daemons Elites.

On 12/12/2019 at 11:19 AM, AnimeMania said:

I think the show does a poor job of expressing the importance of the daemons, since a majority of the time I don't even notice that people have them, especially in crowd scenes.

I cut them some slack on that.  The daemons are all CGI and they have to spend their special-effects budget judiciously.  I think they do a good job of giving us enough shots with critters in them to support the assertion that each person is accompanied by his or her daemon at all times. When I can't see someone's daemon I just assume they are slightly off camera, or in flight above, or resting in their human's pocket (or up their coat sleeve if they are snake.).

Edited by WatchrTina
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I loved this. Best episode so far, just fierce, terrifying and complex. I loved it. And I am so excited to see

Spoiler

Will!

On 12/10/2019 at 7:41 PM, Cranberry said:

And yeah, the basic idea is that when puberty hits and daemons settle, they start bringing more mature, "sinful" thoughts, so undergoing intercision is kind of like being castrated, or having a lobotomy... rendering you childlike and (ideally) compliant. Looks like it worked fairly well on those nurses, but not so well on the children.

To outline it ONLY (and carefully) as it is being shown on the show (no spoilers) :

  1. Asriel showed in episode 1 that Dust adheres to adults, not children. He is visibly pro-Dust, and anti-Magisterium (church).
  2. Asriel also showed that Dust may reveal or lead to other worlds. (For instance, Will is part of another world, possibly ours, since in his world humans do not have daemons.)
  3. As we saw with the gyptian ceremony, in childhood, while there is no Dust, children's daemons change shape constantly. When the daemon 'settles' into one form, the child becomes an adult and presumably begins to attract Dust.
  4. Mrs. Coulter is pro-Magisterium and virulently anti-Dust, which she equates with "bad thoughts" and sin. She is willing to maim and kill to save people from Dust and sin.
  5. Intercision (cutting away of the daemon) is being done on adults, presumably as test subjects. But these adults already have "Dust" on them.
  6. Bolvangar was obviously "measuring" whether Dust was appearing on the children yet, as we saw from the scene with Lyra and the doctor.
  7. Asriel and Mrs. Coulter appear to be working directly in opposition to one another.
  8. Mrs. Coulter seems to believe that children who are cut from their daemons will never attract Dust and so are 'saved' in some way from sin.
On 12/11/2019 at 12:47 AM, paulvdb said:

I haven't read the books. I did watch the movie but I guess it didn't make much of an impression because nothing on the show seemed very familiar. Except the basic concepts of the alternate earth and the souls in animal form.

In defense of poor Chris Weitz, the director and co-adapter of "The Golden Compass," the studio took his finished edit and basically neutered it, removing almost all anti-Magisterium scenes, and utterly cutting away the original (book-faithful) ending entirely. I think the movie still has moments of great beauty, but the way the religious right were so pandered to (first with gutting the movie edit, and secondly, in ending the trilogy after one installment, despite a healthy box office) was grotesque.

On 12/11/2019 at 2:26 AM, Llywela said:

Forgot to add to earlier post: my favourite thing about this episode was right at the end, when Serafina the witch came to talk to Lee about how important Lyra is and how crucial it is that he keep her safe...and all of two minutes later, he went and dropped her out of his balloon from a great height!

I loved that entire conversation, though, and thought it was beautifully acted. I was iffy on Lin-Manuel Miranda's casting, but I think he's doing a wonderful job as Lee, and he brings to the role a sharpness and roughness I haven't seen him play before now. I also love the subtle flirtation between him and Serafina.

On 12/11/2019 at 11:44 AM, scrb said:

Mrs. Coulter tried to justify it.  Said as kids reach puberty, the daemons give the child regret and some other emotions.

I thought to myself, you mean the things that make you human?

So cutting off the daemon prevents dust from taking hold.

Mrs. Coulter equates puberty, the settling of the daemon, and Dust, with sin.

On 12/11/2019 at 12:04 PM, iMonrey said:

Part of the problem is probably caused by budgetary restrictions but I also wonder whether the whole daemon concept is downplayed on the show because it's a very religious concept. 

What confuses me is that I keep reading this story is anti-religious, but it seems just the opposite to me. The "bad guys" are trying to remove souls from children so they can grow up guilt free. But since they are the "bad guys" I'm given to think they're doing a bad thing here and the moral is you need your soul. That seems pretty pro-religion to me.

Exactly the opposite, on both counts.

I will be as careful as I can to answer this only with what the show has demonstrated for us, so fingers crossed. I will spoiler-tag this JUST IN CASE, but I am not including any actual spoilers:

  • Spoiler

     

    • The show/story is deeply anti-religious, at least in terms of "organized religion controlling people's lives." The show/trilogy's very title "His Dark Materials" is a key phrase from Milton's "Paradise Lost," which is famously about the rebellion of Lucifer against God.
    • And the author Philip Pullman is an executive producer on this precisely because the anti-religious aspect of his books was gutted from the previous movie and he didn't want that to happen again with the show.
    • However, a soul is not necessarily just a religious concept. In this world, the daemon, or external "animal-soul" is simply part of being alive and human. Which also means, in this world, that a soul is visible, physical and incontrovertible -- not something whose existence can be argued.
    • The Magisterium ARE "the bad guys." Like Mrs. Coulter, they are obsessed with sin and "Dust," to the extent that they are willing to torture and kill children in order to keep them "innocent" and sinless. Bolvangar was the product of work between Mrs. Coulter and the Magisterium.
    • To me, the show is very clear about the darkness of the Magisterium (and what it is capable of). Its priests have been shown as being corrupt and willing to condone all sorts of terrible things, all in the name of battling "sin."
    • Just because they're anti-sin doesn't mean they're good peeps, however. How many terrible things have been done by the Church, by political leaders in our own world, in that same quest? All excusing atrocity after atrocity, war after war, if only they can find "purity" or "defeat sin?" From the Crusades, to the Inquisition, to the Nazis, etc.?
    • And what is "sin?" And what makes sin evil? Why is Mrs. Coulter so obsessed with sin, for instance? It's interesting to watch such an openly bad person try to save others' "innocence," but that's always the way it goes with hypocrites.

     

     

On 12/11/2019 at 7:07 PM, WatchrTina said:

That was one thing that I felt was missing.  I think the rescuers did gather up the severed daemons -- I thought we caught a glimpse of one in a cage under a tarp as they prepared to march away from the prison -- but that makes me wonder why they didn't try to reunite each child with his/her daemon.  That would have been a sad but important scene if we were shown that they can't be reunited -- that the children and their daemons no longer recognize one another (or perhaps are even horrified by each other.)  I assume that that is the case and that's why they left the daemons in their cages.  But it wasn't really clear.

I have to say I do think one failing of the show is that they have given me NO understanding of what Mrs. Coulter and the Magisterium are trying to accomplish.  Here we are, six episode in, and I still don't understand what "dust" is, nor why the Magisterium thinks severing daemons is a good thing. I get that they are supposed to be a bunch of evil, religious fanatics but I don't understand what they are about and as such, that makes them one-note and uninteresting villains.

I absolutely agree with you on the emotional potential of that scene. I wish they could have shown the severed children with their daemons as well, but I also suspect it would have added several minutes to the episode (and a ton of cost to an already CGI-heavy episode).

As far as the Magisterium's goals, I have included some bullet points directly above your post that I hope might clear things up? There are no spoilers but it is a summation of what we have seen on the show so far.

Edited by paramitch · Reason: fixed parenthesis (which inadvertently became a sad emoji) :D
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I realize it is intentional in the animation but mrs coulter’s Face and expressions ae so much like the monkey daemon.  I find myself thinking about it more and more when I watch her. The cruelty we saw the daemon perform come home to roost. Not that she was ever any angel of mercy. 

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This is such a great episode, my favorite so far.

Hearing Mrs. Coulter's "explanation" to Lyra about daemons - basically, it's all the daemons' fault! - certainly gives context to why she's so mean to her own daemon.

I greatly enjoyed the scene where Mrs. Coulter realized Lyra was the one in the cage. If it weren't for the fact that Lyra and Pan, of course, would suffer the worst of it, I'd say getting her kid turned into a zombie is what Mrs. Coulter deserves. But at least she felt horror for a few seconds. Not that it lasted long before she was back to her smug self, all "oh well" about Billy.

One thing that doesn't hold together for me is how Mrs. Coulter and the Magisterium could ever think they'd be able to convince more than a tiny minority of parents to allow their children's daemons to be severed from them. Very few people feel about their daemons the way Mrs. Coulter feels about hers, and the sight of someone without their daemon is so viscerally repulsive that it even causes people to abandon children.

It's hard to topple an organized religion, but a policy like that would do it with a quickness. There'd be a schism in short order, with most of the Magisterium abandoning the idea rather quickly in the face of violent public sentiment, and Mrs. Coulter and whatever Magisterium maniacs still remained firmly anti-daemon would be designated a splinter cult. If they were even allowed to remain alive long enough for that - frankly I think they'd quickly end up burned at the stake or whatever this world does to heretics.

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On 1/13/2020 at 10:25 PM, Black Knight said:

This is such a great episode, my favorite so far.

Hearing Mrs. Coulter's "explanation" to Lyra about daemons - basically, it's all the daemons' fault! - certainly gives context to why she's so mean to her own daemon.

I greatly enjoyed the scene where Mrs. Coulter realized Lyra was the one in the cage. If it weren't for the fact that Lyra and Pan, of course, would suffer the worst of it, I'd say getting her kid turned into a zombie is what Mrs. Coulter deserves. But at least she felt horror for a few seconds. Not that it lasted long before she was back to her smug self, all "oh well" about Billy.

One thing that doesn't hold together for me is how Mrs. Coulter and the Magisterium could ever think they'd be able to convince more than a tiny minority of parents to allow their children's daemons to be severed from them. Very few people feel about their daemons the way Mrs. Coulter feels about hers, and the sight of someone without their daemon is so viscerally repulsive that it even causes people to abandon children.

It's hard to topple an organized religion, but a policy like that would do it with a quickness. There'd be a schism in short order, with most of the Magisterium abandoning the idea rather quickly in the face of violent public sentiment, and Mrs. Coulter and whatever Magisterium maniacs still remained firmly anti-daemon would be designated a splinter cult. If they were even allowed to remain alive long enough for that - frankly I think they'd quickly end up burned at the stake or whatever this world does to heretics.

Just like all of those child abuse scandals have toppled the Catholic Church, right?

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On 12/20/2019 at 11:25 AM, paramitch said:
  • Asriel showed in episode 1 that Dust adheres to adults, not children. He is visibly pro-Dust, and anti-Magisterium (church).
  • Asriel also showed that Dust may reveal or lead to other worlds. (For instance, Will is part of another world, possibly ours, since in his world humans do not have daemons.)
  • As we saw with the gyptian ceremony, in childhood, while there is no Dust, children's daemons change shape constantly. When the daemon 'settles' into one form, the child becomes an adult and presumably begins to attract Dust.
  • Mrs. Coulter is pro-Magisterium and virulently anti-Dust, which she equates with "bad thoughts" and sin. She is willing to maim and kill to save people from Dust and sin.
  • Intercision (cutting away of the daemon) is being done on adults, presumably as test subjects. But these adults already have "Dust" on them.
  • Bolvangar was obviously "measuring" whether Dust was appearing on the children yet, as we saw from the scene with Lyra and the doctor.
  • Asriel and Mrs. Coulter appear to be working directly in opposition to one another.
  • Mrs. Coulter seems to believe that children who are cut from their daemons will never attract Dust and so are 'saved' in some way from sin.

I think there's also a layer of self-loathing and mental illness in Mrs Coulter which contributes to her anti-Dust attitude. They've suggested before that she isn't entirely emotionally stable (her referencing sometimes wanting to fall from great heights and walking along the edge of her balcony while drinking, calling herself a difficult/emotional child, her rather extreme response to Lyra challenging her). Many mood disorder symptoms really kick into gear after puberty, so she may be confounding her own issues with sin/Dust.

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On 1/22/2020 at 6:30 AM, Wicked Biscuit said:

I think there's also a layer of self-loathing and mental illness in Mrs Coulter which contributes to her anti-Dust attitude. They've suggested before that she isn't entirely emotionally stable (her referencing sometimes wanting to fall from great heights and walking along the edge of her balcony while drinking, calling herself a difficult/emotional child, her rather extreme response to Lyra challenging her). Many mood disorder symptoms really kick into gear after puberty, so she may be confounding her own issues with sin/Dust.

I agree. I think Mrs. Coulter has gone along the route of desperately hating sin within herself, her own mistakes in life (both sexual and otherwise) and wanting to obliterate those possibilities in others. It's gross but I can see it as a believable scenario. 

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Something tells me separating people from their daemon will not stop sinful thinking. 🙄

That was a suspenseful episode!  So glad the children were saved. It was definitely uncomfortable watching a show where children were being experimented on and tortured. 

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