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  • Alternative Character Interpretation. Lord Asriel. Is he a callous would-be dictator? A misguided freedom fighter? An amoral ubermensch? An anti-hero? An anti-villain? Even Pullman sometimes seems to be at odds over this character.
  • Anvilicious - The Amber Spyglass in comparison to the other two books.
  • Complete Monster - Ms. Coulter for the first two books. In The Amber Spyglass she shows some qualities that might steer her clear of this strict definition. Although she's still a real bitch.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Iorek Byrnison, and by extension the rest of the Panserbjorne. This one's to be expected.
  • Fridge Horror - It must be somewhat uncomfortable to have your inner nature projected for everyone to see, if not outright dangerous in some cases (eg the same-sex daemons = homosexuality theory)
  • Genius Bonus: Shortly after they meet, Will and Lyra question why "electricity" refers to what is called "anbarism" in Lyra's world, and why the stone called "electrum" in Lyra's world is called "amber" in Will's. Though neither child realizes the connection, the evolution of both terms alludes to the fact that the first observations of electricity(in our world, anyway!) came from pieces of amber imparting static charges to feathers and other small particles.
  • Holy Shit Quotient - In The Amber Spyglass we get a battle scene in another dimension between armies composed of, and this is all true: angels, witches, ghosts, cosmic horrors, interdimensional aliens, jet fighters, at least one Physical God as well as God himself, badass lilliputians, steampunk airships, soldiers armed with rifles, machine guns, flamethrowers and poison gas guns, monsters, animal spirits, floating fortresses, thunder and lightning, and, of course, armored polar bears.
  • Magnificent Bastard - Lord Asriel
  • Magnificent Bitch-Ms. Coulter
  • Only the Author Can Save Them Now - How are some kids supposed to save the universes, otherwise?
  • Toy Ship - Will and Lyra are a canon example.
  • Unfortunate Implication: while it's arguable if God Is Evil in this universe or if the Authority is just a God Guise, it remains to be noticed that this book seems to doom all religions as bad : all the characters somehow linked to religion (even some random priest met by Will at some point who wasn't even part of the antagonists) are portrayed as racist, superstitious, fanatic, intolerant KnightTemplars who will doom evil anything the story classify as good. One of the witches even at some point delivers a speech where she states outright she considers any form of religion as bad. Needless to say, the author had some problem because of this.
    • as a Reason.com review pointed out: Its kind of ironic that Phillip Pullman labels other works like Narnia as sexist and full of class snobbery, when Will the male hero, is the one who gets to fight the most and even becomes The Chosen One in control of the mystical Subtle Knife, meanwhile Lyra's greatest feats are accomplished by "feminine" wiles like lying and manipulation; Also the class snobbery manifests in that Lyra is the (illegitimate) daughter of aristocrats and is vastly superior in intellect and wits than his friends in Oxford (who also happen to be the children of servants) and Will being the son of a Royal Marines officer from the beginning.
    • There's also the fact that "all servants" supposedly have dog dæmons, suggesting that they were chosen as servants because of their dæmons; people who don't have dogs as dæmons can't get the job because they are considered too independent. It's not hard to think of racial profiling or job discrimination when it comes to this.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not for Kids?? - (Don't even get us started...)
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