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Frequent Contributor
BarbaraN
Posts: 519
Registered: ‎11-08-2006
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Lyra's and Will's choice - SPOILERS --

Lyra's and Will's Choice

DON'T READ ON UNLESS YOU HAVE FINISHED THE SERIES
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If you have reached the end of the series, you know it ends with a terrible choice on the part of Lyra and Will. They fall in love and after a brief time together must part forever. Dramatically this works well in the book and ends with the two of them making a supreme sacrifice for the good of all the worlds.

The problem was that all the openings between the Universes had to be shut to keep the Dust from leaking out, no more windows could be opened without creating a new Specter, and one and only one could be left opened and maintained safely and that was so the dead could escape their horrible limbo and rejoin the stuff of the universe. Also if one of them, Will or Lyra, tried to live in another world, they would eventually die in a short life-span of ten years. Neither could stand by and watch the other sacrifice their life span. So the choice was to close all the windows between universes, not to open any more and break the knife, and for each of them to return to their world to live out their normal lives.

I was wondering what choices the rest of you might make?

I personally looked at it differently. The Gallivespians led relatively short but fruitful lives of about 8 years--that was the nature of their existence and they were satisfied with the time they had. The witches had extremely long lives of hundreds of years and that was the way of their species. When their time came to die, it was OK. They had lived their full allocation. Humans live on an average of about 75 or 80 years.

Pullman has already brought up the subject of "what is a lifetime." I think I personally would have chosen the "lifetime" of ten years together. They could have gone to a third world like Chi'gazze where they both would have aged together. Will did have the problem of his mother, but after all his father left her and his family to follow his dream and chose the shorter life. Mary was planning on helping Will and his mother out back in their world so I think his mother would have faired just fine since Mary was returning. Dramatically, their choice worked but Pullman did leave a lot of alternatives that could have been taken with, what appeared to me, little real danger. So which solution would you have chosen:

1. Will and Lyra's choice of returning to their own worlds and destroying the knife?
2. The ten years together in a third world?
3. One living in the other's world where one would live a long life and the other die early?
4. Cutting through a window say once a year to spend some time together and only letting out one specter a year? The angel already said they could deal with specters and they had lots they had to deal with then. What was one more a year?
5. Leaving one window open? Dust could leak out but it would probably take billions of years, but it could be replenished by human behavior, and who knows what else might happen in the very far distance future.
Contributor
FionaBR3
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎01-27-2008
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Re: Lyra's and Will's choice - SPOILERS --

I won't say what I would pick, but I will say what fate I would choose for the characters. If you'll please do me the courtesy of first giving your response to "Lord Asriel, Lyra, and Mrs. Coulter"

Thank You,
FionaBR3
Inspired Contributor
MadamedeChevreuse
Posts: 191
Registered: ‎01-07-2008
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Re: Lyra's and Will's choice - SPOILERS --

I don't know what I would choose - but I have often thought about it while reading The Amber Spyglass. I think that living together in another world would have been a good choice, except for the fact that Will's mother was important to him. He couldn't just leave her as his father left. I always thought that the books were resolved in a very good way. The sacrifice that Will and Lyra make is very beautiful and sad. I don't think that the series would be as powerful if they ran off alone into another world together. It would be as if they were turning their backs on their societies, which needed them. Still, I don't know what I would do. That would be a very hard choice to make.
A book is like a mirror: If an idiot peers into it, you can't expect an apostle to look out.
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dreamwyvr
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-28-2008
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Re: Lyra's and Will's choice - SPOILERS --

My very first post! :smileyhappy: And what a good question to start off with! I actually wondered the same thing myself.

I think that if I were the writer, I would have found a way for Lyra and Will to stay together -- even if, like you say, it leads to a shortened life for both. I think, however, Pullman needed an ending that left the reader dissatisfied, but understanding -- if that makes sense? The whole idea of the series comes down to individuals -- not partnerships. If you notice, nearly every friendship or relationship in the novels is torn apart at some point (on the most concrete level, the children and their daemons...) Pullman would have lost some of the integrity of the novel imo if he left it all warm and fuzzy at the end with Lyra and Will living happily ever after.
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svenhoek
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-08-2008
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Re: Lyra's and Will's choice - SPOILERS --

If i were Will i would have told them i was leaving two windows open. To have gone through all of that and find that Lyra was what you had really done it all for, only to have to leave her after about a week of being in love would have been too much for me. I would have looked the angel in the face and told her that i was leaving two windows open, one of them only for a measly human lifetime. Get over it.
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Pantalaimon
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-20-2008
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Re: Lyra's and Will's choice - SPOILERS --

I would've agreed more with Pullman's choice if there was more explanation about the following:

- the creation of specters each time the window was opened;
- as for the creation of the Republic of Heaven for each universe, I understand that Pullman is speaking about the metaphorical sense of doing good and spreading that, etc. However, some universes simply have more grim circumstances, i.e., our world (Will's world) with constant world wars and such. In my opinion, he could do more good spreading love and goodness together with Lyra. The two of them were invincible and what the two did together was greater than what they did individually; &
- offer an alternative where due to their witch statuses, that witches lead a different life. Despite not having the ability to fly, does their status also grant them longer lives?

However, I do wish that the ending was a little bit fuller. It feels like things were thrown together too quickly and lacked imagination. Lyra was always one to do the impossible. But it seemed like once all the "grown-ups" (Xanphania, etc.) came into the picture at the end, creativity died... and simply that Dust was "using" Will's and Lyra's innocence through the alethiometer and the knife... and then dumped them off when it was all said and done. And it seems like whatever ending happened, readers are willing to pardon Pullman for a "lemon" ending because of our love for the characters.
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RhymesWithEmpty
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-29-2008
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Re: Lyra's and Will's choice - SPOILERS --

I agree largely with Pantalaimon(the poster above me, heh) in that Pullman could have expanded on and explained things a lot more than he did to make the ending more satisfying. I also feel like he let some of the concepts that he had built up over the course of the books fall flat, leaving me a bit disappointed. The witches' prophecy about Lyra, for example - she is Eve, the mother of all, she's the one to kill destiny - a lot of hype that I don't think the conclusion lived up to. I was expecting a lot more from it, but instead, Lyra is more like a tool of the Dust, and, as Pan said, is dumped off at the end, seeming rather inconsequential. Either Pullman should have downplayed the prophecy, or really dramatized Lyra's decision and the result of it, and all of her parallels to Eve, and just her position as a character during the climax and conclusion of the story in general. I rather expected something incredibly surreal and symbolic to finish everything off with a bang, but I didn't get it, and what I did get paled in comparison to the rest of the story, in my opinion.

As an alternative to Will and Lyra returning to their own worlds, I thought for sure that Pullman was going to have them put their witch-like powers to use, and abandon their dæmons once more to live in another world together, since it was their dæmons who couldn't live outside of their own worlds. It would have been rather poetic - Will and Lyra each giving up the most intimate part of themselves for each other. Perhaps to live in Cittàgazze and help destroy the Specters with the knife. I think it would have been a lot more bittersweet(in a good way) to see Lyra abandoning Pan once more, for the sake of love. Abandoning Will to become a normal girl back in Oxford seems a bit lackluster in comparison, to me. But hey, I didn't write the books, and I know Pullman had his reasons for ending it the way he did. I just think it could have been done with a lot more flair, personally. As a writer, I don't think you should let the ending of your story be outdone by the rest of it, and in a story where they travel to the underworld, release all of the souls trapped within, and essentially wage war against heaven and overthrow God, an ending where Lyra and Will abandon their love for eachother and return to their normal lives doesn't cut it for me.
New User
Brandim
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-19-2008
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Re: Lyra's and Will's choice - SPOILERS --

I would've kept another window open, or not destroyed the knife, because even if it was young love, it was still love.  They went through so much, and it really saddened me.  I couldn't put any of the novels down, and as soon as I was finished with one, I was out the door to buy the next.  I wish it would've ended differently for them.  I probably cried for them for an hour after I finished the Amber Spyglass.  But you know, it made me think about how good I have it, I have my love with me all the time, and I was saddened even more for them.  After going through so much, shouldn't they have had the reward of each other's company for as long as they wanted it?  Pullman didn't have to make it so complicated on them.  I didn't think it was fair.  I'd read this series years ago, and wanted to read it again, because I'd forgotten a lot of what happened, and remembering loving it, but when I read it then, I guess I didn't have the same feelings for someone that I have now, and I couldn't bear being torn from him.  It really was a coming of age series, and I'm 25 years old, and I enjoyed it thoroughly, except for the end.  It took them so long to realize their feelings, but it would've hindered their journey if they'd known sooner how they felt, but I can't help but wish they'd known sooner so as to have more time together.  I haven't read Lyra's Oxford yet, but its next on the list.  Pullman doesn't even know how happy it would make me if they could find a way to be together, so hopefully, if he does make any more stories about them, I want them to find a way to be together.  So many fantastic things happened in His Dark Materials, how hard would it be to make this happen?  Or at the very least, be able to see each other again.  Oh, and it made me really want a daemon of my own.  Anybody else want one of their own?
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