Daemon Sex!

That title should get some interesting hits off of Google.

But one of the most interesting elements of the His Dark Materials sequence of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass is seeing how a person’s daemon reacts when that person experiences some… sensual pleasures.

Early in The Golden Compass, Lyra and Roger nick a bottle of spirits and proceed to drink it, just to see what all the fuss is about. Nothing happens to them — except for the fact that their daemons start to get all giddy and silly — until both Lyra and Roger get thoroughly sick.

Right, so daemons appear to rob some of the pleasure from drinking. Pantalaimon gets giddy, and Lyra gets sick. Not many alcoholics in Lyras world, I suspect, unless it’s the daemons that do all the drinking. “Water for me, and a pint for my little ferret, here, barman!”

But Lyra has the misfortune of seeing her parents in a rather passionate moment, and while Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter have an intense conversation and kiss a lot, their daemons… scamper and roll and play. I couldn’t help it; my eyebrows shot up and stayed there for a long time. I’m sure Lyra’s did as well.

Philip Pullman topped himself, however, in The Subtle Knife when Mrs. Coulter seduced Lord Boreal. Actually, all Mrs. Coulter did was talk. Her golden monkey daemon cosied up to Lord Boreal’s snake and proceeded to… well, let’s just say there was a lot of stroking involved.

This just shows, the British are a lot less prudish than North Americans, and Philip Pullman is a brave man telling his story as he saw it, and not caring one whit for what possible censors of these young adult novels might think. Indeed, I can just see this scene with Mrs. Coulter and Lord Boreal written almost as a challenge. Can you see the censors discussing it?

CENSOR 1: I don’t believe it! That monkey is fondling that snake!
CENSOR 2: What are you talking about?
CENSOR 1: Read the books! Mrs. Coulter’s monkey is stroking Lord Boreal’s snake!
CENSOR 2: Are you talking about innuendo, here?
CENSOR 1: No! Mrs. Coulter has a real monkey, and her monkey is stroking Lord Boreal’s pet snake!!
CENSOR 2: Now I know you’re nuts. Security! This man’s seeing monkey sex over here! Get the nets!

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