Katie Leung and Evanna Lynch Attend “Golden Compass” Premiere in London

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Nov 27, 2007

Posted by EdwardTLC
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Actresses Katie Leung (Cho Chang) and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) were in attendance at the world premiere of “The Golden Compass” tonight at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, England. Photos of the pair posing on the red carpet have started to appear online, the first of which can be seen right here courtesy of Getty Images. We expect more images from the event online soon.

Thanks to LizetM and Kimmy!





65 Responses to Katie Leung and Evanna Lynch Attend “Golden Compass” Premiere in London

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I knew some of the HP kids would go to this! Yay! :) I was kind of hoping Bonnie or Emma would be there though.

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WOOHOO! second comment? =)

They look great! Evanna looks like she’s having teh time of her life, going to her first non-Potter premiere :)

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WWooo Hoo! GO HP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve always had a CRUSH on Harry! This thing is cool go Lee

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I’m actually somewhat sad to see people showing support for this movie. Please be careful and do some research before you go – the man who wrote the books on which this movie and the next two are based has openly claimed to want to “kill God.” I just want to make sure that people are aware of what they are going to see – these movies are not the same as the Chronicles of Narnia. Be careful what you’re taking your kids too . . . don’t believe me, just check it out for yourself. This first one may not be that bad, but it could get children interested in reading the books, and the second two books are definitely not for children.

Thanks everyone!

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Guess Bonnie is busy shooting. :) It’s great to see these girls hanging out outside of work. :D

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Good points, HJWeasley, but I would add that it’s the same with Harry Potter; a parent would best know what his or her children could handle. Some kids take great fun in being horrified by the imagery in Order of the Phoenix. Other kids would have a very hard time with it. I’d say it’s the same with the atheistic message of the Golden Compass, as well as the Christian message of Narnia. Some kids are ready to have beliefs - or lack thereof - stand up to scrutiny, while others might need to learn more critical thinking first.

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I’m surprised Emma didn’t attend, she mentioned in the GoF dvd interview that these were among her favorite books.

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HJWeasley, I’m a kid. I’m eleven, actually. And I’m a Christian – but I loved the His Dark Materials books, and it doesn’t make me feel anything different about my religion. I think it is a kids book, if that’s what kids want to read. I can’t stand it when people under-estimate kids and what they can handle or what a book could make them believe.

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I am glad that Evanna is making it to premiers!

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Harry Potter, His Dark Materials my faverite seriess

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The Weasley kids have all been busy filming, and Emma’s probably busy with school, so it’s no surprise they weren’t there.

Katie’s hair looks cute, and I like how Evanna wears Rupert-like shoes, lol.

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Oh, and I want to add that I mean it respectfully. Obviously you can warn people about it and I’m sure they appreciate it. But to say they’re “definetly not for children” is incorrect in my mind. But I guess that is your opinion and you have the right to stop your own children from reading the HDM books…But I think other children should completely be allowed to read them with their parents permission.

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HJWeasley, parents should definitely know what their children are reading! I would think any good parent would want to learn about the things they are telling their children to read, for all sorts of different reasons. However, please don’t assume that all parents would not want their children reading a book simply because it presents a different religious view point than the one they may or may not be teaching their children. There are a lot of parents who think all view points should be presented their kids so that children can make up their own minds. :) And that’s even assuming that the books do go against Christianity, which is certainly still up for debate. I appreciate your respectful comment though and I mean no disrespect with what I am saying!

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Oh, aren’t they darlings! :) Kate looks cute (I love her violet bag!). They look lovely. I think this is so far my favorite of Evanna’s premiere outfits. It’s a nice color on her and her hair looks very nice up!

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I think it’s great that you all are managing to have a discussion with differing points of view and still maintain a respectful tone.

Thanks!

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HJWeasley,

First off, thank you for stating your opinion so politely. It’s very nice of you to warn parents ahead of time about the content their children are looking at. While I love the His Dark Materials books almost equally to Harry Potter (almost), I understand that some people find their content offensive or against their religous views. However, it is my opinion (and maybe it is biased, since I’m only thirteen myself) that children should be able to read what they want. It is, of course, a parent’s complete right to stop their kids reading something they deem inappropriate. But I think kids – and teens, for that matter – should be able to look at whatever book they want, whether is opposes their religous views or not. If the parents have given permission, which I would hope is given freely and openly with the knowledge that kids learn from other opinions as well as the parents, by all means encourage the reading. I know I have gained so much by being allowed to read things that are against my own beliefs, when they are age appropriate.

But again, thanks for giving such a repectful view of it!

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HJ Weasley- I respect your opinion…but I definitely think you took Phillip Pullman’s quote out of context. I believe he was referring to killing God sarcastically after religious fundamentalists claimed that’s what he set out to do. If you’ve read the books, you’ll realize they’re actually kind of spiritual, and their only complaint is with ORGANIZED religion. Pullman himself says he’s more agnostic than anything. I’m a firm believer in God, and I still think His Dark Materials is the most beautifully written, human fantasy I’ve ever read (in addition to HP of course). However, I do agree that the second two books are for a more adult audience – but that doesn’t mean children can’t read them. I think they’re actually quite enlightening.

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HJWeasley: I agree, 100% with Grace Weasley. It was very respectful of you to “warn” others of this movie….It’s a MOVIE, kids! It is fantasy. As is the book, I believe. Let us not forget that this site is for discussing Harry Potter and events surrounding this series. How interesting it is that this almost parallels the “discussions” reguarding JK Rowling and her beliefs (or lack thereof, according to some) PLEASE, let us not go there, ok?(jumping off my soapbox, apologies to TLC) Back “on topic”........Katie and Evanna looked beautiful! Premiers are so interesting, don’t you think? *)

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BTW: My mom always told me “there are two things you don’t discuss at a party: Politics and Religion.” Evanna gets prettier, all the time, doesn’t she?!

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I too love his Dark Materials, Narnia stories and most of all Harry Potter (of course!). Pullman is a full throttling aethist but that doesnt bother me. I personally dislike his public speaking attacks on CS Lewis and Tolkien (not sure if he attacked Rowling books too but I wouldnt be surprised) but it doesnt distract me from enjoying his epic trilogy which is brilliantly written. We are so much more better off with stories coming from different beliefs and perspectives. Children can make up their own mind what to believe as Layla above eloquently demonstrates. I think it would actually be very healthy to have your children watch/read these different films/books and then discuss with them their thoughts on the religious aspects of each film and weigh in your thoughts for them to consider.

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HJWeasley, I completely agree. While I’m not going to discuss my deep personal feelings about His Dark Materials, I won’t read it in it’s entirety. I’ve skimmed through the book and read parts. I know what it’s about but what puts me off was the whole “kill God” part. And there was definitely much darker stuff than Harry Potter It’s just good to be cautious sometimes. Especially those with beliefs like mine… and also as humans, we all have our limits on what offends us the most. (At least what I believe).

Anyways, Evanna looks so cute and happy! Katie looks quite lovely.

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You go, Layla finger snap Yeah, I definitely support your point of view.

I think it’s good to be exposed to new things, different things. People must learn that these are just books and it is possible (if you have different beliefs) to detach yourself but still enjoy a good story. You don’t have to believe everything you read. I think as long as children know that then they’re good, but I don’t like censorship because what it breeds; it just makes you even more curious. That curiosity might actually make you sneak around your parents and disobey their wishes instead of having an open relationship. But then again, I’m not gonna go to your house and say you must let your child read this book. If you find it that offensive then don’t mess with it. Heck, some people won’t read Huck Finn just because of a word. If they got past that word they’d see the story for what it really was; it’s like how some people can’t get past the witchcraft in Harry Potter so they miss out on this AMAZING story. :)

Anyway, I still think everyone should really give it a try.

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See, when I used to wear clothes like Evanna’s, people tried to make fun…but noooow it’s cool to be original and distinguish oneself from all the trend copycats, haha. Better late justice than never ;) I am really digging those silver sequin Converse shoes! I love Katie’s bag as well. They both look so fashionable, yet so comfortably dressed!

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No matter what a person believes they can still write a good book. Notice I say ‘a’ good book because The Golden Compass/Northern Lights is the only good one! People only like The Amber Spyglass because of the ending that made them cry. Well, it might have made me cry if I’d actually cared about what just happened in the last 400 pages or so! OK OK so maybe it DID make me cry a little, just a little bit…, but only because Lyra and Will are good characters. Regardless of the last two books, The Golden Compass is an out-and-out CLASSIC.

For anyone interested, Pullman (amidst much babbling) kind of promotes that worshipping one God is a bad idea that only leads to fear and conflict between people with different beliefs. In the books Lord Asriel (played by Daniel Craig in The Golden Compass) sort of sets out to show that Dust, which is like the Force midichlorians in Star Wars, is the source of all creation and life. Orgainized religion are the bad guys, which is the main reason the Church would have issues with the books.

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Performingmonkey, you weren’t interested in Dr. Malone’s story? I thought the descriptions of the mulefa and their world were the best part of The Amber Spyglass; the fact that the ending was obviously supposed to make the reader sob merely annoyed me.

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May I also add that to be perfectly honest, HP is the only fantasy book I will ever really read and enjoy so far. I mean, I’ve tried to read other books, but they never sparked my interest.

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I LOVED that they were there. I mean as much as I don’t like Katie, I did love that she was there with Evanna. :D

Dakota Blue looked the best, so cute, and Eva Green looked amazing. I CAN’T wait to see the movie! :D

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I haven’t finished the series, I have about 40 pages left in the Golden Compass, I can see why the Catholic Church might have a problem with the books, but it is set in a different world, because it is obviously fantasy it doesn’t go by the same rules. I agree that it is against organised religion. But you also get out of any book a lot of what you bring to it. It is a good idea for parents to know what their kids are reading, but what the author says outside of the books doesn’t have to affect how you read them, again…I still don’t see Dumbledore as gay…I just don’t see it…back to “His Dark Materials”....It is more difficult read and a lot more emotional and graphic, you have to know your child to know what age your child could handle the read. Maybe I enjoy it because I love science, its an entertaining read and after the first few pages you have curiosity and emotions invested in your main character, I would say it gives me WEF (weird emotional feelings). I don’t think reading this book or going to see the movie is going to make me or anyone else less of a Christian. As far as your children go, just be prepared to answer any questions they have (hopefully if you are letting them read the series they have a firm grasp of what is reality and what is make believe) and be ready with a hug and box of tissues. I hope I made sense.

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by different world I mean I know its earth, but its more a parrell universe, and not any we live in because of obvious sci-fi/fantasy elements

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HJWeasley: An atheist parent might as easily make the same comments against the Chronicles of Narnia, which is every bit as anti-atheism as His Dark Materials is anti-religion.

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Evanna and Katie look so cute! I wish Emma had been there though. I think I read somewhere that she liked the books. And in response to what someone mentioned earlier…Phillip Pullman has never, ever criticized JK Rowling. He actually said he’s read one of the books and found it well-written and funny. He and JKR have mutual respect and admiration for each other; I’ve read this in a couple of interviews. And some of you criticizing Pullman need to READ the books. Simply “skimming” them is not enough to arrive at a conclusion. You need to discover the themes in a broader context. If you still have complaints after reading, then criticize them as much as you want. It’s like people assuming Harry Potter promotes the occult without reading the books and realizing that they’re about friendship and love and self-discovery. Pullman’s books are essentially about the same themes…as well as the struggle to live a decent life on here on Earth rather than using organized religion as an excuse for your actions.

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I need to re-post farseer0514’s comment, ‘cause it’s the only one that fully addressed the misconceptions in HJ Weasley’s assumptions.

“HJ Weasley- I respect your opinion…but I definitely think you took Phillip Pullman’s quote out of context. I believe he was referring to killing God sarcastically after religious fundamentalists claimed that’s what he set out to do. If you’ve read the books, you’ll realize they’re actually kind of spiritual, and their only complaint is with ORGANIZED religion. Pullman himself says he’s more agnostic than anything. I’m a firm believer in God, and I still think His Dark Materials is the most beautifully written, human fantasy I’ve ever read (in addition to HP of course). However, I do agree that the second two books are for a more adult audience – but that doesn’t mean children can’t read them. I think they’re actually quite enlightening.”

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I love the HDM trilogy, I DON’T CARE that it’s seen as anti-religion or atheist. Authors should be entitled to write from whatever religious or non-religious perspective they want – it’s called living in a FREE SOCIETY.

The opinions of those who haven’t even read these books in their entirety do not hold sway with me anyway. But I don’t like suggestions that if something gives a different opinion from the ‘Christian norm’ then it should be warned against. In case people hadn’t noticed, not everyone is Christian, and not everyone is religious.

Katie and Evanna look lovely and I hope they enjoyed themselves. Can’t wait to see this film next week.

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HDM, has some pretty intriguing points of view and its puts into contrast the bold reality that a lot of the Christian beliefs right now has veered off from the core concepts. Heck I’m a devout catholic and some of the “teachings” of catholics and christians in general are pretty annoying if not disgusting (like their treatment of homosexuality as some sort of sickness or sin). I blame it on the fact that priests and those in the church hierarchy are human and not infalliable like some weird catholics believe and I leave it to my gut feeling and my life experiences to accept which teachings I will follow. I believe God is in my heart and my heart will not lead me astray. I’d rather follow my heart than some priest or bishop who has his own agenda.

Of course HDM is heavily anti-Christian (although the film makers said they’re diluting that and making it more general rather than specifically targeting Christians) and any parent who wants their kids to read it should guide them through it.

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Aw, it’s so cute how Katie’s always hanging out with the female cast members – she seems a real girl’s girl. One of the reasons why she’s my favourite Potter actress.

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Hi everybody, I was looking at this comments page to enjoy a bit of gossip and what do I find? A discussion about Christianity…God and anti-religion…. ok we got to STOP this, this is just getting more and more ridiculous. I’m 24, italian and I come from Rome (and that’s where the POPE leaves) and I have been growing up believing that every Sunday I had to go to Church and that I had to thank God before every meal. Now, I don’t believe in God anymore… at least not in that God I grew up with, or Mary or the milions of Saints the Church canonizes every year. But I believe that there are so many people of all different cultures and religions who never complain because of the “anti-religiosity” of a book. Every time we read (or watch) something, we have to open this big discussion about “do you think it means that he wants to kill God?” or “someone can’t die and relive because only God or Jesus can do that?”. Let’s just enjoy what these amazing writers share with us without complaining everytime!!! Christians or not!!!

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And one more thing, Do you parents think that after watching thins movie kids will organize some kind of mission to go and kill God????? Let them live and make their own choices…

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It’s a shame Bonnie couldn’t attend the premiere =( She’s a great fan of Nicole Kidman!! She would have loved it!!

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hmmmmm….... I don’t ever 1 saying the golden compass is against christian religion or something…I have not read the books but i will watch the movie! I was wondering is it against islam too! Coz i am muslim….and we believe in god ofcouse! Islam and christians are not very different if u ask me…apart from a few things that we think differntly!!! I love my religion and am sincere in it!! Anyway, this is off the topic….i wish emma attended the premiere but shes busy with school….and evanna looks cool!

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I loved the books, I hope the films live up to them. the clips I have seen so far looks brilliant. His Dark materials are fantasy and total escapism, great books.

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Yah! What FraA said. Can we please move on? I think that the HP cast almost always look good, at events.Especially the ladies. Premiers, Media Parties, Openings…..I’d love to see Alan Rickman or David Thewlis in a Tuxedo. Already seen Dan.

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I think this book is as good for children as is Narnia and Harry Potter. Just because it “kills God” does not mean it’s bad. Just because Narnia supports “God” does not mean it’s good either. There are many viewpoints, and I believe children should have the right to choose religions, rather than be forced into them by parents.

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Reading posts so eloquently written by eleven and thirteen year olds makes me have hope for today’s youth. Don’t take me wrong, I’m just so used to seeing young posters completely massacre their language online it’s a breath of fresh air to see the complete opposite. That’s what reading does for you and it shows.

I’ve never read His Dark Materials and now you’ve all piqued up my curiosity.

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I think the warning is valid. I have read HDM and enjoyed the books until the end. The books are rather insidious. Readers are naturally on Lyra’s side and want her to prevail. It is only in the third book that you discover the evil forces represent organized religion and Lyra must kill God. Narnia is not as overtly religious. I mean, HP ends up with religious tones also but none as blunt and obvious as HDM. I have no problem with writing an atheistic book. My problem is that the symbolism is very hidden until the end.

@ Mars, a discussion for a different forum but…you worship at the Church of Mars? As someone once gently asked me “Are you smarter than the wisdom of thousands of years of scholarship? Have you really devoted your life to studying the Bible and all associated texts? If so, go with your gut. If not, you are creating your own religion.”

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Reading some comments has brought up another issue that bothers me. Parenting. Each parent has a right to raises their child(ren) differently. And to say that, “oh they’re not good parents by not letting the kids read specific books,” is just wrong and it has to stop. Honestly, parents have boundaries to what their kids can do. I’m not saying sheltering kids is good but you can’t let them do everything.

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It’s also wrong to assume that because an author may not embrace religion that he is somehow wrong.

Authors are under NO OBLIGATION to ‘big up’ any religion. By saying parents should be warned, it’s suggesting that any piece of literature that doesn’t sing the praises of YOUR beliefs is somehow wrong. Should non Christians be warned that in the Harry Potter books there are references to Christmas? If not, then NO WARNINGS are necessary.

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It really gets on my nerves hearing all this talk about “killing god” because that is only a superficial reading of the books and the quotes by Pullman are completely out of context. The Authority, as “god” is called in the books, cannot be defended: he is not the Creator, more like the someone who has assumed leadership. The Authority is ultimately the representation of dogmatic religion, of restricted views, of intolerance. The Authority was the god of those who burned people at the stakes, the god of the inquisition and of fundamentalists and extremists. Would anyone really want to be on the side of the people who want to burn HP books , condemn this trilogy without reading it and call for a boycott without watching the film? Is anyone willing to stand by their side?

If you want to find a “god-like” entity in the books, look no further than Dust. It is not god in the Christian sense, but it is the source of life; it is everything. It is what we all, in the books, become a part of after we die. It is everpresent, too. The catch in the books is that it is undermined by prejudice and restriction or a dogmatic institution that has gained too much political power. And that is a very valid point, because whatever your views and beliefs, one cannot in any way deny that when religion becomes involved in politics, bad things follow. That, I believe, is also what Pullman has always been trying to communicate, but keeps getting quoted out of context.

I’m of the opinion that children will only read what interests them, what appeals to them. If they pick up HDM and read it to the end, then they are ready to face its ideas. If not, what’s the bet they’ll finish before reaching the end? And to be honest, if someone tells me I’m not allowed to read or watch something, my first instict is to find out why. I think that is very healthy, this need to expand knowledge, to encourage curiosity. It allows a child to grow with more rounded views.

And Christians (or peope of other religions) who allow themselves to read something that challenges their faiths and beliefs may very well end up with an even stronger faith and more consistent beliefs as a result.

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HJWeasley, mind that there is no character as ‘God’ in ‘Dark Materials’ in the sense that we understand God. The character of God in the books is simply the first ever angel, and he is desperately tired and wants to be liberated. To become one with everything: just as Lyra and Will release the souls of dead humans, God, in the books, wants the same. It’s not anti-Christian, really; it’s just allegorical fiction.

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Gringa and Joey—Can I just say THANK YOU for posting your summaries of the central ideas in HDM? You are both spot on as to who “God” is in these books and to what Phillip Pullman is referring when he writes about the “Church.” (He has publicly said that organized religion has in fact done much good in the world.) The misinformation flying around the Internet about these books and the movie is just astounding. It so reminds me of the Georgia woman who has been to court repeatedly to get HP books banned, books that she hasn’t even read.

I’m reading the HDM trilogy again and enjoying it even more than before. It’s truly amazing.

Thanks again for trying to clear the air!

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Yes, thank you Gringa and Joey, now I don’t have to post that all over again! XD I’m fed up of this debate springing up wherever the Golden Compass is mentioned!! DDD:

Not sure what I think of this film yet – from the trailer it seems too watered-down. I think I’ll see it anyway though. w I hope Katie and Evanna had a good time there; they sure look happy!

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“It is only in the third book that you discover the evil forces represent organized religion and Lyra must kill God.”—Wondering

Actually Wondering, Lyra and the other kids do not “kill god,” or the “Authority” as it is called in the book. Lyra and Will, the main characters, spend most of the series running from parallel world to parallel world trying to elude danger. Eventually she decides she wants to see her friend Roger again, who died and lives in the underworld. She finds that the world of the afterlife is pretty horrible, and creates a window to a different world to set them free. That’s about the biggest “anti-christian” thing she does.

Lord Asriel, her father, is the one who sets out to kill “the Authority.” In fact, you spend two books hearing about this upcoming war between Asriel and the Authority, and you see very little of it. And as others have said, the new Authority is a former human turned angel who is pretty vicious. He is not the “creator” most consider to be our God.

As for “not knowing it’s against organized religion until the end,” that is completely false. You know from early on in the first book that the Church is behind some of the nasty things that are going on (kidnapping kids and seperating them from the spirit). At this point, Pullman isn’t attacking the Christian faith, he is suggesting that such a powerful group (ie. the Catholic Church) can be corrupted by power. They use there power to hurt people in the name of God. We seen that numerous times throughout history.

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My last piece on the subject: I firmly believe that if kids are presented with all different points of view, including ones on faith, they can better judge for themselves what they believe in. For me, my faith (I am Christian) was a choice of my own – though I have grown up in a very Christain family, I think I could have chosen another belief if it was right for me. This is because my parents told me to believe in what I actually, truly believed in, and not to base it off of their beliefs. When kids are challenged with thinking for themselves on all subjects, they’ll probably be better off in life.

However, I do understand what people have been saying about “setting guidlines” for their kids. I’m not saying they should be allowed to do anything, more that they should have the option of doing different things.

But I’d prefer to go back to gossip, if nobody minds. I think Evanna looks lovely and excited to be at her first non-Potter premiere :)

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Not really following the discussion, but I just wanted to input my opinion…

Telling people about the “kill God” concept of the books is not so much a warning to others or fear of people becoming corrupted. To me, it’s more of spreading the information.

I saw the preview and didn’t want to see The Golden Compass, purely because it didn’t interest me. I thought it looked too much like the Chronicles of Narnia. Once I found out about the Kill God theme, I just turned away from it. Informing others (for me) isn’t the fear they’ll be affected by the movie, it’s generally opposing the theme. I don’t think the sort of thing should be supported by Christians. If you do not believe in God I don’t care if you go see it, just don’t expect me to.

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Thanks, AccioChocolate and Axis! :D

To those who are uneasy about the books: The good and bad thing about the HDM trilogy is that it has a lot of potentially controversial issues and can be quite daring. This is what makes them such interesting stories on so many levels. The problem is that these themes get reduced to a few short sentences that are out of context, and as such get misrepresented. Take the Pullman wants to kill god” idea for example: the recent boycott of the films is holding on fiercely to that sentence based on one single interview given by Pullman many years ago.

The reality of those themes in their proper context are something quite different and you often find that what is said about the books is completely different than what the books actually say. The message not at all as disturbing as many seem to think it is. But it does present some very interesting questions, and invites the reader to reflect.

Controversy sells. That is why the boycott is ultimately drawing more attention to the films and books. But controversy also sells newspapers, which is why the books are reduced to a reduced version of its themes.

Emerika, how can you know if it is about spreading information since you implied you haven’t read it?

I think people who are a little dubious about it should give it a try, because above all else, it’s a brilliant story. And when they’re finished and make their own mind about what it means, rather than relying on other people, sit down and discuss it with others, to see what they got out of it. You are only allowed to dislike something once you’ve given it a try.

(By the way, has anyone heard Pullman’s ideas on the “democracy of reading” and how he says he trusts the reader? It’s very interesting and fascinating)

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I actually like that the movie looks a little watered down, I am not saying it should be. But for my emotional well being, my imagination is very good and some of the scenes in the book are very disturbing, I am kinda like…well should I see the movie or not, I was very excited about it until I read the golden compass, now I am not so sure, because it does give me WEF. And for people who can’t handle the discussion go to a different post to gossip, you don’t have to read any of this no one is making you. And thank you to Gringa and Joey your posts were interesting…I haven’t finished the series yet…working on it…but I enjoyed reading your thoughts about the books.

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One thing about religion even though it is organised no one can agree on which way to organise it. I am Christian, but I was raised baptist, my husband methodist, my best friend Catholic, and the list goes on of the different denominations represented in my circle of friends. Which means during Bible study we all have a different translation of the Bible, and we all were taught slightly different ways of interepretting the text. Some don’t think I am a Christian because I wasn’t baptised in their church because only their denomination is correct. Well you know Jews and Muslims worship the same God I do, just in a different way. My sister-in-law is Catholic, she is horrified by this book series, she hasn’t read it, the church is preaching against it, and she works at a school so there is buzz there too. I didn’t know there was even a problem with it until after I was nearly done with the Golden Compass…so that makes this yesterday…so where have I been? At work or watching the food network with my nose shoved inside a Harry Potter Book. I just grabed His Dark Materials while walking through walmart last week, thinking I should read that before the movie comes out. And went on. I do know that there are some people out there that can not handle hearing things that might test their faith, I had to hold a friends hand through anthropology and astronomy in college just to get her through the class because the teachers tested her faith as a Christian, I sat there and listened without a problem. The reason there is a warning out there for this book, is because some people can not handle being tested…look the southern baptist convention has put a ban on Disney of all things. People think that Beauty and the Beast teaches young girls to marry and stay with abussive husbands, thinking they will be able to change them. You will get out of any story what you bring to it in my opinion, if you want to find evil you will. If you misinterpret and put a better or worse or different meaning than what is intended you put it there. I haven’t finished the series, I will probably do that monday and tuesday when I am off of work, it does sound like it is more confusing than absolute, and from teh writting style so far I can see that. But I think the Scarlet Letter was confusing religious (it didn’t test me it just gave me that WEF again) and that wasn’t an evil book was it? Even though the characters definitely didn’t do what they were supposed to do in the eyes of the church? I know long hall here…sorry

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I just saw the trailor for this movie on t.v and realized, to my surprise, that this film is rated pg-13. I wonder what elements they kept in to achieve that rating…

If anyone’s interested, there’s ann article in Newsweek about the director of the Golden Compass who initially abandoned the project after outcries from both religious groups who claimed the film had too much anti-catholisism in it, and from fans themselves who said there wasn’t enough in it. The funny thing is non of these people had yet to see it, yet already assumed these things. It’s like laura Mallory, who advertises the satanicism of Harry Potter yet hasn’t even read the books herself. I believe everyone, including parents, should lead an open mind before reading or viewing something, and especially when considering to let their own children do so. I first read these books at 12 years old (I am now 14) and fell in love with them. At the time I mainly belived in a god and the premis of the book about the role of the Magisterium did not deter me from the wonderful story of Lyra’s growth through adolescents, and all the fantasy elements. In fact, I though the spiritual/religious aspects brought a whole new twist to the story and introduced new ideas and opinions that I had not seen before in any other book or movie, which helped me open doors and reach out from just those of my family.

You see, these books are not a retribution on organised religion (even though Mr. Pullman hints towards his dislike of it and how he sees it affected his parallel universe), but a magically written story that holds many laughs, cliff-hangers, and a style of writing you can’t help but fall in love with. I love this series, and I absolutely can’t wait to see its rendition on the big screen.

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I for one would like to thank HJWealsey for the warning. HJ is not trying to censor anything, and I wouldn’t want to read a book that was anti-God anyway. So I appreciate it.

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@Gringa and Joey – the Authority certainly can be read as a symolism of God. Or, more accurately, as a symbolism of the “god-idea” which was necessary in a less developed time. Lyra is acting to set the world free of the constraints of religion – to sum it up easily: killing the idea of God. The god-myth served its purpose but has no place in the modern world. Dust is the comsic force (big bang) that created all of us – evolution without divine intervention.

I don’t argue that an author is good or bad. HDM is a fascinating story (that lags a good bit in book 2) but it is not for everyone. I am offering a warning only – there is material here that is anti-religion…anti-Catholic especially. People should be well-informed and make their choices based on knowing all of this information. I used the word insidious because the anti-religious stance is not obvious at first (standing by that, mollywobble) and becomes very blatant at the end.

Even the director has said he had to soften the anti-religious elements of the book to ensure the profitability of the films.

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In reference to HJWeasley’s warnings. My daughter read all three books and told me that the anti-religious parts were at the end of the third. I stopped reading midway through the third book because the writing was so awful. There are definite hints of anti-catholicism in the first book, which I did not find too bad. The second book began to get tedious by the middle.

What is wrong with Pullman’s writing, imo, is that he wrote the books to get his message out rather than for the story. He seems to be quite jealous of both JKR and C.S. Lewis.

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Yay, Golden Compass! It’s cool they went to see it, and it’s coolthe series is being discussed here.

I hope the recent bad press does not prevent those who would normally be interested from checking into it. I am in the camp of those who love Narnia, Middle Earth, HP Wizard World, AND the Parallel worlds of His Dark Materials. I even agree with some of the issues Pullman has with Narnia, but am not bothered enough by them to drop them from the special place they have for me in my reading history and imagination.

The problems with “Establishment Power Abuse” brought out in this series are very real problems all peoples of the real world face today. ANY institutio or idea, religious or secular, that allows no criticism is lethal to our actualization as individuals as well as human beings in general.

Beyond the ideological aspects, though, there is the incredible originality of Pullman’s imagination manifesting in the creatures, cultures and phenomena of the various parallel worlds explored.

I hope the film gets LOTS of support from the HP community by those who have not taken offense to it. In my view, as long as the movie makers have done their job well, The Golden Compass deserves as good a box office response as HP movies.

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gh-

Personally, I loved all the HDM books, especially the third one. I am Catholic myself…And I wasn’t offended by any of it. I just saw it as truly excellent writing. I think (and this is not refering to your comments, but the people who seemed quite aghast at the religious content) that the people who read it should not take it so personally. Just because the author believes something, does not make it true and does not mean you should take it as a personal blow. For lack of a better description, people should “suck it up” a little.

Of course, people’s religions are often very important to them (like mine is to me), but there are other beliefs out there and when reading a book it seems best to just be open to it, even if you disagree with it.

As for Philip Pullman being “jealous” of JKR and C.S. Lewis, I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) that he wrote his books or at least one of them before JKR did hers. And really, you can’t know that he was. Either way, I believe that he is a great author in that he could write such an in-depth book so well.

I’m sorry if I sound like I’m trying to argue, I just love the books very much.

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Juli, you are correct that Pullman began publishing before HP. In fact, his first two books were out before HP became huge. Of course, this doesn’t mean that he’s not jealous of JKR. He’s definitely not jealous of Lewis. In interviews he has been very critical of Lewis – especially criticizing his religious overtones. Funny, Pullman can criticize writers for religious symbolism but you’re not supposed to criticize him for anti-religious symbolism. And for the record, he has an odd reaction whenever Tolkein comes up. He doesn’t like their works compared…

I wonder how he feels about the HP series now that JKR herself has referred to Harry as Messiah-like. Can you make an extended metaphor that Hogwarts represents organized religion and the Death-Eaters science? Dunno.

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I WANNA SEE THAT MOVIE SO FREAKIN BADLY!!!!! I LOVED the books almost as much as Harry Potter and I hope the movie did the book justice! And of course, nothing gets better than this…Evanna+Harry Potter+His Dark Materials=Unbelievable awesomness!

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One thing that really strikes me—when there is a good polite discussion like this one on Leaky—is that the HP fans who post here are (mostly) extremely well read, at least in fiction. Ain’t that wonderful!

A second thing that really strikes me, and leaves me baffled: there is a lot of confusion about the broad umbrella term “Christian”. Please forgive me if I get some of the following details incorrect, but I know I have the gist right: One poster in this thread described herself as christian but raised baptist, her husband raised Catholic, someone else as methodist. And in another thread, someone asked if “Calvinistics” are really Christian! Folks, there are many many varieties of Christianity, and always have been. Catholic and Orthodox, Calvinist, Lutheran, Baptist, methodists, and yes even the members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints are all Christian. While they all share some fundemental beliefs in common, there are a lot of theological differences that keep them apart, plus the development of each separate variation as ‘a church’ over the years. I am really baffled (and even a bit terrified) by the trend toward people saying “I am one, and you are not”. (in fairness I should add there are as many divisions and movements within Judaism, Islam and Hinduism as well…there is no such thing as a monolithic religion)

At the risk of being called patronizing again, there is one key ingredient to Pullman’s novels that hasn’t been mentioned in previous posts. Pullman is playing with a watered down version of Fredrich Nietzsche’s famously misunderstood line “God is Dead”. In context Nietzsche meant two different things. First that when he was writing at the end of the 19th century, many people he observed were going through the motions of demonstrating they were devote and religious (going to church and other public acts), but in reality they were preoccupied with money, power and other worldly, selfish concerns. In short, they were simply hypocrites. That was the major meaning behind Nietzsche’s line “God is Dead”. But behind that he had something else in mind. Nietzsche (and others writing at the time) called for a critical approach to ethical behavior. He believed that we should look at our ethical norms and criticize them, in an effort to move beyond the ethical guidelines we are taught in order to create better guidelines.

A side note, the other idea in Pullman, regarding Dark Matter, has gotten a fair amount of scientific and popular discussion in recent years. But the concept actually goes back to the mid-nineteenth century, its only recently that the scientific world has accepted it as true. There is an idea of dark matter in physics that actually underlies a lot of Neitzsche’s thinking as well.

What a good discussion thread this one was, tho!

My personal opinion on Pullman’s books? I’ve read worse, and consider JKR a far better writer. The climatic scenes in Pullman seemed chaotic to me (and unfortunately some of the same can be found in the last battle scene in DH—JKR tried to cram too much into as few pages as possible, I think!), and the Dark Materials plot predictable, including the ending. But, hey, I read all three to the end….

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