I am no stranger to trilogies, having been riveted with Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy. Just like any other literary works, there are great ones, and there are not-so-great ones. One of the trilogies that has captured my interest was Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy. Comprised of three novels, namely The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, it is perhaps Philip Pullman’s most renowned works as it won him several accolades.

The trilogy started great in The Golden Compass. However, the narrative begun going awry in the second book and ultimately concluded in a not-so-satisfying way. Although, I was disappointed with the flow of the narrative inI was nevertheless astounded by the extent of the beauty of the language he used in conveying the story. For all its faults, the trilogy is a well for descriptive and deep quotes. Here are some of the quotes that I was able to cull from the trilogy.

Book I: The Golden Compass, or Northern Lights

To read my review of the trilogy, please click on the link: The Golden Compass.

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“The human beings can’t see anything without wanting to destroy it. That’s original sin. And I’m going to destroy it. Death is going to die.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass

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“That’s the duty of the old, to be anxious on the behalf of the young. And the duty of the young is to scorn the anxiety of the old.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass

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“Being a practiced liar doesn’t mean you have a powerful imagination. Many good liars have no imagination at all; it’s that which gives their lies such wide-eyed conviction.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass

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“The idea hovered and shimmered delicately, like a soap bubble, and she dared not even look at it directly in case it burst. But she was familiar with the way of ideas, and she let it shimmer, looking away, thinking about something else.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass

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“But think of Adam and Eve like an imaginary number, like the square root of minus one: one can never see any concrete proof that it exists, but if you include it in your equations, you can calculate all manner of things that couldn’t be imagined without it.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass

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“We feel cold, but we don’t mind it, because we will not come to harm. And if we wrapped up against the cold, we wouldn’t feel other things, like the bright tingle of the stars, or the music of the aurora, or best of all the silky feeling of moonlight on our skin. It’s worth being cold for that.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass

Book II: The Subtle Knife

To read my review of the trilogy, please click on the link: The Subtle Knife.

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“Her last conscious thought was disgust at life; her senses had lied to her. The world was not made of energy and delight but of foulness, betrayal, and lassitude. Living was hateful, and death was no better, and from end to end of the universe this was the first and last and only truth.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Subtle Knife

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“Every advance in human life, every scrap of knowledge and wisdom and decency we have has been torn by one side from the teeth of the other.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Subtle Knife

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“Every little increase in human freedom has been fought over ferociously between those who want us to know more and be wiser and stronger, and those who want us to obey and be humble and submit.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Subtle Knife

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“In some lights they were hardly there at all, just visible as a drifting quality in the light, a rhythmic evanescence, like veils of transparency turning before a mirror.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Subtle Knife

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“He dared to do what men and women don’t even dare to think. And look what he’s done already: he’s torn open the sky, he’s opened the way to another world. Who else has ever done that? Who else could think of it?” ~ Philip Pullman, The Subtle Knife

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“If you speak to people, you just attract their attention. You should just keep quiet and still and they overlook you. I’ve been doing it all my life. I know how to do it. Your way, you just – you make yourself visible.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Subtle Knife

Book III: The Amber Spyglass

To read my review of the trilogy, please click on the link: The Amber Spyglass

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“Even if it means oblivion, friends, I’ll welcome it, because it won’t be nothing. We’ll be alive again in a thousand blades of grass, and a million leaves; we’ll be falling the raindrops and blowing in the fresh breeze; we’ll be glittering in the dew under the stars and the moon out there in the physical world, which is our true home and always was.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass

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“All the atoms that were them, they’ve gone into the air and the wind and the trees and the earth and all the living things. They’ll never vanish. They’re just part of everything. ~ Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass

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“I stopped believing there was a power of good and a power of evil that were outside us. And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass

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“It takes long practice, yes. You have to work. Did you think you could snap your fingers, and have it as a gift? What is worth having is worth working for.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass

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“Being in love was like China: you knew it was there, and no doubt it was very interesting, and some people went there, but I never would. I’d spend all my life without ever going to China, but it wouldn’t matter, because there was all the rest of the world to visit.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass

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“And for most of that time, wisdom has had to work in secret, whispering her words, moving like a spy through the humble places of the world while the courts and palaces are occupied by her enemies.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass

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“If you wanted to divert a might river into a different course, and all you had was a single pebble, you could do it, as long as you put the pebble in the right place to send the first trickle of water that way instead of this.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass

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“I shall decide what I do. If you say my work is fighting, or healing, or exploring, or whatever you say, I’ll always be thinking about it, and if I end up doing that, I’ll feel resentful because it’ll feel as if I didn’t have a choice, and if I don’t do it, I’ll feel guilty because I should. Whatever I do, I will choose it, no one else.” ~ Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass


There goes my list of quotes from His Dark Materials Trilogy. How about you, what are your favorite lines from these three books? Share it on the comment box! Happy reading!

 

~ CLB

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