The Golden Lord of the Compass Rings
by Patrick Clapp
Just skip this if you have any desire to see The Golden Compass without any advance knowledge.
REALITY CHECK: Seriously? If you are going to see this movie without reading the book, just unplug your mind and enjoy the pretty pictures. Or, barring that...overlay the movie with that December treat from years gone by: The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Rings.
Here is a slightly adulterated plot synopsis (thank you SparkNotes)
Fellowship of the Ring Golden Compass is the first of three volumes in The Lord of the Rings His Dark Materials, an epic a story set in the a fictional world of Middle-earth. The Lord of the Rings antagonist is an entity named Sauron, the Dark Lord, The Magesterium who long ago lost the One Ring that contains much of his power repressed the world with it's view of religion. His Their overriding desire is to reclaim the Ring and use it to enslave all of -Middle-earth keep everyone under their thumb and repress knowledge of the existence of other worlds.
The story of
The Lord of the Rings His Dark Materials begins with several events that take place in The Hobbit the north. While wandering lost in a deep cave, Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit - one of a small, kindly race about half the size of Men - stumbles upon a ring and takes it back with him to the Shire, the part of Middle-earth that is the Hobbits' home. All Bilbo knows of his ring is that wearing it causes him to become invisible. He is unaware that it is the One Ring, and is therefore oblivious to its significance and to the fact that Sauron has been searching for it.
in the North, Lord Asriel snaps a picture of inter-dimensional dust funneling into a human through his soul, which is external to his body in the form of a daemon. Dust is a metaphor for original sin. Disseminating this snap pisses off the church.
Fellowship of the Ring Golden Compass opens with a party for Bilbo's 111th birthdayLord Asriel's return to Jordan college in Oxford to show off his holiday snaps. Bilbo Asriel gives his ring Golden Compass truth telling maguffin to his heir, his cousin Frodo Baggins willfully irritating daughter Lyra. When the time comes to part with the ring, however, Bilbo becomes strangely reluctant to do so. He gives up the ring only at the determined urging of his friend, Gandalf the Grey, a great Wizard. Gandalf suspects that the ring is indeed the One Ring of legend. After confirming his suspicions, he tells Frodo that the Ring must be taken away from the Shire, as Sauron's power is growing once again.
Then Asriel heads north. Lyra wants to follow because one of her friends gets kidnapped, but then Ms. Coulter, the queen bitch of the universe, takes her on as a side kick. This lasts just long enough to establish Lyra's irritating character and the need to chase the kidnappers into the north.
Frodo Lyra sets out from the Shire Oxford with three of his Hobbit friends - Sam, Merry, and Pippin her daemon Pantalaimon. Along the way, they are pursued by the nine Ringwraiths Ms. Coulter and her monkey, servants of Sauron the Magesterium who take the form of terrifying Black Riders Nicole Kidman and a monkey. The hobbits Lyra and Pan spend a night in the company of wandering Elves Gypsies, who promise to send word ahead to friends who will protect the hobbits Lyra and Pan and the Compass. Barely out of the Shire, the hobbits get lost in the Old Forest, where they have to be rescued from a malevolent willow tree, which swallows up Merry and Pippin, and then from an evil tomb ghost. The hobbits' rescuer is Tom Bombadil, a strange, jovial entity with great powers who is the oldest creature in Middle-earth. Lyra and Pan spend most of their time expounding about the nature of the world and reveal the fact that they know nothing. This does not stop them from talking. Also, they ride on a boat and meet some sexy witches.
The hobbits Lyra and her posse make it to the town of Bree some no name town in the arctic, where they meet Aragorn Sam Elliot, a Ranger Cowboy Aeronaut who roams the wilderness sky and who is the heir of the Kings of the ancient Men of Westernesse far more interesting than anyone in the entire series except one of the sexy witches. Those who do not know Aragorn's true name call him Strider. His name is Lee Scorsby. Frodo Lyra tries to keep a low profile at the inn in Bree everywhere but fails miserably because apparently the entire world is after her , but he ends up causing a scene when while taking part in a rollicking rendition of a song he falls, accidentally slips the Ring onto his finger, and vanishes.
Then they all take off into the arctic and she gets captured to advance the plot, but I am getting ahead of myself.
Elrond heals Frodo and then holds Prior to this Lyra had a meeting with the Gypsies to discuss what to do about the Ring missing children and the compass. During this Council, Frodo learns the full history of the Ring. Frodo accepts the burden of taking the Ring to the only place it can be destroyed - the place where it was forged. It promises to be a long, nearly impossible journey, as the Ring was forged in the Cracks of Doom, part of the fiery mountain Orodruin in the very heart of Sauron's realm of Mordor.
Everyone decides to go north to find the missing children and to drag the ten year old brat along with them.
The Fellowship heads south and attempts to pass over the Misty Mountains via the pass of Caradhras. Their way is blocked by snow and rock slides, and they are forced to divert their path through the Mines of Moria - the ancient, underground realm of the Dwarves. During the journey through Moria, Gandalf falls into the chasm of Khazad-dûm while protecting the Company from a Balrog, a terrible demon.
There is a big chase through the Artic. There are some bears, too. They are interesting. Mostly because polar bears are all left-handed. This is not mentioned however, so the reader / watcher is left on their own to not blink and miss the other interesting characters...the bears.
They all travel to Bolvangar where kids are the subject of Nazi-esque experimentation
The rest of the party continues on to Lórien, the forest of the Galadrim Elves, where the Lady Galadriel tests their hearts and gives them gifts to help them on the quest. Frodo, spellbound by Galadriel's power and wisdom, offers her the Ring. She refuses, however, saying that, despite her intentions, the Ring would corrupt her; ultimately, she would only replace Sauron.
Witches help them with stuff. They are cryptic and hot.
Leaving Lórien, the Fellowship travels by boat down the Great River, Anduin. At night, they spot Gollum - a deformed creature that had once owned the Ring but then lost it to Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit - following them. When they reach the Falls of Rauros, the Fellowship must decide whether to head toward Mordor on the east or toward the safety of the city of Minas Tirith to the west.
After Bolvangar, the party, sans Gypsies, heads to the palace of the ice bear king. There is a big fight. It kind of rocks.
(The movie flips the drama and the order from Bolvanger - Ice Bears to Ice Bears - Bolvanger.)
Boromir, overcome by the Ring's power and desiring the Ring for himself, confronts Frodo. Frodo fends off Boromir and decides that he must go on to Mordor rather than to the safety of Minas Tirith. However, Frodo cannot bear the thought of imperiling his friends on the dangerous journey or allowing the Ring to corrupt them, so he attempts to leave secretly and continue the quest alone. Frodo does not, however, manage to elude Sam, so the two of them set out together for Mordor.
In the book, there is a rather interesting denoument that sets up significant character development and slightly redeems Lyra as a dull dull boring brat. However, in the movie, at this point THEY ROLL THE FUCKING CREDITS.
All in all, I really enjoyed watching the film version of the first chapter of
The Lord of the Rings His Dark Materials. There were some interesting visuals and a few fun scenes. However, much like the first Harry Potter movie, the people responsible attempted to cram too much crap into a feature length production. That combined with leaving the audience aghast at the Disney ending provokes me into suggesting that your movie going dollars are better spent elsewhere. Netflix this one.