There are three installments in Pullman’s series: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. Each book features the adventures of Lyra (who will be played by Dafne Keen) and Will, two seemingly ordinary kids who find themselves on a thrilling journey through a world of fantasy. It’s no wonder HBO wants to stick with the fantasy genre, it did work out pretty well with Game of Thrones. And who are we kidding? The trailer is absolutely stunning!
The show appears to be jam packed with adventure, giant bears, magic, and so much more! What isn’t to love? From the trailer it is easy to ascertain that the first season will be adapted from the first book in the trilogy, but it will be interesting to see where the series goes from there. Originally premiering on BBC, an announcement with the season two renewal revealed the signing of HBO as a co-producer for the series.
They have not given a specific date for when we can expect the premiere, but the trailer promises it will be coming soon.
Weapons are often iconic in literature, creating a bond between the hero and the object in question, crafting a relationship that often feels as real as those between actual people. In the wrong hands, a weapon can be horrifying, a destructive tool that is used for evil. But in the right hands, a sword becomes a tool to defend and inspires hope in its user even in the darkest chapters. Most literary weapons are swords, for good reason but there are also some out there that break the mould. Here are five of the best!
5. The Subtle Knife-His Dark Materials
Image Via His Dark materials wiki
A powerful weapon in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, this knife has the power to carve through the fabrics of worlds, creating pathways into different realms. Stolen by the series’ main characters, Lyra and Will in the second book of the trilogy (named after the knife itself), who use it to travel between worlds for a long time before the knife breaks. Luckily, it is later reforged. The knife is extremely cool because it looks so mundane yet is extremely powerful, literally slicing through reality to carve paths across the multiverse. This is one cool little dagger, that’s for sure.
4. Stormbringer- Moorcock’s Multiverse
Image via Moorcock’s Multiverse Wiki
A magic sword featured in numerous fantasy tales by Michael Moorcock, Stormbringer is a demon forged into the form of a sword that corrupts its wielder, drinks souls, and can cut through anything. Wielded by the brooding anti-hero Elric of Melnibone, he loathes Stormbringer but is forced to rely on it, as without its magic he is helpless. However, Stormbringer shares no love for Elric either and constantly tries to corrupt him, hungering for blood and souls. The relationship between man and sword is at the heart of the numerous tales, with Elric constantly battling the demon’s desires while conquering other threats.
3. Sandalwood guns- The Dark Tower
Image via The Dark Tower Wiki
In TheDark Tower, Stephen KIng uses a mishmash of fantasy tropes to bring together a more unique vision and this is reflected in the chosen weapons of protagonist Roland Deschain. He is a gunslinger of the strange world he inhabits and wields a pair of sandalwood six shooters that have been passed down through the generations before he claimed them as a young man. It is revealed later that the guns were forged from the steel of Excalibur, explaining their significance. The guns are Roland’s weapons throughout the series, constantly showcasing his prowess with them as he is an excellent shot, always ready for this lone wanderer to draw at a moment’s notice.
2. Callandor- The Wheel of Time
Image via A Wheel of Time wiki
An artefact so powerful that an entire fortress was constructed to protect it, Callandor is a crystal sword that may look fragile but has immense power behind it. Claimed and wielded by Rand al’Thor, the protagonist of The Wheel of Time. It augments his own Power, allowing him to tap into reserves of strength and force that go beyond mortal men. Too much power can be lethal but Callandor also allows for infinite possibilities, allowing its user to do almost anything he wishes. But the evil force of the Dark One is behind the sword and the more Rand al’Thor taps into it, the more he risks corruption, creating a necessary roadblock to prevent him from abusing Callandor’s power.
1. Anduril- The Lord of the Rings
Image via Lord of the Rings wiki
Formerly Narsil, the sword that stopped Sauron at the end of the Second Age, Anduril was reforged from Narsil’s shards into its current form. Given to Aragorn, the blade is enchanted to never be stained or broken, even in defeat. Aragorn wielded the sword throughout the remainder of the war against the forces of Sauron, using it as proof of his heritage throughout places like Rohan and slaying many Orcs with it. Its name means the Flame of the West and its one badass blade wielded by one badass hero.
Everyone needs to stop pirating books. That’s means me – especially me – and you, and the person next to you, and the people who don’t read this article.
Image Via Medium
Creativity is meant to be experienced, but we live in a capitalist society, in which people need to make money, and sadly, by artists’ work being distributed for free, they lose out. And you know what happens if they lose money? All those books and other creative works we love will no longer we accessible.
Thankfully people are fighting back.
This isn’t the say that musicians and filmmakers aren’t fighting back, but on the literary side, we have Philip Pullman.
Image Via The Guardian
Philip Pullman, author of the famed His Dark Materialstrilogy, and president of the Society of Authors, sent a letter to Greg Clark, the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy specifically about ebook piracy, and he’s not alone.
That means THIRTY-FOUR authors wrote to the UK’s Secretary of State to talk about ebook piracy – specifically its growing relevancy and how it hurts the writing industry.
Image Via Meme Generator
That’s right Robin, Holy Cow.
What did they have to say? Well, it might scare you.
“We are concerned that websites offering illegal downloads of books are becoming increasingly prevalent,” the letter reads, “We do not want to give any of these sites publicity by naming them here, but they can easily be found”.
The letter goes on to cite its sources, kids, noting that that the growth of online book piracy could “make it even harder for authors to make a living from their work”. If that wasn’t scary enough, The Guardian wrote nine months ago how, “[b]ased on a standard thirty-five-hour week, the average full-time writer earns only £5.73 [$7.49] per hour, £2 [$2.61] less than the UK minimum wage for those over twenty-five.”
This is in thanks to ebooks. If publishers can’t get back their money by publishing books, then why give the authors the money they deserve? Why give them any money at all?
“This will harm writers and readers alike – if authors can no longer afford to write, the supply of new writing will inevitably dry up.”
This isn’t hyperbole, this is straight honest truth. It’s hard to listen to, we might not want to hear it, but we have to. There’s a reason all these authors, all thirty-four of them, wrote to the UK’s secretary of state, “calling on [him] to take action against the blight of online book piracy” because if creative people don’t get paid for their work, then they have to spend less time being creative. That means we get even less books, writings, and other creative works.
Gregg Clark hasn’t given a response, yet, but we sure hopes that after his words comes quick, decisive action because, even though we might not like it, creativity and business go hand in hand in our society. Ironically, piracy is so easy because creative works are all around us, but if piracy were to continue then there WILL NOT be anywhere near as many creative works around us.
Say it ain’t so! Arthur Levine, of Harry Potter and His Dark Materials fame, is leaving Scholastic? Arthur A. Levine, the man who brought Harry Potter to the US of A, an early champion of Phillip Pullman’s fantastic first His Dark Material novel The Golden Compass, the dude who Benzinga claims has an imprint backlist “which has produced more than three hundred works of hardcover literary fiction, picture books, and nonfiction for children and teenagers”, my main man, is now leaving Scholastic.
“I’ve had a wonderful run at Scholastic and will greatly miss working here. There are such strengths and so many gifted individuals. But I’m excited to found a company led by a mission to make books reflecting the greatest diversity and the highest standards of artistic excellence.”
I already hear you asking – what’s the name of this new company? We don’t know – it’s unannounced.
As for your second question – the goal of this new company? – the answer is…
They plan to give a voice to a wide range of new authors, putting focus on having “a mix of 75% minority creators, including people of color, indigenous people, and LGBTQ individuals”.
So there is hope. A lot of it actually!
So while J. K. Rowling goes off and makes three more Fantastic Beasts movies, Arthur Levine, the man who brought Harry Potter to the US of A, my main dude, is now dedicating his time in helping minority authors get their voice heard by the public.
Philip Pullman’s astounding His Dark Materials trilogy suffered a serious blow when, in 2007, it was the victim of what was one of the worst book-to-film adaptations in history, in my opinion. I have previously written about my (very strong) feelings regarding a number of disastrous Hollywood adaptations of children’s books, but I truly feel that Chris Weitz’s The Golden Compass wins the Oscar for Worst Adaptation, Really Terrible, or as I like to call it when awarding the recipients in my head: W.A.R.T. Because I feel that I expressed my needlessly intense feelings adequately the last time I wrote about this, here is a quote from my original article on children’s adaptations that have personally offended me:
Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is arguably one of the most intricate, marvelous, and thought-provoking series in the history of fiction. It deals with vast concepts using incredible characters, and is set against the backdrop of a meticulously constructed world. The film, however, is more along the lines of ‘haha look at this talking polar bear.’ A hideously miscast monstrosity, The Golden Compass dumbed down and abbreviated this text almost beyond recognition, no doubt deterring a great number of potential readers from the books. I will never forgive anyone who was involved in its making and will be angry about it forever.
Frankly, I don’t care if you think I’m being dramatic; my rage at Weitz’s film will never be soothed. However, when it was announced that the BBC would be taking a whack at adapting the trilogy, I was a little more hopeful. A television series gives a story space to breathe, it gives concepts room to be explored, which is exactly what a plot as complex as Pullman’s requires if it is to stand any chance at translating well to screen.
A teaser trailer for the upcoming series, (starring Lin Manuel Miranda, James McAvoy, Dafne Keen and Ruth Wilson) has just been released, and I must say, it looks promising. While the 2007 version relied heavily on CGI, the novelty of a talking bear, (who is a very serious character, actually) and the dumbing down of the plot in an attempt to fit it into two hours, this version seems less preoccupied with rendering the text digestible, and more devoted to the unsettling, genuinely frightening, and intriguing energy of the book. In addition to this, Dafne Keen seems well-equipped to carry off the role of Lyra, having won Best Female Newcomer at this year’s Empire Awards for her role as Laura opposite Hugh Jackman in Logan. Keen and Jackman also won Best Duo at the MTV Movie & TV Awards and over the last two years, she has accumulated eight additional nominations for her roles in Logan and The Refugees. So in short, despite my unnecessarily strong feelings about the first adaptation, I am more than willing to be optimistic about BBC’s take on it.
Check out the trailer below and see if you can obsess as hard as I can!