With the upcoming BBC TV series adaptation of His Dark Materials, we take a look at one of Philip Pullman’s most memorable characters. Find out who she is and ways in which you can be more like her.
Who is she?
Lyra Belaqua, also known as Lyra Silvertongue, is the protagonist from Philip Pullman’s trilogy ‘His Dark Materials’. A young pre-teen girl living in a universe parallel to our own has the fate of the worlds thrust upon her shoulders. She is an integral part of a prophecy which sees the end of destiny and the salvation of life. Above all, she’s a fantastic role model and we’re here to tell you how to be more like her.
Use your cunning like an art form
Lyra is an independent young person, full of adventure. Like most protagonists in coming-of-age stories, Lyra is in a world on her own. She has a number of role models to look up to and gain advice from, however, she must also free herself from the clutches of morally abhorrent adults including her own mother. When you aren’t safe in the hands of the people who are supposed to protect you, you’ve got to be pretty determined to go out on your own and learn to have your own back!
“And now that she was doing something difficult and familiar and never quite predictable, namely lying, she felt a sort of mastery again”Northern Lights, Philip Pullman
Being cunning and deceptive helps Lyra trick Iofur Raknison which in turn leads to the rightful kingship of Iorek Byrnison. Of course, we do not suggest lying your way out of trouble(!) however using your cunning and cleverness to negotiate difficulties is a brilliant skill. Cleverness is never something to be trifled with. Make the most of that sharp wit, while always staying on the side of the good.
Love hard with every atom of your being
Though Lyra is young, she is no stranger to the pangs of love. Will Parry and Lyra fall in love in a union that cannot be. They are both incredibly mature for their age as they’ve had to grow up very fast in order to navigate the world around them. When the time comes to separate, a truly heart-wrenching scene is set in which each character expresses their feelings in grandiose terms, demonstrating their eternal connection.
“when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no-one will ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you”The Amber Spyglass, Philip Pullman
Be like Lyra by being open and honest with your feelings. It is what makes you human, and what keeps us all together and striving for a better future. When you love someone that much, don’t hold back, let it be known.
Always remember to breathe
There are multiple times when we see Lyra hesitate. Natural in the circumstances, she often needs to take a minute to recollect and clear her mind ready to focus on the task in hand. It is sometimes easy to forget that she is only a child put under enormous pressure with no great amount of support behind her. Her strength is truly admirable.
“‘I wish…’ she said, and stopped. There was nothing that could be gained by wishing for it. A final deep shaky breath, and she was ready to go on.”Northern Lights, Philip Pullman
In times of difficulty, remember to breathe. It’s sometimes harder to take some time away from a problem at hand, but if you feel yourself falling into a spiral then it is definitely healthy to take a step back. Think about where you need to go, take a deep breath, and go.
“Stories are the most important thing in the world. Without stories, we wouldn’t be human beings at all.”Philip Pullman
If you love Lyra as a character, then you could learn a lot by echoing some of her best traits. Whether you are a Lyra fan or not, books will always be a great place to find real inspiration and even guidance in life. Check out Philip Pullman books or explore some other fantasy and adventure fiction.
What do you think of Lyra Belaqua? Do you share any traits with the young adventurer? Let us know in the comments below.