Discussion: Chapters 18-23 of Golden Compass #HDMReadalong

The His Dark Materials Readalong is hosted by The Overstuffed Bookcase and The Daily Bookmark. I know I'm late but this last Friday Andrea at The Overstuffed Bookcase posted the last of the discussion questions for The Golden Compass before we move on to the next book.

Question: Without trying to get too political, did some of the events in the book seem controversial to you? What parts were they? And did they bother you or did you just see them as part of the story?

Answer: What struck me as controversial was when Lyra was talking to the then king about baptism and becoming Christian. How bears can't become Christian in their world even though they can speak. They have no souls according to the Church. I honestly think that some animals do have souls especially the ones that people connect to. Like that lion who knew it's handlers and when living on it's own for a while hugged his friends all the same. Dogs dream so they must have a soul. Well those are all my opinions anyway...

Question: Several of the characters in this book turned out to be very different than they first appear. What characters were you surprised by (if any), and what did they do that surprised you?

Answer: At first I was going to say that nobody really surprised me until I read Andrea's answer. I totally forgot about her dad. I knew that Lord Asriel was tough on Lyra but I had no idea that he would be that cruel. I mean what is this guys problem? Not only that but he doesn't go to the other world with his daughter. I think I could accept the betrayal of him trying to get rid of Dust but I can't accept him being such an appalling father! I hope Lyra shows him up.

Question: In the end, Lyra and Pantalaimon "walked into the sky." If you haven't yet read The Subtle Knife, what kind of other world do you think they're going to end up in? If you have read The Subtle Knife, or if you know where they end up already, (or if you just want to answer this part of the question) what kind of dimension or other world would you want to end up in if you were in Lyra's place? A futuristic city, an underwater realm, a type of heaven, etc?

Answer: I imagine them going to a palace. Something like the Taj Mahal. It may be because of the next books cover... I don't know. I imagine a possible jungle surrounding the city where the government isn't as great as it is in her world. They are harsh and maybe they try to put Lyra away for heresy or something like that. They could be friendly but I am really thinking negative because I doubt things will get any easier for Lyra and Pan.