Steampunk Wiki
The Golden Compass
There are worlds beyond our own—the compass will show the way.
Based On: Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
Directed By: Chris Weitz
Released: December 5, 2007
Runtime: 113 minutes
Country: United Kingdom
United States
Language: English

The Golden Compass is a 2007 film adaptation of the first novel of the His Dark Materials trilogy; Northern Lights (known as The Golden Compass in the United States).


In a parallel world ruled by The Magisterium where people's souls have animal shapes, the orphan Lyra Belaqua is educated in the Jordan College, and her uncle and Professor Lord Asriel is her tutor. Lyra accidentally overhears a conversation about a research of Lord Asriel in the North Artic and the existence of a powerful Dust that unites different worlds. When her best friend Roger is kidnapped by the evil Gobblers, Lyra promises to rescue him. She is invited to go to the North with the influent Mrs. Coulter and the Jordan's Vice-Chancellor secretly gives her a magic golden compass capable of revealing the truth. When Lyra finds that Mrs. Coulter is the leader of the Gobblers, she escapes from her house and the runaway girl begins an amazing adventure in a war to save her friend and other missing children with her allied Gyptians, Witches and the strong Armored Bear Iorek Byrnison. [1]

Steampunk Influences[]

Mrs. Coulter's mechanical flies.

Like the original novel, the movie has a steampunk setting. Airships are a common sight in the world of the Golden Compass and gadgetry is also present, particularly in the form of Mrs. Coulter's mechanical spy flies. The Victorian aesthetic is apparent in both the clothing and architecture of the world. The titular golden compass, known as an "alethiometer", is a fantastical element in the steampunk story.

Like many steampunk stories, the Golden Compass has obvious themes of corruption. In this case, it is mostly focused on religious leaders, but also on other high-ranking individuals.


  1. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil