March 2008

The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass

People have animal familiars in the world of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, so it’s no surprise that some people have snakes. Presumably, only the evil people do, because that’s the bad rap snakes get. In one scene we see a computer-generated cobra; in another, a member of the Magisterium holds his familiar during their meetings. As we can see from this still from the movie trailer, it’s clearly a Corn Snake (Elaphe guttata), and a damn pretty one besides. If the animal familiar reflects the person’s personality, then this individual must be very much like a Corn Snake: laid-back, a prodigious fornicator, and someone prone to fouling his dwelling after someone has just cleaned it. (Time to clean the Corn Snake cages again.)

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