In the novel “The Golden Compass” humans hold a strong emotional and physical bond between some sort of animal called a daemon. In the novel these daemons are said to act like a person’s manifestation of a soul and reveal character traits as well as emotions they currently experience. Coincidentally, there is a point where the daemon “settles” on an animal form that most resembles that of the person. In some instances they can be like a conscience and provide a voice of reason on the subject at hand. Unlike our own souls these daemons are external and can provide different feelings through their own experiences such as when Lyra’s daemon, Pan, swims with dolphins and brightens her mood through its own joy.
Not only can a person feel the daemon’s emotions but its pain as well. On multiple instances Lyra’s daemon is attacked and she feels every scrape and bruise that her daemon does and vice versa. Although he daemons are external they cannot stray far from their hosts. The novel mentions how children will test the “pull” of the bond between daemon’s and people to see how far apart they can bear to be without one another. Both parties experience significant pain in the chest area as if their heart is being ripped from their torso. The bond between the two is so strong that the permanent separation will result in death.
As mentioned before, the daemons will take on a permanent animal form that most resembles their person’s character traits. this most likely symbolizes an actual soul which is envisioned to become lighter or darker with each decision made during a person’s lifetime. The daemon also tends to take the form of what the person will be like in the future as well. For instance all servants have dogs as their daemon but depending on the hierarchy in the world, each daemon will take on the shape of what is most relevant to that person.