In The Golden Compass, Phillip Pullman makes it clear that everything happens for a reason. Nothing in the story happens by mere coincidence. So the fact that Iorek Byrinson was a prince and was suppose to be king, but of course was exiled from his land, and Iofur Rankinson took over as king and changed everything, all of this was part of a big plan that would lead Lyra, who would eventually lead Roger to Lord Asriel, but of course no one knew that would happen.
Iorek Byrinson was a very powerful bear. Unlike all the others, he was basically kicked out of his land and his armor was taken from him. Even though his armor was taken from him, he didn’t let that stop him; he went ahead and made himself another. For you see he was a very skillful bear and a bear without his armor is nothing because a “bear’s armor is his soul” (172). Once he regained his armor he was fiercer than ever. Iorek Byrinson was one of the few good bears left and he was able to gain the trust of the humans because he was a good listener as did what he was told.
Iofur Rankinson was very different from Iorek Byrinson. He was very greedy and in fact he didn’t want to be a bear. “His face was much more mobile and expressive, with a kind of humanness in it” (294). He wanted to be like a human so bad because he really wanted a daemon. When Lyra went to see him, he “was holding something on his knee, as a human might let a cat sit there-or a daemon” (295). He tried so hard to get one that he even pretended to have one, he even did everything Mrs. Coulter told him to do in hope of one day getting one. Iofur Rankinson was very easily fooled, which isn’t very common amongst bears, his greed got the best of him.
Iofur Rankinson and Iorek Byrinson were both very powerful and wise. They were both fooled at one point in their lives, and even though they were both princes, there is only one true king. Yes, Iofur Rankinson was king at first, he wasn’t supposed to be, he got there by cheating and betraying his own; and because he did so, Iorek Byrinson came back and defeated him in the battle that they had and took what was rightfully his.