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Will Parry

Will Parry


Will Parry is one of the protagonists in Philip Pullman's trilogy His Dark Materials, along with Lyra Belacqua. He is first introduced into the series in the second novel, "The Subtle Knife", and also apears in the final part of the trilogy, "The Amber Spyglass". He does not appear in the first novel Northern Lights (called The Golden Compass in North America).

Will Parry is son of John Parry, an explorer, and of Elaine Parry, a woman who suffers from apparent mental problems including obsessive-compulsive disorder and paranoia. Will fails to remember his father, a former Royal Marine, who has not been heard of since he vanished on an expedition to the Arctic, and who we later learn has wandered into another world and is unable to find his way back.

Will must take care of his mother, due to her ailment, until they are accosted by several agents of an unknown interest, later implied to be from the Ministry of Defence. He decides that he must leave her with his former piano teacher, Mrs. Cooper, and himself flees, accidentally killing one of the agents as he makes his escape. He accidentally finds a passageway to the city of Cittàgazze in another world, in which he meets and befriends Lyra Belacqua, the other protagonist of the story. They ultimately fall in love at the end when he kisses Lyra after she puts a fruit to his lips. Their love is an allusion to the Fall. Will also plays a pivotal role in the war that Lord Asriel and the angels wage against The Authority, playing the role of Adam.

When he becomes the bearer of The Subtle Knife he loses the littlest and ring fingers of his left hand.

Will has been described as having straight black eyebrows, dark hair, a strong, jutting jaw, a muscular build (for his age) and often a passionate ferocity in his eyes into which most characters in the trilogy avoid looking directly into. Although he is supposed to have dark hair, he can be seen on the cover of the US edition with fair, brown hair, and in the Spanish edition with reddish hair. Often during the course of the books Will is compared to Lord Asriel in looks and personality.

After being separated from Will during the journey to the world of the dead, his soul becomes visible as a dæmon. Prior to reuniting with Will, she is named Kirjava by Serafina Pekkala. Kirjava is Finnish for "multi-coloured". Serafina Pekkala notes that Kirjava has the same ferocity in her eyes as Will. At the end of the trilogy, Kirjava settles in the shape of a large, subtly-coloured cat.

In the most recent edition of The Amber Spyglass released in the UK, the post-script 'Lantern Slides' section reveals that Will becomes a medical student and eventually a doctor in his world. His time bearing The Subtle Knife has given him a grace to diagnose problems with patients (echoing Lyra's original ability with the alethiometer), though he tries to hide it early in his studies as others would believe it preternatural.

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