John Faa, more often referred to as Lord Faa, was the ruler of the western gyptians. His dæmon was a crow. John played a large part in negotiating the trade between the landlopers and the gyptians.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Meeting Lyra Belacqua[edit | edit source]
After Lyra Belacqua was taken to the Fens by the Costa family, John met her after a Byanroping where he discussed the gyptians going to the North to rescue the children taken by the General Oblation Board. John took her to a sideroom afterwards, along with Coram van Texel, where they served some jenniver and talked about what they were going to do next. John also told her who her parents were: Lord Asriel, whom she thought was her uncle, and Marisa Coulter, a woman she hated.
The following day, he led a second Byanroping amongst the gyptians where they talked about going to the North and what their plans were. After this, John, Coram and the heads of the gyptian families retired to the sideroom where they had a meeting. Suddenly, Lyra burst in and said she wanted to go to the North and rescue the children. John told her, firecly, that they had to keep her safe and there was no question about her going. His dæmon then came flying at her, to remind her of her manners, and so she left, leaving the gyptians to talk.
A few days later, John heard that Jacob Huismans was dying in a boat after spying on the Oblation Board. John was even more shocked to hear, from Coram, that Lyra had predicted this with her alethiometer. John decided that it would be best to take Lyra on the journey afterall, and that they should set off soon.
Voyage to the North[edit | edit source]
Trollesund[edit | edit source]
The gyptians set their course for the port of Trollesund where the Witch-Consul, Martin Lanselius, lived as he knew that, without the witches' help or neutrality, they could never win. Whilst John got the gyptians prepared, Lyra and Coram went to see Martin. During this time, John found an aëronaut, Lee Scoresby, that was in need of something to do after the expedition he was hoping to join failed before it reached Amsterdam. Later that day, John was excited to hear what they had found out and was interested to hear that they had been advised to find the bear Iorek Byrnison. John said that they should go to him that evening and also told them about Lee.
That evening, when Coram and Lyra returned from meeting Iorek, John and the other leaders spent a long time talking about what they were to do. The bear had told them that he would join them only if they found his armour. Later, John was awoken by Coram after he had been told by Lyra that the witch Serafina Pekkala's dæmon, Kaisa, had arrived on deck. The three, including Lyra, spoke to him where Kaisa told them about the station called Bolvangar where the children were taken and also about all the other worlds. Kaisa then told them about where Bolvangar was and how to get there.
After he went, John must have carried Lyra to her bed as she had fallen asleep in a deckchair whilst the group were talking about where Bolvangar was.
Bolvangar[edit | edit source]
The following morning, John and Coram went to see the Sysselman, talking about whether they could get Iorek's armour back as they could take the bear off the townspeoples' hands. During this meeting, Lyra had gone to the bear and told him where his armour was (after asking her alethiometer). The bear got up and stormed through the town to reach it. The Sysselman and his visitors came out to see what was going on and later went down to the quay where Iorek had gone after taking his armour.
The bear was told he was allowed to leave and, quite quickly, the gyptians set off for Bolvangar. That night, Lyra found out she needed to go to a nearby village where there was something she needed to see. John originally was skeptical before allowing her to when he heard Iorek would go with her. When they came back, they were carrying a little boy called Tony Makarios whose dæmon had been severed.
John was originally repulsed by what he saw but, after Iorek chided them, he got the boy warm and fed. Unfortunately, during the night, the boy died. John ordered for a fire to be build to cremate him as the earth was too thick to dig.
Later, the gyptians were attacked by arrows from the other side of a forest. John was the first to come to his wits and began ordering his men around. Meanwhile, Lyra was taken by some Samoyed hunters to Bolvangar. After the gyptians won the fight, they hurriedly went towards Bolvangar.
When the gyptians found Lyra and the children, who had run away from the station, John picked her up in his arms. The gyptians and the children (without Lyra, who had flown to Svalbard) then began their journey back to Brytain to get the children back to their homes.
Mulefa world[edit | edit source]
Later, Serafina flew to the gyptians to request their help in the war against the Authority. They gyptians travelled, with Serafina, to the mulefa world where Lyra and her new lover, Will Parry, were staying. After anchoring, John and Sattamax, a zalif, exchanged words of greeting (which Mary Malone translated).
They then headed towards the village where the children were. When he saw her, John bounded her up in a hug and kissed her on both cheeks. After talking and eating, the mulefa took Coram, John, Serafina and Mary to a window some way off which was of particular interest. Out of it came some ghosts from the world of the dead, finally getting to see the world again and becoming part of the cosmos. The mulefa promised to guard the place and regard it as holy.
Later life[edit | edit source]
John died by the time Lyra was 20 years old however the memory of the voyage to the North that he took was still told amongst the gyptians after his death. John was succeeded as king by his son, Orlando Faa, who met Lyra and told her that his father had been full of adventures about the voyage and the battle.
Personality and traits[edit | edit source]
He was described as a kind, loyal, honest man who was a fierce fighter and protective of his people. He seemed to value honesty and straightforwardness, and enjoyed fighting. At the second of the Byanropings which Lyra attended, despite the racism the gyptians were subjected to, he was determined to rescue all the children from Bolvangar, and that caused mild unease among his people.
He was a practical man, and was unsure around what he could not understand with his own eyes. For example, when Lyra explained her plan to go to the village by the lake to rescue the lost boy, Lord Faa was skeptical, asking if she was certain the alethiometer wasn't "playing the fool" with her. Lyra's response, that it couldn't, seemed to do little to soothe his doubts.
Physical description[edit | edit source]
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
- Jim Carter played John in The Golden Compass.
- In the TV series, John is played by Lucian Msamati.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Northern Lights
- The Golden Compass (film)
- The Subtle Knife (Mentioned only)
- The Amber Spyglass
- His Dark Materials (TV series), Series 1
References[edit | edit source]
- Northern Lights, Chapter 7
- Northern Lights, Chapter 8
- Northern Lights, Chapter 9
- Northern Lights, Chapter 10
- Northern Lights, Chapter 11
- Northern Lights, Chapter 12
- Northern Lights, Chapter 13
- Northern Lights, Chapter 14
- Northern Lights, Chapter 16
- The Amber Spyglass, Chapter 38
- The Secret Commonwealth, Chapter 11
- The Secret Commonwealth, Chapter 15
- BBC and Bad Wolf unveil cast and creative team of His Dark Materials