Roger Parslow was a kitchen boy at Jordan College and childhood best friend of Lyra Silvertongue. After his rescue from the General Oblation Board at Bolvangar, Roger and his dæmon, Salcilia, were killed by the intercision process used by Lord Asriel to open the Svalbard window to Cittàgazze.
Life at Jordan College
Roger was brought up in the care of his aunt before she found him a good job at Jordan. There, Roger worked as a kitchen boy at Jordan College, where he became best friends with Lyra Belacqua. The two children would play together, exploring the college from the rooftops to the crypts. It was during this time that the then 12-year-old Roger was kidnapped by the General Oblation Board and taken to Bolvangar.
The two first met at Bolvangar in the dining hall the morning after Lyra arrived where they talked with Billy Costa, a gyptian that had been taken in Oxford at the same time as Roger, and Billy and Roger told Lyra about the station. Roger showed her the ceiling panels in the roof that were loose and which stretched across the whole facility which Lyra would go on to use to spy on a meeting between the scientists and Marisa.
During the fire drill shortly after, Lyra, Roger and Billy ran away from the other children (after starting a snowball fight) to take a look at some of the buildings on the site. Roger and Billy took watch whilst Lyra went into one of the building, assisted by the witch Serafina Pekkala's dæmon, Kaisa. Roger, who had never seen or heard of witches was shocked to see the witch's dæmon all alone without a human but even more shocked, a few minutes later, when all the dæmons of the children who had gone through intercision flew out after Kaisa. Lyra then told the two of them to tell everyone else, excluding the adults, that they should get their warm furs ready and be prepared to flee the site when the fire bell rang again.
Later, when Lyra had shortly avoided going through intercision and who had escaped from the clutches of her mother, all the children fled from the site to the safety of the gyptians. Whilst the other children went back to their home, Lyra, Roger, Lee Scoresby (an aëronaut) and Iorek Byrnison (a Panserbjørn) flew in Lee's balloon, heading towards Svalbard.
On the way, Lyra fell out of the balloon and the other three were left to be swept by the wind further away from Svalbard. Iorek and Roger soon got out, leaving Lee to continue flying, and Iorek sprinted to Svalbard where Lyra was being kept prisoner. Roger, after riding a short way was left by Iorek so he wouldn't be harmed by the bears. Iorek, after winning a fight to the death with Iofur Raknison, came back and brought him to Lyra.
Shortly after, a group of bears, now under the rule of Iorek, led the children to the house where Lord Asriel was being kept imprisoned. Lord Asriel needed a child to complete an experiment that would create a window between their world and one in the sky. When he saw Roger and heard of Iofur being killed, Asriel decided to complete what he had been planning for months. In the night, after putting Lyra to bed, Asriel took Roger to a nearby mountain in a sledge, not knowing they were being followed by Lyra and also Marisa.
Stelmaria, Asriel's dæmon, took Salcilia in her mouth to stop Roger from escaping. Roger kept on calling out to Lyra, who came just as Asriel had finished setting up his experiment. Pantalaimon, Lyra's dæmon, started fighting Stelmaria, who loosened her grip on Salcilia. The four of them started to run away until Roger found he couldn't as Stelmaria had gripped Salcilia again. Before they could start fighting her, Asriel performed his experiment. Roger was separated from his dæmon, dying instantly, whilst Asriel harnessed the energy released to create the window in the sky.
Lyra was left on the mountain, with Roger's dead body in her arms, before following her father up into the sky and leaving Roger's body on the ice.
Roger's ghost went to the world of the dead once he died. After crossing to the land of the dead, Roger assured everyone that Lyra was going come and rescue them - but none of the other ghosts took notice. When Lyra and Will Parry entered the land of the dead, they began looking for Roger immediately and a message was passed through the millions of ghosts and was eventually passed onto Roger.
After an hour of walking, Roger and Lyra finally met and Lyra told Roger everything that had happened since he'd died. She also told him about the prophecy she'd overheard at Martin Lanselius's house in Trollesund about her doing something important in another world and thought that it was letting the ghosts out of the land of the dead.
After talking to the harpies, Gracious Wings agreed to show the children a place where they could open a window into another world without cutting into rock. Roger encouraged all the ghosts onwards, following the harpies through a cave system even when a bomb went off, creating an Abyss. Roger told Lyra to be careful, but she began to fall down the Abyss. Roger was terrified until Gracious Wings the harpy lifted her back up.
Once they finally reached their destination, Will used the subtle knife to create a window between the world of the dead and the mulefa world. Roger was the first ghost to go through into this world, turning back and laughing before becoming one with the cosmos.
Roger's dæmon was female and named Salcilia. At the time of his death, she had not settled.
Like Pantalaimon, Salcilia was conscientious and cautious, as well as easily frightened, for example when Lyra and Roger switched coins around in the crypts of Jordan College she was near inconsolable with terror.
Salcilia never reached the age at which she would have settled. She usually took the form of a terrier but was also seen as a fly, a moth, a sparrow, a mouse, a cat, a ferret or a butterfly.
At their capture on Svalbard, Asriel harnessed the energy released by severing Roger and Salcilia, leading to their mutual death.
Behind the scenes
- In The Golden Compass, Roger was played by Ben Walker, and Salcilia is portrayed mostly as a dog, a bird, or a rabbit.
- In the TV series, Roger is played by Lewin Lloyd. Salcilia is voiced by Eloise Little (who is also the double for Lyra).
- Northern Lights
- Northern Lights - The Graphic Novel
- The Golden Compass (film)
- The Golden Compass (video game)
- The Subtle Knife (Mentioned only)
- The Amber Spyglass (Ghost form)
- His Dark Materials (TV series), Series 1
- The Secret Commonwealth (Mentioned only)
- Northern Lights, Chapter 3
- His Dark Materials (TV series), Series 1, Episode 2
- Northern Lights, Chapter 14
- Northern Lights, Chapter 15
- Northern Lights, Chapter 17
- Northern Lights, Chapter 20
- Northern Lights, Chapter 22
- Northern Lights, Chapter 23
- The Amber Spyglass, Chapter 23
- The Amber Spyglass, Chapter 26
- BBC and Bad Wolf unveil cast and creative team of His Dark Materials
|Locations||Chapel • Common Room • Hall • Jordan catacombs • Jordan Library • Jordan Oratory • Master's Lodging • Retiring Room • Sheldon Building • Yaxley Quadrangle • Lodge Tower • Palmer's Tower • Scholars' Garden • Library Garden • Lecture Theatre|
|Staff||Bernie Johansen • Bill • Dr Carne • Charles • Father Heyst • Mr Cawson • Mrs Lonsdale • P. Trelawney • Parslow family • Roger Parslow • Sub-Rector • Shuter • Werner Hammond • Wren • Raymond Stringer • Janet • Solicitor • Domestic Bursar • Cousins • Mr Wood|
|Occupations||Butler • Master of Jordan College • Steward|
|World of the dead|
|Locations||Abyss • Holding area • Land of the dead • Suburbs of the land of the dead|
|Natives||Boatman • Gracious Wings • Martha • Magda • Peter • Martha and Peter's son • Martha and Peter's child • Martha and Peter's baby|
|Ghosts||Castor's human • Dirk Jansen • John Parry • Lee Scoresby • Matapan's human • Roger Parslow • Sandling's human|
|Important||Deaths • Harpies • Ghosts • The Authority|