Why Pantalaimon Settled Down as an Animal in His Dark Materials

It's been a long wait to see what kind of animal Pantalaimon, the patron saint of Lyra, will become, but season 3 of his Dark Materials finally has the answer.

Warning! SPOILERS for season 3 of His Dark Materials!

^ Pantalaimon (Kit Connor), Patronus of Lyra (Dafne Keen), may have been an animal in his Dark Materials season 3 for a number of reasons. But the settlement of Pantalaimon (also known as Pan) is an important moment for both him and Lyra, offering them a beacon of hope despite the traumatic events of season 3. After all, perhaps Pan's final form is more of an indication that both he and Lyra can recover from what they've been through, while also providing a sense of who Lyra has become throughout the show.

Throughout much of his dark material, Pantalaimon's shape changes and fluctuates to best reflect his mood or need most. Mostly, this means that Pan, Lyra's patron saint, takes the shape of a snow-white ermine, moth, wild cat, or mouse, all of which are small enough to hide with Lyra no matter what misfortune befalls her. Pan's later settlement portrays two characters losing this flexibility and innocence in exchange for maturity and identity: an important milestone in every child's life, both on the show and in real life.

in In his Dark Materials season 3, Pantalaimon's final form becomes the Pine Marten. The question of why Pantalaimon settled on the pine marten at the end of his Dark Materials seems to be partly because it was a natural progression from one of his favorite forms in the entire series, since the pine marten is in the same family as the marten. However, the pine marten tends to be larger and darker than the marten, depicting how Lyra and Pantalaimon changed in his dark materials, developing and growing stronger throughout their journey, while still maintaining their core core of curiosity, determination and brave.

Why Pantalaimon Settles As A Pine Marten In His Dark Materials

Also, Pan's settlement as a pine marten is symbolic, especially in stories like his Dark Materials. The ermine is often interpreted in folklore as a symbol of purity, so much so that some stories say the ermine would rather die than get its fur dirty. Because of this, the color change of Pantalaimon's fur shows Lyra's journey from innocence to adulthood, especially during her fulfillment as the prophetic "Second Eve," whose story focuses on the loss of innocence.

While it is sad that Lyra and Pantalaimon lost their childhood innocence, Pan's ultimate form is a true reflection of who they became together. Symbolically, the pine marten is seen as a symbol of luck, bravery, and blood ties, all elements that Lyra of His Dark Materials embodies, no matter how old she is. Additionally, the Pine Marten is well suited to both Pan and Lyra as symbols of their determination and agility in His Dark Materials, as the Pine Marten is a dedicated hunter and climber with the adaptability needed for both.

Pan Being A Pine Marten Was The Right Choice For Lyra's Daemon

The shape of Lyra's soul is an important issue throughout His Dark Materials, and a key aspect of the story's growing narrative. Ultimately, why Pantalaimon settles as a pine marten in his dark material is a strong reflection of Lyra herself, showing her upbringing and her identification with what's important to her. Pan's final form reflects how people choose what is most important to them and how they evolve, making his form as the pine marten a fitting end for both Pantalaimon and Lyra.

Next post: How Will Had a [SPOILER] in His Dark Materials Season 3

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