Colonel John Parry, also known as Doctor Stanislaus Grumman or Jopari, was the father of Will Parry. He travelled to Lyra's world where he became a renowned scholar and shaman. His dæmon was called Sayan Kötör and had the form of an osprey.


Life in his own worldEdit

As a child, John Parry was a member of the Boy Scouts.[3]. As an adult, he had a successful career in the Royal Marines. He later left to become an explorer.[4] He was married to Elaine Parry, with whom he had a son named Will.

Nuniatak digEdit

In 1985, Parry set off on the Nuniatak dig expedition to Alaska. The aim of the expedition was to survey an area for evidence of early human settlements, but Parry was in search of a window known as the anomaly, as was the physicist Nelson. On the way, he met an Eskimo named Matt Kigalik who gave him an exact location for the anomaly.[5]

Six weeks after their departure, the party arrived at the North American Arctic Survey Station in Noatak.[4] Two months later, there was a blizzard in which some of the party got lost. When searching for them, Parry and two others accidentally entered the window into the world of Cittàgazze. His two companions were killed by the Spectres shortly after.[6] The Times reported that no reply had been had to signals sent to the Survey Station and that Parry and the party were presumed missing.[4]

Life in Lyra's worldEdit

Parry travelled through the world of Cittàgazze and found a portal into Lyra's world, which was located near a place called Prudhoe Bay.[7] He travelled across the Northern lands and learnt from the peoples of the Arctic.[6] He met the Yenisei shaman Ivan Kasymovich Tyltshin who taught him about the spirit world. It was here that he met his dæmon Sayan Kötör, who had the form of an osprey.[7]

Under the name of Stanislaus Grumman,[6] he travelled through Europe. He began his scientific studies in Warsaw.[7] Around 1988-89 he made a name for himself with his paper on the variations in the magnetic pole.[8] He presented it at the Berlin Academy and defended it in a debate.[6] With his new credentials, he continued his studies. At some point, he studied at Jordan College in Oxford.[9]

In London, he realised that he found it difficult to live in a place so familiar yet different, and decided to return to the North, where he felt more at home.[7] He joined the Yenisei Pakhtars and underwent trepanning.[8] He became a shaman and made several important discoveries, as well getting ideas such as learning how to make bloodmoss ointment which preserved the virtues of the fresh plant from the shaman Turukhanik.[6] At some time in his life, Parry turned down the love of the witch Juta Kamainen.[10]

War against the AuthorityEdit

After becoming a shaman, he met Lord Asriel. He told Asriel about the Alaska window. Asriel told Parry about his plan to lead a rebellion against the authority.[7]

At some point, he cured a wound of Giacomo Paradisi's with his bloodmoss ointment. Because Parry knew about the windows between worlds, Paradisi confided in him about the subtle knife. Parry immediately knew that he must bring Asriel and the knife together.[7]

In 1997, Parry summoned Lee Scoresby to him using Scoresby's mother's ring. Parry told Scoresby about the subtle knife and the aëronaut agreed to take Parry to the world of Cittàgazze if he would ensure that Lyra Silvertongue were under the protection of the knife.[6] During the flight, Parry called a storm and one of the four Magisterium zeppelins which were pursuing them was struck down by lightning. When they made camp for the night, Parry sent a Spectre to another of the zeppelins, where it attacked the pilot causing the aircraft to crash. The third was attacked by a flock of birds led by Sayan Kötör.[3]

Lee Scoresby held the Magisterium men off at the ravine so that Parry was able to reach Will.[3] He healed Will's fingers with the bloodmoss ointment and told him that he must use the subtle knife to kill the Authority. At the moment that he realised the boy was his son, he was shot through the heart by Juta Kamainen, the witch he spurned.[2]

Physical appearanceEdit

Parry is described as having blazing blue eyes, a stubborn jawline and dark hair streaked with grey.[2]

Abilities and skillsEdit

  • Shamanism: Parry was a shaman. He was capable of entering a trance and travelling in spirit.[6] He also had the power to control the weather, bringing on both winds and storms.[3]

Dæmon Edit

"People here cannot conceive of worlds where dæmons are a silent voice in the mind and no more. Can you imagine my astonishment, in turn, at learning that part of my own nature was female, and bird-formed, and beautiful?"
—John Parry to Lee Scoresby

John Parry's dæmon, when found and formed, took the shape of a female osprey who was named Sayan Kötör.

After travelling to Lyra's world, Parry met the shaman Ivan Kasymovich Tyltshin, who taught him about the spirit world. It was here that John met Sayan Kötör for the first time.[7]


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HDM Wiki has 1 image of John Parry.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. The Subtle Knife, Chapter 10
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Subtle Knife, Chapter 15
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Subtle Knife, Chapter 14
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Subtle Knife, Chapter 4
  5. The Subtle Knife, Chapter 5
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 The Subtle Knife, Chapter 10
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 The Subtle Knife, Appendix
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Subtle Knife, Chapter 6
  9. Northern Lights, Chapter 2
  10. The Subtle Knife, Chapter 13