- William Parry: "That's not right. We don't have to leave a part of ourselves behind. Why should Lyra?"
- Boatman: "Oh, but you do. It's her misfortune that she can see and talk to the part she must leave. You will not know until you are on the water, and then it will be too late. But you all have to leave that part of yourselves here. There is no passage to the land of the dead for such as him."
- — Discussion about souls and the land of the dead.
When Lyra Silvertongue arrived at the jetty he told her she would have to leave her dæmon Pantalaimon behind. William Parry, Lady Salmakia and Chevalier Tialys also had to leave their souls behind as the boatman rowed away towards the land of the dead. He did not believe that the company of humans and gallivespians would return.
The boatman was extremely old; his skin was grey and he was crippled and bent. He wore a robe of sacking tied with a rope.