The panserbjørn (pl. panserbjørne), also known as the armoured bear, was a species of sapient polar bear.
Biology and behaviour
The panserbjørn was similar to the polar bear in appearance. However, the panserbjørn had opposable thumbs and was very dexterous, capable of skilled metalworking. Panserbjørne were sentient and capable of speaking human languages. They were exceptionally difficult to deceive.
Panserbjørne fashioned their own armour from Sky-iron. As they matured, they forged the pieces one by one. By the time they were adults, they had a complete suit. Panserbjørne considered their armour to be their soul. When Iorek Byrnison began to feel human feelings such as doubt, he was asked if creating armour was a human action itself. Iorek decided that there was a line between bear custom and human behaviour.
Panserbjørne were generally solitary creatures, but they had a loose society on the island of Svalbard. They were governed by a king who was usually determined by bloodline, but could be elected by combat.
Under the reign of Iofur Raknison, panserbjørn society became more human-like. He built a palace and had plans for a university on the island of Svalbard. Acting like a human made Iofur less able to perceive deception and so he was defeated by Iorek Byrnison who restored panserbjørn culture to its previous, more primitive state.
When the inter-dimensional rift created by Lord Asriel changed the climate of Svalbard, Iorek Byrnison led the panserbjørne to the Himalayas. They soon realised, however, that the ecosystem of the mountains was unable to support them.
Some important known Panserbjørne were:
Panserbjørn is Norwegian and Danish for armoured bear. "Bjørn" is cognate with Old English "beorn", which also means bear.
Behind the scenes
- Early UK editions of the novels had Panserbørne instead of Panserbjørne. This was clearly a mistake as "panserbjørn" translated easily into Norwegian and Danish as "armoured bear" while "panzerbørne" is a grammatically incorrect way of saying "armoured children" in Danish.
- Northern Lights
- The Golden Compass (film)
- The Golden Compass (video game)
- The Subtle Knife
- The Amber Spyglass
- Once Upon a Time in the North
Notes and references
|Races and Species|
|Humans • Dæmons • Witches • Panserbjørne • Angels • Spectres • Gallivespians • Mulefa • Harpies •|