brendan_mott wrote:Pullman is hinting towards the fact that Will and Lyra will get their happy ending
I'm of the opinion that all is fair in love, war and literature. The various 'tragic' events that make up the ending of TAS (Mrs Coulter and Lord Asriel's sacrifice, Lyra and Will's separation, the closing of the windows) serve two purposes.
The first (and most important, I believe) is to affect the readers deeply. Why
do we feel such grief when the book is finished? Why
do we go out and write loophole fanfics where Lyra and Will get to stay together? Precisely because their separation affects us deeply and profoundly. Would the series have such an impact on us if Pullman had written a cop-out 'All was well' (a la J.K. Rowling) ending? I don't think so.
The second reason is that Pullman wrote a trilogy about consciousness, about the change from childhood to adulthood. He was consciously attempting to write something where the change from 'innocence' to 'experience' was celebrated rather than deplored. The trilogy tracks Lyra's (and later Will's) transformation from child to adolescent. Their relationship mirrors this transformation. It is an interesting relationship in that it begins as one of 'innocence' and yet when it takes on a romantic dimension, it becomes the catalyst for their growing awareness as adolescents. (I really struggled to explain what I meant there, I hope it's clear what I'm saying.) Their relationship is both a symbol of how they've changed, and the thing that changes them. It is a metaphor for the transition from childhood to adulthood. What all this means is that their relationship serves a very specific purpose and is essential to a very specific time in both their lives. But (and this is a very complicated and difficult thing to explain, and possibly someone only I believe) in having such a relationship, they negate the need for it, because it transforms them into different people, adolescents, not children.
In creating a plot that forces Lyra and Will apart, Pullman is expressing the key element of the philosophy of HDM: you have to build the Republic of Heaven where you are, because for us, there is no elsewhere. This does not simply mean that we should focus on earthly life because there is no afterlife, but also that we must focus on our life as we are now, not on the past. Although adults contain the children that they were within them, they are different people, too. Lyra and Will understand that their relationship was extremely important to them (and continue to recognise it their whole lives, as they visit the Botanic Garden) but also understand that it was important to them AT A SPECIFIC TIME, but transformed them into people for whom that relationship might not be so important. How many people do you know who ended up marrying the people they 'dated' at 12 or 13 (or even 15 or 16)?
I'm not sure if what I'm saying is exactly coherent, but here's a summary. The 'tragic' ending of TAS was necessary because of its emotional impact and its reflection of Pullman's themes and philosophy. Letting Lyra and Will ride happily ever after off into the sunset just wouldn't have cut it.