The movie is based on the Philip Pullman Book "The Golden compass" which was originally published under the name "The Northern Lights". It is the first in a trilogy, The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass . The story is set in an alternate earth and is about a young girl named Lyra Belacqua who stumbles upon a political conflict occurring amongst the adults in her life. Her uncle, Lord Asriel is conducting controversial research on this mysterious thing called Dust. This research is opposed by the Magesteriem who are the controlling authority in the setting and are determined to save the population from Dust's corrupting influence. But when Lyra's best friend Roger gets abducted by the GOBBLERS she needs to head to the north pole to rescue him. She teams up with Mrs. Coulter who takes a special interest in Lyra and promises to take her to see the North Pole. Before Lyra departs the school she is given a secret to guard and protect by the head master. A secret she must epically keep from Mrs. Coulter.