Like Mrs Coulter, Serafina's appearance changed in the transition from novel to film. In Northern Lights she is described as being fair-haired, but in the film she was played by Eva Green, a brunette.
A Polar Star (or Pole Star) is an especially prominent star that is aligned (approximately) with the axis rotation of Earth. Its position is close to one of Earth's celestial poles, and lies directly overhead when observed from the North or South Pole.
The term Pole Star usually refers to Polaris, which is the current northern Pole Star. Also known as the North Star, it is the brightest star in the constellation of Usra Minor. Over time, however, a different star will take pole position.
Wells Fargo Bank is a US bank and financial services company with roots in the Californian gold rush.
After buying the distressed Wachovia Bank during the recent financial crisis, it is now the fourth largest bank in the USA.
Yambe-Akka is the goddess of the underworld for the Sami people, the indigenous people of Sápmi, which includes parts of the furthest north of Finland, Sweden and Norway.
The name means old woman of the dead.