This map plots the settings and references in Northern Lights

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Svalbard
Svalbard Map
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSvalbard Map - Credit: Mysid

In the world of Northern Lights, Svalbard is the home of the panserbørne, the armoured bears. In reality, Svalbard is a group of islands that constitute the northernmost part of Norway. They lie about halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

Svalbard Bears
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSvalbard Bears - Credit: Alastair Rae

The panserbørne are based on polar bears. The polar bear is the symbol of Svalbard, and they are one of the islands' biggest tourist attractions.

Svalbard consists of permafrost and tundra, where the soil is at or below freezing temperature, restricting the growth of vegetation. Much of the land is a treeless wasteland, a suitably bleak setting for the heart-wrenching climax of the novel.

 

 

Svalbard Tundra
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSvalbard Tundra - Credit: Billy Lindblom