Ozymandias, also named the Golden Monkey, is the secondary antagonist of His Dark Materials and is the dæmon of Marisa Coulter. He is a very cruel, sadistic, merciless daemon who enjoys tormenting others of his kind, unlike most daemons in the series.
Ozymandias is first introduced abducting children along with his mistress Marisa Coulter, and they abduct a boy named Tony Makarios and take him to the London docks where he is introduced to the superiors of the Oblation Board, disguised as friendly captains and the like. Ozymandias watches the children leave, with Marisa, and they throw the children's letters home into the fire when the kids have left.
Ozymandias adopts Lyra with Marisa Coulter and he tortures her throughout her stay. Unlike Marisa Coulter who at least does her best to make Lyra welcome. Ozymandias even spies in Lyra's room and at one point she is certain he sees her alethiometer. At one point when Lyra mentions Dust, Ozymandias' fur stands on end, as he is agitated that Lyra knows of the Board. But Marisa calms him down.
When the gyptians are heading to the headquarters of the Board, Pantalaimon, Lyra's daemon, sees a spirit or creature following them through the tundra, swinging from tree to tree, but it puts him in mind of a golden monkey.
The monkey returns in the headquarters of the Board itself. He presides over the captive children; torturing them, in his element. He betrays Marisa's impatience to know of Lyra's alethiometer and also to know who opened the daemon cages to free the captive daemons.
At one point Ozymandias is attacked by the demon spy-fly and is badly hurt, but he lives.
He turns his back on Lord Asriel and follows Marisa back down the mountain, away from the promise of a new life in another world. The monkey returns in contempt with Marisa back to the Oblation Board and the Church.
The Subtle Knife
The monkey is present torturing a captive witch for information on Lyra's destiny. The evil monkey takes a delight in the torture. The witch Serafina Pekkala is on board, hidden under an invisibility spell, but the stress of seeing a witch tortured to death makes her visible. In the chaos, Serafina stabs the witch to death out of mercy and escapes when Marisa and the monkey are determined to hunt her down to kill her.
He ambushes Will and Lyra in the Oxford home of Lord Boreal and Ozymandias attacks Will in his anger. A fight begins between Will and the monkey, but Will is saved by his protective cat follower who banishes Ozymandias back to Marisa Coulter.
Ozymandias tempts Lord Boreal's serpent daemon into seduction when his mistress is poisoning Boreal. Later, as the serpent daemon struggles to breathe in its dying throes, Ozymandias contemptuously brushes her off to better watch her die.
Ozymandias joins in Marisa attacking the witches and abducts Lyra.
The Amber Spyglass
He is at his most evil in the cave, in the Himalaya, where he torments small bats and pulls off their wings when they are still alive. Like all daemons, he reacts to pain his human gets, such as when Mrs. Coulter is struck by the Gallivespians, he feels it too.
Ozymandias is there when Marisa Coulter is abducted by Lord Asriel. Him and Marisa betray Lord Asriel by politely asking him about all the nature and defenses of their mountain fortress. Then Marisa and Ozymandias steal a helicopter powered by daemons from Lord Asriel, and fly to the Church in Geneva, but Father Hugh McPhail senses an assassin in the Church when the Gallivespian Lord Roke follows Ozymandias and Marisa Coulter. The President, Hugh, detonates a bomb to kill Lyra, but he is killed by Roke in the chaos.
He goes to Metatron with Mrs. Coulter and lies to the prince of the angels about Mrs. Coulter and Lyra. He fights Metatron with Mrs. Coulter and Lord Asriel and falls into the abyss astride Metatron's hair, where Ozymandias is extinguished when Mrs. Coulter finally dies, resulting in him disappearing.
He is never seen shapeshifting because his mistress is adult, and therefore he has lost his power of shapeshifting. But he can play mind games, and abuse people, and torture humans and animals.
His name is never given in the books but Philip Pullman named him Ozymandias after the poem by Percy Shelley.
Ozymandias is in charge of the General Oblation Board along with his mistress Mrs. Coulter, and he strikes fear in any human and daemon he meets. He is very impatient, and betrays Mrs. Coulter's true feelings.