I would put a spoiler alert here if there was anything to spoil in discussing the progress of a character’s beard in a film, but there isn’t. Still, if you haven’t seen The Golden Compass and would like to remain in the dark about Daniel Craig’s facial hair, read no further.

Craig has only about ten minutes of screen time in The Golden Compass, so why does the film waste our time with an unnecessary shot of him (as Lord Asriel) in the frozen north…shaving? Seriously, the man travels to a freezing cold climate with a full beard — which really added to his character’s rough-around-the-edges persona — only to scrape it all off. Is there any logic in this? Practically speaking, the beard would’ve kept him warm, so perhaps this was an attempt to disguise himself (by doing the opposite of what a typical fugitive might do)? Maybe Lord Asriel decided that he likes the feel of icy wind on his face? Or, maybe the filmmakers decided to indulge the female fans by giving them a better look at at his craggy (and Craig-y) visage? Whatever the reason, the scene had me scratching my head at the climax of the film. Which is pretty sad, considering one of Craig’s last appearances in the movie is a bizarre CG glimpse of him through Lyra’s alethiometer, looking like he’s trying out for the sequel to Zoolander.

What are some other possible explanations for the disappearance of Daniel Craig’s beard? And which look do you prefer?