His Dark Materials: 5 burning questions we have for season 3

Dafne Keen and Amir Wilson in His Dark Materials season 2. Photograph by Courtesy of HBO
Dafne Keen and Amir Wilson in His Dark Materials season 2. Photograph by Courtesy of HBO /

The second season of His Dark Materials shed some light on certain aspects of the story, but it left viewers with plenty of questions heading into season three.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for His Dark Materials season two.

With the second season of His Dark Materials over and done with, fans of the HBO series have a better idea of where things are headed for Lyra and Will. The season two finale provided some insight into why Lyra is so important to the prophecy viewers have been hearing about since episode one, and it also gave Will a deeper purpose heading into the show’s final season.

It looks like both characters will be wrapped up in the war Lord Asriel is waging on the Magisterium, even if fans who haven’t read Philip Pullman’s books don’t know exactly how.

And although season two cleared up some mysteries introduced at the beginning of the show, it left plenty of questions for His Dark Materials to answer heading into its third and final season.

Why does the prophecy matter?

With the revelation that Lyra is Eve — and knowing that Dust is Original Sin — fans can piece together what the prophecy entails from this point onward. However, things surrounding Lyra’s fate are still a bit confusing. Even knowing about the fall of humanity, one is left to wonder why it matters in the context of this story. Humanity has already fallen, and it led to Dust, and presumably, Daemons.

The show has yet to clarify how Lyra’s choices will impact the current world she’s living in. All we know is that the witches want to protect Lyra at all costs, while the Magisterium and Mrs. Coulter want to ensure she doesn’t fall. How Lyra’s fate intersects with Asriel’s war on the Authority and Will’s fate as the knife bearer also remains to be seen. With season three wrapping everything up, we can assume we’ll find out more about Lyra’s destiny and why it’s so important to everyone. (And maybe why humanity is even being tested again in the first place.)

As the audience, most of us are inclined to root for Lyra doing anything the Magisterium won’t like. But what are the consequences of her falling and repeating the cycle of original sin? What happens if she doesn’t? Those are stakes season three will need to set up.

Will the knife bearer fulfill his destiny?

This season of His Dark Materials gives Will a new destiny: that of the knife bearer. During the season finale, Will’s father tells him to go to Lord Asriel with the knife and help him wield it against the Authority. And Will’s final moments in season two suggest he might do that — but will he actually follow through with this destiny?

With the Magisterium and Lord Asriel both seeming like the enemy, it’s hard to see Will and Lyra siding with either of them. Whether Asriel’s intentions are good or not, he’s made it clear he’s willing to hurt anyone who gets in his way. If Will sees this side of Asriel, it’s possible he’ll forge his own fate with the knife.

Should we be rooting for Asriel?

The question most His Dark Materials fans have probably been asking themselves (or, at least, I have been) is whether or not they should be rooting for Asriel. The Magisterium claims to uphold the wishes of the Authority, and we know the Magisterium can’t be trusted. Meanwhile, the witches have mostly proven themselves decent people — and they want to aid Asriel in his war.

However, the show has made it abundantly clear that Asriel isn’t a trustworthy or morally admirable character based on the choices he’s made to wage his war. He sort of shares his motivation during his speech at the end of season two. Without knowing more, however, it’s hard to say which side of this war fans should be on — if we’re supposed to choose either side at all.

How is Mrs. Coulter controlling the Spectres?

The end of season two brings in a shocking twist, with Mrs. Coulter being able to control the Spectres — despite the fact that they typically suck the life out of any adults in their path. When speaking to Lord Boreal about the Spectres, Mrs. Coulter tells him that knowing about a thing offers power over it. But what exactly does this mean?

His Dark Materials has yet to reveal just what Mrs. Coulter knows about the Spectres that would make her not just impervious to them, but also capable of using them for her bidding. We can assume her knowledge of Dust — and severing humans from their Daemons — has something to do with it. A more in-depth explanation would be welcome in season three, though.

What’s that post-credits scene all about?

If you stuck around through the credits for the second season finale, you’ll have gotten a quick glimpse of Lyra supposedly reuniting with Roger. The screen is dark as Roger asks Lyra to help him, and as the camera focuses on her lost best friend, she asks him, “Roger, what is this place?”

Those who have read the books may have some notion of what’s going on here, but the series has some explaining to do when it comes to the rest of us! We’d love to see Roger back, but given that he was severed from his Daemon and killed, we’re not so sure we want to see Lyra venturing to wherever he is. Hopefully this doesn’t bode well for His Dark Materials‘ leading lady. We’ll need to wait until season three to know for sure.

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What did you think of the second season of His Dark Materials? What are questions you’d like to see answered in season three?