His Dark Materials will soon return to HBO for its third and final season. It’s been so long since the show’s second season ended, though, that you might not remember everything that happened previously. If you find yourself adrift like a hot air balloon caught in a storm don’t panic, because we have you covered. Here’s everything you need to remember about His Dark Materials season two.
Additional Reading: Everything You Need To Remember About His Dark Materials Season 1
Dust & Dæmons
There are no dæmons in Will and Mary Malone’s world (which is our world). If they have souls they are internal.
Dust does exist in their dimension, though, only it’s called Dark Matter. And like Lyra with her alethiometer (the proverbial “golden compass”), Mary was able to communicate with Dust. She initially used a computer to speak with it. But by season’s end the show revealed Dust is not just some particle; Dust is really angels.
Witches Go to War With Cardinal MacPhail and the Magisterium
Witches have reunited and declared war after the Magisterium bombed their homes. Father MacPhail, now the Cardinal of the powerful religious sect, attacked the witches as a show of force. This was one of his first acts as leader. But his power is not absolute. Mrs. Coulter conspired with him to make sure he rose to the position, and she is willing to blackmail him to get what she wants.
Both groups are now heading for the rift between worlds opened by Lord Asriel, though they both know a far bigger was is coming.
Will Parry: Bearer of the Subtle Knife
Will Parry lost two fingers in Cittàgazze, the city that seems to sit between all parallel worlds. But his fingers were the price to gain a tool of unimaginable power. Will is now the Bearer of the Subtle Knife (a.k.a. Æsahættr). The double-bladed knife can “cut the very fabric” between worlds. The Bearer can then zip shut those portals with his fingers. The Subtle Knife had unlimited possibilities, but the philosophers who created it used it to enrich Cittàgazze, instead. (But not without a cost.) And others want the knife for their own purposes, including Lord Asriel.
Spectres Terrorize Adults of Cittàgaze
Cittàgaze is overrun with Spectres, ghostly, swirling figures of black without form. It’s not clear what they are or where they come from. All we know is they attack adults, and though they do not kill them, they leave grownups as lifeless shells. Children are safe from Spectres until the moment they reach adulthood. The only adult immune to Spectres is Mrs. Coulter, who quickly mastered the terrifying creatures. All she had to do was abandon her humanity to make them listen to her.
Lee Scoresby, John Parry, and Lord Boreal Are Dead
The Magisterium killed Lee Scoresby, who died still in the loyal service of Lyra, whom he loved “like a daughter.” His brief traveling companion, the Shaman John Parry (a.k.a. Jopari, a.k.a. Stanislaus Grumman) also died in the season two finale, but only after reuniting with his son Will. John Parry told his son that Lord Asriel needs the Subtle Knife in the coming war. And Mrs. Coulter killed the ambitious Lord Boreal in Cittàgaze.
Mrs. Coulter Kidnapped Lyra
Mrs. Coulter found her daughter, briefly separated from Will, and kidnapped her at the end of season two. It’s unknown where she’s taking her, or even why. It’s also unclear if the dangerous woman actually loves her daughter or sees her only as a valuable asset. But the bond Lyra shares with Will means he will seek her out.
Angels Sent Mary Malone on a Mission to Another World
Dust/angels told Mary Malone to travel to Cittàgaze on a mission. There the angels protected her from Spectres. Mary also helped the children of the town before following a path she believes is laid out for her.
Lord Asriel Recruited an Army of Angels to Fight the Authority
During his only season two appearance Lord Asriel appeared on another new world where he recruited an army of angels to his cause. His speech about freedom and morality was enough to sway the otherwise hidden figures to appear and support him in his war against “The Authority.”
The Prophesy About Lyra
Mrs. Coulter finally got a witch to tell her the truth about the prophesy surrounding her daughter. Lyra’s “true name” is Eve, “the Mother of All,” and she is “destined to bring about the end of destiny” itself. And while we don’t yet know what that means, the many different factions lining up to fight with or against Lord Asriel all agree Lyra is important to winning.
A Voice From Lyra’s Past
During an unexpected post-credits scene in the finale, Lyra’s dead friend Roger appeared from the darkness and called out to Lyra for help. She responded by asking him, “What is this place?” before the season ended.
His Dark Materials season three premieres on HBO on December 5.