‘His Dark Materials’ Season 2: Recap And Ending – What To Expect From Season 3?

“His Dark Materials” Season 1 ended with Lyra following her father, Asriel, into the doorway using the Northern Lights. On the other hand, Will Parry made his way into a different world using the doorway inside the park in Oxford (the modern world). Coulter is unable to find her daughter, and it just adds to her rage and misery for the umpteenth time. Lee Scoresby is continuing his search for Stanislaus Grumman. The witches believe that Asriel’s having torn up the sky is the mere beginning of a prophecy that could either destroy all of existence or renew it. “His Dark Materials” Season 2 will reveal what the prophecy is and how Lyra and Will are connected to it and each other.


Spoilers Ahead

‘His Dark Materials’ Season 2: Recap And Ending

Lyra and Pan arrive in a different world surrounded by wilderness. They observe the city (Cittàgazze) that they used to see in the Northern Lights. They arrive at the place and come across Will. The place is abandoned, and they find out from two young girls that all the adults have either been taken by the specters or have left the city in fear and moved up the mountains. Back in the home world, Lee and his daemon Hester meet Serafina Pekkala. She gives him a twig with which he can call her when needed. He tells her of his plan to find Grumman, who possesses a weapon that provides protection. He intends to bring the weapon to Lyra, who will face a lot of threats in the near future. This meeting, however, is interrupted by Queen Ruta Skadi, who informs them that one of their sisters, Katja Sirkka, has been taken prisoner by the Magisterium. Ruta then leaves to rescue Katja.


The Magisterium has imprisoned Katja in a submarine. Inside it, all the lords are present, including Cardinal Sturrock, who mentions his disgust at hearing about the tear that has occurred in the fabric of their world. He calls it heresy. However, Father MacPhail knows that something has to be done to stabilize the world. This is when Coulter offers to talk to the imprisoned Katja and find out more. In prison, she tortures her to make her reveal any information about Lyra. Katja finally tells her of the prophecy involving Lyra that has already begun and is about to reveal Lyra’s other name when Ruta arrives inside the submarine and kills Katja, thereby keeping the secret safe. Katja welcomes death wholeheartedly. On the way out, Ruta kills many of the guards and even stabs Cardinal Sturrock. Later on, Coulter offers McPhail the opportunity to become the new Cardinal by killing Sturrock herself. In return, MacPhail needs to allow her to pursue her own interests.

Will and Lyra find out that both belong to a place called Oxford in their own worlds. She intends to visit Will’s Oxford and talk to any scholars who know about Dust. To find out more about Will, Lyra uses her alethiometer and finds out that he is a murderer but of the “good kind.” Will reads his father’s letters and gets a vision of some kind of knife. Will and Lyra arrive at Will’s Oxford. While Will decides to check on his mother, Lyra heads to Oxford University. Lyra comes across Boreal, who recognizes her although she doesn’t know who he is. He gives her his card, telling her that she can contact her to learn more about artifacts. Lyra’s alethiometer directs her toward St. Peter’s College, where she will find the scholar. It also tells her to help Will find his father. Lyra meets Dr. Mary Malone at St. Peter’s College, who is surprised to see just how much Lyra knows about dark matter, aka Dust. She shows Lyra a computer called Cave that analyzes dark matter. Upon hooking it up to Lyra, the dark matter starts speaking to her in the language of her alethiometer. But before she could talk more, she realized that she needed to return to Will and promised Dr. Malone to return to her the following day.


After seeing his mother safe with his trusted teacher, Will heads to the family lawyer to talk about the trust fund his father had started. The lawyer told him to meet his father’s parents, who are staying in Oxford as well. Unfortunately, only a few minutes had passed since his arrival at his grandparents’ house when his grandfather called Detective Inspector Walters, the pale-faced cop working for Boreal, who had asked them to notify him if and when they were contacted by Will. Realizing that they are about to call the cops, Will escapes from the house. Dr. Martin Lanselius, the witches’ counsel, has come to speak to the Magisterium regarding the blame placed on the witches for the recent chaos. The acting Cardinal, MacPhail, ignores what Lanselius has to say and sentences him to prison. Coulter manages to convince MacPhail to attack the witches’ lands. MacPhail is later chosen as the Cardinal unanimously. Coulter then meets Thorold, Asriel’s assistant, who is also held captive by the Magisterium. She asks him about Lyra. Thorold tells her that Lyra has followed her father through the doorway he opened. Coulter leaves for the city of Cittàgazze.

The next day, Lyra heads back to see Dr. Malone but instead comes face to face with DI Walters, who was already there at Dr. Malone’s office. Malone helps her escape interrogation by DI Walters but not before she admits to knowing Will. Pan helps Lyra through the streets and is picked up by Boreal, who offers her a lift. Pan takes the shape of a bird to follow the car that has only traveled for a few minutes before Lyra insists Boreal stop the car and let her out. As much as Boreal is against it, he lets her out. Later, she finds out that she left her alethiometer with Boreal. Back at the college, Dr. Malone hooks herself up to the Cave computer and tries to interact with it, but to no avail. However, when she isn’t in the lab, the machine turns on by itself and begins to show symbols, just like it did for Lyra.


Serafina Pekkala’s daemon, Kaisa, meets Iorek Byrnison and asks him about Lyra Silvertongue. He tells Kaisa that he saw her footsteps going inside the doorway. She followed her father and crossed. Lee Scoresby and Hester arrive at Yenisei, where they find out that there is a chance that Stanislaus Grumman is at a lab up the Yenisei mountains. Lee heads to the lab and meets Dr. Haley, who tells him that Grumman is a heretic and, thinking that Lee belongs to the same group as Grumman, fires at him. Lee fires back and kills Haley but is then captured by the Magisterium’s guards. While in custody, Coulter asks him about Lyra, but all that he mentions is how much he loves her. This hits Coulter hard, who then helps Lee escape from captivity and also tells him about the prophecy. Later on, she receives a message from Boreal saying that he has found Lyra. Lee decides to head up the mountain to find Grumman.

Will wakes up and finds Lyra missing. He looks for her and comes across Angelica, who tells him about the man in the tower, the Torre Degli Angeli, to whom he has been attracted lately. There is no way inside the tower or out of it. Later, Will tracks down Lyra after finding the note she left for him before leaving. They decide to visit Boreal’s house to get her alethiometer back. Boreal proposes a deal. If they can bring him the knife from the tower (that can tear through the fabric of different worlds), he will give them the alethiometer. Will agrees.


Jopari’s daemon bird shows Lee the way to the top of the hill, where he meets Jopari. It turns out that Jopari is an alias used by Stanislaus Grumman, aka John Parry. Grumman tells Lee about the Subtle Knife, the Knife Bearer, and the war between the two forces. Asriel needs the Subtle Knife so that the good forces can win. Lee and Grumman make a deal that Lee will take him wherever he wants if he assures Lee of protecting Lyra. Grumman, a shaman, then summons the wind to help Lee’s airship fly to their destination.

Boreal approaches Dr. Malone in our world about the cave computer and Dust. He offers defense funding so that she can continue her work. This seems to be Boreal’s way of finding out more about Dust. However, Dr. Malone tells him to leave the minute she hears the words “defense funding.” Boreal leaves quietly and meets Coulter at dinner. He tells her that Lyra is in another world and that she is trapped in it. When Coulter mentions Lyra’s ability to escape from traps, Boreal reassures her that he has something special that belongs to Lyra, and she will come back to him to get it. Coulter agrees to join Boreal and travel to the world Lyra is in.


Lyra and Will make their way inside the Torre Degli Angeli and save aged Knight Bearer Giacomo Paradisi from a young boy who has got hold of the Subtle Knife and is bent on keeping it. In a fight between Will and the boy, Will loses two of his fingers due to a swing of the knife by the boy but eventually gets the better of him, and the boy runs away. Will passes out and wakes up in Giacomo’s room, where Giacomo tells him about the Subtle Knife and that it has chosen Will as its next bearer. Each half of the knife can cut through any substance or open a window to other worlds. After Giacomo teaches Will how to open and close a window, he leaves as his work is done. He has served his time as the bearer and gives himself up to the specters. Will and Lyra then decide to get back Lyra’s alethiometer from Boreal’s house. Dr. Malone establishes a connection with Dark Matter, which begins to speak to her. It tells her that dark matter and Dust are one and the same. It also tells her that angels, or shadow matter, intervened in the evolution of humans for one sole purpose: vengeance. The witches decide to take the fight to Magisterium’s forces. Serafina tells Skadi where Lyra is and asks for her help to find Lyra. On their way to the window that Asriel opened, the witches destroy multiple Magisterium airships and kill the men inside as well.

Coulter arrives in Oxford (our world) with Boreal, and he takes her to his house, showing off his art collection. She asks him for the alethiometer. Later on, as they wait for Lyra and Will to return, Boreal tells Coulter about Dr. Malone and her experiment with dark matter (Dust). However, Coulter will have to dress differently to adapt to this new world. Dressed in a new, more normal attire, Coulter visits Dr. Malone and hears praises about her daughter. When Malone asks her about her academic feats, she leaves without answering. Wondering what happened, Malone looks up Coulter on the internet but finds nothing. Upon asking the cave computer, it tells her to go to a place called Hornbeam and save a boy and a girl. Cardinal MacPhail orders the arrest of his former competitor for the Cardinal position, Father Graves, for his absolute disrespect for him as well as his lack of faith. Hearing the news of the witches’ attack that has killed so many of his men, MacPhail tells Fra Pavel to find Coulter using help from the alethiometer.


Will and Lyra chalk out a plan to recover her alethiometer. They will be using the Subtle Knife and waiting for the sun to set before making their move. Before leaving, however, they encounter the two girls they had met earlier, who hold them responsible for whatever has happened to Tulio (the guy Will fought in the tower). Tulio has been affected by the specters and is nothing but a walking dead body now. Guilt takes over Will, but he knows that he cannot waste time. He and Lyra then arrive at Oxford after cutting a doorway using the Subtle Knife. They figure out a plan to breach Boreal’s house. Meanwhile, inside, Coulter tells Boreal about the sexism in her world that hasn’t let her succeed the way Dr. Malone has. Boreal’s success in this world is just another unfair defeat for her. Her resentment towards Boreal is clearly visible. As they are talking about these things, Boreal notices Lyra at the front door, thanks to the security cameras he has set up throughout his house. Lyra at the front door is just a distraction for Will as he attempts to breach Boreal’s house using his knife. He doesn’t know that Coulter is inside but manages to hide from her after seeing her. He sees the alethiometer on a table and is about to grab it when Coulter’s daemon monkey snatches it away, alerting Coulter. Lyra, too, runs inside (Boreal lets her) and arrives at the basement only to find her mother. This time, her anger for her mother is far more than she has ever had, and this takes its toll on her daemon, who pins Coulter’s daemon to the ground, bringing Coulter to the ground as well. Will, too, puts up a fight against Boreal, who tries to grab the knife from him. Finally, Will manages to open a window and escapes with Lyra, both the knife and the alethiometer in their possession. In their room in Cittàgazze, Lyra promises to help Will find his father. Coulter asks Boreal about the crossroads world that has specters. She believes that she can master them. Dr. Malone arrives at the hidden doorway in the park in Oxford and crosses it, arriving at Cittàgazze. Serafina, Skadi, and the other witches stare at the sky and see angels passing. With Asriel’s doorway having brought about chaos, they doubt if Asriel has managed to persuade the angels to take his side. This isn’t good news.

Will hasn’t recovered from his cut, which seems to be getting worse by the hour. At one point, as Lyra tends to his wounds, Angelica, Paola (the Cittàgazze girls), and many other kids breach the place, intending to kill them for what they have done to Tulio. Will and Lyra manage to escape through the ceiling and reach the rooftop. Unfortunately, they get surrounded by the kids, but Serafina arrives just in time. The kids ran away. Serafina takes Lyra and Will to the woods, where she will be better able to analyze Will’s wound, which needs magic to heal. Meanwhile, loud sirens can be heard. Serafina tells them that for the wound to heal, they have to come to her world. Lyra finds out from the alethiometer that Will’s father is in Cittàgazze. Later on, Serafina tells Will about the prophecy regarding Lyra and that he will have to be responsible for her. Somewhere else, Dr. Malone, who is also in Cittàgazze, is approached by Angelica and Paola, who tells her about the place and Lyra. She offers to take them to their adults up the mountain.


Boreal and Coulter arrive in Cittàgazze, and Boreal tells her about specters. The specters soon show up, but while Boreal takes cover, Coulter seems to be attracted to them, and the way in which she is able to interact with them without letting them attack her seems to say that she has found a way to control them. After sending the Spectres off, she tells Boreal that she suppressed whatever makes her human, which prevents the Spectres from touching her. She and Boreal then sit down to celebrate, but it doesn’t turn out well for Boreal, as he is poisoned by Coulter and dies. This was her way of proving to him that she was never merely his equal but more than he could ever be.

At the Magisterium, Fra Pavel informs MacPhail that Coulter has crossed over. He also tells him about the prophecy regarding Lyra and how she will bring about the downfall of the Magisterium itself. MacPhail gives orders to prepare the troops with the intention of finding Lyra as soon as possible. They will be heading into Asriel’s doorway as well.


Lee and Grumman make their way through Asriel’s doorway but are caught by the Magisterium airships behind them. The airships start firing at Lee’s defenseless aircraft. Grumman conjures a storm and a swarm of ravens that take out two of the airships. However, a bullet from one of the soldiers hits Lee’s gas canister. This causes his airship to crash land in the middle of the wilderness. Skadi hears from a distance as cliff-gasts speak of an upcoming war that can bring about the defeat of the Authority. Lord Asriel’s army is growing, but he needs something called the Æsahættr to win. They then fly off. War is definitely coming, but where and how to remain unknown.

Will wakes up from a dream where a man tells him that only he holds the weapon powerful enough to destroy the Authority. Serafina sends Reina to check the forest before they can continue on their journey to look for Will’s father. Lena tells Serafina that an adult was seen wandering the city with a daemon. Serafina tells Lena to head to the city and find out more about this adult. Will tells Lyra that they have to continue the journey without the witches, as the specters attack only adults. Lena arrives at Lyra’s home in Cittàgazze, where she encounters Coulter. Coulter gets Lena in her grasp and finds out that Lyra is Eve, the Mother of All. Coulter uses the specters to kill Lena’s daemon, thereby killing her.


Dr. Malone successfully brings Angelica and Paola to the campsite with the adults. She then begins to head up the mountain to look for Lyra. Later, she finds herself in front of a waterfall. Skadi returns to Serafina and tells her what she has learned. Asriel intends to wage war against The Authority, for which he needs to gather his allies for The Great War. Serafina decides to remain with Lyra and Will while Skadi heads out to find Æsahættr so that she can bring it to Asriel. The witches stand with Asriel’s motive to bring an end to the Authority or, rather, those doling cruelty in His name.

Now on the ground, Grumman tells Lee that he knows where the bearer is. They have only just begun their journey when Magisterium guards start shooting at them. Both take cover behind a rock. Realizing that only one of them can make it out alive, Lee decides to stay back and provide cover for Grumman to escape. Grumman leaves after promising Lee to protect Lyra at all costs. Lee eventually takes a hit and falls to the ground. He tries to call for Serafina using the twig she had given him earlier, but it’s too late. Lee dies, and along with him, Hester fades away.


Serafina, Reina, Will, and Lyra are heading up the mountain when Serafina senses Lee calling for her. She heads to him, but Lee is already dead. She offers prayers. Reina, Will, and Lyra are resting, waiting for Serafina’s return when Will is woken up by another vision. He decides to go ahead on his own so that Lyra remains safe with Reina. Coulter arrives at the Cave accompanied by specters and finds Lyra asleep. Specters kill Reina, while Coulter, overwhelmed at finding her daughter, finally wakes her up. Lyra’s blood turns cold as she sees her mother staring at her.

Will finally encounters his father on his way. Grumman, aka John Parry, realizes that his son is the knife bearer. It is a weird family reunion, but a reunion all the same. Grumman apologizes to Will for leaving him and his mother. He also tells Will that he has the weapon on which the fate of the world depends. He is then shot by a Magisterium guard and dies. Before fading away, Grumman’s daemon manages to kill the guard and save Will. “His Dark Materials” Season 2 ends with Asriel speaking to the angels and asking them to join him in the fight to destroy the Authority forever. The angels finally appear in front of him and agree. Will is all on his own and has to find a way to get his knife to Asriel. Coulter is taking Lyra somewhere yet unknown. She has her inside a chest, apparently unconscious.  


What To Expect From ‘His Dark Materials’ Season 3?

The great war is at hand. With Lyra now in Coulter’s grasp, Will will have to find a way to reach Asriel on his own. Serafina needs to find Lyra as soon as possible. We also don’t know what intentions Coulter has in mind for her daughter. Also, the Magisterium will speed up their preparations if they want to stop Asriel. If Coulter takes Lyra to MacPhail, things can go awry. If “His Dark Materials” Season 3 follows the final third novel in Philip Pullman’s trilogy, the Authority will be a figure of significance.

See more: ‘His Dark Materials’ Season 1: Episodic Recap And Ending, Explained – Why Is The Magisterium Looking For Asriel?

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Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata’s greatest regret is the fact that he won’t be able to watch every movie and show ever made. And when he isn’t watching a movie or a show, he is busy thinking about them and how they are made; all while taking care of his hobbies. These include the usual suspects i.e. songs, long walks, books and PC games.

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