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His Dark Materials: read the ultimate recap ahead of season two

Are you looking forward to The Subtle Knife? 

his dark materials
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
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His Dark Materials season two is finally nearly back on our screens, and will mark the next stage of Lyra's adventures as she ventures to a new world to discover the truth about Dust. 

MORE: His Dark Materials season two episode one review: a pitch-perfect start to The Subtle Knife

Since it has been a whole year since the season one finale, we have put together the ultimate recap about the story so far ahead of the second series. Enjoy... 

WATCH: His Dark Materials season two trailer is here

Season one follows Lyra Balacqua, a young girl who has grown up at Jordan College in Oxford along with her daemon Pantalaimon. In Lyra's world, everyone has a daemon - which is a part of their soul and takes an animal form. Children's daemons are able to change their form before they eventually settle into just one type of animal during puberty. 

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Lyra's daemon is Pan 

Lyra's life is turned upside down when her uncle, Lord Asriel, visits the college and reveals that there are other worlds in existence that are only visible through using Dust - a particle that no one quite understands and the Magisterium, the world's dictatorial religious order, is afraid of. 

his dark materials asriel

Lord Asriel and Lyra at Jordan College

After he leaves the college to travel North, Lyra is fascinated by a visiting scholar, Mrs Coulter, who offers to take her on as an assistant. 

MORE: Did you spot this detail in His Dark Materials opening credits?

MORE: His Dark Materials made a major change to the books

MORE: Where is BBC's His Dark Materials filmed? Everything you need to know

Meanwhile, children are being kidnapped by mysterious people known only as the Gobblers, and after Lyra's best friend Roger disappears, she decides to join Mrs Coulter in order to find him.

mrs coulter

Mrs Coulter is played by Ruth Wilson

Lyra soon discovers that Mrs Coulter isn't all that she seems and manages to escape her clutches by joining the safe sanctuary of the Gyptian people, who are travelling North to try and find their missing children. There she learns that Mrs Coulter is actually her mother, and also head of the Gobblers - who are kidnapping children to sever their daemons away from them in order to learn more about Dust. 

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Lyra joins the Gyptians to help find the lost children

While travelling to the North to save the kidnapped children, Lyra encounters all sorts of people and beings, including aeronaut Lee Scoresby, an armoured bear, Iorek Byrnison, and Serafina Pekkala, a witch queen. She also learns how to read the Alethiometer, a mysterious item gifted to her by the Master of Jordan College which she believes she needs to give to Lord Asriel.

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Lin Manuel Miranda plays Lee Scoresby

Lyra manages to free the children from where they are being held and is reunited with Roger,  before the pair journey to Asriel to give him the device. She discovers too late that she has accidentally led her friend into a trap, as Asriel severs Roger's daemon from him, killing him in the process, in order to release a burst of energy and open a bridge to another world. 

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Lyra journeys to another world

Season one concludes with Lyra, heartbroken over the part she played in the death of her friend, determined to discover the truth about Dust before Asriel by following him across the bridge. 

Meanwhile, season one also introduces Will Parry, a teenager who lives in our world and cares for his mother following his father's disappearance on an Artic expedition several years earlier.

will parry

Will has to go into hiding after accidentally killing an intruder

After men break into the house in order to find out information about his dad, Will accidentally kills one of the intruders. While hiding from the police, he finds a window into another world and climbs through it, thus concluding season one as both Lyra and Will enter a new world. 

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