S2 picks up from there, covering the remaining events of The Subtle Knife, which establishes Lyra’s central quest and sets up the climactic showdown portrayed in The Amber Spyglass. Both strangers in a strange new world, Lyra and Will team up to reunite him with his own father, a quest they believe is linked to whatever destinies they are each meant to fulfill. Meanwhile, Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson) has tasked Lord Carlo Boreal (Ariyon Bakare) of the Magisterium, who has found his own gateway between worlds, with finding Lyra and bringing her home. And the Magisterium is determined to maintain its power, putting it in direct conflict with Serafina Pekkala (Ruta Gedmintas) and her coven of witches, among others.
“We’re connected to this place. We’ve got something important to do,” Lyra tells Will in this new trailer. Her intuition is based on her reading of the truth-telling alethiometer. Fans of the novels already know that Will is destined to be the bearer of the subtle knife, the only known weapon capable of destroying anything, in addition to being able to cut the curtain separating the many worlds. With war brewing between Lyra’s people and the Magisterium’s forces, both sides are eager to acquire said knife, including Lyra’s ally the aeronaut Lee Scoresby (Lin-Manuel Miranda), who teams up with a man named Stanislaus Grumman (Andrew Scott), aka Col. John Parry—Will’s long-missing father.
Complicating matters are the soul-eating specters from the book. They prey on adolescents and adults, and they eventually come under the control of Mrs. Coulter (because of course they do). We also get another brief look at Simone Kirby as Dr. Mary Malone, a physicist (and former nun) who has built a computer that can communicate with dark matter—which appears to be the same thing as the mysterious particles linked to consciousness known as “Dust” in Lyra’s world.
The second season of His Dark Materials debuts on HBO and HBO Max on November 16, 2020. UK viewers with BBC iPlayer will be able to stream the new season a bit earlier on November 8, 2020. Here’s hoping the show connects with its intended audience and we get the final installment in the trilogy, because it would be a shame to leave Pullman’s vision incomplete.
Listing image by BBC