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It's time for the world of subtle knives, polar bear kings, and portals in the sky to come to an end. His Dark Materials will soon launch Season 3 on HBO Max (as a joint venture between HBO and BBC One) and though we will be sad to say farewell to this incredible fantasy series, we're very happy that the third installment in Philip Pullman's book series is finally being adapted.
The Amber Spyglass, the third volume of Pullman's His Dark Materials, is larger, longer, and far more insane than the two books that come before it (Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife), and that's a good thing. The television series will be able to conclude the tale of Lyra Silvertongue and Will Parry in grand fashion.
Executive Producer and showrunner Jane Tranter and some of the cast came to New York Comic Con 2022 to give some details about the third and final season of the series, and SYFY WIRE sliced open a opened a portal to be there.
Aside from Tranter, the panel included series stars James McAvoy (Lord Asriel), Amir Wilson (Will Parry), and producer Dan McCulloch. Star Dafne Keen (Lyra) joined via Zoom.
What can book fans look forward to seeing in the eight episodes of Season 3? McCulloch got hopes up fast: “The top of Season 3 we will be seeing Asriel’s Republic. We will see the Clouded Mountain. And lastly but not least, we will see the Mulefa.” McAvoy added that the Land of the Dead will also be seen.
Lord Asriel has many plans and is going to war. He’s been talking about it, but as McAvoy says it is about to come to fruition. “In Season 3 we get to see him actually do it…” he says, adding that the “love of his life, and daughter of his life” come into the picture and mess it up for him.
Wilson said that Will is still getting over the loss of his father, but on the plus side he will get to meet Iorek Byrnison. Lyra was kidnapped by Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson) at the end of last season, and Keen said that they “explore the love that Lyra has” for the complicated character. McAvoy remarked that Asriel’s love for Lyra (his daughter) may be “non-existent.”
“He’s trying to emancipate the human soul… but he’s a guy who is willing to justify his means by the righteousness and the grandeur of his ends,” McAvoy added. Lyra is the one who will eventually teach him the errors of that thinking.
Mrs. Coulter herself, Ruth Wilson, sent in a special video message as she was unable to join the panel.“All I can promise you is that it is going to be epic,” she said.
Wilson and Keen were asked about romance between Will and Lyra, and the two actors were hesitant to give away too much. “There is something more than friendship,” Keen said. "There is something they have never experienced in other friendships.”
The journey of Mary Malone (Simone Kirby) will continue in Season 3, and it is what Tranter describes as a “lonely journey.” She will have much to do with the Mulefa, new creatures for the show that readers will surely be looking forward to seeing. McCulloch assured the audience that the Mulefa will pick up their seedpods and travel on them. “They weren’t the strange thing to bring to the screen that we thought,” Tranter said, adding that “the angels were very much harder.”
According to Tranter, Mary’s selfless journey will echo Will’s journey to find Lyra, and Lyra concluding her storyline with Roger in an unexpected fashion. This can be seen in the first trailer for Season 3, which they showed next.
The entire world of the series, past, present, and future, combines in the truly epic trailer (not yet released to the public) that also features the return of Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby. He returns in the book (even though he died), and he's officially back for Season 3. He appeared in a special video message to confirm it.
Gallivespians were later mentioned by Tranter, but unfortunately the memorable little beings won't be shown as much as she had hoped. Tranter loves them, but budgets will be budgets, and we're getting Mulefa after all.
As for the future, and a possible series based on Pullman's (yet to be finished) Book of Dust trilogy, which is set in the same world? Tranter said that they'll have to wait for Pullman to finish writing, but if fans are vocal and watch this final season as much as possible, it could happen.
The final season will premiere Dec. 5 on HBO Max. It will show two episodes per week.
Click here for all of SYFY WIRE's continuing coverage of New York Comic Con 2022.
Looking for more fantasy adventure? The entire Harry Potter film saga is streaming now on Peacock.