His Dark Materials Renewed For A Final Third Season On HBO & BBC
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His Dark Materials Renewed For A Final Third Season On HBO And BBC

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BY February 10, 2021

In news that will surprise no one, His Dark Materials has been renewed for a third season from HBO and the BBC. Since there are only three books in Philip Pullman’s original trilogy, it only makes sense that the third season will be the last. We are currently approaching the end of season 2, based on the second book in the trilogy – The Subtle Knife. The third season will of course draw from the third book – The Amber Spyglass. Let’s take a look at what we can expect from the third and final season of His Dark Materials.

A Renewal As Season 2 of His Dark Materials Draws To A Close

His Dark Materials S2 Image via BBC/HBO

His Dark Materials was always an ambitious and strange fantasy series ostensibly aimed at children. The show has gone a long way to straddle the line between adult drama and kid-friendly fantasy fare. The results have been mixed, but overall the second season has been fairly solid.

This season has primarily followed Lyra and Will as they try to resolve their own personal mysteries. Lyra’s aim to figure out Dust led her to the scientist Mary Malone. She will have a much larger role to play in season 3. Will’s journey led him to become the Bearer of the Subtle Knife. But he is still trying to find answers about what happened to his missing father. Meanwhile the Magisterium and the Witches have gone to war, and Marisa Coulter has found new otherworldly allies.

Let’s not forget about Lee Scoresby and Jopari (who is really Jon Parry – Will’s father) in their hot air balloon. They are searching for the Bearer and the Subtle Knife, unaware that Will is the one they are seeking and Lyra is already under his protection. As season 2 draws to a close, all of the characters are converging for a dramatic final moment that will lead into the final season.

Season 3 of His Dark Materials Will Be Weirder Than You Think

His Dark Materials S2 Image via BBC/HBO

Without spoiling too much from the third book, I can promise you that the final season of His Dark Materials will definitely get much weirder. The second season has already introduced the concept of actual angels to the show. In the most recent episode, we saw a brief glimmer of one hovering over Mary Malone as she sat alone in the ruined city of Cittagazze. Be prepared for more angels in season 3, as they lead us into a dramatic heavenly war with God.

The third season will also hopefully see the return of James McAvoy as Lord Asriel to the show. The actor was conspicuously missing from the second season due to time constraints and pandemic related shutdowns. McAvoy was scheduled to film a bottle episode of the show for season 2. It was supposed to show us what Asriel was up to in the second book (which he is also absent from). And follow Asriel through the gateway and across many worlds. Unfortunately that episode never ended up filming due to Covid. So we are hopeful that we will get to see it in the final season of the show.

Will We Ever Return To Lyra’s World In Future Shows?

There is another question to consider here. Could we see more shows based in the world of His Dark Materials? Even though the original trilogy only has three books, author Philip Pullman is in the midst of working on a sequel trilogy. This series began in 2017’s Book of Dust – which is actually a prequel to The Golden Compass. This book is essentially about how baby Lyra ended up at Jordan College. It also introduces several new characters who do not appear in the original trilogy.

His Dark Materials Season 2 Image via BBC/HBO

Some elements of The Book of Dust have already been incorporated into the show. Such as the shot of Lord Asriel delivering baby Lyra to the Scholars at Jordan College in the midst of a great flood. This makes a compelling argument for this title to be adapted into a show in the future, perhaps a limited series?

His Dark Materials Premiere James McAvoy as Lord Asriel | Image via BBC/HBO

The second book of this trilogy – The Secret Commonwealth – is a sequel to the original His Dark Materials series. It follows an adult Lyra as she navigates new dangers and mysteries. This series isn’t completed as of yet, so we don’t know how this will all play out in the end. But the fact remains that there is still more source material to draw from if the BBC and HBO wanted to continue Lyra’s story beyond The Amber Spyglass.

What do you think of the current season of His Dark Materials? Are you looking forward to the third and final season? Let us know in the comments and join the conversation with Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today.

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Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

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