HBO just released the first official trailer for their upcoming fantasy series His Dark Materials . I’ve watched it over and over again and quite simply, I’m trying to catch my breath. They are going for it!

What really struck me is how close the show is sticking to the book series, written by Philip Pullman. The His Dark Materials trilogy is rich in mythology and it seems that HBO and BBC aren’t shying away from the complexity of the world. Don’t worry, no spoilers here.

Already evident from previous teasers and trailers is that this world will be artistically stunning and that the cast is magnificent. In the last trailer released in August, Lyra’s (Dafne Keen) journey was defined. Her friend Roger has been kidnapped. In fact many, many children have been kidnapped and Lyra wants answers. It’s said, “the child is destined to be important,” referring to Lyra.

In this latest trailer, we meet a lot more of the cast. And, when I say cast, I’m not just talking about humans. We see all the main characters’ daemons! In the series, humans have what are called daemons. They are the physical manifestation of a person’s soul or true self. They take the form of an animal that best represents that person. For children, daemons change forms until puberty. At that time the daemon takes its final form. In the trailer Lyra runs through a kitchen and her daemon, Pantalaimon, changes form and it’s glorious. 

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The trailer starts with Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) talking about his expedition north and his discovery of a new dimension, just as it does in the book. Lyra is given the alethiometer (golden compass), a device that she has a talent for reading. The deliciously evil Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson) is pulling strings in what seems to be a huge conspiracy. 

A humble and brave Lee Scoresby (Lin-Manuel Miranda) (and his daemon Hestor!) teams up with Lyra and armored polar bear Iorek Byrneson, on her quest. There’s a glimpse of Serafina Pekkala (Ruta Gedmintas), a wise and beautiful witch who warns of a great war. The trailer ends with, “The fate of more than this world depends on her.” That’s a lot of weight for a kid’s shoulders. 

 Take a look at the trailer. The series premieres November 4th on HBO.

Executive producing the show are Dan McCulloch, Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner for Bad Wolf; Philip Pullman, Jack Thorne, Tom Hooper, Deborah Forte, Toby Emmerich and Carolyn Blackwood for New Line Cinema, and Ben Irving and Piers Wenger for BBC One. Jack Thorne adapted the novels for the series.



Audrey Kearns