“The Daemon Cages” is the best episode that His Dark Materials has aired so far and the hardest to swallow at the same time. It felt like the culmination of Lyra’s whirlwind adventure to the North with a dash of WTF when it comes to what is next for our young heroine. Which, we’re terrified for her, because that was A CRAZY BIG FALL!
Let’s dive into His Dark Materials “The Daemon Cages”!
Lyra is the Hero We Deserve
Every episode is just another moment, another situation, where we truly understand how brave Lyra is. She’s the best of us and the kind of understanding, chaotic, brash, and loyal that we could all use in our lives. And it’s the reason why so many follow her to the North and into battle with whatever forces they may all be taking on.
Like her mother, Lyra believes. But that’s where the similarities end. Lyra’s beliefs are grounded in honor, friendship, love, and helping those around her by lighting a spark inside of them to do better by themselves and by those around them. And just like Mrs. Coulter is dangerous for her beliefs, so is Lyra. The difference is that one is willing to sacrifice lives for progress and the other isn’t.
Personally, I’m proud of Lyra. I’m proud to be on this journey with her. I’m proud of how loyal she is to Roger and the bunch of other kids she just met. I’m proud of how sneaky she is and how she lured Mrs. Coulter into a false sense of security before making her way away from the mad woman who just so happens to be her mother. I’m even proud of her for the new and true relationships she has in her life in the form of Iorek, Lee Scoresby, and Ma Costa.
I’m just hella proud of her and know that no matter what comes her way, she isn’t alone in this, and that her smarts, courage, and kindness with be her saving grace of her world and any she comes across in the future.
I Finally Understand the Human/Daemon Connection
One of the hardest things for me to fully grasp on His Dark Materials was the connection between a human and a daemon. I live in a world where a connection like that doesn’t exist and I have been finding it nearly impossible to understand why and how losing your daemon would be hard or change you forever. Then I watched “The Daemon Cages” and I understood completely.
A daemon is a reflection of your very soul, and when that is ripped away you are left feeling lost and like you don’t know yourself anymore. There’s a hole in your very being that can’t be replaced ever again no matter what you do. And just the thought of going through something like that terrifies the hell out of me. Because love can’t fill that void. Companionship can’t fill that void. Friendship can’t fill that void.
When Lyra was put in that machine, when Pan was almost ripped away from her, I felt that in my bones. Her pain, desperation, and need to get the hell out of there shook me to the core and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to unsee the fear on Lyra’s face or her frantic need to get the hell out of there. Seriously, absolutely amazing writing and superb acting by Darfne Keen.
Yes, I Felt for Mrs. Coulter
Look, I know what kind of woman Mrs. Coulter is. I know what she’s done, I know the people that she’s hurt, and I know that she isn’t going to stop causing pain anytime soon. But dear Lord, I felt for her in “The Daemon Cages.” Those tears, those were real. She loves Lyra but like anyone who knows a drop about love, it’s complicated.
Mrs. Coulter believes in what she is doing. It’s not just because she’s been granted a position of power in a primarily male dominated area. That’s a plus in it all but what she is doing up North, she believes in it wholeheartedly and believes she is doing it to better Lyra’s life. If she can separate Lyra from her daemon, she can prevent Lyra from going through the same pain she did when she lost Asriel and her daughter.
This belief by Mrs. Coulter that daemons are bringers of sin and pain, is also the reason why she’s never connected with her daemon. Hell, she’s never given it a name and we’ve never heard her daemon speak. And a huge part of it is because she holds disdain for it and believes that it is the reason why she lost everything and why she flies into these emotional rages instead of realizing that she just might have some mental health issues that have nothing to do with dust.
Favorite Moment from His Dark Material’s “The Daemon Cages”:
Blindsided by love. The strongest of emotions. <3
His Dark Materials airs Mondays at 9/8c on HBO.