His Dark Materials season 2 premieres this coming Monday on HBO, and there’s a lot to be excited about in the coming season!
And no, we’re not just saying that because we’ve gotten very little of actual new TV in the past few months (years, centuries, how much time has passed since March again?). His Dark Materials is a fantastic show, with an amazing cast, that is poised to deliver a fantastic season 2. And, as someone who has had a chance to screen some of the episodes, and someone whose favorite book in this trilogy is The Subtle Knife, well … I can tell you that you’re in for a treat.
But if you want specific reasons, I got that for you too. Here are 5 reasons to be excited about His Dark Materials season 2:
We met Will Parry in season 1, and we say much more of him than I expected, considering in the books we don’t meet will till The Subtle Knife. But this season is meant to give us the Will season 1 couldn’t give us …aka, Will Parry, the main character.
This is still Lyra’s story, to be sure, but it’s not just her story anymore, and that’s a really good thing. It’s a hard journey, the one Lyra is embarking on, and we shouldn’t want her to do it alone.
Besides – we all need someone to take care of us, call us out on our bullshit and just …be there. We all need a partner, and Will is poised to be that for Lyra. But never forget, Will is also there to be …Will. He’s got his own story, his own purpose, and it’s pretty darn important as well.
Will + Lyra
The number one thing I was looking forward to in season 2 was the Will/Lyra dynamics, and I was not disappointed. This is the relationship the entire show hinges on, and His Dark Materials had the challenge of portraying a relationship that isn’t romantic, and isn’t the friendship of kids that have known each other for ages …and making it work. And they do, they really do.
No small amount of credit in this regard should be given to Dafne Keen and Amir Wilson, who have just inhabited this characters in a way no one had any right to expect. It’s not just that they behave like Will and Lyra, it’s that they are Will and Lyra for us, and that helps sell everything that’s happening on screen.
From the moment we saw both of them cross over at the end of season 1, we knew season 2 was going to take us to new worlds, different places. And though we’ve explored the idea of different worlds in many fictional properties – hello, multiverse – His Dark Materials has a very specific take on this idea that we haven’t seen before.
Plus, His Dark Materialsalso has the Magisterium, which we all understand is Pullman’s take on the Church, and though he isn’t the first to write the Church as basically the antagonist, this is the first big-budget show to run with that idea, and to do it in a way that isn’t unequivocal.
Simply put, people can be good or bad, but institutions …those almost always end up corrupted. Hard to argue with that idea, isn’t it?
Mary Malone and John Parry
Book readers have been excited to meet Mary Malone, who will end up playing an important part in the rest of this story, and of course, to actually spend time with John Parry, aka Stanislaus Grumman, aka Will’s dad. Mary is a new character, who hasn’t been mentioned, but who will be integral as the show delves into the idea of dust – what it is, and what the Magisterium thinks it is.
Meanwhile, Grumman has a more emotional role to play in what’s to come, because it isn’t just about what he knows, it’s about why he left, where he’s been and what he might have in his possession…
The Subtle Knife
His Dark Materials book 2 is called The Subtle Knife, and yet, if you haven’t read the books, you have absolutely no idea what this knife is, or what it does. I’m not going to spoil that for you …if you wanted it spoiled you would have read the books, but I am here to say that the knife is a great storytelling tool and that you should all be super intrigued about its importance.
Even just the name should leave you wondering. After all, how can a knife be subtle?
The answers to all of this and more when His Dark Materials premieres on HBO, starting Monday November 16th.