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His Dark Materials Season 3 - Everything You Need To Know

The BBC and HBO's adaptation of "His Dark Materials" stepped up its game in Season 2, creating a darker and altogether bolder series. Part of the show's shift in tone is thanks to author Philip Pullman's trilogy of the same name becoming naturally more adult as Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen) comes of age during her quest to discover the truth about Dust. And now with the third season, Lyra's story becomes even more intense as it heads for the grand finale.

"His Dark Materials" Season 3 premiered on HBO Max on December 4, 2022, before wrapping everything up on December 26. Running just eight episodes, the season tackled "The Amber Spyglass," the strangest and final installment in Pullman's series of children's books. With Lord Asriel heading for war against the Authority, Will dealing with the Subtle Knife, and Lyra facing her destiny of the Second Eve, there's a whole lot happening in Season 3, and here's everything you need to know about the final few episodes of "His Dark Materials."

What is the plot of His Dark Materials Season 3?

As it's based on "The Amber Spyglass," "His Dark Materials" Season 3 gets much darker, deeper, and stranger than the show has before. Lord Asriel is assembling a massive army to stage a rebellion against the Authority (aka God) and his regent, Metatron, as the Magisterium hopes to kill Lyra, the prophesied Second Eve. As for our hero and her knife-wielding companion, Will, they must travel to the land of the dead in hopes of saving her BFF, Roger Parslow (Lewin Lloyd), who was killed back in Season 1. Of course, as the official plot synopsis reveals, "As her father's great war against the Authority edges closer, [our heroes] will learn that saving the worlds comes at a terrible price."

On top of all that, there's a ton of drama with Mrs. Coulter, who kidnapped Lyra at the end of Season 2. Plus, we're plunged into a strange world of angels and elephantine mulefas and jumping between dimensions, with Dafne Keen telling Entertainment Weekly, "Season 3 is wild. It's 100% the weirdest thing I've ever shot in my entire life. We've done so many weird locations and just surreal scenes when you're talking about angels and God and the most random things ever. ... If the other two [seasons] were already very fantastic, this one was a whole other level of that."

Who stars in His Dark Materials Season 3?

Needless to say, Dafne Keen reprises her role as lead hero Lyra Belacqua, and she's far from the only returning cast member. Amir Wilson is back as Will Parry, James McAvoy returns as Lord Asriel, Ruth Wilson comes back as Mrs. Coulter, and Simone Kirby plays Mary Malone.

You can also expect to see Jade Anouka as Ruta Skadi, Ruta Gedminstas as Serafina Pekkala, Will Keen as Father President McPhail, Jamie Ward as Father Gomez, Amber Fitzgerald as Ama, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Commander Ogunwe. Plus, Simon Harrison, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, and Chipo Chung will play the parts of Baruch, Balthamos, and Xaphania —- angels who help Asriel in his war against the Authority. On the flip side, Alex Hassell plays Metatron, the Authority's regent and the ultimate villain.

Plus, as we head to the underworld, we get to see some of our deceased friends —- Andrew Scott as John Parry, Lewin Lloyd as Roger Parslow, and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby.

Who created His Dark Materials Season 3?

Philip Pullman was the one who originally created the world of "His Dark Materials," bringing Lyra, Will, and Lord Asriel to life on the page. But who's bringing these characters to life in Season 3 of the TV series? Well, Jane Tranter and Dan McCullough are the two primary producers on the show, with the former having worked on series like "The Night Of," "Torchwood," and "Succession" and the latter having worked on shows like "Endeavor," "Torchwood," and "Victoria."

On the writing side of things, Jack Thorne is the primary scribe for the series, having written not just the majority of the episodes in Season 3 but in the show as a whole. In addition to "His Dark Materials," Thorne penned the script for "Enola Holmes" and also wrote the beloved play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child." Also writing for Season 3, there's Amelia Spencer ("The Undeclared War") and Francesca Gardiner ("The Man in the High Castle").

As for directing, the episodes are split up between four filmmakers. First up, there's Amit Gupta, who previously helmed the World War II drama "Resistance" and the rom-com "One Crazy Thing." Then there's Charles Martin, who's worked on series like "Marcella," "The Letter for the King," and "Skins." Next up, there's Weronika Tofilska, who worked on the "Hanna" TV series and "The Irregulars." Finally, there's Harry Wootliff, who previously directed Ruth Wilson in "True Things," along with helming "Only You" and "Deep Water."

How are critics and audiences responding to His Dark Materials Season 3?

As "His Dark Materials" ends its run on HBO Max, you may be asking, "How does Season 3 stack up against the rest of the show?" Well, so far, it's actually the best-reviewed season of the series on Rotten Tomatoes. Season 3 currently boasts an 89% critic rating, based on 18 reviews (compare that to Season 2's 85% and Season 1's 77%).

Backing up that assessment, Laura Miller of Slate wrote, "In its third season, 'His Dark Materials' finally strikes the right balance." Miles Surrey of The Ringer backed this up, saying, "The HBO series had mixed results over its three-season run, but the show's conclusion is deeply satisfying for book readers and TV viewers alike." Audiences seem to agree with this consensus, with an audience approval rate of 85% based on 194 reviews.

Where to watch His Dark Materials

If you're ready to visit the world of Dust and daemons, you can find Season 3 of "His Dark Materials" on HBO Max. Of course, that's also where you can find the previous two seasons, if you need to brush up on what's happened in the show previously or if you just feel like revisiting Lyra's world. (You could also check out the source material by Philip Pullman — "The Golden Compass," "The Subtle Knife," and "The Amber Spyglass"). But if you aren't subscribed to HBO Max, fear not — you can also watch the series on DIRECTV.