11:00 am EST, November 28, 2019

Everything I know about ‘His Dark Materials’ I learned from Twitter

Fake it 'til you make it.

You don’t need to watch a show to know everything about it. I know everything about His Dark Materials from social media alone. I think…

The internet is a great resource for learning. You can find information about anything you can think of in a matter of seconds. There’s also the ability, for better or worse, to see other people’s opinions and reactions to things. If you’re paying attention enough, those opinions are also sources of information, and that’s exactly how I know everything I need to about His Dark Materials.

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Scrolling through my Twitter feed on a regular basis has allowed me to know all about a show I’ve never watched. I could (probably) hold my own in a conversation about it. But we’ll let you be the judge of that.

If I follow you on Twitter and you post about, retweet, or like His Dark Materials content, thank you for being my unintentional and unofficial SparkNotes.

Lyra is our Harry

The girl from Logan plays Lyra, the hero of His Dark Materials. She’s basically the Harry Potter or Frodo Baggins of the story, meant to save everyone from some guy’s dark materials that could destroy the world. She’s a very “I do what I want” kind of character, which often leads her into trouble because she’s also kind of stupid and doesn’t think before she acts. Nevertheless, she’s a strong female lead with strengths and flaws that make her likeable and easy to root for.

Lyra definitely isn’t the main villain, given that she is a “she.” It’s called His Dark Materials, as in a man, not a girl. The identity of ‘he’ is unclear though, as well as what the dark materials are.

The Golden Compass

There is a golden compass. I know this because the 2007 movie is called The Golden Compass. Is the compass 24k gold? Is that why it’s so special? Possibly, but what also makes it special is its ability to tell the truth. At least, that’s what Captain Holt says.


Everyone in His Dark Materials has a patronus. And by patronus, I mean a real animal that follows them around wherever they go, and this animal represents their personalities. You can even take a quiz to find out what animal you would have, just like in Harry Potter.

These animals aren’t just representative of peoples’ personalities though. They’re basically peoples’ brains because nobody on this show is capable of logical thinking, and they need their animal to make decisions for them. Mrs. Coulter is the only exception to this, but more on that later.

Even though everyone has an animal companion, not everyone actually has an animal companion and it’s a problem. According to Twitter, HBO used up all of their money for the dragons on Game of Thrones, and there isn’t enough in the budget to show everyone’s animal in His Dark Materials. The other option is that, apart from the main characters, everyone’s animal is just really small and you can’t see it in the background. It’s probably the former though, because as you may know, HBO didn’t even have enough money to show the direwolves in Game of Thrones.

Polar Bear

One of these animals is a polar bear, and it belongs to Lyra. How ironic that the smallest character has the biggest animal companion. At some point the polar bear gets armor which is a Big Deal. After acquiring armor, the bear wreaks havoc on people, at Lyra’s request. He even grabs someone and tosses them around to death. Welcome to HBO, the Nat Geo you don’t get to see.

Mrs. Coulter

Mrs. Coulter is played by Ruth Wilson and everyone loves to hate her because she’s evil but fabulous. She’s the villain of His Dark Materials, and she tries to induct Lyra to her cause. Unfortunately for Mrs. Coulter, Lyra sees right through her villainy, except ditching Mrs. Coulter is the wrong decision. You’re better off joining her morally ambiguous life and living in luxury, than going against her. Also, her clothes are to die for and need to be released in real life ASAP. Hot Topic, what are you waiting for?

Joining Mrs. Coulter is her monkey companion who is super creepy. That second part isn’t fact, just opinion. Who approved that? I get nightmares from just photos. Frightening factor aside, Mrs. Coulter does not have a great relationship with her monkey. She doesn’t confide in him the way other people do with their animals, not to mention, she abuses him. The monkey may look creepy, but he doesn’t deserve to be treated that way.

Despite the fact that I’ve never seen a screengrab or gif of them in the same scene together, I’m going to assume Mrs. Coulter and James McAvoy are a couple. At the very least, if they’re not already a couple, they’re going to be. Every show has a het couple, why should His Dark Materials be any different? Since Mrs. Coulter is the only woman, she’s definitely one member of the pair. To complete the pair, it has to be James McAvoy because…it’s James McAvoy. I don’t make the rules.

Where’s Roger?

Roger has apparently gone missing or run away, and it is of the utmost importance that he be found and located. But the question isn’t just, “Where is Roger?” The question is also, “Who is Roger?” Roger must be James McAvoy. The only gifs and screengrabs of him and Lyra are of the same scene, so clearly he disappears at some point early on. And since it’s evident he and Lyra know each other on some level, it fits that she would be desperate to look for him.

Alexander Hamilton

As a Hamilton fan and follower of Lin Manuel Miranda, I’m well aware he is in His Dark Materials. He’s been doing a lot of press and Twitter posting about the show, yet I have not actually seen much content of him in the show. All this promotional material depicting him as a lead appears to be deceit just to sucker you into watching, and he’s not as prominent as they would like you to believe.

Not-Alexander Hamilton is pretty hardcore. He wears a cool hat and big leather jacket, and rides a steampunk hot air balloon. His animal companion kind of crashes that image though, being a cute rabbit.

Dudley Dursley

It wouldn’t be a true British production if a Harry Potter cast member wasn’t involved somehow. Harry Melling appears in His Dark Materials, looking like a pompous jerk. But perhaps I’m just projecting based on his previous role.

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