Everything We Know About 'His Dark Materials' Season 3

The third and final part of Philip Pullman's legendary series is… a doozy.

his dark materials, dafne keen

The second season of the BBC's fantasy adaptation His Dark Materials (aired on HBO in the US) ended on major cliffhangers for all of its beloved main characters, and with the explosive conclusion to the series on the horizon, everyone's wondering when we'll see more of Lyra, her shapeshifting daemon Pan, and their dimension-hopping friend Will Parry again. The good news is another season of the show is on the way—the bad news is it may be a longer wait than we had to endure for the first two. Read on to check out what we know so far about His Dark Materials Season 3.

Has His Dark Materials been renewed for a third season?

Yep! The official His Dark Materials twitter account confirmed in December 2020 that Lyra, Pan, and Will would be back for another round. 

When will Season 3 come out?

No one's said what the production schedule for the next season will look like, and seeing as it's adapting the wildest book of the trilogy, it's likely that the BBC will want to wait to make sure they're not trying to film a show at the height of a pandemic. The BBC has said that production will start in Cardiff sometime in 2021, but hasn't said when, or whether the new season will be ready for a November or December 2021 air date (as Season 1 and Season 2 were in 2019 and 2020). Screenwriter Jack Thorne told The Guardian that he was "currently rewriting it" and, "We're pushing ahead with the scripts because we need to be ready to film next summer," so it's unlikely that we'll see more of the show this year. 

As Seasons 1 and 2 were shot back-to-back, they were able to come out within a year of each other, but we'll likely have to wait much longer for the third installment, especially given how effects-heavy it is likely to be (more on that below). 

What will it be about?

The third season of the show will follow the third book in Pullman's series, The Amber Spyglass, which not only introduces a bunch of new characters, creatures, and major locations, but gives Lyra, Will, and Mary Malone their most metaphysical test. Season 2 left off with Will, the bearer of the Subtle Knife, literally taking up his shaman father's mantle and slipping out of the crossroads world of Cittagazze to some unknown place (where, if you read the books, he'll soon meet a pair of angels who help him on his quest). Lyra and Pan are safe, for now, in the clutches of the obsessive Mrs. Coulter, yet Lyra has strange dreams about Roger, the boy Asriel killed to open his rip in the universe, lost in some dark land. Meanwhile, Mary has entered a new world altogether, where she will soon meet the elephantine mulefa (likely the show's most complex special effects), and Lord Asriel has succeeded in achieving the help of the angels in his cosmic war against the Authority. 

Who will be in the cast?

Everyone who survived the bloodbath at the close of Season 2 (so, not Jopari/John Parry, Lord Boreal, or Lee Scoresby) will likely return for Season 3. That includes Lyra (Dafne Keen), Will (Amir Wilson), Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson), Dr. Mary Malone (Simone Kirby), Serafina Pekkala (Ruta Gedmintas), Ruta Skadi (Jade Anouka), and Lord Asriel (James McAvoy). 

It's also likely that we'll see armored bear chief Iorek Byrnison (voiced by Joe Tandberg) again, as he was noticeably absent for most of Season 2, and Lyra's poor dead friend Roger (Lewin Lloyd) will also return to usher Lyra and Will through the Land of the Dead. New characters who have already been cast include the angels Balthamos (Ikay Agu) and Baruch (Oliver Monaghan) and their leader Xaphania (voiced by Sophie Okonedo). 

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Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.