In need of something to look forward this year? Yesterday saw the second trailer for season 2 of His Dark Materials ‘drop’, leaving Twitter all abuzz with anticipation.
Following on from its first season, season two is an adaptation of the second book in Philip Pullman’s (in)famous trilogy, The Subtle Knife.
And it left us here at Small Screen with several questions.
If you haven’t seen season one, stop reading here – there are spoilers beyond this point.
What is the prophecy?
We saw hints, enigmatic cryptic clues about this in the first season, especially when it came to Serafina Pekkela and Lee Scoresby.
We saw it when Lyra somewhat obliviously picked up a witch pine correctly.
Yet both trailers have somewhat alluded to this – and that the fate of many worlds may rest on the shoulders of Lyra.
But what is the prophecy? What does it mean? Is it a good thing?
Why does everything converge on two children?
Forgive us for being churlish, but the two characters of Lyra and Will are very young; they are headed into a confusing world of adults and ideology, expectation and mythology.
Lyra has dealt with the murderous schemes of Bolvanger while rescuing children along the way; she has battled with foes and adversaries, tricked an armoured bear, all the while having to contend with the world’s worst parents.
Will Parry – the boy we saw briefly towards the end of season one – has a moth who is clearly sick; men break into his house, or at least intrude, regularly.
The trailer intones that, essentially, everything is up to the two children.
They have a vindictive Mrs Coulter and a Holy group with a murderous rage on their heels.
Honestly, it’s difficult not to feel sorry for them both!
But then again, we wouldn’t all be watching…
Who gave a mandate to the Magisterium?
From the first airing of episode one, we are expected to contend with automatically knowing what the Magesturium is.
We are expected to go along, to despise an institution that leaves terror in its wake.
The new trailer sees one member of the Magisterium enraged by the actions of the two children, suggesting that they’ll both be pursued – and Mrs Coulter, mother of Lyra, is enabling him!
What is, or who is, the Magisterium?
And who on Earth gave them a mandate to rule the way they do?
Will this be answered when we finally get to see season two? Who knows.
But fans of the franchise will find the religious controversy around the books interesting; it seems Phillip Pullman wants us to question more than just what could arguably be called a children’s book.
And what about Lee?
Season one saw the eventual introduction of Texan Aeronaut Lee Scoresby, played by Lin Manuel Miranda.
The new trailer, however, sees him take far more of the space than he previously held, suggesting he’ll form more of the plot in season two.
In season one we saw him and Lyra, played by Dafne Keen, form something of a bond that was almost parental.
He was the wary, older influence who occasionally danced in the face of danger; Lyra was the mischievous imp, someone who may be idealistic yet strong in her convictions, her sense of what is right and what is wrong.
One scene saw Lee privately express that he had come to “love the little girl” — and that he’d do anything to protect her.
The second trailer seems to suggest that he’ll walk to the ends of the Earth for his beloved Lyra; he teams up with a new character, too, in this pursuit.
But what will happen? We wish November was already here.
(Fleabag fans, the ‘sexy priest’ is in this series.)
How will the different world’s be shown?
If you have not read the books, you may have felt utterly confused by the end of season one.
In simple terms, it looks like two children have stepped into the brightest light you have ever seen, seemingly into the air.
Well, that was my extended family, anyway.
Trailer two expands on this just a bit more, although annoyingly enigmatic.
Adapted from The Subtle Knife, book two of the His Dark Materials trilogy, we are told there is a weapon that can cut through the wall of the universe into a different world entirely.
We are also given glimpses of different times, different dimensions, different locations.
But how will this be made clear to the more unsuspecting viewer?
What is ‘the great war’?
A witch speaks of a great war, as does John Faa.
But what is that?
The battle of Bolvanger is already over.
What more is there to come?
“I think I’m changing”
A slightly odd admission from Lyra has me scratching my head.
Could this be a leeway into season three, an adaptation of The Amber Spyglass?
Please, tell me!!
Who is Mrs Coulter like or similar to?
Bravo Ruth Wilson, bravo.
Wilson has played some truly iconic characters lately; just look up The Real Mrs Wilson if you don’t believe me.
Truth is stranger than fiction – and this will mess with your mind.
Compared to the film adaptation, Wilson’s version of Mrs Coulter is far more nuanced.
Nicole Kidman’s version was just plain vindictive and evil, yet exotic and extremely charismatic.
Ruth Wilson matches this with her jewel-coloured blouses and strategic hemlines.
(She’s playing the long game in a man’s world! How can no one see this? She signals subservience – but is the one in control.)
But she is far more human and has a likeable vulnerability.
She is a hypocrite, yet there was a great scene or three when Lyra found out she was her mother.
In the trailer, Mrs Coulter is speaking down to somebody off-camera, suggesting they are a child.
She speaks directly, mentioning that the character reminds her of herself: “you are so like I was.” Huh?
His Dark Materials returns to the BBC on November 16th at 9pm.
What do you make of this feature and His Dark Materials Season 2’s new trailer?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.