BBC One & HBO’s His Dark Materials: Cast & Character Guide




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A show/ character guide for BBC One & HBO’s His Dark Materials featuring who plays who, character descriptions, storylines, and general information.


Information is updated as new episodes are released and watched, and images are changed as better ones are captured.

Table of Contents show

General Information About His Dark Materials

Network(s)HBO (US), BBC One (UK)
Created or Developed ByJack Thorne
First Aired11/3/2019

Groups & Organizations

The Magisterium

Inside the building the Magisterium meet.

The government organization, whose control has lasted for centuries, that has a keen eye for anything considered heresy.

Additional Information About The Magisterium
  • They have confiscated nearly all the Alethiometers in existence

The Gyptians

An outcast group, of which has at least 6 communities, that are seemingly made mostly of the poor who live in Oxford, among other places.

Additional Information
  • 1.5: They burn their dead.

The General Oblation Board (Gobblers)

Human traffickers who operate under Mrs. Coulter, with financing from the Magisterium.

The Bears

In this monarch society, giant polar bears, who appear to be daemons, are actually independent and known to be some of the fiercest warriors around. Yet, they aren’t that highly respected by The Magisterium despite having around 200 members.

The Witches

In total, there are nine clans of witches of which Serafina is one of the leaders, and Dr. Martin Lanselius often acts as a consul.

Notable Locations

Oxford

The location of His Dark Materials in the beginning, and where we meet The Gyptians, Lyra, and see Jordan College.

Jordan College

Where Lyra was raised, the Master is the head, and Lord Asriel gets his funding from.

Trollesund

A location introduced in 1.4 where Iorik, among many others, are met.

Bolvangar (The Station)

Where the Gobblers experiment on kids.

Cittagazze (2.1)

A world discovered by Lyra and Will, alongside the place they meet, which is primarily barren of adults with children roaming the streets and running the place.

Lake Enara

Home of the witch tribes

Yensei

One of the last towns John Parry, aka Stannilus Grumman was seen.

Terms To Know

Daemons

Not to be confused with demonic beings, but daemon are connected to their humans in an almost spiritual way. For example, when their human dies, they do as well, and vice versa. Also, like their human goes through puberty and have biological changes, their form changes. Leading to some, like the Gyptians, thinking that when the daemon has settled onto a form, their human is an adult.

Additional Information About Daemons
  • Their final form is often based on their human partner’s and it seems birds, insects, and reptiles are the most common forms. Though we also see those in the ape family and cat family as well.

Alethiometers

A rare item, of which only six exist, which, when presented to Lyra, is said to be able to get the truth.

Dust

A substance which is mostly found surrounding adults, but is portrayed as something far more powerful than Lyra is aware of in the series premiere. Also, we’re told by Lyra that it comes from space.

Additional Information
  • The Magisterium often associates Dust with sin based on their version of Adam and Eve and the assumption that, since Dust is only found in adults, you begin to collect Dust during puberty. However, for Lord Asriel, his interpretation is that Dust is knowledge. Hence his belief that it powers Alethiometers.
    • How daemons come into play in terms of Dust and sin is that Eve’s daemon is said to settle into its final form after eating the apple, thus why cutting off a person’s daemon was considered one way to keep pure.

 

The Great Flood

An event that occurred around the time of Lyra’s birth that led to record levels of water around Oxford and the surrounding areas.

Mirrors

The means someone can go from one world to another which requires a great energy expulsion to create. As seen in 1.8.

Cliff-Ghasts

Monsters that are encountered in 1.6 that are scally and ruthless – but not daemons.

Cloud Pine (2.1)

What allows witches to take flight

Specters (2.1)

Soul sucking beings that exist in Cittagazze and hunt people that are past puberty. Also, they can only be seen by adults.

The Subtle Knife

A 300-year-old knife, made by The Guild, who resided in Cittagazze, that can cut through anything, include dimensions and immortals.

Additional Information

Dafne Keen Plays Lyra Belacqua

Lyra (Dafne Keen) is our lead and Pan (Kit Connor) is her daemon.
Lyra (Dafne Keen) and Pan (Kit Connor)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 1 “Lyra’s Jordan”

A young girl raised in Jordan College, primarily by the master of the college and a man named Charles. The reason for this is that she is an orphan, after her parents died in an airship accident, and rather than settle down, her uncle, Lord Asriel, claimed Scholastic Sanctuary to give her a home. Now, what does that claim have to do with a school taking in a child, who was but a baby when she arrived? Well, a destiny that is about to unfold.

Additional Information About Lyra

  • Is around 12 or 13 in episode 1.
  • Has a strong interest in traveling.
  • 1.7: Changes her name to Lyra Silvertongue
  • Alternate Names (2.2): Lizzie

James McAvoy Plays Lord Asriel

Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) who is Lyra's uncle and a controversial explorer/ scholar.
Lord Asriel (James McAvoy)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 1 “Lyra’s Jordan”

A renowned explorer and scholar, Lord Asriel has recently come across the discovery of Dust and the possibility it is hiding something in the northern part of the world. Said discovery puts a target on his head and makes it so he is more elusive from Lyra’s life than ever.

Additional Information About Lord Asriel

  • Daemon is a large cat named Stelmaria.
  • It is revealed in season 1, episode 2, that he is Lyra’s true father.
  • Lost land, money, and status due to his affair with Mrs. Coulter.

Clarke Peters Plays The Master of Jordan College

The Master Clarke Peters His Dark Materials Season 1 Episode 1 Lyras Jordan Series Premiere
The Master (Clarke Peters)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 1 “Lyra’s Jordan”

While the head of Jordan College, an academic institution, he isn’t much for his school being at the forefront of knowledge. He is conservative and very fearful of the Magisterium. Making him someone hard to pin as friend or foe when it comes to Lyra.

Additional Information About The Master

  • Daemon is something in the raven family.

Ruth Wilson Plays Mrs. Marisa Coulter

Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson) is a scholar who takes in Lyra as an assistant.
Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 1 “Lyra’s Jordan”

A member of St. Sophia College, Mrs. Coulter arrives soon after Lord Asriel leaves and takes a keen interest in Lyra. In fact, she asks her to become her assistant. As for why? Well, that’ll be unraveled soon.

Additional Information About Mrs. Coulter

  • Daemon is some kind of monkey.
  • Is Lyra’s mother and she had Lyra during an affair with Asriel which, upon discovery, led to her then husband’s death after Asriel fought him. Leading to her name being tarnished.
  • Sexism (2.5): Was denied a doctorate by the Magisterium, despite being top of her class, due to being a woman, and was unable to get any of her papers published, unless she was willing to let a man get credit.

Quote(s) & Gifs

Sometimes subtlety is overrated.
— Mrs. Coulter


Kit Conor Voices Pantalaimon aka Pan

Pan (Kit Connor) in his ferret form.
Pan (Kit Connor)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 1 “Lyra’s Jordan”

Pan is Lyra’s daemon who hasn’t yet settled into their final form.

Additional Information About Pan

Ariyon Bakare Plays Carlo Boreal

Carlo Boreal (Ariyon Bakare) in Jordan College
Carlo Boreal (Ariyon Bakare)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Idea Of The North”

The Executive of the Consistorial Court, for the Magisterium, who helps investigate and suppress information that the Magisterium doesn’t want circulating amongst the public. Such as there being other worlds and mirrors to get there.

Additional Information About Carlo Boreal

  • Daemon is a snake.
  • 1.4: Controls what is considered to be heretic or not.
  • Alternate Names (2.2): Uses the alias Charles

 

Robert Emms Plays Thomas

Thomas (Robert Emms) talking to Boreal
Thomas (Robert Emms)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Idea Of The North”

Thomas is Carlo’s contact in what resembles our world and is assisting him in trying to find if Stanislaus Grumman isn’t dead but crossed over and is in hiding.

Additional Information About Thomas

 

Lucian Msamati Plays Lord John Faa

Lord Faa (Lucian Msamati) in one of the Gobbler's holding areas.
Lord Faa (Lucian Msamati)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Idea Of The North”

King of the western Gyptian groups, Lord Faa’s place in His Dark Materials begins with him looking into the kidnapping of Gyptian children with Farder Coram assisting.

Additional Information About Lord Faa

  • We’re told, in episode one, around 16 kids were taken.

 

James Cosmo Plays Farder Coram

Farder Coram (James Cosmo) in one of the Goblers' holding areas,
Farder Coram (James Cosmo)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Idea Of The North”

A leader within the Oxford Gyptian community, he is assisting Lord Faa in the rescure of Gyptian children.

Additional Information About Farder Coram

  • 1.4: Coran van Texel is Farder’s full name

 

Daniel Frogson Plays Tony

Tony (Daniel Frogson) wanting to do more to find his brother.
Tony (Daniel Frogson)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Idea Of The North”

A member of the Gyptian community who, with his daemon settling onto a final form, has just recently earned the right to be considered a man. However, due to his younger brother Billy being kidnapped, the celebration is cut short.

Additional Information About Tony

  • Daemon is a hawk.

 

Anne-Marie Duff Plays Ma Costa

Ma Costa (Anne-Marie Duff) hoping to find her son.
Ma Costa (Anne-Marie Duff)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Idea Of The North”

Billy and Tony’s mother who is desperate for her son, Billy, to be found.

Additional Information About Ma Costa

  • Was Lyra’s nanny when she was a baby.

 

Lewin Lloyd Plays Roger

Roger (Lewin Lloyd) entering the holding area for the stolen kids.
Roger (Lewin Lloyd)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Idea Of The North”

Lyra’s childhood friend whose mom died and was brought up by his aunt. The person who also got him a job at Jordan College helping the wait staff.

Additional Information About Roger

  • His daemon is named Salcilia.

 

Tyler Howitt Plays Billy

Billy (Tyler Howitt) talking to Roger.
Billy (Tyler Howitt)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Idea Of The North”

Tony’s little brother, and Ma Costa’s son, who was kidnapped and thus the Oxford Gyptians find themselves investigating a kidnapping ring.

Additional Information About Billy

  • 1.6: Is noted to be 7 years old.

 

Ian Peck Plays Cardinal Sturrock

Cardinal Sturrock (Ian Peck) looking off towards the camera.
Cardinal Sturrock (Ian Peck)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Idea Of The North”

The head of the Magisterium who has a bit of a hunchback.

Additional Information About Cardinal Sturrock

 

Will Keen Plays Father Hugh MacPhail

Father McPhail (Will Keen) talking to The Cardinal.
Father MacPhail (Will Keen)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Idea Of The North”

Cardinal Sturrock’s right-hand man who often speaks on his behalf when dealing with people like Carlo or Mrs. Coulter.

Additional Information About Father MacPhail

 

Georgina Campbell Plays Adele

Adele (Georgina Campbell) talking to Mrs. Coulter.
Adele (Georgina Campbell)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Idea Of The North”

A reporter who was investigating the General Oblation Board until she was discovered at one of Mrs. Coulter’s parties.

Additional Information About Adele

 

Benjamin (Simon Manyonda)

Benjamin (Simon Manyonda) listening to his elders.
Benjamin (Simon Manyonda)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 3 “The Spies”

One of Lord Faa’s followers who, alongside Tony, created a secondary team to search for the kidnapped children.

Additional Information About Benjamin

John Perry (Andrew Scott)

Stanislaus Grumman aka John Perry (Andrew Scott) being interviewed by the BBC.
Stanislaus Grumman aka John Perry (Andrew Scott)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1

A famous explorer who traveled the farthest north of any known person, and paid the price for the discoveries that Lord Asriel may have uncovered.

Additional Information About Stanislaus

  • Name in our world is John Parry and he was a marine and explored who has been assumed dead for 13 years.
  • Spent 14 years in Royal Marines.
  • Was born in Thomas’ world
  • Survived by a wife and child.
  • Also Known As (2.4): Jopari and Stanislaus Grumman

Collected Quotes & .Gifs

Don’t confuse the man with the mission.
— Jopari (2.4)

[I have] not given up. Just made peace with my limitations.
— Jopari (2.4)


Lee (Lin-Manuel Miranda)

Lee (Lin-Manuel Miranda) scratching his chin.
Lee (Lin-Manuel Miranda)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 4 “Armour”

An aeronaut, with a jackrabbit for a daemon, who is a little sketchy, but far from evil.

Additional Information About Lee

  • 1.4: His daemon is a jackrabbit named Hester (Cristela Alonzo)

Quote(s) and .Gifs

Resurrection comes in the strangest of forms.
— Lee

A dead-end is a new beginning.
— Chester (2.4)

This journey, is it folly or wisdom?
— Lee (2.6)


Iorek (Joe Tandberg)

Iorek (Joe Tandberg) after he got his armor back.
Iorek (Joe Tandberg)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 4 “Armour”

An armored bear who lost his armour to the Magisterium to pay off a blood debt. However, after Lyra assist him in finding his armor in the cellar of the oratory, and it being revealed he was set up, he decides to join Lyra on her quest.

Additional Information About Iorek

Dr. Martin Lanselius (Omid Djalili)

Dr. Martin Lanselius (Omid Djalili) talking to Lyra.
Dr. Martin Lanselius (Omid Djalili)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 4 “Armour”

Dr. Lanselius is a middleman between the witches’ consul and the human world.

Additional Information About Dr. Martin Lanselius

  • Lineage (2.2): He is the son of a witch, and was born out of wedlock, with most of his childhood spent in the lakes. Once his daemon settled he left home, or rather his mother made him, and he continued his upbringing with his father.

Fra Pavel (Frank Bourke)

Fra Pavel (Frank Bourke) talking to Mrs. Coulter.
Fra Pavel (Frank Bourke)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 4 “Armour”

Reads the Alethiometer for the Magisterium.

Additional Information About Fra Pavel

  • 1.4: The way Boreal talks, it seems Fra Pavel partakes in proclivities unbecoming of a man in his position.

Iofur (Peter Serafinowicz)

Iofur (Peter Serafinowicz) meeting with Mrs. Coulter.
Iofur (Peter Serafinowicz)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 4 “Armour”

Mrs. Coulter partner who calls himself a king of the north and is currently holding Asriel captive. Which he plans to maintain unless Mrs. Coulter helps him dispose of Iorek and baptize him into the Magisterium – making him the first bear to receive such an honor.

Additional Information About Iofur

Elaine (Nina Sosanya)

Elaine (Nina Sosanya) talking to Boreal.
Elaine (Nina Sosanya)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 5

Will’s mother who is mentally ill, but is supported by an account Stanislaus set up which has long taken care of her and their son.

Additional Information About Elaine

Will (Amir Wilson)

Will (Amir Wilson) walking home.
Will (Amir Wilson)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 5

Will is Elaine and Stanislaus’ son who knows little about his father but is about to get a crash course.

Additional Information About Will

  • 1.8: Is 15 years old and said to be around 5’7.


Serafina Pekkala (Ruta Gedmintas)

Serafina (Ruta Gedmintas) talking to Coram.
Serafina (Ruta Gedmintas)

Character Introduction

First Noted In: Season 1, Episode 5

The head of the Lake Enara Clan, a witches consul member, and Farder Coram’s ex.

Additional Information About Serafina

  • 1.4: I a witches consul rep who lives in Fen Country of Eastern Anglia
    • 1.4: Is Queen of Lake Enara Clan
  • 1.4: Had a son with Farder Coram, but it died during an epidemic and his desire to bury the son and leave things be conflicted with her being ready and willing to do whatever she could to take him from death.
  • 1.4: Is the one who spoke the prophecy which rules over Lyra
  • 1.4: Kaisa (David Suchet), a seagull, is her daemon.


Ruta Skadi (Jade Anouka)

Ruta Skadi (Jade Anouka) confronting Seraphina
Ruta Skadi (Jade Anouka)

A witch who believes there is too much indifference among their kind towards the Magistrate, especially after they kidnap one of their own, Katja, to gather information.

Additional Information

Quotes & Gifs


Katja Sirkka (Marma Corlett)

Katja Sirkka (Marma Corlett) looking at Mrs. Coulter
Katja Sirkka (Marma Corlett)

A witch tortured by Mrs. Coulter for information on other worlds.

Additional Information

Quotes & Gifs


Angelica (Bella Ramsey)

Paola (Ella Schrey-Yeats) and Angelica (Bella Ramsey) talking to Will and Lyra
Paola (Ella Schrey-Yeats) and Angelica (Bella Ramsey)

While not outright called a leader, often when around Paola, and other kids, Angelica is the one speaking and taking action as others either watch or follow suit.

Additional Information

Quotes & Gifs


Paola (Ella Chrey-Yeats)

Paola (Ella Schrey-Yeats) and Angelica (Bella Ramsey) talking to Will and Lyra
Paola (Ella Schrey-Yeats) and Angelica (Bella Ramsey)

One of Angelica’s friends who often plays with her in Cittagazze.

Additional Information

Quotes & Gifs


Father Graves (Sean Gilder)

One of Father MacPhail’s competitors when it comes to ascending to cardinal.

Additional Information

Quotes & Gifs


Mary (Simone Kirby)

Mary (Simone Kirby) talking to Lyra
Mary (Simone Kirby)

Mary is someone Lyra is drawn to thanks to the alethiometer, and it appears Lyra’s place in Mary’s life is to help her further understand Dust. Which, to Mary, she believes could be dark matter.

Additional Information

Quotes & Gifs


Thorold (Gary Lewis)

Thorold Gary Lewis His Dark Materials Season 2 Episode 2 The Cave

Asriel’s assistant.

Additional Information

Quotes & Gifs


Graham and Annabel (Brian Protheroe & Jane How)

Graham (Brian Protheroe) and Annabel (Jane How) sitting in their home
Graham (Brian Protheroe) and Annabel (Jane How)

Will’s paternal grandparents.

Additional Information

Quotes & Gifs


Oliver (Robin Pearce)

Carlo and Oliver (Robin Pearce) pitching to Mary
Carlo and Oliver (Robin Pearce)

Mary’s co-worker who is worried about funding.

Additional Information

Quotes & Gifs


Xaphania (Sophie Okonedo)

An angel that speaks to Mary, and offers her guidance and direction.

Additional Information

Quotes & Gifs

From what we are, spirit. From what we do, matter.
— The Angel (2.4)

Giacomo (Terence Stamp)

Giacomo (Terence Stamp) as Spectres try to kill him
Giacomo (Terence Stamp)

The former protector of The Subtle Knife.

Additional Information

Quotes & Gifs

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