His Dark Materials: Season 3/ Episodes 3 and 4 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Lyra and Will at the doorway to the port which could take them to see Roger

All focus is on Lyra as it is questioned how to handle her, in terms of keeping her alive or killing her, as she heads to the land of the dead.

All focus is on Lyra as it is questioned how to handle her, in terms of keeping her alive or killing her, as she heads to the land of the dead.

Aired (HBO) 12/12/2022
Episode Title The Intention Craft
Director(s) Charles Martin
Writer(s) Jack Thorne
Episode Title Lyra and Her Death
Director(s) Charles Martin
Writer(s) Jack Thorne
Noted Characters
Death Lyra Naomi Batrick
Boatman Peter Wight


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The Difference Between On My Side and By My Side – Marisa, Asriel, Ruta, Ogunwe, Roke, Father Gomez, Father President MacPhail, Dr. Cooper, Alarbus

As you can imagine, Marisa’s arrival at Asriel’s camp causes a bit of controversy, especially as he advocates for her to join his counsel. Her persecution of witches makes her an enemy of Ruta. Ogunwe questions the relationship dynamics between Marisa and Asriel and if that could cloud things, and as for Roke? He doesn’t trust her but thinks her experience and knowledge may offer something.

But, no sooner than they relent and let her on, it becomes clear that she and Asriel aren’t going to get along. His lack of interest in protecting and advocating for Lyra, combined with him killing Alarbus in front of her, is all she needs to see to realize that their goals don’t align. So, she steals Asriel’s vehicle to go to the Magisterium, and rather than do anything that could harm her, Asriel sends Roke to track and spy on Marisa.

This kind of bites him in the behind, for the vehicle she uses, the Intention Craft, is given over to Father President MacPhail, and thus Roke is trapped. So he goes from spying to aligning with Marisa, which is difficult to do. Why? Because Marisa’s self-interest are her utmost priority, and alliances come and go and she has no desire to build new ones or solidify old ones. She is more than willing to burn bridges.


Case in point, Father Gomez, Dr. Cooper, and Father President MacPhail. While Father Gomez wasn’t someone who would likely side with or aide Marisa, she could have tried to seduce him. Maybe, as she did with Father President MacPhail, pin him against the current authority figure with the idea of building him up to be the next big honcho, yet she didn’t. Then with Dr. Cooper, while there is some kind of relationship there, Dr. Cooper has the scars to remember what it means to align yourself with Marisa too long.

Which leads us to talk about Father President MacPhail and the love/hate relationship between him and Marisa. She is a temptress of the highest order, but at one time, she seemed like an ally worth having. Again, the problem is that if you aren’t aligned with her goals, you know her betrayal is pending. So Marisa may reveal what is happening in Asriel’s camp and the death of Alarbus, and she may even hand over the Intention Craft, but her conflict with Father President about Lyra means they could never be.


Something that becomes clear as Father Gomez is tasked with getting Marisa’s locket, which contains Lyra’s hair, and put it into a weapon that Dr. Cooper has made that appears to be able to traverse worlds in search for a target. And while Marisa tries her best to stop the Magisterium, with Roke’s help, and even condemns Father President by revealing what they did, it seems she might be too late. She is taken away, and as for Roke? It isn’t clear what his next move is since he isn’t able to get back to Asriel on his own.

Stubbornness Can Be A Virtue Or Deadly – Iorek, Lyra, Will, Pan, Death Lyra, Boatman


Lyra is so hell-bent on getting to Roger that she will move heaven and Earth. But, first things first, she needs Will to fix his knife so that they can get to the land of the dead, and that’s a challenge. Yes, Iorek is a master blacksmith, but the knife doesn’t need to be heated and smashed with a hard object; it needs Will to regain his focus, and because of Marisa bringing up his mom, his mind is splintered.

However, his feelings for Lyra and wanting to help her allow him to have the knife reform and be capable of doing what Lyra wants. But, Iorek warns, as well as the Aethalometer, that the desires Lyra has could tip the balance, and the disturbance won’t be something she likes, which ends up true.

In order to see Roger, she has to conjure her death, who guides her to the Boatman, who makes it clear, alongside their items from the mortal world, she can’t bring Pan. This, for Lyra, is confusing since she can usually bring Pan anywhere. However, in the land of the dead, beyond the holding area, Daemons don’t go, and for the generations the Boatman has worked the ferry across the river, no one has comeback.

But, Lyra, stubborn as ever, feeling she owes Roger and wanting Will to see his dad again, makes the sacrifice of leaving Pan behind, no matter how he pleads and how painful it is, and crosses the river to where the dead go to rest.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. So, what exactly is Mary’s end goal, considering she spends the episodes seemingly guided by intuition or luck?
  2. Will still has his knife on him, right? Who would watch or protect the items left behind? Is that supposed to be Pan’s responsibility?
  3. What’s the science behind Dr. Cooper’s weapon, which seems capable of tracking someone down with their DNA?
  4. What’s Roke’s next move?
  5. What will Salmakia do with her being left in a world that doesn’t allow her to get home easily?

What Could Happen Next

  1. Lyra and Will learning that crossing the river changes people
  2. Asriel worrying about Marisa and perhaps launching an attack against Father President to rescue Marisa
  3. Mary continuing to wander and potentially usurp Asriel as the leader of the world he is creating

Collected Quote(s)

I haven’t been hiding. You just haven’t been looking.
— Salmakia



The Difference Between Being On Someone’s Side And By Their Side & Recognizing Why Asriel, Marisa, and Lyra Are Our Leads

The conversation between Pan and Lyra perfectly encapsulates what goes on in these two episodes. For Asriel, Lyra and Marisa, they are the type who would prefer people on their side, with minimal questioning, than an equal, someone by their side, who could complicate their goals with questions and complications. Why? Ego.

As Marisa noted, when she was caught and her downfall began in episode 4, she underestimates her opponents, and often thinks she is the smartest and cunning in the room. This is sometimes true, hence Asriel not predicting her betrayal, but it isn’t always. The same goes for Lyra’s ego. With someone like Will basically wrapped around her finger, and so many throughout different worlds after her, it has inflated her sense of purpose.

Now, she admits that she doesn’t want the responsibility of being exceptional, she just wants to do good, but her actions don’t match her words. Wanting to be good doesn’t mean breaking rules and being a mortal traveling to the world of the dead. It doesn’t mean traveling across worlds as if it is nothing and something everyone is capable of.

But that’s the thing about this family, they have grandiose plans which require followers more than allies, and for many, once they realize they are expected to be obedient, things fall apart, and when they do, the fallout is as spectacular as the lofty goals of Marisa, Asriel, or Lyra.

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