In Review: His Dark Materials – Betrayal

The season finale provides us with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger.

Synopsis: As the Magisterium closes in, Lyra learns more about Asriel’s rebellion. But her assistance to him comes at great personal cost.

Review: The season finale provides us with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger.

The Story

Lyra having reconnected with Asriel is surprised at the chilly reception from the one person she’d always thought of as family. Despite her concerns, she still agrees to help him with his experiments when he explains his theories about the Dust to her, but little is she aware of what this experiment will cost her. While Lyra is sleeping Asriel takes her friend Roger to the top of the mountain and proceeds to separate Roger from his demon. Lyra awakens and with the help of Iorek Byrnison makes a rescue attempt to get Roger back, but her attempt is delayed when Byrnison and his Soldiers come under fire from the Magisterium. Byrnison and Lyra somehow manage to get away, but Lyra is given little choice but to continue along as the path is too narrow for bears.

As she arrives at the top of the cliff she is too late to save Roger and shocked at the betrayal of Asriel who has used Roger as a means to opening a portal to the other dimension to just prove that it exists.

The Acting

James McAvoy puts in an amazing performance as he switches on a dime from Lyra’s preoccupied father figure into her betrayer. He is ultimately uncaring about Lyra’s feelings for Roger and is willing to sacrifice anything and pretty much anyone to prove his theories. Dafne Keen does an excellent job of selling us on how shocked and scared she is by Asriel’s cruel and uncaring actions.


This was a great conclusion to the first season and leaves us with a wonderful cliffhanger to keep us on the edge of our seats until next year as Lyra tentatively sets out to explore a new world. You really feel for Lyra when she learns the truth about Asriel and her familial connection to him. And you find yourself agreeing wholeheartedly with her when she tells Asriel that her second name is Silvertongue given that the Silvertongue’s showed her a lot more love than he ever did.

Overall. A brilliant season finale.

His Dark Materials - Betrayal
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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