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Source: HBO

'His Dark Materials' Introduces Viewers to Dust, Gobblers, and More — So, What Are They?

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[Warning: Spoilers ahead]

The highly anticipated series based on Philip Pullman’s books, His Dark Materials finally debuted on HBO. According to the network’s synopsis, the show “follows Lyra [Belacqua] (Dafne Keen), a brave young woman from another world. Lyra’s quest to find her kidnapped friend leads her to uncover a sinister plot of a secret organization, encounter extraordinary beings, and protect dangerous secrets.”

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After watching the premiere episode, you may be confused about a few key components that make up this mystical world, like what is this mysterious Dust in His Dark Materials? While fans were only given a snippet of information regarding the importance of these mystical particles in the first episode, Dust will play more of an important role as the series progresses.  

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Source: HBO
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So, what is Dust in His Dark Materials?

In the series premiere, viewers watched as Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) ventured to the North to take photographs of Dust. While researching these mystical particles during the Aurora aka the Northern Lights, he discovered the existence of a golden city, proving that there is a multiverse of worlds.

When he presents his research to a room of scholars at Jordan College, he explains that Dust is not attracted to kids, only to adults. However, discussing this mystical entity is policed by the Magisterium, the religious institution that controls this world, as the church thinks of Dust as an original sin.  

These particles will become central to the storyline in His Dark Materials and viewers will learn why the Magisterium has banned the discussion of Dust, and how they are associated to consciousness.  

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Source: HBO

What are Gobblers in His Dark Materials?

In episode 1 of the HBO series, Lyra does not want to believe that Gobblers are behind the disappearance of her friend Roger. These shadowy figures have been kidnapping children in Brytain, and typically target servants and poor children, which is why kids in the Gyptian clan around Oxford are being snatched. 

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Though Lyra thinks the Gobblers are just a myth, the kidnapping of her best friend Roger sets her journey to discovering why these scary figures are stealing children. In Pullman’s first novel The Golden Compass, we learn that the name stems from an organization known as the General Oblation Board (GOB).  In the trilogy, Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson), who viewers were introduced to in episode 1, is actually the person running this villainous Magisterium group.  

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Source: HBO
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So, why is the Magisterium stealing children? Well, as we learn in the novels, the board was created as a way to experiment on separating children from their daemon, which is an animal manifestation of a person’s soul that takes physical form. Unfortunately, whatever happens to a person’s daemon, also happens to that individual.  

In the books, this deadly process, also known as intercision, will stop a child on the brink of adulthood from attracting Dust. Remember, the Magisterium believes these mystical particles are evil. With daemons, Dust, and Gobblers, at the heart of the storyline, we’re excited to watch what’s to come in Lyra’s continued journey as she attempts to rescue her friend and in the process uncovers an evil plot. 

Catch new episodes of His Dark Materials on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

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