Armour is the fourth episode in the first series of the TV series. It was released on 24 November 2019 on BBC One and on 25 December 2019 on HBO and was watched nearly 8 million times during the four weeks following the release in the UK.

The episode takes place mainly in Trollesund and follows Lyra Belacqua and the gyptians as they encounter Lee Scoresby and Iorek Byrnison.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Lee Scoresby arrives by balloon at Trollesund in search of an old friend, Iorek Byrnison, who has lost him armour. Meanwhile, Lyra Belacqua and the gyptians also sail to the town by boat in search of the kidnapped children taken by the Gobblers.

Upon his arrival, Lee encounters the Sysselman of the town, questioning him about an armoured bear and then stealing his watch. At the same time, Coram van Texel tells John Faa that they must be quick, as the spy-fly will have reached Marisa Coulter. John instructs Coram to go with Lyra to Martin Lanselius, the witches' consul with the hope of contacting Serafina Pekkala whom he once knew. While walking there, Lyra talks to Coram about how she reads the alethiometer intuitively; Lyra takes the alethiometer out to show him and is spotted by several of the townsfolk, Coram makes her put it away before the guards of the Magisterium spy it, however.

At Dr Lanselius' house, Coram tells him about the gyptians' mission and Martin tells him what he knows about the kidnapped children's journey. From his friends in Trollesund, Martin knows that Lyra has an alethiometer and asks to look at it. To see how she is able to read it, he challenges Lyra to try and find the cloud-pine which belongs to the witch Serafina Pekkala. Martin is impressed when he sees her find the correct branch and gives her a sprig to summon the witch if ever she is needed. Lyra then asks Martin what they should be asking him. Martin tells them of an armoured bear in the town which they would need to win the fight with the General Oblation Board. Lyra and Coram go and find the bear, Iorek Byrnison, to employ him but he tells them firmly that he is not for sale.

At the Magisterium, Marisa Coulter is called in and told by Cardinal Sturrock that Hugh MacPhail will take her role as leader of the General Oblation Board following her recent actions in undermining scholastic sanctuary at Jordan College. Marisa proceeds to inform him that she has Lord Asriel captured in Svalbard by the bears and that, if the Magisterium lets her continue as the leader, pursue her project until its end, and lets her ask one question of Pavel Rasek, who can read the alethiometer, she will give Asriel to the Magesterium.

In Trollesund, Coram warns Lyra about talking disrespectfully to the bear but Lyra tells him she knows who to trust. Coram reveals to her that he and Serafina were lovers and had a son who later died and begins to cry. Lee visits a bar to ask more about Iorek, trying to talk to people there and offering a game of Hazard or Flippety-Flop. He gets himself into a fight for talking about the bear and gets thrown out the bar however he managed to steal three watches and a wallet from the attackers.


At her meeting with Pavel, Marisa asks him to tell her who Lyra Belacqua is. After being thrown out the bar, Lee stands up in the middle of the town and asks if anyone had seen an armoured bear. While calling out, Lyra and Coram approach him and Lee guesses that they know something about him. Lyra, wanting to make sure they can get Iorek on their side, refuses to tell him anything unless he tells them what he wants to do with Iorek. Lyra then walks away, leaving Lee with no new information.

As they walk to a boat, Coram tells John about a prophecy that could concern Lyra. By the main port of the town, Coram and John are visited by Serafina's dæmon, Kaisa, who talks to them about Bolvangar ('fields of evil'), the place the kidnapped children are being taken to. Coram is informed that the witches of Serafina's clan will be on their side if they fight.

Some way off, Lyra is gazing at the Aurora and sees a city in the sky and thinking about Roger Parslow, her kidnapped friend. Lyra is then approached by Tony Costa who tells her he always thinks of Billy Costa and Lyra assures him that they will get him and the other children back.

Lee talking to the Sysselman

Also on that night, Lee searches for hours to find the bear and, just as Hester advises him to give up, they see him. Lee approaches him Iorek tells him to go away, not wanting to reveal what had happened to him. Lee then sees that his armour has been taken. The following morning, Lee goes to the Sysselman to talk to him about freeing Iorek and tries to convince the man that the bear's armour belongs to him after losing it in a game of cards. The man refuses to believe him and, after Lee tries to bribe him and a pair of Magisterium guards walk along outside, Lee is forced to leave as the Sysselman pulls a gun out. Lee finds out from the Sysselman that Iorek is being punished after killing some men.

In a zeppelin flying to Svalbard, Marisa drafts a speech to the King of the bears, Iofur Raknison, asking him for a meeting. Meanwhile, John tells Lyra that her father is being held at Svalbard and that they need to leave immediately. He orders her to not hire Iorek due to him having wrecked the town. Lyra tries to contest, but fails to convince him.

At the Magisterium, Carlo Boreal demands Fra Pavel tell him what Mrs Coulter wanted to know but Pavel refuses. Carlo then demands that he find out what Stanislaus Grumman discovered. After Pavel initially refuses saying that it's heretical, Carlo threatans Pavel with the reveal of his secrets. Carlo then reshapes the question, asking how he can find out what Grumman discovered.

Iorek with the Sysselman

After speaking to Lee, Lyra discovers that Iorek is missing his armour and that he would need it back if he was to join the gyptians. Lyra, struck with a plan, visits Iorek again and tells him, using the alethiometer, where his armour is: underneath the oratory. After promising not to kill anyone if they don't try and hurt him, Iorek rampages through the town, bursting into the oratory and retrieving his armour. After nearly killing the Sysselman by taking off his head and being stopped as repayment of his debt to Lyra, Lee and Iorek present themselves to the gyptians. After criticising Lyra for disobeying him, John decides to set off further north.


On Svalbard, Marisa speaks to Iofur Raknison and promises him a baptism in order to join the Magisterium if he destroys Lord Asriel's laboratory on Svalbard and all his research into Dust. Iofur agrees to this. At the same time, the gyptians, Lyra, Iorek, and Lee leave Trollesund and head towards Bolvangar.[1]

Release[edit | edit source]

"Armour" comes from the title of the eleventh chapter of Northern Lights. Even though the title of the chapter was changed to "Armor" in US editions of the book, the title for the TV episode remains as "Armour" in the US. The original broadcast was on 24 November on BBC One at 8pm GMT in the UK[2] and on 25 November on HBO at 9pm ET in the US.[3] It was watched over 6.877 million times on all platforms during the week following its release in the UK and over 7.912 million times during the 28 days afterwards.[4] In the US, it was watched by around 396 000.[5]

Cast[edit | edit source]

Main article: His Dark Materials (TV series)#Cast

Videos[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

His Dark Materials TV episodes
Series 1 Lyra's JordanThe Idea of NorthThe SpiesArmourThe Lost BoyThe Daemon-CagesThe Fight to the DeathBetrayal
Series 2 The City of MagpiesThe CaveTheftTower of the AngelsThe ScholarMaliceÆsahættr
Other Making His Dark Materials
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