Armour is the fourth episode in the first series of the TV series. It was released on 24 November on BBC One and on 25 December 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 there as well as 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 had 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 to which the Syssleman tells him he'd heard of an aëronaut who created bedlam wherever he went. At the same time, John Faa instructs Coram van Texel and Lyra to go to Martin Lanselius. There, Lyra is challenged to try and find the cloud-pine which belonged to the witch Serafina Pekkala. Martin was shocked when he saw Lyra, with help of the alethiometer, find the correct branch. Lyra then asks Martin a question about what they should be asking him. Martin tells them of a 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 but he tells them firmly that he is not for sale.

At the Magisterium, Marisa Coulter is called in and talked to by Cardinal Sturrock who informs her that Hugh MacPhail will take her role as leader of the General Oblation Board following her recent actions. Marisa proceeds to inform him that she has Lord Asriel captured in Svalbard and that, if the Magisterium is to let her continue as the leader, she will give him to them and be able to ask one question of Pavel Rasek, the alethiometrist of the organisation.

In Trollesund, Coram warns Lyra about talking to the bear but Lyra tells him she knows who to trust. Lee visits a bar to ask more about Iorek, trying to talk to people there and offering a game of Flippety-Flop. He gets himself into a fight for talking about the bear and gets thrown out the bear however he had managed to steal numerous watches 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. Whilst 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 unless he tells them what he wants to do with Iorek.

By the main port of the town, Coram and John are visited by a dæmon, Kaisa, who talks to them about Bolvangar, 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 wonders about Roger Parslow, looking at the Aurora and seeing a city in the sky. Lyra is then approached by Tony Costa who tells her he always thinks of Billy Costa and Lyra reassures him that the gyptians will continue to look for him and the others and that they will find them.

Lee talking to the Sysselman

Lee visits the bear too but Iorek tells him to go away, not wanting to reveal what had happened to him. Lee instead goes to the Sysselman to talk to him about freeing Iorek and trying to convince the man that the bear's armour belongs to him. The man refuses to believe him. Lee is forced to leave after the Sysselman draws a gun out.

In a zeppelin flying to Svalbard, Marisa writes a letter to the King of the bears, Iofur Raknison, asking him for a meeting. Meanwhile, John tells Lyra that she shouldn't hire Iorek as the bears are on the Magisterium's side and they can't trust them. Lyra tries to contest but Coram remains silent and she is forced to think they can't have the bear.

At the Magisterium, Carlo Boreal talks to Fra Paavel, asking him to find out what Stanislaus Grumman discovered. After initially refusing saying it's heretical, Carlo threatans Pavel with the reveal of his secrets, calling him 'Ratty', if he doesn't look at his alethiometer. Carlo 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 building and retrieving his armour. After nearly killing the Sysselman by taking off his head and being stopped as part of his debt to Lyra, Lee and Iorek present themselves to the gyptians. After criticising Lyra for disobeying him, they decide to set off further north.


On Svalbard, Marisa speaks to Iofur Raknison and promises him a baptism, to join the Magisterium if he destroys Lord Asriel's laboratory on Svalbard and all his research into the matter of Dust. It would be a sign of his loyalty to the Magisterium so they could show their loyalty to him.[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 release 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 oer 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
Other Making His Dark Materials
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