His Dark Materials
His Dark Materials

Balthamos was an angel who served Xaphania in the rebellion against the Authority.


Unlike his lover Baruch, Balthamos was never a human and was an angel all of his life.[1]

Together with Baruch, Balthamos sought out Will Parry, hoping to bring him and the subtle knife to Lord Asriel to aid in the fight against the Authority. Will agreed to help them only after finding Lyra Silvertongue, who had been kidnapped by her mother, Marisa Coulter.[1]

When Baruch died, Balthamos immediately felt it. Striken with grief, he promised to aid Will in every way possible to honour Baruch's sacrifice. However, when he found himself unable to do so, he ran away, filled with grief over Baruch's death and guilt over abandoning Will.

Some time later he killed Luis Gomez, who had been sent by Hugh MacPhail to kill Lyra. Mere seconds later, Balthamos died as a result of the bites from Gomez's beetle dæmon.

Physical appearance[]

Balthamos was slender, with narrow wings that folded elegantly behind his back.[1]


Balthamos was prone to sarcasm, and his relationship with Will was conducted with an air of ironic contempt. Balthamos was more passive than Baruch.

Behind the scenes[]

  • In the BBC radio series, Balthamos is played by Ray Fearon and serves as the series' narrator. Here, he presents himself to the listener as a "recorcing angel" and a "listener of lives" who observes events as they take place and provides description and exposition for the listener.
  • In the BBC TV series, he will be portrayed by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.[2]