A death was a sentient being which accompanied a human throughout their life. When the person died, their death took them to the land of the dead.[1]


Deaths were humanoid beings which were always male.[1]


During lifeEdit

When a human was born, their death was also created. The behaviour of the death during life depended on the attitude of their human. In at least one world, the humans found the presence of their death comforting and so it remained visible. In Lyra's world and Will's world, however, deaths were feared and so they hid from their humans until they died. They were quiet and were able to blend into the background with ease.[1]

After deathEdit

"Your death taps you on the shoulder, or takes your hand, and says, ‘Come along o' me, it's time.'"

When a person died, the death gently alerted them of their time to go to the underworld. The death accompanied them on the boat journey to the land of the dead.[1]

Known deathsEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Amber Spyglass, Chapter 19
World of the dead
Locations AbyssHolding areaLand of the deadSuburbs of the land of the dead
Natives BoatmanGracious WingsMarthaMagdaPeterMartha and Peter's sonMartha and Peter's childMartha and Peter's baby
Ghosts Castor's humanDirk JansenJohn ParryLee ScoresbyMatapan's humanRoger ParslowSandling's human
Important DeathsHarpiesGhostsThe Authority
Humanoid AngelsDæmonsDeathsGallivespiansGhostsHumansMermaidsWitchesZombi
Other Cliff-ghastsHarpiesMulefaNight-ghastsPanserbjørneSpectresWill-o’-the-wykes
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