His Dark Materials
His Dark Materials

Lyra's world was one of the many parallel worlds in the multiverse.



World Map of Lyra's world.

The continents in Lyra's world include Asia and Europe, North and South America, Africa, Antarctica, and Oceania were available as Globetrotter maps.


The land of Lyra's world was divided politically and geographically into countries. Some of these countries were alike to those in Will's world, for instance England, however some took on a more obvious parallel history; for example, there's a distinction made between Muscovy and Tartary, and the North American continent was divided into five separate nations: Beringland, Hispania Nova, New Denmark, New France, and Texas.

Seas and oceans[]

Much of Lyra's world was covered in water. There were several known seas and oceans:

As well as these major oceans there were some known minor seas:

Solar system[]

In Lyra's world, there were only six known planets, including Earth, that revolved around the sun.[2] This solar system sat in a galaxy called the Milky Way.[8] Three of the names of these planets were known: Earth, Venus and Mars.[9] The Earth also had a moon which orbited it.[8]


Thirty thousand years ago, the early humans first encountered Dust. Xaphania later intervened in the evolution of the humans who lived in that world by giving them consciousness.

Its history diverted from that of Will's world in that John Calvin became a pope instead of breaking away from the Holy Church and forming his own church. Under his authority, the power of the Holy Church became more dominant in daily life and throughout Lyra's world, and after he died the Magisterium in Geneva replaced the Papacy as the Holy Church's authority.

Technology & Society[]

Technology in Lyra's world was quite advanced, although it had an outdated appearance. Anbaricity was used to power lighting and appliances,[1] including computers, which were known as ordinators.[10]

It was considered unusual for women to wear trousers in Lyra's world. Digital cameras [11] and smartphones[12] were unknown in Lyra's world.

Cats were seldom kept purely for companionship, being put to more useful tasks such as catching mice.


  • Anbaricity is equivalent to electricity in Will's world
  • Experimental theology is equivalent to physics in Will's world
  • Electrum is equivalent to amber in Will's world[13]
  • Brytain is equivalent to Britain in Will's world.


The fauna of Lyra's world was largely similar to that found in Will's world. There were some notable differences, however.


Humans were the dominant sentient species of Lyra's world. In this world, the soul of a human was visible externally as a dæmon. Notable humans from Lyra's world included Lyra Silvertongue, Lord Asriel, Marisa Coulter and Lee Scoresby. Most of the time, a dæmon was the opposite sex to their human.


The witch queen Serafina Pekkala in flight

Witches were humanoid women who had dæmons which took the form of birds. Because of a cultural ritual, witches were able to separate from their dæmons. Although witches were mortal, they had a much longer lifespan than ordinary humans. They were adapted to live in the cold North, could fly with the help of cloud-pine, and could make themselves effectively invisible. Witches often had sexual relations with human men, with whom they had children; however, only the female children became witches themselves. Notable witches included Serafina Pekkala and Ruta Skadi.


Iorek Byrnison, a panserbjørn

Panserbjørne, also called armoured-bears, were a sentient species of polar bear with opposable thumbs. They crafted their armour from sky-iron. Iorek Byrnison was king of the Svalbard panserbjørne.


Cliff-ghasts were ostensibly sapient flying creatures with scavenging habits. They accurately predicted the war between the Authority and Lord Asriel.


Bloodmoss growing in the North

Many of the plants in Lyra's world were similar to those in Will's world. A notable exception was bloodmoss, a plant known for its curative properties, and cloud-pine, a type of tree with magical properties. Another plant was the Harp-flower.[14]


Lyra's world has mainly the same dates as other worlds however April contains an extra day, 31 April.



Worlds Lyra's worldWill's worldWorld of CittàgazzeWorld of the deadMulefa worldGallivespian worldRepublic of HeavenKingdom of Heaven