His Dark Materials
His Dark Materials

"...she had killed the tigers herself in order to punish the Tartar tribe who worshipped them, because the tribesmen had failed to do her honour when she had visited their territory. Without their tiger-gods the tribe declined into fear and melancholy, and begged her to allow them to worship her instead, only to be rejected with contempt; for what good would their worship do her, she asked? It had done nothing for the tigers. Such was Ruta Skadi: beautiful, proud and pitiless."
—A tale of Ruta Skadi[src]

Queen Ruta Skadi was the queen of the Lake Lubana clan of witches.[2] She had taken Lord Asriel as a lover in the past. Her dæmon was a bluethroat named Sergi.


Following the creation of a bridge between her world and another by Lord Asriel, Ruta Skadi attended a witch-gathering at Lake Enara led by its clan queen Serafina Pekkala. During the meeting, she presented her beliefs that the witches should fight the Holy Church in the upcoming war. She reminded them of the Church's role in Intercision at Bolvangar, but also told of tales of circumcision in churches of southern lands. She expressed her desire to join their clans together and travel north into the new world in search of Lyra Silvertongue, the child from the witch prophecy. She also expressed that they should join Lord Asriel's forces, because he despised the Church as well.[3]


In the end, it was decided that a group of witches would accompany Serafina into the new world. Ruta Skadi decided to seek out Lord Asriel, so she accompanied Serafina and her companions on the first part of their journey. After a few days of travelling they came upon a man called Joachim Lorenz who had just escaped by horseback from his party of travellers after they had been attacked by Spectres. After the group of witches talked to him about his world, Ruta spied some angels travelling across the sky. She flew up to speak to them and learnt of their intentions to go to Lord Asriel.[1]

Ruta accompanied them to the basalt fortress where she, under the spell of invisibility, crept into Asriel's headquarters. Just before Asriel was going to bed, she talked to him. Asriel told Ruta about the plan to kill the Authority himself and about stories of churches in other worlds and the horrific things they did. Asriel invited Ruta and the witches to join his side of the war but Ruta knew she had to consult the others first. After sleeping with Asriel, Ruta flew back to the witches.

On the way back, a wind hurled her into a mountain range where she took refuge. It turned out that she'd stumbled upon the nesting place of the oldest of the cliff-ghasts: Grandfather. Here she overheard them talking about Æsahættr and that Asriel needed it to win his war.

After flying back to the witches, she told them what she had learned. Serafina said that she must help Lyra first. After talking to Serafina in private about what Æsahættr might be, Ruta left the group to fly back to the North to call the other witch clans to arms.[4]

Later, Ruta led her clan to fight the angels in the Republic of Heaven around the Clouded Mountain, bearing flaming sticks and setting the angels alight.[5]

Physical description[]

Ruta Skadi was beyond lovely. She was vivid and passionate, with large black eyes. She had black curly hair, and wore ornate jewelry.[3]


Her dæmon was a bluethroat named Sergi.[1]

Behind the scenes[]



Witch clans Lake Enara clanKeitele clanLake Ladoga clanLake Lubana clanMicokojärvi clanNania clanOnega clanTaymyr clanTikshozero clanLake Umolese clanLake Visha clan
Clan queens Ieva KaskuJulia OjalandJuta KamainenKatya SirkkaPaula PyhäjärowReina MitiRuta SkadiSara LeiroSerafina PekkalaTanja LentanaTilda Vasara
Other witches Lena FeldtMedeaSerafina Pekkala's motherYelena PazhetsTortured witchUnidentified witch
Consuls Martin Lanselius
Important Yambe-AkkaCloud-pineHolding spell