His Dark Materials star reveals Lord Asriel's brutal sacrifice is 'too hard' for Lyra to forgive

HIS Dark Materials actress Dafne Keen has revealed she thinks that Lord Asriel's brutal sacrifice is "too hard" for her character to forgive.

Depicting Lyra in the BBC programme, the fifteen-year-old broke down Asriel's anti-hero image.

In the series, headstrong Lord Asriel discovers that other dimension exists within the northern lights – but not everyone is pleased with the news.

Part of a religious authority called the Magisterium, Asriel is found to be controversial and heretic, and his colleagues plan to assassinate him – plans which are foiled by his daughter Lyra.

Musing on whether her fictional dad is good or evil, Keen told Looper: "I think Asriel truly does think he is the hero of the story and that he's the center of the situation — when in reality, he's really not.

"He's part of the plot, but he's not the hero. If you zoom out and you look at the greater picture, you realize he thinks he's doing all of these incredible things and he's going to go down in history and he's going to save the universe.

"He's not realising how many people there are around him and how many lives he's ruining by doing that — which I think is what's quite beautiful about Lyra, [who's] just standing behind him, realising and watching how this man is basically trying to save the world and ruining it at the same time."

Lyra is one of many children within the universe of His Dark Materials, and is bound to a magical creature called a daemon – much like a spirit animal.

The daemons stay with children into adulthood, but if the child or the daemon should die, it kills the other in a huge release of energy.

Lord Asriel comes to believe that this energy release will open a portal to the parallel universe in the northern lights, but the process – known as intercision – kills both the child and their loveable daemons in the process.

Scenes in season one saw Lord Asriel experiment on Lyra's best friend Roger Parslow, played by Lewin Lloyd, sacrificing him to open the portal.

While Asriel believes what he is doing is right to "free humanity", Lyra watches in horror as her father murders her childhood friend.

Actress Dafne added: "Asriel has been the only family she's ever had… but then he killed the person who is basically your family – it's just a lot.

"There's an incredible conflict inside Lyra where she goes, 'I love [Lord Asriel]… and at the same time, he's taken my only family away and I want to be able to love him but I can't because I feel like he's betrayed me."

During the show's second season, Lyra is yet to confront Asriel about the sacrifice, and it's unknown whether or not she's forgiven him for his cruelty.

Keen concluded: "I think Lyra is capable of forgiveness. If she want to, she would be able to to, but I think that's something that's quite hard to forgive."

His Dark Materials is available on BBC iPlayer.

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