Light spoilers ahead for the second book in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, called The Subtle Knife.
The second season of HBO's His Dark Materials is on the way before the end of the year, and it will have to pick up on more than one cliffhanger that left viewers to wonder what would happen next. Book readers have a better idea of what to expect, but the first season featured enough changes from The Golden Compass that little was guaranteed about the second, and I for one had major doubts that the show would actually include a key but perhaps not entirely necessary moment from The Subtle Knife. Fortunately for book purists (and viewers in for something epic), a new trailer revealed that moment is coming.
That moment is, tragically for Will Parry, the loss of a couple of his fingers. The new trailer is mostly about the Great War brewing, Mrs. Coulter doing dastardly things in the search for her daughter, and Lyra and Will exploring the new world they each stumbled into, but there is one quick glimpse of an action sequence that gives away Will's upcoming injury that should lead to his gaining the subtle knife. Take a look at what you may have missed!
The quick footage here doesn't show Will actually losing his pinky and ring fingers, which in the book is due to rope constricting blood flow rather than the knife itself or any other weapon, so it doesn't guarantee that how he loses the fingers will remain the same. Still, Will has a bandaged right hand and a knife in his left, so I think it's safe to say that however Will loses his fingers will prove that he's the rightful wielder of the knife.
Personally, I had my doubts that the HBO series would deliver what could be a very inconvenient twist from a production standpoint for one of the younger actors. It would surely be easier for production (or the makeup department, at least) if the show found a way to make Will worthy of the knife without removing his fingers, even if actor Amir Wilson can wear a bandage to more or less conceal that he did not actually lose a couple of digits while filming the show.
Interestingly, Will loses fingers on his left hand and wields the knife with his right in The Subtle Knife, while the trailer footage shows the bandage on his right and the knife in his left. I'm wondering if the reasoning is as simple as Amir Wilson being left-handed and spending two seasons with one hand out of commission would be easier if he couldn't use the right. Alternately, perhaps the footage was flipped for the trailer, and the actual scene will switch the hands.
Or maybe there's a story reason or it doesn't matter at all! With the show not returning until November, I'm perfectly willing to grasp at straws to speculation. Check out the new His Dark Materials trailer for yourself!
Unfortunately, the trailer doesn't reveal when exactly His Dark Materials will return to HBO for Season 2, but confirmation that it will arrive at some point in November 2020 is certainly better than nothing! The show was fortunately able to finish filming almost the entire second season before production shutdowns throughout the entertainment industry, and all that was lost was an episode that could be left out without messing up the story. So, fans will miss out on one episode, but the season should be just fine anyway!
The first season of His Dark Materials is available streaming on HBO Max now, and you can always check out Philip Pullman's book trilogy if you're dying to learn what happens next. For some viewing options between now and November, be sure to check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule and our 2020 Netflix premiere guide!