His Dark Materials is not quite the Game of Thrones replacement you were probably hoping for, but it is a good-looking, well-directed and acted fantasy TV show that should keep you satisfied until House of the Dragon (the upcoming GoT prequel) premieres.
In any case, His Dark Materials is more akin to Harry Potter with its high magic and in-your-face fantasy elements than Game of Thrones.
Based on Philip Pullman’s popular series of the same name, His Dark Materials is set in a world like our own that differs from ours in certain areas. For one, in our world, we do not have animal companions called daemons that are basically our souls in corporeal form.
The protagonist is Lyra (Logan’s Dafne Keen), who lives in Jordan College in UK’s Oxford. After her friend goes missing, she agrees to become a protégé of Ruth Wilson’s enigmatic Marisa Coulter whose semblance of kindness is betrayed by that recognisably evil gleam in her eyes that Wilson used to great effect in Luther opposite Idris Elba. Coulter promises to find her friend provided Lyra does what she says.
James McAvoy plays the role of Lyra’s uncle, Lord Asriel, who claims something that the scholars of the Jordan College and people elsewhere, including the dictatorial Magisterium, will find heretic. The Magisterium rules the Holy Church and, through it, the faithful, and does not entertain dissenters.
His Dark Materials, so far at least, is quite a compelling watch. Those like me who have read the books will notice a few differences, but I did not mind them, for the story is about the same — at least in the first few episodes.
It is not Harry Potter yet, but His Dark Materials has a ready-made fan base thanks to the popularity of the books. And due to its high production values, strong cast, world-building and creative team, it can just fill that Westeros shaped hole in your life despite the two series being wholly dissimilar.