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Tear Jerker / His Dark Materials

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As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

  • Lyra finding out midway through Northern Lights what happens to all the kidnapped children. They are cut off from their daemons, by putting the child in one cage and the daemon in a cage close by and cutting between the two cages with a guillotine-like structure made of a special metal that can sever the connection between daemon and human. To wit, in this verse, daemons are halves of a person's soul manifested to help, aid, comfort and provide company.
    • Lyra's shock is half the feeling of tragedy and sympathy imagining what it would feel like if that were to happen to her, half reassuring herself that she will never be alone because she has Pan, half crying because Tony, the child she finds, has nobody anymore, and half disgust at the situation describing a daemon-less human as being as unnatural as one without a head, or without a face, or with his ribcage outside.
      • Pantalaimon for his is described as desperately wanting to comfort the child but unable to do anything due to the taboos ingrained in them.
      • When Tony dies, they prepare to burn him as the ground is too frozen for a grave. She sees his body one last time and notices the fish he had been using as a replacement for his daemon has been taken from him and freaks out- especially when it turns out the fish was given to the dogs.
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  • The ending of Northern Lights, wherein Roger dies. In particular, Lyra's kissing Roger's face before leaving his body behind as she goes onwards, and this line (particularly true of the audiobook version because the actress's voice breaks heartrendingly on 'helping'):
    We got it wrong, though, Pan. We got it all wrong about Roger. We thought we were helping him.
  • The scene in The Amber Spyglass, the last book in His Dark Materials, where Lyra and Will realize that the Dust is flowing out of the universe because of all the open holes in between worlds, left by the subtle knife. The angel they are talking to says that, if they work their entire lives to promote good, there will be enough Dust regenerated to leave open one door. They are desperately in love and, because neither can live in the other's world for long (and because neither wants the other to sacrifice their lifespan just for ten years together, especially since they would keep living after that), they desperately want to leave one open between their worlds. There is almost the mother of all happy endings until they realize they can't shut the one that prevents departed souls from being trapped in the Underworld for eternity. Cue a sob-fest that lasts until nearly the end of the book — at least twenty pages.
    • What makes it especially sad is that the love between Will and Lyra doesn't really fully blossom until shortly before they find out that they have to part.
  • In The Amber Spyglass, the shattering of the subtle knife: Will's thoughts about his mother are unable to break the knife like the first time, so Will channels his grief over his final separation from Lyra, touching the teardrop she's left on his face and he shatters the only tool to connect their worlds.
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  • The last book (between Lyra and Pan's separation and the finale) will shoot you in the brain.
  • Lord Asriel and Marisa Coulter's suicide gambit against the Metatron, especially "I lied and lied, Asriel... I wanted him to find no good in me, and he didn't. There is none.", followed by Marisa's choice to use her own weight to drag Metatron down into the abyss, and preventing him from throwing Asriel off and escaping to finish anything after that chapter for a good week or so.
  • The saddest part in the whole trilogy for some people was Lee Scoresby's heroic death. It started off as sad when he realises he isn't going to live, but then when he's holding Hester and tells her not to go before he does. Made more poignant by the scene in The Amber Spyglass where his ghost dissipates to be reunited with the Dust of his 'beloved daemon Hester'.
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  • Balthamos pulling off a simultaneous tear jerker, CMOA and CMOH when he/she saves Will and Lyra by killing the priest stalking them with a scoped rifle, performing one final sacrifice before disintegrating from sheer grief at the death of Baruch.
  • Pantalaimon's abandonment in the Land of The Dead. He becomes the absolute textbook example of heartrending woobyishness.
  • John Parry's death. He's just gotten to see his son for the first time in years, and Will has no memory of his father at all... and the man's shot dead right afterwards.
  • The Boatman. Especially when he tells the children that he has "held crying babes in my arms," "those who hardly entered the world before they had to leave". Yeesh...
  • Serafina Pekkala and Farder Coram's story: she would have renounced everything that made her a witch to become his wife and stay with him, but was unable to. When they have a son together, he dies from an epidemic and both of their hearts break. Then Farder Coram is crippled by poison and grows old and frail, while Serafina stays as young and beautiful as the day they meet, and he's too ashamed of himself to talk to her again.

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