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Everyone wishes to speak again to those gone to the land of the Dead. Why should there be an exception for you?
~ Lyra's Death

Lyra's Death is a minor antagonist in the book The Amber Spyglass in His Dark Materials.


Deaths are part of one's soul that manifest upon death. They lead human souls to the Underworld, a task given to them by the Authority.

They resemble skeletal, emaciated humans dressed in black.


When Lyra gets to the suburbs of the Dead and gets into an argument with the Gallivespian knight Tailys, Lyra subconsciously summons her own Death. She has seen Deaths standing outside but never thought she would meet her own. He seems pleasant, friendly, harmless and understanding, but belies a greater malice and malicious glee at seeing Lyra helpless and in his control. Like all Deaths, he has been begging for Lyra's attention all his life, and is relieved she is finally taking notice.

Lyra asks if she's dead, or if he's come to take her, but he says not yet. The Death obviously can't be trusted, becausee of his malicious nature, so Lyra lies to tell him why she should go to the Underworld, she lies about an angelic mission set upon her. The Death eventually says he will guide her to the gate of the Underworld and be her guide there. He smiles sardonically at her and spends the night outside, keeping an eye on her and always reminding her of his nature.