7 Times 'His Dark Materials' Left You Emotionally Devastated

I'm thankful to have grown up in the new golden age of children's literature: the years of the Harry Potter series. I was nine when the third book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, was released, and would spend the next eight years of my life impatiently awaiting the remaining books, much like the rest of my friends. During one of these Harry Potter waiting periods, I read the Chronicles of Narnia series and promptly began looking for a new set of books to read. I heard a host of a MuggleNet podcast talk about the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, and saw that it was often described as an "anti-Narnia." Intrigued, I began the series that would make me ugly-cry more than most other books I've read.

To give you a very, very basic summary of the plot: two children go on a quest to destroy the tyranny of heaven over earth (it's all fairly complex, and I'd rather you read the series than listen to my half-baked summary of it). The important thing, however, is that this series frequently sticks a knife in your heart and twists. Hard. Seriously, the trilogy will make you feel all the feels. I'm not typically much of a crier, but I read these books with some tissues handy. In fact, I can't even THINK about the last two quotes on this list without tearing up.

Whether you've read the series before and just want to relive some heartbreaking moments or are looking for a few books that'll rip your heart out, here are seven of the saddest moments from the His Dark Materials trilogy. (You'll notice most of these quotes are from the last book in the trilogy, The Amber Spylass. That's because this book is ABSOLUTELY CRUSHING.)

1. "'LYRA!'Her heartbeats, leaping in aguish with Roger's -Tight-Clutching hands -His body, suddenly limp in hers; and high above, the greatest wonder."

— The Golden Compass

2. "He said, or thought, 'Those poor men didn't have to come to this, nor did we.'She said, 'We held 'em off. We held out. We're a-helpin' Lyra.'Then she was pressing her little proud broken self against his face, as close as she could get, and then they died."

The Subtle Knife

3. "The shaman saw a boy even younger than he'd thought, his slim body shivering in a torn linen shirt and his expression exhausted and savage and weary, but alight with a wild curiosity, his eyes wide under the straight black brows, so like his mother's...

And there came just the first flicker of something else to both of them.But in that same moment, as the lantern light flared over John Parry's face, something shot down from the turbid sky, and he fell back dead before he could say a word, an arrow in his failing heart. The osprey daemon vanished in a moment.Will could only sit stupefied."

The Subtle Knife

4. "But Balthamos couldn't tell; he only knew that half his heart had been extinguished. He couldn't keep still: he flew up again, scouring the sky as if to seek out Baruch in thus cloud or that, calling, crying, calling; and then he'd be over come with guilt, and fly down to urge Will to hide and keep quiet, and promise to watch over him tirelessly; and then the pressure of his grief would crush him to the ground, and he'd remember every instance of kindness and courage that Baruch had ever shown, and there were thousands, and he'd forgotten none of them; and he'd cry that a nature so gracious could never be snuffed out, and he'd soar into the skies again, casting about in every direction, reckless and wild and stricken, cursing the very air, the clouds, the stars."

— The Amber Spyglass

5. The first ghosts trembled with hope, and their excitement passed back like a ripple over the long line behind them, young children and aged parents alike looking up and ahead with delight and wonder as the first stars they had seen for centuries shown through into their poor starved eyes.The first ghost to leave the world of the dead was Roger. He took a step forward, and turned to look back at Lyra, and laughed in surprise as he found himself turning into the night, the starlight, the air...and then he was gone, leaving behind such a vivid little burst of happiness that Will was reminded of the bubbles in a glass of champagne."

The Amber Spyglass

6. "I will love you forever, whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I'll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again...I'll be looking for you Will, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we'll cling together so tight that nothing and no one'll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you...We'll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams...And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won't just be able to take one, they'll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we'll be joined so tight..."

The Amber Spyglass

7. "And if we - later on -" she was whispering shakily, "if we meet someone that we like, and if we marry them, then we must be good to them, and not make comparisons all the time and wish we were married to each other instead...But just keep up this coming here once a year, just for an hour, just to be together..."

The Amber Spyglass

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, $15, Amazon

Images: New Line Cinema (3)