“And then what?” said her daemon sleepily. “Build what?”

The trilogy ends with this exchange between Pantalaimon and Lyra. They have just been separated from Will and his demon, Kirjava, and have agreed to study with Dame Hannah, the scholar who has promised to help Lyra learn how to use the alethiometer. Lyra has fulfilled her destiny: she has grown up and redeemed the conscious world. The love that she and Will share stops Dust (consciousness) from flooding out of the universes. Their love has also played a key role in defeating the Church and Metatron, who wanted to subjugate all conscious beings and turn them into obedient servants of the Church. The Kingdom of Heaven, in which the Church ruled over people and forced them to obey its orders, is in shambles. Lyra has won the fight to allow all thinking beings to steer the course their lives and to grow up into complex adults. In place of a kingdom with one central ruler, Lyra, Pantalaimon, Will, Mary Malone, and everyone who has helped them are now responsible for building a Republic in which every citizen has the right and the duty to think independently.