Lyra Antarctica: Fans speculate Ed Sheeran baby name was inspired by Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy

Unusual name is shared with a character in one of Sheeran’s favourite book series

Roisin O'Connor
Tuesday 01 September 2020 22:46
HBO: His Dark Materials Season 2 Trailer

Ed Sheeran has announced that his wife, Cherry Seaborn, has given birth to their first child, a daughter named Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran.

The singer-songwriter revealed the news in an Instagram post, telling fans that “we are completely in love with her” and “both mum and baby are doing amazing”.

He added that he hoped people would respect the family’s privacy and would see fans “when it’s time to come back”.

Fans are now pointing out that Lyra is the name of the main character of Sir Philip Pullman’s popular fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials, and speculating that this is what inspired Sheeran.

The 29-year-old is a noted fan of Pullman, and chose His Dark Materials as his book choice on the BBC radio programme, Desert Island Discs, in 2017.

At the time, Sheeran described the books as “the greatest love story ever told”.

Pullman, in turn, took the first name from the collection of hymns, Lyra Davidica, which means “harp of David”.

His Dark Materials was recently adapted for a critically acclaimed BBC series, the first series of which aired in November last year.

Dafne Keen starred as Lyra Belacqua – an intelligent and curious young girl raised in a fictional version of Oxford – who sets off on a search for her missing friend, Roger.

It is unclear whether the name “Antarctica” came from His Dark Materials, but much of the first book in the trilogy, Northern Lights, is set in the Arctic.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments