Characters: The Dark Crystal
Character sheet for the The Dark Crystal
. The individual names of the Mystics and Skeksis come from the novelisation
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They were once a great elven-like race on the world of Thra. They had created large cities and had mastered many aspects of magic, including the ability of prophecy. They were also a peaceful race who opposed the Skeksis, who carried on a genocide against them.
A Gelfling orphan who was saved from the genocide and raised by the wisest of the Mystics.
A Gelfling orphan who was raised by the Podlings.
A race of creatures not native to Thra and born of the Crystal before it became dark. They were noble beings shining with an inner light, however in attempting to perfect themselves they instead tore themselves apart to become two distinct races, the Mystics and the Skeksis
The ur Ru (a.k.a. Mystics)
The Mystics are peaceful crouching, bipedal creatures with 4 fully-functional arms and long necks covered with a mane of hair, ending in a triangular head with an extremely wrinkled face. They have long tails that drag on the ground, and only stand up to their full height at the Great Conjunction. According to the novelization urRu means: "The old and wise ones." They are actually spawn of the UrSkeks species and lost control of Thra in a tumultuous conflict with the Skeksis who also spawned from UrSkeks during the burning light emitted from the Crystal during the last Great Conjunction
- Actual Pacifists: They have all the virtue of the UrSkeks, but none of the assertiveness.
- Age Without Youth: Though they still age more gracefully than the Skeksis.
- Big Good: They are this to Jen, and essentially the plot.
- Call to Adventure: When it's time for Jen to start his adventure, they call him with an Ethereal Choir which echoes as far as the jungle where Jen is playing his double flute.
- Cool Old Guys
- Dying Race: There's about ten eight by the end of the film, when there was originally eighteen. note
- Embodiment of Virtue: They are peaceful and gentle to a fault.
- Extreme Doormats: Due to their benevolent nature, they can't take action, since action is a negative force.
- Gentle Giants: The biggest characters in the movie (save for the Garthims,) as well as the nicest.
- The Hermits: Compared to the Skeksis' lavish lifestyle, they live much more humbly and more isolated from society.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Nonviolent, humbler and gentle to a fault, which is why they send Jen who is more assertive than they are.
- I Was Quite a Looker: When they first divided from the UrSkeks, they were lean and agile.
- Long Lived: Due to their connection to the Skeksis via original form, theUrSkeks, they have lived long lives due to the former's extended life technologies.
- Long Neck: All of them, likely to support their bodies.
- Multi-Armed Multitasking: They share multiple arms with the Skeksis, but theirs are much more noticeable, predominant and useful.
- No Body Left Behind / Everything Fades: They die more gracefully then the Skeksis.
- Only Six Faces: Double subverted. Compared to the Skeksis who all have unique traits, the Mystics are harder to tell apart. Unless you look very closely at their faces and clothes.
- Psychic Link / Synchronization: They are linked with the Skeksis. If a Skeksis is injured or dies, his Mystic alter-ego feels pain or dies because they were originally the same being.
- The Quiet Ones: Only two Mystics have any dialogue beyond a single phrase, but by nature they don't talk at all.
- The Stoics
UrSu the Master
The wisest of the Mystics and their chief, who saved Jen and educated him. Before he died, he commissioned Jen for his quest, showing him what the shard of crystal looked like and where to find it — at Aughra's observatory.
UrIm the Healer
Urlm is the Mystics' Healer, and counterpart to the Garthim Master. UrIm could still perceive the corona of the UrSkeks flowing in the Mystics, though the Great Division had unbalanced it
. urIm sought to restore this balance by using amulets, baths and acupuncture. With his right hands he made patterns in the air to restore the fires of the soul, with his left hands he made patterns in water to reduce them. He neglected all music, save for that of the death trance.
- Actual Pacifist: The technical appointed leader of the Mystics after the leader's death, he does not engage in conflict like the rest of his brethren, but by his nature as a healer, he especially does not do so.
- Big Good: Technically he does, via connection to the current Big Bad, the Garthim Master.
- Brilliant but Lazy: He neglects all the musical activities of the Mystics save that of death rites and later on their final journey, rarely joining in the music rituals.
- Good Counterpart: To SkekUng.
- Irony: While he himself is a pacifist, his counterpart is a Blood Knight with a Hair-Trigger Temper.
- The Medic: Using acupuncture and bathes to heal his companions.
UrSol the Chanter
UrSol is the Chanter and the counterpart of SkekSil the Skeksis Chamberlain. He is the one with the topknot and green coat. Although he has the job of chanter, it is urZah who leads the Mystics in the chants in the movie.
In the novelization, he taught Jen music, but Jen couldn't sing like a Mystic.
UrZah the Ritual Guardian
UrZah is the Mystic ritual guardian, and the Mystic counterpart of SkekZok the Skeksis ritual master. He would make the sand paintings of prophecy for the Mystics by pouring out the colored sands while the others chanted. urZah would comb and brush the sands of amethyst, opal, agate, onyx, and chalcedony to build the forms of spiral energy. He speaks more freely than the other urRu, but mostly in riddles. Deep meditation leaves spirals in all his body, not just in his face. He is the first Mystic seen in the movie. He also leads the chants throughout the movie and leads the Mystics out of the Valley of when it is time to return to the castle.
- Big Good: Shares this with the technical leader, UrIm the Healer, being the one with the most assertiveness in the group.
- Good Counterpart: To SkekZok.
- The Face: He gets the most dialogue of the Mystics, second to urSu.
- High Priest
UrTih the Alchemist
UrTih was the Mystic Alchemist, and counterpart to SkekTek the Skeksis Scientist. He wore a bandana, and his right front arm and leg were artificial limbs of wood. He was forever lost in his alchemical experiments, constantly seeking to change the forms of substances. He approached his work with humility, as he knew that he could never create anything that was nature's work. urTih ultimately never managed to merge with his Skeksis counterpart, having suffered an untimely death when SkekTek fell to his fiery death in the Chamber of Life
UrNol the Herbalist
He is the Mystic Herbalist, and counterpart to SkekNa the Skeksis Slave Master. He was distinguished by his eye patch and splintered finger. He was a close friend of urAmaj the Cook, and the two of them would attend to the greater and lesser balances of the bodies and spirits of their companions. His medicinal herbs, which he grew in his own gardens, were taken in between meals. Birds' feathers and the mosses and lichens that grew on the Standing Stones were also used in his concoctions.
UrAmaj the Cook
UrAmaj was the Mystics' Cook, and counterpart to SkekAyuk the Skeksis Gourmand. He was a close friend of UrNol the Herbalist, and the two of them would attend to the greater and lesser balances of the bodies and spirits of their companions. He approached his work slowly, blending the flavours and textures of various food till the desired soothing properties were attained. UrAmaj's meals however was disliked by Jen, as he was unable to cook Gelfling food.
UrAc the Scribe
UrAc was the urRu's Scribe, and counterpart to SkekOk the Scroll Keeper. Aside from composing the urRu's prayers and carving their Prayer Sticks, urAc incorporated the thoughts of his comrades on unwound cloth spirals, a process the urRu called "writing in rays of sunlight." He wound particularly deep thoughts into spirals.
UrYod the Numerologist
UrYod the Numerologist kept track of time with moving strings of stones. Before the Urskeks' division, he aided Aughra with the Observatory.
He is the Mystic counterpart of SkekShod the Skeksis Treasurer.
UrUtt the Weaver
UrUtt the Weaver created the blanket coats wore by the Mystics. Every coat was a record of the wearer's thoughts and fate. He used a system of knotted threads to make them, not using scissors to cut the fabric. In the film, he is seen playing the harp at urSu's funeral. He is the Mystic counterpart to SkekEkt the Skeksis Ornamentalist.
The Skeksis are vulture-like humanoids who took control of Thra after a tumultuous conflict with the Mystics. Both species spawned from the UrSkeks during the burning light emitted from the Crystal during the last Great Conjunction
. When prophecies revealed that the Skeksis tyranny would end when the missing shard of the Dark Crystal is one day found and restored by the Gelfling people, they took the Gelfling tribe by force. With the help of their Garthim warriors they managed to kill all but two survivors, Jen and Kira.
- Age Without Youth: A major plot point, as they capture Gelflings and Podlings to temporally reverse the aging process because they get uglier with age unlike the Mystics.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Unlike their Mystics counterparts, they live lavishly and dominate everyone through their self-imposed royalty.
- Big Bads: A Big Bad Ensemble of sorts, but the true one would be SkekUng via Authority Equals Ass Kicking and SkekSil being The Heavy.
- Non-Action Big Bads: The Garthims do all the dirty work for them, despite having tremendous strength.
- The Caligulas : Initially much more affable in the past, they eventually descend into selfish and genocidal behavior as time passed.
- Cast of Snowflakes: Unlike their counterparts the Mystics, the Skeksis each have a unique wardrobe and shaped skull to identify which individual is which.
- Creepy Long Fingers: All of them.
- Deadly Decadent Court: As close as one gets in this series.
- Dying Race: There's ten at the time of the film when there was originally eighteen note
- Embodiment of Vice: Jim Henson said that in the development of the Skeksis, the creators drew inspiration from the Seven Deadly Sins.
- Even Evil Has Standards: They might be decadent, genocidal tyrants, but they abhor profanity.
Aughra: Mouldy mildew, mother of mouthmuck, dangle and strangle and death!
Ornamentalist: Oh! How crude.
Ritual Master: Watch your tongue, harridan!
- Evil Counterpart Race: To the Mystics.
- Evil Is Hammy: SkekUng being the most prominent.
- Evil Makes You Ugly: They don't age well.
- Evil Old Folks: They are 1000 years old as well as genocidal hedonists.
- Feathered Fiends: Technically not feathered, but they're birds all the same.
- Iconic Characters / Spot Light Stealing Squad: Easily the most memorable characters of the film and steal the spotlight from everyone.
- Immortality Seekers: They do this via life extensions by extracting Podling and Gelfling energy, but apparently the Dark Crystal's final Great Conjunction would've made them immortal.
- Interservice Rivalry: All of them. Especially with Ung and Sil.
- It's All About Me: They live to live beautifully, eternally and satisfy their hedonism.
- I Was Quite a Looker: In their youth, they were slender, vibrantly colored, and partial to wielding ornate fan-like devices.
- Jabba Table Manners: Except for the Ornamentalist. Some of the things they eat aren't dead yet.
- Long Lived: Via life extension.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: They share this trait with the Mystics, but thankfully theirs is atrophied.
- Obviously Evil: Not in the beginning, but by the film, they all are.
- Psychic Link / Synchronization: They are linked with the Mystics. If a Skeksis is injured or dies, his Mystic alter-ego feels pain or dies.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Concept artist Brian Froud claims the Skeksis are made to look "part reptile, part predatory bird, part dragon."
- Sinister Beak: Except the Gourmet whose beak is much less prominent.
- Toothy Birds: All of them.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Skeksis consider Roast Nebrie to be a great delicacy, often slaughtering the animal for their daily banquets.
- You Don't Look Like You: In the prequel they first defused from the Mystics, they lack the unique faces of the ones we know of the film for some reason.
SkekSo the Emperor
The dying ruler of the Skeksis.
SkekUng the General / the New Emperor
The strongest and most brutal of the Skeksis, he is the master of the Garthims. He competes against the Chamberlain for the throne and wins the Trial by Stone, becoming the new Emperor.
SkekSil the Chamberlain
The chief Secretary and second in line to the throne. After the death of the Emperor, his greed for power led to a challenge by the General, when he decided to crown himself the new self-appointed emperor. Without hesitation, SkekUng confronted him and issued the challenge for supremacy. The Chamberlain responded by declaring the challenge be a Trial by Stone. After the duel, the Chamberlain was outcasted as punishment for losing to the new emperor.
- Blatant Lies: Since he was planning to use Jen and Kira to regain his status.
- Evil All Along: Then again, looking as vile and smug as he is, it's not hard to understand why.
- Evil Chancellor: Technically, the Chamberlain, but has the same attitude.
- Evil Counterpart: To urSol the Mystic Chanter.
- The Exiled: For a majority of the film, till he regains it by offering Kira to regain his status.
- Faux Affably Evil: Tries to act as a peacemaker with Jen and Kira, but once the former stabs him; he caves him in a fit of rage.
- The Heavy: While SkekUng led the Skeksis, Sil's actions towards Jen and Kira makes him more of a personal antagonist since he's not confined in the castle.
- Manipulative Bastard: Not successful in manipulating, but his actions arguably get him what he wants.
- Riches to Rags: And back to riches once he takes Kira to restore his honor.
- The Rival: To the General, for the throne.
- Sissy Villain: Downplayed. Not as much as SkekEkt though.
- Smug Snake: Thinks he's both strong and clever enough to rule, his interactions with SkekUng and the Gelflings show him otherwise.
- The Starscream: After the death of the Emperor, his open greed for power leads to a challenge by the General.
- Verbal Tic: His whimper.
- Villains Never Lie: In his attempts to lure Jen and Kira to the castle, he explains that the Skeksis fear Gelflings as creatures who will harm them. Though this is actually very true, he says it in the least trustworthy manner possible and the Gelflings wind up bolting.
SkekTek the Scientist
He is responsible for draining the Essence of the captured Gelflings and Podlings deep inside his laboratory known as The Chamber of Life.
SkekAyuk the Gourmand
The Skeksis court's Gourmand. He likes sweet liquors and hot spices,and he boasts to have a different menu for every feast. He's in charge of the Castle kitchens.
SkekEkt the Ornamentalist
The most feminine of the Skeksis by far, s/he is frequently seen to be screaming dramatically and being very flamboyant
. S/he is in charge of the castle's decorations.
SkekNa the Slave Master
He is in charge of the Skeksis' slaves, and chooses promising specimens for the Choir, claiming to have an ear for music. SkekNa is recognizable by his eyepatch around his right eye and a hook which replaces his left hand.
SkekZok the Ritual Master
The court Ritual Master (also referred to as the High Priest) of the Skeksis. He leads the Skeksis in their various rituals and practice such as The Ceremony of the Sun, and he sees their laws as absolute and inflexible.
- Ax-Crazy: Kills Kira in a fit of anger due to his overzealous obsession to kill the Gelflings.
- The Dragon: To SkekUng, not by choice mind you.
- Evil Counterpart: To urZah the Mystic Ritual Guardian.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Arguably the deepest voiced Skeksis, because he doesn't growl like SkekUng.
- Hero Killer: Mortally wounds Kira in the climax.
- High Priest: To the Skeksis.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: His actions causes the downfall of the empire, through killing Kira, giving Jen the resolve to heal the Crystal.
- Knight Templar: He views that the Gelflings should die when he finally does kill one, it ends up being the thing to undo their entire existence.
- Lawful Evil:Takes the law very seriously. Like when he demands Kira to be executed, he gets disappointed when SkekUng demands her to be drained first.
- This really bites him later on, when he kills Kira, giving Jen the resolve to restore the Crystal.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If he hadn't decided to kill Kira, Jen would've probably not had the necessary anger to inject the shard back into the Crystal.
SkekOk the Scroll Keeper
He is the shortest of all the Skeksis, something that the other Skeksis laugh at. However he keeps rewriting his accounts in order to please his shifting allies, which causes the truth to be soon lost. He always arrives late to the meetings and usually falls asleep during them.
SkekShod the Treasurer
The Skeksis Treasurer, counts gifts. Nobody dared to approach him without some offering. Because his greed was so great and his speech so limited, the only way he got his way was extravagant bribery.
The loyal soldiers of the Skeksis. They appear to be Golem-like creatures that are animated through the power of the Dark Crystal. When the dark power of the Crystal was healed the Garthim fell apart to reveal nothing but hollow shells. They were probably created by the Skeksis themselves after the shattering of the Crystal to serve and protect them. They were used to carry out genocide against the Gelfling race.
She is the very essence of the world of Thra itself. An old hermit woman with a gorilla-like face who lives in a brain-shaped observatory atop a mountain, Aughra is wise and experienced enough to know the joy of the world before the takeover by the Skeksis.
- Ambiguous Gender: The character is meant to be a combination of male and female genders, but may be far less disturbing to the audience due to her sounding like a bossy old battleaxe of a grandmother.
- Ancient Keeper
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander
- Cluster F-Bomb: A G-rated example is the scene where Aughra shouts fantastic profanity at the Skeksis.
Aughra: Moldy mildew, mother of mouthmuck, dangle and strangle and death!
- Cool Old Lady
- Dark Is Not Evil
Aughra: Are you afraid of me? Afraid I'm going to EAT YOU?
- Eccentric Mentor
- Eye Scream: She can remove her own eyeball at will and use it like a remote camera. While it doesn't hurt her, it certainly is weird.
- In the backstory, she lost her other eye and came to be how she looks in the film when she laid on the ground to watch the Great Conjunction. A beam of intense light struck her eye, destroying it and burning her badly.
- Grumpy Old Woman
- The Hermit
- Kidnapped Scientist
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist
- Really 700 Years Old: As the Expanded Universe clarifies, she's in fact almost three thousand years old, having lived through the first two Great Conjunctions and seen all the eras of the Urskeks, Skeksis and Mystics (and all the terror, bloodshed and sorrow) firsthand. By the end of the movie, she's lived through the third Great Conjunction and has officially hit the 3000 mark.
Kira's furry pet.
A race of small, kindly and simple people with potato-shaped heads. They build their tools out of gourds and wood. They have the ability to communicate with animals and live in relative peace. The Podlings were kind enough to adopt Kira after her parents were killed in the Skeksis attack on their people. Their only fear is being captured by the Garthim and taken into slavery.