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Characters / The Dark Crystal

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Character sheet for the The Dark Crystal.

Individual names of the Mystics and Skeksis come from the novelization.

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The Gelflings

    In General 


Once a great elven-like race, Gelflings had created large cities over the world of Thra and had mastered many aspects of magic, including the ability of prophecy. They opposed the Skeksis, who exterminated them when a prophecy revealed a Gelfling would repair the Crystal and put an end to their reign.

  • Beauty Equals Goodness: They have good looks and are the main protagonists.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Female Gelflings have fairy wings; males don't.
  • The Dreaded: To the Skeksis, The Gelflings are nothing more than monsters that want to kill them.
  • Dying Race: Thanks to the Skeksis' genocide, only Jen and Kira are known to have survived.
  • Most Writers Are Human: As Jen and Kira are the protagonists and thus the characters the audience is most meant to emphasize with, the Gelflings are by far the most human-like of Thra's exotic races.
  • Telepathy: Two Gelflings can read each other's mind by physical contact (like touching their hands.)


Performed by: Jim Henson, Kiran Shah
Voiced by: Stephen Garlick

A Gelfling orphan who was saved from the genocide and raised by the wisest of the Mystics.


Performed by: Kathryn Mullen, Kiran Shah
Voiced by: Lisa Maxwell

A Gelfling orphan who was raised by the Podlings.

  • Badass Adorable: She's adorable and very resourceful, not to mention her command over animals as taught by the Podlings.

The urRu/Mystics

    In General 

The urRu / The Mystics

The urRu, also known as 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 Pacifist: 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.
  • Alien Blood: They seem to bleed black blood.
  • 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 Guy: They are wise individuals who have existed for years.
  • Dying Race: There's about ten eight by the end of the film, when there were originally eighteen. note 
  • Embodiment of Virtue: They are peaceful and gentle to a fault.
  • Extreme Doormat: Due to their benevolent nature, they can't take action, since action is a negative force.
  • Gentle Giant: The biggest characters in the movie (save for the Garthims), as well as the nicest.
  • The Hermit: Compared to the Skeksis' lavish lifestyle, they live much more humbly and more isolated from society.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Nonviolent, humble 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, the UrSkeks, 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: They die more gracefully then the Skeksis, vanishing from existence while the Skeksis crumble like rotten wood.
  • 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. Could be related to their lack of assertiveness - they just don't care enough to distinguish themselves, while the aggressive Skesis treasure their individuality and took pains to set themselves apart from one another.
  • Psychic Link: 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 One: Only two Mystics have any dialogue beyond a single phrase, but by nature they don't talk at all.
  • The Stoic: They have calm and serious demeanors.

    The Master 

UrSu the Master
Performed and voiced by: Brian Muehl

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.


    The Healer 

UrIm the Healer
Performed by: Dave Greenaway, Richard Slaughter

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 technically 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.

    The Chanter 

UrSol the Chanter
Performed by: Simon Williamson

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.

    The Ritual Guardian 

UrZah the Ritual Guardian
Performed by: Brian Muehl
Voiced by: Sean Barrett

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.

    The Alchemist 

UrTih the Alchemist
Performed by: Toby Philpott

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.

    The Herbalist 

UrNol the Herbalist
Performed by: Swee Lim

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.


    The Cook 

UrAmaj the Cook
Performed by: Hugh Spight

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.

    The Scribe 

UrAc the Scribe
Performed by: Hus Levant

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.

    The Numerologist 

UrYod the Numerologist
Performed by: Robbie Barnett

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.

    The Weaver 

UrUtt the Weaver
Performed by: Jean Pierre Amiel

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

    In General 

The Skeksis

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.

    The Emperor 

SkekSo the Emperor
Performed by: Jim Henson
Voiced by: Jerry Nelson

The dying ruler of the Skeksis.

    The Garthim Master / the General / the New Emperor 

SkekUng the Garthim Master / the General / the New Emperor
Performed by: Dave Goelz
Voiced by: Michael Kilgarriff

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.

    The Chamberlain 

SkekSil the Chamberlain
Performed by: Frank Oz
Voiced by: Barry Dennen

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 Garthim Master, 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 Exile: For a majority of the film, he is exiled by the Skeksis after being defeated by SkekUng. At least until he regains his position by bringing Kira to the castle.
  • 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, Skek Sil's actions towards Jen and Kira makes him more of a personal antagonist since he's not confined in the castle.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: For a given value of sympathetic, before he manages to capture Kira.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Not successful in manipulating, but his actions arguably get him what he wants.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: He starts out as an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain but does eventually capture Kira.
  • Riches to Rags: And back to riches once he takes Kira to restore his honor.
  • The Rival: He is the Garthim Master's rival for the throne after the Death of the Emperor.
  • Sissy Villain: Not as much as SkekEkt, but his constant whimpers surely don't help.
  • 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 Garthim Master.
  • Verbal Tic: Those ungodly whimpers.
  • 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.
  • Villainous Rescue: He stops the Garthim from capturing Jen and Kira during the attack on the podling village, allowing the 2 Gelflings to escape. However, that is purely because he wants to gain their trust so he can personaly bring them to the castle.
  • You No Take Candle: He slips into this when talking to the Gelflings. This is apparently due to Translation Convention; according to the novelization he only barely speaks the Gelfling language.

    The Scientist 

SkekTek the Scientist
Performed and voiced by: Steve Whitmire

He is responsible for draining the Essence of the captured Gelflings and Podlings deep inside his laboratory known as The Chamber of Life.

    The Gourmand 

SkekAyuk the Gourmand
Performed by: Louise Gold
Voiced by: Thick Wilson

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.

    The Ornamentalist 

SkekEkt the Ornamentalist
Performed and voiced by: Brian Muehl

The most feminine of the Skeksis by far, he is frequently seen to be screaming dramatically and being very flamboyant. He is in charge of the castle's decorations.

    The Slave Master 

SkekNa the Slave Master
Performed by: Mike Quinn
Voiced by: David Buck

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.

  • Eye Scream: Sometime before the film began, he lost vision in his right eye.
  • Red Right Hand: He has a hook on his left hand and an eyepatch on his right.

    The Ritual Master/High Priest 

SkekZok the Ritual Master / the High Priest
Performed by: Jim Henson
Voiced by: Jerry Nelson

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: He kills Kira in a fit of anger due to his overzealous obsession to kill the Gelflings.
  • The Dragon: He serves as SkekUng's second-in-command, although it's not by choice.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Tries to stop SkekSil the Chamberlain from grabbing SkekSo the Emperor's scepter before he's even dead.
  • Evil Counterpart: To urZah the Mystic Ritual Guardian.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Arguably the deepest voiced Skeksis, because he doesn't growl like SkekUng.
  • High Priest: He is responsible for leading the Skeksis in rituals and practices.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His actions causes the downfall of the empire, through killing Kira, giving Jen the resolve to heal the Crystal.
  • Knife Nut: Is Sometimes seen with his unsheathed dagger.
  • Knight Templar: SkekZok views that the Gelflings should die when he finally does kill one, it ends up being the thing to undo their entire existence.
  • Lawful Stupid: He's obsessed in following the Skeksis' rules to the letter. For example, he gets disappointed when SkekUng decides to utilize Kira before executing her, instead of killing her there and then.
  • 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.
  • The Resenter: He deeply resents SkekUng once the latter becomes The Emperor.
  • The Starscream: SkekZok conspires with SkekShod to overthrow SkekUng, but it doesn't work out.

    The Scroll Keeper 

SkekOk the Scroll Keeper
Performed by: Bob Payne
Voiced by: John Baddeley

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.

    The Treasurer 

SkekShod the Treasurer
Performed by: Tim Rose
Voiced by: Charles Collingwood

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 Garthim 


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 genocide the Gelflings.

The UrSkeks

    In General 


Voiced by: Joseph O'Conor

A race of creatures not native to Thra and born of the Crystal before it was shattered. 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 urRu/Mystics and the Skeksis.

Other characters


Performed by: Frank Oz, Kiran Shah, Mike Edmonds
Voiced by: Billie Whitelaw

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 still sounds like a bossy old battleaxe of a grandmother and has visible breasts.
  • Ancient Keeper: She's been the keeper of the lost shard of the Crystal for quite a long time.
  • 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!note 
  • Dark Is Not Evil: She may look like a menacing hermit with a gorilla-like face, but she is one of the good guys.
    Aughra: Are you afraid of me? Afraid I'm going to EAT YOU? HMM?
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: She has no fear of the Skeksis, and when questioned on why she has the ballsnote  to treat them with disrespect, she retorts that their time is coming, so she's unafraid of them.
  • Eccentric Mentor: She has a funny way of speaking, but is a wise woman.
  • 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. She considers it a worthwhile trade.
  • Good Is Not Nice: She can be rude to anyone she meets, but she does mean well.
  • The Hermit: She lives alone in her observatory/laboratory.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While she may be a jerk, she is a very good person at heart.
  • Kidnapped Scientist: She gets kidnapped by the Garthims after they raid her home, although they don't do it because the Skeksis have any need of her science, it's just that the Garthim are mindless mooks who mistook her for a Gelfling.
  • 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.
  • Solitary Sorceress: Lives by herself in a mountain cave.


Performed by: Dave Goelz
Voiced by: Percy Edwards

Kira's furry pet.

    The Podlings 

Podlings/Pod People
Voiced by: Miki Iveria, Patrick Monckton, Sue Wheatherby and Barry Dennen

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.


Example of: