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Headscratchers / The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

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  • How do the Skeksis, after their defeat in Stone-in-the-Wood, take over anything with only 1 Garthim? It doesn't really seem logistically possible for the Skeksis to do any conquering, especially not of the unified Gelfling and Arathi/Spitter Alliance, and after the loss of 3 Skeksis there's no way they're going into combat again themselves. I know in the movie they have a lot of them, but unless that one Garthim can be more sneaky then we've seen, the Arathi would be on high alert against the Skeksis as well...
    • skekTek seems smart enough that he can find a way to mass-produce more Garthim, be it through breeding or cloning. We've only seen the first.
    • Still seems difficult considering one half of creating a Garthim requires a species he himself now has made extinct, with only one corpse to work with.
      • If two survived, more may have. Besides, skekTek only needed extra body parts to compliment the Arathim corpse he had. Even if there's no more Gruenaks, surely he can use bits and pieces from other sentient races... like the Gelfling! Now there's some Nightmare Fuel for ya. The Gelfling being exterminated by monsters partially comprised of corpses of their dead friends.
      • Alternatively, he could have mass produced more Gruenak connective tissue by culturing the material he harvested from the corpse.
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    • I think the first answer was the likely correct one: the first Garthim is created from Arathim and Gruenak parts, but past that, the Scientist just discovers ways to duplicate it, instead of going through the whole process all over again.
  • If the Skeksis have been artificially extending their lives for a millennium with the power of the Crystal, then how is the Heretic still alive and kicking after being exiled for centuries without access to it? Furthermore, how are the mystics still alive after apparently not using the Crystal at all?
    • The mystics can't die unless the Skeksis do...and they likely got the better part of the deal, being the 'good' part. It's also possible that the Heretic is living so well BECAUSE he's so close to his mystic counterpart. Basically? The Skeksis are only dying BECAUSE they are evil.
    • I think it's implied that the Skeksis draining of the crystal (and later consumption of essence) is what's responsible for their deteriorating bodies, this means that the ones who aren't trying to artificially extend their lives like the Heretic and Hunter are ironically much healthier.
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    • The Skeksis, while not immortal, are a naturally long-lived species (after all, Aughra expected them to still be around after a thousand trine). It may be that the Skeksis in the castle have become so entirely dependent on the Crystal's energies to maintain themselves, that when the Crystal started giving less and less energy, their bodies began to decay faster than normal. The Heretic and the Hunter have also aged as well, however, their aging is clearly much more graceful and natural, since they have been free of the Crystal's influence for a long time.
  • Gelfling blood seems to vary between pink (All-Maudra Mayrin, Tavra) and red (Ordon). Seladon's scars look fairly dark depending on the lighting, but that might be because they've dried. So, is there going to be a lore reason for this? Clan variation maybe, since everyone who bleeds pink is Vapran)? Or purely censorship to keep the rating down? The instances of pink blood did seem to be the most violent.
  • Is it just me or are their two different versions of the story of how the Skeksis came into power? Aughra says that the Skeksis tricked her into giving them the crystal, but according to the Heretic and the Wanderer’s puppet show the urSkeks already had the crystal and used it to split themselves, after which the Skeksis broke it and took over.
    • This could be possibly an alternate (and flawed) interpretation of how things came to be by the current generation of Thra's people, Podling and Gelfling both.
    • It may be that Aughra considers the Skeksis and urSkeks to be one and the same.
      • Aughra definitely knows of the two separate races, she mentions talking to both the Mystics and the Skeksis in Episode 2 (ultimately choosing to talk to the Skeksis). There are really only two ways to fix this problem; either the Heretic and Wanderer's views on the events were warped by their own biases, or the urSkek's did give Aughra the orrery, but before she went to travel the stars (or during a minor wake up period), she learned of the separation (but not of the Crystal Cracking), assumed everything was fine and gave the Crystal to the Skeksis instead of the Mystics.
      • Aughra was well aware that the crystal had cracked; the expanded universe states that the shard actually fell down that shaft into Thra's core when it first broke off, and she and Raunip had to go around looking for it. What she reacts to in surprise during the series is the Crystal being Darkened.
      • The film states that she was personally present during the first Great Conjunction, so she knows about the urSkeks splitting into the Mystics and Skeksis. That's why she may consider the Skeksis and urSkeks to be the same, since the Skeksis are part of the urSkeks. And since the Skeksis are the evil half of the urSkeks, it's likely she views the Skeksis as being the most responsible for the urSkeks deceiving her.
    • The Heretic's version of events lines up with the Dark Crystal Creation Myths comic. It's likely that at some point following the conclusion of that series, the Skeksis managed to convince Aughra of their good intentions.
    • Also consider the fact that the series seems to operate under the assumption that viewers are going in blind, never having watched the movie or read the comics. In that case, the urSkeks would be just as much of a Walking Spoiler as when the movie itself first came out. And since saying "skekSo did X" of something Sosu did is already half-true anyway...
    • It's a small detail, but in episode 2 Aughra asks the Podling caretaker how long was she gone "this time". It's possible she had more than one space-faring sleep session in the orrery before the Great Division, with her last and longest one taking place after she gave the Crystal to the Skeksis.
  • According to one or more articles on the Fandom wiki for The Dark Crystal, skekGra and urGoh died before the great conjunction. Let me ask a question. How do we know this to be true!? It's not like they died at the end of the first season of this show, we have no evidence of this if there is any to be found!
    • The best evidence is that according to the film itself, only ten Skeksis and ten Mystics remain. The Emperor and Master die at the beginning, leaving nine, all of whom are accounted for. skekGra and urGoh still being alive at the start of the film would throw those numbers off, ergo they must be dead for the numbers to match up. I suppose you could argue that since both have effectively been banished they no longer count, but that's really stretching Metaphorically True.
    • They might die in Season 2, if it gets made. Or in further seasons if the Jim Henson Company and Netflix feel like it.
    • Hup finds the clothing of Skekgra and urGoh lying on the floor in the final episode, and if that's not an indication that they are dead I don't know what is; it's where he finds Lore's control stone.
      • That looked more like clutter from when the Hunter wrecked shop in there. Furthermore, their death feels like an important scene that would be shown; they've hidden very little offscreen from us so far. It's more likely Lore's control stone wasn't picked up after the scuffle and that's just where it rolled when skekMal knocked it down while snatching Brea.
      • Why would they just die off-screen without any explanation in the middle of the episode?
  • Now it's clear the Skeksis know who Aughra is for ages. How come their only reaction in the film when seeing her get out of the bag the Garthim put her in amounts to "Not the Gelfling?!". Surely one could have said "Mother Aughra?!" (the Scroll-Keeper especially, given his reaction in the bath scene in Age of Resistance) or just "Aughra?!". Was her link to the Skeksis in the original film's script or novelization? Or in a follow-up work in comics or book?
    • Probably for no other reason than they were expecting a Gelfling. It could also be attributed to their decay (and therefore their memory) by the time of the film.
    • There actually is some indication in the film that they are familiar with her. When she threatens them, they recoil in fear, as if knowing exactly what she's capable of. Also, the fact that there's a Crystal Bat stationed outside her home (which is how the Skeksis first learn of Jen's existence) suggests the Skeksis consider her a potential threat - one that needs to be monitored, but they won't risk attacking directly (at least until Jen showed up).
  • How come the Arathi/Spitter don't use the little mind controlling creatures against the Skeksis? How could they lose originally against the Skeksis and Gelflings with their army of Mind Controllers?
    • Perhaps they tried and found that they weren't compatible. Perhaps the Skeksis' minds were too alien (we're talking about a fragment-race of an ancient species that isn't even from the same planet as them). Aughra claimed that the Arathim would be overwhelmed if it had managed to connect with her mind. Trying to connect with a Skeksis' mind might have had a similar effect.
      • While that accounts for the Skeksis, it doesn't explain why the Arathim didn't do this against the Skeksis-aligned Gelfling before; not only were the Arathim kicked out of Grotten by the Skeksis (and maybe the Gelfling) hundreds of Trine ago, but only 30 trine ago there was a Great Arathim War the Gelfling definitely fought in, and one that Rhian's Father fought in with the Duel Glaive.
      • Maybe it's a brand new breed.
      • IIRC one of the Gelfling does say they've never seen any mind-controlling Arathim before during the Stone-in-the-Wood scene, so it would seem that the Ascendancy developed them recently, yes.
    • Word of Saint Paul says that there are two reasons: The first is indeed because the skeksis are aliens, but it's less because of biochemical barriers and more, to coin a word, "ecometaphysical" barriers (specifically, they have no connection to Thra's crystal). The second reason is that the mind control ability of these specific arathim (which are called either crystal stigners or threaders depending on the specific source material) operates by utilising the mechanisms involved in dreamfasting, which the skeksis are unable to do
  • Where are the non-castle Skeksis living? The Heretic is a hermit, the Hunter is a self-sufficient outdoorsman, but the others are a Satirist, a Mariner, a Treasurer, and the future Garthim-Master and Slave-Master. All of those roles are things that depend on having other people around, but they aren't at the castle and they definitely aren't with the Gelflings or Podlings. Where could they possibly be, and what are they doing?
    • We see the Scroll Keeper and the Collector go to collect a tithe, and the Ornamentalist returns from somewhere a couple of episodes in, I think it's probable that there are a lot of jobs to be done in the Skeksis Empire that can't be done from the castle. The Treasurer and Satirist might be on a diplomatic mission to one of the Gelfling cities we don't see. Given with the Gruenaks and Arathim there are more sapient species on Thra than we previously thought, which are known to rebel against the Skeksis and require putting down. The Slave-Master and the Garthim-Master (then the Executioner) could be dealing with one of them? The Mariner is probably living it up on the high seas, possibly on a diplomatic mission to the Sifa?
  • What was stopping the gelflings from killing the skeksis at Stone-in-the-Wood in Episode 10? I get that if the skeksis had died there then the movie would've been made irrelevant, but after all the torment and misery the gelflings went through under them, you'd think that they wouldn't just stand there as they retreat.
    • Just because you've won a battle doesn't mean you're in any condition — physically or emotionally — to immediately press into the next attack.
    • Plus they didn't know if the Emperor still had the Darkening in his scepter, and probably didn't want to risk Deet having to absorb another blast.
    • Plus if they killed those Skeksis, their Mystic counterparts would die as well.
    • They absolutely were in condition to fight. Most of that army hadn't even done any fighting yet. And they have no idea about the link between the Mystics and the Skeksies even if that was a deterrent for them. And while the darkening is a risk, the emperor is retreating too, so it is absolutely worth it to pursue. Better than them coming back with it stronger in the future. The gelfling have fought in wars before, they must be somewhat tactically minded, and it's probably not an honor thing as the General (though somewhat bias) even says they have no honor. There's really no legitimate in universe reason for them not to pursue. The only thing I can think of is that despite appearances, the Skeksies can actually run incredibly fast yet they only depict the Hunter as running for the sake of his nightmare fuel.
  • Why don't the Gelfling simply CLOSE THEIR EYES when in front of the crystal so they don't get drained?
    • It probably just drains them regardless. Either that or the crystal has a hypnotic effect that prevents someone from closing their eyes.
  • How exactly was Gurjin able to escape the castle?
    • His sister and Tavra broke him out.
  • Vapra, Grotten, Drenchen, Dousan, Spriton, Sifa, Stonewood. One of these names is not like the others. Even the Sea Fairing Clan had more effort put into it then the Clan that lives in the Stones of a Woods. Why is the Stonewood clan named so generically?
    • There's nothing in the series so far that provides any indication. It could be an exonym that was eventually adopted by the clan itself. For example, "Sioux" derives from the French term for the Native American group of tribes. The tribes call themselves "Dakota" or "Lakota," but usage of "Sioux" became so widespread in American society that it's found its way into usage among tribe members.
  • Why are the Gelfling considered to be the closest to Thra? Given that the Podlings can communicate with animals, cultivate giant mushrooms to live in and live a more naturalistic lifestyle than most Gelfling, wouldn't they be much closer to the planet?
    • Per the movie, certain Gelfling can control animals too. And despite how we might use it in language, there is absolutely nothing more naturalistic about a so called naturalistic lifestyle. Things created by humans (or gelflings) are just as much a part of nature as things created by other animals. There's no metaphysical difference between a skyscraper and a bird's nest. In fact, it could even be their intelligence and ability to shape Thra that makes them closer to it.
  • What metric is Augra using when she describes the hunter as the most...beautiful of the skeksies? Does she think the violent skinner has a more beautiful soul? Or is it just...raw sex appeal?
    • More likely, she was just appealing to the Skeksis' narcissistic egos so they'd go along with her plan. She didn't actually consider The Hunter beautiful.
    • As twisted and violent as he was, skekMal was the closest to nature among his kind, and so the closest to Thra. Augra called him beautiful in the way you might call a large predator beautiful.
  • So if the shard is found and identified as such in the season 1 finale, then how did it end up with all those other fragments we saw in the movie? Why would Aughra put the shard with many other shards that look so much alike even she can no longer identify the correct one?
    • Possibly she once made the duplicates as decoys, but just forgot which was which.
  • Why didn't the skeksis seek out Aughra for aid when the Crystal started to lose energy? Surely, this started to happen a while before the show and before they walked past the Moral Event Horizon, so they should have been more open for suggestions.
    • The whole reason they gave Aughra the orrery was to get her away from the crystal. They also (falsely) promised that they would take care of it while she was out exploring the universe. They likely didn't want her getting involved.
  • How did the urVa die (and kill skekMal) before he hit the ground? If you watch his death scene again, you'll notice he and skekMal start dying before urVa lands on anything. Did the wind pressure kill him or something?