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Recap / The Dark Crystal Age of Resistance S1E6: "By Gelfling Hand"

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skekVar and skekZok are impeded by Rian's group while en route to the Castle, losing their prisoners when Lore catches up to their carriage. Rian convinces the Paladins to spread the word of the Skeksis' misdeeds. The Crystal Guard stages a rebellion that is swiftly put down: they are defeated and drained, with Tavra among the captured. The Skeksis decide to attack Stone-in-the-Wood after an astonished skekSil returns and reveals that the Stonewood clan have turned on them. urVa learns from Aughra that his destiny is to confront skekMal, whose defeat requires a sacrifice. In Ha'rar after sending the Living Crown pieces to the other Maudras to gather for her coronation and cremating her mother for "treason", Seladon finds herself challenged by Fara for the All-Maudra title. Seladon responds by renouncing the Crown and donning Skeksis-inspired regalia while declaring herself All-Maudra by the Skeksis' will. At the Crystal Sea after a night of mourning, Rian's group are met by a Dousan clansman named Rek'yr who takes Rian, Deet, Brea, and Hup to the Circle of the Suns while the others leave to rally their clans.

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Tropes featured in this episode include:

  • Crossing the Desert: Brea, Deet, Rian and Hup need to cross the Crystal Sea desert to go to the Circle of the Suns. Dousan clan Gelflings precisely specialize in this, and Rek'yr helps them with his giant flying creature.
  • Dark Is Evil: Seladon's descent into madness is symbolized by her thick black dress and dark makeup, which makes her look like a Skeksis.
  • Dishonored Dead: Still convincing herself that her mother was a traitor, Seladon cremates All-Maudra Mayrin instead of having a proper funeral, meaning her essence won't return to Thra.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The All-Maudra's crown, the Living Crown, is separated into several pieces that each Maudra has to bring back to Ha'rar to crown the new All-Maudra.
  • Divided We Fall: Seladon and Faura's conflict over who to become All-Maudra, though from two different perspectives: Seladon wants to prevent the Gelflings from dividing and falling to a doomed civil war, and Faura wants to prevent Seladon from delivering the Gelflings to be drained by the Skeksis. The other Maudras hesitate to side against Seladon for fear that dividing the Gelfling clans will cause more harm than good.
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  • The Dutiful Daughter: Further deconstructed as Seladon's resentment that her mother never seemed to appreciate her loyalty or commitment caused her to side with Brea rather than her regarding the Skeksis, and Seladon burns her rather than buries her to get even.
  • Evil Costume Switch: In case it wasn't clear that Seladon is falling down a dark path, she wears a heavy black dress and crown with dark makeup, that makes her look like a Skeksis.
  • From Bad to Worse: The Gelfling-Skeksis situation has completely spiraled out of control, with the Castle Guard revolting and being subsequently massacred, and the Emperor deciding to do away with any pretense of the Skeksis being benevolent rulers. Even the Chamberlain is horrified by this turn of events.
  • Giant Flyer: Dousan clan Gelflings domesticated giant flying manta ray-like creatures and use them for transport.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Seladon's continued insistence that her mother was a traitor for siding against the Skeksis is clearly her jealousy and betrayal that her mother sided with Brea regarding the Skeksis rather than Seladon herself.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Aughra describes guiding the people of Thra as "like herding Fizzgig ."
  • Humiliation Conga: Continuing the conga that started in the previous episode when Rian escaped him, the Chamberlain is forced to walk back to the castle, and on the way there he gets chased out of the Stone-in-the-Wood village. Once in the castle he discovers the place in disarray, is treated to the unpleasant sight of The Gourmand peeing in the hallway, and discovers he missed the banquet where his fellow Skeksis are lavishing themselves with Gelfling essence. Finally, his attempt to turn the Emperor against the general (and thus get his seat back) fails miserably when the Emperor actually approves of the General killing the All-Maudra, and the others mock him for his misfortune.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Seladon chooses to believe that reports of the Skeksis draining Gelflings are all lies, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, and that the Gelfling must continue to serve loyally to avoid invoking their wrath.
  • Killed Offscreen: The Crystal Guard's rebellion is quickly put down and most of them are killed via draining, while we're told about it after the fact.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The General and The Ritual Master wisely decide to make a run for it when Lore approaches their carriage.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted; we get a scene of the Gourmand peeing in the hallway. With 3 streams. And breaking wind loudly.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: A villainous one, but nonetheless; the Skeksis easily overpower and defeat the rebelling castle guards, all on their own.
  • Only Sane Man: The Chamberlain is the only one who does not agree with the Emperor's declaration that the Skeksis no longer need to pretend to care for the Gelfling and that they will simply take whatever they want by force.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Seladon claims she needs to be the All-Maudra and the Gelflings need to keep serving the Skeksis to avoid descending into war, anarchy, and chaos.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: Chamberlain has this reaction when he catches The Gourmand peeing in the hallway, and the latter turns to face him without closing his robes first. Chamberlain screeches in embarrassment and turns his face away.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Seladon claims her mother defied the Skeksis and was justly executed for her crime. As the Maudra of the Stone-in-the-Wood describes, several of her Paladins are telling a very different story.

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