The Dark Crystal Wiki
The Dark Crystal Wiki

Skeksis reign a thousand trine and will reign a thousand thousand more, until last star in sky goes dark. Gelfling will submit, head bowed, back bent as have always done. Gelfling want to be ruled. Gelfling need to be ruled, because Gelfling are weak! Gelfling are small. And Skeksis are forever!

Skeksis laws

The nature of the alliance, as illustrated in the Skeksis Laws

The Alliance of the Crystal between the Skeksis Empire and the Gelfling Clans was formed shortly after the Great Division and heralded the primacy of the Skeksis as rulers of Thra, as well as the unwitting subjugation and fragmentation of the Gelfling. Lasting throughout the Age of Division, the alliance ultimately broke down when the Skeksis began draining the Gelfling of their essence, resulting in the formation of the Gelfling resistance and, ultimately, the start of the Garthim War.



Alliance of the Crystal

Elder Carn and Emperor skekSo proclaim the Alliance.

The alliance was first conceived of by Emperor skekSo, taking advantage of the panic produced by the Makrak crisis. Through his ambassador, skekVar, he approached the Spriton Elder Carn, offering Skeksis protection in exchange for weapons. Although concealing his intentions with a mask of paternal concern, skekSo's ultimate goal was to have the Gelfling passively enslave themselves to him through fear of the Makraks. His plans were temporarily thwarted by a peaceful settlement moderated by the urRu, but he took heart in the fact that the Gelfling still allowed the Skeksis a voice at their councils.[2]

Conflicts and segregation[]

Tithing ceremony

A tithing ceremony at Ha'rar

To bolster his control over the Gelfling, skekSo formalized the already existing divisions between the Gelfling Clans, setting up the Vapra as the dominant group and prime beneficiary of Skeksis patronage. As payment for their protection, the Skeksis recruited able-bodied Gelfling from most clans to act as guards in the Castle of the Crystal. The Dousan were exempted, as they were perceived as worshiping death, which went against Skeksis beliefs.[3]

The Gelfling were also obligated to pay tithes in the form of food and weapons in exchange for continued Skeksis protection. This eventually evolved into the Tithing Ceremony, where once every trine, Skeksis emissaries would visit the capitals of the Gelfling Clans and accept offerings to take back to the Castle of the Crystal. These ceremonies were ostensibly to give their subjects an opportunity to show their gratitude, but were, in reality, meant to keep them divided and impoverished. With the relative peace before the Age of Resistance, the Tithes were expanded from just food and weapons, to richly decorated clothes, jewelry and anything of value. Failure to provide substantial tithes to the Skeksis often resulted in public shaming, with the Skeksis melodramatically feigning injury.[1]

At one point, the Skeksis crushed the Arathim ascendancy, and allowed the ancestors of the Grottans to colonize the Arathim's ancestral home of Grot, thus starting the Arathim Wars.[4]


Never again will the Skeksis have to bear the burden of pretending to care for these useless Gelfling.

After the Skeksis began draining Gelfling of their essence, they attempted to hide the fact by ordering the arrest of Rian, who had witnessed the practice. Their lies were ultimately not believed and All-Maudra Mayrin dissolved the alliance, only to be killed by general skekVar. Rumors of her death reached the Stonewood Clan and culminated in the Stonewood Rebellion.[3] Her heir, Seladon, attempted to restore relations with the Skeksis, but was rebuffed, as they no longer held any desire to maintain the pretense of being benevolent protectors.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "End. Begin. All the Same." The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Netflix. August 30, 2019
  2. B. Froud, M. Dow Smith, A. Sheikman & L. John (2015). The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, Vol. III. Archaia. ISBN 978-1-60886-435-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "By Gelfling Hand..." The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Netflix. August 30, 2019
  4. "Prophets Don't Know Everything" The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Netflix. August 30, 2019