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The Dark Crystal Wiki

The Castle of the Crystal, also known as the Crystal Palace,[1] was the home of the Crystal and the seat of power of the Skeksis Empire and, later, the Gelfling Nation.


The Castle was built by the urSkeks at the start of Age of Harmony on the site of a mountain enclave housing the Crystal,[2] and was modeled on their own homeworld.[3] It emitted a constant light which was felt by all of Thra, and its song was known even where it was inaudible.[2] When Raunip discovered the true origin of the urSkeks, he riled the Gelfling to attack it and reclaim the Crystal, but was stopped by his mother, Aughra.[2]

Castle of the Crystal - Dark

The Castle, modified in the Garthic style, during the stewardship of the Skeksis

After the Great Division, the Castle's crystalline structure stopped shining and took on a dark hue, being covered with a stone-like substance on the surface.[3] The Skeksis took control of it and modified it in accordance with Garthic principles, presenting themselves as the successors to the urSkeks. After the proclamation of the Alliance of the Crystal, both Gelflings and Podlings were assumed as staff in the Castle, with the former serving as guards and the latter performing the vast majority of the domestic work, serving as cooks, servants, musicians, animal handlers and even massage therapists to the Skeksis.

Moments after the healing of the crystal, the stonework within the castle started to crumble and disintegrate and within minutes, the stone-like carapace that had covered the entire structure of the castle disintegrated, revealing the original crystalline structure beneath.

During the Age of Power, the Castle became the capital of the Gelfling Nation and, under the stewardship of the Crystalline Eminence, became a site of pilgrimage for those seeking the Crystal's healing light.[4] The Castle was briefly destroyed by a premature Great Conjunction summoned by the urRu,[5] but was reformed after the Crystal was healed by Thurma.[6]


Crystal Chamber[]


The Crystal Chamber during the Ceremony of the Sun

Located in the heart of the castle, the Crystal Chamber, as befitting its name, was where the Crystal of Truth was housed. The Crystal hovered over a shaft of air and fire and around it were triangular and circular etchings of symbols. It was in this chamber where the Ceremony of the Sun takes place.[7] When the Skeksis took over the castle Gelflings were forbidden from entering this chamber.[8]

The chamber consisted mainly of a single large hall, with numerous overlooking balconies and three entrances equally spaced between each other. Above in the ceiling were three hatches that could be opened to allow the light from the Three Suns to enter during conjunctions.[7]

Chamber of Life[]


The Chamber of Life, also skekTek's lab where he experimented on the Crystal

Originally the laboratory of TekTih during the Age of Harmony, it passed onto his Skeksis other, skekTek, after the Great Division. Located beneath the Crystal Chamber, it contained numerous scientific apparatuses, animal cages and alchemical equipment.[7] During the Age of Power, it became a museum containing Skeksis relics.[9]

Throne Room[]


The Throne Room during the late Age of Division

The room in which Skeksis Emperors held court, the throne itself was situated in the center of an ornate spiral on the floor. It was in this chamber where much of the Skeksis' plotting took place, as well as Trial by Stone tournaments[7] and public castigation. Above the entrance way to the Throne Room was the Podling orchestra where the court musicians played for the Emperor's entertainment.[10] It also doubled as a banqueting hall.

Great Library[]

Curated by skekOk, who boasted that its contents were "endless", it was said to be the largest depository of knowledge in Thra, with tomes dating back a thousand trine. Gelflings were forbidden to enter it or consult its books.[8]

Steam Spa[]

Located near the Crystal Chamber, the Skeksis entered the spa to tend to their rotting bodies with scented baths and massages provided by Podling attendants, later slaves.[11]

Garthim Pits[]

Located in the Catacombs, close to the great shaft of the Crystal, it was used to house the Garthim when they were not needed.[12]


A vast maze of tunnels that connected the Castle to the outside world. It was there that the first signs of the Darkening were discovered by skekSo, who built a secret chamber around its epicenter. There were several tunnels that lead to the caverns where the Skeksis kept the Arathim Ascendancy prisoner after their attempted rebellion.[13] It was strictly forbidden for Gelfling to enter the catacombs.[8] During the Age of Power, it became infested with Tumbeloths, and clearing out their dung became a common punishment for wayward acolytes.[9]

The Emperor's Bedroom[]

A triangular shaped room with two windows and a large bed surrounded by rich curtains and covered in silk sheets. Out of all the Skeksis' bedrooms, skekSo's was the grandest, adorned with a chandelier and multiple gold sculptures of his symbol of office.[14]

Entrance Hall[]

A wide area where the Skeksis carriages were parked until needed. The left side of the hall featured several holes that lead to the Armalig nests, while the other side contained the Landstrider stables. A large bridge over the castle moat connected the entrance hall to the main roadways on Thra.[8]

Spyglass Balcony[]

A small balcony featuring a large telescope device referred to as a spyglass. SkekOk was often positioned there to watch what came in and out of the castle, as well as spying on events occurring all over Thra.[15]

The Hunter's Balcony[]

Another balcony that was closely guarded, it featured a huge, three piped horn. The horn was very rarely used, and emitted a loud tone which would summon skekMal the Hunter to the castle. As such, the horn's three pipes were shaped like the Hunter's skull mask.[16]

The Collector's Chambers[]

A room mentioned by Ordon, it was where the Gelfling tithes were brought to after every ceremony for skekLach to sort through. skekLach would also use these chambers to hide away stolen precious objects for his personal collections.


In the 1982 novelization of the film (written by A.C.H. Smith), the castle originated as a luminous mountain at the center of which the crystal resided. After the crystal cracked ,the Skeksis took over the mountain and through slave labor, had it carved into the form of a castle. The modern continuity differs only in the fact that the castle now existed prior to the Great Division; the Skeksis would redesign the castle using their aesthetics.


  1. Age of resistance logo – Nicole Andelfinger., Age of Resistance – The Quest for the Dual Glaive, #1, Archaia, USA, September 25, 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Froud, B., Holguin , B., Sheikman, A. & John, L. (2011). The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, Vol. I. Archaia. ISBN 978-1-936393-80-0
  3. 3.0 3.1 Froud, B., Dysart, J., Sheikman, A. & John, L. (2012). The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, Vol. II. Archaia. ISBN 978-1-936393-80-0
  4. Spurrier, S., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #1, Archaia, USA, February 2017
  5. Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #11, Archaia, USA, February 2018
  6. Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #12, Archaia, USA, March 2018
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Dc Encylo logo Castle of the Crystal in The Dark Crystal - Encyclopedia
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Age of resistance logo Age of Resistance – "End. Begin. All the Same.". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  9. 9.0 9.1 Spurrier, S., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #2, Archaia, USA, April 2017
  10. Age of resistance logo Age of Resistance – "Nothing Is Simple Anymore". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  11. Age of resistance logo Age of Resistance – "What Was Sundered and Undone". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  12. Smith, A. C. H., & Odell, D. (1982). The Dark Crystal. Holt, Rinehart and Winston . ISBN 0030624363
  13. Age of resistance logo Age of Resistance – "Time to Make...My Move". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  14. Henson, J. & Oz, F. (dir.); Henson, J., Kurtz, G. & Lazer, D. (prod.); Henson, J. & Odell, D. (writ.) (December 17, 1982). The Dark Crystal (Motion picture). New York City, NY: Jim Henson Productions.
  15. Age of resistance logo Age of Resistance – "The Crystal Calls". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  16. Age of resistance logo Age of Resistance – "The First Thing I Remember Is Fire". Netflix. August 30, 2019

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