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The Dark Crystal Wiki
SkekUng & Garthim by Mac-Smith

SkekUng leading the Garthim during the war

The Garthim War was a conflict between the Skeksis Empire and the Gelfling Clans during the Age of Division which began after the defeat of the Skeksis by the Gelfling resistance during the Second Battle of Stone-in-the-Wood.

Initially waged in order to reimpose Skeksis authority over the Gelfling through their newly created army of Garthim soldiers, it degenerated into a campaign of extermination against the Gelfling after the discovery of the Wall of Destiny foretelling an eventual Gelfling victory.

It was the first Skeksis-lead genocide since the eradication of the Gruenaks many trine prior.


Sire, imagine an army of unstoppable soldiers, engineered to be loyal.

The war had been foreseen by Raunip during the Age of Harmony[2] and Deet in a vision given her by Vliste-Staba.[3]

The Garthim were the brainchild of skekSil the Chamberlain and skekVar the General, who pitched to Emperor skekSo the idea of an army of impervious, mechanical creatures, engineered to destroy on behalf of the Skeksis, using the corpse of a Spitter as the basis of this new creation. The first Garthim skekTek created was from combining various Spitter corpses on orders from the Emperor to create an army for the Skeksis to use against the rebellious Gelfling. SkekTek only managed to complete his mission after using the lifeless body of a Gruenak slave he had killed to complete the artificial creature.[4]

Jen Village Destroyed

Jen's village is destroyed during the Garthim War.

The resulting Garthim soldiers proved to be a great success and were eventually used in tandem with the Crystal Bats, whose spy crystals identified Gelfling hiding places for the Garthim to converge on.[5] Ultimately, the war resulted in the near-extermination of the Gelflings.

Other continuities[]

Mounder vs Garthim

The Battle of Namopo Valley, as depicted in Legends of the Dark Crystal

In the continuity established by Legends of the Dark Crystal, the war began much earlier than in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, approximately 800 trine after the Great Division. The war in Legends resulted in the complete collapse of Gelfling civilization, causing the survivors to become nomadic. The Garthim forces were lead primarily by skekLach, and the opposing Gelflings by the shepherd Larh, who discovered that the Garthim were vulnerable to stabbing weapons made from objects originally intended for peaceful use.[6]

The Gelflings won several victories which culminated in a siege of the Castle of the Crystal resulting in the destruction of all Garthim soldiers and the liberation of Gelfling prisoners.[7]


  1. Age of resistance logo Age of Resistance – "The Crystal Calls". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  2. Froud, B., Sheikman, A. & John, L. (May 7 2011). The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths. Free Comic Book Day flip-book. Archaia.
  3. Age of resistance logo Age of Resistance – "Prophets Don't Know Everything". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  4. Age of resistance logo Age of Resistance – "A Single Piece Was Lost". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  5. Froud, B. & Llewellyn, J. J., (2003) The World of the Dark Crystal. Pavilion Books. ISBN 1-86205-624-2
  6. Kessel, B. R. & Arnhold, H. (2007) Legends of the Dark Crystal Volume 1: The Garthim Wars. TokyoPop. ISBN 1598167014
  7. Kessel, B. R. & Arnhold, H. (2010) Legends of the Dark Crystal Volume 2: Trial by Fire. TokyoPop. ISBN 1598167022