Landstriders were herbivorous quadrupeds characterized by their cream-coloured hides, stilt-like legs and prominent whiskers.[1] They were a successful species with a wide distribution, ranging from the rocky cliffs of Ha'rar to the Spriton Plains,[2] with only the Crystal Desert being unsuitable for them.[3] Being so tall, they were primarily browsers, feeding on nectar from flowering trees through their long tongues.[2] The Landstriders were also the sigil animal of the Spriton Clan.

Though not easily tamed,[2] they were frequently used as mounts by the Gelfling, a practice dating back to the Age of Harmony, after the urSkeks had taught them to tame nature.[4] Females were generally noted for having more intuition than males, and were thus better suited for first-time riders.[5] Those gifted in the art of Animal Soul Speaking could summon Landstriders by emitting loud, high pitch trills.[6][7]

During the Age of Division, Landstriders were primarily used by the Stonewood, Spriton and Vapra Clans, as well as the Castle Guard. They were among the hardest hit by the spread of the Darkening, with All-Maudra Mayrin losing at least 80 from her royal stables.[8] During the Garthim War, the Landstriders became bitter enemies of the Garthim, attacking them at every opportunity, but did not inflict enough losses for the Skeksis to take notice.[9]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The Landstriders first appeared in David Odell's 1979 draft outline, under the name of "land-spiders", and were described as eight legged creatures which blended with their environment. The arachnid design was scrapped early on, as it would have been overly complicated to operate. The basic form of the final design was decided after Robbie Barnett presented the designers with his stilt walking colleague Paul Goddard, who assumed a quadrupedal posture with extensions attached to his arms and legs. The body suit was covered in muslin, which concealed the stilts and gave the illusion of tendons and musculature beneath the skin. The heads were made of fiberglass, with radio controlled eyes.[10]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Smith, A. C. H., & Odell, D. (1982). The Dark Crystal. Holt, Rinehart and Winston . ISBN 0030624363
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Lee, J. M. (2019), Heroes of the Resistance, Penguin Young Readers Licences, ISBN 978-0.593-09539-3
  3. Walton, M. (2020), Dream-Seeking: Quizzes, Trivia, and Adventure (Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal), Penguin Young Readers Licences, ISBN 0593095405
  4. Froud, B., Holguin , B., Sheikman, A. & John, L. (2011). The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, Vol. I. Archaia. ISBN 978-1-936393-80-0
  5. Froud, B., Dysart, J., Sheikman, A. & John, L. (2012). The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, Vol. II. Archaia. ISBN 978-1-936393-80-0
  6. 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.
  7. Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "The Crystal Calls". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  8. Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "She Knows All the Secrets". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  9. Froud, B. & Llewellyn, J. J., (2003) The World of the Dark Crystal. Pavilion Books. ISBN 1-86205-624-2
  10. C. Gaines, The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History, Titan Books, 2017, pp. 99-101, ISBN 1-78565-592-2.

External Links[edit | edit source]

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