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I disturbed the balance of Thra and left others to pay for my mistakes. The Podlings, the Gelflings, even the Skeksis.


Raunip, also known as Raunip the Heretic, was the adopted son of Aughra, born before the arrival of the Fallen urSkeks. Like his mother, he was a friend to all the races of Thra, but he differed in that he viewed the arrival of the urSkeks with suspicion.




Raunip's birth.

Raunip was born during the Age of Innocence.[2] He arrived on Thra via an organic meteorite, which was discovered by Aughra. Sensing life within the rock, Aughra molded it into her own image. It was this event which first inspired Aughra to look beyond Thra and study the Uni-Verse. However, Aughra kept his origins secret, leaving Raunip to believe that he was a native of Thra.[3]

Feud with the urSkeks[]

Meddlers and usurpers! Cast out by their own kind, exiled from their own world. And they would claim Thra as their own.

Raunip expresses his disgust over the urSkeks.[4]

When the Fallen urSkeks arrived on Thra during the first Great Conjunction, Raunip became increasingly embittered at their "meddling" in the cultural development of the Gelflings and his mother, as well as their encasing of the Crystal in a vast fortress, which he saw as an act of appropriation. When he discovered that the urSkeks were in fact exiles from their own world, Raunip incited a mob of Gelflings to attack the urSkeks in their Castle, but was halted by Aughra.[4]

Role in the Great Division[]

A thousand trine after they first arrived, the second Great Conjunction approached, and the Fallen urSkeks, with Aughra's assistance, were ready to return to their homeworld. They invited Raunip, as well as delegations representing Thra's sentient races, to attend the event. Seeing this as an opportunity to challenge the urSkeks directly, Raunip journeyed to the Castle with song-teller Gyr, Lady Kel, and the Podling Kotha. Raunip spurned the urSkeks' attempts at hospitality, and went into the Hall of Reflection, where he witnessed an urSkek lose its composure after hearing Gyr play a song from its homeworld. Raunip fueled the darkened urSkek's rage further by mocking it.[3]

When the day of the Great Conjunction arrived, the urSkeks gathered around the Crystal, hoping that its rays would purify their spirits and transport them back to their homeworld. However, Raunip continued to mock the darkened urSkek, which gave into its darker nature. The darkened urSkek's fear and anger prevented its brothers from entering the Crystal's light, and each one of them was split into two new races; the cruel Skeksis and the gentle urRu. In the ensuing confusion, the urRu and the Gelfling and Podling delegations fled the Castle, leaving Aughra and Raunip behind. When Aughra failed to reason with the Skeksis, one of them attacked the Crystal, chipping off a shard. Mother and son escaped the Skeksis by climbing down the shaft below the Crystal, and journeyed to the center of the planet, hoping to find the lost shard. Wracked by guilt, Raunip asked Aughra if she would remember him, to which she replied she always would, as he was her first and greatest creation.[3]


Raunip leads the Makraks

Raunip leading the Makraks to the Field of Fire

Raunip and Aughra would continue to search for the lost shard, fruitlessly gathering every fragment they could find. When the two resurfaced, they discovered that the Gelflings had formed an alliance with the Skeksis in response to the Makrak crisis. Raunip attempted to convince the Gelfling elder Carn not to trust the Skeksis, but was rebuffed and accused of abandoning the Gelflings in their time of need. Raunip left Carn's village with her daughter Thall, who shared his suspicion over the Skeksis' motives. They were approached by urGoh, who took them to the Valley of the urRu, where Raunip was reunited with Kotha. Raunip attempted to convince the urRu to stop the Skeksis taking the Gelfling to war, but his pleas were ignored. When, the next day, the Makraks reached the Valley, Raunip learned through Kotha's interpreting of their language that they had been forced out of their underground home, and that their destructive actions were prompted by fear of the surface world. When the urRu managed to prevent the Skeksis from exterminating the Makraks, Raunip participated in the peace talks, and volunteered to guide them to the Field of Fire, a region suited to their needs, despite knowing that the journey could end with his death. After receiving protective clothing and amulets from Thall, Raunip said goodbye to his mother, who stayed aloof until he finally left, at which point she wept silently.[1]

Raunip was last seen in the company of a Fizzgig, slowly dying and recounting his tale. He declared that his mission was a success, though at the cost of half his face. While he lamented that he may have never seen his loved ones again, he resolved to continue living for as long as he could, hoping that those he had left behind remembered him.[1]


A thousand trine after Raunip's disappearance, a rocky area near Ha'rar called "Raunip's Pass" was chosen by Maudra Fara as the site of a Trial by Air in her dispute for the title of All-Maudra with Seladon.[5] There is also a mountanious range between the Plains of the Castle and the Crystal Desert referred to as "Raunip's Spine".

According to Dousan folklore, Raunip spent the rest of his life travelling the Crystal Desert, leaving footprints from which sprang the Daeydoim.[6]

Despite Aughra's pledge to remember him, she appeared to have forgotten about Raunip by the time of Jen's quest to find the shard, claiming that, other than the urSkeks, she was the only one to have witnessed the first Great Conjunction,[7] and later claimed in the Book of Aughra that "[of] the race of Aughra, [she was] alone, the first and last."[8]

Behind the scenes[]

The character was created and designed by Brian Froud for The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, and was conceived as a trickster character.[9]

In a 2019 interview with Gizmodo, screenwriter Jeffrey Addiss stated that he loved Raunip, and hoped that there would be space for him in future seasons of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Will Matthews further elaborated:[10]

Raunip is such is a great character, and he’s such a great engine for drama, relationships, a different perspective. But in the first season, the audience needs to learn sort of the first perspective: the Skeksis, the Gelfling. That’s the easiest way in. As the story progresses, with more layers, nuance, and grey areas. Raunip is the master of the grey area. So, keep hope alive.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 B. Froud, M. Dow Smith, A. Sheikman & L. John (2015). The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, Vol. III. Archaia. ISBN 978-1-60886-435-5.
  2. The Dark Crystal - Mythology,, n.d.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Froud, B., Dysart, J., Sheikman, A. & John, L. (2012). The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, Vol. II. Archaia. ISBN 978-1-936393-80-0
  4. 4.0 4.1 Froud, B., Holguin , B., Sheikman, A. & John, L. (2011). The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, Vol. I. Archaia. ISBN 978-1-936393-80-0
  5. "By Gelfling Hand..." The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Netflix. August 30, 2019
  6. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 166-167, ISBN 0593095596
  7. Smith, A. C. H., & Odell, D. (1982). The Dark Crystal. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. ISBN 0030624363
  8. Froud, B. & Llewellyn, J. J., (2003) The World of the Dark Crystal. Pavilion Books. ISBN 1-86205-624-2
  9. S. Sunu, Sheikman and Holguin Discover "The Dark Crystal: The Creation Myths",, December 28, 2011
  10. 10.0 10.1 B. Elderkin, "A Spoiler-Filled Chat With Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance's Creators",, September 3, 2019

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