Moderation is for the meek.

skekAyuk[1]

SkekAyuk was the Skeksis' Gourmand and counterpart to urAmaj the Cook.

Biography[edit | edit source]

SkekAyuk began his career as a genuinely gifted cook, but gradually lost interest in creating dishes in favor of simply consuming them.[2]

Amidst a panic about the Crystal failing to sustain their immortality, skekAyuk suggested cogently that it had failed due to their overindulgence, having taken too much and depleted the Crystal, until he was overridden and reassured by emperor skekSo. SkekAyuk later attended skekTek's display of essence for use in restoring their bodies, and although skekAyuk was distracted by the lack of snacks, he eagerly focused on drinking as much essence as he could.[3]

After Rian escaped, skekAyuk ordered the Gelfling castle guards to be on high alert, before patrolling the halls himself with skekZok. SkekAyuk wondered if Rian had already escaped, and skekZok replied that they were "undone" if that was so, and not to let such dark thoughts weigh on his mind. SkekAyuk later supported the punishments decided upon for skekTek (although previously he sought punishments for skekSil) when skekSo held court.[4]

SkekAyuk prepared a grand feast for skekEkt the Ornamentalist's return, gorging himself to the point of choking, and joining the clamor demanding essence to drink. When skekSil and skekVar came near to blows, skekAyuk was delighted at having a meal and a show.[1]

When Tolyn informed the Skeksis of the guards' impending revolt, skekAyuk joined his fellows in turning on their Gelfling guards, dragging them away to be drained for essence. Upon skekSil's return to the castle, he was greeted by skekAyuk who happened to be urinating in the hallway, much to skekSil's horror. SkekAyuk informed him of the All-Maudra's death at the General's hand, and upon leading him inside to where the Skeksis were gorging themselves on essence, of the guards' revolt and draining. However, as skekAyuk gleefully assured him, "We kept the Podlings." [5]

SkekAyuk and skekEkt discussed skekMal's impending death, the former showing distress and the latter focusing on the potential display that could be made from skekMal's hunting trophies. SkekAyuk, who found said trophies disgusting, was unnerved by this, but nonetheless eagerly joined in on the preparation of skekMal's corpse for display in the throne room. [6]

SkekAyuk was eventually rejoined with his urRu other after Jen healed the Crystal.

Age of Power[edit | edit source]

He was revived a century later alongside his seven other comrades and urRu counterparts after the Fireling Thurma took a shard from the Crystal in a misguided quest to restore her homeland's dying Mother Sun. He briefly fought against the Crystal Guards, but was interrupted by Jen, who took control of the Garthim and had the Skeksis incarcerated.[7] After being released by the Crystalline Eminence, he reveled in his freedom by gorging himself.[8] When Thurma returned with the Shard upon realizing the error of her ways, skekAyuk was once again merged with his urRu other after she healed the Crystal.[9]

Personality and traits[edit | edit source]

SkekAyuk the Gourmand

Befitting his role as a gourmand, skekAyuk was very voracious, eating at every opportunity and justifying his gluttony as a response to stress,[3] sometimes choking himself in the process.[1] He had a genuine gift as a cook, specializing in hot spices, sweet liquors and cream-rich sauces, though his meals rarely satisfied the Skeksis' hunger for long.[10] His obsession with food granted him little time to indulge in the acts of casual brutality enjoyed by his comrades, thus making him one of the more benign members of his kind.[2] Ultimately, his hedonism was linked to his fear of death, which persisted no matter what pleasure he indulged in. When his fear translated to rage, he could be one of the most dangerous Skeksis to face in combat.[11]

He had few, if any convictions of his own, always following the majority opinion and cowering when his ideas were not shared by his brethren. As a result, the higher ranking Skeksis did not consider him a threat to their positions, believing him to be too slothful to care about political intrigue.[12] He held little regard for etiquette, possessing few table manners and shamelessly urinating in public.[5]

SkekAyuk displayed the same sadism and cruelty as his fellow Skeksis, though he still possessed a degree of pragmatism, as he knew that the Crystal's failure to grant him and his comrades life was due to their careless abuse.[3] He also showed elements of squeamishness, as he was initially horrified when Mira was drained of her essence[3] and he found SkekMal's trophies to be disgusting.[6]

Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]

Concept art by Brian Froud

According to the original film's pre-production notes, skekAyuk's head was meant to be modeled on that of Robert Morley, a British actor known for portraying corpulent gentlemen.[13]

In The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, skekAyuk was portrayed by puppeteer Louise Gold, reprising her role from the original film. She stated that it was easy to reconnect with the character after 30 years, though it proved far more demanding, due to the character's increased screen time. She characterized his physical performance as if he "moves like he has a belly full of soup, waddling with a kind of breathlessness," and his personality as "greedy and not courageous in the least, and when he gets drunk on essence, it brings out the worst in him".[14]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "The First Thing I Remember Is Fire". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cesare, A. & Compiet, I. (2020), The Dark Crystal Bestiary: The Definitive Guide to the Creatures of Thra, Insight Editions, p. 44, ISBN 1683838211
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "End. Begin. All the Same.". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  4. Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "Nothing Is Simple Anymore". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  5. 5.0 5.1 Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "By Gelfling Hand...". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  6. 6.0 6.1 Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "The Crystal Calls". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  7. Spurrier, S., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #3, Archaia, USA, May 2017
  8. Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #8, Archaia, USA, October 2017
  9. Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #12, Archaia, USA, March 2018
  10. Froud, B. & Llewellyn, J. J., (2003) The World of the Dark Crystal. Pavilion Books. ISBN 1-86205-624-2
  11. Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of ResistanceLee, J. M.., Heroes of the Resistance, Penguin Young Readers Licences, November 12, 2019, p.63, ISBN ISBN 978-0.593-09539-3.
  12. Smith, A. C. H., & Odell, D. (1982). The Dark Crystal. Holt, Rinehart and Winston . ISBN 0030624363
  13. C. Finch, The Making of the Dark Crystal: Creating a Unique Film, Henry Holt & Co, 1983, p. 45, ISBN 0-03-063332-X.
  14. Wallace, D. (2019), The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance - Inside the Epic Return to Thra, Titan Books, p. 100, ISBN 978-1-78909-387-2.

External Links[edit | edit source]

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