I'm a fun Skeksis! Once I was known as skekGra, the Conqueror, but the others cast me out and branded me… Heretic.

skekGra[1]

SkekGra was the Skeksis Conqueror and counterpart to urGoh the Wanderer. His later promotion of urRu-Skeksis unity lead to his banishment and labeling as Heretic. Together with urGoh, he was a co-creator of Lore and the Dual Glaive, and co-author of The True History of Thra.

Biography[edit | edit source]

SkekGra, although always doubtful of his race's policies, was initially considered the most dangerous and unforgiving of the Skeksis, being responsible for the expansion of the Skeksis Empire,[2] which he brought about through lies, cheating and direct violence.[1] During his travels, skekGra slowly began to develop sympathies to the urRu, and fully renounced his ways after consuming urdrupe berries, whose hallucinogenic properties gave him a vision of Thra's ruination by his kind. Believing that the only way to prevent this catastrophe was to promote urRu-Skeksis unity, he attempted to convince his comrades of his project, but was branded a heretic and then exiled to the Circle of the Suns, where he came into contact with his urRu other, urGoh.[3]

During their exile, the two ate large amounts of urdrupes in order to further glimpse into their future, and saw that a Gelfling would ultimately bring about the downfall of the Skeksis. The pair eventually found the Shard of the Division and forged the Dual Glaive around it, hoping that it may one day be wielded by a Gelfling destined to topple the Skeksis.[1] They entrusted the Glaive to urLii, who hid it in the Tomb of Relics,[4] then created Lore using old urSkek technology,[3] hiding him underneath the throne room of the Ha'rar royal palace in a chamber containing a message declaring the segregation between the Gelfling Clans as artificial.[1]

When Lore returned with Brea, Rian, Deet, and Hup to the Circle of the Suns 379 trine later, skekGra jovially welcomed them and deactivated Lore. After revealing the truth of the Skeksis' origins through a performance of The True History of Thra, skekGra and urGoh directed the heroes to the Glaive's location in Caves of Grot. Before the heroes could depart, the Circle of the Suns was infiltrated by skekMal, who injured skekGra's hand and prompted him to order Brea to reactivate Lore. Although Brea was unable to do so, skekGra was saved when urVa the Archer arrived and drove skekMal away.[1]

SkekGra counselled Rian and Deet to retrieve the Glaive before attempting to free Brea, assuring him that he and urGoh would tend to urVa and Hup, both of whom were injured by skekMal. He escorted them to the entrance to the Breath of Thra, a series of volcanic vents leading to Grot, reminding them that they were his and urGoh's best hope for reunification.[5] SkekGra continued to minister to urVa, who remained alive only because skekMal survived on Aughra's essence. He and urGoh subsequently disappeared when urVa took his own life, leaving Lore and Hup behind.[6]

Personality and traits[edit | edit source]

SkekGra used to be a violent, dishonest and manipulative individual[1] who, nevertheless, differed from his comrades by secretly yearning to reunite with his urRu counterpart.[2] After many trine of consuming urdrupes, skekGra became eccentric and erratic, seeing himself as a "fun" Skeksis, though displaying typical Skeksis impatience toward his urRu counterpart's slow movements and speech.[1] As pennance for his past misdeeds, he tied his secondary arms behind his back, and donned a metal skullcap to better attune himself to the Crystal's vibrations.[3]

While genuinely friendly towards the Gelfling, he still failed to overcome his race's prejudice towards Podlings, seeing them as a slave class, though he partially overcame his preconceptions by befriending Hup. Although he was pleased to no longer be under skekSo the Emperor's authority, skekGra was still sensitive when reminded of his species and past.[1]

He was a talented metallurgist, playwright and puppeteer, having forged the Dual Glaive, created Lore, and written and performed in The True History of Thra.[1] His regalia was notable for its minimalism, boasting few if any Garthic elements, most notably on his scepter, which incorporated a full abiranariba rather than the broken design favored by his comrades.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

We had a strong image of these two; they're trying to look into the future but they're not tapped into Thra, so the way they do that is by doing a large amount of drugs. So we thought of them as very much Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, except one was on uppers and the other was on downers.

Jeffrey Addiss[7]

Concept art by Brian Froud

SkekGra was originally conceived in 2012 for the scrapped animated series pitch The Great Conjunction, though the character was not fully developed.[8] According to Jeffrey Addiss, the idea behind skekGra during the making of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was that a Skeksis would have been in the best position to reveal the true history of Thra to the show's heroes.[7] In designing the conqueror, Brian Froud sought to flesh out the character by incorporating fetishes and talismans onto his robes.[9] Addiss further elaborated that skekGra and urGoh were based on the protagonists of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.[7]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "Time to Make...My Move". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance Lee, J. M.., Heroes of the Resistance, Penguin Young Readers Licences, November 12, 2019, p.67, ISBN 978-0.593-09539-3.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Cesare, A. & Compiet, I. (2020), The Dark Crystal Bestiary: The Definitive Guide to the Creatures of Thra, Insight Editions, p. , ISBN 1683838211
  4. Age of resistance logo.jpgAndelfinger, N.., Age of Resistance – The Quest for the Dual Glaive, #3, Archaia, USA, November 27 2019
  5. Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "Prophets Don't Know Everything". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  6. Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "A Single Piece Was Lost". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 B. Elderkin, "A Spoiler-Filled Chat With Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance's Creators", Io9.gizmodo.com, September 3, 2019
  8. Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of ResistanceWallace, D.., Inside the Epic Return to Thra, Titan Books, November 5, 2019, p.112, ISBN 978-1-78909-387-2.
  9. Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of ResistanceWallace, D.., Inside the Epic Return to Thra, Titan Books, November 5, 2019, p.115, ISBN 978-1-78909-387-2.

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