Why do Gelfling hurt us so? Skeksis give so much and ask so, so little! It breaks our hearts. Sad! So sad!

SkekOk, [1]

SkekOk was the Skeksis' Scroll Keeper, and counterpart to urAc the Scribe.

Biography[edit | edit source]

As skekTek was developing the means of using the Dark Crystal to extract life from others for their essence, skekOk left with skekLach the Collector to Ha'rar for the yearly tithing ceremony. On the way, skekOk invited Brea to accompany them on their carriage upon realizing she was a princess. Despite his condescending tone, skekOk was genuinely impressed with Brea's literacy and shared his love of books with her, boasting that his library was "endless".[1]

Once at All-Maudra Mayrin's court, skekOk assured Brea that he would explain her tardiness to her mother while awkwardly accepting her hug. SkekOk's cruelty eventually showed through when he pretended to be deeply saddened by a poor farmer's refusal to give up an heirloom to compensate for the lack of crops caused by the Darkening, manipulating the other Gelflings into pressuring him into surrendering the item. He later gave the heirloom to Mayrin for her services.[1]

SkekOk eventually returned to the castle, disappointed with the tributes. When Ordon requested mercy for his son Rian, skekOk quickly rejected the idea, saying "no mercy for murderers". He then participated in the punishment ritual for skekTek.[2]

Later luxuriating at the Castle of the Crystal, skekOk was shocked to see Aughra returned. When Aughra's asked why her heart ached and why Thra "cries out in pain", skekOk insinuated that she was simply old, prompting Aughra to insult him for his paunch.[3] At the welcome banquet for skekEkt, skekOk joined in the demand for more essence, having been away in Ha'rar when the first batch was made.[4]

After drinking Gelfling essence, skekOk noticed his eye sight was clear again and told the other Skeksis that he had forgotten how ugly he found them. When skekMal returned with Brea, skekOk locked her in the Chamber of Life, gloating over her failure to realize he was a monster sooner when she denounced him as such.[5] When skekMal became injured, skekOk urged that they recall other Skeksis to the castle for strength in numbers, naming skekLi specifically. SkekOk also reported the fires rising into the air as a result of the Dual Glaive being reformed, realizing the Gelfling were uniting against them and entering the Crystal Chamber to hear Rian's speech.[6]

Taking part in the Second Battle of Stone-in-the-Wood with the majority of the Skeksis, skekOk used the additional armor weapons built by skekTek to kill Maudra Fara. Fara's fizzgig, Baffi, avenged his owner by biting skekOk's beak and shoulder. After the Skeksis retreated back to the castle, skekOk mourned skekLach's death with skekEkt comforting him.[7]

Years later, during the Third Great Conjunction, skekOk was absorbed by urAc as they returned to their original form, OkAc.

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.[8] After was eventually released alongside his comrades by the Crystalline Eminence.[9] When Thurma returned with the Shard upon realizing the error of her ways, skekOk was once again merged with his urRu other after she healed the Crystal.[10]

Personality and traits[edit | edit source]

SkekOk in battle armor

SkekOk was the Skeksis' court historian and curator of the Castle library, which he boasted was "endless" with tomes dating back a thousand trine.[1] He was the least honest of all the Skeksis, and habitually changed allegiance, re-writing historical accounts to gratify his shifting allies to the point that the truth was soon lost.[11] The Scroll Keeper used his legalistic knowledge to rewrite laws in order to benefit himself, and would typically get away with it due to his comrades finding arguing with him tiresome.[12]

He was also prone to vanity, being proud of his thinning white hair while most of his comrades had gone bald,[13] and wore a row of spectacles which served no purpose other than to reinforce his delusion of being an intellectual.[12] True to his scholarly persona, he referred to the Mystics by their archaic name, "urRu".[14] He was frequently seen vacantly mumbling to himself and had the habit of turning up late to all meetings and falling asleep during them.[15]

Typical of a Skeksis, he considered the Gelfling to be an inferior species, though he differed in considering his race's efforts to "civilize" them to be a genuinely noble endeavor rather than a cynical ploy,[16] and expressed admiration for Gelfling architecture, in particular that of Ha'rar, claiming it had a "malodorous charm".[1] He was also quick to recognize and encourage Gelfling who could read and write, sometimes going his way to vouch for such individuals.[1] He was, nevertheless, not above manipulating them, feigning to be hurt when a farmer refused to give her family heirloom as a tithe, only to give it to Mayrin, showing that he never really cared for it.[1] When skekVar called for the draining of every last Gelfling across Thra, skekOk was among those who dissented, exclaiming that skekVar surely couldn't mean all of them. [4]

After he began to consume essence, any benevolent qualities he may have previously possessed were quickly lost. After the dissolution of the Alliance of the Crystal, he showed himself to be perfectly content with being viewed as a monster by the Gelfling, even mocking his former admirer Brea for not having realized the Skeksis' true nature earlier.

Personal relationships[edit | edit source]

SkekLach[edit | edit source]

SkekOk imparting advice to skekLach

SkekOk seemed to have formed a genuine friendship with skekLach the Collector, giving skekLach advice on how best to treat the latter's pustules [1] and mourning skekLach in the aftermath of the Second Battle of Stone-in-the-Wood, insisting "SkekLach never harmed anyone who didn't deserve it." [7] The two seemed to share a somewhat morbid sense of humor; in response to skekLach's idealization of their lost looks, he bluntly told his companion that they had never been beautiful -- only for the two to break into peals of mutual laughter, much to Brea's discomfort. [1]

SkekEkt[edit | edit source]

In the absence of skekLach, he was frequently seen in the company of skekEkt, who was his closest political ally and with whom he would gossip about recent developments.[17] The Ornamentalist joined skekOk in his grief over skekLach's death[7] and the two later joined forces to support skekSil in his bid to inherit skekSo's throne.[14]

SkekSil[edit | edit source]

Although skekSil considered skekOk a "vacant idiot who continually mumbled to himself",[15] the Scroll Keeper was a political ally of the Chamberlain who, like him, was a master at dissimulation. He agreed with skekSil in most of his policies, nodding in approval at the Chamberlain's proposal to drain only as many Gelflings as needed to survive instead of draining them all as the rest of the Skeksis wanted, though after skekSil's fall from grace, skekOk distanced himself from him and later blamed the Chamberlain of being responsible for the Skeksis' current situation after skekMal was injured.[4] After skekSo's death, skekOk supported skekSil in his bid to become the new emperor, though his loyalty was limited, as he switched from encouraging the Chamberlain to praising skekUng several times during the Trial by Stone and abandoned his former ally after his defeat, though he did not take part in stripping him of his robes.[14]

Aughra[edit | edit source]

SkekOk had an antagonistic relationship with Aughra who he found to be ugly and liked to taunt her over her age. When Aughra returned to the Castle of the Crystal after her awakening, skekOk's first comment was of stating that she was as ugly as ever before becoming embarrassed when she saw him in his bath, his embarrassment only increased when she cleaned her eye in his bath. After Aughra asked to see the Crystal as she said that she was in pain and so that something was happening to Thra, skekOk mockingly stated that her interminable age must have finally caught up with her, only for Aughra to mock him back for having become old and fat and to poke him in the belly with her staff to which he replied by splashing his bathwater at her.

Later at the battle of Stone-in-the-Wood, skekOk was very annoyed when Aughra reappeared after skekMal's death, crying "Oh no, not her again!".

Brea[edit | edit source]

SkekOk met Brea at Ha'rar when she stumbled at the feet of the Skeksis carriage, he was intrigued to discover that she was a princess and the youngest daughter of All-Maudra Mayrin and invited her in the carriage. Upon talking with her, skekOk was impressed upon discovering that she was an avid reader and knew many things about him and the other Skeksis, though he couldn't help but speak in a condescending tone about her being able of reading, and told her that his library was endless. Upon arriving at the court skekOk reassured Brea that he would tell his mother about her tardiness and awkwardly accepted her hug, though his cruelty upon getting a poor farmer's family heirloom would shock Brea and cause her to become disillusioned with the Skeksis' supposed benevolence.

He met her again at the Castle of the Crystal after she was captured by skekMal and locked her in the Chamber of Life. After Brea accused him and the other Skeksis of being monsters, skekOk mocked her for not having realized it earlier and told her that she may not be so clever after all in retaliation.

Later, he and Brea are battling against each other during the Second Battle of Stone-in-the-Wood.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The character's pre-production notes described him as a "professor, librarian, historian, solicitor" who used the written word for power rather than truth. His robes were to incorporate pleated fabric resembling pages, with bookmarks jutting out. He was originally supposed to be able to retract his head into his collar, taking on a pedantic, academic tone when conversing normally, only to babble and cackle when retreating into the collar. The notes further elaborated:[18]

I think this is a valuable character. Possible use for a plot change. Perhaps this is another race?

In The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, the Scroll Keeper was intended to be voiced by a professional voice actor. However, Will Matthews liked Neil Sterenberg's performance so much that he decided not to overdub it.[19] According to Javier Grillo-Marxuach, the character represents "learning to the exclusion of empathy".[20]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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 – "End. Begin. All the Same.". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  2. Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "Nothing Is Simple Anymore". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  3. Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "What Was Sundered and Undone". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "The First Thing I Remember Is Fire". Netflix. August 30, 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 – "The Crystal Calls". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "A Single Piece Was Lost". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  8. Spurrier, S., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #3, Archaia, USA, May 2017
  9. Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #8, Archaia, USA, October 2017
  10. Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal, #12, Archaia, USA, March 2018
  11. Dark Crystal logo 3.GIF The Dark CrystalLlewellyn, J. J.., The World of the Dark Crystal, Pavilion Books, September 12, 1982, ISBN 1-86205-624-2.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Cesare, A. & Compiet, I. (2020), The Dark Crystal Bestiary: The Definitive Guide to the Creatures of Thra, Insight Editions, p. , ISBN 1683838211
  13. Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of ResistanceLee, J.M.., Heroes of the Resistance, Penguin Young Readers Licences, November 12, 2019, p.62, ISBN 978-0.593-09539-3.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 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. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "DC" defined multiple times with different content
  15. 15.0 15.1 Smith, A. C. H., & Odell, D. (1982). The Dark Crystal. Holt, Rinehart and Winston . ISBN 0030624363
  16. Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of ResistanceWallace, D.., Inside the Epic Return to Thra, Titan Books, November 5, 2019, p.101, ISBN 978-1-78909-387-2.
  17. Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "By Gelfling Hand...". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  18. Invader Zim (2010-06-08). "The Skeksis (one post from a messageboard thread)". Planet Irk. Retrieved 2019-09-28.
  19. E. Douglas, INTERVIEW: THE DARK CRYSTAL: THE AGE OF RESISTANCE writers on creation myths, character deaths, and more, Comicsbeat.com, August 28 2019
  20. Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of ResistanceWallace, D.., Inside the Epic Return to Thra, Titan Books, November 5, 2019, p.76, ISBN 978-1-78909-387-2.

External Links[edit | edit source]

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