All the tests, and lore, and past of Mithra... It all pales in your light. You choose so selflessly and with such purpose, it makes the world, or worlds, I suppose, around you better.

Kensho[1]

Thurma was a female Fireling who lived during the Age of Power. She was the heir of one of Mithra's Ember Queens and the first Fireling to leave her homeland since the race's creation, heading to Thra's surface world in a misguided quest to retrieve a shard from the Crystal in order to stop the Great Dim. Her efforts resulted in a brief return of the Skeksis and urRu, and the discovery, through a relationship with the Gelfling Kensho, that their two races were related.

Her return home after the crisis saw her confront Nita, a rival claimant to her position as Ember Queen, though the two eventually joined forces in order to stop the Fire That Stays from finishing what the Great Dim had started. She subsequently ruled Mithra jointly with Nita and Fiola.

History[edit | edit source]

Thurma's quest[edit | edit source]

Thurma shattering the Crystal

As the Great Dim began to devastate Mithra, Thurma, the youngest of her clan, was sent by her mother and the other Ember Queens to retrieve a sliver from the Crystal, as they believed that it could heal their dying Mother Sun. Upon arriving at the Castle of the Crystal and burning a trail in the process, she was weakened after the Crystal Guards poured water on her, and was presented to Jen and Kira, whom she told of her mission.[2] In the ensuing argument, she encountered Kensho and firefasted with him, a feat previously thought to work only among Firelings. Aughra took interest and gave her stone shoes to stop her from inadvertently burning her surroundings. Thurma informed Aughra of her task, but was frustrated when the latter began consulting the stars for guidance. Kensho took her to skekTek's former laboratory, where she learned of the Gelflings' past extermination. After being driven from the laboratory by the Crystalline Eminence, Thurma infiltrated the Crystal chamber and shattered the Crystal, resulting in the return of the Mystics and the Skeksis.[3]

Escaping skekSil[edit | edit source]

Thurma attacked by skekSil

Thurma escaped from the chamber with a shard of the Crystal as the Guards confronted the newly returned Skeksis. Entering the catacombs, she encountered a Tumbeloth, Tumby, that imprinted on her, as well as Kensho, who agreed to help in her quest. The two broke out of the Castle, with skekSil the Chamberlain and the Guards in pursuit.[4] Realizing that Kensho would not survive in Mithra's environment, Thurma opted to take him to the Pool of Tears, which she claimed would give him the ability to survive. They were separated by pursuing scouts, though Thurma was unaware that Kensho had stolen the shard. Thurma meanwhile was chased by skekSil, also ignorant of the shard's true bearer.[5] During her escape, Thurma entered an area filled with blighted creatures. As the creatures converged on her, the Chamberlain urged her to use her flames to defend herself, knowing that such an action would weaken her.[6] The resulting conflagration burned down the entire area and rendered Thurma helpless. Before skekSil could kill her, she was rescued by Kensho and Bohrtog.[7]

Return to Mithra[edit | edit source]

Thurma was taken to Kensho's village, where the inhabitants treated her with suspicion after discovering she had caused the forest fire, and she became disheartened when she overheard Kensho admitting he had stolen the shard from her. In her anger, she confided with Bohrtog that the Pool of Tears was a myth, and that she only informed Kensho about it in order that he could help her find the way back to Mithra.[7] After arriving at Mount Thranir, the pair discovered carvings commemorating Chal, implying a common origin for Gelflings and Firelings.[8] Upon entering Mithra, they were confronted by Jen leading a group of guards and Garthim. Thurma convinced Jen to let her and Kensho keep the shard, but skekSil intervened and forced Thurma and Kensho to retreat further into the caves. Thurma then confessed to Kensho that the Pool of Tears was a myth and the two parted ways,[9] only to reunite when skekSil attacked Kensho. Tumby rescued the pair, by dragging them over a waterfall.[1]

Thurma receiving the last of her dying mother's energy

As Thurma and Kensho fell, they inadvertently began dreamfasting, and learned of how the Firelings descended from Gelflings. Upon hitting the water, Kensho no longer felt the oppressive heat, proving that the Pool of Tears was no myth. They made for the Great Divide, where they were once again attacked by the Chamberlain. Thurma repelled him with her fire, but weakened herself in the process. She continued her journey in Kensho's arms, and eventually arrived at the Fireling capital.[10] They were met by Asheka, who revealed that the Great Dim had almost wiped out the Firelings completely and that Thurma's mother was the last remaining Ember Queen. Thurma's mother gave what little energy she had left to her daughter in order for her to complete her mission. She and Kensho arrived at the Wishing Well, where Thurma inserted the shard into a geyser, hoping that it would be shot into the dying Mother Sun. As they waited, skekSil caught up with them. In the ensuing confusion, Kensho removed the shard from the geyser, realizing that Thurma had misinterpreted her instructions.[11]

Healing the Crystal[edit | edit source]

During the struggle, the shard fell into a shaft and Kensho was seriously wounded. After the two confessed their love for each other, Thurma dived into the shaft to retrieve the shard, and fell upon a mass of offerings the Gelfling's left for the Crystal. The shard pulled her through the debris and into the Crystal chamber, where she discovered that the offerings left to the Crystal had caused the Great Dim by blocking its rays from nourishing the Mother Sun. She reinserted the shard, causing the Crystal to shatter and bathe the Mother Sun with its light. With Mithra now healed, Thurma left the surface world to begin rebuilding her home.[12]

Succession crisis[edit | edit source]

Before going through the coronation ceremony, Thurma took inspiration from the Castle of the Crystal and expressed interest in rebuilding the decaying Glass Castle in order to inspire her people. The crowning ritual was however interrupted by Nita, who disputed with her for the position of Ember Queen.[13] The two went to the Burning Heart, which could only be ignited by a direct descendant of Chal and Saluna. Although Nita succeeded, Thurma refused to concede defeat and, on advice from her councilors, decided to settle the argument by seeing who would succeed in building the Glass Castle.[14]

Training[edit | edit source]

Thurma training in Fire Angling with Nita

The two rivals went to a Hallow, where they hoped to find a Fire Angler capable of teaching them the art of building through vitrification. Upon arrival, they were directed by Glasme to the Fire That Stays. They were attacked on the way by a Fragor,[15] but were saved by the Fire, who agreed to train them.[16] As part of their regimen, Thurma and Nita were obligated to cross through a waterfall. The two failed the test, being saved in time by Tumby,[17] prompting the Fire to be more severe in his training, at one point pouring water on them.[18] On a second attempt at crossing the waterfall, Thurma and Nita were forced to join forces in order to survive and came across a baby Fragor. The creature attempted to lead them to an unknown location, but was taken by the Fire, who expressed weariness of the two rivals and ceased their training.[19]

Passing the test[edit | edit source]

Thurma and Nita put aside their differences and used their training to form a glass shield around themselves in order to enter the waterfall safely. They discovered the Drowned Spear on the other side and, ignorant of its purpose, built a campfire in order to consult the flames for guidance. The flames revealed that the Fire That Stays had been forcing the Fragors to destroy the Hallows by keeping their young hostage and that he had intended for the two claimants to settle their dispute by using the Spear on each other. Thurma refused to comply and consulted the flames once more, being transported into the Dream Space, where she met Kensho.[20] Together, they convened with Cindrah, the first Fireling, who revealed the Fire That Stays' plan to destroy Mithra in order to rebuild it. Before departing, Thurma was given a stone which would permit her to communicate with Kensho whenever he was near fire.[21]

Fighting the Fire That Stays[edit | edit source]

Thurma wielding the Drowned Spear

Wielding the Drowned Spear and riding atop Shekta, Thurma and Nita returned to the Fireling capital, where they assisted their people in building barricades against the Fragor army. Thurma confronted the Fire That Stays, but had the Spear taken from her, which the Fire used to perforate the ground and cause the emergence of a subterranean river.[22] Thurma and Nita lead their remaining people into the royal palace for safety, blocking the entrances with statues and debris. The battle turned in their favor when Nita broke the Fire's control over the Fragors and Glasme arrived in time to assist.[23] With their combined strength, they managed to defeat the Fire That Stays by erecting a glass shield, deflecting a tidal wave he had summoned onto him. In the process, the old palace had been reformed into the Glass Castle.[24]

Ruling Mithra[edit | edit source]

Thurma later co-ruled as Ember Queen with Nita and Fiola, and began constructing glass tunnels to connect all the cities of Mithra. On returning to the Burning Heart, she used the stone Kensho had given her to convene with him once more, expressing hope that their paths would one day cross again.[24]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Nichole Matthews described her approach to illustrating Thurma's flames, stating:

Thurma is a delightful little fireball who feels everything very strongly and fire itself can be very tricky, so there was a balance we needed to find that would be both reasonable to draw but also emote how we wanted. Since Thurma’s fire reflects her emotional state, it was necessary to design it in a way that gave it personality. It’s a lot more “fluffy” than what we would usually do. We spent a lot of time looking at scenes of Calcifer from “Howl’s Moving Castle” to get an idea of how fire could be emotive and took cues from that into what ended up in the final design.

Nichole Matthews[25]

The character of Thurma would be the basis for Deet in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.[26]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal #9, Archaia, USA, December 2017
  2. Spurrier, S., The Power of the Dark Crystal #1, Archaia, USA, February 2017
  3. Spurrier, S., The Power of the Dark Crystal #2, Archaia, USA, April 2017
  4. Spurrier, S., The Power of the Dark Crystal #3, Archaia, USA, May 2017
  5. Spurrier, S., The Power of the Dark Crystal #4, Archaia, USA, June 2017
  6. Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal #5, Archaia, USA, July 2017
  7. 7.0 7.1 Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal #6, Archaia, USA, August 2017
  8. Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal #7, Archaia, USA, September 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 #10, Archaia, USA, January 2018
  11. Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal #11, Archaia, USA, February 2018
  12. Spurrier, S. & Kennedy Johnson, P., The Power of the Dark Crystal #12, Archaia, USA, March 2018
  13. Smith, A., Beneath the Dark Crystal #1, Archaia, USA, July 2018
  14. Smith, A., Beneath the Dark Crystal #2, Archaia, USA, August 2018
  15. Smith, A., Beneath the Dark Crystal #3, Archaia, USA, October 2018
  16. Smith, A., Beneath the Dark Crystal #4, Archaia, USA, November 2018
  17. Smith, A., Beneath the Dark Crystal #5, Archaia, USA, December 2018
  18. Smith, A., Beneath the Dark Crystal #6, Archaia, USA, January 2019
  19. Smith, A., Beneath the Dark Crystal #7, Archaia, USA, February 2019
  20. Smith, A., Beneath the Dark Crystal #8, Archaia, USA, March 2019
  21. Smith, A., Beneath the Dark Crystal #9, Archaia, USA, May 2019
  22. Smith, A., Beneath the Dark Crystal #10, Archaia, USA, June 2019
  23. Smith, A., Beneath the Dark Crystal #11, Archaia, USA, July 2019
  24. 24.0 24.1 Smith, A., Beneath the Dark Crystal #12, Archaia, USA, August 2019
  25. T. Brown, ‘The Power of the Dark Crystal’ comic takes us beyond Jim Henson’s muppet fantasy, Los Angeles Times, February 22, 2017
  26. Wallace, D. (2019), The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance - Inside the Epic Return to Thra, Titan Books, p. 20, ISBN 978-1-78909-387-2.
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