The Dark Crystal Wiki
The Dark Crystal Wiki

Haha! "Tumby"? That's a strange name. Why do you call him that?"
"Because that's his name. Don't listen to him, Tumby. It's a nice name.

Tumby was a male tumbleoth who was a loyal companion of Thurma and Kensho.


Tumby first encountered Thurma when she arrived in the moat of the Castle of the Crystal and attempted to communicate with him by firefasting with him. Upon being shown the dire situation Mithra was in, he fled along with the other animals. He later found her examining carvings on a wall within the Castle, but she soon fled with she was discovered by the Royal Guard.[1]

Tumby encountered Thurma again in the catacombs and snatched the shard of the Crystal that she was attempting to retrieve. He was found by her and the Gelfling Kensho, who explained that tumbleoths bond by turning out and showing what is inside as a way of earning trust. Tumby then opened up to reveal the shard and left with Thurma and Kensho when SkekSil began to pursue them.[2]

Once Thurma and Kensho discovered that they were being pursued by scouts from the Castle, the latter told the former to take Tumby and make for the deep wood while he diverted the scouts and promised to find them later. As they made their way through the forest, SkekSil attacked Thurma and took Tumby, who used his tendrils to escape and return to her.[3] Thurma used her flame to repel some creatures who were infected by the Darkening, which significantly reduced her flame.[4] SkekSil cornered them at a river, which Thurma could not cross due to her weakened flame. They were rescued when Kensho arrived on Bohrtog, who knocked SkekSil into the river. Tumby used his tendril to pull himself and Thurma onto the creature, who was not strong enough to carry all three of them and crash-landed on the opposite shore.[5]

The trio spent the night in Kensho's childhood village. Tumby, whom Thurma had named by now, chased some insects that he considered to be a delicacy, though when Thurma went to retrieve him she overheard a conversation between Kensho and his mother Kolba in which she learned that he had taken the shard from her.[5]

The next day, the trio travelled to some ruins where Kensho was amused by the name Thurma had chosen for the tumbleoth, to which she told Tumby not to listen to him, as it was a nice name. They spotted Mount Thranir, which erupted and split the ground apart. They fell in but reached the opposite ledge, where Kensho admitted to taking the shard and offered to give it back to Thurma. They were then found by two Gelfling scouts and Tumby attacked and subdued one with his tendrils while Thurma subdued the other.[6]

The trio treated the scouts' wounds and made their way to Mithra. Once there, they encountered Jen and his guards. Despite Jen's orders, his Garthim did not stop and attacked Kensho. Tumby grabbed the shard with his tendrils in order to keep it safe.[7] Once SkekSil attacked, the trio make their way down into Mithra where a tearful Thurma admitted to Kensho that there was no Pool of Tears and abandoned him. She attempted to justify her actions to herself and Tumby, who jumped from her grasp and ran off, leaving the shard behind. He found Kensho, but they were soon attacked by SkekSil, who now rode a Garthim. Thurma found them and helped them escape, but the Garthim had blocked all of the exits. They ran through the last remaining door, where SkekSil cornered them. Tumby leaped off a waterfall, wrapping his tendrils around their writs and pulling them down with him.[8]

The trio landed in a pool that they soon realised was the Pool of Tears, the legend having been true after all. Once they reached the Great Divide, SkekSil caught up to them. As they crossed it, Kensho fell, but Tumby used his tendrils to pull him to safety. Once SkekSil reached him, Thurma used the last of her flame to knock him out of site. As she was too weak to carry on, Kensho carried her the rest of the way.[9]

The trio reached Thurma's home, where her mother sacrificed herself to give her daughter what remained of her flame. They then made their way to the Wishing Well to use the gas geysers and fire the shard into the Mother Sun to reignite it. As they waited, SkekSil attacked. Tumby attacked the Skeksis, who threw him into the Wishing Well.[10]

Tumby survived the fall and Thurma was overjoyed to find him alive when she leaped into it. She found the shard among a pile of treasure and warned Tumby to brace himself as she felt it being pulled towards something. The treasure shattered and allowed them to travel up the shaft of the Crystal. Tumby used his tendrils to transport Thurma to the top of the shaft, where she healed the Crystal. Afterwards, Tumby stayed in Mithra with Thurma while Kensho returned to Thra on Bohrtog.[11]