The Vapra Clan ("VÆ-prah")[1] was a Gelfling clan native to Ha'rar, a mountain village facing Thra's Silver Sea.[2] A proud people, the Vapra were the most cultured of the Gelfling,[3] and had the highest literacy rates. They were also skilled metalworkers, with a taste for both practical and stylistic designs. Their prosperity was due in part to the vast natural resources their mountain home afforded them, as well as their proximity to seaborne trade routes.[4] Vapran members were often called "Silverlings" by other clans, due to the common silver-white color of their hair. [5]

History[edit | edit source]

Vaprans in Ha'rar

According to the Gelfling creation myth, the Song of the Six Sisters, the Vapra were, along with the Grottans, an offshoot of the Silver Sea Clan, entrusted by Thra to preserve the Gelfling's knowledge, only to be split in two.[6]

After the formation of the Alliance of the Crystal, the Skeksis decreed that the Vapra were to be the dominant Gelfling clan and prime beneficiary of their patronage.[7] This privilege afforded the Vapra the honor of being the first clan to pay tributes to the Skeksis during their annual tithing ceremonies.[3] The rewards of being the ruling clan were however spread very thinly, with most benefits being enjoyed exclusively by the All-Maudra's royal household, at the expense of her constituents.[3][8] By the late Age of Division, many Vapra displayed xenophobic tendencies, to the point of disapproving of mixed-clan couplings.[9]

Territory[edit | edit source]

Main article: Ha'rar

The Vapra inhabited Ha'rar, a mountainous, snow-capped region located on the northern shores of Skarith. It was crossed by the Black River and had a coastline on the Silver Sea.[10]

Culture[edit | edit source]

Example of Vapran stained glass window, illustrating events during the Age of Sifans

The Vapra were renowned for their elegant appearance, with elaborate clothing, jewels and hairstyles being common even among laborers. These luxuries were in large part thanks to their political proximity to the Skeksis, which they would emphasize in order to display their special status. The Vapra's manner of speaking Modern Gelfling also bore similarities to the accent used by some of the Skeksis when not speaking their own language. Because of their high literacy rate, most Vapra were more knowledgeable than the average Gelfling in regards to history and lore.[10]

Because of their connection to the Skeksis and the constant flow of merchants travelling along the Black River, the Vapra lived a relatively leisurely life which gave them more opportunities to indulge in intellectual pursuits. This clan also boasted a larger number of artisans than others, famous throughout Skarith for their metalwork and colored glass products. The extent of Vapran labor specializations further differentiated them from other clans through the absence of communal work, with each individual having their own schedule.[11]

Chrysalisday[edit | edit source]

On the night before the twice annual Celebration of the Sister Moons, the Vapra would celebrate Chrysalisday, dedicated to the Unamoth, their sigil animal. Traditionally, Vapran youths would move in a procession to the wharf, carrying paper lanterns which would be released into the sky and rise to the Sister Moons.[12]

Flight[edit | edit source]

The Vapra were rivaled only by the Sifa Clan in their aerial abilities, thanks largely to the air currents and steam jets characterizing their mountain homeland. The Vapra credited their skill in flight as the reason why the Skeksis chose their clan as the highest, and openly encouraged its mastery by carving out vents throughout their villages, as well as incorporating doorways on the roofs of their houses. Skill in flight was a sign of prestige among the Vapra, with females settling disputes with aerial trials and males wearing garments including wing-shaped capes.[13]

Food[edit | edit source]

While Ha'rar's position as an important trade center gave it access to numerous regional dishes and ingredients, the Vapra had their own indigenous cuisine which was characterized by its emphasis on sweetness rather than spiciness, due largely to the abundance of sugarwood in the mountain region they inhabited.[14]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

In the 2013 press release for the author quest leading to the Dark Crystal young adult novels, the Vapra were described as being experts at camouflage and that the Skeksis prized their essence above all others for its restorative effects, which made the Vapra an important resource.[15]

In designing the Vapra for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Toby Froud gave them the most "ethereal" clothing as befitting their noble status, incorporating more jewelry. Their clothes were colored in a series of light blues, pinks and silver to emphasize their proximity to the sky.[16]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Dc Encylo logo.png The Vapra Clan in The Dark Crystal - Encyclopedia
  2. Lee, J. M. (2019), Heroes of the Resistance, Penguin Young Readers Licences, p. 12, ISBN 978-0.593-09539-3
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "End. Begin. All the Same.". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  4. Lee, J. M. (2019), Heroes of the Resistance, Penguin Young Readers Licences, p. 40, ISBN 978-0.593-09539-3
  5. Lee, J.M. (2019) Shadows of the Dark Crystal, p. 4
  6. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 108-109, ISBN 0593095596
  7. Lee, J. M. (2019), Heroes of the Resistance, Penguin Young Readers Licences, p. 38, ISBN 978-0.593-09539-3
  8. Lee, J. M. (2019), Heroes of the Resistance, Penguin Young Readers Licences, p. 41, ISBN 978-0.593-09539-3
  9. Age of resistance logo.jpg Age of Resistance – "What Was Sundered and Undone". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  10. 10.0 10.1 Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 62-63, ISBN 0593095596
  11. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 64-65, ISBN 0593095596
  12. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 71-72, ISBN 0593095596
  13. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 73-74, ISBN 0593095596
  14. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, p. 79, ISBN 0593095596
  15. The Dark Crystal Author Quest: The Gelfling Gathering, The Jim Henson Company (2013)
  16. Wallace, D. (2019), The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance - Inside the Epic Return to Thra, Titan Books, p. 53, ISBN 978-1-78909-387-2.
Gelfling Clans
Aureyal
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Gelfling Clans

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