|“||Between SkekUng the Garthim-Master and SkekSil the Chamberlain there was bitter rivalry, for SkekSil hoped his smiling poison and suspicious craft would lead him, not SkekUng, to succeed to the Emperor's glory. Both were deceived.||„|
|~ The World of the Dark Crystal|
| ~ Skeksil's famous line. |
|“||Struggle is pointless, but Gelfling is welcome to try if helps pass time. (Rian: Don't play with your food, coward. Just kill me now.) Kill? Not kill. Dead Rian is no good to Chamberlain. No good to Skeksis. Need Rian alive. (Rian: So you can drain my essence?) So Rian can stand before Gelfling and say lied about Skeksis. (Rian: That'll never happen. I'll make sure that all of Thra knows what you truly are.) And what are Skeksis? Hmm? (Rian: Evil.) Delightful. How are Skeksis evil? Please, you tell. (Rian: You killed Mira.) All things kill. Is z'nid bird evil because it eats crawling Nurloc? (Rian: Birds eat to live.) So do Skeksis. All living things consume other things to survive. Not evil, natural. (Rian: There was nothing natural about what you did to Mira.) Death is unnatural. Death is cruel joke. Death mocks life, mocks Skeksis. But no more. Skeksis conquer death. And you, Gelfling, would do same in Skeksis place!||„|
|~ SkekSil comparing Rian and the Gelflings to the Skeksis and what they would do the same if their roles were reversed.|
SkekSil is the Chamberlain of the SkekSès and a major antagonist in The Dark Crystal franchise. He serves as one of the two main antagonists in The Dark Crystal (the other being SkekUng), and he serves as the overall secondary antagonist in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. His counterpart of the Mystics is UrSol the Chanter.
In the original film, SkekSil was performed by Frank Oz, with the late Barry Dennen providing his voice. In the 2019 Netflix prequel series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, he is performed by Warrick Brownlow-Pike with Simon Pegg providing his voice, the latter who also played Unkar Plutt in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
SkekSil wears a red and black robe with a large red carapace plated in sharp edges, a black lace-filled collar, and robe accents. In the movie after being stripped of his clothes, he is shown to wear maroon footwear with stilts.
SkekSil is sly and speaks in a wheedling voice that the other Skeksis loathe. He is a whining, two-faced and manipulative skulking coward who manipulates others to make his own ends meet due to his physical frailness and poor combat skills. However, if looked further, he is at least intelligent judging by his mannerisms and how SkekSil schemes to capture one of the two Gelflings.
The events of Age of Resistance cemented the fact that he is indeed much more intelligent than his simple speech patterns and compulsive whimpering might suggest. While he may appear to be a doormat, SkekSil is a relentless opportunist who will always look out for his next chance at attaining power. He was also one of the few Skeskis who knew not to wipe out the entire gelfling race in one stroke and instead breed and replenish their numbers whenever he harvests a few at a time so the amount of essence to claim is infinite. However, the other Skeksis laughed at this idea and wanted to harvest all Gelflings in one go. This suggests that SkekSil actually has better foresight than the others, aside from perhaps even the Scientist SkekTek.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
SkekSil attended the gathering to draw energy from the Dark Crystal in order to prolong his lifespan along with the other Skeksis, although the process eventually failed. Following this, he remained behind overhearing on Emperor SkekSo and SkekTek the Scientist's conversation regarding the weakening of the Dark Crystal. When he heard that SkekTek hasn't actually found anything that will solve their problems, SkekSil plans to use this to his advantage. Going into SkekTek's lab, SkekSil pulled the trigger that had activated the Crystal draining SkekTek of his essence. SkekSil helps inspire SkekTek to take essence from the Gelflings of Thra and use it to replenish themselves again. When skekTek calls for everyone, SkekSil assures his fellow Skeksis that skekTek found something useful. They use the Vapran Gelfling Mira, whose essence is taken from the Crystal and she subsequently dies. SkekSil and the others drink Mira's essence and are able to be stronger again. SkekSil saw skekTek put it in a bottle and had it locked away for further studies. As they celebrate, a tear from Rian lands on SkekZok’s head, causing the Skeksis become suddenly aware of his presence. Luckily Rian is about to escape. With SkekSo very alarmed, SkekSil assured the emperor that none would believe Rian because the Skeksis are able to manipulate others and that Gelflings wanted to be ruled.
After finding out that Rian still had escaped, SkekSil entered an argument with SkekVar, who left to find Rian, whom they considered a traitor now. He attempted to cheer up SkekSo by having the Podlings play music for him.
Later, SkekSil snuck into the scientist's lab and attempted to steal the essence that SkekTek kept on his cabinet while he was unaware of the presence of Rian and Gurjin underneath the table. However, he saw that the Scientist put a locksnake on the door knobs and SkekSil proceeded in eating it and taking the vial of Mira's essence. SkekTek catches SkekSil in his lab, where he feigns interest in the scientist working on repairs. Despite SkekSil hiding the essence and trying to leave with it, SkekTek caught the Chamberlain and would have believed in his lies that the Gelflings took it because SkekTek sees the bits of locksnake in SkekSil's teeth. Before the argument escalated, the two Skeksis caught the scent of Rian and Gurjin.
In a small scuffle, SkekSil dropped the essence, leading Rian to grab it. Due to their smaller sizes, Rian and Gurjin dodge the Skeksis' attempts to grab them and escape with the essence. However, SkekSil took Gurjin hostage while SkekTek appeared on the other side and Rian found himself surrounded by his enemies. SkekSil attempted to persuade the young Gelfling they were not going to hurt him and to give up and have over the essence, but Gurjin told Rian not to listen, as it was a trick. Instead, the Drenchen Gelfling that SkekSil held hostage stabbed the Chamberlain in the side, enough to let him get his guard down and let Rian run past SkekSil, who, despite trying to grab Rian, only managed to grab a scrap of his clothing.
SkekSil was later blamed by SkekTek for letting Rian escape and failing to capture him to the fellow Skeksis. However, SkekSil managed to turn the tables and convinced SkekSo that it was all SkekTek's fault instead and announces that they still have Gurjin. They go to have him punished. Ordon, Rian’s father enters to know what happened to his son while he was away. SkekSil fed Ordon lies that Rian and Gurjin conspired against the Skeksis, and when Mira found out, Rian murdered her. When Ordon said he could dreamfast with Rian, the Chamberlain lied and said that Rian was mad and that the madness spreads by dreamfasting. Convinced his son was not in his state of mind, Ordon agreed to find Rian and then bring him back to the castle with the vial he stole. After Ordon left, SkekSil said that once the essence and Rian were found, they would drain them both of their essence.
Following the humiliation of SkekTek, who lost his eye because of SkekSil's manipulation, the Chamberlain approached SkekTek and offered him two Gruenaks as servants after sewing their mouths shut. skekTek took the slaves and said that it was a start for him and SkekSil. He later went to Gurjin and revealed what happened to SkekTek the night before: his eye was eaten by a peeper beetle, a bug that has a taste for eyes. SkekSil tells Gurjin that if they do that to Skeksis, then what would they have in store for Gelfling. He pressures Gurjin to tell him where Rian had gone; however, Gurjin refused to give up his best friend. Enraged, SkekSil left the peeper beetle there and warned him to think of his actions.
While the Skeksis were feasting, SkekSil and SkekVar entered an argument on how to deal with Rian and the other Gelflings. Irritated, SkekSo replaced SkekSil with SkekVar as his new counsel, where the General dishonored SkekSil and stepped on his hand. Humiliated, SkekSil began to conspire on how he could get back in the emperor's good graces. He thought to capture and use Rian for his own agenda. SkekSil summoned SkekMal the Hunter to the castle, the hunter returned and asked SkekSil who his Target is and the Chamberlain reveals it to be the Stonewood warrior. Insulted, SkekMal tried to leave but SkekSil revealed that Rian was a threat and carried essence with him. Now intriguing SkekMal that Rian would make a trophy, he gave SkekMal a scrap of Rian’s cloth and sent the deadly Skeksis went to hunt the Gelfling down. For unknown reasons, SkekSil became aware of Ordon's sacrifice and would later use this against Rian at a later time.
Before SkekMal gave a deathly blow to Rian, the Chamberlain suddenly appeared and yelled for the Hunter to stop, as he needed to bring Rian to the Emperor back alive to get back in power. Insulted, SkekMal refused because SkekSil was hunting a throne instead but the Chamberlain was hunting for power. SkekSil promises to return Rian after he has gotten his throne back and the General is humiliated, to which SkekMal agrees. However, he threatens the Chamberlain with death if he is denied Rian's tongue. Now alone with a helpless Rian, SkekSil steals the vial of Mira's essence and consumes it while cackling and taking advantage of Rian's inability to stop him and taking pleasure in his suffering. Finishing the bottle, SkekSil throws the bottle on the floor and steps on it, taking away Rian's only proof of the Skeksis' crimes.
On their way back to the Castle, SkekSil told Rian that any attempts to escape would be pointless. However, Rian refuses to allow the Chamberlain to manipulate him and warns SkekSil to just kill him now and get it over with. However, the Chamberlain refuses because he needs Rian alive to stop the war before it starts. Angrily, Rian refused because he wanted the world to know that the Skeksis were evil, which intrigued SkekSil as he wondered why Skeksis were evil. Rian explained it was because of what they did to Mira.
However, SkekSil disagreed and said it was only natural, as everything kills to survive. Death was unnatural to Skeksis because they conquered it and SkekSil told Rian that if their roles were reversed, then Gelfling would do the exact same thing. When Rian insisted, they were nothing alike, SkekSil brought up that Rian did only one thing when his friend was being drained and his Drenchen friend was captured: he ran. Rian tries to protest there was nothing he could do for Mira and that Gurjint told him to run, as SkekSil adds. The Skeksis lord adds that Rian's own father had sacrificed himself so his son could survive and save himself. Rian, upset, says that he tried but that he couldn't save his father, and SkekSil, satisfied, tells Rian that he couldn't save any of them but adds that maybe Rian can save the rest.
SkekSil continued pressuring Rian to tell the "truth" about Mira and admit he murdered her. Rian was still upset and refused because SkekSil did not care about Gelfling, which the Chamberlain denies and that he is the only reason why Gelflings are still alive, but Rian refuses because lying would lead to the Gelflings remaining slaves. SkekSil twists Rian's words and tells him that Gelflings are not slaves if they are not aware of it and calls the Gelfling the Skeksis' pets because they are immortal while Gelflings live for a couple of trine, and says Skeksis are to Gelflings as crawlies are to Gelfling. SkekSil also cannot promise to cease the draining of Gelfling if Rian does what he wants, leading Rian to refuse. The Chamberlain, annoyed, shouts that if there is a war, then the Gelfling did not stand a chance, with Rian insisted that the Gelflings would win such a war. Fed up with Rian's defiance, SkekSil stopped the carriage and cut the ropes restraining the Gelfling. SkekSil opened the carriage door and invited Rian to leave but warned that it would be on Rian’s head when all Gelfling die because he chose to run again. Rian hesitates and decided to stay. Satisfied, SkekSil is glad to have finally meet a Gelfling with sense and starts the carriage back up.
However before they got to the castle, Gurjin and Naia intercepted the Chamberlain's carriage and rescued Rian and they fled on the Armalig while the Chamberlain shouted for then to return. During his trek back to the Castle of the Crystal on foot, SkekSil passes by Stone-in-the-Wood although he is immediately shunned by the Gelfling pelting him with peach berries. He later reaches the Castle to convince the other Skeksis of the danger of the Stonewood Rebellion while they feast on recently drained essence. Despite that, the other Skeksis only see the revolt as an opportunity to harvest more essence, and quickly send SkekSil away due to his smell from being bombarded with the peach berries.
During the draining of the captive Stonewood Gelfling, the Chamberlain commanded the Scientist's Gruenak slaves to sabotage SkekVar’s essence vial, and while he did not witness the Skeksis ridiculing of Seladon as the new All-Maudra, SkekSil learned from SkekAyuk that skekVar murdered the previous All-Maudra Mayrin and was astonished that the Skeksis were actually triumphant of no longer needing to maintain appearances.
However, after later providing an Arathim corpse for SkekTek to create the Garthim, SkekSil convinces SkekSo to attack the forming rebellion, leading to the Second Battle at Stone-in-the-Wood. Seeing finally the opportunity to get rid of his rival, SkekSil manipulates SkekVar to face Rian armed with the Dual Glaive and as he had hoped, the general is injured by the Gefling and is rejected by SkekSo for his failure. Before the Skeksis' retreat, the Chamberlain sees a wounded SkekVar, the latter pleading for his help following the General's duel against Rian. However, SkekSil refused his help and stabs him in the wound before watching SkekVar crumble into dust. He later reported the General's death to the Emperor, fabricating that SkekVar died during the fight before SkekTek shows his latest creation to fight the Gelfling: the first Garthim.
The Dark Crystal
After the death of SkekSo, his greed and lust for power led to a challenge by the Garthim-Master, SkekUng the General, when he decided to crown himself the new self-appointed emperor. Without hesitation, SkekUng confronted SkekSil and issued the challenge for supremacy. The Chamberlain responded by declaring the challenge be a Trial By Stone. After the battle, the Chamberlain was stripped of his clothes and declared an outcast by the High Priest as punishment for losing to the new emperor, SkekUng.
Just as soon as the Chamberlain lost his place among the Skeksis, the remaining clan learned that the Gelfling, Jen, had escaped. As SkekSil saw it, this was his chance to prove himself to his fellow Skeksis. With the unauthorized help of the new emperor's Garthim, he traveled to the the home of Aughra, where the Garthim tracked the gelfling's location. After the Garthim demolished Aughra's home in an attempt to capture the gelfling, SkekSil plotted to lure Jen to the castle.
Later, as one of the Garthim attempts to capture Jen and his new companion Kira, SkekSil holds off the Garthim long enough for the Gelflings to escape. After the Gelflings find the ruins of their lost civilization and read the prophecy, SkekSil tries to convince them to go with him to the castle in order to "make peace" with the Skeksis.
The Gelflings reject the offer; however, after Jen and Kira sneak into the castle, SkekSil corners them and attempts to force them into going with him to the throne. As a last resort, Jen stabs the Chamberlain. Angered by this action, SkekSil tries to kill Jen by burying him in a pile of stones. While seemingly ending Jen's life, he grabs Kira and takes her to the throne to redeem himself and show his dedication to the emperor. After presenting his prize to the emperor, the Chamberlain is reinstated and remains in favor until Jen heals the crystal, and the Mystics and Skeksis are reunited as the UrSkeks. SkekSil was combined with his counterpart UrSol to form the UrSkek SilSol.
The Power of the Dark Crystal
SkekSil returns in the sequel series along with the other Skeksis, later becoming the main antagonist. As soon as they appear however, SkekUng and the other Skeksis declared that SkekSil is to blame for their imprisonment; thus, using the Crystal Sceptre, the Ritual Master SkekZok summoned the Crystal Bats again to exile the Chamberlain, tearing his robes until he is reduced to rags once again. SkekSil later witness the quarrel between the Skeksis and the Gelfling guards before leaving.
The Chamberlain at some point was seemingly stuck between some rocks, not long before meeting Kensho and Thurma, the latter who is a Fireling holding the crystal shard. When the two were separated, SkekSil attempted to convince Thurma to hand over the shard, but was rebuffed. He continued pursuing her until they reached an area filled with blighted creatures. SkekSil urged Thurma to use her flames to cleanse the land of the infection, hoping that her efforts would weaken her. After doing so, Thurma was almost killed by the Chamberlain until Kensho intervened and knocked skekSil into a river. However he survived and shifted his attention to Jen, who was heading towards Thurma's home of Mithra with a train of Garthim and guards; the Chamberlain overpowered Jen's guards and stole the Scepter of Office, thus enabling him to control the Garthim.
With the Garthim by his side, SkekSil continued his pursuit of Thurma and Kensho after bathing in the Pool of Tears and thus gaining protection from Mithra's heat. The Chamberlain later confronted the pair at the shaft connecting the world of Mithra with the Crystal, where he severely wounded Kensho after the latter had thrown the shard into the shaft.
In the end, Thurma restores the crystal when she returns the shard; during the destruction of the Crystal however, SkekSil gets perforated by flying shards, dying as a result along with UrSol.
Beneath the Dark Crystal
The Chamberlain appears in the Dream Space, interrupting Kensho and UrSol's exchange of words regarding the former's past and sudden transition to be leader. SkekSil then taunted the Gelfling, questioning him for his melancholic predicament and declaring that he had never truly recovered from his death. However, UrSol encouraged Kensho while reminding him of Thurma's love for him and instructing him to journey to the Valley of the Mystics in order to find the hope he had lost, prompting the latter to eventually awaken.
The Dark Crystal
|“||It's time to make.. my move.||„|
|~ SkekSil discussing his plans to take the throne.|
|“||(SkekUng: I challenge!) Hmmm? Hmmm... Trial by Stone?||„|
|~ SkekSil challenges SkekUng.|
|“||Prophecy? (Kira: Jen, Skeksis!) Stay! Stay! No! Stay. Stay. Am friend. Stay. Am friend. Prophecy. Prophecy cause all this trouble. (Jen: That prophecy?) Yes! (Jen: That's why Skeksis killed Gelfling?) Yes! Yes. Bad mistake. Skeksis afraid, fear Gelfling. (Jen: But you're a Skeksis.) But I am friend, save you from Garthim. (Jen: Why?) (Kyra: Don't listen to him. It's a trick.) No! Please! Must listen. Am outcast. If I make peace, am outcast no more. (Jen: Will you stop the Garthim attacks?) Yes! Please, come to the castle. Please! Show them you want peace. Show them Gelflings will not harm us. Please, please. Please. (Kyra: Jen! No!) Come. Please. Please. Yes. Please? Yes. (Jen: No! Come on, Kira.) No! Wait! Wait, please? Please? Wait! Please make peace||„|
|~ SkekSil tries to manipulate Jen and Kyra.|
|“||I'd knew you would come. Do not be afraid. I'm here to help to you, yes. Come, show them Gelflings live with Skeksis together in peace. Please..||„|
|~ SkekSil pleading for Jen and Kira to come with him for the last time.|
|“||Gelfling, YOU DIE!!||„|
|~ SkekSil to Jen before causing a cave-in to bury the Gelfling and taking Kira with him.|
|“||Royal sire. I bring you.. Gelfling. I, I have done this! I have caught her. I bring you the Gelfling. I was wounded. I suffered horrible, searing pain.||„|
|~ SkekSil as he shows his capture of Kira the Gelfling to SkekUng.|
|“||Give us the Shard and you can go free.||„|
|~ SkekSil to Kira when she holds the last fragment of the Crystal.|
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
- As the Skeksis were meant to be based on the Seven Deadly Sins, SkekSil clearly represents lust due to his desire for power.
- Pre-production notes for the film describe the Chamberlain as "resembling an overstuffed chair, with springs, sawdust, horsehair, webbing, sacking, and underfelt layered under a carapace of carved animal limbs and a collar like a headboard."
- Although SkekUng is said to be his rival, SkekSil was also in rivalry with the first general SkekVar during Dark Crystal: Age of the Resistance. It is possible that the Chamberlain started his rivalry with SkekUng after murdering SkekVar.
- SkekSil is the most popular out of all the Skeksès, as he has more defined character than the others, and also having the most prominent appearances in both the 1982 film and the 2019 prequel series.
- Since SkekSil is responsible for the idea of draining the Gelfing race, he is considered the overall main antagonist of The Dark Crystal franchise.
- His goals are similar to Starscream of the Transformers, whom many fans compare SkekSil to. While Starscream was constantly trying to take Megatron's place, SkekSil never tried to overthrow SkekSo to become Emperor, but he was ready to eliminate his rivals to keep his rank, although he is trying to become Emperor after SkekSo's death and after failing and being banned, SkekSil is just content to regain his place among the Skeksès and did not try to eliminate SkekUng despite his aversion to him. This shows that SkekSil is not as power-hungry as Starscream.