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Villain Overview
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
Mmmmhmmm...
~ 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.

Appearance

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.

Personality

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.

Quotes

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

Beloved Scientist! You must be careful. I may not always be here to save you.
~ SkekSil to SkekTek after shutting off the Dark Crystal and foreshadowing to SkekTek's ultimate fate in the film
No, no! You make Crystal hungry. Crystal pulls out essence, but what if we take essence for Skeksis? What if we snatch it? (SkekTek: Collect the essence?) Yes! Instead of taking power we need from Crystal, Skeksis use Crystal to take power from essence. (SkekTek: Hypothetically sound, but I will need a creature to experiment upon.) Hmm Well, Crystal is Thra. Thra gave life. What creatures are closest to Thra, hm? Most full of essence, hmm?
~ SkekSil to SkekTek
(SkekVar: Let us see them try to ask their questions through broken teeth.) Two questions answer one another. (SkekSo: Wait! Hm? Explain yourself, Chamberlain.) Is no need for breaking teeth. Why do we search for Rian? Where is missing Mira? Is obvious. Rian murdered Mira. How tragic! (Skevar: The Gelfling will never believe one of them killed their own.) Of course will believe. Gelfling have always believed Chamberlain's whispers, yes? This is what I do. I plant stories in ground, watch grow into truth. Keep Gelfling looking over shoulder, and they won't ever see what's right in front of them. (SkekVar: Why waste our time with talk when we have talons?) (SkekSo: The Chamberlain speaks true. Let us utilize a light touch until the traitor Rian is back in our grasp.)
~ SkekSil convinces SkekSo to make Geflings believe that Rian killed Mira to keep them under control.
The Emperor must remember his own words. We are Lords of the Crystal, yes? Even if Rian talk, none will believe. They will shun him. Cast him out. How can they not? To believe him is not to believe themselves. Skeksis reign a thousand trine and will reign a thousand-thousand more, until last star in sky goes dark. Gelfling will submit, head bowed, back bent as have always done. Gelfling want to be ruled. Gelfling need to be ruled. Because Gelfling are weak! Gelfling are small. And Skeksis are forever! We took the Crystal. Thra belongs to us now. And is nothing - nothing - Gelfling can do!
~ SkekSil assuring SkekSo that Gelflings will not believe Rian and that Gelfling will always be under their rule.
(SkekTek: Chamberlain!) Scientist. (SkekTek: Explain this nefarious intrusion.) I I came looking for you. Hm. (SkekTek: Is that correct?) Yes! The Emperor sent me to retrieve update on broken machine, yes? More essence yet? - (SkekTek: Will be soon. Very soon.) This is good, yes. Emperor will be most pleased. I go now. Bye-bye.
~ SkekTek and SkekSil
Not I. Must have been Gelfling. (SkekTek: I might have believed you if not for the locksnake bits in your teeth!)
~ SkekSil attempting to lie and say that Gelfling took the essence.
How is friend SkekTek? Good? Emperor is very displeased that machine is not yet fixed. I urge patience. Explain your loss of eye slows you. (SkekTek: My eye is better than ever! I require no further assistance from you, SkekSil.) But if it wasn't for me, Emperor would have taken more than eye. I want your machine to succeed, SkekTek. I want what is best for all Skeksis. You must see that, yes? (SkekTek: I do not have time for your gormless distractions, you slippery...What are those?) Gruenaks. These are gifts. (SkekTek: But I thought we had eradicated them.) These are survivors found by Sifan mariners. They are mechanically minded and surprisingly strong. (SkekTek: You've sewn their mouths shut?) Mmm...Perfect for keeping secrets, yes? So, we are friends? All is forgiven? (SkekTek: It's a start.)
~ SkekSil and StekTek settle their dispute.
Easy, Gelfling. This is all misunderstanding. We are friends, Rian.
~ SkekSil trying to "reason" with Rian.
Is difficult being voice of reason in such crazed world.
~ SkekSil to Rian
OUT of my SPOT!
~ SkekSil yelling at SkekVar to remove himself from next to the Emperor.
I will take seat back at Emperor's side, and teach thick-headed General a lesson!
~ SkekSil before sounding the horn to call forth the Hunter SkekMal.
No! I need Gelfling alive. Must bring before Emperor. (SkekMal: I will have my trophy. I will have this Gelfling's tongue!) No! No! After I drag him back to castle, yes? After Emperor sees my triumph. After General is humiliated. After I have my seat back. My trophy. (SkekMal: Pathetic! You hunt a chair!) No! I...hunt...power...
~ SkekSil insisting he hunts power.
All Gelfling are in danger. Rian must confess to murder of Mira. Stand with Skeksis and silence whispers of rebellion. Stop war before it starts. (Rian: You don't care about the Gelfling.) False. I am friend. I am only reason Gelfling still alive. (Rian: So that we can live as your slaves.) Is Gelfling slave if Gelfling does not know it is slave? Now Gelfling happy. Eating, dancing, drinking running like Fizzgig. (Rian: We're not your pets.) False. You live only a few trine. Skeksis are immortal. We are to you as you are to crawlies. The choice is pets or enemies. Choose wisely. (Rian: And if I say what you want, will you stop draining Gelfling?) Cannot promise. Hm. (Rian: Then I refuse.) All Gelfling lose, or few Gelfling lose all! War is end! (Rian: Unless we win.)
~ SkekSil admitting to Rian that for him and the other Skeksis, the Gelflings are nothing.
Fine. Go then. Run! Have your war. But it will be on Rian's head when Gelfling die because you chose to run. Again.
~ SkekSil offering Rian freedom.
Is beneath mighty Emperor to face lowly Gelfling in combat. Hm? Best left to fearsome General, yes?
~ SkekSil manipulates SkekVar for fight Rian in the place of SkekSo.
General. Huh? Hm? There you are. (SkekVar: Cursed Gelfling.) Good! (SkekVar: Fought dirty. I'm not surprised. They have no honor. Friend... SkekSil. I'm badly wounded. Please, help me!) Mmm. [takes out his dagger] No! [stabs SkekVar's wound] […] You. Took. My. Seat.
~ SkekSil to SkekVar as he murders him.

Trivia

  • 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.

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