After 10 episodes of incredible puppetry and epic storytelling, Netflix prequel The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance ends with a bang as the Gelfling and Skeksis clash and the future of Thra is determined.
But if you were a little confused about the series’ ending, how it fits into the wider canon and what it means for a second season, never fear – we’re here to answer your most pressing questions about what went down during the rumble in the Endless Forest.
Come, dreamfast with us, and remember…
What happens at the end of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance?
After a pitched battle that eventually united all seven Gelfling tribes of Thra, the Skeksis are shockingly defeated, and two (Awkwafina’s Collector and Benedict Wong’s General) are killed, by the absorbed Darkening energy of Deet and the duplicitous Skeksis Chamberlain respectively (the Chamberlain doing so in secret as revenge for an earlier slight).
Humbled, the Skeksis return to the Crystal Castle, bemoaning their loss – only to be greeted by Mark Hamill’s Scientist, who may have the answer to their troubles. In their absence, he’s combined the bodies of the spider-like Arrithim and the lowly, mouth-sewn Grounaks (no, not sure if we’re spelling those right either) to create the giant, Beetle-like Garthim, new soldiers in their war against the Gelfling.
Meanwhile, back at Stone-in-the-Wood, the surviving Gelfling celebrate their new victory, and discover that the Dual Glaive they’d used to fight the Skeksis secretly contained the Crystal Shard missing from the titular Dark Crystal – a crucial tool to allow them to defeat the Skeksis for good.
Amid all the merriment, however, Rian (Taron Egerton) realizes that Deet (Nathalie Emmanuel) is still infected by the Darkening she absorbed from the Emperor’s staff, and watches as she walks away, twisting and infecting the natural world she loves so much in her wake.
What’s happened to Deet?
After being gifted the power by the Sanctuary tree earlier in the series, Deet was able to absorb the deadly Darkening energy that was twisting and changing Thra.
However as the tree noted: “The darkening is pure energy, it cannot be destroyed.
“Like all energy it can only be transferred.”
We see this warning come to fruition in the finale when Deet absorbs the Emperor’s attack and is able to redirect it away from her friends. While the day was saved, Deet still has the energy within her, and her lonely walk away from the victory seems to suggest the energy will be a big problem for her in any future season.
After all, remember her vision from episode eight? Blink and you’ll miss it, but one of her premonitions saw her sitting on the Skeksis Emperor’s throne, eyes blazing with purple Darkening energy, which could suggest Deet’s sunny personality could be in for a change.
Though of course that wasn’t the only big change teased in the vision…
What are the Garthim?
As created by The Scientist, the Garthim are a deadly new addition to the Skeksis forces, who played a crucial part in the original 1982 film (which is set some years after the series).
Completely obedient and powered by the Crystal of Truth itself, in the original film the Garthim function as the main Skeksis shock troops, guards and bodyguards, and are only defeated when the Crystal is healed at the end of the film.
In Age of Resistance, we catch a glimpse of the Garthim in Deet’s vision of the future, before they are properly unveiled by the Skeksis scientist at the end of the Netflix prequel.
Interestingly, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance doesn’t tie directly into the start of The Dark Crystal movie. In the 1982 film, we open with the Gelfling civilization long gone bar two survivors, the Skeksis in full control and the land of Thra a barren husk.
By contrast, Age of Resistance concludes with the Gelfling forces triumphant, the Skeksis on the back foot and the Gelfling civilization still in full swing throughout a verdant Thra. Clearly, something bad still has time to happen…
“We’re keeping it a little vague how far in advance of the film it is,” executive producer Lisa Henson said at a recent screening of the new Netflix prequel.
“The Skeksis are almost immortal and Aughra is immortal, and the Gelfling have short lives like humans do and so we don’t know where on the timeline this is exactly.”
Still, we shouldn’t think that the events of the original film won’t still happen. In Deet’s vision of the future, we see the climactic event from that movie – Gelfling survivor Jen plunging the missing Crystal Shard into the Crystal of Truth, healing it – as well as a Gelfling mother hiding her baby from the Garthim, which is recognizable as part of Kira’s backstory from the movie.
These things will still happen – we just don’t know when, or how connected to the series’ heroes they will be.
For example, it’s unclear whether Kira and Rian will end up being descendants of the current Dark Crystal cast (Kylan is pretty handy with a flute, like Jen, and Deet is pretty close to the animals, like Kira), or whether we’re still a few generations away from their birth, but expect these questions to be answered in any future seasons (if they happen).
Currently the cast and crew are remaining tight-lipped about the future of the series, with director Louis Leterrier only saying that any return to The Dark Crystal would be dependent on this edition’s success.
“It’s so special to us, to all of us, and to you [the fans] and to Netflix, that we took it one step at a time,” he said at a recent screening of the series.
“We’re lucky enough to have everybody at Netflix trust us and give us this opportunity that we’re ending at 10 [episodes] – we cross our fingers, present it to the world and you tell us, you decide. Really, you will be the deciding factor if we wait another 40 years.”
If the series does come back, we may assume it will continue chronicling the battle between the Skeksis and the Gelfling, now complicated by the arrival of the Garthim and the Gelfling’s possession of the Crystal Shard.
It also seems likely that the thread of Deet’s corruption will be picked up alongside her sort-of-love triangle with Rian and Brea (Anya Taylor-Joy), providing some more emotional storytelling amid the warfare.
And (assuming they don’t want yet more seasons after that), it may be that a season two would finally tie the series and the 1982 film together, explaining exactly how the Skeksis pulled off their terrible atrocity and what happened to all the Gelflings. Not the cheeriest prospect for a follow-up, really…
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is streaming on Netflix now