UNMARKED SPOILERS BELOW
End. Begin. All the Same.
- During the Tithing Ceremony, a Gelfling farmer and his wife come, only their tithe is minimal thanks to the Darkening affecting their crops. The Scrollkeeper asks for the necklace of the Farmers Wife as a replacement tithe, which was dreametched by her mother with her last wisdom before her death. When the Farmer begs to wait until next harvest to pay, the Scrollkeeper feigns hurt and manipulates the other Gelfling in attendance into anger against the pair, shaming them, with the All-Maudra saying "they never take that which is not given"and the Farmer apologizes to his wife before stripping the necklace from her and giving it to the Skeksis. It turns out this necklace is a bribe to the All-Maudra, though it goes into Heartwarming territory when Brea steals it and returns it to its rightful owner at the end of the episode.
- Mira becoming the first creature the Skeksis drain. She doesn't become an empty shell like what happens to the Pod People and what nearly happens to Kira in the movie. She dies and explodes into particles of light, due to being directly exposed to the Dark Crystal. And her Love Interest Rian can do nothing but watch in horror.
- The revelation that originally even the Skeksis had the same horrified reaction to the first draining, recoiling and gasping in horror after skekTek stabs her with the drainers, covering their mouths in shock, some even crying out "No!", and skekVar the General in particular bellowing "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?! ". Even skekSo demands the Scientist explain himself after Mira perishes as a result. But even more tragic, is that their desire to for eternal life is so powerful, that all this initial horror is forgotten after they see the Emperor's strength returned after he partakes of the essence. This was probably the last time the Skeksis had any shred of moral fiber, and their first steps into becoming the monsters we saw them as in the film.
- And Rian can only watch as the Skeksis, whom he believed to be benevolent beings all his life, swarm around Mira's essence and guzzle it down like a flock of vultures. While they celebrate, Rian cries.
Nothing Is Simple Anymore.
- Rian grieving Mira's death, but the only person who doesn't believe he killed her is Gurjin.
- When the All-Maudra finds out Brea wiped Elder Cadia's memory and stole the necklace and gave it back to the farmer's wife, she agrees with Seladon's suggestion to send her to the Order of Lesser Service (basically Gelfling community service). Brea's plead for mercy is the equivalent of a child being caught.
What Was Sundered and Undone.
- Juni's reason being in the Order of Lesser Service was because she became friends with a Spriton boy, but her parents didn't like it that he wasn't Vapran.Juni: So, jingle-jangle! Time to put on the hat! Doesn't seem fair.
- When it's revealed that Ordon had informed Fara of Rian's "illness". Rian is shocked that his father, of all Gelfling, believes the Skeksis' lies about him and turned on him. Rian begs Ordon, Fara, and the guards to listen to him but to no avail. Rian then calls Ordon out by questing him about why he never believes him. After Rian escapes, Ordon sighs sadly, having to hunt down his own son.
- Upon first witnessing the sad state of the Dark Crystal, Aughra is grief-stricken and distraught, muttering "no" repeatedly as she walks towards it while nearly breaking down completely; shocked by the revelation that the very people she entrusted to protect the Crystal for past 1000 years, were instead gleefully abusing it's power for themselves, interrupting Thra's natural circle of life and death in the process.
The First Thing I Remember Is Fire.
- Ordon sacrificing himself to save his son, only for skekMal the Hunter to survive and capture him anyway.
She Knows All The Secrets.
- The Chamberlain cruelly drinking the vial of Mira's essence in front of Rian.
- Hup's tearful breakdown after his immediate and utterly humiliating defeat against skekMal the Hunter, seeing his defeat as proof he's unfit to protect Deet, saying his "sword" is just a spoon, and he doesn't deserve to become a Paladin, let alone call himself one. Luckily, Deet is great at picking him back up.Deet: What's wrong, Hup?
Hup: Hup scared...(Podling language relating to skekMal)
Deet: I understand. I was scared too.
Hup: Hup ne scared Hup...Hup scared Deet!
Deet: ...You're scared for me?
Hup: ...Hup want to protect Deet...(Looks at Spoon) Otsa ne sword. Otsa spoon! Silly spoon! (Throws spoon to ground) Hup ne Paladin...Hup nobody. (Covers his face, sobbing)
Deet: Did nobody save me from the Spitter? Did nobody stand up for me in Stone-In-The-Wood? Did nobody protect me from the gobbles?
Hup: No. Hup did.
Deet: That's right. You're on your way to Ha'rar to become a Paladin. But if you ask me... (hands back his spoon) you already are.
- When Aughra is trying to reconnect with Thra but fails, you can hear her almost crying as she says, "Mystic ways don't work. Aughra ways don't work. All ways don't work! Aughra cannot make Thra sing." Then she encounters a nearby animal succumbing to the Darkening and she breaks down, saying that she failed it and the rest of Thra. In her voice is the pain of a Goddess, of a Mother who does not only think but knows that she has failed her children and that it's all her fault. Luckily, she gets tears of joy when the Sanctuary Tree heals the animal at her plea and on Thra's behalf.
- Seladon's voice practically breaks when she shouts at Mayrin that she never seems to notice her while in the Dream Space.
- All-Maudra Mayrin being murdered in front of her children by skekVar the General.
- Seladon coldly places the blame on Brea while the latter is so grief-stricken all she can do is collapse against her mother's body and cry. Seladon later denounces their sisterhood.
By Gelfling Hand.
- After Aughra tells the Archer he must go to the desert to defeat the Hunter, she begins to leave before he asks if they will ever see each other again. Aughra pauses, clearly holding back some bitterness at what the Archer's fate would be, but knowing this is one of the only ways to save Thra she tries to be as comforting as she can.Aughra: Some things... even Aughra cannot see, old friend.
- Brea talking about looking in her mother's eyes as she died, and realizing that every time Mayrin told her "I love you" she had truly meant it.
- Brea mourning her mother's death through song, supported by her new friends. While Seladon watches the body burn, alone.Seladon: I loved you with all I had. I'm sorry it wasn't enough.
Time To Make . . . My Move.
- The way urGoh the Wanderer sounds when describing why he and skekGra the Heretic wish to be whole once more. Complete with their two puppets hugging closely and then mournfully being pulled apart.urGoh: We want to be rejoined, now. Every moment one are two... is too terrible... for one to bear.
- If the puppet show is accurate, urGoh and skekGra both tried to convince the Skeksis to rejoin with their Mystic counterpart. However, they were likely met with violence for that suggestion and that forced them into hiding. And as for the Mystics? They simply said "No" to the Heretic and Wanderer and chose to wait for the time to reunite to come naturally.
- The Stonewood's preparations for battle are all for naught as they are brainwashed by the Threader Arathim and forced to walk to the Crystal of the Castle.
Prophets Don't Know Everything.
- Seladon comes to the Castle of the Crystal to ask the Skeksis if they can spare the Stonewood Gelflings so they can resume their lives as their servants like they used to. The Emperor's response? "Um...no." So Seladon asks to spare only the Gelflings loyal to the Skeksis. "No." Seladon asks to only kill the Gelflings that are spreading the rumor that they are being drained. The Skeksis confirm that they are draining Gelflings for their essence. Seladon is clearly shaken, but she tries to remain stoic and tries to offer them seven Gelflings from each clan as per her mother's original agreement with them. "Uh...no." Poor Seladon's face melts into despair as she realizes everything she learned was a lie. Then she begs them to spare her and her sisters if no one else. "NO!" They proceed to laugh and mock her before they gang up on her and tear her costume to pieces so violently that they scratch her face before dragging her to the dungeon by her hair. Even worse is that Seladon still can't accept it, laying blame on Brea and the other rebels for pushing the Skeksis to this point, especially because of her own part in what has happened by betraying her own family. It's only as Tavra lays dying later on that she finally acknowledges she was wrong.
- And poor Aughra can only watch the whole scene in horror through her eye that she planted on Seladon earlier.
- Deet finding her home destroyed, her fathers missing, and her little brother possessed by one of the Arathim.
The Crystal Calls.
- In a strange way, the Emperors complete and utter meltdown after skekMal supposedly dies. skekSo is a monster by any definition; a selfish, tyrannical bastard who would murder an entire culture for the sake of his own. But in this moment, we cut through all the bluster and see him for what he really is at his core; a being who is absolutely terrified of death, to the point that it overrides all reason and morality. A man who would rather convince himself he is immortal than consider what lies beyond. Confronted with incontrovertible proof of his own mortality, all of his stoicism and imperial majesty disintegrates, and he can do nothing but scream and break things like a child. As unjustifiable as the Skeksis actions are, theyre not that hard to understand; who isnt scared of dying? Who doesnt sometimes rage at the unfairness of it all?
- Relating to the above, when skekGra and urGoh are tending to the mortally wounded urVa, they find themselves glumly pondering a question never mentioned before; if a Mystic and Skeksis die before they are reunited, what happens to their shared urSkek soul? Does it stick itself back together and move on to the afterlife, or does it just fade away into nothing because of being split in two? Really makes you cringe at all the times Mystics and Skeksis die; the urSkeks they were created from may have just suffered the most horrible, disproportionate punishment imaginable for the shattering of the Crystal, an act done out of a mere desire to make themselves better.
- The death of Tavra, and her sisters' reactions, particularly Seladon saying it should have been her instead. There might be some hope as the Arathim her mind merged with is still alive.
- There is a understated sadness to the moment skekTek the Scientist and Aughra meet each other again, and Aughra reminds him of the days, many a trine ago, where they were friends, presumably bonding over their shared interest in science and the laws of the universe, and neither seems happy to be in opposite sides now. This moment is even sadder when you consider how badly the Skeskis treat skekTek in contrast to Aughra, who never demeans him directly.Aughra (to The Scientist): Are you proud?Scientist: Huh?Aughra: To build the machine...that'll be the death of Aughra?Scientist (bitterly): Not as proud as Mother Aughra...throwing her life away in a desperate bid for redemption.Aughra (sadly): It did not have to end this way between us. We were friends, once.Scientist looks Aughra and then at the Emperor, equally sadlyScientist: Another world. Another time.Aughra lets out a mournful sigh as she looks down
A Single Piece Was Lost
- The Emperor's "Do you dream?" dialogue with the General. It's an incredibly humanizing and somewhat sympathetic look into the otherwise utterly inhuman and unsympathetic skekSo's fears, motivations, and perhaps the last moment of his "true" self before his darker nature twisted him; and quite possibly his final moment of self-reflection in the series' timeline before what will eventually be his diving off the Moral Event Horizon when he starts the upcoming Garthim War. During the exchange, he lets his facade of being an impenetrable ruler fall, and opens up to skekVar about the nightmares he's been having, and openly airs his fears of mortality.Emperor: Do you sleep?
General: Of course, sire.
Emperor: Do you dream?
General: No, Emperor.
Emperor: Neither did I, until I began my experiments on The Darkening. Now my slumber is riddled with nightmares. Do you remember what it was like? Before we were rent asunder?
General: ...I don't think of such things-
Emperor: And yet, the thoughts come.
General: ...I remember...suffering. Guilt. Sorrow. But it's hard to recall...like a-...
Emperor: A dream?
General: A nightmare!
Emperor: Yes. We know the torments that lie behind us, but what torment awaits beyond this existence? All the more reason to hold onto life, with all claws! ...No matter the cost...!
- The fate of the Gruenak slaves; just when it looked like they might escape after one gets their lips unsewn, they are both promptly killed off. One is tossed down the Great Shaft of the Castle and the other is beat to death off-screen before their body is combined with an Arathim into the first Garthim.
skekTek: How dare you threaten me! I am skekTek, the Scientist! I am a master of life and death! I am a genius! I am a Lord of the Crystal! I AM SKEKSIS! AAAAAAAAAAAAHH!
- Even worse is the heartbreaking moment before skekTek finds them. One gets their mouth unstitched, and when they finally manage to speak, the other throws their arms around them, sobbing.
- And another tragic facet is that the awful situation was an obvious attempt of skekTek at taking his frustration and anger of being mistreated and abused out on the Gruenaks, having kept so much of his rage and pain bottled up that it resulted in their brutal murder. Especially obvious when he screams his accomplishments to them, and his emotions reaching such a point that he sounds like he's close to tears right before he pounces on the Gruenaks, as if his emotion-filled speech is less a fearsome declaration of who he is to his rebelling slaves, and more him desperately affirming himself of his own worth. Culminating in his Cathartic Scream as he brutally beats the last Gruenak to death.
- urVa the Archer ending his own life to stop the Hunter, save the Gelflings, and restore Aughra. What's especially sad is that, since they aren't native to Thra, the Archer and the Hunter might or might not have been doomed to oblivion.
- Even Hup who barely knew this Mystic was stricken with grief as he watched Archer willingly fall to his death, screaming his name. He only realized too late that there was no other way for Archer to end the Hunt.
- As the Emperor unleashes the Darkening, Deet jumps in front of it to protect her friends, but is also screaming in pain as she tries to contain it. There are multiple shots showing Brea yelling for Deet as well as Rian.Rian: (horrified) Stop! You're killing her!
- Even Aughra is scared for the poor girl, putting her hand over her heart and shouting "Gentle Deet!" the way a parent would fear for their child's safety.
- The arrival of the other Gelfling clans rallying to the aid of Stonewood at the Second Battle of Stone-in-the-Wood, with all the clans finally uniting as one against a common enemy, can bring Tears of Joy.
- Deet distances herself from the other Gelflings now that she has absorbed the Darkening. As a Friend to All Living Things, this makes it even more tragic now that she's become a Walking Wasteland...
- Meanwhile Rian is the only one who's noticed that Deet was missing. After running into the woods and calling her name over and over in anguish, Rian sees that the Darkening is taking over Deet and he can only watch as she goes farther away, and manipulating the trees to block the path behind her so no one can follow.
- Fara dying in Seladon's arms as Baffi whimpers and nuzzles at her body in an attempt to revive her. The pitiful little howl he makes as he buries his face in Seladon and is comforted by her is especially hard to watch.
- While he still gets off better than the Gruenaks, the one Podling butler having his hand crushed by skekTek as he lies on the floor too afraid to even get up is pretty awful. Basically, any time Podlings suffer is heartbreaking. Not for nothing it's this (and skekMal's sudden revival) that finally makes the Podlings scram.