Garthim guarding the entrance to The Castle of the Crystal.

No Gelfling ever escaped from my deadly Garthim.


The Garthim were the strike force of the Skeksis, powered by The Dark Crystal. They were created after the Skeksis discovered the prophecy revealing that a Gelfling would reverse The Great Division. The word "Garthim" is a plural noun, with no singular.[2]

The Garthim were large, black-carapaced flea-like creatures, armed with powerful claws and moved with a loud ticking sound. The Garthim were also immensely strong, easily able to smash through stone walls and destroy anything regardless of its construction, including Aughra's Orrery. When not in battle, they served as sentries in the corridors and pits of The Castle of the Crystal, motionless until given a command.[2] They were created through the combined efforts of skekTek and skekUng, and were apparently modeled on sea creatures originating from the urSkek homeworld. Archaeologists theorized that the Garthim, rather than being real creatures, were really thought projections, thus they kept depictions of them to a minimum.[3] The Garthim's sole purpose was destruction, and would follow orders from their Skeksis overlords without question. It was unknown whether or not they could kill a Skeksis if ordered to do so by another, but skekUng planned to test this when he suspected skekTek of betrayal. They could also be controlled by the urRu to a limited extent.[2] Aughra expressed doubt as to whether or not they were truly killable,[3] though the Gelfling Lahr discovered that they could be defeated by stabbing at weak points in their armor.[4] They were implacable enemies of the Landstriders which, although vastly outnumbered and outmatched in physical strength, could use their speed to swiftly cripple the Garthim.[3]

When Jen healed the Crystal, and purged it of darkness, the Garthim collapsed into heaps of empty shells.[2]

The Garthim however were not destroyed as Jen had managed to use skekUng's Garthim staff to reconstitute the Garthim and control them. When the Second Great Division occurred and the Skesis were freed, Jen used the Garthim to apprehend the unruly creatures to restore order in his court.[5]


  1. Henson, J. & Oz, F. (dir.); Henson, J., Kurtz, G. & Lazer, D. (prod.); Henson, J. & Odell, D. (writ.) (December 17, 1982). The Dark Crystal (Motion picture). New York City, NY: Jim Henson Productions.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Smith, A. C. H., & Odell, D. (1982). The Dark Crystal. Holt, Rinehart and Winston . ISBN 0030624363
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Froud, B. & Llewellyn, J. J., (2003) The World of the Dark Crystal. Pavilion Books. ISBN 1-86205-624-2
  4. Kessel, B. R. & Arnhold, H. (2007) Legends of the Dark Crystal Volume 1: The Garthim Wars. TokyoPop. ISBN 1598167014
  5. by Spurrier, S. (Author), Matthews, K. (Illustrator), Matthews, N. (Illustrator)The Power of the Dark Crystal Issue 3. BOOM! - Archaia. ASIN: B06VTKX77Y