Episode 6: By Gelfling Hand…
By the gods, I wanted to look up who plays Seladon and to my surprise, I discovered it’s Doctor Who alum, sister of Martha Jones, Gugu Mbatha-Raw! I didn’t recognize her voice but what a powerhouse performance she puts in during this episode. Oh, make no mistake, I hate Seladon at this point, and I do not hate Gugu, but it has got to be said that for a puppet, she packs a punch, as Fara finds out. (Oh, would you look at that! Fara is played by Cersei herself, Game of Thrones alum, Lena Headey! What a cast!) And what scenery! There is an image of Seladon’s ceremony, as she burns her mother’s body that seamlessly transitions into the Skeksis castle. It’s stunning. Earlier, the image of the lake as the moths take the pieces of crown to the different kingdoms is utterly gorgeous. The Crystal Desert is beautiful too. I think I’m going to see if there’s a map of Thra online…
But I digress! The 6th episode opens with Lore, our favorite rock golem, emerging from beneath the throne which sends Seladon flying… deservedly. Off he goes to rescue the heroes that were being taken at the end of episode 5. Meanwhile Rian is regaining the trust of the people. They begin to trust in his dreamfasts and they learn the truth. The people of the Stone-in-the-wood clan begin openly revolting against Chamberlain. They are finding their voices. This feels like the beginning of the turning point for the heroes.
In the Crystal Desert, Brea realizes she won’t be there to bury her mother and it causes her tremendous pain. Once again, Deet to the rescue. She offers genuine friendship to a girl she barely knows and suggests they hold a ceremony to honor the former All-Maudra. I am again reminded of the beauty people are capable of; the wonders that make up who we are (both human and Gelfling!) When Brea doesn’t know how to start, Rian offers memories of his father, calling him “my captain, my father”.
Aughra continues talking to The Archer. She mentions that there are many “pieces on the board” which is an interesting chess reference. Interesting because chess is about two sides, a light and a dark, that battle. The Archer refers to the Hunter as his “dark half”, an idea I unintentionally alluded to in last weeks’ post. He says specifically that “I cannot defeat my dark half” which made me think of the original video game version of Prince of Persia. There is a moment wherein you encounter a mirror of yourself that you have to fight. If you win the fight, you die. If you lose the fight, you die. In both cases, you are killing yourself, but like Brea said a few episodes ago, every problem has a solution. This was a passing thought that lasted all of about 1 second when it made me realize Brea may have found the solution. But the answer did not come in this episode, so I am forced to stay my hand. I do not know if there is an answer, but I suspect it will tie in with my memory of Prince of Persia. (Inspiration comes from unlikely sources, indeed!)
After the ceremony, the heroes rest but they are woken by the arrival of the Dousan clan. Rumor is, this clan “worships death”. That sure sounds ominous, but I was thinking: maybe it’s not. Death is just a part of the cycle. Perhaps Dousan is the end of the cycle. Regardless, the heroes part company, some traveling with the Dousan, some traveling on their own. All the while, the Hunter observes their movements…
I am quite certain that this is also the start of the genocide of the Gelfling as the Skeksis start taking the guards from their own castle to drain their essence. Power is consuming the Skeksis. And they are not alone. Seladon prepares to battle Fara. She comes out dressed like a Skeksis (as one of the onlookers comment) and she turns scary as she claims the title of All-Maudra for herself. Let’s see what happens next…. ML
The View from my Rainbow Connection
And we’re backkk…
Brea stands up to Skeksis and is taken away with Deet and Hup on Seladon’s order. Lore, waiting patiently under the chamber of the deceased All Maudra, senses something is wrong and basically explodes Seladon off the seat of the Throne. I loved this.
Now it’s Rian’s turn to save someone from a Skeksis carriage ride. Here he comes to save the day! With a little help from Lore, we see Deet, Hup, and Brea all released from the vehicle of certain death. Yippee! Even better yet, we see all the Paladin guards agree to Dreamfast and learn the truth. They acknowledge that it was hard to see the light when they spent their whole life in the dark.
Unfortunately being knocked on her butt by Lore doesn’t stop Seladon from being a dope. She explains the tradition of the wind sifters who take a piece of the All Maudra’s crown to 6 Maudra’s from other clans. Then the hope is the other Maudra’s will come together to reassemble the crown and give the new All Maudra their blessing. Going to be a hard sell if you ask me after the Maudra’s find out she decided to burn her mother rather than bury her. Ultimately her hurt is just too much to overcome. She just never felt she was enough for her mother. This was never true but she felt it nonetheless. Seladon’s inability to see or want to see the Skeksis for who they really are makes me think of that saying, “if you stand for nothing you will fall for anything.”
Let’s jump ahead to the Crystal Desert where Brea cries for her deceased mother. She says something that touched my heart greatly. She explains that she keeps thinking that if she turns her head fast enough she’ll see her mothers face. I have often thought that about my own dad after losing him. Also hearing Rian mourn his father touched me deeply. He says all the lessons his father, the captain, had tried teaching him in life all make sense now. I can almost hear my brother saying this about our dad.
Now back to Mother Aughra. We see her speak to Mystic Longneck and tell him to confront The Hunter at the Circle of the Suns. Their talk was touching. Both have a deep respect for the other. I hope they meet again under happier circumstances.
We end this episode knowing Chanberlian is an outcast. The Emperor is drunk on power and essence as all the Skeksis are. Princess Tavra is held captive and finds out her mother was killed. Seladon is having a hard time getting the blessing from Stonewood Maudra, Fara and Drenchen Maudra, Laesid. They recognize her dark heart and also that the All Maudra doesn’t always have to be of Vapran clanship. Here Maudra Fara invokes the challenge of trial by air, with the victor taking the crown. Seladon accepts but revokes when she walks in dressed like a Skeksis and makes a new crown. Order or chaos cannot be determined by such a power hungry princess. Let’s see where we go from here.
Oh by the way, we meet a Dousan clan sand master names Rekyr who gives Princess Brea a necklace. I see love in the air. Our heroes part ways with their friends Naia and Gurgin and Adorably Rian gives his best pal a title of Bold Gurgin since he was the only one Mother Aughra didn’t address more eloquently.
See you on the flip side. DG