WARNING: The following article contains minor spoilers for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, streaming now on Netflix.
In 1982's The Dark Crystal, Jim Henson's vision for puppets in the alien world of Thra certainly shocked audiences by making the Chamberlain one of the most sinister characters in the film. After trying to take the throne following the Emperor's death at the start of the film, Chamberlain lost a trial and was exiled, which lead him to seek out Jen and Kira.
He pretended to be their friend, saving them from the Garthim, but it was all a plot as Chamberlain turned out to be a sniveling schemer who shares DNA with Game of Thrones' Littlefinger. But in the Netflix prequel series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, these 10 episodes kick it up a notch by showing just how vile and calculating this villain was long before the shard was reunited with the crystal.
In the movie, Chamberlain tried to trick Jen and Kira, so he could get the crystal shard for himself and win favor back with the Skeksis circle. They grew tired of his sly tongue and his constant plotting for power, so they celebrated his banishment. Other than that, we didn't really see him as a physical force to be reckoned with. Chamberlain came off more as a politician but with Simon Pegg's iteration of the villain here, he's even better at his job.
Sure, he whines and plays people against each other, but he also gets pretty physical in combat too. In terms of the former, Chamberlain actually comes up with the idea of the Scientist using more Gelflings to drain their essence, thus replenishing the Skeksis' life-force. While the Scientist had some sort of limit, Chamberlain maintains this race is the very lifeblood of Thra, so once the crystal can extract that, the Scientist can redirect it into them. Despite their working together here, they continued to feud but the Scientist definitely can't attribute this plan to himself since Chamberlain is more constantly proactive and innovative.
Chamberlain's even more conniving with his own crew as he tries to steal essence allotted to certain members and poisons the General who also hates him. He's always plotting how he could take the Emperor down in secret. Chamberlain even kicks off the Gelfling war when he frames Rian for murdering Mira--the first victim he urged the Scientist to drain--which sets them on a genocidal path to use the Gelflings as fodder. And so, with every kill, Chamberlain ascends the ladder to his ultimate goal: the throne.
This all comes full-circle in the second half of the season when he murders Tavra, stabbing her through the back when the Vapran princess was about to kill the General. He saves his rival with some essence too, only so the General could boast about his loyalty to the Emperor, which creates room for Chamberlain to return as his right hand man. This happens in the finale when the General's wounded again, but this time, when they're away from everyone, Chamberlain puts a blade through the General as he knows it's time to return to his old spot. The General's stunned because he thought his comrade turned a new leaf, but it was merely a facade.
Chamberlain lies about the General dying due to a blow from Deet's possession after she was possessed by the Darkening, and he easily returns to the Emperor's side as advisor. This confirms that he's as cerebral as he is physical and a more multi-dimensional villain than he was the '80s film. He's a deeper, far more unpredictable character that leaves fans wanting to see more of him in Season 2 now that he has the Garthim in the Skeksis legion to play with.
Streaming now on Netflix, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is directed by Louis Leterrier, and features the voice talents of Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nathalie Emmanuel , Caitriona Balfe, Helena Bonham Carter, Harris Dickinson, Natalie Dormer, Eddie Izzard, Theo James, Toby Jones, Shazad Latif, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mark Strong, Alicia Vikander, Harvey Fierstein, Mark Hamill, Ralph Ineson, Jason Isaacs, Keegan-Michael Key, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Simon Pegg, Andy Samberg and Donna Kimball.