Aughra was created by Jim Henson and Frank Oz for the 1982 film The Dark Crystal. Aughra was controlled by Frank Oz and Mike Edmonds, she was voiced by Billie Whitelaw.
Old enough to know the world that existed before the race of Gelfling came to be, Aughra remembered life on Thra before the Mystics and Skeksis evolved their separate codes.
"Of the race of Aughra, I, Aughra, am alone, the first and last. Born from the need for rocks and trees for an eye to see the world. The wind blew and the blind trees sang and roots twisted in the dark rocks and the roots sang and the rocks cracked and I was Aughra. This is my song. The rocks will me to be their eye; the roots willed me to be their eye. Blind rocks that felt the heartbeat of the World; blind trees swaying in the breathing of the wind made to view for them all the shapes of the World. Slowly, slowly the roots split the rock and I was free. The First Age of Aughra was of innocence and it was long. Then it was Aughra and the race of the Gelfling who shared the World. The Gelfling sang and danced for the joy of their lives, and I was part of their joy."
The First Great Conjunction
In the time that Thra was a place of peace and harmony, Aughra had a son –Raunip. Though all of Thra already looked to Aughra as a mother figure, becoming a true mother changed Aughra's world entirely. She sensed the coming Great Conjunction that would bring immense change. She waited for the suns to align; for the Great Conjunction to occur.
The urSkeks found Aughra on the mountaintop, burned by the light of their arrival. They healed her burns and restored sight to one of her eyes. She exchanged knowledge with the urSkeks — she gave them knowledge of Thra, and in return they gave her knowledge of the stars. The urSkeks built the Castle of the Crystal, and TekTih built Aughra an Observatory and Orrery for her to study the stars for signs of the next Great Conjunction. Aughra learned that the urSkeks, exiled from their home, had a Crystal on their home world. They traveled through to the Crystal on Thra.
"On the day I gave one eye to see the splendor of the Three Suns, a new joy came to the World. I lay on the mountain above the Crystal and saw the Three Suns move close together. I lay under rocks with one eye open to the light, and for one moment and forever I saw the Eye of the Three Suns shining down upon me. Then from that light my eye darkened, and in that moment of light the urSkeks opened the door in the Crystal and entered our World. The pain of my lost eye was joined once to the joy I had in the urSkeks, but bitter, sour, poisoned rock is that joy to me now."
The Second Great Conjunction
Aughra was also present at the Second Great Conjunction and witnessed the division of the urSkeks into Skeksis and urRu. After the division, she learned from both the urRu and Skeksis. The urRu migrated to the valley, and Aughra witnessed the Skeksis crack the crystal. As time passed the Skeksis went mad and Aughra retired to her observatory, rarely seen.
The Dark Crystal
As he lay dying, urSu the Master instructed Jen to visit Aughra and retrieve the True Shard from her. Jen began his quest to find the home of Aughra. As he wandered looking for her, she captured him. She did not know any Gelfling had survived the Garthim War. After Jen shared that he was sent by urSu and was looking for a crystal shard, she released him and led him to her Observatory. There she explained the coming Great Conjunction, and told Jen that he needs to use the shard to heal the Crystal. She provided him with all of the crystal shards in her possession, one of which is the True Shard. Aughra could not tell him which to choose; Jen had to determine the correct one.
Suddenly, Garthim broke into the Observatory, captured Aughra, and then destroyed the Observatory. The Garthim took her to the Castle of the Crystal, presented her to the Skeksis, and then imprisoned her in the Chamber of Life. From her imprisonment, Aughra watched Kira as she was drained of her essence, and told her to fight back by calling to the creatures. The creatures in the castle helped free Kira and Aughra.
Aughra witnessed the healing of the Crystal and the recombining of the urRu and Skeksis into the urSkeks, and declared: "What was sundered and undone shall be whole, the two made one."
Aughra is mean and cantankerous and prone to mood swings. An example of this is described in the novel: When Jen reaches for something out of curiosity in Aughra's observatory, she angrily holds his hand to the table and growls at him not to touch anything. She then proceeds to behave as if nothing had happened.
She is shown saying dramatically that the Great Conjunction is the "end of the world", and then adding, in a different tone of voice, "or the beginning! Hmf!" before dismissively remarking that ends and beginnings are "all the same", each being a form of change. When she asks Jen the location of his urRu mentor, and hears that the latter is dead, she becomes wary and says "Could be anywhere, then".
Aughra shows no fear of the Skeksis or the Garthim, calling them "fools", the Garthim "stupid" and stating, "Lords? Not for long! What about the prophecy, that a Gelfling will end Skeksis power? He'll come! Make you crawl, like the worms you are!"
Skills and Abilities
A scientist, alchemist, astronomer, a wise woman and a witch, Aughra is an old hermit woman who lives in a isolated brain-shaped observatory atop a mountain which is inhabited by little strange creatures and hidden by living plants. Her home contains a complex orrery that shows the suns, moons, stars and planets of their solar system and their relative positions and motions.