some reminders about pink diamond
So after the big reveal, there was a lot of uproar, with people getting furious over what Pink Diamond did. Heck, I was one of them.
But after thinking it over, I realized that maybe some of it is being a bit overstated. There’s been a lot of talk about how Rose was evil or how she created a war because she was bored or how she only created Steven to run away from responsibility.
Y’all. The vast majority of evidence does not support this.
So anyway, here are some important reminders:
- The Gem War was already going on for 1,000 years before Pink Diamond decided to fake her shattering. She did this because she thought it would end the war, and allow the Crystal Gems to live in peace. Yes, it backfired, and yes, she should have considered that the other Diamonds would seek revenge, but at the end of the day, she legitimately believed that the Diamonds wouldn’t care enough to take action if they thought she was gone.
- She still started the war to protect the humans who lived there. Like, seriously, none of that changed. EARTH WOULD BE DESTROYED IF IT WEREN’T FOR HER. I mean, what did she have to gain by picking a fight with herself? All she wanted was a colony of her own. When she got it, she discovered the organic life on Earth and realized she didn’t want to go along with it anymore.
“Curiosity turned to appreciation. Appreciation turned to fondness. And fondness turned to love.”
- Yes, Pink did try talking to the other Diamonds before starting a war. Remember what Steven heard in his dream. Pink Diamond did try and talk to the other Diamonds, bringing up the organic life, but they saw it as a sign of her incompetence, not as a reason to let the planet be free. After that, she tried arguing that the cities were too hard to dismantle (which obviously was a lie), but when that didn’t fly, she created the Crystal Gems and used that as an excuse.
- After the war, she spent 6,000 years trying to find a way to heal the corrupted Gems. Why do you think the Crystal Gems have been bubbling all the monsters they fight? It’s been said that Rose always hoped to find a way to heal them. It’s not like they died and she just went “Eh, what can ya do?” She felt guilty about what had happened, and she spent ages trying to atone.
Honestly, I still stand by the theory that she created Steven at least in part because she hoped that a human’s capacity to grow might mean that he would eventually become powerful enough to heal them. I mean, he did go further in healing Centipeedle than Rose ever did, and he still has a lot of growth to come. It makes sense that Rose saw that she had reached a plateau and hoped that Steven could do better.
- It’s not her fault that there was a power imbalance between her and Pearl. Look, this was fucked up, and it kills me, too. But Pearl’s devotion to Rose wasn’t something Rose could have helped more than she already did. Remember, she gave Pearl the choice to stay loyal to Homeworld. She encouraged Pearl to come into her own. She declared Pearl a free Pearl. But there’s only so much she could do. Yes, Pearl’s devotion to Rose/PD and her feelings of being lost after Rose was gone was tragic, and it breaks my heart. But what more could Rose do?
“Why won’t you just let me do this for you, Rose?”
“Did Rose make you feel like you were nothing?”
“Rose made me feel like I was…everything.”
- She left Bismuth for Steven to find. It’s clear that the reason she bubbled Bismuth (and kept it a secret) was because Bismuth would have known the truth about the shattering and wouldn’t have stood for it. But when she created Steven, she left Bismuth in the same place as her video for him. She probably figured this was her chance to let Bismuth finally be free.
Look, obviously Pink Diamond made some pretty huge miscalculations that caused a lot of pain and death. That doesn’t make her a bad person. She had to constantly face a number of hard choices where there was no easy answer, and each time, she went with what she thought was best.
Should she have ordered Pearl to keep quiet? No. Yet, at the time it seemed like the best choice.
Should she have told the other Crystal Gems the truth after the Corruption Song? Maybe. Yet, at the time it seemed like a better choice to keep it hidden.
(Should she have challenged the other Diamonds head-on without a disguise? Hell no, summoning their full wrath would have been suicide, and the Earth would get colonized anyway.)
I get it: it’s easy to demonize someone who comes from a position of power when things go wrong on a major scale. But the fact is that it’s not that simple. People have limits, people have flaws, people make mistakes. Pink is a Diamond. Her choices were always going to have far-reaching consequences, and she tried her best given what she had. We’re in a morally grey zone with both positive and negative outcomes.