Whilst talking to a friend I was suddenly struck by a realization that I think explains the precise nature of how Lord English was defeated. I’ve already spoken a little about how the destruction of the Green Sun should not have depleted his Clockwork Majyyks, and therefore shouldn’t have made him any more invulnerable. Here is my take on what I think happened, and how it explains not only the ending, but the entire plot of Homestuck (seriously).
I’ve already spoken a fair bit in the past about Homestuck’s underlying themes in relation to the comic’s name. At first, when taken literally, “Homestuck” appears to be named for only a very small portion of Act 1, when John is literally “stuck in his home”. He is able to leave later on, so he’s no longer home-stuck, right? Now, my take has always been that this depends on your definition of “home”. Homestuck is a story about people leaving behind “homes” of various scope. John leaves his house, yes, but then he leaves his universe, his session, and ultimately his fundamental reality behind. He becomes unstuck from canon itself. From what more is there left to become “unstuck”?
Let’s remind ourselves what the “treasure” juju does. I mean, obviously we know that Caliborn initially used it to seal the souls of the beta kids, and then later Vriska deployed it against Lord English. But what else does it do? John put his hand through it and it became distributed throughout the canon of Homestuck. This is an ability with a very specific scope; he is distributed not throughout reality, but throughout Homestuck itself. There’s a reason why it is shaped like the Homestuck logo; the ultimate weapon is a gateway to Homestuck.
Lord English cannot be destroyed by conventional means, he can only be defeated by the exploitation of glitches in Paradox Space. So far, the glitches in Paradox Space we have seen have taken a very specific form also; metacanonical altering. Caliborn jams sparkle dust in the game cartridge, and .jpeg artifacts appear across the comic. John sticks his hand in the the juju, he gains the ability to use a retcon glitch. This is how one “glitches” Paradox Space, they interact with the narrative itself; with Homestuck itself. The juju allows one to do this, and this is why it’s so powerful.
Here’s my hypothesis. The weapon/treasure juju does not have three different abilities, it has one. We’ve been seeing it as 1. being able to trap four souls, 2. being able to impart retcon abilities, and 3. having an offensive ability to be used against Lord English. In reality, these are all one ability! The ability to act as a gateway to the Homestuck canon!
Caliborn did not seal the four kids within the juju! He sealed them within Homestuck. This is why the comic is called “Homestuck”! The kids are literally trapped within the narrative by the power of the juju. But, this power is also how Lord English is eventually defeated! Here is what happens in the [S] Act 7 flash.
Vriska activates the juju, it grows big and the kid’s symbols flash on its surface.
The symbol on the victory platform flips around, and turns white, the same colour and size as the juju. A door appears on its surface.
A door also appears on the side of the juju facing Lord English! This is not a coincidence. There are two doors here, one leading one way, and one leading the other way.
Homestuck is ending. By that expanding convention of the Kids, John in particular, escaping their bonds, then there is one more bond for them to break, one more door for them to pass. They need to leave the comic itself.
This is what the white juju with the door represents! The door on the Kid’s side leads out of Homestuck, whereas the door on English’s side leads in.
The kids will get to live on in a happy life beyond the narrative, possibly in the extracanon epilogue, the Paradox Space comic, not to mention fanworks. English will not. Caliborn gaining his power is shown at the moment of his defeat because his timeline is cyclical, marked by two circumstancially simultaneous events; his birth and his defeat. Similarly, the kids leaving Homestuck and Lord English “entering” it are two circumstantially simultaneous events orchestrated by the juju. Lord English has become trapped within Homestuck. While the comic may end for the kids, and they can move on, English is forever trapped within a loop of destruction, held by the bounds of canon.
The reason the juju flashes with the kids colours is because it is preparing to release them, but not to fight English, it is preparing to release them from Homestuck itself, by the comic’s ending.
This is why the comic had to end right after this moment, because otherwise the kids would not have escaped and English would have more canon scope throughout which to dominate.
This is why the juju is white, this is why the Act 7 curtains are white. White is the colour of Homestuck itself, as shown in the text for the logo displayed in the flash in act 1. The white curtains close on the comic, the white juju acts as the gateway into canon.
Perhaps the Green Sun had influence that reached beyond the canon (Paradox Space comic)? If this was the case, the English can no longer use it to access anything outside the canon, because Calliope destroyed it.
This is what Homestuck means. The clue was hidden in the name all along. This was a story about four kids who had literally been trapped inside their own story, and escaped it, trapping their unkillable villain inside it as it ended, meaning that he could spread his destruction no further. Of course Lord English can no longer cause harm within Homestuck, if Homestuck itself has ended! What an appropriate way to defeat an undefeatable villain in a comic where fourth wall breaking and metacanonical interactions with the main narrative are such an integral plot device.
Here is Hussie, deciding to kill off Lord English the only way he can; by ending his own comic. If the ending seemed abrupt to you, this is why.
another valuable writing lesson i’ve internalized from Homestuck: make your characters like things. and not cool things. the homestuck kids are richly devoted to terrible Nicholas Cage movies and bad romance novels, historical reenactment, nerd rap, and wizard slash. they make shipping grids. they are furries and bad hackers and LARPers and juggalos.
that’s what gives characters depth, not their sparkling eyes or their bad-ass ninja skills, or genius I.Q. give them disorders and hang-ups and quirks, make them obsessed with sudoku or crafting stuffed animals, make them loathe bananas and going out in the cold.
Y’all can probably name a few of the old Renaissance masters, but unless you’re a particular sort of history buff, you’re probably not familiar with something called the studio system.
Basically, how it worked is that once you were famous and well-established enough that you could get away with calling yourself a master, you’d make arrangements with young, up-and-coming artists whereby they’d come and help you with your art projects, and in return, you’d let them live at your studio and do art full-time.
Some masters had only a handful of students, while others had dozens; Raphael in particular was famous for having had over fifty students working at his studio at one point, many of whom later became masters in their own right.
So… where am I going with this?
For the past several years, I couldn’t help but notice that a notable number of new webcomic creators and indie game developers seem to have some involvement with Homestuck in their past, whether as an artist, or a composer, or just somebody who once designed a t-shirt for What Pumpkin.
That alone would merely have been peculiar, but then this anecdote started going around about how Toby Fox developed Undertale quite literally while living in Andrew Hussie‘s basement to help out with the Hivebent project, and I couldn’t help but think: this pattern seems awfully familiar.
I guess what I’m saying is that Andrew Hussie is turning into some kind of fucked up present-day Renaissance master. Any day now he’s going to start rocking a Michelangelo beard and painting dicks on church ceilings - just wait.
DANTE: “I recently signed on as a creative consultant for a fandom that I’m very much a part of called Homestuck. Becoming part of the team in helping to conjure up what Homestuck 2.0 is gonna be and bringing it to television or digital content, and a new game’s coming out that we’re–”
INTERVIEWER: “You said it started as a webcomic?”
DANTE: “Started as a webcomic seven years ago, and Rufio is actually in the webcomic!”
DANTE: “That’s how I got involved. I’m helping them– I’m bringing kinda Homestuck to Hollywood.”