Yesterday I responded to an ask and said I wasn’t too sure of when Pink Diamond’s “shattering” occurred in the timeline of the war. While reviewing The Answer for another ask, I think I can say with more certainty now.
PD was likely shattered before the war began, and could have been the deciding factor that led Homeworld to regard the Crystal Gems as a serious threat.
One important thing to ask is why Blue Diamond was even on Earth in The Answer. Earth, as we know, is PD’s colony. Should there have been a diplomatic mission between Homeworld and the CGs, the representative of Homeworld should more appropriately be PD herself. But the way Garnet discussed the mission, it seemed that the talks would be between BD and Rose, the leader of the CGs.
To me, this indicates the real leader’s absence, and that’s why another Diamond had to be called in. Below are some other reasons supporting this.
1. The Gems in the Background
It’s interesting that the gems we see in the crowd are supposedly in Blue Diamond’s court. But there are two dominant colours among the bystanders: Blue and Pink.
And if we look at the individual gems, the blue gems are slimmer and more feminine in appearance. Majority are in ballgowns. On the other hand, the pink and red gems have wider builds and larger figures, or they’re wearing shorts, similar to the Rubies. This is because the outline of their legs is clearly seen, unlike those of the gems in gowns.
We’ve been working under the assumption that the colours of certain gems reflect that of their Diamond, and it’s even more obvious in The Answer because Garnet’s stylised storytelling makes it clear exactly to which faction a gem belongs.
This is odd, because it clearly appears as though BD was holding a session in her court, so only her gems should be the ones present and listening. PD’s faction doesn’t really have reason to be around, which leads to the next idea.
2. The Rubies don’t have diamonds on them
Something worth noting is that Homeworld-aligned gems all have Diamonds on their outfits. We see them on Lapis, Peridot, Jasper, and the Ruby Squad. But in The Answer, only Sapphire has the diamond on her outfit. The three Rubies assigned to her are insignia-less.
In the same way Jasper now has a yellow diamond on her jumpsuit, it’s possible that the Rubies had no diamond to pay homage to with their clothes. But something is strange about that. As I mention repeatedly on this blog. heroes who die are memorialised, martyred, and exalted. Since Homeworld is about to enter into tense relationships with the inhabitants of Earth, and the Crystal Gems clearly shed visible links to PD, it would make sense that the PD forces still loyal to Homeworld would maintain her logo, as a sign of respect to their fallen leader as they avenge her.
It’s strange that Homeworld would rather they show no sign they were once aligned to PD and instead walk around blankly.
Much like the pink nobles, Rubies and other Pink gems, I think, were being re-assigned and distributed among the other Diamonds. In the end, from what we know in the series, the more soldier-like gems, like Quartzes and Rubies, ended up with YD, who controlled the military. On the other hand, military tacticians, like the pink gem in the first picture with the ballgown, may have remained with BD as advisers.
It serves as evidence that PD was no longer around at this point in time. If she were, she would be right there with BD in her own palanquin, surrounded by the pink members we see in the court.
3. Their reactions to Garnet
One thing to note about the gems who immediately reacted to Garnet’s presence the she first fused, was that the gems caught onscreen were all blue. These were the gems with gut reflexes against fusion. And it makes sense that they would react more viscerally to Garnet than do pink gems.
The pink gems express their displeasure at seeing Garnet, but they weren’t as vocal about it as the blue gems were. And that’s because fusion is a common military tactic that gems in PD’s faction would have used. That’s why Peridot has the connotation of fusion as being a “war machine.” Even so, the context of fusion in battle is appropriate only when gems are of the same type, which is why they shunned Garnet too.
Blue gems, we’re led to believe, are aristocratic. That means there are much fewer chances for them to fuse, if they fuse at all. Their aversion to fusion, especially with a common soldier, would be very strong.
It emphasises the idea that the pink gems come from a very different context than do the blue gems, further supporting the idea that they’re from PD’s faction and not Blue’s.
If this is the case, I’d stand by the idea that PD was shattered sooner rather than later.