Homestuck Meta Theory
Alright, so I know there’s a lot of people disappointed with the ending, again, I sound like a broken record by this point. And don’t get me wrong- While I love the ending, I would still love to see more of the characters and the story! I just feel it’s a good end as it is. I’ve made a lot of theories about what the End means and everything about Act 7, but all of the things I said, about the Jujus, about becoming freed from Paradox Space, it made me think about the rest of the story, and I believe it has made my entire idea of what Homestuck is change.
So the big question here is, what IS Homestuck? Most people, including me, when talking to someone who knows nothing about it, will speak about the story, the 4 Kids playing SBURB, and the subsequent destruction of Earth. And then mention its huge amount of references towards programming languages, popular culture, storytelling in itself, and it’s self-referential nature. But this Ending has got me thinking that maybe the reason why so many people have been disappointed in the End is because they got Hussie’s intentions wrong.
We tend to reference how the humor and the nature of Homestuck’s narrative is a little extra onto the story, and while it is true the story itself and the characters have drawn a big part of the Fandom, I thought… What if the important part of the Narrative isn’t the Story, but the Meta elements.
As soon as I made connection, everything about the ending began to fall into place. I have commented before that I feel Act 7 is like being shown the Good Ending of a video game without seeing its Neutral Route.
The Kids have Earth, and Juju Vriska uses manages to flip the ending so that instead of being trapped by Paradox Space’s rules…
They manage to ‘End’ the game properly and get their Happy Ever After.
All while Caliborn is shown getting his power of Immortality, and while we’re left ambiguous about what happens to Vriska and Lord English and everyone in the Dream Bubbles…
Another thing people have complained about is the Character Arcs.
They say how ‘different’ the timeline is. What was the point of Rose’s alcoholism if then Vriska just swats the drink away and it never had any relevance anymore? Terezi’s relationship with Gamzee never happened. Dave and Karkat got together? The Game Over Timeline is bad, everyone agrees that people dying is never good, but they also claim that suddenly having all that Character Development changed made them unable to relate to some characters anymore.
And of course there’s always the mention of how Vriska, even though she’s an abusive 8itch, ended up being somewhat of a heroine, or at the very least not seemingly getting too punished…
That’s where the Narrative itself told us there was something off.
DAVE: rose we dont have fuckin “arcs” we are just human beings
Many have mentioned it, about how not having a closure to certain character arcs referenced this portion, the notion that the characters didn’t have an arc. The same way she then references Jade breaking Endgame ships and such. Rose’s power is Light, and her information source comes from the same place as SBURB and Skaia. It’s a game. Of course she’d have the notion that all of them have to fit certain predisposed stereotypes or their stories have to follow a certain pattern- Rose is looking at their lives since SBURB started as it has been. A Story.
But Dave is having none of it. Dave is beyond the thought that all they do has to follow a set pattern, and claims they don’t have character arcs. This might sound like a clever device by Hussie so he didn’t have to explore more of each of these character’s lives and he could close the comic leaving some loose ends but, there’s more.
Hussie? As an entity? Exists within the story. This would be all fun and dandy if it were a couple of stupid references and memes. And that’s what many people think! Most of his appearances in canon have been a joke, really. But…
Hussie joked about his influence on the comic, when his bot-self was about to mess up with the Kids in the Yellow Yard, but eventually didn’t do it. And yet? His fight with Vriska. His interactions with Caliborn. Everything pictured above? Hussie is a physical entity that follows the same rules as everyone else in Paradox Space and can influence the story. But he’s not a self-insert. He IS the Author. He is the one who wrote every of these characters and continued the story. He’s not another character, he’s himself, in the Homestuck Universe.
And then it began to dawn on me, that perhaps the Meta aspect of Homestuck was a bit more than Fourth-Wall Breaking fun and references to real life stuff. Of course, this train of thought led me to another main plot device that has never exactly been explained to its full extent. Jujus.
There’s the Sucker…
The House Juju…
A lollipop that could change character’s personalities, making them immediately make up for aaaall of their mistakes without a care in the world, start alchemizing new weapons, and end up exactly where they needed to be.
A crowbar that can break other of these mysterious devices, and more importantly, has been shown to be able to interact with the Website itself, which seems to be its own physical entity as well!
A house that gave John the ability to change the story, and that ended up being used against the Big Bad of the entire comic.
A puppet that trapped the Souls of various characters and became the gateway for the Big Bad of the comic to become who he is.
A mysterious pair of rings that oh so conveniently appear and disappear on characters, and leave you wondering what they really do, but clearly shown to at least be able to revive someone who, by no other means in the story, would have been able to get back to the world of the living.
Jujus are mysterious, when you look at them from the perspective of the characters. They have no beginning, no end, they just appear at some point and do a loop through time, ending up exactly where they appeared first. They are powerful artifacts able to change reality itself, with no explained origin… But we are no characters. We have seen what these things do on the comic through its entire lengths.
Jujus are plot devices meant to alter the Meta of the comic. They are not things that make sense in a true physical reality. They are artifacts that alter the rules of the plot. Because that’s what the plot is. A story. Because Homestuck is not real, and it acknowledges this.
Or at least… It was supposed to acknowledge this. Many have also claimed that the last updates were so disappointing, compared to Cascade, as Cascade managed to solve so many plot points, but this last one felt empty of everything. Plot. Character Development. That’s where Jujus and Hussie come in.
Hussie dies, in his own comic, a comic that acknowledges him as the actual AUTHOR of the events taking place. And later, we see…
Caliborn, the young version of Lord English, acknowledging Hussie’s death, as he takes the rest of Act 6 and makes it his. Through the use of the Command Prompt, through his own drawings, he begins to write his own story.
[S] Cascade had so many plot points resolved, and these last updates didn’t. Because that is the point. Ever since Act 5 ended and Act 6 started, Hussie has begun to lose control of the story. He was killed by Lord English, the big bad, who also took control of the narrative. Vriska acknowledges a narrator speaking, and forces the narrative to shift back to her opening the Juju chest out of frustration. The command prompts, John’s retcons- At this point, Hussie is no longer in control of his characters.
The Game Over timeline was bad, but it felt like it had more Character Development. That is because it was a not-retconned Timeline. The characters had struggles, the plot moved on forward, some people was possessed, it was all prime material for a conflict and a resolution afterwards! But Aranea’s intervention made it a Doomed Timeline. A Bad End. We all know how Doomed Timelines work, so everything that happens there would have been totally irrelevant. But John didn’t want to accept that. Roxy was still alive, and sad. And Terezi wanted him to fix things up. So instead of acknowledging he was in a Doomed Timeline, like Roxy did? Roxy, who saw her mother-daughter die in her arms, and claimed there might be nothing left for them. And meanwhile, John just managed to get his powers ready, zapped back in time and solved everything.
New problems arose in the new Timeline, sure, but not as many. And a lot of the character arcs were suddenly shoved back. Rose no longer struggles with alcoholism, Karkat doesn’t chase after Terezi, and becomes Matesprits with Dave after mellowing down. Gamzee, one of the biggest dangers, is shoved back by Vriska until he’s barely relevant anymore.
And all of this might just be me trying to find an explanation to the sudden loose ends not being tied. But I think, all of this, was meant to express more than Hussie rolling the story back or changing the story to fit other things. No.
We go back to Dave’s words. We’re real people, we don’t have arcs. We are real people. In a comic, where the author is a character, and that always acknowledges it’s a comic? Dave saying they’re real people is big. It was taken as a joke, because they are characters, come on! Right? … Right?
Well of course they are. But that’s the thing. Up until Act 6, all of the various characters were nothing more than that. And even during the Game Over Timeline, they were nothing more than that. But Hussie’s death, the ghosts, no longer relevant, trying to fight back against Lord English? Caliborn’s acknowledgement of a story and trying to take control of it? And finally, John’s powers.
The House Juju gave John something more important than being able to change the Timeline.
The ability to make Selfcest canon.
Wait no- That wasn’t it.
The ability to alter the plot to his own whims.
John’s zapping doesn’t follow the rules of Paradox Space. It allows him to change the timeline as he wishes and it still be the Alpha. Not only that, but he can also warp out of the story itself, sending people and things to the background of the website.
It’s when Vriska starts to try and find this Juju that everything about the narrative begins to shift gears. John now can change the plot. Which means he is not adhering to the rules that bound them all anymore. He can go back, bring people who were dead back to life, save his friends, and aid them get a better ending.
And in this new timeline he’s changed? Everyone seems a bit different. They have gone through different things, and are as confused as anyone else about what is going on. This is the moment where these characters stop being characters.
This isn’t a story about Four Kids playing a Game, getting involved in Shenanigans and trying to live a happy ever after as villains try to plot on destroying them and reality. Homestuck is the tale of the characters from a webcomic, becoming self-aware, and escaping the grasp of the author and the narrative.
I don’t know if this is what Hussie intended, and if it is, at what point he planned to start leading the story this way. I might just be crazy and be reading too much into this? But as I see it? It closes every single loophole in this story.
Doomed Timelines are meant to be nothing. They are meant to fade, and not be relevant anymore. But the ghosts are having none of this. They WANT to be relevant in this story again. They create an army, and head off to defeat the biggest threat in the entire comic.
Caliborn knows reality itself isn’t as it seems, and tries to make his own story within it. He strives to become almighty, and then begins to destroy and rend reality itself so he can make way for his own rule.
Vriska knows she’s in a story, having interacted with the very Author and the command prompt! But she is not trying to change the story- All the opposite. Vriska follows the rules of the story, closes loopholes from what she has seen, but tries to be the one who causes everything. She wants to be in the spotlight of this tale. She creates Bec Noir just because she had seen it in her screen. And knowing this is a story, she goes off of her way to find methods to defeat each of these villains, at any cost. Because in a story, once she defeats these big, powerful foes, she’ll be a heroine, and everyone will regard her so highly, she’ll be over everyone else. Just like she wants.
John? I don’t think he knows he’s in a story. But he has the power to alter it. And after he begins to mess with the timeline, the rules of Paradox Space begin to shatter around him and his friends. Time loops, Rules, Plot, why would they care about how a story goes, if it’s not a story, it’s their lives. They just want to be happy and get away from this cycle of destruction and death.
I’d even go as far as to say God Tier Calliope knows this. If her Land and her Earth were anything like Caliborn’s, she might also been in contact with the command prompt. Perhaps the fact her entire mission was a self-sacrifice to collapse the Green Sun represented how she, too, saw Paradox Space as what it was- A construct that kept these characters trapped as that. Characters. And the only way to escape its grasp was the erase its very existence, using Lord English’s destruction to tear a hole through the comic, and destroy it.
In this way, everything that happens towards the ending makes perfect sense. There are hundreds, thousands, who knows how many timelines, in which every plot hole will be closed. But we’re not following these. It would be easy to cause, say, the Condesce to wake up. Because of her immortality curse given by Lord English. Or the Draconian Dignitary get to the Frog Lily Pad. Something happens, interrupts the kids from entering to the new Session, and bam! Suddenly more plot! Their entrance to the Universe is blocked. Terezi worries about Vriska, so they begin to plot a way to help her defeat Lord English. The black hole in the Session that likely leads to Caliborn’s land becomes relevant, and they all have a trip to beat up Caliborn. Something happens to Calliope, her ring has ended up in Caliborn’s hands as well, he traps the kids, the Alphas beat him up, all loops are closed, we have a bittersweet, predictable ending. And this has happened. In many timelines before. Over, and over. Perhaps the one we’re following isn’t even the Alpha, for that very reason.
But it doesn’t matter. I talked about how the Jujus were a way to alter the plot, and let’s go back to this, and look at my theory about the Kids Souls being Trapped for all eternity in this Juju. The moment Caliborn uses this Juju, he kickstarts the entirety of the rules of Paradox Space. These kids we follow through the story, are trapped in a plot, with rules dictated by narrative that they HAVE to adhere too.
Then the ghosts decide that this is bullshit, and that they, even after death, want to still be relevant. Instigated by Vriska and Meenah, and aided by Aranea’s mind control, they manage to find a way they can alter the plot once again, a Juju. John touches this Juju, and suddenly he gains the power to alter this plot as well, and begins his and his friend’s journey to escape the clutches of Paradox Space and the comic itself.
John was trapped in the house all along. So of course, shoving his arm through it? He managed to grasp at the other side. He got a taste of what it was to be free. And he gained the power of changing the plot as a result.
Then, Vriska becomes alive again. She’s relevant, and bashes down on her ghost self. Ghost self that had at one point tried to make herself relevant, even though since she’s dead she shouldn’t be. This way, Vriska proves that, while she acknowledges the story as a story, and wants to be always present and in the middle, she never sees it as something she has to escape. She has no character development, because now, in this timeline that John has changed, she’s free to do whatever she wants, she’s her own person without a character arc, but doesn’t find the need to become said person. She doesn’t want to change, she wants to keep following the plot, and take down the big bad.
So Vriska takes the house Juju from her alternate self, goes against Lord English, beats up the Author of the comic itself as a last Fuck You, and then uses the Juju towards him. And this is when Alive Vriska makes her big mistake. By following this plot, this story, the Juju house crashes behind her…
She’s on Lord English’s side of the house. Because both of them know the comic is just that, a story. He knows about the narrative, and the author. So he kills the author, and becomes the big evil that must be defeated. Meanwhile, Vriska knows about the narrative, and the author, so she beats up the author and tries to become the heroine.
Caliborn and Vriska could very well strive to break free of Paradox Space in other ways, but instead they do what they do best- Be themselves, and fuck shit up in the process. And it’s this mentality that in the end, as the House Juju appears, tells us that both of them have been doomed. Doomed to be trapped in this Collapsing Paradox Space there’s no escape from.
Except there is an escape.
Because the door opens. It opens for the Kids and Trolls on the lily pad. And it opens for the Ghost Army and everyone else in the Bubbles. These are people that have been living aside from the story for a long time. The ones that are alive in the Session have had John change everything and the events happening after make them question Paradox Space itself. And the dead ones or the ones just stuck in the Furthest Ring? They fear being forgotten. They fear being erased by the collapsing Paradox Space, and had faced Lord English to try and become relevant once more.
Of course Condy’s curse didn’t wake her up. Of course DD didn’t appear. The moment the Juju appears, the story is done. There is no more plot. Because it’s not a story. The ones wanting to follow the plot are now seeing it crumble, seeing everything end. And the ones that wanted to become relevant against Paradox Space- Why would they need to even follow the rules? They are trying to escape them.
The Plot Holes are part of the plot in itself. John and everyone else didn’t need to fill it up. Because they are not part of the story anymore. We didn’t see their character arcs close. Because they are not characters anymore. They are not characters anymore. They don’t need to show us they have grown- Or maybe they haven’t even grown. They are always growing, learning. But now, they have escaped this evil Universe that trapped them and forced into cruel and crueler situations. They have escaped to a peaceful realm. They don’t need to keep following the story. They are happy and free to live their lives however they want.
They are finally happy.