human and troll

Different ways to draw trolls: A Chart

Tag where you’d be

Homestuck: Seven Years in Four Minutes

THE BEST HOMESTUCK SUMMARY EVER

Hey there!  Maybe you’ve heard about this cool new game coming out called Hiveswap?  Maybe you want to play it but worry that without reading Homestuck you’ll be lost?  Good news, you won’t be!  But just in case, I’ve prepared a quick and extremely paraphrased summary to tell you everything you need to know about Homestuck.

LET’S GO!

[Transcript below the cut.]

Keep reading

Jaal: Ryder, sing me a human song. I wish to know more about your culture.
Ryder: I will sing you the song of my people. *clear throat* Some-
Every human in the tempest: -BODY ONCE TOLD ME THE WORLD WAS GONNA ROLL ME; THAT IM NOT THE SHARPEST TOOL IM THE SHED!
Jaal: *tearing up* beautiful…

Little Facts about your Andromeda Crew:

-Jaal snores.
-Liam whimpers in his sleep.
-Jaal’s favorite human greeting is “Shalom.”
-Jaal can’t quite get the hang of human slang. (“Fuck over.”)
-Suvi has questionable cooking skills (according to Vetra).
-Lexi is half-turian. Peebee says this explains why she’s so uptight.
-Peebee’s father, on the other hand, was an elcor.
-Vetra is the Squad Mom who makes sure everyone’s fed, even when it’s not her turn to unpack their rations.
-Suvi stuck a full cup of coffee to a bulkhead with magnets sideways because “her hands were full" and then promptly forgot about it.
-Even though asari tend to find communal living “cozy” - Peebee is a big fan of having her own space. (Probably a good thing, since her apartment on the Nexus is an absolute mess. She’d be a nightmare of a roomie for a neat freak.)
-Drack is old enough to remember First Contact with humans. He thought they were exceptionally squishy.
-Drack is a grumpy old man - especially if you refer to his age. He can be amusingly defensive about it.
-Jaal doesn’t know how to drive (at least not human vehicles).
- Jaal trolled Liam by teaching him an “Angaran folk song” that he then performed for Kallo and Suvi, inadvertently marrying the two according to Angaran custom. He says it can be annulled easily enough.
- Cora tried to explain Snakes and Ladders to Jaal and Vetra as part of an analogy. Vetra thought it was stupid that ladders can only go in one direction, while Jaal was offended by how “cruel” it was to place children in circumstances where they cannot control the outcome as it’s all based on a random die roll.

Homestuck Pool Party Headcanons

John: Canonballs in IMMEDIATELY, he is yelling and he is fucking excited move out of the way this boy is coming through!! Also, because he has a breath aspect I am 413% certain that he can stay underwater for indefinite amounts of time and you can bet your ass he’s going around grabbing people’s feet to freak them out. He and Terezi have a contest to see who can make the most people jump, I will not say who wins I will only say that it is unfortunate for everyone involved. He and Dave are an unstoppable chicken team, they have never lost and will do Whatever It Takes to make sure that remains true.

Dave: Is just chillin, he cares more about keeping his shades dry than swimming around. He will go hard as hell in Marco Polo tho, if you thought he was too cool to jump at the nearest person faster than the speed of light you were wrong buddy he will do what it takes to WIN. Also, when he is the Marco he will (unfairly) target Karkat. This is frustrating. “I’m not even being that loud” Karkat protests for the umpteenth time Dave tags him. “Bullshit” everyone else says, but there’s still a rule that Dave can’t tag Karkat more than five times in a row because really Dave we know you love hearing him yell but Enough Please.

Karkat: Is Bad At Marco Polo. He is so loud. My son. Please. Is very hesitant to get into the water at first bc he’s sensitive to the cold and would rather angrily sweat than deal with the initial shock of getting in. Dave will patiently chill nearby until Karkat is ready, or Dave decides that Karkat is ready in which he will absolutely drag him in. Karkat does not know how to swim so he won’t go past the shallow end, and considering how short he is, uh, that’s not very much of the pool. Dave has to carry him sometimes which he complains about A Lot but secretly kind of likes it whoops. Karkat and Sollux are the shittiest chicken team, Karkat is too afraid of falling in to have any sort of effective strategy and Sollux is like “Karkat just push him” and sort of plows into the other team which just leads to Karkat screeching and nothing gets done.

Roxy: LOVES SWIMMING WITH HER FRIENDS!!! Real people?? That she’s hanging out with?? And you KNOW she’s excited to wear that cute as fuck bikini she alchemized months ago ‘just in case’ ;) ;) ;). After years of knowing Jane and her silly prankster shenanigans, John will absolutely not get the drop on her no sir, he tries to grab her foot she will raise that leg and pull the boy out of the water and give him the Mom Look™. This is war. John will not win. She loves being with Jane and Roxy and her boys!! She is just full of so much love it’s incredible. She deserves this so much.

Calliope: Doesn’t know much about swimming or why humans (and trolls ish) find it so enjoyable, but Roxy is excited so she is too! Interestingly enough, cherubs Do Not Float. Roxy is waving a nervous Callie into the pool and she’s coming down the ladder and once it gets to her chin everyone expects her to do something but no, she makes it to the bottom of the pool and just walks like normal over to where Roxy is. The water level comes up to just below her nose and she has to tilt her head back to speak. “Like this?” She asks excitedly, ‘uh,,, yeah,,,like that’ everyone responds nervously, giving big smiles and thumbs up because they don’t want to disappoint her.

Jade: A master swimmer, she and Jake grew up on an island in the middle of the goddamn pacific my girl knows how to GO. No one realized how fucking ripped Jade was. Jade is ripped as heck. She’s got back and shoulder muscles like an absolute goddess and everyone is like holy shit? Jade? Have you been benching pumpkins all these years? She likes chilling with Jane and Roxy and Calliope because she has been longing for some gals to hang with forever. Not that she doesn’t love Rose, she does, it’s just, they have such differing personalities and anyways it’s kind of hard being around her and Kanaya bc they’re so cute it makes your teeth hurt.

Rose: She and Kanaya have matching floppy sun hats, they love laying out in the sun because Kanaya is a little nervous around water thanks to a certain sea-dweller *cough* eridan *cough*. Rose doesn’t mind, her swimsuits are more for show than swim anyways. She’s got some really cool and intricate goth-y ones and some nice lighthearted pastel ones, an orange and yellow fancy one-piece and a frilly lavender one. Rose has a new appreciation for sunlight but still religiously applies sunscreen because a home girl may be immortal, but fuck if she is gonna deal with any nasty sunburns after defeating the fucking embodiment of evil.

Kanaya: As previously stated, very nervous around water, but so so happy to be in the sun?? It’s not as bright as the one on Alternia which is fine because that means her troll friends can enjoy it too, but she’s literally just so happy to be around people that enjoy the sun the way she does because she’s felt wrong and different about it for years and she finally found someone that understands her ahhshshsjs. She designs all of Rose’s swimsuits and loves seeing her wear them. When it gets dark out, she likes to turn on the glow a little and all these cute little furry wingbeasts will flock to her?? “Those are moths” Rose tells her. “These are my children now” Kanaya pats Rose’s arm, they’re her children too because that’s how human marriage works she’s pretty sure

Dirk: Is so awkward oh my godddd, a little uncomfortable in his body actually? This boy might have muscle but he is all arms and legs and doesn’t know what to do with them because he’s never fuckifnfnfn been around people before. Doesn’t say “Marco” during Marco Polo, he just listens. Breath too loud? You’re tagged. Splash a little? Tagged. Move? Tagged. He’s never Marco for more than two minutes because he’s so in tune with his reflexes that no one even stands a chance. With Jake on his shoulders, they make a decent chicken team, but they’re too worried about each other to be effective. “You okay up there?” He wants to make sure. Someone is tipping Jake over oh no get him off my shoulders is he okay, oh he’s fine, yes I know how the game works Roxy, no Rose why don’t you get in the pool and do a better job before you come for me like that. Rose and Kanaya, in an extremely rare occurrence, do get in for a round of chicken. They beat Dirk and Jake almost immediately. They return to the deck. This never happened and we don’t speak of it.

Jake: Is bad at Marco Polo, he’s an amazing swimmer but he’s not…quiet. After growing up on that island, fighting and swimming, Jake is also Ripped as Heck. Dirk blushes his fucking ass off the first time he sees Jake shirtless. Jake acts all clueless like oh? What’s wrong Dirk? Is something the matter? But he knows exactly what he’s doing and if he’s subtly flexing in front of him, well. That can’t be helped. He may suck during chicken with Dirk, but with Jade on his shoulders? Hoo boy, they give Dave and John a run for their money. He is also John’s favorite to grab the feet of because his reactions are always so over the top with his phrasing. “Horsefeathers!” He grabs at his foot in panic because his first thought is it was one of the monsters from his island, then he sees it was just John who is laughing his ass off because, horse feathers? Really? “I say,” Jake huffs indignantly even though he’s smiling now. “Warn a fellow!”

Jane: Looks rockin’ in her swimsuits because she’s wearing the whole high waisted pinup style ones and?? She’s super gorgeous? Roxy makes sure to tell her that every five seconds just in case she forgets. She and Roxy make a decent chicken team, usually they’re laughing so hard by the end of it that whoever was on top can’t do anything and they fall off because they don’t care about winning they’re just having such a good time. She and Roxy take turns carrying Callie around when the water gets too deep, not that Callie needs to be above the water per se as she seems to have no trouble breathing, but it just makes everyone a little more comfortable and anyways Callie loves it.

Terezi: Killer at Marco Polo for obvious reasons, sometimes she gets tagged on purpose just to show off how quickly she can find people. The only person she’s never been able to get is John, he uses his windy powers to obscure his scent so she can’t “see” him. He is her Marco Polo white whale. One day, John, one day. She and Vriska are terrifying during chicken, Vriska will plow full speed towards the opposing team and Terezi is ready to Throw Hands. The most intense games are between them and John and Dave, both John and Terezi are on top and they fuckin battle it out so hard that Dave and even Vriska start to get nervous on the bottom.

Sollux: Says the water feels slimy. “No shit,” Karkat tells him. “It’s water you fucking shitstain.” Sollux cheats during chicken by using his psiionics to keep Karkat on his shoulders which only makes Karkat mad because he’s terrified of falling in and holy shit Sollux I don’t care what you think your powers are doing I’m gonna fall in fuck fuck fuck. “No I got you” Sollux assures him. He does not. Karkat is not got. Oh well. Sollux mostly likes chilling on inner tubes, plural. He has a blue one and a red one because he’s too tall to fit in just one. “Get a bigger inner tube” Karkat complains. “Perhaps get one of those long, recliner like ones?” Kanaya suggests. No. Sollux will use two inner tubes. He will make the sacrifice of comfort for his aesthetic.

AU where all of Homestuck is some sort of tv or movie series where all the trolls and humans are actually trolls and humans, but they’re all just actors dealing with the bullshit lines they have to do..

Karkat yelling himself hoarse for all of his lines and constantly needing to take lozenges and water and stuff because he keeps straining his voice in character.

Mituna just getting frustrated over all his lines being so nonsensical so he just bullshit ad-libs more than half of it into gibberish nonsense, yet it still makes the cut.

Supreme pun characters like Nepeta, Horuss, Feferi, and Meenah collaborating because they’re just told to read the scripts and force in as many puns as they can think of.

Eridan and Cronus constantly struggling with their wwavvy vwawvy accents being kept in place while they’re talking. (ws and vs are hard. it’s hard and no one understands)

Dave having to stop constantly because he keeps losing his stoic face and voice from so many of the lines he has to say. Same with Jake who constantly mocks his own character when not on set.

Gamzee tripping over his own lines because he’s getting the way his words are pronounced screwy because he talks so weird.

Damara actually speaking Japanese and she sometimes just speaks Japanese off-set to screw with people and they aren’t sure if she’s flirting or just messing with them in character.

Fucking Kankri having to memorize entire monologues of text when he speaks and having to stop because he’s just so done with so much of what he has to say. Plus deals with the same voice exhaustion problems Karkat does.

OFF THE CUFF HOMESTUCK THOUGHTS #3: THE SELF PILE DOESN’T STOP FROM GETTING TALLER OR: THE PROBLEM OF DEAD MARIOS

DISCLAIMER

IMPORTANT THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

[CHECK THE TAG FOR MORE THOUGHTS]

So, a long-ass time ago, Rose and Dave had a conversation like this:

TT: After you go, what do you think will happen to me?
TT: Will I just cease to exist?
TG: i dont know
TG: i mean your whole timeline will
TG: maybe
TT: Maybe?
TT: Is there a chance it’ll continue to exist, and I’ll just be here alone forever?
TT: I’m not sure which outcome is more unsettling.
TG: the thing with time travel is
TG: you cant overthink it
TG: just roll with it and see what happens
TG: and above all try not to do anything retarded
TT: What do you think I should do?
TG: try going to sleep
TG: our dream selves kind of operate outside the normal time continuum i think
TG: so if part of you from this timelines going to persist thats probably the way to make it happen
TT: Ok.
TG: and hey you might even be able to help your past dream self wake up sooner without all that fuss you went through
TT: I think the true purpose of this game is to see how many qualifiers we can get to precede the word “self” and still understand what we’re talking about.

This is the most important sentence in Homestuck.

I am dead serious.

Well, OK, I mean, it’s pretty important for understanding some major Homestuck themes and shit or something like that.

Also, I totally should have said: Pre-Retcon Doomed Timeline Non-Dreamself Rose but ultimately about to become Dreamself Rose who semi-merged with Pre-Retcon Alpha Timeline Rose and Doomed Timeline Dave aka Davesprite AKA future Davepetasprite^2 or as we all call them around the office, Davepeta, had that conversation.

Maybe you begin to see what I’m going to talk about here.

One of the major frustrations a lot of people had with the retcon was that the characters we ended up with at the end weren’t the ones we’d come to love and know throughout the story. Was it even worth it, to lose the characters we loved to the tyranny of Game Over? The victorious kids, with the exception of John and Roxy, were other people, with other histories, other goals, and other choices.

Allow me to submit that that may be the whole point.

SBURB is cruel. We’ve known that for a long time. It’s cruel not as Caliborn is cruel, but as the cosmos is cruel, as a supernova is cruel. It wants what it wants, and doesn’t care about how that intersects with the needs of humanity. It wants to make universes through a complex game-playing method, and drags hapless, vulnerable adolescents along for the ride. And most of the time it doesn’t even succeed, leaving its champions to rot in a doomed timeline or similar! Skaia’s victory is an amoral creation myth where individual human beings are just the carved pieces on the chessboard. (I mean, the other ones. Not the carapacians.)

Again, let’s consider the theme of VIDEO GAMES vs. REAL LIFE.

Homestuck, let’s be real, is basically some postmodern horror timey-wimey Jumanji. For a generation way more familiar with pixels than cute little tokens It’s easy for teenagers and in fact, basically everyone, to fantasize about escaping their life and slipping into some game world forever, where they get to do awesome things and be a heroic person.

Homestuck makes that literal. Congratulations, everything you ever knew is dead. You will never see it again, except your internet friends, who turn out also to be your family and other important people. I mean, from a distance, SBURB sounds like an awesome game, right? You figure out who you are and get to wear a cool costume displaying that identity. You get to make anything you want and enjoy this hyperflexible mythology tailored to YOUR CHOICES. HS fans talk all the time about how cool it would be to play a real version of SBURB. That’s a big part of the appeal of SBURB fan adventures. They put you and your friends in the story. Or your favorite characters! It sounds like a fantasy come true.

The thing is, as fantastical as it is, it’s also really fucked up, and ultimately you and your friends are being used. By a giant frog to let it have its babies. By the universe. By a smug blue cloud thing that doesn’t care about you at all.

SBURB does not care about you at all.

The funny thing, SBURB features a mythology with so many layers and nuances and seemingly human motifs about growth and self that you might search for some grand ultimate meaning behind it, but it’s not even human enough to have a personality, to be something you can argue with or fight. It just is. It’s all the cruelty and power of a god without any of the dazzling personality. It’s empty. It just wants to make universes all day long, or fail trying. It is a great, weird tadpole-making machine that eats children.

One of the big ways it doesn’t care about you is its attitude toward the self. Humans and trolls and whatnot prefer not to be relentlessly duplicated. SBURB says, oh yeah, let’s make tons of copies of the player characters and use them for a lot of different purposes.

There’s the dreamself, an essential bifurcation of identity (you are now and were always the dream moon princex) that sometimes gets merged into god tier but sometimes doesn’t. There’s doomed timeline selves, who exist ultimately to augment an Alpha timeline whose Alphaness is decided very arbitrarily and frequently by Lord English. There’s the you who exists before a scratched session and the you who exists afterward, who are two different people but started as one baby in an act of ectobaby meteor duplication, your player self and your guardian self. Dead timeline yous fill up the dreambubbles made by the horrorterrors and get endlessly confused with each other. Any one of these could be the you experience being at any given moment, and which one it is entirely arbitrary. Don’t like being Dead Nepeta #47? Tough hoofbeast leavings, kiddo.

To top it all off, in Terezi: Remember, we learn that every single time we thought someone changed from one self to another, was resurrected or something like that, it was another act of duplication. For every time someone’s died, there’s another version of them waiting in the Dream Bubbles, surprised that they’re not the main character anymore. And we have no way of knowing which is which. Even John, good old everyman John, may or may not be the person who died three or four times. It’s really impossible to say whether we’ve been following the same person throughout our story, or just the illusion of the same person, like a horrifying cosmic flipbook.

The retcon is a return to this same theme. Ultimately, there’s very little new in the changes John makes to reality except that they drive the point home.

John’s friends all died. John and his friends won the game. These things are both true at the same time, except those things may not have happened to the same people. There was a happy ending. Hooray! For, um, some folks who may or may not be the ones we care about. In fact, it’s very confusing, because from Rose’s perspective, Roxy is dead but came back to life, and from Roxy’s perspective Rose is dead but came back to life, except also she came back to life as a weird tentacle catgirl of pure id and self –indulgence. So there’s that. Um. Which Rose are we rooting for again?

Or wait: is it none of them, because the first Rose died in a doomed timeline, hundreds of panels and a number of years ago?

There’s a tension here which one experiences between saying it’s okay because it’s still the same people, and saying it’s not okay, because it’s not the same people at all. This tension is exactly what we’re meant to wrestle with. To put it another way, Homestuck asks if identity can work in aggregate. Are all Johns John, all Roses Rose, and do they all share in what they accomplish? Or are the final victors only accidents created by the whims and needs of the frog baby machine?

What I’m saying, basically, is that the retcon, in the sense that it pointed out our confused relationship with these characters, was already here.

In interviews and questions put to him over the years, Hussie constantly compares HS and SBURB to other video games, particularly Mario, which he frequently returns to as a baseline of comparison that most of his readers will know. One answer, from a recent Hiveswap interview, is particularly revelatory. To the question of “Why do you kill off all your characters?” Hussie replies:

[…]HS is supposedly a story that is also a game. In games, the characters die all the time. How many times did you let Mario fall in the pit before he saved the princess? Who weeps for these Marios. In games your characters die, but you keep trying and trying and rebooting and resetting until finally they make it. When you play a game this process is all very impersonal. Once you finally win, when all is said and done those deaths didn’t “count”, only the linear path of the final victorious version of the character is considered “real”. Mario never actually died, did he? Except the omniscient player knows better. HS seems to combine all the meaningless deaths of a trial-and-error game journey with the way death is treated dramatically in other media, where unlike our oblivious Mario, the characters are aware and afraid of the many deaths they must experience before finally winning the game.

The big man hass the answer.

Homestuck is the story of those dead Marios.

Other works, like Undertale, have engaged with this topic as well. But one of the major differences between Undertale and Homestuck is that in Undertale, between “lives,” one’s consciousness is preserved. In Homestuck, it’s discontinuous, and the value of the overall trial-error process is called into question by the fact that you, the player, may not even get to experience the victory. What meaning does victory hold if that is the case?

So, to put it in a nice thesis format:

One of the central themes of Homestuck is the challenge of reconciling an arbitrary and destructive pattern of growth and victory with the death and suffering you experienced along the way. Homestuck asks: is victory worthwhile if you’re not you anymore? And would you be able to know?

What even is the self? Is there such a thing?

If you were left feeling somewhat disconcerted by our heroes’ tidy victory and departure to their cosmic prize, or by how which Rose gets the spotlight is so deeply, deeply arbitrary, there’s a good reason for that. You’re supposed to be.

The philosophical problem of Wacky Cat Rose is insignificant next to the bullshit of SBURB.

And don’t forget—John and Roxy’s denizens helped them achieve the retcon. Ultimately, the victory they achieved was mediated by the same amoral system of SBURB, and was a victory over an enemy, Caliborn, whose power was created, perpetuated, and ended by that same system.

Okay, so here’s where it gets contentious. There’s an argument to be made, which I’m not sure how I feel about, that some of the character development that could have been in post-retcon Act 6 was left out precisely to push this feeling and play up this tension. Note that this is not the same thing as saying that they were deliberately badly written, but that they’re deliberately written to make us uneasy.That Hussie deliberately played with the balance between making these retconned characters feel familiar and making them feel eerily different to leave us feeling uneasy with the result.

I’m not sure I like that idea. It smacks a little too much of that “everything is perfect” thinking that comes sometimes from the far Metastuck camp. Some of the differences may also be the result of flawed writing. (See: Jane and Jake’s character arcs, which I might talk about later.) And I want to be able to critique those flaws. Ultimately, I think we still needed more time and development to figure out who these new people were—even if our goal was ultimately to compare them to their earlier selves. And again, more conscious acknowledgement of the problem from our heroes—especially John, the linchpin in this last and biggest act of duplication—might have helped drive this theme home.

Still, I think the Problem of Dead Marios is one of the most fundamental questions of Homestuck, maybe THE biggest question. It’s essential to understand it to understand what Hussie’s doing—or attempting to do— in the retcon and the ending.

I don’t know that Homestuck offers us a clear answer to that question. There are some confusions around the issue, too. Where do merged selves fit in, exactly? Clearly they’re a big part of the discussion, because Hussie spends some time in Act 6, especially near the end bringing the identity-merging powers of the Sprites to the forefront. (See also: the identity-merged nightmare that is Lord English.)  Can we even come up with a clear answer to what it means when a dead Mario returns to life grotesquely fused with Toad? How does he beat the game? Does he tell himself that the princess is in another castle? Or what if he merges with Peach? Are they their own princess? How do they know if they’re in the right castle?

Um. Anyway—

Interestingly, it’s not all grotesque—spritesplosions suggest that personalities that are too different don’t stay together long, so a fusion might rely on some inherent compatibility between the two players. Erisol’s self-loathing, sure, but also Fefeta’s cheerfulness. Davepeta seems to be a way of bringing out the best in their players, a way of getting Davesprite past his angst and Nepeta past her fear. Honestly, I know a lot of people don’t like Davepeta as the ending of these two characters’ arcs, but I can’t help but love it. They’re the ultimate coolkid. Cool enough to know they don’t have to be cool. Regular Dave got there, too, of course. But was his retcon assist from John ultimately any different?

Then, of course, we come to Davepeta’s speech to Jade in one of the last few updates before Collide. Davepeta suggests that there is such a thing as an ultimate self beyond the many different selves one piles up throughout the cosmos. A set of principles that describes who you are that’s larger than any individual instance of you. Your inherent Mariohood. (Maybe this is comparable to your Classpect identity, which attempts to describe who you are?) Davepeta even tells Jade, strikingly, that one might learn to see beyond the barriers between selves. Be the ur-self, in practice, rather than theory. This would be incredible news for Jade, who wrestles with the issue of different selves perhaps more than any other character. (There’s a lot to say about Jade.)

Honestly, I wish this ur-self idea had been developed more, and I honestly expected it to be. It doesn’t fully come to fruition, I feel. (Same goes for Davepeta’s character. Ohhhh, ZING!) I’m not sure it entirely makes philosophical sense, especially with fusion—I mean, doesn’t Davepeta themself disprove it? Or at least complicate it? Like, are they part of the ur-Dave or the ur-Nepeta? They seem to imply they’re BOTH? Does that even work? Does that mean that Marieach is all the Peaches and Marios at once?

(In fact, Bowser/Peach/Mario are but the three manifestations of one eternal principle. Also, Bowser/Peach are the true power couple. Read my fanfiction plz.)

And what, say, of Dirk, who ultimately ends up rejecting aspects of his other selves? It feels like there’s a lot more you could say here, and I wonder if Hussie would have said more, if he’d had time. What’s weird is, none of our victorious kids never reach an ur-self (though to their descendants, they become archetypal to some degree), which one might have expected. They’re just individual selves who happened to get lucky. Does that make them representative of the whole? It feels like something’s missing here, or like something got dropped at the last minute.

Same goes for the idea of the Ultimate Riddle. You’d be forgiven for missing it, but there’s been this riddle in the background lore of SBURB that seems to have something to do with personal agency in this overwhelming, overarching system. Karkat called it predestination, saying something like “ANY HOPE YOU HAD OF DOING THINGS OTHERWISE WAS JUST A RUSE.” But others have interpreted it more positively. My favorite interpretation, from bladekindeyewear: the answer to the Riddle is that YOU shape the timeline through your existence, personality, and choices, even when it looks like it’s all predestination. Ultimately it’s your predestination, your set of events, based deeply on your nature, that you are creating. Someone like Caliborn can use his innate personality to achieve power; someone like John might be able to use it to achieve freedom.

I definitely expected something like that to be expressed more explicitly. Like, a big ah-ha moment that helps John or Jade or whoever understand how to escape Caliborn’s system. Something like that would have been very helpful for a lot of our heroes, actually, who’ve been pushed around by Skaia and SBURB together, in finding a cathartic ending.  Once again, I wonder if something was dropped or rushed because there wasn’t time to put it all in. There’s places where you can see hints of that Answer being implied, maybe? But it’s kind of ambiguous.

You can see how the Answer to the Ultimate Riddle ties into some of Davepeta’s ideas. If your personality, the rules of your behavior are a fundamental archetype that goes beyond each individual self, then the answer to whether it matters if one self of yours makes it through to victory is an emphatic YES. You are all of those people, and by winning one round with Skaia, you’ve won the whole game, despite all the arbitrary challenges and deaths it heaps upon you along the way.

This may strike some as too positive for Skaia’s brutality, or again, some way of excusing flaws in many characters’ arcs, or unfair things that happen to them. To be fair, I don’t know that Davepeta’s necessarily meant to be taken as authoritative or the voice of Hussie. They may simply be offering a purrspective.

Hussie not choosing to come right out and engage with the Ultimate Riddle leaves the question of Dead Marios and what they mean for the victorious versions of our cast very open. I like that in some ways—let the reader decide—but I can’t help but wish we had more to work with in making that decision. Plus, it might have brought the thematic messages of Homestuck all the way home to tie them more closely to our characters and their experiences—character development being one of the things most people found most lacking in the ending.

NEXT TIME: All that wacky gnostic stuff probably

2

In other news I was inspired by the heatherswap to do some trollhunters roleswap as well but its also a species swap ;))

Troll versions of Claire, Toby, and Jim plus human Arrrggh, Blinky (his canon design because I have a great love for it) and Draal (whos the trollhunter in this)

Jim is also half-changeling because i also have a great love for jim being part changeling in general and his father was a changeling trollhunter (switched roles with Kanjigar) I havent worked out the entire thing yet buT-

Im excited :D