Room Analysis: Rose Quartz
What is the point of Rose Quartz’s room? Not as a narrative device, which it functions wonderfully as a reflective and therefore revealing mirror, but in universe, what was its purpose? Why would Rose Quartz have her room be able to form simulations?
I think this is a good question. When we look at the rooms of the gems, they are their rooms in every sense of the word. Not only do the Crystal Gems own these spaces, but as we’ve seen from Barn Mates, all gems want to feel as though they have a space of their own.
What I think is that it isn’t necessarily having a physical space itself that really makes the room compelling. Rather, it’s the idea that in a world that is still foreign, sometimes hostile, and always uncontrollable, a room is a space in which freedom and control can be exercised at the same time.
This is more prominently observed in some Gems’ rooms over others. But it’s a recurring thing that is evident enough to warrant further analysis.
Because the space is so personal, we get to see something of the characters that at times, aren’t even revealed to the characters themselves. With that, let’s kick off this new series with Rose’s room.
1. The Imagery of Pink Clouds
When we look at Rose’s room in particular, it does indeed appear consistent with her character, by the sheer colour scheme alone already tells us how much of Rose’s the room is.
And I think this contrasts with the way the other Gems’ rooms are presented. Characters who maintain a physical presence in the show, like the other Crystal Gems and the Homeworld “defectors” have a more subtle sign that a room is theirs. For instance, Pearl does have the whitish blues in her room, but it could also be mistaken for a room in the Sea Spire without proper context. Amethyst’s room in the temple has piles of purple but the dominant background colours also involve blue. And the Burning Room, which is Garnet’s space, is largely devoid of the colours in her aesthetic. The same can be said for the Barn, Peridot, and Lapis.
On the other hand, Rose doesn’t have her own presence in the show. Her influence in events and the way characters interact is in no part facilitated by present actions. Instead, reminders of her exert a strong influence on the cast. And it would then make sense that each reminder is very prominent and very apparent.
Part of this presentation involves how the clouds are the same pink as her hair, and her gemstone. I would say that thematically, the overtness of colour indicates a reinforcement of Rose’s identity. While the other Gems are more comfortable with the subtlety of their identity being revealed in their space, Rose needed to be reminded of it every time she entered her comfort zone.
Rose went through a lot of changes in her life. From leaving her rank on Homeworld, to initiating the Rebellion, to remaining on Earth, to meeting Greg, to deciding to have Steven, her roles continually changed.
That the other main motif is clouds reinforces this. Clouds are transient. They form through condensation and they dissipate. They are moved around by external forces such as the temperature and wind.
In that, it would make sense that Rose had nothing in her room. It shows that her person was not beyond just letting things go, and letting the forces around her show her what her next step would be.
We know that’s just the surface though. We know that Rose did struggle with the things she did, that she wanted to make things right but really didn’t know how. Rose wanted to be able to let go. And to some extent she was successful. She didn’t rock the boat she was on too much and was able to leave a lot of loose ends untouched. Chief among them was her own friend and comrade.
Nonetheless, she couldn’t completely shut off how she felt about the past. Her many attempts at healing the corrupted gems show that her past did weigh on her. Trying to heal them may have been a way to assuage herself of the guilt, dragging everyone into the war she started.
On their own, the absence of anything in the room may have served the purpose of centring Rose. The quiet of her room may have helped her cope with the clutter in her mind. There were so many things that she didn’t say and didn’t try to say.
The room is a sharp break from who she was as a character: Complicated. Even when the weather in the room becomes tumultuous, there is still nothing there. Nothing to get whipped by the wind or tossed around by the draft. But it does show us who Rose wanted to be, or at least what she was trying to become.