With the reactions post-Storm in the Room, I feel that Steven doesn’t get enough credit. Going to Rose’s Room, searching for answers, and comfort even though he didn’t know that yet, Steven wasn’t setting out to create a perfect mother or project himself the ideal version of Rose. He starts, the moment he enters the room, by saying he knew it wasn’t real.
Everything Steven did with Cloud Rose, everything that happened between them, were reasonable assumptions we could make of Rose. And this is because the Rose we saw was from Steven’s expectations of what she would be like. And Steven was wary about idealising Rose the way the Crystal Gems did. He says this explicitly several times. Also, Steven’s view of Rose was tempered early on by Greg’s stories of her.
So the Rose we see isn’t a sad Steven’s attempt at finding the perfect mother figure. Steven’s attempt at a reasonable and believable portrayal of Rose deserves to be acknowledged. Had it not been the case, the Rose we saw could not have evoked the feelings she did. It’s because of the depth Steven introduced to her from all his memories of her that it was made possible.
And what I want to talk about in this post, is how the images of Rose reflect which narratives he’s channeling as he tries to piece together, quite literally, the image of Rose.
The first appearance of Cloud Rose shows her with messy hair, parts of it stick up and around her. Her facial expressions are often wiggly, for lack of better word, and she shows her thighs a lot more than in the succeeding scenes, either in cross-sitting or running.
This Rose is goofy and funny and casual. And it’s the Rose whom Greg’s stories have constructed in Steven’s memories.
The same scenes we see Rose hitch up her dress in the same way (such as when she’s reading books with Greg on the bed) or similarly goofy, like stopping a ferris wheel with her bare hands, she’s with Greg.
Even the line Steven takes from her video in Lion 3: Straight to Video, about “every X being unique and beautiful” is shot in Greg’s presence. Without realising it, Steven is remembering this image of Rose.
And she cares about Steven. She engages in his interests. It’s not so far a stretch because some episodes back, Bismuth was willing to do the same thing. Rose was a fun person. There’s a running joke that she would have loved cheesy and corny jokes. She probably told a few in her day.
She probably wasn’t always as poised as presented in her portrait. Greg remembers the Rose he changed, when she was starting to understand human beings in earnest and come to terms with how they could exist with gems on the same level.
Rose at that point still didn’t want to talk about her past, and Greg never made her. So Greg and Rose made new memories and didn’t dwell on the old. And those memories were filled with fun and laughter and love.
The moment sobers when it is Rose not Steven, who gestures the latter to sit down and stare at the expanse of clouds.
And we should know that what we’re about to see means something has changed. The first hint is that Rose’s body language changes. She sits perfectly straight, even though she’s cross-sitting the way she was earlier. And we don’t see her legs anymore. Her hair neatens and her expression calms.
What’s more, her hands assume the position Garnet did in Here Comes A Thought in Mindful Education. And that emphasises the kind of role Rose plays in this moment. Steven felt Rose taught Garnet how to manage her feelings, because it was a motherly thing to do. In a very Steven Universe fashion, the music changes from the bright xylophone to a quiet piano music, which is the mark of another Crystal Gem, Pearl.
And when we go back to the senior Crystal Gems and their image of Rose, it is exactly the way she’s presented.
Cloud Rose is a huge presence, with Steven a small child by her side. She speaks deliberately, every word is one of wisdom. She is magnanimous and comforting at the same time.
She tells him, “But we’ve been together the entire time.” And it brings back the idea of how our parents are always with us, and a part of us, because one way or another they’ve left a mark on us.
At the same time though, the similarities of the scenes between this moment and the one at Rose’s Fountain in An Indirect Kiss, lead to the same end.
Rose is viewed as a godly icon, very distant from Steven. She’s not sitting beside him, playing with him, kneeling on the ground anymore. He looks up to her, and he can’t reach her.
In both times, he realises she’s not really there. That he talked to the statue of Rose in the fountain, confided his deepest insecurities about how he didn’t know how to feel about her when everyone else did, parallels the empty image on his phone.
And it segues into the next scene perfectly.
Because Steven doesn’t know how to feel about Rose. Now, he’s more certain than ever that he doesn’t even know who she is. The Rose we see at the end has a blank face, because Steven can’t project anything on it. He’s thinking of Pink Diamond’s shattering, Bismuth, and the Rebellion, and all the people hurt by them.
When he sees Rose, he can no longer see himself, which is why her eyes, one of the facial features most like Steven’s, (next to his nose) are nowhere to be seen.
And this Rose is distant, because there’s no mitigating narrative linking him to her. In the other scenes, the room remained the same, because these stories he was told of Rose and who she was firmly rooted the first two Roses as part of the real Rose’s identity.
This Rose is foreign, because nowhere in those narratives did Steven think it possible to for her to do the things he learned she did.
And in that moment he begins to doubt.
Because he can no longer see the image of his mother, he doesn’t know where he himself stands. A huge part of his identity is being Rose’s son. What happens when the “Rose” part becomes fuzzy, blurry, and unintelligible?
What happens to the Steven?
Notice that this Rose is silent. She offers no response to the accusations Steven hurls at her, about all the people she hurt and her act of leaving them all behind.
At this point, we see the part of Steven that understands Rose is gone. That he’s never going to get these answers and there won’t be an explanation coming from her.
There are some things he’ll never get to hear about, some memories he’ll never know, some experiences he’ll never share with her.
And it’s sad and disheartening and lonely. In losing his idea of Rose, Steven loses a part of his identity. Such that he felt it would be better if he denounced Rose, cutting off the part of himself he didn’t want to think about: That he was created just to fix her mistakes.
It’s then that we see Rose’s face for the first time since we’ve entered the paradigm of Rose-through-Steven’s eyes. Not Greg’s, not the Crystal Gem’s. Because these new things he’s learned about Rose are things the others would never have known without him. How else would they have heard the Diamond’s song of mourning? How would they have known Bismuth was there all along?
And the things Rose said in the tape were meant for Steven, in a space only Steven could find.
The Rose speaking to Steven at the end is the Rose who’s already spoken to Steven directly before, through the tape.
A lot of negative reaction has been given to this moment, because it feels as though the tape absolves Rose of everything she’s done. It doesn’t and I don’t feel that was the point.
The point of her saying that, was to reaffirm Steven’s belief in Steven. To show that it wasn’t about Rose anymore, that Steven’s birth wasn’t about Rose but about him.
And it’s striking that’s the only time we see her face again. Because immediately after, Steven hugs her, and her face is obscured.
That’s Steven’s recognition that he’s never going to hear any other words straight from his mother for him. He understands and he realises that nonetheless, Rose is exerting a presence in his life. He really is always with her and never alone.
The past few episodes and everything leading up to them were about Steven’s realising his mother was still an individual, one who could made mistakes and rash, selfish decisions.
He was afraid that upon realising his mother could be a selfish individual, could do huge selfish things that affected thousands of lives, he feared the act of his birth, the most personal thing about him, was meant to serve her self-interests alone too. He needed a concrete and tangible answer, which was what prompted him to go to the room.
At the end of the episode, he didn’t think that anymore. He knows he has a lot of work ahead in figuring out Rose’s place in his life, but the lingering doubt of the very foundation of his existence is gone.
And because of that, he finally feels comfortable letting her go.
[[[[[WARNING!!!!!!!! SPOILERS!!!!! IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN PAST “THE ZOO,” STOP NOW!!! THE VERY LATEST EPISODES ARE REFERENCED HERE!! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED! ALSO THIS POST LONG AF.]]]]]
My theory is that Pink, Yellow, AND Blue diamond were all created by White diamond herself. I think she is the true gemmatriarch. Her appearance is of course the one that’s taking the longest. In every insignia for the Great Diamond Authority, the white diamond is on top while all others are beneath her.
Notice how all 3 diamonds intersect and make a tiny, shaded diamond? I think it represents Pink. Kind of sweet.
Yellow and Blue are side by side, and in the previous insignia, pink is right below them. And, both their gems are located on their chests. But when you look at the murals of White and pink Diamond, White has hers on the forehead, Pink on her Navel. That’s no mere coincidence. I think this means that Yellow and Blue were created at about the same time, Pink last, and White is the first. Let’s look at their murals.
Yellow has 9 planets, so I believe she’s older. Her general demeanor appears strict, dutiful, and reserved. But when it comes to Blue Diamond, that facade softens. She becomes very concerned,
has a tendency of butting into her business,
Wouldn’t you rather forget her?
gives her advice and tries to inspire her,
Where’s their Diamond when they need her, Blue? You’ve got to be a leader, Blue!
and even orders her own Yellow Pearl to “make Blue feel better.” The mural, along with her tendency towards taking responsibility and forcing others to do the same,
I’m here to bring you back to reality, Blue.
It’s been thousands of years, Blue, and you still can’t bring yourself to destroy these Gems? She was shattered by a Rose Quartz! The entire cut of Gem deserves the same fate!
and putting her own feelings to the side so she can show a brave face
Don’t you know I miss her, too?
for those that need her.
Look at how terrified they are.
Look at Blue’s concern
This points towards her being the elder of the two of them. Her actions line up with what an older sister, who knew her duties and responsibilities, would do. It’s clear she doesn’t feel at liberty to disclose or showcase her feelings, because of those that look to her as a pillar of strength.
Holly Blue Agate: You can just feel strength and confidence radiating from her.
Next, we have Blue Diamond.
Blue has 8 planets, so I believe she’s only slightly younger than Yellow Diamond. In “That will be all,” Yellow Diamond is seen trying to get her out of her funk, and Blue Diamond turns her head and makes the face a petulant child might while getting a lecture. Just look at the dynamic here.
Blue Diamond: Why can’t you just let me grieve? Yellow Diamond: You can’t keep coming here forever! Blue Diamond: Why not?
But let’s look at the whole picture. From what we’ve seen so far, it’s clear that Blue has been mourning the loss of Pink Diamond for at least 5,000 years. Meanwhile, it looks like Yellow Diamond has continued progress, not allowing herself to be distracted in the least.
She has so much to do, that not only did she not look at the communicator to see to whom she was speaking, at first, but she didn’t even immediately recognize that it was about a mission regarding Earth, a planet that’s caused her endless grief, that she’s wanted to destroy for eons. That’s crazy.
She’s had her subjects fill out detailed reports on their missions, that she actually reads herself,
Yellow Diamond asked for, uh, my dad, a Connie, a Lars, a Sadie, a mailman, and an onion, I think. Six human variations specified in a report by Peridot 5XG.
has a hands on approach in regards to reaching out to supervisors
To Peridot: I’ll inform your manager of your incompetence.
and has sent out subjects to carry out literally 4 missions on Earth so far: checking the status of the Cluster, sending Jasper and Lapis as a bodyguard and informant, respectively, sending a team of Rubies to retrieve Jasper, AND personally dispatching a Topaz fusion and Aquamarine to collect human specimens. SHE’S ON TOP OF HER SHIT, Y'ALL.
Meanwhile, in comparison, Blue Diamond is spending her time quite leisurely by preserving, maintaining and visiting the Zoo, mourning in Pink Diamond’s bed chamber, and sneaking to Earth to mourn at her palanquin. Basically stuck in time. But how is it she is at liberty to do these things, for millennia, whilst Yellow is working so consistently?? It’s like Yellow Diamond has thrown herself into her work, and Blue is sulking. It’s almost as if Yellow Diamond has had to pick up twice the pace, in order to make up for Blue’s slack. If that’s the case, then it makes TOTAL sense that Yellow is not only concerned, but frustrated and upset.
She lookin’ like “Girl, if you cut this sh*t tf out…”
But, when Blue Diamond admits that she wanted more humans for the zoo, she drops everything to personally dispatch her subjects to gather some, for Blue Diamond’s sake.
Yellow Diamond: Is that what you want? Sapphire, has the Cluster emerged yet? Sapphire: No, it has not. Yellow Diamond: Then there’s still time. That will be all.
Based on all that, even with her strictness and severity, I think it’s clear that she’s been coddling Blue Diamond all this time, allowing Blue to grieve and lament, but not giving herself even a moment’s reprieve to do the same. That seems like the exact sort of thing an older sibling would do for a younger sibling, and it also makes sense that a younger sibling would also have the leniency to do all those things.
Now for Pink Diamond. She only has 1 planet on her mural. And if the actions and words of Blue Diamond are to be believed, all they have of her is the Earth and the Zoo. Which makes sense as to why Blue is so desperate to preserving those things, because it’s “all they have left of her."
Yellow, she made them. This is all we have left of her. These Gems, this place, and the Earth.
She didn’t get to conquer scores of planets like her peers, all she had was Earth. Then she was destroyed (but was she really???) She only had, as far as we know 3 species of gem, all Quartz types, all designed as soldiers for protection, defense, and conquest. Meanwhile, Blue and Yellow have far more speciation in their gems, technicians, engineers, construction workers, diplomats and aristocracy, etc. If this is the case, it makes sense that she would start her empire with soldiers that could keep her safe whilst acquiring new territory and then creating more gems later on, in her image. Yellow is militaristic and practical, Blue is aristocratic and diplomatic, who knows what Pink would have been? This leads me to believe she was the youngest, because she had the fewest planets, and her potential is so unknown.
Finally. We’ve come to White Diamond. We know the least about her. As previously stated, every insignia we know of, has her at the very top of the order. But check out her mural, compared to the others.
Notice anything?? Firstly, she has the most planets of any of the other Diamonds, coming in at about 13, I think. Second, she is the only figure that faces forward, while all the others have a profile view. All other figures hold their planets with one hand, extended from their bodies. But Look at how White Diamond holds hers. It’s at at the center of her being, and cupped gingerly with both hands. That’s gotta be homeworld. No other planet on any mural has the same significance. And if she is the gem holding the most significant planet, then I argue that it is she who must be the most significant gem of them all. Now let’s consider the other Diamonds. I said it made sense for the first gems Pink made to be militaristically based. I think the same applies for White. If she created the Diamonds, it would make sense that the first beings she created to be militaristic such as Yellow Diamond, for the sake of extending her empire.
But why and where did she come from???
I don’t know who created her or if she even had a creator. It may be possible that she was a singular entity and perfect being that had been alone for eons. Until she decided to create her own home and family. Or not. Whatever, ¾ backstories ain’t bad. But I definitely think the other Diamonds were created for serving the purposes of White Diamond. I think it’s very possible they are afraid of her and that she is the true villain of the series. Just think of the expendable manner in which she/they treats her/their subjects… What do y'all think??
I know it’s super last minute to post this theory, since it looks like the reveal is finally on the way, truth is I’ve been thinking of it for a while, but only JUST today figured out ow to embed images in tumblr. It was super hard to figure out before, but it looks like they made it easier, so here I a lol. Please be kind