Now that it’s canon that Homeworld has a very strict class system on par with Transformer IDW’s functionism - can we please discuss how painful Rose and Pearl’s relationship must have been?
Pearls as ornamental pets. Pearls as less than labor, less than personal assistants - Pearls literally objectified. The Pearl we know, as Rose’s own ornamental Gem. A being created as a vanity object, whose sole function (according to Peridot and presumably the rest of Homeworld) is to look pretty and obey their owner’s orders.
Rose eventually realizing that this power imbalance is wrong - but also realizing that this is the only way of living that Pearl knows.
Rose tries to tell Pearl to make her own decisions. Rose is, after all, rebelling against Homeworld, presumably for freedom and choice and all that good stuff. She knows that Pearl will follow her because Rose owns her - not just because Pearl loves her. If Rose even recognizes that as love. From Rose’s position, this Gem she has owned for who knows how long (thousands of years probably, if Pearl has traveled through space with her) is devoted to her… but then, aren’t all Pearls devoted to their owners?
Pearl imagining the life they’ll have together after the war, when castes don’t matter any more, when Homeworld laws don’t tell them what is and isn’t proper. Pearl not daring to voice the hope that Rose will be able to love her like she loves Rose - all while knowing that they can never be equals, because how could they be? Pearl’s own conditioning working against her, dragging her self-worth back down to its “proper place” even after the war is over, even when Rose is no longer a Diamond but just a simple Quartz, please. Pearl has spent so long serving, worshipping, accenting - she doesn’t know how else to be.
Pearl slowly, slowly realizing that the life she imagined will never come to be. The harder she tries to be pleasing, the more Rose pushes her away. Pearl not understanding why Rose looks so sad when she smiles at her Pearl.
Because Pearl is still Rose’s Pearl. Rose only tried to tell her she was free, that Rose did not own her, once - and couldn’t bear to see the pain written so plainly on Pearl’s face, not so soon after the pain and loss of the war with Homeworld. Rose knowing that, to Pearl, ownership is her only valid connection to Rose. Rose knowing that severing that tie, as terrible as it is, will only ever cause Pearl pain. Rose can’t bear it.
Every “my Pearl” makes Pearl shiver in pleasure. It’s a reaffirmation of belonging. Every order followed unquestioningly makes Pearl more confident and happy, even as it makes Rose sick to her stomach.
Rose loves Earth. Rose loves humans. And that’s ok, Pearl reasons every time she wants Rose to look at her with a burning need that feels so ugly that Pearl has to meditate to calm herself into serenity again. That’s ok, Pearl repeats as a mantra for 50 years or so, because after 50 years or so the human is dead and rotting - and Pearl would never leave Rose like that. It hurts Rose so much every time. Pearl would never abandon her like that. Pearl is too faithful to die.
Pearl, the lowest of the Gems, looking at humans and feeling good about herself for the first time in her life. Here is something lower than her. She may be just a Pearl, she may be nothing to the Gems or to Homeworld, but at least she’s better than these.
Somewhere, Pearl picks up the idea of knighthood. During the war she flourished under Rose’s careful manipulation, turned into almost her own Gem when she decided that she wanted to be useful and not just pretty.
But she is still Rose’s Pearl. Just… a better one.
And Rose can’t bear to be the person she was before, no matter how much Pearl expects it or craves it. She wishes Pearl would defy her, would decide on her own. But Pearl only looks to her for guidance, for orders, for everything, and Rose loves to nurture but she cannot separate Pearl’s desires from Homeworld’s social conditioning. It’s wrong, she thinks, to take advantage of her Pearl’s infatuation.
Because it’s clear to everyone that even if Rose is willing to cast aside ranks and all be equals, Pearl is not. And she might not ever be.
So all Rose can do is smile sadly and nudge Pearl in the right direction, encourage any independence she can. And all Pearl can do is try to please Rose.
But in the end, Rose is gone… and Steven is all Pearl has left.
♬ (~Les-Fees-des-Ballet, from one balletic bab to another~)
This was really quite forbidden. She shouldn’t be doing this.
Pearls, every one of them, were made with an innate talent for singing, and for feeling out a tune. They were good at it, the ones that were formed properly, and many of them even enjoyed it, which was a rare thing for such an ornamental being to achieve.
Blue Pearl should not have been singing right now. Her Diamond had not ordered it; her Diamond was away.
“…It was so easy, and the words so sweet. You can’t remember, you try to feel the beat…”
I want to throw an amazing dinner party for all our friends who fawn over what a good host I am and how nice my ensemble is and wow I’ve never seen a risotto prepared with such finesse while my useless husband stands sheepishly to the side nursing his beer offering to help and I insist I can handle it and he knows it’s true and feels content being ornamentation.
Alpinia zerumbet is in the family Zingiberaceae. Commonly known as Shell Ginger, it is native to parts of east Asia including Japan. Aside from being grown ornamentally around the world, the leaves of this species have been used in Japanese folk medicine to brew a tea to treat fevers and ulcers. The leaves are also sometimes used to wrap mochi and flavor noodle dishes. Follow for more plant facts and photos!