poor-karkat

anonymous asked:

I've found an amusing tag that does contain character names, but it's not really necessary to know the characters for the tag to be amusing. Specifically, the tags are "Poor Karkat gets the tables turned on him, well actually more like Dave flips the tables right onto Karkat's head". Would you consider accepting such a submission?

We’re gonna say no on this one. Not that it isn’t an amusing tag, but we don’t really don’t want to get into debates about how much fandom knowledge is needed for something to be funny. Also, just in terms of aesthetics, we like to keep things fandom-reference-free. Thank you for asking though!

I firmly believe that of all the characters in Homestuck, Karkat is by far the most difficult to write well. He’s not the most morally complex, and he is in fact rather archetypal: an aggressive and surly exterior that houses a caring, sensitive interior. The Jerk with a Heart of Gold isn’t exactly a rare character in fiction- it’s romance where the aspiring fanfic writer usually trips up. Karkat is a sexual entity, to the point of studying and analyzing troll romance like an obsessive fanboy. He also shows a great deal of affection for several of his friends, even if he does his best to hide it. Thus the trip-up of Karkat as a spineless baby who is so emotionally needy on others that he flings himself and his problems in a sobbing mess of emotions at them.

In truth, Karkat plays the cards closer to his chest than that. He’s not reserved, but he is very tight-lipped with information about himself and stubbornly refuses to outright acknowledge many of his flaws and insecurities. Karkat seeks to help himself by helping others, but his peers are generally just as screwed up as he is. He cannot fix them, but he tries to in the hopes that he may be able to like himself if he can teach them to like themselves.

As far as a transferral from troll to human, Karkat fell in quite easily. Even his character arc is quite similar to canon: repeatedly, Karkat must watch helplessly as someone he cares about falls into darkness. The first instance is with Sollux, who kills himself after deciding that he is alone in the world. The suggestion there, of course, is that Karkat doesn’t count- Karkat is not enough of an anchor to tether Sollux to this world.

But Sollux was a mercurial, emotionally maladjusted creature. He was overwhelmed with fear and helplessness and certain that he, with his frail body and physical ineptitude, was doomed. Sollux was dead and he knew it- he was not abandoning Karkat so much as expediting the inevitable. Not that Karkat saw it that way, of course.

This sets the theme of Karkat’s odyssey over the island: failure. Many characters have defeat strike them when victory is at hand during Battlestuck- Terezi, Vriska, and Droog all come to mind- but none get as hard and as repeatedly as Karkat does. His next encounter in the story is with Terezi, but by that point her mental health was already degrading. Karkat’s words nearly reach her, but the cold and precise side of Terezi beats out the side that loves and cares about Karkat. She attacks him, only stopping herself from killing him by force of will, and leaves him to die. Failure Number Two: Karkat’s words, his only effective weapon, could not bring Terezi back from the darkness she had plunged into.

Karkat’s third appearance is his climactic one: his run-in with Gamzee. Sollux lost hope, and Terezi voluntarily handed her humanity over so she’d have a chance to win. Neither can hold a candle to Gamzee, who was gobbled up by the monster that lived in his chest and became a nigh-unrecognizable beast from the boy Karkat knew. For years, Karkat had kept that beast in check, preventing it from taking control of Gamzee. A couple days apart combined with the corrupting influence of The Program set it free, and its latest victim was poor Nepeta Leijon.

Karkat cannot help Nepeta physically, and if he had met her hours earlier then he would have been little help mentally. Her mind shattered almost immediately during the game, after all. All he is able to do is ease her passing and, ironically, give her something like joy after hours of an unimaginable hell. He was too late to make a difference, however. Failure Number Three.

Lastly is Gamzee, the monster that Karkat had failed to leash. Karkat is the least physically apt of any major character in Battlestuck- he would lose in a straight fight to almost anyone in the class. His only effective tool is his eloquence, and finally he manages to score a victory with it. He couldn’t talk Sollux out of suicide, he couldn’t talk Terezi into alliance, but he can talk Gamzee into surrender. At last, a success. A victory. All along, Karkat has not been playing the game but actively fighting against it, desperately trying to keep his friends from being consumed by it, and at last he has scored a major victory against it.

And, almost immediately, it is negated.

Simone, as much of an agent of the game as any player, puts a bullet into Gamzee. No warning, no time to preparation. Just a gunshot. Failure Number Four.

Four’s enough. Karkat resigns himself to failure- he cannot save a life. He and everyone else on the island is doomed, and his list of friends has just about run out. But he refuses to give up, even if he knows he can’t succeed. Winning isn’t possible for him, Karkat isn’t that stupid. But he can still try.

John is his last friend- and in keeping with their young and somewhat combative relationship in canon, he doesn’t seem as close to John as he is to many others. But Karkat still tries, and with the help of Feferi’s trident, he manages to save John. At last, a success. At last, Karkat has saved a life.

Then he is gunned down by Slick, but it hardly matters. Karkat gets to die satisfied, having proven to himself that he is capable of saving a life. That’s enough for him.

2

“s0. hi x 2”

“…YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS, RIGHT? IT MEANS POOR KARKAT HAS YET ANOTHER UTTERLY *WORTHLESS* SACK OF MAGGOTS TO LOOK AFTER! NOT ONLY THAT, BUT THIS PARTICULAR BLIGHT OF SENTIENT LIFE- IF YOU’RE BOLD ENOUGH TO CALL IT THAT- IS THE FUCKING *GOD TIER* OF NOT BEING ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF HIMSELF! WELL, FUCK YOU FOR COMING BACK.”

“hehe kk i missed y0u to0”

s o l k a t