“Away in the sky, beyond the clouds, live 4 or 5 magicians,
By casting wonderful spells they turn The Most Ordinary Coach Trip into a Magical Mystery Tour.
If you let yourself go, the magicians will take you away to marvelous places.
Maybe YOU’VE been on a Magical Mystery Tour without realising it.
[ Beatrice the elder: “*cackle*cackle*cackle…… Yes, it is. (in gold:) You used magic to create a golden flower petal inside an overturned cup. It was a splendid bit of magic.” ]
Gold truth again!
Okay, so—between this instance of gold and the scene where it was introduced, what can we determine
about what exactly gold truth entails? It’s “a divine truth woven
in a different fashion than the red truth”, which may sometimes trump
red truth but sometimes be equal or even inferior to it. It can only be
used by the Game Master. And we’ve seen it used to say two things now.
The first time was Battler’s assurance that Kinzo’s supposed corpse,
which existed on the island, really was Kinzo’s despite the lack of
any way to conclusively prove its identity through human means. Dlanor specifically
forbade the use of arbitrarily-granted red truth as valid proof in
that instance. But when stated in gold truth, the same statement was considered valid proof.
And now, elder!Beatrice states in gold that chick!Beatrice’s feat of
producing an object from an empty cup was accomplished by magic. Battler’s statement about Kinzo could also have been said in red, obviously. But
this one couldn’t have been. Red truth means cold, hard, objective fact, and
magic can only exist through personal interpretation and belief. Red truth can only disprove magic, not prove it.
Battler’s golden sword could be used for both red and blue. Red truth
represents the set-in-stone facts of a story, while blue truth
represents any possible interpretation that can exist in conjunction with those facts. Is gold truth, then, the power to declare an interpretation canon?
Dlanor’s red truth is Knox’s commandments—rules which attempt to ensure the trust between author and reader is not betrayed, but made
general enough to try to encompass a whole genre’s worth of stories. Could
Battler’s declaration of Kinzo’s death in gold serve a similar purpose,
but specific to this one individual story (and therefore something only
the Game Master who knows the full truth can guarantee)? “This is
a true and necessary premise of this story; trust me”? Dlanor doesn’t
know the truth of this individual story, so her only method of
enforcing fair play is to apply Knox’s rules strictly the same way in
every story. But she treats Battler’s use of gold truth as a valid override of
one of those rules (that “proof” obtained through supernatural means is not
valid as a solution), so we know it can trump her red in at least
this instance. Is it because the Game Master’s knowledge of their
individual story (which, as Dlanor previously admitted, she can’t be sure follows Knox’s rules) is more important than a
stranger’s attempts to generalize about a whole genre—at least, provided
the story’s own internal consistency isn’t broken by it?
Gold truth is
“sometimes inferior” to red truth, so I assume a statement that
could be contradicted by red, even if it was still possible to say in
gold, would lose out to that red truth. You don’t feel
inclined to believe an author’s statements about their own story if it
outright contradicts what they say in the canon itself, after all,
even if they’re the one who wrote the thing. But if your trust in the
author is intact, then any clarifications and interpretations they share about their work often feel more like special bonus information that you want to
believe and incorporate into your understanding of canon, because
it makes the fictional world even fuller and more fleshed out, and that benefits you as the reader as well.
If Ryukishi07 walked up to me right now and told me, say, that the point of Umineko was that magic isn’t real,
I might accept that that was what he as the author said, but I would
still think “well, that’s not the message your story actually
conveys, so even if that really is the interpretation the author
intended I don’t agree that it’s true for the story”. But if he told
me, for example, that actually here is what gold truth is supposed to mean and how it works, then assuming it didn’t contradict the story
somehow I would be happy to accept it into my understanding of canon—my own personal “truth” of the story—because doing so would
give me a better understanding of the story and enrich my own experience.
Battler says the canon is that Kinzo is dead and his corpse exists on the island from
the start of the game, and because it fits the facts and Battler is the
Game Master, this is accepted as a fundamental premise of the game. After all, if
you could simply disregard the premises the Game Master presents
you with based on nothing but your own whim, you’ve effectively just
decided not to play the game at all. It would be like if Battler
refused to believe Beatrice couldn’t lie in red: a perfectly understandable response, maybe, but one that makes the game
unplayable. If reader and author can’t say they love each other, any chance for reasoning—for understanding—is over before it can begin.
In contrast to Battler’s gold truth, then… By this interpretation, when Beatrice the Elder here asserts that what just
happened was magic (as opposed to sleight of hand or something
else), she is also declaring that to be canon—that, of all the possible
interpretations of the known facts, this one is “what really
happened”. But unlike Battler’s gold truth about Kinzo’s death, this one can’t be proved in red. In fact, it could presumably be disproved simply by stating the relevant facts in detailed enough red. As long as
Beatrice the chick and Beatrice the elder are the only ones
present to observe, and thus the only ones able to interpret the “truth”
of, this story they’re exploring, that gold truth cannot be
challenged or destroyed unless they themselves change their mind.
(That’s also the only reason I can think of why Beatrice the Elder would be able to use the gold truth at all, seeing as the very premise
of this subplot is that neither aspect of Beatrice knows the full
truth: that because this journey to discover the truth is undertaken
only by them, the only truth that exists to be found is whatever truth they come up
But if they were to let others view that truth—invite others into their
universe, so to speak—then if those others did not accept their
truth as valid, it would be as powerless as any blue truth against red that could contradict it.