so splendid and magic

9

Flying


“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. 

 Are you ready to go? 

Splendid!”

-Forward, Magical Mystery Tour LP cover  

[ 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, then 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 inherently 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 with themselves.) 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.