Character Analysis: Holly Blue Agate

Anonymous said:
what were your thoughts on holly blue?

I’ll keep the introduction short for this post. Holly Blue is the second Homeworld character introduced affiliated with Homeworld and a specific Diamond. The first character was Peridot. While the Rubies openly talk about their service to Yellow Diamond, they don’t share the deep investment that Holly Blue and Peridot have shown in the story.

It’s interesting looking at her character knowing what we do about Peridot now. So let’s get right into it!

1. Gem Placement

Anonymous said:
What do you suppose Holly Blue Agate’s gem placement (the back of her head, at the base of her skull) symbolizes?

Going by anatomy, the back of the skull is where the occipital lobe of the brain is located. The occipital lobe functions not necessarily to let us see, but to help us make sense of what we’re seeing. That is, the occipital lobe helps us interpret and comprehend the images that our eyes are looking at.

And to me, there’s something interesting about every single moment we get to see Holly Blue’s gem in Gem Heist, when she’s first introduced. In those moments, she sees the CGs just as they’re doing something they’re not supposed to do, and each time, she misinterprets what happens and they don’t get caught.

The very first time we see her gem is when the CGs just arrive and try to convince the Amethysts of their credibility. That Sapphire isn’t a “disgraced” Homeworld defector and that she’s the leader of the entire operation bringing a new human for Blue Diamond’s Zoo. Holly Blue buys into this narrative completely and leads them exactly where they want to go.

The second time is immediately after Pearl is ordered to open the first door. Pearl makes a very un-Pearl face at Holly, who, with back turned, ignores it unknowingly, saving Pearl and Sapphire what could have been a heated questioning.

The third time, she and Sapphire walk in on the other CGs trying to destroy the door. And they look so obviously guilty, but Holly blames it on the Amethysts instead. 

Close to the end of the episode, we have one more shot of her gem as the Amethysts take Steven away and he’s very loudly resisting. We know that’s a sign of the upturn that Steven causes later on, but Holly interprets it as a sign that things are running smoothly and going to be fine.

Note that none of these circumstances immediately signal to Holly that things are going wrong. The Zoo is a far off outpost that has been very low-key. Working there must be very quiet, save the occasional visit from BD. Holly wouldn’t be expecting trouble and that tinges the way she processes what goes on around her.

I’d say on a normal day, the Famethyst pulls a few pranks, Holly makes them clean up and then they train for a while. Holly goes around inspecting everything. And it’s boring. So when a noble gem shows up, Holly wants things to be the best they can be.

It’s a point in how our contexts tinge how we interpret what our senses tell us. In experiencing the world, there is definitely going to be an element of subjectivity. No two people experience the same scenario the same way because just from a physical standpoint, they’re never really in the same place at the same time.

I think this is especially true for Holly. Her gem, which I’ve mentioned before gives us an idea of how gems interact with the world, is behind her. That means she wants to be on top of everything, but she doesn’t face things directly when interacting with them. She’s always just a little bit behind on what’s going on.

Additionally, we’ve already seen a discrepancy between what she sees and what she makes of it. It implies that she’s out of touch with what’s happening on the ground. Extending it further, she’s a bit out of touch with herself. Functioning at her best, I’d say she’d be very perceptive. But that “gut feeling” has to be cultivated.

And being out of touch is a very real phenomenon. Holly is in the middle of nowhere. She doesn’t get to interact with a lot of gems and the gems she does interact with are ones she’s been with for thousands of years from very early on in their lives.

I’d say that she’s amazing at telling what the Famethyst are up to. She’s always suspicious of them, and that’s maybe because they’ve given her a reason to believe something is always brewing. If the mischievous character of our own Amethyst is anything to go by, poking fun at Holly’s uptight nature is something they’d be doing very frequently, even before the CGs came. 

Holly can probably tell what the Famethyst are plotting even at a glance. She’s attuned to them, whether she wants to be or not. And that leads to the next point.

2. Position on Homeworld

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