Steven Universe discourse has been making the rounds once again on social media, most likely due to Rebecca Sugar’s recent fundraising stream for the Trevor Project (donations are being accepted until the 23rd of the month, by the way!)
Alongside the stream, Mx. Sugar also announced their very first personal album, Spiral Bound, coming this November, to the delight of their fans, not least myself. Of course, this has not stopped many fans from plaguing any and all related social media posts with that accursed Black Diamond meme (and no, this particular headcanon will not be featured in today’s list).
So let’s distract ourselves from strangely sexually charged OCs, and refocus on one of Steven Universe’s key strengths – it’s time to deep dive straight into some of that good lore!
This article contains major spoilers for Steven Universe – read with caution!
Pink Diamond was supposed to be Red Diamond
As hardcore fans know, a lot of the lore around the Gems are based on the real practice of gemmology (yes, it’s a thing!) Some have pointed out that naturally occurring pink diamonds are exceedingly rare, and that red diamonds are much easier to come across – following that logic, a Red Diamond should have been the “default option”, not pink.
This is a fun theory which leads you down some interesting rabbit holes – is Pink Diamond an off-colour? Was she made “weaker” on purpose so as not to supersede White Diamond? However, I don’t believe this theory holds water – Reddit user u/Advocate_Diplomacy makes a strong argument for why Pink was always meant to be Pink, using colour theory. Blue and yellow make green – if you subtract green from white light, you are apparently left with pink!
A gem’s colour reflects her personality
Reddit user u/Gedeha kindly created the above graph for your consideration of this theory. Colour theory in general is never far off in Steven Universe, mainly owing to White Diamond’s character, who represents “every colour of the light”. According to White’s appraisal in Change Your Mind, a gem’s “impurities” absorb certain colours, leaving them to seek out other gems in order to be whole.
Of course, having seen the show through to its end, we understand that White herself has her own fair share of impurities, so a gem’s personal issues cannot be solved by “becoming white”. Having said that, gems of a certain colour definitely do seem to share certain traits, behaviours and specialities – if I had to guess, I’d say that this is because gems may partially take after the Diamond(s) who made them, or that they even share some of the same biological components as their makers.
Rose Quartzes were made to guard the Human Zoo
When we are first shown evidence of the existence of other Rose Quartz gems, they are found in the Human Zoo spacecraft (bubbled, of course, for the crime of existing). Additionally, while the Amethysts didn’t question Rose’s presence in the Beta Kindergarten, our Rose was the only one to be found. The Rose Quartzes we meet in Steven Universe Future also seem very different to Amethysts in terms of personality – far less rough and tumble.
All this points quite promisingly to the theory (which I first found in this Fandomentals article, impressively written a good year before A Single Pale Rose) that Rose Quartz gems were initially intended to guard the human Zoo. Of course, this was never our Rose Quartz’ job, since she wasn’t a Quartz to begin with – but since Pink Diamond was still “alive” when the Zoo was made (it was made for her sake, after all) it remains possible that she created the Rose Quartzes in the same timeframe to manage yet another gem colony she wanted no personal control over.
White Diamond holds Homeworld together
I love the design of the Homeworld planet and its strange implications – the planet has been completely severed in twain, like a cracked egg, yet still it remains a functional and thriving empire capital. How? Some have posited that the below mural is meant to represent White literally holding the world together.
This article from Fandom.com also suggests that White Diamond’s cape actually extends around the whole planet, with its white cords literally pulling the world together. I think this theory has legs, and would also fit in with my personal headcanon that White Diamond is the one who broke – or rather, overmined – Homeworld in the first place.
Pink Diamond is the true head of the Diamond Authority
This one coincides a little with the whole “Pink Diamond was supposed to be Red thing” – it is curious as to why she’s so much smaller than the other Diamonds, after all. Was she “overbaked”, like Amethyst? Or perhaps it was by design?
The original run of Steven Universe makes clear that White always had an issue with Pink, seeing her as a reflection of her own flaws (more on that below). It’s also worth mentioning that Pink and White Diamond have gems which are similar in appearance, and not at all like Blue and Yellow’s gems at all – they’re bigger, and with more facets. Could that imply that Pink and White are as powerful as each other?
Some believe that the version of Pink Diamond we see in the show is not the original, but rather a “re-do” by White Diamond – we know that she is capable of erasing and possibly even rewriting memories. To establish herself as the most powerful Diamond, White could very well have adjusted Pink Diamond’s gem – which determines not just the mind but also the body and soul – and placed her at the very bottom of the Diamond Authority.
While I personally don’t believe a narrative of this nature was ever planned for Steven Universe, it would make for one hell of a fic.
White Diamond is a husk of her former self
Does anyone remember that film Nine with Elijah Wood? The one where some mad scientist extracts different parts of his soul to create nine living dolls with? Well, this last theory kind of goes like that.
White herself states that she embodies every colour of the light, at simultaneously seems to express disdain for those colours individually, seeing them as flawed and lesser-than. We also know that, as White was the first Diamond, she most likely had some hand in creating the others. Perhaps Blue, Yellow and Pink were created in an effort by White to remove her own colourful “impurities” – kinda like the opposite of fusion.
This would also explain why White seems so emotionless in comparison to the rest of the Diamonds – they represent her emotions, isolated and compartmentalised, leaving her a detached, unfeeling, monochromatic god.
Regardless of whether these theories are true or false, they prove just how rich Steven Universe’s storytelling is. Go on, start that rewatch, you deserve it.
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