Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 74: Dawn of the Other Twelve

Introduction

Part 73 | Part 74 | Part 75 >

Act 6 Intermission 2, Part 3 of 3

Pages 4741-4819 (MSPA: 6641-6719)

NOTE: I’m not going to pretend this isn’t just filler text again.

2019 NOTE: Actually I don’t need filler text anymore, I can have actual text here because I have something to say as a disclaimer! In the interest of dramatic irony, I will be keeping everything I said in this post about John and Roxy’s relationship completely unedited. I’m doing this because I believe Hussie intended readers’ massive confusion at them not getting together in the credits to be part of the “experience” and I’d rather not taint my expression of my reaction with the usual “holy shit this reads differently after the epilogues”.

John wakes up in a dream bubble and oh hey it’s another 2x callback combo: to Jake waking up to see Aranea, and to Karkat getting hit in the face by a bucket.

Both John and Jake have a zoom-in gag reaction to seeing the girl of their dreams.
Oh holy shit that last part is another parallel between those scenes

OK, now that Roxy’s feet are off of John’s face, I might as well get it out of the way and talk about the two of them as a ship just like I promised.

Although I am neutral towards most ships in Homestuck, this one is an exception. And unlike the one I passionately despise, it’s the other kind of exception. Yes, that means what you think it does: it’s the only pairing in the comic that I actually sort of like. I could’ve talked about that sooner but only the recent updates have caused me to be even a little open about that; if the credits handled them the way they should have I probably wouldn’t have been able to say this.

What sets this ship apart from others is that John’s dynamic with Roxy is built up in an enticing way that sets readers up for anticipation and makes them consider what makes them a good match (because let’s face it they really kind of totally are). The same cannot be said about some of the more forced ships—you know what I’m talking about. As I’ve mentioned before I always considered it to be a given that they’d actually happen. But as I’ve also mentioned, the credits suspiciously do nothing with them which is infuriating and also worrying. Still, I have every hope the epilogue addresses their relationship because otherwise it would be horrendously bad storytelling. However, I’ll give credit where it is due: all this has helped me become more open about all the stuff I said. I could go on but I think I should continue this tangent the other times their relationship is hinted at, which is fortunately many.

OK let’s get on with Meenah’s proper debut.

Before I start I’d like to proceed with a tradition and talk about Meenah as a character.

Just as Slick was designed to characterize Jack Noir, I believe Meenah exists partially to characterize the Condesce, another major villain in the comic. But she also exists as a more interesting replacement for Feferi, who is probably the most forgettable of all the trolls. And she actually works in that regard; she’s by far the most likable of the pre-scratch trolls. I think the villain characterization aspect is the more important part of her character; it’s kind of a weird way to develop characters but at the same time it leads to some powerful moments, which holds very much true for the trolls’ Jack as well.

MEENAH: hey you 
MEENAH: god tier boy 
MEENAH: water you doin there blue boy 
MEENAH: )(-EY 
MEENAH: IM TALKING TO YOU 

Here’s a thing that isn’t possible in most other forms of media. Meenah’s name is revealed without being actually stated, just shown in a dialogue transcript. She doesn’t tell John her name in this conversation, calling herself “the best troll” later on, and if someone else were around to say her name that would ruin the whole effect of this scene as a hinting teaser of sorts.

JOHN: you must be the sea troll, i heard about you. 
JOHN: but i’m pretty sure we never talked. 
JOHN: have you by any chance seen vriska around? or karkat? 

Unlike in his conversation with Jade, here John refers to Vriska by name which has a lot of implications. Some may think that John cares about her after all; I’d go more specific and say this is his inability to have a solid opinion on her in action. In my last post I talked about how his opinion on her is constantly in flux; now I’m starting to think that’s kind of the point, that Vriska just isn’t someone John can figure out.

MEENAH: who the fuck are they 
JOHN: um… your troll friends? 
MEENAH: werent no friends of mine if i never heard of em 

Here Meenah starts vaguely hinting at the deal with her, setting up some mystery arcs. It’s a pretty obvious bonus for attentive readers, since Aranea clarifies this stuff much better in the very next scene.

MEENAH: well if youre not gonna go 
MEENAH: maybe you can at least tell me somefin 
JOHN: what? 
MEENAH: this is the afterlife isnt it 
MEENAH: which means 
MEENAH: im D-EAD 
MEENAH: right 
JOHN: yes. well, it’s a dream bubble. 
JOHN: so yeah, you are probably a ghost. 
MEENAH: I KN-EW IT 
MEENAH: hahahaha yessssss 
JOHN: you’re excited to be dead? 
MEENAH: excited hmm 
MEENAH: now that you mention it 
MEENAH: yes 
MEENAH: i am pretty 
MEENAH: flippin 
MEENAH: -EXCIT——ED 

Here Meenah calls back to something Feferi said sometimes—I would say frequently but she didn’t get a lot of speaking scenes—in a way that emphasizes how much she is taking another stab at Feferi’s character. But the personality parallels are subtle and don’t really go that much beyond this, at least not in a blatant way like with the alpha kids.

JOHN: why? 
MEENAH: because 
MEENAH: it means my plan worked 
JOHN: what plan? 
MEENAH: why would i tell a hornless dork like you somefin like that 

More vaguely hinting at mysteries that are revealed later on. But this time there’s sort of a difference: Meenah herself reveals what her plan was in a surprisingly snappy way that just so happens to work. As I’ll go over in a later post this plays a part in her overall likability.

MEENAH: im curious about why a couple of freaks like you were sent to welcome me to hell 
MEENAH: water you demons or somefin 
MEENAH: pretty lame demons if you ask me 
MEENAH: way too frondly and stupid 
JOHN: no, we’re humans. 
JOHN: by which i mean aliens, i guess. 
MEENAH: so like 
MEENAH: youre dead aliens huh 
MEENAH: whoever heard of an alien ghost 
JOHN: i know, right? that’s what i think sometimes. 
JOHN: it’s strange combination of sci-fi things. like alien stuff is all about science, right? at least it is in movies. aliens LOVE science. but then ghosts have nothing to do with science, they belong to the supernatural realms, which have more to do with religion i guess? or about a lot of hocus pocus and superstition, maybe even magic. science rarely enters the equation, unless it’s something awesome like ghost busters, which makes ghosts and stuff ALL ABOUT science, even though the ghost science is obviously a bunch of total nonsense. i guess contact mixes aliens and ghosts because jodie foster saw her ghost dad in outer space? but then, that was probably just a science projection from an alien, to make her feel less sad about her dead dad, and not a real ghost or anything. i guess the lesson is that science and aliens teach us that ghosts and religion are fake? although, it turns out ghosts and aliens are actually real, so maybe science and religion have been lying to us all along. *shrug* 

Almost as amusing as this monologue itself is John not thinking he lives in some crazy ghost sci-fi movie. It’s actually pretty funny, almost admirable even, that John tends to think of the world in terms of video games and movies but thinks of the trolls and stuff as nothing more than his friends.

MEENAH: so the girl 
MEENAH: she like your matesprit or whatever 

Here Meenah “hints” at John and Roxy being a thing in the least subtle way possible. I’ll admit it’s kind of weirdly blatant, but at the same time it’s a big reason why I can’t accept them being dropped like that. It also invites readers to consider them as a pairing in advance which is kind of cool.

Meenah throws her trident at Roxy but John pushes her away and I’m debating with myself whether this counts as ship foreshadowing. It wouldn’t be fair to say a definite yes considering how I’ve dismissed other stuff, but this is immediately following a blatant hint so, uh…

Whatever let’s move on.

DAVE: whoa is that john 
KARKAT: YEAH, I THINK IT IS. 
DAVE: what the hell is going on 
KARKAT: OH SHIT 
KARKAT: JOHN WATCH OUT!!!!!! 
KARKAT: WELL, FUCK. 
KARKAT: LOOKS LIKE HE’S STILL AN IDIOT. 

And all of a sudden this whole scene stings like crazy. The weird thing is, unlike other near encounters I don’t think Dave and Karkat almost meeting John is ever brought up again.

It’s the smelloscope again.

The trolls’ meteor passes through a memory of Terezi’s hive and there’s this weird mix of nostalgia and flat out weirdness characteristic of dream bubble scenes.

And then, uh…

OK I guess I thought we were done with weird dream bubble bullshit? Maybe that’s not exactly true after all. I mean, of course Brain Ghost Dirk is a thing but that’s kind of a different matter, and I kind of thought Terezi wasn’t dreaming here or anything. Whatever let’s go on.

arachnidsGrip [AG] began trolling gallowsCalibrator [GC] 

AG: Hahahahahahahaha! 
AG: Aaaaaaaa haaaaaaaa haaaaaaaa haaaaaaaa haaa…….. man, fuck this. 
AG: It’s a real pain in the ass typing out long victorious laughs with only one hand, you know? 
AG: Gonna have to patch this thing up somehow. May8e I’ll pay a visit to my neigh8or a little l8er. 
AG: Getting my arm fixed nearly ought to 8e worth enduring the stench. Aw yeah. Sick 8urn from outta nowhere. Take that, Zahhak. 

It feels so WEIRD revisiting the trolls’ flashback arc from ages ago, maybe because they’re a year older than they originally were. And yet, Hussie is able to revert back to the way he originally wrote Vriska seamlessly.

AG: May8e I’ll mindjack some random chump and send him to your hive so he can read my messages to you out loud! 
AG: What a perfect solution. He can 8e your assisted living slave. 
AG: I would have had the perfect candid8 all lined up, 8ut he recently lost the use of his legs unfortun8ly. Oh well, I’ll just roll with the punches like I always do and find someone else. 
AG: Just say the word, and I’ll make him do whatever you want! Read my awesome notes to you, hang some more plush dragons from your tree, pre-chew your food…….. 
AG: Well, may8e not pre-chew it, since I didn’t exactly knock your teeth out, did I? 
AG: May8e more like pre-look-at your food, to make sure there are 8ugs in it. 
AG: See, isn’t it gr8 when we’re helping each other out instead of maiming each other repeatedly? 

Back when I was on the trolls’ arc I was astounded by Vriska’s sheer immaturity. This monologue brings back that effect in full view—Vriska insults Tavros (and others) in every other line, avoids saying she did all those terrible things, and just overall pretends things aren’t her fault.

AG: I’ve got to say, your prank was pretty good. Still not sure how you pulled it off. Pretty inconvenient though! 
AG: It’s too 8ad you’re not going to get to read this for a while, if ever. We could 8e 8onding over the gr8 pranks we just pulled on each other! 

Here Vriska refers to the cycle of revenge stuff as a series of “pranks” in a way that almost makes me wonder if I haven’t done this sort of thing enough: namely, pointing out every single immature thing Vriska says.

GC: WOW 
GC: 1 C4NT B3L13V3 1 4LMOST FORGOT 
GC: WH4T 4 COMPL3T3LY CR4ZY B1TCH YOU W3R3 

Terezi’s reaction to seeing Vriska being a dick precisely mirrors that of the reader. After a fair bit of story time without her, suddenly we’re bombarded with a dream bubble flashback of her being crazy immature; in a weird way that’s almost nostalgic, since as I’m sure you’ve noticed it’s kind of fun to rant about Vriska.

AG: Hey now! 
AG: What kind of attitude is that to 8ring into this memory? 
GC: OH 
GC: Y34H 
GC: SORRY >:[ 
AG: Easy, there. 
AG: No need to waste good remorse on such a trivial exchange. 
AG: I am only reminding you, 
AG: That if you 8ring too much 8aggage from the past into the memory, it is dou8tful your experience will 8e either therapeutic or cathartic. 
GC: UH 
GC: WH4T 
AG: You were the one who invoked this memory after all. 
AG: Isn’t this why you are here? Is it not what you have 8een hoping for and fretting you may find since your journey 8egan? 
AG: A chance to say you are sorry? 
GC: VR1SK4 
GC: YOU SOUND R34LLY D1FF3R3NT 
GC: WH4T H4PP3N3D TO YOU OUT H3R3? 
AG: Sorry for the ruse. 
AG: Though it isn’t as far from the truth as it possi8ly could 8e, I am not who you think I am. 
GC: >:? 
AG: I of course needed to visit you through a memory, and interestingly, this is the one you gave me. 
AG: No ill will or upsetting hijinks were intended. 

Once again, dream bubble weirdness doesn’t stop from keep happening. Don’t ask me how Aranea entering the memory through Vriska works—I’m starting to think that dream bubbles work entirely as the plot demands. But I can’t think of any reason why the weird transition was done the way it was.

In any case I take back everything I said about dream logic being weird just being handwaving for unclear nonsense.

2019 EDIT: Pretty sure I meant that I took back what I said about not agreeing with fans who think dream logic weirdness is a suitable explanation for anything confusing in dream bubbles. Not that it matters, really. It’s a rather inconsequential part of this blog post.

The more you think about this scene switch, the more mind-wrenching it is. Why and how does this make sense???

Time to proceed with tradition yet again.

I don’t know how to feel about Aranea, Vriska’s corresponding pre-scratch troll. At this point she’s portrayed as an antithesis to Vriska, but it later turns out they were very similar people this whole time, or Aranea turned into an extreme Vriska, or something, depending how you look at it. There’s a lot of debate as to whether her turning into a villain was good or forced, and I’m really not sure what my opinion on that is. All that can be said for certain is that she’s ultimately a counterpoint to Vriska, who will forever hold a place in readers’ hearts as that one character people argue about.

GC: WHO 4R3 YOU? 
AG: Aranea. 
GC: OK 
GC: 4ND?? 
AG: And I am your friend’s ancestor. 
AG: In fact, I am yours too, in a way. 

OK time to shit all over fan theories. Many readers take this line as meaning Terezi and Vriska are related ectobiologically or something along those lines. But given the context in which Aranea brings it up, she’s probably just referring to how she and her friends came before the trolls we know of and played a part in them existing.

God dammit, how many opportunities to comment on the sheer weirdness of dream bubble scenes did I miss all those months back?

AG: I’ve 8een keeping an eye on you all for quite a while. Your whole planet, actually. It was very interesting this time around, to say the least. 
AG: It even had a different name! “Alternia.” Haha. How heavy handed can you get? 
AG: The man responsi8le was a 8it of a wise guy. He rewrote everything. He had a knack for overzealous storytelling, which is a harmless enough ha8it usually. I’m guilty of it myself sometimes. 
AG: 8ut it is not so harmless when the perpetrator is omniscient and omnipotent. 

I get the feeling what Aranea is saying is some kind of meta commentary on “overzealous storytelling” as she puts it, something that can make for a mess of a story, as the comic does later on when it kind of starts falling apart.

AG: The true ultimate reward has yet to 8e achieved. No safe haven has 8een created that is free from the devastation caused 8y Mr. Milkshake’s grand deception. 
AG: Our race still teeters on extinction. The mem8ers of your party, and one noteworthy fugitive, are the sole survivors. 
AG: We must work together to create that haven and restore our race, so that the sacrifices we all made will not 8e in vain. 

This reads so crazy differently in retrospect knowing what Aranea eventually does that I get a weird feeling just reading this. Instead of helping restore the troll race, she starts trying to destroy Lord English is some kind of crazy roundabout way that obviously isn’t going to do anything? I guess I’ll see for myself what changes she goes through over time which should be a fun experience.

GC: R3GR3TS 
GC: 4R3 YOU T4LK1NG 4BOUT M3 4ND VR1SK4? 
AG: Sure. You have to start somewhere. 
GC: DO YOU KNOW WH3R3 SH3 1S? 
AG: Not at the moment. 
AG: 8ut the more time you spend here, the more likely it is you will find whomever you are looking for. 
AG: On the other hand, if it is the unknowa8le will of the gods, you may dance around each other indefinitely as you pass through this space. It is hard to say. 

[…]

GC: 1 WOULD S4Y 
GC: 3V3N THOUGH SH3 D1D SOM3 B4D TH1NGS 4ND W4S TOT4LLY 1MPOSS1BL3 MOST OF TH3 T1M3 
GC: 1 W1SH SH3 W4SNT D34D 
GC: 1S 1T W31RD TO M1SS SOM3BODY WHO D1D NOTH1NG BUT C4US3 PROBL3MS? 

Here the comic directly acknowledges a weirdness in the Terezi’s whole arc: she is well aware Vriska is messed up, but misses having her around despite that. Once again it feels pretty amazing acknowledging stuff like that, and this also further signals how gradually the comic started having problems.

GC: 1 K33P WOND3R1NG 1F TH3R3 W4S 4NOTH3R W4Y 
GC: SOM3TH1NG OTH3R TH4N L3TT1NG H3R GO, OR K1LL1NG H3R 
GC: 1 TRY TO R3M3MB3R WH4T 1 S4W WH3N 1 LOOK3D 1NTO TH3 VORT1C3S OF POSS1B1L1TY 
GC: 4ND 1 JUST C4NT R3M3MB3R 4NYTH1NG B3S1D3S THOS3 OPT1ONS 
GC: 3V3N 1F THOS3 OTH3R CHO1C3S WOULD H4V3 R3SULT3D 1N D34TH FOR 3V3RYON3 
GC: W4S TH4T R34LLY 4LL 1 W4S C4P4BL3 OF? 
GC: 31TH3R LOS1NG TH3 N3RV3 TO GO THROUGH W1TH 1T, OR ST4BB1NG H3R 1N TH3 B4CK, 4ND NOTH1NG 3LS3? 

Needless to say, Terezi talking about her decision to kill Vriska also reads very differently in retrospect because of the retcon. One could argue that this discussion of potential third choices is foreshadowing that has to inevitably come to fruition in the form of the retcon. As sloppy as that whole storyline turned out to be, I can’t deny that it’s cool the way it played out: Terezi eventually gave her past self this third option she always dreamed of through mind abilities and retcon stuff. I mean, not that it was worth replacing half the cast of the comic with weird new versions. Just that interesting stuff has happened regardless.

AG: At that moment, perhaps. 
AG: You know very well the channels of possi8ility at that exact juncture resulted from her decision paths as well as yours. 
AG: 8ut even so, when it comes to your key decisions, the possi8ilities are pro8a8ly fewer and more discrete than you have presumed. 
AG: Otherwise you would not see results consolidated into those vortices, would you? Possi8ility would resem8le an enormous hazy field of infinitely su8tle variations and micro-choices. 
AG: Imagine if at that moment you truly were capa8le of anything, no matter how outlandish, a8surd, or patently fruitless. How would this vast amount of information present itself to you through your senses? What difference would it make in your final decision if all other tri8utaries of whim spilled into the same decaying future? And what would this make of your agency as a hero meant to learn and grow? 
AG: Look at it this way. Imagine that over the course of someone’s life, they are truly capa8le of every conceiva8le action at any moment, and did indeed take each of those actions in different 8ranching realities. Doesn’t a scenario like that deaden a person’s agency just as much as one where their fate is decidedly etched in stone as a single path of unavoida8le decisions? Who exactly is that person who can and does take all conceiva8le actions, other than someone perfectly generic, who only appears to have unique predilections and motives when you examine the ar8itrary path they happen to occupy? 

Amidst a lot of rambling, we get some discussion on the notion of characters’ “greater selves”, a topic that’ll come up again later on. What’s most notable here is how this happens with Terezi; it turns out that the version of her from the Game Over timeline (i.e. her right now) is the one who accomplishes the most, and actually gets an extremely satisfying resolution—a happy ending, one could argue, despite her dying.

This also makes me wonder if dealing with alternate selves is kind of a thing with Terezi; it definitely holds for Dave and Dirk, both of whom she has quite a bit in common with.

GC: 1 DONT TH1NK 1 W4S 4 GR34T S33R OF M1ND 
AG: Well, you aren’t finished 8eing one, are you? 
GC: M3H 
GC: 1 DONT TH1NK OF MYS3LF TH4T W4Y 4NYMOR3 
GC: 1 US3D TO F33L L1K3 SOM3 PR3TTY HOT SH1T! 
GC: D1R3CT1NG B4TTL3 TR4FF1C 4G41NST TH3 K1NG, 4ND 4LL FL1PP1NG CO1NS 1N P3OPL3S F4C3S 4ND STUFF 
GC: 1T S33MS S1LLY NOW. 1 DONT TH1NK 1 3V3R KN3W WH4T 1 W4S DO1NG 
GC: WH3N 1 CONFRONT3D H3R, 4ND 1T W4S T1M3 TO M4K3 UP MY M1ND 
GC: 1 THOUGHT 1 H4D 1T 4LL F1GUR3D OUT, L1K3 TH1S W4S WH4T 1 H4D TO DO. NOT JUST TO S4V3 3V3RYBODY, BUT 4S SOM3 STUP1D R1T3 OF P4SS4G3 OR SOM3TH1NG? 

Here’s even more of characters reflecting on stuff as a bunch of nonsense that didn’t mean much. I definitely remember when Terezi was pretty much bragging about shit like that in that whole weird coin flip sequence whose ultimate meaning continues to elude me. The very fact that I’m not sure why that scene even happened lets us know that Terezi didn’t really know what she was doing, and sets her up for an arc where she really proves her worth in the end.

Even though I’m not yet at the point where all this happens, my Terezi enjoyment meter is definitely going up just out of thinking about that stuff.

AG: You’ve 8een lead to 8elieve such acts of violence are natural for your kind, and that if you’re upset 8y the consequences then something is wrong with you. 
AG: 8ut it isn’t as natural as you might think. That conditioning was a part of Milkshake’s long con. 
AG: Violence was respected and cele8rated on your world, 8ut remorse was rarely felt and pain could never heal due to such empty justifications. We died out a wounded race, and you are all that’s left. 

Oh wow here’s another thing I had already talked about months back. Both Terezi and Vriska think there’s something wrong with them for having killed a “friend”, and here that’s brought up on Terezi’s side of things in a very similar way that at the same time shows how she’s so much better of a person than Vriska could ever dream of being.

AG: This is what I did as a Sylph of Light. Helped people see things. 
AG: I could even perform the feat literally, if you wanted. 
GC: WHO4 WH4T? 
AG: It’s up to you of course. 

GC: HMM 
GC: TH4NKS FOR 4SK1NG 
GC: BUT 1D R4TH3R JUST ST4Y TH1S W4Y 
GC: L34RN1NG TO S3NS3 TH1NGS TH1S W4Y W4S TH3 ONLY CONN3CT1ON 1 3V3R H4D W1TH MY LUSUS B3FOR3 SH3 D13D 
GC: 1T R3M1NDS M3 OF H3R 
GC: TH4T PROB4BLY SOUNDS DUMB THOUGH 
AG: Not at all. That’s a very good reason. 
AG: I thought the polite thing to do was at least offer. 

Needless to say, this offer is later followed through with offscreen in a way that makes one wonder, what the everloving fuck happened to Terezi? I remember her talking about her relationship with Gamzee putting her in a spiral of self-loathing pretty well. Comparing that to her at this point makes me consider how all this relationship dysfunctional stuff is probably meant to bring characters for stronger arc resolution; however, Terezi is one of the few characters for whom such a thing actually happens. It’s funny because after the retcon she’s one of the characters Hussie didn’t treat as well which kind of gets you thinking about those disparities. I mean, it’s not exactly like how Jane was just flat out ignored entirely after a certain point.

It’s only fair to remind myself that every once in a while I should appreciate dream bubble scenery for what it is.
Also holy shit, reading this post almost three years later I have no idea what half the stuff I said then was supposed to mean.

GC: WH3R3 W3R3 YOU FROM 4G41N? 4LT3RN14 B3FOR3 V4N1LL4 M1LKSH4K3 N4M3D 1T TH4T? 
AG: Yes. 8ut in a different universe instance, I often refer to as A1. The shorthand helps avoid confusion, trust me. 
AG: My group of twelve played the game, 8ut failed. It overwhelmed us. A lot went wrong. The reckoning destroyed our 8attlefield well 8efore we had any hope of winning. 
AG: I sought advice from Echidna, and she told me how to scratch the session to give us another chance. 
AG: 8ut the choice to do so came with accepting the annihilation of our existing forms. In the new instance, we would lead completely different lives with no memory of what happened. 
AG: So we did, and created A2. Your instance, your world, and your game in which we were all inexplica8ly created in the first place. 

Here’s a bit of a plot inconsistency that’s addressed in weird ways later on. For context, it’s a popular theory that each aspect has a denizen tied to it with some rare exceptions. I’ve always been skeptical towards that idea given just how many inconsistencies there are. Despite this, there’s reason to believe Echidna is assigned solely to space players no matter what, due to how she’s supposed to be one of the most important denizens and helps with stuff like frog breeding which is a space player thing. However, Aranea suggests that Echidna was her denizen.

Later on, Aranea would twice try to elaborate on this only to get cut off, almost as if to make fun of fans’ dying thirst for explanation of this weirdness. But despite that we still get barely enough hints to deduce the truth behind this mystery, which can best be explained as Echidna being actually Porrim’s denizen.

AG: As I said, this time around the world was…….. interesting. 
GC: TH4T’S WH3N TROLLS B3C4M3 T3RR1BL3? 
AG: Not all of you. 
AG: Some had lessons from the old world to teach others. 8ut few ever heard them. 

[…]

AG: I used to fantasize a8out 8eing someone really outgoing and dramatic. 
AG: Someone who had the confidence do whatever she wanted, like go on the most outrageous adventures without caring what anyone thought a8out her. 
AG: Like someone from a 8ook, you know? 
GC: Y3S! 
GC: 1 US3D TO TH1NK 4BOUT TH4T 4 LOT TOO >:] 
AG: It turned out I actually got what I wanted after the reset. Unfortunately it came along with our people’s enslavement and near extinction. 

If you have a sharp enough eye, Aranea could very well come across as a little bit off. She describes Mindfang’s exploits as an amazing life she got to live, rather than any messed up crimes she committed.

GC: WH4T 4BOUT YOUR FR13NDS? 1 GU3SS YOU ST1LL G3T TO H4NG OUT W1TH TH3M 4LL? 
AG: Yes. I see them often enough. 
AG: Except for one, whom I haven’t seen at all since 8efore we all died. 
AG: In fact, she’s the only reason we are here in the first place, as opposed to merely ceasing to exist upon the scratch. 
AG: In life, she was the only one I would have called a close friend, in a way. 
AG: The thing is, no8ody liked her much either. We had that in common. ::::) 
GC: WOW, 1TS B33N TH4T LONG S1NC3 YOU S4W H3R? 
AG: Remem8er how I said the gods could keep you dancing around someone you’re looking for indefinitely? 

There’s the thing again where the forces of nature prevent dream bubble meetings from happening. In the pre-scratch trolls’ case, Meenah arriving a lot “later” than the rest of her group plays a big part in the subplot of trying to kill Lord English; she comes in there fresh with drive and ambition and hatches a plan to take down English, rather than be eternally bored like she surely would’ve been. It also makes for a lot of narrative convenience in the pre-scratch trolls’ introductions—more on the rest of them and their relevance (or lack thereof) later.

Protip: Whenever you see a panel of the Furthest Ring like, tilt your computer screen and/or increase the brightness to make sure there’s spooky dark gods.

Remember how terrifying it was back in the day for something to zoom out revealing even a trace of Jack? By calling back to those zoom-outs, we discover how much that effect has faded away …

… through revealing PM, the other dog, catching up with Noir. Yet again we get an effect of pure satisfaction seeing her white head, in a way that completely destroys any terror Jack once held.

The Green Sun transitions us to Lord English’s scepter in a way that reminds me of how the kings’ scepters always had some kind of small representation of Skaia (???) that is sometimes used as a transition device. While Sburb’s default final boss has a scepter representing Skaia, the center of the incipisphere, the comic’s true final boss has a scepter representing the Green Sun, the center of the multiverse in a sense.

The dude is ALWAYS already here. 

When it comes to being here, already is practically all he ever is. 

Ok, time to stop babbling and think. Think, imagination! Argh, the one time I really need you!! 

Oh no, Slick!!! 

There it is again, Hussie’s obsession with keeping Slick alive. He’s obviously parodying that character’s numerous fans, and by some coincidence he’s dressed as a character who parodies fans.

Slick, he’s come here to finish you off! We have got to hide you somewhere. Now that Rufio is gone, you are my only friend. 

Oh, you’re good company too, humanimal butler who may or may not be Aurthour. I didn’t mean nothin’ by it. 

What’s that, Slick? Oh, yeah, Ms. Paint too of course. That’s a little different. Hey! What do you mean “so what’s her story, is she available?” No, she is not available! 

I think Hussie (the author) inadvertently made Slick an incredibly likable character, as a result of using him to give Jack his own personality as I said earlier in this post. He even thinks of him as a dear friend even though all he’s done to Hussie is stab him in annoyance.

Are those horses on the cliff in the background?
Those dream bubble scenes with Meenah and Vriska later on come to mind.

But since he’s Hussie’s self-insert, he’s really clumsy about keeping Slick alive and throws him in the ocean as a last minute impulse, which ironically turns out to be another one of his fake deaths.

(still hoping…)

Hussie shoots his gun at Lord English but fails because its one bullet was already used, I think it was by Slick to kill Snowman, so he throws it at Lord English instead. In this scene English has eight-ball eyes, the same ones we saw him with when Vriska confronted him with the house juju. It would’ve been pretty cool if I just now noticed that myself but that’s not the case. But still, it makes you think about the deal with English, especially if you don’t think he was defeated in Act 7.

While English turned his object into a weapon, Hussie, who is symbolizing Calliope, did the opposite.

English turns his cane into a gun, and Hussie turns his pistol into a wand, which is some pretty clever foreshadowing of the cherubs’ true identities. If you pay attention it even is different in retrospect, not only knowing that Caliborn swore he would kill Hussie one day, but also with English facing against someone cosplaying his despicable sister cosplaying as a troll.

It appears that the green sun thing didn’t do anything because first guardian powers don’t work in Hussie’s realm.

Please let magic be real, please let magic be real, please let magic be real. I believe that magic is real right now. I believe so hard in its reality that it is becoming slightly less fake before our very eyes. I believe its fakeness was just a lie coughed up from a dark magician’s spurious asshole. I believe in fairies. I believe dragons aren’t bullshit. I believe heartily in the giggles of all the cherubs in heaven and the metric tonnes of special stardust they consume each day to fuel their laughter. I believe with the conviction of a million frothing zealots in the combined pranks of a billion leprechauns strong, and in the tiny erections they get from playing them. But most of all, I believe in YOU, Rufio. 

Yet another ridiculous flowery speech with some foreshadowing that seems very subtle through being buried in the weirdest prose. Hussie actually name drops cherubs for the first time in the comic (as well as special stardust), and he even references leprechaun romance through tiny erections they get from playing pranks. Come to think of it the whole concept of leprechaun romance could be seen as a humorous line Hussie dropped offhand coming true, and retrospectively always being true because of the Felt being leprechauns.

You remember the genetic code from the book Jake wrote, right?
What could that possibly mean? Hell if I know.

I failed you, Rufio. 

I failed you. 

As if self-insert scenes weren’t already inherently ridiculous, any sadness in Hussie’s death is completely undermined by his last words being a tribute to the Rufio nonsense that happened in the comic’s most “what the fuck” scene to date.

But hey, at least a bunch of obtuse foreshadowing happened am I right?

Get the hell out of here, Vriska.

And there Hussie is, dead on the ground. If anything this whole scene serves as demonstration of how scary Lord English truly is and how he really can show up absolutely anywhere, also foreshadowing stuff with the cherubs. Oh, and the recurring motif of demise in proximity to horses I guess.

Finally we get a flash page and holy shit it’s Vriska again. When we finally see what she’s up to, she’s waking around in a dream bubble until Hussie comes and proposes to her with a mysterious ring. This ends the intermission at a cliffhanger in a very unexpected way: even though the last part of this intermission was one of those self-insert interludes, it ends with (1) us seeing what Vriska is up to again and (2) the introduction of a ring we currently know nothing about, which is ominous simply out of being a ring.

Recap of Act 6 Intermission 2?

This intermission starts off catching up with the cast of Act 5 once more, but gradually progresses into a series of teasers for numerous things, whether it be ships, new characters, or shocking reveals later on. It’s actually kind of brilliant using a self-insert scene of all things to end this intermission on a high note. I’d say its highest points are the setup for various mysteries, and how John and Karkat are reintroduced as being even bigger dorks than before.

And this of course marks the third anniversary of Homestuck (a little over a year into this post series, incidentally), one that’s celebrated in the form of a walkaround that I’ll go over next post. It looks like year three of Homestuck took me about six months to go through, which is also about how long it took me to go through year two; year one, meanwhile, only took two months for me. Here’s me hoping I can keep progressing through these anniversaries at a reasonable rate.

See you next time as the last act of Homestuck before it starts to fall apart begins.

>> Part 75: The Juggalo Strikes Back

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