Content warning: This post contains some discussion of sexual content, starting from the header “The Candy (in Candy)”. Read at your own discretion.
In the past week, I’ve barely thought about my blog at all and will probably continue not thinking about it for quite some time. My Homestuck post series’ hiatus might last longer than I initially thought; I can’t see myself bringing it back anytime soon.
But despite not thinking about my blog much, I’ve most certainly continued reading the Homestuck Epilogues over and over again. And I think I know exactly who it’s time to talk about.
The Not-So-Wonderful World of Shafted Characters
Enter Jade Harley, the character who’s been an odd spot in the comic’s sprawling cast since day one. She starts as basically just a plot device but becomes a genuine wonderful character in Act 5. But after that point, she gets an upsettingly small amount of screen time and is rudely stripped from the on-screen dialogue reunions most everyone else gets. And by the time Collide and Act 7 happen, the comic has done away with dialogue. Yeah, that sure is fun.
So obviously, one of my biggest hopes for the epilogue was that Jade would get a full strong resolution, perhaps with dialogue “reunions” she should have gotten or with a major new role in the storyline. Jade did get plenty of dialogue early in Meat and some in Candy and it was pretty great, but what ultimate resolution did her character get? Fucking nothing!!! No resolution in Meat, no resolution in Candy.
The epilogues did a LOT of things right, don’t get me wrong. Each of the twelve creators on Earth C gets a good share of screen time and I think the epilogues are reasonably balanced in that regard—far more balanced than late Act 6 was. But the epilogues are incredibly imbalanced in giving characters resolution. Some characters had an astounding resolution arc that far surpassed my already high expectations!!! But for one reason or another, some characters get the opposite of resolution arcs—you probably know who I’m talking about. I’ll have to talk about those another time. And as I said before, Jade doesn’t even get a resolution. I’ll discuss exactly how she doesn’t get a resolution, first in Meat and then in Candy.
The Candy (in Meat)
Earth C Jade’s first appearance in Meat is a conversation with Dave and Karkat about politics and romance. We quickly learn that she’s in an unresolved love triangle with both of them. Continuing the time-honored tradition of Harleyberts not understanding how love works, Jade clumsily tries to set up a three-way romance with Karkat and Dave and misunderstands everything about the quadrants along the way. I found that scene absolutely hilarious and a surprisingly on-point satire of how fans think of character shipping. As per tradition, Jade tries to solve everyone’s problems through a shipping grid because obviously that’s worked spectacularly in the past. Also, she literally fucking says Dave and Karkat are “kind of like moirails”. I don’t know about you, but I found that one particular line to be the funniest shit in the world.
It’s already apparent that Jade has changed quite a bit from last time we saw her. She’s considerably more airheaded and free-flowing, and her most prominent trait now is her severe lack of social skills. This change makes a lot of sense considering Jade’s history. She was still almost entirely human after ascending to god tier, but that has changed over the years. Now she has lots of dog hormones, a tail, and you-know-what. Not to mention this is the Jade that spent three years with John and Davesprite dead. It also fits into an interesting pattern I’ve noticed: generally speaking, the less screen time a character got in late Act 6, the more that character has changed by the start of the epilogues. Think about John and Dave, how much they retain from how they acted in A6A6I5. Now think about Jane Crocker. Jane FUCKING Crocker. I think it’s no coincidence that the character fans have always regarded as boring is now basically a full-blown antagonist. Now think about Gamzee MOTHERFUCKING Makara. … uh, actually no, I don’t recommend you think about him. My point is, I’d say the epilogues succeeded at parodying the comic’s fans while simultaneously paying tribute to them, and Jade’s first dialogue in Meat is no exception.
Next up, Jade presents the political situation to Roxy and Calliope and discusses a few more things in her Jade fashion until suddenly she falls into a coma, her soul now possessed by god tier Calliope who herself inhabits a different iteration of Jade. There she goes, that’s the end of Meat Jade’s character arc. She’s now once more a shameless plot device pushed around by the whims of fate—how’s that for going full circle? The few times afterwards where Jade speaks, it’s only brief intermissions between being possessed by the Dead Cherub or getting knocked out by Dirk so he can have the narration back.
Basically, Jade ends Meat having completed an enormous circle of stupidity: plot device -> good character -> shafted character -> changed character -> plot device. It actually is a fitting ending now that I think of it, especially in the half that’s more focused on tying plot threads. But it feels annoying considering what kind of ending Jade gets, or rather doesn’t get, in Candy. Let’s go over it, shall we?
The Candy (in Candy)
Jade’s first appearance in Candy isn’t too different from her first appearance in Meat: a conversation about romance and politics with Dave and Karkat, the two roommates who are (not) dating each other and both most certainly (not) dating Jade. A bunch of stuff I already said two headers ago.
… And then things get weird. Really fucking weird. Our heroes get paired into four romantic groups forming basically the Buddy System 2.0, which is even more unnatural and freaky than the first one was. Most of those groups start having kids, but Jade’s group—her, Dave, and Karkat—has issues that aren’t quite easy to sort out. Now here’s where I have to talk about the elephant in the room: Jade’s penis. Or as fans call it, “dog dick”.
The middle section of Candy all but outright confirms what was once an absurd headcanon. At a glance, it directly contradicts what Hussie himself said about Jade before, that she only has dog ears and the rest is still human. But if you think deeper you can tell that Hussie didn’t necessarily change his mind, but decided that Jade would start only with dog ears and then gradually gain more elements of a male dog.
Anyway, Jade’s penis is enough of a confounding factor that she, Dave, and Karkat can’t agree on a way to have kids. And just a bit later, the tragic breakup happens and Karkat becomes the hero he was always meant to be. Then after even more years of presumably a bunch of hemming and hawing, Dave and Jade FINALLY get married. That’s amazing, right???? The ship that’s been a fan favorite for longer than probably any other? And they’re married after all this time?
Uh, no. Not really at all. Not too long after their overdue wedding, Dave has a touching conversation with his number one hero, Barack Obama. He confesses that he’s living a lie and can’t get over Karkat, or the long-gone Dirk for that matter. When Obama offers Dave to ascend to his ultimate self, he immediately accepts it over staying on Earth C with his doggy wife and becomes Davebot, now proud and ready to achieve greater things in paradox space.
With Dave having achieved what can only be described as one hell of an ending, what triumphant resolution does Jade get? That’s right, fucking nothing! Dave leaving Jade behind to explore the White House is the last we hear from her in Candy.
grrrrrr i want more epilogues (or do i???)
And that, my friends, is one of many reasons one could reasonably hope for a follow-up to the Homestuck Epilogues. I’m too lazy to list all the possible reasons, there’s just way too many.
So instead, I’ll say the following: despite all the flaws, I’m still more than complacent in rereading the epilogues over and over instead of daydreaming about getting even more. It’s just such a mass dump of material that you can’t fully process after reading just once, much like Homestuck itself. My prior posts about the epilogues already read like someone that doesn’t fully understand them, at least to me. Such is the beauty of Homestuck, it’s absurdly fun to think and talk about.
I LOVE HOMESTUCK. I LOVE HOMESTUCK, I LOVE HOMESTUCK, I LOVE HOMESTUCK, I LOVE HOMESTUCK!!!