Disclaimer: This story is about the character Garnet from Steven Universe and contains SPOILERS for seasons 1 and 2! If you haven’t been keeping up with Steven Universe, I’m going to suggest you avoid reading this (and go watch that).
Just a brief background, for those of you who aren’t aware…
Garnet is a fusion between two smaller characters named of Ruby and Sapphire. As such she is an amalgam of their strengths and personalities. She is her own person while at the same time being the physical personification of Ruby and Sapphire’s relationship.
She is fury. She is patience. She is a literal conversation.
(If some of you get confused just know that if I’m talking about Ruby and Sapphire, I’m also talking about Garnet, because Garnet IS Ruby and Sapphire.)
Convoluted enough for you? Okay. Now…
Why is the story of Garnet the greatest love story in recent history?
It’s simplistic, beautiful, and delightfully innocent. It’s the story of two characters, both small and unimposing, hailing from a ridged society. Both from different places, and both expected to remain in their place.
Sapphire is clairvoyant, aristocratic, collected, cool, and potentially one of a kind.
Ruby is a soldier—expendable, passionate, fiery, and one of many.
While technically the same mineral (rubies simply being sapphires of different coloration), they were (essentially) polar opposites.
Because of her ability to see the future, Sapphire could see foresee upcoming events but only in one linear path, no divergences, not even the consideration for something else. Her future lay before her as if writing on a page. She did as was she told and relayed the events of the future when commanded.
Ruby lived her life happily looking forward to any battle before her, surrounded by her comrades who were also rubies, like her. She took pride in her duties and in, one instance in particular, her duty to protect Sapphire.
So much so that for one fleeting moment she was able to throw Sapphire’s future prediction out the window.
And in doing so, she and Sapphire became something new and beautiful. Something unheard of. A fusion between two different gems. A whole new person who saw the world from the perspectives of both Ruby and Sapphire. That person… was Garnet.
Garnet didn’t stick around for long at that point though. So surprised and unprepared for what they had become, Ruby and Sapphire split almost immediately, just in time for the outraged crowd to descend upon them.
They were prepared to crush the Ruby responsible.
Sapphire, considered blameless for the taboo fusion, grasped Ruby’s hand and ran from the society that she had spent her life in. From the life that she had thought was laid out before her.
Into a life where the only certainty was Ruby.
Why was the fusion between to different gems considered taboo?
The gem society considered fusion to be something only to be used in dire situations and only between gems of the same type. It’s probably because when gems of the same type fuse, they don’t create anything new or different. They simply meld into a bigger version of themselves.
As an example: all rubies, presumably, have extremely similar personalities and power sets; so when two or more rubies fuse, it’s impossible for them to become something that is more than the sum of their parts.
I think the best analogy is mathematical:
Ruby + Ruby + Ruby = Ruby X 3
On the other hand, a fusion like Garnet can be much more than the sum of her parts. She has Ruby’s heat and Sapphire’s cold. Because of her power over temperature she can conduct and generate electricity. She can see the future and fight like a warrior.
In math terms:
Ruby x Sapphire = Garnet
(I don’t know why I’m using math in an analogy involving love and personalities. It’s really a grossly oversimplified comparison.)
What I’m getting at is that in gem society, fusion was considered both pure and predictable when it was a fusion between similar gems (and used purely for combat). A fusion between dissimilar gems was unknowable and out of the question.
Ruby and Sapphire were the first two gems of differing origins to fuse, so they were new, hated, and different; but the two of them, in the end, couldn’t have been happier with what they had become. So much so that, after a while, they fused and remained as such for well over five thousand years.
They overcame the fear and hatred of others (almost as if it were completely natural for them to do so!) and became so much more than anyone could have imagined. They simply loved each other and chose to stay together forever.
And in a world of Fifty Shades of Grey, Twilight, and hollow love at first sight Disney movies (I’m looking at you Little Mermaid), I’m glad we have Garnet to give us a different, more meaningful perspective.