Reassessing the Prince of Hope.
[A followup to this post, about Eridan and his angels, which apparently has been making the rounds while I’m away from home this week.]
What was your reaction to Aranea’s comments about Cronus in the second installment of Openbound? If it was amusement at the Harry Potter references, or maybe just plain dislike for Cronus, congratulations: your response was sane! On the other hand, if it was “The cape! Finally,” then you might be me.
Eridan’s clothes are noticeably different from the plain clothing favored by most of the other trolls. Seeing the ancestors made it clear that Eridan was dressed as Orphaner Dualscar, his ancestor. Unlike the other trolls who based their FLARP characters, knowingly or otherwise, on their ancestors, Eridan doesn’t just dress as his ancestor when he’s FLARPing, or even when he wants to borrow some of his ancestor’s strength.
He’s not just wearing his FLARP outfit, either - his Orphaner Dualscar costume is different from his usual clothes, and doesn’t actually seem to include a cape.
But Eridan wears clothing modeled after Dualscar’s - the Alternian incarnation of Cronus Ampora, the Bard of Hope - at all times.
(I rather wonder what Eridan might have learned about his ancestor before he met any angels, beyond whatever Vriska drip-fed him from Mindfang’s journal.
Ghost ship? It’s not as if Alternia doesn’t have ghosts…
And learning about the ancestors implied some interesting things regarding Aradia’s psychic gifts and this paragraph from her introduction page:
It’s unlikely, but I’d be remiss if I passed up a chance for genuine ghost ships - and if belief in Dualscar’s ghost happened to lead anyone to their destruction, it would be a fitting afterlife for a Bard of Hope.)
Eridan’s last conversation with a human is even more interesting, now that we know more about the destiny he was rejecting. For one thing, he sounds rather conflicted about it.
A cape modeled after Dualscar’s, and that he was still wearing:
We can better understand this, now that we know the Prince of Hope’s failed duty will be inherited by another Hero of Hope:
And this is even clearer than it already was:
And now it finally makes sense that at the moment Eridan’s choice became irrevocable, he threw his Dualscar cape away: he was throwing Dualscar’s destiny away as well.
Now that the angels of the Page of Hope’s land are sure to say much the same sort of thing as the Prince of Hope’s must have, we don’t even necessarily need to see alpha timeline Eridan again. I think we will, though. Karkat has accepted what sounds very much like a leadership position in Meenah’s ghost army, and he’s a Hero of Blood; somehow, he needs to come to terms with his previous failure.
And the easiest way to do this would be to talk to the single person who best represents his failure.
His moiraillegiance with Gamzee means we can safely assume he’s dealing with that particular failure, and Vriska feels like Terezi’s problem at least as much as Karkat’s. But just a few moments before Eridan became a multiple-murderer, he and Karkat were talking calmly. They had a pact.
What kind of pact? It seems like part of it was Karkat agreeing to take Eridan seriously; it also seems like Eridan’s wand-murder spree may have broken its terms.
And I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to have something to do with why Eridan left Karkat unharmed.
Don’t be tempted to make Eridan’s motives here too pure; he left to hunt for Vriska, wand at the ready. Pacts just seem like one way our Knight of Blood might exploit his aspect.