What we learned from Horror Club

Some episodes focus on lore (those are our favorites!), others on fun stuff, others on characters. There’s a mixture of all three in pretty much every episode, of course, but some episodes make it clear which they’re there to pay the most attention to.

Horror Club was definitely focused on characters, but it gave us something to talk about (and a lot to wonder about tomorrow), so we will now officially thank it for its offering.

Gems in objects

So a gem (that curiously looks very much like the gem on the back of the paper money) was lodged in the wall of the lighthouse basement. We have all sorts of questions about how that came to be, but let’s focus on what we know about the gem in the lighthouse:

  • It was able to see and hear what was going on inside the lighthouse.
  • It was able to act of its own free will.
  • It did not immediately project a body when removed from the wall.
  • It was able to make a holographic projection even without a body.

See, hear, and act

The gem being able to see and hear makes sense: Lapis Lazuli was able to see and hear the world around her while trapped in the mirror, and the Desert Glass also seemed to display an understanding of the environment even very far away from itself (though still within its sandy domain). It makes sense that a gem being used to power and control an object would have to be able to hear and understand orders, and both the Desert Glass and magic mirror had tasks that would benefit from being able to see.

The freedom of action the gem in the lighthouse also matches our previous two examples of gem-powered objects. While they gained freedom of action due to some malfunction (presumably with whatever binding magics force them to follow orders), the gem in the lighthouse likely lacked any sort of binding magics at all. There’s nothing at all to go on here, however: it’s all speculation about what the gem was doing in the lighthouse. It clearly displayed telekinetic powers, though, even outside the boundaries of the lighthouse.

This might indicate that telekinesis is a more general gem power: Lapis’s control of the ocean might not have hinged on some special ability to control water specifically, just a very strong focus on her ability to manipulate matter and a preference for water. Pearl did control the sand in Giant Woman after all, and while it was just a small amount it was still very fine control.

When removed

The gem’s actions when removed are more difficult to understand. Lapis reformed immediately after removed from her mirror, and the centipeetle and gem shards also created bodies immediately after being released from their bubbles. The way the magic seems to work is that the gem continues with its healing as normal, and placement in a bubble or an object simply stops it from taking the last step and producing a body.

The lighthouse gem didn’t project a solid body. Instead it projected a hologram memory, something that clearly indicates an ability to interact with the outside world (and, presumably, to see it as well) without projecting a body. When Pearl reformed, however, she didn’t express any awareness of what had gone on while she was inside her gem—perhaps not even any awareness of how long had passed.

It appears that the lighthouse gem is some kind of a special case. Given the special circumstances of its discovery, its resemblance to the gem on the money, and the way it acted when discovered, we can be pretty sure we’ll learn more about this gem later. Chalk up another potential new ally for Steven as the season draws to a close! The list is getting pretty long by now.