As if the last thing you needed was another reason to watch the show.
By Danielle Keating, Concordia University
“Steven Universe” is arguably one of the best shows playing on Cartoon Network right now.
The show has a large fan base and has even prompted articles like Uwana Iikaiddi’s, “How Cartoon Network’s ‘Steven Universe’ Gets Diversity Right,” to be written. Some of the most admirable qualities of the show shine through the character Garnet, the Crystal Gems’ unofficial leader. The Crystal Gems also include Amethyst, Pearl and Steven, but, Garnet is the best Gem for the following reasons.
1. She’s LGBT Positive
Given Garnet’s physical makeup and the fact that Pride Month is just around the corner, her sexuality seems necessary to mention. Garnet is a gem-fusion made from two female characters, Sapphire and Ruby. The process of fusion requires two or more Gems to be in sync in every way possible to maintain togetherness. Ruby and Sapphire’s relationship is so healthy that they are almost always together, unlike most gem-fusions in the show.
Ruby and Sapphire’s balance and love for one another is further illustrated by Garnet’s song, “Stronger Than You,” which is performed by Estelle. The chorus features lines like, “I am made of love and it’s stronger than you” and “Can’t you see that my relationship is stable?” This song is performed in the finale of Season 1 when Garnet is fighting Jasper, one of the Crystal Gems’ rivals. Even in the face of danger, Garnet keeps herself together—in both a literal and mental sense—and declares Ruby and Sapphire’s love while doing so.
2. She’s Wise
Garnet’s wisdom is particularly sound when it comes to relationship advice. In Season 2, Episode 4, Garnet tells Jamie, Steven’s mail carrier, “Love at first sight doesn’t exist. Love takes time and love takes work.” Jamie develops a crush on Garnet, who is not only already in a relationship, but is also the embodiment of one. Although Garnet gives him a blunt rejection, she later apologizes for upsetting him and follows up with more tokens of her wisdom. This is just one of the many times she has spoken profoundly.
In Season 1, Episode 39, it is revealed that Garnet possesses a power known as “future vision.” As the name of her gift implies, she can see the future and the many possible realities that it harbors. She shares this with Steven, which eventually causes him to have an existential crisis.
Within the midst of his panic, Garnet comforts Steven with the memorable quote, “There are millions of possibilities for the future. But, it’s up to you to choose which becomes reality.” She continues to stand by this belief in Season 2, Episode 15, when Garnet tells Pearl that she is the only one who is in control of her destiny, not her love interest, Rose Quartz or Steven.
3. She’s Loving
Garnet is an extremely affectionate character; even her way of temporarily giving future vision to others is by kissing them on the forehead. This is not surprising, considering the first song she performs states that she is “made of love.” During the same episode that she sings her character theme song, Steven meets Ruby and Sapphire (Garnet) for the first time. When Steven asks if he has made a good impression, Garnet gives the heartwarming response of “we already love you.”
In addition to these sweet moments with Steven, Garnet is also always trying to protect him, using her future vision to rescue Steven, and also to help out on the missions she accompanies him on.
4. She’s Strong
Garnet is not only mentally strong, but is also strong in the physical sense. Her stamina is on full display during her fight with Jasper, her battle against Malachite while fused as Alexandrite and in her swimming ability. Her fortitude carries over into emotional matters as well.
Garnet is usually very poised, but in Season 2, Episode 1, a crack in her foundation is revealed. This is the episode where Pearl and Garnet fuse into Sardonyx in order to destroy an enemy’s communication tower. Pearl purposely rebuilds the tower just so that she can continue to form Sardonyx; this causes Garnet to lash out at her. Infuriated with Pearl’s selfishness, Garnet refuses to communicate with her for the next four episodes. When the two finally discuss Pearl’s actions, Pearl says that Garnet is perfect because she always remains put together, which is not a trait that Pearl possesses.
However, Garnet insists that she is not perfect, because of how she reacted to Pearl’s behavior by disconnecting and refusing to speak with her. Garnet explains, “I have weaknesses too, but I choose not to let them consume me.” Garnet then says that maintaining her strength is not as easy as Pearl may think, but that she perseveres because she is aware that her actions affect others. The fight against her weaknesses is exhibited by her typically stoic behavior, which, in turn, inspires the rest of the Gems.
Garnet is secure enough to admit the fact that she has weaknesses. Despite the events that occur during the second season of “Steven Universe,” fans and the Gems still view Garnet as a tranquil and loving character. This is understandable, because the rare flare-up of Garnet’s anger was caused by a trusted friend who misused her body. Even though Pearl’s actions were reckless, Garnet still had the courage to forgive her, which allowed them to both move forward with their lives, ultimately helping both Gems become stronger.
5. She’s Savage AF
In the show’s tenth episode, Steven meets his pet lion for the first time. Pearl contemplates whether or not Steven should be allowed to keep the lion, and Garnet replies by saying, “We kept Amethyst.”
Of course, Garnet’s hilarious straightforwardness does not stop there. In Season 1, Episode 26, she rides shotgun in a van with Steven’s father, Greg. He plays a CD and then asks for Garnet’s opinion of the music, to which she offers no reply. Instead, she just jumps out of the moving vehicle and rolls down a hill of sand. Her Sapphire showed in this moment of the show because that reaction was ice cold.
In the Episode “Too Far,” (Season 2, Episode 21), Peridot asks Garnet to disconnect bodies because her fusion made her “incredibly uncomfortable.” Garnet then put a leash on Peridot and tied her to the nearest fence. The reason she gave for doing this was, “Her having free reign of the place made me incredibly uncomfortable.” Ruby manifested herself in this instance, because that was a sick burn.
Given all these reasons to love Garnet, it’s safe to say that she is the best Crystal Gem. Her positive gay representation, emotional intelligence, unconditional love, bodily and mental vigor and great comebacks serve as arguing points for her superiority. Even though she may not be everyone’s favorite, it’s clear that she is a great character overall.