Ancient Conspiracy: All of the Human Guardians, save Dad (who is Locked Out of the Loop), are tied into massive unknown conspiracies. While for Post-Scratch Bro Strider and Mom Lalonde, it takes the form of being La Résistance, for the Pre-Scratch Mom Lalonde and Bro Strider, they're suggested to have outright created Sburb.
Dad was let into the loop when he was reunited with Mom.
Nominal Importance: They don't actually have names (aside from Bec and some of the lusus). And aside from some stuff early on in their kid's games, they also don't really do a whole bunch.
However their alternates are of great importance in the post-Scratch universe. Mom, Bro, Nanna, and Grandpa later appear as the post-scratch kids, Dad has an post-scratch counterpart, and the lusus appear on Jake's island. But on the other hand, the alternate versions of the pre-scratch kids end up falling into this.
Papa Wolf/Mama Bear: It's implied that a lot of the stuff they did was to protect their charges; Dad beats up the imps that invaded the Egbert household, Mom opens an escape hatch for Rose when their house lights fire, Bro chops a meteor in half while riding it to keep it from hitting Dave, and Bec destroys a meteor (and all life on Earth) to save Jade.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: It looks like initially the pre-scratch guardians are off working on some mysterious plan to stop Noir. This is never resolved as they get killed off midway through it.
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Pre-Scratch Kids' Guardians
John's father. Well, adoptive father; he's Nanna Egbert's son by either adoption or good old-fashioned biology, and thus John's half-brother. He is very supportive of John, even going so far as to pretend to be a street performer to try to connect with him. He is obsessed with pipes and hats and baked goods.Another near-identical version of him appears in the post-scratch Universe as Jane's presumably adoptive guardian, and the post-scratch iteration of Dad. He is John Crocker's son.
USES ALL CAPS. SAVE FOR SHORT SENTENCES DUE TO SERIOUS BUSINESS, HAS NORMAL GRAMMAR.
Badass Normal: Even though he's just a suburban businessman, he kicks a ridiculous amount of ass. He managed to get the AU version of Hearts Boxcars in a headlock. You know, the guy who cracks safes by just ripping the doors off with his bare hands.
In Spite of a Nail: He seems completely unchanged in the post-scratch universe as Jane's dad, despite the fact that he can't be Nanna's son anymore.
Kitsch Collection: He has a fanatical obsession with harlequins and joker figures, though this was faked out of a sense of desiring to appeal to John.
Whether or not he likes harlequins, he certainly likes pipes, shaving, and anything else "fatherly." And comedians.
Standard '50s Father: Both a parody and subversion of one. He dotes on his son and is obsessed with stereotypically manly/fatherly things like pipes, shaving, and business-like clothing, but he's also an obsessive baker and a single dad, neither of which are typical for the trope.
Super Strength: Dad is just as strong as a kid thinks his father is. He is powered by pure MANGRIT. While on Derse, he punches a Shale Imp right through a stone wall. Add this to the fact that he also expects his son to be able to lift a huge floor safe, and it's pretty likely he has this.
Trickster Archetype: Much less so than his mother or son, but John observes quite early on that Dad usually enjoys the prankster's gambit on their exchanges, so he has the skills, if nothing else. Jane isn't any better at beating him.
Wallet of Holding: His WALLET MODUS contains such useful items as a literal ton of shaving cream and a spare car. John later uses it to hold The Tumor, a moon-sized bomb in the core of the Battlefield.
Mundane Utility: He uses his powerful Wallet Modus just to move the car around the back to wash it.
So Proud of You: A note left in the safe, claiming that since John was strong enough to lift it, he's now a real man. Subverted however, since John is definitely unable to lift the safe; it only opened when it broke after Rose dropped it on an Imp.
And once again in a card left on his wallet.
He seems to do this all the time, perhaps because of John's wall scribbles, on which he calls himself a "fool" and a "lame kid".
Badass Normal: His reaction is more confusion than anything else.
Dude, Not Funny!: Invoked. He was NOT happy with Jane's Prankster's Gambit in regard to the letterbox bombing.
Fake Kill Scare: Caliborn told Jane that Mr. Crocker was the victim of Cold-Blooded Torture, and died accordingly, which he believed since he couldn't see him in Derse's prison any more. Soon after, he's revealed to be fine when Draconian Dignitary shows up to his VIP cell the day before Jane's birthday. DD has proclaimed that none of prison personnel are allowed to harm Mr. Crocker.
Friendly Enemy: Despite being the Guardian of one of the Nobles, he is popular with the majority of Derse to the point of copying his clothing style.
In Spite of a Nail: He seems more or less identical to his old self, despite everything that's changed. His relationship with Jane is different in some specifics, but functionally the same as his relationship with John.
Properly Paranoid: As the end of Act 6 Part 1 shows, he really did have a point putting a refrigerator in front of the door to keep Jane inside.
Rose's mother (adoptive AND ectobiological). An alcoholic rich woman, she and Rose have constant passive-aggressive battles with her playing the role of the affectionate, doting, stay-at-home mother.Her Post-Scratch Universe incarnation is Roxy Lalonde.
Action Mom: While she doesn't seem to care that much about her daughter (or does she?), she's still a mom who knows kung fu.
Alternate Character Interpretation: She constantly showers her daughter with affection in ridiculously over-the-top, elaborate ways. Rose interprets this as her being cruelly sarcastic, but whether the displays of affection are actually malicious or genuine has yet to be determined. Later, in-universe, Rose questions whether she had just misunderstood her all along, and Roxy's loneliness and desire for friends and family provide another counterpoint in favor of that interpretation.
Also, it's implied that she may have a few screws loose; what Jane has said about her post-scratch universe counterpart seems to support this theory. Plus, some of her and Rose's shenanigans imply willing participation in their mind-games, though not necessarily the motive.
Badass: Has shown herself to be every bit as competent as the other guardians in a fight.
The Chessmaster: It isn't explored often, but it's implied that she may have had something to do with Sburb's creation in the B1 universe.
Crazy-Prepared: She had a secret escape passage made in the family cat's tomb. This comes in handy once the fire gets dangerously close to the house.
Lady Drunk: Is always shown with a gin martini in one hand, and it's implied she's an alcoholic.
She left her ever present drink behind when she left Rose in the Land of Light and Rain, presumably to take on the huge monster that we see her killing in >Jack: ASCEND.
This is what happens when Rose discovers that what she previously believed to be her mother's room is, in fact, a bar.
Mad Scientist: The passage underneath Jaspers' mausoleum leads to a gigantic underground laboratory that houses cloning machines, among other weird devices. There is another passage that leads up to Mom's bedroom (or what Rose thought was Mom's bedroom), so she's clearly in on it.
Scarf Of Ass Kicking: Had it when she's nearly blown up by the meteor carrying baby John; gets it back from Dad when they're reunited in Skaia.
Dave's adoptive brother and ectobiological father. Like Dave, he is obsessed with being cool and ironic. He's an expert swordsman and has a bizarre puppet fetish.His Post-Scratch Universe incarnation is Dirk Strider.
Ambiguously Gay: Dirk at least is openly gay, while Bro is merely a lifelong bachelor making a living off incredibly phallic puppets.
Badass: In a World of Badass, he comes out on top. He's even more badass than Dave, at least at first. Bro's squared off against Jack who had not long ago slaughtered an entire army in mere moments and destroyed a moon (and it took Jack becoming just shy of a god to kill Bro), cut a meteor in half while riding it, and is fast enough to fight via puppet proxy.
Bash Brothers: He can invoke this by himself, utilizing incredible Flash Step prowess to move Cal as if he was a living being in a battle, while still keeping himself able to fight. Later, this trope comes into play when Davesprite teams up with him to take on Jack.
Chekhov's Gunman: He plunges his sword into the Beat Mesa after his first duel with Jack. It's later revealed that he was initiating The Scratch.
His Complete Bullshit web browser even has a bookmark for "Puppet Porn" and another one for "Plush Rump" which provides "the plumpest plushiest bare rumps this side of Jim Henson's most sordid fantasies."
Flash Step: The undisputed master. He uses it mainly to make Lil' Cal even creepier. And in battle, he uses it to basically use Lil' Cal to fight by proxy. And watch out when he actually steps into the ring using this.
And by "fighting by proxy", we mean live-action stop-motion.
Gaslighting: As stated above, he likes using his Flash Step skills to make Dave think Cal is moving around on his own, apparently just to mess with his head.
Pretty Fly for a Íćűë€Ĺ Guy: Part of his "ironic roof rapping ninja" schtick. Several of his puppets, including Cal are dressed up in urban style. note The garbled nonsense comes from when AH changed the use of the word "white" to describe him to that word to stop a heated forum argument over the kids' race. It's been changed back since. Hussie's also clarified that when he first wrote the line he hadn't defined Bro's role in the story as Dave and Rose's genetic father, so it wasn't supposed to be indicative of their ethnicity, which he says is canonically "a-racial" aka whatever the reader wants it to be
Sibling Rivalry: Dave says they're both very competitive, and he only undertakes certain activities (like getting the Sburb Beta) to try and outdo his Bro. Despite this, Dave really does admire him and aspires to be exactly like him.
Jade's guardian, and the First Guardian of Earth who takes the form of a dog. He was prototyped with Jade's Kernelsprite (this is not a good thing) and thus became Becsprite. Some time after, he was tier-2 prototyped with the corpse of Jade's dreamself; he thus became Jadesprite, and the "Becquerel" persona effectively ceased to exist.
Cloudcuckoolander: If Jack's thoughts after absorbing his personality are to be believed, Bec's mind is not nearly as impressive as the rest of him. Justified because Physical God status non-withstanding, he's still a dog.
Killed Off for Real: After being prototyped (which made him quasi-dead anyways), Jade's prototyping of her dead dream self apparently overwrote any of Bec's original personality, leaving her with only a Verbal Tic.
Only Mostly Dead: However, much of his personality and instincts were transferred to Jack and may affect PM post-prototyping too. Jade's growling and barking at Jaspersprite after merging with Jadesprite post-God Tier and the fact that Her Imperial Condescension had to use both Vriska and Tavros' mind control powers on Jade in order to control her might also suggest that some of Bec's personality was transferred to her too. That being said, however, with Jade, Jack and PM's personalities being dominant, it's very unlikely that Bec will be coming back anytime soon.
Meaningful Name: Becquerel is the SI derived unit of radioactivity, named for the French scientist Henri Becquerel, the first to discover radioactivity in 1896.
Nearly Normal Animal: While he does a few things that hint at the possibility of greater intelligence, like keeping Jade away from meteors and from the ruins, deliberately merging with the kernelsprite, and killing the ultimate frog (thus allowing its paradox ghost slime to be used), Bec clearly runs mostly on dog instincts, putting him at the lowest end of the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Bec, in order to save Jade's life, prototypes her sprite with himself. This... could have gone better.
Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A giant radioactive dog/wolf/devilbeast-thing/Guardian of Earth with reality-warping abilities. Coolest. Pet. Ever.
Power of Love: Bec adores Jade. Enough so to prototype himself to save her life. And hard enough that it's transferred via prototyping to Jack. Oddly, it didn't transfer to Jadesprite, neither in the form of a desire to please Jade nor in any sort of weird devotion to herself possibly because of dream Jade overwriting Bec's personality.
Promotion to Parent: In the absence of any other parental figure, Bec serves the role of looking after Jade and keeping her out of trouble.
Trademark Favorite Food: "You dial up a thick T-BONE STEAK, which you are sure Becquerel is in the mood for because he is in the mood for steak every day and is never in the mood for anything else."
More specifically, steak that has been lightly irradiated. (He does like his steak rare, after all.)
Undying Loyalty: Being both a Big Friendly Dog and a Papa Wolf at the same time, it's not surprising that he has this towards Jade. As mentioned up at Power of Love, Bec's loyalty is strong enough that it transferred to Jack and both renders him incapable of killing Jade and sends him into a flying rage when Jade dies.
You Can't Fight Fate: Word of God says that it doesn't matter if John had managed to prototype the doll; Bec would still try to prototype himself. Whether or not he'd be successful is a different matter.
Jade's grandfather and ectobiological father. Although he died when she was young, he had a large impact on Jade's life, teaching her all about guns and making sure she never left the house without one.His Post-Scratch Universe incarnation is Jake English.
Chekhov's Boomerang: We've yet to see how he entered the Medium, and it may to come up in some fashion down the line.
Turns out he found a portal to Derse hidden under the massive lift/platform in the Frog Temple.
Dead All Along: Until it was Jade's turn to do battle with her guardian, the readers were lead to believe he was alive. In reality, she's pretending to fight his corpse, which has been stuffed and preserved via taxidermy like his hunting trophies. He later turns out to be alive in the Medium, having not traveled back in time to live out the rest of his life just yet.
Like Brother and Sister: Betty Crocker tells Nana that she and Grandpa were supposed to get married but it's not clear if they ever felt like anything other than siblings.
Mummies at the Dinner Table: He's still hanging around in the foyer of the Harley residence. This is apparently a Harley family tradition (at least the taxidermy part). He kept the taxidermied remains of Halley and Dream Jade in his lab.
Parental Neglect: He loved Jade very much, but he was very careless when it came to raising her. Someone should have told him that giving your young granddaughter/daughter a pair of loaded flintlock pistols to play with while you go off to have a tea party with a giant doll is probably not considered good parenting.
Raised by Wolves: Sort of. He was raised by Betty Crocker and Halley the dog (whose name he mispronounced as Harley due to his speech impediment). He ran away from home at the age of thirteen with the dog (who the narration refers to as his "guardian", a term also used to refer to the kids' parents and the trolls' lusus naturae), and eventually took Harley as his surname.
The Runaway: Ran away from home with his dog Halley at the age of thirteen.
Famous Ancestor: All of them are pretty famous, though Grandma English ended up disgraced.
In Spite of a Nail: Despite them all undergoing vastly different lives, they seem to have similar personalities. Poppop and Grandma even have the same first names as their counterparts.
And some of them sorta have the same titles, Mom is described as a seer, Bro has apparently been knighted, and Jake's grandmother was a "witch" with manipulating space. Poppop is only loosely associated with his role as an Heir though, being referred to as the Heir of Crockercorp all of once by Dirk.
Time Capsule: Mom and Bro stashed tons of stuff for Roxy and Dirk to find in the future, like food and supplies.
Poppop Crocker / John Crocker
Jane's late grandfather, John's post-scratch iteration and the counterpart of Nanna Egbert. He was legendary for his vaudevillian antics on stage, following in the footsteps of his adoptive father Colonel Sassacre, unlike his adoptive sister, who fled the Batterwitch's influence. He died at age 86 on the same day Jane was "born", a fate involving a tall bookshelf, a ladder, and a mysterious young woman in a suspicious looking hat.He also played the role of Judge Stone in the post-scratch universe's version of Night Court.
All-Loving Hero: Despite being raised by the Condesce, he turned out to be an incredibly nice person. Dirk doesn't even begin to speculate on the tortures he must've undergone.
Ambiguously Good: It's unclear if he had any direct hand in Crockercorp's antics, but he at least took the Crocker name and not Colonel Sassacre's.
Dirk's interpretation is that he was a nice guy who was just really good at coping with his messed up life.
The Danza: In the real Night Court, Harry Anderson's character was named Harold Stone. In the post-scratch universe, where Poppop played that role instead of Anderson, the character is instead named Johnny Stone.
For Want of a Nail: Since John didn't land with dual-wielded flintlock pistols like Grandpa Harley did on pre-scratch Earth, Colonel Sassacre lived to raise him.
Mummies at the Dinner Table: His body has been stuffed and mounted in front of the fireplace (as stipulated in his will), meaning that he's five feet away from anyone trying to watch television and eat dinner on the couch.
In Spite of a Nail: A book by the title of Harry Anderson's "Wise Guy" still exists, and Jane owns it just as John did, but in the post-scratch universe it's instead a memoir of his days as a private eye after retiring from comedy when he couldn't beat his rival John.
Strong Family Resemblance: Much as Jake looks near-identical to John, Poppop looks almost indistinguishable from Grandpa as far as we can see.
Vaudeville: Possibly where he performed as a comedian in his younger days, if references to his vaudevillian antics are to be taken literally.
Grandma English / Jade English
Jake's late grandmother, Jade's post-scratch iteration, and the counterpart of Grandpa Harley. Unlike her adoptive brother, she set out away from the Batterwitch at an early age. She was an eccentric and brilliant woman, who explored the world, created Skaianet to rival Crockercorp (but lost), and raised Jake, before being murdered by the Condesce when Jake was very young.
Foreshadowing: Her writing includes amongst other things a chess match where the opponent played on despite losing their King and a Anti-Hero antagonist of ambiguous gender standing under a caduceus, which is UU's symbol.
According to Word of God, Rose's original wizard fiction was about the trolls. The full, published version involves Calmasis hunting down and killing each wizard one-by-one, with suitably ironic deaths. Each Troll thus far has had an ironic death.
Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Subverted, it's not the money so much as how she got it that left her above the law. She made way more money than should've been possible even if her books weren't dark and inaccessible. Suspected involvement of wytchkkrafts discouraged criminal investigations and even kept the Batterwitch at bay.
Seer: Well she is the same genetically as Rose Lalonde, and she somehow possess VISION OMNIFOLD and knows intricate details about the Condesce, UU and uu, and the Post-Scratch Human Session.
Dirk's Ancestor, Dave's post-scratch iteration, and the counterpart of Bro Strider. He became a very successful filmmaker, among other things, with an actual Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff movie being one of his latest productions as of the day on which Act 6 starts. He served as a integral member of the Resistance note Keeping his class as a Knight in much the same way Mom Lalonde is a Seer, giving him "a reputation staked on some order of MARTIAL NOBILITY."
Take That: His later Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff movies became subtle protest art against the growing reach of Crockercorp. Unfortunately, this is implied to have led to the death of him and Ben Stiller, and stated to be the reason Donald Glover was assassinated for playing Geromy.
God Cat / GCat
The First Guardian of post-Scratch Earth, and the counterpart of Becquerel. He apparently hangs around the kids, and both messes with and helps them at his whims.
Ambiguous Gender: Unlike Bec or Doc Scratch, its gender is never established. Doc Scratch states that First Guardians are sexless, but he views himself as male and everyone else views Bec as male. No one in the Alpha Session seems to have settled on a gender for GCAT.
Just look at that aloof little bastard. He doesn't give a shit about anything, does he?
Fandom Nod: A possible one: it's common in fanart to depict Becquerel with a green tongue and/or mouth interior. GCat's tongue is green.
Meaningful Name: Since the post-scratch kids couldn't agree on a good name for him, they call him God Cat - or GCat for short, which is made up of the first letters of the four bases of DNA, Guanine, Cytosine, Adenine, and Thymine.
GCAT is also what "MEOW" translates to in Rose's MEOW code, as seen in [S] Jack: Ascend.
Mind Control: GCat in the future is under the Condesce's control. It's implied that she's been controlling the cat's actions during Roxy and Dirk's time, and it's possible she's also doing it in Jane and Jake's.
The Mole: 5 months into the game, he's still hanging out with Jane and Roxy, which makes it easy to kidnap the latter a few minutes later.
The Trickster: He's just as likely to randomly teleport Jane to the most inconvenient of places as he is to save her from letterbox bombings.
Troll: He once teleported Jane across town to a paddock in the middle of heavy rain, for absolutely no (known) reason at all. However, in the future he's under the control of the Condesce, meaning his "Trolling" might well be part of her plans.
Jake's island is populated by large numbers of frightening fauna... which happen to be the species of lusus seen in-comic on Alternia. The Condesce brought them with her on her ship as part of a plan to recreate Alternian society, but this ended in failure due to her own lusus killing off trolls and due to a lack of symbiosis between humans and Alternian life.
Ascended Extra: The skywhale lusus reappears, despite not belonging to any of the trolls in the comic.
Ascended Meme: The giant counterpart of Karkat's lusus is called a "gigantic Earth crabdad". "Crabdad" is the Fan Nickname of Karkat's lusus.
Chekhov's Boomerang: Jake's attack on the "gigantic Earth crabdad" confirms that it has candy red blood like Karkat.
Death Is Cheap: For the fairy bulls at least. Also, the Condesce brings with her a lusus that seems identical to G'lbgoyl'b, down to the same troll-killing voice — much to her frustration. It's unknown how this lusus is related to Feferi's deceased guardian, but it's possible this trope is in play.
Giant Mook / Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The size of the lusus is pretty variable; the centaurs especially range from being their original size when seen with Equius to being the size of skyscrapers, probably intended as a continuation of Aurthour's Shout-Out to Humanimals. The "gigantic Earth crabdad" was also several times the size of Karkat's lusus.
King Mook: At least a few lusus seem to be solitary monsters and not an entire population.
The trolls have a different kind of guardian, their Lusus Naturae, a kind of monster that takes the place of a parental figure as any adult would kill them without a second thought. They all die in various accidents and become each troll's sprite with the exception of Aradia, who is her own sprite.In the post-scratch universe, Jake English's island is populated by FRIGHTENING FAUNA which are pretty much identical to the lusus.
Battle Butler: Seemingly subverted with Aurthour. Despite serving as Equius's butler/guardian, he can't take a punch ... or a gentle pat on the shoulder even. However, it turns out on the next page that Aurthour is a member one of the strongest lusus species on the planet. It's just that Equius is really strong. Or Equius is in denial or just views his guardian with that much admiration. Though the ones on Jake's island are huge.
Brown Note: Feferi's lusus kills trolls if its voice is ever raised above a whisper. If it ever got really upset, it would release a psychic shockwave that would kill all trolls in the galaxy. Fortunately, this will not happen so long as it is fed and happy. Eventually it does happen, and Sollux dies.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: Because their deaths were spoiled beforehand, some of the lusus get very unceremonious deaths.
Mercy Kill: Vriska puts her dying, trapped spider lusus out of its misery.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Gamzee's lusus was widly assumed by the Trolls and Gamzee himself to be kind of a lazy idiot. However, his neglect and letting Gamzee eat his slime pies led to Gamzee living a more normal and happier life as opposed to subjuggulating everyone.
Olympus Mons: Gl'bgolyb; it's not really clear if she's an actual Horrorterror or just one of their representatives capable of releasing a psychic shockwave capable of wiping out every troll in the universe (except for the Condesce and Feferi, who share her blood colour and have a natural Psychic Block Defense against it).
Our Dragons Are Different: Terezi's lusus is a blind dragon that communicates telepathically, "sees" through smell and taste (which it taught Terezi how to do), spends it childhood in a giant egg, and hatches from it fully grown.
Gamzee's lusus can be safely assumed to have not been there at all for Gamzee's entire life. Yet, he still goes outside every night to keep an eye out for him. This actually turned out to be a good thing, for Gamzee at least.
Whereas Terezi outright never had a lusus, up until Vriska psychically connected her with her dragon lusus, who still took some time afterwards to hatch.
Spell My Name with an S: There's been some consternation over the correct plural of "lusus". On one hand, their death theme is "Death of the Lusii", with two Is. On the other hand, that's not the correct latin plural, so people tend to go with "lusi" with a single I. Radiation has said that he made a mistake with the pluralisation in titling that song, and pretty much sees it as an impetus to redo the song one day.
On the other hand, some handwave it away as being a Stealth Pun based on Sollux's quirk.
"Lusi" is also wrong, based on a mistaken assumption that anything ending in -us is a noun in second declension. "Lusus" is fourth declension, so its correct Latin plural is "lusus". That's right, it doesn't change at all.
The Unreveal: Several Lusus deaths are never shown but mentioned heavily, like Feferi's. As another example, Gamzee's lusus died from a harpoon wound, ie direct murder unlike the accidents of the others. At the time many suspected Eridan did this, but it has never been referenced since.
Uncatty Resemblance: All lusus seem to choose a troll with their same blood color. Additionally:
Aradia's kanagroo-like lusus has her curled horns.
Tavros and Tinkerbull share the same horns. Tinkerbull is also feeble and delicate, as Tavros is crippled, but has fairy wings, much like the Summoner, who may have shared the same type of lusus.
Indeed, it's been confirmed that Rufioh, Tavros' pre-scratch ancestor, had the same kind of lusus.
Sollux's bicyclops has the same red and blue eyes as he does and one horn on each head that resemble his four.
Nepeta's shares her cat-like mouth (though doubled) and her ears are in the same place as Nepeta's horns.
The virgin Mother Grub has Kanaya's horns and lips.
Vriska's giant spider has a fang bent like one of her horns and has eight eyes, though arrayed differently.
Gamzee's has horns that resemble his, and if the monster on Jake's island is any indication, shares his terrible temper and capacity for violence.
The Condensce's mane of hair, when viewed from the side, is a dead ringer for Gl'bgoylb. Feferi's hair isn't quite long enough to get the same effect but still resembles a few tentacles.
From left to right: The Handmaid, the Summoner, the Ψiioniic / the Helmsman, the Signless / the Sufferer, the Disciple, the Dolorosa, Neophyte Redglare, Marquise Spinneret Mindfang, E%ecutor Darkleer / the Expatri8, the Grand Highblood, Orphaner Dualscar, Her Imperious Condescension / the Condesce / the Baroness
The Ancestors are Trolls who lived centuries ago and share a sign with the ones alive now. They are said to act as benevolent guardians if their descendant troll finds out who they are. Trolls with low-ranking blood colors tend to think of this as a fairy tale, but highbloods usually believe in the concept deeply. Not only is this belief true, but Karkat actually created the 12 troll ancestors at the same time he created himself and the other trolls we already know. The Ancestors all lived and died in the past with two exceptions - one who came from the far future, and one who lived to reach that point in the future and went somewhereelse.Doc Scratch revealed that they had Alternate Universe counterparts that had played Sburb/Sgrub but were unable to succeed. See their own page for details, as they have begun to appear on their own.The Ancestors are:
Chekhov's Gunman: Dualscar and Mindfang were introduced early on as Eridan and Vriska's FLARP characters, and Her Imperious Condescension was mentioned very shortly after Feferi was introduced. The concept of Trolls having a special conection to their ancestors wasn't brought up until much later when Eridan explains to Jade how he got his gun, Ahab's Crosshairs.
Neophyte Redglare, who either didn't know about or severely underestimated Spinneret Mindfang's powers. Mindfang mind-controlled an entire stadium of lowbloods into lynching her, hence why she never got past "neophyte."
The Sufferer was tortured, flogged, shackled with red-hot irons and shot with arrows before he died.
The Ψiioniic was forced to Cast from Hit Points to get the Battleship Condescension back to Alternia as quickly as possible. The incredible strain would have killed him if the Vast Glub didn't get to him first.
Dramatic Irony: What we know about "our" trolls vs. their paradox clones/famous ancestors.
Face Framed in Shadow: Most of them are only ever seen in profile. Only the Disciple, Sufferer, Mindfang, and the Condesce have had their pupils shown but continue to appear in shadowy profiles. This applies even though the Condesce has become the Big Bad of Act 6. Several others never have their entire appearance revealed either. Orphaner Dualscar in particular never has his head distinctly shown, and his horns in his two appearances are just off panel.
Famous Ancestor: All of the ancestors held some kind of significance in troll history, be it a part of a great rebellion (the Summoner, the Sufferer, the Dolorosa, the Disciple, the Ψiioniic), holding some significant office or position (Mindfang, Dualscar, the Grand Highblood, Redglare, the Expatri8), or, in the most extreme cases, playing a key role in the entire history of the race (the Condesce and the Handmaid).
Fauxshadow: Mindfang's journalog hints at two big fights. The Grand Highblood/Gamzee will kill Orphaner/Eridan, and Mindfang/Vriska will kill Redglare/Terezi. Both are heavily subverted by Kanaya, whose ancestor was Mindfang's nameless sex slave and killed by Orphaner, comes out of nowhere and KO's Gamzee and Vriska and kills Eridan, while Vriska and Terezi do end up in a "battle" of sorts but Terezi kills Vriska rather than vice versa.
It also sort of back-fauxshadows everything we know about the trolls (see below) especially the Summoner, who was the one who ended up slaying Mindfang, and was possibly the greatest hero trollkind has ever known. It's obvious now that Vriska was honestly trying to get Tavros to kill her, and a large part of her disappointment was that he simply wasn't up to the task yet.
Foreshadow: Now things are getting weird. The kids are about to cause a scratch which will reset their universe at the cost of their memories, which is what the troll ancestors did. Except the ancestors were the players in a peaceful version of Alternia and "our" trolls were their ancestors. The problems for "our" trolls started when Karkat's ancestor the Sufferer started remembering what happened.
The Ψiioniic died trying to get the Condesce's battleship to Alternia and Sollux dies (again) trying to get the asteroid to the Green Sun.
Generation Xerox: Played with across the board. One wonders how different "our" trolls would've turned out if they were a bit older and the Summoner's rebellion hadn't caused the Condesce to decentralize the empire and leave all the younguns on Alternia. One can also only imagine the brutal ancestors playing SGRUB on the peaceful pre-scratch Alternia.
Terezi & Redglare and Eridan & Dualscar are incredibly similar in both their ambitions and relationships.
Vriska's similarity to Mindfang is a case of the trope being enforced; the latter sent the former her diary so that she would gain the necessary tools to deal with the harshness of troll youth. Her character arc is mostly about her attempts and failures to live up her Byronic Hero ancestor's example and to force those around her into that mold, finishing with her growing awareness that maybe that isn't what she really wants or needs.
The case of the Grand Highblood and Gamzee is a bit different; Gamzee doesn't really seem to know (or care) about his Ancestor per se, but rather takes up the office of the Subjugglators once he isn't stoned on sopor slime.
Darkleer differs only slightly from his descendant: he openly defied the highbloods for the lowblooded woman he pitied (the Disciple) and spent the rest of his life lamenting his defiance of the social order. Equius finds defying the hemospectrum a depraved, shameful, and secretly enjoyable kink. His mechanical ability is the same, though, as is his STRENGTH and building a mechanical arm for Mindfang.
The Summoner and Tavros are as different as night and day. Tavros falls incredibly short of the kind of behavior you'd expect from the descendant of the naturally gifted leader of a huge rebellion against the Highbloods. Then again Vriska's interference certainly didn't help him either.
Likewise Karkat and the Sufferer, who was such a great rebel leader of trolls that he was wiped from history while Karkat became leader because the others didn't want to listen to his whining.
Karkat has been having a pretty shitty day as well.
Feferi and the Condesce are the most extreme pair, even beyond Tavros and the Summoner: the former is the most compassionate person in the empire and the latter is the most vicious. They're also the only two who could've possibly met at some point.
A bit of Fridge Brilliance shows here: Feferi, the nicest and most peaceful troll on Alternia, was the peaceful pre-scratch universe's Empress. Meenah, who immediately showed her Jerk Ass and was joyfully catatonic after hearing the exploits of the Batterwitch/Condesce, is the Batterwitch/Condesce.
Aradia is the Maid of Time, and her ancestor was/is the Handmaid of Lord English and a wielder of "clockwork majyyks". Both of them are pawns to cosmic forces—or at least, they're more acutely aware of their status as pawns than any of their peers are—and are 0kay with this, whether simply resigned to their fate or emotionless in general, except during their occasional fits of violent rage.
In the Blood: Special emphasis on Karkat and Tavros since their rebellious ancestors were probably wiped from history and it doesn't appear that Vriska told Tavros why she was so fixated on him or why she accepted Karkat as leader (if she connected Karkat and the Sufferer's symbols at all).
The Makers: Of the post-Scratch troll universe. Well, sort of.
May-December Romance: Mindfang and the Summoner. He hasn't been born yet, and she knows about him thanks to her prized magic cueball.
And though she doesn't know it, between Mindfang and the Dolorosa, the latter having been alive for hundreds of sweeps - though it's implied Mindfang was around when the Sufferer was executed.
Meaningful Name: As it turns out, though, the fancy names aren't just for show; the names are, in fact, perfectly descriptive of each individual Ancestor. Mindfang really can tear into lesser minds at will, and Orphaner very likely did leave a mess of orphans in his wake. Yes, this is just about as horrifying as it sounds. It even crosses over into "our" trolls' Sgrub titles:
The Maid of Time: Granted immortality and the ability to travel to key-points throughout Alternian history, shaping it into the over-the-top Crap Sack World it was. She's also subservient to English, making her Maid-ness apparent.
The Witch of Time: Instead of manipulating time the way Jade manipulates space/size she wound up getting manipulated by time.
The Page of Breath: He could fly and was probably erased from the pages of history.
The Rogue of Breath: Horuss mentions Rufioh's talent for "stealing the breath from people", meaning inducing them to talk until they're out of breath.
The Mage of Doom: Psychically powered the Empress' starship, bringing doom to any alien life they found.
The Heir of Doom: Despite doing his best to warn everyone about the doom they were shortly to possess, they refused to listen, forcing him to nearly kill himself saving them.
The Knight of Blood: Tortured bloody until he renounced love for rage at the end of his life.
The Seer of Blood: Kankri is obsessed with respecting other people's triggers, though he's not very good at it; the Sufferer's crusade, which finally gave Kankri a real cause to rebel against, was triggered by visions of his previous life on Beforus.
The Rogue of Heart: Deeply in love with the Sufferer ("Their love surpassed the four quadrants — whatever that means") and lived in seclusion with his teachings.
The Mage of Heart: Obsessed with relationships, and has talked about working her magic to get Meenah and Karkat together.
The Sylph of Space: A sylph is a female spirit said to be filled with melancholy. Dolorosa means "Lady of Sorrows".
The Maid of Space: Porrim was basically a handmaiden to the Mother Grub, a position she, as a feminist, didn't like.
The Seer of Mind: As a legislacerator (bounty hunter/prosecutor/executioner) she should be able to outwit her prey; unfortunately she was herself outwitted.
The Knight of Mind: Latula wants to be a Totally Radical cool kid like fellow Knight player Dave, but unironically. Porrim implies that this is an act and she's hiding her intelligence.
The Thief of Light: She plundered many riches and stole the heart of the Summoner, one of the most heroic trolls in history.
The Sylph of Light: After billions of years in the dreambubbles Aranea has the best insight into how things work and offered to heal Terezi's eyes. Reborn as Mindfang she saw that she would die at the hand of her lover centuries in the future.
The Heir of Void: His ancestor was a "psychic void" that made him undetectable even to Doc Scratch.
The Page of Void: He couldn't master his status as a blank page and went insane.
The Bard of Rage: His only demand is to be entertained; those who don't get added to his bloody frescoes.
The Prince of Rage: A servant of the raging Lord English, using said rage to destroy.
The Prince of Hope: He hoped the Subjugglators would take care of his kismesis but it appears they took care of him instead.
The Bard of Hope: He let hope be destroyed for thousands by leaving a sea of orphans in his wake.
The Witch of Life: The Condesce could extend a life but not resurrect it.
The Thief of Life: Meenah stole all her friends' lives to trade for the scratch; reborn as the Condesce she's stolen billions of lives.
Names to Run Away From Really Fast / Awesome McCoolname: Marquise Spinneret Mindfang, Orphaner Dualscar, the Grand Highblood, Neophyte Redglare, Expatriate Darkleer / the Executor, the Summoner, the Signless Sufferer and the Condesce / Her Imperious Condescension. The Handmaid subverts this but plays straight with her alternate title, the Demoness.
Reincarnation Romance: Okay, not the technical definition of the trope, but a lot of pairings of the Ancestors recur in the modern trolls. Some play out the same way, like Eridan's unrequited crush on Feferi or cooling of ♣Auspistices with Vriska, or Darkleer's inability to kill the Disciple resurfacing as ♦Moirallegiance between Nepeta and Equius. But some are subverted like the Sufferer / the Disciple transcending all the quadrants, but Nepeta's crush on Karkat is unrequited. Whether this is due to age differences, the fact that the Ancestors were dropped in different times from one another (Redglare wasn't even around when the Sufferer died, for instance), or simple differences in character is unclear and will probably never be resolved.
Rule of Symbolism: The Sufferer is essentially Troll Jesus, with the Dolorosa as the Virgin Mary. The Disciple is a conglomerate of the Apostles (particularly Saint Peter) and Mary Magdelene. However, the Ψiioniic doesn't really correspond to any figure in the New Testament.
Sinister Silhouettes: The only facial features we've ever been able to see on them are eyes, mouths, face paint, and glasses.
Spell My Name with a "The": 2/3 of them: The Grand Highblood, the Summoner, the Condesce, the Sufferer / the Signless, the Dolorosa, the Ψiioniic / the Helmsman, the Disciple, the Handmaid / the Demoness. The remaining ones actually have names and aren't referred to by titles, though Darkleer is referred to as the E%ecutioner as well.
No Name Given: We know from Doc Scratch's narration that they do have names, with possible exception to the Handmaid. Based on the Pre-Scratch Trolls (and if patterns shown with John and Jade hold true), Mindfang's name would be Aranea and the Condesce's Meenah.
Theme Naming: Most of the ancestors have eight-letter names except for the Grand Highblood/Subjugglator. This is often enforced in the comic by using special characters in place of letters, such as the Expatri8 and the Ψiioniic.
Tron Lines: All of the Ancestors are shown only as black silhouettes with colored details, invoking this with their clothes especially... But also Darkleer, who had actualTron Lines apparently drawn into his flesh.
Unreliable Narrator: Maybe. While Word of God states that anything a troll says about their history and biology is true unless otherwise noted, we're getting this information from Vriska's ancestor/clone; then again, Mindfang is less "dramaaaaaaaatic" than Vriska. Later on further information is revealed by Doc Scratch, who is unreliable in his own way.
Hussie (or his stand-in) further complicates matters a little by calling all this information Doc Scratch's "troll fanfiction" in the banner altext. On the other hand Scratch is the author of post-scratch Alternia, and Hussie pretty much hates the guy for taking over his story.
Hussie did say that Mindfang was "the real deal," and her story is simultaneously a retelling of real historical events (from her perspective) and a parody of ridiculous, trashy pirate romance fiction.
Ascended Meme: Jegus and Gog, both in jokes between Terezi and Dave ballooned massively into a huge fandom meme. The Sufferer turning out to be almost literally Troll Jesus has revitalized that and Andrew mentioned it was partially a nod to the meme.
Atomic F-Bomb: The Vast Expletive uttered by the dying Sufferer, the culmination of his idealism turning to rage under the highbloods' torture.
Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Sufferer. The Dolorosa was almost literally the Virgin Mary. The Disciple has a lot of traits of the Apostles mixed with Mary Magdalene.
Cult: Following the Sufferer's execution, his followers — including Redglare — were reduced to being little more than a secret cult carrying on his beliefs and teachings on the down-low. Eventually even that faded away into little more than superstition, but they managed to make sure Karkat would have a lusus and a sign so he wasn't killed at birth.
Dark Messiah / Fallen Hero: What happened to the once-idealistic Sufferer after he was tortured by the highbloods right before he died.
Expy: The Sufferer is fairly similar to WV; but this is probably only because they both are Messianic Archetype characters.
Messianic Archetype: Basically the Troll version of Jesus. Indeed, his descendant, Karkat, is literally referred to as "The Second Coming of the Signless".
Momma's Boy: A positive variant; it's pretty obvious that his relationship with the Dolorosa was very close, considering the fact that she remained a key member of his inner circle even after he grew to adulthood.
Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: The Signless alone among the Ancestors exhibited low levels of this, being able to remember some of pre-Scratch Alternia, but only brief glimpses. It's implied that this is due to the fact that his previous incarnation was a seer.
Rebel Leader: The Sufferer led one a long time before that was so great, even mentioning it in your private journal was forbidden.
The Power of Rage: What the Sufferer discovered between getting the idealism tortured out of him and dying.
Unperson: What the Condesce did to the Sufferer after crushing his revolution. This is probably a good thing for his descendant Karkat, who unknowingly wears the Sufferer's "sym69l" on top of having mutant-red blood.
Referenced later, when Meenah calls him what his shit.
The Power of Love: The Disciple loved the Sufferer and he in turn loved her so much that it superseded the need for the 4 quadrants. Doc dismisses it as being ridiculous though.
Mama Bear: Holy shit. When John appears in front of her, she does not hesitate to go into this mode, although he leaves before anything comes from it.
Our Vampires Are Different: It's implied she's also a Rainbow-Drinker, with it being part of her blood cast, and her Mama Bear moment highlighting certain attributes. John even calls her a vampire when relating the story to Roxy.
Team Mom: The Dolorosa, the Sufferer's adopted lusus.
Cruel and Unusual Death/Death by Irony: Redglare was last seen in the middle of an angry mob of mind-controlled lowbloods, who then proceeded to execute her. These were the very same lowbloods she was trying to protect.
Depraved Bisexual: Mindfang manipul8s a captive slave girl into making out with her while carrying on a casual conversation with Orphaner Dualscar, at least partially as blackrom flirting.
Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Mindfang was pimping. She was also completely nondiscriminatory, soliciting her ship's slaves while it was too dark to tell their blood color. And yes, she was hoping to find a matesprit among the slaves she seduced. Her final matesprit is the Summoner (Tavros' ancestor), who will love her and eventually kill her.
She also failed in looking for Hate with Dualscar, whose implied, mismatched redrom feelings for her turned their blackrom from rivalry to enmity and led to the loss of a potential love, an arm, an eye, her lusus, and her fleet.
Nothing Can Stop Us Now: Possesses a magic cue-ball that can answer any question she has about the future. When she hears that Redglare has been sent to capture her, she specifically says in her journal that she was so confident that they would never even meet that she didn't bother asking the cue ball.
Green-Eyed Monster: Orphaner Dualscar was apparently either insecure or possessive enough to get jealous of what his kismesis did in entirely different quadrants (in human terms: your rival is jealous of your lover, best friend, and union representative). Spinneret seems both amused and annoyed by this.
Then again, it is very strongly implied that Dualscar may have had some Red Rom feelings for Spinneret. So, in human terms: your rival is secretly in love with you, and is jealous of your lover for that reason. Much more logical. Didn't make Dualscar any less of a Green-Eyed Monster though.
Unreliable Narrator: We only know about his actions through Mindfang's journal, and she's a very biased source, so his listed motivations may be entirely false.