This is a quick headcanon about Lapis Lazuli and her rank on Homeworld, as well as a little more on Eras and HOW a member of the Diamond courts are selected.
|Lapis Lazuli: Aristocratic Ranking with Era Complexity and Classifications|
Lapis and Sapphire
The Lapis Lazuli that we see is probably not the only Lapis in existence. From what we've seen in leaks, we can be sure that there is more than one, and that a Lapis will 'terraform'.
Another thing, Lapis is mentioned with Agate and Sapphire, who are both relatively high ranking. We can assume, something around this: Agate>Lapis>Sapphire.
All three were seen in the court scene of 'The Answer'. Agate and Lapis' silhouettes can be seen in the background of Sapphire's story. Although, in the leaks we can see that Agate is ranked lower than Sapphires, by calling Sapphire “Your Clarity”. We can assume that Sapphire is about the rank of a ‘Brahmin’, High Priest, or a Duchess.
It seems that Garnet knew who Lapis was and since Sapphire and Lapis are presumed to be fellow ex-courteseans, they likely knew of each other. Lapis would be a relatively special one so we can say that she was a notorious for being strong. However, it is likely that Lapis didn't know Sapphires specifically by name.
Agate’s clothing is more uniform and she seems to be have been made a later than Lapis and Sapphire, possibly a little before Earth colonization (or the Colonial Era). We can then presume that Garnet came into existence a towards late Classical to early Colonial era.
What are the eras? We know that Era 1 exists, but it’s possible that given the long lifespans of gems, there are several more eras. I’ve decided to name them:
Golden Age (natural formed gems, possibly when the Diamonds and our Lapis was formed).
Classical Age (Homeworld, Aristocracy, 4 Diamond Authority. Likely to have a decline in the formation of gems, though I’d say our Sapphire was likely formed in this era).
Neo-classical Age (presumably the first kindergartens came around this time, though Earth was not colonized yet).
Colonial Age/Early Era 1 (Earth becomes a hot topic of political debate and causes strife. Given to Pink’s authority)
Middle Era 1 (Pink Diamond is shattered/poofed/corrupted)
Era 1 (Current Era)
An Era's Relevance
Now, why would I say that Lapis’ are formed in the Golden Age? Lapis has been mined for over 6000 years on Earth and is one of the earliest utilized stones for human society. It’s been used to produce paint, for decoration, and it contains Pyrite, which can be used for other purposes. It can be considered a protective ward and it represents several things: strength and courage, love, truth, and royalty. As a matter of fact, Lapis Lazuli was used historically in King Tut’s mummy mask and the Sistine Chapel.
So, we can divide Lapis into three things: strength, love, and truth. Lapis is also associated with the night sky and water. Why is this important though?
My headcanon is that the amount of raw power in a Lapis depends on the era of their formation and if they encompass any of the points that a Lapis is supposed to represent. In continuation, Lapis’ are rather common in Era 1 Homeworld, but there’s a twist.
The current Lapis’ are terraforming soldiers/explorers who are probably weaker than most Jaspers. The reason why is likely to be this: most Lapis’ in existence were produced from Early to Middle Era 1 in Kindergartens. This limits the minerals they can absorb and stunts their growth. Likely, Era 1 Lapis’ are representative of courage only and are probably propagandized as brave and curious explorers.
Rarely are the Meta Lapis’ or Lapis’ formed in the Classical/Neo-Classical era. They took longer than our Lapis to form and didn’t come out with the others in the Golden age. They strongly encompass truth and intellect, as well as curiosity. This would make a few Lapis’ qualify to be a Meta-Lapis, though they probably exist sparingly. They are the scholars, the historians, the ones that are around the caste of a technician. They’re not that strong but they’re exceedingly intelligent.
Then there would be our Lapis, who was created in the Golden era with other naturally formed Lapis’ around her caliber in hydrokinesis. Given what we saw in ‘The Answer’ we can say that by the Classical era, most Golden age Lapis’ had either shattered or never learned anything other than raw ‘strength’, something else a Lapis is supposed to represent. But our Lapis is most likely an aristocratic Lapis, selected because she showed more talent.
Our Lapis was probably the strongest of her batch and enjoyed much prestige in Blue’s court around that time. The thing is, seeing into the past isn’t supposed to be Lapis’ strength, it’s hydrokinesis. Sapphire can see into the future, that’s what a Sapphire does.
Yellow Diamond literally says that a Sapphire can tell you what you’re fighting a war for.
Seeing into different eras is probably something that’s more Sapphire-y in Homeworld court, and Lapis seeing into the past could be considered something ‘unique’. After all, in Ocean Gem, Lapis did act slightly ‘brattily’ and asked if they knew who she used to be. This could be suggesting that she was used to being treated with respect.
So our Lapis is ‘truth’ and ‘strength’, possibly ‘courage’ of Lapis. Although, she probably has PTSD from her experiences in the war, which coupled with a passive aggressive personality makes for a very traumatized character that we see in ‘Jailbreak’. If Lapis was a noble in Classical Homeworld, she wouldn’t exactly be used to ‘impertinence’ or being treated badly by a Jasper or Peridot.
The Courts and Yellow Diamond's Treatment of Lapis
On selection for court. The Diamonds are clearly looking for: rare gems, rare gems with special abilities, and/or powerful gems with special talents. We can say that rarer gems that don't do anything special are lower ranking in court, with the exceptionally talented (Lapis) are middle ranking but enjoy prestige, and rare gems with special abilities (Sapphire) are tier 1. Or course, the Diamonds sit at the pinnacle of the entire court hierarchy, being the leaders themselves.
But she’d naturally show deference to a Diamond, or Yellow Diamond. She was probably taken for a Kindergarten Lapis that joined up with the Crystal Gems. Lapis being who she is, probably wouldn’t pick a fight with Yellow, knowing a Diamond’s capabilities.
Think about this: Lapis returns to Homeworld expecting recognition but has been assumed to be MIA for such a long time that she was forgotten as the ‘Last Golden Age Lapis’ and faded into history. She probably noticed how the younger Lapis’ were now lower castes and she likely decided to stay as low-profile as possible.
Presumably, Lapis landed on Yellow’s territory, where you wouldn’t find very many aristocratic gems from Blue Diamond’s court wandering around. They’d take her for a rogue or an explorer using Yellow Diamond’s territory as a rest stop.
It’s likely that only the older members of Blue’s court would be able to recognize Lapis, but again: Yellow. Yellow probably wouldn’t want to notify Blue that a member of her dominion had joined the Crystal Gems, with Blue being all ‘Blue’ over Pink’s disappearance.
In continuation, we can further conclude that Sapphire did know who Lapis was. She just wasn’t aware it was the Lapis she knew in the mirror, or else she’d have warned the rest of the gang about Lapis’ potential, though being shattered. It is quite possible that she mistook Lapis for a more ‘intellect and truth’ based Lapis rather than the ‘strength and truth’ oriented Lapis that she is.
In conclusion; Like pearls and quartzes we can say that there are different types of Lapis’ (to cover the wide range of characteristics our nasty human ancestors burdened Lapis with, so her gem type can be balanced out) and we can say that Lapis is almost definitely affiliated with Blue Diamond. It’s even more probable that Lapis was once a part of Blue Diamond’s personal court as Sapphire once was. Remember, this is just my headcanon and is by no means actually canon.