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Lapis Lazuli: Her Origins And Why She Is So Powerful
[[Lapis is not pleased|250px]]
Theory Information
Title Lapis Lazuli: Her Origins And Why She Is So Powerful
Author SpinDizzy1
Illustrator SpinDizzy1
Date of Publication November 30, 2015
Publication Order
Previous The Geode Beetles of Heaven and Earth are Clear Quartzes
Next The Disappearance of Pink Diamond

Introduction

There are a lot of theories about Lapis Lazuli and the Diamond Authority circulating around, however the majority of these theories assume that Lapis Lazuli was from the same era as Rose Quartz, Pearl and Yellow Diamond. They also assume that she was around in humanoid form and was trapped inside her mirror during the Gem Wars.

 I would like to put forward this alternative theory that Lapis Lazuli predates almost every other Gem that has appeared on the show so far, including Yellow Diamond, and also why Lapis Lazuli is visibly so much more powerful than every Gem we have seen so far.

Identifying Lapis Lazuli

The problem that is overlooked by the theories that assume Lapis Lazuli was free during the time of the Gem Wars and even some time before them is that none of the modern Gems, both Crystal Gems and Homeworld Gems, appear not to recognize what type of Gem Lapis Lazuli was and nor were they initially aware of the immense power she had manipulating water.

Pearl

In the episode "Mirror Gem" none of the Crystal Gems called Lapis by her name until after she introduced herself. Pearl also later commented:

How could I have known the Gem contained in that mirror would be so powerful?

—Pearl, Ocean Gem
This is an odd thing for a Gem Wars veteran like Pearl to say as she originally came from Homeworld, lived on Earth during its occupation by Homeworld and would have fought alongside and against many Gems during the Gem Wars. In fact apart from Ruby and Sapphire, Pearl is the oldest known uncorrupted Gem on Earth and she has a superb memory for recalling historical information from thousands of years ago... but she failed to identify a powerhouse like Lapis Lazuli from her gemstone, yet Jasper could identify Steven Universe's powers and the symbol upon his shield as Rose Quartz's as well as spotted that he was weaker than what Rose Quartz originally was.

We definitely know that Lapis Lazuli is not a Gem created after the Gem Wars. Before she discovered the mirror was not working properly, Pearl stated that Lapis' mirror could show Steven all that he needed to know about Gem culture and that the mirror shows whatever it had seen. The mirror was also found at the Galaxy Warp by the Crystal Gems, which suggests that the mirror was discovered before or around the time the Galaxy Warp was first rendered inactive, which was well before Rose Quartz giving up her Gem to give birth to Steven. 

Just as the Crystal Gems did not recognize Peridot's Gem type because she was a modern Homeworld Gem created after the Gem Wars - when the Crystal Gems ceased contact with Homeworld, Lapis Lazuli was created not just made before the Gem Wars, but before the creation of Rose Quartz's Pearl.

That in itself makes Lapis Lazuli extremely old, but there is another implication: Lapis Lazuli is older than Yellow Diamond.

Yellow Diamond

Yellow Diamond sanctioned Peridot's mission to Earth  ("The Return") and had provided her with an escort, Jasper (aka loyal, intimidating Quartz). Peridot could not have snuck Lapis Lazuli on the space ship without Yellow Diamond knowing - it was clear that Jasper deferred to Yellow Diamond. It is not logical that Yellow Diamond allow an extremely powerful Gem on a Homeworld space ship guarded by a lone Quartz and a Peridot technician rather than several Quartzes of the same type that could allow for (Homeworld approved) non-mixed Fusion if the going got tough if Lapis Lazuli tried to escape whilst in their custody. Yellow Diamond did not see Lapis Lazuli as a significant threat, and Lapis' submissive nature reinforces that so much so that Lapis was allowed to leave the confines of her cell by Jasper and Peridot during "The Return" when the Homeworld Gems were facing off the Crystal Gems.

But it was clear during "Ocean Gem" that a cracked/weakened Lapis Lazuli could almost defeat the entire Crystal Gems and Lion on her own... without even looking at them. In "Jail Break" Garnet fought and defeated Jasper, which implies that Lapis would not have broken a sweat taking out Jasper and Peridot whilst she was on the deck of the Homeworld ship that was hovering over the ocean during "The Return".

Essentially, if Yellow Diamond knew just how powerful Lapis Lazuli was, she should have send multiple Jaspers as her guard rather than one Jasper, which was potentially handing Lapis Lazuli the keys to a Homeworld space ship, not that she ever needed a space ship.

Jasper

Jasper, a Gem who fought during the Gem Wars was comfortable dragging Lapis Lazuli on palm/deck to confront the Crystal Gems during "The Return", over the sea where Lapis Lazuli would once again have access her super water powers. Jasper could not have known exactly what she was dealing with. This also suggests that there were no other free Lapis Lazulis, including mirror Lapis Lazuli around during the Gem Wars.

Jasper's underestimation of Lapis is more apparent when she fused with Lapis Lazuli because she thought she would have dominance over the fusion, and probably deduced that if two weak Gems could fuse to become stronger than herself (Garnet), all Jasper needed to do is fuse with a weak Gem to defeat Garnet as she considered herself to be a strong Gem.

Peridot

Peridot had access to a lot of Homeworld information via her limb enhancers, yet she appears also as clueless about Lapis Lazuli as the rest of the Gems.

Implications of Lapis Lazuli's Age

Essentially Lapis Lazuli is a Gem out of time, she has been trapped in a mirror for thousands of years, watching events, but never participating in the world around her. If Lapis Lazuli predates Yellow Diamond then it is extremely likely she predates the entire Diamond Authority. No Gems (Gem War veterans or modern Gems) had any knowledge of Lapis Lazuli's abilities over water. Homeworld may have been complaicent because Lapis Lazuli comes from a time, not just before Homeworld's technology revolution, but before Gems were using space ships to colonize Earth. Homeworld may have been dismissive about Lapis Lazuli (the only Gem so far who could travel from Earth to Homeworld on her own, without the use of warp pads and space ships) because she dates back to apparently more primitive Gem times. Lapis Lazuli's knowledge of the Crystal Gems comes from her witnessing it all whilst in her mirror, not while she was free. Lapis' knowledge of Homeworld culture, what she expected to find, but never did when she returned to the Homeworld, could also have been based on information that she had witnessed whilst trapped in her mirror.

Lapis Lazuli has no symbol of allegiance to any Gem faction upon her clothing (neither Rose Quartz's rose or star, nor any of the Diamond Authority's diamonds). This is due to her coming from a time before the Diamond Authority. It is worth noting that Ruby and Sapphire also have no symbol of allegiance to Rose Quartz or any Diamond however Ruby/Sapphire/Garnet appeared not recognize Lapis Lazuli nor was prepared when she faced Lapis. There were some suspicious behaviors exhibited by Garnet and Amethyst during "Mirror Gem" when Steven revealed that the mirror was communicating with him. Pearl acted shocked by this revelation, however in the background both Garnet and Amethyst looked guilty, directing their attention to Pearl, not Steven and the mirror when the revelation was first made.

A theory by one fellow fan suggests that Garnet and Amethyst knew that the mirror Pearl had stored in her pocket dimension contained a powerful Gem, but they chose to keep that information from her. However it is impossible for Amethyst to know first hand about this due to her age. We have no clue how old Ruby and Sapphire are, they may have removed any symbols of allegiance from their attire because they defected from either Yellow, Blue or White Diamond, but there is a possibility that Ruby and/or Sapphire also predates the Diamond Authority like Lapis Lazuli and might have known what the Crystal Gems were up against, but in traditional Garnet style, remained quiet and resorted to violence to solve the issue.

Lapis Lazuli's Immense Power

Lapis Lazuli may be an example of a naturally grown Gem, created before the time of Kindergartens and mass produced Gems. Amethyst in the short "How Are Gems Made?" states that in the Kindergarten Gem creation process:

...so we suck up all the good stuff from the ground so we can pop out all big, and strong!

—Amethyst, How Are Gems Made?
If Lapis Lazuli was created before mass production of Gems, she would have competed with less Gems nearby during her development, taken in more Gem "nutrients" and essentially pop out far more powerful than her modern mass produced counterparts. So, her power is not due to her rank (she never had a formal rank in modern Gem society), it was because of the way she was made.

Note: Lapis Lazuli's powers are offensive so appear to be stronger than Ruby's and Sapphire's, however Sapphire's future vision is in a league of its own against other Gems, despite its non-offensive capabilities.

The Implications of Ancient Gem Production Like Lapis Lazuli's

If the Diamond Authority Theory is true, then it could be that the original four Diamonds were Gems just like Lapis Lazuli, but managed to take over the Homeworld and impose their own rules over Gem society. Natural Gem creation could explain why there were only four Diamonds and it seemed to be only one Rose Quartz; Gems were so difficult to create naturally that only a handful of certain types of Gems were ever around before someone developed Kindergartens. With so few of each type of Gem around, it was easy for certain types to disappear if they became damaged, never to be formed again.

By mass producing Gems, the Homeworld weakened the general populace, but greater numbers outweighed the need for individual strength and also prevented Gem extinction. It would also make it easier for Diamonds to control other Gems by their sheer power, but not fellow Gems that were not created in Kindergarten.

Yellow Diamond vs. Lapis Lazuli

Yellow Diamond may have known Lapis Lazuli was not created in a Kindergarten, but as Lapis probably held back all of her powers and acted submissively whilst on Homeworld (Maybe there is no water on Homeworld - Pearls are created elsewhere). Lapis Lazulis were thought to be extinct at the time of the creation of the Diamonds, so Yellow Diamond might have thought that Lapis Lazuli's main power was space flight (which is unheard of so far in modern Gems), so keeping her grounded by having Jasper around would have been enough to keep Lapis in check.

Lapis Lazuli had the advantage of being able to view the world for thousands of years whilst trapped in her mirror. It is possible that she overheard talk of the Diamonds and just how powerful they were. Another possibility was that she encountered one or more Diamonds as a mirror and had seen them firsthand. Anyway, Lapis Lazuli's submissive behaviour after returning to Homeworld might be due to her knowing how powerful Yellow Diamond truly was, even without her military. By keeping her head down and not making any trouble, Lapis Lazuli hoped to secure a place in her former home, however it was never meant to be.

Why was Lapis Lazuli Trapped in the Mirror?

This makes it likely that Lapis Lazuli was trapped in a mirror before the Gem Wars. It appears to be a way of containing Gems, which might have been they only way ancient Gems could do so before bubbling was discovered. The other reason could be that it was a way of a Gem being able to utilize another Gem's powers by force although it is not always successful.

It's talking to him? It shouldn't be able to do that. I-it should just be following orders...

—Pearl, Mirror Gem
Lapis Lazuli is not the only Gem, Desert Glass is another Gem trapped in an object and her powers appear to be greater than modern Gems as well, as the Crystal Gems needed Lion's teleportation powers to stop it - in fact it appears that Lion was guarding the relic anyway before the Crystal Gems unwittingly took it.

Why Wasn't Lapis Lazuli Bubbled By Rose Quartz?

It is unlikely Pearl would hide a find like Lapis Lazuli's mirror from Rose Quartz, so Rose Quartz almost certainly had the opportunity to take the mirror and bubble it for safe keeping. But Lapis Lazuli is not the only trapped Gem that Rose Quartz is linked to and was never bubbled by her as it was the Lion that Rose used to store stuff for Steven that was the guardian to Desert Glass.

It is likely that Rose Quartz knew that both trapped ancient Gems were extremely powerful and might have been useful to use against the Homeworld if they ever returned, if she could manage to free the Gems and convenience them to join the Crystal Gems.

Desert Glass is assumed to be corrupted because it seemingly aimlessly creates structures, but they do have a function - it is a defensive mechanism. Desert Glass actively tried to stop Steven and the Crystal Gems from taking it away from the beach, throwing obstacles in their way. Desert Glass might not be corrupt, its behavior (its noncompliance) may be the result of the Gem's strong personality showing through, just as Lapis Lazuli's eventually did when (trapped in a mirror) she started to communicate with Steven, also when she refused to work for Pearl. In humanoid form Lapis Lazuli is mostly submissive and tries to avoid conflict, so it maybe that Desert Glass is rebellious and refuses orders completely.

If Desert Glass is not corrupted, then Rose Quartz had no need to bubble it so instead she set Lion as it's guardian, just as allowing the mirror to be in Pearl's possession made her unwittingly Lapis' guardian. These are potentially two ultra powerful ancient Gems that could help defend Earth if the Homeworld ever returned, however Rose lacked the ability to free the trapped Gems. Steven however has managed to free Lapis Lazuli, so he may one day free Desert Glass as well.

Summary

Lapis Lazuli's creation and her imprisonment in her mirror predates the formation of the Diamond Authority, along with Desert Glass' creation and incarceration. There is no evidence to say why these two Gems were imprisoned, but both Gems are connected to Rose Quartz: they are the only Gems that have been spared bubbling by Rose (Lapis was being stored in Pearl's pocket dimension, whilst Rose's Lion was set as Desert Glass' guardian). Lapis Lazuli's extreme powers may be the result of not being the product of mass Gem production in Kindergartens.

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