So in “Keeping It Together,” Garnet says this:
You know, when you fuse, you don’t feel like two people, you feel like one being. And your old names might as well be names for your left arm, and your right.
And I think the arms reference is probably important - extra arms are a common feature of fusions, and Garnet the healthiest fusion we’ve seen, has the normal and expected number of them and the normal and expected relationship to them.
She’s also really small - not just in absolute terms, but in proportion to Ruby and Sapphire. She’s about the size you’d get if you put one on the other’s shoulders. Whereas most of the other fusions are much, much bigger relative to their parts. Being big is clearly not a good thing, fusion-wise.
(Also, Jasper is Big and Jasper is Really Hung Up On Bigness, as confirmed by Rebecca Sugar at SDCC the other day. And Jasper’s set up as Garnet’s opposite and as Wrong About Everything: doesn’t value love or other people in general, doesn’t take responsibility for her mistakes, heavily-implied to be an unhealthy fusion who doesn’t know what she is.
And Big. She Big. I said “she Big” as is required of all discussions of Jasper. Let’s move on.)
So, that’s a theme to take into account! Having seen nine confirmed fusions and a Jasper, I think we can draw some conclusions about healthy fusions vs unhealthy ones. Like:
- Bigness = Bad! I mean, not that we couldn’t have determined this just by working outwards from “Jasper Is Wrong About Everything.”
- Awkardness in terms of movement, color scheme, music, weaponry = Bad!
- Being multi-colored = Bad! Malachite and the forced fusions are striped with a variety of colors, rather than being a single-color blend of their components. (Jasper is also multi-colored, and Jasper Is Wrong About Everything.)
- In general just not looking human = Bad! Any sort of limb overstock seems to be bad news, but one thing seems particularly serious:
- Not being a biped = Really bad! Again, Malachite and the forced fusions are the only ones who weren’t.
- (Unless Jasper’s got hands for feet, which - let’s be real - is almost certainly the case.)
The point I actually wanted to make was that, assuming that Jasper’s a forced fusion:
- Seriously, why do you think Malachite has six arms and no legs. Jasper totally has handfeet.
- And did anyone else notice how during Stronger Than You, when Steven looks at the viewscreen and sees the heavily-stylized security feed of the battle, mini-Jasper’s animated like she’s running on all fours? It’s only onscreen for like a second. There to send us a subliminal message about Jasper’s shameful secret handfeet.
- Assuming she’s an unhealthy fusion, her component gems are probably really tiny. Like:
Under the cut is my approximate scale and analysis of Confirmed Fusion Okay-ness, in descending order. Probably not original work!
* Garnet - Normal number of arms, normal number of legs, only one extra eye. Size basically what you'd get if you stood Ruby and Sapphire on top of each other. Probably very little or no increase in mass - or "Bigness," as it’s called in Science Words.
Fuses with no difficulty, almost never accidentally defuses, totally happy with the experience. Movements natural and steady, appropriate for her size and shape.
We don't know what Ruby and Sapphire's weapons are, but Garnet's gauntlets are easy for her to use and match very well both with Garnet's build and the position of her/their gems.
* Stevonnie - Normal number of arms, legs, and eyes. Size basically what you'd get if you stood Steven and Connie on top of each other. Probably very little or no increase in Bigness.
Fusion and defusion are easy and quick, but usually accidental - they're not yet in control of the process. They mostly find the experience fun and interesting, but can get overwhelmed and disoriented over time. Movements mostly natural and steady, appropriate for their size and shape.
Garnet, who knows what to look for in a fusion, is extremely proud and happy for Stevonnie. We don't yet know how they'd handle fighting, but “Sworn to the Sword" is pretty suggestive, and Rose's shield and sword look more appropriate to Stevonnie's size than to Steven and Connie's.
* Opal - Four arms, significantly larger than what you'd get if you stood Pearl on top of Amethyst, but also very narrow - there's an increase in total Bigness, but it's not a huge one. She's more of a regular-sized Giant Woman than a giant Giant Woman.
Fuses with difficulty and is very likely to accidentally defuse. Seems calm and comfortable with the experience while it's going on, but so far has only formed to protect others, and has defused immediately after finishing the job. Very goal-oriented. Somewhat dramatic movements - either very fast and sharp or very slow and cautious.
Her bow is is a very natural and obvious combination of Amethyst and Pearl's whip and spear, and it fits thematically with the position of their gems - third-eye gem for accurate aim, heart gem for upper-body strength to draw the string. And it fits her shape well aesthetically, too.
Annnnnnd we've never seen Opal do anything out-of-keeping with either Pearl or Amethyst's character. She's in pretty good shape, as fusions go!
* Rainbow Quartz - Four mismatched eyes - she's the only fusion whose eyes aren't all the same color and who doesn't have pupils - two arms. Somewhat bigger than Rose + Pearl, but smaller than Rosex2; a minor increase in Bigness.
Fusion is very quick and easy, but Rose's movements are noticeably more natural than Pearl's, and defusion is awkward - she just kind of falls down. Rainbow's movements in general are pretty awkward compared to either Rose or Pearl alone, as well as being very calculated and overdramatic. The music was also extremely discordant, and her design was kind of weird.
After defusing, Pearl has taken the microphone from Rose, which Rose probably didn't intend, and Rose briefly smiles nervously at Greg like she's uncertain about how happy she was with what they just did.
It's hard to make much of a judgment from such a short appearance, but in this particular situation - ie, right in front of Greg and in the middle of Greg's music video - Rainbow Quartz is, predictably, kind of a mess.
* Sardonyx - Four arms, four eyes. Wayyyyyy taller than Garnet and Pearl combined - a big increase in Bigness.
Fuses and defuses without much difficulty in the moment. Enjoys the experience a little too much - totally elated with gloating, over-dramatic movements. Her limbs sometimes "jokingly" act out of sync with one another, and her friggin' torso spins all the way around? Her color scheme's a little off, particularly in contrast to the background she's shown in front of.
Her warhammer is both unwieldy and fragile-looking, with a shaft that can be seen bending as if it isn't strong enough to hold the mallets. It doesn't really fit her design well overall, and the way her use of it is animated gives the sense that she could easily lose control of it.
Didn't do anything unkind or obviously out-of-keeping with Garnet or Pearl's moral codes, but was verbally a little manipulative: "I haven't exactly been myself," reminders of how useful she is and a request to be formed again. Pearl's behavior in tricking Garnet into recreating her makes it obvious that there's some selfishness and dishonesty in there.
(Given how Garnet explained her reaction to the forced fusion to Steven - "Fusion is a choice, those gems weren't given a choice. It isn't right, it isn't fusion!" - it makes sense that she would be furious about being deceived like this. Her ethical system is basically about Fusing Correctly, and she can't really understand or empathize with Pearl's low self-worth and fear of abandonment, so she can't forgive her for crossing that line.)
* Sugilite - Four arms, five eyes, wayyyyyy taller and wider than Garnet and Amethyst combined - a big-huge increase in Bigness.
Fuses without difficulty, defuses with extreme difficulty. Enjoys the experience way too much, exaggeratedly emotional - either huge joy or huge rage. Behavior out-of-keeping with Garnet and Amethyst's code of ethics, totally self-absorbed.
Her physical movements and color scheme are actually much better integrated overall than Sardonyx's, but her voice has some reverb, suggesting her out-of-sync mental state. Her flail is very awkward-looking and poorly-controlled, and the chain's way too long and thin for the hammer.
* Alexandrite - Six arms, two mouths, god knows what's going on with the eyes. Massive, massive increase in Bigness, color scheme and shape very weird and awkward, clearly very uncomfortable with herself. A huge mess! Probably fuses with difficulty, unfuses very easily.
* Malachite - Six arms, four eyes, no legs - she's not even a biped, she's literally walking on her four lower arms. Probably the Biggest relative increase in Bigness. Unlike every other confirmed fusion except for the cluster, her skin is two-toned, pale green and dark green. She will fight her own arms in the desert. She is currently fighting her own arms. Apparently six of them weren't enough for that, given that she makes a few more limbs out of water. Inefficient use of six arms, let me tell you. She hates herself and wants to wreck shit, including herself. Bad!
* The forced fusions - arms
These arms are sad. Their music was also sad, and they couldn't move very well and weren't shaded properly, and they were multi-colored. I'm sorry, all you arms.