Aranea Serket is one of the pre-scratch trolls. She wears red shoes, white pointed glasses, and a blue longsleeved dress with a white Scorpio symbol. She has her hair at shoulder length and wears a necklace with the Signless' symbol, mirroring Mindfang's with the figure. It appears that she is also older than the other troll players, having "lived" in the dream bubbles for so long that time has lost meaning to her. Though she works against Lord English, the actions she takes to achieve her goals steadily become highly morally questionable.
When the suggestion box for Vriska's name was open, "Aranea" was one of the suggested names, given by Radiation. Aranea's name is derived from araneus, which is Latin for "spider" and is pronounced a-RAH-neh-a, "Araneae" serves as the name for the entire Order of spiders which separates them from other Arachnids. Derivatives of it are used for numerous taxonomic ranks from Suborder down to Genus. Aranea was also the name of one of Charlotte the spider's daughters at the end of Charlotte's Web.
Within the A1 iteration of Sgrub, Aranea's role was the Sylph of Light. She is shown to have reached god tier, and has some kind of healing powers, to the extent that it's possible for her to restore Terezi's sight. Aranea spent three sweeps in a failed session, only to seek out Echidna for a way to reset the session, prompting Damara Megido to initiate the scratch. Aranea was then killed along with everyone else in the session by Meenah Peixes, in order to not be completely rewritten by the scratch, and entered the dream bubbles that Meenah's A2 descendant created.
She “some sort of spidery vampire” and “the girl of my dreams”; the latter is based on his fondness of blue ladies and spider girls.in a black void, waving and smiling at Jake after he blacked out. Jake later describes her as both
Later, she Terezi after greeting her in a dream bubble posing as Vriska, and reveals that she is a version of Vriska's ancestor, Mindfang. She states that she is also Terezi's ancestor, though not quite in the way Terezi was picturing (alluding to the fact that she is one of the A1 ancestors, and therefore a predecessor of all the current trolls, though not their ancestor by troll definition). Aranea claims to have preceded Terezi's entire civilization by billions of solar sweeps – a metaphorical way of explaining she lived in the previous, pre-scratch universe, and has been watching the post-scratch universe from the afterlife.by name to
Later, Aranea stops by Jake's dead dream self's house after he is knocked out. She explains to him the nature of her psychic powers, and how she has spent very little time studying Universe B2, because the gods have given her little access to it. Aranea attempts to be considerate towards Jake, and, as she can get a vague sense of humans' feelings, knows he has a “flushed attraction” towards her. This causes Aranea to go back to the subject of her psychic abilities, and how the highbloods on Beforus were kind and just to the lower classes. They enter a dream bubble containing the Wayward Vagabond, Dave, Rose, Kanaya and Karkat aggressing (or being aggressed by) Meenah. Aranea is put out with Meenah's antics, and exasperatedly relates the story of the Ancestors, much more briefly than she would like. Jake, confused, assumes that Meenah is the Condesce, proceeding to attack her, and prompting Aranea to wake him up, reminiscent of Vriska. Dirk's splinterself appears in the bubble, and he absconds with Roxy, but is unable to escape the bubble as she can. Aranea uses her psychic abilities to wake him instead. This allows Dirk to the B2 players and the Medium.
After Lord English begins destroying dream bubbles, Aranea has the idea to find the ghost of Calliope, who she suspects is the secret to defeating the Lord of Time. She relates this plan to Meenah, who has a plan to confront English with a militia. After skeptically wishing Meenah luck, Aranea sets up an exposition booth in Karkat's private dream bubble, paying anyone who will listen to her long winded explanations. She again crosses paths with Meenah, and performs her service thusly.
Sometime later, Aranea joins forces with her dancestor, Vriska Serket, and begins sailing aboard a pirate ship with Meenah, Tavros, Aradia and a completely blind but completely alive Sollux. During their adventure, Vriska and Aranea strike up quite a companionship. Aranea believes their time together helped her open her eyes to certain capabilities she had been hiding from. Vriska concurs on this notion, noting that she is “THE 8EST”. Vriska convinces Aranea to help her mind control an army of ghosts to help attract English's attention, so that he can do more damage to the ring and fill in the rest of their maps. Aranea was not in favor of the idea at first, but Vriska made a strong case for her involvement. Later it's revealed that Vriska was being facetious about her admiration for Aranea and most likely used it to halt Aranea's constant storytelling.
Resurrection and B2 Session
Aranea is later shown to be controlling Gamzee, using him to steal the Ring of Life from John. She then has him go to sleep and give the ring to her, resurrecting her. She then pulls herself into the B2 session by waking him up. Upon entering, Meenah contacts her by Shellphone, and they discuss the fact that Aranea is not supposed to be there in the alpha timeline. Aranea reveals that she plans to take over the session, and make sure it never creates the universe English was born in. Although she admits this will create a doomed timeline, she claims that her powers as a Sylph of Light, refined over millions of sweeps, will be enough to turn the doomed timeline into the alpha one. She also begins requesting that she be called Mindfang, like her post-scratch self. After Jade Harley is KO'd by Jake's Hope Field, Aranea realizes that Jade would just become possessed again once she woke up. She then topples Jade's house upon Jade's body, who dies a Just death.
Later, she is confronted by Roxy, who wished to take the ring from her to revive Calliope. Aranea puts Roxy to sleep using her powers and is then confronted by Brain Ghost Dirk, who is angry because he thinks that she kissed Jake. Aranea is healed by the Ring of Life after Brain Ghost Dirk attacks her, but soon after, he proceeds to nearly rip the soul out of her body using his powers as the Prince of Heart. After Brain Ghost Dirk disappears due to Jake dying, she is attacked by Jane, whom Aranea puts to sleep. Afterwards, Jane begins choking Aranea while still asleep. This may be because of the Condesce's control or the tiaratop itself. She begins to levitate BG Dirk's katana, pointing it to herself and Jane. Then the Condesce comes, angry, and Aranea looks up in shock.
She shakes Jane off her back and attempts to kill her by throwing Brain Ghost Dirk's katana using her powers. Jake blocks the attack and dies a Heroic death. She then throws Jake's body at Jane, impaling her with the exposed end of the sword, resulting in a Just death. The Condesce unleashes a psionic blast over LOFAF's surface, destroying most of Jade's house and killing Kanaya in the process, which Aranea barely manages to dodge.
Enraged, Aranea projects LOLAR towards LOFAF and destroys the Condesce's ship. When this fails to kill the Condesce, who dodged out of the way, she projects LOCAH towards the impacted planets, but the Condesce intercepts the attack with LOHAC. Terezi attempts to attack Aranea from behind, but Aranea notices this, forces Terezi to stab herself, and throws her into the ground. The Condesce grabs hold of Aranea by the throat and pulls the Ring of Life off her finger, immediately before snapping her neck. Aranea is thrown into a nearby wall of fire, where she dies a Just death.
This whole sequence of events was later prevented from happening when John retconned the entire timeline, though Aranea's death presumably sticks like the deaths of the other GAME OVER timeline characters.
It is not yet known what happened to Aranea after these events. She is the only pre-scratch troll not seen in the Vriskagram flash which recaps the post-retcon meteor journey; Vriska says that she and the other trolls got to meet most of their ancestors, implying that they didn't meet all of the pre-scratch trolls; and Meenah says that after Aranea was killed by the Condesce, she never heard from her again. Whether she returned to being a ghost and went into hiding, double-died, or something else entirely, is unclear, but no other versions of her have been encountered since GAME OVER either.
Personality and Traits
Aranea appears to be a nice and considerate person, interested in helping others around her. She however admits that she has a tendency to talk too much, and to bring conversations back around to herself. In this way she is very similar to Vriska, yet different because of her more gentle nature. Terezi even goes as far as to call her “4 N1C3 VR1SK4”. This mirrors the relation between Feferi and Meenah, as Meenah is quite rude and mean, while sharing Feferi's bubbly nature and tendency to get excited.
The Cancer necklace she wears suggests she is a follower of The Sufferer. This seems at odds with her being pre-scratch Mindfang, since the tale of the Sufferer did not happen in the pre-scratch universe of the trolls. However, it was that she acquired this necklace after death and that she learned a lot about the history of the post-scratch universe after her death. Aranea also that she considered herself more of a fan of the Sufferer than a worshipper. Note that Mindfang called the Sufferer's tale , suggesting she was at least sympathetic to his teachings. It is also possible that she just wears it as a sign of appreciation for Kankri Vantas, though this latter possibility is unlikely, as the Sufferer and his sign only seem to annoy the Insufferable. Of course, that also might be her intention.
Like her dancestor, Vriska, Aranea possesses the ability to exert influence or outright control over the minds of others. Due to her eons of experience and possibly her Beforan upbringing, her ability is both more powerful and extensive. She is shown being able to control vast multitudes of trolls and, through this control, use their abilities by proxy (as shown by her manipulation of various incarnations of Damara Megido whilst she was in an entirely different plane of reality). As shown on dream bubble projection of Dirk, suggesting that she was actually putting the projection to sleep, waking Dirk up on Derse., her powers include waking people up (mirroring Vriska's ability to put people to sleep and wake them up). Note that she was waking up a
Interestingly enough, she also shares personality traits with Kanaya, including her tendency to ramble, her helpfulness, and her affection towards the Thief in her group's session though Aranea's feelings towards Meenah have not been shown to be flushed. This may be significant given her shared role with Kanaya as the Sylphs of their sessions. Aranea could also be Kanaya's genetic descendant, given the "twelve extra wigglers" Karkat created on the Trolls' meteor, the fact that after the human scratch, the first and second generations of ectobabies arrived in the opposite order, and Aranea having already that she is the genetic descendant of Terezi as well as Vriska.
Although Aranea's personality at first seems to contrast against Vriska's, she later on shows motives very much like those of her dancestor: just as Vriska has made highly risky moves to involve herself in achieving a goal (e.g. involving herself in the creation of Bec Noir to make sure that the person who she planned to kill exists), Aranea revived herself with the Ring of Life to try and prevent our heroes from creating a universe in which Caliborn can reside and grow up to become Lord English, thus forcibly 'healing' the timeline. This ultimately led to the catastrophic events of GAME OVER. John later refers to her as “the other vriska”, which further emphasizes their similarities.
Aranea says she was not particularly popular among her group of players, referring to Meenah as the only one she would have called a true friend.
Despite their drastically differing personalities, Meenah and Aranea were best friends throughout the time of their session and afterwards. This is because they both were not particularly popular members of their team. Their friendship ended when Aranea revived herself in an attempt to prevent the kids' session from creating a universe in which Lord English can reside: shortly after reviving herself, she talked to Meenah who disapproved of her plan.
In the first part of Openbound, Aranea confesses to Meenah that she and Porrim have shared a redrom relationship. She waves it off as a “red fling”, and the subject is visibly upsetting to her, and states that it lasted about half a sweep.
Prior to the events of GAME OVER, Terezi and Aranea share a complicated relationship, not totally unlike Terezi's relationship with Vriska. When the two first meet, Terezi says she thinks she and her would have been good friends, being drawn to her similarities with Vriska, and her genial nature. As a sign of good will, Aranea offers to heal Terezi's eyesight with her Sylph of Light abilities, however Terezi declines the offer, seeing her blindness as an important part of her identity and her experiences.
They remain on good terms up until Terezi, lost in a spiral of self-hatred due to her Faygo abuse, her decaying relationships with Dave and Karkat and abusive relationship with Gamzee, decides to take Aranea's offer to heal her sight. This, however only make's Terezi's spiralling even worse, having lost something she saw as important to her self-image, and her dealing with a sensory overload with the return of her eyesight. Their relationship takes a turn towards the antagonistic when Terezi realizes that Aranea's plans to take over the B2 session and, seeing the damage she's causing, attempts to kill the elder Serket. Terezi fails however, and is mortally wounded in her attempt. Terezi later becomes instrumental in repairing the ruined session through aiding and directing John's retcon shenanigans.
Given Aranea's plans to take over the B2 session and her ability to control Gamzee, it is possible that Aranea intentionally used Gamzee as a way to pacify an insecure Terezi, as her Seer of Mind abilities may have stood in the way in Aranea's hostile takeover. However this is not confirmed, so it remains mere speculation
Vriska initially had a very positive relationship towards her dancestor, largely due to their shared admiration for Aranea's post-scratch counterpart, Mindfang. The two shared a very sisterly bond and started being influenced by the other's behavior, with Vriska taking a greater interest in storytelling and Aranea becoming more daring and confident. However, their relationship was far from perfect, as Aranea grew frustrated with the teasing she received from Vriska and Meenah, and was thoroughly fed up with being long dead and irrelevant. Once Aranea learned of the Ring of Life, and its mysterious ability to restore life to the dead, she begun hatching a plan to take over the B2 session, use her advanced powers as a Sylph of Light (with help from Jake English's Page of Hope abilities) to turn the altered session into the Alpha session, and prevent Caliborn from ever existing. This plan failed spectacularly and Aranea died to never be seen again. Vriska and Meenah were left despondent after Aranea's betrayal and eventually lose interest in their plans to kill Lord English, largely due to the loss of their most powerful psychic.
Following the retcon, it appears that Vriska never met her dancestor, or at the very least, never formed any significant bond with her.
- Aranea was one of two players in her session who sought to consult Echidna, along with Porrim Maryam, helping her with the task in some unknown way.
- Her exposition booth is a reference to Lucy's psychiatry booth from the comic Peanuts, but "Doctor" is exchanged for "Sylph", referencing her title as a Sylph of Light. Also, instead of charging nickels she is offering to pay listeners in boonbucks. The panel is also drawn in the generic Peanuts style in its first appearance.
- Aranea used Vriska's trolltag abbreviation (AG), when talking to Terezi. At first she was impersonating Vriska. However, once she revealed herself her trolltag did not change like it did for John from to . This implies Aranea's trolltag can be shortened to AG as well.
- Aranea's wings when she reached god tier are exactly like Vriska's. Being genetically identical to Mindfang, she also has a seven-pupiled eye while alive.
- Her title, as the Sylph of Light, is part of a progression. Whereas the pre-scratch titles are Witch of Time, Maid of Space, “Sylph of Light”, and Thief of Life, the post-scratch titles are Maid of Time, Sylph of Space, Thief of Light, and Witch of Life.
- Aranea is the only Sburb player* who has never been a "playable" character in Homestuck – i.e. she has never been controllable in a walkaround, and has never had a command issued to her by the reader. You could say she is a literal exposition fairy.
- Aradia, while alive, that Vriska is unable to control her, despite attempting to do so. By contrast, Aranea mind-controls , at considerable distance, without apparent difficulty.