Calliope, also known by her chat handle “uranianUmbra”, is a cherub playing a session of Sburb. While she initially gave the impression that she was a troll, this was due to her obsession with the species, which extended to dressing like one. She appears to find comfort in pretending that she is a troll. Her concealing her true species could also have been related to her (possibly) not being allowed to name her species due to the . She is associated with the zodiac Ophiuchus (⛎) which is not always considered to be a zodiac in non-eastern countries, hence why she isn't officially a troll. She has , though of a different shade of green than what is shown on the troll hemospectrum.
Calliope and her brother Caliborn . Calliope explains to Roxy that when she hears or reads her brother's name she falls asleep and Caliborn wakes up and that the same goes for him should he hear or read her name. Interestingly, her brother managed to somehow write her name in one of his unpleasant notes, presumably without waking her up. As they do switch, Calliope makes sure to shackle her other leg with the shackle bearing her symbol, one that only she can unlock, while the shackle bearing Caliborn's symbol can only be unlocked by him. They perform this switch in their bed, which is not a bed but a Sarswapagus.
Her sleeves feature bright red 6-and-9 cufflinks, probably halves of the Cancer sign à la Sign of the Signless, as has been seen on other characters (Aranea and Neophyte Redglare, for instance). When she cosplays as Callie Ohpeee, she additionally wears a white hairpiece, grey face paint and gloves, and a headband with corkscrew-shaped horns that recall her symbol. She's not the only person to have been seen and the outfit resembles the green jacket and red bowtie of Whistles the Clown, a character from Whistles, one of Hussie's earlier works.
She wields a wand that has duality as a pistol, similar to Lord English's staff/machine gun (Calliope that her brother's favored weapon was a little heavy-handed). She and her "brother" share a Sylladex featuring the Juju Fetch Modus, which operates such that whatever one 'sibling' captchalogues is only retrievable by the other. This is reminiscent of Bughouse, a game related to chess where two chess games are going on simultaneously and the pieces captured are passed to partner playing on the other board to be reentered into play. And as we know, Caliborn likes games and Homestuck likes chess. It also somewhat parallels the existence of The Treasure, the supposed key to defeating Caliborn's future counterpart, as much like their shared modus, once Caliborn uses it, it can only be used again in opposition to him.
While Calliope uses she/her pronouns for the majority of the comic (Act 6 Act 5 through Act 7), she starts questioning her pronouns and gender identity in the canon pages.after coming to Earth C. In the meat route, Calliope begins to use , though Alternate Calliope only does this in reference to them and continues to refer to herself with she/her. In the candy route, Calliope continues her usage of she/her pronouns. Due to the discrepancy, this wiki uses she/her when referring to Calliope on
The name comes from the Greek muse of epic poetry, which gives them the title Muse of Space. The muse also gave her name to a musical instrument similar to an organ, often played at circuses. Furthering the theme of muses, Urania was the Greek muse of astronomy, while Uranus was the primal Greek god personifying the sky; thus, William Herschel named the planet that he and his sister discovered after Uranus.
It is also a reference to the novel Middlesex where the intersex protagonist uses the name "Cal" to represent their masculine side and "Calliope" or "Callie" to represent the feminine side of them. Calliope resembles Lil Cal's name as well, though this is probably more in reference to Caliborn.
Kalliope (the goddess)'s symbol was a writing tablet, like Calliope's most treasured thing is her drawing tablet. It reflects them being a characterization of the Homestuck fandom too, as Homestuck is quite the epic story and tends to use poetry now and then.
She chose “uranianUmbra” as her online handle due to her fascination with the planet Uranus's unique rotation, though when explaining this to Roxy, she is unable to remember the word for a ball's topspin – in pool, the term for putting a spin on the cue ball is "english". Umbra is Latin for "shadow" (whence we get 'umbrage', meaning anger); in English, it can mean the same, but usually refers specifically to the darkest part of a shadow. 'UU' also completes the DNA motif of all the other chumhandles/trolltags, representing uracil.
The word "uranian" is a 19th-century term referring to a "female psyche in a male body". Though Calliope is not technically in a male body, the body, later on, belongs to her counterpart, Caliborn. Uranus is also commonly associated with the Sailor Moon character of Tenō Haruka, an androgynous lesbian character who is often interpreted as being intersex and/or nonbinary due to being referred to as "both a man and a woman. A soldier of both genders, with strengths and personalities of each.”
Calliope is also an off-handed reference to Andrew Hussie's discontinued graphic novel, Whistles Volume One: The Starlight Calliope; a frightening tale of a circus clown and his misadventures in a sadistic circus underground, where genocide, prostitution, and cannibalism against clowns takes place.
Although Andrew Hussiethat he doesn't care how readers pronounce things in Homestuck, in Greek mythology, Calliope's name is pronounced (kuh-lie-uh-pee) [kəˈlaɪəpiː] though the ancient greek pronounced it (kah-li-o-pay) [kaliɔ˩˥pɛ:]. By circus pronunciation, it is (kAHl-ee-ohp) [ˈkaliɔp:].
Calliope's symbol is a cross between the caduceus (☤), the symbol of the Greek god Hermes, and the rod of Asclepius (⚕; which is otherwise known as the Asklepios), the latter of which being one of the two Ophiuchus symbols. By contrast, Caliborn's chat symbol is the other, less common Ophiuchus symbol. Aside from being the messenger of the gods, Hermes was also the guardian of boundaries and the travelers who cross them. Asclepius, on the other hand, was a healer in Greek mythology. When he died, he became the constellation Ophiuchus.
Certain mythological properties of the caduceus are thematically appropriate for Calliope, such as its ability to "wake the sleeping and send the awake to sleep", which parallels the way the two halves of a cherub switch control of the body when they sleep. It is also said that the wand can return the dead to life, a fitting symbol for a character later revived by the Ring of Life.
In North America, the caduceus and Asklepios are often confused for one another, where the former is used to symbolize the medical profession, while it is used to represent commerce elsewhere. While Calliope uses this symbol, Caliborn uses the Japanese-preferred symbol for Ophiuchus which is a tilde superimposed over the letter U, a stylized symbol of a man holding a snake. The tilde also resembles Calliope's fake horns, each of which in turn resembles one of the entwined snakes. Her sign may also be two adult cherubs mating, as adult cherubs turn into serpents while mating. Even further, her symbol could be interpreted simply as a caduceus without the wings, similar to how Caliborn predominated before their body could develop wings.
After losing his mating battle, Calliope's father searched for a dying star to lay his egg. When the egg containing the young cherub falls on a post-apocalyptic Earth, Gamzee takes care of it and eventually locks the cherub in its room. Neither Caliborn or Calliope have any recollection of these events.
Calliope spent most of her life in a single room "together" with her other half Caliborn. She has contact with the alpha kids via a terminal and she learns about trolls and kids through Rose's journal, where Gamzee voided out most crucial information regarding Lord English while she deems it as irrelevant.
When a Jack Noir hired by Caliborn kills her dream self, her brother prematurely takes full control of their shared body, leaving Calliope to dieRoxy in a dream bubble in the form of Twinkly Herbert and leads her to a where she won't be seen or heard by English. Because her soul's true form is , she assumes the form of Callie Ohpeee to meet Roxy. She explains that, contrary to what Aranea and the other ghosts believe, she does not possess any knowledge or ability that could be used to defeat Lord English. However, she believes that there may be a version of herself from a doomed timeline where she predominated over Caliborn and played the game instead.. Later on, she appears to
She is later seen alone hiding in the same spot before Jade Harley appears, along with a curious stage . Calliope changes to her Trollsona, and the two of them begin to talk and become friendly with each other. Calliope helps Jade make a trollsona , and she uses the stage as a way to show each other their respective pasts. Jade remembers she is from a timeline where John and Davesprite were killed by Typheus early into the journey through the Furthest Ring, and she recalls meeting a god tiered Calliope in her dreams who explained to her about the John from the original timeline .
After an unspecified amount of time, Jane walks along the yellow spiral and meets Calliope in person for the first time, as well as Jade. After an initial misunderstanding, believing the two of them are actual trolls, she asks to make a trollsona as well. Jane also struggles to remember the events of her timeline at first. Jade and Jane realize they were from the same timeline, and that they weren't dead.
Suddenly the stage beneath them disappearsAlternate Calliope mentioned by Jade. Calliope has a private conversation with her counterpart, who advises her to be who she is, to “live.” The bubble fades to black, leaving Calliope alone, and then Roxy appears behind her. Roxy presents Calliope with the Ring of Life and they return to the platform where the other players of the B2 session await – and are greeted by Calliope. Roxy has a talk with them personally, after which she creates the Matriorb, to Calliope's great surprise., and they plummet into another dream bubble, where they meet the
Calliope has a very polite, cheerful and friendly demeanor, and she tries to be helpful where she can although she is cautious about revealing too much information about herself due to her situation. She seems to be quite creative and is a writer and a talented artist. Similar to how the trolls were based on common internet archetypes, Calliope is based on the MS Paint Adventures fandom; Andrew Hussie has referred to her as the obnoxious fandom avatar character. She spends a large part of her time writing fanfiction and drawing fanart of the other Homestuck characters and self-inserting her trollsona, Callie Ohpeee, whose name is made to fit trolls' 6-letter names (which mirrors Vriska's spidersona in Alterniabound), into the stories. She often seems to think of her friends as characters in a story rather than actual people and seem to live vicariously through her imagined adventures with them. She also has a thing for wild speculations about the story, making up crazy out of every , often ending up .
Her self-esteem is quite low and she considers herself ugly, wishing to be more like humans and trolls, and especially feeling jealous of her ability to experience flushed romance (since she, being a cherub, can only have caliginous feelings). Her usually cheery mood can become defeatist and sometimes cranky when faced with problems, especially those relating to Caliborn, but she usually stays quite polite even when in a bad mood.
Calliope generally uses British English. This ties in with her lime blood, since "limey" is a common slang term for British people. In addition, the alternate spelling of some words (e.g. armor; armour, color; colour) lends itself to a higher instance of the letter "u" than in American English. It also ties into her resemblance to Lord "English". It should be noted that she doesn't always use British spelling where it wouldn't result in an extra "u": for instance she uses “maneUver”, “hemo-”, “fUlfill”, “fUlfillment”, “learned”, “program” and “practice” (as a verb), instead of normal British "manoeuvre", "haemo-", "fulfil", "fulfilment", "learnt", "programme" and "practise".
In her conversation with Dirk she talks about her "brother" who is supposed to be her client player, although she has offered to be his client instead. She stresses that he is not her brother in the sense that humans would understand it and they do not even have the same blood color - although they still have a genetic similarity. Calliope's dream self was killed by Caliborn. He promised not to kill her if Dirk plays a “GAME” with him, however in a “TWIST ENDING” he revealed that he had their session's Jack Noir kill Calliope before the said game (at least from his temporal perspective). It is also mentioned that Caliborn would like to get his hands on Calliope's Juju (just as she would like to do with his, ).
To the post-scratch kids
Calliope could possibly be considered the patron of all the post-scratch kids. Dirk explains to Jake that the chat client, allowing him and Roxy to communicate with Jake and Jane, was given to him by an “alien friend” in conversation. This more than likely implies that Calliope is the one who sent it to them and that she did so as a means to set up the foundation for their session.
She later admits to Dirk that she is a fan of the story of him and his friends and is near obsessed with the four. She also admits to having written fan fiction about them, including the romantic kind.
Calliope seems very friendly and cordial toward Jane and Jake, offering constructive advice about the alpha kids' session. However, due to the rules of her and Caliborn's game, she tends to be extraordinarily cagey when referring to personal details about herself. She is like this with Dirk and Roxy, but not shown to as much of an extent.
She seems very fond of Roxy and even confides in her during the final moments of her visibility into Roxy's session. Calliope reveals to Roxy her name, title, and race, and even gives her some fan art of a Trickster Roxy. She admits to Roxy how beautiful she finds both the human and troll races, and how insecure she is about her own appearance, even going so far as to say that no one would even kiss her as a means of revival as a result. She seems taken aback by the notion of a flushed relationship, due to her race's standpoint on the matter, but does not seem to object much to pale relationships.
Post-scratch Rose wrote a book that seems to reference events involving Calliope and Caliborn and stars a character named Calmasis, who seems to be representative of them both. This would tie in well with Calmasis' androgynous nature. The cover of the book also features Calliope's associated symbol and Calliope's outfit is nearly identical to Calmasis', with the dark green suit and red bow tie. Calliope also wears a wig that matches Calmasis' snow-white hair, furthering the link between them. As Calmasis seemingly represents both Calliope and Caliborn, it is unclear which one is the antihero and which the antagonist.
Calliope and Caliborn are seen playing a game of chess. Caliborn had created tiny caps for his king and queen in order to hide one as the other after convincing Calliope to let him swap his king and queen's starting positions, and thus fool her into believing he had swapped them while actually leaving them in their normal starting position. In the book, Calmasis engages Zazzerpan in a game of chess, which closely parallels the game of chess between Calliope and Caliborn. However, during their chess game, it was, in fact, Caliborn who plays the role of Calmasis, and Calliope who emulated Zazzerpan.
Andrew Hussie was seen dressed in with Calliope's sign, horns, and gray face paint. Later, it was shown that Calliope's troll-like appearance was also a costume, meaning details of Hussie's cosplay, such as fake horns and fake grey skin were, in fact, accurate, as it was a cosplay of a cosplay.
Calmasis was also Caliborn's symbol. The jagged two-color split background style seen on that page is one which is normally associated with conflict – for instance, between , or – which reinforces the tension between Calliope and Caliborn. The colors are also similar to those on the Sburb Beta and Sburb Alpha symbols.displaying both Calliope's and Caliborn's chat symbols, set against a lime green and cherry red background representing Calliope's and Caliborn's blood colors. When Calliope was revealed, she was shown with a shackle bearing
While trivia sections are fine, it might be a good idea to merge some of this material into relevant sections of the main text, because this trivia section is bloated.
In particular: There is a lot of symbolism that could be mentioned in a separate paragraph.
- Although Calliope and Caliborn's birthday and age are not mentioned in canon, Hussie has stated that it would make sense that their birthday is 11/11 and that they are eleven "units" old.
- Her shipping habits may also be a reference to the cherub Cupid who causes people to fall in love.
- Karkat's with Jade (as well as the between Kanaya and Aradia). of Calliope's conversations with Jane is an antithesis of
- Calliope, Caliborn, and Karkat have all sworn off "hemotyping" and use custom grays which differ slightly from the more common RGB-defined grays. In the hex code of Calliope's color, the 6's from Karkat's color are replaced by 9's (#626262 becomes #929292); Karkat's symbol is an inverted 69.
- Calliope's suit possesses red '9's as cuff-links, linking her with Karkat's Ancestor, The Signless.
- 92 is the atomic number of uranium. Uranium is naturally silvery grey, but in some forms appears bright green, similar to the two colors of Calliope's chat symbol and also tying with Calliope being a lime-blood.
- This also ties her in with Jade, as both are Space players who are associated with uranium. This also makes a connection to Becquerel, who happens to be a First Guardian like Doc Scratch.
- Karkat Vantas' typing color is directly in between that of Calliope and Caliborn's.
- Calliope's chat client begins and ends with cheering, which is different from Pesterchum, Trollian, and Bettybother which begin and cease with pestering, trolling, and bothering, respectively.
- Caliborn's swaps cheering for jeering.
- Calliope's fake horns look quite similar to the horns in the poster of
. Oddly enough, the poster immediately left of that depicts a clown with horns that curve identically on both sides, resembling a "U" shape as a result.
- This could be a complete coincidence, but knowing Hussie, it's unlikely. In the event that he planned this bit of imagery, it's worth noting that the image on the right is "The Ringmaster" of Juggalo mythos, and the one on the left is "The Carnival of Carnage." The former is the Dark Carnival's judge of souls, and the latter is a carnival in which cyclical punishment for wrong-doing is doled out.
- All of Calliope's in-universe artwork is drawn by Shelby Cragg.
- On coloUrs and mayhem: Universe B is one of her drawings. , part of the artwork for
, which she describes as "a drawing of nothing in particular. Nothing you understand, at least", resembles the Red Giant Sun .
- It also later resembles the Green Sun being consumed by another black hole, formed by Muse Calliope in Act 7.
- The closeup of Calliope's and Caliborn's eyes are the same closeup of Lil Cal's eyes with different colors.
- It's unclear how the Janes from both timelines acquired Calliope's juju, due to their unique nature.
- There could be three Calliopes in the comic (and two Caliborns as well) despite having no possible timeline Gamzee would come to raise another cherub.
- As somehow two Jakes got Caliborn's sucker and a lot of events were reshown in the new timeline, it's most likely Andrew did not have John's retcons planned to the end. This coincides with the multiple hiatuses the comic had later and Hiveswap's schedule.
- Her holster and gun are identical to the ones in Doc Scratch's possession.
- Unlike other ghosts, Calliope's body has completely black eyes compared to the white eyes of others. Her troll disguise, however, has white. This may be unique to cherub ghosts.
- Even though they share a body, Calliope's tongue is
while Caliborn's is .
- Calliope's weapon is also while Caliborn's is , another reference to the yin-yang theme.
- Calliope has joined the growing list of characters to reference .
- Calliope is left-handed .
- Calliope's name is a play on words to what is known as a Space-Time Calliope.
- This is also a play on words to how she and Caliborn use the Space and Time Aspects, respectively.
- Using Calliope's blood color, aspect, and lunar sway, her extended zodiac sign can be determined to be Cango, sign of the opus.
- Alternatively, using her speculated birthday for the sign class, her extended zodiac sign can be determined to be Scorgo, sign of the crusader.