Calliope, also known by their chat handle “uranianUmbra”, is a cherub playing a session of Sburb. While they initially gave the impression that they were a troll, this was due to their obsession with the species, which extended to dressing like one. They appear to find comfort in pretending that they are a troll. Them concealing their true species also could have been related to their (possibly) not being allowed to name their species due to the . They are associated with the zodiac Ophiuchus (⛎) which is not always considered to be a zodiac in non-eastern countries, hence why they aren't officially a troll. They have , though of a different shade of green than what is shown on the troll hemospectrum.
Calliope and their brother Caliborn . Calliope explains to Roxy that when they hear or read their brother's name they will fall asleep and Caliborn will wake up and that the same goes for him should he hear or read their name. Interestingly, their brother managed to somehow write their name in one of his unpleasant notes, presumably without waking them up. As they do switch, Calliope makes sure to shackle their other leg with the shackle bearing their symbol, one that only they 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.
Their 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 they cosplay as Callie Ohpeee, they additionally wear a white hairpiece, grey face paint and gloves, and a headband with corkscrew-shaped horns that recall her symbol. They're 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.
They wield a wand that has duality as a pistol, similar to Lord English's staff/machine gun (Calliope that their brother's favored weapon was a little heavy-handed). They and their "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), they start questioning their pronouns and gender identity in the epilogues 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 their usage of she/her pronouns. Due to the discrepancy, this wiki uses they/them when referring to Calliope.
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 their 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.
They chose “uranianUmbra” as their online handle due to their fascination with the planet Uranus's unique rotation, though when explaining this to Roxy, they are 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 their 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). By circus pronunciation, it is (kAHl-ee-ohp).
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.
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. Their sign also maybe two adult cherubs mating, as adult cherubs turn into serpents while mating. Even further, their 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 their life in a single room "together" with their other half Caliborn. They have contact with the alpha kids via a terminal and they learn about trolls and kids through Rose's journal, where Gamzee voided out most crucial information regarding Lord English while they deem it as irrelevant.
When a Jack Noir hired by Caliborn kills their dream self, their brother prematurely takes full control of their shared body, leaving Calliope to dieRoxy in a dream bubble in the form of Twinkly Herbert and lead her to a where they won't be seen or heard by English. Because their soul's true form is , they assume the form of Callie Ohpeee to meet Roxy. They explain that, contrary to what Aranea and the other ghosts believe, they do not possess any knowledge or ability that could be used to defeat Lord English. However, they believe that there may be a version of themselves from a doomed timeline where they predominated over Caliborn and played the game instead.. Later on, they appear to
They are later seen alone hiding in the same spot before Jade Harley appears, along with a curious stage . Calliope changes to their Trollsona, and the two of them begin to talk and become friendly with each other. Calliope helps Jade make a trollsona , and they use 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. They have a private conversation with their counterpart, who advises Calliope to be who they are, to “live.” The bubble fades to black, leaving Calliope alone, and then Roxy appears behind them. 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 they create 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 they try to be helpful where they can although they are cautious about revealing too much information about themselves due to their situation. They seem to be quite creative and are 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 them as the obnoxious fandom avatar character. They spend a large part of their time writing fanfiction and drawing fanart of the other Homestuck characters and self-inserting their trollsona, Callie Ohpeee, whose name is made to fit trolls' 6-letter names (which mirrors Vriska's spidersona in Alterniabound), into the stories. They often seem to think of their friends as characters in a story rather than actual people and seem to live vicariously through their imagined adventures with them. They also have a thing for wild speculations about the story, making up crazy out of every , often ending up .
Their self-esteem is quite low and they consider themselves ugly, wishing to be more like humans and trolls, and especially feeling jealous of their ability to experience flushed romance (since they, being a a cherub, can only have caliginous feelings). Their usually cheery mood can become defeatist and sometimes cranky when faced with problems, especially those relating to Caliborn, but they usually stay quite polite even when in a bad mood.
Calliope generally uses British English. This ties in with their 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 their resemblance to Lord "English". It should be noted that they don't always use British spelling where it wouldn't result in an extra "u": for instance they use “maneUver”, “hemo-”, “fUlfill”, “fUlfillment”, “learned”, “program” and “practice” (as a verb), instead of normal British "manoeuvre", "haemo-", "fulfil", "fulfilment", "learnt", "programme" and "practise".
In their conversation with Dirk they talk about their "brother" who is supposed to be their client player, although they have offered to be his client instead. They stress that he is not their 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 them 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 they would like to do with his, ).
To the post-scratch kidsEdit
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 they did so as a means to set up the foundation for their session.
They later admit to Dirk that they are a fan of the story of him and his friends and are near obsessed with the four. They also admit 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 their and Caliborn's game, they tend to be extraordinarily cagey when referring to personal details about themselves. They are like this with Dirk and Roxy, but not shown to as much of an extent.
They seem very fond of Roxy and even confide in them during the final moments of their visibility into Roxy's session. Calliope reveals to Roxy their name, title, and race, and even gives them some fan art of a Trickster Roxy. They admit to Roxy how beautiful they find both the human and troll races, and how insecure they are about their own appearance, even going so far as to say that no one would even kiss them as a means of revival as a result. They seem taken aback by the notion of a flushed relationship, due to their race's standpoint on the matter, but do 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 them 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, they were 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.
- Their 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 them 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 them 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 their drawings. , part of the artwork for
, which they describe 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, its 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.
- Their 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. Their 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 they and Caliborn use the Space and Time Aspects, respectively.
- Due to the dubious canonicity of the epilogues, this wiki page retains they/them pronouns due to their neutral aspect and as a placeholder due to full knowledge of the canonicity of the epilogues being unknown.
- Using Calliope's blood color, aspect, and lunar sway, their extended zodiac sign can be determined to be Cango, sign of the opus.
- Alternatively, using their speculated birthday for the sign class, their extended zodiac sign can be determined to be Scorgo, sign of the crusader.