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That's exactly what she said. That's exactly what you said. It is you, isn't it Rose?
~ Bismuth when she thinks Steven was Rose.
Bismuth:...You shoulda shattered me back then...At least if I were in pieces, I wouldn't have to know how little I mattered to you...You didn't even tell 'em..You bubbled me away and didn't ever tell your friends...My friends...
Steven: I'm gonna tell them, I'm gonna tell them everything.
Bismuth: Then you really are better than her...
~ Bismuth's last words to Steven

Bismuth is a member of the Crystal Gems and the titular character of the Steven Universe special of the same name.

She is a gem that creates weapons and was working on the Breaking Point, a weapon that can shatter (kill) other Gems, in order to shatter the Diamonds, the dictators that rule over homeworld and subjugate other gems.

In regards to her background, the situation and her actions, her villainy is questionable but she is regarded as such in the show itself and in concept artwork. [1]

She is voiced by Uzo Aduba, who is known for playing the character Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren in Netflix's original series Orange Is the New Black.

Appearance

Bismuth has a large, bulky body type with broad shoulders. Her head outlines the shape of the rest of her body, with a large jaw and noticeable cheeks similar to Steven. Her hair is styled in several dreadlocks in a mixture of several bright tones, all held back by a lilac headband. She has a periwinkle complexion, and she sports a single tattoo-like marking of a star pattern on her left shoulder in dark red. Her gemstone is located in the center of her chest and is noticeably concave.

She wears a black apron-like outfit, resembling a blacksmith, with a single brown attachment and a pinkish-red star-shaped belt around her waist. Her pants are a burgundy color, and she has dark brown boots.

Personality

Bismuth is determined, indefatigable, empathetic, and emotive. She is unafraid to speak and act her mind. Bismuth cares deeply for her friends and she also harbors an immense hatred for Homeworld elites that subjugated gems like her and her friends - specifically the Diamond Authority.

Bismuth displays her affection in vigorous ways. When she sees her friends Pearl and Garnet, she immediately pulls them in for strong hugs. She tends to encourage the people around her even after just getting to know them.

Bismuth is deeply devoted and authoritative to her friends. She makes them weapons to complement their existing skill-sets; she playfully teases them while they are alive; and she grieves for them when she learns they are dead. The fact that the remaining Crystal Gems did not know of her imprisonment within Lion's Dimension troubles and wounds her. She has a playful side: she regularly creates puns out of the word "Bismuth" and habitually ribs the other Crystal Gems.

She enjoys fighting: she reminisces fondly on the battles she and Garnet fought together against Homeworld's army, for example, and she loves to spar.

Bismuth also relishes the freedom and possibility that results from being a Crystal Gem. She speaks with passion and wonder about Steven's ability to be himself (rather than a copy of Rose Quartz) and her own ability to differentiate herself from other Bismuths by doing what she wants rather than conforming to a prescribed role. Bismuth's passion for maintaining her own freedom and the freedom of others is what drives her to fight against Homeworld. She deeply resents the Homeworld elites for forcing her to do their bidding.

Bismuth is determined to win the fight against Homeworld at any cost. She sees it as her duty to free the gems that live under Homeworld's rule. Because of this conviction, she is willing to go to any length to obtain justice. This mentality leads her to build the Breaking Point, which she sees as the only way to defeat Homeworld. Steven forbidding her using the Breaking Point also ultimately leads Bismuth to attack Steven, whom she believes to be Rose Quartz attempting to fool her.

History

Bismuth was originally a builder for Homeworld, assigned to help construct the colony on Earth. However, after encouragement from Rose, she fought in the Rebellion alongside the Crystal Gems. She made the weapons used by the Crystal Gems during the Rebellion and also took part in the fighting herself.

At some point before the war ended, she created the Breaking Point, a weapon specifically designed to shatter other Gems, and presented it to Rose, who disagreed with the weapon and Bismuth's intentions with it. Bismuth was poofed by Rose, bubbled, and placed inside of Lion's Pocket Dimension. Rose then lied to the other Crystal Gems about Bismuth having gone missing in battle.

5,300 years later, Bismuth is accidentally freed by Steven as he was putting his Thunderbird shirt in Lion's mane. After the Crystal Gems ask Steven to bring Bismuth to them, he accepts. Garnet and Pearl welcome her back with open arms, and Bismuth is puzzled by the existence of Steven, a human merged with a gem. After Bismuth asks about all of her other Gem friends, Pearl tells her that she has been in Lion's mane for 5,300 years and that the rest of the other gems were wiped out during the Rebellion.

Bismuth then brings the Gems to the Forge, where she customizes Garnet, Pearl, and Amethyst's weapons and trains them in order to beat Homeworld. The group also partakes in fun activities, doing sports and relaxing together. As Steven and Bismuth are talking one night, Steven shows Bismuth the sword of his mother Rose Quartz, and she takes Steven back to the Forge where she shows him a secret weapon that would've ended the Rebellion dubbed the Breaking Point, a weapon capable of shattering gems.

Bismuth then has Steven try out the weapon on a dummy, which he refuses to do, as, according to Steven, that would put the Crystal Gems on the same level as Homeworld. Bismuth argues back that they would only be using it to support their cause - to free the subjugated gems from the gem dictators and win the war. Steven refuses and Bismuth accepts this and concludes that only she will be using the weapon. However, Steven throws the weapon behind him, telling her that nobody shall use the Breaking Point.

Angered after concluding Steven is Rose after all, Bismuth attacks Steven with her shape-shifted arm. A fight ensues, in which Bismuth throws a dummy at Steven. Steven throws it back at her and grabs the Breaking Point. Bismuth believes that "Rose" is attempting to kill her. When Steven refuses to, telling her that "nobody deserves this", she takes the weapon and raises it at Steven. However, Steven manages to stab Bismuth with Rose's sword.

After showing her bitterness at Rose not telling her other Gem cohorts on being poofed, Steven promises to tell the other Gems what happened, enlightening Bismuth before she retreated to her gem. Her gem is then bubbled by Steven and taken to the Burning Room with the other gems. The Breaking Point is thrown into the lava of the forge by Steven.

In "Mindful Education", it is revealed that Steven is still traumatized from the events of "Bismuth" and feels guilty for not helping her, Jasper and Eyeball Ruby.

For reasons unknown, Bismuth is kept bubbled afterwards and no dialogue with her is sought up to this point in the series.

Quotes

You should have listened to me Rose! I would have taken the war to Homeworld and shattered the Diamonds! I would have liberated...everyone!
~ Bismuth
What kind of leader doesn't give her army the best chance to win?!
~ Bismuth as she is attacking Steven

Gallery

Videos

Trivia

  • Bismuth isn't a gem. In actuality, it is an element.
  • She is the second Gem villain to not be a Homeworld Gem, the first being Sugilite.
  • Bismuth might have been the same unknown gem that poofed Lapis Lazuli during the war in "Same Old World".
  • Bismuth shares some similarities to the DC comics anti-hero, Jason Todd/Red Hood.
    • Both want to save good people by killing bad ones.
    • Both felt betrayed by the ones that recruited them, Bismuth being betrayed by Rose Quartz and Red Hood being betrayed by Batman.
    • Both refuse to believe that not killing is the not the only way.

Further Reading

References

  1. Steven Universe: Art & Origins - July 11, 2017
           Steven Universe Villains

Great Diamond Authority | White Diamond | Yellow Diamond | Blue Diamond | Pink Diamond | Homeworld Gems | Peridot | Lapis Lazuli | Jasper | Yellow Diamond's Pearl | Blue Diamond's Pearl | Eyeball Ruby | Navy Ruby | Holly Blue Agate | Aquamarine | Topaz | Robonoids | Fusion Gems | Sugilite | Malachite | Unknown Quartz Fusion | Gem Monsters | Centipeetle Mother | Gem Cave Creature | Big Bird | Watermelon Tourmaline | Ice Monster | Invisible Gem Monster | Lighthouse Gem Monster | Slinker | Crab Gem Monster | Great North Gem Monsters | Cluster | Bismuth | Marty | Frybo