Beauregard and Jester’s individual reactions to the Traveler’s reveal are in direct opposition to each other.
Beauregard responds to the reveal with a great deal of pride and admiration for Jester. In conversation with the Traveler himself, she points out that more credit should go to Jester, to which he responds with, “Oh all credit goes to her, she’s amazing.” And later, in conversation with Fjord, Beau admits to theorizing about Jester having created the Traveler herself — something that proved to be at least partially true. The Traveler may not be her invention, but his divinity definitely is.
But this admiration is in direct opposition to Jester’s own feelings about it. It fails to take into account why Jester is so upset about it.
There are a number of things about this situation that visibly upset Jester:
- She’s upset about being fooled / fooling herself for so long,
- She’s upset when the Traveler himself calls it a “cult”,
- She’s overwhelmed by the Traveler’s request for her help,
- But most of all, she’s upset by the revelation that the Traveler isn’t always with her and cannot be.
Jester has worked so long and hard to convince everyone — her mother, her friends, complete strangers — that the Traveler is definitely real, and definitely a god. Maybe she’s worried about being perceived as immature — something she’s been struggling to overcome for months. Maybe she’s worried about looking like a fool, because while the Traveler had her fooled, she really has just been fooling herself. He never said he was a god after all.
She tells the Traveler that “of course” she’ll help, but is very obviously overwhelmed by the request. She wants to help, wants to be of use, perhaps? but this is an enormous amount of pressure and responsibility which she’s struggling to carry.
But beyond all of that, she’s upset because the Traveler isn’t always with her, he cannot be because he has too much on his plate and isn’t nearly as powerful as she thought. And this alone makes her feel more lonely than she’s ever felt before.
It’s briefly touched upon in the conversation with Caduceus when he says that, “absence isn’t the opposite of love.” Because that’s just it. To Jester, love means being there, always. For the majority of her life, she’s had her mother, Marion, and the Traveler by her side near constantly. She never had to doubt their love until she went out into the world. As this post outlines so beautifully, “Her biggest times of stress have been when those loves stopped seeming 100% constant: when Marion’s package took time to reach her, and whenever the Traveller failed to show.”
What Jester wants more than anything else is to be loved by everyone, and to have her loved ones stay by her side. It’s why she befriends people wherever they go and why she insists on messaging them all every chance she gets. She refuses to let any of those relationships fall into disrepair.
Jester values love, being loved, and all the connections she’s made. Beauregard on the other hand values independence and strength, the strength to stand on her own, the strength to walk away.
This is not to say that Beau is worse than anyone else at reading Jester. It seems everyone in the Mighty Nein missed understanding what Jester was really upset about. Not to mention that there was a great deal more going on — as there always is. Beau’s conversation with Fjord simply highlighted the huge division between what she was admiring and what Jester valued.
There are a great many things Beauregard values in Jester that are not in conflict with what Jester herself values. Beau admires her kindness, her humor, and her creativity. But in this moment, while Beau is admiring Jester’s power and independence from any godly entities, Jester is feeling more lonely than she’s ever felt.
See also, Positive Trickery is Jester’s Domain