Random Headcanons: Luna’s Necessity

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The story of Princess Luna has been among the fandom’s biggest headcanon sources from the very beginning—a sad story of a younger sister who went mad with jealousy and tried to plunge equestria into eternal night. An older sister who banished her to the moon for a whopping one thousand years. Some fans think Celestia is a liar—history is written by the winners. Some are wondering if there was more to the disagreement. Many are upset that Luna’s dream-watching ability, brought up in Sleepless In Ponyville, makes it seem like ponies sleeping through her night shouldn’t have been a big deal.

I think that Luna’s crisis was an existential one. It was the realization that she is ultimately unnecessary.

Ponies are meant to relish in their destinies. A happy pony will discover their destiny at a young age, and work to fulfill their place in society with satisfaction. But is every pony necessary? Are their destinies all helpful or even unique?

In Magical Mystery Cure, we saw that Ponyville needs a competent weather pony—that without Pinkie Pie, the town goes to shit—that only one pony can truly manage the apple farm—that the animals will only respond to Fluttershy. But you know, the absence of Rarity didn’t cause a city-wide fashion disaster. And how would things be without Twilight? Probably the way they were before she arrived. The only significant loss is that Winter Wrap Up will still be late every year.

I mean look at me. I’ve got an analysis cutie mark, and I make videos about MLP on the internet. What I contribute to society is great, but it isn’t necessary. Even though I do something unique that only I can do, my doing so isn’t really necessary. And there are plenty of people doing necessary jobs that anyone could do.

My point is this—when Princess Luna was banished to the moon, Equestria was just. Fine. Celestia controlled both the sun and the moon. Luna was completely forgotten about. No one cared.

This is Luna’s existential crisis. She spent her life doing a thankless job that she wasn’t even needed for, and instead of enjoying herself, she grew bitter and rebelled. She tried to leave her mark and bend the world to her will. And when she wouldn’t listen to reason, she was imprisoned.

Luna’s dream-walking ability poses some interesting questions. While she was on the moon, was there somepony else to fill this role? Did one or more dream-walking ponies emerge over the years? Or did Equestria suffer under their crippling nightmares, without even realizing it? Was Luna blind to her own usefulness and necessity?

These days, a lot of us wonder what we’d do without the internet. Will the next generation of Equestria wonder how the old generations made it through life without the guidance of Equestia’s Batman? And while we’re on this train of thought, will Twilight come to fulfill a similar role, bringing Equestria into the quad-princess Golden Age? I need to write a fanfic, don’t I?


7 thoughts on “Random Headcanons: Luna’s Necessity

  1. Well because it is a kids show most of the obscure part of Equestria history was probably not developed in any way, in my opinion if you are bound to do something that you don’t want for the rest of your life would be pretty lame and I don’t know if cutty marks works in a way that is impossible for the pony to be unhappy with their destiny or not.

    The show tries to give a constant impression that that world is much better than ours, but is that really real? Many social things are not really explained yet like is there some kind of mechanism that prevents a pony to do nothing? Who pays them to do their jobs? (most of them are pretty subjective like “Making everybody happier”)

    I’ve seen 2 forms of monetary system so far (at least that I can remember), one is the episode where spike is payed with gems to take care of some critters and the other is when Fluttershy is buying groceries with some coins. I’d say that the spike is a little controversial because if gems were the actual currency or if they really were not that cheap then Rarity would be rich as hell, I mean come one she has the freaking finding money power, so I guess gems are pretty fucking cheap and are just for decoration.

    So assuming that the currency is coins what defines how much money will you get from your work? Rarity earns more money if she sells more clothes, but does Pinky Pie earns more money the more she entertains people? How would that even work? Is not something that is easily measured or something like that. Another possibility would be that Pinky doesn’t actually make any money and she just earn some kind of allowance from the Cakes.

    But what about Fluttershy? you mentioned that she could be making a living selling dairy products or for being a veterinarian, but unlike AJ that is always working on her farm we never seen Fluttershy gathering eggs or any kind of product that could be sold (and I bet those critters don’t pay her rent), Well it is possible that gathering and selling of the products could just not be on the show because of some random reason. Rainbowdash could be payed by the mayor to keep the weather the way she wants (now that I’m thinking Fluttershy could be also financiated by the mayor to take care of the critters). Twilight could be payed to be a librarian, financiated by the princess, or just by her family (Some royal branches on the family tree). but I really doubt the mayor is paying Pinky to do what she does ( I mean, come on, being payed to have fun is a little too much, I know she is useful as hell and shit but I don’t know).

    Anyway I also really doubt that they will explain anything at all about this, I think they like the idea of not mixing economy with ponies which I can totally agree. But would be there some kind of poor pony? (and if not great fucking job Celestia). But if there isn’t poor ponies wouldn’t that mean that everyone is doing their jobs? ( or at least doing something considered a job like Pinky). Also we’ve seen lots of “noble” ponies on that Rarity episode (I think is Sweet and Elite but I’m too lazy to confirm.) so is it possible for a pony to become noble being born on a lower society. Is it some kind of family thing or is just the amount of money. If it is just money wouldn’t that mean that some ponies are payed more for what they do and since their job is usually related to their cutty marks or pure fucking destiny, would that mean that some of them are bound to be poor for the rest of their lives because their skill is not considered helpful enough.

    But in the end all this thinking made me realise one thing, Youtube comments should have a way bigger number of characters, I mean come on I’m on cont 7 over here. At least I was able to add some paragraphs and fix some things on the porting.

    • I think there’s probably some kind of communal society going on here. not necessarily a government-mandated one, but more like a coda that ponies take care of one-another. The one pony who doesn’t have any semblance of a “real” job, Pinkie Pie, lives with the cakes. Ostensibly she helps run the store and babysit the kids, but I doubt she’s being trained to be a real baker. She’s just someone they take care of, so that she can do her important job in society, even though the job itself doesn’t really pay. Maybe she gets donations from others, or some kind of town donation committee/sponsor. This is actually a really interesting headcanon idea!

      As for ponies who do “nothing,” I like to imagine it’s a “pony magical physiology” thing. I.e., every pony has a destiny, no matter how obscure it might be.

      • I agree with you about Pinkie, but now something else is bothering me. She usually mess everything up way more then help, the Cakes don’t really thrust on her to take care of anything, she eats a lot of the products that the Cakes make, and she is always throwing parties that I bet are not that cheap. While thinking like this Pinkie Pie only brings trouble for the Cakes, and they are not even related (well I guess they are not related). My bet is that Pinkie brings happiness and adventure to the Cake’s routine and they like that, but in the end is impossible to know.

        Hahaha maybe her parties are not free, that will explain A LOT (really doubt it btw).

        I really doubt that some ponies like Fluttershy live on donations (specially since she needs a lot of money to feed all those animals). While her job seems to be really useful, she looks like those old ladies that have 100 cats. Her “job” is more like an motherly instinct than everything, the reason I say this is because those critters would probably live normally on the wild without her, but since she keeps feeding them they live with her.

        On the Magical Mystery Cure episode the only consequence of not having Fluttershy taking care of the critters was on Fluttershy’s cottage, it didn’t affected the city in any way (at least I think not, I have to rewatch the episode).

        Also is you consider that Fluttershy earns money by selling eggs, wool, milk and even stuff that the critters produce to help her or some vegetables that she raise on her yard it wouldn’t compare to the production of Applejack, a pony that doesn’t seem to have a lot of money and is the hardest worker of them all. I don’t know it all seems a little weird to me but I really think Fluttershy has money issues.

        When thinking about ponies that do nothing I think of Zakora, a pony (or zebra, I don’t fucking know) that clearly don’t make any money but manages to take what she needs from the nature.

        In the end while us humans love the idea of doing nothing, this may not be the same with ponies, maybe they like the idea of being useful and that takes the necessity of having a strict monetary system away from them. Maybe Applejack gives all those apples to Ponyville for free and she only sells Cider and that rainbow jam (That will explain why she is not that rich). With the idea of them all sharing stuff around everything makes a lot more sense in the scenario in general. (But now those people selling stuff on the market (that Fluttershy episode that she is trained by the bull) make much less sense.

  2. Fascinating, top to bottom. I’ve been rolling over my own bits of head canon this evening so your piece here is quite well timed. Let’s see if I can’t make some reasonable discussion here.

    In Device Heretic’s “Eternal,” we’re treated to an interesting take on the fallout between Luna and Celestia. My memory is a bit fuzzy, but certainly the history we are presented in the series canon via the mythology of Nightmare Moon is not accurate. It was not jealousy that ‘roused the Princess of the Night so, but worry for her sister. Celestia, in typical elder sibling fashion, dismissed the younger’s worries and stirred Luna’s emotions so badly as to become Nightmare Moon. So, certainly, history is written by the victors, and there’s more than one way to get from A to B.

    As to Luna’s existential crisis of being unnecessary, I am prone to disagree. She was, at least at one point during the downfall of Discord, co-wielder of the Elements of Harmony. Possibly during the dethroning of Sombra as well, though his history is less well known. I assume there was not a second pair of mighty Alicorn mares running around smiting evil back then, and I don’t think Sombra was a big enough threat to demand the attentions of the Elements.

    The obvious counter-point here is that Celestia wielded the Elements to banish Luna once she was taken by the Nightmare (look, more head canon dripping through! My compliments to Kwakerjack). But, consider this: Perhaps Celestia did not wield all six Elements. Perhaps her three (I assume they each wielded three for the sake of balance) weren’t capable of freeing Luna, only removing her as a threat. Here, again, we have a possible place where a millennium of story telling could have easily twisted a simple phrase of “wielding her Elements” to “wielding the Elements.” Hypothetically, of course, and I don’t see it in Celestia’s schedule to keep correcting the story.

    Further, the necessity of balance makes Luna an important character. Before Celestia and Luna, regular unicorns raised the sun and moon just fine. Consider, though, if only one Alicorn rose to power she (or he, I guess) could quite literally hold the entire world hostage. I emphasize that it took an unknown multiple of unicorns to raise the celestial bodies; I presume with effort. Think of Nightmare Moon without Celestia to act against her. Sure, Luna wouldn’t have been entirely night bound, but she may have decided she liked night far better than day anyway.

    If cutie marks are truly indicative of one’s talent and destiny, as we’re to believe from Magical Mystery Cure, then Luna cannot be completely unnecessary. Though Celestia seems to have done a fine job handling the sun and moon, the night is not her realm. The moon is not hers, like it is Luna’s. Certainly had the situation been reversed, as is popular in some fiction, Luna could have raised the sun in her sister’s absence. But at what cost? Do consider that the older depictions of Celestia paint her as having a solid pink mane. Perhaps raising the moon all those years, a feat of which she was certainly capable but not destined for, had some consequences? I harken again to Device’s “Eternal” for precedent and possibility.

    My less happy argument is that Luna as a moon princess may not have been completely necessary, but her existence was essential as an antagonist to reveal the new wielders of the Elements of Harmony. Without the looming threat of the Nightmare Twilight and Co. may have never discovered their potential and the release of Discord would have been catastrophic, which would have meant very poor things for the Crystal Empire when it returned.

    I think after watching Sleepless in Ponyville that, yes, the younger generation will indeed wonder how they made it through without Luna’s guidance. Imagine the direction of that episode without Luna’s intervention. Now that I think about, I wonder if Luna didn’t have something to do with Rainbow Dash waking up when she did to save ‘lil Scoots.

    To the case of Magical Mystery Cure and the apparent…I don’t want to say useless, but perhaps low-impact, characters you mention during the destiny swap incident (damn you Starswirl!)

    In my mind, Fluttershy acts as a librarian of sorts for the woodland creatures. She knows where they all are, what they like, what they dislike, and she maintains their health. When Rainbow Dash started itching for a pet Fluttershy was the natural choice to consult (and whoo, what a duo they make!). I maintain that Dashie isn’t the only pony to seek Fluttershy’s help in finding a pet. Fluttershy also acts as a wild land veterinarian of sorts. I’d hate to think of that bear with the back ache wandering into town. Bears can be mean, and we saw in Sleepless that they’re still interested in eating meat/fish. Fluttershy is scared to pieces of the Everfree Forest, yet her cottage is right on the edge. Curious. That fact alone leads me to believe that her very presence acts as a fence of sorts; maybe the mass concentration of cute and cuddly keeps the dark and scary away? Also, consider how easily she handled Cerberus when he escaped his yard, so to speak. A situation that could have gone very poorly was made cute and cuddly exclusively due to the presence of the animal whisperer.

    I can’t make such a compelling argument for Rarity, however. The best foundation I can lay for her is a cultural link between Ponyville – arguably a semi-rural town, certainly founded by farmers (Family Appreciation Day – Granny Smith is old as dirt!) – and the more modern, cultured cities like Canterlot. Information is a terribly important asset and I’d bet that Rarity picks up more than just fashion trends when she’s traveling.

    My argument for the importance of Twilight within the context of Magical Mystery Cure is even less compelling, given that she started the whole hot mess in the first place. For the sake of fairness though, we didn’t see what the town would be like without her so we can’t really extrapolate the canon with respect to Twilight. Not very far, at least. I suppose though that Trixie’s first visit to Ponyville might have turned out very, very badly had Twilight not been around to stop the Ursa Minor. Consider also (not that I think about it) that the Ursa was only an issue because Twilight denied her talents earlier in the episode. If she had just stomped Trixie in the first place she’d have just left town for more easily swindled pastures. it seems denying or hiding one’s talents doesn’t often end well.

    To conclude: Every pony is important, whether directly or not. Somepony might be able to do another pony’s job, but at the end of the day it’s not quite right. A Canadian nickle in America, if you will. I enjoyed the post and the massive deposit of time that was my response.

    And that, kids, is how you go on a rant. WHEW. Hope that wasn’t too much.

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