Monday, January 25, 2016

Ok, Silver Quill. Since I don’t have a YouTube account, I can’t post this in the “comments” section, but I’m sure as heck gonna post it here.
Once again, an argument against Princess Luna has been brought to my attention. And once again, I have a refuting argument ready. And no, I did not just come up with this now. This is what I’ve thought for a long time.
The argument has been made that Luna is overrated. I have little doubt that this is true. The fandom goes crazy over her, much too crazy. The argument that I would like to fight is against something that Silver Quill’s collaboration partner said: that Luna is so loved by the fandom because people make her into a faultless, pure, sympathetic character. Again, this is probably true for the most part… knowing the fandom, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is almost completely true. In fact, I’m not going to try and refute this argument at all, just explain my perspective on the subject.
I am a Luna fan. Anyone who reads this blog will be fully aware of this fact. But the reason I love her is not that she is a sympathetic character.
Princess Luna made a mistake, a really big mistake. She got angry and jealous over circumstances that are unclear in the show. It could have been that she was just acting like a teenager and went into a “nobody loves me, everybody hates me; I guess I’ll go eat worms” phase, except that instead of eating worms, she blew up and became Nightmare Moon. It could also have been that she was truly and honestly neglected and shunned. I prefer to think that this was the case, because it would have justified her actions at least a little bit.
Whatever the circumstances preceding her banishment, Luna did not react in a reasonable manner. She should have tried to talk to Celestia, and explain how she was feeling. This alone could have been enough to fix the problem completely, but in the case that it would not have been, there are still more things she could have tried. She might have talked to her friends and advisors, and spent more time amongst her subjects. She could have made special displays of shooting stars, or made more of a show out of the moonrise that would have been noticed more by her subjects. If all else failed, she could have found something else to do that would channel her energy, not through anger, but through passion.
But she didn’t do any of these things, at least not to our knowledge. The course of action she took was as destructive to herself as it was to Celestia, and it was certainly destructive to Equestria. She wound up banished to the moon, which deprived Equestria of a princess, and Celestia of a sister—and that’s not even to mention the damage she did to the Castle of the Two Sisters and whoever might have been in it at the time!
This is not to say that I place all of the blame on Luna’s shoulders. Celestia reacted to the situation very badly; it did not need to be like this. She was also undoubtedly a cause of Luna’s feelings and actions, and either did not notice her sister’s distress or did not take action to alleviate it. It is entirely possible that Luna hid her pain well enough that Celestia really couldn’t have noticed, of course, but I find this unlikely. Celestia could have consoled her sister, or taken steps to make sure she knew how much she was loved. On the off chance that Celestia really didn’t care, that Luna truly was neglected and had no opportunity to reach out, and that Nightmare Moon was the only option, I say, what a piece of sh- um… bad writing.
“The elder sister tried to reason with her.” This is the phoniest line in the first two episodes. Celestia did not try to reason with Luna, she commanded her to lower the moon. At this point, Luna wasn’t going to come up with a good solution on her own. To fix this problem, Celestia would have to try and talk to Luna. She would apologize for any harm that had been done on her behalf, and ask Luna kindly if she wanted to explain what she felt. She might even walk up to Nightmare Moon and give her a hug, reminding her that she was there for her sister. Luna would probably do what Starlight Glimmer did, and explain her feelings in a teary, rage-filled speech that would suffice to get all her emotions out. Then, the two of them could take action to fix the problem. Luna would go into counseling and find some friends, and they might introduce some new practices like astronomy and stargazing into Equestria. Maybe she could teach young ponies about how she raised the moon and what it took to create the night. It would take some time, but over the course of a few months (or years), she would be back to normal. Right? . . . Right?
Nope! Instead, that fool of a sun princess took the Elements of Harmony, i.e. Deus Ex Machina, and simply put Nightmare Moon away to be dealt with in a thousand years. “Oh, you’re incredibly hurt by being neglected, and have finally risen up on a wave of your darkest emotions to take action against me? I’ll write that down and stick it in my filing cabinet. I’m sure I’ll get around to it sometime in the next millennium, after I deal with the Crystal Empire. Ta-ta!”
So you see, I hold both Luna and Celestia responsible for the Nightmare Moon incident. As a result, I respect both of their characters equally in this particular circumstance. To me, Luna is not the innocent victim of her sister’s cruelty. Nor was she as evil as the show would have led us to believe. Luna is a pony who made a mistake. This mistake had justification, but it was still wrong. She felt the consequences of her actions, and as a result has grown as a person. Celestia is a pony who made a mistake. She, too, felt the consequences of her actions. I don’t know if she has since seen that there might have been another way, but given Discord’s reformation, she might now be more open to the possibility.

Edit: This is really directed at Voice of Reason, who stated the opinion that I am arguing against. Silver Quill and Grand Pause (I think that's the name?) made a very convincing argument in Silver's supplement video that states my opinion pretty well. Also, my story To Heal a Broken Heart on FimFiction says everything I've said here much better. Go read that instead.