• Editorial: Princess Twilight The Forgiveness Factor

    Happy Princess Twilight Sparkle Day! Book horse has been the Princess of Friendship for quite some time now, but we haven't really seen her do many princess duties.

    Twilight does have an important role in protecting Equestria though. It would appear after the 1,000 years of peace under Princess Celestia, Twilight and her friends have become the chief protectors of their nation.

    Well, it's time to talk about Twilight's role in Equestria's slant toward forgiveness and reform. If you're ready to continue thinking about ponies and justice, you've come to the right place.

    This scene will never grow old for me.
    I know what you’re thinking: “Didn’t you just write about Justice and how ponies are conditioned to forgive?” Yes (and you can read it here) but I feel Twilight does more than just flippantly forgive based on old ghost stories. Allow me to express a theory that will redeem Equestria from being a land conditioned to love and more inspired to greatness by example.

    While ponies seem to have a more forgiving nature built into their society-

    Poor Trixie and Diamond. They have to find a way to build their reputation or please a parent.
    -we know that only goes so far. Like people in our world, ponies don't do crimes because most of them aren't pure evil. Still, mean ponies exist and forgiveness isn't the most natural feeling to have.

    When ponies feel hurt, they do whatever it takes to fit into a world that doesn't want to view them as anything but evil.

    Having a rough past doesn't exscuse their behavior, but what other choice did they think they had?
    Maybe Windigos don't pop up at the first sign of disharmony, but it's clear that ponies feel the effects of not being forgiven and it drives them to make more poor choices. (This doesn't justify their actions, of course, but it explains how they got there.)

    It's great they can have a positive impact now that others support them.
    But the moment they are forgiven, they have an opportunity to start over without the world around them calling them evil. I think, after years of not seeing a prominent figure in Equestria use harmony to fight evil, the rise of a new princess is reminding ponies how important forgiveness is.

    Twilight is meant to be the rational, deliberate, methodical one. She started with the least amount of social skills in her group and the most stubborn attitude against friendship. But after becoming the Element of Magic, she's watched by the world and has become an example of what harmony should be in Equestria.

    It's sad Luna felt her sister would still be mad at her.
    If you recall, up until Twilight’s and her friends’ role stopping Nightmare Moon, reform wasn’t really done.

    Maybe you could count what happened with Scorpan, but he didn't really do evil in the first place and this event happened before anypony alive now was born.

    Twilight, however, makes it a point to work with the creatures she’s helped turn from evil. In a way, Twilight works with others who also struggle to interact socially. She was a role model to any who admired her and this status would grow with her becoming a princess.

    With Princess Luna, it was teaching her how to enjoy Nightmare Night and find common group in which to interact. While others coward, Twilight chose to approach Luna and offer real counsel.

    Plunging the world into eternal darkness, forgivable, but not bothering to give a royal goodbye, unacceptable! 
    So what did Twilight do the moment she saw Luna yelling and stomping about Ponyville, she assumed the princess of the night was having trouble adjusting. Even as the other elements shied away, Twilight disregarded any residual feeling from the past to focus on the solutions of the present.

    Had she not helped, Luna might have resented the holiday and demand its removal from Equestria. That wouldn’t have fostered positive relations between the ponies and their princess.

    I'm glad Luna finally has the relationship with her subjects that she's always wanted.
    It was Twilight’s ability to forgive Luna completely that put her in the right state of mind to assists the night princess in learning healthier communication skills. The citizens of Ponyville would have seen Twilight's behavior.

    Look at all the friendship in Twilight's eyes
    Upon making her own friends, Twilight realized she had been given a great gift even though her actions/attitude hadn't really earned it. She’s empathetic to others who, like her, don’t always know how to properly make friends.

    Twilight has the power of having friends who believe in her even when she didn’t deserve it. She felt chosen by them, and Twilight extends that same kindness to others when they most need it. (That alone qualifies her for princess!)

    The punishments we give ourselves are always the worst.
    It’s this empathy that allows Twilight to first recognize Luna’s guilt in the episode Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep. Twilight continues to reform Luna by giving her the permission to forgive herself. Book horse fully understands that nothing comes from harboring unforgiveness, not even against oneself.

    It looks like their upset about the cage, but really it's the waste of cucumber sandwiches.
    Discord is another great example of this.

    We all know Twilight and co. defeated Discord with no amount of remorse on their part. All of them were unhappy with his return and if Princess Celestial hadn’t required it, they wouldn’t have done it.

    Fluttershy gave Discord something he's never had before, friendship, and it turned out he liked it more than chaos, but that didn’t really make him into a better draconequus. The moment Tirek offered Discord both, he was all over that.

    "After the way he betrayed you, you still call him a friend?"
    Fast forward to where Discord actually feels empathy for the mane 6, and this is where he realizes what he's lost. He’s regretful, but that’s not good enough to fix the situation he’s in.

    At that point, Discord was a traitor. Treason is punishable by death in most countries and nopony would have faulted Princess Twilight for resigning Discord to whatever fate Tirek had in mind. But Twilight chooses to forgive everything Discord's done.

    Discord, you may be a jerk, but you're our jerk.
    She's forgiving the tyranny, chaos, lies, treason, cruel jokes, manipulation, and general inconveniences so that Discord can be with her and her friends again. She did this in a moment when she thought all of Equestria was lost as a result of Discord's selfishness.

    Twilight: I'mma need you to wait outside indefinitely 
    Twilight also gives Discord the permission to forgive himself at the end of the episode. By including him in her friend group, she’s setting him up to learn all the necessary components of healthy friendships.

    There haven't been such big bads in Equestria in over a 1,000 years, and here Princess Twilight is saving Equestria with friendship and forgiveness. If the princess can forgive Discord and Luna, certain the ponies affected by Tirek and the Tantabus want to do the same.

    It might not always be the first step she takes, but Twilight always offers forgiveness.
    I think it goes without saying that Twilight has done the same for many others. As a princess, she has the authority to forgive any offense, but she doesn’t take that lightly. Twilight knows friendship is a learning process and no pony gets it right the first time.

    Twilight: Don't you wanna be like me?
    She’s seen what can happen when ponies isolate themselves and feel unable to relate to others. Twilight knows what would have happened to herself. It’s hard to change who you are if nopony gives you a chance to be different.

    By not allowing time for mistakes, Twilight knows she’s just creating another Moondancer or Trixie from Magic Duel. Potential friends would become enemies. She's a princess and she understands how important her image is to teaching her subjects to act friendly to each other, but it is so much more personal for her.

    Twilight honestly understand the power friendship on others.

    Are these villains beyond hope? At least Sombra is, am I right?

    Her forgiveness doesn’t blind her to the fact some aren’t willing to change. Twilight is more than able to lock away any major threat to her kingdom, but that is not the statement she wants to make with her princesshood.

    The average pony doesn't have to face evil villains like she does, but they do deal with the friendship problems Twilight's wrestleded with. I think she fulfills her duty as princess by showing us to accept the shortcomings of our friends and to work with them to grow instead of beating them over the head with past failures.

    What do you think? Does Twilight's forgiveness fulfill her princess duty to Equestria?