• Editorial: My Relatable Pony: Princess Luna

    Princess Luna: The keeper of dreams, she's been banished for 1,000 years and now is adjusting to the modern world while upholding her responsibilities as the princess of the night. Mysterious, driven and a bit intimidating at times, Luna is a leader whose accomplishments can be hard for other ponies to notice.

    A history of jealousy and bitterness have separated her from those she's loved for many moons, but she ready to get back to the subjects she wants so deeply to connect with.

    If you've ever found yourself empathizing with the night princess, then have I got a post for you.

    Throughout the years, Princess Luna has been a vastly popular character. It's an understatement to say her fans are dedicated; they are downright loyalists. In fact, a brony meet-up I went to had me severely questioned on my allegiance to Luna. I think I'm still being held hostage by the New Lunar Republic.

    Jokes aside, she is a character that is so easy to love and sympathize with. She's the first villain and story of redemption we meet in the series. I would argue that next to Twilight, Luna is the next most human character in episode 1. Of course, the other characters have their moments, but we get a backstory, character development, and relatable flaws right off the bat with Luna. 

    Connected to Others on a Personal Level 

    How many princesses know their subjects by name and personal life goals?
    I’ve heard it said that Luna is a very personal princess. Unlike Celestia who is often mingling with a large group of ponies, Luna is meeting with individuals. She knows her subjects names and even shares a bond with them by helping them through nightmares.

    And even though we don’t see it in the show, we know Luna is meeting with more than just the CMC and Starlight. She even takes the time to watch her sister’s play and speak with patrons at the theater.

    Luna: Oh, I know that sun didn't just outshine my moon. 

    And even when things happen she isn’t too pleased with, she still manages to understand the needs of the individuals around her. She's actually very understanding and patient even if she's not good at hiding her disappointments in her facial expressions.

    If you find that you prefer one on one connections with others over group interactions, then you've probably identified with Luna.

    Subtle Compassion 

    Such a simple act, but it shows the depth of Luna's compassion for the castle staff.

    A lot of what makes Luna so great doesn’t happen in large gestures. Her more reserved nature has her caring for others but not always being recognized for it. When Luna puts out the lavender we should know that she does little things like this all the time.

    I know I’ve done small stuff like this from time to time. There’s no reward for doing these good deeds, but it makes the lives of those around us happier and it’s the details that often make life better. Luna probably never will openly express her great concern for others, but she will always find a way to bring comfort and happiness to those around her.

    If you find you're not overly expressive but still brimming with love, you’re like Luna.

    Quick to Learn Forgiveness. 

    Luna: Even though it was your fault the gifts were left at home, I've learned anger isn't the best response.

    Forgiveness is not Luna’s forte. She doesn't easily let offenses go, but she also doesn't let the truth go. When she is confronted and proven to be wrong for her reservations, she's quick to forgive and move on.

    Look at Luna grow proud of Twilight's ascension. I can't help but point out Celestia's pride in her sister too.
    Luna is on a quest for self-improvement. She doesn't want to continue in negative attitudes because she knows that will only lead her back to a life of bitterness. Another great example of this was Luna's hesitation to send Twilight to the Crystal Empire when Sombra returned. However, when Twilight proved she was worthy of the princess title, Luna was happy for her on her coronation day.

    Luna doesn't mind being proved wrong, she wants to move past holding grudges against ponies because of her own personal feeling. Now I doubt any of us have gotten so overwhelmed by our feelings that we tried to plunge the Earth into darkness, but hopefully, you relate to learning how to let such feeling go when you realize other's don't deserve your ire.

    Self Hatred

    Despite Luna's growth in forgiving other, she doesn't seem to know how to free herself from the same burdens.

    Now I know this is not a very lighthearted comparison, but it’s one I think is important to note. Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep has a lot of interpretations to a lot of people, but one I see is that Luna is using mental and emotional abuse to punish herself. She has anxiety about her past mistakes and harming herself acts to relieve it because she’s convinced it will keep her from becoming Nightmare Moon again. This is a form of self-harm.

    There are plenty of people who feel the need to hurt themselves either to relieve anxiety or to punish themselves. These individuals don’t feel they can forgive themselves or that they're not worthy of forgiveness. Even children can struggle with this.

    This aspect of Luna is heartbreaking, but it is relatable. I would encourage anyone who currently relates to this to do as Luna did and seek help. Tell someone you trust what you’re feeling and don’t be ashamed that you have anxiety or personal resentment. You’re precious and wonderful and you have a lot to offer this world that self-harming is taking away from you.

    Luna has a lot of emotional insecurities, but she’s a strong pony as well. The longer she has to heal from her past the better she’ll become.

    Feeling Ignorant 

    Celestia: You've been on the moon 1,000 years, so I don't expect you to know much. 
    Jumping back to a moment in the Crystal Empire; you know how Luna was trying to offer suggestions but Celestia was all like, "Trust me."  I feel like Luna probably has had to question her own ideas a lot since returning to a kingdom that has completely changed around her. She doesn't know much. It's like that first week on a new job. There's nothing you can really contribute and it's not because your stupid, you're just ignorant to how things are done.

    Being sent to the moon for 1,000 can be rather disorienting. Being a princess, Luna is always in the public eye and therefore making public mistakes.

    Luna: Is this not the Flossing? 
    And while she wants to be adored, her old-fashioned mannerisms are probably a put off for many ponies. To make matters worse, Luna is returning to do a job that has completely changed. Think about it, the nightmares ponies used to have a thousand years ago won't look the same as they do today. I imagined Luna's probably popped up in a couple regular dreams thinking things were going wrong. How embarrassing.

    Fun Fact: Dreaming about losing teeth usually means you feel powerless.
    And imagine living in an era where things like cameras didn't even exists and then coming to find out that not smiling for one could ruin the day for several children. Luna makes blunders on big and small issues. It's hard feeling like you can't do things right!

    It's relatable because all of us have stumbled like this somewhere in our life. Eventually, we all feel out of our element.

    Doing Your Best Work Alone

    Nothing like the solitude of a tall tower.
    Call her an introvert, but Luna does her best work alone. Because she's the princess of the night most others are asleep thus she's grown accustomed to getting things done alone. She still watches over everypony and their dreams, but there's not a lot of opportunities to share ideas or work together on projects.

    Luna: Aren't you glad it's just me seeing your greatest fears instead of a whole committee?
    But honestly, I don't think she minds too much. A lot of what Luna does is counseling and that is best done just one on one. It would be hard for Luna to work with a whole team offering suggestions. I also think it's safe to say there are a lot of us who prefer to work independently. If you don't believe me just remember how hard working on a group project was in school.

    Living in Someone’s Shadow

    "Did you really expect me to sit idly by while they all basked in your precious light?"
    So we all know the story of how Princess Luna got so jealous she turned into Nightmare Moon, but I think a lot more of us can relate to having an older sibling who seems to be better than us.

    Ever wonder if Equestria will start a Winter Moon celebration anytime soon?
    Time for me to get out my soapbox. I love my big sister. She's the smartest, kindest, most level-headed person I know, meaning I'm not. By the time people meet me, it's easy to just be labeled [Insert my sister's name here]'s younger sister. I'm a capable human being too; seriously I just get distracted halfway through a sentence is all! It's So Relatable!

    Because Celestia raises the Sun and interacts with more ponies, she is generally seen as the greater of the two princesses. All their attention gravitates towards Celestia.

    Luna doesn't even get to stand on the top platform.
    Also thanks to her Thousand-Year imprisonment, most royals and dignitaries don't really associate with Luna. They've already built their relationship with a princess and their not too pressed to do so again. (Luckily Twilight is the new princess now so maybe Luna will get more attention). Luna doesn't seem to make the big decisions, she's is not the star of any ceremony, Luna is always in second place. Of course, Luna loves her sister, but she is definitely living in Celestia's shadow.

    Anyone else willing to admit they've felt this way?

    Can't this editorial be doubled? 

    I'm afraid not, Luna doesn't do well with too much attention.

    Luna is a princess with a lot of heart, but a rather reserved personality. She's pushing herself to learn more about the changing world around her while at the same time applying the same great love for her subjects she's always had. 

    Luna really is a compassionate princess. Anyone who relates to her should see that inside of themselves too. Luna became Nightmare Moon because she felt unloved; she is driven by a desire to connect to others. She just doesn't like being crowded by others. 

    If you relate to Luna, just know you may be overcome by your feelings at times and you need to watch out for that, but nothing about your feelings are invalid. You're caring, smart, loyal and above all responsible. Your heart for your community inspires you to do whatever it takes to improve. Just remember to take care of yourself too.