[colour=#000080]PRINCESS LUNA: A COMMENTARY BY BELLOSH101[/colour]
Hello, and welcome to another edition of “Canterlot RP Spotlight”. This week, I’ve taken the liberty of covering one of our site’s most beloved cast characters. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Her Highness, the Princess of the Moon & Night:
WARNING: HERE BE RP SPOILERS.
I don’t think anyone here needs to be told who Princess Luna is. You know, the younger sister of Princess Celestia who got banished to the Moon for a thousand years, terrorized a town with antiquated ROYAL CANTERLOT TRADITIONS, and plays games of Inception with Equestria’s foals. For a character who only has a major appearance once per season, Luna has received quite a nifty character arc for herself. It’s not very hard to see why she’s become so popular with the MLP fandom.
Over here at Canterlot, Princess Luna has been portrayed by MyLittlePonyTales since almost the beginning of the forum’s existence. Just like with the show, Tales’s Luna underwent a character arc of her own. Behaving early on as the shy remorseful princess that many fans took Luna for back in the old days, the princess in Mane RP learned how to take names and regain her alicorn powers. Nowadays Luna enjoys seeking out the company of other ponies, although her royal status ensures that she gets surrounded by folks wherever she goes. Having already been spotted in such places as Sweet Apple Acres, a Canterlot coffee shop, and even a shop next to a junkyard, who knows where we’ll see Luna next?
Before we go forward, here’s a blast from a past for all of you fine people: the original Season One-era version of Tales’s character profile for Princess Luna:
Name: Princess Luna
Pelt colour: Dark blue
Mane/Tail colour & Style: Light blue, casual
Eye colour: Turquoise
Cutie Mark: A black splotch with a white moon over it
Physique: Normal body type, no special markings other than Cutie Mark
Occupation: Dual ruler of Equestria, the Goddess of the Moon
Motivation: Luna's Cutie Mark symbolizes her status as a Goddess, and her duty to ponies everywhere. Once a symbol of Harmony in Equestria, in recent times it has been a symbol of fear.
Likes: Walks through the castle garden, meeting new ponies, spending time with her sister Celestia.
Dislikes: Large crowds, being followed around by guards all the time.
Character Summary: Over a thousand years ago, Luna and her sister Celestia were assigned the task of ruling over all of Equestria. Celestia raised the sun during the day, while Luna raised the moon at night. But things were in Celestia's favour. While everypony enjoyed the daylight that Celestia brought, they slept through Luna's night. It seemed they cared only for the gifts of the elder sister. Luna became jealous, and one night, refused to lower the moon so that Celestia could once again bring daylight to the land. Celestia was forced to overthrow her sister, and banished her to the moon for a thousand years.
That time was finally up, and Luna came back to take revenge on her older sister. But once again she was defeated, this time by six extraordinary ponies. Once she was vanquished, she had a change of heart, and was allowed to once again rule by her sister's side.
The downside is that, when she was defeated, she reverted back to the age of a Filly. She lost a considerable amount of power, and must work hard in order to gain back what was lost. Furthermore, most of the ponies in Equestria still do not trust her after her treachery.
She has a long way to go before she can hope to regain her status as a Goddess of Equestria.
[colour=#000080]The Castle Garden[/colour][colour=#000080] / [/colour][colour=#000080]Night Walk[/colour][colour=#000080] / [/colour][colour=#000080]Recuperation in... Paradise?[/colour][colour=#000080] / [/colour][colour=#000080]Good Morning, Skyeshine[/colour][colour=#000080]:[/colour] Forming a four-part series, these RPs will give readers a glimpse into the really old days of Canterlot RP, when Princess Luna hadn’t yet became her Season Two self and when members could RP as OC relatives of the Royal Princesses themselves. The story begins in the castle garden, with the angsty Luna running away from Princess Celestia, played back then by MudBug, after telling her sister about a moon celebration she was contemplating. Heading off into the Whitetail Wood at night, Luna finds a new friend in the form of Skye, a long-lived peryton portrayed by the RPer of the same name. Along with finding someone new to bond with, Luna also begins the process of patching things up with her older sister... all after a brief scare with a ferocious bear first!
As readers can see, Tales’s Luna has come a long way since early 2011. Leaving off after the “Elements of Harmony” pilot episodes, Her Highness’s powers still hadn’t returned to her at the time, leaving her to mope about her uselessness. More importantly perhaps, the princess was too afraid seek out other ponies during the early days of Canterlot RP, thinking that everypony still hated her due to turning into Nightmare Moon. With all those chips on her shoulder, it’s thus a major accomplishment for Her Highness to make a friend in modern-day Equestria. Of course though, Luna would still have miles to go before she truly “returned to form”.....
[colour=#000080]One is the Loneliest Number:[/colour] In due time, Princess Luna summons the willpower to show her face in Canterlot. Filled with anxiety, she braves the city streets and quickly finds herself surrounded by ponies. Her earlier fears that her subjects would cower in fear due to her dark past proved to be unfounded... somewhat. When overzealous guards arrive on the scene to drive onlookers back, one young mare is left in hysterics over her persumed arrest. Luna however authoritavely sends the guards off and successfully calms down the mare, Riverhippo's OC Granola Gracie. And so Miss Gracie winds up as the first pony in Mane RP whom the princess personally wins over.
All and all, things went rather well for Her Highness. Aside from seeing once and for all that her subjects did not fear her one bit, Luna for the first time made use of her royal authority for one of the very first times post-NMM. Not only that, but the princess even learned of "night clubs" for the first time. Yet it would take another RP for Luna to eventually unlock her innate powers.....
[colour=#000080]An Eccentric Trespasser:[/colour] What started with the “Skye Quadrilogy” comes full circle with this RP, as we finally see how Princess Luna completes her transformation into the alicorn that we now know and love. When Luna and Celestia stumble upon the strange Doctor Whooves, still played to this day by Bramble Rose, the Royal Pony sisters get more than they bargained for when they follow the Doctor into the underbelly of Canterlot Castle. To their horror they find the lower levels infested with manasprites, parasprite-like bugs that feed off magic and have cocooned a number of guards. It is left to Luna to distract the main swarm while Celestia and Doctor Whooves confront the Manasprite Queen.
As one might expect, the trio end up eradicating the bugs and saving the day. For Princess Luna however, the adventure also awakened her dormant alicorn powers and restored her to her true stary-maned self. With the life of her subjects and her sister on the line, we also see the princess finally shake off her self-doubt and confidently step up to fulfill her role as bait. Gone forever is the old Luna who lamented her worthlessness and past history; in her place is a princess that we see in Mane RP today.
Taking place over the course of a year in real-time and going through two Celestia-RPers in the process, “An Eccentric Trespasser” should be read by all Canterlot members interested in adventure RPs. Aside from seeing the princesses work together as a team, Doctor Whooves's oddball personality provides a humorous foil to the down-to-business royal alicorns. In many respects, the story feels like something that came from an actual Doctor Who episode.
Before moving on, I just wanted to add this quote from the Doctor concerning her potential:
[colour=#8B4513]What do I mean about potential, Princess? Well, I mean that you ... you aren't the pony in those histories! And you aren't the pony you've been for the last thousand years, either. You are a wholly NEW pony. A new princess. And while you may have history behind you ... you have also a future ahead of you, a future you get to write... and who can say what sort of pony you have become, in this new chance that you have been gifted? So few ponies get a chance to become somepony truly new, to get a new opportunity to decide what sort of pony they are.[/colour]
[colour=#8b4513]That's the thing! You're the Princess, but beyond that, do you know who you are? It's all untested! Are you funny? Are you sarcastic? Sexy? Right old misery? Life and soul? Right-hoofed, left-hoofed? A gambler, a fighter, a coward, a traitor, a liar, a nervous wreck ? A heroine?[/colour]
[colour=#000080]A Night Under the Stars:[/colour] Now confident in her mantle as Princess of the Night, Luna is much more willing to wander out of the castle and make the acquaintance of her subjects. She encounters on one of her nocturnal expeditions the unicorns Ice Storm and Fire Heart, OCs used by IceStormx and Lux respectively who control their namesake elements. Later on, the trio also meets another night lover named Moondancer (one of my OCs as a matter of fact) while bonding at a deserted coffee shop.
In this thread, Luna is shown to be quite well adjusted to contemporary Equestria... at least more so than her immediate post-NMM self. Her Highness still finds it a bit odd that her night has become more appreciated nowadays, but you won’t see her angst over how she doesn’t deserve any sort of praise whatsoever. As a sign of her newfound maturity however, Luna additionally proves herself more comfortable with providing guidance and inspiration to her fellow ponies. In short, “A Night Under the Stars” is a neat glimpse into how Luna performs in an intimate RP setting.
[colour=#000080]1[/colour][colour=#000080]00 Country Kisses:[/colour] If the previous RP could be considered “cozy”, this thread would be the exact opposite. Craving the taste of fresh apples, Princess Luna inadvertently winds up as one of many ponies who descend upon Sweet Apple Acres on the day of a special promotion; buy a bushel of apples, and get a kiss from Applejack (as played by Riverhippo). Using her royal prestige to cut to the front of the line, Luna proves herself to be a rather fussy customer. Not only was she dissatisfied with her apples, but she even demanded a redo of the kiss AJ provided. At least it made for a good picture though:
(Image drawn by BrainedBySaucepans)
If anything, “100 Country Kisses” shows what happens whenever Princess Luna is inserted into a thread with a crowd of other characters in an Open RP. Namely, ponies lose their minds as they either rush to bow to one of their rulers or otherwise seek out her attention. Thanks to such crowds, it can be rather hard for characters to have some proper one-on-one moments with the princess. This brings us to our last spotlighted thread for the day.....
[colour=#000080]AMA: Princess Edition:[/colour] As part of a month-long stunt by the Canterlot Royal Public Relations departments, all three of Equestria’s princesses solicit letters from their subjects and respond to them as they see fit. As one of the three princesses, Luna gets bombarded with a whole slew of letters. Those who have engaged in written back-and-forth correspondence with her so far included an adorable filly, a pirate, a sleep-deprived weather pony, and more. If you want your character to interact with Luna without dealing with pesky crowds, then this thread is absolutely for you. Heck, who knows what will come with your OC's correspondence with the Night Mare? So don’t delay; post today!!!
And now, here’s an interview of the ever-amazing MyLittlePonyTales where the secrets of RPing as Luna are revealed to all:
Bellosh101: To start things off, what motivated you to first app Princess Luna way back in early 2011, and how did you portray her back during the Season One era?
[colour=#000080]Tales:[/colour] I'm not entirely sure, it was quite a few months ago. I guess I was just drawn to her... darker good character's tend to be my favorite. She was such an unknown back then, my application for her was SO short and vague. Haha, I actually remember Ashi, the old Admin, banning Alicorns from the Roleplay. Now THAT is a long standing rule. Anyway, I began to argue in favour of having Luna, but it turned out it was just a misunderstanding, and Ashi had only meant non-canon Alicorns. Funny thing, I originally listed Luna as a Unisus.
I played Luna as shy, definitely. She was very unsure of herself, wanting to explore the world of Equestria, but afraid of what everypony would think of her. She was quite tentative about the world around her, and many of the older Luna threads were just one-on-one, because she didn't want interaction with a large amount of characters.
Bellosh101: So your old Luna was more-or-less in line with how the fan community perceived her back then, am I right?
[colour=#000080]Tales:[/colour] Yeah, I suppose so. From what we saw in the “Friendship Is Magic: Part 2” episode, Luna wasn't this big booming character like she is in Luna Eclipsed. She's just this pony that, even though she's a princess, has done this huge wrong that she got banished for. And how she's portrayed in the story Twilight Sparkle reads in “Friendship Is Magic: Part 1”, she was this pony that no one ever noticed, so I think it suited her to be kind of a recluse.
All she ever wanted was just one friend in the whole world, and I think that would have saved her a thousand years ago.
Bellosh101: So how have developments in the show starting with “Luna Eclipsed” in Season Two force you to change how you RP Luna? What are your opinions concerning how the show has handled her so far?
[colour=#000080]Tales:[/colour] As mentioned, she used to be pretty shy in RP. Of course, I still had to play her somewhere. But she was still living in the shadow of her sister, still considering herself unworthy of having her princess position. She knew that she should have had just as much authority as Celestia, but she didn't feel like ponies gave her that respect. Not to mention, she was struggling to rebuild her relationship with Celestia. If you recall, she was also shorter in Season One than in Season Two, just a little taller than a regular mare, so it wasn't like she was a towering pony like Celestia is.
As for Season Two coming around, I was pleasantly surprised with how they portrayed Luna. I just have to say that someone did their research. The “royal we” is a real thing from like, medieval times, where “we” represented the royal family. It's because, when you're royalty, and you say something, it reflects on your entire family line. Well, it did a thousand years ago, anyway.
As I used to play her as shy, she's definitely come out of her shell. I actually had her do the transformation from season one to season two Luna in a thread, 'An Eccentric Trespasser'. She certainly gets a bit more excited now, and yells a lot more. And I think that that's okay, because in Season One she was new, and then in Season Two she's found herself again, so I think it works.
I recall thinking, 'what am I going to do?', and there were plenty of people on the site who were like, 'so are you going to change Luna now?' Since I actually was the character, I was like, all these things are different! So I had to work through that. Basically, I made it so some Roleplays occurred before Luna Eclipsed, and some after. And the thing is, while Luna started the episode using the Royal Canterlot Voice, by the end of it, she was talking basically normal, because of Twilight Sparkle's help. So I figured that she went home and practiced, and learned to speak in the current normal way. Because of that, Luna doesn't normally use the Royal Cantelrot Voice in roleplay. There wasn't a period where she used it all the time like in Luna Eclipsed. And that's because, I think that episode was one of her first outings into Equestria, and that's why she was so awkward. And guess what? The Crystal Empire episode rolled around, and Luna spoke more normally. So I think my assumption would be correct, that she's learned now how to better integrate herself into the current culture.
Bellosh101: How would you like the show to develop Luna further as the seasons progress?
[colour=#000080]Tales:[/colour] I think I would just enjoy more development in general. I remember some Season 2 spoilers came out, and they said there would be more Luna. Then she got her own episode early in the season, and it was really great... and then she just had a few more lines for the rest of the season, and that was it. Like, the “A Canterlot Wedding” episodes came around, and she had three lines through that whole thing. I felt like Hasbro was being a tease, hinting that she was going to be in the episode, and then she totally didn't show up at all in the battle or anything.
Um, like I said, Luna Eclipsed pleasantly surprised me with what they decided to do with Luna, and though I didn't expect it, I like it. So I trust Hasbro to do well with her.
Bellosh101: Moving on to RPing, what types of RP scenarios do you like to insert Luna into these days?
[colour=#000080]Tales:[/colour] I don't think there's a particular type that I specifically like. Each thread is totally different. There are different characters, different scenarios, different players... It's like, if I only liked one kind of thread, that would be kind of boring, so I mix it up when I can. I just like Roleplaying her, the type doesn't really matter.
Bellosh101: And since you like using Luna in all types of threads, what sorts of characters do you think the princess plays off against the best?
[colour=#000080]Tales:[/colour] I think it's just those that have an affinity for night. Not just those that are like, 'oh yeah, the nighttime is cool', but those that like, have star or moon or space-y Cutie Marks and the like. The way I play her, there weren't really any night related Cutie Marks a thousand years ago, which was part of the reason she felt so left out. The night life didn't exist like it does more so now. So like, ponies would have all your regular Cutie Marks—farming and vegetables and like clouds and flowers and just, things that kind of need the sun or talents that relate to the day time, you know? And it's like, every time she sees a night related Cutie Mark, it's just sort of amazing and kind of brings a smile to her face.
Also, she's pretty much interested in everything ponies have to say. Like, in the 'One is the Loneliest Number' Roleplay, a character starts to bring up something nerdy about a species of tree, and Luna gets excited herself to just talk about nature. Because, like, I bet Equestria wasn't so populated as it is now compared to a thousand years ago. So I bet farming was a bigger deal. Like in Hearth's Warming Eve, the Earth ponies grow all the food the other species need to live. So it's an important job, and I would bet Luna has done quite a bit of reading up on the outdoors, believe it or not. So, I don't think it matters what your pony is into, if they're interested in talking with Luna, she's happy.
Bellosh101: What sorts of unique challenges do you face when RPing Luna?
[colour=#000080]Tales:[/colour] Well, like I said earlier, I had to do sort of a revamp and changes to her after Luna Eclipsed. So like, the threads I was currently in, I had phase out my vision of this shy little Luna, and make way for this booming voice, this confident mare. And it's like, she's a princess for gosh sakes. So every time she goes out, everypony loses their minds because there is a princess in the room. And that's totally fine, that's a natural reaction. But it's like, having her drop into Manehattan, like if I wanted to do that, I would need a good reason. I don't think I've gotten her past the Everfree Forest, but I don't think I've actually been invited to any threads that were outside of Canterlot or Ponyville either. So I'm not just like, keeping myself confined, it's also people who want to Roleplay with Luna that are choosing the location. Not that that's bad, I mean she's out there among the public. But I'm not opposed to expanding her area of Roleplay, that's really just how things turned out coincidentally.
Bellosh101: You've used Luna now in a whole bunch of RPs and had her interact with numerous characters. However, what kinds of characters that Luna hasn't encountered yet in the RP that you'd like to RP her with in future RPs? What scenarios would you like to put Luna in that you haven't done so yet?
[colour=#000080]Tales:[/colour] Like I said before, Luna likes all types of characters, and has Roleplayed with many different kinds already. There will always be new players and new character's to interact with, and I think that's enough for me. I don't limit myself to who Luna can Roleplay with, so there is plenty of room for variety.
As for scenarios I would like to put Luna in, I've pretty much done everything I wanted to that I can think of. I did some Celestia threads, I tried out a few ideas that kind of died and turned out to not be as fun as I thought. Anything I want to do, I just do it, although at the moment there's nothing that I can especially think of.
Bellosh101: Just curious, but how many RPers have sent requests for you to have Luna join a thread with their characters?
[colour=#000080]Tales:[/colour] Haha, I don't think I could count. At least five of my current ones, and two past ones I can see. I've also had people ask me, but then not have an idea of what they want to do in the RP. They're just like, 'hey want to do a Luna thread with my character?' and of course I'm not going to agree until I know what their idea for a thread is. But sometimes, they just don't have an idea, and they ask ME for one. And it's like, YOU came to me asking to Roleplay, you come up with the idea. XD
Bellosh101: Ah yes, you covered this back when you did the Canterlot Voice.
Tales: True true, I did.
Bellosh101: Well, if you had to pick a RP thread or two which exemplify your Luna RP at its best, what would they be and why?
[colour=#000080]Tales:[/colour] Let's see, I really liked An Eccentric Trespasser. Another good one that's still going on now is the Ask Me Anything Princess Edition. Basically, I like that thread, because it opens up the possibility for Luna to meet so many new ponies, but just briefly, so it's not like a group thread where everything is convoluted. So it just opens up a way for anypony to meet the princess, a little, and also it's a questions thread, so I'm learning some things about Luna I hadn't thought about before as well.
Bellosh101: And now for our last question: why is the Luna we know nowadays Best Pony? XD
[colour=#000080]Tales:[/colour] Well, this is awkward. I think Rainbow Dash is the best pony.
Bellosh101: Now you tell us. <_<
[colour=#000080]Tales:[/colour] Well, I think I mentioned it in the Canterlot Voice where I was interviewed as a Moderator. I really like Princess Luna, but it's just that I enjoy my Roleplay and fanfiction versions of her rather than what the show has given us. So I Roleplay her a lot, but like, she hasn't had a whole lot of in-show development, it's all fandom development. And I like Rainbow Dash as the show has her.
Bellosh101: Ah yes; any additional comments you'd like to mention about how you write Luna beyond what we see in the show before we sign off?
[colour=#000080]Tales:[/colour] Think I'm good.
Bellosh101: Alrighty then. Thank you for being an awesome interviewee today, Tales!
[colour=#000080]Tales:[/colour] Yep yep.
And that’s a wrap. As usual, I hope everyone here enjoyed this latest read. Come back next week when I go ahead and spotlight another one of our site’s great RP threads. PS: Enjoy the new year, everybody!