Way, way back in 2012 when I still had a tiny sense of perspective on the character of Princess Cadance (which I have since lost) I complained pretty hard about the Season 2 Finale. Principally, I felt it was incredibly tepid of the writing staff to make "love" analogous to "cosmic glowy force used to bitchslap monsters with." This concern may seem unfounded, since as early as episode 2, the writing staff made "friendship" analogous to "cosmic glowy force used to bitchslap monsters with," but my point was that the power of Twilight's friendships was clearly demonstrated in real-life situations throughout the course of the first two episodes. The inevitable Rainbow of NoooOOOoooo seemed an organic and symbolic manifestation of the power we'd already been witness to.
"A Canterlot Wedding" skipped straight past the critical first part and dove straight to bitchslapping. We never really saw love manifested as we did with friendship. As best as we can tell, love is an abstract evil-smacking and/or strengthening force that passes from one pony to the next in a form of magical communion. Cadance says "My love will give you strength!" and then they horntouch and all heaven breaks loose. This trend continues with "The Crystal Empire" which equates love first with an abstract single-pony force used to erect a barrier and then with an abstract multiple-pony force used to smash Sombra into leetle tiny pieces.
Though never explicitly stated in the text, Cadance is overwhelmingly implied to be the Princess of Love. Twilight implies her love-spreading powers are virtually unique (at least in scope) in part one of "A Canterlot Wedding," and in "You'll Play Your Part" her chorus lyric is "As Love lights a place in every heart," directly paralleling the sun- and moon- related lyrics of Celestia and Luna immediately preceding.
And yet, when Twilight bemoans her lack of function as a Princess, she notably doesn't mention the spreading of Love as Cadance's duty, instead summing it up as "protect(or) of the Crystal Empire," implying at best the same ambiguous Magical Blue Love Force we've seen before. And when Twilight becomes the momentary bastion of all alicorn magic everywhere, Love is again used simply for flank-kicking purposes.
The point of this blog post is:
Can we actually see an alicorn-level display of Love at some point? Not as a neutralizing and destructive force, for once? Can we actually see Cadance doing her job? Because unless you go to the chapter books (which do helpfully note that Cady is employed as a negotiator between conflicting Canterlot noble factions, thank you, Ms. Berrow) the best we really have is Cady convincing a married couple to temporarily not bicker about the wife's recent hooficure, and I think we can all agree this is pretty insipid as a display of goddess-level love power.
oh and i want them to have a baby or something but whatever
Those of you who care nothing of the pinkest of all extant princesses, thank you for your patience, and be rewarded by Parry Gripp's "Moonbeam Song," the single finest ScootaLuna song yet written by a guy who probably doesn't even know he did so: