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From bacon-haired bully to wings and newspapers! Patreon Reward for Nuclearcore · 7:05am Aug 28th, 2018

Heya, Readers! In this patron sponsored blog post brought to you by nuclercore we’ll explore a, probably long overdue, topic… Sunset Shimmer!

Giver her a hand! She’s been super patient… I mean, given my writing… really, REALLY patient. Source.

Longtime readers of mine might know I first started writing Sunset WAAAY back in my first and longest running fic. This first incarnation is very much how she appears in the first movie pre-literal-demonization. Also, she’s in a chapter that contains a lot of ice skating… like… sooo much ice skating… The research I did and videos I watched to get that chapter right… ugh…

One notable thing about this version is it provides something of an explanation of mean Sunset’s appeal as someone whose date-worthy despite having a horrible personality… you know… besides the fact that she’s hot as hell. She has a certain kind of dangerous allure… and she’s hot as hell. This Sunset is still kicking around this particular fic, though she’s quite a bit closer to Sunset of my MADverse, now.

My first real serious attempt at writing Sunset (and I mean serious), came out of my second longest running fic in terms of age. This takes place immediately after the first Equestria Girls movie (technically BEFORE the end) and explores Sunset going from bully to maybe someone a bit kinder… Oh yeah, and demons are involved.

‘Sup, nerds?

As mentioned, I’m still working on this one, but I began writing it before Rainbow Rocks was a thing or we even knew it was gonna be a thing… When it’s done… someday… hopefully it’ll work as a nice bridge from ‘bully Sunset’ to the ‘maybe a little too nice’ Sunset of Rainbow Rocks.

And then one day I concluded that the way to get Canterlot High students to do anything was to just sing a song during lunchtime…

And something magical happened. Source.

This is really where the Sunset, or ‘my’ Sunset that most of you all know and, presumably, love emerges. The mostly perpetual strait-woman/mare that kinda always has to deal with everyone else’s insanity… Unless she’s decided just going to take a ‘me’ day, in which case it probably sucks to be Twilight Sparkle.

And then I get really MAD at a two-parter of the series which blew everything wide open. Sometime later, newspapers.

This became something of a thing… Source.

Though, I don’t want to do this entire blog just about the things I’ve done with the character… That would be a EqGs1 Sunset Shimmer thing to do! So, I’ll take a look at Sunset from her introduction to her current state.

Mostly by focusing on the Equestria Girl movies though. I mean, I know the specials are things and I’ve watched and enjoyed them, but the movies will make for good benchmarks and I’d be here all night and day if I flew too close to that sun.

Also, this particular post is gonna be picture heavy. Deal with it. Source.

So, our initial exposer to Sunset is something of a generic bully, but turned up to 11… You know it, I know it, Meghan McCarthy hopefully knows it… Honestly, the two things I found most interesting about her character is that she turned into a “literal she-demon” at the movie’s climax and all the unanswered questions regarding her past and what lead her to self-imposed exile away from Celestia in a world without magic…

Granted, earth does have its own type of magic. Source.

This would kinda come to a bit of a head with Rainbow Rocks where we learn, surprise! Sunset had a way of contacting Celestia the entire time! She just didn’t feel like using it for some reason… Okay, fair, but… Why didn’t Celestia use it to contact Sunset? I mean… You’d think Celestia would at least pick up a quill to see if her magic book still worked when she noticed Sunset must have run off with it… Sunset was clearly gone for a while. Sure, volatile little Sunset Shimmer might have made an angry, potentially fiery mess on her way out, but Celestia kinda has a responsibility to check up on an ex-former student and subject who is in another dimension… Especially when she’s literally the only pony who can reach out to Sunset… Whatever Sunset did, it was apparently redeemable given Twilight was sent to a new world without so much a ‘By the way, Twilight, Sunset Shimmer might totally shank you over there! Good luck, my little pony!”

This line of thinking is what led to a pretty critical part of MAD and also came up in For the Mare Who Has Everything.

Also… I feel I got a bit distracted regarding talking about Sunset in RR… Uh… Don’t get me wrong, Rainbow Rocks is my favorite movie of the EqGs franchise and I can give at least three reasons why. As mentioned, however, Sunset is simply on the other end of the attitude pendulum from where she was in movie 1, save for her losing her temper once or twice. Now, this makes sense from a story standpoint, she basically seems to be in the preverbal doghouse for the entire movie and flat-out states she’s working overtime not to make any mistakes, it’s just a shame we don’t get to see the real Sunset.

But she did overcome her own fears by the end and summoned a giant alicorn with the power of a Pink Floyd album to save the day.

Or maybe it was the power of beer and acceptance… either way.

With Friendship Games, we started to see Sunset’s personality pendulum begin to swing back away from its ‘maximum-nice’ position to something a bit more her, or at least how I see and write her. Though, I still don’t feel this movie quite got captured Sunset’s personality all the way.

We did get Daydream Shimmer, though, and this prompted me to write Sunset as an alicorn, because if somepony setting you up to botch a spell, then fix it through the power of song and friendship is enough to get wings, then bathing in the combined power of your realms elements of harmony to fight a gluttony manifestation that’s destroying two worlds only to empathize with what they’re going through and convince them there’s a better way is certainly enough.

And then Everfree is up…

Honestly, this is where the Sunset Shimer Sarcasm Ship finally landed. Sunset is still nice to her friends, but she’s also sporting a sardonic wit that writers like myself have given her. Plus, we get to see a few funnier moments of her by herself. So yeah, she’s a character that’s come such a long, long way in my writing and in canon as well. Nice to see her come into her own finally… Though, I dunno if I’m totally sold on her new cyber-punk look.

Something is definitely wrong here… I think I need MORE spikes…

All that aside, I think Sunset’s development of a character is one of the most satisfying things this franchise has given us. Even if, you know… they should have put wings on her after movie three. For a series that just love, love, loves to redeem characters, Sunset has one of the most believable journeys of growth and redemption. Partially because I feel more time was taken to transform her from villain to heroine, and also because she’s really shown to have conquered ‘most’ her flaws, but while retaining just enough that it doesn’t feel like we have a brand-new character altogether. Her journey encapsulates one of the core messages the show has been maybe… beating us over the head with a hammer as of late, and with Sunset it feels like a lot more time and care was taken.

Gonna go full Mr. Roger’s here. Source.

Despite the bad that’s happened to you or the bad you’ve done, you can move past it, you can grow, and you can overcome. What’s more, you can become the person (or pony) you know you want to be. It may not easy. It’s not supposed to be easy. In fact, you might need to be pulled out of a few holes… sometimes literally. And sometimes you might try your hardest and it’s just not enough, and other times you might mess up and that part of you that you hoped you buried will show, but that ideal ‘you’ is still in there somewhere. So, keep fighting the good fight and keep striving to find opportunities to prove to those around you and, more importantly, yourself that You. Are. Amazing.

And remember that if you’re particularly good at being amazing, you get to snark people and be loved all the more for it.

Alright, that’s enough Sunset talk… for now… As always, Patreon here if you want to get in on this “mostly monthly” thing I do.

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Comments ( 9 )

your version of Sunset influenced most modern day Sunset fics I think.

it's impossible to see her as anything but snark and we love you for making her like that and her for being like that.

Something is definitely wrong here… I think I need MORE spikes…

Obviously, Adagio's incessant grinding has affected her fashion choices. I mean, the spiked headphone band is obviously one that Sunset borrowed from Adagio.

Probably as recompense for the whole dentist thing.


I’ll say this much. If Sunset ever tripped, whoever is in front of her when she goes down is either going to need a trip to the emergency room or the morgue.:twilightoops:

I think the Alicorn transformation only comes if you have proven yourself worthy of it. Both Sunset shimmer and Sci-Twi have accepted their darkness but only Sci-Twi has overcome it. Sunset is still fighting hers.

I had a brief discussion with Nova over this and my head-canon here is now that Sunset has figured out how to transform so easily (given she does it so often... even when she's just singing an aria to herself) that she's either consciously suppressing her wings because that might mean a bunch of princess duties she's not ready for or doesn't want to deal with, or she's subconsciously doing it.

The way she delt with Nightmare Sparkle very much comes off as Sunset conquering her own past, and... again, Sunset apparently wrote a song about how she's done just that. If I had to come up with a reason why SciTwi has wings, it'd probably be because of some residual princess Twilight magic or some convenient handwave for the animators.

I believe in a recent comic con they showed clips of an upcoming special where the Canterlot High girls go to Equestria and they made SciTwi a unicorn, so it doesn't seem likely SciTwi has done anything in canon that grants her full alicorn status. Or hey... maybe she's a human/pegasus until she crosses over. :rainbowlaugh:

Midnight sparkle doesn't really count because the elements of Harmony were at the weakest when Sci-Twi transformation. But through all rage special Sunset doesn't seem to trust them a lot. She is more friendly with Sci-Twi because they had a demonic transformation. Starlight Glimmer and Trixie. And I wouldn't blame sunset for not fully trusting the Rainbooms again. Anon-a-miss caused a lot of pain for her.

4927112 I think it's because you have to actually be able to reach the plane of harmony or whatever at the height of your deeds to transform into an alicorn, as Twilight did. No matter how heroic and virtuous Sunset's actions were, they were unfortunately not performed in Equestria, so the harmonious magic that gave her wings wasn't permanent the way it would have been if she'd done the same thing on the other side of the mirror.

I did a take on Anon-a-Miss... suffice to say my interpretation differs a bit from anyone who took it at face value.
Well, they were performed while Equestria was 'bleeding over' and I kinda find that answer a bit unsatisfactory as it suggests that while Sunset qualifies, she didn't "phrase her answer in the form of a question" and it feels pretty cheap. Then again, I've basically moved well past this with my fics and have a head-canon that I can work with outside that satisfies me.


it suggests that while Sunset qualifies, she didn't "phrase her answer in the form of a question" and it feels pretty cheap

Oh, it's definitely pretty cheap. I imagine the Tree of Harmony as this guy: i.imgur.com/PpV0evc.png .

(Also spoiler alert, apparently the Tree of Harmony really is that much of a petty jerk and needs a Sunset with a newspaper STAT.) I just think it's a better answer than "Sunset's heroism/internal growth wasn't nearly as good as Twilight's." It's my way of explaining why Sunset isn't an alicorn when clearly she deserves to be.

Of course, fics that show her as an alicorn are more enjoyable than both.

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