• Member Since 27th Feb, 2013
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Sprocket Doggingsworth


I write horse words.

More Blog Posts217

Jun
24th
2021

Help! My Heart is Full of Pony! - Sleepless · 5:47am June 24th

After MLP: FiM ended, I embarked on a bit of a personal journey, as you well know. My goal: to look at the show with fresh eyes, and offer you fresh perspectives.

Well, I've been at it for a year and a half now. As I compile my reflections on Seasons 1 through 4, and attempt to turn them into a book, I keep finding myself putting certain episodes off, time and time again.

Sleepless in Ponyville is a pivotal moment in the evolution of the show, and one of the most beloved stories that MLP ever told. Ironically, the reason it's taken me so very long to work up the energy to write about "Sleepless..." is precisely because it is so very personal to me.

For those who don't remember, it opens with Scootaloo, zooming all over Ponyville on her scooter, executing masterful trick after masterful trick...until Rainbow Dash casually compliments her on her "moves." Scootaloo is so overwhelmed with joy that she crashes.

Scootaloo yearns for a big sister. She wants ever so desperately for Rainbow Dash to take her under her wing. The CMCs decide that a camping trip is the perfect place for Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash to bond, so they all go together: Apple Bloom with Applejack; Sweetie with Rarity; and Scoots paired off with Dash.

As I'm sure you all remember, the episode is characterized by a series of nightmare segments that correspond to spooky stories that Dash had told around the fire.

Princess Luna steps in to Scootaloo's dreams to deliver a potent message: face your fears, or the nightmares will continue. I could go on and on about how important a development this is for the show's world building. It is in this episode that we learn what Princess Luna's role in Equestria actually is. In this story we see a tremendous leap in character development - both for Scootaloo and for Luna.

However, I see it from an entirely different angle. You see, in the logic of MLP: FIM, parents don't actually matter all that much. Siblings are EVERYTHING. When Scootaloo breaks down and tells Rainbow Dash how she really feels - how she yearns desperately to have Dash in her life as a sister - a guiding light - there is a teeny tiny moment of shock on Rainbow Dash's part.

This is no light matter for Rainbow Dash - no symbolic gesture. It is a life-altering event, and she is rightly taken aback by it. But Rainbow Dash makes a split section decision. She agrees to change her life forever to help a child.

I'm not going to get into many personal details, but I became a stepfather under similar conditions - a time of great crisis and duress. Your life can change in the blink of an eye.

While it was, of course, a foregone conclusion that Rainbow Dash was going to rise to the occasion, I don't think we give her enough credit for it. While she had always had many praiseworthy characteristics, up to this point in the series, Rainbow Dash had generally lived a life unburdened by serious interpersonal responsibility.

All of that changed instantly in this teeny tiny moment that we all now take for granted as having been inevitable. But it wasn't inevitable. It was a choice - a hard choice on Rainbow Dash's part.

It is in moments like these that we find out who we are - what we are capable of. Your heart answers the call and your brain figures out a way to make it work after the fact. Trust me. It's scary.

Discuss.

-Sprocket

If you enjoy essays like these, please consider supporting my work on Patreon. You can also follow Heart Full of Pony on Tumblr

Comments ( 3 )

Yeah, this was a big episode on multiple levels. A great moment for Dash indeed.

Yeah, this is exactly why this episode was immediately one of my favorites and has been ever since. I'm an absolute sucker for sibling moments, and Dash rising to the occasion here was so good.

Thank you, as usual, for your insight, thoughts, and commentary. :)

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