• Member Since 27th Feb, 2013
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Sprocket Doggingsworth


I write horse words.

More Blog Posts216

Jul
23rd
2021

Help! - My Heart is Full of Pony - Luna and Children · 5:31am July 23rd

The main body of Luna's work in the dream realm focuses on children's nightmares. This is only natural of course considering the target audience.

It raises some interesting questions though. As I reflect upon it, I find myself confronted with my own biases, (and our dominant culture's biases) regarding the perception of nightmares. When an adult has frequent nightmares, it's generally considered a sign of trauma. When a kid has frequent nightmares, however, it's dismissed as simply part of "being a kid." Children, after all, have poor emotional regulation due to lack of practice/discipline, and of course, insufficient neural development. At least that's the way we generally think of it. It makes a certain kind of sense since most of us remember having nightmares as a kid. It seems natural that we would perceive them as...just part of being a kid.

However, I don't think you can pin it all on that.

A child's world is constantly changing, along with their perception of their role in it. That process is traumatic in and of itself.

I mean...I can't even deal with an OS change, or an alteration in company policy without getting stressed out. It's easy to look back on childhood joys and forget just how hard it all was - how confusing.

That's not even counting abuse.

Childhood is as terrifying as it is wondrous. That's part of why kids bond so closely with their friends. They're comrades in the same trenches, fighting to make sense of themselves as social beings, and of a world where they have very little autonomy.

Part of what makes Luna such a powerful image is the fact that she brings an air of motherly guidance into the chaos of dreams. Yes, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom each have to face their fears on her own, but there's still something primordial about her presence.

Even in later seasons when the show uses the dream realm to explore Luna's own fragility, there's still a certain magic there. The trauma that children face as they grow into themselves - it's not a distant, idealized memory for Princess Luna. That primordial terror is woven into the very fabric of her being.

It's not uncommon for people who have experienced serious trauma to be fiercely protective of children.

All this makes me wonder. With millions of young viewers, it seems near impossible that none of them would have dreamt of Princess Luna. It gives me joy to think that somewhere out there is a child who faced their fears because the Luna in their dreams told them to.

There's probably a lot of kids who've had that experience.

-Sprocket

If you enjoy essays like these, please consider supporting my work on Patreon. For this particular essay, I will donate all Patreon earnings to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Comments ( 3 )
Kkat #1 · July 23rd · · ·

It's not uncommon for people who have experienced serious trauma to be fiercely protective of children.

This may be tangential, but Luna's relationship with children has been at the core of her heart throughout the show. It is a beautiful thread woven through her episodes. During her first Nightmare Night, it was the fear of the children that affected Luna the most. And it was Pipsqueak whose words really got through to her.

Something I took note of for "Prey": Luna's very first real, post-Tantabus nightmare centers on having possibly messed up a field trip by not smiling right. Of all the stresses in a very stressful day, the worst for her is the feeling that she failed those children.

With millions of young viewers, it seems near impossible that none of them would have dreamt of Princess Luna. It gives me joy to think that somewhere out there is a child who faced their fears because the Luna in their dreams told them to.

Indeed. Realizing the real-world impact the show has had is truly enheartening.

Reese #3 · July 24th · · ·

Thank you, again and as usual, for sharing your insights. :)

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