Sunset Shimmer 4,484 members · 5,266 stories
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Hey, not sure if people have asked this but something I've been thinking about is whether Sunset actually has a family back in Equestria. Obviously she'd have to have parents, but no mention or even hint of them is ever given and Sunset doesn't seem even a little broken up about staying in another world, which would lead people to assume maybe she's an orphan. Though I like to think that since Sunset is meant or was meant to be a dark reflection of Twilight perhaps she had a crappy home life and that's what made her so quick to jump to Celestia and why she felt so betrayed by her in the end.

Naturally there are plenty of stories that have addressed this, one even had Spitfire as her sister, which I thought was pretty cool. But what do you think?

In the (questionably canon) comics she mentions a family offhand, and admits they wern't very close.

4292373 The Sunset Shimmer Holiday Special has a few lines that vaguely allude to the concept of family not being much of a thing for her anymore.

Key word on vague, there, and what's worth taking from the comics is variable anyway. So do whatever works best for the story you're trying to tell.

With the story I've personally been working on, I went with Sunset as an only child, with a young, single father. Decent enough guy who loves her as much as any parent, but not able to help her with the various issues that build up in her that makes her the mare she is today.

In my story, A Sparkling Sunset, I had it that Sunset's dad was a soldier who was killed in action when she was two, so she mainly grew up in an orphanage before being brought in by Celestia as her student after she displayed great magical talent.
The identity of her mother was unknown, but (the following has been praised as a shocking moment so I'm going to hide it as a spoiler in case anyone reading this message wants to read the story) its revealed to Twilight by Luna that Celestia was actually Sunset's mother, and that Twilight's role as a princess was meant for Sunset instead.

I've always portrayed her as having lost her parents when she was a teenager and going into Celestia's school because there wasn't much else for her to do. Her having a bad homelife is a cool angle, though. It would explain a few things.

As for the holiday special, I'm pretty much ignoring what it has to say on Sunset, because it made her sleep in the school's library. As in, she never got a place to live in five years in that world. For someone as smart and pragmatic as Sunset, I don't buy that. At all.

4292461 I interpreted the comic as though she wasn't sleeping in the library because she lived there, but for nostalgia's sake (because she did for awhile when she first came through the mirror.)


Wait I've read the comic, where exactly does it mention she lived in the library.

Oh, I totally buy her sleeping there at first. I mean, if she think she's chasing her destiny, and the portal dumps her in front of the school, then the school must have something to do with her destiny, she might think. But why sleep there later? Just a comfort thing, since she was so down? I can't imagine her first nights in that world were fun or nostalgia worthy, given she'd probably have nothing and nobody when she first arrived. But, then again, people do get nostalgic about odd things, so maybe.

She doesn't actually say it, but we see it in this shot. A book bed. I mean, I guess she could be just making a book bed for no particular reason, but she's not Twilight, so it's really weird. Actually, sleeping on books at all is strange for someone who doesn't love books like Twi. Now I'm questioning Sunset sleeping on books at all.


My personal favorite is the headcanon I first saw in "(Mid)taken Identity": Sunset lost her parents when she was little and became the first (and only) adopted daughter of Celestia.
I was going to adapt that into the story I'm writing, too.


That book bed is obviously a preserved and treasured memento of the school, reminding of Princess Twilight Violet Sparkle's three-day visit at Canterlot High. :moustache:

I'm pretty much with the orphan camp, given my storyline. Whatever family she had, she obviously didn't give a second thought towards before heading for the human world.

In my stories she an orphan who parents died when she was young and was taken in by Celestia, but when she arrive in the human world she finds out her parents are alive and that her human counterpart ran away from home. So she took her place and after rainbow rocks the human sunset comes back home and after the family drama and explanations they live together as twin sisters which unfortunately not many stories do.

I don't feel strongly about it, but that's what I go with. Not that I like IDW comics, but in the absence of information I think it's always best to go for the simplest explanation unless there's a plot reason otherwise.

If I'm writing a story about her, anything that could potentially add drama (like if her parents died in a car accident or whatev) needs to be considered carefully on whether or not it's necessary and whether or not I want to deal with it.

4292373 I believe Sunset was an orphan before she became Celestia's student, and after that Celestia adopted her.

I actually prefer to keep her the mysterious girl, and have her past shrouded in mystery. In a show where just about everybody has a developed origin and background, it's nice and unique to have that one character whose past is unknown, to keep the viewers guessing.

In my heacanon her father has been dead for 15 to 20 years, her mother is still alive but they drifted apart after the death of her father and subsequent craziness issues. Her mother has the important job of running a country.

In my story Sunset's a spy and the whole bad girl thing is just an act. She's actually a patriot and her dad was a soldier who died in battle.


I'm working on a story based off my idea of Sunset's past. I think that Sunset had parents, but they were killed in a train accident on the way to Canterlot. (Story idea inspired, not all mine.) This lead to Sunset being adopted by Celestia and so on until she turns against Celestia.

I have read the comic, but I don't believe it is canon. On one known occasion, canon has contradicted a comic. (Therefore, I don't think any of them are canon)

Over all, I don't know if she's an orphan or not. I guess we might find out. Of corse this depends on weather or not Sunset returns to Equestria. Friendship Games is only a few moths away, maybe we'll find out.

I've always imagined her as a foundling; someone with parents who, for some reason, left her at the home of someone in Canterlot, where she grew up.
Either that, or a runaway who left home when she was too young to remember - a la Bean, from Ender's shadow - and lived on the streets of Canterlot until entering Celestia's tutelage.

4292373 I like the idea of Spitfire as her sister but mostly I think she was an orphan. Like: When she was born her mother and father loved her very much. War came father went as a soldier among all the other war ponies. After they found his body in the trench among others. Sunset's heart was torn apart but her mother was so sad she committed suicide and Sunset had no mother or father and was sent to an orphan camp. When she grew older she enrolled herself in Celestia's magic school (or whatever it was called.) and I think you get the story from there. This is my view of everything but honestly I could care less if she was an orphan or she had a family.

4292373 I'd like to say a potentially abusive family. Would explain much about her bullying past.

"No, dad, what about you?"

"Fuck you!"

"Dad! What about you!?"



Group Admin

There is clearly something wrong with this fandom. Someone's parents aren't explicitly shown on screen during an episode? Orphan! Someone mentions that family isn't a big deal or important to them? Orphan!

AJ, Big Mac, and Apple Bloom are all orphans.
Scootaloo is of course an orphan.
Rainbow Dash is an orphan.
Fluttershy, you guessed it. Orphan.

Twilight, Pinkie, and Rarity have all had parents on-screen, but clearly those parents are all orphans, as we've seen no grandparents.

Celestia, Luna, and Cadance? Orphan princesses!

Trixie? Orphan. Gilda? Orphan.

Discord? More like Discophan. Not even a pony and he's cursed with the tragedy.

Equestria is filled with ponies with dead parents.


For most stories, the existence or nonexistence thereof of a family is unimportant, or at best, a minor background detail.

Other stories will revolve around family as a presence, or at least have it as a major theme. With the background on so many characters left open by the show, you can fit almost anything in there for any given pony and justify it somehow.

Orphan-dom is often used as cheap drama by inexperienced writers though, who execute it poorly and give it a bit of a :ajbemused: impression these days.

I once had a theory that there was some war or other cataclysm in the past. That's why nopony has parents and there are more mares than stallions (and no one wants to talk about that, so the reason for war was probably silly).

Maybe she has a fetish...

Group Admin

Yup. Writers trying to be 3edgy5me.

I too have a theory. Ponies share traits with praying mantisi. The males die in the mating process, as the females eat their heads at climax.

Then, after carrying the children to term, the mothers die in childbirth.

Equestrian society has taken to assigning "caretakers" to these young ponies. Ponies like Granny Smith opt to never reproduce, so that they can instead watch over the young ones of the family.

Poor ponies, like Scootaloo, end up in large orphanages like we saw in Flight to the Finish. Families lacking close-knit values like the Apples, or money like Magnum and Pearl (Rarity and Sweetie Belle's "parents.") and Nightlight and Twilight Velvet.


I've always gone with the fact that she's an orphan, and that she was fostered by Celestia - so she has a family, namely Celestia. But as to her biological family, it's not "her thing" because she doesn't know who they are or if they're even still alive.

4299593 I laughed at this. :rainbowlaugh:

4300147 I don't think Rainbow Dash is an orphan. We saw a character in a flashback who is most likely her father. Aside from AJ, I don't think any of the Mane Six are orphans. Heck, the only reason I'm willing to think that Applejack and her siblings are orphans is the fact that we see their grandmother, but have never seen their mom and dad.

The Apple siblings are pretty much canonically established as orphans. No one else in the cast is, though.
We've seen RD's dad. Dunno if he's still alive, but we've seen him. She got her prismatic mane from him.

Group Admin

Check the dates on the posts.

4568846 So I'm late to the party. Sue me.

Your post I replied to was from 12 weeks (3 months) ago.
Everything I've just said was from more than 3 months ago, hence nothing you couldn't have known.
Nor do I consider 3 months to be statute of limitations for correcting someone.

Group Admin

It is certainly well past my interest in discussing the matter. I also made my post in jest. I was making fun of the "everyone is an orphan" people.

If you're going to "correct" someone, understand what it is they are even saying before you say it is wrong.

I didn't say it was wrong. I wasn't even really correcting you. I clarified that only the Apple siblings are truly orphans.
If you are going to get offended after posting a "jest post", you should understand what it is they are even saying before you get offended.

( 4568964, I'm just making fun of how quickly you attract anger and how gracelessly you handle it at this point. Don't even respond, mate.)

Group Admin


for correcting someone.

I wasn't even really correcting you.

Do you know what words mean?

I'm not offended. I'm pointing out that you, and Echo Wing, are jumping into a months-dead thread, completely missing the point of the thread and the comment you're respondng to, and doing so not to bring up the conversation again, but to make fools of yourselves.

If you read the whole thread, you'll notice the OP is trying to suggest Sunset Shimmer be written with an "edgy" past in which she is an orphan or some other poor home life growing up. that is the topic, and if you're going to revive a thread you really ought to be staying on topic when you do so.

If you had a modicum of reading comprehension, you'd notice that my comment is mocking the "popular" trope of making everpony an orphan. I am making absurd suggestions to point out how terrible the idea often is. Because orphans are the go-to kneejerk "sad" or "dark" past in not just pony fanfiction, but stories across the entertainment business in many mediums.

It isn't even a matter if I am wrong or right. My post wasn't intended to be accurate at all. Your response is simply failing to get the point on a fundamental level, and is useless. This is a classic case of why thread necromancy is often frowned upon in many threads.

Again, I'm not offended. I'm pointing out that you're being obtuse, and you're being irritating while doing so. You have no reason for posting in the thread, and you're off-topic. You're generating notifications in the process, and you should be far more mindful of your behavior when you do so. Think of this not as me being upset, but me telling you that your zipper is down. You should be embarrassed that you're behaving this way.

4569595 Hope you brought enough to share with the class.

What does "triggering" mean, btw? :derpyderp2:

A subject was brought up that instantly causes strong, often completely irrational, negative feelings in the triggered individual. The meme started with insane social justice warriors that attack any comment as an affront to their cause, as it does not match it perfectly. Sometimes even if it does, but just got said by the wrong person. Now it applies to any unwarranted hostility.

In this case, you triggered Cryo.

I personally like to believe that Sunset is to be the Anti-Twilight.
Therefore, while Twilight had a good family and a sheltered life, Sunset never even knew her parents and was bullied a lot in her early years, making her feel like she had no worth. Until she met Princess Celestia. When she was taken under the Princess' wing, Sunset most likely imprinted on her. Thus leading to all sorts of drama during her last few years of study.

Past experiences help shape a person into what they eventually will become.:duck:

If Sunset doesn't have family in the human world, of course one question would be how she has managed to survive all this time. Though as a magical person, most likely she has her means of survival. I would like to think though that along the way she will also discover the meaning of family, which I think in itself would be a nice theme aside from friendship, as those two themes in a way are related to each other.

Comment posted by Latecomer deleted Mar 26th, 2019
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