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Unpopular opinion time

Brass Beau

Howdy from Shimmer Pope
Besides the sirens and Wallflower Blush, EqG didn’t really have any interesting villains, did they. I mean, a case could be made for Abacus Cinch and the shadow bolts but considering Midnight Sparkle overtook the climax it’s hard to say.
Ebalosus
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@Background Pony #7032
If you’re telling me this right now, then yes. But back in 2014 people really really really wanted her to be in the show.
People did, true, but the problem with any potential addition of her to the show proper would undermine why she became so popular to begin with: she earned her redemption in Rainbow Rocks. Bringing her into the show proper after either Rainbow Rocks or Friendship Games would basically (from a story perspective) entail her abandoning her friends for their doppelgängers who don’t have any connection with her besides Twilight.
 
FWIW, when I say I wanted to see her in the show proper, what I mean these days is that I would’ve liked to see her character arc and development played out in the show proper, not in the human world and transposed back into Equestria. To me, Sunset Shimmer and EQG 2 & 3 represent a good what if when it comes to character focus; in this case, what if McCarthy could restructure the show to make what I consider a more interesting character more prominent, and make Twilight less wonky in terms of characterisation. Don’t get me wrong, I like Twilight and definitely don’t agree with the notion of her dominating the show after the alicornification (feat. The Red Hot Chilli Peppers), but feel that the writers never got a grasp of her characterisation, and it seemed to fluctuate depending on the requirements of the plot.
 
Starlight on the other hand doesn’t seem like a Sunset stand-in for the show whatsoever in hindsight, besides both having been good at magic and using it for villainous purposes at one point in their lives. Starlight is always playing second-fiddle to Twilight in the show, whereas the dynamic is reversed in EQG with Sci-Twi and Sunset respectively, and in the hypothetical Sunset returns to Equestria as imagined by me and other fans in 2014 and 2015 she would likely be co-leader of the group with Twilight, or least second-in-charge (the role usually taken by Applejack).
 
My only contention with the shows we got in terms of Sunset in them was that there should’ve been more crossovers, and more interactions between the two settings. I’m glad we got her reconciling with Celestia, but would’ve liked to have seen more of her pre-EQG history in Equestria.
Vivace
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…in the hypothetical Sunset returns to Equestria as imagined by me and other fans in 2014 and 2015 she would likely be co-leader of the group with Twilight, or least second-in-charge (the role usually taken by Applejack).
Hmm, maybe that’s part of why Spinny would hate Sunset.
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@Ebalosus  
I don’t agree with the Starlight part. Sunset and Starlight are very similar.
 
They both were villains, they both were unicorns, they both were ambitious, they both had problematic pasts that led them doing villain stuff, they both put Twilight in complicated situations and they both were forgiven by Twilight.
 
It’s the same core idea.
Vivace
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@Ring Team  
That’s not really disagreeing with the bold text below. It’s just ignoring it. In fact, the italicized text is pretty much where Ebalosus said the same thing before you did.  
Starlight on the other hand doesn’t seem like a Sunset stand-in for the show whatsoever in hindsight, besides both having been good at magic and using it for villainous purposes at one point in their lives. Starlight is always playing second-fiddle to Twilight in the show, whereas the dynamic is reversed in EQG with Sci-Twi and Sunset respectively, and in the hypothetical Sunset returns to Equestria as imagined by me and other fans in 2014 and 2015 she would likely be co-leader of the group with Twilight, or least second-in-charge (the role usually taken by Applejack).
AC97
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Starlight on the other hand doesn’t seem like a Sunset stand-in for the show whatsoever in hindsight, besides both having been good at magic and using it for villainous purposes at one point in their lives. Starlight is always playing second-fiddle to Twilight in the show, whereas the dynamic is reversed in EQG with Sci-Twi and Sunset respectively, and in the hypothetical Sunset returns to Equestria as imagined by me and other fans in 2014 and 2015 she would likely be co-leader of the group with Twilight, or least second-in-charge (the role usually taken by Applejack).
 
Starlight just isn’t a natural leader like Sunset is, and she’s generally more of a wreck than Reformed!Sunset is. She’s generally happy to follow Twilight’s lead, aside from when she feels Twilight isn’t living up to herself, at which point she’d point it out, whereas Sunset is very, very comfortable taking charge as a first resort after Rainbow Rocks.
 
I’d also strongly disagree on the point of “they both had problematic pasts that led them doing villain stuff,” because Sunset’s past marks a lack of that aspect in anything in canon, whereas Starlight focused too much on one negative thing happening in the past, and it ultimately ended in her starting a cult, for what she saw as a legitimate reason, whereas Sunset just seemed to be purely a selfish, petty bully who enjoyed power-tripping.
 
Even their friend circles contrast, in that Starlight tends to attract misfits as friends, and that was the entire reason her cult was attractive, whereas Sunset seems to be closest friends with the Human Five (then Six). Sunset as a villain really couldn’t care less about friendship but she’s more naturally charismatic, whereas Starlight wishes she generally had that much charisma, but gets by on having some insight into psychology and believing (on some level) what she’s spouting.
 
The most Starlight’s “best friends circle” seems to overlap with Twilight’s is she’s closest to Twilight and Spike, far as we can tell, with the others being for the most part secondary.
 
Far better that I have a student who understands the meaning of self-sacrifice than one who only looks out for her own best interests.
 
(not sure if that Celestia quote in the S3 premiere was Meghan intentionally alluding to Sunset, but it works well either way)
 
My only contention with the shows we got in terms of Sunset in them was that there should’ve been more crossovers, and more interactions between the two settings. I’m glad we got her reconciling with Celestia, but would’ve liked to have seen more of her pre-EQG history in Equestria.
 
You’d also think there’d be a bit of a potential negative history between her and Cadance.
Latecomer

You’d also think there’d be a bit of a potential negative history between her and Cadance.
 
This angle is one of the one’s so “obvious” it springs up everywhere in fanfic. It doesn’t appear in canon because Cadance’s backstory is even sparser than Sunset’s and they don’t really interact.
Ebalosus
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@Ring Team
 
That’s a bit of an overgeneralisation, but I’ll grant you that they had similar beginnings when it came to interactions with the protagonists. However, where they both went after their reformations is quite different. To quote AC97:  
Starlight just isn’t a natural leader like Sunset is, and she’s generally more of a wreck than Reformed!Sunset is. She’s generally happy to follow Twilight’s lead, aside from when she feels Twilight isn’t living up to herself, at which point she’d point it out, whereas Sunset is very, very comfortable taking charge as a first resort after Rainbow Rocks.
Even their friend circles contrast, in that Starlight tends to attract misfits as friends, and that was the entire reason her cult was attractive, whereas Sunset seems to be closest friends with the Human Five (then Six). Sunset as a villain really couldn’t care less about friendship but she’s more naturally charismatic, whereas Starlight wishes she generally had that much charisma, but gets by on having some insight into psychology and believing (on some level) what she’s spouting.
 
@Latecomer
 
Yeah, it’s pretty frustrating IMO for Cadance as well as Sunset, because her background could’ve shone a light on how non-elemental royalty worked in Equestria. Hell, even if we disregard the alicorn stuff with her (even Lauren herself said that Cadance was meant to be a princess), we’re still left with the question of why she was a royal to begin with. We can’t say “Crystal Princess!” either, because that happened later in her life, and the implications from The Crystal Empire were that Celestia was surprised by said ‘Empire’s’ re-emergence, thus that explanation doesn’t work. Don’t get me wrong, I like Cadance, but even I recognise that her characterisation isn’t that deep, mainly due to her backstory not being that fleshed out as to give us context for her current actions and feelings. Even past me recognised that.
 
To be fair to Sunset though in that regard, the lack of her backstory is mitigated by the fact that we’ve seen her grow and evolve since we were introduced to her, so the context we don’t get for her backstory we do get from action’s we’ve seen her take.
Latecomer

@Ebalosus  
Some good points. Although does a non-alicorn Cadance require more explanation than Blueblood? They could even be siblings or cousins. Or, given her fancy Italian name, she could come from a neighbouring country (though that might complicate the Crystal Empire thing a bit).
Mildgyth
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@Latecomer
 
Well, the previous princess of the crystal empire was named Amore, so Cadence might as well be a distant descendant or relative of hers.
Don't

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@Latecomer  
We do have an explanation for Blueblood though. He was meant to be a duke
 
And Cadence was a pretty major character so ignoring her background doesn’t work as well
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I would be fine with Cadence just being an unicorn instead of an alicorn, but the fact that I haven’t questioned that back in 2012 suggests to me that it’s not really that important, as long as a character is decent and likeable.
WyrmSpawN
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@Don’t  
But what he was meant to be doesn’t explain his current reality.
 
Right now, he’s a prince and Celestia’s nephew.
 
They have never corrected this.
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It’s possible Blueblood is an adopted member of the royal family. Such a thing wasn’t too uncommon back in the day, adopting talented and useful advisors as family as a show of gratitude. Given that he’s a very successful diplomat, it’s possible he was given the honor of being considered part of the royal family on his own merits.
 
It’s also possible that he’s a descendant of a similarly adopted pony, especially given the title of “prince” rather than anything lower. A close friend who was adopted as a sibling to the Sisters, perhaps?
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To me, Blueblood was a great joke thanks to episodes such as The best night ever. Back in 2011, it would have been very easy and very tempting for a kids show to give Rarity a boyfriend in a way that she can be dependent on him.
Mildgyth
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@GenericArchangel
 
Or he could be a descendant from the old unicorn royal line that ruled before the princesses, and the “niece/nephew” thing is some sort of courtesy title.
Don't

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Faust’s answer makes me think the Princess’s families weren’t alicorns in her Original Vision
 
Although Nowadays pretty much everything about their Backstories are up for interpretations
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@Mildgyth  
I mean, it’s technically possible Luna had a spouse and children, and he’s the descendant of them. It’s never explicitly stated that either of the Sisters has never been married, and if you wanted to go the outlandish headcanon route, we can even argue that it’s possible the death of Luna’s spouse was part of her downfall to the Nightmare.
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