In Equestria, a sibling is just about the most important thing in the world. It is a universe where parents do exist (of course), but brotherly and sisterly bonds prevail above all else. When Scootaloo finally works up the courage to ask Rainbow Dash to adopt her, she asks to be taken in as a sister, not as a daughter. In the Apple Family, Applejack and Big Mac are the ones responsible for raising Apple Bloom. Sweetie Belle and Rarity, on the other hoof, have parents of their own, but their relationships with them never get explored in detail or developed.
Sisterly love is far more important after all.
It is an interesting and unusual choice that Lauren made, and one that subtlly contributes to the show’s magic in ways not easily quantified. Even when My Little Pony gets dark or adventurous, it maintains a certain childlike spark, and its dedication to celebrating siblinghood is part of the paste that holds it all together, and creates that wonderful tone.
Their mythology – the pillars that hold the My Little Pony universe together – are sibling-based. From Celestia’s fateful confrontation with Nightmare Moon, to Scorpan’s betrayal of Tirek, to Twilight’s exposure of the fraud going on at Shining Armor’s wedding, the events that shape Equestrian history are steered by siblings and defined by how they deal with one another.
Just like in life.
Sibling relations are so important in a child’s development, that psychologists point to order of birth as a key component in the socialization process – one that plays a role in shaping an individual’s very personality. There are countless texts about how this works and why it is so, and I could dig up volumes on the subject, but at the end of the day, Applejack hit the nail on the head when she wrote up that scribbly friendship report after the Apple Family Reunion. She called family “the first group of friends you ever make.”
Our siblings are where we learn our first friendship lessons.
I’m a few days late to celebrate National Sibling Day, but nevertheless, I would like to take a moment to reflect on all that the show has done (from 2010 to present) to celebrate the importance of siblings – to raise my cider mug high and say, “Here’s to four more years of sisterly love.”
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