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Literature / The Journal of the Two Sisters

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The Journal of the Two Sisters: The Official Chronicles of Princesses Celestia and Luna is an officially licensed companion book to the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic series written by show writer Amy Keating Rogers, designed to be a Defictionalization of both the Journal of the Two Sisters and the diary Twilight Sparkle and her friends were writing throughout Season 4 of the show.

It could be seen as a sequel to the Elements of Harmony reference book with a similar cover design and production values, though instead of a guide to the show it functions more as a totally 'In Universe' book.

As such the first half of the book consists of diary entries by Celestia and Luna, depicting the events of the start of their rule over Equestria and their struggle to find their place in the new kingdom they have created. The second half consists of the letters written at the end of each episode of season 4, expanded and illustrated.

The Journal of the Two Sisters provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Ageless: Not Celestia and Luna (who Luna describes as just really Long-Lived) but Starswirl the Bearded, who in his attempts to create time spells instead creates an age reversal spell and successfully uses it on himself. This nicely explains how he could be alive for so many important events, and raises the possibility he could still be so...
  • Alliterative Name: Melvin the Manticore, Gregor the Griffon (who is "grumbly, gruff and generally a grouch.")
  • All There in the Manual: The following are revealed for the first time in this book:
  • As You Know: Conspicuously averted, for good reason. The diary entries cover a fairly short amount of time, and neither princess goes into great detail about what happened before they became rulers of Equestria.
  • Badass Bookworm: Celestia is described as a "nerd", but Luna admits that she is also the better fighter of the two, and can easily keep up with a master mage like Starswirl.
  • Berserk Button: Luna goes into full Disproportionate Retribution mode at Princess Platinum's Rich Bitch behavior.
  • Bookworm: Celestia's one request for their royal castle? A big library.
  • Big Sister Worship: Luna clearly adores Celestia, and gushes all over the diary whenever she does something cool. This is a source of Dramatic Irony, since we know Luna will become Nightmare Moon later.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: From the point of view of the other ponies, the alicorns not getting their cutie marks until comparatively later in life is indeed strange. It makes them look less mature than they really are.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
    • Starswirl the Bearded is a regular Mad Scientist type, and both sisters find him rather odd.
    • Luna is convinced Chancellor Puddinghead is an effective chancellor despite the many quirks.
  • Call-Forward: A lot.
    • The Princess of the Crystal Empire is called Princess Amore, which is Cadance's middle name.
    • Luna tames a Manticore with kindness, after Celestia and Star Swirl attempt to defeat it with brute force.
    • Celestia later reduces a dragon to tears through sheer force of personality.
    • Quite hilariously, Princess Platinum taunts Celestia and Luna about being blank flanks.
    • Some of Luna's comments about her sister's love of books sound an awful lot like Rainbow Dash's 'egghead' taunts towards Twilight Sparkle.
    • When the sisters first see the Tree of Harmony, they notice the six-point-star where the branches diverge from the trunk, correctly guess it to be significant when their cutie marks wind up matching the sun and moon designs on said trunk, and when Starswirl plays dumb about whose cutie mark matches said six-point-star, Celestia writes how she will have to wait to meet that pony herself someday.
      • That said, this creates a bit of Continuity Snarl when you remember Shining Armor also has the six-point-star on his cutie mark, which at the time was just to mark him as related to Twilight.
    • Starswirl the Bearded tried to teach Luna how to move stars, which would lead to her moving them in the first episode to free herself from the moon.
    • Two to Castle Mane-ia:
      • Princess Platinum falls victim to the trap door on the throne, just as Rarity (who played her in the Hearth Warming Eve production) did.
      • Princess Platinum also ends up designing the tapestries... that more than a thousand years later Rarity spends so much effort restoring.
    • Celestia is mentioned as spending time with Starswirl in his library helping him with his spells, exactly as depicted in the Reflections arc of the IDW Comics.
    • Gregor the griffon leader's Trademark Favorite Food is eclairs, like the ones the griffon chef Gustave Le Grand made in "MMMystery on the Friendship Express".
  • Canon Discontinuity: Following the book's publication, the series' own depictions of its lore began to contradict some of the events shown in the book.
    • "The Crystalling" states Flurry Heart was the first alicorn born in the history of Equestria, while the book claims Celestia and Luna were also born such and mentions other alicorns. The author's stated handwave is that they were born before Equestria was founded.
    • While also Loose Canon, My Little Pony: Legends of Magic goes out of its way to tie into the show's canon, preemptivly mentioning retcons that "Shadow Play" would later confirm. Celestia and Luna were shown to have had their cutie marks while they were teenagers, unlike in the book where they gained them in adulthood. The younger Celestia's personality is also quite different than what's presented in the journal.
    • "Shadow Play" jettisons one of the book's events with The Reveal that the Tree of Harmony was actually grown from a seed planted by Starswirl and the other Pillars and only grew into maturity and was found by the sisters after Starswirl disappeared, as opposed to Starswirl leading them to the tree as the book depicts.
    • The journal states that Commander Hurricane was the only stallion among the Founders, so that the other five — Private Pansy, Smart Cookie, Chancellor Puddinghead, Clover the Clever and Princess Platinum — were by extension all mares. The My Little Pony: Equestria Girls short "Forgotten Friendship", however, rather unambiguously refers to Clover as a male.
    • At one point in the novel, Luna crosses the Everfree Forest and emerges into a grassland inhabited by zebras. Expansions in the show's geography, including the journey south in the 2017 movie and the holographic map in Twilight's castle following its expansion in the Season 8 premiere, show the Everfree being located in a mostly central position in Equestria, and the lands to its south being the area of Far West-inspired desert that in the show contains Appleloosa, Las Pegasus, Dodge Junction and the buffalo lands, with a massive sandy desert south of that. While it is possible for changes in geography, climate and population over a thousand years to account for this, this still presents a conflict in canon presentations of what lies south of Equestria.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Celestia and Luna took up moving the sun and moon because the previous way of doing it was Powered by a Forsaken Child, which was not mentioned in the show.
  • The Chosen One: Ever since Celestia and Luna got their cutie marks, they've been awaiting the birth of the pony whose cutie mark would match the third symbol on the Tree of Harmony — the six-point-star.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Pinkie Pie's scholarly discussion on the phrase "Slippery When Wet" rambles on for six pages, and makes no sense.
  • Composite Character: In this book, Celestia and Luna take on traits of the Mane Six's personalities — Celestia has Twilight's bookishness and anxiety about fulfilling what's expected of her, and Applejack's workaholic tendencies (although Twilight has some of them too). Luna has Fluttershy's kindness and ability to understand animals, Pinkie Pie's enjoyment for playing pranks, and Rarity's love of design and style. From Rainbow Dash, Celestia gets her love of flying fast, while Luna demands things to be awesome.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • Luna uses the word "fun" in her diary entries, even though in "Luna Eclipsed" she said she had never heard it before.
    • Celestia's and Luna's personality traits don't exactly match up to the Elements of Harmony they were seen to hold in "Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 2".
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Princess Platinum ends up firm friends with Luna, and accepts her right as a princess... after being totally humiliated and ejected from the castle at high speed.
  • Dug Too Deep: There were tales of a great dragon living in the caves where the Crystal Heart was found, but no pony has seen it in many years. Clearly this means it is safe to mine away without thought to the consequences!
  • Easy Evangelism: Luna averts a war between the Griffon Empire and Equestria with sweets. And rhyming, but mostly sweets.
  • The Federation: Equestria appears to be organized like this. The former leaders such as King Bullion and Princess Amore are still in charge of their former territory, and Celestia and Luna serve to help out in times of danger and to represent Equestria to other nations/races.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Celestia as always. She gets threatened a lot, and her responses become more and more firm as she grows into her role.
  • The Heart: Luna is the gentler of the two, and several times finds a way to defuse a situation with kindness.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Commander Hurricane and Chancellor Puddinghead are portrayed more positively here than in Hearth's Warming Eve, suggesting they have experienced this.
  • Naughty Is Good: Luna is quite the scamp, and earns more than a few glares of disapproval from Celestia for the frequent pranks she subjects important dignitaries to.
  • Nerves of Steel: Say what you like about Princess Platinum, she only trembles briefly at Luna's display of magical power, ROYAL CANTERLOT VOICE and her angry manticore pet before going right back to taunting her. Whatever else she is, she's certainly not a coward.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Not quite nightmares but Celestia does question Luna's rather odd choices in decor for the Castle of the two Sisters.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Cragadiles show up once again here, albeit in a more positive light, as they help the Princesses set up their castle in the Everfree Forest.
  • Offered the Crown: It's confirmed that this was the case with Celestia and Luna, as upon the formation of Equestria the ponies decided they needed a ruler outside of the three tribes.
  • Portmanteau: Lollygabbing = lollygagging + gabbing.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The sun and moon used to be raised by teams of unicorn volunteers, who would eventually be drained of all magic for the rest of their lives by the constant strain. Celestia and Luna had no idea this was going on until Star Swirl suffered Rapid Aging from trying to raise the sun by himself. The alicorn sisters took on the duty of moving the sun and moon, gaining their cutie marks in the process, and used the boost in magic they absorbed from the sun and moon to cure Star Swirl and the other unicorns who had been depleted of magic.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Seems to be a racial trait of all zebras since the ones that Luna meets speak in rhyme just like Zecora.
  • Rich Bitch: Princess Platinum clearly didn't learn anything from the events depicted in "Hearth's Warming Eve" but she is definitely not friendly to the alicorn sisters.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: To the extent that Celestia at first refuses to accept the title of "Ruler" and insists that the more accurate description would be "Guardian".
  • Schrödinger's Canon: While several aspects of the book have been rendered Canon Discontinuity or contradict things before and after, "Horse Play" confirms the book's account of how the sun and moon were raised, showing the parts that aren't yet contradicted by the show can be considered canon.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: The activity with which Pinkie intends for Lollygabbing Day to be celebrated — ponies constantly talking about nothing.
  • Sequel: Celestia and Luna's journal serves as a sequel to the episode "Hearth's Warming Eve", and features the same characters who appeared in the In-Universe play.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Luna, which surprises even her. She never does work out exactly why she can do it.
  • The One Guy: Of the six founders of Equestria depicted in Hearth's Warming Eve, only Commander Hurricane is a stallion. Clover, Platinum, Smart Cookie, Puddinghead, and Pansy are all mares.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What happened to the other alicorns who raised and educated Celestia and Luna, or the other zebras who lived beyond the Everfree Forest?
  • Worldbuilding: The main function of the book. The first diplomatic contact between Equestria and the Crystal Empire, Griffons, Zebra, Dragons, Manticores, Cragadiles and the various internal tribes of Equestria are all depicted in detail.
  • Ye Olde Butchered English: The examples of ROYAL CANTERLOT VOICE seen in this book have more grammatical problems than in "Luna Eclipsed", e.g. "thou could" instead of "thou couldst", "we art" instead of "we are".