|My Little Pony: Friends Forever #30|
|Published:||June 29, 2016|
Lauren Perry (assist)
|Credits • Gallery • Allusions|
Friends Forever #29
Friends Forever #31
My Little Pony: Friends Forever #30 is the thirtieth issue of IDW Publishing's My Little Pony: Friends Forever comic series. In the issue, Twilight Sparkle helps her sister-in-law Princess Cadance when she suffers from an unexplained lack of self-esteem.
Twilight Sparkle visits Princess Cadance at the Crystal Empire a few days before a court dedication is to be held in Cadance's honor. Cadance thinks the ceremony is a little silly, but Twilight argues that it is more than deserved because Cadance has been a great leader and protector since the Empire reappeared. Having some time to themselves before the dedication, Twilight and Cadance do an activity that Cadance has always wanted to do: walk around the Crystal Empire marketplace in disguise.
The two "visitors" catch the attention of a local fabric seller. When the disguised Twilight says they are visiting from Ponyville, the fabric seller speaks at length about the "noble", "wise", and "brave" Princess of Friendship. When Cadance mentions the Crystal Princess, the fabric seller only says that she's "lovely", causing Cadance's spirits to drop a little.
Twilight asks Cadance why they are doing this, and Cadance explains that she wants to interact with the Crystal Ponies without the pretension that comes with being a princess. As the two explore the marketplace some more, they find merchandise modeled after the princesses of Equestria, including filly costumes and toys. However, the fillies are enamored with Cadance for shallow reasons, depressing her further.
That night, Cadance is upset that her subjects only think of her as a "pretty princess", but Twilight assures her that they genuinely love and respect her. Despite Twilight's claims that she'll feel better in the morning, Cadance's anxieties deprive her of sleep. She begins to question why she was put in charge of the Crystal Empire to begin with.
As Twilight and Shining Armor try to cheer Cadance up, one of the royal guards enters to announce the start of dispute resolutions for the subjects. However, the issues that ponies come in with are minor and petty, reinforcing the idea that they don't take Cadance seriously. This feeling is only compounded when fillies enter to have a tea party with Cadance. Without warning, Cadance suddenly excuses herself.
A short while later, Twilight worries that Cadance is thinking of renouncing the throne, and she and Shining Armor notice that the Crystal Heart is not as bright as before. On the day of the Crystal Princess' court dedication, Cadance arrives late to the ceremony with dried tear stains under her eyes. She announces to the Crystal Ponies that while she is honored to have a court dedicated to her, she doesn't feel like she deserves it, causing the light in the Crystal Heart to fade even more.
Thinking quickly, Twilight recalls the fun that she and Cadance had when she was her foal-sitter. She explains to Cadance that the Crystal Ponies look up to her not because she's pretty but because she's kind, approachable, and accepting. She inspires everyone around her in a way that's different from the other princesses—even her sister-in-law and husband are inspired by her. Cadance is moved to tears by Twilight's words, and she goes through with the court dedication ceremony. The love and light in the Crystal Ponies revitalizes the Crystal Heart, showering the Empire in a colorful aurora.
Some time afterward, Twilight and Cadance walk through the Empire marketplace again, without disguises, and Cadance feels much more confident than before. She interacts with fillies on more even ground, and the market merchandise modeled after Cadance has been updated to reflect her true identity as the Crystal Princess.
- Fabric Crystal Pony: You two are new to the Empire, no?
- Twilight Sparkle: No! I mean, yes! I'm Twi-Twiggy, and this is Ca, Candlewick!
- Princess Cadance: Whenever I walk around the marketplace as myself, everypony stops what they're doing and bows and gets tongue-tied. I just want to see the Crystal Empire as it really is, and interact with the subjects. But without all that pretension.
- Twilight Sparkle: But being the Crystal Princess is what you're meant to be. Your true self.
- Princess Cadance: How would you feel if everypony always bowed to you in Ponyville?
- Crystal Filly 1: I want Celestia and Luna so I can raise the sun and moon!
- Crystal Filly 2: I want Princess Twilight Sparkle so I can wield the Elements of Harmony!
- Crystal Filly 3: I want Princess Cadance and Shining Armor so I can live happily ever after!
- Princess Cadance: Is that really all they think of me as—a pretty princess?
- Princess Cadance: What if Celestia and Luna just put me in charge here as a figurehead? Made me the Crystal Princess because I am an Alicorn and they felt obligated to do so?
- Twilight Sparkle: What's wrong with tea parties? We used to have them all the time when you watched me.
- Princess Cadance: I don't want those fillies growing up thinking that being pretty and living happily ever after is all they can aspire to. So, what do I do? I throw them a tea party!
- Twilight Sparkle: Cadance! The Crystal Ponies,[sic] don't look up to you because you're pretty. They look up to you because you are kind, thoughtful, accessible, and accepting of everypony. Because you are full of love and light which makes them feel that way. And that doesn't make you less of a positive influence than Celestia, Luna, or even me. You just inspire them in a different way, and have been since you came here. I should know. Because these are the reasons I have always looked up to and been inspired by you.
- Princess Cadance: Thank you, ponies of the Crystal Empire! Thank you all for inspiring me. And while this area may now be known as the Court of the Crystal Princess—it truly belongs to all of you.