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The Warm Light of Nostalgia by harwicks-art The Warm Light of Nostalgia by harwicks-art
It's time to celebrate Twilight over on Equestria Daily, and I'm always down for honoring the greatest purple pony who ever lived.

I admit, my fondness for her is pretty well cemented in her unicorn years...  I enjoyed her most as the more unassuming librarian who lived in a tree in a small, crazy town.  Sure, she was still uber-powerful, but that wasn't really the point of her existence.  I realized while drawing this that we're sadly now far enough removed from the library days that I can actually get a pang of nostalgia looking back at them.

I was never one of the ones who felt that making her a princess was a mistake from the get-go, and I'd even argue that there were many ways in which it could have strengthened her role in the show:  In the beginning, her role had the same kind of dynamics as the leads in shows like Newhart, Northern Exposure, or even Green Acres... that of a relatively "normal" individual who moved and found themselves surrounded by eccentrics with odd customs.  This was something of the driving set up for the show... however, all such shows eventually have to deal with their characters adjusting to the craziness around them.  They begin to fit in more as time goes on, and so the dynamic fades. 

This is where the Princess thing could have really helped.  Being a Princess could have forced Twilight to deal with a whole new kind of insanity...  Dignitaries, social-climbers, fans, over-protective guards, the upper-crust, etc.  The show did in fact use some of these kinds of encounters for her, but they were more focused on Twilight being panicked about failing as a princess, rather than the earlier dynamics of the show where she was comically put-out by the unreasonableness of others.  Instead of being the sane one annoyed with the Yaks, for instance, she was always fretting and worried... pacing and panicking.  Gone was the confident mare of season one who got orders from Celestia to go evict a full-grown dragon and didn't blink an eye, or had to increasingly struggle to control her temper as the world (and ponies) around her refused to make logical sense, as with her efforts to disprove Pinkie-Sense.

Beyond that, if she wasn't fretting as a princess, she was being bubbly and adorkable... and I do love bubbly, adorkable Twilight.  But for me, it was great because it was the more rare exception to the calm, level-headed Twilight.  Seeing her facade come down and her revert to filly-like enthusiasm was a treat, but when she gets excited like that in every episode then it becomes the default, not the exception... and to me it loses some of its charm.

I don't dislike Twilight now by any stretch... she'll always be the reason I became a fan of the show.  But I do realize that I love a specific stretch of time for her character most of all.
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:iconoddeyesdragoon:
OddEyesDragoon Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2018
Hmm, very interesting perspective.

But, in my opinion, I'll always love this purple pony. She's my 2nd favorite of the Mane 6 after all. ;)

And fantastic drawing!
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:iconcajobif:
cajobif Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2018
Wonderful and well said. I think one of her cutest and adorkable moment as a princess was when she lightly flapped her wings in "The Cutie Map" so Starlight can notice them.
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:icongibsonandgizmo:
GibsonAndGizmo Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
Woah
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:iconmokey1980s:
Mokey1980s Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018
Well said, and I do agree with some of your points made, especially about her 'out of character' mannerisms becoming the norm. Very insightful
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:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018
Well said. I haven't spent much time putting my thoughts on the series into words, but I find that I agree wholeheartedly with this.
Reply
:iconkitty-cat-fox:
Kitty-cat-Fox Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Unicorn!!!
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:iconbb-k:
BB-K Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Classic Sparkle. :)
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:icontheforgottensiren:
TheforgottenSiren Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
beautiful
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:iconabrightside:
ABrightSide Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Know what sounds a bit weird? Twilight has spent more episodes as an alicorn than as a unicorn.
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:iconkatierblx:
KatieRBLX Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
why is this furry stuff in my browse ew
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:iconz0oxy:
Z0oXy Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Its just a pony from a childrens show haha
Im not even a part of thr fandom but this is just fanart
Reply
:iconcreepypasta-fan-430:
Creepypasta-Fan-430 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
If you don't like it, don't take time out of your day to click on it, make this comment, and then hit submit. If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.
Reply
:iconkatierblx:
KatieRBLX Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Its not even rude, and if you dont like my comment I could say the same for you? Don't like my comment? Don't reply
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:icongearsx:
GearsX Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018
Twilight being her cute self
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:iconmightymorphinpower4:
MightyMorphinPower4 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018
very cute one
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:iconpatriciaschmidt:
patriciaschmidt Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018
Love this!
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:iconprincipalbunny:
PrincipalBunny Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Wowzers
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:iconmarill1:
marill1 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  New Deviant Student General Artist
This picture is extremely well done!
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:iconvinnymartello:
VinnyMartello Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
She looks like a blown-glass statue. Very cool.
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:icondeatharcanaazuma:
DeathArcanaAzuma Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  New Deviant Student Artist
This is adorable<3
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:iconsolid32:
solid32 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm also a big fan of Twilight unicorn, from the first seasons, she had another kind of magic by that time. Twilight (Cute clap) Plz 

About your work have to say I'm astonished! Emoticon - Twilight Sparkle Cute Grin All the light on her mane and through the window are beautiful, the same for her pretty eyes! Twilight (Squee) Plz Nice work partner!! Twilight Sparkle - BIG GRIN 
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:iconmichaeljohnmorris:
MichaelJohnMorris Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
This is beautiful!! ^^
Reply
:iconshazzz999:
shazzz999 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018
Cute and erudite. S.
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:iconmao2018:
Mao2018 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
I love the Unicorn Twilight Sparkle, more than Princess Alicorn Twilight.
Reply
:iconmoyashisoba:
moyashisoba Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018
good job ʅ(◔౪◔ ) ʃ
Reply
:icontheleopardscrown:
TheLeopardsCrown Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018
'Tis quite shiny!
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:iconibaipshow:
IBAIPshow Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Professional Artist
:)
Reply
:iconkevintheman:
kevintheman Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
Boy does your essay hit home for a lot of people including myself.while I wasn’t against her developing into an alicorn and I think the writers have done a good job handling her character development, I do have nostfor when she was a unicorn in the library.

As for the pictures, both the warm colors and lighting effects make for a nice and cozy atmosphere. I love the detail you put into the scenery and Twilight herself. Her pose and how you’ve drew her reading the book looks great too.
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:iconrainstormcheetah:
RainstormCheetah Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my goodness, I agree with EVERYTHING you just said. Twilight used to be my favourite pony, hands-down, but ever since she became a princess she's been less and less interesting to me... to the point where I've really stopped watching the show at all, honestly. Like you, I don't hate her current self at all; but it was herself in the early seasons who I always enjoyed seeing and related to a lot, and I miss that.

Also, I love this picture. It really does conjure such nostalgia for the lost feeling of those early episodes; the warm lighting is spectacular, and the way it reflects on Twilight's mane makes her look really beautiful. Incredible work, as your pictures always are :D
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:iconfujin777:
Fujin777 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Cute.
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:iconaelipse:
Aelipse Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018
I never thought I'd say this, because your art has been some the best in the whole fandom to begin with, but I think you are actually getting better. I particularly love the plasticity and the feeling of depth created mostly by brilliantly executed mixture of light and dark (something that hasn't been that noticeable in your previous works) and I applaud you for this.

Also, I do share your sentiment on the little purple unicorn. Maybe it's just nostalgia, but I did love her the most in her "student" years.
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:iconrunoratsu:
Runoratsu Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Hobbyist
I love the picture, but I agree with the text in your description even more.
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:icontemplar127:
templar127 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018
Light is right! This looks amazing!
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:iconpoisonhorsie:
PoisonHorsie Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018
It was your magnificent picture that made me click, but your write-up is just as well-done. You've expressed a lot of my own misgivings on nuTwi, and the lost potential squandered by the show's writers. Alas, it is only 1 of many things that have turned me off of the show this season, but it's nice to learn I am not alone in these opinions.
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:iconnicolasdominique:
NicolasDominique Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018  Professional Artist
Aw yiss.
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:iconviolencemaker:
Violencemaker Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2018
Those old days are warm and beautiful.
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:icontrainman666:
trainman666 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's beautiful.,
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:iconaniastories:
Aniastories Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
beautiful!! I enjoy your art.
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:iconsaber360:
saber360 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2018
Ah, yes. Back when Twilight was still a Unicorn. Those were the good old days. ^^
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:iconeagle1division:
Eagle1Division Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Dang, man. I think your essay more or less articulated a confused, sort of uncertain feeling I've had about her.

She's still good... But yeah, I think she was a bit better back in her unicorn days. A lot more relatable, too. Like, a LOT more... Come to think of it, I'm not sure I would've given the show the shot I have if she were her alicorn self from the get-go.

One of the things that kept me watching is how when the ponies were oddly, exceptionally friendly, she winced right along with me at how cheesily kind they were. And when Pinkie started singing, she sighed right along with me, voicing my thoughts exactly, "tell me she's not..."

And so a few moments of her kept me watching after what would've otherwise been my turn-off and I would've never gotten into the show. And it was her more snarky, nerdy kinda side that did that. But for the most part, she was/is pretty confident in herself, but some episodes seem to forget that.

In a way, I feel like Starlight Glimmer's kinda taken the role that she was supposed to fill. I kinda get the feeling Season 1 Twilight would've told the chancellor/headmaster/whatever of the EAA to buck off. And would've been a lot more interested in doing advanced research than starting a school.
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:iconkindariotcoffeelover:
KindaRiotCoffeeLover Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
Coooool!!
Reply
:iconmangekkojones:
MangekkoJones Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nicely doneHeart 
I myself am not bothered with Twilight's transformation to a princess. To me it's a signifier that the creators are willing to grow, change and not be stuck with the status quo. For better or for worse, I respect the show for doing that.
I'm a casual fan so I don't think that I have a personal thing that I love.
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:iconsiberian502:
siberian502 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2018
Excelsior!
(As usual) you never disappoint.

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:iconjose-ramiro:
Jose-Ramiro Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very cute pic.
Reply
:iconfairy-slayer:
Fairy-Slayer Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2018
This is a beautiful reminder of when she was starting to settle in and get comfortable with her new life, and it's really sweet to see Golden Oak Library so full of warmth and happiness again. Also, your sentiment in the description is pretty wonderful too. Gorgeous work on the sweet unicorn as she enjoys a late afternoon read; her happiness warms up the place as much as the afternoon sunlight warming up the lovely old structure. Thanks for sharing the nostalgia.
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:iconjonathann10:
jonathann10 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2018  Student Traditional Artist
Shiny
Reply
:iconsiansaar:
Siansaar Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Didn't even think about it this way, but yeah, well said. I think the show squanders a lot of potential by never committing fully to a specific idea once they introduce it, see Starlight or the...ugh, Friendship School.
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:iconadamlhumphreys:
adamlhumphreys Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2018  Professional General Artist
Don't forget about the castle of the two sisters and the Pony of Shadows, (who coincidentally, but incidentally, had the same eye color as Tirek, but even that wasn't salvaged). While I'm kinda glad they left it alone, not being a Twilicorn fan, I really think I would have preferred it over the sudden crystal castle in the midst of a town founded by earth ponies. :hmm:
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:iconsiansaar:
Siansaar Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Damn, that would've worked well. But gotta have the toy-specific set pieces...
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:iconadamlhumphreys:
adamlhumphreys Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2018  Professional General Artist
Right? Backwards workflow plot/story/character development at "work." ^^
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