Now you get to have a peek into the thoughts I have about the world of pony. The previous one of these was the intro to one of my review posts. I’ll be giving that one it’s own post retroactively titled 01 of this same series. Most of these may or may strictly be my own personal headcanon, since I often like to think along several contradicting ideas when pondering these things. So here’s today’s thought.
Canterlot is the capitol of Equestria now, but 1000 years ago the sisters ruled from the Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters. Which means that the capitol has moved to Canterlot since then. I’m a big fan of the idea that Nightmare Moon’s rebellion was a event that took place over months with armies on either side. So perhaps Nightmare Moon drove Princess Celestia and most of the nobles out of the Everfree forest and they retreated to Canterlot, making it the center of their effort to take back the kingdom. We know Canterlot is on the side of a giant mountain, and that just under it is giant caverns of crystals that were once mined. So I’m going to go with it was a isolated mining town 1000 years ago. Princess Celestia picked it as the headquarters for the struggle against her sister because it was easy to defend, away from major population centers, and the gemstone mine provided plenty of resources for the war effort.
Once Nightmare Moon was banished the old castle was in ruins and everypony had fled for one reason or another. It would take quite a bit of effort to rebuild the place and make it a center of government once more. On top of that, Princess Celestia had too many memories of the place to be comfortable there. Both good and bad. Every moment there would remind her of her sister who was lost. So there was no reason to return to the castle. So the nobles and Princess Celestia stayed in Canterlot. Over a thousand years it changed from the isolated mining town to the glittering center of the kingdom it is today.
One of the interesting extrapolations along this line of thought is that when Princess Luna returned from her exile she will find the ‘new’ capitol very unfamiliar. A strange place built entirely following her sister’s design aesthetics and built by ponies who barely knew her as a monster in old stories. For stories and character exploration this gives two possibilities. Being in the new capitol might be a relief, a break from the mistakes of the past. Much like her sister staying away after the banishment, Princess Luna would be thinking of her mistakes and sins every moment if they were living in the old castle. On the other hoof, being in a completely new place with unfamiliar ponies could lead to deeper feelings of isolation.
The gem caverns were still used as a mine for a while even after the capitol was officially moved to Canterlot. It does make sense that they would be gradually shut down and blocked off as the population of the city grew. All the noise, mess, and whatever magical fallout mining and shaping mystical crystals might cause. Eventually the existence of the caverns themselves would be lost to memory. Even Princess Celestia would not think about them with everything else she has to deal with. At least until the changeling invasion reminded everypony about them.
I’m pretty sure that most of this is straight out of my own thoughts. If anyone knows of a fanfic that has this same basic idea in it, about Canterlot being a ‘new’ capitol, I’d love to see if it’s one I’ve read and forgotten about.