Hair colour: Blonde
Occupation: Chief orchid harvester of Sweet Apple Acres farmstead.
Element of Harmony: Honesty
Reliability: At all times
I want you to imagine something for me. Picture in your mind a young girl who has just announced to her friends that she is due to be married to her boyfriend of three weeks. The boyfriend in question happens to be a jobless, abusive stoner who has just gotten out of prison.
The girl nervously declares her engagement and shows off the finger her ring would be on had she been given one, and is then met with an indecisive round of applause, followed by a few worried looks around the room. Her friends pat her on the back politely, and say how “happy” they all are for her. Assuring her how “wonderful” the next few years of her life will be. All except one. One friend who is just standing there, staying clear of the “supportive” circle of “genuine” hugs. Her boots are tracking mud on the carpet and her hair has sticks in it.
That one friend then shatters the tension in the room and bluntly states:
“Have you spit yer’ bit? Ya’ll do realise this is a stupid idea right?”
No shame. No fear. No regret.
AJ is the rock of the group. The resilient, ever present reminder that if you ever fall down, she’ll be there to scoop you up and help you carry on. Fiercely protective of her friends, family, and way of life, Applejack has proven herself an ever present guardian of Ponyville who everyone can count on. Rain, hail or shine.
And therein lies her downfall.
Applejack is her own worst enemy. She is easily strong and brave enough to go un-intimidated by most of the challenges the group face (with the exception of Zecora) so she has turned her focus to keeping up her own self-made persona of an ever-reliable friend and it’s when she puts this pressure on herself that she seems to come unstuck, she cracks under her own pressure rather than anyone else’s. She’s like a lion with no natural predators to teach her that she isn’t invincible. The only one who has ever come close to teaching her that is Rainbow Dash.
But you see, unlike Rainbow Dash, Applejack does not feel the need to showboat her strength or bravery at every given opportunity. Where Dash seems to be often doing it just to try and hide her own insecurities, AJ doesn’t feel the need to because she is already so upfront about who she is, and does it out of a genuine instinct to protect her friends.
Donny and Marie Osmond once sang “I’m a little bit country, and I’m a little bit rock’n roll!” I think that suits the best friend duo of AJ and Dash quite nicely. Fanart of the two ponies commonly depict them as best friends who constantly compete and play pranks on each other and it usually fits quite nicely with the continuity of the show.
To this hard-kickin’ work horse, there’s nothing special about diving under a falling boulder to push her friend out of harm’s way or offering to walk around AN ENTIRE MOUNTAIN just to make sure her most feeble friend remains unharmed. It’s all in a day’s work. But she is also ferociously stubborn. Her instinct to stay protective over her friends and family has overlapped into her personality and given her a very hard headed nature, one that won’t tolerate any sort of failure in herself. It’s 100% or nothing at all.
She is also the ONLY generation 1 pony to have kept her original name. Hasbro apparently did not have the presence of mind to copyright all the original names. Only Applejack and Spike have made through the generations with their names unscathed. And that is probably for the best, because comparing the current names to the old ones, Applejack is really the only one worth keeping from way back when.
The only people Applejack cares more for than her friends are her family. Granny Smith, older brother Big Macintosh and little sister Applebloom.
Big Macintosh talks like an even bigger hillbilly than Applejack does, but despite his short screen time Big Mac has managed to make it evident that he’s not a dumb hick. He seems smart enough to understand that to get around AJ’s temper and stubbornness, it’s better to let her learn her lesson. In “Applebuck Season” he tries to reason with her when she takes on the immeasurable job of harvesting every single apple tree on her property by herself, but when her temper inevitably gets the better of her as he knew it would, he lets her just burn herself out trying and then chimed in when she was at her weakest. Not the worst psychology ever employed.
Applebloom on the other hand, is a typical little kid. Always trying to prove her worth just like her big sister, and constantly having to learn that she just isn’t there yet. Applejacks stubbornness seems to have rubbed off on her somewhat, as Applebloom rarely takes no for an answer.
AJ has become like an unofficial mother figure for Applebloom, and it’s a responsibility she takes very seriously. She is so protective of Applebloom that she is willing to confront the only other creature to really put shivers down her spine (Zecora) even while suffering from a curse that reduces her to a form no more than two inches tall. Appletini is no less brave or straightforward than she was at full size, and hearing that high pitched southern accent try to be bossy was five kinds of adorable.
Something else about Applejack almost passed me by. The characters fit in so well alongside each other that this isn’t something you might give much thought to. It occurred to me that she is one of the best examples of the actual show doing its best to accommodate all types of careers for young girls. Applejack says that just because you’re a girl, that doesn’t mean you have to be afraid of getting dirty. If it’s what you want in life, then you can still roll up your sleeves and do all that hard work just as well as the boys.
But naturally, this workhorse nature is something that would get under Rarities skin. Rarity is a pony who obsesses over the tiniest of details, whereas Applejack would rather just force her problems to solve themselves. The two personalities would probably never get on in the real world, so having them in the show is another great example of how it encourages young people of all different kinds to just get along.
Unfortunately, the only time we ever see a real ‘Rarity vs Applejack’ moment is in the episode “Look Before you Sleep”. They have nitpicked at each other before but it wasn’t until we saw an entire episode based around their differences that I realised Applejack can be kind of a hypocrite when it comes to Rarity.
Applejack bases her entire persona off the concept of honesty. Say what you mean, stand by your actions, and don’t be ashamed of who you are.
Well, it’s when Rarity does exactly that…that Applejack can’t stand her, and it’s an unfortunate paradox for her to be in. She can’t win either way. On the one hoof, she encourages everyone to be proud of who they are, and that’s exactly what Rarity does. So in that sense, AJ should be proud of her friend for standing by her loves and hobbies so thoroughly.
But on the other hoof, Rarity has a way of thinking that is entirely foreign to a pony who is used to regular, dangerous labour, and all the preening and fussing is something that she just can’t understand so she naturally gets annoyed.
But the only reason she IS getting annoyed, is because Applejack sticks by her way of doing things just the same as Rarity does. So standing by her lifestyle and getting annoyed at Rarities fussiness means automatically contradicting her beliefs about people being who they should be.
By being who she is at heart, Applejack is looking down her nose at the very concept of being who you are at heart.
A double edged sword you see.
The two have much to learn from each other however. Rarity could teach Applejack that sometimes it’s not nice to smell like a cow pat just because you alone are comfortable with it, that a little beautification can go a long way.
And AJ could teach Rarity that sometimes you just need to crack your knuckles and get on with it.
I hope I communicated all that blabbering well enough for everyone to understand, let’s move on before my brain starts dripping out of my nose.
Applejack embodies her element of harmony perhaps the best out of all the main cast. She is pure simplicity right down to her core; even her animation has a strong, purposeful feel to it. As a filly she learned to avoid those who turn up their noses at honest folk and decided to stick to who you know yourself to be, which is something we could all do to remember.
If she had a motto, it would be “Get over yourself”. Life gives us all kinds of unfairness. How would YOU like it if you had to take care of your grandmother, little sister and entire family business with nobody but your brother to help you? Sometimes we just need to spit in our hands, tighten our belt and start gettin’ shit done. Tough love baby. Applejack has done this with truly applaudable strength. Even when she IS officially congratulated it doesn’t seem to have any effect on her ego one way or the other (although that could just be the sleep deprivation). She helps give you the courage to believe that if you don’t have the life you think you deserve, then work and fight to get it. And do it with a big ol’ smile on your face.
There’s nothing special about a bit of good old fashioned hard work, and after enough tree kicking to give her legs that could stop a freight train, the friendly and boisterous Applejack knows this better than most.
Put ‘em up Winona!
Here are some clips of our apple loving, tree hugging, hard working pony friend.
AJ and Rarity face off in “Look Before you Sleep”
Who’s a silly Pony?
Dash and Applejack get competitive, but grow closer in “Fall Weather Friends” (Another one of my favourites)
I take absolutely no credit whatsoever for these pictures, art, or video’s. And that’s the honest truth.
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