Some theorizing about the ponies' ages and lifespans in regular years... To me, it appears like that these ponies have ROUGHLY similar aging pace than humans (at least closer to humans than to RL ponies).
In Griffon the Brush Off, Fluttershy states she is a year older to Pinkie Pie. (An old fact, true.)
In The Super Duper Party Pony song (see here), a filly is having a birthday cake with a candle shaped like "5". So unless they have alternative way to measure time, it would make the filly five years old.
Filli Vanilli states that Big Mac has won turkey calling competition six years in row, making him at least seven + (insert a reasonable age to win a turkey calling competition) years old.
Okay, this is so minor it's not funny, but it still bugs the heck out of me: how the heck do ponies like Rarity put eyeshadow on, let alone on eyelids that are covered with hair? Yeah, I know, truly silly but it still leaves me scratching my head.
Rarity is a unicorn, so she could easily use her standard magic telekinesis to apply any make-up, as seen with a false-eyelash in "Best Night Ever".
And as for the hair thing, they probably just need to apply the make-up in the same direction as the hair is growing.
The pony names confuse me. It seems to me that Pinkamena Diane Pie is like, Pinkie's full name so to speak, which I guess makes Pie her surname. Which is understandable, but that seems to apply only to her.
As far as I can tell, there don't seem to be surnames so to speak, or any real naming conventions. Some families obviously do give their kids names similar to their own (like the Apple family and (as far as we can tell) Pinkie's family, but others don't seem to (unless there's some way Rarity and Sweetie Belle are similar that I can't think of).
But in Giggle at the Ghostie, Pinkie calls her grandma 'Granny Pie'. So I figured that was her surname.
Granny Pie doesn't necessarily indicate that their family does theme naming. Pinkie might have just been named in honor of her grandmother. Plus, Unreliable Narrator.
Actually, that's how most surnames came into existence. Most surnames refer to either an ancestor, land of origin, clan name, or profession/profession of parents. Applejack has before mentioned her family as 'The Apple Clan.' So Applejack's full name would be Applejack Apple, or some variation of that dependent on local customs and conventions
The judges in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" call Twilight "Miss Sparkle", so that might be her family name.
Her brother's name is Shining Armor. Unless it's Shining Armor Sparkle I doubt it...
Except that many ponies don't even have more than one name. "Miss Rarity" comes to mind. It seems that referring to someone formally generally involves an honorific plus the last word in their name, which doesn't necessarily imply that it's a family name of any sort. I don't see any way that Apple Bloom and Caramel Apple could belong to the same family if surnames worked as they do in our world.
Along this line, in Family Appreciation Day Cheerilee initially calls Filthy Rich "Mr. Filthy" before he corrects her. So apparently the practice isn't standardized yet.
Apple Bloom and Caramel Apple do make the case difficult, along with a couple other of the Apple family (like Golden and Red Delicious). Though other than those cases, the theory still could be sound. I don't remember who said 'miss Rarity' but it may have been that they didn't know what Rarity's surname was and wanted to be polite. Then again you could be right with their naming conventions, though that would imply they don't care (or at least don't care as much as humans) about ancestry, lineage, and heritage.
"Miss Rarity" was said by RARITY HERSELF. Of, course, I distinctly remember her calling herself "Rarity Unicorn" too.
Ah. Though as someone below mentioned, Rarity could wish to distance herself from her surname as she builds a reputation in the fashion world. Her surname might be a common one, or at least one generally associated with common folk. Or maybe it just doesn't roll off the tongue that well with her first name. If her surname is 'Belle' as the person guessed, then that would make perfect sense. Rarity Belle, though a nice name, just flow as well as some names. Also, in my opinion at least, the surname Belle invokes thoughts of down-the-earth country folk, not high society fashion designers, giving her even more reason to forgo it.
And in Sonic Rainboom, Celestia calls RD "Ms. Rainbow Dash". Maybe some ponies just don't have last names?
Celestia could have just used Rainbow's full name for some reason. Maybe a formality or some oddness with the registration form. Or it could just be RD doesn't have a normal lastname and her surname would default to profession/ 'Daughter of [insert mother's name]' as stated above. Though in my opinion, Dash is a better surname than Skysweeper/Skycleaner/whatever the name of her profession is.
It is possible that "Ms. Dash" cannot legally be used in the show because it'd be too close to the line of spice mixes known as Mrs. Dash.
There's probably also some capital-D Destiny at work regarding pony names. Most ponies end up with names that match their (yet unknown) cutie marks, after all! Consider the marriage of Carrot (Mr.) Cake and Cup (Mrs.) Cake, or the Oranges of Manehattan. Assuming there's not an uncomfortable amount of cousin-marrying going on, it seems clear that couples with allied cutie marks tend to be given matching names.
Okay, wait, what? Why would Carrot and Cup Cake having the same last name be weird? Maybe one of them took the other's name when they were married. They could have been something like "Carrot Harvest and Cup Cake," or "Carrot Cake and Cup O'Flower," or something like that, but one of their names could have changed.
That actually seems to make the most sense. After marriage, one of the newlywed ponies changes their surname to whatever sounds better. Also, it can be that Sweetie Belle's first name is just 'Sweetie' (a perfectly appropriate pony name), which would make Rarity's full name 'Rarity Belle'. But since she wants to be a famous designer, she decided to go with the being only known by one name thing like Madonna or Prince. This would make Rainbow Dash's surname 'Dash'. Applejack would be Applejack Smith or Applejack Apple if Granny Smith's progeny changed their name after marriage. Apple Bloom could be Apple Bloom Smith, since ponies can have three names, or Applebloom Smith if her first name was just both words together. The only one we don't know the last name of would be Fluttershy, but it would probably be something she doesn't care for since it is very un-fluttershy, like Charger or Rampager.
I think you just found her last name. Look at the events of the Grand Galloping Gala. She didn't go nuts, her lineage just showed through! [/WMG]
A fun fact on RL horse names. Traditionally, a horse is given a name that's related to either the sire's or dam's name, preferably both. Registered horses are given a "last name" of sorts which is always "by (Sire's Name) out of (Dam's Name)" Example: Say things had worked out between Rarity and Prince Blueblood and they had a foal they named Sapphire. The full name would be Sapphire by Blueblood out of Rarity. (I'm assuming "Prince" is a title and not part of his name.)
I figure their pony society just has multiple naming conventions. Some ponies have surnames, some don't, etc.. Your name follows whatever convention your parents decided on, since they're the ones who named you.
Expanding a bit on the above the formal and more elaborate naming conventions really only came about in humans when populations expanded to the point that confusion could arise regarding who was being refereed too. Most indications are the pony population is significantly lower then our own so there's likely a much lesser need for complex systems to differentiate individuals in many places. It might be that only in a few large centers of population are more complex naming systems common. In more rural areas single given names may still be common, but as migration and continued population expansion have continued this has been blurring, as people leave cites but keep using the naming schemes born of them, so you're starting to end up with seemingly schizophrenic conventions in certain locales (such as the seemingly highly integrated Ponyville). If you want to get overly meta about it they seem to have recently perfected steam power and so maybe on the verge of an industrial revolution, or in the early stages of one and the social upheaval and change that would entail.
Well, the babies of Mr. Carrot Cake and Mrs. Cup Cake are called Pound and Pumpkin Cake, so Pinkie is hardly the only case. About the other matter, the real world also holds different naming conventions so it wouldn't be to off to think some pony families have surnames and others don't.
Why is it that Twilight is always addressed as her most loyal and faithful student? Twilight seems to teach herself, really. In fact, Twilight is reporting back to Celestia about the nature of friendship as magic. Surely Celestia is already well-acquainted with friendship and its magical properties...
Twilight is teaching herself, yes, but at Celestia's direction. Celestia probably already knows all the stuff Twilight writes about, but lets Twilight discover it for herself.
Ah, so a pony version of Socrates.
Or just the Pony equivalent of a college thesis.
Since all of the other ponies have jobs, some of which would require education, I always assumed that Twilight is the pony equivalent of a grad student. She's working on her doctorate in magic, and right now she's specifically studying the magic of friendship.
As for the "most loyal and faithful student" part...would that imply that Celestia had other students (who turned evil)?
'Equestria Girls' establishes that Celestia has had at least one personal apprentice prior to Twilight, who did indeed turn evil. (Sunset Shimmer).
No, it just means Celestia's other students aren't quite as dedicated to their studies as Twilight.
Or it's boilerplate language on par with "My dearest ____" and she calls all her students that—though from the flashback it seems being Celestia's personal apprentice is quite a rare thing anyway.
Well, when she says "Most loyal and faithful student," it sounds like she's talking in the present tense. Maybe she's had dozens upon dozens of "Loyal and Faithful Students," in her thousands of years of existence?
It could be an alternate title for 'apprentice'
This is essentially explained in Cutie Mark Chronicles. Celestia has a school for gifted unicorns, and took on Twilight as her personal protegee after witnessing her power during the entrance exam. So she definitely has other students, at least in the sense that they study at her school, and given the fact that she is at least over thousand years old, there may even been countless others in a position similiar to Twilight in the past.
It's probably also that Most does not refer to amount (as in the amount of loyalty and faithfulness that Twilight has is greater than any other) but rather Most as in recognition of those attributes of Twilight (as in the phrase "You are most <x>." which is a more formal way of stating the fact).
Also, given that Twilight is the world-champion workaholic of Equestria its hard to imagine that Celestia has any students more dedicated to their studies than Twilight is unless they literally never sleep at all. As for faithful... short of an order to murder her friends in cold blood or something else utterly beyond the Moral Event Horizon, can anybody here think of anything Celestia could request from Twilight that Twilight wouldn't immediately leap to give her or do for her?
Moreover, notice how ponies' cutie marks are not just indicative of their behavior, but form a limit on what they can do? As Twilight and Spike divulged during a bit of exposition, most ponies aren't magical beyond the abilities implied by their cutie mark. Only ponies like Twilight, who specialize in magic itself, can gain any varied spells.
So, you're complaining about the fact that some ponies are basically more naturally talented at given tasks than others? How is that any different than how it works in real life?
The fact that spellbooks exist suggest that any unicorn could, in theory, learn a wide array of spells. Furthermore, we know that Rarity's "talent" isn't what she does for a living, or even what she loves to do (setting aside bedazzling everything in sight). I propose that a unicorn's talent manifests as a spell they can use instinctively, while other magic must be learned through study. Twilight's talent probably just makes it easier for her to learn new spells. Given that Twilight teleported without consciously deciding to do so in Ticket Master, teleportation is probably her instinctive "talent spell".
Based on all the evidence the show gives, Rarity's special talent isn't so much as gems as it is 'finding and bringing out the beauty in things,' be that finding gems hidden within rocks, or making the perfect dresses for her friends. Though that still shows that for most ponies, their special talent can be rather broad and allow for a multitude of paths in life.
It bothers me more that they are given names at birth and the cutie marks become more of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Maybe the parents go to a unicorn whose special talent is coming up with really good names for newborn foals.
Well, it's a little of both. For example, Pinkie Pie's name has very little to do with her love of parties or her skill at cooking, and maybe a little to do with her Genki Girl-ness. On the other hand, there's no way Rainbow Dash's parents could have known that she's naturally good at flying, but she's had her very noticeable multi-colored hair for her entire life. Applejack, however, is a very clear case of the self-fulfilling prophecy. She says herself in "Call Of The Cutie" that she was born to inherit the family apple orchards and "the cutie mark sealed the deal", so in a way, she literally was born to continue the Apple family tradition. As for the other ponies, it's, as I said before, a little of both.
Applejack may have continued the tradition, but Apple Bloom's specialty is handicrafts and beautification which...oh right, her name is Apple Bloom, as in flowers, so she makes things look pretty. Yep, the names are self-fulfilling prophecies.
Who sais they are given their names at birth? The parents coud wait a year or two and name the baby pony based on what they like, or how they act, or how they look, or a particular family tradition of names.
In Baby Cakes Mr. Cake introduces his newborn foals, Pound Cake Pumpkin Cake.
It's always been that way with a Meaningful Name. If they're given at birth and predict the character's future, they don't make sense (unless actual magical fortune telling is involved). They're just a joke that make for easy foreshadowing. And that's coming from a troper who usually hates handwaving something with "don't think too hard about it."
As for the magic thing, I always thought of it as how a musician knows music. Depending on what genre they play, and what instrument they use, there are some songs that they just know, but any good musician can pick up some sheet music and play along, no matter what the song is(well, any musician who's actually been trained. There are plenty of talented musicians out there who can't read music). So, most unicorns only ever learn and memorize the spells they use consistently, but those with magical training can cast from a book. Twilight's just good at memorizing and casting spells.
There's a Darths & Droids-style comic out there that actually has a pretty good theory on this one; namely, that the cutie mark isn't nearly that narrow. The person playing Applejack mentions that hers doesn't just signify knowledge of raising and harvesting apples; it's also finances, delegation, physical labor, basically, it signifies that she's naturally good at everything involved in running Sweet Apple Acres. So basically, you have the main talent which is the obvious answer which would get you the buzzer on QI, and then you also have a whole host of Required Secondary Powers which go along with that.
Your inverting the causality with "Cutie marks limit a pony". getting a Cutie mark does NOT place any lmits on a pony, not all people can be star athletes, or rocket scientists, or singers. It's no differnt with ponies. Everyone and everypony has things they are naturally good at, and things they are just bad at, none of thse are determined by there cutie mark, rather these inborn traits are what determine what there cutie mark is. And keep in mind, geting a Cutie mark is not just about finding what you good at, but also what you ENJOY doing, what you want to do with your life.
Of course, that doesn't address the seemingly prophetic names. The consensus here seems to be not to think too hard about it.
Maybe they were named after they're doing now? Inverted causality — past because present, not present because past. Fridge Horror: Past can be changed by every single pony. And no one can notice this.
What happens to a pony who doesn't like his/her cutie mark? Or despises their special talent? For example, say a pegasus gets a cutie mark that means that she's really good at manipulating the weather. However, she doesn't like doing it, and far prefers to be a gardener. Or an earth pony who has a cutie mark saying he should be a fighter, but he's a diehard pacifist. What happens then?
I think the cutie marks, and by extension special talents, have a magical aspect to them. A pony's special talent is always something the pony is both good at, and enjoys doing. Getting the cutie mark in the first place requires the pony to find what they enjoy and are good at, and realize that that's what they want to do. A filly can do whatever it is that's his/her special talent all day and night long, but won't get a cutie mark until he/she realizes that's their special talent.
Add in that getting a cutie mark actually seems to be a fairly complicated process — a defining personality trait, a special skill, a love for said skill, and they've all got to accentuate each other. It really is about finding who you really are, not finding out you're good at fighting/baking/hammering nails/etc.
There's still a variety of ways a pony could utilize her talents. If the weather talent pony wanted to be a gardener, her abilities could help her out a lot. And many cutie marks are fairly generic or abstract enough to represent a bunch of things. Applejack's is a simple trio of apples, gained when she realized where she belonged - but not only does she perform the daily tasks of running an apple farm, she also makes and markets delicious apple-based treats.
While there's nothing supporting it, I like the idea that a pony's cutie mark could change given some kind of major event that would change anyone's personality in such a situation. A few days ago an Equestria WW2 scenario came to mind, with the idea of the intense homogenization and conformity of the nazis actually changing the cutie marks of most, if not all, of the nazi-ponies. Again, nothing to back it up, just an interesting thought.
Given that the cutie mark is very heavily linked to a given pony's personality, I doubt this problem would ever arise. The cutie mark is just a visible reflection of what a pony enjoys doing, so getting a mark at odds with one's personality would be almost impossible. The other thing is that as Cheerilee demonstrates in "Call of the Cutie" that the meaning behind the CM is really heavily reliant on personal interpretation anyway. It's not like each cutie mark has a clear list of abilities attached to it; when the mark shows up the pony can interpret it however they want.
We do have two cases though: Derpy/Ditzy has a cutie mark of a bunch of bubbles but is in the moving business (though it may indicate her bubbly personality). A pegasus photographer has a dollar sign as a cutie mark (though again, that may indicate doing it for the money). Still, we have seen cutie marks for being short, being smelly, and other normally undesirable characteristics, but maybe they enjoy those traits. Also, Sapphire Shores is a blank-flank despite having made a name for herself. (Her blind-bag toy depicts a cutie mark of some type of yellow lily, but then again, blind-bag Sapphire Shores is a mint-green palette swap of Twilight Sparkle.)
For Sapphire Shores Word of God is that it was simply an oversight, she should have a cutie mark.
While it wouldn't explain the oddly prophetic names (which may just be a case of us rationalizing the names and if they had different names we'd figure out what they meant too) there is a similar headscratcher from Bleach asking about the various Bankai and Shikai and it seems probable that the answer is the same for both. The magic that provides a Cutie Mark gives you a mark based on what you're good at. You liking it just an added perk (if you like it) if you hate it the magic doesn't care. Not anymore than The Call cares about the personal feelings of any hero anyway.
Another thing: Celestia is humongous. Her horn is long, striated, and sharpened, and her proportions are very different from the other ponies'. In fact, she looks like a full-grown horse. Well, a horse with wings and a horn; a winged unicorn.
Well, she is pretty much a goddess. They tend to be pretty big.
She may also be able to shapeshift, since being a goddess and all, and just chose that shape as the form best suited for her.
Dunno about Celestia, but Luna can definitely shapeshift with little to no difficulty. So Celestia probably can too.
She is Large and in Charge. Presumably, she's using the same kind of enchantment Luna used to become Nightmare Moon, except without all the evil.
By that logic though that would technically make everypony in Equestria a Miohippus and they basically accelerated evolution using magic for their own means.
Fun fact: based on the size of other animals, fans guess that ponies are about three and a half feet high — a typical size for real-world ponies. Celestia is about twice that size, meaning she would be classified as a horse in our world. You know, outside of the wings and horn.
Keep in mind that while Celestia may be as tall as a real-world horse, she is also shorter in length and much more slender. If the princess represents a throwback to an older breed of pony, then it may be the case that pony evolution selected for being less massive as an advantage first, then being shorter in height became the norm later.
All alicorns are larger than normal ponies, even Twilight has become a hand taller after her transformation and has a longer horn. It might be that alicorns never stop growing, getting bigger with age. Candace is older than Twilight and has been an alicorn since Twilight was a foal and she is already equal height to a stallion. Luna is taller than Candace but shorter than her older sister, either because of the age difference of because of whatever caused her to shrink down to Twilight's alicorn size when she was cured of being Nightmare Moon.
Word of God has it that Celestia is supposed to encompass traits of all three races. Since Earth Ponies are basically pegasi without wings/unicorns without horns, but have the advantage of better physical strength, this can be said to be embodied by her larger size.
Word of God said Earth Ponies have passive magic, like how pegasi can walk on clouds.
Exactly what magic do they have?
Earth ponies have a deeper connection to the land and animals. Earth ponies are responsible for growing plants and taking care of animals. So Fluttershy is kinda-of a weirdo, since she's a pegasus with earth pony abilities.
Also earth pony traits, as she prefers staying near the ground instead of the skies like all the others. Not to mention how she's relatively bad at flying and her wings lock when scared.
Possibly related to the fact that early in the development process Fluttershy was an Earth Pony?
This might not be likely, but I love the idea of Celestia and Luna having the typical Earth Pony strength!
You are now thinking of Celestia as THE Humungus. The warrior of the wasteland! The ayatollah of rock and rollah!
So Spike eats Grass and Gemstones. Is he herbivore, omnivore, um...mineravore? Dragons are stereotypically carnivores, but since animals don't seem to be eaten by the main cast (Well, the ponies have excuses; they're herbivores, after all), do you think he would eat a steak if one was presented to him?
He prefer gems or any stuff what normal creature can't eat.
We can't even be sure if the mature dragons we've seen so far are carnivores. After all, the one in Dragonshy didn't seem like he wanted to eat the ponies, and only attacked them because Rainbow Dash attacked him first, and the second one was mad at Spike for eating his gems.
The term you're looking for with the eating of gemstones is Lithovore.
Does it bother anyone else that the entire environment is basically dependent on the work of ponies? We see it in Winter Wrap-Up, Fall Weather Friends and Sonic Rainboom. Also the fores outside of ponyville is mentioned as a place where everthing works out by itself, "How Unnatural!"
It's a little unsettling, but also seems to be (on the whole) the natural order of things in the pony world. So no, not too much.
It's a good way to show that these Ponies, while magical, need this magic to put to good use. It's also a tongue-in-cheek joke about how characters that spent their whole lives in a Sugar Bowl enviroment may react to one that's decidedly not. It's the same kind of reaction that a kid who grew up in an urban city, like New York, might have if he or she was suddenly placed somewhere without electricity or internet access, like say a rural village in Mongolia.
Also, it's a Rule of FunnyLampshade Hanging joke, much the same as the one in Avatar: The Last Airbender in which a normal bear (not a "Something-Else-Bear") causes the cast to remark, "This place is weird." If it really bugs you, just figure that whoever set the world up (Celestia + Luna maybe?) magically arranged for ponies to have to take care of their own parts of it manually in order to give them a closer connection to the environment, so they don't do things like have industrial revolutions that cover the world in pollution. But parts of the world where ponies (or other organized sophonts) don't live have to be able to take care of themselves or they'll become barren wastes and leave the rest of the world unviable.
In the Everfree Forest, it's said (by the ponies) that "the plants grow, animals care for themselves, and the clouds move... ALL ON THEIR OWN!!!" (cue Rarity fainting at the thought). So yeah, what's normal to US is weird to THEM. Been that way within pony population.
What bothers me about "Winter Wrap Up" is the fact that the ponies apparently have to clear the snow manually. If the pegasi are clearing the clouds away from the sun, wouldn't the snow just melt? Does the sun give off any heat at all? Do Earth's laws of thermodynamics even apply in Equestria? And what about animals that live in places other than Ponyville or the Everfree Forest? What about them? Do they just take care of themselves too? Though this could very well be Fridge Brilliance in that ths show is aimed at young girls, despite the gargantuan Periphery Demographic, and young children are unlikely to be aware of anywhere that isn't their home state/country, unless his/her parents move frequently.
The sun would melt the snow, as Fluttershy is worried that if they melt the snow too fast, it'll flood the animal burrows. The issue is just that flooding. They clear the snow and move it some place that will be safe to melt, so their fields and homes aren't flooded. And most areas in Equestria have some ponies (or at least something like ponies) to look after it. Or there might be some other 'unnatural' areas like the Everfree Forest.
Knowing now that Discord ruled before the winged unicorn sisters puts this in a new light; in a world Discord had ruled, they put a sensical nature together… manually. The Everfree Forest, and presumably similar areas, had to fend for themselves, and fell into a pattern weirdly like the OOC world for OOC reasons.
I personally think it's less that they run everything then that they nudge parts of it to their own ends. Frankly the population clearly just isn't large enough to manage all aspects of nature even if they dedicated there entire lives to the task (they clearly don't). Once you accept that and stop to think a bit allot of what they do isn't really different that what we do just with magic instead of tech. We plow away snow even though it would melt on it's own, we have people whose entire job is watching the woods to make sure the ecosystem is 'in balance' (according to us), and we modify the weather as much as we're able with things like air conditioning, green houses, etc. Instead it's not so much being maintained as co-opted and managed by them for their own use. It has however been like this for a very long time now though and is considered the norm, and thus ironically raw unconstrained nature is now considered 'unnatural'. Kind of puts a new spin on things when you pause to think about it. The ponies have effectively conquered their environment as we have only utilizing magic instead of technology, but to the same ends more or less. They just try to spin it with more mysticism and new age philosophy, but funny how their are no large predators roaming around, the weather it controlled to be best for them, and areas outside pony influence are consider strange and wild.
Princess Celestia is... interesting. If she's the ruler, why is she princess and not queen? What happened to her sister after the second episode? Surely she would be around some of the time, right? Maybe she was disappeared. If Celestia was the original wielder of the Elements of Harmony, how could she have forgotten about such an elementary and simple thing as friendship?
She's a princess because
Equestria is a principality.
She's doesn't have absolute authority, since her sister is her equal.
Executive Meddling. According to Word of God, kids associate Queens with 'evil' and Princesses with 'good' (thanks a f'in lot Disney), so that's the reason for her title.
Or possibly because the King and Queen of Equestria are still alive. Consider that Celestia and Luna are essentially immortal, it would make sense that their parents are as well; ergo until their parents die or step down from power the daughters will remain Princesses even if they are acting as regents in their parents absence. For a real world example look at England, Prince Charles is a grandfather now and still a prince.
Luna is probably off doing other stuff. She doesn't have the personal relation that brings Celestia to Ponyville all the time.
Also, remember that while Twilight and the group know that Luna is actually not truly evil, most of the world does not and still fears The Mare in the Moon. Were Luna to take a visible and active role in governance, there would likely be a huge public backlash.
Luna was trapped for 1000 years, not something you get over quickly. She's probably still resenting Celestia and said "hey, you've been taking care of Equestria without my help for a thousand years, I'm sure you don't need it now, and everypony loves you more than me. So I'll sit back and raise the moon, while you do all that other stuff."
She rules only over night, so she's probably nocturnal. We see Celestia more often because she's active during the day. Even with the bits of night we have seen like Look Before You Sleep, the other factors (anti-social, business, storms) gave her no reason to drop in and say hi.
Apparently confirmed by "A Canterlot Wedding", where Luna's only two appearances coincide with nightfall — once to explicitly relieve Celestia, once near the end to ask whether she's missed anything. Where she spent that day is technically anyone's guess, but the implication that she simply slept through everything that happened (Changeling invasion and all) is definitely there.
When she arrives to relieve Celestia we see Luna fly into Canterlot from somewhere beyond Shining Armor's shield. It's entirely possible that Luna doesn't reside in Canterlot which is why she was unaware of the invasion.
As for why the Princess didn't just use the Elements of Harmony herself this time, that's currently WMG territory, Celestia might not be able to use them anymore or she might just be a jerk.
Except that Celestia is clearly not a jerk
It's possible that she couldn't use them premptively while Luna was still banished, and as soon as Luna returned, Celestia vanished, hence the Batman Gambit.
Word of God is that using the Elements of Harmony on NMM/Luna, herself a previous user of the elements, made Celestia unable to use the Elements afterwards, so she had to wait for someone else capable of using them.
I am almost certain that even if Princess Celestia didn't vanish as soon as Nightmare Moon escaped, it doesn't matter, because I'm also almost certain she's no longer able to use the Elements of Harmony. While death is never mentioned (although risk-of-death is often implied), the fact that there are aged ponies such as Granny Smith implies that ponies do age, and thus they likely die. Princess Celestia is likely unable to sustain true friendship with people she knows she will have to watch grow old and die. Even if she can, it's likely the emotional trauma of having to banish and imprison her own sister - or the mystic symbolism of the act itself - has robbed her of either the ability or fortitude to use them.
The first time around, Celestia was only able to imprison Nightmare Moon. Twilight's crew was able to cure her. Perhaps dividing the elements between six ponies with "focused" personalities created a stronger (or purer) effect than a single user, no matter how powerful her magic was.
Perhaps this was a security feature? If there were six magical rocks that could literally banish a goddess, then the ability to only be used by someone of a very strong personality trait relating to that element would mean that it would be exceedingly difficult for someone to use more than one (as Celestia did in the prologue). You would have to find six separate ponies to wield it. Much safer and more secure.
Maybe she couldn't get them to work properly because she was pointing them at her best friend.
Perhaps she didn't use the Elements of Harmony alone, after a thousand years a story will be very different than what really happened. Perhaps she assembled a group of friends and asked them to banish Nightmare Moon for her, 'using' the Elements of Harmony that way.
Not to mention that the book on the Elements of Harmony said that only five of the six were known, so it may have something to do with using the full set rather than only using five out of the six.
Celestia had to know what the sixth was. She deliberately guided Twilight to figure it out for herself! It seems clear from "Cutie Mark Chronicles" that she knew exactly what Twilight was when she took her on as her personal student.
What ever happened to her parents, then?
Celestia's choice of Princess may also be a choice designed to avoid In-Universe Unfortunate Implications. What characters have we seen that use King/Queen? King Sombra an Queen Chyrsilis. Two villains, both of whom are Big Bad level villains. Princess may be a way of reassuring that she has no intention of being like them. To wit, it also means that 'lesser' nobility like Cadence and Shining Armor would, at least from a title perspective, be equal to Celestia which reinforces the idea that she may not want to seem like an iron fisted ruler.
Why does Celestia need guards? Or fly in a chariot? Or put the future of the world several times in the hands of the core cast? Besides the prophecy, there doesn't seems to be a reason beyond allowing for the plot. I mean, She is a goddess who can literally manipulate stars, planets, and alter reality at her will and so many parts in the show (and so many of the fanfics) tend to give her title of "princess" more weight that should be logical, even by the setting. While it's nice to see subverted for once the cliche of a princess with One-Hour Work Week and she tends to be very humble and easy going, people and pony alike seems to forget that she not only possesses eons of wisdom, but more power in her hoof that all the unicorns and dragons in Equestria combined.
Who says she IS strong? She can handle the Sun, but maybe that's it. It's the same reason a king has an army of knights. She raises the Sun, which is important, but she's no fighter. Being able to handle politics, raise the Sun, and generally keep things cozy does not mean Celestia can knock out Nightmare Moon or get rid of the likes of a Hydra. Fact of the matter is that Celestia is the queen, title be damned, and the mane cast are her knights.
It's unlikely that the princesses are limited to only their celestial function. Nightmare Moon displays a broad range of powers — transformation, illusion, teleportation, heavy-duty kinesis, lightning bolts, weather control... there's no reason to think Celestia doesn't possess an equally broad range of powers. Anyway, she'd make a pretty lousy teacher for Twilight if she couldn't work just as many kinds of magic.
A lot of what Nightmare Moon does can be traced back to things that myth attributes to the moon and night. Transformation falls under lycanthropy and/or the ability to transform attributed to night creatures such as vampires. The illusions can be attributed to lunacy, the moon's ability to play with the brain. It could also be shadows playing tricks with one's eyes. The teleportation might be able to be explained as fading into darkness-type connection. The kinesis is an ability of unicorns, and weather control (including lightning bolts to an extent) are abilities of pegasi. Building on that, it would be reasonable to assume that the core, if not the majority, of Celestia's power set would be related to the sun and the day. Light, heat, fertility, growth, casting away of illusions, instant destruction of 'unholy' creatures, stuff like that on top of whatever she gets for being a pegasus and a unicorn. I can imagine her combat strategy involving setting opponents on fire with heat before shooting lasers at them.
Yeah... but since she can move the sun, she must have some Titanic pools of magic, not to mention that she is a Millenary old sorceress if you want to go down in the "not-god" camp. That alone would make her a fearsome adversary, regardless of how much a "pacifist" she may be. Also a God. Take for example Twilight, who have a ridiculous minimal fraction of magical pools and nothing of knowledge compared to her and what she can do. Also, raising the sun is not important, is bloody beyond absolute for the continuation of Life in all of Equestria. As put in "Time and Terror", a being that can stop the rotation of a planet (or a star) with a thought must have some serious power.
A thought is probably stretching it. Moving the Sun probably takes more effort than every other pony besides Luna could muster combined, but again, Celestia might be a (pardon the expression) one trick pony in that regard. A man who knows the ins and outs of law and how to apply those is a powerful lawyer, but he's still junk in a fight unless he knows how to fight as a separate skill. Law and fighting aren't the same thing, so neither are raising the Sun and fighting.
About the retinue; she doesn't NEED the guards or the charioteers. They're simply part of the princess package. They're probably volunteers from a populace that takes her role more seriously then she herself does.
Taking this suggestion even further: These guards and the chariot are essential for Celestia's politics more than anything else. The chariots and guards stand for power and wealth, they should show ponies under her their place in her society.
Either only that, but they may as well serve as a gesture of humility on Celestia's part. They should show that she too is more a normal pony than everyone else thinks (given she is such a powerful goddess as presumed). That she too is in need of conventional transport, like a normal pony, and that she does have a longing for security coming from her fellow ponydom. With this she wants to secure closer relations with her subjects by essentially pulling the "Just-like-you-and-me" card.
Celestia fighting her own battles is an incredibly bad idea. If there is even a slight chance she will be injured or incapacitated, you risk losing the one pony who can raise the sun in the morning.
Nightmare Moon would seem to contradict that supposition.
The guards and the chariot are probably partly for appearance, but they also serve a practical purpose. The chariot makes it so that Celestia doesn't have to tire herself out going places. The guards though are highly important. Celestia might be a goddess, or at least a god-like entity, she probably still can be injured or even killed. With her powers, she probably could handle a lone assailant easily by herself, but a coordinated group could pose a problem. She might be able to take out the first, the second, and if she's fast enough, maybe the third attacker, but any more than that in a well coordinated attack, and she could be in trouble. In case of an attack, the guard can take up positions and deal with any attacks to Celestia's flanks or rear, and also prevent assailants from getting to close to her front either if there is enough guards to cover.
Once again, a God. People attacking a god don't tend to last very long, regardless of numbers. If that is the matter, I prefer the fan theory that she had guards because Celestia fighting is very bad news. As in miles radius colateral damage bad news. I mean, lets say she is one trick ponie. Sure, that means she had absolute control of a 1.9891×10(30) kg/ near infinite source of power. She could command a pinpoint Solar flare to kill the fuck out of her enemies if necessary, but that would be kind of bad for Equestria. It could be that the Guards act as a power limiter, because there is always an Idiot who would try. For this troper, is because Celestia want to stay close to her little ponies, so she follows the charade of nobility (Reason why she is a Princess-a power to be- instead of a Queen -an absolute power that is-) for this allow her subdites to approach her in a more personal manner instead of worship her blindy (which she seems unconfortable) and by "limiting" her power and reach, force her little ponies to be more independent and responsable, instead of only asking her to solver her problems while making sure to be at hand and influence when things go south.
I dunno... She lost the Beam Clash with Chrysalis.
Love is one of the most powerful magical forces in Equestria (as Shining Armor and Cadance epically demonstrate not fifteen minutes later), and Chrysalis has been absorbing it from Shining Armor (and given their connection, possibly indirectly from Cadance — who is an alicorn herself — as well) for days and days. And Chrysalis probably blew most of the accumulated charge from all those days in just a few seconds.
Celestia has the cosmic level power to move entire planets. Unicorns are shown to have serious transformational magic and telekinesis. Pegasi are shown to be able to control atmospheric conditions, inertia, and possibly gravity. Celestia and Luna have that times a factor of 1000+ since they can both control the orbit and rotation of the planet while making sure nothing flies off if they stop it from turning. If Celestia decides to battle a regular pony assassin, it would be like trying to swat a fly with an entire nuclear arsenal. Even if she could limit her powers to prevent multiple extinction level events, she has the option of banishing them out of orbit or popping them like a blood-filled soap bubble. Niether are great to subdue the assialent and interregate them as to their reasons/who sent them.
Celestia does not appear to be omniscient. And as stated above, it's probably safe to assume Celestia has at least a similar breadth of powers to that of Nightmare Moon, just with the sun and day as opposed to the moon and night. So Celestia should be able to fight without reducing the entire landscape around her to charred ash, if she has to. If the attack is taking place somewhere that Celestia would be hesitant to turn into a pile of cinders, all one would need is enough attackers in front to keep her busy while the other attackers go for her flanks and rear. The guard would be able to block any attacks to her flanks or rear, allowing Celestia to focus on the bulk of the attackers. Though limiting herself for various reasons, such as capturing the attackers, allowing her to stay close to her ponies, and pushing the ponies to not be dependent on her are all valid reasons as well.
Observation and deduction time: The world of Equestria is self-evidently Geocentric, and the fact that the moon and sun have to be raised DAILY, rather than simply left to orbit... and that they can be stopped dead in their tracks without catastrophic environmental consequences (such as the Sun and Moon 'falling out of the sky')... implies it's a flat world as well, a la Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Which means both the Sun and Moon are far smaller than our own. It's still impressive power to raise them, but it's far less so than hoisting a planetoid or a G-class star around. In fact both the Equestrian Sun and Moon are probably FAR smaller than even our Moon, as they are apparently far closer (given the "Icarus" style incident in "Sonic Rainboom".) Twilight's references to astronomy also imply that anything past the solar/lunar orbit is pretty much identical to real-world outer space.... so we can assume Celestia's control only extends to Equestria's Sun, and Luna's to Equestria's Moon. Otherwise Luna would essentially be hefting around BILLIONS of moons and Celestia BILLIONS of suns... bit of a power overkill for a world based on the pre-medieval Flat Earth model. Equestria's sun and moon are presumably asteroid-sized magical artifacts, one for providing warmth and light, the other for turning the tides and marking the turn of the months and seasons.
Chancellor Puddinghead: "I got a newsflash for you, Cookie. The Earth is round. There is no up or down." Also, if the Earth were flat, why would Twilight Sparkle own a globe?
Would that be Chancellor Puddinghead as played by Pinkie Pie? That theory might be better taken with a grain of salt... As for the globe, I got nothing, but it's interesting to note that Celestia and Luna are by all appearances in charge of "the day" and "the night" respectively — not just "the day/night over Equestria". As real life demonstrates, having it be the same time of day all over the world is actually kind of hard when said world is round.
Equestria is pretty well established by now to be the country Celestria rules over, not the entire globe, since the Changelings attacked Equestria from their own neighboring country, and Chrysalis mentioned "First Equestria, then THE WORLD!". Besides that, this troper has a better theory. Perhaps during whatever creation myth occurs in this universe the god who created their world utilized magic to keep the planet rotating instead of inertia, thus giving ponies a tangible reason to worship her. This being the case, there has to be a pony powerful enough to keep the world rotating at all times. Eventually this was placed in the hands of Celestia and Luna, one to keep the world turning by day, and the other by night. Since they are physical gods instead of some spirit, they require periodic rest, so splitting it up between the two sisters means they are now able to sleep. How Celestia handled both jobs when she banished Luna to the moon is a mystery, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that she's a freakin' GOD.
I think there are at least two reasons for Celestia to have guards, even if she is godly powerful. Firstly, as stated above, she is not omniscient. Even if attackers wouldn't stand any chance in open combat, she could still possibly be assassinated, even in her sleep. Secondly, and I think more importantly, the guards may be just a peacekeeping force, keeping order wherever she travels and ensuring she wouldn't be pestered by anyone who'd just like to walk up and have a chat with the goddess or complain about the day being too hot. And even in cases of malicious intent, public showcases of frying people alive would probably cause quite a dissent among her subjects, who might get some ideas about Lunar Republic or something like that.
At what point is Celestia shown to be a god? Gods are generally all-powerful beings who know all and see all. That means Celestia would know everything that was happening at once (which we have seen in-series she doesn't). She might have immense power (and a LONG lifespan), but we haven't seen her do anything with it other than raise the sun once (which in this series might not be so behond mortal ponies as we think). Until we see Celestia do more god-like things I say we should keep the jury out.
Abrahamic God is generally an all-powerful being who knows-all and sees all. This was not a rule in polytheistic pantheons Celestia seems to have more in common with. She and her sister seem to be inherently tied with forces of nature, and making the sun rise is what generally constitutes a sun god. And she's been doing it for at least thousand years, not once. Saying that mortal ponies could perhaps do it do is so far pure WMG. Of course, you could argue that she's really a powerful lich and the official history lies, but that's fanfic territory.
Short answer: Celestia is never stated to actually be a god/dess in canon. This could be because the idea never even entered the minds of the show's creators, or to placate the Media Watchdogs...or simply because she was genuinely never supposed to be. Barring Word of God, it's anyone's guess.
Either (a) Celestia is less powerful than you originally assumed, perhaps because her powers are sun-specific etc., or (b) Celestia really is super-powerful, but she lets the mane cast have adventures on her behalf anyway so they can learn lessons about friendship etc., and thus if there were any real danger Celestia would just teleport in and fix everything immediately.
I think the answer is somewhere in-between. Celestia very well might be incredible powerful, but her general power-set is limited to things that can be attributed to the Sun and day, like Nightmare Moon's (and presumably Luna's by extension) general power-set was mostly things that could be attributed to ancient myths about the moon and night. And also, while she might be incredibly powerful, she's just one pony. She can't be everywhere at once. During 'Dragonshy' Celestia probably sent Twilight and her friends to handle it for two reasons: 1) Twilight and friends were closer to the mountain where the dragon slept and therefor would (in theory) be able to resolve the situation more quickly. 2) It's doubtful that Fluttershy was the only pony in Equestria to notice the smoke and think a massive wildfire, so Celestia would have to move quickly to prevent wide-spread panic.
"A Canterlot Wedding" suggests that she may indeed not be as super-duper-powerful as frequently assumed before. She never seems to see through the Changeling queen's disguise until the latter drops it on her own and then loses the fight against her (though it's close). She also never whips out any devastating combat spells (not even magical bolts as used by Twilight in the same episode), simply engaging in a Beam-O-War straight away.
One very real possibility: The guards aren't for HER. They're to get everyone else out of the way when she stars throwing around her Celestial Princess magic at the dragon or whatever else she's fighting, or to handle crowd control (like at the Cake's party), or so on. She's powerful but can't do everything at once. Heck, it could even be seen as a favor to anyone who attacks her, better guards than being hit by magic of that level, right? As for chariots, she does need to sleep too, so becoming tired is possible, hence rides, even though she can do without.
It creates jobs.
Here's a thought: Perhaps the guards aren't there primarily for the benefit of either Celestia or the populace, but for the guards themselves! Say the guards are ponies with special talents that really only lend themselves to destruction and combat, who wouldn't normally have a place in pony society. So Celestia announces the formation of her very prestigious elite guards, segregating the ponies with dangerous powers from the herd in such a way that they see it as an honor. Instead of being ostracized, they're respected and admired; by the time their terms of service are up, military discipline and maturity have curbed any malicious impulses they might have otherwise been inclined to, and they can safely reintegrate with society. Bonus WMG: Their armor is designed to cover their flanks not because it offers physical protection, but to hide their Cutie Marks, which run towards imagery of violence and death.
What order are the colors on Rainbow Dash's mane? I get that the colors on top are red, orange, and yellow (in that order), but which side is which on? Sometimes she'll turn her head and the colors will be reversed (which makes sense, if the colors on her head are horizontal), but other times she'll turn her head and the colors remain in place. In fact, this argument applies to a lot of the ponies. Pinkie Pie and Applejack are the only ones whose hair is symmetrical, and it's a pain watching hairstyles change between scenes.
It's just easier to animate that way. Pure and simple. The show may be excellent but they also do everything in their power to save money, including palette-swapping dragons, slapping wings on Doctor Whoof and using the Salty Saloon patron as Pinkie Pie's dad later on etc. So the lack of symmetry as a cost saving measure isn't a stretch at all. But it's those little tiny bits that allow the crew to make so many detailed backgrounds and use so many different monsters so it's a little buggy, but it's worth it for what those few cents add up to.
The colors aren't on either side. The frontmost hank of her mane is red, with the other colors in order behind it down the length of her neck. The top three wind up laying side-by-side, but they can flop either direction. You can easily see the same mane structure on Rarity.
Her mane is typically laid out in a ROYGBIV format from top to bottom, like her tail. Occasionally the first three colors flip, either from animation errors or reasons detailed in the main page's Ambidextrous Sprite entry.
What does Fluttershy do for a living? Rarity has her boutique, Applejack runs family business, Pinkie works for Cakes, Twilight obviously does some sort of academic job, and Rainbow Dash is responsible for weather (plus in "Green Isn't Your Color" we see her doing some aerial advertising) But there's no hint about where Fluttershy gets her money from, and she doesn't seem to be poor since she owns a house, while Pinkie lives above Sugarcube Corner and Twilight still stays in the local library.
She's a veterinarian and animal tender. We've already been shown that Ponies are in charge of things wild animals were normally take care of themselves (food, migration...) so it's a perfectly acceptable civil service career like Rainbow Dash's weather duties.
She isn't Ponyville's veterinarian. Twilight takes Spike to the veterinarian in one episode, who is a different pony with a proper animal hospital, not a Crazy Cat Lady house like Fluttershy has.
Someone is probably paying her for her yearly bunny census, and likely for other field surveys.
Twilight Sparkle is a Grad Student, hence why she's Celestia's prized pupil. She spends most of her time studying.
Fluttershy also has several chickens, so she probably sells some of their eggs.
It might be worth noting that, though this misses the point of your question a bit, that the reason Twilight lives in the local library is because she wants to, not that she can't afford her own house. And Pinkie probably lives above Sugarcube Corner because...well, she's Pinkie.
Taking care of the woodland creatures is a valid job. Kind of like a forest warden.
Considering how dependent the Equestrian ecosystem is on ponies, Fluttershy may very well be the only reason there's animal life around Ponyville at all.
She could be a more holistic animal healer, she uses herbs, rest, and massages instead of medicine in the form of pills or shots, for the ponies who want their pets treated in a more 'natural' way.
It could also be that the veterinarian deals with the more common non-pony sentients, and Fluttershy takes care of non-sentients and oddball creatures.
Also, Fluttershy lives on the edge of the Everfree Forest. Given that most Equestrians void their bowels at the prospect of entering it, she might have really low property values.
If Rainbow Dash can get paid for running the weather, it's not inconceivable that the local government pays Fluttershy for taking care of animals. Also, maybe she owns her house? Rent/mortgage payments are easily the biggest expense in most personal budgets. Food and other consumable necessities take remarkably little money by comparison. Then consider the fact that ponies don't wear clothes, don't drive cars, don't talk on cellphones...
Over the course of the show we see Fluttershy acting as the person in charge of the wildlife management detail for Winter Wrap-Up (and note that given her total non-leadership nature, Fluttershy is not going to be put in charge of anything unless she's far and away the local expert on it), running an animal adoption agency, training birds to sing for public performances, and pet-sitting. Fluttershy apparently supplements a government paycheck for being 'Animal Control Officer, Ponyville District' (in much the same way that Rainbow Dash makes a living as 'Weather Control Officer, Ponyville District') by hiring out for piece work re: 'anything to do with training animals', and spends most of that income paying to run her own private animal shelter.
Ever noticed how few male ponies there are? It's easy to miss. Go on, go look back through the first few episodes. The pegasi are the first men we see, and they don't say anything. They just chauffeur other ponies about. Unicorns like Twilight are given special social standing; look how free Twilight is to move about. (When not being ordered about by Celestia, of course.) There is a definite pattern of men being less obvious throughout the first few episodes, and they nearly always appear in roles involving manual labor. Of our main characters, we have two unicorns, who spend their time studying and crafting luxury goods, respectively; two pegasi, who have some duties about town like weather and animal control but are largely allowed to do as they like; and one regular pony, who has to spend all of her time maintaining her farm and working hard to keep her family business going.
You forgot about regular pony number 2: Pinkie Pie, who works at the shop of the Cakes. And you forgot about Applejack's brother who also works at the farm and does the same things as Applejack. I do not know what you're implying, but there are enough male ponies doing different stuff. They're just not main characters. There isn't anything 'sexist' about anything they do nor their amount. My Little Ponies have always been mostly female, due to it being aimed for girls.
What bugs me is that the most males we've seen in one place were during Winter Wrap-Up, doing the hard manual labor. Twilight appeared to be the only mare pushing a snowplow. On the other hoof, two of the three shown Wonderbolts are female (you can tell by the chin).
There are some mares doing snow shoveling during the song.
Maybe most of the males are just stronger. They didn't intend to go with some stereotype. If they did, all the Wonderbolts would be female, 'cus you know, the stereotype is that males are strong and females fast.
They're also not only strong but much stronger than horses in our world and probably stronger than male pegasi or unicorns. Remember that only four of them were pulling the train in Over a Barrel. The snowplows they were using probably couldn't be pulled by anyone else.
Of the six Wonderbolts that appeared in Sonic Rainboom, three were male. There may actually be as many as ten (five male, five female), as seen in the wide-angle shot when Soarin' approached the Gala VIP ballroom with his pie.
No, it's not easy to miss. Male ponies look so different that for someone watching the first few episodes, they stick out like a sore thumb. If the numbers were more even, that wouldn't happen.
In Gen 1 male ponies spent most of there time traveling around away from the population centers, maybe it works the same in Gen 4. The only time we've seen a lot of male ponies is during winter wrap up, but they would know to be home for the big labor like that.
There were also a bunch of them in that western town. Maybe even they get tired of cuteness and try to settle in less cute areas?
With the exeption of muzzle shape, a pony's gender can often be assumed by the way they're dressed or, in a lot of cases, even if they are. Males tend to wear vests or something similar on their "chest" area, females generally don't wear clothing unless they're being fancy.
Or, we're just used to seeing the same "club" of 6 ponies who just don't have any male friends. If you focused on filming 6 average not-quite-mature acting girls who were still in the stage of development where they weren't interested in boys other than a little distant crush (or, well, Sex and the City, but that might just be the same maturity level), guys would always be the background characters.
There are actually quite a few male ponies. Look in the background of any large group scene and you'll see them. Not to mention, Hoity Toity is a male pony and definitely not doing manual labour, and a lot of the ponies in the Galloping Gala scene seem to be upper class male ponies. And in the Sonic Rainboom episode, there are quite a few male ponies working at the weather factory.
It rather seems like the animators use the generic female pony model as a default for random extras. For that reason, this can be easy to miss, as the female model comes to look like the standard, so that it makes you think "a pony" rather than "a female pony". Anyway, Faust has mentioned "there probably [not being] enough boys around to portray a realistic society" as one result of Executive Meddling.
Of course. Can you really tell if any of the characters are male unless they start talking with an obvious-male voice or are referenced to as "male"?
At a glance. The tells are eyelashes (males don't have 'em), angular muzzles, and a stockier build.
The ratio actually isn't as skewed as many think. If you have way too much time on your hands (I do) you can go on the shows wiki and count up the males and females that have been clearly seen off the running list it keeps. When you sit down and do that the disparity becomes much less then often assumed. Unicorns are worst, but only just, with 90 visually identifiable females to 50 males. Pegasus are very slightly (bout 5%) better at about 110 to 70. Interestingly earth ponies are markedly more balanced 255 or so to about 210 giving females not even quite a 20% numbers advantage. (It also shows that they dwarf both other races in total numbers easily outnumbering both of the others combined.) When you total it all up though 90+110+255 gives us about 455 identifiable mares while 50+70+210 produces about 330 identifiable Stallions. That only results in a 1.37:1 ratio favoring mares. Lopsided yes, but not even near the 2:1, or ever more, often batted around. It's also low enough in my view that a biological reason may not be required at all; simple observation bias may well suffice. The entire main cast is female, we follow them almost exclusively, and so it's not shocking then that we tend to see somewhat more females in total then males, and even more notably in 'starring' roles. The comparison to various school girl anime which, if viewed by an alien without any outside context would seem to indicate an even more absurdly skewed gender ratio in many cases, is rather apt.
So, how old are the main ponies? And how do they get jobs? I know the young ponies go to school, but there seems to be a point where they're still teenage-ish and have jobs. With the exception of Twilight who is getting a higher education from the big cheese of Equestria herself.
Lauren has stated that she considers maturity level more than their physical age; she imagines they're all around 12-17, and says that they're all able to be independent because of the whole thing with horses aging differently than humans.
Then in another comment, she described them as young adults, but on a mental level of 12-17 year olds, also referring to horses reaching physical maturity at young age.
At least we know that Fluttershy is one year older than Pinkie Pie. This was stated in-show by Fluttershy herself in the latter half of "Griffon The Brush-Off".
They're college age at least. Twilight Sparkle is a grad student and the rest of the ponies have jobs. I'm sure Lauren left their age deliberately ambiguous so they're easier to relate to, but that's my theory.
The ambiguity was probably very wise. TV Execs don't seem to understand that kids don't want to see shows about kids their own age; they want to watch shows about characters several years older than themselves, who they can look up to and emulate. By leaving their ages ambiguous, the ponies can seem "older" than the target audience while leaving enough doubt to avoid Executive Meddling.
Rarity's parents are shown in episode 31 (2.5) and they live somewhere else so that seems to confirm that they are young adults. Probably something along the lines of early 20s. Though the actual number of years is a mystery.
Maybe in pony culture it's considered acceptible to leave school and live independently as a teenager. Because so much of their world runs by magic rather than post-industrial technology and because their economy isn't as complex, it's easier for the ponies to live on their own than it would be for humans of the same age. Only ponies like Twilight Sparkle who really enjoy studying continue on to higher education.
Wait a minute, Spike is a baby dragon and also what looks like Twilight Sparkle's unpaid servant... Ponies enslave the infants of other species?
"The Cutie Mark Chronicles" showed that Spike was hatched by Twilight, meaning the egg was no doubt donated by some dragons to the princess, and as shown in "Owl's Well That Ends Well" he's perfectly happy with his job and could probably quit anytime he wants, he just dosen't want to.
Besides, just where the hell would he go anyway? Spike's a little kid and can't provide for himself yet. A lot of the chores and jobs he performs are also teaching him how to take care of himself.
Twilight takes good care of Spike, giving him a home, a warm bed, and generally looking after his well-being. Even if he isn't technically paid for his services, it's not like she works him ragged and then chucks him out at the end of the day.
It's not slavery, it's more like a kid having chores to do within his family. In this case, Twilight is Spike's family.
The show actually seems to imply that dragons are animals. Sapient, talking animals, but still animals none the less. Which given that Twilight is essentially a wizard, that would make Spike her familar, more than a simple pet and maybe even considered an equal by some.
As for the use of the term "slavery," implying that Spike is being forced to work for Twilight against his will, do you recall what happened when Twilight thought Spike might have been working too hard and had Owloysius help her out? Spike went full on Dastardly Whiplash in an attempt to remove what he perceived to be the usurper of his job and his alone. Unless one thinks this is just a weird case of Stockholm Syndrome on Spike's part or something.
It's barely even slavery (Twilight treats Spike really well), and even if it was, Spike has some major Type A Happiness in Slavery going on. Aside from actively defending his position, Crystal Empire shows that his worst nightmare is no longer being Twilight's assistant, and Spike At Your Service shows him to positively enjoy stuff like making rock piles or counting grass. He basically enjoys being helpful, so even if being Twilight's assistant wasn't compulsory, he'd probably do it anyway.
The "Dragon Quest" episode seems to indicate that Spike can leave any time he wants as far as Twilight Sparkle is concerned.
How is there such a big fashion industry in Equestria when ponies rarely wear clothes?
Simple really: Celebronies. The fact is everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, a celebrity wears has some sort of designer, not to mention the fashion industry people themsleves. It's just not as important, Rarity aside, to the ponies of ponyville because they don't really need fancy clothes. Every fashion expert we've seen so far has come from Canterlot, which probably has more celebrities and nobles that would acutally need clothes and is probably the center of the equestrian fashion industry. The richer clientele makes the fashion industry even more important, as the ponies who are good at it can become rich beyond their wildest dreams.
In the real world, people rarely wear formal clothes, yet several designers and companies make considerable money by exclusively designing and manufacturing formalwear. Rarity's designs seem to be almost entirely formal outfits, and most ponies do wear some sort of clothing to formal events, so Rarity and the like are in a similar position to formalwear designers.
Also, we're mostly limited to Ponyville for our sample which is a suburban city at the most. Most people are going to be blue collar (bakers, farmers, etc) rather than white (librarians) so the relative value of having clothes is probably lower since they've all got 'dirty' jobs where a uniform is more important (aprons for protection, plow harnesses, etc) and it's something they do daily. When we see higher class situations, they do wear clothing or accessories.
Keep in mind that Equestria is pretty explicitly a monarchical system with a nobility class. That alone ensures that there will always be a market for formalwear.
Do Little Ponies graze? I don't think we've ever seen them munching grass straight off the ground in the show, though they have been known to order flower sandwiches.
Maybe eating grass straight from the ground is to civilized ponies like eating raw unprocessed meat to us?
More like eating unwashed, sometimes-bug-carcass-filled berries right from the bushes.
Clearly the above troper needs to find better bushes, because berrying is mostly glorious.
It's probably a matter of taste. Sure, grass will WORK, but prepared food just tastes better.
It's mentioned more than once that they eat hay. They probably do graze offscreen.
Spike did order "hay fries" at a restaurant in "The Ticket Master". As far as we can tell, they eat in a human fashion, but without meat and with more things a horse would eat.
A question I've had for a while is this. How do pony genetics work? Like, if an earth pony and a pegasus had a foal, would the foal be a pegasus? An earth pony? Either one? Maybe a very buff pegasus or a very light earth pony?
Mrs. Faust's response on her DA profile was something like "I don't see a reason why they couldn't mix it up", so probably being an earth pony, pegasus or unicorn is something like eye color or hair color, where you inherit it from one of your parents - some creative Deviant even came up with a whole chart for that: Here.
It's possible that being an Earth Pony, Pegasus, or Unicorn works more like skin colour, where more than one pair of alleles determine the type of pony. For example, suppose there are three pairs of alleles and if two out of three of them says Earth Pony, then the pony's an Earth Pony. So... going by the deviantart link above... Eu/EE/Up = Earth Pony. Up/Up/Pe = Unicorn. Up/PP/Pe = Pegasus. If there's an even split between all three pairs, however, then the pure pairs take priority: Eu/UU/Pe = Unicorn. If two out of three of them are pure pairs, then the recessive allele of the third pair determines the type: EE/UU/Pe = Earth Pony. That leaves out EE/UU/PP and Eu/Up/Pe = Alicorn. Pound Cake = Pe/Pe/EE and Pumpkin Cake = Up/UU/EE. Carrot Cake = Eu/Eu/EE and Cup Cake = Pe/Up/EE.
A more creative version I've heard was this: Two of a kind produces the same kind, any two different kinds will produce the third. SO unicorn + unicorn = baby unicorn, but unicorn + pegasus = earth pony, earth pony + unicorn = pegasus, and pegasus + earth pony = unicorn. Which is nifty, and would make for all sorts of interesting story possibilities, canon and Fanfic. (Derpy Hooves and Dinky, for instance...)
There's also a "mana level" hypothesis floating around - a lower-mana gestation produces an earth pony, the next step up a pegasus pony, the next a unicorn, and the highest (observed) unicornate pegasi, like Celestia and Luna.
"Baby Cakes" answers this one. If a pony has a certain pony race in their ancestry, their children can be of that race, even if neither of their parents is. So, for example, if a unicorn had a pegasus grandparent, and had a foal with another unicorn, the foal could be a pegasus or a unicorn. If the unicorn had a foal with an earth pony, the foal could be any of the three. This works even if the relative is distant (according to Mr. Cake, anyway).
As mentioned above, said fire's dragon merely teleports paper material to the Princess. All that would happen is that princess Celestia would have to deal with a rain of books if Spike ever caught a cold. Or the hiccups.
"Over a Barrel" confirmed that Spike's fire is real fire. He roasts marshmallows. On a train.
How the heck did the books get there in the first place?! You can't write with hooves! You (presumably) can't build a printing press either!
They hold the writing implement in their mouths (earth ponies and pegasi) or use magic telekinesis (unicorns). Same way they do things like build buildings and such.
All ponies seem to have tactile telekineses via hooves and teeth. That lets them do things such as play stringed instruments or speak clearly while holding something in their mouth.
"Owl's Well that Ends Well" confirms that, yes, Spike's fire does indeed burn books. In fact, Spike's fire seems to act like regular fire except for Celestia's scrolls. That being the case, perhaps Celestia's scrolls have been enchanted in some way so that Spike's fire works differently when burned.
That might even be how Equestrian postage works in general: It's not the fire that's magic, but an enchantment placed on the paper which directs it to reappear in a certain location after being burned. Therefore not everypony who wants to send a letter needs a friendly dragon; a fireplace would do. Responses to Twilight Sparkle must appear in Spike's mouth because he's the designated "fireplace" for Twilight's address.
That episode also solved the question of how a dragon lives in a library though: when spike burned that book, he burned everything but the hardcover and EVERY book in ponyville has a hardcover . My guess is that even if spike had an accident, he'd only affect any books that were open, as it seems the hardcovers are fireproof.
The fire acted really weird on that book — it didn't set anything on fire, it just obliterated a part instantly. And the damage wasn't just stopped by the covers, there were remains of pages left. I don't know how that's supposed to make sense, but if that's how it always works, there doesn't seem to be much of a threat of such fire causing a real fire in the library. It's a flash and it's over.
Why do ponies have curtains around their bathtubs? In the world where everyone walks naked for most of time bathing shouldn't be something extremely private as it is for us, we even see Twilight taking a bath in the presence of Pinkie.
In Get Fuzzy, Satchel explains that there's a difference between "regular" naked and "bathroom" naked. Why can't you respect their boundaries?
To stop water from getting all over the place? A lot of people have curtains around their bathtubs, but most will just lock the bathroom door instead.
This. Shower curtains exist to keep the spray inside the tub, not for privacy.
Perhaps when wet, the fur is not nearly as... modest? Though once again, twilight DID bathe with Pinkie in the room...
Maybe only some grooming activities are considered private, so it's okay for ponies to take a bath with someone else present as long as they leave out the scandalous parts. Like how a man will shave his beard in front of other people, but not... other areas.
It could even be purely social-based. Think of something like neck ties. From an objective standpoint, they're quite literally, strips of cloth tied in a certain way around ones neck. They're not functional in any way. But without one, most business people will feel 'inappropriate' and under dressed. Heck, one of the biggest differences between business formal and business casual is the lack of a neck tie.
Why does everyone always assume that most of the ponies are illiterate? It seems to be based entirely on the fact that everything is labeled with pictures rather than words, but given who the show is targeted at, it really isn't that surprising that they'd want the labels to be as simple as possible.
They are definitely not illiterate. In Swarm of the Century they write "Welcome Princess Celest" on a banner; writing too big aside, it's perfectly legible English.
It's probably also the fact that it's a bit difficult to imagine a thumbless quadruped like a pony manipulate something as small as a pencil with ease. Unicorns have it easy since they can use telekinesis to easily write, but Pegasi and Earth Ponies are virtually forced to use their mouths, which is kinda hard to do neatly.
Hard, but possible with enough practice. Evidence; Christy Brown. A man born with no control over any part of his body except his left foot, who became a author and painter. If that's possible, a pony can learn to manipulate a pencil with their mouth.
And valid in-universe. 'Call of the Cutie' has Applebloom using a pencil in her mouth to take notes in class.
Just because most ponies have physical trouble writing doesn't mean that they can't read; in Show Stoppers, the Cutie Mark Crusaders had no trouble reading the talent show poster.
Also, it makes it a lot easier for the show to be localized to different languages. Pictures don't need to be translated and replaced when the show is dubbed into French or German.
The commentary for Winter Wrap Up on the DVD also points out that when you have to have onscreen text, the rule of thumb is to leave the text onscreen long enough for an adult to read through it three times. Images don't have to linger on screen for so long, so leaving words out means that the animators don't have to use up running time by leaving a block of words on the screen.
Ponies often have names that reflect their cutie marks, but they don't get their cutie marks till later in life. How do their parents know to give them such appropriate names?
Maybe the names themselves inspire the ponies to pursue those sorts of talents. For example (and this is conjecture): Diamond Tiara's parents named her that because it sounded fancy. When she was little she found out what a tiara is and decided to try wearing one simply because she felt intrigued about her namesake. Over the years that one experience led to her wearing tiaras more often than an average pony would, until she became so attached to them that it ended up as her cutie mark.
My theory on Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon is that their special talent is to be useless bitches.
There's a pony who's special talent is naming new foals, she's really good at it.
Well the name "Pinkie Pie" isn't directly related to partying. And it's possible that some ponies adopt new names after they get their cutie marks, if their original name doesn't fit.
Or even just a nickname. After all, Pinkie Pie's real name is "Pinkamena Diane Pie" as seen in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles". I wouldn't be surprised if she wasn't the only one among the Mane 6 using a nickname.
So, why are the Diamond Dogs humanoid (sort of) and Applejack's dog, Winona, more like a normal dog?
If the theory that Equestria is a post apocalyptic earth is true, then it may be possible the Diamond Dogs are what remains of humanity, devolved by greed into beasts.
The most obvious answer is that Diamond Dogs are dogs In Name Only. Perhaps they are actually mole relatives. Condylura Caninus?
Why do the ponies sometimes wear saddles when no one ever rides them (with the exception of Spike riding Twilight, without a saddle)?
Well why would the saddles even exist to begin with, unless at some point in Equestria's history ponies were frequently ridden by someone? Doesn't seem incredibly likely to me.
It seems most likely that saddles are just worn like a human wears a jacket. It could also be used to help when there IS a rider, uncommon as it may be. Could also hook a saddlebag onto one.
They've been shown to carry packs by having a bag on each end of a strap that they place over their backs. Perhaps saddles were created as a more "deluxe" version of that strap, that can carry more bags?
In the "Winter Wrap-Up" episode, Twilight puts a saddle on before heading outside, indicating it's likely supposed to be the pony version of a sweater or something.
Saddles are far more than just a place to ride. They have a horn on the front that allows a cowboy to tie a steer to for branding, or for attaching the horse to a smaller load (a horse collar is more appropriate for large loads), or for any of 100 other uses, because it attaches to the horse's center of gravity and allows them to pull or stabilize something with ease and comfortably. They probably have a similar function for MLP ponies. Notice also the lack of stirrups and anything to keep a cowboy's butt from sliding back off the saddle. The one Twilight wore in Winter Wrap Up had no horn, but then it could easily be something she brought from Canterlot that she assumed would be useful because she read in a book that it is a useful thing to have when doing manual labor, not realizing that her saddle is more of a fashion statement than a real work-saddle, much like how there are pretty boots and then there are work boots.
What's the deal with dragons and gems, anyway? Spike eats them like candy, while other (adult) dragons make nests out of them. A gem nest doesn't sound too comfy.
It has been mentioned that Spike, while still a baby dragon and thus his scales probably aren't fully developed, can have needles stuck in his back without any complaint. To a MUCH larger dragon with MUCH stronger scales, some somewhat prickly gems are probably more comfortable than you'd imagine.
Not to mention that a pile of gems large enough for an adult to lay on would conform itself to the shape of the sleeping dragon's body. Think of it as much lower-tech but much higher-expense memory foam for them.
And also if adult dragons eat gems as well, then it's an edible bed. Take a nice long nap, and when you wake up, breakfast!
Also adult dragons seem to have more than just gems in their hoards, the one in "Dragonshy" clearly had gold coins and other trinkets as well.
If nothing else, think of it like the bed of nails 'trick'. One nail, it's gonna hurt. Many nails, the weight is spread across so much space that the pressure on any particular place is minimal. So a creature with a large amount of surface area against things with a lot of surface area itself that are also semi-fluid in such large amounts... yeah, it probably isn't as bad as it may seem.
Derpy Hooves seems to be the same or similar age to the mane cast, but she (assuming fandom is correct) has a daughter? Just a nagging tidbit.
We never do see her as a foal, and the mane cast seem to be young adults. It's perfectly possible for her to be older than they are — or just a young mother.
That bugs me too so I ignore this fanon.
In "The Cutie-Mark Chronicles," you can see her as an adult standing near young Twilight as Celestia raises the sun, so she's certainly old enough to have had a foal.
Few moments earlier we see many Derpys in scene, so it don't need to mean anything.
Everybody is Vague Age in the first place, so it's possible Derpy is older than the mane cast.
Example: the Mayor. Very likely older than the main cast, yet she has the same base body as they do.
Which of the following is the odd one out?
Making ponies smile
Caring for animals
Being a show-off
It bugs me that Rainbow Dash's cutie mark-indicated purpose in life seems to be being an overly competitive racer/athlete with a superiority complex. And Episode 13 has her actually cheating at contests, until the very end when it stops behooving her and costs her (and Applejack) the race. What kind of lesson is she supposed to be teaching?
Think of her as of a rock-star. Sure, her job is pretty much about showing off, but in a way that entertains the audience. Competitiveness is just a part of Dash's personality and her general tomboyish nature.
First of all, I don't think Rainbow Dash is meant to be a very good role model (apart from going for your dreams). Secondly her purpose in life is to be a professional flier and amaze people with her stunts (atleast that's what I took from it) much like in real life, after all the Wonderbolts do what she does, and we haven't seen their personalities enough to tell if any of them are arrogant as a certain rainbow-maned filly. I think that her flaws just show up more often than the others.
besides, it's not like Rainbow is a total Jerkass , she's always there for her friends when it really counts. I don't agree with her cheating either but I still consider her my favorite character because of her personality.
Pilots are famously a bit arrogant, so it's possible that Dash is kind of a good natured lampshading of this stereotype.
To be fair their Cutie Marks indicate the good and bad sides of quite of few of the cast. Twilight's indicates her pursuit of higher principles, but also her disengagement with the physical world around her. Rarity's her regality and pursuit of beauty, but also her greed. Pinky's her fun loving spirit, and superficiality and need for constant entertainment.
This. "Being a show-off" is only the negative side of Dash's talent; the positive side is "being adventurous".
There's also the fact that RD specifically defines her talent as being an awesome flier, which is completely applicable to her day job: weather control. Her Establishing Character Moment in the first episode sums it up pretty well; she brags that she's awesome enough to easily clear the sky in ten seconds flat... and then does precisely that. She does brag a lot, but she also has the skill to back up her words, and she puts those skills to practical purpose on a regular basis. She's the head of Ponyville Weather for a reason.
Plus note that her cutie mark is a cloud with lightning on it. That doesn't suggest show off. That suggests skill at weather manipulation (or any other interpretation). Her being a showoff is her personality. Her skill at weather stuff/flying is her talent.
Speaking about negative sides, where -is- Fluttershy's kindness? Because it really only seems to come out in kindness for animals - she flat out refuses to help her friends in other situations (like the dragon) because of either being scared or being too preoccupied with other things. She really seems quite selfish in many episodes.
Fluttershy's kindness is in her demeanor, her disposition, and in her reluctance to offend others. She initially refused to go with the rest of the Mane 6 in "Dragonshy" not only out of fear, but also because she didn't want to be an inconvenience; what use is a scared, timid pony going to be anyway? And indeed, Fluttershy was an inconvenience (a big one) for all but the very end of the trip.
As some things in the Ponyverse are stated and shown to work like in real life, how does Princess Celestia raise the sun and Luna the moon? is it more that they make the Earth rotate or something?
Considering that the weather is made by ponies, its entirely possible that Equestria is in a geocentric star system.
that is possible but the only way it would work is if the Ponyverse Earth was larger than its parent star.
Or if gravity works differently, on principle grounded in magical theory rather than particle physics.
gravity seems to work normally for things on Equestria(Rarity and Fluttershy falling from Cloudsdale). you may be right, I'm just a little unsure.
Pegasai seem to control inertia and the atmosphere (aerokinetic). The princesses seem to have that cranked up past 9000. So, they have either enough power to control the planet's spin and rotation while making sure the atmosphere doesn't fly off if they put on the brakes, or can control the sun's gravity and momentum enough to get it to orbit the planet. Fridge Logic then states that if it is the latter case and something happened to both the princesses at once, the sun and planet would slingshot away from each other... or possibly into each other.
Based on the fact that there are no winds or other weather phenomenon in Equestria that aren't created by ponies (with the exception of places like the Everfree Forest, but those places are considered unnatural in the pony-verse anyway) it can be assumed that the planet does not rotate. So that would mean that Celestia and Luna move the sun and the moon around the planet instead. And the opening of episode one states they use their unicorns powers to acomplish this. So it's either their natural spell (like Rarity's gem finding spell) or a superpowerful version of the telekinesis ability.
The simple explanation would of course be that there is no planet as such in the first place. Just as in the really old real life myths, Equestria's world could simply be flat with the sky as an actual physical dome above it that the various celestial objects move along. Celestia raising and lowering the sun each day would then not be so fundamentally different from, say, Helios driving his chariot across the sky. (The main spanner in the works here is Twilight Sparkle's description of comets in "Owl's Well That Ends Well", which is basically 100% accurate for real life and includes mention of their growing brighter as they approach the sun. This could, however, be explained away as a subtle case of Exact Words with a bit of a stretch — that is, what Twilight left unsaid in that scene could potentially still allow for Equestrian "comets" to work rather differently from ours after all.)
How old is Spike meant to be? I can't tell by his voice, but it seems around the ten - eleven range. His behavior and relation to everyone is more of the seven - eight range though. Also, how quickly does he age?
He's as old as Twilight's entrance exam. That and age is massively subjective around creatures like dragons. They're supposed to be long lived, even neigh-immortal.
I meant if he were a human. What would his age be? In theory, he should be around the eight - ten year old age if Twilight was around ten or so.
I always assumed he must represent 12 or 13
That's too old in terms of voice, how he behaves, and how people treat him. On the same note, how old are the Fillies, if they were human? I'd say around 8 years old, maybe 9 or 10.
I always assumed the fillies to be in their early-to-mid teens, really, so ten to twelve years old would work for Spike.
I thought he was about five (in dragon years) at the youngest and the fillies were about 8-10... Early-to-mid teens sounds a bit old for how they act. Forget the "Cutie Mark = Puberty" theory for a while and look at how they actually act. Spike acts like he's around 5, albeit one whose very literate, maybe up to 8, and the CMC act like they're very small children, around the age of 8-10. I don't think any of the younger cast exceeds the age of ten. See, he acts like he's about 5 (The Ticket Master), but his voice isn't like a five year old boy. Why? All the gemstones he eats and the fire he breathes has to have some effect on his throat, even an inadvertent one. Much like if you do loads of talking, or eating too much sour candy, your voice goes spare because of how it acts to your throat. I think also it's pretty much impossible to discern how old Spike is, since he ages differently than the mane cast and humans. But I stand by my theory that he's roughly five years old.
When you consider not only Spike's voice and actions, but also his crush on Rarity, he's likely at least ten. However, considering he had trouble with spelling (or at least understanding) some (mildly) easy words, he's probably no older than twelve. The fillies themselves are pretty much confirmed to physically be at least 19, with their mental age around the early to mid-teen range. This would also explain how Spike can occasionally be the Only Sane Man; he's almost as old as the fillies' mentally are.
Twilight was just starting school when he hatched. If Twilight was a very little filly when she was enrolled, Spike would most likely only be a few years younger than her. So if the mane 6 were in their late teens-twenties, Spike could be in his mid-late teens at the oldest. As he's a dragon, he matures very slowly.
From "Secret of My Excess" and "Dragon Quest", I believe Spike is actually growing far slower than usual for a dragon, with his nice nature and generosity keeping his size in check. "Secret of My Excess" shows that dragons grow by embracing their greedy natures, and in "Dragon Quest" Spike seems to be actually more mature than the adolescent dragons he meets.
What did Lauren mean when she said Ditzy would be a part of the cast? Like, compared to who?
What was said is that Ditzy / Derpy would be a real character as opposed to an animation error and some deliberate callbacks to it later on. For all we know, she could have as much screentime as Daisy (one of the background ponies that panicked over the bunny stampede, and had her name mentioned once in the entire season), or all the way up to a semi-regular character like the CMC's.
From what I've heard, Ditzy/Derpy is going to be in every episode in Season 2, but as a "Where's Waldo"-type easter egg. That doesn't necessarily mean she won't have speaking parts and such though.
She'll actually have a voice this time. (But no telling on how many lines she'll actually get)
No she won't. Word of God (Jayson, not Lauren) said she'd still be voiceless. I think this is for the best.
As of The Last Roundup, yes she will.
Is it me or is this series more Retro Universe then the typical My Little Pony. The series has always mixed old and new, but this show is just all over the place. Medieval times, 1800s, early 1900s, modern day..
Since a lot of the work can be done by magical means, most areas in the world probably have no use for technology. Only towns with a low population of one of the kinds of ponies would need technology to supplement their need. Because the need for this is so low, there is no centralized production and every town has to make the tech for itself, resulting in different levels of technology per town. In addition, each town we've seen is rather passionate about their identity, which would probably explain the massive cultural differences. And if you want a more meta reason: the settings are designed to fit the story, not the other way around.
How does Spike know so much about our horseman cliches, and why does he keep expecting them to apply around him? He kicks Twilight and quotes the Lone Ranger, he whips the gentleponies pulling the carriage taking the girls to the Gala while saying "hya!"... How do these "nonsapient ungulate" cliches exist in a world where the only ungulates are at the top of the cosmic hierarchy?
We could say "Rule of Funny" and leave it there, but it's actually interesting. The Diamond Dogs apparently have a notion of mounting and riding horses (they even put reins of sorts on the ponies, when they try to catch them), so maybe other, bipedal races use captive ponies as work force. Note, that because of apparent strength enchantment, those ponies may be even more suited to such role then real life horses. Spike might have learn that from history or fantasy books. Note, that he starts acting like this when he's lost in sort of power fantasies (rescuing Rarity/showing everyone around Canterlot). It may signify his subconscious detachment from the pony society (he's the only biped in Ponyville, so maybe he identifies with those horse-riding races?) and feeling of superiority, as a mighty dragon to-be.
I doubt the ponies would allow their kinsponies to be kept as slaves - beasts of burden or riding outside of Equestria are probably either non-sapient critters or paid for their trouble.
It is posible that there used to be slavery in Equestria long ago. Many things can remain within a culture long after the context for them has faded away. Also if lands beyond Celestia's control enslave ponies, there's probably not much they can do. Either they can try to convince said land to abolish slavery by either providing something in trade or bringing down a trade embargo (maybe even go so far as refuse to acknowledge that country politically) or declare open war. The diplomatic approach isn't guaranteed to work, especially if slavery is a deep-rooted part of that countries culture. And war wouldn't be a good answer, since Equestria already is a peaceful, harmonious land. Going to war would upset the average citizen, and the military will most likely be heavily atrophied after 1000 years of peace.
Ahem. "Suited for Success," the Letter to Celestia. Twilight uses the phrase "don't look a gift horse in the mouth." Ponder the implications of this idiom existing in the Equestrian lexicon for a moment.
Not to mention, in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", Applejack saying "I'm so hungry I could eat a-" before she was interrupted. The full saying, of course, being "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse." Maybe there was an equivalent to the Donner Party in Equestria's history at some point?
Well, Hasbro owns Dungeons & Dragons, and IIRC, dragons there have a degree of genetic memory.
It's not just Spike. 'Bridle Gossip' has Applejack making a bit and reins for Rainbow Dash, then digging in with her heel in Rainbow's side to spur her on. Think about that.
To go off on a bit of a tangent here, it wasn't her side, it was her throat. Applejack dug her heel (knee?) into Rainbow's throat to spur her on.
'The Best Night Ever' has Twilight turning mice into beast-of-burden horses, suggesting that real ones exist for her to have gotten the idea from.
In "Too Many Pinkie Pies," we see one Pinkie Pie clone riding another Pinkie Pie clone, so apparently it's possible for ponies to ride other ponies (though I assume it's very rare). Also, in "Magic Duel," we see normal, non-pony horses from Saddle Arabia, who are roughly the same size as Celestia. They are fully sentient, and Celestia treats the visitig representatives as her equals.
One thing I've been wondering for awhile regarding cutie marks. Should a pony ever lose their fur, would their cutie mark still show on their skin?
Cutie marks are permanent, so they're probably tattooed on the ponies, too.
They don't seem to have very much fur anyway. The cutie mark likely grows from a similarly marked patch of skin.
So sometimes we see the ponies wearing shoes. Okay, fine. Buuut, sometimes they're wearing HUMAN shoes. Like, with the big space sticking out in front where the (human) feet go. Why would ponies make shoes like that for themselves? I imagine they wouldn't fit right, making it hard to move around in them.
A fashion statement that caught on? There are lots of "useless" things in our own fashion that have no real purpose, like high heels, shoulder pads, shoes with the front too large, some hats
But it doesn't make sense if the ponies are wearing shoes for active/practical/working purposes.
You mean like human suits and ties? As if those are practical.
If all their diets are indeed completely vegetarian, why does Fluttershy keep chickens? The cows on Applejack's farm make sense because milk, but chickens don't provide any non-meat use.
Sure they do- eggs, necessary for the massive amounts of baked goods they eat.
But… eggs are meat?
Not really, except for stuff like Balut. The kind of eggs used for baked goods are unfertilized, with the stuff you eat being yolk and white, which is just the food for the chick that never was and the hydraulic padding.
Also, Pinkie Pie mentioned that ponies are vegetarians, not vegans. Some vegetarians eat eggs.
Eggs are often considered Vegetarian.
They probably also use the feathers to stuff pillows.
To be a vegetarian in first place, you need to be an omnivore. Otherwise, you're just a herbivore, not vegetarian. Also, unlike cows, real life horses are omnivores to an extent.
There are three kinds of food that are considered to be on the borderline between animal and non-animal: eggs, dairy, and fish (ovo, lacto, and pescetarian, respectively). If you eat none of them, you're a vegan. Otherwise, if you eat one or two or all three of them, some people will call you vegetarian and some people won't.
A better question is why do they keep pigs? RL racehorses eat eggs to build up muscle, so Little Ponies can eat them. (Rarity was shown making some for breakfast in Sisterhooves Social.) As mentioned above, the cows make sense for milk. The sheep could provide wool for blankets and boot lining as seen in Winter Wrap Up. Pigs are only good for meat.
I remember hearing in a Word of God that ponies really like truffles and that's how pigs earn their keep.
Possible Fridge Horror: Is it just me or do a lot of the books shown in the series look like they're bound in, well, leather?
And remember, not all quadrupeds in Equestria are sapient. So if they're in the "not sapient" category, pigs might well be kept as a sort of.... well, recycling equipment. You put garbage in one end, and get fertilizer at the other end. Whet the pig dies, you can make leather from it.
In one comic, Applejack mentions 'pork chops'. In episode where Celestia's phoenix is introduced, she eats something looking suspiciously like bacon sandwich. Draw your own conclusions.
An even better question is, how can you keep cows as animals/slaves while acknowledging buffalo as a sapient species?
I like to think Equestria has a large Uplift Program. The cows are basically a pony client race (the cows are not quite ready for independence).
Didn't that same Word of God state that cows stayed in the farm and pretty much paid with milk?
In "A Friend In Deed", we see a cow on her way to Sugarcube Corner to buy oatmeal cookies, so cows are apparently integrated into pony society at least that much.
On a related note, what do Applejack's dog and Pinkie Pie's crocodile eat? Or the bear that Fluttershy takes cares of, for that matter?
I'm not sure about Winona or Gummy, but bears are omnivorous, and I'm sure that bear is independent enough to not need Fluttershy's help at mealtime constantly.
On the other hoof, what about Rarity's cat, Opalescence? House cats are obligate carnivores.
We see Fluttershy feeding birds worms and some ferrets fish. It's possible that not all animals are at the same level of sentience, and there's less taboo in feeding them to their pets. We see Rarity's father fishing at one point.
Is it just me or does Pinkie Pie have a lot of free time?
If you had Pinkie Pie for an employee, would you task her with something requiring a lot of care and attention? If she's going to wander off and stalk her friends to make sure they keep secrets anyway, you might as well give her a job that she can do when she isn't emerging from bowls of sponges with a fierce expression.
Perhaps the Cakes are aware of Pinkie's... episodes (assuming she'd had similar moments to Party of One in the past) and they give her a wide berth to do as she pleases to avoid causing any further damage.
It seems like the Cakes don't leave Pinkie alone in the bakery; the one time we know for certain the Cakes weren't in while Pinkie was baking, they had Applejack there babysitting her, and even then they seemed as much concerned by the fact that Pinkie was going to be alone with a pony who was visibly strung out from lack of sleep as by the fact of Applejack's visible strung-out-osity. Presumably, they endeavor not to leave Pinkie alone, so that in case of an episodenote and some of her usual behaviors could be classed as "an episode", there's someone around to do damage control.
Bakers often work at night. So if Pinkie works a night shift, she would have the day free. That raises the question how much sleep Pinkie gets. But Pinkie being Pinkie...she doesn't need much sleep, she needs sugar.
Can any other equine animals other than ponies have cutie marks? Zecora the zebra looks like she has a cutie mark but it could be just a tattoo and a mule was briefly seen during a joke reference. What about other attributes such as wings or horns? Can you have a winged donkey, or a magical horned zebra?
I personally want goats with cutie marks, but they're not equin, so it's moot...
The mule seen in one of the episodes didn't have a cutie mark, but for all we knew it may have been a young mule, so who knows? An upcoming episode will feature a donkey, so we'll probably see if donkeys can get cutie marks or not. As for the horns and wings things... I haven't seen any reason to believe that there are unicorn donkeys. The unicorn and pegasus variants of ponies in the MLP franchise exist because they're just like alternate forms of horses. Had the franchise been named "My Little Donkey" and featured multi-colored donkeys, I doubt we'd see magical horned ones.
Neither Cranky Doodle Donkey nor Matilda have cutie marks, even though they're both clearly old enough to have gotten them if they were going to do so.
Zebras can use magic, so presumably, they are all "Unicorns" powers-wise despite not having a horn. As for Cutie Marks and wings/horns, they are probably some special features exclusive to Ponies, and Donkeys/Cows/Goats/Buffalo probably have some different magical powers from Ponies that have not been described or mentioned yet.
Why don't the ponies look like they don't have hooves. Zecora has them and I'm not too sure about some of the male ponies, since they could just be tufts of hair surrounding their feet. Is it really that hard not drawing some dark outline around their "toes"?
It's a stylistic choice that's been in the franchise since the first generation. Not out of laziness.
We all know Zecora is a zebra, presumably an adult. Then how come she's pony sized? Zebras in the real world are about horse sized, while Zecora is hardly larger than the mane cast. Is there a reason for her shortness, other than to preserve the cutesy look of the series?
But the mane cast (and Zecora) aren't small compared to adult characters. Everyone is about the same size except for the princesses.
The mane 6 are all young adults, so of course they'd be around the same size as the actual adults. And even then, there are unusually tall ponies like Big Mac, Carrot Cake, and Allie Way. But my question was why a Zebra is pony-sized instead of being horse-sized. Are the zebra ponies in real life?
Well there's no such thing as an "adult pony" - since by definition a pony is a young horse. Everyone is called a pony in the show because hey, that's how the toyline is named, but there's nothing more horse-like than them in that world. Even Celestia and Luna are called ponies, despite being about twice the normal size.
...Actually, yes, there is. Ponies and Horses are generally distinguished through their mature height. Ponies have been selectively bred to stay at a rather short height, while horse foals grow out of that height to full size. And about the maturity, Twilight's parents were about her current size, and they obviously were at sexual maturity. Celestia actually is more of a horse, due her porportions and her size in relation to others. And can you answer my question why Zecora, a fully mature Zebra, isn't a mature Zebra mare's size?
I see what you mean. Well, what I'm trying to say is that there are no other horse subspecies then the eponymous ponies, and therefore Zecora is just the right size for the world she's living in - equal to that of all other equines.
Most likely to keep the "look". Imagine, it would be really weird if Zecora was proportioned like a horse and towered over the other ponies.
Or maybe Zecora is a mountain zebra. They are about the same size as ponies.
This seems likely. Her habit of pawing at and digging into the ground is most specifically associated with mountain zebras in real life, as well.
Ok why do people think that Celestia can send people to the moon? I mean in canon she had to use the elements of Harmony to send night mare moon to the moon and in 1000 years she came back. That shows that it will take her a lot of energy to use that spell so why would she waste it on somepony just because they annoy her and she had to make use of the elements which she already lost so realistically she can’t even send a new born filly to the moon
That makes even less sense and is a big waste of magic.
Here's the thing: you're interpreting the line "Using the magic of the elements of harmony, she defeated her sister, and banished her permanently to the moon" to mean "the elements of harmony were necessary to send her to the moon; she could not do so without them". This is a valid interpretation, but not the only possible one. It could be taken to imply that she only needed to use the power of the elements to defeat her sister, and exiling her to the moon was done with her own power after Nightmare Moon had been sufficiently weakened; or that she needed the elements to do both, but only because she was facing her sister, who could otherwise fight her to a draw; or simply that the elements were what she used and that was how she used them, but that she could have done the same through some other route (perhaps if she didn't expend any power in making sure her victim survived on the moon). All of these alternate interpretations are as valid as the premise you're arguing from; if any of them are true, Celestia could banish our hypothetical newborn filly quite well. As for why it's supposed to be funny: if you, sir, or madam, don't see how Celestia sending a foal to the moon because it's just easier than changing its diaper is funny, I'm pretty sure the problem is on your end.
It's also always possible — straying a bit into WMG territory here — that the whole "banish to the moon" trick only worked on Luna because of her personal connection to it in the first place.
So is Equestria a nation or a planet? I thought it was the planet, as Twilight said, "What in the wide, wide world of Equestria is she doing?" But then they detail the founding of Equestria as if it's a nation. So... thoughts?
I always figured it's more or less the same as Narnia in that is one of the most prominent countries, so much that the planet is named the same, or the planet is actually unnamed and every culture calls it in a different way.
"Earth" is referenced in the show, but it could just be referring to dirt, so it's hard to say.
As per "Hearth's Warming Eve", it's a nation and not even the original pony homeland — it was founded under that name only after the three tribes had left that place for greener pastures and finally learned to put aside their differences. If there's a different name in use for the actual world, we don't yet know what that is (though it's worth noting that things like having the same constellations in the night sky would seem to paint it pretty firmly as an alternate Earth).
If the Apple family founded Ponyville, according to the episode Family Appreciation Day, shouldn't they be hailed more as prominent figures in Ponyville? Are there statues or plagues or places named after them around the town? There's a statue of Celestia in the square, but does Granny Smith or her parents have any? Do they keep in contact with the Mayor with special events?
Modesty seems to be the norm in Ponyville.
I don't know about you, but I certainly wouldn't want a plague named after myself. (If you mean "plaque," it may already be there. With few exceptions, there's little legible text onscreen besides production information, so there's nothing to prove nor disprove it doesn't exist. Everyone may take it for granted, including Granny Smith, because it's an everyday sight for most everyone in the town.
Am I the only one who thinks that Magic doesn't really fit as an element of harmony? The other five elements are named after important components of a good friendship, but Magic? Are they saying that to be a good friend you need to be a magician?
Maybe magic is the thing that's required to make the (magical) rainbow blast come out of the other five elements. Elements of Harmony may be symbolize personality traits, but they're primarily used as a weapon. And despite being edutainment, the show still has a very strong fantasy undercurrent. Or, from another angle, remember the subtitle "friendship is magic". The element of magic might represent other elements connecting with each other and working together.
So, male ponies grow facial hair. A number of male ponies have some kind of facial hair that matches their manes, and in Baby Cakes, Mr.Cake clearly has some stubble. We also know for sure that ponies have coats of fur,as opposed to naked skin. In Ponyville Confidential, Snips and Snails each of some their coat torn out, proving this beyond any shadow of a doubt. So my question is, how do male ponies shave their facial hair without also shaving the coat around their muzzle?
They use a certain attachment on their magic powered shaver. (Non-unicorns depend on barbers.)
They trim their facial hair to the same length as their fur, then dye it the same color.
Who's to say that pony fur doesn't start out one color at the roots and change color as it grows out longer? If that's the case, no dye would even be necessary. They don't have to have the same biology as real people or horses, after all.
Who ran the Ponyville library before Twilight moved in?
Theres a lot of explanations. It was either abandoned, owned by a old pony who retired when Twilight came, or it was built by magic as soon as Twilight needed a HQ in Ponyville.
It also could have been run by volunteers. A small town like Ponyville might not have needed a full time librarian.
How much of the stuff in the library was brought by Twilight, and how much was there to begin with? Too many Pinkie Pies shows that a book of information about the Everfree Forest has been there since before Twilight arrived. Were all of those books of magic and legends already there? And what about the lab equipment?
The lab equipment was likely brought in by Twilight. Most of the books were probably there to begin with, alongside some Twilight brought in.
How far back does Equestria's recorded history go? Not talking just legends, but actual concrete data. While modern ponies know the/a legend of how Equestria was founded, and have knowledge about pre-Equestrian figures like Star Swirl the Bearded, stuff from a thousand years back is relegated to murky legend. Discord was unknown, Nightmare Moon was distorted beyond recognition, and even someone as studious as Twilight was unaware that Celestia ruled a thousand years ago or that her sister was the mare in the moon. Or that Celestia even had a sister. The Crystal Empire was also unknown, despite being full of empathic crystals that broadcast emotions over Equestria.
Would seem to come down to (a) how long Equestria has had the printing press or at least a convenient book-copying spell for unicorns (assuming such a thing as the latter even exists), (b) how much recorded material from before that time has survived, and (c) which of her memories of the past Princess Celestia has seen fit to share with her subjects. None of which are really known quantities, although Celestia probably does have some say in which delicate secrets of the past are considered suitable for publication in modern times and which should better be kept secret.
Does the usage of "Pony" in place of words like "body" seem vaguely racist to anyone else? Equestria has a number of non-pony sapient species, so it is an oddly exclusive word choice. It's like humans saying anyhuman when on a world full of vulcans, andorians, and klingons.
At least in the (questionably accurate) Hearthswarming Eve story, the ponies are shown to have come to modern Equestria as a society of just ponies; it's possible other sapient species have only joined into their society more recently and that language hasn't completely adapted yet. So, yes, it is somewhat racist, and there's probably a movement to use 'anybody' instead when you could possibly be talking to more than just ponies, but there's nothing particularly mean meant by it. Same as how using mailman (or, likely, mailmare for ponies) relies on some gender assumptions that can be sexist.
I could be mistaken, but I don't recall them using "anypony" for non-ponies. (Update from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Meta: In "Putting Your Hoof Down", Fluttershy says "Plenty for everypony" while feeding her pets.)
On a related note, why is mule a derogatory term? And is that mule in Ponyville pissed that they are using the word like that, or just amused that the ponies around him think that they have M-word privileges?
Unnamed mule dude is just unusually laid-back — the joke is that he's not stubborn, including about taking offense. As to the rest... it's probably best not to think too hard about it, because it is kinda problematic. Ponies aren't perfect, and xenophobia's certainly one of those places they're particularly not perfect about. See Zecora. And the buffalo. And the dragon teenagers. Some of it's probably even justified, since different species are actually different in this setting: buffalo, sheep, and cows stampede, ponies do their regular go-crazy-over-buttmark thing, so on. But it's probably an artifact of less pleasant things.
Ever since we saw that first mule, I haven't been able to stop wondering whether or not the 'ass' family of pejoratives would be considered racist in Equestria.
If the Hearth's Warming Eve story was set before Celestia's reign, why does the flag they put up have her and Luna on it?
The flag seems to be an anachronism. Given that the play was only a dramatization, they probably didn't dig up a flag from before Equestrian history was reliably recorded, and used what seemed to be a modern flag instead of guessing at a design little of the audience would recognize.
Come to that, who did the sun/moon thing before Celestia and Luna?
The unicorns. They mention it in Hearth's Warming Eve. It appeared to take more than one unicorn, but there were plenty of unicorns to share the load. How the sun and moon worked before unicorns, or if the sun and moon existed before unicorns, was unmentioned.
Gelatin and glue can be derived from other animals besides horses, but since ponies are vegetarians, killing other animals to use their bodies as resources isn't likely to come naturally to them, so let's look at the other options. Glue isn't hard at all — there are plenty of other ways to make glues and adhesives. As for gelatin, there are some substitutes already used in certain applications in the real world, such as fruit pectin and carrageenan, though these can't replace gelatin in all instances. Also, since Equestria is a fantasy world, for all we know there might be naturally-occurring adhesives and gelling agents that work more or less the same as real-world gelatin.
Gelatin also occurs naturally in seaweed, though for a reason I don't know, many food companies choose to use animal-based gelatin anyway and put a non-vegetarian label on the stuff.
On numerous occasions we have seen Pinkie Pie using novelty Groucho glasses. Why would a pony find this funny and, for that matter, where has a pony ever seen a human nose?
What the heck is with the usage of "Moons" as a measure of time, and how long are they supposed to be? We've heard the ponies use months before, so they can't be the same thing, and even if they were, you'd expect them to be converted to years, just for the sake of simplicity. Their usage as a measure in Equestria Girls can be somewhat justified by the portal possibly running on a more mystical schedules than could be measured by years or months, but why the heck did Granny Smith use the term? The usage of the term seems to be a deliberate choice to avoid using real units of time.
Moon = month. In Real Life, the established length of month is related to moon cycling through its phases. Look it up. In some languages, "moon" and "month" are, are derived from, or used to be the same word. They use it, when they want characters to sound more mystical-ish. That's why Discord says "thousands of moons" in MLP: FIM S4 E2 "Princess Twilight Sparkle, Part 2", even if it would be easier to say "hundreds of years".
Again, why would Granny Smith want to make the family reunion sound mystical? And why would ponies used moons in place of years when they want to give precise measurements, like in Equestria Girls?Twilight Sparkle used years to measure how long Nightmare Moon was sealed, so using moons in place of years just plain seems weird. It's not like ponies use the measurement often, either. Moons have only been used perhaps three times as of Daring Don't, compared to more normal phrases, so it isn't a habit that Equestrians have. And on a very much related note, how do the phases of the moon work in Equestria? Is there even a cycle? New Moons don't seem to exist, given that the moon goes up every night. It could take more than a year or less than a week for the moon to complete a cycle, for all we know.
It's possible in Equestria moons DO equal months precisely. In real life we base our months roughly around the lunar cycle while our years are based on the solar cycle. We then work out the "imperfections" with a few extra days here and there to round out the months so they lock in with the solar calendar and an extra day every leap year to keep the solar calendar in lock with the day night cycle. In Equestria where the seasons, weather and even the sun and moon are controlled manually these imperfections likely wouldn't exist making Moon simply an alternative term.
Or the moon doesn't have cycles at all in Equestria, only changing as the unicorns raising it desire. Or whatever lunar cycle they use is completely divorced from normal timekeeping, only changing when, say, a vote is called, or using certain phases only during certain times of the year. All we know for sure is that moons aren't converted into years, unlike months, which implies that they aren't the same thing.
How does Silver Spoon have a silver spoon cutie mark if ponies have hooves and don't eat with utensils?
Aside from occasional usages of Dexterous hooves, ponies do communicate with species that do use utensils. And just because they don't feed themselves with spoons doesn't mean that a pony can't spoon-feed another pony.
Why does Cloudsdale's water supply depend on all the water that pegasus ponies take from the lake? If it's made of clouds it means they're made of water, so shouldn't that mean that Cloudsdale can make rain water by itself?
They use the water from the lake to make the rain clouds. The water isn't just for drinking, it's for making the cloud they use for weather as well.
If Equestria is a vegetarian society:
How do they make cakes? They need eggs! And I can confirm it cause Pinkie Pie never uses them for her cupcakes.