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Headscratchers / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic - Season 4

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    4.01 Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 1 
  • So in a scene when Twilight was worried about how she was going to get to Ponyville and Spike lampshades that she can fly (but Twilight was shown to be awful at flying). So why couldn't Twilight just use a carriage to get there? I mean, she used a carriage when she traveled to Ponyville on the first ever episode of the show, so she couldn't use one at that time?
    • Maybe that would have taken longer, or else all the guards who would have usually pulled it were busy trying to keep the populace from freaking out. Or she just didn't think of it. Wouldn't be the first time that she didn't think things through.
    • She's in a rush and not really thinking. She forgot she could take a carriage just like she forgot she could fly. Both are powers/privileges she's not accustomed to having so they didn't occur to her. Who here hasn't had a moment either personal or witnessed when the the solution was right in front of somepony but they had already figured out what they were going to do and stuck with it? When Spike suggested she fly she treated it like a fairly novel idea and she was equally confused when the guards came to her for orders. In short being a princess (and we don't know how long has passed since her promotion) doesn't entail thinking like one.
  • So Twilight told the guards in Canterlot to go look for any signs of Celestia's and Luna's whereabouts. Did I miss something, or is that the last we ever see of them in this two-parter? I would assume that when the normal rulers of Canterlot returned, they went back to serving them, but shouldn't Twilight at least be informed of this?
    • As of the coronation in Season 3's finale Twilight IS a normal ruler in Equestria and presumably is able to avoid her duties because she's also fourth (or third if Luna and Celestia are considered equals) in rank but she is a regular ruler. In addition she probably showed back up with Celestia and Luna eliminating any need for the guards to be directly informed.
  • Why is it so difficult to fly for Twilight in this episode? She did it perfectly at the end of Magical Mystery Cure.
  • In the flashbacks to ancient times which Twilight sees in the first two episodes, why neither Luna, nor Celestia speaks in Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe, even though the former was doing it when she was released from her thousand-years imprisonment?
    • The Royal Canterlot Voice was used for a Royal addressing their subjects. When Luna is talking to her sister, she's probably a lot more informal. Either that or Translation Convention.
  • How/Why would Zecora make a potion that reacts only to Alicorn Magic? Alicorns are sufficiently rare (only four that we're aware of and two (three? Is there any word on Cadence's age?) are thousands of years old. Making something only one of them could use screams set up.
    • Zecora's entire MO revolves around being mysterious and knowing about random arcane stuff. There's also no indication that she made the potion, only that she possessed it and knew how to activate it. Also, "alicorn magic" might not actually be specific to Alicorns; it looks a lot like the same type of magic Sombra used, and he was a unicorn.
    • Not much is known of Zecora's homelands.
    • It seemed like a pretty transparent plot device to get Twilight out of her royal responsibilities and into the central conflict of the episode, I doubt there's an actual in-universe explanation.
    • Maybe she found it in that old abandoned alicorn castle down the road from her hut and figured an insight potion might be useful someday?
    • The way Zecora introduces the potion makes it sound incomplete (and dangerous in its current state). She probably got it as far along as she could, discovered only an alicorn could put the finishing touches on it, and then stuck it on a shelf and forgot about it. Who knows? Maybe in a few years Celestia might owe her a favor or something.
    • Maybe Celestia made it for her own personal use and Zecora discovered it.
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    4.02 Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 2 
  • I can understand Discord not wanting to tell Twilight what's going on (That was actually given an explanation - a rather in-character one at that) but why didn't Celestia or Luna think to tell anyone where they were going?
    • They didn't get a chance; Celestia is explicitly shown as being attacked by the plant and is presumably dragged off or something.
      • They were caught by some Anti-Magic, weren't they? That would explain why they couldn't just free themselves.
  • I can understand why we never heard of the Tree of Harmony before (it was thought up for this season), but why was something this important only just now being found out about? How could nobody have found that before?
    • The only people who know about the tree are Celestia, Luna, and Discord. Discord isn't going to talk, for obvious reasons, and as far as Celestia and Luna are concerned, there's no real reason to bring it up, since the Everfree is still in check and the elements were too valuable for fighting off other threats. Like Discord.
      • Which still raises the question as to why Celestia never thought to tell anyone.
      • Perhaps that's her character flaw.
      • Likely - Because of how straight the series plays Remember the New Guy?, Celestia has to constantly remind everyone about some kind of threat or important detail that they should know - Couldn't Celestia and Luna have simply sealed the tree of harmony away that got broken by Discord's Anti-Magic weeds so some random person couldn't simply stumble in and find it?
      • Celestia and Luna may have believed that it was best to keep the existence of the Tree of Harmony away from the general populace because they believed that the chance that a villain might try to destroy it was too great.
    • Nobody goes in the Everfree forest. Nobody questions why the Multiplying Pool from 'Too Many Pinkie Pies' wasn't found earlier for the same reason. Zecora is a freak who lives in what seems to be the most dangerous place in Equestria.
      • For one thousand years, nobody has ever thought to explore the Everfree Forest? Especially since cartographers seem to know there's a river that runs through it and a set of ruins in there? Or did the ponies just mindlessly take Celestia's word for it that there's nothing in there? Heck, how come Zecora, who lives in the forest never came across the tree of harmony? Was it sealed away?
      • While that map isn't exactly accurate (it says so in the corner that it's not to scale) you could figure out that a river runs through it by going around it just like the train tracks on the map suggest they did. The ruins were apparently unknown and the series opener shows that even Rainbow Dash is reluctant to enter the Everfree Forest. Granny Smith went in once decades ago for her Zap Apples and nearly got eaten by Timberwolves for her troubles. It seems clear that Zecora is the only pony who doesn't steer clear of that place. And based on what we've seen she may very well live in a relatively small portion of the forest and never wander out. Still the short answer is the tree wasn't found for the same reason the ruins weren't. The Everfree Forest is largely unexplored and we also tend to forget that Ponyville is a fairly new settlement. Assuming ponies live similar lifespans to humans it's been there for a hundred years or less. Granny Smith was there for the founding mind you.
      • So how come nobody has tried flying OVER the forest? Is it just that big that nobody has the stamina for it (Even though pegasi can rest on the clouds, and they have hot air balloons)
      • It's mentioned that the weather above the Everfree Forest does its own thing without any help of pegasi. It might be safe to assume that they can't control it as well as other weather, so even simply gong over it might be too dangerous. Besides, the Forest looks pretty dense and you probably wouldn't be able to see much even with an aerial view.
    • As mentioned, Celestia would want to keep the tree of harmony secret. Twilight Sparkle isn't the best at keeping those, and since there's no reason for her to know, why bother telling her? Assuming the possibility that something could happen to the tree and take Luna and Celestia out before they could impart the information is quite the leap.
      • Given how easy it was for the ponies to walk up and find the Tree of Harmony, that's probably putting a lot of trust into the everfree Forest or the tree itself - Couldn't they have used their magic powers to seal it up? And even then... given that they lied about the tree of harmony, great message to send to everybody else - your rulers have been lying to you! Ever wonder why they don't hold the element of honesty? Because they were lying about where they got the elemnts from.
      • There's a difference between lying and not telling anybody about tree. Celestia only said she and her sister found the Elements of Harmony, which is the truth.
      • No, there's not. It's called a lie of omission, and Celestia's pretty good at them.
      • Celestia is pretty good at lies of omission but calling her out for not mentioning the Tree of Harmony is like calling out King Arthur for neglecting to mention the rock Excaliber was stuck in. She didn't find it important enough to mention. Or on the other hand she very well may have mentioned it and nobody remembered it because it wasn't important. Remember Princess Luna is an old Pony Tale at the beginning of the series this could be as simple as nobody writing it down when she mentioned it. Discord was similarly not mentioned until after he broke out.
      • Actually, there IS a difference between lying and not telling anyone. If you forget about something, or the thought never surfaces when talking to someone, that’s not a lie. It’s only a lie if it’s deliberate. There were no known incidents in the past involving the tree, and it’s far from where she lives. Thus, Celestia likely almost never or literally never thinks about it.
      • The stone the sword was stuck in was an ordinary rock; the tree of Harmony is a glowing crystal colossal magic tree with Twilight's friggin' cutie mark on it, you'd think Celestia would think that was important enough to mention.
      • Perhaps a better question now is why did Celestia allow Luna to become an old pony tail and get away with it? Also, with regards to Arthur not needing to tell people what rock he drew Excalibur from... he doesn't need to. Because he didn't draw it from a stone - That was the lady of the lake.
      • But seriously, would you announce to everyone the source of your country's most powerful form of offense/defense? You're just asking for someone to try to take it for themselves. Seeing what Sunset Shimmer did to the Element of Magic in the movie, I'd say it's a good thing Celestia didn't tell anyone. We'd probably have a few more Sombras in history otherwise.
    • It's entirely possible that everyone knew the ruins were there, but just didn't recognize the significance. Chances are that after Luna's banishment, Celestia wanted to distance herself from it, and deliberately let the castle go to seed. It's not that nopony knows that it's there, it's that most ponies don't have any reason to go in there. There's no reason to go to the scary forest when you could probably get what you need from someplace else.
      • Golly, Why would anybody want to explore a dangerous area that they don't have any real reason to enter, anyway?
      • Most people in real life are not rebellious enough to go somewhere for the sole purpose that everyone else says is lethal. In the pony world, the Everfree Forest might as well be a nuclear waste disposal site. I would suspect it’s entered only by the biggest thrill-seekers, the reckless, and the ignorant. Considering in the real world, there’s still plenty of unexplored land even with the existence of satellite maps and GPS, it woudn’t be unreasonable the tree happened to be at a place no one visited.
  • Why didn't Discord get any reprisal for not stopping the seeds? They were under his control in the first place, and letting them run free was pretty thoroughly going against his promise to not be evil. Okay, they just gave away the only threat that they really have, but why didn't Fluttershy at least tell him off for lying to her?
    • They probably figured that the end justifies the means.
      • What ends? Discord got off basically scott free for causing all that damage and depriving the ponies of their most powerful weapon.
      • Discord didn't really do anything. Assuming he's not lying he was just as surprised those seeds sprouted as anybody else.
      • Presumably, it's that kid logic of "nobody got hurt, so therefore it's alright in the end.
    • Poorly worded contracts. He had promised to stop causing trouble, not to retroactively fix trouble he had previously caused. He was also arguably trying to teach a lesson, both in diplomacy (you don't insult someone and then proceed to ask them for help) and in responsibility.
    • Three reasons come to mind. First we don't know a lot about the nature of those seeds it's entirely possible that Discord lost control of or forgot about them long ago. He was trapped in stone for a thousand years and his first plan of action when he broke out wasn't to activate those seeds. They might be similar to real seeds. Farmers don't really "control" seeds you know. Second Celestia and and Luna may simply have decided this was no harm no foul for Discord and/or decided not pissing him off was wise. They are clearly building an army for some purpose based on the set up for the Crystal Empire. Finally without the Elements of Harmony nobody (Princesses Luna and Celestia included) were in any position to do anything to Discord.
      • The seeds did exactly what Discord wanted them to do, and he displayed control over them during the present part of the episode. Even though they sprouted later than he had planned, they were under his control, and he outright lied about not being behind them. Even if Celestia decided not to act against him, why didn't Fluttershy react to Discord abusing her trust? She'd just vouched for him and he abused that. Using Discord for an army seems unlikely at best, especially since he just showed that he wouldn't help in a crisis situation.
      • The seeds did what Discord wanted them to do a milinium ago. That doesn't imply current control, certainly not beyond the fact that reality itself seems to do exactly what Discord wants. I have no doubt he could erase Pinky Pie's mouth like Trixie did before if he was in the mood. So that doesn't really mean much. Fluttershy apparently decided not to be upset or interpreted it the same way I did. You can't get mad at Discord today for a plot he set in motion before you were born. As for Discord being in an Army that's the only logical reason to let him out of his Stone Prison in the first place is in preperation for a greater threat than him. Which might take less than we thing since he's really more of a troll than a threat. With the power he seems to wield he could easily have made ACID rain instead of chocolate milk rain if he'd wanted. And finally while I doubt he was actually in control of the vines that doesn't change the fact that he knew what was going on, seems to have known what needed to be done and didn't view this as a crisis. He also sent Twilight back into the fray which directly lead to them solving the problem.
    • Why did Discord even admit to having anything to do with the Plunder Seeds to begin with? Nobody suspected he had anything to do with it and it wasn't a slip of the tongue either.
      • The scene where he explains that he planted them.
      • The question was WHY did he volunteer the information not WHEN. The Mane Six had not figured it out and likely never would have. I doubt even Celestia and Luna would remember some random act Discord did while they were fighting one thousand years ago.
      • Because he doesn't have any fucks to give, that's why. Watch that scene again: he just found out the Mane Six no longer have the ability to punish him. He had nothing to lose.
    • I think people are forgetting: DISCORD IS A MOTHER EFFIN' GOD OF CHAOS. As opposed to the princesses, who are merely really powerful. Celestia and Luna need him on their side for something, but there really is only so much they can do to reel him in and keep him in check while still keeping him willing to stay with them, especially now that the Elements are gone.
  • Am I the only person who thinks it's plausible Discord was in control of the Plunder Seeds and very intentionally forced his 'captors' pretending to be his friends into giving up the only weapon that could be used against him since Celestia cast a spell preventing him from doing that himself?
    • We have zero reason to think that he lacked control. He both sent them on their path in the past and manipulated them in the present.
      • We have even less reason to think he had control. Assuming he didn't lie he was shocked they sprouted when they did. He manipulates EVERYTHING in the present. Frankly him being unable to knit them into arrows or tie ponies up with them makes sense considering he can make cotton candy clouds complete with chocolate milk rain. When we come across something he CAN'T manipulate is when we should start being heavily concerned. It still doesn't mean that he had anything to do with it one way or the other.
      • Seeing Discord control the vines... Means that we have even less reason to think that he could control them... What?
      • But if this is all a plot by Discord to get rid of the elements...why doesn't he conquer the world at the end of the episode? Go make some chocolate rain or whatever; nobody can stop you now. I'm inclined to think that he really is reformed, though he's still a prankster.
  • Building off another question that someone else posted... how come Discord didn't think to try sowing Discord by mentioning the tree of harmony that was kept a secret from the other ponies? "Your great ruler has been lying to you!" Would nobody believe it?
    • Either because he's reformed or because nopony would believe it. Or more accurately Luna and Celestia at worst lied by ommission but considering they are both one thousand years old who's to say that much like the Mare in the Moon that this wasn't a fairly well known fact at some point and just isn't remembered today? I'd go with he's reformed. He didn't have to convince Twilight to go back into the Everfree Forest after she'd been sent home.
      • I wouldn't give him too much credit for sending Twilight back. He knew that she was going to have to go back into the forest anyway, and losing the Elements of Harmony just helped himself out.
      • She might have gone in eventually but the forest is dangerous normally and with the Plunder Vines sprouting she could easily have headed in too late and had five very dead friends. Which would have rendered the Elements useless as well.
      • I seriously don't get why everyone still clings to the idea that the other elements need ponies to function. They don't. We see that they don't in this episode; the gems matter, but the other ponies don't do anything to activate them, Twilight does it all on her own.
      • Because it's explicitly SAID in the pilot. It seems one pony CAN activate the Elements on their own, but they're SIGNIFICANTLY less powerful than a group using them, as shown by Celestia only being able to banish Nightmare Moon while the mane cast is able to purify her. It's possible returning them to the Tree simply didn't take all six of them activating the Elements and just required them to be 'turned on' to be put pack. And it's also possible that one pony using the Elements ISN'T enough to defeat Discord considering how much stronger he is than Nightmare Moon.
  • Why is Applejack so caught up about the Elements anyway? At first it doesn't seem too out there, like "the elements of harmony are a representation of the start of our friendship" or the like. But then along comes the necessity of giving them up, and suddenly Applejack seems to think that without the elements there's no need for them to be friends anymore? I just don't get it... It seems more like the kind of thing Pinkie would be insecure about than Applejack (see: Party of One). Anyway, it comes across as Applejack taking the tack that their friendship is based around the rainbow friendship cannon, when many of their (mis)adventures should strongly be suggesting otherwise!
    • Applejack is generally the most conservative and cautious. Giving up the elements is a big change and a big risk. She's also the most aware of the status difference between them and Twilight, and might well be feeling a little insecure about their continued friendship.
    • Considering her missing parents, is it possible that maybe Applejack has a slight fear of abandonment? Perhaps on some level, she always used the Elements as a reassurance that her friends would stick with her.
  • Why didn't Celestia and Luna just keep the Elements of Harmony in the Tree? This isn't a case of security or even accessibility, because they built their castle right on top of it. And on a related note, why did they build their castle in the middle of the Everfree Forest?
    • Inaccessibility? It was already there? It could well be where they grew up, and were reluctant to leave their old home. As for taking the elements from the tree... I suspect there's more to it than we're told, because putting them back is certainly portrayed as permanent, and taking them out as a very big and risky decision. Maybe removing the elements permanently harms or weakens the tree somehow?
      • They may have built their castle in the Everfree Forest to keep it from spreading. Celestia does mention that the Tree of Harmony will have enough left over power without the Elements to keep the Forest from spreading. They also might have done so because Equestria in the past seems to have been a fairly dangerous place with Wendigos, Discord and Sombra floating around. Griffons and ponies probably didn't always get along as well as they seem to currently, there are dragons and minotaurs as well. Building your castle in a location with natural defenses might have just been prudent.
  • Why wasn't Celestia's and Luna's manes pink and light blue, respectively, during the flashback to Discord's first defeat?
    • Why would they be? The only hint that Celestia and Luna had manes like that comes from a highly-stylized in-show picture book, which Fanon has taken to be accurate for no real reason. It was never canon, in any way, that their manes ever really looked like that.
      • It's not really no real reason, the story while presented as the legend of how Equestria started has throughout the series been proven to be more or less accurate. Personally my assumption is one of two things. First, in universe, like so much else of what we've learned about Equestrian history it was likely abridged in many ways. Second, out of universe, the animators simply didn't want to make new Luna and Celestia models for two flash backs and kept the extant models.
      • Also, the story might be accurate, but the illustrations can still be highly stylized. Otherwise, if you take all the illustrations at face value, Celestia and Luna just spent their time floating circles around the sky.
  • I know that it's a cartoon for young kids and they can't show blood, but I find it hard to swallow that over the course of the whole episode nobody was so much as scratched by these vines which have GIANORMOUS thorns on them.
    • Actually the size of the thorns is probably what helped keep people from getting stabbed. Thorns are usually like giant pins, not knives. You only need to avoid the tip and as long as you can see them (in this case they are nearly glowing green against black) they are easy enough to avoid.
      • True, but then Twilight getting constricted. No way none of the huge thorns on those vines would have damaged her.
      • One possibility is Discord simply nerfed the Plunder Vines in Ponyville a little bit when he showed up. After all, he is technically reformed and admitted to be trying to teach Twilight a lesson with the Vines, so it's possible, while he's still a Jerkass but didn't want anyone to actually get hurt. Considering how little we know about Everfree's power and it apparently needs the source of the Elements of Harmony just to keep it in check, it's possible the vines in the forest might have been out of his control (remember, the Plunder Vines grew, Discord didn't just poof them there).
      • Besides, ponies are Made of Iron.
  • OK, I am surprised no one noticed this. Now, in the comics, it said that Luna was possessed by a dark magic know as Miasma, which is what turned her into Nightmare Moon. Here, Luna turns into Nightmare Moon on her own, meaning that not only did Luna really wanted an everlasting night and not just Nightmare Moon, but apparently, there was no sign that she was possessed, and that comics are maybenon canon. Did either the producers forget about that detail, are the comics officially not canon, or was Luna really possessed, and that there were little signs to show it? And if she was possessed, couldn't Celestia have used the Elements of Harmony to free Luna instead of banishing Nightmare Moon, which in turn left her sister to be trapped in that monstrosity?
    • In the storyboards, during the transformation Luna has a surprised and terrified look on her face, suggesting the dark powers she was associating with chose that moment to stab her in the back and take full control. When I watched the episode, I didn't get nearly the same vibe. Maybe the possession was their intention but the animation didn't turn out as good as they hoped. As for freeing Luna, pretty sure Celestia couldn't use the Elements to their full potential by herself. That she used them by herself to banish her sister was what broke her connection to them in the first place.
    • Forget the storyboards. Luna had the surprised and terrified look on her face in the finished episode too. Watch it again.
      • So what you are saying is that the whole Luna being possessed thing is canon, its just that they didn't show it very well in the show.
  • I can't believe I'm only thinking of this two years later, but...if Celestia banished Nightmare Moon so soon after her transformation as is shown in the flashback, how would anypony else have known enough about what happened for Nightmare Night to become a tradition? Did Celestia herself have a hoof in creating the holiday? I'm tempted to think that the Royal Guard might have embellished the story, but the EUP Guard wasn't created until after Nightmare Moon was banished.
    • She probably did. That being said, when Nightmare Moon was still banished there, didn’t it crete a profile silhouette? Visibly changing the moon’s appearance alone would definitely cause legends, myths, and other explanations.
  • The mark on the Tree of Harmony isn't exclusively worn by Twilight Sparkle; it's also part of Shining Armor's Cutie Mark.note  Is it possible that Shining Armor and five other ponies (perhaps colts) were considered by the Tree as potential bearers of the Elements of Harmony? The fanfic Stallions Of Harmony Verse was written to explore this possibility.
  • Celestia banishing Luna is shown as "doing what she had to do". One problem. We don't see Celestia tried to do anything else! She went from one extreme to the other, refusing to fight Luna to using the most powerful artifacts on her. In what way is this having no choice (as Celestia said herself) when she took no other option to begin with?

     4.03 Castle-Mania 
  • This is admittedly minor, but didn't Rainbow Dash technically win the bet? After all, Applejack got forced out of the castle by the trapdoor.
    • Rainbow also flew out of the castle at one point, so if anything Applejack won. Rainbow left the castle of her own free will, Applejack was forced out by a trap.
    • The two are separated by that point and even we don't know exactly which events were supposed to be happening first vs concurrently. The only reason why Rainbow Dash MIGHT squeak a victory here is because AJ as the element of honesty might be compelled to tell the truth and without Dashie being equally compelled a technical victory might happen. But for all her faults Dashie is probably too proud for that.
  • If Celestia knew about the library in that castle with the books still in readable condition, then why weren't those books transported to the current archives centuries ago?
    • This is the same Celestia who said nothing about her sister becoming an Old Ponies' tale - she obviously doesn't always make the best decisions.
  • Also, what's up with Twilight reading Celestia and Luna's diary? That's the one book in the entire library that couldn't possibly have had anything to do with the crystal box.
    • She's probably looking for everything that Celestia and Luna learned about the Tree of Harmony back in the day, but have since forgotten about, that might give her a clue about the box.
    • The box itself might not be mentioned, but other similar magical phenomena might be. Also, Celestia probably wouldn't have sent Twilight to look for books if she wasn't okay with the possibility of Twilight finding her diary. She could have easily said "If you find my diary please return it without reading."
      • Given Twilight's rationale for the Mane 6 keeping a journal it's possible that either Twilight (who's new to Friendship as an adult with less than three years experience) doesn't understand personal boundaries or ponies have different boundaries to begin with. To her a journal seems to be closer to a personal history book and part of the purpose of keeping one is so that future generations don't have to make the same mistakes that you once did.
      • Also, this is Twilight Sparkle we're talking about. She has a great fondness for books, as well as her mentor, Celestia. I'm sure Twilight would like to know more about Celestia's history, even if she can't find the info she's looking for.
    • I'm curious why Twilight Sparkle is even looking in books at this point. Princess Celestia is so old (and the history of Equestria sufficiently ill kept) that she was the acting ruler and raiser of the sun and apparently everybody still thought the Mare in the Moon was an old Ponytale and not a historical reference. If Celestia doesn't remember it first hand it may very well be just lost forever kind of information.
      • Celestia clearly doesn't have a very good memory, judging by how she appaerntly let Nightmare Moon and Sombra become Old Pony tales.
      • Those may very well have been intentional. Everything we know about Celestia's relationship with her sister suggests that she never forgot about her sister at all. She allowed her subjects to forget about her (and one seriously wonders HOW in when Celestia still quite literally raises the sun and the moon) and the same seems to hold true of Sombra. Considering how ponies seem prone to panic Celestia may just lie to them constantly so they can keep their happy lives.
      • Did Celestia ever hold the element of honesty? The amount she's been lying (Even by casual omission) clearly doesn't make her a good holder of it.
      • Celestia held Generosity, Kindness and Magic. Luna held Honesty, Laughter and Loyalty. This fits with the notion of Celestia being the relatively peaceful and Luna the relatively warlike one — Luna's are all warrior virtues.
      • It's less about her memory and more about her just not wanting that information public. The castle reminds her of her fight with her sister, and she doesn't want to think about it and deliberately let the castle go to seed as a result.
      • The point was more about what information is likely to be recorded in books. In real life none of us are close friends with the immortal deity who founded our country/world. Aside from Discord who was certainly in Equestria prior to the sisters I don't believe we've seen anything that suggests (especially in respect to the Elements of Harmony) that anybody would have any information Celestia and Luna don't have and first hand no less.
    • Do you remember everything that’s ever happened in your life? Celestia undoubtedly didn’t, especially over a millennium’s worth, but she might have recorded something that she later forgot. Brains forget things. Books do not.
  • I get Twilight being to absorbed in what she was doing to be afraid or having already found Pinky and combining that with her knowledge of the castle dimissing the Pony of Shadows. But dismissing it because it's an old Pony Tale? Like Nightmare Moon?! Like Discord? Like King Sombra? Like the Multiplying Mirror? If I were Twilight Sparkle I would probably consider all Pony Tales as history with inssuficient confirmation having lived the last few years of her life.
    • I pretty sure they had no "old Pony Tales" about Discord, and few even knew Sombra existed in the first place. Also, I think Twilight only became concerned about Nightmare Moon after finding out about the legend of her origin and eventual return. Before she probably just heard the classic "Nightmare Moon will come eat you" story, if she even participated in Nightmare Night at all. She has probably so far only heard the classic legend of the Pony of Shadows, instead of some information that may show there's more to it than she thought.
      • Actually, there might be some Fridge Brilliance to be had here. The Pony of Shadows is the only Pony Tale she's ever heard that can't logically be true the way the story is told: Nightmare Moon apparently only ever really attacked Celestia and was sealed up shortly afterward, and then she was sealed up for a thousand years until Twilight and company defeated her and she changed back. She probably didn't exist long enough to leave scattered magic drifting around, and if anyone would know how that would work, it'd be Twilight.
  • Wait... why're the characters dismissing the idea of a Shadow Pony? How short are their memories?
    • Not the same thing. Sombra was a pony who was turned into shadows, somehow, by Celestia and Luna. The Pony of Shadows is said to be a piece of Nightmare Moon's magic still hanging around, or something. While it probably does exist given what happens at the end of the episode they have no reason to believe it's anything but an old superstition their ancestors came up with about the Everfree Forest.
      • That doesn't entirely excuse them - Anyone with a brain (even a child!) would have, after seeing proof that a Shadow Pony could plausibly exist would probably not dismiss it... unless that is it's just Rule of Drama. I think the writers just had a temporary memory lapse and forgot about the whole "King Sombra" thing in order to add a little gag at the end.
      • That's beside the point; the story isn't that "a generic shadow pony exists", it's that the Pony of Shadows is a specific entity created out of leftover Nightmare Moon magic. Yes, it's plausible that "a shadow pony" exists, but not "the Pony of Shadows as described in the myth."
    • Magic has its limitations, I think, and magic itself cannot become sentient. The Pony of Shadows is supposed to be sentient magic, which is impossible to someone like Twilight, since it's not in any books. Compare to the Deathly Hallows, and why Hermione insists they can't be real, then it's revealed they are, and that the history of the matter was embellished in a way that made it a fairy tale (notably changing how the Hallows came to be- you could chalk the Resurrection Stone up to the translation to or from runes not being exact due to a difference in precise meaning in the rune, kind of like how there aren't direct English translations for the Japanese idea of wabi-sabi. The Stone does do roughly what Beedle said it would). The story of the Pony of Shadows is similar- whoever wrote the story down made an error regarding Exact Words. The Pony of Shadows could have been shadows enchanted by Nightmare Moon, which IS possible, but the magic acting on its own is not.
    • Spike was the one that dismissed the existence of a Shadow Pony. It's possible that Spike doesn't consider King Sombra as one.
  • If Pinkie Pie was at the organ the entire time then who the heck was the one who was looking through the portrait?
    • Probably Pinkie Pie herself, seeing as how the portrait had bright blue eyes, and Pinkie Pie also has the same eye color.
    • Maybe the Shadow Pony was possessing the portrait.
    • When we see the portrait, the organ hasn't started playing yet. It was Pinkie in both cases.
  • Princess Celestia is watching you (or at least, she's still watching Twilight Sparkle). When Twilight considers out loud the possibility of going to Canterlot for more information while researching the box given to her by the Tree of Harmony, Spike immediately belches up a message from Celestia. When read aloud, it is phrased exactly as if she was in the room with them the entire time, speaking to them directly.
    • Twilight mentions writing a letter to Princess Celestia discussing the possibility of there being a book in the library in Canterlot that can explain the box and that she might visit to go through them. Celestia is replying to the letter Twilight sent, and it was worded perfectly because Twilight was telling Spike what she put in her letter, thus the reply translates perfectly to that conversation. No spying necessary.

     4.04 Daring Don't 
  • So at the end of the episode, the ring that Daring had been keeping safe, the one that was the final piece to the evil plan, is casually thrown onto the ground and shatters. Sooooo... WHY DIDN'T SHE JUST DO THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE? Why just keep the ring safe instead of outright destroying it if its that easy? Problem solved. Granted, maybe with the temple being destroyed the power of the ring was nullified, and thus it became as fragile as glass, but it still comes off as odd.
  • The entire episode seems to ignore that Princess Celestia can raise and power the sun at will.
    • Magic rings of uncertain power. Plus the effect seems to be referenced as entirely localized. On top of that, there are more immediate concerns than Celestia's potential involvement.
    • It's entirely possible that the rings "doom the valley to 800 years of sweltering heat" through some indirect method, like rendering clouds unable to form over the valley.
    • What they said, since it was confined to JUST the valley, it's more likely it causes some atmospheric effect that increases the heat from the sun, not do anything to the sun itself.
    • We don't actually know how much Celestia has control over the sun. All we know is that Celestia and Luna are able to move them. This job was performed by a team of unicorns before them, so it's not something that needs them specifically. Yes, she raises it, but "powering?" And maybe control over the sun could be taken from her. Discord certainly did so when he broke free of his prison, and he's been hinted at not being as omnipotent as he appears to be.
  • So all along... it was real. Okay, so does this all take place in another country? How on earth could this have been kept under wraps for so long?
    • Maybe it's not a secret. Just not very well documented or believed. After all, I find it hard to believe that Indiana Jones would be able to convince anyone of the stuff he has seen aside from those who were directly involved or those who know him well enough to know that he has seen crazy stuff. Same could apply to Daring Do. Not the best explanation but it's the best I got.
    • The Mane Cast are national heroes but have been dismissed even in their own town. Equestria's news system probably isn't very good.
      • Apparently quite bad.
      • Homer Simpson has saved (and doomed) large amounts of people countless times. Timmy Turner does large-scale restructuring of the Earth on a near daily basis. Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny do things that start major events in many different countries dozens of times, and Clyde even points it out in the episode about the Peruvian flutists. Does anybody care about them? Of course not! This is a rule of episodic television.
    • Daring Do lives in an isolated area under a pseudonym and publishes her tales as fictional adventure stories. Obviously she doesn’t want to reveal the truth for whatever reason. Since she works alone the only other witnesses of her achievements are the bad guys. And the bad guys probably don’t go around and tell everyone: “Hey the Daring Do stories are real and I’m a real bad guy who does a lot of evil stuff. Hope you don’t mind and let me continue my evil schemes undisturbed.”
      • While it's quite understandable why the antagonistic ponies won't be out in the open about what they're doing, but the fact that Ahuizotl exists is probably what they were surprised about - how's someone like that stay hidden for so long?
      • Keep in mind that the two known encounters with Ahuizotl took place in very remote areas. It’s very likely that he purposely avoids confronting Daring Do while she's in the civilization to not gain any unwanted attention.
      • He has leverage against Daring Do though - He knows her true name. He could easily send his henchponies off. And in terms of unwanted attention... sure he might, except who will he get the attention of? The Mane six? Probably the only ones who can stand against him. Celestia and Luna? Given how they prefer sitting in Canterlot whenever a threat comes... I say he shouldn't worry about them at all.
      • Before he can send his henchponies after her, he needs to know where she lives. Which seems very unlikely considering that nopony – not even her publisher - seems to know A.K. Yearling's address. Even Twilight had to do some researches before they were able to find her. Also Ahuizotl is far less powerful that most other villains the Mane Six have faced so far. He has no magical powers – only his strength, his cats and his henchponies. Seeing how Celestia and Luan took care of Sombra, it’s not unlikely that Ahuizotl will suffer the same fate if they consider him as a threat to Equestria.
      • Dr. Cabahows-his-name-spelled and the other guys know her address, though, and they could easily tell Ahuizotl.
  • So, what, the Mane Cast can just leave whatever jobs they have at a moment's notice to stalk a famous author? I mean, yeah, they're national heroes, but it would be nice if that's made out to be the reason why they can just abandon their livelihoods to pursue a random impulse.
    • Haven't they been doing that for the whole show?
    • It's worth noing the group were holding a party when Rainbow decides to have them go and see Yearling. It's not like they all ran out in the middle of their jobs.
    • Twilight, aside from Princess stuff now, she runs the Library, on her own. And how often do we ever see anypony even use it other then her? plus, she has Spike to cover that for her. Pinkie-Assists the Cakes, but is more like family to them then just a hired help, and given what she's like, they are probably quite use to her randomly disappearing and just roll with it. Rarity-Self employed, she can do whatever the fuck she wants. Fluttershy-Again, far as we can tell, either self employed or some kind of government job for caring for the animals, not really that big a deal to have somepony check on them for a few days, like say... Spike. AJ-Again, works on the family farm. If there was something major that needed doing that the rest of the family couldn't handle, she would have stayed to help. And finally RD-She head of the Weather patrol, but not it's only member. She just told whoever is next in command to fill in for her while she took some vacation time or something. None of them have jobs that require them to show up every day and keep a scheduled. Out of all of them, the only one's who even have a 'boss' are RD, whose boss would be in Cloudsdale as whoever is above her in the Weather hierarchy, and pinkie, whose "bosses" treat her more as a daughter and are used to her doing stuff like this. And as above, same as EVERY other thime they just up and left.
  • Ahuizotl is real - how come the characters never show surprise at this? Did the shock of Daring Do existing desensitize them?
    • Only Rainbow Dash saw Ahuizotl and she is clearly surprised when she hears him. On the other hand, the rest of the mane six don't react immediately when she mentions him by name, so it's not clear how surprising his existence is. It is possible that he belongs to a well-known but rare species.
  • Manacles on hooves? I know it's an homage to adventure movies (like Indiana Jones) but couldn't Daring Do slip her hooves off?
    • Hooves don't come off...
    • I think he means there's no way to grip onto a Pony's Hooves with Manacles. However if you look closely, their hooves are wider at the bottom than the rest of the limb, meaning they can be caught.
  • In the comics, it is heavily implied that Twilight Velvet (Twilight Sparkle's Mother) was the author of the Daring Do books (or at least wrote a story of the series), yet it's revealed that Daring Do herself is the author. How can this be explained in canon? Retcon? Poor planning? Direct contradiction?
    • The comics don't mesh with canon very well in general.
    • Perhaps the Daring Do prize she has is actually called "The Daring Do Prize", for authors in the same genre.
    • Heavily implied =! is. Fan expectations were dashed. That needn't correspond to poor planning or retcon.
    • I have come up with a crazy theory of my own: perhaps Twilight Velvet is a co-author or editor of the Daring Do books - compare how Sherlock Holmes fans call Arthur Conan Doyle the literary agent. (See how fast was Twilight Sparkle able to find out where Miss Yearling lives - another hint of a connection between her and Twilight's family.) Of course, the real reason is that nobody knew the real author of the books back then - Daring Don't wasn't written yet.
  • When Rainbow Dash first starts reading the Daring Do books and imagines the adventure sequences, Daring Do appears the way Rainbow Dash imagines her: exactly like herself, but a greyscale mane and tail with a dull orange coat (in other words, the inverse version of her own colors, except her eyes) because she identifies with the Daring Do character. But then we find out that Daring Do is real, and she still looks exactly the way RD imagined her.
    • The covers have a picture of Daring.
  • How long has Daring Do been fighting Ahuizotl and his minions, as well as other villains? Given that there are some international villains involved in this... do these guys just never read? Daring Do doesn't cut any edges and uses Ahuizotl's true name while writing... did she seriously base her entire masquerade around Ahuizotl and any of his pony minions having never heard of her books? (And she's published a lot.) And given what else could have happened... oi.
    • I was under the impression that they did know about the books, they just don't care. They know where she lives, after all.
      • Fortunately for Daring Do, her opponents are all complete idiots. All it takes is one villain with a brain and her entire masquerade is shattered.
    • Why bother reading the books when they’re living them? Also, why would they want to read a book about their own repeated defeats and written by the opposing side? (We do see in a later episode that Dr. Caballeron knows about the books and knows they’re popular, and he is deeply, deeply frustrated at that.)
  • If all of Ahuizotl's schemes are happening in a "remote part of Equestria", cannot Daring Do just ask the Princesses for help against this powerful villain, instead of risking life and limb to thwart his schemes? Unless she's so selfish that she'd rather keep fighting Ahuizotl all by herself, instead of asking someone more competent to stop the serious threat he poses once and for all.
    • I'm guessing Daring Do believes the princesses have more important jobs (like running an entire kingdom and such) do contend with, or she doesn't want to risk the safety of the princesses; why put any princess in danger when she can do the job just fine? Besides, it could be personal between her and Ahuizotl.
    • Plus, let's be honest, compared to the like of Nightmare Moon, Discord, Chrysalis and Sombra, Ahuizotl is pretty pathetic. Unless he was mysteriously holding back throughout the whole episode, even a supercharged Trixie can do more damage and did not even need an army of mooks. Consider how Twilight could have won the final battle by herself if she simply cast the same Mass paralysis as the previous episode. Getting the princess involved with their full power is likely akin to use a tactical nuke against an infantry unit in the case of Ahuizotl.
    • As far as we're shown, Daring never needed outside help until this incident. That might have factored into things.
    • Also, Celestia and Luna are the rulers of the country, not a police force.
  • In the IDW series, Daring Do is at one point taken out of a book, and is part of a group of explicitly fictional characters. So, if Daring do is both real And fictional, can anybody from a written story be removed, even if the book is non-fiction?
    • I don’t see why not. The comics are a separate canon from the show though.
  • How is Twilight so completely clueless about Daring Do being real? In the very first episode Twilight read an ancient legend and correctly surmised based on nothing we're ever shown that this was the thousandth year since the banishment. Not nine hundred ninety nine and not one thousand one and took the old Ponytale quite seriously. Daring Do by comparison is a well known (if through what I assume are semi-autobiographal stories similar to Kathy Reichs and Bones) pony living in the real world. I would expect Twilight to be aware that such an such artifacts had not only been discovered but were currently on display in Canterlot Museum or what not. She is one would assume given her vocations as a wizard librarian that she's extremely well read.
    • Daring never really made any mention of taking them to a museum, and even destroyed the ring after they escaped. It seems she's more concerned about saving the world by not letting Ahuizotl have these artifacts of doom than putting them into a museum.
    • Because Dave Polsky didn't think it through when he was writing the episode, resulting in the massive Plot Hole of a well-read librarian wizard not knowing legends and not putting two and two together.
      • The Daring Do stories were sold as fiction, not told as legends, and is it really that much of a stretch to believe, oh I don't know, Twilight doesn't know everything? Especially about a far corner of a world with an already horrible news system. So...no, it's not a plothole, at all, because we have no evidence Daring even put them in museums, and even if she did, she could've based the contents of her books on them, or any so called "legends".
    • Twilight's not omniscient. Unlike the legends of Nightmare Moon, which have been around for centuries and have records in scholarly collections of ancient prophesies, Daring Do's adventures are written, marketed, and sold as works of contemporary fiction with a known author (albeit one using a pen name). They deal with a civilization that the archives presumably have a poor record of, given how bad their records are with anything but Equestria proper (like for instance, the lack of knowledge on the Crystal Empire), and so Twilight has probably never even heard of them in detail outside the Daring Do books. Also, well-read or not, Twilight doesn't work at the museum and wouldn't have intimate knowledge of its contents, and A.K. Yearling could just as easily have based her adventure stories on the items she saw in those museums and changed their names.
  • So DD come home, and there is an alicorn princess in her living room. Is she that jaded of an adventurer who has Seen It All, does Twilight wings and horn combo has already passed in the realm of Unusually Uninteresting Sight? I'm pretty sure even Indiana Jones would notice and sligthly react if he came home to find royalty chilling out in his appartment.
    • Twilight Sparkle's distinctive appearance might be the point. Daring Do does seem to accept that they weren't the ones who smashed up her house very quickly, so she might well know who the main cast are. However while royalty are not known for ransacking houses (she obviously doesn't know them very well), they are known for wanting help with some world threatening task or other. And frankly, Daring Do has other world threatening tasks on her mind, and they can just go away until she has dealt with that pressing matter.
    • Daring Do used to be a Tamriellic Guard - you could probably leave an unconscious pony in front of her and she'll get stuck trying to walk over it.
    • Also, this is the same series where Twilight can walk around in a major city, wings and horn in full view, and nopony cares.
  • What exactly was Ahuizotl planning to achieve by unleashing 800 years of smelting heat? And if he's an Omnicidal Maniac and just wanted to see the world (or that valley) burn, what were his followeres planning to get from that? Were they just an insane apocalyptic cult?
    • Probably to drive out the other citizens of the valley and after 800 years (Wherein he's still alive) he can seize the valley. But even then this makes no sense given that his pony cult are mortal.
    • Maybe Ahuizotl has lots of gold (temple treasures) and just pays them for their services. Money is a very strong motivator.
      • Makes sence if they can take that payment and leave (if the effect was not supposed to be global). That leaves his own motivation in question.
      • The Fridge Brilliance page for this episode noted that in RL Aztec Mythology, ahuizotls are water predators. This has led to the theory that he was looking to dry up all the lakes and rivers in the region so he could start feasting on the fish with little to no effort.
    • Well obviously his followers got their cutie marks for henchpony-ing. They are just doing what their cutie marks are telling them to do.
    • "I am so bad. I am so bad, I will hurt many ponies—who are GOOD!"
  • Rainbow Dash is trying to convince Twilight to help Daring Do retrieve the ring. Twilight's response is "Okay, but it sounds to me like we're in way, way, way over our heads." 'Way in over your heads?" Twilight, how many times have you and your friends saved Equestria? You're like the first person people go to for this sort of stuff.
  • If Daring Do works alone because she's so concerned with secrecy, why does she at the same time go and describe her adventures in detail in her books? For that matter, if Caballeron is a real pony and she wrote about him using his real name and all, why does no one question if she's basing her books off real events? At least a few people probably are acquainted with Caballeron and would recognize him in the book. And if Caballeron's such a money-grab, why didn't he sue Yearling and demand some kind of royalties for using his name in her story?
    • Maybe because people just write it off as fiction? Just because a book is similar to real events doesn't mean its real. Also, the few ponies associated with Caballeron might have been sworn to secrecy or something. I'm not sure it's possible to get sued for using someone's name. Lots of stories have names like "John" or "Tom" and no ones thought of suing the author, but I could be wrong.
      • The best way for her to keep a secret that big? Write it as fictional events; no one would think to question it if they believe it's fiction.
    • Plus Caballeron is a criminal. He probably had committed enough crimes that whatever money he can get from royalties is nothing next to the sentence he'd get if the police gets a hold on him. Similarly, even with all the fantastic fauna around Equestria, it seems ahuzotls are considered mythical, nonexistent creatures, so the general public thinks Ahuizotl is just a fictional villain.
    • Similarly, it fits with one of this season's changes; the Mane Six no longer send letters to Celestia, but make a journal about their experiences and life lessons for other ponies to learn from them. Daring Do's stories are basically a journal, available to general public, and even if most ponies consider it just a work of fiction, they contain information about Daring's enemies, the relics she had saved, and old civilizations she had studied.
  • If Daring Do is real; how come she's a color swapped version of Rainbow Dash, down to having the same eye color and a greyscale version of her mane?
    • Many background ponies are palette swaps; Derpy herself is a palette swap of Rainbow Dash, just with different colors and eyes. The in-universe explanation is simple; they're strangers that happen to look a lot alike.
  • So they're trying to stop Ahuizotl from performing a ritual that will trigger an 800 year heat wave in that valley. That's fine and well, except all the animals and ponies we see that live in that valley are absolutely on board with this and seem totally loyal to Ahuizotl, and the only word we have that this is a bad thing comes from Daring Do, his arch-nemesis. So is there just some group of completely unseen and unmentioned ponies and animals that live there that will suffer because of this heat wave, or did Daring Do just assume this was a bad thing because her arch-nemesis was behind it? Maybe this is that valley's equivalent to cloud kicking and Winter Wrap Up and Ahuizotl's their answer to Princess Celestia, and Daring Do just screwed over an entire civilization because she couldn't help but stick her nose in and thwart Ahuizotl every chance she gets and assumed, going by her own standards, that a heat wave would be bad.

     4.05 Flight to the Finish 
  • So... anyone think a future Aesop about the Cutie Mark crusaders learning to just ignore those two brats?
    • They were mostly ignoring them, it was just Scootaloo who got extremely upset when they made fun of her inability to fly.
    • The two brats had something that closely resembled a point and is already a sore point for Scootaloo. They should have pointed out that without wings the things Scootaloo accomplishes on her scooter would likely be impossible but pegasai fly. That is what makes them other than Earth Ponies and if Earth Ponies really do have some semi-magical connection with the earth she's actually "below" an Earth Pony in terms of abilities because the inability to fly wouldn't bestow any magical abilities she didn't already have.
  • Why weren't Diamond and Silver punished for insulting what could be considered a handicapped child?
    • Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon are mean, but they aren't idiots. They only bully the CMC when no one is around to see it, so unless the CMC tell on them no one will step in. And in this particular case, it's unlikely they'd go to an adult; Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom are barely phased by it at this point (They seem more annoyed than anything else), so they aren't going to tell anypony. And Scootaloo is the CMC member who's most insecure about her weaknesses; she's not going to tell anyone about the insecurity if she thinks she can overcome it herself.
    • ...Where do you live where kids get punished for bullying or insulting handicapped people? Because I want to live there. We had plenty handicapped children where I lived, and every time we were insulted for said handicap, were simply told the same phrase "Just ignore them and they'll go away."
      • Characters do things that could get people killed, and are rarely punished for it, at least with any degree of severity. Why should we be surprised when characters acting like jerks don't get punished for it?
      • There’s also the fact that adults are legally not allowed to do anything to the children except perhaps detain them or not let them participate in things. I have been in the position seeing misbehaving and cruel children, and I learned over time that there isn't much you can do about it. As a child, telling an adult is pointless because they cannot legally enforce any discipline that won't result in harsher retaliation from the bully (or they don't believe you outright), and as an adult, it’s pointless because the parents can be hard to identify, and even when I identify them, they rarely do anything except direct their anger at me. You know, the "How dare you accuse my little angels of ________?" justification. Bullies can be quite intelligent too: The most effective ones will do their bullying in locations where their actions cannot be proven, and some know verbal judo to make the victim look like a bully and get punished instead. Either way, those messages back in the 80's or 90's about "telling a grownup" is complete bullcrap.
    • Perhaps they were punished, but that's outside the scope of the episode.
  • Why didn't the CMC tell anyone about their bullying? [[Aesop Amnesia Wasn't the the Aesop of
    • The entire concept of the Cutie Mark Crusaders revolves around gleefully ignoring one of the series' main aesops. Forgetting one of the minor ones is completely in character for them.
  • I don't recall seeing any airborne pegasi of Scoot's age, so maybe it's not unusual at all for her to be flightless, and she's just insecure, which the bullies exploited.
    • Scootaloo's not handicapped. The other CMC members have teased Scootaloo by associating her with flightless birds, and they weren't accused of picking on a disability. According to Lauren Faust (aka fyre-flye on deviantart) She just hasn't figured out flying yet. Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were mean, and they picked on Scootaloo because she was the best athlete. Her scooter tricks were the flashiest part of the routine. When they were spying on the CMC, the bullies even admitted that the other routine was good and "they could win". So they decided to trash talk a skilled opponent. Scootaloo was the one who most wanted to be a flag-waver (because Rainbow Dash was one as a filly), she was already insecure about her bad flying ("Ponyville Confidential"), so she was the easiest to rattle. If the competition had been about farming they would have targeted Apple Bloom, if it had been about music they would have targeted Sweetie Belle.
      • Explain Pound Cake then.
      • Pound and Pumpkin Cake are both freaks and shouldn't be used as a measure of what's likely or expected, just what's possible. Even if we haven't seen many pegasai of Scoot's age (it's hard to tell exactly how old Dash and Flutter were in the flash backs but they looked to be a little older than the CMC) the fact that she's so sensitive about it and Rainbow Dash of all people isn't telling her to hang in there, and is instead hedging her bet by saying "maybe you will, maybe you won't" suggests that it is unusual for a pegasus of her age to be unable to fly. She even makes mention of her wing size and as is mentioned above she might technically be handicapped. It wouldn't surprise me if a future episode decided to address it. (and then immediately invalidate the lesson about being okay with who you are by allowing Scootaloo to fly the exact second she no longer cares.)
      • In the episode which introduced Pound and Pumpkin Cake, it is said that newborn unicorns and pegasi have incredible but short bursts of magic and flight capabilities, respectively. They have to relearn how to use these talents after some time, which begs the question: did a newborn Scootaloo ever have this capability?
      • It must be at least a bit unusual, given that if it wasn't RD wouldn't consider the possibility of Scoots being unable to fly at all. The fact that RD considers it a valid possibility that Scootaloo might not be able to fly shows that Scoots is definitely past the point where it would be considered "normal" to be flightless. Whether she's just a late bloomer or actually disabled is up in the air.
      • Rumble looks like he is close to the CMC age and he was a part of the tornado project so he would be an example of a young pegasi that can fly very well and considering the small size of snowflakes wings and the fact that he fly would explain why their is no clear answer on if scoots will be able to fly or not.
      • And Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy's flashbacks; the bullies that used to tease her and Fluttershy.
      • Rainbow Dash was implied to be younger than the CMC when she got her mark; she claimed to be first in her class, after all. Aside from Rainbow, we saw pegasus foals flying in this very episode, and even as early as the second episode of the series when two pegasus children placed a wreath on Luna's neck. There's a reason that people caught on to Scootaloo's lack of flight even in the first season.
      • In this very episode there are two foals in Scootaloo's class that go flying out of the school door into the skies at the start and then are demonstrating their flying skills to RD right after Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon start getting under Scootaloo's wing.
      • Since Faust doesn't work with the show (could someone remind me why again?), it's likely that her quote on her "not figuring out flying" will have gone ignored.
  • How close is the Crystal Empire to Ponyville, if the characters are able to pretty much run there on a scooter and still make it in time for the event. Was the train just leaving very early, or were they going at very high speeds?
    • They went at VERY high speeds, proving that Scootaloo doesn't need flight to show how amazing she is.
    • Geography is wildly variable in this show. Distances and travel times are dictated solely by plot.
    • One explanation is that they didn't travel all the way to the Crystal Empire on scooter, but merely caught up with the train at the next station, off-screen. That's just slightly more believable.
    • Perhaps the train arrived a few hours before the actual event. (Ms. Harshwhinny might tell everyone to arrive early, so they'll have time to deal with unexpected delays.) So the CMC got there long after the train, but still in time for the main thing.
  • So...if Scootaloo can flap her wings fast and hard enough to propel her scooter and her friends, both of whom are fully as big as she is, to the Crystal Empire (or the next station), why can't she get herself off the ground?
    • Ever seen those swamp boats that are propelled by giant fans? Some of the racing models can go over 120 miles per hour. But none of them can fly. Or, even more short version: thrust != lift.
    • Maybe, but boat fans are designed in a way to push the boat forward; wings are designed in a way to push the being upwards.
    • Ergo, while Scoots' wings are visibly producing a lot of thrust, the thrust is obviously not being directed properly so she's not getting any lift. So either Scootaloo's wings have a birth defect or else she is consistently making a mistake in her wing-flapping technique that Rainbow Dash has yet to notice and correct... which are, by astonishing coincidence, the two commonest fanfic theories about why Scootaloo can't fly.
    • If that's the case, then why wasn't it ever stated in the episode itself? The only thing the episode implied was that Scootaloo's wings hadn't grown yet, and RD didn't deny this. It was never hinted that Scootaloo had deformed wings, or that her technique was wrong. If her wings really do provide more thrust than lift, then the episode's aesop comes off as "If you can't do something everyone else can do, just accept it and don't bother figuring out why."
    • Also, if Scootaloo's wings are deformed, then why does she always propel herself upward when she flaps her wings with excitement? They should push her forward, not up.
  • So the episode confirms that Scootaloo, indeed, isn't homeless. But why didn't it show her parents, or if it's an orphanage?
    • Because the episode was getting near the end and we really don't need to know what her living situation is for the story to work?
    • This is a kid's show - Adults Are Useless.
    • I'm pretty sure she has parents and we just didn't see them because they're weren't needed for the story. When we see them exit for the song, the building looks like a normal house. I'm fairly sure that an orphanage, even for a small town like Ponyville, would require more space than that.
  • Isn't it strange how three fillies who seemed so excited about the Crystal Empire in Just For Sidekicks could have gone there anytime they wanted by hitching one of them up to a wagon and just pulling them?

     4.06 Power Ponies 
  • What's stopping the Mane-iac and her gang from making an escape? The police don't seem to be anywhere nearby, and we know that the hairspray is temporary. The thugs could just wait out the clock and help their boss get to safety.
    • Are you talking about the first time the hairspray is used on the Power Ponies? The Mane-iac has the Power Ponies right where she wants them. She has the opportunity to rid herself of her enemies once and for all, and she takes it with gusto.
      • I'm referring to the very end of the fight, where the Mane-iac gets defeated and the cast returns home. At that point, the Mane-iac was tied up, but the henchponies were either temporarily frozen by the hairspray or trapped by the Mane Cast in some way, but were now presumably freed after they left. I mean, Rarity can't keep those guys in a cage forever. And again, there is no apparent police presence in Maretropolis. (Or any sign of people who aren't supervillains and henchmen. But that's aside from the point.) So really, what is stopping Mane-iac from getting some henchpony help and trying again?
    • The entire episode are the characters getting to live out a fantasy of the reader so that wasn't programmed into the enchantment.
    • Most likely nothing. It's fairly standard for comic heroes simply leave their villains tied up. Both Spiderman and Batman are famous for leaving various villains (usually street thugs) just hanging from a lamp.) The Mane 6 didn't exactly leave the comic of their own will either, once the battle was finished they were ejected so we don't know what they would have done given the time nor what happened to the "real" Power Ponies at that point in the story.
    • Option One) The police or the real Power Ponies enter the scene and secure them. Option Two) Villain: Exit, Stage Left. Option Three) The next issue hasn't been written yet, leaving their fate in the air.
    • "(Or any sign of people who aren't supervillains and henchmen. But that's aside from the point.)" This could be the whole point; aside from the Mane Six/Power Ponies, the Mane-iac, and the henchponies, Maretropolis is a Beautiful Void, and the the comic itself vanishes at the end of the episode. You Read the Fine Print, get sucked in, Win to Exit, The End. The events in the comic could be entirely non-canon to the rest of the comic book series.
      • Actually, this is a question of mine. Was there ever an actual comic series? Spike never mentions it being one, and plus, he got it at an enchanted comic book shop, so unless they specially enchant already existing comics, there's nothing short of theorizing that the shop makes the comics and deliberately ends them in situations that the reader will have to resolve themselves. Of course that brings up a bit of Fridge Horror since an unresolved conflict means that any other reader and their gang of friends, if present, that were sucked into a comic would be trapped in there forever, or worse.
  • Does anyone else think the Mane Six got the short end of the stick in terms of their powers? Just look at them:
    • Twilight's powers are summoning beams through her horn (though she only uses ice beams). She does this regularly.
    • Pinkie's is speed. She has already shown that she is fast, fast enough to keep up with Rainbow Dash, arguably the fastest flier in Equestria.
    • Rainbow's is controlling the weather. Pretty much every Pegasus can control the weather, including Rainbow.
    • Rarity's is summoning whatever she can think of. Unicorns pretty much do that already.
    • Applejack's is controlling a lasso, something she always does.
    • And Fluttershy's is Hulking out. She is known to turn into a monster when ever she gets angry (The Stare anyone?).
      • Just Twilight and Applejack and arguably Pinkie.
        Pinkie's speed was largely used only as a joke, so you could go either way on making it a literal ability rather than just something for a quick laugh.

        While Applejack technically did get psychic control over her lasso, which would put it above a normal lasso under ordinary circumstances, Applejack already has pretty much perfect lasso technique, so it's not really that great.

        On Rainbow Dash's end, I don't know why people keeping bringing this up, but the Amulet not only provides far more control than any pegasus has ever displayed, but also provides the ability to generate weather as well as control it, so it's far more than simply what Rainbow Dash can do all the time for the lulz.

        Ditto for Rarity. To my memory the only comparable instance of a unicorn achieving anything remotely similar is Shining Armor (prodigy) Twilight (even more of a prodigy, and destined to become an alicorn on top of that) and Cadance (Alicorn), so it's not something that any old unicorn can do. Add onto that, Rarity's constructs are far more elaborate and useful than those three simply creating a barrier.

        The key component in Flutterhulk is prodigious strength, where her anger under normal circumstances is merely incredibly intimidating, so it's not a comparison that makes any sense.
      • Actually, Cadance's field of love never displayed the ability to work as a physical object or harm anyone other than Sombra, so she doesn't have anything comparable to what Radiance was capable of, either.
  • So...why exactly were the Mane Six (and Spike) giving the old castle a makeover? Will this be the new Everfree branch of the Equestria Library system?
    • Maybe Twilight wanted to restore it as a national historical cite?
  • One would wonder why Rarity has no apparent comment on whatever Mane-iac's appearance look like. Given that Rarity's The Fashionista here...
    • There were better priorities at that time. Sure Rarity may have Skewed Priorities from time to time, but her main focus was to defeat the Mane-iac and head back to her own universe.
  • What's stopping Spike from taking the cape off?
    • The same reason the Mane Six can only get out of the comic by defeating the villain.
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     4.07 Bats! 
  • The vampire fruit bats suck the juice out of fruits rather than eating normally, so how do the seeds get in their mouths? The rest of the fruit should be holding it in place.
    • It's suggested that they puncture the fruit, liquefy and drink the insides, and discard a mostly-intact skin, so the seeds must come with.
  • Why would Applejack's family consider "checking out the competition in Apploosa" more important than helping her harvest the apples during the farm's busiest time of the year?
    • Maybe because they know Applejack had learned her lesson and wouldn't mind asking for help this time, so all the Mane 6 would be harvesting the apples.
      • Besides, Big Macintosh would probably come back soon, before Applejack has to worry about falling behind.
  • Most of the benefits Fluttershy attributes to the bats apply to trees in the wild but are of little to no use to an orchard.
    • The trees are planted where the Appple family wanted them planted, so scattering seeds around randomly is counter-productive.
    • In fruit orchards, the trees are generally grown from cuttings, not seeds. The trees are effectively clones to preserve uniformity of the desired characteristics, rather than gambling with the randomness of genetics produced in polination.
    • Sweet Apple Acers seems to run with a fairly narrow proffit margin, judging from Applejack's comments and reaction through the seasons. One bad year could drive them under, rendering any benefits from making the trees more hardy or productive in later years a non-issue.
    • Again relating to the slim proffit margin, can they afford to lose the use of any land to the bat sanctuary? If Flim and Flam showed up with a court document giving them a section of the farm based on the terms of their bet back in Cider-Squeezy, the viewers and the Main 6 would be mobilizing a counter-offensive. Is this really that different?
    • This one is more subjective, but the Apple family has generations of experience and whatever benefits the apple-theme cutie marks bring in tending apple trees and making the fruit grow. Applejack's pride-and-joy that she was going to enter into the contest demonstrates this clearly. Could the bats really add anything that the Apple family can't alrady do?
  • Applejack and the Mane Five, minus Fluttershy, are portrayed as impatient and short-sighted for wanting to modify the bats' behavior rather than let them act naturally. But in the world of Equestria, all of nature is managed by ponies. The sun, the moon, the weather... Even the animals are controlled by Earth ponies and certain gifted allies, like Fluttershy, and this is in no way seen as wrong. Animals and plants that won't take direction, like the Everfree Forest, are perceived as dangerously feral and unstable. Fluttershy should have been the first to be nervous that a group of animals would not listen to her, but here she objects to an Earth pony performing her established duty to control unruly animals and protect the trees in her care.
  • So is Fluttershy actually still a fruit vampire pony? Is she an actual vampire pony now? Was it just a reference to old monster movies that have everything be seemingly fixed, only to reveal at the very end that they weren't actually completely cured, meaning was that ending just a joke and won't have any effect on canon?
    • I would guess just a one off joke.
      • Probably. I'm hoping at some point in the next few episodes, somepony makes an offhand mention of Fluttershy having a dental appointment, just so we can have some closure on this particular point.
  • How does Fluttershy's proposed solution solve anything? The problem was that the bats were eating too many apples, and ruining the ones that they didn't eat. Keeping them in one place would... Make them keeping eating Applejack's apples. That's exactly the same as what was happening anyway, except now they're less likely to fly away and stop eating Applejack's apples.
    • The idea wasn't to stop them from eating the apples, at least in Fluttershy's plan. The idea was to give them part of the orchard and let them feed and spread the seeds. Fluttershy mentions how it would help her trees grow stronger faster. It wasn't a solution to the short-term problem, but it was a solution that would benefit the farm in the long term.
      • Which runs into the fact that the farm won't survive the short term if the vampire fruit bats stick around. Fluttershy's plan kinda forgets the fact that the vampire fruit bats would exhaust their food supply in short order, preventing even short term cohabitation. Even in the long term, just collecting seeds spat out by the bats and getting rid of them before they eat all the apples is a better idea than letting them eat everything and basically lose at least one growing season.
      • If the scene with a magazine-reading bat was any indication (shaky, sure, and most likely a joke, but still), the bats were at least semi-intelligent. So, it's possible that the ponies negotiated a solution with them. Something to the sound of: "Ok, you can have this patch of the orchard, and you'll have to make do with it. Show your snouts in any other part, and it's open season on bats again. You've already seen that we can take you on. Only next time we're not going to bother with altering your feeding habits - we're just going to banish you to the feathering Moon. Savy?"
      • Which comes down to making the vampire fruit bats starve themselves. Fluttershy would be unlikely to accept such a solution, and even the other ponies didn't want to kill them.
      • Those things were gorging themselves, eating nonstop. I think they could live on a smaller diet.
      • They weren't in a eating contest or doing it out of malice. That was just their natural appetite.
      • They appear to be somewhat intelligent (like most animals in Equestria) and this was never a problem before. Whatever they were doing before, they can keep doing it.
      • They were somewhere else in the world/Kingdom (whatever Equestria is) Apple Jack tells us that Granny Smith was around the last time these creatures invaded. I imagine they are either similar to locusts and simply "vanish" between infestations or else have a really large migration route that only returns to the Ponyville area every few decades.
  • Fluttershy admits to not being an expect on vampire fruit bats, so what makes her think that the seeds they spit out will be any better than normal seeds? More importantly, what makes her think that those seeds will grow enough apples to make up for the ones that they eat? The vampire fruit bats have an enormous appetite, and the fact that the move around rather than having a permanent territory would strongly imply that they eat too much for permanent habitation of any place.
    • Fluttershy didn't really know the vampire fruit bats language, but that doesn't mean she doesn't know enough about them to know the seeds they spit are better. You don't have to have interacted or even see an animal to know about them.
      • To put it another way, how does Fluttershy know that the enhanced seeds will help enough to offset the fruit eaten by the vampire fruit bats? Even reading a book on vampire fruit bats wouldn't give her enough information to say that without also studying orchards, and Fluttershy seems to rely on instinct more than academic training when it comes to animals. She's made mistakes before.
      • Because Applejack's story about the last time the Bats invadedsupports Fluttershy more than Applejack. Given the slim profit margins the farm has to maintain they wouldn't have survived the last time unless there were enough benefit to it that they could survive and later thrive.
      • Actually, Fridge Logic means that Fluttershy's plan makes less sense: if the farm survived a fruit bat attack in the past it means that the farm is already using fruit-bat enhanced seeds, and as a result the benefit that Fluttershy promises isn't going to happen. The other thing is that Applejack isn't interested in barely hanging on and getting the farm to recover in the future; she wants the whole thing to be secure.
      • Without going into detail about how seeds and the digestive tract work IRL and the obvious oversimplifications of the show whatever bonus the the bats gave is probably long since gone. As for AJ wanting her whole farm now Fluttershy treats it as a forgone conclusion that it's not an option which in fairness to her it doesn't seem to be. Without Princess Twilight their options seemed to boil down to crying about it, if Flutter's plan had worked they would have stuck to one section of the orchard and left the rest alone instead of being everywhere in the orchard.
  • Why was the "short-term solution" presented as failed? Ok, it had some unexpected side-effects, but they were dealt with, and by Twilight's diagram (sure, a shaky proof, but still), I don't see how reverting Fluttershy back to normal should've negated the spell put on the other bats. So, by the end of the episode bats should be still averted to apples, and either move on to other food sources or starve, but then sucks to be them. Anyway, what's the point of the sanctuary at that point?
    • Maybe the desire of the vampire fruit bats has to go to someone, and that's why it backfired in the first place. When Fluttershy transforms back into a pony, white bats fly out. Maybe they were the desire of the vampire fruit bats going back to their original hosts.
    • The point of the spell was to make them stop sucking the juice out of apples, so they should have started eating normally. Anyway, it doesn't look like Twilight removed the spell from the vampire fruit bats. If she did, they would have gone back to ruining trees full of apples.
      • Between this episode and Swarm of the Century back in S1 it seems apparent that these "stop eating" spells of Twilight's have caveats... In SotC the parasprites start eating everything that's not food, and here the bats' ravenous appetite for apples gets transferred to Fluttershy. It appears that reverting the spell just makes the bats go right back to business, ie. Twilight's spell is just transferring part of their nature elsewhere, so to speak. The bats did seem to lose interest in the apples entirely (which raises the question of what they were eating instead). When Twilight reverts Fluttershy it follows that the bats regained their apple hunger. Thus, going back to the "sacrifice some trees to save the many" plan is really the only viable option available in that moment. It's just not a very desirable plan since it still means losing trees.
      • We saw Twilight undo the spell on Fluttershy, but we didn't see her undo the spell on the bats. And it's entirely possible that they started eating fruits the way Fluttershy does, rather than eating as quickly as they used to.
      • Was there a significant difference between the way she ate?
      • Fluttershy doesn't eat continuously or as voraciously as the vampire fruit bats did, until she was hit with the spell. If the spell made her eat like a vampire fruit bat, then it probably made them eat like a pony.
  • My major issue with Fluttershy's argument is that even if the bats somehow cause the trees to grow healthier and stronger, there's one issue: Fluttershy never gives any indication that the bats help the trees to grow faster. Assuming Equestrian trees grow at the same rate as real life trees, it'll be years before any of those seeds grow into trees and start producing apples. In the long term the farm may end up with more trees sure, but how on earth are the Apple family going to stay in business until then if the bats eat so much of their product? You could argue that maybe the bats have magical properties that speed up the seeds' growth cycle, but that's never stated in the episode.
  • How exactly did using mirrors work? And related to that, what was the point of cutting open the prized giant apple? They didn't use it's reflective properties established earlier in the episode (because they used mirrors for that) and all they'd need to do was get a decent pile of apples and cut them open and that'd give off just as strong of a scent as one giant apple. It's a totally unnecessary sacrifice.
    • Maybe it’s because Flutterbat is bigger than the vampire fruit bats and thus needs a bigger apple to draw her attention.

     4.08 Rarity Takes Manehattan 
  • So... Rarity's got tickets (that are supposed to be all sold out already) through favor-based personal connections with the staff. Advertising corruption, much?
    • Uh, people get backstage passes, tickets etc via connections to the staff all the time. Its perfectly legal.
    • She designed the costumes for a future show. That's a pretty big but perfectly fair deal. Studios and production companies love to pay vendors "in kind" rather than in cash whenever they can — it saves them money.
  • Did they just tear up a bunch of hotel sheets/curtains/rugs/lampshades to make those dresses? You are going to pay for those, right?
    • We can reasonably presume that, just like if you take the bathrobes and the hotel finds out about it, the replacement cost for what you ganked is going on the bill.
  • Speaking of Twilight, where was her teleportation spell when they needed it?
    • She probably isn't familiar enough with the location to safely teleport. I can't recall, but did they ever even go there before the end?
  • Being a Princess of Equestria doesn't really count for much in Manehattan, does it? Was Twilight unable to use her title to Rarity's benefit or to score tickets to the play?
    • And even if she couldn't, you'd think they'd at least acknowledge that she's a princess, if only long enough to tell her it doesn't get her any special treatment.
      • That's assuming they even noticed she was. Why would anypony look at Twilight and think "Princess"? Yes wings and horn, but that's it and she kept her wings at her side, and didn't do any magic, so there's no reason anypony would necessarily notice both of them. Even if they did, compare Twi to Celestia and Luna. Who in addition to those also: Are far larger then other ponies; have the long, flowing, ethereal manes and tails; Wear royal regalia at all times, Crown/Tiara, Hoofgaurds, whatever that chest/neck piece is; Have an escort of Royal Gard with them; Are known on sight by everypony in Equestria. Twi has none of that, and given Equestria lack of mass media or rapid communication, it's likely that almost nopony outside Canterlot and Ponyville even knows there there IS a new Princess, let alone be able to identify her on sight.
    • Go to Manhattan every time some big event happens. After every time a new Marvel movie comes out, you can't go anywhere without bumping into someone in costume. Everyone probably figured Twilight was a nutty fan who kept her costume on longer than others.
  • So wait, they need a cab, yet they have someone that's practically faster than any old cab who could airlift Rarity there.
    • Rainbow hasn't got the means to carry Rarity, and doesn't know her way around anyway.
      • The Means being her front hooves.
  • Wouldn't it be much easier and more expedient for Rarity to transfer her gems to coins? Where does she even keep all those gems?
    • Same place she would keep all her bits if she exchanged them.
    • While most gems don't have much monetary value in the MLP-verse, Just for Sidekicks shows that Rarity has gems that are indeed worth a lot, considering that one tiny ruby of hers bought an industrial sized drier. It's actually probably a lot easier for her to keep several of those high-quality gems on her rather than a massive sack of bits.
      • Since when have most gems lacked value? The only person that we've seen sling gems around casually is Rarity... Who has the super power of finding gems.
  • Something just realized about Coco Pommel: we only have the episode's word that she's a good designer. She's shown to be a good person, a hard worker and a skilled seamstress, but the only time we see her working is when she's using Rarity's plagiarised design. So why is she qualified to be a major dressmaker?
    • It seemed implied that Coco Pommel was the real talent behind Suri Palomare and she had made it to Fashion Week presumably on her talent alone. She's probably similar in skill to Rarity. Rarity's dresses at the Gala didn't stand out as being head and shoulders better or sub-par and someone made all those other dresses.
    • She was stated to have whipped up all the new dresses in one day, and she only used the plagiarized materials, the designs might very well have been Suri's.
      • Indeed, Suri would need an unbelievably good eye and memory to copy Rarity's designs for the brief time she could get close to them and during that time she was more interested in the fabric.
    • The show never said she was a good designer, nor even hinted, nor does she need to be. The job Rarity gave her wasn't designing the next outfits for the theater, but making them. The designs would come from the pony Rarity agreed to help, all Rarity was doing was sewing them together for them, something the Coco DID prove she was amazing at given she made the rip-off clothes for Suri in one night.
    • Based on both this episode and "Made in Manehattan", it would seem that Coco is a professional seamstress, not a designer. Every time she has mentioned with a job it was sewing for a designer. She may not have the skills to design dresses on a professional level, just as not all designers can sew on a professional level.
  • Isn't the theory behind taxis that they'll get you there faster than if you were on foot (or hoof as the case may be)? So how does a glorified rickshaw provide a better alternative than just walking/running?
    • No. The theory behind Taxi-cabs is that you neither have to walk and get tired, nor go on crowded buses or subway trains. Basically it gets you from A-to-B in comfort and privacy and you don't feel tired at the end of the journey.
    • There isn't a theory behind taxis. What it being asked and answer is closer to the purpose of motor vehicles. In the case of this episode the "theory" is clearly that taxis get places quicker hence trying to get Rarity a taxi instead of sprinting or as was suggested higher having Rainbow Dash carry Rarity. (Sonic Rainboom reveals she has the strength to carry Rarity and multiple Wonderbolts at mythic top speed. She's likely several times faster than any cab without hitting THAT.) The taxi most likely serves three purposes. Comfort/Sloth being the first, carrying luggage being the second and taxis may be "faster" because they very well might have right of way on the streets.
    • It also gives you a pony who knows the town, knows the shortcuts, the fastest way to get places and where everything is. Plus odds are the taxi ponies, after years of doing this, are able to run far faster for longer then most other ponies. RD meanwhile has never been in this town before that we know of, and so has no idea where she's going, risking getting lost, or taking a longer route to get there. Even if she's faster, if she ends up traveling more distance it could still take longer.
  • Seems really stupid of Suri Polomare to borrow Rarity's fabric to steal Rarity's designs, considering that if Rarity would of considered it or had time all she would have to do to prove that the dresses were hers was to show the original sketches and tell the judges how to make the fabric to prove Suri is a fraud. And if Suri lost the compilation, all she needed to do is to pick her self up and try again, but if she was shown to be a plagiarist then she very likely would have been blackballed in the fashion industry. It's also doubly stupid in that the design theft and related fallout was the last straw for her assistant Coco, who promptly quit.
    • Suri's already-existing business model was in taking advantage of the work of younger and more talented ponies, while keeping them unsure and intimidated and not getting any credit... just ask Coco Pommel. Suri was apparently intending to turn Rarity into the next Coco, and her mistake was in being entirely Genre Blind to Rarity's Silk Hiding Steel. If Rarity had actually been more like Coco, a young mare with lots of talent but unsure of herself and ultimately lacking the moxie to face down Suri's emotional bullying (until finally inspired by Rarity's example), then this could entirely have worked. Lure Rarity in with the promise of success, then take it away from her under conditions where going further in debt to Suri is her only hope of ever seeing any of it again. ('Now that you're shunned as a failure and a plagiarist, unless you want to abandon all your dreams of ever making it in this business at all your only choice is to become my assistant and eventually hope to take my place when I finally retire!') The problem, of course, is that Suri simply had no idea who the buck she was really dealing with or what she could really do.

     4.09 Pinkie Apple Pie 
  • What does "a fourth cousin twice removed by a fifth cousin" actually mean?
    • I think I've got it. It's easier to figure out if you split it in two:
      • "Applesauce of the Apple lineage is a fourth cousin twice removed to the Pie family" That means Applesauce's great-great-great (great-great) note  grandparent was a Pie
      • "by a fifth cousin", assuming that means that the fifth cousin is also Applesauce then she and Applejack share a great-great-great-great-great grandparent
    • Therefore Applejack's fifth cousin Applesauce's great-great-many-great-grandparent married someone in the Pie family. Or Applesauce might be Pinky's fifth cousin. In either case however we're still missing the one of the filly's relation to our common link. It hardly matters though since at this point the family ties are so watered down what's left is probably purer that then the mountain spring water you get at the grocery store. TLDR: They are really really reeeeally distantly related. if they are related at all.
    • This is the best understanding I could get from Google and Wikipedia, not sure if it's accurate.
  • Is there really nobody else in Equestria they can ask? From what we've seen between the pilot and Apple Family Reunion the Apple family is incredibly tightly knit and perhaps I missed the exact wording of the relationship but "fourth cousin twice removed by a fifth cousin" is a terribly precise term. I understand starting with the official record keeper of the family as it were. Failing that though there is probably someone alive who is close enough to those smudge marks to know from personal experience one way or another.
    • Going by above, the pony they'd have to ask is probably dead of old age.
    • That was exactly what they were doing by going to Goldie Delicious in the first place. My own question would be to wonder if there wasn't somepony in the Pie family who might know.
      • Unless there's a Pie family scribe, needed pony's dead of old age. The marriage happened about seven or eight generations ago.
      • If the scribe died of old age, wouldn't there be somepony keeping the old records while keeping track of new family members? In real life, genealogical records often go back centuries.
      • The problem isn't that there's no one to ask, it's that the records they have are unclear; they needed to find someone who either had a clear copy (which there probably aren't many of, since only someone with a vested interest in genealogy would have one) or someone who remembers it all (again, unless you're really into family history, you wouldn't). Goldie is probably the only family member who's interested enough.
    • It's possible there is a Pie they could ask, but Pinkie might not know of them because her family's not as close as the Apple's, or because she didn't have an older Pie around to ask. Or they live really far away and it wouldn't be practical for them to go all that way.
      • As we see in "Hearthbreakers" later on, the Pie family is indeed not nearly as close as the Apple family. Pinkie goes to visit her family, and they have a few immediate relatives, but that’s about it. If there are other Pie family members, they didn’t come over.
  • I realise that Big Macintosh's overpacking is the point of the gag, but why did they need to pack at all? It was a day trip, from what we saw on screen. Applejack, Big Macintosh and Pinkie Pie are all capable of walking all day. They needed a wagon to accommodate Granny Smith and Apple Bloom, and maybe a packed lunch and some insect repellent, but that's about it. Rarity's overpacking in "Sleepless in Ponyville" made more sense, because that was a camping trip over several days.
    • Judging by Granny Smith's line near the end: "Now, now, Big Mac, you gotta know we forgive you for packin' the jalopy so much that it collapsed. You was just as eager to please Pinkie Pie like the rest of us." It seemed like Big Mac intentionally packed as much as possible as a means of impressing Pinkie Pie and reaffirming their image as the perfect family. AJ called him "the strong one" and he was living up to that by hauling a titanic amount of stuff.
  • Why is Pinkie depicted joining happily with the Apples as if she had no family of her own? We've seen her biological parents and siblings. Did something happen to them?
    • It's implied multiple times that they live far away, and it seems Pinkie's more happy about having family closer to her than just forgetting about her new family.
      • Not just that, but her new relatives happen to be good friends of hers. Finding out that one of your best friends is also your blood relative would be quite a nice surprise; and you can see how Apple Bloom just loves the idea of having Pinkie Pie, who's like a Cool Big Sister to all the foals and fillies in Ponyville, as a cousin, even considering it similar to having another big sister.
      • In a later episode where their respective families meet Pinkie is super excited about the possibility of all the new friendships this would make. Making ponies happy and friends is kind of her thing.
    • Also, asking why Pinkie Pie got cheerfully overenthuasistic about something is like asking why Rainbow Dash likes to fly.
  • Seriously, what was the point of not revealing if Pinkie Pie and Applejack were cousins if that was the whole reason for the trip to being with?
    • To reinforce part of the Aesop at the end that, even if two people/ponies aren't flesh-and-blood family, they can still be family on a friendship/emotional/spiritual level. In the end, it didn't really matter all that much if AJ and Pinkie were flesh-and-blood kin.

     4.10 Rainbow Falls 
  • Why would a pony as brawny as Bulk Biceps compete in an event which requires flying speed?
    • This is explained at the train's scenes; most of Ponyville's best fliers were already competing in other events, and they counted on Rainbow Dash's speed making up for her teammates' deficiencies, as it actually happened in the end. This also explains why, when Rainbow faked her injuries, she got replaced by Derpy Hooves, as she was pretty much the only possible option left in such short notice; a Ponyville pegasus that wasn't competing on any other event.
    • A better question is what happened to Bulk Biceps that caused him to lose his flying abilities when he was a Wonderbolt Academy entrant?
      • Some WMG suggests that Bulk uses a steroids-equivalent substance; one of his most used Fan Nicknames was precisely 'Roid Rage'. Besides making him a large, muscular pony, this steroid-like would also power up his wings so they can move such a big pegasus. However, if he's entering a sports competition, he'd need to stop taking it, specially if there's some sort of anti-dopping test performed on the athletes. If this is the case, Bulk's wings are considerably weaker now.
      • Given that his wings seemed to be the only part of him that weren't made of muscle, that seems unlikely. Alternate explanations include a wing injury that he hadn't yet recovered from and whatever problem made Big Macintosh have trouble carrying a cake.
      • Even if the wings aren't made of muscle, a pegasus, and any Real Life flying vertebrate, needs strong muscles to move them with the necessary force and speed to move the animal's body.
      • His wings seemed to be the only part of him that weren't affected by any muscle growth agents. Besides, wouldn't the Wonderbolts Academy check for doping? They are a sports team, after all.
  • Why couldn't Twilight Sparkle Compete in the Equestria Games? I mean, she's definitely a better flyer than Bulk Biceps (given her rainboom impression).
    • Thunderlane and Cloudchaser stated earlier that every contestant can compete in only one event. Most likely, Twilight had already committed to representing Ponyville in an event involving unicorn magic.
    • I'm guessing that her status as an Alicorn has something to do with it. It wouldn't surprise me if Twilight was in the games, another team could say "Hey, they got a princess on their team, and the next best thing to God. No fair."
    • Perhaps she was already flying for the Canterlot team. With Celestia and Luna.
      • That team would have been shown in the qualifiers' ceremony at the end of the episode. Most likely she's already participating in another event.
      • The relay team, at least. We never see teams from other events.
    • Why would she? We weren't given any reason why Twilight would want to compete, especially not at the cost of replacing volunteers. And given that Bulk went from capable to barely getting off of the ground, I wouldn't expect Twilight to do any better this episode. She's got a history of attracting the nerf bat.
      • Bulk could barely fly at the start of the episode and knowing what we do about Fluttershy she was more likely voluntold by Rainbow Dash than actually volunteered. Twilight may not be competing for plot reasons or perhaps princesses don't/can't compete.
  • Why were Ponyville's two worst flyers selected for the flying team?
    • Given how they intended to use Derpy as a replacement of all ponies, it's likely Ponyville's pegasi as a whole doesn't care about the Equestria Games in the first place, which brings back into question why Rainbow Dash was blamed for wanting to go with another team when it's obvious an untrained, regular pegasus would likely do better than Fluttershy and Bulk Biceps, whom had to train to even be able to fit inside the rings. Alternatively, it might had been the plan from the beginning; to have the most handicapped team possible for Rainbow Dash to carry to victory and ridicule the other teams. There again, it brings into question why it was seen as improper for her to train with the Wonderbolts, which would be the kind of training she needed. Ponyville isn't the underdog contestant, they literally wanted to sabotage their own chances at being qualified. One can hardly blame Rainbow Dash for choosing the neutral 'Everybody loses' option over having the impossible choice of going with Ponyville and possibly losing, or going with Cloudsdale to win, a choice her friends would likely had enforced knowing how much it meant to her... until Twilight grabbed the Jerkass Ball long enough to guilt trip her into sticking with Ponyville. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
      • Perhaps less they didn't take the Equestria Games seriously so much as they didn't take the Relay Team seriously. Rainbow Dash was probably interested because she knew she'd be pitting herself against the Wonderbolts, something that perhaps the rest of Ponyville knew too and were scared off because of it, especially since that means they won't be competing against the Wonderbolts in other events.
      • Well, at least they wouldn't be competing against the Wonderbolts' captain Spitfire, derby-winner Fleetfoot, and Soarin (who is apparently either The Face or The Chick); they aren't the only Wonderbolts though.
      • Thunderlane said earlier that he would've helped but he was already picked to compete in another event and ponies are only allowed to compete in one event. My guess is that all the other tier-one pegasi were already tapped for the other events, and since they figured Dashie was going to win whatever event she was in regardless of her competition, they saw no problem giving her three ponies who can barely fly (okay Derpy can fly but she's still clumsy). This is backed up when Dashie brags about how she was going to carry the team to victory anyway regardless of the performance of the other two. This also makes Twilight's behavior a tad more justifiable: without Rainbow Dash there really was no chance Ponyville would qualify, let alone win.
    • Have the rules for the Equestria Games been explained beyond you can only participate in a single event? Like you can only compete for the city you live in because THAT would explain quite a bit about the sudden shortage of pegasai. Fluttershy and Bulge Bicep could be the only actual Ponyville Pegasai, Rainbow Dash (except puzzlingly in this episode and that may be a slip) seems to actually live in Cloudsdale and is stationed in Ponyville in much the same way military personnel can be stationed anywhere but usually still refer to their home as where they are from. But in many cases qualify as locals. That would explain both why the Ponyville team is comically lame and why Rainbow Dash has the option to switch teams. Otherwise it makes NO sense how the relay team is that poor. Though someone did mention above that perhaps instead of being chosen for other things and being unavailable for the Relay the majority of the Pegasai may have been very intentionally dodging the unbeatable Wonderbolts.
      • I'll have to watch the episode again but IIRC the only rule stated was that "ponies can only compete in one event." If the Equestria Games stated that athletes had to compete for the town they were born in, a la the real-world Olympics, then that actually begs the question of why Rainbow Dash is even allowed to fly for Ponyville seeing as she was born in Cloudsdale. Regardless, that could explain why Ponyville's relay team got stuck with Bulk, Fluttershy, and Derpy, all the other Pegasi were either committed to flying in other events (like Thunderlane apparently was), or were flying for their hometown. Also the aerial relay may be seen as a low priority event (like how in the Olympics track sports are seen as a higher priority to take the gold than, say, ping pong) so they don't really have any qualms about sticking pegasi who can't fly to well on that team. Of course if that's the case then it's odd why a pony like Rainbow Dash is on the team. The best explanation I could give for that is that she decided to captain the team out of her own good nature, or got stuck there because there were no spots open for any other event. While the former is likely given her nature, the latter is also probable seeing as how any rational Equestria Games committee for Ponyville would want to stick Rainbow Dash on a team for a high priority event; it's generally accepted that any team she's on will most likely win after all.
      • Spitfire specifically invoked the concept of "dual citizenship"; Rainbow Dash lives in Ponyville (OK, she lives in a cloud house outside of Ponyville, but it's probably considered within Ponyville's postal code), so representing her home town would be the obvious choice, but the fact that she grew up in Cloudsdale gives her the option of changing teams. Similar things happen in the Olympics IRL; consider it a form of Loophole Abuse.
      • You are correct. IOC rules are that a competitor must be a citizen of the country for which they compete, and that if they hold citizenship in more than one nation they cannot enter an Olympics as a member of country X's Olympic team if they have competed internationally for country not-X within the past 3 years. That's the only restrictions.
  • How is Snowflake so bad at flying now? He did fine in Hurricane Fluttershy.
  • If the Equestria Games are like the Olympics, why wouldn't Bulk Biceps be in a weightlifting event, as his cutie mark would suggest?
    • We don't know if the Equestria Games include weight-lifting as an event, and Ponyville already has Big Macintosh (a pony who can move a whole house without much effort) as a possible competitor. And this episode shows that no pony can compete in more than one event.
    • If Maud Pie is any indication, Earth Ponies are a good deal stronger than the other pony races; even someone as ripped as Bulk Biceps would probably be easily outclassed by an earth pony with similar training. That, and Ponyville seems to have more earth ponies than pegasi, so they might have needed to scrape together any pegasi they could find to fill all the teams.
  • What was that explosive sound when the Wonderbolts arrive? I'd assume a sonic boom but Rainbow Dash is the only one who can do the setting equivalent nor have the Wonderbolts shown anything comparable.
  • Derpy is apparently available and is by all evidence a stronger flyer than Bulk Biceps, so why is she relegated to B-team while Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash have to deal with the guy who can barely lift himself off the ground?
  • If Rainbow Dash wanted to win so badly, why is she even on a team? Couldn't she have been on an individual event?
    • Evidently, there are no individual events. Just team events.
  • After Rainbow fakes her accident, Soarin says that he hasn't seen any of his teammates. But since they supposedly know he's okay, why didn't they come to get him so that they could actually qualify? The relay teams need three ponies in order to even participate. Did Spitfire and Fleetfoot decide they'd rather not qualify rather than work with Soarin?
    • It's stated that the Wonderbolts were trying to replace him with Rainbow Dash, because they thought that would give them better chances.
      • But that's when Rainbow could fly. Now that she's supposedly out of commission, why didn't they come and get Soarin?
      • Maybe the Wonderbolts found another substitute in the meantime.
  • "Choosing not to choose isn't really a choice." Um, Twilight? Didn't you do the exact same thing when you refused to choose which friend would go to the Gala with you? How are you in a position to criticize Rainbow?
    • Twilight Sparkle was unable to choose who to pick, she didn't feign an injury or anything to get out of it but more to the point Twilight's very specific experience in the situation puts her in the precise position needed to be critical. She understands the issue because she's lived it. Far too often people think that just because you're less than perfect that you can't call anybody else out. Perhaps Twilight was a bit of a Jerkass about it but approaching Rainbow Dash with subtlety is probably a waste of time.

     4.11 Three's a Crowd 
  • If Discord was faking his illness, what does that mean for Rarity and Applejack? Why did they appear to look sick if Discord wasn't sick in the first place to spread it to them?
    • He cast a spell on them. He has the power to rewrite reality pretty much literally as he sees fit. Making two ponies sick or simulate being sick is probably easier than say making ballerina buffalo.
    • Alternatively he was only faking his inability to cure himself at will and not the initial sickness.
  • Why can't Discord just cure himself of his illness at will. At the END of the episode when he appears to truly ill.
    • Perhaps Discord doesn't have control over sicknesses from others.
    • Or he might not want to be cured immediately. He was Playing Sick to get attention, and now he ends up being cared for by Fluttershy. If he cures himself, Fluttershy had no reason to look after him any more. All the other ponies are mad at Discord, I doubt they'd let him stay with Fluttershy if they thought he was well enough to travel.
    • Despite the popular fanon that Discord is The Omnipotent, it's actually made clear that he can't do literally anything, and his powers do have limits, just not in a way that makes immediate sense. Magic works in weird ways in Equestria. Discord can make it rain chocolate milk but is stopped by a common sickness the same way Twilight can turn an apple into a full-sized carriage but has trouble turning it into an orange, or the way Pinkie Pie can pop out a mailbox too small to contain her but can't save herself from falling out of a hot-air balloon.
      • All the observable facts point to Discord being a hair shy of omnipotence. In his first appearance he is literally transforming Ponyville, Canterlot and the landscape in between without any apparent strain and he continues that in his next three appearances. In this case his limitation is more a matter of him either faking again as is suggested above or him being as weak as the plot demands. Discord is supposed to be an ally now, not someone to dangerous to piss off who is tolerated because even him casually deciding to make life hell would be hugely detrimental.
    • Maybe his illness just makes him too weak to use his magic. We never see him use it after being infected, after all.
    • My impression was that Discord's illness was not a normal disease, but one that could bypass his magic or struck him unaware. (This is how most diseases work, after all—you don’t know you have it until at least a day or so after you’ve been infected.) In Classical Mythology, even gods could get sick. Why can't Discord?
  • So how did Applejack and Rarity get better at the end? Is it because Twilight used the plant on them?
    • They were likely only sick long enough to get rid of them so he could annoy Twilight and Cadance. And to provide hurt/comfort shipping opportunities.
  • Why wasn't Shining Armor mentioned in the episode? I can understand that he might have prior commitments, and that Twilight was really focused on bonding with her sister-in-law, but Cadance wouldn't even BE Twilight's in-law if she hadn't married Shining Armor. Wouldn't she at least have asked Cadance if Shining Armor was enjoying life in the Crystal Empire? Wouldn't Cadance have mentioned her husband anyway since they share the Element of Love?
    • Law of Conservation of Detail. They probably talked about him, but since it wasn't relevant to the plot, it happened off-screen.
    • He may not have had prior commitments, Twilight wanted to bond with Cadence and the episode reveals that Twilight and Cadence write letters (presumably regularly) and Discord and Fluttershy do the same. In fact sure he was being a Troll but Discord seems to have honestly been a bit butthurt that Twilight and the others don't write him. I think it's safe to assume that Shining Armor and Twilight exchange letters on a fairly regular basis. Now why he couldn't see her off instead of Flash Sentry...
      • Unless it's some extremely important diplomatic matter, it's generally not a good idea for both the king and queen (or prince and princess, in this case) to be out of their kingdom.
      • The Crystal Empire doesn't SEEM to be actually independent of Equestria. As far as we can tell Celestia simply declared Cadence the ruler or Equestria and the Equestria Games are being held in the Crystal Empire this year. Of course what Equestria is (planet, country, continent) seems to be much like Celestia's godhood. Which is to say entirely up to the writers at that exact second.
      • Point still stands, bad idea for both rulers to be out.
  • Why was Pinkie so easily distracted by that balloon? She was able to focus on watching paint dry!
    • Pinkie's focus is directly proportional to the stakes involved. Otherwise...
    • Despite her being a good example of the Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny! trope, Pinkie Pie chooses to focus seriously on anything she wants and decides to puts her mind to. She makes a choice on whether to be easily distracted or not by something.
  • At the end of Discord's song what was the second unsaid thing he wanted? Keeping with the rhyming scheme it seems he wanted a chimpanzee, ???? and a Twilight he could squeeze.
    • Circus fleas, I believe.
  • Rainbow Dash takes off when Discord is trying to press her friends into helping him. Element of Loyalty my arse.
    • With the exception of Fluttershy, the Mane Six still see Discord as the same Magnificent Bastard that corrupted them back in Season 2. Naturally, this puts a sort of placebo effect on his very presence; he still brings out the worst in them and makes them go against their Elements because that's exactly what they expect from him.
    • Nearly every pony in that scene acted against their element. Rarity refused to be generous and offer Discord her fainting couch. Dash bolted as soon a she knew what he wanted. AJ tried to skirt around the truth to get him to go away. And Pinkie, while nice enough at the beginning, is about to actually start a fight with him (over not accepting her care and stories- which are all about herself) until she gets distracted with a balloon. It seems like Discord's powers could've been subtly in effect during this scene.
  • How did Cadence and Twilight feel the ground shake when the Tatzlwurm first attacked, when they were hovering in mid-air?
    • Magical connection to the ground due to being 1/3 Earth pony?
    • Plus hearing and seeing the ground crumbling.
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     4.12 Pinkie Pride 
  • She probably can't keep pictures of all her parties (or could she?), but why is there not a picture from Twilight's birthday?
    • It would be too wasteful for the episode's running time to show more than the needed photos.
      • Well, besides needing to keep the pacing (which they did really well in this episode).
  • Given her age in the flashback, just when did Pinkie move to ponyville from the rock farm? And who looked after at the time?
    • Cup Cake and/or Carrot Cake likely looked after her. Word of God was pretty open with the fact that Pinkie and the Cakes see each other as surrogate family.
    • Was that a permanent move or was she just passing through?
  • After Twilight announces the Goof-Off, she flies off...somewhere and is not seen again until the end. Where the heck was she going?
    • Rainbow Dash claims that this birthday is particularly special because it's also the anniversary of the day she moved to Ponyville. Does that mean that those days usually don't fall on the same day? What kind of alien calendar is Equestria using?
      • In The Journal of the Two Sisters, it's mentioned that this is Dash's 10th birth-aversary (so her birthday and the 10th year since she moved to Ponyville), that's probably why it's more special than usual.
  • Filly Pinkie is shown throwing a party in Ponyville, but she looks to be around the same age as when she got her cutie mark on the rock farm. Did she move to Ponyville that early? Does her family have relatives or something in Ponyville they were visiting? (The Cakes?) Did they go to Ponyville to buy supplies because it's the closest town to the rock farm?
    • And if she hadn't been in Ponyville that long, how could she know somepony well enough to throw a party for them? Or did she not and it was a completely spontaneous party, because that is something she would do.
      • It's also entirely possible that, by coincidence, her family visiting Ponyville coincided with a party, and the hosts were nice enough to let them join. Pinkie, being her usual self, would have become the life of the party and pretty much end hosting it herself.
      • She threw a party for Twilight after seeing her once. It's not out of character for her to throw a party for somepony she doesn't really know.
      • It's also possible it was her introductory party in Ponyville; just coincidence that Cheese should stumble upon that particular event.
      • Or once she realized that parties were her special talent, her parents helped her travel to Ponyville to throw parties for other ponies rather than her partying on the farm all the time.
  • Why would Diamond Tiara admit to enjoying her cuteceañera when the CMC humiliated her in front of all her guests? Is Pinkie Pie that good of an entertainer that Diamond Tiara thought the party improved after the end of the episode, or does Diamond Tiara have rock-solid self-esteem, unlike what you'd expect from a bully?
    • She was probably enjoying the party aside from when the CMC confronted her, and from what we've seen, Diamond Tiara doesn't actually dwell on the CMC.

     4.13 Simple Ways 
  • So um...Rarity's had that shrine of Trenderhoof despite the fact that she crushed on Blueblood once before, AND returns Spike's affections (even implying she knew he loved him in "Secret of my Excess")?
    • Perhaps she had a shrine to Blueblood that has since been discarded.
    • Rarity's crush on Blueblood was based almost entirely on the fact that he was royalty. Her feelings for Trenderhoof seem to stem from the fact that she actually respects his accomplishments and his ability, so this time around her desire is a bit deeper seated. As for Spike, Rarity likes him, but despite what the fandom would have you believe, she hasn't really ever shown any signs of reciprocating his romantic feelings; at best she tends to view him as a little brother. Even if she's aware of the full extent of his feelings (which she likely isn't; other episodes show her to be mostly oblivious to it), she probably wouldn't let it stop her from pursuing someone else given that she has no intent of going out with Spike.
      • Rarity's knowledge of Spike's feelings for her seems to vary from episode to episode. Secret of my Excess for example made it clear that she was fully aware of them, whereas in Dragon Quest it was more ambiguous. For the most part Rarity's awareness of Spike's feelings tends to depend on how aware she's needed to be for the sake of the plot and/or comedic purposes (like in this episode where her obliviousness was used a couple times to set up a joke.) Having said that, it's still clear that her relationship with Spike is strictly platonic, something which for the most part he seems to have accepted.
    • Rarity does not return Spike's affections. She plays him like a harp and apparently the general attitude is that nobody minds. In Secret of my Excess Rarity comes about as close to whoring herself out as she could accomplish on a show titled 'My Little Pony'. There have been other examples like 'Dog and Pony Show' and 'Rarity Takes Manehatten' that seem to make it perfectly clear that she's aware that he'll do anything for her. She's perfectly content to take advantage of his affection and Twilight doesn't ever stand up and tell Rarity it's not nice to take advantage of him nor does she tell him he's barking up the wrong tree. Which is cute (sorta) if he's supposed to be a little brother flirting with one of his sisters friends. It's pretty low if Spike is meant to be an equal. That however is a detail the writers have a hard time being consistent about.
      • ...Wow. First of all, although she does probably ask him to help because she knows he likes her a lot, she also is genuinely grateful to him for helping her. Secondly, you really think the Element of Generosity would make Spike do all that work without giving him anything back? She probably makes his outfits and stuff. Third, we've seen what Spike is like when he has nothing to do; he's bored as heck. He's used to being Twilight's assistant all the time, it makes sense that he would do something like help out other ponies with their work in his off time.
      • She probably does pay him for his work but that doesn't change the fact that she clearly doesn't see him in the same light that he sees her and she could not get anybody else (save maybe Sweetie Belle who is just starved for her big sister's approval) to put forth the kind of effort that Spike does for her. Given how bored Spike gets when he doesn't have anything to do and how he gets in Spike at your Service a case can be made that he's just over the top. That doesn't change that she basically stole his ruby in exchange for a kiss.
    • Rarity is the kind of pony that would have crushes on multiple celebrities, she's very much a romantic daydreamer. As for Spike, even if she does really like him he's still pretty much a kid. It would be flat-out taking advantage of him in a bad way if she had a relationship with him right now. Better to pause that train of thought for now and wait until he's older and wiser, them see if it could work.
  • Where the hell was Big Mac when Applejack was being harassed by Trenderhoof, who also was distracting her from her chores?
    • Most likely he found it every bit as hilarious as we did and judging by the festival all the important work was already done.
  • Considering the writers have to be at least passingly aware of the questions the fandom has about racism in Equestria. Unicorns clearly being the upper class and Earth Ponies being farmers and other manual labor types why oh dear Celestia why did they have Trender Hoof comment specifically on the work ethic of Earth Ponies? Could it be more blatant?
    • Given how Earth Ponies clearly are better at manual labor, maybe even to the point where anything grown by a unicorn or pegasus is doomed to wither and die, it wouldn't be surprising for him to show genuine fascination with their work ethic as opposed to a view on the "peasant race" from above as someone that's clearly above such tasks.
      • If that's true it would have been about her 'magic' not her work ethic.
    • It's supposed to be blatant. It perfect establishes his character, as well meaning but ignorant and privileged.
      • I doubt he was supposed to come across as racist, elite yes, like Rarity but not out and out racist.
      • If it was another non-farming earth pony commenting on her work it would have been elitist. That fact that it's a unicorn commenting on an earth pony makes it kinda racist, although I'm sure Trend wasn't doing it intentionally and would have been very upset and apologetic if someone pointed out that he was coming off that way.
    • I think it's hard to call it racist because he never says anything bad about Earth Ponies. It's shown in other episodes (see Winter Wrap Up) that Earth Ponies do have their own culture, of sorts, and it's entirely possible that Trenderhoof does have a legitimate appreciation for it. The reason his comment to Applejack makes him shallow is because it shows that he's not really interested in her as a person. He projects his ideals about Earth Ponies onto her and only gives her attention because of that rather than taking the time to actually get to know her. A human equivalent would be a guy who's into Asian culture trying to get a date with an Asian woman solely because she's Asian rather than because he wants to know her personally.
      • It can be viewed as positive discrimination, in a You Are a Credit to Your Race kind of way. I haven’t seen the episode in a while though, so I don’t remember the specifics (namely if he’s referring to Earth Ponies as a whole or just some specific individuals). I do remember the impression that Trender Hoof is a societal elite though, and that sort of bigoted statement would’ve been part of the stereotype.
  • Applejack looks annoyed when Trenderhoof mentions her work ethic, but in previous episodes, she has taken pride in her ability to work hard.
    • Chances are that AJ was more annoyed at the lack of depth to Trenderhoof's interest. He didn't say "I admire your work ethic", he says "I admire the earth pony work ethic". It shows that he isn't really interested in her personally, but instead he has a romanticized notion of "hard working earth pony" that he projects onto her. It's pretty clear throughout the episode that he's not so much infatuated with Applejack as with the idea that she represents to him. His "work ethic" remark was just an early hint.
    • It's a kinda racist thing to say. What do you think would happen if a white man told a black woman that he'd always admired the strength of black people? He's technically making a positive comment, but in a pretty insensitive way.

     4.14 Filli Vanilli 
  • Pinkie Pie. Dear God PINKIE PIE. Why was she such a brat in this episode? At times it looked like she was enjoying Fluttershy's suffering. Granted it was made somewhat tolerable as the rest of the Mane Six clearly thought her behavior was in the wrong, but it's still startling to think that Amy Keating Rogers could write Pinkie this badly (especially considering she wrote Pinkie Pride.)
    • Word of God from Amy Keating Rogers claims it was done on purpose, that she "Didn't have her filter on today" and had a case of being super blunt. Also, Rule of Funny, even if this time it stretches suspension of disbelief to it's limit. Maybe she just needed to evacuate excess stress on her end?
    • It seemed perfectly in character for the pony who roared at Rainbow Dash, condescendingly told Fluttershy to let Auntie Pinkie take care of it, joined in with bullying Fluttershy over fruit bats, made a show of drinking the last mug of cider in front of Rainbow Dash. The girls have been abnormally bitchy this season but Pinkie Pie has always been a tad out there, she just gets a free pass because it's usually funny and it's always obvious she didn't mean any harm. (Except that one time with Dash and the Cider but Dashie gives as good as she gets so she might just be considered fair game.)
      • Being Innocently Insensitive is one of Pinkie Pie's flaws. She wants to help others in any way she can, but there are times when she can rub others the wrong way (such as complimenting the apple cider infront of Rainbow Dashes face unknowingly, and pester Crankey Doodle to try and get him to be happy again). She didn't try to make Fluttershy cry out of malice, but merely out of ignorance, and the fact that her mouth says things before her brain can catch up. To be fair, though, I agree it was a bit overdone in this particular episode.
      • Pinkie Pie has always been tactless, but it's never been this extreme. What's infuriating when we look back at the Goof-Off scene just two episodes earlier. The moment Dash stopped having fun, Pinkie noticed. Yet here, Fluttershy bursts into tears right in front of her and not once does she stop to think, "Gosh, it looks like I'm upsetting her. I should back off."
      • Look at the scene where Rainbow finds out about it, becomes the judge, and the time shortly before the Goof Off begins. She is CLEARLY stressed, but Pinkie doesn't notice. She was also started to get stressed near the end, but Pinkie didn't notice until she dropped the pinata on her, so everything was slowed down and Pinkie was finally forced to see the weight of her actions. If she doesn't really take the time to think about what she's doing, she tends to do things like these (Luna Eclipsed, Super Cider Squeezy 6000). Here, she was pretty much forced to see what she had done.
    • Pinkie has ALWAYS been Innocently Insensitive. She called attention to Cranky's bald head, turned everypony against Luna, and accidently tortured Dash with the cider. And she never enjoyed Fluttershy's suffering, and it was clear from a lot of her dialogue ("Was that too much?" and "Wait! Didn't I say that?") that she wasn't trying to hurt Fluttershy's feelings. She even tried correcting herself several times ("Whoops! You were great!" and "Uh, a great sounding dude!".
      • Something tells me the reason eyebrows were raised is because it was laid on too thick this time around. Whereas in the case of Cranky it was merely a one-off joke, and in the case of Luna Eclipsed a somewhat justified approach (Luna's reputation didn't need much of a push to make her seem evil), this time around Pinkie seemingly spends the entire episode hunting down Fluttershy to cause her distress. It's like she used her Pinkie Sense with no actual empathy and just blurted out the very last thing she didn't want to hear, over and over. When her friends called her out on it, she started to apologize in order to lessen the impact... but still continued to do it anyways! It feels like she crossed a line between being Innocently Insensitive and actively knowing she's causing harm, but doing it anyways because... that's exactly the opposite of her cutie mark? Yeah....
      • How was she hunting down Fluttershy? She was never "out to get her", she was just there with her friends when they came to talk to Fluttershy, and she kept on blurting out what was on her mind, which she has done many times before. It's not like A Friend in Deed where she actually WAS following Cranky. Also, Pinkie was NOT actively knowing she was causing harm, at all, she was trying to describe what it would be like for Fluttershy on stage, and her mind drifted off into the worst possible scenerio, and later she was just trying to say she was amazed by Fluttershy. She even asks "Isn't that what I just said?" after Twilight told Fluttershy what she meant, showing she wasn't trying to be malicious, but to be supportive.
    • OP here. I recall a troper in the section for "Luna Eclipsed" pointing out that Pinkie Pie isn't very socially aware. Given that there's been a lot of instances in the show where she's been Innocently Insensitive, I guess by this point it should be expected. I guess my main complaint is that it was just so overdone, not to mention it was done to arguably the most sensitive and insecure pony of the Mane Six. Either way it had stopped being funny by the time she was done with her opening ramble and was just annoying for the rest of the ep, which is an opinion I haven't seen a lot of disagreement with. Either way, this is officially no longer a headscratcher for me (though she's still not allowed to talk until the next episode).
      • It was actually worse with Luna since Luna was genuinely terrifying the population. Unlike Pinkie who was having fun and new perfectly well that Luna was. . .well not harmless but wasn't literally there to kill everybody. Happy ending aside that could very easily have ended differently where as the worst outcome possible from Pinkie in this scenario would be her and Fluttershy not being friends and not being able to activate the Elements (or whatever they are replaced with) the next time the need arises. It was overdone, though not nearly as much as say how badly Rarity views farmers in the prior episode. Everything before most notably Applebuck Season and Super Speedy Cider suggests that she may not do it herself but she doesn't think of them as low.
    • What bugged me most about Pinkie is that, while it is expected of her(And sometimes Rainbow) to be tactless and blunt, either Twilight Sparkle or Rarity could have stopped her any minute using telekinesis, but neither did... until almost the end of the episode, when it didn't matter anyway.
      • Twilight tends to be more reactive than proactive which explains why she may not have stepped in. For starters Rarity might be the element of generosity, she's also team bitch. In this case however she likely let Pinkie run rampant because she thought Pinkie had a very good point and was only playing along with the others being mad. The episode ends with Rarity asking "was it really that bad?" and Fluttershy's response apparently was to join the Ponytones. Rarity may have been using Pinkie to pull the thorn from the lions paw. It hurts for a second but you're actually better off afterwards.
    • I think the main reason Pinkie has issues here is because Pinkie loves getting attention of any kind, and simply can't comprehend that somepony wouldn't want that attention. It goes double due to the fact that when Fluttershy sang, everyone loved it; from Pinkie's POV, she's probably thinking "She got rave reviews and she's already done performing anyway, so why would she be afraid?" The idea that Fluttershy isn't comfortable with any attention at all just doesn't cross her mind.
  • So, this is the first time the rest of the Mane Six have ever heard Fluttershy sing a solo? Wut?
    • Pretty sure they said "sung like that before", indicating that while yes, Fluttershy has sung before, she was really on her game that time.
    • I imagined it was like a few people in Choir, where we knew they could sing before, but hadn't heard them singing by themselves until after we heard them in the shower.
    • The show's interpretation of the Musical World Hypothesis seems to vary from episode to episode. So we don't know for certain if the musical numbers the Mane Six and other ponies occasionally break into are actually happening or not (IIRC the only episodes where the songs were directly mentioned are "May the Best Pet Win" and "A Friend in Deed"). Even if we were to assume the alternate universe hypothesis (or a variation thereof) is correct, Fluttershy's never really had a song for herself outside of "So many wonders" and that was sung before she met the Mane Six. The closest she ever really came to her own song in the timeline of the events of the show is "Find a Pet" which was a duet with Rainbow Dash ("Hush Now, Quiet Now" is a lullaby and so isn't really counted). The point being is that as far as we know, it's entirely possible that the Mane Six have never heard Fluttershy sing a solo before.
  • Why did Fluttershy have such an extreme reaction to being on stage? She'd confronted her performance anxiety about her flight, which was a source of shame for her, to the point that she was willing to join the Equestria games. When it comes to non-athletic performances, she's been on plays, had a career as a model, and even hires out a songbird choir. While she didn't like it, she'd perform in front of larger crowds with less issues than she did in this episode.
    • Baby steps, everypony, baby steps. Flutteshy has *tons* of issues regarding socializing with other ponies(In the first episode she was barely able to introduce herself to Twilight), and has been working on them through the series. Like you said, participating in the Equestria games is a direct result of "Hurricane Fluttershy", being a model was aand participating in a play were a direct resulting of being a doormat and doing whatever their friends asked her to do, which thanks to Iron Will and the lesson from "Bats!" is no longer an issue. With the birds choir, she's not really performing, the birds are. Or it could be that she only has stage fright specifically with singing.
    • "Hurricane Fluttershy" isn't really about stage fright. In that episode her issue is more that she's not confident in her flying ability and she's afraid of getting ostracized for letting the team down. Her lesson there was more that even if she's not the best at flying, she can still help the group. This episode is different because she's basically the star performer, taking the lead vocal part. Everypony is going to be watching her, and her specifically, whereas in the hurricane, she was just one of dozens of other pegasi and wouldn't be noticed unless she screwed up. As for HWE and "Rainbow Falls": In HWE she's shown as having stage fright beforehand, and it helps that she's always sharing the stage; for most of her stage time, she's next to Rainbow Dash, who's going to be diverting most of the attention. As for "Rainbow Falls", again, RD is there to divert the attention, and Bulk Biceps is arguably a worse flyer than she is. There's also the implication that they aren't expecting to really get very far in the games anyway, so she doesn't have to worry about letting the team down because expectations are low.
      • The EG are probably a poor example. She probably got bullied into it by Rainbow Dash, the same way she was bullied into jousting back in the Crystal Empire. Bulk Biceps is by far a worse flyer than Fluttershy who is only a poor flyer when the plot demands it. Otherwise she performs roughly on par with Rainbow Dash in most scenarios.
      • Wait, Rainbow bullies her into forming a team with her, then feels a crisis of conscience at the prospect of disbanding said team to fly with Spitfire? I don't think you've thought this through.
      • Fluttershy is only as good as Rainbow Dash when the plot demands it, otherwise being unremarkable at best, and Bulk was average until the plot of Rainbow Falls required him to suck.
    • How are they baby steps if Fluttershy's stage fright is actually worse in this episode than in the first episode of the series? Fluttershy's stage fright has never been portrayed as problematic before this episode, despite far more extreme situations. Before this episode, she came across as a person that was more comfortable performing at a distance than interacting with people individually. While she didn't like it, she never had a breakdown and ran from a crowd before.
      • She doesn't consider acting as the conductor as performing in front of a crowd. She doesn't have any issues with bringing the birds out to sing. Performing with the Pony Tones is closer to Hurricane Fluttershy and the problem is someone might notice her here.
      • Which is downright weird, since with her songbird choir she doesn't have any other ponies on stage to split the attention, making her the one that everyone in the audience is staring at. And, again, Fluttershy has been on stage as the center of attention many times.
      • The attention would be on the birds, not so much on herself. And phobias don't follow any logic. Fluttershy could very well be fine performing in front of thousand of strangers(Like in HWE) and be absolutely terrified about performing in front of a couple of casual acquaintances from Ponyville.
      • Or more specifically, she could be okay with acting in front of thousands of strangers, but not with singing in front of a couple of casual acquaintances. One can't just lump all Stage Fright together; it's not as though people are equally confident in all their performing abilities. For instance, Rainbow Dash would normally be totally fine with publicly performing, but when she specifically had to do the Sonic Rainboom, she was terrified, because she didn't if know she could do it. Likewise, Fluttershy wasn't sure how the public would react to her singing, because she hasn't publicly sung before (and there's also the prospect of ponies knowing about her deep bass voice...).
  • So, we see that Rarity hears Fluttershy's singing, and is so impressed that she immediately insists on the shy mare joining her A Cappella group. Pinkie Pie's a darned good singer, has been known to "sing a random song out of nowhere" just to make new friends, and is much more outgoing...so why isn't she already a member of the group? Is she "so random" that she'd never be able to get through a rehearsal without getting distracted by an analogy and going off on tangents?
    • Pinkie either isn't that talented (in-universe) or she simply doesn't fit whatever niche Rarity thinks Fluttershy can fill in their group. It's also possible that Pinkie is to easily distracted or that Rarity simply doesn't want to subject herself to going on tour with Pinkie.
    • From the tone of it, it seemed like Rarity just offered the part as a gesture of Friendship and as something she though Fluttershy might enjoy(she was right), as she didn't looked too disappointed when Fluttershy refused.
  • A fan of any small musical combo would presume to address the band members by their individual names. A Beatles fan, for example, would not greet George and Ringo with "Hello, Beatles!" Why, then, does Fluttershy greet Torch Song and Toe-Tapper collectively with "Good morning, Ponytones"?
    • Out-of-story: they hadn't come up with/finalized the new characters names yet. In-story: it's faster than greeting them individually, and Fluttershy may not have felt like she was familiar enough with them to be using their names or something.
    • Also, Fluttershy was not a fan of the Ponytones. (I don’t remember her being one, at the very least.) There’s no reason for her to be familiar with their names otherwise.
  • About Zecora's remedy for a sore throat/lost voice. Why can't it heal Big Mac instantly like several other healing potions?
    • Maybe it works on a case-by-case basis. Perhaps if Zecora gave Big Mac the remedy, he’ll wind up sounding like Fluttershy, and they can’t have that.

     4.15 Twilight Time 
  • Did the CMC DELIBERATELY screw up at the end to get away from the crowd and pressure? When Twilight is in the process of making all the kids leave all 3 of them show themselves able to do the things they just screwed up on. Maybe not masterfully, but at least competently.
  • So...Princess Twilight gets mobbed by kids for being royalty, yet when she's out and about in other places, grown-ups don't?
    • Twilight is a regular in Ponyville at this point, so the other adults probably don't treat her any differently than she was before becoming a princess. As seen in Rarity Takes Manehattan, when Twilight asks to cut in line to get Rarity a taxi ride, she is refused. Also, the mane 6 have saved all of Equestria numerous times, but is hardly ever referenced by anyone (let alone the regular folks).
      • I don't understand that, either. Even poor SPIKE, who the most he did was save the Crystal Empire by delivering the Crystal Heart to its rightful place, in order to permanently destroy Sombra, wasn't invited to help with the Equestria Games inspection? Fanfic writers have an easier time with this stuff.
      • I understand it just fine, but maybe that’s because I’ve watched plenty of episodic television that’s structured in this way.
    • It's a bit of a constant in this show that nobody seems to truly care about (or seemingly even know) about the Mane 6 and there accomplishments. This is isn't the first or most egregious example. It seems the children had largely forgotten that Twilight lives in Ponyville. There is no indication that she's ever been swarmed before.
      • Which I find kind of odd, personally - it sort of gives the Status Quo Is God vibes, and the show is perfectly willing to avert this trope as seen by season 3. (Wherein they acknowledge the two characters poofed into existence during the finale, Discord, and make a huge change to the show.) Why're they going the Mega Man Battle Network route? (Remember how Lan saved the world from the WWW's Schemes, Gospel, and a meteorite with the entire world freaking cheering him on, yet nobody had heard of him until 5?) I mean I can understand why people from Manehattan or other places in Equestria wouldn't know them... but given how active the Mane Six are, how could these guys not know? Does Ponyville not have any kind of news system?
      • The thing is that Mega Man Battle Network is Japanese, where serial storytelling is more common. This is western animation, where it’s more the exception than the norm that main characters accumulate recognition by being in a long series of high-profile incidents. Even action series like Kim Possible or Samurai Jack have very little continuity (though not zero). Whatever level of fame the heroes have, they gained it early on and it never rose or shrunk. For the case of Kim Possible, until its final season, the creators said that the continuity in the show was entirely by accident. Then you have shows like Sealab 2021, where everyone gets blown up repeatedly and the next episode has everyone be just fine. The fact of the matter is that continuity has never been a big deal in western animation. Or western live-action television either, as is evidenced in sitcoms like Home Improvement or Friends. And in the end, as a show aimed at small children, this show is subject to the Fleeting Demographic: As kids tune out and more kids get replaced, it’s best not to make too many sweeping changes to the show too quickly, lest new viewers get lost. (There's also that one episode of Futurama, "Where Aliens Attack," in which Fry argues that American audiences, by and large, do not want much continuity in their shows, as, in his words, "new things scare them." My impression I've had about Friendship is Magic's Periphery Demographic is that they come largely from anime and manga, video games, and web media, where this sort of mindset is less common, rather than western animation like myself. Me, I've come to expect Status Quo Is God and Negative Continuity and was surprised to see this show accumulates backstory and lore and the characters undergo seasons-long Character Development, which until recently was VERY rare in western animation.)
    • The main difference is that the other ponies in Ponyville knew Twilight before she became Princess, and as a result they know that she's not really that different from everypony else. They probably think of her more as "the librarian with anxiety issues" than "royalty". Whereas the kids, probably not having interacted with her much, hear "princess" and immediately think of her in the same way they'd think of Celestia (i.e. the universally beloved and revered ruler of Equestria) and assume that Twilight, being a princess, is like that. Keep in mind that the CMC, who are some of the only fillies who would've interacted with Twilight on a semi-regular basis, don't make a big deal out of the Princess thing either. Not to mention that kids usually have a pretty skewed idea of what "fame" means anyway.
    • Twilight is like a celebrity. You get used to living next door to one, especially if you knew them before they became a celebrity. Kids, meanwhile, are fickle and easily impressed. I suspect most of Ponyville's foals didn't even think that Twilight was so amazing, but were just going along with the popular crowd (which was, of course, led by Diamond Tiara). Princess Twilight was a passing childhood fad to them.
    • Maybe the rest of Ponyville has some kind of Weirdness Censor in effect. Could come naturally to ponies that grew up with a Cloud Cuckoo Lander like Pinkie Pie.
  • I found it a shade interesting that Rarity never took her sister to Manehattan, the idea being that Rarity is such a social climber that she'd want to broaden Sweetie and that Sweetie is a good kid in general so that Rarity has no reason not to indulge her sister every once in a while. With this fact out and past events in mind, it kind of calls the nature of the sisters' relationship into question.
    • There isn't any evidence that Rarity and Sweetie Belle are particularly close. Certainly not like Apple Jack and Apple Bloom are. However most siblings don't bring their sisters along on business trips. Rarity doesn't seem to make day trips to Manehatten or anything remotely appropriate to bring Sweetie Belle along even if they were close.
    • There are several factors we could possibly take into consideration:
      • Sweetie Belle, being somewhat a klutz, probably isn't brought along in fear she could damage Rarity's reputation by accident.
      • Sweetie Belle could easily be bored by the experience if Rarity's main purpose in Manehattan is for business.
      • Manehattan is a big city - big enough for a filly Sweetie Belle's size to get lost in, especially with a not-so attentive sister (who is no doubt busy with dressmaking and the such) looking after her.
      • Sweetie Belle could also still be in school and not want to take time off or can't.
    • The replies thus far seem to stem from the belief that Rarity only sets hoof in Manehattan for business sake; OF COURSE Sweetie wouldn't bother to accompany her on those. What I meant was if Rarity ever did Manehattan just for fun.
      • Has Rarity ever gone to Manehattan just for fun? Heck, has she even visited more than once? Rarity Takes Manehatten sure as heck seemed to be her first time in that city.
      • Even if Rarity ever went to Manehattan just for fun, some of the points above still stand. As for the idea of Rarity indulging Sweetie, the sisters, as stated, don't seem to enjoy the kind of relationship that AB and AJ, who frankly comes across as a Big Sister Sue, do.
      • That's debatable. We've seen time and time again that the relationship between Applejack and Apple Bloom isn't always sunshines and rainbows.
      • To be fair, Applejack and Apple Bloom live together, and AJ is directly responsible for her sister, while Rarity only has Sweetie Belle occasionally, so of course that, for better or for worse, the apple sisters are closer than them.
    • The short version is simply that Sweetie Belle isn't Rarity's responsibility most of the time; Sweetie Belle still lives with their parents, and while Rarity is willing to spend time with her sister, she's largely independent and wouldn't necessarily consider herself responsible for SB's upbringing. I'm sure that if SB pestered her about going to Manehattan she might eventually take her, but she's not just going to up and decide to drag her sister along on what's mostly a business trip.

     4.16 It Ain't Easy Being Breezies 
  • So, Time Turner and Roseluck appearing together again. Official couple, or just a background animator having fun again?
    • I think the latter. Besides, if we all just assume that two ponies that stand by eachother are an item (especially with just once), everyone will be in a relationship with everyone.
    • True, but they were shown together in "Rainbow Falls" as well, and in Breezies, they appeared to either be returning from a movie date (an anaglyph 3D movie?) or they were an explicit shout-out to a specific episode of Doctor Who with the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler. It's getting hard to ignore the fact that, while the writers deliberately avoid pandering to the Peripheral Demographic, some of the animators actively tease the fandom...not that we don't enjoy the teasing...
  • I'm aware that the Breezies require a pony made breeze for other reasons (namely that they can't fly worth shit otherwise) but the reason given at the beginning is that they need a breeze for the sake of some sort of passive magic that prevents their pollen from going bad. So, with this in mind, why didn't the pollen go off when the Breezies took their long break at Fluttershy's place.
    • They're inside where the pollen won't be exposed to the elements that would ruin the it quickly, such as sunlight and especially moisture. As long as Fluttershy keeps it someplace cool, dark and dry, it should keep just fine until they leave unless it's from a very time-sensitive plant.
  • Why are the Breezies in general so willing to abandon their families to stay with Fluttershy? Were they just in the mood for a vaccation after seeing how awesome flutters was being and were simply gonna wait until the portal opened again to go home?
    • I'm just guessing they were being stupid; it happens, sometimes you don't realize just how deep in sh*t you are until after it's too late.
    • It's possible that Seabreeze was the only one who had a wife and child back home. He's the leader of the group, so it's not a stretch to think that he might be older than the rest of them, and as a result be more "settled" at home, while the rest of the group are younger and more immature, and more prone to goofing off because they don't have as much tying them down.
  • Fluttershy serves the Breezies drinks by using thimbles as proportionately flagon-sized cups. Seems like a logical solution... until you start to wonder why Fluttershy - or, indeed, anypony - would have need of thimbles in the first place, what with the whole having hooves thing.
    • They probably put the thimbles on their horns; so far, most of the tailors we had seen on the show had been unicorns like Rarity.
      • Except that unicorns wouldn't need thimbles, either. More likely that a store had some in stock for a species that actually had fingers and Fluttershy bought some either for the novelty or to use with her animal friends.
    • Perhaps the thimbles are meant for creatures who have fingers (i.e. Minotaurs and dragons) but Fluttershy uses them because they're useful for giving water to small pets like insects.
    • Who says they're thimbles? Maybe they actually are proportionately flagon-sized cups. Having cups in all critter sizes seems like a classic Fluttershy move.

     4.17 Somepony To Watch Over Me 
  • Where in Equestria was that city built? In the pilot and it's been re-enforced in Princess Twilight that the Everfree Forest is considered wildly dangerous. Now four seasons in we know that the the literal gates to Hell are close enough for Cereberus to make it to Ponyville apparently randomly (and be returned without making a huge trek of it) and unless that was Tartarus apparently there is a flaming forest with enough Chimera in it that she's expecting to run into it.
    • There’s a big swamp on the official map called Hayseed Swamps, so maybe the fire geysers & chimera area is a part of it. Although, we never really learn the name of the town or the swamp so it’s just as likely that they created a whole new area that doesn't exist on the map.

     4.18 Maud Pie 
  • Since this episode established Maud Pie as Pinkie's favorite sibling, why didn't Pinkie mention her when recounting their backstory in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles"? On a meta note, why not have Maud be one of Pinkie's established siblings as opposed to a new character thereby avoiding the continuity issue?
  • A minor nitpick, but how in the world did Twilight and the others beat Pinkie and Maud's train back to the rock farm?
    • Lots of possibilities actually. As the series goes on it seems increasingly likely that ponies take the train because their lazy not because it's especially efficient. However Twilight can teleport and can do so with at least one passenger. Three of the five can fly and only Rarity has shown any evidence of being at all out of shape (and it really seems more like she doesn't like running, not that she can't keep up). Back in 'Flight to the Finish' Scootaloo apparently dragged two other ponies all the way the Crystal Empire and if she didn't beat the train she certainly got there at a similar time. We don't know where the Rock Farm actually is but I think it's safe to assume it's closer than the Crystal Empire. Finally trains often times take incredibly inefficient routes with lots of stops. Any one or combination of these facts makes for a plausible way they could have beaten the train. Though the real answer is the writers probably didn't think it through. Not when it would have been just as easy for the Mane 5 to simply catch them before they got on the train.
    • Rarity's hardly out of shape either, if her performance in Sisterhooves Social is anything to go by. She apparently did well enough in the race that she fooled Sweetie Belle into thinking that she was Applejack, one of the best athletes in town.
      • Adding to above, Rarity and Sweetie did well enough to maintain first for most of the race. They only got overtaken near the end. So Rarity isn't in bad shape, while certainly maybe not in the same league as Rainbow or Applejack or even Pinkie (YMMV but she could keep up with Rainbow, even if only for Rule of Funny), she can still hold her own pretty well. Also consider, anytime the mane six get into a fight, Rarity is usually fighting physically rather than using magic like Twilight.
    • Rainbow Dash towed the Twinkling Balloon.
  • What happened to the sandwich Maud was eating before she ate that rock? It vanished...did Boulder really eat it?
  • Rarity might have had a better chance bonding with Maud if she'd taken her on one of her gem hunting trips instead of dressmaking.
    • Keep in mind that Pinkie pre-loaded Rarity with the idea of the dress-making connection, and so probably didn't cross Rarity's mind that dousing for gems would have been more exciting.

     4.19 For Whom The Sweetie Belle Toils 
  • Sweetie Belle had the unlucky birthday party years ago. That is, when Nightmare Moon was imprisoned. Just how does Luna have access to all of this information? Does her function as a Dream Walker provide her with an "archive of the subconscious" which includes access to all Ponies' memories? Did Nightmare Moon invigilate everyone then out of boredom, or can Luna look into the past? Or for that matter, into future, when she shown Sweetie mad Rarity? If so, why the hay is any villain a problem for them?
    • I don't think that Luna was actually looking into the past and future. She was probably just using Rarity and Sweetie's memories and then manipulating Sweetie's nightmares to show her a bad future.
    • Based on this episode, "Suited for Success" and "Sweet and Elite", it wouldn't be surprising if Rarity frequently had nightmares about becoming a laughingstock and ruining her career.
    • Perhaps Rarity once had a dream about her side of the story, and Luna showed it to Sweetie Belle.
    • Rarity is asleep in the next room, perhaps Luna is able to draw on her memories through her dream-link thing as a result.
  • Protecting her subjects from nightmares is one thing manipulating ponies' choices and decisions is another thing all together. Does Luna do this for/too everypony. Or is this something she does for/too important ponies i.e. friends and family of pony royalty. How does Luna rationalize this, if she does at all?
    • Luna entered Sweetie Belle's mind to help her with a nightmare. The rest of that followed from a conversation that she had. Luna doesn't seem to plan to manipulate ponies.
    • It's not, strictly speaking, legal.
      • I'm not sure that comparison works, since Luna never tries to hide the fact that she's there or that she's influencing what they're seeing in their dreams.
    • I can't see Luna, er, "invading" just any dream or nightmare. With Scootaloo before, she was seriously in need of the help (and she's a filly besides, younger people will tend to be more affected by nightmares), and here Sweetie Belle had crossed a line with what she'd done. Most notably, the similarity to past events in her own life hit a sore spot for Luna, so she intervenes to put Sweetie back on the right path. It seems likely that Luna only comes calling when there's need for it or there's a lesson she sees the need to teach. As for how she knows though... An alicorn did it?.
    • It's also possible that Luna doesn't normally interfere or hang around to watch, but she did in this case because 1. she feels like she owes Rarity for helping save her from being NMM and 2. she got personally invested because she's been in that situation and didn't want to see Sweetie Belle suffer the same way.
    • She probably spends a lot of time kinda skimming over people's dreams and only starts really watching them when she sees one that is a particularly bad nightmare, or is someone she knows. Or she has some kind of "nightmare sense" that lets her know when someone is having a bad dream so she can go in and help.
  • What was with the desert the train from Ponyville to Canterlot when through? There's no desert between them or seen in any of the other train rides. Why not reuse that?
  • How did Applebloom and Scootaloo get into the building to help Sweetie Belle play keep away with the headpiece? I thought the guard wouldn't let them in.
    • Sweetie opened the backdoor for them.
  • How exactly did Sweetie Belle know how to unravel the ceremonial headpiece when Rarity told only Fluttershy about the hidden stitching that holds it together? In fact, how did she even know the stitching was there in the first place, how to find it, or its importance?
    • She mentioned that she'd been spending a lot of time with Rarity before asking her to make costumes for the play. Maybe Rarity mentioned it then?
    • Or she's been spending enough time learning from and helping Rarity that she's picked up some of Rarity's tricks.
  • Rarity is surprised about dolphin on headdress. Except, if you look at Sapphire Shores concert, you can see two huge banners of dolphins on either side of her, making the 'secret' a public knowledge. Does Rarity know nothing about her clients?
    • Aside from the fact that the concert was in a dream and therefore might not have been an accurate depiction of what Sapphire's real concerts look like, just having a few pictures of dolphins up doesn't mean that she's explained the significance to anyone.
    • The concert would have taken place in the future, so Rarity didn't know what the stage design would look like yet.

     4.20 Leap of Faith 
  • Why was Applejack's confession needed at all? The 'miracle tonic' was simply a placebo. It could work on a pony like Granny Smith whose problems were basically just in her head, but their scheme should have been blown out of the water on the first day by ponies who a placebo WOULDN'T help. Silver Shill was shown to have been able to throw away his crutches instantly after drinking it, but you'd have a bunch of ponies who wouldn't get the same benefit. Like the one with the swollen hooves, or the tonsilitis, or the whatever happened that made half the town shown up covered in bandages.
    • How it should have ended: (Pony in pain) "I took the tonic, and tried to fly, and my wing broke into even more pieces." "My hooves are still swollen." Etc. Etc. I suppose they always could have lied and claimed that it takes longer on some ponies than others, which could be countered with "you should have said that beforehand" but the whole point is that they should never have gotten away with the scam long enough for Applejack to recant her approval of the tonic.
  • If Applejack had concerns about the Flim Flam Brothers' tonic, why not go to Twilight Sparkle to have it chemically analyzed? Even if she didn't have those skills, surely a princess like her could get the appropriate professionals to do the job.
    • She would have if it came to that. Granny Smith had probably already finished her bottle, so Applejack would need to get a new bottle for Twilight Sparkle, and the Flim Flam Brothers pretty much came clean about it being a placebo without Applejack pushing too hard.
  • Why are Applejack and Big Macintosh instantly suspicious of the circus?
    • Traumatic foalhood experience.
  • Of all the items to represent Applejack's "key"...why did it have to be a bit? Wouldn't she accidentally spend it, and the box from the Tree of Harmony would remain locked forever?
    • What about Rarity's spool? She could use it on an outfit! Pinkie Pie could misplace her rubber chicken among her other rubber chickens! Fluttershy can either eat, give it to another animal/pony to eat, or misplace it in her garden. When you look at it, all of the mane six's keys can be easily misplaced.
  • So what the hell could have caused the Flim Flam Brothers to go from generally honest, if greedy and a bit sneaky sometimes businessmen (with a working product that only lost because Applejack brought in a bunch of unrelated ponies to help her win), to actively swindling ponies out of their money?
    • To be fair, it's debatable how honest the Flim Flam Brothers initially were in their debut episode. The brothers came into a town full of unhappy ponies wanting cider (it's as if they were waiting for the moment to burst in). They wanted to form a "partnership" with the Apple Family, where the Apple Family would be, for lack of a better term, financially shafted, and even goaded them into a competition the brothers knew the Apple Family couldn't win (the Apple Family's method of cider making is, admittedly, archaic and inefficient at worst). In the end, when Applejack had her friend help her out and started to win, the Flim Flam Brothers made the conscious decision and chose quantity over quality in order to win. Sure, the Flim Flam Brothers had a legitimate product on their hooves, but clearly had dishonest motives and used dishonest methods to get what they want.
      • I kind of object to that. There's nothing dishonest about providing thirsty, cider-loving ponies with...more cider. The Apple clan clearly couldn't produce enough to meet demand, and the Flim Flam Brothers stepped up because they could. That's not dishonest. That's just business. The brothers were legitimately doing a better job than the Apples, which is also the only reason the contest was at all lopsided. They were just better.
      • They claimed to do business with the Apple family, but they actually want to takeover their business from the start, that's the dishonest part. If Flim Flam Brothers are honest businessmen, they shouldn't offer them a blatantly lopsided deal in the first place.
    • I'm curious why they even tried a new product. They created cider that was on par with the Apple Family and if they weren't lying in their previous episode they've done the same in several different towns. There is nothing that suggests (and plenty that hints that despite all logic the Mane 6 aren't well known at all outside of Ponyville nor is anybody else) that they couldn't have still done great business everywhere BUT Ponyville nor that they didn't have a great reputation outside of Ponyville. I doubt the Apples of every city (or whatever ponies harvest apples in other towns) are all as hypercompetent as the Mane 6.
      • They probably are still making cider. During cider season, which is only a small part of the year. Gotta keep the bits coming in somehow during the rest of the year.
    • Sadly, it seems like they couldn't get away from their name and cutie mark, which by itself points towards them being doomed to remain compulsive liars and cheats, it's in their DNA, and it cannot be changed. Suffice to say, something less shallow would likely had made for a much more satisfying morale than the black-and-white "Lying is always bad, thus the Flim Flam Brothers are evil incarnate" lesson we've got.
    • I always found the "The Flim Flams were honest people and this episode retcons them into being immoral villains" mentality I've seen a lot of fans pushing to be really really weird. In SSCS6K I always got the distinct impression that the fact that their product was legit was utterly inconsequential to the mindset they touted. They were money grubbing dicks who were willing to offer one sided deals and essentially rob innocent families of their homes just to further their financial ends. All while gloating and laughing maniacally about it. They completely abandoned their morals when pressured and then tried to sell their useless cider despite having made lots of the presumably Apple-family tier stuff. They were rotten at heart despite their product and if we consider the possibility that the Apples sent out some kind of warning to their family across Equestria then I can totally see the Flim Flams resorting to something false like a tonic to make some easy money. Especially if times were tough for them.
    • My impression is that Flim and Flam are the sort with money on their minds, and they don’t care whether they’re doing it through legitimate or illegitimate means. They weren’t acting like villains for the sake of being villains, but rather, they are opportunistic: If they decide they could make money selling cider, they’ll do so. If they decide they could make money selling placebos, they’ll do so. In “Super Speedy Cider Squeezy,” they had no reason to do anything illegitimately, so they ran a legit business. Between then and “Leap of Faith,” they settled on selling a snake oil tonic, and so they switched to that. As for why they aren’t selling cider again? Well, their reputation as cider salespeople in Ponyville got shot the moment everyone drank their cider that contained twigs and leaves. The Ponyville citizens have been burned by their cider; they’re not going to buy Flim and Flam’s cider ever again. Only a fool would do the exact same thing twice and expect different results.
      • The thing is that in Equestria characters being incredibly Easily Forgiven is a bit of a theme. Given Granny's response to tasting their cider suggests that it was as good as hers, she just wasn't going to say it. Many fans have pointed out how much money the Apples are leaving on the table with those lines of customers they can't satisfy. A mutually beneficial agreement could almost definitely be arranged. Honestly while it's not really clear how big Equestria is and if any of the neighboring kingdoms would even want cider but Flim and Flam would probably make a killing selling Super Speedy Cider 3000's to the Apple extended family and whoever their Griffin equivalents are so on and so forth.
  • Wouldn't it be bad business for the Flim Flam Brothers if Granny Smith did get herself hurt (or worse) when she dived off of the high board? For one thing, they'd potentially lose one of their biggest customers of their tonic. Secondly, ponies would shy away from a cure-all tonic if it is involved in an incident where a pony got herself hurt because the tonic made her think she was capable and invisible (in front of a large crowd, mind you). Once that happened they would have been revealed as frauds, yet they continued to urge Granny on.
    • Possibly, it really depends on how harshly the ponies viewed the incident. The Flim Flam Brothers seem more than smart enough to talk their way out of that scenario. Especially if they found out about Grannie's Past which was probably public knowledge. That dive was what hurt her back when she was young and traumatized a record setting swimmer to the point of her staying away from the water for years. The Flim Flam brothers claimed it'll cure what ails ya not it will make you invincible. So a stunt like that, even if it killed Granny Smith would be easy enough for smooth talkers like them to get around. Losing Granny Smith would be problematic but they could recover especially if Apple Jack wasn't around and Silver Shill didn't turn.
    • And then they could bounce out of town like they did the last time. All they cared about was maximizing the profits they could get while in Ponyville. Once the Ponyville coffers run dry they'll leave and find some place new to scam. It doesn't matter to them if someone gets hurt in the process.
    • Granny did that on her own without any warning, maybe they would have tried talking her out of it if they had the chance.

     4.21 Testing Testing 123 
  • You'd think a diehard Wonderbolt fan like Rainbow Dash would have had this stuff memorized years ago.
    • Just because you're a fan of something, doesn't necessarily mean you're required to know everything about that (history included). To me, Rainbow Dash prefers practicing feats of acrobatic prowess, not setting herself down to take the time and learn about history... that would be more fitting to someone like Twilight.
      • The problem is, Dash practices Wonderbolts tricks... Including the famous ones Rainbow Dash was supposed to name. How she wants to join without knowing their basic flying patterns? She would need to be ignorant on Wonderbolts most famous performances for the episode to work right. Either she assumed she is above learning old, boring stuff, or doesn't exactly have needed mindset. Which is probably the case, seeing her insults to Twilight.
    • As is usual for television shows it's difficult to show a character isn't quite where they should be but is far from ignorant. It is unbelievable that Rainbow Dash doesn't seem to know any of this information. I would imagine that some of these individuals should be extremely famous similar to Starswirl the Bearded who has a wing of the library named after him. I can't believe that not one of those individuals has a building in Cloudsdale or a holiday or a maneuver from the Wonderbolts named after them. It's just the story wouldn't have worked if she was getting half the answers right (even though that's still failing in most school systems.)
      • We can probably assume that Dash is a fan of the current Wonderbolts team and their flight tricks, not their glorious history. Plenty of hardcore fans of famous sports teams would completely fail at describing their history from several decades ago. What's more odd is that every other member of the Mane 6 seems to know everything about it.
      • These guys aren't just sports stars though. Even if they were I wouldn't expect a hardcore fan to be able to name the starting line up from their favorite team for decades past. I would expect a Celtics Fan to recognize Larry Bird, I know almost nothing about sports but I can rattle off names like Wayne Gretzky and Babe Ruth and if I'm understanding properly these names she's expected to know are something like Micheal Jordon, George Washington and George Patton all rolled into one. To be fair to Dashie however it's quite clear that Princess Luna and the Crystal Empire were from roughly the same period in time and by comparison seem to have been completely forgotten. In fact despite us knowing it's true this is the first time that Princess Luna's banishment has been treated as a historical fact and not a half forgotten legend.
    • It's not all that crazy to assume Dashie isn't up to snuff on the full history of the Wonderbolts. Think of it like being a casual fan of a sports team: you'll probably know all the current players and whatnot, but the real diehard fans know the history front and back. As for everyone else seemingly knowing more about the Wonderbolts, I think it was more along the lines of that the only one who explicitly knew the history of them was Twilight on account of her being a bookworm as well as royalty (you have to know these sort of things when you're a princess, y'know) and she merely filled in everypony else on the basic details so they could help Dashie study.
  • While out of verse it was to reflect Rainbow Dash's mood and inverse can Pegasus somehow control clouds? Can they do that on purpose?
    • Since every pony has some form of magic (unicorns can cast spells, Earth ponies are stronger and more attuned to the earth, and pegasi can control the weather), it's not too implausible for a pegasus' emotions to affect a single cloud.
  • So what exactly was wrong with traditional studying? Rainbow didn't even try Twilight's way.
    • Yeah. The moral seemed to be not 'everyone can learn' which the show probably aimed for, but 'as long as you have friends and connections, it doesn't matter you're a Ponis Hilton, you're going to get coddled at any cost into any post you want'. Going out of your way to accommodate someone is fine, but resources spent on Rainbow Dash seemed way overboard making her just look spoiled. Why exactly her supposed excellent memory wouldn't work with other learning methods? She can't look at flash cards or animal theatre while hovering if moving her wings unblocks her memory?
      • I think this is a bit of an overstatement. In Ponyville resources often seem to be very nearly infinite which is perfectly inline with cartoons as a whole. The Resources spent on Rainbow Dash were no more than the resources Pinkie Pie spontaneously summoned for "Smile" or Pinkie Pie and Cheese Sandwich summoned for the Goof Off. It's just slightly more than AJ used for "Raise This Barn". Also considering the lack of long term effects from the Ursa Minor, Parasprites, Plunder Vines etc etc I think it's safe to say Ponyville just has lots of time an resources to burn.
    • That might not be enough. I'm somebody who can process information more efficiently when I'm up and walking around, and doing the equivalent (walking in place) just wouldn't work. And RD wasn't really getting coddled; as soon as she realized how screwed she was she was willing to take any help she could get, and her friends, being her friends, wanted to help.
    • There's nothing wrong with traditional studying. There are plenty of people who do just fine studying the way Twilight does. It's just that not everyone can benefit from studying the same way Twilight does. For someone like Rainbow Dash, she is much too impatient to sit down and read notes or listen to a (in her mind) boring lecture. Everyone has their own way of learning or studying; Rainbow Dash's is when she's in her element: flying.
    • There was nothing wrong with the traditional way. The moral of the story was everyone has their own way of learning and Rainbow Dash doesn't learn the same way Twilight does.
    • I looked at the episode from the viewpoint that Rainbow Dash has ADHD or some sort of disorder that makes it difficult for her to learn the "traditional" way as well as any other methods her friends use. Only when she used a strategy that played to her talents and strengths was she able to properly learn. So I think the moral was more along the lines of "the traditional method of studying is okay, but it doesn't work for everyone. But instead of giving up, help them study using a way that works for them."
    • I think the main issue is that the episode seemed to treat Twilight's method as not working because it wasn't right for RD. Which might very well be the case, but the issue is that it looked like it failed because RD wasn't trying. I agree that the implication was that she has ADHD or something and isn't able to focus because Twilight's methodology is too boring, but there's a difference between "I'm trying to focus, but I can't" and "I'm not going to try at all", and when Twilight was trying to teach her, it looks like the latter. RD doesn't really make any sort of effort to listen to Twilight. If it had shown her trying to listen, but falling asleep or failing to absorb the info because Twilight is boring, it would've worked.
      • As is mentioned earlier it's extremely difficult to be subtle with some things especially given a half hour format. Showing Rainbow Dash genuinely trying to and being distracted would have taken a lot of time and probably been either boring or filled with zany things to genuinely distract her.
      • Well, and Rainbow probably knew going in Twilight's method wouldn't work, because, you know, she's already been to school and sat through Twilight's methods in a classroom setting, and since it didn't work for the years she was in school, there's not a butterfly's chance in Tartarus that she could sit through Twilight's lesson. This episode was more a message to parents and teachers and the idiots who decide how we teach than kids.
  • So, Wonderbolts are post Lunar rebellion unit? What about the pre-rebellion Shadowbolts then? And what exactly Wonderbolts are, land or navy unit (weird mix of ranks from both), one unit or several (7 members but apparently multiple squadrons and reserve), and how they are related to castle guards or EUP? Or are the guards the EUP?
    • Wait, the Shadowbolts were pre-rebellion? When was this established? Heck, when were they established as anything except something made up by Nightmare Moon to tempt Rainbow Dash?
      • Yeah they aren't real. It was just NMM creating the necessary challenge on loyalty Dash needed in the premiere.
    • Also, the Wonderbolts were founded as a pseudo-military organization. Their function may very well have shifted a bit over the past millennium.
      • The were originally formed as a performance group, and are a performance group in the present, but they don't seem to be part of the EUP anymore. Rainbow Dash was getting into the Wonderbolts reserves, without going into the EUP. Looks like they were demilitarized sometime during the past nine hundred and ninety-nine years.
  • How does Rainbow Dash know that Twilight "sings whole freakout arias about freaking out"? She wasn't present when Twilight was singing the Failure Song. Either Spike told her about it, or (based on her observational skill revealed in this episode) she could have flown over Twilight on her way to the Canterlot train station.
    • Or there have been freakout arias we haven't seen but she has.
  • Did it really have to take the banishment of her own sister for Princess Celestia to actually form the guards ponies? Don't you think she would have done something like that before Luna's transformation into Nightmare Moon? Granted, I understand that even Celestia needs to have faults in her character, but why do I get the feeling that the writers are out to downgrade Princess Celestia's intelect? Second Thought. Are the Wonderblots Equestria's equivalent of a military, and if so, then why? All they ever did was give out a good performance and that suddenly makes them soldiers for the country's national army? Exactly how backwards is the nation of Equestria if the country's military consist of guard ponies who fight like they didn't even pass the physical and combat exercises in their training, and a bunch of circus performers in skin tight outfits?
    • Before the formation of the EUP national security was likely handled by regional militias, Commander Hurricane had to be the commander of something after all, and the Unicorn King likely had his own troops. Celestia and Luna provided the big guns, for threats like Sombra and the like. Once Celestia was on her own she couldn't count on being able to stop big threats without backup, and therefore created a military that was answerable to her and Equestria as a whole. The Wonderbolts are a elite unit within Equestria's army (or were), pretty much special forces. They're very fast, they're expert fliers, and they seem to be able to pack a punch (shaving off a epic sized dragon's scales can't be easy). As for why they're mostly used to pomp and ceremony and high class entertainment now, well this is peace time. All militaries tend to become glorified entertainers during peace time, just to give them something to do and train for.
    • Also, an all-pegasus military force wouldn’t make sense. That’d be Crippling Overspecialization. There are most certainly other military units (like the unicorn royal guards around Canterlot). As for the Wonderbolts performing tricks and such, that might be a division within a division (like how the real United States Air Force has a small group dedicated to performances), or it might be like with the Harlem Globetrotters in that they used to be a more serious organization but became better known for tricks and spectacle and evolved into that by the present.
  • Wait, Rarity of all ponies is able to pass as Wonderbolt expert due to second hoof knowledge (Rainbow Dash always talking about them) in Sweet and Elite, but Rainbow now can't? Rainbow always says she tries to learn Wonderbolt tricks, but now can't even name then? Especially when that stuff is apparently so famous that every single pony in the episode knows it?
    • It's highly probable that the little bit of info we get on the Wonderbolts in the episode isn't the entirety of the information covered by the test; there was probably other stuff included that wasn't in the episode because that would make it too long. We just saw the bits about the founding of the Wonderbolts, and none of the stuff about the rest of their thousand year history. The other thing is that as any half-decent teacher can tell you, one of the quickest ways to learn a subject is to try to teach it to someone else.
    • Actually Rarity only adds names as trivia to uniforms themselves which are in her area of expertise (where did she get them is also Fridge Logic on its own) also her lesson is actually fragmented between others including Twilight who knows the whole thing. Same thing works for the fly-by lesson (Twilight instructed everyone in what they needed to show and say and not much else) As for others Fluttershy was educated along with RD as a filly, but unlike RD remembered her history lessons, Pinkie Pie is presumably product of very strict conservative education (or is just Pinkie Pie) and AJ admits she has nothing.
  • In more abstract sense Rarity's method (i.e. Learn useful information while using "less important" aspect you enjoy as a starting point) could have worked only if the development of the uniforms was actually replaced by something RD may enjoy (like studying and replicating past flying routines and preformances of the Wonderbolts). Why no-one suggested that eludes me.
  • Why didn't Twilight let Rainbow watch the history of the Wonderbolts movie? Wouldn't that actually helped her better by learning in a more entertaining way?
    • Oh sweetie. Students like Rainbow, who can't focus in a classroom setting, usually just sleep through movies or dick around in the back of the classroom with their mates or play with stuff on their desk. Unless Rainbow is like Briar Beauty and can absorb learning while asleep, I doubt that would do anything. The problem is they can't sit still in a desk and focus, putting on a movie won't change that. I'm sure there are some kids who can't learn from a teacher but learn from watching a movie, but I've never met one.
  • What happened to the Earth Pony and Unicorn divisions of the EUP?

     4.22 Trade Ya 
  • So, it's perfectly legal to trade someone in Equestria? It's not considered slavery or anything? Maybe I'm overthinking it, but I'm pretty sure that would be considered human trafficking if it were done here.
    • I think what happened is that Rainbow Dash traded Fluttershy's services to the pony in question, and between her doormat nature and her wanting to help Rainbow Dash, never bothered to disagree, and they were stuck with the trade. Thus, if Fluttershy wanted out, she'd have had to trade something for her services that the other party could agree to, or likely face a type of breach of contract penalty, and likely face some sort of loss of face for doing so.
    • Apparently, it's nearly impossible to tell what era Equestria is supposed to be and the end of slavery was relatively recent in legal world history. The fact that Twilight didn't immediately nullify the trade and goes so far as to state that her hooves are tied suggests that trading Fluttershy was at least partially legal. Certainly close enough to legal that she feared being seen as partial to her friends if she intervened. Though it could be argued that her services were what was actually traded and the fact that she has to go in order to give said services might be considered not slavery.
    • Agreeing with the above troper. It was Fluttershy's services rather than Fluttershy that was actually traded. Moving away from Ponyville for a long time was just part of the package.
    • Prostitution is an exchange of 'services' and that's still considered illegal and human trafficking.
      • Paying someone to sleep with you has a lot more moral problems than paying someone to train your pet, plus there are a lot of people who get forced into it.
      • Which is ultimately meaningless. We know almost nothing about Equestrian laws or customs. Slavery may still be completely legal. Clearly the deal Rainbow Dash made was technically legal because Twilight Sparkle didn't just nullify the whole thing outright. (Whether or not it was slavery or just services rendered and Fluttershy had to go in order to render said services is open to interpretation.) Likewise prostitution may be legal in Equestria. Both seem unlikely but that's based almost entirely on us assuming Equestria works like the real world except when otherwise stated.
      • Prostitution is legal in many places, even modern, "western" countries that are generally recognized for respecting basic human rights. The Other Wiki has a helpful map. Whether this state of affairs is a good or bad thing is left to the reader.
    • It's really straightforward: The trade involved the exchange of the Daring Do book for the Orthrus plus its professional training. In that sense, it's both Dash and Fluttershy trading things they collectively have for a single item, similar to the way Rarity and Applejack intended to pool their items to facilitate a single trade. Both Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy had to agree (which is something people who cry "slavery" either forget or gloss over) and the end result is that if Fluttershy were to refuse to provide her services, she'd be in breach of contract, and the book trader could take whatever legal recourse would be appropriate. I very much doubt that Fluttershy could actually be forced to go live in Manehattan against her will, but she would probably have to pay out of pocket for the Orthrus' training, possibly along with some additional damages.
    • It just seems weird that someone can demand something out of someone else that's not part of the trade. It would be like if my brother was haggling for something with a store owner and the store owner said, 'fine but only if your sister cleans my shop.' If she demanded Rainbow Dashes services that would be akin to trading favors, but the fact that she just pointed to her friend and demanded her services for a trade with Rainbow Dash. Maybe Fluttershy did hold the power, but it just seemed off, especially since Rainbow Dash was the one who sealed the deal by saying yes. It's like trading a friend. Maybe it's not "slavery" but it still doesn't seem right.
      • Fluttershy was a willing party though. She was definitely surprised when she was thrown into the deal, but if she complies with it, then it seems to be okay with everyone else involved.
    • Also, legality of prostitution aside, exchange of services also include lines of work like butler work, maid work, landscaping, housekeeping, repair work, and medical treatment, which are all universally accepted and legal.
  • What defines a bad trade? If trading an Orthus and Fluttershy away in what seemed like a moment of passion with Rainbow Dash saying yes without really listening to what was being said doesn't qualify for instant nullification I can't imagine what would.
    • I got the impression that Fluttershy held the power there. And if she just said no then the deal would null and void. RD would simply lose the book. The problem was that since Fluttershy was cool with it, RD's word was binding and Twi just had to look and decide whether the actual things being traded were fair. Given how Twi is a big book fiend I wouldn't be surprised if she found trading an extremely rare book for a few months of training for an incredibly dangerous creature fair.
  • How did that Handicapped Pony get so many Discord Lamps? Did he make them himself or did Discord help out?
    • Why would he need Discord's help? There might simply be a market for novelty lamps.
    • I think he makes them himself. It seems that several of the traders have a lot of identical items so they either make/grow/collect the items or perhaps trade in Equestria similar to real life involves some people do this for a living and trade in bulk perhaps with Saddle Arabia and Zecora's homeland. Which is really just an extension of make/grow/collect. It's incredibly unlikely Discord helped, unless the pony was Discord. Sending Dashie on a near frustrating fetch quest that ends with a chalice that breaks because you looked at it funny seems like the sort of thing he might do on a slow day.
  • Rainbow Dash says she's looking for a signed first edition of a Daring-Do book. Since she personally knows A.K. Yearling, why doesn't she just find a first edition and then mail it to her to sign?
  • So, why didn't Rarity buy the jewel, then used her old one she no longer wanted to buy the tin? The ending was kind of warped Aesop because AJ valued the tin on the function, Rarity valued the gem on it's age - something not present in replacements. We were supposed to applaud them, but two ponies trying to buy a gift from the field they know little about are far more likely to produce spectacular duds (that do nothing the other pony wanted) than nice present.
    • It was more of an apology and act of good faith than anything else. They could have asked Twilight for some books, or like you said, gone for other stuff that could have satisfied both of them but they were stubborn in getting what they wanted, even if it was ridiculous. In fact, now that I think about it, getting the other stuff at the end might have made them realize how silly they were being.

     4.23 Inspiration Manifestation 
  • Why did Spike steal a book with a spell that could warp reality, when he could just ask Discord, who was already reformed at this point, to help Rarity out?
    • Probably because, y'know, apart from Fluttershy, nobody really trusts Discord all that much? I mean, yeah, his friendship with Fluttershy is genuine, but he's still a chaotic, unpredictable guy and so tends to be a jerkass. Beyond that, even if he's reformed now, would you really want to risk him being annoyed or insulted by coming to the conclusion that as your "friend", he's got to put up with you calling on him to grant your every single wish and whim? Even if he says he's friendly now, it's still not an idea to make the resident Mad God think you're taking advantage of him.
      • Except asking him to help stop another Reality Warper wouldn't have exactly been a petty task — if anything, he probably would've felt somewhat honored (and amused, given Book!Rarity's chaos-like effects on everything).
    • Does he even know how to summon Discord like the others do? Can he even be summoned like that now that the Elements are gone? Perhaps he'd have to be stuck sending Discord a letter and who knows how long that could take or if Discord would even help. And if Discord did agree to help, who knows if he wouldn't add some unique twist to make the whole ordeal backfire.
  • So the spell book that has, according to Twilight "dark magic," is eaten by Spike and the magic infecting Rarity seemed to have left her and gone elsewhere. Though not as much attention was drawn to them as was Fluttershy's fangs, and the "Pony of Shadows." Are these less likely to come back later, or are they building up to something amazing?
    • I'm certain the energy from the Inspiration Manifestation spell will be involved in the Big Bad of the season finale. Perhaps it will infect the Great and Powerful Pony of Shadows; that would make for a nice set of bookends at least.
    • It looked like it just dissipated. The spell was broken, after all, so it probably just fell apart.
  • When Rarity replaced the mariachi band with the classical music band (or any other time Rarity replaced something or someone with something or someone else), what exactly is the nature of the switch? Did Rarity turn the mariachi band into the classical band, or merely had the two bands switch places from wherever they were (the mariachi band at an opera house, for instance)?
    • Rule of Funny dictates that it was a switch, because the mariachi band showing up at a serious venue is funnier than the implications of a transformation.
    • They went to the bridge of the Enterprise.
  • Why would Princess Cadance be called down all the way from the Crystal Empire to help reverse the dark magic in Ponyville? Celestia would most certainly have been able to assist far more.
    • Maybe she was in the area or hanging out with Luna anyway and Celestia was busy? Plus if Luna and Cadence go then that still leaves somepony else around to manage their kingdoms (Celestia and Shining Armor).
    • Perhaps Cadence has acquired some specialized knowledge of magic involving crystalline transformation during her tenure as the Crystal Princess?
    • Prince Luna very, very rarely comes out during the day and Twilight looks to have been run ragged and admits to needing two Alicorns help cleaning up. It's possible it was such a big job that it took all night and Celestia had to remain to lower the moon and raise the sun. So far no evidence has been given suggesting that Cadence or Twilight could raise or lower the sun and moon. Most of the circumstantial evidence also suggests that Celestia and Luna are not equals. Celestia has a throne, Luna stands beside it, Luna clearly didn't think Twilight was up to handling King Sombra and Celestia seemed to shut her down. Also the Crystal Empire doesn't seem to actually be that far away. Scootaloo dragged her friends there once and now they've made what seem to be day trips to the Empire several times.
  • Did Twilight know what was going on all along? When she initially questioned Spike in his crystal armor, her tone and expression suggest that she has an idea what's going on and is giving Spike time to come clean. The end of the episode doesn't really clarify it either.
    • I don't think Twilight would have allowed the situation to get out of control (as it did) if she had known what exactly what was going on and who was behind it, just so she could teach Spike a lesson.
      • Then she was clutching that Idiot Ball pretty hard to let Spike go without extra questioning. It's obvious Rarity was doing quite a bit and first I doubt Spike owns anything Twilight doesn't know about but even barring that the entire city is being beautified, Spike is in Crystal armor with a flimsy excuse and she just buys it?
      • To be fair, she looked like she was going to keep interrogating Spike, but was called away to rescue the ponies trapped inside the crystal
  • This is more speculative than anything else, but... was the Inspiration Manifestation inherently geared towards making things Awesome, but Impractical, or was that just because Rarity was the one using it, and it just exacerbated her personality? Like, if Pinkie Pie had gotten the book instead, would she have slowly turned into a proto-Discord?
    • I don't think so; the spell worked pretty much as stated in the rhyme. What you're suggesting is more like the effects of the augmentation potion from "Double Rainboom".
    • Can the spell even be used by a non-unicorn? As for the exact nature of the spell, everything that Rarity manifested was aesthetically "pleasing" (according to her), but lacked practical use (like the puppet caravan she made in the beginning), such as a crystal town hall, golden roads, gem-encrusted apple carts, that dress she put on Rainbow Dash, or the bird "house" for Fluttershy's birds. If the spell could be used by non-unicorns, someone like Pinkie Pie would manifest things with the theme of "fun" in mind (whether fun for everyone, or fun only to her is up to debate); Fluttershy would manifest things with the theme of "animals" in mind; Applejack would manifest things with the theme of "practically and functionality over aesthetics" or "apples".
      • Not everything; remember, the impractical puppet theater was something Rarity made without the spellbook. In fact, the first thing she summoned with the spellbook was a perfectly practical, and not at all flashy, puppet theater. So it does seem that the spell can play to the desires of all kinds of personalities.
      • True, but this was before Rarity went mad (or madder) with power. Does the spell or spellbook itself make ponies go mad with power and such, or is it more brought on by the pony wielding it (like Rarity's histrionics ramped-up thanks to becoming more unhinged, or by the spellbook)?
      • It does seem to have been contributing to her crazyness, as she immediately stopped as soon as the spell was gone.
      • If the spell could work on non-Unicorns, it likely would have turned Pinkie into a proto-Discord of sorts. It's on record she enjoyed cotton candy clouds and chocolate rain and given the other bits of her personality, I can only imagine what Pinkie pie would be like if her whims directly affected reality.
    • I doubt that a non-unicorn would have been able to use the spell; note that the green energy fused with Rarity's horn, suggesting that it feeds off of a unicorn's own magical ability.
  • So...how exactly was this Spike's fault? That is, is there a reason Owlicious just kept glaring at him rather than, I dunno, glaring at Rarity, who was actually causing the damage, or going and talking to Fluttershy or something? Just...the fact that the episode was so bent on portraying this as Spike's responsibility rather than Rarity's really reeks of The Unfair Sex to me, and this is a show that usually avoids that trope so well...
    • Spike took the book out of a location that was hidden and booby trapped and IIRC gave it to her without telling her everything about the spell, while Rarity seemed semi-possessed and thus was not in control of herself. Blaming Rarity would be like blaming someone for acting freaky when someone else broke into the evidence locker of a police station and spiked their drink with LSD from said locker.
  • Why did Claude commission a dressmaker to build him a puppet theater wagon? That's like asking a carpenter to make a wedding dress.
    • Dressmaking is Rarity's passion but her talent appears to be closer to generic beautification. She was in charge of decorations in the pilot for example. Presumably she designed both of her stores as well. Also when most people think carpenter they are thinking more labor and less art. Want something functional? Call Applejack. Want something eye catching? Call Rarity.

     4.24 Equestria Games 
  • So why exactly didn't any of the FOUR princesses present do a damn thing to stop the falling ice cloud? It doesn't seem very likely that they would have had their magic restricted like the other unicorns there. I get that Spike needed a chance to be the hero for the sake of the story, but it still seems rather odd that the four most powerful ponies in all of Equestria didn't lift a single hoof to help when hundreds (if not thousands) of lives were at risk.
    • Well like you said, dramatic convention demands that Spike be the one to save the day. As for an in universe explanation? There was just simply no time to act. Of course this troper's personal headcanon is that anytime there's a serious problem Celestia just turns to Twilight and says "Fix this." Given that Dashie and Fluttershy were already on the case, she probably figured they could handle the situation.
    • Actually, when the ice cloud begins to fall, and the pegasi fly up to try and stop it, Celestia and Luna are seen flying up to the cloud to help the others.
      • Just rewatched that scene. Celestia and Luna do adopt a "flight ready" stance (standing up, wings out) and they are in fact seen flying towards the cloud (they appear for about a split second on the left side of the screen). If all they could do was try to steer it away by strength alone then that might indicate that they were also under the magic nullification spell.
    • Or that with so many ponies already rushing to get under the cloud, they simply didn't have a clear shot from the ground to hit it with anything without risking hitting some of the pegasi as well. So ned to get closer to it to get a clear shot.
    • Seriously? They walked through the magic sealing door frame, just like everyone else with a horn on their head.
  • This is something that's been bugging me ever since last season: Just what is the Crystal Empire's political relationship with Equestria? For context, this troper has always operated under the assumption that Equestria is just a state in the ponyworld and not the world itself, mainly because the origin story presented in "Hearth's Warming Eve" seemed to indicate that Equestria was just a region that was settled as opposed to the name of the planet. The show, however, has never been clear if the Crystal Empire is actually part of Equestria or not, some episodes seem to paint it as a separate state in it's own right, but others do not (the fact that they're hosting the Equestrian Games makes it even more confusing). So what is the relationship? Are they a state in their own right? Are they a province of Equestria? Are they a territory or protectorate? Or is there something else that this troper is missing?
    • Equestria seems to be a federation of city-states and the Crystal Empire seems to be a formerly independent territory that was absorbed into Equestria after the destruction of King Sombra. The Equestria Games appears to be a national event and the griffons, the only non-ponies competing, might simply be a former griffon territory that has since become one of these city-states.
    • Well according to the canon map of Equestria there are apparently gryphon kingdoms to the north. My interpretation was that the gryphons were the delegation from those kingdoms. Fanon likes to commonly portray the gryphons as having a cold relationship with the ponies (due to the mythology of ponies and gryphons being enemies) but the show hasn't even touched on this subject so we don't know if that's the case. The fact that gryphons are present at all however would seem to indicate that relations are at least cordial to the point where they could appear in the games.
      • The Griffon Kingdom is to the East, not north.
    • The best guess based on what we know is that the Crystal Empire currently exists as a territory of Equestria. After Sombra was banished, the place wasn't ready to exist independently yet, so Equestria runs it until it gets back on its feet. Or they just annexed it.
  • Why, if there was a griffon team, were there no griffons in the leaders box?
    • See the above point about the gryphon delegation. Relations between Equestria and the gryphon kingdoms may be cordial enough to allow their athletes to compete in the games, but perhaps their leaders are still unable (or unwilling) to attend the games themselves. Another possibility is that they are there, we just never see them since DHX didn't want to spend assets on characters that would appear for maybe a second.
      • Well, since the very concept of a "Griffon Kingdom" is something purely invented by the fans without any actual basis in canon, it's more likely that they just come from a random town somewhere in Equestria and just happen to be the best athletes there.
    • Alternatively, not every city was represented in the box. Nearly half the non-alicorn seats seem to be taken up by the Saddle Arabians and Canterlot, and there are no obvious pegasi.
    • Confirmed in the following season: Griffonstone is a region within Equestria populated by griffons. As for why the leadership didn't show up, no idea. That being said, previous depictions of griffons show that they are a minority group that has semi-integrated into pony culture, but not completely. It may be that the griffon team just happens to be a group of highly athletic griffons from a non-griffon region.
  • Okay, this is something that started bothering me as soon as it was mentioned, how did Ponyville win the medal count? They had one more medal than Cloudsdale and there was only one event left. But that event was Ice Archery with only four finalists...two of which were from Cloudsdale. As such, at least one of them had to win a medal thus bringing the medal count to a tie. The event was interrupted sure, but it's not like they couldn't have started it over again after the danger was over.
    • It may have been that not all the finalists were shown performing at once. Either that or the event may have been voided altogether. Or Rainbow Dash just can't do math well, and her friends didn't want to burst her bubble.
  • Twilight says to Spike, "Last time you were here, you got the Crystal Heart to Princess Cadance in time to save this entire empire from destruction!" referencing the events of The Crystal Empire two-parter. However, Spike was also present in the Crystal Empire during the events of Equestria Girls. Does this mean that Equestria Girls is non-canon to the show? Or did Twilight simply mis-speak? (A third option - that Equestria Girls occurs after Equestria Games - is not possible; Cadance says in Equestria Girls the she and Twilight hadn't seen each other since Twilight's coronation.)
    • Yes, Equestria Girls is considered non-canon. I can't remember who or where but someone on the writing staff said so.
      • Actually, Meghan McCarthy said that EG was canon. Though, at the same time, she admitted she wasn't completely sure what canon is. It doesn't seem definitive one way or another, but if there is a better source, I'd like to see it.
    • I think is canon, like the comics are, but not in continuity with the main series, at least until/if it is ever referenced by the series (At this point, I think is fair to say it's more in continuity with the comics themselves.)
    • The short version on EQG continuity is that it technically is canon, but the events of the movie don't really influence the events of the show. So far the only exception to this is Flash Sentry's cameo in "Three's A Crowd" and even that's more of a cameo than any actual plot relevance.
  • So Cadence says "We can't turn back time" while Twilight used a spell to travel to the past two seasons ago?
    • That's not turning back time, that's time travel. Similar but different since time travel only effects a limited (usually extremely small) group of people. Also while we only have on example it seems that MLP works on either the Grandfather Paradox rule or a Stable Time Loop. Either way you're ability to change the past is either extremely limited or impossible. Remember if Twilight had simply decided to ignore the warning from her future self most of what happened, especially to her, wouldn't have occurred.
  • Why didn't Cadance wear her hair in the Royal Ceremonial Headdress again for the opening ceremonies?
    • Because it was a huge pain in the flank?

     4.25 Twilight's Kingdom - Part 1 
  • When Celestia is telling Tirek's backstory, it's stated that Skorpan became friends with Starswirl the Bearded, and learning the Magic of Friendship from him led him to make his Heel–Face Turn. But back in Magical Mystery Cure, she stated that Starswirl couldn't complete his final spell because he didn't understand the Magic of Friendship. So...how does that work exactly?
    • Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean you can't experience it. Plus, she never said that Scorpan learned it exclusively from Star Swirl, just that they were friends.
    • Starswirl the Bearded isn't named, only implied in the book. This book has been shown to be inaccurate in the past depicting the Pony Sisters as the same size, Tia with pink hair, the colors of the elements themselves. While it's clearly supposed to be Starswirl depicted it wouldn't surprise me if it was otherwise.
      • More to the point, Celestia's exact words were that Starswirl didn't understand friendship "the way" Twilight did, not that he didn't understand it at all.
  • So is it implying that Tirek was what the fandom assumed to be the "Pony of Shadows" back at the end of Castle Mania?
    • Doubtful. If that were the case, they would have made it more explicit, or at least hinted at it in some way in the finale. Not to mention that the Pony of Shadows was said to have been created from Nightmare Moon's magic, and according to his backstory, Tirek was imprisoned before Luna turned into Nightmare Moon.
      • What was meant was more "Was the 'Pony of Shadows' that shows up at the end actually just Tirek?" and less "I think Tirek was the 'Pony of Shadows' itself."
    • The pony in the cloak, aside from having different eyes, got a look at Twilight. Tirek would have known about the fourth winged unicorn.
      • The show has a history of drawing the eyes of a character to appear more threatening when that character is concealed by a cloak, though. Bridle Gossip gave this treatment to Zecora, and the same is true of Luna in Luna Eclipsed. If we'd gotten a glimpse of Pinkie's eyes under her bluebell tarp in that episode, I'll bet they would have looked downright sinister.
  • Considering it was established back in Season One that being a princess kinda sucks or at least comes with a lot of duties that aren't a lot of fun. Remember mind you that Tia apparently invited Twilight and friends to the Grand Galloping Gala specifically because they were young, immature and would hopefully liven up the otherwise droll proceedings. Why didn't anybody tell Twilight to suck it up?
    • Because Twilight didn't have any responsibilities. The show has established that on the whole Twilight actually doesn't mind big workloads that would keep her busy all day (recall that in "Baby Cakes" she was writing a friendship report that summarized all of her other friendship reports.) Twilight didn't think that being a princess sucked because she now had to do a whole bunch of royal duties, she thought it sucked because all she had done to this point was just PR. It's kind of like making the football team and spending all the time on the sidelines, you can say you're part of the team but after a while it won't seem that special if you don't actually go out and play.
      • The Grand Galloping Gala is PR. PR that Celestia has been established as hating. Twilight even before gaining a throne, (Luna doesn't have a throne, she stands next to one mind you) is clearly the Princess in charge of whooping ass and taking names. But that's not the point. None of the other princesses who have to drag their asses to the same PR missions tell Twilight that this is part of the job. Just like it can be assumed she has to go to the Gala every year now... and unless she plans on inviting the Cutie Mark Crusaders the next one isn't likely to be much fun.
      • Twilight's complaint wasn't really about having to do PR. Her complaint was that this PR was all she does. I'm pretty sure she is aware that it's supposed to be part of the job, she just didn't want it to be the only part. The other Princesses all have important responsibilities in addition to the PR, Twilight at this point had none at all.
      • Regarding the gala, there's no reason to assume Twilight would have to be there every year — after all, Cadance and Luna may not have been there when the Mane Six were. Either the princesses alternate years (meaning that Twilight would only have to put up with it for one day every four years), Celestia handles all the formalities alone every single year, or the princesses share the responsibility and whatever burdens it might entail. Furthermore, I find it hard to imagine that Celestia expected Twilight and her friends to create such a hubbub as they did, especially since originally she only offered invitations for Twilight and ONE of her friends. So it's very possible that the boring part of being a princess isn't having to attend the Gala, but rather having to attend the Gala alone. Having friends at a stuffy event like the Gala can make a HUGE difference.
      • The Gala is only one thing. There are probably lots of things that Celestia does that are simply time consuming and boring. Heck raising the sun probably gets droll the three hundred sixty fifth time you've done it and the point was about someone telling Twilight something along the lines of this is what a Princess does, perhaps even telling her that she should be thankful she's only called in for Four Princess events instead of day to day things. I can only imagine what planning the Equestria Games with Harsh Whinny must have been like for Cadence. An interesting point is raised though about the division of labor for most of modern history there has been one princess. Cadence seems to have been distinctly teen when she was foal sitting Twilight, she's probably not too much older than Twilight. (When we're talking about a scale of 20 to 1000 plus with Celestia) Luna was banished and Twilight hadn't ascended yet. They may radically change how duties are divided now that there are princesses to divide this up amongst.
    • "Droll" means 'curious or unusual, provoking dry amusement'. The word you're looking for is 'dull'. Luna and Cadance may have been there but not in the spotlight, as the focus of that part was on Twilight being with Celestia.
  • Is it simply the never say die and no kill rule that prevents them from mentioning how Tirek got into Tartarus or is Tartarus in Equestria actually a prison where LIVE people can be locked up?
    • Considering that Sombra was shown being killed in the Season 3 premiere and AJ's parents have been heavily implied to be dead, that rule may not be as tightly enforced as it otherwise would be. But as to your question, it's never been exactly stated just what Tatarus is in regards to the show. This troper's theory is that it's similar to the prison Bane was from in The Dark Knight Rises, but all the same it could be like Dante's interpretation of Hell.
      • I think it's the latter, after all the princesses were sent to Tartarus and they were pretty alive.
      • Point made. I do question if that's normal. Classical Mythology does have at least one person (Orpheus) enter Tartarus while he was alive meaning it's possible even in the source material. That doesn't make it a standard practice.
  • Why did Discord even listen to Tirek when Tirek was weakened? Firstly, Discord already has a good gig. He's not encased in stone, he's given a surprising amount of leeway considering what he's capable of, he's clearly enjoying himself, and the very fact that he's being deployed to stop Tirek is acknowledgement that he currently has the most power of anybody in the realm. Tirek doesn't really have a point. Secondly, if Discord really wanted to go bad, then nothing was really stopping him. He's perfectly at liberty to wreak chaos without Tirek, he knows enough to keep a wary eye on the tree of harmony and the element bearers now, and he would, if anything, be better off for not having any competition from another bad guy. He could just send Tirek back to Tartarus and go on his merry way unimpeded right there and then. Thirdly, he's played the manipulation game before. Even if he does think he's in a prison without walls, why does he not even suspect that Tirek is only saying what he wants to hear to get out of prison and gain power?
    • Discord has poor self control, and is easily flattered. I doubt he fully considered the consequences of his actions, and joined Tirek mostly because it allowed him to mess with everyone and do something unexpected.
    • It's possible that having friends changed Discord, maybe making him more trusting.
      • I think this is a big part of it. As a spirit of chaos, Discord is extremely volatile to begin with. Fluttershy convinced him to turn good in the first place by showing him that friendship is worth making sacrifices. It's entirely possible that Discord expected an alliance with Tirek to offer him the benefits of friendship without the sacrifices that his real friendships demanded.
    • More to the point, it takes this incident to make Discord really get friendship, and consequently start bonding with all of the Mane 6. By his own admission, he's in it mostly for Fluttershy; his relationships with the others are pretty shaky, and although he's made some progress, he's still easily swayed by promises of a friendship that's all take and no give.
  • Why does Celestia send Discord in the first place? Quite apart from the obvious trust issues, Tirek is a weakling by this point. If she knows where he is, she, Luna, and Cadence (and possibly Twilight), among others, could simply go to Tirek and imprison him themselves, with the added advantage that they can fly out of range and attack from there. If it's just because they worried Tirek would steal their powers, they could take an army of guards with them to act as temporary shield or something while they fire on him. The next episode has Twilight do precisely what I've suggested (confront Tirek directly), and he never accomplishes the act of draining her because they're at an impasse. Moreover, this was after he drained Discord and most, if not all, of the realm's ponies. Twilight with her power supplemented by the three Princesses' later matched Tirek's, so if she could match him here, she could patently whip his ass a hundred times over at the beginning. (By the way; Power levels, how do they work?) So what are the reasons?
    • Tirek is mugging ponies in back alleys out of sight of witnesses, and the Princesses have no way of locating him. Discord however is attuned to Tirek's power, and so can trace him when it's used. Why quite Celestia couldn't just ask Discord to tell them where he is and send in Luna to clean his clock I'm not entirely sure, but I suppose she just though it was simpler to let Discord handle it himself.
      • They send Discord for the same reason they didn't just completely own him both times they've gone up against him. Discord is more powerful than any alicorn individually.
      • It is a fair point that they don't know how powerful Tirek has become. There was a small possibility he might have gained enough power to become stronger than an alicorn (which if worst came to worst would mean alicorn al a carte and him getting a huge power boost) but it was very unlikely he'd be stronger than Discord.
  • What happened to Scorpan? Are we to assume he's dead now?
    • In the beginning when Celestia tells the story, she says he went back to his own land. So he could be alive, but there's no way of knowing.
  • How did Tirek get imprisoned in the first place if his power-stealing rendered him untouchable by anyone but Discord when he escaped in a weakened state? What the heck?
    • Elements of Harmony most likely, combined with Scorpan's betrayal. And I doubt he ever achieved that kind of power in his previous appearance, though still enough to be a threat to Luna and Celestia. Remember, Celestia stated to Twilight that they couldn't face Tirek because Discord was helping him, not because of Tirek himself.
    • Would the Elements even have been needed? Between having Scorpan and their side and not having Discord to help powerup, Tirek wouldn't have been anywhere near as powerful. Scorpan was working against him once he decided to conquer the place, so he didn't really have the chance to drain loads of ponies.
      • We don't know what level Tirek was at when he came to Equestria only that he came to steal Equestrian Magic. Since he drained Discord clearly he's not limited to only draining ponies. The world of Equestria/the Planet it sits on has dragons. Based on what we saw from the Red and Green dragons back in S1 they still seem to be (in terms of sheer power) superior to even Full Power Twilight. We've also seen a manticore and chimera floating around. There is no particular reason to think Tirek wasn't roughly the same strength last time as he was here.
    • Tirek wasn't untouchable, he was just unfindable. And, obviously, Discord was excited about a solo mission. Harshing his groove would have made it even easier for Tirek to convince him. Seriously, such a show of distrust might have convinced him to misbehave out of spite even if Tirek didn't say a word, and Discord was the bigger physical threat until he lost his powers.
  • Cerberus left Tartarus ages ago, and it's only now that they realize Tirek's escaped? What the heck is wrong with their version of Alcatraz if such a high-profile convict can escape without detection for so long? They really don't keep any records or have an internal security check that would notice if someone went missing, and who it was that went missing? They don't even explain how he escaped, but a brief glimpse in the second part of the two-parter suggests Cerberus is literally the only thing guarding him. How does that work? Is Celestia just holding the Idiot Ball here?
    • At this point I think it's fair to blame Twilight for not asking if there are any more extremely powerful beings who were banished, imprisoned, vanished with a kingdom, fled vowing vengeance against all pony kind or the like that she might like to know about before the world is about to end. That seems to be Celestia's go to.
    • Tartarus may actually be the Underworld and if it is they may not have much in the way of guards or anybody keeping track of who escaped. For all we know Sombra got out at the same time and is running around. It would make sense.
    • Its also possible that Celestia did know that Tirek had escaped in season 2, but just couldn't find him. If he's still that relatively powerless at the beginning of the season 4 finale, its pretty obvious he hasn't been doing much to drain other ponies in the interim. Its noteworthy that in a show where events of epic significance happen once every twenty-six episodes or so, all of a sudden we get three major shifts to the Equestrian strategic balance of power (Twilight's ascension, the re-incorporation of the Crystal Empire, and the reforming of Discord) within the space of thirteen episodes alone, and all of those had their timing dictated by willful acts of Princess Celestia. That's a sudden shift of the whole op-tempo into high gear, and with this sudden gear shift coming shortly after the Cerberus incident it really makes you wonder if Celestia knew all along. And this would hardly be the first time that Celestia knew something all along but kept Twilight out of the loop until she was needed to do something.
      • Unlikely. Why wouldn't she have started to look for him while he was powerless if that was the case? While only Discord can track magic disturbances, she could still set up a mundane manhunt, or at least warn her citizens about the dangerous creature on the loose.
      • Unless you get really lucky, it takes a LONG time to find someone who's gone into hiding. Osama bin Laden, for instance, was the #1 enemy of much of the world, meaning large amounts of people specially trained to find people were looking for him, and look at how many years it took to track him down. (Also, as there didn't seem to be any incident about pony-draining, we can safely assume he didn't steal anyone's power until the events of this episode.)
  • So, pony genetics are weird, sure, but what kind of species can have a hairy gargoyle thing and a massive red centaur be brothers?
    • The show's fantasy elements are often mythology-influenced and in ancient mythology, supernatural monsters of different forms being siblings was not uncommon. In Classical Mythology, the half-woman half-snake Echidna was the mother of Cerberus, the Chimera, the Hydra, and other creatures. In Norse Mythology, the god Loki was the father of the giant wolf Fenrir, the serpent Jormungand, and the goddess Hel.
    • Or perhaps they aren't (or weren't) brothers in blood, but were brothers in spirit. Two guys can have a very close relationship that they would consider each other brothers, even if they aren't related.
  • Why was Scorpan included at all? Backstory is great, and all, but I'm not entirely sure what purpose he served to the plot that couldn't have been filled by an already established character—Starswirl the Bearded, or even Celestia or Luna—with very little effort. He seems completely superfluous. Is there reference to mythology I missed, or something?
    • It is possible, however unlikely, that Scorpan will get a formal introduction somewhere down the line. As for his appearance in backstory, it's an obvious nod to the original My Little Pony series, as both he and Tirek used to work together (Scorpan being Tirek's servant).
  • Tirek grew several pounds after consuming the magic of ONE ORDINARY UNICORN. Assuming that E=mc^2 holds true in Equestria, that means that that one pony held enough energy within it's body to create that much matter. If detonated all at once (say by exhausting 100% of his magic to create antimatter), then the resulting explosion would probably wipe Equestria off the map. note  Now think of Celestia by comparison.
    • Equestria has teleportation magic, shapeshifting magic, time travel magic, and Discord... all of which violate Conservation of Energy to a degree best described as "hilarious". An argument that assumes real-world physics compliance as a starting postulate is not exactly on a solid foundation.
  • Celestia said Tirek came from a "far away land" or something similar. That means that there should be people who know about him. Even if nothing in that land is as long-lived as the Princesses, Scorpan is still there. Why didn't they help stop him, considering he would likely take revenge on Scorpan immediately after conquering Equestria?
    • For that matter, why didn't any other powerful beings help? Chrysalis (likely) still alive, and there are at least two fully-grown Dragons in Equestria. Even if they wouldn't have been able to defeat Tirek because of Discord you'd think they would try. Of course, this is assuming any were near enough to Equestria to reach it in time.
      • Because none of them care about helping ponies? Considering how hostile the teen dragons in "Dragon Quest" seemed to be about "namby-pamby ponies" and larger dragons seem to prefer isolation and couldn't care less about anything but their hordes, why would they help? Chrysalis is an unreformed villain and likely bears hostility to Celestia and the rest for her defeat. She might relish in the idea of their enslavement. Or maybe she just didn't have the time, knowledge, or strength to swiftly drop in and help battle Tirek.

     4.26 Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2 
  • Tirek knew about Cadence, but not Twilight. Let's ignore the fact that he escaped before Twilight even became an alicorn and had plenty of time to find out. Since his brother knew Starswirl, who Luna was implied to have at least met, we know he's been in Tartarus for the last thousand years. So, is Cadence that old?
    • What little evidence we have suggests not. Cadence appears to be a teen in the flashbacks when she's foal sitting Twilight, but Luna looked vastly different between the pilot and Nightmare Night so perhaps a an Alicorn's appearance is tied up with it's power. Assuming it's not Cadence is probably no more than a decade or so older than Twilight if they age like humans which would make her a 16 year old foalsitting a 6 year old. And is now a 26 year old married to the older brother of the girl she used to watch.
How did Tirek know about Cadence. He was imprisoned 1,000 years ago, before the Nightmare Moon incident, as was seen by the fact that Luna was there in the back story. Cadence, while we don't have a timeline of when she was made an Alicorn, she was obviously made in the thousand year interim, as is that she was young.
  • Because of the lockdown on Canterlot, her wedding wasn't made into much of a huge deal. The same thing can be said about the crystal empire, since most nopony knew about it before it reappeared. The only big public outing that she had was the Equestria Games, and Twilight was there as a princess, so Tirek couldn't have been there, otherwise he'd know about Twilight as well. So Twilight has had more huge public events than Cadence since his escape.
  • Cadence has likely been to Tartarus, dropping off other prisoners or simply checking in every now and then to make sure everything was running alright. Twilight hasn't had any responsibilities yet so Tirek wouldn't have been able to learn of her that way.
  • Since Discord wasn't immune to Tirek's magic drain, what would Celestia have done if Tirek managed a lucky shot when they first met?
    • Apparently at that point he was only strong enough to drain unicorn magic. He had to build his strength up to move onto pegasi and ultimately earth ponies. He probably didn't have it in him at that point to drain Discord, which is probably why he tried to sweet talk him, then blast him, then appeal to him, in that order.
  • Aside from technical reasons, why didn't the Wonderbolts call upon Rainbow Dash when they faced Tirek? You can see Reserve/Cadet members like Bulk Biceps and Cloudchaser alongside the full-timers.
    • Probably something similar to the "Designated Survivor" policy of the US Government where someone from the Presidential line of succession is always kept in a bunker to ensure continuity of the government if something catastrophically bad happens. In this case the Wonderbolts recognized that Dash, being a bearer of one of the elements of harmony, is too valuable to lose in what basically appeared to be a suicide charge. If Dash was there and had her powers drained, then Equestria was screwed.
    • From what we could tell, Tirek and Discord were probably attacking the Wonderbolts Academy, as only Discord could track Tirek. They went after the Wonderbolts, so the Wonderbolts had to defend themselves with whoever was around. They wouldn't have had time to call for help, otherwise they probably would have contacted the Royal Guard.
  • OK, so Tirek's not fully caught up on current events due to his imprisonment. Fair enough. But it's made clear that Tirek escaped a while ago, he just hasn't had a chance to act until this episode. In all that time he was out of the slammer, he never heard that there was a new princess? He can clearly go into a city, so it wouldn't be stretch for him to find a newspaper or something.
    • Equestrian news has been shown on several occasions to be severely lacking. Almost nobody seems to recognize the Mane 6 outside their close friends.
      • Still, Twilight had a very public coronation, and Tirek had been out and about then.
    • It's possible that after Tirek escaped, he was still too weak to confront anypony. If he did, he'd be instantly arrested or something. Thus, he remained isolated from society until he could grow strong enough to forcefully drain a pony. This kept him from following Equestrian news. Of course, this still begs the question why he didn't find out after he started draining ponies. Maybe his ravenous desire for magic clouded his judgment?
  • How did Tirek not know of Twilight Sparkle the alicorn, if he was the shadow pony we saw in "Castle Mane-ia"? If that wasn't him, then we have a What Happenedtothemouse plothole....
    • If the shadowy figure was supposed to be Tirek they definitely would've told us. From the looks of it, the Pony of Shadows was never supposed to be anything more than a little twist to surprise the audience. On the other hand Tartarus and Cerberus were only joke in "It's About Time" and now they've turned it into something far more serious. So there's still hope that this was not the last time we've seen the Pony of Shadows.
    • If it was Tirek stalking around, he could simply not have gotten a good look at her due to the darkness and other ponies around her, or not bothered to pay enough attention to her race since she lacked any regalia or guards that would have immediately tipped him off that she was important.
    • Six ponies and a dragon, strong enough to venture into the Everfree Forest? Tirek undoubtedly would want to keep his distance and restrain any curiosity about their identities, as at that stage he likely wouldn't stand a chance in a fight.
      • Hang on a sec, if Tirek was still powerless, would he even be able to venture into the forest safely? Sure, the Everfree has only been as dangerous as rumored when it's being riled up, but it's still harsh terrain, and Tirek wasn't just powerless at the start of this finale, but downright frail, walking like an old man. Even a normal forest would have posed a challenge to him.
      • I could be completely wrong on this, but I got the impression that the Everfree has been a less dangerous place since the Elements were returned to the Tree of Harmony. Nothing, as far as I know, has been stated, but characters have been pretty casual about wondering through the forest whenever they feel like it in season 4.
  • How did Celestia know that Discord would tip off Twilight about the keys prior to betraying them?
    • What makes you think she did? That was his own idea.
  • If she knew he was going to betray them why send him? If the following chain of events hadn't occurred, Discord betrays Twilight, Discord feels bad about it, Twilight forgives Discord she wouldn't have gotten her key and everybody loses.
    • She didn't know. She planned that his reformation would stick, and since Tirek was clearly no match for him he was the best choice to go. While it is true that Twilight probably wouldn't have gotten her key had Discord not undergone a Heel–Face Turn after his Face–Heel Turn, if things had gone according to plan it wouldn't have mattered anyway.
    • Furthermore, what's to say Princess Celestia even knows about the friendship keys, how they work, or what they might unlock? Twilight only discovered the truth about them when Discord pointed it out. Also, forgiving Discord is hardly the ONLY way Twilight's friendship could have been put to the test. I don't think the objects that would become the friendship keys were predetermined — they became the friendship keys because they came to represent the Mane Six overcoming certain trials, not the other way around.
  • Why was she banking on Discord not bothering to tell Tirak about Twilight? If he'd opened his mouth earlier things would have gone south real fast. She specifically mentions that Twilight is chosen to hold all the magic precisely because Tirak doesn't know she exists and won't go looking for her.
    • As stated above, Celestia had no idea Discord would betray them. The whole reason Twilight was even given the powers in the first place was because her plan had gone seriously wrong, and Tirek not knowing about Twilight being recently promoted to Alicorn was due to his time in Tartarus as well as a lucky accident: Discord purposely withheld that knowledge as a sort of bargaining chip to ensure Tirek wouldn't dispose of him (which he did anyway once he spilled the beans).
      • It was a lucky accident that her ENTIRE plan hinged on. In fact knowing that Discord had betrayed them makes Twilight being a secret incredibly unlikely. Heck given his personal connection it was probable that Discord would go for Twilight first just because it was funny.
      • As stated in the show, Discord purposely kept Twilight a secret in order to ensure that Tirek wouldn't betray him. When Discord was certain that he wouldn't be double crossed, he filled Tirek in.
      • But Celestia's plan to give Twilight her power was based on the idea that Discord hadn't and wouldn't tell Tirek about Twilight. He didn't until it came up casually (in fact he notices the shift of magic and doesn't answer Tirek when he asks about it buying precious time for our heroes) but how did Celestia know he wouldn't/why did she think he wouldn't. The first part of Celestia's plan was that Twilight was some kind of secret.
      • Like I said, luck. At this point Discord was a wild card, Celestia had no way of knowing just what he was going to do. Note that she summoned Twilight to Canterlot as opposed to flying down to Ponyville herself. When Twilight showed up and she still had her Cutie Mark, it was clear that Tirek was either still unaware of her existence, or if he was that he hadn't found her yet. Either way the best move at this point was to give her all the magic, because even if Tirek did know Twilight would at least have a fighting chance against him. Also it's important to keep in mind that giving Twilight the combined magic of three alicorns wasn't part of her original plan. That went out the window with Discord's Face–Heel Turn and pretty much everything after that was improvisation.
      • Plus, it may have been a Xanatos Gambit. After all, what kind of plan is 'Take all our magic and hide forever'? That still leaves Equestria drained of magic and all of the little ponies living as soul-drained zombies. Celestia might very well have intended Twilight to go kick Tirek's sorry flank the entire time, but upon seeing that Twilight wasn't remotely ready for such a confrontation at that minute instead comes up with a plan that sounds plausible to Twilight and will at least buy her a nonzero amount of time to prepare (best case) and, well, even if Discord's already told Tirek Celestia knows somepony's got to fight him anyway (worst case). As to 'why give Twilight all the combined power instead of, oh, Celestia or Luna herself?', the answer is 'Celestia ain't the one with five friends who got five keys to that box'. She's throwing two Hail Mary's with one football; if the combined power of all four alicorns alone still isn't enough to let Twilight kick Tirek's flank, maybe it will buy her enough time to find the sixth key at least. (Which is, in fact, exactly what it did.)
      • Celestia may also have been expecting Tirek and Discord to eventually turn on each other — which is not an entirely unreasonable assumption, given that her plan already takes into account that Discord has been treacherous, and of course Tirek ain't no ray of sunshine either. This could give Super-Twilight an opening to finish off the survivor after they'd weakened each other. Which would mean her mistake lay in underestimating Tirek; then again, we weren't expecting Discord to get one-punched like that either, much less for Tirek to successfully take his power and make it his own.
      • The above sounds very plausible except for the OHKO part. From what we've seen in Equestria very few fights turn into genuine fights. In order the Mane 6 one shot Nightmare Moon and Discord. Queen Chrysalis wins a beam o' war with Celestia and one shots her at the end. Shining Armor and Princess Cadence go on to one shot the entire Changingling army. King Sombra is taken out in a single blow from the Crystal Heart. Tirek one shots Discord. So far in cannon there have been perhaps three encounters from high power characters that can be called a fight. Luna/Nightmare Moon vs Celestia, Full Power Twilight vs Full Power Tirek and one could argue that Celestia and Chrysalis fought. The point being MLP seems to be a world filled almost entirely with Glass Cannon and whoever goes first in a battle is going to win. There is no reason based on what we've seen to believe that whoever came out on top of the battle between Discord and Tirek would have been winded instead of exactly what did happen and were hopped up on (Elements of Harmony, Crystal Heart, Rainbow Power, Discord's Strength, what have you.)
  • Alright, so if Celestia had no idea Discord would betray them, why didn't she send in someone to make sure he doesn't back stab them?
    • Who could she have possibly sent who wouldn't have made the situation even worse? Twilight? Fluttershy? I think she also wanted to send Discord over alone because having anyone else accompany him would've made Tirek suspicious.
  • Why does Twilight forgive Discord? Depending on how you interpret his actions in the Princess Twilight He's been at best less than openly antagonistic but far from someone who'd be forgiven for near apocalyptic betrayal. Especially since Fluttershy seems to be the only one who's genuinely forgiven him.
    • While it is true that Discord hadn't really been on good terms with the ponies (other than Fluttershy), it was clear that he got played by Tirek. While he loved having friends, he still missed being able to do whatever he wanted as the God of chaos, and he was willing to give up his friends for power. But when Tirek pulled his You Have Outlived Your Usefulness card, the lesson that Discord learned in "Keep Calm and Flutter On" came back to bite him, hard. Not to mention that Discord was completely and utterly broken by what he had done, which not only makes it likely for the lesson on friendship to stick, but also means that the Mane Six have an obligation to forgive him because that's what friends do. All in all if Twilight and the others didn't forgive him after all that had happened, it would go against a lot of the morals that the show supports.
    • One should also remember that A) Discord was the one who told them how to open the box and what they needed to open it and B) Discord giving the medallion was the sixth key needed to open the box. Basically without Discord Tirek would not have been defeated (albeit Tirek rising to power probably could've been prevented). Plus, it also shows that Discord is open to friendship. Perhaps this is their way of showing gratitude; by offering him one more chance to be good.
      • Forgiving Discord was necessary for B) to take place. Which goes back to the original question of why did Twilight forgive Discord and think of him as a friend? While there are hints for us that he felt bad about what he was doing Twilight only knows that he's betrayed her. It honestly doesn't even make sense that Tirek would offer Discord up at all.
      • It is true that Twilight didn't really get along that well with Discord, but for all we know her attitude could've been along the lines of "yeah he's a jerk, but he's our jerk." As for Discord being held captive with the rest of the Mane Six? He was just there. In all likelihood Tirek didn't plan to release him as he clearly is surprised when Twilight demands he does.
      • He looked pretty pitiful in that bubble, and maybe she overheard what he was saying to Fluttershy. She probably figured that Tirek's betrayal knocked him down a peg or five and that he had been played like a fiddle.
    • Twilight saw him there, and simply put she's not the sort for revenge. Forgiveness or not, Discord is beaten, harmless, and she isn't going to just leave him there.
    • Discord's providing the lead to the keys may well be the critical moment here. That occurred well before Discord even considered siding with Tirek. Twilight acknowledged (to her own surprise) that Discord was genuinely trying to be helpful. Given that, it's probably a bit more understandable why Discord's 'backsliding' may have been forgiven.
  • If fighting Tirak was an option, and it clearly was given the impasse he and Empowered Twilight came to why didn't they super charge Luna or Tia (whichever was the Element of Harmony? It's established in the Pilot, the S2 opener and again here that the Elements aren't Mac Guffins you collect, they are part of your very soul giving no clear reason why Luna and Celestia couldn't wield them but more to the point while Twilight learns with surprising quickness once the pressure is on Celestia and Luna are older, more powerful in their own right and are experienced warriors.
    • Twilight is the element of magic. Also recall that the discovery of the final key came only seconds after Twilight gave up her powers. If Celestia, Luna, and Cadence had their magic drained away before the Mane Six could come up with a plan to stop Tirek (or if he had discovered the tree of harmony and/or the box) then it was all over. Giving Twilight their powers was just a way to give the Mane Six some more time to figure out how to stop him.
      • As stated above the Elements of Harmony do not seem to be artifacts, they are connected to your soul. The pilot demonstrates that clearly when the Mane 6 pretty much just claim them based on their actions along the way. No reason is given why any combination of Tia, Luna, Cadence and Celestia can't wield the elements. We know you don't need six (or two) wielders and no matter how close they've become since then you probably don't need to be particularly good friends either. Which loops back to Celestia is also an Element of Magic unless there is some kind of one owner rule.
    • Twilight has the Mane Six, who have consistently managed to defeat everything thrown at them so far. That's a HUGE point in her favor, along with the fact that she has the personal connection with Discord that could sway him back to their side or at least convince him to back off. Celestia has always been very reluctant to engage opponents herself, so it makes sense that she would be so again. Maybe she's a poor fighter despite her power, or maybe she's failed a few too many times and it's broken her confidence. Cadance has far less combat experience than Twilight. Luna maybe, but once again, Twilight's friends give her the advantage they really need when facing down Discord and Tirek combined.
    • As mentioned above, a primary reason to pick Twilight to be 'last alicorn standing' is because of that box. With the other five of the Mane Six having the first five keys, its pretty obvious who the sixth key is intended for. Therefore, Twilight has to remain free to keep looking for it. Since the three alicorns who give up their power know they're going to end up locked in Tartarus as soon as Tirek catches them, if not killed outright, that pretty much requires Twilight to be the one who gets all the alicorn magic.
    • The above troper raises an interesting point regarding Celestia and fights and possible loss of confidence. Looking at Celestia's backstory, she has had exactly one known fight that ended well for her — when her and Luna put down Discord. (And even that is revealed to have been only a temporary victory later.) Her fight vs. Nightmare Moon? Celestia wins, but its no consolation because banishing Luna is literally the most heartbreaking moment of Celestia's life. Her and Luna vs. Sombra? Sombra ultimately gets away and takes the entire Crystal Empire with him. Her fight vs. Chrysalis? She gets knocked on her plot. Fighting has brought Celestia nothing but misery — even in the fights she's won, victory has tasted like nothing but ashes. Yeah, no wonder Celestia prefers to leave head-busting missions to younger and more aggressive alicorns whenever she has the option.
      • Apropos of nothing whatsoever, I want a scene in season 5 where somepony tries to take advantage of Celestia's aversion to violence as first, second, or third option, only for Luna to step up and go all WAR GODDESS OF THE NIGHT on their sorry flank. ('My sister is a gentle soul to whom battle brings nothing but pain, whether she win or lose. I am not my sister.')
    • Fighting Tirek was an option. Fighting Discord was not. If they'd started to get an upper hand, Discord could have just popped their horns off of their heads. The only reason that fighting Tirek worked for Twilight at all was because he lacked Discord's skill, or at least his creativity.
      • Which begs the question: Why just have Discord tell them where Tirek was, then send a supercharged Celestia or Luna after him? Given how well "Super Saiyan Twilight" did against him, either of the far more experienced alicorn sisters probably finish him?
  • In what way is Discord not free? It seems the sole limitation on him at present is that Twilight is capable of summoning him. They have (or at least prior to this episode had) no means of controlling him that exceeded Fluttershy refusing to hang out with him.
    • I think Tirek's speech about him not being free was more metaphorical than literal. It goes back to "Keep Calm and Flutter On" where Discord learns that one of the costs of having friends is not being able to do whatever you want. Tirek played on that part of Discord who still wanted to be able to cause chaos but now couldn't because of his obligations to his friends. Of course this set the stage for his Heel–Face Turn when he realized that in the end, friendship really was more important than magic.
    • Discord's Berserk Button is confinement. Tirek is playing on that by mentally reframing 'friendship' as 'a prison without walls' in order to make Discord do what he wants. Tirek is lying, that's what the Big Bad does. Or alternately, Evil Cannot Comprehend Good and Tirek really does see friendship only as a confining, stifling thing, even though its not.
    • If Discord goes and plays his favorite games like he wants, he'd lose Fluttershy's friendship. While Tirek was evil, he was correct in that Discord was still chained up, and had a point about Discord being friends with someone that limited him.
      • But then, why side with someone who openly scorns friendship in such a way as to view it as a prison? If friendship was enough to keep Discord from freeing himself and taking over, then Tirek has just admitted he's got nothing to offer. If Discord really finds the attraction of freedom more enticing than friendship, then he should have gone rogue as early as episode two of this season; even if Tirek is needed to remind him of what he doesn't have, Discord gains nothing by helping the guy gain more power, because if Discord's going to rule, he won't want competition. At no point does Tirek offer Discord anything that Discord couldn't get himself. If you go back and watch the scene in which Tirek tries to convince Discord to join him, you should see that Tirek's means of persuading Discord to help him gain power has this big hole in it.
      • Except at this point Discord doesn't want to be alone anymore, let alone rule alone. Tirek scorned the idea of friendship, but he still offered Discord companionship, and to be an ally who would not restrict his actions. Further he played up an admiration for Discord. What really cemented Discord's trust in Tirek after all was a gift representing Tirek's "gratitude and loyalty." To Discord that seemed as good as friendship.
  • If Celestia's plan was to pretend Twilight didn't exist and wait in the throne room for Tirek to visit, why didn't she smash/magically alter the stained glass window with Twilight's ascension on it that was in the same room?
    • Considering that Tirek didn't even notice the window until after he'd finished interrogating the alicorns (which presumably took some time) it's possible that both him and Celestia simply Failed a Spot Check.
    • The entire plan reeks of Idiot Ball to be fair but she may not have smashed the window(s) for fear Tirek would wonder why she was destroying what seems to be Equestria's best historical records. Why she thought Discord wouldn't spill the beans immediately may just have been either hopeful thinking or her banking on Discord being a dick who wasn't so much betraying them as positioning himself ideally, seriously if Twilight had decided that traitors get what they deserve Equestria would have been screwed.
    • Celestia's fatal flaw seems to be that she's a little too trusting of others and willing to them the benefit of the doubt. We all saw what happened in the Season 2 finale, as well as Sunset Shimmer. Also considering that Discord can easily subdue Tirek and Twilight has only just learned to control her new magic, sending Discord was the logical choice and it backfired because her flaw came back to bite her in the flank again (not to mention Tirek essentially manipulated Discord into working for him).
    • Sometimes it seems that Celestia just isn't that bright. Between her total failure to spot the incoming danger or accomplish anything during 'A Canterlot Wedding', her sending Twilight out without any form of backup and counterproductive instructions in 'The Crystal Empire', and her entirely arbitrary and apparently senseless plan in 'Twilight's Kingdom' (punctuated by the incredible oversight of not taking care of the stained glass window), you really have to wonder at why other, usually more intelligent ponies, still defer to her opinions so consistently. While she may be presented as regal and powerful, the writing has left Celestia as one of the most incompetent characters of the series, bar none.
    • On the other hand, this is the same episode that introduced the canon that Celestia gets oracular visions, so its entirely possible that what looks like ridiculous plot contrivance is actually Celestia setting up gambits using precognition. And there is Word of Faust available that Celestia was intended to have at least some vague ability to sense the future. It can be wondered why the show waited until now to finally reveal this on-screen, especially given that that post of Faust's dates back to 2011.
  • Where does this battle between Tirek and Twilight occur? It clearly starts if not in Ponyville certainly Ponyville adjacent. But when it ends, the Tree of Harmony, formerly located pretty much beneath the Everfree Forest (it's a plot point in the season 4 opener that it's magic is keeping the forest in check) it seems to be just outside Ponyville when the fight concludes.
    • If you look at the map, they seem to be fighting in the area where they encountered the Diamond Dogs, which is to the east of Ponyville, running alongside the Everfree Forest. Conveniently enough, the Castle of the Sisters is also in the eastern side of the Everfree forest, just a little ways south. The distances do seem a little compressed for the purposes of clarity and plot, but it's not too bad.
      • Upon rewatching it closely it seems that maybe some of those stray shots were clearing out wide swaths of forest, but the Castle is on the EASTERN side of Everfree, which is the far side from Fluttershy's cottage which is on the South Eastern part of Ponyville and thus the North Western (mostly) corner of Everfree. To say nothing of the fact that the Library seems to usually be presented as near the center of town but here it's on the outside edge apparently. It's far from the worst magic geography in fiction mind you.
  • This is admittedly a very minor thing, but what is Shining Armor doing in Canterlot? He acts like he's patrolling there, yet as far as we know he's supposed to run the Crystal Empire now.
    • Cadence was also in Canterlot, so it wouldn't be too far of a stretch to assume he would be there with her.
  • Before the airing of the season finale, hints were dropped about the nature of the villain, Tirek. One of those hints was that he has "issues". Am I to believe that the issue he has is one about trust, or is it he believes that friendship is worthless ever since his brother, Scorpan, "betrayed" him?
    • For the most part his issue is revenge against the royal sisters. But it also seems clear that he doesn't believe in friendship. As a troper stated above this could be a case of Evil Cannot Comprehend Good.
  • Now that Ponyville is a "kingdom" does that mean Mayor Mare is out of a job?
    • Not necessarily. Twilight can easily appoint Mayor Mare as her paperwork deputy/palace chamberlain/etc. Alternately, the British Empire has had both a monarchy and a Lord Mayor of London since 1189.
    • Unclear. While the castle does appear to be in Ponyville (or at least close enough that it would be visible on a constant basis) it wasn't explicitly stated that Twilight was now the ruler or that Ponyville was its own separate kingdom. For all we know it's still a part of the Equestrian kingdom but just has a fancy new castle. It's also important to keep in mind that in the FiM verse "Princess" is a catch-all term for a variety of different jobs. The only "true" princesses are Celestia and arguably Cadence (though her proper title would be "Empress"). While Luna lives in Canterlot she hasn't been seen doing much of anything in terms of making decrees, the only time she did was when she banned Nightmare Night (and then rescinded said ban). For the most part she seems more occupied with protecting the ponies at night (via both dreamwalking and, in the case of the royal wedding, active surveillance). Twilight however was not a "true" princess this season because, as explained in the finale, her "duties" were mainly PR. If anything she was (and possibly still is) closer to an archmage. Of course this could change given that she has a shiny new castle (and the title of the finale was called "Twilight's kingdom") but given the castle's location (it's not explicitly shown to be in Ponyville) as well as the setup (seven thrones and presumably accommodations for the Mane Six, Spike, Discord and any others who join their company) it seems that the castle is meant less as an "official residence for a ruler" and more of a base of operations for the Mane Six who may now very well be Equestria's answer to the Justice League or the Avengers. (League of Harmony?) Either way this will become more clear in Season 5 (apparently an entire episode will focus on the castle) but for now there's no reason to suspect that there's been a shift in Ponyville politics.
      • TLDR: Until stated otherwise, Mayor Mare's job is secure.
    • There's no reason why having a higher governmental authority would preclude having a mayor in charge of local affairs. London and Washington, D.C. both have mayors despite each housing their respective country's highest seat of government.
    • Probably not. Princess in Equestria seems to go hand in hand with Alicorn and thus is equal parts race and rank. As far as we can tell prior to the return of the Crystal Empire Princess Cadence held no significant rank within Equestria. She wasn't even (as far as we could tell) present for the Gala. Twilight specifically complained about her position being mostly about ceremony. Princess of Friendship (even in a cartoon about multicolored ponies who weaponized friendship) sounds like a made up position that probably has only slightly more (legal) authority than Twilight already enjoyed as a Princess and probably passively enjoyed as Tia's #1 Student. Honestly other than a single episode to clarify her relationship with Mayor Mare I'd be shocked if Twilight has much in the way of day to day duties.
  • Aside from a much needed Worf Effect how did Tirek defeat Discord. I know he was hopped up on stolen power but Twilight and Tirek between them don't seem to wield a fraction of the power that Discord tossed around casually in his first two appearances. Unless Discord's powers function on some sort of Rule of Funny and he's literally less powerful in serious situations he should have I dunno, taken Tirek's magic. Turned the ground beneath him into Tapioca. Shifted the landscape to shield himself. Teleported, he seems to teleport in the middle of conversations just for the lulz. From a story stand point of course Twilight and friends had to win, but in-universe one has to wonder.
    • Tirek had him in his grasp, and that was a hell of a lot of power to escape in a hurry. Maybe if Discord had warning it would have gone differently, which is likely why Tirek did it. He's not going to have someone more powerful than him hanging around, especially if their resolve is already faltering.
    • Also, Tirek's ability to do this comes right after he finishes draining the Mane Six sans Twilight. The Elemental Harmony Gang, who are not only all pony prodigies in their own right but all charged up with the Magic of Friendship; something Discord is known to be vulnerable to.
    • The medallion that Discord was wearing might have nullified his powers. Of course, if that's the case, it probably would have been a bad idea to give it to Twilight. Plus, Tirek just dismissed it as worthless.
    • Another take: at high enough power levels Tirek's telekinesis is so powerful that it prevents magic escape, or at least makes it significantly harder. A "You Will Not Evade Me" kind of thing. Notice how during his battle with Twilight, she keeps avoiding all his moves by teleporting around, but when he telekinetically grabs her, she's left helpless and flailing around. It makes sense that a villain whose primary power is Mana Drain would have an Anti-Magic component to his powers. If Discord had been aware of what Tirek intended to do, he probably would have avoided the telekinetic hold altogether, but Tirek's betrayal took him by complete surprise.
    • It's not like Discord is "omnipotent, except against the Elements, which are his one weakness", since the Tatzlwurm in "Three's a Crowd" was able to make him sick for real. The implication seems to be that, alien and terrifying as he is to everyone in Equestria, there are worse things elsewhere, which has some pretty scary implications.
      • He seems to be if not fully omnipotent, except against the Elements, certainly the next best thing. Heck nothing we saw during the fight against Discord suggests he couldn't have beaten the Element Bearers (either set) if he'd been actively fighting and not trolling. Sure it might be part of his established character that he's simply to prone to chaos to actually take a situation seriously but he was eating Plunder Seeds when Luna and Tia took him out and literally took time out of his busy day of Chaos to give the Mane 6 a shot at him apparently not noticing they had regained their connections. Discord is not alien and terrifying, he's a god whose demonstrated the ability to alter the rules of physics at a whim. Tirek by contrast can absorb magic and shoot large beams of energy. He's basically an alicorn with vampirism. Hardly impressive compared to the God of Chaos.
    • But Tirek and the Tatzlwurm still caught him entirely off guard and both managed to seriously harm him. It is pretty clear now that despite his power (he's still likely the most powerful being in Equestria), there are holes in his omnipotence that can be exploited.
      • Which may be the key detail here, they both completely blindsided him and going back to The Return of Harmony Celestia for starters seems much more annoyed than outright terrified of Discord, compare her reaction to him vs her reaction to Tirek, and in that case he apparently blind sided her. Equestria might just be inhabited entirely by Glass Cannons and whoever goes first wins the fight. Tirek with the power of every non-princess in Equestria vs Twilight with every princess (Which gives us a fair estimate of the raw power the Princesses are wielding now. Quite literally the four of them could battle every other pony to a stand still in a straight fight.) is the only battle we've seen that wasn't pretty much a OHKO. And it's unclear if the Tatzlwurm did much to Discord. Even if he wasn't hamming it up so Fluttershy would pamper him he still might have been capable of quite a lot. A Discord running at 50% would still be a pretty huge threat for nearly anything in Equestria.
      • If Discord can be defeated without him intentionally letting his adversaries win, he is not omnipotent. He has vast amounts of reality-warping powers, but 1) he is not omniscient, as he has been deceived many times over the series, and 2) he is quite knowledgeable but doesn't think at a faster rate than any other character in the series. Together, this means that Discord can be tricked, ambushed, flanked, and deceived, and we see that every time anyone manages to surprise him, he gets stunned long enough for them to incapacitate him. This leads me to believe that, even though he likes chaos and, well, discord, Discord is a flowchart kind of thinker. That is, everything he does, he plans in advance (even if it's just a split second), and if something happens that he didn't plan for, he becomes mentally stuck. He has what is a recently-discovered but poorly-documented third option to the "fight-or-flight response," which is "freeze." I would go on to say this is why he's so knowledgeable on a lot of obscure things: So he can account for as many circumstances as possible. Another possibility is that Discord's magic, if we could call it that, is a different kind of magic than the rest of the series (as we see in him going right through the Smooze's anti-magic body in the following season). It may operate on its own rules, which would necessarily come with its own weaknesses. Certainly, his reality-warping is tied to his consciousness: If he is immobilized in any way, everything reverts back to normal. An adversary fast enough to strike him before he starts warping reality, or someone who can predict what he will do and close the gap to melee range in spite of his reality-warping, can theoretically defeat him consistently. The former is often used in One Piece as a Worf Effect to someone with a Story-Breaker Power (which was how Vergo got the upper hand on Trafalgar Law, who has reality-warping powers too), and the latter was the most common way to take Genie out of the fight in Aladdin: The Series (who is also a reality-warping trickster).
  • It may be obvious to someone else, but I found it odd that in this episode, Twilight allowed Tirek to drain her power to save her friends, but in the Equestria Girls movie, she refused to give Sunset Shimmer the Element of Magic, with the only way back home in jeopardy of being destroyed. Was Twilight calling Sunset's bluff that time?
    • Her friends were in danger from Tirek, and if she had refused him he was perfectly capable of hurting or killing them. Destroying the portal just means she's separated from them, which is still a terrible prospect but not to the same extent.
    • First with Sunset Shimmer the choice appeared to be leave Sunset Shimmer where she could do a lot of harm with nobody able to challenge her or return to her friends. She had faith in that case that her friends would find a way to get along without her but the human world might very well be screwed. Tirek on the other hand had functionally won. There is also the fact that it's not clear when Twilight figured it out. If you watch closely when Tirek presents the Mane 5 and Discord that rainbow sheen passes over all their bubbles. While it was obviously partially to save time in the episode, the moment Discord hands the amulet over to Twilight, Apple Jack immediately states that's probably the last key and they all trot off to unlock their Super Mode. It wouldn't be surprising to learn that Twilight figured out the score the moment Tirek offered the trade. It certainly didn't take her long to make the decision.
  • Why did Tirek's defeat restore the power to the Princesses? Celestia, Luna and Cadence didn't have their power drained they gave it to Twilight. Twilight should have needed to manually return the power.
    • Maybe returning alicorn power to its rightful owners doesn't require the same elaborate ritual that it takes to give it to someone else. Or maybe Twilight somehow released it and mixed it with the rest of the magic to save time?
  • Won't Cheese Sandwich be pissed about what Pinkie did with Boneless?
    • Considering he had Boneless II before he left Ponyville I highly doubt it.
    • Plus, considering that it was to save everyone in Equestria, including him...
  • If Tirek destroyed the library, why didn't he destroy the Canterlot castle?
    • The shortest answer is simply he wasn't trying to destroy the Library, he was trying subdue/knock out/kill Twilight and she happened to be in the Library at the time. If a battle had broken out at Canterlot between Tirek and the princesses the castle would probably have been in rough shape too.
    • But if you pay attention to the conversation before that scene, after Discord said "Twilight lives above a library in Ponyville.", Tirek says, "Not for longer." So does this statement imply he planned to destroy the tree? If not, how would've his statement been changed in order to seem like he planned this?
      • I think Tirek was planning to unalive Twilight. He may very well have planned to level Ponyville at some point but the fact of the matter is when the library was destroyed he was aiming at the Alicorn not the library. It's worth noting that Tirek basically "killed" Tia, Luna and Cadence. He quite literally sent them to Hell if he'd taken Twilight's magic and sent her to Hell she would no longer live in a library in Ponyville fulfilling his claim.
  • Why did Tirek walk right up to the princesses? We the viewers know they have transfered their magic but he's there specifically because he does not know that yet and given the fight that Twilight gives him a few minutes later it seems safe to assume that three princesses even if they couldn't take him, surely the sucker punch they could have delivered in a three on one scenario like he thought he was walking into should have been dangerous.
    • He was stronger than them individually. Everyone involved knew that.
      • He did not come upon them individually however. He walked up to three of the most powerful beings that we're aware of. He should have been expecting a fight. He's not invincible and had the princesses put their power into say Luna and he just walked up like that she could literally blast him into next week as Twilight demonstrated.
    • He had Discord waiting in the other room. If they put up a fuss, his new BFF comes in a lends a limb.
    • Interestingly, this also implies that Tirek rates a princess at much lower than the population of Equestria, as he went after them before finishing the rest of the country.
      • That's really not what it implies. I think Tirek just doesn't have the ability to drain an alicorn unless he's already powered up. Supported by the part where he's unable to drain Twilight against her will, because she's carrying as much extra magic as he is.
  • Because Tirek said the statement "You're going to give me what I want?" how the heck did Tirek know Twilight had the alicorn magic if the other princesses didn't tell him? If the statement wasn't referring to her magic, then what was he referring to? And why did he have to fight Twilight if he didn't fight the other princesses? Was it due to the "perfectly controlled teleportation" statement?
    • Either Discord told him off screen or Tirek put two and two together. Tia mentions that power cannot just vanish, if Tirek is aware of this fact then finding three depowered Alicorns and seeing a picture of a fourth made it simple enough to figure out.
    • It still makes sense even if he doesn't know she has the powers of all three. She's still an alicorn herself, with no small amount of power.
      • Except he walked right up to all three "known" Alicorns clearly not expecting a fight. With Twilight he showed up clearly ready to rumble.
      • Tirek decided that he wanted a fight, it looks like. He had hostages from the beginning (the rest of the Mane Six and Discord are already waiting in those bubbles), so the decision to try brute force with Twilight was his.
      • As far as he knew the choice wasn't his however. He should have been expecting a fight from three Alicorns and wasn't, and shouldn't have been expecting a fight from one young Alicorn and was. The issue isn't that he decided to humor Twilight with a fight when he thought he could crush her. (He was actually surprised she could fight him and didn't know she had the combined might of all four Alicorns upon arrival) The question is why didn't he expect the first three to fight him.
      • I don't think he didn't expect them to fight him. I think he felt he had enough power slurped now that he could take them in a fight. He seemed to be leveling up, take unicorn magic until he was powerful enough to take pegasus / earth pony magic until he was powerful enough to take Discord's magic. He rolled in confident in his power and seemed surprised that they didn't / weren't able to fight him.
  • How much of part did skill play in Twilight and Tirek's fight? While neither of them did anything complicated, Twilight was a known magical prodigy and already had plenty of experience with both unicorn magic and some with alicorn magic, so she could have been making much better use of her powers than Tirek, who didn't seem to know how to use Discord's magic beyond smashing stuff, never even trying the transformations that he's known for.
    • Twilight is shown having difficulty controlling the raw power of the magic she absorbed, so while it's possible that in time she might have been able to whip up super versions of her spells, in the immediate context doing anything too complicated would risk losing control. That and she was majorly pissed at Tirek for a variety of reasons, so TWILIGHT SMASH was really the only viable option for her.
  • Spike's eyes didn't fade when the Mane Five were drained of their magic. Given that he was a dragon, and the Tirek was after pony magic, did he get drained? Sure, Discord got drained, but he was crazy powerful and that had a very distinctive visual.
    • Dragon magic is probably different from pony magic, and as Discord was deliberately aiming for pony magic, Spike might've escaped his notice. Either that or Spike didn't have enough raw magic energy for Tirek to consider him to be worth targeting.
  • To me, Tirek's plan sounded pretty cruel and a little bit stupid. Seriously, steal all the pony magic so he could be powerful? Why does that sound like a good plan? The princesses said that without magic, the ponies could not do their jobs, and those jobs benefit other ponies, so that meant he wanted to KILL ponies! Sure, Sunset Shimmer tried to kill Twilight and her friends, and Queen Crysalis locked Princess Cadence in a cave, but IMHO, Tirek is a much crueler villian than the two other villains I mentioned!
    • Not to justify Tirek's actions but we know nothing about the land he came from or why he and Scorpan came seeking power in the first place. We've seen just enough of the world around Equestria now to state clearly that as powerful as Celestia and Luna are they are not the most powerful beings in their setting. Discord easily outclasses them, Chrysalis and and Tirek are capable of overpowering them at their individual peaks. It's unclear what relationships are shared between the various countries in the world. If Chrysalis or Wendigos were attacking my homeland I might very well send two warriors to drain the power from some silly brightly colored ponies who's biggest problem in the last thousand years is a forest with weather that controls itself to save my people. Basically his motivation isn't given at all, he might just want raw power because he's evil, but he could be like Queen Chrysalis looking out for what's best for his people. By that standard Sunset Shimmer is the worst of the bunch as her motivation is jealousy. Nobody is being wronged who would be better under her rule.
    • Control of the sun is vital, assuming that a natural solar cycle won't assert itself, but we know that other species get by without magic. Equestrian society would be altered, but they would be able to adjust. Celestia was kinda overlooking that. Besides, future generations of ponies might be born with magic.
  • Why do people keep saying Discord's Heel–Face Turn is 100% complete? I know he learned his lesson but he is flat out told that he still needs to prove he can be a good guy. For that matter, why is he always let off without any sort of punishment when he still acts like a bad guy, saying sorry isn't always good enough.
    • This toper doesn't see a whole lot of fans claiming that but Discord is probably about as good as he's going to be. With his demonstrated Reality Warper powers he's likely got the Blue and Orange Morality to go with it. Death has not been formally discussed in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The closest we've got is a combination of heavy implication plus Word of God that Apple Jack's parents are dead and that coupled with Tirek literally sending Tia, Luna and Cadence to Hell which they are promptly brought back from. Can Discord bring you back from the dead as easily as the princesses ultimately were? Was he imprisoned originally or killed? These are all important questions to ask because Ponyville was pretty screwed up and turning him to stone fixed everything. In his next appearance he freezes Apple Jack's farm and then fixes it with no apparently long lasting damage. Given the nature of Discord and his powers there is little reason to believe that the things happening during his musical number aren't actually happening and again, no harm no foul. He can take horns and wings and flip the sun and moon as quickly as he pleases. How do you apply morality to someone whom is actually outside of cause and effect to that degree? It actually goes deeper than how do you convince him that it's wrong, how is it even wrong as long as he remembers to fix it? If ponies weren't so resilient it would be one thing but outside of some fan fics nobody even seems to suffer any mental trauma from the stuff Discord pulls. Assuming he was never able to find a way to free himself betraying the ponies to Tirek may have been the first and only time he took an action that he couldn't fix with a literal snap of his fingers.
    • that doesn't answer the first part of my question that people (people on this very wiki claim his Heel–Face Turn was solidified) seem to miss that it was flat out said that as far as the ponies are concerned, he still needs to prove he is good. and there is also King Sombra being Killed Off for Real on-screen and Word of God confirming it. and being sent to Pony Hell doesn't mean the Princesses were killed, so, I don't know if your example works. and if your pay close attention, there clearly was mental trauma caused by Discord's actions. Example, Fluttershy being so horrified at her Corrupted self that she convinced herself it was a nightmare.
      • Evidence that Fluttershy convinced herself it was a nightmare instead of referring to the experience as nightmarish aside, they were all 100% recovered next episode and no reference is made by anybody or anything to suggest they didn't recover as quickly from him as they did from the parasprites. What else would you consider being sent to hell aside from "killing" if they can't escape? But the short answer even though this troper seems to find most people highly skeptical that Discord has even done a Heel–Face Turn as opposed to having a Morality Pet named Flutter shy is very, very simple. Fan Dumb.
  • After the princesses transfer all their power and magic to Twilight, shouldn't Princess Luna have reverted to her Season 1 appearance (except, minus the cutie mark)? According to Word of God, after she was defeated as Nightmare Moon, Luna essentially had little to no magic left in her body, but she regained her strength by the time her Season 2 appearance rolls around—hence her flowing mane and darker coat. But if that theory was true, then why did she not revert to her "powerless", Season 1, state?
    • There might be a kind of ontological inertia in effect; her physical state might "lag behind" as her body takes time (possibly days or weeks) to adjust and properly "reflect" the amount of magic she holds. In the case of the series premiere, the Elements probably instantly "reset" her to whatever physical level was appropriate to her power level. (Note that the Elements also restored Rarity's tail, presumably because that was the "correct" physical state for her, in their judgement). More generally, we don't know exactly how pony magic works and what its exact relationship is to things like cutie marks and presence of horns/wings/flowing manes. There is a relationship, but pony magic could very well be as complex as human physiology is. The interactions between dark magic, friendship magic, a pony's internal magic, etc. aren't necessarily explainable in a couple of sentences.
    • The obvious answer is that if she reverted to her season 1 appearance, she would look too different from Celestia and Cadance and that the animators didn't want to make new Celestia and Cadance models to match.
  • Other than to make a save the world happy ending, is there any logical reason why Tirek ignored the Mane Six, Spike, and Discord after he takes the Alicorn magic. It can't be because he saw them as no threat without their magic as that didn't stop him from sealing Celestia, Luna, and Cadance into Tartaurus despite them having given up theirs. So why would he not do that to Twilight and the others?
  • Why does the two parter gloss over the fact that the Mane Six (sans Fluttershy) showed open distain for Discord and not giving him a chance may have been one of the reasons of the betrayal. While it doesn't excuse it, this may have been why Discord was willing to believe Tirek's friendship is confinement talk, so why does Twilight think their friendship meant something to him? It's true that he was still a jerkish trickster post-reformation, but he at least isn't maliciously evil (let alone in Take Over the World mode). Also, Celestia only wanted Discord reformed because she thought his magic could be useful. How is that different from Tirek using him?
    • Personally I've always figured that was why first Twilight and then the rest forgave him so quickly, they realised that yes, he'd been a bad friend by betraying them but they out him in that position to begin with by not bothering to be good friends to him first. They let Fluttershy do the real befriending and then just expected him to do all the compromising to suit their needs and it bit them in the rump.
  • Why doesn't Celestia's plan include Twilight getting her friends involved? Twilight and her other five friends have been shown to be quite competent in other episodes and have saved Equestria before so even if the plan was to prevent Tirek from finding out about Twilight Sparkle, she could have at least warned them about Tirek so they could go into hiding and possibly even concoct a plan to take him down altogether. But no, she's advised to go it alone and doesn't even try to inform them of what's going on.
  • If Scorpan's necklace was as worthless to Tirek as he claimed it was, why did he keep it with him all this time? Between his banishment and escape, he had more than enough opportunity to get rid of the thing.
    • Possibly as a reminder to himself of Scorpan's 'betrayal', and thus of the 'folly' of ever trusting anyone or anything. Which also makes it deliberately Foreshadowing when he gifts it to Discord.
  • So the whole reason Celestia, Luna and Cadance give Twilight their magic is because Tirek doesn't know she's an alicorn. Except that the princesses know Discord is helping Tirek — Celestia specifically states this in dialogue in the same scene — and Discord knows Twilight is a princess/alicorn. Never mind the whole stained glass window that actually tips Tirek off, if Discord had mentioned it earlier, it would have probably been game over.
    • Heck, how did Tirek not know about her? Twilight had a very public coronation ceremony only a short time ago.
      • He was hiding out in some fairly uninhabited part of Equestria trying to get his strength back. He didn't go to civilized areas and steal magic until the night Celestia and Luna had that nightmare of him.
  • Why is it that Tirek, after all he has done, only returns straight to Tartarus, while Sombra, who has done far less, get killed off?
    • Sombra was imprisoned at first, and when he broke out was dealt with via an artifact that may not have a stun setting. Also, Tirek seems to be some sort of demon, so it's possible he may be unkillable.
      • Besides, Tartarus is pretty much the show's equivalent to Hell, so being sent there, alive, for eternity, is a Fate Worse than Death.
      • What we saw was a cage in a cave. Not exactly eternal torment, there.
      • It's basically eternal solitary confinement. There's a reason it's used as punishment in most prisons; complete isolation except for the occasional sighting of the guard watching over the solitary cell (in this case, Cerberus) it's a very harsh psychological and physical punishment, especially for long time periods.
    • Sombra was attacked by the Crystal Ponies using the Crystal Heart, not Twilight Sparkle and the power of Friendship/Harmony/Rainbows. Harmony related powers might or might not be capable of lethal force, but they certainly don't use them as a matter of course.
  • Wait, Shining Armor is still the captain of the Royal Guard? Shouldn't he have given that position to someone that lives in Canterlot?
    • He isn't captain anymore, but since Cadance was staying in Canterlot, he was probably serving as a bodyguard to his wife.
    • He was probably just acting as captain because, with Tirek around, it was an emergency.
  • How much of Equestria did Tirek drain? We know that he skipped Ponyville, and that Canterlot had Shining Armor and two guards intact when he came for the Princesses. Additionally, he only seemed to be able to drain a few dozen ponies at a time and he and Discord seemed to be jumping around at random. Did he even hit major cities like Manehattan or Cloudsdale?
    • It's likely that he only drained a fraction of Equestria. Coco was seen diligently working in Manehattan, so he obviously never went there. He'd fall right through Cloudsdale. He likely only went to Appleoosa, Canterlot, the Wonderbolt Academy, and Ponyville. And... wherever those alleys in the beginning were (this troper goes with Fillydelphia because of a fanfic). Which makes him even scarier; imagine if he drained more than a fraction of Equestria's populace.
  • Why does Celestia wear her crown jewels to bed?

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