My Little Pony: Friends Forever #26 - Shining Armor and Prince Blueblood
- Story by Jeremy Whitley, art by Tony Fleecs
Princess Cadance and Shining Armor are about to head to Yakyakistan to negotiate a trade and peace agreement with the leader of the yaks, Prince Rutherford, and Twilight Sparkle provides her brother with some last minute advice. However, just as they're about to leave, a situation arises that requires all four princesses, but Princess Celestia still insists Shining Armor go, and provides a replacement for Cadance — Prince Blueblood. Blueblood does not rub Shining the right way on their initial encounters, as Shining feels him too pompous, particularly when Blueblood insists on traveling to Yakyakistan via a pony-pulled palanquin while Shining insists on walking. Shining comes to quickly realize that Blueblood will be of no help in the hard work ahead and takes steps to try to keep him out of the negotiations.
Once in Yakyakistan, the two meet Prince Rutherford and Shining attempts a traditional yak greeting, which only serves to anger Prince Rutherford. Shining continues to work at negotiations, following the advice Twilight gave him but finds each attempt only gets Rutherford more upset. That evening, when Shining returns to the guest quarters, Blueblood insists everything is alright, and tells Shining to relax. Shining inadvertently falls asleep and, when he wakes up, he finds Blueblood gone. He races through the yaks' palace, only to find Blueblood relaxing and socializing with Prince Rutherford, having easily negotiated a trade deal. As they complete the rest of their mission without further incident, Blueblood has to remind Shining that he is skilled as an ambassador despite his haughty nature, even if he does often avoid the more physical activities.
This issue provides examples of:
- "Ass" in Ambassador:
- Prince Rutherford is as charming as ever.
- Despite being built up as this, Blueblood actually subverts it.
- While obviously not intending to, Shining Armor comes off as this to the yaks. He pretends to belong to a tribe he just made up, he walks around in a phony headdress, he cooks poorly made yak cuisine, and he insinuates he can play their sports.
- Berserk Button: Yaks do not appreciate when ponies try to copy their culture and do a bad job of it.
- Big Entrance: How Prince Blueblood arrives when Celestia introduces him to the others.
- The Yaks from the episode "Party Pooped" return, and both Shining Armor and Prince Blueblood bring up some events from that episode.
- Blueblood placates the yaks with some griffon scones, which are, as expected, bad. It works because he never claimed they were any good, just something new to try, and used their mutual distaste of the scones to bond with each other.
- Continuity Nod: Blueblood's commenting that Shining Armor is lucky that the orphan he got together with became a Princess references Cadance's backstory in Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell, which revealed that she was originally an orphaned pegasus before she became an alicorn.
- Cool Chair: When Blueblood arrives in the Crystal Empire, he quickly hops in King Sombra's old throne and comments it's much cooler looking than Celestia's, and even suggests she get one just like it.
- Hidden Depths: Despite his haughty manner and egotism from his only major show appearance, Prince Blueblood is shown to be a very adept ambassador.
- Long Bus Trip: Save for two minor cameos (three if you count a blink-and-you'll-miss-it flashback), Prince Blueblood hasn't appeared in the series since "The Best Night Ever" all the way back in Season 1.
- Manipulative Bastard: Blueblood is perhaps the most surprising example yet, knowing just what to say and do to placate the Yaks.
- Nice to the Waiter: Given his treatment of Rarity, one would not expect Blueblood to be this way, but his palanquin bearers don't mind letting him ride on them and he tips Yakmina well. Though his "Guide to Diplomacy" page suggests that it's part of the manipulation.
- Too Important to Walk: Blueblood travels from the Crystal Empire to Yakyakistan in a palanquin. However, on the way back, he's forced to walk because it's too stuffed full of gifts for him to fit. He doesn't mind since the return trip is mostly downhill. However, given the diplomatic savviness he displays during the comic, one wonders if he knew the palanquin would be useful for such kinds of transportation.