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When Somnambula and Meadowbrook's tales are told, they'll be told by Fluttershy and Pinkie, respectively
It's confirmed that Somnambula and Meadowbrook will appear at some point this season like Rockhoof, Mistmane and Flash Magnus did. "Campfire Tales" established a pattern with the legendary ponies and the characters telling their tales: Applejack told a story about an earth pony who heroically defended his home and village, Rarity one about a unicorn who sacrificed her beauty to put more beauty into the world, and Rainbow Dash one about a pegasus who risked his life out of loyalty to his friends. Going by this pattern, and considering that Somnambula's adventures seem to involve her encountering giant monsters (her comic book appearance features a giant snake as the threat, and her preview clip in the show features a giant sphinx), I would guess that Somnambula's tale will be told by Fluttershy, and Meadowbrook's by Pinkie.
- Semi-confirmed — Somnambula's story is told by an elderly male stallion, and though it's directed at Rainbow Dash, Pinkie is there too and we immediately see similarities between the two.
The episode will involve Celestia's perspective on some of the events in Twilight's life.
Twilight is fretting about her own student and probably whether she properly prepared her. This would be a natural time for Celestia to admit that sometimes she was worried about whether she'd done a proper job with Twilight (and with Celestia having already lost one apprentice to the dark side for a while, she would have reason to be worried!)
- Semi-confirmed. We get a brief flashback of Celestia unsure on how to proceed with a young Twilight's future (worrying about possible scenarios Twilight might face), before ultimately deciding that Twilight needs to continue her studies (and make friends) elsewhere.
All Bottled Up
Twilight will end up teaching Starlight the same breathing technique Cadance taught her.
The episode has Starlight asking Trixie if she got the lesson about not using a magical solution all the time. That would imply a non-magical solution for Starlight's problem was suggested in the episode. The same technique that allows Twilight to control her anxiety would seem to be a natural for helping Starlight control her anger.
A Flurry of Emotions
This episode will include Pinkie's family again, most likely Maud.
The title has to do with rocks, and they're the ponies most associated with rocks. Maud is especially rock-obsessed, and she's also the one with the most interaction with the Mane cast so far. Also, the season is reported to make a theme of family.
- As the synopsis released with the title confirmed, this episode will indeed focus on Maud considering whether or not to move to Ponyville.
- And she indeed showed up as the synopsis stated.
We will learn something about the mineralogy of Ponyville.
Derpy will appear.
She probably won't have a speaking role, but given that this is all about Pinkie singing the praises of Ponyville, Derpy is very likely to turn up.
Pinkie's protective instinct comes from her relationship with Maud.
Post episode guess.
Back in "Griffon the Brush Off", Pinkie takes it upon herself to try to deal with Gilda after the griffon roars at Fluttershy and soothes her that "Auntie Pinkie" has got it all under control. Fluttershy's irritated response that she's older than Pinkie seemed to be a one-off joke, but in this episode, Pinkie gets defensive when Starlight calls Maud "weird." Maud is also Pinkie's older sister, but she has difficulty dealing with the world in general. It's possible some of Pinkie's protective instinct may have arisen from similar incidents with her sister when they were growing up.
Fluttershy Leans In
Rarity's attempts to bond with her sister will end up resulting in public embarrassment for Sweetie Belle.
- Semi-confirmed. While it doesn't necessarily cause public embarrassment, Rarity somewhat gets under Sweetie Belle's skin by trying to do activities with her that she has grown out of.
Lightning Dust didn't live in Cloudsdale as a filly.
Post episode guess.
It would explain why Dust and Dash didn't know each other until they were cadets at the academy. Lightning Dust grew up in a different pegasus city and only visited Cloudsdale to participate in the flying races there.
- This is compatible with the "Lightning Dust is Sky Stinger's sister" theory, and she grew up in the house seen in "Top Bolt".
Bow Hothoof and Windy Whistles' enthusiasm is a result of the bad elements of Dash's childhood.
Post episode guess.
We know that Rainbow Dash was bullied somewhat for being prone to crashing early in life, so her parents made up their minds to be as encouraging as possible to make up for it. Unfortunately, it's possible that the irritation of the other foals perceiving their support as Unsportsmanlike Gloating may even have played into this — they saw that the other foals didn't want to be friends with their daughter, so naturally, they should be even more supportive to make up for it!
Post-episode guess. Rainbow Dash's parents strive to be supportive because they had unsupportive parents as foals.
Going along the implication that Scootaloo's parents are either absent or distant, it would perfctly explain why Bow Hothoof and Windy Whistles are so determined to cheer for everything Rainbow does. They want to give her the support that they never got from their own parents.
Hard to Say Anything
Applejack will learn a lesson about being "too" honest
- Confirmed. Rarity asks her to be a modeling judge, but she goes too far with voicing her opinions to the point of flat-out insulting the models' creations. It takes a visit and a few choice words from Strawberry Sunrise to make Applejack realize her mistake.
A Royal Problem
Luna and Celestia will end up having to raise/lower each other's respective celestial body.
They will both find this much more challenging than they expected, leading to them finding new appreciation for each other. Although since Celestia has been at least implied to have handled moon duties during Luna's banishment, her difficulties could involve trying to manage dreams instead.
- Confirmed, to a degree. Celestia ends up raising the moon like Luna (but we don't get to see Luna handling the sun as well) although she doesn't find it difficult at all, stating that it's even easier than raising the sun. She does have difficulties when she starts handling the ponies' dreams however and tries to enlist Luna's help who can't aid her due to temporarily having Celestia's magic rather than her own.
Not Asking for Trouble
Discord's attempts to make himself and his realm more presentable will result in him making himself too orderly.
It won't necessarily be a rehash of the comics' Accord arc, but he'll still end up overcompensating in making himself less chaotic, probably making himself and his realm orderly, polite, predictable or such to a downright creepy level.
The Perfect Pear
This is when we will find out how Applejack's parents died.
- Jossed. They're never explicitly stated to be dead, but it's heavily implied as they're spoken of exclusively in the past tense. Applebloom even says that "Mom and Dad left them something to remember them by.
Sugar Belle will appear in the Cold Open
and/or the tag.
- Jossed, as she never makes an appearance.
The Apples will reject Grand Pear's apology after hearing what he did to their mother.
Seriously, what kind of parent just disavows and abandons their child like that? It would give the Apple siblings every right not to accept Grand Pear into their family. As this troper would put it, "A pony who kicks out a member of his own family doesn't deserve to be part of a family at all."
- Jossed. They are upset at what Grand Pear did to his daughter, but they readily welcome him with open arms when they see how truly remorseful he is.
Post-episode guess: Some time after the wedding, Pear Butter discovered that she was pregnant
Which made the Parental Abandonment
on Grand Pear's part that much harder for her, as while she did have the Apples and Burnt Oak, Chiffon Swirl/Mrs. Cake and Mayor Mare to help her, she had no one of her birth family to help her through her first pregnancy not to mention her realization that her father wouldn't get to see his first grandchild ( later he does, of course) even if it was unplanned. It could also be one of the reasons Granny Smith seems a little bit angry when she sees Grand Pear again.
Post-episode guess: Some, at least, of the cats that ran away made it back to Fluttershy's cottage.
And then Fluttershy put her hoof down; no more cats for Goldie Delicious
Fame and Misfortune
The episode will include parodies (affectionate or not) of fan controversies.
It seems likely, given that the Mane Six are becoming celebrities in-universe in this episode, that the authors will take advantage of the opportunity to relate what's going on in Equestria to what's going on beyond the fourth wall. The "who's the best author" controversy mentioned in the synopsis could relate to "X is best pony" disagreements.
- Confirmed. Most of the Loony Fans' disagreements came from arguing over who was the best pony. The fan controversy over Twilight becoming an alicorn was also referenced by a pony shouting "Twilight was better before she got wings!"
Post-episode guess: The Map will summon Moon Dancer to save Twilight Sparkle and Lemon Hearts' friendship.
Lemon Hearts was in the Rarity-bashing crowd. That could easily precipitate a falling-out with Twilight,
Ember and Thorax will end up meeting despite Spike's efforts.
And they'll get along a lot better than he had feared.
- Confirmed that they meet. They disliked each other at first, but warmed up by the end of the episode.
There's been some sort of historical unpleasantness between the changelings and dragons at some point.
Which is why Spike doesn't want them to meet — he's worried about bad blood resurfacing and causing trouble.
The episode will feature more of Equestria's mythology.
Look at the title! We already have the Olden Pony and the Headless Horse, and Nightmare Moon filled the position of Equestria's bogeyman for a while. What other spooky myths and legends can be ponified?
- Confirmed. Three legends/folktales/historical figures were added to the lore.
- Or maybe the pony version of Something Wicked This Way Comes might get a hoof-frog synopsis.
- As an outside guess, this episode may or may not tie into the My Little Pony: Legends of Magic comic if historical legends are brought up. I am aware that the comics are not canon to the show and it does not have to follow what they do, but it's not impossible that some trivia or concept might make the jump.
The episode will be three short stories told by the CMC.
- The CMC and some other fillies gather around a campfire and tell scary stories involving the mane six or even background ponies. It will be the show's version of The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror episodes (mainly the ones from Season 2-4).
- Jossed. It was three short stories told to the CMC.
The episode will feature Daring Do's retirement (or the threat of it).
It could be ten minute
or permanent (though the former seems likelier); it could be her retirement as an author or as an adventurer. If it's her retirement as an author, the episode could feature Rainbow Dash
freaking out and trying to push her into writing more books. Either way, it seems to fit with the title.
- Confirmed. The plot is kicked off by Rainbow learning that A. K. Yearling (and by extension Daring Do) has decided to retire due to the destructive impact her adventures tend to have on the livelihoods of the ponies through whose hometowns she adventures.
Unwilling to go any farther herself, but aware how much her fans love the Daring Do books, Daring will open up the position of bringing Daring's adventures to another author (maybe a major fan like Rainbow Dash or Quibble Pants) or open it up to the fan community as a whole. Daring Do the pony may retire, but Daring Do the legend will live on.
- Jossed. Daring Do does not retire.
Alternatively, Daring will encourage the fans to create their own incredible stories.
This would be a terrific opportunity for another slightly meta
- Jossed. Daring Do does not retire.
This episode will Call-Back
to Fame and Misfortune
Unless Dashie changed the names and a few details
(as A. K. would have had to have done in every book), the non-fiction nature of Daring Do is now common knowledge. Daring will then be very unhappy with the Mane Six.
A.K. Yearling wrote Rainbow Dash into Ring of Destiny
and Rainbow has previously shown an interest in writing a novel about herself; a push from A.K. could be what she needs to make it happen.
- Jossed. Daring Do does not retire.
The Somnambula clip from the preview is from this episode.
Besides the Egyptian-themed backdrop of the story fitting well with a backstory for the latest Daring Do quest, the stories told in Campfire Tales do reflect those that are the Legends of Magic versions of the the Mane Six members depicted in these episodes (Rockhoof for Apple Jack, Mistmane for Rarity, Flash Magnus for Rainbow Dash), and with Pinkie Pie playing a role in this episode, it wouldn't be a surprise if Somnambula is Pinkie's Legends equivalent.
Daring's retirement is a ruse.
She's planning to lure an enemy into a trap with it somehow.
- Inverted — the retirement was brought on by a villain's manipulation that ultimately led her into a trap.
A Health of Information
This episode will deal with the issues of Chronic or Long-term (possibly terminal) illness
The synopsis given for the episode says that Zecora as contracted swamp fever. Swamp Fever is the layman's term for Equine Infectious Anemia. EIA is a disease similar to HIV in humans. Like HIV there is treatment but no cure. So the episode could deal with the issue of a friend suffering from such a disease. Obviously they won't kill off the character, it's not that kind of show, but it is likely that they will deal with the consequences (physical, emotional, social) of having such a condition.
- It doesn't seem likely the story will end without somepony finding a cure, because the disease turns the victim into a tree. But they could still make the period before the cure is found reminiscent of a long-term disease.
- Jossed. Zecora's period of sickness was not especially lengthy.
Some flashback involving Mage Meadowbrook from the Legends of Magic will be featured in this episode
The reasons for this:
- Given how the story involves Fluttershy looking for medicine for Zecora, it's possible that the medicine that Fluttershy is looking for is one that is part of a legend involving the legendary healer.
- Continuing the possible theme of comparing Legends of Magic characters to the Mane Six, Mage Meadowbrook is likely the Legends version of Fluttershy, with her story being told in this episode.
- Given that one of the preview screenshots released a while ago showed Fluttershy wearing Meadowbrook's mask while in a forest setting, it's likely that this will be the case.
Part of the episode's Aesop will be "The caretaker needs to take care of him/herself as well."
Fluttershy continues taking care of Zecora even after she comes down with Swamp Fever herself and ultimately winds up unconscious for days after being attacked by Flash Bees. Somepony (or somedragon or somezebra) will mention that it's admirable that Fluttershy was so devoted to her task, but it would have been much better if she'd enlisted help so she could get rest herself. After all, it's not going to help the patient at all if the caretaker runs herself into the ground.
To Change a Changeling
The episode will feature a recalcitrant Changeling.
It just seems to fit with the title.
- Confirmed as per the episode's synopsis.
The reason Pharynx hasn't accepted the new way like the others is because...
...The Changelings have unknowingly put themselves under risk by sharing love and transforming. While it's a good thing at first glance, their new appearance and ability to sustain themselves by freely generating love has made them a prime target for other love-hungry creatures (quite possibly including unreformed Changelings like Queen Chrysalis
) who could easily spot them thanks to their garish colors and sap them of their (apparently infinite) love to gain strength and overpower the reformed Changeling hive, also draining even more of their love afterwards because they keep generating it over and over again
. It's just that Pharynx is the only one who is aware of this fact and thinks he cannot convince the others if he tried
, so he attempts to overthrow Thorax
and get the hive to perform a FaceHeel Turn
so they are no longer an easy target for creatures they may not be able to fight (completely forgetting that they have the ponies by their side to aid them if such thing happens).
- Sort of. Pharynx is worried about the safety of the hive, but it's due to the fact that the reformed changelings have become extremely passive by choice and no longer actively guard their hive rather than due to any inherent vulnerability of their new forms.
- Confirmed. Starlight and Trixie try the usual friendship speech, and it doesn't have any effect.
This will be another map episode, this time sending Trixie and Starlight.
There really isn't a reason why it should be just these two that have to go to the Changeling Empire, without, say, Spike, who is Thorax's best friend. The only way it makes sense is that it's the map's doing.
- Jossed — the map wasn't involved at all. The two are just planning a surprise visit to their friend.
The map sent Starlight and Trixie (instead of Spike) because of their backgrounds.
Assuming it is
a map thing. Spike may be Thorax's friend, but the problem is that Thorax's brother doesn't like what Spike started in the changeling community. Trixie and Starlight were both antagonistic at one time and have softened up since; Pharynx is also antagonistic and needs to soften up.
- Jossed, as they weren't sent by the map — they decided to drop in as a personal visit.
This episode will strike a responsive chord with viewers who have wayward kin they are worried about.
It Isn't the Mane Thing About You
Rarity and Pinkie will get on the same page about the mix-up quickly.
The storyline revolves around Rarity's damage control attempts, not poor communication.
- Sort of. Rarity goes to see Zecora first thing after she ruins her mane, so she figures out what's going on quickly enough, but Pinkie doesn't catch on (or show up again, really) until the end of the episode.
After all Rarity's attempts to fix her mane, she will learn that the photographer is ill and so the photoshoot needs rescheduling anyway.
Once Upon a Zeppelin
An airship and/or airship journey will be a central part of the plot.
There may or may not also be a homage to Titanic
and/or Around the World in 80 Days
- Partially confirmed. The airship is shown and mentioned to journey above various locations like the Crystal Empire and into the Frozen North where the Northern Star phenomenon occurs, but other than that it doesn't play a huge part in the episode.
Spike is going to go with them.
Because since he never knew his own family, Twilight and her family are the only family he's got. Spike's going to say something like this in this episode.
- Jossed. As a matter of fact, Spike is the one to get Twilight to take a vacation and offers to fill her in on her princess duties while she's away.
Marks and Recreation
There will be some amount of parental pressure perceived (if not actual).
The CMC's problem of the episode is that one of the ponies at their Cutie Mark Camp doesn't actually want one. At their age, most likely the reason they would be at the camp in the first place is that the parents signed them up. The camper may feel that their parents are pressuring them to get a Cutie Mark (the CMC may even feel pressure to deliver, given the premise of the camp and their talent and reputation as Cutie Mark experts). Part of the episode will be negotiating between the foal's lack of desire to earn this symbol of growing up yet and the parents' (possibly unintended) pressure for them to do so. This would also fit in with the season's stated theme of "family."
- Jossed; Rumble's parents never appear (although his brother does) and the campers never had to sign up for the cutie mark camp to begin with (meaning they needed to come of their own accord), so Rumble only came to the camp because he straight up didn't want a cutie mark that isn't tied to what he likes and/or is able to do and tried to "show" he's "bad" at all the activities presented at the camp.
Rumble's song will get a rewritten reprise when he's wised up.
It will turn out Rumble does have a cutie mark already!
... and was hiding it with make-up (like Starlight did in "The Cutie Map"). He was just ashamed it wasn't anything big or cool. In fact, the reason he tried to push his philosophy on the other colts and fillies was because "misery loves company". Sort of like that Aesop fable about the fox who lost his tail, and tried to convince the other foxes to lose theirs.
- Jossed, as he isn't shown to have it at any point.
Troubleshoes will be mentioned again.
The fandom has picked up on the unfortunate implications
of how his problem was resolved last time, and it's one of the examples cited in cases of discussing the problem with cutie marks. It will be shown or mentioned that he has found other ways to exercise his cutie mark besides just being a rodeo clown with ponies laughing at his clumsiness.
Rumble will get a cutie mark in motivational speaking, to his own chagrin.
- Jossed as he never gets his cutie mark in the episode.
Alternately, Rumble will be a male counterpart to the CMC.
His concern about ponies being bound by their cutie marks could turn into a lifelong crusade...but in a more socially accepted way. He could run a business getting ponies to try new things (maybe even find unusual ways to use their cutie marks).
- Partially confirmed. Rumble is convinced that a cutie mark limits a pony to whatever the cutie mark represents, so he convinces all the campers — including one that got her cutie mark on the first day — to come with him and "be themselves" so that they'll be "able" to do what they want without being "limited" by their cutie mark. However when he realizes that this is also how a pony can get their cutie mark, he quickly halts all activities and makes the campers do literally nothing. He later on lets the campers return to the cutie mark camp.
Rumble will gain a Cutie Mark partway through the episode, to his horror.
Cutie marks appear when a pony discovers something they do well and (usually) like. Rumble will be in the middle of his campaign against them when suddenly one appears on him (possibly a mark in motivational speaking, as suggested by another WMG). Rumble will be horrified, but the CMC will talk to him and explain that a cutie mark is an expression your identity and talents (and usually your interests). The only way to avoid one would be never to grow good at/love an activity, which would result in a rather miserable, boring existence. Rumble relaxes and starts finding other uses for his cutie mark (the CMC could even employ him).
- Jossed as he never gets his cutie mark in the episode.
The filly with the haiku cutie mark will grow up to be a world-renowned linguistics expert
...and learn the language of aliens who communicate by drawing circles.
Secrets and Pies
Rainbow doesn't hate Pinkie's pies at all.
She was secretly giving the pie to somepony else who needed the food, but doesn't want to admit it publicly because she hides her softer side most of the time.
- Jossed. Rainbow straight up doesn't like pie.
Rainbow liked pies at one point
Tastebuds can and do change over time, after all. At some point, she grew tired of pies, but couldn't bring herself to tell Pinkie no.
The episode will be about acceptance.
Comic #59 of the IDW My Little Pony series has Pinkie trying to show Rainbow Dash that pie is good upon finding out she dislikes it. The comics aren't necessarily canon like the show is, but that would seem to suggest that Pinkie is likely to be correct that Dash doesn't like her pies. However, Dash will explain to her that this is not a personal insult; she may not like Pinkie's pies, but that's just because she doesn't like pie. It's not anything against her.
- Confirmed. The episode ends with Pinkie accepting that Rainbow just doesn't like eating pie, and saying the Rainbow can always be honest with her in the future.
Soarin' will have some kind of role in the episode.
Clips from the episode show Rainbow Dash in her Wonderbolt uniform and Spitfire crashing into Pinkie, so the Wonderbolts are confirmed to appear in the episode. Given how pies are treated as his Trademark Favorite Food
, Rainbow will likely attempt to give a pie away to Soarin', and him learning that she doesn't like pie ends up being Serious Business
- Jossed, outside of minor background appearances with the other Wonderbolts. And pies aren't really his Trademark Favorite Food outside of fanon — in the show, he just enjoyed one once six seasons before this episode.
This will be the episode where Trixie and Maud are finally seen together, and the episode will be about Starlight and her circle of friends (excluding Sunset Shimmer, of course).
- Maybe Sunburst, Thorax and Discord will be involved too.
- At least partially confirmed as per "Starlight's friends" in the synopsis; the episode will be about Sunburst getting along with them leading Starlight to worry that she and Sunburst don't have as much in common.
- Sunburst was, Thorax and Discord weren't.
- Confirmed on both counts, although Trixie and Maud don't have any notable interactions besides Trixie pulling Maud into the group hug at the end.
This is going to be a Spike episode.
This is going to be a Spike episode since he hasn't had his second episode this season yet. He's going to form some kind of personal bond with a character he barely or never interacted with.
- Jossed. It's a Starlight episode.
This will be the episode where the Pony of Shadows finally puts in a full appearance.
The Pony of Shadows is supposed to appear this season in some capacity, according to a season synopsis revealed a while ago, and going by the title this seems to be likeliest episode for it to show up in.
Chrysalis will crash Big Macintosh and Sugar Belle's wedding, disguised as an Apple cousin.
She will strengthen herself with all the eros, phileo, and storge so she can spring her revenge on Starlight effectively.
- Seems jossed, since Chrysalis is apparently saving her revenge for the season 8 opener.
The villain will be Shadowlock's ancestor from the comics.
It would fit the ongoing theme of this season regarding family relationships.
What is the Title referring to for this Two Part Episode? The debut of Shadow Tempest? The Return of Sombra? Or the actual appearance of the Pony of Shadows?
- A tie in with the movie would make sense, but it will probably not be very involved in the movie's plot.
- Anyone who's read the comic might have solid evidence for a guessthe arc "From the Shadows" is tied to Season 7 and it features a stallion named Shadow Lock trying to erase evidence of his villainous ancestor. We never find out who said ancestor is, though...therefore, the villain could be this mysterious ancestor. Bonus points if it is King Sombra!
- The synopsis released on September 20th confirms that it will indeed be the Pony of Shadows.
Not really the Pony of Shadows.
It will turn out that the main villain just used the Pony of Shadows to hide his true identity. The glowing yellow eyed creature from Castle Mane-ia could still be Tirek.
Star Swirl the Bearded's legendary story will be revealed in this episode.
He's the only character left from the legend comics who hasn't had an episode yet, and it's going to help Twilight figure out how to save the day.
"Shadow Play — Part 1" will end with a dramatic shot of the Pillars of Old Equestria entering the mortal world again.
Then cut to the credits, and their actual introduction is in the next episode (meaning a few minutes afterwards, since Hasbro has released the halves of each two-parter since "A Canterlot Wedding" on the same day as each other). A brief cut to Twilight fainting in happiness may or may not be included.
The Pillars of Equestria are equivalent to the Elements of Harmony
Starswirl being Magic, Rockhoof being Honesty, Mistmane being Generosity, Flash Magnus being Loyalty, Mage Meadowbrooke being Kindness and possibly
Somnambula being Laughter.
- Confirmed. It is mentioned in the episode that the Elements of Harmony actually are "reflections of their own elements": hope, bravery, strength, beauty, healing, and sorcery.