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Much like the jewels and gems inches below the soil, the land itself is filled with rumors and mysteries. If you have guesses on anything else then:

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     The Nation 
Equestria is an allegory of America

We've all been aware of it to various degrees, most obvious with the names of cities, Manehatten, Fillydelphia, etc., but it goes much deeper than that.

Princess Celestia of Equestria raises the sun and moon across Equestria, and likely the entire world. This an exceptionally subtle reference to how the US has been keeping the world turning in the grand scheme of things.

  • ...blatant americocentrism aside, the canon map of Equestria does bear a remarkable similarity to a map of North America. Manehattan and Fillydelphia are around where New York and Philadelphia are in the northeast, the Haysead Swamps' southeastern location matches Florida and the Everglades, the position of the Aztec-style temple in the southern jungles roughly matches the Yucatan, the deserts are all in the southwest with Las Pegasus, and Vanhoover is in the northwest like the Canadian city of Vancouver. There is a definite cultural and geographic parallel, although in all likelihood that's where it ends.

Equestria is one of the nation-states of a larger government
Celestia is only a "Princess" because her parents are King and Queen of a greater nation. (Or Equestria IS that greater nation, but ponies just call what Celestia rules Equestria, just as many humans call the USA America even though it's one country on the Super-Continent America.) The Royal family is either the last living family to express genetic markers of the Alicorn OR the only family in the world to ever express all the Genetic Markers.

This helps with the sort of demi-god / quasi-god status they have, especially if you consider the possibility that the Sun and Moon can "rise" without Celestia and Luna, but they have the magical power to do it and it's simply become a symbolic thing / they have sort of become venerated as Gods and thus need to act as if they are.

It is possible that Celestia, Luna, Discord, and other "demigods" were the original controllers of the Elements of Harmony. This theory can work with that. Being a quasi-god is basically no different from being extremely powerful in magic. The Alicorns are really power magic-users. Discord was a really powerful magic-user among Dragonequus. Celestia and Luna's parents are even more powerful but delegated the use of the Elements of Harmony to their daughters and others.

The reason for the Schizo Tech is because Equestria is way behind the tech level of other nations
And is trying to catch up by importing some of the more advanced stuff.

On the structure of the Royal Guard
The Royal Guard is ostensibly separated into three branches, as an artifact from the time when the three races still had... cold relations. Their armor is specially enchanted to change their appearance to a uniform standard, but not their race. The armor is also customized to augment and complement the abilities of each species.

The Pegasus Guard is called the "Air Guard", and their training entails using their wings as swords as well as hoof-to-hoof combat. In addition, their innate magic is refined to the point that they can actually attack from the air using static charges built up on their bodies. The Pegasus armor is extremely light, offering little protection from direct strikes, but allowing them to move more freely than Unicorn and Pegasus armor. Many of them also have the personalities of Ace Pilots.

The Unicorn Guard is called the "Arcane Guard", and their training entails a combat discipline and advanced spellcraft. They typically act as ranged soldiers, artillery support and combat medics. Unicorn armor is designed to assist in spellcasting, channeling mana through specialized arcane conduits throughout the armor and focusing it to make spells somewhat easier to cast. The Unicorn Guard can also use these conduits to create a small, form-fitting arcane shield charged by his or her horn.

The (as-of-yet-unseen) Earth Pony Guard is called the "Heavy Guard", and their training consists of defensive tactics designed to take full advantage of their innate strength and resistance. Their favored tactic is similar to a Greek "Shield Wall", where they literally march inexorably through the enemy while protecting themselves with huge shields. The Earth Pony armor is really tough, allowing them to No-sell almost anything that hits them. It's also enchanted to make them virtually impossible to knock down or stun, making them utter juggernauts.

The Alicorn guards we saw are an extremely small, elite group of mortal Alicorn guards that are total one-pony-army badasses and only called in for special circumstances. Maybe they're called the "High Guard" or something suitably awesome. They're raised from birth to know nothing but a soldier's life. They have the power, physical resistance, and agility of all three pony races. Of course, their training consists of an unholy hybrid of all previously mentioned disciplines so they can use their hybridized abilities to the fullest extent. Alicorn guards use specialized armor that combines the best features of all three armor sets, but with the addition of a permanent, regenerative arcane shield. (What's that? "Animation Error"? No, my theory is more fun.)

They're basically Equestria's answer to Halo's Spartan Program, with all that entails and implies.

"When I asked for backup... I didn't think they'd send an Alicorn."

Equestria is THE WORLD! Of ponies.
The way I see it, Canterlot could be an allegory for London- Camelot=Canterlot, Ponyville is Anytown USA, Crystal Empire part of Ponymerica, Saddle Arabia exists, etc. Maybe Britain takes over the world in this work. Non-Equids are treated as barbarians, much like the Chinese treated other people in the 1400s.

Equestria is actually an abandoned amusement/theme park.
Specifically, an amusement park world, created countless ages ago by human or human-like (let's not necessarily preclude elves or fairies) magical beings as a place for them and their children to vacation.... and the ponies—- Earth, Pegasus, Unicorn and Alicorn(winged unicorn)—- were created as the entertainment and maintenance staff (along with perhaps the other intelligent creatures such as the cows, mules, buffalo, etc). Untold ages later, the original builders of the amusement park abandoned it and left the live-in staff to their own devices.If you think about it, it all makes tremendous sense. Where else would everything— the plants, the animals, the climate, the seasons— be so micromanaged? Where else would you see such surprisingly tame "wild" animals? (Even the "monsters" are a relatively minimal threat.) If the ponies were the genetically established head caretakers, it only makes sense that the other species would have an obedience instinct implanted in them (diluted over the millenia, but still effective enough for Fluttershy to cow a Cockatrice, a Manticore and a dragon.) It also explains the Schizo Tech (crank Victrolas next to modern turntables, candles and lanterns next to electric lights, medieval armor, wild west outfits, victorian wigs, fashions from the 80's, etc) as the sort of thing one would need on the "backlot" of an amusement park, where themed performances of every possible culture and era would be likely. Why else would the ponies be using musical instruments with keys for HUMAN fingers, cups with handles, tools with hand grips, etc— save as a racial memory of doing things for the convenience of human guests? It would explain why the ponies were PULLING the train engine rather than RIDING it; they have an instinctual memory that trains should be pulled, and should have an engine up front... but the recollection of how it all works is screwy after so much time. It even explains why gemstones are scattered so prolifically around Equestria that Spike can casually snack on them, and Rarity thinks nothing of digging up four WAGONLOADS of gemstones, out of loose topsoil, just to decorate a dress.... part of the fanciful setting, the ground is "salted" with heaps of prefabricated gems for any children who wanted to play at "treasure hunting."(or perhaps are coaxed into growing, like crystals...)
  • Celestia and Luna are AI constructs or uploaded humans who have the access codes necessary to command and reprogram the sufficiently advanced technology of the park, their original jobs being dealing with any situations the ponies couldn't handle themselves. Their falling out a millennium ago was really over what to do now that the park had been abandoned.
    • Cadance and/or Twilight are being given some or all of the access codes by Celestia in case of emergency. Discord is simply a 'villain' who took over some of the advanced terraforming equipment, but the Elements of Harmony/Master override control devices kicked him out.
    • That theory goes better under the "matrix" WMG further up this page.
  • This would explain even more about Ponyville in Generation 3. Perhaps the G3 cartoons portrayed Ponyville the amusement park in its early stages of abandonment, and the reason all the ponies kept throwing parties, putting on shows, redecorating the place, and serving desserts with such frequency back then was that they still expected guests from the outside world to show up and wanted to stay in practice. Like Disneyland, they had a castle that was mainly just for show, and there were even a rollercoaster and Ferris wheel, free to ride, right in the middle of town!

Hoofington doesn't exist.
If Trixie had claimed to have saved a real town from an Ursa Major, eventually she would have run into somepony from that town who would know that her story is a lie. So she make up Hoofington to prevent this.
  • Alternatively, it's one of those town names that you see pretty much everywhere you go. Like say, Springfield in the United States. That way Trixie doesn't have to specify which Hoofington she's talking about.

Equestria is just one of 12 to 15 "nations" on the planet. Each ruled by a species based on the Eastern Zodiac.
So far, we've seen at least four civilized species that can represent an animal from the Eastern Zodiac:
  • Ponies represent the Horse obviously. There are also Mules and Zebras.
    • Correction: Donkeys and zebras. Mules are sterile hybrids, and one would assume that that doesn't change in this dimension.
  • Spike is a Dragon, plus others exist as well.
  • The Diamond Dogs represent the Dog (Somewhat... They aren't the most noble example.)
    • They might have a sovereign nation (Collie-fornia?) with the Diamond Dogs being a band of brigands. If this ever happened, cue Rarity being called out on Fantastic Racism for treating the envoy like bandits.
  • The Ox can be represented by the resident cows and the Buffalo Tribe.
  • We haven't seen much of the Rooster nation, but it can be inferred that's where Scootaloo is from.

Of course, this is just an extremely tiny example of what kind of "people" exist on the planet, and wouldn't really represent the entire population as a whole. They may also have their own brands of magic (distinct for each nation/species) that they use to keep the laws of physics and the planet as a whole running. The only odd duck character is Gilda the Griffon.

  • The cows we have seen live in barns and are clearly under the rule of and dependent upon the ponies. If they were ever a separate nation, they appear to have lost their independence and their liberty at some point in the past.
    • Or their families immigrated into Equestria at some point in the past.

To an extent proven true via "Hearth's Warming Eve". Equestria is a region of land, not the entire planet. What lies outside of Equestria's borders, we don't know yet.

Somepony will make a reference to Salt Lick City.
Think about it.
  • Or Baltimare. Or Stalliongrad. Or Chicacolt, Illineigh. Or Marewaukee, Wiscoltsin. You get the idea. The possibilities are endless
  • Baltimare is located in Mareyland, or maybe they'll leave Equestria and go to Maneila in the Fillypines
    • Or, we'll find out more about locations already mentioned (Manehattan, Hoofington, Fillydelphia) I get the feeling Fillydelphia has an unusual Americana flair to it.
      • How about Saint Colt, Maneisota?
      • Or they may leave it as St. Cloud, and it's a pegasus cultural hub.
  • Salt Lick City for maximum humor, given saltlicks as an alcohol stand-in and the Mormon tenet of chemical abstinance.
    • Mormons? Don't you mean Maremons?
      • I hope you don't mean that scary burning humanoid thing.
      • That's MERAmon. The only scary burning thing in Equestria so far is Twilight Sparkle when she gets angry.
  • Palomino Alto is probably a major high-tech center.
  • What about New Stables (New York) or Ponyko (Tokyo)?
  • Gallop and Santa Hay, in the state of New Mexicolt (or is that Neigh Mexico?); Whinnypeg; Hocksford and Manechester; San Franciscolt, or possibly San Flanksisco; Tallahorsee; Pranceylvania.
  • Vancolter, Bronco Coltlumbia is where they make a highly popular among all ages cartoon based on a toy line for girls.
  • And all the carts/trains are made in . . . wait for it . . . Detrot
  • If they ever go to Germeney, they'll visit Spurlin.
  • If anyone ever goes to Prance, they'll first visit the magnificent signs of Mareis.
    • Or, try eating the most succulent flower pastas of Itaily.
    • How about tulips and windmills of Neighderlands?
    • For an exotic taste, travel to Neighsia.
  • And remember it's Istable, not Coltstantinaple.

Cloudsdale is a mobile sky fortress.
According to Episode 22, Equestria is exempt from the water cycle, requiring the pegasus to create a tornado to funnel water from the ground. The training video in the beginning states that this water is from, and I quote, "your local reservoir." Rainbow Dash implies that Cloudsdale chooses a different city each year to be the source of water, which we see at the end of the episode is funneled directly into the city, rather than some other complicated collection system. The only two explanations for this are that Equestria is very, very small, and it's cities are that close together (in spite of requiring trains to travel between them), or the entire city of Cloudsdale can move.
  • Both? The train is relatively new to the towns(They went from Ponyville to Canterlot in a horse-drawn carriage in "The Best Night Ever", and can go on a whim when summoned by the Princess, Applejack as a young filly goes on hoof from the farm to Manehattan, and Fillydelphia is apparently just crossing the Everfree Forest, close enough that a bowling ball of Parasprites was able to get before stopping naturally). And from what we have seen, Cloudsdale is made of... well, Clouds, which Pegasi can easily move around.
  • "Hearth's Warming Eve" showed that Equestria does have a natural water cycle. The ponies just don't rely on it.
    • Well, depending on your definition of 'natural', given that the blizzards in the play were caused by magical creatures that feed on hatred (and blamed on the pegasi). Conversely, there's a lot of snow going on in the Crystal Empire's territory, but we never see any pegasi handling the clouds... but we can't say for sure how those snow clouds are formed. Then there's Magical Mystery Cure, which shows us a patchwork of raincloud, snow cloud and sunny sky...
  • Also, the rainboom contrail could be seen from Manehattan, and the rainboom itself from Canterlot. This means that at the time, Cloudsdale was between those two cities, though nearer Canterlot.

Ponyville is experiencing a subtle mass migration from Canterlot.
It's not quite as happening a place as Manehattan or the other large cities, but it is the seat of industry in the Canterlot area. Many ponies young and mature are moving from Canterlot to Ponyville, be it to find themselves, start their own life, or just open a new branch of their shops. This is why so many ponies aside from Twilight (and Lyra) who lived in Canterlot in the first episodes appear as Ponyville citizens later on. This may even have something to do with Nightmare Moon's appearance at the festival in Ponyville, but probably not for more than a few ponies like pre-series Twilight who study that sort of thing, and it may be putting the cart before the horse to say it that way, and not that the festival was being held there because of the expansion.

Equestria has no "Welfare" system
Unless seriously sick/injured (and perhaps not even then) Ponies are actually quite suited for surviving in Equestria. They can eat grass/vegitation found almost everywhere and can shrug off cartoon levels of damage, rendering the safety nets seem less important.
  • They probably have free or "free" healthcare or health insurance. Horses get sick really easily, especially if they have a monotonous diet of mostly grains or apples. Ponies seem able to eat a lot of things that horses can't, but even then pegasi have a lot of opportunities for wing and limb damage and the lack of thumbs might cause a higher rate of accidental self-inflicted maiming (which can often be fixed with magic and bed rest) than in humans.

Tartarus is not pony Hell, but an actual city
It just has a really dark reputation, due to the residents living inside a dark, dug-out mountain, guarded by a vicious three-headed hound. Cerberus is actually the city's pet, who protects them from the sunlight by guarding the gates to the city. The bat-like pony residents of Tartarus have a severe aversion to sunlight, which they are very sensitive, even allergic, to. The residents also only emerge at night, when their allergy/sensitivity isn't aggravated. This night wandering reputation earns them a dark reputation, and stories are spread abound that they are horrible monster ponies who eat other ponies and torture them (much like they thought of Zecora and Luna, simply because they were "different"). It just has a reputation as being akin to Pony Hell because the residents are thought to be the monsters of hell that drag down bad ponies into eternal suffering, and their leader, an Alicorn himself, is thought to be akin to Chernabog/the Devil/Hades. In actuality, they are kind, somewhat strict ponies who value tradition. Also, the residents are pony-like in shape, but have very dark coats, dark eyes that in looks resemble Gummy's, possess pointier ears and sharp teeth/fangs, pointy horns or bat-wings, often lack tails (except nobility) but have dark, spiky manes. They mostly eat special plants that only grow at night or in their caves, or harvest and plant at night, leaving nature to aid their plants during the daytime. They really, really like fruit, especially Moonberries and Midnight Melons. Their national flag consists of a silver Alicorn on a black flag soaring among the moon and stars. No, I have not obsessively thought about this. They are a miniature Empire, ruled by Emperor Pluto and his son, Prince Nightshade. Pluto is the stars to Luna's moon and Nightshade still has not found his purpose in life and is still cutie mark-less, despite being older than the Mane Cast, and has since become a Deadpan Snarker. Pluto is on good terms with Luna, of course, and he is the one that shifts the constellations at night (as our Earth rotates, our constellations change). Pluto is as old as Celestia and Luna, as well.
  • Jossed. Tartarus physically appeared in "Twilight's Kingdom", where it was shown as a supernatural prison for powerful, evil beings like Lord Tirek.

The railroad is over 1000 years old.
The railroad and station seen in The season 3 premiere used to connect the Crystal Empire to the rest of Equestria. When the empire vanished, the line was closed down. It seems more plausible than it just being buildt overnight.
  • Another possibility is that the railroad was to a research outpost that doubled as an observation post for the return of the Crystal Empire.

Equestria is a federation
(no, not that Federation. It's a federation in a political sense. It has a large number of semi-independent provinces ruled by their own traditions but swearing allegiance to the Princesses. That's why Flim/Flam said "the kingdom of Canterlot". In addition to being the national seat of government, it is also its own sub-nation within Equestria.
  • Or am I confusing the term with a confederation?
    • The USA is a federation, Switzerland is a confederation, the difference is a rather thin line.

The roles of princesses and queens are reversed in Equestria.
Meaning that princesses are what they call the actual rulers, and the queens are their daughters. This would explain why Celestia, Luna and Cadance are called princesses, but treated as if they were queens(executive meddling aside). This would mean that Queen Chrysalis is actually what we consider to be a princess.

The Everfree Forest, Cloudsdale, and Pinkie's family's rock farm were the original settlements of the Unicorns, Pegasi, and Earth Ponies
All three areas are in the show are rather near each other, after all, with Cloudsdale seeming to be almost right above Ponyville at times, which is right next to the Everfree Forest, and the rock farm is stated to be just outside of Ponyville. The Unicorns used to live in the Everfree Forest, long before it was able to control itself, with Princess Platinum and her father living in what would become the Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters. Back then, the forest was of a manageable size and not at all overgrown and dark, since it was managed by ponies, and was until it started to function on its own. The Pegasi lived in what would become Cloudsdale, and was the only place that fully recovered from the Windigo storms (as ice and snow are water, as are clouds, it was easy to repair). They share the same architect and are both the sole cities in the sky. The Windigoes made the soil unsuitable for farming (as doing that would easily take out all three tribes). All three areas are also shown to be rather far out from Canterlot in the show as well. Eventually, the three regions were reclaimed as part of the newly-founded Equestria, and the peace melted all of the snow, but left the farmlands largely in ruin. The soil around Ponyville eventually became fertile again after thousands and thousands of years, upon which Celestia gave it to Granny Smith's father.

Equestrian government structure.

So as of the end of Twilight's Kingdom (S4,EP 25-26) the governing structure of Equestria is now quite confusing. This WMG is an attempt to describe it.Based on the the last three episodes in S4, due to Equestria Games giving some implications to levels of governance based on who sits where in the "Royal Box" seats.

  • Tier 1: Equestria as a whole — The four princesses as a council with some deference to seniority so opinion is weighted as such Celestia>Luna>Cadance>Twilight.
  • Tier 2: "Client" States
    • Saddle Arabia — Independently governing but owes allegiance to Equestria. Leader unknown.
    • Maretonia — Independently governing but owes allegiance to Equestria. Duke/Duchess of Maretonia rules but defers to the Princesses.
    • The Crystal Empire — Independently governing but owes allegiance to Equestria. This is more direct as Cadance is one of the direct rulers of the entire nation. Shining Armor most likely acts as Governor in her stead.
    • Twilight's Kingdom (name pending) — Probably has control over Ponyville and its environs such as the Everfree Forest. Ruled by Twilight and her newly formed "Council of Harmony" (name pending).
  • Tier 3: Semi-independent Cities and Towns
    • Canterlot — Member City of Equestria ruled by a figurehead (Prince Blueblood) with no actual power as Celestia has direct control of the city since she lives there. Day to day matters run by a Mayor, probably Fancy Pants.
    • Ponyville — likely first Member city of Twlight's Kingdom, day to day governance handled by Mayor Mare.
    • Cloudsdale — Member City of Equestria. Ruler unknown, possible military rule as per Pegasus tradition.
  • Tier 4: All other population centers — based on Appaloosa and Manehatten — depending on size probably governed by a Mayor, Bailiff, Sheriff or similar.

Gelding Grotto is not a town, but a prison for foal molesters.

The guards standing next to the throne in the opening sequence are Elite Guards.
Similar to Emperor Palpatine's red royal guard, these are specially trained guards, used as a last defense. Yet they never travel with her...
  • Because Celestia generally travels by air. It would be difficult to bring non-pegasus guards along and doing so would slow her down in general. The unicorn guards probably aren't any more elite than the pegasus guards actually, just each group of guards is trained to cover different areas and situations.

The royal guards are actually magical constructs created by the princesses.
Each of it's members all look the same. That's very unusual for a non-background pony. They also almost exclusively appear whenever one of the princesses are around/nearby or have recently left. Why isn't there a royal guard any place else? Especially in Ponyville where it is in close proximity to an extremely dangerous forest. That's also very strange. Also Princess Luna as Nightmare Moon has demonstrated that she has the capability to divide and shapeshift herself into several ponies. If that is the case then it is highly likely that Princess Celestia also possess this kind of power. This opens up a new perspective whenever you see a royal guard: They are actually magical puppets and tools of the princesses to manipulate things and events to suit their plans.
  • Alternatively, they are royal guards. They may all look the same because they are the same size and have the same color coats and manes. The former may be explicable by the fact that there may be size requirements for recruitment into the royal guards. Historically, many militaries, especially elite units, had standard size requirements; the Roman legions, for example, would not take any man who was too big or too small. As for their coats and manes all being the same color, that may be the result of dyeing their hair, which, considering ponies don't normally wear clothes, may be their equivalent of a military uniform. Also, just because they all look alike to us doesn't mean they all look alike to other ponies. As for why they are always around when the princesses are, and not otherwise, that's because they are royal guards: their job is to guard the princesses and their household. They are not the national army and they are not the police. And it's not even true that we never see them when the princesses aren't around: in the pilot, two pegasi members of the royal guards flew Twilight's carriage to Ponyville, and she thanked them, as if they were thinking, feeling ponies; they smiled at being thanked, as if they appreciated it; if they are constructs, Twilight doesn't seem to know it.
  • Yeah, this one is jossed. Twilight's brother is a member of the guard. Plus, there were guards with brown and green coats in "Rarity Investigates", and one of them showed up in "A Flurry of Emotions" after having left the Guard and become an artist.

The Royal Guard are ordinary ponies enchanted to look like that
."A Bird in the Hoof" seems to confirm that they're not just made out of magic, since Rainbow Dash asked if she could join up. Implying three things, if RD isn't wrong:1: They had a life before signing up2: They get paid, so they probably have free will, days off and individuality3: They accept females into their ranks, though we haven't seen any yetSo, how come they all look the same? Magic. Celestia and Luna magically transform them into perfect soldiers (maybe only while they're on duty, keyed to their armor?), so they can focus on accepting the most loyal, rather than the most physically fit. This also makes them identical, so no-one can be sure who they are (for reasons similar to why SWAT teams and special forces wear masks), and might even change their race (this is why we haven't seen any earth pony guards, and also handily explains where Luna's bat-ponies came from).
  • Supported by a number of things in later seasons, including the presence of Shining Armor, Twilight's brother and Captain of the Guard, and more to the point a character in his own right; and the guards in "Rarity Investigates" (who had pony-normal colorations, possibly because they were the night shift in the castle and there was no need to spend time enchanting their appearance when no-one was going to see them), whose speaking roles (including one complaining they aren't given enough credit) made it clear they were normal ponies with their own personalities.

Equestria was originally founded by ''horses''.
The ponies were created as a stunted Servant Race but something wiped out their horse masters. Princess Celestia and Luna were the sole survivors.

Equestria entered a technological dark age after the imprisonment of Nightmare Moon.
Equestria was once MUCH more advanced, but the war between Nightmare Moon and Celestia a thousand years ago ruined the infrastructure of society, the Schizo Tech we see all the time having been scavenged and refurbished from the ruins.
  • The ruined palace in the middle of the Everfree Forest where Twilight found the Elements of Harmony is the heart of Old Canterlot. The Celestia/Nightmare Moon battle drove out the ponies and turned it into a Ghost City. Not long after that, the magical fallout from the battle unleashed some wild powers, and The Lost Woods grew up and consumed the city.

Cloudsdale first existed as a Weather Factory, not a town.
Up in the clouds is obviously the best place for a weather factory, but without Earth Ponies or soil, no food could be grown there. Originally, Pegasi only went there to keep the factories running. Later, when pony civilization became more advanced, they could import food and other necessities from terrestrial towns, and workers and their families built houses there, from which a city eventually developed.

Discord was the one who created Equestria.
Really, "magic talking equines who have a society based on friendship" is a pretty strange concept. Discord created a servitor race to be an audience to his madness, as well as a planet for them to stand on. He messed with this race constantly by changing their form and mashing them up with other creatures (thus all the hybrid races). Ponies were just the form they happened to be in at the moment that someone managed to use another magic source to put an end to his "creative" spree.

The play in Hearth's Warming Eve is not historically accurate.
Pretty much Exactly What It Says on the Tin. However, rather than it being Future Imperfect at work, it's due to different influences from a changing culture to the fact that the ponies have to work with a physical stage and a living audience with the typical attention span.

Some of the changes are as follows:

  • Commander Hurricane was male.
  • Princess Platinum, while by no means a generous soul, was not as obnoxious as portrayed. Rather, she had a court of nobleponies who forced her to demand outrageous concessions or face civil war.
  • Chancellor Puddinghead, in contrast, had the opposite problem (is there a trope for Reverse Flanderization?): In reality, she was even more of a Caligula than advertised. However, she was toned down for the play due to Reality Is Unrealistic and Political Correctness Gone Mad.
    • Chancellor Puddinghead was probably male; both Pinkie and AJ keep their manes tucked in their costumes through nearly the whole play, which is the poor man's way of having a female with long hair play a male part in a play. The pink adornments can be chalked up to Rarity being the most likely designer of the costumes since all sans Clover's look like something Rarity would design, or Real Stallions Wear Pink and every single costume was accurate to what the real founders wore. Rarity's mane, though, seems tucked into her costume, too, but her mane is styled like that even when she's not in her costume (in fact the only time you see all of her mane is at the start of the episode and when it's being blown by the open window at the end). In most shots during the play, it seems to be in a bun of some sort.
    • Alternatively, Puddinghead went through the same process as Platinum. She was originally still... eccentric... and not that good a leader, but not the absolute loon of the play. You're not really likely to be made the leader of a nation while being literally too stupid to read a map.
  • Private Pansy may have in fact been Hurricane's daughter. Like with Fluttershy being more an Earth Pony than a Pegasus, Pansy was more Unicorn, with interests running more academic. Naturally, had she more spine (or at least regular access to books), she could have been a Badass Bookworm. She may have in fact had a secret relationship with a stallion of the other tribes.
  • The time frame from the search for a new land to the end is extremely compressed for time:
    • The three tribes sent out larger expeditions than the two ponies a piece (no fewer than 20, no larger than 100), and the leaders were not present. Hurricane may have been the most likely to go, but at the same time it is just as likely that he was needed to keep the peace.
    • After Pegasopolis, Unicornia and Dirtville/Earth/Terra/whatever were properly founded, then the leaders, and their governments, moved to the settlements. Only then do they start to notice the others there as well. This was due to each having small numbers, being widely spaced, and more interested in internal affairs for years rather than in what was going on outside of the settlements. With the governments relocated and booming populations, the three settlements could afford to send out scouts further afield. This period probably lasted a good ten years or so.
    • There was a full blown war. Either as a Mêlée à Trois, or between two tribes (If the speculation on Pansy is true, Daddy Commander Hurricane found out?) with the other joining into the fray soon after.
    • The leaders and their aids get stuck in the cave and the events happen more or less as portrayed. However, outside their forces learn the lesson of Friendship earlier. Due to the cold, ponies start freezing to death. Realizing that they have all lost their leaders in the confusion, and that if they all freeze to death they won't be able to kill each other, a truce is called, and all the ponies become friends, singing songs, dancing, playing games and shareing what little food they have, much like the 1914 Christmas Day Truce. This was left out due to time.
  • The ending in the actual historical event wasn't so cut-and-dried as in the play. While the nations were still politically unified after the winter, they probably spent quite a while dealing with holdouts of the old society (self-obsessed nobles, recalcitrant generals, etc.) who didn't want to give up their power, as well as ponies who flat out didn't want to mingle with ponies of other tribes, before Equestria could come into its own as a stable nation. This would all likely be left out of the play as it would make it too long, make something of a downer ending, and get in the way of the intended moral.

The Flag shown at the end of the play is not an anachronism
At the end of the play, a flag is raised showing what looks to be the modern Equestria flag, which plainly displays Celestia and Luna as Alicorns. While this may seem out of place if the events take place before their births, it would make since if the idea of an Alicorn, all three breeds in one pony existed before them as a Heraldric symbol (see the entry in the Equestrian Culture Folder). So, the flag for Equeatria is more or less the same flag as designed by the founding ponies. To put this in perspective, think of it being if the Founding Fathers kept the Gadsen Flag as the United State's national flag.

The flag in Hearth's Warming Eve is what Celestia and Luna's parents looked like.
In a simplified form, obviously.

The historical events depicted in "Hearth's Warming Eve" occurred after Celestia and Luna overthrew Discord.
After they overthrew Discord, Celestia and Luna saw no reason to assume political control of pony society. Why would they have? They probably thought that everything would be fine now that Discord was gone. After the founding of Equestria, however, the conflicts between the three races of ponies flared up again, and so Celestia and Luna took over because, as Alicorns, they represented all three races. We know that Celestia and Luna were around at that time, because Clover the Clever mentioned that her mentor had been Starswirl the Bearded, whom Luna mentioned, in "Nightmare Night," having met personally. Since it is likely that Starswirl was either already dead by the time of the events depicted in "Hearth's Warming," or at least rather old (after all, Clover was already a chief counselor to Princess Platinum, suggesting that she was already a mature adult by that point), it follows that Celestia and Luna must already have been around. In fact, it's even possible that the ending depicted in 'Hearth's Warming" is inaccurate, and that the conflict actually ended with Celestia and Luna taking political control of all three groups, but that they've given out that the ponies managed to settle their differences themselves for propaganda purposes.
  • Luna never said she knew Starswirl personally, she only recognized Twilight's costume and said she got the bells right. Luna might have known that for the same reason Twilight did, because Starswirl was an important historical figure who anypony versed in magic would have studied.

The old pony kingdom depicted in "Hearth's Warming Eve" was fresh from a quiet revolution.
The pegasi, unicorns, and Earth ponies hadn't always lived in an air of Fantastic Racism and bedrugding interdependence, or even for very long. In fact, at one time, the old kingdom had been whole and very peaceful. However, a 3-way schism occurred:
  • The military powers slowly became dominated by the pegasi, with weather-control possibly acting as civil service. They either tried to stage a coup and seceded after failing, or simply seceded. Their general now led them, as he/she always had.
  • The Earth ponies had their wealth squandered by the unicorns (and maybe even by the pegasi), and were reduced to second-class citizens. They listened less and less to the nobility, and took care of their own affairs more and more, until the Earth ponies were more or less autonomous. Their chancellor was now elected from their own masses, rather than chosen by the nobility.
  • Speaking of nobility, it was gradually filled up by the unicorns, due to their strange powers and their hold on the sun and moon. However, both the pegasi and Earth ponies turned away, and instead of healing ties or improving matters, they simply stuck their noses up and ignored them.
It's quite possible the main characters of the play, or their immediate ancestors, brought all of this to pass.
  • That'd make for an interesting fic...
  • Given the cautionary tale behind Hearts and Hooves Day, perhaps the Love Poison was the cause of the decline of the old pony kingdom. The Earth Ponies became mistrusting of the pegasi, since it was most likely one of their number who stumbled upon the Love Poison recipe that required all sorts of things only a pegasus would have easy access to, the Pegasi declared martial law to prevent their own society from crumbling, and Princess Platinum was thrust into power at a younger than expected age as she was the only other heir to the Unicorn throne.

The alicorns on the flag in "Hearth's Warming Eve" are not Celestia and Luna.
If one looks closely, the image of Celestia has bright green hair, rather than the pink hair we know she once had. Those could be Celestia and Luna's predecessors, or even their parents. In either case, it's likely the Princesses weren't the first alicorns to control the sun.
  • Possibly confirmed in that very episode. When Spike was narrating the play, he said it took place "long before the rule of Princess Celestia and Luna".

Though united, the uneasy tension between the three races after the founding of Hearth's Warming Eve is what sets the stage for Discord to be created/arrive and take over Equestia.
While there's certainly friendship between the three races following the thawing, years of disdain between themselves is not going to evaporate overnight. One can imagine that there will be heated discussions for how to wrap-up winter properly, etc, as they learn to work together and not in the former tithing situation prior. And then consider how little it took for Discord to escape from the statue: the little spat between one filly of each species. Imagine that at a much much larger scale. Whether Discord existed before and could only take power upon such conflict, or that the strength of the conflict created Discord, it's hard to tell, but certainly he would easily conquer the land in such a case.
  • I kinda like the idea that Discord was the result of ALL the races bickering, including non-ponies. That's why he's a mishmash of so many different creatures. But he enjoys tormenting ponies particularly, possibly due to the Stalker with a Crush fanon toward Celestia (You won't love me? Say goodbye to your precious ponies!)

Building off the "Hearth's Warming play isn't historically accurate" WMG above:
The play in was a sugarcoated version of the actual history, but everypony knows the real story.It was a holiday pageant, after all; it only makes sense that it would be a big case of Rousseau Was Right. In reality, the founding of Equestria was likely far more contentious. Some possibilities:

  • Commander Hurricane didn't just take Private Pansy (who was probably created just for the play, for comic relief), but a full platoon of pegasus warriors. In the play, Hurricane/Rainbow Dash mentions that they will conquer a new home if necessary.
  • Also, the Unicorn tribe didn't actually raise the sun and the moon, that was just added in to make them look good.

The Hearth's Warming Eve play is the bowdlerized, all-ages version
Let's just say that she's not called chancellor puddinghead in the oral version.

Canterlot Castle is built out of the cave from "Hearth's Warming Eve", that's why the Fire of Friendship burns above it
Makes sense, dunnit?
  • As of Canterlot Royal Wedding there is a confirmed giant network of caves under the castle.

Ponyville has been destroyed and abandoned before
In Winter Wrap-Up, Twilight mentions that Ponyville was founded by Earth Ponies, and that for hundreds of years they've never used magic to wrap up winter. Considering that Ponyville was founded within Granny Smith's lifetime and upwards of four generations ago (Diamond Tiara's great grandfather was also a founder), this potentially means that Ponyville was destroyed and the Everfree Forest reclaimed the territory. It's not like there's any shortage of things that could do it. Everfree critters like the green dragon, or the Ursas, or a parasprite infestation could destroy it and force relocation. War with a hostile lifeform might have forced its relocation (slaving Diamond Dogs probably would make for a good one). Hell, Ponyville was almost destroyed by the cows. This assumes that both Granny Smith and Twilight's recollection are correct and they don't live abnormally long lives.

The story in the Hearth's Warming Eve play was completely fictional.
The ponies know this, but the story is simply an old tale to show how friendship is good and how hate can be deadly. A lot of things about it go against what we know about the story universe. For one, Ponyville, along with many other areas of Equestria, need to be maintained in order to function. The animals must be woken out of hibernation, the snow must be cleared, the weather is on a controlled schedule, plants must all be planted, etc. Then there was the whole matter of unicorns being the ones to raise the sun in the play, yet they have a flag featuring Princesses Celestia and Luna. So really, it was just a story made up about the magic of friendship, and it spread around and eventually got linked to a holiday.

Another timeline.
>> The Fire of Friendship and the founding of Equestria.
>> The original alicorn princess and the love poison.
>> Our lord and master Discord, the great draconequus.
>> The Elements of Harmony and the sister princesses.
>> King Sombra and the Crystal Empire vanish.
>> Scorpan's change of heart and Tirek's imprisonment.
>> The Mare in the Moon and the long lonesome reign.
>> Ponyville, a tale of timber wolves and zap apples.
>> The Twilight of the Gods and the dawn of a new era.

Hearts and Hooves Day accidentally revealed Discord's origin story to us.
Let's consider the Equestrian history that we know:-In Hearth's Warming Eve, we know that Equestria was founded by three great leaders, including a princess, Princess Platinum. (Also includes pegasus Commander Hurricane, who is referred to by masculine pronouns, so the real Hurricane might have been male)-In Return of Harmony, we know that Discord once ruled Equestria (it was apparently founded before his appearance), and Celestia and Luna defeated him.-In Hearts and Hooves Day, we know that Equestria was thrust into "chaos" (literal term used in the story) because a prince and princess lost themselves in each other's eyes. They neglected their royal duties and failed to slay a "dragon" that brought the chaos. No historical context is given for where in Equestrian history this comes in.My theory: Platinum, Hurricane, and Puddinghead founded Equestria. A prince—possibly Commander Hurricane, for reasons that will be stated later—fell madly in love with Princess Platinum, and used a love potion to entrance her. Until then, Discord had felt intimidated by the great powers of the three windigo-slaying leaders, and didn't think he could successfully pull a coup. However, when the prince (again, possibly Hurricane) and Platinum became entranced with each other on the first Hearts and Hooves Day, Discord rose up and overthrew the last remaining leader, Puddinghead. He is referred to as a "dragon" in the myths because he's mostly dragon, and it's possible that "draconequus" had not been scientifically named yet. He then began the reign of chaos. However, during their obsessive romance, Platinum and the prince (possibly Hurricane) mated—without breaking eye contact, of course—and Platinum gave birth to twins Celestia and Luna. (The reason I suspect the prince is Hurricane: Celestia and Luna got their horns from Platinum, but had to get their wings from elsewhere.) Celestia and Luna discovered the Elements of Harmony and banished Discord for the first time. Somewhere in all this, someone broke Platinum and prince/Hurricane's eye contact, and that was when they figured out the antidote to the love poison.

The name of the titular contraption from The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 gives us a hint about Equestrian calendar.
Just like there was a tradition in 20th century to give cutting-edge stuff names that end with "2000" in order to make them look more futuristic, the same thing works for Equestria. And since 6000 seems to be their equivalent of 2000, it would indicate that the show takes place in 5900s according to the local calendar. The event from almost six thousand years ago that marks the beginning of the era (many millenia before Nightmare Moon rebellion) was probably the founding of Equestria as told in the holiday episode, or maybe the overthrowing of the former human overlords.
  • Alternatively, it's like in the Dilbert cartoon, where the 6000 is just tacked on to make it sound more marketable.

The accounts of the founding of Equestria were written by the second in commands
From the episode, the three tribe leaders were hot-headed, ignorant imbeciles that needed the second in commands to function. But from another point of view the SIC could have written the accounts with Character Exaggeration or made themselves look like they were unappreciated hard workers who worked for idiots. Take the "Fizz-Ed" ep of Daria. It pointed out that just because your the only sane man and smarter than people it doesn't excuse you from just being in the shadows, snarking or plotting how to make things better or mock others who are higher authority than you. If under more extreme circumstances, Smart Cookie could have lead a revolution or become The Star Scream, Privet Pansy could have let her nerves lead a battalion to their deaths or let another army take victory and Clover the Clever could just wallow about always being in second place to the princess or unintentionally harm Princess Platnium.

The settlements of Pegasopolis, Unicornia and Earth would become Cloudsdale, Canterlot and Mainehattan respectively.
  • The Canterlot upper class seems comprised mostly of unicorns. Mainehattan (what we've seen of it) has a similarly snooty upper class made up of earth ponies, waited on by unicorn servants no less.

Ponyville is a multiracial experiment.
Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy could have spent their whole lives without meeting a single wingless pony, barely paying attention to the world under the clouds. Finding an unicorn in the wild west of Equestria is almost as difficult. But princess Celestia decided to take a small city, founded by earth ponies, and encourage immigration of both unicorns and pegasi. Ponyville is now considered a fairly unique case by sociologists and biologists alike.
  • Then why didn't they know about zebras? Not to mention the xenophobia in that episode. Kind of weird for a community whose hat would be diversity.
    • Zebras aren't ponies, as Twilight Sparkle said in that episode. And even a successful blend between three kinds isn't automatically ready to welcome a fourth.
  • Also, we see both Earth Ponies and Unicorns in Manehattan in "Cutie Mark Chronicles".
    • Yet still no pegasus.
  • This theory could very well be true. Appleloosa is mostly an earth pony town, Cloudsdale is a completely pegasus city, and from what we've seen of Canterlot, it seems to have a unicorn majority, according to the ponies seen in the "At The Gala" song.

Equestria was once named Equustria.
It was changed because of changes in the language, and possibly to "Anglicise" (Earthicize?) the Pegasin "Equus" out so there was more of a balance between the Earthlish (the pronunciation- English), the Pegasin (Equus- Latin), and the Unicornic (the -tria suffix. Not actually Brittanic/Germanic, but I called it that because of the Upper-Class medieval and Fairy-Tale British theme of the Unicorns). All dialect names are for display purposes only, and not to be considered a significant part of the guess. This also explains why a land of ponies is called "The Land of Horse-riders".

Rather than happening immediately after, or immediately before the reign of Discord, Hearth's Warming happens because of it.
Celestia says in The Return of Harmony that Discord ruled the ponies in an eternal state of unrest, implying that he didn't just show up one day but had always been there. She also says he caused chaos for pegasi, unicorns, and earth ponies alike. Why name all three races like that? Not to stress that each one was equally unhappy with the state of affairs, but because he literally created chaos between the races. The separation and feuding of the three tribes in the Hearth's Warming pageant were a result of Discord's discord, and the windigos may have been of his creation as well (or may have been a symbol of the chaos god himself).

The Windigos are symbolic. The actual cause of the freezing and famine was the sun failing to rise.
The events of the Hearth's Warming Eve pageant are largely metaphorical, for various reasons. In truth, the ponies were never separated into three races, it is impossible for mortals to move the heavens, and there is no such thing as a Windigo. The squabbling between races that were supposed to work in unity represents that between two sisters who were supposed to rule together. Luna's corruption caused her to freeze the firmament in the sky, disallowing the sun to heat that side of the planet. Months passed while the immortals argued and attempted to compromise, while Celsa (the name that will be used for the old pony settlement in this guess) froze over. The land slowly became uninhabitable, causing several groups of ponies to move away, finding a land where the sun was just on the horizon and thus the climate was acceptable—later called Equestria. Meanwhile, back in Celsa, Celestia finally gave up on convincing Luna through reason and resorted to force. The resulting war may have obliterated the Celsans. It was then that Celestia fled to Equestria, where she discovered the new Bearers of the Elements of Harmony (represented by the Fire of Friendship in the play), and through them she banished Luna, and singularly took up the throne as the ruler of the new kingdom of Equestria.

Equality among races did not come so quickly...
From the Hearth's Warming Eve pageant, we can easily infer that Earth Ponies were serfs for the other two races, it was stated they were forced to give up food in fear of not having the sun rise in the morning, plus threats of pegasus military might. It was also very clear of the three races, the Earth ponies were by far the poorest. So, then the allicorns came into the picture, representing the combined strength of unicorns and pegasuses... but not Earth ponies. Word of Faust may say otherwise, but what we only see the wings and the horns, nothing to suggest that they have a the connection to the soil Earth Ponies are stated to have. Even under the Princesses leadership, Earth Ponies were still forced to grow food, under the fear of the unicorn aristocrats and Pegasus military. Sure, they are the best, but the comparing Ponyville (which was originally an Earth Pony settlement exclusively, founded by Granny Smith and kept that way for long enough for the Winter Wrap up tradition of "no magic" to form) or even Appleloosa, they are far poorer than Cloudsdale (which has to be pegasus settlement by it's vary nature) or Canterlot (which appears to have a majority population of unicorns).

Up till quite recently, legal segregation was upheld until sometime recently whatever was the version of the "Enlightenment" convinced Celestia to change the laws, or the society forced the change. It appears that Equestria is going through an industrial revolution right now, which Earth Ponies appear to be the ones spear heading right now (look at Manehatten, for example).

An attempt at creating a Mythopoeia consistent with The Journal of the Two Sisters:
In the most ancient of times, the sun and moon used to hang motionless together in the sky. In the lands under the moon lived creatures of night and cold, such as Ursa Majors and windigos, and under the sun were creatures of light and fire, including phoenixes and dragons. The only place where more ordinary animals could live was in the narrow region between the sun and moon, and here there were horses such as in Saddle Arabia, zebras, and alicorns, who were the original race of ponies.

The alicorns were a small, monastic-like community of long lived philosopher kings who dwelt in Old Canterlot — a cloud city floating above the summit of Canter Mountain. They could sustain themselves solely on magic, requiring no food, and spent their time studying magic and contemplating the nature of the universe whilst swearing never to interfere in worldly affairs. However, a renegade faction of alicorns arose who tried to experiment with dangerous magic, and suffered an accident that caused each of them to be split into three separate beings. These were the first unicorns, pegasi and earth ponies, who exhibited baser instincts than the alicorns and constantly quarreled amongst themselves. For their crimes, the alicorns exiled them from Old Canterlot to live in the world below.

These ponies now had to grow food to survive, but as their population increased, they needed more and more land to expand into, and they were constantly threatened by the creatures who would emerge from the regions of eternal night and day. The unicorns came up with the idea to move the sun and moon in order to allow more land to be farmed and settled, but this required the unicorns who volunteered for this duty to eventually be depleted of magic for the rest of their lives.

The dangerous creatures who were displaced by the expansion of the ponies continued to be a threat, and the windigos nearly froze all the ponies until the three races were unified at the first Hearth's Warming. Seeing that the pony races had learned to live in harmony, the alicorns consented for two of their number, Celestia and Luna, to accept the right of rule over the ponies. As they related in their journal, the princesses built a castle inside the Everfree Forest to serve as their capital, and eventually took on the duty of moving the sun and moon.

The zebras whom Luna met were colonists from their native land who attempted to create a settlement in the grasslands bordering the Everfree. When Discord overthrew the princesses, the zebras fled his chaos and abandoned their colony. Discord also destroyed Old Canterlot, but the other alicorns were able to ascend to a higher plane of existence.note  The sisters defeated Discord and there was peace for a time, but after Luna became Nightmare Moon and Celestia banished her, the Castle of the Two Sisters had been ruined by their battle and Celestia established the new city of Canterlot on the slopes of the mountain.

The grasslands where the zebras once settled would be the future site of Ponyville.

Hearth's Warming didn't have such a happy ending.
  • Windigoes are spirits of cold, desperation, and what else? It's more likely the smart trio survived by consuming their pointy-haired bosses and then swore never to talk about that particular winter again.

     The Everfree Forest 
The Everfree Forest causes the ponies to have an existential crisis.
So the ponies are obviously afraid of the monsters in the forest, but they've also expressed fear at the very idea that the forest can operate autonomously. Now, imagine that you're job is, say, controlling the weather. You spend years and years learning, training, and improving your craft. You get to be pretty good at it, maybe the best like Dash claims to be. And then, you find out that there is a place that does it without your help. Suddenly, your life is cast into doubt. If the Everfree forest doesn't need the ponies' help, who's to say the rest of Equestria does? Perhaps your job is nothing but a lie, meant to keep you busy. Maybe you've wasted your life learning a handy but ultimately unnecessary skill. What if the world just doesn't need you? The forest would probably freak you out too.
  • Seeing how a major city (Cloudsdale) is built around the fact ponies can control said clouds this would also cause an economic crisis.
  • Um... "Control the weather?" Believe me, that is the last thing anypony would let go of. Sunshine and rain on demand? Perfect weather for growing apples at any time? Never overly long winters (assuming they got it done in time) that would decrease crop yields? Existentialist crisis maybe, but definitely not out of a job.
    • It's not being out of a job that scares them, but the idea that they're job is largely unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. Incredibly helpful the job may be, but it'll still get on without them, if in a more chaotic way.
  • On the other hand, other sentient races might see them as an entire race of equinoid abominations that forces nature itself into a neat and tidy schedule and shun them all as physical affronts to everything holy and natural.

The reason the Everfree Forest is weird...
Is that it's still suffering from the battle between Celestia and Nightmare Moon. Think about it:
  • The ruins in the middle were mentioned in episode 2 as being "The Princesses' old home". Playing on the WMG's that the ruins used to be the old seat of power 1000 years ago, it would make sense if Celestia and Nightmare confronted one-another there.
  • That's where the objects representing the old Elements of Harmony were, at the site of the old battle.
  • Taking the above into consideration, it's not impossible to imagine that when Nightmare Moon was sealed away, a massive blast of magical energy threw the surrounding area into a state where weather changed and seasons came and went without ponies. When the mane six used the Elements to defeat Nightmare Moon, they probably sent out another wave of magic, possibly extending the problem of the Everfree Forest.
  • The Elements were inert at the beginning of the series; the last known use of them was when Celestia banished Nightmare Moon. Given that the sisters were both bearers, perhaps the strain of using them like that is what caused them to become inert, caused the above-hypothesized shockwave.

Everfree Forest LITERALLY runs itself.
It's an Eldritch Location and Eldritch Abomination in one. Like the single tree that grew into a swamp in Avatar: The Last Airbender, this one's an evil lifeform that was mutated by the same force that created Nightmare Moon. It's far-reaching eyes and ears only travel as far as the forest itself, but with a little tweaking and some zebra charms one could feasibly live within it while averting all notice, like Zecora does.
  • Point in favor: It has self-repairing golems made out of wood. These golems hunt in packs and flee from loud noises (mistaken for a bunch of armed ponies) when outside their forest. That indicates they either have or are controlled by some minimum level of intelligence, and they certainly don't appear to take orders from any pony.

The Everfree forest was created by Luna.
She intended to create a world that governed itself; a place free of restrictions. Considering that the Ancient Palace is there, she essentially transformed what was then most of Equestria into a larger version of the Everfree. Despite her best intentions, the ponies feared the forest, and fled from it. This caused her to transform into the being that is known as Nightmare Moon, because she was royally pissed at the ponies' rejections of her ideals. Celestia defeated Nightmare Moon and subdued the Forest enough for it to not be a real problem. Celestia just keeps it around because it's the habitat of several creatures, and the exotic plants that grow there are useful.

The Everfree Forest first came into existence when Nightmare Moon was sealed, and it has been spreading gradually since then.
When Celestia said that she and Luna were meant to rule together, she was serious — she just couldn't fully maintain all of the spells governing Equestria's harmonious existence on her own, and the Everfree Forest was a sign of its gradual decay. Had the Mane Cast not redeemed Princess Luna, the Everfree Forest would have eventually overtaken all of Equestria.

The Everfree Forest is a remnant of Discord's reign...
...And it is allowed to continue to exist as a reminder of the dark days that came before.

The Everfree Forest resists all forms of outside influence.
Not only in the sense that it's free from pegasus weather manipulation or animal tending, but also Discord's manipulations as well. This is why the Elements of Harmony (and indeed an entire castle were found in a place nopony ever goes: After Discord was imprisoned, the Everfree Forest was the only place in Equestria that wasn't left in a state of complete and utter disrepair.

The Everfree Forest was a hiding place for ponies from Discord.
Based on the above WMG, we have this. In fact, that's how the forest got its name: it was "free" from Discord.

The Everfree Forest is the boundary between our world and theirs.
The Everfree Forest works just as our world works. The animals govern themselves and the water cycle actually cycles on it's own. We share common mythical creatures like cockatrices. Zecora is either a descendant of a wandering zebra, or a traveler between realms. Her African masks are relics from the human world.

The Everfree Forest is where ponies lived before Equestria was founded
As shown in "Hearth's Warming Eve", the ponies emigrated from their original lands to a new home, which became Equestria. The original lands, frozen by Windigos, eventually thawed out on their own and had to fend for itself as the ponies that once tended it had all moved on. That's why there is an abandoned royal castle there, it was the one last inhabited by Princess Platinum and her court.
  • The significant weakness to this theory is the Everfree Forest's proximity to Ponyville, which is within sight of Canterlot. Either the ponies never moved that far away, Discord's reign of chaos changed things around, or they did found Equestria far away and by the present day its borders had expanded to such a degree that it came back around to the ponies original homeland with nobody even noticing except possibly the Princesses (assuming Celestia and/or Luna put the Elements were they did knowing the significance of the location).

Celestia purposefully gave the Apple family land near the Everfree forest
She suspected that their bloodline would produce a bearer of an Element of Harmony just in time for Nightmare Moon's return. And she wanted them near the Elements when the time came.

The Everfree Forest was the source of Discord.
He emerged from the netherworld at the site of the old palace in the heart of what later became the Everfree forest, creating a wild space where Pony control over the elements could not endure, but eventually nature established its own order in the absence of Discord being able to keep shaking things up, but everything in the Everfree Forest remained a little weird ever after.

The Everfree Forest Is Not As Bad/Dangerous as Ponies Think.
While a lousy place to live for Ponies compared to Ponyville, the fact that Zecora actually lives there is a sign that its actually habitable by many creatures. Years ago, Granny Apple even went in and got the signature Zap Apples from the forest as a foal because she reasoned the many creatures in it must be eating something. Granted, she was almost eaten by Timber Wolves back in the day, but still.

Today, the dangerous critters have likely been run off or know to avoid pissing off the Ponies, who can muster a retaliatory force of extinction level proportions.

The source of the fear is the probably because no one has actually bothered to go into the forest for so long, the Ponies just don't know how to deal with the "weird" place.

The "No Pony Who Goes In, Ever Comes Out." Thing is obviously a lie. Granny did it, the Mane 6 did it, and Zecora does it so often she'd likely laugh at anyone who suggests the Everfree Forest is a Death Trap.

Ponies used to be much more war like
Potentially part of a dozen WMGs above, we have just gotten some big evidence that there was some kind of need to go to war a thousand years ago. In the sister's abandoned castle, we see dozens of armors. Unlike the more ceremonial armors of the current royal guard, these are full on plate armor with plenty of spikes covering them (although it might be just for show, but ponies aren't really built to wield a lot of weapons, so the armor could also of BEEN the weapon). All it suggests that after Discord's reign, there was a need to keep the army completely covered in iron and steel, while today they barely get much more than a helmet.

The Everfree Forest is the remnant of Discord's original reign, contained by the Tree of Harmony.
When Celestia and Luna took the Elements from the Tree and defeated Discord, the Tree took what chaos could not be erased, such as the tortured souls of ponies, Discord's self-controlling weather and animals who do fine on their own, and brought it in around itself to keep it all in check. The actual creepy and dead-looking factor stems from the fact that the ponies can feel the haunted souls of ponies who were damaged beyond repair by Discord's original reign, and their souls still exist within the trees and the soil.

The Everfree Forest doesn't actually function by itself.
The Everfree Forest is in fact a home to ghosts (and Zecora)), and it's the ghosts that maintain the weather, plants, and animals of the forest. They're invisible to the living, and nopony has found their town because they won't go deep enough into the forest. The ghosts and the living are completely invisible to the other, except for Zecora, who the ghosts can see, and who can likewise see them. The ghosts have the same perception of the rest of Equestria as it does of the Everfree Forest.

The Everfree forest is able to manage itself because the Tree of Harmony
It would supply the magical force necessary for nature to keep itself balanced. So weather follows the water cycle and plants follow the yearly cycle of growth, death and renewal that we call natural. And why the Forest has such a definite edge, the effect is passive and has a limited range so pony controlled nature goes right up to where it stops. It would also explain why the weirder plants are only seen deeper in.

The Everfree is not the only place where nature runs itself.
Other examples:
  • Froggy Bottom Bog (if it's not part of the Everfree)
  • The Scariest Cave in Equestria. Considering the Apple Family's reaction to going through it, it's probably safe to say ponies prefer to avoid it.
  • The Fire Swamp.
  • The mountains between the Crystal Empire and Yakyakistan.
  • The Hayseed Swamp, or at least a majority of it.

The Everfree Forest is a necessary evil
Going with the idea that Equestria is freaky to other nations, I propose that Equestria is so unnaturally ordered that without the Everfree Forest providing a kind of storm drain, Equestria would implode. Given that Discord probably planted it, he might not even be naturally evil at all. He could have popped in there to keep it from blowing up, and gone ax-crazy due to Equestria attacking his very being with its existence.

     The World 

Equestria's Planet is actually a few lightyears from Earth.
Think about it. The planet could be a tamed planet, seperated into griffin kingdoms similar to France, perhaps named France, such as "French haute couture, Equestria, and other similar examples of the Law of Parallel Planet Development. Ponies may have evolved on a somewhat dangerous world, and then tamed it, much like we did. On a tamer world, a logic of beneficial collectivism may have evolved, as opposed to our Death World that encourages backstabbing. Twilight's teleportation is similar to stargates. Hopefully this is real. :)
  • Natural selection encourages backstabbing? Actually it's been shown that cooperation is a far better survival and reproductive strategy. And I'd say the Pony's home world is more of a Death World than earth, what with the monsters. And what we've seen of Equestrian history indicates it was even worse. Therefore Ponies developed even more of an instinct for cooperation than humans out of need to band together against the monsters.

The show takes place After the End.
Considering that there are no humans and the Ponies live in houses and do other human things we can only assume that humanity was wiped out and hyper-intelligent Equines just moved right in. Or possibly, as revenge for years of mistreatment, they took out the humans themselves!
"Could it be? In a bizarre twist, a horse is abusing a jockey! Might this be the start of a terrifying planet of the horses? In this announcer's opinion, almost certainly yes! And away I go!"
  • This makes even more sense when you realize that ponies know what human skull (AB's costume in "The Show Stoppers") and hand (Pinkie's foam hand in "Sonic Rainboom") look like , make references to France and Netherlands, dress up as Statue Of Liberty, use tools clearly designed for human hands (snow shovels in "Winter Wrap Up") and are able to see themselves as saddle animals (Applejack in "Bridle Gossip", Spike in "Dog And Pony Show", Twilight saying "gift horse" - how can horse be a gift in world like Equestria?) The more you think about it...
    • The gift horse thing isn't that hard. Perhaps Equestria abolished the slave trade only a generation or two ago.
      • It could have been even longer, we still use the term "Cakewalk" despite it's origins in US slavery. Alternatively it could be an example of linguistic shift, meaning "Gift (giving) Horse", sort of how we use the term "Sleep tight" despite it not making sense in modern English except in that context.
    • Don't forget Twilight's saddle for "Winter Wrap Up". The real question is, what catastrophe caused the whether to stop changing everywhere but the Everfree Forest?
      • Perhaps it started by using magic to force the seasons to change when they wanted, which destroyed the season's abilities to change on their own with the exception of a few areas around the world?
  • Judging by the fact that according to Twilight the same constellations visible from Earth are also visible from Equestria (Orion, Canis Major and Canis Minor are mentioned and she has Rarity sew them into her personalized dress in an episode), wherever they are would have to share a location with Earth.
  • This could explain why the train in "Over A Barrel", complete with locomotive, was pulled by horses. It is a leftover relic of human civilization that Equestrians have utilized as best they can.
  • And "Manehattan" is just Manhattan. The buildings were still standing after the humans died off, so the ponies moved in. And in an attempt to erase all signs of humans, the Statue of Liberty was remodeled into a pony.
  • There is actually a picture floating around suggesting that. Be careful. It comes from a booru, so NSFW is a given/
    • Here's another picture with Lyra Heartstrings discovering something's not right.
  • Dogs exist, and dogs were domesticated by humans; without us, they wouldn't exist. Either humans live somewhere on the planet, or they died out (or moved?).
    • Or ponies domesticated dogs themselves, the only one (besides the Diamond Dogs) we've seen was a herding breed.
  • France is mentioned several times too.
  • As for why no one remembers anything about humanity beyond abstract concepts, a ruthless, Secret Police-styled sect of the Equestrian government works in the shadows to systematically hunt down and destroy every remaining trace of human presence, in the name of preserving the "paradise" that the ponies were able to build once they were freed from the destructive influence of men.
    • So, Equestria is secretly harboring a 1984-like network? That needs to be addressed in a fanfic.
  • What ever cataclysm wiped out the previous inhabitants also rendered the planet uninhabitable and tidally locked. The reason that ponies control the weather and care for the animals is because the ecosystem that once supported them no longer exists. This is why Celestia and Luna are required to keep the planet rotating.
  • From the clues we have in-universe, it would appear that whatever planet Equestria is on is geocentric. Luna refused to lower the moon, and is able to make it remain night for extended periods of time, Rarity literally gets too close to the sun and her magic wings turn to ash, it all points to a small sun and moon close to the planet.
    • A planet without a solar orbit would also at least partially lack dynamic weather and distinct seasons, which would explain the Winter Wrap-Up and the pegasi having to schedule weather. Areas that have weather that changes 'on its own' could very well be due to the side effects of the ponies locally created weather affecting surrounding areas.
    • Perhaps Friendship is magic takes place REALLY FAR into the future, after the sun has burned out, the sun and moon are magical or otherwise artificial, and it is literally the ponies' magic that is keeping the planet alive at all.
      • From the orbit of Pluto, most of the constellations we know would be exactly the same, but a burned-out red giant of a Sun would be just one more star in the background...
      • Caveat: REALLY FAR into the future precludes having the same constellations. All the stars move relative to each other, and worse, G-class stars like the sun are some of the longer-lived stars; if Sol has moved on to the red giant (much less white dwarf) phase of its life cycle, most of the brighter stars have already done the (super)nova thing long before and all the rest that we see in our skies today will be guttering out, too. So not only will the stars be in the wrong places, but you'll be noticing the wrong ones.
      • This is especially true of Orion, which Twilight Sparkle specifically mentions. Orion's brightest star, Betelgeuse, is itself a red giant which is predicted to go supernova in less than a thousand years. It may actually have already done so, but its light takes 643 years to reach us.
  • Earth was conquered by a Sufficiently Advanced Alien who turned all humans into ponies for the lulz. After centuries of his neverending games, the natural laws have been almost entirely replaced by his "magic". Two brave sisters found a way to master this power, summon the Elements of Harmony and turn the tyrant into stone. Our corner of reality has since been slowly recovering from this age of chaos. Please do not fight in front of the statues.
  • The whole "How did they build a city if they don't have hands?" question pops up again, and seems like it could be filed away with "unicorn magic"... until you remember the Ponyville was made by Earth Ponies. Then you see Spike doing the chores and work for the others, sure he does it willingly, but it makes you think if it was always like this, then you realise the true horror: THE PONIES ENSLAVE WORLDS! They decend on planets, enslave the dominate species of that planet and force them into slave labor, building cities, tools and other such things until the race is all but dead. Then they force their slaves to construct space crafts to deliver them to their next victim. So why are they appearing on our TV? Well, have a listen to Queen's Seven Seas of Rhye, and Killer Queen, keeping this in mind. What does it sound like? Queen has escape one of the past worlds with one of thier crafts, and have been trying to warn us, without us thinking they're insane and just ignoring them. So now, the ponies must use more resourceful means to subdue us, before they land and take us by force!
    • The CMC were able to "repair" Fluttershy's table with nails and hammer, and they also did their stage. The Appleloosians were also Earth Ponies mostly
  • Or they all had gone to another planet and let ponies be the dominant species just for the lulz
Alternatively, Equestria is before the End.
This was when God made the Garden of Eden, and he created Celestia and Luna as physical manefastations of himself. The Everfree Forest is where the humans live, and are free from pony control.
Equestria is (a post apoc) earth, and humans become the ponies
Relating to above theories. Considering how humanoid the ponies seem, I highly doubt evolution worked close to the same way twice, so instead humans must have become ponies. This may or may not apply to Past Generations but G1 and G4 are likely the only ones that would even allow a post-apoc setting to be canon.

Equestria is an attempt to create a better society for Earth after mankind has failed
  • Generations of bronies go and protect the internet from harm. Even as civilization falls apart. Even as the sun grows and destroys all life except for a tiny sheilded area.
The sciantists within look on the preserved remains of the internet and find that even after the rest of pop culture dies, the bronydom and the Elements of Harmony principles remain and decide to create a new race based on these principles. They know humanity can last only a short time more so they use their remaining resorces to create a new race. They create them in the image of the utopa that eqestria was said to be. They create two mighty leaders for them, Celestia and Luna, and give them the controls to the centre and all it’s facilities. A new race emerges with the power to restore the earth.Their is no such thing as a free lunch. As long as their is light their is also shadow. As long as their are bronies their will also be haters. One such creates a chaotic being and chrisens it ‘discord’ and also sabotages luna so one day she will be corrupted. The last hater then realises his mistake as discord kills him. Discord takes the controls but is defeated by the Elements of Harmony. Unfortunently by then he has killed the last of humanity who had wanted to see the begining of equestria. A new age has begun.

Equestria was originally an uninhabitable hellhole.
Then the ponies, including Celestia, settled an area of it and worked to make it not only livable, but prosperous. Eventually they spread and took the entire area. This ties in with the theory that the series takes place on a future Earth. Humans ruined the planet and died out. Nature took over some areas, but others, like Equestria, remained an uninhabitable wasteland. It is the way it is now because Celestia and Luna got their pony followers to use their magic and abilities to fix everything up. This creates a safe and prosperous haven for ponies, where they're safe from monsters, and their control over the weather and land ensures that they're safe from natural disasters and starvation.
  • Expanding on my theory here... The "monsters" and other strange creatures are the descendants of genetic expiriments done by the humans a long time ago, though some species were mutated by radiation. This is why many are sentient and why many resemble mythical monsters. Unicorns, pegasi, dragons, and others were used as status symbol pets by the upper classes. Many creatures were created just to expiriment and see if they could do it, and many of the tougher, scarier species were created for shows, exhibits, fighting, and hunting. (let's face it, a sport hunter would pay a lot to hunt a manticore and have it stuffed for his living room)
  • While the reasoning why isn't correct, Equestria used to be a pretty horrific place under the rule of Discord.
    • Original poster here. Expanding on my theory, Celestia, Luna, and Discord were also the results of the genetic expiriments done. Humans sought to create the "perfect being", with many results, Celestia and Luna being the most successful. Discord, being made up of so many animals with so many different natures and behavioral traits, caused him to have a screwed up, chaotic nature. He destroyed the facility and killed the humans as revenge, then proceeded to make the world chaotic, because it was the only way he could feel normal. (however, the world was already an uninhabitable hellhole thanks to humans screwing it up) When Celestia and Luna stood up to him, they didn't kill him because they knew it wasn't his fault he was so messed up. They still hope that, one day, they can find a spell that can help him.

France, zoos, and Dutch apple pie don't actually exist.
Applejack just invented them in her delirium.
  • Seems to be jossed, at least as far as France goes, since Fluttershy mentions French haute couture when speaking to Rarity in a later episode, and is not delirious. Nervous due to Rarity pressing her for an opinion, but not delirious.
    • And Applebloom speaking French in "Cutie Pox".
      • The language there is addressed as "Fancy". For all we know, its not called "France" anymore.
  • Hoity Toity also mentioned that he was craving Dutch apple pie after seeing Applejack's outfit in "Suited for Success"
  • Photo Finish is clearly German, even using a few German words. And in that same episode we see a pony with asian slanted eyes...
  • Of course France exists: that's where Mareseilles and Le Hoovre are located. And the Netherlands exists too: that's where Trotterdam is.
  • Or perhaps these countries have simply been reduced down to cities or regions within Equestria? Like "France" is now called something else and is a city far to the east of Equestria and Germany is somewhere vaguely west of the Crystal Kingdom. The phrases "Dutch apple pie" and "French haute couture" are just that-phrases. They don't reference France or the Netherlands. "Dutch" and "France" are just made-up words in this universe. It's somewhat implied that Equestria is the only place that has ponies, so other countries with ponies would be peculiar. Trottingham seems to be British, but Rarity manages to deliver twenty capes by morning there, after working all night to finish them. She couldn't do that easily if they lived in a completely different country. Not to mention Rarity, unlike Twilight, can't teleport. So in a way, the WMG seems to be right. France doesn't technically exist, at least not by that name. Perhaps the ponies who created them were outright called Frenchie and Dutchy, Dutchy having been a duke or a duchess. The accents they have work in the same way that New York accents do; they're regional to the area, but are not a wide-spread accent. Pipsqueak's accent is called a Trottingham accent, and so on. "Fancy" is the accent used by ponies from Mareseilles, or the city is outright called "Fancy", and German accents are used by ponies from Düsseldock (dock coming from being part of a horse/pony).

The show is foreshadowing the end of OUR Earth and what it'll look like in the future.
In 2012 human kind will destroy themselves in a massive war for world domination and the only thing left behind will be their technology. All the atomic bombs and toxic substances over the years will cause animals to mutate and evolve; with ponies becoming the dominate species of Earth with new mutant species popping up looking like mythical beings. Ex: The hydra is really a super-mutated lizard-like creature.

In Equestria, a lunar or solar eclipse would be a mind-blowing cosmic horror.
In the real world, the moon can be out at any time of day. Sometimes it only appears with the sun and isn't visible at all at night. But Nightmare Moon's backstory implies that in Equestria, the moon and the sun are mutually exclusive. Why? Because Luna and Celestia arranged a fixed cycle of moon and sun in order to more effectively manage the tides. Maybe they even worked out the interactions of gravitational pulls to reduce natural disasters like earthquakes or tsunamis. Maintaining the sun and moon's relative position is of the utmost importance.

Alternately, the Equestrian solar system is not heliocentric, but has spheres like Ptolemy theorized. But rather than the sun and moon being embedded in one sphere, they are both set onto a fixed path in the same sphere and circle around it like race cars on a track.

Either way, the idea of the two celestial bodies intersecting would never even occur to a resident of Equestria. If it were suggested, much less actually happen, it would blow their little pony minds.

  • Alternatively, eclipses were regularly scheduled, but none happened in the last thousand years... Because they were meant as times for Celestia and Luna to get together and talk.

Four Stars are ponies who served Nightmare Moon for thousand years or they got awaken before series pilot. After Nigtmare Moon gone they got transformed or turned back back to more normal ponies.
Now they wander aroud Equestria, confused and trying to make something from rest of their powers or fit in. They are not evil, but still little jerkass, they strong powers (depending what pony species). And they have Cutie Mark related to stars, moon, night, sparking or magic.
  • The Great and Powerful Trixie?
    • Of course!
  • Twilight's parents?
    • Impossible. Twilight's parents are shown alive, well, and not locked in the sky in 'The Cutie Mark Chronicles', which takes place years prior to episode 1.

Related to above. Four Stars are now normal ponies, nothing indicating their hidden power and role as NM servants.
They propably have normal life before NM return and after her defeat. They don't know anything about their hidden personas. They may turn into Four Stars if other evil force show up. And anypony minor or background can be one of them.

Also related to the above. The four stars are Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death.
The four horses of the Apocalypse. They are working in secret to rally all those who are faithful to Nightmare Moon, and one day raise her again.

Related to the above as well; the four stars are actually Team Four Star.

The thing behind the creation of Nightmare Moon was also responsible for the destruction of whatever came before Equestria.
In keeping with the [[After the End]] theory, before Equestria another species, be it human or something else, controlled the planet. Eventually some evil force, potentially another species, came and destroyed "Equestria". At this point, the pony species were already evolving or were spontaneously mutating due to the weapons used by this evil force. Recognizing these new species, the current holders of "Equestria" created the Elements of Harmony to give the ponies one hope should the evil return. A considerable time later, the planet has regrown under the guidance of Celestia and Luna. Evil force returns, gets fucked when it finds everything happiness and rainbows. Somehow corrupts Luna into Nightmare Moon, but this plan of course fails. The stars that aided in Nightmare Moon's escape? This evil force.

The Equestrian world is flat.
It would be impossible for eternal night to exist on a round planet, as it would be day on the other side of the planet. So the sun went down on the uninhabited underside of the world and stayed until the ponies defeated Nightmare Moon.
  • Does it also rest on the back of four elephants which themselves stand on the back of a giant space turtle?
    • Yes, probably. There's another theory on here that says that the speed of light has been slowed down to about the speed of sound due to the dense magical field surrounding Equestria, which explains the flash and colors in a Sonic Rainboom (Rainbow Dash managed to break both the sound barrier and the light barrier), so if this theory is probably true, why not that one?
  • The existence of a globe ("Secret of My Excess") and Unreliable Narrator Chancellor Puddinghead's comment on the world being round seem to put this idea to bed.
    • Having magical princesses in charge of raising and lowering the sun and moon (and the demonstrable effect it has on day and night when something happens to them suggests rather strongly that that actually is what they do) really only makes sense in the context of a flat world, though. On the other hand, the setting seems to have comets as modern astronomy understands them, too. Is there a trope for settings that can't make up their minds about which cosmology they're operating under?
    • Maybe the inhabitants of Equestria are simply Equestria-centric.

Equestria is a micro planet.
Somewhere out in space, there is a tiny meteorite capable of sustaining life... but only if it's citizens were less than an inch tall. Because of it's tiny size, the residents have to maintain the ecosystem very carefully or every time there's a sunspot, the equestrian civilization would be wiped out. Princess Celestia's job is actually extremely difficult, making sure the tiny planet gets the proper amount of sunlight without burning up.

It's Celestia's magic that keeps nature in Equestria dependant on ponies.
She does this to ensure that no cataclysms or predators disturb ponies' idyllic lives. But since she doesn't have the power to run everything by herself, she needs to employ regular ponies.

Everfree Forest covers the land on which Celestia doesn't suppress the nature. An example would be the castle ruins from the second episode, which clearly used to be a part of Equestria, but was abandoned by Celestia, probably because of ill memories connected with that place.

The collective Painting the Frost on Windows society that the ponies have in Equestria came about after the Princesses defeated Discord.
There are two ways this could work, either the Princesses decided to make everything as un-discord-like as possible meaning nature itself would be made to run on a schedule. The second is that before and after Discord's defeat the underlying reality of the kingdom had been stretched, damaged and chaotic that the ponies needed to "do things by hoof" so plants would grow, the sun and moon would move across the sky and the weather would be actual weather. It can be a combination of both points as well.

The end result is the present day where guiding nature is the Status Quo and the Everfree Forest where nature can run itself is deemed creepy and just wrong.

  • It does make sense. We've seen a small taste of Discord's idea of "fun". Yes, candy weather is funny and tasty, but it'd also reek havok on the environment. We know Discord threw everything into chaos over 1000 years ago and doesn't give a darn about any kind of order, natural or otherwise. Probably before he appeared, nature worked fine, but after he showed up and threw everything into chaos, nothing made sense anymore. He destroyed natural order because it was order and he wanted chaos. And after his defeat, there was no way for the princesses to fix a great deal of what he'd done, so the only choice was for everyone to begin doing things themselves to have any semblence of natural order. It honestly sounds like something the Chaotic Evil Discord would come up with to do, doesn't it?
  • Unless the history has gotten convoluted in the intervening years, "Hearth's Warming Eve" pageant explains that unicorns ran the day/night cycle, pegasi the weather, and earth ponies the crops and food, all before Celestia's rule.
    • Unless all of these are not true. The idea of these things occurring naturally has been shown to horrify ponies. History might have been rewritten because the alternative is unthinkable. To openly acknowledge that so much has been lost despite the victory over Discord — to the extent that ponies must now toil endlessly to keep their world habitable when before it supported them naturally — would break their collective heart and mind.
  • on the other Hoof, it showed that the land that would become Equestria got by just fine without earth ponies and pegasi.
    • Ah, but maybe Discord hadn't risen till after Equestria was established, and so the world hasn't fallen into chaos yet.

The I Dye Grass nature of the setting was due to the fixing of the land after Discord got through with it.
Discord's influence completely botched the natural order of things, so the Princesses gave their subjects the ability to affect the weather to help repair it. Unfortunately, the natural order became dependent on the ponies, and after thousands of years it became the new norm and the ponies came to believe anything else as unnatural. The Everfree Forest was spared from Discord's influence (possibly because it was the original stronghold of the princesses), but because the land didn't need caring for, they left it alone to oversee the reconstruction, and by the time they could return to it, a new equilibrium had been established.
  • That may be why Zecora lives in the Everfree forest. Her homeland doesn't work like that, and the controlling of weather creeps her out.

The ponies no longer need to manage nature
Regardless of why they started in the first place, nature in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic setting can handle things like weather, animals, and the turning of the seasons on it's own. It's just that managing the seasons by hoof is so much more convenient that the ponies have gotten into the habit of doing it themselves.

The whole REAL story behind Equestria.
Equestria is a country, the planet it is on is very similar to Neopia, but the only sentient species are ponies of three(possibly four) races, dragons of several races, zebras, sea serpents, buffalo, Diamond Dogs, and griffons. The sea serpents, as well as sea ponies if they exist live in an underwater country very similar to Maraqua, zebras come from an island country similar to Mystery Island or a desert country on the other side of the Everfree Forest similar to The Lost Desert, griffons come from a country similar to Altador, Diamond Dogs come from an island similar to Krawk Island. Equestria is similar to Meridell mixed with Neopia Central, and buffalo are native to the far side of Equestria, and The Everfree Forest is similar to The Haunted Woods.

Two thousands years or so ago there was a land similar to Faerieland, Cloudsdale was once part of it, but was separated. The Faerieland like country was home to the Alicorns and Draconequi who lived in peace with each other. At this time no country had a ruler, and this cloud country was under famine. Discord created an inmortality potion, he, five other Draconequi, and six Alicorns, including sisters Celestia and Luna took it. They all left their homeland and the rest of the Draconequi and Alicorns soon died out, which caused the cloud land to disappear except for a town sized piece which floated over to Equestria and became Cloudsdale. Each country got two leaders, one Alicorn to control harmony, and one Draconequus to control chaos. Equestria got Discord and Celestia.

Luna was selected to be the Alicorn ruler of The Everfree forest. However the Draconequus who was chosen to rule with her had somehow been immune to the affects of the immortality potion and died from an illness. So she came back to her sister and they both tried to rule Equestria along with Discord. Before this, the cloud country was the only one inhabited by sentient beings, so the two rulers of each land created a species, buffalo had originally been created by Luna and her mortal Draconequus friend to inhabit The Everfree Forest, but when she came to help rule Equestria she brought the buffalo with her and they began to live on the far side of Equestria. Celestia and Discord had created the ponies, which came in three races, earth, unicorn and pegasi.

Because there were three rulers watching over two species, the sisters decided to take care of the buffalo and trusted Discord to take care of all three races of ponies(there was only one buffalo race, but there were about as many buffalo as there were all three pony races combined.) Over time Discord got bored and began to torture the ponies, and treat them like puppets. The sisters hated this so they created the Elements of Harmony which turned him into a statue. Because there was no Draconequus helping rule Equestria there was no chaos. This meant nature couldn't take care of itself in Equestia, so the sisters had to make the sun and moon appear here, and the ponies had to help change seasons, take care of non sentiment animals, grow all plants, and pegasi had to change weather on schedule.

It was right after Discord was gone that the sisters created cutie marks for ponies, when a pony was around tween age, and found something they were very good at, they received a cutie mark that represents it, and makes it what they must do for the rest of their life. This helped keep the ponies in harmony. Soon after Discord was statufied, Luna was naturally altered with the powers of a Draconequus, and was going to slowly turn into one, but Celestia banished her.

When Discord was temporarily free his powers had build up too long so it caused everything to go much crazier then it used too, and if he had been out long enough and learned to rule with Celestia again it would have smoothed out.

  • That's one of the most epic WMGs I've ever read.
    • I concur. I hardly ever see MLP crossover-ing with Neopets.

The old country is habitable again
Some ponies that did not emigrate to Equestria set their differences aside and reclaimed the old country. Photo Finish is from there (thus explaining her accent; the lands would not have a common language anymore).

Equestria is a World of Weirdness where citizens go on epic world-saving quests quite frequently.
The Mane 6 don't get nearly enough respect for saving the town from a dragon, much less the two seperate instances they saved the world from an Eldritch Abomination. No one in Ponyville feels any lingering resentment towards Spike for his puberty-induced rampage, or seems particularly put out that they have to rebuild for the second time, after previously being decimated by parasprites. And the Apple family didn't even see fit to mention to Applebloom that oh yeah, Granny founded this town after she figured out how to summon psychedelic apples with hillbilly folk magic. How does everypony just take this stuff in stride?

Because by Equestrian standards, this stuff is no big deal. The world is routinely imperiled by cosmic evils, random ponies are called upon to save it, large swatches of civilization become collateral damage, and no one thinks twice about it. Maybe a big celebration will be held after a really important victory, like Discord's defeat. But the Mane 6 can't expect to coast on that one for too long and impress anypony, because the next day Lyra Heartstrings, Octavia, and Vinyl Scratch stopped an alien invasion with The Power Of Music, Dr. Whooves, Derpy, and Colgate fixed a disturbance in the time stream, and even Blueblood, panicking and fumbling the whole time, stopped the Zombie Apocalypse through sheer dumb luck. Every single day a background pony awesomesnote  their way through an adventure worthy of a summer blockbuster, and we're simply never shown these adventures because they don't pertain to Twilight and friends.

Tartarus holds Krastos The Glue Maker
The very mention of Tartarus is like a Chekhov's Gun so there's a good chance e could come into the show. Maybe in the Royal Wedding two-parter?
  • Jossed. Perhaps in another season.

Tartarus has a continent on the planet that overlooks the mouth into it.
A Shadow Continent or Island located across on one of the planet's many seas is sitting on top of a portal to Tartarus even as I am writing this. When designing its layout, think of it as though it was a volcanic or hellish version of Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom at Disney World - depending on where in the United State one may live. Instead of rail or vehicle tracks and rivers, there are lava rivers that carry trains of boulders along and the center is home to the gatekeeper to Tartarus - Sludge the Skullequus.

The land surrounding Equestria is extremely dangerous and hard to get through.
Most of the ponies we've seen in Equestria have very little knowledge about anything outside of Equestria. Twilight Sparkle was the only pony in Ponyville who knew what a zebra was, and that's probably due to her bookworm status. The characters seen in the show, even Twilight, know almost nothing about dragons. Even smart, well-read characters like Twilight don't seem to have much knowledge about what lies beyond Equestria. Thus, it can be assumed that the land surrounding Equestria is harsh and dangerous. Very few ponies have ventured outside, and few beings from the outside have come into Equestria. Zecora is the only zebra who has been seen, and again, it's at the point where only a well-read character was able to identify her species/race. When something was happening to Spike in The Secret of My Excess, Zecora, a character from the outer regions, was the only one who knew what was going on.
  • This ties well with post-apocalyptic theories; Equestria could have a natural defense similar to The Glowing Sea. Dragons can cross safely and easily because eating uranium isn't much of a stretch, Diamond Dogs might have tunnel systems and Zecora is probably savvy enough to jury-rig a radiation suit and carry a lot of iodine pills. -woggs123

It's the Earth, and the Elements of Harmony are what used to be the Dragon Balls.
"Arise Chenron! Grant my wish!" Somebody wished for the world to be a magical place, with all kinds of ponies and fantastic creatures of myth. Celestia, Luna, Cadance, and many other as yet unseen alicorns are the North, South, East, West, Supreme, and Grand Kais. If this is the case, I really want to see the Grand Kai, because seeing a more hip, easygoing, playful alicorn than either Celestia or Cadance would be lots of fun.

Because nobody had suggested it yet, and you knew it was only a matter of time.

The old country is still under Windigo control
And it's now known as the Frozen Wastes, an unforgiving land of bitter cold and ice. Any ponies who didn't emigrate to Equestria either froze into statues or transformed into horrific "ice ponies" who can no longer feel any emotion other than pure hatred (demi-windigos, if you will).
  • This map shows an area called the "Frozen North". Perhaps the old country is over there?

Equestrian Weather Is Just Local.
Because Pegasi have to put effort into weather, this limits the amount of weather there can be. Its possible to have a tornado over a water shed for example, but it will only be as big as the Pegasi can manage, to have GLOBAL weather, you'd have to have Pegasi all over the world, and there probably aren't that many Pegasi to station.

Pegasi take Shortcuts when making weather.
It doesn't make sense to have clouds thousands of feet up (like IRL) when Pegasi can just have them dozens of feet up at most. The rain still falls, wind still blows and asides from a few minor problems, its a good system.

One of those problems being that with clouds so close, getting struck by lighting is much more likely. And probably explains why Rarity/Applejack and possibly others are so affraid of storm.

With clouds so close, its practically a point blank shot with high chance of chain lightning and perhaps electrical damage is one of those things a Pony is specially vulnerable to?

  • Derpy hit herself with a lightning bolt and was only dazed, so it seems unlikely that they are more vulnerable to electricity than anything else. What's this about ponies having things that they are specially vulnerable to?

The reason for Winter Wrap-up and the manual changing of seasons...
Celestia's sun provides light, but little heat, not enough to melt snow in soon enough time. Seasons are caused by the presence/absence of cloud cover. Summer has minimal cloudcover, while Winter has the opposite. Spring/Fall is a happy medium between the two.

Tarnation is their version of Canada

They call it Tar Nation because of the oil sands.

Equestria is the result of a successful Terraforming project which left permanent marks on the ponies' culture.
Originally the entire planet was mostly-uninhabitable, but spacefaring/dimension hopping/whatevering ponies looking for a new planet can't afford to be too picky and just went with one that had the right gravity and distance from its sun. Everything else, they had to do themselves—weather, flora, fauna, you name it. And they succeeded with flying colors.

But even so far afterwards that they've forgotten their past and consider a biome that regulates itself to be the unnatural one, they still carry cultural values that sprung from the terraforming. Feeding and caring for wild animals is an actual job (and a decently-respected one at that), as are even the most trivial aspects of the weather. Gemstones still play the same role in their senses of aesthetics and fashion despite the different composition of the planet making them laughably common. And communities are as tight-knit as you would expect from a people that were always one major screw-up away from extinction despite clearly being able to take a disaster or two without really being slowed down. In all likelihood, if ponies stopped regulating the environment at this point it would probably just sort itself out (wild animals know how to feed themselves, and physics happens on its own), but not in a way they'd like as much and more importantly they're as used to manually controlling their environment as you are to manually controlling the presence of light in your house.

One especially interesting point to consider: Why would the ponies have a winter? Earth flora and fauna generally evolved to work around the season of no-food-no-warmth, but unless you came from a place that already had one it's hard to imagine winter making your ecology more vibrant. But they imported species and cultural traditions from a planet that did, so every year they scheduled (!) a few months of snow, and by now it's become such a tradition that they'd look at you funny if you suggested not doing it.

Equestria is a place for reincarnated people.
When someone in our world dies without fulfilling their greated desires, they are reincarnated as an Equestrian pony and given a special destiny—the very thing they never got to do in their previous life.
  • Pinkie Pie was a girl who wanted to make everyone happy.
  • The girl who became Fluttershy wanted to care for all animals, but she was never able to do so in our world.

Equestria is a Layered World of our world, Earth.

In Zecora's home land, there's a place called Zebrazzaville.

And the ruler of that country is called Shaka Zebra.

Equestria is not only the post-apocalypse Earth, it's much more...
Notice how you need a deity (or two) to move Moon and Sun, something that in our world moves by itself note Since the apocalypse is hinted by some things more suited to humans than ponies... (eg. benches, I guess...)

...does that mean both Sun and Moon are either damaged or even DESTROYED? That would mean Tia and Luna are moving artificial Sun and Moon. But what the hell happened then?

  • You don't quite need a deity, the role can be filled with a sufficiently large number of trained unicorns. Still, that is messed up.
Equestria is metal-poor
Which has halted the advance of technology, or at least redirected it. On the other hand, Equestrian soil contains lots of the minerals that gems are composed of.

Equestria is an Earth which underwent a Grey Goo catastrophe.
The surface of the Earth was completely consumed by Nanomachines, destroying all life. Eventually copying errors in the nanomachines resulted in the evolution a new biosphere based on descendants of the original Grey Goo. Everything we see in the show is a collection of nanomachines with its own program. What we think is Magic is actually reprogramming the nanomachines that make up the environment.

All landmasses - or, at least, the habitable ones - sit close together on one side of the planet.
Tying into the whole "timezones vs. NMM's plan for eternal night" thing - by keeping the sun from rising, she was, in fact, condemning all habitable lands on the planet to eternal night. Her plan was to leave the sun to shine eternally on the other side of the world - where nobody lived, anyways (basically, imagine that habitable landmasses on our planet consist solely of the American continent).

Equestria is mosly frozen, with a narrow habitable zone on the equator.
Its entry on the Baby Planet trope page mentions an arctic climate within a day's travel of Ponyville. This shouldn't be possible except on a geocentric world with a tiny sun very close to the ground, which appears to be the case. I apologize if I'm missing some context, it just seemed obvious to me.

The area just south of the dragon lands is the MLP world's version of China.
The 2017 movie update to the MLP world map includes an area in the south of the continent where the dragons live that's marked by stands of bamboo, as well as clouds and mountains reminiscent of traditional Chinese art.

My guess is that this area will be visited eventually — not much sense in going out the way to include it otherwise, practically speaking. When this will happen, it will be where MLP's Fantasy Counterpart Culture for China (or a generalized "east Asian" Far East-type culture) resides, made up of either local ponies and/or kilins.

  • In light of Mistmane's segment in "Campfire Tales", including the guess that that is where Mistmane comes from.


     The Universe 
Equestria is a dimension parallel to ours that we humans control.
Equestria is a mirror of our own dimension, albeit with obvious differences. Along with all of the dimensional differences/similarities, there is also inter-dimensional travel/observation available to us in the more secretive corners of our world. Humans have constant active surveillance of the other dimension, and even frequently send/install special operatives there to silently influence events for our benefit. A good portion of technological advances are the result of humans inserting outdated tech into the world to see what the resident species do with it. Both ancient and recent events are the result of anywhere from years to centuries (Earth-time) of human intervention. Many disappearances are also the result human intervention, in which subjects are captured for study, memory-erasure, and containment.

Visually, the dimension has a 2D look to all visual factors. All beings/objects in the dimension appear 2D to humans from all angles, yet can interact effortlessly in the third dimension much like Earth creatures. Anything that enters the dimension from Earth takes on a 2D look until removed (living beings included), yet anything removed from the dimension that originated there retains its 2D look in 3D space.

Very few ponies or other species are aware of the human influence, among them being select species leaders (particularly certain twin princesses who work to further humanity's interests), loyal "enlightened" species designated to do the work humans can't/won't do, and various cults and conspiracy theorists which are usually labeled insane and/or idiotic. These cults typically revere humanity as malevolent/benevolent elder gods, or as the ancestors of all life. They may even see Earth as heaven for those who serve humanity's purpose well. Any who come across potentially harmful or revealing knowledge are either forced to forget, or allowed to remember in exchange for total servitude and loyalty to humanity.

The "show" has more in common with reality television than it does with a cartoon. The show is a series of recordings, not animation as thought by the public. Nearly all artists and creators associated with it are actually part of a cover-up, though certain exceptions such as composers providing background music are present. Events are influenced for increased entertainment and action, interesting ponies are focused on and given adversity to deal with and overcome, and many otherwise hopeless/lethal scenarios are resolved by guiding hands assuring victory. Should any unwanted or botched events short of death occur, amnesia is induced and events are repeated until desired result is achieved. Death of any recurring characters is to almost always be avoided at all costs, but can be circumvented by consciousness transfer between cloned bodies and the original should accidents occur.

Plans are likely in place in case of mass populace discovery of humanity, including nation/continent/planet-scale memory wiping, diplomatic negotiations sweeping humanity's influence under the rug, and forceful takeover with no regard for subtlety or secrecy to ensure permanent human dominance. Products based on the recorded equines sell well, and plans for "genetically engineered" pony pets are in place for sometime in the near-future when scientific life-creation becomes commonplace to avoid arousing suspicion.

The pony world is fantasy of a little girl.
Think of how the clouds don't move on their own and how the animals can't fend for themselves. This is all because the little girl who dreamed up this world doesn't actually know how the water cycle, ecosystem, or seasons work. The Everfree forest contains everything that doesn't fit in with the pony fantasy, AKA reality. Everything bad, strange or unknown gets put there, along with the girl's subconscious doubts about the pony world.

The entire setting is the future of Peace on Earth.
In keeping with the "Equestria is Earth After the End" theory, either a cataclysmic conventional war or a nuclear holocaust (based on whether you're counting the 1939 or 1955 versions as canon), humanity was wiped off the face of the Earth, leaving the animals to emerge from their hidey-holes and take up residence in the former human dwellings and form a new society from its remnants ("Ye shall rebuild the old wastes", says the Bible-reading owl). Fast forward through a few millennia of animal-rule and the magic coming back, and boom, you have My Little Pony. Equestria merely happens to be a settlement where horses are the dominant animals.

...Of a poor Real Life mare mistreated by her owner, made to live in squalor, perennially sick and dirty...

...Her only escape being her dreams of Equestria, a place where horses run free with no oppressive humans in sight, and she herself is a beautiful princess.

  • This is probably one of the most depressing WMGs ever.
  • This seems unlikely. If we were to assume that it were true, we would conclude that the mare in question must be American, since the characters in the show all speak English with American accents. But in a modern, technologically advanced society like that of the modern United States, there really are no workhorses anymore: horses today are either racehorses or essentially very expensive pets. Either way, mistreating or overworking one would be extremely uneconomical. It would be like using a Ferrari to haul bulk freight. And besides, if this were the case, how did this mare's dreams end up on television?
    • Uneconomical, yes. Would a stupid neglectful owner care? No. There are animals still being abused all over the planet. Also, in this WMG, MLP is a dream, not a tv show.
  • Ah, the obligatory "EVERYONE IS A FEVER/DYING/ABUSE INDUCED DREAM!" theory, I'm glad you could make it!
  • Now a fanfic.

Every previous MLP story has just been the story-book version.
From what I can tell, the villains of MLP have always been kind of... dark. Such as Tirac, the Demon God, or the Smooze, this freaky goopy stuff that consumes the land. Something tells me that they weren't actually defeated with.. love or.. sharing. I THINK what really happened was a whole lot more sadistic. I'm picturing a Ponycaust or two.
  • Alternatively, it was the Elements of Harmony, and generations of wielders (who may or may not have decreased in number as time went on) that ended these dark villains.

The series is set within our world, just another aspect of it.
Specifically, Equestria is within one of the many strange worlds to be found in the Sidhe, possibly with a smattering of All Myths Are True and was cofounded by Epona, Slepnir, Pegasus, and possibly the early unicorns. This would mean that Ponies are all actually very benign Fair Folk, and Discord and whatever turned Luna into Nightmare Moon were invaders from the Unseelie Court.

Equestria is the afterlife.
Equestria was created by Celestia and Luna, and maybe Discord. However, they needed inhabitants, so they decided to reincarnate souls from our world into theirs as ponies and other species. It would explain any references to our world, those being residual memories of a previous life. And, of course, being a different universe, physics work differently there.Of course, not everybody gets reincarnated to Equestria. It's mostly random. Mostly, because everywhere needs heroes, and Celestia deliberately reincarnates those of particular virtue so there would aways be those who could control the Elements of Harmony.

Equestria is contained in a Pocket Dimension.
While in many ways, Equestria seems to exist within our own dimension, there are many factors saying that it does not, such as the existance of magic, and the fact that the sun and the moon have to be physically/magically moved by sentient beings, rather then by gravity. How then, can it exist?

The answer? Equestria is contained within a pocket dimension created by both Celestia and her sister.

While it is impossible to prove this theory, there are some strong factors weighing in it's favor. Consider:

  • The sun and moon: While the realm of MLP appears to be similar to our own (with varied landscapes, seasons, a sky/atmosphere, etc.) there's one big difference between their world and ours: the sun and the moon have to be manually raised and lowered by Celestia and Luna every day and night. Based upon what we know of astronomy, and the rotation of planets, it is impossible for this to take place in our universe, as Equestria either is a planet that doesn't rotate, or it is situated around an inert sun and moon. Considering the unlikeliness of a pony being able to move a star, it seems reasonable that, in a pocket dimension that is completely under Celestia and Luna's control, they can bend the very fabric of it's reality to suit their needs.

  • The existence of magic: An obvious difference between the world of MLP and our own is the existence of magic, although there is the possibility that the ponies of this world utilize some form of energy that our science cannot yet detect. But if the world of MLP takes place in a pocket dimension, then again, Celestia and Luna can institute laws and rules in it's physics, similar to how the machines in The Matrix programed the artificial world to resemble earth at it's peak, with most of it's inhabitants being unable to tell that what they were living in was, in fact, an illusion.
  • The strong emphasis on friendship and cooperation: While individual ponies are varied in temperament and personality, the main drive of pony society seems to be the development of one's character, and the importance of sharing and beneficial relationships with one another. Such a society is bound to have far fewer conflicts then, say, a society that is devoted to acquiring wealth and material goods, or one that believes it is their right to rule the world. While we have yet to see any direct examples of pony society laying out it's beliefs, it is fair to assume that Celestia encourages all ponies in her dominion to focus on friendship.
  • Hints as to previous events in pony history: Based on Pinkie Pie's party cannon, as well as Rainbow Dash naming her pet turtle, "Tank," it is reasonable to guess that ponies are aware of instruments of war, which suggests that, at certain points in Equestria's past, there were armed conflicts using weapons of war. While the combatants in these conflicts are anyone's guess (pony vs. pony, pony vs. dragons, etc.) the mere mention of these items suggests that the history of Equestria is not as idyllic as it would first seem. One would think that the three tribes of ponies engaged in armed conflict, but considering the level of technology they seemed to posses, it would be reasonable to assume that they would use cannons, and were not technically advanced enough to use tanks, suggesting that there were armed conflicts with 21rst century weaponry between then, and the era of Twilight Sparkle and friends.

With the sun and moon being physically moved, the existence of magic, hints to a darker past in Equestria, and the drive for friendship and cooperation in pony society, the true nature of Equestria can be theorized as thus:

At some point in the far distant pass, all the nations/cities/etc. in Equestria were at war with each other, possibly due to pony society being in a state similar to many countries today (with the mindset to obtain wealth and material goods, and less on personal growth). As a result of the warfare and fighting, Equestria was devastated, possibly beyond it's ability to heal or be repaired, resulting in a wasteland in which little to no life could live. Celestia and Luna, being the only survivors of the royal family (theorizing that their parents had been killed in the conflict, which would explain their absence), saw the ruins of their kingdom, and realized that they could not return life to the planet. Thus, combining the might of their powers, they were able to create a pocket dimension, and created a copy of Equestria. The two worked to perfect it, creating weather, physics, etc. as well as the illusion of the stars and the universe, working hard to erase every trace and hint that could reveal to the ponies that they were living in a simulated reality.

During this time, Celestia and Luna also created the Elements of Harmony, intending to use them as a safety device, should either of them ever fail in their tasks, ensuring that there would always be a powerful force for good within the dimension.

Once everything was ready, they took the surviving wildlife, as well as all the surviving ponies of Equestria's destruction and inserted them into the pocket dimension, taking care to erase from memory the destruction of their homeland. With everything in place, Celestia and Luna allowed the dimension to start up, and run at it's own speed, without any interference from them. However, Discord, who had been among the survivors inserted, quickly realized that he could take control of the realm, and set about to do so. Realizing that his power was too great, Celestia and Luna entered the dimension themselves and defeated him.

Realizing that even within this dimension, the ponies faced threats, Celestia and Luna decided to remain inside, and to guide Equestria's rebirth themselves. Thus, they worked to reshape pony society, so that it focused on friendship, cooperation, and self-development, all in the hopes of avoiding another catastrophic war that had destroyed Equestria before. Thus far, their plan has succeeded, and if Equestria continues on it's current course, the recurrence of another war seems very unlikely.

In short, Celestia and Luna created a magical dimension (a Matrix, so to speak) for ponies, to try and re-create society with a more sustainable outlook on life, to try and eliminate the conditions that led to Equestria's prior destruction.

Celestia is "The idea of good" .
(Spoilers for Berserk)

A longshot and a bit of a darker spin, but hear me out: My Little pony is essentially about how important and powerful friendship is, is a high fantasy setting, has no humans and despite some problems is ultimately a good place to live. It is ruled by a benevolent being that ultimately is out to make life fun for all in her world. While there are some problems, they are almost always sorted out and things usually are guaranteed turn out alright. The Berserk world by contrast is a crapsackworld where life is a constant struggle and is ruled not only by a coven of five demons but The very IDEA OF EVIL itself. Life expectancy is short and people are naturally very cruel if nigh irredeemable. Friendship in this world is shown to be as much a danger as a positive thing, and is the reason for the situation the main protagonist now finds himself in.

The idea of evil exists because people wanted a reason for suffering and is the key reason demonic entities in berserk exist as well as why it is such a crapsackworld to start with. By contrast though, this also mean that peoples happiness and accomplishment had to take form as well. This lead to the creation of not just Celestia, but the entirety of Equestria as well. However, thanks to the God-hands presence in the world of berserk, Celestia doesn't wield the same influence the idea of evil does except in moments when it's vulnerable: It is actually due to Celestia's influence that the Skull Knight exists and the survival of Guts and Casca in the Eclipse.

This leads us to two different possibilities: 1. Guts' continual defiance of fate and successes against the Idea of Evil will allow her to finally gain a greater influence and allow her to wield her influence in the berserk world. Or, more sinisterly, 2. The Skull Knights continued use of the Sword of Resonance, said to be able to "Cut through dimensional barriers", will cause the barriers between the Berserk world and Equestria to not only break down but allow the influence of the Idea of Evil and the denizens of the Berserk verse to pass through to cause trouble.

All the Pinkie clones come from Alternate Universe's that contain Flanderized versions of the characters
Each one comes from a world that is more flanderized than the previous.

Ponies like Celestia, Luna, and Sombra are not gods and goddesses but instead ponies who created some magic of their own and became alicorns.
We've seen that it's possible for someone to become an alicorn (nevermind the princess part of the equation). So perhaps other than someone like Discord (who even then is said to have a species name suggesting that he's not particularly unique), all these character were regular ponies that, over time, became these powerful characters naturally as opposed to being born into the role or somehow being a primal divine entity. Thus, for instance, Celestia and Luna use to live in a world where they were not responsible for day and night - that happened naturally. But when they became alicorns, the magic they created changed the world (literally) so that day and night became their purview.
  • Sombra is a unicorn, albeit a powerful one. The Day/Night cycle used to be done by unicorns independently of Celestia and Luna. They simply do the jobs of multiple/many ponies.

The whole series takes place inside the mind of a fangirl.
She is obsessed with the newest My Little Pony show, which focuses on daily lives of five pony friends living in a small town of Ponyville. One day she starts writing her magnum opus fanfic titled "Friendship is Magic" about a new pony, her OC, coming to town from Canterlot. Her name is Twilight Sparkle, she is talented in magic like nopony before, and on top of that, Princess Celestia herself is her personal teacher. She makes best friends with all the main characters almost instantly, they go on many epic adventures together, and at the end she discovers that it has always been her destiny to be coronated as a princess while everyone in the kingdom adores her. The last episode of the series will be about the said fangirl finishing her fanfic and posting it on, only to have everyone call her out on her character being a huge Mary Sue, an obvious self-insert, and the whole story being one big wish fulfillment. Devastated by such a cold reception, our protagonist will delete her work, quit the show and move on with her life.
  • Alternatively, our heroine, instead of ragequitting, stays with the show, but vows to become a better writer. She leaves the sordid saga of Twilight Sparkle on the internet tubes, as an e-Mark of Shame. With the withering criticisms she received fresh on her mind, she throws herself into her work anew. Thus begins Generation 4.5.

     The Crystal Empire 

The Crystal Empire is underground
The Crystal Empire is called an empire as it once continued into Equestia under the ground. The caves used by Crysalis were once connected to it. Sombre was banished there and worked his way to the empire where he quickly took over due to having unicorn magic. When he was defeated the empire collapsed and the caves now only exist as huge networks similiar to the ones the diamond dogs use to get around. The Crystal Empire seen in the show is only the capital city that's name has been forgotten in the 1000 years it was gone.

The Crystal Empire had close relations with the griffons.
Why else would their library have a pair of griffon statues guarding it?

The Crystal Empire was once a lot larger
A single culturally homogenous city-state doesn't exactly fit most definitions of an empire. Perhaps it once ruled a vast territory in the north or worldwide and when Sombra made the capital disappear the territories and colonies lapsed into barbarism or were annexed by Equestria.
  • Alternatively, it encompassed the last vestiges of the old Earth Pony nation from Heart's Warming Eve. The population seems exclusively Earth Pony.
    • More alternatively, it was the original seat of the Equestrian rule, before it moved to the castle in what is now the Everfree Forest. The Crystal Empire is actually the kingdom of Equestria while the crystal city is just a capital, and they are only continued to be referred to as the Crystal Empire out of respect.

There are no children in the Crystal Empire
Doubles as Fridge Horror, as they are clearly present in Princess Celestia's hologram, yet aren't anywhere to be seen in the episode. King Sombra's reign might have been worse than first thought..
  • Jossed in "Games Ponies Play" when some chrystal pony children are seen. They also seem to be too old to have been born after the events of the season 3 finale.

Queen Chrysalis was the first queen of the Crystal Empire
Pretty straightforward. Not only does the two names sound alike, but it is also said that the Crystal Empire's first queen started the Crystal Fair. A fair said to; "Renew the spirit of love and unity in the empire". Sounds pretty convenient for a creature who feeds off of love.

All of the crystals in The Crystal Empire have their own brand of unique magic.
For whatever reason, the magic found in the all of the crystals in the empire have their own source of magic that's found nowhere else in Equestria. They're basically the reason the empire can thrive in what is essentially a frozen wasteland, and give the Crystal Ponies their special crystal-ly coats. The Crystal Heart are these crystals in their purest, most powerful form, and as seen in the season three premiere, this magic is best harnessed when the empires' citizens are happy and well. Since King Sombra made the Crystal Ponies lives' miserable during his reign, he couldn't properly harness their power for whatever he needed/wanted them for.

The Crystal Empire is a Gilded Cage for the Crystal Ponies.
The prosperity of the Crystal Empire appears to be dependent on the crystal ponies themselves. the land and its ponies are one. If any of them were to leave to visit other parts of Equestria, the Empire will fall and succumb to the raging blizzards just beyond its boarders. This is probably the reason why we haven't seen any crystal ponies outside of the crystal empire and why hosting the games there was very important. It would allow this otherwise isolated group of ponies to mingle with the rest of Equestria.
  • Except that crystal ponies were present in the crowd in Canterlot during Twilight's coronation.

The Crystal Empire was the first nation in Equestria.
Originally, the Crystal Ponies inhabited the future continent of Equestria alone, with the country remaining in a permanent state of summer due to the harmonic resonance of the Crystal Heart. However, many years after the founding of the Empire, the first expedition from the old country, led by Commander Hurricane and a small band of pegasi warriors, arrived and brought with them the snowy wrath of the Windigoes. Temperatures began to decrease, and autumn gripped the land. The pegasi were ultimately indifferent to the Crystal Ponies, and resolved to head south for more available land. Days later, the Unicornia party arrived, and temperatures dropped further with the discovery of the pegasi party. The final party, led by Chancellor Puddinghead, arrived to discover that the other two parties had beaten him to the new land, and soon the land was plummeted into winter as the war began anew.

Meanwhile, the Crystal Ponies had become fearful of the warring 'dull-coats,' and as a result set up a magical shield to protect the capitol city of their Empire. The relentless winter combined with the violence of the warring tribes led to a total collapse of the Empire, with only the capitol remainging. Eventually, the war ended with the Heart's Warming, but having been cut off from contact with the rest of the land, the hatred of the Crystal Ponies towards the outsiders kept the northern lands of Equestria in a permanent frost, eventually altering the landscape until it was impossible to go back. Relations were restored some time later, primarily through the defeat of Discord, leading to the Empire's current state of peace with other Equestrians.

The Queens of the Crystal Empire were all unicorns.
Given that the crystals of the Empire respond to magic, it would make sense. Besides, we've never seen crystal pony ruler.

     The School of Friendship 


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