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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday, Pony Sunday

So, I assume everyone reading this has seen the Season 3 finale of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and you now know Twilight has become an alicorn princess.


Yes, cue the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. It probably doesn't surprise you that I am not in favor of this development. Let me list my objections:

  • It completely skews the perfect balance of two unicorns - two pegasi - two earth ponies that the show had. Yes, I am aware that Twilight still has her horn, but I am still bothered on an aesthetic level. 
  • Twilight is now a freaking princess. This throws the show's social dynamic for a loop, because royals have duties to perform and appearances to maintain. How can she continue living in the Ponyville library?  If she does, then she's performing her duties as a princess, and if she moves to Canterlot, how will she interact with her friends?  I am aware that these questions can be a source of drama, and answering them could fuel an entire season, but...
  • Look, most hardcore fans knew Twi was going to be elevated sooner or later. I mean, she was destined for greatness -- even before she had earned her Cutie Mark, her foal-sitter was another alicorn princess. That just doesn't happen.  Combine that with: her amazing aptitude with magic; Celestia (the god-empress) becoming her personal tutor; her facility with the Elements of Harmony and ability to organize the god-beating Mane 6 into an effective fighting force; the fact that twilight exists between day (Celestia) and night (Luna); the fact that her Element of Harmony, and hers alone, is a freaking crown, all point to the fact that this was going to happen.  No, what bugs me is that it happened too soon. Coronation is the apex of her character arc, and should have been saved for the end of the series: she becomes a princess, the others become part of her court  (Rarity is royal dressmaker, Pinkie is court jester, etc), and they all live Happily Ever After.  That this happened at the end of season 3 seems way premature!
  • THEY'RE MESSING WITH SUCCESS JUST TO SELL MORE TOYS BLARGH FUCKITY.
Okay. Rant is out of my system. I feel better now.

All that said, the episode was well-written. It wasn't an "Oopsie, Twilight is  now royalty" kind of thing; instead, the events proceeded as logically as can be expected regarding a cartoon about magical talking horses, and the situation was resolved in a consistent manner.  In fact, up until the big transformation it was an especially good episode filled with lots of catchy songs, and if I wasn't so totally against the idea of her being a princess this one would be one of my favorites.

Some other observations you might have found interesting:

  • My friend totally called it when he predicted that the mystery book belonged to Starswirl the Bearded.
  • I think we can definitely add "Princess Xanatosia" to the ranks of Trollestia and Molestia, because apparently Celestia has been keeping an eye on Twilight since her infancy (see above, with alicorn Cadence as her foal-sitter). 
  • Speaking of creepy princess, anyone catch how during the flashback scene that showed the constant, high-level surveillance Twilight has been subjected to that one of the pictures was from inside Twilight's own head?  It was her being afraid of getting sent back to magic kindergarten from Lesson Zero. This means that Celestia can actually monitor Twilight's thoughts...
  • Anyone notice that during the transformation sequence, Twi's cutie mark gained a star? It used to look like this:

And then when she became an alicorn, it we saw this:





Who's the seventh star then, eh? Eh?


To conclude this post, I shall give you some crazy notions which might have no business in reality:

  • This is all an exceptionally long con by Xanatosia, since she is the one who granted the land which became Sweet Apple Acres to the Apple family, and it was around their farm that Ponyville grew -- and conveniently contained 5 of the 6 Bearers of Elemental Harmony.  I would not be at all surprised if there is a covert breeding program in place. 
  • Notice how Ponyville started to fall apart when ponies weren't able to perform certain tasks?  I have to wonder if there is some kind of Social Ecology going on, where ponies develop special abilities not out of interest, but because that task is needed to maintain the town. 
  • Apparently princesses aren't born, they are made. I wonder, then, if Celestia and Luna weren't originally alicorns either, and were promoted/evolved to their current state when they first discovered the Elements of Harmony in order to banish Discord. 
  • Derpy is the Equestrian avatar of St. Gulik. I actually have more to this theory, perhaps even an entire post, but it's late and I want to see if there's sufficient interest in this before I attempt to shape the madness into coherent word-shapes from my think-meats.

5 comments:

Kelly Yoner said...

If Xanatosia and Luna are also unicorns turned into alicorns, and unicorns who turn into alicorns have powerful magic and live far longer than ordinary ponies, then Twilight will outlive her friends and everyone she has come to care about, except for Celestia, Luna, and probably Cadence.

Twilight most likely received special attention from Celestia, mainly for Celestia's hope or expectation that this would happen, and she would FINALLY have a friend and counterpart that wouldn't vanish after an ordinary pony's lifespan. Or another one, if Cadence is also as eternal as Celestia. I can only imagine that Celestia is tired of living in a palace full of ghosts of ponies past.

B.J. Johnson said...

Regarding the third objection, that Twilight's "ascent" seems premature, I think what we're seeing, but isn't being admitted to by the staff at Studio B, was that "Magical Mystery Cure" was concieved as a show finale. American animation has traditionally been hardwired to stop at 65 episodes for ease of syndication. (You get essentially 3 months worth of 5 day a week episodes that way)  M.A. Larson mentioned somewhere that he wrote this in 2011. I don't think Season 4 was confirmed until 2012.

My big beef with season 3 was that it seemed to be cramming in a lot of significant story changes into hurried 1 episode formats. This sort of thing seems logical if the show's producers are going through a span of "will they or won't they give us an extension" from the brass, with a final decision to greenlight season four after they'd planned out and got rolling on Season 3.

Hence, the show's makers were in a way trying to cram as much closure into what had a very high chance of being the final season, with the unfortunate side effect that their ambitions outstripped the limited time they thought they had.

Like many fans, I'm going to be very interested in seeing what they do with a fresh field of 26 episodes. Hopefully they'll be able to adjust the damage trying to repeated cram 10 pounds of story into a 5 pound bag.

The Jack said...

For me the episode felt like a two-parter series finale that was cut into a one parter.


It was foreshadowed quite a bit given all the time Celestia had been watching Twilight and the increasing tests of leadership, magic, diplomacy, and the like.

Hmm  so the Mane 6 is short a unicorn.  And Twilight got a new cutie mark.

Here's an idea.  Trixie joins the cast.  Though that requires a new EOH I'd guess.

As for Celstia's long con, we know for a fact that she's been grooming Twilight (and likely her brother) for a long, long time.

And then used Twilight to form an Equestrian Wetworks team.

And then used Shining in his role as a military commander to annex an empire into Equestria as a protectorate.

Moto Stein said...

Two things.

-Was this yet another example of Trollestia or what? "Here, have a book with a spell (that if you read the incantation will create a destiny altering effect)."

-About the number of stars on Tillies cutie mark. Don't forget about the center stars. With those two, her old mark had seven stars. For her new one it looks like they added two more.

Ted N said...

Don't watch the show, but you've gotten me up to speed.

Wonder if they're gonna pick somebody up to cover Dawn, otherwise, the balance of power seems shifted towards the night; since Day, Twilight and Night is covered.

Equestrian Wetworks team, heh. That made me giggle.

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