Monday, June 27, 2011

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic vis-a-vis traditional D&D

Yes, it's time for my blog to once again delve into the murky waters of gonzoid analytic comparisons between two things that have more depth than is frequently realized, or as Chris Hogan put it, "Erin does pop culture camp." In this special week-long series, I shall explain, in great detail, how the six core characters of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comprise a functional Dungeons & Dragons adventuring party.

Look, would you all just stop screaming? I realize that most of my readership is male, and therefore cannot bear to be exposed to any entertainment that is expressly for girls lest it cause your testicles to shrivel and fall off, but trust me on this one. Has Auntie Palette ever steered you wrong?

Well, okay, other than that time with the Hot Gossip video?

Bah, you're all Philistines. Anyway, just give me 90 seconds of your time and watch this clip before you click away and I promise you that all of your concerns about MLP:FiM will evaporate faster than snow during winter wrap-up:

Did that remind you of anything? A classic cartoon, perhaps? If any of you said "Chuck Jones," "an episode of Looney Toons," or "Pepe le Pew," then give yourselves a gold star.This is a good cartoon, a fun and funny cartoon, and just because it's aimed at young girls doesn't mean it can't be appreciated and enjoyed by adults of all genders.

Now that's out of the way, I can proceed to my main thesis, which is: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is about a Dungeons & Dragons adventuring group.

No, really. And do stop shrieking like that, it's unbecoming.

Consider this: A young wizard discovers an ancient prophecy which states that, within two days, the deposed Goddess of the Moon -- who has been imprisoned for a thousand years due to a failed coup against her older sister, the Goddess of the Sun -- will escape her imprisonment, vanquish her sister, and cover the lands in everlasting night! 

This young wizard tries to tell everyone of the impending apocalypse, but being a young student, is ignored and instead given menial tasks to perform. Lo and behold, the prophecy does come to pass, and the student knows that the only way to defeat the Moon Goddess and reinstate the rule of the benevolent Sun Goddess is to find and utilize an ancient artifact. To that end, she recruits a diverse group of individuals with conflicting personalities but complementary skills. They must embark upon an arduous overland quest to the ruined keep of the Sisters, where it is believed that the artifact still resides. Along the way they are imperiled by terrain, the elements, monsters, and temptation.

After much travail, the group finally arrives at its destination, and before the young wizard can assemble the artifact, the evil Moon Goddess appears! In a last-ditch effort, the wizard discovers the proper activation sequence for the artifact, vanquishes the evil Moon Goddess, and restores the Sun Goddess to her rightful place in the sky.

Perhaps it's not great literature, but this plot would be right at home in any fantasy setting. Monsters, artifacts, ruined castles, apocalyptic deicide -- these are all quite epic and heroic, not to mention staples of many D&D campaigns. And a group of individuals who sometimes squabble but all have unique talents? That's pretty much the definition of a group of Player Characters of diverse classes and alignments.

And guess what? I just told you the plot of the two-part series opener of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. 

I therefore declare this Pony Week, and will devote a blog post to each of the "mane" characters in MLP:FiM -- Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Applejack, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash -- and how each of them perfectly embody a character class in D&D/Pathfinder and, together, form a perfect adventuring party.

Now you may commence screaming.


  1. I commenced screaming at 'mane characters', to be honest.

    Nevertheless, your analysis seems valid.  I shall follow this deranged course you've set...

  2. Curiously, virtually all references I've seen to MLP have been from stalwart gentlemen such as Dan "The Goon" Shive, Jeph Jaques, Randal Milholland, and Tim Buckley (although I can't really be certain of this; I don't remember the times of the events. I am merely convinced that these fellows mentioned MLP quite... enthusiastically.)

    I really SHOULD watch the darn show.

    Also I put my screaming on a layaway plan so I can save it for just that right moment of horror - lest we have a repeat of that Elder God "sculpture" to giggle at.

  3. Very well done! Looks like I'll be observing Pony Week this week.

  4. Will and I have watched many of the episodes more than once, and we still still laugh every time and amuse ourselves with random quotes.

    I'm a Fluttershy fangirl through and through, but he insists that Rainbow Dash is, like, 20% cooler.

  5. Long time reader, first time commenter (no really), as a gamer and a brony I like where this is going. God help you if you diss Rarity though...

  6. There's a game for that LASER PONIES ( Steffan O'Sullivan reviewed it here:

  7.  Hi Jeff, glad to have brought you out of your shell!  Don't worry, I plan to treat all of the fillies with respect. :)

  8.  I had a similar realization myself. Cheers!


The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to