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[WIW ? ] Yet an other dang MLP Thread

Monsieur Meuble

Furniture warlord
Validated User
Ho hey,
I have been watching the show with the horses that everyone is talking about for about a few weeks now, reading in parallel Dawgstar's WIW threads to get myself on level with the fandom. So, yeah, thank you Dawgstar for those threads and thank you everypony for participating in them and allow one neophyte what's going on in the ponyshere.

I've now watched up to S2.Ep13 (Baby cakes) and I have, say, some musings and ideas that I find myself eager to share, and I'm not sure I can wait 'till I'm on level to attach myself to one of the current threads to partake, so, yeah, here is my own journal of descent in bronyhood.

So, yeah some reflections and ideas :

Of seasons changing and unchanging : As seen with the passage of summer to autumn and of winter to spring, ponies have to do everything themselves to change seasons and the environment around them. Hay, they even have to change days and nights by an act of will twice in a 24 hour periods, or it won't happen at all ! Why ? Because they killed CHANGE itself ! Or well, more precisely, they trapped its god-avatar gone mad in a form of stone with the power of harmony (the most stable and self-generating form of stasis). Sort of like Classic WoD, where since the Wyrm was trapped, things didn't renew themselves but keep rotting and turning bad, but with a trapped mad Wyld.
How Chaos became Discord is probably lost to prehistory, but now, with the principle of change encased for ever (or until next school visit) in Elementary Stasis, its victors have to assume its most necessary roles in the great cycle of nature or, well, it won't just happen. And so, ponies all across Equestria regularly have to engage in rituals of bonding and harmony to safely channel a part of their own chaotic nature (or to extract it from elemental chaos ? Or from dormant Discord itself ? ) to allow the rest of the world to change. See how unsportmanship in the Running of the Leaves leads to autumn not properly setting, or how Winter Wrap Up is a matter of coordination.
Also, if the Everfree Forest is so creepy for everypony and is haunted by the whole Monster Manual and more, it's because it's where Discord was vanquished and the first Sororital Capital built to commemorate and seal this victory. As his last dwelling in Equestria, the Forest is haunted by a part of the power of Discord itself, that could only be held at bay by the Elements of Harmony and the active power of the Sisters. When one of them was sent to the moon, dormant Elementary Chaos woke up, the old capital had to be evacuated (and left in the state seen in the pilot) and relocated to ancient Unicorn Capital, renamed Canterlot.
So, yeah, the Everfree Forest is host to a metaphysical force unknown in the rest of Equestria : uncontrolled change. That's why there are all those things that can't exist anywhere else. Also, why Discord install his reign in Ponyville and not in Canterlot : Ponyville is the closest settlement to HIS old capital !
On a pure theoretical / fanwanking level, there may exist somewhere Elements of Dynamism to reflect, you know, the other elements. Imagination, Passion, Derision, Pride, Flexibility and Witchcraft ?

Of Cutie Marks, destinies and dumb rocks : Rarity's destiny is not to just like gems a lot and put them everywhere ; she was guest witness to a lesson of facts : apply enough energy, and even a dumb rock can reveal the marvels of beauty both internal and external it hides in its heart ; and allowing the rest of the world (and in this case, the rest of the class) to be as fabulous as it can be is the core of her virtue of Generosity.
Note how all the apparitions of marks are their talents but also their virtues : Applejack realizes she would be better at farming than at being a city-dweller and his Honest with herself ; Fluttershy is good with the beasties, but she is more importantly Kindness incarnated when a terrifying event happens ; Twilight Sparkle is magical and powerful but would have destroyed herself without the Friendship of a benevolent mentor ; Pinkie Pie instinctively knows how to throw a party and create Laughter to affront a dreary existence ; and Rainbow Dash can go really really fast but, even if she can't admit it, she is at her best when she does it in the name of someone else, in an act of Loyalty.

Of Parasprites and miscommunication : Pinkie Pie definitely learned about parasprites and the means to deter them at the rock farm. Look at this grim determination in the one-man-orchestration : it's not a behaviour she associates with joy, laughter and parties, unlike pretty much everything since she discovered joy. That's something the bring her back to the great infestation of 1997, when they almost lost all the crops and had to have a GRIMMER hearthwarming eve than usual. Also, note that her version use five instruments (Tuba, accordion, harmonica, cymbal, banjo) : that was a ritual involving all the family. The trombone at the end is for Pinkie who laugh in the face of destruction, as opposed to Pinkamena who played, say, the tuba, to appease destruction.
So, of course she didn't explain nothing to her friends : it's a minor incursion of Pinkamena that played the part of the pink horse this week, the one that do what she must without a word because nothing more needs to be said, it's family business after all. Plus, the Baby Cake episode hints that she was the littlest sister of the lot (she has no idea how a baby functions on a daily basis), so probably the one less in position to even try to discuss why Father needs his accordion NOW.
While we are on the subject of Pinkie, Pinkamena and the farm, note who are her imaginary guests in Part of One : four "people" and herself, so, basically, her family unit, consisting of dirt, stone (rock...), turnip and flour (...farm). She is not just being Pinkamena by herself, she is recreating a mindscape of her childhood and her family.

Of Hearth's Warming mythology : I'm stupidly pleased that the story of Hearth's Warming Eve is a prototypical Indo-European civilization building myth, since, you know, dem indo-europeans, they probably domesticated horses.
For those who haven't their Dumézil at hand, a common theme among indo-european myths and societies is a tripartite organization of humane and divine society : The first order is of the Holy Ones, associated with both magic (divine and arcane) and the other functions of the Word (knowledge, contracts, pledges, justice), that gave gods like Odin, Tyr, Jupiter or Varuna and casts like brahmins or Alægatæ ; the second order is of the Wary Ones, defending the people, reigning by the sword and with most often than not associations with meteorological phenomenons, with gods like Thor, Indra and Mars and castes of kshatriyas and Æxsærtægkatæ ; the third order is that of the Fertile Ones, those create stuff and make things grow, who seek peace, love and prosperity, associted to gods like Njord, Quirinus or the Ashvins and castes of vaisya or Boratæ. Among Indo-european societies, you will find lots of myths about the world continued existence is due to the mutual respect of the positions of those three principles, like how the first six kings of Rome are each one an aspect of the functions leading Rome to become blessed (Romulus is the divine founder, Numa the legislator, Tullius the defender, Ancus the colonizer, Tarquin the manager of the land and Servius the manager of the people), and the seventh one creating havoc resulting in the revolution and the republic.
So, yup, exact same structure here : three tribes, one of fertile producers and growers, wearing their food as badges of office, the Earth Ponies, one of warriors, masters of thunder, able to give rain or hail, the Pegasus, and one of hereditary holy kings, scholars and wizards, in touch with the will of Heaven, the Unicorns. Chaos reigns as long as they are trying in disunion but the world will stay unfrozen as long as the ases, vanes and alfars the three tribes live in harmony.
And, since the Windingos probably exist, they have social AND evolutionary pressure to keep it together...

Of the Elders and communities[/i] : Granny Smith really might well be several hundred years old, by mimicking the celestial sisters. Heir of fledging community in the grasps of the elements, she went in a quest in the seat of Chaos itself, confronted its madness, vanquished its monsters, brought back to civilization a thing of Change that she appeases and control through complex rituals of repetition, and created the community of Ponyville around this core of Madness. Each zap apple harvest, she is soaking herself in the same Harmony Magic that allows the sisters to control the skies, make Equestria prosper and, well, live for centuries. Just, you know, on a smaller scale, so she keeps getting old, but she may be kept alive as long as she masters the Zap Apples...
Nobody is really surprised by this long life : for the Apple clan, she has always been there and they will not ask her "by the way, shouldn't you be DEAD ? ", she will pass away when she will, "horses typically lives 40 years" is just a statistic. As for everybody else... well, she just has always been there, they have no reason to discuss and realize that their own grandparents said the same things in their time.


So, what'cha think of that, Bronies ?


More musing with following episodes, I presume...
 
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JohnBiles

Registered User
Validated User
Nifty idea with how imprisoning Discord forces the Ponies to impose needed changes themselves.

--- Post Updated ---

Nifty idea with how imprisoning Discord forces the Ponies to impose needed changes themselves.
 

Arizona

Registered User
Validated User
Discord represents, I've always felt, the dark side of the same governing instinct that Celestia and Luna represent. Chaos is not inherently moral or immoral -- chaos is change, evolution, avoidance of deadly stasis and stagnation. The Avatar of Chaos could not have been cruel or sadistic from the first moment of his creation, because mere randomness is not fundamentally cruel; he chose, of his own free will, to become a power-hungry sociopath, and spent a lot of effort convincing himself that it was the right choice. He deliberately limits himself to the disruptive and destructive manifestations of Chaos, and that is what makes him dangerous; he has the poisonous idea in his head that all stability, all order, is wrong, and only disorder is right. (I don't know precisely what happened between him and the Royal Sisters, but all his actions seem to indicate a kind of spite directed straight at Celestia.)

No wonder the ponies need to handle everything themselves -- the guy that was supposed to be handling all this stuff had a psychotic break and had to be sealed away before he could get a bunch of innocents killed.
 
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draco86x

Summon Azathoth
Validated User
I think the proper greeting is welcome to the herd?

Anyway, for other media, I'd definitely recommend looking up sun_tzu's thread archive and reading his write ups / borderline fan fiction if you haven't already. Strykes thread tends to be stronger if you've already caught up as it works as more of a snap reaction to the current episode.

Otherwise, I hope you continue in this thread, the post is quite interesting and posits some theories I don't know if I've seen in this form. Are you intending to just move forward from the last episode or attempt a a full recap?

Ho hey,
Of seasons changing and unchanging : As seen with the passage of summer to autumn and of winter to spring, ponies have to do everything themselves to change seasons and the environment around them. Hay, they even have to change days and nights by an act of will twice in a 24 hour periods, or it won't happen at all ! Why ? Because they killed CHANGE itself ! Or well, more precisely, they trapped its god-avatar gone mad in a form of stone with the power of harmony (the most stable and self-generating form of stasis). Sort of like Classic WoD, where since the Wyrm was trapped, things didn't renew themselves but keep rotting and turning bad, but with a trapped mad Wyld.
How Chaos became Discord is probably lost to prehistory, but now, with the principle of change encased for ever (or until next school visit) in Elementary Stasis, its victors have to assume its most necessary roles in the great cycle of nature or, well, it won't just happen. And so, ponies all across Equestria regularly have to engage in rituals of bonding and harmony to safely channel a part of their own chaotic nature (or to extract it from elemental chaos ? Or from dormant Discord itself ? ) to allow the rest of the world to change. See how unsportmanship in the Running of the Leaves leads to autumn not properly setting, or how Winter Wrap Up is a matter of coordination.
Also, if the Everfree Forest is so creepy for everypony and is haunted by the whole Monster Manual and more, it's because it's where Discord was vanquished and the first Sororital Capital built to commemorate and seal this victory. As his last dwelling in Equestria, the Forest is haunted by a part of the power of Discord itself, that could only be held at bay by the Elements of Harmony and the active power of the Sisters. When one of them was sent to the moon, dormant Elementary Chaos woke up, the old capital had to be evacuated (and left in the state seen in the pilot) and relocated to ancient Unicorn Capital, renamed Canterlot.
So, yeah, the Everfree Forest is host to a metaphysical force unknown in the rest of Equestria : uncontrolled change. That's why there are all those things that can't exist anywhere else. Also, why Discord install his reign in Ponyville and not in Canterlot : Ponyville is the closest settlement to HIS old capital !
On a pure theoretical / fanwanking level, there may exist somewhere Elements of Dynamism to reflect, you know, the other elements. Imagination, Passion, Derision, Pride, Flexibility and Witchcraft ?
Definitely interesting. I like the idea of Discord having his own elements, especially as a way for him to understand how to fight the EoH squad on a fundamental level.

As a counterpoint, I don't know if we have been given enough evidence as to what Discord actually is. Theirs some evidence in his episodes that his abilities don't function on actually changing anything, merely on the illusion of change. This combined with his seeming inability to truly lie or go against his word still puts me in mind of a Fey rather then an actual fundamental embodiment of nature.

Also, we see in HWE that the sun/moon cycles and weather were controlled before Equestria was founded which means that the environmental control was going on well before Discord was stoned. Personally, I've been running with the assumption that the earth ponies have a passive field that causes growth conditions around them, and that en mass they would burn out their surrounding resources without a conscious effort to keep things cycling, but the show gives me little to back that up.

Of Parasprites and miscommunication : Pinkie Pie definitely learned about parasprites and the means to deter them at the rock farm. Look at this grim determination in the one-man-orchestration : it's not a behaviour she associates with joy, laughter and parties, unlike pretty much everything since she discovered joy. That's something the bring her back to the great infestation of 1997, when they almost lost all the crops and had to have a GRIMMER hearthwarming eve than usual. Also, note that her version use five instruments (Tuba, accordion, harmonica, cymbal, banjo) : that was a ritual involving all the family. The trombone at the end is for Pinkie who laugh in the face of destruction, as opposed to Pinkamena who played, say, the tuba, to appease destruction.
So, of course she didn't explain nothing to her friends : it's a minor incursion of Pinkamena that played the part of the pink horse this week, the one that do what she must without a word because nothing more needs to be said, it's family business after all. Plus, the Baby Cake episode hints that she was the littlest sister of the lot (she has no idea how a baby functions on a daily basis), so probably the one less in position to even try to discuss why Father needs his accordion NOW.
While we are on the subject of Pinkie, Pinkamena and the farm, note who are her imaginary guests in Part of One : four "people" and herself, so, basically, her family unit, consisting of dirt, stone (rock...), turnip and flour (...farm). She is not just being Pinkamena by herself, she is recreating a mindscape of her childhood and her family.
Pinkie is such a fascinating character.

I agree on your assessment of her home life, and love the idea that the instruments represent her family members. I think the popular opinion on the made up friends is that they are caricatures of her existing friends but I could see them as family as well since we haven't gotten a chance to actually see her interact with them. However, I think that her miscommunication issues stem from a deeper issue of how she perceives the world.

Of the Elders and communities[/i] : Granny Smith really might well be several hundred years old, by mimicking the celestial sisters. Heir of fledging community in the grasps of the elements, she went in a quest in the seat of Chaos itself, confronted its madness, vanquished its monsters, brought back to civilization a thing of Change that she appeases and control through complex rituals of repetition, and created the community of Ponyville around this core of Madness. Each zap apple harvest, she is soaking herself in the same Harmony Magic that allows the sisters to control the skies, make Equestria prosper and, well, live for centuries. Just, you know, on a smaller scale, so she keeps getting old, but she may be kept alive as long as she masters the Zap Apples...
Nobody is really surprised by this long life : for the Apple clan, she has always been there and they will not ask her "by the way, shouldn't you be DEAD ? ", she will pass away when she will, "horses typically lives 40 years" is just a statistic. As for everybody else... well, she just has always been there, they have no reason to discuss and realize that their own grandparents said the same things in their time.


Theirs definitely a ton of in world possibilities for reconciling Granny's story with Twi's. But, spoilers and all that.
 

Ithaeur

Relic Unicorn
RPGnet Member
Validated User
There can never be too many Pony threads! :D

Interesting ideas, all, but I really liked your dissection of Hearth's Warming myth. It's an extremely interesting story, in terms of worldbuilding and explaining Equestria, and someone obviously gave it quite a bit of thought to make it coherent with the rest of the show and appropriately mythic in feel. And the best part is just how they chose to impart the story: via an (obviously) traditionalized pageant with the Mane Six taking on the key roles! It's a wonderfully clever bit of storytelling and gives you awesome latitude in inventing the "real" story and characters behind the play. :)
 

Monsieur Meuble

Furniture warlord
Validated User
My, thank you for your receptions, guys !

Otherwise, I hope you continue in this thread, the post is quite interesting and posits some theories I don't know if I've seen in this form. Are you intending to just move forward from the last episode or attempt a a full recap?
I will move forward from where I am, but with new ep. sending a new lights on more ancient ones, so there will probably backtracking.


Interesting ideas, all, but I really liked your dissection of Hearth's Warming myth.
Thank you. And the indo-european tripartite functions thing could be used to re-envision a lot of thing in the mythos of the series... if the repartition of pegasus and earth ponies wasn't all messed up. For example, the repartition of the Elements of Harmony works really well with the original cast as envisionned (Pinkie / Surprise as a pegasus, Fluttershy as an earth pony) ; Unicorns / Holy Ones are Magic (self explanatory) and Generosity (as gifted ones and bringer of gifts), Pegasii / Wary Ones are Loyalty (the primary virtue of the good soldier / kshatriya) and Laughter (the crazed one laughing in the face of danger and everything else is a warrior archetype) and Earth Ponies / Fertile Ones are Honesty and Kindness, two very down-to-earth virtues.
With the actual repartition, Kindness is a Warrior Virtue... which may explain a thing or two on the military values of Equestria and how it's such a nice place. Less problem with Laughter (thematically enlarged as Joy) for a Fertile Virtue.

Of Princesses and Elements: Also, some interesting stuff with a repartition of Elements between the Sisters. A theory of Ponies as reflections of the sister is... elegant and the nature of alicorns call for each being the master of a Element of each function. Celestia obviously embodies Magic (she is powerful enough to banish her equal and do her jo by herself) and Laughter (she is not a troll, she is acting on her divine agenda ! ), and Luna sure embodies Generosity ("shut up and take my eternal night ! And you will like it OR ELSE !" ).

With Pegasus Pinkie / Earth Fluttershy, the repartition is so :
CelestiaLuna
UnicornMagicGenerosity
PegasusLaughterLoyalty
EarthKindnessHonesty

Kindness fit well the princess who couldn't bare to never forgive her sister for all her monstrosity and who help the Mane Cast to escape her palace once they ruined her Grand Gala (but this may be a function of Laughter), and Loyalty and Honesty for the princess that WILL be completely and heart-fully a monster if this is what the rest of the world expect of her ; also works well for an open-hearted person that got disgusted for the apparent lack of return of affection...

With the actual Flying Fluttershy / Earth Pinkie, the only difference is that Kindness is the wary virtue of Celestia and Laughter her fertile one... which fit better : Celestia is not a mad berserker laughing in slaughter and kind while appeased ; she will go to war with her sister or Discord as an act of mercy for the sake of the world, and will spend peace dispensing joy and laughter to her subjects.

Also, Celestia is an amalgam of Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy, pretty, passive, reactive rather than taking initiatives but terrifying when forced to act on her full powers. Luna is an amalgam of Rarity, Rainbow Dash and Applejack, fabulously Metal, active in her agenda and always at her top game, but with few margins to go over, and so much more likely to embrace her own defaults...

Of those unmarked by fate : This one is a bit more fanwanking... So, the Cutie Mark Crusaders ? they will never get their Cutie Marks. The same way that the Mane Cast are the scions of Harmony, they are the fix for Discord. Born in the shadows of the Everfree Forest and the old capital, bound by the return of the dis-harmonic sister, one of each kind of pony, always orbiting around the Chosen of Harmony, living in the time of monsters and renewal, they are the fruits of randomness, the harvest of uncertainty, the children of chaos. See how Discord use them as a resonance box to make himself free.
As Harmony went from two to six, so Change will go from one to three. They have time to grow and quests to do to earn their heirloom, but they will never get a Cutie Mark, always staying creatures of potential, of generality and of unpredictability, as is fit for the bearer of renewed chaos.
 

SPrintF

Wild Child
RPGnet Member
How Chaos became Discord is probably lost to prehistory
"Uh... Mr. President. That's not entirely accurate." I'd withhold judgement on this issue until we see "Keep Calm and Flutter On."

She is not just being Pinkamena by herself, she is recreating a mindscape of her childhood and her family.
This is very insightful.
 

Bremen

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Of Princesses and Elements: Also, some interesting stuff with a repartition of Elements between the Sisters. A theory of Ponies as reflections of the sister is... elegant and the nature of alicorns call for each being the master of a Element of each function. Celestia obviously embodies Magic (she is powerful enough to banish her equal and do her jo by herself) and Laughter (she is not a troll, she is acting on her divine agenda ! ), and Luna sure embodies Generosity ("shut up and take my eternal night ! And you will like it OR ELSE !" ).

With Pegasus Pinkie / Earth Fluttershy, the repartition is so :
CelestiaLuna
UnicornMagicGenerosity
PegasusLaughterLoyalty
EarthKindnessHonesty

Kindness fit well the princess who couldn't bare to never forgive her sister for all her monstrosity and who help the Mane Cast to escape her palace once they ruined her Grand Gala (but this may be a function of Laughter), and Loyalty and Honesty for the princess that WILL be completely and heart-fully a monster if this is what the rest of the world expect of her ; also works well for an open-hearted person that got disgusted for the apparent lack of return of affection...

With the actual Flying Fluttershy / Earth Pinkie, the only difference is that Kindness is the wary virtue of Celestia and Laughter her fertile one... which fit better : Celestia is not a mad berserker laughing in slaughter and kind while appeased ; she will go to war with her sister or Discord as an act of mercy for the sake of the world, and will spend peace dispensing joy and laughter to her subjects.

Also, Celestia is an amalgam of Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy, pretty, passive, reactive rather than taking initiatives but terrifying when forced to act on her full powers. Luna is an amalgam of Rarity, Rainbow Dash and Applejack, fabulously Metal, active in her agenda and always at her top game, but with few margins to go over, and so much more likely to embrace her own defaults...
I always figured Luna for magic, myself; Celestia had to use the elements of harmony to banish her, which strongly implies to me that she had no other choice to prevent the eternal night apocalypse. At the very least, they were probably equal in power (despite Luna being younger) if not Luna being flat out magically stronger than her sister, since Luna was able to hold the moon in place and keep Celestia from raising the sun. Plus, the moon is often associated with magic in mythology. I definitely agree with Celestia being Laughter and Kindness, though, and Luna being Generosity (if nothing else, her falling into despair because no one appreciated the beautiful nights she gave them seems like a definite generosity virtue flaw). That just leaves loyalty and honesty, which are harder to place.
 

draco86x

Summon Azathoth
Validated User
@SPrintF spoilers?


Thank you. And the indo-european tripartite functions thing could be used to re-envision a lot of thing in the mythos of the series... if the repartition of pegasus and earth ponies wasn't all messed up. For example, the repartition of the Elements of Harmony works really well with the original cast as envisionned (Pinkie / Surprise as a pegasus, Fluttershy as an earth pony) ; Unicorns / Holy Ones are Magic (self explanatory) and Generosity (as gifted ones and bringer of gifts), Pegasii / Wary Ones are Loyalty (the primary virtue of the good soldier / kshatriya) and Laughter (the crazed one laughing in the face of danger and everything else is a warrior archetype) and Earth Ponies / Fertile Ones are Honesty and Kindness, two very down-to-earth virtues.
With the actual repartition, Kindness is a Warrior Virtue... which may explain a thing or two on the military values of Equestria and how it's such a nice place. Less problem with Laughter (thematically enlarged as Joy) for a Fertile Virtue.

Of Princesses and Elements: Also, some interesting stuff with a repartition of Elements between the Sisters. A theory of Ponies as reflections of the sister is... elegant and the nature of alicorns call for each being the master of a Element of each function. Celestia obviously embodies Magic (she is powerful enough to banish her equal and do her jo by herself) and Laughter (she is not a troll, she is acting on her divine agenda ! ), and Luna sure embodies Generosity ("shut up and take my eternal night ! And you will like it OR ELSE !" ).

With Pegasus Pinkie / Earth Fluttershy, the repartition is so :
CelestiaLuna
UnicornMagicGenerosity
PegasusLaughterLoyalty
EarthKindnessHonesty

Kindness fit well the princess who couldn't bare to never forgive her sister for all her monstrosity and who help the Mane Cast to escape her palace once they ruined her Grand Gala (but this may be a function of Laughter), and Loyalty and Honesty for the princess that WILL be completely and heart-fully a monster if this is what the rest of the world expect of her ; also works well for an open-hearted person that got disgusted for the apparent lack of return of affection...

With the actual Flying Fluttershy / Earth Pinkie, the only difference is that Kindness is the wary virtue of Celestia and Laughter her fertile one... which fit better : Celestia is not a mad berserker laughing in slaughter and kind while appeased ; she will go to war with her sister or Discord as an act of mercy for the sake of the world, and will spend peace dispensing joy and laughter to her subjects.

Also, Celestia is an amalgam of Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy, pretty, passive, reactive rather than taking initiatives but terrifying when forced to act on her full powers. Luna is an amalgam of Rarity, Rainbow Dash and Applejack, fabulously Metal, active in her agenda and always at her top game, but with few margins to go over, and so much more likely to embrace her own defaults...
Well, I admit I'm cribbing some of my notes here, but I think the current line up slots almost perfectly with Plato's 3 class hierarchy doesn't it? The leading class is definitely defined by Twilight being groomed for pure leadership, and Rarity being the more hands on side that works as an enforcer to the leadership side (which is an interesting spin on SfS). Dash and Shy are the two sides of the warrior cast that values aggression to the enemy and kindness to the citizenry that assures the caste doesn't usurp the leadership role. And AJ / Pinkie represent the crafts and entertainment side. Granted, Plato appears to just be using a modified version of the original philosophy you mention. But that reading really seems to click a lot of things together in the show. That being said, theirs no reason they couldn't have kept laughter in the pegasus line and kindness in the earth line, so I wonder if the switch was deliberate. Also, does that make HWE a deliberate show of how the castes fail when they are inverted, the earth caste doesn't have the knowledge to rule effectively, the pegasus are useless when they don't have anyone to be loyal to, and the ruling caste basically turns in on itself when the enforcer side dominates the law giving side?

As for the sisters, I might argue
CelestiaLuna
UnicornMagicGenerosity
PegasusLoyaltyKindness
EarthLaughterHonesty

Celestia seems more willing to trust in others to get the job done (see FiM or RoH).
Luna seems to embody the more straightforward bits, but her actions also seem echo'd in Shy's and Rarity's limit breaks (pushing people close to her away when things start to go wrong and massively overreacting).

As an aside to this, do you believe that Celestia as she is now has been a static personality from before banishing her sister? Given the overbearing personality, lack of socialization, and general fallback on "tradition" that we saw from Luna in LE I've kind of wondered about that since Luna's ultimate complaint was about lack of attention.


Of those unmarked by fate : This one is a bit more fanwanking... So, the Cutie Mark Crusaders ? they will never get their Cutie Marks. The same way that the Mane Cast are the scions of Harmony, they are the fix for Discord. Born in the shadows of the Everfree Forest and the old capital, bound by the return of the dis-harmonic sister, one of each kind of pony, always orbiting around the Chosen of Harmony, living in the time of monsters and renewal, they are the fruits of randomness, the harvest of uncertainty, the children of chaos. See how Discord use them as a resonance box to make himself free.
As Harmony went from two to six, so Change will go from one to three. They have time to grow and quests to do to earn their heirloom, but they will never get a Cutie Mark, always staying creatures of potential, of generality and of unpredictability, as is fit for the bearer of renewed chaos.
Hmm, are you arguing from an in world perspective (adult blank flank) or meta perspective (no one ages because it's a show)?
 
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