Equestria

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Equestria
Created byChancellor Pudding Head
Commander Hurricane
Princess Platinum
GenreAdventure, Fantasy
TypeFederal constitutional principality
RulerPrincess Celestia
Princess Luna
Princess Cadence
Prince Shining Armor

Princess Twilight Sparkle
Princess Flurry Heart
Race(s)Majority:
Pegasi Ponies
Unicorns
Earth Ponies
Minority:
Mules
Donkeys
Dragons
Griffins
Alicorns
Draconequus
Breezies
Minotaurs
Yaks
Notable locationsCelestial Coast
Baltimare
Manehattan
Fillydelphia
Starlight's Village
Hollow Shades
Haysead Swamps
Capital Region
Canterlot (Capital)
Ponyville (Main Setting)
Winnyiapolis
Neighagara Falls
Luna Coast
Vanhoover
Tall Tale
San Franciscolt
Las Pegasus
Palomino Desert
Dodge Junction
Appleloosa
Sonambula
PopulationMillions (Exact Unknown)
LanguagePonish

The Kingdom of Equestria, or simply Equestria, is the primary setting for Hasbro's animated show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and its feature film My Little Pony: The Movie.[1][2][3] Instead of English, it is mentioned that they call their language "Ponish".[4] However, because the Latin-English text is seen several times throughout the show,[5][6][7] it is understood that this is simply English under a different name. Equestria is depicted as a federal constitutional principality, led by the four princesses and one prince of Equestria and a secondary neighboring nation, the Crystal Empire, whose highest ruler is one of the four princesses.[8][9] The founding of Equestria is described as the result of the cooperation of unicorns, pegasi, and earth ponies, who come together in harmony to fight the Wendigos and stop an eternal blizzard.[10]

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

The episode "Hearth's Warming Eve" describes the founding of Equestria as the result of the cooperation of the three races of ponies (the pegasi, unicorns and earth ponies) who join together to beat back the Windegos and prevent an eternal blizzard.[10]

Sister princesses and Nightmare Moon[edit]

"Hearth's Warming Eve" portrays sisters Princess Celestia and Luna as the first rulers of Equestria.[10][11] Their reign is characterized as peaceful,[11] with the exception of the appearance of Discord, a spirit of chaos and disharmony known as a draconequus, who attempts to invade Equestria in the two-part episode "The Return of Harmony".

The series begins with the origin story of Princess Luna's evil alter ego, Nightmare Moon. The story goes that when Princess Luna incorrectly believes that the ponies' strong preference for daytime over nighttime is evidence that they hate her, she rejects her sister and Equestria, transforms into Nightmare Moon, and attempts to create eternal night. The "Elements of Harmony" are presented as the means of banishing Nightmare Moon to the moon for one thousand years.[12]

Return of Nightmare Moon[edit]

The two-part episode "Friendship is Magic" at the beginning of the series portrays the defeat of Nightmare Moon by the protagonists, a group of six ponies known as the "Mane Six". Each pony is associated with one of the six "Elements of Harmony" that defeat Nightmare Moon: Applejack with honesty, Pinkie Pie with laughter, Rainbow Dash with loyalty, Fluttershy with kindness, Rarity with generosity, and Twilight Sparkle with magic.[13] Episode 2 ends with the defeat of Nightmare Moon and her transformation back into Princess Luna.[14][15][16]

Return of Discord[edit]

Discord first appears at the start of season 2, escaping from imprisonment as a stone statue and attempting to spread chaos throughout Equestria.[17] In the two-part episode "Return of Harmony", he captures Ponyville for his "World Capitol of Chaos" but is defeated by the "Elements of Harmony". Discord makes an appearance again in episode 10 of season 3, "Keep Calm and Flutter On", where he develops a friendship with Fluttershy and is reformed.[18] In season 6, Discord is portrayed as a savior of Equestria.[19]

Changeling invasion of Canterlot[edit]

At the end of season 2, the two-part episode "A Canterlot Wedding" depicts the marriage of Princess Cadance, Twilight Sparkle's "foal-sitter", to Prince Shining Armor, who is the captain of the Royal Guard of Canterlot, and brother of Twilight Sparkle.[8][20] This episode introduces Queen Chrysalis, a changeling who imprisons and impersonates Cadance prior to her wedding in an attempt to invade Canterlot, the capital of Equestria. Chrysalis' strength as an antagonist arises from her ability to consume the love Shining Armor has for Cadance.[21] Twilight Sparkle discovers this, frees Cadance, and reveals Cadance's impostor before the wedding. Cadance and Shining Armor defeat the changelings with the power of their love and with help from the "Elements of Harmony".[20]

Return of the Crystal Empire[edit]

The Crystal Empire is introduced in season 3 as the home of the Crystal Ponies located in the far north of Equestria. Its ruler, King Sombra, is the antagonist in the two-part episode "The Crystal Empire". He is defeated by Celestia and Luna and disappears along with his empire for one thousand years. With the help of Cadance and Shining Armor, the "Mane 6" venture to the Crystal Empire after it reappears. They stop King Sombra from retaking the Crystal Empire by finding the "Crystal Heart" that protects it, with help from Spike, Twilight's dragon assistant. After the event, princess Cadance has become the official highest ruler of Crystal Empire.

Settlements[edit]

Various settlements in Equestria are identified throughout the series and used as the setting for one or more episodes. The settlements are modeled after or based on cities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

Ponyville[edit]

Ponyville
Created byThe Apple Family/Princess Celestia
TypeTown
RulerMayor Mare
Race(s)Majority:
Pegasi
Unicorns
Earth Ponies
Minority:
Dragons
Alicorns
Notable locationsSweet Apple Acres
The Castle of Friendship
Everfree Forest
Sugarcube Corner
Town Hall
School of Friendship
First appearanceFriendship is Magic: Part 1
Last appearancepresent

Ponyville is the main setting of the series, and home to the "Mane 6" characters. Ponyville is portrayed as a small village within the center of Equestria, within sight of Canterlot, Equestria's capital. The design of Ponyville is mostly Bavarian, with a minor influence of Americana.[9] The season 4 finale, "Twilight's Kingdom", introduces the Castle of Friendship in Ponyville as the residence of Twilight Sparkle, her assistant Spike the Dragon, and her pupil, the villain-turned-hero Starlight Glimmer. Mayor Mare is depicted as the leader of Ponyville, who lives in "Sweet Apple Acres" with the primary members of the "Apple Family".[22]

According to the book Art of Equestria, which describes the creation of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and its universe, the creator of the series, Lauren Faust, originally proposed the name Fillydelphia (a pun on the city of Philadelphia) instead of Ponyville. The series later added Fillydelphia as a new, separate city.[9]

Faust wrote in a comment on her DeviantArt page that the Everfree Forest is west of Ponyville, Sweet Apple Acres is southwest, and Fluttershy's cottage and meadow are located north of the farm, presumably between Ponyville and the forest. Canterlot is northeast of Ponyville.[23] However, in subsequent interviews, both Faust and the supervising director and executive producer of the series, Jayson Thiessen, mentioned that the geography and continuity of the show are loosely defined and may change as necessary,[24] and a layout artist for the series stated on December 10, 2011, that the production team had no official map of Equestria for reference.[25]

Upon the release of Art of Equestria, however, an official map was released. It suggests that the Everfree Forest is to the east of Ponyville, Sweet Apple Acres to the southeast, and Fluttershy's cottage and meadow are located due north of the farm.[9]

Everfree Forest[edit]

The series depicts the Everfree Forest as a grove adjacent to Ponyville. The forest is noted as being one of the few places in Equestria where the weather is not controlled by the pegasi, but instead moves on its own. The original castle of Princess Celestia and Luna is depicted in Everfree Forest, and Everfree Forest is a prominent setting in the episode "Friendship is Magic", where Nightmare Moon is defeated. The location of the "Elements of Harmony" is shown to be within Everfree Forest. The episode "Stare Master" states that the forest is filled with "many strange creatures".[26] The episode "Friendship is Magic" shows that creatures from the Everfree Forest include Hydras, Manticores, Cragadiles (crocodile-like creatures made of stone), Timber Wolves (huge wolves made of tree trunks), Sea Serpents, Cockatrices, Parasprites (small bug-like creatures that are highly destructive, but generally regarded as cute), and Ursas (two huge, bear-like creatures, with enlarged teeth and blue or purple fur).[14]

Canterlot[edit]

Canterlot
Created byThe Sister Princesses (Celestia and Luna)
TypeCapital City
RulerMayor Fancy Pants and, (presumably), Prince Blueblood
Race(s)Majority:
Unicorns
Minority:
Dragons
Alicorns
Pegasi
Earth Ponies
Notable locationsCanterlot Castle
Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns
Cloud Stadium
Canterlot Opera House
Ancient Archives
First appearanceFriendship is Magic: Part 1
Last appearancepresent

Canterlot is depicted as the capital of Equestria,[27] a castle-walled city, built on the side of a mountain in the center of Equestria. Canterlot is the setting of the home of Princess Celestia and Luna and the residence of Twilight Sparkle before Ponyville. The name Canterlot is a portmanteau of Camelot and canter.

Manehattan[edit]

Manehattan is based on the island of Manhattan, portrayed as a large port metropolis, with many landmarks resembling those from New York City.[6] Like Ponyville and Canterlot, Manehattan is depicted as the location of one of Rarity's boutiques, known as "Rarity for You".[7] Notable features of the setting include conventions differing from Ponyville's, as seen in the episode, "Stranger Than Fan Fiction",[28][29] and an elevated train. Starlight's Village is a community in the Manehattan region and is characterized by a semi-arid climate. The villain-turned-hero Starlight Glimmer is associated with this setting,[30] which is also called Our Town and Starlight.

Seaward Shoals[edit]

Seaward Shoals is portrayed as a small rocky coastal port town, similar to those of the New England region of the United States. Also called Silver Shoals or Rocky Shoals, the community is the setting of the episode "P.P.O.V. (Pony Point of View)".[5]

Las Pegasus[edit]

Las Pegasus is depicted as a floating cloud city, like Cloudsdale. Based on the cities of Las Vegas and Paradise, Nevada, Las Pegasus is portrayed as "one big party",[31] with many hotels, amusement parks, restaurants, arcades, and casinos. Las Pegasus was the setting of the episode "Viva Las Pegasus".[31]

Somnambula[edit]

Somnambula, roughly based on Egypt and North Africa, has an arid, desert climate, excluding a few oases.[29] It is notable as a city that the pony adventurer "Daring Do" saves twice. The character of Somnambula, a legendary heroic pegasus, who rescues the prince of the Kingdom from a sphinx, is the city's namesake.[29] Somnambula also frees the city from its leader's taxing and oppressive reign. The city is noted as once being ruled over by pharaohs,[29] and is first mentioned in the episode "Stranger than Fan Fiction",[28][32] and shown again in the episode "Daring Done?".[29]

Other locations[edit]

The Yaket Mountain Range is portrayed as the region north of Equestria, characterized by an alpine climate[9] and exotic, medicinal plants.[33] This region is a setting in the IDW comic My Little Pony: Friends Forever issue 36.[33] The setting of San Franciscolt is based on the city of San Francisco, and is only mentioned in the book Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell.[34] Dodge Junction is a setting based on the cities of the American Wild West, particularly Dodge City in Kansas, and is portrayed as a bustling township that mainly revolves around a cherry farm run by the earth pony Cherry Jubilee. Similar to Dodge Junction, Appleloosa, a pun of the Appaloosa horse breed, is based on the cities of the American Wild West and mainly revolves around an apple orchard that is home to members of the "Apple Family".[16] Appleloosa is depicted as bordering on the buffalo lands, home of the native buffalo tribes.[16]

Cloudsdale is portrayed as a floating city made of clouds, which is only accessible by winged animals and creatures that have had a cloud-walking spell cast on them. Cloudsdale is said to be the original home and birthplace of main characters Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy.[35] Cloudsdale is a pun of Clydesdale, a breed of horse.

In episodes throughout the series and in promotional material, other locations are mentioned, but not used as settings. A partial list includes Baltimare, based on the city of Baltimore;[36] Fillydelphia, which is based on the city of Philadelphia and was the original name for Ponyville when the show was in development;[9] and Vanhoover, which is based on Vancouver, Canada and is described as the former home of "Grand Pear", Applejack's grandfather.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Connelly, Sherilyn (2017). Ponyville Confidential: The History of My Little Pony, 1981-2016. Jefferson, North Carolina, United States of America: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN 9781476662091.
  2. ^ "I went to a My Little Pony convention for adults. And it was amazing". 2014-06-16. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  3. ^ Griffiths, Daniel Nye. "Colt success: My Little Pony's reboot, Friendship is Magic". Wired UK. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  4. ^ "A Health of Information". My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Season 7. Episode 20. 2017-09-24. Discovery Family.
  5. ^ a b "P.P.O.V. (Pony Point of View)". My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Season 6. Episode 22. 2016-10-01. Discovery Family.
  6. ^ a b "'My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic': Rarity takes Manehattan". EW.com. 2014-01-02. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  7. ^ a b "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "Made in Manehattan" Review | Unleash The Fanboy". Unleash The Fanboy. 2015-09-26. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  8. ^ a b Profis, Michelle (2012-04-29). "Royal Wedding anniversary -- how it influenced pop culture". Entertainment Weekly.
  9. ^ a b c d e f The Art of Equestria. Hasbro. 2015. ISBN 9781613127728.
  10. ^ a b c "Hearth's Warming Eve". My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Season 2. Episode 11. 2012-12-17. Discovery Family.
  11. ^ a b Keating,, Rogers, Amy. The journal of the two sisters : the official chronicles of Celestia and Luna. New York. ISBN 0316282243. OCLC 870199595.
  12. ^ "Friendship is Magic (Part 1)". My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Season 1. Episode 1. 17 September 2011.
  13. ^ Hasbro. "Equestria Girls Characters | MLP Characters | MLPEG". mylittlepony.hasbro.com. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
  14. ^ a b "Friendship is Magic (Part 2)". My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Season 1. Episode 2. 17 September 2011.
  15. ^ "My Little Pony – Guardians of Harmony Figures Target All Genders | Nerdist". Nerdist. 2016-11-15. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
  16. ^ a b c Television (2017-04-17). "4 Positive Countercultural Messages In 'My Little Pony'". The Federalist. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  17. ^ "'My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic': See Discord's first solo!". EW.com. 2014-01-24. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
  18. ^ "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "What About Discord?" Review | Unleash The Fanboy". Unleash The Fanboy. 2015-11-15. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
  19. ^ "'My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Exploring the Crystal Empire' for families on DVD". Military Press. 2017-02-10. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
  20. ^ a b "A Canterlot Wedding (Part 2)". My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Season 2. Episode 26. 2012-04-12. The Hub Network.
  21. ^ Ohanesian, Liz (2012-04-16). "Top 5 Lessons for Adults From My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  22. ^ "'My Little Pony' Concept Art Shows Off The Backgrounds of Equestria and Raises Money For Japan". ComicsAlliance. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  23. ^ Faust, Lauren (2011-02-19). "Comment on fyre-flye's profile". DeviantArt. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
  24. ^ Phoe (2011-07-11). "Interview: Jayson Thiessen (Friendship is Magic Director)". Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  25. ^ "A layout artist regarding a Flash asset in Secret of My Excess". Retrieved 2012-01-23. Image archived.
  26. ^ "Stare Masters". My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Season 1. Episode 17. 2011-02-11. The Hub Network.
  27. ^ "MLP: International Friendship Day". Toon Zone News. 2017-08-30.
  28. ^ a b "'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic': See Patton Oswalt's new pony in action". EW.com. 2016-07-22. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  29. ^ a b c d e "Daring Done?". My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Season 7. Episode 16. Discovery Family.
  30. ^ Television (2015-04-08). "My Little Pony To Children: Marxism Is Not Magic". The Federalist. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  31. ^ a b "'My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Fluttershy' floats onto DVD". Military Press. 2017-08-31. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  32. ^ "Stranger than Fan Fiction". My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Season 7. Episode 13. Discovery Family.
  33. ^ a b Christina Rice, Tony Fleecs (w, a). My Little Pony: Friends Forever v9, 36 (2017-01), IDW
  34. ^ Berrow, G.M. Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell. Turtleback School & Library/Hasbro. ISBN 9780606317337.
  35. ^ "What Cloudsdale And Pegasi In 'My Little Pony' Teach Kids About Classical Greece And Rome". Forbes. 2015-07-03.
  36. ^ "It's About Time". My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Season 2. Episode 20. 2012-03-10. Discovery Family.
  37. ^ "The Perfect Pair". My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Season 7. Episode 13. Discovery Family.