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List of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic characters

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A 2011 My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Comic-Con poster depicting many characters from the first season.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is an animated television series based on the My Little Pony toyline created by American toy manufacturer and multimedia company Hasbro. It features characters and settings developed by Lauren Faust, who sought to create more in-depth characters than the stereotypical "girly" icons used in previous iterations of the franchise. The series began airing on October 10, 2010 in the United States on the Hub Network cable channel, which was re-branded as Discovery Family on October 13, 2014.

The series follows a studious unicorn named Twilight Sparkle, and Spike, Twilight's baby dragon assistant, as her mentor Princess Celestia guides her to learn about friendship in the town of Ponyville. Twilight becomes best friends with five other ponies: earth ponies Applejack and Pinkie Pie, pegasi Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, and unicorn Rarity. Each represents a different facet of friendship, and Twilight discovers herself to be a key part of the magical artifacts known as the Elements of Harmony. The six ponies—collectively known as the "Mane Six"—share adventures, redeem villains and help out other residents of Ponyville, while working out the troublesome moments in their own friendships. This eventually leads to Twilight ascending and becoming a alicorn; now known as Princess Twilight Sparkle, she joins the three alicorn leaders of Equestria as a tetrarchy.

Main characters aside, every season features episodes focused on the exploits of more minor characters. A younger trio of pony characters (Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle) who call themselves the "Cutie Mark Crusaders" and share adventures trying to discover their talents in life and receive their "cutie marks" until the season five episode "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", where they finally receive their cutie marks. The alicorn princesses (Celestia, Luna and Cadance) frequently aid—and are aided by—the Mane Six in their service to the citizens of Equestria. Beginning in season four, the (mostly) reformed Discord becomes a reluctant ally of the Mane Six to which he occasionally causes mischief while struggling to become a better friend to them. Beginning in season six, the reformed villain Starlight Glimmer becomes a recurring character as Twilight's protégé. Beginning in season eight, the leaders of Equestria's allied nations send five of their heirs to Equestria to receive an education from Twilight.

The characters have been well received by critics, and are cited as one of the reasons the series' older fans, called "bronies", became attracted to the show. Fans have made several background characters popular, and these characters are often incorporated into jokes within the show. Friendship is Magic characters appear in numerous spin-off franchise media, including a comic book series, a Gameloft My Little Pony video game, a children's book series, a theatrical film adaptation, and a spin-off film series titled My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, where several Friendship is Magic characters are re-envisioned as humans in a high school setting.

Creation and conception

Hasbro initially hired Faust to create a pitch bible for the show, allowing her to get additional help with conceptualization.[1] Faust said she was "extremely skeptical" about taking the job at first because she had always found shows based on girls' toys to be boring and unrelatable.[2] She was disappointed that what she thought of the toys at the time was nothing like the animated shows, in which the characters, according to her, had "endless tea parties, giggled over nothing and defeated villains by either sharing with them or crying." With the chance to work on My Little Pony, one of her favorite childhood toys,[3] she hoped to prove that "cartoons for girls don't have to be a puddle of smooshy, cutesy-wootsy, goody-two-shoeness."[2] To do this, she incorporated many elements into the show that subverted stereotypes of girls, such as diverse personalities, character flaws and personality disorders, the message that friends can be different and can get into arguments but still be friends, and the idea that girls should not be limited by what others say they can or can not do.[2] Elements of the characters' personalities and the show's settings were based on her own childhood imagination of the ponies' adventures, in part inspired by the animated shows that her brothers would watch while growing up, such as Transformers and G.I. Joe.[4] Faust still aimed for the characters to be "relatable" characters, using stereotypical "icons of girliness" (such as the waif or the bookworm), as to broaden the appeal of the characters for the young female audience.[5]

Main characters

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic focuses on six core Pony characters, also identified as the "Mane Six",[6] a group of friends who are brought together by the "Elements of Harmony", a set of six mystical jewels and an "unstoppable force of good"[7] that are used to defend Equestria against powerful threats. A seventh main character, Spike acts as foil to the Mane Six in terms of personality.

Each Pony character was designed to represent a different element and positive aspect of friendship—honesty (Applejack), kindness (Fluttershy), laughter (Pinkie Pie), generosity (Rarity), and loyalty (Rainbow Dash)—which come together to form the sixth element of "magic" (Twilight Sparkle).[8]

Twilight Sparkle

Twilight Sparkle is the central character of the series, based on the first generation or "G1" unicorn toy Twilight.[9] Her cutie mark represents her talent for magic and love for astronomy; the five smaller stars indicates her destiny intertwine with her friends. She is depicted in the show's first three seasons as a purple unicorn with a pink-streaked indigo mane, and as a winged unicorn called an "alicorn" after the season three finale "Magical Mystery Cure". She leads the Mane Six during their adventures and helps resolve her friends' differences. She is a natural born leader, an intelligent and dutiful scholar[10] with an avid love of learning and scientific discoveries. Her skills in advanced unicorn magic (such as levitation, teleportation, and the creation of force fields) rivals that of Starswirl. Director Jayson Thiessen describes her as "kind of a neurotic perfectionist" who has "a touch OCD",[11] prone to suffering from nervous breakdowns when confronted with a problem that goes against her understanding.

Twilight begins the story as the protégée of Princess Celestia, who tasks her with studying the magical properties of friendship in Ponyville and reporting her findings. Twilight resents her assignment in the two-parter series premier, owing her reclusiveness to her obsession with books, but comes to form strong friendships with the rest of the Mane Six, which she realizes is key to harnessing the Elements of Harmony. She resides with her assistant Spike and pet owl named Owlowiscious (pronounced "Aloysius") in Ponyville's Golden Oak Library, where she also serves as town librarian.[12] Her apprenticeship to Celestia ends in the season three finale "Magical Mystery Cure" when she reverses an ancient spell by creating new magic based on her studies of friendship, transforms into an alicorn, and is crowned a princess. Assuming the title of "Princess of Friendship", Twilight becomes responsible for spreading friendship across Equestria from the Castle of Friendship,[13] a mystical castle that replaces the library after its destruction in the season four finale "Twilight's Kingdom". After the season eight premiere "School Daze", Twilight becomes "headmare" of the School of Friendship to teach other creatures the benefits of friendship and appoints her friends as teachers and faculty members.

Spike

Spike[14] is a purple baby dragon with green spines, based on the "G1" and "G3" character of the same name. Spike was orphaned as an egg[15] and hatched by a young Twilight Sparkle as part of her entrance exam for Celestia's academy, he is raised by Twilight as his adopted mother[16][17]; he fulfills the role of Twilight's "number one assistant" to which he is named so for his loyalty and skill at helping Twilight solve problems and learn lessons.[14][18] He is also described as having an incurable crush on Rarity, an insatiable appetite for sparkly gems and the ability to send letters via his fiery dragon breath.[14] He gains wings in the season eight episode "Molt Down". Author Begin calls Spike a foil to the Mane Six in terms of personality, size and shape which "provides plenty of opportunity for exploring this difference in storylines."[18] He adopts a newborn phoenix named Peewee as a pet in the second-season episode "Dragon Quest" and returned Peewee to his family in the season three episode "Just for Sidekicks". Faust envisioned the character as "the sensitive little boy who has a lot of sisters and just seems to get along better with girls."[19] On Spike's role as a dragon outsider living among ponies, Meghan McCarthy says, "He's trying to figure out who he is. What beyond being Twilight's assistant is his role in this world? I think he really reflects how everybody feels at some point in their life."[14]

Rainbow Dash

Rainbow Dash is a blue[20] pegasus with a rainbow-colored mane and tail who is based on the "G1" Firefly toy[21] and shares her name with the "G3" earth pony. Her cutie mark represents her athleticism and obsession with speed and adventure.[20] Her goal at the beginning of the series is to join her heroes, the elite Wonderbolts aerobatic team.[22] This is accomplished in the season six episode "Newbie Dash" after she impresses them with the multiple heroic feats she performs in the first five seasons. She helps other pegasi manage the weather around Ponyville and spends her time practicing flight maneuvers such as the "Sonic Rainboom", a rainbow-hued sonic boom; it is shown in the episode "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" that Rainbow Dash's first Sonic Rainboom as a filly caused a chain of events that produced the Mane Six's cutie marks. She lives with a propeller-fitted pet tortoise named Tank in a floating condominium of clouds called the Cloudominium,[23] which is sparingly seen in the show because she "doesn't sit still for very long", according to director Jim Miller.[20] Faust struggled to find a suitable aspect for Rainbow Dash's Element of Harmony, seeing the character as "self-absorbed and rather irresponsible." She eventually settled on "loyalty" because it "brought out [Rainbow Dash's] positive traits."[8]

Pinkie Pie

Pinkie Pie (fully named Pinkamena Diane Pie) is a pink earth pony based on the "G3" toy of the same name. Her character, which Thiessen summarized as "a frenetic sugar rush",[24] was inspired by the "G1" pegasus toy Surprise.[25] Her cutie mark represents her talent for spreading hope and joy, and her desire to entertain her friends. She is a party planner at Sugarcube Corner, a bakery and confectionery store in Ponyville that resembles a gingerbread house,[26] where she also keeps a toothless baby alligator named Gummy. A comedic relief character who was raised on a "dreary rock farm", Pinkie is cheerful, energetic and talkative. She is defined as "hard worker" motivated in seeing people she loves smile and relieving them of stress, by randomly throwing parties and acting as outlandish as possible;[27] but has a lack of confidence and a fear of being rejected by others.[28] Pinkie is a source of much of the series' humor,[27] and several of the show's "wacky gags" are kept exclusive to her.[28][29] Her running gags include breaking the fourth wall and "appearing suddenly in unexpected places",[30] as well as an ability to predict future events through various body reactions, which she calls the "Pinkie Sense". In early episodes, Faust worked to depict Pinkie as a "free spirit" to address concerns of the character being seen as too "hyper" and "ditzy". As the creative team grew more comfortable with Pinkie's character and humor, she became "really over-the-top strange and bordering on crazy, with a wacky cartoonish magic all her own."[30] Throughout the show, depending on the episode or scene, Pinkie's friends alternate between detesting and enjoying her company, both ignoring her when she tries to speak to them but doing things with her such as pulling pranks or playing buckball.

Rarity

Rarity is a white unicorn with a curled violet mane who was based on the "G1" ponies Glory and Sparkler[31] and named after the "G3" pony Rarity. Her cutie mark represents her talent for prospecting gemstones and her love of art and beauty. She is a ladylike fashionista and businessperson who speaks with a Mid-Atlantic accent and runs a franchise of brand name flagship stores throughout Equestria; she operates out of a haute couture salon in Ponyville called Carousel Boutique. Despite her vain and melodramatic tendencies, she has a generous spirit and strives to create dresses that capture their wearers' inner beauty.[32][33] She owns a pet Persian cat named Opalescence who is commonly nicknamed Opal. Faust's original idea for Rarity's Element of Harmony was "inspiration", but it was changed to "generosity" after the production team deemed the former "too much of a thinker, especially for kids." Faust was pleased with the change, saying it "really helped pull [Rarity] away from the stereotypical, unlikable debutante."[8] She cites Audrey Hepburn as her biggest influence for Rarity,[34] and also says that Tabitha St. Germain's histrionic performance "added a humor to Rarity that was unexpected and wonderful."[29]

Applejack

Applejack is an orange, blonde-haired earth pony based on the "G1" character of the same name.[35] Her cutie mark represents her talent for agriculture and love for her family. She is characterized as a "farm gal" who sports a cowboy hat and lasso, and speaks with a Southern accent.[36] She works as an apple farmer at the family-owned Sweet Apple Acres orchard in Ponyville, using her strength to "buck" apples out of trees. She lives with her grandmother Granny Smith, older brother Big McIntosh, younger sister Apple Bloom, and pet collie Winona. According to Faust, Applejack's parents – Bright Mac (voiced by Bill Newton) and Pear Butter (voiced by Felicia Day), first seen in the season seven episode "The Perfect Pear" – are deceased.[37] Applejack is honest, reliable, responsible and the most "down-to-earth" of the Mane Six; being a well-adjusted friend who is reasonable and has good judgement.[36] She is also "too eager to please" and has a stubborn streak, with several episodes focused on her interaction with the Flim-Flam brothers who exploit her vulnerabilities, or focusing on her taking up some sort of "herculean task".[38] Author Begin says that her apple-themed cutie mark "not only represents her name, but also is a symbol of the down-home simplicity found in a classic and common fruit."[39]

Fluttershy

Fluttershy is a yellow pink-maned pegasus based on the "G1" earth pony Posey.[40] Her cutie mark represents her love of nature and talent as animal caretaker. True to her name, she is "defined by her shy sweetness; soft, whispery voice; and tender, nurturing nature", as described by author Begin.[41] She possesses a unique affinity for animals that allows her to communicate with them. She lives in a secluded meadow cottage in Ponyville where she cares for multiple forest creatures such as her "conniving and willful" pet rabbit Angel Bunny.[42][43] In many episodes, Fluttershy exhibits an authoritative personality that emerges whenever a friend or animal is harmed, in contrast to her normally fearful and submissive self.[44] Her most prominent ability, "the Stare", causes any creature that meets her gaze to become "powerless and moved to meekness" while it is in effect.[45] Faust enjoyed writing for Fluttershy the most out of the show's characters due to her "relatable" struggles with fear, which Faust says brings potential "not just for great storytelling but [also for] great filmmaking".[30]

Secondary characters

Princess Celestia

Princess Celestia, based on the "G1" unicorn Majesty,[46] is a white alicorn and Equestria's benevolent ruler. She has a flowing, multicolored mane and tail.[47] As detailed in The Journal of the Two Sisters, Celestia is the longest-lived and longest-reigning Equestrian monarch as well as the world's longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state, the oldest and longest-reigning current monarch and the longest-serving current head of state; she has ruled Equestria for over one thousand years due to the slowed aging of alicorns. Her status as an alicorn is seen as a symbol of harmony between unicorns, pegasi and earth ponies.[48] She is responsible for magically raising the sun each day from her castle in Canterlot and lowering it to make way for the night. She also acts as a mentor and, as described by Faust, "a bit of a surrogate parent" to Twilight Sparkle,[2] being personally involved in her upbringing and guiding her throughout the series' first three seasons to her eventual destiny as a princess of Equestria. She owns a mischievous pet phoenix named Philomena, who appears to be a "squawking old bird" before bursting into flames and renewing herself.[49] Faust's original concept for Celestia was a queen rather than a princess, reflecting her status as the "highest authority" in the series' setting. The change was made at Hasbro's statement that "girls assume that Queens are evil [...] and Princesses are good," and that "the perceived youth of a Princess is preferable to consumers."[50]

Princess Luna

Princess Luna, also named "Selena" in earlier drafts, is a dark blue alicorn and Princess Celestia's younger sister, designed and developed by Lynne Naylor.[51] She serves as co-ruler of Equestria alongside Celestia, using her magic to maintain the moon and safeguard her subjects' dreams during nighttime. Luna is introduced in the two opening episodes as Nightmare Moon, a malevolent black mare who was transformed by bitterness and jealousy towards her more beloved sister; as expounded in the comic series, her alter ego is a creation of the Nightmare Forces, a dark lunar miasma that preys on Luna's insecurities to convince her to become their host.[52] Banished to the moon by the reluctant Celestia in the series' past, Nightmare Moon returns from a thousand-year exile to create eternal night. The Mane Six use the Elements of Harmony to purify and reform Luna, who reconciles with her sister and resumes her royal duties. She sports a different design in later episodes with a darker coloration and starry mane.[53] Several episodes depict Luna's "difficulty living in her older sister's shadow", such as adapting to modern Equestrian customs and repairing her public image.[51] Outside the television series, Luna owns a pet opossum named Tiberius that appears in several comics and chapter books.

Cutie Mark Crusaders

The Cutie Mark Crusaders are a trio of fillies bonded by their desire to earn their "cutie marks", symbols that appear on a pony's flank once they discover their special talents in life.[54] They are each depicted as younger sibling figures to the main cast except Scootaloo.[55] Several episodes of the series focus on the Crusaders' misadventures in trying to earn their marks in "the most unorthodox and sometimes less-than-productive ways."[55] This goal is achieved in the season five episode "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", where the members gain similarly-themed cutie marks when they recognize their true purpose in life is helping other ponies discover or interpret their own cutie marks. In season eight, they mentor and tutor the students of Twilight's School of Friendship

  • Apple Bloom (voiced by Michelle Creber) – Apple Bloom is a yellow earth pony filly with a red mane and a pink mane bow, and is named for being "full of potential" and having "a lot of growing to do". She is the sassy younger sister of Applejack and Big McIntosh who formulates and spearheads most of the Cutie Mark Crusaders' "missions".[56]
  • Scootaloo (voiced by Madeleine Peters) – Scootaloo is an orange pegasus filly with a purple mane, based on the "G3" pony of the same name. She suffers from an inability to fly, and instead uses her wings to propel her specially fashioned scooter. She idolizes Rainbow Dash as an older sister figure, is president of the "Wonderbolt Dash" fanclub, and often tries to imitate Rainbow Dash's "too cool" attitude and athletic skill; Rainbow Dash loves and mentors Scootaloo, calling her the "most awesome kid sister ever."[56] Scootaloo lives with her Aunt Holiday and Auntie Lofty, who are confirmed by Mike Vogel to be a married lesbian couple.[57][58][59]
  • Sweetie Belle (voiced by Claire Corlett, singing voice for seasons 1–3 by Michelle Creber)[60] – Sweetie Belle is a "sweet-natured and sometimes spacey" unicorn filly with a white coat and a lavender and pink-striped mane, based on the "G3" pony of the same name. She has "a blossoming talent for singing", and strives to become a fashion designer and gain the approval of her older sister, Rarity.[56]

In addition to the main trio, there are others who are accepted into the Cutie Mark Crusaders across the series:

  • Babs Seed (voiced by Brynna Drummond) – Babs is an earth pony filly and "tough-talkin' Apple cousin from Manehattan",[56] debuting in the third-season episode "One Bad Apple". The character was created as a "blank flank" bully of the Cutie Mark Crusaders "whose behavior was the result of an insecurity that the Crusaders could relate to and ultimately help her overcome." She joins the Crusaders and forms her own branch of the club in Manehattan because, according to McCarthy, "We've got our three Crusaders in Ponyville and didn't want to add a permanent fourth."[56] Babs earns her cutie mark as a hairstylist in the season five episode "Bloom & Gloom".
  • Gabby (voiced by Erin Mathews) – Gabby is a friendly and enthusiastic female griffon featured in the show's sixth season. Introduced as a social outcast from the griffon city of Griffonstone, she joins the Crusaders at the end of her debut episode, "The Fault in Our Cutie Marks", following her failed attempts to obtain her own cutie mark.

Discord

Actor John de Lancie (pictured at BronyCon, 2012) voices Discord, a character based on his television role as Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Discord is the spirit of chaos and disharmony who first appeared in "The Return of Harmony". Primarily characterized as a nonsensical trickster,[61] he is a Greek mythology-inspired creature called a "draconequus" (/drəˈkɒnɛkwʌs/, from the Latin words meaning "dragon horse"), a serpentine being with a pony's head and numerous different animal parts.[62][63] Celestia and Luna opposed him in the past for tormenting ponies with his reality-bending powers and he similarly faces the Mane Six during the premiere; both times, the ponies use the Elements of Harmony to turn him into stone. In the season three episode "Keep Calm and Flutter On", Discord is released under Celestia's decree to reform himself, which succeeds after Fluttershy treats him like a friend. Afterwards, he appears in subsequent episodes as a reluctant ally of the Mane Six to which he occasionally causes mischief while struggling to become a better friend to them.[62]

Faust based Discord's character on Q, an omnipotent trickster played by John de Lancie on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. The production team considered casting a soundalike of de Lancie to voice the character, and were surprised to learn that de Lancie himself was available.[64] The creative team developed Discord as "the one character who could break all of the rules of the show" by including more modern or contemporary references than usual in the series' "fantasy storybook" setting.[65][66] He was not intended to have a recurring role;[65] according to McCarthy, "'reforming' him allows us to tell new stories with his character. He gets to be the not-always-reliable ally instead of the known enemy."[62] Author Begin commented on the "chaotic" settings that accompany the character, such as his home dimension called Chaosville, likening them to "dream-inspired Salvador Dalí paintings."[67]

Big McIntosh and Granny Smith

  • Big McIntosh (voiced by Peter New) – Big McIntosh, commonly called Big Mac, is a large earth pony stallion who is Applejack and Apple Bloom's older brother. He "generally doesn't have much to say", and often speaks only by replying "eeyup" and "nope".[68]
  • Granny Smith (voiced by Tabitha St. Germain) – Granny Smith is an earth pony who is the paternal grandmother of Applejack, Apple Bloom, and Big McIntosh. She is depicted as a "wise matriarch" who has sharp wit and a "fuzzy" memory, and stated to be one of Ponyville's first settlers.[68]

Princess Cadance, Shining Armor and Flurry Heart

Princess Cadance and Prince Shining Armor are Twilight Sparkle's older sister-in-law and brother, respectively, who debuted in the season two finale "A Canterlot Wedding". Cadance, a kind alicorn whose full name is Princess Mi Amore Cadenza—a descendant of Princess Amore—is Princess Celestia's adopted niece and Twilight's childhood "foal-sitter";[70] according to the chapter book Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell, Cadance was a pegasus who became an alicorn after reversing an evil sorceress's love-stealing spell.[71] She married the unicorn Shining Armor, the captain of Canterlot's royal guard who has a close relationship with his sister and is nicknamed her "Big Brother Best Friend Forever" (B.B.B.F.F.).[70] In the third-season premiere, Celestia appoints Shining Armor and Cadance to rule the Crystal Empire, an "ancient city" that Cadance protects. The Crystal Heart, the empires most sacred magical artifacts, is used to exponentially amplify the power of love so the shimmering crystal ponies may project hope and love across Equestria.[72] In the season six premiere "The Crystalling", Cadance gives birth to an alicorn filly named Flurry Heart. Celestia and Luna both stated that "the birth of an Alicorn, is something Equestria has never seen", and that it was "Even beyond their understanding."

Starlight Glimmer

Starlight Glimmer is a unicorn who debuted in the season five premiere "The Cutie Map". Initially appearing as a "perfectly pleasant-looking unicorn", Starlight is a sinister figure who wishes to build a "perfectly equal society" by magically removing other ponies' cutie marks because she believed that differing degrees of ability cause disharmony between friends.[73] This stemmed from her anger at her childhood friend Sunburst after he earned his cutie mark before her. She later appears in the season five finale "The Cutie Re-Mark" to take revenge against the Mane Six by traveling to the past and preventing their friendship before it starts by stopping Rainbow Dash from performing the Sonic Rainboom. After realizing the catastrophic changes this causes in the present, Starlight is convinced to change her ways and make new friends. She appears in season six as Twilight's pupil, a role she graduates from in the season seven episode "Celestial Advice". In season eight, she is made a guidance counselor for the School of Friendship. According to Miller, Starlight's design was chosen to parallel her role as a "proto-Twilight character".[73] Her original name during production was "Aurora Glimmer", which was changed due to the Walt Disney Company's trademark of the character name "Aurora".[74]

Young Six

The "Young Six"[75] are six adolescent creatures who attend the School of Friendship run by the Mane Six in season eight. They consist of:

  • Smolder (voiced by Shannon Chan-Kent), a cocky and competitive dragon;
  • Ocellus (voiced by Devyn Dalton), a timid and studious changeling;
  • Silverstream (voiced by Lauren Jackson), Queen Novo's hyperactive niece who can alternate between the forms of a hippogriff and hippocampus;
  • Yona (voiced by Katrina Salisbury), a friendly and clumsy yak;
  • Gallus (voiced by Gavin Langelo), a sarcastic griffon;
  • Sandbar (voiced by Vincent Tong), a laid-back earth pony.

Recurring characters

Most recurring characters established within the fictional universe of the television show are expanded and more prominent in the comics, presented with complex, multi-issue story arcs. The comics provides stories based on the established fictional universe of the television show; the comic faithfully follows the show canon, but the show doesn't technically follow comic canon.[76][77] Though the comic, like the show, is aimed at young children, the writers and artists have consistently taken creative risks, including expanding Sombra's storyline, the Friendship is Magic miniseries, introducing Scootaloo's aunts as a married LGBT couple, and more.[78]

Equestrian characters

Federal government characters

  • Chancellor Neighsay (voiced by Maurice LaMarche) – Neighsay is a male unicorn who serves as Chancellor of Education and is headmaster of the Equestria Education Association (EEA) that strictly regulates the schools in Equestria; he first appeared in "School Daze". He has a speciesism world view and openly disapproves of the Mane Six's School of Friendship for teaching non-pony creatures Equestria's monopolized secrets of "Friendship Magic", which he considers a foolish act that threatens the kingdom's national security. It's not until the events of "School Raze" that he begins to change his mind about non-pony creatures. Ironically, though he was "technically correct" regarding giving knowledge to those who might use it against them, the true danger came not from an external threat, but amongst his own kind: Cozy Glow.
  • The Inkwell family – The Inkwell family have faithfully served Princess Celestia for generations as archivists, historians, accountants, bureaucrats, professors and secretaries; their cutie mark depict an ink pen and/or inkwell.
Professor Inkwell is a female unicorn who first appears in IDW's My Little Pony Micro-Series Issue #8. She is a personal friend of Princess Celestia, senior instructor at the School for Gifted Unicorns, and one of Twilight Sparkle's teachers.[79]
Raven Inkwell is a recurring event planner in "Equestria Games", "Spice Up Your Life" and "Filli Vanilli". The professor's granddaughter, Raven Inkwell (a female unicorn), is amongst Princess Celestia's most trusted aides; any endeavor she oversees meets, and often exceeds, Celestia's expectations.[80][81] As Royal Chief of Staff/Secretary—whereby she organizes the Princesses' daily brief, security and itinerary—she scrutinizes all official documents before they are forwarded to or from them. In "Luna Eclipsed", Raven is among the numerous other ponies that cower in fear of Princess Luna; she dresses as a devil for Nightmare Night. Raven served as an archivist during the Convocation of the Creatures ceremonies;[82] she mentions to Twilight Sparkle that she often has to handle the paperwork aftermath of her and her friends' adventures from "behind the scenes", such as writing up the peace treaty between the ponies and buffalo of Appleloosa.[83] The Gameloft's mobile game describes her as "one of Celestia's ablest aides, she's overseen shindigs from balls to parades."
  • Kibitz[84] is a recurring male unicorn pony who serves as Royal Office of the Curator, Majordomo of Canterlot Castle, and as Princess Celestia's Royal Timekeeper and Scheduling Advisor in My Little Pony Micro-Series Issue #10, Issue #18, Issue #19, Issue #20 and Issue #38. He also appears throughout Reflections, Deviations and Chaos Theory story arcs, again acting as an aide to the two royal sisters. For generations, Kibitz' family have faithfully attended to Celestia's every need as butlers, maids, and valets.[85] Kibitz is a strict but well-meaning aide who is not above using force to keep the Princesses from neglecting their duties: he holds them to fast-paced and unforgiving schedules; he discourages the royal sisters from indulging in bad habits; speaks boldly in the sisters' presence; and often snaps them snap the royal sisters into terrified silence.[86] As an example: upon Luna's return from the moon, he cautions her to be respectful towards her subjects and expresses immense dismay when he catches her using them as chess pieces in the gardens, at which point he returns her indoors by force for a "reeducation on proper Modern etiquette". He maintains the Castle's vast collection of fine art, furniture and decorative objects used to furnish both the public and private rooms. His cutie mark is a pocket watch or a stopwatch. "Kibitz" is a Yiddish verb meaning to offer unwelcome advice.

Ponyville characters

Ponyville is the primary setting of the television series and home of the show's main characters. The town's unique locales were designed to reflect their characters, while the overall style of the town was largely influenced by Pennsylvania Dutch design, steampunk artwork, and European and Bavarian folklore.[87] The town also incorporates pony design elements such as horseshoes, hay bales, and troughs.[88]

  • Mayor Mare (voiced by Cathy Weseluck) – Mayor Mare is an earth pony who serves as the mayor of Ponyville.[89]
  • Cake family – Mr. Carrot Cake (voiced by Brian Drummond) and Mrs. Cup Cake (voiced by Tabitha St. Germain), both earth ponies, are the owners of the Sugarcube Corner bakery. In the season two episode "Baby Cakes", Mrs. Cake gives birth to twin foals, a pegasus colt named Pound (voiced by St. Germain), and a unicorn filly named Pumpkin (voiced by Andrea Libman).[89]
  • Cheerilee (voiced by Nicole Oliver) – Cheerilee is an earth pony based on the "G3" toy of the same name, appearing as a school teacher at the Ponyville Schoolhouse.[89]
  • Snips and Snails (voiced by Lee Tockar and Richard Ian Cox) – Snips and Snails are a pair of dimwitted unicorn colts who create mischief in Ponyville. The short and pudgy Snips is "known for his enthusiasm" while the taller Snails is "slightly more relaxed".[90]
  • Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon (voiced by Chantal Strand and Shannon Chan-Kent) – Diamond Tiara and her cohort Silver Spoon are two wealthy, snobbish earth pony fillies who tease the Cutie Mark Crusaders for not having their cutie marks, calling them "blank flanks".[90] It is shown in "Crusaders of the Lost Mark" that Diamond Tiara's behavior stems from her stress about meeting the expectations of her father Filthy Rich (voiced by Brian Drummond) and mother Spoiled Rich (voiced by Strand). By the episode's end, she and Silver Spoon make peace with the Crusaders.
  • Pipsqueak (voiced by William Lawrenson in "Luna Eclipsed" and Graham Verchere in all other appearances) – Pipsqueak, also named Pip, is a pinto earth pony colt who hails from Trottingham, a location outside of Ponyville.[90] He speaks with a Cockney accent in most of his appearances.
  • Cranky Doodle and Matilda (voiced by Richard Newman and Brenda Crichlow) – Cranky Doodle Donkey is a donkey and "crotchety old grouch" who rejects Pinkie Pie's friendship until she re-unites him with his long-lost "special friend" Matilda, a female donkey.[91] The two marry in the one-hundredth episode "Slice of Life".
  • Bulk Biceps (voiced by Jayson Thiessen/Michael Dobson) – Bulk Biceps is a muscular pegasus stallion with small wings. His design was partially based on John Kricfalusi's animation style.[92] He first appears as a nameless gag character in the season two episode "Hurricane Fluttershy", where his shouts of "Yeah!" (attributed to "pony walla") are recorded by Thiessen.[93] Dobson performs the character in full speaking appearances starting with season four's "Rainbow Falls".
  • Trixie Lulamoon (voiced by Kathleen Barr) – Trixie Lulamoon is a traveling unicorn magician and braggart who exaggerates her magical abilities, calling herself "The Great and Powerful Trixie". She makes appearances in the show and various spin-offs,[94] beginning as a rival to Twilight Sparkle in the season one episode "Boast Busters", but becoming more apologetic after seeing the error of her vengeful actions in season three's "Magic Duel".[95] She makes recurring appearances beginning in season six's "No Second Prances", where she becomes a friend of Starlight Glimmer, another reformed unicorn.

Canterlot characters

Canterlot is the mountainside capital of Equestria, named after the castle Camelot of Arthurian legend. The city is home to the country's upper-class elite, including Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, who reside in the local castle. Canterlot was designed to give the sense of its residents' royalty and nobility.[96]

  • Prince Blueblood (voiced by Vincent Tong) – Blueblood is a unicorn who is Princess Celestia's distant nephew and an object of Rarity's affections in the first season until he proves to be "quite vain" and "a pompous fool".[97][98]
  • Hoity Toity (voiced by Trevor Devall) – Hoity Toity is an earth pony "fashion guru" who gives make-or-break critiques to designers.[99]
  • Photo Finish (voiced by Tabitha St. Germain) – Photo Finish is a famed earth pony fashion photographer who speaks with an Austrian accent.[99]
  • Sapphire Shores (voiced by Rena Anakwe) – Sapphire is an earth pony singer known as the "Pony of Pop", based on the "G3" toy of the same name.[99]
  • Fancy Pants (voiced by Trevor Devall) – Fancy Pants is a good-natured unicorn socialite with the highest position in elite Canterlot society, often appearing with a readily agreeable entourage.[99]
  • Sassy Saddles (voiced by Kelly Sheridan) – Sassy is a unicorn who is the manager of "Canterlot Carousel", Rarity's boutique in Canterlot that opens in the season five episode "Canterlot Boutique". Her design was inspired by Emily Blunt's character Emily Charlton in The Devil Wears Prada.[100]

Cloudsdale characters

Cloudsdale is the home and birthplace of several pegasus characters such as Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. It is depicted as a floating city of clouds where pegasi produce Equestria's clouds, weather and rainbows inside a specialized "weather factory".[101] The city's design was influenced by Greek and Roman architecture, which author Begin states "harks back to the original Olympic Games, [...] a fitting reference for Rainbow Dash."[102]

  • The Wonderbolts – The Wonderbolts are a squad of pegasi that perform "aerial feats of wonder", based on the Blue Angels.[103] They are captained by Spitfire (voiced by Nicole Oliver in the episode "Sonic Rainboom" and Kelly Metzger in all other appearances), a "spirited competitor" and "no-nonsense instructor" at the Wonderbolts' training academy,[104][105] and her second-in-command Soarin (voiced by Matt Hill). Their costumes were designed by Craig McCracken.[106] According to writer Amy Keating Rogers, the name of the Wonderbolts' founder, General Firefly, is a tribute to Faust's online username "fyre-flye", in turn named after the "G1" toy Firefly.[107]
  • Boy Bullies[108] – A trio of pegasus stallions introduced in "Sonic Rainboom" serve as Rainbow Dash's childhood bullies. They consist of Hoops (voiced by Kathleen Barr in "Sonic Rainboom" and Terry Klassen in all other appearances)[109][110] and two nameless ponies nicknamed "Billy/Dumb-Bell" (voiced by Richard Ian Cox in "Sonic Rainboom" and Brian Drummond in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles")[109][110] and the unvoiced "Score".

Las Pegasus characters

  • Flim Flam Brothers (voiced by Samuel Vincent and Scott McNeil) – Flim—and his mustachioed unicorn brother Flam—are former traveling "salesponies" and con artists turn "respectable business people" operating a successful resort and casino in Las Pegasis. They are proficient at "liberating the burdens of wealth" from their patrons; and exploit legal loopholes to avoid getting caught. They love to use song and dance to enthrall ponies into either buying their (usually faulty) wares or patroning questionable "get rich quick" venture schemes.[111] Writer M.A. Larson said he "particularly enjoyed" writing for Flim and Flam, saying that "their energy and optimism infuses the actual writing".[111]

Manehattan characters

  • Coco Pommel (voiced by Cathy Weseluck) – Coco is an earth pony fashion designer who works in Manehattan. She is introduced in the season four episode "Rarity Takes Manehattan" as the assistant to Suri Polomare (voiced by Tabitha St. Germain), Rarity's chief rival in a fashion competition, and quits after observing Suri's unscrupulous tactics for winning. Her name is a reference to fashion designer Coco Chanel; it was later changed to "Miss Pommel" prior to the show's sixth season for "legal reasons".[112] Rarity and Applejack would later helo Coco with a friendship problem. Coco is currently chief manager of Rarity's Manehattan-branch of fashion stores, Rarity For You.

Crystal Empire characters

  • Sunburst (voiced by Ian Hanlin) – Sunburst is a male unicorn pony, Starlight Glimmer's childhood friend, and royal crystaller to Flurry Heart. He first appears as a colt in the past in season 5, "The Cutie Re-Mark", and is a recurring character in the season six, seven and eight. Following the events of "The Crystalling", Sunburst is appointed as Flurry Heart's "crystaller" and magic advisor. In "To Where and Back Again", when Princess Cadance, Shining Armor, and Flurry Heart are captured by the changelings, Sunburst dispatches Thorax to notify Twilight in Ponyville and to help save Equestria. In "Shadow Play", Sunburst comes into possession of Starswirl the Bearded's lost journal, and he plays a role in both releasing the Pillars of Old Equestria from limbo and saving Equestria from the Pony of Shadows. In "The Parent Map", Sunburst and Starlight are called by the Cutie Map to their old hometown of Sire's Hollow, where he is forced to deal with his mother Stellar Flare's overbearing concerns about his future.
  • King Sombra (voiced by Jim Miller) – Sombra is a tyrant unicorn king who first appears in "The Crystal Empire". Described as a "snarling black-hearted monster", he enslaved the crystal ponies in the past until Celestia and Luna banished him.[113] His efforts to reclaim the Crystal Empire in the present are thwarted when the magical Crystal Heart that protects the city destroys him. In the comics, Sombra is depicted as an "umbrum", a shadow pony who embraced his kind's monstrous nature after being rejected by the crystal ponies, only to be restored to life and redeemed by Radiant Hope, his childhood friend. Miller based his performance on the vocals of the Mastodon song "Crystal Skull".[114] Sombra is set to return in season 9.[115]

Everfree Forest characters

  • Zecora (voiced by Brenda Crichlow) – Zecora is a zebra shaman and herbalist who always speaks in rhyme and lives in the Everfree Forest, a "mysterious" forest on the edge of Ponyville.[116] The townsfolk misjudge her as an "evil enchantress" until the Mane Six befriend her in the episode "Bridle Gossip", often turning to her for her wisdom afterwards.[117] Her appearance and mannerisms are influenced by African tribal cultures.[118]
  • King Aspen – King Aspen (leader of the Everfree Forest village of Thicket) harbors a deep resentment toward ponies in The Root of the Problem. Also appears on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #50, on My Little Pony: Friends Forever Issue #38, in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #61, and on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #67. He is a character in Gameloft's mobile game.
  • Tree of Harmony – The Tree of Harmony is a plot driving character and an entity that protects all of Equestria for thousands of years. The Tree grew its power into the Elements of Harmony. Its roots reaches out beyond the Everfree and Twilight's castle is a manifestation of its power. It is a conduit that serves as the primary source of "Friendship Magic" in Equestria. The Tree exhibits both intelligent and sapient characteristics.
Originally planted by the good intentions of the Pillars, the Tree has grown to surpass any of their expectations to hold magical properties and characteristic unlike Equestria has seen before. Starswirl stated the Tree "has a mission to spread friendship" and the Cutie Map is an active attempt of communication. The magic in the Tree stems from the essense of friendship; the Tree is learning, growing, copying what it's experiencing and gaining power the more it's taught. To retain the "Harmony" of its magic, the Tree embrace both the positives and negatives of the elements. Being completely motivated by friendship, The Tree has, ironically, demonstrated a lack of empathy and willingness to spreading this concept to every creature by any means possible: be it though conflict, teaching through extreme measures or enforcing justice upon "friendship disruptors". Whether its intentions are benevolent, or proven otherwise, the Tree of Harmony has permanently changed the dynamic of magic in Equestria.
The Tree of Harmony is rather powerful and ruthless: it effortlessly killed the “Mean Six”—evil clones of the main characters created by Chrysalis—as an act of self-defense when they tried to steal the elements of harmony. Not even Discord wanted to confront the thing, opting instead to use "Plunder Seeds" in an attempt to slowly kill the Tree. Even then, the seeds were only effective once the Tree weakened over a thousand years without the Elements.
In "What Lies Beneath", the Tree's roots have expanded well outside the Everfree Forest, and extends throughout the central capitol region. The Tree's abilities have grown to the point of being able to project a physical form of its consciousness (modelled after Twilight Sparkle); "Like all living things, I change as I grow-" it spoke. The Tree traps the Young Six and proceeds to exploit their phobias as the backdrop for its own personal "friendship lesson"; a method that nearly killed one of them. Having been the primary protection of the nation simply by banishing, the Tree isn’t certain how to teach lessons outside of testing friendships. The Tree admits to the Young Six it is still learning the dichotomy of its power, that it's still trying to figure out the best approach to teaching friendship.
At the climax of "Twilight's Kingdom", the Tree activates the elements and connects them with the rainbow power that came from the Chest of Harmony. The Tree then transports the chest into the ground in Ponyville, which sprouts into Twilight's new castle. The new castle resembles the Tree itself. In "The Cutie Re-Mark", in every altered timeline the Tree and the Map remain constant: Twilight surmising that the Tree's connection to the Cutie Map explains its presence even after the timeline is altered. In "Shadow Play", it is revealed that the Tree of Harmony first grew from a seed planted by the Pillars of Old Equestria and imbued with the elements within them, so that it would protect Equestria from darkness in their absence. In "The Mean 6", Chrysalis and the "evil clones" find the Tree of Harmony, but the Elements destroy the clones when they attempt to use them. In "School Raze", the Tree of Harmony's magic prevents Starlight, the Young Six, and the magic of Equestria from being sucked through Cozy Glow's vortex. In The Journal of the Two Sisters, Starswirl the Bearded shows a much younger Tree to a young Luna and Celestia. The Tree had sprouted three cutie marks identical to what Celestia and Luna received years later. It is implied that Starswirl prophesied that Twilight would receive the third cutie mark. The Tree is used in Gameloft's mobile game. The Tree of Harmony is destroyed in season 9.[119]

Historical characters

The Pillars of Old Equestria are six legendary ponies responsible for creating the Elements of Harmony. At the height of the Age of Heroes, The Pillars have played roles of significant importance in Equestria's history and lore, both by themselves and through their united defending of the nation. With the Tree of Harmony, they strived to ensure future generations have the knowledge and tools needed to defend Equestria in her darkest hours. The Pillars are depicted in the seventh-season finale "Shadow Play" and the accompanying Legends of Magic comic series. The Pillars are brought into the present era after the Mane Six release them from a millennial imprisonment in limbo alongside the Pony of Shadows, forming a tense alliance with them to defeat and ultimately rekindle the Pillars' friendship with the villain. In "School Raze", the Pillars' artifacts were utilized by Cozy Glow to drain all magic from Equestria. As with the Mane 6, each Pillar represents one of six traits that are similar to the Elements of Harmony—Strength (Rockhoof), Healing (Mage Meadowbrook), Hope (Somnambula), Beauty (Mistmane), Bravery (Flash Magnus), and Sorcery (Starswirl the Bearded).

  • Starswirl the Bearded (voiced by Christopher Britton) is a unicorn leader of the Pillars of Old Equestria, historical figures in the series. Originally envisioned as an archetypal wizard character with a prominent beard, similar to Merlin, he was considered by Celestia to be the "wisest and most powerful pony; a wonder that rivaled an Alicorn."[120] As detailed in the series and various tie-in media, Starswirl is a brilliant polymath: with a lifetime spanning over one thousand years, he had extensive knowledge of all creatures, legends, artifacts, and every known spell—all of which manifested in his spellbook artifact. In the season 6 episode, "A Hearth Warming's Tail", Twilight stated that "Starswirl was the leading expert at everything: Transfiguration, Dimensional-calibration, Teleportation..." Many of Canterlot Library's greatest repository of spells such as the "Time Travel Spell" that allowed going a week into the past were his discoveries, and the Royal Archive's numerous legendary devices such as "The Crystal Mirror" that allowed the visiting of countless alternate worlds were his inventions. He banished a great many of Equestria's villains, mentored Equestria's co-founder Clover the Clever and served Celestia and Luna as both a father figure and royal advisor.[48] In The Journal of the Two Sisters, Starswirl grew the Tree of Harmony from a seed; the Tree sprouted three cutie marks similar to the ones that Celestia and Luna received years later, and he prophesied that a future alicorn would receive the third cutie mark. Starswirl's only regrettable failure was his inability to unlock and master the secrets of "Friendship Magic": his spellbook is a key figure in "Magical Mystery Cure", where Twilight is directed by Princess Celestia to finish Starswirl's "unfinished masterpiece" written within, resulting in her ascension as an alicorn princess of Equestria. Upon his return from Limbo, wherein Twilight humbly begged her greatest idol to be her mentor, he responded there was nothing he could teach her that she had not already mastered; for she had surpassed him.
  • Rockhoof (voiced by Matt Cowlrick) is a male earth pony whose clothing is inspired by Celtic culture and speaks in a Scottish Gaelic accent; his first in-show appearance in the season seven episode "Campfire Tales". When every guard abandoned their kind and fled in panic to escape an erupting volcano; Rockhoof did not move. Shovel artifact in hoof, he stayed and fought to protect, lent his strength to make a barrage against the lava and pyroclastic flow. Fast and powerful, many lives were saved—thus Rockhoof succeeded in becoming the unwavering hero he is known for.
  • Mistmane (voiced by Ellen-Ray Hennessy) is a female unicorn pony whose clothing is inspired by Japanese culture. She makes her first physical appearance in My Little Pony: Legends of Magic Issue #3 and her first in-show appearance in the season seven episode "Campfire Tales". Mistmane was kind and generous as an angel: she was gracious, magnificent, and eternally loved by all. An ugly empress, overcome with jealousy, stole the lifeforce from the land in order to achieve eternal youth, and allowed nature to perish. When Mistmane saw the pitiful decaying state of the land, she fought and defeated the empress—sacrificed her own youthful beauty to her flower artifact, as a pure act of kindness—and restored nature to its proper balance.
  • Flash Magnus (voiced by Giles Panton) is a male pegasus pony who wears Roman legionnaire-inspired armor; he makes his first appearance in My Little Pony: Legends of Magic Issue #4 and his first in-show appearance in the season seven episode "Campfire Tales". Thanks to his fortuitous spirit, Magnus saved members of his platoon from a flock of gigantic and terrifying dragons; one needed an army to drive off such beasts, but Magnus knew reinforcements would never arrive in time. Faced with impossible odds, Magnus used both cunning tactics and his shield artifact as he flew through their intense fire and drove them into a trap—thunderclouds, all by himself. After that, the dragons were not a threat anymore. Thus the heroic centurion rescued his companions, and won respect from all.
  • Somnambula (/sɒmˈnæmbjuːlə/, sahm-NAM-byoo-luh) (voiced by Murry Peeters) is a female pegasus who wears Ancient Egyptian-inspired clothing. She is first mentioned in season six's "The Crystalling - Part 2"; she makes her first appearance in the IDW comics' My Little Pony: Legends of Magic Issue #5 and her first in-show appearance in the season seven episode "Daring Done?". Courageous and proud, Somnambula was the only one who dared encounter the sphinx, which kidnapped her prince. For his release, the sphinx gave her a riddle to solve: she found the answer, which enraged the beast. Fearing for her prince's life, Somnambula asked for another challenge: limbs bound, blinded by her own blindfold artifact, she had to cross a dangerous bridge—she smiled, for she remembered the riddle and its answer—without any doubts, Somnambula successfully rescued her prince... there is no place for hesitation, when there's hope.
  • Mage Meadowbrook (voiced by Mariee Devereux) is a female earth pony who wears West African-inspired clothing. She is first mentioned in season five's "The Cutie Map - Part 1"; she makes her first physical appearance in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #58 and her first in-show appearance in the season seven episode "A Health of Information". Regarded as the greatest doctor to have lived, Meadowbrook used her knowledge and skills for the greater good: she cured innumerable diseases, and created many antidotes, vaccines and potions. Meadowbrook is best remembered for having discovered a way to heal a deadly-contagious and incurable pandemic; legends stated that her shamanic plague mask artifact was the reason for her miracles.
  • Stygian (voiced by Bill Newton) – First mentioned in "Castle Mane-ia" as the subject of a ghost story, the Pony of Shadows first appears in "Shadow Play". He is the alter ego of Stygian, a resentful unicorn who is mistaken for a traitor and shunned by his allies, the Pillars of Old Equestria, and bonded with an evil entity that takes the form of a shadowy alicorn-like monster. The Mane Six inadvertently free him alongside the Pillars, thwarting the Pillars' millennium-long effort to contain him in limbo. The Pillars eventually recognize Stygian's innocence and work with the Mane Six to separate him from the shadow creature, which is returned to limbo in the Pillars' place.

Background characters

The show features an extensive cast of over 200 minor characters, also designated as "background ponies",[121] that are used to fill out crowd scenes and serve as visual gags in episodes.[3] Several background ponies have been well received by the show's brony fanbase, who have assigned names and more detailed personalities to them.[3] As a response to fan interest, the series' creative team have given these characters expanded roles in later episodes and media,[121] such as the show's one-hundredth episode "Slice of Life", which presents the characters' daily lives as the episode's central focus.[122]

  • Derpy/Muffins[123][124] (voiced by Tabitha St. Germain) – "Derpy" is the name assigned to a cross-eyed pegasus who makes several background appearances in the show. Originally the subject of an overlooked animator's joke in the first episode, the character was dubbed "Derpy Hooves" (based on the Internet slang word "derp") and characterized as a well-meaning klutz by 4chan board users.[3] The creators have since recognized "Derpy" as the fandom's mascot and included her in scripted easter eggs throughout the show.[3][125] She was addressed by name and given lines during the initial broadcast of the second-season episode "The Last Roundup" as a direct call-out to the fandom. Following complaints from viewers who felt her appearance and actions negatively reflected those of mentally handicapped people, the scene was modified to remove the character's name, alter her voice, and reduce the degree to which her eyes are crossed.[126] Amidst concerns that Derpy would be removed from the series due to these responses, the character was re-introduced in the fourth season as a "surprise" for fans after having been reduced to background cameos in previous episodes.[127] According to Miller, the character was renamed "Muffins" for "legal reasons that I don't understand" prior to her credited appearance in "Slice of Life".[128]
  • DJ Pon-3/Vinyl Scratch – DJ Pon-3 (/pnˈθr/) is a silent unicorn disc jockey rarely seen without headphones and sunglasses, first seen in "Suited for Success".[97] The names "DJ Pon-3" and "Vinyl Scratch" were created by the fan community, with the former being used in official products, such as the "Equestria Girls" music video parodying Katy Perry's song "California Gurls".[129] In derivative fanworks, Jesse Nowack[130] voices DJ Pon-3, and is considered the "official voice" of Vinyl by the fan community.
  • Dr. Hooves/Time Turner (voiced by Peter New) – An earth pony background character, his name was coined as "Doctor Whooves" by fans for his purported resemblance to David Tennant's portrayal of the Tenth Doctor in the British television series Doctor Who.[131] He appears in later episodes as Ponyville's eccentric timekeeper, and he exhibits similarities to his namesake in episodes such as "Slice of Life". He is voiced by various actors besides New, who performs him in his major speaking appearance in "Slice of Life".
  • Lyra Heartstrings and Sweetie Drops/Bon Bon (voiced by Ashleigh Ball and Andrea Libman) – The unicorn Lyra and earth pony Sweetie Drops (also named Bon Bon after the "G1" pony) are two incidental characters who appear together as best friends in several scenes; one such scene in "Slice of Life" outs Sweetie Drops as a disavowed secret agent living in Ponyville under the assumed identity "Bon Bon". They are voiced by various actresses, with Ball voicing Lyra and Libman as Sweetie Drops in "Slice of Life" and the Friendship Games film and shorts.
  • Minuette/Colgate, Twinkleshine, and Lemon Hearts (voiced by Rebecca Husain, Tabitha St. Germain and Ashleigh Ball) – Often appearing separately as incidental characters, these three unicorns are given focus in the series premiere and season five episode "Amending Fences" as Twilight Sparkle's often neglected friends from before her move to Ponyville, while Minuette and Twinkleshine appear alongside Lyra Heartstrings as Princess Cadance's bridesmaids in "A Canterlot Wedding". Among various other actresses, they are voiced by Husain (Minuette), St. Germain (Twinkleshine), and Ball (Lemon Hearts) in "Amending Fences".
  • Octavia Melody (voiced by Kazumi Evans) – Octavia is an earth pony who plays the cello, originally seen in "The Best Night Ever".[97] She is featured in a scene in "Slice of Life" where she rehearses an "electric cello dubstep" number with fellow musician DJ Pon-3 for Cranky and Matilda's wedding; Octavia's portion of the song was performed by Tina Guo.[132]

Other characters

  • Apple family – The Apples are Applejack's extended family of earth ponies that live throughout Equestria. Family members include Braeburn (voiced by Michael Daingerfield), Applejack's cousin from Appleloosa, a "Wild West" town;[68][133] her "high-society" Aunt and Uncle Orange (voiced by Tabitha St. Germain and Brian Drummond) from the "bustling city" of Manehattan;[133] Hayseed Turnip Truck (voiced by Trevor Devall), a yokel-type odd-job worker; Babs Seed (see Cutie Mark Crusaders); Auntie Applesauce and Apple Rose (voiced by St. Germain and Ashleigh Ball in "Apple Family Reunion", and Marcy Goldberg and Shirley Millner in "Grannies Gone Wild"), two older relatives and friends of Granny Smith; Goldie Delicious (voiced by Peter New), an old cat lady who hoards family heirlooms; and Grand Pear (voiced by William Shatner), Applejack's maternal grandfather and patriarch of the rival Pear family, from Vanhoover. A possible distant relationship between the Apple and Pie families is uncovered in the season four episode "Pinkie Apple Pie", but is never confirmed.
  • Pie family – The Pies are Pinkie Pie's family who live on a rock farm outside of Ponyville. They are depicted as a clan of dour, drably colored earth ponies in contrast to Pinkie's bright appearance and personality.[56] They consist of Pinkie's father Igneous Rock (voiced by Terry Klassen in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" and Peter New in "Hearthbreakers"), mother Cloudy Quartz (voiced by Andrea Libman in "Hearthbreakers"), and three sisters (all voiced by Ingrid Nilson): Limestone Pie, the surly oldest sister; Marble Pie, Pinkie's withdrawn, younger twin; and Maud Pie, an older sister who rarely expresses emotion and is obsessed with rocks, introduced in the show's fourth season.
  • Daring Do (voiced by Chiara Zanni) – Daring Do is a pegasus and main character of the fictional Daring Do adventure novel series parodying Indiana Jones.[134] Author Begin describes her as "essentially a different-colored Rainbow Dash in a hat".[135] In the season four episode "Daring Don't", the books' author A.K. Yearling (a parody of J.K. Rowling)[136] is discovered to be Daring Do herself, who writes her books after her real adventures, such as her encounters with the Aztec mythology-inspired villain Ahuizotl (voiced by Brian Drummond) and criminal pony Dr. Caballeron (voiced by Michael Dobson).[137]

Non-Equestrian characters

Tartarus characters

Tartarus is a supermax penal colony administered by prison warden Cerberus, a monsterous multi-headed dog. Anyone may enter Tartarus, but no one can leave; "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" are inscribed on its entrance doors. Tartarus provides long-term, segregated housing for both Equestria's and allied nations' extraordinarily dangerous creatures classified as the highest security risks—the world's "worst of the worst" non-reformable villains, criminals and terrorists—who pose an extremely serious threat to both national and global security; for these reasons, its exact location is classified.

  • Lord Tirek (voiced by Mark Acheson) – Tirek is a red-skinned, bull-like centaur who first appears in "Twilight's Kingdom". Based on the character of the same name from the animated My Little Pony special Rescue at Midnight Castle, he is depicted in Friendship Is Magic as an ancient diabolical tyrant who escapes from the prison realm of Tartarus, manipulating Discord to help him steal magic from Equestria's ponies. The Mane Six eventually defeat and reimprison him with "Rainbow Power", a powerful magic acquired from the Tree of Harmony. He also appears in "School Raze", where he aids Cozy Glow in her plan to drain Equestria of its magic. The plan fails, and Cozy Glow is locked up in Tartarus with him. Character designer Phil Caesar strove to make Tirek appear as intimidating as he could without being deemed "too scary" for younger audiences, giving him design elements such as a black upper body to "tone down the intensity".[138]
  • Cozy Glow (voiced by Sunni Westbrook) – Cozy Glow is a female school-age pegasus pony and former student of Twilight Sparkle's School of Friendship who first appears in "Marks for Effort", and later reveals her villainous nature in "School Raze", where she steals all of Equestria's magic in a plan to rule it. She is ultimately foiled by the Young Six with the aid of the Tree of Harmony, leading to her imprisonment in Tartarus next to Tirek, her partner in crime.

Changeling characters

  • Queen Chrysalis (voiced by Kathleen Barr) – Chrysalis is the former leader and queen of the changelings, a race of "grotesque shape-shifting ponies" that feed off of ponies' love for each other.[113] She first appears in "A Canterlot Wedding", where she leads an invasion of Canterlot by impersonating Princess Cadance to control her fiancé Shining Armor, only for the changelings to be driven off by the couple's combined magic. She also appears in "To Where and Back Again", where she is deposed by Thorax. Chrysalis makes additional appearances in the comic series, seeking revenge against the ponies responsible for her defeat from the television series. Character designer Rebecca Dart drew Chrysalis and the other changelings with an insect-like design after reading the character's name in the script, drawing inspiration from manga artists Junko Mizuno and Hideshi Hino.[139]
  • Thorax (voiced by Kyle Rideout) – Thorax is the new leader and king of the changelings succeeding Chrysalis. He first appears in "The Times They Are a Changeling", where he befriends Spike after explaining that he is different than other changelings and doesn't want to do harm. He later appears in "To Where and Back Again" where he helps depose Chrysalis after appealing to his fellow changelings. He then succeeds her as king of the changelings. These events served to softened Twilight's previously hardline views and negative opinions on changelings.

Griffonstone characters

  • Gilda (voiced by Maryke Hendrikse) – Gilda is a female griffon featured in the season one episode "Griffon the Brush Off". She is introduced as a childhood friend of Rainbow Dash, who later ends their friendship when Gilda tries to assert herself over Rainbow Dash's pony friends by bullying them.[95] The two later reconnect in the season five episode "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone".

Yakyakistan characters

  • Prince Rutherford (voiced by Garry Chalk) – Prince Rutherford is a male yak and the prince of the kingdom of Yakyakistan. He first appears in the season five episode "Party Pooped" as part of a Yakyakistani delegation to Equestria. In "Not Asking for Trouble", Prince Rutherford invites Pinkie Pie to the Yakyakistan holiday of Yickslurbertfest. He appears in "School Daze" at Twilight's School of Friendship representing the yak student Yona. In My Little Pony: Best Gift Ever, Prince Rutherford appears celebrating the yak holiday of Snilldar Fest, and is approached by Pinkie Pie for help finding a gift. He admits that the "Gift Givers of the Grove" surpass the yaks in this regard, and gives Pinkie a map to their home.

Dragon Lands characters

Dragons are a species of apex predators that appear throughout Equestria and the known world. They are generally depicted as nomadic, selfish and reclusive creatures; their level of greed determines their physical size, power, lifespan, and territory.[140] Many dragons accumulate wealth through the use of force, threats, or coercion to intimidate or aggressively dominate other "lesser species". Due to their egotistical nature, dragons do not have any formal "borders or government" by traditional definitions, functioning rather like adhocracy. Under dragon laws and customs, the term "Dragon Lands" is whenever or wherever a dragon chooses to roost its young or hoard its treasures determines its sovereign territories for centuries; this naturally creates conflict with any local pre-established population centers, which must somehow "evict" the dragon without provoking it. Being kraterocratic however, all dragons acknowledge (and adhere out of fear) to arbitration by the Dragon Lord—the sole monarch and representative of the "Dragon Lands"—who is traditionally the oldest, strongest and greediest despot. Begin describes the dragon designs used in the show as "traditional", while finding that their "exaggerated noses and large heads resting on exceptionally skinny necks" is evocative of the show's humor.[141]

  • Dragon Lord Ember (voiced by Ali Milner) – Dragon Lord Ember, the daughter of Torch, is a curiosity among dragonkind: she is the youngest (and "least greediest") dragon to obtain the title of Dragon Lord in Equestrian history. Unlike her father, Ember is diplomatic and compassionate, with genuine concern for the welfare of her people. Ember desires to learn more about the ways of friendship, and agrees to share letters with Twilight regarding the ways of dragons. Her lack of knowledge in Equestrian customs leads to some awkward moments. Ember develops a deep respect for the four alicorn princesses, as she considers their power to rival that of elder dragons. Honoring a promise she made towards Spike, she does everything within her power to protect the nation of Equestria and its citizens from harm, even as she herself publicly behaves aggressively towards its citizens. When Twilight disapproved, she explained that dragon culture respects power; as Dragon Lord, if the people do not fear her, then the dragons will not obey her, which risks a coup d'état.
Much like with changelings, ever since she met Ember, Twilight has softened her bias views on dragons, and regularly corresponds with her to better understand and learn how to raise Spike as a proper dragon, and not as a pony. Likewise, Ember has softened towards Spike, displaying a more amiable and caring side when interacting with him. In "Triple Threat", Ember helps Thorax to be more assertive toward his subjects, and he helps her to express her feelings in a calm manner; they both take part in a diplomatic ceremony to unite dragons and changelings in friendship. Ember appears in "School Daze" at Twilight's School of Friendship representing the dragon student Smolder. Ember appears in the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #55-56 story arc Wings Over Yakyakistan, in which Yakyakistan comes under threat from dragons, led by Ember; war was averted when Twilight brokered a peace accord. Ember attends the Convocation of Creatures, the largest assembly of delegates and world leaders in Equestria's history, as representative of the Dragon Lands, where she enlists Twilight's help since "Dragons don't do diplomacy. We're not big on crowds or speeches or all that stuff, you know? I am way out of my element here".[142]
  • Torch (voiced by Matt Cowlrick) – Torch is a gargantuan elder dragon and former Dragon Lord, who was dethroned and is succeeded by his daughter, Ember, in the season six episode "Gauntlet of Fire". Currently the oldest, largest (and "greediest") dragon in existence, Torch used his ill gotten wealth, immense size and centuries of experience to extort and intimidate his way up the dragonkind hierarchy to become Dragon Lord.
  • Garble (voiced by Vincent Tong) – Garble is a teenage dragon that leads a gang of "bad-natured bullies" and becomes an adversary of Spike.[143]

Reception

The characters of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic have received praise, and are cited as one of the reasons the series' older fans, called "bronies", became attracted to the show.[144] In his review of the show, Todd VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club complimented the characters' stylized appearance and defined personalities, while favorably noting that "the show uses them well to come up with fun stories and bounce solid jokes off of each other."[54] Emily Ashby of Common Sense Media, an organization focusing on the parenting aspect of children's media, felt the characters posed a positive influence on children with themes tolerance and respect for one another, and that they "don't let their diverse personalities keep them from forging relationships." However, she advised parents to be wary of the "influence the characters might have on their kids' desires, since it's rooted in a well-known product line of books, toys, and just about everything in between."[145] Los Angeles Times critic Robert Lloyd praised the show's diverse female characterization, but noted the smaller male cast by comparison, calling them "largely beside the point".[146]

Kathleen Richter of Ms. was dismissive of the characters in her critique of the show in comparison to other girls' shows, which she considered "so sexist and racist and heteronormative". For example, she suggested that the character of Rainbow Dash was used to promote the stereotype that "all feminists are angry, tomboyish lesbians." She also considered that the only darker-colored ponies shown at the time were in positions of servitude towards the "white pony overlord".[147] Lauren Faust responded to these claims by stating that while Rainbow Dash was a tomboy, "nowhere in the show is her sexual orientation ever referenced" and "assuming [tomboys] are lesbians is extremely unfair to both straight and lesbian tomboys", and further stating that "Color has never, ever been depicted as a race indicator for the ponies."[2] The portrayal of the character Derpy in the second-season episode "The Last Roundup" received a negative response from some viewers, who felt her crossed eyes and klutzy mannerisms were insulting to mentally handicapped persons;[126] Hasbro's subsequent modifications to the scene to reduce such character traits were also received poorly.[126]

Notes

  1. ^ Libman provides Pinkie Pie's singing voice for some songs.

References

General
  • Snider, Brandon T. (2013). The Elements of Harmony: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The Official Guidebook. New York: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-24754-2.
  • Begin, Mary Jane (2015). My Little Pony: The Art of Equestria. New York: Abrams. ISBN 978-1-4197-1577-8.
Specific
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External links