Chapter 3, Part 1: The Pilot Double Episode – Friendship is Magic

Chapter 3, Part 1:
Episodes Ahoy!

Summaries of every episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (15)

starting with the pilot double episode

(Please note that any images used in this post are by the artists listed. They are placeholders and I hope to have art expressly drawn for this book to replace these images.  If you are interested in submitting something, please see this post.)

SPOILER WARNING! THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS CONTENT THAT IS IN THE SERIES.
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED, WATCH THE SERIES NOW!

Bronies love watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  It is what inspired us all. There were 26 episodes in total for season 1, and thus far season 2 has had 15 episodes. As with every film/television fandom, the amount of times that fans watch each episode greatly varies.  Some Bronies have only watched each episode once. Some may not have seen them all.  Some will have seen every episode multiple times, and may be able to quote lines from the episodes.  There is no unspoken rule about what a brony needs to watch, or how much, only that you enjoy watching the show when you do watch it.

If you have seen the show, feel free to skip to Chapter 5.   If you don’t want to be spoiled, please watch all the episodes before continuing.   Conversely, if you don’t have the time to watch the episodes and don’t want to be spoiled, you can just skip this chapter and the next, and continue on to my analysis of the fandom.  However, without the basic understanding of the plots and characters that these two chapters will give, much of the rest of the book may lack context.

If you are interested in watching the show, no episode is better than any other to begin the My Little Pony experience.  Ask a Brony which episode to start with and the answer will vary from person to person, depending on their tastes and what they think you might like. In addition, the timeline for the episodes is not in any particular order, so there will be little continuity lost if you start in the middle of a season.

SPOILER WARNING! THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS CONTENT THAT IS IN THE SERIES.
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED, WATCH THE SERIES NOW!

That being said, the following are the episodes of MLP:FIM in release order.

[art request of the elements of harmony book, or a symbol of the beginning of the series]

The opening text, by turtlelover73

The opening text, by turtlelover73

THE BEGINNING
Episodes 1-2 are a two part miniseries, entitled “Friendship is Magic”.  The show begins with a storybook description of how the land of Equestria was once ruled by two sisters, Celestia and Luna.  They lived in harmony for many a year, until one day the younger sister, Luna, refused to lower the moon.  She had become a ‘wicked mare of darkness’ who was called, fittingly, Night Mare Moon (NMM).  She threatened to shroud Equestria in eternal night, but Celestia would not allow it.  Instead, Celestia used her magic to call upon the Elements of Harmony, a magical set of six gemstones, which were used to banish Night Mare Moon to the moon.

[Art request of the sisters quarreling, or NMM’s banishment]

Placeholder art by ryuukiba

Placeholder art by José Carlos Cortés (RyuuKiba)

Cut to modern times: Twilight Sparkle reads of this tale, and then realizes that she read in another book that Night Mare Moon was meant to be freed on the longest day of the thousandth year of her imprisonment, which happened to be the next day!  She frantically tried to tell her teacher, the very same Princess Celestia, that impending doom was about to fall upon them, but the Princess ignored her plight and instead told Twilight to go make sure Ponyville had properly prepared for Celestia’s big Party – the Summer Sun Celebration.  And while Twilight was at it, Celestia asked her to try and make some friends, as the princess thinks Twilight Sparkle has spent far too much time with her books.(16)

Twilight then goes about meeting the ponies of Ponyville. This establishes the basic traits of her five friends:
·         Pinky Pie acts crazy
·         Applejack warmly welcomed Twilight, and gave her a family feast
·         Rainbow Dash, while showing off, crashed into Twilight Sparkle and then washed her clean with a raincloud
·         Rarity fixed Twilight’s now tangled hair (while Spike falls in love with Rarity)
·         Fluttershy was teaching the birds a song for the Princess, but couldn’t talk to Twilight.  However, she was extremely interested in Spike (having never seen a baby dragon before), and wouldn’t stop pestering them with questions about the life of a dragon.

Pinkie Pie then came back and pranked Twilight Sparkle, causing Twilight to get to wit’s end and utter “All the ponies in this town are CRAZY!” .

The following morning everypony gathered for the Celebration.  In typical dramatic form, fanfare was played to welcome in the sun and Princess Celestia.  But she did not appear!  Instead, Night Mare Moon appeared out of dark magic fog, and she claimed ownership of the land and declared eternal night over the realm.

Episode 2 begins with Night Mare Moon vanishing into her secret lair.  Twilight Sparkle feared that Night Mare Moon kidnapped the Princess, and  thusly scoured her books for information about the Elements of Harmony.  The other five protagonist ponies entered in (each with their own excuse).  Pinkie Pie finds the Elements of Harmony book that Twilight was desperately searching for.   Within the book, the text stated  that the Elements of Harmony are hidden in the ‘ancient castle of the royal pony sisters in the Everfree Forest’.  Five of the Elements are named: kindness, laughter, generosity, honesty and loyalty.  The sixth was unknown to the author.

Armed with this knowledge, off the party goes, ready to retrieve the elements and save Ponyville.  However, obstacles try to stop them, orchestrated by Night Mare Moon:
·         The ground beneath them falls away, but Applejack caught Twilight as she is about to fall.  Applejack then told Twilight to trust her and lets Twilight go.  The Pegasus ponies catch her and they flew to safety.
·         An evil Manticore(17) appeared, and as much as Rarity tried her Kung Fu on the beast, it was Fluttershy who saw the beast was afflicted by a thorn in its paw, in old Aesop fashion.  She pulled it out and the Manticore lovingly thanked Fluttershy.
·         The forest began to have evil faces, all of which grinned eerily out of the blackness.  Pinkie Pie made faces back at the trees and breaks into song.  Twilight was incredulous(18). This song by Pinkie explained that if you just “giggle at the ghostlies”, then you’ll never be scared again.
·         When the group approached a river, a sea serpent appeared.  He was purple and sported a honey-orange slick of hair and very long and curly moustaches, but one had been chopped off.  He flamboyantly bemoaned the loss of his beautiful  ‘moo-stache’, flailing about in grief.  Rarity took pity on his horrid look and plucked a scale from him, with which she cut off her curly tail and used her magic to attach it to the serpent.  He became giddy with glee and allowed the ponies to cross the river on his back.(19)
·         Rainbow Dash boastingly claimed that a chasm with a fallen rope bridge would not give them any troubles, and that she can fix it in no time.  She swooped down and retrieved the rope, then flew it to the other side to anchor it.  The mysterious fog appeared again and from the sky swooped down three Shadowbolts.  They bragged that they were better than Dash’s idols, the Wonderbolts and they want her to lead their team.  Though Dash had to think about the offer, she does tie the bridge and return victorious to her friends.

[art requested of the manticore, the trees, Stephen Magnet and the shadowbolts]

The party finally arrived at the castle ruins, and conveniently there were pedestals with stone orbs atop them.  Enter plot pun: the prophesy said that when the five elements are present, a spark would cause the sixth to be revealed.  And Spark is… well it’s not her middle name, but Twilight Sparkle she is, and they discovered that magic is the sixth element.  This caused Night Mare Moon to appear and battle Twilight.  Night Mare Moon crushed the orbs and then relaxed, believing that nopony could defeat her.

Yet Twilight called her friends for backup, and together they told the evil mare that the elements aren’t in the orbs, they are in the ponies themselves.  There is then an anime-style transformation scene, where they all glow and float as their element magic shines through.  Twilight Sparkle wears a tiara, and the five of her friends wear collars that shine with the energy of their magic of Friendship and Harmony.  Their combined power easily destroys Night Mare Moon.

[art requested of the elements, or the ponies using the elements]

Placeholder art by snowflamepony

Placeholder art by snowflamepony

In her place, there stood a small Princess Luna, now back to her normal self, along with Princess Celestia.  They vowed to live together in love and forgive their behavior in the past.  The happy ending then plays out.
As stated earlier, Twilight now feels the bond of friendship.  She was upset about returning to Canterlot, so Celestia instructed her to stay in Ponyville and study more about the magic of Friendship.

Thus ended the first miniseries, encompassing the first two episodes of the series.

~

In every episode, there are references and shout-outs to popular culture shows, followings, and memes.  These add another layer of enjoyment to the show for adults who can recognize and recall exactly these bits.   Additionally, based on each person’s experience, different references are discovered within the show.  I will list a few for each episode, but this list is by no means inclusive. This list will be under ‘Meme Maker’, and will describe memes that were created from the episode and have been referenced virally since its inception.  The ‘Pop culture references’ list will describe other popular shows and habits that were referenced by MLP: FIM.  For the first episode, these bonus features are as follows:

Meme Maker:
·         This started it all.
·         An odd-eyed pony showed up in the background and was nicknamed Derpy Hooves.  She is a mascot of all things silly, as well as promoting muffins and delivering letters.
·         The sea serpent became another famous background character, and was one of the (if not the)  first non-pony characters that the fandom embraced.  He is called Steven Magnet, as an erroneous YouTube Transcribe Audio subtitle for his scene had listed that name under his picture.  His personality and flamboyant nature grew quite popular on 4chan and other early fan sites.
Pop culture references:
·         An image of Luna and Celestia is similar to the Chinese yin-yang symbol.
·         Night Mare Moon’s colors and speech reflect that of Maleficent from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.
·         The power of the elements of harmony is similar to the Rainbow of Light used in the original My Little Pony pilot episode, Rescue at Midnight Castle.

Coming tomorrow: Chapter 3 Part 2 – summaries of the first half of the first season!

Footnotes

(15) Through editing date 02/02/2012

(16) As a side note, this begins to shape the character of Celestia. She is often called Trollestia (troll + Celestia) because of her goading, trollsh nature.  She sends Twilight into trouble and ignores problems until Twilight has to solve them herself.  However, the show somehow still manages to show that Celestia is a mentor as well as a wise and powerful unicorn.  It’s a very interesting dichotomy.

(17)   In this case, the mythical beast has the body and head of a lion and the sting of a scorpion.

(18) This introduces the aspect of songs to the show, and many songs do spontaneously burst from Pinkie Pie’s mouth.

(19) As a side note, this is one of the first non-pony characters that the fandom embraced.  He is called Steven Magnet, as that is what the YouTube Transcribe Audio subtitle for his scene said.  His personality and flamboyant nature grew quite popular on 4chan and other early fan sites.

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About isaunter

I'm 30 years old and I have been living in the District for six years now. I love all things geek: from tabletop to video gaming; from computers to manga. I am a brony. I wear glasses, have short hair and sport a dragon tattoo (gasp!). I enjoy wearing tall socks and short skirts, and tend to dress more goth and Lolita than chic. It's just a fun thing.

Posted on February 4, 2012, in Chapters and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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