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Canterlot

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For the episodes, see A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1 and A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2.
Canterlot S1E26
Mountainside spires in Canterlot, from The Best Night Ever.
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Canterlot is a city first featured in the series' premiere episode as the residence of Twilight Sparkle, where she studies under Princess Celestia. The city holds the royal castle, making it the capital of Equestria. It is also the venue of important cultural events, like the Grand Galloping GalaRarity describes it as a glamorous and sophisticated city. The name of the city is a portmanteau of "canter," a three-beat horse gait, and Camelot, a British kingdom from Arthurian legends.


Development

According to Lauren Faust, Canterlot was originally called "Canterbury", after a historical English city, and the name "Canterlot" was suggested by her husband Craig McCracken.[1]

Depiction in the series

A Canterlot street S2E9
A street in Canterlot.
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Lauren Faust's inspiration for Canterlot, with its castle carved into the side of the mountain, was Minas Tirith from The Lord of the Rings.[2] The city features ivory towers with golden spires, and many waterfalls and rivers running through it.

The distance between Canterlot and Ponyville is traveled by Twilight Sparkle in a short amount of time, riding in a flying chariot driven by the Pegasus royal guards in Friendship is Magic, part 1. Princess Celestia travels much the same way in Swarm of the Century, and in Sweet and Elite, Rarity's friends manage to get from Ponyville to Canterlot within a day. The spires of Canterlot, protruding from the mountain, have been shown to be visible from Ponyville.

Many high-society ponies in the show hail from Canterlot, including Photo Finish, Hoity Toity, Sapphire Shores, and Fancy Pants. The episode Sweet and Elite takes place in Canterlot, which features coffee shops, a high-class restaurant, a racetrack, a theater, and an art gallery. In that episode, the vast majority of the residents of Canterlot are unicorns. The city has a train station, first seen in Hearth's Warming Eve. Various events such as the Equestria Rodeo Competition and National Dessert Competition are held in Canterlot.

Canterlot Entrance S2E11
Canterlot in winter.
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The city is also home to Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, which is featured in a flashback in The Cutie Mark Chronicles, where Twilight Sparkle began her studies under Princess Celestia.

Canterlot hosts the Grand Galloping Gala, a formal royal ball held in the castle itself and attended by only select ponies, which is mentioned throughout Season 1 in The Ticket Master, Suited For Success, Sweet and Elite, and featured in the episode The Best Night Ever. Another high society event is the Canterlot Garden Party, held on the castle grounds, a very exclusive event that Rarity says is second to only the Grand Galloping Gala; it is portrayed in Sweet and Elite. There is also a palace labyrinth area, which holds several statues depicting ponies in regal capes, including the statue depicting Discord, which doubles as the stone imprisonment for the draconequus. There are libraries and a Star Swirl the Bearded wing of the archives, along with Canterlot Tower, where the Elements of Harmony used to be located when not in use prior to Keep Calm and Flutter On.

The city features prominently in A Canterlot Wedding, when Twilight Sparkle's brother, Shining Armor, and Princess Cadance get married. It is revealed that there is an extensive cave system underneath Canterlot that was mined for its precious gems by greedy unicorns until it was exhausted, sealed up, and forgotten, according to Queen Chrysalis. In this episode, the city itself is surrounded by a protective force field by Shining Armor to keep out an unknown threat later turning out to be changelings who smash through the field and attack the city.

Mysterious Pony S3E5
An alley in the rain.
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At the beginning of Magic Duel, Trixie gallops through an alley and enters a curio shop, where she persuades the shopkeeper to sell her the Alicorn Amulet for a sack of bits. This location is unnamed in the show, but the file name of a piece of production art posted online prior to the episode's airing identifies it as Canterlot,[3] and one of the show's layout artists who worked on the episode recalls the script identifying it as Canterlot.[4]

Canterlot is the location of the Princess Coronation in Magical Mystery Cure to coronate Twilight Sparkle as the newest Alicorn princess, taking place in the same hall as Shining Armor and Princess Cadance's wedding.

In the season four premiere, Canterlot prepares for and holds its Summer Sun Celebration, indicated to be the first such event since the one happening in Ponyville in the season one premiere.

Depiction in Equestria Girls

In My Little Pony Equestria Girls, Twilight attends a school called Canterlot High. Princess Celestia's human counterpart is the school principal, and Princess Luna's human counterpart is the vice principal. 

Depiction in the comics

A school called Canterlot Academy is introduced in the IDW comics story arc Neigh Anything. It appears to be the Equestrian counterpart of Canterlot High, as it shares the human high school's Fall Formal event.

Other depictions

Canterlot is featured in the online Flash game Castle Creator.

A poster which features an official map of Equestria was released on August 3, 2012.[5] This places Canterlot roughly in the center of Equestria and the hub of the train network, which goes under the mountain. Two mountain ranges are placed next to it, the Unicorn Range to the west and the Foal Mountains to the east.

The comic book My Little Pony: The Magic Begins retells the events of Friendship is Magic, part 1 and Friendship is Magic, part 2. Twilight Sparkle is shown to live in a dormitory "high atop the Centerlot[sic] observatory" before she moves to Ponyville.

Gallery

Canterlot outer view S2E9
Canterlot image gallery

References

  1. Lauren Faust via Twitter (2013-03-15). Retrieved on 2013 March 15.
  2. http://comments.deviantart.com/4/1603670/1753756221
  3. canterlot alley.jpg. Retrieved on 2012 December 4.
  4. In Topic: S3, Ep 5 Magic Duel. The Allspark Forums (2012-12-01). Retrieved on 2012 December 2. Archived locally.
  5. Official Map and Season 2 Cast Picture Show Up. Equestria Daily (2012-08-03). Retrieved on 2012 August 3.
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