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Equestria

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Map of Equestria April 2013

A map of Equestria designed for the series guidebook and later posted (with the EW watermark) by the official European Spanish My Little Pony Facebook page[1]

Equestria is the main setting of the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic franchise. Equestria is inhabited by magical ponies and other talking creatures, such as griffons and dragons. Other animals and creatures also live in Equestria. Equestria is called a kingdom on the first episode of the show and in other media, though it does cotain other "kingdoms" within it such as the Crystal Empire or Crystal Kingdom; the show and other media take place in many locations and their exact affiliation with Equestria is not explored. Equestria is co-ruled by Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, who reside in a palace in the city of Canterlot. The name "Equestria" is derived from the word "equestrian" (which means of or related to horseback riding), which stems from equus, the Latin word for "horse."


Production

Lauren Faust wrote in a comment on her DeviantArt page that the Everfree Forest is west of Ponyville, Sweet Apple Acres is southwest, and Fluttershy's cottage and meadow are located north of the farm, presumably between Ponyville and the forest. Canterlot is northeast of Ponyville. However, in subsequent interviews, both Faust and Jayson Thiessen mentioned that the geography and continuity of the show are loosely defined and may change as necessary,[2] and a layout artist stated on December 10, 2011 that the production team had no official map of Equestria at their disposal.[3]

The English word most similar to the placename Equestria is equestrian, "of or relating to horse riding", from the Latin equester, "belonging to a horseman", from equus, "horse", which is also the origin of equine. In this sense, "Equestria" would translate as "land of the horsemen" instead of "land of horses."

Depiction in the series

History

The founding of Equestria

Walking to the grand summit S2E11

The three tribes trotting to the summit

The story of the founding of Equestria is relayed in software, and part of this explanation is covered in Hearth's Warming Eve.

The episode's most prominent feature is a play about the founding of Equestria, narrated by Spike. He explains: "each of the three tribes, the Pegasi, the unicorns, and the Earth ponies, cared not for what befell the other tribes, but only for their own welfare. In those troubled times, as now, the Pegasi were the stewards of the weather, but they demanded something in return: food that could only be grown by the Earth Ponies. The unicorns demanded the same, in return for magically bringing forth day and night. And so, mistrust between the tribes festered, until one fateful day, it came to a boil. And what prompted the ponies to clash? It was a mysterious blizzard that overtook the land, and toppled the tribes' precarious peace."

Equestriaflag S2E11

The Equestrian flag

The blizzard led to famine, at which the three tribal leaders eventually agreed to meet for a summit and decide what to do about the snow, but this only devolved into arguing and blaming each other. The leaders of each tribe then decided to journey to a new land. They all arrived at the same place, and soon began fighting over it, and the blizzard quickly followed. "And so the paradise that the ponies had found was soon lost, buried beneath a thick blanket of snow and hard feelings." Eventually the leaders' assistants find out windigos are causing the storm by feeding off of hate. The assistants' friendship creates the magical Fire of Friendship which does away with the windigos and the snowstorm.

The three leaders then decide to join forces and found a country shared by all three tribes, and name it Equestria.

Discord's reign of chaos

Celestia and Luna depicted on stain glass defeating Discord S02E01

Stained-glass art of Celestia and Luna defeating Discord

The series starts off with a prologue with narration about the princesses ruling Equestria, raising the sun and moon and maintaining harmony. Only in The Return of Harmony Part 1 is the time before their rule mentioned in the series. Princess Celestia tells Twilight Sparkle and her friends that before Princess Luna and herself stood up to Discord, he ruled over Equestria, keeping it in a state of unrest and unhappiness. Celestia goes on to describe that, seeing how miserable life was for Earth ponies, unicorns, and Pegasi alike, she and Luna discovered the Elements of Harmony and rose up against Discord, turning him to stone. Discord's spell is later broken because, as Celestia explains, "Luna and [herself] are no longer connected to the elements", so Twilight and her friends use the Elements of Harmony to encase Discord in stone again.

The regal Alicorn sisters

The princesses are introduced in the prologue of the first episode, depicted in a series of medieval-like drawings with a narration that says "two regal sisters who ruled together and created harmony for all the land", and that "the eldest used her unicorn powers to raise the sun at dawn. The younger brought out the moon to begin the night."

Nightmare Moon

Nightmare Moon depicted in legend S1E1

Nightmare Moon, from the prologue

The narration continues: their subjects, the ponies, played in the day but "shunned" the night and slept through it, which made the younger unicorn grow bitter, eventually refusing to lower the moon to make way for the dawn. Her bitterness transformed her into a "wicked mare of darkness", Nightmare Moon. The elder sister reluctantly harnessed the power of the Elements of Harmony and banished her in the moon, taking responsibility for both sun and moon, maintaining harmony in Equestria. The events of the first and second episodes take place a thousand years after Nightmare Moon's imprisonment, upon which she is freed, but defeated again through the magic of the Elements of Harmony, only this time she is transformed back to her former self and returns to rule Equestria with her sister. In Testing Testing 1, 2, 3, these events are referred to as "The Great Celestia/Luna Rift"

Locations

Main article: locations

Equestria features many locations such as Ponyville, Canterlot, the Crystal Empire, and many more. These locations' exact affiliation with Equestria is usually not explored.

Other depictions

Merchandise

Canterlot is the focus of a toy and merchandise line of the same name. This toy line has a logo featuring Twilight Sparkle and a description reading "CANTERLOT is the royal city in EQUESTRIA and home to PRINCESS CELESTIA. The princess lives in a magical castle. Every pony dreams of visiting CANTERLOT!"

The Crystal Empire is the focus of a toy line of the same name. This toy line has a logo featuring Princess Cadance and a description reading, "Welcome to the CRYSTAL EMPIRE, a magical place full of hidden secrets! The ponies shine and sparkle here!" Crystal Fashion Style Princess Cadance & Shining Armor, one of the toy sets included in this toy line, has an individual description reading, "PRINCESS CADANCE and SHINING ARMOR share a big responsibility! They lead the CRYSTAL EMPIRE together!"[4] The Crystal Princess Ponies Collection, another one of the toy sets included in this toy line, has an individual description reading, "PRINCESS CELESTIA and PRINCESS LUNA believe that PRINCESS CADANCE will bring happiness to the CRYSTAL EMPIRE!"[5] Fluttershy, a single toy to be included in this toy line, has an individual description reading, "FLUTTERSHY has a tea party to make friends with the CRYSTAL EMPIRE ponies—they seem just as shy as her!"[6]

The online store WeLoveFine sells or formerly sold several pieces of officially-licensed fan-designed merchandise that mention Appleloosa, Canterlot, Cloudsdale, Fillydelphia (sometimes spelled as Phillydelphia), Foaledo, Hoofington, Manechester, Manehattan, Ponyville, San Franciscolt, Seaddle, Trottingham and Whinneapolis.

Official map and other places

Map of Equestria April 2013

April 2013 version of the map

A poster which features an official map of Equestria was released on August 3, 2012.[7] According to the map, Equestria bears a very similar resemblance to North America, having most of the cities like Manehattan and Vanhoover located in the same places as their real-life counterparts.

The following places are present on the official map of Equestria but never featured in any other franchise's medium. From top left – North-West – to bottom right – South-East.

The map is shown in Pinkie Pride during Cheese Sandwich's flashback in Cheese Confesses. A portion of the northwestern area of the map is also shown during Daring Don't. The full map appears again near the end of Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2, when the Rainbow Power is first used.

Promotional material

A New York Times ad mentions that the ponies who attend the Canterlot wedding in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2 include residents of Appleloosa, Galloping Gorge, Fillydelphia, and Manehattan.[8]

A poll posted by The Hub's Facebook page focuses on Princess Cadance and Shining Armor choosing between Appleloosa, Galloping Gorge, Fillydelphia, Saddle Arabia and Manehattan as the location of their honeymoon.[9]

The My Little Pony Wedding Quiz section of Hasbro's Pony Wedding microsite describes the Crystal Empire as "cultured".

Comic book

Comic book issue #1's Cover F shows a signpost with seven signs, including ones for Canterlot, San Flanksisco, Manehattan, Seaddle, Whinnyapolis, and a city.[10]

In 'The Return of Queen Chrysalis Part 2', a full map of the area south of Macintosh Hills is shown at the back of the comic.

In the Reflections arc, an alternate universe's Equestria has a signpost with eight signs, including San Franciscolt, Bitsburgh, and Horsolulu.

In My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #5, In the same issue, Rainbow Dash evokes the idea that Equestria could launch an attack of "a million ponies" on the Nightmare Forces.

Software

The founding of Equestria is described in the iOS app Twilight Sparkle: Teacher for a Day and its Ruckus Reader version Twilight Sparkle's Special Lesson. The Pegasus, unicorn and Earth ponies did not live in harmony, their hearts were cold, and a blizzard overtook their land. Each group of ponies decided to find a new place to live, but they all arrived at the same new place, but the blizzard followed them. The ponies figured out there was only one way to get rid of the blizzard, to treat one another warmly. The unicorns used magic to build Canterlot, and once the city was finished, they invited the Pegasus and Earth ponies to a party, which became a yearly event called the Grand Galloping Gala.

Magazine

In one of the comics in the German magazine, Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, and Spike journey through the Everfree Forest to a land outside of Equestria, where they find a field of barley and spend the evening with a stallion they befriend. The land outside of Equestria is completely different than inside. There are no unicorns or Pegasi, there is no magic, and nature takes care of itself.[11]

Storybooks

The underwater city of Aquastria, ruled by Princess Celestia's sea lion cousin King Leo, appears in the picture book My Little Pony: Under the Sparkling Sea.[12] It is an underwater city populated by seaponies and mermares, as well as other sentient sea creatures; in the book, the main characters visit the kingdom.[13] The seaponies are referred to as "cousins" of the land-based ponies.

The chapter book Daring Do and the Marked Thief of Marapore features the Tricorner Villages—three villages arranged in an equilateral triangle around the base of the volcano Mount Vehoovius. The individual villages are called Marapore, Ponypeii, and Lusitano.

The chapter book Daring Do and the Forbidden City of Clouds features the cloud city of Cirrostrata. It rests in the sky over the Unicorn Mountain Range, invisible from sight due to an ancient magic. The city is populated by a unique type of Pegasi with long rabbit-like ears and three vertical lines under one eye.

See also

References

  1. Timeline Photos - My Little Pony España. Facebook (2013-09-27). Retrieved on 2013 December 20.
  2. Interview with Jayson Thiessen 13–14 (2011-09-14). Retrieved on 2012 April 23.
  3. A layout artist regarding a Flash asset in Secret of My Excess. Retrieved on 2012 January 23. Archived locally.
  4. Crystal Empire FS Cadance and Shining Armor (2012-07-19). Retrieved on 2012 July 20.
  5. New Crystal empire set Finally we know where that Luna came from. (2012-06-28). Retrieved on 2012 June 30.
  6. More Transluscent Ponies on Taobao + a Bit more Crystal Empire. Equestria Daily (2012-09-01). Retrieved on 2012 September 1.
  7. Official Map and Season 2 Cast Picture Show Up. Equestria Daily (2012-08-03). Retrieved on 2012 August 3.
  8. Article image listing Appleloosa, Galloping Gorge, Fillydelphia, and Manehattan
  9. Facebook question listing Appleloosa, Galloping Gorge, Fillydelphia, Saddle Arabia, and Manehattan
  10. Rich Johnston (2012-10-30). Eighteen Of The Nineteen Covers For My Little Pony #1. Bleeding Cool. Retrieved on 2012 October 30.
  11. German MLP magazine comic - Unofficial translation (2011-08-04). Retrieved on 2013 May 9.
  12. My Little Pony: Under the Sparkling Sea. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 2013 February 9.
  13. 'My Little Pony': First Looks at New Books!. Entertainment Weekly (2013-04-02). Retrieved on 2013 April 3.

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