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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 a kingdom[note 1] co-ruled by Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, who watch over it through telescopes at the top of a tower in their base 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.

Featured regions

Ponyville

Main article: Ponyville
Ponyville as seen from Twilight and Spike's chariot S1E01

Ponyville

Ponyville is a small town that is the main setting of the series and the home of the main characters. Princess Twilight Sparkle's Friendship Rainbow Kingdom castle is found there at the very end of season four. Ponyville was founded by Earth ponies, but it is currently inhabited by Pegasi and unicorns as well.

Canterlot

Main article: Canterlot
Canterlot S1E26

Canterlot

Canterlot is the capital of Equestria and home to the royal palace of Princess Celestia and Princess Luna. It was also the home of Twilight Sparkle and Spike prior to their relocation to Ponyville. Canterlot is where large events such as the Grand Galloping Gala take place. The name is a reference to Camelot, the home to King Arthur and his "Knights of The Round Table" as well as being a play on the word "canter," which is a three-beat gait possessed by all horses that is faster than a trot but slower than a gallop.

Cloudsdale

Main article: Cloudsdale
Cloudsdale1

Cloudsdale

Cloudsdale is a city in the sky where the Best Young Flyer competition takes place and where Equestria's weather is made. Only Pegasi live and work there, since non-Pegasus ponies cannot stand on clouds. It is also the former hometown of both Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. The name is a reference to the Clydesdale, a breed of draft horses. The Weather Factory is located there.

Crystal Empire

Main article: Crystal Empire
The ponies enter the Crystal Empire S3E01

Crystal Empire

The Crystal Empire is featured in the third season. In the Ballad of the Crystal Ponies, Twilight Sparkle mentions the Crystal Kingdom as part of the Crystal Ponies' history. It is also home to the Crystal Ponies as well as Shining Armor and Princess Cadance, who took over the kingdom after King Sombra was defeated a second time by the Crystal Heart.

Everfree Forest

Main article: Everfree Forest
Entrance to the Everfree Forest S1E02

Everfree Forest

The Everfree Forest is located outside of Ponyville. It appears not to be bound by the same laws as the rest of Equestria since plants grow, animals care for themselves, and the weather changes without the help of ponies. Zecora's hut is located in the forest and it is also home to some strange creatures, including ursas, timberwolves and parasprites. The Tree of Harmony is found far into the forest, in a gorge located near the Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters.

Manehattan

Main article: Manehattan
Manehattan revealed S4E08

Manehattan

Manehattan[note 2] is a large city featured in The Cutie Mark Chronicles and Rarity Takes Manehattan. It is the hometown of Babs Seed and Applejack's Aunt and Uncle Orange. The name is a play on Manhattan Island, a section of New York City. New York City was once originally known as New Orange by former Dutch settlers, which may be referred to in the episode by Applejack's Aunt and Uncle Orange. Additionally, New York City is sometimes called "The Big Apple."

White Tail Woods

Applejack and Rainbow Dash racing fair S1E13

White Tail Woods

The site for the Running of the Leaves held in the episode Fall Weather Friends, where the ponies run through the forest to shake the leaves off the trees. The name of the woods is possibly inspired by the white-tailed deer.

Froggy Bottom Bogg

Froggy Bottom S1E15

Froggy Bottom Bogg

Froggy Bottom Bogg is featured in Feeling Pinkie Keen. Fluttershy relocates some frogs to the bog because of overpopulation. When Pinkie Pie gets an ominous premonition, Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Spike and Pinkie Pie venture to the bog to make sure Fluttershy is okay. They come upon a hydra who chases them to a chasm which they cross in order to escape. The name is a reference to Foggy Bottom, a neighborhood in Washington, DC.

Appleloosa

Main article: Appleloosa
Appleloosa Overview S1E21

Appleloosa

Appleloosa is featured in the episode Over a Barrel. It is the hometown of Applejack's cousin Braeburn. The name comes from the Appaloosa breed of horse.

Ghastly Gorge

Ghastly Gorge S2E7

Ghastly Gorge

A gorge filled with perils, such as a windy cave, bramble bushes and quarray eels. Rainbow Dash held a contest to see who would be her pet there in May the Best Pet Win!.

Dodge Junction

Main article: Dodge Junction
Applejack at Dodge Junction S2E14

Dodge Junction

Dodge Junction is an old-western town in the desert, resembling Appleloosa. It is introduced in the episode The Last Roundup. The town's name is a reference to Dodge City, Kansas, a town famous in the United States for its role in the wild frontier of the Old West.

Winsome Falls

Rainbow waterfalls S3E6

Winsome Falls

Winsome Falls are composed of multiple rainbow-colored waterfalls. This is the camping destination for Applejack, Apple Bloom, Rarity, Sweetie Belle, Rainbow Dash, and Scootaloo in the episode Sleepless in Ponyville.

Tenochtitlan Basin

The Tenochtitlan Basin is a region located in a remote part of Equestria, mostly marked by trees. It is featured in the episode Daring Don't. Two areas of note here are Daring Do's house and the Fortress of Talicon. The basin shares its name with the ancient Aztec city-state Tenochtitlan.

Rainbow Falls

View of Rainbow Falls S4E10

Rainbow Falls

For the episode itself, see Rainbow Falls.
An Equestrian village that appeared in the season four episode of the same name. Like Winsome Falls, it mostly consists of rainbow-colored waterfalls, but also has a handful of dwellings and a training course for holding the Equestria Games tryouts. The village holds an annual Traders Exchange as seen in Trade Ya!.

Flame Geyser Swamp

Flame Geyser Swamp S4E17

Flame Geyser Swamp

The Flame Geyser Swamp is a foggy swamp with flame geysers featured in Somepony to Watch Over Me. Apple Bloom goes there on her pie delivery and encounters a chimera which Applejack defeats and saves Apple Bloom.

Tartarus

Cerberus on guard S4E26

Tartarus

Tartarus is first mentioned in It's About Time as a place where ancient, evil creatures are imprisoned, guarded by the three-headed dog Cerberus. The location is mentioned again in Twilight's Kingdom - Part 1, where Lord Tirek is stated to have been confined there for the attempted theft of Equestria's magic, but escaped during the events of the former episode. In Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2, Tartarus makes its first appearance when Tirek conjures a portal to banish Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, and Princess Cadance there in revenge for his own imprisonment; and again when Twilight Sparkle and her friends return Tirek to Tartarus and free the princesses.

Tartarus is based on the location of the same name in Greek mythology, being a deep, dark pit beneath the underworld where the wicked are condemned to eternal suffering. In It's About Time, Twilight Sparkle irregularly pronounces the name Tartarus as play /tɑrˈtɑrəs/, while it is pronounced in its traditional form as play /ˈtɑrtərəs/ in later episodes.

Mentioned regions

Hoofington

Hoofington is a village mentioned by Trixie as the site of her alleged battle with an ursa; her story implies the town is near the Everfree Forest. The suffix -ington is derived from old English for "town". The name is quite similar to that of a political news website, The Huffington Post, and many cities named Huntington.

Fillydelphia

Fillydelphia is briefly mentioned by Princess Celestia in the episode Swarm of the Century. As an excuse for cancelling her visit to Ponyville, the Princess says she has to go to Fillydelphia in order to deal with an infestation of "incredibly bothersome creatures", presumably parasprites. It is mentioned again in A Friend in Deed as Cranky Doodle Donkey's previous residence. In It's About Time, it is mentioned when Rainbow Dash gives the report that nothing dangerous is coming from Fillydelphia all the way to Las Pegasus. In Hurricane Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash mentions that Fillydelphia broke the tornado wind speed record with a top speed of 910 wingpower. In Apple Family Reunion, Apple Bloom mentions that some of the RSPVs to the family reunion were sent from Fillydelphia, among other cities and locations. Fillydelphia is also mentioned in Games Ponies Play. In Testing Testing 1, 2, 3, Applejack mentions Granny Smith discovering the first granny smith apple here when she was a filly, Fillydelphia is mentioned as one of the potential destinations for Rarity and her "Rariots" while she's under the influence of the inspiration manifestation spell in the episode of the same name.

Lauren Faust, the show's creator, mentioned in a comment on deviantArt that she wanted to name the main setting of the show Fillydelphia after Philadelphia where her family resides, but ultimately went with Ponyville. The city is also present on the official map.

Trottingham

Trottingham is mentioned in Stare Master, where Rarity is making 20 gold-lined gowns for ponies there, and later mentioned in Luna Eclipsed as Pipsqueak's previous residence. It is probably a portmanteau of 'Nottingham', an English city, and 'trot', a jogging speed for horses.

Las Pegasus

Las Pegasus is mentioned in It's About Time. It is referenced when Rainbow Dash gives the report that nothing dangerous is coming from Fillydelphia all the way to Las Pegasus. The name is a play on Las Vegas according to the episode's writer M.A. Larson.[4] In the original version of the map, it was spelled "Los Pegasus", with an "Applewood" sign placed next to it, which implied a Los Angeles / Hollywood reference. It is present on the April 2013 version of the map under the name "Las Pegasus".

Baltimare

Baltimare is a city mentioned in It's About Time. It is referenced when Rainbow Dash gave a mini-report that a pegasus just came back from there, and there was no danger. The name is a play on the real life city called Baltimore. It is present on the official map of Equestria.

Saddle Arabia

Mentioned in the episode Magic Duel, Princess Celestia arrives in Ponyville with two representatives from this region. The name is a play on the real life desert region kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Hollow Shades

Mentioned in the episode Apple Family Reunion by Apple Bloom while she is rattling off town names. It is present on the official map of Equestria.

Galloping Gorge

Mentioned in the episode Apple Family Reunion by Apple Bloom while she is rattling off town names. It is present on the official map of Equestria.

Foal Mountain

Mentioned in the episode Apple Family Reunion by Apple Bloom while she is rattling off town names. It is present on the official map of Equestria.

Tall Tale

Mentioned in the episode Apple Family Reunion by Apple Bloom while she is rattling off town names. It is present on the official map of Equestria.

Mustangia

Mentioned in the episode Games Ponies Play by Ms. Peachbottom. In the episode, she tells Shining Armor that she is "just an ordinary wild mustang from Mustangia". The name 'Mustangia' is a play on the word 'mustang', a breed of wild horses.

Maretania

Mentioned in the episode Three's A Crowd by Princess Cadance. The "caverns of Maretania" are said to be a place explored by Star Swirl the Bearded. The name is a play on Mauritania.

Maretonia

The duke and duchess of Maretonia appear in attendance of the Equestria Games in the episode of the same name. They appear again in Twilight's Kingdom - Part 1 and visit the Crystal Empire for a summit with Celestia, Luna, and Cadance. The name is a play on such names as Macedonia, Mauritania, or Estonia.

Politics

In the episode Equestria Games, a lot is revealed about the politics in Equestria.

Personalities

Complete Equestria Games brochette S04E24

The brochette

The top tier of the stadium can be seen in one shot, and the following order of importance by place can be noticed (from left to right):
  1. In the first row, in personal thrones, the princesses Twilight Sparkle, Celestia, Luna, and Cadance (Shining Armor supervising the games in the stadium)
  2. In the second row, on stylish seats, the male and female delegates from Saddle Arabia, Prince Blueblood (with a different cutie mark than usual), and the Duchess and Duke of Maretonia.
  3. In the third row, without décor, Mayor Mare (from Ponyville), Fancy Pants (from Canterlot), Fleur Dis Lee (also from Canterlot, and usually seen with Fancy Pants), Cherry Jubilee (from Dodge Junction), and an unknown elder female pony, and an older unknown male pony.
  4. The rest of the personalities are seen outside of the top lodge, among these are found personalities from Canterlot, Ponyville, Appleloosa, as well as celebrities and family and friends of competitors.

Regions

All folded flags S04E24

At least 20 flags

A few regions take part in the Equestria Games. Among these participants, the few shown flags reveal the presence of Dodge Junction (flag also seen in The Last Roundup, the Griffon Kingdom (called as such in My Little Pony Micro-Series Issue #5), the Crystal Empire (host of the games), Cloudsdale, Appleloosa (flag also seen in Over a Barrel), Ponyville, and a few unidentified ones.
All Equestria Games participants front S04E24

The participants behind Prince Shining Armor

Participants count griffons, Ponyvillians, ponies from Cloudsdale (including three Wonderbolts), and at least two other teams, including one of Pegasi.

Population

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

Culture

In My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #5, Pinkie Pie says compares her friends' lack of perception to her and Rainbow's ideas to the hypothesis they'd use of the "cowhili" language.

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!"[5] 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!"[6] 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!"[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

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.

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.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14] 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

Notes

  1. Equestria is called a kingdom on the show and in other media.
  2. Spelled "Manehatten" on the original version of the map, but spelled "Manehattan" on the updated version of the map.

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. M.A. Larson confirming the reference to Las Vegas (2012-05-24). Retrieved on 2012 May 24. Archived locally.
  5. Crystal Empire FS Cadance and Shining Armor (2012-07-19). Retrieved on 2012 July 20.
  6. New Crystal empire set Finally we know where that Luna came from. (2012-06-28). Retrieved on 2012 June 30.
  7. More Transluscent Ponies on Taobao + a Bit more Crystal Empire. Equestria Daily (2012-09-01). Retrieved on 2012 September 1.
  8. Official Map and Season 2 Cast Picture Show Up. Equestria Daily (2012-08-03). Retrieved on 2012 August 3.
  9. Article image listing Appleloosa, Galloping Gorge, Fillydelphia, and Manehattan
  10. Facebook question listing Appleloosa, Galloping Gorge, Fillydelphia, Saddle Arabia, and Manehattan
  11. Rich Johnston (2012-10-30). Eighteen Of The Nineteen Covers For My Little Pony #1. Bleeding Cool. Retrieved on 2012 October 30.
  12. German MLP magazine comic - Unofficial translation (2011-08-04). Retrieved on 2013 May 9.
  13. My Little Pony: Under the Sparkling Sea. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 2013 February 9.
  14. 'My Little Pony': First Looks at New Books!. Entertainment Weekly (2013-04-02). Retrieved on 2013 April 3.

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