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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]
Dogman15Added by Dogman15
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. The name "Equestria" is derived from the word "equestrian" (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

The founding of Equestria

Walking to the grand summit S2E11
The three tribes trotting to the summit
Callofduty4Added by Callofduty4
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
VeranthaAdded by Verantha
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
BluesirTheFoxAdded by BluesirTheFox
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
KinrahAdded by Kinrah
Ponyville is a small town that is the main setting of the series and the home of the main characters. Ponyville was founded by Earth ponies, but it is currently inhabited by Pegasi and unicorns as well.

Canterlot

Main article: Canterlot
Canterlot S1E26
Canterlot
VeranthaAdded by Verantha
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
LiggliluffAdded by Liggliluff
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 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
BobogooboAdded by Bobogoobo
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
BluesirTheFoxAdded by BluesirTheFox
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
Callofduty4Added by Callofduty4
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
OcredanAdded by Ocredan
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
BluesirTheFoxAdded by BluesirTheFox
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

Appleloosa Overview S1E21
Appleloosa
LiggliluffAdded by Liggliluff
Appleloosa is featured in the episode Over a Barrel. Applejack's cousin Braeburn gives the ponies a tour through the town, which he says was built in less than a year, and shows them sights such as horse-drawn carriages, horse-drawn horse-drawn carriages, wild west dances, mild west dances, "The Salt Block" saloon, and the sheriff. The town's apple orchard is the source of a territorial dispute between the settlers and a tribe of buffalo. The name comes from the Appaloosa breed of horse. Coincidentally, the map of the lands south of Equestria, in IDW comics' My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic issue #2, names the "Appaloosan Mountains" south of Appleloosa.

Applejack mentions the town in Bats!, saying that Granny Smith, Big McIntosh and Apple Bloom are there ahead of the produce competition at the Appleloosa State Fair. The town is briefly shown at the beginning of Pinkie Pride, where the ponies and buffalo enjoy a party thrown by Cheese Sandwich.

Ghastly Gorge

Ghastly Gorge S2E7
Ghastly Gorge
OzuzannaAdded by Ozuzanna
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

Applejack at Dodge Junction S2E14
Dodge Junction
Myan MerrisAdded by Myan Merris
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
Pyrrha OmegaAdded by Pyrrha Omega
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.

Flame Geyser Swamp

Flame Geyser Swamp S4 E17
Flame Geyser Swamp
JubexAdded by Jubex
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.

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.

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.

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".

Tartarus

Tartarus is a place mentioned in It's About Time. It's a place where evil creatures are held prisoner and guarded by the three-headed dog, Cerberus. Tartarus is from Greek mythology, being a deep dark pit below the underworld where many of the damned are imprisoned.

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 to Ponyville with two representatives from the 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".

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.

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
Dogman15Added by Dogman15
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.

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.

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.

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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