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Shadow Play - Part 2
Mane Six, Starlight, Spike, and Pillars stand together S7E26
Season №: 7
Season episode №: 26
Overall episode №: 169
Original airdate: October 22, 2017[aired early in Canada]
October 28, 2017 (Discovery Family)
Story by: Josh Haber
Written by: Josh Haber and Nicole Dubuc
Storyboard: Cory Toomey and Thalia Tomlinson
Featured characters: Pillars of Old Equestria:
     
Star Swirl the Bearded
Rockhoof
Mistmane
Flash Magnus
Somnambula
Mage Meadowbrook

Pony of Shadows/Stygian

See also
creditstranscriptgalleryallusions
animation errorsstatisticsspeculation
Episode guide
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Shadow Play - Part 1
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Shadow Play - Part 2 is the twenty-sixth episode of season seven of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic and the one hundred and sixty-ninth overall. It is the second part of a two-part season finale.

In this second part, Star Swirl the Bearded and the other Pillars of Old Equestria are back from limbo, and Twilight Sparkle and her friends must work with them to defeat the Pony of Shadows.

Production

This episode premiered on Canada's Treehouse TV channel on October 22, 2017, six days prior to its scheduled airing on Discovery Family. This episode was originally scheduled to premiere on Polish television channel MiniMini+ on October 20, 2017, eight days prior to its scheduled airing on Discovery Family.[1]

The episode was leaked online on October 7, 2017.​​​​[​specify​]​

Summary

Extinguish the light

Mane Six, Pillars, and Pony of Shadows in Ponhenge ruins S7E26

The threat of the Pony of Shadows looms.

With his newfound freedom, the Pony of Shadows destroys the magic columns of Ponhenge and Star Swirl the Bearded's journal so the Pillars of Old Equestria can't imprison him in limbo again. With Star Swirl still too weakened to challenge the beast, the Pony of Shadows attacks him, but Twilight Sparkle and Starlight Glimmer fend him off. Star Swirl vows to banish the Pony of Shadows again, but the Pony of Shadows is defiant. Also weakened from his thousand-year imprisonment, he escapes to regain his power.

The Pillars of Old Equestria are intent on stopping the Pony of Shadows before he gets all of his strength back. After hearing how accomplished the Mane Six are in dealing with threats such as Discord, Queen Chrysalis, and King Sombra, they decide to team up with them—though Star Swirl is skeptical of their accomplishments and bitter toward Twilight for undoing his banishment spell.

Search for the darkness

Mane Six and Pillars looking at the Cutie Map S7E26

The ponies track down the Pony of Shadows.

In order to locate the Pony of Shadows, the Mane Six take the Pillars to the Castle of Friendship, a byproduct of the Tree of Harmony that grew from the seed they planted long ago. Without the Temple of Ponhenge, they decide to use the Tree's magic to send the Pony of Shadows back to limbo, which would require sacrificing the Elements of Harmony. Twilight tries to dissuade Star Swirl from making such a sacrifice, but he is dismissive of her input.

Using the Cutie Map, the ponies seek out the darkest places in Equestria that the Pony of Shadows can draw power from. Meanwhile, Twilight looks for a solution in the castle library, feeling regret for unleashing a great evil upon Equestria just to meet her idol. She soon finds a portal spell that could banish the Pony of Shadows to limbo without sacrificing the Pillars. Starlight Glimmer suggests a solution that doesn't involve banishment, but Twilight is confident in Star Swirl's plan and wants to prove herself to him.

Star Swirl dismissing Twilight Sparkle again S7E26

Twilight is snubbed by her magical idol.

Twilight's friends and the rest of the Pillars travel across Equestria in search of the Pony of Shadows, and the Pillars are surprised at how much Equestria has changed over the last thousand years. Later, back at the castle, the Pony of Shadows' possible whereabouts are narrowed down. When Twilight enters to share her idea of banishing the Pony of Shadows without sacrificing the Pillars, Star Swirl dismisses her again, but her friends stand up for her, and Star Swirl begrudgingly gives her idea some consideration.

Once a villain, always a villain

Mane Six's cutie marks float over the Hollow Shades S7E26

The Cutie Map points the way to the Hollow Shades.

As the ponies wonder where the Pony of Shadows is hiding, the Mane Six's cutie marks suddenly start to glow, and the Cutie Map points them toward a remote, abandoned region of Equestria called the Hollow Shades. After finally giving Twilight some praise, Star Swirl leaves to prepare the new banishment spell while the others prepare for battle. Like before, Starlight Glimmer opts for a more peaceful solution than banishment, but Star Swirl refuses to consider it, saying "Once a villain, always a villain."

With Star Swirl and Twilight refusing to listen, Starlight asks the other Pillars about the Pony of Shadows. Long ago, the beast was originally a unicorn named Stygian, who brought the Pillars together against the threat of the Sirens. As the Pillars were hailed as heroes, the ordinary Stygian became jealous of their abilities and stole artifacts from them for a spell. The Pillars cast him out as punishment for his actions. When Stygian later appeared before them again, he was consumed by darkness and revenge and became the Pony of Shadows. When asked what spell Stygian was trying to cast, the Pillars admit they don't know for sure, but they believe it was to steal their powers for himself.

Star Swirl "from which there is no return!" S7E26

"There's no way to befriend a pony like that!"

Starlight approaches Star Swirl and Twilight again, still curious about Stygian's true motives back then. When Star Swirl asserts that Stygian was driven purely by envy and that there is no return from the path he chose, Starlight argues that she herself is living proof of the contrary. She tries to convince Twilight that the map is calling her and her friends for a friendship problem, but Star Swirl maintains there is no way to befriend a pony like Stygian.
"I guess I'm lucky your idol wasn't around when you decided to be my friend. I might've been banished to limbo, too."
— Starlight Glimmer

In the Everfree Forest, Star Swirl extracts the Elements of Harmony from the Tree of Harmony, calling them a necessary sacrifice to banish the Pony of Shadows. With the Elements still attuned to Twilight and her friends, the Mane Six and Pillars team up in pairs to use their magic.

Out of the shadows

Pony of Shadows fires magic at the ponies' barrier S7E26

The ponies face off against the Pony of Shadows.

Upon reaching the Hollow Shades, the Mane Six and Pillars challenge the Pony of Shadows. They are suddenly dragged underground to the Well of Shade, where Stygian had originally become one with the darkness, and the Pony of Shadows appears before them. The beast bears contempt toward the Pillars for turning their backs on him, and Twilight starts to believe Starlight was right about this being a friendship problem. The ponies cast their spell and open a portal to limbo, and the Pony of Shadows starts getting dragged inside.

Before Twilight can complete the spell, she sees Stygian's true form sticking out of the Pony of Shadows' body, and she flies inside. At the depths of the darkness, Twilight finds Stygian despairing over his friends' betrayal. When Twilight claims he betrayed the other Pillars by trying to steal their power, Stygian argues that he only wanted the Pillars' respect. Wishing to help them in their battles, he took their artifacts so he could replicate them and become a Pillar as well; the Pillars hear this and realize how wrong they were. The darkness inside Stygian starts to consume him again, but Twilight offers to help him overcome it, and Starlight enters to support her.

Stygian turns away from Twilight Sparkle S7E26

Twilight meets the Pony of Shadows' true form.

The Mane Six and Pillars of Old Equestria work together to free Stygian from the darkness, and the darkness is banished to limbo. Because the ponies used the Elements of Harmony for healing instead of banishment, the Elements remain intact. Star Swirl apologizes to Stygian for letting pride cloud his judgment and driving him away, and he thanks Twilight for helping him and his fellow Pillars see the error of their ways. The Mane Six's cutie marks glow again, indicating a successful friendship mission.

Epilogue

Star Swirl reuniting with Celestia and Luna S7E26

Star Swirl reunites with his old pupils.

Some time later, in Canterlot, Star Swirl reunites with his old pupils Princess Celestia and Princess Luna. The princesses ask Star Swirl to stay and teach magic again, but Star Swirl decides to travel and see how much Equestria has changed before settling down in one place. In addition, the other Pillars wish to see what has become of their old homes. Celestia hopes that the Pillars will return on occasion to share wisdom of their experiences, and Star Swirl points to Twilight in recognition of her own wisdom on the Magic of Friendship.

As the ponies and Pillars come together for a group hug, Twilight thanks Starlight for helping her look past her idol worship and see things clearly in the end.

Quotes

For more quotes, see the episode's transcript.
Star Swirl the Bearded: Know this, fiend! We will not rest until we find a way to return you to limbo!
Pony of Shadows: [growls] Never! Your days of glory are through, Star Swirl. Now my dark power will reign, and you six will bow to me!
Star Swirl the Bearded: It is an easy thing to say you have saved the world. It is quite another to do it.
Rainbow Dash: Oh, we've saved the world, Beardo. And we can do it again.
Mage Meadowbrook: We had no idea our small seed would bloom into the living spirit of the land. I am glad our mantles have passed to such capable ponies.
Twilight Sparkle: Seapony etiquette isn't going to help right now, Spike.
Twilight Sparkle: Star Swirl knew what he was doing when he cast that spell. If I can make it even better, maybe he'll see that I take magic as seriously as he does.
Star Swirl the Bearded: While I appreciate your enthusiasm, Twilight, this is hardly the time to take risks on half-baked spells.
Rarity: The only time the map's called all of us to one place was Starlight's village.
Rainbow Dash: So it's like a super-villain tracker!
Star Swirl the Bearded: Stygian wants to destroy all that is good in this world. There's no way to befriend a pony like that.
Rainbow Dash: We're used to banishing evil before breakfast.
Star Swirl the Bearded: We did what we had to do. You tried to steal our powers for yourself.
Pony of Shadows: No! It was you who were selfish! And now you will pay!
Stygian: Even if my friends did still care, what makes you think you have the power to help me?
Starlight Glimmer: Because it's what she does. I wasn't so different from you, and Twilight helped me change. If there's one pony in Equestria that can save a friendship, it's her.
Star Swirl the Bearded: Thank you for helping us see the errors of our ways, Twilight. It seems I never accounted for the Magic of Friendship.
Twilight Sparkle: Thank you, Swirlstar! Uh, Star Swirl!
Star Swirl the Bearded: I simply cannot believe how tall you've gotten!
Princess Celestia: Well, it has been over a thousand years. Will you stay here and teach magic once again? My sister and I have such fond memories of your lessons.
Princess Luna: As long as you don't ask for those essays we owed you before you disappeared.
Star Swirl the Bearded: If it is wisdom you seek, look no further than your own pupil. She showed me that the power of friendship is a magical force indeed. And that in turning away from others, you hurt yourself as well.
Twilight Sparkle: It's funny. I thought meeting my idol would give me all the answers I ever wanted. But instead, I forgot what I already knew. Good thing I had a student of my own to remind me.

Gallery

Main ponies and Pillars in a group hug S7E26

Shadow Play - Part 2 image gallery

References

  1. TV Schedule for MiniMini+ (Polish). Teleman. Retrieved on 2017 October 9.
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A Health of Information
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Shadow Play - Part 1
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Shadow Play - Part 2
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