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Star Swirl the Bearded

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Star Swirl the Bearded

Star Swirl the Bearded comic issue 17

Star Swirl the Bearded in a faded-color flashback in Friendship is Magic Issue #17

Star Swirl the Bearded ID Friendship Forever Comic Issue 2

Bubble reality version "Mr. Starswirl" in Friends Forever Issue #2

Star Swirl the Bearded LoE

Depiction of Star Swirl on Legends of Equestria art print

Kind Unicorn
Sex Male
Occupation Conjurer
More info
Eyes Brilliant gold (Friendship is Magic comics)
Very dark gray (Hot Topic cover)
Mane Light gray
Coat Light gray (series and Friendship is Magic comics)
Bluish gray (Friends Forever comics)
Moderate amber (art print)
Hooves Dark gray (Hot Topic cover)
Light gray (Friends Forever comics)
Star Swirl the Bearded is a male unicorn who appears in the IDW comics and is alluded to in the show and other media. He is first mentioned by Twilight Sparkle in Luna Eclipsed as "the most important conjurer of the pre-classical era." Twilight and her friends visit a wing in the Canterlot Library named after him, which houses time-related spells, in the episode It's About Time.

Development and name

M.A. Larson, the writer of Luna Eclipsed, It's About Time, and Magical Mystery Cure, selected the name Star Swirl out of a list of pre-approved locations and names by Hasbro, then added "the Bearded" because it didn't sound "quite old enough". Larson stated that Twilight Sparkle "would be the kind who'd idolize the great minds of the past."[1] The name Star Swirl was given by Hasbro to several Earth pony mares in toy lines of previous My Little Pony generations, and has been used in Friendship is Magic's corresponding toy line for another Earth pony mare. A printable Twilight Sparkle paper cutout on The Hub's website, a post by The Hub's Facebook page, closed captions for Luna Eclipsed on the official HasbroEpisodes YouTube channel, different closed captions for Luna Eclipsed and closed captions for It's About Time both on the DVD My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Adventures in the Crystal Empire, closed captions for Magical Mystery Cure on the DVD My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Princess Twilight Sparkle, and a post by Wired's Underwire blog have spelled it "Star Swirl" as this toy line has,[2][3][4][5] though Meghan McCarthy and Larson (both on Twitter) and The Hub's Facebook app Ponyscopes have spelled it "Starswirl";[6][7][8] Enterplay's trading cards have used both spellings, and an Enterplay dog tag checklist has listed "Starswirl the Bearded" with a trademark symbol.[9]

Depiction in the series

The Hourglass S2E20
A view of the Canterlot library Star Swirl the Bearded wing.
RallinaleAdded by Rallinale
Star Swirl the Bearded is first mentioned by Twilight in Luna Eclipsed when she explains her costume to Spike. She calls Star Swirl "the father of the amniomorphic spell", "the most important conjurer of the pre-classical era", and adds "he created more than 200 spells! He even has a shelf in the Canterlot library of magic named after him." Later in the episode, Princess Luna recognizes Twilight's costume as Star Swirl and compliments her for it, stating she "even got the bells right", but other ponies guess that Twilight is dressing as a "weirdo clown" or a "country music singer". In Dragon Quest, a photo shows Twilight wearing the costume.

According to the pageant staged in Hearth's Warming Eve, Star Swirl was the mentor of Clover the Clever, one of the founders of Equestria. In It's About Time, Twilight searches for time spells in a wing of the Canterlot library that is named after Star Swirl. Twilight says that it is the most secure section of the archives, and is eventually let into the section by one of the guards patrolling the library.

Spike holding Star Swirl's book S03E13
Spike holding the book.
ImperfectXIIIAdded by ImperfectXIII
At the end of The Crystal Empire - Part 2, Princess Luna summons a spiral-bound book that has a dark cover which shows two stars and a swirly pattern. In Magical Mystery Cure, a flashback shows the book having been mailed to Twilight in a package with a letter from Princess Celestia. The letter states that the last page of the book contains Star Swirl's "secret unfinished masterpiece", an abandoned spell which he was never able to get right. When Twilight finally fixes the spell Princess Celestia states that Twilight accomplished what even Star Swirl could not, because he did not understand friendship like Twilight does.

Twilight and Cadance walking together S4E11
The Star Swirl traveling museum.
RallinaleAdded by Rallinale
In Three's A Crowd, Twilight and Princess Cadance visit a traveling museum dedicated to Star Swirl the Bearded. Twilight wears her Star Swirl costume to the museum, and seven other ponies are seen wearing their own variations of the costume: Amethyst Star, Meadow Song, "Ponet", "Sunburst", "Serena", "Spring Showers", and S04E11 Unnamed Earth Mare #1. At the museum, the two princesses spot a candlestick that was used by Star Swirl to light the way when he was exploring the caverns of Maretania.

Depiction in the comics

Comic issue 17 Hot Topic cover
ImperfectXIIIAdded by ImperfectXIII
On page 19 of My Little Pony: Friends Forever Issue #2, Mr. Starswirl physically appears dressed as Gandalf the Grey in Discord's bubble reality. Of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #17, cover A says "Behold the Secrets of Star Swirl the Bearded", and Star Swirl the Bearded physically appears on the Hot Topic cover.[10]

In the issue, Star Swirl appears in flashbacks of Princess Celestia's past. Having discovered the secrets of cross-dimensional travel, he creates a magical mirror that allows travel to other universes. Star Swirl and Celestia spend decades visiting these worlds and learning about them. However, when he finds out that Celestia has been using the mirror to travel to one specific world numerous times, he closes the mirror before Celestia's actions endanger two kingdoms.

In Issue #18, Star Swirl the Bearded appears in a stained glass window with Princess Celestia.

Other depictions

Chapter books

In Rarity and the Curious Case of Charity chapter 10 "Dyeing to Please", Twilight Sparkle gets Charity Sweetmint to take some extra books about Star Swirl the Bearded.


According to Princess Celestia in Magical Mystery Cure, Star Swirl the Bearded did not understand friendship like Twilight Sparkle does, and as a result, his secret last spell remained unfinished.

In Friendship is Magic Issue #17, Princess Luna describes Star Swirl as having a similar personality to Pinkie Pie. Flashbacks in the issue depict him as being eccentric and carefree. Like Twilight, he is shown to have a deep passion for magic and learning and a thirst for knowledge, as well as being very adventurous. He appeared to have a friendly relationship with Celestia, as she confides in him about her concerns about Luna and he encourages her to join him on his otherworldly escapades.

Despite his cheery demeanor, however, Star Swirl Star Swirl is shown to also have a serious side, as he puts his foot down for the good of the kingdom and seals the portal to the other dimension that Celestia had been visiting without his knowledge.


Legends of Equestria art print WeLoveFine
BobogooboAdded by Bobogoobo
Hasbro uses the name Star Swirl for an Earth pony mare with a powder-blue coat and a light purple and pink mane. Both toys of Star Swirl have only been released outside of the United States: the Playful Ponies version packaged with Rarity in the special edition of the Royal Gem Carriage vehicle set, and the mini-figure version as part of the second wave of mystery packs. According to the collector card included with the mystery pack toy, Star Swirl "always sparkles!" In the My Little Pony First Look and Find book, Star Swirl appears as one of the guests attending the wedding of Shining Armor and Princess Cadance.

Series 2 of Enterplay's trading cards includes Equestrian Magic cards featuring "Starswirl the Bearded's Book" and "Starswirl's Time Travel Spell", respectively cards #52 and #56. The back of card #52 includes the description "MANY HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO, Starswirl the Bearded used this book to scrawl notes about his most amazing works. The last page contained the most important spell of all: his secret unfinished masterpiece! Even Starswirl was unable to finish this spell, and the book was passed down through the ages to Princess Celestia and Princess Luna. Finally, this book landed in Twilight Sparkle's hooves, and her understanding of friendship allowed her to finish the spell and prove she was ready to become an alicorn... and a princess!" The back of card #56 includes the description "ONLY STARSWIRL THE BEARDED has ever whipped up magic strong enough to send a pony back in time! But, even his magic has limits. A pony can only use the spell once, and then only for a few moments. As Twilight Sparkle learned, using Starswirl's Time Travel Spell to warn the past about the future can have drastic results, so one should be very careful casting this spell! Maybe she should have gone back in time to warn Past Spike about Future Spike's tummy ache instead? Nah..."

WeLoveFine sells an art print with a fan-design of Star Swirl the Bearded and a T-shirt showing Twilight Sparkle dressed up as Star Swirl the Bearded.

Promotional material

Promotional Facebook Halloween 2011 Twilight Star Swirl
Twilight dressed as Star Swirl the Bearded, from a promotional image for Luna Eclipsed.
PonyNewsAdded by PonyNews
In The Hub's Facebook app Ponyscopes, of the horoscopes for January 8th, 2013, attributed to Twilight Sparkle, the Sagittarius horoscope is "It's time to restock supplies! I always carry extra quills, scrolls, ink, books, and Starswirl the Bearded's tenants at all times."[8] In Hot Topic and The Hub's Hot Minute interview with Twilight Sparkle, she responds to the prompt "Favorite hobby" with the answer "Spending time with my friends. And this pony can never read enough about the bold and brilliant Star Swirl the Bearded."[11]


"Never doubt yourself... You'll do great things for your subjects. We all know that."
— To Princess Celestia, Friendship is Magic Issue #17 page 8
"Come along, princess. Adventure is out there."
Friendship is Magic Issue #17 page 14
"I'm too old for this."
Friendship is Magic Issue #17 page 18
"This hat is amazing! It's the hattiest hat to ever hat! It just needs bells!"
— "How Star Swirl Got His Hat" short story

See also


  1. M.A. Larson panel. Midwestria 2012 (2012-09-25). Retrieved on 2012 October 1.
  2. CC_Hub_MLP Activity Sheets_R5_MG_v6 (2013-04-19). Retrieved on 2013 April 23.
  3. My Little Pony - Halloween Costumes (2011-10-20). Retrieved on 2012 September 28.
  4. Luna Eclipsed (2012-12-26). Retrieved on 2013 April 23.
  5. Exclusive: Halloween Episode of My Little Pony Will Be a Night Mare (2011-10-21). Retrieved on 2012 September 28.
  6. Meghan McCarthy on Twitter (2013-01-19). Retrieved on 2013 January 19.
  7. M.A. Larson on Twitter (2013-01-07). Retrieved on 2013 January 9.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Sagittarius.xml. Retrieved on 2013 January 17.
  9. Dog Tags are coming!. Facebook (2013-10-09). Retrieved on 2013 October 9.
  10. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #17 Comic Pre-Order. Hot Topic. Retrieved on 2014 March 5.
  11. Hot Minute: My Little Pony's Twilight Sparkle (2013-04-12). Retrieved on 2013 April 12.
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