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To Change a Changeling
Pharynx stomping on flowers S7E17
Season №: 7
Season episode №: 17
Overall episode №: 160
Original airdate: September 2, 2017
Written by: Kevin Lappin
Storyboard: Megan Willis
and Jen Davreux
Featured characters: Starlight Glimmer
Trixie
Thorax
Pharynx
See also
creditstranscriptgalleryallusions
animation errorsstatisticsspeculation
Episode guide
Previous
Campfire Tales
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Daring Done?

To Change a Changeling is the seventeenth episode of season seven of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic and the one hundred and sixtieth overall.

In this episode, Starlight Glimmer and Trixie try to get Thorax's brother Pharynx to accept the changelings' new way of sharing love.

Production

In production order, this episode is season 7, episode 19.

This episode was previously scheduled to premiere on Canada's Treehouse TV channel on June 18, 2017,[1] but was later replaced by a repeat of Hard to Say Anything.

Summary

Surprise visit to the hive

Starlight and Trixie appear in the Changeling Kingdom S7E17

Return to the Changeling Kingdom (now with a coat of paint).

The episode begins with Starlight Glimmer and Trixie teleporting to the Changeling Kingdom to pay a surprise visit to Thorax and the changelings. In his letters to Starlight, Thorax has written that not only is he dealing with the responsibilities of being a leader but also the threat of a half-bear, half-mole creature called a maulwurf that keeps eating the changelings' plants. Trixie, however, is skeptical about the existence of such a creature.

Just then, an unreformed changeling appears before Starlight and Trixie, hissing menacingly at them. Starlight tries to fend off the attacking changeling with her magic, and Trixie tries to teleport them away, but the changeling quickly captures them. He takes them before Thorax, believing them to be trespassers, but Thorax says they are friends and to let them go. He apologizes to Starlight and Trixie for the rude welcome, explaining that the unreformed changeling is his older brother Pharynx.

Thorax telling Pharynx to calm down S7E17

Thorax reins in his big brother Pharynx.

Thorax says he has taken Princess Ember's advice to be more assertive and dealt with most of the renegade changelings, but Pharynx is the only one who still refuses to adopt the hive's new way of sharing love. As a result, all of the other changelings avoid him.

The new Changeling Kingdom

Pharynx "I put you in a bag" S7E17

Starlight and Trixie try to talk to Pharynx.

Thorax gives Starlight and Trixie a tour of the new Changeling Kingdom. Having abandoned their previous routines of hunting and patrolling, the changelings have adopted a variety of new activities including theater, dancing, arts and crafts, and the occasional potluck. Unfortunately, Pharynx constantly undermines these new ways, upsetting the rest of the changelings. Thorax fears if he can't convince Pharynx to accept love and friendship, it will cause the hive to question his leadership.

While Thorax and his subjects leave to lure the maulwurf away from the kingdom, Trixie and Starlight offer to talk with Pharynx. The ponies approach the rebellious changeling and try to connect with him, having their own experiences with being outsiders among their own kind. However, despite their lives being richer for letting go of the past, Pharynx considers them both losers and tells them to stay away from him.

Pharynx shouting at his fellow changelings S7E17

Pharynx openly speaks his mind in the feelings forum.

When Thorax returns, he shows Starlight and Trixie to the changelings' "feelings forum", where members of the hive come together to talk about their issues in a welcoming and open-minded environment. While the participants in the forum feel good talking about their problems, they are also very open about their grievances toward Pharynx. Pharynx enters to find his fellow changelings talking behind his back and voices his own outrage about the hive's weak and cowardly new ways. When Pharynx leaves, the rest of the changelings demand that he be banished from the Changeling Kingdom.

A lost cause?

Young changelings afraid of Pharynx S7E17

Young Pharynx sticks up for his little brother.

When the feelings forum is adjourned, Starlight regretfully considers the possibility that Pharynx is a lost cause and simply cannot be changed. Trixie agrees, and they decide to tell Thorax that he may have no choice than to banish his older brother. As they leave to talk to Thorax, Pharynx is revealed to have been listening in on their conversation.

At Thorax's throne, Starlight and Trixie try to talk to him about Pharynx, and Thorax tells them a story about his and Pharynx's childhood. When they were little, while Pharynx occasionally made fun of Thorax for his sensitivity, he also protected him from other changelings' similar ridicule. Despite his rebelliousness, Thorax is certain that Pharynx loves him in his own way and that there is good in him. Moved by Thorax's story, Starlight changes her mind about pushing for Pharynx's banishment and comes up with another idea.

Starlight Glimmer points at her trail of leaves S7E17

Starlight lays a trail of leaves for the maulwurf.

Outside the kingdom, Starlight lays a trail of leaves to lure the maulwurf to the hive. Her plan is to have Pharynx save the hive from the maulwurf so that the rest of the changelings will finally accept him. Unfortunately, Trixie cannot find Pharynx anywhere; having overheard their earlier conversation, Pharynx has apparently left the kingdom on his own.
"Then who's gonna stop the dread maulwurf I'm leading here?!"
— Starlight Glimmer

Attack of the maulwurf

Starlight Glimmer "just as strong embracing love" S7E17

Starlight tries to rally the changelings... to little effect.

Starlight and Trixie inform Thorax of this development; while the changelings are thrilled that Pharynx is gone, they are terrified that the maulwurf is headed their way. Upon learning that his brother is somewhere alone in the Badlands while the maulwurf is on the loose, he goes to save him, and Starlight and Trixie follow. The rest of the changelings, however, are too scared to also come along. Starlight attempts to rally the nervous changelings with an inspiring speech, saying that while they were forced to follow Queen Chrysalis against their will, Thorax's rule gives them the freedom to choose.

Unfortunately, the changelings are unmoved by the speech, and Starlight, Trixie, and Thorax head out to find Pharynx by themselves. Somewhere in the desert, they find Pharynx battling the rampaging maulwurf on his own. Starlight, Trixie, and Thorax try to help him, but the maulwurf's thick hide makes it impervious to most of their attacks. Suddenly, the rest of the changeling swarm appears to provide support, but they are unable to help much due to being out of combat practice.

Maulwurf smacks its own face again S7E17

Thorax and Pharynx turn the monster's strength against it.

Pharynx comes up with an idea inspired by how he used to tease Thorax when they were little, and the changeling brothers team up to make the maulwurf hit itself over and over. When the maulwurf's stamina is worn down enough, it retreats underground.

Epilogue

Pharynx looking at his new form S7E17

Pharynx transforms to become like his fellow changelings.

Thorax asks Pharynx why he challenged the maulwurf if he was leaving the hive. Pharynx explains that he couldn't just let it attack them; despite his distaste for the kingdom's new ways, he still cares about the hive and its safety. The other changelings admit their fault for dismissing Pharynx, saying they still need a protector from outside threats. Pharynx is so moved by the hive's acceptance of him that he transforms into a form similar to theirs.

Starlight apologizes to Pharynx for calling him a lost cause, and Pharynx thanks Thorax for not giving up on him. In recognition of his acceptance of the hive's new ways, he decides to share stories of his and Thorax's childhood.

Quotes

For more quotes, see the episode's transcript.
Starlight Glimmer: On a scale of one to ten, how happy do you think Thorax is gonna be about our surprise visit?
Trixie: Definitely ten. I mean, who wouldn't be happy at the chance to marvel at the overwhelming talent that is the Great and Powerful Trrrrrixie?!
Trixie: Teleportation spell, go! Teleportation spell, go! [gasps] Teleportation spell—!
Starlight Glimmer: Ugh! Why do you keep doing that? You know it doesn't work that way.
Trixie: I know, but this is my process.
Pharynx: In the old days, I would've already feasted on their love.
Thorax: Well, that's why they're called the "old days", because they're old. We don't do that anymore.
Starlight Glimmer: Your brother?
Thorax: Yep. Pharynx is my elder broodmate.
Pharynx: I don't take advice from ponies. The only thing I take from you is breakfast.
Pharynx: The changelings used to be a fearsome swarm! Now we sit around talking about our feelings so much, you can't even stop a maulwurf from eating all your "pretty plants"! I could've sent that thing packing before, but I guess now we'll just try to lead it away and hope that keeps us safe!
Starlight Glimmer: I think he might have to kick Pharynx out. But I don't wanna be the one to tell Thorax that.
Trixie: Me, neither. But somepony probably should. I nominate you!
Young Pharynx: Why are you hitting yourself?! Stop hitting yourself! Why are you hitting yourself?!
Starlight Glimmer: Oh, sure, you could all stay here, not help Pharynx and he won't bother you anymore. It's your choice. But remember when you didn't have a choice! When you were forced to obey Chrysalis! You might have been unstoppable, but you weren't free to choose! And now you are, because of Thorax! Well, it's his brother out there, and now it's your chance to prove you're just as strong embracing love as you were feeding on it! Now is your chance to show what changelings can really be! Not because you have to, but because you choose to!
Trixie: That was an amazingly epic speech, Starlight! I just can't believe not a single changeling was moved by it.
Pharynx: Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself?!
Thorax: Yeah, maulwurf, why are you hitting yourself?
Pharynx: You all want me to stay?
Thorax: Unless you still want to leave the hive.
Pharynx: Why would I want that? I love the hive!
Thorax: Lucky for us, you weren't a lost cause.
Pharynx: Lucky for me, you didn't give up on me.

Gallery

Young Pharynx smirking at Thorax S7E17

To Change a Changeling image gallery

References

  1. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic : To Change a Changeling. Screener. Retrieved on 2017 May 17.
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To Change a Changeling
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