Well, Equestria Daily are doing their usual good job at keeping us up-to-date in new information about the show. The preview synopses for the first three episodes have now been published and are as follows:
Season 4 Episode 1
Title: Princess Twilight Part 1
Synopsis: Now a Princess, Twilight Sparkle's Summer Sun Celebration plans are put on hold when Princesses Luna and Celestia go missing.
Season 4 Episode 2:
Title: Princess Twilight Part 2
Synopsis: In order to save Equestria from the Everfree Forest, Princess Twilight and friends must bring their Elements to the Tree of Harmony.
Season 4 Episode 3
Synopsis: While in Luna and Celestia's old castle, the ponies are convinced it is haunted by the Pony of Shadows.
Princess Twilight already sounds like it's going to be a major world-building episode. The fact that Celestia and Luna go missing immediately makes me think that this is a Nightmare Moon-level crisis. You will recall that waaay back in Season 1, Celestia vanishes when NMM reappears and no explanation for this has ever been given. At a guess, the Alicorn Sisters are somehow a representation of the magical harmony of Equestia and, when that is unbalanced, the alicorns may be restrained or even disempowered in some way.
There are two obvious things to look for here:
- The Everfree Forest starts to expand out of control. This implies that the forest might be an artefact of a pre-Pony magical order and will start to reclaim the land if the power of the ponies' magic is threatened;
- Something called 'The Tree of Harmony' - evidently deep within the Everfree - is to be revealed. It is my hope that this may lead to an explanation of the Elements' origin and, maybe, even the origin of modern Equestria.
In any case, taking the events in Episode 3 into consideration, I think that what happens at this 'Tree of Harmony' may be a very, very important event, perhaps at a G1 level of importance (the difference between survival and extinction for life on Equestria).
Some have suggested that this event may be using the Elements on the Tree of Harmony, thus restoring the balance in the Everfree Forest and possibly making it part of the area controlled by the ponies' magic, effectively taming it. I think this is very possible given by what happens next.
In Castle-Mania, the Mane Six are staying at the Castle of the Two Pony Sisters. Why would they be staying at the castle unless the forest was suddenly a lot safer and, more importantly, they had a reason to be there? Such as the castle being Twilight's new home? No doubt those six would have the place looking like new within a few weeks but...
But, first they have to deal with the Pony of Shadows. And old Mare's tale, of course, just like Nightmare Moon. I suspect that this is the episode when we'll see Luna's transformation scene that we saw in the animatic preview. Maybe, at last, we'll find out just what is behind the Nightmare and, possibly, Sombra too.
- Whatever happens in Episodes 1 & 2 will involve the magical balance of Equestria;
- When the Elements do their reset thing, then the Everfree Forest will have been 'tamed' to a certain value of the word;
- Twilight is going to be given the Castle of the Two Pony Sisters as her royal palace. It's a fixer-upper but I can already hear Applejack, Rarity and Pinkie Pie's ultra-optimistic appraisal of the work ahead;
- We are about to find out the origin of the Nightmare.