Everyone has their wish-list for Season 7 (whether or not they've trusted it to the public record), so why should I be any different. I don't have a detailed list of episodes that I want but there are some broad concepts that I'd like to see followed up. I just thought I'd share them with you all.
Meta-Arc & Season Bookend Two-Parters
By far, my favourite season was season 4, with the Keys of Harmony ongoing arc that linked the season together from beginning to end. With a total of two two-parters plus six episodes (remembering that Castle Mane-ia at least had a significant reference to the Mysterious Chest, even though it wasn't a Key episode) it was the most ambitious running plot that the show has ever attempted and, I hope, could be used as a framing device for a future attempt.
What sort of Meta-Arc would I like to see?
The Glyphs of Disharmony
My idea is for a series of quests where individual members of the Mane Six attempt to hunt down magical artefacts that generate the anti-form of one of the Elements of Harmony. Somepony has apparently located them and is attempting to use them to create disharmony and chaos in Equestria (probably with the goal of their own power). Each member of the Mane Six would have a focus episode when they look for the Glyph that is the anti-form of their Element (Rainbow chasing Betrayal, Pinkie chasing Despair and the like).
To create tension, I'd like for at least half of these quests to end in failure. This would be a deliberate hook for the season finalé when the Mane Six have to face the combined power of the Glyphs (the last three having been stolen from the Castle of Friendship by the Lieutenants of the Big Bad, maybe Lightning Dust and Suri Polomare). Thus everything is set up for a big final confrontation - Harmony vs. Disharmony
However, I don't think that the focus episodes would work well as solo episodes. I'd like for the Mane Six to have sidekicks in these episodes who would be the main 'student' who learns a lesson towards the end. What's my idea about that?
Flash Sentry and the Shadowbolts
The introduction of these new secondary characters would be one of the main threads of the season opener.
After a lot of nagging, Celestia, Luna and Cadence have persuaded Twilight to at least have a pretence of having a royal guard at the castle. Celestia being Celestia, she took this as a chance to solve some 'problems' in the EUP Guard. The five mares who end up as Twilight's soldiers seem to be the most quarrelsome and antisocial ponies in all of Equestria. They are the pony versions of the Crystal Prep Shadowbolts. Additionally, a certain Lieutenant Flash Sentry is assigned to be their commander (something for which Twilight openly blames Cadence's desire to match-make for her sister-in-law).
At first (in the opening two-parter, it seems like a disaster. The Shadowbolts can't get along with each other and Flash insists on treating Twilight like she is made of fine china and cannot be risked (or even allowed to be hypothetically at risk). It isn't until the conclusion that the guards prove their worth (and, more importantly, the Mane Six prove their worth by using their various special talents - Rainbow's speed, Fluttershy's empathy and Rarity's geokinesis) to prove that they can look after themselves).
Thereafter, each Shadowbolt will be paired with their Mane Six equivalent (For example, Sour Sweet with Fluttershy) for a Glyph episode. The secondary plot of each episode would be the Bearer of the double-team to teach theri Shadow the true nature of their Element and for their eventual triump (no matter how qualified) be due to this revelation.
Shadowbolt Special Abilities:
Indigo Zap - Air Scout and Interceptor
Sunny Flare - Battlemage
Lemon Zest - Close-quarters fighter (which plays into her party-loving off-duty life; she's a great dancer)
Sugarcoat - Heavy Charger
Sour Sweet - Sniper
I'd not want any FlashLight hints; those would be divisive. However, Flash and Twilight learning to respect each other, their skills, duties and perspectives would be great. Maybe, at the climax, the growth of their professional relationship can be shown by the unquestioning way he follows his Princess's lead in battle without question. He still believes that 'The Princess Cannot Be Risked' but understands that she also has a role to play that requires she have freedom. Similarly, Twilight now understands Flash's duty and lets him carry it out to his considerable ability.
The concluding two parter will have the still-unidentified Big Bad use all six Glyphs to trigger chaos in several northern towns, disrupting communication across Equestria and threatening spreading chaos across the nation. Whilst the Mane Six and the Shadowbolts are trying to track down their foe, Shining Armour leads a legion of his best troops towards a point triangulated by Sunburst and Starlight Glimmer.
This episode will have two key plot threads:
- Guardians of Harmony-referencing action as the Crystal Army drives through the mind-controlled 'orc horde' of chaotic ponies
- The Shadowbolts helping the Mane Six conquer the disordering power of the Glyphs and ultimately assert the power of the Elements within themselves too.
The episode will also debut a new 'Guardians of Harmony' character design for the Mane Six - Elaborate versions of the EUP armour that reflects their individual styles and aesthetic. Once again, the Mane Six's special non-Element abilities will have a strong role to play in how they defeat enemies.
Finally, the heroes sneak into the Castle of Disharmony and, after defeating a few elite mooks, confront the Big Bad who turns out to be the pony version of Abacus Cinch. She monologues to explain her background and motives (she was Sombra's Grand Vizer and wishes to both avenge her patron and also re-establish his empire (as well as expand it worldwide). The Glyphs, it turns out, are Sombra's creations; she knew where they were hidden and how to activate them because she had been Sombra's aide a thousand years ago.
Whilst Flash and the Shadowbolts fight off Cinch's Lieutenants (including every antagonist you can think of offhand, including some that may have been introduced in this season), Twilight and the Mane Six directly engage Cinch, who is trying to use the combined power of the Glyphs to control them the way she controls many other ponies.
Simultaneously, in a show of military force like something out of Space Marines, Shiny and his solders are smashing their way past Cinch's guards (who are mostly ponies from non-Equestrian tribes like those who supported Ahuitzotl in Daring Don't). This includes a display of full combined arms - Pegasus and Griffin air support, Unicorn battlemages and medieval-style siege engines.
Finally, Twilight is able to create a large enough magical 'hole' in the centre of the formation of the Glyphs for the Six to enter and trigger the Rainbow Power, shattering the Gylphs forever.
Cinch flees and runs into Shining Armour and his solders, who have just finished mopping up her 'army'. After an attempt to bluster, she surrenders and is placed under arrest.
The epilogue is a victory parade modelled on the one from Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace.
- Spike runs into Princess Ember again;
- Rarity meets with Sassy Saddles and Coco Pommel to discuss the future direction of her franchise;
- The Cake Twins grow up (switch from 'baby' to 'colt' and 'filly' character models);
- Rainbow Dash, as a Wonderbolt, is called on to go on active duty with the Guard (leading to some interesting bonding with Indigo Zap and Sour Sweet about active duty).
The Cutie Mark Crusaders
I'd like for the girls to have far more independent episodes in season 7, including travelling without their big sisters to help ponies, maybe including being summoned by the Cutie Map on occasion.
I'd also like for more focus on the Crusaders' individual talents as tools to solve problems - Scootaloo's ability as a daredevil pilot, Applebloom's crafting skills (alchemical as well as engineering) and Sweetie Belle's people skills and singing.
Maybe we could also run into Babs and Gabby too (a Crusader's Grand Club Meeting?).
Starlight Glimmer might work well as a stand-alone character with her own ally-group and area of interest. Maybe she's moved to The Crystal Empire to be with Sunburst. Given her good relationship with King Thorax, Cadance invites her to act as the Ambassador of Friendship to the Changelings.
I'd enjoy a few episodes of her helping the newly-evolved Changelings learn how to use the Magic of Friendship. I'd also like for Trixie to return as her regular sidekick and for her entertainment skills to be a critical part of the solution to many problems.
Shadowbolt Stand-Alone Episodes
I'd like for the Shadowbolts to have some screen time outside of Glyph episodes, even if only in secondary or background roles. Maybe we could see Flash and one of the others acting as Twilight's personal protection detail at official engagements.
One episode idea I'd love to see realised out is a 'Shadowbolt Team Building' episode where the six guards learn how to work together as a team and as friends as part of a highly-comedic plot involving a thief in Ponyville (who turns out to be Snips and Snails for some bizarre reason such as them having mislaid a homework assignment).
So, what do you think?