Since Season 4 is still so far away, I figured I might as well try to reanalyze a few aspects of FiM. This is an opinion blog and little else, but if you think I'm overlooking something, if you disagree entirely, or even if you just want to back up something I've said, leave a comment. Who knows? You might even learn something along the way.

Without any further ado, the countdown begins...

10. Applejack's Parents

Ending S3E8

According to storyboard artist Sabrina Alberghetti, the shooting stars at the end of Apple Family Reunion  represent the parents of Applejack, Big Macintosh, and Apple Bloom. These parents have not been seen in any instance in the series. Since shooting stars are associated with spirits in many cultures, this of course heavily implies that the two are deceased. Therefore, Applejack and Apple Bloom, two of the most commonly seen characters, are both orphans. While the show does not ever say this explicitly, the fact that the main cast features orphaned characters is something uncommon to "children's shows" and almost unique to FiM. These implied deaths may add a heartwarming touch to the conclusion of the episode by suggesting that their parents are still watching over them, but the point remains. Even the celebrated Apple Family is not exempt from loss.

9. Pinkamena Diane Pie

Pinkie Pie surrounded by darkness under a cone of light S01E25

In the episode Party of One, Pinkie lost faith in the rest of the Mane 6 and underwent a psychological change that was somewhat... perplexing. After convincing herself (via Spike) that they did not want anything to do with her anymore, Pinkie began to personify inanimate objects and throw a party with them. Thus Madame leFlour, Sir Lintsalot, Rocky, and Mr. Turnip were born. Someone recently reminded me of a Spongebob Squarepants episode that involved a similar event, but this change is different by far. Unlike that sponge, Pinkie's personality seemed to fall apart at the seams, and she began to look down upon the others; her partygoing personae even referred to them as losers, and the new Pinkie agreed before long.

This event is dark for several reasons:

  1. Pinkie turned her back on Twilight and the others.
  2. Discord escaped only two episodes later. If Rainbow Dash had not come through here...
  3. And most importantly, the one character that everyone could count on for a laugh suddenly became one of the most depressing and frightful among them (albeit for only a few minutes).

8. The Madness of Discord (The Return of Harmony)

Discord "he's adorable the way he is" S03E10

Well, what can I say? He has the intellect of Q, the Joker's sense of humor, and the powers of a god. On top of all that, he simply does not care for the well-being of any creatures that are exposed to his powers. Ponyville could drown in chocolate for all he cared, as long as he could get a few laughs out of it.

And he could have been far worse. One little issue I always had with The Return of Harmony was that he abandoned his puppet strings after the first few minutes. These strings did a wonderful job symbolizing his aim: to make all of Equestria into his plaything. When all of its inhabitants are marionettes, it's clear that Discord is having a field day.

7. Creepypastas (I'll be brief)

FANMADE Pinkamena Diane Pie

They're nasty and all that, but they're not really part of the series. The main reason why this is on the list is that incidents within the series inspire writings such as these. For example, Pinkie's behavior in Party of One has inspired a few particularly sanguinary works. It just shows how one form of madness leads to another.

6. Lesson Zero

Pinkie Pie not taking Twilight seriously S2E3

One of the most intriguing characteristics of Twilight Sparkle is her psychological state, which seems to display a wide variety of "disorders" including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Neurosis, and perhaps even Asperger's Syndrome. One example of her compulsive behavior lies in Spike at Your Service. Applejack, after failing to get Twilight's attention through dialogue, finally succeeds by moving one of the quills on her desk by only a few inches.

Lesson Zero displays Twilight at her worst. She terrorizes schoolchildren, compels the mayor and countless other citizens to fight in an all-out brawl, and comes fairly close to driving herself insane. Princess Celestia herself comes to sort out the mess once it gets out of hand. This episode actually adds a great deal of character to Twilight, but it reveals something far more unnerving as well.

The rest of the Mane Six were unwilling to help Twilight; they dismissed her problem as a trifle.

(No friendship. No magic. No harmony.)

5. The Mystery of Scootaloo

Scootaloo she thinks I am S3E6

For a pony who appears as often as Scootaloo, she has very little character ties. She interacts with Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle frequently, but aside from them and RD (who I'll discuss soon) Scootaloo has no one else to interact with. No parents, no siblings, no other friends.

So the first question is whether or not Scootaloo's parents are alive. Is she an orphan, or does she have a living parent who watches over her? Truthfully though, it does not matter. Whoever her guardian is, he/she is doing such a poor job that Scootaloo has turned to Rainbow Dash, a pony who had an entire episode dedicated to deflating her ego, for a role model. Since Scootaloo rarely looks to anyone else but RD and the other CMC for guidance, it is inevitable that Scootaloo will soon begin to mimic RD. As a result, this filly will likely become a conceited jerk, just like her hero.

Simply put, her past is murky, her present is murkier, and her future will be decided by the mess that has already unfolded. Not a pleasant thought.

4. King Sombra's Return

King Sombra eyes flash S3E1

King Sombra appeared to have only one desire: to subjugate the Crystal Empire once again and consolidate his reign. How he went about it, however, was a bit more unnerving. He cursed the entire populace, he had a variety of diabolical tricks and traps, he was unrelenting, and he may have even tried to impale Spike (it's debatable). On top of all that, he was capable of singlehandedly enslaving the entire empire, or so Celestia's flashback suggests. Speaking of that, he even uses the word. "My crystal slaves..." That is by no means a child-friendly topic.

3. Cadance the Killer

Chrysalis in her Cadance disguise S2E25

There are plenty that would disagree with me on this, but I think it has to be said. Cadance is without a doubt the most violent character in FiM. She kills someone in almost every appearance. If the comics are taken as non-canon, the list consists of the following:

  • Queen Chrysalis
  • The majority of the changeling army (maybe even the majority of their race)
  • King Sombra

Celestia has not killed anyone. Luna has not killed anyone. Twilight has not killed anyone. Princess Cadance, however, has no qualms killing her foes. In fact, she tends to take a quick and merciless approach when dispatching her enemies.

On a side note, her first legitimate appearance in Canterlot suggests that she was mishandled by her captors.

Princess Cadance smiling S2E26

Maybe she was beaten by the changelings? It's just speculation, but it seems entirely possible.


Comic issue 7 page 2 crop

The IDW comics are not meant for the same audience as the FiM show, and they deal with matters of a much darker nature. Here are a few examples.

  • While all three of the CMC watch in horror, Queen Chrysalis kills a helpless kitten in a rather bloody fashion.
  • The changeling army feasts on a town of similarly helpless kittens. All that remains is a barren, soulless wasteland. Few structures remain standing.
  • Rarity becomes the Second Nightmare Moon. Willingly.
  • Nightmare Rarity tries to take advantage of Spike's love and sway him to side with the Nightmare.
  • Spike ends up heartbroken, but he does later manage to free Twilight and the others.

If the writer had not revealed that Shadowfright's true name was Larry, all of this might have been too much. (Just kidding... or am I?) The comics are well-written, and they add depth to the characters in a way that the show never could--a way that is a little too mature and depressing for the FiM show on the Hub.

1. The Tale of Princess Luna

Sun and Jealous Luna S01E01

When you consider that Friendship is Magic is the pilot episode, Nightmare Moon's nonsensical approaches begin to seem more... fitting. On account of her backstory, Nightmare Moon is arguably the darkest character in all of FiM, and if she ever returns in the show, I suspect she will be much more formidable than last time.

The story itself is the keystone of this item on the list. It all starts with Princess Celestia, a beloved regent whose light warms the earth and brings joy to all the ponies of Equestria. Celestia was praised by her subjects, and they adored her with all their hearts and souls. While Celestia basked in their praise, Princess Luna, whose beautiful light only made ponies want to rest peacefully, grew resentful. They ruled Equestria together, so was she not owed her due share of adoration? Over the course of centuries, Luna's misery only worsened.

And what did Celestia do? Caught up in her own glory, she did not notice what was happening to her sister (otherwise, she would have done something). Luna grew jealous and spiteful. And then one day... Luna could not stand it anymore. With dark powers fueling her ambition, she decided to take a stand; she refused to banish the night.

In response to the rebellion of Luna (now Nightmare Moon, an ebon alicorn whose might surpassed even Celestia's), the solar princess had only one option: the Elements of Harmony. A weapon that would neutralize the threat Nightmare Moon posed and hopefully save the sister she once loved.

As you already know... the latter wish was not fulfilled. Not until after one thousand years of regret and sorrow had passed at an agonizing pace.

Neglect was the root of the problem, and after a thousand years, what did Equestria learn? Nothing. In Luna Eclipsed, Princess Luna was neglected once again, this time as a monster. The entire episode consisted of let-downs and aversions. Even after she served her sentence, Luna was plagued by a similar problem.

All she wanted was appreciation.

Soooo... that said, I leave it to you, dear reader. Feedback is appreciated.