Windigos in Hearth's Warming Eve
Windigos are a race of ghostly horse-like creatures that first appear in the season two episode Hearth's Warming Eve. They are winter spirits that feed off of the fighting and hatred between others and create blizzards and freezing weather.
Design and development
Windigos bear a resemblance to horses but are ghostly and translucent in appearance and have no lower body.
They are based on the Wendigo of Algonquian mythology, a malevolent, anthropophagic supernatural spirit or deity associated with winter, the North, coldness, as well as famine and starvation. The word "windigo" is also often used to describe or name people who have gone mad or are thought to be cannibals, such as in Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine.
Depiction in the seriesWindigos first appear in Hearth's Warming Eve during the titular pageant that Twilight Sparkle and her friends put on in Canterlot. In a reenactment of the ongoing feud between Earth ponies, Pegasi, and unicorns, three windigos hover in the sky over the grand summit, looking down with glowing blue eyes.
Later in the episode, the windigos appear again when a conflict escalates between Princess Platinum, Commander Hurricane, and Chancellor Puddinghead. According to Platinum's advisor Clover the Clever, windigos are "winter spirits that feed off fighting and hatred. The more hate the spirit feels, the colder things become!" Before the windigos freeze the ponies in ice, the friendliness and warmth between Clover, Smart Cookie, and Private Pansy creates the Fire of Friendship, melting the ice and driving the windigos away.
At the end of the episode, the Mane Six hear a gust of wind similar to a windigo's howl outside Canterlot Castle.In the season five episode Hearthbreakers, Applejack briefly recaps the tale of Hearth's Warming Eve, including the role the windigos played in it. In addition, a Friendship Express train conductor sells "windigo-frosted snow cones" to train passengers.
In the season six episode A Hearth's Warming Tail, windigos appear in the titular story "A Hearth's Warming Tale". They are believed to be fictional creatures in "a little filly's story" by Snowfall Frost and Professor Flintheart. Windigos made of smoke appear during Snowfall's song Say Goodbye to the Holiday, and they appear in a future shown by the Spirit of Hearth's Warming Future blanketing Equestria with eternal blizzards.
In chapter 5 of the chapter book Princess Celestia and the Summer of Royal Waves, "Lesson Number Fun", Princess Celestia asks Duchess Diamond Waves' class of foals at the Monacolt Magic Academy what a windigo is, and Ambrosia Breeze answers "A-Windigo-is-an-evil-spirit-that-feeds-off-fighting-and-hatred-but-can-be-defeated-by-any-'love fire'-such-as-friendship-fire-or-caring-fire."
In The Dragons on Dazzle Island, windigos create cold weather on Dazzle Island due to a disagreement between the native island ponies and a group of migrating dragons. The windigos vanish when Spike convinces the ponies and dragons to come together in friendship.
The Elements of Harmony guidebook
Legend has it that WINDIGOS are cold winter spirits that are fueled by hatred and evil. The more hate that a Windigo absorbs, the colder the weather becomes. They're said to look like transparent, ghostly horses and can only be vanquished using the Fire of Friendship.