• Pony Spotlight #1 - Lyra Heartstrings

    Howdy, folks! TheSlorg here, with the first in a new series of posts spotlighting the very things we come here to see: ponies!

    The past five seasons of MLP have introduced us to a huge variety of ponies, each with their own (mostly) unique designs and personalities. Some started out with specific traits that have grown or changed over time, and others probably wouldn't have been fleshed out at all if it weren't for the fandom's enthusiasm over them.

    Pony Spotlight will focus on one of these ponies each week and take at look at their beginnings, how they've grown over the series, where they are now, and we'll even throw in some fun stats. We're starting off with somepony you may have heard of. Her name is Lyra Heartstrings, and you can read all about her below the break.

    Name: Lyra Heartstrings
    Aliases: Heartstrings, Incidental Unicorn #2
    Cutie Mark: Golden lyre
    Appearances: 72 episodes, Rainbow Rocks, Friendship Games
    First Appearance: Friendship is Magic part 1
    Speaking Roles: 3
    Random Fact: Lyra is the second pony (behind Fluttershy) to be shown crying from being upset.


    Lyra Heartstrings. Here is a pony who was friends with both Twilight Sparkle and Moon Dancer prior to either of them knowing just how important friendship could be. A pony whose best friend once hunted monsters under direct orders from Princess Celestia herself. Before we knew any of that, however, Lyra was just an incidental unicorn who waved at Twilight Sparkle and was subsequently ignored.

    That's right. Before Lyra was Lyra, she was known as Incidental Unicorn #2 to the show staff. In the early days of the show, there weren't any plans to give Lyra a name, let alone a personality. She literally was just a number – a design meant to look pretty and fill in gaps whenever a unicorn was needed in the background, though that didn't stop the fandom from latching onto her.

    Even early on, Lyra's unique color palette really helped her to stand out from the crowd. This was sometimes a problem, as images began to appear online of groups of ponies that would sometimes show three or more 'Lyras' hiding within. Thus began the first ironic rumors that perhaps changelings existed in Equestria.

    Cute, if possibly inaccurate.


    Lyra has come a long way since the early days. The first hint of personality we were given was from her first appearance back in Friendship is Magic part 1. Just as Princess Celestia was being announced for the Summer Sun Celebration, Lyra could be seen in the background hopping up and down excitedly. That would be the only personality trait she would be given until Swarm of the Century, where she became the second pony ever (behind Fluttershy) to weep tears of sorrow after a parasprite ate her cake. Curse that parasprite!

    At some point, she also sat on a bench. It led to things.

    By the time season two came along, a portion of the fandom had decided that Lyra's coincidental appearances beside Sweetie Drops clearly meant friendship – or more. The show staff caught on, as the pair appeared together more regularly, starting with Lesson Zero. At this stage, she could be considered to have been one of the 'main' background ponies. She showed up more frequently and did more than just stand in the background. All of this would culminate in the two-part season two finale, A Canterlot Wedding, where she would receive two of her three speaking roles (not counting song participation).

    Her first speaking role was in A Canterlot Wedding part 1, where she commented on a dress Rarity had made. In this episode, she was one of "Princess Cadance's" bridesmaids, along with two ponies we would later learn are two of Lyra's good friends, Minuette and Twinkleshine. In A Canterlot Wedding part 2, Lyra succumbs to Queen Chrysalis's mind control and speaks again, telling Twilight and the real Cadance that they're not going anywhere.

    She apparently can fly, too.

    Current Status

    Lyra saw little growth in season three, with mostly minor cameos and more excited hopping at the coronation of Princess Twilight.

    It is seasons four and five that have really fleshed out Lyra's characterizations and personality. Season four's Leap of Faith saw her judging a diving and swimming competition, and it was here that she was given another key personality trait: she is not easily impressed! She gives out the lowest scores of all of the judges with a look of contempt on her face, though Apple Bloom and Granny Smith's performance was enough to earn them a score of ten from her.

    Of course, the greatest reveal for Lyra recently came in season five's Slice of Life. It was here, in her third speaking role, that we found out that she and Sweetie Drops really are best friends. She also turned out to be the more normal of the pair with the revelation that Sweetie Drops used to be a monster hunter for Princess Celestia, and that the name Bon Bon is just a cover. Lyra also seems to be either naive, or purely innocent, as her idea of a deep, dark secret is the fact that she ate her best friend's expensive oats.

    Lyra has appeared in plenty of episodes since then, but two of note are Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep? where she is shown to dream that she is literally attached at the hip to Sweetie Drops, and Amending Fences, where we discover her friendships with Twilight Sparkle, Moon Dancer, Twinkleshine, Lemon Hearts, and Minuette. We also find out that since her first appearance, she has moved from Canterlot to Ponyville. This is pretty interesting, as you can go back and watch early episodes and actually see Lyra's and Sweetie Drops's friendship grow into what it has become by the time Slice of Life aired.

    Lyra Heartstrings. An innocent, excitable pony with a strong sense of friendship and a harsh set of standards when it comes time to judge something. What are some of your favorite Lyra moments? Which pony might you like to see in the next spotlight? Let me know in the comments below!

    5 Notable Lyra Fanfics:
    Background Pony
    The Last Human
    Harpflank and Sweets
    The Necromantic Adventures of Lyra Heartstrings

    3 Bonus Lyra Animations:

    Warning! Some mature content.