• Pony Spotlight #9 - Starlight Glimmer

    Greetings, everyone. TheSlorg here with a 'better late than never' Pony Spotlight!

    Yes, Pony Spotlight has been missing in action for the past few weeks due to a completely fried computer, but now it's back. What better way is there to return than with somepony who is set to perhaps become a major force in the upcoming season?

    She's crafty, she's powerful, and she's emotionally unstable. It's Starlight Glimmer! Find out all about her below the break.

    Name: Starlight Glimmer
    Aliases: Aurora Glimmer, Mayor Marx, Glim Glim
    Cutie Mark: Falling star
    Appearances: 6 episodes
    Speaking Roles: 4
    Random Fact: In the Art of Equestria book, Starlight was shown to have four other mane styles considered for her. One of these was very similar to Rainbow Dash's.


    Ah, Starlight Glimmer. Here is a pony who carries some deep emotional baggage. But before we knew about any of that, we first saw her as the somewhat misguided founder of a town based on equality for all.

    Starlight's first appearance was in season five's The Cutie Map part 1 when she welcomes the Mane Six to her town. She immediately recognizes Twilight Sparkle as an alicorn and assumes she is a princess because of it. This tells us a few things right off the bat. We know that the town must be a fair distance away from any other civilized location, or Starlight would have already known about Equestria's newest princess. This also shows that either it's a well-known fact that alicorns automatically equal royalty in Equestria, or that Starlight is educated enough despite her location that she can make a good guess.

    She then quickly bursts into song, revealing her motivations for founding the town. She teaches the ponies there that, because cutie marks represent one's special unique talent, they are a constant reminder of a pony's superiority at that particular talent. Differences lead to arguments, which leads to disharmony in her eyes. The only way everypony can get along is if they are all treated equal in every way.

    This way of thinking doesn't just focus on cutie marks, either. Every house is built the same, all the clothes on offer are the same, and even the food is the same on any given day. The mane styles that the ponies are allowed to have also seem to be limited to just one or two choices, for the most part.

    What's interesting is that, had the Mane Six not visited the town, there's a chance that Starlight Glimmer would have been quite content to remain there without causing any further trouble. It's the arrival of Twilight that sparks Starlight's interest in converting a princess to her cause. There is no evidence that Starlight wanted to do this by force until she learned that the Mane Six knew about the cutie mark vault. It was only then that she formulated the plan to steal their cutie marks and force them to accept her way of thinking. Furthermore, Starlight states that it is her Staff of Sameness that has the ability to remove cutie marks, but it is later revealed that the staff is no more than an ordinary stick. It turns out that it's Starlight's own magic that allows her to do this, giving an early hint of just how powerful a magic user she is.

    In The Cutie Map part 2, Starlight attempts to brainwash the Mane Six into believing her philosophy is the best way of life. She fails when Twilight and Fluttershy trick her into revealing that she's kept her own cutie mark, turning the town ponies against her. Her escape showcases some more of her magical ability, as well as the first signs of a complete mental breakdown when she loses her temper and attempts to blast Double Diamond, Party Favor, Night Glider, and Sugar Belle. While Twilight Sparkle hopes that time will help Starlight to learn the error of her ways, the season finale would show us that quite the opposite happens.


    Starlight would disappear for nine episodes, but would then reappear in Amending Fences. In this episode, she can be found sitting in the background at the table on the left when Twilight and her friends go out for dinner. She is hiding behind a menu, but is clearly eavesdropping. She then disappears for another nine episodes before reappearing in What About Discord? Her appearance in this episode is very easy to miss, as she is hidden in some bushes in the background for no more than 2 seconds whilst Twilight, her friends, and Discord have a discussion in the park.

    Her next full appearance would be in the two part season finale, The Cutie Re-Mark. It is in this episode that we see Twilight Sparkle's remarks about time solving Starlight's issues would be ironic in more ways than one. Starlight, furious that Twilight Sparkle ruined her idea of the perfect village in which to remain happy, isn't satisfied with the idea of simply rebuilding. She is now determined to destroy Twilight's friendships, and is willing to do anything to see that she succeeds.

    It is sometimes argued that Starlight was a villain who was redeemed too quickly, or that her motivations didn't make sense. But Starlight didn't start out as a villain. She was a pony who was misguided in her beliefs, sure, but she didn't truly turn villainous until she decided to destroy Twilight Sparkles friendships in exchange for having everything she believed in taken from her. In her mind, it was Twilight Sparkle who was the villain, and she felt justified in her quest for revenge.

    As we see throughout the two part finale, she tries to accomplish her goal by removing the very thing that brought Twilight's friends together: Rainbow Dash's first sonic rainboom. Keep this in mind. Her motivation isn't to destroy Equestria, she simply wants to see Twilight Sparkle hurt for her interference in Starlight's life. She also doesn't see any of the consequences of her actions until late in the episode. In her mind, she's just tormenting Twilight over and over again. She had no idea what the landscapes that she sent Twilight to actually looked like. It isn't until she is grabbed and brought along for a ride through time that Starlight actually sees what her actions have caused, and even then it wouldn't be out of character for her to disbelieve what Twilight is trying to tell her.

    Starlight Glimmer's redemption is not sudden. It takes place throughout the entire episode as Twilight continually tries to explain what is happening. Even when shown the consequences of her actions, Starlight is still hesitant to trust Twilight's word. It is only when Twilight admits that she has no idea what could have caused Starlight to care about her philosophy so much that Starlight finally decides to show her why.

    The flashback showing Starlight's childhood shows her motivation for wishing everypony were equal. This is not her motivation for turning villainous, as we've already seen that it is Twilight's interference with her town that causes Starlight to begin her journey down a much darker path. We're shown what's presumably Starlight's only childhood friend being taken away from her suddenly and without explanation, as she states she never saw him again. It would have to have been explained to her later on as to why he was taken away. This would cause issues for anyone that young, especially since he was her only friend. The natural childlike response would be to dislike whatever it was that caused him to be taken away from her. We also learn that she never made another friend after that.

    Without knowing her family situation, we can only speculate how the rest of her childhood played out. If her parents were around, it'd be easy to imagine at the very least a difficult family life with her parents urging her to make friends and her being completely uninterested . If they weren't around, then it's easy to imagine a completely twisted and emotionally unstable outlook on life being the result of such a childhood.

    Current Status

    In the end, Twilight Sparkle successfully assisted Starlight Glimmer in redeeming herself. With her enemy continually trying her best to understand what she was going through, Starlight finally had to admit to herself that maybe Twilight wasn't trying to ruin her after all. It was an enormous leap of faith, considering her lack of any real friendships, to trust somepony who she was certain was her enemy, but Starlight proved that she wasn't too far gone.

    Her magical ability is said to be on par with that of Twilight Sparkle's. She can remove cutie marks, has spell blasts that equal Twilight's, and is the first non-pegasus pony to be shown flying by using her magic. What more does she have in store?

    She has now been taken on as an apprentice to Twilight Sparkle, and she is due to appear in the upcoming season. As a pony who is basically still new to the concept of true friendship, it should be interesting to see how she develops throughout the season. Will she become a good student in the magic of friendship, or will her past beliefs and mistakes continue to disrupt her on her path to harmony? Only time will tell!

    Starlight Glimmer! A powerful, but misguided pony who still has a lot to learn about friendship! What are your favorite Starlight Glimmer moments? Which pony would you like to see in the next Spotlight? Let me know in the comments below!

    Some Starlight Glimmer Fanfics

    Bonus Videos!