• Community Soapbox #64 - New Villains, Harmony Tree, and Fanon Becoming Canon

    Expect these posts normally when not late every Tuesday at 2:00 PM PST. To submit your own, see this post.

    Note: These soapboxes do not at all reflect the ideas of EQD. They are an open forum for anyone to post whatever crazy theory they want.

    Headlines for the week:

    • A New "Villain" idea
    • Tempest Shadow Redemption Fatigue, and the Importance of Context
    • Theory on the Sentience of Harmony
    • A First in Cutie-mark History
    • Fanon Becoming Canon

    And get your soapboxes below!

    A New "Villain" idea
    By: James

    Friendship is Magic has a plethora of villains that oppose the Mane 6... even though most of them end up redeeming themselves at some point.
    Some fans were not fond of how the Mane 6 could forgive them, even after everything they've done, without punishment.

    What if there was a character; an anti-villain, who seeks justice on those he/she deems evil? This character could be a soldier to another kingdom, who's past is a tragic one involving death of a loved one (the writers probably won't do that, but anything that could be considered as universally tragic would suffice).
    Because of their past tragic past, they would become resentful towards those who wronged them, and will actively seek retribution.

    This could present a challenge for the Mane 6, as they would have to deal with a pony (or non-pony, it doesn't matter) who does not grasp the concept of forgiveness. They may also be adamant about the idea due to being so set in their ways.
    And if they end up redeeming, they may realize on their own that they have become something villainous.

    Tempest Shadow Redemption Fatigue, and the Importance of Context
    Credit: QuestionSeeker

    A common criticism I’ve been hearing regarding the MLP movie is Tempest Shadow feels tired as a character because of her being another in a line of frequent redemptions, and while I can understand the fatigue, I still don’t feel this is a problem. Yes, I would have liked if the movie was focused on Storm King or if she stayed an antagonist, but I feel that she’s still a great character with and without context. On her own she’s an intimidating, unique character with a beautiful villain song and a sympathetic story. She was physically disfigured as a kid, her being unable to control her magic made people afraid of her, she’s working for a guy who says he can give her back what she lost, and she switches sides when someone was there for her.

    She’s a sympathetic and likable character, and really that’s what should matter. The characters should be individually evaluated on their base characters and redemption executions, and I think Tempest more than passes the test. Plus, it’s worth noting this script was done before Season 5. I’m sure Meghan McCathy didn’t anticipate that redemption would be so overused in her absence, and we should evaluate it as the standalone adventure it is. The characters won’t be coming back anytime soon, and save for some conspicuous cameos, this movie can easily be watched just after Season 4, and that’s how I’m choosing to file it: right behind Rainbow Rocks in my personal viewing order when redemptions emphasized quality, not quantity.

    Theory on the Sentience of Harmony
    By: Dalvyn

    Is harmony an actual being/deity? The pillars planted the tree, but why is it so much more powerful then them and why does it seem to have a mind of it's own? Is it possible that harmony is an actual force that uses the Tree of Harmony as a conduit for it's power? Has it had a grand plan since the beginning of time? I believe that this is true and more than just "pillars planted tree and that explains everything" Since we first saw the tree it seemed to have a mind of it's own, it guided Twilight and helped her and even sensed when Starlight changed time itself. It is simply too...alive for it to just be the pillars magic. They grew the seed, and the all powerful spirit of harmony that binds all the land used it to create the elements.
    It has planned for everything to happen the way it has, even Twilight becoming an alicorn. While not seen in the physical world, it still has guided the path of MLP. Harmony is a spiritual force that guides life itself and binds Equestria (Harmony and friendship go together here). If Darkness has a manifestation in "the Shadow" and chaos has Discord, why wouldn't the magic of friendship/harmony also be it's own entity, that until the tree was planted, was simply a force that could not be seen, but was inside every living thing.

    Sensitizing the Desensitized
    By: Nightmare Muffin

    There’s no doubt that MLP: FIM has changed many lives of those watching and learning from it. This show doesn’t pull punches when it comes to addressing some of the more sensitive issues; bullying and parental loss, to name a few. However, I believe that it could do well to do even more. Desensitization of the hardships and suffering of others is an issue that plagues humanity. Wars, reports of wars, school shootings, and other acts of terrorism are so commonplace in our world, that many have become numb to empathy and apathy, to be moved to help how we can, these victims who experience such sufferings, Notably, such an attitude has leaked into the FiM world as well. Case in point: Diamond Tiara. Throughout her whole life, she’s been conditioned to accept negative influences of her parents and project hate and negativity onto the ponies who her parents led her to believe were beneath her, yet for all those years, ponies around her have been so desensitized to her suffering that no one took any preventative measures, until the CMC did- and only after actively avoiding the pony in question for years. Twilight being blind to Moondancer’s sufferings, too.

    A First in Cutie-mark History
    By: Koray Hatay

    After watching Marks and Recreation, I came to the personal conclusion that cutie-marks represent, as Apple Bloom says, what you CAN do. No matter how desperate or lost you may feel in your life, your cutie-mark will always provide you with a purpose to get by. They radiate psychological and monetary comfort, while also reminding individuals of the excitement that comes from self-discovery.

    So why is this important? Because if you think of cutie-marks in this sense, the story of Pear Butter becomes a fascinating tragedy. Her cutie mark was an homage to her family and its culture of pear farming, something that she obviously put effort into preserving (much like a preservation jar) in various forms. However her father, the depicted leader of the family, abandoned her during possibly the greatest challenge in her life.

    Conclusion: the meta-physical symbol on her flank, the one thing that was supposed to give her hope and purpose when life kicked her down, was not powerful enough to combat her father’s arrogance. Every time she looked upon that symbol up until her demise, she was likely reminded of disappointment and uncertainty. In essence, her cutie-mark became the very first reverse cutie-mark.

    Fanon Becoming Canon
    By: Quiet Bat Pony

    There’s no denying that the MLP fandom has had a big influence on the show’s canon. The fandom has helped give us great elements and characters like Derpy. But what can and can’t become canon?

    One of my favorite fan creations is Fluffle Puff. She’s incredibly adorable and the numerous videos of her adventures are amazing; but could she ever become part of the show? As awesome as that would be, the answer is probably no. Considering part of Fluffle Puff’s character is that she loves Chrysalis it’s highly unlikely we could get a faithful representation of her in the show, unless of course Chrysalis becomes reformed like Discord. What about fanon elements of existing characters like Gamer Luna or Lyra being obsessed with humans?

    Frankly, I feel it all comes down to moderation. It’s good to incorporate some fan elements into the show because it engages the audience and creates something truly special, but at the same time you can’t incorporate too much or else the show becomes a jumbled mess. What fanon stuff do you guys want to become canon?