• Editorial: My Relatable Pony: Spike the Dragon

    Being a supporting character, this little dragon might not be the most powerful or magical, but he has a strength that enhances this show immensely.

    Spike the dragon: Twilight’s number one assistant and proud of it. Living with ponies all his life, Spike is ever on a journey of self-discovery. He wants to support his friends in any way he can, and he’s never bitter about it. He began as a slap-stick comedic side character but has grown into so much more. If you see yourself in Spike, then it’s time for you to join me in a Relateable Dragon moment.

    Don’t worry, no spoilers of the recent episode Molt Down. So, let’s remember our not-so-baby dragon!

    They didn't even leave him a tip.
    There’s a saying, “Everyone’s the hero of their own story.” People like Spike are easy to forget about because they choose to be the supporting character for those around them. But the truth is, we can’t get by without those who support us. I can't say Spike and I are twins, but I know it’s so important to be the Spike in someone else’s story sometimes.

    Season 1: All of it: Being a helper.

    Spike is always helpful, always supporting others, always willing to go the extra mile. Spike is Twilight’s living mailbox despite the discomfort. He takes care of the animals so Fluttershy can solve a dragon problem in Dragonshy. Need an announcer, look no farther than Spike in Suited for Success. Spike even befriends his captors in Over a Barrel. He’s gathering parasprites, being used for magic target practice, collecting data, cleaning up the library, driving the carriage to the Gala, acting as the voice of reason; that’s just the stuff I feel like naming!

    Yeah, his supporting role makes him awesome! We all have done these things for others. You've been the helper to someone at least once.

    Season 2: Dragon Quest: You defined you.

    Tell me you don't want to reach in there and give him a hug.
    Spike is a dragon who knows next to nothing about dragons. He’s grown up with ponies but he’s not one. I know I’ve had my fair share of nights agonizing over the question, “Who am I?”

    In this episode, Spike learns a lot about what others think of him, what bullies will pressure him to act like, and how he feels about himself. It’s a big lesson all of us relate to.

    Who said aprons and baked goods aren't for dragons?
    We may not be humans growing up with other creatures, but this world can be cruel enough to make us feel like aliens on Earth sometimes.

    I don't think all dragons smash eggs, but Spike just had to befriend this group of jerks.
    Spike realizes that being a dragon isn’t about acting like the first dragons he meets, he can decide who he is and build an identity based on what he wants for himself. He’s not less a dragon because he didn’t act a certain way. In other words, the world around Spike doesn’t explain who he is, how he choices to respond to the world does.

    Season 3: The Crystal Empire: Never abandoning a friend
    What he's really afraid of is the climb back up.
    Spike is a really loyal friend. This episode drives that home. Spike is frightened and feeling vastly unqualified, but against better judgment, Spike faces his worst fears to stay with Twilight. He’s always helping her even when she’s wrong. Spike never turns on Twilight.

    Some of us know this devotion. We can relate to the love Spike shows for Twilight in always being there for her no matter what the challenges will be. He won’t always agree with what she does, but he'll always be there to help.

    Season 4: Inspiration Manifestation: Finding it hard to tell a friend the truth.

    Sure Ponyville looked gaudy, but you have to give Rarity props for using such fine materials.
    Y’all know how it feels. Do I really have to explain the inner conflict that builds debating whether to tell a friend they're going down a destructive path or not? I’m not talking about telling someone the dress they just bought is ugly, I mean having one of those tough, “Once I share this, you will either change your behavior or you might end our friendship” kind of conflicts.

    Spike admires Rarity almost as much as Twilight. He didn’t understand the spell had overtaken her mind. To Spike, he could very well lose her friendship by telling Rarity her designs were awful.

    Shh, tell no one, but this was actually my favorite episode in season 4. Spike is such an inspiration! If you can’t relate to this, just give it time. Life will throw one of these at you one day. Be brave and speak the truth. Be like Spike!

    Season 5: The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows: Oops! Not broadcasting mistakes.

    Spike has a lot of little moments like this (in fact, he burned one of the library books back in season 1). I can’t tell you how much I relate to this. Spike plays off his mistakes and just keeps right on going; no one needs to know. I'm sure there are people who point out their mistakes and take immediate responsibility all the time, but not Spike.

    Some of us are more prone to accidents than others, and we’ll probably hide them when we can. It's such a little thing, but it makes Spike so much more real . . . What? Fine. He should have told Shining Armor "sorry." That would have been the right thing to do.

    Season 6: Flutter Brutter: Trusting others.

    How dare Zephyr take advantage of Spike's compassionate nature!
    Spike has a tendency to be too trusting. He can recognize a threat when he sees one, but his natural inclination is to assume somepony is telling the truth. It was all too easy for Zephyr Breeze to manipulate Spike here. But I don’t want this to sound like a weakness.

    Yes, Spike usually ends up carrying luggage or some other task; but he takes pride in helping others. I would argue that Spike has a work ethic on par with Applejack and by trusting others he puts himself in a better position to assist them.

    Look how nonthreatening Spike is. He wholeheartedly wants everypony to succeed.
    I think it’s this strength in Spike that allows him to get along so well with a pony like Starlight. He's looking for ways to help and, when somepony is being honest, they get to work with the number one assistant. If you find people take advantage of your trusting nature, don't get discouraged. The people who really need you will be so thankful. 

    Season 7: Triple Threat: Fearing mixing friends.
    An actual photo of how my friends look when I hand the aux cord to one and not the other.
    Sometimes you make friends with two people with vastly different opinions. You love both, but you couldn’t imagine the two in the same room. Spike was unsure how Thorax and Ember would react to the other which is a common fear for those of us with big friend groups.

    Of course, Spike’s fears were all in his head. His friends were able to interact with each other respectfully once he stopped keeping them apart. Still, you never know which people will be able to handle each other and which ones might break into a fight! And you definitely don't want to have to choose between the two of them.

    Season 8: The Break Up Break Down: Because I haven't seen the new episode yet and I'm fairly certain the most relatable moment is in it, but you're stuck with this for now, but don't comment with a bunch of spoilers because I can't see it yet but I want to read your comments: Paying attention to details.

    I've sadly only watched this episode once by this point, but you know what stood out to me. That hat!
    Spike is so cutely in this moment and not disheveled at all.
    Regardless of the fact Big Mac is having a personal crisis, Spike still noticed he didn't get a fun hat. He wasn't about to let himself miss out on that. Can we all relate to that, I don't know, I did. I would have demanded the Lord of Chaos give me a hat too! But that's not the real point I'm trying to make.

    It's the fact that Spike views little things as mattering so much. Though not a perfectionist, Spike thinks of small details like baking invitations in pie or pointing out inconsistencies in Discord's logic (something Spike does for everypony throughout the series). He's actually paying attention to all the little things others are doing, even if he doesn't understand it. I think some relate to that.

    Also, more Spike, Big Mac, Discord Episodes Please.

    Did I miss something about our favorite growing dragon? Sorry I have to stop.

    Spike is such an underappreciated character. Is the success of his friends his success? I think so. I honestly don’t know what Spike wants to do with his life as he grows up, but I don’t doubt he knows the hopes and dreams of everyone of his friends.

    Best of all, if you relate to Spike, just know that everyone connected to you is better for it. Maybe you're a parent, sibling, mentor, teacher, whatever; you put yourself aside to make certain things go well for your loved ones. You're not perfect but you still have a lot of growing to do. Give yourself time and embrace every mistake as a learning opportunity. You are the hero of not only your story, but of hundreds of others!