• Pony Community Soapbox #94 - No Zebras at Friendship School? Mane 6 Nightmares, and More!

    Community soapbox time, where opinions from around the fandom are dropped down below for you all to discuss and debate! Expect these posts normally when not late every Tuesday at 2:00 PM MST And now Saturday at 2:00 PM MST. 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. Even contrarian opinions everyone would consider bad are welcome as long as they are written with some form of clarity. 

    Headlines for the week:

    • Purpose for the School: New Map Candidates?
    • An episode where the Mane 8 face their worst nightmares
    • How Diverse is the School of Friendship?
    • Sonic Rainboom, magic and cutie marks- how does it work?

    And get your soapboxes below!

    Purpose for the School: New Map Candidates?
    by: ShadowWriter45

    A while back I did a Soapbox dealing with the school acting as the continued bond the Mane 6 has formed with the other kingdoms/friends that they have after they each of them and the others pass on. Now I want to take it a step further as the school being the means for the students to be summoned by the map. While I'm aware the map is connected to the mane 6 we've seen extended to Spike, Starlight, Sunburst, and the CMC all who are connected strongly to the mane 6 in some way.

    While we don't know if the school is connected to the map or castle, which I highly doubt it is anyway, the map will have to eventually call other creatures to solve friendship problems that the mane 6 may not be able to fix.

    As for who would be the new map candidates, well how about the Young 6. They've been established as being the main focus characters whenever we visit the school in terms of episodes so it would have to be them that the map chooses first in terms of story purposes.

    An episode where the Mane 8 face their worst nightmares
    By: MegaSean45

    We know the main cast has their deepest darkest fears! Oh just imagine how many feels that episode could bring! And I'm not talking about Return of Harmony, that was like... forever ago! Like the Mane 8 have to face their fears before successfully getting through a mission of some sort! And not nightmares like in "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep". I'm talking about more personal nighttmares, like Rainbow Dash being forced to abandon her friends, or Pinkie Pie's fear could be her being alone or making everypony sad! AJ's fear could be losing her family! Starlight's fear... perhaps she could be afraid of reverting back to her old self! She faced her fear of losing Sunburst, perhaps... maybe not! Spike... don't get me started on him, I think his fear could be more than just getting abandoned by Twilight - like maybe offending Ember and Thorax so much that they could go to war with Equestria, or something like that, or just won't accept the fact that Rarity doesn't like him the way he feels about her, which is why the crush is still around. Who knows? What else could these 8 be so afraid of?

    Would you like to see an episode about this (maybe even as a 2-parter)?

    How Diverse is the School of Friendship?

    The School of Friendship has dragons, hippogriffs, griffons, changelings and yaks. Yet some of the earliest non-pony species introduced--zebras, buffalo and Diamond Dogs--are nowhere to be seen.

    It occurred to me that all three species were conceived as counterparts/representations of real-world cultures. The buffalo are plains-dwelling Native American Indians, Zecora speaks with an African-accent, even the Diamond Dogs--according to the original show pitch bible--were conceived as speaking in a stereotypical faux-inner city dialect, ex. "What up, dawg?" (Thankfully, the show decided not to go that route).

    This is NOT an accusation of racism. It's a recognition that cultural representation is an important, if often tricky, approach to pull off well. Given the amount of things that can go wrong with it--and all the criticism that a poor or clumsy execution can bring down--I suspect the Powers That Be preferred to use species that didn't carry overtones of being a stand-in for a culture or nationality. So that's why I think zebras, buffalos and diamond dogs are unlikely to show up at the school.

    (P.S. while yaks have a viking-vibe to them, it's rare to see controversies exist over poor representations of vikings).

    Sonic Rainboom, magic and cutie marks- how does it work?
    By: Nightmare Muffin

    Looking back at “Cutie Mark Chronicles”, I’ve come to realize that how the rainboom works in aiding a pony to get their cutie mark or amps up a pony’s magic isn’t really explained. Most people write it off as ‘destiny’ and leave it at that. But the series talks about there being a rainboom of legend long before Dash ever pulled hers off for the first time. Could there be some special property in a rainboom that triggers cutie mark activation? If this is the case, then how many other ponies got their marks every other time RD has done one? Or is it only a “first time basis” sort of case? What’s also unexplained is the power-up it gives unicorns, like Twilight and Rarity, though (again) every other time we’ve seen a rainboom happen, their magic remains inactive. There’s still a lot of mystery surrounding rainbooms, and this event, specifically- and interestingly enough, the mane 6 (especially Twilight) never raise the question of mechanics or try to study the Rainboom’s temporary (and lasting) effects on ponies.