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17 February 2013

My Thoughts on Twilight Alicorn

For the first time in almost a year the Brony fandom has suffered one of the longest, most vicious and downright bloodiest shit-storms in its history. I didn’t take part on it, and I never voiced my opinion, not here nor in any of my other blogs, saving what I thought of the whole thing to myself and maybe a couple of my friends. I didn’t want to say anything because I wanted to take time to word my thoughts properly, so I wouldn’t rustle anybody’s jimmies, and so I could explain what goes through my mind properly.

But I know that wouldn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how I word it or how I explain. There’s always somebody who is going to be angry at someone else’s opinion, because this is the internet and that’s what people do.

However, even after all that has happened, I still have you guys into high regards. I know you are not going to come at me insulting me or calling me names, mostly because I don’t call you names and I try my best to keep the vitriolic wording and the cynicism to a minimum here. So I hope you understand if some of that seeps in later on in the article, just a little. In the end, we are here to have fun, read about ponies, and discuss possible fanon theories while laughing at it, but never to take it seriously.

So I think it’s time for me to say what I think about the whole “Twilight Alicorn” subject, from the actual change in the character’s design to the drama that it created, and since the episode’s out and we now know that the change is permanent, I think it’s the best time for me to tell you all what I think. 

I think that the idea of turning Twilight into an Alicorn is brilliant.


I think it’s absolutely brilliant.

It’s a rewarding, intelligent way to pay off none other than three seasons of build up and foreshadowing. This is something that’s addressed in the Season 3 finale itself, but I had this all figured out before it even aired. From the very first episodes of the series to the last episodes of Season 3, we have been given hints that Twilight Sparkle was always meant to become something greater than what she was. I think I should point out all these little clue, because it looks like not everybody got them. Some of them were subtle, some of them not so much. Don’t take this as a theory. This is what we were given, and I am reading a bit too much into some of these examples, but I’ll try and don’t get out of my way to point them out. I don’t intend to tell people what to think on this subject, and I can be completely wrong, but take this for what it is. When the news about the Twilight Alicorn broke through I too was shocked, but then I stopped panicking and started thinking if this change was, actually, coming out of nowhere. The result of these thoughts is the following list you have down here. All I am offering is a different perspective from where you can see this.

So you can either take it or leave it.


In the very first two episodes of the series, when Twilight unlocks the Elements of Harmony, every other pony gets a necklace, but she gets a crown (or a “Big Crown Thingy”). Crowns are usually a sign of royalty, as only Celestia, Luna, Cadance and Queen Chrysalis have a crown.

During the episode “The Cutie Mark Chronicles” Twilight Sparkle loses control of her magic powers which ends up turning her parents into plants, making the teachers levitate, and transforms Spike from a baby to a giant dragon. This surge of energy is so powerful that not until Celestia intervenes it ends. Also, unlike the rest of the Mane Six, we never see her cutie mark appear on her flank. It’s just there. And after these events Twilight becomes Celestia’s student, not just a student of the Academy but of the Princess herself. This is never addressed in the show, but the way they refer to her seems to be kind of unusual for Celestia to take students under her wing.

Besides, and this is related to the previous point, two of the most important ponies in Twilight’s life, those two that helped her become who she is, are Cadance and Princess Celestia, and they both are alicorns. Cadance took care of her when she was a filly, and Princess Celestia did the same when she became an adult. She’s been all her life surrounded by alicorns.

People have wondered from the beginning why Princess Celestia has Twilight fix all the problems that appear in the land of Equestria. She had to defeat Nightmare Moon, imprison Discord, and protect the Crystal Empire. Why would she have to fix those problems if not to learn how a Princess will tackle a difficult situation, like Celestia and Luna have done in the past? This is only accentuated by how Celestia introduces every conflict every time something bad is going to happen. One could say she really likes to make dramatic speeches.

How about those times Twilight loses her mind? I am mostly talking about “Lesson Zero” but we can also argue that “A Canterlot Wedding” falls in this category. Celestia seems very upset with her student in these episodes. I think this is because Celestia hates to see her student throwing hissy fits and losing her temper, but it can also be because she doesn’t want to see a future Princess act the way she’s acting.

Possibly the geekiest hint we were given to this change came in the shape of Twilight’s Nightmare Night costume from “Luna Eclipsed”. While all the other ponies dressed up as other different Halloween characters (like a scarecrow, a mummy, the Frankenstein monster, a witch) Twilight decided to get dressed as a powerful enchanter who was well known for creating thousands of spells. This is not particularly scary it’s just downright nerdy. I always wondered why they had her dress like that, except for the fact that Twilight is a massive nerd. At first I guessed they were not going to turn her Nightmare Night looks into a toy (unlike how they did with Shadow Bolt Dash), so it had to be something else. So then I wondered: Why would the most powerful unicorn of the current times dress up as one of the most powerful unicorns in the history of Equestria? Perhaps because she too was meant to become as great, or even greater than he was. This also explains how she managed to pull of the time travelling spell in “It’s About Time”, which was found in no other place but in The Starswirl the Bearded wing of the Canterlot Castle.

EDIT: 18/02/13 - This was pointed out by LeTekky on DeviantArt. Twilight Sparkle also played Starswirl the Bearded's apprentice during the "Hearths Warming Eve" pageant in episode 11 of season 2. She played the role of the apprentice who channels the magic of friendship in order to save all the ponies who will eventually fund Equestria. Now this happened after she learn about her friendship herself, not because her teacher taught her any of it, unlike the dynamic between Celestia and Twilight.

Now, alright, these previous examples could have been interpreted as anything else before the release of Season 3; after all they all belong to Season 1 and 2. They could have meant anything, and maybe they were set up for other storyline that we might never see in the show. However, with the two episodes that started Season 3, we were given too much vague foreshadowing that only kept building up during the whole season that also explains all the previous examples. Twilight being in juxtaposition to Celestia and Luna as their cutie marks glow in the background, the whole black book of spells that Luna brings up, Celestia’s talk about fulfilling her destiny, and the test that will allow Twilight to move to the next level of her studies. And after those two episodes we have seen her (or heard her) practicing magic in every episode where she had a somewhat important role in. We have heard characters talk about how much more powerful her magic has become. She has been instructed by other characters besides Celestia, like that time she spent in the Everfree Forest with Zecora. We have had references at how her magic used to be clumsy and inaccurate (like when she lost control of the snow in “Winter Wrap Up” or when she used to set other ponies on fire when teleporting them in “The Ticket Master”). And now they talk about how her magic is more under control, more powerful, and certainly improved from what she could do before.

"Oh thank Celestia that's finished!"
I am trying to get a point across with this list. Like I said before, this is a way of seeing it. I am the type of guy who pays attention to details but doesn’t over-read on them publicly. I like to over-read on things, as much as the next guy, but when I write my reviews I keep them simple and streamlined. I write them so anyone who hasn’t watched the show before in his or her life can figure out whether or not they’ll like it.

In the case of Twilight Sparkle turning into an Alicorn, I made an exception, and that’s why you see a list full of over-analyzed examples. But let’s be fair for a second. This list is nothing compared to how over-analyzed some people get with this show. I think I could have gone further deep into the over-analysis territory, and I decided not to because for me these seemed obvious.

And that’s the point I’m trying to make.

This was obvious.

To me this was obvious that was going to happen. When I heard the news of her being turned into an Alicorn I was shocked, but for all the right reasons. It happens to me once in a lifetime, but it turned out that I was right. My suspicions were correct, and I was happy about this change. Too bad I was part of the minority here, because not everybody saw it the same way I did.

Yepp, this was me for more than a month.
I am not going to figuratively smack your fingers with a ruler guys, but I might do a bit of finger wagging at you, because what the fandom had been doing for almost a month has been very, very disappointing. Fans going crazy at the show runners, screaming “Betrayal!” throwing fits of anger, screaming and yelling, people pulling their hairs and tearing their clothes on image boards, on 4chan, on PonyChan, on Derpibooru. If the internet had trashcans and containers I can assure you they would’ve been set on fire. Equestria Daily’s post on the subject getting filled with comments that ranged from the ironic mockery to being sincerely upset. There were people threatening to leave the fandom forever. Tumblr was bleeding with the tears of fanboys and fangirls losing their minds. There was a selected group of few people who looked at this whole mess but instead of acting cool and collected they just wrote very wordy entries in blogs talking about how Hasbro was running the show and how the team lead by Meghan McCarthy and Jayson Thiessen were just puppets of this toy making company. When the only good thing that comes out of a mess like this are the reaction images, the memes, and the gif sets, you know this is not just sad, it’s (pardon my French) fucking pathetic.

Things like this one almost make up for the whole freak out. Almost.
What was that? No seriously guys, what was that? I was looking at the fandom half angry half chuckling. I was sitting here on my chair, covering my face with a hand, and scrolling down Equestria Daily with the other, as my feelings kept mixing disappointment with amusement. I wanted to stand up, grab the fandom by the sleeves on its shirt, and slap it until it remembered who it was, because that’s not who you are. This is no way of reacting. I had to put up with the anger coming from all fronts, from Twitter to DeviantArt, and even my personal email. Even some of my closest friends were freaking out about this. This is usually the part where I say how it’s pointless for you to freak out about a show for little kids, and I know a few people who will support me on this regard, but I’m not going to do it. I won’t tell anyone what they can freak out about or what they can feel upset about. Personally, had I have the torque to freak out about this whole issue, I think I wouldn’t have because, in the end, it’s a children’s cartoon. I wouldn’t have wasted my time getting mad and freaking out about it. But I understand those who did, trust me I do, so I am not going to wag my finger at you because of that.

Now, granted, this wasn’t as bad as the Derpigate. That whole thing had everyone depressed, and from depression comes the anger and the rage, especially regarding something so close to the community. I too was down during that time period, enough for me to re-consider doing episode reviews. It was an important, meaningful shout out that got cut out because of a minority. It was bad but we got over it, and so did I. There was a lot more people upset about this, and there was no way to escape it. It was everywhere all over the internet, and even when Adult Swim makes a reference to it, to make fun of your fandom, you know you have hit epic levels of shit storm. If that whole debacle taught us something that’s to know how to react when something that upsets us hits us, so one would think we have learnt from our mistakes. I think it worked, because the whole fire storm caused by the news of Twilight turning into an Alicorn could have been a whole lot worse.

A whole lot worse.
It just seemed so bad because apparently nobody saw it coming. And when people are given something they don’t expect, they don’t react well to it. I am generalizing and talking about the majority here, just so we are clear. But another reason why I think this had so many people upset has to do with who is experiencing this change. Has this happened to another pony, or had this been the introduction of a new character like what happened with Cadance and Shining Armour, the reaction would have been different. But when they say this is happening to none other than Twilight Sparkle, the most adorkable, most bookish, most adorable nerd unicorn pony in the whole world, you are going to have fans’ jimmies rustled.

There are many reasons for this to happen, none of which is more or less legitimate than the other. Maybe some people don’t like change and they don’t like their favourite character to become something else. Maybe people think this is shoehorning the new toy line too much into our faces (I agree with this group of people by the way, regardless of how much I approve of this change). Maybe some people just really wanted to see what Lauren Faust’ plans were for her and what was going to happen to her had she not left the show. I think I can address each of these reasons and kind of give you something to calm down, or at least understand the situation.

Change is something that rarely happens in cartoon shows. Many times production companies are too afraid of changing things since the ones who watch the shows are not interested in seeing things change. They like the status quo; it brings stability to the unstable situation of real life. It’s like that part in “Futurama” where the protagonists recreate an old TV show for an alien race, and when they start adding script changes the aliens threaten to blow them up because these changes scare them and they don’t understand them. Seeing a cartoon show, and “My Little Pony” of all things, take the risk of changing the main character is a ballsy move that I think we don’t see often enough. Change can be good or bad of course, but I think Twilight’s ascension as an Alicorn is a good thing. Like many others have said before me, little children (boys and girls alike) will now have the proof that, if you study, do your best, do what your grownups tell you, listen to people wisher than you, stay close to your loved ones, and do the right thing, you will be able to get better in life. You might not become an Alicorn, but maybe you will become a big important figure of a company, or maybe even make your own business. This is a very good message, and it comes from selling a new set of toys.

Speaking of which, yeah, I can totally understand the people who don’t like this change because it’s made to introduce a new set of toys. I back them up and, for all I care, I support them. Hasbro has done that in the past before, but hey! Look at what the writers have done with it! They managed to write the balloon and the train set in the story rather seamlessly, and they managed to do the same with Princess Twilight Sparkle. In my opinion I think they did a very good job with it. But, if you are going to hate the whole thing because the whole purpose of it is because they are introducing a new set of toys, I have your back. I can totally understand you and I will even defend you in that regard.

As for Lauren Faust’s idea being trampled by this change, I personally don’t want to know about it. Lauren gave us all, fans and show runners alike, a fantastic world where we can have all the fun we want. This genius woman came out of nowhere with her six characters, and she pretty much created a modern revolution filled with talented artists, musicians, writers, directors, animators, composers, programmers, editors, and overall very nice and wonderful people. She created a world that’s both magical and realistic. She gave us the equivalent of a creative sandbox. It is for us to play with it. When she stepped off of the show and left it on the more than capable hands of Meghan McCarthy and Jayson Thiessen, she knew what she was doing. She has shown nothing but support for them, and I think this has been for the best. I will use an example that’s going to upset many people, so get ready to trash me in the comments for it, despite how much I’ll try to explain it as best as possible. Do you know what usually happens when you left the creator take care of his or her own idea? The Star Wars prequels. You know what happens when you let someone else take care of this creator’s ideas? The Empire Strikes Back and The first three Indiana Jones movies. I don’t mean to compare Lauren Faust with George Lucas, I just mean to say that sometimes creators have amazing ideas but what they might end up doing with them is possibly not all that good. That’s why I think it’s constructive to bring other people into the mix. It’s a good thing to bring new blood, new approaches, new ways to execute the same concepts, and that’s why I think that dwelling into what would Lauren Faust have done with Twilight after Season 3 is rather pointless, and it will cause you more grief than what you should get. Especially since, you know, you would be grieving about a children’s cartoon.

So, after this lengthy and intense editorial, I think it’s only fair that I address the bullet points one by one.

> I personally think that the idea of Twilicorn is brilliant.

> I am perfectly okay with people not liking it.

> I am disappointed in how the majority of the fandom took the news.

> I think this is not as bad as Derpigate.

Overall, the shitstorm has passed and everything is fine. We are going to survive, despite of how big an impact this has left in the fandom. However, one thing is certain. For better or for worse, nobody is going to forget this. The time during which a fandom was holding their breath because a cute, little, purple unicorn pony was growing wings.

That my friends, is what the internet will remember, and the “Erase History” button doesn’t exist in the real world.


  1. While we're on the subject of fans flipping their shit because of unexpected changes to the status quo, I think everyone should see a movie called Cabin in the Woods. Not only is it really meta and ends on one of the best third acts of any movie EVER, it's also a very clever takedown of fans wanting to see the same thing over and over again and will freak out when they don't get that.

  2. I applaud you for this post. I think it's well-written and brings up many good points, and I agree entirely with everything you've said. I think Alicorn!Twilight is a brilliant move that opens tons of new possibilities for the show, even if it was forced by the toycompany.

    I also think the way the fandom reacted to it is, if you pardon my bluntness, disgusting. All those people screaming how Twilight is now ruined kind of anger me, it shows little respect and absolutely no love for the character we've come to known and love. How can you say you love her, if her getting wings ruins her forever, regardless of the fact that her personality remains unchanged? I find that very tasteless. I do hope that those people, who now consider the show to be ruined, will leave the fandom instead of sticking around to continue ranting about it in rage, because that won't be fun or pleasant for anyone.

    I think the episode was beautiful, and one of the best of the series. It wasn't perfect, certainly not, and it was far too rushed. But it was beautiful because of the friendship. It was the ultimate payoff, the ultimate triumph of the friendship of these six ponies, these six friends, who came to know and love each other through 65 episodes, who've faced both good and bad times together. It was beautiful, it was heartwarming, it was touching. Celestia meeting Twilight in that magical plane, her song, her granting Twilight her higher powers, it was my favourite moment in the entire series. This episode wasn't just Twilight's moment of glory, but that of all the mane six. It was their friendship that elevated Twilight to the level of alicorn, and I can think of no greater proof of their friendship than that.

    Maybe it's for the best that we have to wait a while before season 4. Now the fandom has the time to calm down and cool off a bit while we wait. Given how the shitstorm is still brewing (though it has lessened in strength, true), we really are in need of a time-out. I, for one, am looking forward to season 4 and the continued adventures of our adorkable alicorn and the five best friends she could ever hope to find.

  3. Personally, I don't like Alicorn Twilight simply because of looks. The wings look a bit odd in proporation to her body, and I think that she's cuter as a unicorn. But, I will probably grow to get used to it. (I don't love the pacing in Episode 13, it felt like it needed to be a 2-parter, but the songs did help make up for that.) It did kind of feel like a series finale, however, all the singing "everything is going to be fine" has to make me laugh, because while the people who support Twilacorn say it means that the show's going to be fine, I think it has nothing to do with that. (Not that the show WON'T be fine. I just don't think it's speaking to the fans.) I believe that it's foreshadowing of some stuff to go down in the Season 4 premiere (which apparently is going to expand on Episode 13, which I'm happy about!)

    After reading just the EQD comments, I had to step back and away from the brony fandom for a bit. (In fact, this is the first brony interaction I've had in awhile!) It was honestly depressing me how angry and spiteful people were being. The haters were being awful, the people hating on the haters were awful, and the people jumping on other people who were stating their opinions calmly and politely were awful.

    I was here since Episode 1 of Season 1 first showed- and I kind of watched the brony fandom grow up. It did almost make me feel like a disappointed big sister or something watching all these people get in these fights.

    I don't know how the writers will handle it come Season 4, and we really haven't had that much Princess Twilight for me to judge it yet. But, I'm willing to wait it out. We've had bad times before (i.e. the shut down of certain brony projects, and of course, Derpygate.) and we seem to come out okay.

    I always love reading your stuff James, thanks for writing! <3

  4. "Alicorn Twilight is not a good idea, it's not true! That's bullshit, is not brilliant ! IT IS NOT!... Oh, hi Mark".

    Pero ya hablando en serio, para mí la transformación de Twilight es indiferente, más allá de los argumentos que puedan crear para episodios de la cuarta temporada.

    Algo que me gustaría ver por lo menos en un episodio es que la nueva situación de Twilight como princesa SÍ crea alguna diferencia o rencilla con sus amigas. Creo que sería interesante.

    Tienes razón en que una parte, sino la mayoría, del fandom reaccionó muy inapropiadamente.

    John, aún estoy esperando el artículo sobre los poderes que Celestia está acumulando, por que ya tiene a Twilight Alicornio, Discord del lado de los buenos, el apoyo de Saddle Arabia, el Imperio de Cristal y el Corazón de Cristal, por no mencionar otros poderosos aliados (Cadence, Shining Armor, Luna), etc.
    Pero no hay prisa, es sólo que sería interesante ver tu punto de vista al respecto.

    Saludos. Estos editoriales los disfruto montones.

  5. You know, I am going to have to side you on this one. If one pony deserved to become an "alicorn" it would have been Twilight. She studied, took herself seriously, had amazing (somewhat to the point of mary sue-ish) magical power, put up with the task of fixing all of Celestia's mess/loose ends AND learned the meaning of friendship throughout 3 seasons.

    She deserve it so good for her.

    What I didn't like AT ALL is probably the episode and everything around it. But maybe I should keep this for your review of the episode?

    I'm not really attached to the fandom. I watch MLP on haxmega's stream and interract with ppl when they watch it too but I don't read the spoilers or watch the drama so I didn't know anything about the Alicorn or Derpigate until I read it on your blog. People should know to calm down when things unexpected happen because that's when the media are watching like hawks in order to be able to give "bronies" a bad rep. The public don't want to know how bronies are "mature" and "collected", they are interested in negative stuff and a huge freakout over something as "mild" as a children's program is what they want to see.

  6. Funny you mentioned Indiana Jones because Indy 4 is the perfect example of what happends when you let Spielberg do whatever he wants...
    Then again I did liked the movie (the first half at least) and I was one of the few people who knew about the whole Nuking the Fridge before it happened. Few remembered it was in the very first draft of the script, made years before the movie.
    I agree with your points and yes, Lauren MAY have been good but they are not going to happen. It will be nice to hear them but considering the evolution of the show what else could she have become but an Alicorn?
    Also, did you notice how much this resembled the whole To Boldly Flee thing? The fandom outcry and all that? I was okay with the Critic retiring, seemed like the natural evolution for the character. And I was okay with Demo Reel, some episodes I liked, some not but I was enjoying it...and then Doug Walker hit the Reset Button. Okay don´t get me wrong I like having the Critic back and the review was funny but, I miss Demo Reel, I miss evolution, change. The status quo is horrible, is the reason why I stop watching South Park and the Simpsons because nothing happens, EVER.
    So yeah, long live Princess Sparkle. Lets see what is going to happen now.

    1. Change should never be made for the sake of change. It should be made for the sake of improving the story.

      You say you miss "evolution, change." But did you ever consider the possibility that you'll just get bored with the changes and start demanding new ones?

  7. too long, didn't care enough to read

  8. When the alicorn rumors started I was more afraid of how others would react than my own reaction.

    I have always related myself to Twilight's eggheaded personality, and just the thouhgt of the change inspired me to progress aswell, while clearly not lacking creativity I always lacked the motivation to work on my projects.

    Seeing Twilight, not change but progress made me ask myself if it could be time for me too to start doing more than just thinking on my stories and actually sit down and create them.

    So I might have been afraid at first but I got over it and now I gladly welcome it, I want this inspiration to motivate me.

    Oh yeah speaking of Derpy
    I just found out after seeing the episode.
    How could I miss that?

    Would also like to say that I love your episode reviews, I have just been too lurky before to say anything.
    Your episode reviews gives me another perspective of things that I usually miss out on.

  9. Thanks for posting this. Really, I wish the whole fandom could read it.


  10. Yes you are reading way to much into things. Because it's not till Hasbro got involved during the making of Season 3 did they even find out they had to suddenly make Twilight an Alicorn out of thin air and somehow make it work in which it didn't. The hole finale was terribly handled and actually has driven me off from the fandom for good. Let's hope she enjoys watching everyone she loves grow old and die around her till she's left all alone and back to where she originally was before the show aired. Also if you hadn't noticed Celestia stated she essentially learned all there is to know about friendship which destroys the entire premise of the show as well.

    1. >Driven me off the fandom for good

      And nothing of value was lost. Goodbye, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out! <3

    2. you know you could at least act mature

  11. Also apparently Starswirl never created spells. Celestia said Twilight was able to become a damn Alicorn because she actually "Finished" an unfinished spell or something like that.

  12. I wasn't all that excited about the Twilacorn event, but I just sat back, and figured that these writers know what the heck they are doing, and I can honestly say I like every episode of this show more or less.
    I thought they handled this change amazingly. It didn't feel forced, and like you said, there has been foreshadowing that something was going to happen to Twilight, and this fits nicely into the story line.
    I can't wait until season four where we'll learn more about the whole alicorn process. It's clear that they've put thought behind the hows and whys of alicornacation (or what ever you want to call it), and I'm excited to learn more about it.
    I don't know if I'd go as far as to call Twilacorn a brilliant move, but it was most certainly a well done, well transitioned move that has opened up some interesting opportunities for world building and plot lines.
    Twilight is still awesomely Twilight, with or without her wings or her princess title, and I will continue to watch this amazing show!

  13. I could hug you so much right now! <3

    I remember how i tried to point out the same points you wrote here over and over again when EQD made the thread about Twi becoming an alicorn for sure. And i had to read replies about me being a Hasbro-dick sucker, lieing to myself or that this move is shit cause it destroys the friendship of the Mane6, etc and etc.
    Pretty disappointing and kind of disgusting. :/

    I hope the pause between this final and S4 will calm down many angry fans and that, with enough fanart and fanfics and such, they´ll come to like or at least accept the idea just like we had accepted Derpygate over time.

    Thanks for this review.

    I hope you tokk noticed of the difference of Twi´s old Cutiemark with 5 stars around it whereas her new one after the alicorniation had 6. For me a clear evidence that they´re about the Mane6, the elements of harmony bearers and their destines, and that Twi finally found after 65 episodes her true destiny and that thanks to her friends friendship.
    So much liquid pride, so much happiness~

  14. Thanks for the review.