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29 April 2013

My Thoughts on Princess Cadance

I usually make my opinion articles thinking that I am voicing my thoughts properly, respectfully, and in a way so that not many people (and hopefully nobody at all) will get upset. I have the feeling things won’t be that hunky-dory with this one since it seems to still be an issue even today. Anytime I talk with any of my brony friends Princess Cadance comes up, and I always have two types of conversation with them: The conversation where Princess Cadance gets praised, or the conversation where she gets trampled over like a dumpster on fire. But what side am I on? Let me tell you all about it.

When it comes to interacting with this fandom there are a lot of statements I usually make that get a lot of people upset, or more like a small group of people that are so loud and annoying that it makes them look way bigger than they really are. With this I am saying that if this article is criticizing somebody it’s those fans that just can’t shut up yet they don’t dare show their faces. You know who I’m talking about. Those fans that lurk in image galleries down-voting pictures for being from a weird fetish, or making anonymous comments on news sites or blogs that can be summed up to “I hate you because your opinion is different from mine, now I will make a silly joke to appeal to those like me”.   

I don’t say they are wrong for having their opinion, I just say they are wasting their time pestering people for making statements like:

I think Dave Polsky is the best writer of Season 3.

I really enjoyed “The Mysterious Mare-do-Well”.

I think turning Twilight Sparkle into an Alicorn Princess is a brilliant idea.

The Great and Powerful Trixie is overrated.

Discord wasn’t a villain in the first place.

The Season 2 finale is not very well written.

I think they tackled the bully issue really well.

Gilda wasn’t a villain, she was just misunderstood.

Rarity is Best Pony.

But out of all the statements I make, out of all the things I say that are contrarian to what these people think and defend, there is one in particular that is not just collectively hated by them but also by the overwhelming majority of the fandom, and that statement is that I really like Princess Cadance.

That's the sound of half the fandom saying: "Screw this guy, I'm out of here"
Anywhere I go, anybody I talk to, whatever thing I do that has to do with the Brony fandom, if the subject of Princess Cadance comes up and I voice my opinion it’s then followed by shocked gasps and disbelief as they point accusative fingers at me and scream: “Betrayal! How dare you like something we don’t!? Take him to the wall! Make him drag the rock of shame!” I wish I was exaggerating, but it’s true. More often than not people don’t even bother explaining why they hate Cadance so much and just start insulting and attacking those who “dare” liking her. It’s kind of a taboo theme in this fandom, which is kind of ridiculous. I have indeed come across people and very good friends who have explained their reasons in a constructive manner, and I will cite their opinions as to offer a counter point to my point, but first let me explain why do I like Princess Cadance so much, and to do that I have to go all the way back to my childhood.

Not entirely like this, but almost.
I come from a family with very strong military background. My grandfather was a motorized guard of the Royal Army, and before that he served under the command of General Francisco Franco. He followed orders his whole life, no matter who was in charge, and his attitude towards authority was very, very strong. He had a strong respect for it, and he made sure to transfer this respect to his son, my father. Now, my father didn’t share my grandfather’s perspective on neutrality and he focused more on other things, and so he decided not to follow with the military tradition and instead he decided to study tourism and economics. However, he did keep a strong tie with authorities and agencies, including the Spanish police corps, and of course the military. So you can imagine that I grew up surrounded by quite a hefty amount of lawful and good people who were out there risking their lives to keep us the citizens safe. I grew up to respect these people, and admire them in every aspect, and I don’t mean just the Spanish forces, but the forces of any country, be it American, British, Chinese, or Japanese. When someone gets his or her life in the line of fire to protect other people you know they are doing it for good reasons, especially more nowadays when military service in many countries is voluntary.

So keep this in mind for the following paragraphs.

Now allow me to show you a list of characters and ask you a question. What do all these characters have in common?

Corporal Hicks from “Aliens

Fix it Felix Jr. from “Wreck it Ralph

Clarice Starling from “Silence of the Lambs

Optimus Prime from “Transformers

Marge Gunderson from “Fargo

Nicholas Angel from “Hot Fuzz

The Original Power Rangers.

Finn from “Adventure Time

Detective Elisa Maza from “Gargoyles

Wyatt Earp from “Tombstone

Juror Number #8 from “12 Angry Men

Steve Rogers from “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “The Avengers

Phoenix Wright from the “Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney” series.

Princess Cadance from “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

Besides, you know, being amongst some my most favorite and admired Television and Movie characters of all time. If you are familiar with some if not all characters in the list you must have answered correctly. They are all lawful good. If we were to speak on Dungeons and Dragons alignments, these people are on the lawful good alignment for no other reason than to do good to those around them. To help and assist, to support those nobody else supports or dares to defend. I have a deeply rooted respect and admiration for all of them, some more than others. This doesn’t mean I like all lawful good characters. Alistair from “Dragon Age: Origins” is a massive pain in the ass, and he annoys me, the same with Kaiden Alenko from “Mass Effect” who is not just painful he is also boring. This seems to be a running theme with BioWare games where the chaotic good characters seem more interesting and likable than the lawful good ones.

Seriously, fuck this guy.
My point is that I find myself always preferring lawful good characters, be it because I was raised that way, or because I just find them irredeemably likable, and I know it’s because I aspire to be like that and I will never ever be. Let’s face it, in the real world very few people are truly lawful good, especially those who consider themselves so. Trying to achieve that level of personality is nigh impossible in this day and age, and I myself am guilty of doing things the wrong way for the wrong reason more than once, and I don’t feel proud of it. I have the intention to improve yes, but I regret my mistakes like anyone would. That’s another reason why I love lawful good characters.

Is it my cue now!?
So how does all this lead to me liking Princess Cadance? Well, I will try to put in terms that don’t make people cringe when they read it. Princess Cadance is a really, really good character. I don’t necessarily mean that she is very well written, but that she has a really good heart. She looks after the interests of her people (be it Equestrian ponies or Crystal ponies) and she herself has put her life on the line to defend them. Remember when she basically drained her own magic energy to the last drop defending the Crystal Empire and she was about to die of starvation and sleep deprivation? That was some hardcore life risking if you ask me. Maybe she didn’t fight an epic battle, but she did give her all. She is also one of those characters that don’t seem to have ulterior motives or hidden agendas. All she does is very straight forward and very transparent, get it? Because she is the crystal princess-I’m dumb, sorry. But joking aside she is not the type to lie to other people, or fool them with false premises.

"People don't have bread? Well, tell them to eat cake!"
Besides her personality I also have to mention the way she looks. This is an important factor for me to like a character, and it ranges from pure aesthetics to how the character holds him or herself up. Princess Cadance happens to be pink, with her mane of yellow, purple and pink hues and a both regal yet casual pose. It’s a very girly design that mimics Hasbro’s toy design to a tee, and I just love it. I personally love pink, it’s a really cute color, and the combination with the shape of her mane and tail, the gradient color of her wings, and her size make a very visually appealing combination to me. But most important of all is the voice acting. Candance is voiced by actress and singer Britt McKillip, and not only does her voice for her sound like that of a normal person, but it also transmits this sensation of honesty and kindness to her that’s almost soothing. She’s not annoying or painful to listen to, she has the kind of voice that you’d want to have to read your kids a bed time story before they go to sleep. I think that really reinforces her lawful good personality.

Although that hair still looks like Tim Burton's mind puked all over it.
So to me it’s a combination of visual and writing elements that make her such a good character in my eyes.

But, and here comes my counter point to my argument, I can totally understand why people don’t like her. Believe me. I can see it from your perspective. I understand those who bring up all the issues the character has, and I understand all of these.

Like I said in my Alicorn Princess Twilight Sparkle dissertation, I understand and will defend those who hate the character because it’s trying to blatantly sell a new toy. Yes, I know Hasbro made the show to sell toys, that’s the whole purpose of it, and I have no problem with that, but even I admit that sometimes when Cadance shows up on screen all that’s missing is the price tag along with the “Batteries not included” sign at the bottom. So to those who don’t like Cadance because she is another toy sell out, if somebody is attacking you, point them at this article and say “This guy who likes Cadance too understands us, so try to be more like him and respect our opinion”. I personally have no issue with her being in the show to sell a toy because, at least in my opinion, I think we are pretty much responsible from putting her where she is. When Hasbro received claims of fans wanting a white Celestia toy they were peer pressured to come up with another Pink Pony Princess to sell in stores, so that’s why Princess Cadance showed up, to take Pink Celestia’s place and allow us to have a show accurate Sun Princess. I am not entirely sure whether this is what really happened, but it really looks like it.

Seriously, just look at this! You could insert this in the commercial and no one will tell the difference.
I also understand those who hate her because she kind of broke the whole mythos that Lauren Faust built around the show and the land Equestria, the seemingly non-written unbreakable rule that there could be only two Alicorns in the land and that these control both the Sun and the Moon. I don’t see what the problem with this is, or why it should be an issue. I have never heard Lauren Faust say “There can only be two!” while wielding a katana and with lightning striking in the background. Maybe she said it somewhere, or some other time, but if she did we have to take one thing into account. She built this whole universe and put it on the hands of the current show runners, because she trusted what they could come up with. I understand why people don’t like Cadance because it doesn’t feel like what Lauren Faust would have done, but I don’t understand why do we still ask “What would have Lauren Faust do in this case?” We don’t need to ask that anymore, and asking it means being stuck in the past and not moving forward. So my issue with this point is not with people’s opinions, is with people’s attitudes.

But, and here is the biggest issue of them all, I will agree and find incredibly difficult to defend against this one point that not many people bring up and yet is entirely right and legitimate, and that is the fact that Princess Cadance has no flaws whatsoever. As I have talked before with my good friend, who will remain nameless but if you are reading this you know who you are, he has said with more or less these words: “Princess Cadance has no flaws, she makes no mistakes, and she is perfect. See, I think she was very well introduced, and I can see where they go with her, but she is not flawed, and I can’t find a character that’s not flawed relatable at all”.

"Bitch, I'm fabulous!"
Yeah, that is actually a pretty good point. I won’t even try to argue against it, it’s pretty solid. I could bring a couple of moments where she kind of screwed up, like when she let go the barriers down on the Crystal Empire, or when she got caught by Queen Chrysalis off camera previous to the Canterlot Wedding episodes, or when she spent a good chunk of an episode getting her hair done, an act that had no purpose whatsoever, but those are no flaws, they are mistakes, and they can’t count as strong as worrying excessively over nothing like Twilight does, being incredibly laid back like Pinkie Pie, being really stubborn like Applejack, really vain like Rarity, lazy as a brick like Rainbow Dash, or terrifyingly bipolar like Fluttershy. So, yes, I can argue against those other reasons why people hate Cadance, but not against this one.

"No, the hate, it's too strong and right!"
However, and with all this in mind, I still really like her. There is something in her that I see and it makes me feel like I am right at home. I see the kind of person I’d like to be friends with; the type of person who I would like to be protected by at all times. She beams goodness and kindness and those are two things I just can’t hate. It’s impossible for me to hate them, as it will be hating an entire life of being raised with those values. To me those problems that are deal breakers for other people are not deal breakers for me at all. Yeah, I acknowledge them, but they don’t ruin her for me. I still like her, and I am still looking forward to see her in Season 4. It’s ridiculous how happy I get anytime Cadance shows up, it’s a joy equal to that I feel when I see Princess Luna making an epic appearance, or Octavia making a cameo in the background.

"It feels good to be loved. Now, where is my box of chocolates!?"
So, now that I explained myself, allow me to ask you guys a question. It’s quite evident that a large portion of the fandom doesn’t like Cadance for all the reasons I listed above, yet I don’t see this same amount of hate for Shining Armor. They both were introduced as suddenly and out of nowhere, and they have the same amount of presence in the show, yet I actually notice a lot more love for the BBBFF than for the Foal Sitter. Is this because Cadance is a Princess and she is kind of over powered, or is it because Shining Armor sounds like a surfer dude and he is just impossible to hate? Or am I wrong here? Feel free to drop your two cents in the comments. If I find them interesting enough I’ll consider making an article on Shining Armor.

Until then, keep this in mind. I like Cadance. I understand those who don’t like her. And those problems people have with her are not deal breakers for me. Thank you for reading, and I will talk to you all later.

Another reason for me to like Cadance. She knows Rarity is Best Pony.


  1. After reading this entire thing I'm still left a bit confused as to who hates Cadence. Based on the art and stories, in addition to the folks I've talked to, it seems people like her well enough!

    I dunno! I like her too, but like with Twilicorn, the whole merchandising thing just doesn't bother me. I guess it does for some folks, and there is really nothing anyone can do about that.

    She's an OK character in my opinion, if not a little bland.

    1. Bland! That's a great word, I should have used it!

    2. She's nowhere near as bland as Princess Celestia is, and that's reason enough to love her. I love fandom Celestia as much as everyone else, but in the show she's perfect because she's perfect. Also, her hair is fat.

  2. And talking about Princess Cadence, so far she was written by only two writers: Meghan McCarthy and Dave Polsky. And I must say, even I loved very much A Canterlot Wedding, I liked her very much in Games Pony Play, I must say that Dave Polsky did a great job to write her, even better that Meghan.

    1. I agree. Meghan McCarthy writes her very serious, very regal. Dave Polsky wrote her like a human being. I like Polsky's version more than McCarthy's.

    2. Will you do a "my thoughts on Equestrian Girls trailer" or about the special when it comes out in the cinema?

  3. I like Cadance as an character, it's just the fact that she's an alicorn that annoys me. I mean, what does her being an alicorn add? Nothing, that's what. She could just be a unicorn and still be the same character! I think I like Shining Armor more than Cadance because of SA's interaction with Twilight, it's really good and they have the sweetest brother/sister relationship. :3

    1. That point you made about Twiley and her brother has a lot of weight, and it's very true. We too saw her interact with Cadance, but in the long run we have seen Twilight interact with her brother more than with her foal sitter.

    2. To be fair, she did glide twice, so far.

  4. Uh, I don't think people hate Cadance that much. See the first comment from RaunchyOpposition, my thoughts exactly.

    But I find your point about lawful good characters very interesting. And speaking of that, I'm curious: do you like Celestia the same way you like Cadance? Is she lawful good to you?


    1. In my opinion, Celestia is more Lawful Neutral than Lawful Good. She punishes and lectures without making distinctions. For example, when Twilight screws up, Celestia gets angry and lectures her, but when Twilight does something right, she rewards her and praises her. I think that's her proper alignment since a fair ruler can't be biased towards either good or bad, it has to be neutral.

  5. Mi impresión es que a la gente le disgustaba Cadance al principio pero entonces la temporada 3 la volvió más aceptada entre los fans.

    Ella me gusta, me cae bien. De hecho es a Shining Armor a quien encuentro aburrido. Siento que hasta no ha sido más que "esposo de Cadance".

    1. Entiendo por que ves a Shining Armor como a un personaje más aburrido que Cadance. En el fondo, el aspecto y la voz de los personajes juegan un papel muy significativo, y es por ese motivo por el cual muchos perdonan la falta de caracterización.

      Esto, obviamente, no le vale a todo el mundo.

    2. "Ella me gusta, me cae bien." Google translates that to "I like her, I like her." What's the difference?

  6. I probably said this in a previous post, but while I didn't really like Cadence at the beginning, I didn't really hate her either. However, it did bug me how between Canterlot Wedding and Crystal Empire, the show was trying very hard to press the character onto the viewer without much space in between to get familiar with the character. Her introduction in Canterlot Wedding is done through a flashback by Twilight, which does quickly establish that Cadence is very sweet and kind, but that is made almost irrelevant when Twilight runs into the fake Cadence and she's the exact opposite of what Twilight just described. When we do actually get to see her, there's no time to interact with her because it's time to save the world. The same thing happens in Crystal Empire, where the first time we see her, she's trying to maintain the barrier that protects the empire. In both of these stories, we don't get to see how her arc begins, we're thrown right into the middle of them. That's the main reason why I had considered Cadence to be a bit empty.
    Which is why I was surprised when I watched Games Ponies Play and I found Cadence to be very likeable. I finally got the chance to see what she's like outside of large, conflicting situations and get a better sense of her MO. I found that Cadence is indeed very kind and nice, but also very level-headed. Even in the face of a bad situation, particularly one that hinders her, she remains calm and collected, and even thinks of others before herself.

    "Your mane stylist has the flu and can't make it."
    "Well....I hope she's better soon."

    I get the feeling that if it had been any other character getting news like that, their first reaction would be either distress, anger, or frustration. While we don't get to see much else from her during the rest of the episode, that one little moment told me everything I needed to know about Cadence. Not only is she kind, but also deeply empathic and selfless, the kind of character who will always put the interests of others before her own.

    I get the idea that flawed characters are interesting characters, but if there's a kind of character that I think pop culture needs the most right now are the so-called lawfully good characters, the ones that can't help but to always try to do the right thing (All those guys up there? Yeah, they're all right by me). In the real world, we are all flawed and we may end up doing something bad for selfish, vicious reasons. It's in many people's nature, to the point where it's almost the status quo. With that in mind, I think we all need characters like Cadence that we can look up to and admire them for their virtues, so that we can remind ourselves that we can always be a little better than what we are right now.

    1. That's the funny thing about Dave Polsky that so many fans don't seem to get. His biggest strength comes from his background in South Park. He manages to tackle the most outlandish story lines (Pinkie Pie clones, Discord being roommates with Fluttershy, Buffaloes VS Ponies, Pinkie sense, Games Ponies Play) because he is the best at making the characters sound like real people. Cindy Morrow is really good at this, followed by M.A. Larson, but Polsky actually gets that level of realism within a very unreal world.

      That's why Cadance is so likable, because she sounds like a person in her position would, or more like should: Caring, gentle, patient, and regal, without being bitchy or unbearable. He was the perfect writer for her.

  7. Should I mention that you used a picture of the Fake Cadance in the "lawful good" section? because that felt wrong somehow.
    Anyways, I really like Cadence. As a character I have no real problems with her because, well to be honest she has the same screen-time and development as the Cakes. She is basically in the background and I don´t mind her being there.
    My biggest issue was the way she was introduced and I have the same problem with Shining Armor. I would have prefered for both to be mentioned earlier, like for example Twilight could have mentioned Cadence, refering to her simply as her old foalsitter back in the Baby Cakes episodes. It would have worked as an introduction and later it could have been expanded.
    Now regarding your opinions I disagree with the Polsk since I have several issues with the Discord episode but I´m the type of guy who blame the story editors and not the writers. I always put the blame on Faust, Renzetti and Mchahrthy for anything I see as a mistake but okay, different strokes and all that.
    Good article as always.

    1. That motherfucking picture has been a pain in the ass ever since I fucking posted it. I had one before, it broke, I searched for another one, it broke again, I put that one, and now you complain. I fixed it, so I don't want to be bothered by it ever again.

      Also, yes, I too would've wanted them to mention Cadance and Shining Armor before, but when you are well into developing the script you can't take a step back, especially when the voicing is already done.

    2. Sorry, I knew I forgot to add a XD or something to make you see I was more poking fun of having the Fake Cadence there that actually being upset. I didn´t care that much just found it kind of funny. Sorry. The new image looks fine. :)

  8. I don't suppose you have any kind of sources for your assertion that the majority of the fandom hates Cadance, do you? Because from my experience, the majority loves her. Very few seem to dislike her at all.

    1. To expand from what I said on tumblr, I can't link direct sources but I can point at places, such as 4chan, Ponychan, Equestria Daily, Derpy Hooves News, and even the MLP Wikia. I don't post on those sites, but I read them every now and then. It helps me to keep a more broad opinion on the fandom than just focusing on the sites that say good things about ponies. Sometimes it's good to take some of the positive opinions and some of the negative opinions.

  9. Very interesting analysis. I like Cadence and Shining Armor as well probably because they're just plain nice ponies. We need more of those in the show, I'm kinda getting sick of bronies fanboying over the cliched ones like Derpy or Trixie (even though I'm ok with Trixie) yet hate on the more mature characters like Applejack. Goes to show that some bronies only like characters if they're big screw-ups as they are.

    On another note, have you considered making an analysis on Derpy. I mean they are those who complain whenever she's not around and then there are those who think she's overstaying her welcom to the point that the show itself is getting overshadowed just because all bronies care about is looking at the background.

  10. Good article, as usual.

    I would like to point that, yes, maybe Cadence has no flaws, but that's surely because she is intended to be a secondary character, and she has had quite little screen time. Less that Shining Armor, even.

    I think that people overreacts about her. Being dramatic about the smallest stupid thing is something very characteristic of this fandom, sadly.

  11. I admit that I didn't much like Cadance at first when introduced in ACW, since for me she was just another thing that made ACW the worst episode ever. Alicorn out of nowhere, perfect, flawless princess, marries handsome prince, loved by everyone, it was just só over the top. It was as if Hasbro was whacking us in the face with her toy while shouting "LOVE HER! LOVE HER! SEE WHAT A WONDERFUL PONY SHE IS?! LOVE HER! (And buy her toys!)". So yeah, after ACW I was just left with a whole "meh" feeling towards Cadance and Shining, since their appearance opened up so many plotholes and inconsistencies. Not to mention "the power of tru luv!". Blegh, I think I'm going to be sick.

    When "The Crystal Empire" came around, however, my view on Cadance started to change a bit. It does help that I found TCE a much better episode than ACW overall, so being in a better episode also helped to make Cadance look better. Here, she appeared more genuine to me, and was shown to go to great lengths just to protect others, unlike ACW where she appeared more like "Oh no! Let's go save my perfect prince so I can have my perfect wedding!". Though TCE didn't do much to seal the plot holes made by ACW, it did help to make Shining and Cadance more likeable characters overall, at least for me.

    "Games Ponies Play" was indeed probably Cadance's best episode, and it made me like her since she was finally shown as a "person" rather than a "perfect princess role model" or some such. To see Cadance outside of "fate of Equestria is at stake" situations was definately what her character needed, and it's funny that she joked about that during "The Crystal Empire". Huh, Cadance has foresight, who knew?

    But what really sealed the deal for me, actually, was the novel. "Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell" that finally told us of her background and origin, and why she is an alicorn. I don't know how canon the novel is, but it did help to fill a lot of the plotholes that had been plaguing Cadance since ACW, and it did her a world of good in my eyes. So though I started out disliking her, thanks to "Games Ponies Play" and the novel, I now can say I genuinely like her as a character. She's not my favourite pony, and probably never will be, but she is a likeable character and pony nevertheless and has grown on me, and I'm sure there's a chance for future appearances of her to make me like her even more.

    As long as she doesn't hog the spotlight at the cost of the real stars of the show and her aunt, that is.

  12. I can't disagree with you. I like Cadance as well.

  13. I like Cadance, always have. Even when I rejected the idea of Twilight suddenly having an out-of-nowhere big brother, the idea of another alicorn filled me with joy, because of headcanon reasons.

    I really hope they give her more screen time next season, and build her up to be a more flawed, relatable character (totally caught me off guard with that one).

    As for Shining Armor, he's grown on me, probably because he strums the big brother chords on me, but I've also found a flaw I'd like to expose: he's too much of a soldier.

    What I mean with this is, on Canterlot Wedding he gets so busy with his job protecting the city he forgets to let his sister know he's getting married, and on Crystal Empire he tries to go find the Heart, and if Twilight hadn't stopped him he would have left his completely exhausted wife just laying there on the floor. Not saying keeping Canterlot safe and finding the Heart weren't important, and being a captain of the guard I can understand why he'd take his job and the security of his ponies all the more seriously, but still... he would have left his nearly-magically depleted wife lying on the floor like that.

  14. Just for fun, let's see where my opinions stand. I'm not attacking you, just comparing.
    1. "I think Dave Polsky is the best writer of Season 3" - no opinion, they all did great.
    2. "I really enjoyed “The Mysterious Mare-do-Well”." - it was a good episode, maybe a flaw or two, but not my favorite.
    3. "I think turning Twilight Sparkle into an Alicorn Princess is a brilliant idea." I don't disagree, but I can agree with why you think that.
    4. "The Great and Powerful Trixie is overrated." Sounds like a reasonable statement.
    5. "Discord wasn’t a villain in the first place." An excellent point.
    6. "The Season 2 finale is not very well written." Well, I liked it.
    7. "I think they tackled the bully issue really well." Yes, I agree.
    8. "Gilda wasn’t a villain, she was just misunderstood." I agree. I'd also like to venture that this show has very few actual villains, in contrast to what the Wal-Mart poster of villains suggests.
    9. "Rarity is Best Pony". I don't have a favorite like that, but Rarity is cool.

    And I like Princess Cadence, despite the behind-the-scenes reasons for her real-world creation.

    "They are all lawful good." I was going to guess that they all protect other characters.

    As for the Lauren Faust thing where she said "I meant for there to only be two alicorns," I know she said it somewhere. Records of that exist, whether it was on DeviantArt or on Twitter.