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28 May 2013

Head Party Canon - The Four Alicorns of Equestria

So now that I told you what I think about head canons, and how you shouldn't get incredibly mad when they get destroyed, I am going to bring up a few of my favorite head canons as an introduction to one that I came up with. I have talked about it with a few of my friends, and they all seemed to like it, which is what motivated me to write this here article on the subject.

First thing first, here are some of my favorite head canons and/or fan theories, just so you know where I come from.

- Pinkie Pie is self aware: I like this one especially when characters in the show bring it up. The way Pinkie Pie breaks the laws of physics and does stuff that’s impossible to explain makes me believe that she knows she is a cartoon character and she’s taking full advantage of it.

- Princess Luna is an avid gamer: I always say how the “Ask Princess Molestia” Tumblr blog created by John Joseco is my favorite thing ever to come out of the fandom because of his interpretation of Princess Luna as a videogame fan who loves all consoles, all videogames and goes everywhere with a headset.

- Lyra loves humans and wants to become one: This one is more for adorable and hilarious potential than for actual believe in it. I consider the idea of a pony loving humans and being obsessed with them quite a clever take on how some humans love ponies and are obsessed with them.

- Photo Finish is actually Rainbow Dash in disguise: Honestly, my whole reasoning behind this head canon is that one comic strip that shows how Rainbow Dash covers her wings and hair with a dress and a wig. Once you see it, you can’t un-see it.

As you can tell, these theories are not super deep or complex. They are very simple and when proven wrong nothing major is going to be lost. I might squint at the loss of Gamer Luna, but I’d rather follow the official story than the fan made one. Besides, nothing is going to stop me from keep loving the fan made interpretation. Why do I bring this up? Well, mostly because I think my head canon is rather...complicated. Without further ado, I present to you my Head Canon Fan Theory...thing.

The Four Alicorns of Equestria

I will follow what the show has given us story wise to explain each and every one of my points, and I will use bullet points where needed to make things clear.

In the legend of Hearths Warming Eve we are told that the land of Equestria was founded by the three tribes of ponies: Earth Ponies, Unicorns and Pegasi, who managed to survive a terrible blizzard created by their lack of Harmony amongst each other. They found this Harmony thanks to the power of Friendship that was channeled through Clover the Clever, apprentice of powerful Unicorn Wizard Starswirl the Bearded.

After these events both Princess Celestia and Princess Luna were born, and they became the rulers of all the land. Where do they come from or how did they came to power we haven’t been told yet, but I like to throw some comedy into my head canon so I will believe the interpretation that the Alicorn Princesses came out of a relationship that Princess Platinum and Commander Hurricane had after the conflict of the three tribes was over.

Sometime after Celestia and Luna were born and became rulers of Equestria a third nameless Alicorn Princess came to rule a part of the land. This Alicorn I’m talking about is the one from the Hearts and Hooves Day story, the one that got affected by the love poison and plunged the land into chaos and destruction. We are never told what happened to her or her loved one, but it’s very likely that if Celestia was around being her so banishment-trigger-happy, this third Alicorn Princess got a cup of exile.

After these events, King Sombra took over the Crystal Empire and after Luna and Celestia banished him and turned him to shadow, he cursed both the empire and the Crystal Heart making them disappear for a thousand years.

Finally, when Luna got taken over by an evil spirit that turned her into Nightmare Moon, she got banished by her sister, who wielded the power of the Elements of Harmony. Once Luna got banished Celestia stood as a ruler of Equestria taking care of both the Sun and the Moon, and the Elements lost their power since her bond with her sister had broken and without friendship the elements are useless.

As you can see I am leaving Discord’s story aside, as it doesn’t directly affect my head canon, and it can be placed in the period between the founding of Equestria and the disappearance of the Crystal Empire. These are the points to take into account.

- The Magic of Friendship was discovered through Clover the Clever, student of Starswirl the Bearded.

- The Hearts and Hooves day Princess lost her land due to the love curse, and possibly got exiled.

- The Crystal Empire banished and with it the Crystal Heart.

- Princess Luna was banished to the Moon and the Elements of Harmony lost their power.

Now let’s take a look at the state of the land of Equestria as after Season 3. We have four Alicorn Princesses ruling the land, each one of them taking care of a different set of tasks.

- Princess Celestia controls the Sun, and rules over all the land.

- Princess Luna controls the Moon, and watches after ponies in their dreams.

- Princess Cadance rules the Crystal Empire, and wields the power of Love.

- Princess Twilight Sparkle wields the power of The Elements of Harmony and controls the Magic of Friendship.

I think this was supposed to be how Equestria should have been from the very first time Celestia and Luna arrived, but due to all the conflict, villains and problems, they never had time to get around it. Princess Celestia has always taken care of the Sun, and her authority has always been palpable as countless stories and scriptures by other ponies talk about her eternal youth, and how she has always been helpful and supportive. She was the one who gave the Apple Family the crop of land that later on grew up into Ponyville, for example. Celestia arrived in Equestria when the Pre-classical era was coming to an end, so it’s very likely that she had met with both Starswirl the Bearded and his apprentice Clover the Clever. It’s very possible that she saw the potential in his magic and wanted to give him the honor to become immortal by turning him into an Alicorn, but  he died before he could finish the spell that would have transformed him. Clover the Clever might not have been strong enough to wield as much power as Starswirl did, so the best thing that Celestia could do to keep the Magic of Friendship alive was to keep the spirits of both Starswirl and Clover the Clever preserved into six vessels, which then became The Elements of Harmony, which were preserved within the Castle of the Regal sisters in what is now known as The Everfree Forest. If you remember there were five of these orbs which when activated summoned the sixth one.

Three of those gems summon ancient evil angry Gods.
The events that lead to the appearance to the third nameless Alicorn Princess mentioned in Hearts and Hooves day are foggy, and there is a lot of room for interpretation. If we take Lauren Faust’s words into account in that only Luna and Celestia were born Alicorns then it’s very likely that this Alicorn Princess was made into one and that she used to be either a pegasus or a unicorn. This is possible as we are told in one of the official books that Cadance used to be a Pegasus, and in the TV Show Twilight used to be a unicorn. Once Celestia saw this nameless Alicorn wield the power of love she gave her a portion of the land to take care of, but after the events of Hearts and Hooves day, Celestia exiled her. And what happened to her you may ask? Where is she? Well, I have a theory about that. Cursed with love, mourning the loss of her loved one, and mad to the bone, this nameless Alicorn Princess became twisted and deranged, and as love consumed her so it did with her body, until she turned into none other but Chrysalis, Queen of the Changelings. 

What a twist!
This would explain her need to feed on love, her obsession with it, and the possibility that she created the Changelings themselves just so she could have a doppelganger of her long lost love. It will also explain why would she disguise herself as Princess Cadance instead of any other pony like Shining Armor or one of the guards. You might be wondering how come Celestia didn’t recognize Chrysalis at first, and that’s because Chrysalis doesn’t look like the nameless Alicorn Princess anymore. She is like a bug-zombie Alicorn, not a pretty looking pony princess. It’s also worth considering how both “Hearts and Hooves Day” and “The Canterlot Wedding” episodes are written by Meghan McCarthy, so she’s either a good schemer or she is obsessed with the subject of love.

Also it’s very possible that this kingdom that the nameless Alicorn Princess lost control of wasn't actually a kingdom, but an empire like, for example, the Crystal Empire. We are told that this place is powered by the love the ponies profess for each other, so it will make sense that a princess that’s all about love would rule over a land that’s powered by it.  So after she was exiled King Sombra took control over the empire, and when Celestia and Luna banished him to the frozen north he took the Empire, all the ponies in it, and the Crystal Heart with him. Also, who was the writer for these episodes? Exactly, Meghan McCarthy. I think I am going to refer to "Hearts and Hooves Day", "A Canterlot Wedding" and "The Crystal Empire" together as  "The Love Saga".

If I go down I'm taking you with me!
Without the powers of Love and Friendship Celestia and Luna did their best to keep the land under control and harmony, but not everything went as well as they thought. Without the love and without the land that spreads it all over Equestria Luna’s emotional defenses were down long enough for her to be taken over by an evil spirit that turned her into Nightmare Moon, leaving Celestia no choice but to use the powers of The Elements of Harmony as a last resort to keep the land safe. 

No sister, I don't want to go to space camp.
Without her sister, without the Crystal Empire, and without Starswirl the Bearded’s magic, she started to search for other ponies that could return Equestria to its original state, and perhaps improve it.

In the book “Twilight Sparkle and The Crystal Heart Spell” we are told that Princess Cadance caught the attention of Celestia because of her deep knowledge of love, and then got turned from a pegasus into an Alicorn Princess so she could exercise her magical talent. Her cutie mark is a clear representation of what used to be the Crystal Heart.

In the episode “The Cutie Mark ChroniclesCelestia stares at Twilight’s magic surge in a very ominous way. It is possible that she looks at it like that because the last time she saw something like it was when Starswirl the Bearded still lived. That’s why she took care of teaching Twilight everything in the use of Magic, and when the thousand years of banishment on Nightmare Moon were about to come to an end she sent her back to Ponyville to find the other five ponies who could become the vessels of the long lost Elements of Harmony. After finding the Elements, the ponies who would represent them, and rescuing Princess Luna from the imprisonment of Nightmare Moon, Twilight continued her studies in the magic of Friendship up until the point when the Crystal Empire re-surged from its one thousand years banishment, moment which Celestia used to put her plans in motion to bring Equestria into the state it should have always been.

"Dear Twilight Sparkle, there is a MacGuffin here you need to eat"
She sends Twilight off to the Crystal Empire to make sure that Cadance acquires her position as the new ruler and becomes the Crystal Princess, and once that's settled both Celestia and Luna start preparing Twilight to become what Starswirl the Bearded and Clover the Clever should have become in the past. There is nothing solid about the rule that all Alicorns in Equestria have to be female, so it’s very possible that Celestia’s original plans involved turning Starswirl into an Alicorn, but when he passed away those plans were truncated. It was when Celestia saw Twilight that she found a second chance to turn the new wielder of the Magic of Friendship into an Alicorn, and since she now had the help of Luna and Cadance, this task didn’t have to be too much trouble.

She was correct.

After turning Twilight Sparkle into an Alicorn Princess, Celestia finally finished the task that she placed upon herself when she arrived to Equestria, have four powerful Alicorn rulers to represent each of the four elements that keeps the land in motion: The Sun, the Moon, Love and Friendship. So what originally started as this...

Sun – Celestia.

Moon – Luna.

Love – Nameless Alicorn Princess, then transformed into Queen Chrysalis.

Friendship – Starswirl the Bearded and/or Clover the Clever.

... after more than a thousand years of conflict, death, destruction, banishment and horror, ended up turning into this:

Sun – Celestia.

Moon – Luna.

Love – Cadance.

Friendship – Twilight Sparkle.

This also brings up an alternate interpretation for the character of Twilight Sparkle. She is really powerful magic wise. Without the need of magic enhancement like the Alicorn Amulet she can wield an immense amount of power. Princess Celestia herself is marveled by her strength, which she apparently hasn't seen in centuries. Twilight is smart, cultured, passionate, and hungry for knowledge. She is also fascinated with Starswirl the Bearded. She dressed up as him for Nightmare Night, reads obscure books about him, played her apprentice in the Hearths Warming Eve play, can use the magical spells found in his wing at the library, and finished the unfinished spell that is found in his notebook.

You know you are hardcore when you cosplay as several characters  from the same series.
So taking into account how strong Twilight’s magic is, and how much she is interested in Starswirl the Bearded’s studies, and how she managed to finish his spell, is it possible that Twilight Sparkle is either a descendant or, maybe even Starswirl the Bearded re-incarnated? This would make a lot of sense as to why Celestia decided to take care of Twilight’s education and took her under her wing as her protegee  This means that Twilight’s journey didn’t start when she was reading about Nightmare Moon’s legend in the Elements of Harmony book, but in a previous life as Starswirl the Bearded when he discovered the Amniomorphic Spell!

This head canon is Lethal.
So to sum up, in this head canon of mine there were originally going to be four Alicorns that would wield the four elements that keep Equestria afloat, but because life and conflicts got in the way this plan couldn't be pulled off. It had to wait for a thousand years to put things in motion once more, and by the end of the third Season it all settled down and the destinies of each of the ponies involved were completed. The Season 3 finale is pretty much written as the end of the show, so we might as well take it as the end of a trilogy.

Now, this all is a perfect example of head canon. It fills the gaps between episodes and finds an explanation to some parts that, seen from a simpler point of view, don’t make a whole lot of sense. It’s a placeholder that can stay in until the official explanation comes out. It doesn’t tangle with Discord’s story arc because I am not one of those who thinks that Discord is actually Starswirl the Bearded transformed, but if he happens to be then that’s going to be pretty cool too. My head canon is there for Hasbro, the Hub and Studio B to tear down with their official story, so when I get proven wrong I will not bawl or rage.

But, if I happen to be right, I guarantee you will hear my cheers from your house.


  1. ...I wish I could say more, but I can't think of anything to post other than "I love this!"

    Seriously, great headcanon. I'll be adopting it as my own; it just works so well (though I'm iffy about Twilight being a reincarnation of Starswirl—descendant, sure, but I'm somewhat of a fan of Discord being the result of a corrupted Starswirl.)

  2. Man, this head cannon sure went places.
    The one concern that I have with theories like this is that, if they were to be true, all these connections and would feel almost like coincidences and make the world and mythology of MLP to feel smaller than what it actually is.

  3. Quite the interesting read at least.

  4. Cool headcanon! A pretty interesting read altought I feel the need to disagree ^_^
    Actually I interpret a few things different like I never considered that either Luna or Celestia met Starswirl. If we go with the exact words route Luna simply complimented Twilight´s costumes, it doesn´t necesarilly means she actually met Starswirl. And the fact that there´s an antidote on the book makes me believe that the Prince and Princess were cured from the Love Poison and everything ended on a happy note. Altought the Crysalis idea it´s cool so I´ll go further and say that King Sombra is actually the Prince from the story, HA!
    All right, enough rambling. Good article as always, good read.

  5. Acording to the show's wiki, the alicorn from the book in "Hearts and Hooves Day is called Princess Golden Dream (Could be a fan name). I like to think she was an earth pony, to make things more equal (We do see the same picture with her as an earth pony at one point, possibly an animation eror).

    Also, what if Sombra is what the prince from said story turned into?