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  • 454 weeks
    Lume Invades Someone Else's Review Blog... Again!

    As it happens, Lumie did another review with Prane and Gulheru! About The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows, this time! They promised they'd let me go if I did one. But I'm still trapped in the basement with all the other reviewers. Why did nobody send help after the last review? :fluttercry:

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    5 comments · 548 views
  • 472 weeks
    Lumie Invades Someone Else's Review Blog

    Though I do my level best to try to make you all forget that blogs exist, I suppose it does behoove me to pretend I'm not a hermit. I actually do things on FiMFiction! Sometimes I talk to people. Real people! Sometimes said real people ask for things! Prane asked me to do a review and gab session with himself and

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    8 comments · 838 views
  • 527 weeks
    Oh, hey! Neat!

    I don't usually like to celebrate silly milestones. But what the hell. In this case, I shall!

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    21 comments · 806 views
  • 533 weeks

    Now that I've updated both the fics that I've had waiting, and at least one additional chapter is tantalizingly close to finished, it's time for me to develop some new medical problem to take me away for six more months.

    I'm thinking Lupus.

    13 comments · 670 views
  • 534 weeks
    Back in the Saddle

    Had intended to make this blog post when one of my fics hit pre-readers again, and was thus a few days from release. But then EqD finally remembered that Unbound Skies got accepted, and posted it up. The results were predictable.

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    22 comments · 724 views

Lumie Invades Someone Else's Review Blog · 10:14pm Jun 23rd, 2015

Though I do my level best to try to make you all forget that blogs exist, I suppose it does behoove me to pretend I'm not a hermit. I actually do things on FiMFiction! Sometimes I talk to people. Real people! Sometimes said real people ask for things! Prane asked me to do a review and gab session with himself and Gulheru about Princess Spike!

I said no, but they forced me and said it was for the good of the nation. :fluttercry:
I'm going to get my revenge by posting this a day late. Mwehehe! I'm so bad!

Since Stockholm Syndrome is a thing, I'll tell you to check out their blogs. They do them with a bunch'a folks from all around FiMFictiontopia!

The spikey discontent begins below the break!

Math time: A total of 35 participants (excluding the three princesses) built a 137-element statue. Calculate their average contribution, and explain why the result is not a natural number.

Prane: I should probably start with voicing my opinion on Spike: he is not my favorite character. Shocking, right? It doesn’t mean I don’t like him at all, mind you - if I didn’t, I wouldn’t make him a star in two of my own stories. Coincidentally, both take place some time into the future where Spike has a chance of becoming something more than just a sidekick. In other words, I do like that green and purple dragon, but I like him for what I believe he can become rather than for how he is depicted in the show. More often than not he fails miserably in his doings, much like the Cutie Mark Crusaders (but those three I understand, since it’s the diffusion of responsibility which throws their reason out of the window), and the results were as we have seen in the episode.

Could it be that my expectations for him are set to high? He technically still is a baby dragon, and you wouldn’t expect a set of well-developed management skills from someone his age. Thinking ahead and planning - that’s also something we have to learn in time. My only wish is Spike to draw conclusions from this little adventure. In Secret of My Excess he supposedly learned that, quote, it truly is better to give than to receive, and yet he still couldn’t figure out that being the acting Princess of Friendship does not give him the right to get free massages or sapphire cupcakes (bonjour, Gustave!). And by the end of Spike at Your Service, he should have learned that trying too hard can also be a bad thing, even if our intentions are as noble as helping others in need. Well, I guess I should be thankful he didn’t turn into Godzilla this time.

Time to discuss Spike, the wannabe hero who yet again fits the sidekicks’ bench better!

Gulheru: Let me begin by saying that I am allergic to Spike more than he is to these intriguing trees (which are, in my opinion, more captivating than he is). Our little dragon is once more denied the possibility of real character development, as he delves, again, into mistakes that our main heroes are a bit too reasonable to make. And, my goodness, what a wonderful mistake to tackle on the show – abuse of power and authority. This would have been a tremendous occasion to showcase, in a more serious way, that power can corrupt those that are unfit to wield it.

Alas, we got Spike. Making a mess of things one more time.

Seriously, is he ever going to learn? Or is he destined to be the gullible and naive child-nuisance? I am a bit tired of this. First he nearly creates a diplomatic disaster on a, it seems rather important, national summit and then he gets off lightly via a simple, moralistic apology. Is the show ever going to learn that things do not work like this? Actions have their consequences, no matter how bad do you feel about them.

But, does it mean that it is meaningless to apologize? Never.

Besides, ponies will buy it. I mean, enough for you to say you come by the order of the Princess and you can even have a painting of yourself done. Such credulous species they are… It brings to mind some wonderful, clandestine intrigues to weave behind their backs, no?

Right, right, back to the real world.

Luminary: There is a most important lesson to be learned from today’s episode. A lesson that I think every person needs to learn, at some point in their life:

Angry mobs are the solution to every problem.

Oh, and I guess Spike was in the episode too, doing amusing stuff. There’s probably a lesson to be found there as well. It’s just probably not exactly the one that the writers intended. Sadly, it was another parade of failures for poor Spike, not unlike Owls Well that Ends Well and Spike at your Service, one that seems to be edging him inexorably onward to the image of a bit of a dunce. Though at least a good-natured one, usually. But talk of not abusing a friend’s good fortunes or status is really secondary to what I think the real lesson should be.

Do not put a child in charge of national politics.

‘But Lumie,’ your hypothetical self might say, “he was just supposed to keep Twilight undisturbed!’

Yush. This is undoubtedly true. A simple task! Except… not really. Twilight Sparkle is the ruler of a nation, and heading a major national event. What’s the equivalent in human terms here? If the President’s secretary was replaced by a twelve year old at a trade summit, and was told to handle all comers while the President had a nap, while no other authority figure was there to deal with any serious problems. Thanks Obama.

If the kid screws up in a situation like that, it isn’t the kid’s fault. It’s the fault of the other organizers and staff of the event who went off to the bar to get plastered instead of handling issues.

The first rule of Polo Club is: You do not touch someone else's ball without permission. The second rule of Polo Club is: You do NOT touch someone else's ball without permission.

Luminary: Cadance, hun, it’s super nice to see you around. I really like your mane. It’s very crystally now. Cool canonical evolution with that and the crystal spells. But maybe help a kid out a bit, instead of offering sage psychological advice?

In a lot of ways, it was a good change of pace from the usual twenty three minute Spike-Epic-Fail-Montage episode. While Spike did a lot (a whole lot) of stumbling and made his mistakes, it took a bit of blame off his head in my view. Know I’d have much preferred a bit of Spike love, like in The Crystal Empire instead, but I’ll take what I can get. Besides, the episode at least throws out some interesting distractions here and there to keep it from becoming unbearable.

Gulheru: Even so, we are still subjected to nothing else than a comedy of utterly annoying errors, resulting in a “Rube Goldberg” disaster of the “butterfly effect” kind. Nothing spectacular, to be honest, nor breathtaking, nor inspiring. Nor interesting, in that matter, at least in my opinion.

The episode had potential, naturally. Unfortunately, that potential is somewhat neutered by the fact that it is Spike causing all of this ruckus. I mean, everytime we know that the little dragon shall be the star of the episode, we can foresee something ridiculous shall happen because of his child-like nature.

Although I know a lot of more reasonable children than him…

We cannot question his loyalty towards Twilight and perhaps that is his only redeeming factor, at least for me. (Still, one can pick better sovereigns than her.) But, all in all, Spike remains mostly a comic relief, falling for the most obvious and basic of temptations. Tedious.

And Cadance? I suppose she had a lot of things to tend to with the summit, so looking after Spike was not a top priority and neither was guiding his paw with everything else going on. Besides, the Princess of Love must have a at least some trust towards others, or the basis of love would be void.

Whether it's logical to trust…? Depends…

Prane: Let me take a quick glance at my own list of interesting distraction which made the episode for me. First, birds respecting the princesses. Cadance’s wings spring out whenever she’s mildly surprised (digging up Spike from the book pile, seeing Twilight stagger like a Drunken Master), but not when she’s totally astonished (the moment after the pipe exploded). Then there was Special Agent Bon-Bon was doing surveillance at the polo game, under the deep cover of her gigantic hat. Finally, the da Vinci pony’s interpretation of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam immortalizing Spike the Brave and Glorious. Those are little things, but they still provided more fun than Spike’s struggle.

The following paragraph contains spoilers to MLP Friends Forever #3.

The thing is, there is nothing Spike can do that another character wouldn’t do better. One of the comic features Spike and Celestia going on an adventure to get some rare crystal lenses for Twilight’s new telescope. When the two found themselves captured by a group of rock lobsters (I kid you not!), they escape when Spike bites through the rock bars of their prison. Celestia then says that she could saved them any time, but she wanted Spike to be the one to do it. Why? Because earlier Spike confessed to her that he wanted to be a real adventurer, not a sidekick. But he is a sidekick, and he’ll always be one. Even Dragon Quest wasn’t an episode about him, but about three ponies who followed him, so if he can’t be a hero of his own story, then how could he be a hero in anyone else’s? In fact, I would mind having him written off completely from the series (say, for a season) so he could go on an actual quest, and then return as an actual character.

It’s amusing how Rarity of all ponies would make the greatest review of any Spike episode: Let us never speak of this again.

Between being a princess and a wife, Cadance should get a job. Just imagine how wonderfully crystallized the world would become!

Gulheru: So, we were granted a possibility to meet representatives from different corners of Equestria, places as distant as Manehattan and Whinnyapolis. We were not introduced to all of those delegates, certainly, but I think we can expect the fandom to pinpoint their mother cities and regions soon, even if only by their looks.

However, I cannot help but notice the lack of a batpony delegate. I mean, we know they are around. Do they not have a representative? Or are they not considered Equestrians? Perhaps they do not feel like participating in such festivities. An intriguing topic to discuss, I believe.

However, a more general question - who would you like to see amongst the ponies participating in the summit and who do you feel was sadly absent?

Luminary: Rumor is that bat ponies were cut from Slice of Life for time. My grief was quite epic. But I’m not terribly surprised to see a lack of them here. The simple fact that we haven’t seen them around rather hints that they aren’t common, or are artificial. An enchantment Luna puts on her guards for effect, or what have you.

Honestly, in terms of things that might realistically appear, I got what I wanted. A griffon. With them showing up in the Equestria Games and appearing here and there since, people have been speculating that Equestria has a population of them somewhere. Maybe even a town or city.

The fact that we had one this time is a good sign of that. After all, it was a national summit, not an international one. Now my inner shipper wants to see a hippogriff, but that is neither here nor there.

On a more pony front, I want to see where all the French (Fancy) language is coming from. It’s not vital, but a nod to canonize or decanonize Prance would be vaguely neat.

Also, the pony I thought was some kind of Canadian nod was actually a reference to the movie Fargo. So I’m properly snubbed. And clearly Canada needs to annex Minnesota to keep all the stereotypes in one convenient place. All we have left is Rarity’s dad. Such sadness.

Prane: The fact that the Grand Equestria Pony Summit had delegates from over fifty cities sounds really impressive. Perhaps an update to the official map is in order? We could really use something which outlines what lies beyond the edge of the world as we know it. It bugs me though - Equestria is a land of ponies, and the summit had a pony in its name, yet some griffon clearly appeared on it. Was she just an observer, or an actual participant? I do love some racial diversity in Canterlot, so if he was, why stop there? Where’s a Diamond Dog representative? Where’s a minotaur like Iron Will (Twilight said there were conferences, which is definitely not far from his seminar prowess)? Where are the thestrals?

Maybe it’s just because only griffons are considered a minority in Equestria, and all other races are a statistical oddity which does not constitute the general population. Still, I would love to see creatures other than equines walking in the background in general. After all, they are actively bringing the background to the foreground, which - unless we’re willing to put the main characters to the side for good - inevitably leads to the need of a new background. Griffons talking to ponies, changelings selling their high quality craft to Diamond Dogs, now that’s how I’d like one of the future seasons to look like!

Oh, and let’s not forget about zebras. Such an event could certainly use some striped power. And a merpony with a bunch of singing seaponies! They’ve missed the opportunity of including one swimming around the ballroom as the pipe exploded. Shoop-bee-doo!

Yeah, yeah, that would ruin the perilous mood of the scene. But honestly, did anyone believe that Spike was going to be chastised for his sins at the end of the day?

Manners maketh man (or in this case - a pony), but when all hell breaks loose we all tend to drop our exemplary demeanor and just do what feels right.

Prane: The episode featured one character who is very dear to my heart, namely Fancy Pants (sadly, Fleur was nowhere to be seen - a shameful display!), and even granted him a couple of speaking lines. However, I am not sure if I liked his attitude towards the end. Remember that he was the one who put his reputation at stake to reach out to Twilight and her terrible dancing skills in Sweet and Elite, and Twilight herself was quite a nobody back then. Today she’s a princess who supposedly made some bad decisions and put Canterlot in a bad light, but I would still expect him to act maybe a little more gentelcolt-y overall and - however stressed out he might have been - at least not be the one to rage out and incite the mob?

I’m writing my Fancy as a pony with unflappable manners, and I am far from saying “oh noez, the show did something differently, abandon all headcanons for they are now ruined”, but since I’m obviously biased towards him I could use a second and third opinion on his portrayal.

Luminary: Even without giving us an itemized list of new cities (which I wouldn’t have complained about), this one is still a lore episode, in a lot of ways. The simple fact that there are so many cities is a revelation in itself, that at least points to Equestria being far larger than it looks on the map.

There’s additional glances at the technology level, in the way of power tools and a modern civil water distribution system. The previously mentioned changes with Cadance hinting that she’s becoming more like a crystal pony are there too. The event itself provide us with some direction on what the Princess of Friendship will be doing, and has been doing. Heck, even as silly as it was, I’m sure some writer will happily find a way to seriously use dragon-sneeze trees. And there’s a few more notches toward the idea that ponies practically mythologize their princesses, up to the point of believing they can’t be wrong.

As for Fancy, I think his portrayal wasn’t actually surprising at all.

When we first met Fancy Pants in Sweet and Elite, he wasn’t perfect. He didn’t give Rarity much notice until she mentioned being a protege of Princess Celestia. Then suddenly he was the perfect gentlecolt, offering tickets to get-togethers and opening all the social doors. And I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect he knew about Twilight, from her years by Celestia’s side.

In Princess Spike, we see much the same thing. A stallion willing to play the game, but who perhaps doesn’t take it quite as seriously as most. And yet, he’s a stallion on top of the pile of sniggering, cruel nobility. You don’t get that way without being willing to throw the weight of strong opinions around.

I don’t even think he did anything overly objectionable. He saw an important event, where his home town’s image is at stake, being ruined by apparent gross incompetence by Twilight. And he had the cohones to stand up to a princess about it. Which is more than you can say for anypony else. The angry mob was a bit much, but given the way ponies seem to view their rulers, who wouldn’t want a bit of backup?

Gulheru: A person of usually unflappable and strict manners showing a more vicious side? Now, that’s something. I do not personally view it as a “breach of character”. More like an addition to the existing template.

Let us think about it for a moment. Fancy Pants is, despite his eccentricities towards the lowborn, a member of the highest social circle of the city. And, as I understand, he was assigned the role of the representative of Canterlot. He has a reputation to uphold, for himself, his family and his city, which I am fairly certain he is proud of. Perhaps not of his fellow nobles, but of the traditions and stature of the capital, certainly. So when some quite questionable decisions come from the youngest of Equestria’s rulers, I think it is pretty reasonable to go straight for the source of the calamity. Not cower before the title, but stand in front of the pony carrying it.

Perhaps an angry mob does not serve as the most sophisticated of vetoes, but, frankly, I believe Fancy Pants simply utilized his, as I suspect, masterful social skills. You do not shove everypony aside in your venture to the Canterlot Elite, you know how to play them around. So, if the rabble is gathering, become the icon they shall gather behind, become the sign that points them where they should be going. If he were to show a more calm approach, he could have been trampled by the others, or supplemented by a less reasonable individual.

A mixture of genuine agitation and well-timed reaction with the mood of the gathered instantaneously elevated Fancy Pants to the role of a leader of this, colorful, band of protesters. I think it only makes his character more established. Showing that he can, if the situation becomes hectic, reveal a more harsh, basic side of his and take control. That’s a pony we need more often around.

Comments ( 8 )

You should do more things with me, Lumie. Like shitfunposting. You'll have a great time!

Anyway, time to be a grump:

However, I cannot help but notice the lack of a batpony delegate. I mean, we know they are around. Do they not have a representative? Or are they not considered Equestrians? Perhaps they do not feel like participating in such festivities. An intriguing topic to discuss, I believe.

This is why I don't like batponies/changelings/any other weird ass pony species.

People feel the need to claim that they actually exist in huge numbers, instead of, heaven forbid, being rare genetic anomalies or even, GASP, enchantments (as you say)! And just because they exist, they need to be EVERYWHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE.

I mean, I'd like to see more minotaurs around, I think they're great, but I don't go on about them 24/7 and claim they're an endangered species or something just because they didn't appear. They appeared once. 'tis all I need since now I know they exist.

Also write more blogs or I will get even more grumpy. Grr. :twilightangry2:

You all touched on something that I think is the core problem with how Spike is written, and that is that he doesn't appear to learn from his mistakes. In fact, he's the only member of the central cast who is portrayed in a negative light with alarming consistency. When other characters have episodes that focus on them, these stories focus around meaningful developments or personal victories, like Rainbow Dash becoming a reserve Wonderbolt, for example. Spike, in contrast, receives no development at all; the writers have gone back to the drawing board with him on more than one occasion (see: Peewee) because they can't seem to come up with anything that's a good fit. If he continues to be portrayed as the bumbling, incompetent comic relief, then Luminary is right, and he's going to end up bearing the Element of Stupidity.

Kudos to Lumie for helping us put the blog together! It was great having you on the show, man (or ma'am? I'm ashamed to admit I did not do my research). Anyway, let our paths cross again around another, hopefully more interesting episode! :yay:


man (or ma'am? I'm ashamed to admit I did not do my research).

All your research would have been in vain. Lumie doth not say, one way or the other!

hopefully more interesting episode! :yay:

I think I might actually be the only one in the world that didn't really mind the episode. It kept my attention fine!

Though perhaps knowing I'd have to wax on about it made it that way. So can't say it wasn't a positive experience!

You'll get more grumpy if I post or not. :trollestia:

Anyway, I like callbacks. And expanding the lore and universe with more cute things.

I wouldn't mind more minotaurs either. Actually, I think I'll now go on about them 24/7, to demand more Iron Will.


Spike could be a very cool character. At times he's noble, and selfless, and the voice of reason. He learns lessons, but always repeats his errors. I mean, we've dealt with greed, darn it! But more and more they seem to be shying away from that in favor of making him the least funny comedy relief imaginable. I feel bad for the little guy.

Ahh Spike's patented twenty-three-minute-Spike-Epic-Fail-Montages. He is an artist of sorts.

Gonna agree that the most I got out of this ep was a bit of lore. I liked the implication that griffons are apparently part of Equestria, and that the country might be more of a melting pot than we think.

Plus yeah, Fancy Pants. I like that guy. He definitely didn't come off quite the same way as I remember him, so maybe Lum's on to something in that he's always playing a part. I still like to believe he's just a nice, rich-ass noble.

Math time: A total of 35 participants (excluding the three princesses) built a 137-element statue. Calculate their average contribution, and explain why the result is not a natural number.

Just assume that they didn't actually bring an equal number of elements, probably some people had access to a far wider variety than others and therefore contributed more, thus causing a mean average that was not a 'natural' (whole, positive) number.


Just assume that they didn't actually bring an equal number of elements, probably some people had access to a far wider variety than others and therefore contributed more, thus causing a mean average that was not a 'natural' (whole, positive) number.

I know I'm several weeks late, but I'd like to highfive you for actually addressing this conundrum (it's good to know someone's reading the captions)! :rainbowwild:

You're welcome.

Generally I find statistics more suspicious when they work out perfectly evenly, rather than the other way around.

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