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Let R = { x | x ∉ x }, then R ∈ R ⟺ R ∉ R... or is it?

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Points of Canon: S6x07 - Newbie Dash · 8:01pm May 7th, 2016

Moar pony! The new episode is out, and here’s my traditional dose of primary canon combing.

  • Starlight Glimmer is not in evidence, making it possible to backdate this episode. In fact, based on the previous season 6 episodes, I think we can expect this of any future episode where the plot does not involve her directly.
  • 1. I expect the best explanation involves pegasi being able to hard anchor a cloud in place and enchant it to support weight. Otherwise, they would be unable to have a city without unicorn assistance at all.

    The entire Mane 6 are present in Rainbow’s cloud mansion again, and on a later day, they come with the CMC. I think it should be clear by now that the actual house does not require cloudwalking spells to use for non-pegasi, if only because we get a better view of the furniture than usual. Much of it is very obviously not made of cloud, and neither are the numerous items brought in by Pinkie and resting on the front porch. It’s still an open question how this sort of thing stays up on the cloud.1

  • 2. There were examples of that before, but not quite so many at once.
    3. I think we’re justified in imagining a pegasus wing-feather-painting, even.

    Pegasi use a “wing balm” to prevent their wings from being “stiff.” Considering the actual feathers are blatantly independently prehensile throughout the entire episode,2 pegasi have a lot more fine motor control over their wings than I previously thought.3

  • “There were 20 ponies in the original EUP Guard that became the Wonderbolts.” Somehow, however, this translated into a tradition of having morning briefings at 07:20, and I can’t even begin to guess how these facts would be connected.
  • 4. And now Dash is just showing off…

    The official Wonderbolt barracks were built by “Admiral Fairweather himself.”4

  • General Flash’s cap is apparently distinctive enough to be recognized by Dash on sight with no label.
  • The original crest “with the Wonderbolts motto” is still around, and the thing has to be near a thousand years old.
  • The Wonderbolts motto is “Altius Volantis,” “soaring higher.” Which is a rare case of ponies actually using explicit Latin – might be the only case, even, unless I missed something.
  • Conveniently Placed Trashcan is obviously there because the script called for it, since there’s no reason whatsoever to expect enough trash in the middle of the runway to merit a trashcan. Unless someone actually planned to dunk Dash in it, which would be silly. The content of the trash is also raising some questions – I mean, soil tones? What the hay do they dump in there?…
  • It is perfectly possible for a pegasus to crash into a cloud and lose enough speed to receive damage, as used, for example, in “Flash Fog” - it might have come up previously, but since we’re dealing with a pegasus-heavy episode, might as well point it out.
  • In the flashback, Fluttershy is the only pony not to laugh at Rainbow at what appears to be their first meeting, which might have contributed to Rainbow Dash being so protective of Fluttershy afterwards.
  • 5. Post-it notes and scotch tape by themselves imply pretty significant development of chemical industry, but it’s a foregone conclusion that their chemical industry is quite advanced anyway.

  • Either Rainbow had the time to decorate her locker, or it still contains post-it notes5 and photos from a previous owner. The next day, it has a photo of the Mane 6, and a #1 blue ribbon, which are positioned differently, so it suggests the latter.
  • 6. Since it’s pretty clear that pegasi don’t fly aerodynamically anyway, should we presume an invisible magical tail assembly?…

    Rainbow Dash reads, in a book, about how “dihedral wing angles can increase stability in banking turns.” This mostly makes sense when flying like a fixed wing aircraft, though, which, without a tail plane or a tailfin, would be kind of difficult for a pegasus. The reaction to this statement seems to imply that she discovered something blindingly obvious, which worries me.6

  • 7. A clipper is a rather particular type of ship, at that, made to satisfy rather particular requirements.

    Soarin’s nickname is “Clipper” which Rainbow initially thinks refers to a fast ship,7 but actually refers to him clipping his wing on a flagpole.

  • There are at least 40 lockers in the Wonderbolt dressing room, but only 12 beds in their barracks, only 11 footlockers, and only 10 Wonderbolts in evidence, counting Rainbow Dash. Huh?
  • The announcer uses “Mares and gentlecolts, fillies and foals of all ages,” when previously it was always “Fillies and gentlecolts.” Previous uses of the address did not happen with a large number of children present, though.
  • A purple rather than red medical cross – right next to the nurse’s hat which has a red one – is a bit odd.

In conclusion… the Wonderbolts are still jerks, the episode produces more questions than it answers, and while Rainbow trying to imitate every other Mane 6 pony in quick succession is funny, I’m not particularly pleased with this one.

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Comments ( 5 )

It had its moments.
Her acting like her friends while amusing and shows a rather impressive talent for impersonations, was rather perhaps a missed opportunity at saying something about being true to yourself. The whole shtick with her nickname was handled rather poorly. Instead of acting like a mature mare and calling the bolts out on it from the beginning (or at the end), like she has in the past, and then just accepting he nickname rather easily despite all the past trauma associated with it was kinda like what?

Lots of good points you caught Oliver.

Holy crap the original EUP was small. I mean, the point of the military was to represent the 3 tribes at the time, and we also know the Pegasi are the most militaristic, so they have to be at least a 3rd of the overall EUP, which means when it started it only had 60 soldiers. Even a thousand years ago large armies had like 10,000 men in them.

X-rays show Pegasi have bones in their pinions, which probably helps them be more closely related to Thestrals. (Are thestrals canon or not in the show? I know there was a book referencing them, but then from the S5 finale it looks like NMM just gave Rainbow Dash armor that made her a thestral.)

Also, if you start thinking about the red cross, you start wondering how Equestria even developed that symbol in the first place.


Amen, but eh. Kind of expected.


Holy crap the original EUP was small.

Testing Testing 1-2-3 has Twilight say "an elite team of aerial performers were chosen to help celebrate this auspicious occasion" - emphasis mine. So we don't really know how big it was from that alone, alas, but it was bigger than 60 ponies.

Are thestrals canon or not in the show?

One of the big unanswered questions. Thestrals only show up on screen twice -- once in Luna Eclipsed and once in The Cutie Re-Mark and the second case makes it doubtful they are a missing pony tribe, while the first one is so short we barely can say anything. Scare Master also corroborates the idea that a pegasus can disguise their wings by completely covering them and still fly just as well. There is scattered presence of them across the comics, but they're bloody rare even there and do not permit us to decide one way or the other. The even more scattered word of god is dubious and since it appears they got a taste for trolling, I'm inclined to discount it entirely.

I'm going to work from the idea that they don't exist, myself.

Also, if you start thinking about the red cross, you start wondering how Equestria even developed that symbol in the first place.

We would have to suppose convergent evolution of some sort for all abstract symbols, anyway, not just this one.

I would also add some of my own thought regarding pegaus wings. Being reminded through this episode again that they have bones in their feathers. This would essentially give them hands. As you said their is more use of their wings in this then in previous episodes. I have seen some great art pieces that really use that, from gestures to using them to hold things.

So do we assume they have hollow bones to aid in flight. Or they are something super dense but weighing next to nothing giving how often and hard they crash yet walk away with no injuries. They may be reinforcing their bones or cushioning their impacts with their latent magic.

Given how thin their wings are they would be delicate and not very strong, especially for using as hands or for something like doing a wing-up. So of course magic. Or a latent telekinetic field. This is my theory at least. All the ponies are telekinetic. Unicorns being the only ones who can project it beyond their bodies. It would help explain how they can hold things, not just with hooves. But with their manes and tails. (ala Pinkie Pie, though her mane seems more like a pocket dimension) Their tails are almost prehensile or are in some episodes. Also it would help explain how they can carry things on their heads/backs/wings/tails, that cant all be balance. So if a pegasus is projecting a telekinetic field through their wings, that would increase its strength and durability. The strain of using wings wouldn't just be physical but also mental. There is prolly more but my mind is wandering.

❧A three-point landing like superheroes do.

2. There were examples of that before, but not quite so many at once.

❧Yeah, wing-hands (chiroptera :twilightsmile:) used to hold clipboard, book, goggles, count off… an earlier one was in begnining of Crystalling.

A purple rather than red medical cross – right next to the nurse’s hat which has a red one – is a bit odd.

Scenery artists got the Red Cross trademark memo, character artists didn't, perhaps? I didn't note them.

discovered something blindingly obvious, which worries me.⁶

She is reading a book likely procured on-site, and even if Dash is a geek about Wonderbolts, something directly-related to flight physics is probably among WB common knowledge (and that's the captain rolling her eyes!) Her checklist is unlikely to be one borne of poring over and perusing the book; probably just a once-over combined with a decent knowledge of the material.

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