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Wintermist is sick as a dog and watching season 6 · 6:39am Jan 7th, 2017

So, title says it all. I'm stuck in a different country, and too sick to do anything except huddle pitiably in my hotel room. But! It's given me the compelling reason I've needed to finally watch season 6. This evening, I've gotten up to the end of 8, A Hearth's Warming Tale. There will be more updates tomorrow as I work my way through the season.

Episodes 1&2: The Crystalling
So, I watched these two episodes a little while ago, and that was as far as I'd gotten into season 6 before today, but my impressions are still fairly clear, and they are these: nope. No, no, no. No baby alicorns. Alicorns are the demigods of the setting, and adding to their ranks should be unbelievably rare occasions, earned through titanic deeds. I don't know where Celestia, Luna and Cadance acquired their power (if it's ever been addressed in the supplementary materials outside the show) but I choose to believe they got them through proving themselves worthy. Random God-baby? Nope. Wintermist is not on board with this.

Also, we're seeing an awful lot of Starlight Glimmer. Seems like the show may actually be bringing her in at a level equal to or even surpassing that of many of the main cast. I don't really object to that, since she is kind of interesting, but if they were going to do this with a redeemed enemy, I would have honestly preferred Princess Luna got that kind of screen time, rather than being redeemed and dropped straight into a pocket dimension where she was barely seen thereafter. Because Princess Luna is the best, and my favourite.

Episode 3: The Gift of the Maud Pie
It was pretty interesting to see Pinkie get upset about giving away her cannon. That was a kind of genuine, non-crazy-eyed sadness that reminds you there's a pony under the manic cartoon character that she often comes across as (I know she's literally a cartoon character, but she's moreso than the others). Maud is kind of wonderful, and kind of impossible. It tempts me to write the most deadpan smut in the world. 'Maud Pie reads Porn' perhaps. Also, Rarity is lovely, and I love this show for giving every pony such essential goodness that you can't help but care for them.

Episode 4: On Your Marks
Okay... so this one seems to be a lesson of the week, 'You don't have to like all the things your friends do, to be friends'. That's a pretty sound message. I kind of wondered whether dancing pony (I didn't really catch the name) was being set up as some kind of juvenile coltfriend for Applebloom. Hope not. That would be weird.

Episode 5: Gauntlet of Fire
Ember is interesting. It's hard to imagine the conditions she's grown up under, but I do wonder if her openness to, well, niceness is some kind of rebellion against her shouty, as-empathetic-as-a-rock father/King. Don't really remember this obnoxious red dragon, though I do vaguely recall there was a past episode going to the dragon lands. Why is Spike so small? Is he the youngest dragon in Equestria, or is something else going on? He expanded into an angry giant when he got greedy, but all the other dragons seem pretty darn greedy and they're all the same size, so has that quietly been dropped? Is that something that only ever applied to him?

I'd like to do something with Ember. In the main storyline I'm writing, this summons won't happen for aaaages and that story will probably be over before I reach that time period, which is a shame. Maybe something to consider for later.

Episode 6: No Second Prances
My goodness, I had forgotten how badly Twilight can fuck things up when she gets an idea into her head. I do need to remember that for future reference. I was surprised at how much my mental model of Trixie lined up with the things that were said in this episode; about her jealousy and fundamental loneliness. She's also way more willing to use the first person than I thought, but oh well, I suppose my writing has diverged on that point. As for Starlight Glimmer, she is deeply worryingly eager to use magic to change ponies, and in general, to get absolutely everything she wants. It's impossible to be writing the kind of mind control fetish story I am without being aware that episode 23 holds an example of her controlling most of Twilight's friends (of which I know nothing more than that - no spoilers please!) but the writing is on the wall here.

Also, Celestia doesn't always bother to project a perfect air of unruffled grace.

Episode 7: Newbie Dash
Oh, Dash. I want to hug her and also smack her for all the ridiculous impressions; she has never before thought it was a good idea to be anyone but herself, and it really shows how deep the childhood trauma of seemingly casual shitty behaviour goes. I'm glad she got over it, and will come to own it. Really curious what Spitfire's is.

Episode 8: A Hearth's Warming Tail
Oh, wtf, show, we're doing a Christmas Carol now? That's a bit twee, even for you. Okay, Rainbow Dash as the assistant is pretty cute. Oh, and here's Applejack being the ghost of Christmas Past. ...did past Starlight Snowfall just get lectured by pony Professor Snape? Seems so. Pinkie is the ghost of Christmas Presents, that makes sense... there's Rarity and Fluttershy too. Which leaves only Twilight to be the ghost of Christmas Future! That will be awesome!

Okay, seeing olde timey Vinyl Scratch in her cute little rectangular glasses was worth this episode alone. So, Pinkie disappears, and here's the last ghost, and... holy frig, it's Princess Luna. And it's so much better than if it was Twilight. She is doom personified, and it's the best. Also I love her the most, see above. I am won over.

More to be added tomorrow... if I survive

Comments ( 33 )

One would think this would also be tagged 'episode reaction' or something along those lines, but you're sick and deluded (and also under the weather) so I guess that's no big deal.

I found the whole season a little underwhelming. The best part is definitely the finale, but even then, the ending is dumb as hell

Man, I haven't even watched S5, let alone most of S6. I agree with you about the baby-alicorn thing though, that was total bullshit.
I really like your portrayal of the Alicorns as demigods of great power and stature, it definitely fits with my own interpretation. I still remember back in S1 when Celestia/Luna were essentially seen as actual Gods, and I never really liked how each season seemed to diminish their image more and more (S2 Chrysalis kicking Celestia's ass in a 1v1, S3 Twilight becoming an Alicorn of friendship, at least S4 made Twilight go Super Saiyan with alicorn power...).

As for Starlight Glimmer, she is deeply worryingly eager to use magic to change ponies, and in general, to get absolutely everything she wants.

Of the episodes I've seen that involve Starlight Glimmer, that's probably my favorite aspect of her character. She's reformed, but she still comes from a background of literally brainwashing people to get her way, and the writers don't seem afraid to use that. As you said, actual honest to God mind-control/manipulation is like her default option for everything.
I don't know if Starlight will be encountered in FiMC (I get the feeling she will, since she's exactly the sort of corruptive villain that those dark magic Seekers were assembled to track down), but if she is I have a good feeling she'll fit right into the setting you've constructed.

Get well soon, Wintermist! Sorry about those foreign germs getting you down!

Get well soon! Looking forward to your take on Maud and Ember, however far off those plans may be.

Also, we're seeing an awful lot of Starlight Glimmer. Seems like the show may actually be bringing her in at a level equal to or even surpassing that of many of the main cast. I don't really object to that, since she is kind of interesting, but if they were going to do this with a redeemed enemy, I would have honestly preferred Princess Luna got that kind of screen time, rather than being redeemed and dropped straight into a pocket dimension where she was barely seen thereafter. Because Princess Luna is the best, and my favourite.

Non-spoiler opinion/speculation: they've realized that making Twi a princess has fundamentally broken how her character used to work, so Starlight is the replacement Twilight. Keep this idea in mind as you watch the rest of the season, noting what Twi does and doesn't do, and what Starlight does and doesn't do. Compare Twi's scenes to those of the other princesses, versus those with Starlight.

Ooooh, now I have to watch the rest of the season asap to not spoil it on your blogs. Yikees.

Git gud soon:twilightsmile:

Get well soon.

Get better soon, sick is not a way to be

4372540 Appropriately tagged. Good idea.

4372600 4372672 4372733 4372773 Thank you for your good wishes, it helps

4372668 That's... interesting, and really plausible, actually. I'll be watching the rest with that in mind.

4372599 As I've said before, things in fiction only have weight if your story treats them with that weight, and makes the reader or viewer believe in it. I agree that the alicorns have been made steadily less special over time, which is a waste, and it weakens the setting as a whole.

Okay, back to season 6.

Episode 9: The Saddle Row Review

This episode was just really adorable end to end. Twilight was being particularly cute. The interview format/flash back was a little different than the average episode, and I liked the little jokes it threw in. The angel and devil business was... weird, but it's Pinkie, so I'll try not to draw any conclusions about Equestria's belief systems from it. The way the reporter considered Manehatten much more important than Canterlot was funny, and probably on the nose.

Episode 10: Applejack's 'Day' Off

This one was weird. It's a 'message' episode, but for a problem I don't think anyone actually has. The first half, where Applejack tracks down a problem at the spa and fixes it, is nice and characterful, though it does show us the weird nightmare of what happens if you over-steam a pony. The second half turns the corner into bizarre, making Applejack look like a lunatic.

cadence defeated a witch named prismia or something. that's what i'm told anyway. that's when she got it, luna and sunbutt are connected to the world(celestial bodies) itself, which is why they have wavy hair and long life spans.

Episode 11: Flutter Brutter

Pre-credits thought: my goodness, I am going to hate this pony.

I did. The portrayal of the casual selfishness and emotional blackmail that some people throw around was pretty on the nose, and kind of annoying to watch, so for that reason this one isn't on my list of favourites. It even has a stunningly awful episode title. It was nice to see Fluttershy stand up to him, and also nice to meet Fluttershy's parents. Ponies seem to be acknowledging more this season that the mane cast are famous for repeatedly saving Equestria, which is good.

Episode 12: Spice Up Your Life

Wow. Sometimes, I forget how bottomlessly shallow Rarity can be. Also, I was a little nervous that this episode might be reaching into areas that perhaps it shouldn't be commenting on. Thankfully, it held itself on track, and Rarity pulled her immaculately coiffured head out of her behind in the end. Starlight seems to be working with Twilight on some pretty complicated magic now, and I noticed her teleporting somepony else a few episodes ago. Clearly she's pretty strong. That's interesting, and something to work into any portrayal of her I do.

Pretty interesting to see your takes on the episodes :twilightsmile:.

I personally didn't feel much about most of the episodes, season opener was pretty garbage to me but I enjoyed the visuals. The episode I disliked the most was probably 14)The Cart Before the Ponies just because I found all the ponies involved acted unbelievably stupid. My favorites were 8)Hearth's Warming Tail and 21)Starlight Mind Controls Everypony :trollestia:.

Episode 13: Stranger Than Fan Fiction

I couldn't really hear anything the ponies were saying in this one, over the dull roar of the meta. Meta jokes are best in small doses and little nods. An entire episode built around one just kept me wanting nothing more than for Quibble to stop talking.

Also! Given the contents of this site, I'm pretty sure nothing broadcastable is ever going to be stranger than fan fiction.

Episode 14: The Cart Before the Ponies

Stop being such terrible older sisters (or near enough analogues). Miss Cheerilee still owns and wears a cheer leading outfit, which is a fact that may single-handedly urge another school teacher smut scene,

Episode 15: 28 Pranks Later

What, really? Zombies are a thing in Equestrian folklore? Seems so. Rainbow Dash's pranks are undeniably impressive - and bizarrely impossible. How did she do half the things she did? How did she lift the bounder she dropped on Big Mac's cart? The coordination of the entire town was impressive, though, and they get extra points for the fact that not even one started laughing during the entire thing. All the same, that it took something of this magnitude to get the message across to Rainbow scores her a solid 2/10 on Empathy.

Episode 16: The Times They Are A'Changling

Oooh, new changeling lore! Drones can speak, which I wasn't sure about before. Changelings can mirror unexpected objects, like rocks, as well as ponies. Judging by the flat-out panic, they still don't have any way of properly detecting them either, which is troublesome. Even the rumour of one was enough to cause the entire Crystal Empire to snap into full-on paranoid lockdown. We got to see inside a hive, saw the tiny grubs coming from their eggs. So much to work with! Thorax is an obvious outlier, he doesn't seem to feel loyalty to his queen. Bit of a wet blanket, really. Not sure why he didn't just disguise himself and stay that way, rather than skulking in a cave.

I still find the way the Crystal Ponies react to Spike to be a bit weird. The mane six have saved Equestria many times, and they don't get this treatment. But, giving that a pass... during his whole (weird) musical number, the ponies were still looking angry and defensive. Then suddenly, hooray for the changeling? The switch wasn't convincingly done. Interesting overall, for what it showed, but kind of weak as a story.

if it's ever been addressed in the supplementary materials outside the show

Cadance defeated and reformed an evil witch that was using anti-love spells, and then ascended the same way Twilight did. She was CMC age. Source: Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell by G.M. Berrow

Celestia and Luna were implied born alicorns, but born alicorns are not all that hot. They have slower aging, including as children (and adult blank flanks are a thing for alicorns), but are not immortal. The two were raised by "the Alicorns", who apparently weren't important for any further mention or elaboration. They ascended by taking over the Sun and Moon when the unicorns ran out of magic to move them - insufficient power when casting such spells can drain one's magic permanently. The Sisters' immortality and power are tied to their duty - each time they rise/set they get a powerful magic boost that allows them to prolong their own life.

Why is Spike so small? Is he the youngest dragon in Equestria, or is something else going on?

According to a tweet from someone on the team, Spike is 16-22 years old, which is 8-10 in dragon years.

What, really? Zombies are a thing in Equestrian folklore? Seems so.

Spike mentioned zombies in the episode that introduced Zecora, actually.

Episode 17: Dungeons & Discords

DIscord episode. Discord is a medicine that's applied best in small doses, and there's the general sense that since he reformed the writers don't quite know what to do with him, but he's tolerable here. The episode plot is something that's been retreaded more than a few times, though without reality warping magic admittedly. Love the cabaret girl looking pony in the spurious night club, her mane was wonderful.

Episode 18: Buckball Season

A lot of the problems these ponies have seem to come down to when they forget to have basic empathy for the way they're making others feel. This time, it's Applejack and Rainbow Dash that pick up the Obliviousness of the Week, and stress out Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie. It was weird how easily those two hyper-competitive ponies stepped down, and didn't show any sign of frustration at being out-played by their non-sporty friends. Also... why Snails? A middling kind of episode.

Episode 19: The Fault in Our Cutie Marks

I really wasn't sure if they were going to apply the very first non-pony cutie mark in this episode, and I'm kind of glad they didn't. Gabby was obscenely talented, and seemed to be brilliant at literally everything, which seemed slightly excessive. Still, it added up to a neat little CMC story, which aren't my favourite sort, but it still worked pretty well. Extra points for Twilight in research mode, who is super cute, but also about to be super disappointed.

Episode 20: Viva Las Pegasus

This one was really entertaining. While the greasy resort manager was obviously too good to be true, it was still fun to see the little scam play out. Flim and Flam are still terrible, terrible ponies, and that's just fine. I also like to be reminded that ponies that've had bad experiences with other ponies aren't inclined to give them second chances, which I sometimes forget due to the overwhelming sweetness of the setting.

Episode 21: Every Little Thing She Does

It's no surprise to anyone to learn that I've binge watched this season mostly for the purposes of getting to this episode. Let's start with Starlight. She really doesn't see other ponies as actual people. There's some serious disconnect in there that means she's perfectly happy to brainwash all of them into mindless drones just to get things done slightly more efficiently - if she'd had that spell back when she was running her village, Twilight and everyone would still be there, which goes to show that teaching her all these new spells may not actually have been the safest way of dealing with her. When Twilight (who Starlight does actually seem to recognise as a person) called her out, she pushed herself to begin treating the others with respect for their autonomy again, but it's telling that when under stress, that simply disappears.

The spell itself was interesting. Not as subtle or pernicious as the FiMC charm, but a very brute-force, highly effective mind control spell that preserved a certain amount of their personalities while destroying all initiative or personal judgement. Noted.

All in all, it confirmed some things I suspected, and added some lovely canon examples of hypnotising the main cast. I'm glad I saw it. Now, I think it's time to take a break for a while.

4373228 Aww! That is adorable.

Yeah, and it does show there are some differences between Starlight and old!Twilight. They both used a type of mind-control, but with Twilight, she was literally at her wit's end and going increasingly nuts. Starlight just doesn't like not being in control, or putting herself in a potentially emotionally vulnerable state.

I liked Zepyhr, I gotta say. Sure, his behaviour was rotten, but I... well, I know what's it's like to feel like you're not worth anything. Self-loathing like that is a powerful trap. I just wish they cut the song and had the scene in the forest go on longer. That, and flustered Rainbow is adorable.

Episode 6: No Second Prances
What's interesting is how many viewers insist Trixie never did anything wrong. Like, when she admitted to manipulating Starlight to get back at the princess, that was actually Twilight's fault for goading her into saying that. And the second time too, apparently. Me, I think Trixie gets too big a pass from most people.

Episode 5: Gauntlet of Fire
Ah, but keep in mind how that same father didn't want his tiny, tiny daughter to take part in this rather dangerous obstacle course, despite not having any problems with Spike doing so. So, Torch may be shouty and overbearing and king to a race that prides itself on "everybody for themselves", but he obviously cares a lot about Ember. And I bet he'd never admit it, but it's there. Guy is a huge softy when it comes to her.

Also, Garble (the Red Jerk) knows quite a lot about ponies, doesn't he? He can even tell them by smell. And he really hates them. Makes me wonder if he's got something to hide. Maybe Twilight wasn't the only one given a dragon egg test...
Probably not, but it would explain a lot, eh?

Episodes 1&2: The Crystalling
I don't care what others say. Sunburst and Starlight are frikkin' adorable together. I sheep eet. And, since this is your comment section and we're talking about StarBurst, I'll leave this here:


According to a tweet from someone on the team, Spike is 16-22 years old, which is 8-10 in dragon years.

I do not believe in such thing because Lauren Faust wrote that Twilight and her friends, in season one, where around 19-21 years old, and when the human years are applied to ponies then Twilight would've hatched Spike from what could be around from 10-12 years of age.

But that is my theory so far, so, who cares?

Eps 1&2, I can kinda see the logic behind a born Alicorn, after all you have an the Alicorn princess of love and a power unicorn (Shining is Twilight's brother after all, even if he wasn't as dedicated to the study of magic as her), so its sorta believable that could result in a one in a million born Alicorn, but it is stretching it. Maybe if she grows up to be only as strong as a very power unicon it might be more believable. Still, not real taken with it. I will say I did like seeing how each pony's shield is personal though, that was neat.

Ep 8
Missed this one, I'll have to fix that tonight.

Ep 17
I just loved the absurdity of them fighting monsters that were obviously just cards

Ep 18
Not sure why Snails, maybe because he was the most unlikely character to have that level of skill? Made it amusing, that's for sue.

The red dragon name is garble and he is a TEENAGE dragon, all the dragon gather are teenager. there are no adults, which makes sense as A) the next generation would be the logical choice to succeed and explains why there aren't more dragons there.
and 2) the contest is far more challenging for the youngsters, since very few things can stop an adult dragon; if they were competing, the contest would most surely be a trial by combat, which would be extremely destructive and, probably, have some fatalities. Having nothing but young dragons competing limits the fights among the contestants as they're too focused on the course's dangers.

btw the finale season 6 soo good!

4373236 What i liked best about that ep? While it seems that Starlight Glimmer is Easily Forgiven after compromising her friends' free will, remember the events of Lesson Zero. They have experience having a friend who reaches for the magic when she feels inadequate and overwhelmed with a situation.

Luna's song was glorious. Best part of the carol episode for sure. Plus it took any question of the meaning of hearths warming and emphatically restates that yes, ice spirits will really destroy Equestria if they're not friendly and happy.

I share your opinion of the Alicorns. They get less and less interesting the more they add to them and the more powerless they are in every situation. At this point only Luna remains mysterious and mystical, and even then all we really see is her helping kids and facing psychological problems.

I really hate what they do with Rainbow Dash in the cartoon. They only ever want to teach morals about humility or compassion for her, so her actual strengths constantly result in failure and she is perpetually an asshole or idiot. If every lesson is taught by outwitting her or defeating her at her own game then the lesson starts to be that she is easily beaten at everything.

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