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Oliver


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

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Jun
22nd
2019

Points of Canon: S9x13 - Between Dark and Dawn · 4:41pm Jun 22nd, 2019

I have a bad feeling about this one. To be fair, I am not particularly enthused with new entries in the series ever since Season 7 finale, but whatever. I’m old and allowed to be grumpy.

  • Chronology markers: Friendship Castle, School of Friendship are there. Spike has wings, requiring Molt Down to have completed. Applejack’s statement limit this episode to either summer or early autumn. Multiple references to The Beginning of The End force this into the Season 9 bookends.
  • “Remind me how this happened again!” Notably, this is a scene straight out of fanfiction: Fandom has imagined that the Mane 6 fend off Everfree megafauna on regular basis, but the only known example was the bugbear from Slice of Life, and that, due to map evidence, might not have had any relation to Everfree at all.
  • “And why there’s a giant turtle eatin’ my family’s entire summer crop!” This phrase only makes sense if this happens in summer or early autumn.
  • “Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Fluttershy, let’s save Spike!” I question the logic of Rainbow holding Rarity up just for Rarity to spin a ribbon around Tortoisnap’s beak. Rarity should be capable of doing that with no assistance at all.
  • “And now, a simple teleportation spell should—” Twilight at least believes she is capable of teleporting the entire mega-tortoise. Eyeballing, that thing has to weigh anywhere between 20 and 200 metric tons.
  • “That’s just what I was about to do!” The teleportation spell cast by the Sisters is visually unlike any other teleportation spell used previously.
  • Princess Celestia: No need to thank us. To be honest, we’ve recently realized we like being part of the action.
    Princess Luna: Experiencing life instead of just dreaming about it.
    Princess Celestia: And making a difference outside the throne room.

    Notably, in Gauntlet of Fire, the description of what they actually do is very different:

    Twilight Sparkle: I’m so glad you two could come!
    Princess Luna: Of course. We so rarely get a chance to relax and just visit.
    Princess Celestia: There’s usually some crisis we have to deal with. Somepony always needs our help. But today—

    So do the sisters, or do they not, spend most of their time dealing with crises in the field? Did their policy regarding field outings to solve local crises ever change? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • “Oh, my. We’d better ask somepony to fix that hole. It seems very dangerous.”

    • Also very strange: Bridges don’t normally fall apart quite like that.
    • This should produce a minor chronology marker, as the result of this scene is a completely new bridge. Any time we see the new bridge must, therefore, be an episode that occurs after this one. Unless the show crew immediately forgets about it… Absence of the new bridge, however, is not a marker by itself: Ponyville definitely has more than one bridge like that.
  • “How am I supposed to lead a Filly Guides hike if the map makes us more lost?”

    • My question would be, rather, why is Rainbow supposed to lead a Filly Guides hike at all, and why doesn’t she go above the canopy to get her bearings using well-known landmarks, like the Canterlot mountain and the Friendship Castle.
    • The spell cast by the Sisters to solve this problem is kind of weird: Not only it clears up a few trees to open a path, but it also removes the grass and creates a trail…
  • “Oh, now, this is just terrible! Miss Cheerilee ordered cupcakes for school today, and I forgot to make the order!”

    • Pinkie is using a rare pony-adapted mechanized whisk: It has two pedal-like handles obviously designed for hooves and a mechanism which rotates the whisk itself as these are pedaled. It’s not clear just how is it staying upright in the bowl either, because it would require a third hoof to hold it up, which is not in evidence. One would expect the handle is meant for holding in the teeth while the hooves spin the pedals…
    • The Sisters can bake, or at least think they can. And presumably, they can fix the door…
  • “How are we supposed to learn to be rulers of Equestria with them fixing every teensy problem for us?”

    • This a clear reference to The Beginning of The End, and thus a chronology marker: Prior to that, nobody expected the Mane 6 to be rulers of Equestria.
    • I dunno, Rainbow, are rulers even supposed to personally go out and fix every minor problem in the first place? Because this episode is very ambivalent about the idea, and doesn’t even seem to notice…
  • “Battling the Everfree Forest alongside Star Swirl made us realize what we’ve missed out on.” Another reference.
  • “So, instead of spending the day ruling… / …and the night patrolling dreams…”

    • Which basically implies Luna is not involved with ruling at all, does it? Because from A Royal Problem, we know that Celestia is not involved with dreams.
    • They illustrate the words with sun and moon going over the Cutie Map, and I wonder if this is an illusion they are adding to the map, or a feature of the map itself which is not normally used.
  • “Shampoo anteaters.” Fluttershy shampoos anteaters and is the only pony who goes that far for anteaters. Good to know.
  • “It’ll be a good chance for us to practice for when you retire.” It is, apparently, understood at this point that the Sisters will eventually retire, since this phrase is not contested nor commented on.
  • “The chance to do whatever we want!”

    • That would be our first look at Celestia’s bedroom, wouldn’t it?

      • There’s a photo on the nightstand. I wonder whose.
      • There’s a fireplace in the room and a stack of firewood next to it. Remember those crystals that were in fashion in Season 6? Celestia doesn’t use that newfangled trash.
    • Celestia seeks adventure, but Luna seeks relaxation. One would expect the opposite – unless both blurted out what they thought the other wants, but the subsequent episode strongly relies on that not being the case. At the same time, the rationale they give for their choices is fairly dubious…
  • “And I have the perfect accessories for us to wear!” Celestia clearly considers Hawaiian shirts tasteless.
  • “Sunglasses, bug spray, ice boots, hoof sanitizer, and travel snacks!” See chemical industry.
  • “We have put a small part of our power in this amulet. You can activate it with your magic at any time. Preferably dawn and dusk.” What does the amulet actually contain, if a “small portion” is sufficient to do celestial motion, when pre-Equestria, it took six wizards and drained them completely, as per Horse Play?
  • “Please tell me that scroll says what the the royal swan-ifying is.” So how exactly did Twilight, who was born in Canterlot and spent all her youth there, avoid knowing what the royal swan-ifying is already? Twilight might’ve just ignored it. But Spike usually does not ignore such things, and he’s been with her for all of his life.
  • “Apparently it’s a celebration of all the swans in the royal lake. We round them up, parade them through the streets, and finish with a party in the castle.” This has all the hallmarks of a tradition that made sense some hundreds of years ago but no longer does. Rainbow agrees it does not make sense, too.
  • “Remember, sister. From now on, we are regular, carefree ponies!”

    • Once more, we see a pony eating a sandwich by balancing it on the flat of their hoof. See Sandwich Problem.
    • Notice the pegasus swooning at the sight of the Sisters. He is the only pony to have this reaction at all.
    • This is pretty much the first time in the primary canon when they show up without their regalia, i.e. horseshoes, peytrals and crowns, and they remain like that for most of the episode. I remind you that both were observed sleeping without taking them off previously.
  • Song montage time! Notable things observed:

    • Picture postcards and other merch in quantity. Merch is not new, picture postcards are, somewhat.
    • A huge horseshoe that, despite the woody texture, is inflatable: You can see the nipple on one of the ends.
    • A cart of peaches. Is this the first time we see peaches?
    • Luna playing a banjo.
    • Luna cooing over bats.
    • Celestia cuddling lots of huge plushies.
    • Jack Pot and Big Bucks performing in Las Pegasus.
    • The rollercoaster from Grannies Gone Wild which mysteriously avoided closing down as planned.
    • A theatrical production that probably is The Wizard of Oz, judging by the characteristic Wicked Witch of the West and what I think is Glinda. Unless anyone can name a better fitting story – but we know that a very close match for The Wizard of Oz exists in Equestria by now.
    • Iron Will’s zeppelin, from Once Upon a Zeppelin, sans Iron Will himself, over Neighgara Falls.
    • Sharks.

    The trip necessarily involves visiting at least Ponyville, Manehattan and Las Pegasus, which would result in yet more instantaneous travel if we couldn’t assume that Twilight only failed with celestial motion once after several successes. Fortunately, we can.

  • “We offer our assistance as heads of the Royal Swan-ifying Committee.”

    • The committee includes Fancy Pants, Jet Set and Upper Crust. That said, he didn’t say if he meant that they already are that committee, or just seek to be appointed as heads of such, and it’s a bit ambiguous. Fancy Pants does act like he is offended by Twilight’s decision, though.
    • The Sisters’ vacation was not announced widely enough to reach them, if it was announced at all.
    • …wait, so nobody taught Twilight to delegate yet? Really? As she states in the latter part of the episode, she wasn’t even aware that delegating is something you do. For Twilight, learning that is the entire point of the episode. What the aerial intercourse?!
  • “All we have left to do is polish the armor, bubble the punch, glitter the carpet, puff the pastry, float the floats, and carpet every road in Canterlot!” And nobody thought that there should be specific ponies doing all those jobs? Nobody?
  • “Now, every time we have tea, we can remember this magical day!” A fast process to print photos on mugs exists. This can easily be purely photographic, but I mentioned that a few episodes ago already.
  • “But now, we’re going to do something I’ve always wanted to do but never could because of my night shift. … It’s the post office!”

    • Post offices close down for the night, not a given.
    • So why is it specifically the Ponyville post office?
  • “A mailpony took it from me, searched to find who it was meant for, and gave it to you! It’s about the process!”

    • Which is mysterious: not only the postcard got routed into Ponyville, and immediately went into delivery, but the mailpony immediately recognized that he should deliver the postcard directly to Celestia standing right there, with no words being exchanged. And it all happened in eight seconds. If I tried the same thing here, it would take a couple of weeks.
    • And this is yet another case of a non-uniform mailpony uniform despite Derpy still wearing the brown UPS-style uniform.
  • “I have always wanted to try this!” I can’t quite place the styles involved in the makeover, even though both look familiar. Any takers?
  • Song montage, reprise:

    • One of the pictures in the art gallery Luna visits is a definite knockoff of American Gothic and the pony in it strongly resembles Igneous Rock Pie. The sculpture – or rather, the two copies, since there’s one on either side of the room – is likewise a ponification of the famous Discobolus. Which itself implies ponies engaged in discus throwing at least at some point.
  • “Don’t tell me. Tell him.” That’s a suspiciously sapient swan.
  • “The street sweepers are on strike, and the royal carpeters can’t do their jobs.”

    • A labor strike is a legal and acceptable means of acting on employee grievances in Equestria.
    • Equestria has precedent for employee grievances in the first place, which is a lot bigger than it sounds.
    • Considering that in Princess Spike, Fancy Pants acts like he’s the mayor of Canterlot, I can’t help but wonder if this is ultimately his fault.
  • “Did you even know there were royal street carpeters?” Now you notice, Applejack. Maybe there were ponies out there to do every other job on the list already, hmm?…
  • The fountain of pink liquid for the party has Twilight’s Element of Magic star on top.
  • “How rude.” Indeed, that’s the rudest Fancy Pants has been to Rarity to date, isn’t it?
  • “That was Ponygliacci, and it’s an opera!” Compare to Micro-series #5 where Pinkie attends the performance of the clown “Ponyacchi.” Both are references to Pagliacci and I wonder how does the pony version of that opera end.
  • “I bet you wish I’d never come back so you could still rule day and night!” …But Luna just admitted she doesn’t do any ruling earlier in this episode, didn’t she?
  • “Still mashing the guacamole!” Ponies eat guacamole. Which implies the existence of avocados.
  • “Um, sorry for the bad news, but the courtyard is full of swans waiting to get in!” So why exactly are the swans entitled to this in the first place?
  • “Oh, how droll.” The newspaper Fancy Pants is reading has a front page article about buckball.
  • “I’m delegating!” So where did they teleport the mega-tortoise that Pinkie was able to retrieve it without smashing half the town in the process?…
  • “Honestly, princess, didn’t you wear any sunblock?” Luna’s reaction to sunburn is strange: Normally, you would expect bleaching of the coat and that would be all. Beyond the discoloration, which looks more like inflammation than bleaching would, and includes the horn for some reason, she is clearly experiencing physical pain and requires treatment.
  • “Now, was it two left turns and a right, or two right turns and a left?” It’s up, up and away, you stupid winged horse.
  • “Luna always handled directions. And scared away the chickens!”

    • Luna did those things, sure. But when was the last time?
    • Celestia is afraid of chickens. Did a cockatrice turn her into stone at some point or something?
    • Wild chickens are sufficiently common to require scaring off.
  • “I thought climbing Mount Filly-mane-jaro was on my list.” Mt. Fillymanejaro is another unmapped location.
  • “This is so beautiful. It must be amazing in the sunlight.” This is a rare case of explicit crescent moon in the sky. In fact, it’s been much more commonly seen in Season 9 than just about any prior season.
  • “Lucky star! … You taught me to look for those when I was a filly.” Celestia and Luna spent their fillyhood together, not a given – and it was Celestia who taught Luna to look for those.
  • “The sun and the moon together? At the same time?”

    • Which is a pretty normal thing on our Earth, but on Pony Earth, it remains a sign of the end times.
    • Notice that as they move, the moon phase does not change, despite them swapping positions multiple times during the sequence. Which is only possible if the moon shines by itself, rather than by reflecting sunlight.
    • As I mentioned before, moving in the sky that fast prevents the Sun and Moon from being anything resembling an actual star and planetoid respectively, and it prevents them from having enough mass to affect Pony Earth with gravity: The death toll from this little fuck-up would be enormous otherwise due to tsunamis devastating coastal areas.
  • “Sunburst says we just need to reset the amulet with this!”

    • So how does Sunburst even know that? Was he involved with the design of the amulet or something?
    • Notice the amulet’s purely mechanical construction with just one gem to it. Did someone tell the show crew about computation orbs?…
    • There’s no way Twilight should have such issues with celestial mechanics, which suggests that the amulet is highly experimental technology and probably, does not rely on her power or skill at all.
  • “Does anypony have some tape?!” See chemical industry.

I would write a few paragraphs on how, as the series progresses, the treatment of celestial objects seems to become more and more casual, but I figure it’s a lost cause by now, so I won’t waste my bytes beyond simply pointing this out.

P.S.: What is it with Celestia and Luna’s voices in this episode? They’re terrifying!

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Comments ( 16 )

So why exactly are the swans entitled to this in the first place?

My guess? Equestrian concessions after their version of the Great Emu War.

  • So do the sisters, or do they not, spend most of their time dealing with crises in the field? Did their policy regarding field outings to solve local crises ever change? Inquiring minds want to know.

I think the best compromise is that they meant political, social and/or bureaucratic crises the first time -- like when Luna-in-Celestia's-role in "A Royal Problem" has to defuse timberwolf-induced panic. Basically the kinds of crises that you would expect real-life political leaders to have to deal with -- a lot of talking, a lot of paperwork, a lot of stress, a lot of hurry, very little actual action.

  • “Still mashing the guacamole!” Ponies eat guacamole. Which implies the existence of avocados.

Implies nothing, there were two big piles of avocados next to Pinkie in that scene.

and includes the horn for some reason

Rarity also had bite marks on her horn in "Campfire Tales", which I feel implies that unicorn horns are covered by a layer of live skin.

  • So how does Sunburst even know that? Was he involved with the design of the amulet or something?

Probably not. He's just the show's go-to character when it needs someone who is even more of a magic prodigy than Twilight or Starlight.

They illustrate the words with sun and moon going over the Cutie Map, and I wonder if this is an illusion they are adding to the map, or a feature of the map itself which is not normally used.

The motion depicted is also inconsistent with multiple sun-raising scenes, since it shows celestial motion like it would happen in our world, with the Sun rising in the east, traveling across the sky during the day with constant speed, and setting in the west, with the Moon doing the same at night. Meanwhile said scenes depict the Sun rising right next to where the Moon sets, and moving in a way that implies it does not go anywhere until it's time to put it down.

Celestia seeks adventure, but Luna seeks relaxation. One would expect the opposite

Why?

I have a bad feeling about this one.

You have a bad feeling about all of them.

Princess Celestia: No need to thank us. To be honest, we’ve recently realized we like being part of the action.
Princess Luna: Experiencing life instead of just dreaming about it.
Princess Celestia: And making a difference outside the throne room.

Notably, in Gauntlet of Fire, the description of what they actually do is very different:

Twilight Sparkle: I’m so glad you two could come!
Princess Luna: Of course. We so rarely get a chance to relax and just visit.
Princess Celestia: There’s usually some crisis we have to deal with. Somepony always needs our help. But today—

So do the sisters, or do they not, spend most of their time dealing with crises in the field? Did their policy regarding field outings to solve local crises ever change? Inquiring minds want to know.

It seems pretty clear that the sort of crisis Celestia usually deals with is political, diplomatic, bureaucratic or organisational; not ferocious, slathering and saber-toothed. Specifically, it seems that Celestia's routine involves a lot of time maintaining her mask of serenity around ponies who are overreacting.

Picture postcards and other merch in quantity. Merch is not new, picture postcards are, somewhat.

The fact that picture postcards are for sale adds to the impression that Ponyville is a tourist town. Not that it was in any doubt.

“The street sweepers are on strike, and the royal carpeters can’t do their jobs.”

  • A labor strike is a legal and acceptable means of acting on employee grievances in Equestria.
  • Equestria has precedent for employee grievances in the first place, which is a lot bigger than it sounds.

I notice that nobody actually bothered taking care of the concerns that the street sweepers were striking over, or even finding out what they are. They got rid of that particular pile of garbage, but the bigger problem remains.

5078087

Why?

Because Luna’s job does not involve travel at all, for one, while Celestia’s has to.

5078124

You have a bad feeling about all of them.

And don’t tell me I’m not justified.

I notice that nobody actually bothered taking care of the concerns that the street sweepers were striking over, or even finding out what they are. They got rid of that particular pile of garbage, but the bigger problem remains.

Who cares about some street sweepers. :pinkiesmile:

Notably, in Gauntlet of Fire, the description of what they actually do is very different:

Not really, if most of what those onies coming to them for help with is of the 'throne room' nature, more needing them to make decisions and approve projects, advice, etc... versus actually going out and smacking down some monsters.

Also very strange: Bridges don’t normally fall apart quite like that.

It's Ponyville, that could have been anything. My money is on Derpy dropping something on it.

why doesn’t she go above the canopy to get her bearings using well-known landmarks,

That's good if they are trying to get out of the woods, but trying to find a campsite in the woods, not so much unless she knows it exact location already via those landmarks.

The Sisters can bake, or at least think they can. And presumably, they can fix the door…

Well, we know Tia is decent at cooking, Luna....... well, at least it isn't Sweetie Belle.

dunno, Rainbow, are rulers even supposed to personally go out and fix every minor problem in the first place? Because this episode is very ambivalent about the idea,

Not really, it's pretty clearly making the point that one of the most important skills of being in charge is knowing how and when to delegate.

What does the amulet actually contain, if a “small portion” is sufficient to do celestial motion,

The most often given explanation for this is not a case of raw power, but rather natural aptitude. Celestia and Luna's power isn't so much doing it by brute force, as they have a natural connection to the Sun and Moon that lets them move them with little effort. A small bit of their power might be enough to tune Twilight's magic to the right setting to allow her to do the same.

which mysteriously avoided closing down as planned.

Not uncommon. Could have been the publicity from that announcement boosted tickets enough the place realized it was worth keeping. Or it was simply old and they tore it down due to it being too expensive to maintain, and built Wild Blue Yonder v2.0 to replace it.

wait, so nobody taught Twilight to delegate yet?

It's Twilight. I'm sure they've tried, but well, it's Twilight.

So why is it specifically the Ponyville post office?

Because it contains the living avatar of all things postal (And muffiny):derpytongue2:

I can’t quite place the styles involved in the makeover, even though both look familiar. Any takers?

80's Luna, 90's Emo/Goth-Lestia.

Considering that in Princess Spike, Fancy Pants acts like he’s the mayor of Canterlot, I can’t help but wonder if this is ultimately his fault

Huh... interesting point. I just figured he was the official delegate to the Summit for Canterlot. But, hmmmmm....

So why exactly are the swans entitled to this in the first place?

Because they are swans? Things are evil, foul tempered beasts. This might just be to shut them up.

It’s up, up and away, you stupid winged horse.

Didn't she say earlier she wanted to do this all without flying? Besides, getting lost is part of the experience.

The death toll from this little fuck-up would be enormous otherwise due to tsunamis devastating coastal areas.

Magic! Fixes everything. But yeah, what the hell are those things? And, is the Sun moving faster then it's light at any point? Because that would be great just for a few Discworld jokes you could make on that.

Cute song, but overall kind of meh. Honestly my favorite part was the fact that palace swans are apparently an influential group that normally the Princesses have to work hard to keep happy. This has apparently been the season of angry birds.

  • “And why there’s a giant turtle eatin’ my family’s entire summer crop!” This phrase only makes sense if this happens in summer or early autumn.

Wouldn't it be summer or later spring? It seemed like the turtle was eating trees that hadn't been harvested yet.

So do the sisters, or do they not, spend most of their time dealing with crises in the field? Did their policy regarding field outings to solve local crises ever change? Inquiring minds want to know

I guess they were defining things like meetings where they tell the mayors not to worry about timberwolves as crises. Probably exaggerting a bit back in Gauntlet of Fire out of embarrassment.

  • My question would be, rather, why is Rainbow supposed to lead a Filly Guides hike at all, and why doesn’t she go above the canopy to get her bearings using well-known landmarks, like the Canterlot mountain and the Friendship Castle.

I get confused every time we see a Pegasus lost in the forest, or threatened by something that can't fly How hard is it to fly above tree level? But that sort of thing has happened a lot in this series.

  • The spell cast by the Sisters to solve this problem is kind of weird: Not only it clears up a few trees to open a path, but it also removes the grass and creates a trail…

Looks to me like they just blasted the trees and even the dirt below them, leaving a barren patch of ground.

Pinkie is using a rare pony-adapted mechanized whisk:

And if Equestria had health inspectors Sugarcube Corner would fail them, if Pinkie normally licks off the whisk and then sticks it back in the batter.

I dunno, Rainbow, are rulers even supposed to personally go out and fix every minor problem in the first place?

Probably not, Rainbow is just annoyed someone else is taking the glory and needs an excuse to complain. Also establishes that she believes the six of them are supposed to be rulers. From the Season Opener I thought it was implied that Twilight would rule and the other 5 would basically be advisers.

Which basically implies Luna is not involved with ruling at all, does it?

That was pretty thoroughly established in Season 7 I think. But I guess this confirms it hasn't changed.

So if Luna plans to retire, does she think a member of the Mane 6 will go around dreamwalking instead?

Celestia seeks adventure, but Luna seeks relaxation. One would expect the opposite –

It definitely feels like new writers not paying attention to previous characterization.

  • “And I have the perfect accessories for us to wear!” Celestia clearly considers Hawaiian shirts tasteless.

Remember those awful dresses the Regal Sisters wore during Twilight's coronation? I now think Luna picked them.

What does the amulet actually contain, if a “small portion” is sufficient to do celestial motion, when pre-Equestria, it took six wizards and drained them completely, as per Horse Play?

Keep in mind that it's "sufficient" when paired with an alicorn. I believe any alicorn can theoretically move the sun and moon, though it's obviously much easier for Twilight and Luna.

Does this means they don't plan to move the sun and moon when they retire?

This has all the hallmarks of a tradition that made sense some hundreds of years ago but no longer does. Rainbow agrees it does not make sense, too.

Normally I would agree, but the above comment about Spike not knowing about this tradition (which involves main street being covered in carpet) leads me to lean the other way, this is a new tradition. Why are they doing this? I'll make my guess at the end.

  • Notice the pegasus swooning at the sight of the Sisters. He is the only pony to have this reaction at all.

There are a fair amount of ponies reacting to them in similar fashion this episode. The guy in the mail room who backed out to give them space, the mare that Celestia fell on top off who got excited and took a selfie with her, etc.

Song montage time!

Normally I love to argue we can take all this montage stuff and put it in canon, but between the whole vacation lasting the length of the swan party, and the fact that Luna later says the Zipline is the "first thing" they do, I have to say the whole song is completely non-diegetic. To bad, it has Flim and Flam hitchhiking, Capper wandering Equestria, lots of cool stuff.

  • A theatrical production that probably is The Wizard of Oz, judging by the characteristic Wicked Witch of the West and what I think is Glinda. Unless anyone can name a better fitting story – but we know that a very close match for The Wizard of Oz exists in Equestria by now.

Let's just say that even though the actors aren't pegasi, they're still Defying Gravity.

Fancy Pants does act like he is offended by Twilight’s decision, though.

Either new writers not remembering Fancy Pants is supposed to be the "cool noble" and a friend of Rarity's, or he's teaching them a Celestia-style lesson about delegating.

I can’t quite place the styles involved in the makeover, even though both look familiar. Any takers?

I want to say Goth and Disco?

That’s a suspiciously sapient swan.

How much leverage do these swans have?

  • Considering that in Princess Spike, Fancy Pants acts like he’s the mayor of Canterlot, I can’t help but wonder if this is ultimately his fault.

See above. He may well be sabotaging things at this point to force them to delegate.

But Luna just admitted she doesn’t do any ruling earlier in this episode, didn’t she?

That's one reason what Luna just said is dumb, but the idea that Celestia wishes she could rule Day and Night when she has spent the entire episode trying to get out of ruling is another reason.

So why exactly are the swans entitled to this in the first place?

That should be the topic of some fanfiction. Did they help chase off invaders one time? Do they have dirt on the Equestrian government? Was this celebration part of the deal Starswirl made with the local animals when he built the castle? Maybe Shining Armor promised to make it up to the swans for giving the plum guarding job to geese instead. Honestly entitled swans are my favorite part of this episode.

“I’m delegating!” So where did they teleport the mega-tortoise that Pinkie was able to retrieve it without smashing half the town in the process?

Also Pinkie and that Tortoise are union-busting scabs! (And Silver Spanner is part of the Street Sweepers Guild).

  • Celestia is afraid of chickens. Did a cockatrice turn her into stone at some point or something?

There was that cockatrice invasion of Canterlot in the comics Celestia fought in. Or maybe she just plays a lot of Zelda.

“Lucky star! … You taught me to look for those when I was a filly.”

Also, the fact that looking for random stars appear kind of demolishes that old idea that Luna controlled the stars. Wishing on a shooting star is pretty lame if you shot it.

Which is only possible if the moon shines by itself, rather than by reflecting sunlight.

This is quite true, but then why is the moon a crescent?

As I mentioned before, moving in the sky that fast prevents the Sun and Moon from being anything resembling an actual star and planetoid respectively, and it prevents them from having enough mass to affect Pony Earth with gravity:

Yup.

  • So how does Sunburst even know that? Was he involved with the design of the amulet or something?

He may have been. Spike might also have been consulting with him via dragonfire as a general artifacts expert.

Also, it's interesting that Twilight, who has built a fantastically complex magical device in her castle to let the mirror portal open all the time, still needs advice from Sunburst, who presumably is an even greater authority.

What is it with Celestia and Luna’s voices in this episode? They’re terrifying!

Yeah, kind of weird. Also their faces. Their expressions this whole episode were creepy.

So, why do I think there is a swan ceremony? I based it on your idea for why Celestia made SMILE and other similar agencies. These elaborate, pointless events like this one and the Gala exist so that the Canterlot Elite have something to do. There are probably tons of Canterlot elite ponies with some version of a soiree-arranging cutie mark, so Celestia makes sure there are enough soirees to go around. Notice that Fancy Pants initially says he, Jet Set and Upper Crust are heads of the Royal Swan-ifying Committee, but he later tells Twilight that the Gala Planning Committees are there for the Princesses to delegate to. I think the Gala Planning Committee not only plans the Royal Gala, but it probably has like 500 members, who split off into multiple sub-committees like the Royal Swan-ifying committee. Every elite gets to work on a party that they can feel proud of and brag about to all their other friends.

So of course Fancy and the others would be incredibly pissed that they got their jobs taken away. Fancy Pants learned to speak swan for this!

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It seemed like the turtle was eating trees that hadn’t been harvested yet.

They always look like that, though, don’t they?

It definitely feels like new writers not paying attention to previous characterization.

It definitely feels like new writers not paying attention, full stop.

Remember those awful dresses the Regal Sisters wore during Twilight’s coronation? I now think Luna picked them.

Plausible.

There are a fair amount of ponies reacting to them in similar fashion this episode.

Yes, but only this guy actually swooning. The rest of them are much more subdued.

Let’s just say that even though the actors aren’t pegasi, they’re still Defying Gravity.

Does look like a closer match.

Also, the fact that looking for random stars appear kind of demolishes that old idea that Luna controlled the stars.

That one has been mostly dead the moment it was born. Shame nobody noticed.

This is quite true, but then why is the moon a crescent?

Imagine a moon with an outer shell made of transparent material and an inner glowing core with a dark spot on it that covers about 90% of one hemisphere. Rotating this core would produce this kind of phases.

Also, it’s interesting that Twilight, who has built a fantastically complex magical device in her castle to let the mirror portal open all the time, still needs advice from Sunburst, who presumably is an even greater authority.

Perfectly plausible if he’s the one who was involved in making it while Twilight saw it for the first time only this Monday.

So of course Fancy and the others would be incredibly pissed that they got their jobs taken away. Fancy Pants learned to speak swan for this!

Plausible! :pinkiehappy:

Perhaps the swans are the workaday manifestation of quiescent Elder Ones, who if they're not properly propriated, become something mind-meltingly, soul-warpingly awful, and they'll make Canterlot wish it had been merely eaten?

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I.e. like Vladimir Lenin’s will said, “Do not forget to feed the formless spawn” ? :pinkiesmile:

Dunno, maybe.

Alright. Going into this one blind, except I saw egophiliac draw fanart of a gothy Celestia.
Alright, giant turtles! That thing looks like it's gonna be ECL 11 at least!
Oh my god I can use ctrl+i and ctrl+b while typing these? I wonder if there's a shotcut for quote...
It turns out ctrl+q CLOSES ALL WINDOWS. Incredibly, waterfox saved my form input. Good on it!

Its beak is now closed on its tongue, that's gotta hurt.
Can Twilight teleport something that big?

The

The actual show is turning into DWK's abridged series, the princesses are loving playing at being heroes

WHERE did that new bridge come from?!
I like that we're back to hoofstomps for applause.

Blasting spells solve all problems. all problems.

Are... are they just scrying on the mane six all the time now? Why not go find problems where the mane six aren't already present?

Twilight. Twilight how. Could you come to that conclusion. They'd TELL you if they thought you needed more time.

These new faces are weird.

Really weird.

"Don't worry, we'll cover your palace duties!" Ah, I guess Twilight's had enough time to prepare for everything she spent the opening paniccing over. Okay.

I assume the royal swanifying ceremony is when Celestia floats on a body of water and sees how much like a swan she can look.

Celestia really wants to go camping, apparently. Although it could be that she just recognizes camping supplies as the modern version of adventuring gear that people like the Pillars had to take along.

It's really sweet that they get to spend some time being sisters instead of barely seeing eachother because Luna has the night shift.

Ponytail princesses.

Twilight you've raised the sun and moon before you'll be fine.

Pinkie your face is scaring me but it's at these moments I love you the most.

Is that bon bon with a new hairdo?

CAPPER'S ALLOWED TO APPEAR IN THE BACKGROUND?

Pointy ponies are back.

That was a fun musical number.

So, we finally find out what the Princesses do all day, huh?

Twilight why

Twilight the princesses have people to help them because rulers have to DELEGATE.

That's almost Dipper's hat.

Girls why can't you just spend some of your time apart and do SOME activities together?

Derpy is unfazed. Celestia's topwatch finally has 12 hours on it. Yes, mailponies DO have the ability to know where the recipient is. Or maybe they just remembered they saw Celestia and Luna here...

I like how the pony Celestia falls asleep on takes the opportunity for a selfie.

Celestia has the royal canterlot voice. Good to know.

Congratulations, Twilight, you learned delegating. How did you run a school, again...?

Can animals covered in fur get sunburned?

Celestia is scared of chickens. Someone write the fic that explains why.

So meteors are not governed by either of the sisters.

WHAT. The amulet is CLOCKWORK? How does. What. How.

Overall, that was a fun episode! The swanifying ceremony was a bit silly, but I suppose one event is easier for kids to understand as a microcosm than even an abbreviated sampling of governance activities.


Princess Celestia: There’s usually some crisis we have to deal with. Somepony always needs our help. But today—

I gather that this is more like diplomatic and economic crises rather than 'Go blow shit up' crises.

That would be our first look at Celestia’s bedroom, wouldn’t it?

I thought this was Luna's tower?

What does the amulet actually contain, if a “small portion” is sufficient to do celestial motion, when pre-Equestria, it took six wizards and drained them completely, as per Horse Play?

Twilight's an alicorn -- not even Starswirl had as much power as she does. She probably doesn't need as much help as he did -- it may be less a function of quantity of power, and more that this power is aspected towards the sun and moon. But who knows?

“Please tell me that scroll says what the the royal swan-ifying is.” So how exactly did Twilight, who was born in Canterlot and spent all her youth there, avoid knowing what the royal swan-ifying is already? Twilight might’ve just ignored it. But Spike usually does not ignore such things, and he’s been with her for all of his life.

Princess Celestia probably organized it (and the pony advisors) as yet another damn test to see if Twilight would learn to delegate. :/

That’s a suspiciously sapient swan.

Equestrian animals have displayed more intelligent than Earth animals before...

A labor strike is a legal and acceptable means of acting on employee grievances in Equestria.

Legal... who knows? Without the Princesses to enforce it... Have you ever seen a police pony do any policing? Maybe they figured they'd strike now that the princesses aren't here to throw them in Tartarus. ...But probably not.

So where did they teleport the mega-tortoise that Pinkie was able to retrieve it without smashing half the town in the process?…

Into Pinkie's mane, clearly.

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Is that bon bon with a new hairdo?

Yes. Don’t ask me why.

CAPPER’S ALLOWED TO APPEAR IN THE BACKGROUND?

During a song montage. As far as I’m concerned he’s painted on the wall.

I thought this was Luna’s tower?

And yet this is Celestia’s bedroom: You can see her cutie mark all over it.

But who knows?

Well, certainly not the writer of the episode…

Legal… who knows? Without the Princesses to enforce it…

If it was not legal, it would be broken up.

Have you ever seen a police pony do any policing?

Actually, yes.

Knock, knock. An unusual thing happened at the usual time, and you didn't.

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It was special. :rainbowwild:

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Well, just don't completely forget about it, because there are some very interesting/concerning lore bits to pick through.

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I’ll get to it eventually – as well as the Equestria Girls special – but I’m not even feeling particularly enthusiastic about watching it in the first place, right now, and there’s my day job to do.

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