• Member Since 10th Jul, 2014
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Ravenpuff


Puffysaurus Fangirlus, Danish fan artist who dabbles in a bit of writing now and again.

More Blog Posts50

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Jul
13th
2019

Friendship is Magic - Destiny is Power · 1:32pm Jul 13th, 2019

I like to call these pieces a "ramble", as it's mostly just me going on a tangent about a certain subject, collecting all we know about it and try fit the pieces together to form a theory about the concept. Usually keep these on tumblr, although been a while since the last one.

A ramble I’ve been wanting to make for years now, ever since the major change in status quo of letting the Cutiemark Crusaders earn their cutiemarks, after it being a running gag of them constantly causing trouble in search for their talents.

I know I’m not the first to ask, but I feel we never got true, proper answers to the one, big, lingering question on this whole subject:

What ARE cutiemarks?

Let’s consider what we know.


Now, can anyone tell me when a pony gets his, or her, cutiemark?
When she discovers that certain something that makes her SPECIAL!

The typical take both show and fandoms usually take from what we know about cutiemarks, are that they represent their special TALENTS. Despite the proper introduction in the first season insisted on saying it could be anything, from a trait, a talent, skill or other vague concepts. As long it was something unique to that pony.

Upon discovering this special something themselves, the mark with reveal itself upon their flanks. Forever branding onto them this very special something about them.

The importance of these marks are so heavily branded into the minds of ponies, we never truly see the protection blankflanks need. Unless some quick lesson is needed for the episode’s morale. We witness adults allowing blankflanks used as a bad word against the blankflanked victims, both by peers AND adults. We see no repercussions towards ponies like Diamond Tiara for openly mocking the pre-CMC, as well as later on. Don’t forget her MOTHER, a responsible ADULT, openly talking down about three young fillies for not having their marks yet. Openly calling them low lives with nopony trying to correct her or even comfort the victims of this treatment. Because these marks are THAT important.

Ponies put so much importance to this brand unique to the three tribes, that we see plenty of examples through the shows of them using their marks for identification, signatures, even addresses, than their actual names. In a past ramble I’ve theorized a pony’s name is easy to change due to the nature of focusing their whole identity around their talent or appearance, that it isn’t so odd to see so many ponies fitting their marks and talent through their naming. A name can change purely based on what everyone else calls you as long it fits what they recognize you by.

But the cutiemark, once earned, forever stays the same.

They are not born with a mark, despite they can show their talents and unique traits from the early start. But they are all born with the predestined seed on who they are going to be with what skills, later revealed through the appearance through this magical mark.

But why?

And why only ponies? This very unique to only the known three tribes (plus-minus the bat ponies still left unanswered for show canon with only two vague appearance), no other creatures share this trait. Not even those seemingly somewhat related to the ponies. Kirins, changelings, mules, donkeys, goats, cows, hippogriffs... no matter the discussions we could have on how little or how much they relate to ponies, they do not share this magic trait. Even when confirmed plenty other races DO hold their own magic too.

What is a cutiemark? WHY is a cutiemark?

Even after 8+ years of the FiM show alone, we never truly got a full answer. Why only ponies? By looking at mules, apparently hybrids do not carry the trait. Only pure ponies as far we know. Despite their differences, the three tribes are all intertwined to be sharing this trait, but not with anyone outside these examples.

A pony can, from the moment they are born, show exactly when makes them unique and special is. But first receive their mark upon a special moment of realizing this. How young can a pony earn their cutiemark? How old can they become and still fail to realize their unique trait? So far I do not recall a canon example of an adult pony failing to earn a cutiemark in their youth.

BUT we have a lot of examples of ponies with their earned mark FAILING at recognizing what it stands for. Some even despairing over what they think it means. Some marks so obscure and vague you question whatever force is controlling this process was even thinking!

Not to mention another odd conundrum. Cutiemarks are earned down the line, while a pony can prove their special trait from the moment they are born. The cutiemark doesn’t GIVE them the talent, it is supposed to only represent it. Or is it? Because the in the Cutie-Map episode we are shown that a spell can REMOVE a cutiemark. And upon doing so also remove the pony’s uniqueness.

Is this due to the removal of the mark or an additional effect of the spell upon adding its own brand in replacement? Had Starlight Glimmer made a spell that only removed the mark and not added the equal sign, had ponies just be blank flanked but kept their talents just as before they earned their mark? How much was the change of the victims caused by the meddling of this special nature of themselves and how much was caused by added features of the spells?

A lot of importance rest on cutiemarks and their relations to certain traits of the ponies. We have seen powerful marks like the Princesses’ getting swapped with seemingly no change in the pony itself. We have seen magic drained from a pony also costing them their marks as well as general abilities to even move. How much of that is the excessive drain on their very life energy? How much of it is the very life of the pony is connected to the mark and vice versa?

We never get true answers, other than marks are important. Ponies rely their whole identities on whatever brand is on their butt. This very unique trait for just ponies.

I think the only true answer can only be discovered through none other than the Cutiemark Crusaders themselves.

The CMC, a running gag the early seasons about young foals desperately searching for their destiny. The paradox of earning what makes you unique to ensure you fit in with everypony else.

The CMC have me convinced that indeed SOMETHING, an unknown force, is running this show about magical butt tattoos unique to the three pony tribes. Why?

We have three fillies giving themselves the mission to earn their marks as soon as possible after joining forces. Of course they did so even before meeting, but doubling their efforts knowing they are no longer alone in their efforts.

The CMC earned a lot of knowledge on the subject for their efforts. They tried everything, rushing so fast everypony else had a good guess what their talents would be, but the young fillies taking no time to stop and realize it themselves. And a pony can only earn the mark by coming to the realization themselves. As far we are told.

Most important... what they DID earn

No other point in the show’s run have we been given an example of this kind of display, related to earning your cutiemark. Every other example we have seen, at most, comes with a short flash of light. It can differ in brightness. A lot of times ponies don’t even seem to realize they earned their mark until others point it out. It is sudden, quick and then it’s done.

Not for the CMC. They get a full on light show, floating in the air, colours, flashing and all groggy on the ground as they come to!

Not only that, they all earn the marks TOGETHER, at the same time. And remarkable close to one another in design.

They even claim in this final season that they are canonically the only ponies with matching marks the way they have them. Despite the differences, they are still truly connected in design. The marks recognizes the individual unique of each of them, but still ties them together.

Of course, looking at background ponies, I still say matching cutiemarks happen in plenty. Even if just quick reuses of old designs instead of churning out new ones constantly for bg use. But I digress. The CMC are still unique in earning their marks TOGETHER in every sense of the statement.

But why?

Twilight and pals were connected not just through their friendship, but the very foresight of their destinies together to earning their marks through the same event. Decades before knowing each other, one performing a Sonic Rainboom causing events to occur that lead to each of them to earn their respective marks. An event so important, Starlight Glimmer trying to erase it from history caused the full downfall of the world as we know it... not just for ponies, but for everyone. By denying this preset destiny.

Friendship is Magic. A force wielded by a tight group of friends, connected the Tree of Harmony created by ponies in the past who barely even saw each other as friends, more just as allies.

The Spirit of the Tree, or Spirit of Harmony, proving to be a force much grander than even its creators expected it to become. Still evolving. But I think even that force dwarfs under the light of Destiny.

Friendship is Magic, so is Harmony. Forces to beware of, but proven not unique to ponies as we have seen other than the Mane Six wielding the magic of these concepts. Ponies once known as the New Six from Our Town, before left to be forgotten. And now the Student Six. A group only consisting of ONE pony and representatives of different races.

But Destiny.

Destiny is Power. And tightly bound to cutiemarks.

The Tree has proven to hold a great foresight, upon connecting to the ponies and their cutiemarks. Before fusing with the Mane Six, the Elements were but gems, or rocks, holding mere concepts that together wielded a great force by those worthy to channel it. Merging with the Mane Six the Elements changed forms matching their marks and traits. It evolved its fusion with pony magic through the castle and the Map, a Map using cutiemarks to call ponies to where they are needed. And not just the Mane Six. Even Spike, a non pony finding himself pulled to do its bidding.

But the Tree, or Map, holds no power over ponies and their marks beyond that.

Destiny does.

Their marks and talent seem so very tightly bound to their Destiny. What their part in society is. Ponies cannot imagine a life without marks, even Starlight’s cult ran on by REPLACING the marks instead of just remove them and leave the flanks blank.

Ponies having their marks forcible removed through loss of their magic shows unable to even move. With Tirek stealing the magic from ponies, even removing their marks, we have Luna declare “Ponies will no longer be able to control their world”, at the loss of magic and talents this causes.

Ponies despair at the thought of earning an unwanted mark, to be given a destiny they cannot agree with.

Ponies can stare themselves blind upon their own marks, even tho it is supposedly only earn through recognizing their own potential.

Trouble Shoes thought his mark meant bad luck and had to be TOLD it showed his clumsiness was meant to be used to entertain. Cheerilee had a full on abstract explanation for her mark, all down to “And the SMILES represents the CHEER I hope to bring to my little ponies while they were learning!” when explaining how smiling flowers relates to her deciding to be a teacher. Foals, both already earned their marks and blanks, have to be told once mark earned it’s not the one-way path the rest of your life as one might think with this one-track focus on the mark as part of their whole identity.

The CMC earned experience through chasing their unknown marks, and upon giving up their quest to instead focusing their energy on helping others with their marks, blanks as well as marked ponies, they earned theirs.

With a full on light show ignited by them hoofbumping. Connecting them.

SOMETHING had picked their destiny at that point. SOMETHING bound these fillies together through both magic and marks, in a way that looked more like a full on spell than just any other pony earning their special mark. These fillies are to show the ponies the way, when they stare themselves blind at their own marks and destiny.

WHAT is the force behind Destiny?

I have no idea. But it relates only to ponies, even if the fillies can still provide counseling towards other creatures too (Gabbie, Terramar). Destinies for ponies are somehow connected to their marks. How it binds them to others. Yes, ponies earn their marks based on traits already shown... while others only realize the meaning of their marks much later on. Learning new ways to read their destiny, and still find the path set before them they were already on this whole time.

Something is connecting these marks with their ponies. Something unique to only these tribes. Something so closely connected to the pony’s own magic, their essence, their very destiny.

And it channels through these three fillies as its champions. The grand plan made for them quite clear yet still not fully realized at the same time. Just as the Mane Six were the champions of the Tree of Harmony, now seemingly replaced by the Student Six as their heirs to Harmony to spread beyond just the Three Tribes.

But the Destiny behind cutiemarks is spreading its influence too through three young fillies with their lives set out for them.

Where do Cutiemarks come from? What force is controlling their Destiny? I insist this force is beyond the Elements of Harmony. Yes the Elements are grand and powerful, but looking at the timeline I’ll say the force of Destiny is much older in its influence. The Essence that became Harmony was but a seed planted the Pillars upon Equestria’s founding. But we know ponies held destinies and cutiemarks before leaving the old land to escape the windigoes.

The Three Tribes have always been connected, one way or another, even before Equestria. And same have they been tied to the Destiny of cutiemarks. With yet no story to tell the tale of when all that began. Truly began.

What ARE cutiemarks? WHY are cutiemarks? How? When?

We’ll probably never know. It is such an established concept with such a set yet loose lore, I don’t think we’ll get the answers this close to the end. We can keep theorizing and make our own concepts based on it all we want.

This is just my own thoughts on the concept. I think Destiny is a force out there, still not discovered but ever so present. Older than Harmony, which only came into being after the Three Tribes managing to unite and work together. That seed might already been created even before the Pillars, created by the first Tribe representatives to bury the hatched. But planted by the Pillars, who only saw it as a powerful source for protection, never expecting its full growth.

But before all that... ponies still had Destiny looking over them. No mentions of ponies ever being without cutiemarks.

Well, this was my ramble on my thoughts about Cutiemarks and pony Destiny. Based on what we know. If I overlooked anything or you got your own theories, feel free to share.

If you made it all to the end, thank you VERY much for taking the time to read my thoughts on the subject.

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