• Member Since 18th Jan, 2019
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Latecomer


Started watching midway through the first season. Started writing not long before the beginning of the last.

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Nov
28th
2020

(T>B) Regarding metaphors and morals in Dragon Quest · 1:26am Nov 28th, 2020

Now here's a controversial one:https://www.fimfiction.net/group/50/the-writers-group/thread/424451/regarding-metaphors-and-morals-in-dragon-quest that I actually spun off another thread the topic had taken over: https://www.fimfiction.net/group/50/the-writers-group/thread/424153/is-mysterious-mare-doo-really-the-worst-episode-in-the-series

On the surface, the episode Dragon Quest has a fairly straightforward story and moral. Feeling out of sorts due to being considered undragonish by his friends, the young pony-raised-dragon Spike sets out to connect with his own kind (hopefully in a healthier way than his only other previous encounter, in which an adult dragon practically tried to eat him). What he finds is a bunch of teenage male dragons, a rough, crude lot led by a bully named Garble. Despite being mocked heavily for his youth, lack of strength and connections to ponies, he eventually mange to earn a modicum of respect and acceptance - which he then throws away when faced with the final test, a cruel egg raid. He rejects the draconic ways he sought out and comes home glad to "be a pony", and it would be many seasons before he would have any further contact with other dragons.

SO that's the story - but what does it tell the human audience watching? Obviously, that social acceptance is not worth engaging in reprehensible acts. But the same moral could be achieved using many of the show's characters. So why Spike? Well, perhaps because he has more reason to seek this particular social acceptance than most.

It's pretty hard to look at this plot without considering what makes Spike different from the rest of the show's cast. To be precise, two things - he's a dragon, and he's a boy. (There are other male characters, but none of them are protagonists at this stage of the show, and other dragons have only appeared as antagonists.) He stands out among his closest friends by gender and among his whole society by race. The latter is an explicit force in the episode, but the former is pretty close to the surface too - all the ponies and "pony things" in the episode are female-coded, all the dragons and "dragon things" male-coded.

So then, what does that mean for Spike's final moral realisation? Well, it's still clearly right of him to stand by his principles. But is he right to decide that doing so means rejecting dragonhood? (Note that we do see him possibly trying to rehabilitate the concept later, with his Noble Dragon Code.) Is the show right for giving him only such bad examples to base his judgement off? And what does it mean, when translated from the fantasy metaphor - is he rejecting his race? His gender?

Please feel free to address this interpretation of the episode and present your own. I would especially like to know how many of you also saw the parallels I did.

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