Friendship. It’s in the title of the show, and most definitely a central theme of the new generation of My Little Pony. It drives actions, saves nations, and gives viewers the warm fuzzies when things work out all right. As said by Twilight Sparkle, “Friendship is a wondrous and magical thing, and like the path cut through the orchard, there will always be a way through.” (The Return of Harmony P2)
So, is the magic of friendship something that all bronies feel in their hearts? The answer to that riddle is no. Friendship, despite being the central pillar of the show which all things are built upon, is pathetically underrepresented in the brony community. There’s acting and there’s pretending, but an incredibly high number of bronies balk at the notion of friends being meaningful.
In a time before there was ponies, the world still existed. People were happy, and people were sad. There were times of peace, and there were times of war. The world turned, and time passed us by. We didn’t consider ourselves a lost cause, a world without direction, and there was still a significant population of humanity that was dissatisfied with the direction our species is taking.
Now, there are ponies. We have several seasons under our belt, and some of us anticipate several more. We, as a fandom in general, are psyched about it. Whatever misgivings existed about alicorn Twilight, they typically seem to have been forgotten in the interest of new episodes. Just what has driven us to make this a part of our lives? What of our lives before ponies? What is so special about a few animated horses singing about friendship?
Twilight Sparkle was the first pony that most of us saw. She was there with us, through thick and thin, fighting evil and learning friendship the whole way. Now, through the magic of greedy corporations and a producer that isn’t affiliated anymore, Twilight has been diluted from her former glory of the most high Pointy Purple to the lesser state of Glitterbutt. (for more information on pony naming mechanics, see this).
I’ve never quite understood just why bronies now have to treat Twilight Sparkle with hostility. She’s a princess now… and what of it? Nothing has changed to a radical degree; she still has the same personality that so many of us love, and that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere for quite a while. Sure, she’s had a bit of a battered present, but that doesn’t mean her past has been changed radically, right? So why should her future be damned?
Does the above picture invoke hope or anger? We’re about to find out, as we see two opposing sides on the Twilight Sparkle princess scandal! Was her transformation justified? Or did Hasbro totally drop the ball? We hope to shed some light on this matter as we give two arguments, the first a case in defending the Purple Menace written by Scootareader, and the second written by the considerably attractive prosecution, Jroddie. We know you have your own thoughts on this radical change, too, so feel free to leave your comments in any of the posts! We will read them and reply back if we have anything to say.
Well… I’ve talked about so many of the smaller things that diversify the fandom, how about we tackle the big guy now? There’s an arsenal of different things that the community brings in—multimedia to the highest extent—which impacts some of our lives very highly, others very little. It’s just a huge conglomerate of stuff, and no one can manage all of it. There’s just too much, and it’s everywhere now.
It’s very difficult to describe in one opinion who bronies are. There’s no way you can get anything all-encompassing from one guy standing up and saying, “This is my opinion.” I could give it my best effort, but it would still fall far too short of the mark.
So, I enlisted some help.
One thing that I learned relatively quickly on the fanfiction scene is that there is verbiage specific to fanfiction that those who have never read it or been interested in it don’t know or understand. Terms like mary sue, shipping, and OTP (one true pairing, for shipping pairs, if you don’t know) are things that I’d never heard of prior to my first forays into this new and fascinating world of speculation and imagination.
Another of these terms that I came across is canon. In opposition to fanon, canon is what is considered as having actually happened, as far as storyline progression goes. In some shows, it is as if a reset button was pressed at the beginning of each episode, making previous episodes meaningless and making each new episode a standalone, with no references to past episodes and no additions to future episodes.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic doesn’t have a reset button. Each episode has a lesson that’s actually learned by the characters which carries its teachings into future episodes, giving a sense of continuity and story. So, since these elements exist, this show has the textbook definition of canon.
From early on in the development of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, bronies have influenced the direction of the show in very interesting ways. One of these has been background characters—those deemed so unnecessary that they may not even be given a name. Nearly every pony created so far, from a pegasus jumping on a cloud to an earth pony wrapping up winter to a unicorn doing his daily shopping, has received some kind of unofficial name from the bronies.
One of these characters, having existed since the first episode, is Derpy Hooves. Originally canonically Ditzy Doo, the fandom somehow managed to change the minds of the creators of the show to change her name as a shout-out to bronies. In episode 14 of season 2, The Last Roundup, we had our moment: On the official show, Rainbow Dash said, “Careful, Derpy!” The cheer that went up in the room of bronies I was watching it with woke up half the people still sleeping in my dorm.
Imagine our surprise when they took her away from us again.
All right, so conventions are these really big events that have bronies from large areas attending, sometimes worldwide. These are orchestrated, require a large amount of money, and generally aim to please all audiences that may be in attendance.
Meetups are none of these things. They are very local, often don’t cost more than a couple hundred dollars at the really big events, and are single occasions that only interested parties need attend. If conventions are the culmination of brony socialization, meetups are a step down.
We’ve all heard the term. It refers specifically to a female fan of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Some women love it, and some hate it. We respect that; you may call yourself what you wish.
The question here is not, “What is a pegasister?” The question here is, “Why are there pegasisters? Or female bronies, for that matter?” Well, before I put my foot any further in my mouth, let’s explore this topic somewhat.