Princess Twilight Sparkle Pt1 (S4E1)


When the past rears up to bite Celestia and Luna in the hindquarters, who do you call?

Twilight, freshly back from her mirror world adventure, still working on getting this flying thing down because an aerial display is one of her new royal duties, is still worried about disappointing her mentor.  An ancient weapon has a different idea of what to do.  When it fulfills its purpose of kidnapping the royal pony sisters, it infests Ponyville with spiked, black, weedy tree-like growths.  At first Twilight thinks it’s Discord, but when he protests that he kidnapped no one, Twilight turns to magic to learn some history that might help her.

I find this pair of episodes interesting not necessarily the story, but for Twilight Sparkle’s experience of being a princess.  It was sung in a previous episode, “Since when does Twilight Sparkle ever fail?”, but flying defeats her; she crashes repeatedly.  She’s embarrassed by a temporary(*) stained glass image of herself and by being addressed regally.  When the princesses disappear, she’s forced to take command.  Her attempt to blame Discord miss and as we will learn make the situation worse.  It’s hard being a princess without an instruction book.  Whether these character-building set pieces form an interesting quilt, or are overwhelmed and lost by the historical drama that invigorates the episodes, is for you to decide.

What to watch for (and comment upon):

  • Watch Twilight flies.  The somewhat ungainly stretched out hooves flight is unique to her and is repeated in subsequent episodes.  Similarly, Fluttershy has a special animation when shes flies–her waving, fluttery tail and mane.
  • The title sequence is pastiche of old and new.  Can you spot all the updates?
  • (*) Why is this a temporary stained glass window?
  • It’s well know that ponies have pockets.
  • What else do they have.  (Hint: Spike.)
  • Is Discord telling the truth?  (Pay attention to the dialogue.)
  • What color is Alicorn magic?

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