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Discovering Worst Pony
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There is often a discussion about which pony is the worst. I have come to put all debate to rest once and for all. Is it Trixie? She does have a massive ego, enslaved a town, but her biggest crime is becoming friends with another candidate. Is it Starlight, said friend of Trixie? She also enslaved a town, tried to wipe out ponies from time, failed to deliver an interesting backstory, nearly gave up on two different friendship missions, labeled someone a lost cause, only to guilt trip the entire cast because of labeling someone as a lost cause. Perhaps it is a curveball and one of the mane six just doesn’t do it for you. Twilight promoted the erasure of the entire pony culture, failed to redeem a child on two occasions, and was a more powerful and intelligent character before getting wings. Perhaps Rainbow Dash or Pinkie Pie are too annoying or Rarity, Fluttershy, or Applejack just don’t work well in the show, resetting personality whenever needed. Or even a one off character that was a terrible joke attached to a horrible moral like Mudbriar.

You may put your minds at ease as all of the above options are wrong. There exists a character so deplorable, so unlikable, purely evil, that no terrible character writing or even a villain the show can imagine will ever beat. For there is a puppet of darkness whose power is so vast and endless that to this day his presence has deceived nearly all through an arcane inversion of reality. People and ponies alike behold his form and despite his terrible works upon Equestria, he is loved, adored, and all without raising a single hoof. He did nothing to deserve this admiration. His crimes include theft, attempting to gain power for himself, attempting to control, domineer, and conquer others and eventually all of Equestria, and embraced a dark power willingly to try to kill those that dared to question his plans. Who is this worker of iniquity, this wielder of shadow? His name is Stygian, the one that lurks in darkness and death.

Let’s have a quick breakdown of Stygian to understand just what we are dealing with before I get into the specifics, just like the show does at the beginning of the episode. He shows up in the season 7 finale and has quite the story to him along with an endless slew of retcons. He gathered together ponies of interest into a group to fight evil siren sorceresses.


Stygian becomes their strategist because he is smart. I guess we have to take that at face value. He doesn’t ever display this intelligence in canon, but I can buy it. He isn’t content though. All of the others are getting the recognition. That isn’t fair! I want to help!

Ok, this warrants it’s own mini breakdown for the actual headache it is generating for me. What the fuck? You are disappointed people don’t respect you as much as the ponies risking their lives by being the targets of monsters and magic? They could die as you sit on the sidelines. This glory chaser then decides off of this that he needs an even playing field. I guess don’t talk about it at all and…. what is he doing? THE FUCK! He is stealing the magical artifacts that give power to the dudes he recruited! Did he ask for them? Did he talk about his desire to be a more active participant on the battlefield? No? He is just going to yoink their shit and perform some fucking spell on them…

Wait wait wait… what? How does he know how to do this? He is the recruiter. He even states in this finale “I didn’t have magic or strength”. How the fuck does he get to just cast a copy artifact spell and a “give me your magic” spell? According to the supplemental comic material, which is not canon, but does reflect on the pure writing implosion that is this fucking character, Stygian believes all of the ponies he recruited were only legends, only coming to realize they might actually exist because the sirens exist. So, if this guy was so isolated from these ponies that exist in the same damn land as he does, how does he know how to siphon legendary artifacts to gain power? Furthermore, does he know that this will only be a partial power suck? Will all of his friends be rendered powerless without their artifacts? Does he care? All of these questions and more will never be considered because he is kicked out of their club for the crime of theft and attempting to steal their fucking powers, like a villain might do.

So, naturally, what is the first thing you do when there is a misunderstanding? Do you attempt to return to reason with the people that feel wronged? Maybe use your recruiting skills to gather some others to send in your place to convince a temporary pardon to make your case heard? Do you maybe write it off as a lost cause and live your life? Do you decide to brood in a random ass ruin and when you fall into this well you found you embrace the evil spirit lurking within to return to those that wronged you in assuming that you stealing was offensive and decide to kill them and then move on to kill all life in the world? Definitely that one, am I right?

So, Stygian embraces the darkness, becomes known as the Pony of Shadows, and opens up a ton of fucking questions about the lore. First, the Pony of Shadows is referred to in season 4 when Applejack tells the story Granny told her about the Pony of Shadows, the remains of Nightmare Moon that survived and still roam Equestria after her banishment. Obviously, if this is the Pony of Shadows that can’t be the remains of Nightmare Moon. Perhaps we can chalk it up to legends getting misremembered and combined over a thousand years. Don’t worry, there are many more holes this finale opens in the lore.
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So, the Pony of Shadows launches an attack on the Pillars, the dudes Stygian recruited, who must act to stop him, as he isn’t just talking with them. In their desperation, they decide to lock away both shadow and themselves in Limbo, which they can do I guess. It is Star Swirl, you don’t really have to explain how since he is super powerful. But, if Star Swirl got locked up so soon after these events, which couldn’t have happened all that long after Stygian first joined them, then we have a bit of an issue. The Pillars all confirm that they planted a seed before they left to fight Stygian, leaving behind a magical legacy, which would become the Tree of Harmony.


You fucked it. You actually fucked the entire lore in this singular move. You may ask, how could that be an issue? The Tree of Harmony had to grow at some point or another because it is a tree. Magical Mystery Cure is back again to ruin everything. Star Swirl actually has a spell in the season 3 finale that can augment the Elements of Harmony. Celestia says it was incomplete, but it could have never been started because there were no Elements in his time now. Another writing victory. He is established as not able to finish it because he never mastered friendship. This is extremely odd with this new storyline.

Star Swirl is painted as not understanding friendship because he kicked out Stygian from the group… except he wasn’t alone. It was unanimous to kick out Stygian. Star Swirl simply agreed… with his friends… for their protection from a thieving, attention seeking, murderous psychopath. Let’s go over exactly what Star Swirl did in this era before being trapped in Limbo. He first must have had a decent career in Canterlot by studying magic and made all sorts of spells including time travel. He also tutors the princesses Celestia and Luna around this time. Stygian runs into the sirens and gets Star Swirl to help, who banishes them to another dimension. He then must have some more missions with the crew and none of them have any problems with Star Swirl. Stygian has no conflict with him even. He only has issue that the population does not adore him. Star Swirl then sacrifices himself along with his friends that willingly follow his lead to stop evil from killing all life. Star Swirl mastered friendship. Compare this to the Princess of Friendship who threw a child into hell for stealing some magic. I guess to make sense of this, we have to now say Celestia is lying about the nature of this spell, probably purposely trolling Twilight with a broken spell that would force her to complete it and ascend. Perhaps this was Celestia’s own spell or something. Who knows. The lore is fucked.

Heading back on track now. Stygian is now locked in Limbo with the Pillars. Apparently you don’t do anything at all in Limbo. There wasn’t a battle that lasted forever. Perhaps it works on time stasis rules, that they leave the instant they went in and are unaware anything happened? The show is not exactly clear, because Star Swirl seems to be at a loss for what is happening at first. His first question is “What has happened?” then in response to learning he is back he asks “to where?”. If it was the same instant, you would think he would know instantly where he was. Perhaps it is like cryostasis where you have to regain senses and memory. But then again, Twilight states that Limbo is between places, which I assume is dimensional space and time. Regardless, he does seem to jump right back to lucidity when he realizes that the Limbo spell was undone.

Oh yeah, turns out you can just undo Limbo spells. Twilight knows how to do this, but doesn’t consider it will free the Pony of Shadows. Seriously, she acts like this was never on the table. On first watch, I thought she knew how to specifically target the Pillars for retrieval and it would be revealed that the Pony of Shadows wanted this to happen so he could take over Limbo with his power or some shit. But no, Twilight is just stupid and didn’t heed the warnings of the much wiser Starlight Glimmer.

For whatever reason, the writers decided that to make this episode work, Starlight needs to be right about literally everything and is being randomly discarded for no reason just to make her have even more turn to the camera and shaking her head moments to reinforce how right she is. I have to assume this is done to double up on sympathy points for the reveal about Stygian being just some dude that really wanted to be loved and it was just mean old Star Swirl that kept him from greatness. It is rather disgusting on multiple levels.

I am no Starlight fan, but she is randomly being dissed by everyone for absolutely no reason but the writers demanded it be so. It makes no sense. She suggests that there might be danger in returning the Pillars because she messed with portals before. Twilight, in her infinite retardation, puts forward two brilliant arguments. She suggests that a portal in time is different than a portal to Limbo. I don’t see how that is relevant because it might as well be one because the composition of the portal means fuck all. The danger is the unknown consequences that Starlight is referring to and Twilight is out here saying they are different. Good job. She then says that if Star Swirl was around, he could have stopped Starlight’s time portal. How does that address literally anything? Star Swirl being released is the cause of concern. If Star Swirl is around, then the consequences would already be in motion unlike the scenario Twilight suggests. This doesn’t compute.
So, Twilight frees the Pillars with zero thought or planning. Very in character. Glimmer comments on it again saying it is “out there for you Twilight”. This is coming from the pony that decided that mind control was a good way to force some friendship time last season and some good old banishment over not wanting to conform was a good policy for the changelings. Seriously, I think the writers have mental disorders. Everyone is freed including the Pony of Shadow, who attacks with Gak But Black, venom style… in the next episode that is. They don’t have the villain in play at all until the final seconds of the episode. Everything up until this was a massive fetch quest for the magical items of the Pillars to undo the Limbo spell. So, naturally, this is going to be a fight on par with Tirek, right? Maybe he will become a recurring threat like Chrysalis? At the very least it will be as good as Starlight who got a couple of laser blasts off at Twilight and made her struggle for victory? Guys?


So, we pick back up in the second episode with Gak Attack But Black as Ponehenge is destroyed, rendering any attempt to banish into Limbo useless. So, what is the deal with Ponehenge to begin with? What makes it able to enhance power to clone magical items or send beings into Limbo? Is it the location? No, because the destruction of the stones makes it unable to work. Is it the stones themselves? I doubt it or else they should be anywhere to enhance magic and clone shit. Is it both at once? Perhaps, but then how did anyone figure this out? Star Swirl then condemns Twilight and asks for the backup plan. Twilight has none.


So, Twilight attempts to hold back an evil magic beam attack, with Stygian stating that Twilight is almost as strong as Star Swirl is, but she totally powerless to hold back the darkness even in a weakened state. She is now failing to hold back the evil laser.


And then Starlight walks in and combines magic to instantly win. I could rant on and on about how it doesn’t make sense that Starlight is more powerful than Twilight, but the show treats this as a fact since Starlight first appeared. Twilight has never gotten one over Starlight at any point ever. It is simply how they wrote her. She is the most powerful magic user to ever exist. What I can’t fucking accept is how Twilight is not the superior to Star Swirl by this point. She has a magic cutiemark, fought half a dozen monsters that nearly ended the world, controlled the power of four alicorns simultaneously, fought a time traveling bitch that is more powerful than her, and fought a small army of changelings. I don’t buy that Stack of Gak here has a chance with just her at full power while he is in a weakened state. Fuck off writers. You could have said that shadow boy suffered no setbacks at all and that is what overpowers Twilight. You could have said that he absorbed the power of Ponehenge. But you went with the only option that further degrades your main character. And we aren’t even done yet.

So, Slim and Shady gives a villain defeat monologue of: “Your days of glory are through Star Swirl. Now my dark power will reign. And you six will bow to me!”. Remember, this is the sympathetic, wronged, bullied, overlooked, undervalued, and mistreated hero that only wanted to help his friends. Before we continue, let’s really stop and drink this messaging in. We are directly told from both sides of the story now that Stygian is fucking evil. The writers still want the rug pull later and they are lucky so many people are too brain damaged to recall anything that happens in front of their faces until it is programming time. Stygian just admitted his motivation is not simply revenge for being wronged, not getting even, not being equal, not being more than they are, not even to show the world what he can do. His motivation is threefold: end Star Swirl’s glory to replace with his own, rule the world through darkness and thereby death, and have those he hates bow to him. He is motivated by attention, greed, power, and cruelty. I can’t even pretend the writers will be consistent and wish that they would. You could immediately tell going into the episode that they will not because they have a message to tell and damn the consequences.

He runs off… somehow. The animation that plays for this is him turning into concentrated shadow Gak and flinging himself into the sky and exploding into blinding light as the clouds part and give way to sun. I think the writers don’t understand how shadow travel works. Nightmare Moon utilized shadow movement where her mane aura would trail around the sky and lurk in the shadows, able to manipulate things unseen. I guess that is too hard to copy… from your own work… that is supposedly canonically made of the same base energy/material. Fuck these writers.

So, he bailed and Star Swirl takes another jab at Twilight. I think they are going for a double effect of mirroring Twilight ignoring and downplaying the input of Glimmer and trying to set up that Star Swirl is not friendly to try to match his lore. The problem is, he was friendly to the whole team and sided with them to get rid of a hostile element at the very least two times. There is no displayed friction in the team, which is doubly odd if this is the imperfect parallel to Harmony. Star Swirl doubts that the stooges that freed him have saved the world, but lets it slide because he doesn’t have the time or ability to disprove it. Seriously, despite being grumpy he is very chill. I hope he doesn’t get shit on for this.
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He is brought to Twilight’s Castle to see the map and he can… instantly manipulate the magic of the Tree of Harmony because they planted a seed? Ok, rant time once again. The Elements of Harmony at this moment are dead. The show has completely retconned the nature of the Tree, which itself was a retcon, but now it is completely worthless and will continue to be as such until they randomly want it to do something, of which they will physically kill it in season 9. The Tree of Harmony was made as an excuse to remove the Elements of Harmony from play in the show, recharging them because otherwise the land can’t battle chaos and darkness correctly. In other words, the show writers wanted the Elements gone so they don’t have a Rainbow nuclear weapon on call for every finale. Problem is that come season 9, they show they still have a Rainbow nuke on call because they can just nab the Elements anyway.

The tree is supposed to be significant as a mysterious origin because the completely mysterious origin of the Elements was too hard for the writers to deal with. There are hints in the first mention of the Elements that they may have come from space, but just as possible is that they are a natural formation from Equestria or were even forged by figures in the distant past. Could have been anything. They went with a natural formation by growing from this tree. That eradicates the mystery behind the Elements themselves, save for how come they resonate with the main cast. Oh well. We can figure that out later. The mystery is then transferred to the Tree itself. Where did it come from? Is it a deity? Is it alive? Does it have a will? Well, judging by it growing the Elements that resonate with the cast, it having the markings of the sun and moon, it allowed the princesses of sun and moon to wield them, and it has a box with keys that utilize specific friendship lessons to open, it is safe to say at the very least it is a manifestation of fate, if not a divine will that impacts the entire world.

Now Star Swirl made it in his basement with some random crystal seed and these literal whos plant it with magic infusion. Goodbye mystery. Goodbye implications and theory crafting. The strangest part is that they later go on to confirm the Tree of Harmony has a full consciousness and will, interacting with the world, talking to other beings, and having a last will. So, Star Swirl made a sentient being. It can’t be considered divine from this moment on. It has a moment of creation by a mundane being on their planet and it will go on to die. It really didn’t have a plan on any grand scale. It was simply reacting and trying to survive as it was a growing form of consciousness that would go on to imprint on Twilight Sparkle, taking her form, and then dying so soon after becoming aware of physicality outside itself to mimic it and communicate with it in language. They later will make an episode where the diversity squad plays with its corpse for the entire episode until it magically just forges another tree for them out of the remains. But make no mistake, the tree is dead. It will never speak, interact with the world, guide the heroes, have any will, have any say, or any impact whatsoever on the rest of the entire season. RIP Tree. You were disrespected until the end by these horrid writers. Wait. If there are random ass crystal seeds… and you can infuse them with magic… fucking hell. They just revealed that there can be infinite Trees of Harmony and they literally did nothing with that. Do they even realize that they did that? I have to assume not. Fucking hell…

They then go on and waste time by spelling out that the Elements are parallel reflects of their own “elements” of Hope, Strength, Beauty, Bravery, Healing, and Sorcery. This makes absolutely no sense on so many levels. First, how does the tree you planted output a twist on your own magic? It should simply perfectly reflect those elements. Instead, it decided to play loose with those definitions and create parallels. Second, what are these comparisons though? Hope connects to Laughter? Strength to Honesty? Bravery and Loyalty make sense, but Beauty and Generosity? I don’t think they even tried with Sorcery. That is just Magic. That isn’t an altered reflection at all. It should have been leadership. But, oh wait, we need to shit on Star Swirl. He can’t be a leader. Third, how did the mane six come to be? They aren’t reincarnations of these elements, as they were stuck in Limbo and are very much present. They were previously implied to be foretold with how they match the Elements perfectly, embody their traits, and the whole awakening the Elements and revealing the hidden one, not even mentioning the Rainboom only effecting them and signaling their arrival. Now I guess they were fated to be born eventually and so here they are? There is no mechanical reason for them to be. They were not willed by the Elements or the Tree to come to being, they aren’t reincarnations, they just happen to be exactly what was needed and match perfectly the job description, all in the same spot at the same time when Nightmare Moon came about. You know, Celestia was implied to orchestrate the gathering of the mane six, seeing as they all were in Ponyville save Twilight on that very day, and how Twilight just so happened to be called to Ponyville when that was the case, all to match a very much prophetic freeing of Nightmare Moon and the restoration of the Elements. Those were better times.
Mage Meadowbrook, one of the Pillars, says that the group had no idea it would grow into the living spirit of the land. What? So, what was the point of planting the seed? Did you want something to remind the world you existed? Why did you plant it in some fuck off cave near the Castle of the Two Sisters? Perhaps it was a bit easier to access and not surrounded by the Everfree Forest a thousand years ago. Still, you just confirmed you accidentally made a conscious being that is inhabiting the very world you are on. You made a potentially superior intelligence. It is only by luck that it was killed as it was grasping more advanced concepts and communication. You basically nearly made a being that would be able to interact with the entire population through a neural network underground and utilizing magic to communicate telepathically. You think that couldn’t happen? They literally made this canon in season 8. The Tree is literally a life form that grows crystal roots and structures like the Castle and it can use magic to get into other beings’ heads and talk to them. If it didn’t die, it is possible that Equestria and the life form would be a singular entity and all life on it would be in some form one with it as well, or at least forming a symbiosis. They really didn’t know what they were doing with the show.

So, they want to use the Tree of Harmony’s magic to banish Stygian by force, which Twilight says will sacrifice the Elements in the process.


How? How does she know that? How do they know they can brute force the banishment spell? How do they keep doing this? Star Swirl doesn’t have any better ideas, which is not exactly in character, but does ask if anyone has any alternatives. The show paints this as sarcastic and rude, when it is a legitimate things to ask since he has been out a thousand years and is standing in the being he made in his backyard. Naturally, this is only questioned by Starlight Glimmer. She doesn’t believe in banishing anyone for any reason.


So, then they show the rest of the cast wrapping up a search for Stingian by concluding that over a thousand years, there are no more locals that are possibly hiding locations. They even drop that Manehatten is build over a epicenter of dark energy but it can’t be used because… electric lighting? Or maybe it is just monopolized and not freely accessible anymore. Who knows? So, what was the point of the map sending them to those locations? Did Star Swirl force the map to show incorrect locations? It has a built in ability to understand a problem happening anywhere in the world and sends the appropriate party to that location. Why did it just not up until now? Oh, and they confirm that Twilight got her wings with Star Swirl’s spell. Fucking hell. I know it is canon and they did the actual minimum in understanding that. The problem is that it doesn’t make sense anymore. When did he write this spell and how did he not finish it? The only possibility I can think of is that during the past, before Stygian came around, he didn’t want anything to do with anypony, but then came out of his shell. Perhaps it was the princesses. I doubt it would have been Stygian since he comes across as someone that doesn’t exactly have the skills to connect with someone that is aggressive, seeing that he wants to kill all life over a basic falling out. I could only imagine what would have happened if he slammed a door in his face. Probably would have torched an orphanage. I have to assume that Star Swirl just never got around to finishing the spell after that, because he objectively made friends and probably could have solved the spell should he not have been stuck in non-existence.

Twilight’s friends stick up for her making a spell to help the Pillars keep existing, which is the first in forever the rest of the six have done something useful in a finale. Something to really note though is that Star Swirl does not budge at this, but instantly considers looking over the spell and begrudgingly admit his fault once Mage Meadowbrook takes their side and has looked over the text. So wait, the grouchy old wizard that is terrible with friendship has a trusted friend that he instantly listens to? Even when they want Star Swirl to be the absolute worst, they keep digging their own grave. He was robbed of his life and his wings when he really has earned them far more than Twilight has.

The map decides to work now and sends the mane six to a location. It is crucial to note that it is only supposed to be them. No other cutiemarks are present. We know from season 6 that Starlight’s cutiemark can be displayed if she is supposed to go. The show has also established that only the characters sent should go or it risks ruining the whole quest. Anyway, it sends them to the Hollow Shades. Applejack claims a branch of the Apple family live there, but Sunburst declares it was abandoned eons ago. What? How in the fuck does Applejack think there are any Apple family members there then? It would be so divorced from the knowledge of anypony alive even within the knowledge of the princesses. An eon is a billion years. Even by an exaggerated estimate by Sunburst, we are likely talking so many generations separated that there should be no trace of knowledge there was ever a pony in that location if it is greater than a thousand years time. Ponies hardly know about the Castle of the Two Sisters from a thousand years ago, thought the Pillars were legends, in comics the Pillars were legends in their own time as well, and the Castle is in tatters. There should be no possible way Applejack knows about this place.
They acknowledge that this is the first time since Starlight’s Village incident that the map has sent the mane six to a single location, deducing that, yes, the villain is in that location. Glimmer then comes back to complain about banishment again saying the thieving murderer that declared that all will bow and die before him must be ready to talk by now. Commies never change. Everyone leaves with Star Swirl saying “Once a villain, always a villain” directly to Starlight. Laying that on really thick, aren’t you writers? Wait a second. What else did you write after this? Oh yeah.


Starlight then says to Spike and nopony else that the map has only ever sent ponies to solve a friendship problem. This is mostly true, except the aforementioned Starlight’s Village incident. Starlight was not turned good in that episode at all, instead it was all about saving enslaved ponies. Now, the episode is going to try to parallel both Starlight and enslaved ponies, which is a decent set up, but this execution is literally braindead. It makes no sense. Twilight has always known about the purpose of the map. Why she believes that banishment is the solution when saving Starlight was important to her during the fight through time she had, where she was threatened to be erased to live, or probably die, in one of various timelines Starlight would create for her. Can’t forget the final one where all life is erased. Starlight deserved banishment at the very least. She can’t claim that no one does because she was granted it. No one deserves mercy. It is a gift that is granted for no reason but the will of the bestower. A deserved mercy is simply a justified ruling, not mercy. Someone that should be allowed to kill by defending one’s self does not mean that mercy was given, the person is justified in killing. Even Spike doesn’t believe the Pony of Shadows is justified. But maybe the show will show why Stygian is.

Starlight says that no one knows about Stygian to make that call, except for the Pillars. The Pillars indeed knew all about Stygian and Star Swirl wrote about his nature down in a book, which you were read to by Sunburst, who you trust gave you a complete translation. This means that Starlight believes that Star Swirl is lying about Stygian’s nature. Why? What does he have to gain from that? The Pony of Shadows was right in front of you and said in your presence that the world is doomed with him at the helm. Starlight never ceases to amaze. She is then told about Stygian by the Pillars, save Star Swirl because he is mean and biased. Let’s learn all about him.

We first see Stygian with a stick and cloth sack at the end. The classic wanderer trope. He witnesses a town be ravaged by the sirens who use their song to make all those that hear it enraged and fight each other, giving off energy that the sirens feed on. Stygian clearly either doesn’t live here or is planning not to soon. He is described as more scholar than hero. Fitting because he is definitely not a hero. His design is based off of Snails, the annoying boy character that was introduced with Trixie and only existed to be a slave a pathetic build. However, the color patterns on Stygian are supposed to remind you of Twilight Sparkle, given a subconscious reason to find him sympathetic. So, we have signals of pathetic and sympathetic, which triggers one of two responses in the brain when observing him, to care and protect him because he is weaker, or he is not capable of being a conventional threat, so either way your guard is down. Knowing other tropes and patterns though, the weakling can also be a source of great evil, a back stabber and manipulator to gain the power he can’t physically obtain otherwise. Regardless, it is clear that most people see a character to like rather than not.

He is further described as recognizing that the emerging would needs champions to protect it. No shit. He walks off screen and instantly has the pillars. This is probably symbolic of the process he took rather than he happened upon the group already. The Pillars defeat the sirens fairly easily, as it just took a bit of distraction and Star Swirl casts them into Equestria Girls to suffer for a thousand years. The comics attempt to rewrite this clear victory by stating from Sunburst “Sure, you were just a scholar, but you showed wisdom to turn away the sirens. When your town was taken over, you made it your mission to save it. Your planning, strategy, and knowledge was what saved the day for each of your friends and convinced them to join you. And none of you quite understood it, but you brought the element of friendship to the group. If things had gone differently, you could have been Princess Twilight. Stygian, you are a hero.”

The fuck? First, this is not clearly his town. I guess he planned on leaving it before the invasion happened if it really is. Again, the comics are not canon by any stretch, but sometimes reflect on intensions during writing. Sirens were attacking. Stopping them is not wisdom. He played no part in stopping them. It was not shown doing any strategy. The Pillars acted autonomously when faced with a threat in the show. The group also didn’t disband after he left. This seems like cope from the writing team to make him even more sympathetic, to try and force the Twilight Sparkle connection even more, as a Prince of Friendship.
He is then described as being left out of the celebrations because he didn’t risk anything. They directly state he grew jealous of the Pillars’ abilities. “He stole artifacts from each of us.” Is the quote they say next. Naturally, as the Prince of Friendship, you take things from your friends to make yourself more powerful. You don’t ask your friends. The element of Hope then says “we always thought he would return and seek forgiveness. But when we saw him again, his heart was bent on revenge. He dashed even my hope of saving him”. Starlight doesn’t accept this and believes there is a logical explanation that justifies his actions. Bitch… you justified stealing cutiemarks and erasing people from time. It doesn’t matter if he wanted to cure cancer, end world poverty and hunger, and invented space flight to explore the stars. He is evil. Justification does nothing. What you are looking for is a way to convince others to take mercy. He is already beyond saving by rational means, like you were. It took an act of throwing away the just reward of banishment and/or death to reach out to you.

She goes to confront Star Swirl. She instantly gets told to shut up because all she does is bitch, which offends her. She is on a crusade and nothing can stop her tongue. She asks why Stygian would turn. Star Swirl replies that it was envy and it led him down a dark path of no return. This is the writers trying to soften the blow with a present counter-point in the room. There is a possibility of return, therefore it wasn’t envy, he isn’t on a dark path, and he is justified? The fuck? Look, some awful people have made complete 180s when given mercy and a reason to be good. This can happen. It doesn’t happen regularly, otherwise there would be no punishments at all and everyone would be good after being shown some kindness. No one is entitled to kindness. It is a risk of the greatest magnitude, putting trust, safety, and love all on the line for the chance to save someone from a spiral of self-destruction. You risk pain by caring for such a person, but it is still done with critical success and critical failure, leading to the deaths of many that tried to give mercy. Mercy is one of the greatest forms of love, but it is also foolish to give it out haphazardly. Starlight is haphazard to say the least.

Star Swirl says that Stygian wants to destroy everything good in the world and there is no way to befriend a pony like that. This is completely true but is given a convenient counter-point present in the room for the writers to use. Starlight wanted to kill off at least the versions of Twilight and her friends that opposed her. She did so thinking her way of life was better and the loss of six individuals can’t possibly hold any weight over the balance of power and they are a source of good in the world. After all, they opposed her. How can anything good oppose her crusade against cutiemarks that took away her friend? I know the backstory is lame and she sucks, but the core is still there. She believes she is a source of good. Stygian does not. Stygian is not fighting for a warped sense of good, or righteousness, or even for himself. His revenge does stem from what he things was wrongly done to him, but it doesn’t stop with them. He wants revenge on the whole world for not celebrating his existence. He is far worse than Nightmare Moon ever was. Nightmare Moon actually worked for centuries and saw generations of ponies live and die without liking what she did, often actively hating the night from what she observed. She wanted revenge on the world because she was spited by the world for lifetimes. Stygian wasn’t invited to a couple of parties.

Stygian wants to burn the world down for less than what Starlight Glimmer did. Stygian is objectively worse than Starlight “Fuck them rules and kill them kids” Glimmer. And we aren’t even done yet.

Starlight cries as Star Swirl leaves. She never bothers to explain how she is a living example of what mercy can do, because conflict. She says she is glad Star Swirl wasn’t alive when Twilight was… battling her across time and space. She would have been banished for her crimes. Probably bitch. You are definitely not a good pony because it took nearly killing all life to attempt to rationalize with your enemy and decide not to kill. It probably would have been easier to befriend you if you didn’t go on a time murder spree. But that is mercy for you. You didn’t deserve to be forgiven, but you were. You need to try to explain how mercy might be a choice to pursue and not guilt trip others into doing the mercy for you. Here is an idea, if you are so on board with not banishing, lead the charge ahead of everyone right now. Stygian’s location is known, the group is not ready to depart, you have teleportation and are the most powerful of all magic users throughout all existence. Run over to Stygian, tell him your backstory, and do the mercy on Twilight’s behalf. When he decides to not embrace the darkness, you can relay that to Twilight and have something concrete to work off of instead of "I was forgiven, why can’t you forgive a kid… er… I mean this guy?" Sorry. Wrong episode.
So, they go to the Tree of Harmony and take the Elements. I guess you can do that, despite how permanent it seemed it was by giving them up in season 4. I guess that plot is that hard to write, isn’t it? Star Swirl states that though the Tree will die with the Elements lost forever, the Pillars will remain to watch the realm. How long does he think they will live for? Star Swirl and Mistmane are so old. Are the certain they have eternal life? If they die, the Tree will be dead and the whole thing is kind of meaningless. They then head off to the location. Sunburst says it doesn’t match what was written and Mistmane suggests the Pony of Shadows twisted it to his purposes. I don’t see how that can be. There is still an old village here, unless the village didn’t exist and he is making a replica of his home to be nostalgic as he processed to kill all ponies in Equestria.

Stygian then collapses the town square, dropping the ponies into the well below. The ponies being everyone. Only Spike decided no not tag along. Only the mane six were called by the way. I hope the others don’t do anything that would mess up the mission. Gakku Black welcomes them all to the Well of Shade. Apparently Stygian just found this place when sulking and the darkness spoke to him here. He was offered a power beyond imagination. Naturally, he took this because the only thing he wants is power. He literally only motivated by power from everything we have seen, including his direct actions. He states he listened. We can gather than, but I guess it is for the villainous threat effect, that he is all on board with evil. He didn’t hesitate. He took that power as soon as it was on the table, not a damn worry about that contract he had to sign. You might as well had been giving him water in the desert. He states the shadow and him are one and all the realm will be the same. Then all ponies will feel his despair when he was cast out of kill monsters club. I think it would be a bit more when all ponies are essentially erased from life as they know it to be shadow puppets and no longer have a physical form, probably a living death or maybe if they are lucky, the shadow will eventually absorb them for nourishment. Who can say?

Star Swirl says Stingian tried to take the power of the Pillars for himself. Stygian says no u, literally. He says “No, it was you who was selfish”. So, not allowing people to steal your things without your consent to do some ritual of power, which he admits he wanted to do to gain power, is selfish. It speaks volumes to people that sympathize with this guy. They see themselves in him, doing evil things and those that attempt to stop them, like their parents, are pure evil and are keeping them from greatness because they desire a monopoly on power. They only want a fair share of the power… by taking yours. Starlight then says this is definitely a friendship problem. It technically is, in so much that Stygian has been delusional from the beginning and has antagonized those he was supposed to be friends with because he doesn’t get the praise they do for doing far less than them.

The Elements combine with the artifacts of the Pillars to allow for a portal spell to be summoned, that starts to suck Stygian in. Important to note that this is without the Element of Magic, which is supposed to be the one that allows the Elements to work at all, as Friendship is Magic. I guess it isn’t that important after all as Twilight hesitates and doesn’t add her Element to the rainbow beam.

SUDDENLY! Deus ex Stygian in pony form emerges right as Twilight is about to blast him the fuck back to non-existence. The writers really fucking struggled in this whole scene. They had to force a possibly alternate interpretation to Stygian’s plight and make there be a reason for Twilight not to act all within ten seconds. Good job. Twilight then instantly flies into the Pony of Shadows? She knew that was something that she could do? Furthermore, she doesn’t pass through him and into the portal. Instead there is a whole shadow pocket dimension in this thing. It is completely devoid of light insidem but unicorn magic illuminates it because the writers need the scene to have visuals to really sell Stygian to the audience. I don’t know why, because they did all of that work through Starlight being always right and being berated for it. They could have nearly made leftists forgive Hitler with this level of manipulation.

Stygian says that he was once Stygian, until his friends betrayed him. Now we get his side of the story. Throughout this whole rant, you might be wondering if it is too harsh to kick someone out for this misunderstanding. Clearly not and I will briefly recap why. Stygian instigated the trespass. He took what did not belong to him. These artifacts are not just some keepsakes, though they are that in addition to their primary purpose, saving the realm. They are the source of power for the Pillars. Without these things, they might not stand a chance against threats that come to destroy villages, like the sirens, you dumbass. So, Stygian takes these things of incredible value. He is no magician, he is a scholar. He does not ask the sorcerer that can make time travel spells to help him. He does not ask for these items and explains his plan. He does this in cover of night in secret.
He states he only wanted their respect. This is not true. He wanted the respect of the people. He had the respect of the friends. He was their recruiter and they took him along all their missions. They never berated him for getting in the way. They never asked him to pull more weight. What triggered all of this was him wanting more power to be adored by the population, a personal ambition. He states he planned strategy and read all he could about beasts. I have to take him at his word for that. We aren’t shown this. We have half a dozen witnesses to the contrary to this, seeing as they only ever mention he brought them together. It isn’t particularly hard to image he did help out more than being the lookout and ear to the ground for trouble. He states he doesn’t have magic or strength and that led to nopony ever noticing him. I mentioned this already, but without those, he was supposed to gather their items and dup them like it is a damn videogame? Regardless, this once again reinforces that he did this for attention and power, not respect. Not being noticed is not respect oriented. It is neutral respect. Ponies didn’t disrespect you when they didn’t see you risking your life because you fucking didn’t. You were a nerd that sat behind the lines in safety. You weren’t going to get that level of respect, but you were never disrespected.

He says that he just wanted to be a pillar… with all of the artifacts at once… this is definitely not a villain origin story at all. He was not in the spotlight, decided that if he was going to be equal he need not just one power, but all the powers. He did so without asking. He then says the dumbest fucking line in the history of villainy.

“I never wanted to steal their power.”


Starlight, of course, turns to side eye Star Swirl in her self-righteousness. So, let me get this straight. You never wanted to steal their powers, so you stole their powers to use their powers to be like them, with powers.


Stygian then proceeds to victim blame Star Swirl for not sharing their power and letting him help. According to you, you already were helping. What does a Pillar power really do for you. Oh right, it gives you an adoring fanbase. You seek attention and power. He says his friends threw him out, so he became stronger than any of them. What he was seeking from the beginning. He says the darkness welcomed him when nopony would and he must protect it. Except your friends. They welcomed you all the time until you stole their most valuable things for yourself. And people still like this guy?

Now Starlight comes in to talk to Stygian because Twilight isn’t getting the job done. Again, why didn’t Starlight just go ahead of them and try this? She has the references, the experience, and the background to make this work more than anyone, as much as I hate her character. She is the literal perfect fit for this mission in all ways except one. She is not supposed to be here. The map only sent the mane six. Stygian states he wants to believe them, but the darkness will not be stopped.

Twilight then makes a magic lasso… for the first time ever to my knowledge. Might have been handy to set up she can do that literally in any single episode besides right now to make this not come out of nowhere. And so, she gets to pull Stygian out of the Pony of Shadow form??? He is being pulled back into the form and Twilight says that he wants to escape so he needs help. No, he doesn’t. He stated that the darkness will not be stopped. I get what they are trying to go for, that the darkness is controlling him, and he isn’t speaking for himself, but he never indicated he wanted to leave. He only stated he wished he could believe their story that this is all a misunderstanding. I want to believe that too, but it isn’t. It is clearly understood. Stygian is just too autistic and retarded to consider how stealing impacts trust and social groups.

So, the Elements shoot magic lassos too. This comes out of nowhere as well. I am less inclined to fight it existing because this is the same rainbow magic that can decide to banish Luna, save Luna, turn Discord to stone, and drain magic from powered up beings. It can do a lot of things. It is still kind of bullshit that it gets to do whatever though. And starlight of course makes an energy lasso too. Par for the course. No use being irate about her being more powerful than the Elements of Harmony for fuck sake. So, Stygian is forced out of darkness. He does not come willingly. He does not fight the darkness within him. He is literally torn out against his will and forced to not be evil. His shadow form and possibly other entity is pulled into the portal to Limbo. And all with zero consequences! Also, we get a giant rainbow laser that looks like the banishment beam. This doesn’t make sense because the monster was forced into a portal. It is a doorway to another realm. The beam does nothing. It isn’t in your realm of existence anymore. In fact, it is so detached from existence that time doesn’t flow there and he will experience no aging if ever freed. The implication is that the beam did the banishing, but he already was when he traversed through the portal. Maybe it is to imply that it launched the placement of the portal away so even standing in the same location, you can’t reopen the portal?
They walk out of there and they notice that the Elements didn’t get taken away from them. They conclude that using them for healing magic instead of banishment means they get to avoid consequences. Hooray! But wait, then how come they were fine when you sealed Discord again? Why were they fine with sealing Discord to begin with under the princesses? Why did the lunar banishment only put them in stasis? So many questions and all because they can’t write. And now for the worst fucking moral ever. Star Swirl states:

“Long ago you needed our help, Stygian. But instead of listening, we turned our backs on you. Pride clouded my judgement. I owe you an apology. Thank you for helping us see the errors of our ways, Twilight.”


And this is it. This is why people like the character. They are told he is correct, that he was wronged, and Star Swirl abandoned him. He apologized because the writers deemed it a story of being rejected and unwanted. The problem is they didn’t tell that story. They rushed the Pillars into existence, rushed making this villain, rushed finding the villain, rushed making the villain sympathetic, rushed the backstory of the villain, and rushed the conclusion.

The comic also has Sunburst state: “Star Swirl misunderstood the Elements of Harmony. He discounted your contribution. He exiled you. He also dumped those sirens into a world where they nearly took over. And it's probably because he locked himself away that Luna ended up becoming Nightmare Moon. What if Star Swirl the Bearded is the greatest villain in the history of Equestria?”

This is disgusting to me. They build up meeting Star Swirl the Bearded, a character we knew existed since the very first damn season, and they shit all over him for each and every scene he is in. In the possible extension of their intensions through the comics, Star Swirl is not just a bad friend in the eyes of the writers, he is the ultimate villain. Star Swirl did nothing wrong, quite literally. He did the best job that he possibly could from every situation he is in. He didn’t solve one spell, needing to understand friendship. You do realize that this doesn’t have to make him an ass. It could be that he just never opened up to others, kept to himself, felt alone, never could fully trust others. He doesn’t need to be a villain.

Star Swirl sent the sirens to Equestria Girls where they failed to take over the world for over a thousand years, attempt to take over a single high school, then exploded. Their magical forms were shattered by a rainbow magic unicorn, leaving only their useless human forms without a means to feed on strife. Equestria Girls is weird, but still, they were defeated completely. There was no way to predict any of that would happen, but Star Swirl still made the best call objectively, based on his limited information and they were neutralized both in his world and in that world as well. It is almost like he is pretty damn good at what he does. Now, there was a risk that things played out where they could have taken over, yes. But it isn’t like Star Swirl saw into the zone he cast the sirens into and said, yep I want to condemn these people specifically. A magicless world seemed like both the ideal place for your magic based enemy to be captured in and a world that might be devoid of any life because ponies live so interconnected with magic. Even in the worst case scenario that Star Swirl knew exactly where the sirens were going, they were still a disabled threat and could be accessed later through the mirror to their world at another time to even reform them. He literally did nothing wrong.

He also could not have physically misunderstood the Elements of Harmony. They didn’t exist thanks to your new lore. He planted the seed that would create them. He had no knowledge of any Elements at all. And what on earth is this logic that because he was gone, Nightmare Moon rose to power? First, we have to assume Star Swirl could convince an immoral that has seen her night spited for centuries that it isn’t a good idea to flip out. Second, the Elements would just now be in play and they are not tuned to the Pillar’s elements. It is up in the air if they could even control them. Say they can, then they have to somehow not banish Luna and make this point redundant. Third, say they don’t have the Elements because they are not tuned to the Pillars. Does he send Nightmare Moon elsewhere like the sirens? He can’t battle her. She bested Celestia, who would then attempt to use the Elements like in the show and banish her, especially if she has to save the Pillars from harm. Things at best would play out the exact same. There is a chance she gets thrown into Equestria Girls and it is unknown if the magic she possesses during transformation works or not there, an unknown element you condemn him for with the sirens. There is a chance that the Pillars or even Celestia now dies in the battle because it doesn’t play out like we know. And there is a small chance that they somehow intercept Luna and redeem her immediately, erasing all of the lives of the cast as we know it, as the world is entirely shaped by the banishment of Luna, including the founding of Canterlot as the new capital as the Castle of the Two Sisters decays in the forming Everfree Forest.
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But perhaps that is a small price to pay for a better world overall. Perhaps things would be even greater if the Pillars lived full lives, Celestia and Luna ruled side by side for a thousand years, and together faced threats with the Elements of Harmony. Then let’s flip this accusation on its head. What was the cost of Stygian not asking permission to do an artifact dup? Stygian is the greatest villain within Equestria. By his actions he erased the Pillars for a thousand years, helped Luna turn through darkness that he promoted, and also failed to object to the plan to send the sirens to Equestria Girls, which he himself stated that he governed the strategy of the missions. He was the one that said to use a portal to banish the threat, because he had no look of concern when that party started. He was only upset when he was not celebrated as they were.

Starlight decided to try to one up the situation further by stating a conversation can save Equestria. Except it didn’t. It was a tug of war that saved Equestria, forcing Stygian to not be evil. It literally did not matter that Stygian said anything. He could have been completely silent and Twilight still would have tried to save him with the magic rope pull when his face was revealed during the portal suck.

Star Swirl meets with the princesses and states that he can’t believe how tall they have gotten. So, a thousand years must be a very loose estimate for when they blinked out of existence. To be fair, they do say it has been more than a thousand, but still, Celestia was not in her current form when he left, which means that it better lines up with waiting for the tree to grow and give off the elements. But this also means that the spell can’t be for the elements at all. Plus, given that the size shocks him, they must have a pretty damn good memory from when they were kids, growing up, and then the thousand years on top of that. Do the princesses have memories of all their citizens that are this good? No wonder Luna went crazy. She was forced to photographically remember each and every civilian that spited the night for centuries.

Twilight ends by saying that she thought that having her hero would answer all of her questions, but she already had the answers she needed, but forgot them… because reasons, so she is glad she has a student to remind her… because that is what a student does. They remind the teacher of the answers that they are supposed to test students on. What a fucked up little take away moral on top of don’t turn your back on robbers, murderers, and power hungry fiends.

Is there any doubt now? Whatever pony you try to point to as worst pony, it literally can’t be worst than Stygian, he who dwells in darkness and death. He is the embodiment of everything wrong with the show save diversity, because he is still a male pony. A twink of a male, but still male and a pony. He embodies the Crystaline Entity trope, that there is a force that is harming, even killing those you swear to protect, entire families vaporized and many more will follow, but the Crystaline Entity is alive and has feelings, and is trying to communicate. You can’t just condemn it. There has to be another way! This trope is unique to the modern liberal world, as it is a message that is as bizarre as it sounds to any rational person that sees past emotional manipulation. The crystal is evil. It kills those you must protect. It must die. It doesn’t matter if it has thoughts. It doesn’t matter if you can negotiate with it. It communicated just fine as it killed people. It didn’t have the intelligence to respect life like you can, so why are you trying to reason with a murder machine?

It is directly applied to Stygian. He did an objective crime. Not a misunderstanding, a crime was committed. Theft. He stole the most powerful items he could for himself. His purpose behind this action is irrelevant. Again, he could have saved millions of children and puppies with the action. The action is still a crime and it warrants the reaction from those effected. Their trust was broken, it risked the world on top of everything because the objects were how they could reliably defeat threats to all of ponykind. When Stygian embraced darkness, he could not be saved except by the writers forcing him to be. He willingly accepted the darkness as far as we know. It might have been a Gollum situation where you have little choice in the wake of a power beyond yourself. He still sought this location, and being a scholar I doubt he was completely oblivious to what he was searching for. Even if he was, he became a monster, no different than those he recruited to fight. He deserved no sympathy for his attempted brutal attacks on innocent ponies, including the friends that defended what was theirs.
Stygian was too powerful to kill, so they sacrificed their own lives to a possible eternity locked away from existing to stop such an evil. The correct solution to the Crystaline Entity problem. Removal by any means necessary. This is deemed as evil by the weak of will. How can you condemn what has condemned countless others? It is simple. You withhold mercy to the merciless. Not every person is going to be redeemed. Stygian is apologized to for the objective wrong he committed. He is also the model of the modern liberal world in that existing means you should be recognized as equal to those that have done more than you. If you are not equal in ability, the means to do so should be provided without having to ask. Should it not be provided, equality needs to be taken. This monstrous belief applies to lives as well. If a life stands between you and what you want, what you deem is equal treatment, then the life needs to be taken. That is why Stygian has no problem with the will of the shadow, to claim more ponies so they might suffer like he believes he has, thought he has not. Stygian suffers nothing except being the puppet of a dark intelligence that rules over him, much the same as modern society is the same. The desires of both align too much to hardly distinguish between the dark influence and the dark heart that desires the control.

Stygian’s back story is basically identical to Starlight Glimmer’s. Both were happy. Both had a friend that they wanted to be together with. Both saw the friend as more powerful and treated better. Both decided the world must pay for the perceived wrong done to each.


Starlight Glimmer at least had the advantage of happing in youth. She probably embellished what happened in her head as the years went by, saying that cutiemarks literally robbed her, along with ponykind, which are so intertwined with cutiemarks. The association might naturally arise in the developing mind of a turbo autist already leaning towards communism. Stygian has no excuses. He was an adult that formed a mercenary/militia group and got mad that the logistics and strategy guy doesn’t go guns blazing and end up on the news. He decides to raid the armory and go out to make a name for himself. It really is that bad.

All of his writing is completely contrived. The writers bend everything to fit this story and demand things work out. Even when they have all of the set up done by fucking over every single character and story beat all for their pay off, they still rush it and write holes in the whole thing that makes Stygian even worse. They shit on Starlight via Twilight only to act as a sympathy magnet early on so you trust whatever Starlight is saying, despite it sounding like an insane request. Can we please try to rationalize with the guy that just said he wants us to bow as we burn? They shit on Twilight and Starlight via Star Swirl I guess to really hit home that Starlight did not understand friendship and should not be trusted whenever he speaks. Star Swirl is then shit on everyone that has more than three speaking lines because that is the outlet for the frustration they are building throughout the whole episode, all to make the message accepted with no thought.

The animation in this episode was appalling given it was a finale. Remember the finales? Season one was perhaps the most tame, but it had build up. It was the Grand Galloping Gala and reflected on the desires of the characters and how they missed the whole point of the Gala and their friendship. Animation was fairly standard, but had bouncy pinkie, some antics, Rarity got hit with a cake, there were animals to animate. Season 2 with the wedding. A whole battle scene with changelings and shape shifting, with a song number and there were the small reflections in the crystals in the caves. Fucking stellar. Season 3 finale might not be liked, but it has a lot to work with as a musical in terms of animation. They brought across how the talents being swapped with the personalities being mixed with the character they now belonged to. Pinkie acting as in season 1 as Pinkamena while singing in a southern accent while trying to behave like Applejack. And then the ascension scene itself. Again, despite the content itself and what it would do to the storytelling, it was pretty good. Season 4 hits that finale with a new villain model with a fairly terrifying powerset that rendered even Discord powerless, say Twilight get a ton of new powers, saw a new form for the ponies as vessels for the Elements, and a dragon ball z battle. As much as it was flashy and not substance, you can’t deny some catharsis when you saw Twilight be as powerful as she really should always be. Season 5 was a flop in terms of the battle itself, but they did work fleshing out some of those worlds with some detail and style. Each would was apparent not just to it being different by color aesthetics alone, but you could also readily tell who was in control just by looking at the details without even meeting who it was. Season 6 was disappointing in activity, all of the characters that we care about got taken out off screen. Fucking bullshit. But we did get something fairly unique out of it. A whole plot around the side characters. Animation was lacking, but they did actually reveal what the changeling hive was like. It is pretty damn bland, but it was on a lot of people’s minds. You can argue that it was never going to get action because of the nature of who was involved and clearly they want to move away from action. I guess season 4 really didn’t sit well with the executives that wanted this to be a girl show only.
Now we hit the animation for season 7. What can you even point to? All of the characters are fucking motionless except for Pinkie Pie, who does the insane movements of the wavy arm motion when saying magic, and squeezing a butt. Really pushing the bounds of the craft there. They animated the sirens… by recycling pretty much everything from Equestria Girls. The portal at the end was… a copy of the portal from the rest of the finale. The rainbow laser was… also a copy from season 4. The battle was… two laser pushing battles that lasted three seconds each, then a laser against a dome shield! Wow! The Pony of Shadows must have been hard to animate turning into a cloud and then flying up and disappearing into light. Well, I mean harder than animating every single pony literally just standing still. I guess the scene against the sirens was all the budget they had, where a rock was thrown, and the Egyptian flew in a couple of circles around the sirens.

Even season 8 and 9 beat this fucking season’s ass. Season 8 has a ball of magic suck that has hands that grabs school fillies… which is pretty weird on its own even in context. The mane six visit hell in that episode too. Literally, they go to Tartarus and you see a bunch of monster designs and animal fusions locked away. Still no battle, but there were some attempts to flesh out world building through details. Better than season 6 did as well. Season 9 had some battling. The best probably was Starlight versus Chrysalis. The villains blast apart a giant section of Catnerlot. There is a giant energy dome that characters collide against. There is some actual action and animation. I hated the ending, but nice animation effort. Still could have done more, but there was an attempt. What is season 7’s excuse? You have a shadow monster and no one lands a direct blow to it at any point. It doesn’t weave around a battle or simply absorb damage. We don’t get to see it even attack but four times total, one was a Gak attack, one was a Gak stab that blew up Ponehenge, and two instances of laser, one repeated twice against ponies and one against a dome shield. How fucking boring. What a waste of a villain. What a waste of design. What a waste of animation.

The comics are horrendous. Shadow Lock is a character in these extra-canonical stories that apparently is the descendant of Stygian who lives in a castle, implying status. Stygian was sent to Limbo, remember. This would mean one of three things: Stygian had a wife that was of the nobility and possibly had children that he abandoned for this whole misadventure of becoming evil, Stygian slept with some random mare and it just so happened that his descendants happened to obtain nobility, possibly through marriage, without a father that ditched them for ultimate power, or the final possibility is that Stygian is a rapist. The last one is far too dark to ever be canon, but this whole experience has been nothing but horrid retcons and terrible behavior. I would not be at all shocked if that explanation works for the timeline. The comics consider that town under siege that he was in to be his home, of which he is shown in the episode itself walking away from it. This can imply that he went through a divorce, was heading out to get some milk kids, or was banished from the town due to some crime.

Stygian is definitely mentally unstable, obsessed with fame and praise. He also wears the rags of a peasant. I doubt he married into nobility. Now, it is fully possible that Stygian’s descendant followed in his ancestor’s hoofsteps and killed the resident of the castle and clamed it for his own, but I am going to have to also assume that a dead noble that lived in a castle would set off a few alarms on his death and failure to interact with servants and the rest of the nobility. I believe it is painting the picture that Stygian’s line was noble at some point, to fit with the delusion the writers have that he deserves to be a prince. So, since he doesn’t have the time to be married to anypony of that standard, that means we have two options left. He slept with a random mare and through random chance and hard work apart from anything Stygian did, the family of literal noponies obtained nobility. This option is definitely possible, and also works for his apparent nomad existence that was being implied in the episode, whether it be the beginning of it or a glimpse into the regular. He definitely isn’t the type to be tied down to anything, seeing as he only cares about himself. It is possible that if he did live in this town, he wanted to bed some mare to feel a sense of worth as he planned to move on the next day. A sad route to take, but it matches the sad state he was in and how he nearly missed the siren attack.

Though it is possible that a pony from this sorry state might end up with enough power through hard work and Stygian leaving might have been consensual or something the mare wanted because he is such a loser, the actions of his descendant, Shadow Lock, paint a horrifying picture. Shadow Lock attacks Twilight’s library with a peculiar magic. He has the ability to erase the contents of books and thereby erasing the knowledge from the minds of all that obtained this knowledge from said book. What an odd ability to have. What is he attempting to purge from all knowledge? His ancestor. He claims that if he does not do this, he might be tempted to be corrupted as he was and fall to darkness.
Now, ask yourself. If you were of a decent social standing, not super high up there but still, and you learned a horrible truth, like the reason you are not of a higher standing is because you come from a line of bastards created through the rape of a noble woman, and you happened to have a magic power to undo the knowledge of this… is it a stretch that you would immediately use your power to keep yourself from knowing this horrid truth? But the emotional damage is already done, and you can’t even remember why, so you relearn and relearn the same information because of the nagging remnants of that damage are still in your head, and the truth is evident. But, you have the ability to make it stop existing in not just your mind, but in all the minds of Equestria, and you can be free of your curse and not become what your ancestor was… a monster in every sense of the word.

That might not be precisely what this comic is saying, but it certainly would explain how this gets started. Stygian has a chance of being a rapist. But, when would he have the time? Well, we know that he certainly didn’t seem to during the events after the sirens. It is possible he had a little time, but he was not recognized and probably would not be powerful enough to entrap a noble mare. He would have the strength after he powered up. We are not shown three things in the episode that gives him the time, the path to the well, the path back to the Pillars, and the fight with the Pillars. The path to the well is when he is still weak. I doubt he whipped by Canterlot and did anything to mares there. If he did, it is possible that he would have been caught as well. The path back does have some time and he is powered up, but his mind is focused on revenge, which would take him straight to those he hates. Naturally, I suspect that the fight with the Pillars lasted some time. Star Swirl knew of possible hiding locations Stygian might take. This would mean that they either battled him in those locations or they had evidence he was there. During this time, he has the potential to fly to any location and do any deed as the Pillars only just have enough power to slow him down. He can do whatever he wants to anypony.


Clearly, I am taking this just a bit far because I hate the character, but it is still fascinating that such an explanation does work at all. A fourth possibility that the writers don’t even seem to consider is that the guy isn’t related at all and only tricked himself into believing this as he might have tested his powers and forgot his actual lineage, filling in the blanks the best he knew how. Perhaps he is distant relations because his ancestor was his brother or something. There are logical explanations that don’t include rape. But if you had a character that wasn’t so scummy, I wouldn’t be considering this as an option at all for this non-canon comic anyway. It is like considering if Chrischan is a rapist. He might not be, but with everything we know about him, would it actually be a surprise?

Stygian is worst pony. I think I covered just about everything that makes him deplorable beyond what any other pony can provide. Trixie has fun scenes. Rainbow Dash is cute. Twilight has the entire first seasons to be good. Mudbriar still has no redeeming qualities but at least in universe asked to steal Maud. Even Starlight Glimmer in all of her always right, instant win bullshit she at least had to accept the redemption and build up a relationship with the cast to attempt to make up for her actions. Stygian is forced out of being evil, apologized to instead, and then instantly welcomed without a single other word. He doesn’t speak for the rest of the episode or the rest of the entire show. He is done. That was his story. There is no pony worse than Stygian.

Thank you for attending my PONEtalk. I hope it was at least interesting and valuable to know that any pony you like can never be worst pony. Unless you like Stygian. Then I suppose you are a bit screwed.
That's a lot man. I'll give it a read^^ but in chunks
Have read your first post now. Feel a bit a like it's hard to judge Stygian because of the reason you mention: Nothing makes sense. It just feels like, since everything is contrived and silly, you could make assumptions in any direction or any character's favor.

I'll continue reading tho. Maybe it becomes easier as times goes on and I do agree that season 7 finale did a number on the lore. I never liked how I felt they trivilized the elements of harmony to a spell that Star Swirl once cast.
My first post is very much an introduction. It does get a bit better as I go. If you don't grow to hate Stygian by the end, then I would have to assume there is something wrong with me. I can definitely clarify other points I make, but doing so now might spoil going through the rest if you have any interest in that.
On one hand I blame Hasbro (by extension or perhaps because of the forces above them) as twisting lessons and coherent storylines and plot points is too much effort to keep the milk mare milked to the bone.
On the other I still blame Hasbro, but Hasbro is an in universe entity seeking to undermine everything somewhat decent with less than effective methods.
>An evil mastermind plot, except it's a monkey mashing the script.
Stygian and the pillars represent the kind of spin that occurs to make an example about why it's totally okay to let bygones be bygones even at the expense of everyone else except for those that are supposed to be hated unilaterally.

>tineline is a fuck
It's very fucked.
Starswirl must be positively ancient.
However it also brings up a stange happening. It implies that the Princesses aren't that old or as stated Starswirl is really fucking old.
So at the time Luna and Celestia are at most a couple hundred years old after Pillar Ponies vanish and the bad guys show up.

Anyway Stygian is a pawn of a higher power (not canonically, but hinted at also Hasbro Hasjewing) but given all the evidence as given he's the essence of not a very good pony. (Writing failure. However it's also a case of believe what we tell you is the right action to take.)
As the pony who gets ponies who do heroic things together and maybe helps with planning and research him coveting power makes for as you've said a villainous backstory. It's all hamfisted to the audience doing this
>Well what's said and shown isn't what was meant...
>He's totally super good and misunderstood like that sparkleing vampire or any of that ilk.
>Like he basically owns the heros and their stuff so it's all good. He's totes hawt gimme dat powah sugah.
>But also this soft sensitive side to manipulate him with.
One could argue he's also easily manipulated, easily corruptible and totally innept at any kind of speaking, which is strange for his job description.
Have read this post now.
>Star Swirl actually has a spell in the season 3 finale that can augment the Elements of Harmony. Celestia says it was incomplete, but it could have never been started because there were no Elements in his time now.
Nice pick up. Yeah, that doesn't make a lot of sense now, huh?
>Star Swirl is painted as not understanding friendship
>Star Swirl simply agreed… with his friends…
>Your thoughts on limbo
> If it was the same instant, you would think he would know instantly where he was.
Instresting takes. I like them.
>On first watch, I thought she knew how to specifically target the Pillars for retrieval and it would be revealed that the Pony of Shadows wanted this to happen so he could take over Limbo with his power or some shit.
That's sounds like a better season finale, imo. That way the lore would be more safe and we'd have a new biome to add to Equestria.
>Star Swirl being released is the cause of concern. If Star Swirl is around, then the consequences would already be in motion unlike the scenario Twilight suggests.
Glad that you are enjoying the thread. I might have to break down some other episodes in the future.
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>Ok, rant time once again. The Elements of Harmony at this moment are dead.
I'm back to reading this btw.
>images r lewds of meadowmilf^^

I might have to make a follow up on the Elements as presented in the show as a whole and the Tree of Harmony, because information about them are spread out across a couple of different threads I have done. It might be nice to have it in one place and show how they changed their mind about them over the years.
Th-that's lewd.