View Single Post
Old 11-05-2014, 03:16 PM   #1954
Talon87
Shenmue III, baby!
 
Talon87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
Posts: 20,160
Send a message via AIM to Talon87
Devouring Season 04 too quickly, so I need to write up some posts before I get too far along.

Season 04 Episodes 01 & 02:

Spoiler: show
I thought the first 95% or so of Episode 01 was fine but not terribly entertaining. I disliked the final 5% or so, where it's revealed that Luna has reverted to Nightmare Moon. This just felt like an enormous step backwards and--

Wait, what? You mean she didn't turn back into Nightmare Moon? That that was all a flashback, just as many fans had speculated/hoped it would be back when we first saw the sneak peek of this scene? Well that's a relief.

I'm not a big fan of Discord or the role he now plays in the series, but I like John de Lancie and think that if Discord hadn't been named "Discord" but rather "Q" and hadn't been established to be "the god of chaos" but rather "a mischievous but ultimately well-meaning entity with god-like powers" then I wouldn't mind him so much.

I wasn't a big fan of writing the Elements of Harmony out of the series, but I wasn't a big fan of their "Oh gag me " forced inclusion in so many episodes either. So it's a mixed bag for me that they're gone now and Twilight & Co. will have to find replacement gems/keys/whatever over the course of the season.

I do like though that the girls have a clear objective that will span the season.

I also love Princess Twilight. <3 So, so glad she did indeed end up being a latent alicorn.

Season 04 Episode 03:

Spoiler: show
This was a really enjoyable episode, but for me the main draw was an anticipation that ended up going unanswered: whether Twilight would make this castle her new royal home or not. It definitely felt like that was where the episode was going early on. I mean ...
  • Twilight can't very well have the Ponyville library be her castle.
  • As a princess, she "needs" a castle.
  • The abandoned castle was set up as being Twilight's dream haunt, what with the enormous library it has that is filled to the rafters with ancient books, many of which she's never seen before.
  • Since the castle's abandoned, that means no one else is using it. So she can move right in so long as no one minds.
  • And the castle's previous occupants were none other than Celestia and Luna, both of whom would be more than happy to give Twilight permission to make the castle her new royal home.
But the episode soon gets distracted by a fun Halloween-style episode where we get to see Rarity & Fluttershy, Applejack & Rainbow Dash, Twilight & Spike, and finally Pinkie Pie all having their own adventures within the enormous spooky castle. It was fun though, so I mean, don't get me wrong: I enjoyed the episode. I just had hoped we'd see a bit more emphasis on Princess Twilight's royal future.

One thing I wasn't too too crazy about, but I guess I've learned to accept it as newcanon™, is the introduced idea that Canterlot wasn't the capital back when Celestia and Luna were kids. I dunno, it just feels weird to me that ...
  1. ... Celestia would have created a Camelot-esque capital if she were really as depressed as she now says she was during this time when Luna was imprisoned on the Moon
  2. ... Luna would call Canterlot home after being liberated from the Moon even though as far as she's concerned it's a brand-new city with absolutely no personal history, no emotional attachments, etc.
I guess you can argue that for both women their original home brings up too many painful memories of Luna's transformation into Nightmare Moon? But I dunno. It just felt like this whole "The Castle of the Two Sisters" angle was sprung on us from out of nowhere just to justify why an abandoned castle would conveniently be located right next to Ponyville.

Flipping things back around though, one thing I did like about all this -- really like, in fact -- was the attention that was constantly called to the fact that it's been a thousand years since Celestia's battle with Nightmare Moon. It's easy for us to forget sometimes that Celestia is so long-lived. She looks and sounds so young, so strong still, like she's the alicorn equivalent of a human woman in her late 30s to very early 40s. When you consider that it's been a thousand years since the battle, it makes so much sense that:
  • names would have changed since then. For example, the castle probably went by a different name a thousand years ago but over the centuries it came to be known by Equestrians as "the Castle of the Two Sisters".
  • fortunes would have risen and fallen. For example, there was presumably a capital city there about as magnificent and developed as Canterlot, but after a thousand years all that remains are some ruins, a wild forest, and untamed land. So you get the early settlers of Ponyville's who founded the city several generations/centuries ago, Granny Smith's grandparents or great-grandparents, and it's allowed to make sense why they'd arrive and neither have memory of nor bear witness to the fact that this was once where the capital of Equestria was located.
It reminds me a lot of actual Chinese history, with how every time the capital was moved from Chang'an to Luoyang the one city would transform from farm village to bustling imperial city while the other would tumble from resplendent city to fallen-off-the-map wilderness, with how today neither city is anything at all like they were at their respective dynastic peaks because (not counting super-brief stints in the early 20th century) neither has been the national capital in over 500 years. It's crazy to think that 500 years is enough time for a city like London or Paris to transform into the boonies, but China shows us that that's precisely the case. So yeah: I'm able to accept the idea of this castle in the woods a lot better thanks to the episode's frequent reminders that Celestia's battle with Nightmare Moon was a thousand years ago.
Talon87 is offline   Reply With Quote