Naming Fluttershy's Parents, Trixie's Mom, and the Sphinx

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@Exhumed Legume


Placeholders, and also kind of plotholes. Or logic problems, whatever you want to call these weird things that are a bit too hard to believe when you think about it. Things not meant to be taken too seriously.

The show isn’t perfect. There’s some logical problems here and there, like I said with the cutiemark thing. It may be a cartoon world with magical talking rainbow unicorns, but I still find it hard to believe that so many ponies are given names at birth that coincidentally will have at least something to do with their purpose in life that they discover later. Even if it isn’t true for all of them.

Some things in the show are more within the realm of believability, like Applejack. She came from a family of apple farmers, so okay, it was a lucky guess. Lyra Heartstrings though? How did her parents guess that their baby filly would grow up to be interested in this instrument? How did Snails’s parents know their baby was going to have a thing for snails?

Actually that old one’s a bit mean because it’s kind of a joke about his mental capacity
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@Mildgyth

A logical explanation, but as far as I can remember, we have seen no reference to this cultural phenomenon and it is only reasonable to assume that this is not canon.
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@Goddess Erosia

That’s not correct. While they don’t work together directly (DHX writers and IDW writers don’t sit in a meeting room to discuss and to line up the respective episodes and comic issues together), it was said by someone from IDW a while ago that there is a story consultant from Hasbro whose job it is to ensure that the plot of the show, the official comics and the official books fit together and don’t contradict each other. MLP: FiM isn’t simply outsourced to IDW and then they can do whatever they want with it. They still need to adhere to the all-inclusive G4 canon.
I can’t recall where I’ve seen this statement and who made it and I didn’t screenshot it for some reason. But you can see it very directly in the comics themselves, too.
It’s strange that this still has to be a matter of discussion, after the Season 7 tie-in rendered the entire argument of comic canon deniers meaningless, but I’m ignoring that for a moment now.
References to the official comics have been made before Season 7 came around. The #1 ultimate argument of comic canon deniers was always that the comics can reference the show, but that the show never references the comics, which they used as a way to say that there is only a one-sided connection. That didn’t make sense to begin with already, if the official comics are able to display or reference events from the show it’s obvious that these events happened in the same universe and continuity, but it got ditched completely when Season 6 came around.
Two things that have been famously introduced by the official comics were the game "Ogres and Oubliettes" and that Applebloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle are members of the filly guides. We’ve seen that in the official comics first. And nothing ever indicated that the show could bring that up, which fit to the argument of the comic canon deniers.
But then Season 6 came and "28 Pranks Later" aired and, big surprise, we did see Applebloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle as filly guides in that episode, for the first time ever in the show:





Two episodes later then, "Dungeons & Discords" was an entire episode about Ogres and Oubliettes.

It’s also important to keep remembering the origins of how it came to be that the official comics got the reputation of not being canon. The only reason this happened was because the second arc of the official comics was interpreted as a contradiction by its readers, when they saw that Nightmare Moon returned from the moon and took Rarity. They were thinking this meant that the comics portrayed Nightmare Moon as a monster from the moon, rather than a being created by Luna’s mind, since the Nightmare Moon in that arc didn’t come out of Luna, while they actually overlooked a plot point.
It was in another arc of the official comics, one that ironically came out in 2016 as well, that it was proven that the official comics didn’t contradict the show there, as they showed that Nightmare Moon was still in Luna’s body.
Luna got soaked with cursed water and, while that same water has simply turned the Mane Six evil before, it freed Nightmare Moon and let her take control of Luna again.
There isn’t any ground to stand on for comic canon deniers if the same comics that they accused of contradicting Nightmare Moon’s origins portray her origin in the same way as the show did.

The bottom line of that is, the belief that the official comics aren’t canon, or, that the show could overrule them and render them non-canon only came to be because of the misinterpretations of the second arc by people who didn’t pay enough attention to it.
The only reason why there are still so many people clinging to that belief is because they have a hard time letting go of it and accepting that they were in the wrong all along and therefore refuse to do that. It’s so ingrained in the fandom’s collective consciousness by now, that it’s hard to get rid of that belief.
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@CMC Scootaloo

The thing with the whole "Nightmare Forces" thing is that Luna says near the end of that arc that she was pretty much lying about the Nightmare Forces having always been a separate entity and that they had always been a part of her that got separated from her somehow. But there were a few parts of that storyline that weren’t exactly clear, and the writer of the arc even said herself that she could’ve made it a little clearer. So it’s not EXACTLY a contradiction, more just that it had some semi-confusing parts that made it SEEM like a contradiction at the time, only for us to later learn that at the very least it wasn’t intended to be one, and later storylines in the comics made steps to correct this.

On the other hand, the season 9 premiere pretty blatantly contradicted what the comics did with King Sombra. But that was likely because when those comics were written, the show staff didn’t have any plans to bring back Sombra.

But really, the easiest way to reconcile it is to just consider the comics an alternate universe that aren’t non-canon, just a separate continuity. Like how there are various different continuities based off of the G1 Transformers characters, but none of them are "non-canon".
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@Goddess Erosia

"It may be a cartoon world with magical talking rainbow unicorns, but I still find it hard to believe that so many ponies are given names at birth that coincidentally will have at least something to do with their purpose in life that they discover later."

"Lyra Heartstrings though? How did her parents guess that their baby filly would grow up to be interested in this instrument? How did Snails’s parents know their baby was going to have a thing for snails?"


For those who reside outside of Equestria, griffons, yaks and even the fabled humans of another world, pony naming culture has always been a mystery. Little it is known in those other lands and kingdoms that, in most cases, the parents do not simply choose a name for their newborn foal. Three days after the birth of the foal, the parents take their newborn baby and undergo a journey to meet the immortal oracle, to receive a look into the future and learn about their foal’s special talent and the cutie mark it will result in.
They name their foal after what they have seen in this vision of the future, however, they keep the special talent a secret from their foal at all times, as only self-discovery will let their foal grow up properly, and learning the truth from their parents without putting their own effort into discovering it would be detrimental for the independence and self-reliance of foals.




How about that? What you describe isn’t a plothole (= bad), it is a plot ambiguity (= good), something that simply doesn’t get explained in the show, either because there is not a pressing need for it, because there is no time for it and the creators have to set priorities or because the creators wanted to leave it up to the audience to come up with explanations and theories on their own.
And it’s not a flaw either. Pretty much every show out there has things that never get explained and, very often, this is done intentionally and on purpose, to give the audience room for imagination and to motivate them to do thoughts about the show they watch. That’s the main thing that keeps fandoms in general alive, finding answers to the unanswered questions. And My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has a ton of plot ambiguities.
That so many in our fandom shrug these off as plotholes or as plot inconsistencies in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, while most members of other fandoms sit down and seriously analyze their shows, is actually a pretty pathetic display by our fandom.
We might be the most creative and active fandom in existence fanwork-wise, but when it’s about watching the show, there is a scary lack of imagination in the brony fandom. There are only very few who actually think deep about Equestria, about its lore and its culture.
And those who do usually get shamed for doing that, because the majority without any imagination feels entitled to tell them it’s ridiculous to do that because, in their minds, there is no answer to find anyway, which sometimes stops people from doing such deep thinking because they start to feel ashamed after they got ridiculed like that.
Which means there is also a vicious cycle here.
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@Jarkes

"The thing with the whole "Nightmare Forces" thing is that Luna says near the end of that arc that she was pretty much lying about the Nightmare Forces having always been a separate entity and that they had always been a part of her that got separated from her somehow."

That’s the thing. That is the thing, the one statement by Luna that is the reason why I defend the canon status of this arc, and the official comics in general, so furiously.
I can’t see what anyone would find confusing about this arc, but I’m baffled how this one statement was so persistently ignored by nearly everyone, and how it’s still ignored by many even today.
It’s almost like certain people in the fandom want the official comics to be non-canon.


"On the other hand, the season 9 premiere pretty blatantly contradicted what the comics did with King Sombra."

I knew everyone would say that the moment I saw the Season 9 Teaser. As someone who was always aware of it that the show and the comics don’t contradict each other, I immediately figured this won’t happen this time either and that there will be some explanation for all this that brings the events in line with the comics.
First I wrote one analyzis, which I won’t link here because I had to base it off the teaser and the trailer alone and it has since become rendered wrong by the Season 9 Opener, and then I wrote this:

ʺThe Beginning of the Endʺ Review/Analysis/Prediction: Why Season 9 will have the Greatest Ruse in Equestrian History!

Derived and analyzed from implications that were, at least to me, rather obvious. TL;DR is: Sombra isn’t evil at all and he’s in on a plan by Celestia and Luna to test Twilight and her friends by playing villain and pretending to be evil.

Now I don’t know if the rabbit hole will go so deep here that we see Sombra openly admitting to everything and dropping the mask and that we will see Radiant Hope appearing in the show (but really hope for that) and the confirmation might be a very subtle one, but all of these hints combined speak a very clear language.
There’s also still one other possibility, if it were to turn out that Sombra isn’t part of that plan, but I’m keeping that under wraps for now as everything points to the observations I’ve made being true, so far.
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@CMC Scootaloo
It’s not a reference to the comics though. That design appeared in the show first.

When asked about the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ "girl scout" uniforms in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #24 on the Round Stable forums, IDW comics artist Brenda Hickey replied, "that was in [Jeremy Whitley’s] script. Since they had a girl scout design in the show, I just lifted that."[4]

About the game, IDW version is called Oubliettes and Ogres, while in the show they’re called Ogres and Oubliettes.
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@CMC Scootaloo

I don’t have the image off hand but I do remember someone screencapping one of the IDW writers who said him/herself that the comics are canon until the show does something to directly state a story is different. So because of that, that is the status I am assuming they actually are in. Canon until someone says they aren’t. So far little if anything has been directly called out as "wrong" by the show so that means by default it’s all canon. I’m not a comic denier.

@CMC Scootaloo
@Goddess Erosia

[a bunch of lore]>>>

How about that? What you describe isn’t a plothole (= bad), it is a plot ambiguity (= good), something that simply doesn’t get explained in the show, either because there is not a pressing need for it, because there is no time for it and the creators have to set priorities or because the creators wanted to leave it up to the audience to come up with explanations and theories on their own.



Ueeeeuuhhhhh…..

What you gave is a possible lore explanation yes, and I would buy this among other explanations if they are given to us officially, but something about this suggestion rubs me the wrong way.

I never said it was IMPOSSIBLE to explain the thing I was talking about, I was saying there /wasn’t/ an explanation given and the point I was trying to make was that /this show shouldn’t be taken so seriously./ There’s plenty of things in this show that can be iffy if people over-analyze it, right down to the behavior of the main characters in some episodes. That’s too off topic to get into here though.

As for plot ambiguity…. I generally don’t tend to like this as a defense. Of course it has its uses – it has a lot of proper uses, actually, and it’s a very common tool. But like all tools, it can be abused. I’ve seen a lot of pretentious, egotistical directors and authors hide behind this shield because it’s easy to slap a bunch of shit that doesn’t make sense onto a wall but make it sound like it’s intentionally "deep" or something.

Honestly after nine seasons, if there was a good explanation they had for the cutiemark/name thing, they would have had at least one throwaway-line by now. Since they haven’t this takes me back to my original point – the concept of the show and its world just isn’t meant to be taken that seriously. We can write fanfics and headcanons to explain things that were left unspoken, but that’s our own thing. And since the topic we’re talking about is such a weird logical problem, I don’t think it’s fair to say it’s just "clever plot ambiguity", this particular topic doesn’t seem like a proper use for that for so long since it may be a background element but it’s also weirdly in the core of the basic concept of their world. Maybe for the first few seasons, but the show’s almost over and not even the comic has touched on this weird phenomenon as far as I know.



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@Goddess Erosia

You don’t need to "buy" anything. It is plot ambiguity and supposed to be like that. Pretty much every other show does the same and their fandoms don’t say "Our show isn’t supposed to be taken serious". It’s only our fandom that is weird like that.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is supposed to be taken seriously as much as any other show is.
Saying otherwise is insulting and nothing but an excuse by people who can’t or don’t want to look into it deeply. This fandom and its condescending, even downright discriminatory, view of MLP: FiM is the problem, not the show.
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Did those names (Velvet and Night Light) even used in the show?


They’ve never been named in-show, but their first speaking appearance had them credited as "Mr./Mrs. Sparkle", while their next speaking appearance (Once Upon A Zeppelin) had them credited as "Twilight Velvet/Night Light".
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@Jarkes
the easiest way to reconcile it is to just consider the comics an alternate universe that aren’t non-canon, just a separate continuity

This is so unambiguously the correct way to go about it that it throws a huge spotlight on the real motivation behind the ones who scream the loudest about ~~non-canon~~ instead of just sticking with the continuity they like best. Hasbro has been doing this since 1984-85 when the Transformers and GI Joe cartoons came out and were clearly based in completely different continuities from their respective comics.

@orbsah
So, both names came from the end credits

I’d say getting named in the credits is good enough for site tags, but should still be understood to be secondary canon given how often the credits have misspelled names like Princess Cadance and Big Macintosh and Appleloosa. They even get actors’ names wrong on occasion.
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it throws a huge spotlight on the real motivation behind the ones who scream the loudest about ~~non-canon~~ instead of just sticking with the continuity they like best.


Crap like this is why you’re not allowed to post in the unpopular opinion thread any more. Maybe instead of assuming the worst about people who have different ideas about these things, you should just learn to accept that not everyone will agree with your subjective position on this, and quit constantly whining about it.
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