Prepare yourself, Ponies are coming.

This is my fall season height. My little pony, Friendship is Magic. Unfortunately, there are no subtitles, so I’ll summarize.

Princess Celestia has summoned Twilight Sparkle, ostensibly for a test of what she knows, but really because a powerful magical land called the Crystal Empire has returned. Their King, Sombra the Dreaded, enslaved the empire one thousand years ago, forcing the ponies of the Crystal Empire to be his slaves, until Princesses Celestia and Luna turned him to shadow and banished him, but not before he caused the kingdom to disappear, frozen for one thousand years.

Something that MLP hints at is the baddassness of the Princesses and the world metaphorically a thousand years ago. To date, they’ve had to fight: Nightmare Moon, Discord, Sombra, windigos and the ordering of the world and masteries of gravity and the very sun and moon themselves. That’s kinda cool. I hope that they reveal more later (they will)

Twilight takes her friends (Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and her faithful dragon-servant/son Spike) up north to where the Crystal Empire once resided. Apparently the Princesses Celestia and Luna planned for this and have railroads to the area. Shining Armor, Twilight Sparkle’s brother and captain of the Royal Guard, meet them in transit, leading them to the site. HOWEVER, the specter of King Sombra has survived the thousand years and grown in power. Shining Armor is forced to stay behind and fight him. He is no match, but escapes. Sombra, however, is able to curse his horn, denying him the ability to do magic.

Shining Armor gets a tough spot in this show. He is clearly fearless and powerful, but he is constantly overpowered by the villain du-jour. I sort of view him as a marine commodore in One Piece, much more powerful than the average pirate/pony, but severely outclassed by the sheer fact he is an active character in a world of baddass. He serves two all-but-literal goddesses, has a sister who is one of the greatest magical prodigies and his wife literally controls love. Also, as a side character he is forced out of the limelight, something I hope that is later fixed. I wonder what sort of adventures he went through to become captain of the guard.

They arrive at the capitol of the Empire and go to the throne room, where Cadence is keeping out the shade of Sombra with her love powers. Due to her exhaustive state, and her needing Shining to support her, she cannot investigate a more permanent solution. She sends Twilight Sparkle and friends out to investigate. The influence of Sombra prevents the citizens of the Empire from remembering anything. They go to the library, where they find the history of the Crystal Empire, and the festival of the Crystal Fair.

Princess Cadence is another pony that shows up, but is usually kept from the spotlight due to various reasons. She is easily a match for Shining, as they are both barrier magicians of incredible power. Love is like Nuclear power in the MLP:FIM universe, and she’s the USSR and USA during the Cold War.

They prepare for the Crystal fair, but unfortunately, they’ve lost the most important part! The crystal heart was a powerful magical item the Crystal Ponies gave love to and in turn it protected them. Sombra destroyed as much knowledge as he could, but could not erase all their memories. But while this was happening, Cadence faints from exhaustion, allowing King Sombra to assault the Crystal Empire with renewed strength. He surrounds the city. He is stopped, but is able to get a piece of his horn through the shield, spreading his corruption.

Twilight and friends are told that the Crystal Heart was an actual object of power, rather than a symbol. Twilight realizes that the dread power of king Sombra is hiding the Crystal heart and goes to his seat of power, the throne room. She reveals a stairway and a door at the bottom. The door reveals the worst fears she has. Princess Celestia denying her as a student and failing her. Spike looks and sees Twilight sending him away for no reason. They break through and using the power of love get to the Crystal stair, with the Crystal heart at top.

King Sombra is an interesting villain. He’s quite competent, and is only really losing because Spike and Twilight Sparkle are working together. It also is implied that the princesses essentially overwhelmed him with power, rather than more subtle means of warfare. His traps are devious and he’s always moving forward in some manner. His horn shard corrupts the ground around it, then it grows to serve as a passageway into the Crystal Empire city itself.

Twilight Discovers the Crystal heart, but unfortunately triggers the traps that King Sombra set up millenia past. Spike is told to take the Crystal heart to Cadence.

Cadence, no longer able to take the strain, runs out of magic. King Sombra takes advantage and immediately moves in to begin corrupting the ponies and the Crystal Empire once more. Spike is able to escape the tower, but King Sombra knocks him off and moves in to take the heart and kill Spike. Cadence, bolstered by Shining armor and the appearance of the Crystal Heart, is able to find the strength to catch Spike and the heart and place it in its pedestal, restoring love and power to the city and smashing King Sombra for good, leaving only a little of his horn.

Peace and love restored to the Crystal Empire, an aurora borealis is sent out to announce its return and help restore order to the world. Twilight and co leave for Canterlot, where Twilight is praised by Celestia for her work.

GREAT EPISODE. Oh my goodness yes. It had everything a show needs for greatness. Plot, sacrifice, a despicable villain and plenty of magic. 4/3 and I hope that they keep up this quality.

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