Pony Thought of the Day: Second-Best Pony

I think it’s pretty clear from even a casual perusal of this blog that Fluttershy is my favorite; I’ve outright stated it several times. And practically any fan has a quick and ready answer for the “Best pony?” question.

But (and maybe I’m alone in this, or maybe it’s a common problem) picking my second-favorite is a lot harder. Pinkie makes me laugh. Twilight reminds me of myself (though in a different way from, and not as strongly as, Fluttershy). Rarity is interestingly complex, and Rainbow Dash is just awesome. About all I can say for certain is that Applejack isn’t my second-favorite; who actually is, though, depends on my mood.

0 thoughts on “Pony Thought of the Day: Second-Best Pony

  1. Applejack followed closely by Rarity. After that they're all about equal except for Rainbow Dash which I find I either love or wish she wasn't around. She's great in her own episodes, but as a background Pony she vexes me.

  2. Twilight is best pony, always. Well, I suppose that's “best princess” now. Which opens up the slot of best pony, and I'd say that bumps Fluttershy to best pony.

  3. The difference between ponies and horses is basically size. There are a few other differences, as explained here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse#Ponies, but in essence horses and ponies are different breeds of the same species, mainly distinguished by height and shape. Celestia shows that mature alicorns are significantly larger than grown ponies, and her ratios (slender legs instead of a pony's stubby ones) tie her closer to horses than ponies.

    Twilight gained a few centimeters when she became an alicorn, and Cadence is clearly at some stage of development between Twilight and Celestia, so we can expect that Twilight will eventually be Celestia's size and shape. That means Twilight is a young horse, and not a pony anymore.

  4. I disagree, precisely because horses are *different* breeds from ponies. You cannot be born a pony and grow into a horse.

    Also, the first episode has the Mare in the Moon described as a pony by one of Twilight's books, and then the Mayor refers to Celestia as a pony.

  5. First, an aside. I love the internet. Type “my little pony transcripts” and BAM! The entire series is up and transcribed. Crazy.

    Now, regarding your first point. Clearly, the change to alicorn was magical, not a natural stage of development. Unicorns don't naturally grow wings, pegasi don't naturally grow horns, and earth ponies don't naturally grow either. Else Granny Smith would be an alicorn already.

    It'd be like arguing that if a witch turns you into a newt, you remain a human because humans can't grow into newts. Given magic, new rules apply. Twilight became an alicorn after careful grooming by Celestia, and mastering a spell that not even Starswirl was able to complete.

    As for the second, those are in-universe and can be mistaken. The creation myth in the beginning calls Celestia and Luna 'unicorns', despite them clearly having wings and alicorn being an in-universe term (if I remember correctly).

    As for the Mayor, I'll concede that Equestrian must not even have the word “horse”, except for gags. By that standard, every equine is a pony. On the other hand, pony has little descriptive meaning, and is used more to mean person than “adorable tiny horse”. This is evidenced by the fact that they refer to earth ponies as 'earth' ponies. It should be enough to call them ponies, unicorns and pegasi, but since pony has the added meaning of “person”, they have to clarify.

    Thus, since the word means “equine person”, it makes sense for the mayor to call Celestia a pony, even if in English she'd be a horse. Also, pony sounds nicer than horse.

    In closing, Celestia's design is distinct enough from the smaller ponies' types to qualify her as something different. Her proportions are closer to that of a full grown horse than those of a pony. If you showed her side by side with the others, someone who didn't know the show would probably call her a horse and the rest ponies. So while the Equestrian term pony might be broad enough to include princesses, pegasi, unicorns and earth ponies, I stand by the position that “best princess” is a distinct category from “best pony”, with no overlap.

    I will concede that this is a matter of taste rather than an objective definition.

  6. I have actually sat and thought about my pony preferences and keep going back and forth. Fluttershy's utter adorableness generally keeps her at the top of my list of favorites. I am so much like Twilight – academic, socially awkward and nerdy – that she's almost always my Number Two. The main difference is that I feel fiercely protective of Fluttershy in a big-brotherish sort of way, whereas Twilight can always figure out how to take care of herself eventually.

    As time and episodes have gone by, my regard for Rarity has steadily increased. She is a very complex character, moreso even than Twilight, and as such is genuinely interesting and a character about whom I wish to know more.

    I also admire Applejack more and more over time. She's not terribly complex but I find her to be immensely likable because she knows exactly who she is.

    Rainbow Dash has grown the most in the last season. “Wonderbolt Academy” and “Sleepless in Ponyville” made her much more likable. She will always be brash and cocky, that's who she is, but I found much more to like in Dashie after those two episodes. She doesn't need to be a softie, but having a soft side and a sense of honor really added depth to her character.

    Pinkie is a force of nature. IRL a Pinkie would drive me nuts in minutes, but I would miss her so much if she disappeared from FiM. Her irrepressible joyousness and optimism always raise my spirits when I am feeling mopey.

    If I were to rank the Mane Six on a 1-100 scale they would all score 90+ though.

  7. Hmm, at least five of them would score 90+ for me. Applejack would depend on whether I'm rating her as a person or as a character. As a person she seems really nice, somebody who'd make a very good friend, although she and I have basically nothing in common. As a character I find her deathly dull.

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