I really, REALLY want there to be an exploration into other countries in Season 4, namely the Changeling and Griffin Kingdoms. I'd love for Changelings to appear again, especially if the episode will be based on the improving on foreign relations, bringing about peace. Sorry, but if Celestia is so willing to give Discord a second chance, then her willing to repair relations with Changelings is not in the realm of the impossible. I can imagine an episode based on an early episode of Young Justice, where like the North and South Korea based countries, the Changeling Kingdom and Equestria's leaders gather at a peace summit to try and work out peace, with who else being the arbitrator (in Young Justice, Lex Luthor) than Discord.
Or alternatively, the episode could focus around racism/speciesm. Whilst it is true that in season 2, we had an episode based around racism, the 'Hearth's Warming Eve' episode between the different races of pony. However, what the show could then do is take it to a new level and actually deal with relations with an entirely different species. As far as we've seen, a lot of species we've seen outside of ponies are EVIIIL, be they dragons (with the only real notable exception being Spike), diamond dogs, or changelings. It would do a world of good if the show dedicated an episode to how some, or better yet, many members of these 'EVIIIL' species are actually good people and are not uniformly bad. True, some species are kind of set up to come across as evil, but one of the big messages of this show is on love and tolerance, so one of the best examples of that is having the Mane Six realize that 'hey, maybe it's wrong to write off every single one of these guys we hardly know as an 'evil jerk'. They are people, with lives and their own family and loved ones and are, in many ways, like us'. The species that this could very well be done with is the Changelings, mostly because they are the species that are most set up as uniformly evil and thus would make it more interesting and compelling than say, the Diamond Dogs.
• It also allows the Mane Six to be portrayed as more sympathetic in their distrust and NOT as blind, ignorant bigots as is the case in many fanfictions on this issue, because unlike the incident with Zecora (which was not them being speciesist per say, more fear of the unknown), which was based more on ignorance than hatred, they have more of a founded reason to see all Changelings as the enemy; an army of them, led by their Queen, invaded their country! Unlike Zecora and the different races of pony, there is a solid reason for which they are actively expected to not like Changelings. It does not justify their prejudice entirely, but it makes the audience sympathies and understand them more. No one side is entirely in the wrong.
• The Mane Six, in the end, would come to understand that Chrysalis' army is not representative of every single Changeling and that it is wrong to paint all Changelings as their 'enemy'. That they are people, with lives and their own family and loved ones (on a side note, this is why I do not support the hive-mind idea that some fans endorse, because it mostly takes away the opportunity to show Changelings as individual characters). They (the Changelings) are like them (the Mane Six and ponies in general) in many ways.
• Their kingdom and culture and society could be revealed to based off that of similarities to Oriental cultures, like Japan and Korea, the rationale for this mainly how Chrysalis' designer, Rebecca Dart was inspired by the work of manga artists Junko Mizuno and Hideshi Hino. Therefore, if we see the Changeling Kingdom in the show it can potentially enable the show writers and animators to explore some East Asian art, architecture and culture. And picture this: Changeling Samurais!
• It has many ways in which the episode could be played out:
o The Mane Six are stranded in an isolated area with a group or family of Changelings.
o The Mane Six find themselves trapped in the Changeling Kingdom and disguise themselves/They are sent to the Changeling Kingdom as spies and go undercover. Either way, they then get an understanding of what the Changelings' lives are like, and how privileged ponies are in Equestria in comparison to a Changeling's daily hardship and squalor.
o The familiar scenario of them finding a Changeling baby and have to return it to its family, as examined in detail below. The twist? It's Chrysalis baby! How're they gonna get themselves out of that one, especially as Chrysalis believes they kidnapped her baby?
o Equestria and the Changeling Kingdom go to, or are at the brink of war.
This sort of thing relates to real life in ways a lot of us may not realize. We often associate entire certain nationalities or groups of people as our enemies because of what their leaders (past or present), ancestors or a select minority of them have done, when in reality, many of them have done nothing to antagonize us and could otherwise be our friends.
Edited by Magic Man, 16 February 2013 - 04:50 PM.