Twilight's Kingdom Part 1 & 2 (May 10th 2014 2 x 22 minutes)
A lot of 'official' stuff is taking place in the Crystal Empire this season. This brings up three possibilities, the most obvious being it's just a coincidence and we're simply not seeing all the important political happening in Canterlot. However, it's also possible that Celestia is very deliberately pushing the political focus to the Crystal Empire, either to speed up their social re-integration with the rest of Equestria, or less likely because the Crystal Empire is officially over Equestria in the hierarchy of nations.
Duke and Duchess of Maretonia. And... court? These are the four oddly (and overly) dressed ponies from the Royal Box in the previous episode. They're being presented as foreign dignitaries, complete with their own gonfalon banner, which Twilight unfurls over the Crystal Palace? That's odd protocol. Normally you would see a bannerman carrying a smaller version of the banner *backing* the foreign dignitaries as they approach. Putting that banner on the Palace gives off really strange signals. Unless Maretonia was once part of the Crystal Empire, and this is all to re-establish that Maretonia is now back under Imperial protection.
With a closer look at the mare I couldn't see very well previously, she's depicted as old as paramilitary stallion that's part of the court. Which might mean the elder pair are the prior Duke and/or Duchess, who abdicated in favor of their child due to their age. It's not exactly common, but abdicating due to infirmity did happen. Or they are the Duke/Duchess's parents, whichever one married into the rank. Or a combination, and they're not a couple in and of themselves.
Twilight's crown has changed. I would have thought they would of duplicated the old tiara for consistency, even after giving it back to the tree.
So Celestia also has a premonition system, which explains some of her rather odd behavior sometimes.
We see Scorpan and Tirek in conjunction with Starswirl the Bearded, being described as a 'young unicorn wizard'. Which places this... when? It's being referred to as Equestrian Magic, but that may not refer to Equestria as a nation, but Equestrian as in a group name for all the pony races combined. Equestria as such could be named *after* this group name, rather than the group name descending from the name of the kingdom. So this could be before the Hearth's Warming Eve story, where Starswirl had an apprentice? Or are we dealing the Celestia 'anyone who hasn't reached a millennia is 'young' to me' point of view?
With Celestia and Luna together and in power. Which places this story before the Nightmare Moon incident, but after the Discordian era? Which now makes the Hearth's Warming Eve story weird, unless there is something seriously up with Starswirl. I really need to get caught up on the comics, and I'm under the impression that Starswirl is referred to in one of the arcs I haven't read yet. I've almost accumulated enough stuff for Starswirl to add up to a new Worldbuilding article for my other blog.
Wow, backreference. Interesting.
This is the first time we've seen Celestia turn to someone *other* than Twilight. Huh.
Okay, Tirek recognized Discord as if by description, but Discord didn't necessarily recognize Tirek. That's interesting. Likely that means Discord was stoned before Tirek arrived on scene. Which still makes Starswirl *really weird*, if he was around after Discord, yet before the founding of Equestria.
Wait, with no pegasi there will be no rain in Equestria? I know they guided the weather, but natural weather still occurs in places like the Everfree forest. Unless Equestria is naturally a desert?
And Earth pony 'strength' is necessary to tend the land. Hrmmmm.
And Alicorn magic is in some way separate from Unicorn/Pegasis/Earth Pony magic.
But he's aware of a third one? He knows about Cadance, but not Twilight?
Oh for pity's sake, Celestia. Every time you hamstring Twilight with this 'you must do it alone' stuff, it goes wrong.
And the three of them know how to pass their power onto Twilight? I assume they much have consulted on this before Twilight showed up, or that's impressive to just 'know' how to do it.
... Luna's cutie-mark is does not include the dark splotches on her flank. Those are actual coat color variations, like the markings Pipsqueak has. Luna is a Pinto.
While they all appear tired with their magic drained, there are several references to Tirek ruling after all this. So the removal of magic is not considered 'lethal'.
Okay, here's something interesting. Discord's magic is also drainable. It has a completely different visual representation, and once drained Discord still looks like Discord, and for that matter still exists. So he's not truly an embodiment of Chaos Magic, as his physical form would likely fall apart if all his magic was drained. He's still a living creature, just with a very different, and very strong, magical signature.
Tirek now seems to be able to track Twilight to some extent. I wonder if that's Discord's magic.
Impasse. Which means the magic of four Alicorns is equivalent to magic of all the other ponies in Equestria + Discord... and whatever innate power Tirek had originally. Or, more likely there is a practical limit to how much magic can be 'leveraged' at any given time, and both Twilight and Tirek are at that limit. One or the other could technically be 'stronger', but can't put that excess magic into play in a useful way.
Tirek is a dick to trees.
And here's the other G1 reference, outside of Tirek. The Rainbow of Light, which is what defeated Tirek in G1.
Oh lord those designs are silly looking. I hope they rethink those if they use this Rainbow Connection next season.
And finally that 'official' map that Hasbro put out a long time ago is seen as the actual continent. Unfortunately. I was hoping that the map was meant to be stylized, and not actualized. The travel times and distances between places in Equestria are all messed up.