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Back in Season 3, the notion of a Dragon Code was brought up by Spike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOYF2DWit-8 Pretty intense stuff. But at the time, it was safe to assume the Dragon Code was Spike's way of understanding and expressing his identity as a dragon. Now however with Gauntlet of Fire, we the Dragon Code isn't a code of conduct limited to Spike. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU0KOjVNQno Dragon Lord Torch, the ruler over all Dragons, at least in Equestria, is undoubtedly well-respected and powerful, perhaps strong enough to go head on with Celestia and Tirek. Despite his power, status, and seeming ruthlessness however, Lord Torch willingly steps down from his throne in accordance with the Dragon Law. Now it may be argued that Lord Torch is an aging dragon, and he would not have been able to retain his throne had he chose not to step down. However, Lord Torch makes every indication that but for the law, he could still retain his throne, even if it meant fighting other dragons to do so. Thankfully, we don't see that. We also see here however that dragons do indeed adhere to not just a rule of law, but a code of honor. Again Lord Torch, albeit at Princess Ember's behest in part, allows Spike to leave, even when he very well could have forced him to compete or as he puts it "squish him with his pinkie claw." For Princess Ember's credit as well, she stood up for Spike when she neither knew him nor had any obligation to help him. For his help collaborating with Ember to win the Gauntlet, she in turn saves Spike against Garble, even when she could have very well went for the Bloodstone Scepter and claimed the title of Dragon Lord. Of course we also see spike's heroism and honor when he willingly jeopardizes his own life to protect his friends and homeland and rescue Ember and aid her several times, even despite her betrayal. And of course at the end, even Garble willingly bows to Spike recognizing him as a Dragon Lord, despite his smaller stature, along with the other dragons. Even Lord Torch, who still initially disagrees with the outcome, comes to respect and honor his daughter's wish. Perhaps the bigger point here is the Dragon Code itself is a key aspect of dragon culture, much as friendship and harmony is for ponies. Dragons certainly aren't as violent and uncivilized as we nor the likes of Rarity assume they are. Everyone from the biggest baddest like Lord Torch to a punk like Garble, seem willing or at least obligated to adhere to a Dragon Code. Gauntlet of Fire not only helped developed Spike, it provided a huge revelation about dragons, and showed that contrary to the notion, they can be quite formidable, yet noble and proud creatures.