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Tirek's words on "friendship"


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I remember while watching Twilight's Kingdom Part 1 that I loved Tirek's dialogue between Discord and him.



I have to say, there is a bit of truth to Triek's word suggesting that friendship can be a trap.


Now before we all call me out on this.  I'm not saying that I really agree fully with what Tirek said. (He did say this as a lie afterall in order to try and manipulate Discord to join his side, he was the main villain afterall).  I'm just saying I might think there's a bit of truth to his words, but not the truth he would expect. (Transcript reference)


Discord: I'm afraid the feeling isn't mutual. [snaps fingers] [chain clinking]

Lord Tirek: Oh, I should have known you would want to have Equestria all to yourself.

Discord: Oh, I'm not doing this for me. I'm doing it for my friends. [hushed] Just between the two of us, it's mostly for Fluttershy. [squee]

Lord Tirek: Fluttershy? You're not saying you're friends with ponies?

Discord: Surprise!

Lord Tirek: I am surprised that someone with your intellect does not see this 'friendship' is but a new form of imprisonment. Clearly you've had to abandon your true nature to stay in their good graces. [harp playing]

Discord: I have done nothing of the sort!

Lord Tirek: Oh, please, I've seen this before. But he was always weak minded. You are Discord, you are legend, you cannot fall into the same trap that claimed my brother! Help me to grow strong, and be rewarded with something far greater than friendship. Freedom. Once I've stripped these ponies of their magic, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see their world turned upside down. Who better to do so than the master of chaos himself? Join me, Discord, and reclaim your greatness. Unless, of course, 'pony errand boy' is the role you've always wanted to play in this world.



It's funny because, originally, Discord's friendship was actually planned (which is one of the few times Celestia actually planned something out).  Remember, Celestia did want Discord to be befriended by mane cast because she believed that she could put Discord's powers to good use, okay technically also wanting to reform him to be good (or at least reasonably trustworthy) (transcript reference from "Keep Calm and Flutter On")


Twilight Sparkle: With all due respect, Princess Celestia, how could you bring Discord here?! [clears throat] Your majesty.

Princess Celestia: I'm fully aware that the last time Discord was here, he created serious havoc.

Rainbow Dash: If by "serious havoc" you mean "turning Ponyville into the chaos capital of the world"...

Rarity: ...and tricking us all into being the opposite of our true selves...

Pinkie Pie: And making yummy delicious chocolate milk rain all over the place without a single dollop of whipped cream to go with it anywhere in sight! Not a single dollop!

Princess Celestia: Yes, I understand. But I have use for Discord's magic if it can be reformed to serve good instead of evil. This is why I've brought Discord here, because I believe that you are the ponies who can help him do just that.  


..... (later)  


Princess Celestia: I realize that this is a tall order, but I wouldn't ask if I weren't confident you could get him to use magic obediently of his own free will.

Fluttershy: And... you really think I'll know best how to do that?

Princess Celestia: I do. Now, I must return to Canterlot for Equestria's royal summit. You may release Discord when ready.


Now befriending Discord had a real purpose to it, so Tirek was a bit right in that sense.  However, I'm not saying Tirek was right fully.  Afterall, Discord really did gain something when he befriended Fluttershy, his first real friend and he was no longer a loner.   So Discord went into that friendship gaining something he never had, of course this also meant he needed to dial back on his antics (and also why I loved 'Three's a crowd' that addressed another issue).  There was an expected responsibility of him from that point, but it also offered him the company and enjoyment of being friends with Fluttershy.  (I'm not going in real detail here, since I'm a bit sleepy).


So yeah, what would you say to Tirek's words? Refute him? Or such (I think that was the original ask question I had for making this thread).


The other thing I'd like to ask is, do you think this was a rather (maybe subtle) mature message that was being said there about friendships? Moving towards the sliding scale of cynicism vs idealism? 

Edited by pony.colin
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Discord's conversation with Fluttershy in "Return of Harmony", and the fact that he blew a fuse so easily, leads me to believe that he had past experiences with unkindness.

I'm not sure what motivations he had exactly, but it didn't seem he was particularly enamored with power. As for Tirek..
what's the power of a god with nobody to share it with? Luna learned this lesson well enough.
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  • 1 month later...

Friendship, like all relationships, is rightly seen by Tirek as a form of giving up a certain kind of freedom. However it is giving up individual freedom for a relational freedom. You aren't free to just split up and do what you want however you please when you're with friends, because you take the obligation to concede the interests of others over your own. Even moreso individual freedoms are expended with for a different kind of freedom afforded in marriage, to take the example further.


However, Tirek in his lust for power becomes blind to any kind of freedom apart from the one which he seeks to have: individual freedom and will to dominate others. It is a tragedy that he does not see the different kind of freedom that the Mane cast has. It is their relational freedom that we root for in the end.


Tirek nor Twilight have simple or naiive perspectives of freedom. Tirek has just biased himself because of his tremendous self focus that he can't see either side of the argument. Twilight and Co. can see that there is a good kind of freedom in both individuality, and in relationship, but pushing too hard for either results in misery and slavery. (An example of individual freedom is seen in how each of them respects their differences, which is a theme often explored in character x vs. character y episodes, like in Look Before You Sleep, and Feeling Pinkie Keen. The episode with Cranky Doodle Donkey is also an example of this individual freedom.)

Edited by Blue
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In a way, it seems like they were using Discord (at least initially). Although there's another question. Would Celestia still have had Discord reformed if she didn't have a plan for him? I think she would've eventually had him reformed, but likely would've waited til she was more sure things would be safe for her ponies. Her top priority (and duty) as princess is to ensure the safety of her ponies first, and so redeeming Discord would be more of a lower priority, unless there's the danger of him eventually being freed from his prison anyway (NMM was freed after 1000 years, the EoH aren't infallible).


I do know one thing for sure, what started off as an uneasy alliance grew into a beautiful friendship. All the ponies ended up accepting him, and they didn't seem to object when he hugged them all, and even shortly after betraying them, they didn't show any anger, just pity for Discord after getting betrayed by Tirek like that. Which just shows that although they still didn't fully trust him, they did consider him a friend, albeit a friend who could be annoying sometimes. And he seemed genuinely sorry while he was Tirek's prisoner, and it was because of his gift to Twilight that they were able to get the rainbow power. Although the one thing I don't like is that they didn't even say "thank you" before running off.

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