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Spike: Sobering Subtext that extreme bronies hate


Buck Testa
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Out of all the characters in Mlp that gets unfair hate there is one that stands out from the rest. Our so called "Top brony Analysers" who take their entertainment position a bit too seriously like to say he has "inconsistent characterization" and "only used for plot convenience" and other similarly pretentious phrases to justify their dislike for this little guy. I think I may of found the real reason bronies like this do not like him though, because the subtext he represents is a little too close to home for a viewer who wants to lose themselves in fiction. I am of course talking about our purple and green scaled friend, Spike the Dragon.  

 

What do we know about this character? Spike was hatched the same day Twilight became Celestia's apprentice and has been with her seemingly ever since. He seems to be her personal assistant and has a kind of mother son relationship with the Unicorn turned Alicorn. He has a giving and generous mindset that would give Rarity a run for her money as well as going out of his way to try and make himself useful. Speaking of Rarity he has had a burning flame for this mare since the show began and it has not fanned out in the slightest.

 

So he seems like a nice guy, so whats the issue? Why hate on such a selfless baby dragon? Some like to point out that he is almost a servant to the ponies and seems to try and please them by playing any role they want. They also point out that he doubts himself and his episodes all revolve around the idea that he is actually wanted and needed. He seems to be lifes punching bag and he rarely ever gets to achieve greatness beyond some haphazard victory here or there.

 

Spike's problems go much deeper than simply failing and being the butt of gags though. He has had this problem ever since he was hatched among ponies and it seemingly only gets worse. His problem revolves around his own conflicting duel nature and how it hits a bit to close to home for some people watching him.

 

Spike has the mentality of a pony and the body of a Dragon. This is understandable because he was raised among ponies. However his mindset and his physiology are so diametrically opposed that it has condemned the baby dragon to a life of unhappiness and ultimately separation from the world he loves so much no matter how hard he tries to connect.

 

He is a kindred spirit of generosity to Rarity. However while this gives Rarity strength it condemns the Dragon. His body as it has been shown only develops when he is greedy and hoarding anything he can get his hands on. In fact any attempt he has had to rectify his duel sides has met with failure

 

And heres the rub; Spike is stuck between the worlds of Ponies and Dragons yet he cannot experience the joys of either. He is longing for a world that will never be his. He desires after a mare that will never be his. Spike loses himself in fiction only to find he relates with the character that does not fit. He fears losing Twilight because she is the closest thing he is going to have to belonging in the world of Ponies. Yet he cannot enjoy the world of Dragons because the way he thinks is so contrary to their lifestyle and way of life that he would be an outcast. At least not as long as he holds onto the friendships he holds dear. In a very real way, Spikes desire to live among the ponies of Equestria has condemned him to not being able to grow up.

 

That kind of subtext is a bucket of cold water to Bronies who want to lose themselves in the show. They try to lose themselves in the world so deeply that it prevents their life from developing. It prevents them from growing up. Regardless on how Spike grows, the fact is one day he is going to have to leave ponies behind if he is ever going to have a normal life as a Dragon, and that is a lesson Spike does not want to hear.

 

I have a feeling this has a lot to do with why Spike is so hated and detested among those people who take the show too seriously. They throw meaningless jargon at him to cover the fact that he is a mirror to their own predicament; the fact that they will never be a pony in Equestria just like Spike.

 

What do you think about all this? Do you think there really is this subtext that trying to live as a pony and a dragon only stunts Spikes growth? Do you like Spike and wonder why people dislike him? Do you think I am off base making the comparison between extreme bronies and Spike?

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This subtext makes complete sense, however the complaints are not against Spike. The complaints are against how he is treated by the writers.

 

This would make a good storyline, however the writers don't seem to like writing him this way and for some reason are better at using him as a plot device or the target of an easy joke. They are missing a lot of opportunities for character development.

 

Spike himself is a good character with a lot of potential. The problem is that unfortunately the writers don't see that.

 

Most of the analysts don't hate him. They just hate how the writers are treating him, and this "inconsistent characterization" and use as a plot device is blamed on poor writing, not Spike himself.

Edited by Wind Chaser
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This subtext makes complete sense, however the complaints are not against Spike. The complaints are against how he is treated by the writers.

 

This would make a good storyline, however the writers don't seem to like writing him this way and for some reason are better at using him as a plot device or the target of an easy joke. They are missing a lot of opportunities for character development.

 

Spike himself is a good character with a lot of potential. The problem is that unfortunately the writers don't see that.

 

Most of the analysts don't hate him. They just hate how the writers are treating him, and this "inconsistent characterization" and use as a plot device is blamed on poor writing, not Spike himself.

You make a good point about the writers neglecting his character. Even with that his potential remains and I would love to see him really explored and given his chance to grow up.

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I'd like to see the writers delve into Spike a bit more, personally, give him some consistent characterization. Touching on Buck Testa's points about how Spike is, in fact being prevented from growing up due to being kept in pony society where he can't properly grow, physically, due to pony society condoning the greed, which is, as we've seen, in a dragon's nature and rightfully so, as allows their bodies to mature, I, too, would like to see Spike can grow up and become an adult dragon. We've seen him have a birthday at last once, so we know he's capable of aging, but so long as he's with the ponies, he'll forever be a 'baby' dragon, which is kind of a sad fate for Spike. He'll have birthdays and grow age as time passes, but forever trapped in a baby dragon's body. Almost seems cruel, when you think about it. And the ponies, seems like, know this.

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There is so much negativity towards the chaacters in this show that it makes my head spin. No one is safe from brony hate.

 

Also, Spike is a bro. Me and him would totally be wingmanning each other when it comes to Rarity

 

I'm convinced the Spike in that Hayseed comic was actually a Changeling, BTW.

 

Don't know why, it just was.

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I didn't know some people hated Spike...

  

There is so much negativity towards the chaacters in this show that it makes my head spin. No one is safe from brony hate.

 

Also, Spike is a bro. Me and him would totally be wingmanning each other when it comes to Rarity

I don't see the hate. What OP is suggesting is that analysts and reviewers hate Spike as a character, which is not true.

 

They don't hate Spike. They hate the poor treatment Spike has been getting as a character and the fact that he is denied the proper development the other prominent characters get. It's poor writing that needs to be called out.

 

He could give potential insight into what it means to be a dragon in Equestria, having grown up fundamentally different; biologically different than his adopted kind (ponies) and personally different from his own kind (dragons).

 

If anything, this really tests how accepting Equestria is as a society and could at least give the whole "Pony Master Race" theory a once-over.

 

We really want the best for this show, and members of the fandom have found that this is an opportunity where they can find another good story.

 

Spike is best when he's treated as a mature character than when he's given storylines you'd give to a little boy. Baby dragon be damned.

^This exactly, though I don't know how many times this really has to be said.

 

I'd like to see the writers delve into Spike a bit more, personally, give him some consistent characterization. Touching on Buck Testa's points about how Spike is, in fact being prevented from growing up due to being kept in pony society where he can't properly grow, physically, due to pony society condoning the greed, which is, as we've seen, in a dragon's nature and rightfully so, as allows their bodies to mature, I, too, would like to see Spike can grow up and become an adult dragon. We've seen him have a birthday at last once, so we know he's capable of aging, but so long as he's with the ponies, he'll forever be a 'baby' dragon, which is kind of a sad fate for Spike. He'll have birthdays and grow age as time passes, but forever trapped in a baby dragon's body. Almost seems cruel, when you think about it. And the ponies, seems like, know this.

This is a more complex idea that I don't know for sure whether or not the show will touch on, since for the most part the worldbuilding must take a back seat to the morals. However, we can see emotional maturity and the effect the passage of time should have on him.

 

I can accept if the show cements in its lore that without the negative impulse of greed, he won't be able to mature physically. However, he can mature emotionally, and dealing with the effects the passage of time and life experiences will have on him will be a nice thing to do. What would it be like when he comes of age in a society fundamentally different from his own? Does he really see himself as being Twilight's assistant forever? What will he do the day he is no longer able to be Twilight's assistant for one reason or another?

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I don't see the hate. What OP is suggesting is that analysts and reviewers hate Spike as a character, which is not true.

 

They don't hate Spike. They hate the poor treatment Spike has been getting as a character and the fact that he is denied the proper development the other prominent characters get. It's poor writing that needs to be called out.

 

He could give potential insight into what it means to be a dragon in Equestria, having grown up fundamentally different; biologically different than his adopted kind (ponies) and personally different from his own kind (dragons).

 

I have seen a number of reviews from analysts that seem to recoil whenever Spike makes an appearance even from popular ones like Brony Curious. However you may be right about them being more upset against the writers than the character. It is the way some of them went about it left a sour taste in my mouth. Edited by Buck Testa
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While I wouldn't go so far as to say reviewers don't like him because of this reasoning, I agree with the idea that Spike has that internal conflict; he's an inherently selfish and isolated creature raised to be the exact opposite of that. With the exception of one or two episodes, all of Spike's stories revolve around his insecurities.


 

 

They don't hate Spike. They hate the poor treatment Spike has been getting as a character and the fact that he is denied the proper development the other prominent characters get. It's poor writing that needs to be called out. He could give potential insight into what it means to be a dragon in Equestria, having grown up fundamentally different; biologically different than his adopted kind (ponies) and personally different from his own kind (dragons).

 

It's like with Pinkie Pie: when the writers actually buckle down and try to delve into the character, they get really intresting stuff. The day we finally get that episode that fully explores Spike's nature vs. nurture issues will be a great one indeed.

Edited by CITRUS KING46
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