Jeremiah

Spoiler What exactly is the 'Tree of Harmony'?

Recommended Posts

So I have been searching around the internet, and I found something called a 'Nemeton'. Nemeton; A nemeton was a sacred space of ancient Celtic religion. Nemeta appear to have been primarily situated in natural areas, and, as they often utilized trees, they are often interpreted as sacred groves. However, other evidence suggests that the word implied a wider variety of ritual spaces, such as shrines and temples. So is the 'Tree of Harmony' loosely based upon the nemeton? Also, what is the tree 'sentient' because it negatively to Discord's tree poisoning in the episode "Princess Twilight Sparkle". So, what do you think?
 

giphy.gif

  • Brohoof 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The idea of sacred trees has been around for a very, very long time, and is certainly not restricted to Celtic culture.  Almost any mythology from anywhere in the world that you care to look into has some example of it.

  • Brohoof 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Badges

I had never thought about the tree of harmony like that. I had always just assumed that it was part of the elements in a way. Like how a violin's case is an important part  of maintaining the instrument. so the tree holds the elements in order to protect  them from corruption or being used by the wrong person. The tree reacting to discord would be some sort of auto immune response i would think. If it is a living tree that is.

  • Brohoof 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would seem evident from the series that the tree and the elements are inexorably linked, it's just the origin and nature of the link that hasn't really been expounded as yet.  I suppose given the fantastical nature of the program it wouldn't be outrageous to suggest that raw magic burst from the earth in the form of a tree and bore magical crystals like fruit.

  • Brohoof 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Badges

Apparently a very convenient plot device. AKA a deus ex machina.

  • Brohoof 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Badges

The tree is more of the origin and the creator of the elements of harmony, although it's unknown who actually planted it.

  • Brohoof 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see the Tree of Harmony as the concentration of positive magic based upon emotional character traits held together by the catalyst of magic. It could be Equestria's metaphysical anchor as it does have a real, tangible effect on the world around it. One thing I've always wondered though is why exactly does it have Celestia's and Luna's cutie marks on it as well as the six Elements themselves? Why has the Element of Magic always taken the form of Twilight's cutie mark while the others have changed shape? Why is Cadance's cutie mark the only Alicorn mark to be excluded from the Tree?

  • Brohoof 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I've always wondered though is why exactly does it have Celestia's and Luna's cutie marks on it as well as the six Elements themselves? Why has the Element of Magic always taken the form of Twilight's cutie mark while the others have changed shape? Why is Cadance's cutie mark the only Alicorn mark to be excluded from the Tree?

 

We know from The Return of Harmony Pt1 that Celestia and Luna harnessed the Elements of Harmony to defeat Discord, and we know that Twilight is now the bearer of the element of magic.  Cadance is the only Alicorn with no link to the Elements, ergo, her cutie mark does not appear on the tree.

  • Brohoof 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Badges

We know from The Return of Harmony Pt1 that Celestia and Luna harnessed the Elements of Harmony to defeat Discord, and we know that Twilight is now the bearer of the element of magic.  Cadance is the only Alicorn with no link to the Elements, ergo, her cutie mark does not appear on the tree.

Well, yes, but their marks were on the Tree before any of them bore the Elements.

  • Brohoof 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, yes, but their marks were on the Tree before any of them bore the Elements.

The tree had Celestia, Luna, and Twilight's marks on it before Celestia and Luna even had their cutie marks, and obviously long before Twilight was born.  This suggests that from the moment of their birth, each of these ponies had some magical link to the elements, and their special talents would be destined to be connected to the tree.  This paints a chilling portrait of fate and ultimate design, and a lack of free will.  But just as strong of a case could be made that these ponies did not have a predetermined destiny linked to the tree, but that any pony could have ended up with those marks, and that the tree just stood and waited for a pony who would be perfectly suited to bear the elements.  Did the tree select them?  It is capable of such sentience?  Or was it all random?

 

Oh yes, and as for what the tree actually is, I would equate it to the Tree of Souls in Avatar.  But I would really love to see an origin story.  In the Journal of the Sisters, the tree is already there and fully grown when they discover it, and that's as far back in time as we've seen, to my knowledge.

  • Brohoof 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Badges

The tree had Celestia, Luna, and Twilight's marks on it before Celestia and Luna even had their cutie marks, and obviously long before Twilight was born.  This suggests that from the moment of their birth, each of these ponies had some magical link to the elements, and their special talents would be destined to be connected to the tree.  This paints a chilling portrait of fate and ultimate design, and a lack of free will.  But just as strong of a case could be made that these ponies did not have a predetermined destiny linked to the tree, but that any pony could have ended up with those marks, and that the tree just stood and waited for a pony who would be perfectly suited to bear the elements.  Did the tree select them?  It is capable of such sentience?  Or was it all random?

 

Oh yes, and as for what the tree actually is, I would equate it to the Tree of Souls in Avatar.  But I would really love to see an origin story.  In the Journal of the Sisters, the tree is already there and fully grown when they discover it, and that's as far back in time as we've seen, to my knowledge.

I agree, but yet, this show has already demonstrated a lack of free will involvement when it comes to destiny so that really could be the case. Even if anypony could've ended up with those marks, they would still be bound by their own predetermined destiny as dictated by the Tree.

 

I always figured that the Elements, and by extension the Tree, have a degree of sentience that allowed them to pick out their bearers by how far they could spread the virtues of friendship and harmony. I figured that they allowed themselves to be used by Celestia and Luna as they were the two ponies most capable of restoring harmony during Discord's rule, but abandoned Celestia and Luna during the Nightmare Moon incident; as the greatest duality of balance in the world turned against itself and destroyed its harmony. When they chose the mane six, they saw not only the potential for spreading harmony and friendship, they say the true embodiments of each of the Elements themselves, so much so that they were able to evolve beyond the physical Elements, that they embodied their virtues so much that they were able to transcend to Rainbow Power.

 

I like your Avatar analogy, I never thought of that before but it's a pretty interesting idea.

  • Brohoof 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The strong implication is that Twilight, Luna and Celestia were destined for their roles and I think it's been implied that the tree is somewhat sentient.

  • Brohoof 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tree of harmony is a magic tree created by the power of plot convenience that will likely never be referenced again.

  • Brohoof 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Badges

I have been wondering about this myself for a long time. How did the tree get there, and what happens to the tree when the next bearers of Harmony come along? Will the markings on the tree change to reflect their cutie marks, or will these ponies have similar marks to the previous and current bearers? How old is this tree and....are there other trees or other relics located outside of Equestria in hidden places, and if so, are they all connected in some way? There should be an episode, or even season-long arc explaining all of this (time traveling involved I hope). I have my doubts about whether that would actually happen in the show, but a book explaining the tree would be nice.

  • Brohoof 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a long LOOONG standing theory that The tree of Harmony is actually the true ruler of Equestria. 

 

(all head canon and could probably be false down below) 

 

Here's the thought: The tree of harmony resided in equestria since before the ponies arrived, and it watched over the land and maintained harmony in the land as per its name. Then the ponies, feuding and chaotic with Windegos on their tales moved in and brought magical winter unto the land. The tree saw that there were three among these lost ponies whom did not fight and feud and used its influence to help bring harmony to the three tribes and drive off the Windegos. Its intervention is what caused the birth of the Alicorns Luna and Celestia. 

 

The two princesses were given the elements of Harmony FROM the tree. It was ONLY by the power of the elements that the threats that had come onto the land like Discord, Tirek, Sombra and the like were defeated, as the princesses alone did not have the capability of such feats. They relied on the Tree's power, and in turn preached the virtues of harmony and followed the rule of the tree, as well as the messages it sent to them about impending dangers and the like. 

 

However after the nightmare moon incident, The tree took the power of the elements away from the Sisters, not trusting them with their power any longer. It informed Princess Celestia that there would be new bearers of the elements and probably told her that Spikes egg would play a part in finding out who those new bearers of the elements would be. On the day of Spikes hatching, all Six elements were awakened and Celestia found Twilight, whom she then immediately began grooming to become an Alicorn Princess, though that was not what Twilight thought was going on. 

 

Twilight gained much knowledge on the virtues of friendship and harmony and faced many trials that tested her resolve to learn what the Tree and Celestia wanted her too. The events of magical mystery cure happen, which involves said elements of harmony, and her solving that puzzle turns her into an Alicorn princess of friendship. She is unsure of what this all means, and the princesses tell her that she will "play her part" 

 

Upon defeating Tirek, The tree seeds a castle for twilight to reside in, one that has a map that directly gives instructions on where Twilight needs to go, cutting the need of having Celestia relay this information out of the equation and establishing a direct relationship between itself and the Bearers of the elements of harmony. Both the elements and now the castle were extensions of the trees will. 

 

But hey, that's just a theory, a pony theory, thanks for reading :3

  • Brohoof 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Badges

I view the tree as a world tree type thing.

  • Brohoof 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like that tree could have sprung from that cave where the three pony tribes were fighting at because look at this picture.

 

The_Tree_of_Harmony_S4E02.png

 

There's remnants of cavern walls around the tree.

 

Also Luna and Celestia represent the trunk of the tree that supports the apical bud (the center) which Twilight Sparkle represents (that's where her element is placed) that branches out to the other branches that hold the other five elements.

Edited by cider float
  • Brohoof 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If anything, I think the tree is based on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. Here's a thread talking about it, though tragically the images seem to have been deleted https://mlpforums.com/topic/45643-symbolism-in-mlpfim-and-hidden-knowledge/.

 

Cadance's cutie mark matches the crystal heart, which seems to be a similar sort of magical relic to the elements of harmony. I do wonder if they have any connection at all (perhaps there's another tree up north somewhere, which the heart came from?), but either way that's probably the reason Cadance's mark isn't on the main tree.

 

Actually, it's a bit puzzling why Celestia and Luna are represented on the main tree, before they ever had any interaction with it.

 

My current theory is that the tree is biological, not a god or anything. It's not clear whether it's sentient, or just has automatic responses like real plants do. In any case, the near-death experience of getting strangled by plunder vines while it was weakened without the elements seems to have triggered its reproductive response, i.e. producing the box, which Twilight's castle-tree sprouted from.

 

Twilight's tree has that map, but that still doesn't prove sentience. It may still just be an elaborate biological feature, which can detect disharmony and display what aspects are missing in certain areas (i.e. which element bearers should go fix it). The tree has roots in the ground and branches in the air, both of which could function as antennas to pick up electromagnetic waves. Maybe certain frequencies correspond to each element, and living things give off "good vibes" or "bad vibes" depending on their mood, and the tree reflexively displays any points of concentrated badness.

 

One thing that's puzzled me ever since the castle tree sprouted is the fact that it has 8 pointed stars all over it. Even the box it sprouted from had an 8 pointed star on top. I'd think a tree specifically bonded with Twilight would have 6 pointed stars to match her cutie mark. Perhaps 7 to include Spike. But 8? Maybe Discord will get a throne after all.

  • Brohoof 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow.. I didnt expect such a turn out... Thank you all! But seriosuly... what is the tree? (The tree itself)

Edited by SunsetMaster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, the more I think about it, the more I think there must be a connection between the tree and the crystal heart. Both the Everfree tree and Twilight's castle look like crystal pony architecture. So either the crystal ponies based their architecture on the Everfree tree, or more likely, the Everfree tree is the offspring of an older northern tree that the crystal heart came from. But considering the fact that special trees almost never survive to the end of a story, and that harmony trees seem to reproduce when threatened, it's quite possible that the northern tree no longer exists.

 

Here's another thought... what if the alicorn-tree connection is what gives them near-immortality? Maybe Sombra killed the crystal princess and the hypothetical northern tree died as a result, or maybe he killed the tree and the princess died as a result. Celestia and Luna are connected to the Everfree tree somehow, so could it be that Discord planted the plunder seeds as a precaution, so if Celestia and Luna defeated him, then he'd eventually get revenge by killing their life support tree?

 

By that theory, Twilight is doubly immortal since she's connected to two trees now. And Cadance is mortal, because she doesn't have a tree like the old crystal princess did. Heck, maybe the mane 6 are all immortal by connection to the castle tree. Plus Spike, though his natural lifespan is already very long.

 

I wonder if Twilight's castle has any magical elements in it somewhere...

  • Brohoof 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I have a theory:
The tree is an A.I.
Allow me to explain:
You see I think it is alive, but its dumb A.I. Some of you may ask what's a dumb A.I. ?
Allow to summarize in 2 pictures:
Smart A.I
Dumb A.I.
If you're still confused allow me to explain. You see A.I are categorized into 2; smart and dumb. A smart A.I. is capable of doing its own form of speech and tasks and can think for itself. A dumb A.I. is the opposite, its can't carry out tasks with being told to do so or it can carry out its own task,but either can't do much and/or can't speak.
So thus I think the Harmony Tree is A.I, but a dumb one.
It only has 2 functions:
-Choosing the elements once per generation. So it choose the Mane Six, but it also choose backup mane six and backup of that backup and so forth 
-Keeping Equestria alive and thriving. Without the tree, Equestria would become something like out of Fallout minus the radiation. This also explains why Luna and Tia's cutie mark appears on the tree, but they are but lower to the tree. 
That's just my theory

Edited by COBLoneWolf
  • Brohoof 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, the more I think about it, the more I think there must be a connection between the tree and the crystal heart. Both the Everfree tree and Twilight's castle look like crystal pony architecture. So either the crystal ponies based their architecture on the Everfree tree, or more likely, the Everfree tree is the offspring of an older northern tree that the crystal heart came from. But considering the fact that special trees almost never survive to the end of a story, and that harmony trees seem to reproduce when threatened, it's quite possible that the northern tree no longer exists.

 

Here's another thought... what if the alicorn-tree connection is what gives them near-immortality? Maybe Sombra killed the crystal princess and the hypothetical northern tree died as a result, or maybe he killed the tree and the princess died as a result. Celestia and Luna are connected to the Everfree tree somehow, so could it be that Discord planted the plunder seeds as a precaution, so if Celestia and Luna defeated him, then he'd eventually get revenge by killing their life support tree?

 

By that theory, Twilight is doubly immortal since she's connected to two trees now. And Cadance is mortal, because she doesn't have a tree like the old crystal princess did. Heck, maybe the mane 6 are all immortal by connection to the castle tree. Plus Spike, though his natural lifespan is already very long.

 

I wonder if Twilight's castle has any magical elements in it somewhere...

 

In 'The Journal of the Two Sisters' it does say that the crystal heart was discovered in a gem mine in the crystalline mountain.

That would suggest that when a suitable concentration of magic emerges from the earth and becomes manifest, it takes on some of the characteristics of the surrounding environment, so in the Crystalline Mountain it became a crystal and in the Everfree Forest it became a tree.

 

Although the book isn't strictly canon, it is at odds with the series in a number of small details.  But the general rule with an (official) non-canon source is that it can be considered to be canon until it is directly contradicted by the canon source.

  • Brohoof 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Badges

Well trees have long been symbols in world religions and mythologies. They are often symbols of eternal life or a grounding presence that represent a kind of universality or a constant amidst otherwise chaos.

 

Given that it granted the Elements of Harmony to "the gods" who then passed it on to the mortal champions, I would personally think the the Tree is the true power in Equestria. It's right there in it's name, if Harmony is the most powerful magic in their world, than the tree that is it's source or anchor in the world would be almost akin to the Force.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In 'The Journal of the Two Sisters' it does say that the crystal heart was discovered in a gem mine in the crystalline mountain.

That would suggest that when a suitable concentration of magic emerges from the earth and becomes manifest, it takes on some of the characteristics of the surrounding environment, so in the Crystalline Mountain it became a crystal and in the Everfree Forest it became a tree.

 

Although the book isn't strictly canon, it is at odds with the series in a number of small details.  But the general rule with an (official) non-canon source is that it can be considered to be canon until it is directly contradicted by the canon source.

Well there goes my theory :lol: That sounds rather like the Arkenstone from Tolkien's stories.

 

I guess it's still possible that the crystal ponies had some sort of contact with the Everfree tree, but perhaps more likely that crystal architecture is just a naturally occurring thing, and crystal ponies did the most with it. There is the crystal mine under Canterlot too, and gems in the ground all over Equestria. Even under the apple farm:

post-9686-0-36344800-1438472946_thumb.jpg

 

So yeah, I agree with your idea that the heart and tree formed independently, but in similar ways, and just took different forms depending on the environment.

  • Brohoof 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Join the herd!

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.