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S06:E05 - Gauntlet of Fire


Did you like it?  

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  1. 1. Your opinion on the episode?

    • I hated it! Burn it with dragon fire! >: (
      5
    • I didn't care for it. Le sigh...
      8
    • It was mediocre...
      22
    • I liked it!
      69
    • I LOVED IT!!!!! <3
      126


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Title: Gauntlet of Fire Air Date: April 16, 2016 Written by: TBA Synopsis: In order to save his friends, Spike is forced to compete in a perilous Gauntlet for the title of Dragon Lord.       Rem

This was an episode that could have been a disaster, since many Spike episodes do one fatal thing: Focusing on his negatives and little else. This episode? FINALLY. They didn't do that this time! Took

While far from the most fresh or innovative episode from MLP, with a relatively well-worn and predictable plotline, I can definitively say that this episode puts the "Can Spike have a good episode?" q

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I was pleasantly surprised at how noble Spike was here. It's the most courageous thing Spike has ever done. 

We've seen him take his dragon-ness very seriously in the past...

he chose to go on the pilgramage in the migration episode, and when applejack saved him, he was a pest about his code.

 

The moment that actually surprised me was in the premier, when he refused to be drawn into the hype about his heroics.  He tried to show humility and focused on Starlight, rather than on himself.  The fact that he acted like that when he WASN'T trying to figure out what it means to be a dragon meant far more to me.

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A GOOD Spike episode? What madness is this?! :o

 

There's a lot to like here: Spike at the best he's been in years (again!), Ember was fun character ("Please don't make me talk about my feelings") and I hope we see her again, good animation and dialogue, and even a dragon fight!

 

However, there's some issues that won't stop nagging my brain...

 

Okay, a problem a lot of people had with "Dragon Quest" is that we didn't learn squat about dragons. Here, we do...and it's little more than they're just idiots and jerks like scaly, fire breathing high school students or frat boys with wings. At least the Griffins had some history and depth.

 

We were told Ember was smart, and yet we really never saw it, and Spike kept having to give her advice or think fast when she should've. Unless, of course, it was her being smarter than the average dragon, which didn't take much.

 

They claimed any dragon being DL would be bad, yet they got that from overhearing just 3 of them. I would've liked it better if we'd heard some other dragon's plans, or they'd done a better job at hinting they'd all suck.

 

Don't get me wrong, I still liked it. But some times little things just add up and kinda bug me..

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A GOOD Spike episode? What madness is this?! :o

 

Peoples, if you all are this shocked and thrilled about this level of spike ness, might I recommend checking out the friends forever: spike/celestia comic?

 

Its incredible, and the best characterization of either of them.

 

http://www.amazon.com/My-Little-Pony-Friends-Forever-ebook/dp/B00IX4E1JG/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1460920714&sr=8-16&keywords=friends+forever+my+little+pony

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Wow, this episode was better than I expected! I am neutral to most of the episodes featuring Spike, as they are not having much going on but there was one episode that I liked the most from his episodes and that episode was referenced here - Season 2's Dragon Quest! But it was the best until this one. I loved this episode, the best Spike episode ever better than the one from se2! So much adventure that I was watching every moment expecting something big every next minute!

 

To start from the beginning (nice to see Luna and even Celestia in regular episode yay!), when I read the title I was anticipating to be an episode similar to Dragon Quest, I knew we would be seeing Spike on another adventure and the question was how good this episode was going to be. Then, when I saw Princess Ember (looked like a teenage Dragon by her behavior and talk but imo really cute and .. cool dragon, I liked her!' Then I asked, why isn't she the natural heir to be the new Dragon Lord. As soon as I saw her participation and Spike's, I already predicted that Spike would win and most likely give the prize or the title to Ember. I'm glad it happened so, I thought Ember could even take the staff first and Spike would let her do that. Spike would have no place as a Dragon Lord lol.

 

I was expecting something to happen when Twilight and Rarity got busted especially by Garble but nothing came out of it.

 

And the part with the hug between Spike and Ember  :wub:  look at her blush, so nice is Ember. So will spike get over Rarity now? And I agree, best Se6 episode so far, 5th season showed more of the griffons  now we get to see more of the dragons.

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Spike was probably the best part about this episode, it really affirmed his character growth through the progression of the series thus far.

While this was finally a very well needed thing to see, I don't think it was a very good episode all around, a lot of things really bothered me and took me out of the experience. Gautlent Of Fire tells a decent enough story about the value of friendship through the character of Ember, but along the way it's bogged down by various contrivances and tonal issues that really seem to clash with the thematic consistency that I've come to expect from FiM. Part of this is probably due to the eventual power creep lots of action-esk series suffer from, plus the loss of idyllic tone the series once possessed. On the nose dialogue, mis-characterization (particularly pertaining to Twilight), the overtly juvenile tone and baffling implications on dragon kind through the means of this gauntlet really question the previously established characterization of dragon kind in the series. If dragons are so dangerous and scary, and so little is known about them, then why do they seem to be so stupid in the process that literally decides who their future leader will be, where's the treat in this though, they seem completely goofy and not threatening in the slightest. The absence of adult dragons really threw me for a loop, and the atmosphere of the gauntlet comes off as campy and goofy rather than some kind of important event that it was initially framed as. Rather than thinking I was watching a cool competition to replace the all mighty dragon lord, I was thinking about how Torch must have been unable to find a babysitter to watch all the little adolescents while all the adult dragons were out doing their cool adult dragon things. This would usually be fine, but the show doesn't even attempt to lampshade this glaring question and chooses to ignore it. 

There's quite a bit more I didn't like, and if anybody wants to hear those points, I did a podcast yesterday detailing exactly how I felt and why. To avoid writing a tl;dr novel length explanation, you can just go here if you really care enough:

Edited by bamboozled321
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Really happy to see Celestia and Luna get more appearances, even if they are brief. They must've listen to people complaining how we barely saw them in Seasons 4 and 5.

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Really happy to see Celestia and Luna get more appearances, even if they are brief. 

 

heh, i like seeing them in non-crisis situations...even if only right before a crisis happens!

Definitely sad their tea party was ruined.  Must be tough to always be bouncing from one emergency to the next.

: (

Edited by weesh
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I loved Spike in this episode, he was fantastic in every way and seeing him risk his life to save Equestria was great, I also loved Princess Ember, she's a great supporting female character and a great love interest to Spike lol. Also liked seeing all the dragons in the episode and hope we see more of them in the future. The overall moral was great and I loved Twilight freaking out about learning about dragons lol. 9/10 episode!!

 

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Really happy to see Celestia and Luna get more appearances, even if they are brief. They must've listen to people complaining how we barely saw them in Seasons 4 and 5.

Yeah, with so few appearances by them there, I'm pretty sure the writers were making a lot of Celestia and Luna fans, myself included, a little angry at them being put on the sidelines so much the last couple of seasons, hence why we see Celestia and Luna helping to protect the Crystal Empire and restore the Crystal Heart alongside Cadance, Shining Armor, Twilight, Starlight, and Sunburst in the premiere, and now providing some lore on the Dragon Lord summons in this episode. I hope we see more of Celestia and Luna this season if things keep going in this direction with seeing them so early after the premiere already! I love it!!!

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Holy Lord I was blown away by this episode! So much to talk about!
 
First off, this was a terrific Spike episode. Spike really put all the lessons he learned to use, he was able to show friendship to someone who had never experienced it. And that's a great thing. Plus that joke with Garble to hug everyone and not tell why was hilarious. Spike really showed his stuff this episode, and he was terrific.
 
Next is Princess Ember, as soon as I saw her I yelled "I SHIP IT!". I'll be the first to admit that I dislike shipping in MLP, but as a young female dragon she just seems so right for Spike. Spike has gone through so much in terms of relationships, and he's really be the only main character to blatantly say he's in love with another character. So it's great to see him finally find someone who's a realistic option, as Rarity is of another race and is an adult.
 
Anyway, I really liked Ember. Her voice was super charming, she was tough, had spunk, her design was great, and she has so much potential in future episodes. Is this finally an opportunity to create Pony/Dragon relations? That would be a massive development!
 
The designs for the dragons themselves definitely improved this time around, especially the Dragon Lord's, he was a funny guy.
 
The plot itself was a fairly cool one as it introduced a completely new element to the show, that Dragon's do have a hierarchy of sorts and this could be used for the future.
 
Spike and Ember's relationship through the episode was very cute, but this could give Spike a much bigger role in the show. As I said previously, he might be able to create Pony/Dragon relations as he comes from both worlds. I would be really happy with that development. I would really like to see their relationship continue to grow soon!
 

I like seeing Twilight and Rarity together in an episode, I think they both play off each other well. The constant costume changes had me grinning ear to ear the whole episode. There was even a fourth wall break when Ember asked how they even got in there, which was also very funny.

All in all, by far the best episode of the season, and a very significant one for the series overall. Please more Spike and Ember soon!

 


Second time we've seen Spike this season, and once again he was teaching others about friendship rather than learning a lesson himself. The little guy's making progress!
 
Also, I love how the fandom's in shock over seeing a good Spike episode. Be sure to praise Joanna and Kristine over on Twitter for their fabulous writing! :proud:
 
Thanks, I tried to look for them earlier and couldn't find them. Sent them a congratulations!
Edited by takai
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This episode raises a couple questions in my mind:

 

1. Where did all the full-grown dragons go? We've seen several enormous, adult dragons in the show—the one from Dragonshy, and a few in Dragon Quest—but it seemed like all the dragons who showed up for the gauntlet were teenagers. Are the adult dragons just really, really lazy? Did they all die off somehow? What happened???

 

2. How exactly do dragons age? (Not necessarily a question raised by this episode specifically, but it brought it to my mind.) In Secret of My Excess, Spike grows into a full-size dragon over the space of a day or two by hoarding a lot, so why are there so many perpetually teenaged dragons? One thought I had is that Spike had an easy time hoarding a lot in Ponyville, but it wouldn't be as easy for dragons in the dragon lands to amass large hoards, because they'd all be stealing each other's stuff to grow their own hoards. But is hoarding all there is to dragon growth? Do they not grow or age naturally over time? Perhaps they age with time, but only grow larger and mature physically by hoarding? I'd love for the show to explore this in more detail some time.

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I really liked Ember. Her voice was super charming, she was tough, had spunk, her design was great, and she has so much potential in future episodes.

 

Actually, the fact that she WASN'T tough was an important part of her character for me.

Compared to the other dragons, she was much weaker.

She wasn't able to maintain flight when she got hit, she wasn't able to swim in armor, she wasn't even able to overpower Garble!

 

THAT is what made her an interesting character.  She actually needed spike, or she couldn't have won.  If she'd been super tough, it would have made spike worthless.  

 

 Is this finally an opportunity to create Pony/Dragon relations? That would be a massive development!

 

 

Well, considering Twilight initiated positive contact, I certainly hope so!  I'd love to see more...multi-dimensional dragons.  Ember has that, but none of the other dragons do.  I'd like them portrayed with a little depth.  

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Actually, the fact that she WASN'T tough was an important part of her character for me.

Compared to the other dragons, she was much weaker.

She wasn't able to maintain flight when she got hit, she wasn't able to swim in armor, she wasn't even able to overpower Garble!

 

THAT is what made her an interesting character.  She actually needed spike, or she couldn't have won.  If she'd been super tough, it would have made spike worthless.  

 

She actually was tough. Not being "big and strong" was the important part of her character. Just because she wasn't strong doesn't mean she wasn't tough. She headed into this dangerous contest with no fear and she fought and actually beat Garble. If that's not tough, I don't know what is.

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She actually was tough. Not being "big and strong" was the important part of her character. Just because she wasn't strong doesn't mean she wasn't tough. She headed into this dangerous contest with no fear and she fought and actually beat Garble. If that's not tough, I don't know what is.

 

Did she beat Garble?  I thought Spike swung it with his interference.  That seems a long time ago to me though, since I have seen like 4 season 5 episodes with my sister today.

 

But well said with regard to her mental toughness.  She was mentally capable during the crisis points.  

 

Edit: oh wow, you are right, she managed to judo him around and throw him after spike was knocked off the ledge.  that was not the impression i got form the fight.

Edited by weesh
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Did she beat Garble?  I thought Spike swung it with his interference.  That seems a long time ago to me though, since I have seen like 4 season 5 episodes with my sister today.

 

But well said with regard to her mental toughness.  She was mentally capable during the crisis points.  

 

She flipped him on his ass at the very end with a pretty cool move, which stopped him from catching Spike.

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i went back to check something, and noticed that Ember changed colors.

She must have painted her scales green to escape the notice of her dad, and the paint washed off when she was knocked into the water.  
I think that adds a bit of interest to her character.

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We got to see a lot of cool new dragon designs, and learn a little bit more about dragon lore.

 

Yesss! The background dragons were my favourite part of the episode!  :yay:

 

 

The pink mantis one is just so adorable, I HAD TO do a fan art of her~  :wub:

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Yesss! The background dragons were my favourite part of the episode!  :yay:

 

 

The pink mantis one is just so adorable, I HAD TO do a fan art of her~  :wub:

attachicon.gifDragoness.jpg

 

Should draw her flexing.

 

But yeah great episode. Princess ember was awesome.

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I don't get the final joke, though. At the end of the ep, Rarity says she got inspiration for a new line of camouflage clothing... camo-maud (it sounds like). I don't get the joke. Can someone explain it?

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I don't get the final joke, though. At the end of the ep, Rarity says she got inspiration for a new line of camouflage clothing... camo-maud (it sounds like). I don't get the joke. Can someone explain it?

I think it's because they disguised as a rock. And Maud like rocks? That's the only explanation I can think of.

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All I can say for this, is that another ship has set sail. On a serious note, I thought it was ok, but I swear the dragon kingdom is lacking more dragons than I had expected there too be.

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I really liked this episode and would like to go over what I did enjoy and that which I didn't. Starting with the good.

 

Pros:

Spike actually did something.

Princess Ember was an awesome character.

The dragon lord looked awesome.

Seeing Spike make a friend in the dragon land.

Rarity sneezing was ADORABLE!!  :D

 

Cons:

The reveal of ember competing in the gauntlet couldn't have been anymore cliche.

We didn't get to see Garble hug anymore dragons.

Rarity for the most part was wearing very unflattering costumes.

 

 

Overall I really like this episode and if future Spike episodes can be as good then I look forward to them.

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