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Cwanky

Spoiler Dragon Code 2.0

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(edited)

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.

Edited by Cwanky

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>Head to head with tirek

Is till always find this idea foolish. Just because someone is BIG like tirek doesn't mean they're as STRONG as tirek. Tirek's power was magical in nature, not physical. This means his power isn't inherently from his size and almost assuredly stronger than another being of his size: Look at How he rammed through a Mountain without being even slightly inconveniencence.

 

Spike, fully grown on the other hand was able to be inconvenienced if not hurt by the wonderbolts, when Tirek was Absolutely untouchable by mortal ponies in the episode, easily grabbing and eating Shining armor's attack.

 

 

Just because dragons are as BIG as Tirek doesn't mean they're as strong as him, just like how in D&D a being being big doesn't mean they're as strong as another magical creature. Magic>all.

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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.

 

I was pleased to see this in the episode. What is interesting is in that clip of "Spike at Your Service" you included, Spike specifically calls the code he goes by "The Spike the Dragon Code" - not a general "dragon code". So somehow Spike knew there was such a thing as a dragon code, even if his own version of it didn't necessarily match up with what actual dragon law states. (Certainly not life debts, anyway.)

 

Dragon culture seems to be somewhere between that of Protoss and Klingon, probably closer to the Klingon side of things. A culture where honor must be earned through respect. The only crass part of it seems like that respect can be earned through things like smashing phoenix eggs, at least among teenage dragons.

 

 

For Princess Ember's credit as well, she stood up for Spike when she neither knew him nor had any obligation to help him.

 

I was wondering if she was helping convince her dad to exclude Spike because it would have been one less dragon competing against her, though she does specifically state she considers him a "runt" and not much competition. She may have just been feeling sorry for him, which speaks well for her actually having a sense of sympathy, and could be true for some of the other nicer dragons - had we gotten a chance to know them better. (Maybe in the Hearthswarming Eve ep coming up soon, more dragon personalities will be revealed?)

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(edited)

It is interesting how a good episode later on can retroactively improve a "bad" episode. Usually one thing that's completely silly in one episode will turn out to work in a later episode. "The Crystalling" did it with what Spike learned in "Princess Spike", about how to delegate authority in Twilight's place.

 

On the other hand, I have to question how Spike would even know about the genuine dragon code if he was raised by ponies. You could probably Hand Wave this like Celestia and Luna knowing about summoning, but it would defeat the whole purpose of this discussion. He most definitely would have learned little, if anything about such a thing, in "Dragon Quest".

 

The main achievements of this episode were developing Spike as a character, bringing on a great new character, and finally putting forward a much better depiction of dragons than previous episodes did. It gives Spike potential for greater things in this show in the future, as well as the other dragons. If the implication that there actually is such a thing as dragon code is part of that, I'm all for it.

Edited by Wind Chaser

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I'm happy to see dragons get some more development. Bonus point for giving them a sense of honor when it comes to dragon code, so they're not just some uncivilized fire-breathing flying lizards. :P Even someone like Garble, who you'd expect wouldn't care so much about codes, adheres to it.

 

Makes me wonder what someone would be treated like if they broke the code. Most likely a traitor that would be lynched by all other dragons, but it could also be something simple and not as severe, like a jerk or something. *shrugs*

 

Still, it was very interesting to see more of dragons. :D

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I like seeing dragons in media and this episode was a verry good one. Not only a good spike episode but also a good mlp episode, I would love to see more episodes like this

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I think Spike inventing a Dragon Code shows that the MLP dragons have an instinct for a dragon code although the details are learned behavior.  Garble obeying Spike shows it must be pretty ingrained.

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I'll admit, I've always hated Spike at your service and the code that is pulled out of his butt.  I always felt that it was a terrible episode for Spike since it felt so out of character and there wasn't anything that warranted the legitimacy of this code (since there were other times he was "saved" by others before that episode). So I have tendency to just ignore it completely. 

 

Still, I think that's an interesting connection you've made there between Spike's code and dragon law.

I don't really think of the dragons as being uncivilized or anything to that since we had little information being presented about them with dragon quest.

 

Dragon law feels like the most interesting aspect about dragon society (that I completely forgot to mention in another reply in a different thread), as I felt the governance of leadership in dragon society was loose at best. It seems as though, dragon law really seems more like the element that holds dragon society together at best from this perspective.  This is higher order for them (at least I think). It's an element that I'd like to also see further explored later on as well among the other things they could explore, along with Spike of course.

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(edited)
perhaps strong enough to go head on with Celestia and Tirek.

 

I don't know about Celestia, but definitely not Tirek.  Tirek was able to absorb energy from other beings, and since Dragons are inherently magical in nature, they would be just as susceptible to that power, if not moreso.  Direct combat with Tirek seems to be 'you lose' on almost any conceivable level (which is why the mane six had to fight him indirectly, using the Rainbow Powers; even the combined power of four Princesses wasn't enough to stop him).

 

 

 

Just because dragons are as BIG as Tirek doesn't mean they're as strong as him, just like how in D&D a being being big doesn't mean they're as strong as another magical creature. Magic>all.

 

I wouldn't necessarily compare dragons in MLP to D&D dragons, since dragons in D&D are in a whole different league (especially if encountered outside, and if it's in its lair it will leave it to get outside).

 

 

The show seems to almost be portraying its dragons to be more and more like Klingons from Star Trek, in that there is a real code of honor among most of them, even though there are those among their ranks that would usurp such power to their own ends (which was the case with the Klingon Empire too).

Edited by SBaby

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I don't know about Celestia, but definitely not Tirek.  Tirek was able to absorb energy from other beings, and since Dragons are inherently magical in nature, they would be just as susceptible to that power, if not moreso.  Direct combat with Tirek seems to be 'you lose' on almost any conceivable level (which is why the mane six had to fight him indirectly, using the Rainbow Powers; even the combined power of four Princesses wasn't enough to stop him).

 

 

 

 

I wouldn't necessarily compare dragons in MLP to D&D dragons, since dragons in D&D are in a whole different league (especially if encountered outside, and if it's in its lair it will leave it to get outside).

 

 

The show seems to almost be portraying its dragons to be more and more like Klingons from Star Trek, in that there is a real code of honor among most of them, even though there are those among their ranks that would usurp such power to their own ends (which was the case with the Klingon Empire too).

Oh I wasn't comparing the dragons to D&D dragons (they're MUCH less powerful than D&D dragons IMO), I was just using the example of how a magical being in D&D can be far more powerful than a mundane Larger creature.

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