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Warning: Spoilers to season 4 and beyond, plus speculative spoilers and lighthearted banter

 

Since the very early episodes of the series, Starswirl the Bearded has been referenced again and again, but never in the flesh. It's hinted that he's no longer around, but we're never told why. We don't even know who would know about what happened to Starswirl really; does Celestia keep that information a secret? Is it public knowledge? Is it a mystery to everypony? Well, my theory is...

The call is coming from inside the house! And by that I mean, Starswirl is inside the Cutie Map. Insane? Possibly, but let me write out my reasoning.

Starswirl may have little known to the show's viewers right now (Excluding information to come from books, comics, etc. It's not that I believe they aren't relevant, but I do think any number of continuity errors may have happened accidentally over the years), but we do know that Starswirl was around the first time Tirek came around to Equestria. We know he put away the sirens, made the time travel spell, and was acquainted with Celestia. While taking a small leap in assumptions, I'm going to say Starswirl might have been around when the Tree of Harmony still had the Elements of Harmony originally; don't worry, later information will help tie that assumption together better. But what does that matter?

 

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"The Elements are connected to the tree, the tree is connected to the chest, and the chest is connected to all of us... There must be a connection!" 

Yes, Twilight. You've already pointed out multiple connections before you declared there has to be one. You're supposed to be the smart one!!

 

Anyways, All of these things spawned from the Tree of Harmony. But why? And what spawned the tree in the first place? Well, that's where I believe Starswirl comes in. While we don't know how long ago Tirek was imprisoned, we do know that he knew Discord. While they could have met beforehand, it still could tie Starswirl to sometime 1000 years ago, when Celestia first removed the Elements to defeat Discord, probably a few other villains, and then Nightmare Moon. I think the tree could be tied to Starswirl; maybe as something which sprouted from his grave (Dark, yet I don't believe out of the question) or he got tied to it by some magical means.

 

The tree always seems to help Twilight and her friends: it gave them the power to defeat Tirek, a new home immediately after theirs was lost, and it now points the mane 6, Spike, Starlight, and potentially others in the direction of problems to be solved. But why would a plant know or care about all of this, and why specifically Twilight's friends? And why does it require them to learn things about themselves, and go through hardships to open that chest? Whether it's Starswirl or not, it's definitely sentient. It's teaching and guiding, which is what some theorize Starswirl did for Celestia. 

 

But the strongest evidence I have to link Starswirl with the map was a very specific piece of animation, that I originally didn't notice.

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Starswirl's spell; the same one Starlight realized she could tie to the map, was taken away by the map. Why? They didn't touch it again, and why the attention to connecting the scroll to the map with that beam? If the spell was going away anyways, it wouldn't have that beam right? I think the map purposely took it away after the job was done, knowing Twilight would succeed and that sending them all to Starlight's village in the first place would eventually cause this to happen. The map has always been more knowledgeable on the goings on in Equestria than even Celestia, and while it originally seemed specifically linked to the mane 6 (With their elements, cutie marks, throne-mark-beam things and such), now we know it isn't limited to contacting just them. 

 

What do you think? Is Starswirl helping to keep the peace and guide Celestia's student? Or is this all still insane and I spent way too much time thinking about nothing?

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Despite not having an argument to support my opinion, I think that your theory is quite possible. :huh: 

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The only thing that is apparently true, is that Starswirl is presumably still alive because he played with time spells a bit. Not to mention he's presumably aware of Twi according to the Journal of the Two Sisters :huh: 

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Since there is no mention of his passing we have to assume he is still alive somewhere... or sometime?

There could have been a spell he cast that has him elsewhere maybe in another dimension. Wouldn't that be cool if Twilight finds a way to bring him back? :D

He is one of the most powerful magical ponies and probably even more powerful than Twilight is.

One thing is for sure there is a story here and it needs to be told. Hopefully the creators will do this at some point.

 

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Starswirl could be alive, in a sense, since he's time traveled.  But you guys need to keep in mind that Hasbro does not want MLP to directly mention deaths because it's a heavy topic that they decided to make taboo.  While Applejack's parents aren't directly mentioned as dead, it's heavily implied with how she behaves on the subject of her parents in the show, for example.

So it could be that he has already passed, but it is still possible that he's still alive with his manipulation of time.  Although, he could already be dead, but you could still find him time traveling to meet Twilight someday.

Edited by StoryTail

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6 minutes ago, StoryTail said:

Starswirl could be alive, in a sense, since he's time traveled.  But you guys need to keep in mind that Hasbro does not want MLP to directly mention deaths because it's a heavy topic that they decided to make taboo.  While Applejack's parents aren't directly mentioned as dead, it's heavily implied with how she behaves on the subject of her parents in the show, for example.

So it could be that he has already passed, but it is still possible that he's still alive with his manipulation of time.  Although, he could already be dead, but you could still find him time traveling to meet Twilight someday.

I prefer it if Twilight went back in time to meet him. :) Makes her seem like she could handle Starlight a bit more.

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24 minutes ago, Magic_Spark said:

Since there is no mention of his passing we have to assume he is still alive somewhere... or sometime?

There could have been a spell he cast that has him elsewhere maybe in another dimension. Wouldn't that be cool if Twilight finds a way to bring him back? :D

He is one of the most powerful magical ponies and probably even more powerful than Twilight is.

One thing is for sure there is a story here and it needs to be told. Hopefully the creators will do this at some point.

 

 

5 minutes ago, StoryTail said:

Starswirl could be alive, in a sense, since he's time traveled.  But you guys need to keep in mind that Hasbro does not want MLP to directly mention deaths because it's a heavy topic that they decided to make taboo.  While Applejack's parents aren't directly mentioned as dead, it's heavily implied with how she behaves on the subject of her parents in the show, for example.

So it could be that he has already passed, but it is still possible that he's still alive with his manipulation of time.  Although, he could already be dead, but you could still find him time traveling to meet Twilight someday.

 

Hey, I never said he was dead! I just said he was tied to the map one way or another, and said one potential way could be from him being gone (though I'm not expecting this to be how if everything else I've theorized is true) and I wouldn't entirely rule that way out. Nothing graphic, but the show has teased characters passing multiple times even without including AJ's parents.

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This is an actual screenshot; I know, it's crazy for the show's rating and demographic, but it's clear evidence that dark does not mean out of the question.

 

Also, just to be clear, I'm not mad at these posters! I'm just making a case, don't mean it to come off as upset, it's just text. Thanks for checking out my theory!

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One interesting possibility is that he and the tree are the same. He could have performed a spell to save the land and the end result was him turning or being absorbed into an immortal tree which would be interesting indeed.

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I have an insane theory that the pony of shadows from the finale for this season will turn out to be a corrupted starswirl the bearded.

Nothing to go on but personal theorizing though :P

 

At the very least, I think that the pony of shadows will be involved in whatever it is that caused starswirl to dissapear, given how his legends comic had him do a long speech about how he wouldn't always be there, and the legends of magic comic will feature him heavily as one of the legends (And will tie into the finale)

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On ‎27‎/‎08‎/‎2017 at 4:16 AM, Bonk said:

But the strongest evidence I have to link Starswirl with the map was a very specific piece of animation, that I originally didn't notice.

Spoiler

 

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Starswirl's spell; the same one Starlight realized she could tie to the map, was taken away by the map. Why? They didn't touch it again, and why the attention to connecting the scroll to the map with that beam? If the spell was going away anyways, it wouldn't have that beam right?

One could consider that the beam was the discharge of Starlight's map-spell tying magic from the map into the spell scroll.

She tied her spell to the map, which likely reacted to it as any quasi-living thing might do and tried to eject the spell's 'hostile' magic from its inner workings. However, while Starlight was actively maintaining the spell, the map would have been forced to hold one end of it (otherwise the spell wouldn't've worked). As soon as Starlight released control over the spell, therefore, in such a scenario, the map would have immediately rid itself of the foreign magic negatively affecting it - sending it back to the scroll in just such a beam as shown here, and with timing just as expected (as soon as Starlight stops actively keeping the spell in operation).

I have no points to make against your Starswirl theory - one of the more logical ones I've read -, but your 'strongest evidence' does have reasonable alternative interpretations.

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