TwilySparky

Spoiler S08:E21 - A Rockhoof and a Hard Place

TwilySparky

This thread will contain many spoilers about the episode at hand. Make sure to put your spoilers in a spoiler tag regardless so if someone accidentally clicks on it they don't get spoiled by what happens in the episode. Some people use the OP post to find an episode link so it wouldn't be fair to them.

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  1. 1. Like or Dislike?

    • Rarity *crossly*: "[A teacher] who doesn't ruin an entire class's friendship quilts. Do you know how hard it is to stitch a pineapple pattern?!" (I HATE IT! >__<) 
      1
    • Applejack: "Now this here's a right mash of apples." (I dislike it!) 
      1
    • Spike *scratches head*: "Can you do that?" (…meh…)
      9
    • Smolder: "He's definitely weird, but in a fun way. You never know what's gonna happen next with him." (I like it!)
      23
    • Yona: "When Yona grow up, Yona want to be just like Professor Rockhoof!" (I LOVE IT! <3) 
      43


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Hmm.  Maybe my favorite episode of the season.  Really good.  Finally.  A really good one.  Yay.

I really liked the premise.  It would be ridiculous to think that there wouldn't be at least one pillar that found it difficult to fit into the modern world.  This was definitely a story that needed to happen, in my opinion.  I especially liked the scene where Rockhoof was momentarily angry at Twilight for bringing him back.  If these characters were real, then surely one of them would feel that way at one time or another, so that was very realistic.  I liked the inclusion of the other pillars and how they've adapted.  It was a good, mature story.  My only complaint was that I wished that they had found something more for Rockhoof to do.  Keeper of Tales really seemed like the flimsy sort of job you'd make up for a five-year-old so he can pretend he's helping.  I find it sad that apparently all Rockhoof is now good for is telling ponies about the useful things he used to do.  That might be okay if he was really old, but he's still in his prime.  Is he never going to do anything truly useful again?  Not that stories aren't useful, but I mean, y'know, in terms of seeing action.  I thought Rainbow hit the nail on the head when she said he needed to be a hero.  I wish they'd keep trying to find him something in that department.  But even so, I still loved the episode because the emotions were so realistic, and the story much more mature than most we've gotten this season.

What stood out the most for me was the stone sleep spell.  I interpreted the spell as an allegory for suicide.  I believe that this episode is the closest that Pony will ever get to dealing with suicide.  I took it to mean that Rockhoof wanted to kill himself, which of course means that Twilight was willing to help him do it, which is some pretty dark and intense sh*t, but it's also a true blue friend.  I believe that the greatest test of true love is if one would be willing to kill the one they love the most if their suffering becomes so great that they desperately need it to be over.  I realize how controversial and frankly morbid this opinion sounds, but I've given it a lot of thought, and I believe it's true.  It doesn't mean I would encourage suicide, but simply that I never judge one for it, because we can never know how much someone else may be suffering.  Anyone who knows me knows that I have never been a life-at-all-costs person, but rather a life-if-it's-worth-it person.  Quality over quantity.  Moreover, I believe that forcing someone who is suffering to live against their will is highly unethical.  Of course, our lives are our own, and no one can force anyone else to live, but if someone was suffering beyond imagining, and all other options had been exhausted, and they needed it to be over, and if a friend or loved one was willing to help them do that....well...I think that would be the greatest mark of true love, twisted though it sounds.  It would be an absolute last resort, of course, but it would mean sacrificing the ultimate to do what's right for someone you care about, even though it means losing them.  Of course, in real life, it's not that simple.  Even if someone was suffering so greatly, with no hope of improvement, such that death would be the best thing for them, you can't just kill someone or assist in suicide without massive consequences.  This kind of thing has bothered me for my whole life.  There are so many grey areas in life where doing what's just, what's right, or what's in someone's best interest is against the law.  That's the problem with absolutes.  A wise man once said, "There can be no justice so long as laws are absolute.  Even life itself is an exercise in exceptions."  That is one of my favorite quotes of all time.  That was by Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

Anyway, back the episode.  In the context of the show, the stone spell was of course a temporary measure, as Twilight said.  If she really thought he was going to die, she would have fought a lot harder for a lot longer.  In fact, in her mind, she might have been protecting him.  Perhaps she thought that if left to his own devices, Rockhoof might try something more rash, like actually trying to kill himself.  Maybe she thought it best to keep him safe until she could figure out what best to do for him.  I like the suicide allegory, though, and that's what it meant to me.

On the lighter side, the meditating ponies were adorable.  My Celestia, the level of articulation these ponies have is insane!  The poses they can make....they must not have any bones. 

Twilight's shrug and "meh" sound in response to Spike asking if she had the authority to grant Rockhoof the title was hilarious.  Part of me wondered if it's a little tongue-in-cheek jab at the fact that the Princess title in Equestria seems a little bogus at times.  Like, even Celestia herself didn't seem to really have anything specific in mind when she promoted Twilight.  And then later it was like, "Hey, Celestia, can I be the Princess of Friendship?"  And Tia's like, "....yeah, yeah ....sure....what...whatever."  So in this episode, it was like, "Hey, Twilight, does your job really include that authority?"  And she's like, "Who cares?  It's all made-up anyway!"  That's what it made me think when she made that noise.

I absolutely loved the fact that Stygian is an author now.  Me and My Shadow.  Omg, that sounds amazing.  Someone in the fandom needs to get on the ball and write that book, now.  And it needs to be a f*ckin' EPIC.  Like a dark, rated R, 1200 page epic.  I want to read that.  I hope that Hasbro at least makes that a real book, like the Daring Do books.  I'd buy it.

Hmm.....what else....I guess that's it.  Can't think of anything else.  Great episode.  Rock solid episode.  :derp:  Quite pleased.

On 8/24/2018 at 7:12 PM, Truffles said:

The whole idea of him wanting to be turned into stone like Discord was shocking. I felt bad for Twilight having to even temporarily have to carry out that spell. (As an aside, this opens up the possibility of a time-travel aspect if some pony with no family or friends wanted to do a one-way trip to the future if they wanted to see what it's like or be around for certain characters when they actually grow up....)

 

OHHHH!!!!!  What a great idea!  It's like The Simpsons' freezer geezer!!

Spoiler

 

 

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A good title for this episode would've been Rockhoof's Modern Life :mlp_smug:

21330798_winonaspunky.png.853703eed0fad7c911fd66744d6b3845.png

Edited by Cirrus.
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On 8/25/2018 at 2:53 AM, Dark Qiviut said:
Spoiler

I got the episode link! https://sendvid.com/0o30yb1w

 

Keep these coming pls, for those that are far from TV's and alike right after US airing date. The dailymotion 480p vids, flipped horizontally, probably 1.25 speed that made voices sound childish was not very nice to watch.

On 9/15/2018 at 6:30 PM, TheTaZe said:

Should I rewatch this? I watched it a few weeks ago so I already know what happens for the most part.

I rarely re-watch but mid-season finales and good episodes like with Luna in last season, Royal problem and such) deserve it. I would rewatch this, as the poor quality I used was not satisfying. I think this ep is worthy of rewatch too.

On 9/16/2018 at 5:34 AM, Music Chart Fan said:

Yeah, Twilight says that "stars can move slowly over time", and that "they must look different now than over a thousand years ago", with the implication that the stars must have moved far enough in the night sky to have caused Rockhoof to give directions that steered the ship significantly off course. That got me thinking about whether stars in our night sky on Earth could move that much over time, and if so, whether a similar explanation could apply to the stars seen in Equestria. I didn't know much about that, so I did a little research, and I'll try to explain my understanding of some significant factors that could cause that to happen.

First, over the course of a year, the positions of stars we see in the sky change, because as the Earth moves along its orbit around the Sun, the direction that we face at night changes. (The positions of the stars will eventually "reset" when one year passes.) However, as we look closer to the Earth's north-south axis of rotation, stars will be observed to move in the night sky less over the course of the year. And if there's a north star (or south star) directly over the Earth's north-south axis of rotation, that star will stay in essentially the same place every night. If there isn't one easily identified north star, though, a constellation of stars near or over the North or South Pole will rotate, but will essentially stay close to or over the pole, and could still be used to approximately determine which direction is north. This appears to be what Rockhoof is trying to do by identifying a constellation in "the northwest sky".

Next, if we think about the positions of stars in the night sky relative to each other, those would be expected to change over a long enough period of time. The stars that we see from Earth are orbiting the center of mass of the Milky Way galaxy (and so are we and our Sun), and these stars are different sizes and distances from that center of mass, and thus would have different velocities. However, the rate at which these factors would cause an appreciable change is very slow relative to human timescales; it would take at least tens of thousands of years for the relative positions of stars in the night sky to shift noticeably. Therefore, the shapes of constellations in the night sky for us would not noticeably change over 1000 years. And we also seem to observe that in the episode. Rockhoof is readily able to identify the same constellation in the night sky that he learned 1000 years ago.

One significant complicating factor, though, is a phenomenon called axial precession, caused largely by the gravitational forces of the Sun and the Moon acting on the equatorial bulge of the Earth. Earth's axis of rotation is tilted about 23.5 degrees relative to the perpendicular to its plane of orbit, and this axis of rotation itself rotates about the perpendicular to the plane of orbit, completing one revolution approximately every 26,000 years. This can be hard to picture without a diagram, but if we were to draw a line through Earth's north-south axis out into space, that line would trace a circle in the night sky over the course of 26,000 years. This means that, for example, a different star was the north star (i.e., the star closest to being directly over the North Pole) 5000 years ago than the star that's the north star today. The implication of this is that the north-south axis, and thus the direction of north, will change relative to the star map over time, at a rate of one degree around this traced-out circle in the sky approximately every 72 years, or about 14 degrees over the course of 1000 years. So that could noticeably change the direction of north relative to the star map, but not drastically so over 1000 years.

All of this suggests at least a couple of ways that the stars might look significantly different at the time of this episode as compared to 1000 years earlier. If the stars observable from Equestria are like those observable from Earth, and would only noticeably change their relative positions on a very slow timescale, then the direction of north relative to the star map could significantly change if the orientation of the axis of rotation of their planet underwent a big change in the last 1000 years. Or it might be possible that, if the stars observable from Equestria move at a much faster pace than the stars observable from Earth, then the stars might have significantly changed their positions in the night sky relative to each other, but the stars making up the particular constellation that Rockhoof identified could be traveling at a similar velocity and could have moved through the night sky as a unit to a different position.

Yes, and in simpler terms (since I would still need to read it 10 times to figure out what it's saying even though I have studied it), in the episode they are just using the idea of what ancient civs saw in the night sky which was slightly different orientation than how things are now. Which is why the 3 pyramids and other structures perhaps the Mayan temples in South America are kind of representing how they saw Orion's Belt, and there were some other monuments believed to be placed in an order of how they saw the night sky thousands of years ago.

Edited by ImpctR

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On 9/15/2018 at 10:34 PM, Music Chart Fan said:

One significant complicating factor, though, is a phenomenon called axial precession, caused largely by the gravitational forces of the Sun and the Moon acting on the equatorial bulge of the Earth. Earth's axis of rotation is tilted about 23.5 degrees relative to the perpendicular to its plane of orbit, and this axis of rotation itself rotates about the perpendicular to the plane of orbit, completing one revolution approximately every 26,000 years.

I hadn't even thought about how the wobble of the planet's axis would affect their perceived location - I was thinking of all the star systems that make up their universe moving at different speeds relative to one another. Though that would probably have even less of an effect than the wobble you describe.

Unless their universe is less than a billion years old and life formed at an incredible rate on their planet. :)

On 9/16/2018 at 5:39 PM, Music Chart Fan said:

Smolder asks the other Student Six whether they think that Rockhoof is "gonna be the weirdest teacher at school or just one of the weirdest". Is Smolder just referring to the substitute teachers that Discord and Starlight came up with in "A Matter Of Principals", or does Smolder think that (at least some of) the Mane Eight are weird, too?

I think was including everyone in that set. Certainly Pinkie would be considered "weird" by a dragon as stolid as Smolder.

On 9/16/2018 at 5:39 PM, Music Chart Fan said:

So Rarity's entire class's friendship quilts were ruined because, what, they got wet? Are these quilts they're making never supposed to be washed? Is the implication that they were blasted with water and the impact undid the incomplete stitching or something?

And now I get to talk about something I love talking about: Fountains. :) Depending on how that fountain was plumbed, there are some possibilities that might have ruined the quilt that don't necessarily involve it just getting wet. If it runs off a recirculating pump, then there might be traces of algae in the water that could leave stains that would be difficult to remove. Or if it was heavily chlorinated as most public fountains are, the chlorine itself might cause the colors to fade. There's also the possibility of other "unsavory" things that could be in the water that might cause Rarity to feel like they were ruined.

However, if it's not recirculating it's own water, then Rarity probably didn't have much to worry about as long as the quilts were dried properly. Presumably a fountain that uses city water to run would have had a clean source coming out of the jet Rockhoof redirected with his shovel. But if she didn't dry it correctly, the stuffing in the quilt might clump up and make it unusable.

On 9/16/2018 at 5:39 PM, Music Chart Fan said:

Do the mail deliverers in Ponyville always know the contents of the packages they're delivering and what the people who ordered those packages will use them for? Was this one pharmaceutical company from which Cranky was ordering just particularly indiscreet in its packaging?

I'm thinking it was just indiscreet packaging. I've received a few computer hardware components over the years that didn't have any outside packaging - it was simply shipped in the box itself. So I guess that was the case with this medicine.

Curious they have a medicine just for rashes in "sensitive areas" instead of just a generic cream for rashes in general. Also, note to self: Spike is apparently very sensitive to situations involving TMI. :laugh:

On 9/16/2018 at 5:39 PM, Music Chart Fan said:

Applejack asks why the hippogriffs need ships if they can turn into seaponies, but one answer could be that they might not be able to effectively defend themselves and their home from threats on the seas as seaponies.

A ship would probably be only useful as an offensive weapon rather than a defensive one. Any attack from an enemy by sea would be easily thwarted by the hippogriffs turning into seaponies and then drilling holes in the enemy ships to sink them. (There are no ironclads in Equestria AFAIK.) A offensive ship, however, could be used to shell enemy cities from the water, and I don't think turning into seaponies and trying to fire weapons while sitting in the water would be very effective.

So that ship seems to be designed as a deterrent to prevent other species from thinking about attacking them again.

Thinking about it a little further, I suppose if there was some giant sea monster that was threatening their home a ship might be useful to attack it before it got near, though larger fixed weaponry would still be easier to manage if it were mounted on land rather than a ship and might be more effective than trying to attack it early with smaller weapons mounted on a ship.

On 9/16/2018 at 5:39 PM, Music Chart Fan said:

Spike tells the class that Twilight won't be in because she has to cast a stone sleep spell on Rockhoof, but then when Ocellus asks why, Spike just shrugs his shoulders. Was Spike told by Twilight not to say why she's casting a stone sleep spell on Rockhoof? Is Spike protecting Rockhoof's privacy/dignity/image by not saying that Rockhoof himself wanted the stone sleep spell cast on him?

It just seemed like he didn't care. I guess after Twilight explained she was only going too go through with it on a temporary basis until she could find a purpose in life for him, I guess it didn't seem that big of a deal considering he normally lives with her spellcasting and experimenting 24-7. Or at least did. She may be focusing on running the school now.

On 9/16/2018 at 5:39 PM, Music Chart Fan said:

At least for the last case, maybe the idea is that Twilight and Rockhoof started arguing and woke Spike up early in the morning, a few hours before the time that he would have woken up. Spike might normally have to wake up fairly early for whatever jobs he does at the Friendship School, though, so I'm not sure if that's really a good explanation.

Yeah, it was just weird. This scene reminded me of the other times that come to mind where Twilight woke Spike up early, (Winter Wrap Up and It's About Time)  and he looked tired but didn't have those hideous dark circles like he had been up all night long. I guess it could be the animators were just trying something new to show lack of sleep, but I hope they drop it because it made him look like a drug addict with a serious habit. :yeahno:

On 9/16/2018 at 5:39 PM, Music Chart Fan said:

If they have fire-breathing contests all the time, as Twilight says, do they normally catch stuff on fire when they do so? I could imagine, say, a fire-breathing contest where the two of them get (essentially) identical flammable objects, and the goal is to use their fire breath to be the first one to reduce their flammable object to ash. However, are they prepared to contain the fires they make so that they don't harm anyone or anything else? It really would seem like something more safely done outside and a good distance away from anyone else.

I like the idea of them having a "burn it to ash the quickest" contest - that would allow them to breathe fire in a manner that would require a small, intense flame (like the one Spike used to melt the iron lock in "Inspiration Manifestation") rather than a huge gout like Spike used on the roc earlier this season - which wouldn't be appropriate at all for a school built using wood in most places.

The yellow flame is kind of an animation error if it is supposed to represent both of their gouts being fired directly out the window - the colors of their fire is well-known, so having them have to burn a wooden item would make a lot of sense. Of course, the episode probably wanted the fire to make the audience think there was a problem at first, but I'm not sure it was an effective mystery that needed to hide the flames' colors because as soon as Twilight shouted, "Wait!" I knew the flames would involve Spike and/or Smolder in some way.

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First of all, I'm annoyed my timer for this show keeps on not working.  It's annoying!

But I liked this episode.  Yeah there were a few times where I was like, "Why didn't they just put his class outside" or "Why don't they just tell him what he did wrong but give him another chance."  Seriously all of the jobs he took it's like they gave him 1 chance then just shoved him out the door.  Kind of dumb.

But I did enjoy the ending of the episode.  Nearly got me teared up.  :)

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I felt this episode was possibly the most touching all around there for me, or at least in the tops.

It reminds us of ourselves, our fears of not understanding the world anymore, everything else becoming too modern for us, to not have a place, a purpose anymore.

Very well executed.

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Rockhoof and I have a lot in common.

We’re both products of a bygone era best left to the sands of history, we have absolutely no idea how to fit in with today’s modern society, and we both have felt it would have been better had we been “turned into a statue” (removed from the world entirely).

That said, it was nice that Rockhoof found a purpose.

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This was a great episode. Again, so realistic. It’s like a modified version of the story “Who Moved My Cheese”

That Scottish accent by Rockhoof is just priceless. Love Gallus’s little turkey gobble when Yona pushes him. Speaking of Yona, she’s the star of this episode. 

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Kinda funny that Twilight will pick up anyone off the street and give them a professor title.

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57 minutes ago, Singe said:

Kinda funny that Twilight will pick up anyone off the street and give them a professor title.

Ah, but Rockhoof is a special case. I think she ships them with AJ ;)

 

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1 hour ago, Singe said:

Kinda funny that Twilight will pick up anyone off the street and give them a professor title.

She was actually using him as bait to lure a wild Starswirl the bearded into her school.

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A really good episode, of course. It's to be expected with the most inconsistent season of MLP thus far. And this is the first time I mean that in a good way. I'll start with the bad this time since it will be only one item long.

 

The Bad

  • I don't really like how Rockhoof was treated by some of the other ponies at times. My complaint here specifically lies with the archaeologists and Rarity. In the former case, I couldn't stand how they acted like he was ruining history... When he was a part of it himself... In the latter case, Rarity overreacted just a little bit to Rockhoof unknowingly destroying things because he knew no better and had no knowledge he was actually doing that.

 

The Good

  • The whole premise of the episode is relatable (in my case, in a different sense). How the world can just suddenly change one moment and make you obsolete. But, the message it sends to those people is truly inspiring. That message being that there's always somewhere to fit in, you just have to know where to look.
  • I think Yona's my new favorite member of the Student Six (even over Ocellus). She just shined so well here... Seriously, I'm tearing up and I cry on the inside. 
  • I wish I had more people in my life like Twilight's representation in this episode. She tried her absolute hardest to find him a place to be in the modern world where he could shine. The answer was just a bit more obvious than she thought. But I can't blame her for it. After all, what he ended up being was rather unique.
  • Rockhoof himself. His aggressive but artful way of telling tales, his admirable concern for those around him, and all of his (admittedly) entertaining blunders. It made him from a character I hardly knew to a likable one pretty quickly.

 

Probably one of the best episodes in the entire series, and I think the best in the season. A solid 9.75/10 I think.

 

 

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Where to start?

Well, I absolutely enjoyed this episode. Everything felt that it was done right and the return of the rest of the Pilliars was something that I wanted and was happy to see - Somnambula becoming a motivational speaker got a laugh out of me, given that it came completely out of the left field. Rockhoof's way of doing things was pretty humorous at some points and his dilemma of not fitting in, hit close to home for me. I sympathized with him and I was happy to see him fit into a role which he was happy with - Albiet Twilight creating the role out of nowhere, which the episode humorously addressed. I'm pretty sure that this episose has sold me on Yona being my favourite member of the Student Six, due to her being...well, awesome.

So yep, loved it!

Edited by Cash In
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I know what Rockhoof is doing in this episode. When finding a place for him, the Pillars of Equestria have appearance in this episode to know what's right for him— for his job works. Also, I can hear in Somnambula's words as a legendary motivational speaker in her village as to feel the fresh air in words of wisdom. 

With disagreement with Rockhoof to be turned to stone, I don't want him turn into stone as to carry out a plan from Princess Twilight Sparkle! The conclusion for this episode is he'll be recognized as one of the 6 Pillars of Equestria and be called as a keeper of tales of Equestria for having strength for himself with his shovel. He have strength for his buffed hooves and he's strong as a strong man!

I will say this episode is great too! :-D

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I didn't find anything to be that funny on rewatch (aside from Stygian becoming an author; that's still hilarious). It's a typical story told in a bland way. Rockhoof's decision to stone himself also feels very jarring since it doesn't feel like it was set up properly. The episode doesn't show that Rockhoof had no other options. Rockhoof could've still taught at the school, just outside where there's nothing for him to crash into. All he would need are some lessons about what to and what not to do. 

Score: 5/10

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Not too bad, but plain. It sure was enjoyable, but I don't have much to say about this one. :ticking:

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