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I am sorry that I was late -- I really want to show why and how I started to like Gilda.


In the past, it was mainly because she angered many bronies by making Fluttershy cry, and it was amusing. Last March, however, this appeared:




It is just a fursuiter, but the very image of Gilda dancing with a child (instead of harming him) gave me some ideas, of gryphons like Gilda being angelic beings that protect children in dreams. That same wonderful idea later inspired me to go on world-building, developing things from fictional civilisations to their own mythologies, some of which include gryphons either as characters or symbols.


Surely, it gave me a bigger reason to appreciate Gilda and her species: even though she was remembered by many for being nasty and mean, her very status as a gryphon (and her natural colours compared against the show's other gryphons) is why I like her very much. I would like to see her "fly" majestically on a flag or an insignia!




(Artist: drbadenov)

    Huh, some fandom, eh? This poor fanclub & character left abandoned for neigh on a year! We talk so much about friendship, and here we have likely the one that needs it most! Well... next to Starlight I suppose, but I'll get to her sometime later I suppose.


    Think even to this day there's alot of unwarranted hatred for poor Gilda. Let's take a look at her inaugural episode. Why, I feel in love with her within mere second of her appearing on screen! We start the episode off with Pinkie "comedically" chasing down Dashie. Seems odd that so many would just pass this by as nothing more then momentary whimsy. This sets up what we already know by now that Pinks can't take a hint. Despite being the veritably literal welcoming wagon to Ponyville, she is the last horse you want to get a first impression of. She's just doesn't know when to notice that someone else might not like what she's doing & that the best thing would be to back off & calm down. She's not always unwarranted in her over-reactions, but none the less, she doesn't help a situation.

    I think, the literal second Gilda's head popped out in dead center screen, I noticed something was wrong. Can we all agree that's a very awkward position to be in? Pinkie calls out to Rainbow's house & Gilda pops out, straight perpendicular from the presumed front door, her head tilted downward with one eye focused squarely on this new sound. As biology goes, when you have a rather long head with one eye on either side of it, there's some blind spots. I've especially heard that of avians, say if you positioned three of the same image just so around their head, they'd go blind and wouldn't be able to see any of it at all. So that's a trait that birds will do when they especially need to focus on something, they tilt their head to square you dead center in one eye. Something I'm sure most anyone who has observed or knows of birds would attribute to a predatory bird-like character that they're writing, especially if they wanted to make them just another stock bully archetype. But wait, consider that thought further while we have it. What need does Gilda have to have enough alarm to focus so intently on a new character? After all, we see her striding through town later, she has no real need to eye up every pony she walks across. Surely she could expect that when visiting her old school chum she could expect more ponies to be living around her, that that would be a factor she would have to consider? She clearly went to a school of some sort where she met RD, so she must have met ponies before.


    Well, not really. We find Gilda directly at RD's cloud house. Most likely the ONLY cloud house in all of Ponyville; we would see others dotting the skies in the many establishing shots, wouldn't we? We don't find Gilda in town, maybe meeting up with Dash over a meal at some restaurant or some other local landmark, no; We find her at the native friends house that is place far from the rest of the ponies, where there is as little chance to run into others as possible. To say it was intentional would be a stretch, as it certainly wouldn't be RD's idea with as sociable & proud as she is. She likely wouldn't have thought too far ahead & would have been proud to strut her bulky, cool, old friend of a griffon though town! So then that must mean it was Gilda's idea to meet up at that cloud island, eh? Her initial intentions must have been to just stop by for a day, spend some time in the clouds with her old buddy, then skedaddle before ever getting within sight of Ponyville.

     I posit that Gilda is terrified of ponies.


   But wait, I hear you saying, we DO see her in town later! Aye, but its not like she's avoiding it entirely. She knows Dash, if it was called for, she'd do it. It wouldn't be comfortable for her, but not doing it when she's asked to, when it does present itself, that would be cowardice. And griffons don't do cowardice.


    So what do we have here in this social equation? We have one party who fully intended to spend time with just her old friend, so much so that she hadn't even considered needing to run into other ponies. Then we have Pinkie, who simply cannot grasp a situation where she isn't needed. She can't leave well enough alone, she can't just stop & think that maybe Rainbow is busy with someone else & that she can go a day without talking to one among hundreds of her friends. No, she needs to have her attention even if it calls for disobeying the laws of physics and disregarding the intentions of others. In my opinion at least, Pinkie was the clear antagonist here.

    I'm not exaggerating here. Sure, a chase scene is comedy tradition, but it was made quite passively clear to Pinkie, that there's something else going on here. Gilda didn't want to do that cheer in front of an audience. Maybe she thought it wouldn't have been 'cool' of her, but she did it for her old friend. "for you, Dash." And what happens when they come down after those gymnastics? Pinkie laughs. Of course, Pinkie always laughs. She'd do that regardless of the situation! But that's not what Gilda wants to hear. Immediately after touching back down, watch the body language. Dash steps forward to accept the praise, she knows Pinkie, knows that her laughter is a good thing. Gilda... she ducks her head behind her back, and tries to brush her 'hair' out of the way. She's fighting the urge to bury her face. That's submissive posturing.     ...and trust me... I know being submissive.


   And it only gets worse for poor Gilda. Later on Rainbow directs the phrase "here to keep you honest" to Gilda. That's comparative. That's implying that Gilda is dishonest (which she is, I won't dispute that point) and that she needs somebody near by to tell her what to do.


   Now there's the big thing. The part that usually breaks everyone when it comes to Gilda. Her shouting... no, outright roaring at poor, little, shy Fluttershy. Well sure, its an over-reaction, but over reacting is part of what makes Gilda. I ask you, what was Fluttershy doing? Guiding a family of ducks through town.

Why?! Are we to believe that in this small town that has only medium amounts of hoof traffic (there's no cars, usually what makes crossing roads difficult for wildlife) that wild animals can't find their own way through it? Not to mention that she's deciding to do so, not by walking alongside, which is what most would do, but walking backwards, through town, in the middle of the day, without bothering to look behind her. Sufficed to say, she would have rammed butt-first into somepony before long & we have seen Fluttershy have to confront short tempers before like dishonest vendors. Getting shouted at would have been inevitable. Now did it require that kind of reaction? Certainly not. Fluttershy engenders a sense of protection in most, any of you would be right in feeling a sense of revile at such an outcome. But think of Gilda.


    In her second episode, we see two unrelated griffons in her hometown bump into each other. They immediately proceed to jump down each other's throats about it. It is almost second nature from where Gilda comes from to pick a fight over any trifling detail. So here, in another town & place, this small pony walks into her while she's got her chest puffed out, trying to show every pony around her that she's something you shouldn't fight with. That she's not afraid. She gets bumped, her mind clicks on with a "Oh, this means a fight then." So then this means this object that terrifies her, that dares touch her, that dares call her out on her fears of being in this foreign town, that has the gall to do the unthinkable of not yelling back at her. It's not in Gilda to conceive of who might be at fault, that somepony could greet this confrontation with a calm manner and just politely excuse themselves. She's expecting what she's always gotten, someone else to fight with, and its not what she's getting. So it only makes her angrier.

   Yes, she's horrible for doing so. But that doesn't mean you can't forgive her.


Then what happens after that? Pinkie says she wants to throw Gilda a welcoming party. That she sincerely has her best intentions. Yes, setting up a barrage of pranks is certainly very sincere of you. I will admit though, I'm not one to see the humor in pranks. Those wear me a bit thin. I can't help but see them as mean-spirited. But we saw Pinkie be considerate when she knew not to prank Fluttershy earlier. So... you would think... that the local party planner of Ponyville would know enough not to inflict pain on somebody they only just met this morning, then expect them to laugh it off. Someone you have seen over-react to a situation and not get along well with others.

    Now yes, Rainbow did admit to most of the pranks being hers. Though clearly Pinks had some say in it as it was her party to plan & she had a joy buzzer strapped on & most of her refreshments tampered with. Wouldn't Rainbow, the one who knew Gilda back when she was a chick just getting settled in pony society know her history in socializing with ponies? As the one that's known her the longest, wouldn't she know more so then anypony else that she's the sort to scream someone else down in the street? That she might be a tad unstable?

  I don't know, Pinkie. Maybe when someone who's bigger than you grabs you by the neck, drags you behind cover, and stares you dead in the eye in a low, threatening voice, MAYBE that's a sign to cut it out with the jokes, huh?


    But no, these ponies decide to not only continue doing them, but set them up to go off in quick succession and even direct Gilda right into the next one. All while poor Gilda is in a town she's already self-conscious of, surrounded by ponies she doesn't know or is comfortable with. Yet it keeps getting worse.

  What happens when Gilda finally blows her top & says point-blank that she doesn't like this? That she doesn't feel she's being treated with respect? (even if she is taking it a bit too personal) Rainbow steps up, and says something to the effect of "Gee, didn't know you would be such a poor sport about it. Maybe I should stick with my new friends!"  Yes, some good show of friendship there, Dash. Walk up to the girl that's clearly already stressed & throwing a fit and compare them to others & call them inferior.


   Put yourself in Gilda's paws. Could you have dealt with it better? Well, most certainly. Would that still have been a horrible situation for any being to be in? Yes.    Am I rationalizing quite a bit here? Undoubtedly. Gilda isn't by any means "good." She's a brute, she's a walking collection of nineties cliches, thin-skinned and prone to violence.  But those that are raised in ignorance & hatred can only reflect that which they know.

    Everyone has their story to tell, its up to you to listen.



   But that's enough mental acrobatics & prose. I do endeavor to wake up this thread & with it, perhaps some respect for what I feel is a very deep & oft ignored character. Over to you, Gilda!


   No one ever said she wasn't capable of feeling.



Just that she's not very good at it.



  Fluttershy would be willing to forgive her, kindness is what she's known for after all!

 (*ahem* and that's totally just some friendly cuddling there, is all...)


sig-4803042.Discord_Gilda.jpgThere's just something about Gilda, I feel pairs well with others!



Of course, I still will rather admit that she looks like an absolute flank-kicker... and that might also be a good portion of why I love her.



Well, that's a nice, long post you've got there. And it is rather impressive.

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It is just a fursuiter, but the very image of Gilda dancing with a child (instead of harming him) gave me some ideas, of gryphons like Gilda being angelic beings that protect children in dreams. That same wonderful idea later inspired me to go on world-building, developing things from fictional civilisations to their own mythologies, some of which include gryphons either as characters or symbols.

  You know, your certainly right there. I have to admit that that's quite the juxtaposition in my mind about that little GIF of yours. I kind of have a rather deep-seated fear of fursuits and other full-body, mascot costumes like that. Seeing somebody in them actually react like a living being & not like some weirdo in a huge toy kinda goes a way to assuage that. It's sort of like how some fear Santa or clowns. Our mind lumps everything together into more of a figure to fear, rather than consider them as separate individuals that can have their own ends & will. Much like how we sort of saw Gilda as nothing more than just a loudmouth & a bully. ...She still IS of course, but there's much, much more to consider beyond that.


   You know, in real world mythology Griffons (or Gryphons, don't think there's any difference in spelling) were symbols of protection & guardianship. As ferocious as they may be, they served as symbols for shields, war armaments, flags, heraldry, or guardians for governmental institutions like banks or whatever else the town felt needed protection. Don't count on me for this, but I believe they were originally those lion statues one sees outside of big city libraries & courthouses. While well known for also being greedy over their hoards of gold & prone to ripping full-grown men to ribbons within seconds, Griffons were greatly respected back in their day. Sort of like the dragons before dragons became more respected & less like devil-by-proxies.

   This fits Gilda's character quite well too. She's more inclined to be over-protective & violent. Her species is naturally warlike & friendship just isn't something she's bred to welcome. But that's why we had griffons, once  you could tame them they would fight to the death for you!

  That's something I like to think still holds true to this day. In fantasy games these days like Warcraft or Magic: The Gathering griffons are seen as noble, but ferocious steeds. All the loyalty of a dog companion with the body of a wild lion with the keen mind of an eagle!


   I could go on about the dichotomy of hippogriffs & their inherent contradictory use in the MLP fandom buuuuuut I'm getting far off the topic of Gilda now!


P.S. You might wanna use spoilers to minimize that much if your gonna quote me! Or only quote portions, whichever you see fit! Though, who am I to complain about inflating the room we give to Gilda, eh?

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  • 3 months later...

Welp, sorry about that! In between getting a new computor, getting used to it and having a short attention span, haven't been back in a while to give Birdy her due!

  How many other one-off (well, two...) villainesses you know get their own fanmade plushies, eh?

gilda_plushie_by_brainbread-d5218pd.jpgQuite well made, I'd say! She's quite the fluffy chick!

Well, okay... maybe "fluffy" is a major selling point for me too, heh~*...


   Eh, wish I could increase the size or something...

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