Season 9 Discussion Thread [NO SPOILERS, DF airings only]

Myoozik
StarTrix Forever! - Derpi Supporter
Verified Pegasus - Show us your gorgeous wings!
Preenhub - We all know what you were up to this evening~
Philomena - For helping others attend the 2021 community collab
Twinkling Balloon - 100+ images under their artist tag
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
My Little Pony - 1992 Edition
The Magic of Friendship Grows - For helping others attend the 2020 Community Collab
Friendship, Art, and Magic (2020) - Took part in the 2020 Community Collab
Dream Come True! - Participated in the MLP 9th Anniversary Event

(JL) Romeo & Juliet
@rdibp
No doubt about it, though I do like the fact that Smolder and Spike tagged along to go visit Garble, which shows how far their relationship has grown.
rdibp
My Little Pony - 1992 Edition
Friendship, Art, and Magic (2018) - Celebrated Derpibooru's six year anniversary with friends.
Birthday Cake - Celebrated MLP's 7th birthday
Not a Llama - Happy April Fools Day!
Friendship, Art, and Magic (2017) - Celebrated Derpibooru's five year anniversary with friends.

Kerfuffle lover
Decided to move Sweet and Smoky down a bit in my rankings.

It's still an alright episode, but the whole "Garble is just trying to look cool in front of his friends" plot falls flat when you consider some of the terrible things he has done in the past. Dragon Quest had him force Spike to smash a baby Phoenix egg just because he was bored, and Gauntlet of Fire had him competing for Dragon Lord just for personal gain. Those had nothing to do with peer pressure at all, it was all his decisions.

If his terrible deeds were brought more into light by Spike and became more of a morality conflict between Garble and Smolder, it could've been a much more interesting episode instead of what we got.
AWGear
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
An Artist Who Rocks - 100+ images under their artist tag
The Magic of Friendship Grows - For helping others attend the 2020 Community Collab
Friendship, Art, and Magic (2020) - Took part in the 2020 Community Collab
Dream Come True! - Participated in the MLP 9th Anniversary Event
Wallet After Summer Sale -
Artist -

The Devil's Advocate
@rdibp
It's something I've been talking about since the beguin. Those "random redemption arcs" fall flat most of the time, since you make somepony who seems like a generic "bad guy" into a "missunderstood guy" in 22 minutes. It simply doesn't work.

Same thing was with DT, tough it was more "acceptable" with her being a filly. Tough still, "Crusaders of the Lost Mark" have alot in common with current episode in the "redemption" department.
Mildgyth
Best Pink Pony - For being the first person to reach 50k uploads, managing the site's featured images, and countless other contributions to the site.
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
Friendship, Art, and Magic (2020) - Took part in the 2020 Community Collab
Dream Come True! - Participated in the MLP 9th Anniversary Event
Wallet After Summer Sale -
Friendship, Art, and Magic (2019) - Celebrated Derpibooru's seventh year anniversary with friends
A Tale For The Ages - Celebrated MLP's 35th Anniversary and FiM's 8th Anniversary
Notoriously Divine Tagger - Consistently uploads images above and beyond the minimum tag requirements. And/or additionally, bringing over the original description from the source if the image has one. Does NOT apply to the uploader adding several to a dozen tags after originally uploading with minimum to bare tagging.
Friendship, Art, and Magic (2018) - Celebrated Derpibooru's six year anniversary with friends.

Moderator
Humata, Hukhta, Hvarshta
So, i found this on Fimfic — it's somebody's suggestion on how the episode could have been done without Spike or Fluttershy — i like them both, and the episode as it was wasn't bad, but i also like the idea. what you think about that?

Silverstream bursts into Twilight's office excited. Because Silverstream. She's never gotten to be a courier before. Twilight gets her to focus long enough to relay the message from Smolder, "Heading home for a week to deal with family issues."

Twilight worries about Smolder traveling so far alone, but there isn't anything she can do. She runs a school, not a prison.

Change scene to Smolder flying over the ocean, amusing herself by practicing lines for her next tea party. She's checking her reflection in the water while she speaks.

Suddenly a horrible sea monster appears below the surface, swimming rapidly up towards her. She gains altitude to escape, but the monster leaps high out of the water with gaping jaws. Smolder inhales, as if to scream in fear, but instead lets out a huge gout of flame at the monster. It shuts it's mouth to protect its delicate tongue, sails past Smolder and back into the water with a huge splash.

Cue music.

Smolder gets home to the Dragonlands without issue. Because she's a dragon. She finds her brother, Garble. She finds out what his deal is.

He tried to practice his poetry alone, but it wasn't working. He needs the reaction of an audience. He adjusts his beat to the body language of his listeners, and takes inspiration from them on what words to weave in. In other words, his hobby is treated less as a comedic device and instead as a legitimate passion of his.

He tried his poetry with some of his friends, since Smolder was away. As he feared would happen, they ridiculed him and won't even hang out with him to do dragon stuff.

Smolder consoles her brother, and they try out several things. Their initial goal is to find something he can do that will impress his peers and regain their acceptance. We, the audience, get a chance to see not just silly "dragons are tough" things chosen to intimidate Spike, but actual nuance and dedication to those activities. Smolder helps him confront his estranged friends who challenge him at various activities to win back their respect.

First (example) lava diving. Garble isn't bad at this. But he isn't as good at it as Dragon Friend A. Garble loses, more teasing. 2nd place is first loser, after all.

Two more friends, Dragon Friend B & C similarly best him, and he takes 2nd place. He's pretty good at all the things, just not the best. Each of his three friends are especially passionate about their thing.

Dejected, Garble slinks away. Smolder ponders what to do next.

Her solution is to challenge her brother at beat poetry. She gets Ember to judge. The other dragons watch, thinking it will be funny to see Garble lose at his own thing to his little sister. But he wins.

A, B, & C complain that Smolder went easy on Garble. She challenges them to step up and try to beat her score. They all lose, of course, but have to admit they can't do it even as well as Smolder.

So Garble can do his poetry and still beat two out of three of his friends at any one of the other activities. While none of them can even take "first loser" in beat poetry. They regain respect for him and open up to the idea of trying out different things that are difficult to do.
AWGear
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
An Artist Who Rocks - 100+ images under their artist tag
The Magic of Friendship Grows - For helping others attend the 2020 Community Collab
Friendship, Art, and Magic (2020) - Took part in the 2020 Community Collab
Dream Come True! - Participated in the MLP 9th Anniversary Event
Wallet After Summer Sale -
Artist -

The Devil's Advocate
@QueenChrysalisIsBestVillain
Actually, I think that Starlight had the best redemption arc. She didn't just became "good" in an instant. There was a progression to her character change. She, just like Twilight in season 1, has alot to learn about in the context of friendship.
Myoozik
StarTrix Forever! - Derpi Supporter
Verified Pegasus - Show us your gorgeous wings!
Preenhub - We all know what you were up to this evening~
Philomena - For helping others attend the 2021 community collab
Twinkling Balloon - 100+ images under their artist tag
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
My Little Pony - 1992 Edition
The Magic of Friendship Grows - For helping others attend the 2020 Community Collab
Friendship, Art, and Magic (2020) - Took part in the 2020 Community Collab
Dream Come True! - Participated in the MLP 9th Anniversary Event

(JL) Romeo & Juliet
@QueenChrysalisIsBestVillain
I mean, yeah she did that, but at least she knew that what she did was wrong and it wasn't like they were going to say "BAM! She's 100% good now!" They had to make it look like she's still trying to improve and not impulsively do the stuff she knew when she was evil. Granted they should've done it a lot better than manipulation, but it was something I guess. :/
AWGear
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
An Artist Who Rocks - 100+ images under their artist tag
The Magic of Friendship Grows - For helping others attend the 2020 Community Collab
Friendship, Art, and Magic (2020) - Took part in the 2020 Community Collab
Dream Come True! - Participated in the MLP 9th Anniversary Event
Wallet After Summer Sale -
Artist -

The Devil's Advocate
@QueenChrysalisIsBestVillain
Actually, it was less about the "brainwashing" itself, as about useing magic to solve your problems. Starlight is probably the strongest magical pony in the show and has been shown to gravitate more towards magic solution, than any other else. Putting her in season 8 as a pony who is supposed to TALK to the students, instead of helping with magic, is what shows how she grown as character overtime. Starlight is probably the "best developed" character is the show, as she has visible and strong flaws, but imporves them over time.
Frustration in Excelsis
Notoriously Divine Tagger - Consistently uploads images above and beyond the minimum tag requirements. And/or additionally, bringing over the original description from the source if the image has one. Does NOT apply to the uploader adding several to a dozen tags after originally uploading with minimum to bare tagging.
Artist -
Cool Crow - "Caw!" An awesome tagger
Magnificent Metadata Maniac -

Worldbuilding Addict
@QueenChrysalisIsBestVillain
For what it's worth, the show has always had a very cavalier attitude towards heavy-duty brainwashing — she the Want-It-Need-It spell, Cadance's ability to reset people's feelings for each other, the love poison, the very concept of love potions, etcetera. Starlight's overuse of mind magic is honestly kind of expectable by this point.

Actually, Starlight's behavior in "Every Little Thing She Does" makes a very strong parallel to Twilight's in "Lesson Zero". In both cases you have a student who entirely misses the purpose of their lessons (i.e. to socialize and in the process to form actual social bonds), focuses on the technical minutiae (make a deadline, spend time with people doing this and that and the other activity) and resorts to large-scale use of mind control on random bystanders to try and achieve her goals. When her teacher confronts her about it, the mind control is a peripheral issue at best, and is quickly brushed off to focus on what the teacher considers to be the real issue here — namely that the student missed the point of her lesson.
Spinny
Preenhub - We all know what you were up to this evening~
My Little Pony - 1992 Edition
Wallet After Summer Sale -

Resident Spin Fetishist
@Frustration in Excelsis

There's one key difference: Twilight knew almost at once that what she had done was a mistake, whereas Starlight decided to keep it going and doubled down without really caring.

Also, Twilight was a lot closer to insanity in that moment than Starlight, who was only mildly stressed and simply decided to do what she excels at: use magic to get out of doing any actual work.
Vivace
My Little Pony - 1992 Edition
Wallet After Summer Sale -
Artist -

“ShimSham my GlimGlams”
@DerpyFast
Judging by the facts that I’ve seen literally no one challenge that claim, and that you have a neutral and minimally biased view that I aspire to demonstrate, you’re probably right.
Interested in advertising on Derpibooru? Click here for information!
Techy Cutie Pony Collection!

Derpibooru costs over $25 a day to operate - help support us financially!

Syntax quick reference: *bold* _italic_ [spoiler]hide text[/spoiler] @code@ +underline+ -strike- ^sup^ ~sub~