Character

From Equestripedia, the Archives of Equestria!

A character is a fictional depiction of an entity, typically of a pony, human or supernatural/mythological creature that may or may not have a toy attached to their image.

My Little Pony has always been somewhat unique in the sense that, while it is a toyetic brand like G.I. Joe and Transformers, a large portion of the noteworthy characters in the brand don't solely exist to sell toys, however toys for the core cast and noteable side characters have been aggressively marketed in the past.

In order to sell more toys and variants of said toys, characters may dawn new outfits or gain special powers that alter their appearance in notable ways. During the first generation, characters like Megan Williams would change their attire every so often and would sometimes be completely redesigned. This practice was toned down in generation four as characters new outfits and forms would often only be for special occasions such as two-parters.

Description[edit]

What is a character?[edit]

Broadly speaking, a character would be any pony, human, dragon, alien, robot or other such creature or entity that has appeared in any form of My Little Pony material. This also includes animals, such as Hubert and minor entities such as the The Pony With No Name. However, stuff begins to get trickier with specific objects or locations which were treated as characters, such as Mr. Bones or with character-like traits, like the Statue of Liberty or Hungry Volcano. For the most part, we still consider those characters, or "Pseudocharacters". A term we so shamelessly stone from the Infosphere wiki.

Most characters appear in some sort of fictional setting, whether it be a cartoon, comic, manga or novel. Early characters in generation 1 were notorious for having no defined personality traits in their toys and cards (which often contained stories about the characters, mind you) and this problem still isn't totally fixed in Generation 4, with many toy packaging describing characters in extremely generic and often times vapid ways, so the fictional settings are often where the characters thrive and show off their unique personalities and skills the most.

However, a number of characters have only appeared in toys, such as Jolin and the many Comic Con ponies from the early to late 2000s. They're still characters, just without much history or personalities.

Characterizations[edit]

My Little Pony and characterization have had a rather complicated history from the start. My Pretty Pony, released back in the early 1980s had only superficial personality traits, most of which had to be attained with some interpretation and imagination. She was a rustic mother with a heart of gold, but that was about it. As mentioned in the above section, characters in toys didn't have personality and often relied on the cartoons to fill out the personalities.

Although mocked for its sheer femininity and seemingly (though highly overblown) vapid storylines, the original My Little Pony cartoon series did a great job at establishing the iconic, diverse and strong personalities of its characters, featuring characters from all different types of walks-of-life with their own skills and quirks. Though primarily a female-driven show, male characters, though given less screen-time, were no less given consistent personalities, such as Danny's resourceful and technologically inclinded mind, and Spike's out-of-place nature and longing to be with his own kind. A trait that carried over into his 4th generational counterpart.

Characterization would be among the things targeted in Generation 4 media the most. In general, the characterization of Friendship is Magic and Equestria Girls has been so strong, that background characters as minor as Wiz Kid have their own character arcs, personalities and characterizations. The personality of background characters has, in general, been among the strongest aspects of recent media, with the franchise creating hundreds of recognizable background characters with their own fanbases.

With background characters garnening strong personalities, it's no surprise the primary and secondary cast of the show have strong personalities as well. Across the nine seasons of Friendship is Magic and animated features of Equestria Girls, many of the main characters have gone through massive character arcs and evolve as characters as the series went on. This could most easily be seen in Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash who both gained new careers as the years went by and progressively became better and more skilled at the new responabilities thrust at them. Twilight became the Princess of Friendship while Rainbow Dash became a Wonderbolt, one of the most well-respected professions in Equestria.

Naming conventions[edit]

Although one of the most wildly parodied aspects of the brand, the naming conventions of My Little Pony have never been thoroughly consistent. Typically, Unicorns have been named after celestial or meteorological phenomenon (Twilight Sparkle, Starry Eyed, Galaxy), while Earth ponies tend to be named after more earthly concepts like foods or plants (Bon Bon, Cup Cake, Tree Hugger) and Pegasi tend to be named after the element, or terms associated with motion (Rainbow Dash, White Lightning, Wind Whistler) however, these are not constant rules. Some ponies have very human-like names, with notable examples being Teddy, Ace, Lance and Suzette.

Humans and humanoids before Equestria Girls were often given typical human names as well, such as Andrew, Garth, Philip, Alonzo, etc. Once Equestria Girls came out, new human characters were often give names just as grandiose as ponies, such as Rising Star, Wallflower Blush, Juniper Montage, etc. These names don't typically follow any set pattern.

Frustratingly, the concept of family surnames is also extremely inconsistent. Some characters have them, such as the Inkwell family and Pie family, others follow a loose naming convention based around fruit or celestial bodies, like the Apple family and Sparkle family while others have no consistency in their names, such as Rarity's family (sometimes referred to as the "Belle family" by fans) or Scootaloo's family. This doesn't appear to be exclusively a pony issue either, as dragons, yaks and deer seem to have similar, seemingly random names.

Names taken from other Hasbro properties[edit]

Many names were ripped from other Hasbro properties, primarily Transformers. A list of which can be found here.

"Pseudocharacters"[edit]

As mentioned above, we have ran into slight problems involving pseudocharacters, which are objects, locations or non-sentient lifeforms (typically plants) that are either given rudimentary personality traits by characters, or were designed with traits in the first place. We tend to treat these a characters as well as objects or locations.

Real people[edit]

A fairly complicated gray area is when real-people portray themselves in a fictional context. Generally, these are considered characters (see: Ota Aika) but also as real-people too. Luckilly, this hasn't happened to much, but has on a small handful of occasions, such as when the Idol group Amakuchi HKT48 appeared in the Japanese exclusive TV series, Little Pony TV. Various online specials with real girls interacting with the ponies have also surfaced.Template:Confirm Generally speaking, historical figures such as Picasso and Cleopatra are purely treated as characters.

Fan characters made canon[edit]

A few fan characters have become canon, such as Roku-chan and Poniko, who were both mascots for a Japanese My Little Pony convention and appeared in the comics. Sappho and Marina are also examples of fan characters who became canon.

Characters and the wiki[edit]

Unlike other fantasy franchises, sitcoms, slice-of-life shows or whatever you would classify My Little Pony as, the franchise is not a singular universe or overarching plotline. Instead, the series is made up of a handful of smaller series and continuities, with the most notable ones being My Little Pony, Tales, Friendship is Magic and Equestria Girls, though a small handful of other continuities exist. Each of these series are quite different in their own ways and tend to flip-flop from a high-fantasy universe to a sitcom, with newer series being a mix of the two.

Because of this, there exist numerous incarnations of each character. Spike and Megan seemingly being the most recurring characters, appearing in nearly every series in some way or another.

For example, we have articles for Spike in Friendship is Magic and Equestria Girls but also for Dragonfire and the manga one-shot. We're working on articles for Generation 1 and 3 Spike, so don't worry there either.

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