Starswirl the Bearded (Friendship is Magic)

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Friendship is Magic • Equestria Girls • Mirror-Universe
Starswirl the Bearded
Friendship is Magic character
Biographical information
SpeciesPony  • Unicorn
FamilyStarswirl's family
Real world
"Luna Eclipsed" (mentioned)

Starswirl the Bearded was an extremely intelligent, wise, powerful and heroic unicorn from an ancient era of history not yet forgotten.


Early history

To be written.

Teacher, historian, and Pillar

In instructing Princesses Celestia and Luna, Starswirl was forced to deal with Celestia's tendency to belittle her sister's struggles with learning magic. This later came to a head when Luna accidentally opened a portal to another universe, and was abducted by some of its denizens. Starswirl reopened the portal and led Celestia on a rescue mission, and the pair successfully rescued Luna from several ogres. After returning to Equestria, Star Swirl began compiling legends of various heroes, including Rockhoof, Mistmane, Flash Magnus, Somnambula, and Mage Meadowbrook. In the process, he determined that these heroes-together with himself-represented important and powerful elements: Sorcery, Strength, Beauty, Bravery, Hope, and Healing.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Starswirl was unaware that the other five ponies were in fact real beings, but would soon learn differently. After the banishment of Lord Tirek, Starswirl set to work on a spell that he would ultimately be unable to finish.[7] During this process, he was interrupted by Stygian, who requested Starswirl's aid on behalf of his village, which was being menaced by a trio of Sirens known as the Dazzlings. To his astonishment, Starswirl was then introduced to others whom Stygian had recruited for the same task: the very legends whose existence he had doubted.[8]

After overcoming his initial shock, Starswirl quickly accepted Stygian's request, bidding farewell to Celestia and Luna without telling them where he was going. He then met with the rest of the group at the Castle of Two Sisters where he had asked them to wait, believing that the group's existence shouldn't be disclosed to the princesses. Starswirl quickly asserted leadership over the group, unconsciously pushing aside Stygian. He then laid out the plan to exile the Sirens from Equestria to a world without magic, which involved using the elements of his fellow five heroes to power the spell. Against his own feelings, Stygian submitted to Starswirl's plan, and looked on as the newly dubbed Pillars of Equestria defeated the enemy.[9]

Following this victory, Starswirl sought to continue research into a field for which he would later become somewhat well known: interdimensional travel. In this endeavor, he created a number of magic mirrors to serve as permanent gateways to other universes. Unfortunately, while he was showing off his collection to Celestia and Luna, forces from the same dimension that Luna had accidentally accessed previously attacked the trio. Despite his best efforts, Starswirl was forced through a mirror, and the attackers then captured the princesses, breaking all the mirrors in the process. Star Swirl managed to open a portal back to his own Equestria, and arrived in Rockhoof's village where Stygian and the other Pillars had all gathered.

After recovering, Starswirl intended to seek the princesses himself, but was rebuked by Stygian; the unicorn and the other Pillars then accompanied Starswirl back to Canterlot. Finding the mirror to the world they sought too damaged to use, Starswirl opened a temporary portal to enable them to travel there. The group then split up, with Starswirl accompanying Flash Magnus in searching for the princesses. The pair eventually encountered the world's Pony of Shadows, who recognized the pair from encountering their alternate selves. He also admitted to killing his Starswirl, and sought to repeat the feat.

Their confrontation was interrupted by Stygian sending a signal that he and Rockhoof had found the princesses, and Starswirl and Flash swiftly joined their teammates. The Pony of Shadows revealed his intent to corrupt the pair into Daybreaker and Nightmare Moon, something he had failed to achieve with his own world's Celestia and Luna. Starswirl determined to thwart the villain as well, but at Rockhoof's suggestion he allowed Stygian to take the lead. Thanks to Stygian's uncanny command of the Pony of Shadows' minions-a side effect of being a counterpart of the Pony of Shadows himself-the rescue succeeded.

Starswirl, humbly acknowledging his failures, asked Rockhoof to shatter the mirror to the Pony of Shadows' world, noting that he would have to be more careful with future travel endeavors. He then carried Celestia and Luna, who had been unconscious throughout the rescue, back to their rooms.[10] At some point, the account of the Dazzlings' defeat appears to have become corrupted, instead depicting Starswirl facing the three Sirens alone in a conflict known as the "Music Wars". In this version of the conflict, Starswirl attempted to defeat Adagio Dazzle, Aria Blaze, and Sonata Dusk with music-based magic, during which time he is credited with inventing country and rap music, the banjo, and the guitar, or at least the double-necked guitar. However, he ultimately was unsuccessful-something he considered one of his greatest failures-and thus resorted to using the Crystal Mirror to exile them.[11]

Traveling Equestria(s)

At some point, Starswirl was traveling with a cart when he came across a cavern containing a strange lake, which he came to suspect was magical in nature after being stung by a local insect. Apparently unwilling or unable to address the matter at the present, he put up a sign warning other travelers. Unfortunately, the tree he nailed the sign to broke open and released the first Changelings and their monarch, Queen Chrysalis.[12] Around the time that Luna began growing disgruntled with the populace adoring her sister, Starswirl was-at least by Celestia's memory-similar in behavior to Pinkie Pie, a future hero of Equestria.

Still interested in traveling between worlds, Starswirl invited Celestia to accompany him on his expeditions using a mirror he created before perfecting the Crystal Mirror. He also established a vast personal library in the mountains beneath Canterlot, equipped with various defenses including a guard Hydra. They did this despite Celestia's growing fears over Luna's behavior, though Starswirl remained positive regarding the younger princess. The two proceeded to visit various realities, such as a realm where Cutie Marks appeared on Dinosaurs.

The pair eventually made their way to the Mirror Universe, where they were taken prisoner by the Canterlot royal guards. After a brief confinement, they were freed and introduced to the city's ruler, King Sombra, with whom they quickly developed a friendship. The pair soon found the Mirror Universe to be a wondrous place, including many things unknown to their own Equestria. They also befriended Dupluna, the world's version of Luna, who was every bit as pleasant as her counterpart had once been.

Unfortunately, the more often Starswirl and Celestia visited the Mirror Universe, the more both it and their home dimension began to be affected. Fearing the consequences, Starswirl attempted to set limits to their journeys, both in frequency and in making sure they didn't bring anything else back from Sombra's world. However, Celestia-who had fallen in love with Sombra-secretly visited behind Starswirl's back. After discovering this, an angry Starswirl decided he could no longer trust his pupil, and cast a spell to seal the mirror and prevent further travel through it.

Starswirl later came to lament how he had handled the situation and expressed this to Celestia when she expressed her own regrets to him. He suggested that the pair put the matter behind them, unaware that Celestia had discovered how to reopen the mirror and return to Sombra's world. Starswirl's fears would prove justified, as Celestia's infractions and the efforts of her counterpart Fauxlestia nearly resulted in a disastrous merging of worlds.[13][14][15][16] However, Starswirl would not be present for these events, as he and the other Pillars were forced to contend with Stygian after he became the Pony of Shadows. To halt this threat, Starswirl led the Pillars in sealing themselves and their former ally in Limbo, where they remained for over a thousand years[17]


Many later unicorns such as Twilight Sparkle and Moon Dancer came to admire Starswirl for his magical skill, wisdom and his overall intelligence over a thousand years after his time. Many of his spell books, tomes, and other such works are locked away in special libraries so they may be preserved. Ocellus, during a project for the School of Friendship, selected Star Swirl as one of the Equestrian historical figures whose form she adopted during an interpretative dance.

However, Starswirl's legacy isn't all good, much like himself. Sunburst came to consider Starswirl as potentially "the greatest villain in the history of Equestria", a notion Stygian found interesting.[18] Additionally, some of Starswirl's possessions were not so carefully safeguarded, with his most important journals ending up in a Ponyville antiques store.[19] His Animamulet, created to help understand animal life, also wreaked havoc in present-day Ponyville after Fluttershy came into contact with it.[20] Though Stygian reconciled with the Pillars, the heroes-including Starswirl-were also used effectively by Princess Eris as elements of a nightmare she conjured to trap the unicorn.[21]


Starswirl the Bearded was many things. A hero, an adventurer, a teacher but what he wasn't, was normal. Excitable and generally uncouth, Starswirl the Bearded often surprised others with his somewhat playful and kooky demeanor but he was by no means a joke. Starswirl took his profession extremely seriously, becoming both a warm fatherly figure towards Celestia and Luna, but also becoming a stern and even harsh teacher to ensure their future success. Although he could be gruff and rude to those under him, Starswirl valued compassion and harmony above all else, showing a gentler side to his personality in times of peace. To those he didn't have the burden to teach, Starswirl was extremely friendly and outwardly kind, growing close with Sombra of the Mirror Universe and maintained a large circle of friends over his long-lived life. In spite of his goofiness, Starswirl had a noble spirit. Sombra claimed that Starswirl could've become the King of Equestria if he wanted too, indeed had a way with people and an undeniable charisma. As years went on, his relationship with the Royal Sisters began to mellow out. By the time Celestia and Luna were young adults, he treated them with much more warmth and kindness, acting more like a close friend or grandfatherly figure rather than a stern teacher, but still retained his sternness when it was necessary.

Starswirl had a darker side to his personality, however. He was hurtful, condescending and belittling, even if by accident. In his quest for harmony, Starswirl was willing to do dark, cruel actions. Unlike his fellow heroes, Starswirl didn't necessarily believe in redemption and thus was more willing to "destroy" his opponents rather than help them. He was also willing to dump problems on others rather than fix them himself, as when he decided to transport the Dazzlings to an alternate world, letting the inhabitants of that world deal with their misdeeds.


V - E - H - DPractitioners of the arcane arts
Occupations Wizard • Witch • Enchanter • Magician • Sorcerer
Wizards Arial's father • Gandalf • Garnet Flash • Garth • Jewel Wizard • Lorne of Lore • Nightshade • Mothert • Omar • Sendak • Severus Snape • Starswirl the Bearded • Trixie's wizard
Witches Somnambula • Unicorn sorcerer • Witch Queen
Enchanters Nightshade • Zecora
Magicians Jack Pot • Miss Direction • Peppers Ghost • Trixie Lulamoon in Equestria Girls
Sorcerers Grogar