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Starlight Glimmer

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My village was a sanctuary of equality, where nopony's cutie mark allowed them to feel superior! It was a special place, and you and your friends took it away! Now it's my turn to take something special from you! Without the rainboom, you and your friends will never form your special cutie mark bonds! Cutie marks for cutie marks! Sounds like a fair trade to me!
~ Starlight Glimmer and her plan for revenge.

Starlight Glimmer is the main antagonist in Season 5 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. She first appears in Season 5's two-part starter, The Cutie Map and reappears in the two-part finale, The Cutie Remark. 

She appeared as a redeemed supporting character in Season 6 and Season 7.

She is voiced by Kelly Sheridan.

Season 5

The Cutie Map

In her episode debut, she is the head of a village where all the ponies have equal signs for Cutie Marks. She greets the Mane 6 when they enter the village. She and the townsfolk explain their philosophy - that being equal is what brings true happiness. The Mane 6 (except Fluttershy, who is warmed by the townsfolk's benevolence, and especially Pinkie Pie, who is adamantly suspicious of the location), find this odd. They promptly meet a trio of ponies who miss their Cutie Marks, showing that Starlight's village is not as happy as it seems. The trio informs the group of a vault inside a mountain which contains the taken marks. Starlight leads the ponies to the vault and shows them a wooden staff, which she dubs the Staff of Sameness. She claims that it's a magical item she uses to take away ponies' Cutie Marks. When Pinkie Pie prematurely discloses that a group of ponies told them about the vault, Starlight immediately sees the Mane 6 as threat to the town's lifestyle and steals their Cutie Marks with the staff, placing them in the vault.

She imprisons the ponies in a house, wherein she condemns them to remain until they resign themselves to their fate of living in her town, markless and talentless forever. Unable to break out, the ponies persuade Fluttershy to feign having converted. Starlight is initially not convinced and commands Fluttershy to denounce the ponies who told her about the Vault. Fluttershy hesitates, but one of the free-thinking ponies - named Party Favor - voluntarily confesses that he was responsible for this, subsequently causing him to be imprisoned with the rest of the Mane 6. That night, Fluttershy intends to break into the Vault, but before she can get going there, she finds out that Starlight has taken their Cutie Marks to her house to guard them personally. She also discovers that in reality, Starlight still has her cutie mark and her equal mark is fabricated. The following morning, Fluttershy convinces Twilight to claim that she'll join Starlight and the rest of the village to distract Starlight's attention. While this is going on, Fluttershy tries to splash water on Starlight to reveal her cutie mark but misses. However, a drop of water wipes a smudge off the mark. Party Favor notices this and further wipes off the Equal mark, revealing Starlight's cutie mark and shocking the town. Starlight admits that the Staff of Sameness is just a regular staff she discovered in a desert, and that the Equalizing is the product of her own magic, which she hid from the town. Starlight tries to save face by claiming she did it all for the sake of establishing harmony, but the townsfolk turn on her for her deception. A group of ponies breaks into the Mark Vault and throws the Staff of Sameness at the glass, breaking it and releasing the population's Cutie Marks. Meanwhile, Starlight hides in her house and takes a secret passage, trying to make off with the Mane 6's cutie marks as revenge for exposing her. While the Mane 6 is failing to catch up with her since their forced equality causes them to move slowly, Party Favor and other ponies set out to apprehend Starlight and retrieve the marks (and in the process, use their individual talents to counter Starlight's obstacles). Just before reaching the caves, wherein she could have lost her pursuers, the villain winds up being covered in snow, forcing her to release the marks. Starlight emerges and tries to blast her former followers, but Twilight defends them and says to Starlight that her groups' individuality was what led her to become a princess. Starlight rebukes this and insists that her actions presented the townsfolk with a kind of friendship they couldn't have obtained otherwise, but is shot down by Double Diamond, who claims that she never gave them a chance to be friends before converting them to her beliefs. Enraged and defeated, and having lost all her followers, she uses her magic to escape. Twilight hopes that Starlight will consider what the townsfolk have taught her.

Cameos

Starlight makes a cameo appearance in Amending Fences, when she was hiding behind a menu she was holding in the cafe. She has a second cameo in What About Discord?, hiding behind a bush and spying on the Mane 6 and Discord with a pair of binoculars.

The Cutie Remark

Starlight returns as the main villain of the season finale, The Cutie Remark. After listening to Twilight's speech of how she and her friends obtained their cutie marks through Rainbow Dash's Sonic Rainboom, Starlight appeared in Twilight's castle and used an altered version of Star Swirl the Bearded's time travel spell with the Cutie Map to travel back in time. She blasted Rainbow Dash away before she could do the Sonic Rainboom, altering time so that King Sombra ruled Equestria and was at war with Princess Celestia. Twilight's attempts to stop Starlight only led to Starlight crystallizing her and then convincing the jock bullies not to pick on Fluttershy, creating a timeline in which Queen Chrysalis is in power and at war with Zecora. Twilight tried to fight Starlight, but it distracted Rainbow Dash, creating a timeline in which Nightmare Moon was in power, with Rainbow Dash and Rarity working for her and Celestia imprisoned.

Twilight's attempts continued to be in vain; Starlight tripped Rainbow Dash, putting Lord Tirek in power; Starlight got Twilight to crystallize Rainbow Dash, putting Discord in power; she made Fluttershy fly with her magic, putting the Flim Flam Brothers in power. When Starlight blasted Rainbow Dash away again, Twilight took Starlight with her to the new apocalyptic future, showing her what her actions where doing to Equestria as a whole. Though she was shocked at the outcome, she still refused to believe that this was the result of the Mane 6 not being friends. When Twilight wondered what made Starlight think cutie marks were evil, she took Twilight to when she was a filly and her friend Sunburst got his cutie mark and left for Celestia's magic school, which began her vendetta against cutie marks. Returning to the Rainboom, Starlight attempted to destroy the spell so Twilight could never travel through time again in a desperate attempt to prove her wrong, but Twilight convinced her to make new friends and give friendship a chance. So, Starlight allowed the Sonic Rainboom to take place, and she, Twilight, and Spike returned to the present, where Starlight became friends with the Mane 6 and Spike, became Twilight's student, and reconciled with her village.

Powers and abilities

Starlight Glimmer is a very powerful unicorn. From her true Cutie Mark, it can be presumed her special talent is magic. Her signature spell is the ability to drain a pony's talent by stealing their Cutie Mark, replacing it with an equal sign that inhibits their abilities. However, she needs to keep stolen marks in some kind of container, lest they will return to their former owners.

In The Cutie Map, she demonstrated several other abilities that make her a formidable opponent to face in battle. She can emit a very powerful offensive beam from her horn, which is potent enough to explode a stone bridge and she is able to generate a defensive barrier around herself to push opponents away. She claims to have studied that spell for years. Lastly, she shows the ability to teleport in a violent detonation of energy.

In The Cutie Remark, her abilities and skill improved even more. She was able to improve and modify Star Swirl the Bearded's time travel spell so that she could travel to any time and place she wished, when Star Swirl and Twilight were previously only able to use it to go back about one week and only for a few seconds. She can walk on clouds and use levitation on herself to fly (which most unicorns cannot do), showing impressive agility and stamina. She can trap opponents in crystal. It is notable that in the course of her battles with Twilight, Twilight eventually became winded despite being an alicorn, while Starlight did not. While deciding to take her as a student, Twilight speculated that Starlight's magical power and talent rivaled her own.

In No Second Prances, Starlight makes a multi-layered cake in seconds and turns the normally laconic Big McIntosh into a figurative motormouth talking machine. In Every Little Thing She Does, she demonstrates a talent for teleportation, transfiguration, super speed, self-duplication, and mind control. In To Where and Back Again - Part 1, Starlight demonstrates invisibility to hide herself and Trixie from the changelings.

In All Bottled Up, Starlight explains that her own magic is tied to her emotions—the stronger she feels, the stronger her magic.

Reception

Starlight Glimmer received mixed reception by critics and fans of the series when she was a villain. Her character was controversial for the Brony community. Many fans criticized her rushed redemption and her weak backstory. But she later gained more popularity as a reformed character in Season 6 and 7. While she is a fan-favorite by most Bronies, some consider her the "worst character" in the show and wanted her to be written off the show.

Gallery

Trivia

  • She is the first villain in a two-parter to be just a regular pony. Nightmare Moon was a dark alicorn with an ethereal mane, Discord was a draconequus, Queen Chrysalis was a changeling with the appearance of an insectoid alicorn, King Sombra was a demonic unicorn with a shadow form, and Lord Tirek was a centaur.
    • She is also the same villain to appear in the season finale, whose reckless actions caused the other villains to appear as well.
  • Starlight Glimmer's name is similar to that of Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer. And similar to Sunset, she is regarded as an antithesis to Twilight Sparkle. Instead of accepting her friends with all their differences as Twilight does, she thinks that the only way to friendship is through complete "equality", and will not accept that anyone could be more powerful and gifted than her.
    • Starlight's name is also based off of Starlight Enterprise from Jem and the Holograms, another Hasbro show.
  • She is the only main villain who wanted to seem good, while the others shown that they are villains directly.
  • She has a similar color scheme to Aria Blaze and a similar mane-style to Sonata Dusk.
  • She is the eighth recurring villain on the show. The others are: Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon, Trixie, Discord, Ahuizotl, the Flim Flam Brothers, and Gilda.
  • Starlight Glimmer breaks the gender pattern for the main villains, who until now (including Sunset Shimmer and the Dazzlings) have always alternated between male and female.
  • She shares the same name as Starlight from My Little Pony Tales.
  • Starlight Glimmer is one of the few MLP: FiM villains who can be considered clinically insane.
  • There are several hints in the premiere that Starlight was not as "equal" as she claimed to be:
    • Her house was directly separate from all the others.
    • The color of her coat and mane didn't seem dimmed down like all other equalized ponies.
    • She didn't wear a similar mane style or give a disturbing expression like all the others either.
    • She constantly acts as the supreme leader of the village, telling others how to act and think.
    • When exposed, she brags about gifted at magic she is, showing a superiority complex.
  • Starlight Glimmer is similar to past MLP: FiM 2-parter villains for the following reasons:
    • Nightmare Moon: Both were once innocent ponies who went rogue out of jealousy of somepony they once considered a friend.
      • Also, the villain's names were related to night while the friends' were related to day.
    • Discord: Both attempted to use their magic to destroy the friendship between the Mane Six.
    • Queen Chrysalis: Both had an army of followers behind them until they decided to rebel.
    • King Sombra: Both were powerful unicorns who ruled over their respective communities through fear.
    • Lord Tirek: Both attempted to conquer Equestria by stealing the magic and strength from all others.

See also