|“||When the rest of Equestria sees that a princess gave up her cutie mark to join us, they'll finally understand what we're trying to accomplish.||„|
|~ Starlight planning to convert Twilight and her friends to her "beliefs".|
|“||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.|
|“||I hate Hearth's Warming Eve! All of Equestria would be better off if we just skipped the day altogether!||„|
|~ Snowfall Frost|
Starlight Glimmer is a former major antagonist in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. She acted as the main antagonist of Season 5, first appearing in the premiere "Cutie Map", then made some cameos in the episodes "Amending Fences" and "What About Discord", and then made her next full appearance in "Cutie Re-Mark". She then redeemed herself and became on of the supporting protagonists for the remainder of the series. Her counterpart, Snowfall Frost, appeared as the main antagonist of "A Hearth's Warming Tail".
Starlight Glimmer started out as the leader of an unnamed village near the edge of Equestria, where she convinced everypony to give up their cutie-marks, which was a result of her childhood friend, Sunburst, abandoning her when he gained his own mark. When the Mane Six arrived and exposed her the tyrant she was, she escaped and sought her revenge later on by traveling back in time and interfering with their past, until Twilight Sparkle inspired her to seek friendship again. She then became Twilight's student, then the guidance councilor of Twilight's School of Friendship, and then finally Headmare of the school.
She is voiced by Kelly Sheridan.
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 ordered Double Diamond to deliver their Cutie Marks to her house so she can 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 she dodges this as she had known Fluttershy was just acting her conversion. 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. Despite Starlight finally losing her temper and telling she created harmony, the townsfolk were really furious on how she lied to all of them, 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, forcing her to retreat back into her house.
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.
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 Six and Discord with a pair of binoculars.
The Cutie Remark
Starlight returns as the main antagonist 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 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, after an argument Twilight decided to force to come with her by taking Starlight with her to the new apocalyptic future of Equestria when Twilight wondered what made Starlight think cutie marks were evil. When they were in the altered future Starlight was in denial even though Twilight was right, Starlight was devastated that she was practically defeating herself and destroying millions of lives, but she still denies and finally snaps and takes Twilight and Spike 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, but Twilight convinced her that she can't and why her friends are so special, and told Starlight p 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.
Though reformed and trying to learn Friendship as Twilight Sparkle's apprentice, Starlight has a few struggles against her former inclinations.
A Hearth's Warming Tail
Starlight is unenthusiastic about celebrating Hearth's Warming Eve and considers it no different from any other day. However, Twilight reads her the story "A Hearth's Warming Tale", an allusion to "A Christmas Carol" with Starlight depicted in the Ebenezer Scrooge-like role who has to gain a proper appreciation for the holiday.
Spice Up Your Life
Starlight Glimmer briefly appears in Spice Up Your Life, helping Twilight to reactivate the Cutie Map which she had disabled in the events of The Cutie Re-Mark. This is a milepost in her redemption.
Every Little Thing She Does
Starlight has a major slip in her new life. In an effort to correct her tendency of avoiding friendship lessons, she takes on several friendship problems at once with Twilight's friends in order to impress her. In an effort to make things easier, she backslides into her old ways by using a newly made Fiducia Compelus spell to mind-control the ponies into following her orders. Unfortunately, the ponies follow her orders so exactly and literally that things quickly spiral out of Starlight's control.
After Twilight helps fix her mess, Starlight confesses that she avoids her friendship problems out of fear of failing and being a disappointment to Twilight. With Twilight and Spike's guidance, Starlight apologizes to her friends for using magic on them, and she learns to address her friendship lessons more naturally.
Rock Solid Friendship
While trying to befriend Maud Pie, it is also revealed that she and Maud had met before the initial founding of Starlight's village. Maud had inadvertently helped Starlight by pointing her to a particular rock with the magical properties needed to remove cutie marks.
When introduced, Starlight Glimmer is shown to be seemingly benevolent and laid-back, but is revealed to be a vain, hypocritical, selfish, villainous, deceptive and calculating megalomaniac. She is easily frustrated when things do not work out how she planned. It is not entirely clear whether Starlight truly feels she is doing the right thing by ridding ponies of their Cutie Marks and is only keeping her magic because she is the only one who can do so, whether she is actually deriving satisfaction out of the fact that she alone in the town has a special talent, or a bit of both. Based upon how she responds to ponies thinking they are superior to others, it is implied she has an envious side. She seems to also think ahead in situations, as when she ordered Double Diamond to bring her the Mane Six's marks so she can personally guard them, and have an escape route under her bed in case if the town would turn on her. But despite being an expert manipulator, Starlight's arrogance, zealot attitude and refusal to believe in any form of friendship other than her own makes her quite gullible herself, as she is tricked by Fluttershy into releasing her, by Party Favor into thinking that he was the only one wishing for his Cutie Mark back (he claimed this to defend the other free-thinking ponies, Sugar Belle and Night Glider) and by Twilight Sparkle into being distracted, although she claimed she was aware of Fluttershy's ruse. She is also shown to be quite disrespectful and bad-mannered, even to royalty, as shown when she furiously silences Twilight when she tried to explain how differences can make friendships stronger. In addition, she is somewhat clumsy, something that allowed Fluttershy to discover her secret.
In the season 5 finale, Starlight becomes vindictive and relentless in her attempt to take revenge on Twilight by keeping the sonic rainboom that caused the Mane Six to keep their Cutie Marks, as well as stubbornly thinking that it won't make any difference, even when proven otherwise. Starlight is given a sympathetic background as it is revealed that during her childhood, she had a friend named Sunburst who earned his Cutie Mark and went on to Canterlot, making Starlight feel abandoned. Due to her insecurities, she hasn't made some friends at all which leads her to fall into darkness. When Twilight convinces Starlight to turn over a new leaf, Starlight becomes friendly and kindhearted, as well as remorseful for her actions.
Since then, Starlight has become a nervous unicorn filled with self-doubt and a sensitive attitude, especially if her past is involved, becoming very shy and socially awkward. Despite her redemption, she retains some of her selfish and impulsive nature, such as filling Spike's greatness to stall a meeting with Sunburst, using her magic to make Big McIntosh talk more articulately and hypnotizing the Mane 6 to tackle a bunch of friendship lessons at once. In the Season 6 finale, Starlight demonstrates an aversion to being in a leadership role due to her past actions, though she proves to have a natural talent for it and eventually overcomes her fears.
In "Rock Solid Friendship", Starlight displays a keen knowledge of kites.
She has also become cynical and contemptuous, constantly adding sarcastic humor to everything.
However, despite this, Starlight has become a kindhearted pony who will do anything for her friends. As one of the teachers of the School of Friendship, she shows patience and understanding to her students; therefore, proving she finally understands the concept of friendship.
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. Prior to Season 6, Starlight has despised cutie marks, because to her, they represented all that was different in the world, and that she believed that they cost her her friendships, so she tried to use Rainbow Dash's sonic rainboom as a tool to take revenge, until Twilight reveals that differences are only skin deep, so Starlight gets accepted into society.
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, they both became winded at the same time, despite Twilight being an alicorn. 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.
Starlight Glimmer received fairly positive reception by critics and fans of the series when she was a villain, especially during the her debut in "The Cutie Map", where she was applauded as a competent villain, albeit somewhat underwhelming as a threat. Her subsequent appearance made her character more controversial in the brony community, with many fans criticizing her rushed redemption and weak backstory in "The Cutie Re-Mark". Her polarized reception intensified as a reformed character in later seasons. While she is a fan-favorite among some bronies, who believe she is a good example of a reformed villain, others contend that her reformation was a "jump the shark" moment for the series, and argue that she is a poorly written character. They argue that her reformation and character progression turned a once-good villain into a cheap derivative of Sunset Shimmer, that she is very overpowered for a unicorn, and that she frequently upstages the main cast, making her a "Mary Sue" character made to look competent at the expense of other characters.
- She is the major villain to be just a regular pony. Nightmare Moon was a dark alicorn with an ethereal mane, Queen Chrysalis was a changeling with the appearance of an insectoid alicorn, King Sombra was a demonic unicorn with a shadow form, and Tirek was a centaur.
- She is also the same villain to appear in the season finale, whose reckless actions made the other villains appear as well.
- Cozy Glow is the major villain to be a regular pony.
- Starlight's name is similar to that of Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer. 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.
- She is the only main villain who wanted to seem good while the others shown they are villains directly, making her an Anti-Villain.
- She has a similar color scheme to Aria Blaze and a similar mane-style to Sonata Dusk.
- She is the sixth recurring antagonist in the series. The others are: Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, Ahuizotl, the Flim Flam Brothers, Garble, Caballeron, and Chrysalis.
- She shares the same name as Starlight from My Little Pony Tales.
- She is the first major antagonist in the series who is the main antagonist of the whole season rather than the beginning or ending of the season. The others are Tirek, Queen Chrysalis, and Cozy Glow.
- 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.
- After being reformed, Starlight changed her mane style in Season 6 possibly because the mane style she had during her debut was her villainous design.
- Starlight shares similarities with Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear from Toy Story 3. However, while Starlight turned good in the final episode of fifth season, Lotso refuse to chose redemption after he left Andy's toys to die in the incinerator.
- Both of them initially appeared to be friendly towards the protagonists and shows them their hometown up until revealing their true nature.
- Both were individuals with special abilities that outclassed others' abilities:
- Starlight was a powerful unicorn whose magic surpassed others.
- Lotso's leadership was much stronger than others.
- Both of them once had a close friend until they lost them, causing them to fall into villainy.
- Starlight losing her friend Sunburst after he received his cutie mark.
- Lotso was unintentionally abandoned by Daisy and replaced with the new Lotso doll.
- Both of them were in charge of their respective places where they ruled with iron fists
- Our Town to Starlight.
- Sunnyside Daycare to Lotso.
- Both of them causes despair to everyone.
- Starlight stole the cutie marks from everypony to make them Equalists.
- Lotso preventing all the toys to have freedom by imprisoning them inside Caterpillar Room.
- Both of them imprisoned the main characters for their sadistic pleasure.
- Starlight imprisoned the Mane 6 in a house
- Lotso imprisoning Andy's toys in Sunnyside Daycare.
- Both led groups that shared in this belief and used lies, and also used lies and make-up to make these groups believe they were one of them:
- Starlight was the leader of an unnamed village whose residents willingly gave up their cutie-marks after she convinced them to do so. She covered her own cutie-mark with a false equal sign and used the "Staff of Sameness", which was an ordinary stick, in her removal ritual.
- Lotso lead his own gang and had them imprisoning all toys in the caterpillar room, knowing that the toys will recklessly abused by toddlers until they ended up throwing in the garbage. He also lies to the toys that they were nothing special and were destined to be thrown away.
- Both were eventually exposed for the frauds they were when their make-up was washed off by the main heroes, making them lose all their supporters.
- Fluttershy tried to splash water on Starlight to expose her, but she dodged it. However, some of the water washed off some of the paint, which prompted Party Favor to wipe the rest of it off, causing him and the rest of the town to turn on her and retrieve their cutie-marks.
- Woody asked Lotso if he remembered Daisy, but he refused to believed that, causing Woody throw the old pendant to Big Baby. When Big Baby picks up the pendant, Lotso then snatches it and breaks it before angrily revealing his true nature to his minion and all of the toys.
- Both of them were confronted by the protagonists and her former followers after their true plan was exposed.
- In the end, both escaped after being exposed:
- Starlight tried to run away with the Mane 6's cutie marks, but was stopped by her former followers, forcing her to leave on her own and eventually return to seek revenge on Twilight in the season finale.
- After Lotso left Woody and the rest of Andy's toys die in the incinerator, he tries to escape from the junkyard, but the garbage man picked him up instead and strapped him to the garbage man's truck's front grill.
- Starlight also shares similarities with Amon from Legend of Korra, as...
- Both were individuals with special abilities that outclassed others':
- Starlight was a powerful unicorn whose magic surpassed others.
- Amon was a gifted waterbender who was able to use Bloodbending.
- Both hated others for having special abilities due to their tragic childhoods and believed that the world would be better if everyone-else was "equal" in the literal sense:
- Starlight lost her friend Sunburst when he gained his own cutie-mark, making her believe all they really did was drive ponies apart.
- Amon was raised by his criminal father to use blood-bending and be his tool for revenge, making him believe that bending was the source of all evil.
- Due to their respective pasts, they both developed techniques to remove these abilities from others:
- Starlight used a spell to remove cutie-marks from other ponies and replace them with equal signs that suppressed their talents.
- Amon used his bloodbending combined with chi-blocking to sever other people's bending.
- Both led groups that shared in this belief, and also used lies and make-up to make these groups believe they were one of them:
- Amon led the Equalists in his quest to destroy all bending. He covered his face in paint to give himself a false scar in order to make others believe he came from a non-bender family who was mudered by a firebender and that the spirits gave him the power to remove bending.
- Both were eventually exposed for the frauds they were when their make-up was washed off by the main heroes, who were previously stripped of their abilities, making them lose all their supporters:
- Korra was able to maintain her air-bending, which he used to push Amon out a window and into the ocean where his scar was washed off. He was then forced use water-bending to save himself in front of his followers, much to their shock.
- In the end, both escaped after being exposed:
- Amon tried to escape with his brother, Tarrlok, but he decided to end both their lives and their father's legacy for good by causing their boat to explode.
- Both were individuals with special abilities that outclassed others':
- Starlight is considered as a dark parallel to Twilight Sparkle as...
- Both were powerful female unicorns who are talented at magic (Twilight was personally trained by Celestia and eventually became an alicorn, while Starlight was self-taught and was able to match Princess Twilight in combat).
- Both had close friends in their hometowns before circumstances drove them apart (Twilight lived in Canterlot with Lemon Hearts, Twinkleshine, Minuette, and Moon Dancer before moving to Ponyville, while Starlight lived in Sire Hallows with Sunburst until he left to study at Canterlot).
- Both had their views on friendship drastically change afterwards (Twilight never truly believed in the power of friendship until she and the rest of the Mane 6 defeated Nightmare Moon together, while Starlight believed that friendship was weak as personal diiferences easily drove ponies apart).
- Both aspired to spread friendship across Equestria and beyond (Twilight travelled with her friends throughout the land building bonds and repairing damaged relaitionships, while Starlight alone attempted to force everypony to be friends with her magic before being shown the error of her ways).
- Because of this, Starlight represents what Twilight would become if she hadn't made effort of making friends and never discovering the meaning of friendship.