|“||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 as the antagonist in Season 5's two-part starter The Cutie Map, and reappears in the two-part finale The Cutie Remark. She appeared as a supporting character in Season 6 onwards.
She is voiced by Kelly Sheridan, who also voiced Barbie.
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.
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, Twilight took Starlight with her to the new apocalyptic future. 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, 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.
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. 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 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. However, she later gained more popularity as a reformed character for the rest of the series. While she is a fan-favorite by most bronies, some consider her the "worst character" in the series and wanted her to be written off the series; other bronies demanded Starlight revert to villainy, which will never happen.
Despite this, Starlight remained popular and her voice actress, Kelly Sheridan, received positive reviews for her talented voice acting and bringing the character of Starlight to life, both evil and good. Even her voice is slightly different when she is reformed compared to when she is a villain.
- 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, 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. Cozy Glow is the second villain in a two-parter to be a regular pony.
- She is also the same villain to appear in the season finale, whose reckless actions made the other villains appear as well.
- 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.
- 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, unlike Lotso, Starlight turned good in the final episode of fifth season.
- Both of them initially appeared to be friendly towards the protagonists and shows them their hometown.
- Both of them teach everybody any "true meaning," such as "friendship" for Starlight while "about toys" for Lotso.
- Both of them is in charge of their hometown, such as Our Town to Starlight and Sunnyside Daycare to Lotso.
- Both of them imprisoned the main characters for their sadistic pleasure, such as Starlight imprisoning Mane 6 in vault while Lotso imprisoning Andy's toys in Sunnyside Daycare.
- Both of them confiscating anything that is valuable to the protagonists, such as Starlight stealing Mane Six's cutie marks while Lotso captured Buzz and turned him into demo mode.
- Both of them were confronted by the protagonists and her former followers after their true plan was exposed.
- Both of them had tragic backstory that has caused them to be traumatized and turned into nihilist, such as Starlight losing her friend Sunburst after receiving his cutie mark while Lotso was abandoned by Daisy and later getting replaced with the new one.
- Both of them had any massive hatred towards most of the thing, such as Starlight hating cutie marks while Lotso hated toy owners.