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Only way to be really happy is if we're all equal.
~ Starlight Glimmer's "philosophy"
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's sinister plot
You'd all still be living your miserable lives thinking you're "better" than everypony-else if it weren't for my magical abilities! I brought you friendship! I brought you equality! I created HARMONY!!!
~ Starlight showing her true nature to everypony

Starlight Glimmer is the main antagonist in the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic season 5 two-part starter, The Cutie Map.

She is voiced by Kelly Sheridan.

Synopsis

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' individualities are 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.

Starlight is set to make her return in the Season 5 finale, having heard Twilight's speech of how she and her friends obtained their cutie marks in the audience, and then showing up in Twilight's castle when she arrives.

Personality

When introduced, Starlight Glimmer is shown to be seemingly benevolent and laid-back, but is revealed to be a vain, hypocritical, selfish, villainous, deceptive, calculative megalomaniac. She is easily frustrated when things don't work out how she planned. It is not entirely clear whether Starlight truly believes that 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. But despite being an expert manipulator, Starlight's 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 quite disrespectful, 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.

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. However, she needs to keep stolen marks in some kind of container, lest they will return to their former owners.

In addition, she has 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 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.

Trivia

  • She is the first villain in a two-parter to be, or at least have the appearance of, a regular pony. Nightmare Moon was an 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, Lord Tirek was a centaur and The Dazzlings were sirens. The only other villain who is a regular unicorn is Sunset Shimmer, who appeared in a movie and is mostly seen in human form. Even then, Sunset had a demonic empowered form, while Starlight did not.
    • She is also the same villain to appear in the season finale.
  • Starlight Glimmer's name is similar to that of Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer. Similarly to Sunset Shimmer, she is an antithesis to Twilight Sparkle. Instead of accepting her friends with all their differences as Twilight Sparkle 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 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, Flim Flam Brothers, and Gilda.
  • Starlight Glimmer is very similar to the Avatar villain, Amon, as they both...
    • have their own malevolent views on what is right (especially on equality), and aspire to create a world based on such views, putting them at odds with the show's true hero.
    • are very persuasive and have an entire army of followers behind them.
      • Starlight with the residents of the Unnamed village
      • Amon with the Equalists
    • have the power to strip other individuals of their special abilities...
      • Starlight can steal cutie-marks and the talents that go with them
      • Amon can "remove" a person's bending
    • ...however, their powers derive from factor that make them contradict their own claims, causing them to lose their supporters once they were exposed...
      • Starlight still has her own cutie-mark
      • Amon is a bloodbender
    • ...thus they had to fabricate lies of which their powers derive from.
      • Starlight uses the "Staff of Sameness", claiming it to be one of nine magical items belonging to the great mage, Meadowbrook, but is really just some piece of wood she found in the desert.
      • Amon claims to have been the son of a poor non-bending family that was murdered by a firebender and given a permanent scar. Then the spirits granted him the ability to remove bending from the world because they believed the Avatar had failed them.
  • Starlight is also very similar to Lotso from Toy Story 3: Both are intelligent manipulators who are the oppressive and restrictive leaders of their communities, both appear to be kind and caring at first and welcoming to the main characters of their respective works before revealing their true dark nature, both appear to offer a better life to their subjects when they are actually repressive towards them, both use force to eliminate any resistance to their ways and both also make themselves appear as equal to those they rule over whilst they actually put themselves above them.
    • However, unlike Lotso, who was shown to be a complete monster who only seemed to desire the pain and suffering of his fellow toys, it's possible that Starlight may actually seemed to have at least some care for the residents of her town, and that she may have truly believed that she was making their lives better.
  • 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.
  • Starlight Glimmer is the second main villain to not be killed, imprisoned, or reformed, first being the Dazzlings (not counting Queen Chrysalis, who is most likely dead if the comics are non-canon, and imprisoned if the comics are canon). Unlike the Dazzlings, however, Starlight does not have her power taken away, making her the first villain whose threat is not officially ended.
  • Starlight Glimmer represents the Dark Side of both Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer. Hence having the rhyming switch between last and first name of Princess Celestia's best students, her views are both the opposite of Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer. Sunset Shimmer does count because she became a hero after changing her ways near the end of Equestria Girls.
  • She is the first major villain to have a physical cameo in the series (excluding Discord and Nightmare Moon since they were in stained glass and mentioned) as shown in Amending Fences while holding a café menu.
  • She's similar to Scarlet Overkill for the following reasons.
    • They have nearly identical hairstyles.
    • They use others for their own benefit (for Scarlet, the Minions, and for Starlight, the Mane 6)
    • As their respective appearences progress, they descend into insanity.
  • It is speculated that in the Season 5 finale, Starlight Glimmer might travel back in time to prevent Rainbow Dash from doing her first Sonic Rainboom to keep the Mane 6 from getting their cutie marks. This might be so Starlight could easily start a new equal society. Either Twilight would try to stop and reason with Starlight or Starlight might see the consequences of her actions as the previous villains such as Nightmare Moon, Discord, Queen Chrysalis, King Sobra and Lord Tirek might get away with their evil plans if it weren't for the Mane 6, so she might see the error of her ways, find the true meaning of friendship and harmony and undo her changes in time. It is also speculated from a season 5 poster, with silhouettes of characters yet to be revealed, that she might reform by the end of this episode since there's a silhouette of her with the Mane 6.

Gallery

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