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|“||"Is he friend, or is he foe?", the pony wonders. I can assure you... I am no friend. I am Lord Tirek, and I will take what should have been mine long ago.||„|
|~ Tirek while stealing a unicorn's magic.|
|“||Turns out that the magic of friendship is your biggest weakness! A fitting end to your pathetic story.||„|
|~ Tirek taunting the Mane 6.|
Lord Tirek, simply known as Tirek, is one of the main antagonists of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He is a power-hungry centaur with the power to drain the magic and abilities out of other creatures, particularly ponies. He is Friendship is Magic's incarnation of Tirek; the first villain of the original series.
He first appears as the main antagonist in Season 4's finale "Twilight's Kingdom", the secondary antagonist in Season 8's finale "School Raze", and one of the three main antagonists of Season 9 alongside Queen Chrysalis and Cozy Glow.
Similarly to his original incarnation, Tirek is a demonic-looking being with elements of a centaur. His lower body is black, with a white horse tail and cloven hooves. His upper body appears to be covered in black fur, except his arms and face, which are crimson red. He has a pair of horns and a white beard, his eyes are jet black with yellow pupils. He dons steel bracelets which seem to be all that remains of his shackles, a steel collar, and a ring in his nose. He also wears a gold amulet that is a keepsake from Scorpan. Unlike his bestial yet human-looking face from his original incarnation, his face has a more primate-like or bull-like shape. In the beginning, Tirek appears far smaller than he was in the original series. He is also scrawny and old-looking. However, the more power he absorbs, the bigger and nastier he gets. Notably, he becomes much more muscular, grows more hair, and his horns grow much longer. After he absorbs the power of the five main characters (sans Twilight), his shackle bracelets shatter.
PersonalityBefitting his status as a revamp of one of the original show's darkest characters, Tirek is extremely power-hungry, oppressive, brutal, abusive and selfish. He wants to have complete and utter dominion over all of Equestria, and he will stop at nothing to accomplish this goal. However, he does not kill his enemies, preferring to leave them alive, but powerless, to better oppress them. Tirek is also very quick to anger, and his wrath is absolutely terrifying to behold.
Despite this, Tirek is not purely a brute as he was patient enough to wait for a long time after escaping Tartarus, recovering just enough power to become able to launch an assault on ponies.
He is also an expert manipulator who cannot be trusted. He was even able to persuade Discord, himself known as an expert master of puppets, into joining him, only to betray him and consume his power after gaining enough magic to do so. Despite this, he will sometimes keep his word, but only when he feels he's not really losing anything out of the deal, such as when he released Twilight's depowered friends. Tirek seems to be quite lucid, because he did not understand how Twilight could still consider Discord as his friend after the way he betrayed him.
Despite Tirek's low opinion on friendship and ponies, he conspired with Cozy Glow to get his revenge on the Mane Six. He even referred to Cozy Glow as his "little protégé". However, after she is locked in Tartarus with him, he becomes annoyed by the filly's attempts to befriend him.
In The Beginning of the End, he shows fear when he is awed and intimidated by Grogar, having heard stories of the villain's reign of terror when he was a child. At the end of the episode, his laughter, along with that of Chrysalis and Cozy Glow, is less maniacal and more reluctant.
Tirek also seems to have a high opinion of himself. In Frenemies during the song A Better Way To Be Bad, he calls himself: Smarter and Stronger and did not need Chrysalis or Cozy, at least until he has to team up. He begins to learn how to corporate with his allies to get things done. Tirek along with Chrysalis and Cozy Glow then decided to betray Grogar after they retrieved the bell.
In The Summer Sun Setback, Tirek steals magic from the ponies secretly to help his allies retrieve the book about the Bewitching Bell. After they succeeded, Tirek was forced to return the magic to the ponies to avoid suspicion from Grogar, which he personally dislikes.
In The Ending of the End Part 2, Discord reveals that Tirek uses magic to compensate that deep down, he is afraid he will never be enough to please his father, King Vorak. This enrages Tirek to the point of attacking Discord and accidentally set Starlight free.
Powers and Abilities
Tirek has manifested the following abilities so far:
- Magic Drain: In his first appearance, Tirek is shown to be able to consume the magic of ponies, removing their cutie mark in the process - he seems to literally suck this magic into his mouth, like a more kid-friendly version of "soul stealing" (and possibly a flat-out violation of the ponies' selves). A pony drained this way is completely stripped of all magic. Tirek adds the stolen magic to his own, increasing his size and power. The more magic he drains, the bigger and more powerful he becomes. After devouring enough unicorn magic, he becomes able to strip Earth and pegasus ponies of their innate magic as well. At very high levels of power, he can steal magic from alicorns or a draconequus. If Tirek drains the magic of every single pony in Equestria, he effectively becomes its ruler, able to single-handedly control all the aspects of the land that ponies normally regulate collectively.
- Immense Strength: At high levels of power, Tirek displays an enormous degree of super strength. He is able to lift and throw chunks of the earth bigger than himself, flying and hitting Twilight straight through a large mountain, and smash the ground to create a fearsome shock wave. Presumably, his physical power depends on the amount of earth pony magic he has consumed.
- Demonic Magic: Tirek displays a degree of magical power consistent with the amount of magic he has consumed. At low levels of power, he is only able to fire a weak, paltry blast. After consuming enough magic he becomes almost unstoppable. He has displayed enormously powerful energy projection in the form of blasts and beams, the ability to create magical shields, high-level telekinesis, high-level magical entrapment, the ability to create portals, and more. His magic seems to be affiliated with fire. The way he casts spells is unique to him: instead of emitting magic directly from his horns, he instead forms a ball of infernal energy in the empty space between his two horns.
- Durability: Tirek's durability seems to be immense as he survived the magical equivalent of a nuke and even managed to ram himself and Twilight through an entire mountain without seeming to injure himself. Tirek almost never shows any sign of feeling pain (except at rare occasions like when Twilight blasted him in the face) and never seems to be injured at all. He may even be immortal, since the rainbow did not kill him, instead only draining his power and sending him back to Tartarus. Also, like Celestia, he is over a thousand years old.
- Flight: During his battle against Twilight, he is capable of wingless flight, which would be consistent with him stealing Pegasus magic.
Lord Tirek received positive reception from critics and fans of the show. He is praised for being evil, intimidating, threatening, manipulative, powerful, his abilities, and is considered by many to be the biggest and strongest foe ever faced in MLP:FIM. Even showrunner Meghan McCarthy said that Tirek is her "new favorite character". His voice actor Mark Acheson is praised for his performance.
Tirek is one of the most popular villains in the Brony fandom, the others are Discord and Queen Chrysalis. His popularity and reception are likely the reason he returned in Season 8 and also Season 9.
Episodes and Appearances
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
- The Cutie Map - Part 1 (mentioned)
- Crusaders of the Lost Mark (mentioned)
- The Cutie Re-Mark - Part 2 (alternate-timeline)
- Shadow Play - Part 2 (mentioned)
- The Beginning of the End - Part 1
- The Beginning of the End - Part 2
- A Trivial Pursuit (mentioned)
- The Summer Sun Setback
- The Ending of the End - Part 1
- The Ending of the End - Part 2
- The Last Problem (cameo)
Friendship is Magic
- Ponyville Days (cameo)
- Night of the Living Apples (mentioned)
- Queen for One Less Day (mentioned)
- Cosmos (cameo)
- Friends Forever Issue 20 (mentioned)
My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic
Legends of Magic
- Legends of Magic Issue 11 (alluded)
Differences from G1 Tirek
- In the original show, Tirek uses the Rainbow of Darkness to transform ponies and other creatures into monsters. In FiM, he eats unicorn magic, and eventually the power of Pegasi and earth ponies, and increases his size and power.
- FiM Tirek shoots energy waves with his horns while classic Tirek only seems to use the Rainbow of Darkness or attack physically (although he did cause an explosion to blow up part of the wall of his castle).
- Classic Tirek wanted to bring eternal darkness, while FiM Tirek simply wanted power.
- FiM Tirek is Scorpan's brother while classic Tirek turned a prince into Scorpan and forced him to work for him, threatening to behead Spike after Scorpan's repeated failures.
- FiM Tirek has a few appearance differences from classic Tirek, such as a white beard and tail, a longer tail, a nose ring, and no spikes on his wrists. His wrist braces also break when he becomes big enough.
- FiM Tirek does not ride a Chariot of Midnight.
- Classic Tirek is destroyed while FiM Tirek was imprisoned in Tartarus before being freed by Grogar. However, one similarity is that both were defeated by a rainbow. However, unlike G1 Tirek, Tirek was freed by Grogar and continued his villainous ways alongside Queen Chrysalis and Cozy Glow.
- Tirek has never met Grogar in G1 while the opposite is happening in FiM.
- The G1 Tirek was Pure Evil, whereas FiM Tirek is not. It was evidenced in the episode The Summer Sun Setback where the bird lands onto Tirek's hands and allows it to fly free.
- Tirek is the only villain in My Little Pony who has been shown as capable of actually defeating Discord - though he did have to use trickery to gain enough power to do so, nevertheless it is a testament to Tirek's cunning that he could achieve this (since every other villain so far has been stated as incapable of even harming Discord, unless he allows it).
- In his fully-powered state, Tirek was easily the most powerful antagonist in FiM (much as he was in the original series). After consuming enough magic, he surpasses even Discord in power. However, despite the raw power he possesses, he is not as skilled with it as the Draconequus is; Tirek mostly uses the magic of others to fuel his own familiar offensive spells, rather than reshaping reality at will as Discord does.
- He is considered as one of the evilest villains in Friendship is Magic, along with Queen Chrysalis and King Sombra. However, while those two villains were never presented with any attempts at befriending them, Tirek is shown to have consciously flat-out rejected the very concept of friendship with the ponies of Equestria, his brother Scorpan, and Discord, believing it to be a weakness.
- However, in the comics, King Sombra was offered a chance to change his evil ways by Princess Amore and maintain his friendship with Radiant Hope, only to refuse, turn Amore into crystal, and shatter her into pieces in front of his former friend. Also, the comics depicted Sombra as less evil and murderous than in the show because Amore survived this, and Sombra eventually reformed. In the TV Series, King Sombra is more arrogant and pompous but he continues to be one of the evilest characters, showing no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
- Also, after the Changelings reformed in "To Where and Back Again", Queen Chrysalis was given a chance to do the same by Starlight Glimmer, but adamantly refuses and swears revenge on Starlight. Also in the "Mean Six", Queen Chrysalis shares a low opinion on friendship after a petty argument between her and clone Twilight and flat out rejects friendship in "Frenemies".
- Tirek, Cozy Glow, and Queen Chrysalis are the only recurring major villains of the series who did not reform.
- Despite the difference in backstory and his relationship with Scorpan from G1, it is given a nod in FiM with Scorpan betraying Tirek for the ponies, though Scorpan never appears in the show.
- He seems to be a sort of Satanic archetype for the show. He is obviously a demon, the most powerful antagonist of his show, and beyond a doubt one of the evilest. He corrupts Discord into betraying the Mane Six, and his ultimate ambition is to rule as God of Equestria.
- Aside from Grogar, Tirek is the oldest villain in the My Little Pony franchise as he was in his age when Star Swirl the Bearded was a young unicorn. The second ones are the Dazzlings, who were in their age when they were defeated by Star Swirl.
- However, in FIENDship is Magic Issue 3, Discord is shown to be present when Tirek was younger, meaning Discord is older and thus, the oldest villain (though he is later reformed). Furthermore, in the show, Tirek is familiar with Discord and is well aware of his imprisonment in stone.
- Also, in FIENDship is Magic Issue 4, it is shown that when Starswirl banished the Dazzlings, they appeared in the present day, meaning that they never aged, to begin with.
- Tirek is the third male main villain of the series, first two being Discord and King Sombra. Interestingly enough, all three were imprisoned by Celestia and Luna a thousand years ago, while none of the females were (although Nightmare Moon and the Dazzlings were banished a thousand years ago, only Celestia banished Nightmare Moon, and Starswirl banished the Dazzlings).
- Tirek's claims of friendship being a form of imprisonment in which those involved are forced to surrender their true nature was eerily predicted in the Season 5 premiere episode "Cutie Map", in which the residents of an unnamed village are made to believe that they must give up their unique talents in order to remain friends with one another by Starlight Glimmer.
- Tirek is the first villain to steal the Alicorn magic, the second being the Storm King.
- Tirek is the third villain to appear in two two-part episodes, others being Starlight Glimmer and Queen Chrysalis.
- Tirek's second form resembles the G1 Tirek's appearance.
- It is revealed in "Frenemies" that Tirek had a close relationship with his grandmother, who he calls "Gram-Gram", as he dreams about her while he sleeps and becomes angry when Cozy Glow mentions her.
- Tirek's backstory is somewhat explained in The Ending of the End, where Discord reveals that deep down, Tirek feels like he is not enough to live up to his father King Vorak's expectations. This is one of the few times the series actually referenced the IDW comics.
- In Season 9, Tirek, along with Cozy and Chrysalis, were thought to be secondary antagonists while Grogar was the main antagonist, although they would take over this position when Grogar was revealed to be Discord.
- Tirek, alongside Queen Chrysalis respectfully, is the third major villains to be the main antagonists of the whole season, the others are Starlight Glimmer and Cozy Glow. In Tirek and Chrysalis' case, it was for the entirety of Season 9 alongside Cozy Glow.
- Tirek, alongside Chrysalis and Cozy Glow, is the final antagonist of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.