Former Resident of: The Badlands
Prisoner of: Tartarus
Featured In: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Voiced By: Mark Acheson
I’ll admit it, I tried my best to stay strong against the rising tide. I stood back as my favored artists, they whose works of art are the stuff of monsters and horrors, fell to drawing fan art of the show. I even did my best to try and ignore the rising number of fan made videos, music or otherwise, that were increasingly piling up by the day on Youtube. Then, one dark and dreary day, I succumbed to temptation and watched a single episode.
And in that episode there was a villain… A villain played by none other than John de Lancie.
John de Lancie.
To those of you of the science fiction community, you are no doubt aware of precisely who that is but for those who don’t, let me paint a brief picture.
FREAKING Q FROM STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION! The character was, essentially, a cartoon version of Q right down to base attitudes and as such was later on redeemed and turned to the side of good in a later season. Yet, I thought to myself, how in the heck could they afford the likes of John de Lancie for a season two premiere villain? One that would, in all likeliness, never show up again?
The likeliest of answers was that somehow, this cartoon show specifically geared towards younger audiences, particularly of those of the female persuasion, was doing something different than others of its ilk. It was a show for kids but one that was touching the hearts and imaginations of adults, of those who remember a time when Saturday mornings were worth getting up early for, when the weekday afternoons following school were lined up with dozens of animated reprieves from the hardships of learning.
That and they had Lauren Faust as the executive producer and creative developer for the opening seasons. The same Lauren Faust who created such animated marvels like The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and was even an animator for such films as The Iron Giant and Cats Don’t Dance.
Success was all but guaranteed by her inclusion but no one, not a single person, could have predicted the rise that it would have.
I myself am what the fandom of the series proclaims as a “casual brony.” Do I like the animated series? Yes, I do save for a few face-palming episodes and equally annoying characters. Do I enjoy the works of the fans? The occasional, surprisingly well written, fanfiction yes but I find the true gems are those few fan made animated works. Seriously, if anyone has a doubt as to how much work and imagination this series can inspire, simply check out Children of the Night and/or Fall of the Crystal Empire. These were made for fans by fans and the amount of effort involved is equal to that of the mainstream series.
Now, on to the main point of this review, one Lord Tirek… as of now, his true origins remain rather vague as the comic mini-series entitled Fiendship is Magic, will be released later this summer. That’s not to say that we don’t get a fair gleam to his character’s backstory in the show itself. Tirek and his brother Scorpan, a chimeric looking creature, arrive to the land of Equestria from a “distant country” most likely being the Badlands with Tirek seeking to conquer and devour all magic. His brother however grows to actually care for the pony denizens and warns the ruling princesses of the sun and moon, Celestia and Luna respectively, of Tirek’s plans. Thankfully, the two sisters were stronger than Tirek and managed to not only subdue him but imprison him into the heart of Tartarus.
Tartarus. The Greek equivalent of every circle of Hell itself all rolled up into one package.
I know what you’re thinking: this is a kid’s show, right?
Although he appears to be a centaur, if not a rather demonic looking one, Tirek is no such humble creature of honor or valor. He is a literal monster hellbent on dominion and will stop at nothing to get what he wants and what he wants more than anything else is power. For you see dear readers, Tirek has a horrific ability unlike any other creature seen before. Tirek can eat the magic out of creatures. In the case of ponies, this process not only robs them of their… ugh… cutie marks (seriously hate that term) but turns them into literal husks of themselves, incapable of doing much of anything besides laying where they fall and waiting to die.
Yeah, this is as much a kid’s show as freaking Game of Thrones is fit to be aired on public television…
To make matters worse, the more magic that Tirek devours, the more of it he can eat at a time, going from a single pony at a time to entire crowds at once. It is because of this one weakness that he was unable to defeat Celestia and Luna in the past as they, being alicorns, possessed more magic than he in his weaker form could absorb. However, thanks the rise of pony population in the time since he was imprisoned, Tirek was able to attain enough magic to take those of the princesses, including one other princess by name of Candance of the Crystal Empire, only to discover that their magic was already gone, given to the newest alicorn to join their kind, Twilight Sparkle.
A brief moment here to speak of alicorns for those who’ve never heard of such a creature before… Alicorn is actually the term referring to what the horn upon a unicorn’s head is made of but by increasing fan usage in the early seasons, it was later adopted to refer to those ponies who possess both the wings of a Pegasus and the horn of a Unicorn. These alicorns are all princesses of their respected realms and command enough power to be literal gods on earth. Celestia and Luna themselves are responsible for the movement of the sun and moon respectively.
Now, imagine their power plus one another crammed into one who has yet to fully realize her potential as an alicorn…
Yeah, there was much hilarity to be found there before comedy turned swiftly to tragedy. Having learned of Twilight’s existence and her love of her friends, Tirek had Discord, whom he had tricked into aiding him by way of making him feel as though he had been tricked into being a good guy, capture them and absorb their magic. Followed shortly by absorbing Discord’s magic as well.
Discord. The guy who is literally chaos incarnate who with but a snap of his fingers can make the sky turn green and the grass into a checkerboard field whilst ballerina dancing buffalo tiptoe by. The same person who conjures up a glass of chocolate milk only to drink the glass and toss the remaining milk aside to watch as it explodes with the same force of a stick of TNT. That’s not an exaggeration either, that’s just a few of the things he does in his premiere episodes.
With this, Tirek was more than enough to handle Twilight Sparkle’s increased magic power. In point of fact… rather than talk of how Tirek is defeated or of the fight itself… How’s about you all go and watch this video and tell me again how this is supposed to be a kid’s show.