What does this phrase mean: Alicorn Princess Twilight Sparkle. It means a lot of things to a lot of people. I’ve received countless comments, links to posts and videos, and seen images, opinions—angry, happy, ambivalent, et cetera—about the concept. What I want to do in this video is clarify exactly what Alicorn Princess Twilight Sparkle means to me.
For starters, let’s examine the word “princess.” Traditionally, the word “princess” refers to a woman who marries into nobility, by marrying a prince. It did not originally refer to the daughter of a king or queen, but over time, it eventually came to have that meaning as well, and is probably better understood that way in modern pop culture.
When you think “princess,” you most likely think of Disney movies and fairy tales. You might think of traditional femininity. The idea of the princess who has to be rescued by her prince, is one of the most fought-against images of feminism. Princesses are a contentious concept. They simultaneously remain a great icon of femininity, and the most hated misrepresentation of what femininity is.
When Lauren Faust conceptualized My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, she did not want there to be princesses. In her original concept, the land was ruled over by a Queen, namely Queen Celestia. However, Faust was forced to change Celestia’s title to Princess because of the notion that in pop culture, Queens have a tendency to be evil, whereas princesses are traditionally the heroine.
We can consider this to be a loss. Yes, it would have been meaningful for Celestia to not be a princess just on the basis that “princess” was an easier sell to little girls. It’s sad to think about, but it’s the kind of casualty that is bound to happen when a show is fighting on the front lines of a social battle.
But the loss here was SOLELY over the word, “Princess.” Celestia is still the single most powerful figure in all of Equestria. In fact, every single ruler of Equestria is a woman. In a reversal of the traditional meaning of Prince vs. Princess, Prince Shining Armor actually married into his title by marrying Princess Cadence.
In Equestria, the word “princess,” DOES NOT mean, a girl who married into the royal family. It means, “the highest power in the entire kingdom.”
And as a matter of fact, becoming a princess in Equestria isn’t even the same as becoming queen in our world. A queen is ordinarily born into her position, and then trained to fulfill her role. In Equestria, princesses are trained to fill their role, and then become a princess once they’re earned their title.
It is not clear what would happen if a male did the same thing in Equestria. We have seen two princes in the series. Shining Armor, while named a prince by way of marriage to Princess Cadence, could still be said to have earned his princehood. Prince Blueblood most likely did not earn this title, leading to the speculation that he was either married or born into it at some point.
However, we know that Princess Celestia at one point tried to train a male unicorn to become the new ruler of Equestria, in the form of Starswirl the Bearded. It is unknown if he would have been a prince, king, or, hell, a princess, but it is most likely that he would have become an alicorn, and a ruler of Equestria, had he passed his trials.
Twilight Sparkle became a princess because Princess Celestia guided her on the course to becoming one. She determined that Twilight’s way of life was one that would coincide with the nature of being a princess. This would relate to the element of magic, which is synonymous with friendship.
Starswirl the Bearded tried to master magic, but because he never recognized friendship as the most powerful magic that there is, he was never able to become an alicorn ruler. Twilight Sparkle discovered friendship, the most powerful magic, and was able to become a ruler.
What, exactly, has Twilight Sparkle’s ambition been throughout the show? Twilight has always been interested in exploring the concepts of magic, and exploring her relationship with her friends, which, because friendship is magic, is the same thing as exploring the concept of magic. Magic is her element, magic is her being.
I am going to posit, though it has not YET been explicitly stated, that an alicorn princess is the most magical being in existence. Twilight has always seen Princess Celestia as the highest authority on magic, and the magical powers of Celestia and Luna have appeared to have the greatest consequence on the world. Twilight has been touted as one of the best magic users in Equestria after doing things like teleport blinks, gravity spells, and very brief time travel. Celestia and Luna move Celestial bodies and walk through ponies’ dreams. Princess Cadence was able to trump a villain that Celestia couldn’t handle, and was the vessel for the power that would banish King Sombra.
The most powerful magic that Twilight has been a part of is the magic unleashed by the elements of harmony, which is fueled by the power of friendship, and channeled through Twilight. Each time that Twilight accesses this power, she goes into a mysterious “god mode,” which she goes into one last time in Magical Mystery Cure before transforming into an alicorn.
The elements of harmony were activated each time through friendship, and channeling of its magic. The first time it activated was simply on the first occasion that Twilight and her friends became connected, even before they had ever become friends, signaling their eventual destiny. The second time was when Twilight first realized what friendship is. The third time was when she remembered again how important friendship is. And the fourth time was when she proved to have an understanding of friendship so great, that she didn’t. need. to. learn. anything.
At this point, Twilight had fully grasped the nature of friendship, unlocked the full potential of its magical power, and transcended the need to be reminded or learn about it any further. She had mastered the most powerful magic that exists, and this led her to transcend her unicorn body.
Why did this happen? The answers are not entirely clear. However, again, it is clear that alicorns possess the most powerful magic that there is. Ostensibly, what separates an alicorn from a unicorn is only a set of wings, yet somehow alicorns clearly have more power than any unicorn, suggesting that something about the alicorn form inherently allows for greater magical power. Maybe this will be explored in season four. Only time will tell.
What is clear is this—to reach this form, Twilight had to exhibit this understanding of magic, and from the events in Magical Mystery Cure, we can infer that this understanding qualified her as a princess of Equestria. We don’t yet know if this is the only thing that can qualify someone as a princess. We might surmise that Princess Cadence is a princess because of her understanding of love, rather than friendship. Whatever the case may be, it is clear that Princess Celestia guided Twilight Sparkle’s learning to achieve this understanding and become an alicorn princess.
In retrospect, the idea that Twilight would become Celestia’s successor is kind of obvious. Right from the very beginning, Twilight’s element of harmony takes the form of a tiara just like the one that Princess Celestia wears, even though all of Twilight’s friends receive necklaces. Twilight is considered the Princesses’ immediate apprentice, which would ordinarily mean that Celestia was training her for her position. If Twilight wasn’t being trained specifically to be a princess, then there would be no reason that some other powerful unicorn couldn’t have trained her. However, Princess Celestia specifically chose to train Twilight herself so that she could guide her in this direction.
Twilight Sparkle’s course in life was destined to lead up to her becoming a princess. Her aspiration happened to align with the qualification of princesshood. Everything that she is, is what it means to be the princess of Equestria. The title is less a definitive change, so much as it is an affirmation. It’s like how, after writing for ten years, when you publish your first book, everyone comes to know you as a WRITER. New doors are opened. Your life changes forever. You feel like the luckiest person in the world.
Being a princess and being an alicorn seem to come hand in hand, possibly because both are the result of reaching this state of power. Therefore, Twilight Sparkle became Alicorn Princess Twilight Sparkle.
I understand that some people may disagree with my reading of what Twilicorn is, and others may agree completely with what Twilicorn is, and still dislike the idea on a conceptual level, or in the way it’s presented. And those people are entitled to their opinion. It’s an opinion that I don’t agree with, and one that I don’t really understand. It’s definitely one that I don’t want to argue with. I’ve made my case, and my point, and I don’t find the other visions of the character terribly interesting.
Why? Maybe it’s because I thoroughly enjoyed Magical Mystery Cure. I have no problems with the concept or the execution, and in fact, I am ENAMORED with both of those things. Maybe it’s because I relate to Twilicorn, as someone who’s just recently found my wings, so to speak. I know exactly what it’s like, to be working single-mindedly with the goal of bettering myself, and then to suddenly gain a massive amount of power in an avenue that I never saw coming. It literally just happened to me.
tl:dr: I’m a fucking alicorn princess.