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Simpler Days by Geckofly Simpler Days by Geckofly
It took me all day to just let the fact that Discord got turned to stone sink in. So I drew some young Trollshipping to make me stop crying over the lost of a great villain...that is unless they'll bring him back as a villain in future episode and I'm still holding onto that hope even though its super unlikely, about as unlikely as Hasbro making a Discord toy.
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Artgirl513 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012
Well John said that he had just finished voicing a character at a comic con Q&A so maybe Discord will come back in season 3, I hope!
bloodsuckingmonster3 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I read fanfics to keep his memory alive, that and watch his ep a billion times, still makes me whimper at the end, every single time... :iconcryforeverplz:
lonelynightrain Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Awww what a lovely moment between Celestia and Discord as children!
I love the fct that you added some sparkles, and some rings in the background. It really does set the fact that Tai and Discord were really once close friends!
I hope that you have a great and blessed day!
May the Lord keep you and your family safe!
DeepC Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Alas, poor villain.

While he was incredibly nasty towards the Mane Six, I can certainly say that he is certainly worth pitying for. I could almost cry for him, especially with a face of absolute terror while he was being turned back to stone.

Though I also find it despicable when people portray Princess Celestia as a tyrant.
Cryssy-miu Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2011
This is precious. I have a Discord and Celestia (and baby Luna) piece in my gallery, but there's something about this - maybe it's the colors - that makes it so much sweeter than mine. I too believe they were once friends before...well, he lived up to his name.

I was heartbroken and in shock when he went back into stone. He did NOT deserve that. It was beyond unfair and such a cruel punishment for just a bit of playfulness. Okay...sure, he loved making the mane six loathe each other, but he IS the spirit of chaos and disharmony. He could have been worse. I never saw him try to physically harm ANYPONY.

Just...make their houses float and turn the road to soap and silly wacky things. But I don't see him as evil; he's mean and mischievous and takes pranks far, but he ain't evil.

And I miss him. : (
SilverLiqueur Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011
I really, really had my hopes set that Discord would be allowed to hang around for the rest of the season. I definitely wasn't prepared for the look of sheer horror on his face when he turned back into stone...that was downright heartbreaking.
cruelfeline Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011
Man, I am with you there. I'm still not over the fact that they sentenced him to full body paralysis for the rest of eternal life as far as we know. Far too harsh, IMHO.

Currently depending on what I hope will be amazing fandom work to get me through the rest of my life :D.
Geckofly Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm not sure, but I think I was the only person who literally cried like a baby when Discord was turn to stone again....and yeah full body paralysis is a pretty harsh punishment for turning dirt road to soap, flipping house upside down and messing with reality a bit.
cruelfeline Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011
My friend, you were not the only person. I was right there with you; I can't remember the last time I felt so hollow.

I understand that what the ponies did, they did out of self-preservation. Ponies cannot live in such a state of chaos; they're simply not the sort of creature that can manage that.

But demonizing him for what he did... I never viewed him as a classically "evil" character. He was the personification of chaos, essentially a force of nature. Calling him "evil" is like calling the embodiment of a hurricane "evil." Is it destructive and difficult to live with? Yes. But that is simply its nature and not some sort of active desire to do malice.

Was he malicious towards the ponies? Yes, but they were also trying to seal him. Heck, their kind had sealed him in essentially his own head for thousands of years. If I were him, I'd want serious revenge, and the fact that he didn't just maim everything he saw sort of says something, I think. In the end, he was just content with entertaining himself, which I think paints his true nature as less evil and really more chaotic neutral than anything else. He didn't go out to find and destroy Celestia; he didn't kill anypony. He just sort of... let his nature take its course.

And his complete lack of consideration for anypony but himself? Who's to say that doesn't just stem from lack of companionship? If he never had a friend or companion (and I think it's fairly safe to say he did not), then he probably doesn't even understand the concept beyond what's needed to be able to mock it. And why would he? He's the spirit of chaos, not of getting-along.

I was hoping that they'd do something along the lines of giving him his own realm where he could do as he pleased. Really, the only reason the ponies hated it so much was because they had to live in it 24/7. If he had a place to entertain himself away from ponies, I'd say it's a fair bet they'd be okay with it, maybe even want to visit. Pinkie Pie would certainly go over from time to time just for the chocolate rain.

So don't worry; you weren't the only one disappointed. I was pretty much horrified that they sentenced him to such a fate for what we can infer is eternity for just... being what he was.
Specter-Von-Baren Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011
While I always try to see the good in people, I think you're being too much of an apologist for this. Look at how much Discord was delighted in tearing apart the friendship of our main characters. Just because a person doesn't kill people doesn't mean they aren't causing harm to others for their own pleasure. At the root of it, most evil can be boiled down to selfishness. Take when Pinkie was laughing at the funny things Discord was doing or how she loved the chocolate rain, Discord could have attempted to simply convince her that his kind of world is the best world, and if he wanted kindness then he wouldn't have been so angry with how Fluttershy acted. When we saw him near the end he was sitting on a throne alone, he was only interested in the amusement that the chaos was bringing him. Discord only saw everything as a toy for himself to play with, objects with no worth outside of the entertainment they gave him. He isn't the kind of person that even accepts friendship as something real.

I'm not saying it would be impossible to redeem him but I don't think as he is now or then that he was someone that just needed a friend in order to be good. If Discord were to be redeemed then it would first require an effort on his part, he would have to see other people as having worth outside of what they can do for him. And since even Celestia and Luna are no match for him, there is no equal that could, by the fact that he couldn't use them like a toy, force him to reevaluate himself and how he treats others.

In fanon I'm all for coming up with interesting experiences and reasons for why he is the way he is but canonically, he isn't that kind of person.
cruelfeline Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011
I'm not sure I would take how he treated the Mane 6 as a standard for his general demeanor towards everything else. Remember that the only context he saw them in was as agents of Celestia sent specifically to destroy/imprison/punish him. I thought it only natural for him to act particularly nasty towards them: from a survival standpoint, they were essentially coming for his life. Their friendship was the weapon they were going to use against him, or at least the major source of power for the actual physical weapons they were going to use. Destroying the friendship of the Mane 6 was the equivalent of ensuring his own life was saved (hence why he was so confident he was safe from the EoH when he thought they weren't friends anymore). Finding glee in that sort of thing is not something I would be particularly surprised at. Finding joy in causing pain in your enemies, particularly enemies who are going to entrap you, fully conscious, in rock, is not necessarily something I would use as a hallmark of evil and cruelty.

A better judge of redeemability, in my opinion, would be precisely what amuses him. Is it the actual suffering of ponies, or is it simply everything being random and chaotic? If it is the former, then redeemability takes a sharp nosedive, and I would be fine with categorizing him as a classically evil, unsympathetic villain with no hope for any other way of being. If, however, the source of enjoyment is the chaos, and the misery and suffering is a side effect that he simply does not care about... well, then I feel like I have to ask why that is. Is it because he legitimately does not think ponies are worth anything? Does he not like them? Did they wrong him in some way? I have no idea, and save maybe for Lauren Faust and the rest of the crew, no one really does. It's one of the reasons I'm sad to see him go: no further backstory given. Boo :P

If he doesn't care because he just doesn't deem ponies worthy of anything... well, he's an almost completely omnipotent creature who can reality warp better than that universe's sun goddess. Him thinking ponies weren't particularly important would be the rough equivalent of us thinking that mice aren't particularly important. And, well.. most people don't think they're all that magnificent. Does that make them evil? To mice, maybe. But I guess that's neither here nor there. My point is, if he never had any reason to think well of ponies, why should he? For all we know, he never had any reason to associate ponies with any sort of positive feeling, and so he saw nothing wrong with throwing them to the wayside when it came for his own amusement. As far as that being morally abhorrent: the natural order of things tends towards strong creatures gaining victory over weaker creatures. Anything beyond that is always connected to some sort of gain. Social living allows for protection and collaboration. Friendship is only “useful” because of the good feelings it gives someone. If it didn't, I doubt we'd bother with it at all, because there would be no positive reinforcement from it. Why doesn't he see that? Again, I have no idea. We have no backstory. One can assume that it is because he's some sort of entity of pure evil, or one could assume it's because he was bullied as a half... cub... foal... thing. Or maybe because he didn't get to go to Disney World or something :D. The point is, we have no idea if he could be made friendly or not, because the episodes ended too quickly and didn't explore that direction.

The only reasons I think it might be possible is that, beyond suffering caused by chaos, he didn't go around purposefully forcing pain on anyone. He wasn't sadistic with anyone, as far as we know, except the Mane 6. Yes, we may have just not seen it, but most of what we did see was... just nonsensical stuff happening with ponies being miserable because nonsense isn't compatible with their way of life. If he went around and inflicted everypony's worst nightmare on them... well, that would be different. Heck, I don't think he even really went after Celestia, which I thought he'd do right after defeating the Mane 6.

So I guess what my point is in this wall 'o text is that we don't really have enough information to make a completely sure judgment either way. I judge my way because... well, because that's just how I take things. And because the idea of a permanent And I Must Scream trope freaks me out :P. But that's just me, and I'm sure fandom will come up with a thousand more interpretations!
Specter-Von-Baren Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011
Except he never had to destroy their friendship, he never even had to deal with them to begin with. He HAD the Elements of Harmony. If he had just kept the five necklaces and tiara in some far off place or perhaps put them in some sort of paradoxical dimension, then he would never have to worry about anything. But instead gave them a riddle and when they clearly went off track he didn't just let them go about it hopelessly, he directly interfered with them and turned them against each other. And even if your enemy is going to do something bad to you, how you react to that is indicative of your own character. Discord saw that they were people that cared about each other and by that token had empathy for other people but he didn't say anything about how what they were going to do was wrong and horrible.

I don't think Discord is a hardcore evil villain. But the thing to remember is that just because a villain's villainy doesn't stem from something obvious like hate and is instead more akin to not caring, doesn't mean it's any less bad. I remember something that broadened my view on this, a book called 'Out of the Silent Planet'. I won't go into great detail but the revelation came when someone described the character of the two villains, one of them I had seen as more of an evil person as he was willing to kill the lives of alien beings and the destruction of other planet's ecosystems if it meant humanity would expand. He had acted rather cruel before in the story. Meanwhile the other villain had been much more calm minded but his main goal was to increase his wealth. The person describing them referred to the former as a "bent man" while he called the later a "broken" man. The former was bent because he was cruel but the source of his goals could still be routed in some more "noble" purpose, the later was broken because he was a man that simply didn't care about anything but himself. I'm butchering this though, you should really just read the book.

But what I'm getting at, is that casual cruelty can be just as evil, or in some cases, more evil than active cruelty, I'd love to bring in my favorite example for this but it could make this conversation (Which I'm having a lot of fun having with you by the way) a bit too serious as it deals with some very big names. Discord doesn't go looking to be completely cruel to people but at the same, if he causes it or finds that he can do it, then he will find joy in it nonetheless.

Again, I don't see Discord as an un-redeemable villain, nor do I think he's all that evil but I do believe he himself knows that the things he does are wrong and can cause others pain. Like I said before, the problem for redeeming him is that he's simply too powerful for anyone to do anything about other than use the Elements of Harmony which have a mind of their own when it comes to what they do to their target.

I agree that we have no idea what his whole backstory is, which makes excellent fodder for fiction, comics, and art but I try to take a middle ground on these kinds of things and simply say that I don't know, and try my best to bring up the points for and against things but never get stuck in being on one side of the issue but always pointing to what facts we do have.

And indeed. The fact that he didn't go after Celestia and Luna is something that lends credit to him not being a true hardcore evil person (Then again, for all we know he already did and he turned Celestia pink and Luna invisible).

I'd like to ask you if I could publish our conversation here onto DA. I'd love to see if it could generate responses so we could get more opinions in here and get more analyses on this because I'm a sucker for talking in depth about things that most people just shrug at.
cruelfeline Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011
Oh, please publish away! I love to see fandom responses to these sorts of things.

Wait, C.S. Lewis wrote science fiction? Dang, now I have another book I need to read...

I don't disagree that Discord performed actions that could be deemed evil by the pony populace; obviously, he did, and that was why the entire conflict existed. My main issues with the conclusion presented in the episode are:

1. "Chaos" is synonymous with "evil" and thus must be entirely contained. In my view, chaos and order, discord and harmony, are natural dichotomies that exist within the world in a state of constant, shifting balance. Neither can exist without the other (for if we didn't have chaos, how would we differentiate order from it; what would it even mean to have order, if one could not have chaos?), and both need to be balanced for life as we know it to flourish. If we have too much chaos we get... well, what we got for most of the ep (though I maintain that exploding chocolate milk was fantastic). If we have too much order? Boredom, stagnation, dullness. What is life without some surprises, some unplanned experiences? I can say the same for harmony and disharmony. Obviously pure disharmony is also not life-compatible, but what would pure harmony give us? Constant happiness, constant contentment, no conflict whatsoever: what would be the point of doing anything? Much of the actions people and ponies perform are done to gain happiness and contentment, or to diminish pain and unhappiness. If one was constantly just content, what would that mean? What would be the point? You could just sit there and not do anything and be happy about it, and that would be your life, because you would have absolutely no motive to search out anything different. Heck, what Discord did to the Mane 6's friendship was awful, but wasn't their friendship stronger for it in the end? Didn't the disharmony he caused allow them to earn something that they would not have earned if their friendship hadn't been threatened? Sure, without him, they would have been happy as friends, but the new conviction and strength of bond earned through the trials he set in motion are certainly not worthless. Traits like bravery, perseverance, courage, compassion, and many others are much less meaningful if there is no adversity to constantly test, shape, and strengthen them. While Discord's role in nature may not be pleasant, and thus might be categorized as “evil” by ponies or humans, it serves a natural purpose and allows for personal growth that would otherwise have no motivation for occurring.

Do I believe that he should just be let loose to do whatever he wants? Of course not. Do I think that he should have somehow been incorporated into the world of Equestria instead of being imprisoned again? Yes. Frankly, I'm tired of so many children's shows painting the world in such stark black and white, with one side being “pure good” and the other “pure evil.” I always wish they'd show that some unpleasantness is a part of life, a necessary part, and that just because something may not be our idea of a good time, it is still a part of the world and should not be violently done away with.

2. The punishment was far too harsh. While this is somewhat connected to the fact that I don't like disorder being automatically evil, it also simply involves the fact that imprisoning a sapient creature in stone for what we essentially believe will be eternity while said creature is fully conscious is an idea that is utterly terrifying and abhorrent to me. Have you ever heard of locked-in syndrome? It is a medical condition that involves full body paralysis but leaves the sufferer completely conscious the whole time. Essentially, being trapped in your own body, which is what I think we can safely say Discord was sentenced to. For what? Yes, he caused misery, but that misery was a side effect of him acting out his nature. Was his casual cruelty awful? Sure. Does it warrant trapping him in an “And I Must Scream” situation for eternity? Him, a creature that is naturally born to create entropy and activity wherever it goes? To me, his sentence would fall under cruel and unusual punishment, particularly for someone whose entire purpose is to cause chaos. I was honestly shocked that the show did not make a bigger deal out of it and sort of brushed it off as an acceptable way of handling the situation. I'd feel differently if his imprisonment worked like Twilight's petrification by the cockatrice, involving her feeling as if she'd been asleep and simply losing that time, but he makes it fairly clear that he was conscious the entire time. Again, this is why I don't begrudge him any sort of revenge-related cruelty. I know this is a kids' show, but I was fairly surprised he hadn't simply gone mad from being alone in his own head for eons.

I would have been less bothered by it if the Mane 6 had tried some alternative, some form of reasoning before hitting him with the Friendship Cannon. Perhaps it would not have worked, but trying would have at least sent a message of allowing a chance for redemption before streamrolling your way through. Or heck, they could have struck a deal with him: he gets some random zone in Equestria to do what he likes with, they get the rest. I don't know, something. He didn't have to turn all saccharine or anything (indeed, that would have been ridiculous), but somehow showing that chaos on its own is a valid part of the universe would have been a welcome message for me. Perhaps him recognizing friendship as a powerful force would have altered his demeanor somewhat and allowed him to stay free. You say that he seems incapable of understanding something like friendship. Perhaps he is, but did they even try? Did they try to offer some form of truce before taking him out? I can understand that our heroines were fighting for their lives and for the normalcy of their world, but at the same time, I feel that emphasizing the importance of offering companionship and understanding to everyone, even to those who don't seem to deserve it, would be a worthwhile message. Sure, it may not have changed anything in him, but at the same time, it might have. It might have given him respect at least for our Mane 6. Heck, maybe it might have made him realize he was lonely and given him a reason to spare ponies some misery (wouldn't what appears to be a fairly social creature be lonely if its association with chaos made everyone hate and fear it?). I don't know; I just think it could have been done differently and been more poignant as a result.
Specter-Von-Baren Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2011
1. Though chaos is a necessary element of the world, what Discord wanted was just pure chaos with absolutely no order. Just because something is an inherent trait of the way the world works doesn't mean that if a problem arises from that trait that you shouldn't do something about it. The thing is though that the show already showed a level of maturity with Nightmare Moon. Nightmare Moon was a villain and the queen of the night but once she was purified she was Luna, the princess of the night. It showed that just because the night had been the bad guy that time didn't mean that it was inherently evil. But the idea that anyone can be reasoned with or that they are always just a victim of circumstance is just as close minded as those that see the world in black and white. There are people that could have been good people if they had had better circumstances or been raised right but there are also those that just want to see the world burn, or in this case, see it turn into candy... delicious delicious candy.

2. What makes you think Discord is conscious while sealed in stone? He never said anything that implied he was aware of what was going on when he was in stone and it seemed that at least some time had passed between him being released and him starting to cause chaos. Maybe he was aware but there's nothing that says that IS what happened.

"Or heck, they could have struck a deal with him: he gets some random zone in Equestria to do what he likes with, they get the rest. I don't know, something. "

Except it's obvious that Discord didn't simply want some out of the way zone. Remember my analogy of how Discord probably views the world as full of toys for him to play with? Well think of it this way, when humans want to build some new structure somewhere, do they say, "Wait... there's an ant colony in this area, we'll have to build elsewhere."? Or what about in war? When one side has a superior upper hand, do they listen to their enemy saying that if they call of the war then they will get 70% of the spoils while they just get 30%? No. Can you see Discord settling for something like that?

I do agree that there should be villains with sympathetic back stories and that get redeemed or are shown a hug instead of a fist but at the same time I believe that some villains should in fact not be sympathetic because there are actually people that are like that.
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September 24, 2011
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