My Little Pony/Game of Thrones: Loyalty
Two Different Shows
In most forms of broadcasted media the idea of loyalty has been a lesson many characters had to learn for character development. Most cases where loyalty was tested was during events where a character was tempted to ignore their original loyalties and switch to different loyalties for a better lifestyle. Some lessons about loyalty were optimistic and involved characters facing opportunities where they could change their loyalties for one group, but ultimately choosing their original loyalties over new loyalties. Some lessons about loyalty could be cynical as well in that one aspect about loyalty that was pointed out was that there were times where one had to bear the consequences of their loyalty, without the prospect of changing their minds. Two shows who had characters deal with loyalty were Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Jon Snow from Game of Thrones. Rainbow Dash, as the bearer of the Loyalty aspect of the Elements of Harmony, had episodes where she had to choose between helping her friends, or helping people who could help her get into a highly revered organization. Jon Snow, from the show Game of Thrones has had to learn lessons about loyalty at a more frequent rate due to the fact that he was a the supposed illegitimate child of Eddard Stark. During the course of the first season of Game of Thrones Jon had to learn that when he sore loyalty to an organization, he had to accept that there were consequences. While both shows were of completely different tones, both of them provided good lessons for the viewers.
- Co-ruled by Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, Equestria once faced a crisis due to Princess Luna. Both Princess Celestia and Princess Luna had control of the raising of the Sun and Moon respectively. Due to the inhabitants of Equestria deciding to sleep during Luna's job of creating night, but staying awake and celebrating Princess Celestia's control of daytime.
- Eventually Princess Luna grew so jealous of Princess Celestia, she transformed into a being referred to as Nightmare Moon. Now a being filled with jealousy and hatred for Princess Celestia's popularity among the populace, Nightmare Moon attempted to make their world experience an endless night.
- To stop Nightmare Moon Princess Celestia was forced to use the Elements of Harmony, six aspects of friendship that gave the user immense power. In Princess Celestia's case, sealing Nightmare Moon inside of Equestria's moon for a thousand years. Afterwards, the Elements of Harmony were hidden in a secluded area. These elements were:
- My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic in its first two-part episode detailed Nightmare Moon's escape from the moon and her attempts for revenge. In response six individual ponies made an attempt to find the Elements of Harmony to combat Nightmare Moon. In the end the Elements of Harmony, now wielded by the six individual ponies, converted her back into her Princess Luna persona.
- After restoring Princess Luna back to her old self My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic became a more slice-of-life series detailing the individuals who wielded the Elements of Harmony. And how they face certain challenges when their respective element either makes their lives harder, or when their personality makes them act in an opposite manner to their element.
- Game of Thrones took place in the land of Westeros, a land filled with political intrigue, various attempts to become the king or influence the king, attempts to use disturbing magic against one's foes, and seeing people ignore the frozen zombie apocalypse that threatened to move into King's Landing, the home the King.
- The Night's Watch, an ancient organization that was originally tasked with protecting the rest of Westeros from the supernatural threats from the northern areas. Now an organization comprised of criminals, disgraced nobles, illegitimate children, and even unwanted legitimate children, the Night's Watch was regarded with disdain by most of the inhabitants of Westeros, mostly from the nobility. Fortunately, one faction of royalty, who possessed their own source of magic, was aware of the presence of the zombies and decided to give aid to the Night's Watch.
- Some of the members of the Night's Watch have questioned the loyalties that some of the main characters presented as members to the Night's Watch. Mostly due to tradition some of the older members accused some of the younger members of blaspheming against the original values of the Night's Watch. While somewhat true, the newer members pointed out that with the increased amount of threats from the northern areas, outside help was needed.
- Originating in Clousdale, the cloud city of the pegasus, Rainbow Dash was the wielder of the element of Loyalty. Her loyalty was in her friends and it was established that she was willing to help her friend when they were in trouble.
- Due to having a competitive personality, one of Rainbow Dash's weaknesses was that even if she was in a competition with a friend, she would sometimes resort to cheating. If a friend of hers was doing better in a competition and Rainbow Dash was aware about her chances of losing, she suffers from crippling self-doubt rather than good sportsmanship.
- Also idolizes the Wonderbolts, an elite group of pegasi who were essentially the flying pony equivalent of the Blue Angels, a real-life flight demonstration squadron. Over the course of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Rainbow Dash has been recognized by the Wonderbolts up to the point where she earned a position as a Wonderbolt reserve member.
- In the tenth episode of the fourth season, Rainbow Falls, Rainbow Dash was offered the chance to go from her team into the team consisting of the Wonderbolts for the Equestria Games, basically the Olympics. While Rainbow Dash wanted to team-up with her friends, who were not very athletic compared to the Wonderbolts, the Wonderbolts pointed-out that Rainbow Dash would have an increased chance of winning if she teamed-up with them.
- Initially Rainbow Dash tried to dodge the question about which team to support. One method that was used to dodge the question was fake an injury. After finding out that the Wonderbolts forced one of their members to fake an injury in an attempt to recruit her, Rainbow Dash revealed her fake injury, but also called out the Wonderbolts for using dishonest tactics in trying to get her to be on their team.
- By the end of the episode Rainbow Dash decided to support her friends for the Equestria Games. Here, the viewer learned that one should be loyal to people who who support you and care for you honestly, basically friends. While this lesson was learned at a short amount of time due to the show's episodic nature, some shows take an entire series to reach that point.
- The illegitimate child of Eddard Stark, Jon Snow was forced to join the Night's Watch. As the son of Eddard, Jon expected better treatment due to his lineage, but had to learn that he needed to earn respect and better treatment.
- When the War of the Five Kings rages on Jon Snow immediately tries to desert the Night's Watch and join the newly named King Robb Stark, his step-brother. Also, after the imprisonment of Eddard Stark, Jon Snow had more reasons to get out of the Night's Watch, namely revenge.
- Maester Aemon, one of the older members of the Night's Watch, talks to Jon about his decision to desert the Night's Watch. While not completely preventing Jon from fleeing, does tell him about himself.
- Maester Aemon was really Aemon Targaryen, uncle of Aerys II or "The Mad King". Aemon decided to become a member of the Night's Watch due to disliking the political intrigue that came with being related to royalty. As a result Aerys II eventually became king, but soon became a tyrant that eventually started a war that got him and a majority of his relatives killed.
- Here the viewer learned that loyalty to an organization was good, but there were consequences towards one's choice. Here, Aemon had to acknowledge that his loyalty to the Night's Watch might not have been a good choice because of the chaos that resulted from his decision. However, rather than show regret for his decisions, Aemon just says that one has to learn to live with the consequences, both good and bad.
- This conflict in loyalty was Jon Snow's entire character arc for Game of Thrones. As a series based on a long series, Jon's lessons about loyalty would never stop until the end of the story or if he was dead. While his learning about the consequences of loyalty were cynical, Game of Thrones was a show with cynical themes.