In the episode "Luna Eclipsed" (S02E04) the ponies celebrate their own version of Halloween where the children have to "sacrifice" part of their candy to Night Mare Moon. It is stated throughout the episode that it is one of the most important nights in pony culture (as far as Equestria is concerned).

But in season 1, nopony had a clue who Night Mare Moon was, and nopony recognized her but Twilight.

Also, there is a huge lifelike statue of Night Mare Moon near Ponyville where the ponies make their candy sacrifice.

Given that Nightmare Night should be part of the calendar for at least a few centuries, it is too far fetched to assume that nopony in that assembly did not recognize her.

Was that event retconned in season two, or is there any other explanation to the presumed ignorance of the crowd in season one?

  • I don't have an answer, so I'm going to lean on the MST3K mantra for this one. =) – Brian S Sep 2 '14 at 15:04
  • @BrianS lolz. Mantra on, my friend. – Mindwin Sep 2 '14 at 15:10
  • Anyone google-challenged curious about what brianS meant, tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MST3KMantra – Mindwin Sep 2 '14 at 19:22
  • @jwooder I think you went a bit too far in using the neologisms particular to the show. To a reader that do not know the show, he might think the writing is wrong. – Mindwin Sep 3 '14 at 12:53
  • It is worth to mention that the story of Luna's banishment seems to be known in S4 E21 as part of the history of the Wonderbolts. – b_jonas Nov 19 '14 at 10:41

But in Season 1 nobody had a clue of who Nightmare Moon was, nobody recognized her but Twilight.

Debatable. When Night Mare Moon appears, all of the ponies are shocked and remain motionless (except Rainbow Dash, who tries to charge her, and Applejack, who holds RD back). They could be afraid precisely because they recognize NMM — or it could just be a reaction to a very evil-looking mare forming out of smoke right after Princess Celestia disappears.

Where's Lily when you need her?

When NMM asks whether anypony knows who she is, Pinkie Pie starts making wildly inaccurate guesses — but this is Pinkie Pie, and her behaviour can't be used as a guide to what other ponies know. Eventually, Twilight speaks up, and when she addresses Night Mare Moon as such, all of the ponies gasp — which would be quite unusual if they actually had no idea who NMM was.

Oh, *there's* — no, wait, that's Daisy.

It thus seems likely that they did know who NMM was — they were just too shocked and/or horrified by her appearance to respond.

  • 2
    Yup. Being aware of a folk tradition of offering candies to a mythical creature does not mean not getting awestruck seeing the same creature manifesting right in front of you. – zovits Sep 3 '14 at 13:49
  • 2
    @zovits - Quite right. I'm sure we'd have the same reaction if Satan or even Santa (anagrams! coincidence?!) just materialized right in front of our eyes. – System Down Sep 3 '14 at 17:07
  • Is this just speculation, or are there any sources to this answer? – Mindwin Sep 4 '14 at 12:14
  • @Mindwin: It's speculation, but I think it's very conservative speculation. – jwodder Sep 4 '14 at 14:51
  • I was looking for something in the line of scifi.stackexchange.com/a/35292/24773 ... confirmation whether the showmakers really had Nightmare Night in mind when they did the first episode. – Mindwin Sep 4 '14 at 15:47

It's not that nopony knew of Nightmare Moon at all; it's just that nopony recognized her as nopony expected Nightmare Moon would still be alive. She was last seen a thousands years ago, when Celestia banished her. The Nightmare Night festival and the statue refer to her as a historical figure, very much like the real-life festival of St. Nicholas or Guy Fawkes Night are based on historical figures. If you had Guy Fawkes suddenly stand in front of you, you probably wouldn't recognize him at first either, since he wouldn't have the stereotyped appearance that we associate with him today. Once Twilight mentioned the name Nightmare Moon, everypony in the crowd knew who was meant.

Note that "the mare in the moon" is repeatedly referred to as an "old pony tale" - but many tales are based in reality (the Holy Kings who visited Bethlehem from Babylon probably existed, although their names weren't Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar).

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