Tirek tricked me into believing that he could offer me something more valuable than friendship. But there is nothing worth more. I see that now. He lied when he said that this medallion was given as a sign of gratitude and loyalty. But when I say that it is a sign of our true friendship, I am telling the truth.
Discord is a fictional character in the animated television series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He was created by Lauren Faust, who wrote him as a sendup to Star Trek character Q. His voice actor is John de Lancie, who also portrayed Q. Discord is a draconequus, a mischievous, omnipotent spirit of chaos and disharmony who is imprisoned in stone for 1,000 years by Princess Celestia and Luna for his tyrannical rule of Equestria. He serves as the antagonist of the two-part second season episode "The Return of Harmony", where he escapes and tries to take over Equestria again. He reappears in the third season episode "Keep Calm and Flutter On", where Fluttershy helps him renounce his evil ways and befriend the main characters.
Discord has been well-received by critics and fans of Friendship Is Magic, many favorably comparing him to Q. Following his portrayal of the character in "The Return of Harmony", De Lancie received an overwhelming positive response from the show's "brony" community, adult men and women who have come to appreciate the show.
Concept and creation
Discord was created and designed by My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic developer Lauren Faust, who received design advice for the character from her husband, Craig McCracken. Faust drew inspiration from various Greek mythological creatures such as chimeras and manticores for his design to depict him as a non-harmonious being. Classified as a draconequus, meaning "dragon-horse", Discord is visually a chimera-like creature with an equine head and a serpentine body composed of multiple different animal parts: a lion's right foreleg; an eagle's left claw; a lizard's right hind leg; a goat's left hind leg; a mismatched deer's antler and goat's horn; two mismatched bat and bird's wings; and a dragon's tail. He also has a black mane down his neck; yellow eyes with red, asymmetrically sized pupils; large, bushy eyebrows; an enlarged fang; a snake's tongue; and a goatee.
Discord is voiced by John de Lancie in all his appearances. Faust based Discord's mannerisms on Q, an omnipotent trickster character portrayed by de Lancie in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and other related products. The production team initially planned on casting a soundalike of de Lancie for the part; they were later surprised to find that de Lancie himself was available. Alterations to the character's mannerisms were subsequently made to provide more allusion to de Lancie's previous role, such as a flash of light when Discord would appear or disappear.
In other media
Discord appeared alongside Pinkie Pie as a host of The Hub's second televised "Naughty or Nice Awards" event on December 22, 2012, with John de Lancie reprising his role. An allusion to Discord is made during one of the animated segments of the documentary film Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony, where de Lancie voices a unicorn version of himself that briefly sports the character's yellow eyes, red pupils, and bushy eyebrows.
In the context of the series, Discord is a mischievous spirit of disharmony and Princess Celestia's foe, who has no motivation beyond causing chaos and dissent for his own amusement. He achieves this with his power to materialize anything into existence, such as clouds of cotton candy that rain chocolate milk. He also has the power to distort objects, environments, and other creatures' bodies at will, demonstrated when he magically removes the wings and horns of the main pegasus and unicorn characters, respectively. Discord's other powers include teleportation, levitation, shapeshifting, and mind control, the last of which gradually desaturates the main characters' body colors until they turn completely grayscale as their personalities are reversed. In reference to Q, the character he is modeled after, Discord is often shown to snap his fingers while using his powers, which are frequently accompanied by a flash of white light.
In "The Return of Harmony", Discord is shown to be a cunning trickster who taunts the main characters in a playful yet sinister manner. By playing on Twilight Sparkle's misjudgement of where the missing Elements of Harmony are located, Discord lures the main characters into a trap where he separates them. He manipulates each of Twilight's friends by preying on their fears and weaknesses before subjecting them to his mind control; the only pony to resist his deception is Fluttershy, whom he brainwashes by force. In his triumph against the six ponies, however, he becomes overconfident and underestimates the ponies' ability to restore their friendship and use the Elements of Harmony against him, inadvertently allowing them to turn him back to stone.
In "Keep Calm and Flutter On", Discord laughs off the main characters' attempts to reform him, and takes precautions to thwart them by eating pages from Twilight's spellbooks containing spells that could be used on him (another reference to Q from the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Déjà Q", where Q sarcastically asks Worf, "Eat any good books lately?"). He also demonstrates an immunity to "the Stare", an ability Fluttershy possesses that otherwise intimidates others into submission when she glares at them, and mockingly pretends to be affected by it. However, he appears touched when Fluttershy declares herself to be his friend while defending him from the other five ponies, and states he has never had a friend before. His friendship with Fluttershy is what ultimately causes him to withhold wreaking chaos at the risk of alienating her, realizing the loneliness it would bring, though he only promises to use his powers for good "most of the time", hinting that he keeps his mischievous streak.
Discord's inclusion in the series was met with largely positive reception, most comparing the character favorably to Star Trek character Q. A review from Republibot of the second part of "The Return of Harmony" called Discord "a more engaging villain than Nightmare Moon was"; furthermore, a review of the first part called John de Lancie's performance "superb". A review on Spill.com also praised de Lancie's voice acting, saying, "[he] is superb to listen to, and works very well with the character on screen." Hillary Busis of Entertainment Weekly called Discord a "fan-favorite villain". Daniel Alvarez of Unleash the Fanboy called the character "a blast to watch on screen." In December 2011, Discord won The Hub's "Naughty or Nice Awards" as "The Hub's Naughtiest". After the episode's airing, de Lancie was overwhelmed with positive reactions from bronies—adult male and female fans of the show—praising the character, since he had felt it was just another small role when he recorded the lines. He has since embraced the attention, and helped make a Kickstarter-funded documentary on the fandom, titled Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony.
Reaction to Discord's role in the season three episode "Keep Calm and Flutter On" was mixed. Daniel Alvarez called the episode "highly anticipated" prior to its release for the announcement of Discord's return and reformation. He criticized the character's reformation at the end of the episode, calling it "a controversial decision, and it was played a little cheesy", and stated that "the show lost its greatest villain". He added, "From a story perspective it's interesting, he'll make a cool chaotic good guy", and that "there's going to have to be some powerful challenge to be able to match him". The Spill.com review, which criticized the episode as the weakest of the season, otherwise reacted positively towards Discord's portrayal, saying, "There's no boundaries to what Discord can do, so you're constantly wondering what's going to happen next." It also praised Discord's relationship with Fluttershy in the episode, and called his reformation at the end "rather short and rushed, but surprisingly effective".
|The image gallery for Discord may be viewed here.|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "Draconequus" spelling (2011-09-20). Retrieved on 2012-10-20.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Discord concept art on Lauren Faust's deviantART account (2011-09-24). Retrieved on 2013-04-14.
- ↑ 'Cereal Velocity' (2011-09-25). Massive Jayson Thiessen Q&A From Bronycon. Equestria Daily. Retrieved on 2013-04-14.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 HUB TV Network Announces 'Naughty or Nice Awards'. TV by the Numbers (2012-12-5). Retrieved on 2013-04-14.
- ↑ Bricken, Rob (2013-01-21). Just John DeLancie singing about the history of Bronies, that's all. io9. Retrieved on 2013-04-14.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic review - Season 3, Episode 10 (Keep Calm and Flutter On). Spill.com (2013-01-19). Retrieved on 2013-04-14.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Episode review: Friendship is Magic: The Return of Harmony, Part One. Republibot (2011-09-25). Retrieved on 2013-04-14.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Episode review: Friendship is Magic: The Return of Harmony, Part Two. Republibot (2011-09-17). Retrieved on 2013-04-14.
- ↑ My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Season 2-02 ‘The Return Of Harmony Part 2′ Recap. We Got This Covered (2011-09-26). Retrieved on 2013-04-14.
- ↑ 'CouchCrusader' (2013-02-24). Panel Writeup: Contemplating Chaos: A Q&A with John de Lancie. Equestria Daily. Retrieved on 2013-04-14.
- ↑ Alvarez, Daniel (2013-01-19). My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic ‘Keep Calm and Flutter On’ Review. Unleash the Fanboy. Fanboy Network. Retrieved on 2013-04-14.
- ↑ Busis, Hillary (2013-01-18). 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic': Another fan-favorite villain returns -- Exclusive. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2013-04-14.
- ↑ Stewart, Alasdair (2012-10-02). Star Trek’s John de Lancie Interviewed. SFX. Retrieved on 2013-04-14.
- ↑ BronyCon: The Documentary. Kickstarter. Retrieved on 2013-04-14.
- ↑ Jules (2012-05-30). Kickstart BronyCon: The Documentary. Wired. Retrieved on 2013-04-14.