During the Great Dragon Migration, when the girls are out watching hundreds of dragons fly over Equestria and Spike is waiting on them as normal, comments by Rainbow Dash indicating how “wimpy” he is as well as Rarity calling him various “cutesy” comments prompt Spike to start questioning his identity and wanting to be more like a real dragon. When Twilight is unable to find anything known to ponies about dragons, Spike decides to go on a self-discovery “quest” and join the Great Dragon Migration. While Twilight lets him go, she, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity secretly fear for him and assemble a rather outrageous costume that they follow him in. Spike ends up arriving at the dragon gathering and pairing up with a group of teenage dragons, who soon not only reveal themselves to be savage brutes, but also pick on Spike for having lived around ponies. After putting him through several “initiations”, Spike manages to convince them he’s a “real dragon”, but that means he needs to go out with them on a “raid” to steal Phoenix eggs. After some mishaps, Spike manages to get one of the eggs himself, and the other dragons tell him to smash it. In the end, however, he realizes even if he’s a dragon, he’s not a brute and bully like other dragons and refuses. The girls arrive to have Twilight teleport them back to Ponyville before the dragons can rip them apart. Spike writes to Celestia about how what you are doesn’t determine who you are, and thinks of himself as a “pony”.
As far as most Spike episodes go, I like this one over the ones that portray him in a more negative light. So that makes this episode a little better. That said…this is a very “meh” episode. Nothing really “clicks” in it. The drama doesn’t really work out that well as it’s obvious right at the start Spike is never going to fit in with the other dragons, nor does he, deep down inside, want to. Humor-wise, there isn’t much that’s really funny in this episode. Fluttershy looks thrown into the opening for a gag but it doesn’t “work” with me. Perhaps she’s supposed to show her more assertive side with the “I said NO”, but the fact that she actually hits Rainbow Dash, something she didn’t even do in “Putting Your Hoof Down”, makes me kind of frown. Not to mention I think it’s a regression of her character back to prior to “Dragonshy”. Rarity’s getup is obviously supposed to get a laugh for being far too conspicuous when the other girls are wearing camouflage…but the fact that they’re probably a half mile from Ponyville kind of defeats the purpose. Could they really have not watched it from there out in the open? Obviously Ponyville is safe because none of the dragons are just incinerating it for fun. And other than that, there isn’t much in the way of humor rather than weak slapstick.
This episode does help “elaborate” more on dragons in Equestria in general, and it helped get the audience thinking more about Spike’s origins…but neither item was ever “followed up on” in the rest of the series. And since those were the only two really “stand-out” things of this episode, it kind of makes it fall flat.
It’s not a “bad” episode…it’s just…dull. One of the more forgettable ones in the series.
The title of this episode is a takeoff of “Dragon Quest”, a popular RPG video game series that was on par with the Final Fantasy series for years.
This episode confirmed that all dragons are bullies and jerks. 😛 Spike is an exception due to how he was raised by Twilight Sparkle. It also confirmed, along with “Secret of My Excess”, just how little Equestrians know about dragons, and that dragons have a rather pitiful opinion of ponies.
Fluttershy is once again terrified of dragons. Her reaction in “Dragonshy” must have been a one-time deal. Actually, to me, this is more OOC Fluttershy than “Putting Your Hoof Down”. She’s louder as opposed to being more timid, she comes off as more angry than hysterical, and actually hits Rainbow Dash as she runs away. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be the more “assertive” Fluttershy from after that episode or not…
Twilight reiterates that Spike was given to her as an egg, not knowing who found him or where. This…would actually make a decent episode, especially now that Tirek has entered the series. (In G1, Tirek killed Spike’s parents.)
Spike appears to hitch a ride on the river with Cranky Doodle Donkey, although seeing as it’s the older toupee, probably not.
This episode calls attention to the fact that Spike has no wings. Seeing as the pilot episode endorsed the idea of “Chinese Dragons” rather than “European Dragons”, this makes sense. However, now that the writers have definitely made European Dragons the “dominant” dragon…it makes Spike kind of awkward, especially since it was revealed he is, in fact, a European Dragon. The episode does hint, however, that he might get wings as he gets older, “Secret of My Excess” notwithstanding.
The part where it turns out there’s a real dragon that looks just like the blatantly fake costume… XD
Not exactly sure how Spike “failed” “King of the Hoard”. He knocked off the main teenage dragon.
Phoenixes make a return appearance, now in male and female varieties as well as chicks and hatchlings.
The end, when the picture of Spike has been taped into a picture with the Mane Six, might be an allusion to “The Simpsons” in an earlier episode where Bart did the same to cover up a bad picture of himself with the family.
I think the writers forgot about “Peewee” after this episode… 😛
The Mane Six all appear in this episode, although it only features Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash.
2.5 Stars out of 5