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Synopsis:

Discord gets a rude awakening in Ponyville one morning, having discovered he’s been sleepwalking and accidentally turned the entire town chaotic. Unwilling to have that happen again, Twilight Sparkle goes to Princess Celestia and they realize that the sleepwalking must have come from nightmares, so Princess Luna is called in to investigate. After “helping Discord fall asleep”, she enters his rather chaotic dreams where he constantly fears being forced to do normal, routine, boring business jobs, which he explains to Luna is what he thinks “order” ultimately results in; explaining why he embraces chaos. Eventually Luna leads him to a hallway of possibilities of which multiple doors are marked with the Cutie Mark symbol of the members of the Mane Six, and each one reveals a common theme: Discord’s trolling causing one of them to break off their friendship with him. Finally, Luna forces him to open a door he had blocked off, revealing it’s Fluttershy’s door…only to see there’s nothing on the other side except him, Fluttershy, and the CMCs having a good time together. He admits that’s what he fears the most–having others care about him because, being the spirit of chaos, he believes it will never end well for them due to his nature. However, Luna reveals another common theme in all the dreams: Discord felt remorse. She further affirms that feeling empathy toward others for his actions isn’t something that makes him weak but is a source of strength that can make him change past the flaws in his own character, as it did for her. Luna ends up writing a letter to Celestia about how “fixing” Discord helped her learn a lesson about herself and that chaos isn’t necessarily good or evil in and of itself, and Discord ends up surprising her that night for a game of cards.

Review:

I didn’t think too much of this issue on first read, but, like many things in MLP:FIM, on the second one I appreciated it a lot more.

A number of the “Friends Forever” issues tend to fall short of their intended purpose: showing a friendship between the two characters or pushing one ahead of the others. This one did emphasize Discord a little more, but…it’s a bit understandable here as more of Luna’s own psyche and temperament have already been explored and pronounced both on the show as well as the comic. Discord himself is, ironically, a bit more chaotic. Depending on the writer, he’s either so much of his original troll self that he’s practically still a villain, or he’s sympathetic enough to come across as a more socially awkward child. Of the two depictions, I prefer the second, as his antics are always more forgivable in that case.

This is probably the most “vulnerable” Discord has ever been depicted in the series outside of the latter part of “Twilight’s Kingdom”; in a situation where he is helpless before his own nightmares. And it manages to convey them with the normal sense of Discord wackiness. It’s kind of anticipated that Discord would fear a boring office job more than anything, and that’s been done in other ways before, but this one manages to make it just crazy enough and over the top enough to make it still funny to me. Likewise, at the end, when Discord admits he has grown to care about others, it’s fitting enough to work with his character in later episodes, and, although it’s a tad expected as well, it’s not done in a cliche way that it could have been done…say, with Discord acting like it’s physically hurting him to say “care”.

And while Luna doesn’t have a whole lot to do in this one other than act as “escort”, this issue does do something I feel a lot of the issues didn’t: got her character right. Unlike many other depictions in the series, I can actually see the same Luna from the various CMC “dream” episodes in the series in this one. Last but not least, it does allow a slightly new look at both characters.

I won’t consider it one of the best issues in the whole series, but as things stand it’s pretty good. I might have rated it just a tad bit higher if it had gotten a little more wacky, but even without that it was still entertaining.

Fun Facts:

This series is a friendship story between the two first villains of the series. 😀 One of the exclusive covers features her and Discord posed in shades. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the poster to “Men in Black”, but based on the shade, background, and the reflection in Luna’s shades, it’s actually a knockoff of “The Matrix”.

Based on the angle of the opening panels, Discord was sleeping standing up.

Among the crazy things Discord did in his sleep, he turned one pony into a sheep and Spike into a centaur. O_o

Luna is apparently powerful enough to knock Discord out on her own. 😛

There are Super Mario Bros. item boxes in Discord’s dreams.

This comic introduced an interesting nuance about how Princess Luna’s power over dreams works. Apparently by even being present in a pony’s dreams her mere existence gives post-hypnotic suggestions, so that anything she says causes the dreamer to make it into reality even if it’s only a casual aside. In other words, her power to control nightmares comes from her subconsciously convincing the psyche of ponies that she is more powerful than them. This is actually an interesting detail, and helps explain how a nightmare could grow beyond her control as well as leads more significance to Season Seven’s “A Royal Problem”.

The sudden brick wall makes a “Sudden Brick Wall” noise…whatever that is. :X

As another allusion to the exclusive covers, at one point Luna imitates Morpheus from “The Matrix”, appearing in shades and a coat saying: “Come with me if you want to see the truth.” The only difference is she’s wearing more of a trench coat than the black designer one Morpheus wore.

When Discord screams: “Don’t say it!”, he temporarily turns into a knockoff of the artwork “The Scream” by Edvard Munch.

I don’t watch enough reality TV to know what Discord and Rarity’s bit was about… ;_; But Discord and Twilight’s was a parody of “The Odd Couple”. Discord suggests that Twilight eat a sandwich with meat on it. :O

I never watched the show (yeah, I know…sue me) but I’m pretty sure Discord turns Fluttershy and the CMCs along with himself into the cast from “Firefly”.

Rating:

3 Stars out of 5

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