How must the show end at the end of its final season?
1. It should end with epic, mythological force.
2. It should be more adult than the previous end-of-season episodes. Okay, the ending has to be happy or at least glorious. But there should be an element of sorrow in it. A flavor of tragedy and loss. Something sad and final should happen that isn't resolved in a group hug and a shower of candy and rainbows.
3. It shouldn't just be another triumph over one more dark-colored baddie with glowing eyes, an evil laugh, and a nimbus of black writhing bits like Nightmare Moon, Sombra, or the Pony of Shadows. Not just another laser battle where horns or jewels or mystic rocks, scrolls, or trees shoot out beams that push each other back and forth. We need something darker and more powerful than that -- an adversary dark and powerful enough to lift the show's ending to a legendary level. An adversary of a kind that we haven't seen or imagined before in connection with My Little Pony. An adversary that leads us into a moral that makes even the adult audience pause and think.
4. It should be at least an hour long: maybe two hours.
I'm not sure how to do this, but one thought that occurs to me is to make the adversary Death. We've seen death and its results in earlier episodes, but the word itself has never been used. Let it be used. Let a personified (or ponified) Death take some central and beloved character. How about one of the Two Sisters? We've seen Celestia seem to die twice, only to recover and triumph in the end. But what if she did not? With the myth of Orpheus in mind, imagine a denouement in which Death falls in love with (say) Luna and takes her to be his bride, and other characters struggle to reclaim her from the Equestrian Underworld. Ultimately, they fail, because they should and must fail. The age ends, the old gods pass away, and a new age begins as the curtain falls. Let that, or something like it, be the last moral of the show.
Too grim? Too grown-up? Let's hear some better ideas. But kids love stories about Death. Consider Coco, The Book of Life, The Corpse Bride, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Frankenweenie, Paranorman.
And the proposition that old life must die if new life is to be born is a good strong aesop for the ending of the cycle.
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