Did Starlight Glimmer believe in equality the way she preached it? Rambling!Rose//pzOM No.481579
I had the time to watch the first two episodes of season 5, and have a hard time deciding whether Starlight really was being genuine about cutie marks hurting everyone or if it was just bullshit to get ponies' cutie marks for some other, as of yet unknown, reason.
After their little song and dance she said to herself (and the audience)
> Well, this will certainly provide a boost to our little community. When the rest of Equestria sees that a princess gave up her cutie mark to join us, they'll finally understand what we're trying to accomplish.
which to me makes it sound like she really wants the rest of Equestria to just come and agree with her, and that she genuinely believes in cutie marks causing trouble. Also of note is the word WE in "what we're trying to accomplish". However, what makes me second guess myself simply based on this scene alone is her facial expression, which went from seemingly normal and happy to somewhat, uh, sinister. And the foreboding sound in the background really didn't help make her seem genuine. Her words and actions seemed to somewhat contradict each other. If she was speaking to somepony else or the M6 were within hearing distance this would be more easily explained, but the way the scene is framed makes it clear nopony else heard what she said.
But. When she forcefully removed the cutie marks of the Mane 6 it seemed to be clear she didn't have everypony's interests in mind. I mean, before she'd specifically said that a princess who gave up her cutie mark to join the village would help others understand. Starlight would have to be a lunatic to think Twilight wouldn't mention what happened if anypony, like, saaaay Luna or Celestia, came asking where she was. Then again, maybe she was and that's that, but that takes all the fun out of overthinking, so I'll ignore that possibility. Starlight locking them up in the shack to be brainwashed or whatever also seemed like a very interesting way of handling the situation if she believed in what she taught.
Also, the fact that none of the villagers commented or looked uncomfortable with the ridiculousness of what Starlight was doing was a bit bothersome. Night Glider was the one who said the cutie unmarking was a beautiful experience. Party Favour and Sugar Belle seemed to agree, and it seemed they had all given up their cutie marks of their own volition. Or they were so thoroughly brainwashed they thought they had, I don't know. Sugar Belle did mention that it wasn't like Starlight kept them from their cutie marks, but she didn't want to offend or hurt Starlight. To me her reaction didn't really sound like that of someone who was afraid of their leader, even though it's clear she had the authority to do whatever she pleased.
Moving on, the issue gets muddy again when we reach the end of the second episode and Starlight somewhat loses it. True, it's hard to tell how much of what she said was true or not, but to me some parts stand out.
> It's my magic that makes all this possible! You'd all still be living your miserable lives thinking you're better than everypony else if it weren't for my magical abilities! I brought you friendship! I brought you equality! I created harmony!
>Spare me your sentimental nonsense! I gave these ponies real friendships they never could've had otherwise!
These don't sound like lies to me. If they were, she wouldn't be so, eh, bitchy, about them. She really, really seemed to believe in what she said and that she brought the village happiness. But there's always a but...
> I... I had to, you fools! How could I collect your cutie marks without my magic?
Why not say remove, instead? Was she actually collecting them for some purpose we haven't heard of yet? Am I simply giving too much weight to one single word?
So... what exactly happened? Was she actually somepony who believed she was being the hero and helped all those ponies (due to some traumatic event in her past causing her to view friendship so differently, no doubt) or was she simply pretending and wanted to take over? If she believed in equality as she said then she simply could have argued that she needed her special talent until everypony else had given up their cutie mark, and the last mark she'd remove would be hers. She still would have lied to the ponies who trusted her, but she could have at least tried to sweet talk her way out of it. She could have succeeded, too. However, if she didn't believe in equality why would she so vehemently speak for it after the truth about her cutie mark came out, even as she was running into the caves.
Anyone have any thoughts on the subject?