Although My Little Pony has been around for thirty-three years, it is the most recent incarnation of My Little Pony that I find most iconic. Friendship is Magic has been translated into over thirty languages and has followers that span a wide range of ages, as well as genders. Expanding upon the concept created in the original cartoon, MLP:FiM is defined by its more iconic and archetypal characters. In the first episodes of the series, we discover that the main six each represent a specific quality (and are reminded of this each time we see the intro). Traditional mythology often placed males at the center of the story, so much so that many dictionary definitions for the word hero specifically define it as a male concept. One of the reasons MLP:FiM is such a strong candidate for the emerging modern mythology is that it is a female-centric story. Although there are many male characters who serve important roles, it is the females of the series that are the focus and redefine heroism and archetypes through a female lens. Unlike many of the other female role models for young girls, these sheroes are not confined to stories of romance and happily ever after, but instead enjoy the adventure and freedom typically reserved for male heroes.

Princess Celestia
Princess Celestia

Princess Celestia

Princess Celestia is the Sovereign or Queen archetype. She also embodies the sacrifices that the heroic sovereign must make in order to protect them realm, even at great personal cost. This image represents Princess Celestia as she is at the beginning of the series, still fulfilling her royal duties and roles as a princess while grieving the loss of her sister. She stands proudly, using her magic to defend the kingdom, even while the shadow of her past lurks behind her, symbolized by the texture of an onion.

Princess Luna
Princess Luna

The Second Doctor's TARDIS

Although Princess Luna has a family, she represents the classic Orphan archetype. Her main desire is to be seen and loved by her subjects. She represents the very basic need that all of us have to feel as though we belong and to be valued. This desire was also her tragic flaw, as it led to her becoming Nightmare Moon in an attempt to feel valued. Because of this, she is also an excellent reminder to all of us that we must satisfy our own needs for validation; that seeking it externally very often leads to suffering.

Princess Twilight Sparkle

Princess Twilight Sparkle officially represents the element of magic, but is also an excellent example of The Sage/Librarian archetype. She has a need to understand the world and make sense of it and values knowledge and learning above almost everything. Twilight Sparkle is shown as her alicorn self, representative of transformation through learning and finding her true calling. She is shown flying blissfully, casting a spell. The definition for learning fills the background, and a magical diagram echoing sacred geometry shows the magic of friendship and the lessons learned from each of her friends. Twilight Sparkle is also shown as a Princess because her coronation is the result of learning and skill; she has earned the right to be a princess and it is a title that is conferred upon her as a reward. Unlike most princesses, Twilight Sparkle becomes a princess in her own right through bravery, dedication, and learning and is an icon of intelligence.

Princess Twilight Sparkle
Princess Twilight Sparkle

Pinky Pie

Pinky Pie is the Jester archetype. She is the embodiment of joy and is motivated by laughter and making others feel good. Although many may see this as a frivolous trait, Pinky Pie takes the business of enjoyment quite seriously and has extensive files on everyone in her life so that she may throw them the perfect party. Pinky Pie is leaping joyfully, buoyed up by her signature balloons, which allow her to fly and symbolize her ability to 'lighten up' as well as live life to the fullest.
Pinkie Pie
Pinkie Pie
Rarity
Rarity

Rarity

Rarity is the archetype of The Creator. Although we are told that Rarity embodies generosity, Rarity is most generous with her creative talents and giving of her time. She is always eager to help everypony look their best and goes to great lengths to please her family and friends, even at cost to herself. Although Rarity is often shown as a showpony, I wanted a pose that captured Rarity in the blissful moment of inspiration. She is leaping forward to start a new project, ideas already streaming forth in her mind, reading to start creating. She has her glasses and measuring tape, symbols of her creativity and the way she views the world.
Rainbow Dash
Rainbow Dash

Rainbow Dash

Rainbow Dash is the Explorer or the Hotshot. She is ambitious, independent, and constantly trying to improve herself. She values individuality and transformation. She officially represents loyalty, and so she is depicted in her WonderBolts uniform (what better to represent loyalty than a team uniform?) performing her signature Sonic Rainboom. The Sonic Rainboom is important as Dash is able to perform the Rainboom for the first time in defense of Fluttershy, thus demonstrating loyalty and earning her her cutiemark.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic belongs to Hasbro. Use of these characters is intended for editorial purposes. The success of these icons is due to their timeless and iconic nature, but also to their widespread adoption by culture as a whole. They are represented here as timeless mythological archetypes and not intended to violate copyright laws in any way.