Trixie Lulamoon, the show mare who captured the fandom’s heart. Next to Luna, she’s probably the most popular character in the show. So what is it that makes this character tick, and why do we all love her so? Let’s start with a little background. In the original version of Boast Busters, she was supposed to be a male unicorn, but during development the character was given significant changes by writer Chris Savino until she became the pompous magician we now know. She’s voiced by veteran voice actress Kathleen Barr whose done work on countless animated series. Her most notable roles are probably Dot Matrix from Reboot, Kevin from Ed, Edd, n Eddy, and Marie Kanker from the same show.
So what do we know about her from the official MLP canon? Her first appearance was in Boast Buters, where we learn that she’s a traveling magician putting on magic shows and challenging the locals in order to show her superiority to them (in vaguely defined ways). She seems to be quite powerful for a unicorn, but she’s easily outmatched by characters like Twilight and Shining Armor. When she was defeated and humiliated, she held a grudge for a long time and eventually took her revenge on Twilight. Afterwards she became remorseful, but didn’t seem to learn much about modesty. What’s left of the “somewhat” official cannon is kinda contradictory. In issue 8 of the MLP comic, she fights along with everyone else to protect Ponyville and is still hoping for redemption.
In the light novel “Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell,” She teams up with Gilda to perform pranks on ponies, and plans to swoop in and solve the problems caused by the pranks with her tricks.
So given the fact that until very recently she was simply a braggart and a liar (most of this analysis will be pre-Magic Duel since the fan following began well before that episode aired), why does everyone love her? WHY DO I LOVE HER!? I think that what it comes down to is that of all the characters in the show, she’s the one that we can most identify with. We can all identify with her reasons for doing what she does, or at least we can come up with a reasonable reason that we want to believe. We see a character acting grandiose and showing off as much as possible, but when she get her comeuppance and admits to her lack of power, we can easily ascribe feelings of insecurity to why she does what she does. A lot of the fan cannon backstory (or continuation of Boast Busters) tends to depict her as a tragic character to further fuel the idea of her being victimized by those more powerful than her.
So where does this sympathy come from, and why do we identify with her more than say the mane 6? Well, despite the mane 6 being very well rounded and flawed, they are still pretty damn perfect in terms of learning their lessons and being good friends. Trixie on the other hand is clearly damaged to some extent and doesn’t quite “learn her lesson” as well as the rest of the cast. I know that I can more easily relate to her than the other characters because she’s never the best. She’s always trying to be the best she can be, but she always comes up short. Whether it’s through her own terrible behavior or her inability to compete with the perfection that Twilight Sparkle is (or at least the way people who don’t know her perceive her to be), we can all relate to not being the best. Not being as good as the guy next to you. NOT GETTING ENOUGH TRAFFIC FOR YOUR SITE, AND YOUR VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE, AND NOT HAVING ENOUGH TWITTER FOLLOWERS, AND WHY DON’T PEOPLE PAY MORE ATTENTION TO M———————————–
The point is that what makes Trixie such an enduring character for the fandom is that we can see a lot more of us in her than pretty much any other character in the series. See, we all enjoy watching the mane 6, but it’s harder to identify with them because we’re human (not in the literal sense, but in the more philosophical sense implying our inability to be perfect). The mane 6 feels jealousy, ego, and insecurity as well as we do, but unlike them, most people don’t handle it as well as they do. They do things like “talk” and “reasonably confront their responsibilities” which are foreign to a lot of people in their times of crisis. Trixie? She ran away. She held a grudge. We’ve all felt that, even if all of us never acted on our anger. We understand, and ascribed a lot of sympathy because of it.
Now all that being said, there’s one lingering question that remain. What about another character who is very similar to Trixie, but doesn’t get nearly the fan following?
When you think about Gilda, there’s plenty of overlap between the two. Both have severe character flaws, don’t deal well when confronted with their faults, and are seen unfavorably by everyone in Ponyville. In fact, Gilda has a lot more reasons to earn our sympathy than Trixie when it comes to their public comeuppance. Trixie’s lies are exposed to the town, and she suffers the consequences. Gilda on the other hand is forced into a more-or-less no win situation with the party at the end of the episode. She’s feeling humiliated about the constant pranks being put on her and has reason to suspect someone specific is behind it. Admittedly her suspicions are because she’s aware she has wronged that person and is expecting retaliation, but the point is that she is actively pushed to a breaking point by those around her. When she does snap, the blame is put on her for not taking it well, which I think is unfairly put upon her. When you are pulling pranks, you are in some way trying to harm someone. Whether it’s innocent fun or not depends on the person being pranked on, and it’s ultimately up to them to determine whether the prankster has gone too far. We can see Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash acknowledge this by not pranking Fluttershy who they know won’t take it well. Gilda is hypocritical in some respect for not being able to take what she dishes, but it’s still not fair to blame her for not having fun with the pranks. Trixie, on the other hand wasn’t pushed into a corner by other’s ill will towards her. Circumstances arose (it can be argued she caused those circumstances) that led to her having to put her money where her mouth was and she failed.
So why does one get the sympathy while the other is still thought of as a villain? I think what it comes down to is the fine line between a loveable jerkass, and an insufferable one. If Gilda wasn’t actively terrorizing people, she’d probably be given a lot more slack for how she behaved in the episode. Trixie was obnoxiously boastful, but she never attacked anyone who didn’t accept her challenge first. Gilda was indiscriminately hurtful to several people including Fluttershy, which is why she doesn’t appeal to the fans as much as Trixie. Another reason is that Trixie is much less cynical than Gilda. Gilda seems to only take joy in life when she’s making other people miserable. Trixie on the other hand loves to perform. She goes town to town to amaze ponies and show off her fabulous tricks. People get annoyed with her because of her ego, but you can’t say she doesn’t love what she does. Trixe has a superiority complex, but that is part of what makes her fun to watch. She brags and boasts about how awesome she is, but people aren’t hurt because of her actions, at least not intentionally.
When it comes to Magic Duel, I feel she went way too far into villainous territory. It’s one thing to hold a grudge and try to get revenge on Twilight, but by targeting the entire town goes into the indiscriminate terrorizing that we didn’t like in Gilda. A lot of fans excuse this because of the McGuffin amulet, but since they were working towards a redemption angle at the end, they should have had her reject the amulet at some point rather than just have Twilight trick her into taking it off. The apology kinda falls flat because of this, and it’s strange that she suffered no consequences for her actions. Despite being somewhat redeemed by the end of the episode, it’s unlikely that everyone would just forgive and forget the time she enslaved an entire town to get revenge on Twilight.
Does Trixie have a future in the series? It’s hard to tell. It’s unclear whether she will remain in Ponyville or continue with her traveling act. We’re also not sure about her current relationship with the Mane 6 and the extent of her reformation as far as the show is concerned. If they do decide to bring her back it’s unlikely she will be a villain again but if you think of the show’s track record, very rarely do non-villainous characters outside the Mane 6, CMC, and Spike get big parts in episodes (Zecora and Luna being the few exceptions). All that being said, we’re almost certainly gonna get a micro series at some point form IDW, and there will always be constant content from the fans.
The story has some heavy shipping and skip able clop, so avoid if you don’t like that. That being said, it has the best version of both Trixie’s return to Ponyville, and the backstory that led her to becoming who she is. The scene where Rarity fixes her doll is a ‘feel’ seeking missile to the heartstrings.
Twixie Answers by Dekomaru
A HUGE tumblr that’s been going steady for a long time. Has decent art that develops into its own distinct style, and covers Trixie and Twilight’s relationship over several years. Very good stuff.
Inconvenient Trixie by Egophiliac
So there it is. Hopefully you know have a better understanding of Equestria’s favorite outcast. Think I’m full of shit? Quite possible. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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