The story of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic takes place in Equestria, a land inhabited by magical talking ponies and other sapient animals. Equestria is a kingdom[note 1] co-ruled by Princess Celestia and Princess Luna. The name is derived from the Latin equus, which means "horse".
Lauren Faust wrote in a comment on her deviantArt page that the Everfree Forest is west of Ponyville, Sweet Apple Acres is southwest, and Fluttershy's cottage and meadow are located north of the farm, presumably between Ponyville and the forest. Canterlot is northeast of Ponyville. However, in subsequent interviews, both Faust and Jayson Thiessen mentioned that the geography and continuity of the show are loosely defined and may change as necessary, and a layout artist has confirmed that the production team has no official map of Equestria at their disposal.
The English word most similar to the placename Equestria is equestrian, "of or relating to horse riding", from the Latin equester, "belonging to a horseman", from equus, "horse", which is also the origin of equine. In this sense, "Equestria" would translate as "land of the horsemen" instead of "land of horses".
Depiction in the seriesEdit
The founding of EquestriaEdit
The episode's most prominent feature is a play about the founding of Equestria, narrated by Spike. He explains: "each of the three tribes, the Pegasi, the unicorns, and the Earth ponies, cared not for what befell the other tribes, but only for their own welfare. In those troubled times, as now, the Pegasi were the stewards of the weather, but they demanded something in return: food that could only be grown by the Earth Ponies. The unicorns demanded the same, in return for magically bringing forth day and night. And so, mistrust between the tribes festered, until one fateful day, it came to a boil. And what prompted the Ponies to clash? it was a mysterious blizzard that overtook the land, and toppled the tribes' precarious peace.
The blizzard led to famine, and each leader of each tribe decided to journey to a new land. They all arrived at the same place, and soon began fighting over it, and the blizzard quickly followed. "And so the paradise that the ponies had found was soon lost, buried beneath a thick blanket of snow, and hard feelings." Eventually the leaders' assistants find out windigos are causing the storm by feeding off of hate. The assistants' friendship creates the magical Fire of Friendship which does away with the windigos and the snowstorm.
The three leaders then decide to join forces and found a country shared by all three tribes, and name it Equestria.
Discord's reign of chaosEdit
The series starts off with a prologue with narration about the princesses ruling Equestria, raising the sun and moon and maintaining harmony. Only in The Return of Harmony Part 1 is the time before their rule mentioned in the series. Princess Celestia tells Twilight Sparkle and her friends that before Princess Luna and herself stood up to Discord, he ruled over Equestria, keeping it in a state of unrest and unhappiness. Celestia goes on to describe that, seeing how miserable life was for Earth ponies, unicorns, and Pegasi alike, she and Luna discovered the Elements of Harmony and rose up against Discord, turning him to stone. Discord's spell is later broken because, as Celestia explains, "Luna and [herself] are no longer connected to the elements", so Twilight and her friends use the Elements of Harmony to encase Discord in stone again.
The regal unicorn sistersEdit
The princesses are introduced in the prologue of the first episode, depicted in a series of medieval-like drawings with a narration that says "two regal sisters who ruled together and created harmony for all the land", and that "the eldest used her unicorn powers to raise the sun at dawn. The younger brought out the moon to begin the night."
The narration continues: their subjects, the ponies, played in the day but "shunned" the night and slept through it, which made the younger unicorn grow bitter, eventually refusing to lower the moon to make way for the dawn. Her bitterness transformed her into a "wicked mare of darkness", Nightmare Moon. The elder sister reluctantly harnessed the power of the Elements of Harmony and banished her "in" the moon, taking responsibility for both sun and moon, maintaining harmony in Equestria. The events of the first and second episodes take place a thousand years after Nightmare Moon's imprisonment, upon which she is freed, but defeated again through the magic of the Elements of Harmony, only this time she is transformed back to her former self and returns to rule Equestria with her sister.
- Main article: Ponyville
- Main article: Canterlot
Canterlot is the capital of Equestria and home to the royal palace of Princess Celestia. It was also the home of Twilight Sparkle prior to her relocation to Ponyville. The name is a reference to Camelot, the home to King Arthur and his "Knights of The Round Table" as well as being a play on the word "canter," which is a three-beat gait possessed by all horses that is faster than a trot but slower than a gallop.
- Main article: Cloudsdale
Cloudsdale is a city in the sky where the Best Young Flyer competition takes place and where Equestria's weather is made. Only Pegasus ponies live and work there, since non-Pegasus ponies cannot stand on clouds. It is also the hometown of both Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. The name is a reference to the Clydesdale, a breed of draft horses. The Weather Factory is there.
- Main article: Everfree Forest
The Everfree Forest is located outside of Ponyville. It appears not to be bound by the same laws as the rest of Equestria since plants grow, animals care for themselves, and the weather changes without the help of ponies. It is also home to some strange creatures, including Ursas, Timberwolves and Parasprites.
- Main article: Crystal Empire
White Tail Woods
The site for the Running of the Leaves held in the episode Fall Weather Friends, where the ponies run through the forest to shake the leaves off the trees.
====Froggy Bottom Bogg====
Froggy Bottom Bogg is featured in Feeling Pinkie Keen. Fluttershy relocates some frogs to the bog because of overpopulation. When Pinkie Pie gets an ominous premonition, Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Spike and Pinkie Pie venture to the bog to make sure Fluttershy is okay. They come upon a hydra who chases them to a chasm which they cross in order to escape.
AAppleloosa is featured in the episode Over a Barrel. Applejack's cousin Braeburn gives the ponies a tour through the town, which he says was built in less than a year, and shows them sights such as horse-drawn carriages, horse-drawn horse-drawn carriages, wild west dances, mild west dances, "The Salt Block" saloon, and a sheriff. The town's apple orchard is the source of a territorial dispute between the settlers and a tribe of buffalo. The name comes from the Appaloosa breed of horse.
Manehatten is a large city where Applejack's aunt and uncle, the Orange couple, reside, first depicted in The Cutie Mark Chronicles and referenced in later episodes. Applejack is introduced to the high society of Manehatten after leaving Sweet Apple Acres in a flashback in The Cutie Mark Chronicles. She soon finds herself homesick, and returns to the farm.
The name is a play on Manhattan Island, a section of New York City. During her story in The Cutie Mark Chronicles, Applejack passes a statue that greatly resembles the Statue of Liberty but in the form of a mare instead of a woman. New York City was once originally known as New Orange by former Dutch settlers, which may be referred to in the episode by Applejack's aunt and uncle Orange. Additionally, New York City is sometimes called "The Big Apple."
Dodge Junction is an old-west town in the desert, resembling Appleloosa. It is introduced in the episode The Last Roundup. The town's name is a reference to Dodge City, Kansas, a town famous in America for its role in the wild frontier of the Old West. It is currently the only town without an equine-type reference in its name.
Tartarus is a place mentioned in It's About Time. It's a place where evil creatures are held prisoner and guarded by the three-headed dog, Cerberus. Tartarus is from Greek mythology, being a deep dark pit below the underworld where many of the damned are imprisoned.
Hoofington is a village mentioned by Trixie as the site of her alleged battle with an Ursa. The suffix -ington is derived from old English for "town". The name is quite similar to that of a political news website, The Huffington Post.
Fillydelphia is briefly mentioned by Princess Celestia in the episode Swarm of the Century. As an excuse for cancelling her visit to Ponyville, the Princess says she has to go to Fillydelphia in order to deal with an infestation of "incredibly bothersome creatures", presumably parasprites. It is also mentioned in A Friend in Deed as Cranky Doodle Donkey's previous residence. In It's About Time, it is mentioned when Rainbow Dash gives the report that nothing dangerous is coming from Fillydelphia all the way to Las Pegasus. In Hurricane Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash mentions that Fillydelphia broke the tornado wind speed record with a top speed of 910 wingpower. Lauren Faust, the show's creator, mentioned in a comment on deviantArt that she wanted to name the main setting of the show Fillydelphia after Philadelphia where her family resides, but ultimately went with Ponyville.
Trottingham is mentioned in Stare Master, where Rarity is making 20 gold-lined gowns for ponies there, and later mentioned in Luna Eclipsed as Pipsqueak's previous residence. It is probably a portmanteau of 'Nottingham', an English city, and 'trot', a walking speed for horses.
Los Pegasus is mentioned in It's About Time. It is referenced when Rainbow Dash gives the report that nothing dangerous is coming from Fillydelphia all the way to Los Pegasus. The name is a play on Las Vegas according to the episode's writer M.A. Larson, though it was later spelled "Los Pegasus" on a poster, with an "Applewood" sign placed next to it, which would indicate a Los Angeles / Hollywood reference.
Baltimare is a city mentioned in It's About Time. It is referenced when Rainbow Dash gave a mini-report that a pegasus just came back from there, and there was no danger. The name is a play on the real life city called Baltimore.
Hoofston is a city Where Orange Marmalade and Talon live. Marmalade also has a farm there wit the Orange Family. The name is a play on Huston, a city in Texas