| It has been suggested that this article be titled Accord (story arc). [rename]
Reason: The title used in the comics themselves + "(story arc)" similarly to with Nightmare Rarity (story arc).
Please use the comment section to discuss the change.
|Published:|| November 9, 2016 (#48)|
December 21, 2016 (#49)
February 1, 2017 (#50)
|Writer:|| Ted Anderson|
Jeremy Whitley (#50 pp. 21-30)
|Artist:|| Andy Price|
Jay P. Fosgitt (#50 pp. 21-30)
| Gallery • Allusions • IDW Publishing|
IDW Limited • IDW Publishing Forums
From the Shadows
Chaos Theory, titled in-story as Accord, is the seventeenth story arc of IDW Publishing's comic series, spanning issues #48-50. In this story, an astronomical event causes Discord to transform from a creature of chaos to a being of pure order.
The story begins at nighttime with the Mane Six, Starlight Glimmer, and Spike heading to an observation field to observe an astronomical event called the Cosmic Convergence, in which multiple celestial bodies move into alignment. Discord has stowed away in Applejack's picnic basket and tries putting on a show upon appearing, but the ponies make it clear that he isn't the center of attention. Realizing he isn't wanted, Discord moodily takes his leave.
As the ponies share comments about Discord's poor manners and behavior, the Cosmic Convergence starts, and the stars shine brightly over the observation field. Starlight Glimmer, however, turns her friends' attention toward a strange glow coming from a nearby clearing. At the glow's source, they discover a giant egg at the bottom of a crater that resembles Discord. The ponies bring the egg back to the Castle of Friendship for study, and Twilight Sparkle discovers it emanating Discord's same magical energy. As they discuss the egg's connection to the Cosmic Convergence, the egg suddenly hatches, and Discord emerges with groomed hair and mustache and wearing a suit, bowler hat, and monocle.
Discord explains to the ponies that he was affected by the Convergence's magic and that, while he still possesses his old memories, he doesn't feel like "Discord" anymore. Instead of promoting chaos and mischief like his old self, this new Discord favors order and unity. To this end, Twilight gives him a new name befitting the opposite of discord: "Accord".
The next day, Twilight and her friends reintroduce Accord to the town of Ponyville, and he immediately demonstrates his dedication to bringing order and peace. A disheartened Fluttershy wonders if he'll ever return to being the original Discord. Accord admits that he doesn't know how or why he changed in the first place and says he might stay like this forever, which Applejack is perfectly happy with.
Wanting to put Accord's power of order to good use, the ponies take him to the site of the Ponyville Hotel, which has been under construction for years due to the architects' constant arguing. At Mayor Mare's request, Accord uses his magic to force the two architects to come to an agreement. However, Mayor Mare corrects Accord to use his magic on the hotel, not the architects, and Accord quickly rectifies his mistake. The hotel is finally built to completion, much to the ponies' gratitude, but Starlight Glimmer looks skeptical. That evening, after Twilight's friends and Accord leave for their homes, Starlight confides in Twilight that Accord using mind control on the hotel architects reminded her of how she used to be when she led her old village. Twilight assures Starlight that it was a simple mistake and that Accord has only good intentions.
The next morning, Twilight receives an invitation for her, her friends, and Accord to have dinner with Princess Celestia and Princess Luna in Canterlot. During dinner, Accord proclaims his duty to bring order to Equestria to make up for the chaos that Discord brought, but Starlight voices her concerns about Accord using mind control to do so. Accord argues that Starlight should appreciate what he's trying to do, having committed similar actions in the past. As he expresses a desire to bring "complete harmony" and unite Equestria under a singular mind, the nearby castle staff falls under his spell, bearing creepy smiles similar to those of Starlight's old followers.
Twilight, her friends, and the princesses come together to oppose Accord's motives, but Luna's magic is unable to break his spell. The issue ends with Accord and his mind-controlled followers advancing upon the opposing ponies.
Picking up where the previous issue left off, the Mane Six, Starlight Glimmer, and the princesses stand powerless against Accord, unable to stop his followers without risking harming them. With Accord's mind control slowly spreading, Twilight tasks her friends and Celestia with evacuating Canterlot while she and Luna confront Accord within his mind. As Celestia and the ponies retreat, Twilight and Luna use their magic to enter Accord's mind.
Twilight and Luna find Discord's mind to be far different than when Luna last visited it. As they wonder exactly what caused Discord to turn into Accord, they stumble into a workspace of hundreds of cubicles, each occupied by an Accord duplicate. In addition, Twilight and Luna discover that their wings and magic don't work in this space.
Back in Canterlot, Accord's influence continues to spread among the population, and Accord is able to face Celestia and the others directly by replacing their faces with his. The ponies once again try to convince Accord that he is unifying ponies through mind control and not order, but Accord argues that his goal is the same as Celestia's: to bring harmony to Equestria. Unable to reason with him, Celestia and the others continue their escape toward the edge of the city, dodging dozens of Accord's new followers.
Back inside Accord's mind, Twilight and Luna become lost among the uniformity of Accord's mindscape. Because the manifestations of Accord's mind will not assist them, they try to seek out any traces of Discord's original self. Twilight looks closely at a snow globe on one of the cubicle desks and discovers Discord inside. She smashes it on the ground, setting the last remaining shred of Discord's old self free. Twilight asks Discord how he changed into Accord, and Discord explains that he changed himself.
On the night of the Cosmic Conjunction, he realized that he would never truly fit in with the ponies and decided to change himself for the better. Twilight apologizes to Discord for making him feel so ostracized and asks him to return and stop Accord's plans. However, Discord is only a small part of Accord—Accord can only be stopped if he willingly decides to become Discord again. At that moment, the hundreds of manifestations of Accord's mind appear to surround Twilight, Luna, and Discord.
Meanwhile, Twilight's friends and Celestia reach the outer edge of Accord's hypnosis field, which is slowly expanding. In accordance with Twilight's plan, the ponies gather together everyone that Accord hasn't yet affected and evacuate them from the city via train. Unfortunately, Twilight and Luna soon appear before them—now under Accord's control.
With Twilight and Luna under Accord's influence, Starlight Glimmer creates a distraction for her and the rest of the ponies to escape on the train. While on the train to Ponyville, Starlight consoles Princess Celestia for losing not only her city to Accord but also her sister and former student. Celestia even entertains the idea that Accord's way of bringing order to Equestria is better than hers; while his methods are detestable, they have proven successful. Starlight argues, however, that Accord's way is oppression, not order.
Celestia mentions having met a tyrannical version of herself, and Starlight mentions the incidents in which her friends were tainted by magical water and Rarity was under the influence of negative magic. In each of those instances, the individuals affected had their natures reversed, but their goals and desires remained unchanged. With this in mind, Celestia and Starlight theorize that Accord's ultimate goal is the same as Discord's.
Upon arriving to Ponyville, Starlight and her friends inspect the town to make sure Accord's influence hasn't reached it yet. After informing Mayor Mare of the situation, they decide to try and defeat Accord with the Elements of Harmony. While Celestia teleports away to retrieve the Elements from the Tree of Harmony, Starlight and her friends retreat to Twilight's castle. Celestia shortly joins them with the Elements, but Accord immediately follows, confident that the Elements will have no affect on him. Celestia, Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity blast Accord with the Elements, but their attempt backfires and turns them into more of Accord's followers. With the rest of Ponyville also now under Accord's control, Starlight Glimmer is the only opposing pony left.
Unable to combat Accord with magic, Starlight issues to him a challenge: if he can convince her to follow him through words alone, she will join him willingly. Accord accepts the challenge and says he has brought all of Equestria together under the unifying theory that "friendship is order". However, Starlight argues that her old village was also based on order, but the villagers were not friends. She adds that friendship is not about being the same as everyone else, citing Discord—a creature of chaos who went to great lengths to keep his friends—as an example of this.
Starlight thus concludes that Accord's goal is the same as Discord's goal: having friends. But she says his followers are his puppets, not his friends. Accord's conviction wavers in the face of Starlight's words, but he argues that he doesn't need friends and that he still brought thousands of different ponies together in harmony. Starlight argues back that they are no longer different—they are merely hypnotized copies of Accord's mind and will. Accord comes to the realization that the order he has brought is not harmony, and Starlight says harmony is about many different notes coming together to make something beautiful. Convinced of his wrongdoing, Accord releases the ponies of Equestria from his control and transforms back into Discord.
Discord relishes being in control of his own body again, and the ponies welcome his old self back. With the conclusion that everyone's differences is what makes friendship possible, the ponies of Ponyville celebrate under the uniting creed that friendship is magic.
For the Pony Who Has Everything
In a 10-page short story, ponies from all over Equestria gather in Canterlot to celebrate Princess Celestia's birthday. However, despite having been invited to the party, Discord did not bother getting her a gift because she already has everything a pony could want. Therefore, Fluttershy challenges him to give Celestia something original and from the heart.
At Canterlot Castle, Celestia invites her subjects to enjoy themselves and have cake. Meanwhile, Discord observes her and tries to figure out what she's missing in her life. Unfortunately, after a whole day of observation, he gets no results. As Mrs. Cake gives Celestia the last slice of birthday cake, a young filly who had arrived late to the party comes up and asks if there's any cake left. Before Mrs. Cake can disappoint the filly, Celestia gives her slice of cake to her.
That evening, after the ponies have left, an exhausted and cake-deprived Celestia retires to her room, where she finds one last birthday present. In it, she discovers a music box with a gold Celestia figurine on top. Just then, the figurine sprays Celestia with magic sleeping gas, and she passes out. When she regains consciousness the next morning, she finds that the sun has already been raised—courtesy of Discord. Before Celestia can punish Discord for his actions, he tells Celestia to look in the mirror. In her reflection, Celestia sees an ordinary-looking Pegasus. For his birthday present to Celestia, Discord has disguised her as a normal pony and sealed her magic away in the music box for twenty-four hours so that she can have a day off.
With all of Celestia's royal duties being taken care of by the other princesses, Celestia flies off to Ponyville, eager to interact with her subjects like a normal pony. Discord turns himself into a Pegasus and joins her. Upon arriving to Ponyville, Celestia and Discord meet Pinkie Pie, and Pinkie puts together a welcome-to-Ponyville parade for them within seconds. Over the course of the afternoon, Celestia learns how to applebuck with Applejack, spends time with Fluttershy's animals, learns some flying tricks from Rainbow Dash, and has Rarity make a black dress for her. Near the end of the day, she and Discord share numerous treats at Sugarcube Corner.
Celestia admits that Discord can be surprisingly insightful at times, and Discord says that Celestia has spent so much time focusing on friendship lessons with Twilight that she has forgotten that one must make time to take care of oneself if they're going to take care of others. As the two walk to the train station, Celestia thanks Discord for giving her a day off but also warns severe punishment if he ever does something like this again without permission.
- Applejack: Discord!
- Discord: In the four-color flesh, my friend! Sorry to make you carry me all the way, but I thought I'd be a literal "basket case" for a while! Ugh! I've been reduced to puns? The state of this industry, I swear.
- Applejack: He's gotta learn some manners, if'n you ask me! Always poppin' up outta nowhere and causin' mischief—I just wish the critter were a little more predictable!
- Twilight Sparkle: It has the same magical energy as Discord...
- Pinkie Pie: Kinda smells like Discord, too!
- Accord: After Discord left the star-gazing party, he was affected by the magic of the conjunction. Somehow, it... changed him. I am the result. I was Discord, but now I am something else.
- Architect Pony 1: Faux colonial!
- Architect Pony 2: Gothic revival!
- Architect Pony 1: Why, of course—Neo-Rococo!
- Architect Pony 2: I completely agree, chum!
- Mayor Mare: No, no! Use your magic on the hotel, not the architects!
- Accord: Oh! My mistake!
- Starlight Glimmer: The way Accord just made those two architects agree—that was mind control! And it reminded me of... Well, of me.
- Accord: With my magic, I can make every pony agree to work together! No arguments! No disagreements! I could ensure that every pony does precisely what they are supposed to do, with no distraction or delay!
- Starlight Glimmer: Accord, you can't control ponies like that. My village was horrible! Everypony wanted to escape!
- Accord: Then I will make sure they do not want to escape! You cannot make every pony the same. But I can make them all think the same way!
- Accord: Imagine, my friends. Imagine an Equestria ruled by order.
- Kibitz: Imagine.
- Maid Pony: Imagine.
- Chef Pony: Imagine.
- Accord: See how wonderful things could be when everypony agrees!
- Chef Pony: Agree.
- Kibitz: Agree.
- Twilight Sparkle: We still don't know what, exactly, caused him to turn into Discord. The magic of the Cosmic Convergence was part of it, but... perhaps there was a spell involved, too? Did somepony want to change him?
- Princess Luna: And if so—why?
- Leadwing: Hello, princess.
- Wild Fire: Hello, princess.
- DJ Pon-3: Hello, princess.
- Octavia Melody: Hello, princess.
- Accord: I am here, in every pony! I and the unifying principle of order! I live in the hearts of all ponies who desire order! And order we shall have.
- Twilight Sparkle: What's going on? Why are you in here? What is "here"?
- Discord: The last non-Accord part of my mind... All that's left of me.
- Twilight Sparkle: Discord, what happened? Who changed you into Accord?
- Discord: "Who changed me"? Why, Twilight... I changed myself.
- Princess Celestia: Luna! Twilight! You're—back.
- Princess Luna: Greetings, everypony.
- Twilight Sparkle: Join us. Join Accord.
- Princess Celestia: No.
- Starlight Glimmer: Oh, no.
- Princess Celestia: My sister and I have always tried to bring order to Equestria. We hoped to do it through friendship and kindness, but... If Accord has been so successful—maybe his way is better.
- Starlight Glimmer: Don't say that! Accord's way isn't order—it's tyranny! Domination! Manipulation!
- Starlight Glimmer: Even when our natures are reversed... we still want the same thing. The difference is in how we reach for it.
- Starlight Glimmer: It seems quiet...
- Pinkie Pie: Of course it seems quiet! It always seems quiet until the aliens invade or the volcano erupts or the orchestra starts playing the scary music!
- Starlight Glimmer: Friendship doesn't require order—it requires disorder! You can't be friends with somepony who's exactly like you—it'd be like being friends with a mirror! Friendship means seeing the differences in somepony—and making a connection anyway!
- Accord: Equestria is all about harmony—and I have brought harmony! Thousands of different ponies, all working together!
- Starlight Glimmer: No, they aren't! They're not different ponies—not anymore! They're all you, Accord! Copies of your mind! Your will! They all look different—but inside, they've been hypnotized to think like you. Which means... they are you. All these Accords... and not a single friend.
- Starlight Glimmer: Harmony is many different notes, all coming together... to make something greater. We need those different notes... that wild and unpredictable music... to make something beautiful.
- Accord: Indeed we do.
- Applejack: I just wanted to say—well, sorry for makin' you feel unwelcome, Discord. You may be a plumb crazy critter, but dang if that ain't what we love about you!
- Discord: I finally get my own story arc—but it's about a character who isn't even me! Sixty pages, and I'm on a measly nine? I've got to renegotiate my contract.
For the Pony Who Has Everything
- Fluttershy: Discord! How could you?
- Discord: Please, Fluttershy, I've literally overrun the whole of Equestria and made the sky rain chocolate milk. This is hardly a "Discord, how could you?" situation.
- Mrs. Cake: You're just in time. You almost didn't get a piece of your own birthday cake!
- Princess Celestia: I've been looking at it the whole time. It looks deli—
- Filly: Excuse me? Is there any more cake left? I got here late a—
- Mrs. Cake: Sorry young filly, you're—
- Princess Celestia: —just in time! We were saving this piece just for you!
- Celestia: I've been reading letter about Ponyville for years now, but every time I go there everypony's on their best behavior and they have a parade and I'm led from one ceremony to the next and—
- Discord: And you want to see what it's like to be somepony who isn't Celestia in Ponyville?
- Celestia: Exactly! I want to really experience this wonderful town and these wonderful ponies Twilight speaks so highly of.
- Rainbow Dash: Listen, you seem like a nice kid, but not everypony can fly like a Wonderbolt.
- Celestia: If anyone can teach me, it's the legendary Rainbow Dash!
- Discord: You leave an immortal princess alone with a fashion designer for five minutes and the next thing you know—she's run off to the sweet shop.
- Celestia: Hey, Discord. Thank you for this. You're a good friend.
- Discord: Don't get sappy on me now. Let's just hope your sister didn't burn the place down.
- Celestia: But if you ever do something like this without asking again, you'll be spending the next century as my bird feeder.
- Discord: Fair enough. And by the by, that's not so much the sun as a giant balloon filled with angry lava monsters, so... you may need to deal with that.
- ↑ My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #48. IDW Publishing. Retrieved on 2016 December 14.
- ↑ My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #49. IDW Publishing. Retrieved on 2016 December 14.
- ↑ My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #50. IDW Publishing. Retrieved on 2016 December 14.
- ↑ File:Comic issue 48 page 1.png
- ↑ File:Comic issue 49 page 1.jpg
- ↑ File:Comic issue 50 page 1.jpg