Equestria is a country, ruled by Princess Celestia and inhabited primarily by ponies. The events of the show have taken place entirely within its borders.
HistoryThe land which would become Equestria was originally the sovereign kingdoms of Pegaspolis, Unicornia and Earth, founded when ponies fled from their original home to escape a terrible blizzard that had engulfed the land. Though once united, with the Earth Ponies growing the food, Pegasus Ponies changing the weather and Unicorn Ponies changing day to night, divisions caused by mutual distrust and disrespect caused constant conflict, and soon Equestria too was caught up in the blizzard. Despite this, all Chancellor Puddinghead of the Earth Ponies, Princess Platinum of the Unicorns and Commander Hurricane of the Pegasi could do was argue.
The steward of Unicornia, Clover the Clever realised that the blizzard was the work of Windigos, beings of ice given power by disharmony. Her, Smart Cookie of Earth and Private Pansy of Pegaspolis united and found common ground between the three tribes, telling stories and singing songs until the night. This friendship ignited, released from Clover's horn and forming into a flaming purple heart that melted the ice, and broke through the ice inside the other ponies hearts. United, the three tribes founded the nation of Equestria. The gathering eventually became the annual Grand Galloping Gala, and the story is traditionally told in mid-winter at the Hearth Warming Eve festival.
This wasn't the end of Equestria's troubles however, with the land being taken over by a cruel tyrant and being of disharmony, Discord, who caused suffering and pain across all of Equestria. Eventually Celestia and Luna managed to defeat Discord using the fabled Elements of Harmony and remove his influence, and the two sisters became the sovereign, immortal rulers of Equestria
However that peace was broken when Luna, angry that ponies didn’t love the night she had created as much as her sister’s day, was possessed by an evil force that transformed her into Nightmare Moon. Nightmare Moon proceeded to wrap the world in eternal night, threatening global extinction. Eventually her sister Celestia was forced to confront her sister, and eventually used the Elements of Harmony to banish Luna to the moon. With her sister gone she took over soul rulership of Equestria, and made Canterlot her capital.
A thousand years later the stars came into alignment and Nightmare Moon finally managed to escape, confronting ponies at Ponyville before retreating to the old Palace of the Sisters in the Everfree Forest. She was pursued however by Celestia’s young apprentice Twilight Sparkle and a group of Ponyville residents, who successfully managed to acquire the Elements of Harmony and break the enchantment upon Nightmare Moon. Now returned to her former persona of Luna, she was confronted by her sister Celestia and eventually repented of the things she had done. The two then reunited as sisters once more.
However the transfer of the Elements of Harmony weakened the prison that held Discord, and he eventually managed to escape his bonds. Celestia summoned Twilight Sparkle and her friends but despite their efforts Discord managed to corrupt each of them in turn, eventually taking back control of Equestria and spreading magical chaos across the land. Celestia managed to return Twilight Sparkle to her original self however, and she in turn saved each of her friends from Discord’s influence. Together they confronted Discord, who failed to realize their newfound friendship until it was too late, and was returned to his stone prison by the Elements of Harmony.
GeographyEquestria is a large country, with a climate roughly equivalent of southern and central areas of North America. It’s capital, Canterlot sits in a large mountain range that extends for some way behind and around it, one mountain within visited in the episode Dragonshy. Nearby to the south west is the village of Ponyville, a humble farming settlement that none the less hosts the decorated personal student of Princess Celestia, Twilight Sparkle. Ponyville itself sits west of the Everfree Forest, a widely feared expanse of dense woodland that is one of the few truly wild areas of Equestria.
Nearby, in the clouds, sits the sky city of Cloudsdale. This grand home of the Pegasus ponies hosts many important flying events, and facilitates the weather control for the rest of the country.The city of Manehatten is a large and modern looking city located a fair distance away from Ponyville. Another city called Fillydelphia is mentioned, which suffered an infestation in Swarm of the Century (likely of parasprites). Hoofington is a town mentioned by Trixie, she claims to have defended it from an Ursa Major.
On the outskirts of Equestria there are more arid areas, home mostly to migratory herds of buffalo. Ponies have started to settle here too, mostly tough Earth pony pioneers who have established settlements such as Appleloosa.
- The founding of Equestria was first told in Twilight Sparkle – Teacher for a Day. It was later given a full episode, Hearth Warming Eve.
- Equestria itself pre-dates Luna and Celestia, which actually explains the flag of Equestria, previously seen on windows inside the palace. The Alicorns pictured there are not Luna and Celestia, but rather seem to symbolise the unification of the three pony tribes. Despite the ponies on the flag representing Celestia and Luna.
- It has been confirmed by staff that Equestria has borders, but apparently there has been no real consideration about what’s beyond them. Zecora is the only foreigner mentioned so far, and little is said of her homeland.
- France has been mentioned repeatedly, and Photo Finish’s accent seems to come from Germany. Similarly the Lotus Ponies sound distinctly European.