Ok I just HAVE to write this after seeing the reactions on the recent Discord Episode of MLP (Three’s a crowd) by for example digibrony or tommy olliver on youtube!
They exclaim how unsatisfied they are with the character, with his reasoning and presentation, comparing him to the Dschinni in Aladin.
To be fair I see their point and their reading as one possibility of reading his performance here but I’d like to offer a very different one in this point.
So first I need to elaborate my reading of Discord up to this point.
Discord is a nearly omnipotent being. He can do anything he wishes, at least that is the impression we get in „the return of harmony“. But also we learn he is a prankster, what does he use his power for? For chocolate rain, for popcorn in a corn field, for messing with ponies.
He does not threaten anyone’s life or physical well being and simply doesn’t care about anyone’s emotions except his owns. When he is bored he will do anything to get rid of his boredom.
In „Keep calm and flutter on“ I would think that for the first time anyone makes an effort to befriend him. He never learned to think about anyone’s feelings, everybody was just for him to play with and Flutter Shy is the first one who asks him questions and gives him pointers to how to behave. Sure she has the ‚I’ll turn you to stone‘ argument as a last resort but she even gives that up just to get through to him.
Ok now what do I think of (in real life terms) when I look at this description: Someone with much power, that gets anything they want, with no appreciation for anone else?
The spoiled brat of a rich family!
Parents are never around, every wish is read from his eyes and they never learns about real friendship or care because he can just pay people to do his bidding whenever they get bored. The Parents are usually away and won’t give him any real affection or scold him when he does something wrong so he never learned empathy or stuff like that. Yet the spoiled brat is by no means evil, they just don’t know better. Often they are very smart because they were educated by private tutors…
So for me Discord is kind of like this huge spoiled child that has no idea about real life and others and empathy because he never had to care and no one ever actually cared about him. He never knew how good it can feel to have someone who shows an interest in you, someone to share your happiness with or confide in. That is until „Keep calm and Flutter on“ where, for the first time in his life (my guess at least, of course I can’t know for sure) Flutter Shy does, more I think like a mother or maybe nanny that a friend, shows him what it can feel like. So I totally buy this transformation when he is on the ice, alone and realized that now he might be free to do what he wishes but it just doesn’t satisfy him as much as he’d thought it would.
Without him realizing he made a connection to this pony and just doing tricks will no satisfy him any longer. So he decides to go along with it, saying Friendship is magic, but without actually knowing about friendship. He doesn’t understand the whole concept yet, that you have to earn trust to be called a friend, that you have to work hard for a friendship to work out, and that you need to give as well. He just knows: I want this friendship thing so I’m satisfied again.
So the next time we see him is in the „Princess Twilight Sparkle“ two parter of season 4, he doesn’t seem too reformed but also not quiet as out of control as before. He does help the mane six a little, when asked but keeps messing with them, which makes sense for his character but we also don’t see too much development here.
Next is the last weeks episode „Three’s a crowd“
In this episode we first see him interact with Pinkie, AJ, RD and Rarity and are made aware very well how little the others care about him (except I guess for Pinky Pie, but he has little interest in her it seems) and pretend to be a friend just to have him of their backs or something. Especially RD makes it very clear how little he cares for him and Discord of course knows about Twilights dislike of him.
He is not dumb, he knows this very well.
So my guess why he went all troll on Twilight was to make her aware of their relationship, on him being interested in a relationship (not in the meaning of love relation but naturally I mean friendship) but as I pointed out: he has no Idea how. His character is that of an arrogant, all mighty brat that is used to getting what he wants (which is why is that much more annoyed when the lesson learned is not about him but about Twilight and Cadence) and what to little boys do to get a girls attention when they don’t really know how else? They bully them! They call them names, throw stuff and tease them.
This is exactly what Discord does in this episode 😉 Especially his reaction when Cadence says she still enjoyed her visit makes me think so.
Yeah so, here you have it ^^