24 3 / 2012
I’ve been thinking about how old each of the mane six are relative to one-another. As far as I know, the only time age is definitively mentioned in the show is when Fluttershy says that she’s a year older than Pinkie Pie. If we take her to literally mean a full year, then I think it sets a decent spectrum for their ages.
I feel that way because in The Cutie Mark Chronicles, Fluttershy definitely appears to be a little bit older than the rest of the fillies. Moreover, Pinkie Pie appears to be the smallest. This puts everypony else in-between, which is a lot harder to sort.
If we judge ponies by human standards, then we’d say that ponies can be at different stages of development while being the same age. We’d also say that their body types might all be different.
There’s a lot of leeway here. After all, despite the ponies having vastly different lifestyles, the main six are all the same size. However, we do know that ponies can come in many shapes and sizes, even at the same age. See the CMC’s class, which has the likes of Snips and Snails, who have totally different body types. Moreover, our imagination may be called into play here. In Winter Wrap Up, Applejack remarks that Twilight is “going awful fast for such a small pony.” To us, Twilight and Applejack appear to be the same size, but maybe we’re meant to imagine that they aren’t?
With this level of ambiguity, there’s no way to determine the age differences between ponies without knowing their exact ages. Regardless, here’s my guesses.
Fluttershy clearly appears to be the oldest, appearing almost a whole head taller than the other fillies in The Cutie Mark Chronicles.
After her, I’d go: Rarity, older than Twilight, older than Applejack, older than Rainbow Dash, older than Pinkie Pie.
I realize this is a really insubstantial estimation but oh well.
Question 2: Just how old are the ponies? Lauren Faust mentioned once that she left it ambiguous because she didn’t know if the ponies should age like humans, or like actual ponies, since either way would be rather confusing. She concluded that the ponies were simply “old enough to live on their own.”
Regarding pony aging, I think it’s pretty safe at this point to think that they age at the rate of humans, considering the range of ages displayed in the show, including the geriatric ponies. However, this need not mean that the mane 6 are of the standard age 18 for being considered an adult.
Pony society is a lot more simple than modern human society thanks to the whole cutie mark phenomenon. Ponies have a definitive talent which their lives are based around, so as soon as they find that talent, there’s no reason to believe that they wouldn’t join the work force semi-immediately. We see that there is only one school in Ponyville with one class of young ponies, so I would assume that ponies only undergo a primary education before moving into the workforce.
It would help if we saw some ponies that fell into a pre-teen range; not so little as to be primary schoolers, but not old enough to be professionals. Perhaps young apprentice ponies and scholar ponies.
Assuming I’m correct about pony society and aging, this leaves the mane six possibly as young as fifteen or sixteen. They wouldn’t be younger, because all of them have fully matured bodies (going by all of the other ponies in the show). As for whether they’re older or not, it’s hard to decide. All of them are highly skilled at their craft, which might make me aim a few years older, but at the same time, if you had one definitive skill which you spent most of your time perfecting, it would only take a few years to get really damn good at it.