Monday, August 19, 2013

Discord vs. Bill Cipher - Character Comparisons

Alright, one more character comparison...  I'm getting a bit burnt on these character comparisons, though thankfully, this'll probably be the last one I do, since I don't have any other ideas for character comparisons...  at least related to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  Anyway, once again, if you're not familiar with Gravity Falls, check out Disney's official website:

Likewise, if you're not familiar with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, check out Hasbro's official site:

Anyway, for this character comparison, we get into two incredible powerful characters, closely tied to the universe in their respective series...   Oh, and major Gravity Falls spoilers ahead.

Discord is a major character from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  Originally an antagonist, Discord is a draconequus and a being who adores chaos above all else.  1000 years prior to the beginning of the series, he ruled over Equestria before Princess Celestia and Luna used the Elements of Harmony to turn him into stone and imprisoning him.  He was freed in the season 2 two-part premiere "The Return of Harmony", in which he kept the mane 6 from using the Elements of Harmony against him by inversing their strongest traits and pitting them against each other.  Through the power of friendship, Twilight Sparkle managed to reunite her friends and seal Discord once again.  He remained sealed until the season 3 episode, "Keep Calm and Flutter On", in which Princess Celestia tasked Fluttershy with redeeming Discord, so that he may use his powers for good.

Bill Cipher is an important figure in the Gravity Falls universe.  Not much is known about him, and much of who he truly is is still shrouded in mystery.  Bill made his first physical debut in the episode "Dreamscaperers", where Gideon summons him to invade Stan's mind to steal the code to his safe, where the deed to the Mystery Shack is, but even before then, his image could be seen throughout the show, including in the opening sequence and inside various spots in the Mystery Shack.  Bill is described as a "dream demon" in the show, and has the power to invade people's minds, as well as manipulate reality to an extent.  He is admittedly crazy and has a very eccentric personality, though he's still described as being the most dangerous creature of Gravity Falls.  Much like who he is, his intentions aren't known, though he forewarns the heroes of an upcoming darkness, and that he'll be watching them...

Describing Bill Cipher was a pain, since there isn't that much known about him, and I didn't want to apply my own headcannon int the description.  Yet even with his limited appearances in his show, I can still draw comparisons between him an Discord.  For example, here are some similarities I've noticed:

-Both played the role of an antagonist in their respective series.
-Both were built up as being a bit deal and incredibly dangerous in their respective universes.  In "The Return of Harmony", Princess Celestia summoned Twilight and her friends with great urgency, and while describing and interacting with Discord, there was an air of importance about her, and her tone was forboding, setting up Discord as being an incredibly powerful and dangerous enemy...  Of course, this was ruined in Keep Calm and Flutter On, where there was ZERO urgency or importance when it came to Celestia asking Fluttershy to redeem Discord, but before I make myself angry thinking about that episode...  Bill, as mentioned before, is described as being "the most dangerous creature [the author of the #3 book] ever encountered", and when Gideon (a kid who tried to cut out Dipper's tongue) summoned him, even HE was put off by how disturbing Bill was.
-Both have reality-manipulated abilities, though in the case of Bill, his reality manipulation seems limited to inside the mind, and it's left ambiguous as to whether or not he can affect reality outside someone's mind.
-Both can shape-shift and change size at will.
-Both are...  rather strange looking creatures...  Here's a picture of them both, just so you can see for yourself.
-Both of them can manipulate others to do what they want them to do.  Discord tricks most of Twilight's friends into thinking lies that he fabricated, and...  tries to manipulate and trick Fluttershy into doing what he wants.  It's... complicated...  in a really stupid way.  Bill, on the other hand, disguised himself as Soos, so that Mabel could lead him directly to the code to Stan's safe.  Incidentally, Bill agreed to follow Gideon's orders in exchange for Gideon doing something for him, which is never specified.  This MIGHT have been another example of Bill using someone, if he had succeeded in delivering the code to Gideon...  Speaking of which!
-Both are foiled by minor lapses in competence.  Discord in "The Return of Harmony" nearly won, but failed to realize that Twilight and her friends patched their friendship and fought through his lies (which is strange, since they turned gray when they turned against each other; you'd think he'd notice the color return to their coats).  Bill was about to give Gideon the code to Stan's safe, but Mabel knocks it out of his hands by shooting a suction dart at it, making it fall into one of Stan's memories of a bottomless pit, losing it forever (oh, by the way, this all takes place within Stan's mind).
-Both get very angry and dangerous when things don't go their way.  Discord tried to turn Fluttershy against her friends, but when he couldn't do it, he gets frustrated and straight-up brainwashes her.  When Mabel prevents Bill from giving the code to Stan's safe for Gideon, and Gideon calls off their deal, Bill gets incredibly mad and forces Mabel and Soos to suffer their worst nightmares (Dipper wasn't present at the time).
-Both seem to have a bit of omnipotence or omnipresence about them.  Even when encased in stone, he's still aware of what goes on around him.  When Bill leaves at the end of Dreamscaperers, he says he'll be watching Dipper and the gang...  That, and the fact that he knows LOTS OF THINGS!!!

Quite a few similarities there, huh?  That being said, there are also a number of differences as well.  Physical appearances aside, some of their differences include:

-Bill wears a top hat and bowtie constantly.  Discord only wears cloths for a quick gag.
-Discord is something of a sophisticated trickster, judging by the way he talks, who just happens to have a love for chaos and anarchy.  Bill is just crazy, as shown when he yanks out a bunch of teeth from a nearby deer and hands it to Gideon, laughing.
-Discord was defeated in his first appearance.  Bill came close to being defeated, but quickly stopped Dipper, Mabel, and Soos from expelling Bill from Stan's mind, showing that he had the upper hand the whole time (and was likely just playing with them).
-Discord snaps his fingers to manipulate reality, Bill just makes gestures with his hands.
-Discord was the main antagonist of his story in The Return of Harmony, while Bill was mostly just serving Gideon in Dreamscaperers.
-Discord's weakness is the Elements of Harmony, while Bill has no apparent weaknesses...  unless synchronized music counts.
-Discord was imprisoned and was freed from his stone prison.  Bill had to be summoned (though it's not yet known if he, too, is imprisoned in some way).

I feel like I'm missing one big difference that I wanted to get out there, but I can't quite thing of it...  Either way, these are all the similarities and differences I can think of, so here's some trivia for ya!

-Discord is voice by John de Lancie, best known for his role as Q in Star Trek: The Next Generation, of whom Discord is slightly based on.  Another fun fact: initially, John de Lancie just recorded his voice for the role of Discord and didn't think anything of it, until months later, when a clip of him as Discord go out on the Internet, and he was flooded with fan mail.  After Tara Strong (voice of Twilight Sparkle) explained the "Brony" phenomenon to him, he became something of a Brony himself, so much so that he produced a feature-length documentary about the Brony phenomenon, called Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony.
-Bill Cipher is yet another character voiced by Gravity Falls creator, Alex Hirsch.
-As mentioned before, Bill has appeared in the series a number of times in the background.  A list of them can be seen here.

OKAY, well, that was certainly a long and winding road...  I may or may not have one more character comparison left in me, but either way, this'll probably be the last one I do.  Thanks for putting up with these!  Again, if you think of any more similarities or differences for these two crazy guys, feel free to comment on them.  And please, tell me what you think of these, I really appreciate it!

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