(Yeah, I know this episode is undoubtedly a source for all the debates over RD’s… “tastes” and certainly Pinkie Pie doing the “Pepe Le Pew” run after Rainbow Dash doesn’t help, but that’s a topic too serious and volatile for here. So let’s discuss the predator/prey relations this episode conveys.)
As any good student of the classics knows, griffons are a perfection of predation. Half eagle – considered by our ancestors as the pinnacle hunter of the air. Half lion – frequently chosen in cultures as the top predator of the land. If the thing was also half shark, we’d have every zone of life covered (but humans that we are, we think of air and land first). Yet here, we have a griffon, who must associate with equine creatures. Need I remind you that with their size and energy a griffon would undoubtedly eat primarily horses, cattle and other large herbivores to maintain their energy requirement. In this world with pegasi, it is obvious that griffons and them would be natural enemies (like donkeys and coyotes), always at odds for living space and food.
Yet here we have a griffon associating with ponies. Why? The only conclusion is that at some point in the past the griffon civilization was brutally defeated by the pony one in an undoubtedly horrific war. Now broken, the griffons must make peace with the ponies, and here we see one of their children locked in a town full of prey that would have once ran from her in fear and terror! Yet they laugh. She is forced to eat apples (a food her beak and digestive system were clearly not designed to process) in the midst of a steak buffet. Is it any wonder she’s perpetually angry? Is it any wonder she barely restrains contempt of the creatures that have so broken her historical culture? At the end, we can hear the undertones that the griffon isn’t shouting about how lame the ponies are, but is crying “Oppressors!” Her “attack” on Fluttershy (horrendous though it was) was in actually just a lost and confused child trying to relive, even for just a moment, the glory her very bones cry out for. In a lot of ways, Pinkie Pie was very culturally insensitive this episode.
Or, this episode is about how when we see our friends make mistakes, we should bear the pain of it and continue being their friend. We shouldn’t sacrifice said friendship in the name of helping our friends. That doesn’t help anyone.