|Date published||November 4, 2011 - June 3, 2012|
|Related to||The Real Story|
Gathering Elements is a comic by Nimaru. It elaborates on a scene from the related comic The Real Story by the same writer/artist, which tells of the origin and banishment of Nightmare Moon. In that comic, the original Elements of Harmony are only seen in two panels; this comic has them take centerstage.
Style and presentation
Like the other comic in this continuity, the art style resembles that of the show, with the occasional more stylized section for flashbacks and empath visions.
The comic consists of eight pages with usually more than a dozen panels each. Each of the new characters gets his or her own page which details some of his or her backstory; the final three pages detail how they perpare to face Nightmare Moon, and the aftermath. The comic is narrated by Winter Willow, the Element of Kindness, from more than ten years after the monster's defeat.
Informed by her parents that she needs to find five other ponies to wield the Elements of Harmony with, Celestia assembles her team:
The first pony she comes to is the Pegasus guardsman Rook, legendary for his strength and steadfastness. She sends him to find Crabapple, a former beggar-turned-advisor to the Princess, who is overseeing the evacuation of the castle. He has a mystical ability to see someone's true nature, and he advised Celestia to throw a festival for Luna to keep her resentment from growing.The pony in charge of that festival is Luau, the royal "master of ceremonies". While Rook flies to the garden to meet Celestia, Crabapple seeks Luau out first. Known for her cheerful demeanour, she is heartbroken when Crabapple finds her, her planning of the festival to keep Luna happy having apparently been for naught. He is able to reassure her when he tells her that Celestia has a plan, and the two make their way to the meeting-place.
Meanwhile, Rook flies over the garden in search of Rose Petal. She is a unicorn who, like Crabapple, came to Celestia's attention as a filly; in her case, she would illegally pick flowers in the royal gardens and secretly leave them as bouquets where staff and servants would find them. When Celestia found out, she made the filly an official "royal flower grower". Rook has known Rose Petal since she was a filly and soon finds her hiding in the garden. He asks her to use her special talent to walk about unnoticed to find the fifth and final member of the team:
Winter Willow is a "heart healer": an empath who can sense the feelings of others and help them deal with strong emotions. After the attack, she remains in the castle, helping to soothe ponies in a hall turned into an impromptu triage and treatment area for injured ponies. She is almost overwhelmed by the severity of their hurt, when she senses the arrival of a familiar, and welcome, presence: Rose Petal.
All five ponies, plus Princess Celestia, eventually arrive at the agreed-upon section of the royal gardens, move on to the castle, and banish Nightmare Moon. The comic doesn't dwell on the battle or the lead-up to it and seems more interested in the aftermath. Having used up all her strength to push the monster inside her sister to the moon, Celestia falls back down to earth. Winter Willow senses it and imparts the vision onto Rook, who rallies all the Pegasi in the vicinity to him. Together, they cushion her fall and brick her back down safely. Winter Willow, too, passes out.
Crabapple seizes the opportunity to call out to every pony who is near, with a little magical help from Rose Petal. He convinces them to help build a new capital, a symbol for a new relationship between the alicorns and their subjects: Canterlot.
The comic's final page is a coda relaying how the Elements of Harmony share in the responsibility of building a new society along with a new city. It connects back to the show by having Ponyville founded by Crabapple and Winter Willow, who may be Applejack's ancestors.