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Yona, also known as Yona Yak, is one of supporting characters from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. She is a female yak and one of the "Young Six" who first appeared in season eight premiere "School Daze" as a student of Twilight Sparkle's School of Friendship.
She is voiced by Katrina Salisbury.
Yona was first previewed in a 2018 "MY LITTLE PONY SERIES" image within Hasbro 2017 Investor Day webcast presentations from August 3, 2017.
Depiction in the series
In the season eight premiere School Daze - Part 1 and Part 2, Yona enrolls in Twilight Sparkle's School of Friendship as a student, having been brought to Ponyville by Prince Rutherford to represent the yaks. In her debut, Yona is excited at first to meet ponies and tell them all about Yakyakistan. However, when Twilight's strict adherence to the Equestria Education Assocation's guidelines cause the school courses to be dull and boring, Yona acts arrogant and egotistical out of frustration, saying everything yak-related is the best. When Yona cuts class along with Sandbar, Smolder, Gallus, Ocellus, and Silverstream, the six hang out together and end up becoming good friends. When they return to school for Friends and Family Day, they accidentally ruin the event and cause damage to the school. Chancellor Neighsay of the EEA perceives their fun and games as an attack orchestrated by other non-pony creatures, and the offended tribe leaders pull their students out of school, including Yona.
Not wanting to say goodbye to each other after the school is closed, Yona and her friends go into hiding at the Castle of the Two Sisters. While they have fun together at first, they come under attack by ferocious puckwudgies, and the Mane Six, Spike and Starlight Glimmer save them. When Yona and her friends are asked to come back to school, they are reluctant to continue their boring lessons, but Twilight and the others assure them things will be better and more fun than before. After Twilight defies the authority of Chancellor Neighsay and reopens the School of Friendship, Prince Rutherford allows Yona to re-enroll.
In Grannies Gone Wild, Smolder, Yona, and Sandbar reluctantly listen to Rainbow Dash gush about the Wild Blue Yonder rollercoaster in Las Pegasus.
In Horse Play, she takes part in Twilight's play about Princess Celestia.
In Non-Compete Clause, Yona and her classmates are taken on a teamwork field trip by Applejack and Rainbow Dash. One of the activities is canoeing, something which Yona is nervous about, due to being unable to swim. When the canoe crashes against a rock (due to Applejack and Rainbow's arguing), Yona's lifevest is torn, and she almost drowns before being saved by Ocellus and Silverstream. Afterwards, Applejack and Rainbow get the students lost on a nature walk, and the two end up trapped over a ravine while trying to cross it. Yona and the rest of the students work together to save them. Once they return to school, Yona and the other students nominate both their teachers for the "Teacher of the Month" award, believing they were pretending to argue in order to teach the students how not to work together.
In Molt Down, Yona appears on the balcony of the School of Friendship, and later in the library.
In Marks for Effort, she appears attending Pinkie Pie's class on sharing cupcakes and compliments. When Ocellus compliments her and throws her a cupcake, Yona jumps up and eats it, landing on Pinkie afterwards. She is later seen exiting the school with her friends after a test.
In A Matter of Principals, Yona and her classmates are shown various magical artifacts by Twilight just before she is summoned by the Cutie Map. When Iron Will substitutes, he makes Yona act assertive and shout at the other students to be her friends. She and her friends are later forced to run laps by Discord, who conjures up a bugbear to chase them. Yona is unable to keep running, but Starlight Glimmer saves her by blasting the bugbear away. During the Spell-venger Hunt, Yona is paired up with Sandbar, and before they find one of the artifacts, Discord's ghost traps them in quicksand. Yona and her friends are present when Starlight Glimmer apologizes to Discord for not including him and offers him the job of "vice headmare".
In The Hearth's Warming Club, a prank ruins the Hearth's Warming tree, and the students are all under suspicion for it and charged with cleaning up the mess while they are questioned one by one. During this time, Yona tells her friends about the yak holiday of Snilldar Fest, during which she had her hair braided for the first time. When the guilty party doesn't come forward, the students start accusing each other. When Gallus confesses that he was the culprit, resulting in him having to stay for friendship lessons over the holidays, Yona and the others all choose to stay with him. As they finish cleaning up, Yona offers to braid Gallus' feathers, which he declines.
In Friendship University, Yona and her friends appear looking at a flyer for the titular university. In The End in Friend, she and her classmates observe Rainbow Dash and Rarity as part of Twilight's lesson on compromising in friendship.
In A Rockhoof and a Hard Place, Yona becomes an admirer of Rockhoof, not only due to his great size and strength (similar to a yak), but his storytelling style. She is stunned when she later hears that, due to feeling out of place in modern Equestria, he wishes to be turned to stone. She makes him the subject of her essay on heroism and shares that she went through similar difficulties to his when she first came to Ponyville. Yona and Twilight then work together to persuade Rockhoof to serve as Equestria's keeper of tales.
In What Lies Beneath, Yona and her friends start to question their friendship due to comments made by Cozy Glow. During their studies for an upcoming test, they discover a cavern beneath the school, where the Tree of Harmony interacts with them. As part of a test, the Tree forces Yona to confront her fear of spiders. After befriending the spiders, Yona escapes with the rest of her friends.
Among the Young Six, Yona is portrayed as very excitable and clumsy, frequently tripping over her own hair. Like most yaks, she speaks in broken English and in the third person. She harbors a lot of pride and love for her home of Yakyakistan, repeatedly proclaiming everything yak-related to be "best" and wanting to share that with the other creatures of Equestria. Her pride for her heritage at the expense of other creatures is conceited at first, but after getting to know some of her fellow students, her jabs at other creatures become more good-natured.
- Yona is one of two members of the Young Six who cannot fly; the other being Sandbar.
- She is also the only female member of the group to lack flight capabilities.