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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Villains
Guesses about the nastier characters in the series, such as Nightmare Moon and other villans. Discord has his own page:

If you have a guess about something else, then:

and you can still go back to the Main WMG Page, here

    open/close all folders 

     Nightmare Moon 
If a Pegasus Unicorn Princess named Luna gets taken by the Dark Presence, and serves as its Avatar through Nightmare Moon, then you're in... Night Springs!
Think about it. The "dark magic" that had captured Luna (like, say, Barbara Jagger) possibly feeds from her Leitmotif: darkness and night. It seems more or less crucial for it, just like the DP (which is in fact a literal case).

In both universes, it's visible form consists of black/dark purple blobs. It can take a story's minor protagonist and make her disappear from the plot altogether, making her the Macguffin (like Princess Celestia, or Alice Wake). Luna has the power to bring eternal night, and Nightmare Moon!Luna plans to do so (unlike Normal!Luna).

Nightmare Moon!Luna is able to a) manipulate wild animals' behaviours (through a possible array of factors, such as the thorn), b) destroy bridges (seriously, the DP always destroys bridges) through levitation, c) play mind-whammy on characters to make them budge (the trees with the scary faces), and most importantly d) can probably 'take' characters, can teleport them to the scene (like regular Taken (Nurse Birch), only this time it was done with the "Shadowbolts", who may or may not have been an actual stunt-flying group before being taken) and use them as marionettes (like Rose Marigold), and Luna can be 'exorcised' from her possession by an intensive and bright source of light and colour (Friendship-Magic, in this case. Perhaps a Flare Gun would have done it too).

That she didn't carry away any permanent damages of sanity after said possession can be explained by the fact that the DP only 'touched' her (just like Alan Wake), which means that it was able to control it's thoughts and perception, but did leave enough liberty for her to use her special ability, this being controlling the night-day cycle (as opposed to Wake's writing talent).

And hey - both scenarios take plays in tv shows ("Previously on Alan Wake / My Little Pony")!

What happened to Luna will happen to Celestia
Because, honestly, I so want to see her "Nightmare Sun" form.
  • "Hellfire Sun" would be a much cooler name. And she wants to scorch the land!
    • There is no cooler name for Evil Celestia than "Mourning Star" (not mine, made by an artist on deviantART). It's punny, it refers to Celestia's domain - the dawn, and it's evil to boot.
    • I rather prefer "Queen Daydream" (Not mine, concept belongs to Overcharge on dA).
  • This could be why she takes a Stop Worshipping Me attitude. Just as Dude, Where's My Respect? made Luna a sable nightmare, A God Am I could make her as beautiful and as terrible as the dawn.

Alternately, What happened to Luna will happen to Twilight
May be a bit too dark for the show, but now that Twilight's an alicorn but still young and insecure, she would be vulnerable to whatever corrupted Luna. Unlike Celestia, we've seen a lot of Twilight's insecurities that the magic could play on (imagine lesson zero times a thousand). Also, this prevents a neat, elements of harmony based solution.

Princess Celestia wanted Nightmare Moon to escape
She's the one who stopped Twilight Sparkle from trying to prevent it, after all. If she was really the heartless tyrant some people seem to think she is, she'd have wanted to make sure her sister stayed locked up, not welcomed her back. My guess is that she sealed Luna away because without the sixth Element of Harmony, that's all she could do. After a thousand years of guilt and loneliness, she just wanted her sister back.
  • Luna may have been the missing Element of Harmony. So, if Nightmare Moon really was controlled by a seperate evil force, by taking Luna it rendered Celestia helpless to free her sister.
    • Partly confirmed in the return of harmony; it was confirmed that Luna was once a bearer of an elemment of harmony. I

Nightmare Moon didn't escape at all.
Nightmare Moon had an awfully orderly escape. The stars converged exactly on schedule, at a preordained date and time, and in perfect symmetry, just as the prophecy foretold, and even foreillustrated. Now, what's a simpler explanation, that somepony had a precisely accurate psychic vision that rogue stars, acting of their own agency and for no apparent reason, would assist in the escape of a, ahem, lunatic, or that the pony who cast the spell just wrote down how it would end?

Celestia, who loved her sister dearly, would not imprison her forever. She cast the spell to seal Luna in the moon, and in doing so ordained the date, time, and mechanism of her release. Knowing Luna would not listen to her, she made plans to train a protégé who could wield the Elements of Harmony and knock some sense into her wayward sister, and wrote the books of "prophecy" to facilitate that end. In essence, 1000 years wasn't a prophecy — it was simply Nightmare Moon's sentence.
  • To elaborate on this: the "prophecy" states that "the stars will aid in her [Nightmare Moon's] escape". Food for thought: Celestia is in control of both the day and the night sky. Read between the lines, and the prophecy becomes "Celestia will aid in her escape". Celestia wrote that "prophecy" herself.
    • She worded it like this for two reasons - first to avoid backlash from her subjects about releasing a dangerous maniac, and second her own trickster tendency to leave things unworded for others to figure.

Nightmare Moon is a fusion of Princess Celestia and Princess Luna.
This assumes that the tale (Mare in the Moon) was wrong to begin with, meaning that Luna doesn't become Nightmare Moon, and it was just a tale told by the winner of the fight. And the fight went like this: Princess Celestia was truly angry at Luna for something she did or tried to do, banishing her to/into the moon as punishment, possibly in a time Celestia was far less mature and understanding, and only had her power in her favor to prove herself right. Further proof is that Luna seemed to fear her, and was very sorry afterward; Celestia must have been a monster when mad, but Luna truly loves her big sister.

And as for how is Nightmare Moon a fusion of the sisters, it's all in Celestia's disappearance and reappearance times: she disappears after being a confirmed appearance at Ponyville for the celebration and right under their eyes, and reappears after the burst of rainbow and light caused by the elements, freeing the sun. Also, it's awfully convenient that Nightmare Moon put Twilight Sparkle and friends under the precise circumstances to produce the Elements of Harmony later on...
  • While that does address Celestia's disappearance and the tests, it should be noted that Nightmare Moon, iirc, mentions "her sister," rather than just "Celestia."
    • Maybe Nightmare Moon is a fusion of Celestia and Luna with Luna's personality being dominant. If Celestia's personality dominates, we get a completely different being: A merciless sun threatening to turn everything into desert. So essentially, when they both fuse, they don't produce a mix of both characters, but one is always dominant and it's aspect is amplified to it's extreme while the other is suppressed.
    • Celestia's appearance changed when she started ruling over both night and day. With Celestia banished, Nightmare Moon is ruling over both day and night. Perhaps Celestia, with her power stolen, looks more like Princess Luna does now? We've only seen them when they were each ruling only their own domain except in the stylized intro to the first episode.

Nightmare Moon is Derpy.
Luna is just a fall pony tricked into believing she did the deed. Ever notice how Derpy seems to show up everywhere? That's because she's watching, looking for weaknesses in the Elements of Harmony and preparing her next master plan.
  • That's why she dropped all that stuff at Twilight at one point in "Feeling Pinkie Keen". She wanted to destroy the sixth element.
    • If not Nightmare moon herself, definately, a henchman... hench pony.
      • Henchmare sounds right.

Night Mare Moon's one thousand year imprisonment on the moon was a Karmic punishment.
When she first revealed her plans to make the night last forever, she said, "The moon is the only thing you'll see for a thousand years!"

Nightmare Moon's evil isn't gone or destroyed.
It was absorbed by the Mane Cast and it is corrupting them. Every time one of them feels extreme rage or acts crazy, it is because of the same power that was corrupting Luna. And this Dark Side is growing stronger...

Nightmare Moon was actually Princess Luna's nightmare (building on the idea, above, that the two are not the same pony). Also, who is Princess Celestia, anyway?
Luna was very jealous, but unable to bring herself to upset The Harmony to do anything about it. Denying her feelings, she pushed them down until they gave her bad dreams, and finally Nightmare became strong enough to take over. This essentially means Luna was sick, not evil, which agrees with the show's White and Grey Morality. When Luna said she was sorry, it wasn't for what Nightmare almost did, but that she hid her feelings and created her (although it hasn't been stated in the show, lets assume that she was getting therapy on the Moon instead of just locked in a closet).
  • Interestingly, if this guess is correct, then the Celestia we see may not be the real Celestia, either, but actually a daydream (a thankfully happy one).

Princess Luna was Nightmare Moon!
I know it sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory, but think of it, my fellow ponies! Celestia introduced her sister of which we have never heard before to us right after Nightmare Moon appeared, and then mysteriously vanished again. Isn't that a strange coincidence? And she gave her responsibility for the moon. The moon, don't you get it? I tell you, there's some crazy conspiracy going on behind our backs, fellow ponies! So, never stop asking questions! The truth is out there!
  • Er... is this a joke? Everyone already knows Nightmare Moon was Luna overtaken by her own jealousy, and what Twilight did with the Elements of Harmony was free her from what she had become.
    • Oh my... yes, this is a joke. Normally I'd say Don't Explain the Joke, but here we go. Of course, we viewers know that this is true, but this was supposed to be written not from the point of view of us viewers, but of some pony from Ponyville. Think of it that way: We viewers also know that none of the ponies from Ponyville even knew the name Nightmare Moon before the incident, and even Twilight was surprised to hear that Nightmare Moon was Celestia's sister (although she had just read it in a book one episode earlier). When Celestia and Luna return to Ponyville after the Nightmare Moon incident had been resolved, Celestia just introduces her sister to the other ponies without even mentioning that Luna was Nightmare Moon. She just says something like "This is my sister Luna". So some of the common ponies might come up with such weeeeird conspiracy theories... which, as we viewers know, happen to be the truth.
      • Even though Twilight Sparkle read that Nightmare Moon was the sister of the unicorn that raised the sun, she may very well not have known that Celestia was that unicorn. The book only said that the elder sister "took on responsibility for both sun and moon" and that harmony had been maintained in Equestria for generations. It never said that it was the same pony doing the maintaining.
      • Fair enough. Also, this sort of supports my overall point.
  • You're just being ridiculous. They don't even look alike. An entire crowd of ponies saw Nightmare Moon in Ponyville, and every single one of these eyewitnesses described Nightmare Moon as a large alicorn, about the same size as Her Divine Majesty, Princess Celestia, with a black coat and a mane of and tail of some sort of dark, shadowy aura. Princess Luna is only about half the size of her sister, and has a purple coat with a mane and tail of dark blue hair. Seriously, they look nothing alike.
    • Yeah, right. And Bruce Wayne is the Batman. Ridiculous.

Nightmare Moon is magically aged-up version of Luna.
Word of God states that Luna is not fully grown yet and that her adult form will look less like Nightmare Moon, which means that NMM is a warped version of her future self. When she tried to rebel, she thought that the ponies did not respect her and her night because she was the younger sister, so she used magic to make herself older. Unfortunately, the magic enhanced the negative aspects of her personality. Thus, the elements of harmony were needed to counteract the negative personality to bring her back to normal.

Nightmare Moon was an Eldritch Abomination born of Luna's jealousy.
The reason she could overwhelm Celestia was due to being possessed by a horror which seized her in a moment of weakness and made her sublimely powerful. Only the Elements of Harmony could seal the horror back up and free Luna. (Admittedly this is one I used for a fanfic...)
  • Word of God states that Luna was transformed into Nightmare Moon by "an outside force", partially confirming this.

At some point, we'll get to see Celestia's take on the Nightmare Moon form.
Apparently, Nightmare Moon was not Luna's true form, just an evilized version of her. We'll get to see a evilized version of Celestia, which will an appropriate evil name. (Like Hell Horse or something like that.) There are two ways this can go down:
  • We'll get a Halloween episode, where this will be her Halloween costume. She may try to scare the ponies with this idea.
    • There already is a Halloween episode, but none of that happened at all.
  • The same magic that corrupted Luna will hit Celestia, causing her to become more and more evil over time. The main cast will team up with Luna in an attempt to bring her back to the light.

Nightmare Moon was Princess Luna's Heartless.
  • I like this idea, but where is Luna's nobody? it is possible that it was destroyed by Celestia(who, for the sake of this theory working, only sealed Nightmare Moon because she couldn't bring herself to kill her own sister), who only did it because she knew nobodies don't have emotion, so it wasn't really her sister.

Nightmare Moon was banished, but Princess Luna went voluntarily.
Although Nightmare was dominant, Luna was still present. The banishment was more like a time out or a "go to your room" situation (Luna & Nightmare are both embodiments of the night and controlled the Moon, before Celestia took over). Nightmare was a vengeful aspect that wanted eternal night and thought nothing of the consequences, but Luna would have known what would happen if that were allowed and wasn't able to stop it. Celestia won by using the Elements of Harmony, but it was Luna that helped keep Nightmare on the Moon, wanting to keep her evil, dominant side from hurting anypony.

Nightmare Moon/Luna built a Lotus-Eater Machine on the moon.
In an effort to keep her sanity during imprisonment, she created an illusionary paradise for herself on the moon. She had a small, but grand and majestic lunar kingdom, filled with subjects that deeply loved her and her night. The illusion's backstory for the subjects is that they were a resistance force that formed after Nightmare Moon/Luna's banishment, but were banished to the moon themselves and helped their princess build her new kingdom. Most of her years of imprisonment were spent there happily, and Nightmare Moon/Luna eventually came to believe it was real. However, it was eventually destroyed by the clashing personalities of Nightmare Moon and Luna. Sometimes one would be dominant over the other, and the paradise would alter a bit to make the dominant one happy. (For example, one day Nightmare Moon would be in control, and an illusionary Celestia would be captured and killed. The next day, Luna would be in control, and she and Celestia would spend the day together, having made up long ago.) The lack of continuity eventually caused the dream to collapse, leaving a heartbroken and furious Nightmare Moon alone for the rest of the sentence.

Princess Luna was possessed by some dark force, possibly another world.
When Luna saw noone was out enjoying the night, her negative feelings left her wide open to some dark spirit. It possessed her, transforming her into a warrior of darkness. It would explain the size difference between Nightmare and Luna.
  • Confirmed by Word of God.
    • Not exactly- Word of God said that that was one of the ideas, but that they had never set anything in stone. Magic was used to turn Luna into Nightmare Moon, but they never called a meeting to say whether it was something Luna did to herself, or something entirely external. Go wild.
  • That explains why Nightmare Moon was in firm possession of the Villain Ball for the second half of the pilot — Luna was Fighting from the Inside, deliberately putting the ponies in situations where the one holding her Element of Harmony could show it (after the initial incident with Applejack and the cliff, which was just an accident).

Nightmare Moon is/was a Dark Passenger possessing Luna.
  • I am GOING to tell Fluttershy you stole my idea... In any case, as I have been told, confirmed by Word of God... at least the possessing part. The Dark Passenger bit is probably jossed.

Remember that bit with Nightmare Moon in the hourglass?
That was the result of Nightmare Moon testing the limits of her prison. As centuries went by and it weakened, Nightmare Moon was able to appear in Equestria for a few brief seconds in random places, unable to really do anything but look menacing (at first, though she later was able to influence Equestria in small ways) or be detected by most people. There were a few cases where she'd appear right behind other ponies, without them noticing anything but an odd chill in the air. Her reflection in the hourglass was one of her final such appearances, with Twilight and Spike too busy to notice anything.

Yes, I did just turn Nightmare Moon into the Slender Mane.

Nightmare Moon was incapable of removing the Elements Of Harmony from their resting place herself
This is why she just didn't head on ahead and destroy them, even though she knew their location. Either because she wasn't one of the proper weilders or maybe some spell put on them by her sister or the fact she was evil, Nightmare Moon was incapable of removing them from where they were kept. Thus why she kept trying to stop them from reaching them, if they couldn't reach them, they weren't a threat to her. She let them alone once they reached them so she could swoop in and grab them like she did, because once they were moved whatever protection was on them was broken. By that point, she decided to kill two birds with one stone and destroy the Elements and her enemies all at once.

Banishing Luna/Nightmare Moon to the moon was really the only option Celestia had.
In order for the Elements of Harmony to be used to cleanse someone, there has to be at least two wielders. This is because the elements embody The Power of Friendship, which has the power to heal in the MLP universe. Since Luna became Nightmare Moon, she lost her connection with the elements and the relationship between her and Celestia became disharmonious. Celestia was the only one left who could use the elements, so she obviously had to be the one to stop Nightmare Moon. However, as she was alone, she could not heal Nightmare Moon. Since she did not want to kill her sister or turn her into stone, Celestia sent her to the moon. While such an act restored the natural harmony of the world, it destroyed the bond between the sisters. Since Celestia used the elements to destroy a relationship instead of creating one, she too lost her connection with the elements. Therefore, Celestia had to find others to wield the elements in order to save her sister.

Nightmare Moon used to be Luna's playful persona.
Based on the leak info about Luna's episode, ponies' Holloween is called "Nightmare's Night" so it wouldn't be that hard to guess that Luna is a trickster and use to go out once a year to play tricks on ponies, kinda like a pony Loki. Even Nightmare Moon on the show seems to more Laughably Evil and an Evil Overlord most seem to think she is.

Nightmare Moon is still alive and well
It is quite clear from what we have seen of them that the Eo H are incapable of killing. Most likely, when NMM possessing Luna was blasted by them, it merely separated the two. Part of Season 2 will be about the Big Bad trying to bring her/it back to physical form.
  • Dunno, Nightmare Night implied that NMM and Luna were one and the same, save for her being out of her mind as the Nightmare.

Princess Luna and Nightmare Moon were originally two seperate entities, fused together by the Elements of Harmony
Word of God states that an outside force transformed Luna into Nightmare Moon, originally, Nightmare Moon was an Eldritch Abomination that possessed Luna and used her body as a "host" for the Nightmare Moon entity. When Nightmare Moon was defeated, the Elements of Harmony did not destroy her, but more rather, fused her and Luna into one being. This explains why Luna always referred to herself as "we" in Luna Eclipsed, referring to both Luna and Nightmare Moon, this also explains why Luna sounded like two different people talking when she used the THE TRADITIONAL ROYAL CANTERLOT VOICE, because it was both Luna and Nightmare Moon speaking simultaneously.

Nightmare Moon's first attempt at eternal night lasted several months or even years.
Nightmare Night indicates that Nightmare Moon is remembered as a very influential and terrible figure in Equestrian history, even if the details are all jumbled. If Nightmare Moon's first attempt at eternal night (before Celestia banished her to the moon) only lasted the hours or days that her second attempt seemed to, then she wouldn't have been remembered nearly as much, and some ponies probably wouldn't even know her name. Rather, it was a very dark time in Equestria's history, with widespread famine and roving monsters of the night terrorizing Equestria's citizens.
  • But wasn't Nightmare Moon banished to the moon the same year (1000 years ago) that Celestia and Luna imprisoned Discord? Moony's reign would have to have lasted the rest of that year, at most.
    • No, or at least there is no reason to think that. The show implies that Celestia and Luna reigned together for a long time after defeating Discord before Luna's rebellion.
    • They are rounding the numbers. While keeping count of Luna's banishment served a purpose, the imprisonment of Discord did not, so, say, Discord was taken care of 1179 years ago, that comes simply as "a thousand years" ago
      • Again, though, there is nothing in the show that states how much time passed between Celestia and Luna's defeat of Discord and Luna's rebellion against Celestia. It could easily have been many thousands of years, or even millions.
      • Though neither Celestia or Luna mention how long Discord was imprisoned for, Discord himself does.
"You ponies are just the most fun I've had in eons"
Discord

The stars that aided Nightmare Moon's escape were the other 4 Ancient Wielders of the Elements of Harmony.
I'll be honest here, I don't know where this would go, I'm just putting it here because Princesses are involved:// There are six elements. As far as we've seen, you need a specific team of six to use them. Celestia and Luna are both members of the old team. That leaves four slots open. How many stars were there? Four.// Since I'm here, I might as well put what I think the princess were, too. Celestia was wearing the Element of Magic Tiara in the Intro Story, so we know she's the Magic in the six. Luna was probably Loyalty, and I base this entirely on the fact that it took the entire team to catch Graynbow Dash in Return of Harmony Part 2.
You: But how the hay did they use it on NMM if she was a corrupt Luna?
Simple, Luna was an unwilling pawn to the Nightmare Possessor, and fighting from within, trying desperately to stop Evil!herself from doing the evil things she do her true self shines through at the last minute, and she helps seal the beast, knowing full-well she'll be trapped with it.// Back to the original point: Celestia wants to save Luna, but the seal can only be broken by the Elements, one of which is trapped on the moon. So she hatches a plan. The other Ancient Element Bearers, who are all mortal ponies, are transformed into the stars before they died, and when Celestia gave the word, they'd open the seal for Nightmare Moon, just in time for her plan to be put into action. Bing Bang Boom, Twilight and the others, Episodes 1 and 2. Luna freed, the other four get to chill for eternity in the sky playing the ultimate game of Eye-Spy, everypony lives happily ever after… until the Cutie Mark Crusaders released Discord.

The story of the Blanks has something to do with the creation of Nightmare moon
  • There really was a village in the everfree forest which killed all ponies who acquired "The mark", And are now cursed to be zombieponies forever. Well, suppose that a thousand years ago, A filly from Ponyville wanders in and discovers this village and it's secret. She is cornered and cries out for help, And Luna swoops in to save her. However, Luna is unable to defeat the zombie villagers entirely, She could not completely erase their evil. Though the village was destroyed and the Zombponies all slain, The Evil that brought it all about still lingered, and took root in Luna's growing feelings of envy towards her sister. In time, it grew, and Luna became Nightmare moon.

The entire "Nightmare Moon" scenario was the final scene of an elaborate LARP.
We've all seen that Celestia is a bit of a troll, right? (The episode with the teacup and the phoenix, anypony?) Assuming Luna has a similar sense of humor, her plot to create The Night That Never Ends was just another game to the two goddesses, with Nightmare Moon as Luna's Player Character. (Being immortal, a thousand years is probably the normal length for a game to them.) "I missed you so much, big sister" is just Physical God -speak for "Good Game". Of course, Even Jerkass Gods Have Standards, hence Celestia's treatment of Discord.

Nightmare Moon is a mask of Nyarlathotep
As in the Cthulhu guess below, except for the fact that NMM actually spoke to her victims. Furthermore, the assorted "tests" she put the Mane Cast through were his way of toying with them.

Nightmare Moon will be the main villain but...
Spend most of the season in her smoke form, unable to manifest physically. After she was beaten and purged from Luna, she's been searching for a way to get a new body and her revenge. Many of the bad events in the preceeding season will be revealed to be her doing as attempted revenge. Her plan will revolve around trying to create herself a body free of any good influence, and it will be revealed that Luna was holding her back previously, thus why she doesn't want a body with a pre-existing mind in it.

Nightmare Moon is Cthulu.
Locked some place cold and dark (Moon/Depths of Ocean), incredible powers, will escape when the stars are right, treated as myth by the local civilization (Ponyville/Everyone who hasn't been involved in anything) but known by foreigners (Zecora/cults) and people who read far too much (Twilight/?), it's form is sort of comprehensible but aspects are well beyond what people can grasp (Mane and fact she's an Alicorn / Giant octopus-dragon-man Starfish Alien).

Nightmare Moon secretly wanted to be defeated.
  • Had she won, she'd be ruling over a land slowly dying due to her eternal night, with her subjects cursing her name. When she lost, she was purged of the evil influence that got her banished in the first place, Easily Forgiven and reunited with her sister. Which outcome would you prefer?
  • When you get right down to it, Nightmare Moon's attempts to stop Twilight and her friends from reaching the Elements of Harmony weren't as dangerous as they could've been, or even well thought out. Trying to knock them over a cliff is dangerous, but not very when you consider that two of them could fly and carry the others to safety, and the manticore and the serpent weren't really trying to stop them at all. The faces on the trees were especially pathetic when you consider that they didn't really do anything other than look scary, and simply laughing at them made them disappear. The only really effective method was the Shadow Bolts, and they could be stopped simply by turning down their offer.
  • Isn't it convenient that each obstacle just happened to allow a particular pony to demonstrate the virtues they ended up representing? Perhaps that wasn't a coincidence.
  • If Nightmare Moon wanted to separate Twilight from her allies, why teleport her such a short distance away? Why not send her halfway around the world? It's almost like she wanted them to find her and trigger the spark, forming the sixth Element.
  • True. Maybe Nightmare Moon realized what would have happened if her plan worked and decided against it. When she broke free, she took an 'evil' masquerade (mainly to save her ego), but subtly helped the Mane 6 defeat her.

Nightmare Moon was Luna all along.
To be sure, it may have been a Luna who wasn't exactly in her right mind anymore thanks to whatever evil outside influence one wants to credit for it. But there was no demonic possession or anything of that sort going on, nor did Nightmare Moon spontaneously split off of the 'real' Luna as a separate personality; there was only one pony underneath the mask all the time. This actually explains Nightmare Moon's actions in the pilot just as well as any other theory — not so much any sort of dedicated Evil Overlord or Omnicidal Maniac as simply a fed-up filly goddess who's finally managed to send her big sister to her room after being stuck in her own for a thousand years and who's not going to put up with anypony ignoring her anymore ever...

Nightmare Moon was caused by/actually one of the Changelings
Think about it. She and Queen Chrysalis (so named in the script by the writers) both share dragon eyes, are powerful enough to take down Celestia, of all ponies in a straight-up fight, and they're both shapeshifters. Heck, Nightmare Moon is like them in another way as well, given that the Changelings feed on love in truly horrible fashion and Nightmare Moon desired the love of her subjects so much that she nearly destroyed Equestria with The Night That Never Ends.
  • For that matter, there seem to be some similarities between the Changelings and the windigos too, with both being emotion eating monsters who want to feed on the ponies.
  • Before it was revealed that there was an imposter I thought that Cadence was a victim of the same thing that originally corrupted Luna, back to try again with a different princess.

The Nightmare Night traditions are the result of legends about Nightmare Moon and the changelings being combined.
Originally, the heroic (if scary) Princess Luna would defend the ponies from disguised spirits that wanted to gobble them up, and was given treats as thanks. After Luna became Nightmare Moon, that changed to her eating anyone who couldn't disguise themselves, and being given tribute so that she wouldn't eat them anyway.

Nightmare wouldn't have just caused eternal night in Equestria, but eternal day in the country to the East
This explains the urgency of her appearance—a long night is somewhat manageable, the ecosystem can be sustained with magic or technology, and since it was during the Summer the worst that could happen would be an early Winter, as long as they don't put her defeat off for more than a week or so. But the next country over was baking, and suffering from sudden and (if it had been kept up) irreversible climate change, risking turning it into a desert. That's why Celestia was so hasty in the legends, and so efficient in the pilots—for the sake of their neighbors.

A future two-parter may consist of eternal day being caused in Equestria, not because of Celestia, but because Osiris had imprisoned Ra and was causing eternal night in Camelu. The Elements would have to be sent, since they are unique across the world, to set things right.

  • Adding to this WMG: perhaps NMM expected that the inhabitants on the other side of the world, subject to the terror of eternal sunlight, would have no choice but to move into Equestria for the (comparative) relief of eternal night. It's a handy solution to the "timezones vs. eternal night" conundrum (alternatively, though, NMM just might not have cared about non-pony/non-Equestria inhabitants).

The legend of the Mare in the Moon is about as obscure to ponies as the origin legend of Jack-o'-Lantern is to us.
That is, everyone knows what Nightmare Moon/a jack-o'-lantern is, but nobody cares much to find out where the tradition came from.

Nightmare Moon is actually the result of a Fusion Dance between Princess Luna and a Windigo.
Luna is younger, thus probably weaker and less experienced than her sister - if she wanted to overthrow Celestia she would need the aid of a powerful and ancient entity.

Windigos are spirits of hatred, and Luna certainly must have provided a great food source for them. If she were to merge with one said Windigo would see its powers increase thousand-fold, furthermore it would never need to hunger again.

Windigos bring blizzards, Luna's plan would have resulted in The Night That Never Ends - now a neverending night would also lead to neverending winter, thus hiding the Windigo's presence quite well.

Harmony would have killed the Windigo, therefore Nightmare Moon, as soon as they realized Luna's sister's plan of using the Elements against them, teleported themselves to the only area Celestia would not chase them to: The Moon. Celestia then used the Elements of Harmony to create a force field around the moon in order to prevent Nightmare Moon from escaping.

Nightmare Moon could also only be defeated with the advantage of surprise - they did not expect the Elements to actually work, and by the time they realized the Elements were restored it was already too late. The Windigo was destroyed and Luna freed, weakened, but alive.

The legends about Nightmare Moon, told to foals on Nightmare Night, are based on the Windigos' behaviour of feeding on hatred, as during Luna's rise and (short) reign these creatures became ubiquitous again, and back then rumour of Nightmare Moon's true identity was spreading.

Nightmare Moon was trying to use the Elements on Celestia.
It apparently takes the entire team of wielders to use the Elements, so neither would have been able to use them on their own. Both thought that using the Elements on the other would get them what they wanted. Both were wrong.

The Alicorn Amulet is connected to Nightmare Moon.
Either she made it or used it at first to overpower Celestia's control of the sun and moon to enable her to make eternal night, but eventually became so thoroughly corrupted that she didn't need it anymore and cast it aside. Come on, it's an Alicorn based artifact that corrupts the user the longer its utilized.

Nightmare Moon's armor is the source of Luna's possession.
While they seem like they're going with the idea that Princess Luna was possessed, I hate the idea that she didn't have some agency in her corruption. Perhaps in her move for recognition, she sought out a powerful artifact to enhance herself, and picked up the Nightmare Armor. Although she had heard of the risks, she believed she could keep control. This obviously backfired.

What would have happened if Nightmare Moon was never defeated.
The night would go on for a week or so. Slowly, the world would get colder as shadowy beings created by NM start invading towns and cities and killing ponies. Eventually, NM reluctantly raises the sun again, though the following day is much shorter than normal. Eventually, the day-night cycle falls back into order, though the short, cold days are hardly enough to sustain an ecosystem. The wildlife and plants quickly die off in many places, though the Everfree Forest remains as healthy as ever, and even begins spreading. Over the course of several months, the world slowly goes back to 'normal' as animals and plants adjust to the new, icy conditions. At the time of the series, you have a dark Police State of night, ruled over by the mad Queen of Nightmares and a brutal guard ready to eliminate any threat to her rule.

    Gilda 
Gilda will have a Woobie past episode.
Wherein we are shown that she is insanely jealous, antagonizes everypony and everybody, and clings to Rainbow Dash so much because her childhood was a very bad one. Her parents suffered extremely rocky relationship problems, which led to a divorce, which led to a string of new boyfriends, another divorce, numerous schools (and little time to make friends in any of them), till a much-needed break and Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when she gets custody with her "Daddy" (one of her mom's nicer and honestly affectionate boyfriends).

Then yet another painful (if temporary) separation when Gilda has to be sent to Flight Camp.

Flight Camp is even worse, where the drive for competition and not being in the loser bracket drives Gilda to be good simply because she's afraid of being stuck as the odd-one-out again. Their graduation, and Gilda's being presumably geographically separated from one of her only friends in her entire life contributes to her present day personality.

Gilda will return in a later episode.
The moral for said episode will be how anyone has a chance of redemption.

Glida will return and Rainbow Dash will find out how mean she really was to her friends
The episode ended without Rainbow Dash finding out Glida had treated two of her friends, including the shy, timid one who even she knows is too sensitive for a simple prank. Rainbow Dash will find this out and where it goes from there depends if Glida is a villain in that episode or going to be given a shot for redemption. But I can bet Rainbow Dash will be ticked.

The falcon from "May the Best Pet Win" will become Gilda's pet.

Gilda took Iron Will's courses when she was younger, or at least the same family of self-help lessons.
She wasn't a full-on Fluttershy in terms of getting pushed around, but as the odd one out in Equestria was still frustrated with shoddy treatment. It's just that unlike Fluttershy, she never had a My God, What Have I Done? moment and continued to live life as an overbearing jerk around those she didn't respect.

Gilda will get/has a job as a Foreign Wrestling Heel
A foreigner with a bad attitude? Check. In good physical shape? She can keep up with a flying Rainbow Dash, so check. Excuse to frequently assault people? Check. Excuse to be a complete jerk? Check.
  • I mean seriously, a job where she's supposed to be a hated character? It fits perfectly.

Gilda's parents work for the Griffon Diplomatic Corps
Gilda doesn't really like ponies (apart from Rainbow Dash) at all, so why is she still in Equestria? She probably isn't familiar enough with the Griffons homeland to think of it as home, having grown up in Equestria. That is also why few other griffons appear in the series: Their natural dislike of ponies keeps them away if they lack a good reason to remain in Equestria proper.

Gilda will have a "The Reason You Suck" Speech/Motive Rant/Shut Up, Kirk! on why she never contacted Rainbow Dash after the events of Griffon The Brush Off
It'll involve some Leaning on the Fourth Wall and hypocrisy bits that detail how pony society has to wrap everything up within an afternoon, otherwise they'll never get over it, or how hurt feelings are treated like the end of the world while the actual end of the world is little more than an inconvenience in their minds, or how when she makes Fluttershy cry, she's the embodiment of all that is evil, but physically assaulting her or almost killing her (repeatedly) is something Dash can do with impunity, or when she gets upset at a party and blames the most obvious suspect then tries to leave with the only person she knows, she's this horrible person, but Dash and co. can make national headlines destroying events that likely took months of preparation and effort, but they get to laugh it off because their victims were snooty aristocrats.
  • Whoa, Gilda fan much? Ponies are very hard to hurt physically, and Rainbow Dash is just very very enthusiast, and while she might hurt someone, it's always unintentionally, and if they really mess up, the mane six regret their actions and apologize. Gilda's only intention regarding ponies other than Rainbow Dash is to hurt them, with a preference for cruel pranks and verbal bullying. IF she had just "blamed the most obvious person in the party and tried to go with the only pony she knew", it would be forgivable, but she not only blamed Pinkie, she insulted her as well, along with all the other ponies, including the other ponies that she knew were Dash closest friends.
    • There's a difference between someone who keys your car out of malice, and someone who totals it because they fell asleep at the wheel. The latter may not have done it intentionally, but objectively speaking, the car-crasher is the one who did more damage and endangered more people. That's pretty much the theoretical Gilda's argument. Yes, she's a jerk, but in the end, she did a lot less harm (malicious in intent or not) than the heroes and their allies do on a regular basis. And yet she's hated far worse than, say, Princess Luna, who pretty much was going to bring about the apocalypse and tried to outright kill the heroes (including Fluttershy)
      • Perhaps, but the "crimes" aren't really comparable, and there's the thing: Gilda never showed any remorse or attempted to do anything to make things better. She just wanted for Dash to forget her friends, and her own species. How would you felt if a friend of a different background went "Oh, all black/hispanic/white/disabled/gay/jew people are lame, except you, now let's leave them and let's go." Would you still be friends with someone who feels like that?
      • I'd have a hard time believing I would be friends with someone who would repeatedly almost get me killed through their reckless behavior (or if people would stay friends with me because I almost get them killed through my own reckless behavior), or have tried to commit genocide on my country because they weren't getting the attention they felt due. If those are the extremes people are expected to accept, then being an asshole is something can be overcome if I had any degree of personal stake.

The writers forgotten about Gilda
Given the fact that Gilda hasn't appeared since Season 1 nor being mentioned unlike Trixie. It's highly possible that the writters have forgotten about her.
  • They made a toy and a card of her.
  • She played a decently significant role in Twlight Sparkle And The Crystal Heart Spell. While that's a tie-in book and not the actual show (though still canon), it does indicate that she hasn't been outright forgotten.

Gilda will come back...in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge
BUT with a twist: Gilda will come back to settle things with Dash, but then she discovers what Fluttershy did to Dash in Dragon Quest...for how much of an arrogant, rude and overly possessive Jerkass she is, Gilda would never do something like that to a friend, and she's promptly disgusted that one of Dash's new friends could do it, especially after being informed about how Dash has been protective of her for years. Gilda will look for her, and this time Fluttershy will have VERY good reasons to cry...

At Rainbow Dash's request, Cadance will do her "remind the targets of their love" spell on Gilda
RD, perhaps wanting to give Gilda a second chance (c'mon, Element of Loyalty, ditching one of her oldest friends the moment she becomes inconvenient, over behavior less extreme than what her friends and she herself have personally done?), asks Cadance for help. She does, and RD and G make up, but this has the potential to backfire spectacularly. Not only does it not address the root of the problem (Gilda's disdain for Rainbow Dash's friends/ponies/small towns), but should Gilda realize they messed with her head, she's probably not going to react well. Big McIntosh and Cherilee were rather understanding when the CMC slipped them the love poison. Gilda's probably going to have to be restrained just to keep her from clawing Rainbow Dash's/Cadance's eyes out.

Gilda is half pony.

    Trixie 
Trixie has been to the zebra homeland.
She once referred to herself as the "greatest equine who ever lived" rather than simply the greatest pony. This suggests she's met equines that aren't ponies. Her traveling show has likely taken her to all sorts of foreign lands.
  • Or that she's just, y'know, a braggart.

Trixie has a Inferiority/Superiority complex.
  • Fed and inferred by some of the spoilers from Magic Duel: [[spoiler: Say she heard that Twilight was organizing entertainment for the Saddle Arabian delegates, directly under the princess. If Twilight is getting into entertainment magic and /completely/ subsuming her niche, then that would be a natural Start of Darkness point for arming herself with Dark Magic, and coming back to Ponyville guns a blazing.
    • Confirmed in Magic Duel!

Trixie is Bipolar.

We've only seen the "Winning" sides of Trixie in her show, but once the mania wears off, we see an entirely different side of her that's more in line with some of the Iron Woobie fanon.

Trixie had to live with an abusive family member for a time.
Think about it. She and Eddy share alot of things in common. They're always out to prove they're better then everyone else. In the Ed, Edd n Eddy movie, it's revealed Eddy's brother is an abusive Complete Monster, which is what caused him to gain an inferiority complex. If the above WMG is true, it could be possible that Trixie gained her inferiority complex in the same way.

In contrast with the above WMG, Trixie use to have a family member she idoled.
Maybe a big brother or sister who was exceptionally good with magic. She could have probably been very close to them, and maybe something happened like they died in an accident, or the more kid friendly version of them just disappearing one day. She probably gained her 'better than everyone' attitude because most of the spells she was taught were probably from that family member, and thus doesn't want to ruin their name by letting them be outdone.

Trixie is a reincarnation of Nightmare Moon.
It's been said that something or someone caused Luna to become Nightmare Moon. Assuming that it's a thing, when the elements of Harmony purified Luna, the evil Nightmare Moon personality got separated from her. The elements can't outright destroy anything though (they either seem to seal you away or purge you of evil) The light magic from the elements diluted Nightmare Moon and gave her a new body. Memory-less, this new unicorn is an egotistical jerk due to the evil within her. Should she ever combine with pure darkness though, we might see a resurrection of Nightmare Moon.
  • So Trixie is the real Nyx?

Trixie will return, seeking redemption.
Trixie wasn't all bad, but just too full of herself. In season 2, she will return seeking to amends, even if she doesn't realize it herself at first. And if Twilight ends up moving closer to being Celestia's heir, gaining wings or such, then Trixie would restore the original balance by replacing Twilight as one of the two unicorns in the Mane Cast.
  • Confirmed at the end of Magic Duel after Twilight tricks her into taking off her Artifact of Doom.

Or, alternatively, she will seek revenge.
After having proven that her greatness and power were just empty bluffs, Trixie realizes how powerless she really is and decides to seek real power through magic. However, her hunger for power brings her to the point where all she cares about is power and she'll even break laws and manipulate (and even harm) others just to become even more powerful. Eventually, she puts her power to the test by not just defeating but destroying an Ursa Major thus becoming a Complete Monster. But, she doesn't care even the slightest. Thus, she develops a god complex and changes her stage name from "The Great and Powerful Trixie" to "The ''Almighty'' Trixie." She then plans to get revenge on Twilight Sparkle, overthrow Princesses Celestia and Luna and claim Equestria all for herself.
  • Confirmed in S3E05. Not exactly like this, but it did play out partially like it.

If Trixie ever shows up again, it will be revealed that the Mane Cast does not remember her name.
Partly because it would be hilarious, and partly because it's the best way to annoy someone like Trixie. Oh, they'd remember who she is, they just won't be able to remember her name.
"I remember you! You're the show-off unicorn that nearly destroyed Ponyville with an Ursa Minor! The Great and Powerful Taffy!"
"Um, I think her name is Pixie."
"Naw, you're thinking 'bout that unicorn we met at Pinkie's party last week. Her name's Tracy."
"No, no, I'm quite sure there was an 'x' in there."
"Xavier?"
"No! It's…it's…Trixie! No, wait. That's not right…"
  • Jossed; they remember her and her name pretty well. If they did this after "Magic Duel", the Mane 6 would just be a bunch of jerks.

Trixie will defeat an Ursa Major.
  • (not OP) For inspiration on how, the Fanfic TrixCord gives a pretty good one: Trixie (albeit unwittingly empowered by Discord) uses an illusion to make herself look bigger than the Ursa and bluffs it.
  • Of course, it could happen just when there is nopony else around to actually witness her astounding feat.
    • And thus Trixie will miss the point entirely, thinking that actually beating the Ursa "doesn't count" unless she has witnesses.
  • Or, alternatively, there is somepony to witness her feat and call her out for attacking an Ursa Major for no other reason than to show off.
  • In a future episode, she will save a town from an Ursa Major, because before coming to Ponyville, she met up with the Ursas to exact some revenge. So, when the town is being terrorized and Trixie shows up, the Ursa recognizes her, doesn't get that the Alicorn Amulet was what gave her her power, and decides to GTFO because they don't want round two.
  • Possible victory scenario: Trixie has at least some skills with pyrotechnics. Perhaps her victory over the Ursa Major will feel hollow for her, because she beat it by shooting it in the face with a bunch of rockets, which is independent of any power level. Meaning any schmuck with a decent knowledge of explosives could do what she accomplished in this.

Trixie has two older sisters, named Dixie and Pixie.
Trixie's parents were a pegasus and an earth pony; likewise, the eldest sister, Dixie, is an earth pony, while the middle sister, Pixie, is a pegasus. However, at least one parent was part unicorn, a trait that manifested in Trixie, much like Pound and Pumpkin cake were born of earth ponies.

Growing up was hard for Trixie; she was raised in a low class area (indeed, Dixie has a confederate flag cutie mark, and embodies the worst redneck traits), and her sisters mistreated her for being the odd pony out. Dixie was an outright bully, albeit slow-witted; Pixie was more clever and malicious, but fortunately had too short of an attention span to make the torment unbearable. It was being picked on like this that gave Trixie the cruel streak and the inferiority complex she now has, compelling her to one-up other ponies to prove her worth. When her powers developed, she used them to humble her sisters, before leaving home with the goal of becoming a famous magician. Once she was rich and successful, she could hold it over her siblings' heads forever. However, her misadventure in Ponyville was a harsh setback.

A future episode will have a defeated Trixie returning to the family home, where the older sisters will be introduced. News of her humiliation will have traveled ahead of her, and her sisters will begin mocking her for it. When Trixie challenges them to do better, they'll travel to Ponyville to antagonize the Mane 6; Trixie will have provided them with information regarding their abilities, using them as pawns in her plan for revenge. At first, their underhanded tactics will give them an edge, but they'll be defeated when Twilight notices their constant infighting, and tricks them with a let's you and her fight ploy. While they're busy with each other, the Mane 6 will easily boot them out of town. The three will leave Ponyville, squabbling all the while.note 
  • Alternately, her parents were a unicorn and a pegasus. The Earth Pony sibling has an inferiority complex (masking a subconscious desire to prove that Earth Pony strength counts for something) for being a throwback freak who could never be as good as her great and powerful sister, and the pegasus is basically Braeburn, Applejack, or (and I would pay good money to see this in canon) Big Macintosh as a pegasus.

Trixie took courses from Iron Will.
She too used to be timid and unassertive. And as with Fluttershy, Iron Will's methods worked just a little too well.
  • All but telegraphed in Trixie's speech cadence, stage presence, and liberal use of fireworks back in Boast Busters, all of which are staples of Iron Will's seminars. Girl is a dead ringer for her idol.

Trixie's suffering from a mild variant of Cutie Mark Failure Insanity Syndrome caused by a partial rejection of her talent.
Trixie's talent is item crafting. Her cutie mark is a wand. She travels in a nifty stage coach. Her fireworks are impressive. Her hat and cape practically make her character. And her Ursa story she's using a wand. However, Trixie has ambitions of being the greatest unicorn mage ever under her own power, something she can't do if she relies on focus items. So while she uses her items in the show, she has to beat any heckler under her own power to prove this to herself. The reason is is that she wants to be the Equestrian equivalent of James Bond, the mare on the field saving the day, rather than Q, the pony in the background who makes stuff for the cooler ponies.
  • Alternatively, her special talent is the use of magic, but not for practical purposes. Rather, it's magic for the sake of showmanship (her wand cutie mark is rather dramatic and flashy). The fireworks and such aren't gadgets she created; they come from her spells.
  • If this is the case, she should pick up a copy of any book with a Gadgeteer Genius protagonist... Perhaps after landing in the same or a similar hospital as where Rainbow Dash discovered Daring Do thanks to overtaxing or injuring herself while using magic without a focus.
  • Another possibility is that she had a rather traumatic experience with a magical foci, possibly seriously injuring herself when the wand overloaded, and spent a lifetime rejecting that part of her.

Trixie is a changeling.
In "Ponyville Confidential", Trixie is revealed to have a Dark Secret.
  • No changeling so far aside from the Queen has ever cast magic.
    • That's not confirmed, we just haven't seen a changeling cast magic other than the shapeshifting. Maybe they can cast other spells.

Trixie was one of Queen Chrysalis's disguises.
This one is self explanitory: They both have the same voice actor, both of them boast about doing very important things (Trixie defeating the Ursa Major, Chrysalis and her army taking over Equestria), and both of them are jerks. Kind of.

Trixie actually did defeat an Ursa Minor.
However, it was by accident and she knows that in the grand scheme of things, accidents don't count.

Trixie will turn out to be a Not-So-Harmless Villain.
I have no idea what she'll do, though.

Trixie will become involved in a Wizard of Oz Shout-Out.
She already calls herself "The Great and Powerful", and she's a lot in common with the Wizard.

"Trixie Lulamoon" is only a stage name.
Her real name is something she considers embarrassing or just doesn't want to be associated with, and so she made up a cool-sounding pseudonym.

Trixie masterminded all the popularity about her.
Since she was originally planned to be a one-shot character, she devised a plan to become more popular among fans in hopes of returning in another episode to get a one-up on Twilight. Seth on Equestria Daily, who helped her Ensemble Darkpony status, is either her minion or a fake alias she goes under. Whenever there's an upcoming episode about a new pony showing up (Mysterious Mare Do Well and the Canterlot Wedding come to mind), or someone brings up the possibility of a new pony joining the Mane Cast, there are immediately guesses that the pony will be her.

Trixie will be The Dragon to King Sombra.
If this is the case, King Sombra would've probably took her under his wing promising her with the power she desires as long as she is willing to help his cause.

Trixie's story about being shunned by everyone and having to work on a rock farm is as phony as her Ursa Major story.
Works on a rock farm and barely makes a living, but has enough gold to pay for an Artifact of Doom without blinking? Come on, people. She's Trixie. We all know she's not above lying when it benefits her, and the Alicorn Amulet amplified all her negative traits to the max. She probably made up this sob story to make Twilight Sparkle feel bad.

Alternatively…

Trixie paid for the Alicorn Amulet with fake gold.
Her specialty is tricks and illusions, so it wouldn't come as a surprise if that "gold" she paid with ended up disappearing the very next day.

Corrupted!Trixie didn't restore Pinkie's mouth like the rest of them after the first Magic Duel because she was really, really offended at Pinkie's comment.
"You're lucky someone like you could get a job on a rock farm" can be translated, especially to someone under a corrupting influence, as "You're not good enough for the job you took to avoid starving." Trixie did that to Pinkie to give he a taste of what she had to go through. Also, Pinkie's voice can get grating if you're not used to it.

Trixie's going to end up working for/apprenticed to Princess Luna.
It's at least a semi-popular bit of fanon, so we might as well throw it out there. Here's one possibility of it playing out:
  • Trixie wants to regain the power of the Alicorn Amulet (albeit minus the evil), so she starts doing research on the creation of amulets. This gets the attention of the Royal Guard because she's on watch lists. She is brought before Luna and given three choices: Trixie abandons her goal, she is sent to jail for her crimes, or she pursues this under Luna's supervision. Luna's interested in her because she's determined, willing to learn, and because they have a fair bit in common (both had turned to the dark side after being shunned by the populace, needed help to get out of it, and are extremely hammy).

Trixie will officially join the Mane Cast… but only as a result of Alicorn Twilight
  • Partially because of her popularity among the fanbase, partially because the Humanized Trixie image for the Equestria Girls spinoff indicates a sizable role for her, and partially to retain the 2 Unicorns:2 Pegasi:2 Earth Ponies ratio.
    • Jossed so far.

Trixie is a direct descendant of Starswirl the Bearded.
It would be supremely ironic if it turned out that Trixie, whose magical abilities are mediocre at best, was descended from one of the greatest spellcasters in Equestrian history. Additionally It could even provide an explanation for why she wants to be considered the most magical unicorn in Equestria, by way of her wanting to escape her legendary ancestor's shadow (and even if everyday ponies don't know who Starswirl is, her family probably never shuts up about it).
  • Her costume does look like his.

[[WMG: Trixie and Iron Will are this show's ultimate villain couple].] Search your feelings you know it to be true.
  • Given one's little more than a pushy motivational speaker, and the other genuinely seems to be trying to reform, they pose about as much a threat as Jet Set and Upper Crust.

Trixie was kicked out of Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns.
Word of God is that she got her education there. But after attending such a prestigious school, you'd think she could get a better job then rock farming. Trixie never completed her education, since her attitude got her kicked out of the academy.
  • Related theory: Trixie got kicked out for trying to replace Twilight as Celestia's protege. Trixie was egotistical enough to believe that she was a better candidate, so she started hounding Celestia to try and persuade her. Celestia tried to be patient, but eventually lost her temper and had Trixie thrown out. (If you've ever seen The Incredibles, picture the relationship between Mr. Incredible and Syndrome, but with more ponies and less murder.)
    • She might have gone to the rock farm because it was the only place she could find where she could get away from the harassment.

Trixie's the daughter of ponified equivalents of the Ice King and Ice Queen.
Saw this and was inspired.

Trixie is jealous of Twilight Sparkle.
She has an Inferiority Superiority Complex. The only reason she singled out Twilight for revenge was because she saw how skilled Twilight was at her magic. Trixie only challenged Twilight so she could prove that she was the best at magic and felt that Twilight was better than her.

     Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon 
Silver Spoon is Octavia's sister.
  • They are both grey earth ponies with violet eyes, and both seem like they may be from an upper-class family.

Silverspoon is Related to Hoity Toity.
Most likely, She's his daughter. Why is she living in Ponyville instead of Canterlot? Because her parents are divorced. Silver Spoon lives with her mom (let's call her "Platinum"), but both of her parents try to win her over with gifts, favors, and the like, and as a result she has become a spoiled brat.

Diamond Tiara comes from a neglectful and/or emotionally abusive family.
She is always wearing a tiara on her head (a freaking tiara, rather than a bow or ribbon or headband), a ploy to get attention. She becomes visibly distressed at the prospect of being upstaged at her own Cutecinera and having people pay more attention to the CMC than herself at said event. She and Silver Spoon briefly mention how awful it would be to be "not special," and she is constantly going on about her Cutie Mark in her debut episode. This could mean one of two things: Her family places absurdly high expectations on her and expects her to be supremely special, important, and to stand out above everyone else—which is partly why she wears her tiara. When she fails to meet said expectations, when other ponies are paid attention to over her, her parents berate and punish her. Alternatively, no one in her family pays attention to her, so her talk of being special and her need to be noticed is because of that—she just wants someone to love and pay attention to her.
  • Seemingly Jossed by "Family Appreciation Day." Her father seems like a kind and good pony, who is concerned about her brattiness, which might suggest that he has been overindulgent (not uncommon among wealthy parents), but not abusive. One never knows what goes on behind closed doors, and we haven't seen her mother, but it still seems unlikely.
    • Even if her father is a good guy, he's still probably very busy and may not be able to spend as much time with his daughter as she would like. She's still just a kid, so she may be young and selfish enough to not understand why daddy has to spend so much time working instead of playing with her because she's always been rich so she doesn't understand the connection between money and hard work.

Diamond Tiara's mother is Suri Polomare.
They have similar color schemes (pink coat, purple mane though Diamond Tiara inherited her eye color from Filthy Rich.) Suri Polomare was from Ponyville, yet moved to Manehattan where she believes a big city attitude is necessary to get ahead. This is why Diamond Tiara's mom didn't attend any Ponyville events like Family Appreciation Day, she's divorced and doesn't pay much attention to the daughter she left behind. Diamond Tiara still wants to impress her mother by being the kind of pony a Win At All Costs mare like Suri would respect. That's why she was impressed by Babs being a tough pony from Manehattan, she thinks that's how everypony in a big city acts. It's also how Babs Seed even knew who Diamond Tiara's mother was. Suri Polomare's never appeared in a Ponyville episode, but Babs had already seen her around Manehattan.
  • Alternately, since Suri seems to be Rarity's age, Suri is Diamond Tiara's older sister. Not only do their colour schemes match, but it would seem their talents, too, match, since both are directly fashion-related (buttons and tiaras). Suri's even got three buttons, like how Fisthy Rich has three moneybags. It would also play up the whole Suri-is-Rarity's-evil-counterpart if Suri is the older sister to Rarity's younger sister's bully, especially if you compare them physically: Rarity and Suri both have solid-coloured dark purple curly manes (almost the same shade, at least where Rarity's tail begins), where Diamond Tiara and Sweetie Belle have bi-coloured curly manes, one of whose colours is a light purple (almost the same shade of purple, too, depending on the light). Also, one sister has a loosely-curled mane and/or tail (Diamond and Rarity), where one has much tighter curls (Sweetie and Suri). Rarity and Sweetie are both abut the same shade of white (as opposed to Celestia's shade of white going off outline colours), where Suri and Diamond are about the same shade of pink. Seriously, compare the four. There's no way it's a coincidence between their looks, mannerisms, and relation to a white unicorn that's part of the core cast. Diamond could be bratty because she really looks up to her selfish successful fashion designer older sister, like how Sweetie Belle looks up to her generous successful fashion designer older sister. And with Suri as Diamond's sister, it would also help create a parallel between Suri and AJ, as Diamond can be seen as Apple Bloom's foil, Suri is also a liar, the opposite of AJ's honesty. If Babs told Suri how Diamond was acting (supposing Diamond was her daughter instead of sister), Tiara wouldn't have that Oh Crap reaction she had, since she's acting just like Suri. Chances are, Diamond's mum is just as nice as her dad, or is at least just as disapproving of her attitude, but since neither are home, both she and her potential elder sister are thoroughly bratty.

Silver Spoon's special talent is heroin.
Not only is her name Silver Spoon, but her cutie mark is also a silver spoon, which is a tool used in cooking heroin. Diamond Tiara is her biggest customer and a huge addict, or as they like to call it, a "sugarlump rump." This is also why Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara hang out all the time and became friends. As to why they constantly act like total brats, they're either high (so they don't care), or going through withdrawal (and highly agitated because of it).

Diamond Tiara's and Silver Spoon's Special Talents are not being Alpha Bitches.
Diamond Tiara is actually a natural with accessories, particularly jewelry. She may even end up opening a shop in competition, or partnership with Rarity's Carousel Boutique.

Silver Spoon is a great chef, focusing entirely on Upper Crust fine dining. The kind that comes in small portions at high prices, Like we saw in Applejack's flashback in The Cutie Mark Chronicles.

The reason they're both Alpha Bitches anyway is that they think their High-Class Special Talents make them better than everypony else.

  • Alternatively, Diamond Tiara's talent is leadership, since a tiara is a symbol of authority. She's the Alpha Bitch, but she's the kind of Alpha Bitch who actually gets things done at school. If the Ponyville school has clubs and societies, she's president of most of them, rules them with an iron hoof, and makes them succeed.
    • This is confirmed in Ponyville confidential where she takes the school news paper and makes it the most popular paper in both Ponyville and Cloudsdale. If she can learn to be nicer to her employees then she has a bright future ahead of her.
      • Technically it isn't confirmed, since we don't have her declare that what she's doing is related to her Cutie Mark. Ponies have skills outside their talents. Twilight has magic as her talent, but she's also incredibly studious and great at organizing things.
  • Or perhaps Silver Spoon's talent is taking care of fillies, since, you know, "born with a silver spoon in one's mouth".
  • Perhaps her talent is the ability to manipulate cutlery. While this may not sound impressive, remember, Silver Spoon does not have opposable digits nor telekinesis, suggesting that she's got impressive levels of hoof-eye or mouth-eye coordination.
    • Or to make metal eating utensils, which is just the kind of useless but expensive talent one might expect from an upper-crust pony who secretly decides to make something of herself before striking out on an extremely fanficcable Coming Of Age journeyman adventure.
    • One more theory: it's a medicine spoon. Silver Spoon is going to be a doctor of some kind.
  • Diamond Tiara will work with Rarity, positioning the jewels on the dresses so that they don't like tacky (which they often do, right now).

Silver Spoon has a Freudian Excuse/Start of Darkness for her mistreatment of "blank flanks" in her brother.
She has an older brother who is a unicorn. Unfortunately, he was born with a mental and magical disability. Dedicated therapy unlocked his magical ability at an early age… unfortunately his power was never able to escape from his horn, limiting him to transforming how own horn (perhaps initially painfully). Due to his somewhat limited abilities, he got near enough to "capping out" that he got his cutie-mark at a VERY young age when he transformed his horn into a spoon shape to feed her shortly after she was weened. Her cruelty towards blank-flanks is partially backlash against others who explained to her why it was actually a SAD thing that her brother had his mark. Perhaps he was even bullied on the subject. In any case, the nickname "Spoonicorn" was either a term of endearment by his family, or of mockery by other children.
  • If you call this a Freudian Excuse then this this could easily follow the subversion of "Just a psychological How We Got Here", rather than being intended to evoke sympathy. Deconstruction also is likely.

Diamond Tiara's a colt.
Her special talent is being a Drag Queen. She's even convinced herself.
  • And exactly how do you dress in drag when you don't wear clothes?
    • "she" constantly wearing a tiara, doesn't "she". Diamond just happened to be a more subtle one.

There will be a Spoof Aesop where Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara learn not to look down on the CMC for not having their marks yet.
They will instead learn to look down on them for all the devastation they have wrought in their wake on their quest to find their marks.

Diamond Tiara is a unicorn.
An unexpected magic surge turned her horn into the tiara, and that's how she got her name. I mean, how else did it stay when Apple Bloom caused the strong wind in Cutie Pox by flying with the loopdy-hoop?
  • Or...

Diamond Tiara's tiara has magic similar to the Alicorn Amulet.
It can only be removed by Diamond Tiara herself, and it's magic powers center around corruption of leadership positions. They include manipulating the people around her to give her positions of power (whether DT is aware of it or not, however...), and it acts as a sort of perception filter for her behavior, except when attention is directly drawn to it. The tiara, which is corrupting her, is why she acts like a tremendous brat; after all, we don't know exactly what she was like before she got her cutie mark. She gives her reason for bullying Apple Bloom as AB is a blank flank, which means before she got her cutie mark, she probably wasn't much of a bully.

Diamond Tiara's tiara is a Family Heirloom, possibly even a Tragic Keepsake if the tiara's original owner is no longer around.
Because It Was a Gift she almost never takes the crown off, and became very annoyed when she lost it at the end of the Babs Seed episode. (For her Equestria Girls counterpart, it's the tiara-shaped hair clip that has the same sentimental value.)

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon don't hate Blank Flanks.
They hate Apple Bloom. Personally. They want to needle her as much as possible (though Diamond Tiara is much more dedicated to this). So they pick on her and by extension her friends. They mainly leave Twist alone now because the Blank Flank thing is a primary source of her anxiety, and Apple Bloom seems to have ditched her anyways as far as we know.
  • Further corroborating evidence: they often go out of their way to harass Apple Bloom and whoever she's near, they never seem to pick on any of the other Blank Flanks that attend their school, they dismiss Applebloom's Cutie Mark in The Cutie Pox as being lame, and they liked Babs Seed the moment she turned on Apple Bloom and the others and hated her when she went back to their side.

Corollary to the above: Why DT hates Applebloom.
I assume this is a personal grudge between DT and AB, and Silver Spoon is there because of her friend.
  • Jealousy.
    • Applebloom has a happier home life, or because her sister is a national heroine while DT's sister is in a mental institution (I like the fanon connecting DT and Screwball, albeit not as her mother).
      • Cliche, but had to get it out there.
    • It could also be jealousy over who gets to be the most popular filly in the class. Diamond Tiara had a head start on account of being rich and pretty, but Apple Bloom has been gaining a lot of popularity in her class, what with her sister saving the world and her grandmother being revealed as the founder of Ponyville. Diamond Tiara teases Apple Bloom in order to keep her out of the social spotlight, which she believes rightly belongs to her.
  • Spite.
    • Doesn't like having to hang around the farm, but her father made her because he's business partners with them.
  • Class strife.
    • Enjoys looking down on a lower class pony, and Applebloom is sufficiently self-conscious enough to fall for her egging.
  • Perceived grievance.
    • Diamond Tiara blames Applebloom for something she didn't do, or did completely unintentionally, and Diamond Tiara blew it completely out of proportion.
  • Genuine grievance.
    • Applebloom did something that would make someone legitimately angry with them, either a preventable accident or something intentional she didn't think all the way through, and Diamond Tiara will not drop it, but attacks Applebloom through other means due to the Aesop Amnesia nature of the CMC part of the show, so constantly bringing it up doesn't work anymore.

Silver Spoon isn't as mean as she seems
She's just going along with Diamond. Maybe she's afraid of being a bully of her so she acts like one too, maybe she was friends with her in a time before she became a bully and doesn't want to break their bond.

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon are trying to goad Apple Bloom into trying to kill them.
Not because they have a death wish. Far from it. They've seen Apple Bloom's immense capacity for failure at whatever she tries to do, and the collateral damage she causes in her wake. Her trying to kill them means her tendency to fail will protect them from her attempts.

Silver Spoon is worse than she seems
As in she's behind Diamond Tiara's Alpha Bitch personality and seems more smug in personality. She even disrespected the presentation of Diamond Tiara's dad. She may be using Diamond Tiara as a means to torment ponies while distracting them from herself.

In relation to the above Silver Spoon's fear of her mother being told about her actions may have sinister motives
Her mother might be dead for all we know and her mother's "room" might actually be a place where Silver Spoon holds certain plans(possibly of even backstabbing Diamond Tiara) she doesn't want known.

A reason for Diamond Tiara's bullying of Apple Bloom

Someone over in the Equestria Girls section mentioned that Diamond Tiara does not bully Apple Bloom for being a blank flank. Her and SS's debate scene implies that they have been bullying her for a while, but DT herself mentions that she only recently got her cutie mark. Once more, she and Silver Spoon seem to leave Twist alone after she ditches Apple Bloom and starts on Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle only after they start hanging out with her.

Diamond Tiara is bitter at having to share the spotlight. Both her family and the apple family are directly responsible for ponyville's existence. Diamond Tiara being the spoiled brat that she is, enjoys using her family's history as a why to get personal power – we've seen in Ponyville Confidential that she relishes in having power and goes full Corrupt Corporate Executive. In this case, DT seems to be that brat from every other kids show who'll threaten to have a class-mate thrown in jail for not complying with her demands. DT resents the Apple family for, as she perceives it, stripping the Rich family of their power, so she bullies Apple Bloom – both an easy target and who won't fight back – for 'revenge'.

Diamond Tiara has an abusive home life
Because she needs some kind of Freudian Excuse for being a total Alpha Bitch. While her father does seem to care about her, her mom is possibly an Abusive Parent, and Diamond Tiara bullies the Cutie Mark Crusaders to make herself feel better. There will be a Very Special Episode about it, where the CMC try to help her, and she Scootaloo (if her having an abusive family/being an orphan becomes Ascended Fanon) may have a Not So Different moment.
  • I prefer the idea that she's got a neglectful home life, but her abuse toward the CMC is less "I'm trying to get my parents' attention" and more "I've got free reign to do whatever the hell I want". Less One Bad Apple and more Lord of the Flies.

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were bullied themselves, but rose to the top
  • They could still have been jerks before that, but it's possible that their own being bullied didn't help matters. Diamond Tiara seems to have been a late bloomer and Silver Spoon wears glasses, and both of them might've been jerks already, any one of which are grounds for being swirlied by jerkish/indignant characters. Then they meet, they find that they're both rich kids who're being pushed around, band together, and rise to the top of the food chain. Maybe they even drove off the old alpha bully and took his place. The other kids (save the CMC) are OK with her because things are better under her reign (given she and Silver Spoon seem to be the only two bullies in the school, or at least the class).

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon will be victimized by the new Big Bad's Cutie Mark stealing power
Okay, technically, the Cutie Mark stealing ability seems to be a side effect of whatever he's doing, but whose up for the Laser-Guided Karma on those two?
  • Assuming the whole Blank Flank thing wasn't just a means to an end.

     Diamond Dogs 
Diamond Dogs are lithovores and eat gems like dragons
  • Which is why they're constantly mining for them.

The Diamond Dogs Rarity encountered were recently-fired miners, and/or trying to set up a scavenging ring
Despite kidnapping her in broad daylight, the mutts let Rarity go just because she was annoying, and seem to be using Rarity's magic to find scattered pockets of gems down in the tunnels. The kidnapping bit was only for intimidation, because nopony with sense would get into their racket willingly. ("Hey, we need some help bumming around in an abandoned mine; want to help us find some gems?")

The Diamond Dogs are ruled by a Duke
He is thin, white, always impeccably dressed, and a very nasty character indeed.
  • Though more like Aladdin Sane than Duke, this statue seen in the abandoned Diamond Dogs mine in the MLP comic actually makes this believable. At least at some point before the mine was abandoned.
    • Maybe the Duke took over when they left the mines?

The Diamond Dogs wanted those gems for reasons other than greed.
They might've wanted to cash in those gems to get something they really needed, like bathtubs or a cleaner home.
  • They may once have been Princess Celestia's royal miners, upstaged by ponies, and they want to show the Princess they can work better than any pony (by using a pony).
  • They might've been gathering those gems for someone else, like a hungry dragon.
  • They might eat gems just like dragons.

The Diamond Dogs will return with their tails between their legs
  • After their run-in with Rarity, the Diamond Dogs are now devoid of gems. Because of this, they have nothing with which to pay their tributes to the Dogfather. They will be begging Rarity and her friends for help.

The Diamond Dogs from season 1 are the last remnants of their civilization.
  • They used to be centralized in the mines seen in the MLP comic, but for some reason, they died out. More than likely as the result of the dogs digging too deeply.

The Diamond Dogs are ruled by an anthropomorphic representation of David Bowie
  • Make way for the Canis Superior!

    The Flim Flam Bros. 
The Flim Flam brothers were conjoined twins
It seems from their cutie marks that it looks like the same one, just divided. Maybe twins have a special connection cutie mark wise?

The Flim Flam brothers will hold a grudge against the Apple Clan for 'ruining their livelihood'.
In pure 'Never Our Fault' fashion, they'll blame Applejack and her family for the bad press resulting from their actions during "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000". Rather than acknowledge their own actions are responsible, they'll paint themselves as the victims.
  • Especially if the Apples decided to warn their absolutely massive family about the two jerks.
    • They don't appear to hold a grudge, but they did seem to enjoy talking Applejack into lying and using the Apples to sell their product so that might have been a subtle form of revenge.

Along these same lines...

The Flim Flam brothers will try and ruin the Apple Clan's reputation in another town.
Which Applejack and the others won't know about until they're visiting that area for some reason, leading to a Hero with Bad Publicity plot.

One of the Flim Flam brothers is Trixie's ex-boyfriend.
It ended explosively and they've been on the run for their lives ever since. Part of the reason that they wanted Sweet Apple Acres is so they could turn the place into a veritable anti-Trixie fortress. There's no logic to this, I just think it'd be funny.

The Flim Flam brothers' cutie marks are fake.
Their cutie marks suggest some kind of affinity for growing or cooking with apples, yet the plot suggests that their talents are more about being Gadgeteer Genius Snake Oil Salesponies than anything else. They certainly don't seem to care about the actual art of cidering for its own sake. More likely, they use magic to conceal their true cutie marks (which are probably bottles of snake oil) and cover them with an illusion of a cutie mark appropriate to whatever trade they're trying to ply this time.
  • There is also the possibly that they have no cutie marks. There's no evidence of this, but it would be funny. That would make it easier for them to use an illusion spell instead of covering up their own. That could also raise the possibly that they think their cutie marks are in business selling, like many of their family members, but have on idea that their talent is something else.
  • On the other hoof, both the cider and the tonic had apples in them and they still have the same marks next time we see them even though they're selling "medicine" now, so this might be jossed.

The Flim Flam Brothers are screwed
They just made an enemy of the largest family of Apple Farmers in Equestria, who are tight knit. Just how do you think the Apple Clan is going to react to being told about these two jerks who tried to swindle their kin out of house and home?

The Flim Flam Brothers are either related to or members of the Apple family.
If the cutie marks aren't fake, that is. They could be extremely distant relatives, or the black sheep of the family. The reason the other Apple family members didn't recognize them could be that they either never met them or had never known they had MORE family members.
  • Supported by the fact that both times they've appeared in an episode they've been selling a product with apples in it, indicating that they have an affinity for working with apples and apple products.
  • Also supported by "Pinkie Apple Pie", since it shows that even though they know a lot of their distant relatives they don't necessarily know all of the ponies they're related to.

The Flim Flam Brothers are Goldie Delicious' grandsons.
Goldie's only son or daughter rejected the Apple family lifestyle and ran away. They married a unicorn and had Flim and Flam. Flim and Flam are the polar opposites of the rest of the Apples because their parents taught them to be everything Apples are not - dishonest and greedy.
  • That's why Goldie is alone and why she has all those cats, it's to fill the void that her missing child left.

The Flim Flam Brothers and Trixie are siblings.
A pair of unicorns show up with a strange vehicle, touting how incredible and famous they are (yet apparently no one in Ponyville has ever heard of them?), put on a Large Ham -ish performance and earn the adoration of nearly everyone for this...and despite clearly having skill, overtout it and...well, act like jerks for the sake of acting like jerks? Pumpkin and Pound, not to mention the Pie family and even the Apples themselves, show that pony colorations/body types can vary wildly in a family. They're just too similar for it to be a coincidence.

The Super Speedy Cider thingamawhatsit... wasn't always that.
The Flim-Flam brothers simply retrofit it for whatever function the town they visit next will need it the most for. Their cutie marks are probably press-on since they don't have any relevance to their names. And the unicorn magic will plug up any engineering faults left over from the modifications.

And the engineers responsible for those modifications?
The ponies with the hammer and wrench cutie marks, of course. They've been in Ponyville for some time, as MOLES.

The Flim-Flam brothers are psychopaths.
Not Hollywood psychopaths, like Mr. Blonde or Anton Chigurh, the kind you're more likely to come across in real life. Flim and Flam possess a glib and superficial charm that wins the townsfolk over, but underneath those affable exteriors lurk hearts without a shred of empathy and minds without conscience. Look how much delight they take in rubbing their victory in the Apples' faces. The brothers live a parasitic existence, preying on others' hard work and reaping the benefits without any effort themselves, and once they've made good use of their victims, they drop them like hot biscuits and move on to repeat the cycle.
  • So they're twin Ferris Buellers?

The Flim-Flam brothers are idiots
They had a machine that could triple apple cider production and the first thing they do when they roll into town is piss off the family that supplies the apples. Granted, they might have been planning on swindling the Apple Family out of everything from the start but they way the went about it fails to even count as Pragmatic Villainy. Who did they think was going to run the farm? Growing and harvesting is hard work! Kicking out the ponies that know how to do what they can't (or are too lazy to do) is just bad business. Had they tried being upfront and fair, it might have ushered in the new age of Cider for Everyone! they were boasting about and everyone could have walked away happy.
  • They were probably going to strip the farm of apples, then sell the still-viable farm to whoever they could sell it to. Hell, they may actually know how to do apple farming, seeing as how they've got apple-related Cutie Marks. It's not that they're lazy, it's that they've found a better way to do one particular aspect of the farming. It's just that they overreached, and now had an entire town of peeved ponies who wouldn't buy their product, and had to skip town before a riot emerged.
  • Though let's be honest here, the Apples aren't exactly a Brain Trust in business-savvy (they're hard working and have gotten lucky, but they've made a number of poor decisions, especially in this episode). Flim and Flam's actions during the episode may have been adjusted to deal with this particular group of Apples.

The Flim Flam brothers are VERY experienced when it comes to being run out of town.
Given their personality and business ethics, it doesn't take long before an angry herd of ponies come after them no matter where they go.

The Flim Flam brothers are painting themselves into a corner.
There are only so many ponies you can cheat and swindle before the reputation (and angry mob) starts following you wherever you go.
  • Maybe their claim of being "World Famous" is relating to this.

The "Flim Flam" brothers regularly change names/identities.
As noted above, they keep discarding and taking up new names/identies because the cons they pull don't always work. Even if it does work, they have to take the Quick Bit option and grab as much money as possible before running as soon as possible because there are angry pony mobs looking for them for previous cons.

Flim and Flam learned business ethics from whoever made the foundation for Berry Punch's house.

Or that house never had foundations at all. Probably didn't need it. Wasn't that big.

Flim and Flam are lazy geniuses who may have an opportunity to learn to actually be good business men.
The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 was an amazing machine that needed only the magic of a pair of unicorns to function. It could out produce the Apple Family (minus the Mane 6) and produce high quality cider. They only started producing crap cider when they panicked and increased power/turned off the quality control. If they made more, and found another way to power them (wind power?), and didn't give into laziness and decide to try ripping people off again, they could be well respected business ponies, who don't have to make a mad dash out of town every week. More so if they decided to work with the Apple Family rather than supplant them.

Flim and Flam's cutie marks reference their preferred style of swindling.
Either that Flam takes what he can and Flim prefers just a sustainable, repeat-business-allowing slice (supported by Flam turning off the quality control system, and Flim may have been making a point to his brother with the comment that they'd need to get out of town at the end since nopony would buy their cider, i.e., pointing out the unsustainability) or that Flim leaves just a small slice and Flam takes only what won't be noticed (this interpretation doesn't really have any support, as far as I saw).

    Changelings 

The Changelings have their own kingdom and culture.
This is indeed possible due to them, and not just Chrysalis, showing intelligence and understanding beyond that of a presumed "hive mind", because if that was the case, they would have been able to tell that Fluttershy was passing herself off as one of their own. Their kingdom and culture and society could be revealed to based off that of similarities to Oriental cultures, like Japan and Korea, the rationale for this mainly how Chrysalis' designer, Rebecca Dart was inspired by the work of manga artists Junko Mizuno and Hideshi Hino. Therefore, if we see the Changeling Kingdom in the show it can potentially enable the show writers and animators to explore some East Asian art, architecture and culture. And picture this: Changeling Samurais!
  • To elaborate on that: there might be several types of Changelings. The "civilized" ones form couples and subsist on love towards each other. The "subtle" ones are rogues, who spend time familiarizing themselves with one single pony until they can emulate said pony's personality perfectly. When that's done they quietly remove that pony and spend the rest of their lives with the partner. "Feral" changelings are the barbarians of the changeling world, raiding cities, forcefully feasting on the love of others and moving on, leaving the city ruined. Queen Chrysalis is a "Feral" Hive Queen.
    • Alternatively again, Chrysalis is not a Hive Queen at all, but a disgraced and exiled Civilized Changeling who took over a Feral Changeling colony.
      • It should be pointed out that they may not be of a Hive society of any kind, monarchy or otherwise. There is no canon support for the concept other than they appear insectoid and their leader happens to be a Queen, but that does not necessarily make it the case.

The Changelings have a translation error.
When they say "love" they mean "blood". So they feed on blood. That's what the fangs are for.
  • One day, the Changeling Queen heard the word "love" from a pony and asked what it meant. The reply was some poppycock about "it makes you feel all warm inside", "you need it to live", and "it comes from the heart", which she took the wrong way.
  • It does make quite a bit of sense. Maybe the changeling word for 'blood' sounds and/or is spelled the same as the pony word for 'love'.

Changelings have been around for the entire series.
They've just been mimicking normal ponies the entire time, and done nothing to draw attention to themselves. Any of the background ponies could be changelings.
  • Holy mother of Celestia.
  • It gets better. You know all those duplicate assets Studio B uses for crowd shots? So they can fill out a scene with identical ponies to save time? Are those supposed to be there?
  • Better yet. Now we know why Bon Bon's voice is different every time. Each appearance is a different Changeling taking her form.
  • I'm Lyra Heartstings, yes I'm the real Heartstings, all the other Lyra's are changelings imitating, so will the real Lyra Heartstrings please stand up, please stand up, please stand up?
  • The Jerk Ass ponies in "Putting Your Hoof Down" may have been Changelings all along!
  • There is no proof that mook changelings can also mimic voices
    • When Twilight Sparkle said "They're Changelings, remember?" just before the brawl with the Changelings, many of the Changelings taking Twilight's form repeated the phrase in her voice.
  • Underped Derpy.

Changelings are actually the largest minority in Equestria.
But most of them are law abiding citizens that just use their shape shifting powers to fit it. Since they only feed off of the love that their friends and family feel towards them, they don't really draw attention to themselves.

Everypony is a Changeling.
But some of the them have become the mask.

The Changelings are actually what remains of the Flutter Ponies, after their race was twisted by some horrible curse.
Despite their obviously monstrous nature, they still bear many basic similarities to ponies, and have insectile qualities and comparative magic as well. It's possible they were once ponies themselves who were... changed... by something. Perhaps they are all that remain of Flutter Ponies in modern-day Equestria?
  • Maybe the Queen was an attempt by the Flutter Ponies to create a Celestia-analogue, powered by the Power of Love. It didn't end well.
  • Maybe they're the Unseelie to the flutter ponies' Seelie court?
  • Maybe they used to be Flutter ponies until they stood up against Discord and her mutated them beyond repair.

The Changelings ARE Flutter Ponies who were twisted by Discord.
Because doing something like this for the sheer lulz is very much in his character.
  • You read 'Smoke and Mirrors' on Fi Mfiction.com, didn't you?

The Changelings ATE the Flutter ponies.
Which is why there aren't any in the FiM setting. They also ate the seaponies. The reason that the Queen didn't kill Cadence or Twilight is because she didn't want to run out of ponies again.

There are no Flutter Ponies in G4. The closest thing we'll get is Changelings.
Just because.

The Changelings first made their appearance in Story Of The Blanks.
You know... As the residents of Sunny Town?
  • How did they get the wings?

The Changelings are blanks that escaped
They where twisted in a different way then those who became blanks.

Changelings can feed on familial and platonic love, not just romantic love.
Queen Chrysalis was able to defeat Princess Celestia because she was drawing power not only from Shining Armor's love for his fiancée, but also from Princess Celestia's love for her niece.
  • Implied since when confronted with the mane six, they turned into copies of them.
    • Wasn't that just so they wouldn't know who was who?

Changelings are aliens.
That's why nopony but Cadence knows about them (Cadence only knows from Chrysalis herself, being her first victim). Their nature allows them to travel through space with no need for spacecraft (like the Zerg Swarm, for example). They invade every inhabited, advanced planet they encounter, feast on the emotions of the locals while wreaking chaos, and leave after slaughtering the whole population, off to the next world. Shining Armor and Cadence's spell didn't just blow them out of Canterlot and Equestria - it blasted them all the way off into space.

They look superficially like ponies for the same reason why many aliens in most media look at least partially humanoid. They know Equestria's language because of either some kind of telepathy, or because the Queen has been masquerading as a pony and preparing the invasion long enough to learn it (the other Changelings may not even know it at all, the only time they speak, they just imitate the sound of Twilight Sparkle's voice).
  • But they understood what she said well enough to know it was something worth repeating in context and giving a smug grin afterwards.

Chrysalis is not the only Changeling Queen.
She rules only one single Hive out of potentially many more, presuming the popular Hive fanon concept is canon, which may not necessarily be the case.

Chrysalis was killed on impact after being thrown out of Canterlot or by the force of the blow itself
Chrysalis was hit with enough force to send her sailing out of Canterlot at extremely high speeds. Either she was mortally wounded by the impact itself, or hit the ground far in the distance at near super sonic speeds in an uncontrolled landing.

Chrysalis was NOT killed on impact and will be returning for revenge!
Come on, Team Rocket survives this kind of fall every week. And Queen Chrysalis has wings! She will definitely be coming back for another round, and this time she will be smarter and harder to unmask.

Chrysalis was NOT killed on impact, but will NOT be returning for revenge.
It's the Queen's duty to provide food for the swarm. She may have failed to give the swarm Canterlot, but she'll still give them food.

The threat made against Canterlot that Shining Armor mentioned was NOT made by Chrysalis.
She isn't the type that openly announces her coming. Also, without the threat, the Force Field wouldn't have been there in the first place. Making a threat so Shining Armor raises a force field, then controlling him and draining his love so that he drops it again doesn't make a lot of sense. She discovered Equestria as a source of energy just coincidentally at the same time someone entirely else made a threat to Canterlot. That's why she had to control Shining Armor in the first place.
  • There are a lot of holes in this theory. It implies that she made the threat with the intention of him raising the shield, but that could have been an unforeseen possibility on her part.
    • The theory here is that Chrysalis had nothing to do with the threat. It seems that they're saying Chrysalis discovered Equestria as an excellent source of food for her subjects with Canterlot, Equestria's capital, as the ideal place to start, especially with a wedding about to happen- one featuring not just a princess, but the Captain of the Royal Guard. Taking out a princess and the Captain of the Guard (especially if she doesn't know who the princess is. She might have thought it was Luna or Celestia's wedding, and taking out them would definitely be an aid in taking over) would mean less resistance to taking Equestria. There would be plenty of love to feed her subjects with a wedding going on at the heart of Equestria; they just had to pretend to be normal ponies. Changing size obviously isn't a problem for them or Chrysalis, as Cadance is shorter than Chrysalis (who is the size of Celestia). However, word of a threat, unrelated to Chrysalis, reached the Princess, and so Shining Armour was asked to put up a barrier shortly after Chrysalis infiltrated, presumably to scout it out. So, Chrysalis's plan changed, and she took out Cadance, then impersonated her to feed off Shining Armour's love for her, thus making it possible for her subjects to invade. We don't see the Changeling army outside until AFTER Chrysalis is revealed; until then, she was probably completely prepared to continue with her original plan, but Cadance backed her into a corner. If the Changelings were always trying to get in, they would have been seen by Celestia and Luna, so they probably weren't until after Chrysalis was revealed to be a Changeling. The theory is actually pretty solid. The only hole is "who was the original threat?" Considering the episodes were back to back (albeit with season gaps), one could say it was Sombra, returning before his Empire did and vowing revenge.

The Changelings came from another dimension.
Specifically, a parasitic dimension where time doesn't flow normally and space is in a constant flux. This dimension "attaches" itself to others and feeds off the emotions, lifeforce and other energies until it is no more then a husk. Then it moves onward.

The Changelings take on the basic shape of the most dominant life-form when visiting new worlds.
They looked like ponies in this case, but had they visited the human world, they would look more human-like.

The Changelings come in millions of varieties, all able to copy the appearance of what it looks like.
That is, there are the basic pony-Changelings, then griffon-Changelings, dragon-Changelings, Changelings for most species of animal, etc. Their eventual goal is to replace every living thing on Earth.

The Changelings and the alicorns share a common ancestor.
Mostly because all the Changelings had horns and wings, not just their Queen. Maybe Changelings are "fallen" alicorns, or their equivalent of demons?

The Changelings are just that
Snatching foals and replacing them with their own offspring (or possibly full-grown changelings) is their usual MO - overt action like in the episode happens rarely. This wasn't mentioned because the intended audience would never have slept again.
  • Perhaps Celestia put a stop to the practice. Would explain why they resorted to such drastic measures.

Queen Chrysalis was once an alicorn
She has the same basic bodytype as the rest of the princess ponies. Perhaps Queen Chrysalis took over and corrupted one.
  • Alternatively, she was an alicorn that was corrupted by the same evil force that turned Princess Luna into Nightmare Moon.

If Chrysalis returns, she'll no longer have her swarm and her goal will be to rebuild it
When she was last seen, her Changelings were hurled in all directions at super sonic speeds. Her swarm has been scattered to the winds and she can't reform it. So she comes back, assumes a different form, and tries to get enough love energy to begin reproducing like an insect queen to rebuild it. This may involve an Alien Shout-Out, with her transforming into a form resembling a Xenomorph Queen.

Magic fueled by The Power of Love and The Power of Friendship can't be consumed by Changelings.
As shown in the end, they were effected by the Heart Beat-Down Cadence and Shining Armor laid on them. When channeled into a magical weapon like the Elements and the attack that defeated them, it's changed in such a way that they can no longer absorb it. Think of it like a human and water. Humans can drink fresh water and must do so to survive, but drinking salt water is detrimental to our health. Magic fueled by Love is essentially the same thing to Changelings.
  • I figured they can only consume love that they intercept by shapechanging into the proper recipient.
  • I argue that it would like trying to drink from riot control water cannon as it's blasting you in the face.

Chrysalis is already back by the end of the episode.
She's impersonating Princess Luna, who was in fact fighting the Changelings off screen but was overpowered as well. So the 'Luna' we see arriving for the real wedding and innocently asking whether she's missed anything is in fact just Chrysalis in a new mask...
  • Seems unlikely. Only two things have defeated Celestia in a stand-up fight that we know of - Chrysalis, who could only do so because she'd temporarily tapped into the power of True Love, and Luna. Luna/NMM may well have gotten a boost from her rage and misery, but it still stretches belief to have a bunch of malnourished changeling grunts and their just-got-curb-stomped queen defeat the Princess of Night.
    • Well, that's why it's a Wild Mass Guess. But remember, there are signs that Luna may be spending the day outside Canterlot; a sufficient number of minions zerg rushing her when she's alone could potentially overwhelm her (especially if they caught her asleep), and since that Changeling detachment would have been outside the city when Shining Armor's spell kicked back in they'd never have been affected by it either. And of course most assumptions about just how cosmically badass the royal princesses really are in actual combat are only fanon; that the powerup Chrysalis gets from feeding on the love of a single (albeit exceptional) pony for another apparently makes the difference between victory and defeat in this one canon example where we actually see Celestia fight kind of speaks volumes.
    • Keep in mind it's that very same Love that chucked the entire Changeling army out of the country, so it's not anything to be scoffed at.
    • Technically it was Shining Armor's spell that did that — just as it's presumably supposed to. He just couldn't have cast it without Cadence's help at that point because he didn't have any reserves of his own left to tap into. (Incidentally, it'd be interesting to learn more about how the Changelings' whole "feeding on love" shtick even works, seeing how the show never actually goes into any detail regarding the mechanics of it. For one thing, Shining Armor doesn't really seem to love Cadence any less when he finally snaps out of his trance, he's simply out of magic...possibly suggesting that that could be what the Changelings are really after.)

Queen Chrysalis was the first queen of the Crystal Empire
Pretty straightforward. Not only does the two names sound alike, but it is also said that the Crystal Empire's first queen started the Crystal Fair. A fair said to; "Renew the spirit of love and unity in the empire". Sounds pretty convenient for a creature who feeds off of love.

Changelings feed on the magic of love, not the emotion.
Consider: Friendship, and by extension love, is magic, right? Well...that means that friends and lovers regularly (and for the most part probably unconsciously, simply by reflex) exchange actual magical energy with each other, and it's likely this exchange that justifies The Power of Friendship and/or Love in the setting. Enter the Changelings, who can metabolize exactly this form of magic (but not automatically others, which explains why Shining Armor's shield and Twilight's magical bolts affected them normally) by intercepting the 'friendship beam' without giving anything back in return and quite likely even have the ability to tease more power out of a suitable 'donor' than they would normally readily send out on their own...

Crashing the Wedding was the changelings' plan, but it wasn't just for a quick nip.
Consider the following; The Changelings have been planning this for a damn long time, scouts have been taking quick nips at Equestria here and there, but not enough for the entire race. So the Queen makes an executive call and they start to put a plan together. Princess Cadence is planning a high profile wedding with Shining Armor, captain of the guard, so they abduct her, and use their love for each other to stage a massive invasion, with the Queen being placed on the inside as Cadance and the shapeshifter troops gathering. But it wasn't enough just to screw around and feed off the chaos of the attack, when they can best feed off sustainable emotions of the strongest variety. No, they were after something, and Celestia led them right too it when she told the manes to get the Elements of Harmony. Celestia either broke the spell she had on them after Discord bypassed it, or allowed access to the 6 of them if they were indisposed, but if the Changlings could mimic the 6 and get to Canterlot Tower before the manes could blaze a trail, they would get first crack at the most powerful magic known to Ponydom, and the ultimate tool of serenity. You give emotion eaters that sort of power, and they could very well never go hungry again. Granted it may cause the Third Impact, but hay, at least everypony is happy, right?

Drain somepony of all their love, and they become another loveless monstrosity. Because it would be cool if it worked that way.

Changelings used to be subjects of Princess Luna.
Way back in the backstory, Luna turned into Nightmare Moon because she felt she wasn't getting enough love. What if she needed that love for more than just herself?

After Nightmare Moon's defeat at the hooves of Celestia, the changelings fled Equestria to find new sources of love. As they went centuries without making any real trouble, the mortal inhabitants of Equestria came to think of them as just legends, and Celestia thought that they were not a threat without Nightmare Moon/Luna to lead them, or even that they had gone extinct. After a millennium of fending for themselves, changeling society and possible even biology changed enough to account for any unfamiliarity Celestia may have had with them.

Possible reasons for why they didn't rejoin Luna-
  • After a thousand years, the changelings no longer remembered that they once served her.
  • A feeling of betrayal and abandonment after the Nightmare Moon incident.
    • If Luna and Celestia thought that the changelings had died out, than Luna might not have tried to find them.
  • The Queen preferred working for herself.

Princess Luna is Queen Chrysalis

Queen Chrysalis was the one who corrupted Luna and was behind Discord's escape.
  • That seems unlikely considering Chrysalis acted as if the wedding was the first time she'd ever met Celestia.

If Queen Chrysalis returns, it will be Celestia's turn to kick her flank
Chrysalis outright says the only reason she won is because she'd gotten that power up. She'll already have expended it by the next time she appears and Celestia, still fuming from what Chrysalis did to her little ponies before, will show what would've happened if Chrysalis hadn't had that power up.

Ponies that have been drained too much turn into Zombies.
Sorry Spike, zombie ponies are looking more and more likely. Better find a shotgun or work on your fire breath.

A changeling will become a new Mare-Do-Well.
She'll be under the impression that the original was another changeling herself. Bonus points if she outs herself as a changeling and starts calling herself the Martian Marehunter.

For most of the series, the Changelings were trapped in Tartaros.
But then Cerberus ran away in "It's About Time"...just long enough for at least one swarm to slip out. Nobody noticed their escape at the time because (a) there are no guards in Tartaros itself (the inmates are too dangerous), (b) they're shapeshifters, and (c) they didn't go on a rampage straight away the way some other escapees might have, so when they suddenly attacked Canterlot they came out of the left field for everypony.

Changelings can only impersonate living ponies.
Chrysalis left Cadence alive only because she needed her alive in order to adopt her form - otherwise, it would be a pretty silly move. She also left Twilight alive, so that a changeling could copy her and hence insert itself into Celestia's trusted circle.

Queen Chrysalis DID make the threat, because it's exactly what she needed.
Shining Armor is not just a trained captain of the royal guard, but also the most powerful Barrier Warrior in Canterlot, if not all of Equestria. You'd think someone with defense magic of that power would be capable of protecting himself from mind control. Posing as his fiancee would add an oportunity, but a lot could still go wrong. She first made the threat so that he'd overexert himself maintaining the barrier, weakening him to the point she could control him. This also fixed the problem of Celestia and Luna. Even with The Power of Love there was no gurantee she'd be able to defeat Celestia, much less both her and Luna at the same time. The threat put them on guard, leaving them with 12 hour vigil shifts, as we saw them swap at one point, while trying to get in sleep and basic functions of their job in the process. This removes Luna from the fight, and leaves Celestia at less then full power. The attack would be more unexpected without the threat, but making an announcement allowed her to stack the deck much more firmly in her favor.

A good Changeling will eventually join the mane cast.
The episode that introduces him/her will play out like Zecoras introduction episode but the Aesop will not be "don't judge the appearance" but instead it will be "don't judge someone based off of what others do."
  • And he will be named William.

Changelings are either symbiotic, or parasited.
Those cheese legs are not just for show. They look awfully like moth-eaten clothing, don't they? Changelings are infested with a species of worms, perhaps granting them their shapeshifting powers as a symbiotic tradeoff. Maybe the worms eat their flesh and Changelings depend on eating love to regenerate, or maybe the worms themselves feed on love... but perhaps can resort to eating flesh if left unfed for too long...

The last race targeted by the changelings were humans.
Cadence!Chrysalis compared Pinkie Pie's decoration of the reception to that of a "six year old's birthday party" although horses are adults at six, and this seems to be true for Equestrian ponies (Pipsqueak being under a year old, the Cake twins running, flying and doing magic within a month). Now what kind of animal is still a juvenile at that age?

Chrysalis may have been ignorant of the maturity rate of the ponies of Equestria and assumed it to be the same as the last sprawling intelligent species her kind drained dry.

Chrysalis was planning to turn Celestia into another changeling queen.
She was keeping her in a pupa, which is what contains a young insect metamorphosing into its adult form. Chrysalis may have done this so she could send Celestia out to start another colony to infest another land and repeat the cycle.

Chrysalis didn't get her power from Shining Armor's love
It doesn't seem likely that his love would be strong enough to beat Princess Celestia. His love is just one aspect of him, and altogether he's weaker than her. She got her power from all the bronies that love her.

Chrysalis won
This video says it all.

Changelings can only feed off the love of living beings.
The magic of love needs to be a mutual bond, not an one way love of one being has to a deceased one. They can put mind control spells and bend the rules, but they cannot create fake love or love of the dead. That is why the Changeling queen allowed the let the princess to live.

Now that the changelings have been driven out of Equestria, we won't see any more duplicate background ponies.
Or maybe not. Perhaps not ALL changelings were driven out of Equestria, only Chrysalis' invading swarm.

Chrysalis' Kingdom was starving by the time they arrived in Equestria.
This explains why the Queen's plan was a bit rushed. Her swarm had already failed to conquer several countries, and was dying of hunger. The invasion was a desperation move to stop the Changelings from dying out. She had to go for the largest city - Canterlot - to find enough prey to feed the whole swarm, but she had very limited time. That's why she didn't take the time to learn Cadence's personality better and instead relied on brute brainwashing to keep Shining Armor under control. And yes - that means all the changelings have died of hunger after they were expulsed from Equestria.

Changelings don't really look anything like ponies.
Their basic form is an amorphous mass of black rotten flesh. However, each time they attack a race they shape their bodies into a basic likeness of that race, because having the basic frame ready makes imitation of specific members of the race faster and easier. That means, had they attacked Earth, changelings would have looked like black insect-winged human zombies.

Changelings are the reason that alicorns are so rare.
Long ago, the alicorns were once as numerous as the pegasi, unicorns and earth ponies. One fateful day an alicorn mare had fallen in love with a stallion who was already taken. Using her powerful magic, she secretly kidnapped the other mare and used her magic to assume her form, fueling the spell with the stallion's love for her. The wickedness in her heart corrupted her true alicorn form into the first changeling queen. The kidnapped mare, now drained of all love in her heart, became the first changeling soldier, and the stallion she had deceived became the first changeling drone. Forever stuck as twisted perversions of ponies, the changelings used their powers to assume the forms of other alicorn couples, draining them of their love and turning them into more changeling soldiers. As their numbers grew, they quickly evolved to create cocoons for storing their "food" and future changelings in. In very little time, most of the alicorn population had been transformed into changelings, but only those who weren't of royalty- the changeling queen of the time figured that royal alicorns, such as Princess Celestia, were too risky to attempt assimilation upon, and so they went into hiding to wait for a golden opportunity to strike.

The longer a changeling has been successfully impersonating somepony else, the harder it becomes to break the facade.
The swarm that were fought by and impersonated the Mane Six were very easily unmasked, being taken out by being KO'd. However, they were only in that form for a few minutes, tops. Chrysalis, on the other hand, was only unmasked after she revealed herself of her own free will, and it can be assumed that she was impersonating Cadance for quite awhile, possibly a few months. The longer she went without being revealed, the stronger her facade became. Plus, if the duplicate background ponies are changelings, this explains why they've never been unmasked. They've been impersonating somepony else for a long time, for several months. Maybe even years.
  • So they become the mask?
    • Well, they don't seem to be all that bright (except for Chrysalis—she is queen, after all). If someone slow-witted as them were pretending to be somepony else for a few years, they might forget that they're not really them. Some of them probably wouldn't want to go back, even if they did know the truth.

Changelings have a weakness to apples.
The trading card of Queen Chrysalis warns that someone who rejects Applejack's treats is probable a changeling. Not food in general, but food made by Applejack. Since she puts apples in everything, this implies that the problem is the apples, so they might just have an allergy, or apples might even strip them of their powers.
  • Specifically food made by Applejack? Hm...then there may be an alternate explanation unrelated to apples as such. Element of Honesty, remember?

Parasprites are changeling larvae
Unlike all other species, the changelings/parasprites age out of sexual maturity. The larval stage is the only time that they eat real food, in order to grow and reproduce. After about a year as a parasprite and a metamorphosis, they turn into changelings, which they can exist as indefinitely, as long as they don't starve and aren't squashed. Technically, if you kill all the parasprites, the changelings will eventually die out, because they can no longer reproduce. But we all know how hard it is to get rid of parasprites...
  • Also, the holes in their legs, wings and hair are caused by their little siblings getting a little too snacky.

Queen Chrysalis wanted Twilight Sparkle to kill Princess Cadance.
It's a popular theory, but it really should be here rather than anywhere else. After banishing Twilight to the same cave system as Princess Cadance, she began taunting Twilight, who started shooting out the crystals she was using to talk to her. She stopped when Twilight blew up the wall that Cadance was behind. Whether Chrysalis knew that Twilight was capable of blowing up walls, where Cadance was at the moment, or if she knew Twilight would find her is unknown.

The Changelings were the results of the Shivans, the Forerunners, the Reapers, or even the Protheans experimenting on Ponies.
It would make a lot of sense.

After the crashing of the Royal Wedding and the expulsion of Queen Chrysalis, Equestria and many of her allies have declared that an open state of war exists between them and the Changeling Swarm.
And they are going to stop at nothing until the Changelings accept the terms of unconditional surrender or are WIPED OFF THE PLANET ENTIRELY AND DRIVEN EXTINCT.

Changelings are corrupted Alicorns.
Once, before Celestia's and Luna's rule, the Alicorns were a plentiful type of pony, similar to unicorns, pegasi, and earth ponies, but they were extremely scornful of the other ponies, thinking the Alicorns were much better than all the others. They loved to make life a living hell for the lesser ponies, even going as far as to learn shapeshifting spells that relied on love to cause chaos within the pony tribes. They eventually found they enjoyed the shapeshifting spell. They did this borderline every time, slowly turning them mindless and mutated. Eventually, all they knew was how to fly, and shapeshifting. They multiplied and caused total chaos within the pony tribes. Celestia and Luna, on the other hand, despite growing up among these monsters, chose not to act like the others of their kind, and instead, fought them. After a long battle, they eventually ran them out of what would eventually be Equestria, calling them Changelings. The Changelings, unable to return(for now), became nomadic, waiting for the chance to return and cause chaos for the lesser ponies. And as for Chrysalis, she was a strong, smart Changeling who was aware of her Alicorn roots. She learned other spells other than shapeshifting, so she could take over the areas the Changelings found. She was crowned queen for her intellect and power.
  • Jossed

Queen Chrysalis was originally only after Princess Cadance.
Cadance has the ability to project love over large areas, basically giving her the ability to feed massive numbers of changelings at a time. It wasn't until after she had started her plan to kidnap Cadance that Chrysalis realized that she would have a chance at taking over Equestria.

Changelings are the result of the story from "Hearts and Hooves Day".
There has to be some connection. An entire kingdom destroyed by love. Plus the princess in the book is depicted as an alicorn.

The mirror pool clones are changelings.
When somepony clones their self, they are not making a clone but rather summoning a changeling. The summoned changeling uses this as an opportunity to feed off of love undetected. When Twilight destroyed the Pinkie clones, she did not kill them but rather sent them back to where they were summoned from.
  • Jossed, their there own species.

The Changelings are descendants of a Zerg brood that got stranded on Equestria millennia ago
The abundant magic that permeates the planet somehow partially severed them from the Overmind's control, and also affected their divergent evolution, taking them further and further physically from the baseline Swarm. Queen Chrysalis is essentially their Kerrigan: a former native-species member captured and Zergified. Like Kerrigan before her purification at the end of Wings of Liberty, Chrysalis is unconsciously operating under the psychic/genetic commands of the Dark Voice, with the ultimate goals of creating Hybrids of pony and Changeling/Zerg, and of weakening the planet's ability to defend itself when the Dark Voice eventually arrives in the material realm.

Queen Chrysalis is manipulating others to feel sorry for her species.
Queen Chrysalis knows that love isn't just romantic or familial, but platonic as well. By making her seem more sympathetic than she actually is, people will start to actually care about her, and thus love her. She will then feed on that love. Yours, to be precise.

The Changelings inability to understand love is a Restraining Bolt on the species.
If the Changeling could actually feel love, they could immediately replenish their strength. While this may neutralise them as a threat, somepony thought that they may still want to feed on others' love. After all, just because they love each other doesn't mean they'll love you enough to stop their assault. Plus with the love they can feel constantly replenished, you would have the Changeling invasion without any need for stamina. To prevent them becoming too much of a threat, somepony stripped them of their ability to feel love. Whether they were a major threat before or they screwed up royally is up for debate.

The Changelings would be willing to protect Equestria from outside threats. Not because they care, but because it's in their best interests.
They want Equestria because its status as a Sugar Bowl makes it a perfect target. If another villain successfully conquered Equestria, then the standard of living would go down and the Changelings would have less to feed on.

Queen Chrysalis is LUNA and the Changelings are from a Mirror Pond incident
In the Nightmare Moon folder there's a WMG that Nightmare Moon is a Changeling, but this one's a little different. In this WMG, Luna's Heel-Face Turn was phony. She only pretended to be good because she knew she was powerless at the time and needed to somehow gain the upperhand. She was cursed by Discord (who was still evil at the time) and became Queen Chrysalis, which she tried to fix with the Mirror Pond (which won't copy curses, so her copy would be her normal self.) But she and some unknown pony tried to go in at the same time, and they were combined into one pony with the ability to change form. She knew she needed minions, so she went in a dozen more times under the smaller pony form (which is why the changelings are smaller than she is.)

On Nightmare Night she attempted to make peace so her attack (as Queen Chrysalis) later would not be associated with her Luna self. The whole "feed off your love" thing is a misunderstanding that Chrysalis/Luna took advantage of as an excuse to why she would attack NOW. Then, when plans failed, she returned to the wedding and tried to pull a "Did I miss anything?" excuse. Discord hasn't apologized for cursing Luna because he knows she's still evil and doesn't want to draw attention to it -because her new attack would upset the balance of good and evil and bring lots of chaos (which nobody could blame him for, but he isn't going to prevent).

    King Sombra 

King Sombra was there after forming of pony tribes but before Discord.
  • This would explain why Crystal Empire has only earth ponies.
    • Technically, the Crystal Empire had only crystal ponies, who technically aren't earth ponies.
      • The only apparently difference between an Earth Pony and a Crystal Pony is exposure to the Crystal Heart.

King Sombra was made by Discord.
  • And served as his left leg (because right hand is too boring).
    • Averted. He was just a normal, if jackass, unicorn before the Princesses cursed him.

King Sombra has nothing to do with Discord.
  • He was just an asshole unicorn who knew dark magic.
    • Confirmed...for now.

King Sombra is the reincarnation of Knight Shade from G1.
  • Remember that dude who used to steal shadows of other ponies? He's ba-a-ack!
    • Also Sombra means "shadow". Knight Shade = Nightshade.
      • So he took a level in badass?

Alternatively King Sombra is Knight Shade's master Erebus.
Erebus was a wizard who looked like a big grey cloud who fed on energy of shadows to power his magic.
  • And he had kick-ass eyebrows. Doesn't this remind you of anyone?

King Sombra used to be a ruler of Crystal Empire.
  • And then he got corrupted by something.
    • Actually Twilight offhandedly mentions that Sombra was not born in the Empire and that the Castle wasn't his original home.

King Sombra's defeat is just another hoax.
Most likely, he figured out he couldn't win and decided to try again later or change his goals. So he created a crystal copy of himself and fled into the Arctic wastes where nopony could find him.

King Sombra was Driven to Madness by his defeat
Losing his kingdom (even though he was a monstrous ruler) and being condemned to an And I Must Scream fate for a thousand years drove him insane. His dialog consists of roars and short lines because he's gone so insane he's been completely consumed by his lust for power over the Crystal Ponies to the point he nothing else matters to him.

King Sombra has a Horcrux or two.
That's why he looks weird. It also means he'll be back.

King Sombra's motivation was fear.
Look at how thorough he is in preventing the Crystal Heart from being used. While he was always a power-hungry monster, somewhere along the line, he discovered the only thing that could permanently stop him is the Crystal Heart (by this logic Celestia and Luna didn't mean to turn him into a Living Shadow, they meant to kill him, but the only thing that can kill him is the Crystal Heart). So he crushed the Crystal Ponies spirits for the same reason that Frieza killed the Saiyans, he was terrified of them managing to bring about the one thing capable of defeating him. He went to such lengths to stop the Crystal Heart from being used on him because he was scared of it. Plus, it'd be ironic if someone who utilized fear so much would be motivated by his own fear.

King Sombra has Windigos working for him.
There was an awful lot of snow in the arctic wastes surrounding the Crystal Empire, and there weren't any pegasi making it. There was also howling. Both might have been from Sombra, but it also sounds a lot like the work of windigos, and they seem like precisely the sort of creatures who would have been attracted to Sombra's rule.
  • The Crystal Empire is outside of Equestria, where natural weather is given free reign. No supernatural explanation needed.

King Sombra's odd appearance is due to abuse of dark magic.
He used to look like any regular unicorn, but much like with Darth Sidious he either had an accident with dark magic that disfigured him, or it's simply the steady abuse of it that gradually changed his features.
  • Branching off this, King Sombra is a "Nightmare", like Nightmare Moon, and was corrupted by the same force. He is destroyed instead of redeemed because:
    • Either the Crystal Heart does not have the power to destroy only the corruption itself
    • Either he was too far gone, the dark magic had completely destroyed his heart
    • Either he was already evil even before getting corrupted, maybe even seeking out the dark forces on purpose.

King Sombra is not a Crystal Empire native.
From what we know, the Crystal Empire has no pegasi nor unicorns. Stands to reason that Sombra, a unicorn, would be foreign. Perhaps the very reason he moved into the Empire was due to their lack of pegasi and unicorns that could have opposed his reign.
  • Alternatively, he is the only unicorn native to the Empire - a freak genetic accident, which might explain his strange appearance as well.
  • Confirmed, Twilight says as much during the "Crystal Empire" two-parter.
    • Not confirmed, Sombra's place of origin was never explained, just that he was an ursurper.

King Sombra is related to Luna's Nocturnal Pegasi.
They're pegasi with more intimidating features than most, he's a unicorn with more intimidating features, that's probably important.

How King Sombra "cursed" the Crystal Empire.
He simply sent the whole place into the future 1,000 years. The Crystal Pony that Twilight talked two said that his rule felt like it was yesterday. That's because to them it was yesterday. To everyone else, it was 1,000 years.

King Sombra was part dragon, part unicorn.
This is the reason for his unique horn, the fact that he mostly roars, and how he seems hungry while approching the crystal heart. Dragons eat gems after all.
  • Seems unlikely.

King Sombra was a normal crystal pony who found an ancient artifact (Unmarked spoilers everywhere!)
There are no unicorns or pegasi in the Crystal Empire, for whatever reason, and coupled with the fact that King Sombra specifically wants to take over the Empire, it stands to reason that he used to live in the Empire as a normal pony. One day, he found an ancient, evil artifact that curved like a particularly nasty knife, and kept it because he sensed that it could grant him great power. (In fact, the artifact didn't spring randomly into being. Just as Discord has the Elements (paragons of order and permenance) to balance him out (or vice versa) - and more obviously, Celestia, princess of light, has Luna, princess of dark - the Crystal Heart, a linchpin of love and unity, has the evil horn thing to represent its opposite, hate and inequality. The colors even match - the Heart's main colors are white and blue, and the horn's main colors are black and red. When the Heart was first distilled out of pure crystal magic, the horn/Horn/artifact ended up as a byproduct of the spell, and was hidden in the Arctic so that its powers could not be used for evil, which is admittedly pretty much the only things its powers could be used for. It wasn't destroyed because that would entail destroying the Heart.) Eventually (assuming that in those days, the Empire traded with Equestria, and he knew what a unicorn looked like), he got the idea to attach it to his forehead, I imagine probably painfully. This explains why his horn doesn't look like other unicorns'. It did, in fact, grant him dark magic, but it also insidiously warped his desires. Where before, he had only wanted to rule, now he wanted to destroy the Empire's love and unity. Unfortunately, the one thing that the magic of the horn couldn't do was destroy its opposite, and so Sombra hid it away, hoping it would die on its own. He also locked Cadance in a sort of stasis for a thousand years, explaining why she wasn't there to defeat him and also why we haven't heard of her before Twilight's exposition (Celestia had been keeping her safe in Canterlot).

As the Heart's power weakened, so did Sombra's own, until Celestia and Luna could defeat him. (This matching of power levels also explains why Sombra gained his original body back when he came so close to the recharging Heart.) Again, they couldn't destroy the source of his magic, and since they weren't the Crystal Heart (or Cadance, who emobodies it), they couldn't separate it from Sombra, and so the most they could do was reduce him to an incorporeal form and trap him in the ice. Just before his defeat, he triggered one final spell he'd put in place, tying his freedom to the Empire's and making sure they would go into the same stasis as Cadance and return from it in a short amount of time, effectively negating his imminent defeat. Unfortunately for him, Luna got there first, draw on what she'd learned from Star Swirl the Bearded to ensure his imprisonment lasted much longer, so she and her sister would have time to plan. The magics reacted, so while Sombra had set it up for, at most, a year, and Luna tried to extend it to at least a hundred years, the original spell was amplified a thousand times, leading to the 1000-year time warp we see in canon. To the crystal ponies, it's only been a year, hence the comment about "It seems like it was just yesterday!"

Fast-forward to the return of the Crystal Heart. As mentioned before, the Heart couldn't destroy the horn. It's physically impossible. It could, however, have no compunctions about destroying the horn's means of doing anything, and summarily did so to Sombra. It's why you see the horn flying off into the distance and not anything else, like his armor or whatever.

But back to Sombra, though. He's shown that he's clever, and he made extensive plans for almost everything - traps upon traps to guard the Heart, and so on. So why was his speech so... simplistic? "Crystal Heart, crystal slaves, grrrr!" Well, Luna, when she performed her magic manipulation spell, was unaware of the clause tying the Empire's freedom to Sombra's. She was solely focused on Sombra, and behind her spellwork was the sheer determination to make him go away and stay away. So while the Empire got a thousand years that felt like one year, Sombra got a thousand years in the ice that felt like exactly that. Now, imagine a thousand years stuck with an artifact that you can't get rid of, that has a direct line to your thoughts, and that has exactly one motivation and wants to make it your own. Yeah, Sombra slowly went nuts, and honestly by the time he got out, the only thing holding his thoughts in any semblance of "together" was the horn. Hence, well, "Crystal Heart, Crystal slaves, grrrr."
  • So, in other words, the Elder Horn?
  • Jossed, Sombra took over the Empire. He was never a native.

King Sombra had corrupted the Crystal Heart
That's why he kept it instead of chucking it in a volcano or other completely inaccessible location. He needed it, otherwise, he'd just be a relatively normal (if evil and clever) unicorn. That's also why he oppressed the Crystal Ponies, because their misery would feed his power through the corrupted Crystal Heart.
  • Jossed, the reason he stole the heart and hid it away was for the very reason that he couldn't simply corrupt it like most crystal.
    • Where was that even implied? What mentions were given of his plan made it sound like he was going to use the Heart to spread fear throughout Equestria.
      • It was stated in the premiere that if the heart was corrupted or lost, that dread and fear is spread all through Equestria!

As a variation of the above: King Sombra did use the Crystal Heart for evil, but he had no need to corrupt it.
The Crystal Ponies power up the Heart with positive emotions to destroy Sombra, but is it ever explicitely stated the Heart cannot store and amplify negative emotions as well? Sombra put the heart on top of a tower on purpose: it's an excellent place for it to pick up the fear and pain of the oppressed Crystal Ponies. Sombra would then use it to rebroadcast those emotions across the whole Empire even stronger, leading to even MORE fear and pain - a self-sustaining terror generator, a tyrant's dream. Perhaps Sombra even hoped that, if it stored enough negativity, it could unleash a devastating wave of evil that could destroy anything of pure heart in the vicinity.
  • Well, the other crystals did respond to positive and negative emotions...

Having spent a thousand years under the ice, King Sombra forgot how to speak.
You know what they say, that if you don't practice a language you'll forget how to speak it? Spending a millenium in the company of only himself and nobody to speak means that King Sombra is REALLY rusty when it comes to language. Since this is the first time in a thousand years that he has anybody to speak to, King Sombra is struggling to come back to grips with speaking.
  • Luna and Discord were similarly imprisoned for a long time, and they didn't have any trouble talking (save for Luna's antiquated language), though Discord must've at least heard ponies talking as he implies he's still conscious while a statue, but still.

King Sombra is dead, but he'll still be the Big Bad of the season
Being The Chessmaster that he was, Sombra had a number of contingency plans and various other methods, some of which were meant to carry out revenge after his demise. Trixie's necklace is one of these and several more will appear throughout the season, possibly culminating with Sombra attempting to resurrect himself in the Season Finale.
  • I'm betting that Queen Chrysalis will see him as a powerful potential ally, and use dark powers to resurrect him.
    • Jossed, season 3 was over and done with no further mention of Sombra. (As a side note, King Sombra would be a horrible ally for Queen Chrysalis, given that their goals are virtually contradictory - Sombra's goal is to eradicate any emotions in his subjects other than fear, while Queen Chrysalis cannot subsist without love (of which there is none in the Empire as Sombra envisions it. That said, given that Chrysalis has a death grip on the Villain Ball it wouldn't be unlike her to completely ignore that little fact.)

King Sombra corrupted/is the corrupted Equestrian version of Santa Claus, and the Crystal Ponies were his elves.
The Empire is in the Far North, and Santa pony is confirmed, or at least his costume is. They both like red. And the Crystal Empire reflects the goodness/evilness across Equestria like Christmas Spirit/Good Will. And, it would be funny.

King Sombra mind was destroyed because he was sealed in the ice... With the Gak.
Gak Gak Gak Gak.note  Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak Gak.Gak 
  • I don't get it?
    • Go look at the Fi M memes page.

King Sombra is Princess Platinum's father
It's stated in the play that Platinum is the "daughter of the Unicorn King." Who's the only unicorn with that title we know of? And it explains the whole Princesses Rule issue: of course they wouldn't mention somepony like Sombra in a play for young foals. My theory as to how it happened:
  • Sombra was the leader, or at least a high ranking member of, the Unicorn tribe, until he saw the Crystal Empire as an easy conquest. The unicorns under his command were Genre Savvy enough to say Screw This, I'm Outta Here! once he took power, but he didn't mind. Platinum's mother was an alicorn and one of the last remaining members of the Empire's previous ruling family, kept alive by Sombra at the prospect of her producing super-powered offspring. Once he realised their child was just an ordinary Unicorn, he abandoned her. Fortunately, remnants of the unicorn tribe happened to find her and, recognising her heritage immidiately, made her de-facto leader of the tribe. They didn't tell her who her father was, only that he was "a former king who died a long time ago."
    • Okay... so the timeline is... His tribe helps found Equestria, it gets taken over by Discord, Princess Celestia and Luna find the Elements of Harmony, banish Discord, take over Equestria, the King of the Unicorns decides to take over the Crystal Empire in the aftermath, gets banished to the dark hole, and shortly thereafter Princess Luna goes nuts and becomes Nightmare Moon. This timeline makes little sense. Then again, if Discord is involved, then things don't have to make sense.
      • Expanding on this, King Sombra is the Discord-corrupted, time-displaced King of the Unicorns. The reason the Princesses didn't purify him was because he always was kind of a jerkass.

Alternatively...

King Sombra was descended from Princess Platinum.
This doesn't involve twisting the timeline into a knot.

The King Sombra defeated in the series 3 opening was a clone created from the Mirror Pool.
Okay, so people complain that the Sombra we saw in the present was a flat Generic Doomsday Villain, despite the Sombra of 1000 years ago being The Chessmaster. Well, there could be a very good reason for that. "Too Many Pinkie Pies" shows that clones created from the pool are essentially Flanderised versions of the original, taking their most notable traits, turning them Up to Eleven and having no other noticable ones. Well, isn't a Generic Doomsday Villain the natural Flanderisation of an Evil Overlord? As for how it happened: Sombra created one or more clones of himself as part of a Xanatos Gambit (if somepony defeated the real him, he'd have a backup to take his place). Unfortunately, he didn't forsee one of the clones becoming The Starscream and killing him. (Though given the kind of pony Sombra was, it's safe to say he could not have been happier with that outcome.)

King Sombra is Princess Celestia and Luna's father.

Alternatively...

King Sombra is the son of Princess Luna.

King Sombra is not a natural being, and was created with lost magic.
  • Hence, his strange appearance. A pony couple who had lost their son was desperate to bring him back. So they used a form of lost magic to create a copy. He had a strange horn and his eyes were a weird color, but he still looked like their son and he was a sweet child, so the parents were happy. But as little Sombra got older, he had interests and behaviors and a personality that was different from the pony he was intended to replace. He was still good, but this distressed his parents. They began to abuse and neglect him. When word got out that Sombra was created through magic, everyone else began to shun him as well. Things got worse when his parents had another child and outright told him they wanted him to leave. Sombra ended up in the arctic wastes, when he came across the Crystal Empire. Everyone there was so nice and he made friends quickly. With his magic, he was able to impress the Crystal ponies and quickly moved up and got a good reputation. But then word of Sombra's origins got out in the Crystal Empire as well. Fearing that he would be kicked out of this wonderful, beautiful place, he used his power to take over the place without waiting to see the reactions of the Crystal ponies.

King Sombra was actually a previous victim of the Alicorn Amulet.
Considering how Trixie was becoming more and more like a tyrant as long as she had the amulet, it would be no surprise if the Alicorn Amulet's previous owners went through a similar transformation. Perhaps King Sombra was once an ordinary unicorn, but then he got a hold of the amulet. His regain of terror was the logical conclusion to the amulet's influence.
  • But Trixie returned to normal once the amulet was taken from her, so why would Sombra (if the amulet had been in his possession but later taken away) still be evil?
    • Well, keep in mind Sombra is an expy of Sauron; the Amulet does seem to work a lot like The One Ring with additives, so perhaps Sombra actually created the Alicorn Amulet, but instead of in the Fires of Mordor, it was created in the freezing north where he was eventually sealed? After all, Sauron created the One Ring to dominate the three' Elven rings, and Alicorns have the abilities of the three'' pony races.

Princess Cadance is descended from King Sombra.
Sombra was never said to be any kind of usurper, so if Cadance is actually descended from the old Crystal Empire rulers, this is kind of required.

Sombra is Twilight Sparkle's Evil Counterpart.
Twilight is stupendously powerful, displaying magical abilities far beyond the norm for unicorns, and the only beings in the entire show that surpass her are either gods (Celestia, Luna/Nightmare Moon, Discord) or got a massive power boost (Trixie and the Alicorn Amulet, Chrysalis and Shining Armor's love, Shining and Cadance working together). Except, that is, for Sombra, who is given no explanation for being a supposedly regular unicorn with power to match the heavy hitters of Equestria.

That's because Sombra was once much like Twilight, a unicorn foal with a preternatural gift with magic fueled by a passion for learning and knowledge. Only instead of formal schooling and a wise and patient mentor, Sombra only had himself to teach himself spells, but a large well of magical power coupled with inexperience meant a severe lack of control, and incidents like the Want-It-Need-It spell would have been very common. Eventually, the idea took hold in his mind that he was inherently superior to the "weaklings" that surround him that were so vulnerable to his will, and he grew in power and arrogance until he decided that someone of his superiority deserves to rule. The rest is literally history.

This is why formal magic training schools exist, to prevent young unicorns from falling into With Great Power Comes Great Insanity. Furthermore it explains why Celestia has taken such a special interest in Twilight and devoted so much time and effort to teach her all these lessons, because she knows full well what she could become and doesn't want another tyrant on her hooves.

Sombra was motivated by jealousy.
It seems evident that Sombra was a blank flank. Supposing he never did find out was he was truly destined to do, possibly exacerbated by All of the Other Reindeer, he allowed himself to succumb to jealousy and turned to dark magic to become far more powerful than any regular unicorn would be capable of under normal circumstances, in an effort to prove that just because he was a blank flank doesn't mean he was useless. Inevitably, he got his keister kicked by Celestia and Luna and sealed beneath the ice, where he had a thousand years for that jealousy to fester and grow.
  • When did we ever get a look at his butt? He always had that cape dealy on.
    • Compensating for a lack of one?
  • Maybe his actual Cutie Mark is a flaming eye?

King Sombra did something to prevent the Princesses from using the Elements of Harmony.
Why else wouldn't they just use the orbital friendship cannon with its accompanying World-Healing Wave to purge all of Sombra's work? Maybe because he did something to keep them from employing them. Perhaps he realized that he was utterly screwed, and that no matter what, the Princesses would deal with him permanently. So, he decided to make their victory as Pyrrhic as possible. Perhaps Luna did have followers (a tiny minority), and King Sombra went and massacred them to fill Luna's heart with such grief and rage that she could no longer work her Element/the Elements.
  • Or maybe because they didn't want to use such powerful magic in anything but the most dire of circumstances.
    • What could be more dire than a super-powerful, extremely clever, monstrous dictator who has enslaved an entire empire (or at least what was left of it)? They wanted to use it for Queen Chrysalis.
    • Queen Chrysalis didn't merit the Elements until the Queen beat Princess Celestia and they ran out of less extreme options. Sombra never beat either of the Royal Sisters, meaning that they never had any reason to try them.
  • If King Sombra had managed to nullify the most powerful magic known to ponykind, then what would Celestia and Luna have been able to do to him? Even assuming he used psychological manipulation, that would have put them in too altered a state of mind to fight effectively, which obviously wasn't the case. When Discord used his manipulations on the Manes, the ones affected were removed as active combatants.
    • OP here: what was suggested was that he did something that threw Luna into such a massive rage that whatever connection she had was overwhelmed. She could still fight, indeed, she was probably more powerful that Sombra was, but using the EOH, they'd have purged whatever legacy he could leave. Instead, he made it so that whatever victory they could have over him was Pyrrhic, since he could have his "screw the Crystal Empire" contingency activate, something that the EOH would have locked down like they did when they purged Discord's influence. Sombra knew he couldn't win. But that didn't stop him from trying to screw over as many people in his wake as he could.
  • Another possibility is that Sombra happened before Discord, and that the Sisters didn't yet have the Elements for whatever reason.

King Sombra cursed Princess Luna at the same time as the Crystal Empire, to ultimately turn her into Nightmare Moon.
Look at the timing, both things happened 1000 years ago. Luna travels by Moonlight, but Nightmare Moon turns into a dark cloud, like Sombra. When Sombra was defeated by the Princesses, he must have cast a shard of his horn into Luna, or corrupted her some other way. It turned what was no more than a mild unhappiness at the fact that ponies didn't stay up to appreciate her night, and nurtured it into a corrosive fury. After all, she had other duties, like her Dream Patrols, so it wasn't like she was a one trick pony.

Maybe part of the curse was to punish both of them for 1000 years, which he did by getting Luna banished to the moon, and forcing her sister to do it, as well as being separated for 1000 years. Or he just wanted Nightmare Moon to destroy everything. Alternatively, if he had some idea of how long he would take to escpae, he might have set it up so when he came back he'd have an ally. If they had used the Elements against him, he'd also be preventing them from being used again, as it took both sisters working together to use them. He wouldn't have had any idea that six mortal ponies could take their place.
  • When you think about it, not only does (the first part) give a good explanation for Luna's Start of Darkness. It also makes Sombra all the more sick and twisted as a villain.

The Alicorn Amulet turned King Sombra into what we saw in the Crystal Empire, (and what Celestia told us about him).
The Alicorn Amulet has shown it has the power to warp ponies into cruel monsters.
  • Expect that once the amulet is removed, it's effects wear off.
    • Maybe Trixie didn't wear it long enough.

King Sombra is Only Mostly Dead.
The Crystal Heart shattered Sombra into pieces, but his horn was seen to be still intact. He is merely reforming himself from his horn and may return.
  • Plus, despite assuming pony form, it was never stated that he stopped being a mass of living shadow. When your body is incorporeal, putting yourself back together after getting shattered into pieces is an annoying setback at worst.

King Sombra Cannot Die
During the episode in which King Sombra was defeated, his horn was severed, but was able to be controlled from a distance and called back to him with no difficulty. What if this is not a feature of being a living shadow, but a result of a spell that Sombra had cast upon himself? Many an evil wizard across many a series has sought a means of true immortality: what if Sombra had found such a means? That would be why he was shattered when he exploded: his body, his TRUE body, is no longer that of a normal pony, but that of an immortal. It can be broken, and scattered to the wind, but it will always find a way to put itself back together.

Sombra Was Once Princess Celestia's Student
A unicorn as powerful as Sombra would not just magically appear out of nowhere (probably). What if Sombra had been Celestia's student a thousand years ago, and had miscast the Destiny swapping spell, when trying to pass the final test before becoming an alicorn, and swapped the destiny of a kind, generous, all around nice Stallion with a black-hearted monster? That would explain why she gave no background on Sombra: if she had, Twilight would have never gone anywhere NEAR that spell for fear that it might make her a monster like him. More importantly, it would mean the reason why Celestia pushed Twilight Sparkle into having friends was so that it would mean that someone other than her student got their destinies swapped.
  • Given that he was living in the Crystal Empire, a distant country that Celestia knew little about, any connection between Celestia and Sombra is unlikely.

King Sombra is a crystal pony with an artificial horn.
The Crystal Empire used to have only crystal ponies, so either he's not a native, or he is a very clever crystal pony... Creating something like the Alicorn Amulet would give him the power he showed.
  • Jossed, he's unicorn, clean through and through.

King Sombra is related to the Lich.
Both are terrifying abominations who seem to hate all life, don't need much characterization to be effective and very cunning. Perhaps, like the Lich, they're a result of a horrific weapon being used to turn them into exceedingly powerful threats. The reason their motives are different are a result of the intent. With the Lich, he was born/mutated with a weapon of mass destruction, so is carrying on its duty. Sombra was given the chemical as a sort of Super Serum, probably issued by himself for the power it would give him.

King Sombra's powers have wreaked havoc on his mind.
As mentioned in an above theory, Sombra could've been motivated by fear of his subjects. Maybe he didn't think his rulers liked him and thought it was better to be feared than loved. Maybe he was scared of The Power of Love, as he was unable to utilize it. So Sombra harnessed a new power-the Element of Fear. The reason why Sombra is a force of nature nowadays is because the power of fear destroyed his mind. What was once King Sombra is a shadow of terror who only retains the intention of Sombra(to ensure my subjects remain loyal). Antagonising the ponies either fits into the idea that he's scared of The Power of Love, or simply because fear has a difficult time stopping love(after all, you fear most for your loved ones, and to save said loved ones you will fight through it).

King Sombra is fear incarnate.
Hence why he's more force of nature than stallion-he actually is a force of nature. The pony form is either the above theory that he became fear or simply a cheap pony mask. His true, shadowy form come from exploiting the most common of fears-that of the dark(in other words, he's invoking the very reason for the Dark Is Evil trope). He rarely talks and hides his plans/origin both because he knows it makes him harder to beat and he's exploiting the fear of the unknown(meaning he's invoking Nothing Is Scarier). The reason he wants to crush the Crystal Pony's spirits is to ensure a state of absolute terror.

Luna and Sombra were secret lovers.
Sombra was obsessed with dark magic, and gave into the darkness at one point, driving him mad. Driven by the desire to be with Luna despite all the rules that forbids them to be together, he invaded the Chrystal Kingdom and crowned himself king, to create a new kingdom where he and Luna could rule together. Luna never got over the loss, and in her bitterness of being forced to banish the pony she once so loved, succumbed to the darkness herself, creating Nightmare Moon.

King Sombra is a Fallen Alicorn-possibly the Alicorn of Earth.
Sombra used to be a noble being, potentially Luna and Celestia's elder/middle brother. While Luna and Celestia were given the duty of keeping the moon and sun respectively aligned with the planet, Sombra was in charge of keeping the Earth alive and controlling its tectonic plates as well as its volcanism. However he became corrupted by his power and lost his wings but still retained all of his power. Fleeing Celestia and Luna, he took over the Crystal Empire so he could build up a powerbase to take over the rest of the World. However, like Sauron he could never be permanently destroyed only banished to the winds due to his presence, like Deathwing's is necessary to keep the Earth running. He also created the Alicorn Amulet to increase his power for when he had his 'inevitable rematch' with his siblings.

Sombra, or how his rule came about, will be addressed in S4
As of the premiere Twilight has been seen to use his 'dark magic' on a powerful yet otherwise non-dark potion. Given Zecora's only instruction was that it requires alicorn magic, this doesn't feel like a coincidence. Twilight could have activated the potion using one of her purple beam things and it would have looked fine, but she's quite clearly shown using the magic associated with the Crystal Empire's King. The only time ponies have used Sombra's form of magic to achieve something is when dealing with something Sombra himself is connected to. We wanted background, and got a series of interesting but clumsily-inserted flashbacks. Maybe it's details like the Twilight's choice of spell (along with the Tree, and the locked box at the end) that hint at what we'll really be seeing in this season.
  • Jossed. Maybe in a late season.

Sombra was a corrupted or Face Heel Turned Star Swirl the Bearded.
That would explain why he was so damn powerful. And the ponies not knowing is easily explained by the Princesses deciding to hide the truth and disconnecting his former identity from the new one.

Sombra has been dead for 1000 years.
Celestia and Luna were actually aiming for the kill. While Sombra as a pony and individual died, he was so hopped up on Black Magic that it retained an imitation of the tyrant king. The reason why Sombra seems so animalistic and emotionless is because Black Magic doesn't have a sense of self in the first place; the current Sombra is in every meaning of the term a shadow of his former self. Nobody, including this copy, is aware that Sombra died. Knowing Sombra, it's possible that he managed to fully grasp onto the mortal plane some other way. Which leads to...

Sombra created the Alicorn Amulet.
Sombra is a Sauron Expy. The Alicorn Amulet is an Artifact of Doom, just like the One Ring. Sauron made the One Ring. The Alicorn Amulet could've been part of what gave Sombra his deadly power, or was some sort of Soul Jar. Also, notice how wearers have glowy eyes like Sombra.
  • Their eyes don't use the same glowing effect.

Sombra was a member of the Royal Family of the Crystal Empire, which was always made up of unicorns
Just not first in line to the throne.

Sombra was a student of Starswirl the Bearded, before the founding of Equestria. (Spoilers for The Journal of the Two Sisters)
Sombra was raised in an orphanage in the unicorn tribe until Starswirl the Bearded came across him and adopted him. Starswirl taught Sombra magic, and Sombra began to experiment with using magic on crystals, gaining his cutie mark in the process. He also realized he could use his emotions in magic, and used his inner fear for being alone again, and hatred for the pegasus and earth pony tribes to create dark magic. When he presented this to Starswirl and the Unicorn royals, they became afraid, and Starswirl told Sombra to never use dark magic again. Sombra's reputation fell, and some unicorns wanted him gone entirely. Thus, he was framed for attempting to usurp the throne, and was banished from the unicorn tribe, out into the blizzards caused by the windigoes.

Sombra nearly died in a blizzard, until he was rescued by a few Crystal Ponies. They introduced him to Princess Amore, who took pity on him, and was impressed by his magical demonstrations, so she let him stay at her castle. Sombra also used all the crystals for more experimentation with dark magic, with a newfound hatred for the unicorns who betrayed him, and fear of once again being cast out. This amount of hatred and fear began to eat at his heart, and the dark magic started to take over. When a dragon stole the Crystal Heart, Sombra urged Amore to use dark magic to stop the beast, but Amore refused, scolding Sombra for the suggestion. When Celestia returned the heart, Sombra realized just how much energy the Crystal Ponies had lost with the heart gone. Sombra continued to urge Amore that they must use violent forces and dark magic to protect the heart, but Amore refused, their friendship straining. Sombra grew angry at Amore, until paranoia grew in Sombra's mind, that Amore would banish him as well. He decided that he must be in control, and stole the Crystal Heart, weakening the ponies. When Amore found him, she demanded that he return the heart, but Sombra killed her, finally succumbing to the darkness in him. The darkness began to consume him, deforming his horn and voice, his mane turning to shadow, losing the once good unicorn into a monster of hatred and fear. Sombra took control of the empire and crowned himself king. When some Crystal Ponies attempted to rebel, he enslaved them, hiding the crystal heart, and forcing them to live in constant fear.

    "Pony Of Shadows" 
The Big Bad of the Season Finale will be the Pony Of Shadows.
Episode 3 seems to imply at the end that there really is a Pony of Shadows, or something similar to one. Even though it's too early to conclude anything, this will most likely be addressed later.
  • Jossed. It never showed up again.

The Pony of Shadows is one of The Nightmare Forces.
In addition to being a dead ringer visually, there's been some unusually heavy focus on the origin of Nightmare Moon so far this season. Part of the season will be a Story Arc-long adaptation of "The New Nightmare Moon", following the Nightmare Forces' attempts to find a new host for their ruler. Who will this host be?
  • Rarity, as per the comic's storyline.
  • Discord, given that he's currently the Token Evil Teammate of the recurring former villains, the most powerful of their number, and the one whose nature would lend itself the most to discontent with his current status as a purveyor of chaos in an increasingly less chaotic world.
    • An alternative idea is that attempting to possess Discord results in an Enemy Without, where Discord is split between the part of him that wants to be friends with Fluttershy and the part that wants to rampage without any concern for anyone. This also will depower him to Celestia and Luna's level rather than being more or less able to swat them aside with no problem.
  • Luna, again.
  • Celestia.
  • King Sombra. Dangerously Genre Savvy, unrepentantly evil, possessed of shadow powers on par with those of Nightmare Moon herself... let's face it, this guy would be a perfect leader for the Nightmare Forces. That is, if they can find some way of bringing him Back from the Dead.
  • Twilight Sparkle... because.
  • Queen Chrysalis, as part of a Big Bad Duumvirate.
  • One of the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
  • Rainbow Dash, not just because it would look 20% more awesome with her rainbow mane becoming ethereal, but because she seems to be the most easy to manipulate of the Mane 6.
  • Spike. What with him swallowing a spell book containing dark magic, and then having it never be brought up again, so close to the season finale.

The Pony of Shadows is what's left of King Sombra.

The Pony of Shadows is...
Speed round edition, place your bets now!

  • Zecora. What? She already has a cloak and glowing yellow eyes, and stopped by the castle to see who was playing the organ.
  • Star Swirl the Bearded. Magic, old, something something.
  • Trixie. Stalking Twilight Sparkle now.
  • Princess Luna's pet.
  • It was Tirek.

The Pony of the Shadows isn't actually evil.
It's just something that took up residence in the castle/lived there when the sisters left and just didn't leave. Note NEITHER time the mane cast were in the castle did it ever actually try to hurt them, even when they were separated. The myth just grew around it over a thousand years. Alternately, the myth IS correct about WHAT it is, but it's not evil, just was born in a creepy fashion.

The Pony of the Shadow is [[Main/Bionicle an expy of Makuta Teridax
.]]

The Pony of Shadows will crash the Equestria Games.
  • Jossed.

    Tirek 

Tirek was the "Pony of Shadows" we saw.
He did have a cloak at first.
  • Unlikely. The form of his eyes doesn't match. In addition, if he had been in the castle all along, he would have been aware there is a fourth princess.

Starswirl's spell that Twilight finished was related to/inspired by Tirek's powers.
Tirek steals pony's cutie marks, the spell switched them around.

Tirek does want friends, but only on his own terms.
So let me see if I understand this: Tirek considers his brother dead to him, despite the fact that he held on to his brother's medallion all those years in prison? Yeah, that's just a mite hard to swallow.

Basically, Tirek does want to have some a genuine connection with someone. He wants them to be happy and to like him, but only if they don't have a problem with him trying to take over the world. Unlike Discord, he doesn't see any reason why he should compromise with them. If they have a problem with him being evil, then they obviously aren't his friends.

Tirek sees his brother's amulet only as a reminder of his betrayal.
This is a counter to the theory above, which states that Tirek still wants friends because he kept his brother's pendant.

Basically, the idea is that the amulet is not a reminder of his brother. Well, in a sense it is, but it's not meant to invoke good memories. Tirek basically considers that the incident taught him a lesson - never trust anybody, because anyone, even someone very near and dear to you, can and will turn on you and betray you eventually. The amulet he kept so that he would never forget this lesson, and would never be tempted to befriend anybody ever again. Essentially, he now thinks that real friendship does not exist.

This fits in perfectly well with his character. What do you do if you think that everyone can turn on you at a moment's notice? You betray them first, of course.

Tirek was initially being sincere in his offer to Discord, but he became paranoid that Discord would betray him like Scorpan.
Related to the above, Tirek wanted to make Discord his Replacement Goldfish for his lost brother: a friend and partner who'd support his villainous endeavors and wouldn't turn on him. When he found out that Discord witheld information about Twilight from him, he became worried that another betrayal was inevitable and decided to strike first.

    Other Villains 
Absolutely NONE of the villains in this show will ever repeat.
All villains of this show are one-time-use. They show up, are defeated, and don't come back (not even Nightmare Moon, who in "Luna Eclipsed" was actually Princess Luna with a disguise). Wave good-bye to Discord, Gilda, and the Diamond Dogs because this show is about friendship, not beating bad guys. Expect Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon to remain, but to lose the bratty, snobbish, superior attitudes.

Either Trixie or Gilda will pull a Heel-Face Turn.
But they'd be Reformed, but Rejected. After proving themselves, the Aesop of the episode would be that some can change, despite their past.
  • We got the Great and Apologetic Trixie now, but doesn't seem to be suffering from any sort of Reformed, but Rejected. Time will tell for Gilda.

Some of the villains will team up and pull an All Your Base Are Belong to Us on Ponyville.
While the mane cast are away, they take control of the town and prepare a trap for the Elements. It would be a A Day in the Limelight for the secondary characters such as Big Macintosh, the CMC, the Mayor, and so on who have to stop the bad guys.
  • Maybe Derpy, Doctor Whooves, and all the other popular background ponies will join in as well?

We're going to get a Big Damn Villains moment from previous antagonists like Trixie and Gilda
They may be jerks, but I doubt they want to see Discord tear down the walls of reality any more than anyone else.
  • Jossed. Unless Discord makes a return.
    • Well he has, but he's made a Heel-Face Turn. Maybe some other villain?

Other possible Freudian Excuses for the villains.
  • Gilda's possibly been a victim of Fantastic Racism at Flight Camp with Rainbow Dash being the only one that was nice to her.
    • She comes from a neglectful family and did stuff because she knew she could get away with it.
  • Trixie's possibly been second rate too many times, thus made her love for attention.
  • Both Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon's families paid no attention to their respective daughters and was often ignored like Remy from The Fairly OddParents.
    • Diamond Tiara's Dad has been shown to be quite kind and he does take care of his daughter. Silver Spoon however…
      • As the guy who created this, that's probably when Filthy Rich wasn't busy with work. Her mother on the other hand, we have yet to see…
    • Apple Bloom has poor impulse control, causes lots of damage on a regular basis, and inspires this reckless behavior in others. She probably broke something of DT's a long time ago that the latter never forgave the former.
  • The Flim Flam brothers' probably grew up in poverty and find ways to make money even when it's shady at best.
  • Iron Will was probably the weakest and meekest from where he's from, so he buffed up to take revenge on his tormenters, and made sure no one shared his fate.
  • Discord has a subdued one: he was always an amoral troll, but was more interested in laughs. However nobody wanted anything to do with him because of that and his chaotic Reality Warper nature, so Discord got mad and trolled them for his laughs.

The Windigos will arise as recurring villains.
Shortly after Return of Harmony part 2, Jayson mentioned another villain would be introduced in Season 2. The very nature of the Windigo simply scream "next-big threat": powerful, potent Eldritch Abomination, feeding off of hatred and animosity, and possibly still around. The Windigo race would probably act as a Knight of Cerebus.
  • Well, as of the end of Season 3 we're still waiting. In fact, it's questionable whether we'll ever have significant "recurring villains" at all since with the possible exceptions of Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon the show seems to thus far have gone out of its way to avoid that trope.

The Windigos aren't villains.
Without the Windegos freezing, the fighting of the 3 tribes would of awakened Discord. But due to their freezing nature the tribes worked together and discovered the Fires Of Friendship.

Iron Will and Gilda are the same species.
Ponies have Land Air and Magic. Mythologicals have Land and Air.

Iron Will's used to customers trying to bully their way out of not paying.
There's a fine line between confidence and overconfidence, and his clients stray too far into the latter all too often. He wants them to learn how to take on the world, but not to the point of thinking they can get away with anything.

In fact, he may consider this to be the last lesson for his students: know your limits. His willingness to fight Fluttershy wasn't necessarily a bluff — rather, he was calling her bluff. If need be, he very well could have smacked her around a little, probably while calling her out on getting his lessons all wrong. Her response to this convinced him she wasn't just trying to weasel out of paying, which is why he backed down gracefully.

Iron Will's money back guarantee is a Secret Test of Character.
Iron Will is running a business, sure, but he really does care about helping ponies to be assertive. If anypony can stand up to him when he comes to collect his fee, then he lets them go without paying, because that level of assertiveness is what he really wants to see.

If the villains form a Villain Team-Up
Iron Will would be the Token Good Teammate.

The next Big Bad will be Star Swirl the Bearded.
It's implied that his greatest spell was an attempt to become an Alicorn. and in fiction that's usually bad news. He will be Back from the Dead through some means, and will either be an Evil Sorceror, Misanthrope Supreme, or He-Man Woman Hater and be very power hungry and crazy.

There will be Evil Counterponies to each of the Mane 6.
We already have Sunset Shimmer, who might have been faking redemption, and Lightning Dust, who's probably pretty miffed about being kicked out of the academy. Now we just need counterparts towards the other 4 members of the Mane 6.
  • Flim and Flam probably contrast Applejack.
    • If we aren't limited to ponies, then put the Diamond Dogs as a counterpart to Rarity (greedy and uncouth. Blueblood might also work, but I honestly see him as being so self-absorbed that he just couldn't be bothered), and Gilda would probably contrast Pinkie (at some point considered Dash's best friend, but is cruel and superficial as opposed to Pinkie's friendly and deeply caring. At the same time, Gilda can handle rejection and gets bored messing with people fairly quickly, while Pinkie demonstrates she psychologically breaks down every time she even perceives a rejection, and will obsessively stalk people she wants to make contact with).

Ahuizotl is a long-lost relative to the {{Pokémon}} Aipom.
I mean, really, guy's got a freakin' hand on his tail…
  • TECHNICALLY true, as both are based on Aztec Mythology, (Like the Pegasus is from Greek myth) and the Ahuizotl is a creature described as having a hand on its tail.

Ahuizotl and Doctor Caballeron are not actually villains.
But not in a lame, self-righteous, Knight Templar way; they're actually character actors that A.K. Yearling hired to help her finish her stories. They improvise the scenes as villainously as possible (within certain limits, depending on their character), and Yearling uses the new material in her books, even giving her co-stars a cut of the profits.

Ahuizotl is Daring Do's ex-boyfriend.
The pair went to the same school together and dated each other for a bit. However, because of their different career choices, Daring thought it would be best if they ended things because of the issue with having a long-term relationship. Needless to say, Ahuizotl didn't take it very well. He decided to become a villain (the reason for being so over the top is because he took a drama major).

If we see Suri again, she will be working two or three part-time jobs.


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alternative title(s): Friendship Is Magic-Antagonists; Friendship Is Magic Antagonists
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