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Characters / Friendship Is Magic: Major Villains

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The Main Cast: Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Spike, Starlight Glimmer, the Cutie Mark Crusaders
Supporting Cast: The Princesses (Princess Celestia, Princess Luna), Mane Family Members, the School of Friendship, Ponyville, Other Locations, Animal Companions
Antagonists: Major Villains (Queen Chrysalis, King Sombra, Lord Tirek, Cozy Glow), Dangerous Creatures, Jerks and Bullies, Redeemed Antagonists (Discord)
World of Equestria: Races, Historical Figures, The 2017 Movie, Expanded Universe, Toyline Exclusive, Miscellaneous
Minor Characters: One-Shots, Other Characters, Background Ponies (Common Background Ponies, Special Background Ponies, Other Background Ponies)
Equestria Girls: Heroines (Sunset Shimmer), Villains, Supporting Cast


They are the antagonists of the show. They activelynote  seek to conquer Equestria, bend its pony denizens to their will and eliminate those who stand in their way of world domination, such as the Princesses and the Elements of Harmony.

See here for the ex-antagonists.

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Arc Villains

    Universal Tropes 

  • All There in the Manual: A lot of what happens to the villains beyond their initial appearances that the show doesn't cover (save the Season 5 finale, which were Alternate Timelines) is covered in the comic book series. Likewise their pasts are shown as well in the mini-series, My Little Pony: FIENDship Is Magic. Though if they're considered canon or not is up to interpretation.
    • Queen Chrysalis is revealed to have been blasted far away from pony civilization and into a town of sickeningly cute kitten creatures. She and her kind feed on them and take over their village before she tries to take revenge on Twilight for her defeat by kidnapping the CMC, hoping to force Twilight into becoming her new servant. It fails when Twilight beats her in a battle and Chrysalis is imprisoned. She manages to escape some time later after tricking Twilight into freeing her. After the events of "To Where and Back Again", Chrysalis still remained at large and wouldn't show up again till "The Mean 6" in the main series before finally becoming a threat once more following her team up with Grogar, Tirek and Cozy Glow.
    • Whatever force that turned Luna into Nightmare Moon has it's army, the Nightmare Forces, kidnap Rarity to use as it's new avatar to attack Equestria. It fails and is seemingly permanently dissipated when Luna and the Mane Six convince Rarity that they'll never abandon her and, with no more fear or resentment to feed from, is vanquished. It also reveals she spent her 1000 year banishment giving nightmares to ponykind as revenge, explaining her infamy despite how quickly she was defeated in the show.
    • Sunset Shimmer's redemption and story was shown in the following Equestria Girls movies, Rainbow Rocks and Friendship Games. But the comics go into more detail about her past with Celestia, how she ended up in the human world and her first encounter with the Humane Five.
    • King Sombra manages to regain his form from one of his pieces left over after being initially vaporized with the help of Radiant Hope, a Crystal Pony who was his childhood friend. He manages to reclaim the Crystal Empire and defeat the heroes, before revealing his endgame is to free his true kind, the Umbrum or Shadow Ponies, from underneath the Crystal Palace. Thanks to Radiant Hope acting as his Morality Chain who convinces him he doesn't have to be evil, however, he turns on and reseals the Umbrum nearly at the cost of his life. The princesses save him and Sombra gains a true pony form, redeeming him and allowing him to be with Radiant Hope, as they set out on a journey through Equestria to restore Princess Amore, a pony Sombra had crystallized and smashed during his evil days in the past. This was rendered non-canon later following the season 9 premiere however which had Grogar bring him back to life and Rarity state he was destroyed despite witnessing his resurrection.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Most of them, especially Chrysalis and Cozy Glow, seem to have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, being so entitled and power-hungry that they completely disregard others and are willing to usurp a kingdom for their own desires.
  • Antagonist Abilities: Most of the villains are armed with "unfair" powers, including:
  • Apple of Discord: In the second half of season 9, Chrysalis, Tirek and Cozy Glow work to undermine the peace between the three pony tribes. By the time of "The Ending of the End", the three races have become so divided that it causes the Windigos to return.
  • Arc Villain: They each act as the main antagonist of a particular story arc, variably at the beginning or end of a season.
  • Bad Future: Each past Arc Villain gets a different one where they rule supreme due to the absence of the Mane Six during the Season Five Finale.
    • Nightmare Moon is shown ruling over an endless night in Equestria.
    • Discord is shown tormenting Celestia and Luna from afar, ruling over a truly chaotic Equestria.
    • Queen Chrysalis also appears to be ruling over Equestria, Twilight and Spike get caught up in her and her changelings trying to stop out La Résistance.
    • King Sombra regains his complete power over the Crystal Empire, re-enslaves the Crystal Ponies, brainwashes them into being his personal army, and then set out to conquer Equestria.
    • Twilight and Spike see Lord Tirek destroying a forest from afar. They don't stick around long enough to know just what else he has done in this timeline.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: The members of Grogar's Legion of Doom. Cozy Glow (Beauty) is a Deliberately Cute Child who uses her cuteness to fool others, Chrysalis (Brains) is an intelligent queen who came extremely close to conquering Equestria twice, and Tirek (Brawn) seeks to regain his "huge physique" after being freed from Tartarus.
  • Beyond Redemption: All the members of Grogar's Legion of Doom are deemed to be this by Celestia during the season 9 finale, due to all their crimes and their refusal to ever stop or change their ways. As a result, Celestia, Luna, and Discord turn the three of them to stone as punishment for all they have done.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Starlight Glimmer and Cozy Glow are ponies, and naturally just as bright colored and cute as all the others. They end up being majorly dangerous villains. Starlight Glimmer subverts this, however, and Cozy Glow plays it totally straight.
  • Character Death: As far as "death" goes for the series at least. In the Season 9 finale, Chrysalis, Tirek, and Cozy Glow are deemed irredeemable, and are subjected to the harshest PG punishment possible: Being turned to stone, presumably for eternity.
  • Dark Is Evil: Aside from Discord, Starlight Glimmer and Cozy Glow, every villain incorporates black into their color schemes and otherwise has a dark appearance (though Chrysalis can transform into a form that isn't dark).
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: In the S9 finale, Tirek, Chrysalis and Cozy manage to sow distrust in the pony species, making them so resentful and fearful of each other that it weakens the guard around the castle and prevents aid from coming to the Mane Six when they take the heroes on, and mock Twilight and state that fear is more powerful then friendship since self-preservation is likewise a thing. While not wrong, they fail to take into account two things. 1) The unity of the pony species is the only thing keeping the Windigos from reappearing and freezing the land. Even with all the power at their disposal, the fact that the three likewise can't get along meant their plans for conquest were doomed from the get go if they had indeed triumphed over the heroes, which would've ensured Equestria's destruction. And 2) Fear is not the end all be all emotion they think it is and can be overcome given enough time. Once the students of the friendship school rouse their respective races to fight for their survival, nearly all of Equestria's creatures come to support the Mane Six in the final battle, not only saving them but giving Twilight enough time to realize how to defeat the villains.
  • Enemy Mine: This is ultimately the agreement that Tirek, Cozy Glow, and Chrysalis come to in season 9. Once they start bonding they realize they hate Twilight and her friends more than they hate each other and are willing to work together to destroy them. However, they refuse to become friends out of pride and refusal to accept the Magic of Friendship, and none of them can agree to a long-term alliance without being the leader of the group themselves. They agree to keep working together until they can betray Grogar and destroy their common enemies, then they can rule separately and go back to trying to destroy each other as well. By the time of the finale, their alliance begins to break apart due to their own in-fighting, since they are running out of common enemies to face together.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: They want to conquer and rule over Equestria, not destroy it, and for the most part, draw the line on actually hurting or killing the Ponies, opting to just imprison or enslave them. "The Ending of the End, Part 2" has Cozy Glow threaten her captives with "complete destruction.", but Chrysalis shoots this down on grounds that would be "too permanent". Even Pre-Face Turn, Discord considers stone-turning to be cruel, and said he would never do such a thing to ponies.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: No matter how close they come to victory, The Power of Friendship (and occasionally The Power of Love) blindsides them and spells their doom after they've written it off as empty hope. Grogar on the other hand realizes this weakness and attempts to use this to his advantage, by getting his own group of villains to work together. That doesn't work either.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Most of the major villains are bigger then the average pony. Starlight Glimmer and Cozy Glow are the exceptions, since the former is a semi-ordinary unicorn and the latter is a pegasus filly. Ultimately, Starlight ends up pulling a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Almost every villain in the show is extremely dramatic and over-the-top in their own way and oftentimes, it's quite hilarious.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: Zigzagged. When Grogar forms his Legion of Doom, the individual members are a bunch of raging jerks barely kept together by Grogar's threats of violence. They do prove capable of working together and bonding over their mutual hatred of the heroes, though. In the Season 9 finale, they argue and bicker more than ever due to running out of common enemies to face together. On the other hand, they have discovered the magic of friendship with each other well enough for the rainbow magic to merely strip them of their enhanced powers, nothing more, even though they didn't let it reform them. It's Discord and the Princesses who later turn them into stone.
  • Fangs Are Evil: To date, every major villain except Starlight Glimmer and Cozy Glow has fangs. Or in Discord's case, a fang. Later averted with the changelings (save Chrysalis) who perform a Heel–Race Turn and ditch the fangs in the Season 6 finale "To Where and Back Again".
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Enforced. A general rule of thumb considering the subject matter. The villains are only allowed to do three things: 1) Appear 2) Cause trouble and maybe 3) Come close to winning. When it comes to actually succeeding, that just isn't happening. About the most "victory" they can get is getting away after their defeat, but it is costly, and trying again will only result in inevitable failure once more. Grogar's Legion of Doom doesn't even get the chance to try again.
  • Fate Worse than Death: According to Discord in the Season 9 finale, this is worst possible thing the Legion of Doom faces as their punishment: spending eternity with each other.
  • The Good Guys Always Win: The villains come close to victory, some come closer than others, but in the end, they always lose. If they ever manage to subvert defeat and come back for another round, they usually end up becoming good guys themselves. Discord and Starlight Glimmer being the prime examples.
  • Lack of Empathy: None of them show much care for anyone threatened or harmed by their actions. Even the changelings, whom feed off love, only regard it as food, and were blindsided by it being used against them.
  • Might Makes Right: The general viewpoint of every villain. They don't believe in the Magic of Friendship and believe that power and strength through conquest is the end-all decider of who runs things and there is no room for love, friendship or kindness. Some of them get it and change their ways but others simply don't.
  • Monster of the Aesop: The villains may be evil, but they aren't braindead. Some of them have their own cynical (and not totally illegitimate) gripes and viewpoints, generally viewing Friendship as flimsy and a waste of time. The Legion Of Doom even boast to Twilight that fear is a just as powerful tool as friendship. Their issue is that the villains are too one-track minded on their views that they completely fail to account for other factors, which is what consistently leads to their downfall.
  • Monster of the Week: The villains more or less show up at the beginning or end of the season and then very rarely show up again, usually to be the monster of the week once more.
  • Mysterious Past: Many of them have very little back story, if any at all. Discord, Chrysalis, Sombra, and Cozy Glow are the most notorious examples of this. The Friendship Is Magic comics fill in the blanks for most of them, though the comics are Loose Canon.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The list goes: Nightmare Moon, Discord, Queen Chrysalis, King Sombra, and Lord Tirek. Subverted with Starlight Glimmer and Cozy Glow, but then that's the entire idea. Starlight Glimmer then ends up subverting this again when she truly becomes a good guy, but Cozy Glow... doesn't.
  • Near-Villain Victory: These guys admittedly come dangerously close to victory. That's about it though when it comes to their overall success. They don't get much credit beyond that. The Legion of Doom come closer than any others; they spread distrust and hatred among the pony tribes, defeat, capture and/or De-power Equestria's heroes save for Twilight, and when the Mane Six attempt a counter-attack, the villains force them to surrender by threatening Spike. If not for The Cavalry assembled by the School of Friendship students stepping in just in time, it would have been all over for the Mane Six.
  • Obviously Evil: Scroll down the page; none of these characters could be mistaken for heroes (except for Cozy Glow, who actually used to be on the One-Shots page). Even Starlight Glimmer looks creepy thanks to The Unsmile she's constantly giving.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The show has shown on a few occasions that even if the villains succeeded with their plans, they would be led to ruin in ways they never fully accounted for. Starlight Glimmer's "victory" nearly destroys the world several times over, and if the The Legion of Doom "won" over the heroes, their complete inability to get along would lead to the Windigos returning to Equestria, who would freeze the land and render their conquest pointless.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Save for Queen Chrysalis, Starlight Glimmer and Cozy Glow, every villain so far has been an old enemy of Celestia's that was defeated and sealed away years ago, and has now broken free. Grogar was defeated and sealed before Celestia and Luna's reign. Although, in the comic series, Chrysalis applied for this when she was defeated and imprisoned within her own castle at the end of her arc, temporarily putting her out of commission until the FIENDship Is Magic micro-series. It eventually turns out that according to FIENDship Is Magic, Queen Chrysalis and her minions were this trope. Celestia defeated them in the past and sealed them in a volcano until they eventually escaped by tricking a dragon.
  • Shadow Archetype: Each villain embodies certain themes that are total antithesis to the shows theme of friendship. Nightmare Moon embodies jealousy, Discord is disharmony, Chrysalis is selfishness, King Sombra is tyranny, Tirek is pride, Starlight Glimmer is resentment, intolerance and vengeance, and Cozy Glow is manipulation through false friendships.
  • The Social Darwinist: In "The Ending of the End — Part 1", Chrysalis, Tirek and Cozy Glow's gloating to Twilight has shades of this, telling her that in the face of fear it is everyone for themselves and there is no room for friendship.
  • Story-Breaker Power: If the show wasn't rated TV-Y and didn't have strict rules to follow, they'd easily end it if they wanted. The villains have clearly proven to be exceptionally powerful and cunning, even more so than the Ponies, but someone or something always sidewinds them to their defeat.
  • Take Over the World: While their motivations for doing so vary, inevitably their goals are to conquer Equestria and/or depose Celestia and Luna.
  • This Is My Side: Discussed briefly among the members of the Legion of Doom. While they agree to work together for the time being, their pact is only until they betray Grogar and defeat the Mane Six. Afterwards, they agree to divide the conquered land among the three of them and rule their own kingdoms separately, never having to see each other again.
  • Too Powerful to Live: In general, the main villains tend to be so powerful and aggressive that leaving them around after their debut episodes isn't an option, as the magnitude of the threats they present and their generally... unreasonable... attitudes would force the story to keep revolving around them and their actions if they remained active afterwards. As such, they are almost always removed or neutralized once their two-parter is over, with a few exceptions including the alternate timelines in "The Cutie Re-Mark", to allow the show to return to the light comedy, slice of life and less life-or-death adventures that make up the bulk of its episodes.
    • Nightmare Moon, a match for Celestia in terms of power and devoted to her goal of casting Equestria into eternal night, is turned back into Luna at the end of the premiere. She only briefly returns in dreams and flashbacks afterwards.
    • Discord is easily the most innately powerful of the villains, and can seemingly ignore anything done to him by anything beyond the Elements of Harmony or Tirek's Mana Drain. He's turned back into a statue at the end of "The Return of Harmony" and brought back to imprisonment, and only returns when his Heel–Face Turn removes his status as someone whom the main characters would have to oppose.
    • Queen Chrysalis, who mounted a full invasion and takeover of Equestria's capital, is hurled out of the country by a magic blast. After her return a few seasons later, she remains at large, but with her threat level severely diminished by the loss of her army and kingdom after their Heel–Face Turn. She is finally turned to stone for her crimes.
    • King Sombra, who tyrannized the Crystal Empire with plans to expand, gets Killed Off for Real. And in his return seasons later, he managed to brainwash countless ponies, destroy the Tree and Elements of Harmony, and nearly initiated a one-pony takeover of the Crystal Empire and Equestria as a whole before getting Killed Off for Real again.
    • Tirek, who managed to drain the magic of every pony in Equestria and Discord to boot, becoming temporarily the most powerful being in Equestria, is stripped of his power and sent back to Tartarus. He also receives the stone treatment for eternity.
    • The Pony of Shadows, a shadowy Animalistic Abomination whose powers are never fully explored but who plans on taking over the whole world, is convinced to abandon his dark powers and goes back to being a normal pony, with said dark powers being sealed away.
  • The Unreveal: It's unknown if the trio are still in stone by the epilogue or if any of them were ever released.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Nightmare Moon is the one aversion since the show had yet to set its tone, everyone since has been increasingly this. Queen Chrysalis has the honor of being the trope's page image.
  • Villain Team-Up: In Season 9, Grogar summons Queen Chrysalis, Lord Tirek and Cozy Glow, demanding that they work together to conquer Equestria.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: The villains always succeed in their most basic plans and gain an advantage. Come the end, however, inevitable failure begins taking over and it all comes crashing down.

    Nightmare Moon
"From this moment forth, the night will last FOREVER! AHAHAHAHAHAAA!!"

An evil and wicked creature born from dark magic fueling Princess Luna's jealousy and bitterness. Her desire to create a never-ending night forced Princess Celestia to use the Elements of Harmony to imprison her in the moon, seemingly for eternity. However, after one thousand years, the stars help her to escape, and this time, she attacks first, leaving Equestria stuck on night time. After a short rampage, she is defeated and purified of her darkness by Twilight Sparkle and her friends.

In the comics, it turns out that Nightmare Moon was the product of Luna being corrupted by an outside entity preying on her unhappiness in having her night ignored, nor was she the first. FIENDship Is Magic #4 had her corrupt the inhabitants of the moon into the Nightmare Forces, who would enable her return. See the Expanded Universe characters page for more.

  • Adaptational Villainy: From the comics, FIENDship Is Magic has her, in one issue, do more evilness than in all her appearances on the show. She played a False Friend to the Nyx, corrupts them into the Nightmare Forces, and spent her entire 1000 year imprisonment plaguing ponykind with nightmares as revenge. Contrasts the show, which is reducing the evil she was implied to have achieved or be capable of.
  • Affably Evil: In her Bad Future from "The Cutie Re-Mark – Part 2". She's surprisingly polite and reasonable for an evil megalomaniac. Not to mention that her Bad Future is by far the least "bad" of all the timelines (Rarity even comments that Nightmare Moon's castle "isn't open for view" at the moment, implying that it is somewhat of a touristic attraction).
  • Alto Villainess: Voiced with a low-pitched female voice.
  • Arch-Enemy: Treats Celestia as this. The Mane Six are viewed mostly as annoying children and the challenges she sends them are largely indirect and non-deadly. When she and Celestia faced off 1000 years ago however, Nightmare Moon wanted nothing more than to kill her immediately.
  • Arc Villain: The main antagonist of the opening two-parter.
  • Beam Spam: Her first act after transforming is to start randomly blasting everything in sight with her magic. It's also her main means of attack against Celestia.
  • Beneath the Mask: The evil and confident Nightmare Moon was actually a scared pony who missed her sister.
  • Big "NO!":
    • She does this when she is blasted with the Elements of Harmony, twice.
    • She also does it when Twilight escapes from her Bad Future in "The Cutie Remark, Part 2".
  • Bling of War: Decked out in an elaborate helmet, gorget (collar) adorned with Luna's moon sigil, and boots with a fleur-de-lis pattern.
  • Cain and Abel: The Cain to Celestia's Abel.
  • Classic Villain: Envy and Wrath.
  • Cold Ham: In her first appearance especially. Even in her more reserved moods, Nightmare Moon gleefully plays to her audience.
  • Dark Action Girl: She manages to hold her own against Celestia, which forces her to use the elements to seal her away.
  • Dark Is Evil: In contrast to Luna being The Sacred Darkness.
  • Dark Magical Girl: She is driven to evil by jealousy and eternal loneliness, gets a Plot-Relevant Age-Up and green eyes, dons a goth-esque outfit, and is promptly sealed away for a thousand years. When she escapes, she uses her powers to fight the even younger Magical Girl sent unwittingly to redeem her, who defeats her with The Power of Friendship and reunites her with her sister.
  • Depending on the Writer: In the comics, she is the product of something possessing Luna. The cartoon presented her transformation as purely Luna's decision and power at work, and has yet to even imply that outside forces were involved. Albeit the cartoon does show Luna having a shocked expression as she begins transforming, indicating at the very least that she did not intend to become Nightmare Moon or did not realize what would happen when she did. Product of something possessing Luna or not, the way the black mist appears around Luna as she begins transforming suggests that whatever turned her into Nightmare Moon did not come from Luna herself. However, Jim Miller would say during an AMA on twitter that Nightmare Moon is simply Luna's dark half born from burying her feelings and resentment towards her sister until it became Nightmare Moon, and thus was always part of Luna.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: She quickly learned where the Elements of Harmony were and could get to them much faster than the Mane Cast. She had no reason to even bother with the Mane Cast at all, let alone try to deal with them indirectly through proxies, traps and illusions. Yet she went after them anyway, and in doing so helped prove their worthiness to wield the Elements.
  • The Dreaded: During her absence she has become ponykind's boogeyman. "Nightmare Night" is dedicated to how scary she is.
  • Driven by Envy: According to the Creation Myth, the problem started when she grew jealous of how their subjects went out and enjoyed the daytime but slept through her beautiful nights.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Her first appearance presented her as more of a Cold Ham with a deep reserved voice. After Princess Luna's personality had been established, later appearances made her more of an evil mirror of her, as well as benefiting from the show's increasing Animation Bump and gaining more details to her design such as fangs.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • For both Celestia (sun/moon, day/night, etc.) and Luna (see The Sacred Darkness).
    • Her Shadowbolts form is this to the Wonderbolts.
  • Evil Former Friend: Towards Princess Celestia. She used to be a co-ruler, prior to her Face–Heel Turn.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Turning into Nightmare Moon makes her about the same size as Celestia.
  • Evil Is Hammy: While hammy, "Luna Eclipsed" subverts this by showing Luna was hammier before she turned evil.
  • Evil Laugh: A big fan of it; see her page quote.
  • Evil Plan: Eternal Night, with an era of evil as a side dish! Not to mention it would've actually killed every living thing under the sky.
  • The Evil Princess: She is in a literal sense an "evil princess", but her position seems to (and was supposed to) be that of a queen. There isn't anyone higher in position than hers to overthrow with the exception of her equal and fellow princess, Celestia.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Has a throaty, regal and commanding voice.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: Hers look more like dragon eyes than pony eyes.
  • The Fair Folk: Nightmare Moon's legend post-Elements was told like this. Disguise yourself so she can’t recognize you, give her a candy offering so she could fill her stomach with that instead of you, and above all, never piss her off. Only then she may just might decide against devouring everyone on Equestria... until next year, that is.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Nightmare Moon's original design didn't have fangs, but the Nightmare Night portrayals of her do. Beginning with Season 4's flashback to Luna's transformation, her design was updated to include fangs.
  • Fisher King: Naturally, when she seizes control of Equestria, the land is plunged into never-ending darkness.
  • Fleur de Lis: Her boots and collar appear to have this integrated into their design.
  • Fusion Dance: The fusion of Luna and the Nightmare Forces, as revealed in the comics.
  • God of Evil: Downplayed; there is nothing evil about night or dreams (again see The Sacred Darkness) but she uses them for evil.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Even though she's called a princess, her power, as with Celestia, is that of a queen. Word Of God states that it was due to Executive Meddling to prevent this very trope from being invoked that Celestia and Luna were given the title of Princess. Nightmare Moon remains a straight example of this regardless of title change.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: She was born of Princess Luna's resentment of her sister, Celestia, being appreciated more than her. Her actions left Celestia the universally loved Big Good and her being banished and forgotten; backfiring in every way.
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Glowing Eyes of Doom with Hellish Pupils, definitely evil.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Has feathery wings like any Pegasus, but they're drawn with a noticeably more bat-like outline.
  • Hellish Horse: Unlike Luna, she's truly malevolent and frightening.
  • Hellish Pupils: Has vertically slitted pupils.
  • Hot Goddess: For the same reason as Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, considering that Nightmare Moon is their Evil Counterpart.
  • Large Ham: Like most of the villains in this show, she loves to ham it up and particularly when making declarations of victory.
  • Lean and Mean: Nightmare Moon is a tall, slender alicorn hellbent on summoning The Night That Never Ends.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Say what you will about her level of evil, in the "The Cutie Re-Mark - Part 2" her Bad Future is the least horrifying of the major villains (arguably excluding Discord's), and she's actually quite reasonable and polite with Twilight (though her intentions are still quite clearly sinister, and she does take Spike hostage).
  • Meaningful Name: She rules the moon and is most certainly a thing of nightmares. "Sleepless in Ponyville" revealed Luna has power over dreams, meaning her evil self can give others nightmares.
  • Menacing Stroll: Performs a brief one towards Celestia shortly after her transformation.
  • More than Mind Control: According to the comics, Luna was corrupted by being told she could use Nightmare Moon's power to force ponies to respect the night like she desired.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Nightmare is enough.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: When Twilight Sparkle sets off with her new friends to find the Elements of Harmony, they only have a partial idea of what they are looking for. Nightmare Moon's attempts to stop them provide the clues that are needed to figure out the rest of the missing information. With the comics in consideration, this may be justified. For when Nightmare Moon tried to stop Twilight and her friends, Luna may have been Fighting from the Inside.
  • The Night That Never Ends: Her ultimate goal.
  • Offstage Villainy: The Bad Future where she rules is implied to be worse than King Sombra's or Queen Chrysalis's. From what we see of it, it is the most peaceful and intact timeline (not even showing the damage Word Of God claimed eternal night would bring), and she shows less cruelty to her subjects and others than any other villain.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Twilight Sparkle discovers the sixth element of magic and the mane six proceed to use the Elements of Harmony to stop her.
  • One-Winged Angel: Serves as this for Princess Luna.
  • Paint It Black: Luna's coat turned completley black after she became Nightmare Moon
  • The Power of Hate: According to Word Of God, she came to be because Princess Luna envied her sister to the point of irrational hatred.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: In the bad future where she was victorious and rules over Equestria, she's the only villain who's even remotely pleasant to her subjects. After all, how can they adore and admire her if she treats them with scorn and cruelty?
  • Prehensile Hair: Her mane and tail are made up of the purple smoke stuff she's also capable of entirely transforming into; it can move as she pleases. She most notably uses her mane to flick Rarity on the chin when she makes her appearance in Ponyville.
  • Psycho Electro: Her lightning powers accompany her hammy moments. Although they aren't solely for show; on her very first appearance, she knocks out a few pegasus guards with lightning bolts.
  • Punny Name:
    • Nightmare Moon. Oddly enough, the word "nightmare" is etymologically derived from "mare", as the original word meant both "terror", "horses", and "doom", and was associated with mythological beasts which trampled people as they were sleeping. As such, it's not really a pun.
    • She went mad from jealousy and The Mare of the Moon was a lunatic.
    • Also her change of name. Luna is Latin (and Spanish) for "moon".
    • The dark areas or "seas" of our moon are all named "Mare something-or-other". It's too bad they're not pronounced the samenote .
  • Repressive, but Efficient: In The Cutie Re-Mark, the Bad Future in which Nightmare Moon succeeded in taking over Equestria has her running the kingdom as a functional society, unlike all the other villains' futures. She's also notably the only one to have members of the Mane Six willingly helping her.
  • The Resenter: She's jealous of her sister gaining attention from everypony since they're awake to see the sun rise, but not when she raises the moon.
  • Retcanon: Given she was originally defeated before doing anything worse than briefly KO Princess Celestia, it's nigh-impossible to rationalize Nightmare Moon's infamy and Princess Luna's guilt demonstrated in "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?" unless one accepts Nightmare Moon's actions in the comics as canon.
  • Sanity Slippage: In the Bad Future where she won in "The Cutie Remark", she's noticeably more manic, with a constant bug-eyed expression.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: She was sealed in the Moon for a thousand years as "The Mare in the Moon".
  • Self-Duplication: Combined with Voluntary Shapeshifting. Nightmare Moon transforms into a fictional trio called the Shadowbolts based on Rainbow Dash's idols, the Wonderbolts, in order to distract her from helping her friends. However, only the female member speaks (in Nightmare Moon's voice), so it is also possible that the two male members are non-sentient dummies or she couldn't make a convincing male voice for them.
  • Shadow Archetype: According to Jim Miller, she's literally this for Luna: her psychological shadow that eventually overtook her as its own personality.
  • Shock and Awe: She uses lightning to escape the Summer Sun Celebration in the second episode.
  • Shout-Out: To Maleficent. "STAND BACK, YOU FOALS! BWA-HAHAHAHAHAHA!"
  • Spell My Name with an S: "Nightmare Moon" has been used by Hasbro and its toy line, by the trading cards, by The Hub, by WeLoveFine, and by Lauren Faust, while "Night Mare Moon" has been used by Hasbro, by at least one episode synopsis, by Lauren Faust, and partially by the single-volume storybook adaptation of the pilot episodes.
  • Split Personality: Jim Miller describes her as being a separate personality born from Luna's repressed feelings and resentment, implying this trope.
  • Starter Villain: The first villain in the series, and only lasted long enough to establish the friendships, and show their abilities and personalities, which the series would build on.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: invokedWord Of God confirms that ponies couldn't grow food without sunlight, which would ultimately kill off everything. It's unknown if she knew or cared about the consequences.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: A literal case in the comics, as Nightmare Moon was born from evil magic taking over Luna. In both continuities, Nightmare Moon is larger, more powerful, and eviller than Luna.
  • Super Smoke: Can transform into smoke to move more rapidly and then reform.
  • That Man Is Dead: During their first confrontation, Celestia begs "Luna" to stop her rampage and lower the moon. Her sister responds with: "Luna? I am Nightmare Moon!"
  • To Create a Playground for Evil: According to Lauren Faust, this is what Nightmare Moon's eternal night would have resulted in. Confirmed in the IDW comics as the goal of the Nightmare Forces.
  • Tragic Monster: Whether Luna was trapped, hapless in Nightmare Moon, or to some degree complicit with her, Luna was aware enough of her wrongdoings that she developed a major guilt complex once freed. Also this to Celestia, as the fight against her was one of the only two times in the show she was reduced to tears.
  • Tranquil Fury: Has a brief moment of this during her confrontation with Celestia, striding calmly out of a cloud of smoke with sinister background music playing.
  • Unflinching Walk: In "The Cutie Remark, Part 2" she casually strolls through the Everfree forest, blasting timberwolves with her magic and carrying a chained-up Spike behind her, all without breaking stride for even a moment.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Could you believe someone as insane as she is used to be sweet, socially awkward Princess Luna?
  • Villainous Legacy: Nightmare Moon frequently acts as this for stories focusing on Princess Luna, since Luna is constantly trying to redeem herself for her past actions. For example, "Luna Eclipsed" has Luna trying to overcome her bad publicity and the shadow of her evil counterpart.
  • Villainous Princess: As a result of being Princess Luna's evil counterpart.
  • Vocal Evolution: Her voice is deeper and more sinister in the pilot than in her later appearances, which have her speaking nearly the same as the restored Princess Luna.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Takes on several different forms throughout the episode, including a thorn to enrage a Manticore and the Shadowbolts to tempt Rainbow Dash.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She was born from the jealousy and resentment Luna felt towards Celestia for their subjects loving her day and shunning the night, and deep down she still wants to be seen as her sister's equal and receive the same love and devotion she got. This is highlighted in the Deviations comic; when the cast says Prince Blueblood is almost as bad as her, Nightmare Moon is horrified and protests she just wants them to appreciate her and her night. She essentially talks herself down into being Luna again as the Mane Five reassure her they do love her night, and maybe it's not too late to make up with Celestia, either.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Her official toy is relatively show-accurate, but she's given a purple mane. Justified, as a mane made of stars is pretty hard to translate into a Real Life sharable format.


    Queen Chrysalis 

    King Sombra 

    Sunset Shimmer 

    Lord Tirek 

    Adagio Dazzle 
See My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Villains (Specifically, the folder marked "The Dazzlings (The Sirens)")

    Starlight Glimmer 

    The Pony of Shadows 

    The Storm King 
See My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) (Specifically, the folder marked "The Storm King")

    Chancellor Neighsay 

    Cozy Glow 

Non-Arc Villains


    Dr. Caballeron 

    The Mane-iac 

    The Tantabus 

For the dream version of Daybreaker; see Friendship Is Magic: Others.

For the Alternate version of Daybreaker; see Friendship Is Magic: Expanded Universe.

    Mean Twilight 
See Friendship Is Magic: Jerks and Bullies (Specifically, the folder marked "The Mean Six")



The Bewitching Bell

Tirek, Chrysalis, and Cozy Glow use the power of Grogar's Bewitching Bell to become more powerful than ever.

How well does it match the trope?

4.38 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / AmplifierArtifact

Media sources: