LunaxSombra4Ever

King Sombra is Not Dead (Fan Theory)

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http://cloudmistdragon.deviantart.com/art/King-Sombra-is-Not-Dead-MLP-FiM-Fan-Theory-652475278

Faintly...I’ll go...to take this head on...

The Debate of King Sombra

Every fan of King Sombra has seen The Crystal Empire, the two-parter premiere episode of the third season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, in which he made his debut. Although both the portrayal of King Sombra in this episode and the episode as a whole have always sparked a wide mix of different opinions amongst fans of the show, one generally accepted opinion on the episode is that the scene of King Sombra’s defeat is one of the show’s most memorable scenes. What has always made it stand out from the show’s other instances of a villain suffering their untimely defeat, often caused by multi-colored lights (TASTE THE RAINBOW MOTHERF'ER), is that it apparently depicts the first, and still to this day, only time where a villain has been killed.  

...Notice how the word, “apparently”, is italicized for emphasis.

There is debate on the matter of whether King Sombra was truly killed or not in The Crystal Empire. Those who side with the former and believe that the case is open-and-shut most often bring up the response of Meghan McCarthy, the aforementioned episode’s writer, who when asked about whether Sombra was dead or not, replied by saying that he was. The most common counterargument to this is that what Meghan McCarthy says is subject to change, as demonstrated in the case of her reply to a question on the issue of whether Flash Sentry, a character from the show’s spin-off film series, Equestria Girls, would ever make an appearance in the show. Though she replied by saying that he would not, Flash Sentry still in fact appeared in two episodes she wrote for.

When Meghan was asked about this, she replied by saying that it was not her decision to include said character in the episode. It was later announced by “Big” Jim Miller, the show’s supervising director (and Sombra’s voice actor :3), that the reason for his inclusion was that he was “added by request”. Incidentally, Jim Miller, the same person who defended Meghan on this matter, also implied that the show’s team was undecided on whether to use King Sombra again or not when he was asked about whether he thought the character was capable of being redeemed or not.  

It has been proven that what a member of the show’s creative team says in regards to the show’s future is not absolute confirmation, as what they say is interchangeable depending on the future of what the entirety of the show’s creative team ultimately agrees upon. In fact, the episode in question, The Crystal Empire, turned out very different from how it was originally planned to be. Many of the changes made to the original script, such as King Sombra originally being the leader of an army of the undead, were discussed in an interview with Meghan McCarthy. Hasbro, the parent company of Studio B, the studio that produces the show, also had influence in the changes made to the original script as well, but that is a matter to be discussed much later.

Essentially, the only thing we know for certain at the moment regarding the debate on whether King Sombra is dead or not is that there is no concrete, conclusive answer yet. Even what I am about to discuss is only a theory for my own personal headcanon that King Sombra is very much alive. However, I have many facts to bolster my argument, including many examples from the show that I do believe need to be given more attention. Be warned that this theory will be very long and detailed. In an effort to simplify it as much as possible, however, I will divide it into five parts and start from the basic facts we all know.

The Defeat of King Sombra

In The Crystal Empire, King Sombra is defeated when the Crystal Heart is put back in its rightful place, causing intense light to erupt all across the empire, causing his pony body to explode. What follows this is even more light bursting from the empire, causing the shadows that have surrounded the empire to blow away and disappear. Needless to say, naturally, in the real world, your body exploding would most certainly kill you. What is also needless to say, however, is that King Sombra is most certainly not a natural creature living in the real world. Though an explosion of the body would still guarantee the death of a pony, even in a fantasy world like My Little Pony’s where death is acknowledged, a nagging question still lingers in regards to Sombra…

...What exactly is he?

He is first shown to be a unicorn before Princess Celestia explains to Twilight Sparkle that he was “turned to shadow”. After that, the only part of the episode that shows him as a unicorn again is soon before his defeat. Somehow, exposure to light emanating from the Crystal Heart causes him to “transform back into a unicorn”. There is no stated explanation given for why this happens in the episode, but there is an implied one that can be assumed upon observation of evidence...

If you watch the scene where Sombra “becomes a pony again” closely, you can see the shadow being “pulled off of him” by the light from the Crystal Heart. In real life, when a shadow is exposed to light, the shadow extends and grows darker, which explains the shadow being pulled away. I know that it is possible that the only reason Sombra is forced into a solid form by the light of the Crystal Heart is because shadows simply are not allowed to be in the presence of the Crystal Heart’s light. But notice how said light does nothing to the dark crystal Sombra is riding, even though the crystal was formed from Sombra’s shadow form when he came out of the ground. Knowing this, we can assume the possibility that there was no transformation involved in Sombra’s “pony reverting”. However, it doesn’t end there.

A popular belief surrounding Sombra’s form is that he is a “shadow pony”, a hybrid between a creature of pure shadow and a pony. What I just talked about may seem to support that. It is even possible that what Celestia meant by “turned to shadow” is that she and Princess Luna actually put Sombra inside a body of shadow. Therefore, he still, technically, is a pony.

But wait a minute, let’s go over some more details before we jump to conclusions.

The flashback that portrays Celestia and Luna defeating Sombra for the first time does seem more likely to be depicting a transformation rather than Sombra being “put inside of a shadow”. In that scene, an intense flood of light washes over him, causing his cape, armor, and circlet to fall off. It is not until a similar thing happens to him with the Crystal Heart that he regains all these items, even though they were blown off of him a thousand years ago. After that, he is thrown in a fissure between two colossal layers of ice that come together.

Now, think about it. If he was just a pony inside a shadow, no, if even any part of him is still flesh and blood, wouldn’t he die by having two walls of ice crush him? That isn’t even counting that he managed to live for a millennium inside of such an inhospitable area as inside of an icy crevice. How is this possible? Is he immortal? Then why does he assume the form of a seemingly mortal pony right before his defeat? Because of a magic light? Wasn’t it magic light that turned him to indestructible shadow? It seems rather complicated at first, but I believe the answer is actually very simple...  

King Sombra’s body has been entirely transformed into shadow. The pony form he takes on when he’s exposed to the Crystal Heart’s light isn’t real.

The first piece of evidence I will bring up to back up this answer is the way Sombra behaves in his shadow form. Magic simply passes right through him, he can expand his body to surround the entire area of the empire with shadow, he can regenerate broken parts of his body, can pass through solid ground, and can transform parts of his body, or even his entire body, into dark crystal, as shown in the scene where his horn sinks into the ground and in the scene where he goes after Spike.

The second piece of evidence I have to bring up are the aforementioned cape, armor, and circlet reappearing, even after they were lost a thousand years ago. An easy answer to how they magically came back (besides MAGIC! *snort* *snort*) is that they didn’t magically come back at all. Parts of Sombra’s body of shadow simply adopted their form.

Think it through. If Sombra can physically manifest himself as crystal, what would be so difficult about manifesting parts of himself as simple accessories? But more importantly, doesn’t this make it entirely possible for him to create a body for himself that resembles that of a pony’s, but is actually made entirely of crystal?

Imagine the scene where Sombra appears to become a pony again like this. When the light shines on him, his shadow body is naturally forced to assume a physical form of dark crystal. The light then causes the rest of the shadow surrounding him to extend in the direction opposite of where he’s headed. Some of it fades while some of it becomes part of the dark crystal he’s on.

Going back to the scene where the broken piece of Sombra’s horn sinks into the ground and transforms into dark crystal, notice how in the following scene, he is still able to use magic even with part of his horn gone. But in the case of Shining Armor, an ordinary pony, he could not use magic after Sombra did something to his horn that caused dark crystals to appear on part of it.

Now let’s go back to the scene where Sombra’s body explodes. Why does this happen if he is just a normal pony of flesh and blood at this time? The light from the Crystal Heart fills all the other ponies’ bodies with light that glows all throughout them. But in Sombra’s case, it causes his body to crack and shatter like glass or rock...or crystal. If you watch closely, you’ll see that his explosion is not so much an explosion, it is moreso a wave of light pushing the crumbled pieces of his body away. You can even still hear Sombra screaming as parts of his body fly away. This could be intended to be an echo, I know, but I only mean to state what happened.

This is merely extra food for thought as well. The real kicker comes with the final piece of evidence I have for my theory on why King Sombra is one-hundred percent shadow…

When King Sombra supposedly dies, his shadows, which are shown to be part of him, do not die with him. They linger around the empire until another burst of light blows them away and causes them to vanish. Why is that? Again, think. If Sombra was just an ordinary pony, the light from the Crystal Heart would not kill him. If Sombra was just a pony-shadow hybrid, losing his pony self would destroy his entire being. That is, if you consider that he is mortal…

Upon exploring the details of Sombra’s defeat, I have arrived at the conclusion that even if my answer is incorrect, much evidence is still left behind that supports that King Sombra is always in the form of an immortal shadow. And this is only one part of what I want to discuss…

Backstory of King Sombra

Many agree that the backstory Sombra is given in the show is vague and leaves much to be desired. For one, just the way Princess Celestia explains it is shaky. She doesn’t even mention that it was her and Luna who banished King Sombra one thousand years ago even as said fact is made obvious in the flashback. Not only that, but there is an inconsistency in her story. How was King Sombra able to take over the Crystal Empire if the Crystal Heart was there to protect the empire from evil? How did Sombra get in? Was the heart knocked out of place and rendered temporarily unusable? Did it break and have to be fixed? Or…

It is possible that there’s something Princess Celestia and Luna know about Sombra that they don’t want Twilight Sparkle to know. Just watch the way Luna behaves the entire time. What reason does she have to be unhappy that Twilight is being given a chance to protect the empire and make a large step towards the next chapter of her life? Is she just jealous? When at any other time in the series has Luna been shown to be jealous of Twilight? She seemed to be very happy for her when she became a princess in Magical Mystery Cure, so what reason would she have to be upset? If it has nothing to do with Twilight, then maybe it has something to do with Sombra…

I’m sure some of you reading this already know that Luna’s behavior in this episode has led to speculation amongst some fans that Luna and Sombra were once in a relationship back when Sombra ruled over the empire with kindness. I’m also sure about what some of you are thinking…

“What the hell? I thought this was some loser’s crazy conspiracy theory about King Sombra being alive, not some loser’s shipping trash!”

...and don’t worry, I have no intention of abruptly shifting the focus of this theory to LunaXSombra4ever. I bring this up because I do believe it is vital to understanding why Sombra’s backstory as we know it does not match up with his rise and fall as we know it. Here is where I’m trying to explain why Sombra’s backstory does not fit with an ending of him abruptly being killed.

It is possible that Luna and Sombra were merely close friends, and that no romance was involved between them. It seems ridiculous imagining them together in an intimate relationship…until you read the comics and take a look at the arc where Princess Celestia has a romantic relationship with an alternate version of King Sombra.

Now I am well-aware that it has been said that the canon of the comics and the canon of the show are separate, not just by word of the show’s staff, but also by word of the comics’ staff. This matters not though, as what I mean to show here is that MLP is not against the idea of its characters having romantic relationships. There have even been hints in the show, such as with Big McIntosh and Marble Pie.

I’d even say that there’s another hint in the episode besides Luna’s odd, unexplained behavior. Watch what happens after the Crystal Empire banishes King Sombra. We get a scene where Celestia puts her horn against Luna’s and smiles after seeing light from the empire pass by the window. Luna hesitates at first, but soon slides her horn against her sister’s as well and smiles. What is the purpose of this scene? Most likely, it’s to show that Celestia and Luna are relieved that Twilight has passed the test and that the Crystal Empire is safe. However, that does not mean this is the scene’s only purpose…

It’s entirely possible that the scene has a secondary purpose, that being to confirm that it was indeed Celestia and Luna who banished Sombra a thousand years ago. Though they’re covered by a veil of shadow in the flashback, you can see them putting their horns together to shine their light on Sombra, just as they do in this scene. Keep in mind that Celestia and Luna “should not have known” that Sombra had returned. All Celestia had asked of Twilight was to protect the empire from danger, she never told her that the threat was Sombra...

Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t make sense from a writing perspective to imply that something more happened between Celestia, Luna, and Sombra, only to permanently kill Sombra off with no intention of taking that implied plot point anywhere. Speaking of comics and permanently killing off characters…

The Other Story of King Sombra

I do read the IDW MLP:FiM comic series, and I have read the issues of the Siege of the Crystal Empire arc. Unlike the aforementioned arc, Reflections, this arc tells us for the first time in the main series (that’s discounting FIENDship is Magic) what King Sombra’s backstory is. This displays that Hasbro does have some interest in him even with him being “dead” in the show.

Without spoiling too much, this arc tells us that King Sombra is actually an umbrum, a creature who comes from a race of shadow ponies...as far as comic canon is concerned, but you catch my drift. And yes, this arc proves without a shadow of a doubt (no pun intended) that show canon and comic canon do not intermingle, as they have two different “Changeling Invasion of the Crystal Empire” stories. The one in the show does not acknowledge or leave any window of opportunity for the one in the comic to take place.

I mention this because many do view the comics as canon with the show, which is true to some level. The comics do try to stay faithful to the canon of the show, but in the end, are intended to be their own stories. They don’t mean to follow the show exactly and, therefore, should not be used to back up arguments for what went on and what didn’t go on in the show.

Hey, I’m just being honest here. If I don’t give it to you straight that my entire theory falls apart if the comics are canon, I’m fu-

Moving on, there is another interesting fact about Sombra’s arc in the comics that does cast doubts on him being killed off in the show. Again, trying to only spoil what’s necessary, there is a character who apparently gets killed off in the story and is only said to actually be alive at the very ending of the comic through an abrupt exchange of dialogue (NO NOT KILLED SHATTERED). When the writer of said arc, Jeremy Whitley, was asked about this bizarre moment, he replied by saying that it was a last-minute inclusion made because of Hasbro’s policy of “not killing off characters”.

Remember what I said much earlier on about Hasbro having influence in the changes made to the original script of The Crystal Empire? It is apparent now that their influence does not merely impact how the episodes of the show are written, but also how the stories in the comics are written. Because My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a show intended to promote toys, this has always been something to be expected. I mean not to imply that it’s surprising in the case of the comics, but it is indeed interesting.

If you explore Hasbro’s past, history shows you that killing off characters has not gone well for them. The poor box office performance of The Transformers: The Movie was widely blamed on Hasbro’s controversial decision to use it as a way to advertise their upcoming line of toys by killing off much of the current character cast and replacing them with new characters. Not only that, but allowing for the return of a beloved villain character such as King Sombra would be basic business strategy.

Though I humbly acknowledge that everything I have said thus far has been subject to correction, I will do the unthinkable for a moment...and be realistic. Disregarding my input, just imagine it for yourselves. Do you honestly think that during production of Season 3, that Meghan McCarthy was ever called into Stephen Davis’ office and told that she had to completely kill off a new character, whom money could potentially be going into, and leave no door open whatsoever for the character to ever return? No, that I can guarantee never happened. There would be a better chance that one day, Meghan was called into his office and asked to write My Little Pony: High School Musical. Speaking of My Little Pony: High School Musical…

...

...I’m just kidding. At least as far as I know, there’s no evidence of King Sombra being alive in Equestria Girls. Still, I feel I’ve made my point that there are even clues outside of the cartoon that nudge at the possibility of Sombra being alive. Not just that, I also feel like I’ve said enough about Sombra just being alive...so how about I end this by talking about him being alive...and returning?

Return of King Sombra

Soon I’ll come around...lost and never found...

What’s that? King Sombra might still be alive because his horn survived the explosion? Come on, that’s crazy talk!

So yeah, speaking seriously, why did it take me so long to bring up what is easily the most popular speculation for how Sombra was able to survive being blown to bits in The Crystal Empire? Easy. Because I wanted to be original! To set myself apart from those zombie writers who just go on and on about trivial stuff that everyone already knows, I went on and on about trivial stuff that no one cares about, like a worm tunneling its way through a zombie’s corroding brain!

I’m just joking, as always. I don’t really think I’m “more original” than theorists who use Sombra’s horn and his ability to regenerate his body parts as the focal point of their argument for him being alive. It’s a good piece of supporting evidence to the argument, but I already discussed his regeneration ability earlier, and additionally, it was never what drove me to become a follower of the belief that Sombra is still alive. My inspiration came from SkyBolt, co-creator of the popular Sombra-related music composition, Fall of an Empire, after he discussed his inspirations in an afterthoughts video concerning the project, so special thanks to him.

In this video, SkyBolt talks about his personal headcanon on what happened to King Sombra in the Season 3 premiere at a few points. Believe it or not, granted you’re unfamiliar with the video, his theory on the matter is very different from mine. Still, I took everything he said into consideration. He too brought up Luna’s unusual behavior in the episode, but what particularly caught my attention is when he began talking about believing that Sombra actually returned to the Crystal Empire after all had transpired. After hearing that...I got curious. And so, I began to think. Were there any other potential clues to Sombra’s return other than his horn? Looking now, I believe there are…

First, I’ll bring up the bright orange sky at the end of the special. Remember that in The Crystal Empire, when Sombra surrounded the empire, the sky above the area was orange, the color of the sky during sunset. In the final verses of The Failure/Success Song, it is sunset and the sky is orange, even though at every other time in that series of scenes, it is day and the sky is blue. Seeing as how it was nighttime when Twilight and her friends were at the Crystal Empire, confirmed by Shining Armor’s line of dialogue about “not wanting to run into things after dark”, and the night sky outside Celestia and Luna’s palace after Sombra is defeated, it would make sense for it be daytime when Twilight and her friends returned home. After all, they left in the afternoon and arrived at the empire at night, where the sky above is always blue.

Please don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not trying to be overanalytical and I know such a small thing is explainable by an oversight. Do keep in mind though that in The Crystalling, the show’s Season 6 premiere, a similar thing happened towards the end where a small black creature that appeared to be a Changeling could be seen flying towards the Crystal Empire in the final scene. While this was explainable by an oversight, as it could’ve just been a random pegasus veiled by shadow that was added to the scene by mistake or for effect, it still turned out to be foreshadowing for the plot of Queen Chrysalis’ return that season.

On the subject of The Crystalling, anyone who has watched the special has noticed its bizarre lack of an antagonist, the same way Princess Twilight Sparkle, the show's Season 4 premiere, lacked an antagonist. But in the case of the latter, the conflict was set in motion by a former villain, long ago while he was still evil. In the case of the former, the conflict is caused...by an innocent infant and the forces of nature. Needless to say, something about this feels off. Could it be the nagging feeling that the storms that threaten the Crystal Empire are actually being caused by an evil force?

It has been proven in the show that evil forces do create storms that bring harm to the land of Equestria, as seen in the case of the Windigoes. So is it possible...that the real cause of the storms in The Crystalling...is King Sombra? The dark clouds enshrouding the empire do give one callbacks to the shadows Sombra surrounded the area with back in The Crystal Empire, just as the final scene where the dark clouds are banished away by the Crystal Heart give one callbacks to the shadows being blown away by the Crystal Heart after Sombra’s defeat. But these scenes have more in common than you may know…

If you looked closely in The Crystal Empire, you would’ve noticed that after the Crystal Heart is put in place, for the first time, Sombra’s shadows...can be seen casting shadows in the same way the dark clouds in The Crystalling do. It’s odd how they mirror each other this way. How does a magic shadow...cast a shadow? Could this have been done intentionally? Or is it also coincidence that the ones who volunteer to stymie these dark clouds are Princesses Celestia and Luna, the same ones who have returned to the empire for the first time in a thousand years...and banished King Sombra the last time they were here?

Finally, do not forget that Sombra is all too familiar with weather phenomena, as displayed by his creation of an artificially orange sky, one that is seen in both The Crystal Empire and in the alternate future shown in The Cutie Re-Mark. Not only that, but do you remember what happened the first time King Sombra reappeared outside of the Crystal Empire for the first time in a millennium? The weather was unruly...the winds were howling...like a storm...

But I’ll keep coming…

In conclusion, I believe that there has been far more evidence pointing to King Sombra’s return than we ever thought. Please look at all this for yourselves and make your own conclusions based on what you believe, however. If you find a mistake within my theory, please call me out on it, preferably in a civil manner. Fandom starts with love, there’s no need to shove. I just found this to be an interesting thing to explore and talk about. All it is is my thoughts on the research I’ve done. Also, keep in mind that this entire thing was written by the same person who drew two pictures of King Sombra’s ghost visiting Princess Luna under the headcanon that he had died in The Crystal Empire.

However, that same person also believes now that King Sombra is coming back...and that he’s bringing his toys with him...

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2 hours ago, Princess Rainbow Magic Pants said:

WAY tl;dr.

 

I'll say though that the only way I can sleep at night is by assuring myself that everything since Season 2 has just been part of Twilight's magic-door nightmare.

... Dammit. that makes way too much sense. [/dead_serious]

 

Anyway, this is... very impressive and well thought-out. Still... I'm gonna go with Gassy Mane being dead. If only because I hate his design, and quite honestly found him kinda boring.

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On 12/22/2016 at 11:03 AM, Friendship is Horses said:

Yikes. You've put some thought into this, haven't you?

Thank the fandom. I never would've become the King Sombra fan that I am today if it wasn't for all the excellent fan content devoted to him.

On 12/22/2016 at 11:45 AM, Princess Rainbow Magic Pants said:

WAY tl;dr.

 

I'll say though that the only way I can sleep at night is by assuring myself that everything since Season 2 has just been part of Twilight's magic-door nightmare.

inorite?

 

I'll say though that the only way I can sleep at night is by assuring myself that pouring time and effort into contributing the best theory I can to the MLP community is stupid because what really matters is entertaining my mind with Last Thursdayist thinking.

On 12/22/2016 at 1:52 PM, RK_Striker_JK_5 said:

... Dammit. that makes way too much sense. [/dead_serious]

 

Anyway, this is... very impressive and well thought-out. Still... I'm gonna go with Gassy Mane being dead. If only because I hate his design, and quite honestly found him kinda boring.

Thanks. I can respect that you don't agree with my conclusion.

10 hours ago, LostSanity said:

Of course he's not dead.

He came back in a IDW comic arc but then was redeemed.

IN A BETTER REDEMPTION THAN GLIMMER.

*GASP* NO WAY

On 12/21/2016 at 9:11 PM, LunaxSombra4Ever said:

It is possible that Luna and Sombra were merely close friends, and that no romance was involved between them. It seems ridiculous imagining them together in an intimate relationship…until you read the comics and take a look at the arc where Princess Celestia has a romantic relationship with an alternate version of King Sombra.


Now I am well-aware that it has been said that the canon of the comics and the canon of the show are separate, not just by word of the show’s staff, but also by word of the comics’ staff. This matters not though, as what I mean to show here is that MLP is not against the idea of its characters having romantic relationships. There have even been hints in the show, such as with Big McIntosh and Marble Pie.

Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t make sense from a writing perspective to imply that something more happened between Celestia, Luna, and Sombra, only to permanently kill Sombra off with no intention of taking that implied plot point anywhere. Speaking of comics and permanently killing off characters…

The Other Story of King Sombra

I do read the IDW MLP:FiM comic series, and I have read the issues of the Siege of the Crystal Empire arc. Unlike the aforementioned arc, Reflections, this arc tells us for the first time in the main series (that’s discounting FIENDship is Magic) what King Sombra’s backstory is. This displays that Hasbro does have some interest in him even with him being “dead” in the show.

Without spoiling too much, this arc tells us that King Sombra is actually an umbrum, a creature who comes from a race of shadow ponies...as far as comic canon is concerned, but you catch my drift. And yes, this arc proves without a shadow of a doubt (no pun intended) that show canon and comic canon do not intermingle, as they have two different “Changeling Invasion of the Crystal Empire” stories. The one in the show does not acknowledge or leave any window of opportunity for the one in the comic to take place.

I mention this because many do view the comics as canon with the show, which is true to some level. The comics do try to stay faithful to the canon of the show, but in the end, are intended to be their own stories. They don’t mean to follow the show exactly and, therefore, should not be used to back up arguments for what went on and what didn’t go on in the show.

Hey, I’m just being honest here. If I don’t give it to you straight that my entire theory falls apart if the comics are canon, I’m fu-

Moving on, there is another interesting fact about Sombra’s arc in the comics that does cast doubts on him being killed off in the show. Again, trying to only spoil what’s necessary, there is a character who apparently gets killed off in the story and is only said to actually be alive at the very ending of the comic through an abrupt exchange of dialogue (NO NOT KILLED SHATTERED). When the writer of said arc, Jeremy Whitley, was asked about this bizarre moment, he replied by saying that it was a last-minute inclusion made because of Hasbro’s policy of “not killing off characters”.

I knew it! That entire section where I was talking about the comics and debunking the belief that the show and the comics share the exact same canon never actually existed! It was all a lie made up by the Illuminati!

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6 hours ago, LostSanity said:

I have no idea what that picture is supposed to mean so I can't respond to it.

Starlight must have heard you from across the room WHEN YOU USED THE SHOUTY TEXT. I recommend you stare daggers at her as a sign of your eternal loathing. She won't know who you are or what she did, but she'll certainly get the message that you don't like her!

And so things don't start getting off-topic, the writers of MLP don't ever seem to kill off a character in a way they couldn't reasonably bring them back later. I mean probably that's so they don't scar the children for life with a graphic depiction of, like, Chrysalis lying lifeless on the ground, but it definitely also works in their favor for bringing old villains back. So I'd consider Sombra to be simultaneously alive and dead at this point, much like the proverbial cat. He's dead until they need him again, and then he won't be, or have ever been.

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On 22/12/2016 at 4:11 AM, LunaxSombra4Ever said:

Now I am well-aware that it has been said that the canon of the comics and the canon of the show are separate, not just by word of the show’s staff, but also by word of the comics’ staff.

When they said "separate", they didn't mean that there were two separate continuities. What they actually meant was that Hasbro want all stories in the comic and the show to be exclusives. One can refer to something that happened in the other, but they can't overlap or contradict the other.

If you read the twitter feeds of some of the people who were only involved in one or two comics you'll see that Hasbro would send in all kinds of memos stopping anything from happening in the comics that might even remotely resemble something that's planned in the show. Not something that's going to be in it, but something that "might" be in it in the future.

It's one of the reasons why the comic has Boffy Ball and the show has Buck Ball. Hasbro don't want anything in the comics to constrain something from the show, and vice versa.

In short, the only reason that there is a Sombra arc in the comics is that Hasbro has already decided not to do a sombra arc in the show. If they planned to bring him back at a later date they'd never have approved the script from IDW.

As far as the show is concerned Sombra isn't going to return, he isn't going to be redeamed, and he isn't going to be given a backstory, because that's already been covered by the comics in full.

There is a rumor that a future IDW comic is going to break this rule, by having a story that starts in the comics and then continues in the show, with a single direct canonical path between the two (Like the Clone Wars Flash cartoon directly leading up to the opening scene from Revenge other Sith). But that's not confirmed yet.

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On 12/27/2016 at 8:03 AM, Aaargh Zombies said:

 

When they said "separate", they didn't mean that there were two separate continuities. What they actually meant was that Hasbro want all stories in the comic and the show to be exclusives. One can refer to something that happened in the other, but they can't overlap or contradict the other.

If you read the twitter feeds of some of the people who were only involved in one or two comics you'll see that Hasbro would send in all kinds of memos stopping anything from happening in the comics that might even remotely resemble something that's planned in the show. Not something that's going to be in it, but something that "might" be in it in the future.

It's one of the reasons why the comic has Boffy Ball and the show has Buck Ball. Hasbro don't want anything in the comics to constrain something from the show, and vice versa.

In short, the only reason that there is a Sombra arc in the comics is that Hasbro has already decided not to do a sombra arc in the show. If they planned to bring him back at a later date they'd never have approved the script from IDW.

As far as the show is concerned Sombra isn't going to return, he isn't going to be redeamed, and he isn't going to be given a backstory, because that's already been covered by the comics in full.

There is a rumor that a future IDW comic is going to break this rule, by having a story that starts in the comics and then continues in the show, with a single direct canonical path between the two (Like the Clone Wars Flash cartoon directly leading up to the opening scene from Revenge other Sith). But that's not confirmed yet.

Just to strike the record, I'm not misinterpreting one comment I read about the canons being separate, there is another comment made by Bobby Curnow, the IDW MLP Comic's editor, that says that "the show has zero obligation to keep close to the comics".

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This is also backed up by what "Big" Jim Miller said, which is what I meant by confirmed by the show staff and the comic staff. His comment alone is not the only thing I was going off of.

I'm sure that you're telling the truth with regards to the "Hasbro stopping the comic writers from doing something planned in the show" thing. But that's easily explainable by them just wanting the show and the comics to each have their own original content. The "even might be in the future" thing is ambiguous. Things change, and that could also easily just be referring to the specifics of what might happen in the future. Just because the comics have a story about Spike getting laid doesn't mean that Spike will never get laid in the show. There's different ways to get laid. That doesn't mean the show can't ever do their own thing with King Sombra returning.

The very first comic arc was about Queen Chrysalis returning. Did that stop the show from doing their own story about Queen Chrysalis returning? No. I even had an entire paragraph talking about how even though Chrysalis and the Changelings returned to the Crystal Empire in the comics, the show still had their own story about Changelings coming to the Crystal Empire. Another potential explanation is timing. At the time of the Siege of the Crystal Empire arc's production, there was no "King Sombra returns" story going on in the show or planned for the near future. But again, things change. Nothing is absolute. 

I know that it's entirely possible that there's no plan set in stone to bring Sombra back in the show. What I meant to do with this theory is to show that it's entirely possible that there could be something building to him being brought back in the case that they decide to use him again.

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On 29/12/2016 at 4:46 PM, Friendship is Horses said:

:O_O:

I really need to catch up on the comics.

Seriously, if you read the Twitter account of people who did a couple of comics for MLP at IDW they complain\joke about all of the memos that they had from Hasbro. Hasbro are really protective of the franchise and they have been purposefully intervening to make sure that the show and the comics don't overlap because they don't want them to contradict each other.

If the comic does a story about Rainbow Dash's first day at school you know that the show won't have an episode about it later on, and so on.

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On 28/12/2016 at 11:59 PM, LunaxSombra4Ever said:

Just to strike the record, I'm not misinterpreting one comment I read about the canons being separate, there is another comment made by Bobby Curnow, the IDW MLP Comic's editor, that says that "the show has zero obligation to keep close to the comics".

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All that he's saying is that the show can retcon the comics. This is actually pretty normal and doesn't really mean anything.

As for him not being aware of people on the show keeping track of the comics we already know A) That Megan Megan McCarthy keeps track of the comics, because she's part oft the story team, B) That quite a few of the shows staff are big fans of the comics because they discuss it on Twitter and on their blogs.

We also know from the twitter accounts of people who did a couple of issues as story or art crew were in constant contact with Hasbro. They joke about how many memos they get with changes, and about how different it is from other franchises like Transformers where there is a lot more creative freedom.

I think that you're misinterpretation (or at least the misinterpretation of many other people) is to think that "separate" means "different". The Twilight from the show and the Twilight from the comics are the same Twilight. It's only the stories that are separate. If there is a story in the comics about Twilight's first day in school we know that this means that Hasbro has confirmed to the comic team that this won't be in a future episode.

If the show ever does something that contradicts the comics, then it's just a retcon. Retcons are common, too.

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Yes, the comic exists in the same universe as the show, but whether or not the events that take place in it are included in the "canon" of the show is kind of a pointless distinction. Did all of that stuff *actually* happen? Well, no. Neither the events of the comic or the show actually happened because they are fiction. Thus, there can be a degree of ambiguity about whether they take place in exactly the same universe. I believe Zombies's assertion that Hasbro micromanages the comic so it doesn't contradict the show, but it's not a two-way street. The show is not beholden to the comic in any way. Sure, the show writers might make an effort not to blatantly contradict the comic -- it's not *not* canonical, per se -- but they don't explicitly acknowledge it, either. Nopony in the show sits around reminiscing about the time

all the apples on AJ's farm came to life, or the time Celestia had an affair with alternate universe Sombra.

For me, the lack of acknowledgement of any of that crazy shit that supposedly happened puts the comics in a gray area. They're *sort of* canon. Quasi-canon. Possibly canon, if you really want them to be. And while Hasbro giving them the go-ahead on the Sombra arcs means they didn't have any plans to use the character further at the time, they're certainly not going to stop the writers in the future on the comics' account.

All this feels like we're mostly splitting hairs on semantics, though.

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14 hours ago, Friendship is Horses said:

 The show is not beholden to the comic in any way.

I don't want to be rude, and please don't take this the wrong way, but I'm not certain that everybody here is familiar with how things usually are in the creative industry where one franchise is split over multiple media.

Saying that they are not "beholden to the comic" is like saying that that MLP isn't beholden to Micheal Jackson's kitchen. It doesn't really have any meaning. The creative team at DHX doesn't have full creative freedom, and neither does the creative team at IDW. Neither team is "beholden" to the other because they are both separate teams who happen to currently have an agreement with Hasbro to use their intellectual property. Essentially both teams are equal. The DHX cannot tell IDW to do\no do something, and IDW cannot tell DHX to do\not do something.

Members of both teams are free to watch\read the content produced by the other team. We know from Twitter and various blogs that a lot of the writers\artists on one will read\watch the other, and they are are fans of each other. Neither are "beholden" to the other as they are both franchise holders.

BOTH are beholden to the MLP storytelling team which is department\sub-department at Hasbro.

It's like having two restaurant chains. One is a chicken restaurant, and one is a chili restaurant. But both are owned by the same parent company.

IDW will get a memo telling them that they cannot do a story about Fluttershy having a brother because DHX are going to cover that later on. IDW will get a memo telling them that they can't cover Sombra's backstory because the comic is covering it.

DHX doesn't send a memo to IDW, and IDW doesn't send a memo to DHX. Both get their memos from Hasbro.

We know that Hasbro wants to keep the two mediums in line, and is actively preventing them from contradicting the other. We also know that Hasbro is doing the same with the books. They are deliberately and purposefully keeping all three mediums in sync so that there is a single universal canon for all English language MLP content.

There has been a little confusion where some people have said that the show is the overriding source, but that's just retconning. The show has retconned itself a couple of times. Does that mean that past episodes aren't canon? No, it's just retconning.

 

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15 hours ago, Friendship is Horses said:

 Nopony in the show sits around reminiscing about the time/

To be fair, 99.99% of everything that's ever happened in any of the comics, episodes or books is never mentioned again. EVER.

15 hours ago, Friendship is Horses said:

 For me, the lack of acknowledgement of any of that crazy shit that supposedly happened puts the comics in a gray area. They're *sort of* canon. Quasi-canon.

Most American cartoons are specifically written in an episodic style. This means that you can watch pretty much the entire of seasons 1-3 in any order that you like and the show will still make perfect sense.

It doesn't matter that Sleepless in Ponyville was in season 3 and Boast Busters was in season 1, you can still watch them back to back and there is nothing in the actual storyline that determines which order you should see them in.

There is very little continuity between episodes, so little that it's actually noteworthy when we have something. Didn't you notice that after season 1 (when there were three gala related episodes) up until season 3 (When Twilight becomes a princess) most of the episodes and their order is totally interchangeable.

The same is true for the books. We know that Pinkie Pie and the Rocking Ponypalloza happened before Mane Attraction, and that Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell happened after the season 3 finale, but before the first EQG movie, but most of the other material is open to interpretation. The main factor is whether or not Twilight has wings in it.

It's actually uncertain whether season 1 and 2 are canonically in chronological order. Winter Wrapup was episode 11, but Fall Weather Friends was episode 13. This means that A) Winter happens before Fall in Equestria, B) That episode 11 was set a whole year before episode 13 (Winter from one year, fall from the next) or that the episodes are not in chronological order. Some parts of season 2 seem to be set in the middle of season 1.

The fact that something isn't mentioned again is actually normal for MLP. It's not until the later seasons where new characters like Maude are introduced, or where Rarity has several stores, that we have any real continuity at all.

 

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2 hours ago, Aaargh Zombies said:

I don't want to be rude, and please don't take this the wrong way, but I'm not certain that everybody here is familiar with how things usually are in the creative industry where one franchise is split over multiple media.

Don't even worry about it. We're talking about cartoon ponies on the internet. The moment I start getting personally offended by any of this is the moment I need to sit back, take a deep breath, and reevaluate my life choices.

If you have any links lying around to these Twitter/blog posts where the writers talk about getting these memos from Hasbro, it would be nice to see them, for the sake of getting more insight into the creative process behind the respective media.

2 hours ago, Aaargh Zombies said:

There has been a little confusion where some people have said that the show is the overriding source, but that's just retconning. The show has retconned itself a couple of times. Does that mean that past episodes aren't canon? No, it's just retconning.

What makes the show seem like the overriding source of canon is that it's free to retcon the comics when it's convenient, but the comics can't necessarily retcon the show, although if you have evidence to the contrary I'd love to see it. That, and the show is what sells the toys, so Hasbro's naturally going to give it preferential treatment. BTW, when has the show retconned itself? The only thing I can think of is Starlight Glimmer's sudden power upgrade between the beginning and end of season five, but she did have like a year to be training her plot off. Vengeance is magic!

 

2 hours ago, Aaargh Zombies said:

It's actually uncertain whether season 1 and 2 are canonically in chronological order. Winter Wrapup was episode 11, but Fall Weather Friends was episode 13. This means that A) Winter happens before Fall in Equestria, B) That episode 11 was set a whole year before episode 13 (Winter from one year, fall from the next) or that the episodes are not in chronological order. Some parts of season 2 seem to be set in the middle of season 1.

That's a good point. If someone actually sit down and worked out a timeline for the show (haha, "if", I know people must've), then that would probably be one more timeline than the writers have ever put together.

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On 12/30/2016 at 1:32 PM, Aaargh Zombies said:

doesn't really mean anything.

Please think deeply about those words you just wrote.

On 12/21/2016 at 9:11 PM, LunaxSombra4Ever said:

Hey, I’m just being honest here. If I don’t give it to you straight that my entire theory falls apart if the comics are canon, I’m fu-

Now can you please do the same with these words? What do you think I meant with that joke?

I know you believe that you've already won. That's good enough for me, so you win. Here's your award. 

hOctjrhfUeTPjnGJUSvFKM_QMwsoM_Ex_OML80aV

You like it? You like the eternal reminder of the time you plucked the golden cherry from the tree?

Good, I'm glad we had this nice little chat about a cherry. I hope we get to talk about the tree next time. 

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On 31/12/2016 at 3:59 PM, Friendship is Horses said:

If you have any links lying around to these Twitter/blog posts where the writers talk about getting these memos from Hasbro, it would be nice to see them, for the sake of getting more insight into the creative process behind the respective media.

Your first stop should be @AskMaridee by Georgia Ball. She's very chatty about her editors and editing.

(Check here for many more: https://forums.equestriadaily.com/index.php?/topic/1533-comic-artists-twitter-acounts-and-home-pages/)

This is quite a good example of a thread (Sorry, I can't post what I want, so click through and read the rest of the conversation directly on Twitter.

She's discussing how often Hasbro sends writers\artists memos asking for changes. Click around there's lot more that's not covered on this snippet. She says that Hasbro are very protective of MLP and regulate what they can\can't put into the comics.

 

On 31/12/2016 at 3:59 PM, Friendship is Horses said:

What makes the show seem like the overriding source of canon is that it's free to retcon the comics when it's convenient, but the comics can't necessarily retcon the show

That's actually not true, which is where some of the biggest misconceptions come it.

DHX doesn't have full creative control over MLP. Hasbro has maintained that, and it's managed by the storytelling department. The head of storytelling for MLP is Megan McCarthy (The same Megan McCarthy who was on the original creative team for the show). The exact same is true for IDW. IDW can't publish an MLP comic without approval from Hasbro, and Hasbro have frequently intervened to stop them publishing certain things, or to make them publish certain things. For example, they were instructed to include Flash Sentry in several comics, but were also instructed to remove all references to Zebra from the Boffy Ball comic).

In short, if DHX wants to retcon something from the comic then they must get approval from the exact same people who approved the comic version in the first place. The exact same people who are in charge of making sure that the comic and the show do not diverge story-wise.

Also, the show is usually at least one season head of the comics on the MLP timeline (The cutie Mark Crusaders have only just gotten their cutie marks in the comics), so the comics can tell what is happening in the show and avoid conflicts without having to retcon anything.

The show can retcon itself as well.

On 31/12/2016 at 3:59 PM, Friendship is Horses said:

That's a good point. If someone actually sit down and worked out a timeline for the show (haha, "if", I know people must've), then that would probably be one more timeline than the writers have ever put together.

Several people have tried to figure out the timeline, but the general conclusion is that DHX didn't figure out a timeline before they started writing. This is particularly noticeable during the first 3 seasons, but not so much after season 3 when things are more coherent.

Based on a pure linear timeline Tanks for the Memory is set less than one year after May the Best Pet Win, and Princess Twilight Sparkle is set exactly 1 year after the show's Pilot episode. Yet there have been multiple summer and Fall episodes between them, either all of the summer episodes from 3 1\2 seasons happened back to back regardless of them being in different seasons, and the same with all of the Fall episodes. Or that multiple years have gone by.

Based on the actual seasons an absolute minimum of 2 years has gone by. If you look at Sweet Apple Acres and their planting\harvesting cycle then the first 4 seasons take 3 1\2 to 4 years.

For example, Episode 4 is the start of the apple harvest, yet episode 41 is cider season. Meaning that either these two episodes either refer to the same apple harvest and are almost back to back despite being in separate seasons, or that they are a year (or 2) apart (different apple harvests). Episode 58 is set in Fall, and Episode 60 is spring\summer. Meaning that either yet another year has gone by since season 2, or that some episodes from season 3 are set during the timeline of season 2.

Then Twilight becomes a Princess and we get a line dividing seasons 1-3 and 3+.

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On 3/20/2019 at 2:56 PM, Friendship is Horses said:

In the nicker of time, too. Last possible season to do it. @LunaxSombra4Ever were you starting to sweat, or were you confident all along?

I can't believe this thread is still relevant.

 

I never doubted it for a second that he would return. I don't even buy that he's gone for good after what happened in the premiere, especially with how he keeps getting mentioned out of nowhere. :good: 

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