CloudMistDragon

King Sombra is Still Alive (Fan Theory)

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Yup, we're doing this again. :chillin:

Prelude

In December of 2016, I made a theory regarding King Sombra not being dead like many fans of the show were speculating and returning to the series. Most of what I said in my original theory two and a half years ago has been confirmed to be true, and I feel the theory holds up for the most part, even if there are some cringey moments from my younger and dumber self that detract from it, especially the loser shipping trash. Even with rumors of the show staff being Rarijack shippers surfacing, I have come to harbor some doubt about Luna and Sombra being a former couple, but I won’t discount the possibility of another implication about them having been in a relationship in the same vein as an implication of Celestia and Discord having been in a relationship (put briefly, a very subtle implication). 

That being said, what gave me the compulsion to type up this follow-up theory was not to make another addendum or jokingly rub in the fact that I was right again, for this theory focuses on an entirely different subject. This new theory is meant to offer a possible explanation for Sombra’s apparent immortality, fill the discrepancy of his return that directly followed his first defeat in the Season 9 premiere, and elaborate on why I believe that he will not only return...again, but also play a vital role in the show’s overall plot and overarching message. 

Sombra’s Immortality 

We all saw what happened in the Season 9 premiere, The Beginning of the End, I am well aware. Sombra’s ‘death scene’ towards the end has proven to be a much more memorable moment than his original ‘death scene’ in the Season 3 premiere, The Crystal Empire. We seem to be having deja vu in more ways than one, not only did Sombra get “killed” again, but fans are arguing that he’s gone for good again. This time though, we have no ‘confirmation’ from the staff that he’s dead for good, so what is there to the argument that he will never come back? 

For starters, the one who resurrected him in the first place, Grogar, seems to have no intent on bringing him back at the moment. If you’ve seen the episode Frenemies, you will know that the remaining three villains Grogar has enlisted to be part of his “Legion of Doom” are plotting to betray him. With speculation about Grogar knowing this as the reason why he did not revive Sombra, the only villain who openly opposed his plans, and give him another chance along with speculation about Grogar using him the entire time only as a way to keep the other villains in line, it is rational to presume that Sombra wouldn’t return based on that alone...but as we saw with our presumption that Sombra wouldn’t return based on him being blown to bits alone, it is not rational to dismiss any possibility of him returning again. 

More speculation used to argue that Sombra won’t return is that he was not destroyed by the first blast from the Elements of Harmony that the Mane 6 used on him, but that he merely evaded it. However, nothing in the show confirms this visually or through dialogue. The scene of King Sombra’s first defeat in the premiere clearly showed him being blown away by the magic blast and steam arising from a burn spot on the floor, implying that he was disintegrated. This scene also bears similarities to how Starlight Glimmer banished, not killed, Discord by disintegrating him with her magic in A Matter of Principals, but I digress. Upon his return after destroying the Tree of Harmony, he does not make any boasts about dodging the blast, he just says that they “thought they beat him but instead led them to the source of their power”. Very odd of him not to delve into specifics despite the extreme narcissism he was shown to have in the premiere...and had he been tracking them the entire time since his defeat, that would give Grogar no window of opportunity to revive him either. So what’s going on here? 

Look back at the scene of King Sombra’s first defeat in the show again...when the elements blast him, they clearly destroy him...but not the dark crystals still lingering behind him. An editor’s oversight? Possible...but oddly enough, unlike the last time where the Crystal Heart was used to banish Sombra, all of his dark crystals were clearly destroyed. This time...they simply faded. Later on in the premiere, when he is defeated for the second time, Sombra’s shadow self is completely eradicated, yet reminiscent of his very first defeat in The Crystal Empire, he is still able to manage to scream until his dark crystals are destroyed. Ergo, I do not believe that the reason Sombra was able to survive the blast from the Elements is because he dodged it, but because his crystals were not destroyed. 

This is also what leads me to believe that the source of Sombra’s apparent immortality is that his “shadow body” is actually a manifestation of his spirit and that his true physical form is his dark crystals. Dialogue and visuals in the show do support this hypothesis. Rarity describes Sombra’s first banishment as him being “dispelled into the ether”, acting as if he is a spirit. Also, when Grogar resurrects Sombra in the underground cave below Tartarus at the beginning, the very first thing that comes out of the ground is not Sombra’s shadow, but a dark crystal...

However, in spite of all this, there are those who will still argue that Sombra won’t come back because he “served his purpose” to the show...but what purpose is that? 

Sombra’s Purpose

No one can deny at this point that “Big” Jim Miller, the show’s supervising director, has sentiment for the character of Sombra. Voluntarily, he did not reprise his role as King Sombra for the Season 9 premiere, getting Alvin Sanders, whom he described as a ‘real voice actor’, to replace him. Why go through the effort of finding ‘real voice talent’ for a returning throwaway villain just to give him the chance to “prove he was capable”? It seems more likely that the trouble would at least amount to Sombra doing something to impact the show in the long run, and at first, this seemed to be the case with Sombra’s destruction of the Tree of Harmony. But now, as we’ve seen with the revival of the Tree of Harmony as a haven for the Student 6, as well as taking into account the fact that the Mane 6 can still harness the power of the Elements without their physical presence, it seems that Sombra really didn’t have much of a purpose for returning after all...or did he? 

In The Brony Notion’s excellent theory on how The Tree of Harmony really died, he also attempts to fill in the discrepancy of Sombra surviving his first defeat. Not by asserting that Sombra’s true physical form is his crystals, but that The Spirit of Harmony actually led Sombra to the Tree, allowing him to destroy its physical body knowing what it would do for the greater good. The notion may seem laughable initially, but realize that as he brings up, there is no other time in the show where a villain has “evaded” a blast from the Elements. It also answers the question of “Who benefits?”. Certainly the Spirit of Harmony, as now, it is in a better state of being as both the bonds of the Mane 6 and Student 6 have become stronger than ever before. And none of it would have been possible if not for both King Sombra and the Tree... 

Interestingly, despite there being no other time in the show where a villain has “dodged” a blast from the Elements, there is one time in particular where a protagonist, not an antagonist, who needed to fulfill their destiny was “disintegrated” just as Sombra was...Twilight Sparkle. If you look closely at the scene where the elements “disintegrate” her but actually teleport her to an ethereal plane, you can see a symbol on the floor that clearly resembles a star, her cutie mark.  

You would think that King Sombra couldn’t possibly have this replicated in his case, since he has no visible cutie mark. However, surprise of surprises, there is a distinguishable pattern on the floor that is unlike the rest of the scorch mark...recognizable points on both sides that look like the jagged edges of Sombra’s crystals. One side ends with what looks like the tip of King Sombra’s curved horn, the other, a regular unicorn horn...could it be that like Twilight, King Sombra was only teleported to a place where he could fulfill his destiny? However, that could only mean...

This is where we start to tie the knot, for this is what everything appears to all come back to...King Sombra’s ultimate purpose is intertwined with The Spirit of Harmony’s.

Sombra’s Secret

This is what I believe that King Sombra has been hiding the entire time. The fact that he’s not a pony at all and never was to begin with. It would make sense considering the fact that we have never seen his cutie mark, the fact that the Crystal Heart caused him to shatter despite only making all the other residents of the Crystal Empire glow, and his bizarre obsession with crystals...because he is crystal. What is the Tree of Harmony, along with everything it creates, made out of? Crystal. Not just that, but frequently seen throughout What Lies Beneath, when the Student 6 are being tested by the Tree, is dark crystal. What color is the inside of the crystal cage Sombra uses to trap the Mane 6 in The Beginning of the End? Bright and dark blue. The same color as the Tree of Harmony and all of its crystal creations. 

Also take note of the way Discord describes King Sombra...a would-be king. Does he mean would-be king of Equestria? Or would-be king of the Crystal Empire back when he was in power? This is a possible hint to a twist that there is no Crystal king called Sombra...the true form of Sombra...is the Spirit of Harmony’s dark counterpart. 

Remember back in the Season 9 premiere how King Sombra was able to enter the Crystal Empire without being banished by the Crystal Heart, unlike in the Season 3 premiere. This further bolsters the notion that his shadow form is actually a spirit this time and that his form in the Season 3 premiere was his spirit inside of his shadow body of crystal. All of his forms were intertwined together. 

So what does this add up to? Ask yourself, who is the only other entity in the show who appears as a spirit separate from its physical body? The Tree of Harmony. A spirit that is also translucent, sparkles with glitter, and bears a striking resemblance to the Crystal ponies after they glow...

Think about what else the Tree of Harmony and King Sombra share in common, besides sadistic tendencies. They both have an odd fascination with crystals, illusions and tricks of the mind, and showing others their worst fears. Coincidental? Think back to when Sombra was resurrected by Grogar again. A dark crystal of his sprouted up from the ground like a plant. In a cave no less, the same kind of place the Tree of Harmony was grown in. Yes, the Cave of Harmony has never been explored deeply, I’ll add. If you look closely at the ground before Grogar draws the magic symbol, you can clearly see that something has been planted in the middle. Now going back to what I said earlier about Sombra still being able to be ‘alive’ so long as his crystals are present, this opens up the possibility that the reason Grogar didn’t resurrect Sombra is actually because there was no need to, for his crystals could still be growing in that cave, a stone that has been clearly left unturned…

Now, keep this in mind as we go back to the Season 3 premiere again. Sombra was clearly shown to have the ability to create dark crystals before he was ‘turned to shadow’, as seen by the tower surrounded by them before he got banished. Remember how Sombra was sealed in ice? And how he hid the heart to protect the empire from the storms? This goes back to what I talked about in my original theory in regards to the weather. What can plant life not survive in? Cold. This would explain why Sombra could only manifest himself as shadow mist before he reached the empire. When his horn broke off, it cemented itself into hospitable soil. That was how his dark crystals were able to grow. 

This would also explain why Sombra “died” and had to be “brought back” in the Season 3 premiere, but not in the Season 9 premiere after his first defeat. Unlike in the case of the latter, he didn’t have any place to grow the crystals in the ice, thus, he had no physical form. This goes along with Jim Miller’s explanation of why Sombra was so different back then compared to now, saying that back then, King Sombra was returning to the empire as a ghost. Another thing this would explain is how he would’ve been able to come back for the cameo he was originally slated for in Slice of Life. It’s not that he’s ever been truly killed, only that he’s been trying to find a way to truly return to life. 

Also think about how this would explain his uncanny obsession with crystals even further, how he was blasting Celestia and Luna’s throne room like a madman trying to create as many as possible...he wants to branch out and grow as much as possible, just like a tree…

Ultimately, this is what I believe Sombra’s true nature is...the Yang to the Yin that is the Spirit of Harmony. Think back now to how Celestia first described the Crystal Empire to Twilight, a place that would either be filled with love and hope or hatred and fear. There was no middle ground. Either pure light or pure darkness would rule...and this is what I believe is the secret to King Sombra’s immortality. Just as the philosophy of Yin-Yang speaks of how there is no good without evil, Sombra will always exist so long as the Spirit of Harmony does too. 

Conclusion 

Just like last time, I will reiterate that this is only a fan theory subject to correction, you are your own best judge. I may have been right once, but that does not mean I’ll be right again. I encourage you to form your own opinions from your own observations, this is only my personal perspective that I wanted to offer. Not everything in your personal theories has to be accurate to a T, every little part of my original theory certainly wasn’t. This is all a product of deductive reasoning, observation, and trial and error. None of us know what goes on in the heads of the show makers, this is all for fun and we may as well make the most of that fun with the show coming to an end soon. Whatever happens in the second half of the show and in the finale, I will accept. The nature of the character of Sombra and his ultimate fate are the decision of the show staff that I will respect. 

To me, however, Sombra will always still be alive. To me, he is an immortal shadow. 

Sombra’s Impending Return…? (EDIT: 6/22/2019) 

Recently, with the conclusion of the first half of Season 9, a screencap (link is in the description) taken of the scene where Princess Celestia is roaming a forest alone in the midseason finale revealed the strongest piece of evidence to support this theory so far. A shadow passing by at lightning speed was revealed to bear an uncanny likeness to the image of King Sombra. I acknowledge this to not be irrevocable confirmation of his return. However, considering the hints that the show creators have dropped in the past regarding character returns with cryptic background visuals, such as in the case of Starlight Glimmer and the Changelings, to simply write off or ignore evidence like this is unimaginable. I strongly suspect more than ever now that our king will be returning once again soon...

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Can't wait to read all of this. xD

 

Really liked your first theory (Except the Luna, Sombra ship of course). I can't imagine the amount of time and work that went in those theories. You're on some next level stuff, man. Compared to you i'm a very bloody amature.

 

Keep up the good work.

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3 hours ago, leonbrony17 said:

Can't wait to read all of this. xD

 

Really liked your first theory (Except the Luna, Sombra ship of course). I can't imagine the amount of time and work that went in those theories. You're on some next level stuff, man. Compared to you i'm a very bloody amature.

 

Keep up the good work.

 

Hey, my name is LunaxSombra4Ever for a reason! :flutterrage:

Just a joke, but even younger and dumber me knew the shipping part wouldn't sit well for some, so I kind of played it off as a joke. That's why I call myself that here, a joke on how I'd instantly be written off as a delusional shipper by people who didn't actually read the theory. But I'm so glad that you respect my work. I'm very honored to have a great fan like you. :wub:

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Daaaaaaaang, mindblowing!

 

You deserve much more attention and recognition for this and your older theory. Amazing. Just amazing. :)

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And the thing with the ships is, i don't think you're an obsessed shipper who shoves your favorite ship into everybodys faces (as sad as it is that such people exists), i just have a personal distaste for ships and relationships personally and in terms of the show, especially when it's really unecessary and ships characters that i care for with characters i absolutly hate (like fucking Discord).

 

But aside from that, again, your theories are mindblowingly great.

 

Do you have any more theories other than the two about King Sombra you already posted here?

 

Oh and, what did you think about Sombras new personality he had in S9 compared to his S3 personality? Which one do you prefer?

 

I personally prefered his S3 personality because it fit way better with his scary looks and dark shadowy abillities. His S9 voice, coupled with some imo questionable lines of dialogue were just really inconsistent with his S3 personlity and just made me really confused about Sombra. Before S9, i thought Sombra was a decent villain with a very solid foundation who could have needed some improvement here and there. Hoping he would get at least some improvements, i went very exited into the S9 premiere and even though Sombra actually, finally accomplished a lot, i left really confused about his character and now i honestly don't even know how to feel about Sombra anymore other than confused.

 

I also actually wanted to make a big topic here in which i compare S3 and S9 Kind Sombra but it was a pretty big mess and i scrapped it.

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5 hours ago, leonbrony17 said:

And the thing with the ships is, i don't think you're an obsessed shipper who shoves your favorite ship into everybodys faces (as sad as it is that such people exists), i just have a personal distaste for ships and relationships personally and in terms of the show, especially when it's really unecessary and ships characters that i care for with characters i absolutly hate (like fucking Discord).

 

But aside from that, again, your theories are mindblowingly great.

 

Do you have any more theories other than the two about King Sombra you already posted here?

 

Oh and, what did you think about Sombras new personality he had in S9 compared to his S3 personality? Which one do you prefer?

 

I personally prefered his S3 personality because it fit way better with his scary looks and dark shadowy abillities. His S9 voice, coupled with some imo questionable lines of dialogue were just really inconsistent with his S3 personlity and just made me really confused about Sombra. Before S9, i thought Sombra was a decent villain with a very solid foundation who could have needed some improvement here and there. Hoping he would get at least some improvements, i went very exited into the S9 premiere and even though Sombra actually, finally accomplished a lot, i left really confused about his character and now i honestly don't even know how to feel about Sombra anymore other than confused.

 

I also actually wanted to make a big topic here in which i compare S3 and S9 Kind Sombra but it was a pretty big mess and i scrapped it.

 

Again, thank you very much for your support, man. Unfortunately, I don't have any more since I'm not a fan theorist, I'm a story writer. It's just that when I feel the inspiration to write something, whatever it be, I freaking go for it. I also totally see where you're coming from about ships (even as I don't mind them and love Discord) and Sombra's personality. As someone who prefers him in the S9 premiere for the way he actually interacted with others, there is just no way us Sombra fans can buy him only returning to be a one-shot villain again just because he was more cocky and 'competent' this time while there's still room to speculate. I'd also encourage you to go ahead with that compare and contrast topic, don't ever be afraid to do what you want to do.  :yay:

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Now imagine in the S9 finale, when Grogar has the upper hand (or hoof or whatever), Sombra just pops in out of nowhere, stabs him in the back and goes like "Uhhhh you're weak, you're nothing. You fools have all been just pawns in my master plan. Now die", and then he just kills Grogar and turns out the real final villain or some shit. xD

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9 hours ago, Leonbrony17 said:

Now imagine in the S9 finale, when Grogar has the upper hand (or hoof or whatever), Sombra just pops in out of nowhere, stabs him in the back and goes like "Uhhhh you're weak, you're nothing. You fools have all been just pawns in my master plan. Now die", and then he just kills Grogar and turns out the real final villain or some shit. xD

 

Yeah, I've thought about that. What could make a twist like that really surprising for the not overly analytical would be if a good version of King Sombra created by the Tree of Harmony appeared in the early part of the second half of Season 9. He claims to have nothing to do with the evil Sombra, but then in the end, he and his dark self fuse after the evil Sombra returns and gets defeated again. I know, it sounds very Kingdom Heartsy and it was admittedly Devil May Cry 5 that put the idea in my head. However, don't forget how that could fill in the gap of the show having no reformed or good version of Sombra, unlike the comics. :ohyou:

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On 6/5/2019 at 1:36 PM, LunaxSombra4Ever said:

 

Yeah, I've thought about that. What could make a twist like that really surprising for the not overly analytical would be if a good version of King Sombra created by the Tree of Harmony appeared in the early part of the second half of Season 9. He claims to have nothing to do with the evil Sombra, but then in the end, he and his dark self fuse after the evil Sombra returns and gets defeated again. I know, it sounds very Kingdom Heartsy and it was admittedly Devil May Cry 5 that put the idea in my head. However, don't forget how that could fill in the gap of the show having no reformed or good version of Sombra, unlike the comics. :ohyou:

I know nothing about Kingdom Hearts and even though i really like Devil May Cry, i haven't seen a full playthrough of the fifth one yet. But i really like some of your ideas. If you write just as well as your Sombra theories are put together then i'm sure you're a great writer. :)

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On 6/6/2019 at 6:42 PM, Leonbrony17 said:

I know nothing about Kingdom Hearts and even though i really like Devil May Cry, i haven't seen a full playthrough of the fifth one yet. But i really like some of your ideas. If you write just as well as your Sombra theories are put together then i'm sure you're a great writer. :)

 

You're spoiling me. :hithere:Thank you again, and on that note, I actually did recently write a comedy story about King Sombra.

https://www.fimfiction.net/story/442208/king-sombra-returns-and-gets-reformed-by-fluttershy

If you're interested. :HappyPinkie:

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I had to remove the link to the DA version since it now has at least one spoiler. This theory will now need to go under reconstruction thanks to the early leaks, I am well-aware. 

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