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King Sombra is in G5 (Fan Theory)

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Yes, I have now actually made a theory about Sombra dimension-hopping to G5. :gleepony:


This was originally not intended to be a theory, just my obligatory thoughts on what’s been circulating lately about the possibility of King Sombra returning for Generation 5. Before the G5 movie premiered, there was a particularly interesting and amusing trailer that dropped showing Izzy Moonbow admiring the crystals in Bridlewood Forest. I made a joke about it regarding Sombra, like everyone else, laughed with some people, fully believing what everyone else thought, that it was very likely just a humorous coincidence. I maintained this belief watching the movie when it came out too, even as I naturally made some mental notes of certain features in Bridlewood. Then, not too long after, character designer for G5, Imalou, made a post on the internet that caught everybody’s attention, a surprise confirmation of the Tree of Harmony still being alive and well in the world of G5 in response to a fan’s notion.


At this point, I was starting to get more curious. After all, I made an entire theory about King Sombra’s possible relations to the Tree of Harmony, but still, this could have just been a coincidence. Even as the location Imalou referred to as the Tree of Harmony just so happened to be where the main characters are passing by just before they visit Bridlewood. Then a development artist for the movie, Damon Bard, showed pictures of early development models of the crystals. The colors of these crystals were blue, purple, and most notably, black, the trademark color of Sombra’s crystals. And crystals of all three colors are shown in the movie.





This is the point where me discussing this at reasonable length was inevitable. You can’t expect me to just sit back and say nothing about something that’s gotten more people talking about the shadow king. I really wanted to give the Sombra theories a rest. It’s been over a whole year now, and I gave them that rest I felt they deserved because I can empathize with people’s fatigue. However, now that something is inspiring more people to talk about him again while giving us things to theorize, I see no reason not to theorize. Even if I just tried to make this theory a discussion of one like my discussion of the theory of Sombra possibly being a kirin, it would have ended up becoming a regular theory anyway because of the evidence tying into my earlier theories.

Evidence Correlating to My Theories

The theory that the evidence we’ve seen so far corresponds to most is the aforementioned theory about Sombra’s possible relations to the Tree of Harmony. This postulation was a key part of my second theory about how Sombra was still alive. Since Sombra had already found a way to return after being gone for a thousand years when his character first debuted, the time jump from G4 to G5 wouldn’t affect him returning so long as there was a way for him to still linger in Equestria like I theorized, I’m sure we all know. However, would his return involve him having already returned in the past, essentially making him a vital part of the new generation’s lore, or would it involve him returning as a villain to be fought?

I lean more towards the former, as I do see a few bits of evidence to support speculations like how Alphabittle could be a descendant of Sombra. Originally, Alphabittle was a blind sage with a curved horn the main characters were intended to meet up with in a cave. A cave where blue, purple, and black crystals were growing at that.


The fact that they’re both the same color and share the same crystal fascination is also interesting, the same way it’s interesting how Izzy Moonbow has a color scheme similar to both Princess Cadance’s and Radiant Hope’s, as well as a blue heart for a cutie mark. Also, the name. Moonbow. If that ties in with my theory on how Sombra was sent to the moon, I will be laughing so hard.

An easier tie-in for me to imagine though would be what I talked about in my second theory of Sombra still being alive concerning the forest Celestia was in when the shadow resembling Sombra passed by her.


Another bit of information that has recently been revealed from an artist who worked on the movie for G5, Alvaro Ramirez, is that Bridlewood Forest was originally intended to be the modern-day Everfree Forest. What did they change it to instead? We currently don’t know for sure, but in the movie, interestingly enough, you can see that Sunny’s map shows mountains just behind Bridlewood. Compare that map to a map of G4 Equestria and you’ll find that for Bridlewood to have mountains behind it, it would have to be somewhere far north, somewhere close to the Crystal Empire.


I understand how someone could just look at a forest with crystals and see it as just that. But a forest with crystals that’s also near where the Crystal Empire used to be? How can you not think Sombra? Also, the crystals seem to be more than just an added detail, even disregarding the effort that went into the models. I mean, Crystal Tea Room? Why would they also make the forest crystal-themed? Additionally, the way every unicorn in Bridlewood except for Izzy is depressed and subdued…doesn’t that remind you of the Friendship is Magic Season 3 premiere, what the Crystal Ponies were like before they had their spirits lifted? Taking a look at their horns too, you can see a familiar swirl pattern…one present in the Castle of Friendship, which was created by the box sprouting from the Tree of Harmony.



Putting the Evidence Together

Even if you are unfamiliar with my earlier theories, passing all of this off as a simple coincidence should be growing quite difficult. The story so far is that Sombra was conveniently led to the Tree of Harmony after being banished by the Elements, had a shadow that looked like him appear in a forest after he was banished again, and now, a crystal-themed forest of unicorns just so happens to appear in G5 right next to the Tree and the Crystal Empire?

That isn’t even the last geographical convenience. Remember in the movie, how Queen Haven was able to break out of captivity and get to Bridlewood so quickly, despite being all the way in Zephyr Heights? Well, if you look back at the map again, Zephyr Heights is also not too far from where the Empire would have been. Why do I bring this up? Because people talk about how Haven could be a descendant of Cadance, given her familiar look, the same way they talk about how Alphabittle could be a descendant of Sombra. Remember that Cadance was originally a pegasus, not a unicorn…

If Zephyr Heights was actually a land inherited by Cadance’s descendants and Bridlewood Forest was actually a land inherited by Sombra’s descendants, that would explain a lot, most notably why Zephyr Heights is so advanced while Bridlewood Forest is so rundown. Zephyr Heights was likely already a developing society before the magic vanished. As for Bridlewood, we don’t know whether or not Sombra’s magic would have been affected, since it was the magic of light, love, and friendship that had to be restored in the movie, not dark magic. Either way, those crystals had to come from somewhere. After all the evidence we’ve reviewed so far, it’s difficult to assume they’re just naturally grown in a world like MLP’s that always uses mystical explanations for its environmental lore.

You could say they came from the Tree of Harmony, but looking at the Tree of Harmony, you can see that it’s lost its crystalline features since G4. The most popular reason speculated right now for this change is the loss of magic. That only leaves the shadow king. Even if the Tree wasn’t affected, Sombra is the only being in the show whom, at the moment, we can fully ascertain has the ability to create crystals that are blue, purple, and black on a whim without limitation. Proof that these colors were not chosen randomly is displayed by both the models and development art done by Ramirez.


The only question that remains now is how Sombra was able to return and create those crystals.

Explaining Sombra’s Presence  

Obviously, for Sombra to be the ancestor of Alphabittle, he would need to create some sort of physical manifestation of himself upon returning from banishment. However, he does not need to return at all in order to be the creator of the crystals in Bridlewood. Recall how in FiM, the spirit of the Tree of Harmony never returned again after the Student 6 caused the Treehouse of Harmony to grow from its remains. If Sombra was able to watch Celestia as a shadow in a forest, what would stop him from living on in the form of crystals the same way the Tree of Harmony lives on?

Sombra’s recent return in the Transformers crossover comic involves him being brought back from crystal. Though this comic is often regarded to be noncanon, it would be unfairly dismissive to completely ignore how it provides an explanation for Sombra’s apparent immortality. This is something we require in order to fill in an inconsistency left by FiM in the Season 9 premiere, no explanation of Sombra’s return after his first defeat. This is a discrepancy I attempted to explain myself in the past, at one point suggesting that crystals of Sombra’s could still be growing in the cave he was revived in. Intriguingly, a cave with familiar crystals, as discussed before, was where the main cast would’ve originally met with Alphabittle…

At this point, we also have no explanation as to how the pony tribes were separated. For right now, we have room to theorize and fill in the lore ourselves about the cause of Equestria’s societal decadence, even speculate that there was a war at one point. After all, the ponies were quick to both accept and forgive Sprout’s declaration of war on the other tribes in the movie. It’s hard to imagine that the only reason they’ve come to be this way is because of what they’re told.   

I don’t want to go too far and claim that the reason is because Sombra returned from his banishment and started a war, but I did note that the three crystals from each tribe in the movie, when combined together, do form a heart-like shape, perhaps hinting that they originally made up the Crystal Heart. Another thing that everyone had already noted long before the movie had even premiered was the unusual absence of the Windigos in the world of G5 despite the fact that ponies now distrust each other. And long before even that, I wrote an explanation for this apparent inconsistency without even realizing it in my third King Sombra theory. Quote…

“It’s confirmed that the cause of the Windigos returning is animosity, hate among the ponies...yet Celestia described Sombra’s return in The Crystal Empire as hatred and fear taking hold. What banishes the Windigos is unity...which is ironically what Sombra does when he puts the ponies under his mind control. Though it’s through evil, he unites them and turns them into a formidable force.”

I think you can see where I’m going with this. Even though the pony tribes were segregated in the movie, they were still united within their own tribes. And if you go back to early Equestria in FiM, something pointed out by prominent fan theorist Sawtooth Waves, you can see that the pony tribes live segregated, yet are still able to get by. It’s only when the quarreling between them grows too intense that the Windigos show up, just like in The Ending of the End. The three separated tribes in the movie weren’t arguing with each other, just living away from each other sequestered and paranoid. So long as the ponies don’t abandon unity altogether, they won’t cause the Windigos to return.

This isn’t an anomaly created by G5 ignoring G4 lore. G5 is simply expanding on what began in G4, where it’s implied that even a kind of unity that isn’t what you would call “good” would ward off the Windigos. The kind of unity that G5 presents is unity through mind control, ponies being taken hold of by hatred and fear without having to fight among each other. In fact, given that the Sombra in the alternate dimension of The Cutie Re-Mark was able to start a war without triggering the Windigos’ return, this would make the possibility of there being a war in Equestria reasonable. Even if there was no war, Sombra’s presence in G5 would still make perfect sense for an explanation as to how the ponies came to live the way they did, since uniting ponies through mind control, controlling them with hatred and fear without summoning the Windigos, is simply a continuation of something that he began.   


In conclusion…I actually don’t feel that it would be appropriate to give this theory a conclusion at the moment. After all, at the time of me writing this, G5 is quite literally BRAND NEW. I may have to update this theory more frequently than my older ones simply because of how much G5 content is coming in the future. I still understand some people being fatigued with these theories, but know that I am simply inspired by what I see other people talking about. I never wanted to indefinitely create Sombra theories, but so long as there is a purpose to do so being provided by new content, I will continue to do so. I’m just glad that we’ve come a long way since the days where theories primarily focused on him returning because of his horn not being destroyed. It would seem that meme, just like Izzy’s tennis ball, is forever behind us.

However, hold on. Just for a bonus, let’s go back to the last time we saw Sombra’s horn, in the well-known scene of his disintegration in The Beginning of the End, broken down frame-by-frame. Obviously, we can’t see what’s happening to the upper part of his horn in any frame of this scene, so let’s just look at the last shot of the lower part of his horn. You would think the horn would’ve been reduced to ash at this point, but instead, it remains intact with gray matter beginning to encase it.


Recall that the very bottom of Sombra’s horn is gray. This gray matter, in the very next shot, fully envelops the lower part of the horn as it comes up.


Your first assumption for the reason for this detail would be an animation error. However, the moment the horn fully ascends is the trigger for Sombra to open his eye, making this detail very unlikely to be accidental.


All of this is highly difficult to catch in full-motion, but slowed down by frame, you can see that particles of Sombra floating up from the rest of his body are easy to confuse with particles you may have thought were from his horn. So what actually happened to his horn? One would still assume it was destroyed, even if only offscreen. But the only thing we can ascertain from these shots is that it was torn from his head, covered, and lifted upwards with its fate becoming unknown.

So actually, albeit shockingly, NO. You can not absolutely confirm what happened to Sombra’s horn after his second defeat in The Beginning of the End. Therefore, the meme isn’t behind us after all. And I guess, to be fair, neither are Izzy's balls. Isn’t that incredible and INSANE? There is no reason to presume anything happened differently to his horn besides it disintegrating, and not just because that’s the first thing one would assume. Every speculation I’ve made regarding Season 9 Sombra surviving and returning, every speculation everyone else has made about him surviving and returning, even the explanation for him surviving and returning that the Transformers crossover comic went with, all of it has NOTHING TO DO with his horn surviving the blast. There has been no incentive to argue that Sombra’s horn survived the blast in a LONG TIME, now that we have all this evidence. We’ve never needed this one bit of extremely easy-to-miss evidence all this time…YET IT’S THERE. The only question now is…what do we do with it?

I have no idea, I’ll let you make the call. I guess I just won’t be surprised if I see Sombra’s horn in G5 too. In the event that this was just done as an Easter egg, I guess I’ll just sit back and appreciate the effort Sombra put into protecting his manhood. Long live the meme of Sombra’s horn and the meme of Izzy’s balls. And most of all, long live the shadow king.

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