• Member Since 25th May, 2012
  • offline last seen Sep 2nd, 2020

Twilight is Magic

More Blog Posts14

  • 190 weeks
    Happy Changeling Day

    Read More

    0 comments · 169 views
  • 205 weeks
    What year is this, again?

    It's been six and a half years since I last laid eyes upon this account of mine.

    Six and a half years.

    Read More

    3 comments · 250 views
  • 544 weeks
    So where the hay have I been anyway?

    Unlikely though it may be, some of you might have noticed that I kinda vanished from FiMFiction there for a while. Do not be alarmed: I'm still alive. More or less, anyway.

    Read More

    0 comments · 471 views
  • 555 weeks
    Random blog post #4: On alicorns and princesses, or Forget everything you knew

    (Disclaimer: This is not one of those whiner posts I am sure are going up everywhere like mushrooms in a temperate forest after a good rain. Neither it is a cheering-on post. I am hoping to retain the neutral middle ground. It is, however, brought about by the announcement for the S3 finale. Consider yourself spoiler-warned. And pardon the pretentious title—those are meant to grab attention,

    Read More

    5 comments · 578 views
  • 559 weeks
    The Holiday Cheer Post

    Hello everypony, it's TIM again! :twilightsmile: Well, there isn't too much variety here, with only me posting and all, but that's beside the point!

    Read More

    3 comments · 409 views

Random blog post #3: On Villains, or Why Bronydom is a Villain's Presidential Republic · 12:57am Dec 27th, 2012

Hello there once again, and welcome to the completely irregular TIM show! :twilightsmile:

Today, I'll talk about villains. The real ones, not merely episode antagonists. Nightmare Moon, Chrysalis, Sombra and Discord. You've seen them, you know them, you love them (or hate them, or are neutral about them--such potential for diversity! :derpytongue2:).
But chances are, you like one more than the other. Which one is it?
The answer quite a few would give will most likely be Discord. I know I would, for instance. He is a remarkable villain: full of character and holding immense personal power, with his memorable evil ways and quirks.
Now let us look at the others. Take, for instance, Nighmare Moon. She, too, is memorable, with a powerful, domineering personality and possessing impressive abilities, as well as considerable talent for putting on a show.
Then, let us consider Chrysalis. The Queen of the Changelings, with enough flair and deceitful finesse to captivate most of the bronydom, as well as possessing a legitimate reason for her actions other than just 'for the evulz'.
And finally, look upon Sombra. We do not know much about him other than him having been a very powerful unicorn who possibly out-eviled every other villain thanks to his open use of slavery and tried to corrupt everything, and then was defeated. What we see of him is mostly a great big cloud of black smoke with or without an equally sizable apparition of a head, the crystals that act as manifestations of his corruption and, for a few brief moments before his end, an armoured physical body. We learn nothing of his motives, his personality or his backstory.

Can you pick the odd one out? I'd be surprised if you couldn't. Look at each of the three first villains. They are all very, for lack of a better word, personal: they actively execute their plans themselves, participate in the action in very direct and obvious ways, and each of them has a memorable personality and traits. King Sombra is quite unlike them in comparison: he does not really do anything onscreen, and is only present there on the horizon, a looming dark shadow, up until the very end.

Ever since the Crystal Empire episodes came out, I've been hearing people decrying Sombra and his performance, labeling him a 'poorly made villain' or even 'a failure'. I cannot disagree that the concept we're presented with--a tyrant of a long-vanished empire, with strange and unknown powers and a very imposing air about him--would've made for an impressive villain of the type Discord, Nightmare Moon and Chrysalis can be assigned to. But he does not conform to the formula they present. Instead, he follows another pattern--Sombra is a figurehead, the personification of impending doom, the face of the shadows. Perhaps the most iconic villain of the type Sombra belongs to is Sauron, (of) The Lord of the Rings. Throughout the works they are present in, they don't really do anything much--hammer on a ring a bit and bash a few soldiers, or get hit by magic beams and try to eat a crystal heart--but their presence and the threat they pose are always undeniable and clearly felt. In fact, as many of you have likely noted, Sombra has a lot of similarities with Sauron. When watching the second Crystal Empire episode, I could very clearly perceive the urgency of the situation and the menace of Sombra's inrushing shadows, although Sombra himself was hardly more characterised than the shadows themselves.

The above, I believe, points to the fact that Sombra turned out to be a good villain after all. However, he is different from every other one shown in the series before. He belongs to another type--that which acts not in person, but through influence. This, I believe, is the reason for complaints about him being a 'failed character'. With the three highly characterised and memorable villains coming before him, Discord being perhaps the foremost of them , bronydom has become used to villains being this way. The approach taken with Sombra is different, and because it does not conform to the same formula as the previous three, was met with conflicting reactions.

In a way, this situation reminds me of the difference between two types of a republic--parliamentary and presidential--and the role of the official head of state. Before Sombra, every villain we had was a 'strong, charismatic leader', not entirely unlike the phenomenon of caudillo. Sombra, however, more closely resembles a 'parliamentary republic president'-like villain--not much more than a figurehead and not possessing much personal power, and mostly acting through the influence of what gives him his power, not in his own right.

It's not really that close an analogy, but it does showcase the difference, so I'm throwing it in.

That's it for funny analogies and Sombra defense for today! This is the TIM show, on air whenever I feel like it!

Thanks for tuning in! :twilightsmile:

Report Twilight is Magic · 437 views ·
Comments ( 3 )

My stance on Sombra has softened quite a bit from his initial reveal. I wasn't that into him at first but have accepted him for the type of villain he's shown to be. We need something different from time to time so that the show doesn't stagnate with saminess.

So yeah, I like him as a villain! Nice post!


One of the differences between Sombra and Sauron was the population of the countries they were terrorising. Sauron's fear was felt but Sombra's wasn't because the ponies couldn't remember. I think there are few flashbacks as the odd pony remembers a snippet but the population at large does not care because they are amnesic. Only the mane characters knew of his threat so the feeling of imminent doom was the same as any other antagonistic force. 'The protagonist could fail' is used everywhere. The specific kind of fear that Sauron had was his effect on people losing hope and thinking the end has come. Sombra almost went by unnoticed.

He is still my favourite villain. His comeback plan wasn't really at fault . It all came down to a matter of time with the shield.

That's a good observation with Sombra

acting through the influence of what gives him his power, not in his own right.


Diamond Tiara will rise up as the new villain, just you wait.

Login or register to comment