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Mar
13th
2014

Character and species analysis blog: Chrysalis and Changelings. · 3:45pm Mar 13th, 2014

So, Chrysalis. Actually the character that got me into this show, in any case. How does she appear in the show?

Initially, acting. Albeit, she's not very good at it for the most part. Though she seems aware well aware of what she can get away with and what she can't. She's sarcastic, mocking, but not outwardly aggressive. However, when Twilight accuses her, Chrysalis does show what she can do, with embarassed blushing, followed by sobbing.

In fact, she was so convincing, that she even convinced Twilight that she was the real thing. However, she immediately followed this by sending Twilight into the caves with the captured princess. Making no attempt at being subtle.

Directly after this we see her singing in her room, where her little solo tells us some things about her. Namely, she takes pleasure from being in control, dominating others, being in power. Which is of course, her motivation. After all, the opening line of the song, directly states it.

This day is going to be perfect
The kind of day of which I dreamed since I was small
Everypony will gather round
Say I look lovely in my gown
What they don't know is that I have fooled them all.

She's inherently interested in self-gain. All there is to it.

... Except her motivations completely swap the next scene as she has her Changelings attack. At which point she has them focus on feeding, and as we all know the Changelings feed on love--and likely other things, since the only source for the love thing was Cadence herself specifying it. Which of course could of just been from what she was exposed to, being the princess of love and all that--except... they did the exact opposite of attempting that. Changelings would fly around, either attempting to capture, or just directly assault ponies seemingly at random. If Chrysalis wanted to be subtle, she had a means to do it. Since it was already covered she could mind-control multiple individuals to act independently of herself but still follow orders.

This is further reinforced when Twilight shows up at the wedding and Chrysalis states confusion at how the mind-controlled bridesmaids were escaped. When Chrysalis faced off against Celestia, she showed genuine surprise at beating her... despite the fact her previous plan of gaining power from devoured love was kind of the entire point of getting enough power to accomplish such acts.

Her motivations, her mindset, her emotions, from moment to moment are inconsistent with themselves. And this is reflected in the Changelings as well. Which, I feel the need to point out--but I really shouldn't need to--do not operate off of any sort of hive-mind. If they did, things like this wouldn't of happened.

Hiveminds: Would allow them to identify which one is the original.

Which, really, seems somewhat... illogical, doesn't it? Initially they were raining down on our main cast, then when they have a number advantage, they squander it be shifting themselves to appear like their enemy... With no ability to tell each other apart from said enemies.

In fact, there was even an... oddly helpful Changeling in that horde that was for some reason willing to stop trying to be aggressive to take shape-shifting requests.

... Why? What purpose does that serve? Around the two of them, there's still a battle going on. It's expected of Pinkie to not take things seriously, but the Changelings themselves? No, just like Chrysalis, they come across as incredibly unstable. Which, really, should be expected. In a world like Equestria where identification is considered one of the most important things around, Changelings lack that. Unlike ponies, they lack special talents. And Chrysalis' earlier motivation that focused so greatly on her ego would seem narcissistic on most. But for Changelings who are obviously weaker than normal ponies--ignoring the average ponies tendency to run around, screaming whenever something happens--and dependent on pretending to be things that aren't themselves in order to be recognized, it comes across more as an attempt to build a situation where they are no longer dependent on hiding, and can be themselves.

... Though of course, their thoughts and behaviors are far too inconsistent to get to that goal. Even after she drained enough love from Shining Armor to overthrow Canterlot, she found the idea of weaponized love silly, just moments later.

In the comics as well, her goals and ethics constantly differ and when left with nothing to do, she frequently spends time second guessing her own thoughts and decisions. She is of course, rather intelligent, probably one of the more competent antagonists in the show. However, her ability to keep on track is worse than Discord... And to be quite honest, I'm not entirely sure she's even aware of her own fickle nature.

I miiiight analyze the comics for a part two, but, ya know. Chrysalis isn't that deep as far as characters go. Emotionally, mentally, and physically unstable. Not much more to say than that.

As a bonus for getting to the end, have some underused shipping material.

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Comments ( 2 )

Very interesting thoughts.
At one point I was thinking that she and her changelings may have suffered from split brains or something but my psychology professor told me differently.
Then again she's a one time villain for a children's show that adults can enjoy with them so maybe she really is that shallow and fickle.
Edit: this does further cement my own ideas though.

1922713

Then again she's a one time villain for a children's show

Other one time antagonists also had fairly strong writing. Normally I'd write off her fickle nature as poor writing, but not when the writing is all solid.

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