I felt compelled to make this blog after re-watching Antony C's and Tommy Oliver's video, My Little Critiques: A Canterlot Wedding. I'll be blunt: I really don't like it and find their analysis of the episode to be rather poor. But I'll leave a full-on rebuttal of it to another blog or video.
What I want to focus on here is the confusion surrounding Chrysalis' plan that both they and other people have expressed. Is her plan really stupid and a result of poor writing? Or is it that her plan makes complete sense and the criticism of this by over-analysts is really the result of overSIGHT? Let's dive into this!
So confusion seems to arise from questions like: Why is the shield up? Why/How is there a "threat against Canterlot"? Why is Chrysalis the only changeling in Canterlot? Was the shield already up when she got there? Why don't the other changelings just follow her in?
All of these are completely reasonable questions. However, they are also easily answered by simply breaking down the episode.
So the first piece to examine is Shining Armor's conversation with Twilight: "A threat has been made against Canterlot. We don't know who's responsible for it, but Princess Celestia asked that I help provide additional protection. This, you need to see...The burden of keeping Canterlot safe and secure rests squarely on my shoulders. Staying focused on the task at hand has been my top priority."
Notice how he says, "A threat has been made...". This implies that someone has informed them of their malicious intentions. This is very specifically put in there to make sure the viewer understands that this is not just a perceived danger, but rather something that has been made clear to them. Otherwise, Shining Armor would have simply said, "There is a threat against Canterlot."
So knowing that someone issued a threat against Canterlot, who would have been responsible for such an action? Well, the clear answer is Chrysalis herself. Now, why would Chrysalis make such a threat? In order to answer this, we need to look at the consequences of her action.
As a result of the threat being made, Shining Armor begins powering a protective shield around Canterlot. Now, why would Chrysalis want this shield to be up? Surely that only works against her ultimate intentions to invade with her army of changelings?
Well, no. If you have concluded this, then I'm afraid you've missed the entire point. Chrysalis doesn't want the shield to be up. It's the consequences of putting the shield up that Chrysalis wants. That being, that Shining Armor is focused on it, tired, and vulnerable. Being in this state, it becomes much easier for Chrysalis to take control of him. Why does she need control of him, you might ask?
Well, we see that Shining Armor's spell is easily able to repel the changelings from the area. So had Chrysalis simply attacked, without taking control of Shining Armor, they would have been immediately defeated. The only way for this to succeed was to get rid of Shining Armor, hence why she acts as Cadance and makes the threat against Canterlot.
Directly going at Antony C here, he claims that the shield is a problem. Either: Chrysalis sneaked into Canterlot to "take down a shield that would never have been a problem if she hadn't sneaked into Canterlot" or got there with the shield already up and sneaked in to take down the shield (but her army doesn't follow her).
Ugh, this analysis is wrong in so many ways (and no amount of animated diagrams will cover up his disregard for facts and logic). Antony C is on the right track with his first idea. That is indeed what her plan was. But what he and Oliver fail to do is figure out WHY. They just dismiss it as counter-intuitive and thus fail to understand her reasoning. As I already explained, she wanted the shield up so she could take control of Shining Armor (since the process of maintaining the shield put a lot of strain on him).
As for his second idea, it doesn't make any sense. One, Chrysalis made a threat against Canterlot. This explanation suggests that she made a threat and then didn't expect the shield to be up. What?! Also, he says the changelings should have sneaked in with Chrysalis. First, an army's worth of extra ponies would have definitely drawn attention. Second, it's not necessarily practical to sneak a large force like that into the city in the first place. But regardless, this idea is completely wrong anyway.
Antony's proposition with the shield is a false dichotomy that fails to examine any logistical reasons for Chrysalis' plan. Rather, he presents two nonsensical plans (without bothering to really think about them) in an attempt to make Chrysalis and/or the writer look like idiots.
So in conclusion, here's the plan: Chrysalis made a threat on Canterlot in order to weaken Shining Armor. Doing so allowed her to gain control of him. As a result, her army of changelings was able to invade Canterlot, relatively unopposed. It's actually a very good plan, not the convoluted mess Antony tried to make it look like. Also, this isn't just a crazy head-canon, this is clearly supported from the dialogue and actions of characters in the story.
I hope this once and for all does away with this perceived plot hole in A Canterlot Wedding. If you have any questions or disagree with anything I said, feel free to leave a comment below!