The most complex villain?  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. Which villain, in your opinion, is the most complex?

    • King Sombra
      2
    • Discord
      4
    • Nightmare Moon
      1
    • Queen Chrysalis
      4
    • Tirek
      0
    • Starlight Glimmer
      11
    • Sunset Shimmer
      2
    • The Dazzlings
      0
    • Trixie
      1
    • Flim Flam Brothers
      0


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(edited)

While elaborating on the subject, please keep in mind that someone can view your choice in a different light, and so can you.

 

Also, you don't have to choose your favourite antagonist. You can like a particular villain just because they speak to you, while thinking that other one is more complex.

 

Even though I know that most people will probably go with Discord, I came up with an idea of this post thinking about Queen Chrysalis. Besides being my favourite villain, she impressed me with her role in Canterlot Wedding, the same role many fans viewed as series of horrible decisions. I'll try to explain my choice.

 

Starting at the begining, the operation of kidnapping Cadance and getting in her place. While we don't really know anything about how was it executed, the act alone is interesting. Although she surely made a good research of Canterlot, ponies she was to meet and dangers that awaited her, she was destined to arouse suspicions on Twilight's side, because she couldn't know about that little fact being Cadance and Twilight's special greeting. From this point on, she acted in a way that everyone, not knowing her personally, viewed as 100% normal, while further infuriating Twilight, leading to her being left alone by her friends and mentor.

 

After getting rid of the most obvious problem, she continued striving to accomplish her goal with Elements of Harmony not being a problem anymore as the Mane6 wasn't complete. Then we get to the point, when she revealed herself and started this monologue, which was often critisized for showing everyone her plans. However, if we look at it knowing, that her whole army was nearly ready to begin invasion on Canterlot, she was probably buying time. After excellently securing the Elements with most of her subjects while buying more time and tiring Mane6 with a small unit, she was in a position in which her taking over Canterlot and probably Equestria was so real, the writers had to deus ex machina her out of the episode.

 

That wall of text was about Chrysalis being an excellent tactician. But what makes her more likeable and deep? 

 

The thing that differs her from villains like Tirek, King Sombra and (please don't kill me) Discord is her motivation to do evil things. All Tirek wanted was power and destroying the world of ponies because he was evil. King Sombra wanted power and control over others. Discord, while being really complex in other aspects, did all the evil things because he was born into it. His nature as a spirit of chaos made him doing chaos things.

 

Queen Chrysalis on the other hand, had to invade ponies to provide living for her beloved subjects. In my favourite song in the show, This Day Aria, she doesn't sing she has a cold heart or no heart. She singed "in my heart there is no room". That leaves us with a tip that she considers herself mostly a mother, and cares mostly about her children.

 

Did you have the patience to go through all of my scribble? Leave your explanations of the most complex villain below.

Edited by TBlaze

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(edited)

whoa there, it woudl be a lot easier to read that with some clearer paragraphs!

 

My answer is Sombra, but this is HIGHLY contingent on the additional characterization he got in the comics that told his backstory, and showed him as a foal.  If you only take the show, he's one of the shallowest!  

 

Not sure who my pick is dependent on the show only...

 

Also, "complex" does not necessarily equate to the best.  but in this case, I think Sombra is complex in realistic and interesting ways, so its a positive. 

Edited by weesh

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whoa there, it woudl be a lot easier to read that with some clearer paragraphs!

 

Granted, I edited the post to make it easier to read. I sometimes forget about keeping my writing clear, either it's for the layout or my horrible handwriting in real life :)

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Queen Chrysalis. We don't really know much about the changelings' background and where they came from, or even how they function within their own hive community.

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I'd say Chrysalis, because she was a queen literally just trying to feed her subjects. 

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I would probably have to go with Starlight.  All of the other villains are your basic supervillain types that want to conquer the world because they are evil, often with little explanation as to their motivations beyond the fact that they are 'evil'.

 

Starlight was more of the James Bond villain type, her aspirations were of a more political nature than taking over through main force of arms.  She actually seemed to have an aspiration of ruling the world without simply enslaving and/or destroying everything, at least not blatantly.

 

Nightmare Moon wanted to plunge the world into eternal night because she was jealous of the ponies love for the daytime.

 

Discord just wanted to rule a world that reflected his own narcissistic and chaotic mind (again).

 

Sombra wanted to enslave the Crystal Empire (again).

 

Tirek seemed hell bent on little more than the absolute destruction of everything!

 

Flim and Flam were just profiteers who wanted to make a quick buck.

 

Trixie was little more than a braggart with no actual ambition at all beyond showing off (Alicorn amulet notwithstanding).

 

Chrysalis' plan probably made the least sense of all.  Changelings feed on love, and although she started off well by impersonating Cadance in order to feed off Shining Armour, which made perfect sense, but she then proceeded to mount an overt invasion which would have pretty much cut off the food supply at source by turning everyone against her and her followers.  Not a lot of logic there really.

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(edited)

MLP villains are nowhere near the best examples of villains in kids' cartoons. All of them have rather simplistic motivations and backstories, but three of them primarily used psychological manipulation rather than force: King Sombra, Discord, and Starlight Glimmer. However, I could choose only one, and it goes to Starlight Glimmer.

 

Where all three use force as a last resort, Starlight Glimmer's followers all seem to still have their free will. Even though they're factually living under the threat of force, there at least seems to be an illusion that they chose this fate and chose to believe her. Because the four ponies seem to have unfortunately been disposed of since the season finale, we may never get any backstory on how they met Starlight and fell to her influence.

 

Starlight has the ability to magically enthrall her enemies, but unlike Discord and King Sombra, she doesn't use magical mind control. She uses propaganda, ideology, and the threat of physical force to try to control and influence how others think under their own free will.

 

The ideology itself, that of living without cutie marks, is by design very appealing to those either unimpressed and unsatisfied with their own self-identity, or who don't even have a cutie mark and feel left behind by the accomplishment of others. Given the implied population of Equestria, there could be thousands of characters with these kinds of issues, possibly including non-ponies as well.

 

Starlight being just a regular-looking unicorn is also very deceiving, as her strength in numbers, appealing ideology, and magical muscle make her an equal threat to the monster that King Sombra is. A lion trying to maul you to death has the same effect as a well-armed terrorist trying to do the same.

 

This is mainly from the perspective of "The Cutie Map". In "The Cutie Re-Mark", the threat comes mainly from the magical weapons Starlight uses, but at one time she's seen trying to influence Fluttershy and the bullies with her social spiel, actually managing to take a moral high ground on Twilight and defeating her arguments in the context of the bullying. Starlight is a master of timing and emotional appeal, a perfect demagogue reminiscent of a 2016 Presidential candidate. She can tell you want you want to hear and convince you that you're doing good while destroying your life. I'd like to see another villain try that without resorting to mind control.

Edited by Wind Chaser

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(edited)

To be honest, I don't think any of these villains are really that complex.

Starlight Glimmer did show potential, but her really really simple and lame character motivation ended up ruining it.

Although I do like at least some of these characters especially Discord, Tirek, and the Dazzlings

Edited by cmarston1

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Prior to "The Cutie Remark", I would have answered Starlight Glimmer, but then that episode came and revealed that her entire motivation is a childish temper tantrum, making her impossible to take seriously.

 

The thing that differs her from villains like Tirek, King Sombra and (please don't kill me) Discord is her motivation to do evil things. All Tirek wanted was power and destroying the world of ponies because he was evil. King Sombra wanted power and control over others. Discord, while being really complex in other aspects, did all the evil things because he was born into it. His nature as a spirit of chaos made him doing chaos things.

 

Queen Chrysalis on the other hand, had to invade ponies to provide living for her beloved subjects. In my favourite song in the show, This Day Aria, she doesn't sing she has a cold heart or no heart. She singed "in my heart there is no room". That leaves us with a tip that she considers herself mostly a mother, and cares mostly about her children.

The idea that Chrysalis and her army need to feed on love is something that is never explicitly stated in the show. For all we know, they can eat regular food just fine, and draining love is just how they make themselves more powerful. This would make them into (literally) power-hungry conquerors, which is a pretty simple motivation for a villain.

 

Viewing her as a loving mother also depends on a subjective interpretation of a song lyric, which is not the strongest evidence. Perhaps there is no room in her heart because she loves power, rather than her drones. Or maybe she sings that because it's the lyric the writers thought fit the rhythm and melody of the song best.

 


 

None of the villains of My Little Pony are particularly complex, especially since the show tends to avoid going in-depth into their backstory. I'd say the most complex antagonist is Trixie. All she did was entertain ponies, and was damn good at it too, until the Mane 6 took her too seriously and ruined her livelihood. She has the most understandable motive for becoming evil, even if she went a bit overboard in enslaving the entirety of Ponyville.

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Discord only because the writers took time on him.

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(edited)

Even if you only take Sombra's on-show portrayal, then you still have somepony who thinks further ahead than any other villain.

Edited by A.V.

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Viewing her as a loving mother also depends on a subjective interpretation of a song lyric, which is not the strongest evidence. Perhaps there is no room in her heart because she loves power, rather than her drones. Or maybe she sings that because it's the lyric the writers thought fit the rhythm and melody of the song best.

 

You're right, all I wanted to do was show my personal view on Chrysalis. About lyric fitting the rhythm and melody the most: I'm pretty convinced that it's exactly that. But that's the thing with mlp analyzing, it's nearly always overanalyzing. What's the point in thinking about "Is the dream world real" or "How do ponies get their names" if we all know that it's just how writers created this world and they didn't think about why. The fun is in finding reasons within the fictive world.

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I would say Chrysalis and Discord are the most complex villains, Sombra as well, if you count the comics.

 

You pretty much summed up my thoughts on Chryssie, and as for Discord, he got the most character development and screentime out of all of them, so, of course he's quite complex. Had his moments, good and evil, happy and sad, and so on.

 

As for Sombra, it was interesting to see that his motivation was to free his people from their prisons, rather than just "power, moar power!". Plus, the guy had really good long-term planning. I have yet to read the Siege of the Crystal Empire, but I'd like to, just to see his character get even more explored. :D

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To me, complexity can be defined in a number of ways as relating to each individual villain. Can Nightmare Moon, Discord, Chrysalis, Sombra, Tirek, Starlight Glimmer, and the Sirens be categorized as complex in their own way? Sure; their unique characters with their own motivations and reasons for why they are what they are. It's hard for me to really choose one.

 

Though the villain I really can't put in that same regard is Sunset Shimmer; hers were about as simplistic as can be.

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Though the villain I really can't put in that same regard is Sunset Shimmer; hers were about as simplistic as can be.

 

You know, it's possible Demon Shimmer could've absorbed the portal and become a space-warper like Midnight Sparkle.

 

Of course, that would've actually entailed some clever thinking, so...

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