Saturday, July 11, 2015

Motivations of the Nightmare

Recently, it has been brought to my attention that Nightmare Moon's plan for Equestria is somewhat sketchy, to say the least. She is motivated by a desire for attention and love from her subjects, yet her plan to satisfy these needs will undoubtedly kill all of Equestria. The question is, why? Is she, in her rage, simply stupid and unable to see the eventual ramifications of her plot? Or is she furious enough to actually commit mass genocide? I think I have an answer. (But keep in mind, this is only a possibility of Luna's motivations. Something that works to fill in all the blanks and doesn't, as far as I know, contradict anything in the show.)

Nightmare Moon, in the flashback where Celestia first defeated her, never stated that she wanted to bring about eternal night. Celestia banished her for turning evil and attempting a coup d’etat, not threatening to kill everypony. When Nightmare returned, chances are that she was bent on vengeance and this time actually did try to kill off the world, wishing to eliminate those who had hurt her. She would achieve this by the method that was not only most available to her, but also in her element-- something built off of Luna’s original jealousy, hatred and desire for love and attention. The most obvious option, achieving all three goals, was to eradicate the sun that had so eclipsed her. In doing so, she would exact her revenge upon the descendants of those who had shunned her in the first place. She would deprive the ponies of all they had loved: sun, warmth, food, family/friends, and finally life.

How anypony would have been able to predict her actions upon return is less clear. The most likely possibilities are that either a diviner/oracle/soothsayer saw Luna's return and actions, or that Celestia jumped to conclusions about her sister's motivations and intentions. Either way, somepony started a legend that may have been changed and adjusted over the centuries to finally wind up in the storybook Twilight Sparkle reads at the beginning of the show, as well as "Predictions and Prophecies" (not to mention Nightmare Night).

How Celestia would have reached the conclusion that Luna wanted eternal night is understandable: Luna raised the moon to completely eclipse the sun in the middle of the day. At this point, though, Luna was still after the appreciation of her subjects, so her plan may have been to raise the moon then to try and reverse her subjects' sleep schedules. After she took over Equestria, she could create a nocturnal paradise with them and have her night appreciated while still providing the sunlight the planet needed to survive. If this had happened the way she'd intended, Luna may have been able to convince Equestria that it was her sister who had gone evil and that she'd had no choice but to kill her to protect the kingdom (which she believed anyway). She could also have easily explained that her new form was necessary to gain the power to defeat Celestia. Soon, Queen Nightmare Moon would have become the benevolent ruler that Celestia is by the beginning of Season 1, except that Equestria would have been completely nocturnal.

EDIT: after seeing the Season 5 Finale, I am proud to say... ha! Nightmare Moon's eternal night would have TOTALLY WORKED!! They don't need sunlight! Fools, fools all of you, who thought that she would have murdered everything with her plan! No longer does Nightmare belong on the very bottom of Lily Peet's "villains" list!