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Villain Overview
My crystal slaves...
~ King Sombra to the Crystal Ponies
I don't do "ours"; I only do mine! I will take back the Crystal Empire on my own, and I will destroy anypony who gets in my way!
~ King Sombra to Grogar in The Beginning of the End.
Long live the king.
~ King Sombra

King Sombra (or simply known as Sombra) is one of the main antagonists of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He is a tyrannical unicorn and the former ruler of the Crystal Empire who is bent on reconquering the empire and later taking over all of Equestria. In the IDW comics, it is stated that Sombra is actually an Umbrum created to destroy the Crystal Heart and release the Umbrum army trapped underneath the Crystal Empire; although this is considered non-canonical to the series.

He appears as the main antagonist in Season 3's premiere, "The Crystal Empire" and in Season 9's premiere, "The Beginning of the End". In the IDW MLP comics, he appears as the secondary antagonist in the 13th story arc Siege Of The Crystal Empire; the real main antagonist being his "mother" Rabia.

He was voiced by Jim Miller in Season 3, and is voiced by Alvin Sanders in Season 9.

History

Season 3

King Sombra is a powerful unicorn whose heart is said to be as black as night. He took control of the Crystal Empire and enslaved the crystal ponies before Celestia and Luna overthrew him, turning him to shadow and banishing him to the Arctic North, disappearing into a crevice of ice which closed up. However, he foresaw this defeat and placed a curse upon the Crystal Empire that caused it to disappear for a thousand years. Eventually, the Crystal Empire reappeared, but the crystal ponies had no memory of their kingdom before Sombra took over, and the mere memory of him causes them pain. Sombra returned along with the Crystal Empire and tried to conquer it again, but Princess Cadance was able to cast a protection spell around it which kept him out.

Shadow Sombra

Shadow Sombra.

When Twilight Sparkle and her friends came to the Crystal Empire to protect it, Sombra chased after them in shadow form, but they got through the barrier, although he attacked Shining Armor he survived, but his horn was cursed so that he could not use his magic.

When Cadance began to run out of power to perform the spell, the barrier briefly deactivated, allowing Sombra to invade. Sombra's horn was broken off as the barrier reactivated, and he transformed it into a dark crystal which began to create more dark crystals in the Crystal Empire.

Twilight and Spike searched for the Crystal Heart, the key to protecting the empire, inside the castle, where nopony would dare to look. They ran into a door enchanted by Sombra to hypnotize them into confronting their worst fears. In Twilight's case, she thought Celestia told her that she failed her test and wouldn't continue her studies, only for Spike to snap her out of the trance. Spike gets brainwashed too and thought Twilight was banishing him, but Twilight saw through the enchanted door's purpose and shuts it, releasing Spike from the spell and comforting him about his fear.

Eventually, they reached the Crystal Heart, but Sombra, finally able to enter once Cadance was no longer able to perform her spell, trapped Twilight in a wall of dark crystals, keeping her from the Crystal Heart.

King Sombra's defeat S3E2

King Sombra defeated.

With no way out, Twilight entrusted Spike to take the Crystal Heart to Cadance. Returning to his physical form, Sombra tried to spear Spike with a dark crystal, but Cadance saved him from the attack. She then returned the Crystal Heart, and together with the crystal ponies used its power to unleash a wave of magic that restored the Crystal Empire and destroyed Sombra, shattering him to pieces.

King Sombra was briefly referenced in the episode, "Games Ponies Play". Twilight also briefly uses his magic in "Princess Twilight Sparkle Part 1".

Season 5

Alternate timeline

King Sombra ID S5E25

King Sombra in the alternative timeline.

In the first of many alternate timelines temporarily created by Starlight Glimmer in the episode "The Cutie Re-Mark - Part 1", King Sombra is in power and ruling over the Crystal Empire with the iron hoof, having never been killed by Princess Cadance due to the change in timeline, he made the crystal ponies fight for him against the rest of Equestria, fighting a war with Celestia. He was winning the war as he managed to take half of Equestria.

Season 6

King Sombra was mentioned again couple of times in the Season 6 premiere "The Crystalling". Spike mentions King Sombra while telling the Crystal Ponies about how he was defeated. Twilight later reveals the reason that King Sombra merely hid the Crystal Heart in his castle is to prevent the Frozen Norths weather from breaching the Empire. This explains why Sombra never destroyed the Crystal Heart in the first place.

Season 7

In the season finale, "Shadow Play", Pinkie Pie mentions Sombra while recounting the threats Equestria has faced over the last thousand years to Starswirl the Bearded.

Season 9

Season 9 King Sombra 3

Sombra in Season 9's premiere.

In "The Beginning of the End - Part 1", King Sombra is revived by Grogar and is summoned to his lair, where Queen Chrysalis, Lord Tirek, and Cozy Glow accuse him of being the one who summoned them there. However, Grogar reveals himself as being the one to summon them, much to the villains' astonishment, as they had all thought he was a legend (with the exception of Cozy Glow, who had never heard of him before). Grogar proceeds to tell the group of his plans to eliminate Twilight Sparkle and her friends and demonstrates his power by giving Tirek enough magic to partially revive his strength, also causing him to tell Cozy Glow of the stories that he had heard of Grogar when he was younger and for Sombra to do the same afterwards. Grogar goes on to state that he's been watching over all of them and asks them why they think that they've always been beaten by the same six ponies, Chrysalis interrupting Sombra before he can respond. Grogar rebuffs all of their answers and points out that the Mane 6 have always won because they work as a team, and demands that they all do the same in order to take over Equestria.

However, Sombra refuses to join Grogar, claiming that he will take the Crystal Empire back for himself and destroy anyone who gets in his way. Unphased by this, Grogar tells Sombra to go and try to take over the Empire again, even offering to transport him there on the conditions that he can keep it if he succeeds, but will serve him once he fails, claiming he will destroy him again if he refuses to abide by his terms. Sombra agree and proceeds to arrogantly proclaim how he will overtake the Empire, before an annoyed Grogar whisks him away. Sombra proceeds to lay siege to the Crystal Empire with ease, brainwashing the crystal ponies and royal guards into serving him as he approaches the castle. Inside, Princess Cadence sends out a message to Twilight before she and Shining Armor notice that Flurry Heart is missing and find her in Sombra's clutches. Sombra then forces Shining Armor and Cadence to surrender, capturing the Crystal Heart and fully taking over the Crystal Empire afterwards.

Upon receiving Cadence's message and summoning her friends, Twilight decides to retrieve the Elements of Harmony from the Tree of Harmony to defeat Sombra. Back at the Empire, Sombra is seen relaxing on his throne, amused by Flurry Heart's attempts at attacking him, only for the Mane 6 to arrive to challenge him. Unconcerned, Sombra forces his opponents to endure their own worst fears (making Twilight see a vision of all of her friends being controlled by Sombra while Princess Celestia and Luna show disappointment in her, turning them into Nightmare Moon and Daybreaker as a result), and suggests that they should surrender, as nothing can beat their own fears. However, Twilight and the others overpower Sombra's visions with the Elements, revealing that they were only facing their fears long enough for Spike to free his captives.

Cadence then reclaims the Crystal Heart and uses it to dispel Sombra's influence from the Empire, freeing everyone from his control. In spite of this, Sombra proclaims that he will win in the end, before being seemingly destroyed by the Elements. Having saved the Empire again, Twilight and the Mane 6 return the Elements to the tree, only for Sombra to appear and destroy both.

In Part 2, Sombra reveals that his takeover of the Crystal Empire was merely a ruse designed to lure the Mane 6 in so that he could trace them back to their source of power and destroy it; and now that he has done so, they will be unable to stop him. Despite this, the Mane 6, minus a disheartened Twilight, try to fight back against him, only for Sombra to imprison them all, realizing that, with them out of the way, he can conquer all of Equestria for himself, planning to overtake Ponyville first. Sombra then considers using his magic to brainwash the Mane 6 as well, but decides against it, as he is already forcing them to endure their worst fear by taking control of Equestria anyway before leaving. Sombra goes on to brainwash all of Ponyville—including Spike, Starlight Glimmer, the Cutie Mark Crusaders and the Mane 6's other friends—into becoming his slaves and takes them to conquer Canterlot, while the Mane 6 are forced to deal with the Everfree Forest's overgrowth thanks to the Tree's destruction.

Sombra storms Canterlot with ease thanks to his brainwashed army, and barges into the Princess' throne room, only to find that it is empty, making him believe that Celestia and Luna had run away from him in fear. Soon, the Mane 6 arrive in the Princess' throne room with Discord and engage Sombra, who attempts to blast them with magic. However, Discord dispels all of Sombra's attacks with ease while commenting that, even though he expected Twilight and the others to handle things by themselves, they still win because he is their friend, though in doing so he accidentally prompts Sombra to target Fluttershy instead, making Discord take the blast for her. Sombra gloats at his victory and begins to decide how he will eliminate the rest of his enemies, while, at the same time, Discord gives his friends a heartfelt speech about how they don't need him or the Elements to beat Sombra since all they have ever needed to win is each other.

Disregarding Discord's claims, Sombra attacks the Mane 6, who, now inspired, begin to fight back, generating more magic that ever. Baffled, Sombra demands to know how the Mane 6 have the ability to stand up to him even when he destroyed the source of their power, although Twilight claims that he never did, with her and the others reminding him that friendship is magic, before using their power to destroy him once again and remove his influence from Equestria. Later, Celestia and Luna return from fending off the Everfree Forest and state that they will hold off on making Twilight and her friends the new rulers of Equestria, causing Discord to reveal that he faked his injuries in an effort to push Twilight to become the great leader he knows she is, additionally revealing that he could have defeated Sombra any time he wanted. Back at Grogar's lair, Tirek and Chrysalis ask him about how Sombra's plan went, and Grogar shows them that he had been defeated yet again. Grogar uses Sombra's destruction as an example to the others of what happens when they try to abandon his plans, making them nervously agree to serve him.

King Sombra is mentioned a few times in the episode "Uprooted".

King Sombra is mentioned in the episode "Sparkle's Seven", when Princesses Celestia and Luna decide to increase security after he had recently returned.

Depiction in the comics

King Sombra of a parallel world appears in the seventh arc (Issues 17-20) of the comics. He is the polar opposite of the Sombra from the show, as he is a good ruler of the parallel world where Celestia and Luna are evil. He is in love with Celestia of Prime Equestria.

However, this version of Sombra would suffer a terrible fate in allowing himself to be taken by evil to protect his beloved Celestia and both their worlds from destruction, becoming just like the King Sombra from Celestia's world. But even after being taken by evil, this Sombra mourns his beloved Celestia, now lost to him, possibly forever.

In Friends Forever #4, it is shown how King Sombra captured a Crystal Bard and enslaved him, making him read books for him, after the Crystal Bard escaped King Sombra with his royal guards trying to recapture him but the Crystal Bard became smarter than him.

In Fiendship is Magic Issue 1, Sombra's backstory (at least in comic canon, in which Amore has a different cutie mark than described in the Journal of the Two Sisters) is revealed; he was an Umbrum disguised as a pony to enter Equestria and release the other Umbrum, who were imprisoned in another dimension. Sombra initially didn't want to turn evil, and was friends with Radiant Hope, and was affected by the power of the Crystal Heart, but after a talk with the Umbrum, he embraced his dark side. He turned Princess Amore to crystal and shattered her to pieces, before being banished by Celestia and Luna, but he threw Radiant Hope outside of the Crystal Empire. In the present, it is shown that Sombra is now a ghost tied to his horn.

In Siege of the Crystal Empire (issues #34-37), Radiant Hope recruits Queen Chrysalis, Lightning Dust, Iron Will, and the Flim Flam Brothers to attack the Crystal Empire as a distraction while she finds Sombra's spirit and horn, and uses her healing magic to bring him back to life.

In Issue #35, Sombra releases the imprisoned villains, and he encrusts Twilight's horn with dark crystals, allowing Chrysalis to defeat her. Celestia and Luna arrive to fight Sombra and Chrysalis, but due to Hope's intervention, Sombra turns Celestia and Luna to stone.

In Issue #36, Sombra and Chrysalis get into an argument when Chrysalis is against Sombra's plan to release the Umbrum, knowing they will cause despair, thus preventing her from feeding off love. Threatened with being turned to stone, Chrysalis retreats with her Changelings. After Princess Cadance and Hope discover what the Umbrum are really like, Hope tries to convince Sombra not to release them. Twilight arrives, having been restored by the other Mane 5 with the power of friendship, and shoots a magic beam at Sombra, but Hope jumps in front of him and takes the hit. Sombra then releases the Umbrum.

In Issue #37, Sombra, now emperor, turns Shining Armor to stone at the command of Lady Rabia in a reference to Governor Tarkin destroying Alderaan. He is about to do the same to Twilight and Cadance when Twilight tells them to do this at the dais where the Crystal Heart is so everypony can see it happen. Sombra goes to take Hope with him, to which she reveals that her supposed destiny of becoming a princess did not come true because she left her training to look for him. Sombra was affected by the realization that not only was the Crystal Heart's prediction not true, but she chose him over becoming a princess. When the "rebels" attack the Umbrum, Rabia tells Sombra to eliminate Twilight and Cadance and Hope takes out the Crystal Heart. Rabia tells Sombra to smash it, but instead he unleashes its power, re-imprisoning the Umbrum and saving the Crystal Empire. Sombra is disintegrated by the Crystal Heart's power, but before he can be completely destroyed, Hope saves him with her magic, and together she and all four princesses restore him to physical form, turning him into an actual pony similar in appearance to his mirror-world counterpart. Together, Sombra and Hope decide to restore Princess Amore.

Personality

Compared to other villains on the show, King Sombra's personality isn't too elaborated on. Instead, he is little more than a dark, looming menace for most of the episode. He has very few speaking lines, some of then half-incoherent, and is a very mysterious character, whose backstory is limited to the fact that he enslaved the crystal ponies. The source of his dark powers and his motivations remain an enigma. However, he is shown to be extremely cruel, fierce, brutal, sadistic, heartless, destructive, merciless, and wicked, viewing crystal ponies as nothing more than his slaves, using fear on them and other characters, and licking his lips as the prospect of possibly killing Spike (although he may have primarily been after the Crystal Heart). He is also shown to be tyrannical, manipulative, and power-hungry, as in the altered future he tried to take over the rest of Equestria once retaking the Crystal Empire, creating a dark future of war. He is believed to be the evilest villain in the show.

Sombra appears to be very satisfied, thoughtful, intelligent, appreciative, and perspicacious, as he seemingly thought ahead of his enemies and placed a curse upon the empire to disappear if he gets defeated, and he cleverly booby-trapped the way to the Crystal Heart. He ended up outsmarting Twilight as she fell for every one of the traps, more than one of which would have defeated Twilight Sparkle if not for the presence of Spike.

In Season 9, though he still comes close to conquering Equestria and displays intelligence by tricking the Mane 6 into revealing their source of power, he is also shown to be pompous, arrogant, and overconfident, preferring to not work with Grogar's evil alliance in favor of taking Equestria for himself, and disregarding his warnings about working together, which ultimately proved to be his downfall. He is too overconfident in fact, that he left the Mane Six to be trapped in his crystal cage instead of controlling their minds, saying there is no point, thinking that without the Elements, they are powerless to stop him and his army of slaves. Had he not underestimated them as many villains always have before, Sombra might have won in the end.

Comics

In the comics, Sombra's personality is quite different from the show, depicting him as more sympathetic. Before he turned evil he didn't want to, and in contrast to the show where he was about to murder Spike for being in his way, he is unable to bring himself to kill Amore (which he is implied to have done in the show given her absence) so he turns her to crystal and non-fatally shatters her instead, also turning Celestia and Luna to stone instead of killing them and threatening the same to Chrysalis if she betrayed him. He also still seems to care for Radiant Hope, which led to his redemption.

Powers and Abilities

Eyes of the king
King Sombra appears in the show as a being of pure darkness. Due to this, he appears to be virtually impossible to damage via targeted magic, easily dodging Shining Armor's magic beam. However, he cannot penetrate some magical barriers, as he was unable to touch the Princess Cadance's field of love magic without getting harmed. His dark form can spread to immense distances, to the point that he can surround the Crystal Empire all by himself. He can also sink the ground and travel this way, leaving a trail of sharp crystals in his path.

Celestia states that she and Luna were the ones responsible for turning Sombra into shadow. This may imply that he could be powerful enough to require the might of two alicorns to defeat him.

Sombra s empire by mysterymelt-d5skxoo

The entire Crystal Empire is corrupted.

King Sombra's main power seems to be creating dark, jagged crystals. Those can serve as sharp weapons or cages to imprison his enemies. He can also engulf a unicorn horn in his darkness, covering it with crystal, which blocks off their magical abilities.

King Sombra's unicorn magic is unlike any other previously seen on the show. It is inferred by Celestia to be dark magic, powered by hatred and fear. The glow associated with it is a toxic purple bubbling. Though it can be cast by others, Sombra seems to be the main practitioner of it. It is affiliated with corruption, able to taint the Crystal Empire in a matter of minutes. In addition to creating dark crystals, this magic can also be used to show one an illusion of one's greatest fear, or even counter teleportation magic.

He also seems to know some reality-warping spells. The Crystal Empire's disappearance from space and time was due to a curse of his, and he also utilized hidden portals, animated doors, and even pocket dimensions as part of his defenses for the Crystal Heart.

Weaknesses

As a villain affiliated with hatred, fear, and despair, his greatest weakness appears to be the power of love, joy, and other such positive emotions. He is thus unable to penetrate Princess Cadance's magical love barrier without getting harmed by it, and is destroyed by the Crystal Heart, an artifact powered by positive emotions. After revival, his second death comes from magic powered by friendship, which he was unable to penetrate.

Despite his intelligence, he is also shown to be overconfident, which led to his second downfall.

Theories

  • Some think King Sombra might have been the "outside force" that magnified Luna's jealousy to turn her into Nightmare Moon. He could have sensed Luna's resentment toward her sister during his battle with them, and cast a curse to magnify it before he was banished (his curses are established to survive his banishment). Others suspected it to be the G4 incarnation of Tirek, but he eventually did appear and does not possess the same powers as his G1 counterpart.
  • Some suspect that Celestia and Luna actually killed him the first time, and that he was a ghost when Celestia and Luna banished him, and all throughout The Crystal Empire, hence his shadow form.
  • Others suspect that Sombra originated as a shadow entity who took pony form, similar to Mephiles the Dark.
    • In Fiendship is Magic Issue 1, this is proven to be somewhat true, as Sombra is revealed to in fact not be a real pony, but instead a shadow creature who was created to resemble a pony, explaining his lack of a cutie mark. However, its canonocity is retconned by Season 9.

Reception

Sombra initially received mixed reception from both critics and viewers alike, with much criticism going towards his lack of screentime, lines, and character development. The main counter to this is that Sombra was not meant to be a 'talkative' villain but a more Sauron-like looming threat and an evil presence.

King Sombra's design has also been criticized by some fans, many calling it uninspired. However, this is most likely due to the bias against red-and-black Original Characters, as the rest of his design is quite distinct. Tempest Shadow and IDW comic villain Shadowlock received similar criticism regarding their designs, names, backgrounds, and personalities.

Despite his criticism, King Sombra has gained significant popularity among the MLP fandom, and these fans often denied his death and speculated that he survived, much like they did with his predecessor Queen Chrysalis and for similar reasons. Unlike Chrysalis, however, Meghan McCarthy confirmed Sombra's death up front, although some fans continue to deny this and some stating that Sombra could appear in the future, either being revived or appearing in a flashback.

Complaints of his lack of screen time and development were likely what drove the comic writers to feature him in “Fiendship is Magic #1” & “Siege of the Crystal Empire”, as well as take the opportunity to explore him and make him in a way that they see fit. However, despite the success of his comics, fan criticism towards him grew, with many complaining about what the writers modified his character into as well as his redemption.

Sombra gained some slight popularity from The Cutie Remark, when it showed what would have been if Sombra had taken over the Crystal Empire in one of the darkest moments of the show, despite having no lines and less screen time than Chrysalis in that episode.

His reappearance in Season 9 has gathered more positive reviews, with fans saying that Sombra finally has more screentime, lines, and has done more evil actions, though his origins are still yet to be explored. However, Alvin Sander's performance as King Sombra in the episode has gotten a mixed reaction, with some calling his voice not fitting for the character. However, Jim Miller has explained that when he voiced Sombra, he voiced him as an ethereal and not completely formed, like a ghost, while Alvin Sander's voice is his real actual voice. Despite this, his appearance in Season 9 helped the character to become more popular with the fans of the show. 

Episodes and Appearances

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

Season 3

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7

Season 9

Comics

Friendship is Magic

Friends Forever

My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic

Quotes

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

Season 3

  • "Crystal Heart..."
  • "My crystal slaves..."
  • "That is mine!"
  • "What? No... No! Stop!"

Season 9

  • "Ha! You're no match for me! I will finally rule the Crystal Empire. (gasps) Wait, with you out of the way, I will rule all of Equestria!"
  • "No! This can't be possible! Your magic can't defeat mine! I destroyed the source of your power! (Twilight: You can't destroy our friendship, Sombra!) (Rainbow Dash: And we keep telling bad guys.) (Applejack: But y'all just don't seem to remember.) (Mane Six: Frienship is Magic) (Try to retaliate but it's no use and the Mane Six unleashes a magical explosion that annihilates him.) Noooooooooo!"

Comics

  • "What do I do with this power? Why am I the only one with it?"
  • "Restore her? Help me? You've got it all wrong, Hope. I don't need help anymore. And as for Princess Amore, she's not the saint you think she is. Inside she was... broken."
  • "I am not just any monster, Hope. I am king of the monsters!"

Trivia

  • Prior to his introduction in the series, King Sombra first appeared on Hasbro's Pony Wedding micro-site before any information about the character was released publicly. The quiz does not refer to him by name. In the microsite's Wedding Quiz section, the quiz "Your dream wedding location!" includes the question "Who should be the MC?", with Sombra as the choice that steers the quiz's result to the Crystal Empire. Writer M.A. Larson wrote on Twitter regarding the quiz's image of King Sombra that was presented to him: "Interesting. I read about that in a script but never seen it before."
    • Sombra is also mentioned by one of the crystal ponies and Twilight Sparkle in the promotional clip for The Crystal Empire shown at Hasbro's My Little Pony panel at the New York Comic Con 2012 and later uploaded to Hasbro's My Little Pony Facebook page. His distinct eyes briefly flash over the crystal pony who mentions his name.
  • Sombra has a few distinctions as being the first major antagonist in the fourth generation who is.
    • A male character associated with darkness (Discord is more associated with chaos and based on Q).
    • A pony who is not an alicorn (Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon, Trixie, and the Flim Flam brothers are minor antagonists).
    • Inspired by a Lord of the Rings villain (The Diamond Dogs are minor antagonists).
    • The first character in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic to die. (not counting the Windigoes, and although there are theories about Nightmare Moon (as a separate entity), Sombra is the first who is actually confirmed). He also dies a second time in the The Beginning of the End - Part 2, only this time, he dies a permanent death.
  • Sombra appears to be a blank flank, as he has no visible cutie mark during the scene when he is turned to shadow. This is shown in more detail in The Cutie Remark.
    • In Fiendship is Magic Issue 1, his status as a blank flank is revealed to be due to him not being a real pony. This is confirmed to not be canon to the show, however, and his past remains a mystery.
  • Prior to the episode "Magic Duel", many fans believed Trixie's Alicorn Amulet to have a connection to him. One common theory is that Sombra was corrupted by it and was so far gone that he gained its power and malevolence permanently, another states he was the creator of it. The Amulet also shares the King's color scheme.
  • "Sombra" is a Spanish, Portuguese, and Galician word for "shadow", which comes from the Latin umbra.
    • "Umbra" is also the inspiration of the name "Umbrum", which is Sombra's species in the comics.
  • A differently-shaded version of the armor around King Sombra's neck is used for the 2012 Design a My Little Pony Finalists poster, as part of Steel Masquerade's armor.
  • When he is destroyed, his horn is shown flying past the screen, giving some the impression that he survived and would regenerate from his horn. However, at Unicon 2013 Meghan McCarthy confirmed that Sombra is dead. The Fiendship is Magic comics have, in response to this theory, depicted him as a ghost tied to his horn, from which he is revived. In the show, his severed horn is not shown when Sombra is revived by Grogar, and thus does not seem to be significant.
  • He shares traits with the G1 antagonist Tirek, as both are creatures who work in shadow, have a looming, threatening presence, and end up destroyed. His death also almost mirrors that of Lavan, another G1 villain.
  • Since he has no known motivation for acts of unspeakable cruelty, he is, along with with Tirek and Grogar, the darkest and evilest villain in Friendship is Magic.
    • However, his evil intentions are revealed in the Fiendship is Magic comics. Though non-canon to the show, this incarnation of Sombra was tragic and redeemable.
  • It is possible that King Sombra killed Princess Amore, the Crystal Empire's previous ruler when he took it over since she is never seen in the Crystal Empire, which Princess Cadance and Shining Armor take over after Sombra's death.
    • In the Fiendship is Magic comics, he turned Amore into crystal and shattered her into pieces, though it is confirmed this did not kill her. However, as the comics are now confirmed to be non-canon, this might not have held true to the show, in which Sombra is more violent and murderous.
    • Ironically, the pony who defeated him the first time, Princess Cadance, is a distant relative or descendant of Princess Amore.
  • Sombra was intended to appear in Octavia's dream in the episode "Slice of Life" and have a Devil Went Down to Georgia style cello battle with her, but this was cut due to time constraints.
  • He, along with the Storm King and the Mean Six, is so far the only characters on the show to actually die. 
    • Sombra is also the only villain to actually be destroyed by the Mane Six.
    • He died twice in the show. First is in Season 3's premiere, where he was shattered to pieces by the Crystal Heart powered by the Crystal Ponies. He was resurrected in Season 9's premiere but was killed again by the power of friendship, powered by the Mane Six, and is turned to dust. Since Grogar decided not to revive Sombra, this proves that Sombra is now gone for good and will possibly never return again in the series. 
  • Some fans believe Sombra was brainwashed by the crystal that claimed itself to be his mother when it unlocked his shadow powers, and Sombra having already been in emotional turmoil made it easy for this dark power to take him over; in which case he could be considered a tragic villain. This, however, was proven to be false.
  • King Sombra and Nightmare Moon swap villain defeats in the comics; in the show, Sombra died and Nightmare Moon reformed, as she and Princess Luna are established to be one and the same. In the comics, Sombra is resurrected and reformed, while Nightmare Moon is a separate entity from Luna and Rarity and is killed by Spike.
  • Meghan McCarthy has stated in an interview that Sombra was inspired by Sauron, and was only meant to be a dark presence that brings fear to the crystal ponies.
  • He says "Kneel before Sombra", a reference to a similar quote by General Zod.
  • Elements of darkness and shadow have occurred in several other previous MLP villains - most notably Nightmare Moon and Tirek. Interestingly enough, both Tirek and Sombra (though the former comes from a different generation of My Little Pony) have tried to kill Spike and are the darkest antagonists in their respective generations. Both are also ultimately destroyed. It also shares the untimely death of another G1 antagonist named Lavan, though that specific villain had a motif of fire and hatred rather than darkness.
  • His voice is different in Season 9 than in Season 3. Jim Miller explained that this is because in Season 3 he is "ethereal and spectral", implying that in Season 3, he may be a ghost, though he could just refer to him being in a disembodied state like Lord Voldemort, whose voice in this form was also different than when he was restored to power.
  • He is the first villain who has actually managed to destroy the elements of harmony, the original source of their powers.
  • He is the third villain to be the main antagonist twice, first two being Starlight Glimmer and Queen Chrysalis.
  • He is the second villain to destroy a significant tree, first being Lord Tirek. However, in Sombra's case, this was not permanent.
  • His second death has often been compared to those turned to dust by Thanos at the end of Avengers: Infinity War.

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           My Little Pony Villains

Friendship is Magic
Apple Bloom's Shadow | Ahuizotl | Arimaspi | Bugbear | Changelings | Chimera | Cockatrice | Cozy Glow | Dr. Caballeron | Diamond Dogs | Discord | Dragons | Dragon Lord Torch | Flim Flam Brothers | Garble | Gladmane | Grogar | Hydra | King Sombra | Mane-iac | Maulwurf | Mean Six | Nightmare Moon | Parasprites | Pony of Shadows | Puckwudgies | Queen Chrysalis | Roc | Sable Spirit | Shadowbolts | Smooze | Snips and Snails | Sphinx | Starlight Glimmer | Svengallop | Tantabus | Tatzlwurm | Timberwolves | Tirek | Vampire Fruit Bats | Windigos | Wind Rider

Equestria Girls
Dazzlings (Adagio Dazzle | Aria Blaze | Sonata Dusk) | Principal Cinch | Snips and Snails | Sunset Shimmer

Generation One
Arabus | Beezen | Catrina | Dragon Gang | Grogar | Hydia | King Charlatan | Lavan | Princess Porcina | Queen Bumble | Raptorians | Reeka & Draggle | Smooze | Somnambula | Squirk | Tirek

Comics
Accord | Bad Apple | Chupacabra | Mane Six | Nightmare Rarity | Princess Celestia | Pseudocorns | Rabia | Shadowfright | Vampiric Jackalope

Movie
Grubber | Storm Creatures | Storm King | Tempest Shadow