|“||Let's get this storm started! Ooh, hey, that's good. I should trademark that.||„|
|~ The Storm King's most famous line.|
|“||Yeah! Let's whip up a storm!||„|
|~ The Storm King preparing for his storming tyrannical destruction over Equestria.|
The Storm King is the main antagonist of the 2017 animated film My Little Pony: The Movie of the Friendship is Magic series. He is a primate/satyr-like creature who was the oppressive ruler of the lands south of Equestria and half of the world. He was also the former master of Tempest Shadow and Grubber.
He planned to invade the entire land of Equestria and the whole world with Twilight Sparkle's and other Princess' magic with his Staff of Sacanas to make himself powerful enough to create misery, and cause destruction without anyone to help serve him once he rules the world.
He was voiced by Liev Schreiber, who also played Sabretooth/Victor Creed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Stu Wargle in Phantoms, Ray Donovan in the series of the same name, Ted Winter in Salt, Colonel Alexander Vosch in The 5th Wave, and Kingpin/Wilson Fisk in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
The Storm King presumably took over many lands beyond Equestria, before learning of Equestria's princesses and their alicorn magic. At some point, he met up with Grubber from an unknown destination, making him his smallest servant. He destroyed many other kingdoms as well, including Capper's home and the kingdom of the hippogriffs, and enslaved many others, including Captain Celaeno and her crew. He also met up with Tempest Shadow and told her that if she helped him steal the alicorn magic, he would use it to restore her horn.
Role in the Film
The Storm King's invasion of Equestria begins during Canterlot's Friendship Festival, where Twilight Sparkle and her friends are preparing for a concert. The Storm King's henchmen, Tempest Shadow and Grubber, arrive ahead of him with the intention of capturing the four princesses for his upcoming arrival. During the ensuing chaos, Tempest manages to use obsidian orbs to petrify princesses Celestia, Luna, and Cadance, while Twilight and her friends manage to escape. The Storm King calls Tempest to learn of her progress, during which he assures her that if Twilight is not captured and brought to him within three days, she will be severely punished.
Though not a physical appearance, a bobblehead of the King is held by Murdock, when Tempest interrogates the pirates on the Mane Six's whereabouts.
Stealing the MagicThe Storm King later arrives in Canterlot, with Tempest having fulfilled her promise of successfully delivering the princess Twilight. The Storm King uses the Staff of Sacanas to channel the magic of all four princesses, much to his glee. As he begins experimenting with his new abilities by rapidly accelerating the day and night cycle of the world, Tempest attempts to ask when he will restore her broken horn, only to be set aside. When Twilight's friends, accompanied by the con-cat Capper, the Parrot Pirates and Princess Skystar, infiltrate Canterlot and fend off the Storm King's soldiers, he uses his staff to create a massive hurricane, blowing away the rest of his army and shielding the castle. When Tempest tries to persuade him to fulfill their bargain, the Storm King scoffs and betrays her, revealing that he had only been using her and that she has outlived her usefulness. He attempts to kill Tempest, but is blown back when she blasts him back with her own magic. The de-powered Twilight sees an opportunity to get the staff away from the Storm King, but chooses to save Tempest instead. The Storm King laughs at this gesture and then prepares to murder them both.
Just as he is about to kill Tempest and Twilight, Twilight's friends launch themselves out of a massive cannon, ramming the Storm King out of the way and lodging the Staff of Sacanas into the mosaic above the throne room. Twilight and her friends fight against the raging winds of the hurricane and the falling debris of the collapsing throne room in an attempt to retrieve the staff. Right behind them, The Storm King emerges from underneath some of the fallen rubble and desperately climbs in pursuit of the staff. He hurls himself at it just as Twilight grabs it, sending Twilight, the staff, and himself through the window and out into the hurricane.
DeathJust when the ponies think Twilight is dead, she emerges from the eye of the storm with the staff, still alive, and uses it to end the chaos the Storm King began. As she and her friends embrace each other, the Storm King sneakingly climbs back up over the balcony and hurls an obsidian orb at them in a last attempt to retrieve the staff. Tempest, however, spotted him and saw what he was about to do. Having had a change of heart after being saved by Twilight and realizing the king is too dangerous to be kept alive, she leaps in front of the princess and her friends and onto the Storm King, taking the hit and transforming them both into obsidian statues. While Twilight uses the staff to save Tempest, The Storm King's petrified body plummets down to the courtyard below and shatters into pieces, killing him and ending his oppressive tyranny over Equestria before it could truly begin.
In the credits, while still in pieces in stone form, his eyes were seen moving while trying to dance before his body was reduced to rubble again.
Role in the Series
In the premiere episode "School Daze Part 1", he is mentioned when Twilight says that Tempest left Ponyville to spread word of the Storm King's defeat. He was also mentioned by Sandbar when reminds the creature students that the Mane Six saved Equestria.
In the episode "Surf and/or Turf", the Storm King is mentioned several times to recount the events of the film and when he attacked the Hippogriff Kingdom during his reign.In the episode "The Hearth's Warming Club", the Storm King makes a cameo in Silverstream's story about how she and the other hippogriffs celebrate the "Three Days of Freedom".
In the episode "What Lies Beneath", the Storm King appears as an illusion from Silverstream's deepest fears.
In the episode "Father Knows Beast", the Storm King is mentioned.
Role in "Equestria Girls"In the special "Spring Breakdown", taking place between the movie and Season 8 of the series, the Storm King is mentioned multiple times, and his leftover magic is the source of the havoc that happens in the human world.
Role in the ComicsThe Storm King appears as the main antagonist in IDW's My Little Pony: The Movie Prequel. It depicts what he did during his reign, conquering many lands, including the Abyssinian capital of Panthera. His second-in command at the time was Strife, a cloud creature who secretly planned to betray him and side with the Pirates.
In Issue #1, he and Strife invaded Panthera, plundering all the palace treasure and setting fire to the rest of the city. However, Strife later betrays the Storm King and allies with Captain Celaeno and her crew of parrot pirates. The Storm King, enraged by this betrayal, appoints Grubber as his new second-in-command.
In Issue #2, the Storm King catches up with Celaeno's ship, tosses Strife overboard for his betrayal, and forces Celaeno and her crew to work for him as cargo haulers.
He does not appear in Issue #3, but he was mentioned.
In Issue #4, the Storm King tracks down Tempest Shadow, who has been in possession of the Misfortune Malachite while fleeing from his Storm Creatures. The two then form an alliance, with Tempest agreeing to become the Storm King's new lieutenant in his search for magical power in exchange for the Storm King healing her broken horn.
The Storm King is also mentioned during the Convocation of Creatures on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #61 page 15.
The Storm King is also seen in a flashback in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #68.
It is never stated exactly what type of creature the Storm King really is, although he is often described as "satyr-like" or a "terrifying beast." He is depicted as an extremely tall, bipedal creature with thick white fur that covers all of his body save for his hoofed feet, his three-fingered hands, and his ape-like face, which are gray. His eyes and tongue are blue, and he is clad in lustrous black armor that covers his torso, shoulders, wrists, and shins. He also has large, curving black horns, a large, stuck-out chin, sharp fangs and a long, white tail with bushy hair at the end.
PersonalityThe Storm King is described as an unkind, cold-hearted, tyrannical, arrogant, and cruel monster, with a lust for power. His demeanor unpredictably shifts from pleasant and cheerful, to sardonic and petulant, to cold and ruthless. He loves creating storms, and attacking and raiding ships and cities. He loves enslaving, abusing, and corrupting anyone he comes across, including his own army, and hates love, caring, kindness, and overall anything that is cute. He is also very sarcastic, egotistical, petulant and rude, and he also has a dark sense of humor. In the climax of the film, the king is also shown to be traitorous and dishonest, as he reveals to Tempest Shadow that he never intended to fix her horn.
In the comics, the Storm King confesses to have no interest in "ruling" anyone; he just likes to terrorize, pillage and destroy any civilization he comes across, as well as collect magical items to empower himself. He also has an eye for talent, as he attempted to recruit Captain Celeano until she refused to leave her crew, and recruited Tempest after seeing her cunning and willingness to manipulate others.
Powers and AbilitiesThe Storm King apparently has no magical abilities of his own, but has access to magical items like a potion-spell that acts as a communicator and Obsidian Orbs to petrify his enemies. He also has a large army of powerful Storm Creatures and an armada of sky ships at his command. He has managed to conquer several lands beyond Equestria, showing great leadership skills. The Storm King himself is shown to be quite strong, agile and resilient to damage, as he punches through a stone wall with ease (in the comics), shrugs off being crushed by falling debris and can leap long distances with little effort. Considering that both his subordinates and enemies fear him greatly, it shows that he is an extremely dangerous individual.
Sometime prior to the movie, he came into possession of an artifact called the Staff of Sacanas, which has the ability to channel magic and power from other creatures into itself. Once he absorbs the magic of the Alicorn princesses, he can project deadly lightning bolts, create massive hurricanes, and even move the sun and moon as Celestia and Luna do. It also reveals at the end to fix and create things, like rebuild everything that was destroyed.
The Storm King received mixed reception from critics and the Brony fandom. While Tempest Shadow was praised by critics and the fandom, the Storm King was criticized for his lack of screentime, character development, comedic moments, and would even be called one of the weakest villains in the series since King Sombra.
Despite this, there are some fans who did enjoy the character, as well as praise Liev Schreiber's voice acting, and his character‘s role in the comics. Overtime, positive reception towards the character grew, with many even going on to note him alongside other classically evil and humorous villains like Hades, Joker, & Aku.
Andrea Libman, who regularly voices Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy for the series, commented on an Equestria Daily interview that the Storm King was her favorite MLP villain. Among other things, Liev Schreiber, along with director Jayson Theissen, the writers, and the animators, went on to comment that bringing the character to life was really fun. These statements, along with denial of his film appearance being his last, has caused many fans to wonder if the Storm King will return, whether physical or non-physical.
Comics and Books
- The Storm King is Schreiber‘s first animation voice role since Chicogo 10. His next two animated movies were released the following year. The second was Isle of Dogs where he voices Spots, one of the main heroes and brother of Chief, the film's protagonist, and the third is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, where he voices Kingpin.
- Liev Schreiber stated in an interview that he accepted the role of the Storm King because he wanted to appear in a film his children could watch, noting their exposure to his violent, adult-oriented films.
- Despite being the main antagonist, he only gets a short amount of screen time.
- The ultimate fate of The Storm King is left ambiguous; while he most likely died, during the credits there is a small animation of his shattered body put back together incorrectly, while his eyes are still moving. However, this scene is most likely non-canon as it was done in a more lighthearted style than the rest of the movie, and was most likely done only for comedic effect, plus, characters turned to stone cannot move their eyes, and other elements of the credits suggest they are not meant to be taken seriously.
- The original draft for the credits depicted his eyes as still being turned to stone, but this was changed in the final draft. Since they didn't make this change to the actual scene where he turns to stone and shatters, this further supports that the credits are non-canon and that he is dead. It is likely the credits scene was only changed to avoid showing the Storm Creature defiling his corpse.
- When Tempest restores Canterlot with the staff, the spot where the Storm King fell and shattered is shown, but his pieces have vanished, implying that either the power of the staff destroyed his remains or that some of his minions came and retrieved them before anyone else did. However, the most logical reason for the disappearance of the remains is that the animators of the movie simply forgot to draw them in before fully animating the scene.
- Twilight mentions the Storm King having been "destroyed" in Spring Breakdown.
- The Storm King is very similar to Lord Tirek in many ways.
- Both are power-hungry conquerers who despised ponies and friendship in general.
- Both once trusted a certain individual until they were betrayed by said individuals.
- Tirek's younger brother, Scorpan.
- Storm King's former second-in-command, Strife.
- Both had the power to steal magic from others.
- Tirek can absorb magic into himself through his mouth.
- Storm King used the Staff of Sarcanas to channel magic.
- Both seek to take the power of the Alicorn princesses to become all-powerful.
- Tirek wanted to rule Equestria as its god.
- Storm King wanted to be the true king of storms and rule with no-one at his side.
- Both easily managed to capture Princesses Celestia, Luna and Cadence.
- Tirek imprisoned them in Tartarus after they gave thair magic to Twilight.
- Storm King's army turned them to stone with obsidian orbs during the Friendship Festival.
- Both had convinced a powerful individual to be their ally by promising them something in return, but then betrayed them when they were no longer useful
- Lord Tirek convinced Discord to help him steal magic from Equestria by promising "freedom" from his friendship, but then stole his magic as well.
- The Storm King earned Tempest Shadow's loyalty by offering to use the Alicorn's magic to fix her horn, but then he broke his promise and attempted to kill Tempest.
- Both were annoyed by the existence of Princess Twilight and had to struggle with her.
- Tirek was unaware of a fourth princess and fought with Twilight while she was empowered by the other princesses' magic.
- Storm King had to wait for Tempest to capture Twilight after she escaped Canterlot, and was sickened to hear that she was the Princess of Friendship. He then attempted to get his Staff back before Twilight could.
- In the end, both of them were defeated due to the interferance of the allies they betrayed, who were just previously saved by Twilight Sparkle.
- Discord offered Twilight the medallion he got from Tirek as a sign of actual friendship for convincing Tirek to free him, which was the final key to opening the Chest of Harmony, which gave the Mane Six the power needed to defeat Tirek.
- Tempest Shadow was saved by Twilight after she was betrayed by the Storm King, and so she repaid this favor by intercepting him when he was going to throw an obsidian orb at Twilight and her friends, turning them both to stone and causing the Storm King to fall and shatter on impact.
- He is one of the only four major villains outside of Equestria Girls films to not be defeated a thousand years ago or more, other three being Queen Chrysalis, Starlight Glimmer, and Cozy Glow.
- In the French version and other languages, He is called Storm, but in the English/American version, He is considered a nameless character.
- He is one of the only villains in the Friendship is Magic series to actually die, the others being King Sombra, Arimaspi and the Mean Six.
- Despite his comedic tendencies, the Storm King is one of the most evil villains in the Friendship is Magic series, as he conquered and destroyed many lands without remorse, and cares for nobody but himself.
- He is the second villain to turn into a statue after Discord. Unlike Discord, however, the Storm King shattered the second after his transformation, as well as showing no redeeming qualities compared to Discord.
- In interviews with Lionsgate, Schreiber commented that he approached his portrayal of the Storm King like an actor would do with a live action character, exploring and improvising on his role.
- The outcome of what would happen if the Storm King’s stoned-self was put back together like a puzzle, along with what happened to his spirit or his soul is currently unknown.
- Unlike King Sombra, the Storm King was not revived by Grogar for his team, likely because he found him too goofy and that he had nothing to offer to the team on his own, as opposed to the power of Tirek and Sombra, the intelligence of Sombra and Cozy Glow, and the shapeshifting abilities of Chrysalis.
- But this is really because the writers try not wish add characters from the movie onto the TV series.
- If this were true, this would make the Storm King as one of the few major antagonists in the MLP franchise to never make a major reappearance in the show, despite being mentioned a few times. The others being the Pony of Shadows, Principal Cinch, Gaia Everfree, Wallflower Blush, and Vignette Valencia.