Depiction in the seriesThe Crystal Empire first appears in the third season's opening two-parter The Crystal Empire, appearing in the arctic north of Equestria after a thousand-year-long disappearance. It is inhabited by Crystal Ponies and tiny ewes, and is described in the The Ballad of the Crystal Empire as having a rich culture and long history, including "the Crystal Kingdom anthem". Local food in the empire includes crystal berries that are used to make sweets and crystal corn.
Before the emergence of Nightmare Moon, the Crystal Empire was taken over by the evil unicorn King Sombra, who turned it into a dark land and enslaved the Crystal Ponies. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna defeated him with their magic, turning him to shadow and imprisoning him in the ice of the arctic north, but not before he placed a curse on the Crystal Empire that caused it to vanish for a thousand years. After it returns, the Crystal Ponies have no memory of their kingdom before King Sombra took over. King Sombra also returns and threatens to invade the empire again, so Shining Armor and Princess Cadance are sent by Princess Celestia to defend it, projecting a defensive magical barrier around it.
Celestia also sends Twilight Sparkle and her friends Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity to help Cadance protect the Crystal Empire. By finding and reading a history book in the local library, an impressive three-floor facility, they find out information about the Crystal Ponies and set up the Crystal Faire. Twilight uses her magic to carve a crystal block to look like the Crystal Heart spoken of in the book; however, she finds out soon after that the Crystal Heart is actually a powerful item that was hidden by King Sombra and is the key to protecting the Crystal Empire. While the others keep the Crystal Ponies occupied to prevent them from finding out that the real Crystal Heart has not yet returned, Twilight and Spike search for the Heart.When Cadance starts to run out of magic, Sombra begins to cover the empire with shadow crystals. Twilight and Spike search the castle for the Crystal Heart, reasoning that nobody would dare to look there while he was in power. They overcome various obstacles and reach the Crystal Heart, but upon arrival they activate an alarm, leading Sombra to trap Twilight inside a wall of shadow crystals. Although she had been told by Celestia that she must be the one to ultimately solve the problem of protecting the Crystal Empire, Twilight doubts that she can escape the trap in time, so she tells Spike to take the Crystal Heart to Cadance. When Cadance's barrier fully disappears, Sombra invades again, to the terror of the Crystal Ponies. Seeing Spike with the Crystal Heart, he rides a growing shadow crystal toward him in an attempt to intercept Spike, but Shining Armor throws Cadance at him and she saves Spike from Sombra's attack. The Crystal Ponies recognize Cadance as the Crystal Princess.
Cadance returns the Crystal Heart to its original place. The citizens, using its power to unleash an explosion of love and light that restores the Crystal Empire, temporarily turn Cadance, Shining Armor, Spike and the Mane Six into Crystal Ponies and destroy Sombra, along with his black crystals.
The population of the empire consists of ponies whose manes are usually tied back with ribbon. The crystalline effect that distinguishes them is a form of magic that is exclusive to the area inside the Crystal Empire. Most mares share Maud Pie's eye design.The Crystal Empire is symbolized with a purple flag "of many hues" with a ringed snowflake in the center which mimics the layout of their city. "Of many hues" implies that the flag, which is mainly purple, is made with an iridescent fiber.
In Just for Sidekicks, the Crystal Empire has a train station platform where Spike, the pets, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and the Mane Six arrive. The Cutie Mark Crusaders stand in front of a gift shop selling Crystal Empire castle snow globes. According to Apple Bloom, the Empire is "as warm as can be", despite its cold appearance.In Games Ponies Play, Twilight and her friends visit the Crystal Empire to welcome the Equestria Games Inspector, whom they believe Ms. Peachbottom to be. They try to give her a tour of the castle, which fails because they have hardly been in the castle themselves. This episode also shows a spa in the empire, complete with a mud bath, and a newly built stadium near the castle.
In Flight to the Finish, Ms. Harshwinny sends Cheerilee's class to the Crystal Empire stadium for a contest to decide who will carry the Ponyville flag for the Equestria Games. After being the "stupendously the single most amazing thing [she's] ever seen", Ms. Harshwhinny selects the Cutie Mark Crusaders to carry Ponyville's flag at the Games.
In the episode Equestria Games, Spike lights the torch for the Equestria Games opening ceremonies. The Crystal Ponies consider the young dragon a hero for his role in the defeat of King Sombra, even making a crystal statue in his honor.
In Twilight's Kingdom - Part 1, Twilight returns to the Crystal Empire with her friends to assist the other princesses in welcoming the duke and duchess of Maretonia. After the dignitaries leave, Twilight explains to the princesses that she is uncertain about what her role as a princess in Equestria is. Later that night, Celestia experiences a vision involving Lord Tirek; she reveals this information to Twilight the next morning and also reveals that she will task Discord in tracking down the villain.
In The Cutie Re-Mark - Part 1, in an alternate timeline created by Starlight Glimmer, the Crystal Empire returns and falls under Sombra's control once again. Using the Crystal Ponies as his army, Sombra expands the empire's borders and conquers much of Equestria.In The Crystalling - Part 1 and Part 2, the Empire holds a "Crystalling" ceremony for the newborn royal baby Flurry Heart. However, Flurry Heart unintentionally shatters the Crystal Heart, which threatens the Empire with eternal winter. Through Sunburst's magic knowledge and Flurry Heart's Crystalling, the Heart is restored.
Depiction in Equestria Girls
In My Little Pony Equestria Girls, the Crystal Empire is the venue for a "princess summit." During this time, Sunset Shimmer uses the Crystal Mirror, once located in Canterlot Castle but moved to the Crystal Castle, to sneak into Twilight Sparkle's room and steal the element of magic.
The square lies at the center of the Empire, where the Crystal Castle is located. In the series, it is depicted as a peaceful place with a lot of buildings and working Crystal Ponies.
There is a snowflake pattern on the ground, spreading out from the Crystal Heart.
Crystal CastleThe Crystal Castle is the home of the royal rulers of the empire. It has a huge crystal tower which fires a ribbon of energy into the sky whenever the Crystal Heart below is powered.
The Crystal Empire is home to an immense library with decorative griffon statues outside its front doors. Amethyst Maresbury serves as its librarian. Twilight and her friends visit the library in search of information about the Empire's history.
The Crystal Empire spa is first shown in Games Ponies Play, where Twilight and her friends meet Princess Cadance. One of the spa's signature luxuries is a crystal mud bath.
StadiumThe main city of the Empire is also home to a huge stadium, on one occasion used to host The Equestria Games. It is a huge structure, capable of seating many thousands of ponies in the wrap-around grandstands. As well as regular seating, the stadium also features a special seating box for VIP spectators, including customized seating for the Alicorn Princesses.
The Crystalling is a Crystal Empire tradition held for Empire newborns in which the parents collect the light and love of the Crystal Ponies in the purest crystal they can find and a designated "Crystaller" presents the baby to the public. Through this ceremony, the Crystal Heart is made even stronger.
Other depictionsThe Crystal Empire is the focus of a toy line of the same name. This toy line has a logo featuring Princess Cadance and a description reading, "Welcome to the CRYSTAL EMPIRE, a magical place full of hidden secrets! The ponies shine and sparkle here!" Crystal Fashion Style Princess Cadance & Shining Armor, one of the toy sets included in this toy line, has an individual description reading, "PRINCESS CADANCE and SHINING ARMOR share a big responsibility! They lead the CRYSTAL EMPIRE together!" The Crystal Princess Ponies Collection, another one of the toy sets included in this toy line, has an individual description reading, "PRINCESS CELESTIA and PRINCESS LUNA believe that PRINCESS CADANCE will bring happiness to the CRYSTAL EMPIRE!" Fluttershy, a single toy to be included in this toy line, has an individual description reading, "FLUTTERSHY has a tea party to make friends with the CRYSTAL EMPIRE ponies—they seem just as shy as her!" "Crystal Empire" is also listed on the packaging of mystery pack waves six and seven. Hasbro announced online in German on January 21, 2016 a set for September 2016: "Das Kristallkönigreich ist die Heimat von Prinzessin Cadance und Prinz Shining Armor. Das Spiel-Set ist dem Original aus der TV-Serie „Freundschaft ist Magie“ in Optik und Bauweise nachempfunden. Es ist lichtdurchlässig und mit einer integrierten Beleuchtung ausgestattet."
The My Little Pony Wedding Quiz section of Hasbro's Pony Wedding microsite describes the Crystal Empire as "cultured".
In The Journal of the Two Sisters, a young Celestia and Luna go to visit the Crystal Empire, which was ruled over by the unicorn, Princess Amore. A dragon steals the crystal heart and takes it to his home in the Crystalline Mountains. In My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic Issue #1, Amore's reign over the empire is brought to an end by a young Sombra.
The empire serves as the setting for the four-part story arc Siege of the Crystal Empire, in which the empire is invaded by an alliance of villains assembled by Sombra's childhood friend Radiant Hope. It is revealed that the umbrum once ruled over the region and terrorized the Crystal Ponies; Sombra's goal is to free the umbrum imprisoned beneath the empire.
Known residents of the Crystal Empire:
- ↑ More Transluscent Ponies on Taobao + a Bit more Crystal Empire. Equestria Daily (2012-09-01). Retrieved on 2012 October 14.
- ↑ Complete Set of Wave 6 Blindbags Revealed. Equestria Daily (2012-10-10). Retrieved on 2012 October 14.
- ↑ My Little Pony Kristallkönigreich (German). Hasbro Newsroom. Hasbro (2016-01-21). Retrieved on 2016 January 26.