Luna in the episode Luna Eclipsed
|Occupation||Co-ruler of Equestria|
|Eyes||Moderate cyan (with catlike irises as Nightmare Moon)|
|Mane||Moderate cobalt blue (as season 2 and 3 Luna)|
Very light azure (as season 1 Luna)
Brilliant persian blue with a light violet aura surrounding (as Nightmare Moon)
|Coat||Dark sapphire blue (as season 2 and 3 Luna)|
Light phthalo blue (as season 1 Luna)
Very dark cerulean (as Nightmare Moon)
|Magic aura||Moderate cobalt blue|
|Relatives||Princess Celestia (sister)|
Princess Cadance (niece)
Prince Blueblood (nephew)
Twilight Sparkle (niece-in-law)
Shining Armor (nephew-in-law)
| Cutie mark|
|Voice||As Princess Luna:|
Tabitha St. Germain (English)
Marjolein Algera (Dutch)
Jill Böttcher (German, season 1)
Heike Schroetter (German, season 2)
Deborah Morese (Italian)
Yumi Uchiyama (Japanese)
Brygida Turowska (Polish)
Fátima Noya (Brazilian Portuguese)
Christine Byrd (Latin American Spanish, season one)
Irene Jiménez (Latin American Spanish season two)
As Nightmare Moon:
Tabitha St. Germain (English)
Marjolein Algera (Dutch)
Heike Schroetter (German)
Elda Olivieri (Italian)
Takako Honda (Japanese)
Brygida Turowska (Polish)
Fátima Noya (Brazilian Portuguese)
Magda Giner (Latin American Spanish)
Development and character designEdit
The word "Luna" comes from the word "moon" in Latin. The Friendship is Magic storybook, which is included in the Friendship is Magic Gift Set and Pony Friends Forever Pony Scooter Friends Daisy Dreams & Rarity bundles, refers to her as Selena, "selene" (Σελήνη) meaning "moon" in Greek. More specifically, Luna is the Latin name for the Greek moon goddess Selene, who is the daughter of Hyperion and Theia in Greek mythology. In the European French dub, Nightmare Moon is named La Jument Séléniaque, loosely translated as "the mare Selene" or "the Selene Mare". Her title in Twilight's book in Friendship is Magic, part 1, "Mare in the Moon", is a play on the mythic story Man in the Moon. According to Lauren Faust, Nightmare Moon was originally named Discord.
Princess Luna's appearance has changed in subsequent appearances after Mare in the Moon. Her body is a darker shade of blue, and her mane is partially translucent and it ripples and sparkles like Celestia's. Her old design is still used in the promotional online game Canterlot Castle, and her old mane is partly visible in some of the shots in Luna Eclipsed. Lauren Faust has stated that when Luna is fully grown, she will not look like Nightmare Moon.
Depiction in the seriesEdit
Ruling EquestriaEditPrincess Luna is introduced in the prologue of the first episode, depicted in a series of medieval-like drawings with a narration that says "Two regal sisters who ruled together and created harmony for all the land", and "The eldest used her unicorn powers to raise the sun at dawn. The younger brought out the moon to begin the night."
The narration continues: their subjects, the ponies, played in the day but "shunned" the night and slept through it, which made the younger alicorn grow bitter, eventually refusing to lower the moon to make way for the dawn. Her bitterness "transformed her into a wicked mare of darkness: Nightmare Moon." The elder sister reluctantly harnessed the power of the Elements of Harmony and "banished her permanently in the moon," taking responsibility for both sun and moon, maintaining harmony in Equestria.
The name incorporates several plays on words: "mare" as in a female horse, "night mare" as in a mare of the night, and "nightmare" as in frightening dream, derived entirely from the medieval demon which haunts a person's mind with the use of horrifying visions. In addition, when imprisoned in the moon, Luna appears as a dark area on the moon's surface; a similar shape in astronomy is called a lunar mare (Latin for "sea", pronounced "mah-rey").Following the prologue, Twilight reads of a prophecy that states that "on the longest day of the thousandth year the stars will aid in her [The Mare in the Moon's] escape, and she will bring about nighttime eternal", though Spike dismisses it as "an old ponies' tale". While composing a letter to Princess Celestia warning her of the danger, an image of Nightmare Moon is reflected in a giant hourglass that Twilight passes by. The day of Nightmare Moon's return is also the thousandth day of the Summer Sun Celebration, so Princess Celestia sends Twilight to oversee the celebration's preparations which are held in Ponyville, and encourages Twilight to "Stop reading those dusty old books" and make some friends. The events of the first and second episodes revolve around Twilight Sparkle and her new friends' attempt to defeat Nightmare Moon by finding and using the Elements of Harmony, while Nightmare Moon tries to stop them in various ways. At the end of the second episode, Twilight and her friends confront Nightmare Moon and transform her back into Princess Luna, and she emotionally accepts Princess Celestia's offer to rule by her side again.
The show's developer, Lauren Faust, explained in a comment on her deviantArt page that Luna could not have been "drawn" from Nightmare Moon for a thousand years, and that Princess Celestia "did what she could" to orchestrate breaking the spell that turned Luna into Nightmare Moon. Faust added that this explanation is "as far as [she] ever got with it", and that the explanation might unfold differently on the show.
Prior to ruling EquestriaEditPrincess Luna doesn't make any further appearances in the series until Luna Eclipsed, which aired exactly one year after her previous appearance. However, more of her history is mentioned in The Return of Harmony Part 1. In the episode, Princess Celestia tells Twilight Sparkle and her friends that she and Luna discovered the Elements of Harmony and used them to turn Discord, the Spirit of Chaos and Disharmony, into stone. Discord's spell is later broken because, as Celestia explains, "Luna and [herself] are no longer connected to the elements." In The Crystal Empire, Part 1 it is mentioned that she and Celestia worked together to defeat King Sombra, turning him into a shadow and imprisoning him in the frozen north.
Despite most ponies not recognizing Nightmare Moon upon her return, the episode Luna Eclipsed shows the ponies celebrating an annual festival called Nightmare Night, where foals go door-to-door in costumes collecting candy, which they later offer to the effigy of Nightmare Moon. Zecora tells in verse of the legend of Nightmare Moon, which explains the customs of the holiday:
- Every year we put on a disguise
- To save ourselves from her searching eyes
- But Nightmare Moon just wants only one thing
- To gobble up ponies in one quick swing
- Hungrily, she soars the skies
- If she sees nopony, she passes by
- So if she comes and all is clear
- Equestria is safe for another year
- Fill up her belly with a treat or two
- So she won't return to come eat you
When Princess Luna returns after her thousand-year absence, she is still mistaken by Spike and others as Nightmare Moon, especially by Pinkie Pie who rouses up a gaggle of foals by shrieking at misconstrued acts of violence perpetrated by Princess Luna.
Although she originally intended to change the festival into a "bright" celebration, at the end of the episode Luna accepts Nightmare Night for what it is: a night of innocent scares, harmless pranks, and lots of candy.
Personality as Nightmare MoonEdit
Much like the archetypal, over-the-top villains, Nightmare Moon is overly confident of herself and dramatically declares that the protagonist is a fool (foal) for thinking she can defeat her, and that "the night will last forever".
The narration at the beginning of Friendship is Magic, part 1 speaks of Nightmare Moon's bitterness which transformed her. When she first appears, she intimidates the ponies with her evil laugh and pointed questions. She snidely refers to the ponies as her "beloved subjects", but appears genuinely impressed when Twilight Sparkle recognizes her as Nightmare Moon.
Nightmare Moon uses her magic to set obstacles in Twilight and her friends' path to the Elements of Harmony indirectly, making creatures unwittingly assist her. These include the manticore whose paw she embeds with a thorn so he'd attack the ponies, or the sea serpent whose mustache she cuts off so he'd make the river impassible. She further indirectly attacks the ponies by causing a cliff side to collapse underneath the ponies' hooves, and by making trees appear as monsters. As the Shadowbolts, she tries to persuade Rainbow Dash to abandon her friends so they won't be able to cross a fallen bridge and reach the Elements of Harmony.
Despite her indirect approach, when she is attacked by the royal guards, she quickly repels them with lightning, then turns into mist and floats away. She also confronts Twilight Sparkle directly when the two charge at each other, right before shattering the Elements of Harmony.
Personality as Princess LunaEdit
RemorsefulnessEditOnce transformed back to her former self, Princess Luna is remorseful and tearful upon seeing her older sister. She runs to Celestia's side, apologizing for what she had done. The two sisters later join the celebration in Ponyville, where Luna receives a welcome wreath in wonderment, and gazes up with an anxious smile at her older sister.
Princess Luna returned to the show exactly one year after the broadcast date of Friendship is Magic, part 2, in the episode Luna Eclipsed. The episode takes place in Ponyville during Nightmare Night. Despite wanting to win over the citizens of Ponyville, the townspeople are frightened of her booming voice and assertive manner. Twilight Sparkle tells Spike that Luna must be having trouble adjusting after being gone for a thousand years.When Luna tries to express her happiness with being purged of her dark powers, Twilight tells her that she sounds like she's yelling, and Luna explains that she's using the "traditional Canterlot voice", the royal we, and high volume in order to properly address her subjects. She uses archaic terms like "hath," "thy," "nay," and "thou," as well as other constructs.
Twilight encourages Luna to lower the volume of her voice, but Luna is hesitant. Twilight Sparkle recruits Fluttershy's help in teaching Luna to speak in a softer voice, and later takes her to Ponyville so Applejack can show her how to be likable. For a short while, Luna manages to mingle with the villagers of Ponyville and have fun with them, by playing games where she throws toy spiders or pumpkins onto a target. In Sleepless in Ponyville she seems to show less of her former decorum, dispensing with the royal we, and speaking in a far less harsh manner.
TemperEditPrincess Luna reverts to her intimidating self after Pinkie Pie accuses her of eating Pipsqueak , while she was actually saving him from drowning in the apple bob. She attempts to endear herself on the villagers by turning toy spiders into real spiders, trying to elicit "fun" by making them crawl on their own to the bulls-eye, but the spiders only frighten everyone. The villagers panic and flee, and after a few seconds of indecision, Luna stops the commotion by shouting "BE STILL!!!" in her royal Canterlot voice, to the accompaniment of a crack of thunder. She then decrees in anger that since the ponies dishonor and insult her with the celebration, Nightmare Night is canceled forever.
PlayfulnessEditThanks to Pinkie Pie's insight, Twilight Sparkle realizes that because of the holiday, Pinkie Pie and her entourage actually want to be frightened, so she arranges for Luna to purposefully scare them. Luna appears as Nightmare Moon, scares the ponies, and bares fangs. After the ponies run away in fright, she changes back to her usual appearance and spits out the false fangs she was wearing, confused as to why Twilight wanted her to do that. Then Pipsqueak approaches Luna on behalf of the children and asks her to come back and scare them again next year, even though she canceled Nightmare Night. Luna begins to understand and reinstates Nightmare Night, at which point Pipsqueak declares her his "favorite princess ever" and hugs her leg.
The princess manages to relinquish the use of her royal Canterlot voice, and in the epilogue she plays a variety of games with the villagers, accepts the foals' candy, and frightens Rainbow Dash by firing a bolt of lightning behind her, a trick that Rainbow Dash had been playing on other ponies over the course of the night.
Kindness and WisdomEdit
In the episode, Sleepless in Ponyville, she displays and acts kind and wise to Scootaloo when she tells her to face her fears. At the end of the episode she gives Scootaloo a wink and a smile, as she knows that Scootaloo has faced her fears and she also knows that she has Rainbow Dash to help her overcome them.
Raising the moonEdit
Princess Luna is said in the first episode to be responsible for raising the moon to bring about the night. When she refused to lower the moon to make way for the sun, her older sister Princess Celestia had to use the magic of the Elements of Harmony to stop her. Celestia was then responsible for raising and lowering both the sun and moon.
In the episode Hearth's Warming Eve, Spike narrates that this magic is not exclusive to Luna and Celestia, but is or was performable by unicorns collectively.
Wielding the Elements of HarmonyEdit
In The Return of Harmony Part 1, Celestia mentions that she and her sister both wielded the Elements of Harmony to defeat Discord and turn him to stone. The regal sisters had also wielded the Elements against King Sombra, as described in The Crystal Empire - Part 1. However, as Celestia further mentions, she and Luna can no longer wield the Elements since they are "no longer connected" to them.
Nightmare Moon uses lightning to repel the guards in Friendship is Magic, part 2, and thickens the mist over the fallen bridge later in the episode to prevent Rainbow Dash from hearing Twilight Sparkle calling out to her.
Princess Luna manipulates the weather too, in Luna Eclipsed. She makes clouds swirl above her in the sky when she decrees that Nightmare Night is canceled, and produces lightning from a cloud to playfully frighten Rainbow Dash, who has been doing the same to other ponies throughout the episode.
TransformationEditNightmare Moon's mane is made of floaty, starry, purple mist, and she transforms into a sinister mist several times. She appears out of the mist in Ponyville's pavilion where the Summer Sun Celebration is being held, and she leaves the pavilion in a similar way, flying out into the night. The mist floats by Twilight's library window as the ponies learn that the Elements of Harmony are located in the "Ancient castle of the royal pony sisters"; it follows them throughout their journey.
When the ponies stand on a cliff side, the mist seeps into the ground, and the cliff side collapses as the mist leaves. The landslide carries the ponies to the mouth of a deep chasm, with Twilight Sparkle dangerously dangling over the edge, but Applejack keeps her from falling long enough so her Pegasus friends Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash can catch her and bring her down safely.
The mist floats straight into a manticore, making it lift its paw and growl. When the ponies come across it, it growls and attacks them, and the ponies fight back. Fluttershy manages to stop the fighting and calms the beast, then extracts a thorn from its paw, making it docile and affectionate. After the ponies leave, the thorn turns to purple mist.
The mist then seeps into several trees when the moon sets, and in the darkness the trees appear as monsters. All the ponies are frightened, except Pinkie Pie, who bursts into song and shows the other ponies that the monstrous trees turn back to normal when they laugh at them.
When the ponies come across a sea serpent, he tells them that a "tacky little cloud of purple smoke just whisked past [him] and tore half of [his] beloved mustache clean off." The serpent's agitated wiggling causes the river to be tumultuous, preventing the ponies from passing it. Rarity, deeply affected by this "crime against fabulosity", picks off a sharp scale from the serpent, cuts off the hair from her own tail, and magically restores the serpent's mustache with it. The calm, grateful serpent, creates a bridge out of his own coils and helps the ponies cross the river.The purple mist appears again, slithering past Rainbow Dash as she tries to fix the fallen bridge leading to the ancient castle ruins. Rainbow Dash hears someone calling her name, telling her they have been awaiting her, the "best flier in Equestria". "The Shadowbolts", a trio of ponies who resemble The Wonderbolts from Rainbow Dash's poster, gallop from the darkness and introduce themselves as "the greatest aerial team in the Everfree forest", then ask Rainbow Dash to join them as captain. When Rainbow Dash asks to fix the bridge first, the Shadowbolts present an ultimatum: "It's either them or us". Dash thanks them for the offer but declines, and fixes the bridge for her friends. The Shadowbolts then turn into the same starry purple mist, join together, and float away. The purple mist appears one last time when the ponies find the Elements of Harmony. It swirls around the elements and teleports them, along with Twilight who jumps into the whirlwind, to another chamber in the ancient castle ruins. Nightmare Moon appears with the Elements floating around her, then she and Twilight charge each other; Twilight teleports to the elements midway, and Nightmare Moon turns back to mist and quickly floats back to the Elements. She shatters the elements by stomping on the ground, and declares that "the night will last forever." Twilight's friends join her, and after figuring out the magic of the elements, they transform Nightmare Moon back to her former self. Princess Celestia returns and reunites with her sister, offering her the chance to rule Equestria together once again.
Later in the series, in Luna Eclipsed, Luna transforms into her Nightmare Moon form with a set of false fangs, to playfully frighten some foals for Nightmare Night. In the same episode, she transforms objects instead of herself in one scene; specifically, toy spiders into living spiders.
Dream dutyEditLuna appears in the moon and in Scootaloo's dreams in the episode in Sleepless in Ponyville. She comes out of the circle of the moon and tells Scootaloo that "I am the princess of the night, thus it is my duty to come into your dreams." Scootaloo realizes she's dreaming and Luna tells her to face her fears. Scootaloo later sees Luna in the moon in the waking world, as a light purple silhouette with white, glowing eyes as she reminds the filly to face her fears.
Deleted sceneEditA scene with Rarity giving Princess Luna a makeover was cut from the episode Luna Eclipsed. The post-makeover pink Luna appears in a Flash asset of the game Castle Creator.
Royal guardsEditPrincess Luna's royal guards look quite different from Princess Celestia's guards. They wear black and purple armor reminiscent of Nightmare Moon's armor. And most significantly, they have black dragon or bat-like wings instead of the standard feathered Pegasus wings. They are grey-brown and have yellow eyes with pupils in the form of slits. Their ears appear to be furrier than normal. The carriage they pull is aggressive and Gothic, with streamlined shapes evoking bat or dragon-wings as well as arrow-like or spear-like accents. It is built with a low center of gravity, and Luna's royal guards pull it via heavy chains.
A Canterlot WeddingEdit
Luna makes cameo appearances in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1 and Part 2. In Part 1, Luna takes over the night shift from her sister after flying in silhouetted by the moon, and later tells Twilight to remain inside after spotting her running towards the castle. She appears again in the end of Part 2, when she flies in greeting everyone and asking if she missed anything. Luna dances with the other ponies after Pinkie Pie and DJ Pon-3 start the wedding party music which concludes the episode.
The Crystal EmpireEditLuna makes brief appearances in The Crystal Empire, Part 1 and Part 2. In the first part, she expresses doubt to Celestia over whether Twilight is ready for her task. She reappears at the end of Part 2. She and Celestia watch as Twilight and her friends return home. Luna then conjures up a spiral-bound book, as Celestia declares that her student is "one step closer to being ready."
Magical Mystery CureEditLuna appears near the end of Magical Mystery Cure alongside her sister and Princess Cadance, attending the coronation of Twilight Sparkle as a Princess. She can be seen wearing a dress and more ornate, elaborate versions of her crown, shoes, and collar. It is also revealed that the book Luna had produced at the end of part 2 of The Crystal Empire was the journal of Star Swirl the Bearded, which contained an unfinished spell that Celestia believed Twilight to be capable of completing.
Depiction in comicsEdit
Princess Luna appeared in one of the standard variant covers of the first issue, despite the fact that she makes no appearance in the story proper. However, Nightmare Moon is confirmed to return in the sixth issue. It is stated to be a new character "close to the heroes" who takes up the identity of Nightmare Moon. Princess Luna also appears in one of the variant covers, although she is shown in her 'younger' design that is only used in Friendship is Magic, part 2. In issue 5, Luna appears with Celestia and tells the main six and Spike about the Dark Forces and help them to get to the moon; in the end it is revealed that the new Nightmare Moon is Rarity corrupted by the Dark Forces. Princess Luna appears on page 7 of My Little Pony Micro-Series issue #3 in Rarity's dream along with part of Hush Now Lullaby.
- See also character appearances
|Y||At least one appearance where the character is the focus of a shot|
|B||Background appearance or an appearance where the character is not the focus|
|M||No appearance, but a mention by name or title|
|N||No appearance and no mention by name or title|
Princess Luna appears in the first two episodes of the series, first as Nightmare Moon at the end of the first episode and throughout much of the second, then as Luna after returning to her former self at the end of the second episode. She is mentioned and depicted in a stained-glass window in The Return of Harmony Part 1, and she is the titular character in Luna Eclipsed, where she makes a brief appearance as Nightmare Moon to playfully scare ponies for "Nightmare Night". She then appears in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1, relieving Princess Celestia of watching for an attack on Canterlot. She appears again in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2 where she arrives too late for the wedding of Shining Armor and Princess Cadance. She appears in The Crystal Empire, Part 1, voicing her doubts to Celestia over Twilight being able to save the Crystal Empire. She appears in Magical Mystery Cure, attending Twilight's coronation.
The following were part of the Target Canterlot toyline:
- Fashion Style Princess Luna was bundled with Celestia.
- A Playful Ponies sized Luna was bundled with a molded Celestia.
- A Shine Bright light-up Luna was bundled with the Canterlot Castle set.
Other merchandise includes:
- A Nightmare Moon figure which was released in the Toys 'R' Us exclusive Friendship Is Magic Favorite Collection, in Fall 2012.
- Princess Luna being part of the Wave 5 mystery pack toys.
- A newer Playful Ponies Princess Luna being released along with Rarity and accessories and it featured a newer model as apart of the Crystal Empire toyline.
- A large talking Nightmare Moon was shown at the Toy Fair 2013. Yet to be released
- "Remember this day, little ponies, for it was your last. From this moment forth, the night will last forever!"
- — Friendship is Magic, part 1 (as Nightmare Moon)
- "You're kidding. You're kidding, right?"
- — Friendship is Magic, part 2 (as Nightmare Moon)
- "I'm so sorry! I missed you so much, big sister!"
- — Friendship is Magic, part 2
- "Citizens of Ponyville! We have graced your tiny village with our presence, so that you might behold the real princess of the night! A creature of nightmare is no longer, but instead a pony who desires your love and admiration! Together we shall change this dreadful celebration into a bright and glorious feast!"
- — Luna Eclipsed
- "[booming voice] Change our approach?"
- — Luna Eclipsed
- "Fun? What is this "fun" thou speakest of? Pray tell, what purpose do these serve?"
- — Luna Eclipsed
- "Ha ha! The fun has been doubled! "
- — Luna Eclipsed
- "Huzzah! How many points do I receive?"
- — Luna Eclipsed
- "Citizens of Ponyville, you have been wise to bring this candy to me! I am pleased with your offering! So pleased, I may eat it instead of eating you!"
- — Pretending to be Nightmare Moon, from Luna Eclipsed
- "Child. Art thou saying that thou... likest me to scare you?"
- — Luna Eclipsed
- "OH MOST WONDERFUL OF...! I mean... Oh, most wonderful of nights."
- — Luna Eclipsed
- "Hello everypony! Did I miss anything?"
- — A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2
- "I am the princess of the night, thus it is my duty to come into your dreams."
- — Sleepless in Ponyville
- "FACE YOUR FEARS!!!"
- — Sleepless in Ponyville
- ↑ Toy packaging featuring the "Nightmare Moon" spelling. Retrieved on 2012 June 22.
Lauren Faust discussing the age of Princess Luna on deviantArt. Archived locally
- ↑ Lauren Faust via Twitter (2013-03-15). Retrieved on 2013 March 15.
- ↑ Lauren Faust discussing the age of Princess Luna on deviantArt. Archived locally.
- ↑ FiM layout artist commenting on Fancypants's companion. Retrieved on 2011 December 9.
- ↑ Lauren Faust explaining Nightmare Moon's thousand-year banishment (2011-11-16). Retrieved on 2011 November 17.
- ↑ Lauren Faust about Rarity being cut from the episode. Retrieved on 2011 October 22.
- ↑ Layout artist discussing pink Luna's cut scene (2011-11-03). Retrieved on 2011 November 9.
- ↑ My Little Pony Facebook page: "Here’s your first look at some magical new pony friends".