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Tonight I'll divert attention away from the hiatus (which right now I'm saying is caused by Discovery Family refusing Season 5, even though they are apparently airing new episodes of other shows) to discuss something about Nightmare Moon that is a kind of subject of debate: The nature of Luna's transformation into Nightmare Moon.

There seem to be two views on Nightmare Moon: That she is Princess Luna corrupted, as the episodes themselves imply, and that she is a separate entity manifested from Luna's jealousy to possess her, as Lauren Faust has implied.

Here are things to support both:

One and the same

  • The book said "the bitterness in the young one's heart had transformed her into a wicked mare of darkness" and that Celestia "defeated her younger sister"
  • Luna says that Twilight "took away her dark powers"
  • Twilight and Celestia both speak of Luna and Nightmare Moon as one and the same in Luna Eclipsed and Princess Twilight Sparkle, although to the opposite it could be they were unaware of the true nature of the transformation
  • In an interview with Lauren Faust as shown in the Elements of Harmony Guidebook, it says "Nightmare Moon's reformation was essential to the plot of the pilot" and did a big speech about it under the question about reforming villains, which the book also said under Luna's page.

Separate

  • Luna says "I've missed you so much big sister" upon being returned to her true form, hinting that she has been trapped inside Nightmare Moon thinking independently of her, as Nightmare Moon likely would have had nothing but hate for Celestia not only because of living in her shadow, but also because she banished her to the moon
  • Lauren Faust said "Luna was no longer present, jealousy buried her inside Nightmare Moon."
  • When Luna is restored, shards of what look to be pieces of Nightmare Moon lay around Luna, implying that Nightmare Moon shattered to pieces like King Sombra did. (which is not even present with Sunset Shimmer, who I have a similar theory about regarding her demon form, although with her there is a huge crater where she was purified)

Couldn't help but notice that Lauren Faust said things to support both sides.

I know what I wanted to believe at first, but I need to be sure. Either way, an outside force (probably King Sombra) had a hand in the transformation.

Some of you might mention the Nightmare Rarity arc of the comics, because not only do they have Nightmare Moon as a separate entity from Luna (and Rarity), but have her originate as such. However, that arc of the comic is definitely non-canon. Even to those who take Katie Cook's comics as canon, it portrays Nightmare Moon transformations very differently than in the show: In the comics, Nightmare Moon captured Rarity, took her to the moon, took advantage of her insecurity and manipulated her into letting her in (apparently she's like angels on Supernatural), which would have been how it happened with Luna (who says "The Nightmare Forces knew what to say to convince me"). But in the actual show, Princess Twilight Sparkle Part 1 showed Luna decide to overthrow Celestia, and when she did that, her jealousy reached its peak and transformed her into Nightmare Moon.

How I think the transformation happened either way is that: When Celestia and Luna fought King Sombra, before they banished him he could sense Luna's resentment for Celestia so he cast a curse to gradually magnify it (curses have survived his banishment after all).

What are your thoughts on this? Please vote and comment

What do you think about Luna and Nightmare Moon?
 
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The poll was created at 05:02 on February 24, 2015, and so far 20 people voted.