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Welcome to Shadow's Villain Reviews! This may or may not become an ongoing series where I review all the villains and antogonists of MLP: FiM in order of appearence.

Villain of this review

Starting off the series with the villain of the very first episode(s), Nightmare Moon. Alter ego of Princess Luna, Princess Celestia's sister. Due to being the villain of the first episode, she's also the first villain of the fourth generation of My Little Pony. But was she a good villain? Let's take a look!
Nightmare Moon "you also know why I'm here" S1E01

Backstory

Now, Nightmare Moon's backstory is a pretty interesting one. Before becoming Nightmare Moon, Princess Luna was the co-ruler of Equestria. While Celestia raised the sun, Luna raised the moon (unless all those conspiracy theories are correct and the royal sisters are just faking everything). Eventually, Luna became jealous of her sister since everyone was sleeping at night but were wide awake
Nightmare Moon S01E01
during the day. Which makes me wonder, were there really no ponies who enjoyed staying up late to look at the moon and the stars? But I digress.

Eventually, all of her jealousy and hatred turned her into Nightmare Moon. Either because her jealousy manifested itself into an alternate form or because of an outside force which drew power from it. Not sure which of them I should believe. With her new powers, she intended to plunge Equestria into eternal night. Which is surprisingly dark, considering how the lack of sunlight would cause Equestria to slowly, but surely, die out.

It's a pretty good backstory. It's a unique and interesting way to show how irrational someone can become when they let their jealousy and hatred take control.

Build-up

Not gonna lie, I think Nightmare Moon has the best build-up out of all the villains. While the others just pop up out of nowhere (literally in some cases), the writers took their time to let us know a little bit about Nightmare Moon before she appeared. Her build-up is further enhanced by Twilight Sparkle's worries about her impending arrival. Unfortunately, some of that build-up was overshadowed by Twilight's shenanigans with her soon-to-be friends.

Execution

Did all that build-up pay off? Why yes it did! Nightmare Moon proved herself to be
Nightmare Moon ID S1E02
a pretty entertaining villain with a spectacular entrance. She didn't screw around and made a lot of effort to rid the Mane 6 out of her way.

Altough some of the attempts were pretty lame (a crying sea serpent. Really?!), she did prove that she was willing to use force if necessary. I know I'd stay away if someone threw an angry manticore at me. In fact, I'd say her efforts were almost as good as King Sombra's. I also liked how her trials showcased which Element of Harmony each of the Mane 6 represented.

Also, her defeat was a nice way to demonstrate the power of the Elements of Harmony.

Her reappearence in Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 1 and 2 was also pretty good.


Voice work (yes, I'm gonna cover this as well)

Having already proved herself an excellent voice actor earlier in the episode trough Rarity, Tabitha St. Germain strikes again in the role of the series' first villain. Tabitha does an excellent job at making Nightmare Moon sound menacing, yet have a sense of authority over her. Her overall work is also enjoyable and she succeeds at giving Nightmare Moon a cool voice. If you also count her work as Luna, I'd have a hard time deciding if Nightmare Moon or Discord has the better voice work.


Design

I'll be honest here, Nightmare Moon is the prettiest villain in the series. She's pretty and menacing at the same time (a pony with fangs? Wouldn't want to get bitten by that...). Another interesting thing about her design is not only that she's an Alicorn (the combination of a pegasus and a unicorn), but also how she's the first Alicorn we get to see in the series. I also love the combination of dark blue and black.

Final Verdict (Or tl:dr version)

  • Backstory: Well written and interesting, but a bit too vague. 3/5
  • Build-up: One of the best villain build-ups I've ever seen in a kids show. Not as good as Cell's, but still good. 5/5
  • Execution: A really cool and interesting villain. I'd say she was the one who made Friendship is Magic part 1 and 2 so enjoyable for me, making the episode an excellent way to kick off the series. 4/5
  • Voice work: Tabitha St. Germain is just plain awesome. That is all. 5/5
  • Design: Dark blue and black is a beautiful combination and she's both a unicorn and a pegasus. What's not to like? 5/5


Final Score:

8/10- It's a shame she's such an underrated villain. She was an interesting and surprisingly dark villain with an interesting backstory and an excellent build-up. Not to mention that she was excellent target practice for the Elements of Harmony.


Author's Note: Anyone who thinks I should continue doing this?