After Castle Mane-ia was aired, people began to discuss about who is this shadow pony that appeared in the show. Some brought some ideas it could be a previous villains or a new character, and the discussion and arguments continued on until the answer comes up. For me, which I must warn everybody here that all this blog I'm writing is just an opinion and theory, I have an idea who could this shadow pony be. As I looked back through the previous seasons and episodes, I have found one name that has been mentioned but never appeared throughout the series. And in theory, this character may be the new and main villain for this season, which this character may hold the key to the entire answers. And that name is...

...Starswirl the Bearded...

Why I brought up his name here? Yes, people may object me that he is NOT evil, but how could everybody be sure about that? Yes, he has been known as the greatest wizard in Equestrian history, the legendary being which Twilight truly admires, and possibly known as Celestia's greatest advisors. But how possibly could that be true? There's not much infomation described about this wizard pony, and surely nopony have even talked about him briefly throughout the story. I doubt Twilight know briefly about him, although she might have known about him throughout some books, and I also doubt Celestia/Luna knows briefly about him too since there may be possibilities this wizard might have been hiding things from the princesses. And yes, nopony in Ponyville knows about him too, and I can hardly think anypony in Canterlot knows about him either (probably they don't care due to their stinkin' richful prides). So...who is this guy? What did he do throughout his mysterious lifetime? What happened to him? Here are some theories that I have thought and imagined about this mysterious figure, and tell you why I think he may be the main villain of this season...

First of all, we must look back at Season 3 final episode Magical Mystery Cure. Princess Celestia have sent Twilight the book of Starswirl's incomplete magic. As Twilight read the spell, it has switched the Element of Harmony's colors and her friends' cutie mark, and chaos occured to her friends and Ponyville on the next day. However, after Twilight solved the problems by switching the elements and cutie marks back to their original position and remade the spell, this turned her into the alicorn princess (and please, don't argue about this because this is not the point at this moment right now). So here's the question...although the spell was known to be incomplete, why did Starswirl made such spell that could switch the elements and cutie marks? What was he planning during then? Princess Celestia said Starswirl didn't understand friendship, and this quote gave me a terrible theory that may link to his plannings. Which is...

He wanted to destroy the Element of Harmony, and the existence of friendship.

To think of it, he have created many types of powerful magics throughout his history, which includes the short-term time traveling magic back in It's About Time. But just like Twilight during the beginning of Season 1, he didn't understand the meaning of friendship, possibly he didn't even believe in its existence either. However, unlike Twilight, he might have believed friendship interrupts his life, mostly being an obstacle to his learnings and research of thousand magics. He might have been a negative version of Twilight, which he might have been overly and extremely addicted to his own pride, knowledge, and skills of being a perfect magician of powerful magics in history. He might have been looking down at others like treating them as pests, prefering himself to become a loner. I don't know how things went in the Equestrian past, but maybe Princess Celestia and Luna wanted to become friends with Starswirl as he was their advisors, but refused to do so since he didn't understand nor believe in friendship. And here are some terrible theories I have made out as I looked back the previous episodes...

In Season 1's first two-part episodes, there was a history of Princess Luna transforming into Nightmare Moon due to her strong jealousy against her sister, turning Equestria into a world of eternal night, and Celestia banishing her into (not onto in correction) the moon. But what if Starswirl was involved with this incident? Could there be a possibility that he might have done something during this event? Here's a theory I made of, which maybe terrible to those are fans of Luna. During that time, he has understood that Luna was jealous of her sister for being attentioned by her, ponies, and this made Starswirl more confident friendship never existed and a lie. Due to this, he might have spoken lies to Luna about Celestia's thoughts about her sister, probably planning to use her as an experimental example for his theory of what will happen when her negative side outbursts. We all know what happens when ponies become negative, like creating the world-destroying ice-aging Windigos back at Hearth's Warming Eve. His lies made Luna's negative side go outburst and turning her into Nightmare Moon, which you all know what happened after then. But here's the question you might wanna say to me...if that's meant to be true, then Luna should've talked about it in the beginning. Why didn't she? It's not that she didn't want to for some reason...maybe she doesn't remember what happened. Memory erasing or replacement magics may be simple for Starswirl...he might have casted it to Luna while she's being Nightmare Moon, so he could erase the evidence of what he did to Luna.

What about Discord? Did he get involved in the Discord event in the past? In this part, I doubt anything about it. People are saying theories that "Starswirl is Discord" and "Starswirl created Discord", but I really doubt that theory since Discord never mentioned about him if he was his creator or himself. So, I'm pretty much not touching this point since I can't figure any theories about this.

Getting back to the main point, Starswirl realizes the existence of the Element of Harmony, which is the symbol of friendship, and Celestia used it to banish Nightmare Moon into the moon. This might have made him frustrated that his obstacle friendship still exists and thinks the elements are the source of it. This might have made him start making that incomplete spell that may screw up the element's colors and the user's cutie marks, which they say its incomplete on the outside but probably a complete and perfect spell on the inside. But then, he didn't cast the spell...why? Here's the question that I'll bring out.

What happened to Starswirl in the end? How did he die? What killed him?

Of course Hasbro and Hub won't bring any death reasons in the show, like what happened to Applejack's parents and how did they die. But then, how did Starswirl end his life? Nopony talked about it, not even Twilight nor probably the princesses know about it either. Probably, in theory, some secret agents or wizards from the kingdom, which the princesses aren't involved in it, might have realized on the mad wizard's actions, so they brought up a secret mission to terminate Starswirl in order to stop his actions. But of course they know he's too powerful to be killed, so they might have sealed him in eternal life, and this worked. Where was he sealed? I don't know...maybe in the old castle, or somewhere in Everfree Forest, I guess?

But if that's what happened, why nopony knows about it? Just like how the US military wanted to hide the secrets of the zombie outbreak from Dead Rising series, and how the GUN armies wanted to hide the truth of the Space Colony ARK incident from Sonic Adventure 2, the kingdom forces might have hid the entire events of Starswirl's actions and his whereabouts, replacing his death from termination to decease from illness. The princesses who weren't involved might have heard it that way, and Twilight might have believed in it as it was written in books, which all of his mischieveous actions were replaced and rewritten into something that's not true.

So, if he's sealed somewhere, how do I explain about the shadow pony? As in my theory, the shadow pony might be Starswirl, but how did he appear? In the beginning, he was sealed somewhere peacefully, but awakened by something. What could that be? I've thought the whole event in Magical Mystery Cure might have been a key to something. Activating his spell, switching elements and marks, turning Twilight into an alicorn...these events might have unleashed the seal a little, which he might have recognized somepony have activated his spell, as well realized the rise of the new princess and ruler of the elements. Plus the seeds that Discord planted in the forest may have awaken him a little as well, which he was able to use his magic to create a shadow of himself to cause trouble against the mane 6 back in Castle Mane-ia. In other words, his main body might still be sealed somewhere as his magic isn't fully recovered yet due to the long-term sealing, so he uses his shadow move around only in the old castle.

So, if he's the main villain of this season, when will he appear? Right now this season will mostly be focused on the Equestria Games, and I do have a slight thoughts that the seal may break and make him escape with fully recovered magic, and invade the games when the mane 6 arrives at the finals...just like how the enemies invaded Pokemon League back in Pokemon Black & White. I don't know how things will go further on, but if he's gonna be the main villain, then I should say he'll be the REAL final boss for this entire series, which he may overcome all previous villains.

There may be parts that I may be wrong with few contradictions and conflicts, but since Starswirl's name were mostly mentioned throughout the series, there may be possibilities that he will appear in some role. The only role I could think of is him becoming the villain, since there are too many mysterious parts that the show never explained about.But rather than calling him evil, he may be psychopathic, due to being overly addicted to his own huge pride and giant powers. Plus since he didn't understand friendship, then he might think of something terrible about it, which I think he might plan to destroy friendship, just like how his spell happened back in Magical Mystery Cure. If he's truly deceased, then that's fine with me, but if the staff's planning to do something with him, then this is the only theory I could think of. But still, I don't know, so we'll just have to wait and see what's this season's gonna be like in the end. However, IDW comics are making a four-part issues about the secrets of Starswirl, so there may be answers on those issues for sure.

Thanks for reading!