When I first created this image, it was just on a lark- I thought the idea of Chrys discovering the key to unlimited power was an amusing notion.
The more I thought about it, the more the eerie historical symbolism of the Queen Chrysalis story started to play out in my head... My own observations noted in parenthesis:
The character of Queen Chrysalis is a egomaniacal emotional vampire who feeds off of the love of others. She has aspirations to conquer and rule all of Equestria, transforming it into a dark paradise for her own kind. In other words, Chrys is dually motivated; she desires power and glory for herself, but is also altruistically driven to gain control of a land which is rich with the love needed to feed and sustain all the rest of her own kind.
(Hitler's delusions of grandeur, predilection for self-aggrandizement, and desire to create a unified and racially pure Europe for his master race to inhabit.)
She assembled an army of lesser Changelings (analogous to the then-common stereotype of the Nazi army in terms of their sinister appearance, mindless obedience and devotion to his/her personality cult), and attempted to destroy the capital city (via aerial bombardment reminiscent of the V1 "buzz-bomb" attacks on London circa 1944-45, right down to the buzzing sound made by the Changelings in flight.)
Just when victory seemed within her grasp, she allowed herself to become giddy with visions of ultimate conquest, and was distracted just long enough for all the Ponies to unite and overcome her army using the magic of friendship and harmony.
(Hitler's downfall at the Reich Chancellery, ignorant of the true state of the war around him, made possible only by the unified action of the Soviet Red Army and the western Allies.)
Pretty deep stuff for a show of this nature, and it kind of makes me wonder how the storyline ever got past Hasbro / Hub's Standards & Practices committee (assuming they have one.)
Parallelizing Hitler with Chrysalis... makes me sick for some reason. This is a kids show... we shouldnt go too far with this. Egomaniacal... maybe... delusions? With such an elaborate plan? Nah... she did stop the elements afterall.
nioniosbbbb, I hear what you're saying, and I'm struggling with this myself.
I mean, MLP is obviously rich in simplistic and superficial mythological symbolism. (FlimFlam vs. AppleFam = the folk take of John Henry, Flutershy / Lion = the early Latin tale of Androcles, Rarity's magical wings made by Twilight = the Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus, and so on...)
But the more I watch (and I've only just started into Season 3), the more I start to notice that there are certain other themes which are much more complex and interesting. For instance, Nightmare Moon's downfall and banishment is a clear metaphor for the Biblical account of the expulsion of the angel Lucifer from heaven, and her subsequent return to the form of Luna reflects the concept of salvation by grace in the modern Christian faith.
I don't mean for this to be a sermon, just an example of how, if you stare deeply into the abyss, history begins to stare back at you.
The fear of being perceived to be somehow twisted or perverted is what's causing me such great difficulty in finishing and posting the piece I'm working on now, which is the third and final entry in this series. Basically, it asks what might have happened if Chrys had found herself in possession of the talisman of unlimited power.
It's not gory or gruesome or shocking in any way (I'm not doing Cupcakes / Sweet Apple.) It's just kind of dark. And while I know that it's probably going to offend some people's sensibilities, there's a personal demon haunting me which I need to confront.
I am greek and i like greek myths. And no... it doesnt offend me... i just find Hitler disgusting... but i like Queen Chrysalis. I'm just biased you could say... but then again i think of Chrysalis more as selfless than selfish. Look at her... i mean the only thing that makes her a Queen is the crown and her attitude. She doesnt have excess jewelry like Celestia or Luna. She doesnt have fancy slippers or anything.
"...I think of Chrysalis more as selfless than selfish."
That's part of what makes her character so interesting to me.
On the one hand, she is working to enhance the lives of the changeling race. But her her attitude and manner of speaking make her seem to be extremely prideful and egomanical.
Consider her first song. As she admires her lovely wedding dress, she sings that
"Everypony will gather 'round, say I look lovely in my gown. What they don't know is that I have fooled them all."
She is clearly quite proud of this achievement- the look in her eyes as the scene fades to Cadence reveals that.
(Cadence) "Oh the wedding we won't make, he'll end up marrying a fake! Shining Armor will be..."
(Chrys) "Mine, all mine! (laughs manically.)"
Greed. Pure greed.
It is not material objects which she desires (clothing, jewelry, etc), but rather power and control, and the sense of superiority which accompanies having them.
Then, during the reprise, as she looks out the window (having revealed her true form) at the destruction of Canterlot taking place before her:
"This day has been just perfect, the kind of day of which I've dreamed since I was small. Every Pony I'll soon control, Every Stallion Mare and Foal, Who says a girl can't really have it all? (giggles)"
To me, there is no question here. Yes, Chrysalis is building a new empire for her subjects, but it's clear that she is also enjoying the suffering and destruction which this entails.
Chrys is clearly a sociopath, but she's not a shallow, one-dimensional character either.
She has some qualities which make us sympathetic to her plight. We don't know, for instance, how or why the changelings exist as they do. Perhaps they are a race which has unjustly suffered at the hands of a tyrant, or come from as land which has been ravaged by famine and disaster?
Detail such as this is the hallmark of good and interesting character development, and I am genuinely grateful to the writers that the "villain" characters in MLP do tend to break the stereotype of being simple and shallow, without any mystery beneath the surface of their appearance.
I just hope that people can interpret what I'm saying with a level of emotional maturity, and not leap to conclusions about it.
Because of pride, not duty. Why was Chrysalis so driven in the pursuit of a new kingdom for her subjects? Well, for one thing, we can presume that it would increase their love for her. But moreover, Chrysalis clearly enjoys the violence of conquest, in same way that a great sculptor might enjoy the physical sensation of shaping clay in her hands. And the power and glory of supreme leadership itself would bring her greater fulfillment than any sort of "noble" honor.
In Tom Clancy's classic cold-war novel "The Hunt for Red October," Ivan Putin (the ship's Political Officer) is discussing with Captain Ramius the subject of a rival captain named Tupolev, who will later in the story be driven to his own destruction by hatred and pride: "He was your student. It is rumored that he has a special place in his heart for you."
Ramius replies: "There is little room in Tupolev's heart for anyone but Tupolev."
There is little room in Chrysalis' heart for anyone but Chrysalis.
So i did the right thing my making my Chrysalis lose her pride before she decided to apologize to the Princesses? Wait... not apologize... explain. Either way they cant really punish her i think. That is because as judjes they would be biased and support the pony side. Therefore the judjement would not be berefit of hatred towards them... justified yes... but still they wouldnt make a fair judjement or punishment for that matter.
"The thing about Art is that viewers can see what they want to see."
This is the true measure of a well-written character, and a testament to everything that makes FiM a true paradigm shift in children's entertainment. These characters will grow and mature over the years along with their audience.
I grew up in the late 70s / early 80s. And when I think back to the cartoon shows that were on TV then, well, there's not much to analyze. The characters were all very simple, there were clear and distinct lines between good and evil, and no real rhyme or reason as to WHY any particular "evil" character was evil.
Why, for instance, was Cobra Commander obsessed with killing GI Joe? What did Skeletor actually have to gain from defeating He-Man? Even today, looking back through the glass of time, there's really no more to gain from any of it than when I was a child.
It fills me with joy to see characters today which, despite their perhaps simplistic and stereotypical appearance, are capable of being analyzed in such a way as this at all!
Skeletor: Do you want to know why I hate He Man? I will tell you! It was at a Hanna Barbera Comic Con. There were so many people the regular bathrooms filled up. Someone at the hotel came up with the bright idea of adding portapotties. I had a great time and had eaten a lot.
Was on my third fruit smoothie when I had to go bad. He Man was right in front of me. No big deal. He went to the bathroom.
When he was done, it was my turn. I opened the door and was amazed. How could one man make such a mess? It was so bad I slipped and spilled my drink. Even the toilet seat was defiled. After I did my business and cleaned up the filth left by that miscreant. Even my white hot hatred could not clean my messed up clothing and shoes! I vowed to make him pay! That is why I hate He Man with such an eternal burning hatred.
Take the Smurfs. You've got an antagonist who is an old wizard with a cool-sounding name like Gargamel, whose cat and godfather (respectively) are named Azrael and Balthazar.
Now, in the Abrahamic religions as a whole (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) Azrael is the Archangel of Death and Retribution. Balthazar, in the Hebrew scriptures, was the last Pagan king of Babylon- the one who saw the literal "writing on the wall," immediately after which he was slain and the ancient city captured by the Persian army.
Now, with a setup like that, you would think that there might be room for some depth of storytelling. What happens instead? Well, in every single episode, Gargamel tries to capture the smurfs so that he can make soup out of them.
That'd be like Indy finding out at the end of Last Crusade that the only power of the Holy Grail was to transform water into a mild and soothing laxative. (Enter Jamie Lee Curtis.)
We have a genuinely new form of children's storytelling which is truly unique and wonderful here. I would never in a million lifetimes have expected it to come in this form, but I'm glad that it exists for us to study.
I remember the Smurfs a little bit. Had a friend that watched them. I just remember the show used classical music for background music.
The problem is that modern American culture has this view that cartoons are for kids. In the 40's cartoons were seen as fit entertainment for adults. Something happened back in the day and all cartoons became kid's stuff in America.
I see what you mean. I plan to enjoy this show as long as I can.