• Editorial: My Relatable Villain

    Do I even need to introduce these characters? The ones you love to hate. The villains and antagonists of MLP have traits and characteristics we hate, but also can’t help but identify with.

    While they aren't all evil, they've built their lives around inconveniencing others and it taps into all our base desires. We can see ourselves in them.

    Now there is no way I could talk about every single antagonist in just one post, but we can get a good start here. Ready to look back over the seasons and reminisce over some of those cringe-worthy moments we all know personally? Well, come on in!

    Queen Chrysalis - Self-Sabotage

    Okay, so you’ve probably never tried to suck the love out of another person, but you can probably relate to Chrysalis’ pride. She’s so haughty that she ends up ruining her chances for happiness.

    We all have that one friend who just can't be happy.
    You know what Chrissie really needs is a hug. Sometimes we practice self-destructive behavior like she does. In her last episode Frenemies, Chrysalis was so close to getting everything she really wanted, friendship. However, she's so bitter toward friendship she won't take it.

    Why must she fight what she wants most!?
    We've all done it before. We heard a piece of good advice or realized we were doing something wrong but we refused to admit it. We've become so stubborn, we would rather lose our happiness than admit our way wasn't the best way. Chrissie suffers from pride and it's turning her into a lonely, bitter bug.

    Lord Tirek - Absolute Power Unobtainable? Nah!

    A desire for power is near and dear to Tirek’s heart, but since he's not really all that powerful, he wants everyone around him to be weak.

    Tirek: Sure you may control all of reality, but you're not free to be yourself like me.
    Discord: But, I just put you in chains for being yourself, so technically neither are you.
    When Discord caught Tirek, it was with little effort on Dizzy’s part. Tirek couldn’t fight back so he simply pointed out a character trait Discord would view as a weakness. Tirek’s strength comes from draining others. He doesn’t have any personal power of his own, or at least he doesn’t think he does.

    By making others feel weak, Tirek gains power over them, even if it's only a mind game.

    Tirek: I'm in a cage and I still make you cower. 
    Tirek has the capacity to be great, but it doesn't feel as good to him as having power. The easy solution is to make others feel weak. If everyone around us is weak then we are the strongest by default. Anytime we belittle others to feel better about ourselves, we're like Tirek.

    King Sombra - Control

    Still one of the most upsetting MLP scenes for me.
    Sombra has the power to seize the Crystal Empire and his pride is not misplaced. He abuses his power to the point of absolute control: Slavery. Which is wrong.

    Those helmets look familiar like they're imitating someone.
    This is probably more relatable to those in leadership positions, but I’m sure other’s understand the temptation. Giving an employee a task they hate knowing they can’t refuse or they’ll get fired or teasing others in school because we’re the popular ones. Nothing as crazy as Sombra, but little things we do that can have major ramifications for someone else.

    Sombra may not seem like a fleshed out character, but he reflects a fault in human behavior of when a person knows they have the power to do as they wish. It’s hard not to let it go to our heads.

    Flim Flam Brothers - Cunning 

    Flim and Flam can spot a sucker a mile away. Don't get me wrong, no good person wants to take advantage of others, but you sometimes know when someone is an easy mark and you hear opportunity knocking.

    Flim and Flam are con artists who make their living off of deceiving people. They obviously don't have a healthy opinion of others and it leaves them guilt-free make sales by target a pony’s trusting nature and smooth talk them into a purchase.

    Their tactics don't outright hurt anyone and aren't illegal.

    If you’ve got the cunning, there’s no point hiding you’ve duped someone before. Flim and Flam can be tricky and they’ve built their whole lives around that fact. Hopefully, none of you relate to this too much.

    Garble - Impressions are Everything

    Garble: I pick on little kids 'cause I'm tough!
    Do you remember that guy in your 7th grade English class who was always rude and disruptive? No, not remembering him being loud and obnoxious, I mean do you remember what he wanted to be when he grew up, his favorite color, his greatest moment at school?

    Even the most competitive creature in Equestria blows off a challenge from a jerk.
    The thing about mean people is we never really get to know who they are. Garble’s bullying prevents others from getting to know him for real. He's not worth the mind space; all anypony needs to know about him is to stay out of his way.

    Congrats on the reform, Garble!
    As it turns out, Garble is a poet and an out-of-the-box thinker, but we couldn't see it until his sister came around to show us his creative side. Perhaps we can relate to making a false impression in fear of not being accepted. But just like Garble learned, faking who you are means nobody will ever love the real us.

    The Dazzlings -Taco Tuesday! I mean, Refusing Growth

    The Dazzlings were an unchanging group. They worked as a group and they terrorized as a group and fell as a group. My grandmother has a saying, all bad things come in threes. I think the Dazzlings' group is just that; a bad thing with a set of three.

    The Dazzlings never grew or learned from their partnership. Because each of them encourages the other to continue a lifestyle of sucking negative energy solely by music, they've become stuck in a cycle of awful. They can't stand each other, but they don't break up or change in the pursuit of their goals.

    No real friendship just shared abilities kept them together.
    Think about it, Sunset Shimmer (with Twi’s help) eventually adapted to living in the human world. There is no reason Sonata, Adagio, and Aria couldn't have done the same. Instead, they kept doing the same thing over and over and over. The movie even lampshaded it when Aria suggested a leader change. They would have done better shaking up the dynamics of their group.

    Adagios: In hindsight, we should have just used these pendants to become pop-stars. 
    Whether you like admitting it or not, the company you keep shapes who you are and your goals. Even when the group was unpleased with Adagios, when Sonata wanted tacos instead of conflict, and Aria wanted to try new tactics, the Dazzlings did what the always do because they have never once encouraged each other to grow.

    Relationships should be challenging you to become better and obtain realistic goals. Can you relate to staying in relationships that refuse to change, learn and grow?

    Dr. Caballeron- Overworked but No Respect

    After all the hoops he jumped through, he should have just kept the hoops.
    Not everything relateable in a villain has to be evil. Dr. Caballeron works hard at what he does but doesn’t often get a reward for it. Sure what he’s doing is illegal, but at the end of the day, we all want a paycheck for the work we do. I know I'm not getting paid enough for the work I do.

    Cabby’s skilled and is even the villain Daring Do fights face-to-face the most but it’s either Ahuizotl who gets the glory or Daring Do takes back the treasure. I don’t think Cabby’s ever been fully successful.

    Cabby can't even get respect from his captives.
    Sometimes we find ourselves doing work for the glory of others while receiving very little recompense. Of course, being evil shouldn’t lead to fame, but maybe Cabby should write a book for himself; let other’s meet the pony behind the dirty work. I hate being the forgotten cog in the machine.

    Svengallop / Gladmane - Tactful Greed

    Gladmane: I'm glad to have a cash-cow- I mean- star like you.
    These two may look more like mean opportunists over villains, but these two take it to a level that really pushes them into the antagonistic role. These two stallions are in a place of hard-earned power and are choosing to emotionally abuse their employees in order to get even more.

    Wanting the finer things or employee loyalty is fine, but ticking others to give you those things is wrong. Both these stallions probably worked hard to get to the top. However, they abused their influence for personal gain and damaged other ponies relationships.

    Have you eve taken more than you deserve or tricked others into working harder on your behave? Whenever we manipulate someone in order to get something good for ourselves, even if that other person benefits, we are doing the same thing Svenallop and Gladman have done.

    Cozy Glow - Complete Disregard for Others

    Cozy got all her 'friends' in school and even made the counselor feel better all so she could destroy their magic and become the strongest being in Equestria!
    We can all relate to using somebody else for our own selfish reason, but Cozy Glow is the queen of getting others to sympathize with her and rally behind her. She's so good because she honestly doesn't care about the well fair of those around her. Cozy has no problem telling a bold-faced lie, stealing from an entire nation, or getting somepony hurt in the pursuit of her goal.

    She didn't care Equestria would lose magic, she would have power.
    Her intentions were always to build relationships so that she can exploit them. Cozy is quite charming and even Twilight Sparkle felt bad for Cozy, but she doesn't care about any creature but herself.

    I may have incited a hostile take-over or two in my day, but never using students!
    If you have ever used a relationship as a means to an end, then you and Cozy have something in common (though not enough to be sent to Tartarus). Whether you only made friends with someone so that they would invite you to a party or you were kissing up to the boss to get a promotion you knew a co-worker deserved, you used people. The relationships meant nothing to you, it was all about the prize.

    Cozy obviously takes this to an extreme and I hope none of you relate to that!

    This is what a tendency for antisocial behavior looks like.
    Tisk-tisk, we've all done it. This is one of those human things that we all take advantage of from time to time. Our friendships get us stuff, don't they? But there are lines that can be crossed and Cozy has done just that.

    There Are More Villains Than This!

    We’re all the villain in somebody’s life, but it’s not something to cheer from the rooftops. Admitting to our similarities with these villains can help us become better people. Yay character development within ourselves!

    If, in the odd chance, you find you relate deeply to these characters, let me encourage you that you have positive options. Analyze your own life and figure out why you're making the choices you do.

    If you find you're engaged in criminal activity, turn yourself in. If you're hanging out with a bad friend group, I suggest taking advantage of a brony meet-up or joining a school/library/community club. Are you a manipulator? Work to ‘make’ others happy by ‘encouraging’ them to pursue their dreams and ‘aiding’ them through their tough emotions.

    There were just so many, I couldn't put them all in one post.
    I know there is a lot more we can all relate to in these villains, but I don't personally relate to them because I am the most humble, sweet, loving, friendly, nice, endearing, perfect person I know (that's a joke). So if you have any other relatable points feel free to list them below!