From Equestripedia, the Archives of Equestria!
Stygian (Darkness • Pony of Shadows) • Mirror-Universe
Make something GOOD this time!
This article is a bit of a mess. Its heart is in the right place, but it could use some spring cleaning.
Biographical information
SpeciesPony  • Unicorn
OccupationScholar of sea life[1]
ResidenceCanterlot, Central Equestria
HomeUnnamed village[1]
FamilyRockhoof (honorary big brother)
AffiliationPillars of Equestria

"[...] However, there is one very important thing to remember about me. I am not a hero."
— Stygian[source]

Stygian is an unicorn stallion pony from an unnamed village dating back to the Age of Heroes. Stygian never considered himself a hero, even in the height of his heroic adventures, he considered himself to be nothing more than a tagalong. Although he blamed his misfortune on Starswirl the Bearded, whom he despised, much of his flaws were easily traced back to his unwillingness to accept that he was an intelligent and brave explorer in his own right. Nonetheless, Stygian was very kind, selfless and righteous in his own right, but had a darker sense of morality that put him at odds with his friends.


Early life

Not much of Stygian's early life is known. He grew up in a village somewhere in Equestria (exact region unknown) and at some point he developed an interest in sea life and other aspects of the ocean.[2] It's possible he lived on an island as he had to sail to Equestria, however this is unclear. He idolized Starswirl the Bearded, viewing him as his "hero" and had deep respect for the heroes of old, such as Rockhoof, Flash Magnus, Mage Meadowbrook, etc. In his town, Stygian seemed to be fairly well respected, respected enough to be referred to as "mister" by his townsfolk, who seemed to generally treat him well, though some citizens like Ms. Malus took advantage of his good-will and helpful personality.[1]

Collector of folktales

A summer prior to his run in with the Dazzlings, Stygian began to "collect folktales and legends". He loved the legends of Rockhoof, Flash Magnus, Mstmane and above all else, Starstwirl the Bearded. What truly fascinated Stygian above all other, was the sea ponies however. He could find no proof of their existence, yet there were so many stories and legends, and every story and legend seemed consistent with one another.[3]

The Dazzlings

Stygian encountering the Dazzlings

Stygian never considered himself a hero or adventurer. He would claim much later in his life that he had no special powers or had anything truly notable about himself, he was a simple scholar. He was content with his life as a humble scholar, who had decided to study sea life, a life he was happy at. He appeared to be a respected member of his society, at least to an extent, but others appeared to be happy to take advantage of his good-natured personality.[1]

On a cold night, he was alone in his house, studying seashells. He found the symmetry of the seashells to be marvelous, as it was evidence that shells were hundreds of years old, thus proving that the sea was filled with vast mysterious Ponykind hadn't even dreamed of. Even in his later life, Stygian would marvel at the mysterious that laid within the ocean, just hidden away from ponies sight.[4]

On a routine trip to the beach during the fall-soon-to-be-winter, he started digging and brushed an unique shell which he believed to be from a new species. His discovery was cut short however when he heard a mysterious voice call out to him. Before he knew it, he came face-to-face with some of the fantastical sea creatures he had only heard in legends. Stygian believed in the Sirens, but never had any way to prove their existence, only knew of the legends and folktales told about them. The trio he encountered were named Adagio, Aria and Sonata, respectively.[5]

The Sirens talked of being in a band called "The Dazzlings", leaving Stygian confused. Adagio soon hostilely verbally attacked Stygian when he claimed that his town wouldn't appreciate their music. Eventually, Stygian grew flustered and ran away from the Dazzlings to get back to his responsibilities.[6]

Despite his bad encounter with them, Stygian was extremely excited about his meeting, running home as fast as possible to learn more of them. Stygian made quite the scene in his town before he eventually made it to his home where he didn't waste any time trying to locate his copy of "Starswirl's Guide to Magical & Legendary Creatures". Stygian soon discovered that not even Starswirl had met a Siren, but that the aged wizard believed them to be go good, as they thrived on the negative energy of others around them. Before he could read further, a purple filly informed Stygian that he had to help Ms. Malus with her chores.[7]

After a long day of trimming her bushes, washing her dishes and thatching her baskets, Stygian decided to go back to the same spot and research the Seaponies once again, this time without getting flustered.[8] On his way home however, he noticed something odd. Not only did Malus not come back from her trip, but he didn't see anyone in town. To his horror, the Dazzlings had performed their concert in his village, hypnotizing everyone and turning them into their slaves. Stygian made a mad dash back towards his house for safety. In his panic, he came across a book The Great Heroes of Equestria, written by Starswirl the Bearded. As the last citizen of his village left, Stygian sought out to embark on a quest to save his people by uniting a party of the greatest heroes to ever live.[9]


After a wild quest involving giant crabs, griffons, sea serpents and two cows, Stygian finally came across Rockhoof's village in the realm of High Desert, Northern Equestria. Much to his surprise, none of the townsponies would actually pay attention to him, and in his confusion, he fell into a deep hole, only to be greeted by the legendary Rockhoof.[1] His attempts to recruit Rockhoof initially went unheeded, however, as he and Steela Oresdotter were contending with a threat to the village's filter fish. Fortunately, Stygian hit upon the plan of redirecting the river the fish traveled in, allowing the Might Helm to fend off the lumber bears after the fish. In gratitude, Rockhoof joined Stygian in traveling to Hayseed Swamp, where they joined Mage Meadowbrook in her efforts to fend off inexplicably hostile animals.[10]

After a near disastrous confrontation in which Stygian misused some of Meadowbrook's potions, she joined the pair, and they traveled in search of Flash Magnus. Unfortunately, they arrived just in time to find the Cloudsdale Royal Legion preparing to fight a flock of Dragons.[11] Luckily, Meadowbrook was able to resolve the conflict while Stygian had Flash distracted, and the legionnaire joined their party. Stygian explained that his idea revolved around recruiting heroes that represented particular ideals, and the group traveled to Somnambula. After helping free Prince Hisan from a cursed object, a condition Stygian identified, they welcomed Somnambula herself into their ranks.[12]

Stygian's party next made its way to Eastern Equestria, where they succeeded in recruiting Mistmane to join their quest. They then made their way to Canterlot, where Stygian found and invited his idol Starswirl as the final member of the group.[13] Unfortunately, Starswirl quickly usurped leadership of the group, dismissing Stygian's ideas and insisting that the Sirens had to be removed from Equestria. Unable to stand up to the older Unicorn, Stygian accepted his plan, and the Sirens were banished to another realm.[14]

Darkness fought and embraced

Stygian later returned to Rockhoof's island with all the Pillars but Starswirl, only to be joined by him after creatures from another world abducted Princess Celestia and Princess Luna. Stygian insisted upon accompanying Starswirl in his rescue mission, and the group traveled to the other world. The group split up, with Stygian and Rockhoof heading off together and discussing Stygian's frustrations with Starswirl. They then encountered several massive insects, who curiously obeyed Stygian's commands, which allowed the pair to locate the captive princesses. Stygian then sent a signal to the other Pillars, only to be met by a monstrous being of shadow.

At Rockhoof's urging, Starswirl allowed Stygian to take the leader, and he soon confronted the villain who had abducted the princesses. Surprisingly, when their magics clashed, the two were evenly matched, and both were thrown back by an explosion. Stygian then used his strange power over the villain's minions to rescue the princesses, and after telling the monster his name escaped home with the other Pillars. Stygian expressed great pleasure at having been able to be a hero, though he was somewhat troubled by his ability to command the monsters of the other world.[15] Stygian also held on to a piece of the mirror that led to that world after Starswirl asked Rockhoof to smash it.[16]

Sadly, Stygian's ambitions would lead him to become a villain, unknowingly following in the footsteps of the villain who abducted the princesses, who was in fact his own alternate self. He and the Pillars became imprisoned in Limbo, and passed into the legends of Equestria. A descendant of Stygian's named Shadow Lock eventually discovered records of the Pony of Shadows, and feared that Stygian would return or that the darkness would claim him as it had his ancestor. As such, he set out to erase all record of Stygian in the hopes that it would prevent him from returning. Fortunately, Twilight Sparkle helped him realize that destroying all records might prevent them from being able to defeat his villainous progenitor if he returned. Shadow Lock thus set out to find records that would help defeat Stygian, unaware that Starswirl's journal was located in Ponyville.[17][18][19] This volume eventually made its way into the hooves of Sunburst, a scholarly young Unicorn.[20][21]

Eventually, Stygian was freed from Limbo, returned to normal, and reconciled with the Pillars after a thousand years of imprisonment. Wanting his own side of the story to be told, Stygian later traveled to the Crystal Empire and left one of his journals on Sunburst's doorstep. After reading it, Sunburst tracked him down and told Stygian that, contrary to the former Pony of Shadows' own opinion, he had proved himself a hero. Grateful, Stygian then offered to let Sunburst read a second journal detailing his adventures with the Pillars.[1][14]

The breaker of worlds

Stygian witnessing (and soon pleading to stop the) merciless torture of a young Princess Celestia and demise of Luna (off panel)

One night, Stygian was suffering from a dream that seemed all too familiar. He was in the corrupted forest with his allies, the Pillars of Equestria, doing battle with the Pony of Shadows. While Stygian tried to save the two princesses, he was interrupted by the real Princess Luna to comforted him that it was all just a dream. However, not all was as it seemed. The "dream" version of the Pony of Shadows confronted Luna, telling her of his ambition to spread darkness to every possible world by using Celestia and Luna as tools of untold destruction. As he did so, he kidnapped Celestia and left the filly Luna to die, claiming she was to weak to survive much longer to begin with. As he did so, Celestia, the bruised and damaged Celestia regained consciousness as she was forcefully dragged into who knows where. Horrified by this, Stygian tried to save her, but it was to late.[16]

Now in the waking world, Luna and Stygian discussed what they foresaw while walking in the hall of mirrors. The two came across the dimensional mirror which was first used to travel to the corrupted universe, which was nearly destroyed by Starswirl himself. With the mirror nearly repaired, Luna decided to travel to the other world to save her sister from the torture. Although Stygian tried to warn her repeatedly, Luna knew her goal was more important and traveled to the other world regardless. Although he considered it a terrible idea, Stygian also jumped into the world to help protect her.[16]

In the new world, Stygian was dumbfounded by what he witnessed. A massive castle with floating islands and a large crowd gathered around the a meter that measured ones evilness. Once again, Stygian tried to convince Luna to stop this, but she refused. Stygian was worried what the evil-meter would do to him or Luna if they were to be judged by it, but marched on anyway, wanting to protect his friend. Stygian vowed to go first, which worried Luna, who believed he was being "to noble" for the device.[16]

The guards of the meter mocked Stygian for being a goodie-two-shoes, but Stygian surprised them by his account of the Pony of Shadows. According to the meter, Stygian was 100% "pure evil". Stygian worried that Luna's attempt to seem evil would fall through the cracks, but using her Royal Canterlot voice, she managed to pass with flying colors. Stygian was concerned if speaking like a villain hurt Luna, but in contrast, it was a liberating experience for her.[16]

Now in Chaos Casino, Stygian and Luna walked around the place, avoiding bar fights and other conflicts as they were eventually lead to a mysterious room containing Magic Runes. The runes were in all actuality a trap intended to trap Luna in a cage as a mysterious, bird-like entity watched on. The mysterious entity revealed herself to be Princess Eris, the Lord of Chaos and cousin of Discord. With the Staff of Sacanas, she drained all of Luna's power, leaving her powerless.[16]

Stygian managed to save Luna and together the two managed to retreat from the castle and into the real world. Although Luna felt defeated, Stygian assured her that they can win somehow. Stygian vowed to repeat the one notable feat in his life and ensemble a team to defeat Eris and rescue Celestia once and for all.[16]

Dark Horse


Stygian's good nature made it hard to convince Chaos Casino guards that he was evil

A gentle soul, Stygian was a meek, insecure pushover with little-to-no backbone. He was, however, very kind, selfless, brave and intelligent, even if he refused to ever accept that he was any of those qualities. Stygian's insecurities manifested through his great journey; he started the quest with high hopes but it ended with him feeling worthless. Regardless, Stygian's attitude after the adventure lightened up considerably, however his self-esteem issues instead manifested themselves in a burning hatred for Starswirl the Bearded. Eventually, the two made up and Stygian's overall personality grew happier because of it.

Afterwards, Stygian regained his kind and noble personality but gained a stronger backbone. He was still self-deprecating, but not in a self-harmful way. Stygian was always quick to fear, giving very animated reactions towards frightening situations but always pushed through, knowing protecting others was more important.


Stygian mastered the art of 'doing something brave and dumb and hoping it works', which he used to rescue Princess Luna from Princess Eris's grasps and considered himself to be a skilled team-builder. Although he would never admit it, Stygian was a genuinely powerful unicorn, good scout and skilled fighter. His cleverness, intelligence and sheer bravery allowed him to save the day, even when faced against far stronger foes, such as his futureself and Princess Eris.



Stygian seemed to have an unhealthy relationship with the townsfolk of his village. They would often demand him to do chores or other work for them, such as doing their dishes and their yard work, yet Stygian was all to happy to oblige them. In spite of the obvious one-sided relationship he had with them, he cared deeply for them and went far out of his way to try to save them from the Dazzlings.


Stygian thought of Rockhoof as an older brother and greatly enjoyed his company. Stygian loved the fact that even though Rockhoof didn't understand Stygian's passion for marine life and other scientific fields, he would always listen to him willingly. Rockhoof appeared to be Stygians first real friend, and the two shared a solid, brotherly bond with one another.

Mage Meadowbrook

Stygian and Mage did not interact much, but the two seemed to really care about one another. She would act like an older sister figure to him, helping to cheer him up when he was feeling down. Notably, when Stygian felt worthless in the presence of Starswirl the Bearded, Mage and Somnambula rushed to his side and recounted his many accomplishments. In spite of this, she still tended to forget about him in favor of Starswirl.

Flash Magnus

To be written


Like Mage, Stygian and Somnambula had a brother-sister type relationship. She always tried to cheer him up and rushed to his side to help him, but otherwise tended to forget him.


To be written

Starswirl the Bearded

Out of the original Pillars, Stygian cared the least for Starswirl, yet in his youth, he idolized the wizard. He felt the wizard was self-absorbed, selfish, and a horrible glory hog. During the annual issue, he managed to work up the courage to make his issues with Starswirl known and gave him a deep-cutting piece of his mind.

Royal Sisters

Stygian cared deeply for the royal sisters, but in particular grew a good friendship with Princess Luna. Being former villains, the two were able to relate with one another, even if their views on their past evils differed wildly. Luna felt delving into the darkness of Nightmare Moon on occasion was liberating and empowering, while Stygian felt nothing but shame of his past. Still, the two were good friends who looked out for one another whenever possible. Along with Trixie Lulamoon, Capper and Tempest Shadow, they formed a group known as the Nightmare Knights to save reality from Princess Eris.

Princess Luna noted that Stygian was simply to noble to pass as evil and though she respected his good-nature, she also feared it would get them caught in Eris's world.

Alternate self

Stygian did not realize the Pony of Shadows was himself from an alternate timeline and treated him as any other bad guy.


To be written


  • Powers
    • Magic: Being a unicorn, Stygian was capable of using a variety of magic and spells. He could effortlessly levitate small objects and had enough dexterity in the craft to actively use a shovel to dig, gently brush objects and cut down bushes. Stygian was capable of moving several books around at once.[1]
      • Lifting: Stygian was able to lift Rockhoof by levitating his shovel with magic, saving his life from drowning.[10]
  • Skills
    • Thatching: Stygian was a skilled thatcher, able to make several, high quality baskets within a single night.[1]
    • Sailing: Stygian was a competent sailor, able to sail from one land to another without major complications within his power.[1]
    • Adventuring: Stygian would show his bravery in his early adventures, as he had to face down nightmarish monsters "only heroes dared to challenge" such as Timber wolves and giant crabs, never once giving up. He also realized that he would have to get directions from time to time.[1]
  • Traits
    • Intelligence:Stygian was always noted for being intelligent by his friends, especially Rockhoof who was very proud of his intelligence and insight. Before becoming an adventurer, Stygian was a scholar who studied sea life and appeared to have a strong grasp of his field.[1]
      • Tactics: Stygian often acted as the strategist of his team, organizing his team and performing tactics that helped save the day. He was the one who planned the moving of High Desert river in order to save Rockhoof's village, ensuring Rockhoof's loyalty and saving his people.[10]

Behind the scenes



  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Legends of Magic #7
  2. Legends of Magic #7 - "Stygian" pg. 4 (panel: 1-4) This is a tale of the heroes of Equestria. However there is one very important thing to remember about me. I am not a hero. I have never had any special powers. I've never really been noteworthy or any reason. I am a scholar. And at the time of this story, I had chosen to study sea creatures. It was a very fascinating subject to me. So much that was never seen. So much that was hidden. What sort of mysteries hid in the ocean?
  3. Legends of Magic #7 - "Stygian" pg. 5 Every morning, I woke up at the crack of dawn. I liked to get to the beaches before other ponies had trampled them. It was fall and soon to be winter, so I had to dress warmly. So I'd throw on my trusty jacket and head down to find what fresh samples the tide had brought in. I wasn't sure exactly what was out to find, only knew that last summer I had been collecting folktales and legends from all around Equestria...and while I loved the legends of heroes, great ponies like Rockhoof, and mistmane, and lash Magnus...what really fascinated me were the tales of mystical sea ponies. There was no evidence they existed, but there so many stories. And when all legends start to agree...-Stygian
  4. Legends of Magic #7 - "Stygian" pg. 4
  5. Legends of Magic #7 - "Stygian" pg. 5-7
  6. Legends of Magic #7 - "Stygian" pg. 8-9
  7. Legends of Magic #7 - "Stygian" pg. 10
  8. Legends of Magic #7 - "Stygian" pg. 12 (panel: 1-4)
  9. Legends of Magic #7 - "Stygian" pg. 11-17
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Legends of Magic #8
  11. Legends of Magic #9
  12. Legends of Magic #10
  13. Legends of Magic #11
  14. 14.0 14.1 Legends of Magic #12
  15. Legends of Magic Annual 2018
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 Nightmare Knights #1
  17. Friendship is Magic #51
  18. Friendship is Magic #52
  19. Friendship is Magic #53
  20. Uncommon Bond
  21. Legends of Magic #6
 V - E - H - DArticle comments (0)
Loading comments...

My Little PonyHasbro. Equestripedia and its editors do not claim copyright over creative works, imagery, characters, places, or concepts featured within the franchise.