|Residence||Maretime Manor, Silver Shoals (S9E26 onward)|
Moon (banished until S1E1)
Castle of the Two Sisters (formerly)
|Occupation||Co-ruler of Equestria (formerly)|
|Eyes|| Moderate cyan|
Vivid cerise (realm of shadow)
|Mane|| Moderate sapphire blue with |
grayish persian blue outline
Very light azure (early)
Brilliant phthalo blue with
grayish persian blue outline (Nightmare Moon)
Moderate red with
black outline and
deep reddish brown (realm of shadow)
|Coat|| Dark blue|
Grayish phthalo blue (early)
Very dark cornflower blue (Nightmare Moon)
Moderate amaranth (realm of shadow)
|Eyeshadow|| Light sapphire blue|
Moderate violet (alternate universe)
Light brilliant amber (realm of shadow)
|Eyebrows||Moderate blue violet (Nightmare Moon)|
|Magic aura|| Moderate cobalt blue|
Brilliant cyan with
light violet sparks (Nightmare Moon)
Vivid scarlet (alternate universe)
Very light gold (when switched with Celestia's cutie mark in A Royal Problem)
|Nicknames||Nightmare Moon, The Mare in the Moon, Princess of the Night, Night Mare, Mare on the Moon, Guardian of the Night, Mayor in the Moon, Starry Night Terror, L (The Periodic Table of My Little Pony), Nm (The Periodic Table of My Little Pony)|
|Relatives||Princess Celestia (older sister)|
Princess Cadance (adoptive niece)
Prince Blueblood (distant nephew)
Twilight Sparkle (niece-in-law)
Shining Armor (nephew-in-law)
(as Nightmare Moon)[note 2]
(when switched with Celestia in A Royal Problem)
|Voice||Both Princess Luna and Nightmare Moon:|
Tabitha St. Germain (English)
Marjolein Algera (Dutch)
Fanny Roy (French)
Ella Pyhältö (Finnish, episodes 1 and 2)
Heike Schroetter (German)
Kriszta Németh (Hungarian)
Takako Honda (Japanese, season 2, Equestria Girls, and My Little Pony The Movie)
Jeong Yu-mi (Korean)
Brygida Turowska (Polish)
Fátima Noya (Brazilian Portuguese, season 1)
Leticia Quinto (Brazilian Portuguese, season 2 onwards except S4E1, S4E2, S6E25, and S6E26)
Anca Sigmirean (Romanian, season 4)
Olga Zvereva (Russian, season 1)
Darya Frolova (Russian, season 2 onward)
Pantita Lekcharoen (Thai, season 1)
Araya Marid (Thai, seasons 2 onward except S5E26)
Lidiya Murashchenko (Ukrainian, seasons 5-8)
Viktoriya Moskalenko (Ukrainian, season 9)
Princess Luna only:
Sari Ann Stolt (Finnish, season 2 onwards)
Jill Böttcher (German, season 1)
Deborah Morese (Italian)
Yumi Uchiyama (Japanese, season 1)
Rie Misuzu (Japanese, season 3)
Agnes Fasting (Norwegian)
Ana Vieira (European Portuguese)
Mihaela Gherdan (Romanian, season 1)
Gabriela Codrea (Romanian, seasons 2-3, 5-6)
Anda Tamaseanu (Romanian, S4E19)
Ramiliya Iskander (Russian, My Little Pony The Movie)
Olga Shorokhova (Russian, Forgotten Friendship)
Christine Byrd (Latin American Spanish, season 1)
Irene Jiménez (Latin American Spanish, season 2)
Laura Ayala (Latin America Spanish, season 3 onward)
Josefina Hylén (Swedish, season 1)
Sharon Dyall (Swedish, season 2)
Supinsaa Haan (Thai, Movie)
Yulia Perenchuk (Ukrainian, seasons 1-3)
Anastasia Zinovenko (Ukrainian, season 4)
Nightmare Moon only:
Elda Olivieri (Italian)
Mirela Corbeanu (Romanian, season 1)
Gabriela Codrea (Romanian, season 2)
Jelena Petrović (Serbian)
Magda Giner (Latin American Spanish)
Sophicha Unsamai (Thai, S5E26)
Olena Blinnikova (Ukrainian, seasons 1-2)
Valentyna Sova (Ukrainian, season 4)
Shadowbolt mare only:
Susa Saukko (Finnish)
Asami Yoshida (Japanese)
Agata Gawrońska-Bauman (Polish)
Anca Sigmirean (Romanian)
Laura Torres (Latin American Spanish)
|Kazumi Evans (English, S4E25)|
Aloma Steele (English, S6E8 onward)
Ekaterina Shulgina (Russian, S6E8)
Carla Cerda (Latin American Spanish)
Araya Marit (Thai)
Princess Luna, known as Nightmare Moon or Night Mare Moon when transformed or under certain other circumstances,[note 3] is an Alicorn pony, the younger sister of Princess Celestia, and the main antagonist of the season one premiere of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic as Nightmare Moon. She is also the adoptive aunt of Princess Cadance. Eventually, the Elements of Harmony restore Luna to her former self and she returns to rule over Equestria alongside her older sister. Princess Luna/Nightmare Moon is called by her respective early names Princess Selena/Night Mare in another depiction.
Development and design
The word "Luna" means "moon" in Italian and Spanish, in both cases derived from Latin—Luna is the Latin name for the Greek moon goddess Selene (Σελήνη), who is the daughter of Hyperion and Theia in Greek mythology. In the European French dub, Nightmare Moon is named La Jument Séléniaque, loosely translated as "the mare Selene" or "the Selene Mare." Her title in Twilight Sparkle's book in Friendship is Magic, part 1, "Mare in the Moon," is a play on the mythic story Man in the Moon. The Elements of Harmony guidebook states that Luna's original name was Selena and shows development and concept art of the then-named "Princess Selena"/"Night Mare"; these names are used in a Friendship is Magic storybook. According to Lauren Faust, Princess Luna's name "was Selena for a short time, but there were legal problems with it," and Nightmare Moon was originally named "Discord," a name which would later be given to another eventually-reformed villain.
Princess Luna has two designs, differing in that her coat is a darker shade of blue and that her mane is partially translucent, rippling and sparkling like Celestia's. Depiction of her as a filly—on the fan-designed WeLoveFine T-shirts "Old School Cutie Mark" (without her cutie mark) and "Flying in Circles" (with her cutie mark)—uses the lighter-coated-and-normal-maned design; depiction of her as a mare has switched between the two designs on multiple occasions:
- Switch between a flashback on page 21 of the My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic Issue #1 story and a flashback in The Crystal Empire - Part 1
- Switch-back before and after being Nightmare Moon respectively in a flashback in Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 1 and in Friendship is Magic, part 2
- Switch between the above point and Luna Eclipsed
- Switch-back between the above point and page 15 of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #5 story
- Switch on page 15 of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #8 story
Her old design is still used in some merchandise, the online game Castle Creator, and the commercial The Fresh Princess of Friendship, and her old mane is partly visible in some shots. Lauren Faust has stated that when Luna is fully grown, she will not look like Nightmare Moon. She also speculated that when Nightmare Moon was defeated, Luna was reborn with very low magic levels, and that her mane was eventually magical and wavy again because her good powers had been restored.
Luna's design is similar to those of Fleur Dis Lee, Princess Cadance, the Headless Horse, the Mane-iac, "Tropical Dream", Sassy Saddles, S06E20 Unnamed Earth Mare #8, S06E20 Unnamed Earth Mare #9, and S06E20 Unnamed Earth Mare #10.
Depiction in the series
Princess Luna is introduced in the prologue of the first episode, depicted in a series of medieval-style drawings with a narration that says, "Two regal sisters who ruled together and created harmony for all the land," and that "the eldest used her unicorn powers to raise the sun at dawn; the younger brought out the moon to begin the night."
The narration continues by stating: their subjects, the ponies, played in the day but "shunned" the night and slept through it, which made the younger Alicorn grow bitter, eventually refusing to lower the moon to make way for the dawn. Her bitterness "transformed her into a wicked mare of darkness: Nightmare Moon." The elder sister reluctantly harnessed the power of the Elements of Harmony and "banished her permanently in the moon," taking responsibility for both sun and moon, maintaining harmony in Equestria.
Following the prologue, Twilight Sparkle reads of a prophecy about the Mare in the Moon that states that "on the longest day of the thousandth year, the stars will aid in her escape, and she will bring about nighttime eternal." Indeed, this prophecy comes to pass, and Nightmare Moon appears before the ponies of Ponyville during the Summer Sun Celebration. At the end of the second episode, Twilight and her new friends confront Nightmare Moon and transform her back into Princess Luna with the Elements of Harmony, and she remorsefully accepts Princess Celestia's offer to rule by her side again.
The show's developer, Lauren Faust, explained in a comment on her DeviantArt page that Luna could not have been "drawn" from Nightmare Moon for a thousand years, and that Princess Celestia "did what she could" to orchestrate breaking the spell that turned Luna into Nightmare Moon. Faust added that this explanation is "as far as [she] ever got with it," and that the explanation might unfold differently on the show.
In the season two episode Luna Eclipsed, Princess Luna appears during Ponyville's annual celebration of Nightmare Night, where ponies dress up in costumes and go door-to-door collecting candy. Luna wishes to join in the festivities, but her extravagant entrance, booming voice, and archaic way of speaking give the wrong impression, scaring nearly everyone she meets. Twilight Sparkle attempts to help, but her methods only alienate Luna from her subjects further and make them more afraid of her.
Luna bans the entire holiday out of offended anger, but she eventually learns from a foal named Pipsqueak that ponies like being scared on Nightmare Night and were merely pretending to be afraid of her all evening. Realizing that her subjects do not really hate her, Luna revokes her ban on Nightmare Night, and she is able to enjoy the festivities in earnest.
A Canterlot Wedding
Luna makes cameo appearances in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1 and Part 2. In Part 1, Luna takes over the night shift from her sister after flying in silhouetted by the moon, and later tells Twilight to remain inside after spotting her running towards the castle. She appears again in the end of Part 2, when she flies in greeting everyone and asking if she missed anything. Luna dances with the other ponies after Pinkie Pie and DJ Pon-3 start the wedding party music which concludes the episode.
The Crystal Empire
Luna makes brief appearances in The Crystal Empire - Part 1 and Part 2. In the first part, she expresses doubt to Celestia over whether Twilight is ready for her task. Celestia shows Twilight a flashback where the two sisters worked together to defeat King Sombra, turning him into a shadow with their magic and imprisoning him in the frozen north. Luna reappears at the end of Part 2. She and Celestia watch as Twilight and her friends return home. Luna then conjures up a spiral-bound book, as Celestia nods, confirming that her student is "much closer to being ready".
Magical Mystery Cure
In the season three finale Magical Mystery Cure, Luna appears near the end of the episode alongside her sister and Princess Cadance, attending the coronation of Twilight Sparkle as a Princess. She can be seen wearing a dress and more ornate, elaborate versions of her crown, shoes, and collar. It is also revealed that the book Luna had produced at the end of The Crystal Empire was the journal of Star Swirl the Bearded, which contained an unfinished spell that Celestia believed Twilight to be capable of completing.
Princess Twilight Sparkle
Luna makes appearances in Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 1 and Part 2. In Part 1, while Princess Celestia speaks to Twilight about the Summer Sun Celebration, Luna is seen on a nearby castle balcony, happily raising the moon. During the episode, she is captured off-screen by black vines growing out of the Everfree Forest. When Twilight drinks a potion given to her by Zecora, she is transported into a castle, where she encounters Luna. Luna proclaims that she will be the only princess in Equestria, and she undergoes a transformation into Nightmare Moon, much to Twilight's horror.
In Part 2, Celestia arrives to the scene, and an aerial fight ensues. Twilight soon realizes that the potion has taken her to the past, and that she is witnessing the banishment of Nightmare Moon. Moments later, Celestia uses the Elements of Harmony to banish Luna to the moon. Twilight drinks the potion again and witnesses Luna and Celestia battling Discord and turning him to stone for the first time. She also sees the two sisters taking the Elements from the Tree of Harmony. Later, Twilight and her friends free her and Celestia in Part 2 by giving up the Elements of Harmony to the Tree of Harmony. At the end of Part 2, Luna takes part in the Summer Sun Celebration, lowering the moon so Celestia could raise the sun.
In Twilight's Kingdom - Part 1, Luna assists Celestia, Cadance and Twilight in welcoming the Duke and Duchess of Maretonia. Shortly after, Luna joins Celestia and Cadance in a song, admitting to Twilight that she understands how she is feeling. Later in the evening, Luna rushes into Celestia's room when she hears her scream from having a nightmare. She informs Celestia that she did not have a dream, but rather a vision. The next morning, she and Celestia tell Twilight the story of Lord Tirek and his brother Scorpan, and how Tirek was imprisoned in Tartarus. Luna mentions that they believe Tirek escaped during the events of It's About Time when Cerberus left his post and attacked Ponyville.
In Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2, she and the other princesses transfer their magic to Twilight; Luna's cutie mark—unlike those of Celestia, Cadance, and the ponies whose magic Tirek steals—does not completely disappear,[note 1] losing only the moon marking and keeping the darker part underneath. Tirek and Discord eventually break into Canterlot Castle and Tirek attempts to steal the three princesses' magic, but soon learns that they have transferred it all to Twilight. Luna, along with Cadance and Celestia, is sent to Tartarus by Tirek as revenge for his original imprisonment. After Tirek is defeated, the three princesses are released and return home to Equestria.
The Cutie Re-Mark - Part 2
In The Cutie Re-Mark - Part 2, due to Starlight Glimmer's alteration of the past, she inadvertently creates a future where Nightmare Moon deposes Princess Celestia, banishes her to the moon, and brings about eternal night. Catching word of Twilight Sparkle's method of time travel used to stop Starlight, Nightmare Moon expresses interest in using this magic to prevent the Elements of Harmony from being found, ensuring her eternal rule. However, Twilight gets away and rewrites the timeline before Nightmare Moon can act upon it. In a second alternate timeline, Luna and her sister fail to defeat Discord and are tormented by him as he rules Equestria.
A Hearth's Warming Tail
In A Hearth's Warming Tail, Luna portrays the Spirit of Hearth's Warming Yet to Come in Twilight's imagining of the story "A Hearth's Warming Tale".
To Where and Back Again
In To Where and Back Again - Part 1, Princess Luna helps comfort Starlight Glimmer when she has a nightmare about her fellow villagers of Our Town. Later, Queen Chrysalis' changelings capture Luna, and she warns Starlight about them. At the end of Part 2, Luna is rescued along with the other captives, and she joins in celebrating the Sunset Festival in Our Town.
A Royal Problem
In A Royal Problem, Starlight Glimmer is sent by the Cutie Map to solve a friendship problem between Celestia and Luna. When the sisters demonstrate a lack of communication and appreciation for one another, Starlight switches their cutie marks and has them trade places for a day. Because of her difficulty dealing with other ponies, Luna accidentally ruins a fundraiser for school foals and causes a timberwolf scare among delegates. With Starlight Glimmer's help, the two sisters gain an appreciation for each other's royal duties and make amends.
In Shadow Play - Part 1, Luna and Celestia are present when Sunburst reads from the Star Swirl the Bearded's lost journal and express interest in what became of their former teacher. In Part 2, they are reunited with Star Swirl after the Pony of Shadows is defeated.
In School Raze - Part 1, Luna takes part in the discussion regarding magic fading from Equestria, commenting on her difficulty in raising the moon. She also cautions Twilight and her friends against the hazards of Tartarus. In Part 2, she appears with Celestia and the royal guards to apprehend Cozy Glow, and later takes her to Tartarus accompanied by a pair of guards.
Best Gift Ever
The Beginning of the End
In the season nine premiere The Beginning of the End - Part 1, Celestia and Luna announce their decision to retire from ruling Equestria and have Twilight and her friends rule in their place. She also appears in a nightmare vision given to Twilight by King Sombra, transforming into Nightmare Moon. In Part 2, Luna, Celestia, and Star Swirl the Bearded keep the Everfree Forest from encroaching on Ponyville after the Elements of Harmony are destroyed. After Sombra is defeated by the Mane Six, Celestia and Luna decide not to retire after realizing the pressure they suddenly put on Twilight's shoulders, and they agree to only let Twilight take over for them when she is ready.
In Sparkle's Seven, Celestia tasks Shining Armor with increasing security to Canterlot Castle, but Luna thinks she and Celestia should be able to protect the castle themselves. As revealed in a flashback at the end of the episode, she is approached by Spike, who notices her dissatisfaction with Shining Armor being brought in to increase security, and agrees to help him get the crown in exchange for his assistance in sabotaging the competition.
Between Dark and Dawn
In Between Dark and Dawn, Luna and Celestia, emboldened by battling the Everfree Forest alongside Star Swirl, step in to help the citizens of Ponyville with several issues, before being convinced by the Mane Six to take a vacation together. During the trip, Luna prefers activities such as theatre, opera, art museums, and general relaxing, clashing with Celestia wanting to indulge in more exciting activities. This ultimately leads to the sisters arguing and going their seperate ways. They eventually reconcile and climb Mount Filly-mane-jaro together, but are forced to return to Canterlot after Twilight has trouble with the amulet they gave her to raise the sun and moon with.
The Summer Sun Setback
In The Summer Sun Setback, Luna and Celestia inform Twilight that the upcoming Summer Sun Celebration will be the last time the event will be held, feeling no need to keep celebrating it after they retire. When the event's preparations are sabotaged by Queen Chrysalis, Lord Tirek, and Cozy Glow, Luna and Celestia help fix the damage caused. They later join Twilight on stage to commence the Celebration, and she observes Twilight with pride as she announces the "Festival of the Two Sisters" to replace it.
The Ending of the End
In The Ending of the End - Part 1, Luna and Celestia make their final preparations for Twilight to take their place as ruler of Equestria. Unfortunately, they are informed by Discord of his masquerade as Grogar and the other villains' imminent attack on Canterlot. When Cozy Glow, now an Alicorn, attacks Canterlot Castle, Luna and Celestia face her, only to have their magic stolen by the Bewitching Bell. Despite this, they help hold off the three villains while Twilight teleports to safety.
In The Ending of the End - Part 2, Luna is among the ponies imprisoned by the three villains in the caverns beneath Canterlot. After Discord and Starlight break them free, she joins Celestia and the Pillars in attacking the villains while the rest of the Mane Six and Spike escape. They are imprisoned yet again, but later freed by the magic of friendship, and transported to join the army of Equestria's allies. After regaining their magic, Luna, Celestia, and Discord turn the defeated villains to stone.
The Last Problem
In The Last Problem, Luna and Celestia oversee Twilight's coronation as ruler of Equestria, merging their crowns into a new one for her. After the coronation is completed-with some mishaps-the sisters announce their intention to move to Silver Shoals, with Luna hoping that Twilight will come and visit them.
As Nightmare Moon
Much like many archetypal, over-the-top villains, Nightmare Moon is overly confident of herself and dramatically declares that the protagonist is a fool (foal) for thinking she can defeat her, and that "the night will last forever." She is portrayed as vicious and maniacal, shown when she attacks Princess Celestia and cackles evilly in Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 2.
The narration at the beginning of Friendship is Magic, part 1 speaks of Luna's bitterness which transformed her. When she first appears, she intimidates the ponies with her evil laugh and pointed questions. She snidely refers to the ponies as her "beloved subjects," but appears genuinely impressed when Twilight Sparkle recognizes her as Nightmare Moon.
Nightmare Moon uses her magic to set obstacles in Twilight and her friends' path to the Elements of Harmony indirectly, making creatures unwittingly assist her. These include the manticore, whose paw she embeds with a thorn so he'd attack the ponies, or Steven Magnet, whose mustache she cuts off so he'd make the river impassible. She further indirectly attacks the ponies by causing a cliff side to collapse underneath the ponies' hooves and making trees look like monsters. As the Shadowbolts, she tries to persuade Rainbow Dash to abandon her friends so they won't be able to cross a fallen bridge and reach the Elements of Harmony.
Despite her indirect approach, when she is attacked by the royal guards, she quickly repels them with lightning, then turns into mist and floats away. She also confronts Twilight Sparkle directly when the two charge at each other, right before shattering the Elements of Harmony.
As Princess Luna
Once transformed back to her former self, Princess Luna is remorseful and tearful upon seeing her older sister. She runs to Celestia's side, apologizing for what she had done. The two sisters later join the celebration in Ponyville, where Luna receives a welcome wreath in wonderment, and gazes up with an anxious smile at her older sister. However, as stated in Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?, Luna's sense of guilt causes her to create the Tantabus in order to give herself nightmares every night as punishment for the suffering she caused as Nightmare Moon.
Princess Luna returned to the show exactly one year after the broadcast date of Friendship is Magic, part 2, in the episode Luna Eclipsed. The episode takes place in Ponyville during Nightmare Night. Despite wanting to win over the citizens of Ponyville, the townspeople are frightened of her booming voice and assertive manner. Twilight Sparkle tells Spike that Luna must be having trouble adjusting after being gone for a thousand years.
When Luna tries to express her happiness with being purged of her dark powers, Twilight tells her that she sounds like she's yelling, and Luna explains that she's using the "traditional Canterlot voice," the royal we, and high volume in order to properly address her subjects. She uses archaic terms like "hath," "thy," "nay," and "thou," as well as other constructs.
Twilight encourages Luna to lower the volume of her voice, but Luna is hesitant. Twilight Sparkle recruits Fluttershy's help in teaching Luna to speak in a softer voice, and later takes her to Ponyville so Applejack can show her how to be likable. For a short while, Luna manages to mingle with the villagers of Ponyville and have fun with them, by playing games where she throws toy spiders or pumpkins onto a target. In Sleepless in Ponyville, she seems to show less of her former decorum, dispensing with the royal we, and speaking in a far less harsh manner.
Princess Luna reverts to her intimidating self after Pinkie Pie accuses her of eating Pipsqueak, while she was actually saving him from drowning in the apple bob. She attempts to endear herself to the villagers by turning toy spiders into real spiders, trying to elicit "fun" by making them crawl on their own to the bulls-eye, but the spiders only frighten everyone. The villagers panic and flee, and after a few seconds of indecision, Luna stops the commotion by shouting "Be still!" in her royal Canterlot voice, to the accompaniment of a crack of thunder. She then decrees in anger that since the ponies dishonor and insult her with the celebration, Nightmare Night is canceled forever.
Thanks to Pinkie Pie's insight, Twilight Sparkle realizes that because of the holiday, Pinkie Pie and her entourage actually want to be frightened, so she arranges for Luna to purposefully scare them. Luna appears as Nightmare Moon, scares the ponies, and bares fangs. After the ponies run away in fright, she changes back to her usual appearance and spits out the false fangs she was wearing, confused as to why Twilight wanted her to do that. Then Pipsqueak approaches Luna on behalf of the children and asks her to come back and scare them again next year, even though she canceled Nightmare Night. Luna begins to understand and reinstates Nightmare Night, at which point Pipsqueak declares her his "favorite princess ever" and hugs her leg.
The princess manages to relinquish the use of her royal Canterlot voice, and in the epilogue she plays a variety of games with the villagers, accepts the foals' candy, and frightens Rainbow Dash by firing a bolt of lightning behind her, a trick that Rainbow Dash had been playing on other ponies over the course of the night.
Kindness and wisdom
In the episode Sleepless in Ponyville, she displays kindness and offers wise advice to Scootaloo when she tells her to face her fears. At the end of the episode she gives Scootaloo a wink and a smile, as she knows that Scootaloo has faced her fears and she also knows that she has Rainbow Dash to help her overcome them.
In For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils, Luna once again appears in a nightmare; this time, in Sweetie Belle's nightmare. She gives advice to Sweetie Belle and tells her that she as well has a sister that often "shines more brightly" than her and that she struggles with it. She then takes Sweetie Belle into the past at her fifth birthday party and shows her that Rarity did not want to take over the party, just simply save it. Later, Luna tells Sweetie to go inside a door of what the future might hold if she does not fix her sabotage of the headpiece Rarity had designed for Sapphire Shores. Later in the episode, Luna appears again in Canterlot in order to help Sweetie Belle undo the damage she did to the headpiece.
In Bloom & Gloom, Luna brings the Cutie Mark Crusaders together into a dream to help dispel their fears about their future cutie marks.
In To Where and Back Again - Part 1, she appears to Starlight Glimmer in her nightmare, emphasizing with Starlight's past regrets, and encouraging her to talk with Twilight about her problems.
Raising the moon
As mentioned above, Luna's chief duty is raising the moon at night when Celestia lowers the sun. Following her banishment to the moon, Luna resumes this responsibility, as shown in Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 1.
In the episode Hearth's Warming Eve, Spike narrates that this magic is not exclusive to Luna and Celestia and that it could be performed by the unicorns of old collectively. In Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2, Luna temporarily transfers her ability to control the moon, along with all of her magic, to Twilight Sparkle.
On multiple occasions, Nightmare Moon turns her entire form into mist. She appears in this manner in Ponyville's pavilion where the Summer Sun Celebration is being held, and she follows the Mane Six on their journey for the Elements this way. While in this form, Nightmare Moon manipulates creatures and environments; she transforms into a thorn to hurt a manticore, prompting it to attack the Mane Six, and she transforms into the Shadowbolts at one point.
In Luna Eclipsed, Luna transforms into her Nightmare Moon form with a set of false fangs to playfully frighten some foals on Nightmare Night. In the same episode, she transforms toy spiders into living spiders.
Nightmare Moon uses lightning to repel the royal guards in Friendship is Magic, part 2 and thickens the mist over the fallen bridge later in the episode to prevent Rainbow Dash from hearing Twilight Sparkle calling out to her.
In Luna Eclipsed, Princess Luna makes clouds swirl above her in the sky when she decrees that Nightmare Night is canceled, and she produces lightning from a cloud to playfully frighten Rainbow Dash.
In Sleepless in Ponyville, Luna appears in Scootaloo's dreams, stating that as the princess of the night, it is "[her] duty to come into [ponies'] dreams," and offers Scootaloo guidance in facing her fears.
In Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?, Princess Luna hunts down the Tantabus, a nightmare creature she created that haunts the Mane Six's dreams. She jumps from dream to dream and also creates a dream that everyone in Ponyville shares.
In To Where and Back Again - Part 1, Luna visits Starlight's nightmare, encouraging her not to let her past define her, and to talk with her friends.
In A Royal Problem, Luna remarks that watching over ponies' dreams takes so much effort that she often ends up exhausted by the morning.
Princess Luna's royal guards look quite different from Princess Celestia's guards. They wear black and purple armor reminiscent of Nightmare Moon's armor. And most significantly, they have purple dragon or bat-like wings instead of the standard feathered Pegasus wings. They are grey-brown and have yellow eyes with pupils in the form of slits. Their ears appear to be furrier than normal. The carriage they pull is aggressive and Gothic, with streamlined shapes evoking bat or dragon-wings as well as arrow-like or spear-like accents. It is built with a low center of gravity, and Luna's royal guards pull it via heavy chains.
Depiction in Equestria Girls
In My Little Pony Equestria Girls, Luna appears at a princess summit in the Crystal Empire. When Sunset Shimmer steals Twilight's crown, Luna explains the purpose of the magic mirror she escaped through. She tells Twilight that she only has three days before she'll be stuck in the alternate world for thirty moons, and that she must get back before the third moon reaches its peak. In this alternate world, Luna's human counterpart is a high school vice principal.
In Forgotten Friendship, Luna has a brief speaking role, where she eloquently states on the direness of the situation in the human world, which Sunset Shimmer briefly snickers at since she is so used to the strictness of Luna's human counterpart.
In Rollercoaster of Friendship, Pinkie Pie briefly considers going to an attraction at the Equestria Land theme park named "Nightmare Moon's Haunted Castle."
Depiction in My Little Pony The Movie
In My Little Pony The Movie, Luna appears with the other princesses at the Friendship Festival when Twilight asks them to use their magic for the festival's main event. When the Storm King's forces invade Canterlot, Luna tries to fly south to get help from the Hippogriffs, but Tempest Shadow turns her, Celestia, and Cadance to obsidian statues. Her magic is later drained by the Storm King's Staff of Sacanas. She is turned back to normal at the end of the film after the Storm King's defeat.
Depiction in My Little Pony: Pony Life
A stained glass window of Princess Luna as Nightmare Moon briefly appears in Magical Mare-story Tour.
Depiction in comics
Princess Luna appeared in one of the standard variant covers of the first issue, despite the fact that she makes no appearance in the story proper.
In the series' second four-part story arc, Nightmare Moon is shown to be a completely separate entity from Princess Luna. It is revealed that Nightmare Moon is a creature of darkness born on the moon whose very presence corrupts the denizens of the moon. Through her power over nightmares, Nightmare Moon was able to feed off Luna's insecurities of living in her sister's shadow, thus allowing her to take over Luna's mind, which ultimately lead to her being banished to the moon for a thousand years. Although the Elements of Harmony were able to restore Luna back to her original form, Nightmare Moon herself continued to live on. Eventually, she hatched a plot to take on physical form by using one of the Element bearers, thus making the other five Elements of Harmony useless.
Just as she did with Luna, she begins invading the Element bearers' dreams until she is able to find a suitable candidate in Rarity, whom she abducts and takes to the moon. Princess Luna joins the other five Element bearers and Spike on a mission to retrieve Rarity before Nightmare Moon takes her over completely. However, Nightmare Moon's return seems to have weakened Luna as she is once again reverted to her "depowered" form (as seen at the end of Friendship is Magic, part 2). Upon arriving to the moon, they find that they are too late. Nightmare Moon has already taken over Rarity, and Luna is powerless to stop her in her weakened state. She is forced to retreat back to Equestria, leaving Spike and the remaining Element bearers behind. Back in Equestria, Luna helps Celestia and the residents of Ponyville defend themselves against the invasion Nightmare Moon and her minions.
Initially, Luna's magic proves to be just as ineffective as before, but through the love and support shown from her subjects she is able to regain her proper form and, with the help of the power of the other Element bearers' friendship, is able to best Nightmare Moon, save Rarity, and restore the denizens of the moon back to their original forms.
Princess Luna appears on page 7 of My Little Pony Micro-Series Issue #3 in Rarity's dream along with part of Hush Now Lullaby. She appears again in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #9, participating in several Summer Wrap-Up Festival games with (an unwilling) Big McIntosh. In My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #10, towards the end of the festival, she is shown kissing Big Mac on the cheek as they ride the Ferris wheel. In The Fall of Sunset Shimmer, a book titled Secrets of Nightmare Moon appears on page 5, and a portrait of Nightmare Moon appears on page 6. Of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #12, Luna appears in PTV and is featured on a comic book in 1 million cover A.
In Reflections, Luna learns that Celestia has long been visiting another Equestria where she has befriended Luna's counterpart. The alternate Luna demonstrated Luna's good nature as Luna herself declined, and remained good during the time in which Luna was Nightmare Moon. Upon Luna's being redeemed, the alternate Luna became evil herself and joined the alternate Celestia in terrorizing their world. The alternate Luna is later returned to her former self after the alternate King Sombra uses the Elements of Harmony on her and Celestia. The evil version of this Luna appears in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #68 and on Issue #100 cover RE.
In My Little Pony Micro-Series Issue #10, Luna thinks Celestia's job is much easier and takes over Celestia's work for a day. Luna realizes that her sister does do a lot of work and decides to go back to working solely during the night. Part of her nightly duties appears to be hunting and defeating monstrous beasts. In the issue, Luna also gets a pet opossum, which she names Tiberius. My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic Issue #4 "explores the secret origins of" Nightmare Moon, where she takes over the Nyx in order to plague the dreams of Equestria's ponies.
In Siege of the Crystal Empire, Luna and Celestia travel to the Crystal Empire and engage the revived King Sombra and Queen Chrysalis in battle. Unfortunately, Sombra's childhood friend Radiant Hope intervenes, allowing Sombra to turn Luna and Celestia to stone. By the end of the story, they are returned to normal, and they use their magic to turn Sombra into a normal unicorn. In Ponies of Dark Water, Luna helps Spike, Zecora, and the Cutie Mark Crusaders save Ponyville after the Mane Six are exposed to a hot spring's dark magic. However, she becomes Nightmare Moon once again after she, too, is exposed to the spring water. She is eventually turned back to normal when Rainbow Dash rains the cure for the spring water over Ponyville.
In Cosmos, Luna is seen in flashback with various other rulers and Discord banishing Cosmos to the Andalusian constellation. She, Celestia, and Twilight are later possessed by Cosmos using three of the Andalusian stars.
In My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #98, Luna surprises Celestia with a painting of themselves as fillies, and it reminds Celestia of when she and Luna lost treasured dolls to a kraken while at sea. At Luna's urging, she and Celestia set out to recover the dolls from the sea floor. They encounter the kraken again, and it saves them from a whirlpool, which Luna realizes it had done during their first encounter and has done for many others. In the end, the kraken returns Celestia and Luna's dolls.
Luna is briefly mentioned (along with Celestia) in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #101. She also appears alongside Celestia on a billboard in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #102.
In My Little Pony: Legends of Magic Issue #1, Luna appears in flashback, where she was often subject to Celestia's ridicule when they were younger because she couldn't learn magic as quickly as Celestia. In an incident in which Luna opens a portal to another world, Luna encounters a race of evil creatures that offer to help her embrace the darkness and become powerful enough to destroy Celestia. Luna resists the creatures' temptations, however, and she reconciles with Celestia over their previous differences. In My Little Pony: Legends of Magic Issue #2, Sunburst reads to her an untold story about Rockhoof. In the Legends of Magic Annual 2018 comic (set during her youth), she and Celestia are captured by the minions of an alternate universe's Pony of Shadows, who seeks to corrupt them into becoming Nightmare Moon and Daybreaker. They are saved by Star Swirl and the other Pillars.
In My Little Pony: Friends Forever Issue #38, Luna tries to participate with Celestia in the Sisterhooves Social. However, a rush to finish their royal duties, lack of sleep, and the influence of magically enchanted berries contribute to them becoming very competitive and testy with each other. With help from Rarity and Sweetie Belle, the two sisters resolve their differences.
Luna appears in My Little Pony: Nightmare Knights as the leader of a team of former villains. During their mission, Luna encounters a version of Celestia who became Daybreaker. Despite her best efforts, Luna is unable to convince Daybreaker to change her ways, leaving her regretful of her failure.
A promotional image depicting Princess Luna and Apple Bloom—both depicted using fanart—with cutie marks all around them was posted by the official European Spanish My Little Pony Facebook page on March 20, 2015, captioned, "Hoy se celebra el #DíaDelSueño y el #DíaDeLaFelicidad. Se lo podríamos dedicar a la Princesa Luna por darnos a todos sueños felices, ¿verdad?" A promotional image posted by the same Facebook page on the 28th of the same month of the same year uses different fanart of Princess Luna.
Mobile game descriptions
Formerly Nightmare Moon, Princess Luna is the younger sister of Princess Celestia. Ruling over the moon and the stars, Luna helps Celestia oversee Equestria.
Is this Luna dressed as her previous guise? ... Or does Nightmare Moon's evil still blot out the skies?
She and the moon have even more in common: They both change every day!
Dark Changeling Luna:
Or should that be 'Night-Changeling Moon'?...No, actually, it shouldn't.
Princess Luna raises the moon at night and rules Equestria with her big sister, Princess Celestia, who's also an Alicorn. Luna was banished as Night Mare Moon for a thousand years, but with help from Twilight Sparkle and friends, she's back. Her formal speech may still frighten ponies, but she's beloved by everypony and celebrated on Night Mare Night [sic]. On occasion, she appears in ponies' dreams.
The Elements of Harmony guidebook
Princess Celestia's younger sister, PRINCESS LUNA, has a history of difficulty living in her older sister's shadow. So difficult, in fact, her jealousy turned her into the villain Nightmare Moon! Fortunately, Luna was reformed and her heart softened by the ancient and powerful Elements of Harmony. Luna and Celestia have forgiven each other and are loving sisters once again, but Luna has trouble adjusting to modern Equestrian life after her thousand-year-long banishment in the moon. Still speaking with ancient formality and finding it hard to move beyond her once fearsome image, she may struggle, but her intentions are pure and she is certain to find the happiness she seeks one day soon.
NIGHTMARE MOON is the malevolent alter ego of Princess Luna. In the dark form of Nightmare Moon, Luna is consumed with spite and enjoys manipulating unwilling ponies to do her bidding. Imprisoned in the moon, Nightmare Moon became even more dangerous when she escaped.
Volume II guidebook
As the Equestrian sun lowers, the shining moon rises courtesy of PRINCESS LUNA, Princess Celestia's younger sister. The royal siblings have faced numerous hardships throughout history, with their bond growing stronger over time. Luna faced her greatest challenge during her transformation into the devious Nightmare Moon. With the help of Twilight Sparkle and the Elements of Harmony, Princess Luna was restored to her former self and hopes to stay that way. Luna prefers order and restraint, though her temper has been known to flare. She's grateful that her sister and friends help guide her toward the light when the darkness comes calling.
The Journal of the Two Sisters
In The Journal of the Two Sisters, Luna at first writes her journal entry in the royal Canterlot voice, but then decides against it. She reveals that she and Celestia used to speak that way when they were younger and pretended they were princesses. It is also revealed that even when they got their crowns, the sisters were still blank flanks, due to Alicorns aging differently from other ponies. When Luna speaks to a Manticore named Melvin, it is revealed that she is able to understand the language of certain animals, like Fluttershy does.
Luna befriends cragadiles, bats, and owls, who help with the construction of the Castle of the Two Sisters, and the zebras, whose rhyming way of talking plays into her and Celestia negotiating a new peace treaty with Gregor and the griffons. Luna also becomes very good friends with Princess Platinum after she apologizes and even promises to teach her how to do the royal Canterlot voice.
Luna bears witness to one of the few times Celestia is pushed to the point of using her own royal Canterlot voice to subdue a creature that has severely disrespected and angered her when retrieving the Crystal Heart for unicorn Princess Amore, then-ruler of the Crystal Empire. When a dragon claims the Crystal Heart as his property since it was mined from his keep, Celestia lashes out in righteous fury at him, scaring him into returning the Heart and flee to his keep, never to be heard from again.
When Star Swirl the Bearded reveals his unicorn magic has been exhausted attempting to lower the moon alone without the assistance of several other full-grown unicorns, he asks Luna and Celestia to do it as their Alicorn magic is more powerful, and doing so could actually revitalize them. The princesses lower the moon and raise the sun flawlessly, and they earn their cutie marks at long last. They are also able to restore Star Swirl's magic and that of the other unicorns.
Princess Luna appears in the Friendship is Magic storybook adaptation of the episodes Friendship is Magic, part 1 and Friendship is Magic, part 2, which is included in the Friendship is Magic Gift Set and Pony Friends Forever Pony Scooter Friends Daisy Dreams & Rarity bundles. Here, she is called by her early names "Princess Selena" and "Night Mare," and she does not physically appear in the Castle of the Two Sisters.
Princess Luna serves as the main focus of the chapter book Princess Luna and the Festival of the Winter Moon, and she appears in Princess Celestia and the Summer of Royal Waves, Discord and the Ponyville Players Dramarama, and Ponyville Mysteries: Peryton Panic.
Princess Luna appears in episode 5 of Fundamentals of Magic, "When Magic Goes Wrong".
My Little Pony Essential Handbook
Princess Luna rules over the nights in Equestria. She brings out the moon and watches over everypony, protecting the kingdom. Luna spends the night times helping ponies to have happy dreams.
- See also: Character appearances
|Y||At least one appearance where the character is the focus of a shot|
|S||At least one appearance where the character is the focus of a shot, without spoken dialogue or narration|
|B||Background appearance or an appearance where the character is not the focus|
|F||At least one appearance where the character is only in a flashback or fantasy-setting|
|P||No physical appearance, but appears in a photo, drawing, or figure|
|M||No appearance, but a mention by name or title|
|N||No appearance and no mention by name or title|
The following were part of the Target Canterlot toyline:
- Fashion Style Princess Luna was bundled with Celestia.
- A Playful Ponies sized Luna was bundled with a molded Celestia.
- A Shine Bright light-up Luna was bundled with the Canterlot Castle set.
Other merchandise include:
- A Nightmare Moon figure which was released in the Toys 'R' Us exclusive Friendship Is Magic Favorite Collection, in Fall 2012.
- Princess Luna being part of the Wave 5 mystery pack toys.
- A newer Playful Ponies Princess Luna being released along with Rarity and accessories and it featured a newer model as a part of the Crystal Empire toyline.
- A large talking Nightmare Moon was shown at the Toy Fair 2013.
- A Design-A-Pony Princess Luna figure.
- A Build-A-Bear Princess Luna plush with coronation outfit was released on March 20, 2015.
- "Remember this day, little ponies, for it was your last. From this moment forth, the night will last forever!"
- — Friendship is Magic, part 1 (as Nightmare Moon)
- "You're kidding. You're kidding, right?"
- — Friendship is Magic, part 2 (as Nightmare Moon)
- "I'm so sorry! I missed you so much, big sister!"
- — Friendship is Magic, part 2
- "Citizens of Ponyville! We have graced your tiny village with our presence so that you might behold the real princess of the night! A creature of nightmares no longer, but instead a pony who desires your love and admiration! Together we shall change this dreadful celebration into a bright and glorious feast!"
- — Luna Eclipsed
- "[booming voice] Change our approach?"
- — Luna Eclipsed
- "Fun? What is this 'fun' thou speakest of? Pray tell, what purpose do these serve?"
- — Luna Eclipsed
- "Ha ha! The fun has been doubled!"
- — Luna Eclipsed
- "'Tis a lie! Thy backside is whole and ungobbled, thou ungrateful whelp!"
- — Luna Eclipsed
- "Huzzah! How many points do I receive?"
- — Luna Eclipsed
- "Citizens of Ponyville, you have been wise to bring this candy to me! I am pleased with your offering! So pleased, I may eat it instead of eating you!"
- — Pretending to be Nightmare Moon, from Luna Eclipsed
- "Child. Art thou saying that thou... likest me to scare you?"
- — Luna Eclipsed
- "OH, MOST WONDERFUL OF...! I mean... Oh, most wonderful of nights."
- — Luna Eclipsed
- "Rest, my sister. As always, I will guard the night."
- — A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1
- "Who goes there? Stay indoors, Twilight Sparkle."
- — A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1
- "Hello, everypony! Did I miss anything?"
- — A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2
- "A warm welcome to you, Scootaloo."
- — Sleepless in Ponyville
- "I am the princess of the night, thus it is my duty to come into your dreams."
- — Sleepless in Ponyville
- "FACE YOUR FEARS!!!"
- — Sleepless in Ponyville
- "It is time to face your real fears, Scootaloo."
- — Sleepless in Ponyville
- "Not another step!"
- — Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 1
- "There can only be one princess in Equestria! And that princess... will be me!"
- — Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 1
- "Luna? I am Nightmare Moon! I have but one royal duty now... To destroy YOU!"
- — Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 2 (as Nightmare Moon)
- "Six locks... Six keys..."
- — Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 2
- "I understand what you're going through, Sweetie Belle. I, too, have a sister who often shines more brightly than me, and with this I have struggled."
- — For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils
- "Sometimes we can worry about a thing so much, the fear can make us feel we're trapped in a nightmare."
- — Bloom & Gloom
- "You have all suffered so much because of me."
- — Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?
- "My sister has been imprisoned in the moon for years! But it is no less a fate than she'd sentence me to!"
- — The Cutie Re-Mark - Part 2 (as Nightmare Moon)
- "I see much of myself in you, Starlight Glimmer, and I can tell you from personal experience that things do indeed get better."
- — To Where and Back Again - Part 1
- "You can't get rid of me so easily, sister! Unless you plan on smiling me to smithereens!"
- — A Royal Problem (as Nightmare Moon)
- "You know, being with your sister all the time is hard, but being without her? It's even harder."
- — To Princess Celestia, Between Dark and Dawn
- "We always knew that whatever adversity you faced, you and your friends would find your way through it together."
- — To Twilight Sparkle, The Last Problem
- "This "faculty lot" you speak of sounds like a place of great power."
- — Equestria Girls: Forgotten Friendship
- "So, to be funny I have to torment those who oppose me and laugh in their faces?"
- — Friends Forever Issue #7 page 12
- "Soy la princesa Luna, y gobierno Equestria junto con mi hermana mayor Celestia, ahora que he vencido a mi lado malo, Luna de Pesadilla, ¡qué mal lo hemos pasado! Estuve 1000 años en la luna, pero ahora he regresado y me encargo de hacer anochecer. Me encanta hacer que los sueños de todos los ponis sean preciosos."
- — Promotional image
- Vice Principal Luna
- Princess Luna on the Collectible Card Game Wiki
- Princess Luna on the Fan Wiki
- Princess Luna on the My Little Pony Gameloft Wiki
- Nightmare Moon on the My Little Pony Gameloft Wiki
- This article's speculation page.
- Cutie mark listed as "Night Sky with Moon and Stars" in Mini Pony Collector's Guide page 90; background also indicated as part of cutie mark on her mystery pack collector card, in trading card series 2 & 3, in Discovery Family (previously the Hub Network)'s online game Equestrivia Challenge, in Friendship is Magic Issue #12 1 million cover A, and in S7E10.
- Background indicated as part of cutie mark in trading card series 1 & 3.
- Nightmare Moon is the name of the form initially taken by the bitter Princess Luna when transformed by the Nightmare Forces, as explained in the episode Friendship is Magic, part 1 and the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #5 story and shown in the episode Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 1. After this curse is broken by the Elements of Harmony, Luna can still magically take the form of Nightmare Moon, as implied in Luna Eclipsed and described on the packaging of the Midnight in Canterlot Pony Collection. Additionally, untransformed Luna is occasionally referred to as Nightmare Moon by other characters.
- Pre-order: The Haunting of Equestria. River Horse. Retrieved on 2018 November 1.
- Announcing 'The Haunting of Equestria',.... Facebook (2018-10-31). Retrieved on 2018 November 1.
- @MaggieVera_ quien hará la vos de la princesa LUNA ????? (2014-03-31). Retrieved on 2014 March 31.
- Toy packaging featuring the "Nightmare Moon" spelling. Archived from the original on 2013-05-11. Retrieved on 2012 June 22.
- Lauren Faust discussing the age of Princess Luna on DeviantArt. Archived locally.
- Lauren Faust (2010-10-24). Comment on my little pony premeire--watch it now! by fyre-flye. DeviantArt. Retrieved on 2015 January 28.
- Lauren Faust via Twitter (2013-03-15). Retrieved on 2013 March 15.
- Lauren Faust on Princess Luna's new look. Archived locally.
- Lauren Faust about Rarity being cut from the episode. Retrieved on 2011 October 22.
- Layout artist discussing pink Luna's cut scene (2011-11-03). Retrieved on 2011 November 9. Archived locally.
- Lauren Faust explaining Nightmare Moon's thousand-year banishment (2011-11-16). Retrieved on 2011 November 17.
- Princess Luna (Season 2). DeviantArt (2012-08-18). Retrieved on 2015 March 23.
- Apple Bloom Just Wants a Hug. DeviantArt (2012-08-19). Retrieved on 2015 March 23.
- My Little Pony - Timeline Photos. Facebook (2015-03-20). Retrieved on 2015 March 23.
- Princess Luna. DeviantArt (2012-03-26). Archived from the original on 2012-11-19. Retrieved on 2015 March 31.
- My Little Pony - Timeline Photos. Facebook (2015-03-28). Retrieved on 2015 March 31.
- Friendship is Magic storybook scans. Archived from the original on 2016-03-14. Retrieved on 2015 January 28.
- My Little Pony Facebook page: "Here’s your first look at some magical new pony friends".
- My Little Pony Design-A-Pony Princess Luna Figure. Archived from the original on 2013-06-17.
- My Little Pony (2015-01-20). Timeline Photos. Facebook. Retrieved on 2015 January 24.