|Residence||Crystal Empire (formerly)|
|Eyes||Moderate arctic blue|
|Mane||Pale, light grayish arctic blue|
|Magic aura||Brilliant cornflower blue|
Radiant Hope is a female Crystal unicorn pony and supporting character who appears in the IDW comics' My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic Issue #1 and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic story arc Siege of the Crystal Empire. She is a childhood friend of King Sombra's.
Development and design
On Twitter in mid-December 2015, IDW comics writer Jeremy Whitley was asked, "Was Radiant Hope intended to be a 'strong female' character, or a 'progressive' character, or a 'flawed' character? Thoughts?", and replied, "Radiant Hope is flawed. The way she sees it, she turned away from her only friend in his time of most need." "and then she lost him and her home, both of which she blamed herself for. She would do whatever it took to correct that." "she's like Twilight, in that friendship is the most important thing." "But Twilight's friends are 100% good and her friend had a tendency toward evil. A problem Twilight never faces."
Depiction in the comics
Radiant Hope first appears in My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic Issue #1 as an orphan filly at Chestnut Falls' Crystal Heart Foal Center. She befriends a young Sombra due to their mutual ostracism by other foals. When Hope tells Sombra about the Crystal Faire and the Crystal Heart, they visit the Heart and see future visions of themselves in its surface, with Hope seeing herself as a beautiful princess.
Despite her excitement every year for the Faire, Hope stays by Sombra's bedside when he falls ill. One year, she uses her magic to heal Sombra when his body starts to break apart, and she gains her cutie mark. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna recognize Hope's magical talents and invite her to study with them in Canterlot. However, she is forced to witness Sombra's descent into darkness, Princess Amore's apparent destruction, and the disappearance of the Crystal Empire.
Radiant Hope appears again in the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #34-37 story arc Siege of the Crystal Empire. As told via narration in Issue #35, she left to study magic with Celestia and Luna after the events of FIENDship is Magic Issue #1. Unable to concentrate on her studies, she returned to the Arctic Wastes and entered the world of Sombra's people: the umbrum. Here, Hope would spend the next one thousand years never aging and getting to know the umbrum personally.
In Friendship is Magic Issue #34, Hope returns to Equestria and brings Flim and Flam, Iron Will, Lightning Dust, and the changelings together to invade the Crystal Empire. As they distract Twilight Sparkle and her friends, Hope uses her healing magic to restore Sombra's body. As a result, Sombra is able to turn Celestia and Luna to stone in Issue #35.
In Issue #36, after Sombra distances himself from her, Hope is confronted by Princess Cadance. In an effort to convince Cadance of the nobility of her quest, Hope takes her to see the umbrum. However, Cadance's magic reveals the umbrum's true monstrous nature, and they barely escape. Hope tries to convince Sombra not to unleash them upon Equestria, but due to Twilight and her friends' intervention, she gets injured shielding Sombra from Twilight's magic.
In Issue #37, after the umbrum are released from their prison and Sombra assumes the throne, Hope is declared "Empress" of the Crystal Empire. As a result of everything that happened, she has become detached and unemotional. Though she now sees Sombra as a monster, she accepts her "destiny" of being with him against her will.
After an uprising by Twilight's friends is quelled, Hope suggests destroying the Crystal Heart so the umbrum can remain free. Sombra, remembering Hope's earlier words about destiny, places the Heart back on its pedestal, causing the umbrum to be imprisoned again. Sombra starts to fade away, but Hope uses her magic to maintain his form, and she and the princesses transform him into a real unicorn.
Having been given a second chance, Sombra sets out to find the fragments of Princess Amore scattered across Equestria and restore her, and Radiant Hope accompanies him.
Radiant Hope is a character in Gameloft's mobile game. Her bio states, "Sombra's best friend, in good times and in bad... and the only pony who kept on believing in him."
Radiant Hope is depicted, both as a filly and a grown mare, as being very optimistic and having a childlike innocence. As a filly, she has an active imagination and often communicates with creatures that no one else can see. With this imagination, she and young Sombra make up their own games—for which Hope would sometimes make up rules on the fly.
Much of Hope's innocence carries over into young adulthood, as she places a lot of trust in known villains such as Queen Chrysalis. The umbrum take advantage of Hope's innocence and naivete to orchestrate their release from imprisonment.
As a grown mare, Hope is considerably more independent. Despite the vision she saw of herself as a princess, she does not believe in "destiny", having abandoned said destiny in order to save Sombra. After she discovers the umbrum's treachery, Hope briefly becomes very withdrawn, possibly as a result of being subjected to their manipulation for a thousand years' time.
- "Don't let them bother you. They said I was weird too. If you want, you can be weird with me and we'll be weird together. Would that be okay?"
- — To Sombra, My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic Issue #1
- "Oh, Sombra, I wish you could see it. It's so beautiful."
- — My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic Issue #1
- "They were right about you all along! You are a monster!"
- — To Sombra, My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic Issue #1
- "What if I offered you a chance to get rid of that pesky Applejack for good? What if I told you I had the power to make you wealthy beyond your imagination?"
- — To Flim and Flam, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #34
- "I'm the pony who's going to give you the chance to prove you're better than Rainbow Dash once and for all."
- — To Lightning Dust, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #34
- "But I—everything I've done is for you."
- — To Sombra, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #36
- "You look a lot like Princess Amore. You're related to her, aren't you?"
- — To Princess Cadance, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #36
- "He's not! Sombra is good inside! I know he is!"
- — To Rabia, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #36
- "I was a fool. You told me yourself that you were a monster. I should have listened. But I had... hope. Foolish foolish hope."
- — To Sombra, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #37
- "No more talk about destiny, Sombra. I've never believed in it. You're the only thing I've ever believed in."
- — My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #37
- Jeremy Whitley (2015-12-18). Jeremy Whitley on Twitter: "@VincentProvost3 Radiant Hope is flawed. The way she sees it, she turned away from her only friend in his time of most need.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 December 25.
- Jeremy Whitley (2015-12-18). Jeremy Whitley on Twitter: "@VincentProvost3 and then she lost him and her home, both of which she blamed herself for. She would do whatever it took to correct that.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 December 25.
- Jeremy Whitley (2015-12-18). Jeremy Whitley on Twitter: "@VincentProvost3 she's like Twilight, in that friendship is the most important thing.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 December 25.
- Jeremy Whitley (2015-12-18). Jeremy Whitley on Twitter: "@VincentProvost3 But Twilight's friends are 100% good and her friend had a tendency toward evil. A problem Twilight never faces.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 December 25.