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Sunset Shimmer is a female unicorn pony, a former student of Princess Celestia, and the main villain of My Little Pony Equestria Girls. She also appears in the IDW comics and as a hero in My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks. She is Flash Sentry's ex-girlfriend at Canterlot High School.

Development and Design

Sunset Shimmer resembles the G3 Earth pony Sunshimmer in pony design and name.

An image of human Sunset Shimmer that appears on the back of the Equestria Girls Sunset Shimmer & Twilight Sparkle doll release's packaging was posted online in mid-March 2013.

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On March 19, 2013, Meghan McCarthy was asked "Is Sunset Shimmer going to be a Season 4 storyline? The fact that her backstory seems like a show plot" and responded "Nope." On April 1, 2013, McCarthy wrote as part of an April Fools' Day joke that My Little Pony Friendship is Magic season four episode five would be titled "The Student Becomes the Teacher: The Return of Sunset Shimmer".

Depiction in Films

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Sinister-looking Sunset Shimmer.

My Little Pony Equestria Girls

Sunset Shimmer first appears as the main antagonist in My Little Pony Equestria Girls. She steals Twilight Sparkle's element of magic crown and during a tussle with Twilight, the crown is thrown into the Crystal Mirror that acts as a portal to another world. She then follows the crown shortly after.

Princess Celestia reveals that Sunset was a former student of hers who began her studies not long before Twilight did. However, when she didn't get what she desired as quickly as she wanted, she turned cruel and dishonest, eventually abandoning her studies to pursue her own path. In this other world, Sunset has been living as a human and student of Canterlot High School for some time. She discovers that Fluttershy found the crown and turned it over to Principal Celestia, much to Sunset's annoyance.

After hearing that Twilight will be competing against her for the title of Princess of the Fall Formal, Sunset employs various ways to hinder and humiliate Twilight, such as having Snips and Snails record embarrassing videos of her struggling to get used to the human world and releasing the videos online, and doctoring photos to frame Twilight for ruining the dance decorations. But Twilight's friends help to counter these ploys by improving Twilight's reputation and Flash Sentry, Sunset Shimmer's ex-boyfriend, helps prove Twilight's innocence.

At the Fall Formal, when Twilight is named princess and given the crown, Sunset has Snips and Snails kidnap Spike and threatens to destroy the portal to Equestria unless Twilight gives her the crown. Twilight refuses to give the crown up, stating that her being stuck in the human world would be worth stopping Sunset. As Twilight's friends commend her bravery and sacrifice, Sunset snaps and attacks her. Despite Twilight and her friends' efforts, Sunset succeeds in getting the crown and puts it on, and a dark aura transforms her into a demonic creature. With her newfound powers, Sunset transforms Snips and Snails into similar-looking minions and brainwashes the other students at the school. She reveals that she never intended to destroy the portal and plans to invade and conquer Equestria with her army of teenagers.

Twilight is able to evoke the powers of the Elements of Harmony when her friends move to protect her from Sunset Shimmer's attack. Temporarily given pony-like characteristics, they use the magic of friendship to defeat Sunset Shimmer and return Snips, Snails, and the rest of the students to normal.

As everyone recovers, a beaten and repentant Sunset is reduced to tears and apologizes to everyone she's hurt. She admits to not knowing anything about friendship, to which Twilight says her friends can teach her. Sunset, Snips, and Snails are later tasked by Vice Principal Luna with rebuilding the part of school they had destroyed during their attack.

My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks

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Sunset Shimmer listening to the Rainbooms rehearsing Better Than Ever.

Sunset Shimmer re-appears in My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks, reformed from her villainous ways in the first film. With the exception of the Rainbooms, the rest of Canterlot High bears resentment toward her and she even resents herself for the actions she'd taken as what she refers to as a "raging she-demon". She even admits to herself and her friends that she only dated Flash Sentry to make herself more popular.

When Sunset gives the Dazzlings a tour of the school, she gets a bad vibe from them when Adagio Dazzle gets defensive about her pendant. Her suspicions are later confirmed when the Dazzlings mesmerize the students and faculty with their singing. Using a magical book with her cutie mark on the cover, Sunset sends an SOS to Twilight Sparkle in Equestria. During Twilight's role as the Rainbooms' lead singer, Sunset acts in a supportive role and keeps an eye on the competition, especially the Dazzlings during the Battle of the Bands. At one point, Sunset confronts the Dazzlings, who try to manipulate her insecurities by pointing out that the Rainbooms were reluctant to allow Sunset into the band.

When the Rainbooms lash out at each other during the final round of the Battle of the Bands, Sunset realizes what the Dazzlings' true intentions are and is able to stop the arguing. She even accepts partial blame due to her lack of knowledge on friendship.

When the Dazzlings overpower the Rainbooms during the film's climax, Sunset Shimmer steps up and sings on the band's behalf. Her help not only gives the Rainbooms the strength they need to defeat the Dazzlings, but she also undergoes a half-pony transformation like her friends. Afterward, Sunset joins the band as a singer and guitarist, and she uses her old journal that she communicated with Princess Celestia through to write her friendship reports to Princess Twilight Sparkle.

During the credits, Sunset is seen having now been accepted by the rest of the school. The Cutie Mark Crusaders walk happily with her after Apple Bloom catches her journal when it falls out of her backpack, and Bulk Biceps helps her get Angel down from a hard-to-reach perch.

Sunset Shimmer is featured in the songs Welcome to the Show and Shine Like Rainbows in the film.

Personality

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Demon Sunset Shimmer attempting to dispose of Twilight.

Throughout the first film, Sunset Shimmer is shown to be egotistical, cruel, condescending, manipulative, and dishonest. She frequently insults and belittles others, and thinks little of it. According to human Fluttershy, Sunset makes life miserable for "anyone who stands in her way". As a result, most of the Canterlot High School student body is afraid of her. She is also shown to be mainly concerned with gaining power, desperately trying various attempts to get Twilight Sparkle's crown in order to use its magic.

However, she does not appear to be willing enough to inflict physical pain on others, or at least not upon small animals (i.e. Spike), claiming that she's "not a monster". Despite this, she appears to be easily irritated when anyone else is praised in her presence, to the point of being provoked into attacking them.

When Sunset puts on the element of magic, she transforms into a demonic visage of herself. While in this form, she becomes more fierce and goes so far as attempting to dispose of Twilight. After she is defeated by the Elements of Harmony, Sunset Shimmer becomes immediately repentant and apologizes for her actions, appearing to renounce her prior dishonest and unkind ways. 

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Sunset attempting to help out.

In the second film, Sunset Shimmer appears to have completely changed from her old self and started believing in friendship, becoming friends with her former enemies, even Twilight Sparkle, and friendly toward others. She also appears deeply repentant for her actions made at the end of the first film, referring to her transformed self as a "raging she-demon". However, she suffers from a lack of confidence, keeping silent in situations she feels it isn't her place to speak up and falling prey to the Dazzlings' taunting. During the final battle, she finally overcomes her insecurities and joins the Rainbooms in defeating the Dazzlings, gaining a half-pony form in the process. By the end of Rainbow Rocks, Sunset starts writing friendship reports to Princess Twilight using the book she once used to communicate with Princess Celestia.

In the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Holiday Special comic, Sunset Shimmer displays a forgiving and compassionate side when she forgives the Cutie Mark Crusaders for framing her as the rumormonger "Anon-a-Miss".

Quotes

"Sorry it had to be this way... princess!"
— To Twilight Sparkle, My Little Pony Equestria Girls
"You really are pathetic. It's no wonder your best friends are all stray animals."
— To Fluttershy, My Little Pony Equestria Girls
"You must be new here. I can speak to anyone any way I want."
— To Twilight Sparkle, My Little Pony Equestria Girls
"This looks terrible! There should be more streamers near the stage and fewer balloons."
— To Pinkie Pie, My Little Pony Equestria Girls
"You country folk really aren't that bright. Must be why the other students say such awful things about you."
— To Applejack, My Little Pony Equestria Girls
"Where is this Twilight Sparkle?"
— My Little Pony Equestria Girls
"Twilight Sparkle wants to be your Fall Formal Princess. What does it say about our school if we give someone like this... such an important honor?"
— Voiceover in an anti-Twilight Sparkle video, My Little Pony Equestria Girls
"Take those off! I have something I need you to do."
— To Snips and Snails, My Little Pony Equestria Girls
"Spoiler alert: I was bluffing when I said I was going to destroy the portal. I don't want to rule this pathetic little high school; I want Equestria! And with my own little teenage army behind me, I am going to get it!"
— My Little Pony Equestria Girls
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I didn't know there was another way."
— My Little Pony Equestria Girls
"But... but all I've ever done since being here is drive everyone apart. I don't know the first thing about friendship."
— To Twilight Sparkle, My Little Pony Equestria Girls
"A demon. I turned into a raging she-demon."
— Referring to her transformation, My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
"Must be nice to have everyone always looking to you for answers to their problems... instead of waiting for you to cause a problem."
— To Twilight Sparkle, My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
"I've changed! I'm in a much better place now!"
— To the Dazzlings, My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
"It wasn't a fit of jealous rage!"
— To Trixie, My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
"Ever since you started this band, you've been letting little things get to you. I never said anything 'cause I didn't feel like it was my place. Not when I'm so new to this whole "friendship" thing. I still have a lot to learn. But I do know that if you don't work out even the smallest problems right at the start, the magic of friendship can be turned into something else."
— To the Rainbooms, My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
"I don't think anyone is supposed to have all the answers. But you can count on your friends to help you find them."
— To Twilight Sparkle, My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
"I also play guitar."
— My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
"Dear Princess Twilight,

Missing you already, and I hope you'll be back soon. Things are definitely looking up for me here at Canterlot High. But I know I still have a lot to learn about friendship. Hope you don't mind if I write to you for advice when I need it.
Your friend, Sunset Shimmer."

— Writing a friendship report to Twilight Sparkle, My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
"Hmpf. I have better things to do than socialize. I'm going to re-read 'Advanced Elemental Magical Practices' and then practice for my advanced summoning spells exam. What are youstudying for? Nothing, that's what."
— The Fall of Sunset Shimmer
"I deserve to stand beside you and be your equal... if not your better. Make me a princess."
— To Princess Celestia, The Fall of Sunset Shimmer
"Well, well, this is an interesting development."
— Upon arriving in the human world, The Fall of Sunset Shimmer
"Believe me... I've got everything I need to know about you."
— Equestria Girls comic
"Twilight Sparkle thinks she can win Fall Formal Princess over me? HA! I'm going to rule this school once I get that crown!"
— Thought, Sunset Shimmer and Twilight Sparkle doll packaging

Credit

  • My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Wiki

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