Let's get this storm started! Ooh, hey, that's good. I should trademark that.
~ The Storm King's most famous line.
Yeah! Let's whip up a storm!
~ The Storm King preparing for his storming tyrannical destruction over Equestria.
The Storm King is the main antagonist of the 2017 animated film My Little Pony: The Movie of the Friendship is Magic series. He is a satyr-like creature who was the oppressive ruler of the lands south of Equestria and half of the world. He was also the former master of Tempest Shadow and Grubber.
He planned to invade the entire land of Equestria and the whole world with Twilight Sparkle's and other Princess' magic with his Staff of Sacanas to make himself powerful enough to create misery, and cause destruction without anyone to help serve him once he rules the world.
The Storm King presumably took over many lands beyond Equestria, before learning of Equestria's princesses and their alicorn magic. At some point, he met up with Grubber from an unknown destination, making him his smallest servant. He destroyed many other kingdoms as well, including Capper's home and the kingdom of the hippogriffs, and enslaved many others, including Captain Celaeno and her crew. He also met up with Tempest Shadow and told her that if she helped him steal the alicorn magic, he would use it to restore her horn.
Role in the Film
The Storm King's invasion of Equestria begins during Canterlot's Friendship Festival, where Twilight Sparkle and her friends are preparing for a concert. The Storm King's henchmen, Tempest Shadow and Grubber, arrive ahead of him with the intention of capturing the four princesses for his upcoming arrival. During the ensuing chaos, Tempest manages to use obsidian orbs to petrify princesses Celestia, Luna, and Cadance, while Twilight and her friends manage to escape. The Storm King calls Tempest to learn of her progress, during which he assures her that if Twilight is not captured and brought to him within three days, he will not fulfill his promise of restoring her broken horn.
Though not a physical appearance, a bobblehead of the King is held by Murdock, when Tempest interrogates the pirates on the Mane Six's whereabouts.
Stealing the Magic
The Storm King later arrives in Canterlot, with Tempest having fulfilled her promise of successfully delivering the princess Twilight. The Storm King uses the Staff of Sacanas to channel the magic of all four princesses, much to his glee. As he begins experimenting with his new abilities by rapidly accelerating the day and night cycle of the world, Tempest attempts to ask when he will restore her broken horn. The Storm King scoffs and betrays her, telling her that she has outlived her usefulness. He uses the staff to create a massive hurricane that engulfs all of Canterlot, and prepares to kill Tempest, the princesses and a now-powerless Twilight.
Just as he is about to kill Tempest and Twilight, Twilight's friends, who had successfully infiltrated the heavily guarded streets of Canterlot, launch themselves out of a massive cannon, ramming the Storm King out of the way and lodging the Staff of Sacanas into the mosaic above the throne room. Twilight and her friends fight against the raging winds of the hurricane and the falling debris of the collapsing throne room in an attempt to retrieve the staff. Right behind them, The Storm King emerges from underneath some of the fallen rubble and desperately climbs in pursuit of the staff. He hurls himself at it just as Twilight grabs it, sending Twilight, the staff, and himself through the window and out into the hurricane.
Just when the ponies think Twilight is dead, she emerges from the eye of the storm with the staff, still alive, and uses it to end the chaos the Storm King began. As she and her friends embrace each other, the Storm King sneakingly climbs back up over the balcony and hurls an obsidian orb at them in a last attempt to retrieve the staff. Tempest, having had a change of heart after being betrayed, and realizing the Storm King is too dangerous to be kept alive, leaps in front of Twilight and her friends and onto the Storm King, taking the hit and transforming them both into obsidian statues. While Twilight uses the staff to save Tempest, The Storm King's petrified body plummets down to the courtyard below and shatters into pieces, killing him and ending his oppressive tyranny over Equestria before it could truly begin.
In the credits, while still in pieces in stone form, his eyes were seen moving while trying to dance before his body was reduced to rubble again.
Role in the Series
In the premiere, "School Daze Part 1", he is mentioned when Twilight says that Tempest left Ponyville to spread word of the Storm King's defeat. He was also mentioned by Sandbar when reminds the creature students that the Mane Six saved Equestria.
In the episode "Surf and/or Turf", the Storm King is mentioned several times to recount the events of the film and when he attacked the Hippogriff Kingdom during his reign.
In the episode "The Hearth's Warming Club", the Storm King makes a cameo in Silverstream's story about how she and the other hippogriffs celebrate the "Three Days of Freedom".
In the episode "What Lies Beneath", the Storm King appears as an illusion from Silverstream's deepest fears.
In the episode "Father Knows Beast", the Storm King is mentioned.
Role in the Comics
The Storm King appears as the main antagonist in IDW's My Little Pony: The Movie Prequel. It depicts what he did during his reign, conquering many lands, including the Abyssinian capital of Panthera. His second-in command at the time was Strife, a cloud creature who secretly planned to betray him and side with the Pirates.
In Issue #1, he and Strife invaded Panthera, plundering all the palace treasure and setting fire to the rest of the city. However, Strife later betrays the Storm King and allies with Captain Celaeno and her crew of parrot pirates. The Storm King, enraged by this betrayal, appoints Grubber as his new second-in-command.
In Issue #2, the Storm King catches up with Celaeno's ship, tosses Strife overboard for his betrayal, and forces Celaeno and her crew to work for him as cargo haulers.
He does not appear in Issue #3, but he was mentioned.
In Issue #4, the Storm King tracks down Tempest Shadow, who has been in possession of the Misfortune Malachite while fleeing from his Storm Creatures. The two then form an alliance, with Tempest agreeing to become the Storm King's new lieutenant in his search for magical power in exchange for the Storm King healing her broken horn.
The Storm King is also mentioned during the Convocation of Creatures on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #61 page 15.
The Storm King is also seen in a flashback in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Issue #68.
The Storm King is a satyr with white fur that covers all of his body save for his hooved feet, his hands, and face, which are gray. His eyes, tongue, and horns are blue, and he is clad in a lustrous black armor that covers his torso, forearms, and shins. He also has a long, while tail with bushy hair at the end.
The Storm King is described as an unkind, cold-hearted, tyrannical, arrogant, and cruel monster, with a lust for power. His demeanor unpredictably shifts between pleasant and cheerful, sardonic and petulant, and cold and ruthless. He loves creating storms, and attacking and raiding ships and cities. He loves enslaving, abusing, and corrupting anyone he comes across, including his own army, and he hates love, caring, kindness, and overall anything that is cute. He is also very sarcastic, egotistical, petulant and rude, and he also has a dark sense of humor. In the climax of the film, the king is also shown to be traitorous and dishonest, as he reveals to Tempest Shadow that he never intended to fix her horn.
In the comics, the Storm King shows to have no interest in "ruling" anyone; he just likes to terrorize, pillage and destroy any civilization he comes across, as well as collect magical items to empower himself. He also has an eye for talent, as he attempted to recruit Captain Celeano until she refused to leave her crew, and recruited Tempest after seeing her cunning and willingness to manipulate others.
Powers and Abilities
The Storm King has no magical abilities of his own, but has an army of storm creatures and an armada of sky ships at his command. He has managed to conquer several lands beyond across Equestria, showing great leadership skills. The Storm King himself is shown to be quite strong, agile and resilient to damage, as he punches through a stone wall with ease (in the comics), shrugs off being crushed by falling debris and can leap long distances with little effort. Considering that his subordinates fear him greatly, it shows that he is an extremely dangerous individual.
Sometime prior to the movie, he came into possession of an artifact called the Staff of Sacanas, which has the ability to channel magic and power from other creatures into itself. Once he absorbs the magic of the Alicorn princesses, he can project deadly lightning bolts, create massive hurricanes, and even move the sun and moon as Celestia and Luna do. It also reveals at the end to fix and create things, like rebuild everything that was destroyed. The Storm King also carries around Obsidian Orbs to turn his enemies into stone.
The Storm King received mixed reception from critics and the Brony fandom. While Tempest Shadow was praised by critics and the fandom, the Storm King was criticized for his lack of screentime, character development, comedic moments, and would even be called one of the weakest villains in the series since King Sombra.
Despite this, there are some fans who did enjoy the character, as well as praise Liev Schreiber's voice acting, and his character‘s role in the comics. Overtime, positive reception towards the character grew, with many even going on to note him alongside other classically evil and humorous villains like Hades, Joker, & Aku.
Andrea Libman, who regularly voices Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy for the series, commented on an Equestria Daily interview that the Storm King was her favorite MLP villain. Among other things, Liev Schreiber, along with director Jayson Theissen, the writers, and the animators, went on to comment that bringing the character to life was really fun. These statements, along with denial of his film appearance being his last, has caused many fans to wonder if the Storm King will return, whether physical or non-physical.
Comics and Books
Whoa! Hey! Seems kinda unfair to have somebody else telling my story! If we're going to have a whole issue about me, then I'm gonna tell it! So please, join me on the next page, won't you?
~ The Storm King's introduction in the prequel series as he breaks the fourth wall.
I know I call myself a "king," but frankly, monarchy just isn't my thing. You take over one country, next thing you're dealing with taxes and committees and retirement packages!
~ The Storm King stealing and destroying Capper's home Abyssinia.
Really? Well, then, lucky for you I'm taking it off your hands!
~ The Storm King stealing Malachite when told about it's power.
Another successful invasion, Strife (Strife: Yes my lord. A masterpiece of strategy, if I must say.) Another country plundered of its riches. They're barely a challenge anymore. And do you know why? Because I have no friends. Friendship is a weakness. A liability. Friends distract you. Make you weak. Friends can betray you, make you forget your goals. I have soldiers, commanders, workers—but no friends. Which means nobody will ask me to sacrifice my ambitions. My goals are my own. Even you, my right-hand creature! Even you are not a friend. You are an agent of my will. You serve me not out of some misguided sentimentality or imagined camaraderie... but because you know I will win, in the end. I will be the most powerful creature in the world. And you want to be at my side. (Strife: ...Yes, my lord. I am your servant.)
~ The Storm King telling his second-in-command Strife about friendship being weak.
Now, I'm sure some of you may be asking: Why? Why do I desire conquest about all else? For that matter, who is the Storm King? Was I the child of a thundercloud and the sky? Was I born from an egg on a mountaintop? Am I merely an ordinary creature with dreams of greatness? What does it matter? I am purely what I am—no more and no less. I am not the king of the storm... I am a king who is a storm.
~ The Storm King keep his past a secret while making a second fourth wall break moments before his ship was attacked.
You. Small, weak, useless creature. (Grubber: T-That's me!) You are too cowardly to ever attempt to betray me, are you not? Too spineless to consider your own wants. Aren't you? (Grubber: Y-Y-Y-You got me pegged, boss.) Good. You're my new second-in-command. Get my ship repaired and follow those pirates. We have a traitor to catch.
~ The Storm King promoting his small servant Grubber his second-in-command after Strife betrayed him and ordering him to get the ship repair to catch Strife and the pirates.
That was a short lived escape, huh?
~ The Storm King successfully captures Celaeno's ship.
I listened to him talk. Look where it got me.
~ The Storm King expresses on how he listened to Strife after he threw overboard to his presumed death.
Now, you and your crew did steal from me. But you did a darn good job of it. I can respect that kind of skill, captain. I'd like to offer you a job.
~ The Storm King offering Celaeno to be his right hand creature to no avail.
Congratulations, captain. You helped one ship escape my grasp. If you're so devoted to your crew... I suppose you should be allowed to stay together. Like I said... I always need more cargo haulers.
~ The Storm King making Celaeno a cargo hauler after she saved Capper and Chummber and her ship.
You known You've know, you've been leading me on quite a chase! Seriously, I've had to put my best creatures on you!
~ The Storm King meets Tempest Shadow.
That trick with your cloak and that other pony, just now? That was darn clever. But why didn't you just ask him to help you? (Tempest Shadow: Because... Because I learned a long time ago... you can't rely on anypony else.) "Anypony." That's cute.
~ The Storm King admiring Tempest's cleverness and reflects on trust they both had.
Once I've finished conquering, I'll have more power than any other creature in the world! (Tempest Shadow: Is that why you're searching for magic? Just for... power?) What other goal is there? Power. Control. These are the only things worth seeking in this world.
~ The Storm King and Tempest Shadow talking about obtaining power.
So you don't believe in bad luck. I do. And if I'm going to be conquering, the last thing I need is bad luck.
~ The Storm King finally convinced Malachite's power is nothing but trouble after destroying the Malachite.
I promise—Commander Tempest.
~ The Storm King making Tempest his new second-in-command when he tricks her into making her think he'll restore her horn.
Where am I supposed to be looking? I never understand how this spell works. Tempest! (Tempest Shadow: Over here, your Excellency.) Where? (Tempest Shadow: Over here.) Huh? (Tempest Shadow: No. No, right. Look right.) My right? (Tempest Shadow: Yeah.) Oh. There you are.
~ The Storm King's first line in the movie when he calls Tempest Shadow.
Here's the deal. I'm in the middle of a big re-brand here. "The Storm King" is tracking, well, as intensely intimidating, but you know what? I need to back it up. You know what I need to back it up with? A STORM! That would be great! You promised me magic that could control the elements, and right now, I'm holding a what? A branch. A twig. Bleh! (Tempest Shadow: That would be the Staff of Sacanas, your Excellency, and it will...) The Storm King: Mm-hmm? (Tempest Shadow: ...channel the magic of the four rulers of this land.) Mm-hmm? (Tempest Shadow: You'll soon have the power of a hundred armies.) So that would be a yes on your locking down the four Pegacornicuseses, or whatever you call them? (Tempest Shadow: Give me three days. I'll have everything ready for your arrival.)
~ The Storm King and Tempest discussing their plan to drain the magic of the Alicorn princesses.
Remember, Tempest. Only I have the power to make you whole. Make this twig work, and you'll get your reward. Fail me, and your horn won't be the only thing that's broken. (Tempest Shadow: It won't be a problem.) Great! I'm ready to power up, crash and bash, and be the biggest, baddest bugaloooooo... (Grubber: Sorry, bad spell service. You want me to call him back?)
~ The Storm King threatening Tempest if she fails him again before the spell connection fades out.
Ooh, fascinating! What can you really do? (Grubber: Your biddings of course oh mighty one) Bidding's good. Ha! I like bidding.
~ The Storm King arriving at Canterlot
Yeah. So, speaking of problems, this place, it seems a little too... oh, I don't know... CUTE!! I don't like cute! I never did like cute! Doesn't really go with my whole "big bad powerful magic guy" thing, does it?! Deliver the punchline, Tempest, because this has gotta be a joke!
~ The Storm King expresses his hatred for cute.
Not bad. Actually, kinda first rate. What else does it do? (Tempest Shadow: Your Excellency, you promised to restore my horn and giving—) Deh-deh-deh-deh-deh, okay. Hang on. (Storm King moved the sun) You gotta be kiddin' me! I can move the sun?! A ha ha! Wow! Now this is what I'm talkin' about! Ha ha! Time to play! Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday! Day, night! Day, night! Day night! Day night! Day night! Sunrise, sunset! [humming gleefully]
~ Storm King playing with the sun and moon.
(Tempest: What? How?)(Twilight: It's... it's the magic of...) Yeah! Yeah! Friendship and flowers and ponies and bleh! I am so over the cute pony thing! This... ends... now!
~ The Storm King mocking friendship feeling annoyingly in his disgust before starting his storm.
I truly am the Storm King! And the entire world will bow to my ba, ba, ba Boom, baby!(Tempest Shadow: Yes, yes, you are every bit as powerful as I promised sire; now restore my horn, and I swear to use my magic to serve you.) (Laughs) Who cares about your dinky little unicorn horn?! (Tempest Shadow: (stunted) But.. We had an agreement!) Get with the program! I USED you! It's kinda what I do.
~ The Storm King reveals Tempest that he lied about restoring her horn before he attempts to kill her.
The staff belongs to me!
~ The Storm King trying to retrieve his staff before Twilight does.
No! That's my staff!! MIIIINE!! MINE! Oh, no, NOOO!
~ The Storm King tried and failed to retrieve his staff, only for Twilight to get it fire before they get sucked into the storm, even though they both survived - also his last words in the movie.
I'm not done yet!
~ The Storm King about to turn Twilight and her friends into obsidian - his last words he said in the novel.
No! Stop! Please, wait! I've... I've-I've changed my mind!
~ The Storm King's true last words in the movie adaptation when he tells Tempest that he changed his mind about breaking their agreement while begging her to hold back away as his entire body turns into obsidian from the could of the obsidian orb when she blocked it to protect Twilight and her friends when he threw towards them mere moments before he falls onto the ground and shattered to pieces.
The Storm King is Schreiber‘s first animation voice role. His next two animated movies were released the following year. The second was Isle of Dogs where he voices Spots, one of the main heroes and brother of Chief, the film's protagonist, and the third is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, where he voices Kingpin.
Liev Schreiber stated in an interview that he accepted the role of the Storm King because he wanted to appear in a film his children could watch, noting their exposure to his violent, adult-oriented films.
Despite being the main antagonist, he only gets a short amount of screen time.
The ultimate fate of The Storm King is left ambiguous; while he most likely died, during the credits there is a small animation of his shattered body put back together incorrectly, while his eyes are still moving. However, this scene is most likely non-canon as it was done in a more lighthearted style than the rest of the movie, and was most likely done only for comedic effect, plus, characters turned to stone cannot move their eyes, and other elements of the credits suggest they are not meant to be taken seriously.
The original draft for the credits depicted his eyes as still being turned to stone, but this was changed in the final draft. Since they didn't make this change to the actual scene where he turns to stone and shatters, this further supports that the credits are non-canon and that he is dead. It is likely the credits scene was only changed to avoid showing the Storm Creature defiling his corpse.
When Tempest restores Canterlot with the staff, the spot where the Storm King fell and shattered is shown, but his pieces have vanished, implying that either the power of the staff destroyed his remains or that some of his minions came and retrieved them before anyone else did. However, the most logical reason for the disappearance of the remains is that the animators of the movie simply forgot to draw them in before fully animating the scene.
The Storm King is very similar to Lord Tirek in many ways.
Both are power-hungry conquerers who despise ponies and friendship in general.
Both once trusted a certain individual until they are betrayed by said individuals. (Scorpan for Tirek and Strife for Storm King)
Both had the power to steal magic from others. (Tirek can absorb magic into himself while Storm King used the Staff of Sarcanas)
Both seek to take the power of the Alicorn princesses to become all-powerful.
Both managed to capture said princesses Celestia, Luna and Cadence. (Tirek imprisoned them in Tartarus and Storm King's army turned them to stone with obsidian orbs)
Both had convinced a powerful individual to be their ally by promising them something in return, but then betrayed them when they were no longer useful
Lord Tirek convinced Discord to help him steal magic from Equestria by promising "freedom" from his friendship, but then stole his magic as well.
The Storm King earned Tempest Shadow's loyalty by offering to use the Alicorn's magic to fix her horn, but he broke his promise and attempted to kill Tempest.
Both were annoyed by the existence of Princess Twilight and had to struggle with them.
Tirek was unaware of a fourth princess and fought Twilight while she was empowered by the other princesses' magic
Storm King had to wait for Tempest to capture Twilight after she escaped Canterlot, and was sickened to hear that she was the Princess of Friendship. He then attempted to get his Staff back before Twilight could.
In the end, both of them were defeated due to the interferance of the allies they betrayed, who were just previously saved by Twilight Sparkle.
Discord offered Twilight the medallion he got from Tirek as thanks for convincing the centaur to free him, which was the final key to opening the Chest of Harmony, which gave them the power needed to defeat Tirek.
Tempest Shadow was saved by Twilight after she was betrayed by the Storm King, and so she repaid this favor by intercepting him when he was going to throw an obsidian orb at Twilight and her friends, causing them both to turn to stone and the Storm King to fall and shatter on impact.
Despite his comedic tendencies, the Storm King is one of the most evil villains in the Friendship is Magic series, as he conquered and destroyed many lands without remorse, and cares for nobody but himself.
He is the second villain to turn into a statue after Discord. Unlike Discord, however, the Storm King shattered the second after his transformation.
In interviews with Lionsgate, Schreiber commented that he approached his portrayal of the Storm King like an actor would do with a live action character, exploring and improvising on his role.
The outcome of what would happen if the Storm King’s stoned-self was put back together like a puzzle, along with what happened to his spirit or his soul is currently unknown.