What was once merely referenced in passing as a peaceful utopia, the story surrounding the Moon Kingdom and its demise became increasingly more complicated as Sailor Moon‘s lore deepened.
While it would be easy to say that Queen Beryl is responsible for the fall of the Moon Kingdom, I don’t think that’s exactly a fair assessment when you take into account all of the other forces at play behind the scenes. After all, was it Queen Beryl’s unchecked jealousy that spurred her on, or does the blame rest entirely with Queen Metalia for playing to her weaknesses?
Or perhaps it goes even deeper than that…
Today, we’re going on a trip back to the Silver Millennium to analyze all the many moving parts that brought down a great empire. Bring a jacket — I hear it’s cold on the Moon!
As in pretty much every discussion, we need to tear down our question to the basics and figure out what it is we’re trying to answer here.1
Essentially, the crux of our question is focused on how we want to distinguish between being directly vs. indirectly responsible.
Hell Hath No Fury Like a Queen Scorned
Let’s return to our Queen Beryl & Queen Metalia example for a moment. Were it not for the corruption in Beryl’s heart, it’s possible that Queen Metalia may never have been able to corrupt her and, in turn, empower the wayward sorceress to invade the Moon Kingdom. Conversely, Beryl would almost certainly not have been able to cause as much damage as she did were it not for Queen Metalia’s immense power.
In that case, I think we can say that they are both directly involved in the downfall of the Silver Millennium… but not necessarily “responsible.”
You see, in a sense, the fall of the Moon Kingdom may have been destiny… or fate, if you’d prefer.
The Nehelenia Problem
When Queen Nehelenia was banished away to the mirror of darkness by Queen Serenity, she placed a curse on the infant Moon Princess, declaring that the Moon Kingdom would fall and Princess Serenity would never take the throne. As I’m sure most of your are already aware, that curse happens to be surprisingly on the mark with respect to the Moon Kingdom’s ultimate fate.
So that leaves us with two possible interpretations:
- Queen Nehelenia was just angry and didn’t take rejection well, causing her to spout off random threats like a blocked Twitter follower; or
- It was ultimately Queen Nehelenia’s curse which would give rise to the circumstances leading to Beryl and Metalia joining forces to fight the Moon Kingdom
I think we can safely rule out the former option since it kind of undermines everything about Nehelenia’s character, leaving us with #2 — it was Beryl’s destiny to fight against the Moon Kingdom. In that sense, you could argue that she (and even Queen Metalia, by extension) was just as much to blame as the Shitennou and other brainwashed forces.
The Chaos (lowercase c) of Chaos (uppercase c)
Chaos, true to its name, manages to throw a wrench into things here. Though at first glance it doesn’t have anything specifically to do with the destruction of the Moon Kingdom, Chaos does state that all of Sailor Moon’s villains — Queen Metalia, Death Phantom, Pharaoh 90, Queen Nehelenia, Taiki (?) — were merely incarnations of itself.
In that sense you could say that Chaos (Nehelenia) cursed the Moon Family, giving rise to Chaos (Queen Metalia) to later make good on her threat.
So Chaos destroyed the Moon Kingdom… right?
Death, Rebirth, and Honorable Mentions
If you want to get technical — and you know I do — then that means we need to stop for a second and look back at our initial question. When you get right down to it, Beryl & Queen Metalia may have been the catalyst for the downfall of the Silver Millennium, but they by no means actually destroyed it.
Despite their best efforts, Queen Serenity still managed to (mostly) seal away Queen Metalia using the power of the Silver Crystal. At that point Queen Serenity had arguably already won the battle, though the losses suffered — Princess Serenity, Prince Endymion, and the Sailor Senshi — were too great for her to accept and the decision was made to reincarnate everyone in the future to give them another shot at peace and happiness.
In comes Sailor Saturn, the Galactic Reset Button.™
Ribbon Reborn Revolution later and the Silver Millennium was nothing more than a fallen empire, its denizens annihilated in the hopes of giving them another shot at a rich and fulfilling life in the future.
Personally, I’d say the credit — assuming that’s the right word — goes to Queen Nehelenia as ultimately her curse did come true regardless of who was ultimately responsible for making that final move, be it Queen Metalia, Queen Serenity, or Sailor Saturn. Like a half-baked psychic who gives nothing but vague predictions, she ultimately was right that the Silver Millennium would end and that Princess Serenity would never assume the throne.
Obviously the Chaos angle muddies things up and, in my opinion at least, ultimately takes away a lot of Queen Nehelenia’s credit. After all, if Chaos was responsible for both the “curse” and then making good on it, that means that Nehelenia’s words meant nothing — there’s no supernatural power (fate, destiny, etc.) at work here and it’s merely Chaos biding its time.
Ultimately, the biggest question this brings up for me is: was it actually necessary to bring an end to the Silver Millennium after the battle with Queen Metalia? Or was the loss of her dynasty a sacrifice Queen Serenity chose to make for your daughter?
I’d love to hear what you think down below!
- This is the easiest part for me considering that I chose the question in the first place. ↩