There's been speculation as to what's inside since it appeared but I couldn't help but think that they might, MIGHT, take the cheesey route of "there is no greater power, your friendship is the greatest". I dunno what will happen but I'll laugh if that's basically what it is cause then that means this comic I made was basically spot on.
Personally, I think that the box most likely contains new gems for the necklaces and crown. These new gems would "power up" the necklaces and crown, resulting in the birth of "2.0 Elements of Harmony".
Think about it. The box appeared from within a flower, which sprouted forth from the Tree of Harmony. And why do trees sprout flowers?
So they can bear their fruit.
And the Tree of Harmony's "fruit", in my opinion, would be these new gems.
(Since the old gems were part of the Tree of Harmony, when Celestia and Luna removed the old gems, they basically sterilized the tree. Giving the gems back to the tree finally allowed it to go into its flowering season.) But a tree's flowers can't bear their fruit unless they're pollinated, right? Well, that's where the keys come in.
The Mane Six will, in a sense, "pollinate" the flower by unlocking the box with the keys, thus allowing the Tree of Harmony to produce the new gems.
"But what will the '2.0 Elements' be called", you ask? Well, in my opinion, THAT has already been foreshadowed.
In Magical Mystery Cure, Celestia listed the "virtues" of the Elements of Harmony, although she referred to them in a "stronger and purer" sense.
These are the "virtues" that she listed: Integrity(Honesty), Charity(Generosity), Optimism(Laughter), Compassion(Kindness), Devotion(Loyalty), and Leadership(Magic).
These were the Mane Six's "1.0 Elements": *Applejack: Element of Honesty
*Rarity: Element of Generosity
*Pinkie Pie: Element of Laughter
*Fluttershy: Element of Kindness
*Rainbow Dash: Element of Loyalty
*Twilight Sparkle: Element of Magic
And, based on what Celestia said, these will be the Mane Six's "2.0 Elements": *Applejack: Element of Integrity
*Rarity: Element of Charity
*Pinkie Pie: Element of Optimism
*Fluttershy: Element of Compassion
*Rainbow Dash: Element of Devotion
*Twilight Sparkle: Element of Leadership
(C'mon, you gotta admit, my names for the "2.0 Elements" sound MUCH more awesome than those of the "1.0 Elements", particularly "Element of Leadership"(makes one think of the Matrix of Leadership from Transformers, though *XD*)!)
Moreover, as the "2.0 Elements" would essentially be the "fruit" of the Tree of Harmony(which would thus make them independent of the Tree), their power does not come from the Tree; rather, the Mane Six's friendship gives the "2.0 Elements" their power.
Oh, and we must not forget that Hasbro is consumer-driven. The "2.0 Elements" will undoubtedly look MUCH different than the "1.0 Elements"(chances are, in addition to the gem color, the shape of the necklaces and crown will change somewhat(looking more stylized and elegant, in my opinion)), which will require Hasbro to produce new toys as a result.
What you say is probably true, however, I am still holding out that the other members of the Mane six will be turned into Alicorns, and it will turn out that Celestia was training her successors this entire time. That way, this cool picture can be possible. andyofindiana.deviantart.com/a…
I don't think you're far off but I don't think they'd be new Elements. After all what would be the point? They gave the old Elements back to the Tree of Harmony so it can keep the Pillage Seeds at bay as well as the other dark things of the Everfree. Plus look at it this way, of the only times the Elements were ever really used by the Mane 6 were against Nightmare Moon and Discord. They were unnecessary for Chrysalis whom was defeated by Shining Armor and Cadence and then Sombra was defeated by the Crystal Heart. Clearly there are other artifacts that can stop the forces of evil besides the Elements of Harmony. What I do think you're onto is your pollination analogy. I personally think that there is a key representing each of the Elements of Harmony, however how and when they'll appear I cannot say. I honestly thought that they'd appear when each of the Mane 6 either teaches some other pony or rediscovers what their Element means. Rainbow Dash already basically re-learned loyalty with Daring Do as she was a loyal fan wanting to help but almost gave up even when Daring needed her. She also taught it to the Cutie Mark Crusaders when they were about to separate due to Scootaloo and Applebloom not getting along from their flag carrying routine. The key didn't appear so unless those weren't the moments I don't know what will bring about the keys. However as I said I still think each key is an Element and within the chest is a seed to a new Tree of Harmony or an equivalent. For all we know it could be something way different and far more spectacular than anything we can imagine at this point in time.
1: Although a seed for a new Tree of Harmony would allow the Mane Six to use the Elements again without worrying about draining strength from the Tree of Harmony(As the Elements came from the old tree, they would have no relation to the new tree, and as such the new tree could continue to keep the Everfree Forest in check without getting weakened by usage of the Elements), there's still problems regarding the growth of the Tree of Harmony. Specifically, we don't know how fast a Tree of Harmony grows, nor do we know if a Tree of Harmony is at full power the instant it sprouts.
(That is to say: A: The Tree of Harmony could have just been a sapling when Celestia and Luna were just fillies.
B: Even if the new Tree of Harmony is fully grown within a few seconds of its seed being planted, it does not yet have enough strength to keep the Everfree Forest at bay.)
2: (This one contains information in regards to MLP Generation 1)
I've heard some people say that the box could contain the Rainbow of Light from G1. Although it WOULD be nostalgic, I don't think that it would work out due to the fact that, unlike the Elements of Harmony, the Rainbow of Light is just a single item. And despite the fact that the G1 ponies all shared it to use it(eliminating the possibility of the Mane Six being divided over an argument of who gets to use it), the fact that it's a single item makes it much, MUCH easier to lose. And, moreover, the Rainbow of Light wasn't always reliable: it was (temporarily) overpowered by Tirek(villain of the G1 series premiere, and first ever villain in MLP history)'s "Rainbow of Darkness", and it failed to defeat the Smooze(villain of the G1 MLP movie) when the Smooze had only reached half of its full power(although that's mainly because the ONLY thing that can defeat the Smooze are the Flutterponies; in my honest opinion, this makes the Smooze the strongest enemy in all of MLP history). Plus, if the box's contents DO turn out to be the Rainbow of Light, then what will the Mane Six do with the necklaces and crown? (Of course, there's the possibility that the Rainbow of Light divides and forms new gems for the necklaces and crown.)
3: In regards to Shining Armor and Cadence as well as the Crystal Heart...they're all located in the Crystal Empire, which is a fair distance away from Ponyville. By the time Twilight and the Mane Six get to the Crystal Empire to seek help, they'll probably be too late to save Equestria.
4: The Mane Six didn't bring the Elements to the wedding because they didn't think they'd need them. After all, they were initially unaware of Chrysalis' presence. Moreover, the Changelings were initially referred to as an "unknown threat", which, in my opinion, this indicates that, unlike Nightmare Moon, Discord, and King Sombra, the Changelings are actually fairly recent. And due to how recent they are, Celestia was unsure if the Elements would work on them or not.
As for Sombra, Celestia and Luna were able to defeat Sombra without use of the Elements(thus, it's highly likely that they defeated Sombra before they removed the Elements from the Tree to use them on Discord). As such, Celestia was, again, unsure if the Elements would work on Sombra, although in this case it was because she knew that he could be defeated without them. Plus, she didn't expect that Sombra still had some strength left.
5: There have often been occasions were the term "Elements of Harmony" is used to refer to the Mane Six, not the gems.
In addition, there have been instances where the gems have reacted to the Mane Six.
Most notably, after Nightmare Moon shattered them way back in S1E2, they reconstructed themselves after Twilight told Nightmare Moon about how the Mane Six embody the Elements of Harmony.
Moreover, the extraordinary features that the Mane Six have regard their corresponding Elements.(Most notably Twilight's ability to copy magic spells just by watching them in action(examples being the barrier spell(which she learned from Shining Armor) and dark magic(which she learned from Celestia), Pinkie's gag-inducing physics-defying and fourth-wall-breaking antics, and Rainbow Dash being the ONLY pegasus pony capable of performing the Sonic Rainboom(and the first time she ever performed it in the show was to save Rarity(her friend) and some of the Wonderbolts(her idols) from falling to their deaths).)
What this could mean is that the power that allowed the Mane Six to defeat Nightmare Moon and Discord didn't come from the gems; it came from the Mane Six themselves.
(And before you ask why Celestia and Luna could use the gems around 1000 years before the Mane Six were even born, it's because Celestia and Luna possess the exact same power that the Mane Six do(that could explain why their Cutie Marks are also on the Tree of Harmony).)
All the gems did was just awaken their powers for them, and let the Tree of Harmony take the strain of using them for them(After the Mane Six used the Elements on Nightmare Moon, they briefly lost consciousness; obviously, using the Elements severely tired them out).
(But even though this WOULD be epic if it is true, it would render the box pointless.)
They weren't fillies when they discovered it and speculating that it's a sapling is kinda pushing it. As for a different tree, I didn't say that as if they'd use the Elements and still have a working tree, I meant it more like being able to plant it somewhere else and essentially have better coverage, as far as we know the Tree only works on the area of the Everfree but enemies could still attack other parts of Equestria. Think of it like the Crystal Heart.
They don't need the necklaces or crown anymore because they no longer have the elements and Twilight has a new princess crown anyway. If it's the Rainbow of Light then only one needs to carry it.
So? The Crystal Empire doesn't seem to be THAT far away if Scootaloo can go there in one go and seem to be there in a day. Besides, Celestia wasted quite a bit of time responding to the return of the Crystal Empire and it's not like it isn't possible help could arrive. They are allies afterall.
They were sent to get the Elements weren't they? They got captured but clearly they weren't needed. As for Sombra, Celestia clearly wanted to get the Crystal Heart going and it did defeat Sombra, more than the Elements could, and so they weren't needed. I highly doubt on either case she was unaware if they'd have effect, that's speculating a lot when there's no good reason to think she had no idea. She clearly knew of the Crystal Heart and knew that would be enough and with Chrysalis she did send the Mane 6 to get them but they failed, though the Elements weren't really needed. Again, there are other methods besides the Elements.
In the flash back it seemed like the elements were already gems within those stones so Nightmare Moon didn't necessarally shatter the gems of the Elements when you think about it. I don't think it's as simple as their cutie marks being there, it seems really anyone can use them so long as they understand each Element as well as Friendship. That's why Sunset Shimmer couldn't use the Element of Magic. If they did embody the Elements that's even more reason to not need new ones.
1: You sort of misunderstood me. I meant that the Tree of Harmony was still just a sapling WHILE Celestia and Luna were still fillies. I know that they weren't fillies when they discovered it, but the point is that we don't know if the Tree of Harmony has been around longer than Celestia and Luna or not. It could have been fully grown before they were even born, or it could have been planted at the same time as when they were born, and was already fully grown when they found it. Moreover, much of the details about the Tree of Harmony are still unclear. After all, Celestia and Luna merely discovered the Tree. As such, even they don't know how it came to be. And we don't know if it can work anywhere or if it only works within the Everfree Forest. As I said, there's still much about the Tree of Harmony that we don't know.
2: ...This is just me...but I'm getting a suspicious feeling from Twilight's new crown. Like it's going to be connected to a future villain.
The point being, why did they have to make a new crown instead of just creating a fake gem for the old crown? Or just create a replica of the old crown just like they did in Equestria Girls? (I must note that in a fanfiction I'm planning to write, the jewels in Twilight's new crown are actually the pieces of Lavan(another G1 villain)'s heart(but in the story, it wasn't Celestia's fault that she chose those for Twilight's new crown jewels; those were the only jewels the jewelers could find that matched Celestia's criteria for Twilight's new crown jewels). But since that regards a fanfiction, you can just disregard this little tidbit.) And besides, what are they supposed to do with the necklaces and crown now that they don't have the gems? Will the necklaces and crown reform into the keys to the box or something?
3: As I mentioned in my previous post, the Rainbow of Light is just a single item. Because it's a single item, it's much, much, MUCH easier to lose. And you did say that only one of the Mane Six would need to carry it, but there's a problem with that. WHO is supposed to carry it? Even though, as I said, the G1 ponies all used the Rainbow of Light equally and shared it, the Mane Six could still get divided over an argument over which one of them carries it(or, alternatively, one of the Mane Six could be all like "Why do I rarely ever get to carry the Rainbow of Light?").
4: The "other methods" don't seem to keep other villains down. I mean, in the comics, after Shining Armor and Cadence's love flung Chrysalis and the Changelings back to their own kingdom, Chrysalis was still sore about her defeat, as the comics(which ARE canonical, according to the show's writers, unless further developments in the story prove otherwise) show. And after the Mane Six defeated her the second time, they trapped her in her castle. There's no doubt that she isn't happy about THAT, either.
Also, the Crystal Heart DESTROYED King Sombra. But, as Celestia said, Sombra's heart was "as black as night". Add the fact that he enslaved the Crystal Ponies...yeah, no redemption for him. However, his horn DID remain intact after his destruction(although the shows' creators claim that was an animation error), as many fans have pointed out, and although his horn may not contain his spirit, it most definitely contains all his dark magic, and if somepony finds it, they could easily inherit his strength.
5: Furthermore, the "other methods" used on Chrysalis and Sombra only worked for specific reasons.
In the case of Chrysalis, it's because she and her Changelings feed on love. The love that Shining Armor and Cadence generated was far too much(and probably too concentrated) for her and the Changelings to handle, which blasted them back to their own kingdom.
In the case of Sombra, he drew power from the sorrow and despair of the Crystal Ponies. When Cadence returned the Crystal Heart to its rightful spot, it became supercharged with love and hope in the process, and Sombra simply could not withstand all this "good energy".
6: This is just something a few fans have noticed; a sort of "trend" in the major villains, in regards to how they were defeated.
#1 - Nightmare Moon: Defeated by the Elements of Harmony
#2 - Discord: Defeated by the Elements of Harmony
#3 - Queen Chrysalis: Not defeated by the Elements of Harmony
#4 - King Sombra: Not defeated by the Elements of Harmony
#5 - Sunset Shimmer: Defeated by the Elements of Harmony
So #6, the Season 4 finale villain(since there wasn't a villain per se in the premiere, that means that the creators are saving the new major villain for the Season 4 finale) must be defeated by the Elements or something similar.
I'm just afraid that the trend could be broken.
My most major concern is that I'm worried about how the Mane Six will defeat the next major villain without the Elements if the next major villain turns out to be another corrupted character like Nightmare Moon or Sunset Shimmer. The Elements are the only things we currently know of that can purify corrupted characters.
(Nightmare Rarity from the comics doesn't count, but only because it was impossible for the Mane Six to use the Elements to defeat her because of the absence of the Element of Generosity. The only thing that brought Rarity back to her senses was Spike's love for her.)
(I think that this discussion is getting out of hand.)
1: For all we know the Tree could have always been there fully grown. We know very little about it.
2: She could have just gotten a new crown just to get a new crown. And why do they need to do ANYTHING with the old one or the necklaces? They no longer have the Elements in them so who really cares? They're just gold jewelry now. I think you're looking to deep into that.
3: I doubt the Rainbow of Light will appear but even so, the Elements weren't that easy to keep track of either. They were just gathering dust most of the series.
4: The Elements didn't really keep them down either. Sure the evil side of Luna was vanquished but Discord was encased in stone before and he still got out, only to be turned back to stone then back to normal and he's still being himself. With Sombra that's assuming a unicorn's horn still retains magic after it was removed. The thing about him using it before was when he was still technically attached to it since he was just a shadow. Still you're over thinking this.
5: The Elements ALSO only were used in specific situations. With Nightmare Moon, her heart had turned bitter and she cared not for the sake of others and only the power of friendship could overcome this and then with Discord, he's their polar opposite so of course they'd use them.
6: Unless you don't count the Pillage Seeds which were stopped by the Tree of Harmony which is basically the Elements.
The new season brings new things. The Mane 6 decided to give up the Elements of Harmony to save Equestria. Something Gandalf said in the Hobbit comes to mind here. "Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay... small acts of kindness and love."