"School Raze" Afterthoughts:
Cozy Glow, a Traumatized Filly who seeks Safety and Protection from Abusers?
A few days after the Season 8 Finale aired, I was sitting down and pondered about it why Cozy Glow did all the things she did and why she wanted to take over Equestria.
I was one of those who did not believe that she is evil and found myself surprised over it that she is a villain. However, even with that turnout, I still don't think that Cozy Glow is actually evil, so I thought about why she did all that and what her exact motives were.
I started to ponder what advantages having many friends can bring you other than “Power” and one advantage stuck out to me right away:
Friends are there for you in many ways and one of these ways is that they will protect you if someone is attacking you. If you have friends, you automatically have protection as well, as good friends will always defend you from enemies or people who want to harm you. And the more friends you have, the better protected you are. If you have everypony in Equestria as your friends, then this means you are practically invulnerable. Every enemy of yours is best advised to not try to assault you, because they would immediately have an army of friends going after them if they would do that.
And as I had concluded that, it was when it hit me..... Maybe Cozy Glow tried to surround as many friends as possible around her because she wanted protection from something.
Maybe there was somepony who physically hurt her, in such an extreme way that it left her completely scared after it happened. Not necessarily her parents, although that's a possibility, but maybe another person near her who she trusted; perhaps a teacher, an uncle or a good friend of her family.
I am thinking that Cozy Glow has been abused, that she was beaten or maybe even raped by somepony, and that she sought protection after this happened.
After the assault on her, she begged her parents to send her to Twilight's friendship school in Ponyville, so that she can get away from her abuser. And once she was there and heard from Twilight everything about how powerful friendship is, she quickly concluded that having many friends would give her a lot of power and that this power would also give her protection. She figured that, if she has a lot of friends, nopony could hurt her anymore like her abuser did, so she decided to make as many friends as possible to keep herself safe.
And because she is so scared ever since the assault on her happened, she wanted to make absolutely sure that her plan works and therefore resorted to all the evil things she did. She was doing everypony she met favors and bought their friendship that way to make many friends as fast as she could and she, after hearing about Tirek from Twilight and after she communicated with him, tried to drain all the magic from Equestria so that not even ponies who are able to use spells could defeat her protective army of friends.
The possibility of getting defeated before she has made enough friends to feel safe and before her plan worked also made her even more afraid, which explains the occasional aggressive outbursts she had, why she pushed Starlight into the magic sphere the six artifacts created and was even okay with sending Starlight and the Student Six to another realm and why she didn't let Twilight get through to her and dismissed her so harshly. These were all extreme reactions to the possibility of her plan failing, caused by fear of being vulnerable and in danger again then.
While the thought of succeeding and of being safe forever calmed and even exhilarated her so much that it led to the maniacal laughs we've seen by her. The thought of her plan becoming a full success pleased her so much that she lost control of her enthusiasm and acted like a power-hungry conqueror, as a result of the expectation that nopony will be able to hurt her anymore soon.
Cozy Glow is still a foal and foals are very impressionable. And with that, they are also more vulnerable than adults, so abuse is a likely reason why she wanted to become the most powerful pony in Equestria and why she did such extreme things to reach that goal.
There is only one catch in this theory I have about her: If she was afraid of somepony physically abusing her again, why didn't she confide to Twilight or Starlight about it, tell them what was done to her and sought protection from them? After all, the Princess of Friendship herself, who has connections to Equestria's rulers, would be one of the ponies best suited to protect her.
But confiding like this requires trust and, even if we cast aside that abuse victims have already trust issues to begin with due to what happened to them, the one who abused Cozy Glow was probably a skilled enough actor to make everypony think that he/she is innocent and that Cozy Glow was lying when she talked about what he/she did to her. After seeing how her abuser managed it to make her look like a liar, Cozy started to think that nopony will believe her anyway, so she did not try to confide to anypony else anymore.
Interestingly enough, this could also explain why Cozy Glow is such a good actress herself. She already had a mentor before Tirek, who indirectly taught her how to act and fool other ponies: Her own abuser.
This is my theory about Cozy Glow's reason to try and take over Equestria by making everypony her friend, she was physically abused at her home and desired to have many friends who can protect her from becoming abused again.