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FanOfMostEverything


"[FoME] manages the impossible combination of being an actual legitimate nerd while staying unabashedly pleasant." —Aragón

More Blog Posts1101

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  • Sunday
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Dec
10th
2015

Gleam of Prattle · 3:34pm Dec 10th, 2015

Well, A Crazed Gleam is out of the featured box, and it’s clear that I have a lot to talk about. Spoilers follow if you haven’t read the story yet.

So. This was definitely one of my darker stories. Allow me to begin by saying that I don’t think Discord was right to do what he did. This was the equivalent of cloning a fly and raising the maggot to adulthood solely so one can pull its wings off.

Of course, that raises the question of why I wrote the story. I did so for three reasons. Firstly, I wanted to go outside of my comfort zone. I can’t grow as a writer without pushing my limits, and while I’ve written some arguably dark stories in the past, I wanted to experiment with something truly disturbing. Did it work? Well, it certainly got a lot of attention, and the thumb ratio is overwhelmingly positive, but that’s no guarantee of actual quality. Personally, I just don’t feel right about having written this story. I’m not sure if I’ll do something like this again.

Secondly, I’d been planning this story pretty much from the moment I submitted A Mad Glimmer, including contingencies for everything from Starlight escaping again to her erasing her own existence to her getting lost in time. I wanted to perform the follow-through promised in the prequel. Of course, having said that, it does seem like a textbook case of the sunk cost fallacy.

Finally, as the author’s note says, this was a way for me to make peace with Starlight’s redemption. Not her heel-face turn, mind you. I think that worked quite well. That ball was rolling from the moment she saw the consequences of her actions. Everything after that was her denying her responsibility, justifying her actions, and trying to pin the blame elsewhere. That chink in her armor of self-righteousness was just what Twilight needed to friendship lecture her into submission.

No, I’m talking about the forgiveness montage at the end of the finale. Compare it to some other reformed villains. Princess Luna was consumed by guilt, flagellated herself for years without telling anyone, and so completely isolated herself from her subjects that she didn’t even realize that certain traditions and customs had fallen out of use centuries ago. Trixie could plead insanity and didn’t even expect forgiveness from most of the ponies she tormented, skipping town the moment she knew that Twilight wouldn’t try to get her back. Discord had to grapple with the unpleasant new sensations of guilt and empathy, and no one but Fluttershy trusted him for quite some time. (Also, just living in Equestria in a nondisruptive way was probably something of a punishment for him.) Sunset Shimmer had an emotional breakdown after getting rainbowed in the face, was assigned community service, and was despised by all but five members of the student body. And Diamond Tiara was just a misguided youth, her reformation a release from torment.

Compare this to Starlight. She’s welcomed with open hooves by all of Ponyville and the citizens of Our Town in the blink of an eye. Yes, most ponies don’t know the enormity of her transgressions, but this kind of instant forgiveness just rubbed me the wrong way. Hopefully, Season 6 will show more of her working towards the acceptance of others and herself, but for now, all we have is a pony who wanted to retroactively ruin the Mane Six’s lives becoming the newest member of their inner circle. It just doesn’t feel right.

So I trapped her in a living hell built around a deliberate misinterpretation of her philosophy. And let’s face it, Discord was acting as an author surrogate, creating an instance of Starlight specifically designed for him to torment so he could interact with the baseline without wanting to destroy her in any number of horrific ways. Was it right? No. Does it say some worrisome things about me? Probably. Was it cathartic? My goodness, yes. Still, I acknowledge that I had him do horrible things to a person with zero consequences, and I also acknowledge that acknowledging that doesn’t make it any better. The best defense I can offer is that it was in character, and that’s no defense for my having written it.

Given how at least three people misread the title, I’m seriously considering writing a story entitled A Glazed Cream that’s just a fuzzy slice of life where Discord and Starlight eat donuts together.

Moving on.

Chaotic Chronomancy

This really confused some people, and looking back, I’m not that surprised. Combining chaos magic, time travel, and metaphysics is sure to cause some people to scratch their heads. What Discord did to Starlight is a practical application of the four-dimensionalist school of the philosophy of time. As with many arcane concepts, Sir Terry Pratchett put it very well:

The living often don’t appreciate how complicated the world looks when you are dead, because while death frees the mind from the straitjacket of three dimensions it also cuts it away from Time, which is only another dimension. So while the cat that rubbed against his invisible legs was undoubtedly the same cat that he had seen a few moments before, it was also quite clearly a tiny kitten and a fat, half-blind old moggy and every stage in between. All at once. Since it had started off small it looked like a white, cat-shaped carrot, a description that will have to do until people invent proper four-dimensional adjectives.

Equal Rites, p. 8 in the HarperCollins paperback.

In essence, Discord took a time-slice, a thin sliver of the 4D carrot that is Starlight Glimmer, and imbued it with autonomy and self-awareness, allowing it to make its own brief journey.

As for Discord being able to travel through time at all, the reasoning was thus: Discord is capable of traveling through time, but getting chaos in the timestream is generally a very bad idea. It’s a nuclear option for him; he can do it, but it’s sure to end in catastrophe for both him and the universe. Starlight’s modified time travel spell, catalyzed by The Cutie Map, introduced enough harmony magic to the timestream that it acted as a sort of regulator, turning the bomb into a reactor, allowing it to useful work without annihilating everything. Of course, that didn’t mean Discord was actually going to use the harmony-boosted spell himself. At best, it would end painfully for him. At worst, it would destroy existence even worse.

Love Her or Hate Her

Finally, I’d like to analyze the fascinating social experiment that cropped up in the comments. This story did a great job of holding up a mirror to how people feel about Starlight Glimmer. In my case, it’s clear that the story did a great job of helping me accept her, since I feel bad about having written it. That conflict persisted on a wider scale, with some people cheering Discord, some wanting to dissolve him in harmony magic, and quite a few as conflicted as I was. It’s hard to give a concrete summary of the data given the range of reactions on display. The point is, we’re still sorting out our feelings about Starlight. It should be very interesting to see how Season 6 handles her.

Thank you all again for reading and reacting to the story, whether positively or negatively. The worst thing an author can hear is “Meh.” Seeing something create these mixed feelings is actually quite rewarding. Plus, it’s very nice to write a Starlight Glimmer story where the comments don’t immediately devolve into a debate over whether Our Town was founded on communism, fascism, or neither.

Comments ( 50 )

Personally, I've always felt that hating a fictional character is a waste of energy, but I didn't even really dislike Starlight. I opposed her ideology and her actions, and I wanted to see her lose, but villains are in a story to be entertaining, and she played that role pretty well. And arguably, Discord played a villainous role in the fic, and I think he did that well too. 10/10 - not even mad.

As for Starlight's redemption, I've got one thing to say to you and to anybody else who criticised it for being too easy or lacking consequences, and that is that people said the same things about Discord and Sunset Shimmer after their initial redemptions. This is what MLP does. The villain reforms at the end of one appearance, and then their next one explores consequences and character development. So wait until season 6 before making a judgement call on whether Starlight's reformation was poorly handled or not, because this is not a complete story yet.

No debate needed. Our Town was East Germany. :trollestia:

3607743
Usually, I'm a big proponent of "wait and see," but in this case, I don't know how long I'm going to have to wait. I thought venting my frustration would be better than letting it simmer for the better part of a year.

And yes, I'm aware how ridiculous it is that I'm this invested in a cartoon horse. :derpytongue2:

I'm totally with you on disliking the abruptness of the "we're friends now" montage. While I'm currently over the heel-face turn and the start of darkness, that's the one thing that's really stuck in my craw.

I'm also with you on disliking the fic. While I'm perfectly fine with a little darkness (it would be quite hypocritical of me to say otherwise, given my own stories), I'm not a fan of fics where being cruel to a character is the purpose and payoff of the fic. I'm not going to say you're a bad person for writing it, because you're not. It's not even weird that you found writing it to be cathartic. It just really wasn't my cup of tea. It can't be fun, either, being conflicted about having written a fic that then got featured in front of everyone.

As for my stance on Glimmer herself, I'm going to align with 3607743 on the structure of MLP redemption arcs meaning that the consequences and the real meat of the issue will be addressed in episodes to come. My guess is that we're going to see it in the S6 premier, and that it's going to be wonderful.

Here's looking forward to a bright future. Also looking forward to whatever you post next.

Honestly I was just pleased that you managed to come up with something horrible enough to feel like it lived up to Discord's threats in A Mad Glimmer. I don't think it really says much about you; Discord's revenge was brutal but revenge fantasies seem to be a very common thing. You just had to be more creative than most, because Discord would have been. My opinion may or may not be influenced by some of the things I've come up with. I decided to abandon an idea I had for a story that would have been about the Dazzlings revenge killing the Rainbooms. Mostly because I don't know if I want to write something that basically requires me to find my inner sadist and put him in the driver's seat. Not sure it's a healthy mindset for me to intentionally hold on to for long periods of time.

Back on topic, I really have to agree with you on Starlight being forgiven way too quickly by way too many. I can understand Twilight and Fluttershy because that's just how they are. Pinkie, maybe. I think Pinkie would have to apply actual effort to hold a grudge and would give up because it's not a fun or productive use of her energy. But the other three? And the ponies Starlight hurt the most? That could have been an entire episode in season six, Starlight trying to earn their forgiveness. Probably would have been pretty good. But instead we just get a montage during a song. In comparison, Sunset was probably the lesser of two evils compared to Starlight, and even her friends kind of singled her out and excluded her for pretty much the entire second movie.

I actually thought it was a fitting punishment, if it had been done temporarily. This is not a distortion of her philosophy - this is its logical conclusion. The useful definition of equality in a society is equality before the law. The attempted enforcement of equality of outcome is what she was trying for, and that is what Discord gave her alternate self.

Honestly, I don't mind Starlight Glimmer so much as that I do not trust a 4chan-inspired fanbase with a villain oriented around Equality. Because unfortunately they will totally look at her and go "Yup, that's exactly what feminism/anti-racism/any kind of civil rights or economic injustice activism is like, I'm glad the show agrees with me" and say that Discord was totally correct in this story. And frankly the makers of the show should have known this and the fact that they did it anyway makes me seriously question their judgment :ajbemused:

All I'll say is what I read made me re-evaluate some of my opinions about you. Whether that's a good or bad thing, I don't know. And this just adds more for me to think about, so... yeah.

:trollestia: ...meh. :trollestia:

Well, to be honest, I think I really enjoy the dissertation and while A Creamed Glaze wasn't something I was overall interested in reading, I understand your perspective here. Well, as much as a foreign, autonomous, possibly non-existent body can.

I liked the story. I wouldn't say I enjoyed it, though, at least not as a whole. The Changeling Bad Future stuff was imaginative and interesting, and the imaginative nastiness of Discord's revenge (along with him straight-up admitting it's petty and awful of him, but that's the kind of a being he is) was impressive, but, well. I think I had a very similar reaction to your own, and I wasn't that mad at Starlight to start with.

It would be interesting to ask the opinion of some people I know, who really hated the finale ending and wanted to see Starlight get her just deserts, about this fic. (Then again, they don't like Discord much, either, so...)

3607893

Undoubtedly.

3607977

And frankly the makers of the show should have known this and the fact that they did it anyway makes me seriously question their judgment

I don't understand the issue. It was wrong of the show writers to make a villain who upheld an ideology of warped social justice because people who oppose social justice would like it? That's like saying we can't criticise the Westboro Baptist Church because some fedora atheists on the internet might circlejerk over it.

Of course extremists will take joy in what they perceive as a mockery of the opposite extreme, but they'll do that either way, and we shouldn't care about their opinions. The character of Starlight Glimmer and her introductory episode are there to comment on a real issue, the dangers of taking the idea of equality too far, and it's the moderates who it's meant to speak to and provoke thought for. And that's exactly what it did, so the show writers did nothing wrong. Who cares about how some anonymous idiot might deliberately misinterpret something?

3607743 I can accept that this is a part of the show, but that doesn't mean I have to like that part of it.

I don't think you should feel bad for writing this fic. You were imagining what a reformed but still dark Discord would do to a pony who hurt his friends and arguably got them killed in another timeline. I can't say I enjoyed reading it, but I don't regret reading it either. It was thought-provoking the way Discord forced Starlight experience the ultimate pony equality.

I completely agree with you about the friendship montage at the end of the episode. I think that part bothers me the most about the finale, too. Even if we ignore that Starlight led a cult and doomed the world several times over...Let's just look at what she did to the Mane 6, personally. She stole their cutie marks and locked them up in a small room with no water and what looked like stale hay, and her voice repeated propaganda on the loudspeaker, constantly. Many people in the modern world would consider this torture! So no, I don't think the Mane 6 should trust her or be friends with her right away. I'm not saying they could never be friends, but it should take a lot of time and effort from both sides. And Starlight needs to prove that she can be a good friend.

3607992
Fair enough. I hope the blog helps me in your eyes more than it hurts.

3608057
Is this your way of telling me you're an AI? I'm totally okay with that; I just want to be sure.

3608125
Truly, you must live a blessed life to know nothing of doubt and regret, to have your every endeavor go exactly as you expected it would, to never once look back and question yourself. I envy your good fortune, sir, for I am not so favored by fate.

Honestly, I felt your Discord was perfectly in character. He is reformed... but that doesn't mean he's always nice. Especially when dealing with something that he knows full well isn't really a pony, but rather just a construct.

As far as the redemption? It makes sense in that no pony but Twilight knows Glimmer did anything. So they have no reason to see anything but a bad pony who took a year to reconsider her actions and feels bad now. So long as she doesn't go all cult crazy again, they have no reason to avoid her. I'm sure Luna and Celestia are watching her like hawks, though...

3608616 No. Old philosophy that basically states that nobody actually exists outside of the viewer's perspective.

3607743 The thing about Starlight Glimmer's reformation that is different than most? She didn't get shot in the face with a Rainbow Laser like every other example except Trixie, who got conned out of her amulet.

Apparently Starlight was not far gone enough that mere words, logic and empathy could reach her, which means that despiter her horrific actions on some level it was easier for others to forgive her.

Another interpretation is that Twilight has grown beyond the crutch of mystical artifacts as a true Princess of Friendship to really solve her problems with real friendship. Talking someone down by promising to help them with their problems and work with others to make them feel accepted is a far more satisfying victory for the "magic of friendship" than petrifying/depowering/brainwashing your opponents with eldrich magic, even if said eldrich magic is powered off pure harmony.

3608878

All very true.

Given how at least three people misread the title, I’m seriously considering writing a story entitled A Glazed Cream that’s just a fuzzy slice of life where Discord and Starlight eat donuts together.

...with the baker from Our Town making the donuts... yes, please do this. (With or without that wrinkle.)

3608125 Some people feel that publishing work they aren't proud of and letting it stay up afterwards is a sign of intellectual honesty, you know.

The odd thing is that Starlight made a recent Cracked photoplasty: "Dangerous zealot? He or she had a traumatic childhood that drove them wonko." And, hey, it's not like she's a baddie from Totally Spies! or anything. One of THEM wanted to blow up the world because he got pantsed and people laughed at him.

3607920 The montage made sense to me because of something that most of us have missed: nopony in town aside from the Mane Six actually knows what Starlight did....YET. Remember, her chapter book calls her Twilight's INFAMOUS student because it took a while for what she did to filter out to the general public. As far as the pony on the street knew, she was simply Trixie 2.0. When they figure out that she's Pony Jim Jones, then we'll see her treated accordingly.

3609308
Yeah, but my issue was specifically with how quickly she seemed to be forgiven by the ponies from Our Town, as well as half of the Elements. I get why most of Ponyville just ran with it, but the ponies she actually hurt forgave way too quickly. Hopefully they'll still make an episode out of it in season six if Starlight doesn't get tossed on a bus to Canterlot or something.

Princess Luna was consumed by guilt, flagellated herself for years without telling anyone, and so completely isolated herself from her subjects that she didn’t even realize that certain traditions and customs had fallen out of use centuries ago.

This is part of the reason why I like Luna (and write about her a lot) -- she overdoes her self-punishment, but she demonstrates that she does, in fact, have a very strong sense of right and wrong. She doesn't just go "Oops, Sister, sorry I turned on you and nearly wrecked the Realm, so what's for dinner tonight?"

My Luna, of course, overdoes her self-punishment because she's a dark romantic -- she has a tragic sense of life, and can't do anything by halves. This is I believe entirely consistent with vanilla-canon Luna.

Also, note well: Luna already has been punished -- she was banished to the Moon for a thousand years.

Trixie could plead insanity and didn’t even expect forgiveness from most of the ponies she tormented, skipping town the moment she knew that Twilight wouldn’t try to get her back.

Trixie is herself an unforgiving sort of Pony, and when she realized what she'd done, I don't think she forgave herself all that easily. I think she has a strong heroic ideal, and she knew she'd violated it, and that it was solely due to Twilight's intervention that she didn't wind up running Sombra 2.0 on her wetware. Or whoever it was who made the Amulet in purely vanilla canon.

FWIW, I think that her original plan involving the Amulet was "Trixie will buy the Amulet and Trixie will master it because Trixie is so Great and Powerful and then Trixie will go back to Ponyville and show up Twilight Sparkle." Note the lack of inherently illegal or immoral actions in that plan, compared to what she actually did.

In "Magic Duel," the moment when Trixie starts to be corrupted is very obvious. It's before she even puts on the Amulet. She walks in to the magic shop, obviously meaning to buy the Amulet, and the moment she sees it she considers stealing the Amulet. IMO the Amulet wanted her, because she was a Unicorn mage powerful enough to make a suitable host for Sombra 2.0.

The fact that Trixie doesn't kill anypony under the Amulet's influence is why I think she has an explicit Code Against Killing. (And of course, in time the Amulet would have tricked her into killing somepony; and once that happened her despair and guilt would have completed her ruin). The fact that she doesn't seem to have a stallion harem is why I think that Trixie's fundamentally not very sexually lustful, and certainly not promiscuous. She does manifest Wrath, Pride, Vanity and Greed under its influence, though, so those are probably Trixie's core character failings. Especially Pride.

Basically, what we saw under the Amulet's influence was Trixie expressing all her bad character traits. Simultaneously. That's as bad as she gets: Trixie, normally, is restrained by her morals and her heroic self-image. Equestria was damned lucky that somepony who thinks of herself as a heroine donned the Amulet.

Discord had to grapple with the unpleasant new sensations of guilt and empathy, and no one but Fluttershy trusted him for quite some time. (Also, just living in Equestria in a nondisruptive way was probably something of a punishment for him.)

In the SWSV, what is happening to Discord is that he is integrating his original Dissy-persona into the Discord overlay, and -- though even the reformed Discord is too much of an arrogant jerk to admit it -- he's starting to feel a lot of guilt and shame for his actions during the Age of Discord. Especially for hurting the Sisters, and also for hurting the other Paradise Estate Ponies -- most of whom he originally liked.

What he's really terrified of is being alone again. He's come to the realization that for 2500 years, he basically had no friends -- only pawns and servitors, enemies and victims. Having experienced friendship with Fluttershy, he doesn't want to be alone again.

The best way to have friends is to be more Dissy-like. Dissy was loveable. Dissy was so loveable that the Paradise Estate Ponies mostly liked him despite the fact that he was born under horrible omens with strong clues pointing to his destined role as the Anti-Megan.

But the problem is that Dissy -- while he was lazy and addicted to constant random jokes -- actually had a sound moral code. Dissy is horrified at the things that Discord has done -- especially to the Sisters, who were his best friends, to Wind Whistler, who was his Beloved Teacher, and to Shady, his mother, who DIscord thought he was treating well but was actually locking in a millennium of madness. And Discord can't channel Dissy without also feeling his guilt.

In terms of how A Crazed Gleam would work in the SWSV, Dissy would be okay with Discord getting revenge on Starlight Glimmer in this fashion (though Dissy, on his own, wouldn't have done it) because of one big reason. Starlight hurt FLUTTERSHY. Next, because she also hurt most of his other friends. Dissy would hate Starlight Glimmer (to the extent of his limited ability to hate) and not try to stand in Discord's way when Discord wanted revenge.

Compare this to Starlight. She’s welcomed with open hooves by all of Ponyville and the citizens of Our Town in the blink of an eye. Yes, most ponies don’t know the enormity of her transgressions, but this kind of instant forgiveness just rubbed me the wrong way

It's significant that the Ponies of Our Town forgave her, though, because they're the ones most knowledgeable regarding her crimes. That confirms what I thought -- that she actually tried to be a good leader in Our Town, though her attempt was doomed by her insane philosophy. This is probably the only reason they forgave her: they could tell she hadn't meant to do evil to them.

Plus, Ponies are crazy-nice. In general. It is both a racial strength -- and weakness.

3608616

For what it's worth, I still consider you a friend and still respect you as a person. Plus, I'm looking at this from a very biased perspective. I'm one of the few people who found Starlight sympathetic from the outset (and glad they didn't make her just another generic power-hungry baddie), and one of the even rarer people who has never liked Discord. So, while I found the first fic fairly enjoyable and fitting, I just found the second to be... well, a character who embodies everything I fear about the world torturing someone to satisfy their own petty desires.

3610073

Also, note well: Luna already has been punished -- she was banished to the Moon for a thousand years.

That's a great point, and it reminded me that Discord has already been punished, too. Getting turned to stone and remaining conscious for about 1000 years is possibly the worst punishment imaginable. I can sort of understand why he still acts like a jerk even though he's reformed.

I'm not saying Starlight deserves that fate by any stretch, but I'd like to see her do some kind of community service or something (maybe at Our Town, under supervision, of course).

3609209
I was going to do it at Donut Joe's, maybe have a meeting of the Reformed Villains Club with Sunset Shimmer, a ponified human Twilight too gobsmacked to object to being labeled a villain, a Trixie who isn't, and maybe Diamond Tiara and/or Princess Luna. But the added tension of Sugar Belle's presence...

Darn it, Bliss, I have enough ideas as it is.

Was it cathartic? My goodness, yes.

This was what this story was for me.

Honestly, wanting to see the person who nearly exterminated all of existence (or did but then it was undone, or did but then the "right" timeline came back without really removing the alternate lines, whatever time-stuff you want to call it) get their just desserts I don't think says anything untoward about you, or anyone who may have liked the story. It's a common theme, just yours had more existential horror.

But the principle is her crime was against existence and time itself, and thus her punishment was also fitting. That is what I took out of it myself.

I’m seriously considering writing a story entitled A Glazed Cream that’s just a fuzzy slice of life where Discord and Starlight eat donuts together.

Freaking DO IT!!!

3610073

FWIW, I think that her original plan involving the Amulet was "Trixie will buy the Amulet and Trixie will master it because Trixie is so Great and Powerful and then Trixie will go back to Ponyville and show up Twilight Sparkle." Note the lack of inherently illegal or immoral actions in that plan, compared to what she actually did.

The intention behind the transgression is why I'm measured in my distaste for Starlight Glimmer (and ugh, will the writers stop naming Twilight's foils different variations of her name? I don't think even the target audience need things to be that obvious).

What she did before the girls met her: Cajoled a small community of ponies into giving up their cutie marks. Began to keep them in line through brainwashing. (Evidence for conjecture: The re-education room must have existed before the mane six arrived.) The removal of cutie marks became less voluntary by the time she took the mane six's by force, though the general population still thought it was voluntary, so they might have been the first she forcibly stole rather than browbeat into agreement.

What she didn't intend: To be a tyrannical bully; her dialogue then and subsequently suggests she thought she was doing the right thing, even as she neared the bottom of her slippery slope into dictatorship.

What she did next: Tried to use time travel to prevent Twilight from making her five friends, this being her idea of an eye for an eye (you take my friends, I take yours). Destroyed the freakin' world, timestream, etc.

What she didn't intend: To destroy the freakin' world, timestream, etc. For a unicorn mage more powerful and more intelligent than Twilight (evidence: fights alicorn Twi to a standstill, edits Starswirl's spell to add range and change stable time loop to non-stable), Starlight has incredibly poor common sense, especially around caution with freakin' time travel.

Her origin story's a little weak - your foal friend ditches you and you blame his cutie mark, not his pushy family? - so she was clearly a time bomb waiting to happen. Not quite to the degree of diminished responsibility, but I can easily believe she didn't foresee the consequences of her revenge plan.

That's why the 'punishment' I would have assigned, as hypothetical prince of friendship, would be tailored to teach her to think things through, develop some common sense and build up her resilience to perceived slights.

Given how at least three people misread the title, I’m seriously considering writing a story entitled A Glazed Cream that’s just a fuzzy slice of life where Discord and Starlight eat donuts together.

A Glazed Cream

A Glazed Cream

I cannot endorse this enough.
3608616

3645674

I second DOING that.

3609292

REminds me of a TOtally SPies fic I wanted to right, where it was revealed that the 'evil' gene Jerry worked tto treat people on was just a penchant for over-reaction. One traumatizing event causes you to go "DOOM TO THE WORLD"...


And, actually has it revealed Mandy is an asymptomatic carrier.

1: I agree that Starlight Glimmer being forgiven so fast and becoming a pseudo member of the Mane 6 leaves me with very mixed feelings. I love redemption stories and it's a very big theme in my WIP FiMfic series, but ever for me the season 5 finale was too easy-nice if that makes sense. She was accepted faster than I think any other reformed character was. So I totally agree with you in that her wake up call should be flesh out more (no pun intended).

2: OH MY GOSH I AM A HUGE TERRY PRATCHETT FAN! HE'S MY FAVORITE AUTHOR EVER!!

3: I really love how you explain how Discord is powerful but not stupid with his power, hence not changing time. That's almost exactly how I write him in my WIP FiMfics.

I read the stories and I love them!

What I don't understand perfectly yet is what did Discord condemned​ Starlight to. I mean, um, what punishment is Starlight experiencing?

4528686
She has no mouth, and she must scream.

In other words, Starlight is experiencing near-total sensory deprivation, utter helplessness, a steady drain on her vital essence, a weak but persistent intrusion on her sense of self by the perennially happy love battery's simple personality, and the knowledge that only possible reprieve from this hell is a death which may never come.

I can get very dark when I want to.

4528725
you said our town twice, what town are you referring to?

4882072
The village of de-marked ponies that Starlight founded. ("In Our Town, In Our Town, we do not compete...")

4882073 oh i never knew that was it's name

3607743

Discord didn’t reform until his betrayal and then being betrayed by Tirek. Sure, he wasn’t making the sky turn purple or having snakes throwing Pies (the ponies) at psychology students but he was “more annoying than pre-reformed Discord” to quote Applejack. This is a rather long redemption arc which concludes with him giving flowers to Celestia in a truce sort of fashion.

At the end of Equestria Girls, NOBODY was buying Sunset’s redemption, school body and a large majority of the audience alike. Rainbow Rocks essentially had a meta-plot of redeeming her to the audience, with a real plot of her being redeemed to Canterlot High. When she stops Dash performing “Awesome as I wanna be” because she’s beginning to pony up, Flash Sentry yells out “There’s the girl we love to hate!” essentially confirming to the audience that the students haven’t believed her (as if the opening scene wasn’t proof enough).

Starlight just said “Hey, sorry for enslaving you all and brainwashing you into my misguided ideals! We cool?” and they all rushed over and gave her a big hug. Her villain arc just wasn’t made for redemption, while Sunset’s and Discords arcs were both carefully designed. I admit, I used to hate her as a character but then I realised I shouldn’t be expending all that effort into it. Now I think she’s a “Meh” character that screws up majorly a few times even today.

I don’t hate her, but I most certainly don’t like her. She just is. And honestly, that’s the worst kind of character there is.

4995971

Yeah, I agree with you on all that. Obviously, I wrote this comment before season six, so I was just arguing for people to wait and see what the show would actually do for Starlight's redemption arc before they judged it, because I always want to give something a chance first. Having now actually seen it, I think it was severely mishandled. To be honest, I disliked Starlight far more in season six than I ever did when she was a villain, and most of my favourite stories about her are ones that play her as a villain as well. That's not to say that I think a character like Starlight couldn't have had a satisfying redemption arc, but in retrospect, yeah, the warning signs were there right from the beginning.

4996161
You know what the kicker is? Hasbro knows how to do a Starlight-Style redemption arc properly. When? Equestria Girls “Legend of Everfree” villain Gloriosa Daisy.

Crisis
Villainy
Redemption

Only the Crisis is something actually serious, a rich asshole is forcing her into debt so she has to sell her entire livelyhood so he can turn it into a spa to line his own pockets. What’s more, we learn about this before she goes full she-demon (EQG seems to like she-demons).

Her redemption also involves using the different elements of friendship to help solve her crisis. Not just “friendship is given in general” which is how Starlight was offered it. Sunset had to prove herself and Discord was given kindness, despite rejecting it originally. Although again, Discord probably didn’t accept friendship fully into his heart until he said the line “I had both friendship and magic, now I have neither. I’m sorry.”

Starlight really had no excuse to do what she did, in the way she did it. This also carries onto some other villains, notably Tempest Shadow and to a lesser but still kinda there extent the Pony of Shadows/Stygian.

4996240

Starlight's redemption arc really should've taken a few more cues from Discord's.

4996255
Yea. Instead of “OK You’re coll now because you said a two-syllable word” it should have been kinda sorry but not completely, then actually sorry.

Honestly, S6 is a sorry excuse.

A Glazed Cream

3645674
Seconded, except...

You know, you could set it in the same continuity as this story. Just, you know, with the other Starlight. In mainline Equestria.

Dunno how Discord would feel about doing what he did after he legitimately made friends with this version of her.

He did that whole thing with Starlight at the end of season 5. He still had some ways to go after that, and eventually did.

Could be a slice of life piece with heavy undertones to it that only readers of the prior stories will get. Discord flinching at certain times, maybe. Bringing up Starlight's past out of nowhere.


.

A Glazed Cream

On a whim, Starlight invites Discord to hang out at Donut Joes.

She's heard from Spike about their O&O sessions, and realizes she's barely interacted with him lately.

So let's apply some of those good old friendship lessons, make up for some old mistakes, be more friendly.

But why does Discord seem so uncomfortable around her?

.
.

Discord snapped his claw, and a second, identical doughnut appeared from thin air. It even had the same bite taken from it.

The doughnut promptly fell to the floor and splattered with little fanfare.

Starlight looked down, then up at Discord, waiting for the punchline. But it never came.

Instead, Discord weighed the other doughnut in his claw with great care, one claw-tip around the hole in its middle, as if to prevent it from falling through the claw it was resting on. Which Starlight would almost have expected to happen at this point, so that's probably why it wasn't happening.

"Tell me, Starlight..." Discord spoke in a casual tone that seemed... off, somehow. "What's the difference between these two doughnuts?"

.
.


The punchline of course is that Starlight doesn't know what the conversation is actually about. She realizes the whole doughnut thing is a metaphor for something, but doesn't understand what for. Probably making some false assumptions along the way.

5170496
... You know, I do believe this has the makings of a thrilling conclusion to a trilogy.

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