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Let R = { x | x ∉ x }, then R ∈ R ⟺ R ∉ R... or is it?

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Ideas I will not be writing #5 · 7:54am Aug 14th, 2017

This thought came to me while re-reading the classic Whom The Princesses Would Destroy… and thinking on the recent episode.

Namely, this passage is relevant:

“—went and followed the dragon migration, didn’t she, with two of her—”
“With eyes, right, like pools of light and stuff—”
“—me mate says she’s the cleverest pony in all—”
“—that’s what I’m telling you, just made wings for a friend of hers like it was—”
“—a friend of hers, right, fastest pony alive—”

And it suddenly reminded me of something: There was a rather famous character who was also ridiculously capable himself, but more importantly, whose adventures were boosted dramatically by employing servants who were, respectively, the fastest man alive, the strongest man alive…

Namely, Baron Münchhausen.

The story of those guys first turns up in the German translation, itself being a fusion with a fairytale, but since Raspe’s stories have been sort of an expanded universe from the very beginning, it’s become a solid part of the Münchhausen mythos by now.

So here’s a story seed for you…

Princess Twilight Sparkle is telling stories about her wonderful adventures to a company of random ponies she met in a bar while traveling.

Completely and utterly truthful stories. Because they are stories of actual episodes, ones that didn’t make it into the Friendship Journal, and include various things that the camera left on the cutting floor. We, the readers, know this is how it happened. The ponies listening to Twilight do not.

Of course, it takes a certain kind of pony to tell these stories in such a manner that they’re entirely unbelievable and fanciful, but this Twilight Sparkle just so happens to be exactly this kind of pony.

Or at least, becomes this kind of pony when suitably tipsy…

Replace Princess Twilight with Baroness Applejack. Reportedly, originally the Element of Honesty, who now claims nothing of the sort, because she had to give it away under mysterious circumstances.

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Comments ( 8 )

I must confess, having grown up in Canada, I am not overly familiar with the tales of Baron Münchhausen, but this sounds like a fantastic idea.

Personally, I find Applejack would be a more interesting narrator, if only because she can potentially be used as an anonymous storyteller with her identity only hinted at until the end of the story. An alicorn bedecked in palace clothes adds a certain level of credibility to the wild adventures.

This does sound intriguing, but I find myself wondering about the potential of the others as narrators. It might be tricky to keep Dash and Rarity from exaggerating, but Fluttershy could offer an interesting and understated perspective. ("The cockatrice was really quite nice after the dominance display.") And Pinkie...

There are unreliable narrators, and then there are narrators that are actively thumbing their noses at you. Pinkie, of course, would swear to honesty beforehand, but her memory is slipperier than most.

She could just be a rather tall unicorn who keeps her cloak on.

Or a pegasus who hides her horn under a tricorne. :)

I suppose a unicorn in a tricorne might look like no 'corn at all.

Now I want to read a story about how Princess Sparklehausen, when getting stuck in the mud, pulls herself up by her own horn.


Actually, right now I’m considering creating a group devoted to canon research in my usual vein.

If I do follow through with this, we’re going to inaugurate it with a contest of such stories. :)

I loved the movie.

So would twilight get younger in the retelling?

As a longtime lover of the Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Muchhausen storytelling game, I am so very tempted … although this assumes a certain level of free writing time which I do not actually possess. :(

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