• Member Since 9th Dec, 2014
  • offline last seen November 25th

Robo Bro


A Canadian brony who enjoys writing stories. On rare occasions I even post those stories here.

More Blog Posts60

  • 41 weeks
    Chrysalis: Saviour of Time Chapter 17...Again

    Hello, folks, welcome to the new chapter 17, Night Mare Games. Discussion with spoilers after the page break.

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    8 comments · 352 views
  • 44 weeks
    Chrysalis: Saviour of Time Chapter 20

    Welcome to chapter 20, Changeling Spaces. Spoilerific discussion after the page break.

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    16 comments · 315 views
  • 46 weeks
    Chrysalis: Saviour of Time chapter 18

    Edit: changed to chapter 19
    Hello all, for once it hasn't been very long. Spoiler ridden discussion about the 18th chapter, Changeling Seasons, after the page break.

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    13 comments · 268 views
  • 49 weeks
    Chrysalis: Saviour of Time Chapter 17

    edit: Changed to chapter 18
    Also known as "Hearth Attack", an original chapter not based on any episode because season 1 had no winter episodes and I didn't want to skip an entire season. More discussion with some spoilers and such after the page break.

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    5 comments · 194 views
  • 49 weeks
    Christmas Update

    Hello all, just a Christmas season update and stuff. Merry Christmas, happy Hearth's Warming, happy generic holidays, etc.

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    3 comments · 188 views
Feb
2nd
2021

Chrysalis: Saviour of Time Chapter 20 · 2:46am February 2nd

Welcome to chapter 20, Changeling Spaces. Spoilerific discussion after the page break.

So, first let's get this out of the way. Observant readers may have noticed that I went from chapter 18 to chapter 20 with these blogs, seemingly skipping a chapter. Very observant readers may also have noticed that I changed the chapter numbers for the chapters from Hearth Attack onward, adding 1 to their number. This has something to do with something that was discussed in the comments of the last blog. In short, I am going to be retroactively inserting the episode Luna Eclipsed between Cheating Heart and Hearth Attack. Though I may typically do any chapter reveals at the end of the blog, I'll do it here...next chapter is going to be taking a step back in time with Luna Eclipsed. If you really can't wait to see what actually happens next in the story, sorry, you'll have to wait a while longer.

For the sake of clarity, in this blog I will be referring to past Chrysalis as Queen Chrysalis, and future Chrysalis as Saviour Chrysalis. Having a chapter where 90% of what happens is two versions of the same character talking to each other was a little annoying to write, and probably going to be more confusing to read than I would desire.

Changeling Places was meant to be a spin on the name of a show I thought I remembered called Changing Places. When I googled it, I saw that may have been something I misremembered, but that's fine. It uses the punny interpretation where changeling=changing, indicating that she has changed places, and it also applies in a very literal sense because she's in the hive, very much a changeling space.

This chapter, much like the previous chapter of a similar name, went through a few revisions. It's first draft upon being typed up was 2400 words. I came to the conclusion that Queen Chrysalis was being far too gentle. I rewrote a substantial portion of the chapter to have her be more aggressive, and ended up boosting it to 3000 words. A couple days later, I realized that I really needed to have her address specifically that the element bearers are as close as they are to learning Saviour Chrysalis' identity, since she was supposed to be the changeling disguised as a bird that was following her around during Winter Wrap Up. I then realized that I didn't have the bird show up for the meeting with Pinkie Pie and added that into the previous chapter, and had to come to the conclusion that, even if it is a little sad to see it happen, there is no way that Queen Chrysalis would allow for Pinkie Pie to keep her memories of the "I'm not a pony" conversation, or even of the word changeling. Saviour Chrysalis held back from wiping her memory specifically because she has had a ton of character development and has grown attached to these characters, Queen Chrysalis has had none of that development and would not hesitate to clean up the worst of the mess that Saviour left behind. So...Pinkie knew the general idea that Chrysalis was a changeling and not a pony, even if she didn't know what a changeling was. Now she doesn't even know that. It finally ended up at 3400 words, a full thousand longer than it was initially.

In comes the letter that Saviour was writing and about to scrap in a prior chapter before Rainbow Dash crashed into the library and it, like some commenters surmised, was picked up by Skitter/Davenport. It wasn't exactly meant to be a particularly well hidden thing, but it wasn't explicitly stated in the chapter what he did, either.

There is an issue here that bothers me, one that requires a suspension of disbelief for this chapter to work as it is. You must accept that there is nothing that Saviour could say or reveal to her past self about herself that could convince her that she is from the future, or at least that Saviour believes it to be so. Yes, it makes sense that her past self would be immediately suspicious of a shapeshifter who takes on her form, but even if she is as public and open a figure amongst the changelings as I had said, there should still be something that could be said that would be private enough to work one would think. The suspicious nature, uncertainty about revealing oneself, and relatively available information (at least to changelings) can only go so far, and as a result there's a definite need for suspension of disbelief that may be pushing it a little. Could I possibly rewrite this to avoid that? Actually have Saviour reveal herself? How would that force me to change the plans I have for the future? I would certainly need to change a lot, I think, so I'm afraid we'll have to stick with the suspension of disbelief. Perhaps if I had been wiser, or less stubbornly attached to the current trajectory, I could have done better.

So...there's a certain detail that is mentioned in this chapter. Specifically, that Queen Chrysalis had nothing to do with Pinkie's abduction in Double, Double Tea and Trouble. I'd been sitting on that one for awhile. Not as long as some other things, but that is still from over 2 years ago at this point. It gets glossed over by Saviour since Queen mentions Pinkie getting her mind wiped, one of the substantial changes to the chapter I mentioned earlier. It even led to Saviour nearly attacking her past self. Hurray for feeling angry over her friends being harmed like that, not so hurray for trying to commit an unconventional version of suicide.

Saviour is not quite at the point of accepting the idea of changelings and ponies coexisting peacefully. The Queen initiated this conversation just a little too early. Perhaps if it had been another month or two, Saviour would have been at the point where she was willing to encourage that coexistence, but not yet. Instead, we get a confused changeling unsure of where to go from there.

Now, Queen Chrysalis is clearly a villain in this story. There's no way around that. Despite this, I wanted it to be clear that this villain and our now hero of the story are still the same person. They have a lot of the same desires, the same flaws, the same fears, and the same past (minus several years that the younger hasn't experienced yet), and ultimately the same potential for redemption (or failure to be redeemed). The Queen may be villainous, but I didn't want her to be seen in this chapter as a completely unrepentant monster. Some of the comments for the last chapter were about how the Queen is making a big move, that she's having somebody take the place of Saviour, that it's going to be a big challenge for them to succeed at that role. I have throughout this story tried to firmly establish that Chrysalis, in all her forms past and present, cared incredibly deeply about all changelings. She was never meant to be a hypocrite on that front, one to talk about it but not act on it, even if her treatment of non changelings was abysmal. I didn't want her to be the type to just throw one of her kind in the dungeon just because they are becoming troublesome, at least not without providing ample warning first. Her actions should be primarily in the interest of her own people, and she would see the rogue changeling of Twilight Sparkle as one of her people. I was so obsessed with this aspect of her, that I was a little concerned with the end of Changeling Seasons where it is indicated that Saviour gets hit on the back of the head and knocked out by Queen. I decided to stick with that bit of violence, justifying it because the Queen was frightened of what could happen. She has strong suspicions that Saviour is a changeling queen, and as such potentially very dangerous. It was her last chance for the element of surprise, and she couldn't afford to take the risk of being attacked after being discovered.

Moving on from that wall of text, let's talk about the part of the chapter from the perspective of the Queen. You get a confirmation that she had heard of what happened at the Hearth's Warming Party, but clearly enough she had no direct eye witnesses to the event or she would know that Twilight is actually her, or at least somebody that looks nearly identical (her spies would definitely recognize her). That's small stuff, though. The big thing of course is the reveal that she had abducted Time Keeper. At least one person had pointed out that they suspected that he was captured in the comments of the previous chapter, which is precisely what I was trying to indicate when I had him not show up for Rainbow Dash's weather team. I had actually been very conflicted on whether or not to include this scene. What would be better, I kept asking myself for ages (several months if not a couple years at this point, this had been planned for quite some time), to have the sudden twist reveal later on where you learn that Time Keeper is now the Queen after she sees and/or hears something big? Or to have the potential tension from the dramatic irony, with the audience knowing full well that Time Keeper has been replaced while Saviour does not? In the end, I clearly went for tension from dramatic irony. I think I've done enough of the hidden twists, let's try having one out in the open for once. I don't know if it was the right choice, only time will tell.

Time Keeper being tight lipped under interrogation is nothing new. He didn't say anything to Celestia or her guard when he was arrested by them, either. The bit about hunger being an "especially cruel torture" had a dual purpose: first to show that Queen can be quite cruel (duh), and also to give a kind of glimpse into the lacklustre conditions the changelings live in, after all, any changeling could tell you that it's a cruel torture because they have endured it. Not nearly to the extent that they had after the failed Canterlot invasion in Saviour's time, but it's still not great for them.

TK spitting at Queen is a pretty standard cliche, really. The Queen blocking it with magic and rubbing it into his face, however, I just thought was pretty cool.

As a side note...those of you who hated Time Keeper and wanted something bad to happen to him...well, ta dah! You got your wish.

Comments ( 16 )

First off, great chapter have comments on it directly but those can be put on the story not the blog. Second, let me just get into character here
"CURSE YOU ROBO BRO AND GIVING US MORE CONTENT TO READ, MAKING THE STORY BETTER AS A WHOLE. AS A PART OF YOUR EVIL SCHEME TO GET US TO RE-READ THE ENTIRE STORY, AS INSERTING A CHAPTER IN THE MIDDLE WILL MAKE US WANT TO READ THE CHAPTERS BEFORE AND AFTER THEN SO ON SO FORTH. HOW DARE YOU!" Anyway keep up the good work

Well, you pretty clearly telegraphed that Time Keeper had been taken by Changelings. For me, it was a matter of whether it was Queen Chrysalis or this mysterious “other party” that we learned about this chapter.

5446250
As I said, it wasn't meant to be a particularly well hidden thing, it just wasn't explicitly stated that he was abducted until this chapter.

5446468
Understood.

I was referring to your statement that “at least one person” speculated that Time Keeper had been replaced. Several of your other hints were pretty subtle and understated. I thought this one was overt by comparison so I was surprised so few noticed and commented on that theory.

Comment posted by Robo Bro deleted February 3rd

5446555
There are things I've hinted at in this story that to this day I'm surprised that nobody has commented on. Or other things that take a lot longer for people to comment on than I expect, things I wasn't trying to be very subtle about even.

edit: accidentally responded to myself instead of the intended comment, so I deleted that post and redid it with the correct post I'm responding to. Just for those who wonder what the heck's going on with that deleted post.

5446564
Just so you know, talking to yourself is the first sign of impending mental collapse. :derpyderp1:

I know because all seven voices in my head actually agreed on that point! :rainbowlaugh:

D48

Well, I'm glad our earlier conversation bore fruit and looking forward to seeing Chrysalis's take on Luna Eclipsed.

5446564
For what it's worth, I rarely comment on those kinds of things, so don't take the lack of comment as people missing it.

P.S. Did you see my comment about Rainbow Dash last chapter? I was expecting some kind of reply, but got distracted by our story structure conversation and forgot to follow up on it until your comment about her reminded me of it.

5446665
About how Dash should have figured it out already? I feel I must say that I respectfully disagree. I don't think she was clueless as you suggested, she just wasn't quite getting it, and I don't think it's that unreasonable that she doesn't. I know you really like the characterization of Rainbow Dash being smart (you are the one that objected to her seeming less intelligent in an earlier chapter and I did make changes at your suggestion), but I don't necessarily agree. I agree that she's not necessarily stupid, but I don't think there's anything in the show to indicate she is exceptional at deductive reasoning. She's brash, impulsive and eager to beat up the baddies so she can play the hero, not a detective, and has shown her willingness to belittle others for being smarter than her, since she uses egghead as an insult, which I quote from dictionary.com is "a person who is highly academic or studious; an intellectual." She eschews reading as an embarrassing hobby at first, and even after she is no longer ashamed to read, a later episode shows that she considers the Daring Do books that focus more on the mysteries and solving of ancient puzzles or other such more intellectual matters to be the worst of the series, favouring the more action packed books by far.

I'm not saying that she's stupid, but I am saying she's not really smart, either. Her portrayal is really a mare of action more than thought. Even so, she's close to piecing it together, and just one small push could make it all click for her. That small push maybe could have been Spike's suggestion of the monster being her friend, but Chrysalis did immediately jump on that, even if her efforts to smother that idea were a little over the top. One of my interpretations of Dash is that she trusts her friends and, despite her belittling of those she thinks of as smarter than her, still respects the opinions of those individuals. Those traits are working against her on this one.

D48

5446735
Ok, I see the issue here.

and has shown her willingness to belittle others for being smarter than her, since she uses egghead as an insult, which I quote from dictionary.com is "a person who is highly academic or studious; an intellectual."

This right here is the big lie at the heart of the disaster that is the modern school system. Intelligence has nothing to do with education, being studious, or memorizing things. The short version is that intelligence is actually about the ability to process information quickly and create connections that are not immediately obvious. The typical PHDs teaching at colleges are very educated, but are frequently not particularly intelligent and thus incapable of thinking outside the narrow bounds of their education. Those are the kind of people Rainbow is making fun of there, and having dealt with quite a few of them myself in the process of getting my engineering degree I can say with absolute confidence that the scorn is usually deserved.

The show reflects this lie, and it's especially visible when you compare Rainbow with Twilight. Twilight is highly educated and great at memorizing things, but if you look at her ability to reason through new information it becomes clear her intelligence isn't anything special. Rainbow on the other hand regularly shows the ability to rapidly draw non-obvious conclusions in ways that are simply beyond Twilight (the "are you a spy" line is a perfect example if you sit down and think through the evidence she had available), making her the most intelligent character in the show (with the possible exception of the unquantifiable Pinkie Pie). We also see Rainbow fall into classic high-IQ death spirals where she thinks herself into a corner in episodes like Sonic Rainboom which is not something you get from an unintelligent character. Thus, it takes some digging and analysis, but when you look into it it becomes clear Rainbow has a significantly higher IQ than Twilight.

5447380
I will repeat what I have said. I do not agree.

The "high IQ death spiral" in Sonic Rainboom as far as I can recall was purely a case of insecurity, likely stemming from the fact that she actually hadn't been able to successfully perform her routine of the sonic rainboom even once during practice (or in fact since she was a child, if I recall correctly). You don't need to be intelligent to realize that going into a competition when you have repeatedly failed at your own performance is likely to end poorly and get nervous because of it. to simply claim it's a "high IQ death spiral" is not sufficient to make it so, that's the kind of claim that requires you to explain it for anybody to believe it.

You want to talk about narrow mindedness as the definition of egghead? She literally refuses to read early on because she thinks it's for "Eggheads", doesn't want to be an "egghead", and goes to criminal lengths to hide that she likes to read until others show her how narrowminded that is. She's not using egghead in that case to mock people who are too narrowminded and hyper focused on the bounds of their education, she is insulting the very idea of reading as a concept.
As for the "Are you a spy" bit, okay, she thought outside the box a little there. New pony in town she's never seen before, nobody to confirm her identity, right after she shows up things go to hell in a handbasket...I can see where she's coming from, at least to an extent. I really don't think it counts as displaying her as being overly intelligent, though.
You would need to provide me with far greater evidence to convince me that RD is the smartest of the group.

5447721
I always have felt there are different types of intelligence. I would make the argument rainbow dash is more street smart than what we consider regular intelligence. I honestly thought she did know when I read the chapter in question. Anyway, I won't say she is the smartest character, far from it but I do think she could find out chrysalis is twilight, but fall a little bit short not knowing she was twilight the whole time. However I think it would make sense even if she did know for here not to act on it anyway, loyalty and all that. Anyway just wanted to throw my take into the hat. Mostly was just me agreeing with the points made and taking a middle ground on it, but I felt it was a interesting topic.

D48

5447721
Well, I was hoping to be able to work up the energy to explain this properly, but it's just not happening and I lost my old bookmarked explanations and reference material so you're getting the short version.

Anyways, the biggest key here is the failings of the education system which is an enormous topic which you don't appear to understand. You should be able to find good written explanations online and I know the Rubin Report did a number of good long-form interviews on the topic, but the short version is that the education system is designed to crush creativity and independent thought at all levels to turn people into mindless drones. Until you understand this, you are incapable of analyzing what is actually going on here so you need to go do some research into it.

Also, your example of Rainbow shunning reading is great evidence for my point. She has clearly seen through the problems with her schooling and rejected everything associated with it to protect herself. She also doesn't want others to know she's enjoying reading because she understands it undermines her rejection of the school system's brainwashing and makes her a hypocrite.

5449483

I would like to preface this entire post with the warning: I am not angry at you, I do not dislike you as a person, I do not mean to be an asshole about this, I am legitimately just trying to argue a point where we seem to disagree. Please don't take anything too personally, I'm aware when I get into this kind of mindset I can seem awfully rude (I actually caused somebody to delete a story they posted after first deleting all my comments because of my criticisms and, even if the story was really bad and I think many of my criticisms could have improved things if he took them to heart, I still feel bad about the overall situation).

You are not arguing the point of Dash's intelligence, you are ranting against the education system. That is purely a distraction from the topic at hand. You need to make your case for RD being the smartest out of the mane six, or at the bare minimum smarter than Twilight Sparkle. Plus, you are letting your own jaded nature of the education system project attributes and history onto Rainbow Dash that there is no real evidence to support. In fact, a later episode where she needs to study for a Wonderbolts history exam to be allowed to join them indicates that she doesn't reject traditional educational values and methods, she simply isn't any good at it since she has a very short attention span in those situations (honestly, one of the cutest RD moments comes from this episode where she rocks back and forth on a stool after losing focus on Twilight's lecture, so I have to like the episode for at least that even if the episode overall was kinda meh). Funnily enough, through a workaround that Twilight notices in her friend, she actually ends up being superb at the rote memorization that you rail against in a different set of circumstances (specifically when she is flying she can remember pretty damn near anything she sees that she's not directly paying attention to to near super human levels). Quite simply, your claim that Rainbow Dash saw the failings of the education system and rejects reading entirely because of that is ridiculous, unsupported, head canon nonsense. She didn't reject it for those reasons, she rejected it out of a kneejerk reaction against the idea of being perceived as an egghead, and even if she were using egghead like you claim, the fact that she thinks admitting she likes reading silly little adventure books makes her that super narrowminded individual is laughably hypocritically narrowminded and ridiculous. Not to mention your biases against the education system are causing you to dismiss a character as less intelligent than she actually is because you see her as a representation of a system you hate. I will grant you the hypocrisy argument, because that at least is pretty apparent within the episode.

I accept that the education system overvalues memorization over creativity and lateral thinking (though wouldn't go as far as to say it crushes them entirely, but perhaps there are some differences between Canada and the USA? I don't know). I also think that completely dismissing the ability to retain information when it comes to measuring intellect is short sighted, since to completely reject something that the current flawed system values without actually considering its merits on its own is not wise. A larger base of knowledge can dramatically improve on your ability to react effectively in various situations. What's more important than the retention, though, is the ability to implement the knowledge you have in new situations, especially in a creative way. Twilight does far more than simply retain information. A great example of this is when the ursa minor attacks Ponyville.

New situation: a giant bear is attacking Ponyville.
Prior knowledge and interpretation of the current situation with that knowledge: The bear is a mammalian baby, and mammalian babies drink milk and tend to need a lot of sleep, plus it's the dead of night when it likely should be sleeping already. There's dairy cows in that barn over there. She know spells for levitation and for summoning a breeze that plays a tune.
Solution: Use levitation to take pieces of nearby buildings to create a makeshift giant baby bottle (creative), fill it with milk from the cows (application of prior knowledge), use her levitation to first lift the bear to stop it from rampaging and then coopt the levitation spell into a different than normal use by cradling and rocking the bear (creative application of prior knowledge), feed the bear milk from the improvised giant bottle (application of prior knowledge), and use the wind music spell as a lullaby (creative application of prior knowledge), all of which together works to put the bear to sleep for a peaceful solution to the problem. It's a combination of retained knowledge, reacting in the moment to information she gathers on the spot, and application of all her knowledge (retained and new) in a creative way to solve the problem.

This one example I believe far outdoes anything that Rainbow Dash does to indicate that she is intelligent. Far better than the moderate leap in logic of "are you a spy".

Going further on that train of thought, in the very same episode where she accuses Twilight of being a spy, Dash completely trusts the Shadow Bolts who are, almost literally, spies for Nightmare Moon. Anything that could have led to her suspecting Twilight was effectively multiplied with them. Their timing was far more suspicious (much closer to Nightmare Moon's arrival, and they show up right in the middle of their quest for the elements where they are blatantly acting as a distraction). They are complete strangers that nobody can verify because they literally aren't real and given RD's fangirl nature towards stunt flying teams, she probably would have heard of them if they were real. Also, their story is complete BS, they claim to be a team of ace fliers from the Everfree Forest. RD works as a weather pony in Ponyville, right next to the Everfree. She should know at bare minimum that weather is not regulated in that forest and ponies don't really live there. Even if she didn't know that ahead of time, she had been travelling through the forest for who knows how long and seen only danger after danger, both in the form of animals and terrain, plus the only signs of pony civilization are some ancient ruins and a rickety old bridge that had collapsed. Merely from walking through the forest, she should have easily seen the signs that their story was suspicious, and yet she is excited to see talented fliers, adores the praise they give her, and is absolutely delighted by the invitation to be their leader. The reason she doesn't go with them isn't because of a lack of trust (unless you want to have a completely unsupported head canon), it's because she's loyal to her friends and can't abandon them. She came to the wrong conclusion from less obvious evidence with Twilight (not a knock against her on that front, it was a hasty conclusion, not a stupid one, and I might even go so far as to say smart), but then didn't even consider that same conclusion when presented with a similar situation that had much more obvious evidence. I even lampshaded this stupidity from the show in the chapter Love is Magic by having Chrysalis point out that being the best fliers in the Everfree doesn't mean much if no ponies live their.

Why would this be? The cynical answer would be it's poor writing, they had to make her seem less intelligent and conflict with an earlier demonstration of her personality/intellect because she had to demonstrate her affinity for loyalty, but that's cheating. You can't just dismiss her being stupid and inconsistent in the show because you don't want her to be stupid. What can I come up with? Option 1: her ego is far greater than her intelligence, so buttering her up caused her to ignore all the warning signs. That's not very smart. Option 2: She was either discriminating against Twilight (for being an egghead? For being a unicorn? For being effectively a government pencil pusher sent to oversee the festival?), or she favours pegasi/strong fliers so much that she doesn't consider they could be evil. That is very stupid, either way, and opens the potential for RD being effectively racist which is a very uncomfortable thought. Option 3: When she accused Twilight, she was pumped up on adrenaline from Nightmare Moon attacking, and was frustrated by AJ stopping her from directly attacking NMM. Accusing Twilight was very soon after that happened, so that frustrated aggression had her looking for a fight or, more charitably, for something she could help with in order to feel less helpless. Twilight in this case is simply the only pony around that she doesn't know well enough to be sure she's a good guy, combine that with her impulsive nature and preference for action over stopping to think things through, and she gets up in her face. I think this one might be the most likely as the primary cause (with a little of the ego from option 1 in the mix). It fits her mare of action identity where she wants to be a hero, and still allows to an extent for her to be perceptive and able to make leaps of logic, such as the new pony in town who nobody can verify the identity of that showed up right before Nightmare Moon and was the only one who knew who NMM was might be a spy working for her. I still say that suspecting Twilight wasn't that impressive given that her circumstances, on closer inspection, are kinda suspicious.

Furthermore, you can see Twilight expressing intelligence and perceptiveness in MMMmystery on the Friendship Express where she was able to investigate all the clues to figure out who ate all the desserts on the train. Also, however much I hate the conclusion for being a complete asspull that makes it impossible for viewers to figure out the answer themselves, Twilight during the episode Pony Point of View listens to Pinkie, AJ and Rarity tell conflicting accounts of what happened on a boat trip and how things went terribly wrong. Twilight was able to notice the similarities that they all agreed on, sort through the fantastical elements and contradictions, combine that with previous knowledge she has of sea creatures, and figured out exactly what actually happened to cause the boat to sink.

In addition to RD's encounter with the Shadowbolts, she also did something awfully stupid in Dragonshy: her solution to a giant dragon thousands of times her size in a cave? Get frustrated by the others' failures and kick it in the face. There is no world in which that is a smart thing to do. She likely would have been seriously injured or killed if Fluttershy hadn't been there to calm the dragon down. She also completely dismisses Fluttershy as a viable help in the quest even though she has personally seen Fluttershy's ability to handle giant, scary monsters and practically turn them into giant teddy bears (ex: the manticore). Even if she knew Fluttershy was afraid of dragons, she should know that she has more to her than just being a coward.

Going back to Sonic Rainboom, she went into that competition planning on doing a stunt that she knows full well that she hasn't been able to perform in years with no alternative routine as a back up plan. That is a complete failure of foresight, and was a tremendously stupid thing to do.

Taking another step back, when Nightmare Moon first show up in Ponyville, Rainbow Dash's first reaction is to directly attack her. In the same time frame, Applejack reacts to that same information to stop her from doing so. I believe that any individual member of the mane six, at least this early in the show, would be incapable of taking on Nightmare Moon. If one accepts that as true, one could argue that AJ did a better job of interpreting the new information than Rainbow did in the same quick time frame, giving us an angle to argue that that AJ is smarter than Dash. It's not a strong argument, easily argued against, but I've included it as an interesting curiosity.

All of her stupid actions do not necessarily mean she is stupid, however, people make mistakes all the time and end up doing stupid things even if they themselves are not stupid. Twilight repeatedly makes really stupid decisions, for example, but I still think she is one of the smartest characters in the show. If one could actually provide sufficient examples of RD doing intelligent things, especially if those things are above what the average person/pony would normally do, then we can safely say that yes, Rainbow Dash is actually pretty smart and it's likely that her intelligence is just hampered by her ego, and impulsive nature. There's one problem with that for me...

I can't honestly think of any instance where Rainbow Dash shows an exceptional level for lateral thinking, creativity, planning, deductive reasoning, or anything of that nature in the series. The closest I can get is, once again, the simple memorization of facts that you say is not a sign of intelligence. Maybe you could argue when she's trying to hamper the coming winter to prevent Tank from going into hibernation she gets creative, but that could just as easily show her short sightedness again. As far as I can tell, Rainbow Dash, while not stupid, is a little below average for intelligence. If you can actually make a case for her being truly smart, I'm willing to change my mind.

D48

5449812
Fuck it, I can't address this effectively without the reference material I lost. I'll just reiterate that the education system really is everything and its utter uselessness is massively supported by everyone who looks at it critically, especially those that look into the original intentions and arguments for it. It was built to turn people into mindless drones, and it does that very well as evidenced by the fact that you literally cannot comprehend how central these problems are. The most useful comparison is how abuse victims rationalize what was done to them to avoid acknowledging the problems, and I'm not exaggerating this in any way because many experts explicitly describe the education system as institutionalized child abuse.

If you want to continue this conversation, you're going to need to do your own research on the education system because that really is the heart of the problem here.

5455647
I had a much longer response typed out, but I realize I would be wasting my time posting it.

If you do not wish to actually make an argument to support your position that Rainbow Dash is the smartest of the mane six, then that is on you, not on me or your lost reference materials.

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