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Author Notes on 'The Armor Hypothesis' · 8:00am Dec 24th, 2021

Iiiiit's afterword time!

Standing at just under 7k words, my giftfic for Jinglemas 2021— The Armor Hypothesis is my longest published ponyfic to date. I certainly didn't expect what was meant to be a one-shot to get this long, but eh, things just sorta happened.

As per request, Shining Armor is the main character of this story, and it's a story just about him and his friends— and none of his family members (though if you look closely, you might just find a cameo. Might.) This was a tricky story for me to write, in that I hardly paid attention to Shining while watching the main show and thus had no idea how to write his character. It didn't help that the show hardly portrayed him as anything other than "Twilight's sister" or "Princess Cadance's husband", so I had a lot of fleshing out to do on my part— I apologise if I didn't get Shining's personality to match canon. Another reason for that is because I wanted to paint a character arc, like I do in most of my stories, so I had to think of a place where Shining could've started from, and then grown into the stallion we see in the show today.

On his wiki page, I found a neat tidbit of Shining's past. The wiki described him as "socially awkward, nerdy and shy"... or something along those lines. The source material was an MLP IDW comic, issue 11, Neigh Anything, from which I drew most of my inspiration and the three other main characters, Gizmo Poindexter, Gaffer and Eight Bit. I had a lot of fun with their characters— always did have a soft spot for the underdogs, or the loser gang. I'm not as stereotypically nerdy as them, so I had to do some researching for nerdy quotes, so I apologise for anything that sounded weird. Star Wars is the only authentic thing in the story since I really had a huge Star Wars phase at one point and still love it very much.

In the end, I decided to do an elementary school, cutie mark origin story because I am seriously uncreative. :rainbowlaugh: Also, the only other idea I had in mind was an older Shining interacting with his fellow Royal Guards but I had minimal knowledge of and zero experience of how a military works so I didn't want to tackle something of that scale just yet. So elementary school it is! Something I could handle (man I do love writing kids). Had to dumb down the dialogue a bit, but I just do love me some fuzzi-wuzzi amplified adorableness.

As I brainstormed for/wrote this story, I realised Shining Armor is really a character with a lot of room for angst. In an AU, he could be a war-battered instrument stripped of his individuality to become a pony that exists only as an armor for others. You can only imagine the sheer length of the character development it would take to get him out of there. I tried to portray something similar, only on a much smaller and safer scale, so we have Shining's friendship (?) with Buck Withers. That honestly deserves a story on its own, but I'm way too lazy for that (and also have 5000 other projects waiting for me to complete, if you read my other blog) so I'll leave that tidbit for your imagination/speculation to suckle on.

Alright, I think I've expounded enough pointless information for the day. Anyway, hope you enjoyed this fic. Happy Hearth's Warming Eve to all of you, and may your year ahead be filled with good cheer! :pinkiehappy:

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