The Sirens 1,225 members · 1,175 stories
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I've spent an hour or two today trying to figure out the timeline of events in Equestria a thousand years or so before the show is set, largely involving different villains. This is doubtless reading far too much into a kids' TV show that's been added to, amended and contradicted as it's made up year by year, but I think written fiction is almost by definition more in-depth. It's easy enough to avoid addressing it in the show, by just not bringing it up in dialogue, but when you can hear the thoughts of a character who was around at that time, such as the sirens, I think it can be harder to realistically avoid.

In the interest of simplicity and fitting universally, this is only using material in the show and EG films as canon, not the comics, things like the Journal of the Two Sisters, or whatever anyone's said on Twitter.

So, this is what I've got:

About the furthest back we've seen is the windigos and the tale of hearth's warming, in which three separate pony tribes arrive in Equestria for the first time and choose it to be their new land. I haven't watched the episode in a while, but I don't think Celestia and Luna are mentioned here, or alicorns at all. The pony who is mentioned, however, is Star Swirl The Bearded, who is said to be a mentor of the unicorn Twilight plays, Clover The Clever. As mentioned in Hearth's Warming Eve.

At the other end of the timeline around then, the only thing we have an exact date for is Luna's downfall and banishment, which we know takes place exactly a millennium before the first episode of the series. Neither Star Swirl nor Clover are mentioned in relation to this event. As seen abstractly in Friendship Is Magic and directly in Princess Twilight Sparkle.

Directly before Luna becoming Nightmare Moon, we know that she and Celestia ruled Equestria together, although we don't know for how long. As mentioned in Friendship Is Magic.

Presumably sometime before that, we had Tirek's backstory:
"Tirek and his brother Scorpan came here from a distant land, intent on stealing Equestrian magic. But Scorpan soon came to appreciate the ways of Equestria, even befriending a young unicorn wizard. Scorpan urged his brother to abandon their plans. When Tirek refused, Scorpan alerted us to Tirek's intentions."
The 'us' is shown to be Celestia and Luna (definitely alicorns), and the unicorn wizard is unmistakeably Star Swirl, complete with his cape, although he looks just as old as we've ever seen him, so perhaps Luna calls him 'young' ironically, or just in comparison to how old she and Celestia are by the time of the show. As shown abstractly in Twilight's Kingdom.

Sometime around then, we must have the sirens, who were banished by Star Swirl. However, no mention is made in their backstory segment of Celestia or Luna. Star Swirl's age there is hard to judge, he has his trademark huge white beard, but as I said, he has that in the Scorpan bits too. As shown abstractly in Rainbow Rocks.

Then we come to the problematic bit: the reign of Discord. Celestia says, "Before my sister and I stood up to him, he ruled Equestria in an eternal state of unrest and unhappiness. Luna and I saw how miserable life was for Earth ponies, Pegasi, and unicorns alike, so after discovering the Elements of Harmony, we combined our powers and rose up against him, turning him to stone."

We aren't given any numbers to work with, although Celestia does use the word 'eternal.' This could mean 'uninterrupted' in a short term sense, or it could imply a much longer timespan. Again, Celestia and Luna are alicorns here. As described in The Return Of Harmony and seen in Princess Twilight Sparkle.

The main problems are these: Star Swirl is around for the windigos and for Scorpan. Celestia and Luna are never mentioned regarding the windigos, and but are shown to be the authority that Scorpan trusts with betraying his brother, which I think implies that the Tirek events take place during the sisters' reign. However, we know that Discord ruled Equestria before Celestia and Luna, which can only put Discord's time after the windigos (because it's Equestria) and before Scorpan (because Discord is ruling, not the sisters). So where was Star Swirl during Discord's time?

Then there's the bit I'm actually interested in, with how the sirens fit in. If the Elements of Harmony were discovered at the end of Discord's reign, when the sisters rose to power, then it stands to reason the sirens predate that. Or, that they managed to defeat Celestia, Luna and the elements - although those same elements defeat them at the end of Rainbow Rocks, so that seems unlikely.

...Or do those same elements defeat them? Because the sirens trample all over the Rainbooms when the rainbow has six colours, and it's only once Sunset joins in and adds her red into the mix that the giant sky alicorn appears, so here we approach seventh element territory.

One answer would be that Celestia and Luna were off defeating Discord while Star Swirl dealt with the sirens, and the two strife-creating villains were present in Equestria at the same time. Except, the Equestria seen in the sirens' flashback did not look at all like Discord's land of chaos.

So my suggested timeline would be:

Windigos/founding of Equestria (no royal sisters, but Star Swirl established enough to be a mentor)

Sirens (Star Swirl deals with it, no royal sisters or Elements)

Discord (Elements discovered, royal sisters take control - but no mention here of Star Swirl)

Tirek & Scorpan (royal sisters in control, Star Swirl mentioned and described as 'young,' although doesn't appear it)

Nightmare Moon (no mention of Star Swirl, perhaps deceased by this point)

Friendship Is Magic, 1000 years later


This is the best fit, I think. The two problems are Star Swirl being described as 'young' in the Scorpan story, although as I said that could be ironic or Luna comparing his age to her own, and where Star Swirl was during Discord's reign, although Discord could have done captured him or turned him into something silly.

Does that seem ok as a timeline to everyone? Can anyone think of anything I've missed that might contradict that order?

Makes sense to me, for as much sense can be made of the mangled mess. I figure Discord wasn't really in control all that long or didn't have the entire landmass under his thumb, and 'young' probably refers to the mortality that apparently doesn't touch alicorns for whatever reason. Or, at least not those two.

EDIT: Heck, I guess it's worth mentioning; in the comics, Starswirl is around after Luna is banished, apparently losing his trust in Celestia after she fiddles about with the mirrors to other worlds too much. Published after this, but most likely taking place before it, is the sirens' comic, where mention of 'the princesses' is made, but we never see them even though the inventing-new-brands-of-music-as-we-go fight seems to go on for at least a few days in their city.

Awesome, thanks, glad that all stands to reason, it became clear towards the end of typing it all out that it fit together better than I expected, that 'young' line threw me right off for a while; luckily I watched the clip of Luna saying it complete with the animation rather than just reading the script, and noticed how old Star Swirl still looks there.

Ok, if the comics were correct, that would mean Star Swirl was established enough before Equestria was settled to have a mentor, then around for everything pre-Discord when the sirens did their thing, then around for the whole of Discord, then for all of Celestia and Luna's peaceful reign, and then for some of Luna's banishment. And yet is largely forgotten by the modern populace, so Twilight's costume isn't recognised in Luna Eclipsed. We don't know how long any of those time periods last for, but I'd like to think Celestia and Luna's tranquil period had a while. Discord's reign is an awkward one; it needs to be long enough for him to be a substantial threat and still vividly remembered a millennium later, but not so long he unmakes reality or something. But all the same, that would be quite the lifespan for Star Swirl, so I'm not sure about following the comics' take on it.

...Who would downvote this, without saying anything, and why?!

Starswirl is first introduced at all in that episode, I think, Twilight specifically saying it was from a book of Obscure Unicorn History. And yet, the fellow had what might have been an annual festival dedicated exclusively to him. I guess he might have gotten popular once Twilight took to royalty, somepony possibly just trying to score points with her by educating the public about important figures she happens to like. If it was annual, year 1 has to start somewhere.

Yet, if that's the case, why would he not come up in the history books? And on that rickety bridge, why was Luna and Celestia's story considered an outright myth? The remains of their castle were still standing and one of the involved parties was still alive. For a thousand years. At least.
One gets the impression that Twilight and her friends won't be much more than a myth in a few centuries either.

"Oh, hi, Discord, Luna, Celestia! You remember those mares that saved the world repeatedly, converted the changelings, and redeemed two of you a while back?"
"No."
"Yea, me neither."

And, not sure about the downvote. Maybe you made some kind of dent in someone's headcanon (which some people use as another word for 'I refuse to see this particular thing in any other way until canon specifically shows otherwise'), maybe someone just doesn't like analyzing things ("It's magic, I don't gotta explain shit!"), maybe someone's just having a bad day.

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You might want to take the "Journal of the Two Sisters" into account, because it might clear some things up. One being the Time Travel spell that we see future Twilight use to go back and warn the present Twilight. And yes, it's the same spell that Starlight Glimmer also used to try to change the past.

Celestia mentions that when Star Swirl looked over the equation on the Time Travel spell, thinking that he mastered it, and she tells him that there's a difference between thinking you mastered it and actually master it. Turns out the Time Travel spell was also an Age Travel spell, and that he aged younger. That could explain how he was able to live longer than the average unicorn, to which we don't even know how long they could live in the first place.

The Journal explains how they came to become princesses with Star Swirl and the six ponies that the Mane 6 played as for Hearth's Warming up to the point that they received their cutie marks after controlling the sun and moon. But that was when Star Swirl lost all of his magic in doing so. So the question that I'm wondering is did they have their cutie marks when they faced Discord or not. I know they bring up the tree of harmony, but nothing about the six gems on it. Just the sun, moon, and star on the tree's trunk.

I can think of some things that are only guesses, but it would also involve the Alicorn amulet and the library tree that had the book hidden that talks about it. Plus, there was Star Swirl's last spell that was unfinished, to which Twilight was able to do so. And then there's the fact that Celestia believed that Discord can be reformed to good. What if she knew who Discord's true self was, since we have no idea as to how his kind came to be unless he was once a pony that messed with the wrong spell and turned to Discord. There's a good chance that the Discord takes place between the Tirek and Nightmare Moon eras instead, to which they remove the elements to stop Discord. That's why the tree stayed healthy until the elements were removed. Then when Nightmare Moon was banished, the elements turned into stone.

We also have the Sombra era to add to this, because that also played an important role. How did they banished him, along with the empire? We don't see the elements used at that time.

These are just more ideas that might confuse you guys. So you don't have to take them into account.

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You might want to take the "Journal of the Two Sisters" into account, because it might clear some things up.

What I read of the summary raised more questions than it answered for me. Where alicorns came from, how they work, and how Star Swirl knew anything about them, for starters.

Timeline wise, all we got is that the princesses were brought in by the ponies we learn a bit about in the Hearths Warming play, which only tells us that they didn't start doing princess stuff until after the Windigos.

We also have the Sombra era to add to this, because that also played an important role. How did they banished him, along with the empire? We don't see the elements used at that time.

Sombra's reign probably wasn't very long if it wasn't so much as mentioned before the dragon stole the Crystal Heart, and it wasn't the sisters that banished the whole empire, but Sombra putting a curse on it in a taking-you-with-me kind of way.

The book apparently stops once they're raising the sun and moon, then cuts ahead to stuff that happened from Castle-mania onward, but I guess it's something. :applejackunsure:

Comment posted by forbloodysummer deleted Feb 5th, 2017

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I had assumed that Sombra was the last thing to happen before Nightmare Moon. I think, if I remember rightly, Luna is familiar with it when first mentioned in the Crystal Empire that 'it' has returned. But I don't think there's any mention of Star Swirl with relation to it.

It rather sounds like the journal mostly serves to complicate things further, so it might be best not considered canon, especially if we have to bring things like the Alicorn Amulet into it as a solution?

To answer your question, in Princess Twilight Sparkle, Celestia and Luna definitely both have their cutie marks when they banish Discord.

I wouldn't put it past Luna to describe Star Swirl as young either ironically or not thinking about his age in relation to that of ponies other than herself, so I think that still works.

With regard to the festival (as in the one from Three's A Crowd?), the synopsis on the MLP Wiki calls it a travelling musuem; I could well imagine their being all sorts of museums, travelling or stationary, devoted to numerous obscure ponies, and Twilight and Cadence paid particular attention to that one because it related to Twilight's favourite? Or am I misremembering the episode, and actually quite a lot of ponies get involved when it comes to town? In which case yes, I think that would be likely due to Twilight's royal influence.

I guess regarding Celestia and Luna, ponies didn't like mentioning Celestia's banished sister to her? And the castle is implied to be quite deep in the forest I think, where ponies don't venture too often? That could be an interesting story idea if in many thousands of years's time, Discord doesn't even remember who redeemed him. Maybe he assumes he's always been good, and suddenly has an identity crisis when he realises being good isn't all that chaotic.

The main thing I was trying to work out from all this was how much the sirens would be likely to be able to deduce about their situation in Rainbow Rocks, without any input from the mane cast. I had wondered if they would recognise Principal Celestia or VP Luna and make the connection to being in a parallel reality, but if their time in Equestria predates the two sisters, that wouldn't really work. The remaining connection I can think of is the name 'Canterlot;' the summary Wiki page lists it as the first thing listed in the era of ancient history, but it gives the source as a non-canon video game. We know Ponyville is far newer than that, but I don't think we have much suggestion in-show of how old Canterlot is. I was struggling to imagine it dating back to Discord, but looking at the scene of his banishment, there are crude huts in the background, not dissimilar to modern-day Griffonstone, so Canterlot could have been around as a basic settlement long before its glorious sweeping spires were built.

With regard to the downvote, yeah, I had been viewing that as answering 'no' to an 'A, B or C?' question, but I can see those reasons you list being enough for someone to press the button.

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I remain greatly pleased that the books/comics/whatever were specifically said to be "Take what you like, ignore the rest," or "soft-canon," because imagine the mess otherwise. :fluttershbad:

With regard to the festival (as in the one from Three's A Crowd?), the synopsis on the MLP Wiki calls it a travelling musuem; I could well imagine their being all sorts of museums, travelling or stationary, devoted to numerous obscure ponies, and Twilight and Cadence paid particular attention to that one because it related to Twilight's favourite? Or am I misremembering the episode, and actually quite a lot of ponies get involved when it comes to town? In which case yes, I think that would be likely due to Twilight's royal influence.

I don't think I've rewatched episodes after they were broadcasted since around season 3, so I'm not entirely sure either, but taking a moment to scene-skim...

It was indeed a travelling museum! Never heard of such a thing, possibly because historical artifacts aren't well-known for their durability and travel takes a toll, but pony magic, so nevermind. There seemed to be around a dozen ponies in Star Swirl cosplay, but whether any part of this is Twilight's influence isn't really discussed. This leaves the question of how a travelling museum dedicated exclusively to one 'obscure' pony can raise so little awareness, so I'm still thinking it might be new. Hell, maybe they're the ones that gave Starlight the opportunity to snatch the scroll she otherwise pulled out of nowhere.

I guess regarding Celestia and Luna, ponies didn't like mentioning Celestia's banished sister to her? And the castle is implied to be quite deep in the forest I think, where ponies don't venture too often?

Story becomes myth, myth becomes legend out of a thousand years of politeness? Knowing Canterlot, that actually sounds pretty feasible. Insanely worrying implications if applied to the real world, but *scene skim!* nopony knew anything about the Crystal Empire either, Celestia saying that even her knowledge was limited. I'm wondering if that was some kind of world-wiping memory wave from Sombra's curse (would explain why nopony remembered how to stop him. Or, I guess if, along with Fear and Hatred, he was made of 33% Sheer Spite, it would at least be an understandable action...), or if, again, ponies just didn't want to talk about it.

"Teacher? This stuff is making me sad, can we skip it?"
"'Kay!"

Anywho, my theory has been that the Everfree castle used to be more like the one they live in now; populated and surrounded by civilization, not just a fortress of random traps in the middle of nowhere, but Luna's disappearance left the place full of painful memories (I'm picturing Celestia trying to sulk and getting surprised by a sudden trip down a twisty slide) and she didn't want to be there anymore, a new castle constructed in Canterlot, which is apparently far enough from Ponyville (and by extension, the land that grew into the Everfree we know today) to need a train. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.

Twilight picked up that story from a book, so it's not like no one documented any of it, but I guess it was kept out of the History curriculum for politeness' sake all across Equestria.

That could be an interesting story idea if in many thousands of years's time, Discord doesn't even remember who redeemed him. Maybe he assumes he's always been good, and suddenly has an identity crisis when he realises being good isn't all that chaotic.

I wouldn't be surprised if he's gone back and forth countless times now. One interpretation of immortals I've seen (unrelated to MLP) was that they'd deliberately wipe their memories every so many centuries to avoid going completely insane (at least as understood by a mortal writer), so him having that kind of epiphany over and over again doesn't feel like much of a stretch. The trouble would come from someone else knowing about this and telling him he was now being predictable. :twilightoops:

The main thing I was trying to work out from all this was how much the sirens would be likely to be able to deduce about their situation in Rainbow Rocks, without any input from the mane cast. I had wondered if they would recognise Principal Celestia or VP Luna and make the connection to being in a parallel reality, but if their time in Equestria predates the two sisters, that wouldn't really work.

This might sort of depend on them having met the princesses, not that the princesses just weren't around. It's possible that they knew all about Celestia and Luna, but had never seen them, wouldn't know what features to look for in their counterparts, and possibly didn't even know their names, if they didn't just plain forget after however long they were in the human world. Even a few months feels reasonable if they weren't in Equestria for very long.

It struck me that even going by the comic in which they do know about the princesses, maybe said princesses were holed up in their Everfree castle the whole time? Maybe they hardly ever came out to Canterlot (which looked a lot like ancient Rome, by the comic's depiction, no Olde English to be seen and-Realization!*), so the sirens just never saw them and Star Swirl didn't think to call for backup because he didn't have a pet dragon or any other means of getting a message sent quickly. Or, not understanding friendship, it just didn't occur to him to ask for help, leading to His Greatest Failure.

*Royal Canterlot Voice. Luna probably didn't live in Canterlot. Or maybe they had two castles and the Everfree one was like a summer home?

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I remain greatly pleased that the books/comics/whatever were specifically said to be "Take what you like, ignore the rest," or "soft-canon," because imagine the mess otherwise.

Absolutely. Never have I heard something mentioned in the MLP fandom from the comics that has made me think that I would like to read them. So not having to but maintaining the ability to write stories that fit the canon is a great positive. And it gives everyone involved more flexibility: us, the show's writers, and the comics' writers, all knowing that it doesn't matter too much if it doesn't all line up in the end.

Never heard of such a thing, possibly because historical artifacts aren't well-known for their durability and travel takes a toll, but pony magic, so nevermind.

In the space of one sentence you took me from 'hmmm, that's a good point...' to 'yep, that'll do it!'

There seemed to be around a dozen ponies in Star Swirl cosplay, but whether any part of this is Twilight's influence isn't really discussed. This leaves the question of how a travelling museum dedicated exclusively to one 'obscure' pony can raise so little awareness, so I'm still thinking it might be new. Hell, maybe they're the ones that gave Starlight the opportunity to snatch the scroll she otherwise pulled out of nowhere.

I suppose the cosplay could have been ponies after visiting the museum and knowing about him, with only Twilight showing up in costume to begin with? I guess the only comparison we've seen is with Trixie's travelling show and Flim & Flam's travelling sales pitch, and everypony seems fairly willing to take Flim & Flam at face value each time they rock up in town, as if no lasting knowledge was spread following their last visit. That might be a bit thin as a comparison; it being new is probably a better fit. And yes, I could certainly see it being easier to steal a scroll from there than from the Star Swirl wing of the Canterlot library, we saw how difficult that was when Twilight tried it in About Time.

Story becomes myth, myth becomes legend out of a thousand years of politeness? Knowing Canterlot, that actually sounds pretty feasible.

I imagine Celestia's attendants at the time would have helped her deal with the grief of it, but by the time they'd moved on she'd have learned to put a brave face on it. Celestia is, as far as we see, really nice most of the time, I could see ponies being reluctant to upset her by asking personal questions. And the rage of an alicorn might be a bit scary, and the nobles are rarely shown being brave. Within a century of her banishing, everypony who ever knew Luna in person would be dead, I could see that largely passing from memory.

With the Crystal Empire it might even be more direct - the disappearance was due to some very powerful dark magic or curse; I could envision ponies not wanting to talk about that aloud because of how horrible it was, the He Who Must Not Be Named thing, or even in case the curse somehow reached out to them. It's all very well not talking about things, but yes, it makes them difficult to pass on.

"Teacher? This stuff is making me sad, can we skip it?"
"'Kay!"

Bear in mind that the teacher we see is called Cheerilee...

The Everfree Castle depends on some of the Celestia and Luna specifics I think, like whether they were always alicorns and princesses, and how long they lived for before confronting Discord and taking control of Equestria. If they were different from the start and likely destined to rule, I could see them living in a fortress of solitude until they were ready. But also, yes, I could picture it otherwise populated, and while the castle remains but nothing else does, magic would probably explain that away. I think Celestia might also seek to live closer to her ponies after losing her sister, hence moving to Canterlot.

The trouble would come from someone else knowing about this and telling him he was now being predictable.

Ooooh, that's just mean! If Tirek knew, he presumably would have said it already, given how much time he and Discord spent together in his episode. Nightmare Moon was out of touch, the sirens (if immortal) were in another world, so I think that mostly just leaves (if she's immortal) Chrysalis, who has recently been given reason to be none too fond of Discord. So that sounds like something that needs to happen :pinkiehappy:

This might sort of depend on them having met the princesses, not that the princesses just weren't around.

Indeed, it's hard to know if the sirens were as cautious during their Equestrian rage as they were when taking over CHS, or if that was just something they learned from their first defeat. But, given Adagio's attention to detail ('we know all about you, Sunset Shimmer' - and she knew the name of their band, too), I could see her at least learning the names of the Equestrian rulers, and then making the connection with the CHS head staff. Either way, it's not great for making them realise the parallel world thing, so I guess that's out.

Hmmm, that all sounds reasonable about the comic interpretation, as far as I can say having not read it. Perhaps the sisters were Star Swirl's backup, in case he died in his confrontation with the sirens, rather than putting all of his eggs in one basket and having the three magic ponies attack the three sirens together.

Royal Canterlot Voice does imply that, but also, that's her default way of speaking, which one presumes wouldn't be the case if she spent most of her time elsewhere?

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In the space of one sentence you took me from 'hmmm, that's a good point...' to 'yep, that'll do it!'

We do see a Repair spell in action a few times (Rarity and/or Twilight fixing that carriage wheel in Manehattan), so it's feasible that they just throw stuff into a wagon and drag it around, I guess.

I imagine Celestia's attendants at the time would have helped her deal with the grief of it, but by the time they'd moved on she'd have learned to put a brave face on it. Celestia is, as far as we see, really nice most of the time, I could see ponies being reluctant to upset her by asking personal questions. And the rage of an alicorn might be a bit scary, and the nobles are rarely shown being brave. Within a century of her banishing, everypony who ever knew Luna in person would be dead, I could see that largely passing from memory.

It's Celestia doing nothing about that (the part where everyone forgets her sister and remembers a monster) that confuses me a bit, especially with the existence of Nightmare Night. Then again, we have stuff like Christmas.

With the Crystal Empire it might even be more direct - the disappearance was due to some very powerful dark magic or curse; I could envision ponies not wanting to talk about that aloud because of how horrible it was, the He Who Must Not Be Named thing, or even in case the curse somehow reached out to them. It's all very well not talking about things, but yes, it makes them difficult to pass on.

I've never understood the He Who Must Not Be Named thing, because people today almost can't stop talking about Hitler. :rainbowhuh:
Of course, ponies have been a pretty care-free society in what we've witnessed, most ponies forgetting calamities pretty much the minute they're over (I really need to get back to that story some time...) and going on with their happy lives. Come to think of it, maybe that's exactly what happened; Sombra took an entire city with him, ponies were like "...Well, that's over. What's for lunch?"

Bear in mind that the teacher we see is called Cheerilee...

"And thus has it been in Equestria that all educators should take on bright, uplifting names, and live up to those names constantly, so as to make school suck less. My mother was a teacher with a happy name, and her mother, and her mother before her!"
Sorry.

The Everfree Castle depends on some of the Celestia and Luna specifics I think, like whether they were always alicorns and princesses, and how long they lived for before confronting Discord and taking control of Equestria. If they were different from the start and likely destined to rule, I could see them living in a fortress of solitude until they were ready. But also, yes, I could picture it otherwise populated, and while the castle remains but nothing else does, magic would probably explain that away. I think Celestia might also seek to live closer to her ponies after losing her sister, hence moving to Canterlot.

Too many unknowns! :raritydespair:
...Which at least means there's plenty of fic fodder when the fandom is so inclined.

So that sounds like something that needs to happen :pinkiehappy:

We might end up getting something like that anyway, if the time with Tirek wasn't enough. I could see someone telling Discord he wasn't cool anymore and him having a Vegeta moment over it, making a deal with the monster of the week, and ending up back where he started after an otherwise avoidable plot. One hopes the fight with Tirek (the one that amounted to a fat lot of nothing, one notes...) was as far in the DBZ direction as they're willing to go.

Indeed, it's hard to know if the sirens were as cautious during their Equestrian rage as they were when taking over CHS, or if that was just something they learned from their first defeat. But, given Adagio's attention to detail ('we know all about you, Sunset Shimmer' - and she knew the name of their band, too), I could see her at least learning the names of the Equestrian rulers, and then making the connection with the CHS head staff. Either way, it's not great for making them realise the parallel world thing, so I guess that's out.

It could be that they did know and make the connection, just didn't care. Come to think of it, they'd most likely know the name of the city they were living in was Canterlot, as they were quite aware during the comic (but for all we know, never came close to the city), but that information by itself may not signify much. Even if they somehow riddled out that they were 1000 years in the future by the time of the movie (if one goes by the flung-forward theory, which I generally do), they may have been nomadic enough to not have a concept of a 'home' to care about back in Equestria.
We don't hear them so much as entertain the idea of going back, either, so for all we know, they already knew about the portal and either couldn't go back, or didn't want to. Granted, it seems more likely that they didn't know and just thought they were trapped there.

Royal Canterlot Voice does imply that, but also, that's her default way of speaking, which one presumes wouldn't be the case if she spent most of her time elsewhere?

Maybe it's actually named after her? Like, Luna just used to shout at people all the time and Canterlot upper-crust took to it in remembrance until Celestia was like "Guys... Stop..."

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It's Celestia doing nothing about that (the part where everyone forgets her sister and remembers a monster) that confuses me a bit, especially with the existence of Nightmare Night. Then again, we have stuff like Christmas.

I would have thought it better for ponies to remember a monster who appeared from nowhere than the fall of the princess' sister; it allowed Nightmare Moon to be set up more as a separate character to Luna in-story and out of it, and that let her reintegrate better but perhaps also preserved some of Celestia's more fond memories during the exile?

I've never understood the He Who Must Not Be Named thing, because people today almost can't stop talking about Hitler.

No, I always find it silly when reading the books too. Apparently it was based on the Kray twins in 60s London, who some were genuinely afraid to speak the names of. I presume magical Britain to be very superstitious (not to mention stupid - see a previous comment I made somewhere about Sunset attempting to scientifically study magic being a significant step forwards on the whole cast of Harry Potter, but that's another debate), so perhaps it doesn't fit so well in MLP.

...most ponies forgetting calamities pretty much the minute they're over (I really need to get back to that story some time...)

Sorry, I'm afraid I missed that reference; I think I've read all your siren stories, but can't say I feel strongly enough either way about Blueblood to read any stories about him. Maybe it was a 'don't question a good thing' - the Crystal Empire being gone was, I'm guessing, bad, but Sombra had been a dark force on their doorstep, so perhaps they were just glad he wasn't there anymore.

One hesitates to bring real-life politics into it, but... Shall we just say that politicians on both far right and left are looking more electable today than they have at any point since the fall of both fascism and communism in Europe? People do forget, and much quicker than you might hope.

Sadly, the happily-named teacher doesn't seem to make her students any more fond of school :twilightoops:

We might end up getting something like that anyway, if the time with Tirek wasn't enough. I could see someone telling Discord he wasn't cool anymore and him having a Vegeta moment over it, making a deal with the monster of the week, and ending up back where he started after an otherwise avoidable plot. One hopes the fight with Tirek (the one that amounted to a fat lot of nothing, one notes...) was as far in the DBZ direction as they're willing to go.

I see what you mean, that might be too close to just doing Tirek over again. One wonders how many more Discord ideas the writers can come up with for his episodes, some of the recent ones I found rather painful.

It could be that they did know and make the connection, just didn't care. Come to think of it, they'd most likely know the name of the city they were living in was Canterlot, as they were quite aware during the comic (but for all we know, never came close to the city), but that information by itself may not signify much. Even if they somehow riddled out that they were 1000 years in the future by the time of the movie (if one goes by the flung-forward theory, which I generally do), they may have been nomadic enough to not have a concept of a 'home' to care about back in Equestria.

We don't hear them so much as entertain the idea of going back, either, so for all we know, they already knew about the portal and either couldn't go back, or didn't want to. Granted, it seems more likely that they didn't know and just thought they were trapped there.

Indeed, I'm not looking to have them go home as a permanent thing, but it seems like something they might discuss after losing their gems; they're probably more likely to be able to fix the gems or get new ones in Equestria than in the non-magical EG world. I'm going with the thrown forward theory too, but yes, having them figure that out is proving equally problematic (they can't even Google Canterlot and see that the town has been around for a millennium, if they're broadly in the EG equivalent to North America). So I'm facing a conversation in which their chief concern, should they get back to Equestria, is how to deal with Star Swirl The Bearded, when the audience already know he's long dead, rendering the whole conversation pointless. Likewise, there might be things they could do to use the parallel world thing to their advantage, if only they had a way to know about it.

So, am I correct in thinking we're never given a figure how roughly how long before the events of Rainbow Rocks the sirens are banished? I had the number of a thousand years in my head, but hopefully that was just mistaken correlation of Luna knowing Star Swirl, and it could in fact be long before that if he lived a while.

Maybe it's actually named after her? Like, Luna just used to shout at people all the time and Canterlot upper-crust took to it in remembrance until Celestia was like "Guys... Stop..."

I rewatched Sweet and Elite earlier, and that's absolutely something I could see Canterlot high society doing.

5781600

I would have thought it better for ponies to remember a monster who appeared from nowhere than the fall of the princess' sister; it allowed Nightmare Moon to be set up more as a separate character to Luna in-story and out of it, and that let her reintegrate better but perhaps also preserved some of Celestia's more fond memories during the exile?

Perhaps not, if Luna was consistently greeted as Nightmare Moon when she came to Ponyville. Granted, this is the town she attacked and one of the few witnesses to her turning back wasn't being very sensitive about it. Maybe the rest of Equestria barely has a clue the two are related?

Sorry, I'm afraid I missed that reference; I think I've read all your siren stories, but can't say I feel strongly enough either way about Blueblood to read any stories about him.

Not to worry, I haven't felt strongly enough about him in the last couple years to write him much either. :twilightsheepish:

Maybe it was a 'don't question a good thing' - the Crystal Empire being gone was, I'm guessing, bad, but Sombra had been a dark force on their doorstep, so perhaps they were just glad he wasn't there anymore.

Being happy that the threat is gone, just as long as it wasn't them who paid the price? Yes, with the many moments of of Fuck You, Got Mine not coming exclusively from the villains throughout the series (granted, those moments are very much the exception rather than the rule), I think I can see that.

I see what you mean, that might be too close to just doing Tirek over again. One wonders how many more Discord ideas the writers can come up with for his episodes, some of the recent ones I found rather painful.

My hope is that they'll pair him up with Trixie at least once, Starlight probably there to oversee the antics. If nothing else, I ship it. :pinkiehappy:

Indeed, I'm not looking to have them go home as a permanent thing, but it seems like something they might discuss after losing their gems; they're probably more likely to be able to fix the gems or get new ones in Equestria than in the non-magical EG world. I'm going with the thrown forward theory too, but yes, having them figure that out is proving equally problematic (they can't even Google Canterlot and see that the town has been around for a millennium, if they're broadly in the EG equivalent to North America).

My first instinct is to say that they're probably more likely to have an In You All Along moment than to actually be able to fix/replace the gems if they ever get their magic back, but given something like the Alicorn Amulet just floating around and all the random artifacts just waiting to kick off a plot, it's probably as likely as anything else that they can just find new gems. For all we know, they made them themselves.
Then there's the possiblity that those were body parts and they just need to go somewhere with more magic to heal them, so either way, it is something they'd at least consider if they knew the option was open.
Thing is, if they think they have nothing to lose anyway, information about Star Swirl and their 1000-year time-skip may not even register, so whether they know about what the viewer knows or not, I think they're just as liable to go for it.

So I'm facing a conversation in which their chief concern, should they get back to Equestria, is how to deal with Star Swirl The Bearded, when the audience already know he's long dead, rendering the whole conversation pointless. Likewise, there might be things they could do to use the parallel world thing to their advantage, if only they had a way to know about it.

Have them start talking about it, Sunset call from outside the door "Actually, it's a thousand years later and he's long dead and/or missing, nopony really knows!", the three of them pause, thank her for the info, then politely ask her to stop eavesdropping?
"Fine, but we'll be waiting to hear how you want to handle this situation! If you need more time in there, we are prepared to bring snacks!"
Aria: "They're bringing us food? Are we in jail now?"
Sonata: "SHH!! Free snacks!!"

So, am I correct in thinking we're never given a figure how roughly how long before the events of Rainbow Rocks the sirens are banished? I had the number of a thousand years in my head, but hopefully that was just mistaken correlation of Luna knowing Star Swirl, and it could in fact be long before that if he lived a while.

Sounds about right. Could have been 1008 years, could have been 1036, but as Adagio specifically identifies Equestrian Magic during her disturbance-in-The-Force moment, I'm thinking a place called Equestria had to exist first, so your first guess of it coming after the Windigos is probably on the mark.

Perhaps not, if Luna was consistently greeted as Nightmare Moon when she came to Ponyville. Granted, this is the town she attacked and one of the few witnesses to her turning back wasn't being very sensitive about it. Maybe the rest of Equestria barely has a clue the two are related?

Indeed, given how nopony knew who Nightmare Moon was in Friendship Is Magic, the town where she introduced herself as such may be the only place she has that problem.

Not to worry, I haven't felt strongly enough about him in the last couple years to write him much either.

I'm sorry to hear that's happened when you have works unfinished, there's no ideal solution in that situation really.

Being happy that the threat is gone, just as long as it wasn't them who paid the price? Yes, with the many moments of of Fuck You, Got Mine not coming exclusively from the villains throughout the series (granted, those moments are very much the exception rather than the rule), I think I can see that.

There is something to be said that, objectively, being frozen in time is preferable to life in slavery, so it's arguably a kinder fate than what would have awaited the crystal ponies anyway. From their perspective, they suddenly woke up a thousand years later as if no time at all had passed, and had their rehabilitation in the season 3 opener, before basically being fine. Probably no way for outsiders to know that's what had happened to them, though, or that they'd ever be saved, so yeah, still not great.

My hope is that they'll pair him up with Trixie at least once, Starlight probably there to oversee the antics. If nothing else, I ship it.

...Yeah, that'd be awesome. Those three together were great, and it would offer a nice break from just seeing Discord with Fluttershy and Trixie with only Starlight.

My first instinct is to say that they're probably more likely to have an In You All Along moment than to actually be able to fix/replace the gems if they ever get their magic back, but given something like the Alicorn Amulet just floating around and all the random artifacts just waiting to kick off a plot, it's probably as likely as anything else that they can just find new gems. For all we know, they made them themselves.

Quite possibly, but I think the thought of repairing or replacing their gems would occur to them first, before they consider that they might still be able to use magic without them somehow, as they've been reliant on the gems for so long.

Then there's the possiblity that those were body parts and they just need to go somewhere with more magic to heal them, so either way, it is something they'd at least consider if they knew the option was open. Thing is, if they think they have nothing to lose anyway, information about Star Swirl and their 1000-year time-skip may not even register, so whether they know about what the viewer knows or not, I think they're just as liable to go for it.

True, I think they'd definitely consider it an option, although they'd now have no magic to fight Star Swirl with, so might declare it all but impossible and abandon the idea.

Have them start talking about it, Sunset call from outside the door "Actually, it's a thousand years later and he's long dead and/or missing, nopony really knows!", the three of them pause, thank her for the info, then politely ask her to stop eavesdropping?
"Fine, but we'll be waiting to hear how you want to handle this situation! If you need more time in there, we are prepared to bring snacks!"
Aria: "They're bringing us food? Are we in jail now?"
Sonata: "SHH!! Free snacks!!"

:rainbowlaugh: That would solve all the problems quickly and easily, and wrap everything up nicely!

Could have been 1008 years, could have been 1036, but as Adagio specifically identifies Equestrian Magic during her disturbance-in-The-Force moment, I'm thinking a place called Equestria had to exist first, so your first guess of it coming after the Windigos is probably on the mark.

Think that's what I'll go with then, thanks for talking it through with me :twilightsmile:

5782023

Quite possibly, but I think the thought of repairing or replacing their gems would occur to them first, before they consider that they might still be able to use magic without them somehow, as they've been reliant on the gems for so long.

I was referring to what'll probably be the thing to ultimately restore their magic, fitting with the theme of the show and all, but yes, they'd probably at least take a crack at it. I'm not sure how many times I've written Adagio pretty much going insane trying to mend the fragments by now, published and unpublished. :derpyderp2:
...Predictable spoiler for my writing in general: It probably ends happily in every case regardless, with or without the gems.

True, I think they'd definitely consider it an option, although they'd now have no magic to fight Star Swirl with, so might declare it all but impossible and abandon the idea.

Rationally, they may know that they have very little chance, but deeply upset and with nothing to lose is a lethal combination. Depends on just how much their projected future and ability to sing meant to them, I think.

:rainbowlaugh: That would solve all the problems quickly and easily, and wrap everything up nicely!

Sunset would probably have to convince Pinkie to bring fresh snacks if they went that route. Pink hairs stuck to things kind of blemish the olive branch a bit. :twilightoops:

Think that's what I'll go with then, thanks for talking it through with me :twilightsmile:

Glad to have helped! :pinkiehappy:

5782130 Slight hiccup, since I've just watched Hearthbreakers again, which recaps the story of the windigoes and the founding of Equestria, ending with raising the Equestrian flag. Which shows the royal sisters. But I can't fathom how the sisters could be powerful enough to be on the flag, and yet not unite the pony tribes and see off the windigo thing. So I'm just going to say that the modern Equestrian flag, designed much later, was used in place of the original one so that people wouldn't be confused when that flag was later raised on Holder's Boulder.

That, or the sisters were already important enough in some way to be on the new flag. Maybe the play fast-forwards things a bit more than is readily apparent, like they blew up the Windigos, got to work putting a nation of three tribes together, the first two alicorns anyone had ever seen (or so I would guess) were born in those months, it was taken as a sign (or a prophecy, because there's usually at least one of those kicking around), they were deemed princesses, put on the flag (what better symbol for the three pony types unifying than alicorns?) and later started moving celestial bodies. Good thing, too, because the taxpayers probably would have been disappointed if they didn't by that point.

I'm going to guess they just used the more recent flag for simplicity's sake. Too many foals watching, and if television has taught me anything, it's that parents don't like having to explain things to their children.

5835645 Sorry, I didn't get the notification about your response, so I've only just seen it.

That sounds very reasonable; I'll go with the modern flag for simplicity's sake explanation as it covers the timeline we already worked out, but your suggestion would also completely fit the facts.

Thanks!

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