Total Words: 171,394
Estimated Reading: 11 hours, 25 minutes

Blog Posts10

  • Monday
    I put on my robe and tinfoil hat.

    5 comments · 139 views
  • 1w, 5d
    I don't understand the new changelings.

    I don’t understand the new changelings. Like, at all. And I mean that literally. I don’t understand why they were introduced, I don’t understand what their purpose is, I don’t understand why they are.

    What really prompted me to write all this was watching that preview of the season premiere. Afterwards, I was thinking about it, and I realized, wow, it's like they knew exactly what I wanted to happen with the changelings. It's like they had a list that detailed every single thing I'd been hoping to see when the changelings finally came back to the show, and they sat down and went through every single aspect of that list... and then very carefully did the exact opposite in every possible way.

    Obviously the number of posts I've made on this subject, as well as their... enthusiasm... might make it seem like I'm really upset about this. And I kind of am, but mostly I just have to laugh at this point. To quote Ron Burgundy: "I'm not even mad. That's amazing." To get things so 'wrong'? (wrong in this case meaning 'not what I thought should happen') I'm not mad; I'm impressed. Like I said, it almost makes me laugh more than anything.  

    I was struggling to articulate my feelings on exactly why I hate the finale and this whole outcome so much, and I think I finally managed to do it. It involves a comparison between The Times They Are a Changeling and To Where and Back Again.

    In The Times They Are a Changeling, Thorax just wants to make friends. He's desperate to, not just to eat, but because he simply wants to make friends. The culmination of the episode is basically him and Spike saying "Look, we know he's a changeling. We know they've been our enemies in the past. But that doesn't mean they can't be friends. You just need to give him a chance, just have a little bit of trust, and you'll see what a difference it can make." The whole episode is the best of what this show can be.

    In To Where and Back Again, the culmination of the episode is "I don't know, give her your love, I guess?" And then with no further explanation, all the changelings instantly become 'good', everything blows up, and the day is saved. The whole episode is the worst of what the show can be.

    That is my ultimate objection here. It's everything good about MLP vs. everything bad about it. It's about genuine understanding and giving someone a chance to prove themselves vs. magical friendship lasers that turn enemies into friends. I kind of thought Starlight Glimmer's reformation had moved us past that, and instead we got the worst example of it so far.

    Quick note: I am not opposed to magical friendship lasers in general. The Tirek fight is, in my opinion, one of the highlights of the show so far. I only object to them when they're used in such a heavy-handed manner.

    It really does come down to these two episodes against each other.

    Thorax, in The Times Etc., says, "Why would someone that looks like this [turns into a crystal pony] want to be friends with someone that looks like this [turns back into a changeling]." Spike then says something along the lines of "It doesn't matter what you look like, they just need to get to know the real you!"

    In To Where and Back Again, the changelings all turn into brightly-colored bugs, and now suddenly they're good and everyone likes them.

    The lesson goes from literally 'love and tolerance' to 'only magic can make enemies your friends'. It goes from a real world lesson to magical bullshit transformation. And it overwrites the previous lesson. Everything from The Times Etc.? Gone. Never happened. Ignore it. Changelings can only be friends if magic.

    Not to mention, Thorax is afraid his appearance is why ponies don't want to be friends with him. That's ultimately proven to not be true... except then all the changelings transform into pony clones anyway so the entire lesson was pointless. Remember kids, change everything about how you look so you can fit in.

    I just find the whole thing completely baffling. There was already a perfect 'solution' to the changelings in place—they can just be friends. There was no need to go through this whole ridiculous transformation nonsense. I mean, FFS, they walked things back from 'it doesn't matter what you look like or who you are'. They replaced a perfect, meaningful, realistic outcome with the literal definition of a deus ex machina. They went from complex and mature to the simplest, blandest, most clichéd ending possible.

    That's why I don't understand anything about the new changelings. That's why I hate pretty much everything about them.

    And that's why I hope they're going to be the villains this season.

    It would be the ultimate lesson in 'just because someone looks pretty doesn't mean they're nice'. The ultimate lesson in 'don't judge someone by the way they look'. And it would be the ultimate lesson the show should have: that friendship isn't magic. You can't just shove friendship into somebody no matter how many lasers you have. It takes kindness, loyalty, laughter, honesty and generosity. You need tolerance and understanding to make someone your friend; there's no simple solution, no magic that can just spontaneously create friendship.

    I'm not too optimistic that's going to happen, though. As I said in the previous blog, I think the writers are writing too much like it's a 'kids' show. To clarify that, I mean they don't seem interested in anything that isn't black and white. They lean too much on the way a lot of kids' shows are written, which always seems to be 'do whatever you want, they're kids, it doesn't have to make sense'. Which, frankly, is doing a disservice to children, and it's the reason why so many kids' shows are considered crap designed to sell toys—aside from the fact that, let's be honest, that's exactly what kids' shows are. That doesn't mean the shows can't be good, we've all seen that they can, but too often it seems like there's a... lack of effort, for lack of a better term, put into something that's 'only a kids' show'.

    So that's why I'm not really expecting anything amazing to come out of all this. "High hopes, low expectations", as I've said. I fully expect to see the blandest, laziest outcome of all this, which is that everything is exactly as it seems: the new changelings are good because they're brightly colored, and the original changelings are bad because they're dark. And if that is how it plays out... I don't know. That would be the first time the show's ever really let me down. I'd just be disappointed. And, frankly, a bit depressed.


    All that said, I am really liking the narrative that's being established in the premiere:

    Season Six Finale

    Queen Chrysalis: "Whatever idea of revenge you have, it is nothing compare to what I will do to you, Starlight Glimmer!"

    Season Seven Premiere

    Twilight Sparkle: "Soooooo Starlight... get the f:pinkiehappy:k out of my house."

    28 comments · 252 views
  • 18w, 21h
    More season six finale thoughts, and season seven speculations

    So, I mentioned in a comment somewhere that I was working on an seven or so part series of blogs about the season six finale. I actually got most of it done, somewhere around 11.5k words. But, I'm not going to post it. I looked at it a few weeks ago, and it just sounds too much like whining.


    There are massive, massive problems with the finale, not just in what happened but the lessons and implications of what they showed, and the ramifications it all might have for the future. But too much of what I wrote sounded like 'wah, my headcanon got destroyed', so I've decided to scrap the whole thing.

    [MULTIPLE PARAGRAPHS OF ME COMPLAINING ABOUT THE FINALE DELETED HERE]

    Because after some thought over the past few weeks I've decided there is one thing I really like about the episode, which means I am now semi-reserving my judgment on it for later. That one thing I like is how open ended it is.

    Every season's finale before this one, from season three onwards, was written in a way that it could have been a satisfying end to the show (which was actually the intention of the season three finale). I think that was because, as far as the show creators knew, it was the end each time. In fact, if I remember right, we didn't even get the word on season five until well after the end of season four, which means even if they didn't get it at the exact same time, it still would have been late enough that everything had already been planned out for season four.

    This time, though, is different. If the rumors are to be believed, they were working on season seven as early as this summer. Which makes sense; we don't actually know when the team gets word that there'll be a new season, so they could have known the entire time. And given that we have a full length film coming out next year, it'd be stupid to cancel the show now. In fact, I'd say season eight, at the least, is guaranteed as well.

    So, when they were writing season six, they were most likely doing so knowing they had a season coming after. Meaning they could leave loose ends in the finale. Which they did—Chrysalis escaped, and we have no idea what the deal is with the new changelings. We don't know what they're like, we don't know what they eat now... hell, we haven't even heard them speak yet!

    There are a lot of directions things could go from here. And so, just for fun and to get it out there, here's my favorite idea.

    So, the changelings, who feed on love, gave all of it away. And then they changed forms, and became 'happy' and 'nice'. Did you know that there are actual real-world insects that, when forced into close contact with each other due to scarcity of food, will go into what's called a 'gregarious' state? They become friendly and secrete more serotonin. They even go through a physical change, as well!

    Those insects are called locusts.

    My original idea is kind of defunct now, but here it is anyway.

    Basically, now instead of eating love, they get sustenance from spreading love. And they head out into Equestria to do so. But, oh, there are so many ponies in Equestria who don't love, who fight and argue and disagree. That won't do at all. So they forcibly spread love, making everyone in Equestria love one another, turning them into some sort of love-zombies.

    The main point here, obviously, is that this is what Starlight did to her village, just on a far grander scale. And the changelings leave her alone, since, hey, this was what you wanted in the first place, right? This was your idea. And you helped us accomplish it by removing Chrysalis from power.

    Now, no one wants another Starlight-only finale, so she quickly frees the mane six from the spell, and they all team up with Chrysalis, of all people, to stop the new changelings (and also get her empire back in the process).

    Also, fun little thing: everyone always complains that the Princesses never do anything other than get captured by the bad guys, right? And this would be no different. Except that now they're love-zombies. Making them actually the bad guys. So they still get knocked out in one hit like normal by the villain of the episode, it's just that now they actually get to do something interesting. And who hasn't wanted to see Twilight and Celestia go at it, especially since she became a Princess? (Although Luna and Twilight might make more sense, and Chrysalis can get round two with Celestia)

    These new changelings would, of course, be called lovecusts. I would also accept butterdies.

    Now, obviously this is a bit fan-fictiony. I mean, look where you're reading it at. But the real problem is that the main theme of it—Starlight dealing with someone doing exactly what she was, but on a grander scale—is the exact story of the current MLP comic arc, just using an order-focused Discord as the bringer of 'harmony'.

    So this specific story, or at least the elements of it that relate to Starlight's past, can't be used. Well, I mean, they can; elements from the comics have appeared in the show, and the comics are obviously not canon to the show. It's just that the idea I came up with ended up being almost point-for-point the plot of the comic, and I don't think they can ignore the comic to the point where they literally duplicate one of the storylines.

    But I'm still really on board with the idea of "oops, reforming these 'evil' villains actually made things worse". Part of that is, yes, I hate everything about these new changelings, and seeing them as villains would make me happy.

    But there are a few other angles as well. Like I said, 'oops, stopping those villains was a mistake' would be awesome to see. It would be nice to actually see our heroes fail for once, and having to deal with the fallout of that. It's not something that could have really been done like this before, due to the aforementioned reasons of never knowing if there would be more seasons, but they have the perfect opportunity for it now. It would also fit in with Starlight still learning about friendship—she messed up her first big test, and now they have to  fix it. Also, she tends to have a habit of really screwing up friendship lessons, and then having to redo them (see her first attempt at reconnecting with Starburst, her first attempt at befriending Trixie, and her attempt at doing all of her friendship lessons at once).

    [YET ANOTHER SECTION OF ME COMPLAINING ABOUT THE FINALE DELETED HERE]

    One final reason why I want the new changelings to be villains: it's a great twist, and there haven't really been any twists on the show yet. This is the perfect opportunity for it, and the fact that it involves some of the most popular villains is just gravy. Moreover, look at the lesson you can give here: the new changelings are pretty, but being pretty doesn't mean you're a good person. It would be an amazingly genre-defying thing to do, in a show that's famous for defy genres (or at least demographics), not to mention being the kind of practical moral the show is known for.

    Now, there is a specific reason I decided to write this little essay, and it has to do with some things that were announced recently.

    First off, my ideas on the season premiere to kick off my 'the new changelings are evil' theory. I had no real thoughts for this, except for one thing. Part of the episode would involve a history book, possibly found in the Crystal Empire, that depicts events from Equestria's past—particularly things involving the changelings. For some reason, Thorax seems extremely eager to get his hooves on this book. They give it to him without looking at it themselves first, and he takes it back to the hive to read it. And after he does, he laughs, then throws it on the floor and burns it. We see a few of the pages as they burn away one by one, and they depict changelings like him in the past, conquering/enslaving ponies, just before the episode ends.

    How did this make me decide to write all this?

    Well, number one, they got a guy from Marvel to write some of the comics.

    Number two, comic issues 51 to 53 are going to lead directly into season seven.

    And number three, the synopsis of issue 51 is "Books on Equestria's history are going missing".

    Probably a coincidence, yes. But having a Marvel writer makes me think of Captain America saying "Hail Hydra". Which is perfect for this kind of thing, with good guys turning out to be bad and all.

    Imagine they find who's stealing all the history books, and it's Chrysalis. They try to stop her, but she manages to get away with the books. Then we cut to her in a dark room, all the books piled in front of her, and a mysterious voice asks her if she accomplished her goal. "Yes my lord, all the books, just as you asked," she responds. "Good," says the voice. "And like she said herself... take off that ridiculous disguise, I can't take you seriously when you look like that." And Chrysalis changes back into one of the new changelings. Because the the mysterious voice is, of course, Thorax, gathering the books so no one in Equestria would know the sinister past of these new changelings. The whole point of making it seem that Chrysalis was the one stealing the books is that she was the one who stopped them before and took control of them, and she's the only one who can stop them now. So they frame Chrysalis to make absolutely sure the ponies won't try to go to her for help, by destroying any shred of trust they might have in her (not that there's much anyway).

    Now, that last part is kind of a bit much, even for someone who likes Chrysalis as much as I do. It makes her a little too much into a martyr, which is... not really something that fits with her. Nor something that I think the show would do.

    That being said, something like that would do a good job of dealing with Starlight's terrible attempt at a friendship speech. 'A leader listens to her subjects when they find a better way' is all well and good, but at the same time a leader needs to actually tell the people she leads what to do, even if they don't want to or if they think they've found a better way that actually isn't. So imagine if the changelings new form is actually worse than the original. Before they just wanted to conqueror Equestria to feed on its love. What if now they want something even worse? What if Chrysalis's brand of leading was actually the 'lesser' of two evils? She does say that Starlight has no idea what it takes to lead the changelings. Maybe this is what she was referring to?

    What I really want here are some shades of gray. Not "just share your love and everything will be great!" Not "Everyone has to do what I say or else!" Something in between, the way it works in the real world. Starlight and Chrysalis were both wrong; there needs to be a balance between the leadership methods they were talking about.  

    I have no real proof that the new changelings are evil, of course. It's just conjecture based on a few things I noticed, which are obviously influenced by the fact that I think the new changelings are utterly ridiculous and terrible.

    But, let's look at a few things.

    Number one, as I said before, we don't know anything about these new changelings. Starlight just kind of assumed they were good because they looked pretty (kind of a screwed up moral there). And we didn't even hear them talk, which I personally find the most bizarre/suspicious thing of all. I guess you can just explain that way with how rushed the end of the episode is—I think there's maybe sixty seconds between the throne exploding and Discord teleporting everyone away from the hive? Maybe they just ran out of time and wanted to wrap up things with Starlight's village really quick. But still, why didn't Thorax talk after the transformation? He seemed to communicate entirely through smiles and nods. I mean, the voice actor was already paid. He couldn't have thrown out a simple "Yes, Princess" when Celestia said she was looking forward to closer relationships with the changelings? Again, sloppy/rushed writing, maybe, and maybe I'm focusing on it too much. But it just seemed really out of place that none of the changelings said a thing.

    Second, the argument between Starlight and Chrysalis in the throne room just seemed off to me. They almost seem to be having two separate conversations. Chrysalis explains that everything she's done is so the changelings can feed, and now they have enough food to feed for generations. Starlight then retorts by saying... she understands what it's like to want everyone to do what you say? And that a real leader listens to her people? Where does anything that Starlight says come up? Chrysalis does say that all the ponies will do what she says, but she seems to be saying it within the context of 'this will get us the food we need'. It seems like they're looking at the situation through their own lenses: Chrysalis just cares about feeding the hive no matter what the cost, and Starlight is still hung up on the fact that she was a megalomaniac herself and is projecting it onto Chrysalis. It almost feels like it could be a setup to a realization that both ways are wrong, and they need to find a middle ground—hence trying to do things Starlight's way leads to the exact same problem they had with Chrysalis's way. (Also, to sneak of bit of complaining in here: Chrysalis has just ensured her people will be fed basically forever, there are multiple references to her doing things to keep the hive safe, and she's even identified her duty as being finding food for the changelings. Where in any of that are we supposed to believe she's a bad leader for the changelings? They, in fact, seem perfectly fine with her as a leader, at least until Thorax explodes. At which point they all spontaneously explode as well.)

    And third, there's a definite hint at the end of some sympathetic feelings towards Chrysalis. Obviously we saw that Starlight still wanted to give her a chance to lead the changelings (would Chrysalis be forced to transform like the rest of them if she'd taken Starlight's offer? Even if she didn't, isn't Starlight basically only offering Chrysalis the chance to be a puppet leader controlled by Equestria, leading only as the ponies tell her to?). Even as Chrysalis escapes, though, there's sad music playing, and Twilight comes up to comfort Starlight as they watch her fly away. Now, obviously the sadness there can be "Oh crap, someone who's conquered Equestria twice now just swore revenge on a single pony", or, "Starlight just failed at an attempt to turn an enemy into a friend, which also happens to echo how Starlight herself acted when her own plans were foiled". But one other thing is that, apparently, the original plan was for Chrysalis to escape using an evil-looking teleport of some kind. There are a couple reasons they could have changed that—I know Hasbro likes to interfere and make them tone things down on occasion—but compared to a lot of things we've seen, a teleport spell seems like a pretty bland thing for them to want to change. On top of that, they could have made it less evil, just a normal teleport. So it's likely that the change was made specifically to get that flying away shot in the scene. There could be a number of reasons for that, but it seems plausible that the reason was to make Chrysalis look a little less full-on evil, a little more, well, redeemable—which you'd need if the new changelings are evil and she has to come back to help fight them.

    All this, of course, is just speculation. And I am well aware that any kind of evidence I've presented here has most likely come to my attention due to confirmation bias; I'm looking for it, so I see it.

    Nevertheless, I think this would be a really interesting way to go. For one thing, it would be new. This is something that hasn't happened on the show before, plain and simple. They beat the bad guys and turned them into friends, but they actually aren't friends and they're even worse now? That's interesting, that's fresh, and that's a way to keep things exciting on a show that's been going on for six years. When every season's been roughly the same, you need a twist thrown in every once in a while, and this is one that I don't think anyone would see coming.

    More than that, though...

    Taken at face value, this finale was terrible. It was complete crap, the kind of thing you'd expect to see written not for a five year old, but by one: the black creatures are evil and icky, but then they learn how to love and poof! They turn into good guys who look just like the main good guys and are brightly colored and happy all the time.

    That's not what this show should be like. That isn't how it used to be like. The popularity, all the critical praise it got, was because it didn't do things like this finale. Characters actually learned lessons, real lessons that can be applied to the real world. What is the lesson in this episode? If you look bad you are bad? You can only be friends with people who are 'pretty'?

    Maybe I was expecting too much. I wanted the changelings to become good, but as changelings. I wanted to see episodes that dealt with them fitting in, with them dealing with the preconceptions and consequences their previous actions had created. And we got that a bit with The Times They are a Changeling... and then this finale came along and undid everything good that had come with that episode. They literally retconned the lesson of an episode away in the same season. Instead of 'look, changelings don't need to steal love, they can get all they need by just being friends', we now have 'changelings can only be good and be friends if they change everything about themselves'.

    To put all this another way, the finale was so bad that I think it's a trick.

    Now, what are the odds of this actually being true? To be honest, I don't actually know.

    The pessimistic (and probably realistic) part of me says that it's not going to happen. As much as I like the show... I feel like the people in charge are too much, well, kids' show writers and producers. Which means we're going to get the lamest, weakest, most infantile and predictable outcome of all of this: the new changelings are good and perfect in every way, and Chrysalis will be reduced to a recurring villain who comes back every season or two for revenge. And if that really is what happens... well, I don't know. Like I said in my original post on this finale, maybe I've finally hit that point where I'm expecting more from the show than they can give.

    But if they are doing something like what I've suggested here, if this is all just misdirection to create a larger story for the next season... I think that would be the most amazing thing they've done on the show so far. I know a lot of people have been complaining that recent episodes haven't been as good as they used to be—a lot of which is just nostalgia, but there have been some pretty meh episodes. But if they do do something like this, if they're setting up for a season-long arc of intrigue and suspense based on the new changelings being secretly evil, or even something vaguely along those lines... even if the individual episodes aren't always good, the over all narrative would make up for that. And while I still like the show, something like that would cure a lot of the issues it's had with feeling kind of stale lately.

    So, there you go. My speculation on season seven and a slightly updated view on the finale of season six. Partly here as a rant, partly here so I can say "I told you so" if my wild speculations turn out to be correct.

    Also, if you've read this far, thank you. Really, this is all just stuff I've been thinking about for a while now and I wanted to get it off my chest. I don't expect anything from this post, no big discussions or anything (not that I'm discouraging you), I just wanted to vent. So if you're actually did read my ranting disguised as speculation, thank you.

    ***EDIT***

    And I'm already wrong, because the synopsis of issue #52 was released. Spoilers: The new villain being introduced is named Shadowlock. I, uh... I won't say anything about what I think of that name.

    9 comments · 644 views
  • 27w, 6d
    Picture time

    10 comments · 952 views
  • 28w, 2d
    Season Six Finale Review/Rant (spoilers, obviously)


    !!! SPOILERS HERE !!!

    !!! ALSO, I ASSUME YOU'VE WATCHED THE EPISODES, SO I DON'T RECAP ANYTHING!!!


    I was originally going to start this out by saying my first impressions of the finale were 'meh' and 'very disappointing'. But more I think about it, the more I realize the truth: I hated it.

    Ever since the changelings first appeared, there were all sorts of fan theories about them: they were flutterponies, they were cursed, etc. There were also stories where getting enough love would 'heal' the holes in their bodies.[/spoiler]

    I hated all those ideas. I hated the idea that the changelings had to, well, change. I liked them, they had some of the best designs in the show, and I hated the idea that they would be gone.

    And now, exactly that has happened on the show, and it's as bad as I thought it would be. Maybe I'm biased, since as I said I liked the old designs, but these new designs are just terrible. Where are the awesome holes, the tattered wings and tails? That was cool, and interesting, and alien, and now we just have green butterflies.

    But I really hate it for two reasons: it's lazy, and it reduces potential, not creates it.

    The deus ex (ha) machinas that resolve all the villain fights have always been a bit of a complaint among fans. But at least they made sense before. They were foreshadowed in some way; we knew the elements would defeat Nightmare Moon and Discord, we knew the Crystal Heart was a powerful relic that protects the Crystal Empire, they'd spent the whole season trying to open that box from the Tree of Harmony, and so on.

    But this time, out of nowhere, we get 'Thorax, your wings look kind of different' followed 30 minutes later by 'oh, giving love causes changelings to metamorphize into a completely different form that doesn't need love'. It's lazy.

    You know what wouldn't have been lazy? Thorax actually teaching the changelings that they could live off friendship, that they didn't have to steal what they could be given freely. Which I thought was the whole point of Thorax's story, not the lead-up to some lame magical transformation.

    And speaking of lazy, you know what would have been hard? Trying to introduce the changelings into Equestria as they originally looked. Having the characters spend time trying to get other ponies to overcomes their reservations and befriend creatures that had attacked them. Maybe even having a moment where the changelings are getting discouraged and find it tempting to backslide into the old ways.

    But you know what's easy? Boom, changelings are bright and cheerful now instead of dark and mean! No need for any story development, it all just happened right there. The end.

    That's the other part that I hate: there is now less potential for the changelings. I mean, they're fully, magically good now. You can't really have any conflict with them. They're just slightly different looking ponies now.

    What I really wanted (which, obviously I'm biased about, since this is what most of my stories are about) is to have episodes about the changelings trying to assimilate into Equestria as frightening-looking bugs. Maybe exploring their culture, learning about how thy do things differently, what their history was like to make them the way they are.

    But now all that is gone. For all intents and purposes, they've killed off the changelings. All that potential to explore a different society just went up in a puff of smoke and magical solutions to the problem.

    There was a great possibility here to teach the lesson that it doesn't matter what someone looks like. That you can be mean and scary looking, but you can still be a good person. I think the closest they've ever come to this was with Zecora in season one, and changelings looking like changelings would have been the perfect opportunity.

    But now it's gone. Because you can't be good if you aren't brightly colored.

    I hate to be this cynical, and also to bang this drum, but I have to wonder if this is another example of Hasbro wanting more toys. But of course, they can't be dark, because little girls wouldn't play with them then, right?

    Of course, what makes that argument not work, and which also makes everything that's happened even more confusing, is the launch of the Guardians of Harmony toyline, which has changelings as the main antagonists. I'm really confused at how those toys are being released at the exact same time the changelings are being taken away.

    Also, way to make me not like Starlight Glimmer anymore. She'd been growing on me throughout the season, but now all that is gone. I'm basically at zero again right now. I mean, sure, what happened with the changelings wasn't really her fault. Chrysalis had stopped listening, and Starlight had to do something to save Thorax.

    But to just arbitrarily proclaim Thorax as the new leader of the changelings, and then try to to get Chrysalis on her side? What was her end game there? How did she think that was going to go? (oh, I know... lazy writing).

    As much as I'd like to see Chrysalis in a role like Discord, I'm glad she spit in Starlight's face. Starlight walked in out of nowhere, took her changelings away, her kingdom, the beings she'd been doing her best to lead—however you might disagree with her exact methods—and then wanted to be friends? She couldn't have maybe said 'look Chrysalis, there's another way to lead, and if you give it a try, the changelings will give you another chance'? (oh look, lazy writing again—she didn't do that because the changelings have to be good now, but we still want Chrysalis as a villain).

    I hope Chrysalis does get revenge on Starlight, and I hope it's satisfying. She just took away the only thing in Chrysalis's life that mattered to her, and I think she deserves some payback.

    All that being said, everything Chrysalis did was amazing in this episode. Coming out from behind the cocoons, having an actual rational argument with Starlight about how she knew best when it came to leading the changelings—since, you know, Starlight actually didn't know anything about leading the changelings... oh, and back-flipping off the top of the castle at the end? Epic.

    Also, nice to have confirmation that Chrysalis is invulnerable. That explosion blew the top of the castle, to the point where Starlight felt she had to shield herself and Thorax. But Chrysalis was right at the center of the blast, and just stood up afterwards like it was nothing.

    Chrysalis, of course, is the part that worries me the most. She's clearly being setup as a recurring villain, one specifically aimed at Starlight. Which does make sense, considering how closely their actions resembled one another.

    But what worries me is how all of that is going to end.

    First option is, she keeps trying and failing. Which only works for so long before a villain turns into Team Rocket and become a joke.

    Second, kill her off, like Sombra or, basically, Tirek. Not an option I want, obviously.

    The last is to reform her like all the other changelings, which is by far the worst in my opinion. I said the changelings have an awesome design, but Chrysalis has, by far, the best design in the show. Everything about her is just so cool. I have one of the design books about the show, and one of the quotes about Chrysalis's design is, 'when I first saw the design, all I had to do was approve it'. It would be an absolute shame, a crime, to get rid of her look. To get rid of all the changeling's looks.

    I'm also nervous/curious about how Chrysalis's story will she continue. Will everything in the future with her involve her running around by herself? Is she still a Queen? I mean, I find it hard to believe every single changeling was in the hive at that moment, let alone in the throne room. The ones imitating the Princesses and all them had to have still been out there. Maybe she's going to regroup with them and form a new hive? Or maybe changelings have a haplodiploid sex-determination system like honeybees, and she'll just make more? (that actually does seem likely—I don't think we ever saw any females besides Chrysalis)

    There are some possibilities, of course. Maybe having too many 'good' changelings is actually a bad thing, and you need the others to balance things out. Maybe there's a way for the rest of the normal changelings, Chrysalis included of course, to live in peace without them turning into... I believe the term I saw someone use was 'a neon moose'.

    But...

    I don't think any of that is going to happen.

    I think the show is too held back by the fact that it's a 'kids' show. I think that's going to obliterate any possibility of seeing the shades of gray that would make things interesting. I think the writers are too held back by the fact that they essentially have to work on each episode in isolation.

    I think, maybe, after almost six years, I've hit that point a lot of fans did long ago. The point where I want something more out of the show, something more than what it can give—more than it's being allowed to give.

    Because there are shows out there, even shows for kids, that do so much more. That explore actual issues, that deal with bad guys in ways besides 'make them into bright colors and now they're good'.

    And I think now, maybe, I finally understand why so many people hated it when Twilight became a Princess.

    I, personally, loved that change. I thought it was the perfect advancement for her, the reward she had earned after working so hard for so long, and accomplishing so much. I never thought it would change her in all the horrible ways people thought it would, and for the most part I don't think it did. (although it feels like she gets fewer episodes now, which makes me sad...)

    But now I see a change that I was afraid of, a change who's very idea I've loathed ever since people started talking about, and... yeah, I get it now.

    In any case... we'll see how things go. These episodes mark the first time I've actively disliked the majority of an episode, the first time something has negatively affected my love for the show, and, well... we'll see how things go.

    No fear for my stories, though. Like any good fanfic author (much like the ones who have refused to acknowledge Twilight's ascension) I will be utterly and completely ignoring all events of this finale.

    *One little point about laziness I forgot to make. The intent here is clearly to make Chrysalis a future, possibly ongoing antagonist. But as we've seen, an army of shapeshifters make her unbeatable in any situation where she makes the first move. The only reason she's failed has been, literally, two separate miracles from out of nowhere. It would be a lot easier to write her as a villain without that army (or with a much smaller one), wouldn't it?

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This story is a sequel to Changeling Courtship Rituals

Queen Chrysalis attacked Canterlot, brainwashed Twilight Sparkle's brother, kidnapped her former foalsitter, defeated her mentor in combat, and conquered her kingdom. She kidnapped the sisters of Twilight's friends, turned them against one another, and tried to drain all of Twilight's magic. Queen Chrysalis has, at every opportunity, done her very best to utterly destroy Twilight Sparkle's life.

For some reason, this has not caused the pony to fall in love with her.

However, due to Twilight's misunderstanding of changeling customs, it does mean they are now married. Twilight eventually managed to tell the Queen the truth, but she forgot that whether it's a kingdom or a heart, changelings conquer.

And since the changeling way of conquest didn't work, Chrysalis is determined to try the pony way. The only problem is, of course, she has no idea what that is. But she knows someone who does: Princess Cadance.

Now, with the absolutely sincere help of her mortal enemy, the pony she once locked in the caves beneath Canterlot while trying to steal her husband on their very wedding day, Queen Chrysalis is going to woo the sister-in-law of that very pony.

Surely this is the most perfect plan ever devised.

***

Proofread by ShutterflyYay.

Takes place roughly after season five (so Starlight Glimmer is running around occasionally)

First Published
20th Oct 2016
Last Modified
24th Mar 2017
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Princess Celestia has been in love with Twilight Sparkle for years. The rescue of her sister had been the start, but since then Twilight has saved Celestia, Luna, and their kingdom countless times. However, Celestia's true feelings have remained hidden, even from herself.

That is, until the day her love is revealed to her through a dream. But Celestia is determined to keep her feelings to herself. She has no idea how Twilight will react, and would prefer things remain they way they are, with the two Princesses as friends.

Unfortunately, Luna immediately finds out. A small group of ponies is quickly gathered, all with one goal: to force Celestia to confess her feelings and end her thousand-year relationship drought.

This causes so much chaos that Discord goes on vacation and will not be appearing in this story.

---

Edited by ShutterflyYay from chapter four onward.

First Published
2nd May 2016
Last Modified
26th Jul 2016
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For years, Twilight Sparkle and Queen Chrysalis have been at each other's throats. Both have experienced victory over the other, and both have experienced defeat. Out of all the creatures in Equestria, none despise each other the way the pony Princess and changeling Queen do. They seemed destined to remain locked in battle forever, or at least until one is finally dead at the hooves of the other. The cruel insults, the vicious loathing, and the powerful spells that have passed back and forth between them at each meeting have become the stuff of legend.

Imagine Twilight's surprise when she finds out changelings consider this dating.

And now they're married.

***

Sequel: Pony Courtship Rituals

***

Some beautiful fanart of the end of chapter three was done by Dmann892; you can see it here.

More awesome fanart, this time from chapter one.

Now with a TvTropes page (obligatory TvTropes warning goes here).

First Published
13th Nov 2015
Last Modified
28th Mar 2016
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A fun, delightful romp in which Twilight learns an important lesson about friendship, harmony, and why cobalt-jacketed atomic weaponry is a bad idea.

(cover fixed, apparently there were some technical difficulties)

First Published
27th Aug 2015
Last Modified
29th Aug 2015
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Just because the two sisters have led Equestria through thousands of years of peace doesn't mean there aren't those who think they can do better.

With a powerful artifact on their side, a group of rebels has sealed Celestia in her palace and stripped her of the majority of her powers. As the last of her guards fall, she hears the pounding on the throne room doors and knows the end is coming soon...

**Featured on the front page on 8/12/15; both surprising and flattering seeing as how this is the first thing of substantial length I've posted here. Thanks all!

**Now with a dramatic reading!

First Published
11th Aug 2015
Last Modified
11th Aug 2015
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A collection of short, random stories. Most of these were comic ideas that, for various reasons, I've decided not to make into comics, but the idea was too good to just abandon.

A Real Princess: The ending to A Canterlot Wedding, re-imagined with Cadance acting more like a real-life princess rather than a perfect magical pony princess.

Sniper: Celestia raises the sun at the Summer Sun Festival, unaware of the pony standing on a distant rooftop...

Flutterdrunk: Twilight discovers the consequences of getting Fluttershy drunk.

A Night With the Moon: Nightmare Moon turns out to be more prepared for the Mane Six's attempt to retrieve the Elements than Twilight had though. Twilight is not prepared for what happens next.

Fish Food: Sunset Shimmer enacts her terrible revenge upon the Sirens.

Edit 11/28/15: Aaaaand I'm now out of character slots to add. I threw the 'other' tag on there, but just assume it's every character ever.

First Published
28th Jul 2015
Last Modified
25th Feb 2016