• Published 9th Nov 2013
  • 10,530 Views, 339 Comments

Paper Tigers - MidnightDancer

Why does Princess Celestia constantly send Twilight and her friends to save the world? Shouldn't she be able to?

  • ...

The Hardest Truth

Paper Tigers
By MidnightDancer

"And you see, Princess, by allocating the bits currently being spent on such frivolous things as music for the public schools, we can beautify Canterlot and bring in more tourist revenue besides." The overstuffed unicorn stallion drew himself up to his full height, smiling confidently at Princess Celestia from in front of his easel, a posterboard covered in bar graphs settled upon it.

Celestia sat quietly for a moment, keeping her expression carefully schooled. She considered, briefly, sending his petition to Luna instead. With a small sigh, she discarded that idea—she didn't need Luna thinking everything had gone to pot in her absence, nor did she want to pay the stallion's therapy bills after Luna was done with him. Tilting her head, she gave off the impression of deep thought, rose eyes slightly unfocused as the stallion waited patiently for her answer.

"I see. Stuffed Shirt, do you mind telling me why we should stop a program proven to help nurture a foal's ability and willingness to learn in favor of some pretty paint on old houses?" She smiled down at him gently, keeping the pulse of anger buried deep within her breast.

Snorting, he began to roll his eyes before catching himself and clearing his throat. "Ah, as I said, it would bring in tourist revenue for Canterlot—"

"Canterlot is the richest city in Equestria, with a record high surplus of bits." Her assistant hoofed the relevant documents to the stallion, who gave them only a cursory glance. "I don't see a reason why we should cut this education funding."

"Because the surplus won't last forever—what if Canterlot falls on hard times? Or a natural disaster hits, like that hurricane off of Hoofwaii some years back?" That was actually a fair point, and Celestia began considering it, before his next sentence stopped her cold. "Besides, your highness—it's not as though ponies need to be educated to take out our trash or sweep our streets."

The anger flared again, and in her head, Celestia fantasized, briefly, about immolating him on the spot. A small ruffling of her wings was the only outward sign of anything being amiss with the Princess, and she forced the bile back down again with a small swallow. "You are suggesting that the ponies in the public schools are kept ignorant?"

"I'm glad you asked." He pulled up another poster in his pale blue aura, settling it on the easel. "As you can see by these figures, test scores are going down year by year. Granted, they're still higher than most cities, but the foals are not performing to standards. They don't appear to care about their education—I don't see a reason to keep funneling money to poor schools and districts when they don't appreciate it."

"I see." Celestia peered at the graphs, making a large show of examining them carefully. "And tell me, how much of this is the fault of lazy foals versus a large influx of foals from our recent population boom? We haven't sent money to the schools for hiring more staff in quite some time; I can imagine that the schoolteachers are getting overwhelmed." Stuffed Shirt shuffled nervously as she turned her gaze to him instead. "In those facts and figures there, do you have the average class size?"

He pulled one document out of his sheaf, eying it distastefully. "It would appear that the average class size is forty-two."

Celestia blinked, something finally managing to surprise her. "Truly?"

"Yes. But back to my proposal—" He was cut off as Celestia raised a wing.

"I know precisely what to do with it." Stifling the urge to request that the proposal be sent to her personal lavatory, she turned to her assistant. "Quill Feather?" The pegasus came to her side once more, pulling out a quill and parchment from under her wings. "I am ordering that extra money to account for the population boom be sent to the school districts of Canterlot, districts one through seven. I want you to find out how many teachers they need to get the class average down to twenty students maximum, and then send them enough to hire the teachers. This does include teachers for gymnastics, art, music, and the sciences."

Quill Feather scribbled down the note cheerfully, Celestia smiling beatifically at the now stammering unicorn. He stared back, mouth slightly agape. "Princess, even with conservative estimates, that's hundreds of thousands of bits per year—"

"I am aware of my country's finances, Stuffed Shirt." She eyed him coolly, one eyebrow raised as a small smile appeared. "In fact, I must thank you for bringing this to my attention. Why, with your selfless act of bringing this to me today, I am certain the schools would love to give you recognition for all your help."

Stuffed Shirt paused, seeming to think about it, while Celestia's gut churned. Gods, how I hate diplomacy in this age. There was a time, many hundreds of years ago, that one of the sisters merely saying something and stamping a hoof was enough to make it so. If a few ponies were upset by that, well, they had dungeons. Nowadays, it's all lawsuit this and jailtime that.

She sighed. Shaking the errant thoughts of days gone by from her head, she forced a kind smile down at Stuffed Shirt at his nod. "I'm so glad we could come to an agreement. Thank you for bringing your proposal to court today, even if the outcome wasn't quite what you were expecting."

The stallion bowed hastily before gathering up his now moot facts and figures. "Thank you, Your Highness." As he made his way back to the throne room doors, Celestia brought her head beside her assistant's to speak privately.

"Quill Feather. My use of the word 'you' in my proclamation was literal. I am entrusting this to you." The pegasus balked, golden eyes widening as she nearly lost her grip on her papers.

"I... Your Highness, I don't mean to contradict, but we have a Minister of Education for that—"

"A Minister of Education that is clearly not doing his job. If he were, this wouldn't be happening." The temperature in the immediate area rose by several degrees—yet Quill shivered at the look in her sovereign's eyes. "You've served me loyally in all things during your time here, and I have nothing but the utmost faith in your ability to carry out my decree." Celestia smiled warmly, allowing one wing to brush fondly over her assistant's back.

Quill Feather smiled, bolstered by her Princess' faith, and fluttered her mottled feathers excitedly. "I won't let you down, Your Highness."

Celestia looked into the pegasus' eager face, full of hope and determination, and it took all of her considerable might not to crack and sag beneath it. She smiled instead, never showing that it was only the gritting of her teeth that kept her from screaming.

Purple hooves clacked eagerly across the smooth stone floor of the castle, golden shoes shining by the lights hung in alcoves along the walls. As she approached her mentor's quarters, she slowed, not wanting to appear too eager. Twilight Sparkle smiled, using her magenta magic to smooth down some stray hairs in her mane and tail. She breathed deeply before standing straighter, bringing one elaborately-shod hoof up to knock gently on Celestia's door.

"Come in." Celestia's voice, normally as warm as the sun and twice as bright, was dull and nearly listless through the heavy wooden door. Twilight hesitated for a second, before slipping into the room quietly.

Celestia laid upon a large golden pillow, snuggled down into the soft material. An exquisite tea set, painted with roses and vines, sat on a small table beside her. Small squares of colorful paper littered the table, one side colored while the other was a matte white. Celestia raised her head from her contemplation of the merry fire in the hearth, and smiled warmly at the newest Princess of Equestria. "Twilight Sparkle! You know you do not need to knock."

Hooves shuffling awkwardly, Twilight blushed. "I know, but it only seemed polite. But, you wanted to see me, Princess?"

Celestia motioned to the table with a foreleg. Twilight approached, settling down on the cushion across from her. She felt a little thrill of nostalgia—how many times, as a filly, had she settled onto this exact cushion with this exact tea set in front of her? She lifted her teacup to her lips, savoring the delicate aroma coming up in small curls of steam for a moment before sipping. Celestia mirrored her actions, the two content to merely drink and be in each others presence for a time.

After a few moments of silent bliss, Celestia turned to Twilight. The purple alicorn could see the bags under her mentor's eyes, and the strain of ruling was for the first time fully evident on Celestia's face. "Twilight, do you enjoy origami?"

Lifting a blue square in her magenta aura, Twilight nodded happily. "Yes! I've read a lot of books on it, but haven't had too much of a chance to try it myself."

Celestia chuckled, drawing a green square to herself. She moved the tea set gently to the stone floor, clearing the table for the two to work. "It has been a favorite past time of mine over my years of rule. I find it very calming." Her golden magic folded her square expertly, leaving her with a paper swan in a matter of moments. Smiling, she animated it with her magic, flying it over the table to boop Twilight on the nose.

Twilight giggled, beginning to fold her own paper carefully the way she'd seen her mentor do. Celestia smiled. "Now, while you've got something to occupy your mind, tell me what's bothering you."

Jerking her head up, Twilight blushed. "I'm fine, Princess, really." Another corner of the paper folded down carefully. "It's just that ruling is a little stressful, but it's nothing I can't handle." A piece to the side came up, folding into a wing.

"Is that why you rushed to my study so quickly that you sounded more like a herd of antelope than one pony?" Arching her brow, Celestia took a deliberate sip of her tea, eying a stammering Twilight over the rim.

"Well... I... it was just..." The smaller alicorn sighed, shoulders drooping. "It's just hard. All this new magic, and I'm so much stronger than before! I helped Luna with the beginning of Night Court, just to get my hooves wet, and there was this awful petitioner..." She trailed off, blinking back tears as she stared at her paper. "She just... she didn't care that her blacksmith shop was polluting the local river. We—we had to force all these restrictions on her, and we have to send somepony to check up on her periodically now to make sure she's doing what she's supposed to do."

Celestia nodded. "These things will happen, Twilight."

"I know, she just... she made me so mad! I lifted her paperwork with my magic and it imploded. Literally imploded. I didn't... I didn't mean to do that." She lifted her paper again, frustrated, and the tiny folded swan tore in half. Twilight stared at it, letting it drop to the table as tears welled up in her eyes.

The two sat together for a time, Celestia watching Twilight with sad eyes as she cried out her frustrations. Twilight pulled her wings around herself, cuddling in close to them for comfort. After awhile, the sobs turned to sniffles, and Twilight wiped her face quickly with a foreleg. Mumbling an apology, she drank deeply of her tea, letting the jasmine smell calm her.

"We are like tigers, Twilight." Celestia settled back, taking a sip of her own tea again as her student's red-rimmed eyes met her own. "Incredibly strong, fierce, and protective of our kin. For us, our kin includes all of our little ponies here in Equestria."

Uncomprehending violet eyes met calm rose ones, Twilight searching her mentor's for clarification. "Why... what?"

With a chuckle, Celestia pulled another paper to herself in her golden magic. "What I mean is that we are a strong, and very dangerous, force. The smallest slip in a time of stress, and entire cities would be wiped clean off the map." She calmly folded her paper, studiously ignoring Twilight's gaping mouth.

"Have... have you..." A warning glance from Celestia stopped her cold, her mentor's steely gaze boring into her.

"Have I what, Twilight?" Celestia's voice was calm, even loving, entirely at odds with the cold, flinty look in her eyes. "Have I killed populations, reduced landscapes to ash and glass, and burned away countless frail mortal bodies?"

Twilight sat quietly, mouth working soundlessly as she blinked at her mentor. The warm, loving light she associated with Celestia had been changed; it was now that she could see the harsh, blinding side of the Sun. That, mixed with Celestia's obvious fatigue, struck Twilight speechless for once as she floundered in her own mind to come to grips with everything.

Abruptly, the older alicorn turned back to the papers on the table, expression smoothing over expertly as she lifted an orange one. "What can you tell me about paper tigers?"

Twilight clicked back into the role of student with practiced ease, mind clearing at the direct question. "It comes from a Chineighse phrase meaning something that is as threatening as a tiger, but is ultimately harmless." She watched with some awe as Celestia spun the paper in her magic, mountain and valley folds both executed with ease. "It's often used in literature or politics as a descriptor for somepony such as..." She paused, tilting her head.

"Such as?" The paper was taking shape, a larger rounded section stemming from a thinner one.

"Such as... such as a king, queen, or other ruler." Twilight met her mentor's eyes, confusion and reluctant comprehension warring on her face.

"Very good, Twilight." Celestia gently folded down the tiger's head, the smooth, blank face staring out across the table.

"But... Princess, we're not... not ultimately harmless, are we? I don't understand." Twilight gently prodded the tiger with her magic, drawing back as Celestia levitated a bit of charcoal over.

Drawing deliberate, harsh stripes down the tiger's side, Celestia shook her head. "We are not. We must hobble ourselves, change from tigers of flesh and blood to those of paper. Did you not wonder why you and your friends were sent to save the Crystal Empire?"

"I... it was a test for me?"

Celestia inclined her head slightly. "It was. But, Twilight... when the gods fight, only mortals lose. The truth is simply that yes, Luna and I could have easily disposed of Sombra. He was laughably weak after being imprisoned for so long. We would have made very short work of him. The problem is that we would have also made very short work of half of the population of the Crystal Empire."

The tiger stood proudly on the table between them, coal smudge eyes glaring fiercely at Twilight. The purple alicorn met its gaze, wings ruffling slightly as she shifted. The silence settled in, broken only by sips of tea from Celestia and the soft shifting from Twilight.

"Something doesn't make sense." Twilight poked the tiger with her magic, turning its gaze to Celestia. "If we're so dangerous, why do we need Royal Guards? I know about using them as a police force, that's fine, but why do they guard each and every door and hall in the palace?"

Celestia beamed, eyes sliding shut as she nodded. "An excellent question. In return, I posit one to you. Let's say there's some group of ponies that doesn't like the monarchy. And let's say that in order to make a point, to score a blow against the Royal Sisters, they decide to assassinate the Princess' most faithful student." Nudging the tiger to look at Twilight again, Celestia opened her eyes. "What, do you suppose, an alicorn mad with grief might do?"

Shoulders slumped, Twilight looked down at the table, mind working. "I... I guess you'd forgo a trial..."

"The accused would never even make it to trial. That is why we have Royal Guards. They protect the more foolhardy of our little ponies from us." Celestia rose, stretching out her legs and wings before looking back down at the newest Princess. "You must always be mindful of your emotions, Twilight. You must always be in control. And most of all, you must never, NEVER forget that a tiger is only truly dangerous when she is not caged."

Celestia folded her wings back down, and feeling her student needed some time alone, trotted softly out the door. It thudded shut behind her, and Twilight barely moved, simply watching the little tiger with haunted eyes.

A few moments later, the door opened and closed again, leaving nopony behind but the ashy remnants of an origami project.

Author's Note:

Hat tip to the magnificent Lord Sunder for the pre-read.

Just another thing that knocked around in my head for awhile. Hope y'all liked it.

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Comments ( 337 )

I think... I think that is one of the best explanations to why Celestia and Luna can't help, and why there is a Guard. Short but you did good with this.

3465259 Thank you! I've always felt that was the reason, I just finally wrote it down.

Raistlin #3 · Nov 9th, 2013 · · 2 ·

If Alicorns are truly so goddam powerful:
a) Is really a good idea allowing them to perform such a stressful job as, you know, government?
b) What is the point of having so much power if they cannot use it safely? Villains like Chrysalis can take advantage of their unwillingness in bringing collateral damage on their kingdom. Twilight is ironically more useless now than before her ascension.

"Power you cannot control is no power at all"


1. It's not a good idea, but generally power rules.

2. Twilight is a bit different: The reason Celestia and Luna cannot fight is because they're not connected with the Elements anymore, which is a controlled force apparently, so they'd have to rely on their brute strength. Twilight is paradoxically just as powerful, because she's the Element Of Magic, while having to press down her emotional reactions.

Also there's no real POINT to being that strong. Sometimes you just ARE. But the most responsible use of power, the most obvious way to show how strong you are, is to know when to stay in control and back down.

This makes all sorts of sense.

I've always wanted to write a story about those thousand years Celestia ruled alone, pre Twilight and Luna.

I feel like a lot of stuff went down. A lot.

And I think Discord knows allllll about it.

3465316 i just don't know, I have a 'reason Discord hates Celestia' headcanon, related to the whole moon thing. May have to write that out next time :3

Wow. This is, quite the philosophical thought piece. I, don't know whether Tia is right or wrong here. Part of me says she's taking this a bit too far, and that she shouldn't view herself as a threat to her own subjects. But, I also see her point. She does have a lot of power, and if her patience was ever worn thin (even she has her limits, and those limits have been pushed by the likes of Discord and Chrysalis), the repercussions could be catastrophic. So, is she being cautious, or paranoid? Does she know herself well enough to employ these safeguards, or is she blowing her weaknesses out of proportion? It's quite a conundrum. :ajsleepy:

Maybe this ambiguity isn't what you were going for, but I like it. It's a beautiful character analysis that captures Celestia quite well, no matter what the answer is. And at the core of it all, a simple message rings true: With great power comes great responsibility. It's a lesson that Celestia knows all too well, even if she might be overdoing it. Overall, masterfully done. :moustache:

3465349 Thank you!

It's my headcanon that yes, Celestia has done some truly awful shit, especially during the War of the Sun and the Moon. So she'd be speaking via experience.

3465345 PM me sometime, let's compare canon(s). Cola Bubble Gum and I came up with those whole thing called The crimes of Celestia. Lots of palace intrigue. Think Elizabeth meets Nixon.

That was an interesting take on the way the Princesses rule Equestria.

I tip my hat to you.

Damn this is impressive. Honestly, this is pretty close to my head-canon, and it makes a whole hell of a lot of sense. Good work!

I wish there was a single story that treated alicorns as having normal pony powers, just a little more powerful. This Godlicorn thing got old for me long ago, which explains why I don't like this premise.

No vote.

it's a weird way of looking at things. Certainly open to debate. But I hope it doesn't keep Twilight from being any less badass.

I like this so much you get PInkie Pie singing "Numa Numa". Good job my friend.:moustache:


There are plenty of fics that show Celestia as a slightly more powerful pony than most.

It's just that the reason most of them make her such is to make their OC/Crossover Character seem uber in comparison.

Me? I'm looking for a GOOD fic that does what you say.

I find it a questionable part of the premise that the Princesses doesn't have any middle gears in power, but an intriguing take on why they prefer proxies like they do.

You got my up-vote for it.


looking for a GOOD fic

That goes without saying, of course.

Alicorn mad with grief... Celestia after banishing Luna?

y u no a while ;_;

2D #21 · Nov 9th, 2013 · · ·

Brilliant, as always. Not ashamed to have shed a manly tear. :twilightsmile:

Not bad. Personally, I think Celestia may be over-restricting herself slightly. Sure, with Luna gone, she was justified in those restrictions, as she had noone left willing to tell her when she was going too far. But that isn't true anymore, so she can start working on making the Crowns' authority more obvious and direct, such that the less respectful persons brought before the Courts actually treat the Royalty with the respect it deserves.
Also, perhaps do the occasional large-scale demolitions job? Gotta blow off steam somehow.
But, yes, otherwise I am sort've surprised this was a question that even needed answering.

My roommate and I treat them more as Demi-Gods. They are alive until slain. We saw that at the wedding. Celestia and most likely Luna as well can be killed but it is just incredibly hard to do so.

The other reason they are demi-gods is that we [my roommate and I] agree that their powers are stronger than normal ponies simply because of the magic pool. They have 3 [according to us this can change or is debatable] the pool in their legs that we believe houses the passive earth pony magic. Their wings which has their passive pegasi magic and their horn obviously the unicorn magic. Since they have three pools of magic we assume they must be stronger for it. Shown by Celestia and Luna moving the celestial bodies. We know unicorns used to do it but it took many. Celestia and Luna can do it themselves. Celestia doing both for 1000 years. You can't deny the power there.

We also believe these pools of magic are why they are taller and why I think Twilight will eventually get taller assuming she is an Alicorn and not just a pegacorn [Pegasus and Unicorn] In the show they all look the same cause the animators use dolls. We can assume that if this wasn't the case then Earth ponies would be bulkier. Pegasi are thought to be agile. If you are a combination of these two then you can't be bulky and agile. It just doesn't add up [despite some anime and shows say] Celestia and Luna are taller because their strength grew into their height so they can be nimble as well. Taller people are usually stronger. [factoring out working out; Snowflake doesn't count. The Yeah pony.] Longer legs helps them be nimble.

Sorry you probably got more than I intended. I hope most of it makes sense. I agree with the fact that seeing them as Goddess's has gotten a little old which again is why my roommate and I think of them as Demi-gods, but that doesn't mean they don't have any godlike powers. The sun is pretty darn big and the moon though smaller than earth is no joke either.

Sorry not trying to contradict you or be rude or anything. To be honest I don't know why I did this horribly long explanation lol.

3465497 d'okay

3465859 no they DO, it's just a matter of what happens when they're super upset and not thinking clearly. like how some people get angry and like, kick a chair. celestia's version of 'kicking a chair' is accidental genocide in my headcanon

im not going to explain this well, b/c alcohol, so im sorry

3465867 maaaaaaaaaaaaybe there's a side story here :3

3465879 reasons

3465887 thank youuu <3

3465934 she's just being damn careful due to Stuff What She Did in the past

D48 #25 · Nov 9th, 2013 · · 5 ·

The story is interesting, but the fundamentally flawed premise keeps it from having any real power. The goodhood thing seems to be one of those things that the fandom has decided on without worrying about the fact that the show consistently contradicts it. Frankly, the most impressive thing we have seen from either of them is Luna's weather manipulation on Nightmare night, and that is really only noteworthy in how easily she does it which is what you would expect from a pony like Twilight after having a few centuries to practice.

3465497 I recommend watching the show, although it is sort of implicit in any story where the princesses don't do anything important.

Interesting take on Alicornhood. Don't quite agree with the idea of them having Too Much Power to Handle, but have an upvote. :twilightsmile:

3465935 It's your headcanon and you're entitled to it. You're defending your views and I respect that fully.

The way I see it, Celestia and Luna control the sun and the moon not because it's extremely hard – in my eyes, Twilight herself could and was stronger than at least one of them even before Twilicorn, which I see as giving her no powers besides Pegasus ones –, but because it's their special talent (see cutie marks) from studying on astrothaumaturgy a long time ago. Their immortality would be simply biological, as in a spell changed their biology so that their DNA doesn't "stretch" (that's what really causes aging). This is why they don't really participate in fighting in the show: they'd be just slightly-above-regular ponies with leadership skills, not combat abilities. If Celly had them, she'd have taken down Chrysalis much more sneakily than a direct confrontation.

And while Celly definitely has amazing mental fortitude for a pony, that doesn't stop her from being shocked or weirded out, as we see in Swarm of the Century where she has that 'WTF' lookwhen Pinkie marches by. So she doesn't have the 'infallible poker face' either.

Extra tidbit: if not both, Celestia at the very least is sterile from having run out of egg cells (Luna may still have some from before her imprisonment, which I see as a sort of stasis instead of the usual prancing-on-the-moon nonsense). That's why Blueblood isn't her direct descendant by any stretch.

3465983 idk i find 'moving the fucking sun and moon' pretty goddamned impressive, but that's just me :3 we all have diff headcanons and that's okay!

3466011 everyone's missing the point: it's NOT too much to handle. It's being strong enough TO handle it.

3465983 Watching the show for what? I already did that, three times over. I want fanfics with what I said.

3465951 Hey, I didn't say your fic is bad. It just doesn't please me because personal headcanon.

3466045 I didnt say you said it was bad. I said 'd'okay' which is just my way of saying 'okay' which means no hard feelings and i hope you find something you enjoy better ^_^


3466051 this isn't a political fic, bro. but thx for sharing

>Notices Everyone Rated fic in the mature feature box
>Notices who wrote it
>Is confuzzled yet not surprised.


That story... That message sprayed all over it... The implications Celestia made... Sheesh. Being God is such a scary thing...

3466125 'tis indeed

i think what everyone's missing is that gods arent necessarily perfect

we just think they are

(see: that story about winona and applejack, sun princess i think it was called)


Mm. I'm still in a bit of a shock feeling right now, from the story (it's a good thing, m'dear,) but I can't help but giggle at everyone complaining about the one thing that doesn't matter in the fic.

3466134 well, i mean

it's fimfic

we're good at bitching about shit what doesn't matter

D48 #38 · Nov 10th, 2013 · · 13 ·

3466035 That would be impressive if we had any confirmation they actually did it which we do not. It was mentioned once in the pilot in a book of fairy tales which is far from a reputable source as it could easily be something made up and told to foals. Of course, even if it is believed in-universe that does not necessarily mean it is true. There have been plenty of popular misconceptions throughout human history and there is no evidence of that changing any time soon so I do not think it is reasonable to assume that the ponies are any different. Besides, the explanation is very easy with the unicorns in the hearths warming play who could very easily have fabricated the story to make the other tribes believe they were important like many historical religious groups, and they may even have started believing it themselves after a while. The Princesses would then be obligated to take on this "responsibility" in order to break the unicorn power base, and could very well either believe it themselves or have been forced into maintaining the deception.

That said, we do have direct confirmation of Celestia's power limits because we saw her get her ass handed to her by Chrysalis who was then beaten by a regular pony so it is very clear that Celestia does not have god-level power.

3466036 Sigh, it was supposed to be a joke. :facehoof: My point was that the only place you will see it is the show because the fandom has decided that alicorns are gods despite all the contradictory evidence.


True. Bu-


3466140 that sounds a lot like


headcanon, maybe

see that book of 'fairy tales' was utterly correct, bang on, about everything else, ne? so i choose to believe it's true about their powers. that's the glory of headcanon :3

3466143 espurr is love

espurr is life

Thought-provoking. :rainbowderp:

This is a really good head-cannon. Certainly explains why Celestia does what She does.

3466150>>3466151 thanks, guys :)




Dancer. Dancer. Headcanon inside a canon story universe. It's a thing! Amazing, right? Who knew that a universe based on fiction could have fiction inside it!

Midnight, this only partially conflicted with my headcanon, but i still enjoyed the story very much. My own headcanon does agree that alicorns are much more powerful, hilariously so, even. After that i believe it's more of like in Rites of Ascension (or other fics that i can't seem to remember the names of at this moment), in that their domain or whatever they're tied to influences their power.

Where you described the Royal Sisters as a pair of paper tigers, i see only one. The addition of changes based on domain means that with her influence over the night, Luna is much more subtle and trickster-esque than Celestia could hope to be. Celestia, when committed, leaves glassed deserts and craters in her wake. Luna, conversely, is able to fight properly in an urban environment. Time will only tell what Twilight's problems will be. Basically... Celestia, alone or not, would take on an opposing army and reduce it, along with any allies, to ash. Luna could fight in a stealth/guerrilla operation and not harm anything but her target, using her own power.

Celestia, for all intents and purposes, has trapped herself in a cage of her own making, becoming the paper tiger to force herself not to get involved in her ponies daily battles and solve her problems diplomatically. Luna doesn't have that luxury, and her attitude shows it with she's not willing to get down and dirty, while Celestia prefers to let others do her work for her. But this is all headcanon, so... yeah.

That is why i only see one paper tiger.

P.S. I've not written a comment this long in a few months. Thanks for making me think, Midnight.

3466140 ...
I have only one answer to such a moment of dumb. Pinkie, Rarity? Could you ladies please help me?

3466191 Glad I made you think.

3466192 while I may not entirely disagree with your assessment, let's keep things civil shall we

I'm too drunk to be polite, don't egg me on :p

3466195 :rainbowderp: Uh, that was a reaction to my moment of dumb, since I missed the punchline by a maritime mile.

3466200 OH. Okay then

carry on


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