• Member Since 25th Feb, 2013
  • offline last seen 1 hour ago

Titanium Dragon

TD writes and reviews pony fanfiction, and has a serious RariJack addiction. Send help and/or ponies.


Luna and Twilight devise a spell to go back in time and view the dream that inspired Celestia to become an alicorn.

It's not what they expected.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 104 )

Darn, I narrowly missed the chance to give this its first upvote.

I came here right after re-reading Horizon's Optimalverse zen poem in Darf's "Pony Verse" collection, which didn't tip me off to the twist as much as I hoped when I saw that the problem was Celestia "just" sitting there drinking tea, but it did put me in the right frame of mind for her... puckishness.

I don't get the story I think, but I likes it nonetheless.

Clover the Clever, come to tell her about the magic of friendship.


I do not believe that it is what lead my sister to the secret to eternal life.


Nice little story. Altough I expected the ending somewhat. Going back in time seems to always create a loop.
Did not expect the delivery though.

Called it within, like, three paragraphs :P You're a dork.

5682222 It's a Time Loop. Celestia got the idea to become an Alicorn by listening to Luna and Twilight talking about how Celestia had the dream about becoming an Alicorn.

It's recursive. Paradoxical even.

It's a stable time loop. Twi and Luna accidentally let Celestia overhear them talking about the future, which is how she learned she would become an alicorn, which is why she did so, which ultimately led to (among other things) Twi and Luna going back in time to this dream, where Celestia overheard them talking about the future...

Ah yes, I remember that poem. I have a soft spot for it. :heart:

I'm glad it helped contribute to your enjoyment of this story.

And yes, Celestia, despite being a white horse, is still somehow a troll.

Well played, well played.



I really don't understand how I misspell that word every. Single. Time. :facehoof:

Accursed homophones.

Thank you. :heart:

Nice little story. Altough I expected the ending somewhat. Going back in time seems to always create a loop.

I am rather fond of time travel, though I haven't written very many stories about it; just this and We Can't Turn Back Time.

I'm glad you liked it!


You're a dork.


Yes I am. :ajsmug:

Thank you both for explaining it to them. :heart:


You have an appropriate name for this, too.

Because "led" the conjugation of "lead" the verb is a homophone for "lead" the metal, so you're used to reading "lead" as "led" as well as "lead". English spelling has misled you, and I say you oughtta misle it right back.

I have no idea where you slotted in the extra 300 or so words, because this feels identical to the WriteOff entry.
Nevermind, because it's still a brilliant short fic. Hope it gets Featured.

You can get in trouble for misling things, though; folks seem to be touchy about unauthorized misles. :duck:

I snuck them in, expanding the explanation for the time spell and Luna and Twilight's conversation about expectations and what the dream was supposed to be.

Glad you still liked it! I was trying to keep it as tight as possible while clarifying a few points that people felt weren't clear enough in the write-off.

Has NOBODY read "Journal of the Two Sisters"? Celestia and Luna were BORN alicorns.

Eh. It's your story, just...slap an AU tag on it because it kinda violates established canon that existed before you ever wrote this...

Most people don't read the various licensed works, and a lot of folks seem to only consider the shows/movies to be canon. Heck, some folks don't even consider the movies to be canon, judging by the whole backlash to Equestria Girls thing...

Which reminds me, I still haven't watched Equestria Girls 2. :facehoof:

I agree with TD, I take the books and comics as suggested canon unless it's referenced in the show. (And I'm led to understand that's true of at least the comics for the show's writers as well. That is, they don't have to pay attention to them and can contradict them whenever they want.) I don't think AU is necessary for ignoring them.

Enjoyed it just as much as when I first read it in the writeoff's a little while back. A very simple yet fun piece. :raritywink:

Thank you! I'm glad it still holds up. :twilightsmile:

5682587 The thing is, Journal of the Two Sisters IS canon to the show, unlike the comics.

It is actually a bit more severe than that; because of the timing issues, the people who are working on the show have no idea what is going on in the comics most of the time while the show is being produced, and likewise the people who work on the comics have limited information on what is going on in the show (apparently, they basically send in approval for an idea, but because of the various lead times, stuff is going on that no one is aware of). So not only can they contradict each other, but they probably will in various ways simply because no one at the comics staff asks the right question of Hasbro. Back in season 4, some folks on staff mentioned that they had never read the comics/books, so they might contradict it without even meaning to (the hints that Twilight's mom was the writer of Daring Do are an example of this).

The show isn't (or at least, historically wasn't) really able to reference the comics or books because the vast majority of folks don't read either; judging by peoples' reactions and the print runs, I'd guess somewhere on the order of 10% of people can be guessed to have consumed something - and they haven't necessarily consumed everything. It certainly is nowhere near a majority, as most of the folks I know have never read the comics/books and are only very vaguely aware of what happened in them at best - even major details are not known by folks.

That's why I, personally, don't consider it to be canon - because if I reference it, I can't rely on my audience understanding what I'm talking about. If I can't use something in a story without introducing it independently on my own, I don't really consider it canon. There's nothing wrong with treating them as canon in any given story, but a lot of folks are going to be lost if you go into something from the comics, especially anything after Nightmarity, without introducing it in the text in some way.

Was this stated somewhere by the writing staff? They're the ones (McCarthy, specifically) with control over show canon (outside of having to work in Hasbro's toyetic demands.)

I'm curious about that, though really once again 5682652 is right: the mere fact that you have to ask "didn't anyone read it" means that A) the answer is probably no, and B) therefore most people would be confused by tagging this AU, because they would have no idea how this deviated from canon.

5682271 Holy shit that is fucking AWESOME!

Cute story. It was easy to see where it was going, but I've got a soft spot for mischievous Celestia, which more than made up for it. Plus that was a good punchline. So simple that it draws your imagination to the princesses' reactions rather than the punchline itself.

A minor quibbles:

“Are you sure that this is the right night?” Twilight asked for the tenth time as she peered over the crest of the hill at their target.

That can go. Not only is it a cliché (in a start that is also pretty cliché), but Twilight states two lines later that they've been there for six hours. It's redundant information.

5682714 Yes, it WAS stated to be canon by the show's staff. One of the show's main writers WROTE the thing. It's not like those chapter books that are dubious at best, the Journal is canon.

You don't need to go caps on me, I'm just wondering where, because I must have missed it. Was it twitter or a con Q&A?

I had a suspicion about the ending from a few paragraphs in. Very funny. I love little self-fulfilling time-traveling loops like this.

Thanks, Foxy E!

You have such a cutesty name/avatar, by the way.

I look forward to the eventual publication of all of your entries as well, as previously noted. :raritywink:

5682883 It's fairly common knowledge...and yes, I'm sure it originated on Twitter. That's been a while back.

5682856 Not even Hasbro can preemptively declare something to be canon. Because canon is a fandom term. It's canon when it actually appears in the show.

5683002 Uh, no. Canon is canon. Fanon is fanon. It's the show's creators who decide what is canon. Not us.

I haven't seen anything about this, but I do remember back in season 4 they mentioned that Cadance being a pegasus originally and that alicorns were unicorns, earth ponies, and pegasi at the same time were working assumptions in the show, but would likely never be clarified in canon.

I dunno what else there has been; if anything, I've missed it.

I think that as far as Hasbro is concerned, everything is "canon" until they contradict it. :rainbowwild:

IIRC GM Berrow helped write at least one episode this season, so it may be the case that the books/show/ect. will be more closely tied together going forward. We'll see, though; the main issue is not really so much "will the show be consistent with the books" as "will the show ever mention most of this material"; I don't think that the show can practically use the comics/book material as important plot points because they can't rely on most of the audience having read them, but it might lead to greater consistency between them as people are actually aware of what is going on.

That being said, they've contradicted some (mostly minor) stuff in the past, so we'll have to wait and see. Then again, Trade Ya seems to somehow weirdly ignore the fact that Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy know Daring Do from Daring Don't, so who even knows. :trixieshiftright:

If there are any tweets or whatever, I'd be vaguely interested.

5683008 Right and wrong. The show's creators put stuff in the show, wherein it becomes canon. But who decided that what appears in the show is canon? We, the fans, did. Fans are the ones that care about canon, no one else does.

Actually, 5683002 is correct - the idea of "canon" comes from fans, not from show creators, but it is actually a more complicated situation than that. There are multiple different definitions of canon which people use:

1) Anything which appears in the primary works. This is a pretty common definition of canon, and is true of many shows and series. For instance, in the Star Wars universe, the movies are free to contradict anything and everything else (the Expanded Universe, in the form of games, books, TV shows, ect.) and establish new canon and overrule anything else. This is a very simple and clean answer, and is usually a fairly practical one which is tied to #3; it also means that it is easy to produce a ton of auxiliary material and not feel like that material is using up good material for the main product. It also makes canon much simpler to keep track of. It has the risk of alienating fans of the auxilary material when it gets overruled by the main series.

2) What the assumptions that the people who make the show make while they are making the show. That is to say, a character is secretly gay, the show itself never mentions it, but the people writing the show know that the character is gay and therefore write plotlines based on this fact, even though we might never see them being gay. A good example of this is the "alicorns are pegasi, earth ponies, and unicorns" thing, or Cadance being a pegasus before being an alicorn - it might inform how those characters are written, and what powers they are shown to have (great strength, ect.) but it is never really made explicit by the show itself. This can be pretty elaborate in some cases, like Tolkien's crazy-detailed history of Middle-Earth. The downside of this definition of canon is primarily that the creators can and do change their minds; anything which isn't actually in the show is potentially fair game. This is why a lot of folks don't really like relying on Word of God for canon, because sometimes God changes their mind because some other idea seems cooler, or simply because it is hard to keep track of it all (or because God basically answered the question off-hand, and then decides they want to do something else/forgets about their off-hand answer). It also relies on a bunch of stuff which may well be private, and the show's creators may even deliberately lie to the audience in order to mislead them about something. The creators of Gravity Falls, for instance, have created fake leaks to troll the audience.

3) What the people who make a work can rely on their target audience being familiar with. This is a practical definition of canon, and basically means "they can only reference stuff that people are likely to be familiar with as major plot points". So if a character shows up in a random book, for them to use them in the main series, that character would still need to be "introduced" to the audience, but if they were in The Motion Picture (TM), then the writers can assume that the audience is familiar with them. Thus, from this point of view, anything which is viewed by the majority of their audience for a given work is "canon" - so as far as the comics are concerned, the other comics would be canon because they assume that people who read the comics have read all the other comics, but as far as the main show is concerned, if they wanted to use something from the comics, they would have to introduce it as if it were a brand new plot element to the main show, because to their audience, that background isn't "canon".

4) Whatever your own personal view of what is and is not in the show. This is basically like #2, but instead of using the central canon, you use your own personal headcanon for the characters. The Descendant tends to do this in his stories, but this can also happen if you have a personal 'verse, ALA Estee. The big downside here is that it is like #2, except it is personal to you - if people have to have read your fifty blog posts about your views on the setting to make sense of your stories, you're likely to not have a very big audience.

I personally err towards definition #3; if I'm writing for a general audience for MLP, I'll assume that people are aware of the show and little else, with any references to anything else being throwaway references (like the reference to Flash Sentry in Mistletrapped). If I was to use the characters from the movies, I'd be assuming that folks were familiar with that; if I was to write something based on a book or comic, I'd probably want to make a note in the description so that people wren't blindsided by it, or, most likely, simply introduce the character as if the audience was not familiar with them because I could not assume that they would know the character from comic #22 or whatever. From a practical point of view, I think that #2, while useful, is something you need to be wary of; if you are using stuff that is obscure as a major plot point, you really should try and make sure that the rest of the audience doesn't feel lost, the same way that if you suddenly revealed some major fact about a character that it didn't feel like their brother just popped up out of nowhere, like rats being spontaneously generated by straw.

Not that I'm pointing hooves or anything.

5683075 You don't understand how canon works at all, do you? :facehoof: (Hint: It's what the creators say that goes, always, no exceptions.) The assumption that fans dictate what can and cannot be considered canon is conceit. If the show's staff says something is canon, it's canon. If they say it isn't, it isn't. That's just how it is.

5682317 As the video meme goes: "Nobody cares!"


It's what the creators say that goes, always, no exceptions.

Here's a quote from the article you cited:

The term was first used by analogy in the context of fiction to refer to the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Ronald Knox used the term in a 1911 essay "Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes" to distinguish Doyle's works from subsequent pastiches by other authors.

So then, unless Ronald Knox was secretly the author of Sherlock Holmes, Wikipedia supports my view not yours.

Furthermore here's what TV Tropes has to say:

The concept of canon is almost entirely an invention of fandom. The writers will ignore, include, or change whatever facts they damned well like.

So yes it looks like I do understand how canon works.

5683630 While I do not and will never agree with your interpretation of the definition of canon, I did not intend to start an argument here. I was simply pointing out that according to a source written by one of the show's main writers, Celestia and Luna were born alicorns. Whether or not you choose to accept that is up to you. Let's all agree to disagree and move on. :twilightsmile:

Don't sweat it. It actually inspired me to make a blog post about the subject matter.

No hard feelings.

So now, we have a BootStrapParadox.

How else would you pull yourself up? :raritywink:


You have such a cutesy name/avatar by the way

Cutesy? Me? How dare you! I----- Well, actually, now that you mention it, if you look at it like that, it sort of, maybe, just possibly is just a little bit cutesy.

Heh :twilightblush:

Ah. Glad to see this up. Having read it before was no impediment to enjoying it; I'd figured out the twist early in the first reading. But, as is sometimes the case with the show, knowing the ending doesn't mean I can't enjoy the journey, and this was a great character piece for all three princesses. And the mental image of Twilight pulling her mane out over the resulting Inventor's Paradox is exquisite. The extra bits did a great job of explaining the niggling factors like the "once per user" clause of time spells. Thanks for polishing this up.

It's a real pleasure to read this again, and it's even better than the writeoff version :twilightsmile:

Just seemed fitting. :pinkiehappy:


'must' or 'had to'?

Either is correct; they're synonyms.

Maybe ‘nodded’ alone suffices? ‘nodded her head’ sounds pleonastic to me.

Yeah, her head was redundant.

Should me ‘my own’ or simply ‘mine’, no?

Luna speaks using archaic English, i.e. Early Modern English. In Early Modern English, my/mine was like a/an - you'd use "my" when the successive word started in a consonant and "mine" when it started in a vowel sound. So "my head" but "mine own".

So, you're right in modern English, but Luna isn't speaking modern English but a more ancient form of English which uses slightly different rules. For example, they had thou/thine, which were used instead of you/your when addressing a single person informally (the equivalent of the French "tu"). It had its own additional set of verb conjugations ("Thou art" instead of "You are", for instance) and some other fun differences.

I wrote a couple stories a while ago where all the characters were speaking in Early Modern English due to it being set in the distant past; I hadn't really thought about it, but that's probably terribly confusing for a non-native English speaker, who is wondering why the heck everything is all weird.


Thank you for reading it, and for the feedback given during the competition that helped me polish it.

I love that song so much. I always think about it when time travel comes up. :twilightsmile:

Pime taradox!

I enjoyed this story. Nothing like a good, short read that left me with delicious pause for thought. :twilightsmile:

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