• Member Since 15th Sep, 2012
  • offline last seen 11 hours ago

TailsIsNotAlone


A brony with a lot of love for the show and a lot of questions about its direction. Sometimes I write stuff.

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WARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE SEASON 5 PREMIERE, 'THE CUTIE MAP'.

Starlight Glimmer has escaped, but she is far from gone. As one dream dies, she pursues another. Is she simply running in place? Perhaps. But, so is all of Equestria.

(Cover art by DashieSparkle)

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 40 )

5823795 I'm gonna find your comments everywhere, aren't I?:rainbowlaugh:

5823849 Kewl. Well, we best not spam this comment section, for the sake of the writer.

5823866 Sounds good. Bye

Quite a depressing spectacle. I adore it.

A very interesting take on Starlight´s views and philosophy. Congratulations making her into a complex villain with realistic motivations.
Also, she needs her own tag.

I enjoyed this! Great job! :scootangel:

Fav'd!:yay:

This made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside—I'm not sure that it should have, though.

Nevertheless, great little story.

Everyone knows that Starlight's a villain with a disillusion of what harmony and friendship is right?

A very interesting view on why Starlight did what she did. We were never given a complete explanation in the show. Though that might change in the future, as I have no doubt that this isn't the last we've heard from her.
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This is a very well written story. I like how you incorporated other unicorns like Trixie and Sunset into her development. The way you didn't directly tell us her relationship with her father, but instead let us infer it a bit, also added to the story.
I think my favorite part is the titles she gives Twilight: "Princess of liars, destroyer of order, bane of equality." I don't know why, but it is just so fitting for Starlight to so strongly see Twilight in this light.

This was what set Starlight apart from the other villains who were motivated by greed and conquest. She seemed to genuinely believe she was doing a good thing for everyone else, and thought her actions prevent the existence of ponies like Sombra, who abused his tremendous skill in magic to tyrannize over others, or Sunset Shimmer(and if you want to go further, Lightning Dust) who decided her exceptional talent made her "better" then others and sure wasn't hesitant to rub it in others' faces.

But, as is typically the case with extremists, she's too blinded by her ideals to realize that her methods make her guilty of the very things she preaches against and has become the very thing she claims to be trying to prevent.

Since the world she's actually living in is a much more inclusive and welcoming place than she thinks it is, it could be that some smart draconequus will nod to us fans and flat-out call her the Element Of Wrong Genre Savvy.

What if Starlight's cutie mark was something that she really liked (Like bronies with mlp) but other ponies (anti-bronies) made fun of her for. And that was why she wanted all others to be equal, I'm just sayin' the parallels are there, why not run with it.
Reguardless, this is the best Starlight Glimmer fic I've seen so far, very well done. :pinkiehappy:

Very good read. Chilling.

5825458

Or simply: "Some people are equal, some people are More Equal than others"

As she thought of herself, being hypocritical with her own cutie mark.

I like how you portrayed Starlight Glimmer here. First, the fact that, unlike some people think (and I'm not attacking them, I just disagree), she didn't just want to be better than everypony but to really make everypony equal. Then, that her ideology was not only born from bitterness and madness intertwined, but from logical observation and rational thoughts.

I'm a bit confused concerning that part though :

She had trusted the vision itself to be enough; that was a mistake. It was also necessary to embody the vision, to make herself somepony to follow. It would be a compromise, but a minor one.

How could she embody the vision? Without her Cutie Mark, she won't be able to remove other ponies's Cutie Marks. Apart from a manecut, I don't know what she can do.

5830947 A good question. I doubt she would ever seriously consider giving up her own cutie mark. When she thinks about "embodying the vision," she means to lead by example and work more closely with the other ponies. To "make herself somepony to follow," she means to be a more benevolent dictator--perhaps with a personality cult--so that her followers actually like her. In Equality Village, they didn't. Once her followers discovered the vision was rooted in lies, they turned on her almost immediately because they lacked an emotional attachment to her. Starlight means to prevent this in the future.

Honestly, she frightens me. She frightens a lot of us, and I think some writers will react to that fear with revenge fics and stories that paint Starlight as a complete failure in life. While those may be comforting--if she's a failure and a loser and she smells, we're not so scared of her, right?--they don't appeal to me. I took a different approach and attempted to understand her instead. It's not easy. She really is twisted.

Six points too few started her on the path. Six ponies too many have pushed her to the next step.

A very suitable motivation for Starlight. I especially like how you've captured the frightening amount of detachment she has towards her own role. She really does see herself as no more important than any other pony; it's just that she's the only one trying to avert the disaster that only she can see.

5831536 Oh you're right, I didn't quite understand why everypony abandoned her so rapidly. It seems a lot more logical now.

About her not considering to give up her Cutie Mark, honestly, maybe it's because I'm blinded by empathy, but I think that the reason she would keep it is that she needs it to create her perfect society; to keep control... but she's suffering from it.

Just remember what she said in the episode after they discovered that she was lying about her Cutie Mark : "The only way to be happy is if we're all equal." To which Party Favor answered : "Except for you." And then she immediatly turned to him, her horn glowing, an expression of rage on her face.

This part made me feel very sorry for her, because I saw cruelty in it. She can't be equal, so she can't be happy, even if she works hard to create her utopia. The only way this utopia can exist, is if she's not part of it. When Party Favor brought her back to that painful reality, she lost control.

And I agree with the last part of your comment. Althought right now, I am more fascinated than terrified. I like how these two feelings coexist.

5831720 Or, to add another complication, maybe Starlight is incapable of removing her own cutie mark. :fluttershysad:

Your interpretation of her conflicted role is very intriguing. That would make a good story all on its own.

5831828 It is a possibility, I actually thought about it during the episode, after she revealed that the Staff of Sameness was useless.

I unfortunately don't have the time nor the talent to exploit it. Besides, I can't be the only one to interpret her character this way, so I just hope someone will write something better than I could about that. :twilightsmile:

5831828 I had a frightening thought reading this: We see there are like a half-dozen foals in the village in the beginning, but we don't see them at all in the second half, including when ponies get their cutie marks back. Those kids looked younger than the cutie mark crusaders, but they all had the = cutie mark. I can't imagine growing up in Our Town, those kids were ever encouraged to find a unique special talent. What if = is their real cutie mark, because of how they were raised in the village?

5831929 Well, the = sign isn't anypony's real cutie mark; it's just a replacement put there by Starlight. It also acts as a sort of control device to suppress their individuality. We saw that in the Welcoming Hut when it was activated by the Mane Six's behavior. I imagine that Starlight puts the equal symbol on the foals shortly after birth, and most of them probably never find their real marks in her village unless it's by accident, because she deems it unnecessary. Sad, huh? :unsuresweetie:

Of course, I'm open to other interpretations.

5832472 That's how it starts, sure. But if Starlight can only cast the spell on an existing cutie mark, she'd have to wait until the foals got a mark. Meanwhile, the kids are all raised to believe that = is their destiny and special purpose in life. If a foal truly believes what makes them special is being the same as everypony else, I could see the = appearing on their flank. Sure some foals would rebel, but I doubt all of them would.

Wait... did they actually do an old-fashioned Red Scare-level Straw Communist as a villain? And to think I've been too busy to watch this season opener!

(I was at a con!)

5834891 Oh no. Starlight is no straw man for communism. She is something far more sinister, a real character who genuinely believes the cutie mark system is a failure. All the differences it creates; some ponies having skills and advantages others don't...in her mind it's too great a risk that leads to conflict and sorrow. So why not prevent this entirely by taking everyone's cutie mark and the special abilities that come with it? There's no more destructive competition, there are no more artificial divisions...everyone is happy and works together. To excel is to fail. Exceptionalism is a lie.

Join them, book_burner. Find your SMILE. :pinkiehappy::yay::twilightsheepish::ajsmug::raritystarry::rainbowlaugh:

5835559 But I'm an actual Communist. We don't roll that way! When we want to show solidarity, we all go blank-flanked and use clothes or illusion spells to look like Earth Ponies.

Or, you know, we just wave the good old-fashioned Communist flag, with the hammer and sickle.

5834891
At a first glance, it certainly seems that way. But I think it is a power play. I would not be surprised if Starlight Glimmer had asked herself, 'How can I be in charge?' I think she is a version of Amon from The Legend of Korra. I can certainly draw parallels. But I liked him as a villain and I can see myself liking Starlight Glimmer.

5835559 I always thought Cutie Marks were just some property of the magical field surrounding Equestria in general, not an actual system.

5839050 If that's so then how did the spell from magical mystery cure switch the main casts marks? While it's clearly impossible to make them appear by force, it seems to be possible to manipulate existing ones. Switching them or even removing them seems quite doable.

5839436 Well it's not like they ever explain it, so I'm really not at all sure how to even guess at this stuff.

5839977 I suspect that trying to fully explain the marks and how they function is like trying to apply logic to Pinkie Pie. Fruitless and painful. :twilightsmile:

5840354
5839977
Quoting myself from MLP Forums where we dissected the whole cutie mark thing:

Basically, cutie marks started out as a simple and nice idea to symbolize a rite of passage and discovery of what a pony is good at. The weirdness of them having names related to their talents before they even found out what they were was always noticed, but as a fandom we let it slide.

'Magical Mystery Cure' took that nice idea and made it extremely problematic by throwing "destiny" into the mix. Suddenly ponies' cutie marks did not just symbolize their talents or paths in life, they were their talents and paths in life. I can't emphasize enough what an incredibly BAD IDEA this was. G4 and its basic canon were founded on Lauren Faust's dream of a simple, quality show that tells little girls they can be anything they want to be. Destiny does not fit that vision. But they threw it in there anyway as a reason to thumbtack some wings on Twilight Sparkle and now they have to deal with it. :twilightoops:

And in the Season 5 premiere, M.A. Larson dealt with it. He and Scott Sonneborn wrote an episode that followed the unfortunate "cutie mark=identity" path and made something great out of it. They also introduced a villain who subtly acknowledges the monster Larson created two years ago and says, "all of this cutie mark stuff is wrong and inherently flawed"--although she has her own reasons for doing so.

5840786 Trust me, I sat there gaping at MMC going, "OH MY GOD EXECS YOU RUINED IT" as much as anyone else.

I can't help but feel this Starlight is still very much her daddy's little girl.

Consider: After she failed his expecations, she became more or less invisible. She became a non-person, a stranger. She didn't, couldn't stand out anymore.

That's basically what she inflicts on her followers. She even sung a line about how they don't differentiate between each other outside of their names. Which was also a fundamental lie, since Starlight herself was at the center of everything, the leader, standing out and being recognised. They gave her what he refused to give her, and when everypony is on the same level—belowe her—she'll stand out by definition and design. When her vision was challenged, she reacted with almost childish anger and loss of control, as well as a need for revenge. She didn't have to take the Mane Six's Cutie Marks with her on her flight, but she did so anyway because she wanted to hurt them.

So, when she's finally standing face to face with her daddy again, perhaps he won't be proud of her, but he will have to recognise her.

Starlight Glimmer, "I'm just trying to free ponies of a magically induced cast system that has enslaved us for eons and none even realize it. We do what our cutie mark tells us to do, like robots, I offer freedom."

And then at the start of season six, the Crystal Empire froze over.

Fuller review here, but in brief: an interesting curiosity in 2018, but the backstory works given when it was written. A bit wordy, though.

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