• Member Since 11th Jul, 2011
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Saddlesoap Opera is a Canadian Brony who loves to write and read fiction of nearly all kinds.


Sunset Shimmer decides it’s finally time to return to Equestria to confront Princess Celestia and ask some tough questions about the treatment of Her protégés. She isn’t ready for the answers she receives.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 99 )

I get the really strange feeling that this was made in retaliation for all the stories about Sunset berating Celestia.

BenRG #2 · Oct 5th, 2015 · · ·

A very bittersweet story but you wonder if it has a grain of truth. Celestia's actions make no sense unless she isn't quite as immortal as her reputation suggests. What if, instead of a student, she was looking for a new Princess to look after the world? Or worlds, given Sunset's particular home location?

Huh, so a Celestia is Dying fic. I wonder if Twilight Sparkle knows this, or if Celestia is going to wait and wait until the very last moment to tell her.

No reaction from Luna though even though she's with Celestia in the one scene when Celestia is lowering the sun, or is Celly deliberately hiding that from her sister?

Luna is about a hundred yards away on the opposite tower, and Celestia puts on a brave face until her sister heads back down out of view. Celestia clearly feels like she's troubled her younger sibling enough, and hopes to spare her for as long as she can.

A story like this lives and dies by its characters, and your Sunset and Celestia are wonderfully vivid and believable. I liked Sunset's anger -- it makes sense in such a fiery person -- and her trouble with adjusting to being a pony again. And all the time, Celestia looms large in her thoughts and moods and actions. The princess, when she comes onto the stage, does not disappoint either, with her wisdom and calm and tired sadness.

this actualy explains how celestia missed cadences attitude change or the fact that luna was yorturing herself nicely. you captured celestia very well very well done!:pinkiesmile:

Ri2 #7 · Oct 5th, 2015 · · ·

A good story, but, uh…why was the mirror portal back in Canterlot rather than Twilight's castle?

Nothing more than narrative simplicity. After all, you maaaay have noticed some larger proposed changes to the canon, such as the big reveal!

Perhaps it was back for a tune-up and polishing. : )

I'm trying to understand the ending, is it being implied that sunset is an alicorn and she raised the sun?

Either way, great story.


Fair enough. On another note, why was that tower which was wrecked during the invasion not fixed if it's been over a year?

No, not at all. The single furnishings make it clear that Sunset's dad is all alone. Celestia asked Sunset to reconnect with her family while she could, since any parental or mentor figures for the Princesses would be centuries dead by now. Sunset, meanwhile, still has that chance.

The tower is mostly completed, save for the top storey, and it could well be some of the last repairs. Even with magical help, fixing a castle the size of a small town takes time. Thanks for your comments, BTW. I may add a small line early on to explain the mirror's location, just for peace of mind...

Wow... this story is beatiful, but horribly sad. It's amazing to be honest. Keep it up, you're doing awesome! :twilightsmile:

This definitely explains why Celestia is always heaping such responsibility on others, as well as her bordering-on-criminally-negligible sense of fun, without demonizing her or even diminishing her greatness. Hats off to you.

This is sort of leading into "Cry For Eternity" territory. Hmm. I wonder. Is it in continuity with "Pony Psychology" or is it a stand-alone?

It's hard to find footing when all the pedestals have been knocked down.
I'm so glad you adopted this plot bunny, Saddles. You really made it into something great, especially how everything just keeps wrapping around to Nothing Is the Same Anymore. Not even the things you thought would last forever.

Sunset found Celestia a hundred times before she got to Her.

Man, I love that line so darn much. In general, I really love how the environmental stuff works in this fic, like how the rain comes in not necessarily to indicate sadness, but more to just permanently put out the fires Sunset charged in with. It doesn't burn out, it's doused.

Wow, I never thought of Celestia THAT way before...

6495532 That makes much more sense. I was confused by the bandages on her chest. Unless it was brought up earlier and I just missed it.

Yikes. This is one story I doubt we'd ever see in canon. But it's a good story.

A story by Saddlesoap is guaranteed to be as good as a... as a... as a boat?

... yay!

Lovely little story you have here.

Bit too rushed.

This was exactly what I needed right now. Thank you. The mood complements mine perfectly...

Not the first time I've read this Celestia dying scenario, nicely executed. Makes me think it warrants the tragedy tag though.
Celestia reluctantly banished her sister thereby saving Equestria from eternal darkness, ruled alone for a thousand years whilst slowly killing herself just to save a few mortal lives, and guided Equestria into something that would welcome her sister back with open arms, And she did it for no reward. Her only reward would have been having her sister back but she won't really get a chance to enjoy it as she wishes to hide her inevitable death from the very pony that indirectly caused it. A Shakespearean tragedy if I've ever seen one.

Wow that is really sad. I am in tears right now. :fluttercry: oh man I also like the part with sunsets dad meeting with his daughter .

Yet after reading this story I still feel that there should be more?:rainbowhuh:

wlam #27 · Oct 6th, 2015 · · 4 ·

I liked the idea of Sunset going to call out Celestia on her bullshit a lot more than what you ended up actually doing with it. The way you twisted it around so that she ends up being the victim in it all just takes any enjoyment out of it.


it makes sense in such a fiery person

In anyone that even halfa&^ly observes the world around them

6496985 Oh yeah!

So instead of trying to off Twilight and her friends by sending them repeatedly against tougher and more magic resistant and who knows what else that she sealed in a this or that, which also has a VERY convenient expiration date she's trying to make sure that Twilight can survive and not BUTCHER the nobles when she pops the MOTHERLOAD of the latest surprises on Twilight! "Hey guess what, I'm dying guess who's seat you're going to be getting?" Considering that tia'll probably would have all but collapsed on Twilight RIGHT before the surprise, I'm just SURE that Twilight's mental state will be just fine! And now we get to LUNA!:pinkiecrazy:
Sure explains of why a chess mistress can't win a game of checkers!:facehoof:
All in all, not a bad story.

Not bad, no. It's well-written enough. I just don't like what it did.

So she moves sun that is much much bigger than moon but moving moon for few seconds a day makes her die? Where is logic in this? And why would moving sun by hundreds unicorns would hurt those unicorns? It would maybe exhaust them like running up to hill but it would not hurt them. And because it was hundreds of unicorns then it probably even wasn't exhausting. And if moving moon was so dangerous for her then she would employ unicorns for the work.


It would maybe exhaust them like running up to hill but it would not hurt them.

You are aware that exhaustion can hurt and even kill, yes?

Sunset fractured a rib when she teleported then fell.


So she moves sun that is much much bigger than moon but moving moon for few seconds a day makes her die? Where is logic in this?

She moves a sun that is 51962838 times larger than the moon and 389 times further away. When you attach numbers to it, the idea does seem to fall down a bit.

I'm figuring her cutie mark and magic is tied to the Sun; you're thinking of it as an unlimited power source, however Luna has shown some of their magic is specific [Luna's unique connection to dreams...]

If Celestia could actually move something the size of our own sun, she'd be processing all that cake at a degree of energy efficiency that makes a matter-antimatter reaction look like a joke. Every time she stubs her hoof, she ought to be releasing a shock wave strong enough to explode Jupiter. That particular brand of "realism" is kind of lost on the setting.

6497374 Also... whoever said the sun and moon of Equestria are the same size and distance as ours? They don't orbit naturally, and might be FAR smaller and FAR closer than ours. It's a universe whose physical laws are based on magic, not on science, after all. Heck, since we've only ever seen one official map of Equestria, and references to other realms, the whole world might be a disk or flat square, resting on the back of a giant tatzlwurm. :D

It's not about size, it's about connection. Celestia's cutie mark is the Sun. She knows it and it knows her, and moves easily for her. Moon is a different thing, part of Luna's portfolio, alien and possibly hostile to her. It takes a much greater toll on her.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who got that idea. What do the books say about the Discworld's sun again? "The size of a large pumpkin" or something like that? I can never remember.

The great thing about a sun is that it can really be any size. It's all a matter of perspective - it just has to be bright and/or close enough. The idea that the solar system of a fantasy world needs have anything in common with ours is one of those "unwarranted assumption" kinds of thing.

6496985 6497024
Celestia herself denied any victimhood. The whole theme of this fic is the realization that our parental figures are not the all-powerful titans they seem to be in our childhood. They make mistakes, they have regrets, they aren't perfect, and someday they will die. Luna suffered, Celestia suffered. They chose their paths, and when it was all over with, neither would ever be the same.
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Agreed on the pumpkin comment. Discussions about physics seem to be strangely based on OUR Sun and OUR Moon, not Equestria's. Since the day doesn't come on it's own, the Pony planet isn't rotating. Since the seasons need changing, there's no axially-tilted orbit going on. Suggesting that their Sun and Moon are as distant and as proportionally massive as our own is no different from asking about the Newtonian issues surrounding Jedi lifting things with the Force; it's a nice thought experiment, but not really relevant to the world and story at hand. Sunset thinking of Celestia as a Sun in the centre of an orrery was a snarky inaccuracy on her part... since it's clear that Equestria is a geocentric universe.
The show has told us that this is how things work, so this is how things work. It took vast numbers of Unicorns straining themselves to do the work of a single Alicorn, and a single Alicorn doing the work of two (with the accompanying Cutie Mark conflict worries, emotional upset, and loneliness) left her hollowed out and eroded away after 10 lifetimes' worth of repetition.

More importantly, though, again... this is a rumination on the mortality and fallibility of seemingly-all-powerful parental figures, not a treatise on astronomy and physics.

wlam #40 · Oct 6th, 2015 · · 2 ·


Celestia herself denied any victimhood.

Maybe she does, but the story as you have written it doesn't. It turns all her many and varied fuckups into something she did because she didn't have any choice, which is a form of victimhood. It makes sense in the context of the story, but, like I said, I just don't like it. It's ultimately one long apologism and I'm simply not fond of that.

These comments seem to be strangely based on OUR Sun and OUR Moon, not Equestria's.

That was kind of my point there - that it makes no sense to even think about it in those terms because it's a place that's like nothing we actually know of. Reality hasn't really any place in this.

6497190 Oh okay. Thanks!

6497741 Yet she has PLAYED the Perfectly Perfect Princess.... and here, that is what has doomed her. (Never mind that her sister is back, and that she could just bloody REST she'd probably recover.)

She refused to admit she needed help. She left everyone in the dark, played Perfect Princess and Cryptic Mentor to the hilt, caused EVERY bugger-up since BEFORE Nightmare Moon, and now that she's utterly screwed up yet ANOTHER Faithful and Clueless Student's life for good, she's going to play the role of "death-bed penitent"--- and what a surprise, dump everything on her students. Again.

You almost get a feeling Celestia is both dreading and looking forward to her final rest.

That's a feeling a lot of people above a certain age share. You can only see so many things before you start just wanting to leave.

I've been thinking lately about Celestia and her lack of actions. I've theorized that she is dying slowly, but not showing it to the public. What I think is happening is this. When Celestia eventually dies, Luna will take over as the main ruler while Twilight takes on the task of co-ruler. Then, when the time comes when Luna starts dying, Twilight will take on a new student to become an alicorn and eventually become a new princess/prince. Then when Luna dies, Twilight will take over as main ruler and the student as co-ruler. The cycle will keep going on endlessly. It kind of reminds me of the Rule of Two of the Sith actually. You have one master (the primary ruler) and one apprentice (the co-ruler) and the apprentice will eventually take the place of the master.

Wow....I really wasn't expecting what ended up happening given how things started off, but I really enjoyed reading this as Sunset goes through all kinds of emotions which she struggles to understand. It also made me cry on the inside seeing how she reacts to the words of Princess Celestia considering what Sunset originally thought of her. The ending was a surprise twist, yet maybe you could have gone a little bit further. Unless this was intentional in which case I accept it.

This too shall pass.

What an astounding and tragic tale, Saddlesoap. :twilightsmile:


The idea of FiM celestial bodies having anything to do with ours is indeed laughable.

For goodness sake, the Moon generates darkness in this universe, we've seen it in the Season 4 opener. The absence of the Sun does not cause night sky, the Moon being out does. I mean, with things like moving the Sun having any visible impact while doing it(as opposed to the eight minutes later it should be), you can at least make the argument that the writers don't know diddly about those objects, but it is very clearly intended to be fundamentally not like our universe.

I always kind of viewed the Sun in FiM as some kind of crystalline heat-and-light giving object in the sky ever since they referenced the myth of Icarus in season one and had Rarity's wings burn from getting to close to the Sun. Every other immensely magical object is a shiny rock, why not the Sun?

6497900 My problem is I have traveled so far (literally and figuratively), that I feel uninspired or less excited about what the future holds for me. The growing violence (or appearance of), is making me exasperated at the world and the people who continue to spread it or complain about trivial things.

"I've seen the future and the future's nothing new."

I have two things left though. Hope and a nice girl to look out for me.:pinkiesad2:

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