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Okay, I admit it, I'm probably not your mom. But odds are I'm old enough to be. Now with Patreon account (under alarajrogers) and short stories on Amazon (under Alara Rogers).


Endcap to "What About Discord?" Twilight confronts Discord as to his true motives for getting her friends to exclude her.

Chapters (2)
Comments ( 70 )

I feel from your stories you don't like Twilight

You would be wrong. Twlight would be my self insert if she wasn't already a canon character. I identify very strongly with Twilight.

I also have a huge thing for adversarial shipping. Make of that what you will.

The Robert Frost reference made me think a story based on Fire and Ice could be really interesting with Discord.
I think I get why Twilight makes everyone antsy; she's in charge, and being in charge, even though she is Discord's friend, it's her duty to be responsible and remember he's also a huge *potential* threat, so she has to always remind herself what he is capable of doing and keep an eye on him. The others, like Spike in Discord's example, aren't going to undermine her by acting like these things aren't true, because Twilight doesn't really let people relax if she thinks it's important for them to be alert around someone.
I think he's telling the truth, and at least on a surface level, it's not at all personal. Him bringing Twilight to a weekend getaway would be like going on spring break when you were 21 with all your friends and your boy/girlfriend...and your father. It's not personal, it would just be a buzzkill, even if nothing bad was being planned.

...and then the end of the trial...

Either I haven't read that one, I don't remember it, or it doesn't exist yet.

In any case, this is looking like a wonderful capstone to the episode. Eagerly looking forward to the rest of Discord's argument and Twilight's rebuttal.

So if I'm right twilights a buzzkill
Or her friends where being cold toward discord because twilight was there

You write amazing dialogue. It reads like a fast paced sparing match. I find myself tired at the end of it like I have been running to catch up with the story, which is kind of amazing. And as to adversarial shipping....is that why I found myself saying "just kiss already" to my screen 3/4 of the way through this? It does feel so opposites attract...and that neither of them would ever want to admit their interest to themselves let alone the other.

What a fun read, thank you!

It doesn't exist yet. Sad fact of life when you write multiple long stories in an ongoing continuity is that sometimes, you have to write something that happens after the end of something you haven't finished yet.

Excellently executed DS9 reference, and as always, excellent work. Discord's as charming and mercurial as ever.

The original episode underwhelmed me because Discord didn't seem to have any real motivation for his actions, even by his own standards. It looks like we're getting a chance here to explore that in more detail.

If you don't spread wanton chaos throughout Equestria and mind-control ponies for fun, it's because you know that you'll upset your friends if you do, badly enough that you'd probably lose their friendship. Not because you actually think doing those things is wrong."

Discord doesn't seem to really have independent principles (at least that ponies can relate to), he's merely moved to feeling bound by a large number of friendships to behave well, instead of just one. Twilight wants to see him show more remorse, so she feels reassured he really has changed. I think Twilight is implicitly comparing Discord to Luna, who has definitely shown remorse.

It's a shame Discord wasn't a part of Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep. His perspective would have been interesting to say the least. That episode certainly showed the downside of remorse, and may demonstrate why he seems to be avoiding it so assiduously.

Well like you said this one does seem like a short affair but I really liked that snake coil moment at the end of the chapter.


It's a shame Discord wasn't a part of Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep. His perspective would have been interesting to say the least. That episode certainly showed the downside of remorse, and may demonstrate why he seems to be avoiding it so assiduously.

Yeah. "No Escape From Yourself" deals pretty heavily with what happens when Discord is overwhelmed with remorse, and it's not pretty. Twilight doesn't want to see him have a near-breakdown like he does there -- his strategy for self-punishment was for once less destructive to others than Luna's was, but it was pretty ugly in its own right -- but even that was an episode of self-loathing because he knows he doesn't understand pony morality and most of what he loves is stuff they consider bad. He didn't stop thinking "Chaos is wonderful and I love it", he just jumped off from that into "And that is why I am awful and should destroy myself before I hurt my friends". Twilight wishes he would genuinely understand, in his heart, why some of this shit that he does is wrong, but I doubt he ever will -- it's too fundamental to who he is.

6663922 That's why I love that time you had him make Twilight read the book where she was forced to forswear friendship. Not books, not even magic, friendship itself, and she could only find a place in society by totally turning her back on the concept. I think that's the best in-universe metaphor for Discord's reformation I've ever read, and I still use it to try and guess at Discord's motivations in later episodes.

It occurs to me that the way that Twilight has happy experiences with her friends and the way in which Discord does are probably rather different, so Discord may actually have been right in arguing that Twilight would have been a huge wet-blanket. This is true even for somepony like Applejack, who is perhaps Twiilght's best friend among the Mane Six, in part because they share a lot of the same moral values. Discord would be someone she could be a little bit wild and crazy around without feeling guilty about it, because he'd be bringing out that side of her personality; Twilight, in contrast, is someone whom she feels is something of a Kindred Spirit and connects with on a very deep and mutually-respectful level. Discord's not her Kindred Spirit, but he's a heck of a lot of fun.

I was really expecting the episode to have either this same punchline at the end, or something like ''this is what it's like for me *all the time*''. Glad to see it get expanded on.

Found a typo.

Cider could be an ice-breaker, but Twilight would'nt have thought it would take total drunkenness for most of her friends to open up around Discord

You need a proofreader?

"I'm not Fluttershy."
At this he grinned. "Of course not. You're much easier to provoke. How fortunate for me."

You referenced Deep Space Nine when Sisko punched Q. All the yes.

"It certainly seemed to cause some degree of emotional harm to somedragon, if I don't mistake my guess."

I swear he enjoys pushing Twilight's buttons.

"I was performing an experiment."
Twilight blinked. "That... doesn't really sound like you. Isn't an experiment kind of science-y for the Spirit of Chaos?"
With a grin, Discord said, "My dear, if you had the slightest idea how weird the universe really is, you'd recognize how compatible science is with chaos."

He has a point, the universe can be WIERD. Besides, science can cause a lot of chaos, heck, experimentation, trying to see what'll happen if you do this, is pretty chaotic by nature as an idea.

Twilight sighed deeply. "Yes, about that. Maybe you haven't realized it, or maybe you think none of the rest of us have realized it, but... you're still the same person you were then. You changed what you wanted out of life, not who you are. Not that I'm saying you have to change who you are, to make friends, not when you've shown that your desire to make friends is strong enough to make you change your behavior, and that's a good thing! I'm not saying it's not. But you're still the same person. If you don't spread wanton chaos throughout Equestria and mind-control ponies for fun, it's because you know that you'll upset your friends if you do, badly enough that you'd probably lose their friendship. Not because you actually think doing those things is wrong."

She makes a good point.

"So you're saying you'd mind-control an enemy now."
"A real enemy? Someone who threatened Equestria, or Fluttershy, or any of you? In a heartbeat, if that was the best way to stop them in my opinion."

I can imagine him meeting Starlight, the moment he knows what she did, oh god, there's a reason pissing off a reality warper is a bad idea.

I'm naturally funny, it's one of my greatest talents.

He's right, being random for comedy usually only works if you have a straight man. Discord don't need no straight man.

"All right, fine. We've been over this before, Discord; your sense of morality is so weird, I have no idea what you think is wrong to do.

To be fair, he's not a pony, he doesn't operate on pony morality at all, he's an immortal Spirit of Chaos, his mind is wired very differently from yours, you know that.

"Oh, I wouldn't think that was particularly wrong, and I might do something like that – enhancing a positive trait that ponies enjoy having – to help somepony loosen up... but only for a few minutes, maybe the length of a party at most. And I'd tell them I was doing it. Most likely. But I'd never do that to my friends, for an entire weekend, and particularly not to make them think my jokes are funny. My jokes are funny. I don't need to use my magic to help with that."

Very interesting.

Discord's relationship with Pinkie Pie was probably the only one he had where he was frequently the irritated one or the one whose personal space was being intruded on.

And it's hilarious.

"Oh, I am so glad you asked that question." Discord smiled broadly, but it wasn't a pleasant or happy smile. Almost predatory.

Well, a lot of his limbs ARE from carnivores and predators...

"Of course you're not! You'd be even more loathe to admit this to yourself than you were to admit to feeling jealous!" Suddenly he was snaked around her, floating in the air next to her with his neck over her withers and bent around to face her, so backing up for personal space would just result in her backing into his neck. "Because the key factor, the one major difference between this occasion and all the other occasions where most of your friends treated me like a particularly unpleasant clod of mud on their hoof... was you. You, Twilight, were absent this time. And just as I thought, that made all the difference."

Oh he's good.

pretty cdamn cool so far
so excited for the next chapter then ^^
when is it going to come out?

Soon, I haven't switched off to a different story -- I'm still working on this one.

6663253 Not if you're right; if Discord's right. And given the way the story is going, he probably is. Twilight here doesn't think of Discord as a friend, and her friends pick up on that. Shame on her.

Twilight would certainly be a Sisko in the Trek universe given the number of times she's probably wanted to punch Discord.


It's a shame Discord wasn't a part of Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep. His perspective would have been interesting to say the least. That episode certainly showed the downside of remorse, and may demonstrate why he seems to be avoiding it so assiduously.

This is actually explored in the IDW comics, though Discord only feels remorse towards certain ponies.

6666066 Discord is genuinely worried he might lose his surrogate wife and kids, but he doesn't have remorse as a whole. He's more worried if he behaves too well, Celestia will put him to work full time, or greedy business ponies will try and exploit his powers. (That was an awesome comic though. Definitely a good book-end to Tantabus.)


Well he did say he was afraid of hurting his surrogate family. "You saw what happened with Tirek." I think he does feel remorse, but only for select people. And it's kind of a self-loathing remorse. "I can't help what I am and I hate that I hurt other people because of it." He's got trust issues when it comes to the others. Which is rich coming from him, but eh.

6666132 It's not at all surprising that he's got trust issues. "A thief is the first person who locks their door."

6665063 okay awesome ^^
because i know that it takes a looooooooong time to get new chapters from you haha <3
you just have soo many storys haha and i want all of them O_O xD

6662997 In the episode "What About Discord?", Twilight totally got what she deserved 100%.

6663943 Discord doesn't have to forswear chaos, just extremely dangerous chaos

6670959 That's true, Discord is allowed to practice minor chaos, just not the really dangerous type. To continue the metaphor from earlier, it would be like if Twilight didn't have to forswear casual friendships, only really deep, close friendships.

The "why" here is a big question. Is it just because they act differently around Twilight? If so, why--is it because she is effectively their leader? Because she's a bit of a wet blanket when it comes to Pinkie-isms, and Discord would be even worse? Because being together as one subconsciously reminds them of when they were enemies? A desire to fit into what they think Twilight expects?

Or is it because of Twilight herself? Twilight hasn't exactly been welcoming of Discord in their few on-screen interactions this season, but considering that he in all likelihood would have crashed the Gala anyways and that Discord went out of his way to keep needling her this episode, those are extremely understandable. But considering her decision in Twilight's Kingdom, you'd think that Discord and Twilight would have had some positive interactions since then. I don't think--or maybe I just don't want to think?--that Twilight is preventing other ponies from befriending Discord.

But science is the study of the laws of nature. It is inherently orderly--even that which we perceive as "random" is simply governed by more factors than we could possibly keep track of, or even be aware of. Except for Chaos itself (I'm including Pinkie in that), everything follows strict, unbreakable laws. These laws might not be fully understood, but they are present nonetheless.
IRL, at least.
(although that does factor into a bit of headcanon--the Everfree Forest is the only place where nature works properly, but NOT because ponies have over-ordered the rest of the world; Discord broke how nature worked, and the Tree of Harmony is what kept the Everfree functioning 'normally', forcing ponies elsewhere to adapt to running nature themselves)

You made me dislike Twilight and then like her again! :-)

"Au contraire, ma petite poney." Discord tapped the blackboard with his pointer, causing two ponies who were holding hooves to recoil from each other when the pointer touched down between them, and then start punching each other. "Just as I had to study friendship when I was its enemy, you need to learn more about how disharmony affects friendships, as friendship's protector. They hire reformed thieves as security consultants, you know. I'd think a pony who seeks to become an expert on friendship would be eager to learn from a reformed disharmonist." The blackboard and other props vanished.

He makes a good point.

He folded his arms in front of him and drifted to a landing. "I've attempted to figure it out myself, and there's only one conclusion I can draw, sadly." Although his voice hadn't softened any, his ears had folded down slightly and his head hung lower than it usually did when he wasn't using his flexible neck to get in a pony's face. "If you have a different hypothesis, I'd truly love to hear it, because this is rather hurtful, actually."

Oh really?

"Because, again, you thought I was contagious, you thought you and the other Princesses could get it, and you also thought it might kill me." Discord held up one of his talons, ears lifting slightly and eyes brightening. "Don't get me wrong, Twilight; I know you don't want me dead. You are, indeed, a compassionate and heroic pony, willing to risk your life to save pretty much almost anyone else from death or certain fates that might be worse, regardless of how you feel about them." His tone was gentle, not sarcastic – something she'd heard from him very rarely, and only in the time directly after the Tirek incident. But it darkened as he continued. "You see, what I had wrong that time was that I was confusing 'friend' with 'someone who doesn't want me to die horribly'. As ponies who haven't wanted me to die horribly have been almost as rare in my lifetime as friends were, I hope you can see where the confusion set in."

Yes, quite.

"Which wouldn't have worked anyway, and you were foolish for considering them." He smiled tightly, looking up at her again. "Sometimes I like to think about how much glorious havoc would have ensued if you'd actually cast 'Be Your Best Self' on me. Since that one dramatically improves a pony's ability to conform to their own moral standards, not a benchmark set by society."

Oh dear...

She reared and spun to face Discord. "You know what you guys never told me, the whole time, is how this weekend thing got started. Did you just drop in on them out of nowhere, or were you and Fluttershy together and then the rest showed up, or what?"

I'm curious as well.

His eyebrows raised as he asked the question, and then dropped again, furrowing as his eyes narrowed. "Except you don't, do you. You don't hate me, but you certainly don't seem to like me."

Considering the amount of times you've screwed with her just for kicks and that she was hit hardest by the events of Return of Harmony...

"Oh, she didn't; I inferred that last part. And by the way, the first time the idea of involving you was brought up, it was Pinkie who rejected it. She said that you'd have more fun sorting books than listening to tall tales, because you would, in her words, 'go coco-loco' trying to figure out how our hyperbolic stories could be possible—" he illustrated this by swirling a talon around his temple, rotating it from front to back in the gesture for "crazy" – "and you'd been looking forward to your book sorting project for weeks. Which by the way is deeply pathetic, Twilight, you should seek help for that."


"When you seek help for the chaos obsession, maybe I'll consider it," Twilight snapped.
"Yes, but you're the Alicorn of Magic, not the Alicorn of Order. What's your excuse?"


"I didn't. Generally speaking, when a tree is bucked, only the ripe apples come down, leaving the unripened ones still on the branches... but Applejack had been getting reports from Rainbow Dash that the upper levels of the trees were full of apples that had ripened but weren't coming down for some reason. Since earth ponies can't climb trees particularly well, she hadn't been aware of that issue." As he was speaking, Discord was climbing an imaginary tree, or at the very least an invisible one – Twilight didn't care enough to check. He curled up at the "top" as if he were lying on the top of the tree like a pegasus. "I went up to investigate, and picked the ones that were ripe by paw. It looked as if a protective charm that was supposed to block tree fungus was making all of the apples somewhat more clingy, and thus the force of the applebuck wasn't dislodging the ones on the top as well as usual."


Twilight facehoofed. "That was my protective charm. I'm going to have to go apologize."
"Oh, no need. I fixed it." Discord smiled cheerfully, plainly quite proud of himself.


"Near the apples, no." He floated off the imaginary treetop. "Keeping fungus spores out of the air near the apples? She didn't have a problem with that. Essentially I enchanted the entire orchard so that fungus spores would transform from whatever kind of fungus they were ordinarily, into mushroom spores. Her soil isn't good for growing mushrooms – too much light – but she might get a few. It's possible some mushrooms might grow on a tree trunk or two, but they won't be nearly as damaging to the trees or the apples as the tree fungus was."


"Yes, and she found living with them to be incredibly tedious. So I did some silly things with a few of the trees to mock oranges, and I actually got her to laugh, after we got past her initial concern that I was ruining said trees. And that was when I realized it."


"But Fluttershy loves strange animals."
Discord sighed in exasperation. "This isn't fiction, Twilight, you don't get to edit it. Sometimes she loves strange animals, and sometimes she has a panic attack. She thought at first it looked like a particularly deadly snake. Later she decided it had really been a hose."

He has a point, she likes animals, but she's not stupid.

"Of course I knew, but why would I interfere with such delightful chaos? I joined in on the screaming and running away because it looked like great fun, and as it happened, it was. Everypony was so relieved when we escaped the dreaded stick snake hose, we all broke out in hiss-terical laughter." He didn't turn into a snake this time, but he did stick out his forked tongue and waggle it, grinning even more broadly.

Oi, puns.

"I did note that as soon as you expressed your jealousy and your general displeasure with me, all of a sudden jokes they'd been finding hilarious for the past three days were 'old' and 'played out.'" He scowled at her.

He makes a point.

"No, you didn't. Come on."

Twilight, ever heard of Blue and Orange Morality? Discord runs on it, he's not a pony, he's the Spirit of Chaos and DIsharmony, not his fault if he enjoys the stuff.

But he was wrong. Twilight didn't dislike Discord – he annoyed the heck out of her, sure, generally because she was either trying to get things done or trying to relax when he showed up, and chaos wasn't conducive to either. But he fascinated her, and frustrated her because he fascinated her; all that knowledge, so much of history stored in his memories, such unique and intriguing magic, and all he ever did was show up when she was doing something more important and try to annoy her into paying attention to him. Or show up to events she was trying to coordinate and proceed to do what he did best, cause total chaos – he didn't even have to use magic to do it. Inviting one friend that got slime on everything and ate every jewel and gold item in sight had ruined the Gala before Discord had tried to throw an innocent pony into another dimension for taking Fluttershy's attention away from him. He never gave her anything but cryptic answers to any of her questions, he wouldn't let her study his magic... he had an entire gallery of pony artwork from the era when he'd ruled Equestria, and he wouldn't even let her find it again, let alone share it with ponykind. While he'd behaved relatively well directly after the Tirek incident, this had not turned out to be Discord finally getting a handle on how to balance his need for chaos and pony needs for stability, but a symptom of serious depression that had led him to engineer a convoluted scheme for his own self-destruction. He was incomprehensible, a mystery that nagged at Twilight to solve, and he wouldn't let her even try.

You may want to split this into 2 paragraphs, this is really big.

Discord vanished from midair, and reappeared directly next to her, still floating more or less horizontally but now at her eye level, with his snout so close to her muzzle they were almost touching. Twilight drew back. "Now that is an unmitigated lie," Discord snapped. "You've proven that you enjoy spelunking in alternate dimensions, yet when I offer to take you dimension hopping—"

Discord, calm down...

"Bad example, Discord, I'd rather sit alone and read than spend time with anyone, lots of the time. And yes, I'm very busy, and when I'm not busy I'm usually trying to relax, and you don't even try to work around my schedule. Maybe if we made arrangements to meet up at a specific date and time for a specific purpose–"

Twilight, stop. You seem to forget that trying to set up an appointment or a date is pointless with Discord, Spirit of CHAOS, remember?

"You have a weekly appointment with Fluttershy."
He smirked. "You're not Fluttershy," he said pointedly.

Thankfully. Not that I have anything against Fluttershy, but anymore and the world would die from too much cute.

"Twilight, I am the one who's supposed to be confusing and unpredictable, not you."

He's right.

"I actually know that. I used to read joke books and bring them out to my mom and dad, read them a joke and then ask them why it was funny." She shook her head, a slight nostalgic smile on her face. "They could never explain it well enough that I could get the joke."
"Only you, Twilight. Only you."


"Well, I don't do appointments, and you have an excessively overcrowded schedule, so... call me. You know that summoning spell Celestia taught you, and as long as you're not attempting to amplify it with the Elements of Harmony or somesuch, it doesn't compel me to answer; it just signals me that somepony is trying to get my attention. So if I'm in the tub, I can finish up and dry off before coming to visit." He grinned broadly.

Yes, I think she's rahter you NOT shove your rear in her face. That came out wrong.

"Of course! If I'm coming straight out of the tub, I'm likely to drip water everywhere, and water is terrible for your books. Or so I am informed."

It is.

"And no tatzlwurms."

Oh yeah.

He coiled into a semicircle in midair, floating in front of her. "Are you sure you really mean this? You would willingly spend time with me?"

I'd say take it while you can.

"Why, Twilight Sparkle! Are you asking me out on a date?" The pupils of Discord's eyes changed to heart-shapes, and he put his paws to his cheeks in an exaggerated expression of fillyish excitement. "Oh dear, and I have nothing to wear!"
Twilight gave him her best "I-am-not-amused" expression. "A date is an appointment for a specific time and place, so according to you, I can't ask you out on a date. Also, I'm asking you to show me your house, not inviting you to go somewhere. Also, we're trying to be better friends, not special someponies, not that I think you don't know that."

She has a point.

"In the far future, when the jokes gather around the campfire to tell scary stories, the most terrifying tale of all will be that of Twilight Sparkle, the savage joke killer."
"I don't know, Discord, that didn't sound like much of a joke to me. Why was that funny?"

She told a joke. I don't believe it.

"This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship," Discord said.
"That sounds like a reference to something."
"It is, but you had to have been there."

You MAGNIFICENT motherbucker.

Good improvement on the draft.

Man I loved this. The little stuff (drama llama must be used on Rarity at later dates, and from the comics we know Applejack inherited her feud with Oranges from Granny Smith), but also the big stuff.

The fantastic analysis of Applejack and Rainbow Dash's group dynamic interactions, adorable filly Twilight somewhere on the spectrum, and of course finally a good and realistic description of how that weekend actually went.

I love the idea that the one variable Discord didn't account for is his own improvement as a friend, its sweet and very believable.

Fun fact: all of the evidence in this story of Twilight being on the spectrum is autobiographical, except the part about actually getting a voice coach, because I was not the personal student of the princess in charge of controlling the sun. :-) I was never actually diagnosed as a child because my grades were too good and I'm not sure Asperger's was even a diagnosis yet -- it was all lumped under autism, which was strongly associated with retardation, and the high-functioning autists weren't well -popularized yet -- but in retrospect it's pretty damn obvious. :-) I really did ask my dad why jokes were funny. Specifically I'd read joke books and ask him to analyze all the jokes for me, one at a time, when I didn't get them, which was all of them. Eventually he started just saying "It isn't funny", but then I'd ask what it was doing in a joke book.

6694869 I've always been unusual in that explaining a joke to me doesn't ruin it, I feel like I can appreciate the humor just as much from a careful study of an exploded view of the joke just as much as when it is presented to me spontaneously. So I've been in situations where I would ask my parents and others to explain jokes I couldn't get at first, and after detailed reflection I break out in laughter. Maybe some people just assign relatively low values for spontaneity versus other factors.

Also, I kind of like the voice coach idea for Twilight, it would explain how she has this kind of snotty monotone when we see her flashback with Moondancer, clearly she has just started working with her coach.

Well, that worked out beautifully. A massive improvement on the episode itself, a celebration of what it means, and a great bit of friendshipping between these two. Thank you for it. :twilightsmile:


I'm like that too. Even bad jokes like Why did the chicken cross the road? can be funny when you really get in-depth with the explanation.

It's funny because you've been conditioned to expect a really clever, punny answer (because that's how jokes work), so when you get a completely boring, obvious answer, this mild shock, this bait-and-switch, jams a gear in your brain for a split second, and you can't help but laugh at the fact that you fell for it, so to speak.

On the story itself, this was deliciously in-depth on both characters and their interactions with both each other and with other characters!



You know, for the longest time I've wanted to do a fic about how the mane six don't really seem to treat Discord as a friend. But I don't think anything I could ever do could out-perform the work you've done here.

Really well done, pretty much any Discord fic by you is a guaranteed good read.

6700143 Same for me I don't think jokes get less funny when you explain them and wasn't always good at understanding them.
Twilight Sparkle is not coincedentally my favourite character because I'm relatively similar.

I cleared my schedule because I didn't know how long this would take. So if you wanted to show me around..."
"Why, Twilight Sparkle! Are you asking me out on a date?" The pupils of Discord's eyes changed to heart-shapes, and he put his paws to his cheeks in an exaggerated expression of fillyish excitement. "Oh dear, and I have nothing to wear!"

I for one think they make a beautiful couple.

Eeee, there's more stories! You bring Discord to life in a way no one else really does. This was excellent.

I like this. It does what few Discord fics I've read bother to do: show both sides of the argument. In fact, most fics like this only show the side of the argument the author's on board with, and you, the reader, are expected to just go with it. And nine times out of ten I've been expected to side with an unsympathetic protagonist (i,e. the character who the author has sided with who is also derailed; and even if they aren't their opponent(s) are turned into complete asshats). And some of those times it has been Discord who I'm expected to sympathize with, when both the author and the show haven't given me many, if any reasons to side with him.

All of the reasons I have to not do so were addressed in this fic. They were addressed and explained away in a way I could actually believe. Most writers would gladly beat you half to death with why Discord is an absolute angel and he has done no wrong, not in Season 2 nor in Season 4 or 5. They would characterize Twilight in just such a way to lift up Discord ever higher on a pedestal.

Both sides were handled completely well, the argument didn't seem one-sided at all, and this came out both convincingly. I felt like I was reading an actual story and not an author tract. This is one of the few Discord fics I've upvoted and faved.

Thanks. I know your opinion of Discord, so I appreciate that. And I'm not, personally, a fan of "Discord is a perfect angel" fanfics, because if I wanted to read about a perfect angel I wouldn't be a fan of Discord. I love him because he's a train wreck who combines the wisdom of an ancient and powerful spirit with the total cluelessness of a hyperactive and obnoxious eight year old. If Discord isn't wrong a significant part of the time in a fanfic, the fanfic is probably doing him wrong.

I like balanced arguments where both sides have good points. Also, Twilight Sparkle's existence saves me from ever having to create a self-insert in this fandom, because I identify with her, very strongly. So while Discord may be my favorite, Twilight is practically my ponysona. :-) I do have a few fics where she's basically wrong, but they were from very, very early days of his reformation where her problem was that she wasn't perceiving him as a person (when you perceive someone as a villain, you're basically saying their life revolves around making your life more unpleasant. Even if they are a bad, bad person and irredeemable, that's never true; they are always a person, doing what they do for their own personal reasons, and understanding those reasons is key to understanding how to defeat them, counter them, or turn them into an ally or friend. Discord is basically the only entity Twilight has ever plainly failed to do this with -- everyone else, she either does befriend, or they are never proven to be befriendable. Discord's the only one who can be converted into an ally where Twilight didn't think of doing it and was resistant to trying. For very good reasons; what he did to her was personal and nearly devastating. Sunset Shimmer and Starlight Glimmer didn't hurt her nearly as badly.) For most of the stuff I write where they interact, Discord's either almost completely wrong, or he's partially right but so abrasive about it he might as well be wrong. :-) Of course, Twilight frequently mishandles him and makes the situation worse, but she can hardly be blamed for that; he's really hard to deal with.

That stung a bit, moreso because she knew Pinkie had been right. She wished she was the kind of pony who would have enjoyed an impromptu storytelling session with her friends, but she had to be in the right sort of mood to tolerate tall tales

More likely than not only when she's drunk

And Applejack has never before laughed at one of my jokes." He was suddenly standing in front of her, his head lowered into her face again, glowering. "Which is why you thought I'd do something so heinous as to mind-control them into thinking I was funny, no doubt.

Well, they jokes were so immensely corny in that episode that pretty much everyone in the audience was anticipating mind control was the only possible explanation.

Either that or AJ was stupider than usual. Confounded background ponies. :applejackconfused:

6678686 You're forgetting that none of the ponies other than Fluttershy had EVER reacted positively to Discord before this episode. Dash was outright antagonistic in every single previous episode.

Frankly, the episode didn't do a very good job setting itself up... and then the reveal that Discord HAD planned the whole thing just reaffirmed the audience's suspicions and ended up making Twilight's suspicions justified.

It tried to be a complicated story, but lacked the nuances needed to pull it off believably.

6666150 Either that or someone who knows of the existence of thieves...

Foreknowledge does not imply one has taken the actions one seeks to prevent.

I have never been struck by lightning, yet I know to take shelter during a storm. If a mind lacks the ability to contemplate and prevent danger before it occurs, then it may never survive the actual experience.

"Because the key factor, the one major difference between this occasion and all the other occasions where most of your friends treated me like a particularly unpleasant clod of mud on their hoof... was you. You, Twilight, were absent this time. And just as I thought, that made all the difference."

Twilight smirked, "Actually, Discord, the major difference this time was the writer."

Discord choked and spluttered disbelievingly, "How could you-?! You're not even Pinkie!"

Twilight yawned and continued, "Honestly, all of them suddenly finding you delightful after just a few days? Please, how plausible is that, really? I could understand them perhaps warming up to you a bit more, but only Plot Amnesia could possibly explain them tossing aside the memories of your first appearance AND the betrayal to Tirek. Once bitten, twice shy; you know!"

Discord edged away. The puny purple pony princess COULDN'T have become this aware! It wasn't possible! "How... HOW CAN YOU KNOW YOU'RE A CARTOON?!"

"Wellll, while I was in the Astral Plane thing, this weird guy suddenly showed up riding Pinkie and explained everything."


Discord frowned, "Damn you Deadpool..."

(If there's one thing that annoys me... among the whole encyclopedia of the annoying things... it's when someone expects me to take a weakly written episode this seriously.)

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