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Dusk Raven

"Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia." - Kurt Vonnegut. Currently accepting commissions!


Contains spoilers for Season 7, Episode 10: "A Royal Problem," as it takes place the evening after the events in that episode. The episode itself serves largely as a framing device, however.

Long ago, Luna turned into a twisted, evil version of herself, and Celestia remained to watch over Equestria. Yet Celestia has wondered whether she too could turn into a "Nightmare"... and she's speculated about what she would become.

She has kept these thoughts to herself, but when Celestia and her sister witness the former’s evil counterpart, "Daybreaker," in a nightmare, Luna notes that Celestia does not seem too surprised at her own "dark" side...

The next evening, Luna asks Celestia for her thoughts on Daybreaker - and asks what exactly would turn Celestia into such a monster...

Proofread by SPark.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 80 )
Alondro #1 · Jun 7th, 2017 · · 8 ·

Celestia, what would it take for you to become the awesome Corona Blaze (and not the lame and rather self-contradictory name ‘Daybreaker’)?

Celestia grits her teeth, “Sparkly vampires becoming canon in Equestria...”

Yes, I can understand completely.


this requires a new “ DayBreaker “ character tag.


I think that, were I to turn evil, it would be a combination of these two. Like Luna, I often feel isolated from others by my own weirdness. Yet instead of wanting to force people to love me, I would take Celestia’s route, and try to find a place to be completely myself, regardless of who I hurt in the process.

This is a great analysis of the possible origin of Daybreaker!


Hmm... How to break the day....
Steal the cake...


Umm... that actually happened... changlings 2.0.

Whelp. I guess equestria is doomed.

The reason she’s named the (NOT contradictory) Daybreaker is because she’d go from being the herald of the daytime itself, bringing it so that her little ponies could live and grow in the light, to a selfish, cruel psycho, breaking the very concept that all of ponykind had come to know as ‘day’. Sure, the time the sun was up would still be called day, as they wouldn’t exactly have anything else to call it, but it wouldn’t be the ‘day’ that it once was. It would be fear, constantly having to walk on eggshells so that they didn’t displease the near all powerful angry sun beast that blazed the sun down on them.

Love it, all i can say.

I actually like the name Daybreaker more than most of the other names for “Nightmare Celestia” that I’ve heard. Leaving aside that it sounds cool and subtly connotes violent images, it has a different naming pattern than Nightmare Moon, unlike many of the fan names like Corona Blaze and the rather stupid “Daymare Sun” - the problem with those names is that they kinda imply that the character is “Nightmare Moon, but with light and day instead of darkness and night.”

The “Daybreaker” name isn’t like that, it has no relation to the “Nightmare Moon” name, which fits with the point of this story that Daybreaker isn’t Nightmare Moon with her polarity switched - she has her own motives and desires, just as Celestia is a different pony from Luna. The difference is more than just night and day.

If that all makes sense. On a side note, my favorite fan name I’ve seen for evil Celestia is “Doomsday Sun” (I think I got that from Fervidor, though I don’t know where they in turn got that from). Despite it being a play on Nightmare Moon, it uses an actual word that works the word “day” into it without seeming shoehorned...

Celestia looked at her sister's expression for a moment – it was sorrowful, but not overwhelmingly so, and that was a good sign to Celestia. She nodded and continued, “...Well, after you became Nightmare Moon and I banished you to the moon, I couldn't help but wonder what might have happened if I had 'fallen' instead... or whether I might yet fall as well. While I was not sure whether I might become 'Daybreaker' or whatever form I imagined myself as, it soon became obvious why it might happen.”

here it seems you have some issue with a rogue italic tag.

part, complimenting each other's

Hmm it seems that it should be more appropriate “complementing”

8218774 The first of those two I can explain thus - when I imported this from Google Doc, it spawned a multitude of bold, italic, and underline tags for some reason, between paragraphs. I thought I’d gotten them all, but apparently not. The second I blame on homophones.

I always liked Solar Flare as a evil Celestia name. The rest like Daymare Sun or such meh. Daybreaker is nice too, kind of a pun on Daybreak aka Dawn

This was a nice story and I like the explanation that Luna gives about the fact that she knew Daybreaker’s name. It’s also nice that you mention the fact that Celestia left things for Luna as well which is something the actual episode neglects to mention. At least one nightmare was not dealt with that we could see which is the one of Doctor Whooves about a Weeping Angel.

Weeping angels!? Welp. Equestria is bucked.
Whatever you do. Don't. Blink.

I absolutely loved the story as it makes a ton of sense and seems legitimately canon.

And I agree. Some days I just feel like snapping, breaking free of society's chains. It's rather tempting sometimes.

Your not the only one who was inspired by A royal problem I had had an vague idea of creating a story with an evil Celestia :pinkiecrazy: and Luna who never fell :scootangel: but never took them time for it. The second I saw the design for Daybreaker I could hardly keep from writing it. I didn’t much like the name though. Daybreaker just didn’t sound like a fierce villain. Not in the way Nightmare Moon did. That is one cool design though. I’m surprised that I don’t see more stories about it popping up.

This does seem legitimately cannon. I can totally see this happening. I would’ve gone with the fear and paranoia angle for Daybreakers catalyst, bu this was well done.

8218705 I get to help her exterminate da chernglerngs! :pinkiecrazy:

8218714 Daybreaker would fit a henchpony of NMM’s far better.

8218772 Sol Invictus FTW. :trollestia:

Awww, what a lovely headcanon! I like this a lot, you really thought out the reasons for why Daybreaker acted as she did, what could cause Celestia to become her, and even why Luna knew Daybreaker’s name (I briefly noticed that oddity as well). Very nice job, great spec fic!

Except it’s a play on the term usually connected with the dawn. Daybreak. As in the day is breaking through the night.

8220062 ...You know, it only just occurred to me that “Daybreakers” is the name of a vampire film I really liked... but yes, it is derived from a word for “dawn.”


WOAH NOW!... We’re trying to break the day, not cause a supernova.

This is a lovely, thoughtful story with excellent characterization and dialogue between Luna and Celestia, and a wonderful followup to the episode.


That tecnically would break it.... And everything else.

Damn it... Every time I see the picture for this fic drift by on my feed it looks like they're making out...

Corona Blaze sounds like a frat boy on a trip to Cancún.

I don't really know about this. I mean, I get the sentiment and I think you brought the intent across pretty well. Still, though, I'm not sure you really managed to give this story the particular mood that it is about.

It was a marvel to Luna how Celestia could keep her cup steady, even as her voice grew hard and her eyes held a dark flame, that it seemed her teacup would shatter and the tea boil into nothing.

Having her cup actually shatter in her grip would probably have been more cliché, but at the same time, I think it would have helped the scene. Your narration is very colorful and descriptive, no doubt, but at the same time, that all real expressions of emotion are in hypothetical makes it feel a bit... anemic.

By and large, well, this comes across as a casual conversation over a cup of tea, not as the deeply emotional confession it presents itself as. It's subjective, I'll admit, but the entire thing just feels so very calm and sedate. It's fitting in its own way, given the subject matter and the character, but I'm really getting the impression you meant for that conversation to be a whole lot more intense than it was.

I think it just goes to show that with every little action she takes affecting society around her, it's conditioned her outward emotions to be calm and passive regardless of her mood. She lets her voice slip, but the rest of her outward appearance is still stuck in the royal role. After all, having a calm attitude but the body language of someone about to beat the hell out of you wouldn't quite work in court.

Yeah, that's why I said it fits the subject of the story and the character very well. I'm not sure it's really conductive to the mood of the story, though.


Having her cup actually shatter in her grip would probably have been more cliché, but at the same time, I think it would have helped the scene.

Celestia (at least this version of her) has better control than that, and I'm not in the business of having characters act OOC to help a "mood" that wasn't even what I was going for in the first place. Besides, she's more the "Tranquil Fury" type rather than the type to just smash things when angry. That's what she's doing here. If I had to describe the "mood" I was going for, it'd be that sort of mood people have when talking a problem that's been resolved but was a hugely emotional at the time - or maybe talking about a friend who died long ago, and you've gotten over it but you still miss them and you still remember how you felt. I know this word has negative connotations, but I'd describe it as "brooding."

It's fitting in its own way, given the subject matter and the character, but I'm really getting the impression you meant for that conversation to be a whole lot more intense than it was.

Not at all. The whole point of the story is that Celestia was able to put aside her negative emotions - why would she lose it now just by recalling those emotions? That's basically what she's doing - remembering how she felt at that time, but the second point of the story is how she doesn't feel that way anymore. Oh, her day is still oppressive and the nobility's jokes are still stupid, but she's accepted that as a necessary evil of her very necessary role, and she's had centuries more experience than she did back when she first dreamed of herself as Daybreaker.


Celestia (at least this version of her) has better control than that, and I'm not in the business of having characters act OOC

Maybe you ought to have been. It gives the impression that you, yourself, didn't quite know what you were really going for in the story. You keep using all this strongly emotional language, all over the place, but the characters' actions just don't really bear it out. It's the kind of language that's usually supposed to denote barely restrained emotion and inner turmoil. She looks away from Luna "as if she didn't want her to see the look in her eyes," which is very much not the action of someone who has already dealt with the problem and isn't intensely upset by it anymore. It's the behaviour of someone who should be crushing a teacup in her grip, because she absolutely is upset.

It's very much a "show, don't tell" situation, is what I mean to say. The appropriate behaviour the character should be showing is actually present in every part of the story, but only as hypotheticals - and really, I mean, why? Just to make the point that Celestia is usually very self-possessed and controlled, repressing all that anger and annoyance she feels? That's the premise of the story, but not what should be portrayed in it, being an emotional conversation about emotional scars that are literally centuries old. It makes the tone of the story not really match up with the events in it. I think it would've been better for the hypotheticals to be actuals.

Just my opinion, though.

It's a nice supplement to the episode. Kudos.

Well, given that this was largely a character study, I'd be defeating my own purpose if I had either character be OOC. And you also seem to be making assumptions in the vein of "a character would do this-" without accounting for the fact that different people react to the same pressure in different ways, and depending on the situation. Celestia is in control of herself here, but this is also the first time she's told Luna about this - possibly the first time she's told anypony about it - and while she's buried those feelings, she buried them because she was ashamed of them.

I'm also not sure what you mean by "hypothetical" behavior. I wasn't aware body language and voice tone were hypothetical. They are actual and (if the speaker is being honest) reflect actual emotions. And with Celestia, that's all you're going to get when talking to her if there's no immediate problem, because she's not a very hammy pony at times like this. I mean, you seem to be suggesting that Celestia be all over the place with her actions, but she's just not that kind of pony.

Luna asks Celestia just what it would take for the latter to become her own "Nightmare."

This is in the short description.... Its very confusing and might need to be edited...

I might be expressing my point badly. I'm not really talking about what Celestia would do, because there is no Celestia, but rather what I think would be realistic behaviour from a person in a situation that's as emotionally intense as the language you use. With hypothetical, I mean lines like the one I originally quoted - things she could be doing, that are only described to express her emotional state as Luna perceives it, but that she then doesn't actually do.

I'm willing to agree to disagree there, though. It's a stylistic complaint, not a complaint about your portrayal of the character. It's somewhat subjective.

I thought this was an exceptional story. It helped that this was the first thing I saw after watching the episode and loving it, but I think you picked exactly the right questions to ask and just the right ways to answer them.

Such is one of the harsh realities of being an alicorn: you can wield ultimate power, but you shouldn't.

A person? I'm more interested about what a particular person would do. I mean, if you do things according to what generic "people" would do (which as I mentioned varies), then... well, I'm not really writing MLP fanfiction in this case. The story is, as I said, meant for Celestia and Luna, and what they would say or do. I guess I don't get what you're suggesting, or why, and I'd like to.

You should have seen what it was before... if you have any suggestions I'm open to them, because I honestly don't know how to make my point better. I thought it was pretty plain...

An excellent story, and an excellent follow-up to "A Royal Problem". I believe that we all have had to deal with the feeling that others' expectations are pulling us back, of wanting to just be free. Well-conceived.

A few errors:

“So I wondered, 'what if I just... threw it all away? The fake smiles, the responsibilities, the burdens, all of it?' I wondered what it would be like to be free, just doing what I want without anypony or anything tying me down. Buried as I was in royal duties, it seemed... appealing. So I took my fantasies a step farther, and imagined myself just not caring about any of it... with nopony and nothing to worry about except myself.

She glanced back up at Luna, but only for a moment

You forgot to close the quote at "myself."

“I do appreciate it, Luna. As I said when you returned to your true self, we were meant to rule together, each of us playing our part, complementing each other's' talents and working together in harmony.”

Extra apostrophe after "other's".

Fixed! Those troublesome little marks... there are situations where one can leave out a "close" quotation mark at the end of a speaking paragraph but that first mistake was not one of them...

It's good to see people amenable to being corrected. And you seem to have the rule well in hand; this particular close quote slipped past. As a writer myself, I have also seen errors slip past into published work,

8224859 I'm generally okay with being corrected, provided I can realize that I'm wrong and get over the embarrassment and frustration of having made such an error. But in this case, the error is clearly there, there is no arguing with it, and the only way I will be correct is if I fix it. Besides, at this point I've accepted that despite my best efforts a few typos will come up, and I'm just glad it doesn't seem to detract from the story.

Now that the episode is finally out for everyone else, I can read this

8225095 Now, how long do we have to wait for a Daybreaker character tag? :derpytongue2:

Wonderful story. Indeed, the Royal Sisters' relationship is endlessly fertile ground for storytelling.

How many would snap and just... want to be free?

Here in the land of fiction, we can all be free :pinkiesmile:

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