• Member Since 20th Jul, 2015
  • offline last seen Oct 16th, 2019

Codex Ex Equus


The writing account of Deus Ex Equus.

T

Some time after Twilight's coronation, she and Starlight have a conversation.

(Contains spoilers for the finale of season nine)

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 165 )

Haven't seen the last episode but damn.

Well, if this is the end of your run with the fandom (as your Author's Note implies), it's been quite the ride. Even if it's ending on such an extremely bitter and acrimonious note.

You certainly made your mark, that's for sure. In addition to your other great writings, your Changeling Courtship Rituals stories rank as one of my favorite multi-story series on the site. I was looking forward to that next installment I vaguely recall you announcing a while back, but whatever; not much I can do now, seeing as you're offline and are probably not coming back.

Don't look back in anger, and all that jazz.

...

...

...

...See ya.

This was actually quite fascinating!

You’re right. And the ending is bull and a rush job. I mean they never showed Cozy’s origins, or her family. What if... I don’t know, a cult for friendship showed her that friendship is power and corruption. I mean in SRMTHFG, some citizens worship Skeleton King in secret

Combined with the fact that Discord made them a threat again in the first place...

I really do wonder what the big writers for S9 think of convicts in general.

garfan #6 · Oct 14th, 2019 · · 21 ·

I did not find the ending at all dark. Cozy was a threat to all life in Equestria, so were the other two, and the threat of life imprisonment in Tartaurus wasn't stopping them

garfan #7 · Oct 14th, 2019 · · 12 ·

9884071

you're creating justifications that aren't there

I mean... yes, but what if they do get freed eventually? Let's be real, Twilight had a really long day, maybe she just wanted to put off their reformation for a few decades. You know, once she's in a better mood, and had time set aside to research child psychology?

9884076
Yep, this entire thing was textbook entrapment by Discord. The wrong villains were turned to stone at the end of that episode.

HA! You know nothing of grim if you think the ending is that. I've read books far more grim in their endings than this. And as for those three?

They're only dead if they smash the statues into billions of little pieces. Discord was stone for over a thousand years, and he came out fine.

I'm so sick of this, they were unrepentant monsters and that includes Cozy. The fact that people only call for redemption is that she was a child says a lot. And no, turning them to stone does not mean they will be like that forever, if they can give a Discord a chance why wouldn't they do the same for them.

People need to just suck it up. If you want redemption then write a story about that because I guarantee if they had been redeemed you'd have people complaining and writing stories with far more permanent punishments.

Yea, this was pretty messed up. You are completely correct their ending had nothing to do with the magic of friendship.

I agree with Starlight in this story and the conclusion you reach in it, however, there's a small problem.

Still upset you weren't able to win Chrysalis over, even at the very end?

Starlight didn't even try, in fact. No one even tried to reach out to the Legion of Doom.

9884096
The issue is that we are not given a reason to think that anyone intends for them to come out at all.

9884097
I don't think you understand what bothers some of us fundamentally. It's not that the Legion wasn't redeemed, it's that, when the Legion was completely at the mercy of the heroes, no one even tried. Indeed not once in the entire episode does anyone reach out a hand and try.

If the Legion still swats it away, fine! Stone them! They've earned it! Though at least leave us with the impression that they do intend to try again. Don't use the word "forever" after turning them to stone.

Good people would still have tried. Especially at the end, after the rainbow laser.

9884111
Yeah if you ignore everyone overcoming the villains attempts to tear apart there bonds and coming together to defeat the evil that tried to destroy them... then yeah, nothing to do with the magic of friendship.

9884097
Except for the fact that as previously mentioned, this is textbook Entrapment. They werent even a threat by the time after the S8 Premiere. Discord alone forced them to be a threat again just to give Twilight a confidence boost. There's something real fucked up in the core if its ok to break out and sic convicts on the world just to give someone a confidence boost.

9884131
He didn't force anything all he did was bring them together. The planning and choosing to work together to betray Grogar and destroy their enemies was all them.

9884131
Eh, technically it's not entrapment since entrapment involves forcing or coercing a person to do something that they would not otherwise do. We have every reason to believe that had the Legion acted on their own then they absolutely would have tried again.

Problem.

Tirek and Cozy were locked away in Tartaros, and we are not given a reason to think that they could have escaped under their own power as long as Cerberos is around to keep them there. It was Discord who broke them loose, after all.

And while Chrysalis remained free, we were also treated to exactly how pathetic and powerless to actually cause meaningful harm she had become. Her last evil plan (and the only one we saw her attempting to carry out since losing the Hive) defeated itself, without the Mane-6 or Starlight even being aware of her presence when she and the Mean-6 were in the same forest at the same time heading towards the same destination. And when Discord nabbed her she was sitting in a forest surrounded by logs that she'd etched faces of changelings onto and was talking to like they were real.

None of them were threats until Discord made them threats again.

And yet he suffers no consequences for this whatsoever.

9884145
Wrong. Discord-as-Grogar's stated intent was to unite them, show them how to work together, and then the four of them (five originally) would go after Twilight. He fed their delusions and desire for power, rather than doing anything to stop it.

Basically imagine a person who thinks that he can hear dogs talk. What Discord did was the equivalent of strapping a microphone to the collar of a dog and then talking through the microphone to that person, as though he were that dog. He fed their delusions, encouraged already sick minds, basically drove them even more insane then they already were.

Even if we conclude that the Legion of Doom was irredeemable by the time of "The Ending of the End", we have to seriously question how much of that is because of their own natures, and how much of that is because Discord literally let lunatics run the asylum.

9884118

they'd already swatted it away, after how many times? What do you do when they're smart enough to lie

9884145
I seem to remember very well "Grogar" sending them to get that artifact in Frenemies for the sole purpose of making them a bigger threat by working together. Also some massive blindness on Discord's part for not even suspecting anything that they just hid the damn thing, especially with that scrying orb.

9884131

if they'd done it to them at the beginning of the season, maybe, but they'd done plenty on their own since

9884118
>reach out a hand
Well, there's a slight problem with that for most of the cast...

9884151

after how many times?

In Tirek's case? Once, thousands of years ago, after being offered it by Scorpan. No other attempt was ever made.

In Chrysalis' case? Once, outside her Hive, after she had just lost literally everything and was probably not in an emotional position to make rational decisions. Rather than keep her around and keep trying (as Twilight herself did for Starlight in "The Cutie Re-Mark", keep pushing at Starlight despite her repeated objections) they let her run off. No other attempt was ever made.

In Cozy's case? Never. Twilight said that Cozy didn't understand friendship and apologized for failing to teach that but did not actually make any offer of friendship to Cozy, nor did anyone else, instead immedaitely tossing her into Tartaros. No attempt at all was ever made.

9884154
Oh, you. :derpytongue2:

skyace #23 · Oct 15th, 2019 · · 4 ·

I'm a big believer in making the punishment fit the crime. If you steal, you should be made to pay restitution. If you take someone's life, yours should also be taken, either through life imprisonment or capital punishment. And I truly feel, at least in Cozy's circumstance, the punishment was never made to fit her crimes and age (unless she was a actually a midget who acted like a child to allay suspicion, but that was never shown to be the case sooooo....). Tirek and Chrysalis were the only ones I felt deserved the fate that was passed down on them. Sadly, that scene will always be a lowpoint in an otherwise enjoyable series for me.

9884160
She did try to kill Twilight more than once without hesitation. Hell I'd say she was the most bloodthirsty of the three

Are you seriously still letting things like this bother you? Was this any more ridiculous than the skittles bugs? Seriously my friend, don't let the show get to you. Yes, grimdark is canon. I could have told you that back in season 5 when someone kidnapped the mane six, stole their cutiemarks, and shoved them in a brainwashing hut.

Another thing that is canon: alternate timelines and alternate universes. You just saw the finale for a dark and depressing timeline. You want to make it better? Write a better ending. Or just ignore it and write a better story altogether.

It's not like the show has had any real direction since season 3. That was all they really had planned. From there, they just did the best they could, some was okay, some was good, some was awful. But it all reeks of being add ons to a story that had ended. 7 seasons of "and another thing".

Don't let any of it bother you. Hell, even the show's writers have little regard for what they create. They seem weirded out when we mention not liking canon. I think one of them literally said feel free to ignore it if it bothered you.

So, take that advice. They don't care, why should you? Take the world building, the characters, the sandbox. Leave the bad writing.

9884175
Hey, I like the new changeling look. Mostly. Thorax is ridiculous, but I like the base design, Pharynx looks boss, and Ocellus a cute! CUTE!!!

9884168
Doesn't pan out because she in fact had plenty of opportunity to kill various royal guards, but instead knocks them unconscious or transports them into a moat. Cozy might talk a big game but when push came to shove to using her actual powers to actually personally kill beings, she didn't. The most that can be said is that she callously doesn't care if her plans cause death, such as what likely would have happened to Starlight and the Student-6 in School Raze. But she herself is demonstrably not willing to kill, or at least not willing to kill those who she does not have a personal beef against.

Oh, yay, these are showing up. :facehoof: Can't wait for this to be over with, the flood of reactionary fics from people that just want to rant in story about why they think the finale is horrible, great betrayal, etc while the rest of us are just trying to decide what kind of stories to make out of these new plot points and revelations.

PS I agree with Twilight up until its revealed she's just being pretending because Celestia is spying. Unintentionally, you made a fic where the first half perfectly personifies the argument from the other side of the camp: The people who enjoyed the ending or, at minimum, aren't so offended by it like you and others are: Not seeing the problem, just to explain things, but the other side just keeps banging the same problems ad nauseum as if they're completely bullet proof.

And remember, she sent her own sister to the moon for a thousand years. No matter how much she might respect and care for me, if I had tried to say anything there would be four figures on that statue right now.

You're a princess of friendship, Twilight. Get some friends and rip her ass off. Together.
(taking Celestia's martial prowess into account, two of them should be plenty enough, but just to make sure...)

9884177
Characters are fine. The designs were for the most part migraine inducing. Tell me they wouldn't have looked better as either black or some other solid color.

9884177
Towards the Thorax comment: If I had to guess, they were trying to go for a Male-Changeling equivalents of Celestia and Luna while making it unique. thorax's is a swing or a miss for most of the fan

Thorax's look is great

9884185
Maybe, but I can understand the metaphor behind it. Previously changelings had been a uniform black, all of them identical to one another and indistinguishable from one another, nothing more than tools of Chrysalis. Reformation turned them into a riot of individual colors and body types. They can be unique now, each their own individual, no longer subordinate to Chrysalis.

To be completely honest I'm not sure I really would have designed them differently. Garish looking they may be, but the garish design has a visual and narrative purpose. Form follows function, as the saying goes. At most I might have had them keep their fangs, albeit smaller.

Plus I love that their wings gained elytra.

9884204
He looks like a big goofy dork. But Thorax is a big goofy dork, so it does fit. Regardless he's one of my favorite characters in the franchise.

9884179
Maybe you should try explaining in clear and concise terms why you feel that an intended-to-be-permanent petrification is practically different from an execution from the perspective of the one carrying it out. Because that hasn't been done yet. The closest I've gotten is "it can be reversed", but, as Starlight points out, if it's intended to be permanent then the fact that someone else can come along and reverse it against the will of the one who carried it out is basically irrelevent insofar as judging the one who carried it out is concerned.

She was attending the friendship school, and friendship didn't have the same effect on her as Discord. The one time she started to feel it she resisted it. She was more psycho than any of the villains that reformed, possibly beyond redemption from the way she sadistically planned to kill the other Mane 5 (including Fluttershy), and I'm sure Celestia and Luna checked to see if she had some kind of tragic backstory since Celestia arranged Discord's redemption and he was all-powerful. Also Celestia only banished Luna coz she only could use half of the Elements' magic and it took its full power to purify her. Celestia felt really bad about it but she had no choice there, and when Luna returned Celestia was the first to reconcile with her. Cozy Glow was so evil and intelligent that they saw her as a villain first rather than a child (compare Stewie and Darla Dimple), and the audience should do the same. (besides, though still a filly she already had her cutie mark)

I guess in their eyes anything's lighter than killing her outright, plus at least she's not awake as a statue (according to Jim Miller who said "Cozy's fine. Just in suspended animation"), that would be worse. Though their main reason for turning them to stone was for symmetry with the battle with Discord.

Furthermore, part of making her irredeemable and get a punishment that's practically equivalent to death might be to tell the kids in the audience that they won't get off the hook as easy as the reformed villains did if they do something really bad, since a lot of people complained about Starlight in particular being forgiven too easily. "Remember kids, be good or you'll be turned to stone."

I also can't shake the feeling she killed her parents, and maybe confessing this with a grin on her face led Celestia and Luna to throw her in Tartarus so quickly. Of course they never said it up front, but we never did once hear who or where they are and they don't seem to have been informed.

And of course more fans would've outraged if they'd reformed coz they felt redemptions were overused especially after Daring Doubt.

And there's already been speculation she might be released down the road so they can try to reform her if possible, though if the friendship school had no effect on her it's a bit of a longshot.

I'm sure you're not being 100% serious about Celestia's spying and such here, just a bit of an exaggeration in response to her "killing" Cozy Glow. I think if Starlight had issues with this and expressed them to Twilight OR Celestia, they'd either listen and give it a shot or explain to her why it wouldn't work.

9884244
The thing is that she doesn't actually have to be reformed. There is a middle ground here. Sending Tirek off back to his homeland with Scorpan, Chrysalis off to the Badlands Hive, and Cozy Glow back to the School of Friendship isn't reforming them, it's just showing the intent to try to reform them. And it could be left totally ambiguous as to whether or not it works. Just don't have them show up in "The Last Problem" and we can wonder.

Cozy went to the School of Friendship with a totally warped understanding of what friendship is. Like, I know that E=MC^2, and I know that this translates to energy equals mass times the square of the speed of light, and I even know that the C stands for the Latin word celeritas, meaning "speed", but I am not personally capable of understanding the practical implications of this.

Like, you can tell me that something has a mass of 20 kilos and therefore I know that it has an energy of 1,797,510,357,473,635,280 jouls of energy. So I could pass a test that asks me to figure that our because it's basic arithmetic. But I don't know what it actually means. I am not now a physicist.

I think the most galling part, honestly, is the fact that everything is Discord's fault, is provably Discord's fault, and would not have happened at all if it hadn't been for Discord, and no one so much as gives him a stern talking-to about it.

The only lesson anyone could reasonably take away from this is that if you're friends with the government officials responsible for handling your punishment when you break the law, you get out of jail for free.

Tirek, Chrysalis, and Cozy Glow are now stone forever, no second chances.

Why did Starlight get a second chance?

Why did Luna get a second chance?

Why did Discord get a third chance?


If turning your defeated enemies to stone forever is what ponies do, then fine. I disagree with it, but fine; it's their country. All I want and expect is that they be consistent about it.

9884272
Eh, that's not entirely true, they do give him a rather stern yelling. But the thing is that they yell at him over what he's done, they don't try and really make him understand why what he did was wrong, nor does he suffer any consequences whatsoever for what he did wrong.

9884273
A yelling isn't the same as a talking-to, so I'm still technically correct.

Just like the rest of my points.

9884282
Oh, make no mistake, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I've been ambivalent at best towards Discord for years now, and as far as I'm concerned the only positive thing to come out of these episodes is that I'm no longer ambivalent. I despise him.

9884241
We've tried, a lot. It gets kind of tiring banging out head against brick walls, expecting the wall to final understand what we're saying.

9884273
That's down to timing. They dress him down as part of the rising action, and the narrative purpose of the dialogue is thus more to establish the gravity of the situation than anything else.

9884287
Yeah, but the thing is...no, you haven't. You've stated that it can be reversed by someone else, but that has nothing to with the specific intent of Discord, Celestia, and Luna that they never be released. You simply treat it as a given that because someone else can undo the petrification, that absolves those three of any guilt over the fact that their intent is that Cozy never again be free.

So maybe try harder.

9884160
It might not have been said in the show but on Twitter awhile after the leaks and death threats, Big Jim reactivated his account and explained some things as spoiler free as possible when asked about some things. One of which was about Cozy Glow and the inspiration behind her character. He may have heavily hinted at her being a midget with one character name dropped. Baby Doll from Batman. A child who's really an adult woman trapped in a child's body from a stunted growth, a midget. A crazy one at that, like Cozy Glow. Why mention her as Inspiration instead of another child villain if the idea is for an actual child villain?

Someone mentioned in the comments somewhere either there, here or on Kimcartoon, that maybe there were problems with mentioning that on the show due to possible implications given adult mare pretending to be a child, manipulating children or something.

Then there's the Chaos magic from the Bewitching Bell. The real Grogar's magic seems to give alicorn power while Discord's is unpredictable. When Cozy had it for a few minutes she grew up big and adult like taking a sudden appearance shift. Pinkie Pie just grew giant from it and didn't change her appearance once unlike in Discord's realm as chaotic as it is given his own magic is just as chaotic, as the Alicorn Princess of Chaos as temporary as that was.

9884284
And this is probably why most people on your side and me personally will rarely if ever agree: I love Discord, you hate him. I laughed my grinning ass off when I realized he was Grogar while others frothed with rage. You rant about him in the finale, I try to clock how fast my amusement turns to annoyance towards your hatred of him. These days, about the time it takes to roll my eyes.

Like I said, I get why people don't like Discord. Doesn't mean it doesn't annoy me to high heaven sometimes.

9884313
The thing is that another inspiration for Cozy was mentioned, if I recall correctly. It was Darla Dimple from Cats Don't Dance, who is a mad psychopath but is also completely, actually a child. And doesn't die at the end of the movie.

Jim also seems to have missed that Babydoll may have been insane, but her premier TAS episode is famous not only for her character's antics during it but for the fact that at the end she is reduced to a bitter wreck and gives up when finally confronted with the reality of her situation, crying over what she did, and willingly surrenders to Batman.

She's also, y'know, a villain from Batman, who is perhaps the superhero who is most famous for his "no kill" policy and who is frequently portrayed as wishing that he could reach out to and help the villains he fights. In fact possibly the most famous Batman comic, The Killing Joke, kicks off and ends with Batman trying to make an appeal to the Joker of all people, reaching out his hand and trying to help him.

9884315
You're entitled to like any character you want, but it's really hard to accept that you're willing to give him a complete pass for everything he's done with no consequences for him, but then turn around and say that Chrysalis, Cozy, and Tirek deserve no mercy or attempts at reformation, and subsequently view it as anything other than basically having Discord as your husbando.

My favorite Transformer in any franchise is usually Starscream, but I don't act like he isn't a villain who doesn't usually deserve the pain he receives and the deaths he ultimately suffers. In point of the fact it's becasue I love Starscream's character, including his foibles and follies, that I actually like his death in Dark of the Moon: utterly without dignity, basically chewed apart by ants. It's an ending that fits him. Overall Starscream tends to be the chewtoy of the universe and he deserves it because he's a selfish prick.

Plus it's disconcerting to see you say "I love Discord" when the Discord you know and love only exists because Fluttershy spent an entire episode attempting to reform him when he had done nothing to earn it, but then when it's said that the same courtesy should have been extended to the other villains, you instead confirm that it is fair, right, and good that it wasn't. Remember? Because I do.

But hey. You do your hypocritical you if it really makes you that happy.

9884337
To be fair, Batman's no-kill rule doesn't come from some moral highground, but because he's afraid that if he kills even one person, even accidentally, it'll be the start of a downward spiral to villainy he won't be able to recover from.

That's in-universe. Out-of-universe, of course, it's because the writers actually want to re-use the same villains over and over again and skirt away from harsh age-ratings if necessary.

damn what happened here

9884385

he's afraid that if he kills even one person, even accidentally, it'll be the start of a downward spiral to villainy

Yeah, well, what would you call someone who executes a helpless prisoner?

9884127
That part has Friendship Magic. What doesn’t is the indefinite punishment

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