• Member Since 20th Feb, 2012
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My stories tend to focus on emotional drama, especially family drama--and much feels, to boot. Buy me a Ko-Fi! ko-fi.com/brokenimage321


Princess Fluttershy, Princess of Kindness and sole ruler of Equestria, has a visit she must make. A visit to an old friend, and an even older enemy. A visit that will leave her questioning the very meaning of Kindness itself.

An entry in FanOfMostEverything's Imposing Soverigns II contest. The prompt was "Fluttershy: The Princess Herself."
Preread by Chinchillax, Cosmic Cowboy, and Matt.
Peaked at #2 on the featured box!

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 46 )

Oh, Fluttershy, don't you realize? Kindness can't conquer all. It was never intended to.

That's why there are six Elements of Harmony.

That concept that you can fix everything just by saying a few very-very well chosen words sounds... I don't know. Ridiculously arrogant?

It's also what she's built her worldview around, for better or worse. If you offer someone the emotional support they need, then they can change. But Starlight doesn't need support, what she needs is for Twilight to have shown her the apocalyptic future wasteland that her actions would cause.

morion87 #6 · 2 weeks ago · · 3 ·

Honestly, as much as I love Fluttershy (#2 behind Twilight of the original Mane 6), this reinforces why I feel it was for the better Hasbro never made the rest of the girls alicorns.

This particularly gloomy AU aside, I honestly feel like Fluttershy would make an excellent Princess. However, she, like the others, has her blind spots--and this particualr blind spot is rather glaring.

That turned out really good. Much more considered than most stories that swap a person for another person.

Without Starlight, this situation would oj their side, this is not a possible situation. In reality, Fluttershy would still be locked in a Changeling coocoon at this point, or dead.

The end,

Orrm #10 · 2 weeks ago · · ·

And Fluttershy felt like she was going to be sick.

"Finally, you know, we have a saying on my dead world. 'Die a hero, or live long enough to become the villain.' Cruelty, is subjective,Insanity,is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. You've turned into the very thing you despise and it appears Discord has left a far larger chaotic imprint on your mind than you think.

Or perhaps you have exceeded him? He never killed, he never 'stopped' life. You've put one into a state of catatonic repetition.

Perhaps Kindness and Cruelty aren't so different after all?"


A tragedy of wide-reaching proportions, not only for the ponies who could've lived better lives had Fluttershy been a little harsher (or at least more willing to recognize the harm she did with her good intentions,) but the damage that may be done in the future. Ideally, Fluttershy will accept that unalloyed Kindness isn't a panacea that can cure all the world's ills. But after she fails with Starlight, she could go terribly deep into denial. Worse, in recognizing that she wasn't just wrong, her refusal to accept that she was wrong made Starlight suffer for most of her life, she could break completely.

This is how you get Queen Final Mercy to begin her campaign to end suffering once and for all... :twilightoops:

Excellent work. Thank you for it.

Well, that was... intense. Honestly not sure how I feel about that. Good job.


But Starlight doesn't need support

That's in no way a criticism of the story, but, well, barely anyone needs support --- after all that's just words that don't change their situation or address their needs (and in cases when words are exactly what they need just providing them doesn't create any incentive to change).


1. No way Starlight would not notice things happening to her. Her being weaker and ageing, for example. The magic of the world changing, significantly enough than what she remembers. This is Starlight we're talking about, not a cardboard cutout of a cow. The actual discussion with her when she did inevitably catch on would be so much worse. Especially considering that if she caught on once, she'd do it every single time afterwards.

2. There's no way Fluttershy, with her background as a pegasus, could win against Starlight without convincing her somehow. Twilight, with her background as a unicorn and a talent for versatile Magic, could not. No way she could do it before, in Our Town, as well. So the whole premise of the situation is really kinda unbelieveable.

AU could kinda excuse both, but ehhhhh. If everything else is so different (Chrysalis failed against mane6 with weaker leadership and no wild card Starlight, every other threat was also somehow circumvented, characterisations are all wrong, Royal Sisters are nowhere to be found, dead or made an even more insane retirement decision than the canon one, and so on), this isn't the Fluttershy we know either. So, what is the point of this exercise again?

Thank you, kind sir!

Jeez... I hadn't even thought about what "Nightmare Butterfly" would look like...

As I've said in other comments, I still think Fluttershy would be a good Princess--but yes, she would definitely have her blind spots.

I would disagree. I think most people need support, of some kind. After all, it's nice to feel validated and loved--and sometimes, it's really hard to feel that way on your own.


I will admit, I forgot about "To Where And Back Again" when writing this. However, the goal for this story was more to focus on how Fluttershy would approach being Princess, and how her personality would help solve problems--and, more importantly, contribute to them.

But to answer your specific question: Fluttershy does imply that Discord tries to keep her from doing things that she would regret--perhaps he took a more active role in taking care of Queen Chrysalis? After all, if Princess Fluttershy, who has shown him kindness above and beyond what he deserves is in trouble, you can bet your horseshoes he would move heaven and earth to save her...

And that's why Twilight's the Alicorn. Honesty, Kindness, Generosity, Laughter, and Loyalty are part of the set, but in the end they get fed into the Element of Magic before the magic happens.


...he would move heaven and earth to save her...

How will he do that in a place that keeps him from being Discord?

There's lots of creatures that don't rely on magic, chaos or otherwise, for their strength. Dragons, earth ponies, hydra... if he got desperate enough, there's no telling what Discord would do.

Though he would do his best to keep Fluttershy from finding out afterwards, of course. He knows how much she hates it when he gets his hands dirty...

Umm, that's a bit hard to explain... Folks do have social needs, sure. That's more about that sitting and talking about feelings doesn't have some universal super-special magical properties in comparison with other ways of social recreation: working together, watching movies, playing games, getting drunk together, etc. --- whatever folks prefer. No one claims those things are going to "fix" anyone (well, except drinking, but that's usually a joke :rainbowlaugh:)

Oh, I think I see... yeah, perhaps Fluttershy should try other ways of being kind, other than just talking to them...

But Starlight's specific situation makes it difficult to go out for drinks. Which, now that you mention it, may be part of the problem...

I like the whole concept of how fluttershy became the princess, she deserved so much more. You even figured out how where she did something never done before, reform discord.

Oh, man, that did not go where I was expecting it to.

I love me a dark, complex Fluttershy. :yay:


Especially considering that if she caught on once, she'd do it every single time afterwards.

I don't think memory erasure works that way.

Think about it this way. You haven't met a person in some years, then you see them, they're changed. Sometimes you don't recognise them at all. That's because all you have is an image of 'before' and of 'now', with no in-between, while they might not notice themselves change too much, because it's all incremental for them.

This is the same, only the person you meet is yourself. And with the time passing, the changes would become more and more profound and easier to notice. Leaving Starlight more and more desperate whe she inevitably does.

Bear in mind that if having spells cast on you is a possibility, a memory spell is not the only one that could be blamed for odd results. You might feel strange because you've had some kind of curse or transformation cast on you. And you'll probably want to believe that rather than anything less reversible.


Jeez... I hadn't even thought about what "Nightmare Butterfly" would look like...

Touched upon interesting in Pony POV, IIRC. Everyone regresses to a child like state except for her friends. When the rest of the Mane 6 confront her, she looks like Fluttershy except an alicorn, but they manage to reveal her true form, a twisted husk of thorns and broken flesh. Nightmare Fluttershy became a conduit for all of Equestria negativity and suffering, a messianic figure sacrificing herself until her friends convince her to stop.

What a dark, wonderfully creepy look at what a Princess Fluttershy might look like. It's disturbing... The terror of what Fluttershy is doing to Starlight Glimmer here, taking away her memories and her sense of self, stripping her of decades and decades, and all in the name of kindness. "Being cruel in the name of kindness is still cruelty," Fluttershy says. But that's exactly what she's doing. She just can't see it for the horrific, inhuman punishment it actually is.

How fascinating to think Tough Love was the only possible way to get through to her. And how fascinating to ponder how one little twist in the outcome of the universe might alter things — Fluttershy becoming a princess instead of Twilight. That a single change in Discord's reformation could bring about such a wildly different future... Like a butterfly flapping its wings...

In what other ways might Princess Fluttershy's reign be less than ideal, I wonder? It's disquieting when the populace gives your castle a foreboding name like the Palace of Silence.

I enjoyed this look into 'what if fluttershy became the princess' - wasn't expecting where it went, but it was a good ride to get there.
Definitely earned it's tags well.

Quite an interesting, and subtly dark, take of Princess Quiet Yellow's reign of mildness.

Starlight wasn’t actually evil. There was no doubting that. She wanted to do good--or, at least, she said she did. But doing bad things with good intentions was still bad, just like Applejack and her brutal honesty.

And here, without AJ around to point it out, Fluttershy misses where she's going wrong.

Wow, this is a good point on why Fluttershy wouldn't be able to do what Twilight does, despite being stronger willed...

Dott #34 · 1 week ago · · ·

I LOVE this fic.

I completely despise Starlight's canon reformation, and I think it doesn't work because of what you've said -- she needs tough love in order to change. And the only tough love she got was the one time Twilight showed her The Thing; after that, she's coddled. Etc etc.

Anyway, my personal feelings on Starlight aside, this version of Fluttershy is amazing and I love her. I love the complexities in her character, and how her flaws manifest and are amplified in a universe where she becomes a princess instead of Twilight. I personally like fun lil AUs where all of the mane 6 become princesses (I'm on this Earth for a fun time, not a logical time), but its neat seeing how things would play out if just one of the others was Celestia's project instead.

Cool, stuff

When the question comes to mind of "Other than Twilight, what other Mane Six member would've made the best alicorn princess?" I can think of plenty of merits for quite a few of them. Usually, my own thoughts tend to steer me towards thinking that Applejack would (eventually, she's a stubborn gal) would be the best pick. She's got a good head on her shoulders, is honest, hard-working, and knows when to go against the flow. She can see from the eyes of the "little pony" if she has to, and as an array of good experiences and maturity. I think she'd be one of the most open to consul and growing into what it means to run a country.

No matter how many speculation rabbit holes I try, I've never been able to come up with any for Fluttershy. This story probably hits some of the most exemplary reasons why, and that if she had been the princess, so many unsettling possibilities seem to be so much more plausible, to boot.

Also, those novel puns you've come up with are to die for.

(I'm also not sure how you consider this your darkest story when it snags an E rating and there's other stories you've written that deal with war, rape, abusive relationships, and the like.)

Oh, yeah, huh... I forgot about those... :twilightblush:

I think this is (one of) my darkest stories because of what Fluttershy is trying to do. She's convinced she's doing the right thing, but has more-or-less accidentally fallen into doing something absolutely mostrous. It's less "edgelord"-y than some of my other writing, but is definitely scarier, IMO, at least in a slow-burn way.

As I've repeatedly said, I think Fluttershy would make a good princess, especially if she could get out of her shell and share her talent for kindness. However, she, like the others, has a (rather glaring) blind spot, which is what this story is about.

...incidentally, I first heard about this contest from a friend of mine, who was asking me for help brainstorming for a Princess AJ fic :pinkiehappy:

Good to see you around FimFic, by the way! I feel like it's been a while. Everything okay on your end?

Mhm, yeah, just haven’t been able to update much lately with university.

Flutters is probably the only girl whose blind spot seems to lead to darkness as a princess. Pinkie and RD definitely aren’t the kind of ponies who’d make the best princesses, but a lot of that has to do with their different dreams and maturity, I would think.

The slow descent here is honestly sold really well, since it’s generally the best way to pull off non-violent tyranny, especially in fiction. Conflict with cruelty/kindness isn’t anything that gets enough attention in pony fiction, but you made it stand out. Thanks for sharing this story.

You're welcome!

One last comment: I'm sure, with enough thought, you / I / we could find something horrible about each of the other girls as Princesses. After all, the most interesting villains, at least to me, are those that push positive values to an extreme. For example, I could easily see Applejack accidentally starting a war--after all, 100% honesty doesn't allow for things like white lies that diplomacy is so often built around.


After all, the most interesting villains, at least to me, are those that push positive values to an extreme.


Is that in agreement or disagreement?

I suppose it could be both.

I honestly view Starlight as something close to a high-functioning sociopath... Which is a word to tread carefully with, since it's constantly equated with psychopath, maliciousness, rage, selfish and evil; when all those terms can have extremely different confluences in definition. (I've also heard abscriptions to autism for the need to control her surroundings, and borderline personality disorder; but I'm not a psychologist). Other villains like Tirek, Chrysalis, or Sunset Shimmer would actively make the choice of disregarding someone else's happiness for their own desires. They say friendship and other moral societal concepts are overhyped crocks of shit. Starlight sees the values, and agrees with them on paper... But somehow the concepts that get planted in her head come out warped. The best example of this when she got introduced to Big Mac.


Other villains might have zapped Macintosh out of anger or for the sake of physical comedy. But casting her spell, Starlight honestly thinks she's making things better. Of course the underlying motive is making life easier for herself, she just projects that if Big Mac gains an aspect of herself, he'll be sincerely happier. By season 7, it's reached a slightly healthier stage; for All Bottled Up, she's still using magic to unnaturally alter personalities, but she only does it to herself. She recognizes that her morality is skewed differently than most ponies, but rather than trying to unhealthily change the world, she (still unhealthily) tries changing herself.

For what it's worth, I spoke to my wife, who is a psychologist, and she disagreed with the "Autism" thing. Starlight's need for control could be a symptom of autism, but she exhibits few/none of the other symptoms generally associated with the disease (hyperfocusing on a single subject to the exclusion of all others, lack of social awareness, sensory behaviors [seeking / avoiding specific sensory experiences], etc.). Mrs. brokenimage did specify that her need for control could be a result of anxiety, though, which I feel like fits her better--not neccesarily saying she's anxious, just that she doesn't always know how to behave in her newly-supportive environment. Like that one episode where she is asked to get emotionally intimate with all Twilight's friends for a Friendship Lesson, so she brainwashes them instead?

I dunno. Just a thought.

Dang. This leaves a really haunting image—several, really. Fluttershy’s status as a princess almost feels like a cruelty in and of itself, with how it was thrust upon her with neither preparation nor training.

This is a really interesting look into her mind. Thanks for writing!

You're very welcome! Glad you liked it!

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