• Member Since 26th Nov, 2011
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As a filly, Twilight Sparkle used her incredible magic to hatch a dragon egg. That dragon then became her lifelong companion, friend, and even sibling: Smolder.

Now Smolder has a chance to learn more about her own kind by meeting a dragon born and raised in the Dragon Lands. She has to figure out what to do next and what that could mean for her--and her family.

A one-shot contest submission for Secrets: A Swapped Roles Contest

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 60 )

Nice to see somethings about Smolder haven't changed. If just about everything else has. Stupid one shot story. This needs more.


Really interesting take and concept. I love it. :heart:

As someone else already said, this needs more than a measly one-shot. If not by you, then someone needs to do it. It's too good not to.

Wow this is actually a pretty interesting take on of a au story about smolder Being as twilight's friend And I guess it's pretty different what may happen in a different way so that's pretty cool for a one shot story All thoe this is a pretty interesting one I really like this story and how it talks about family thats cool

seconding wholeheartedly
there's so much unexplored here
like, who's Smolder's precocious crush?
how'd the events of Discord's return play out?
and many more

Off-the-cuff response: gonna say Big Macintosh. Dragons appreciate size and strength.

ooh, the future's gonna hurt for smolder

Ah, yeah. This really needs to be continued, it's so cool!

“Did you bring us anything?” Smolder looked up at Shining. “Actually, forget that. Did you bring me anything?”



The dragon frowned, drawing himself up by standing on the chair. It didn’t do much to help though. “Who dares challenge the mighty Spike, terror of the Dragon Lands?” He puffed himself up to make himself look bigger. It failed. “My teeth are like swords, my—my—how’s it go? Erm, my scales are a thunderbolt! Wait, no that’s my tail, right? My—” He stopped, deflating. “You aren’t buying this at all, aren’t you?”


“You heard me,” Spike said glumly. “The truth is that the only reason I’m the dragon who got sent out here is because no one else wanted to do it, so I got stuck with it. They’re always finding ways to make me do things they don’t want to do because I can’t really stand up to the other dragons.”

I was wondering what Spike would be like, and this is a great answer.

You might have struck AU gold here, Trinary. Smolder's character hasn't changed, but her new conflicts are so interesting! I love how you've done her interactions with the Sparkle family. Seeing her strong bond with family shift from Garble to them makes so much sense. Seeing her being all soft on Shiny and be Twilight's partner in banter is so interesting. I would love to know more about her impact on the rest of the Mane 6 as well. For real, if you feel at all like you could write more, I would definitely read more of this. There's something about it. Even Spike's whole implied character arc here is really compelling.

So good.

Before Twilight could get in another word, Smolder cut her off. “As for how that old pony guy got my egg? There’s only really three options, which all come down to the same thing: he found my egg and no one noticed or cared that it was missing. He took my egg—and they still didn’t notice or care. Or maybe he had a big shiny gem and sold my egg to him because, say it with me now: They. Didn’t. Care.” She folded her arms. “So, why should I want to find out more about the dragons who lost or gave away my egg and never once came looking for me?”

Or four: they sold it for two cows they were supposed to breed but they ate them.

“My teeth are like swords, my—my—how’s it go? Erm, my scales are a thunderbolt! Wait, no that’s my tail, right? My—” Revenge?! REVENGE?! The king under the mountain is dead, and where are his people who dare seek revenge? Gideon lord of Dale is dead, and I have eaten his people like a wolf among sheep. And where are his sons' sons who dare seek revenge? I kill where I wish, and none dare resist. My armor is like ten fold shields. My teeth are swords. My claws, spear. My tale is a THUNDERBOLT! My wings are hurricanes. And my breath? DEATH.

“Dunno.” Spike shrugged again. “Dragons usually aren’t the most involved parents. We put all our eggs together during hatching season. Some stick around to make sure they all hatch and help raise them, but mostly each generation kinda keeps to themselves. Especially when the molt effect kicks in.”

So. Mudwing lifestyle then. Or Rainwing.

Like everyone else is saying, this deserves more than a one-shot. Spike might be... ehhhh.... a little too much like regular universe Spike... but I can already tell he's got a whole different thing going on.

Would love to see more!

kinda interested in spike life is garble spike big brother in the timeline, what about spike relationship with ember, does spike have a hoard?


And how will Ocellus take that? When they meet. Eventually.

Also, at least Smolder won't have to lose her sister, once she becomes a princess.

AU: Oneshot - What if it was a different dragon egg Twilight hatched as a filly?

We would have at least 4 better episodes.
Princess Spike was the straw breaking the camels back for me... :/

It looks like you got the attention in this internet

I say Aye to the idea of writing a longer more involved story of this Smolder-verse idea. The banter and character interaction is nothing short of brilliant Trinary, you did a remarkable job of capturing her snarky-bad girl attitude and making it fit naturally against Twilight and her family, heck I might even say that this would have made for a brilliant canon, I mean Spike is a nice guy and all, but there are a number of episodes where it just seems kinda syrupy, know what I mean? I'd love to see how you would play Smolder off of the other Mane Six, and other characters.

either way, keep up the excellent work!

Would love to see an actual story detailing Smolder's life in this world and how she factors into the episodes instead of Spike.

Nice take in the Spike/Smolder swap for the tv series, makes me wish for more than one shot though! :raritywink:

This was absolutely adorable, and yeah despite some differences? Smolder's still Smolder in all the ways that matter.

I ditto the comments on how there needs to be more to this, because this AU definitely has that potential...but I honestly don't know what the best way to go about doing it would be, not because there aren't enough ideas but rather there's too many--where you could go next would be pretty open-ended, as there's no end to the slew of things throughout FiM's nine season run you could pursue next. I suppose you could always go the anthology route, but that's a big-scale project and I know not every writer's up for that challenge. So I can kinda see why Trinary chose to just stick with a one-shot for now.

But yeah, if there's any potential for some sort of follow-up on the table regardless, I'm in full support of it. :pinkiehappy:

Not to rain on the Smolcellus parade, but I would think in this AU, Spike (or perhaps yet another dragon) would take Smolder's spot in the Young 6 at the school. And true, that wouldn't rule out Smolder and Ocellus still meeting obviously, but I would still think the circumstances would be different enough that--were it me doing it--I'd feel inclined to see different ships arise as a result.

Maybe Smolder ends up with Gabby instead, I dunno. :rainbowlaugh: Or you could pander to me personally and stick her with Gallus...but I'm obviously bias on that much. :trixieshiftleft:

I agree that Spike's still a little too normal too. I mean, I don't expect him to be totally reinvented obviously--those traits that still make Spike Spike would still be there of course--but I would've expected him to be at least a little rougher around the edges than shown here, if only because that was the sort of environment he grew up in.

It's a little thing though, doesn't really mess up the story any. In fact, Spike still having that gentle side might actually work to its favor on this occasion, given the subject matter discussed. :twilightsmile:

Huh, so Spike is Garble's brother in this AU. Maybe I'm reading into this too deeply, but doesn't that leave the implication that he and Smolder are secretly siblings?

Great story, by the way!

Why would they be? It's an AU. Show canon doesn't apply to everything. And even if they were siblings, how would they ever know that?

Well, actually...given how the fic establishes the dragon version of child care, it's not necessarily ruled it out. It could be that said parents have laid three eggs over the course of time, Garble, Smolder, and Spike, and Smolder's was just the one that "got away." They simply haven't noticed it went missing yet due to how "hands-off" dragons are about raising their young. If so, then they're probably still thinking Smolder's just gone her own way and their paths simply haven't crossed yet. From the sounds of it, it's probably not unheard of.

Either that or they figured Smolder's egg was a dud (that might be the case for Smolder's parents, regardless of who they are, come to think of it) and simply moved on.

Not to say that the fic has to go in that direction or be interpreted in that way...just that the door's definitely open for it to do so quite easily, if it ever wanted to.

Super believable and amazingly executed. Well done.

This may be a one shot, but boy does it have room for prequels.

Poor Spike often approaches Butt Monkey status. :fluttershysad:

I am shoving this into the favorites.

Add my voice to the pile of interested folks in seeing this AU with Smolder instead of Spike. Sadly, this story necessitates Spike himself be around to highlight the swap. I think we'd all prefer other stories that focus on just Smolder for the sake of Smolder in this AU.

This kind of brings up some disturbing implications... I mean if no one knows who their parents are, then how do dragons tell if they aren't related to someone when it comes time to make more eggs?

Is that how Crackle the Dragon was... oh...

So I read this story out of curiosity to see what it was like. And I wound up loving this story. I love the chemistry between Smolder and Twilight. This needed to be a thing.

So ... wait. Smolder in this universe doesn't know about the molt, which makes sense. Does that mean she doesn't have her wings yet?

Well, that's just one of many unanswered questions here. I liked this story, but one thing that stuck out to me was how little Spike changed from the character we know. I think growing up in surroundings this drastically different might have more of an impact on him, at least on the surface level.

Okay, this is an absolute doozy of an AU concept! Well done!

And the story itself is quite an enjoyable read. I hope you reconsider and write more about this universe!


I went back and forth a bit over whether or not to give Smolder wings. This takes place in between Seasons 2 and 3 and Spike didn't get his until Season 8. I was going to keep it ambiguous but forgot I left in a reference to her flying early on. I figure Spike was a bit of an late bloomer whereas Smolder was an early one. Smolder can have gone through the molt but not have known all that stuff about the molt effect since there was no other dragons around to tell her about it; as she did for Spike in the show. So while she may have spent a day breaking-out in stone-scales and smelling bad, she wouldn't have known the name for it, much less what they do in the Dragon Lands when that happens.

I decided to leave it ambiguous (again) as to the sibling relationship. There were two ways I thought about playing this: (a) that Smolder and Garble were siblings, her egg was taken, so her parents or whomever basically adopted Spike as a replacement or (b) that Spike and Garble are biological siblings and Smolder was just an unrelated dragon whose egg was taken from someone else, i.e. the same relation Spike had to Smolder and Garble in the show. Either way, I had no plans or intention to have them ALL be (biologically related) siblings.

Love the Wings of Fire reference! That series is so fun.

That's not an invalid point about Spike's similarity to his show-self. Part of that was my decision to focus on Smolder and part of that was how the contest was framed. To quote the rules, "A roleswap is a fanfic that takes place in an alternate universe where canon characters have always had each other’s roles, but are still otherwise themselves. For example, a fanfic where Spike is the Element of Magic and Twilight Sparkle is his assistant - but Spike is still a plucky, young dragon and Twilight is still a bookish, older pony - would count as a roleswap." It goes on that for the purpose of the contest, roleswaps are not to be confused with other sort of swaps like gender, species, body, age or personality. So while their roles are different their basic personalities still have to be more-or-less in the same wheelhouse as their show-selves.

While upbringing naturally plays a huge impact in shaping how people (or dragons) develop, it is important to remember that there are outliers and people who just react differently to similar stimuli. To offer an analogy: Smolder is Worf and Spike is Thorax.

Worf is someone who was raised among a race that was not his own and had no real contact with his own people (or none he could remember) until adulthood. But his Klingon heritage was not something he could ignore, nor wanted to. It formed the basis for how he saw himself and identified himself, which was all the more important since he was alone among humans. He constructed an identity based on what he knew or learned about Klingons, making it the core of his very being. And when he met other Klingons, he still ended up standing apart from them because he had basically made himself what he thought an ideal Klingon should be--and that did not mesh with the reality of them.

Thorax was someone who grew up among his own people and just did not fit into the way of life they held. No society is truly homogeneous (or at least, not to the point of monolithism) and even without some outside influence acting upon him, he still saw his culture as imperfect and in need of change--even if he was too timid to be an agent of that change without prodding and guidance from others not a part of his culture.

I kind of figured that would be your approach to the who was related to who issue, seeing the intent was to more or less perfectly swap one for the other. But without knowing that for sure, I was simply pointing out that it wouldn't be hard to set it up that way for all three of them if one really wanted. As it's not, then no point pressing the matter further now. :twilightsmile:

As for Spike's portrayal, if it was to pander to contest rules then that makes sense. And to be fair, the story is a little more about Smolder than it is Spike, and with Smolder, we definitely get that feeling that she's the "same but not" and really, that's where its most important for this story--on this point Spike's just an added bonus, really.

I guess I just expected a few more dragon-like mannerisms blended in here and there that he would've picked up, either because that's just what he grew up around, or because it was his way of "compensating" to be more like the sort of "dragon" he thinks he needs to be. Just little things, like slightly blunter speaking, little less tact, a little more exaggerated pro-dragon bias, and little things he does in his actions...like maybe an omission of proper manners here and there--even though the fic doesn't describe this at all, I, for some reason, envisioned Smolder and Spike drinking cups of tea throughout most of their conversation, in which I pictured Smolder holding the cup in the proper manner (with the pinkie extended and everything) whereas Spike is just clutching the cup in his hand and more slurps than sips the tea. Little things like that.

That all said though, I do want to say that I approve of your approach to both characters regardless, especially now that I know how you precisely settled on it. Like I said before, it's not that I was expecting a total revision of Spike's character, and I fully expected him to still be that awkward dragon that didn't really fit in with the rest as you describe, so we're more of like mind on this than I'm probably conveying at the moment. :derpytongue2:

Also, that bit about Moondancer was golden.

This was great! Spike and Smolder are still in-character despite their flipped positions and it somehow felt really natural for that to be the case. Sometimes with 'flipped position' stories like this, it can be hard to make the characters still FEEL like themselves, but you have managed it flawlessly here.

As for a sequel? I wouldn't mind reading one, but I'm content if this story never did get a sequel.

Overall, 8/10.

i love the idea of Smolder hanging out with rarity for free dress, that unlike canon Smolder she be open about her like of that sort of thing and always dressed up, thus she spend a lot of time with rarity mirroring spike but not for a crush but make me that sweet outfit sempai

“Dragons like lava. Not bubble baths.” Smolder crossed her arms.

Twilight snorted. “As if that ever stopped you from loving them. You just didn’t want to admit to loving them.”

:rainbowlaugh: This is priceless. :pinkiehappy:

She squirmed but to her immense relief, Twilight read her as easily as one of her books. “Of course.” She shifted over and made room for Smolder. “Good night, Smolder.”

Sighing happily, Smolder nestled in next to her. “Good night, Twi.”

And this scene is adorable! :heart:

“Garble’s always pushing me to stand up for myself, which is kinda confusing now that I say it out loud.”

“Yeah, it’s kinda hard to browbeat self-confidence into someone,” she pointed out.

Spike sighed. “Don’t get me wrong, he’s great. I mean, yeah, he’s tough on me but he doesn’t let any dragon really push me around. Not too far, anyway. Well, besides himself.”

So nothings really changed then. (I wonder who Spike crushes on in this universe?)

Smolder made a face. She couldn’t imagine Shining Armor or Twilight pushing anyone around like that, let alone her. Or allowing herself to be pushed around, frankly.

And that is because you are not Spike.

Great story all around. The way you write Smolder is incredible and you make the potential for a whole AU of this very enticing.

Honestly the way she references Garble going through the molt but not herself, I always figured that she was pre-molt herself. I suppose it could've been a way of saving face by talking about "that other guy" though.

i would love more like this

And despite all this smolder dose have a wonderful family :twilightsmile:

This was a nice telling of Smolder. You really got chi we character down.

This was a wonderful 'What If?' story that just begs for more - love how Smolder plays off Twilight and vice versa :twilightsmile:

As an aside, i loved the bit with Moondancer, butterfly effect and all. Please, please write more of this AU :twilightsheepish:

Right, so I'm taking my role in this contest seriously. I am in what I'm calling judgey judgmental Judge mode. It means I'm reading and absorbing stories a little differently than I normally would, looking for different things and weighing certain aspects of it differently.

So swapping Spike and Smolder is a great idea. The two obviously have very different personalities and priorities. Smolder in canon is a very proud of being a dragon, and you carried that over very well to this story. Likewise, Spike is by nature, at least by dragon standards, kind of meek, so it makes sense that this would mean that he gets kind of the short end of the stick.

I also like how that different fundamental personality changed Twilight. It's subtle, but it's there. Twilight was always a bit snarky, but it feels like you played that up just a tiny bit, as well as making her generally somewhat less introverted.

But...there is unfortunately a "but". When we actually got to Smolder and Spike talking to one another, I feel like things started to drag just a bit. While it was fun to see the two talking to one another, and frankly I personally enjoy it, it also kind of meant that we were re-treading a lot of stuff that we the readers already know. As well, Smolder isn't that different from her canon self but part of that seems to be because she already had some kind of softer qualities to her, already was a bit more "pony" then we'd expect. Spike raised in the Dragon Lands, on the other hand, I would think would be a bit more assertive and aggressive and direct. Instead he's basically just Spike.

I do get that this was sort of the point of the story, as Spike outlines- "every dragon has something like that" - but it did somewhat take away from the otherwise strong concept and very interesting first half.

Still, this was overall a very fun story to read. It's not bad, just not, I think, all it could have been. Congrats on your 3rd-place win, though!

Thanks for the review!

Yeah, I kinda thought I needed to have Spike in for the swap too, and even then I was mostly interested in getting how different Smolder's reactions would be on dragons in this universe to really fleshing out Spike--who, I admit, I didn't really see how he could have the same character with the swapped backstory. Oh well.

I’ve reviewed this fanfic in this blog.

Whoops! Forgot to reply! I saw the blog with your comments. Thanks so much! I'm really flattered I made it to third!

We came up with a third-place prize at the last minute.

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