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"If you want to get better at anything, you have to be able to enjoy being bad at it."


On a cliff overlooking an ocean, Sunset Shimmer is asked an important question:

"Our little ponies. Our kingdom. Are they just as peaceful and prosperous as ever, Princess Sunset?"

Art by OverlordNeon

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 30 )

Amazing story, I think you described perfectly what would happen if Sunset became a princess without the lessons she learned with her defeat by Twilight, she still would be arrogant, egocentric, maybe narcissist. Great job :raritywink:

I thought her what I could.

?? taught ??

But it didn’t feel like.

Hhmmm, seems a bit short, maybe with 'it' or 'one'??

Thanks for the catch. Cheers.

Perhaps her little journey to the other side will help Sunny grow. And encourage her to make friends like Celly tried to get her to.

A great read. Best of luck on any future prompts you work on.

Great what-if where Sunset Shimmer keeps being the one that Celestia uses.

This is perhaps one of the best princess sunset fics ive read thus far. I love it so damn much. I honestly hoped it wouldve been longer but I feel like this is what wouldve happened if Sunset became a princess had she not had her experiences after the first eqg movie, or if she wasnt a bit of a narcissist before hand.

Such a wonderful story, though it really makes me want to know what happens next, how she changes and bits like that.

“You should’ve pulled your young student aside, point out the significance of it of companionship, ready her for the inevitable that was myself.” Luna shifted, and I could’ve sworn dust fell from her. “But that is to say that your young student isn’t entirely innocent of fault. Failure to read history has been the downfall of history itself as we are doomed to repeat it.”

The failings of the student are the failings of the teacher. Indeed, since Celestia evidently went to some trouble to erase any mention of Nightmare Moon, as Twilight only found mention of her in one exceedingly old legend, studying history would have done Sunset not a whit of good.

Frankly Celestia's scheme only worked with a mare who was both unquestioningly devoted to her, and likeable/mild enough to let a bunch of mares that she'd only just met that day invite themselves on her princess-given mission.

Sunset most likely hammered through the preparations, declared them "good enough", evicted everyone from the library so as to get some sleep, and when Nightmare appeared either engaged her right there or stormed the Everfree to slay her by might of sorcery.

I always felt that the book was placed deliberately for twilight to find, and also wondered if celestia had arranged over time for their to be ponies in Ponyville to each represent each element, but that playing into the chess master celestia trope.
I think the worst part is celestia didn't really teach sunset but tried to mold her into what celestia thought she needed as a champion to get Luna back, that method wasn't really teaching, and it put both extreme pressure and arrogance on sunset, drove her to try to succeed at any cost but isolated her from any other ponies as she saw them beneath her, celestia in the end was just repeating her mistake with Luna on new pony after all a teacher with no friends cant teach friendship.


Funny how that works out, isn't it? Luna compared her to a wildfire...

Fire never surrenders. If it cannot burn through, it burns around. Block its path and it sends sparks through the air, to begin the blaze anew somewhere else. Fire always finds a way.”

Nine times out of ten Sunset would have been in an ideal position, a figure with the will and determination to pull her country back from the brink after a sudden hammmerblow disaster. But, Celestia had managed to set up so many dominoes that could only be solved in a single ideal fashion, and now Sunset's stuck paying back Celestia's levied debts.

Great story. Feels like the first chapter of a series though.

“Make friends, Sunset! It’s why I prematurely sent you to Ponyville after Luna was freed!”

Hahahaa no

Saving Luna was the goal but it was presented so poorly that she had no way of knowing. She acted accordingly. Fuck off, Celestia.

“I taught her what I could. She wasn’t much for reading anything that wasn’t a book of spellcasting.” Celestia huffed. “Sometimes I wish I had taken up a bookworm—”

This is at once heavy handed and incoherent.

Celestia smashes down the fourth wall, storms across to our world, skims Twilight Sparkle's wiki page, and somehow fails to notice that Twilight had no fucking clue that Celestia had sister until Celestia said, "We were meant to rule together, little sister."

It's very popular to say that the world would have ended with anypony other than Twilight Sparkle at the center of things, and certainly the Season 5 Finale seems to bear that out to a degree, but there's no way for this Celestia to know she should have gone for a bookworm without peeking into the canon-verse and seeing that the successful main character was a bookworm.

Without that knowledge, mentioning that trait is a non-sequitur because "bookworm" in no way implies "historian" or even "mythographer". Most bookworms do not, in fact, know the most important event to happen precisely 1000 years ago. Seriously, take a poll of all the bookworms you know, see how many of them know these events.

Which is what brings us to incoherent. Just as Twilight Sparkle is the only reason for Celestia to suggest a bookworm would have been better, Twilight Sparkle is an object lesson in how that's not true. I'm not just talking about the fact that Twilight didn't know Celestia had a sister, and certainly didn't know that Nightmare Moon was that sister.

I'm talking about the fact that, even though the book spelled out that the one who defeated Nightmare Moon using the Elements of Harmony was mare who moved the sun and moon and took the throne as sole ruler of Equestria, Twilight didn't know Celestia was that mare. Everything she says and does in the pilot episode is predicated on her laughably incorrect belief that Celestia wasn't familiar with the story, and certainly wasn't a character in it.

That's what getting a bookworm gets you. And, honestly, that's probably what one should expect getting a bookworm to get you.

Knowing that Celestia was the non-Nightmare Moon pony from the tale is knowing about government and the history thereof. It's a matter of political (and possibly religious) interest. Knowing that Nightmare Moon was coming back was about oracular prognostication and, apparently, astronomy. Knowing what happened with Nightmare Moon, including the fact she was Celestia's sister, was a matter of history and folklore. What one can note at this point is that nothing I'm talking about suggests (or is suggested by) "bibliophile".

It's like saying, "I should have gotten an audiophile," when what you needed was someone who listened to podcasts on the importance of rainbows in Norse cosmology. Yes, both an audiophile and the person you needed would listen to stuff, and yes the person you needed might also happen to be an audiophile, but it's still a non-sequitur to say "audiophile" when it's not remotely what was needed.

I'd like to say that that doesn't reflect the story as a whole, and I sort of can. Overall the story is just as heavy handed as that one bit, to the point there are a dozen other things I could have picked out, but it's not incoherent, and that's something.

Great, so now she can make friends. Now she only has the invasion and myriad of unchecked villains to worry about.

An absolute blast of a story. Just finished reading it. I would absolutely would and shall recommend it to anyone
Haunting, clever and atmospheric

No matter how powerful you are, without friends you couldn't do all. But Celestia could. Hmmmm
Also: people there are really love Sunset

Ri2 #20 · Jan 31st, 2021 · · ·

Yeah, I kind of feel like most of this is your fault, Celestia. Really dropped the ball here.

I do not understand this critique.

You say that Celestia has broken the fourth wall, but she's not talking to the audience or acknowledging herself as a work of fiction. She's simply musing on the value of bookworms. Seeing as Celestia did in fact choose a bookworm as her student in the canon timeline, it shouldn't surprise us to see her thinking along these lines.

You point out that bookworms don't know automatically know about history, which is true, but surely a bookworm has a greater chance of knowing history than a non-bookworm, because it's hard to know about the things that happened 1000 years ago unless you read about them in a book.

You point out that canon Twilight was deeply uninformed about history, and it's true she was uninformed. She knew about "the two princesses" but didn't recognize that Celestia was one of them. If Celestia assumed that Twilight would understand the whole picture, she assumed wrong. But this is a mistake made by cannon Celestia; it's not something introduced by the author of this fanfic. I don't see how the author can be faulted for faithfully recreating Celestia's imperfect thinking.

You utterly dismantle cannon and fail to rebuild? This story was aweful!

Alternate universe tag is the only saving grace. So many questions this one shot brings up and not one is answered leaving an incoherent story. I would be surprised if Luna was actually in a history book that wasn't locked.

"Wow, Sunset! How dare you jump to conclusions and kill my murderous, evil sister despite me knowing she would return for a thousand years and never told you! Maybe if you'd read more books you wouldn't be such a fuck-up! Go back there and make some friends, dammit!"

"Why didn't you say that to begin with!?"


This was a nice little AU! I really enjoyed the imagery especially, and a nice what if. Well done! :D

“I taught her what I could. She wasn’t much for reading anything that wasn’t a book of spellcasting.” Celestia huffed. “Sometimes I wish I had taken up a bookworm—”

Be careful what you whish for...

Good story!
I enjoyed reading it.

You can show your displeasure as much as you can sitting on your high ground, Celly, but the citizens of Equestia will answer you "Shut up! She earned her wings and she proved that she worthy".
Why? She isn't running away or meekly await for fulfilment of some prophecy. Sunset just grinds her teeth, get up on her shaky legs and hobble to try to kick ass of just another dumbass who think that they can have easy prey in batteed but not broken Equestria.
There will be time for Harmony. As for now... They need to defend their home. And Sunset and not her "advisors" is the symbol that there would be another day in Equestria and someday the Tree of Harmony burst into blossom.

Very interesting take on AU where Sunset remains a student. Makes sense that it ends tragically because of her faults (though Celestia`s way of teaching was very faulted, too). Would love to read a longer story about Sunset trying to be a princess and dealing with threats to Equestria

That said, it is impressive that Sunset managed to take on Nightmare Moon, Discord, changelings and Tirek all on her own, and lost only to Sombra. I assume that unlike Celestia or Twilight she focused on learning advanced battle magic, and did not hesitate at all to use it

Sigh. :twilightsmile:
I know it's a one shot. Sure would love to read the 'rest' of the story though. :raritywink:
Well told. I really enjoyed reading this. :twilightsmile:

Since we know time travel exists in canon, I wonder if this in any way leads to canon timeline.

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