• Member Since 8th Apr, 2016
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Queen Chrysalis, against her better judgement, accepted Starlight's offer of redemption after her hive, and her plans, exploded around her. Now, the next day, she wants nothing more than to go on with her miserable life. Her children have other plans.

This takes place in the same universe as my alicorn Starlight story The Tiniest Changes, but can be read on its own perfectly comprehensibly.

I'm marking this as incomplete, because I suspect I will revisit it when I'm in the mood to write Chrysalis, but the first chapter was written, and functions, as a standalone story.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 54 )


Comment posted by Stahlseele deleted February 21st

This is very good. I'm giving you six stars for doing a good job. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Hope to see more of your chapters, and remember:

If you keep believing what you’ve been believing, then you’ll keep achieving what you’ve been achieving.

Here's a song that will make you do whatever it takes. Enjoy!


I wish the show had explored Chysalis like this, physically changed but not mentally. Better but not good. They even had the chance to during the later villain gang episodes when she gave Tirek her magic. I guess they didn't want to have to reanimate her with new art.
I'm really curious now where you are going to go with this, can't wait to see it.

I do like show Chrysalis’s arc; it’s a very classic tragedy. But tragedies are sad.

There won’t be too much I do with this story; perhaps two more chapters at most. The majority of Chrysalis’s arc (insofar as I can write such a thing) will be displayed in TTC. Still, I love her too much to entirely ignore her PoV.

Thank you for commenting 💚

Funny enough, the last few days I had gotten into my head to ask you about the fate of Thorax in your other story; I was expecting a short answer that didn't go into specifics, which would then possibly be mentioned as a simple comment that Starlight and Chrysallis would have in a conversation in a future chapter, taking into account that it was a Starlight story, and Thorax is a character quite removed from her so that his presence was never mentioned or missed in said story.

Saying that 'I never imagined I would get my answer in a spin off story centered on Chrysalis' would be a half lie, since part of me foresaw/hoped for said spin off story; but I imagined that this spin off story would come after the Starlight story was finished, so it is a welcome surprise see it so soon.

So, this is Chrysalis reformed form in your story? Any particular reason for choosing that design, or is it simply because that is the one you like?

Surprise! Thorax has been hanging out in the Crystal Empire doing whatever this whole time.

I'm not sure "finished" is a state TTC will ever really reach (not because I don't want to keep writing it, but because I don't foresee a point where I stop having more chapter ideas than time to write them), so any side stories will just come out whenever I have the motivation for them.

As for Chrysalis's design, there are a couple very popular reformed designs for her, both of which are pretty easy to find online; the white and blue one, and the orange, white, and green one. I like both, but I associate the latter so strongly with RainbowDoubleDash's work that I didn't feel like using it myself, and the former is a bit too light for me. This one was a great compromise, for which I didn't have to change any descriptions.

I'm not sure "finished" is a state TTC will ever really reach (not because I don't want to keep writing it, but because I don't foresee a point where I stop having more chapter ideas than time to write them)

Taking into account that with the chapters dedicated to Cozy Glow you have already entered season nine of the show, then I am interested in what you may have prepared for the future beyond the canon.

Back to this story and this chapter. I like your idea of Chrysalis using Thorax as a pawn to put him in a situation where she will ultimately gain something.

Situation a) The ponies will remain friendly and do not treat Thorax any differently, this means that, now that they no longer have to worry about love, the most important resource for the Changelings (or specifically Chrysalis) will flow to the hive: Information.

Situation b) The ponies treat Thorax with apparent caution, thus validating the Queen's ideology. And any negative effect this may had on Thorax's morale will merely be a delicious bonus for her.

Well, I’m not necessarily writing in order. For example, the next two chapters I have planned are the reformed villain game night and a diplomatic mission to Mount Aris, both of which will take place before the Cozy Glow arc. Still, I definitely have a few ideas for post-season nine (and post-season ten) stories!

Fantastic story 💖

Also, who drew the gorgeous art?

Cute story 👍

A really good canon divergence take on Chrysalis reforming! I enjoyed the balance you gave Chrysalis when it came to her personality. Her old, pragmatic ruthlessness had to reconcile with her newfound relief and joy in living. It suits her well and gives me hope for her to fully embrace her new place in the world.

The other changelings reacting to Chrysalis were great as well, especially Thorax. Makes sense that he would end up gaining some sort of leadership role after what he had done. The usage of “Mom” by a few characters was genuinely sweet - it showed that Chrysalis was genuinely loved by her subjects, even after all that happened.

Even the changelings who hate Chryssy's methods can acknowledge that, without her, they would've all died a thousand years ago.

Thank you so much! I'm really glad you enjoyed it <3

She's such a grump and I love it.

…and left everyling nearby a pastel pastiche of their previous persona.

Came for the interesting concept, stayed because of this absolute gem of an alliterated sentence.

It is decisively not a tragedy, as Chrysalis is not a sympathetic character. You can twist any villainous character that gets their comeuppance into a 'classic tragedy', so don't delude yourself: all scenes where the narrative toys with the idea that Chrysalis might become a better person only serve to reinforce the idea that she won't. You are not supposed to sympathize with that. The only tragedy there is in a failure of morals.


This is what did it for me. I absolutely loved this quote because of how much it reminded me of Hades from Disney's Hercules-- so much so that I can almost picture his hair-fire shoot up as he screams this exact quote!

As for the rest of fic, good job! Finally a good story where we get to see the villain deal with the aftermath of giving up their evil ways (... for the most part, lmao).

I'm not sure I'd say most---Chryssy has a long way to go. But she'll get there!

And yeah, Hades is an amusingly apt comparison, actually.
Thank you for reading!

id say chrysalis' story is rather tragic, actually. a starving queen trying to care for thousands of starving people in the only way she knows how, only to have one of her people betray her, confide with her perceived enemy, and then steal all of her subjects from her? her subjects chose to leave her, too. hundreds of years of changeling culture was destroyed in a matter of minutes all because she wasnt strong enough to stop one lowly traitor.

was she in the wrong? absolutely. did she know what she was doing was wrong? most definitely. did she enjoy doing it? undoubtedly. did she do all of this so that her people wouldnt go hungry? yes. during the canterlot wedding episodes, chrysalis doesnt just dismiss her changelings; she tells them to eat. she wants them to prosper, and if the suffering of others is the only way, then so be it.

Exactly. By "classic tragedy", I meant that her downfall is entirely preventable and due to her own flaws, but it's sad for the audience anyway. Yes, it's her fault that she allowed herself to act in anger and abandon her hive---but that doesn't make it less heartbreaking to see her talking to her imaginary children when she's alone.

She represents abusive relationship and a cult-like mentality. Her name, 'Chrysalis', in later seasons is meant to mirror someone who holds back the transformation of their people from savages into something more colorful and accepted by the world. The show makes a generous move to let you connect the dots by yourself, but you can easily see that there is no changeling culture to speak of: there is a roaming parasitic Hive in middle of a wasteland, that is forced into their lifestyle by a warmongering leader who rules through fear.
There is no traitors to speak of, and no care for others. She opposes the idea of caring, that's her whole shtick. She calls what seems to be her spawn, her minions. :twilightsmile:
You can easily the same way justify the acts of criminals and make the similar weak arguments, but if that's what you want to believe, that is your choice.

If you want more concrete evidence,

Starlight Glimmer: What plan? Why did you do all this?!
Queen Chrysalis: So I could feed, of course! By replacing the most beloved figures in Equestria, my drones will be able to store all the love meant for them and return it here to me. Everypony will do as I command, and my subjects and I will feed on their love for generations! [maniacal laughter]
[changelings hissing]
Starlight Glimmer: What if you didn't have to?
Queen Chrysalis: Ridiculous! The hunger of changelings can never be satisfied!
Starlight Glimmer: Exactly! Thorax left the hive and made a friend. He shared love, and now he doesn't need to feed. You don't have to live your lives starving all the time!
Queen Chrysalis: You know nothing of the changelings or what it takes to be their queen! I decide what is best for my subjects, not some mewling grub!
Starlight Glimmer: I know what it's like to lead by fear and intimidation! And I know what it's like to want everypony to do what you say! But I was wrong. A real leader doesn't force her subjects to deny who they are! She celebrates what makes them unique and listens when one of them finds a better way!

Exploitation of others is the whole point why Chrysalis is opposed by Starlight in the narrative. Would you assume that cult leaders are into it for the benefit of others and ideas of altruism? No. They are after power and ambition. And that is who Chrysalis is at the core (and several other things too, but those are more tied to mythological aspects and monster tropes).

i didnt say what she did was right, just that she thought it was right. im not justifying anything.

as for the meaning of her name: originally, only the first 3 seasons of friendship is magic were planned. everything season 4 and onward wasnt part of the original plan, and the changeling reformation happened in season 6; the changeling reformation was not part of her original character. her name mirroring how she held back her people from greatness was most likely not planned originally, but rather after the show was meant to end but was renewed due to positive reception.

as a note for everyone, even myself, remember that this story is fanfiction. there will be creative liberties taken, aspects of the original show will be changed whether it be events in the show before or after the fanfic takes place. youre always welcome to write your own story exploring chrysalis' character if you dislike how someone else did it!
for now though, we probably ought to cut this discussion short. i wouldnt want to clog the comments section (or the authors notifications)

Yay, best bughorse!

Yay, still a total grump!

Yay, so far nobody died, though it was a close one.

Now I gotta read the main fic. Especially that you namechecked three of my favourite fics.

You have good taste!

To get the rest of the references, read my favorite story, which definitely isn't three million words.

(Cosmos only knew why)

Great reference. Living for it.

Princess of Food recently?

I love it when changelings refer to her like this XP It's so silly and adorable, and completely accurate.

I love how Chrysalis is portrayed.
It's sweet of her to decorate the nursery for the nymphs. Obviously, there are better ways than with organs, but it shows that she cares in her own twisted way <3

Be right back, took a look at The Tiniest Change and got sucked into that instead :)

I found this more interesting than the story this came from. In general I'm a fan of Chrysalis and to see how she's trying to handle the situation is amusing to say the least. I can understand if you never add more chapters, but I sure hope you do.

I am digging into canon character archetypes and what they may represent for a year already, and I'm having a blast :twilightsmile:
Sadly, I settled for a Dark and Thriller tagged narrative, and I understand that it's not for everyone.

I agree with you on the notion that s6 Chrysalis is not a sympathetic character, that she is openly and purposefully characterised as a cruel tyrant to serve as Starlight's dark reflection. I believe that your interpretation here is a correct one.
While in s6 Chrysalis is portrayed noticeably different than in her debut, the face she is given then stays with her for the rest of the show's runtime. In seasons 8 and 9 Chrysalis is the exact same person she was moments before her humilitating defeat in s6. Cruel, selfish, megalomaniac tyrant. The only new character trait she gains is being delusional, and her delusion grows with each of her appearances. Despite everything that happened in "To Where and Back Again" Chrysalis refuses to acknowledge any of her own faults and how far she has fallen. She gains no new perspectives, gets no reality check and no chance at redemtion.

And I genuinely hate that.
The writers of the show did Chrysalis dirty. They went the easiest, straightest possible way, missing the potential that was already there.
A queen-mother, bitter and distrustful of others, who rejects her children because she can't accept who they've become and ends up terribly, completely alone. In Chrysalis's defeat there were already seeds for a great redemtion arc, where, having hit the rock bottom, she is forced to reevalueate herself and her actions; where she opens up to others, admits her wrongs, earns her second chance and eventually reunites with her family.
I believe everyone here can sympathise with the main premise of our beloved show "friendship is magic" and want to believe in second chances and potential for good hidden within everyone. So even if the version of Chrysalis pertrayed in this story is not the most canonical one, I'd genuinely prefer it if it was. Because it captures perfectly the potential that Chrysalis had for growth and good in that specific moment. I believe the statement that Chrysalis's story is a tragic one holds water after all. Because there is always great tragedy in any individual's failure to change for the better. Her downfall was only due to her own faults and thus, entirely preventable.

We're not really being sympathetic to 100%-show-canonical Queen Chrysalis here. We're being sympathetic to a more nuanced version of her that we can see within her limited show portrayal. And because we can see her, and because a very convincing story can be written about her, we can believe that it is, in a way, no less true than her portrayal in canon.

In the end, this story is, in its premise, strongly canon-divergent. And anyone can believe what they want to believe, as stated by HexoRequiem above. After all, that's exactly what fanfiction is for. :raritywink:

An excellent analysis!

I'm going to respectfully disagree that this story is strongly canon divergent (though I agree with your overall points). The entire reason that Chrysalis's story is sad is how close she comes to doing something different; were she irredeemably evil, there would be nothing unfortunate about her continued mistakes. We're shown in the season six finale that she comes very, very close to accepting Starlight's offer---closer than Starlight herself did in a similar situation back in The Cutie Map. In my opinion, it would take very little for the trajectory of her story to change then and there. The events obviously end up being very different, but in terms of plausibility, I try to write things which I think are believable with as few changes to the source material as possible.

I also don't think that Chrysalis is portrayed differently in season six than her debut. In both, she has the same fundamental motive; while people like to say that Chrysalis is entirely selfish in To Where and Back Again, she really isn't, and stipulates at every turn that she's acting for her hive in addition to herself. It's selfish of her to leave, certainly, but that decision wasn't exactly made under rational circumstances. And she obviously doesn't stop caring about her children even after she leaves, or she wouldn't be talking to them in her head constantly. It seems more likely that she regrets her separation from them exactly as much as you'd expect, but is desperately trying to blame everyone but herself for it, which motivates her future more selfish actions.

Either way, though, I'm delighted that I've inspired such discussion, and thank you for your thoughts <3

There's a lot that I can disagree with, as the bending of character traits instead of their exploration is the easy route in my opinion. But it's a comedy fic anyway, so it's not pretending to be a serious character examination that you assume it to be. I hope.

I have nothing but respect to writers who didn't try to excuse Chrysalis (and her peers) in the end, as it shows that they understand what they were dealing with—considering all the possible implications that this character carries with her that I didn't even remotely touched upon in these comments. It doesn't act as a detriment to fanfiction writers, as they have their own agenda, but calling a blatant substitute a more nuanced version? After all that said about perspectives?... Now that's a delusion.

She scoffed at the memory of her conversation—well, her first conversation—with that infernal pony yesterday. Of course she’d intended to foalnap Starlight along with the others. The mare could time travel. But what was she going to say? ‘Hello, yes, I realize you could kill me with a thought if I didn’t have my magic chair, but I couldn’t replace you because you decided to go for a walk with your equally-irritating marefriend’? So she’d insulted her, in the hopes that it would reduce her morale enough to distract her. It had not.

Had be been trying to shock her into being unable to tear his head from his body and suck the fluid from his corpse? If so, it had worked, so she supposed she would have to commend his quick thinking the next time she saw him—and his skill at hiding his emotions, in which she’d tasted no deceit. Before she tore his head off and sucked the fluid from his corpse.

Chrysalis paused her pacing to stare incredulously at him. “I’m not sure you’re comprehending the position that you’re in. You committed treason. Multiple times . Your organs should be painting the walls of the hatchery by now.” She always liked giving the hatchlings something nice to look at. “You will tell me everything.”


This is the best interpretation of Chrysalis I have seen in forever. She is pragmatic and very tough on the outside, but still caring and considerate in her own twisted way. She is a mother to her children and a queen, she is better than she used to be, without being actually good, still on her path to redemption. Most importantly, she is actually smart and self-reflective and she realises the errors of her ways, even if she is not yet ready to admit it. I think you captured perfectly how she would behave in this situation.
I love this! An optimistic and heartwarming story that still menages to remain realistic. It's going to my faves now! :pinkiehappy:

Also, so many nice little touches, like references to Chrysalis's story from the comics, proper Hive-related terms and clever observations (the pantry scene; Thorax clearing his throat; descriptions of Chrysalis altering her own appearance), Ocellus cameo and many more.
The descriptions and dialogue are both on point, you have a wonderful style! Must check out some of your other works! :twilightsmile:

I appreciate your contributions and have been interested to see your thoughts, but I'd appreciate it if you'd stop referring to people's opinions as "delusional." It's both inaccurate and rather more rude than is merited by a discussion this casual. Your interpretations, while valid, are not the objectively correct ones any more than anyone else's are.

This is my favorite comment on this story. Thank you so much!

I really love the changelings conceptually, and I think it's a wasted opportunity to ignore the fact that they're very weird fae-like life forms who operate on very different mechanics from ponies and humans. It's so fun to imagine all the ways they might behave analogously-but-differently, like, for example, fidgeting by rearranging their internal organs.

I'm really happy you enjoyed it <3

I might've been too rude, true.

I apologize.

Apologies accepted!
Forgive, forget and agree to disagree :twilightsmile:

Chrysalis shifted her internal structure indecisively.

This species-specific variation on nervously shuffling ones feet is quite nice.

She glared at the crowd, willing her sincerity into their minds—or at least their noses.

Pheromones I presume? Again, nice making of them as alien.... also turning into a bouncy ball when she got out of bed now that I think of it... she did that, right?


I noticed someone else commenting on this line as I was scrolling around. It is, indeed, a good one. Goes along with what she said earlier about lying...

The name stuck in her throat like a feather from an improperly-cooked griffon.

Also nice.

She couldn’t kill him. Well, she could , and maybe someday she’d think of a way to get away with it, but right now,

Impressively restrained of her... you do the "I'm only reformed because of rational self-interest, and I don't LIKE it. At all... except the not being hungry part, but seriously, I have not found ONE positive aspect to this other than that." thing well.

“Come in!” came a chipper voice. Ugh . He sounded like one of those ridiculous raccoon creatures she’d discovered after the Canterlot coup. He didn’t even do her the small favor of allowing her to violently wake him.

The ones from G5 with the Unicorn horns?

P.S. Sorry for the double-post.

Not pheromones—changelings can taste emotions. As for the raccoons, they’re from the comics.

Thank you for commenting!

My booru-fu skills have failed me so: WHICH comic? (Issue etc.)

FIENDship is Magic issue 5; Chryssy’s backstory.

Only a Posada enjoyer could make this masterpiece

Free me from the featured box. Help.


Ha! I’ve already escaped! You’ll never catch me now!

This was highly enjoyable, Chrissy is a fave of mine. Not a fan of rain ow bugs though.


While there is no one true best way to write a character in a fanfiction (that, after all, defeats the purpose of fanfiction), I do not hesitate in saying that this is about as close to perfect for Chrysalis as I think it is possible to get.

The fact that she's capable of such genuine joy and happiness and that she (seemingly, at least) has an overall positive relationship with her subjects and the fact that she's capable of such genuine hatred and disgust of Thorax despite Thorax's entirely-benign intentions and demeanor strikes an excellent balance between Chrysalis' canonical personality and the hard-but-loving mother that the fandom loves to portray her as.


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