Romance and the Fate of Equestria, or RFE, is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic written by Supa Supa Bad Truly Mad Moves. First published on June 2, 2012, and picking up where the second season ended, it has an elaborate continuity which ignores all post-season 2 canon, (though occasionally runs into eerie parallels with later official content) making it something of an Alternate Universe Fic due to its continued progress.It can be found on fanfiction.net here. An illustrated version, complete with fantasy cast lists and song lyrics, is slowly being produced on deviantART and can be found here.The series is divided into segments; Part One consists of chapters 1-36, while the much-longer Part Two ran from chapters 37-110. Part Three began on August 3, 2014.Also has a prequel, Legend of the Goddesses, which serves as an Origin Story for the RFE version of Celestia, Luna, Discord, and several OCs.
Romance and the Fate of Equestria contains examples of the following tropes:
Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Rarity, from the beginning of the story, defaults to being gloomy and depressed; it's eventually revealed that she's been suffering from self-loathing.
Celestia as well. It's implied that she's been a Stepford Smiler over the course of seasons 1 and 2 and has only now begun opening up, mostly just to Luna and Twilight.
Affectionate Nickname: A few characters get nicknames not seen in canon or fanon. Zecora is occasionally called "Z", Apple Bloom calls Silver Spoon "Silv"; Applejack calls Discord "Dis".
"Tia", Luna's Fanon nickname for Celestia, is mentioned, but explicitly stated to have never been used by Luna. Luna herself is called "Lulu" by Princess Annihilara, who Luna in turn calls "Lara".
Age Lift: Spike is 15 and the Cutie Mark Crusaders are 13. The author was originally surprised to find out that this was seen as an Age Lift, as he had always perceived them that way.
Vorpal's right front leg also counts, as it's a leg of the Beast
Bathos: Pinkie Pie is regularly used for this. A heartrending scene of Fluttershy drowning her sorrows is accompanied by Pinkie accidentally getting drunk herself, while another, similarly dramatic relationship moment includes a Funny Background Event of Pinkie and others taking gulps of a drink to cope with the tension - even though the drink turns out to be raspberry vinaigrette.
Bi the Way: Rainbow Dash. The stereotypical nature of this characterization choice is lampshaded very thoroughly in Chapter 20. She also falls vaguely into the Anything That Moves stereotype being depicted as the most sexually experienced and dirty-minded of the Mane Six.
Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Changelings, crossing over with Bee People, have sexual trimorphism. "Queen" isn't merely Queen Chrysalis's title, but also her gender; all the other changelings seen in the show were females, and males are a creation of the author. They are smaller than queens but much larger than females, have comically oversized wings, bull horns which work magic in the same way as a unicorn horn, and produce magical silk from their nostrils.
Body Horror: The Beast, who was chopped up into pieces and the pieces buried all over the world. Thirteen million years have gone by and the pieces have fossilized, but the Beast himself is apparently still alive.
Also, those who use the power of his body parts must first cut off that extremity on their own body before replacing it with that of the Beast.
Broken Bird: Twilight after her experience with Vorpal Blade, making her reluctant to attach too many feelings to her relationship with Joe.
Character Development: Pretty much every character starts out with a T-rated version of their canon personality, and evolves over the course of the story.
Princess Luna's adjusting to the modern world can be tracked by her speech; her language becomes more and more modern with successive appearances, until Chapter 78, when she can be seen correcting herself every time she uses an antiquated word, and subsequently speaks normally. Celestia even notes that there was a specific moment when Luna started saying "have" instead of "hath".
The Cutie Mark Crusaders start to actually become noncommittal about earning their cutie marks, enjoying life as it is and pursuing projects for the sake of pursuing them. Apple Bloom gets her cutie mark from a simple moment of self-reflection, and actually has trouble getting used to the idea.
Exact Words: Discord can't lie and must obey all orders from Celestia and Twilight. Being Discord, this trope naturally comes into play.
Failed Attempt at Drama: Twilight triumphantly throws all of her books about romance into a trash can and decides to proceed intuitively... then remembers that the books belong to the library.
And when Derpy attempts to dramatically remove her wedding dress, only to get stuck inside it and need help getting out.
Featureless Plane of Disembodied Dialogue: Done deliberately at the start of Chapter 17. The lack of narrative context is there to set up a Reveal that Fluttershy and Big Macintosh are having this conversation in bed, just before they were about to have sex for the first time. Done again to a lesser extent in Chapter 37, which appears to be a private Freudian Couch scene between Twilight and Rarity, until Rarity asks why Rainbow Dash is there as well.
Flowery Elizabethan English: Luna's is more well-researched than you'll see in most fanworks. Though the proper use of "thee/thou" vs. "you" is acknowledged, her speech sticks exclusively to "thee/thou" for Rule of Cool purposes. Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe, however, is almost completely averted. She steadily outgrows it as the story progresses.
Hannibal Lecture: Discord goes off on rants and lectures a lot, possibly a side effect of the Elements of Harmony forcing him to always be truthful.
Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Inverted with Rainbow Dash, who brings up the fact that she's bisexual as often as possible. It's even on her resumé! She apparently feels the need to assert this because she's only ever had heterosexual encounters (not counting Fluttershy).
Heel-Face Turn: Gilda and Silver Spoon both have Character Development which leads them to this at a gradual pace. They both voluntarily befriend the Mane Six and the CMC, respectively, starting out as a Token Evil Teammate before becoming core members of their social groups.
It's a bit blurred with Trixie, who has become friendlier and less obnoxious but more morally ambiguous.
Discord endlessly zig-zags this trope. As of the end of Part Two, he's allied with Queen Chrysalis but is having a horrible time of it, and who he is loyal to, if it's anyone but himself, is unclear.
The author even devotes a rant to pointing out the subtle differences between some of the characters who are going through this.
Hotter and Sexier: Than My Little Pony, as one might expect. Bawdy jokes and sexy situations abound, though the story seldom pushes the limit of its T rating.
Queen Chrysalis as well. She makes her in-story debut during Part Two's climax, and things get very bleak during that segment.
Living Shadow: Annihilara. She can be either a shadow on the wall, or a three-dimensional being made of shadow. In either form, she can be any size and shape, but defaults to being a Winged Unicorn roughly the size and shape of Celestia - and is always pitch-black with a gruesome Nightmare Face inspired by the Man Under the Bed from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Love Triangle: Spike gets over Rarity and starts pursuing Sweetie Belle at the same time Rarity considers accepting Spike's advances. Once the triangle actually becomes an issue, the conflict leads to Rarity becoming Shipper on Deck for Spike/Sweetie.
Love Dodecahedron: Rainbow, who has feelings for both Big Mac and Derpy, both of whom are taken.
All Love Is Unrequited: Rarity likes Spike, who likes Sweetie Belle, who likes Featherweight, who likes Diamond Tiara. Also applies to Rainbow's situation.
The Nicknamer: Gilda. Twilight is "Bangs", Pinkie is "Party Girl", and Fluttershy is "Peeper" or "Ducky".
Oh My Gods!: Variants on the common "oh my Celestia" are used. Celestia herself, meanwhile, has responded to a shock by saying "Oh my Hasbro!"
OOC Is Serious Business: Fluttershy's agitation at wanting to ask out Big Mac expresses itself as highly un-Fluttershy-like ranting and cursing. The author had this to say:
This awesomely italicizedAuthor's Note comes to you from the distant future, about a year and a half and 55 chapters after the original publication. Many people who start this story back out after reading this chapter, for obvious reasons: it depicts Fluttershy behaving horrendously out-of-character. What I want to say before anyone else decides to quit is that this was done deliberately, to highlight the emotional duress she is experiencing. In retrospect, I realize my mistake was using this trope before people have learned to trust me as a writer; invoking it later would have worked, but in Chapter 2, it just made me look like a guy who has no understanding of Fluttershy. Quite the opposite. I am Fluttershy. So, anyone out there who's just discovered this story, I hope you'll forgive my grievous writing error and proceed with interest. Thank you!
Used again by Fluttershy and lampshaded here:
Fluttershy: So, this was all some kind of petty tit-for-tat? Damn it, Rainbow, I don't DO that!
Rainbow Dash: Not to nitpick, but you don't normally yell at me or swear, either.
After the first battle against Sørmur dï Mitgaeard, Discord seems to go into mild shock, and is remarkably subdued.
Perky Goth: Apple Bloom of all ponies becomes this. Though it's her angst and depression that lead to the decision to become goth, the makeover itself seems to lead directly to regaining her original, perky personality.
The Power of Hate: Vorpal Blade's magic runs on this; his whole purpose in getting to know Twilight was to betray her and get her to hate him, and he continues to make contact with her to kindle her hate even further.
The Power of Love: The title implies this, though in practice romance is treated in the same way that friendship is in non-arc episodes of the show.
Precision F-Strike: Cursing in the story is frequent but fairly mild; serious words are reserved for serious moments:
Twilight experiences a severe Adult Fear moment and remarks, "Oh, shit."
The following Discord quote:
Discord: My mother's a lot of things—a lot of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things—but a cynic isn't one of them. She's too analytical to be a cynicoran idealist. So if her analysis tells her that the core concept of the law is money… you can take that to the fucking bank.
The author has one when "Twilight's Kingdom" promises to be yet another episode with eerie parallels to the events of the fic.
Anytime Fluttershy curses is this. Though she was the first character in the story to technically use bad language, it's definitely only under serious duress that she does so.
Prophet Eyes: Snicker-Snack, aka Vorpal Blade, has blank white eyes, which he claims are a side-effect of his cutie mark talent.
The Rant: Both versions contain some pretty epic ones, with those on deviantART serving as something of a look back.
Also to Cupcakes, in an Alternate Continuity sort of way; in RFE, Cupcakes is a book series which has recently been adapted to film, and ponies are starting to notice the similarities between the story's main character and Pinkie Pie.
Red Baron: The Titaness of the Whispering Desert, and the Four-Winged Queen.
The Reveal: Twilight's boyfriend is a master criminal at large.
Golden Thread is made from the silk of a changeling Gilda has imprisoned in the basement.
Schoolgirl Lesbians: Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy made out at their high school graduation party; they both acknowledge it as meaningless, and when describing their romantic past, both tend to leave the event out.
Second Love: Joe to Twilight, after her first love turns out to be evil.
Seldom Seen Species: Queen Okapiopteryx appears to be a cross between an Okapi and a Microraptor, making her a twofer for this trope. Seemingly confirmed by Legend of the Goddesses, which shows her as an ordinary okapi with a Microraptor Loyal Animal Companion.
Sex Equals Love: Twilight sets the parameters of her relationship with Donut Joe as Friends with Benefits; by the time they have to part ways, she's changed her mind, even though it's fairly clear they haven't done much together besides have sex.
Stalker Shrine: Downplayed. Joe openly displays a bulletin board in his shop depicting memorabilia from times he's spent with Twilight.
Stalking Is Love: The actions of both of Twilight's love interests could be interpreted as stalking her, and both times she finds this revelation highly attractive.
Averted with Sweetie Belle, who finds Spike's constant attention unsettling.
Strange Syntax Speaker: Cocoon. His sentences are constructed backwards, one word at a time, and even reading them backwards produces a few strange quirks.
Sudden Name Change: Alicorns are identified as "immortals" in the story. The term "alicorn" had not yet become canon when the story started using "immortal", but it had always been Fanon, making this a somewhat odd decision. The author admits a few times that it wasn't the best idea.