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. Obsolescence aside, it's largely Original Flavour, emulating the style of the series while infusing the characters and their world with more mature and adult themes.The story begins with the Mane Six having a sleepover shortly after the events of the Season 2 finale, where Twilight reveals that her experiences at the wedding have gotten her interested in The Power of Love, which she intends to start studying the same way she studies friendship. What follows is a massive ensemble piece which weaves together many storylines, with all characters receiving a fair bit of the spotlight. While predominantly a Romantic Comedy, the flavor of its many plots varies enough to qualify it as a Gen Fic.It can be found on fanfiction.net here. An illustrated version, featuring special features such as 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 and is in progress.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 and Legend of the Goddesses contain examples of the following tropes:
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Acceptable Breaks from Canon: As it was started shortly after Season 2 ended, all canon from afterward is ignored, save for minor strokes of inspiration and a whole lot of weird coincidences.
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 depression and 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.
Faux Affably Evil: Skippmud and Crazyface are almost as casual and conversational as their leader, but far more brutal and destructive.
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". And Snicker-Snack calls Twilight "Smiley", even when they're not on the best of terms.
Applied Phlebotinum: Golden Thread, a versatile substance which Gilda allegedly invented. What exactly the stuff is provides one of the first mysteries of the story.
Art Evolution: The illustrated version is being worked on by two artists, one of them the author. While their art is far from being great, the improvements they make with each successive piece are truly something to behold. KnitzyArtista95 is steadily phasing out her borderline-Chibi style for more appropriate proportions, while Truly Mad Moves is experimenting with getting more mileage out of his crayon-and-marker technique.
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.
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.
The Chosen One: Villainous example. Vorpal Blade is the chosen champion of Sørmur dï Mitgaeard.
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.
Discord: Some days, it feels like you ponies live in a story with about three hundred percent too many subplots.
Gadgeteer Genius: The Cutie Mark Crusaders. With only a few months' education on magic and mechanical engineering, they are able to build machines that can turn anypony into a cyborg alicorn. Once the technology falls into the hooves of villains, the Crusaders hide it all away and don't seem to be pursuing the gadgeteering path anymore.
Genre-Busting: A Romantic Comedy on the surface, it has an easy time switching to mystery, drama, action, horror, or high fantasy depending on the situation.
Good All Along: Both Venni and Annihilara, at different times, turn out to be more than what they appear.
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 résumé! 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.
Hellish Pupils: The trope is taken to its logical extreme by the Beast's pupils: they're pentagram-shaped. In addition, Cocoon's pupils are diamond-shaped and white; Queen Soledad's eyes have purple scleras, red irises, and yellow pupils; and Iron Throne's Eyes of Gold include his glowing pupils.
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.
I Have Many Names: Venni. She's gone by the alias of Gewgaw, the stage name of Loli Pop, and currently calls herself Vengeance Lash. She hasn't yet revealed her birth name.
Incoming Ham: Annihilara tends to announce herself with huge musical fanfare and displays of her powers.
Interspecies Romance: A Discussed Trope in Chapter 52, first by the characters and then by the author, who goes into detail about the implications of the trope in all settings where it's possible.
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.
Magitek / Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: The words "magic" and "science" are used interchangeably. On one occasion when they're not, the question is asked as to what the difference is, and Twilight's explanation is extremely subtle.
The Nicknamer: Gilda. Twilight is "Bangs", Pinkie is "Party Girl", and Fluttershy is "Peeper" or "Ducky".
No Pronunciation Guide: The Informed Obscenity "Przewalski" gets thrown around a lot before the story states that it's pronounced "Chevalski", (while also revealing that Silver Spoon has been pronouncing it phonetically). Gets a Call Back when Silver Spoon corrects Diamond Tiara's pronunciation of it, which is even more horrid.
A pronunciation guide is provided for the names of the goddesses Annihilara, Kolassa, Okapiopteryx, and Sørmur dï Mitgaeard, though quite some time after they are all introduced.
Something of a hint is provided in Legend when it's mentioned that Soledad's name has to be mispronounced to rhyme with "bad".
Nothing Is Scarier: The Beast is only seen in bits and pieces—literally, as he's been chopped up and only some of his parts found. When seen alive in Legend of the Goddesses, he is shrouded in darkness and we see no part of him we haven't seen before. When Discord conjures up an illusion of him, his appearance is barely described.
Odd Name Out: The members of Przewalski, the OC rock band featured in the story, are named Ryu, Nyu, Kyu, and Magnolia.
Oh My Gods!: Variants on the common "oh my Celestia" are used. Celestia herself, meanwhile, has responded to a shock by saying "Oh myHasbro!"
Gilda: You know, where I come from, the ecosystem pretty much takes care of itself. Fluttershy: (giggle) Yes, so I've heard. I had to be told that the way it works in Equestria, requiring guidance and nurturing from ponies, isn't the norm. In most places, the flora, fauna, and weather work independently. Though it's not just Equestria, it's anywhere with a strong pony influence. I guess there's something about us.
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.
Physical God: Celestia and Luna are not unique in this respect; they are part of a group collectively known simply as "the goddesses".
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.
Psychic Link: Discord and Celestia have been mentally linked for a thousand years.
The Rant: Both versions contain some pretty lengthy ones, with those on deviantART serving as something of a look back.
Recursive Fanfiction: To Snowdrop. Luna spends much of Part Two attempting to make a Bio Pic of Snowdrop's life. 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 Pinkie Pie and the story's main character, here called Bonny Blu.
Red Baron: Kolassa is "Titaness of the Whispering Desert", and Okapiopteryx is "the Four-Winged Queen". Legend of the Goddesses also features repeated use of "vampire queen of the seaponies" and "lords of flames and terror", though these titles aren't capitalized as the first two are. Sørmur dï Mitgaeard is also called "Serpent of the Matrix", though this is said to be a translation of her name rather than a title. The trope is lampshaded by Annihilara.
Annihilara: I'm Annihilara. No title, no "of" anything, just Annihilara.
Red Eyes, Take Warning: Crazyface seems to avert this at first—red eyes aren't unheard of in ponies—but it's quickly revealed that he came to deserve those eyes by being one of the most savage and unforgivable characters in the story.
The Reveal: Many. A couple of bombshells are dropped at the climax of Part One, first that Twilight's boyfriend is a master criminal at large and is even now on his way to steal the crown jewels of Equestria—with more and more Reveals about his true nature coming as the story continues. Part One's denouement gives us another: Gilda has a bloodthirsty changeling imprisoned in her basement, and it's he who produces Golden Thread.
Part Two's biggest ones are the unveiling of the real Big Bad, Sørmur dï Mitgaeard, Discord being returned to life to protect the Elements of Harmony from her, and the exact relationship that exists between the two.
Rhymes on a Dime: Zecora, as usual. It is explained that this is a mental discipline practiced by her religion. Taken Up to Eleven by her goddess herself, Queen Okapiopteryx, who, to set an example, speaks entirely in limericks.
Rule of Perception: A few teeny-tiny Reveals are set up by concealing details from the readers. In Chapter 17, Fluttershy and Big Macintosh have a conversation which is eventually revealed to be taking place 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 casually asks why Rainbow Dash is there as well.
Running Gag: Several, most notably the one in which Rainbow Dash baits Applejack with a comment about the latter being a hillbilly—usually but not always related to inbreeding—to which Applejack responds with a Pie in the Face.
Like any young writer, I've been told a couple of times that I overuse the word "said", and should try replacing it with more colorful alternatives. As I write this story, I'm starting to realize that I'm finally running into the opposite problem: using the "colorful alternatives" too often to the point that it's douchey and pretentious. Pretty cool, huh? I've never been douchey and pretentious before. That's what they call growth as a writer.
Self-Deprecation: Scootaloo frequently makes jokes that disparage her own intelligence. Played for Drama, meanwhile, with Rarity, whose depression makes her unable to see the good in herself.
Then there's Supa Supa Bad Truly Mad Moves himself, whose rants are sometimes light-hearted and sometimes outright suicidal but almost always self-deprecating in some way. The subjects include the story being too long, the chapters being too short, the story being obsolete ever since Season 3 started, the story's lackluster readership, the liberties he takes with economics and math, his own status as a Basement-Dweller, and that he's a...
Annihilara as well, who concludes an ominous farewell with "Lates, yo" and enters the Gathering of the Goddesses with "What up, my immortal bitches?"
Spell My Name with an S: Skippmud takes the time to point out that her name is spelled with two P's and one D, likely in response to frequent misspellings on the part of the reviewers.
A few characters fall victim to common misspellings of their names: Big Macintosh instead of Big McIntosh, Fancypants instead of Fancy Pants, Owloysius instead of Owlowiscious. At least Princess Cadance was spared.
Stalking Is Love: The actions of both of Twilight's love interestscould be interpreted as stalking her, and yet she finds the revelations of such to be 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. Word of God admits a few times that it wasn't the best idea.
Terrible Trio: Vorpal Blade, Skippmud, and Crazyface are both the story's most prominent villains and an inseparable trio of True Companions.
Verbal Tic: DJ P0n-3, ahhh yeah. Also Celestia whenever she's addressing Twilight; her statements are peppered with various pet names, "darling" and "dearest" being the most common.
The Voiceless: Featherweight, as in the series. Though numerous ponies describe conversations they've had with him—he's even been the lead in two musicals—he never speaks onscreen. Lampshaded when the narrative finds him and Sweetie Belle in the middle of a conversation, and she demands to know why he's suddenly stopped talking.
Walking Spoiler: It's immensely hard to talk about Snicker-Snack without mentioning that he's a villain whose name is actually Vorpal Blade. Even a single mention of the latter's name gives away the connection for anyone who's familiar with Jabberwocky.
Silver Spoon is similarly insecure about her own cutie mark: it symbolizes that she's meant to be a servant or sidekick to a friend.
World Building: Begins near the end of Part One, with a few veiled references to the world's history. Starts hitting its stride in Part Two, with the exploration of the past and the numerous countries and cultures outside of Equestria. Legend of the Goddesses is almost entirely about this.
Adult Fear: The revelation that Crazyface is a serial pedophile, who has been working with school-age ponies on their school play. Seeing him alone with Apple Bloom after this is revealed is chilling.
Rainbow Dash: Running away, are you? That's cute, that you think you can get away from me. Even with my bad wing and your fancy magic horseshoes—which, by the way, I designed—you can't outpace me. Nopony can.I'm Rainbow Dash, bitch.
And further along:
Vorpal Blade: You're not gonna be so arrogant as to compare yourself to Celestia, are you? Twilight: Not at all. Except in the sense that I'm the one she calls when everything goes to hell.
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.
Foreshadowing: The entrance to Gilda's basement is hidden by a tapestry depicting an armored griffon and several chickens. In Part Two, the tapestry's imagery turns out to be significant to Gilda's backstory.
Hammerspace: Among the many items Venni can produce from her pockets without hesitation are a wrecking ball and a hang-glider.
The "I Love You" Stigma: Fluttershy tells Big Mac she loves him; when he fails to respond in kind, she kicks him out of bed. The next morning, he says it in writing, and finally manages it out loud when they're ready to give that first time another try.
Made of Indestructium: One of Shining Armor's wedding gifts is a shield which is actually made of indestructium. As in, it's explicitly referred to as such.
Mundane Made Awesome: Fluttershy's Stare, while genuinely awesome, becomes this trope when Fluttershy describes it as her "awesome veterinary superpowers". Sweetie Belle's tireless study of magic enables her to... kill the lights.
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 cites the use of this trope in Chapter 2 as one of his biggest failings, as the readers took it as a simple Out-of-Character Moment, having not learned yet whether he could write the characters properly.
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.
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Of the "decided he'd make it happen" variety. Vorpal Blade has a prophecy that whenever he decides to steal the crown jewels, he will succeed. He doesn't take any chances; when he goes for it, he's extremely well-prepared and well-equipped. Because Destiny Says So has some sway, as a ceiling randomly collapses to his benefit (he mentions that odd stuff like that happens often), and when he faces Celestia and Luna again in Part Three, he's significantly less powerful.
Their First Time: Occurs between Twilight and Snicker-Snack, and Fluttershy and Big Mac. The two relationships contrast each other: Twilight's occurs first even though Fluttershy and Mac get together much earlier in the story; Fluttershy's is planned out carefully, cancelled once, and only allowed to happen after a declaration of love, whereas Twilight's is spontaneous and the "I love yous" come some time later. Neither is presented as better than the other.
The Worf Effect: Vorpal Blade effortlessly takes out three royal guards, Luna, Shining Armor, and Celestia, in that order, before being almost defeated by Twilight.
A Million Is a Statistic: Averted hard. Twilight implements a plan to destroy the changeling hive, which will kill what she estimates to be three thousand changelings, and all of the Mane Six are disturbed by the notion, but agree to do what they must. When Twilight is revealed to have underestimated the population of the hive by about twenty-two thousand, the Mane Six have a jointHeroic BSOD.
Author Appeal: The fanfiction term for this trope, "pepperjack cheese", is name-dropped by Spike when Twilight expresses her fondness for soft pretzels and what they mean to her on a deep personal level.
Bee People: The changelings are explicitly compared to social insects, and the full extent of the comparison zig-zags. First, they live in a hive and have three genders - male, female, and queen - however, there appear to exist social complexities and hierarchies beyond that, with mentions of noble and commoner classes presumably consisting entirely of females. Males are used as slave labor until sexually viable at which point, like real social insect males, they mate until they die, but rather than with the queen, this happens with "as many females as possible". The worker females can reproduce as well, so Chrysalis is not the mother of the entire colony, and is indeed implied to have no offspring of her own. Finally, Chrysalis being the colony's lone queen is theorized to be a matter of personal preference rather than the race's social structure.
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.
Breakup Makeup Scenario: Big Mac and Fluttershy break up in Chapter 45 and get back together in Chapter 88. They don't interact with each other much between the breakup and the makeup, but we see how it affects them both.
Broken Bird: Twilight after her experience with Vorpal Blade. She refers to the trope by name.
Rainbow Dash: Wait, did you just admit that you're evil? Queen Chrysalis: Hmm? Oh, yes, I suppose so. It's been said that my ultimate goal of collecting food for my people is, in fact, a righteous and heroic cause for a queen to take, but if I'm being honest with myself, I have to admit that that's not my motivation at all. I just like undermining the dignity of every sentient creature I come across. I like to see them writhe in pain. I like to hear their screams. I like to see the look on a creature's face when they know there's no hope left in the world. If all of that qualifies as evil, then fine, I'm certifiably evil and immensely proud of it.
Cerebus Retcon: Gilda reveals that, in "Griffon the Brush Off", she was fleeing her country and came to Rainbow Dash looking for a place to stay. As we all know, it ended badly and she was left with nowhere to go.
Twilight: …This may hurt. And not the least bit because it's going to be a huge pack of clichés… Joe: Um, okay… Twilight: I'm still a bit of a broken bird after what happened with Vorpal Blade. I had a great time tonight, but I'm not ready for another relationship. I think we should just be friends. Joe: That wasn't too many clichés. At least you didn't say you had a fear of intimacy…
Darkest Hour: The final arc of Part Two has the Mane Six going on a mission to stop the changelings. Cocoon captures them and Discord abandons them to their fate. The following chapter gets even darker, with Discord joining Chrysalis and giving her a plan for taking over Equestria. Even after this plot is over, Chrysalis and Discord are still out there, the six are in a Heroic BSOD from all the death they caused, and on top of that they find out that Celestia and Luna have left Equestria on a dangerous mission. Thus ends Part Two.
De-power / Power Nullifier: Discord has the Elements of Harmony drilled into his spine, which prevent him from doing "anything the slightest bit chaotic", which covers most of the applications of his powers as well as things like lying and cheating. Note that he's not Brought Down to Normal so much as he is Brought Down To Physical God; he disdainfully compares his new capabilities to Celestia's.
Exact Words: Discord can't lie and must obey all orders from Celestia and Twilight. Being Discord, this trope naturally comes into play.
Faeries Don't Believe in Humans Either: Lyra's obsession with mythical humans remains intact—albeit with a creepy and sinister twist, like everything else about her and Bon Bon's characterization. Twilight, as usual, is a skeptic.
Failed Attempt at Drama: Derpy attempts to dramatically remove her wedding dress, only to get stuck inside it and need help getting out.
Flanderization: Invoked in-universe with Rarity's impersonation of Rainbow Dash:
Queen Chrysalis as well. She makes her in-story debut during Part Two's climax, and things get very bleak during that segment.
Malicious Misnaming: Sweetie Belle's affectionate Fan Nickname of "Squeaky Belle" gets put in Diamond Tiara's mouth and suddenly becomes a harsh insult. In addition, Gilda calls Discord "Zipcord", though as she had previously been established as having trouble with names this one could just as easily have been Accidental Misnaming.
Oh Crap: Twilight has a huge one when Celestia mentions that the previous story arc's use of Vagueness Is Coming did not refer to the heist of the castle, but to something even bigger.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Rainbow Dash really digs into Big Macintosh after they spent the first few minutes of their date in total silence:
Rainbow Dash: So why'd you break up with Fluttershy, dick? Big Macintosh: Excuse me? Rainbow Dash: Is this how you act on a date? You really think that's gonna fly? I hope you realize that nopony is ever gonna love you. You get that, right? 'Cause you're weird, and you're boring, and you used to be cute but now you're just creepy and old! But against all odds, Fluttershy saw into your heart, from the first time you met, and she liked what she saw. 'Cause, I don't know, maybe she's crazy! But she's the best thing that ever happened to you, and what are you doing now, exactly? You're moving on? Yeah, good luck with that, you idiot. (bonks him on the head) Big Macintosh:Ow. Well, what do you want me to do? Rainbow Dash: You get out of here and you BEG HER TO TAKE YOU BACK!(beats him over the head repeatedly) Big Macintosh: This was supposed to be a date. Rainbow Dash: Yeah, well, that was a mistake. My mistake. How could I believe I loved you? I don't love you. You're thoroughly unlovable. Except for when you're with Fluttershy. I'm outta here. Have a nice life, if you can call it that.
Runaway Bride: Derpy runs out on her wedding to be with Rainbow Dash.
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.
She Is All Grown Up: Mildly; Scootaloo hits a growth spurt early in Part Two, gaining a physique matching the description of young Fluttershy.
Rarity: If you have time for new reading material, I would instead recommend the stick-figure comics she mentioned. Once you get past the slew of obscure gaming references, the characterization really does capture your heart. High art.
The Worf Effect: In Annihilara's first appearance, she appears to be sent packing by Trixie and her adventuring team, then proves that she's been Just Toying with Them when she runs into an Ursa Major on her way out and kills it instantly.
Wrong Name Outburst: Twilight accidentally addresses Joe as "Snick" during a tender moment. He's more accepting of it than she is.
Yank the Dog's Chain: When Rarity encounters Fancypants at the Bazaar, there's a Hope Spot of her getting into a relationship and starting to recover from her depression. He ends up dating Pinkie Pie instead.
Rainbow Dash mentions a song which goes "hi hi hi" and another that goes "papaya pa pa payapa", referencing the first two theme songs of the Japanese dub of FIM.
Villain Decay: Vorpal Blade admitted that this would happen when he first escaped at the end of Part One, as he would no longer be affected by the prophecy that guaranteed his success. Sure enough, when he battles Celestia and Luna at the beginning of Part Three, he can hold his own but can no longer one-shot them.
Legend of the Goddesses
Adaptational Villainy: A minor example with Star Swirl the Bearded, who is responsible for the unicorns extorting food from the earth pony nation, and in a roundabout manner, for ponies shunning the night, turning Luna into Nightmare Moon.
Affably Evil: Kane and Boll, though the most openly evil of the Old Gods, are also the friendliest. Really, all of the Old Gods qualify; they may not be good, but they're certainly nice.
Alternate Universe Fic: Being a prequel of RFE, which uses a Season 2-based continuity, nearly all backstory introduced after Season 2 is ignored. In particular, the Season 4 premiere rendered nearly the entire story obsolete. It uses a lot of Fanon from early in the show's run: in particular, Celestia is uniformly pink and Luna has her de-powered Season 1 appearance.
Anachronic Order: Legend jumps between six different stories, each taking place in a different time period.
Awesome McCoolname: Discord compliments Thunderblast on his impressive name. The story is full of these; in Celestia and Luna's story alone, we have Gaia, Tempest, Ragnarok, Xanadu, and Witchlight. Clearly, alicorns have a thing for such names. Dignity Omega is another standout.
Bad Boss: Khan, the king of the serpents, is also a king of this trope. In the space of two paragraphs, he uses two of his closest subordinates as a shield against a Breath Weapon, uses handfuls of smaller serpents as knuckle-dusters, and shoves another handful of his subjects down his opponent's throat.
Battle Aura: Alicorns are surrounded by one of these at all times. This trait of the race, which goes back to when the entire pony species was young, seems to vanish during the generations that pass during Celestia and Luna's story. By the time Celestia and Luna gain the throne of Equestria, they no longer have their auras.
Big Sister Bully: Celestia, and how. Her mistreatment of Luna starts when they're children and continues for hundreds of years.
Blasphemous Boast: Celestia goads Luna into declaring "We rule the sun and moon." The actual being in charge of that, Queen Stellaris, immediately appears before them, and punishes them for it by actually giving them that responsibility, without making them immortal.
Breakup Makeup Scenario: A platonic example with Soledad and Jolly. They go through this three times onscreen and at least as many times between appearances.
The Caligula: Queen Soledad, mildly. Rather than being insane or violent, the most common statement about her is that she never does anything. Princess Bubbles is a straighter example, spending all of her time staring at the crown jewels and killing anypony who causes her to look away. In RFE, Discord claims that Bubbles' mother and predecessor Princess Platinum was this as well—and then, needless to say, there's Discord himself when he takes Bubbles' throne. Celestia averts it; despite her horrible behavior elsewhere, she's implied to be a decent ruler. Then there are the Old Gods, who are a bit unhinged and have a massive sense of entitlement—basically, there are a whole lot of Caligulas in this story.
Catch Phrase: After mentioning his name, Fork always adds, "I'm a pixie pony."
Charles Atlas Superpower: Spyder trains Kolassa in this practice. As a very young filly, Kolassa is able to shatter incoming weapons with her head, and as an adult can engage an opponent fifty feet tall in Good Old Fisticuffs, all through sheer willpower. Being a demigod might have something to do with it.
The Chessmaster: Fork begins behaving this way, maneuvering every event in the goddesses' lives toward what is supposed to happen.
Cluster F-Bomb: Chapter 17 opens with a warning that that lone chapter is rated M. This turns out to be why.
Companion Cube: Fork regularly talks to the sapphire on his charm bracelet.
Continuity Nod: Many events and bits of world-building, referenced in RFE, are seen in their entirety here.
Curse Escape Clause: Mitgaeard curses Discord to lose all of his magical powers until he becomes a king. It takes him almost 98,000 years to pull it off, and even then he's powerless outside the borders of his kingdom.
Dark Is Not Evil: Fork attempts to induce Luna's transformation into Nightmare Moon by reminding her of this to make her embrace The Dark Side. It fails, and the transformation instead occurs by Luna's inner darkness taking on a life of its own and attacking her.
Domestic Abuse: Bogglesby's treatment of Kopé is patterned after psychological abuse from a parent or romatic partner. In particular, her attempts to stand up for herself are met with reminders that he is all she has, and that she has nowhere else to go.
Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal: Averted; Kane and Boll pulling this trope on Rhea Strait is treated as an appropriately horrible deed. They first change shape to pose as Rhea's husband, and when she doesn't fall for it they outright Mind Rape her into believing it for long enough to let them impregnate her.
Early-Bird Cameo: Numerous characters and events from this story were mentioned briefly in RFE before being seen in their entirety in this story.
Eldritch Abomination: The Old Gods seem to fit this trope more than Physical God. Stellaris is the only one whose appearance can be easily defined, and the twins Hukwurm and Shifter don't even have a consistent appearance.
Eldritch Location: The Sea of Stars, homeworld of Song Li and the changelings, is seen briefly.
End of an Age: During Celestia and Luna's childhood, they live in a village populated entirely by alicorns, and all alicorns possess a Battle Aura which surrounds them at all times. Four hundred years later, for no explained reason, alicorns are nearly extinct and those who do live no longer have auras.
Enemy Mine: The serpents and gargoyles join forces to build Tartaros and imprison Mitgaeard there. If their leaders are any indication, it's Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.
Expy: Kane and Boll are essentially Discord if he had two heads. Their body implements Fashionable Asymmetry (in particular, note their feet: one hoof and one talon, just like Discord), and their Mind Rape of Kolassa's mother is very similar to what Discord did to Fluttershy in "The Return of Harmony Part 1", and their overall playful, theatrical, Affably Evil demeanor matches Discord's to a tee. In-Universe, Discord admits that he may have made himself an expy of them.
Fertile Hooves: Celestia and Luna's mother, Gaia, leaves a trail of grass, flowers, and pollen wherever she goes. It's said that she can even pull this off on a paved road. This trait is first foreshadowed in an early chapter of RFE.
Four Lines, All Waiting: There are six distinct stories, chronologically from oldest to youngest: Sørmur dï Mitgaeard and Discord (tens of thousands to millions of years ago); Soledad (around 2000 years ago); Celestia, Luna, and Annihilara (starting 1400 years ago); Kolassa (1000); Kopé/Okapiopteryx (700); and Song Li (300). As of Chapter 31, the first four stories have somewhat blended together, as they all now inhabit the same time period of around 1000 years ago.
Hidden Depths: Ragnarok and Xanadu appear to be your basic Alpha Bitch with The Ditz sidekick, but they actually seem to grow more mature as they get older, which is more than can be said for Celestia, Luna, and Annihilara.
How We Got Here: The prologue features snippets of various scenes from the goddesses' (and Discord's) lives, and the rest of the story serves to contextualize those moments, some at the very beginnings of their stories and others much later.
Ignored Epiphany: Celestia, repeatedly. She obviously sincerely bonds with Luna—otherwise the Elements of Harmony wouldn't work—but once their mission is over she pretends it was all an act and resumes treating Luna like dirt. Hundreds of years later, Discord's Mind Rape and Hannibal Lecture give her a pretty clear and traumatic look at herself, but once he's defeated she acts as if she was entirely unaffected.
Kissing Cousins: Princess Bubbles and Prince Dragonglass. Understandable, as they're royalty who live a thousand years before the present timeline. Discord's dialogue indicates that such a thing is perfectly normal in their society, but his personal recommendation is to avoid it, as he's seen what happens when such a thing keeps going for multiple generations.
Last of His Kind: Evade is the last leviathan. Minister Giorgi is the last Megaloceros, being the only child of the last pair. If the Old Gods are truly gone, an idea which is met with skepticism throughout both stories, the Beast is the last of that group as well.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: Depending on whether you read RFE or Legend first, a few surprises from the other story will be spoiled for you.
Loads And Loads OfOriginal Characters: The Rant at the beginning of the story refers to a "cast of thousands". The only canon characters who appear are Celestia, Luna, Discord, Philomena, and a few brief mentions of canon historical figures. Snowdrop also appears; all others are the author's OCs.
The Mermaid Problem: Averted; Soledad is one of the only characters in the story with an actively-explored sex life, so apparently the seaponies are mammalian enough to avert this.
Mythology Gag: Seaponies have been peripheral characters in MLP's earlier generations and some G4 Expanded Universe material. Fork, described as a pixie pony, resembles previous-generation Breezies (he predates the G4 Breezies).
Our Vampires Are Different: Soledad. She doesn't sleep, eat, or breathe, and is hurt by direct sunlight. While she drinks blood, it doesn't seem to be necessary for her survival, as she doesn't even discover she's a vampire until the same moment the readers do, when she's already been one for four years.
The Rant: Averted. While RFE contains many rants, Legend has only one, at the end of the prologue, which explains that there will be no further rants in order to provide the readers with complete immersion.
Hukwurm: You don't like isopods? How do you feel about trilobites?
Ship Tease: There are hints in later chapters that Discord and Shifter were an item.
Shout-Out: The place names in Song Li's story have Punny Names in the style of the horse puns of the series, being deer puns derived from places in HBO shows: her country is Westeroceros, and her hometown Fawn Temps. Celestia and Luna's hometown Ribbondale is clearly named after Rivendell.
That Man Is Dead: Discord eventually develops this attitude about Accord, going so far as to say "I hate that guy" when Mitgaeard brings him up in RFE. Mitgaeard herself seems to also regard them as two separate people.
Time Abyss: The Old Gods. Stellaris states that some of them predate the world itself. It takes them seven million years to notice that Mitgaeard exists, and when Discord mentions he's almost a million years old, they laugh him off as young and stupid.
Voluntary Shapeshifting: Hukwurm is The Swarm, but what exactly he's a swarm of changes wildly with his mood; seemingly, any sort of invertebrate is up for grabs. His sister Shifter's shapeshifting is less voluntary—she changes every few seconds, her options being every creature she's ever seen, and she has a small level of control over her next shape if not her transformations, as evidenced when she cycles through a few faces from Soledad's past.