Abusive Parents: Hurricane's mother Star Saber treated him horribly, due to his being a colt. His response to seeing her dead body frozen in the snow after the Warming was to laugh, and he has no regrets about it.
The laughter may be less due to her finally being dead (at ninety-two), and more from the fact she was evidently defending a crate of food... That was empty.
Action Mom: Hurricane placed Pansy and her son Plow Blade under house arrest during the Winter War while he went to go kill her lover. When the guards ignored her polite requests to stand down and let her leave, she knocked them out. Then she tracked down her father and fought him to a standstill until he let go of his hatred.
A God Am I: By the time of the Lake Trot Crisis, Sullamander was having all Academy cadets trained to view her practically as a deity. After her death, her remaining loyalists referred to her as the "Eternal Commander" and seemed convinced she would return from the dead to lead them again.
All There in the Manual: Any extra bits that would be awkward in the main narrative are usually posted by the author in the comments section.
As noted above, this is also the purpose of Brief History: Side Stories.
Almighty Janitor: Private Pansy actively refused several promotions before the Chiefs of Staff insisted she become Hurricane's second because she was competent and he wouldn't knock her up like the previous ones.
Bad Boss: Sullamander. She killed General Thistle Whistle for questioning one of her new laws, and threatened the other Chiefs-Of-Staff with the same to keep them in line. And she gets worse during her final days, due to suffering a Villainous Breakdown.
Badass: Private Pansy, of all ponies. Star-Swirl as well.
Badass Beard: Along with having one himself, this was a very important thing the stallion that Clover married needed to have by Star-Swirl's standards. Fortunately, Hurricane delivers.
Bodyguard Betrayal: In the last Unicorn civil war many nobles were murdered by their own guards, saving Princess Platinum the trouble of a long and drawn out civil war.
Bothering by the Book: Wind Whistler cuts off Sullamander's tyrannical decries, and even threatens to kill her (both considered insubordination and treason respectively in the Junta, and both punishable by death), but then she points out how Sullamander's actions are considered treasonous by the Articles of Command, and shows where it describes the manner she will kill Sullamander if she doesn't back down.
The Caligula: CHANCELLOR PUDDINGHEAD. She managed to get elected via youth vote, and died shortly after Hearth's Warming via a stupid dare. To complete the reference to Caligula, many of her family were named after the man's family members. Fortunately, she's relatively harmless.
Became a Cincinnatus after the Warming, when she stood down from her position and spent the last years of her life throwing parties to help interracial relations.
Commander Sullamander was this played seriously, to the point that General Wind Whistler was able to lead roughly two-thirds of the entire Celestine military against her in a coup when things reached a boiling point.
The Pop Culture version of Princess Platinum is one in verse of her whole court.
Puddinghead, as noted above, is primarily based on Caligula, but Word of God is that certain aspects of her character were also based on Joshua Norton.
Cool Old Lady: Implied with Platinum's later years, as her death at the age of sixty came as a result of a spelunking accident. Then we find out it was actually suicide disguised as an accident, but as it was the final stroke of a lifetime of manipulation for the greater good, one can say that she was still cool.
Crazy-Prepared: King Aurum's sister Osmium had protective magical jewels sown into all of her clothes just in case of assassination attempts. Sadly, this failed to protect her during the nobility's purge of the royal family.
Critical Research Failure: In-Universe — it's apparently common in fiction to portray Viscount Arsenic as Lady Cripps' father (the one who abandoned her and her mother after her birth) because of their rivalry prior to and during the Lake Trot Crisis. This despite the fact that he would have been all of two years old at the time.
Cruel Mercy: After his mother tried and failed to lead a counter-coup against him, Hurricane spared her the executions bestowed on her comrades; not out of familial obligation, but because he wanted her to live with her failure. On top of that, he removed almost all reference to said coup, denying her even any infamy for the role she played in it.
Determinator: Wind Whistler, from the moment she decided Sullamander should be overthrown all the way to her death at Sullamander's hooves. Even her death did not stop her, since by then Sullamander was doomed.
This seems to be the way Hurricane approached everything in his life, whether it was fighting as a slave in the Coltiseum, bedding his 1000th conquest, or forging three disparate, bickering tribes into the new nation of Equestria. It's no wonder that he and Wind Whistler made such a good team.
Driven to Suicide: During the Lake Trot Crisis/Celestine Civil War, a miscommunication led to General Downpour launching an attack on fellow rebels that claimed the life of her colleague and friend General Torrent. When she realized what had happened, she appointed her adjunct leader of her forces and then slit her own throat. (The author's notes specifically compare this to seppukku.)
Edible Ammunition: One of the many Earth Pony abilities is the capacity to weaponize baked goods.
Emotion Eater: The Windigos, of course, though the story goes into detail on how it works.
The Empire: The Griffin Empire for most of Equestria's pre-unification days.
Enemy Mine: Wind Whistler recruited help from Star-Swirl and several unicorns loyal to him to assist in her coup against Sullamander.
Epic Fail: The Kingdom of Unicorns in the Lake Trot Crisis ended up taking way worse losses than the other tribes.
Star-Swirl's Winter Emergency Summit was planned to last a week, with preparations to last longer if necessary. The Shouting Congress, as it became known to history, lasted twenty minutes.
As opposed to her son Hurricane, Star Saber's life is just one failure after another.
Ethical Slut: Yep, it's Hurricane. According to both Clover and Platinum.
Everypony Can See It: It seems all the other Founders were well aware of the attraction between Hurricane and Clover long before they began their relationship.
Flanderization: Happens In-Universe to most of the historical founders, but especiallyPansy, and Princess Platinum's real personality isn't even remembered by pony culture. Puddinghead however was toned down in pony culture, being even more insane than what we saw in Hearth's Warming Eve. Is there a Trope for Reverse Flanderization?
While Fluttershy is a direct descendant of PansyWord of God states that Pansy's personality was more like Rainbow Dash's. The thing is even Dash would have been considered timid by the standards of the Pegasi of that era!
Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Unicorns was forged by then Grand Archduke Æthelric the Stern of Two Dozen Sons, forcing the lesser Lords to swear fealty to him to prevent open war amongst all the other Unicorn rulers.
General Failure: Sullamander is not as competent a Commander as she would like to think.
Genius Bruiser: Several, but most prominently General Wind Whistler, who feels just as comfortable debating the finer points of Celestine constitutional jurisprudence as she does ramming a spear through your head.
Got Volunteered: Poor Smart Cookie. Twice — first to be Puddinghead's Secretary, then to be the Equestrian Republic's first Premier.
Great Big Book of Everything: Well, more like "Great Big Book of Laws," but the Articles of Command (the full bound version at least) is described as 20x8 inches, consists of over 1600 pages, weighs forty pounds, and has 300 articles at least (the US Constitution has 7, not counting any that may be in the the 27 amendments), which covers (among other things one would assume) in no uncertain terms was is considered inside and outside the Commander's powers, and what to do when a Commander shows signs of turning into a Tyrant, right down to the methods of execution and how to dispose of the body. Not bad for a Stratocracy.
Happily Married: Hurricane may, arguably, have slept with more mares, and fathered more ponies, than any other stallion in Equestria's long history (it is estimated that 1-in-7 Pegasi are descended from him). But once Hurricane married Clover the Clever, no one could dispute that they were utterly devoted to each other. They enjoyed more than forty years of marital bliss which ended only upon his peaceful death of extreme old age, with his loving wife right at his side.
Head Desk: Platiunim does this with a tree when her nobles are being overly dramatic and whiny on the way to a new land, as recorded by Clover the Clever:
When I inquired as to her intent, she simply said that she was looking for the densest tree in the forest. I inquired as to why she needed such a tree, but I was ignored. Finding a tree that evidently served her purposes to a sufficient amount, the Princess reared up onto the trunk and began to smite the tree with her cranium...
Heroic Bastard: Lady Cripps the Pink of the Hyracotherium Republic. The result of an affair her mother had with a Unicorn noble (who left her shortly after), Cripps eventually became a national hero by leading Hyracotherium forces to victory in the Lake Trot Crisis.
Humble Pie: Hurricane gets a big slice when, after a lifetime of looking down on Earth Ponies, he spends his retirement years running a farm and realizing what hard work it is.
I Did What I Had to Do: How Platinum justified to herself her more unsavory actions, such as purging the royal court or assassinating Grand Duke Benzatine, performed for the sake of a united and stable Equestria.
Ill Girl: Platinum's mother, Queen Argentum, suffered from Haemophilia.
To date, not a single pony has come up with anything negative to say about the Windigos' extinction.
Kicked Upstairs: Any noble who joined the Equestrian Republic's House of Lords. The Founders only created it alongside the Congress and Senate to shut the complaining nobles up, and it had no real legislative power. It's even referred to in-story as a "country club without the country".
Legend Fades to Myth: Almost everything known about Star-Swirl before becoming King Aurum's Court Mage.
To a lesser extent, Sullamander's last days. Between her executing Generals Bridle Chomper and Haymaker and her final fight with Hurricane and Pansy, it's unsure what she did, with various reports of different atrocities she performed in her madness (many of which are attributed to Hurricane-era propaganda).
Make It Look Like an Accident: The official account presented in the main story is that Grand Duke Benzatine (who nearly succeeded in uniting the Unicorn nobility towards pushing for Equestria being a kingdom) died from alcohol poisoning due to drinking too much at a ball. A side story reveals that in actuality, Platinum had him poisoned for threatening her plans for a democratic Equestria.
Hell, Platinum did this with her own death, to the point even her own inner circle thought it was an accident.
Matriarchy: The Celestine Junta is Patriarchy Flip variety, with stallions considered lower class citizens and worth less than mares.
May-December Romance: Commander Hurricane and Clover the Clever eventually marry. At the time of their marriage: He's sixty-two. She's twenty-six.
Mêlée à Trois: The Lake Trot Crisis started as the Celestine Junta attacking the Hyracotherium Republic and Kingdom of Unicorns for control of said lake. Then Wind Whistler kicked off her coup, which led to the troops loyal to her attacking those loyal to Sullamander; both the Earth Ponies and Unicorns decided to take advantage of this to take more territory for themselves, and started attacking each other as well as the Pegasi.
The Winter War wasn't supposed to be one of these — nominally, the Republic and Kingdom were allied against the Junta. However, only the Royal army obeyed that; the nobility's mercenary forces splintered, with only some fighting the Junta, some fighting the Republic, and some fighting everyone for the sake of riches.
This is the reason Pansy was, against her vehement wishes, appointed his second-in-command. He had literally knocked up every second-in-command he had ever had. Pansy was appointed his second because she had both the needed qualifications to serve as his second-in-command. The first is that she was good at her job. The second, and considered more important by the higher-ups, is that she was somepony that Commander Hurricane would refuse to have sex with, by virtue of being his daughter.
Mythology Gag: Many of the important historical figures are named after ponies from previous generations.
The narrator mentions that while Hurricane named his daughter, Pansy, after a flower he had taken a liking to, the actual flower had been a posey. Posey is Fluttershy's earlier-generation precursor, just as Pansy is her historical precursor.
Dream Valley, the central location of G1, is presented as being another valley in the same river valley as the tribes, becomes a protectorate of the Celestine Junta, and later evacuates with them to the new homeland.
My God, What Have I Done?: Smart Cookie is horrified when she realizes that the plans she helped Puddinghead draw up for colonizing a new homeland will mean effectively leaving the other tribes to slow death by starvation and hypothermia.
Necessarily Evil: Platinum was under no delusions that she was a good pony; doing horrible things for the greater good of Equestria took a horrible toll on her emotionally, and in her final moments she was convinced both that her father and Star Swirl would have been disappointed in her, and that she'd be facing eternal damnation]
Nerds Are Sexy: Commander Hurricane certainly thought so. Of the two mares he genuinely fell in love with, the first, General Wind Whistler, was a brilliant military tactician who graduated first in her class in the Military Academy and led the revolt against the tyrant Sullamander. As for the second, Clover the Clever, she was the Head Royal Adviser to the Kingdom of Unicorns, had a photographic memory, and provided much of the intellectual and philosophical foundation for the founding of Equestria.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Winter War ultimately only happened because of Hurricane's racism and overprotectiveness. However, as the author points out, this ultimately also led to Hearth's Warming and the founding of Equestria, thus making it a subverted trope.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Sullamander thought that by killing the only general on her Joint Chiefs-of-Staff who outright opposed her, she could cow the Staff into doing whatever she wanted. Instead the General that replaced her was Wind Whistler, who proceeded to No Sell Sullamander's nonsense and pointed out how the the Articles of Command allowed her to kill the Commander for her actions if she didn't back off.
Non-Indicative Name: The Wet Hooves Massacre four years after the Warming. It was a brief scuffle between a young, stuck up noble and some pegasi who didn't like him messing with some friends of theirs who used to be his family's serfs, but his version of events and the resulting gossip retellings made it sound much worse.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Smart Cookie does this in order to manipulate Puddinghead into being relatively sane.
This was also the key to Platinum's manipulation of the nobility.
The Obi-Wan: Star-Swirl was this to many of the Founders.
Oh Crap: The Windigos have a big one when they see Hurricane giving up his hate. Clover finds it satisfying.
The One Guy: Hurricane was the only stallion among the founders.
Operation Blank: The Celestine Junta's plan for colonizing and relocating to a new land was codenamed Operation Withdrawal.
Poor Communication Kills: During the Lake Trot Crisis/Celestine Civil War, a message meant for loyalist General Haymaker instead ended up in possession of General Downpour, who ended up launching an attack that claimed the life of her friend and fellow rebel General Torrent. When she realized what she had done, she killed herself.
Protectorate: Dream Valley became one to the Junta, providing the Pegasi with food in exchange for protection. Hurricane even ordered that all the Dream Valley ponies (even the Unicorns and Earth Ponies) be brought with them to the new homeland once it was settled. Though, pragmatically speaking, that was more for using them to grow food than caring for them.
Puddinghead's Parrot: Puddinghead appointed her pet parrot speaker of the house, even after it died she had it stuffed and insisted it was still alive. Of course it could actually talk while alive, even if all it said was praises for its owner.
Puppet King: The Throne of the Kingdom of Unicorns has fallen far from the days of Æthelric. After some three-thousand years (give or take) of schemes and the occasional weak ruler, King Aurum and Platinum basically has to do what the Deadly Decadent Court wants, and it is no secret that they want to overthrow him and his family. And since Æthelric forced the Kingdom into existence to prevent all of the nobles from waging wars on each other, and the nobles haven't changed a bit… Well, let's just say that "implosion" would be a good word for a speculative Post-Royalty situation.
It's speculated that had Aurum been allowed to act on his own during the Shouting Congress, the summit might have worked. Instead, having to pander to the nobles' desires without getting a word in edgewise himself only infuriated Hurricane, which led to the Congress falling apart.
The Purge: Princess Platinum does one on her own court in the wake of Hearth's Warming.
A minor one occurred 30 years before Hearth's Warming when nearly all of the Unicorn royal family was slain ala the Romanovs, save the youngest prince, who went to Star-Swirl for aid.
Pyrrhic Victory: The conclusion of the Celestine Civil War: Sullamander is overthrown, but Wind Whistler is killed, Celestine itself lies in ruins, a large chunk of the population view Hurricane and the rebels as traitors unfit to rule, and Lake Trot, the objective which instigated the war, freezes over, rendering all the death and destruction pointless.
Sanity Slippage: Platinum suffered from this during the Winter War due to her plans for Unicornia falling apart. Clover had to lock her up in her chambers for her own good and take over the war effort. She broke out in time for the events leading to the Warming, and recovered after the Windigos were defeated.
Scars Are Forever: Hurricane's body is covered with scars from all the battles he's been in. The only one he bothers hiding (due to its location more than any shame of it) is the one on his scalp from where his mother smacked him on the head with a club.
Secret Keeper: Prior to Plow Blade's birth, the only pony who knew about Pansy and Trencher's relationship was her friend Shield Skin, who she even got to relay messages for them.
Shown Their Work: If you know a little history, you'll find that several real life historical figures and nations get referenced quite seamlessly.
Subverted with Luna's Foreword: K9 tried to make the text as close to Middle English as possible. While there are certainly elements of it and a close feel, no scholar would call it 100% accurate.
Sophisticated as Hell: When Hurricane demanded Trencher be handed over to him, Puddinghead responded with a formal letter that ended with a crude message and cruder drawing mocking the interracial couple.
Then there's the author's (that is to say, Twilight's) explanation of how Puddinghead contributed to The Shouting Congress' failure.
"Puddinghead was mother-bucking insane."
The Spymaster: Platinum set up and personally ran a spy network that monitored every noble, their families, and their servants in the Kingdom of Unicorns. And this network continued to operate during the formation of Equestria, at least up until Platinum's death.
That said, the actual title of Spymaster went to her Number Two stallion, Velvet Hooves.
Subordinate Excuse: It's speculated that the only reason Sullamander got the job of Mareinus' Second-In-Command, despite being militarily incompetent, is that they may have been lovers.
With application of Fridge Logic, the whole of the Celestine Junta's military had institutionalized this: An officer could choose Stallions from under her command for comfort. The stallion would be rewarded for strong foals born from such unions, especially if a filly was conceived. However, Mareinus and Sullamander's situation was…Unique.
To quote one reader: "Your bias is showing, Twilight."
Thanatos Gambit: Platinum's death was one of these. With no heir, all her wealth went to the State, and out of the hooves of the remaining unicorn nobles. Dealing them a blow that they were highly unlikely to recover from.
Too Dumb to Fool: Princess Platinum. Or at least that's what she likes the Nobles to assume.
Too Dumb to Live: Roughly half of the Unicorn nobility stayed behind when the river valley was evacuated because they couldn't stand the thought of abandoning their hordes of treasure. They all naturally froze to death.
Star Saber's little group of thirty who tried to counter-revolt against Hurricane failed because they tried to steal weapons from an empty armory... which was positioned next to an active mess hall... in the middle of the day. Hurricane found this hilarious.
Tranquil Fury: Hurricane, upon finding out that the father of Pansy's child is an Earth Pony.
Undignified Death: Puddinghead died in the middle of a foolish dare to drink a gallon of cider while swallowing a goldfish atop a flagpole. She ended up falling off and breaking her neck, with nopony noticing she was dead for hours.
Vestigial Empire: Both the Mongrellian Horde and the Griffin Empire by the time of Hearth's Warming.
Written by the Winners: Hurricane had only the barest records of his mother's failed counter-coup kept intact, and stored them in a hard to find location, thus denying her even the infamy of being a rebel.
Xanatos Gambit: General Wind Whistler's ploy to get two other members of the Cheiefs-of-Staff on her side. Lampshaded and title dropped by her daughter Pansy.
Yes, Except No: The ancient Manehattan ponies were an "easy and tempting target," except "an attack [on Manehattan] would become very unpleasant very quickly" thanks to the terrain, Unicorn magic, Pegasus weather control, and Earth Pony strength.
You Are in Command Now: General Downpour's last act before committing suicide was to put her adjunct Major Wind Tailor in charge.