Webcomic: The Night The Magic Died
Friendship Is Magic: The Night the Magic Died
is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
fan comic by ArofaTamahn
Set after the events of Season 2, a wizard from the Gryphon Kingdom named Garret crashes in front of Princesses Celestia and Luna, claiming he is being hunted by an evil wolf demon he himself had brought into their world. The Element bearers are more than willing to protect him from any vile beast that hunts him—but when they meet the wolf, Arofa Nahmat, she claims that Garret is the true monster, named Gralo. Tensions rise and misunderstandings pile up as both sides show they may not be what the other says they are.
It is currently in-progress, and can be read here
Tropes present in this comic include:
- Adorkable: Garret. Give him a faulty wand and watch him cover himself in polka-dots.
- Anthropomorphic Zig Zag: Nahmat becomes more bipedal during her "The Reason You Suck" Speech against Celestia.
- Aura Vision: The Magic of Insight allows its users to sense others' magic. It's as basic a technique in Nahmat's world as unicorn magic is in Equestria, whereas in Equestria it's thought to be beyond even Celestia's level.
- Big, Badass Wolf: Nahmat.
- Big Brother Instinct: Shining Armor's primary concern when Gralo finally reveals himself is to see if Twilight is all right.
- Big "Shut Up!": Delivered by Nahmat after Celestia declares her to be a threat against her subjects and orders her to be taken to the dungeon.
- Break Them by Talking: What Nahmat does to Celestia after the princess overrules her defense in favor of Garret; see "The Reason You Suck" Speech below.
- The Cameo: Ditzy Doo, aka Derpy, gets one to give Cadance the tell-all message from the king of Eagleland.
- Cassandra Truth: Nahmat insists that Garret is actually an evil krassau named Gralo, yet no one believes her. Justified because she assumes ponies have the same level of Insight to see him as she does, and that Garret had done nothing wrong while she attacked him without hard evidence. Nahmat herself even lampshades this when Twilight accuses her of using her physic abilities on Shining Armor and Cadance; she points out that she can't prove she's telling the truth, since they could easily dismiss any evidence she gives as a result of her powers.
- Character Filibuster: Nahmat is pretty much the author's mouthpiece for his anger at Twilight getting ignored by her friends and family at the end of "A Canterlot Wedding: Part 1".
- Cool Down Hug: Shining Armor gives one to Twilight before she can tear Nahmat a new one when she thinks Nahmat is trying to hurt him.
- Crash into Hello: While Shining Armor and Cadance are galloping to get a good look at Gralo/Garret, who else should crash into the princess than Ditzy Doo (aka Derpy) to deliver her a letter.
- Dark World: Once you take away the magic—in this case, Celestia and Luna's magic—it's revealed that outside of Equestria, there is nothing. Their universe is literally dead.
- Darkest Hour: Gralo robs the world of its magic; Celestia has chased off Nahmat, their best potential ally, out of prejudice; the Element bearers are left empty shells, bereft of magic; Shining Armor and Cadance, the only ones left to stop Gralo, are forced to their breaking point; and Celestia and Luna are utterly powerless to stop Gralo as he tries to steal what's left of their magic. Then Nahmat decides to come back.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Discussed, and later subverted. Nahmat thinks this is the only logical explanation for Gralo's disguise as Garret when Celestia proves the griffin is not an identity Gralo fabricated as Nahmat first believes. It later turns out Gralo is an entirely separate entity who has possessed Garret without anyone else the wiser, and used his mind magic to make her think he was only in disguise.
- Deader than Dead: The entire universe outside of Equestria is this. There's no sun, no moon, no stars—everything is actually an illusion created by the princesses.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Hanging around Cadance and Shining Armor gradually softens Nahmat up.
- Demonic Possession: How Gralo passes himself off as Garret.
- Devil in Plain Sight: Gralo seemingly assumes the form of Garret, yet only Nahmat can see his true form because of her heightened Insight that the ponies lack. Cadance and Shining Armor see him too once they achieve this power.
- Dumb Struck: Everypony's reaction immediately after Nahmat finishes her rant against Celestia and leaves Equestria. Ironically, Fluttershy is the first to speak up.
- Empty Shell: The fate that befalls Garret and the Element bearers once Gralo drains their magic—or more specifically, everything that's "magical", such as joy and liveliness—leaving them unable to feel or care about anyone and anything going on around them. It takes all of Twilight's willpower just to think of her friends and B.B.B.F.F. as such, and even then, it doesn't last long.
- Et Tu, Brute?: How Nahmat reacts when Shining Armor and Cadance doubt she was telling the truth about Garret after building up so much trust with them.
- Eureka Moment: Shining Armor and Cadance wonder whether or not Nahmat was trying to trick them into taking her side by showing them what she wants them to see via some made-up power of "insight". Then, once Nahmat is long gone, they realize they still have that power.
- Fix Fic: It doesn't show until halfway through, but Word of God admits the story was mainly written to make the main characters, Princess Celestia especially, answer for their hypocritical behavior at the end of "A Canterlot Wedding: Part 1" regarding the lesson in "Lesson Zero".
- Foreshadowing: Nahmat, Shining Armor, and Cadance all connected by talking about the similarities and differences between their worlds. Turns out there's a reason for the worlds being so different: one of the worlds is dead.
- From Bad to Worse: HOO BOY.
- Forced Into Evil: While hiding in his body, Gralo forces Garret to turn the ponies against Nahmat with misleading information and keep his beak shut.
- Glowing Eyes: Shining Armor and Cadance sport these while using Insight; their eyes glow the same color as their horn magic.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: In her world, Nahmat is a noble agent of the law trying to bring a mass-murdering criminal to justice. In Equestria, she's considered an evil enchantress who's not above harming a seemingly innocent griffon and anyone who gets in her way.
- Heroic BSOD: Celestia gets dished with a massive "The Reason You Suck" Speech courtesy of Nahmat that quickly turns the regal, dignified alicorn into a quivering, crying wreck too shaken to even stand.
- Hope Spot: By giving Shining Armor and Princess Cadance the power of Insight to act as eyewitnesses, Nahmat thinks she's in the clear. But her defense crumbles when Twilight points out that Nahmat might have brainwashed them into seeing her side of things, and still has no hard evidence supporting her case, whereas Garret does.
- I Am a Monster: Fluttershy feels this way after Nahmat forces her to experience firsthand the effects of her own Stare, as well as every time she was ever a jerk to anyone.
- Idiot Ball: The ponies never think to ask Garret if he wants to have his magic scanned, which would have easily put the entire case to rest, instead opting not to out of respect for his privacy. It later turns out this is a direct result of Gralo using his magic to dull everyone's wits, as Twilight quickly deduces once she overcomes his spell.
- Jerkass Has a Point: As uncalled for as her behavior is, Nahmat makes some valid arguments in her "The Reason You Suck" Speech against Celestia, including: imprisoning Luna in the moon for a thousand years instead of freeing her from Nightmare Moonnote ; shunning Twilight after she accused the fake Cadance of being evil; leaving it to others to fix both messes; and never apologizing for either event.
- Meaningful Title: The title is a literal one. Not only does Gralo steal the Mane Six's magic, but he also steals Celestia and Luna's... and reveals that the entire universe beyond of Equestria is dead, and that the Princesses have had been using illusions of the sun, the moon, and the stars to keep it a secret.
- Mind Rape: When Fluttershy uses the Stare on Nahmat, Nahmat is so angry the wielder of the Element of Kindness would do something so cruel that she forces Fluttershy to witness all the times she used the Stare or yelled at somepony.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Nahmat shows remorse for the aforementioned Mind Rape of Fluttershy.
- Celestia's silent, horrified expression tells all when Nahmat makes her relive her memories of how she neglected Luna and Twilight in "Friendship Is Magic" and "A Canterlot Wedding", respectively.
- Never Say "Die": Averted for the most part (hell, it's in the title), but the ambiguity of how she survived Celestia's punch is enhanced by this exchange:
Fluttershy: I...I thought she was really—
Princess Cadance: She was. For just a moment, she was.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: As soon as Celestia gets documents disproving Nahmat's claims that "Garret" is a made-up persona for Gralo, the ponies think that's enough to prove that Nahmat is a liar. Nahmat doesn't take too kindly to that and, after pointing out how stupid Celestia is being and leaving her pride in tatters, leaves Equestria for the ponies to deal with Gralo without her. And just to rub salt on the wound, the ponies later receive a letter that not only proves Garret and Nahmat are telling the truth, but also suggests they cooperate with the latter to apprehend Gralo. Considering how bad things have gotten, they really should have listened to Nahmat.
- Oh Crap: Nahmat is confused as to how both the ponies and her own insight can be right as to Garret's identity... then realizes with horror that Garret must have been Gralo's first victim. Fluttershy gets another one when she realizes that Celestia hit Nahmat so hard, Nahmat actually died for a moment.
- Out, Damned Spot!: Implied as it happens behind closed doors, but according to Word of God, Celestia frantically tries in vain to wash the blood stain from her hoof after cracking Nahmat's skull.
Princess Celestia: It won't wash off... WHY WON'T IT WASH OFF!?
- Poor Communication Kills: Pretty much the entire conflict stems from Nahmat acting without explaining herself because she badly misjudges the ponies' abilities compared to her own, as well as poorly timed mail service from Eagleland, where investigators are able to understand the whole situation from the place it started. It all goes downhill from there.
- Precision F-Strike: After Nahmat leaves following a long and angry tirade against Princess Celestia, Fluttershy calls Nahmat a "nasty bitch". Word of God says she did it in the non-vulgar sense (meaning "female dog"), but the effect is the same.
- Rage Breaking Point: Nahmat puts up with a lot of anger and doubt from other ponies upon coming to Equestria—and rightly so, considering her dubious and violent methods of trying to apprehend Gralo—but the last straw comes when Princess Celestia orders her to be locked away before she can have a better chance to explain herself in light of evidence "proving" her wrong.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After Celestia deems Nahmat's defense invalid and orders her to be locked away for the monster she thinks she is, Nahmat completely snaps and delivers a long, scornful and, in her mind, well-deserved rant pointing out all the times her negligence had catastrophically spiraled beyond her control.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Subverted. Princess Celestia at first agrees to give Nahmat the benefit of a doubt on the condition the wolf be monitored at all times, yet she wastes no time ordering Nahmat locked away once her case is seemingly disproven. Ironically, King Matthew of Eagleland fully expected Celestia to apply this trope to a T with Nahmat once it became clear to him the "monster" is on their side.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Nahmat leaves Equestria to let the ponies handle Gralo by themselves once she's convinced Celestia is too full of herself to acknowledge the threat.
- Shout-Out: When Twilight thinks Shining Armor and Cadance are in danger around Nahmat:
- Talk to the Hoof: Celestia cracks her hoof down on Nahmat's skull towards the end of her long-winded "slander" against her. It nearly kills Nahmat, to Celestia's later distress.
- Tears of Remorse: Cadance breaks down crying for saying nothing when Nahmat is seemingly proven guilty, and for yelling at Celestia while her aunt is still reeling from Nahmat's "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- Later on, when faced with the destruction of the world at Gralo's talons, Celestia finally owes up for her mistakes and tearfully apologizes.
- Unexplained Recovery: It's heavily implied that Celestia kills Nahmat for just an instant by cracking the wolf's skull. The only explanation we have for how she gets back up is that Nahmat held on just long enough to pull herself back together.
- Wham Line: While mulling over whether Garret or Nahmat was telling the truth, Shining Armor and Cadance receive a letter from King Matthew II of Eagleland that clarifies the whole mystery:
King Matthew II: [Garret's] spell was answered not by one, but two entities.
Princess Cadance: They... They were both telling the truth...
- Page 95 is choke-full of Wham Lines.
Gralo (to Cadance)
: What I've done is take away the magic your aunts have been using to hide the reality of your universe. There is no sun, there is no moon, there are no stars. They all died long ago.
- When the Darkest Hour rears its ugly head:
Princess Celestia: Everypony—no, everyone...before it's too late, I want you all to know...I'm sorry. I'm so. Sorry. Nahmat: I'm sorry too.
- What Could Have Been: Word of God states that the comic was originally a fanfic that he never published.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Though not without sympathy for Nahmat, Cadance is disgusted when she hears how she Mind Raped Fluttershy for using "The Stare" on her.
- Later, Nahmat chews out Celestia in a massive "The Reason You Suck" Speech for completely turning a blind eye to Gralo's threat just because one side has hard evidence to the contrary, comparing her behavior to the incidents with Nightmare Moon and Queen Chrysalis. When Celestia responds by cracking her skull with her hoof, Cadance tells her aunt she should know better than to respond that way to anyone who's hurting inside.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When Twilight finally achieves Insight, Gralo figures there's no use hiding in Garret any longer and "disposes" of Garret, leaving him on the brink of death.
- You Monster!: The general reaction the Mane Six and Princess Celestia have towards anything immoral Nahmat does.