When facing Twilight Sparkle, Nightmare Moon was given a choice: redemption or revenge. What if she had chosen the latter? A grim fate awaits Equestria, but in a time of greater strife and conflict, Discord's return is accelerated. While he expected to bring chaos, he did not anticipate that he would end the Longest Night and bring hope and joy back to the land.
Discord struggles with the temptations of his base nature versus his unexpected role as Equestria's savior. Both Twilight Sparkle and Nightmare Moon are seeking Celestia, though for very different reasons. Meanwhile the remaining Element Bearers each have to deal with a world thrown into disarray.
A Dream of Dawn includes examples of:
- Accidentally Broke the MacGuffin: Happens to the Elements of Harmony.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Nightmare Moon has overthrown Celestia, shattered the Elements of Harmony, and rules Equestria with an iron hoof. Her reign lasts about five minutes after Discord returns.
- Big Damn Heroes: Fluttershy's rescue of Rainbow Dash from the Changeling den.
- The Cavalry: The timely arrival of the Cloudsdale pegasi to the Battle of Canterlot.
- Enemy Mine: To find Celestia, Twilight teams up with Discord.
- Fluffy Tamer: Fluttershy's status as a Friend to All Living Things extends to the monsters of the Everfree Forest.
- Godzilla Threshold: Nightmare Moon's reign over Equestria is so disruptive that summoning Discord actually improves things.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: Befriending the critters of the Everfree Forest lets Fluttershy field an army which includes timberwolves and manticores.
- HeelFace Turn: Happens to both Discord and Nightmare Moon.
- Heroic BSoD: Celestia doesn't take it well when she thinks she's lost Luna, Twilight, and Cadance.
- Morality Pet: Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle are this for Nightmare Moon.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: As a result of her BSOD, Celestia decides to hit the reset button on Equestria.