Three years ago, at Junior Speedsters Flight Camp, Gilda and Rainbow Dash were friends. The years since then haven't been kind to Gilda. Maybe a trip to see her old friend will help resolve some things...
Has a sequel, Summer Days and Evening Flames.
This fic contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Gilda's father was incredibly abusive, with lasting effects on Gilda's behavior.
- Big Damn Heroes: Rainbow's Just in Time rescue of Gilda, complete with sonic rainboom.
- Bittersweet Ending: Things remain rocky with Rainbow Dash and she's still an exile from her tribe, but Gilda has found a palatable alternative by the end.
- Broken Bird: Gilda's upbringing and exile have left her deeply cynical and emotionally detached.
- Character Development: Gilda is much more fleshed out than the arrogant Jerkass we see on the show. Which doesn't mean she's not still a jerk, but she's much less one-dimensional.
- Dying Race: The griffin tribes, at least the oness Gilda is familiar with, have dwindled almost to extinction.
- The Exile: Gilda, until she fulfills her father's conditions. And not only can she not return home, but any griffin she meets is supposed to kill her.
- Fantastic Racism: Gilda's father hates ponies, and didn't take kindly to his daughter making friends with one.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Griffins are very similar to Germanic tribes.
- Gratuitous German: The author uses German words for griffin names and terms.
- Heel Realization: Happens to Gilda twice. First when she realizes that she handled things in Ponyville poorly. Then when she almost kills Dash.
- Hidden Depths: There is a lot more going on with Gilda than you'd expect just from watching Griffon the Brush Off.
- Interrupted Suicide: Gilda. Rainbow just barely manages to avert it.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Iron Bulwark thinks Gilda is one of these. Exploring this is the focus of the sequel.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Gilda's reaction to nearly killing Dash.
- My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: Gilda has this experience during her fall in chapter six.
- Our Gryphons Are Different: the griffin tribes presented here are the dying remnants of a warrior culture. They are well aware of both their glorious past and dismal future and it shows.
- Perspective Flip: of Griffon the Brush Off.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Deconstructed, Gilda has plenty of warrior instincts. However they do her more harm than good, which she herself acknowledges. Similarly her father's and other griffins' insistence on following the old war-like ways is what's slowly driving the griffin tribes to extinction.
- Rage Breaking Point: Gilda hits hers twice in the course of a single visit to Ponyville.
- Sadistic Choice: Gilda's father gives her one - kill your friend or live the rest of your life in exile.
- Worldbuilding: Introduces a lot of detail about griffin tribes and culture.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are!: Captain Bulwark tells Gilda a variation of this.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Knowing that her father would approve of her nearly killing Dash is what drives Gilda to attempt suicide.