Follow TV Tropes

Following

Fanfic / A Diplomatic Visit

Go To

A Diplomatic Visit by Evilhumour and his beta-reader/co-author Anon e Mouse Jr. (with early contributions by Vinylshadow) is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic, the first in the Diplomacy-verse series and a part of the greater The Powers That Be multiverse. The first chapter was posted October 20, 2017; as of December 5, 2019, it has been crossposted on Archive Of Our Own. It was completed on March 25, 2020, with a promise of a sequel — Diplomat at Large, launched later that day and completed April 7, 2020, again promising a sequel — Diplomacy Through Schooling, which was launched later that day, and completed on June 3, 2020. The fourth story, The Diplomat's Life, was then launched on June 4, 2020.

Advertisement:

The first story centers around a diplomatic visit to Equestria by Swift-Pad, a trade ambassador and representative of the civilized wolf packs from the distant Packlands, and his interactions with Twilight Sparkle, her friends and the citizens of Ponyville, in the process opening Twilight's eyes to the wider world around her and just how much she still needs to know about the lands outside Equestria, and ultimately inspiring her to take steps to correct this and act as a diplomat herself.

The second story begins with Twilight's friends returning home and the aftermath of her adventures in the Packlands. Meanwhile, Twilight and Spike have set off on their travels around the world, seeking to learn about other cultures and mend the divides between the nations.

The third story begins with Twilight and Spike's return home after nearly a year, and her announcement that she has a new mission in mind: the formation of a School of Friendship, in which creatures of every species can come to learn the values and methods of friendship, and about the cultures of the different races that make up their world.

Advertisement:

The fourth story picks up a few months after the conclusion of the third, and follows Twilight's continuing life and adventures... for a diplomat's duties are never done.


    open/close all folders 

This fanfic series contains examples of:

    open/close all folders 

     General 

  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • The series begins and largely takes place during season 4 (and later season 5, starting during the events of the third fic), but Scootaloo's aunts Holiday and Lofty, and Rainbow Dash's parents Windy Whistles and Bow Hot Hoof, are featured in chapter 3 of Diplomat at Large; their first show appearances weren't until seasons 9 and 7, respectively.
    • After being teased in the first story, the locales of Mount Aris and Seaquestria are featured in chapter 3 of the second. There, Twilight and Spike meet Queen Novo, her daughter Princess Skystar, her sister Ocean Flow, her niece and nephew Silverstream and Terramar, and the siblings' father Sky Beak. General Seaspray is also referenced, though not seen in person.
    • Aside from Silverstream, her classmate Ocellus also makes an early appearance, and a small yak matching Yona's description appears in chapter 12.
    • The real Grogar is mentioned late in the first story and actually appears in the second, albeit still sealed away. This is long before he was mentioned in season 7 of canon, as a character in a storybook.
    • Smolder (unnamed at the time, but later confirmed to be her) appears in chapter 1 of Diplomacy Through Schooling, Neighsay debuts in chapter 4 (which is taking place around the time season 5 starts), and Gallus and Sandbar debut in chapter 7. Sunburst also appears in the flesh in chapter 7, soon after the events of "The Cutie Map".
  • Broad Strokes:
    • In chapter 20 of the first story, elements of Chrysalis's My Little Pony: FIENDship Is Magic comic are included — namely, that she attacked the city of Trot and that Celestia defeated her and imprisoned she and her hive in a volcano. However, that same issue's version of how she escaped is disregarded in favor of the other Queens freeing her, as is the origin of the holes in their legs; in the comic, it's an injury from the battle with Celestia, but here, it's a natural feature of the species, with three legs' respective patterns being inherited from a changeling's parents and queen and the last leg's hole pattern being original to them.
    • Sombra's own origin story from his FIENDship is Magic comic — his creation by the Umbrum — is referenced in chapter 25; however, unlike that comic, it ended in his assimilating his "mother" before his final battle with Celestia and Luna. The third story reveals that he actually merely stole most of Umbrea's power to increase his own, and then cast his spell on the Crystal Empire to ensure she would be trapped with her fellows; despite this, she escaped and her spirit, after some work, persuaded Luna to let her in and merge their respective Powers, then took over her body and made them into Nightmare Moon.
    • The background events of comics arc 7, Reflections (with Celestia being in love with a resident of a different world, only for the linking mirror to have been destabilizing both of them), are referenced in chapter 2 of Diplomat at Large, and chapter 1 of The Diplomat's Life. Unlike the canon release though, the mirror used in that arc was destroyed by Starswirl, sealing the path between the two dimensions for good, rather than still existing in the present day.
  • Creation Myth: The one for the entire Powers-That-Be multiverse is given in chapter 5, and also explains how said Powers came to be.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation:
    • It's unknown how Applejack's parents died in canon, but in the first story, she confesses that they entered the Everfree Forest to retrieve one of their pigs that had gotten loose and were fatally injured by something, making it back to Ponyville before dying.
    • In the 2017 MLP film, the Storm King was petrified when the magic of his own Obsidian Orb was intercepted by Tempest Shadow, who then tackled him and thus spread its effects to him; his stone form then fell to the ground and shattered. In the second story, he's knocked out a window, hits the ground and is promptly stabbed through the chest by one of Equestria's soldiers, who didn't even know it was him and was acting on instinct.
  • Dream Walker: As in canon, this is one of Luna's Duties as the Lady of Dreams, helping ponies who are having bad dreams so she can help them work past whatever problem they're having. In the epilogue of the third story, Luna and Pharynx begin training Moondancer to dreamwalk as well, via Luna sharing her Mantle to make Moondancer the first of her Dreamguards, and the two (and Pharynx) soon discover that Luna and Pharynx's foal is likely to have this power naturally as well, via tapping their Mantles.
  • Fantastic Naming Convention:
    • Wolves of the Packlands are not named at birth, instead later being given a name based on a trait the elders observe in them. As Swift-Pad explains, "For me, it was my ability to move swiftly on my pads when most of my littermates were all fumbling about."
    • Ponies get their names from the "name dream", in which expecting mothers have a series of dreams that inspire the name for the foal as it tends to have some tie to their special talent.
    • As in canon, changelings tend to use insect body parts as names. The exception is Queen Metamorphia, whose name is simply derived from "metamorphosis". Other original characters in the first fic are named for the following parts:
      • Maxilla (singular of "Maxillae") is an insect mouthpart, paired and arranged by the mandibles, where they're used to hold and manipulate food so that it can be chewed or sliced by the mandibles.
      • Tegmina (plural of "Tegmen") are the modified leathery front wings on an insect, which protect the hindwings when folded.
      • Scolopidia is the fundamental unit of a mechanoreceptor (sensory neuron) organ in insects.
      • Remigium is the anterior rigid part of the wing of an insect that is acted on by the muscles and is the chief effector of flight.
      • Taenidia (plural of "Taenidium") are circumferential thickenings of the cuticle inside a trachea or tracheole in an insect's respiratory system.
    • Story #2 introduces Stemma (plural Stemmata), a class of simple eyes in arthropods.
    • Story #3 introduces more:
      • Ommatidium (plural ommatidia) — the units that name up compound eyes in arthropods.
      • Tympanum (or tympanal organ) — an external hearing membrane in insects.
      • Metatonum — the dorsal exoskeletal plates on a mesothorax (the middle of three segments in the thorax of an insect).
    • Story #4 introductions:
      • Tagma (plural tagmata) is a specialized grouping of multiple segments or metameres into a coherently functional morphological unit. The thorax of an insect, which her father is named for, is an example of a tagma.
    • As in canon, all gargoyles have names ending in the letter "n", and all centaurs have names ending in the letter "k".
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In chapter 9 of the first story, Cheerilee mentions that one of her students has a tendency to be rude and may be a problem during their class, and that one of her parents is even worse. While the student in question turns out to be too scared of Swift-Pad (what with him being a wolf) to speak out in class, her mother shows up later and is instantly rude and nasty to him, being unaware of who he is.
    • During the events of Diplomat at Large, Discord mentions having encountered someone who'd make a good Lady of Lies... if they weren't a complete and utter sociopath. In chapter 10 of Diplomacy Through Schooling, after Cozy Glow is arrested, he brings up the subject again. When Twilight mentions it to her friends later, they put two and two together to figure out Cozy was the one he was referring to the first time.
  • God Job:
    • The Powers That Be aren't actually gods, but the principle is the same, as it's explained that they can pass their Mantles down to a successor if they choose to (which Discord says is how succession is supposed to be triggered) or are forcibly stripped of it for misconduct (as happened with Self-Centeredness and Hatred during the second story).
    • Some of them can also temporarily take on the Duties of another, such as:
      • Night or Day could take on one another's Duties.
      • Dreams is attuned to Night, and could fill in for them, or Day.
      • Dreams and Nightmares could fill in for one another if they aren't already held by the same host. Dreams can also be shared with others, as multiples of Luna have done across the multiverse to create their Dreamguard.
      • Nightmares, due to being attuned to Dreams, could fill in for them, and by extension for Night or Day if needed.
      • Magic can readily sub for Day and/or Night.
      • Summer and Fire are suitable substitutes for Day, while Winter or Water are viable substitutes for Night.
  • Interspecies Friendship:
    • Twilight, being an All-Loving Hero, quickly makes friends with non-ponies during her visit to the Packlands in the first story, coming to count Maxilla the changeling as a good friend and chatting amicably with a gargoyle named Caplan. Story 2 is all about her traveling around and making new friends and better diplomatic ties with other species.
    • According to Luna in chapter 8 of Diplomat at Large, Twilight's parents have become good friends with a changeling family — Stemma, her husband and their children, including young Ocellus.
    • Also in Diplomat at Large, Cadance befriends Aria Blaze and Sonata Dusk, a pair of Sirens, after they return to Equestria with Princess Celestia.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • The first story features Swift-Pad the wolf with Maxilla the changeling, who is seeking to become a female wolf permanently in order to stay with him. By the time the story's done, Maxilla has achieved his/her goal; they get married early in the third story.
    • Diplomat at Large introduces Sky Beak the hippogriff-turned-seapony, who is married to Ocean Flow the seapony. It also kicks off the romance between Princess Luna of Equestria and Prince Pharynx the changelings; they get married in the third story.
    • Diplomat at Large also kicks off a romance between Queen Scolopidia of the changelings and the pony duo of Vinyl Scratch and Octavia Melody, who make it official late in that story.
    • In chapter 12, it turns out Daring Do and Teomitl have become a couple.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Twilight and her friends, technically, on the matter of their being Powers That Be. Twilight doesn't find out until late in the first story, but comes to accept why it happened when the Alpha explains that Celestia likely felt Twilight wasn't yet ready for such challenges while she was coming into her own and growing her friendship with her friends in Ponyville; the elder Princess was protecting Twilight and letting her grow to become the mare she is now without feeling the pressure of this newfound duty. Eventually subverted in the third story when Luna gives them all the full story; she also gave Twilight permission to fill Spike, Trixie and Moondancer in on everything (the latter two since they'd figured out some of it on their own).
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Featured in A Diplomatic Visit:
      • In chapter 17, Twilight and her friends visit the Big Apple Orchard in the Packlands. This was one of the original names intended for what became Sweet Apple Acres in canon (the other was "Big Apple Farm").
      • Chapter 21 namedrops a character named Skydancer, the Queen of the hippogriffs; she shares her name with two G1 ponies — the Summerwing Pony Skydancer and the similarly named pegasus Sky Dancer (who predates her).
    • Featured in Diplomat at Large:
      • In chapter 2, Queen Remigium mentions that Chrysalis had plans to harness the power of the Secretariat Comet to give herself a tremendous magical boost, but was locked away by the other Queens before she could do so. Using that same comet's magic-enhancing power was part of Chrysalis's scheme for revenge in the first arc of the IDW comics.
      • Chapter 6 mentions another event from arc 1 of the IDW comics; namely, Rainbow Dash's reveal that she suffered a sugar-induced memory blank of the wedding.
      • Also in chapter 6, Discord says of the Storm King that "this fool seeks to unbalance the cosmos. And believe you me, she's already unbalanced enough as it is!" This references Cosmos, main villain of the 43rd arc (issues 75-78) of the IDW comics, an alien entity obsessed with Discord.
      • Chapter 8 reveals that Squirk, a monstrous octopus from the G1 cartoons, also exists in this setting and has been imprisoned for millennia.
    • Featured in Diplomacy Through Schooling:
      • Chapter 1 mentions an incident from centuries ago in which an Abyssinian sorceress, Catrina, based on the G1 character of the same name (who was also an anthropomorphic feline), had a conflict with the wolves of the Packlands. Unlike her Witchweed-addicted counterpart, this version focused on gender-bias, leading a pride where males of their kind had no rights until the Abyssinian central authorities stepped in and defeated her.
      • In chapter 4, Trixie mentions a former Sadist Teacher of hers named Hydia, after the lead witch from My Little Pony: The Movie (1986).
      • Chapter 5 features a brief appearance by Long Play, Vinyl Scratch's older brother, and references the events of the comics arc "Neigh Anything", in which he debuted and in which Vinyl is shown getting her Cutie Mark.
      • In chapter 8, Lavan (another G1 villain) gets referenced, and is confirmed to have been destroyed by Luna and Celestia's mother and some other alicorns.
      • Aputsiaq, Lady of Winter and former Lady of Hatred in this continuity, shares her name with Snöflinga's niece in the Doa-verse.
      • During Twilight and Magic's talk about improving the butterfly wings spell from the episode "Sonic Rainboom", Magic explains where this upgraded version came from — specifically, the Suspenders-verse (an M-rated series of fics that are part of the Powers-That-Be multiverse). Shortly afterward, Twilight quotes a certain animated movie, which was also quoted in the third story of that series.
    • Featured in The Diplomat's Life:
      • In canon, little Princess Flurry Heart's Crystalling was carried out before her paternal grandparents arrived. In this version, they're present from the beginning... so her maternal grandparents are the ones who show up late (albeit for unspecified reasons).
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • Chapter 4 of Diplomat at Large gives Ocellus's mother the name Stemma. Chapter 5 of Diplomacy Through Schooling gives her father the name Ommatidium.
    • As chapter 12 of Diplomat at Large reveals, Ahuizotl from the show's real name is Teomitl.
    • Chapter 7 of Diplomacy Through Schooling gives Sunburst's father the name Sunspot.
    • Chapter 8 of ''Diplomacy Through Schooling gives Moondancer's sister the name "Morning Espresso".
    • Cadance's adoptive parents have no names or appearances in canon, other than being Earth ponies. When they appear in chapter 4 of The Diplomat's Life, they're named Caramel Lilly (mother) and Silver Vision (father).
  • Nightmare Weaver: The Lord or Lady of Nightmares, a Power and the Opposite of the Lord or Lady of Dreams, is explained to have the Duty of creating and giving bad dreams to those who have fallen down a dark path in order to scare them back into behaving.
  • Powers That Be: Naturally featured, given this is part of Evilhumour's "Powers-That-Be" multiverse of stories.
    • As explained in the third story, which reveals the Creation Myth, in the beginning there was just a swirling void before the first Creators appeared, followed by others; from them, the first Powers were born and began to shape a world, which became the Prime. Other worlds came about from ripples of its movement and the decisions of those who live there, dividing endlessly into other worlds within their own separate universes, claimed by Order and Chaos (the first two Creators) and each has their own set of Powers, a set of entities with a Purpose, Role and Duties in their respective worlds. The eldest Powers include Time and Space (two of the earliest, if not the earliest in each world's birth), followed by Death and Life, and then the Judge (who determines a soul's fate upon its entrance to the afterlife). Younger Powers are former mortals who gave over their souls to a Purpose in order to become a Power. Powers can be passed on to new bearers, either if the current soul is deemed unsuitable (usually via abusing their abilities) or if they simply wish to pass it on to someone else. Discord notes at one point that the latter case is how a Power is meant to be passed on.
    • Other named Powers include Harmony and Disharmony (the latter held by Discord in the Diplomacy-verse), with their six sub-Powers each (as in other worlds, Harmony's six are Honesty, Kindness, Laughter, Generosity, Loyalty and Magic; their Opposites are Lies, Cruelty, Sorrow, Self-Centeredness ( which was formerly held by Queen Chrysalis of the changelings until she was stripped of it in story #2, chapter 4 after revealing her status, expecting it would prevent her from being punished for her crimes; to her shock, this gambit failed miserably), Oathbreaking and Technology), Love (held by Cadance) and Hatred ( formerly held by Adagio Dazzle of the Sirens until, like Chrysalis, she was stripped of it by Discord in story #2, chapter 11, who gave it to Aria Blaze instead), the four Seasons — Winter, Spring, Summer ( which belongs to the Alpha of the Packlands) and Fall; the four Forces of Nature — Water ( held by Queen Novo of the western seaponies, as revealed in story #2, chapter 3), Earth, Fire ( held by Dragon Lord Torch, as revealed in story #2, chapter 10) and Air; Day and Night (held by Celestia and Luna, respectively), and Dreams and Nightmares, the former held by Luna.
    • An unidentified Power makes a brief appearance in story #2, chapter 6, speaking through Pinkie Pie when they have the same message for the girls after the five have spent some time speculating on the nature of their Opposites (with Discord commenting that they're closer than they might realize when it comes to identifying what the Roles and Duties are for some of them).
    • Chapter 5 of the third story has Luna explain to her sister and other fellow Powers that Umbrea, "mother" of King Sombra and leader of the Umbrum, or shadow pony sect, was the Lady of Nightmares until she took over Luna's body and remade them into Nightmare Moon. When Harmony's power — wielded by Twilight and her friends — removed her from Luna's body, she was caught by Death and taken to the Judge; Luna became the new Lady of Nightmares until she was able to pass it on to Prince Pharynx, now her husband.
    • During the same conversation, it is explained that Order and Chaos, as the first Creators, can each designate a Power into a Champion for them in a respective world, who is in charge of keeping the other Powers that align with them in line. As Champion of Chaos, Discord is capable of stripping others under Chaos of their mantles and finding new bearers for them, though there is a group called the Four Apocalypses (of whom Death is the only one with a confirmed identity), whom even he is unable to truly act against, outside of alerting Chaos if something's gone wrong with one of them and offering his opinion on the matter.
    • In chapter 9, the Four Apocalypses are again mentioned, in this case by Cadance (and this time identified as Death, War, Famine and Pestilence), along with their Opposites, the four Creations (Life, Peace, Prosperity and Health), with the eight ranking above all other Powers. Health later appears in person in chapter 11, watching over the dormant windigos when Aria comes to try and heal them; he approves of her actions, and Twilight's and Cadance's efforts to help the changelings. The same chapter introduces Aputsiaq, Lady of Winter and former Lady of Hatred before Adagio persuaded it to give the latter Power to her, only to betray her.
    • Chapter 13 expands on their origins: Powers come from a Mantle, a piece of one of the Creators, binding to a mortal soul. In times of severe need, after that Power taps into the full potential of their Mantle, the two are able to speak to one another, and the Mantle is able to help the Lord or Lady gain a better understanding of their abilities. Trying to force a connection to a Mantle, however, is never a good thing.
    • While not necessarily a Power, the first chapter of the fourth story reveals that each set of paired worlds has another Role native to it: The Guardian, who is responsible for protecting the Gateways between worlds. This person is unique in that they have no Other in each paired world. As the Lady of Life reveals, the Role is currently held by Sunset Shimmer.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
    • An odd version. The Nightmare, which possessed Luna and turned her into Nightmare Moon, is actually Umbrea, former Lady of Nightmares, leader of the shadow pony sect — who began as dark magic that developed sapience — and the "mother" of King Sombra. In comics canon, the Nightmare Forces that corrupted Luna and the Umbrum that spawned Sombra were distinct groups.
    • In the second story, chapter 6 identifies Twist as Bon-Bon's niece (doubling as a Shout-Out to the Quiververse and RealityCheck's Nyxverse). It's later clarified that they're actually distant cousins, but still related.
    • Also in the second story, chapter 12 reveals that the sirens Aria Blaze and Sonata Dusk are sisters. Subverted with Adagio Dazzle, who (unlike many fanfiction portrayals) isn't related to them — she was a complete stranger who promised them a feast if they joined her, and then used them for her scheme to spread her power.
  • Shout-Out: Anon e Mouse Jr. is fond of including these, and there are so many that it has its own page.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: Per Luna's ability as a Dream Walker, she can do this to anyone who needs her help; in the first story, she visits Twilight, and later allows Celestia to talk to Twilight this way as well. In the third story, after awakening a deeper connection to her Mantle, Twilight becomes able to speak to Magic in her sleep; in the epilogue, Pinkie and Fluttershy confirm they've become able to do so as well, and Rarity thinks she's heard Generosity.

Advertisement:

    A Diplomatic Visit 

A Diplomatic Visit contains examples of:

  • Acquitted Too Late: One hundred years before the present day, Gravon the griffon chef was sent to prison by a Kangaroo Court while Celestia was out of the country, and her efforts to use her rank to overturn his conviction were blocked by a pair of associated councils, who threatened to remove her from power if she did so. He subsequently died in prison of malnutrition before she could use the legal system to have him freed.
  • The Alleged House: As in the episode Amending Fences, Moondancer lives in one when Twilight and the others find her. In this version, however, it's apparently in even worse shape, to the point where the door crumbles a bit when Twilight knocks on it and a piece of the roof falls off while Moondancer has the door open.
  • Alpha and Beta Wolves: Late in the fic, it comes out that the Alpha is the title for the supreme leader and founder of the Packlands, who is above all the Packleaders for the individual packs. He's also the Lord of Summer, though Twilight doesn't understand what that means when he first states it.
  • Ambiguously Bi: In chapter 4, Swift-Pad mentions "sort of" having a special someone back home. In chapter 16, the Bearers and Spike learn he was referring to Maxilla, a biologically male (but mentally genderfluid) changeling who was in disguise as a she-wolf when Swift-Pad first met he/she, and has no problem being with either gender. Swift-Pad himself explains that he is still attracted to them, but at this time is uncertain of if the attraction is to the form, the gender or the person themselves. He ultimately chooses to make their romance permanent.
  • Badass Boast: When the Alpha is identifying himself, one of the accomplishments he declares is having driven Grogar the Necromancer to the place where he was defeated. Another is bringing together the Packleaders to form the Packlands.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Swift-Pad, and wolves in general, have one — once an apology's been made, that's it, no further ones needed on that subject. Bringing it up again is considered incredibly insulting since it implies that the other person forgave them too easily or that they didn't know what they were forgiving. Twilight accidentally triggers this for Swift-Pad, but once he explains about it, she promises to do better when it comes to learning such things so she won't accidentally offend others like she did him.
    • Don't harm children in Swift-Pad's presence. Wolves in general value them, and they won't hesitate to protect a child who's endangered, even when it's the child's own parents who are doing so, be it mentally or physically.
    • Harming endangered animals such as phoenixes is also a major berserk button for Swift-Pad, and when he finds out some teenage dragons were trying to smash defenseless phoenix eggs (and tried to bully Spike into doing so as well), he promises to pass it on to his counterparts in the Dragon Lands so they can tell the Dragon Lord, who will punish the ones responsible.
    • Wolves feel rather strongly about parents who shirk their responsibilities and effectively abandon their children to the care of others. And they especially hate it when the caretaker is incompetent; they consider leaving a child with someone like that to be abuse on a criminal level.
    • Even if you mean well, don't ever tell Twilight to act against one of the qualities that Princess Celestia praised in her when she became an alicorn. Luna learns this the hard way in chapter 21.
  • Big Brother Instinct: In chapter 25, Pharynx shows up outside a hospital room, where his brother Thorax is undergoing metamorphosis into the next leader of their hive, and shows his protective instincts when Twilight and co. arrive, warning Twilight that he'll be watching her after he agrees to let her in.
  • Big Fun: Big-Cheer the wolf, the widest and friendliest of the trio from Big Apple Orchard, who got his name for always being a little bigger than his littermates and having a near-constant smile on his face.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: When the group arrives at an apple farm in the Packlands, they're greeted by a trio of wolves who match this. Big-Cheer is the big (being the widest), Thin-Tall is the thin (and far calmer than his companions), and Little-Growl is the shortest and youngest.
  • Book Burning: A variant is discussed at one point, when Twilight's friends are telling her about the PVE and the kinds of beliefs they advocate. Rainbow Dash admits to saving their pamphlets, which are little more than hate speech... so she can use them as chimney starters when she needs to prime the charcoal for her grill. She mentions this again in chapter 23, which earns her some amused and approving reactions from the wolves. Later, during the Gathering, Swift-Pad's report on his time in Equestria is read, including a mention of her doing this, which prompts even more roars of laughter from the various attendees. Including the Alpha.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Somewhat downplayed with Queen Scolopidia, who was the equivalent of a teenager when she had to take the throne for her hive. She's less whiny and spoiled and more moody and touchy, due to dealing with a combination of her teenage hormones and the new ones released during the sudden maturation process.
  • Break the Haughty: The wolf Far-Tracker had this happen to him — after some bragging about his tracking skills, he went out after a wild boar, only to wind up tracking his way straight into a porcupine's den. The experience left him somewhat humbler, and now he gets a laugh out of telling the story.
  • Broken Pedestal: Celestia almost becomes this for Twilight in chapter 27 when she learns Celestia had not told her about her status as a Power sooner, but then the Alpha calms her and explains that Celestia had recognized Twilight was not ready for that knowledge, lest she take it as poorly as she was starting to then. Taking in his words, Twilight finally admits he was right and she really wasn't ready earlier.
  • Butt Biter: The wolf Aargh was nearly named "Butt-Biter" after demonstrating the trope via chomping down on another wolf's rear in defense of his mother and litter-mates. (His parents talked the elders into using the sound that he induced as his name instead.)
  • Call-Back:
    • Chapter 27 has a mention of the incident with Spoiled Rich from chapter 9.
    • The epilogue references multiple events from earlier in the story, including the mention of Garble and Swift-Pad's promise to bring it up with his counterparts, and the wolves asking to send a delegation of spectators to the Equestria Games, including one who sees Shining Armor as his hero.
  • Canis Major: In chapter 9, while Twilight and Swift-Pad are meeting the students at the Ponyville Schoolhouse, Snails mentions a legend about the Dire Wolves, larger wolves that supposedly inhabit the land that the Three Tribes migrated away from, and asks if Swift-Pad's people are related to them. Later, when meeting Wise-Mind, Packleader of the Strong-Defend pack, Twilight sees how much larger and more intimidating he is in appearance and thinks to herself that he looks like what she'd expect of the Dire Wolves that Snails described.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: In chapter 24, Moondancer confesses to Princess Celestia that she kept sending hints Twilight's way, but Twilight never figured out what Moondancer was trying to say — that she was in love with Twilight.
  • Cobweb of Disuse: As in the episode Amending Fences, Twilight's old tower is a dusty, cobwebbed mess when she and the others visit in chapter 13, since nopony's set hoof in it since she left for Ponyville in the first episode. The seven promptly set to cleaning it up.
  • Continuity Nod: In chapter 25, Discord's letter makes reference to his also being fond of "a certain chaotic little trio", referencing the time he spent with the Cutie Mark Crusaders in My Little Pony: Friends Forever issue #2.
  • Conversational Troping: In chapter 22, when talking about her previous experience with Prince Blueblood at the Grand Galloping Gala, Rarity refers to him as a Prince Charmless.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Rarity's reasoning for bringing along a two-story tent — now she has space to share with anyone who didn't think to bring a tent of their own.
  • Cultural Posturing: A number of ponies act as if their society is better than any from non-ponies, and as shown in Slice n' Dice's story, some go out of their way to deliberately act against the wolves' culture and disrespect it.
  • Culture Clash: Part of the conflict of the story is Twilight and her friends learning to understand and respect the different laws and culture of the other races.
    • Twilight unwittingly offends Swift-Pad with her repeated apologies before she is made aware of just how serious the wolves take such things. However, she also demonstrates a willingness to learn from her mistakes when they're explained, which Swift-Pad appreciates.
    • She also freaks out when she finds that changelings are welcome in the Packlands. Luckily, she is able to calm herself before she unwittingly causes an international incident; it helps that the changeling in question is from a different hive than Chrysalis's.
    • In chapter 17, Applejack meets a long-lost relative in the Packlands, who has learned to understand and follow their laws and way of life after an awkward start, to the point where she now considers herself a Packlander rather than an Equestrian. Part of this is because she's had trouble with ponies who outright refused to follow and respect these laws, and went out of their way to break them. When Slice n' Dice chose to stick with the new ways she'd learned, the other ponies lied to Slice n' Dice's family and the Equestrian border guard to make them think of her as a criminal; Applejack, who has a strong respect for the law and understands why Slice n' Dice would follow it, is disgusted with the ones who acted otherwise.
  • Cutting the Knot: Discussed in chapter 19 when Celestia recalls to herself when she's had advisors who suggested she do this via removing the officials who would stand in her way. She also recalls that she explicitly refused to do so and dismissed any advisor who suggested it, on the grounds that it would be the act of a tyrant and a dictator seeking to consolidate power, and she is neither.
  • Death by Adaptation: Chapter 25 confirms that King Sombra's horn, which survived the events of The Crystal Empire, was destroyed by the wolf Well-Hidden soon afterward to ensure he would never return again.
  • Decomposite Character: In show canon, Queen Novo is queen of the hippogriffs of Mount Aris, who later had to transform into seaponies and move underwater to hide from the Storm King. In this fic's chapter 18, Celestia mentions Queen Novo and the queen of the hippogriffs as separate beings. Chapter 21 cements this when Luna identifies them both by name to Twilight — Queen Novo is still queen of the seaponies of Seaquestria, while Queen Skydancer is ruler of the hippogriffs of Mount Aris.
  • Déjà Vu: In chapter 26, Twilight experiences a brief moment of this when her Equestrian friends unintentionally quote her Canterlot High friends (with Spike getting Rainbow Dash's line).
  • Desecrating the Dead: As explained in chapter 18, Balanced Meal is the founder of the PVE. When Luna asks where his grave is (with this trope clearly in mind), Celestia (who is equally disgusted by his actions) says that he's buried in a cemetery with considerable magical protections to prevent this from happening, and remarks that had it not been, she would have seen to it that his grave spontaneously combusted right after the funeral; more recently, she's considered asking Discord to do something about said protections so that such desecrations can actually happen.
  • Devour the Dragon: Inverted — as Well-Hidden explains in chapter 25, Sombra was The Dragon to a higher-ranking villain (his creator, leader of the Umbrum), and assimilated their power into himself prior to his final clash with the Royal Sisters.
  • Drop the Hammer:
    • During the meeting between the Princesses and Swift-Pad, Swift-Pad presents Luna with the hammer his people had specifically created for her over a thousand years ago, which she had commissioned for use against a powerful foe. It was incomplete when she became Nightmare Moon, but they held onto it until the present day, and her ability to recognize the runes on it is what proves to Swift-Pad that she's the same Luna from back then.
    • During her meeting with the agents of the Equestrian Border Patrol, Luna pulls out that same large hammer and hits the floor with it as a way of catching everyone's attention.
  • Easily Forgiven: Downplayed in chapter 19. When Slice n' Dice's parents learn the truth about her, her father Johnny Apple recognizes that he's made some serious errors in judgement and intends to make up for it. Her mother Lazuli, who was the more reluctant to disown her eldest, makes it clear that she hasn't quite forgiven him for forcing her into doing so in the first place.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Pinkie Pie shocks Twilight by revealing there's a group she won't throw a party for. The group in question is a pony-supremacist one, racists who hate all non-ponies.
  • Failed a Spot Check: It's been over a year since Princess Luna's return; Moondancer's known something was off about the night sky, but didn't realize that the image of the Mare in the Moon was gone from its usual spot until Princess Celestia pointed it out. Moondancer herself is surprised she didn't realize this sooner, and chalks it up to being preoccupied by wallowing in her own misery.
  • Fancy Camping: Chapter 23 reveals that Rarity brought along her two-story tent from the season 3 episode "Sleepless in Ponyville", to the surprise of the wolves. Rainbow Dash's response to this is that "Rares' idea of roughing it is leaving her hair dryer at home." Rarity in turn justifies it by pointing out that her tent has enough space for everyone who didn't think to bring a tent of their own.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The Pony Vegan Environmentalists is a group of ponies who dislike anyone who isn't a pony and whom Swift-Pad views as "a radical species and lifestyle supremacist movement", due to their repeated efforts to get themselves in trouble near the borders between Equestria and the Packlands, and then make themselves out to be the victims.
    • Gargoyles and centaurs stay out of Equestria due to fears of being on the receiving end of this due to the actions of their former Prince Tirek ages ago.
  • Fire of Comfort: In chapter 20, Slice n' Dice hosts a weekly bonfire party at her farm, in which the locals get to meet up, hang out, chat, tell stories and generally have a good time; these gatherings happened even before she moved there, but she's volunteered to host it ever since. Twilight and her friends get to attend, and really enjoy themselves.
  • Forgot About His Powers: In chapter 25, when Twilight meets the changeling queens, one of them is Scolopidia, who reacts with hostility. Another Queen, Tegmina, notes that Scolopidia has apparently forgotten that they can read Twilight's intentions to tell that she's genuinely friendly and wanting to help. Somewhat justified, since Scolopidia has only recently become a Queen and is still getting used to the new abilities.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Discussed in chapter 17, when Rarity acknowledges that she and Rainbow Dash rarely spend time together one-on-one because their interests lie in different directions, but that doesn't stop them from being friends.
  • Friend to All Children: Swift-Pad values children and care for them greatly; his Establishing Character Moment is when he meets Apple Bloom and is friendly and joking with her. It's later explained that this is a trait of most wolves.
  • Full-Boar Action: In chapter 20, the wolf Far-Tracker tells the story of how he unsuccessfully went after a wild boar, known as Big Raze, that had been causing some problems in the area.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Spoiled Rich lets loose with an angry "Diamond Dazzle Tiara!" when she sees her daughter trying to speak to Swift-Pad.
  • Gender Bender: While all changelings can change gender at will, chapter 25 explains that it is expected, when male changelings mature to become their hive's Queen, for their baseline biology to permanently change into a female's in the process. Thorax remaining male partway through his transformation surprises them.
  • Gender-Neutral Writing: After changelings are explained as being genderfluid (except for the queens), the narration starts referring to Maxilla as "they" or "them". It goes back to using "he" or "she" after Wise-Mind explains that he chooses to recognize Maxilla's chosen gender of the moment.
  • Geometric Magic: Swift-Pad is a Rune Caster, able to channel his inner magic through the proper runes (which have to be carefully carved and the magic infused into them while doing so), and it's a relatively common skill in the Packlands. He begins teaching Twilight the ability later on.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: Celestia may be an alicorn and a Power, but when it comes to political matters, even she answers to a pair of councils who interfered when she tried to use her executive powers to overturn an unjustified prison sentence, threatening to have her removed from her position as Equestria's ruler. She also admits that had she attempted to merely remove them, her "fellows" would have claimed she had overstepped her bounds (and since she had a lot of things coming up, like Luna's return, she couldn't risk being removed and leaving Equestria in the hands of the nobles). This left her with no choice but to use the legal system, but it wasn't enough; Gravon died in prison of malnutrition before she could have him freed.
  • Hidden Depths: Who knew Rainbow Dash was secretly a good cook?
  • I Have No Son!:
    • Johnny Apple disowned his daughter Slice n' Dice, who'd become a butcher in the Packlands, over false information that her temporary laborers brought him; he even forced his wife Lazuli to destroy their pictures of her and pretend their second-born, Bramley, was their only child. He eventually comes around though when Celestia presents him with evidence that he'd been lied to about her.
    • Downplayed with Lazuli herself, who acted like she agreed with him in public. Privately though, she refused to forget her eldest and only destroyed extras of the photos to fool her husband, having always kept the originals and a set or two of duplicates in a safe place; when Celestia comes to the family with proof that Slice n' Dice is not a criminal like they thought, Lazuli is the first to openly ask for more information in the hopes that she was right to continue believing in her daughter.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Equestria in general, as it and a great deal of its people tend to steamroll over those of other nations without considering their feelings. Averted by certain hate-groups who are deliberately opposed to any non-ponies.
  • Insect Queen: In chapter 16, Twilight and her friends learn that there are multiple changeling queens, some of whom make their debut in chapter 25; one is a recent promotion to the position, and Twilight volunteers to help another changeling by giving him the magic and love needed to fuel their metamorphosis into a full Queen. Or king, as it may be — it's Thorax from canon, making his debut in-story.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Slice 'n Dice Apple, a pony, has been adopted into one of the wolf packs after her birth family were given faulty information by biased ponies and disowned her.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: Discord sends a letter saying this in chapter 13, after Spike suggests he's responsible for the creature in Twilight's fridge.
  • Ironic Echo: During Twilight's talk with Princess Luna in chapter 21, in which she informs her that Chrysalis is present (and detained) in the Packlands, Luna points out that she really shouldn't have told them, since it would force them to act, and that it could cause trouble for both nations. Wise-Mind later tells her the same thing, not in the same words but with the same meaning.
  • It Came from the Fridge: While the Mane Six and Spike are visiting Twilight's old tower in chapter 13, Rarity discovers a creature living in the refrigerator, behind the mayonnaise, next to the ketchup and to the left of the coleslaw. It turns out to have been created when Twilight left some old experimental potions in there not long before she and Spike went to Ponyville, and is quickly dispatched by Pinkie and a box of baking soda.
  • I Warned You: When Rarity sees a creature in Twilight's fridge (the result of an experimental potion coming to life somehow) and freaks out, Spike tells Twilight that "I told you leaving those old mixtures in the back was a mistake."
  • Kangaroo Court: In chapter 18, Celestia mentions an event from some hundred years ago in which a griffon chef, Gravon, was arrested on trumped-up charges simply because the head health inspector didn't like him for serving meat and had been harassing him; the last straw was his tricking said inspector, who had a very sensitive stomach, into eating liver tartare (ground, raw meat with a raw egg and some vegetation), which got him charged with attempted murder. He was tried by a jury of his rivals, who all ran vegetarian restaurants and took just five minutes to declare him guilty, despite flimsy evidence on the prosecution's part and clear bias exposed on the inspector's. (Celestia herself was out of the country and didn't find out until later, otherwise she would have made sure it was a fair trial.)
  • Karma Houdini: Balanced Meal essentially got away with murder, harassing the griffon chef Gravon until he could come up with a trumped-up excuse to get him arrested and sent to prison, where Gravon died before Celestia could free him. Balanced went on to found a notorious ponies-first hate group, and despite everything, was never properly brought to justice.
  • Large and in Charge: There is a very prevalent running theme in the canon material of the leaders of species and societies being much larger — usually taller, specifically — than their subjects. This extends to the Packleaders, who tend to be larger than the other wolves; Twilight at one point thinks that they’re what she’d expect the Dire Wolves of legend to be like. The Alpha of the Packlands is even bigger, being at least as tall as Celestia.
  • Love Confession: Variant in chapter 24, when Moondancer confesses to Princess Celestia that she thinks she was in love with Twilight and may still be, even though Twilight was Oblivious to Love then.
  • The Magazine Rule: In chapter 23, Rainbow Dash mentions an incident with an annoying magazine salesman who kept trying to get her to buy a subscription to Sponge Illustrated. Pinkie Pie chimes in and says she has a ten-year subscription.
  • Mama Bear:
    • A milder example when Twilight finds out about 'the molt', and immediately informs Spike that he'll be staying indoors for the duration of that event, since his scent would attract predators and she doesn't want anything bad to happen to him. Later, when she finds out ponies had been giving him dirty looks because of his species when they lived in Canterlot, she displays visible concern and asks him why he didn't tell her about it sooner.
    • Even though it's not her filly, when Spoiled Rich starts yelling at Diamond Tiara, Twilight sees the fear on the younger pony's face and immediately steps in to give Spoiled a verbal smackdown.
  • Mess of Woe: As revealed in chapter 24, Moondancer's home is a disaster area because she was in a bad place mentally when she moved in, and couldn't bring herself to care enough to worry about keeping it clean.
  • Metamorphosis:
    • Discussed in chapter 9, when Swift-Pad tells Spike about the Molt he'll eventually undergo, growing wings in the process.
    • Thorax undergoes the first stage of one in chapter 25, thanks to Twilight giving him the energy he needs, and assumes a sparkle-winged form akin to what he was in at the start of "To Where and Back Again, Part 1".
  • Mistaken for Servant: In chapter 24, Moondancer isn't paying attention when she opens her front door and doesn't even bother to look properly at them before assuming it's a Traveling Salesman, and tells them she's not interested before slamming the door. When the pony there knocks again and Moondancer yells at them to go away, she finally takes a moment to look... and then goes wide-eyed and cuts herself off when she realizes she just yelled at Princess Celestia. Fortunately, Celestia isn't offended.
  • Mr. Seahorse: Discussed and subverted in chapter 25. When discussing the possibility of a changeling King in chapter 25, one of the queens says that "It's the Queen's job to lay the first eggs of a new hive, but if there's no Queen… you can't expect a King to lay!"
  • The Most Wanted: The border station between Equestria and the Packlands maintains a board with a list of such beings, though for Twilight's visit, it's been cleared off so as not to offend her sensibilities. Twilight, on learning this, is more offended by the fact that they felt the need to do so, seeing as she's seen other such lists (including that maintained by the Royal Guard) before and wouldn't be upset by them. Later on, Wise-Mind is less than thrilled when he hears about their actions.
  • Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom: Chapter 24 reveals that the wolves' full names, in their native language, have hidden and much longer meanings.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Twilight has a brief one in chapter 21, of Chrysalis destroying books (two of her worst fears in one), before Princess Luna intervenes.
  • Noble Wolf: The wolves of the Packlands, including their ambassador Swift-Pad.
  • Odd Friendship: For all her hormone-driven crankiness, Queen Scolopidia somehow ends up in one with Rarity, who even manages to give her a makeover.
  • Oh, Crap!: Spoiled Rich's reaction when she realizes she just insulted someone in the presence of one of the Princesses of Equestria.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The Alpha, supreme leader of the Packlands. He is only ever referred to by that title, having cast aside his real name before the Royal Sisters became ruler of Equestria.
  • On the Next: The story ends with an announcement: "To be continued in… Diplomat at Large"
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In chapter 21, after a dream conversation with Princess Luna, Twilight is left utterly furious by her words, and is still so angry the next morning that Swift-Pad, who's seeing her rarely-used temper for the first time, is left highly concerned about her after he himself takes a minute to calm down and study the situation.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different:
    • After Queen Novo is namedropped in chapter 18, she's officially identified in chapter 21 as Queen of Seaquestria and the seaponies.
    • The same chapter mentions King Leo of Aquastria (from the picture book Under the Sparkling Sea), which is located in the western ocean and is home to seaponies, mermares and merlions; in the book, these seaponies were based on the seahorse-like G1 seaponies, with prehensile tails and large, transparent fins, while the mermares were similar, but had larger bodies, full fish tales and prehensile fins, and King Leo was closer in looks to a mermare but with a lion's head instead of a horse's.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Literally with Swift-Pad — the instant he hears somepony yelling angrily at the young filly he's talking to and sees her eyes widen in fear at their voice, he immediately steps between them to keep the filly safe. Even when said filly is Diamond Tiara and the one yelling is her own mother, it's the way of his people to protect children.
    • As seen in chapter 25, Discord is very protective of Fluttershy; his letter, which he makes appear in response to Wise-Mind wondering what would happen if something happened to her, says that whomever was responsible wouldn't live long enough to regret it.
  • Parental Abandonment: Discussed in chapter 15, with the two main cases being borderline examples. Swift-Pad, on hearing it, isn't happy to find out they'd do such a thing, though he begrudgingly admits that at least they made sure their foals would have someone who knew what they were doing watching over them.
    • Scootaloo's parents are always away, and while her two aunts are very caring, they also aren't around all the time, though they do make sure she has trusted adult supervision when they can't be in Ponyville for her.
    • Rarity admits that her parents go on vacation and leave Sweetie Belle with her on a regular basis, but they do so because they trust her to care for her sister (in fact, her mother feels Rarity is a better mother to Sweetie Belle than she herself is).
  • Parental Substitute: Discussed in chapter 15.
    • Rarity admits that she sometimes feels she's more a mother to Sweetie Belle than a sister, and that her own mother feels that Rarity does a better job at raising Sweetie Belle than she does.
    • Scootaloo is mainly raised by her two aunts (whom Rainbow Dash admits are more parents to Scoots than her birth parents), since her actual parents are away doing important scientific work.
  • Person as Verb: As Swift-Pad reveals, a person "simply doing what they thought was right" is known as "a John move", after a griffon king who did the same without thinking it through and wound up effectively ruining his nation.
  • Persona Non Grata: Wolves who break the laws against harming children are permanently exiled from the Packlands.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Pinkie and her little twin sister Marble, as discussed in chapter 12 when she reveals she's a twin and Twilight reacts with surprise, since she's seen the Pie family portrait and Pinkie is the only pink one of her family. Pinkie replies that "Marble's a lot quieter and shyer and grayer than I am. Kind of like a mix of Mac and Fluttershy and a rock."
  • Prickly Porcupine: In chapter 20, Far-Tracker tells the story of how he ran afoul of one of these while hunting, and how he's pretty sure it was cursing him out afterward.
  • The Purge: A heroic and non-lethal variant begins in chapter 19, when Luna takes direct charge of cleaning house in the Equestrian Border Patrol to remove ineffective, incompetent and outright corrupt members.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Twilight has one. It's not easy to trigger, but under the right stimulus, she can utterly lose it, as seen in the Froggy Bottom Bog incident, and in chapter 21, it's hit hard — her conversation with Princess Luna manages to hit at least a few of her triggers until she goes out to scream herself into unconsciousness afterward, and later when she's woken up by Swift-Pad because she inadvertently caused a panic by teleporting, it pushes her over the edge again; thankfully, she maintains enough control to keep from causing physical harm, and to let Spike talk to her without fear soon afterward. When she's explaining this to Swift-Pad later, she makes it clear that she's not happy to have this issue, given the loss of control it represents, and that she regrets lashing out at him verbally like she did.
  • Reading the Enemy's Mail: Played with. The wolves of the Packlands check incoming and outgoing mail at the borders, but it's less to read the contents and more to check for potential hazards, such as explosive or poisoned letters. In chapter 25, Twilight does get one past this security measure, but that's because Wise-Mind marked it with his seal to let it go past.
  • Read the Fine Print:
    • During trade negotiations between Equestria and the Packlands, the wolves keep sneaking in extradition orders for Prince Blueblood (and before him, his ancestors), but Princess Celestia always finds and removes them.
    • In chapter 12, Princess Celestia mentions having had to deal with contracts that had hidden clauses, including ones that were so microscopic they were barely visible, and deliberate fraud that involved tricking people into signing multiple, non-identical copies of a contract.
  • Realpolitik: The fic goes into great length about the political climate between Equestria and the other nations.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Swift-Pad, who is generally patient and understanding. Even when he does get angered, he does his best to explain why he was angered, and to teach the one responsible how to ensure they don't make him angry over the same issue again.
    • Queen Tegmina is one of the most welcoming of the changeling queens introduced in chapter 25, and is more than willing to join in giving Twilight information on changeling matters.
    • The Alpha is stern but fair, and willing to hear Twilight out. He is also able to calm her when he sees his words are starting to upset her.
  • Red Baron: Princess Celestia, as noted in chapter 27, is known as the "Teacher of the World".
  • Relative Error: In chapter 20, when Twilight refers to "Shiny", Maxilla teases her about it, saying "Getting a little familiar with your fellow princess's husband there, aren't you?". A rather indignant Twilight promptly informs Maxilla that Shining Armor is her older brother.
  • Royal Harem: Discussed in chapter 14, when Celestia mentions that there are some of her detractors who would claim she picks her students so she can train them up and then make them a part of the Royal Harem. She then points out that she doesn't actually have a royal harem, and therefore such claims are absurd.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • A big part of the story is that Twilight's learning more about her duties and being given a chance to practice them (as opposed to the original cartoon's season 4, where she spent most of her time doing comparatively little with her authority as a princess), including about Equestria's diplomatic ties with other nations. Also unlike canon, she's actually being told about some of what she'll be doing in the future, once she's had proper training (such as in legal matters).
    • By the climax, Twilight has taken this to the logical conclusion of continuing her diplomatic visit and traveling the world, acting as a Diplomat at Large for her people.
  • Scare 'em Straight: Completely unintentional, but it happens — Diamond Tiara is normally rude and condescending to most others who don't have wealth and status, but when Swift-Pad enters the classroom, she just sees "big predatory creature" and is too scared of him, despite his being very friendly to everypony there, to cause trouble during class.
  • The Scottish Trope: Most changelings are hesitant to ever name Chrysalis at this point due to her actions making her a criminal among even her own people; Maxilla only ever names her during Twilight's first talk with her on the subject, and Wise-Mind when he confirms Twilight knows she's in the Packlands. Beyond that, most people just refer to her as "her"; Queen Scolopidia actually using the name earns her several gasps from her fellows.
  • Self-Deprecation: According to Rarity in chapter 15, her own mother has done this, stating that Rarity turned out as successful as she did in spite of their parenting rather than because of it. She and her husband also feel Rarity is a far better parent to Sweetie Belle than they are.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock:
    • Swift-Pad's changeling friend Maxilla informs Swift-Pad that they've been given permission to do this, assuming the form of a female wolf permanently to prove how much he/she cares about him and their relationship. Swift-Pad, fully aware of the meaning behind this act, becomes fully committed to the relationship as a result. Maxilla later officially undergoes it in chapter 26.
    • Chapter 26 reveals that doing this is a last-resort option for changelings who don't want to die with their Queen.
  • Shapeshifters Do It for a Change: Changelings are fully capable of changing into different genders depending on what their partner likes.
  • Sins of Our Fathers:
    • The wolf packs believe in this in the case of honor crimes, demanding to punish a descendant (by forcing them to fight in what's essentially a battle to the death, without magic) if they cannot punish the original person — the only way to really end the feud is for the family line of the guilty to end, by wolf justice or the line simply dying out. Celestia, however, has refused to turn over the stallion who offended them and continues to refuse to let his descendants be taken, which has placed a strain on Equestrian-Packland relations, but the wolves won't give in, continually sneaking an extradition order for Nobleblood's latest descendant into their trade agreements (which Celestia always vetoes). Twilight, for her part, is hoping to come up with a solution that they'll accept in lieu of blood. Celestia later thinks to herself that unofficially, the wolves have since realized they'd made a mistake in calling Nobleblood's case an honor crime in the first place because now there are very few ways for them to back down from it without looking politically weak in the process.
    • Residents of the centaur and gargoyle kingdom avoid Equestria because they think the ponies will hate them for what their former prince Tirek once did to that land.
  • Small Town Boredom: The Apple Clan has their own name for this — the "Apple Itch", where they get the urge to leave their hometown, go out in the world and create their own farm. Slice n' Dice felt the urge one day, and it led her to the Packlands. Applejack also mentions the time she felt something very close, which led her to Manehatten; inverted when she realized she belonged at the family farm and her return there earned her her Cutie Mark.
  • Speak of the Devil:
    • Variant in chapter 13, when Spike wonders if Discord is responsible for Twilight's old potions turning into the creature living in the refrigerator, behind the mayonnaise, next to the ketchup and to the left of the coleslaw. A letter from him, not necessarily denying it, promptly pops into Spike's claws.
    • In chapter 25, when Discord is being discussed, he again sends a letter to the group, this time one that reads itself aloud to them. The wolves are a little freaked out by this, especially given he bypassed their alarms in doing so.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Fluttershy can speak the wolves' language, and it's noted that she made a point of learning it and about their culture after meeting Well-Hidden, one of the civilized wolves, when he passed by her home at some point while on his meditation journey.
  • Squick: In-Universe, Twilight may understand the wolves' need for meat, but watching it be prepared from fresh bodies still disturbs her due to all the blood.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: Discussed in chapter 6, when Twilight learns why Swift-Pad is referring to her as "Your Grace" and learns that the wolves worship the alicorns, especially Luna. She explains, as politely as she can, that Celestia "personally dislikes that notion as it drives a wedge between her and every other pony" and that she agrees — she doesn't oppose the idea of worship in general, but personally being the subject of it makes her feel uncomfortable. Later, in chapter 11, Luna herself shows that she also finds it annoying, informing Swift-Pad that "Neither my sister or I are divine creatures nor did we ever make the claim that we were."
  • Straw Vegetarian:
    • There are those in the Equestrian Border Guard who are… selective about how they interpret and enforce the laws, and some of them can come off as this. Among other things, they try to arrest anyone prospective newcomers who work with meat, claiming their profession isn't recognized in Equestria. (They conveniently ignore that there are ponies who work with meat, to supply food to the domestic cat and dog population.)
    • Members of the PVE can also come off as this with their pony-first propaganda and especially their prejudice against meat-eating races.
  • Superior Species: There are many ponies who believe their race to be superior to any non-ponies. The PVE is an entire organization made up of them.
  • Take That!: A minor one to Cupcakes when, in chapter 20, Pinkie mentions some rumors about her and meat cupcakes, which Rainbow Dash tells her were started by a PVE member after she didn't fall for their way of thinking.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: In chapter 23, Rainbow Dash mentions an incident with an annoying and pushy magazine salesman who was clearly this, to the point where she almost called the guards on him when she found him still outside the next morning, asleep on her welcome mat.
  • Title Drop: Almost in chapter 15, when Swift-Pad says "this diplomatic visit".
  • Unfortunate Names:
    • As noted under Fantastic Naming Convention, the wolves of the Packlands are named after a trait the elders observe in them. One of Swift-Pad's litter-mates is Giggle-Snort, who would love to forget that he was named for the noise he made when he was first being groomed as a pup.
    • Subverted by the wolf Aargh. He thinks his name is hilarious, and so does pretty much everyone else when they hear the story of how he got it. (Short version: It's what another wolf yelled when young Aargh, acting in defense of his mother and litter-mates, bit him on the butt. They bent the rules a little in his case.)
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Swift-Pad was once in a relationship with a female wolf… then "she" turned out to be Maxilla, a male changeling in disguise, leaving Swift-Pad confused over his feelings.
  • Wife Husbandry: Discussed briefly in chapter 14, where Celestia mentions that there are some who would claim she picks her students so she can train them up and then make them a part of the Royal Harem. She points out that first, she doesn't have a royal harem, and second, that would fall under this trope, and the practice of such has been illegal for centuries.
  • "Will Return" Caption: The story ends with an announcement: "To be continued in… Diplomat at Large"
  • Would Hurt a Child: Doing this is a big crime in wolf society, and those who do so are permanently exiled from their lands. One wolf made the mistake of not only breaking this law, he came back to try and get revenge on the one who exiled him by attacking that wolf's mate and pups. Fortunately, this attempt was thwarted by a rather high-spirited member of the litter.
  • Written-In Absence: Retroactively for canon. During the events of "Boast Busters", Fluttershy was nowhere to be seen. In this continuity, it's explained that she was at home caring for a sick chickadee at the time.
  • You Got Murder: In chapter 16, Swift-Pad mentions an incident in which a wolf, corrupted by dark magic, attempted to send a letter that included a combination of runes that would have resulted in harm to the recipient. Fortunately, it was intercepted, and ever since then border security has included such things on their list to watch out for, and check all mail that's sent in and out of the Packlands to be safe.
  • Young and in Charge: As revealed in chapter 26, Queen Scolopidia was the equivalent of a teenager when she had to take the throne for her hive, and is still adjusting.
  • Your Universe or Mine?: Discussed in chapter 20; Twilight mentions having had feelings for a boy from another dimension once (she doesn't say outright, but from the context, it's pretty clear she means the human Flash Sentry), but when faced with this trope and knowing she had her responsibilities in Equestria, she chose to return home.

    Diplomat at Large 

Diplomat at Large contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: In canon, the Storm King wanted the powers of the alicorns to give himself new powerful magic, for storm generation. Here, he already has lightning and wind generation when the fight begins and is set on specifically usurping the magic that makes them Powers That Be.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Aria Blaze and Sonata Dusk, who turn out to have been manipulated by Adagio Dazzle into working with her and allowing her to expand her influence as Lady of Hatred. When they're broken free, Aria is furious at her, and subsequently inherits the mantle of Hatred when Discord decides she's a good match for it. The two soon return to Equestria and are welcomed back, moving to the Crystal Empire so Aria can learn from and work closely with her Opposite, Princess Cadance.
  • Adaptation Species Change: In canon, Queen Novo was a hippogriff who changed into a seapony. In this fic, she was always a seapony. The same holds true for her daughter Princess Skystar, her sister Ocean Flow, and her niece and nephew Silverstream and Terramar. Subverted with the siblings' father Sky Beak, whom Spike initially assumes was also a seapony originally, before he corrects him and explains he was born a hippogriff and changed into a seapony with the Pearl of Transformation.
  • Adopted into Royalty: Cadance, per series canon. In chapter 8, Prince Blueblood specifically states that she was adopted by Celestia upon her ascension to alicornhood.
  • The Alcoholic: Discussed in chapter 9. When Fancy Pants comes to meet Blueblood with a bottle of wine, the latter implies that if he keeps this up, ponies who love to gossip might start thinking of him as having a drinking problem. Fancy rather firmly denies that he's an addict; his only drinking problem is when he has a good bottle and nopony to share it with.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: The Powers have their own pecking order of sorts; in chapter 4, Chrysalis claims Celestia overstepped hers by imprisoning Chrysalis in a volcano, and that as the Lady of Self-Centeredness, she outranks Celestia. After Cadance points out that Chrysalis attacked two other Powers unprovoked, another Power shows up to put Chrysalis in her place by stripping her of her status — Discord, since as Lord of Disharmony, Self-Centeredness is one of his sub-Powers.
  • Ancient Evil: Squirk, the gigantic and monstrous octopus who once ruled what is now Aquastria; he's been locked in a prison for thousands of years since being defeated by the merlions.
  • Anger Born of Worry: In chapter 7, Thorax and Pharynx get into a physical brawl with one another when Thorax tries to forbid him from joining in the attack on the Storm King's fortress. It turns out he's angry because he doesn't want to risk losing the only family he has left.
  • Attention Whore: This is the Storm King's motivation, as he reveals before his fight starts.
    The Storm King: "Why, I'm gonna be a star, little princess! The biggest, baddest bad guy this world has ever seen! The Storm King isn't just a person, it's a whole brand! And when I get your power, and all your other Princesses' and all the rest of your precious powers, I'm gonna be a King the whole wide world of universes!"
  • Badass Boast: In chapter 7, when Pharynx unleashes a potent magical attack against him, the Storm King's armor allows him to just shrug it off, at which point he proclaims "Did you really expect that to hurt me? I'm the Storm King, baby! I am the storm!"
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: In chapter 11, when Discord shows up to do his Duties as Champion of Chaos and reclaim the Power of Hatred from Adagio Dazzle, he appears as a human in a zoot suit and a wide-brimmed hat. Carrying the Twilicane.
  • Baleful Polymorph: In chapter 12, it's mentioned that as part of her sentence, along with being depowered, Chrysalis was turned into a donkey for the rest of her life.
  • Befriending the Enemy: As in canon, Twilight manages to befriend Tempest Shadow and turn her to the side of good; Grubber follows her when she does.
  • Beneath the Mask: When not in his public persons of an Upper-Class Twit, Prince Blueblood turns out to be an intelligent, loyal nephew of the Princesses, who's been working for years to see the removal of others who would seek to grab more power for themselves and remove the Princesses, and wants nothing more than to travel the world and relax without having to look over his shoulder for threats all the time.
  • The Bet: Apparently, several changelings had one on where Luna was during the invasion of Canterlot. Pharynx wins the pool in chapter 1 when Luna admits she was asleep at the time due to her circadian rhythm being adjusted for being up all night, a requirement for her duties with the Night Guard.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Or rather, Big Sister. This is why Maud Pie put her Rocktorate on hold and joined the army — she says that if it's to protect her parents and sisters, it's worth it.
  • Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...: While going through the letters the yaks missed due to an overzealous sentry, Prince Rutherford reads off a few of them:
    "Junk… junk… yaks may have already won ten thousand bits… junk…"
  • Blood Knight: The yaks. They like smashing things. A lot. They also love a good battle, and when Twilight informs them of the war they sat out (due to the Call being screened), are furious to find out that they missed one.
  • Blow You Away: The Storm King utilizes wind during his battle, though it's only really mentioned once.
  • Bookworm: Twilight Sparkle, hands-down, is one of the biggest in canon and here. She refers to a lawbook dating back to over a thousand years ago as "a little light bedtime reading", which amuses Luna when she hears it.
  • Break the Haughty: Chrysalis suffers this in chapter 4. Dragged out in chains to be Sealed, attempting to use her status as a Power to win her freedom, only to find she really is in the wrong by their ancient Laws, and then stripped of her status as a Power by her superior before being Sealed once and for all.
  • Commanding Coolness:
    • The changelings' military leaders and hive second-in-commands are referred to as "Commander", with Pharynx being the most prominent one seen in-story.
    • Princess Luna is Commander in Chief of all branches of the Equestrian Military and out-ranks everyone in them as a result. This also puts her in functional control of the country while they're at war, with everyone (even Celestia) referring to her as "Commander" for the duration, as happens when a declaration of war is made against the Storm King and his armies in chapter 5.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: In response to the Diamond Dogs of Dimondia essentially enslaving Trixie, Twilight threatens to call Rarity down on them. They give in almost immediately.
  • Crazy-Prepared: As chapter 6 reveals, Rarity has wedding dresses and tuxedos already made for her friends, and wedding dresses for other certain couples as well, such as Lyra and Bon-Bon (which she needed when they had a sudden proposal and wedding).
  • Crystal Prison: As revealed in chapter 11, Grogar the ram sorcerer is encased in the heart of a crystal that's at least a mile thick. Not even counting the assorted security spells as a backup.
  • Cuteness Proximity:
    • Twilight Velvet falls head over heels for Ocellus when she meets the young changeling, who is rather startled to find this mare cooing at her.
    • As seen in chapter 6, even Rainbow Dash thinks baby hares are "cute little fuzzballs" when she sees them.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Power of Hatred, which is based on negative emotions, is actually designed to encourage positive use of anger and hatred — to channel it in a productive manner, and direct it at a suitable target. Some of the time at least, this is so the person being affected (or the one they're aiming it at) can grow a spine.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: In chapter 4, Discord (almost) departs after saying "Until next time; arrivederci!" "arrivederci" is Italian for "See you later", which Pharynx lampshades, pointing out that they mean almost the same thing. Luna responds that this is Discord, and he doesn't find it fun to make sense.
  • De-Power:
    • In two ways in chapter 4 — first, Discord strips Chrysalis of her status as the Lady of Self-Centeredness; second, she's Sealed, robbing her of her changeling powers once and for all.
    • Chapter 11 reveals that Adagio Dazzle, leader of the siren trio, is actually the Lady of Hatred. Like Chrysalis, she's stripped of her Power for abusing it, having used her fellows to channel it and spread its effects, which is against the rules.
  • Dirty Business: The changelings feel this way about Sealing Chrysalis. She was the first Queen, and there are many who are still in awe of her… even those who despise what she did will mourn when she's dealt with. Despite this, they understand that her crimes leave them no choice but to strip her of her powers and rank.
  • Disney Villain Death: Subverted in chapter 7 when the Storm King gets knocked out a window and lands on the battlefield. It's not the fall that kills him — it's the Offhand Backhand with a sword, from the pony he landed right by, that does it.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: In chapter 11, when Sonata Dusk realizes that Adagio had used her magic to influence them and wonders why, Aria admits that "The ditz has a point." before reminding Adagio that sirens have their own rules, one of which is that they never use their powers on one another.
  • Dumb Struck: Thorax is left speechless when Pharynx points out that his new antlers make him look like a moose. Pharynx is left wishing for a camera to immortalize that expression.
  • Elite Mooks: The White Changelings, top trained changelings with high degree mastery in most magic spells, who wear pure white outfits to hide what hive they belong to and ensure no single hive can gain control over the entire order. It's noted that several squads of them are being used to guard Chrysalis in her prison, and that Chrysalis herself never contributed any members.
  • Epic Fail: In chapter 7, the Storm King tries to use Aroint ye! (literally, "Begone!") to trigger his Staff's magic. It doesn't work.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In chapter 6, while the Powers are being discussed, Discord mentions he found someone who'd make a good future Lady of Lies, except for one thing — she's a complete and utter sociopath, and he doesn't want her associated with him.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Discussed in chapter 2. Queen Tegmina admits that Chrysalis, with her greed and selfishness, was worse than even Tirek, who also lusted for power, in that regard.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Per canon, the Storm King. Loud, boisterous, wise-cracking, and pretty wild.
  • Famous Last Words: The Storm King's are "Master… help me…"
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Discussed In-Universe in chapter 12, when Daring Do complains about the fans who think her character has this with Dr. Caballeron and claim she's in denial when she says no, she really can't stand him and the feeling's mutual. She also gets letters from fans who ship her and Ahuizotl/Teomitl, who's startled when he finds out. The third story later shows that she and Teomitl really have since become a couple.
  • The Good King: King Leo, the easy-going merlion king of Aquastria, introduced in chapter 8 after a previous mention in chapter 21 of the first story.
  • Government in Exile: Since Queen Skydancer of the hippogriffs died in the Storm King's attack, her brother and heir is General Seaspray, who — with his people — now lives in Queen Novo's kingdom of Seaquestria as a seapony, representing his people on her council of nobles.
  • Grand Theft Me: Towards the end of chapter 6, Pinkie unwittingly channels another Power. Unlike most cases, they cooperate and speak together, delivering the same message that Pinkie was about to give: "Just cheer up and never ever give up hope!"
  • Grave Humor: In chapter 7, the Storm King taunts Tempest with this, asking if she really wants "Princess Twilight was right" to be what they carve on her tombstone — or into her, as he hits her with an Obsidian Orb and turns her to stone.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Storm King's unidentified master, whose existence is only revealed with his whispered dying words.
  • Grew a Spine: As revealed when the mantle of Hatred is being transferred to Aria Blaze, she's been trying to encourage Sonata to do this for a long time so she can stand up for herself.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In chapter 7, Tempest Shadow and Grubber, off-screen, at Twilight's influence. It took her a while to bring them around though.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: During the invasion of the Storm King's army, Queen Skydancer acted as the last line of defense for her people, ultimately sacrificing herself so they could escape to safety.
  • The High King: Chrysalis used to be a female version of this for the changelings, as their first and thus eldest and highest-ranking Queen. With her removed, Queen Tegmina becomes the Eldest Queen.
  • Hopeless Suitor: In chapter 7. Tempest displays a very brief interest in Pharynx when they have a moment to talk and she finds he's a military stallion, but immediately backs off when he says he's taken right afterward.
  • Immortality Seeker: Chapter 10 reveals this was the real reason why Sunset wanted to become an alicorn — she wanted to become immortal so she could spend all eternity by Celestia's side.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: Subverted with the alicorns, as noted in chapter 8. Luna explains to Pharynx that because of how long it tends to take them to find a partner, they're fertile for a lifetime once they come of age.
  • Improvised Weapon: In chapter 7, near the end of the fight, Twilight utilizes a piece of the Storm King's broken armor as a makeshift shuriken to impale his wrist so he drops his staff.
  • I Want Grandkids:
    • In chapter 3, Windy Whistles expresses a desire for grandfoals, but is more reasonable about it than most examples, pointing out that Rainbow Dash has career plans and she won't ask her to put those on hold — she can wait until later.
    • Velvet expresses a desire for grandfoals from Twilight in chapter 13. The fact that the prospective other parent is another mare doesn't stop her in the slightest.
  • Joker Immunity: Discussed in chapter 12. Daring says that this is the narrative reason why Caballeron keeps escaping — she needs recurring villains to make the stories more exciting. The in-story reason (and the truth, based on her real life, though the readers don't know that part) is that he really is just that good at escaping from the guards.
  • Killed Off for Real: The Storm King in chapter 7. Knocked out a window, landing in the middle of the battlefield where his army is fighting Equestria's and their allies, and gets a sword through his heart — conveniently unarmored thanks to Pharynx shattering said armor earlier.
  • Legacy Character: After Adagio is stripped of the mantle of Hatred, it's granted to Aria Blaze when Discord deems her a more fitting Bearer to the Role.
  • Logic Bomb: As seen in chapter 7, this is how Twilight inspired Tempest's Heel–Face Turn: she pointed out that Tempest claimed she didn't have to depend on or trust anyone, and yet she'd ended up placing all her hopes in the Storm King being able to restore her horn, depending on him. Also, despite her best efforts at thinking friendship was pointless, she had made a friend — Grubber. Tempest finally admitted that she had a point.
  • Made a Slave: Effectively what happened to Trixie when she was crowned Queen of Dimondia, the crown preventing her from leaving. Twilight is not amused when she finds out and arranges to free her and appoint Jim, the Diamond Dogs' royal chancellor, as King (with a non-enchanted crown) in her place.
  • The Marvelous Deer: The changelings' true form, which they achieve when they begin to share love, undergoing Metamorphosis and becoming a strong, healthy, elegant, brightly colored hybrid mixture between beetles and deer, with the high-ranking ones having an even more deer-like appearance due to gaining antlers reminiscent of a stag beetle's jaws.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Discussed in chapter 8, when Luna notes her own long lifespan and Pharynx reminds her he won't live as long, even as a Royal Changeling, since he wasn't born one. Luna, however, tells him she has a solution to that, which he accepts once told.
  • Meaningful Rename: Chapter 8 reveals that as in canon, Tempest Shadow changed her name a few times when trying to reinvent herself; her original name is Fizzlepop Berrytwist, though she decides to stick with Tempest Shadow now to avoid confusion.
  • Meet the In-Laws: A non-romantic version happens in chapter 3, when Rainbow Dash invites Scootaloo — her sister in all but blood — and her aunts over to meet her parents. Luckily, Windy Whistles and Bow Hot Hoof adore Scootaloo and happily accept she, Holiday and Lofty into the family.
  • Metamorphosis: In the first chapter, Princess Cadance helps Thorax complete his change into a full-grown changeling King via sharing love energy, since he hasn't yet gathered enough on his own. In the process, he sends it out to his brother and the others of his hive present, and as they all share it with one another, they’re each enveloped by a radiant chrysalis and shortly emerge as colorful and elegant hybrids of pony and beetle with full-bodied crystalline wings. The other Queens present, after some talk, decide to give sharing a try and undergo the same change.
  • Mood Whiplash: Chapter 4 ends this way. One minute, Chrysalis is being dealt with so she'll never pose a threat ever again. The next, they get news that makes Celestia freeze in shock before calling for a full meeting of the Noble Council — because war is coming.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Mixed with Pardon My Klingon — in chapter 2, Scolopidia "let out a word that didn't translate into Equestrian", a rather obvious swear that makes her guards give her a disapproving look.
  • Never Heard That One Before: In chapter 7, Tempest says that "You're tougher than I thought, little Princess." Twilight's reply: "You'd be surprised how often I've heard that lately."
  • Non-Protagonist Resolver: In chapter 7, Twilight, Pharynx and Tempest Shadow handle most of the job of defeating the Storm King. It's Bon-Bon, however, who actually kills him without realizing it when he gets knocked out a window and lands on the battlefield behind her.
  • Noodle Incident: Twilight apparently "invaded" Byzantion, where the headquarters of the International Bureaucracy was located.
  • Not Hyperbole: In chapter 12, Aria says the sirens once threw Squirk out of their territory, and they meant it literally — they levitated him out of the ocean and threw him over the horizon.
  • Offhand Backhand: During the big battle with the Storm King's forces in chapter 7, Bon-Bon doesn't look at whom she's striking when she swings her sword, and stabs the Storm King himself through the heart.
  • Oh, Crap!: In chapter 11, Adagio's reaction when Discord shows up.
  • Persona Non Grata: After "invading" Byzantion, where the headquarters of the International Bureaucracy was located, and subsequently throwing everyone out of the building so she could go through everything and solve the griffons' debt problem, Twilight is no longer permitted back there.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The Royal Sisters discuss this and go out of her way to subvert this in chapter 8. When a notification was sent out to Lyra Heartstrings about her wife, they made sure to include a mark on it that would be recognizable as a sign of good news, so as to avoid causing her to think it was a Death Notification.
  • Posthumous Character: It's eventually revealed that Queen Skydancer, ruler of the hippogriffs, died during the Storm King's attack.
  • Power Copying: Minor example in chapter 7. During the big battle outside the Storm King's fortress, Pharynx sees one pony pulling a Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs to shatter a boulder. He later takes her form and copies her move to shatter the Storm King's armor.
  • The Power of Hate: Hatred is one of the many Powers That Be, and in chapter 11 is revealed to belong to Adagio Dazzle of the sirens. However, Dark Is Not Evil, and for all that it's focused on the spread of negative emotions, it's also intended to help others let out those negative emotions in a healthy manner, without letting it control them. Adagio just used it to spread hate so she could feed on it, which is a misuse of its power, and results in her losing it to Aria when Discord gets involved.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • In chapter 3, Bow Hot Hoof uses the same phrase twice — "BEST! FAMILY! EVER!"
    • In chapter 6, when Luna shoots down Spitfire's complaints over not being involved in the war councils and asks if she's done anything, beyond simple seniority, to earn her ranking, Spitfire has this to say:
    Spitfire: "Give. Me. The chance."
    Pharynx: "I am really. Starting to get tired. Of you!"
    Twilight: "You! Don't! Touch! My! Friends!"
  • Punctuated Pounding: Twilight, in chapter 7, who strikes the Storm King repeatedly while making the following declaration.
    Twilight: "You! Don't! Touch! My! Friends!"
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: During the battle in chapter 7, Pharynx sees one Earth pony (Maud Pie, though he doesn't name her) using this to shatter a massive rock. He later uses the same trick, while shifted into her form, to shatter the Storm King's armor.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Chapter 2 mentions that Queen Scolopidia is about three hundred years old, and still the equivalent of a teenager by Royal changeling standards.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Granny Smith, who hears Slice n' Dice's story and is appalled at how her family reacted.
  • Refusal of the Call: During chapter 7, it's mentioned that Princess Celestia made overtures toward the yaks to help in the war effort, but they refused to hear her out.
  • Refused by the Call: In chapter 6, it's noted that Zephyr Breeze tried to join the army when the call went out for recruits, but was rejected. Luna refers to his "serious lack of stick-to-it-ness" as a factor.
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • After just a few chapters of Ship Tease, Luna and Pharynx have become an official couple by chapter 4, set some weeks after the story started.
    • Chapter 6 mentions that Lyra and Bon-Bon proposed to one another and got married after Bon-Bon announced she was joining the army.
    • While exact details of how are not given, it's noted in chapter 12 that Queen Scolopidia has made her close friendship with Vinyl and Octavia official, and moved her hive to Equestria.
  • Satanic Archetype: The Storm King, per canon. He commands an army of ferocious beasts, has conquered multiple countries and left them devastated, and has Tempest do his bidding with a promise to restore her broken horn, though he outright admits during the battle that he wasn't going to do it even before she betrayed him. In addition, he has horns, a pointed crown and goats legs reminiscent of Satan.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: One of the yaks, a skinnier one, does this when hearing that Discord is back. The other yaks are not amused.
  • Screening the Call: The yaks, as it turns out. One in particular was in charge of turning away attempts at communication from outside and got a little over-zealous, so the actual leaders never got Celestia’s request for aid in the war effort. They’re furious when they find out they missed a good battle, and tell Twilight that if they’d known, they would have happily joined up.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can:
    • Chapter 8 reveals that millennia ago, the merlions migrated into the area of the western oceans ruled by the monstrous octopus Squirk, and defeated and imprisoned him in a cage of wrought sea-silver and oceanic crystal, enchanted to keep his words from getting out. He's still there to this day, throwing tantrums inside his prison.
    • Grogar, the ancient ram sorcerer, imprisoned long ago. Twilight checks up on his prison in chapter 11, and finds that it's still shut tight, adding a few extra spells of her own to be safe.
  • Shipper on Deck: Cadance, Celestia and the other changeling Queens are all very much in support of Luna and Pharynx as a couple. Discord of all people turns out to approve of Luna and Pharynx as a couple when he appears in chapter 4.
  • Ship Tease: Between Luna and Pharynx in chapter 1. The changeling Queens and Cadance are immediately aware of it when they see the two interacting.
  • Shock and Awe: The Storm King is able to shoot lightning from his helmet.
  • Shrinking Violet: Ocellus, as her mother notes, has always been a little shy. Her response to Twilight Velvet coming up and saying "Hi" to her is to squeak in fear and turn herself into a rock.
  • Sir Swearsalot: Squirk, the monstrous octopus who once ruled what is now Aquastria, has quite the mouth on him, though readers are spared any examples. His prison is specifically enchanted so the nearby residents don't have to listen to his words.
  • Skewed Priorities: In chapter 7, during the fight with the Storm King, Pharynx breaks a horn off his helmet. The Storm King's biggest concern is that now it doesn't look right, and how long it's going to take to get it fixed.
  • So Proud of You:
    • Age-inverted — Spike is proud of Twilight for standing up to her principles and handling the griffon debt crisis her own way, and declaring that she'd do it the same way all over again if she had to.
    • In chapter 7, this is Pharynx's reaction to Thorax finally standing up to him.
  • Speech Impediment: Per canon, Grubber speaks with a noticeable lisp.
  • Squee!: Scootaloo does a spot-on impression of Twilight's squee from her story in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" in chapter 3, when she finds her aunts are moving to Ponyville full-time.
  • Suddenly Significant Rule: In chapter 5, Twilight invokes a law dating back to the first Noble Council — "In the time where our allies are under attack, all those who deliberately deny or delay Equestria's support on their own volition and actively act against the principles of friendship that our nation was founded on, shall have their wealth and citizenship revoked, and be held prisoner until such time that the conflict is over as to not pose as a potential enemy within our own nation." In short, it lets her legally remove a majority of the nobles from power so the Princesses can declare war on the Storm King and his armies without interference. This rule is literally over a thousand years old and is still on the books, but she found it and made use of it. It later turns out that it wasn't actually ratified, though by that point Blueblood's gathered enough evidence of wrongdoing to have them all legally removed soon enough anyway.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Chapter 2 explains that this happened to Queen Scolopidia's mother, who was fatally injured by a Gmork (this story's name for the yeti-like thing that Pinkie met in "Party Pooped") near the border of Yakyakistan, leaving Scolopidia with no choice but to undergo her metamorphosis into a Queen as fast as she could to prevent her hive from dying.
  • Taken for Granite: In chapter 7, Tempest suffers this at the hands of the Storm King and an Obsidian Orb. Twilight later drains the magic out with the Staff of Sacanas and restores her to flesh.
  • Taking You with Me: In chapter 7, Pharynx tells Thorax that if he dies, he'll make sure he does this to the one responsible.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Squirk, the gigantic and monstrous octopus who once ruled what is now Aquastria, does this in his cage almost every single day. It typically involves lots of swearing, though the prison's enchantments mean nobody outside can hear his words (the sounds he makes from pounding on the walls and floor are another story).
  • Teach Him Anger: One of the Lord or Lady of Hatred's Duties, teaching others to channel anger and righteous hatred at a suitable target to help them grow a spine. It's also revealed that Aria Blaze has been trying to do this with Sonata Dusk for quite some time, to help her stand up for herself, unsuccessfully.
  • Tempting Fate: In chapter 4, after Chrysalis is stripped of her Power status, Celestia says that "Hopefully, this is all the excitement we will see tod-" only to be cut off mid-word by the arrival of a letter from Twilight… leading to a council of war.
  • Tentacled Terror: Squirk, the gigantic and monstrous octopus who once ruled what is now Aquastria as a tyrant before the merlions locked him away, liberating the local seaponies and mermares in the process.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: In chapter 7, at point, the Storm King says "That's it! Now I'm mad!" in response to Pharynx shattering his armor.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: In chapter 7, this is Pharynx's reaction to realizing he'll have to explain his black eye (which he got in his brawl with Thorax) to Luna.
  • Time Abyss: Chrysalis is quite literally the first changeling Queen (not the first of their race, but the first to undergo a metamorphosis into a Queen), over a millennia old.
  • True Neutral: In-Universe, Luna describes the Judge, the only Power without an Opposite, as this.
    Luna: "They can't be bargained with. They can't be reasoned with. They don't feel pity or remorse or fear. All they do is judge, determining a soul's fate upon its entrance to the afterlife. And their decision is final."
  • Uncertain Doom: In chapter 12, when asked about Starswirl's fate, Luna informs Aria that he and his companions disappeared over a thousand years ago; while he isn't dead, they don't know what actually happened to him.
  • Underestimating Badassery: In chapter 8, during a three-way conversation between Thorax, Pharynx and Luna, Luna expects that Tempest would think Princess Cadance would be too soft to really understand her. Pharynx points out that it would be an example of this, and that they'd need to remedy that by telling her of Cadance's history facing Chrysalis, Sombra and Prismia.
  • Underwater City: Seaquestria in the eastern oceans, ruled by the seapony Queen Novo and home to a mix of seaponies and transformed hippogriffs, and Aquastria in the western oceans, ruled by merlion King Leo and inhabited by a mix of merlions, seaponies and mermares.
  • Unexpected Successor: Thorax, as it turns out. He's the first normal drone to ascend to Royal status since the last of the original generation of Queens did so; Chrysalis had no Royal offspring to take her place, so there wasn't much of a choice.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Changelings swear by "the Eternal Swarm", the leaderless changelings that existed before Chrysalis became the first of their kind to undergo a metamorphosis into a Queen.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Blueblood's public persona, an aristocrat with little to no signs of common sense, basic manners, or consideration for those around him, and a talent in alienating people. What most don't realize is that it is an act.
  • Visual Pun: Used by Discord a few times.
    • In chapter 6, he pops in and claims "My ears are burning" (because he was being talked about). They're literally on fire.
    • Twice in chapter 7. First, when he says he needs to cause more chaos to get back in shape, he's enclosed in a dodecahedron-shaped bubble. Second, when he tells Luna that "The timing is key", his head morphs into an old-style skeleton key.
  • Voice of the Legion: In chapter 6, Pinkie temporarily speaks with two voices when another Power briefly inhabits her body so the two can deliver a simultaneous message of encouragement to her friends.
  • War Arc: From chapter 5 to chapter 7, with cleanup following. Pretty much all the actual fighting takes place during a single decisive battle with Equestria and its allies on one side and the Storm King and his army on the other in chapter 7, while the preceding chapters mostly involve preparations.
  • We Need a Distraction: Effectively the whole point of the attack on the Storm King's fortress, the united armies drawing out the Storm King's army so another team can go in and deal with the Storm King. Unbeknownst to anyone but Discord, it's actually Twilight and Tempest Shadow, sneaking in to steal the Staff of Sacanas from him. It works, though Twilight and Tempest — with the unexpected aid of Pharynx — wind up facing the Storm King himself in the process.
  • Wild Mass Guessing: In-Universe, Rainbow Dash and Rarity indulge in this in chapter 6 while discussing the Powers and trying to figure out the natures of some of them in order to identify potential Bearers. Applejack, Pinkie and Fluttershy join them in doing it again later, over dinner, with Discord noting that they're closer than they think on some of their guesses.
  • Worth It: Twilight managed to get herself banned from ever setting hoof in Byzantion again after "invading" it and solving the griffons' debt issues. She considers it well worth it.
  • Wrecked Weapon: In chapter 7, Pharynx breaks a lightning-projecting horn off the Storm King's helmet.
  • You Killed My Father: Queen Scolopidia really wants to be the one to eliminate the Gmork that fatally injured her mother, and is not thrilled that she's been forced to leave it to her hive's elite soldiers instead.
  • You Monster!: Pharynx calls the Storm King one for petrifying Tempest and laughing at it.
    The Storm King (sarcastically): "Really, what gave it away? Was it the face, the army, the cloven hooves?"
  • Your Universe or Mine?: Chapter 11 reveals that the Alpha of the Packlands is going steady with Principal Celestia, and drops by her universe to take her out every now and then.

    Diplomacy Through Schooling 

Diplomacy Through Schooling contains examples of:

  • Altar Diplomacy: Discussed in chapter 14, in which it's noted that some of the nobles of Laronda practice this, but the Royal Family do not and in fact officially discourage it.
  • Ambiguously Bi: In chapter 8, when asked if she's wishing she had kids of her own, Slice n' Dice says that she's "Gotta meet the right stallion first. Or mare. Ah'm not picky." This marks the first time she's displayed any interest in romance.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Tirek's arm gets essentially burned away when Twilight unleashes pure solar magic on it. Which has the side effect of giving him cancer throughout his body.
  • Berserk Button: Cozy Glow hits Twilight's in chapter 10 when it's revealed she's actually an adult in the form of a filly and thus putting the other students in potential danger.
  • Big Sister Instinct: In chapter 10, when Applejack finds out the truth about Cozy Glow being an adult in a child's body, her immediate reaction is to go find Apple Bloom and warn her to stay away from the other "filly".
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Cozy Glow seems sweet and innocent on the outside, but once Twilight figures out her secret in chapter 10, she admits that she's really out for power.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Discussed in chapter 9, when Shining Armor and Sonata both mention liking some of the stranger food combinations that Cadance has asked for during her pregnancy — Shining Armor liked the "cold rice, cucumber, banana and bleu cheese dressing" mixture, and Sonata liked the anchovy, sour cream and steak sauce tacos. Then again, as Aria points out, Sonata will eat anything if it's served in a taco shell.
  • Blow You Away: In chapter 6, when Starlight explains her Cutie Mark, she tells Spike and Twilight how she got it when she used precision magic to simulate a careful breeze and free a kite from a tree.
  • Book Dumb: Sonata used to be, as she admits in chapter 11. She's put a lot of effort into fixing that since she got back to Equestria though.
  • Call-Back: We finally learn the identity of the potential Lady of Lies that Discord turned down due to her rampant sociopathy. Cozy Glow.
  • Cassandra Truth: Comes up in chapter 10. Apparently, Cozy Glow has tried to tell people she has a medical disorder that keeps her from aging physically. They assumed she was just playing pretend and sent her away; Twilight's the first to figure it out when she examined Cozy's magical signature.
  • Child Hater: Trixie's old teacher from her hometown, Mrs. Hydia, was apparently one of these, Trixie describing her as "one of those types that makes you wonder why she went into teaching if she didn't like being around foals".
  • Cold Iron: As chapter 7 reveals, the mines where Neighsay and his fellows work are lined with this, blocking magic and keeping his amulet from teleporting him out.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: In chapter 6, when discussing what'll happen when they find Sunburst, Twilight says that if he doesn't have a good reason for breaking off contact with Starlight, she'll... "give him the nose-honking of a lifetime". And then she'll call her mom in to have words with him. Spike actually finds this second part a reasonable and threatening punishment when she says it, shuddering in response.
  • Crash-Into Hello: This is how Sandbar and Gallus meet in chapter 7, reenacting their first encounter from canon.
  • Crazy-Prepared: As she explains in the epilogue, Celestia has contingencies for what to do if assorted random citizens of Ponyville become alicorns. She says she came up with them when she had one of those days where she felt like stretching her imagination.
  • Creepy Child: Cozy Glow, whose behavior and interest in other cultures' villains unnerves some of her classmates, and prompts Diamond Tiara to talk to Twilight about her. Then in chapter 10 it turns out she's not actually a child — she looks like one, but her magical signature reveals her as an adult.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Lady of Magic Vs. Tirek, in chapter 11. Tirek ends up losing an arm and his mind, and is reimprisoned in Tartarus… and now has cancer to boot, but can't die from it because of the extra effects the Lady of Magic added.
  • Curse Cut Short: At one point in chapter 14, Magic starts to say that an alternate Celestia "really sc- er." before apologizing and telling Twilight that she doesn't need to hear that kind of language just yet.
  • Depower: In chapter 7, Neighsay's captor breaks his horn off, and then burns away the nerve endings to ensure he can never use magic again.
  • Death by Adaptation: In canon, Sunburst's father is never seen outside of flashbacks; the show's supervising director Jim Miller has implied that he's alive, they just had too much other stuff going on in "The Parent Map" (when it would have been logical for him to appear) to give him a real role. Chapter 7 notes that Sunspot is deceased in this continuity.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: After all that ship tease between Moondancer and Twilight, and just as Twilight has decided to talk to Moondancer about taking a step forward in their relationship, Moondancer admits to Twilight that she's fallen for Trixie.
  • Disney Death: The final clash with Tirek kicks off when he destroys Twilight's home and the school she founded, making her think he killed all her students and their teachers. After the fight, it turns out they're all just fine, having evacuated in time.
  • The Dreaded: Life, one of the Powers and the Opposite of Death. They do not like to be disturbed needlessly and are said to be more powerful than Death. As Celestia explains, the reason is that all souls that are still alive are under its purview, and it is the only one that can accelerate one's meeting with Death without any consequences on their part.
  • Dreadful Musician: As chapter 6 notes, Discord was this on purpose, having performed a horrific attempt at karaoke during Twilight and Spike's welcome-home party.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Discussed in chapter 2, where Shining Armor jokes about Twilight's driving likely being a bit of a problem because she has trouble focusing on things other than books. Twilight tells him that there are drivers who are a lot worse than she could be.
    Twilight: "They say that in Manehatten, the passenger chariots drive on the right side of the road. In the Griffish Isles, they drive on the left. And on some of the Minos Islands, they drive on the shady side."
  • Dumb Struck: Nearly a year after Pharynx left Thorax speechless with a comment, Thorax does almost the same to Pharynx when he reveals he's finally found a life partner.
  • Everyone Hates Mimes: As noted in chapter 6, Trixie comments that she finds their smiles unnerving. Spike agrees.
  • Extra Eyes: In her full-powered form as the Lady of Magic, Twilight has at least a dozen eyes.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • As seen in chapter 6, Starlight Glimmer's so out of touch that she completely missed the war going on the year before. The same goes for the citizens of her village.
    • Neighsay's captors missed his teleportation pendant, and that it still has magic. He intends to use this to his advantage.
  • Family Theme Naming: Ocellus, a canon character, is named for the simplistic eyes sported by some insects. Her parents, who made unnamed appearances in the show and are Named by the Adaptation here, also sport names based on insect eyes.
  • Fright Deathtrap: May or may not have been the intention, but as Luna recounts in the epilogue, Umbrea — the former Lady of Nightmares — once tormented an individual with nightmares that eventually proved too much for his heart, putting enough of a strain on it that he literally died of fright in his sleep.
  • The Ghost: Life, a Power whom everyone sees at least once — they're the source of all souls entering the world. If they actually show up in the material world in person, it's Serious with a capital 'S'. Later, the first chapter of the fourth story sees Life abandon this status, to an extent at least, by appearing on the astral plane after summoning Twilight and Sunset there in order to explain Sunset's special Role as the Guardian for the Gateways; they also reveal this Role is why Sunset doesn't have an Other in the human world.
  • The Glomp:
    • In chapter 2, Tempest delivers one to Discord after he restores her horn.
    • In chapter 7, Twilight lays an epic one on Celestia after the latter admits that she sees Twilight as a daughter, and that Velvet is perfectly fine with this.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: In chapter 7, Neighsay's captor manages to pull off both roles all by himself, first offering him a position among his followers, then threatening to destroy his horn if he refuses. When Neighsay stays loyal to Equestria, the captor follows through with his threat.
  • Great Offscreen War: During the telling of their Creation Myth, a great alicorn-draconequus war is mentioned. Details are not given, save for that after it was over, Order and Chaos — the Eldest of the Creators — stepped back.
  • Having a Blast: Chapter 2 reveals that Tempest's ability to create explosive blasts is how she got her Cutie Mark.
  • Hellish Horse: In her full-powered form as the Lady of Magic, Twilight certainly resembles one… but at heart, she's still good.
  • Here We Go Again!: Twilight's reaction at the end of chapter 5, when Discord tells her that something odd involving magical disturbances is going on in a small settlement, and advises she and her friends to check it out as soon as possible.
  • Hope Spot: In chapter 7, Neighsay has a brief one, when his distraction works so he can teleport out... then subverted when it turns out the mines' interference kept him from doing so.
  • Humble Goal: As revealed in the epilogue, Prince Caplan of Laronda is happy to let his older brother take the throne. His own goal is to be a teacher, which he's achieved and is quite satisfied with.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • As chapter 10 notes, even without Spike's presence during the events of "It's Not Easy Being Breezies", some of the Breezies still got separated from the rest of their group and had to be helped back home.
    • Despite an early warning that something had escaped from Tartarus, Tirek is still able to avoid detection and launch his attack.
  • I Want Grandkids: Velvet again hints at this in chapter 2, eying Cadance and Shining Armor this time.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • How Moondancer feels about Twilight, accepting that she needs time to figure it out, and agreeing to give them time to reconnect, while also telling Twilight that she'll always love her, but since friendship is now a core concept of who Twilight is, if they're only ever friends, she'll accept that.
    • In chapter 11, when Twilight finds out Moondancer's fallen for Trixie instead, accepts it and encourages her to be with the other mare.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Chapter 4 sees Chancellor Neighsay be on the receiving end of a "The Reason You Suck" Speech twice. Knowing he's outmatched, he prepares to leave Canterlot... and then encounters a mysterious being who inflicts Mana Drain on him and has him imprisoned.
  • King Incognito: It's explained in the epilogue that the princes and princesses of Laronda go out among the civilian populace to experience life without the trappings of royalty and learn to be humble, without people knowing who they really are. Caplan, the gargoyle who teaches at Twilight's school, is revealed to be the younger prince of the Larondan royal family, which even Twilight didn't know.
  • Ladies and Germs: In chapter 5, during the ceremony when she transfers the mantle of the Nightmare to Pharynx, Luna greets the attendees with "Fillies, gentlecolts... Discord." Luckily, he doesn't take offense and just tips his (previously non-existent) hat to her.
  • Locked in the Dungeon: This is where Chrysalis and later Cozy Glow are imprisoned, in cells under Canterlot Castle.
  • Love Confession: In chapter 1, nearly a year after admitting her feelings for Twilight to Princess Celestia, Moondancer finally gets to tell Twilight how she feels in person, though she also gives Twilight time to figure out how she feels in return.
  • Made a Slave: As chapter 6 reveals, this is what happened to Neighsay and other ponies captured by the one who drained their magic, being forced to mine for them so the slavers can make the tools they intend to use to overthrow the Equestrian government.
  • Mama Bear:
    • Twilight's protective instinct over her students and teachers is enough to make her go past Mama Bear to full-on One-Winged Angel and curb-stomp Tirek when he destroys her school and she thinks he's killed them all.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Continuing on from the second story, Luna's solution is revealed in chapter 5 to be passing the mantle of the Nightmare on to him, making him a Power and thus as immortal as she is.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: When she assumes her full Lady of Magic form, Twilight grows four extra wings and four extra legs, for a total of six and eight of each.
  • Mundane Utility: In the epilogue, Celestia mentions that her biggest reason for hoping Twilight would become an alicorn is... so she and Twilight could go out flying together.
  • Mysterious Protector: Discord's been taking on this role for Equestria in general; he alerted Twilight to Starlight's actions, and later kept an eye on Cozy Glow when he detected she was a potential threat. In chapter 10, he finally tells Twilight that he's been secretly watching over her school for her, per her earlier request, after Cozy Glow is exposed.
  • Noodle Implements: As seen in chapter 3, Luna and Pharynx's private time can get a little wild. All Celestia will say is that she'll never look at a whisk the same way again.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • In chapter 2, Twilight mentions one where Rainbow Dash swiped her door as a prank. Details are not otherwise given.
    • As noted in chapter 7, Twilight has declined to comment on how her attempt at surfing went when she was visiting Ornithia.
  • No-Sell: In her full-powered form as the Lady of Magic, Twilight shrugs off Tirek's Mana Drain abilities.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Sonata self-admits to being Book Dumb, but she's smarter than she acts a lot of the time. She acted dumb so Adagio would underestimate her, and also so Aria would get mad at her, because she thinks the faces Aria made then were funny.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Discord's reaction when Death shows up at the end of the discussion on Powers and the Creators. Luckily, he's in a good mood and not there because anyone did anything wrong.
    • In chapter 12, this is Chrysalis's reaction when she realizes just how powerful Twilight can be when provoked... and realizing she got lucky when she'd challenged her.
  • Older Than They Look: As chapter 10 reveals, Cozy Glow turns out to be an adult in a child's body, thanks to a medical disorder that keeps her from aging physically; she forged her "parents'" signatures on her application to Twilight's school.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Chapter 6 discusses the usage of this trope during the events of the episode Castle Mane-ia, and how subsonic vibrations from the pipe organ resonated deep in their bones to cause an intense feeling of terror.
  • One-Winged Angel: As in canon, Tirek himself goes One-Winged Angel via his Mana Drain abilities, going from a weak, frail form to a muscular kaiju-sized monster with a Badass Beard and long horns. He meets his match in the form of Twilight Sparkle, who also goes One-Winged Angel when overcome with rage and with her power fully unrestrained, assuming the form of the Lady of Magic, who has six wings, eight legs, a dozen eyes… and access to every type of magic possible, allowing her to effortlessly curb-stomp him. It's later explained that Twilight's altered form more closely resembled Chaos, the Creator from whom the Power of Magic was born.
  • Persona Non Grata: In chapter 9, it's mentioned that Diamond Tiara asked for (and got) a transfer from Ponyville's school to Twilight's new one (with her father's approval), in order to try and get out from under her mother's influence (and Silver Spoon transferred with her). Subsequently, Spoiled Rich barged onto the grounds, interrupted a meeting between Twilight and the parents of some other students, and demanded that Diamond's enrollment in the school be revoked. That got her declared a "disruptive presence", and she was legally banned from coming onto the school's grounds (and a few other places) ever again. She did not take this well and has since attempted (and failed miserably) to have it overturned in the courts.
  • Polyamory: Chapter 5 confirms that Queen Scolopidia, Vinyl Scratch and Octavia Melody are in a three-way marriage. Chapter 11 has Trixie half-heartedly suggest this for she, Twilight and Moondancer, but Twilight can tell she isn't fully comfortable with the idea.
  • The Power of the Sun: In her full-powered form as the Lady of Magic, Twilight unleashes this on Tirek, burning/rotting away his arm and spreading its effects throughout his body, leaving him wracked with cancerous tumors.
  • Psychic Surgery: Done in an unusual manner — in chapter 6, Starlight explains that her Cutie Mark removal spell involves using precision magic to remove the specific magic of a pony's mark and replace it with a different one. Twilight even describes it with the trope name.
  • Rage Breaking Point:
    • Twilight crosses it again when Tirek destroys both her home and the school she founded, and goes full-on One-Winged Angel. The only reason he survives is because she wants him to live in eternal torment.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Twilight gives Neighsay a quite pointed one when he comes to complain about her plans for her school, on the grounds that his reasoning is thinly disguised prejudice and racism.
    • Blueblood later lets loose on him with an even harsher one when the chancellor comes to him for help in stopping Twilight.
  • Reset Button: Twilight, thanks to having access to all magics, is able to tap Time's powers and rewind time for the Golden Oaks Library and her school, restoring them and all inanimate objects inside to how they were before Tirek destroyed them.
  • Sadist Teacher: Trixie had one in her hometown, a Mrs. Hydia, mentioning that the thoroughly unpleasant Spoiled Rich reminds her of the teacher in question. This is one of the reasons she transferred to the School For Gifted Unicorns instead.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: In chapter 4, after basically being told that his beliefs are wrong and that he stands no chance of stopping Twilight from opening her school, Neighsay decides to leave Canterlot secretly rather than risk facing Celestia's wrath. He gets caught by a mysterious being en route out, who inflicts Mana Drain on him and imprisons him.
  • Shattered Sanity: Tirek tries to grasp the true might and magic of the Lady of Magic. He not only fails, it leaves his mind broken.
  • Something Only They Would Say: In chapter 5, when he sees where Thorax has led them for his bachelor party, he thinks this may be an impostor... until Thorax whispers something to him that convinces Pharynx of his identity.
  • Speak of the Devil:
    • As seen in chapter 3, both characters in Ponyville and Canterlot are wary of mentioning Discord or the word "draconequus", lest he suddenly show up. In the Ponyville case, he does make a voice-only appearance, but does not show up when Celestia and Velvet mention him in Canterlot.
    • In chapter 4, they don't even have to say his or his species' name to get a reaction from him, a letter in which he politely declines Twilight's invite to be Head of Security for her school.
  • Spotting the Thread: Cozy Glow's deception is exposed in chapter 10 when Twilight examines her magical signature and realizes it's for a pony much older than she appears to be.
  • Squee!: As with Scootaloo in book 2, book 3's chapter 9 sees Celestia doing a spot-on impression of Twilight's squee from her story in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", to celebrate the news that her sister and Pharynx are expecting, much to the couple's amusement.
  • Stag Party: In chapter 5, Celestia takes Luna to the bachelorette party she's set, and while details are not given, it's implied to be wild (and Maxilla's is right close by). Pharynx and Swift-Pad, meanwhile, share one that Thorax set up... and he's left stunned when he finds out Thorax of all people is taking them to Canterlot's red light district for the event.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: In chapter 8, Twilight, her mother and Celestia are talking about the mystery behind Neighsay's disappearance. Twilight and Celestia both think there's something sinister behind it (and as readers already know, they're right), but Velvet suggests there's a simpler solution — that Neighsay skipped town and is using some trinket to mask himself. Celestia admits this is plausible, but she can't help but worry anyway.
  • Suckiness Is Painful: As described in chapter 8, yak amateur poetry. The yaks used to force criminals to listen to it as punishment, though they discontinued the practice centuries ago. In the present day, after some PVE members decide to cause trouble around the borders of Yakyakistan, Prince Rutherford vows to bring this punishment back and use it on any PVE members who show their faces around his country again.
  • Sucks at Dancing: Celestia, according to her sister, as noted in chapter 7. And Twilight learned her own poor dancing style from Celestia.
  • Take Care of the Kids: Preemptively in chapter 9. When Swift-Pad and Maxilla ask Twilight to be the godmother for their future pups (who haven't even been conceived yet), they note that this is among the responsibilities that come with the position if something happens to them; Twilight promises to do so.
  • Take That!:
    • In chapter 4, to the canon set-up for the School of Friendship.
      Moondancer: "You're really putting in all the effort possible Twilight,"
      Twilight: "Well of course I am, I couldn't just announce I was planning to open a school with just the girls and myself out of the blue, could I?"
    • Season 9's plot of putting Twilight in sole charge of the country gets one in chapter 8, when Twilight says that "forcing one pony to run the country, with the help of assisting councils or not, is not something that any rational being would do", and points out that Starswirl asked two alicorns to run things together rather than just one for a reason.
    • Season 9's plot of putting Twilight in sole charge gets another zing in chapter 14, when Magic tells Twilight that another Celestia had told her Twilight, completely out of nowhere, that she and Luna were leaving the throne to her, and tells to make sure her Celestia understands that she doesn't want to be running the country, even if there is another newer alicorn to rule with her.
    • Celestia's retirement plan from canon gets another zing in the epilogue. This time though, it's explained that the Diplomacy-verse's Celestia, though she would love to retire from her status as an active ruler, is not going to just abandon her responsibilities and hand them over to someone who's unprepared for them, and is explicitly willing to wait another thousand years for her successor to be ready if that's what it takes, or just to keep it up forever, because Twilight's happiness means so much to her.
  • Teleport Interdiction: The mines where Neighsay are held act as this due to being lined with Cold Iron, preventing him from actually leaving via the use of his teleportation amulet.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Sunburst's reaction, when Twilight leaves him alone to be lectured by her mother over how he hurt Starlight by effectively abandoning her, is "Yep, I'm in trouble."
  • Threatening Shark: In chapter 8, it's mentioned that one mistook Luna for a seal when she and Pharynx were out for a midnight swim during their honeymoon. Luckily, it backed off when it got biffed on the nose. It's further noted that the seapony kingdoms have also had issues with them in the past.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: In chapter 2, thanks to Discord, Tempest's horn is restored to its full length. However, it's portrayed somewhat realistically in that she still needs training to learn how to use magic normally again, as she immediately displays the inability to lift so much as an eating utensil with her telekinesis. Celestia promptly offers to personally give her that training, which Tempest accepts.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: In chapter 9, while in class, Cozy Glow shows an unusual interest in Tirek's methods for attempting to take over his country and Equestria. Diamond Tiara later tells Twilight that she's been saying stuff to people that sounds friendly at first but is really set up to make them doubt themselves, and pretends to be nice to others so she can get them to do stuff for her.
  • Wacky Cravings: In chapter 9, Aria and Cadance are talking about these.
    • Cadence apparently had one for cucumber and banana slices mixed with cold rice and bleu cheese dressing, which Aria finds weird but Cadance says is good for replenishing electrolytes (and Shining Armor admits to liking it too). She'd also craved anchovy, sour cream and steak sauce tacos at one point, which Sonata also liked. Aria and Shining Armor, however, react with disgust when they're reminded of them.
    • Luna's mostly been craving sugar water for her pregnancy.
  • Walk This Way: During the epilogue, Luna tells Pharynx and Moondancer to do so. Pharynx, walking side by side with his wife, copies her movements exactly, much to Moondancer's amusement, and getting a wry look from Luna when she hears the snicker and notices what Pharynx is doing.
  • Wedding Episode: Chapter 5 features a two-in-one wedding day, when Princess Luna marries Prince Pharynx of the changelings, and Ambassador Swift-Pad of the Packlands (who made the titular diplomatic visit in the first story) marries his lady love Maxilla, a former changeling. Happily, everything goes smoothly.
  • What You Are in the Dark: In chapter 7, Neighsay is offered a chance to join Tirek as a loyal follower, and revenge on Twilight for causing all this misfortune to happen to him. He considers for just a second before refusing.
  • "Where? Where?": In chapter 12, when Queen Novo of the Seaponies and Queen Schuberta of the Sirens are having a brief exchange and Schuberta is annoyed at Novo over a past event. King Leo, who's also present, steps in to calm the situation with "Ladies, ladies,", prompting Novo to look around and jokingly ask, "Who came in?"
  • Who Is Driving?: Late in the epilogue, while the girls are talking, Fluttershy asks this after pointing out that they're all out on the deck of their airskimmer, including their pilot... luckily, Spike explains that he's got the autopilot on, which is perfectly safe for when they're flying in the less populated areas.
  • World-Healing Wave: Via tapping Time's powers, Twilight is able to undo the damage done by Tirek, including restoring her school and library.
  • Your Worst Nightmare: Late in chapter 6, it's noted that Starlight has been having these about Cutie Marks and her old village, which only stopped after she gave herself up to Twilight and her friends. Twilight suspects Luna and Pharynx were responsible. The next chapter confirms it.

    The Diplomat's Life 

The Diplomat's Life contains examples of:

  • Complaining about Complaining: In the first chapter, Princess Celestia mentions that one of their prisoners (namely, Chrysalis) had recently asked that the other prisoner in the dungeon (Cozy Glow) be moved to a different cell further away, because said second prisoner has been constantly ranting and complaining, and the first prisoner can't stand listening to it anymore. Because said first prisoner had been very well-behaved since going to jail, her request was granted.
  • The Dreaded: Unusually for the trope, it's a place rather than a person. Celestia has never been to the Valley of the Alicorns, but knows that it holds great sorrow for her if she ever does, and is in no hurry to visit as a result.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In chapter 3, Night Light points out that Sunset's singing voice sounded like Twilight's singing voice, but pitched differently. As fans of the series know, Rebecca Shoichet is the singing voice (and speaking too, in Sunset's case) for both characters.
  • Meet the In-Laws: Discussed in chapter 1, when Princess Twilight reunites with the human Flash Sentry and warns him that her parents are here and, knowing about her crushing on him the first time they met, want to meet him. He's not sure if he should be glad or scared, and Twilight admits that she's not sure either. She also cautions him that if her brother was here, it would definitely be a "run for it" situation.
  • Naming Ceremony: Unlike canon, the Crystalling ceremony in chapter 3 contains an announcement of Princess Flurry Heart's name.
  • No Social Skills: Brought up in the first chapter. According to Sunset, Adagio lost her sense of tact when she lost her Mantle as Hatred, and as Applejack adds, she managed to make the nurse blush by asking x-rated questions in health class.
  • Power Limiter: After meeting her niece in chapter 2, Princess Celestia mentions that as foals, her parents put limiters designed for infant alicorns on she and Luna until they were a year or so old. She doesn't know them herself until Magic speaks up and shares them with she and Twilight, allowing them to perform the same spell on Cadance's infant.
  • Put on a Bus: As explained in chapter 1, Moondancer and Trixie left on an astronomy tour shortly after Twilight and her friends got home from their trip at the end of the third story, and while they write to her, she still misses having them around.
  • Relationship Upgrade: As explained in chapter 1, Starlight and Sunburst have become a couple offscreen, and are moving to Ponyville together soon.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Variant in the first chapter. Princess Twilight isn't actually a student at CHS, but she's there to meet with her human friends, and at one point asks if they're missing class to see her. Human Twilight explains that it's actually Saturday, so school is closed except for special activities, and Principal Celestia said it was okay for them to be there.
  • The Shrink: Discussed in the first chapter. Several have tried to treat Cozy Glow, but been unsuccessful and given up because she's just that bad.
  • Sneeze Cut: Variant in chapter 3. Fluttershy tells Rarity, who's wishing for a romantic partner, that "You'll find someone some day. Maybe when you least expect it." Cut to two unidentified individuals having their noses twitch suddenly and wondering "What was that about?"
  • Time Skip: The first chapter picks up a few months after the end of the previous story.
  • Undead Tax Exemption: Discussed in the first chapter, when Principal Celestia reveals she and her sister have known about Equestria for a long time because of the Alpha, and have been covering for Sunset, explaining why she had no trouble registering for school.
  • Written-In Absence: Retroactively for canon. In chapter 3, when Applejack asks why Cadance's parents weren't at her wedding, Cadance explains that Chrysalis had them kidnapped (because they would have easily been able to identify Chrysalis as an imposter), with a couple of changelings impersonating them and pretending they had to be in a hospital at the time. When Cadance and Shining Armor stopped by to visit them en route to the Crystal Empire, they caught on to the impersonation and rescued the couple from their prison.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report