The story begins at the end of The Return of Harmony, with Discord fleeing before being returned to stone and deciding to lay low until he can come up with a new plan to take over Equestria. The Mane Six are on guard for his return but after three years pass without incident they believe he won't be returning and go on with their lives. On the night of the Grand Galloping Gala, Princesses Celestia, Luna and Cadence (who is with child) are called to Saddle Arabia to help with a strange storm, little realizing that something far more sinister is at work...
At the Gala, Fluttershy is talked into performing a song by her friends, which she just finishes when Discord reveals himself to the watching crowd and shows that he has captured the Princesses and removed their horns so they can't use magic to escape, after removing Twilight's own horn to prevent her from attacking him. After a night of spreading chaos, Discord returns to open negotiations for the safe return of the Princesses and for him stopping his chaos, and asks three things of acting ruler Twilight Sparkle: a promise to not use the Elements of Harmony against him, a piece of land where he can inflict his chaos undisturbed, and after some thought for the most shocking thing of all... a bride.
Even more shocking is that timid little Fluttershy, plagued by nightmares of Discord since his last defeat, actually agrees to be his bride. Astounded by this, Discord keeps his end of the bargain and releases the Princesses before spiriting Fluttershy away to his new castle where she is all but a prisoner to him. At their first dinner Discord decides to make a game with Fluttershy; each night he will ask her if she loves him, and if she says yes, then that night will be their wedding night. While to Discord it begins as a game, his efforts to get Fluttershy to love him soon result in a long buried heart making its way to the light...
In the background of all this, the rest of the Mane Six go about their lives as best they can, which includes them desperately wondering how to save Fluttershy and Applejack longing for a certain purple dragon...
From September 2013 to February 2015 an audio version of the story was posted on Youtube by the story's author.
It later received a sequel called Daughter of Discord, focusing on the life of Screwball, the daughter of Discord and Fluttershy, who falls for the son of Queen Chrysalis after her powers attract the Queen's attention, putting the people she loves at risk. It also has an audio drama version, similar to the original story. Ccurrently a prequel series is in the works, that seems, based on previews released so far, to focus on the beginning of Applejack and Spike's family.
There's also a midquel, called The Discord Dating Game, where Discord kidnaps Spike, Rarity, Applejack, and Twilight to participate in a "game show" to resolve the Love Triangle between Rarity, Spike and Applejack.
The sequel has three sequels in turn: Son in law of Discord, where Screwball and her changeling boyfriend Mothball are getting ready to take the next step in their relationship, only for Mothball's people to show up, asking him to become the new king; CMC: The Next Generation, focusing on a new generation of CMC, formed after Rainbow's daughter Prism starts doubting herself and is informed by Scootaloo about the old Crusaders; and Hearth's Warming Chaos, where Mothball tries to find a gift for Screwball. Meanwhile, Prism, the child of Rainbow Dash and Soarin', worries that they will not make it home for the holidays, while Discord tries to apologize to a filly who he accidentally told there was no such thing as Santa.
This story provides examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion: Certain details get more depth in the audio version, most notably the songs that are added in at certain points.
- Adaptation Distillation: Certain details in the fanfic aren't seen in the audio version, while other details are given more depth.
- Affectionate Nickname:
- Screwball is often refereed to as "Screwy" by her friends and family.
- Scootaloo refers to Rainbow Dash's daughter Prism as "Rainbow Junior" or RJ for short.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Applejack has a crush on Spike, who still has a crush on Rarity, who has her eyes on Fancy Pants.
- All the Other Reindeer:
- Discord got this treatment as a child. After becoming the Last of His Kind, Discord tried befriending the ponies, but his strange appearance lead to him being feared and ridiculed, leading him to isolating himself from pony society, setting the stage for who he would become.
- Luckily subverted with his daughter Screwball, who does sadly face bullying from her peers and prejudice from older ponies, but still has a loving family and multiple True Companions to stand by her growing up.
- Played straight with Mothball, who faces resentment from his whole hive/family out envy, because Queen Chrysalis chose him to be her heir over them, despite the only difference between him and her other children being he was born with a more naturally regal look than them, as well as the fact that, unlike his siblings, he was born with a heart.
- And Now You Must Marry Me: The plot starts because Discord wants a bride and Fluttershy volunteers.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Mothball falls for Screwball, after she shows him how to have fun for the first time in his life.
- Becoming the Mask: Although deep down he genuinely wanted someone to be with from the beginning, Discord originally tries to justify his relationship to Fluttershy as just a means to an end; He reasoned that if she fell in love with him, she would be unwilling to help the others imprison him, making the Elements useless. But, as his attempts to make her fall in love with him continue, they become sincere.
- Berserk Button: Discord has a few that get pressed during the story:
- Do not call him a monster or a freak or some word indicative thereof. It is likely to send him into a rampage at best.
- Don't insult Fluttershy. He threatens and attacks his own reflection for doing so. However, this pales into comparison to if you threaten to hurt her. The timberwolves tried that and Discord roars like Godzilla at them before using his magic on them.
- For his daughter Screwball, it's messing with her best friend Dinky.
- Big Fancy Castle: The Castle of Chaos, which was formerly the Castle of the Two Sisters. Though starts out with an dark castle motif but by the end of the story the color is now a pink color.
- Bullying the Dragon: Gold Digger (Diamond Tiara's little brother) thinks it's a good idea to bully Screwball the daughter of Discord and her best friend, despite the fact that she has all her father's powers.
- Canon Character All Along: A retroactive example occurs with Pinkie Pie's OC husband Red Shoes, who is revealed to actually be Cheese Sandwich. See Retcon below for more details.
- Creator Cameo: During the wedding scene, DF and many of the VA's OCs show up as Fluttershy is walking down the aisle (DF's oc is the yellow-orange one with the blue hat).
- DF's oc appears again in the last scene of the Daughter Of Discord audio drama when Screwball puts a foreleg around her after just finishing the big finale song with the rest of the ensemble and tells maybe DF or maybe the audience "Now THAT'S how you end a series!"
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Discord threatens to turn Zecora into an acorn, if she tells anyone he came to her for advice.
- Daddy's Girl:
- Screwball is clearly her father's daughter, and nowhere is this more clear then when he takes her to a baseball game and she makes it more interesting by making the ball zip around the field on its own. It's how she gets her cutie mark.
- Disney Death: Fluttershy in the climax of Daughter of Discord. In the audio drama she lampshades the fact that no one ever checks for the pulse in these situations.
- Disproportionate Retribution:
- Discord says he took over Equestria as payback for Celestia getting angry with him for his pranks. Even if he was ridiculed for his appearance, the trope still applies in a straight manner because he turned the place into a World of Chaos.
- The majority of Chrysalis plans in Daughter of Discord was because he rejected her. Said rejection prompted Chrysalis to essentially cut out her heart. Discord lampshades how extreme it is.
- The Dog Bites Back: After being tormented and having to hold herself back for far too long, Screwball's bullies make the big mistake of hitting her best friend Dinky in the head with a basketball, while make fun of both of them. Big mistake.
- Early-Bird Cameo: In the Nested Story Reveal in Daughter Of Discord, two of the characters Twilight is revealed to be telling the story to are her daughter Twinkle and Rarity's youngest daughter Jewel, who never appeared in the fanfic because they weren't born yet (Jewel make her first official appearance in CMC: The Next Generation, while Twinkle's first official appearance is in Son-In-Law of Discord). This was likely done to fulfill the wish of Make-A-Wish kid pokeyinmypocket, who voiced both characters.
- Eldritch Location: The Castle of Chaos.
- Exiled from Continuity: Shining Armor and Cadence's daughter in this universe, Flutterby Lily, seems to have been ever since the introduction of their canon daughter in the show, Flurry Heart. DF mentioned at her panel at BronyCon 2018 that when deciding what elements to omit when adapting Daughter of Discord as an audio drama, Flutterby Lily was one since most people are more familiar with Flurry Heart by this point. She also hasn't been seen in any of the fanfics set in the BOD universe since Flurry Heart debuted.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Discord is shocked that Fluttershy would believe he would hurt the Princesses, especially since one of them was pregnant at the time. He describes it as "low even for me."
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Discord is initially confused as to why Fluttershy is still soaking about the loss of her friends and freedom, instead of being happy that she is with someone that can literally give her any possession she ever wanted with snap of his claw, not getting that no material possession is equal to her very freedom and the ponies she loves. Also, it takes him a while to realize that it just may be hard to woo somepony, he is keeping imprisoned away from everything she cares about, regardless of any comforts he can provide her.
- Freudian Excuse:
- Fluttershy does not like being called beautiful because of a cruel prank when she was a filly and thinks when Discord does it he is mocking her.
- Discord reveals that, after losing his parents and the rest of his species, he was constantly shunned and mocked by everypony, until he became a recluse hiding out in a cave. But what really drove him to villainy, was when Celestia tried to befriend and reform him, only for his own misinterpretation of what she meant by using his powers for good, to cause things to end very badly between them.
- The First Cut Is the Deepest: It's implied that Discord gave up on friendship and love after rejection from the world he lived in and especially after Celestia lost her temper with him for his pranks.
- Generation Xerox: Zigzagged with the new generation of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, who are made up of the daughters of the Mane Six (specifically Rainbow, Pinkie, and Rarity), instead of the original crusaders, though oddly their defacto leader, Prism, has more in common with Scootaloo, than she has with Rainbow her mother.
- Gilded Cage: Fluttershy spends most of the story prisoner in Discord's castle, where she's offered any luxury she could ask for and is later even given her own personal park, where she can spend time with her animal friends, but is still a prisoner all the same and even after they start to genuinely fall for each other, it's made clear that Fluttershy and Discord cannot ever be truly happy with this arrangement.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Discord originally only had a shoulder devil. After spending some time with Fluttershy, he gains a shoulder angel as well.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Discord has one. Apparently it's so bad, Fluttershy feels the need keep a bucket of water around their home, so he doesn't burn it down through fury.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Rather, Half-Pony Hybrid. The sequel has three. Screwball and her younger brother Zany, who are half pony and half draconequus, and Applespike, who is half pony and half dragon.
- Happily Adopted: Applejack and Spike adopt two earth ponies, Cinnamon Stick and Cinnamon Roll, thinking it wasn't possible for them to have a biological child.
- In CMC: The Next Generation, we're introduced to Lemon Drop, the adopted son of Lyra and Bon Bon. Also a case of Has Two Mommies.
- Hello, Nurse!: When Discord sees Fluttershy dressed up at the gala, he is flabbergasted.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: A rather literal case with Screwball and Dinky, who were not only born on the same day, but met and became friends in the hospital nursery on said day, striking a close friendship to last a lifetime.
- Honorary Uncle: The Mane Six's children refer to the other members, their husbands, and The CMC, as their aunts and uncles.
- Hypocrite: Screwball outright calls her father this for not even considering giving Mothball or any other changelings a chance, even calling them heartless monsters, despite the fact that this is the same prejudice Discord had to deal with himself.
- I'm Standing Right Here: Prism's older siblings Lightning and Thunder Dash openly complain about having to take her to school, since she can't fly, right in front of her. Much to her contempt.
- Imaginary Friend: Discord's duplicates.
- Interspecies Romance: Discord (a draconequus) and Fluttershy (a pegasus).
- Over time, Applejack (an earth pony) and Spike (a dragon)
- In the sequel, we get Screwball (a draconequus/pony hybrid) and Mothball (a changeling).
- And in one of the sequel's three sequels, there's Bellatrix (a changeling) and Iron Will (a minotaur).
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Discord starts to become this in the latter half of Bride and has officially become one by daughter
- Large Ham: Scewball can be this, when she starts to let loose.Dinky: "Screwball, are you nuts?!"Screwball: "Nuts?!I'm not nuts! I'm screwy! Cuz I'm Screwball, the Princess of Chaos!
- Love Triangle: A subplot in the original story is one between Applejack -> Spike -> Rarity. Although it is actually a love square because Rarity is trying to attract Fancy Pants.
- Madness Mantra: The audio version has Pinkie dementedly ranting "Fluttershy, Fluttershy, Fluttershy has gone bye-bye" at one point after she gets mentioned by the other.
- Mundane Utility: After his reformation, Discord uses his Reality Warper powers to provide a food-cushion when crops fail or skip train rides. Humorously, his wife uses their daughter's powers to make sure couch exile sticks.
- The Musical: The Audio version includes songs. In the written version, there is only one song.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Discord gets this when aiming to hit Rainbow Dash, he hits Fluttershy instead. Yes, he feels guilty for once. Considering all the stuff he did to the other Mane Six and CMC, it overlaps with Kick the Morality Pet.
- Nested Story Reveal: At the end of the Daughter Of Discord audio drama, it's revealed that Twilight was telling the story to a slightly older Zany and Applespike as well as her daughter Twinkle and Rarity's youngest daughter Jewel the whole time (the latter two making an Early-Bird Cameo).
- Never My Fault: Discord's Fatal Flaw. He refuses to admit that any consequences that come about are even tangentially related to his actions. He blamed Celestia for a "poor definition of good" when she tried to get him to be productive to Equestria eons ago, is taken aback when Fluttershy actually believed he would harm the Princesses despite the convincing act he put on and the consequences them being trapped would bring, and he even has the gall to basically say "no harm no foul" when Fluttershy shakes off his brainwashing to make her love him. The song "Discord's Lament" sums up how he sees himself as a victim and the ponies as the ones at fault.
- He even goes as far as to have a Never Your Fault moment with Fluttershy where he puts her condemnation of him on the Mane Six rather than on Fluttershy herself.
- Not So Different: Both Discord and Fluttershy have hang-ups about finding love, especially with each other. Discord thinks he can only ever be seen as a monster because of his appearance and as the audio version implies a perceived rejection by Celestia. Fluttershy can't bring herself to believe that anyone would care for her after bullying from colts when she was a filly, with the audio version showing an especially cruel prank on her.
- Luna comes to this realization, after seeing Discord showing genuine compassion towards Fluttershy during their "date" and saying in confusion, that creature like him, could never change...
- Overprotective Dad: Discord is one to Screwball by taking an immediate dislike to her love interest, and going as far as to call said love interest's entire species "heartless monsters", which is his own berserk button.
- Parental Hypocrisy: Discord initially writes off Mothball and the rest of the changelings, as heartless monsters and forbids Screwball from seeing him. This is despite the fact, that he himself was written off as a heartless monster by ponykind, until Fluttershy gave him a chance.
- Retcon: While most continuity errors caused by episodes written after stories in the BOD universe are explained away by DF as it being an alternate universe, there is one change she made to align with canon. In Daughter of Discord, Pinkie Pie falls in love with and marries an OC pony named Red Shoes. This was before the episode Pinkie Pride which introduced the character Cheese Sandwich came out. Once it did, DF started to ship Cheese with Pinkie Pie, but couldn't figure out how to work it into her story where Pinkie is married to Red Shoes until she realized that she had wrote Red Shoes as having an orange coat, just like Cheese. The way she wound up working it in was by writing a chapter of CMC: The Next Generation revealing that Red Shoes was actually Cheese Sandwich in disguise (which Pinkie knew about) because he was on the run from a crazy ex-marefriend (who happens to be Surprise, the G1 pony Pinkie Pie was based off of) who he believed was hunting him down (she was really just trying to return a scarf he left at her house).
- Same-Sex Triplets: The "Tri-Pies" (Pinkie's daughters) Blueberry, Cherry, and Raspberry are only distinguishable due to having different coat colors and are otherwise seemingly the same pony.
- Sanity Slippage: The audio version shows both Pinkie and Twilight slowly losing it after Fluttershy is taken away by Discord. Played for Laughs in Pinkie's case and Played for Drama with Twilight. They both even have a Madness Mantra to highlight the similar situation.
- Second Love: The audio version implies that Discord had feelings for Celestia before his imprisonment, thus making Fluttershy this for him.
- Ship Tease: Parts of Rainbow Dash and Soarin together are sprinkled throughout the first story. The last one is her catching Fluttershy's bouquet because she marries him early in the sequel.
- Shout-Out: In the audio version Discord has a difficult time figuring out what the plural of draconequus is. One of his attempts is Draco Malfoy.
- Spin-Offspring: Discord and Fluttershy's daughter Screwball becomes The Protagonist of the various sequels. She is accompanied by the children of the other characters.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Screwball and Mothball are this is Daughter of Discord.
- Villainous Crush: Discord does show an attraction to Fluttershy before his reformation.
- Would Hurt a Child: In the beginning of the story Discord captures and threatens the lives of the princesses (sans Twilight), despite the fact that Princess Candace was pregnant at the time. Ultimately subverted, when Discord admits he was bluffing to Fluttershy, later in the story.