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"Loved And Lost" is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Fan Fic written by EquineAvenger.

A retelling and extended version of "A Canterlot Wedding", only that it doesn't end well with our heroes.

First off, the Changelings have been stopped, but the damage to Canterlot has been done and the wedding is cancelled. Prince Jewelius, another nephew of Celestia and younger cousin of Cadance, holds all of the ponies responsible for the disaster. He then has the three princesses removed from power and all of them, including the Mane Five, Spike, and Shining Armor exiled from Equestria while he takes the throne for himself. With the fate of Twilight Sparkle unknown, the group of outcasts decide to return to Equestria to find their beloved unicorn friend and earn back their lives. But Jewelius is determined to get rid of them no matter the cost.

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This fanfic provides examples of:

  • Accusation Fic: A major one for the Mane Five, Shining Armor, Celestia, and Spike. Jewelius' role is essentially to make sure that they personally suffer more severe consequences for their mistakes than they did in canon, forcing them to think about said mistakes very seriously and give Twilight more profound apologies. With their personal reputations marred, they have to go through a lot of pain well before they're even able to reconcile with Twilight and clear their names.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The Royal Guards are usually loyal to Princess Celestia in the show's canon. Here however, they turn against her and Shining Armor due to Jewelius' manipulations. Some of them cause trouble in Ponyville even when not ordered so by Jewelius. In fact, they aren't even against the idea of massacring Ponyville! However, this is subverted with the revelation that after banishing the heroes, Jewelius had many of the injured guards who remained loyal to the princesses murdered and replaced with criminals bribed to be loyal to him. The one guard who dares to question the idea of attacking Ponyville is promptly thrown out of a window by Jewelius.
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  • Adaptational Wimp: Played a bit with Queen Chrysalis. While she's objectively no less dangerous than in the canon "A Canterlot Wedding", the more skilled manipulator Jewelius takes the full-on Big Bad role in this story, making Chrysalis more of a Big Bad Wannabe. She learns about the wedding and the caves under Canterlot straight from Jewelius who also lures Cadance into an ambush, allowing Chrysalis to steal her identity. The canon doesn't indicate that she needed any quisling to directly provide her with all her information or help her capture Cadance. She's also outmatched by Twilight during their duel in the 13th chapter, though at that point, she no longer has the power-up which she needed to defeat Celestia a week earlier.
  • Adult Fear:
  • An Aesop: When things go bad, take responsibility for your own role in the events that led to them happening.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: The Mane Five (even Rainbow Dash and Applejack) resort to tearfully begging for mercy when Jewelius sentences them to slavery in the sixth chapter.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: Prince Jewelius takes the conflicts of "A Canterlot Wedding" further, making the plot longer, darker and more elaborate.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: After Twilight is manipulated into rejecting her former loved ones and accepting Jewelius as her new mentor, she accepts his proposal to become his queen. However, once he reveals his true colors to her and tells her what he actually wants out of their marriage, she rejects him in disgust. In response, he forces her to remain compliant by threating the lives of her parents (whom he captured specifically in case Twilight rebelled against him). Fortunately, a Changeling disguising himself as Raven Inkwell helps Twilight out of this predicament by releasing her parents.
  • And This Is for...: Cadance when she knocks Jewelius out with a magic blast in the 13th chapter.
    Cadance: That was for ruining my wedding!
  • Anti-Villain:
  • Any Last Words?: Jewelius poses this question to Celestia during her hanging, expecting her to try and tell everypony about his evil actions to deaf ears like the other prisoners just did to no avail. Knowing it will get her nowhere and that everypony has lost all faith in her, Celestia instead makes a heartwrenching apology speech to Twilight and the angry crowd, taking full responsibility over everypony who lost their lives and is suffering now because of the invasion she inadvertently allowed to happen. Twilight and the entire crowd are so touched that they start demanding Jewelius to spare the deposed princess as she prepares to face death with dignity.
  • Arch-Enemy: Hildread seems to regard Shining Armor as hers, for she makes her hatred of him clear the moment she first appears and finds immense delight in mocking and torturing the disgraced captain who expelled her from the Royal Guard due to her exceeding brutality. She confesses to Shining during the climax that she has always hated him and considered him too soft to be a competent Captain of the Royal Guard. Notably, she refuses to admit being wrong when he calls her out of a villainous action she personally isn't comfortable with.
  • Armored Villains, Unarmored Heroes: Jewelius and his cronies don suits of battle armor for the final battle, while the heroes fight with the Elements of Harmony as their only equipment (not that they'd have access to any armors as fugitives). Lieutenant Shackle is the only villain who doesn't wear any armor, and she's the only one who switches sides.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • When Jewelius calls out Shining Armor after the Changeling invasion, he pressures the captain into answerring whether or not he disowned his sister entirely because of Chrysalis' manipulations.
      Jewelius: And you, Captain Armor! What possessed you to allow such a monster to walk through the castle right under your nose? Especially after receiving a warning from your own sister, whom you coldly dismissed!
      [the guards and wedding guests gasp]
      Shining Armor: I… I can explain.
      Jewelius: Very well then, explain what came over you to disown your beloved sister and deem the safety of everypony in Canterlot less important then your precious wedding? Or was it the work of the changeling that made you so foolish as to betray your own flesh and blood as well as all the ponies you swore to protect as Captain of the Guard?
      Shining Armor: [hangs his head in shame] No, I made my own decisions.
      Jewelius: Then you are guilty. You're a disgrace to the guard!
    • As the discredited heroes try to expose their Cassandra Truth about Jewelius having worked with and double-crossed the Changelings and is now intending to kill Cadance in the 12th chapter, Twilight and the angry crowd refute them with several disproving questions.
      Rainbow Dash: …he double-crossed them! Just ask Chrysalis herself!
      A stallion: You're telling us to ask a creature who lies and deceives ponies to clarify the truth?!
      Rainbow Dash: Oh.
      Applejack: Jewelius is nothin' but a self-servin' rat with no loyalty tah anypony but himself! And if ah'm tellin' you it's true, then ya'll know it must be. Ah'm the Element of Honesty.
      Twilight: So when you said we were best friends, you were being honest?
      Applejack: Of course, sugarcube.
      Twilight: And are best friends supposed to have each other's backs?
      Applejack: [getting nervous] Yes.
      Twilight: Then why did you all turn your backs on me when I needed you the most, after everything we've been through together, after learning a lesson in never taking a friend's concerns lightly? Or was I never your friend to begin with, just a means to an end?
      Applejack: I… I…
      Twilight: Sorry, girls. It was fun while it lasted.
      […]
      Rainbow Dash: Okay, maybe we should've been a little more focused on other things besides the wedding planning. But you have to admit, Twilight, the way you were acting didn't make things any better.
      Twilight: My brother said that the wedding was 'something that obviously wasn't important to' me. Well, did it ever occur to the eight of you that this wedding was important to so many other ponies, not just you?
      [The prisoners are again at a loss for words]
    • The 12th chapter has also a subverted example when Fluttershy asks from the crowd who will raise the sun if Celestia is executed. The crowd becomes thoughtful, but Jewelius quickly dispels their uncertainties with a New Era Speech about why they'll be better off without the alicorns to rely on.
    • In the following chapter, Twilight herself gets one from Queen Chrysalis who plants in her mind a seed of doubt about Jewelius and whether or not Cadance is safe. The Changelings use their chance to flee as Twilight tries to decide if she should shrink the Changelings again or go to make sure Cadance is alright.
      Chrysalis: What are you going to do, Twilight? Stop the evil changelings or save your old foalsitter? What if I'm not lying this time? You could be truly responsible for something horrible to happen to Cadance this time?
    • The climax has another subversion when Shining Armor asks from Hildread if she calls massacring Ponyville's inhabitants protection of Equestria. She looks uneasily around but quickly hardens her heart and takes comfort from her delusions.
  • Artificial Limbs: Hildread is a Pegasus whose right wing is completely metallic.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: Ponies do suffer serious injuries during the Changeling invasion, including most of the royal guards, and once they're told (immediately after the invaders are stopped by Twilight, no less) only a slightly altered recount of how Celestia, Shining Armor and Twilight's friends failed to suspect Chrysalis and refused to listen to Twilight about her, they accept it when Jewelius brings the failed protectors down for putting them all in danger. Though the wounded guards are actually murdered on Jewelius' orders, it's easy to make the public believe that their injuries were too fatal. When one week has passed since the invasion, a filly tells that her parents are still in the hospital due to injures caused to them by the Changelings.
  • Asshole Victim: Jewelius finally gets his just desserts in the 18th chapter when he is Eaten Alive by the Changelings.
  • The Atoner: Lieutenant Shackle performs a Heel–Face Turn during the Final Battle, but she's so guilt-ridden that she willingly goes to jail with Jewelius' other conspirators, vowing to be a better pony after her sentence is served.
  • Badass Boast: While fighting Garble in the arena, Rainbow Dash makes one on behalf of Fluttershy. The latter proves her right when her anger overrides her fear, prompting her to beat up Garble's friends.
    Rainbow Dash: Fluttershy maybe a little timid sometimes, but when she needs to be, she has proven to be one of the bravest ponies I've ever met.
  • Bad Boss: In the 13th chapter, Jewelius smacks a guard who just helped him up in the face, furious over the heroes' escape. In the 17th chapter, he throws another guard out of a window, simply for questioning if he's going too far with his decision to mass-murder all the inhabitants of Ponyville.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: The Changelings kill Jewelius on Chrysalis' orders right after the heroes have cornered him, sparing them the need to deal with the irredeemable sociopath any further.
  • Bad Samaritan: Jewelius treats Twilight kindly from the moment they first meet, gives her the benefit of the doubt when nopony else would, tries to stand up for her at the wedding rehearsal, offers her comforting words after everypony else walks out on her, helps her stop Queen Chrysalis' plans, and leaves her out of blaming the heroes for the invasion. He confesses in the 11th chapter to the disgraced heroes that he's only been manipulating her to get the throne for himself and intends to make her mother a line of powerful heirs for him, admitting that he might kill her if he finds a more powerful unicorn mare to seduce.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Jewelius uses the tensions between Twilight and everypony else as well as Chrysalis' actions to dethrone Celestia.
    • The Staging the Eavesdrop example below is another example.
  • Battle Butler: Vivian to Jewelius. She knows impressive karate moves and is talented enough with her magic to give Rainbow Dash a run for her money.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Cadance gets injured after sneaking into the castle with the group of exiles. When Celestia tries to appease a distraught Twilight by saying that none of them knew it would happen, this causes Twilight — who has been manipulated by Jewelius — to lash out at her former loved ones.
    • Jewelius really hates it when Cadance and/or Celestia are openly praised/loved in his presence. He's initially able to rein in his anger before he can act on it, but as the story progresses, he stops restraining himself to the point that he smacks Twilight's cheek and later threatens Canterlot's citizens by decreeing that anypony who sympathizes with the fugitives will be accused of treason and severely punished.
  • Berserker Tears: The heroes' unsuccessful attempts to convince Twilight to believe their Cassandra Truth regarding Jewelius being evil cause an angry and still-hurting Twilight to burst into tears.
  • Betrayal Insurance: In case Twilight betrayed him and refused to be his bride, Jewelius had Twilight's parents held hostage to ensure that she would marry him and provide him with offspring.
  • Big Bad: Prince Jewelius serves as the main antagonist of the story. He is the one who orchestrated the attack on Canterlot so he could overthrow Celestia, striking a Big Bad Duumvirate with Chrysalis whom he helped to infiltrate Canterlot through the underground caverns. After he double-crosses Chrysalis to become the only ruler of Equestria, the heroes spend the majority of the story trying to unravel his manipulations and set right the things he messed up. After Chrysalis escapes from Jewelius' dungeons and fails to get even with him, she keeps low profile until the heroes have cornered him in the climax. After killing him, she assumes the role of the Final Boss, only for Shining Armor and Cadance to finally blast her and the Changelings away as per canon.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Though it's not revealed until the 11th chapter, Jewelius originally told Chrysalis about the wedding, so they joined forces to take control of Equestria together. However, Jewelius broke their partnership off when he saw in Twilight a way to claim all the power for himself, making it a full-blown Evil vs. Evil situation for the rest of the story.
  • Big Bad Friend: Twilight befriends Jewelius who's revealed to be not only her Love-Interest Traitor, but also the true mastermind behind Queen Chrysalis' invasion.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Queen Chrysalis veers into this territory. Even though she's objectively just as dangerous as she's canonically, she's defeated and imprisoned in the fic's first quarter, and Jewelius, whose actions and manipulation skills make Chrysalis look like a fledgling, causes the main problems of the story. Jewelius himself helped Chrysalis to sneak into Canterlot and steal Cadance's identity, playing her like a fiddle before successfully double-crossing her once he decided he has more to win from her downfall. (In one of the 11th chapter's flashbacks, he even briefly criticizes her for endangering their plan by making Twilight suspicious with her imperfect impersonation of Cadance.) Though Chrysalis escapes from Canterlot's dungeons and everypony (except for Jewelius himself) is afraid of a new Changeling invasion, she's unable to win Twilight when the unicorn blocks her way to Jewelius, so she retreats to plan from the shadows. After the heroes defeat Jewelius' forces and corner him, Chrysalis sweeps in and takes her revenge on Jewelius. She then attempts to take the main antagonist role back, only for Shining Armor and Cadance to give her her canonical defeat that has been delayed only because of the plot interferences Jewelius caused.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Shining Armor is determined to ensure his sister's safety to atone for the way he renounced her and banned her from his wedding. When Jewelius (who has just revealed his true evil nature) announces that he and Twilight will be married, Shining Armor becomes enraged and tells Jewelius to stay away from Twilight (even though Twilight disowned her brother in the previous chapter).
    Shining Armor: YOU STAY AWAY FROM MY LITTLE SISTER!
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Just as Celestia is about to be publicly hanged in the 12th chapter, Luna appears from the crowd to cut the rope.
    • The heroes end up saving each other several times during the Final Battle; Twilight prevents Hildread from delivering the final blow to the downed Shining Armor, who in turn prevents Hildread from striking his sister with her sharp metal feathers. Finally, just as Jewelius is about to decapitate the bound Celestia with a sword, Cadance magically blasts the sword away.
  • Big Damn Reunion:
    • The dishonored heroes attempt to have this when they reunite with Twilight in Canterlot during the tenth chapter. Unfortunately, things go awry when Cadence is injured by Jewelius and Twilight, assuming the others got her hurt and still angry over the wedding rehearsal, renounces them.
    • They are much more successful in the 17th chapter when Twilight, after discovering that Jewelius is evil, arrives in Ponyville. Upon seeing her, everypony eagerly welcomes her back with open arms, and they reconcile with each other.
  • Big "SHUT UP!":
    • Twilight screams this in the 12th chapter after refusing to listen to her friends and brother's pleas about Jewelius' true nature, all while breaking down into tears and crying. This only earns the heroes more ire from the angry crowd who sympathize with Twilight.
    • After he drops his polite façade, Jewelius shouts a big "SILENCE!" in four separate instances; two first ones at the Mane Five in the fifth and sixth chapters, the third one at Canterlot's citizens in the 17th chapter, and the last one at Celestia when she praises the Mane Six for stopping his army.
    • Hildread yells this to Shining Armor when she argues with him about her righteousness in the 18th chapter.
  • Big "WHAT?!": The heroes react this way when Jewelius announces to them that Celestia will be executed that same night.
  • Birds of a Feather: Twilight bonds with Jewelius when he tells her that he too has noticed the strange behavior of his "cousin" but remained silent about it because nopony would listen to him either on the matter. He also immediately gets in sync with Twilight when she starts singing "Love is in Bloom". Subverted since Jewelius doesn't really love Twilight and is only playing on superficial similarities in order to win her affection.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: In the first four chapters of the story, Jewelius is presented as a humble and noble stallion, who is nice to Twilight. However, in the fifth chapter, he drops this façade and usurps Celestia. The following chapters reveal him to actually be a manipulative, sadistic, and truly evil pony who has been jealous of his aunt and cousin for years.
  • Bittersweet Ending: It's made clear that the heroes still feel bad about everything that's happened to them over the past week, and they acknowledge how they'll be unlikely to forget the impact Jewelius' heinous actions (including the mass murder of the Royal Guards who remained loyal to the princesses) had on them and everypony else. The princesses also lament that they couldn't redeem Jewelius, even though they agree with the others that he brought his gruesome death to himself. But nevertheless, the heroes reconcile with each other, clear their names, and enjoy the same All Is Well That Ends Well ending as in canon.
  • Black Knight: Commander Hildread used to be in the Royal Guard before she was expelled for unnecessary brutality. As the head of King Jewelius' army, she firmly believes that she protects ponies better than Shining Armor or the princesses with her extreme methods. She even dons an intimidating black battle armor for the final battle.
  • Bling of War: Jewelius dresses himself in a golden battle armor for the Final Battle, while Vivian dons a silver one.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: When Twilight finally has her Jerkass Realization and reconciles with her friends, brother and mentor, she as well as all of them admit that they each played a role in their falling out at the rehearsal (with Twilight having given reason for everypony to believe she was only jealous, and everypony else not being openminded enough to realize that something fishy was going on until it was too late) as well as in Twilight falling for Jewelius' manipulations and disowning her loved ones in retaliation. Everypony chooses to blame only themselves (or in the Mane Five's case, each other collectively) for their own failings while comforting and assuring each other that none of them was entirely to blame for anything.
  • Break Them by Talking:
    • As soon as Jewelius' muzzle is removed from Rarity's snout, she takes off-screen her verbal revenge on the Diamond Dogs. They're last seen shaking with traumatized eyes in a Troubled Fetal Position.
    • When Hildread catches the Mane Five in the tenth chapter, she attempts to make them turn themselves in by giving them a cruel lecture about how pathetic they are and unworthy of Twilight's friendship. The lecture works in demoralizing the five mares until Fluttershy notices the chandelier hanging above Hildread and the guards, prompting her to shut up Hildread and drop down the chandelier.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Princess Celestia becomes one to Twilight and the citizens of Canterlot due to Jewelius' manipulations. This starts to become remedied at her Public Execution when she gives them all a touching apology speech in which she takes full responsibility over her failures.
    • Shining Armor is hit with this too, as the royal guards start to despise him for what has happened (though it turns out that many of the loyalist guards are murdered and replaced by lowlifes). In fact, Twilight, who had always looked up to him when she was a filly, loses all love and respect for him due to his treatment of her and disowns him when he and the other disgraced heroes return to Canterlot.
    • The Mane Five become these as well after Jewelius manipulates all of Canterlot into thinking that they are selfish traitors.
  • Brutal Honesty: Deconstructed twice with Shining Armor.
    • When Jewelius demands Shining Armor to tell if he was entirely under the effects of Chrysalis' mind-control spell when he renounced Twilight, the captain admits in shame that wasn't the case. Unfortunately for Shining, Jewelius uses this confession to make him look like a complete jerk who was willing to disown his sister and neglect his duties as Canterlot's protector in favor of his wedding, leaving out the other side of the story. Twilight herself doesn't take her brother's confession that his harsh words to her weren't completely caused by the brainwash very well, and this blow helps Jewelius in corrupting her to lose all trust in Shining Armor and disown him as an act of revenge.
    • When the original bridesmaids demand the imprisoned heroes to tell them why nopony else but Twilight cared about their disappearance, Shining Armor straight-out tells them that Chrysalis claimed they were in the wedding only because they wanted to meet royalty. Utterly mortified that such lies were believed about them, Twinkleshine burst into tears, and everypony becomes even more angry with Shining Armor because of this.
  • The Brute: Commander Hildread to Jewelius' conspirators. She's sadistic, believes in using brutality to ensure peace and order, and she's Shining Armor's equal as a fighter.
  • Cain and Abel: Jewelius and Cadance are a cousin example. Though Cadance loves Jewelius to the point of regarding him as her younger brother, he hates her more than he hates the other heroes because she's more adored than he is. When he figures out that she hasn't died during her banishment, he devices a plan to have her killed in a way that won't make him look suspicious.
  • Cake Toppers: The canonical ones of Shining Armor and Princess Cadance are given to Spike when he's banished from Equestria because Jewelius wants to torment him with the painful memories of turning his back on Twilight. And sure enough, though Spike keeps the toppers he previously loved to play with, he starts hating them for this very reason. He uses them during the final battle to jam one of the wheels of Jewelius' chariot, preventing the tyrant from escaping when things turn south for him.
  • The Caligula: Jewelius initially presents himself as an arrogant yet sane ruler, but as things get out of his control, "Holy King Jewelius I" shows himself to be a deranged sociopath who delusionally regards his reign to be superior to that of the princesses and can't stand it when ponies adore them. He forces the entire town of Ponyville to strive under raised taxes and trading prohibitions as petty retribution to Twilight's friends, willfully focuses on hunting down the fugitive heroes at the expense of preparing against a new Changeling invasion even though the fugitives have become the public's smallest concern, and decides to decree the act of sympathizing with the fugitives as treason, which ultimately makes Canterlot's citizens really wish the princesses were back in power. He also gets engaged to Twilight in hopes of founding a powerful dynasty, but he admits that if he discovered an even more powerful unicorn mare, he might get rid of Twilight through a staged accident. He eventually leads his army to wipe out Ponyville's inhabitants along with all the heroes as the ultimate statement of his rulership, even though unlike him, none of his chief minions are okay with this. When one of his guards questions the extremeness of such an act, Jewelius throws him out of the throne room's window. Oh, and he demotes Prince Blueblood to his personal servant and replaces the banners that depict Celestia and Luna's symbol with those that depict a proud-looking illustration of himself.
    Jewelius: If I can't control this nation through propaganda, then I'll just have to control it through fear.
  • Call-Back:
    • Rarity is sentenced by Jewelius to work for the Diamond Dogs again, and he provides them with a muzzle to prevent her from irritating them with her complaints. They take great delight from rubbing this in her face.
    • Garble appears to challenge Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy in the arena, mentioning that if Spike was there, he'd make him pay for what happened during their last encounter.
    • As with many other "A Canterlot Wedding" accusation fics, everypony forgetting the lesson of not dismissing a friend's concerns too quickly is brought up a few times.
  • The Cameo: Prince Blueblood has a brief non-speaking cameo in the 12th chapter, reduced to serving his cousin Jewelius.
  • Cassandra Truth: In addition to the canon example of Twilight's warnings about the false Cadance, the ponies who didn't believe her — Shining Armor, the Mane Five, Spike and Celestia — in a twist of irony get one of their own about the evil nature of King Jewelius which they try to tell Twilight and Canterlot's citizens. The difference is that while the former example is zig-zagged, the latter is played completely straight.
  • Chain Pain: Lieutenant Shackle is a unicorn who uses her magic to control chains, utilizing them as whips and makeshift snakes. She even has a chain as her cutie mark.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In the second chapter, Jewelius shows Twilight from a spellbook a power-consuming spell that can be used to shrink multiple beings at once. Before Shining Armor and Cadance can blast the Changelings away, Jewelius reveals a jar of glass, and Twilight uses the spell to shrink all the Changelings and trap them inside the jar. Exhausted, she eventually falls unconscious as Jewelius carries out his coup.
    • The wedding cake toppers Spike plays with and receives upon his banishment are later used in the climax to prevent Jewelius from escaping in his chariot.
  • The Chessmaster:
    • Turns out Jewelius planned for the Changeling invasion to happen on Shining Armor and Cadance's wedding day; it was all a ploy to have the princesses overthrown and exiled, along with the Mane Six, Spike and Shining Armor.
    • The canonical Queen Chrysalis escapes from Canterlot's dungeons with her army and leaves one disguised Changeling behind to help Twilight (after she has come to her senses) escape to Ponyville with her parents and the Elements of Harmony. After Jewelius is cornered by the heroes, Chrysalis appears and has her Changelings kill the traitor, attempting then to subdue the heroes who are exhausted from fighting his minions. Unfortunately for her, Shining Armor and Cadance blast the entire Changeling army out of Equestria by Twilight's suggestion.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Jewelius first conspired with the Changelings to take down his royal family. Then he betrays the Changelings by assisting Twilight in bringing them down, only to nonetheless discredit the other heroes and seize the throne. He afterwards continues lying to Twilight and Canterlot's citizens about the discredited heroes, betraying his promises of a better era by gradually letting his true monstrous nature show and doing nothing for the escaped Changelings. He convinces Twilight to agree to marry him just to gain powerful heirs, confessing that if he happens to meet a more powerful unicorn mare, he might get rid of Twilight before marrying the other mare. As Jewelius himself admits, there's a reason his cutie mark is a gold-hilted dagger.
  • Classic Villain: Jewelius represents Ambition, Envy, Pride and Wrath. Full of hatred for his vastly adored aunt and cousin as well as desiring to be Equestria's worshipped ruler, he initiates the plot by setting Queen Chrysalis on her canon plan, seizes the throne through clever deviousness, and manipulates Twilight and Canterlot's population to reject the princesses as well as Twilight's brother and friends as failed heroes. He ultimately brings himself down through his own arrogance before suffering a Karmic Death.
  • Consummate Liar: Jewelius is so skilled a liar that he fools everypony in Canterlot as well as Queen Chrysalis.
  • Continuity Nod: When Jewelius is orating Canterlot's citizens into supporting him, Celestia quietly tells the others to run.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Jewelius is able to manipulate Twilight into thinking her friends and mentor only used her for their own desires and that her brother has moved on from her. She becomes very distrustful of them and doesn't much question Jewelius' harsh rule. Fortunately, she hasn't turned completely apathetic to the ponies' needs, and she gradually comes to her senses.
  • The Coup: Immediately after the Changeling invaders are stopped by Twilight, Jewelius turns all of Canterlot against the princesses, Shining Armor, the Mane Five and Spike by telling everypony half-truths about the heroes' mistakes, effectively scapegoating them and promoting himself Equestria's king.
  • Crime-Concealing Hobby: Jewelius has traveled a lot to explore and learn more about Equestria. His true reason for doing that has been to find a way to get the throne for himself. He learned about the Changelings and the caverns beneath Canterlot through these travels, and once he was told the date of his cousin's wedding, he traveled to the Badlands to forge an alliance with Queen Chrysalis, providing her with information about the caverns.
  • Crystal Ball: Vivian uses one to show Twlight her captured parents.
  • Cue the Sun: As Celestia prepares to face the gallows after apologizing to Twilight and everypony else for letting them down, she raises the sun to bring morning to Equestria for the last time. Her words alone garner forgiveness from Twilight and Canterlot's citizens, but seeing the morning sun causes them all to beg for Jewelius to spare Celestia who ends up being rescued by Luna who also releases the other imprisoned heroes. From here begins the gradual process of Jewelius' downfall and the heroes' fortunes taking a turn for the better.
  • Damsel out of Distress: When Jewelius enters the medical wing with the intention to kill Cadance and frame for it the heroes who're restrained by Vivian, he discovers her free and holding his doctors in a telekinetic grip before she blasts him against Vivian, knocking them unconscious and freeing the other heroes.
  • Dark Action Girl: In addition to the canonical Queen Chrysalis, there's Vivian and Commander Hildread. Lieutenant Shackle is a decent fighter too, but she's not villainous enough to qualify.
  • Darker and Edgier: Much more than the actual episode itself, with the main characters being sentenced to slavery, a public hanging that's narrowly interrupted, a large number of injured military figures being murdered simply for staying loyal to the usurped royalty, and an army attacking a small town with the orders to wipe out all the inhabitants. And those are only the most notable examples.
  • Dark Fic: Not only are the disastrous consequences of the Changeling invasion used to dethrone the princesses, but the fic also deals with the reputations of about a dozen individuals being destroyed. There's also banishment, slavery, a public flogging, a narrowly prevented hanging, a mass murder of injured military figures who remain loyal to the usurped royalty, an attempted destruction of a small town, a sociopathic maniac who attempts to murder his aunt and cousin out of jealousy and hatred, an entire town unfairly persecuted due to the actions of some of its inhabitants, and a gruesome death of being Eaten Alive.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Twilight gains several DMG traits after she falls in with Jewelius' manipulations. Deeply hurt that her brother, friends and mentor abandoned her at the wedding rehearsal for trying to protect her brother (as well as by the resulting sense of loneliness), Jewelius convinces her that they only used her and never really cared about her, so she devotes herself to serving Jewelius as his apprentice and fiancée, unaware that it's actually he who's shamelessly taking advantage of the magical prodigy. Adopting a sullen disposition, she doesn't much act on her conscience when it comes to Jewelius' more questionable activities, and though she hasn't stopped entirely caring about her former loved ones, she's very reluctant to trust them as they try to get through to her. Realizing the truth leads her to have major feelings of guilt which her loved ones need to alleviate by assuring her that she's not entirely responsible for what has happened, allowing her and her friends to use the Elements of Harmony with their renewed friendship.
    Twilight: I was taught friendship is magic, but now I find out that there was no friendship. I don't know what to do with my life anymore.
  • Darwinist Desire: After seizing the throne, Jewelius intends to marry Twilight, expecting a powerful unicorn like her to bear him powerful offspring to continue his legacy (though he admits that he might get rid of her were he to find a more powerful unicorn mare).
  • Death by Woman Scorned: Jewelius ends up being killed when the Changelings eat him on the orders of Queen Chrysalis as revenge for tricking her into thinking they were villainous sweethearts and double-crossing her.
  • Deconstruction Fic: The cause and fallout of the Changeling invasion are both addressed in this story.
  • Destination Defenestration: Jewelius throws a guard out of a window for questioning his plan to massacre the entire population of Ponyville.
  • Devoured by the Horde: Chrysalis directs her Changelings to eat Jewelius whose heart has no love for them to feed on.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: This is Jewelius' answer to Chrysalis' Wham Line in the 11th chapter.
    Jewelius: Oh Chrysalis. Did you really think I'd let a despicable animal like you by my side?
  • Dirty Coward:
    • Jewelius is this under his arrogance, for he never actually takes part in fights. When he just keeps yelling the order to reimprison the heroes from the safety of his booth and the escaped Queen Chrysalis sneaks up on him, he panics and runs for his life while yelling for Twilight to save him. Once the heroes have defeated all his minions and blocked all his escape routes in the climax, he pathetically tries to bargain for his life with hollow promises.
    • Garble's friends Clump and Baff think they have nothing to fear from Fluttershy as they chase her around the arena. However, once she becomes enraged and knocks out Clump, Baff tries to flee.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Big Bad decides to punish the entire town of Ponyville out of petty spite simply because of Rarity's positive remarks about Cadance rubbing him the wrong way.
  • Dissension Remorse: Coincides with It's All My Fault. Twilight's dishonored loved ones all regret shunning Twilight at the rehearsal. Twilight later expresses similar feelings of remorse for turning her back on them in favor of Jewelius.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: As the student and fiancée of King Jewelius, Twilight tends to speak to him in a careful manner when she voices her disagreement about his decisions, and she quickly relents in the face of his honeyed justifications. Abused girlfriend, anyone?
  • The Dog Bites Back: Combined with A Taste of Their Own Medicine. After Cadance gets hurt, Twilight — who has been corrupted by Jewelius — lashes out at her former loved ones by giving them an earful of how hurt she felt after they abandoned her at the wedding rehearsal and traps them in a bubble as payback.
  • Double Meaning: In the 12th chapter, Jewelius says to Twilight that she'll make an even finer bride than Cadance. This could either be referring to the real Cadance (whose 100% Adoration Rating Jewelius can't stand) or the false Cadance, AKA Queen Chrysalis (who was tricked by Jewelius into entering an Unholy Matrimony with him before he betrayed her once he decided Twilight to be a more valuable spouse to him).
  • Eaten Alive: Jewelius suffers this fate at the hands of the Changelings.
  • Electric Torture: Cadance is subjected to this while she's trapped in the medical wing.
  • Emotionless Girl: Vivian is always composed, never displays sadistic pleasure, and almost never expresses moral indignation. The closest exceptions to this are the slightly remorseful tone she uses while she speaks about wiping out the injured royal guards who haven't sworn loyalty to Jewelius as well as the anxious looks she gives when Jewelius announces his intention to massacre the entire population of Ponyville.
  • Enemy Mine: While Twilight didn't know it at the time, Chrysalis had one of her scouts disguise himself as Raven Inkwell and stay in Canterlot. That way, when Twilight finally realizes how evil Jewelius is, the Changeling is able to help her save her parents and get both them and the Elements of Harmony out of Canterlot.
  • Establishing Character Moment: As soon as Hildread first appears, she makes her arrogance and hatred toward Shining Armor crystal clear before she proceeds to beat up the former captain with sadistic pleasure. Lieutenant Shackle in turn acts like a professional guard before the appearance of her commanding officer whose orders she nervously follows, and she turns her pitying gaze away from Shining Armor's torture.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Commander Hildread, a Pegasus pony with a metal wing and Shining Armor's rival, is sadistic and enjoys torturing innocents. However, once Jewelius decides to launch an attack on Ponyville, she feels uneasy and disturbed with the plan about committing mass murder.
    • Vivian obeys Jewelius in every vile decision of his, but she does display some pity for the injured royal guards she's ordered to wipe out and looks at him anxiously when he decides to wipe out the entire town of Ponyville.
    • Applejack and Pinkie Pie have to row a galley ship where many of their fellow galley slaves are convicted criminals. They're disgusted with the two mares because of what they've heard about the wedding disaster.
      A galley slave: Selling out all of Equestria for a wedding?! And I thought I was bad.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Though Twilight turns hostile toward her brother, friends and mentor due to Jewelius' manipulations, she is unable to find it in her to hate them. She takes no enjoyment from their misfortunes, like the public whipping Shining Armor endures and Celestia's hanging. Also, though she doesn't voice her objections until later on, she doesn't really agree with the way Jewelius seems to become obsessed with ruining the fugitives' lives to the point of making the entire town of Ponyville suffer for their mistakes and doing nothing for the escaped Changelings.
  • Evil All Along: Jewelius is revealed to be truly evil in the 11th chapter as he reveals his true colors to the imprisoned heroes, as well as a traitor by using the Changelings to attack Canterlot.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Jewelius doesn't understand why Twilight or Canterlot's citizens would want to forgive the dishonored heroes and start speaking against him after everything he has done to make sure they'd hate the fugitives. When he's begging all the heroes to spare him, he offers to reorganize the wedding so that the Mane Five can be bridesmaids and Twilight the best mare, failing to realize that they're all past letting their moral compass be blinded by such trivial things again.
      Jewelius: [to Twilight who's calling him out of his irresponsible rule] It seems to me that despite the atrocious and traumatic betrayal you experienced at the wedding rehearsal, you still have feelings for those so-called ponies. You forget who it was that remained by your side during that time, took you in, and made you my student and future queen. And this is the thanks I get for all I've done for you?!
    • Queen Chrysalis shows further how she fails to understand love; she allows Jewelius to trick her into thinking they're villainous sweethearts and is genuinely surprised by his betrayal. How does she expect to be loved by a guy from who she's literally unable to drain love to feed on?
    • As Shining Armor states in his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Commander Hildread, she doesn't have what it takes to be a good protector due to believing too much in using brutality to enforce security.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Downplayed in a sense that the switch only marks the already villainous characters becoming more extreme. When Jewelius decides to slaughter all of Ponyville's inhabitants along with the heroes, he and his minions replace their normal attires with battle armors. Only Shackle retains her normal uniform, and even though Jewelius is the only one who has absolutely zero qualms about the attack, Shackle is the only one who decides to stop continuing the attack and redeem herself.
  • Evil Counterpart: Jewelius to Twilight. Both young unicorns are inquisitive, charismatic, closely connected to Equestria's ruling royalty, and they have a purple color motif as well as a reliable assistant. Unlike Twilight, though, Jewelius gathers knowledge through his travels and makes acquaintances solely for his own benefit, and he has none of Twilight's caring or noble traits. They used to play as foals with Princess Cadance who treated them both like they were her younger siblings. Twilight is mistaken to be a Green-Eyed Monster in regards to Cadance, but it's actually Jewelius who holds extreme hatred toward Cadance (as well as Celestia) just because of her popularity. Twilight adores Cadance (the real deal, that is) to the point that Jewelius is unable to destroy the high esteem Twilight holds in regards to her even though he manages to corrupt her into disowning her brother, mentor and friends for their treatment of her at the wedding rehearsal. While Twilight mostly mistrusts her former loved ones who're trying to get through to her and mistreats them reactively, Jewelius goes on to actively ruining their lives, especially those of his cousin Cadance and aunt Celestia. In the end, Twilight has a Jerkass Realization, lets go of her bitterness, and reconciles with her loved ones, but Jewelius refuses to abandon his delusions or reconcile with his betrayed family members.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Jewelius tricks Chrysalis into trusting him and double-crosses her after he decides that using Twilight in usurping the throne is more advantageous to him. He afterwards plans to subjugate the Changelings as a Slave Race and have Chrysalis killed like an animal. The tables are turned when he's defeated and surrounded by the heroes; Chrysalis appears and has her Changelings kill the scheming coward and weakling.
  • Evil Gloating:
  • Evil Is Petty: Jewelius proves himself to be quite spiteful after he becomes a king. He gifts Spike and later Rarity with specific items (the wedding cake toppers and Rarity's bridesmaid dress, respectively) just to rub salt in the wound after they're banished. He makes Ponyville's inhabitants suffer through raised taxes and trading prohibitions, excusing that the "traitorous" Mane Five's home town needs to be made an example of when in reality, he just hated it when Rarity claimed nopony would possibly want to ruin "such a glorious event like the wedding of the wonderful Princess Mi Amore Cadenza". Even his entire hatred of Cadance and Celestia boils down to petty jealousy.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • Jewelius does this several times. The most notable examples are at the end of the sixth (for his triumph) and tenth (for having the dishonored heroes who've just been renounced by Twilight at his mercy) chapters.
    • Queen Chrysalis cackles when her minions kill Jewelius in the climax.
  • Evil Nephew: Jewelius has his aunts Celestia and Luna mercilessly overthrown and then banished from Equestria. He admits to have resented Celestia for years, nearly has her publicly hanged, rejects her reconciliation offer, and comes close to beheading her himself.
    Celestia: I don't understand. The nephew I raised would never be so cruel to anypony, especially his own family!
    Jewelius: The nephew you thought you raised never existed! Love, family, friendship! You think I really cared about all of that?! I only choked down all those 'happy' moments while standing in yours and Cadance's shadows! But no more. Now I will be the only one who will cast the biggest shadow!
  • The Evil Prince: What Jewelius proves himself to be. He started the Changeling invasion specifically to steal Equestria's throne which he has desired for years. Too bad for him he's not content with simply exiling the princesses, but lures them back in order to murder them himself and turns down the last chance Celestia gives him of ruling Equestria as the princesses' equal.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Chrysalis is Jewelius' enemy as much as of the heroes because he betrays her during the invasion he convinced her to commit with him.
  • The Exile: While Shining Armor and the Mane Five are sentenced to slavery, the three dismantled princesses and Spike are simply exiled outside of Equestria.
  • Expy: Jewelius borrows some aspects and lines from several Disney villains, especially Scar to the point of dying the same way. He is even similar to Prince Hans in ways that make them seem good at first, but show their true colors later on and are revealed to be Evil All Along.
  • Face Death with Dignity: While waiting to be hanged, Celestia doesn't try to resist or speak about the Cassandra Truth to deaf ears like Jewelius expects her to. Instead, she chooses to apologize to Twilight and everypony else for failing them and the casualties of the invasion, raising the sun for the last time. This moves the crowd and Twilight so much that they no longer want to go through with the execution, but Jewelius remains set on his course. Fortunately Luna saves her sister just in time.
  • Failed a Spot Check: When Jewelius lures the heroes into a trap, he's so gung-ho on being able to murder Celestia and Cadance himself that he doesn't realize that he didn't capture Luna until she stops Celestia's execution.
  • Fake Arm Disarm: Shining Armor uses his shield spell to destroy Hildread's metal wing during the final battle when she attempts to attack Twilight.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: When Hildread and some guards corner the Mane Five and Cadance, Fluttershy covers their escape by dropping a chandelier on the bad guys, leaving them entangled in diamond chains.
    Applejack: Good thinkin', Fluttershy.
    Rarity: But what a waste of a perfectly beautiful chandelier.
  • Fatal Flaw: Jewelius's ego and shortsightedness end up screwing him several times over. Even though his coup is successful and he manages to destroy the reputations of the Mane Five, Spike, the princesses, and Shining Armor, he tricks all of them into returning to Canterlot so he can reveal his evil actions to them and personally guarantee Celestia and Cadance die. When he and his minions capture most of the exiles, he's so giddy over it he completely forgets about Luna note , allowing her to save Celestia before she can be hanged and free the exiles from their restraints. Then, when the Changelings and the fugitive heroes escape Canterlot at the same time, Jewelius puts off the new Changeling threat in order to focus on hunting down the heroes despite knowing that Chrysalis is out for his blood and everyone being more concerned about the Changelings. Not only does this help Twilight see how evil Jewelius really is and has Canterlot's citizens begin to want Celestia and Luna back in power, him foolishly ignoring the Changelings results in his gruesome death.
  • Final Boss: As brief as it lasted, Queen Chrysalis did kill Jewelius to become the final villain.
  • Fix Fic: The fic was written in order to bring to a full circle certain issues the author didn't think were properly resolved in the canon episode. This includes not only everypony's negative feelings from the falling out at the rehearsal, but also the consequences of Celestia's decision not to postpone the wedding and get the threat of unknown attackers out of the way first. Attention is also given to the feelings of the original bridesmaids (something that doesn't often come up in the fics revolving around "A Canterlot Wedding") who suffered by being hypnotized and trapped underground with Cadance and Twilight.
  • Foil:
  • Foreshadowing: There are hints of Jewelius' true nature before his true colors are revealed. For example:
    • In the second chapter, Jewelius has a happy façade when Pinkie announces that she and her friends are the new bridesmaids. However, once Rainbow Dash and Rarity brag about Shining Armor's shield and the wedding, none of the Mane Six notice an angry glare form on Jewelius' face, hinting his hidden jealousy of Cadance. He also tells Vivian that they may have to make some changes to their plans for usurping Celestia.
    • In the third chapter, after everypony abandons Twilight, Jewelius spies on Chrysalis imprisoning her. Once Chrysalis has left, Jewelius starts forming a plan with a very serious expression on his face.
    • Just before the invasion, Chrysalis is surprised that Vivian helped Twilight and Cadance out of the caves by Jewelius' orders, asking him why before brushing it off. He gives Chrysalis a Psychotic Smirk right before she and the other Changelings are shrunk, and she afterwards tries to say something while pointing at Jewelius.
    • One of the first hints Jewelius plans to father a legacy through Twilight? He names himself "Holy King Jewelius I" after he speaks to the unconscious Twilight about restoring greatness to Equestria with her.
    • While lying to Twilight about her loved ones' true motivations, Jewelius claims that what sealed their fates is that they chose to ignore the reality and see the world the way they wanted it to be. Jewelius himself ignores the need to prepare against the escaped Changelings as he obsessively tries to find and destroy the heroes. When his minions are defeated and he's cornered by the heroes, the Changelings take their chance to appear and kill him.
  • Forgiveness: A recurring theme in the story.
    • Twilight's exiled and disgraced loved ones (especially Shining Armor and Celestia) are wracked with guilt over how they abandoned Twilight and inadvertently allowed the Changeling invasion to occur. They return to Canterlot a week later to clear their names and earn Twilight's forgiveness.
    • When Shining Armor tearfully apologizes to Princess Cadence for his mistakes, she says that she can forgive him, but she still wants him to reconcile with his sister before they try and get married again.
    • In the 12th chapter, a sentenced to be hanged Celestia delivers a heartfelt apology speech to Twilight and Canterlot's population wherein she takes full ownership of her failures. This successfully triggers forgiveness in her former subjects and student who then demand that she be spared.
    • After the fugitives along with the Changelings escape, Twilight wants to pardon her dishonored loved ones so that she can forgive them on how they wronged her as well as apologize for her outburst, believing that they've been punished enough and have learned their lesson.
    • When Twilight discovers that her friends' Cassandra Truth about Jewelius was right, she flees to Ponyville to reconcile with them. Much to her surprise, they welcome her back with open arms and forgive her instantly despite the way she betrayed them for Jewelius.
    • In the epilogue, the heroes are quick to forgive the public for how they spurned them for Jewelius. In turn, everypony forgives the heroes for their mistakes.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Celestia and Luna are almost never shown using their powerful magic to make things easier for the fugitives. The most offensive thing they do is using non-lethal spells to stun or knock unconscious Jewelius' guards in the 13th chapter. While this lack of offence is justified by their unwillingness to hurt their former subjects, would it be too much to make escaping easier with teleportation?
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • The plot of "A Canterlot Wedding" proceeds like it does canonically, up until the Changeling army has been defeated and Jewelius takes the throne for himself by bringing to public knowledge the mistakes of all the other heroes than Twilight. Also, before the wedding couple can blast the Changelings out of Equestria, they're defeated and imprisoned when Twilight uses on them the shrinking spell Jewelius showed her. The twist of Twilight being the one who stops the Changelings has the side effect of Shining Armor and Cadance being easier for Jewelius to condemn since they cannot appeal to being the ones who saved the day. They get to do it in the climax after Jewelius is killed and only the Changelings remain to deal with.
    • After all is said and done, Princess Luna actually attends the wedding ceremony instead of just showing up for the party.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Vivian, Jewelius' assistant, wears glasses and supports him in every villainous thing he does, and with very little emotion to show.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Deconstructed and subverted. Twilight and Jewelius get engaged only in one week after first meeting each other. Because he showed her niceness while she became alienated from her brother, friends and mentor before his coup, she accepts his offer of filling the void caused from "losing" her loved ones, unaware he's a manipulator who just wants a royal broodmare. As Twilight starts acknowledging Jewelius' behavior doesn't match that of the noble stallion she first met, he causes her to break off their engagement and turn against him by revealing his true colors to her.
  • Frame-Up:
  • Freudian Excuse: Jewelius seems to have the fact that he's less known and popular than the princesses or the Element Bearers. It doesn't justify his cruelties though, especially since he throws Celestia's offer to rule as the princesses' equal in her face.
  • A Friend in Need: When the heroes learn that the Changelings might be seeking revenge on Twilight, they promptly return to Canterlot to ensure Twilight's safety and make amends with her. They do this even though Jewelius has tarnished their reputations, and Luna points out that they could be walking into a trap (a suspicion that turns out to be correct and set up by Jewelius).
  • Fugitive Arc: The princesses, the Mane Five, Shining Armor and Spike are pariahs for most of the fic after Jewelius seizes Equestria's throne and manipulates nearly everypony to hold them responsible for the Changeling invasion.
  • Gladiator Games: Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy are forced to fight as gladiators in the Dragon Lands' new coliseum as part of Jewelius' treaty with the dragons. While the crowd is eager to see them going down, the two Pegasi are able to hold their own against the increasingly tougher opponents until they're rescued.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil:
    • A minor example occurs when Fluttershy wonders for what reason Jewelius would want to make the lives of Ponyville's inhabitants miserable for something she and the other heroes did. Rainbow Dash gives her the obvious answer: spiteful sadism.
    • Celestia has a hard time (at least initially) to wrap her head around the fact that her mild-mannered nephew is really a manipulator capable of being extremely cruel to his family members and others.
  • Good Samaritan: The disgraced heroes, who have been met with contempt and hatred throughout the story, receive refuge from Mayor Mare and the rest of Ponyville.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: When the disgraced heroes are being taken away from Canterlot, it's very rainy and there's thunder.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Jewelius seems to be jealous of his aunt and cousin since he "stands in their shadows", so he sets off to cast a bigger shadow.
  • Group Hug: Happens in the 17th chapter when Twilight arrives in Ponyville. After recovering from the shock of seeing her again, the Mane Five and Spike embrace Twilight in a warm and forgiving hug, overjoyed that they've been given a second chance to atone for mistreating her at the wedding rehearsal, but now also have a chance of defeating Jewelius now that Twilight is with them.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy:
    • When Rarity and Applejack disguise themselves as maids, the first guard they encounter quickly believes them when they nervously claim to be doing some late night cleaning.
    • In the 12th chapter, the imprisoned Chrysalis tries to fool a patrolling guard with the disguise of Jewelius and then a crying filly. While he's savvy enough not to fall for that, he walks too close to the cell in annoyance, allowing Chrysalis to knock him unconscious by slamming his head against the bars and steal his keys.
  • Guilt Complex:
    • While Shining Armor has the hectic circumstances and Chrysalis' mind-control spell to explain his failure to realize the Changeling Queen wasn't Cadance as well as his harsh words to Twilight, he never uses those details to make himself feel less guilty.
    • After Twilight has her Jerkass Realization, she's so wracked with guilt that she refuses to blame anypony but herself for the way Jewelius used her negative feelings to trick her into rejecting her loved ones for the way they broke her heart at the wedding rehearsal. To help her get over this, her friends, mentor and brother point out that they left her susceptible to Jewelius' manipulations by abandoning her and that she was his pawn as much as everypony else.
  • Hate Sink: Jewelius is intentionally written to be as hateful as possible in order to give the readers somepony to hate instead of any of the heroes. This is achieved with his exceeding cruelty, sadism, hatred of his aunt and cousin as well as his obsession of ruining his family and the heroes' public image to the point of making Ponyville suffer and wiping out the injured royal guards who remained loyal to the princesses. Moreover, his lack of remorse for his actions is juxtaposed with the heroes, who are shown to be consumed by guilt and determined to atone for their misdoings. Even Commander Hildread and Queen Chrysalis are easier to root for than Jewelius.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Lieutenant Shackle, who was never comfortable with the attack on Ponyville, is convinced to turn against Jewelius, and she assists in getting the Mane Six together so that they can petrify his army with the Elements. However, she chooses to go to prison out of guilt and be a better pony after she has served her sentence.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity:
    • Celestia, Shining Armor, the Mane Five, Spike and Luna become these (especially in Canterlot) when Jewelius holds them responsible for the Changeling invasion occurring. Fortunately, they don't have this status in Ponyville since the town has gone through rough times because of Jewelius.
    • Subverted with Cadance. While Jewelius holds her responsible for allowing Chrysalis to take her place and banishes her as well, it's revealed a week later that Canterlot's citizens haven't stopped loving her.
    • After Twilight has turned against Jewelius, he tries to make her this as well. It fails immediately, and Canterlot's citizens actually become more sympathetic to the other disgraced heroes now that Twilight has joined their cause.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Princess Celestia apparently suffers one during her sentencing in the sixth chapter. While the other heroes try to make a case for themselves, Celestia remains silent, most likely out of despondence because she's still in shock over suddenly losing her authority and prestige due to her nephew using her failures against her.
    • Twilight suffers this when she finds out how evil Jewelius truly is and that she helped another monster seize the throne, destroy her friends, teacher and brother's public image and turn her against them.
  • Hitler Ate Sugar: Jewelius believes that the town of Ponyville is guilty by virtue of being the Mane Five's hometown. Out of spite, he punishes the town by raising taxes, prohibiting trade, and deploying his guards to intimidate its citizens.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When Jewelius tries to escape in his chariot, it fails because the wedding cake toppers he gave Spike to torment him in his exile are wedged into a wheel by Spike. He's afterwards Eaten Alive by the Changelings he double-crossed, and following their escape, foolishly ignored in favor of the heroes.
  • Hope Crusher: Coincides with Kick the Dog. Jewelius lures the exiled heroes into returning to Canterlot with a false chance to redeem themselves and make up with Twilight, all so that he can injure Cadance, have a manipulated Twilight angrily disown her loved ones for abandoning her, and capture them again.
  • Hourglass Plot:
    • When Jewelius is defeated and cornered by the heroes, he starts pathetically begging them for his life. A complete reversal from when the Mane Five were tearfully begging and pleading to Jewelius as he sentenced them to slavery.
    • Just as Twilight has her Cassandra Truth at the beginning, her dishonored loved ones try to warn her about Jewelius being evil.
    • Jewelius sentences Shining Armor to work in the Diamond Dogs' mines alongside Rarity. Mirroring how his sister and bride were trapped in an abandoned mine under Canterlot.
  • How We Got Here: The story begins with Celestia and Luna in different parts outside of Equestria (Celestia in a desert and Luna on top of a mountain), both lowering the moon and raising the sun. Then the main story starts about a week earlier.
  • Human Hammer-Throw: Fluttershy finishes the beatdown she gives Garble's friends by spinning Baff around in the air from his tail before throwing him on top of the unconscious Clump.
  • Humiliation Conga: Queen Chrysalis is transformed miniature enough to be trapped in a glass jar along with all her Changeling subjects, subjected to brutal torture by Jewelius, and revealed to have been played for a fool by Jewelius who betrays her in order to reap for himself the fruits of their combined efforts. While she gets her revenge on him, her effort to act as the Final Boss is cut short by Shining Armor and Cadance finally blasting her out of Equestria.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Jewelius in more than one way. He admonishes the heroes for being overly focused on the wedding when there was a threat of an attack in the air. He himself gets so caught up tormenting his prisoners that he forgets about Luna who wasn't imprisoned with the others, allowing her to rescue Celestia from hanging. He also willfully dismisses the renewed threat of the escaped Changelings and focuses entirely on destroying the heroes. This bites him in the flank big time in the end. Also, for all his talk about the ponykind needing to be strong enough to fend for itself without the aid of the alicorns and the Elements of Harmony, he himself is a coward who has a lot of cunning and no power, letting his more powerful allies/pawns (one of whom is the Element of Magic) to fight for him. The argument he gives Twilight of the banished heroes choosing to ignore the reality in favor of their fantasies ends up fitting him due to his delusions of grandeur and stubborn refusal to acknowledge the escaped Changelings as an immediate threat.
    • During their duel in the climax, Vivian admonishes Rainbow Dash of offering to a stranger blind loyalty to the point of giving her friend the cold shoulder. The Element of Loyalty concedes Vivian's point, but then she says Vivian is in no position to preach about blind loyalty while she serves a monster like Jewelius without objection.
  • Hypocrite Has a Point: Vivian, the unquestioning assistant of Jewelius, admonishes Rainbow Dash of blindly supporting the false Cadance to the point of turning her back on her friend Twilight. Dash chooses to acknowledge how right Vivian before pointing out the hypocrisy.
  • I Can Rule Alone: Jewelius starts a relationship with Queen Chrysalis and helps her infiltrate Canterlot as well as replace Cadance so that they can take control of Equestria together. However, after Chrysalis raises suspicions in Twilight and things escalate at the wedding rehearsal, Jewelius betrays the Changelings by helping Twilight stop their invasion, having decided that he has more to gain out of Chrysalis' defeat and manipulating Twilight into becoming his queen. He even mocks Chrysalis for actually thinking he'd rule with a "despicable animal" by his side.
  • "I Can't Look!" Gesture:
  • If Only You Knew: Luna reveals in the 15th chapter that when she was first introduced to Cadance and Jewelius, she sensed a darkness stirring in the prince's heart, but she dismissed it, believing it to be just a lingering effect from her recently ended time as Nightmare Moon. Now she feels that she could have prevented the misfortunes that have happened if she had looked into the matter (though Celestia assures her she's not to blame).
  • Ignored Epiphany: Hildread isn't comfortable about attacking Ponyville, but when Shining Armor questions if she thinks it's right, she has an uneasy expression before she hardens her heart and lets her delusions guide her actions.
  • I Have No Son!: A sibling variant. Due to Jewelius poisoning her mind, Twilight disowns Shining Armor after she's tricked into thinking that he and the others caused Cadance to get injured and also in retaliation for his disownment of her at the wedding rehearsal and for banning her from coming.
  • I Have Your Wife: Jewelius has Night Light and Twilight Velvet captured shortly after the Changeling invasion to be used as leverage in case he loses his grip over their daughter. He uses that card when Twilight Sparkle finally realizes how evil he is, but it's made null when Raven Inkwell (actually a disguised Changeling) helps Twilight by releasing her parents.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: By using the spell Jewelius showed her earlier, Twilight turns all the Changelings tiny enough to trap the entire army inside the glass jar Jewelius reveals. They're back to their normal size and imprisoned in cells later, though.
  • I Reject Your Reality:
    • Jewelius convinces Twilight that her friends, brother and mentor refused to see any truth in her suspicions because they lived in this mindset.
      Jewelius: They don't care about the truth. They want to see the world the way they want it to be. The reality of things frightens them so they'd rather ignore it than accept it. And in the end, it was that kind of backwards thinking that sealed their fates.
    • Jewelius himself refuses to believe there's anything to fear from the escaped Changelings, no matter how much Fancy Pants, Twilight, and Canterlot's citizens insist so. This eventually comes back to bite him in the flank during the climax. He also continues maintaining the belief that Celestia will be remembered as a failure by the future generations, even though this has become unlikely due to the forgiveness she earned through the apology speech she gave at her failed execution and because of Jewelius' own shortsighted actions.
    • By comparison, the heroes take full responsibility for the mistakes they made that allowed the invasion to occur and admit some painful truths about their selfish/foolish behaviornote . This partially restores Twilight's trust in her loved ones and convinces her to give them the benefit of the doubt, thus providing the heroes an opportunity to reconcile with Twilight.
  • Ironic Echo: Plenty of ironic echoes are said following the Changeling invasion and Jewelius' takeover.
    • After the banished heroes are taken away, Jewelius uses Chrysalis' line "This day has been just perfect!" Chrysalis uses that line again after her Changelings have killed Jewelius and she prepares to take down the heroes who are exhausted from fighting his minions.
    • When Shining Armor is being taken to slavery, he mulls over Twilight and says something similar to what she said after she was left at the rehearsal.
      Twilight: I could've gained a sister. But instead… I just lost a brother.
      […]
      Shining Armor: I could've gained a wife. But instead… I just lost a sister.
    • When Twilight chews out her former friends, brother and mentor for (seemingly) getting Cadance hurt (thanks to Jewelius' manipulations), she finishes by using their parting words from the wedding rehearsal. After she has left, Jewelius appears and exchanges with Shining Armor exactly the same words Twilight exchanged with Chrysalis before being imprisoned by the latter.
      Shining Armor: Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and comfort my bride. And you can forget about being my best mare. In fact, if I were you, I wouldn't show up to the wedding at all.
      Applejack: C'mon, y'all. Let's go check on the princess.
      Twilight: I was-
      Celestia: You have a lot to think about.
      […]
      Shining Armor: Twily-
      Twilight: And you can forget about me calling you my BBBFF anymore! In fact, I don't even have a brother. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go check on the princess.
      Celestia: Twilight, I-
      Twilight: You have a lot to think about.
      [after Twilight has left, Jewelius appears]
      Shining Armor: I'm sorry.
      Jewelius: You will be! [laughs wickedly]
    • When Jewelius announces to the imprisoned heroes that he and Twilight are engaged, he mentions the title of the "Love is in Bloom" song which they sung together in the second chapter.
    • When Jewelius finally shows Twilight his true colors, he cruelly reminds her of the reassurance she gave him in the second chapter: 'ponies would surely recognize him if he did something spectacular'. Of course she didn't mean that spectacular to be something utterly devious.
    • In the climax, Jewelius calls Chrysalis his love while begging for her help. Before she orders her Changelings to eat him, she reminds him that he called her a despicable animal in the 11th chapter.
  • Irony:
    • Jewelius helped Chrysalis sneak past Shining Armor's magic barrier by showing her the entrance of the crystal caverns. Later the fugitive heroes escape from Canterlot by using those same caverns, and this seems to never cross Jewelius' mind.
    • Jewelius plans to have Celestia hanged and remembered with hatred. However, she dispels the public hatred felt toward her by making a highly remorseful and apologetic final speech and submitting to being hanged. Even if Luna hadn't saved her, Jewelius would have made Celestia a martyr by executing her despite the objections of Twilight and Canterlot's citizens.
    • After betraying the Changelings, Jewelius treats them as if they're just savage beasts, even calling Chrysalis a "despicable animal" in the 11th chapter. They end up killing him like a pack of hungry animals would.
  • Is That the Best You Can Do?: Said by Hildread when she gains the upper hoof during her final duel with Shining Armor.
    Hildread: Ignorant, pampered, lovesick colt! Is this the best you've got?
  • It's All About Me:
    • Jewelius cares ultimately only about his own wants and his "glorious rule". This is noted by Fancy Pants when Jewelius wants to focus on the disgraced heroes instead of the escaped Changelings.
      Fancy Pants: What is this obsession with those ponies? Aren't a few of them members of your family? Don't you feel any sort of concern for them?
      Jewelius: They dared to oppose MY rule! Any and all traitors to the new king of Equestria must and will be punished!
      Fancy Pants: So this is about you?!
    • The discredited heroes are accused of putting the wedding before everypony's safety out of selfish ambitions by Jewelius and his supporters. Though this is mostly hurtful slander, the remorseful Mane Five and Spike do admit that their excitement over their wedding roles made them insensitive toward Twilight and her concerns. One of Twilight's Armor Piercing Questions forces them (as well as Shining Armor and Celestia) to concede that they also forgot to consider the feelings of Canterlot's other ponies who were torn between waiting for the wedding and being concerned over the unknown attackers who managed to attack anyway.
  • It's All My Fault:
    • All the disgraced heroes feel guilty about their mistakes concerning the entire wedding fiasco, but Shining Armor and Celestia have the worst of it. Learning about Jewelius' role in it all helps them tone their guilt down to more reasonable levels.
      Applejack: Sorry, Princess. We let ya' down again.
      Shining Armor: No, I did this. I was supposed to make sure Canterlot was safe. But I let Chrysalis impersonate Cadance and trick me with her obvious lies. I even let her turn me against my own sister. Twilight was right.
      Celestia: No, Captain. I'm supposed to be the wise high ruler of Equestria with thousands of years of experience. But I couldn't even tell the difference between my own niece and an obvious imposter. I failed as a ruler, I failed as an aunt, and I failed as a teacher. I'm an absolute failure.
      Pinkie Pie: Hey, don't take all the credit. We helped too.
      Fluttershy: We turned our backs on our best friend when she needed us the most.
      Rarity: All for the chance to participate in a stupid wedding that was doomed to failure.
      Rainbow Dash: Some friends we turned out to be.
    • In the 12th chapter, when Celestia is sentenced to be hanged, she feels so guilty about the pain and suffering Jewelius caused for Canterlot's citizens that she delivers them as well as Twilight a heartwrenching apology and accepts her fate, believing that she could have prevented the disaster from happening had she not put her trust in the wrong ponies. Ironically, admitting these feelings of regret is exactly what it takes for everypony to start forgiving Celestia and demand her to be spared.
    • The heroes' guilt extends to the pain that's been caused to the townsfolk of Ponyville, whom Jewelius is punishing because of the Mane Five's actions.
    • After her Jerkass Realization, Twilight holds herself entirely responsible for unwittingly helping a tyrant take control of Equestria as well as letting Jewelius manipulate her into renouncing her loved ones who were trying to warn her about him. Fortunately, as she expresses these thoughts while reconciling with everypony, they own up to their own errors while assuring her that she's not entirely at fault.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: When the fugitive heroes go to seek sanctuary from Ponyville, they find the town to be unusually quiet. Turns out this is because the townsfolk are afraid of encountering in the streets Jewelius' guards who might rough them up.
  • Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: While sneaking in the castle, Applejack and Rarity disguise themselves as maids and hide Cadance in a housekeeping cart after the three of them hide in a supply closet. A guard stops them, but he quickly buys the two mares' excuse of doing some late night cleaning. The cover is blown when they're found by Commander Hildread right after they've bumped into Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie.
  • Jerkass:
    • Jewelius is this when his true colors are revealed.
    • Same goes for Hildread, whose cruelty is unmatched.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Overlapping with Villain Has a Point. Jewelius and Hildread continuously remind in a condescendingly belittling manner the dishonored heroes how their shortsightedness made it easy for Chrysalis to impersonate Cadance and Jewelius to corrupt Twilight against them. The heroes don't deny the truthful part of this criticism.
    • When the corrupted Twilight refuses to listen to her disowned loved ones' Cassandra Truth, she brings up (as the first one) the fact that her former friends didn't live up to their promise of taking her concerns more seriously. This makes them immediately realize how justified she is in not trusting them anymore. When Rainbow Dash points out in their defense how unproductively Twilight was throwing around her accusations, the unicorn ignores that and asks if her friends, Shining Armor or Celestia ever considered that they weren't the only ones for whom the wedding was important. They cannot offer any defensive answer for that, remembering the citizens who ended up suffering because of the invasion taking place in the midst of the wedding. After Twilight has her Jerkass Realization and reconciles with her friends while blaming only herself, they own up to their errors while acknowledging that her earlier points were correct.
    • Chrysalis of all ponies manages to make Twilight doubt Jewelius' trustworthiness by mockingly yet truthfully telling her that he's trying to get rid of everypony who would threaten his rule and will get rid of Twilight once he has gotten everything he wants out of her, like he did to Chrysalis herself.
  • Jerkass Realization:
    • Celestia as well as Twilight's friends and brother are given a more profound one than they were shown to have in the canon episode. When the fugitives are reunited following their banishment, Cadance tells how she first came to date Shining Armor with some covert assistance from Twilight's part. This revelation makes the already remorseful Shining Armor feel even more horrible about throwing his sister out of his wedding, and the Mane Five realize better how self-centered their behavior actually was.
      Fluttershy: Twilight wanted you two to be together forever!
      Applejack: All this time, we've only been thinkin' about how much the weddin' meant to us and not how much it meant to Twilight.
      Pinkie Pie: Some friends we are.
    • The heroes' Jerkass Realization extends to Canterlot's ponies who ended up suffering from the invasion they inadvertently allowed to happen through their obliviousness. When their names are cleared, they apologize to everypony for this in the epilogue. The Mane Five also apologize to the original bridesmaids for shamelessly replacing them and offer their positions back, only to be forgiven and allowed to keep them.
    • Twilight herself has this once it dawns on her how right the loved ones she has turned against were about Jewelius and his evilness. It should be noted, however, that she has by that time already begun to consider she might have been too harsh on them, wanting to both forgive them and apologize for her own behavior toward them. The bombshell of Jewelius proving their claims about him true leads her to blame only herself when she seeks out her loved ones and reconciles with them.
    • When Jewelius angrily declares sympathizing with Twilight and her friends to be an act of treason, the citizens of Canterlot realize that the dishonored heroes were telling the truth about Jewelius being evil and that they had chosen the wrong side. When the heroes (who have earned back their social standing and regained the public's trust) apologize for inadvertently allowing the invasion to happen, the citizens likewise apologize for believing Jewelius' lies about the heroes and turning their back on them.
  • Just Between You and Me: In the 11th chapter, with the heroes (except for Luna) imprisoned and Cadance at the infirmary, Jewelius shakes the prisoners by bragging that he goaded Chrysalis into attacking Canterlot before using Twilight instead to take the throne, has hated and been jealous of his royal family for years, intends to marry Twilight in order to gain powerful heirs, has murdered the injured royal guards who remained loyal to the princesses, will kill Cadance and shall have Celestia hanged that same night.
  • Just Desserts: Jewelius is Eaten Alive by the Changelings because, as Chrysalis says, since he can't offer them love to feed on, everything else will have to do.
  • Kangaroo Court:
    • Jewelius puts the princesses, Shining Armor, and the rest of Twilight's friends on trial for their role in causing the invasion of Canterlot. However, there is no jury or witnesses (possibly so that nopony will object to Jewelius legalizing slavery in Equestria), and the heroes (who are given no legal representation) are automatically found guilty without receiving a chance to properly defend themselves or call upon witnesses to speak on their behalf.
    • Played even further in the 11th chapter when Jewelius announces to the imprisoned heroes that Celestia will be hanged that same night. When Spike protests by saying that she should be put on trial first, Jewelius replies that a trial was already held earlier that day — with Celestia being in absentia!
  • Karmic Death: Jewelius is Eaten Alive by the Changelings whom he goaded to assault Canterlot, betrayed, intended to enslave and refused to immediately deal with after their escape, begging pathetically for his life like the coward he is.
  • Karmic Nod: Coincides with Face Death with Dignity. Celestia is resigned to being sentenced to be hanged by Jewelius, viewing it as a fitting punishment for the way she let everypony — especially Twilight — down by failing to prevent the invasion of Canterlot and not heeding the warnings of her student.
  • Kick the Dog: After Jewelius tarnishes the reputations of the Mane Five, Spike, the princesses, and Shining Armor, he continues to mercilessly torment them throughout the story.
    • Jewelius makes his first one when he blames Cadance for the invasion on the grounds that Chrysalis took her by surprise by impersonating Jewelius and stole her identity. At the very least the accusations he throws at the other heroes have some legitimacy, but it's just plain ignoble to blame Cadance for being tricked with the disguise of her favorite cousin, especially because she suffered by being imprisoned in the caverns. Doubly so because it was Jewelius himself and not Chrysalis who knocked her unconscious.
    • When Cadance tries to gently reason with Jewelius and uses her love spell on him, he laughs cruelly and calls the spell a pathetic trick. He also refuses to answer Shining Armor's concerned questions regarding Twilight's state, smiling sadistically as the panicking big brother is taken away.
    • After banishing the heroes, Jewelius sends to Spike the wedding cake toppers and Rarity her bridesmaid dress, for no other reason than to rub salt in the wound.
    • When Hildread is leaving Spike exiled in a dark forest, he tries to ask about Twilight in hopes of being able to send his apologies to her. Unsympathetic to the remorseful baby dragon's feelings, Hildread viciously yells in his face before giving him the wedding cake toppers and leaving.
    • Right after the fugitive heroes are renounced by Twilight and imprisoned, Jewelius and Hildread further rub the heroes' failures in their faces by laughing at the notion that Twilight would consider them her friends.
    • Jewelius has Hildread mercilessly flog Shining Armor in front of the Royal Guard.
    • The next morning, the heroes are publicly shamed by the citizens of Canterlot who all feel themselves betrayed by their former protectors. Jewelius gleefully watches as the heroes' failed attempts to convince Twilight and Canterlot's citizens the Cassandra Truth about Jewelius' role in the invasion only succeeds in making them more scorned upon.
    • Then there's the entire thing of making the lives of the entire town of Ponyville miserable as well as murdering all the injured royal guards who continued swearing loyalty to the princesses. When Jewelius decides to massacre all of Ponyville's inhabitants, he throws a guard out of a window simply for questioning this decision.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: During the climax, Jewelius attempts to decapitate Celestia who's bound by magic-proof rope, only for Cadance to stop him.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • The first time Queen Chrysalis is seen after her failed invasion, she has been brutally tortured by Jewelius' underlings. The imprisoned heroes aren't sorry for her in the slightest because of her actions ruining their lives and causing misery to many others (though she reveals that Jewelius is to blame as well).
    • During the climax, Chrysalis takes her revenge on Jewelius by having her Changelings eat the treacherous tyrant alive.
    • On a smaller scale, Jewelius is revealed to have made Prince Blueblood his servant. The self-absorbed prince is implied to regularly suffer the king's anger for failing to serve as wanted.
  • Knife Nut: Hildread can throw from her metal wing razor-sharp metallic feathers.
  • Knight Templar: Commander Hildread believes that cruelty and ruthlessness are at times required to maintain peace and order, but she's needlessly sadistic about it. Even though she doesn't like the idea of massacring all the inhabitants of Ponyville, she ultimately chooses to cling to her delusions rather than accept being wrong.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • The Mane Five, Shining Armor, Celestia and Spike trying to tell Twilight a truth she doesn't believe is meant to be this for not believing what she tried to tell them about Queen Chrysalis, as the author explains at the end of the 12th chapter.
      Some of you may be quite disturbed by Twilight's dark change in character and the misfortunes happening to her friends, brother, and mentor. But if you think about it a little, what just happened to them in this chapter is a bit karmic. They all refused to listen to Twilight's suspicions about the evil bride and in the end she was right. Now they're the ones trying to tell Twilight that her new friend and mentor is evil, but due to Jewelius's manipulations, she won't listen to them. They're going through the same treatment they gave Twilight.
    • Not only does Celestia walk out on Twilight along with everypony else, but when Jewelius tries to say Twilight only acted out of a big misunderstanding, it's Celestia who shushes him. She's later detained by her own Royal Guard when Jewelius tricks everypony into blaming her for the collateral damages of the invasion, and the resentful wedding guests do nothing to help her. Celestia lampshades the irony by wondering if she's having the same feelings of betrayal as Twilight had.
    • In the final battle, a now cornered and defeated Jewelius finds himself pleading to be spared by the same heroes he had begging for mercy as he sentenced them to slavery. He's then killed by the Changelings whom he set to invade Equestria, double-crossed, and stubbornly refused to consider as a threat after they escaped from his dungeons.
  • Let No Crisis Go to Waste: Immediately after Twilight has stopped the Changelings' invasion, Jewelius turns the entire city of Canterlot against all the other heroes by telling half-truths about their mistakes and bringing up the damages both the structures and ponies suffered because of these mistakes. Promising to be a more responsible ruler than the princesses, he makes himself Equestria's king and turns the princesses, Shining Armor and Twilight's friends into enemies of the state. He himself caused the invasion by striking an alliance with the Changelings in order to take over Equestria with them, but he decided he'll gain more out of thwarting the invasion by helping Twilight Sparkle and pinning the blame on all the other heroes rather than settling for ruling as Queen Chrysalis' partner.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: The fugitives sneak into the castle and come across an intersection of three hallways in the tenth chapter. They split into three groups and take the three different routes to reach the library because "a big group is too easy to spot". The group of Celestia, Spike and Shining Armor reaches the library and finds Twilight without being noticed, but the rest are discovered by Hildread and reach the library when Cadance pulls a You Shall Not Pass! on Hildread. Unfortunately, she's injured by a surprise attack of Jewelius, and the others are arrested when the angry and hurt Twilight detains them with a magic dome.
  • Love-Interest Traitor:
    • Jewelius to Twilight. He stirs in her affections toward him with his adorable and considerate façade as well as by showing more empathy toward her than everypony else, even singing "Love is in Bloom" and dancing with her. After he has manipulated her to lose all trust in her brother, friends and mentor, he eventually convinces her to accept his proposal and become his queen. In reality, he's only taking advantage of her and wants the magical prodigy to bear him powerful offspring to continue his legacy. He's also open to the possibility of arranging an accidental death for her so that he can marry an even more powerful unicorn mare if he happens to find one.
    • Before encountering Twilight, Jewelius was this to Queen Chrysalis as well. Managing to trick her into striking with him a partnership of villainous affection despite the fact that she couldn't drain love from him, he helped her infiltrate Canterlot so that they could conquer Equestria together. However, he decided that Twilight Sparkle — a magical prodigy far younger and possibly more powerful than the Changeling Queen — would be a more valuable pawn, so he broke his partnership with the Changelings and helped Twilight stop their invasion. His betrayal was a genuine surprise to Chrysalis, and she tries to get revenge on him after she escapes from his dungeons, succeeding in the climax.
  • Love Theme: "Love is in Bloom" is used in this fic when Twilight starts developing feelings towards Jewelius who sings the song in perfect sync with her. Subverted since Jewelius is only manipulating Twilight into falling in love with him.
  • Lysistrata Gambit: A G-rated example that's probably unintentional; Cadance tells Shining Armor that while she can forgive him for his mistakes, he should make amends with Twilight before they get married. It's unlikely she's intending to make any ultimatums, but her words nonetheless cause him to fear that his relationship with Cadance now depends on him reconciling with his sister.
  • Made a Slave: To punish them for their "treason", Jewelius sentences the Mane Five and Shining Armor into slavery, with Applejack and Pinkie Pie becoming galley slaves, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy being given to the dragons as gladiators, and Rarity being sent to work in the Diamond Dogs' mines along with Shining Armor.
  • Made Out to Be a Jerkass: Happens with Twilight's friends at the wedding rehearsal as it did in canon. Only this time, because of Jewelius helping Twilight in stopping the invasion and revealing the heroes' mistakes to the public, they pay the price for it with their reputations and social status.
  • Magitek: While imprisoned, Shining Armor, Rarity and the princesses have devices on their horns to prevent them from using magic. Also, the Royal Guard subdues Celestia with magic-proof rope during Jewelius' coup, and later, during Jewelius' attack on Ponyville, a net made of that rope is shot onto her.
  • Make an Example of Them: While Ponyville is striving under Jewelius' raised taxes and trading prohibitions, he sends his guards to teach a lesson to ponies who go against his unfair rules. Mayor Mare doesn't dare to elaborate further what this entails.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Jewelius convinces the city of Canterlot that Celestia, Shining Armor, the Mane Five and Spike have betrayed Equestria by allowing the Changelings to attack. He even takes advantage of Twilight's sadness and uses it to turn her against the Mane Five, Spike, Shining Armor and Celestia. He also tricked Chrysalis, another example of this trope, into thinking she was in a relationship of villainous affection with him, and his betrayal of her came as a genuine surprise to her. It's telling how skilled you are at manipulation when you trick like this a vile villainess who cannot drain love from you, and without any mind-control spells.
  • Mask of Sanity: In the first four chapters, Jewelius portrays himself as a sane Nice Guy quite convincingly, and while he acts arrogantly after he takes over the throne, he's sure to give Twilight and the public superficially sound logical arguments to justify his decisions. However, once things start going against his liking, he gradually stops caring about hiding his madness.
  • Meaningful Echo: While Twilight is reconciling with her friends and blames herself for letting Jewelius manipulate her to turn against them, Applejack comforts her by saying that it wasn't her fault Jewelius fooled everypony. This refers to the canon answer Twilight gives to Applejack's apology (which Twilight is about to say in this fic before being interrupted by Jewelius).
  • Meaningful Name:
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Lieutenant Shackle supports Jewelius, but she never has half of Hildread's ruthlessness or Vivian's apatheticness. She performs a Heel–Face Turn when the assault on Ponyville proves to be too much for her conscience.
  • The Mole: Jewelius stroke a partnership with Queen Chrysalis to invade Equestria together on Cadance and Shining Armor's wedding day. He helped her sneak into Canterlot by telling her how to enter the caverns underneath the castle, and he lured Cadance into a trap, allowing Chrysalis to take her place. Nopony, not even Twilight, suspects him of anything foul. However, after Jewelius decides he'll gain more out of making Twilight his pawn, he helps her and Cadance out of the caves to expose Chrysalis, aiding Twilight in detaining the Changelings with the shrinking spell he showed her, but immediately afterwards he pins the blame for the invasion on all the other heroes and steals the throne.
  • Must Make Amends:
    • After they're exiled, the Mane Five, Spike, Celestia and Shining Armor all adapt this mindset regarding their treatment of Twilight and inadvertently letting the Changeling invasion take place. When they hear that some escaped Changelings who might have stolen Jewelius' identity are planning to get revenge against Twilight, they decide to return and help her, seeing it as their chance for redemption. Little do they know that they are actually heading into a trap set by Jewelius.
    • Twilight is hit with this too when she realizes that her loved ones she has turned against were right about Jewelius' evil nature, prompting her to seek them out, mend fences with them, and work together to bring the usurper down.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Shining Armor greatly mopes about his fight with Twilight, and it's made worse when Cadance reveals to him how Twilight secretly helped him get together with Cadance years ago.note  Celestia and Twilight's friends also regret trusting Chrysalis over Twilight, and in the process, causing misery to Canterlot's citizens by failing to prevent the invasion.
      Celestia: Oh, my faithful student, I miss you so much. If only I had listened to you.
    • Twilight when she finally realizes how evil Jewelius truly is, and that her former friends, mentor and brother were right about him and the fact that she helped another villain gain control of all of Equestria.
    • Lieutenant Shackle when she does her Heel–Face Turn during the Final Battle.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Vivian, Jewelius' personal assistant, always carries out her master's will even though she's not sadistic or very emotional otherwise. She does express some pity for the injured Royal Guards Jewelius orders to be murdered, grows concerned over Jewelius' mental state in the 17th chapter, reacts to his decision to wipe out the entire town of Ponyville with uneased expressions, and is horrified when he kills a guard just for making a wrong question. When Rainbow Dash points out how hypocritical it is of Vivian to judge her of blind loyalty while she serves Jewelius who started the entire Changeling invasion, Vivian acknowledges that to be true and goes on to explain that she serves Jewelius because she thinks he can bring ponies independence to guarantee their own protection without the alicorns or the Elements of Harmony.
  • My Greatest Failure: The regret that Twilight's denigrated loved ones feel over shunning her and allowing the invasion to occur is what motivates them to return to Canterlot so that they can prove their innocence and earn back the trust of Twilight, as well as the rest of Canterlot's citizens.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: In the 17th chapter, the fugitive heroes view their reunion with Twilight in Ponyville as a second chance to learn from their past failures at the wedding rehearsal and make amends with her. They demonstrate their newfound trust during the final battle when they go along with Twilight's plan to have Cadence and Shining Armor repel the Changelings. This ultimately pays off and results in the heroes getting to enjoy their hard earned happy ending at the wedding as per canon.
  • Mythology Gag: An abbreviated version of the comics' backstory of how Cadance and Shining Armor met each other and became a couple as teenagers is told in the ninth chapter.
  • Narcissist: Jewelius loves to bask in the praise of Canterlot's citizens, uses his own image in his banners, and believes himself to deserve being regarded as the greatest ruler in Equestria's history after all the years he spent being jealous of Celestia and Cadance's prestige. The reason he gets engaged with Twilight is because he wants to build a powerful legacy of his greatness for the future generations. He becomes horribly angry whenever the citizens or Twilight show sympathy towards Celestia and Cadance, refusing to admit there's anything wrong in his thinking.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Jewelius gets what he wants right in the fic's first quarter; he has become Equestria's respected king, Twilight Sparkle agrees to become his student and later his queen, and the princesses are driven away from Equestria along with Twilight's brother and friends, with their reputations tarnished and their self-respect torn to shreds. After enjoying this success for one week, Jewelius' need to stimulate his malicious desires leads him to lure the banished heroes back to Canterlot, and the latter half of the story deals with his downfall that's more his own fault than of the heroes (see the Villain Ball section below for more details).
  • Never Be Hurt Again: A large part of the reason why Twilight refuses to trust her friends, brother and mentor. Jewelius even appeals to it before Celestia's hanging by saying to Twilight that she'll welcome more heartache to her life if she doesn't let go of her former loved ones.
  • Never My Fault: After losing the trust of Twilight and Canterlot's citizens, Jewelius blames it on the heroes. Never mind that he stops working on his lies and lets his true selfish nature shine. Notably, despite letting go of her hatred toward the fugitives, Twilight is willing to support Jewelius as long as he starts acting like a responsible ruler. That ends when he proves true the fugitives' Cassandra Truth about him by heartlessly gloating to Twilight.
  • New Era Speech:
    • Jewelius makes one of these to Canterlot's citizens when he's taking the power away from the heroes.
      Jewelius: Hear this, my beloved subjects. I, Prince Jewelius, have an important announcement to make. Many of you are probably wondering how such vile creatures invaded our city when it looked so secured. I will now reveal the truth. This disaster was a result of foolish, selfish, irresponsible, and easily preventable acts of failure in the line of duty, and they were all committed by our princesses, our captain of the guard, and five of our beloved Elements of Harmony! [the citizens and wedding guests gasp] There was a lingering threat made to Canterlot, but instead of putting aside the wedding and dealing with it, they chose to only focus on their materialistic ambitions, and NOW look what's happened! [the citizens look at the structural damages] This act is the ultimate treason against our people! Our kingdom will no longer be put in danger by fools who have no idea what they're doing! It is high time ponykind took care of themselves and not entrust their safety to false idols! On this, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza and Shining Armor's wedding day, I vow to uphold our nation's peace and security!
    • He makes another one when Celestia is about to be publicly hanged.
      Applejack: Ya'll don't seriously want Celestia ta be executed, do yah?
      Fluttershy: Who will raise the sun?
      [the crowd becomes pensive]
      Jewelius: Those are great questions. But if you all remember from our history, unicorns were able to raise the sun and the moon before the Two Sisters came to power. Back then we were strong; we didn't rely on so-called 'all powerful' alicorns or ponies wearing cheap jewelery to make sure our lives were safe and bliss. Over time, we've become soft and too dependent on others we thought to be more powerful. It is time for ponykind to get out of the shadows that we think protect us and begin the dawning of a new glorious era! The real Elements of Harmony are not in six random mares, they're within all of us. It's time for ponykind to all come together! We will work as one big progressing force and I will lead you in the coming days!
      The crowd: All Hail Jewelius! All Hail Jewelius! All Hail Jewelius!
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The moment Twilight has shrunk the Changelings and Celestia says that she has a real wedding to put together, Jewelius starts calling out everypony else but Twilight while the wedding guests and the Royal Guard witness this. Celestia takes no action to restrain Jewelius, lets everypony see how her nephew's accusations make her, and the only explanation she offers — Twilight's franticness and lack of evidence against Chrysalis — is overruled by Jewelius who brings up Celestia's own decision not to postpone the wedding and fully focus on the lingering threat of unknown attackers. When he has made his New Era Speech to Canterlot's citizens, Celestia tells everypony to run. This immediately backfires as not only does the escape attempt fail, but it also gives serious credibility to Jewelius' accusations against the heroes. As the result, the Royal Guard imprisons them on his orders, and they become despised by just about everyone in Canterlot as nopony lifts a hoof to help them.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • Jewelius should have known better than to indulge in Evil Gloating and throw entirely to the wind the façades and manipulations that got him onto the throne in the first place. Doing this first with the disgraced heroes and later Twilight helps them realize who their true enemy is, and gives them every reason to bring him down (if they didn't have it already). Also, when he snaps at Canterlot's citizens for wanting to welcome all the dishonored heroes back to the society, they start really wishing that the princesses were still ruling them.
    • Chrysalis planting a seed of doubt into Twilight's mind in the 13th chapter is one of the first steps in making Twilight realize how unwell things are in Jewelius' hooves.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The three top henchmares of Jewelius; Lieutenant Shackle is Nice, Commander Hildread is Mean, and Vivian is In-Between.
  • Noble Fugitive: Celestia, Luna, and Cadance are this for the majority of the story thanks to Jewelius' coup.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: While sneaking in the castle, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy avoid a guard's detection by posing as three characters in a painting that's conveniently next to them.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Jewelius does a lot of scheming and manipulation, but he does nothing physical himself, relying on his allies to fight for him. The only exceptions to this are telekinetically throwing a guard out of a window and trying to decapitate the subdued Celestia during the climax, only for Cadance to stop him.
  • No-Sell: Cadance tries to make Jewelius reasonable by using her love spell, but it has no effect on him. The Changelings aren't able to drain love from him either because he holds no love towards anypony.
  • Not Brainwashed: While calling out the heroes in the fifth chapter, Jewelius demands Shining Armor to tell if the verbal smackdown he gave Twilight at the rehearsal was entirely caused by Chrysalis' mind-control. The shameful Shining Armor decides to be honest and answers that he was able to make his own decisions. One of the 11th chapter's flashbacks confirms that Chrysalis gained full control of Shining Armor only when he came to console her after the confrontation at the rehearsal.
  • Not Helping Your Case:
    • Right after Twilight has shrunk the Changelings, Jewelius calls the other heroes out of their mistakes while the wedding guests and some guards are present. Taken aback by his unexpected hostility, they're unable to properly defend themselves against his aggressive accusations of them being foolish and selfish. When he addresses the ponies in Canterlot's streets and vows to rectify the heroes' mistakes, Celestia tells the others to run… which only helps to make them look as guilty as Jewelius says they are, so the wedding guests do nothing to help Celestia when the Royal Guard subdues her.
      • Celestia herself offers no other defense than the claim that everything would have been solved differently if Twilight had presented her accusations calmly and gathered evidence to back them up. Unfortunately, this choice of wordsnote  gives the impression that she's trying to blame Twilight for everything. As Jewelius correctly (if one-sidedly) makes clear, the franticness and lack of evidence from Twilight's part were neither the beginning of, nor the only factors in the events leading up to the invasion taking place.
    • When Twinkleshine calls the heroes out of not caring about her, Minuette and Lyra's disappearance, Shining Armor tells them what excuses Chrysalis gave for replacing them with the Mane Five: that they only wanted to meet Canterlot's royalty. Shocked and hurt that anypony believed such slander, Twinkleshine bursts into tears, and Shining Armor earns more ire for himself from the three mares' sympathizers.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: This is said in the climax by Queen Chrysalis right after her Changelings have killed Jewelius and she prepares to take down the exhausted heroes. She's proven wrong when Shining Armor and Cadance blast them out of Equestria.
    Queen Chrysalis: Now with that slimy, double-crossing usurper out of the picture and the heroes weakened, NOPONY CAN STOP US NOW!
  • Not So Stoic: The ever composed Vivian reacts to Jewelius' decision to massacre all of Ponyville's inhabitants by making uneased looks. She's also as shocked as everypony else when he throws a guard out of a window for making a wrong question.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Jewelius convinces Twilight and Canterlot's population that he's doing what's best for everypony by bringing down the princesses under whose rule the Changelings managed to attack as well as by making examples out of them and the other ponies who are responsible for it. His true motives are ambition, hatred and sadism.
  • Not What I Signed on For: Shackle commits her Heel–Face Turn during the assault on Ponyville because such evil isn't the reason she pledged herself to Jewelius.
  • Offing the Annoyance: Jewelius, angry over the loss of the public and Twilight's support, decides to assault Ponyville. When a guard joins Lieutenant Shackle in questioning the morality of this idea, Jewelius throws the poor guard out of a window.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: As soon as Spike removes the Diamond Dogs' muzzle from Rarity's snout, she goes to remind the three imprisoned mutts why they wanted her out of their mines the first time they met. Ten minutes later, she returns with satisfaction to the other heroes as the traumatized Diamond Dogs shake in a Troubled Fetal Position in their cell.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The heroes have a collective one in the fifth chapter when Jewelius' New Era Speech makes them realize that he's denigrating them in everypony's eyes.
    • When Fluttershy switches from scared into furious in the arena and knocks out Clump, Baff becomes scared and tries to flee. As Garble sees his two friends being beaten by Fluttershy, he has a Jaw Drop, and right before Rainbow Dash floors him, he gulps.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!:
    • This is Rarity's reaction to being sentenced to work as the Diamond Dogs' slave.
    • Shining Armor says this during the climax when he's once again out of power to use his shield spell against the Changelings. Luckily, Cadance lends him the power this time.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Subverted majorly with Jewelius. He's the only pony who actually bothers to talk seriously with Twilight about her misgivings and acknowledge that some things don't feel to be right with his "cousin". He tries to nicely convince the Mane Five to consider if their sudden promotion to bridesmaids is strange and cautions Twilight not to do anything drastic… all for naught. He suggests at the rehearsal that Twilight's actions were born out of a serious misconception and not real spite, but nopony listens to him. Even when he drops all pretences of politeness and steals the throne after the Changelings are defeated, he's still right to point out to the rejoicing heroes that due to the casualties and damages born out of the invasion, the time is not appropriate to start planning a new wedding. After that, his behavior can't be called sane. It ultimately turns out that Jewelius was in Chrysalis' plans all along and only played things in his own favour.
    • Fancy Pants when it comes to Canterlot's population. Not only he's never shown speaking lowly about the banished heroes, but he's also one of the first ponies to protest against the Public Execution of Celestia after hearing the remorseful final speech of the former princess. After all the Changelings have escaped, he actually argues against Jewelius when the latter wants to focus on finding the escaped heroes at the expense of preparing against a new Changeling invasion.
  • The Only Way They Will Learn: In the 11th chapter, Shining Armor is publicly flogged by Commander Hildread. Twilight tries to come to her brother's defense by questioning whether his punishment is too harsh and saying that he never meant for all of these terrible things to happen. However, she relents after Jewelius tells her that Shining must be taught a lesson.
    Twilight: Don't you think this is a little harsh? He never really meant for all these terrible things to happen.
    Jewelius: Twilight, my faithful student. While he might not have meant to cause so much harm, it does not change the fact that he did and could've easily prevented it. I do not take pleasure in such torture, but a lesson needs to be learned here.
    Twilight: I understand.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • When Rarity receives her bridesmaid dress from Jewelius who wants to taunt her with the painful memories it gives her, she's so disgusted with herself that she destroys the dress she was once proud to have made, much to the others' surprise.
      Rarity: I traded my best friend for THIS?! [throws the dress into fire] I am the Element of Generosity, but I failed to represent that during the wedding. That is a mistake I fully intend to rectify!
    • Twilight bitterly renouncing her brother, mentor and friends in the tenth chapter as well as claiming that their bonds with her were never true is a major forewarning to how cynical she has become in one week. This is revealed to be a cause of Jewelius using her heartache from the events of the wedding to turn her into his loyal pawn.
    • When Jewelius decides to wipe out Ponyville's population along with the heroes, not only is Shackle horrified and Vivian looking uncomfortable, but even Hildread, who has never before shown to have had any trouble with carrying out her master's plans, is appalled. You know the villain is going too far when even his most brutal minion thinks so.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • During his outburst towards the heroes, Jewelius doesn't hold Twilight responsible for the invasion and tells her in a softer tone that she's done enough for one day (that is, shrinking the Changeling army). This, along with all the rest of his kindness toward her, is just to sway her into trusting him.
    • After Twilight is confirmed to have taken a level in jerkass and disowns Shining Armor, he is publicly flogged. Twilight takes no enjoyment from it at all and tries to speak on his behalf at one point, showing that despite her anger, she hasn't stopped entirely caring about her brother.
    • Though Vivian carries out her master's order to wipe out all the injured Royal Guards who are still loyal to the dismantled princesses, she expresses some pity for the fine military ponies she's ordered to kill.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain:
    • Jewelius shows some subtle signs of being misogynistic. He ultimately cares nothing for Twilight, wanting to marry her just to make her bear him powerful offspring to continue his legacynote , admits that he might dispose of her if he found a more powerful unicorn mare to seduce, and remorselessly smacks her for suggesting that he has much to learn from his aunts and Cadance. When he claims that the true Elements of Harmony are in everypony instead of the Mane Six, he uses the expression "six random mares" instead of "six random ponies". His three main minions are all mares, but that doesn't necessarily negate the previous points.
    • Despite having worked with the Changelings before betraying them, as well as knowing what they're capable of, Jewelius treats them as if they're just savage, love-sucking beasts who need his brains to be a serious threat. This attitude probably explains why he doesn't think there's a rush to prepare against them after they've escaped from his dungeons.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: Twilight soon after she has used a spell Jewelius showed her to shrink the entire Changeling army. She wakes up only after her friends, brother, and the princesses have been exiled.
  • Prince Charmless: Jewelius proves to be the biggest example. He tricks Twilight into trusting him and successfully seizes the throne after discrediting the heroes, proving himself to be a narcissistic colt of a king.
  • Produce Pelting: A downplayed version occurs in the 12th chapter. A filly whose parents were injured by the Changelings during the invasion blames Celestia for it and throws one egg in the alicorn's face. While the crowd is otherwise unsympathetic toward Celestia, nopony follows the filly's example.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • As per canon, Twilight in regards to Queen Chrysalis in the first chapters.
    • When the banished heroes learn that the Changelings are planning revenge against Twilight, Luna is afraid it may be a trap, so she decides to hide in the shadows when they return to Canterlot. Sure enough, it is a trap, and if Luna hadn't hidden herself, Celestia wouldn't have been saved from the gallows.
    • In the 15th chapter, Luna regrets that she did not adopt this attitude and do some digging instead of dismissing the darkness she sensed in Jewelius' heart upon first meeting him as a mere aftersensation from her time as Nightmare Moon.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Jewelius, at the end of the day. While able to present himself as reasonable, he's basically a dangerous, capricious colt who wants to outshine the rest of the royal family because he resents them for getting from everypony more attention than him. As a king, he exacts disproportionate revenge for simple comments and cares more about remaining in charge than actually taking care of the kingdom. His immaturity shows best when he lets his anger get the better of him.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Jewelius gives one to Chrysalis right before Twilight shrinks her along with the other Changelings.
  • Public Execution: Jewelius sets Celestia to be publicly hanged in the 12th chapter. The angry crowd initially supports this, but Celestia's remorseful and apologetic final speech causes them and Twilight to have second thoughts. Jewelius carries on with the execution despite the objections. Fortunately, Luna appears from the crowd to cut the rope.
  • The Purge: Jewelius tasks Hildread and Vivian with finding out which members of the Royal Guard who were injured during the Changeling invasion continue swearing loyalty to the dismantled princesses. After seeing the long list, Jewelius has these guards murdered as casualties of the invasion and replaces them with criminals whose loyalty he has bought. In the climax, he launches an attack on Ponyville with the intention to wipe out the townsfolk along with the heroes.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Subverted with Jewelius. He's a prince and wears a purple royal suit that has gold patterns. However, while very clever and a master manipulator, he doesn't have exceptionally powerful magic, and he's in his heart a Dirty Coward who leaves all the action to his allies/pawns.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: The "The Reason You Suck" Speech Twilight gives Celestia (as well as her brother and friends) in the tenth chapter.
    Celestia: Twilight, I-
    Twilight: You have a lot to think about.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • At first it looks like the entire Royal Guard has sworn loyalty to Jewelius at the drop of a hat. However, it's revealed in the 11th chapter that most guards suffered serious injuries during the invasion, but many of them continued swearing loyalty to the dismantled princesses. On Jewelius' orders, they were murdered and declared to be casualties of the invasion, allowing Jewelius to fill the greatly decreased ranks with criminals whose loyalty he bought for himself.
    • Rainbow Dash tries to convince Canterlot's ponies to make Chrysalis verify the heroes' Cassandra Truth. The suggestion is immediately shot down because no-one thinks such a deceptive villain can be trusted as a testifier.
    • Jewelius gets to see that while you can sway someone into supporting you, you cannot make them utterly discard long-upheld beliefs or bonds just like that. He gets Twilight to trust him by acting understandingly toward her while she gets the cold shoulder from her brother, mentor and friends. He then separates her from them before reconciliations can be made and gets her to stop trusting them while he can manipulate her as he sees fit for one week, without the exiles or Twilight's parents anywhere around. However, while Twilight vents out her feelings of anger and hurt toward her former loved ones, she's faced with incidents that contradict Jewelius' claims.note  After venting her feelings, Twilight starts doubting and thinking. She eventually defies Jewelius' order of lying to ponies who trust her and decides — right before Jewelius drops all pretences — that she wants to reconcile with her loved ones and that Jewelius has much to learn about responsible ruling. Likewise, Canterlot's citizens become disillusioned with the smoke and mirrors of Jewelius and want back the wise ruler who has reigned for as long as they can remember.
    • After the Changelings have escaped, Jewelius refuses to acknowledge the urgency to prepare against them and directs all his efforts in taking down the heroes. Unlike what he seems to be thinking (and as proven in the climax), Chrysalis is not going to just wait for as long as he likes for another chance to get revenge against him after she failed to reach him once. Not to mention the suspicions he instills through this behavior in Twilight and Canterlot's citizens who all acknowledge the Changelings to be a bigger concern than the fugitive heroes.
    • During the final battle, Vivian goes into a Motive Rant of how Equestria has become weak under the rule of the alicorns and the Elements of Harmony. This gives Rainbow Dash enough time to knock her unconscious.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • When Hildread catches the Mane Five in the tenth chapter, she mocks them for abandoning Twilight at the rehearsal and letting the Changeling invasion happen through inattentiveness in an effort to drive them into letting her imprison them. The tactic seems to be working until spotting the chandelier hanging above prompts Fluttershy to put a stop to Hildread's nonsense and drop the chandelier onto her and her guards.
      Hildread: You all should've stayed where you were and never come back.
      Pinkie Pie: No way, we heard the rumors about changelings in the castle. We couldn't just ignore them and leave our friend, Twilight, in danger!
      Hildread: [laughs mockingly] You really are the funny pony! Because I heard you all didn't have any problems ignoring her warnings about the imposter bride and abandoning her at the wedding rehearsal! You all really need to stop playing heroes because you're not! Well, not anymore. You chose to ignore all the obvious signs of danger and focus more on what you could've gained if the bride had been the real thing, and as a result, you hurt your best friend, put all of Equestria in danger, and destroyed your own 'heroic' reputations all because you wanted to play dress up for a beast! [Hildread continues laughing as the ashamed Mane Five silently acknowledge her point] So now that you've all gotten a dose of reality, why don't you come along quietly so there won't be any trouble when we return you back to your places of exile? To think, Twilight Sparkle considered you all her best friends. What kind of pony would risk everything she cares about for the sake of her worthless, pathetic, annoying so-called friends?!
      Fluttershy: Twilight would!
    • When Cadance is injured and Twilight — who has already been manipulated and corrupted by Jewelius — believes her former loved ones are responsible, she gives them all a harsh earful that mirrors the one she received at the rehearsal, letting them know how much she's been hurting since then and how they brought more unnecessary suffering on Cadance. She also does this as an act of revenge for the way they treated her.
      Twilight: How could you have let her be put in danger? Hasn't she been through enough already?
      Celestia: Twilight, we didn't know what would happen.
      [Twilight gets extremely angry]
      Twilight: Yes, you didn't know. Just like you didn't know about the bad behavior she was showing during the planning for the wedding! Just like you didn't know about the strange spells she was constantly casting on my brother, which obviously weren't headache healing spells! Just like you didn't know what that display of crocodile tears at the rehearsal was meant to do! Just like you didn't know she was imprisoning ponies who were becoming obstacles in her plan in the caverns underneath the castle, like me! And just like you didn't know that she was the EVIL queen of an army of shapeshifting insect like monsters bent on devouring all the love in Equestria! Well, I know one place that they won't be able to find any real love!
      Shining Armor: Twily, I-
      Twilight: You know, King Jewelius was going to let her back into the kingdom. It would've been easy and nopony would've gotten hurt. But you all had to follow your own selfish instincts and mess everything up again! Well no more!
      [Twilight imprisons her former loved ones in a magic dome]
      Applejack: Twilight, please don't do this!
      Fluttershy: We're your friends!
      Twilight: No you're not! You only hangout with me because my connections could help you. You never cared about me or anypony else! I can't believe I fell for it for so long.
      [The Mane Five gasp in shock at the harsh declaration]
      Shining Armor: Twily-
      Twilight: And you can forget about me calling you my BBBFF anymore! In fact, I don't even have a brother. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go check on the princess.
      Celestia: Twilight, I-
      Twilight: You have a lot to think about.
    • In the 11th chapter, the disgraced heroes get another one from Jewelius as he gloats about the way their obliviousness made it easier for him to turn Twilight against them and steal the throne.
      Applejack: You Snake! How were you able to fool Twilight when Chrysalis wasn't?
      Jewelius: Simple. I did the one thing none of YOU did. I listened to her and gave her the benefit of the doubt. I was THERE for her! I was her friend! But after you all broke her heart and abandoned her at the wedding rehearsal, she became a lot easier to manipulate. And now, I have her completely under my control. I didn't even need to use a mind control spell either!
      Shining Armor: You… you used my sister, and the changelings! You're responsible for all of this!
      Jewelius: Whoa, calm down. I didn't manipulate any of you into making yourselves look like fools. You chose to believe the lies of an imposter over the one pony who made any real sense during all that stupid nonsense. And in the end, Twilight was right about everything. Well, except one thing: she thought all of you were her friends! Now THAT couldn't had been farther from the truth! [laughs with Hildread as the ashamed heroes silently admit he's right] How does it feel to know just how much damage you've caused?
    • While facing Hildread in the climax, Shining Armor tells her that he kicked her out of the Royal Guard because she has always been exceedingly brutal and delusional with her extreme beliefs, with her act of preparing to massacre innocent ponies on the orders of a tyrannical usurper being the ultimate proof of this.
      Hildread: I hate you, Shining Armor. Always have. You were always too soft and weak to hold the rank of Captain of the Royal Guard. You never had the brains or the guts to do what was necessary to ensure the security of Canterlot. But now I will do what you could not.
      Shining Armor: You never could understand that brute strength is not always the answer. That is not the way of Equestria.
      Hildread: SHUT UP! I am the guardian of this great nation. I protect the ponies that live in it!
      Shining Armor: Is that what you call this? Protection?!
      Hildread: [looks around uneasily before hardening her heart] Traitors to the King must be punished.
      Shining Armor: Traitors?! These are innocent ponies! This is a massacre ordered by that vile usurper you call a king!
      Hildread: Everything we've done was absolutely necessary! And if I have to destroy you in order to maintain peace and order in Equestria, so be it.
      Shining Armor: Your extreme desires and methods have blinded you to the fact that you're causing more harm than good. This is why you were kicked out of the guard.
      Hildread: I WILL CRUSH YOU!
    • Celestia, Cadance and Twilight tell Jewelius separately yet in a complementary way how disappointed they are in the prince who has thrown away the love of everypony else out of a selfish lust for power.
      Celestia: I'm afraid it is you who will not be remembered for your greatness but your arrogance, Jewelius. You, like many others before you, have underestimated Twilight and her friends and the Magic of Friendship. And that will cost you dearly! […] You let your selfish desires turn you into a monster.
      […]
      Cadance: I finally understand, cousin. Why the changelings weren't able to feed on your love and why my spell didn't work on you. It's because you have no heart to feel love and therefore no love to give!
      Jewelius: What, are you going to kill your own flesh and blood?
      Cadance: The cousin, brother, I knew died a long time ago. His heart anyway.
      […]
      Twilight: You had a loving family, loyal friends, everything a pony could've wanted. Why wasn't it enough for you?
  • Rebuilt Pedestal: It doesn't come to pass in an easy way, but by the end of the story, all the disgraced heroes have regained their social standing after they've exposed Jewelius' secret evil crimes, saved Ponyville from his army as well as all of Equestria from the escaped Changelings, and publicly apologized for their personal screw-ups that made it possible for the disastrous Changeling invasion to occur.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Downplayed with Vivian. Her tail and mane are black, she wears a red and silver outfit, and her horn's magical aura is red. However, while she's impersonal and acts as Jewelius' personal assistant, she isn't sadistic like he or Hildread, serving Jewelius out of a misguided sense of loyalty instead of true malice.
  • Redemption Rejection: During the climax, Celestia gives Jewelius a chance to stop the attack on Ponyville and make atonements, promising even that if he wants so, he can rule Equestria as the princesses' equal so that he won't have to feel himself overshadowed by them. All she gets in response is cruel laughter from Jewelius who doesn't want to share power before she's subdued by a magic-proof net.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Hildread has dark red eyes, and she's not nice by any means.
  • Refuge in Audacity: A large part of why Jewelius succeeds with his coup. As soon as the Changelings have been shrunk and Vivian brings the wedding guests and Royal Guards in, he confronts Celestia, Shining Armor and the Mane Five in front of everypony, hostilely calling them out of how they behaved during the wedding preparations and treated Twilight at the rehearsal. He goes so far as to blame Cadance for letting the disguised Chrysalis (who was really Jewelius himself) take her by surprise, and he rudely interrupts the Mane Five with a Big "SHUT UP!" before they can say anything to defend themselves. He then proceeds to rattle everypony further with his New Era Speech in which he blames all the other heroes but Twilight for the collateral damages of the invasion and promises to set them right. The results? The heroes become so panicked that they try to escape, making themselves look as guilty as Jewelius says they are, so the guards imprison them on his orders, and everypony starts hating them while accepting Jewelius as their new ruler.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Much like the canonical Shining Armor and Princess Cadance, Prince Jewelius appears out of nowhere despite being Princess Celestia's nephew as well as a cousin of Cadance and Prince Blueblood. Twilight herself has never met him before, only heard about him from Cadance. However, his absence from the canon series is explained by the fact that he spends most of his time traveling across Equestria. He also tells that ponies talk a lot more about the princesses and the Mane Six than him, with nopony seeming to notice he's been gone from Canterlot.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Jewelius intentionally sets himself up as one for Twilight. He acts more emphatically toward her than everypony else, even when she's abandoned at the wedding rehearsal. After he has banished the other heroes away, he convinces her that they never really cared about her and offers her a new purpose in life as his apprentice. By the time one week has passed, she has accepted his proposal to become his queen. However, she gradually stops being angry at her former loved ones and decides to mend fences with them as well as convince Jewelius to reconcile with his usurped royal family. However, once she realizes how evil he actually is, she severs all ties with him and fully reconciles with her friends, brother and mentor.
  • The Reveal: It's revealed in the 11th chapter that Jewelius has been Evil All Along and hates his aunt Celestia and cousin Cadance for "overshadowing" him. He told Queen Chrysalis about the wedding, joined forces with her, and helped her infiltrate Canterlot by telling her about the underground caves only he knew about. However, after he spent time with Twilight and decided her to be a more valuable pawn to him, he broke off his alliance with the Changelings and helped Twilight stop them while making it look like everything was the other heroes' fault. He then used Twilight's heartache from being abandoned by her brother, friends and mentor to manipulate her into forsaking them.
  • Russian Reversal: The narration jokes about the Changelings eating Jewelius by stating that they "had a meal fit for a king, or a king fit for a meal".
  • Sadist: Hildread likes to inflict pain. Jewelius turns out to be an even worse case of this, for Hildread at least feels uneasy about massacring the entire population of Ponyville.
  • Sadistic Choice: Chrysalis gives Twilight one in the 13th chapter; will she shrink the Changelings again or go to make sure Jewelius isn't doing anything evil to Cadance? Twilight is so conflicted that the Changelings use their chance to escape, so she starts running toward the medical wing.
  • Sanity Slippage: Jewelius was never truly sane to begin with, but from the moment Luna rescues Celestia from hanging, his judgement becomes less and less sound as he reacts to the following setbacks with extreme anger, responds to disagreements from others with petulance, casts aside whatever control he had over his Berserk Button, and throws away all the hard work of his manipulations.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: A G-rated example. When Twilight finally realizes how evil Jewelius actually is and breaks off their engagement, he reveals that her parents are in his dungeons and threatens to make them look like victims of the Changelings if she doesn't remain by his side. She complies for her parents' sake, but the Changeling who disguises himself as Raven Inkwell frees Twilight from this predicament by rescuing her parents that same night.
  • Seize Them!:
    • Jewelius gives this order in the fifth chapter when the heroes unsuccessfully attempt to escape.
    • In the 11th chapter, Celestia gives this order from her cell to two guards when Jewelius reveals himself to be a traitor. She's only mocked and told that they're actually criminals who have replaced the murdered Royal Guards who remained loyal to her and whose loyalty Jewelius has bought for himself.
    • Jewelius keeps ranting this order when the heroes are freed of their restraints in the 13th chapter.
  • Shadow Archetype: Jewelius is what Twilight could become if she permanently cut ties with her loved ones and chose selfishness and irrational hatred over forgiveness and responsibility. Jewelius sets Twilight on the path of resentment she doesn't canonically take, but she doesn't embrace it wholeheartedly and chooses to step away from it before it's too late.
  • Shamed by a Mob:
    • When Jewelius has Celestia subdued by the Royal Guard, the wedding guests do nothing but shoot resentful glares at her, already believing that the invasion was her fault. Celestia is crushed, wondering if she's feeling the same way Twilight felt when she was shunned by everypony at the rehearsal.
    • In the 12th chapter, Celestia as well as Shining Armor, the Mane Five and Spike are brought to a square for Celestia's execution. They get themselves insulted and reproached by Canterlot's angry citizens and Twilight who all feel betrayed by the heroes and refuse to believe their Cassandra Truth. Celestia even gets an egg thrown in her face by a filly who blames the former princess for her parents being attacked by Changelings and hospitalized.
  • Shameful Strip: Though no stripping happens on-screen and no-one brings it up in-story, all the royal accessories the princesses normally wear are taken from them by the time they're sentenced into exile.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Jewelius does this to Twilight in the 16th chapter by threating the lives of her captive parents should she rebel against him. Fortunately, this becomes quickly remedied when a Changeling posing as Raven Inkwell helps Twilight by freeing her parents and helping them escape from Canterlot.
    Jewelius: I'd hate to one day find your beloved parents found as casualties of a possible attempted changeling attack.
  • Short-Lived Leadership: The reign of "Holy King Jewelius I", which started through scheming and ended mostly due to idiotic villainy, lasts only one full week.
  • Shoot the Rope: Luna saves Celestia from hanging by severing the noose with an energy blast.
  • Shout-Out: Now has its own page.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • Fluttershy retorts to Hildread's attempt to break the Mane Five with her mockery before she drops a chandelier on her and the guards.
      Hildread: To think, Twilight Sparkle considered you all her best friends. What kind of pony would risk everything she cares about for the sake of her worthless, pathetic, annoying so-called friends?!
      Fluttershy: Twilight would!
    • During the climax, Jewelius attempts a Breaking Speech on the captured Celestia, but she interrupts the following Evil Laugh with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about her evil nephew's arrogance and underestimation of the Mane Six and the Magic of Friendship.
      Jewelius: Just accept it, you've lost and I will make sure that you will go down in history as the worst ruler Equestria has ever had. The very mention of your name in a positive light will be punishable by death! [laughs maniacally]
      Celestia: I'm afraid it is you who will not be remembered for your greatness but your arrogance, Jewelius. You, like many others before you, have underestimated Twilight and her friends and the Magic of Friendship. And that will cost you dearly!
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Hildread's ultimate response to "The Reason You Suck" Speech Shining Armor gives her during the climax is to quell any hesitations she has and attack him.
  • Sickbed Slaying:
    • When Cadance is injured and imprisoned in the medical wing, Jewelius plans to have her killed while making it look like everything was done to save her. After the other fugitives escape and try to rescue her, they're caught by Jewelius and Vivian who then attempt to murder Cadance and frame the escaped heroes for it. Fortunately, Cadance has just managed to free herself.
    • It is revealed in the 11th chapter that after the heroes were banished, Jewelius had a (long) list made of the injured royal guards who continued swearing loyalty to the princesses. They were then killed and marked as casualties of the Changeling invasion, allowing Jewelius to fill the greatly decreased ranks with criminals whose loyalty he bought for himself.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Lieutenant Shackle, the Token Good Teammate of Jewelius' supporters, has light green eyes as well as a dark red tail and mane.
  • Single Tear:
    • Applejack when she and Pinkie Pie lament over their hopeless situation in the seventh chapter.
    • During her hanging, Celestia sheds a tear when she asks Twilight to take care of everypony for the former princess.
    • After Jewelius' soldiers are turned to stone, the redeemed Lieutenant Shackle sheds one more tear as she vows to atone for helping Jewelius.
  • Slave Galley: Applejack and Pinkie Pie are sentenced by Jewelius to work as galley slaves.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • Once Twilight has stopped the Changelings and Celestia tells her she has a real wedding to put together, Jewelius uses that moment to bring up the disastrous consequences of the invasion as well as the mistakes made by the heroes (other than Twilight) to show everypony else how crazy the heroes are to plan a new wedding right after they inadvertently allowed the Changelings to conquer Equestria.
    • After the entire Changeling army and all the fugitive heroes have escaped, Jewelius stubbornly refuses to do anything to prepare against the Changelings — who, especially their Queen, have a score to settle with him — before he's finished with the heroes. Not only this helps Twilight and Canterlot's citizens realize what he truly is, but he's left completely helpless once the heroes have defeated his army and cornered him, allowing Chrysalis to swoop in and take her revenge.
  • Smug Snake:
  • The Sociopath: Jewelius turns out to be under his considerate façade a conceited and manipulative monster who's willing to cause death and ruination out of spite or to get rid of a small group of ponies. He's been secretly jealous of his aunt and cousin for years, resenting them for "overshadowing" him when neither of them has given any plausible reason for this bitterness. He delights in inflicting psychological pain to his enemies and egotistically regards his tyrannical rule to be glorious and superior to that of Celestia. He also cares nothing for anypony beyond their usefulness to him.
  • So Proud of You: When Twilight eventually reconciles with Celestia, the latter says she's proud her student has forsaken Jewelius' toxic influence and returned to her true self.
    Celestia: I'm so happy to see that you haven't strayed from your true path.
    Twilight: For awhile, I think I did.
    Celestia: But now you've found it and I've never been more proud of you than I am now.
  • Spear Counterpart: Jewelius is essentially a stallion version of Queen Chrysalis whose schemes parallel with hers. Chrysalis tries to marry Shining Armor while turning him along with Princess Celestia, the Mane Five and Spike against Twilight, while Jewelius intends to marry Twilight whom he manipulates to turn against her brother, mentor and friends.
  • Staging the Eavesdrop: Under Jewelius' orders, Hildread and Shackle go to Spike's new lair under the pretense of searching for escaped Changelings who might have stolen Jewelius' identity and are planning to get revenge against Twilight. Spike is allowed to overhear this "secret", prompting him to gather the other heroes and return to Canterlot for Twilight, just like Jewelius intended.
  • The Stoic: Vivian, as explained in the Emotionless Girl section above.
  • Sudden Principled Stand: After being manipulated to turn against nearly everypony dearest to her by Jewelius, Twilight does very little against his corruption, feeling that there isn't much she can do. However, when he orders her to lie to Canterlot's citizens by saying that the situation with the recently escaped Changelings is under his control, she goes against his instructions and tells the crowd what's the situation really. This lands her with Jewelius into an argument that gets her to finally realize how truly evil he is.
    Twilight: Everypony in Canterlot has been deceived once already. I was not taught to lie, especially to ponies who trust me.
  • The Svengali: Jewelius makes Twilight his student after he becomes Equestria's king. And he's definitely not a good influence on her. He actually wants to marry her and have her bear him powerful heirs for his legacy, and he's open to the possibility of getting rid of her if he discovers another powerful unicorn mare to seduce.
  • Sympathy for the Devil:
    • When Hildread's defeated, Shining Armor feels sorry for his ruthless yet dedicated rival.
      Shining Armor: You really could've been a good protector of Equestria. Maybe someday, you'll learn the error of your ways and I'll be waiting.
    • For all of Jewelius' evil deeds and well-deserved end, the heroes — especially the three princesses — feel sad that he couldn't be redeemed.
  • Taken for Granite: The soldiers attacking Ponyville are stopped when the Elements of Harmony are used to temporarily encase them in stone.
  • Talk to the Fist: Rainbow Dash wins her fight against Vivian in the climax by kicking the unicorn who's making a Motive Rant in the face.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: When Twilight thinks Cadance becomes injured because of her former friends as well as Shining Armor and Celestia bringing her back to Canterlot, she gets even with them by angrily chewing them out before coldly leaving them at Hildread's mercy, just like they ditched her at the wedding rehearsal (with Ironic Echoes included).
  • A Taste of the Lash: In the 11th chapter, Shining Armor is whipped by Hildread as an example to the Royal Guard he's charged of disgracing.
  • Tears of Fear: Fluttershy, who is afraid of dragons, sheds these when Jewelius sentences both her and Rainbow Dash to the Dragon Lands.
  • Tears of Joy:
    • As soon as Spike frees Rarity from Jewelius' muzzle, she hugs him with happy tears.
    • Shining Armor when he reunites with Twilight in the 10th chapter.
    • In the 15th chapter, Applejack has these when she reunites with her family. Same thing between Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo.
    • Night Light and Twilight Velvet shed these when they reunite with their daughter and later when they witness her reconciling with her friends.
    • Twilight and her friends share these as they reconcile in the 17th chapter.
  • Tears of Remorse:
    • Shining Armor sheds these several times when he beats himself up over his mistakes. First, when he's being taken away from Canterlot. Second, when Cadance tells him how Twilight helped them to become a couple (both before and after the recount). And again when he and his sister finally reconcile in the 17th chapter.
    • Spike when he's left alone in a dark forest and discovers that Jewelius has given him the wedding cake toppers as a cruel reminder of turning his back on Twilight in the 7th chapter.
    • For the same reason as Spike above, Rarity reacts like this when she discovers that Jewelius has gifted her with her bridesmaid dress in the 9th chapter.
    • After Jewelius finally reveals his true colors to her, Twilight is reduced to a sobbing mess from the guilt of helping a monster take over Equestria and turning her back on her loved ones.
    • Twilight and her friends share these as well as Tears of Joy upon their reconciliation.
    • Lieutenant Shackle when the heroes convince her to redeem herself by helping them stop the attack on Ponyville.
    • In the epilogue, Twilight and Shining Armor shed these when they apologize to one other one more time.
  • Tempting Fate: Just as the slave driver blusters to Applejack and Pinkie Pie that they shall spend the rest of their lives in the galley and no miracle will change that, he's subdued by Celestia who frees the two mares.
  • That Man Is Dead: Cadance comes to this conclusion about the cousin she thought she knew when she confronts Jewelius during the climax.
    Cadance: I finally understand, cousin. Why the changelings weren't able to feed on your love and why my spell didn't work on you. It's because you have no heart to feel love and therefore no love to give!
    Jewelius: What, are you going to kill your own flesh and blood?
    Cadance: The cousin, brother, I knew died a long time ago. His heart anyway.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: Jewelius is an ordinary, normal-looking unicorn, and a sociopath who's even more manipulative than Chrysalis and causes more misery than she does.
    Jewelius: Changelings aren't the only ones capable of putting on facades.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Celestia says this when Jewelius sends his army to assault Ponyville.
  • Thwarted Coup de Grâce: Just as Jewelius is about to decapitate Celestia with a sword during the Final Battle, Cadance blasts the sword away.
  • Token Good Teammate: Lieutenant Shackle, in Jewelius' traitorous coup. She is the most reluctant one to carry out Jewelius' corrupt laws, and has a My God, What Have I Done? moment when she realizes the error of her ways during the attack on Ponyville.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Jewelius completely dismisses the threat of the escaped Queen Chrysalis and her Changeling army, despite several facts; they managed to nearly conquer Canterlot, everypony is more concerned about them than they're concerned about the heroes, and Chrysalis, a villainess more powerful than Jewelius, has an ax to grind with him and tries to kill him immediately after her escape. This foolishness ends up costing Jewelius not only the loyalty of Twilight and Canterlot's citizens, but his life as well. And even earlier, by gloating to the imprisoned heroes — who've all been tricked into thinking they're total failures — about his secret crimes and evil intentions in regards to Twilight, he motivates them — Twilight's friends, mentor and big brother who all desire to get back in good graces with her — to bring him down and save Twilight from his manipulations.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Played with. After Jewelius successfully manipulates Twilight about her former friends, Shining Armor and Celestia's true intentions, she loses all trust and respect toward them, and when she mistakenly believes they caused Cadance to become injured, she nastily disowns them all and allows them to be apprehended as payback for the way they mistreated her. However, it's afterwards made clear that she hasn't really stopped caring about them or other ponies, and her current behavior stems from unwillingness to be hurt again and a misled belief that she owes Jewelius for the kindness he showed her. Fortunately, she comes fully around once she realizes just how evil Jewelius truly is.
  • Trading Bars for Stripes: After Jewelius discovered all the injured members of the Royal Guard who remained loyal to the princesses, he ordered them to be killed. He then filled the greatly decreased ranks by recruiting criminals he released from dungeons in exchange for their loyalty.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: When the banished heroes learn about the rumors of escaped Changelings, Luna has a lingering feeling that something doesn't match, even considering that there might be a trap set for them in Canterlot. Celestia acknowledges her sister's concerns but chooses to return to Canterlot anyway to ensure Twilight's life isn't endangered. To make sure not all of them end up being caught if something goes wrong, Luna separates herself from the others and sticks to the shadows. This turns out to be a wise precaution, for the rumors were only a part of Jewelius' trap for the heroes, yet by avoiding being caught, Luna is able to rescue her sister from hanging.
  • Trauma Conga Line: After everything bad that happens canonically, the heroes are forced to endure even more pain before they get to enjoy the wedding.
    • The selective revelations Jewelius makes about their mistakes cost Celestia, Shining Armor, the Mane Five and Spike their standing in Equestria's society. After being exiled and sentenced to slavery, they are lured back to Canterlot for a chance to redeem themselves, but they end up being disowned by Twilight for how they treated her and find out a terrible secret; a heartless manipulator has all along been using their beloved friend/sister/student and everypony else to his own advantage. They're unable to convince anypony to believe this discovery until the blunders from the villains' part help to prove them right and give them a chance to reconcile with Twilight, set everything right, and clear their names.
      • For Celestia specifically, she becomes nearly killed (twice) by a nephew she never would have believed to be capable of cruelties at least as bad as Queen Chrysalis. She's unable to convince him to choose redemption and has to witness him corrupting her former kingdom and faithful student against her, turning the utter adoration they held toward her into hatred. She is nearly publicly hanged, and only by giving her former subjects and Twilight a heartbreaking apology speech she manages to engender forgiveness from all of them before Luna rescues her from the death of being choked. She also finds out, much to the horror of both Shining Armor and herself, that many of the injured royal guards who remained loyal to them were murdered while they were in banishment. By the time she and the others find refuge in Ponyville, she's starting to lose hope of Twilight coming around and helping them against Jewelius until Cadance urges her not to give up on her faithful student yet.
      • Not only does Shining Armor become brainwashed by Queen Chrysalis as per canon, but his wedding is forcibly cancelled, he's stripped of his title as Captain of the Royal Guard, and Hildread beats him up. After he's bitterly disowned by his little sister, he endures a brutal public flogging for "disgracing" the Guard and learns that many of his friends in the Guard been murdered and his sister — emotionally manipulated and deaf to his warnings — is engaged to a sociopath who's ready to kill her if he finds her to be an inconvenience.
    • After everything Chrysalis put her through, Cadance is unfairly exiled from Canterlot by Jewelius, her favorite cousin and surrogate little brother. Upon returning to Canterlot, she's attacked, tortured and planned to be killed by Jewelius who has for years hated her simply because of her popularity and convinced Chrysalis to go through with the Changeling invasion on Cadance's wedding day.
    • Despite having the honor of stopping the Changelings herself, Twilight is emotionally manipulated to lose all love and trust toward her brother, friends and mentor for how they shunned her at the wedding rehearsal, becoming unhappy yet accepting of Equestria's new questionable ruler who has all along faked being her friend and possible love interest. She agrees to marry him, unaware that Jewelius only wants her to birth for him powerful heirs for his legacy and is open to the possibility of killing her "accidentally" and marrying a more powerful unicorn mare should he meet one. Once Twilight realizes the truth, she's utterly mortified with herself and places responsibility on herself alone when she reconciles with her loved ones and sets out to work with them in order to set things right.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: After being freed of the Diamond Dogs' muzzle, Rarity gives them off-screen a reminder of why they don't like to listen to her complaints. They're left shaking in this position.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: After making himself Equestria's king, Jewelius legalizes slavery, wipes out all the Royal Guards who remain loyal to the dismantled princesses, fills the ranks with bribed convicts, raises Ponyville's taxes, bans any trading with the town, and tries to make the public falsely believe that he has the situation with the escaped Changelings under his control.
  • Twitchy Eye: In the flashback scene of the 14th chapter, Jewelius has one when Twilight pleads for him to allow Cadance to return to Canterlot. He has another in the 17th chapter right before he chucks out of a window a guard who questioned him one too many times.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Even though Jewelius manages to disgrace Celestia, Luna, Shining Armor, the Mane Five and Spike in the eyes of Twilight and Canterlot's population, he has no such success in making them hate Cadance.
    • Though the above-mentioned group is scorned about everywhere, the town of Ponyville quickly shelters them. It helps that Jewelius has not inspired any loyalty there by making the life there miserable ever since his rise to power.
    • Most members of the Royal Guard who were injured by the Changelings refused to switch their loyalties from the princesses and Shining Armor to Jewelius, so he had them all murdered and replaced by criminals he bribed to be loyal to himself.
    • After Twilight finally turns against Jewelius, he tries to label her as another traitor, but Canterlot's citizens don't believe for one minute that she'd go against him without good reason.
  • Unholy Matrimony: A flashback of the 11th chapter reveals that Jewelius pretended to be in a relationship of villainous affection with Chrysalis while they still worked together. His betrayal was a genuine surprise to her, and she becomes determined to have her revenge after he helps Twilight in imprisoning her.
  • The Unfettered: In his goal to become the only respected ruler of Equestria, Jewelius is ready to manipulate, defame and backstab anypony, kill his loving cousin and aunt out of hatred, murder the injured members of the Royal Guard who haven't sworn loyalty to him, and wipe out a town of innocent ponies just to get rid of a small group of ponies. He does all of this without hesitation or regret, even mocking Lieutenant Shackle for her visible horror over the last one.
  • The Usurper: Jewelius, big time.
  • Villain Ball: Jewelius successfully usurps Equestria's throne, destroys the public images of most of the heroes, paints himself as the respected Holy King, and has Twilight Sparkle under his hoof as his student and fiancée. This doesn't satisfy him enough though, so he lures the banished heroes (who all feel themselves to be utter failures without knowing about his role in the invasion) back to Canterlot and reveals everything to them out of a need to gloat and his desire to kill his aunt and cousin. After they, as well as the Changelings, have escaped, he destroys his own credibility by refusing to divert his attention from the heroes to the Changelings (when the public is more concerned about the Changelings' threat) and letting his true sociopathic nature shine. By the time he assaults Ponyville, not only has Twilight Sparkle returned to the heroes' side and brought the Elements of Harmony to their disposal, but the entire city of Canterlot has realized that they were better off under Celestia's rule.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • Jewelius and his supporters don't let the dishonored heroes forget that if they had been more critical about the false Cadance's actions (whatever by giving Twilight the benefit of the doubt or being attentive themselves) instead of having their heads entirely in their wedding plans, they could have unmasked Chrysalis and prevented the Changeling invasion (which had severe consequences to Canterlot's ponies) before it began. Jewelius and Hildread also scold them for behaving this singlemindedly when there was in the air a threat of unknown attackers, and they didn't bother to postpone the wedding and deal with the threat first. Though it turns out that Jewelius helped Chrysalis infiltrate and used her failure to seize the throne for himself, the heroes take to heart the usurper's criticism regarding their shortcomings.
    • When the Mane Five ask from Jewelius how he was able to sway Twilight to his side, he answers matter-of-factly that in comparison to them, he put more effort in acting like he actually considered Twilight's worries instead of quickly putting them down to jealousy/overreaction. It also helped that he tried to settle the confrontation at the rehearsal peacefully by suggesting that Twilight's outburst was only a case of a big misunderstanding, only for Celestia to shush him immediately.
  • Villain Love Song: Jewelius sings "Love is in Bloom" with Twilight as they get closer in the second chapter. He mentions the song's title when he reveals his true colors to the disgraced heroes and what he plans to do with Twilight after marrying her.
  • Villain Reveals the Secret: Exploited by Jewelius in the fifth chapter. Immediately after Twilight has shrunk the Changelings, Vivian brings the wedding guests and some guards in the wedding hall. Jewelius then starts calling out the princesses, Shining Armor and Twilight's friends, revealing to everypony how they ignored Twilight's misgivings regarding Chrysalis and abandoned her at the wedding rehearsal. When his New Era Speech causes the panicked heroes to make an unsuccessful escape attempt, everypony buys Jewelius' words and turns against the heroes.
  • Villains Want Mercy: As soon as Jewelius is cornered by all the heroes in the climax, he pathetically begs for his life and starts making excuses and promises. When Chrysalis appears with her Changeling army, he begs for her help, only to receive even less mercy.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: When Jewelius takes over Equestria's throne, the entire city of Canterlot is duped into revering him as "Holy King Jewelius I". Fortunately, this charade starts slowly to crumble thanks to his excessive obsession in hunting down the disgraced heroes at the expense of taking care of the renewed Changeling threat and poor receipt to facing disagreements. Ultimately zig-zagged; he's not popular in Ponyville at all because he has oppressed the town under the excuse of the Mane Five's home needing to be made an example of.
  • Visual Pun: The insectoid Changelings are turned tiny enough to fit all of them in a glass jar.
  • Wardens Are Evil: Hildread, Canterlot's head jailer who was kicked out of the Royal Guard by Shining Armor due to her exceeding brutality, is one of Jewelius' chief minions, and her sadism is exceeded only by Jewelius himself.
  • Was Too Hard on Him: Coindices with Jerkass Realization. Even before Jewelius drops all pretences with her, Twilight expresses remorse over lashing out at her loved ones, feeling that she let her resentment over the wedding rehearsal get the better of her. She expresses to Jewelius that she wants to apologize for her overreaction and forgive them for how they hurt her, convinced that they have learned their lesson and don't deserve to suffer any more than they already have.
  • We Have Become Complacent: As part of his propaganda against the disgraced heroes, Jewelius claims that the entire ponykind has become too dependent on the protection of the alicorns and the Elements of Harmony. While this is for him only a tool to retain his power, Vivian seems to really believe this rhetoric, for she says during her Motive Rant to Rainbow Dash that ponies need the same kind of independence she believes they had before Celestia and Luna came to power (though as Rainbow Dash states, Jewelius will never bring ponies independence).
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: After Jewelius' manipulations twist Twilight's views regarding her friends, brother and mentor, and her bitterness over their abandonment of her gets the better of her when she mistakenly believes they caused Cadance to become injured, she imprisons them in a magic dome, allows them be arrested, and does very little to help them in their bad predicament. However, once she has her Jerkass Realization and Jewelius proves true her former loved ones' words about his evilness, she seeks out her friends, brother and mentor who all forgive her right away because they don't blame her for being tricked by a guy who successfully tricked everyone, and because they acknowledge that they share a part of the blame in him exploiting her weakened faith in all of them.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Though it's not closely examined, Vivian claims herself to be this in her Motive Rant, saying that ponies entrust their protection too much to the alicorns and the Elements of Harmony and need to be independent the same way she thinks they were before Celestia and Luna started ruling them. Though she's wrong to think that Jewelius' rule will give the ponykind any independence, her stated motivations may be sincere, given her utter lack of sadistic tendencies, highly impersonal demeanor, and two moments of displaying distaste for her master's decision to murder a large number of fine military ponies just because they haven't sworn loyalty to him, and later all of Ponyville's inhabitants along with the heroes too.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Due to Jewelius' manipulations, Twilight turns against her former loved ones as payback for their treatment of her at the wedding rehearsal.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 11 reveals that Jewelius has been evil even before the story began and hated Celestia and Cadance for "overshadowing" him for years. He told Chrysalis about the wedding, joined forces with her, and helped her infiltrate Canterlot through the caverns before he dumped her and manipulated Twilight into becoming his pawn.
  • Wham Line:
    • During her outlash toward her former loved ones in the tenth chapter, Twilight declares that the other Element Bearers were never her friends, much to their shock. This is one of the first signs of the emotional manipulation Jewelius has subjected her to.
      Fluttershy: We're your friends!
      Twilight: No you're not! You only hangout with me because my connections could help you. You never cared about me or anypony else! I can't believe I fell for it for so long.
    • Chrysalis begins the big revelations of the 11th chapter with one.
      Chrysalis: [to Jewelius] I… I thought we were in this together! Why did you betray me?!
      Pinkie Pie: What?! [the other heroes have a Jaw Drop]
      Jewelius: Oh Chrysalis. Did you really think I'd let a despicable animal like you by my side?
      • Jewelius shocks the heroes further by answering a couple of questions nopony has asked yet: how Chrysalis knew about the wedding and the caverns beneath the castle?
        Jewelius: I told her about them!
    • An in-universe version occurs in the 12th chapter when Celestia breaks her silence by saying "I'm sorry." Everypony — the other heroes, the jaded Twilight, the angry crowd, and even the smug Jewelius — gasps in surprise, for none of them expected the condemned to be hanged alicorn to commence her final speech with those words.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: In the second chapter, Jewelius asks the Mane Five to consider if there's anything suspicious about them being given the bridesmaid positions so suddenly. Rainbow Dash and Rarity answer with this trope, respectively appealing to Shining Armor's dome and Cadance's popularity.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Celestia, Shining Armor, the Mane Five and Spike are rebuked of their mistakes a lot by the masses manipulated by Jewelius as well as a corrupted Twilight. Also, the three original bridesmaids get to voice their disbelief over the fact that only Twilight was interested about their disappearance and everypony else just took Chrysalis' word for it.
      Lyra Heartstrings: And you five had the nerve to steal our positions as bridesmaids when we disappeared!
      Pinkie Pie: We didn't steal anything!
      Rarity: They were given to us by the bride!
      Minuette: You mean the fake bride! As if it was hers to give.
      Twinkleshine: We went missing! Didn't anypony besides Twilight find that suspicious? Didn't anypony try to look for us? Why would none of you think to look into that?!
      Shining Armor: She said she fired you all because you were only interested in meeting Canterlot royalty.
      Twinkleshine: How could you believe that lie? I never did anything to anypony!
      [Twinkleshine starts sobbing while Shining Armor is glared and booed at]
      Shining Armor: I didn't mean to hurt her feelings!
      Twilight: But you did! Just like me.
      [Shining Armor lowers his head in shame]
    • Jewelius calling the heroes out in the fifth chapter ends up becoming a double subversion because his status as the Big Bad becomes unconcealed, but the heroes nevertheless admit he's right about how badly they screwed up.
    • Cadance does a subtly downplayed version; while saddened to learn what happened at the rehearsal, she's understanding and never angry with Shining Armor and the others for not believing Twilight. However, she tells him what role Twilight played in them becoming a couple years ago and asks him to make amends with Twilight before they get married. Though she says this gently, he takes it for an ultimatum.
  • Woman Scorned: While Jewelius and Chrysalis worked together, she thought they were in an Unholy Matrimony and honestly didn't expect him to double-cross her. After he helps Twilight in imprisoning her, she desires revenge on him, and for that end, she makes Twilight begin doubting him and secretly helps the heroes in gaining an advantage over him. When she comes to claim her revenge, she doesn't appreciate it when he calls her his love in order to get her help and orders her Changelings to eat him.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • Jewelius blasts Cadance in the chest, smacks Twilight in the face, and nearly beheads Celestia with a sword.
    • Shining Armor has no trouble engaging in a hooffight with Hildread.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess:
    • Jewelius originally helped Chrysalis in carrying out her canon plan so that they would rule Equestria together. However, after Jewelius spent time with Twilight and secretly witnessed when Chrysalis sent her into the underground caverns, he came up with a new plan. He first sent Vivian to subdue the brainwashed bridesmaids so that Twilight and the real Cadance could come to expose Chrysalis. Then he had Twilight subdue all the Changelings by shrinking them with the spell he showed her earlier after the other heroes' efforts to stop the Changelings fail. And finally, he tricked everypony into thinking all the heroes but Twilight are to blame for the disastrous invasion ever happening.
    • In the 13th chapter, after Luna saves Celestia from hanging and frees the Mane Five, Shining Armor and Spike, the escaped Changelings distract Jewelius' soldiers, so the heroes run to the medical wing in order to rescue Cadance. When they reach the door, however, Jewelius and Vivian are waiting for them, and Vivian subdues them all with a petrifying spell, even though Jewelius was caught off guard by all these unexpected turns. He decides to adapt by murdering Cadance and framing the escaped heroes for it. The only reason this fails is because Cadance is free of her restraints and ready to pulverize her traitorous cousin.
  • "X" Marks the Hero: Inverted with Hildread who has an cross-shaped scar on her left cheek.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In the 17th chapter, Twilight and her loved ones trade reassuring words with each other in order to make each other stop taking all the blame for the way the villains caused them to turn on each other.
    Twilight: You all are the best friends I've ever had.
    Fluttershy: But we hurt you, and everypony, just for a chance to participate in a wedding.
    Twilight: You were all just trying to make it the best wedding ever. The way I acted, anypony would think I was trying to mess everything up.
    Applejack: But ironically, everything you did you did for your brother and us. Everything we did we did for ourselves because we got so caught up in the wedding planning.
    Pinkie Pie: We're the ones that should've gotten kicked out of the wedding, not you.
    Twilight: But… But I let Jewelius poison me against all of you. I was so hurt when you all abandoned me at the wedding rehearsal and he took advantage of that. I should've listened to you when you tried to warn me about him. I'm so sorry for turning my back on all of you.
    Applejack: It wasn't your fault, sugarcube. He fooled everypony.
    Rarity: In the end, nopony was really what they appeared to be.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Cadance does this at the end of her You Shall Not Pass! moment in the tenth chapter, with the exclamation's target being Jewelius.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • Jewelius convinces Chrysalis to take over Equestria with him, but when he sees better opportunities in making Twilight and himself the heroes who stopped the invaders, he betrays the Changelings by helping Twilight defeat and imprison them. He announces a week later that the Changelings will be made into slaves, but Chrysalis will be "put down" for being far too dangerous.
    • When Jewelius tells Twilight's imprisoned loved ones that he'll marry her and father through her a powerful line of heirs, he offhandedly mentions that if he happens to discover an even more powerful unicorn mare, he'll likely stage an accident for Twilight. When he reveals his true colors to her, he gloats that excluding her, nearly all his pawns have outlived their usefulness.
  • You're Insane!: Rarity yells this in the 11th chapter when Jewelius answers Fluttershy's question about why exactly he's making Twilight's friends suffer.
    Fluttershy: There's still one thing I don't understand. Why are you making the rest of us suffer if it was the princesses you wanted gone?
    Jewelius: It was nothing personal really. Most of you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, there was 'who would possibly want to do anything that could ruin such a glorious event like the wedding of the wonderful Princess Mi Amore Cadenza'. Let's just say what you all said that time didn't sit too well with me.
    Rarity: You're Mad!
  • You're Nothing Without Your Phlebotinum: Jewelius says in the 11th chapter to the imprisoned heroes that they're nothing without Twilight standing by them. The Mane Five end up agreeing with that in the 17th chapter when they're unable to come up with a plan to take Jewelius down and Spike remarks that Twilight is their regular Smart Girl. Fortunately, Twilight arrives just then, fully willing to reconcile with everypony, possessing the Elements of Harmony, and having the idea to use their example of reconciliation to remind all of Equestria what friendship is about.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: The Changeling invasion has been stopped, and Celestia tells Twilight she has a real wedding to put together… then Jewelius drops his polite façade and destroys his aunt, Shining Armor and the Mane Five's public image out of hatred and usurps the former.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Cadance does this in the tenth chapter, staying behind to fend off Hildread and cover the Mane Five's escape. It leads to her being injured by Jewelius.

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