Spike is summoned to Canterlot to meet with Princess Celestia. When he gets there, he discovers that he is also meeting with Princess Luna, and Princess Luna wants to talk with him ...
Tropes appearing in this work include:
- Big Fancy Castle: The Palace at Canterlot. Spike is very familiar with the Palace, as he grew up playing — and, later, working for Twilight Sparkle — in this building.
- Definitely Just a Cold: Spike notices (from an air chariot) that Pinkie Pie looks ill. Word of God is it that she was seriously wounded fighting Red Haze the Dragon in Dragonshyness (a rewrite of "Dragonshy"), and in consequence is going to come close to death in a story set around the time of "Bridle Gossip".
- Family Honor: Both Twilight Sparkle and Spike feel this sentiment regarding their clan, which is an attribute of the Canterlot gentry.Twilight's eyes misted slightly as she recognized the attitude. It was her own, the ethos of a young member of the elite scholar-gentry of Canterlot. It was the culture she had absorbed as a small filly from her parents and her big brother, and now Spike had learned the same lessons from her. Be smart. Be honorable. Be diligent. Never let your family down.
- Innocent Innuendo: Luna refers to Twilight Sparkle as Spike's "mistress," unaware that this might imply a sexual relationship. This is not so much because Luna's innocent — she's not — but because she is a Fish out of Temporal Water and word connotations have shifted in the millennium she spent on the Moon. Fortunately, she says this in private conversation with Celestia, not in the conversation with Spike himself.
- Interspecies Adoption: Twilight Sparkle and Spike the Dragon consider one another siblings.Twilight smiled fondly at him. He was her assistant, her friend, her adoptive baby brother.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: Upon being personally summoned to court, Spike says: "Guess she's finally realized just who is the Number One Dragon around here!" Immediately Lampshaded by Twilight Sparkle, resulting in this exchange:"Spike," Twilight chuckled, "you're the only Dragon around Ponyville.""And thus the Number One," he replied with impeccable logic.
- Parental Substitute: Though Twilight is technically Spike's foster sister, the 7-year age gap between them (she's 17, he's 10 at the point of this story) means that she sometimes thinks of him as if he were her child.
- Pony of Mass Destruction: One of Luna's memories is of her battle as Nightmare Moon against Celestia, over a thousand years ago. It is revealed that many of her missed shots were leveling the Foreverfree City, something which might be inferred from the condition of the Castle and all the ruins littering the landscale by the time the Mane Six first laid eyes upon the area.
- Psychic Link: When Spike attunes with Luna, this temporarily happens. First, Spike experiences some of Luna's memories from her long life, then he experiences some of her memories from her far LONGER life as the Cosmic Concept Gravity.
- Royal Harem: At one point, Celestia built a luxurious Seraglio in the back gardens of the Palace at Canterlot. The evidence is that she chickened out before actually putting it to its intended purpose, but she notably never demolished it. Spike — who assumes it to merely be an abandoned bath house — often went there to relax while Twilight was busy with Celestia. Princess Celestia has no idea that Spike used to frequent the place.
- Secret Passages: The Palace at Canterlot is riddled with these. Some are there to provide access to the old crystal mines from when these were the mines of Bahamut's Rest, but some seem to have been built simply for Celestia's amusement.
- Socially-Awkward Heroine: Princess Luna is very nervous at the prospect of speaking with Spike — not because she's shy around Dragons (she isn't: she likes Dragons), but because her intent is to learn more about Twilight Sparkle, and she wants to make a good impression on Spike because she knows Spike is Twilight's closest confidante.
- Tempting Fate: Twilight predicts an uneventful night by herself in the library."There's going to be a big storm coming through here tonight — the Weather Patrol was really thrown off balance by the need to divert rain to the White Tails to clean up the mess Red Haze made all over the eastern part of the mountains. They called for some rain, and got more than they bargained for out of the Everfree, according to Rainbow Dash. I'm just going to bolt all the shutters, curl up with a good book, and go to sleep tonight. No excitement," she predicted.
- Time Abyss: The two Ruling Princesses, Celestia and Luna, both because they are over 2500 years old, and because their Cosmic Selves, Fusion and Gravity, are almost as old as the entire Universe.
- Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Fluttershy, as Spike notices when he runs into her in mid-air. She's friendly,smiling and even mischievous with Rainbow Dash after they re-bonded and became friendlier than ever before with Rainbow Dash in Dragonshyness. This is Fluttershy's normal reaction to discovering that somepony loves her, as we also see (four years later) regarding Bulk Biceps in "Equestria Games".
- Tunnel Network: Canterlot began as the mining town of Bahamut's Rest. There are secret passages from the Palace at Canterlot to the old crystal mines, among other places. In addition, because of the limited space available on the mountainside, the city has expanded both up by building skyscraping towers, and down by delving into the living rock, and this is not even a secret.